Recycled Rudolph

I am always on the lookout for neat & cute craft ideas and I ran across this awesome cardboard reindeer on Pinterest that was posted on Good Housekeeping, so I just had to try making one for myself!

Here is the pin from Pinterest on what theirs looks like:

CARDBOARD REINDEER

Here is mine:

CARDBOARD RUDOLPH

Printout the Reindeer Template on legal-size paper. Find a nice piece of cardboard and trace the pattern onto the cardboard. Trace two pieces of the head. I used a sharp knife to cut out the pieces. One note if you are going to try making one for yourself, is to NOT cut the little slices on the deer antlers any larger than what is shown on the pattern, or your antlers will fall off when you try to slide them into place. Keep true to your cuts so your pieces fit together tightly.

CARDBOARD CUTOUT

Place the two pieces of the head together and add a dab of glue to where the nose is. Then spread the head pieces apart a little (after your glue has dried) and attach the rest of the pieces to the reindeer.

Now all that is left is to decorate Rudolph! You can make him a pom pom nose like I did to mine, or just paint it red. Add some eyes, a collar with a jingle bell on it, or even slip a small wreath around his neck! Be creative and deck your halls with this awesome reindeer!

REINDEER POM POM NOSE

How would you decorate your Recycled Rudolph?

Sock Bunny Tutorial

SOCK BUNNY TUTORIAL

A Sock Bunny Tutorial just in time to make these for Christmas or hang them out of the top of your Christmas stockings!  I never knew that making a Sock Bunny could be this easy, but it is, not to mention a lot of fun!  While I was making this Sock Bunny, both Nikita and Bella hung by my side because they thought it was for them, but this one is for Me!  (I will have to make each of them one too, since they will probably not leave mine alone!)

Anyhow, let’s begin with the tutorial!  If you are making these for a child under the age of 3, just stitch the eyes on instead of using buttons so there won’t be a choking hazard.  First, you need to purchase knee high socks, which you can pick up rather inexpensively.  (the ones I used were from KMart and they were $3, now today, I see that they are marked down to $1.50)  Pick out a pair that has vibrant colors or choose a design like I did that has a nice holiday flare!

STEP ONE:  Lay the first sock flat on a table with the heel on top, then cut the foot of this sock right down the middle and stop about an inch from the heel (as the heel will be the face).

Sock Bunny1

Sock Bunny2

STEP TWO:  Cut the other side of this sock down the middle as shown, as these will be the legs of the bunny.

Sock Bunny3

Sock Bunny4

STEP THREE:  Cut the foot off the second sock.  This will turn into the bunny’s arms.

Sock Bunny5

STEP FOUR:  Cut the foot of the second sock down the middle.

Sock Bunny6

STEP FIVE:  Back to the first sock, turn your sock inside out and hand stitch or use a sewing machine to sew the ears shut.

Sock Bunny7

STEP SIX:  Sew the bottom of the feet and insides of the bunny legs as shown, leaving a large 2 inch hole to insert stuffing into.  Fill the body, ears, and legs of the bunny with stuffing.  Now you can sew the bottom of the body together once you have all the stuffing inside.  (Since I did not have any regular filling, I used a snow blanket and cut it into strips for my stuffing)

Sock Bunny8

Sock Bunny9

Sock Bunny10

Sock Bunny13

Sock Bunny11

STEP SEVEN:  Back to the second sock (the arms).  Turn these inside out and sew each arm shut, but leave the ends open.  Stuff each arm, then sew arm together at end.

Sock Bunny12

STEP EIGHT:  Hand stitch the arms onto the sides of the body of the bunny.

Sock Bunny15

STEP NINE:  Stitch on buttons for eyes, and you can use embroidery thread to stitch on a nose.  (I have not added my eyes yet because I am still deciding on what I want)

The sewing on this project is minimal thanks to the knee high socks, but you can make a bunch of these in a weekend if you have lots of Christmas stockings to fill as they are easy to make!  Have fun and let me know if you make any, because I would love to see what you created!

Mod Podge Coasters

MODGE PODGE COASTERS3

MODGE PODGE COASTERS

MODGE PODGE COASTERS2

Mod Podge projects are all over the internet, but I finally decided to give it a try.  I am in love with the results!  When I was at the Dollar Store the other day, I noticed that they had individual coasters with a nice cork bottom, so I picked up two of them to try out my Mod Podge.  I had a pack of 20 holiday folksy Santa napkins sitting around and decided to cut up one of the napkins for this project.

