DIY Handmade Advent Calendars 2011

November 9, 2011 - Filed under Christmas

TalkCraftyToMe is getting a jump on the holiday season, we’re back with this year’s edition of “Handmade Holidays”.

For some reason Christmas always has a way of sneaking up on me, and I can never seem to get everything done that I had planned. I always have grand ideas of making decorations and creating homemade gifts, but there just never seems to be enough hours in the day. So this year we’re getting started early!

First up, we’re talking advent calendars. I know I’ve talked about this before, but I was a little late to the game, and lets face it, if your handmade advent calendar isn’t ready to go by December 1st, well… it just isn’t gonna happen. So with a few more weeks left whip something up, here’s a look at some great alternatives to store bought advent calendars.

1. Christmas Tree Advent Calendar: Download the free template and create your own little forest of Christmas Trees. Use your favorite patterned papers and fill each of the 24 trees with a unique surprise to help personalize this project.

2. Paper Stocking Advent Calendar: This project is perfect for kids. Simply cut out the template on card stock and then decorate away. You can fill each stocking with a candy cane treat for each member of the family.

3. All Shapes and Sizes Countdown Calendar: Purchase this calendar or use it as inspiration to create your own pocketed calendar.

4. Christmas Countdown Wreath: Combine two holiday traditions with this count down wreath. It uses magnets to attach little metal tins to the wreath that you can fill with candy and treats of your own.

5. Advent Train: This idea comes from a German site, but would make a great addition to an fireplace mantel. Paint the train in your favorite Christmas colours and fill will all kinds of goodies. Check your local craft store or even Amazon for unfinished wooden trains.

6. Lego-inspired stack-able treat boxes: Not only is this a super cute and unique idea, but there’s also a fabulous tutorial to show you everything you need to know to make your own stack-able lego Christmas tree.

7. Snowing presents Advent calendar: Another totally unique idea for an advent calendar. This cute project depicts two little kids jumping for their presents as they snow down around them.

8. Decorated Tree Advent Calendar: While this idea isn’t new, creating your own little tree to decorate is a great way to make your advent calendar as imaginative and creative as you are.

9. Baby Sock Advent Calendar: Last but not least, from the queen of crafting Martha Stewart, comes this super easy baby sock calendar. Simply purchase 12 pairs of different of baby socks (or 24 and make one to share with a friend) sew them to a ribbon and fill them with treats.

Posted by: kelly

Handmade Advent Calendars

December 1, 2010 - Filed under Christmas

December has arrived… and thus the countdown to Christmas begins! There’s just something about marking off the days that I’ve loved ever since I was little. Ok I’ll admit, it probably has a lot to do with that little chocolate hidden behind each door, but still, having an advent calendar is a great way to kick-start the holidays. Here are some great ideas for handmade advent calendars, if you’re looking for something a little more personal.

1. Advent Pockets 2. Felt Advent Calendar 3. Countdown Calendar 4. Mitten Garland 5. Framed Presents 6. Hand Pressed Winter Calendar 7. Toilet Paper Tube Garland 8. Wooden Box Calendar 9. Here Comes Santa Calendar

Posted by: kelly

Felt Bat Pillow

October 19, 2010 - Filed under Felt, Halloween, How-to

More often than not Halloween decorations can be pretty tacky, or over the top, but I love this subtle tone-on-tone bat pillow from Ameroonie Designs. Check out the tutorial and make your own. While you’re at it, why not try a white one with ghosts, or an orange one with pumpkins!

Posted by: kelly

Halloween Mood Lighting

October 18, 2010 - Filed under Halloween

Nothing sets the mood for a Halloween party more than lighting. So I’ve rounded up some of my favorite lighting ideas to help you create a festive glow in your home.

Glam Goth Candle Holders | Dollar Store Candle | Tin Can Jack-O-Lanterns | Painted Jar Luminaries | Spooky Packing Tape Transfers | Silhouette Luminaries | Vellum Table Lanterns | PVC Flicker Flame Lights | Costumed Candle Holders

Posted by: kelly

DIY Pottery Barn Costume Replica

October 15, 2010 - Filed under Halloween

These adorable costumes from Pottery Barn have been making their way around the internet and I can definitely say I’m smitten! I don’t have a little one to dress up, but if I did I know I wouldn’t be spending upwards of $50 on a costume.

So I was delighted to find this DIY replica of the cupcake costume. This no-sew version came out to a mere $18.67 and is pretty darn cute. Patrice from Lemon Tree Creative, shows you the steps she took to recreate this, with no sewing involved!

– See the tutorial

Posted by: kelly

DIY – Cardboard Haunted House

October 14, 2010 - Filed under Halloween, How-to

Where does the time fly? I can’t believe it’s already the middle of October and I’m just getting started on my Halloween posts! Ooops…. Well, hopefully to make up for it, I’ve got a great project to share with you from the fabulous people at Alpha Mom!

This Halloween Fun-House is perfect for those of you with little ones, but it also makes a great prop if you’re throwing a party or just want to decorate your lawn.

All you need are a couple of cardboard boxes, some paint, and your imagination! With the help of this tutorial, you can have your own spooky haunted house in no time!

Posted by: kelly

Patriotic Parties – Part 7: Cocktails & Drinks

June 30, 2010 - Filed under 4th of July, Canada Day

Last up in our series on how to host a patriotic party is the post on cocktails! Because no party is complete without a couple of refreshing beverages, we’ve put together a list of festive cocktails, to help you celebrate in style.

