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Posts in “Christmas”

DIY Christmas Tree Skirt (No Sewing Needed!)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

 

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I’m excited to share this DIY Christmas tree skirt since I usually don’t do these kind of projects. Our Christmas tree has been in our living room since the end of Halloween… I know that might be early for most people here in America, but I actually wanted to have it around earlier in October… (a sign that there’s a Filipino at home) However, my husband and I ended up agreeing to put up a tree after Halloween. You know, marriage is about compromise. 😉 Today, I’m sharing a fun tutorial on how to create your own Christmas tree skirt, using burlap, and without any sewing.  Here’s how I made it!

Materials:

2 yards of Burlap (I got it at Walmart)

Ruler

Pencil

String

Natural Rope

Glue Gun and Stick

Velcro

Scissor

Printed Text of Your Family Name

White Acrylic

Paint Brush

Water

Paint Palette (or small cup)

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Step 1: Fold the whole burlap in half and measure out 45 inches in the horizontal direction.

Step 2: Mark the center of the 45-inch line with a pencil. Make sure to mark it on the opposite side of the burlap opening (see image).

Step 3: Use a string with a pencil attached to one end of it. Try to cut the string so that the tip of the pencil extends to 22.5 inches with the string. Place the other end of string on the mark you made earlier with pencil, on the burlap. Create a semicircle using the pencil. I tried to use a pin to hold the string down, but it kept moving. Good thing my mom was there to hold it for me.

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Step 4: Cut the semicircle by following the line you made with the string and pencil. diy-christmas-tree-skirt-no-sewing-7

Step 5: Depending on the thickness of the tree stand, draw a semicircle on the center of the burlap large enough so that it can wrap around the stand. Cut out the semicircle you drew to create a hole. diy-christmas-tree-skirt-no-sewing-8

Step 6: Unfold the burlap and cut out a narrow section of the burlap to the right side.

Step 7: Cut out 3-4 strips of velcro. Using hot glue, attach the strips to the bottom of one of the sections you had cut. Attach the other velcro strips to the top of the other section. This way, you can velcro together the burlap after wrapping it around the Christmas tree.

Step 8: To create the round edge design. Use the remaining burlap, measure 2 inches of width and length is depending how the burlap is. It will look like a wide burlap ribbon.

Step 9: Remove string on the burlap ribbon one by one until you have at least 1 to 1.5 inches fringe.
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Step 10: Use hot glue to stick the end of the burlap ribbon to the edge of the skirt. Start to  create pleats and use hot glue again to secure. Do this until you cover all edges of the burlap skirt. I think I used 4-5 burlap ribbons around this skirt.

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Step 11: Grab the natural rope and use hot glue to stick it around the upper part of the burlap ribbon. Using the rope is also a good way to hide the dried glue from the pleats.

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To paint a family name, print out your family name with your preferred font and cut it out. Trace around the letters with a pen (Pencil can be hard to see). You can also write out the words free-hand if you know calligraphy. Paint the inside of the text with white acrylic. You can paint over the pen later so it doesn’t show. Let it dry. You may also use a fabric protector like I did. I used Scotchgard.

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That’s it! I’m so happy with how it turned out! It is also much cheaper than buying a new one. Since I had already had the materials, I only had to spend less than $5 for the burlap.

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My youngest singing his favorite Christmas carol, “La la la.” Ukulele made in the Philippines. If you’re wondering why there aren’t any ornaments on the bottom of the tree and somewhere else, that’s what happens when you have toddlers. 😉

Similar products:

Christmas Tree with Clear Lights

Icicle Ornament

Red Glitter Ribbon

Christmas Ornament Set

Quick question for my readers: When is the earliest date you’ve put up a Christmas tree?

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Christmas Count Down Calendar + Christmas Activities For Toddlers

Thursday, December 1, 2016

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As my kids grow up, I want them to know what the true meaning of Christmas is. I know they will be more excited to see the gifts for sure, but I think as a believer of Christ, it’s a perfect gift for Him; sharing His stories to children and teaching them that He is the reason for Christmas. Today, I’m sharing our Christmas countdown calendar for toddlers, which does just that. It was inspired by Pinterest. Although, some of the activities below are improvised depending on what my kids will be excited to see and do. Each day, in addition to their Christmas activity (whether it is simple or requires more effort), I’m planning to read a Bible verse to them. Here’s what’s inside each paper bag, and the fun, inspiring activities for the kids to learn about the true meaning of Christmas. Enjoy!

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Dec 1: A printed photo of the kids for a DIY Salt Dough ornament with photo. (Recipe from h e r e). Read: John 1:1-5.

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Dec 2: Inside is a plastic ball (can be a Pom Pom or any type of small, round object). The activity will be a ball sorting stand. (Inspired by this). I used an old diaper box and made holes for the balls. I drew (you can print out pictures too) of characters from Jesus’ birth like Mary, the Star, Sheep etc. I will ask them to find a character like, “Find the mother of Jesus.” Then I will have them insert a ball in the matching hole. Read: Isaiah 9:2-7

Dec 3: Lego figurine of a boy (young Jesus) with a colorful string on the waist (symbolic of righteousness), a brown tape sash that says “faithful,”  and small toy animals. I will use these to simply tell the story from Isaiah 11:1-10.

