Festive DIY Holiday Projects

Post by Courtney of The Chirping Moms

Festive DIY Holiday Projects - Reindeer Milk Bottles The holidays are here and it’s time for some festive ideas for DIY holiday projects. I always enjoy decorating the house for Christmas and doing fun crafts with the kids. This year, with a brand new baby, my time for DIY projects has been very limited. I decided to order a few holiday items from The Land of Nod for both inspiration and a head start on supplies. Below are four projects I came up with using my Land of Nod picks. They are all quick and easy but still fun and festive!

Land of Nod items I started with:

DIY Holiday Project – Reindeer Milk Bottles 

Supplies: glass or plastic milk bottle, brown pipe cleaners, google eyes, red pom poms, red and white paper straws and glue

Directions: Glue the google eyes and red pom pom onto the milk bottle to make a face. Cut a brown pipe cleaner in half. Then cut about an inch off each half. Use the small piece to twist around the top of the large piece to create an antler. Glue the 2 antlers to the bottle. I used hot glue for this project, but if you want to let the kids help, use craft glue instead. Fill the finished reindeer bottle with chocolate milk and your reindeer is complete!

DIY Holiday Project - Reindeer Milk Bottles 2DIY Holiday Project – Paper Straw Garland

Here’s a fun one that the kids can help with!

Supplies: Red yard, paper straws, green loop cereal (we used Apple Jacks) and a small piece of tape.

Directions: Cut the paper straws into pieces that are about 1 to 2 inches long. Cut the yarn to the length garland you’d like. Wrap the small piece of tape around one end of the yarn to help you thread the garland. Then, string the pieces of paper straws and the green cereal in a pattern you like. Last, hang on the tree and admire you’re work!

DIY Holiday Project - Paper Straw Garland DIY Holiday Project – Personalized Stockings

Supplies: Stockings, felt, scissors and fabric or masking tape

Directions: Cut the letters out of felt and use rolled pieces of masking tape or fabric tape to stick the letters to the stockings. This is the fastest, easiest way I know to make personalized stockings! If you have time and like to hand sew, you could stitch the felt letters onto the stocking instead. This will ensure they last from year to year. A tip for cutting out the letters: print out the letter you need in block font. You can make the letter as large as you want before printing. Drawing letters and cutting are not my strong point, so I asked a friend to help!

DIY Holiday Project - Personalized StockingsDIY Holiday Project - Personalized Stockings 2DIY Holiday Project – “Deck the Halls” Instagram Banner 

I wanted a new holiday decoration to hang in our hallway. I had also been trying to think of something to do with all of my 2014 Instagram photos. I came up with a “deck the halls” banner for the hallway with some of our favorite photos. To make it really come together, I added the star ornaments. The gold and glitter really light up the hall!

Supplies: Christmas Wishes Mini Garland set (or twine and cut out own gold letters), Nightfall star ornaments, gold card stock paper, square photos printed from Instagram and tape

Directions: Cut squares out of the gold paper, slightly larger than your square photos. Tape the photos to the gold paper. Cut or punch holes in the top of each gold paper square. Thread the photos, gold letters and stars onto the string. Hang and enjoy seeing your favorite moments of 2014!

DIY Holiday Project - "Deck the Halls" Instagram Banner For more fun, festive holiday ideas, visit The Chirping Moms. Happy Holidays!

Courtney Byrne is a mother of three little children. She has two girls that are 3 and 4 and a brand new baby boy. Courtney is the Co-Founder of the popular blog, The Chirping Moms. The blog share adventures in motherhood along with great activities for kids, crafts, recipes and ideas for family travel. You can keep up with them on Facebook, Pinterest and as @TheChirpingMoms on Twitter and Instagram. In addition to writing The Chirping Moms, Courtney is also a contributing writer to the Four Seasons family travel site Have Family Will Travel and has been featured on The Huffington Post and What To Expect.

Family Tradition | Ornament Advent Calendar

Post by Becca of CAKE

Family Tradition | Ornament Advent CalendarThe Christmas before we got married, people began giving my husband and I the ‘special’ ornaments. I’m sure you have them in your family too.  The ones that include photos, engravings and old favorites- added to some of our own, which in our case involves a wide variety of special woodland critters.

Family Tradition | Ornament Advent Calendar 2So several years ago when looking for an advent calendar for my daughter, I decided to begin a new family tradition and create an ornament advent calendar.  I gathered up our most special ornaments and placed them in the pockets of our advent.  I bought this advent calendar a few years ago from the Land of Nod because it has nice roomy pockets –  it’s been a perfect addition to our holiday home.

Family Tradition | Ornament Advent Calendar 3At the beginning of the month while decorating the tree, I fill each pocket with our special family ornaments and each morning until Christmas my daughter (and eventually my son when he’s old enough) pull one ornament out to place on the tree.  I help her with the fragile ones, but also try to fill it with some of our softer critters, like these new ones I just ordered from Land of Nod.  So darling.

Family Tradition | Ornament Advent Calendar 4Caitlin loves this tradition and never lets me forget a day. It makes her feel so special to add the favorite ornaments to our tree, and it’s a great family conversation starter, sparking memories of where each ornament originated.

