8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel

8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Décor: Week 1 – The Mantel

October 9th, 2018 • Contributor: Tiffany Isbell, Team Cricut

The upcoming holiday season can be a time of hustle and frantic moments.  We want to help give you a true handmade holiday without all the stress. Follow us over the next 8 weeks as we show you how to make your Holiday Décor and Gifting magical.  Be sure to tune in every Monday & Wednesday to our Facebook Live as we walk through some of the tips and techniques to get you through the holiday. Now, let’s jump into this week’s great décor lineup: The Mantel!

8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel

There are 10 great projects in this collection.  Even if you don’t have a mantel, you can find a place to use these signs, stockings, blankets, and wreath.  First, let’s check out our materials supplies list.

Here are the Cricut supplies you will need:

Don’t forget that throughout this 8-week journey, you can use the promo code 8WEEKDIY to get an additional 10% off all your materials (excludes Cricut machines & Cricut Access and needs a $50 minimum purchase).

Here are the other supplies you will also need:

  • White & Green paint and foam brush
  • (1) spool of Red & White Twine
  • (3) 1”x 4”x 8’ Blue Pine wood
  • (2) 1”x 4”x 8’ Ghostwood Silver
  • Wood glue
  • (1) bag of red felt pom poms
  • (1) 12” green wire wreath frame
  • (1) package of floral wire
  • (1) red lantern
  • (1) 12”x 12” thin black frame
  • (1) 8”x 11” thin canvas
  • (1) medium white metal trash can or bin
  • Hot glue

All supplies cost less than $250, and the best part is that with your leftover supplies, you’ll be able to tackle more of the projects in the upcoming weeks.  This 8-week program gives you a completely customized holiday for under $500 – for your entire house including the tree!! Talk about an amazing way to truly get a unique experience for the upcoming season.  The best part is that you can do all or just a few to brighten up your holiday décor!

Let’s explore the projects!

You will see I picked a core color palette that will follow us throughout the next 8 weeks as well – white/cream, grey, brown, forest green, black, and a few scattered pops of red.  I did not want it to be too red heavy as it can be a little overwhelming since it’s such a powerful color.

Next, I also selected some main images that you’ll see throughout our cohesive holiday as it comes together over the next few weeks – vintage truck, pine trees/cones/needles, stars, and poinsettias (both red and white!).

Finally, I made sure that we are using a lot of mixed media projects with textures sprinkled throughout to give it an enriched look – metallic embroidery, felt pom pom balls, and fuzzy/rich materials along-side pearl paper, holographic party foils, and textured vinyls. I’ll even show techniques on how to bring flat materials to life with embellishments – check out the nose on the Reindeer Wood Sign!

To help you embrace a massive make-it-from-scratch holiday, I started the Mantel with 3 custom wood projects.  Yep, that’s right. I constructed the wooden frames and plaques from scratch too. Check out our tutorial on how you can make these three DIY Wood Projects too!

8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel

Project 1: Reindeer Wood Sign

8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel
8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel

Project 3: Scrap Wood Trees

The next two projects are phrases.  I couldn’t quite decide which font I loved the best, so I made two and decided I could put one in another area of my house to bring my favorite phrase throughout the holiday décor – Merry & Bright.  This uses both a Black Vinyl (or dark Stainless Adhesive Foil if you prefer) and a Red Stainless Adhesive Foil for the ampersand sign. Once again, bringing in that small pop of red.

8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel
8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel

Project 4: Merry & Bright Sign (Felix Font) or Merry & Bright Sign (Arab Brushstroke Font)

The second phrase incorporates that vintage red truck, which I am loving that is also echoed in the Christmas Delivery fabric of the stockings and quilt.  I used another one of my favorite inviting phrases, “Season’s Greetings”, and favorite fonts: Easton. I like how the font plays off of the Felix Font from the Merry & Bright sign where it has both thinner and thicker areas, but the tall feel of the letters give it a matching vintage look to the truck.

