Cork Tree Ornaments

DSCF5217Cork Tree Ornaments

DSCF4858My sap bucket was beginning to overflow with my saved wine corks so I decided it was time to come up with a project. Hey, no judgement…it’s not like I drank it all in one night. 😉

Since the corks were too big for the tree I had in mind, cutting them in half was the perfect option. The cuts didn’t look smooth, but I was using a serrated knife. Yes, a chop saw probably would have created a cleaner cut, but I value my fingers and they would have been a bit too close to the blade for this cut.

And then I was “stuck”. Yep, you’ll get that pun in a moment.

I started out using craft glue to attach them together. Nope, didn’t work. I tried E-6000. Nope, didn’t work. I even tried hot glue. That also did not work. (sigh)

The problem was material the corks were made of. They were not cork. They were rubber. I am assuming wine companies have changed to rubber corks because of price, but I don’t know. What I do know is this particular rubber didn’t like any of the adhesives I could think of. Seriously, I had too many corks to throw in the towel. I was not going to let these corks win!

DSCF5088I finally came up with a different method of attaching. After drilling from one side to the other, on each cork, in each horizontal row, I connected them with wire. Curling the wire ends held the corks tightly together.

DSCF5097The trunk, top of the tree and the center cork in the center row were also drilled from top to bottom.

DSCF5099This allowed me to vertically connect each of the rows. Two ends of the wire extended out the top. They were also curled.

DSCF5102They didn’t look too cool yet, but after finally figuring out how to bring everything together I was strutting like a peacock.

DSCF5224I wound miniature greenery garland around the tree, but something was still missing, not to mention I needed to come up with a way to hang them. I tried twine, but it didn’t look right so I tried hemp cord. Perfect! A bow was added to the front-center of the tree and the hanger was threaded through the curls on the top of the tree.

Another project heading to the craft show this weekend.


Game Letter Ornaments

DSCF5072Game Letter Ornaments

This was a great project to use up wood scraps and “play” with game letter tiles.

I have no idea what game the black tiles came from, but the others came from an old Scrabble game.

DSCF5077I don’t have any pictures of the steps, but I kinda think they are self-explanatory. Just in case you need a little more info, I’ll run it down for you.DSCF5078

I first laid out all the Christmas words I could think of with the tiles I had.

DSCF5081Then I measured the length of the words and added a bit. Each lath was cut to the individual measurements of each word. Keeping track of that could have made me a little crazy, but I made a master list of all the words and measurements to save my sanity.

I drilled a hole for the hanger and gave each board a quick rub of stain.

DSCF5082The embellishments are bits of greenery, berries and tiny winter die cuts.

And glitter! Yay! Yep, glitter just makes me happy. :)

DSCF5084These will be making their debut at the craft show this weekend.


Mary Jane Fleece Slippers Tutorial and Pattern

5-DSCF4336Mary Jane Fleece Slippers

Another LoveToKnow tutorial and pattern.

Nice comfy warm slippers…Wait! What? Hm…, you probably think I’ve lost my mind. It’s July! It’s hot! Wearing comfy, warm slippers is probably the last thing you want to do. I get that. I don’t want to wear them now either, BUT if you’re going to be stuck inside during a good portion of broiling hot summer days, why not get a head start on a few Christmas gifts?

Does your family get new jammies every Christmas? How about making them slippers to match?

These slippers can be stitched up in less than an hour and my printable pattern has instructions on how to adjust for different sizes.

1-DSCF4313I used scraps of fleece left over from other projects, but you could also use an old sweatshirt. Another great repurpose-recycle-restyle idea is to use some of those fleece blankets that you always seem to buy every year on Black Friday. Please tell me I am not the only one who does that. I don’t know about you, but those things breed like bunnies in my house. 😉

Click on any of the highlighted text in this post to take you to the slipper tutorial.


Snowman Hurricane Shade

3-DSCN3068-001A last-minute quickie for the holidays.

Add a warm, whimsical glow to your dining table with a snowman hurricane shade.

1-DSCN3058-001This snowman started out as a clear glass hurricane shade I picked up at a yard sale. The shade was classic for everyday use, but I wanted something a little more festive for the holidays. I chose to use acrylic enamel as the base for the snowman to ensure the paint would be durable and less likely to scratch or flake from handling. This is a quick project that can be completed in about an hour, including drying time.

