Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sara's Crafty Christmas Tree Challenge Reveal!

Merry Christmas Everyone!
It's time for the unveiling! Special thanks to MegaCrafty for posing the challenge and
inspiring us to be thrifty-chic! Here she is!!

 Here's a Breakdown of what I Spent:

Sparkly pink metallic-wired ribbon- $3.18
Roll Aluminum Foil- $1.06
Ribbon- $1.06
3 Packs Floral Wire- $3.18
Splatter Screen- $1.06
Embroidery Floss- $2.53
Glitter Nail Polish- $1.06
2 Packs Iridescent Cellophane- $2.12

= $15.25

I am so happy with how my tree turned out! 

My tree topper!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Metallic Macgyver-- Sara's Crafty Tree

Mega-Crafty has made December 15th the great reveal for the
Crafty Christmas Tree Challenge,

so before I post my final tree I am going to show the other ornaments I've come up with! As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to go with a blue/purple/pink metallic theme.

It's appropriate then that the following ornaments are all made out of --metal (duh)

Glitter Screen Ornaments

Here are the supplies I started with:

Yes... that is a typical, run-of-the-mill splatter screen. Except it's also a very cheap splatter screen that I got at the Dollar Tree for $1. Also at DT, I got a bottle of chunky silver glitter nail polish for, $1. I Picked up the embroidery floss from Michaels at what I thought should have been 35cents a piece. But what to my wandering eyes should appear? Two of them rang up at $1.09... drats. A much larger hunk out of my budget than I had hoped. (No worries, when all is said and done I am way under budget!). Altogether, the embroidery floss cost me $2.53.

First, I began by weaving a piece of the floss in and out of the screens grid, in a straight line. This part is a pain in the butt very tedious as you'll want to make sure you are staying in the same row of screen openings. Going in and out of every other hole is just plain crazy talk, so skip over 4 here, 5 there--the number between each stitch is not important. I wanted mine to look random, so I just sewed in and out not even worrying about how many screen cells I was passing over; ain't no thing.

After I had made a complete line from one side of the screen to the other, I began with another color and repeated the same process. Again, I wanted my lines to be random, so I didn't make a set pattern and just picked and chose which color to use where. Just let the loose ends of the floss hang over the screen edges.

Next: Bedazzling!
I was worried that if I tried to cut shapes out of the screen, the floss would fray and unravel from the screen. That is where the glitter nail polish comes in! Over wax paper (so it doesn't make a mess or stick to the surface you are working on), shellack both sides of the screen with the glitter nail polish. I mean really let it have it...

I don't know how well you can see it here, but I promise that where there is thread- there is glitter, and lots of it. The polish helps to bind the floss to the screen and should help hold the screen together also once you start cutting.

Initially, I had wanted to repeat the striped segments multiple times, to be able to make more ornaments and extend my budget, but life happened and I ran out of patience, time, and the ability to see those tiny holes anymore. So when it came time to cut, I just poked the scissors through the screen and cut out the striped segment in one big piece.

BE CAREFUL!! As you cut the screen the edges become very sharp!

Next, I just took the rectangle and cut out circle shapes to create the ornaments!! The best part? The screen edges of the circles are jagged, and will almost velcro themselves onto the tree branch, so no hook or thread to hang them by is necessary!

Position them in front of a light and it's pure magic people :) Just look at them sparkle!

Wire Spiral Ornaments

Here's another kind of metal ornament I made out of blue, pink and purple floral wire from the Dollar Tree; at a dollar a pack, these ornaments only cost me $3.

Lastly, I used 2 packs of cellophane tissue paper (in blue and pink--also DT finds) to create a large pom-pom tree topper and the simple kite tail garland on my tree (I used some of my extra pink floss here also)! $2

Can't wait to reveal how it all turned out tomorrow!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sara's First Crafty Christmas Tree Challenge Ornament!

Sooo...I have about all of my supplies for my tree, and a few things started, but tonight I finished my first batch of ornaments and wanted to share! As explained in an earlier post, all of this thrifty tree creation-inspiration is due to a challenge presented to bloggers by Mega-Crafty--to decorate a tree for under $20. 

Remember in grade school, drawing on cardboard with glue and then covering it with aluminum foil? Yea, I went there... and while the concept is EXTREMELY simple and old school, I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out:

Here are the supplies you need for these ornaments, along with totaling up the teeny dent these gems put in my budget.

Cardboard (Hello upcycle!): free
Aluminum foil: $1 Roll at Dollar tree
Markers: On-hand (pretty sure they don't count out of my budget) Everyone has markers right??
Hot Glue: Also on-hand
Ribbon: Again, I already had tons of extra ribbon around, but to play it safe we'll take another dollar away from the budget! $1

That leaves me with a grand total of...... $18.00 left towards my tree! And I made 15 ornaments with the $2 spent.

Here's how I made them: I started with drawing some simple ornament shapes onto the cardboard. I chose to use 3 different shapes--cut the first shape out and use it as a stencil so that they are all uniform in size.

Next, use the hot glue to draw designs and patterns on the cardboard shapes. Hot glue is the best option for this because it dries fast and goes on thicker for more defined lines, but Elmer's would work just as well if little ones wanted to try their tiny fingers at crafting!

After the glue has dried, place the cardboard shapes face down onto the dull side of a piece of aluminum foil. It took me a few ornaments in to realize that before you start wrapping the foil back around the edges of the shape, be sure to press and smooth the foil over the glue design on the front first. You want to have the lines as defined as possible and if the foil is pulled too tight, it will tear when you add the color later.

Use the markers to fill in the openings created by the glue lines--ala stained glass--or color directly on the lines to make the 3D patterns pop. I'm going with a metallic purple/pink/blue scheme for my tree.

Lastly, cut the ribbon into 6-8" pieces, fold in half, and glue the two ends to the back and top of the ornament.

TA-DA! Elementary School Chic!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

MegaCrafty Tree Challenge... Kayla's Tree!

So the challenge was to decorate your Christmas tree under $20.  If you know me at all, you know that I take a challenge very seriously, I love the dollar store, and I'm only mini crafty.  Here's how it all went down.

I picked up the 'ol tree from my parents house (it was rotting away on Craigslist for two years) so I gave it some love and hauled it off to my apartment.
The tree and I had a rough start - the color coding of the branches have faded away and it looked a little like a green yield sign the first time I put it together.

Once it was standing tall, like a good tree should, I headed over to my local Dollar Tree (holla dollah!).  I picked up four special things. Aka I spent $4.  If you are reading this expecting a Martha Stewart tree, I'mma gonna stop you right here.

My Special Things

My Most Special Thing
Once I returned home with my dollar bag full of treats, I got to twisting.  I spiralled the ribbon - wrapping it a few times around a pencil & then stretching it out.  And wrapped and wrapped and wrapped the crepe paper until it amazingly resembled a rose.

Say whaaat?
I placed my crepe roses and spiralled ribbon throughout the tree & then doused the tree in iridescent streamers (pretty much regretting that - they are already ALL over my apartment/I found some in my bed last night), but I was going for a white, sparkly tree... hah

Ohhh Awww!
With my Most Special Thing placed on top, I took a step back and realized that it ain't my best work, but it definitely works.  It feels a little more Christmasy in here & with a move on the horizon in Jan, I will have no guilt collecting up my sparkly, spirally ornaments and tossing them in the trash ;) (and trying, maybe a little harder at being MEGAcrafty next year).

I hope everyone has a very merry, very budget happy Christmas <3