Dec 4: A bandana to use as a cape for kids. My kids love to do the Superman (photo of us like this), so I thought of this activity for them to show that Jesus is our true hero and savior, sent by God to save us from our sins. Read: Jeremiah 33:14-16

Dec 5: A note that says “Water a plant.” My kids love to do this, especially with their Lola (grandmother) right now, so I thought this would be a great way to explain the verse in Bible Verse to Read: Luke 1: 5-10. It tells about how John the Baptist was born. He was the one who baptized Jesus in the river. If you don’t have a plant (Why wouldn’t you!? Haha Kidding!), you may use a bowl of full of water and use plastic toys to simply demonstrate what John the Baptist does.

Dec 6: Cotton balls. Prepare a drawing of an angel on a piece of paper where kids will stick the cotton balls on the wings (using glue or tape).

Read: Luke 1:11-17 Angel show to Zechariah and tell that Elizabeth will have a baby. Tell them that God sent angel to tell the good news about Elizabeth will have a  baby.

Dec 7: A balloon. I thought of using a balloon to put it inside my front shirt, to create a baby bump. 😉 My kids are excited to see a baby bump, especially when they see my sister who is pregnant right now. I will use this simple activity to teach about Luke 1:18-25 where Elizabeth was pregnant with John. You may put the name “John” on the balloon too if you’d like. While doing this balloon baby bump activity, I will share how everything is possible with God. Even though Elizabeth was old, she still became pregnant with John who was chosen by God to baptize Jesus himself.

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Dec 8: A dry erase marker. I will do the “Mirror Lesson” to demonstrate how God chose Mary to give birth to Jesus who washes away our sins. I will let my kids scribble or draw whatever they want on the mirror. Full instructions here.  This is going to be a fun activity!!  Read: Luke 1:26-38 Angel Visits Mary

Dec 9: A note that says “Open a gift under the tree.” My kids love to listen while we read books to them, so I got them a new book about Christmas. Read: Matthew 1:18-21 

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Dec 10:  Cotton balls, and a piece of paper with a big letter “J” (teaching them Jesus starts with the letter J). The kids will put the cotton balls on the lines to follow the letter “J”. (Similar to h e r e). Read: Matthew 1:22-25

Dec 11: Your child’s baby photo. I will share how God blessed their dad and I with them! Read: Luke 1:39-45 to explain how baby Jesus came from Mary, but Jesus was the son of God. They have oneness.

Dec 12: Glitter pen for coloring, which is cheap at Walmart! I’ll use a piece of paper with an outline of the letter “J.” I know. I love using J. It’s because this activity is all about Jesus! 😉 Then, we’ll play a worship song. Read: Luke 1:46-56

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Dec 13: Use Pom Poms to insert in the hole in a box (Similar to here). Read: Micah 5:2-5 Jesus gets strength from God. The Pom Pom as sign of strength that God is giving.

Dec 14: Cloth (like baby wrap) and old white socks for my kids to draw a face on. Then they’ll put other socks inside (Similar to here). We will play and use the socks as “Baby Jesus” while reading Luke 2:1-7. Joseph needs to go back to Bethlehem. He was with Mary and she was about to give birth. She gave birth in a manger.

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Dec 15:  Make angels out of Popsicle sticks and put cotton balls on the wings (Similar to here).  Read: Luke 2:8-12 Good news! Angels appeared to the shepherds and told about Jesus’ birth.

Dec 16: Put a note saying, “It’s Music Time!” or an egg shaker, something small for creating noise. We will play and sing a worship song with our flute, ukulele, shaker. Read: Luke 2:13-14 Angels in heaven praise God and rejoice for Jesus’ birth!

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Dec 17: Small paint bottle. We will create a hand-painted Christmas tree (Similar idea). Read: Luke 2:15-18 Shepherds visit Jesus in the manger. Teach them that God chose shepherds to see Jesus first. His choice was not based on their position or status in life.

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Dec 18: Put letters that says Jesus. Use a big bowl filled with fake snowflakes or gift fillers and have the kids search for the letters inside the container. Then, spell it out after they all the letters. (Similar to h e r e). Read: Luke 2:19-20 Everything the angels told the shepherds happened. They were amazed!

Dec 19: Star and Tree Cookie Press. I will use play dough to play with these presses, while reading Matthew 2:1-2 Magi worship Jesus. They saw the star.

Dec 20: A letter “B” magnet that we have. You may just make a simple cutout or write on a piece of paper. I will show them things inside the house that begin with letter “B.” I will also use the Bible and show a picture of Bethlehem where Jesus was born.  Read: Matthew 2:3-6

Dec 21: A star cutout from cardboard (I will make 2 since I have two kids). I will have them put Pom Poms on the stars with glue. Read: Matthew 2:7-8 Herod wants to kill the Messiah. The star appeared at the exact time when Jesus was born.