Family Tradition | Ornament Advent Calendar 5In the past I’ve been a bit particular about our tree decor, but starting this tradition has a been great for me too – I’ve loosened up and allowed our tree to become the cozy hodge podge it is (colored lights and all). Someday when the kids are older I’ll probably revert back to my minimalist ways, but if I’m being honest, I’ve become sentimental about the added character that comes with having a family friendly tree and the traditions to go with it.  Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Becca Gorski lives in the SF Bay Area, is a working mother of two, and moonlights as an occasional designer / blogger / celebration maker. You can find her creative ideas on CAKE. | events + design, and her line of merry happy party printables on Etsy.

Decorating for Baby’s First Christmas

Post by Corri McFadden of Glitter & Bubbles

This year’s holiday decorating took on a new life with the arrival of Baby Zelda! From a festive ombré Christmas tree to whimsical plush toys, I wanted every corner of this house to be mesmerizing with holiday cheer for baby’s first Christmas. As this was our first Christmas as a family of three, it was so important to create a festive atmosphere filled to the brim with bright colors, fun accents, and tons of toys. Having Zelda makes Christmas so much more special and I wanted to capture that this year with the amazing décor and new traditions (Who doesn’t love an advent calendar?)

ChristmasTree_1 ChristmasTree_2My tree is this year’s prized possession; I can’t stop obsessing over the ornaments! I chose to use hand-painted round ornaments in a rainbow of colors and created an ombré effect by sectioning off each part of the tree with a designated color.

ChristmasTree_3 ChristmasTree_4I couldn’t resist adding in the cutest plush ornaments in between layers to fill out the tree – these are so adorable for Zelda! These plush toys also double as great stocking stuffers and gifts, too. The mixture of textures from the different plush ornaments creates an eclectic tree that is a super fun for the family to decorate. I love how the tree capture the spirit of the holidays while still remaining completely my style, so it fits perfectly into the rest of the house.

ChristmasTree_6 ChristmasTree_5I also let my decorations trickle onto the shelves! I’m obsessed with this fun, colorful advent calendar that is created out of small houses and buildings. It fills out the top shelf perfectly and continues to carry the holiday spirit throughout the house.AdventCalendar_1 AdventCalendar_2I knew I had to have an advent calendar, it’s a Christmas must! I created this fun vignette in my hallway to show off the Sterling Advent Calendar, which has gold & silver winter accents. I chose more of those amazing plush toys for the calendar along with other trinkets and goodies that Zelda would love.HolidayHallway_3 HolidayHallway_1 HolidayHallway_2This little space wouldn’t be complete without another tree! This miniature tree is super whimsical, complete with multi-colored felt ball ornaments and a fun tree skirt. I also used the Holiday Suitcases with silver stars and placed toys on top of the cases and around the tree.HolidayHallway_4 HolidayHallway_5Our first Christmas with Zelda wouldn’t be complete with a decorated nursery. As a new mom, I had so much fun decorating this space with another small tree, a festive holiday garland, and her favorite holiday plush toys.Nursery_2 Nursery_1I’m completely crushing on this candy cane guy and adore the little tree, but how cute is her gingerbread girl?! I added a sequins headband that is so Zelda! These plush toy options are a great way to keep your nursery festive without over cluttering or going overboard on the decorations.Nursery_3 Nursery_4 Nursery_5Corri McFadden is the owner and founder of eDrop-Off Luxury Consignment. As a style expert and successful blogger, she hosts a weekly fashion segment on Chicago’s “You and Me This Morning” and features more tips and tricks on her website and her site for Mom, Glitter and Bubbles.

Play With Your Food – Christmas Tree Food Art

Post by Selena of How About Cookie

Play With Your Food - Christmas Tree Food ArtThe holidays are magical; the dreary weather, not so much. It’s been overcast for several days here, and keeping my kids entertained is no easy feat. When I laid eyes on this adorable plush Christmas tree, though, I had a light bulb moment. Sometimes a fun snack inspired by your kids’ toys is all it takes to make the day a little merrier and brighter.

For this fun food art plate, you’ll need:

  1. honeydew
  2. two banana slices
  3. two blueberries
  4. fruit leather

First, cut three thick wedges of honeydew of different lengths; the smallest wedge should be a triangle to be the treetop. Feel free to leave the skin on: it makes munching on them later a lot easier! Use the rim of a large mug to smooth and shape the top of each wedge so that they stack snugly in the shape of a Christmas tree.

land of nod christmas tree step 1Next, cut two slices of banana and lay them on the bottom wedge. Take the two biggest blueberries of the bunch and place them on top of the banana slices for the eyes.

land of nod christmas three step 2Cut a couple inches of fruit leather and place just under the bottom of the tree. For the mouth, use a measuring tablespoon to cut a semicircle from the remaining fruit leather. Use kitchen scissors to cut a thin smile, using the curve of the semicircle as a guide.

land of nod christmas tree placematAnd you’re done! Have fun guessing with your kids what the tree is looking at, or maybe Plush Christmas Tree and Honeydew Christmas Tree might fancy a friendly conversation. My three-year-old called them “mommy and baby twees” saying “what do you wanna eat” to each other. They keep it real!

land of nod christmas tree step 3Keep those adorable googly-eyed toys coming, Land of Nod!

Take a peek at Selena’s food art on her blog, How About Cookie, and follow her creations, crafts, and—once in a while—actual cooking on Instagram.