Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Crafting

I've been busy getting ready for Christmas. I've spent the last three days in the kitchen, making candles (which, if you follow me on Twitter, you got live tweets of the exciting process) and assembling these water-less snow globes that have been all over Pinterest because Anthropologie was trying to sell them for way too much money and they're actually super easy (and cheap!) to DIY.

I don't have a lot of money (being an unpaid intern generally doesn't make you very rich) and so I decided to make presents this year instead of buying them. My aunt brought over a whole bunch of candle making goods for me and I bought some inexpensive wicks from Amazon. I bought inexpensive tins and jars from the thrift store and Michael's (which I am in absolutely no way endorsing considering that I hate hate HATE that store), so it was a very cheap project. I hadn't made candles since I was about 5 years old (isn't it funny that 15 years later, I'm still broke and making candles as gifts for Christmas?), and I had no recollection of how tedious of a process it really is. It takes forever to melt the wax, and then after you pour it it has to cool and settle for like 5 hours before you can do a second layer. I had to have a constant rotation of Christmas movies playing to keep me sane.

I made 4 different scents and colours. I started with blue (one of which I've already wrapped up and mailed off), which is supposed to be vanilla-sugar cookie scent, but I personally think it smells a bit berry-ish. I was melting down all different chunks of leftover wax, some of which may have been scented and thus tampered with the scent. The next day I made pink-red bayberry scented candles. I used two different brands of bayberry scent and so these ones are very strong and smell wonderful! Yesterday I tackled Christmas tree/pine scent, which was maybe not as powerful as I would have liked. The scent in the jar was very strong, but when I put it in the wax, it didn't really smell. Granted, I was trying to cover up the scent of Crayola crayons for all of these candles, so that might have had something to do with it. After my foray into pine scented candles, I still had a few more tins left, so I decided to make coffee-vanilla scent, which turned out pink and not very coffee-like.

While the long process of melting and cooling candle wax was under way, I was busy assembling some water-less snow globes! They're really easy to make and tutorials are all over Pinterest (shameless plug of my Christmas Cheer pin board, but I swear, I've pinned these babies like 20 times). I used jars that I picked up at the thrift store and my mum's cupboard (free!) and bought fake snow and little fake trees/bushes on Amazon.

I almost had a heart attack after hours of searching for tiny deer figurines on Amazon and having no luck, dreading that I'd have to make a trip to one of those horrid craft stores that make me want to become very angry and violent (yes, even at Christmastime), but when I mentioned the project to my mum she scurried to her closet and pulled out boxes and boxes of little deer. Some of them were these really sweet little wooden ones, and others were these horribly tacky plastic ones from the '60s. I painted those gold, which made them 100% less terrifying and tacky. In my mum's Christmas craft box, she also had loads of little ornaments and even a Santa and an elf which I glued to make it look like it was climbing up a tree. I stuck some little pine cones in there and some extra glitter and voila! Tiny winter wonderlands held captive in old canning jars. I used E6000 which is a crafter's delight and hopefully will keep all the little pieces glued down, even if they're being shipped cross-country.

These are super enjoyable to make and I am going to make a few more in the next couple of days. I'm feeling very crafty! I'm definitely going to keep my eyes peeled at garage sales this summer - people are always trying to sell old crafting bits and silly Christmas ornaments. I definitely want to make some wacky ones next year!

I have loads of photos of my Christmas tree/other Christmas decorating that I've been doing that I will share tomorrow - on Christmas Eve! In the meantime, I'd love to see what Christmas crafts you guys have been doing. Send me links to your blog or photos of your DIYs! Keep warm and keep crafting xx


Jamie Rose said...

100% yes to your water-less snow globes. They turned out absolutely adorable! I want some! I definitely need to start DIYing some presents. Probably next year. I have no income but usually spend too much of my savings on presents for everyone. Plus I'll be an unpaid intern for my last semester of grad school starting in January so I'll be feeling your pain. The gas money will be flowing out of me and I'll probably be weeping about my uncertain future after graduation...but I digress...

On to jollier topics. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! These crafts turned out super cute. I'm sure the people receiving them will love them.

Anonymous said...

So lovely! Merry Christmas, i love the Christmas terrariums, such a great DIY that i'll be doing for next year.. or maybe in a few days when all the decorations go on sale! :D

Priya said...

Great ideas for gifts! If I weren't so worried that my crafting sucks, I might attempt to make gifts too. I made some mason jar snow globes for my company holiday party, using water and glycerin. These don't have anything inside them?? Still adorable.
Otherwise, my crafting consisted of making cards, here's my Christmas-y post:

perfectly priya