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Dec 22: On a piece of paper, write down what the kids thank Jesus for. I wonder what my eldest will say… Maybe “fire truck…” or “goldfish…”  :) Put it on a container and put it under the tree. This is a beautiful act, serving as a gift for Jesus. Read them together next Christmas, and do it again! (Similar idea here). Read: Matthew 2:9-12

Dec 23: Put a note that says “Watch the birth of Jesus.”(I love using Youtube for this, I only show them up to 26:26.) Read: Matthew 2:19-23 Return to Nazareth

 

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Dec 24:  Put a note that says “Go to the bathtub” Surprised your kids with some red and green balloons in the tub, maybe do this on Christmas Eve!!! (Similar idea). Read: John 1:1-4 Word became Flesh (Jesus)

Anyone else doing a Christmas countdown? How do you teach your kids or the kids around you about the true meaning of Christmas?

For other fun Christmas activities for kids, visit my Pinterest board!

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DIY Christmas Glittery Greetings on Canvas With Scotch-Brite®

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ScrubSeason #CollectiveBias

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Today is the last day of November, and that means the next month is December when we celebrate Christmas! (Insert Jingle Bells dance). Is anyone else excited for this celebration? I’ve always loved Christmas so much, and it is even more exciting now that I have my own family. This year we are celebrating Christmas together with my mom,  who flew from the Philippines to celebrate Christmas for the first time with her grandchildren. She can also help me cook, since I love to prepare meals and bake for the holidays., Our kitchen will be pretty busy!

Now that I’m older, I better understand the true meaning of Christmas. Since Jesus Christ is the reason for this season, I decided to add an inspiring canvas Christmas decoration in our kitchen. This decoration can be used anywhere in your home to remind you and your family that a Savior was sent to bring joy to the world :-)

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Materials needed:

Canvas (I used a 16×20  burlap ” canvas, but feel free to use white canvas)

Red Glitter

Transparent Glue

Small Paint Brush

Printable Text (Here’s what I made: Big text for bigger canvas / Small text if you have at least 8.5” x 11” Canvas) )

Pencil

Scissor

Tape

Hair Spray

Optional:

Hair Dryer

Pine branches or other natural decorations

Glue Gun

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Step 1 Ready your printable text. Cut out the letters, arrange the words on the canvas, and secure them with tape.

Step 2 Trace around the letters with a pencil. Or feel free to do the words by free hand if you know calligraphy. It’s up to you! (Hint: If you’re using a white canvas, you can use a pencil to shade the back of the paper after you’ve printed it. Then just place the paper shaded-side down on the canvas and trace the letters with a ballpoint pen. Much easier! This technique doesn’t work as well on brown canvas, however).

Step 3 Make sure you can see the lines so it’s easy to apply the glue to the outline.

Step 4 Apply clear glue on the inside of the text and use a small paint brush to distribute all over.

Step 5 Now begin to sprinkle the red glitter over the glue. Make sure you cover every glued part of the text.

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Step 6 After you finished covering the text with glitter you may stand up the canvas and remove the excess glitter by tapping the canvas gently on a hard surface like a table or counter.

Step 7 Use a clean brush or hair dryer to remove excess glitter around the text. I used Scotch Tape around my brush to make it easier to clean up the edges.

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Step 8 Grab your hair spray and spray it all over the glittered text. This helps to lock in the glitter and stop it from flaking off.

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Step 9 This is optional, but if you have an old Christmas tree or wreath, you can use branches and twigs to decorate the edge of the canvas to make your decor even more Christmassy!  Now you’re done!

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Cleaning-up is also much easier with my all-time favorite Scotch-Brite® Brand. They have a new product called the Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth, which comes two to a pack. I use one for the kitchen, while the other one I use around the house, such as for cleaning my work desk. I like that this dish cloth is washable, reusable, and available in a wide variety of colors: Navy and Coral available in Walmart,  and Mint and Gray online. It’s only $4.97! Save $1 on any two Scotch-Brite® Products (Scrub Sponges, Lint Rollers and Scrubbing Dish Cloths).

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There are things I usually wash it by hand, such as my youngest son’s food tray, chopping boards, pans, or other big and bulky kitchen items. I’m excited that there is something like Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth in Walmart that helps make my kitchen routine easier and more convenient, especially during the busy holiday season. I also love how it makes the dish soap create more lather. And a thick, rich lather makes me feel that my dishes are cleaner!

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Here are two sides of the Scrubbing Dish Cloth. One side has small dots to scrub tough messes without leaving a scratch on the surface. It worked so well that my mom also wanted to buy some of her own Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloths before flying back home!  The other side is smooth, and can be used for wiping and drying.

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Any tips how you remove tough messes from pans or baking dish? And how do you decorate your kitchen area for Christmas?

P.S Check out other fun tutorial and food recipes that you might consider this season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, design, and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of two boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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