Category Archives: DIY

A Crafty Christmas

We really got crafty around the Best Things household this year!  It felt so special to have homemade decorations, presents, and food all around this Christmas.  We made these place cards/take home ornaments for our Christmas day dinner.  And when I say “we”, I really mean it.  Mr. Best Things is a fantastic crafter.  Lucky, eh?

Here’s another one of the homemade Christmas cards we sent out.  I love receiving the texts from friends saying they received them, and they’re thinking of us too.  Makes all that hard (but fun!) work worthwhile.

This is probably what I’m most proud of.  We made our own wreath for less than $20.  We just bought a wooden circle, covered it with ribbon and then hot glued dollar store Christmas balls on it.  We were both covered in hot glue and glitter afterwards; the telltale signs of a fun project.

I did a cookie exchange at work and got to really nail down a recipe for Peanut Blossoms.  Here they are before getting baked.

And of course, I crocheted my little heart out and sent off some hats to friends for presents.  Here I am working on a hat in the dressing room!  I also managed to make myself an army green neck warmer!

Did you get crafty this Christmas?

Christmas Card DIY

Christmas is upon us! I really should’ve sent out these cards weeks ago, but that’s not how I roll. I get things done, usually in the nick of time!  I work well under pressure?  Anyways..

Thought I would show you a quick tutorial on how to make homemade Christmas cards!  I am all about not buying a bunch of holiday stuff this year and rather making cards/gifts myself. I don’t have the money to be spending a ton during the holidays, but I also think that homemade stuff is so much more thoughtful and (hopefully) appreciated!  Also, it’s fun! Oh, and easy.

Start with some card stock from a stationary store (or in my case, the shoe box I found under our bed).  Whatever colour you have is perfect!  Fold it in half.

Find some mismatched Christmas ribbon.  I got mine on sale at Michaels’ Craft store for $1 a roll.  I bought 4 different colours and I just mix and match to make all the cards a little different.  Cut one ribbon as long as the card and two pieces as wide as the card.  I did the “measuring” once and then used those pieces as guides to chop up the rest of the pieces really fast.  I assembly lined that sh*t!

Grab your trusty hot glue gun (or craft glue would work too!) and eyeball the long ribbon on first.  I glued the top section, then folded the paper and glued the other side, just to make sure I left enough give for the card to actually fold.

Glue on of the shorter ribbon pieces onto one half of the card, like a present!

Fold the card and turn it over.  Glue the second shorter piece on the other side using the first one as a guide to make sure they’re even.

Trim up the little ends that are left.  Otherwise it won’t fit in the envelope!

I have a ton of blank photo paper lying around. We were given a bunch last time we had photos developed. I used a piece and free-hand cut out little tag shapes.

Take a little piece of twine, embroidery floss, ribbon, whatever you have and tie a tiny bow.  Place a dot of hot glue on your mini label and attach.  Write a little message on the card.  We chose “with love” for the simplicity of the overall look.

Place a dot of hot glue in the middle of where the ribbons cross and attach your mini label.  There you have it!  

Here are some more completed cards. Just keep mixing and matching.  They do look nice with all the same ribbon too!

Just to be fancy, I wrote our message on blank piece of photo paper with a sharpie then hot glued it inside. So there you have it!  I hope you like them! And I hope you have more Christmas cards in the mail at this very moment than I do…

DIY Window Frame Project.

First of all, have you ever checked out Pinterest?  If you haven’t, that must be the first place you click after reading this post! Obsession! It’s an online pinboard site where you can go for inspiration for just about anything you can think of. I have been looking for a way to jazz up some antique window frames we got to use as a set piece in the last play Mr. Best Things directed. They were old, but beautiful. They were dirty and dingy, but I knew they had some life in them. I checked out some cool ideas on Pinterest.

I really liked the idea of using a monochromatic scheme mostly because then if we change our bedding, it will almost always match. I also liked the idea of using words because we’re both artists and we love plays and Shakespeare and all that fun stuff. Plus it looks cool.

I have been obsessed with this headboard for a while. I loved the pop of colour (completely contradicts what I said above.. I know!). It’s so shabby chic. So, I decided, let’s combine the two to make a wicked, large, statement art piece above our existing bed. 

Here is the close up of one of the two frames we have. They are amazingly cracked and chipped. I didn’t have any desire to change the “finish” at all. I also love the brass attachments hanging off. There’s also a neat clasp that maybe once held them closed on the left hand side that I love.

Here’s the pair of them, just asking for some love thrown their way. They’ve been hanging out in our basement for way too long.

I headed out to Michaels Arts and Crafts store and picked up some tissue paper, paper mache glue, foam brushes, and copper Martha Stewart brand multi surface craft paint. I couldn’t find any paper with words, but I liked this one just as much and I think it gives the same idea with the black and white.

I started out by cleaning all the gunk off the frames. This resulted in a pile of tiny wood and paint chips on the carpet of my living room. You’d think I’d never heard of a drop cloth… next time. Then I windexed the window panes and then cleaned them with alcohol, which was recommended by the paint.

Next, I started essentially wallpapering the tissue paper using the paper mache glue and foam brush right side out to the underside of one of the windows. It was a tedious and tricky process which is why there are no photos. I would spread some glue very thinly right onto the underside of the glass, then stick the paper down and spread some more glue onto the back making sure to get it right into the corners and edges. The hardest part came when I tried to match up the piece in the middle when the first page ran out.

After the hour of glueing for the first panel, I decided I liked the way it looked with just the one panel covered. Also, I was too lazy to keep glueing. Originally I was going to cover all four panels. I actually really like the effect it creates with just the one panel done. I also had the idea to cut out some hearts from the left over paper and glue them up in the opposite corner for balance.

After all the glueing efforts, I was feeling a little shaky on my ability to paint the letters on free hand. I dabbed some copper paint on my brush an realized it was a lot more translucent than I expected it to be, which made me feel better. I figured I didn’t have to be as precise with translucent paint. I pretty much just eyeballed the letters and hoped for the best. I tested it out before hand and knew that I could get the paint off with windex if need be. So that helped the nerves a bit.

Here’s the finished product. Literally, a series of happy accidents that make up a pretty much free art piece of my own creation. In all, I spent $20 at the craft store, and I barely used any of the tissue paper, glue, and paint. Plenty more left for future projects.

I love the casual, shabby, artsy effect I’ve managed to create. I think the dimensions are perfect too, for the bed frame, again, a happy accident.
After so many moments of doubt in my ability throughout this process, I am so proud of myself for finishing what I started (including banging several holes in my wall to mount it). And the finished product is not too shabby, if I do say so myself!

Do you enjoy getting crafty?

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