I opened up the napkin and placed my coaster on top, then drew with a pen an outline on the napkin, then cut out the Santa.  I took my Mod Podge Gloss Lustre and squeezed a few drops all over the top of the coaster and spread the glue around with a small sponge.  (you have to work quick as the Mod Podge dries fast)  I then placed the cutout Santa napkin on top of the glue and rubbed my fingers gently over the top to remove any bubbles.  (since you are working with a napkin as your design, you need to be careful as to not rip it when removing any air bubbles)  Let it dry for at least 15-20 minutes.  After it was dried, I squeezed a few drops of Mod Podge on top of the napkin and spread the glue around and also spread the glue around the edges of the coaster as well.  Let this step dry, then apply a second top coat of Mod Podge.

There you have it, a nice holiday Santa Coaster!  I am hooked on Mod Podge and will definitely have to pick up more coasters!  Don’t forget that you can use cute scrapbook paper, photographs, and any other design for your Mod Podge projects as these would make some great gifts!  I can already see some adorable Valentine’s Day coasters in my future!

A Paper Mache Palooza!

I have been diligently working on finishing some of my paper mache projects before the holidays, and I finally finished a paper mache Snowman and even a paper mache Turkey!  I am still working on my paper mache pumpkins, but I will share those with you all a little later.

PAPER MACHE SNOWMAN DIY

First, let’s talk about my paper mache Snowman!  Working with paper mache is fun and it’s easy to create some awesome things, but you have to let your projects dry thoroughly between layers before going onto the next step.  Anyhow, I started my Snowman project by first cutting a small cardboard base for him.  I used an old fire extinguisher box and cut it to make a small stand or base for my snowman and taped it up with masking tape.

Next, I had to think about what I had on hand that was “round”  to make the snowman layers.  I thought about just rolling up some newspaper, but thought against it, but ended up just blowing up three small balloons.  This is where I ran into a little snag.  I blew up the balloons and attached the first one to the base with no problems.  Next, I tried to attach the second balloon to the first one and it would not “stick”.  Yikes!  Now what?  The masking tape just kept falling off the balloons, and I was stumped.  I pulled out my crazy glue and had to hold the balloons in place until the glue dried and that seemed to work.  Phew!

I then worked on making the top hat, nose and scarf.  I cut the top hat from a small cat food box and taped it together.  The nose was just a small sticky note rolled into a pointy nose and taped onto the balloon.  The scarf was made by just rolling up long pieces of newspaper, and taped them together.  Now that I had my tower of three balloons all attached to the base, and the hat and nose, it was time to get to work and start the paper mache process.  (The scarf was not yet attached)

I mixed up a batch of paper mache mix, which is only flour and water, and made the paste to resemble a pancake mix thickness.  You don’t want this mixture to be too thick or too thin.  I already had the newspaper cut up in small strips, so I was ready to get to work.  I just dipped each strip into the paste and laid it on the balloon and worked my way all the way around.   I placed a few layers of newspaper all around the balloons and base and now it is time for it to dry.  I hurried up the process by placing a small heater in front of the snowman to dry the paste quicker.

Once the snowman has dried and you could not feel any spots that you were able to push in (meaning – you did not have enough layers of newspaper in that spot and it was not thick enough), it was time to attach the scarf to the snowman.  Since the scarf was just pieces of newspaper rolled up and taped, it still needed to be paper mached.  I paper mached the scarf all by itself and then wrapped it around the snowman while still wet, and tied the scarf on the snowman.  Let it dry.

Once the scarf was dry, it was time to start painting!  I pulled out my black, white, orange, and red paints and went to town!  I was amazed on how awesome the snowman was coming together and with each color I added to him, he looked cuter and cuter with each color.  By adding red stripes to his scarf, it truly completed the snowman!  But a snowman is not complete without eyes, so I painted some round push pins black and just stuck them into the snowman.

Now, for my paper mache turkey, I just rolled up some newspaper to form the body and the head and then taped them together with masking tape.  I made the beak with a sticky note like I did for the snowman.  For the legs and feet, I just rolled up some newspaper for the legs and taped it to the body, and then cut up a clothes hanger and bent the hanger to shape the feet.  For the feathers, I cut up a cereal box into feather shapes.

I individually paper mached each feather first, then let them dry.  Once dried, I fanned them out a bit and taped them together.  Once the head, body and legs were all taped together, I taped on the feathers in one piece to the body.  Next, it was time to paper mache the turkey!  I did the same process as the snowman, layering the newspaper all over the turkey, making sure that you place enough layers to make your item thick enough.  I painted the turkey a flat black first, then added a light dusting of orange all over the head and body, but used a few layers of orange on the beak and legs so they would stand out.

Now, the paper mache turkey will make a great (and comical) Thanksgiving centerpiece that will look adorable with those paper mache turkey legs place card holders that I made earlier! So, what do you think?

Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family from all of us at Nikitaland!