Every year around Christmas time, it helps get me into the spirit by making something.
When I was little, my family and I would always drive around the neighborhood and admire the lights and the Christmas displays. I always loved the handmade displays.
I remember one year seeing a large woodcut of “The Bumble” from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer fixed on a rooftop and thought if I every ever had the chance to make one myself I would do it.
I was talking with Jenna about this idea and we decided it would make a good post for LGS. Thanks again Jenna!
For this project I created artwork of The Bumble, but you can use any artwork you make or find.
What you’ll need:
1. Birch plywood
2. Pencil, fine tip marker and ruler
3. Orbital Jigsaw (earplugs optional)
4. Sand paper (150 grit)
5. Acrylic paint & acrylic brushes
6. Clear coat finish (Satin or light gloss)
Step one: Begin with a piece of plywood, whatever size you need. You can pick up 50x50in piece for under $20 at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot.
Create of find artwork that you can draw a square grid on top of. I used Adobe Illustrator to create the artwork at actual size, then created the grid of 12x12in squares (the size of the plywood I chose was 48x48in so this so I made the grid 12x12in squares) but you create the grid any way you like. The purpose of the grid is to make it easier to draw the artwork onto the plywood.
Use the ruler and pencil to transferred the grid onto the plywood. For now, just draw the outline of the artwork. You don’t need to worry about the inner details just yet.
I go over the pencil lines with the marker so to have a good solid cutting line.
Step two: Now that you have the artwork outlined on the plywood you can begin cutting it out. I recommend an orbital jigsaw because it’s fast, easy and accurate. You may also want to buy some earplugs because it gets really loud.
Once you have it cut out, take your sandpaper out and sand down all the outer edges till they’re nice and smooth.
Step three: Before you begin painting, mark the grid lines on the outer edges so you’ll know where they’re at after painting the first coat of white. Also, try to use brushes intended for acrylics (they should say on the packaging) as this will help evenly distribute the paint across the wood surface and prevent the paint from soaking into the wood. You may still need to apply more than one coat. Don’t paint the outer edges just yet as you still need to be able to see the lines.
After the paint has dried, take out the ruler and redraw the grid lines from before with a pencil, using the marks you made earlier as guides. This is so you can draw the rest of the details: Face, hands, teeth, etc.
Once you’ve completed the rest of the drawing, paint in the other colors. I find it’s best to paint one color at a time. Also, try to think ahead about which color can go on top of the other. As a general rule it’s best to paint the lightest color (first) to the darkest color (last).
Step four: Touch up any areas or mistakes where paint might have dripped, paint the outer edges and cover up any remaining grid lines.
Finally, you’ll want to seal the entire piece (front and back) with a coat of clear coat finish to protect it from the weather. I use a satin finish so to minimize light reflections. You can use with glossy but you’ll have glare when viewed at certain angles outside. Display and enjoy!
Check out more of Tymn’s awesome work on his website or send him a shout out on Twitter @tymnarmstrong
Alright, huge disclaimer. I thought this project would be fun, quick and easy. It took me quite a while, hours in fact. I didn’t mind, because I caught up on some TV while doing it, but man. By the end, I was cursing myself. Why did I choose to make this so long? I chose to make mine 6 feet long (you saw that right, 6 feet!), but to cut down on time and depending on what you are using it for, it could be any length.
Step One: Glue one end of the yarn to the wooden bead. Wrap the yarn around until all the surfaces are covered. Glue as you go to secure. When you are done with one bead, glue down the end of the strand. Repeat this with as many beads as you’d like.
Step Two: When all of your beads are finished. Determine the length of the garland. Thread your needle with yarn and feed through the center of the bead. You might have to do some poking around to find it.
Step Three: After all your beads have been strung onto the yarn, tie knots at the end to secure and hang as you will.
Guest blogging today is my friend Emma Little from Made in Emmarica! She is a super crafty lady and makes some of the coolest stuff around!
One of my favorite things about the holidays is that it’s the one time of year I get anything other than bills or credit card offers in the mail. To me, the Christmas card is the ultimate symbol of tradition. I mean, think about it. When’s the last time you wrote something to someone with pen and paper and sent it to them through the good ole’ Pony Express? OK, so you’re different. But think about the majority of people in this day and age of online social networking. I may be speaking too soon (I really hope eCards don’t become the norm) but Christmas is the only time of year that a lot of us write to our friends and family. This is special. Here’s an idea of how you can show off such a special sentiment this holiday season.
What You’ll Need: Adhesive hooks/ Hemp rope/ Scissors/ Large wood spring clothespins/1.5inch foam balls/ Glue gun/ 5”x5” squares of burlap/ Twine/ Small brown buttons/ Brown decorative berries (red to make a Rudolph)/ Card stock/ Marker, pencil, or pen/ Brown adhesive-backed felt
Step One: Place hooks at opposite ends of where you want your card display to hang (placement suggestions: above the fire place, along the top of a bookshelf).
Step Two: Determine how much rope you will need in order to tie the ends to the hooks while allowing the rope to hang slightly in the center then cut and tie accordingly.
Step 3: Gather some holiday cards and determine how many reindeer you will need to make to hang them.
Step Four: Use one of the top ends of a clothespin to puncture a foam ball so that it sits on the clothespin without having to hold it down. Gently open and close the clothespin to grind the back of the foam ball down to make it easier to use later. Remove the foam ball to apply hot glue to the front and back of the area of the clothespin where the foam ball will sit and reapply the foam ball.
Step Five: Take a burlap square and wrap it around the foam ball so that it is covered. Use hot glue to attach the burlap to the front and back of the clothespin. Bunch the extra burlap at the bottom of the foam ball and hot glue the pieces so they stay in place.
Step Six: Use twine to tie a small bow at the base of the foam ball to help keep the burlap together.
Step Seven: Picturing the burlap covered foam ball as the head of a reindeer, use the brown buttons as eyes and hot glue them into place.
Step Eight: Cut off a brown (or red) berry so there is enough stem to stick through the burlap and into the foam ball for a nose.
Step Nine: Draw an antler on card stock and cut it out to use as a stencil on the back of the adhesive foam. Cut out 2 pairs of antlers (4 pieces), remove the adhesive backing, and stick the pieces together so you have 2 antlers total. Hot glue the antlers to the reindeer head.
Step Ten: Repeat steps 4-9 for the rest of the reindeer.
Step Eleven: You are ready to hang your cards like holiday laundry! If desired, cover your hooks with decorative poinsettias, ribbons, or other holiday cheer.
I almost didn’t share this project, because it seemed too simple, but it’s a really easy and inexpensive way to dress up your tree. I have so many ornaments that block the light, so I needed something that really reflected light, and I was not about to put glitter on the outside and have it trailed all throughout my house….like last time.
All you need is a clear ornament bulb and glitter. I got my bulbs from Michael’s, they were on crazy sale, plus they are already really inexpensive. I chose silver glitter, but any color works.
Pour glitter into the opening of the bulb and swirl until the inside is as covered as you like. I left some of mine with a more frosted look with just the bottom covered and others I covered completely. That part is up to you.
I needed some ornaments to add some sparkle to my tree so this was a really great solution. I really want to try some pastel glitter to give it a vintage look or a multi colored glitter to have a festive feel.