Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Crafts and Creeps

The goose is getting fat, my friends. Only 15 days left, but more importantly, only 6 more days of school until I'm off for 2 weeks!! My shopping was minimal and, therefor, easy this year. I'm pretty much finished with it. The interior of the house is decorated and the exterior is half done. Hopefully the other half will be completed this evening. All that's left to do is send out my cards, make cookies, and finish up a few knitting projects and holiday crafts I'm working on as gifts for friends and co-workers.

Which brings me to my post today. I have a really quick, easy, cheap and cute craft idea that just about anyone can do for Christmas gifts. Here's a picture of the sample(s) I made for myself.

You can use any letters you want, to spell out anything you like. Obviously. I chose Noel. But you can do Joy, or Peace. You could do names. You could do dirty words. Hey, it's your craft. Do what you want.

Materials you will need:

Wooden letters. I got these bad boys at Hobby Lobby. They came in packs of 2 (so I got 1 package which had 2 "n"s in it, etc.). The CD is there to give you a size reference. You can do bigger letters if you want. I wouldn't recommend smaller, because the cutting will get tricky. You'll see.
Cost of letters: 99 cents per package, so about $4 for all 4 letters, which will make 2 NOELs.

Scrapbook Paper. I used a different print for each letter, but you could do all 4 the same, or 2 and 2, or whatever you want. Again. I'm just showing you the method. You can mix it up as you like.
Cost of scrapbook paper: between 59 and 99 cents a page. So your price will vary depending on how much you buy and how many patterns you buy. For a big piece of paper, you can probably
get all 4 letters on it. But I bought 8 pieces of paper (I'm making 4 sets of these), and I spent about $5.

Mod Podge. Have you tried this stuff yet? I love it. It's like glue, but better. You can use it to save puzzles after you've put them together. You can make magnets and all sorts of other stuff with it that I'm sure I have no idea about, as this was my first experience using Mod Podge. But it won't be my last, nossir.
Cost of Mod Podge: $5 - $8, depending on where you buy it. It's a big bottle, and I only used a little for this project, though. So it will last you for awhile. Also, you can choose between matte and glossy Mod Podge. I went with glossy.

Tools. Scissors, an Exacto knife, and a sponge brush.
Cost of tools: You should have scissors, the exacto knife cost me $2.99 (if you don't already have one) and the brushes came in a set of 6 for $2. If you're a crafter, you probably already have most of this stuff laying around your house anyway.

For finishing, you will need a hot glue gun and some ribbon. I happened to have both of these things already, so I don't know how much they cost. You can pick up a thing of ribbon for like 50 cents, and if you don't have a hot glue gun, then I don't know how to talk to you.

The How-To

Trace the letters onto the backside of the scrapbook paper. Please don't make the same mistake I did and trace them the wrong way (I only did this on one letter thank you very much). You obviously want to be looking at the right side of the paper when all is said and done, so when you trace, make sure you turn the wooden letter over as well, so that it's backwards when you're tracing it.

Additionally, every time I've tried to type "wooden" in this post, I've typed "wodden" instead. Wodden is not a word. But maybe it should be.

Cut the letter out, but leave a little room around the tracing. You will go back and trim this in a minute with the exacto.

Place the paper on the letter and make sure it fits so that you can't see any wood.

Now comes the Mod Podge!!!

Using the sponge, dab a light layer of MP onto the wooden letter. Place paper on top, and smooth with your hand, making sure there are no air bumps. It doesn't have to be aligned perfectly with the trace lines on the backside, but if you're anal like me, you can turn it over and make sure it is right.

Using the exacto knife, trim the excess paper from the sides. I find this works best if you have the letter scrapbook paper side down, and resting on a bed of newspaper. It does NOT work best just on a wooden table. Your exacto knife will not hesitate to slice right through that table. A little heads up, from me to you. It also helps to let the MP dry a bit first, but if you've used too much and it's slopped over the sides, then you might have clumps of MP to slice through also. Just do your thang.

Once all your letters are trimmed, apply another layer of MP to the top of your letters
(scrapbook paper side). Don't freak out that it comes out white. It will dry clear. It's magical. But don't use too much either. Just a nice glossy coat. Allow your letters to dry for about an hour or so before finishing.

I didn't get any pictures of the finishing process, but you will want to cut 1 piece of ribbon per letter. Make them all about the same length initially, and you can go back and trim them after you've glued them. Using your hot glue gun, glue the 2 ends of the ribbon on the back of the letters. Make sure you test each letter and ribbon length to make sure they're going to hang about the same length.

That's it! Total cost of project was around $15, and I am going to get 4 NOELs out of it, so 3 gifts! You're done and you have a simple, homemade Christmas gift for anyone on your list.

Also makes a good gift for people named Leon.

Speaking of creepers named Leon, I bet a few of these guys are named Leon. This is my new favorite website. Please take a moment and check it out. 'Tis the season, and I promise you will laugh. And if you don't laugh, then I don't know how to talk to you.


Anonymous said...

Ooooo, looky at you getting all crafty again! Those are adorable. I seriously can't wait until BSP is ready for some art projects, the family is going to get some cute stuff ala auntie caps!


Mod Podge Amy said...

You did a great job - love! Also enjoying the small Neil Diamond image to the right. . . :D

Reenie said...

Very cute Cappy. You're so damned organized.....

Anonymous said...

Good stuff Cathie. Will it be XMAS without snow in TX?