Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Hard Candy Candle project

Christmas candy candles

Jazzing up candles for Christmas
Inexpensive Christmas décor is hard to find in any store, however, using what you have around your home or can buy really cheaply can be fun and cost effective. Many times if done with patience and care, your project can look high end and attractive and can be done for many different seasons and holidays. Try this inexpensive, fun and cute idea:

Supplies needed:

  • 3-4 Candles (you can use any size and color you like as long as they have enough girth to glue hard candy to)
  • Low temp hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Hard peppermint candy several bags (the cheaper the better)
  • old scratched/ damaged cds

  • It is a good idea to have one spare candle to work on first when doing this project. The practice will be helpful since it will help you figure how to space your candies from each other for the best overall appearance. This will make doing the other candles a lot easier.
  • Select the candle you wish to use, and place it on a paper plate. Working in a circular pattern, come up with the design you want. Starting at the top edge, not the top flat part but the edge, begin gluing your candy and placing evenly around the candle. You can use a cake turn table to make things easier if you have one.
  • Doing alternate colored candies will give you the swirl effect you see in the picture provided with this article. If you do your first row one color and the second row another color of peppermints, then you will end up with a quilted or checkerboard type effect.
  • Once you have covered your candles with the candies, it is a good idea to find some used or old scratched cd's that can be recycled. Place these under your candle. (I glue mine) and you can add little wreaths at the bottom or glue more candy around the base.
  • Tip: Although the candles are lit in the photograph, I would not recommend keeping your candles lit for long periods of time. If you have any doubts, light the candle you did your “trial run” on and see how it fairs under controlled supervision to see for sure. Also do not do this project with young children and a hot glue gun. Even low temperatures can be painful on tender fingers.
For more ideas on holiday décor, see: How to recycle old lightbulbs.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Holiday budget decorating

Hot glue pasta
Hot glue pasta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You don't have to spend a fortune on decor if you use many of the items you already have in your home and in your yard.

Tip # 1 Keep it simple
The more you do, the more complicated and expensive it can get. Remembering to keep decorating simple will keep your design elegant and refined and budget friendly.

Tip # 2 Use what you have
So many times we think we have to go out and buy decorations to express ourselves when some of the best decorations we have are already in our homes. Go on a treasure hunt in your garage or attic and look for things you can use creativity and a little hot glue to transform. With a little this and a little that, you can easily re-purpose things you already have.
Tip # 3 Nature calls
Rustic warm decor appeals to almost everyone, especially as the weather gets colder and colder. Look for broken branches, nuts, acorns and pine cones to dress up mantles, shelves and make centerpieces for your tables. These items are free and really warm up a space. FYI- if you don't have a yard or very little yard, consider going to a nearby park or even a beach to find natures little overlooked gifts. Seashells can be given a sparkle by spraying glitter paint and gluing jewels on them and displayed in large pickle jars, and glass vases.

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Decorating for the Holidays in 2012

With so many of the nations citizens struggling with economic issues, and hardships, you may believe that worrying about trends is a frivolous affair. However, our environments play a key part in our mental well being and it is in times of struggle that we have to find ways to keep our spirits up, and remind us of our blessings. With that being said, the trends this year have been leaning toward two keywords, “cheerful” and “comforting.” Here are two ways to achieve different effects in your home this year during the holidays.

Cheerful decor- 
Christmas decorations by Albedo 003
Christmas decorations by Albedo 003 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cheerful décor is a means of surrounding yourself with things that you wish to project into your world. Things that are cheerful speak to us, change our demeanor, and thus improve our lives on varying levels. The first thing you have to ask yourself is what puts me in good cheer? What colors make me smile? What do they remind me of? Once you have devised this list, find ways to incorporate these things into your décor. Make a list of colors, objects, animals and things that make you feel happy. Use this list as your inspiration and your theme. Perhaps your decorating theme for autumn and winter months is “new beginnings” or “love and memories.” Then build your décor working with your list of things that make you happy. Winter trends in color this year will be white, with red and green, instead of red and green with white. Just that simple change in how much of each color you have makes a difference in how cheerful it feels. Play around with color and the amount you use, will dictate your cheer levels, so be mindful of how much you use of each you love to see the difference in how it impacts your décor and environment.

Comforting decor 
Pine cones, male and female
Pine cones, male and female (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe more than any time in recent years, mankind is finding a need to find comfort and joy, which has been a common wish and blessing for holidays for decades. Typically, we find great comfort, in those things that have a warm, rustic feel over the flash and glitz of more commercial holiday décor. With that in mind, think of décor that appeals to all five senses. Warm pine boughs on mantles are no new idea, but they will find a way into homes that at one point may have abandoned traditional décor. Why? Because when man struggles, he seeks out those things that make him feel secure and comfortable. The past seems in many ways a safe retreat from the present. Nature lends itself well to the comfort we seek in décor. Look for simple unsophisticated offerings found in nature to appeal to your personal sense of well being and connection to the earth. Pine cones, trigs, branches, apples, fruit, spices and scented candles will always have a place in décor whether it's the year 2012 or 2212. Remember simplicity is at the core of comfort.

Merging cheerful and comforting decor- 
English: Christmas decorations Polski: Dekorac...
English: Christmas decorations Polski: Dekoracje świąteczne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This may be the best design overall. Comforting décor can be raised a level or two by being sure to add whimsy and fun to ordinary or rustic objects. The best way to achieve this may be to take rustic items and craft them into one of a kind bits of fun. Pine cones make great little pine trees with the addition of beads and pearls, twigs and branches that are tied together with raffia and perhaps have a cute elf sitting on top may be just the personality and cheer it needs. Once you open up to your creative side, and you take the everyday into the unusual, magical and whimsical, you have effectively merged both comforting décor and cheerful décor, the result is one hundred percent you, one hundred percent unique.
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