Things You Will Need:

Clear glass hurricane shade
Window cleaner
Paper towel
Sea sponge
White acrylic enamel paint
Paper plate
Powder blush
Bath towel
Orange acrylic paint
New pencil
Black acrylic paint
Black paint pen
Christmas fabric
Measuring tape

Thoroughly clean the outside of the shade using window cleaner and a paper towel.

2-DSCN3063-001Wet a sea sponge and wring it out so that it’s damp, but not dripping. Pour white acrylic enamel paint onto a paper plate. Place the hurricane shade over your arm. With the other hand, dip the sponge into the paint and dab it on the glass. Repeat until the entire outer surface of the shade has been painted. Carefully stand the shade on your work surface to dry.

Using a paintbrush and powder blush, paint two large cheeks on the center-front of the shade.

Lay the shade on a bath towel to prevent the shade from rolling. Dip a paintbrush in orange acrylic paint. Pointing it to one side, paint a 2-inch triangle with a 3/4-inch base between the cheeks for the carrot nose.

Dip the eraser end of a new pencil in black acrylic paint. Dot two eyes spaced 1/4 inch apart and 1/2 inch above the nose.

Draw a smile using a black paint pen. Allow the face paint to dry.

Rip a 2-inch wide by 36-inch long strip from Christmas fabric. Stand the shade right side up on your work surface. Wrap the fabric strip around the bottom of the shade. Bring the ends together and tie into a bow on the front of the snowman. Trim the ends of the strip as desired.

3-DSCN3068-001Light a tea candle in a glass votive holder. Place the snowman hurricane shade over the candle. The candlelight will shine through the snowman head.

For a snowman hurricane shade that can be displayed throughout the winter months, substitute a winter novelty fabric for the Christmas fabric.


Recycled Sweater Christmas Stocking

DSCN3830Recycled Sweater Christmas Stocking

When I see old sweaters at yard sales I have to buy them. The fact that yard sales in my area are often held when the temperature is over 100 means sweaters are practically given away. These sweaters are a cheap craft resource for holiday crafts. In my opinion, this Christmas stocking design looks much more upscale than the original sweater it came from. Can’t you just see a bunch of these hanging over a cabin fireplace, or down the rail of a pine garland clad staircase? Depending on the size of the sweater and the size of your stocking pattern, you should be able to get at least two stockings from each sweater. Three, if you open the sleeves and use the cuffs as the top edge.

Things You Will Need:

Adult-size sweater
Stocking pattern
Straight pins
Sewing machine
Measuring tape
2-inch pompoms (two)
Hot glue gun

DSCN3812Turn an adult-size sweater wrong side out and lay it on your work surface. Align the bottom edges of the sweater. Place an existing Christmas stocking, or a paper stocking pattern on the sweater. Align the top edge of the stocking shape (pattern) with the bottom edges of the stocking. Pin the pattern through both layers of the sweater. Cut around the pattern. Note: The top of the stocking (bottom edge of the sweater) is not to be cut. It will be the finished edge for the the top opening of the stocking.

DSCN3820Remove the pattern. Pin the side and bottom edges of the sweater stocking shape together. Sew the pinned edges using a straight stitch and a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew around the edges once again using a zigzag stitch on the seam allowance. This will finish the raw edges and prevent the knitted stitches from unraveling. Turn the stocking right side out. Press the seams with a warm iron.

DSCN3828Lay the stocking flat on your work surface. Measure across the width of the stocking at its widest point. Double that and add 24 inches. Using your new measurement, cut a length of rickrack in a color that coordinates with your sweater.

Measure 1 inch down from the top edge of your stocking. Starting on the front seam of the stocking and 12 inches from one end of the rickrack, pin the rickrack around the stocking. The rickrack will meet again on the front seam of the stocking. Both ends of the rickrack will have approximately 12 inches extending. These tails will be ties. Top stitch the pinned rickrack around the stocking.

Tie the rickrack tails in a knot against the seam, then tie into a bow. Trim the tails to the desired length.

Burrow a hole on one side of a 2-inch diameter pompom. Apply hot glue in the hole. Place one end of the rickrack in the glue. Squeeze the edges of the pompom hole around the rickrack end. Repeat with the remaining pompom and and rickrack end.

Cut a 5-inch length of rickrack. Fold the rickrack in half, matching the two cut ends. Place the ends inside the stocking, against the back seam. Sew across the cut ends of the rickrack. This is your stocking’s hanger.

Other trims and tassels handmade with yarn can be substituted.