Friday, November 30, 2012

Salt Dough Advent Candle Spiral

Advent Candle Spiral
is complete!!!
I'm so excited about it.

I am happy to be starting a new tradition
in our family.
Basically the Spiral has 24 holes where
you place candles,
and light one each December night
till Christmas.
It is also used to
celebrate the Solstice and the days
growing lighter once again.
You could make one tonight
or tomorrow afternoon with the kids
and have it ready to use 
to light the first candle
tomorrow evening!
Some people use them a little differently,
for a little more info on the tradition. 
(If you don't have time to
make a Spiral,
simply use tea light candles
set up in a spiral like
they did over at Seasons Natural Toys)
I made MIne out of salt dough.
I was already 
making Salt Dough Ornaments,
so it wasn't much extra work for me.
Here is how I did it....

First I made my salt dough.
I needed to make a big batch for the ornaments,
so I used this recipe:
4 cups of flour
2 cups of salt
2 cups of water
(You can cut that in half, 
and that should be enough for your spiral.)
you should also baked it at 300 degrees
for about 2-3 hours.
If it comes out a little dark that i ok if you paint it like
i did.

I formed my spiral on a well floured surface,
and put it on a cookie sheet.

Then I took a candle 
(I used a Menorah sized Candle)
and poked 24 holes into my spiral.
Remember to wiggle the candle a little bit
(Don't go crazy though),
because when you bake it your
hole will shrink a little.
If you don't wiggle it a little bit, 
the candles might not fit.

Now it is ready to put in the oven.

This is what it looked like when It was done baking.

Before I painted it with the colors,
I put a base coat of white to 
make sure the color tone was even.

Here is my end result....
(I sprayed it with an acrylic sealer to make it 
really shiny!)
(I chose to paint it midnight blue to silver
to represent the light returning from the dark
after the solstice.) And what it looks like with the candles...
(I just want to add these small safety notes,
because it is not good to assume
that everyone will use common sense or think of these things.
Obviously you should never leave the candles unattended,
also it is a good idea to put a little piece 
of tin foil in the hole before you put the
candle in,
because the salt dough is flammable,
and will smolder if you let the candles burn down too low.
This can 1. cause a fire hazard &
2. Ruin your carefully made spiral.
Just use your brain hehe)

Here are some other Holiday Project Posts: 

Salt Dough Ornament gifts

Winter Cakes I

I hope you all liked it,
send me a picture if you make one.
Happy Holidays!
Hope all your preparations our going well.
Leave a comment and let me know
what you think.
Thanks for stopping by!

<3 Holly

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Kitchen in it's current state

I still have more to make,
but I got a head start on my salt dough 
ornament making,
and got my
advent spiral made!
I'me very proud of myself.
My kitchen has something covering
every surface,
but hey,
it is a start.
(My husband also decided to make a
batch of 
chex mix)
We even got our Christmas tree!!!!!!!!
We made TONS of Holiday headway yesterday.
I'm busy beginning to paint
the ornaments 
and I'm almost done
painting my spiral.
Here is a little look-see...

Just making leaps and bounds
down this road to my handmade Holiday!
Thanks for stopping by
I hope all your Holiday preparations are going well!

<3 Holly

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ready... set... GO! My Holiday Project Lineup

I have definitely made some BIG
plans for myself this year.
I am determined to get it
all done!

I have started or laid the ground work for
most of my projects.
Here is what I have in store....

Paper Mache Angel Tree topper and
Nativity Scene

Plush Patchwork Star Ornaments

Salt Dough Ornaments

I'm also starting a new tradition this year.
It is called an Advent Spiral,
and it looks like this.
It is used to count down to Christmas, 
as well as celebrate the elements and that days will 
start to get longer again after the Winter Solstice.
There is also
a ceremony that many take place in.
Here is a great simple explanation that I think sums
up the practice well from 

You can buy the spiral from many different web sites
like this one from

I'm going to make mine out of Salt Dough.
There you have it....
I'm ready to go!
I have most of my preliminary work done,
time to get to crossing some
projects off the list.
Let me know how your Holiday Prep is going
in the comments box below.
Thanks for stopping by!
<3 Holly

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Time to get ready for a handmade Holiday!

I hope everyone had a happy
We had a wonderful day,
it was long day,
but we got to see BOTH of our families!
Which was a blessing.

After a little rest from the rush at work,
I'm now gearing up
for my handmade Holiday. 

I bought some cookie cutters
to make some salt dough ornaments.
(I tried the thrift store, but didn't find any Christmas ornaments. 
These were $4.99 for 18 cookie cutters which isn't too bad!)

I've been working on
my paper mache nativity scene.
Some new decorations for the Holiday Wreath,
and so much more!

