Big Hands, Crafts, Doll House, Our Forever Home

Deck the Halls!

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It is our very first Christmas in this house and I am very excited to share with you pictures of how we have decked our house out for the big day!

Outside my husband spent one very long afternoon up a ridiculously large ladder before the snow hit to get our exterior lights up.  It makes me happy when I go out at night and come home to the twinkling lights!

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We decided to make the switch from a real Christmas trees to an artificial one this year.  I miss the piney smell, but it is sure nice having the tree up early to enjoy and not having to vacuum up pine needles.  It only took a few days and my two year old was bee-lining to the tree first thing in the morning to make sure it was lit up!

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The tree is upstairs in our bonus room so the kids won’t have far to come down and see if Santa has come.  There was some debate over where to put it, but I think this works best.  There is lots of room for the 9 foot tree and that room has a soft carpeted floor for the kids to open their gifts on and play Christmas morning.

Two of my favorite new ornaments on are tree this year are this handprint reindeer and snowglobe my little guy made at preschool.  He is not big on crafting, so I appreciate when he does actually bring home a craft.

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I also was feeling a bit of puppy mommy guilt as we were decorating the tree and I realized Rumbull had no ornaments yet so I got him this one when we were at the mall for our annual visit to Santa.  I was very excited to find a personalized one that matches Nova’s!

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The kids DIY stocking are new this year and you can read more about how I made them here.   They have been hung on the stair railing next to the tree where Santa can easily find them.

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I also found some new throw cushions for the couch and a placed a few small Christmas accessories we already owned throughout the room to make it festive.  Dontcha just love our giant couch!?  It has been perfect to cuddle up on as a family and watch all those great Holiday specials over the last month!

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On the main floor, I still haven’t managed to get any pictures hung on the living room walls so I had a blank slate to work with for Christmas decorations.  My sister in law pinned these pretty DIY Snowflake Popsicle Ornaments from Fab DIY and when I realized how easy and inexpensive they would be, I decided to make some.

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I painted mine white and hung them alongside some wooden snowflakes I found at the Dollar Store.  I love the way they pop against the color of our living room wall and the big impact it makes for just the cost of some popsicle sticks and hot glue!  And, you can also see my sister in law’s stir stick versions here.

And, of course, I added a couple more Christmassy cushions for the couches in this room!

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Our fireplace has a clean, modern look that I really like, but I do miss not having a mantle to decorate.  In our old house we had a large corner mantle that I would set my Christmas village out on so this year I had to figure out a new solution.  I ended up filling my China cabinet with the village and it turned out pretty well.

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My Christmas village is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer themed so I decided to carry that theme through some of the other decorations on our main floor.  My DIY Rudolph banner look great hanging over the dining table, and I love the little snowglobe inspired centerpiece I made using with my new ornaments from Target.  Hop on over to Moms and Munchkins to get the free printable file I created to make your own flying Rudolph Banner.

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We had considered putting the Christmas village up in the niche over the front closet, but the configuration wouldn’t have worked well.  I ended up coming up with this cute Rudolph scene after making some simple mountain shapes from foamcore and hot glue.  We already had the sleigh and used it as an excuse to buy the Rudolph and Hermey figures from Walmart.

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I also put up my small 4′ tree in the living room and put all the Rudolph ornaments I have collected over the last several years on it.

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Finally, one simple DIY project I did were these quick snowmen on each of the kids bedroom doors.  This is not an original idea, but still one worthy of a share because it is so simple and fun for the little ones.  Mine were cut from foam sheets and wrapping paper.

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Phew.  If you have made it this far I hope you have enjoyed my tour.  I think I have made a good start to decorating our new house for the holidays and hopefully I can add to my decorations over the next few years.  I would love some Christmas themed accessories and towels for the bathrooms!