Patriotic Parties Cocktails

Fourth of July Cocktail | Strawberry Sucker | Red, White & Blue Martinis | Classic Canadian Caesar | Patriotic Margarita | Raspberry Collins | Papa Doble | Cocktail for Canada Day | Mason Jar Drink Dispenser | Strawberry-Basil Iced Tea | Lemonade Favors

Posted by: kelly

Patriotic Parties – Part 6: Sweet Treats

June 30, 2010 - Filed under 4th of July, Baking, Canada Day

Nature is full of vibrant reds and blues perfect for making your dessert table bright and festive. In addition to your standard cupcake and cookie fare try using fresh fruits combined with whipped cream, yogurt, or white chocolate, to bring a patriotic look to your desserts.

Patriotic Parties Sweet Treats

Fabric Trimmed Cake | Red, White and Blue Parfaits | Eager beaver cupcakes | Red Velvet Canada Cupcakes | Vanilla-Raspberry Sundaes | Berry Lemon Napoleons | Cinnamon Candied Apples | Red & White Candy Buffet | All-American Strawberries (For Canadian Strawberries dip them in red sugar instead).

Posted by: kelly

Patriotic Parties – Part 5: Good Grillin’

June 30, 2010 - Filed under 4th of July, Canada Day

Lets face it your patriotic party just isn’t complete without the good stuff…. Food!

And nothing says summer like a good old barbeque. This holiday, fire up your grill and check out these ideas and tips to keep your grillin’ good and your guests happy.

Patriotic Parties Grilled Food

Burger Bar

Setting up a burger bar is a great way to make something for everyone with limited effort. Pick a couple of meat options and set out a buffet of different toppings and let your guest build their own.

Try these twists on a good old classic:
Bacon Swiss Burgers with Tomato and Avocado
Moroccan-Spiced Lamb Burgers with Beet, Red Onion, and Orange Salsa
Grilled Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli

And don’t forget your vegetarian friends:
Portobello Burgers with Pesto, Provolone, and Roasted Peppers

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Homemade barbecue sauces are a great way to add a delicious kick to your grilling favorites. Fruit based sauces like this Peachy Barbecue Sauce, work great on meats like pork and chicken. Try a this Sweet Mustard Barbecue Sauce for a nice change from your traditional sauce. And for those of you who think grilling just wouldn’t be grilling without adding beer to at least one dish, try this Guinness® BBQ Sauce.

Other Grillin’ Favs

Grillin’ Tips

1. Keep It Hot.
You should preheat your grill before your start, otherwise food will stick. To gage the temperature, hold your hand five inches above the grate if you can leave it for for two seconds if the fire is “hot” and three to four seconds if the fire is “medium-hot.” Another way to prevent food from sticking is to grease your grates before cooking. This will also make it easier to clean up later.

2. Get good Meat.
You can’t hide bad meet with good sauce! Quality meat doesn’t have to be expensive, and you’ll be thanking yourself later if you get the best you can afford.

3. Cook with Duel Heat.
If possible on your grill it’s a good idea to have two heat zones. One side hot for searing meat first and the other side set to low to finish off the cooking.

4. Sauce Later.
Many BBQ sauces have a high sugar content so it’s best to apply these later in the cooking process. If you sauce too soon, there’s a good chance they’ll just burn.

5. Grill Veggies Without the Lid.
Grilling with the lid down traps in moister and can make your veggies go soft. With the exception of larger veg like potatoes, which benefit from the steam, when grilling veggies keep the lid up.

Posted by: kelly

Patriotic Parties – Part 4: Party Supplies

June 29, 2010 - Filed under 4th of July, Canada Day, Supplies

Ok so it’s probably a little too late to order things online, I really must get better about planning my party posts further in advance. For now here’s a few things to keep in mind when searching for supplies. A lot of these products can be found at you local craft, or party supply store.

Patriotic Parties Supplies

Maple Leaf Craft Punch – Craft punches come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and have lots of uses. Use them to create themed confetti, invitations, garlands, labels, tags, cupcake toppers, and much, much more. Check your local craft store to see what kind of selection they have.

Chinese Lanterns – If you’ve got a China Town in your city there’s no better place to look for inexpensive paper lanterns. They come in a kinds of shapes, sizes and colors and work great as decorations, or add them to a string of mini lights for an evening party.

Divine Twine – This fun twine in super versatile and comes in a variety of colors. So far I’ve only seen this brand online, but you might be able to find similar twine or colored string at your local craft store.

LED Balloons – Yes that’s right… balloons with LED lights in them. (SaveOnCrafts has lots of other great products as well.)

SparklersOnline – You guessed it… where to buy bulk sparklers.

Bambu – This eco-friendly brand of bamboo dinnerwear can be found at stores like Whole Foods and Crate & Barrel. Check they’re online store finder here.

Social Couture – Another great resource for online party supplies, with products to suit any theme.

Maple Leaf Candy Mold – Make your own maple leaf candies and chocolates. Stay tuned this week for some fun cupcakes to make using this mold.

Bulk Candy – You can buy bulk candy online and choose the colors you want to suit your party theme.

Bake it Pretty – Your one-stop-shop for all things cute and decorative to make your kitchen creations look even better.
Polka-Dot Baking Cups | Star Party Cup | Striped Twist Ties | Hot Dog Bags | Peanut Bags | Popcorn Boxes | Tags | USA Cookie Cutter | Cupcake Carrier

Posted by: kelly