I'm putting a lot on my plate,
and I'm hoping I can execute it all.
So wish me luck!
Stay posted!!!
P.S. Let me know what projects you are up to
this Holiday season in a comment below.
I'd love to heat about what your making.
Thanks for stopping by!!!!
<3 Holly

Monday, November 19, 2012

FREE Thanksgiving Printables... Tweaked

I have been 
tweaking my Thanksgiving Day Printables....
I made some black and white
and changed the size of a few things. 
So here are the updated Downloads.
(I suggest downloading them in PDF. format)

1 Napkin Ring & 1 Large Place card/ Label
Napkin Rings
Small Place cards/ Foods Labels
Turkey Coloring pages:
Native American Turkey
Pilgrim Turkey
Kid's Thanksgiving Activity Placemat:
Black and White

My Mom told me yesterday that she is 
going to use my printables for
our family Thanksgiving Dinner...
 I love you!!!
(It is like being in Kindergarten
and you Mom uses something you
made in school to decorate for the Holidays hehe)
Hope you all have a Great Thanksgiving,
Thanks for stopping...
please let me know what you think!
<3 Holly

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving is Almost here...

....less than a week away we will be 
stuffing our faces with turkey.
(Or in my case FAKE  Turkey hehe)

If you have a busy week like me,
you might be doing
some last minute decorations before the In-laws come over.
You ALSO might not have a lot
of money left over after
shelling out for that big meal....
so to make it a little easier on you I made some 
FREE Thanksgiving Printables!

(I already posted the Happy Thanksgiving Day Print, 
Napkin Ring and Place card,
click the picture below to go download them 
for yourself.)

But today I decided to add a little Kid's Activity 
So here you go....
A Turkey Day Placemat for the little ones.
Just put them out on the table with some crayons!

Download the file HERE
(Forgot to post this the first time download
 the Black and White Version HERE)

Hope you all enjoy...
Thanks for stopping by....
and PLEASE leave me a comment 
to let me know what you think!!!
Feedback is MUCH appreciated.
Happy Thanksgiving Preparations!

<3 Holly

And you may still have time to make
my Fall Holiday Wreath
if you get started right away...
click here to go
to the tutorials for all three steps.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Getting Ready for the Holidays: Thanksgiving day Printables

Here we are!
The Holiday Season is upon us....
and it is the first I have spent with you guys on the blog.

To kick off the Holiday season we 
begin with Thanksgiving.
In celebration of our cheap and easy Holidays,
I made some free cute little printable
to help you decorate 
your thanksgiving table.

Here they are...
Napkin rings and place cards.
Just print one for each of your guests.
Download the PDF. File HERE

Happy Thanksgiving Turkey!
Download the PDF. File HERE

(All you need is to fold your name card in half 
and write the name of your guest,
and a glue stick to secure 
your napkin ring in place.
If you have card stock available, that would probably be best.
If you do not, that's ok.
Plain printer paper or another heavy weight paper
will be fine.)

Hope this you enjoy your Thanksgiving!
<3 Holly

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Getting ready for the Holidays...

it is that time of year to get ready for the Holidays.
It is also that time of year,
when you WORRY about how to get 
ready for the Holidays.

Over the next few weeks,
I want to focus on decorating,
and making hand made gifts with things
you probably have around the house.

The challenge will be to spend
little to no money
for decorations, ornaments,
activities for the kids,
as well as gifts.

(Get a head start and check out the Holiday
wreath I made out of recycled materials
around the house, 
click HERE for the tutorial 
on how to make the wreath base,
and stay posted for the winter decorations
I'll be making!)

I have many ideas floating around 
in my head,
and I hope I can execute all of them
before the Holidays are over.

P.S. Everyone knows hand made things are better!
I think, in the days we are living in now,
hand made things remind
people of a simpler time.
A time and a memory we would all like to 
go back to.

My first project for the season is a Nativity Set
out of paper mache. 
I always loved setting up the manger scene when
I was younger,
and realized this year that we didn't have one.
I also know, 
we don't have too much money to 
do Christmas this year.
I decided to make one out of paper mache.
I'm literally making it out of the sales flyer paper
that I normally would just throw in the recycling,
as well as masking tape, and flour I already have in the house.
So far this project has cost me $0.
Here is a sneak preview.

My cow:

Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and a little Sheep
in the stables.

stay tuned,
save your garbage,
stock up on glue, masking tape, and other bits-n-bobs.
Stock up on glue sticks for your glue gun,
and follow me for the next few weeks
so we can make our Holidays happen
on a VERY SMALL budget.

Thanks for stopping by,
<3 Holly

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How to Attach your Decorations to Your Holiday Wreath

Here is the last step in making your Holiday Wreath,
attaching your decoration to your 
Holiday Wreath.

While there are a million ways I could have attached 
the decorations,
I wanted to attach them with things I had around the house,
and so that I could take them off
and change them with the season.
So, here is what I came up with.

I found a bag of small hair elastics in my art studio
that I can not use in my hair,
and another bag full of buttons.
(I got the idea to use buttons from a very genius 

First I Sewed the elastics on the back of my pumpkins
 with embroidery thread.

I hid the Knot under my stitches.


Next I sewed my buttons onto 
elastic that I cut big enough 
to stretch around 
one of the wire hangers.

Then I sewed the elastic together
(Again with embroidery thread,
I like to use it because it is
stronger and with the big needle
a little easier for me to use personally) 
Remember it doesn't have to look
because your decorations will hide it.

And finally I just wound the elastic 
around the button...

and this is what I ended up with...

(Click HERE for the Holiday Wreath base Tutorial,
and click HERE for the fall
decoration tutorial.)