Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Easy Christmas Card Luminaries & Candle Holders

I'm pleased to have Erin as my first guest host!  
I love her craft idea especially since I have saved my Christmas cards since the late 1970s!  
So I have lots of material to make these luminaries and candle holders.

Easy Christmas Card Luminaries & Candle Holders
Guest post by Erin Levine
One of the defining characteristics of the Christmas season is decorations, in particular the soft and inviting glow of lights. Repurposed holiday Christmas cards and invitations make beautiful luminaries or candle holders and are a wonderful way to celebrate the season and keep energy costs down.
This craft is simple, easy to do, and can be accomplished with things normally found around the home. It is suitable for beginners and is an ideal craft to do with children. 
Christmas Luminaries

You will need:
 3-4 Christmas cards or Christmas Invitations of roughly equal size (how many you use depends on what shape you want the luminary to be)
Embroidery floss or yarn (fingering weight)
A pin, thumb tack or needle
A Hand-held hole punch
Piece of paper
Darning needle (If you don’t have one, you can substitute scotch tape or just pick one up at the store, they cost about a dollar)

Choose cards with similar colors, themes or styles for the best finished look, along with a contrasting color for the thread. Check to make sure that there is no writing on the inside of the front cover of the cards. This is particularly important with Christmas invitations as they are often in postcard style. Writing on the inside will show right through once the back of the card is illuminated, which will spoil the look of the luminary. Once you have made sure there is no writing, go ahead and cut the cards along the crease so that what you have to work with is the decorative front of the card.

Now, you are ready to begin:

1. Take the pin (or thumb tack or needle) and carefully poke holes around anything in the card you want to highlight. It looks very beautiful if there are Christmas string lights or streetlights in the picture that can be highlighted with actual candlelight.

2. Use one card as a guide to cut the piece of paper to the same size as the rest of the cards. This will be your hole-punch guide. Using the ruler, mark where you want the holes to be on the guide paper (about one centimeter in from the leading edge and about 2 centimeters apart) and punch out the holes. Do this on both the right and left sides of the paper. Next, punch out holes on both sides of the Christmas cards.

3. If you do not have a darning needle, wrap one end of the yarn in tape to keep the end stiff and easy to work with. Then, sew the cards together side to side, using a blanket stitch, and making sure all the card fronts are facing in the same direction.

4. Bring the ends together and stitch them up.

When complete, you will have either a rectangular or triangular luminary, depending on how many cards you chose to use. Simply place around the outside of a tea candle and you will have a festive, beautiful decoration for your home.

Christmas Candle Holders

You will need:
5-6 Christmas cards
4-5 Mason jars or glass candle holders
Superglue or hot glue gun

1. Take your Christmas cards with vivid designs or small, easy-to-cut-out images and, using a pair of scissors, carefully cut out the sections of the Christmas cards that you’d like to feature on your candle holders.  
2. Glue the sections you’ve just cut out from your cards to Mason jars or candle holders in the pattern that you’d like with superglue or a hot glue gun. It can either be a collage made up of many decoupage pictures or a single section glued carefully in the center of the candle holder. Set them aside and allow the glue to dry.
3. Tie ribbon around the head of the jars or candle holders to complete the look. Your candles will look like a perfect fit with your Christmas gifts in the Christmas season!

Decorate your dining table, mantle, or kitchen with these simple candle holders and luminaries made of Christmas cards to create a warm holiday feeling in your home. 
Erin Levine writes for PaperStyle, a card and invitation company based in Alpharetta, Georgia. She is anxiously awaiting for Christmastime to arrive and, in the meantime,  she is enjoying writing about creative Christmas craft ideas!

Have fun trying these cute card crafts!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Crocheted Snowman Gift Card Cosy

Sorry it's been so long since I posted on my Christmas Blog, Sandy Snowflake!

We've been busy with house projects all this summer mostly spending our time indoors with all the hot weather.  

Pretty soon I'll be complaining of the cold!

I found this delightful crocheted snowman on Pinterest today and had to blog about it.

It's a free pattern you can find (here).  

I can hardly wait to make one!

If you don't crochet try making one of out felt or even paper.