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Big Hands, Celebrations, Crafts

Mickey Paper Wreaths

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We have a very large corner mantle over our fireplace that normally gets filled by my Christmas village for the holiday season.  I absolutely love my Christmas village, but each building is boxed up individually and it is a ton of work to bring up from the basement, set out and arrange.  Just like a lot of the other Christmas décor, we decided to keep the Christmas village packed up and that left me to figure out a new way to decorate that space for the holidays.

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My initial idea for the mantle was to do a large wreath.  I had seen other crafters versions where they had various sized artificial wreaths zipped tied together to form a Mickey shape and thought that would be easy enough.  Unfortunately I didn’t have any luck finding smaller sized wreaths for ears, so I went to my plan B which was to buy foam wreath forms from Michaels and wrap them in green garland.  Well, the price on the styrofoam shapes was more then I was expecting so I decided it just wasn’t worth it and moved on to a plan C  – cutting and crafting my own paper wreaths from Dollar Store posterboard.  And, because I had done Mickey and Minnie versions of everything else, it only made sense that I would make 2 versions of the wreaths.

A paper wreath is nice and all, but I was worried it still was going to look pretty plain.  I needed some way to dress them up and that is when I recalled these:

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For each of my baby’s first Christmases, I ordered them personalized Santa hats from a wonderful eBay seller out of the UK.  They no longer fit Camden’s or Keira’s head, so I was happy to find a way to repurpose them and put them on display.

I found and followed the Construction Paper Wreath Tutorial from Our Small-Town Idaho Life, with mine just being on a bit larger scale.  The posterboard was a bit awkward to work with due to it’s size and stiffness, but it was worth it for the impact the finished wreaths make.

For each of the large wreaths, I began by cutting a full sized piece of posterboard in half lengthwise and then folding each half again lengthwise.

Along the non-folded edge, I marked out 1.25 ” strip that would later be used as my gluing area.  I then marked along the fold in 1″ intervals and used my ruler to draw in straight guide lines perpendicular to my glue strip.

I then cut along each of the lines from the fold upwards, making sure to stop cutting when I reached the glue strip guideline I first marked out.

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Once all strips were cut, it was time to flip my cut posterboard sheet inside out and join the glue strip on each side together to form a cylindrical tube.   I chose to work with rubber cement because it is fairly forgiving if you need to reposition a little, but it creates a quick, permanent bond (so long as you coat both sides of the paper you are bonding together.)

Once my tube was formed, I inserted the last ring on one end into the last ring on the other end to create a circle.  If you didn’t want a Mickey shaped wreath, you could now decorate your wreath.

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For the ears, I repeated the same cutting and gluing process to 4 sheets of posterboard I had cut down to 8″ x 11″.  Once I had my tubes, I trimmed each of 4 loops from one end, leaving the glued strip so I had something to attach the ear onto the big wreath form with.  I then fed it through 3 of the loops on the big wreath and attached it on itself on the other side to form the ear.

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I fit the kids Santa hats onto the loops to find the spacing I needed between the ears and then attached the second ear on the other side of the Santa hat.  I was lucky that the hats fit snugly on the loops and I was able to keep them on without gluing or damaging them.

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I then hot glued on some red pom pom’s to both wreaths to create hidden Mickey holly berry bunches.  To differentiate between the Mickey and the Minnie wreath, I also added a red bow to Minnie.

The wreaths were a little flimsy on their own, so for my final step I cut a piece of wrapping paper to fit inside two large square picture frames (from Ikea) and hot glued the wreaths directly onto the wrapping paper.  This will allow me to remove the wreaths and still use the photo frames after Christmas.  I am sure the wreaths would be fine hanging directly on a door or wall, but this seemed to be the best solution for displaying them on my corner shaped mantle.

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The framed wreaths fill our large mantle up nicely and I love the personal touch they have with the kids names on the Santa hats!  The large stuffed Mickey and Minnie also on the mantle are toys the kids received last Christmas.  They work perfect up there, but it has been a battle with my 3 year old to allow me to keep his Mickey up there.

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Make sure to check back tomorrow to see the Mickey and Minnie stockings I crafted for the kids!