1st Day of DIY Christmas: Advent Calendars

I love Christmas and I love DIY, so during this holiday season I thought to myself, why not dedicate 12 blog post to 12 different themes each featuring 12 different projects? There are a lot of ideas so strap on your snow boots and turn on your Christmas tunes and get ready for some awesome ways to celebrate the season!

1. Clothes Pins
2. Chalkboard and Hanging Sacks
3. Brown Boxes
4. Tree Boxes
5. Books
6. Messages in Ornaments
7. Craft Bag
8. Wall Calendar
9. Hanging Chalkboard Boxes
10. Baby Socks
11. Felt Tree
12. Luminaries

7 Steps to Decorating a Christmas Tree

Growing up, one of my favorite days of the year was the day after Thanksgiving. This is the day my mom and I would drag all of our Christmas decorations out of the overly stuffed closet and tackle the task of decorating for the holidays. At first the job always seemed overwhelming, but then my mom would blast the stereo with our favorite Christmas music and we would become enveloped in the holiday spirit. From these joyful memories, some of my most beloved are of trimming our Christmas tree. With each box of ornaments we would pull out memories of years past. Laughing at the ugly kid-craft ornaments and cherishing those gifted from loved ones. Over the years I have developed seven easy steps that are fool-proof in decorating a Christmas tree. These steps not only allow me to continue to enjoy the task but also allow me to create a beautiful tree.

*note: these steps are for an artificial tree but with a few tweaks they can also be applied to a fresh tree.

  1. Christmas Tree Spruce up your tree

This is my least favorite step, which to me is a necessary evil to creating the perfect starting point in decorating your tree. As you set up your tree make sure it is straight. After you have it positioned take the time arrange your branches (the necessary evil…boo). If you are like me, your tree has been stuffed into the tiny box it came in and now is in dire need of some love.

  2.  String your lights (unless you have a pre-lit tree which I highly recommend)

I have found that the best way to tackle the lights is to look at your tree through squinted eyes. As you string your lights wrap each branch, weaving back and forth from the outside of the tree to the center of the tree and back to the outside. This allows the lights to look like that they are a part of the tree rather than just placed in a circle around the tree. Remember to step back as you go to make sure that you are integrating the lights evenly.

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An Afternoon of Tea, Feathers, and a Toothbrush

After years of working in the wedding industry, one skill I have learned is to be flexible. Often times I will have to resort to plan B, C, or even D. This week’s wedding is ‘flapper’ inspired and we are using ivory feathers. After a week of searching, the only place I was able to find both the small and large feathers I needed had a $50 shipping charge, which I did not want to spend. So my next step was to get a little creative and come up with a plan B. In looking at the feather color choices I thought my best bet was to purchase white feathers and somehow die them ivory. A few years back I read an article about dying fabric with black tea. I thought to myself, if it works on fabric it should work on feathers–and to my delight I was right! Below is a step by step guide of the process I followed to dye feathers ivory.

As a disclaimer: I realize that there might be a better way to go about dying feathers with tea, but this is the process that I followed which was a success.

Supplies Needed:
Sauce Pan
Black Tea
Paper Towel
Something to dry your wet feathers on  (I used cookie sheets and a big box)

Step #1: Boil Water.

Step #2: Steep your tea in the boiled water. I used 1 tea bag per 1 cup water


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