The truck is actually several layers of different types of iron-on. This technique can be really tricky so make sure to read up on some Tips for Layering Iron-on – especially since it’s using Everyday Iron-on, Glitter Iron-on, AND Foil Iron-on (oh my!).

8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel

Project 5: Season’s Greetings Truck Sign

There isn’t much to do except fan-girl over the Riley Blake Christmas Delivery Collection that will be on Cricut.com next week.  I can’t wait to show you so many fun things to make with it that are really simple. The stockings were made with this Design Space project.  A loop was simply cut into a rectangle and added onto the top of the stocking pattern to hang from the Mantel.  A quick tip to hanging the stockings: Command Strips.

8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel
8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel
8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel

Project 6: Christmas Delivery Stockings

We talked a little bit about how pinecones would be seen throughout everything, and here is a quick glimpse.  Did you know there are 40 pine cones in the Red Pine Cone Lantern Project? Stay tuned over the next few weeks and we will take you on a tutorial on how to make the pine cones from scratch!

8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel

Project 7: Red Pine Cone Lantern

The final three projects are at the base of the Mantel near the fire.  Two are snuggle blankets, and one is to hold them. At our house, everyone has a holiday blanket so we need a bin to put them in.  Enter the repurposed trash can! We took a white trash bin and simply add a phrase at the bottom using the same Easton font from the Truck Canvas.

8 Weeks to DIY Holiday Decor: Mantel

Project 8: Blanket Bin

Project 9: Christmas Delivery Quilt

Project 10: Felt Poinsettia Flower Blanket with Gold Metallic Embroidery

Check out our Facebook Live with tips and techniques used throughout these projects.  I can’t wait to show you the projects next week. This is going to be a fantastic DIY Holiday Season!

Up Next Week: The Living Room

Cheers!

t

3 Custom Holiday Decor Wood Projects

3 Custom DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

October 9th, 2018 • Contributor: Tiffany Isbell, Team Cricut

From shopping to assembly, let’s dig into how to make 3 great wood DIY projects for the holiday season.  Here are the Cricut supplies you will need:

Here are the other supplies you will also need:

  • White & Green paint and foam brush
  • (1) spool of Red & White Twine
  • (3) 1”x 4”x 8” Blue Pine wood
  • (2) 1”x 4”x 8” Ghostwood Silver
  • (2) packages of 1 ½” L Brackets
  • Wood glue
  • (1) bag of red felt pom poms
  • (1) 12” green wire wreath frame (if you are making the pine needle wreath)
  • (1) package of floral wire (if you are making the pine needle wreath)
  • Hot glue

These projects took one afternoon to complete, not including shopping for the materials. But let’s talk about one of the most exciting parts: THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE.  Sometimes, I surprise myself at how giddy I get about going to find all the parts!

Things to know when shopping for wood:

Thing #1: Not all wood is created equal.  Make sure you inspect each board for any flaws that might either weaken your design or in this case, not match.  You can see that the distressing of the wood varied from piece to piece. I had to be choosy about what came home with me!

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Thing #2: Check for warping.  Not sure what this means? Check out this good and bad example:

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays
3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

You definitely don’t want to come home with a piece of wood that is shaped like a hockey stick!  It’s hard to work with and won’t give you a great fitting frame. I hold the beam straight out in front of me to check for warping.  Pick the straightest pieces you can find. The longer the board, the higher the risk of warping. When boards get up to 12’ long, they can be a bit of a challenge to find a straight piece.  I tend to opt for the 8’ boards as a good middle ground.

You will want to have a few choice tools to begin your projects:

  • Miter Saw
  • Angle Ruler
  • Pencil

PROJECT #1:

If you’re like me, I want to feel 100% when I’m about to cut my wood so I always mark it with a pencil. This helps me know I can follow the line – even though a Miter Saw helps you do that fairly easily.  I like a good backup! I cut my pieces down into two 24” lengths and two 36” lengths. Then, I was ready to cut my angles – this is the tricky part.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Next, no surprise here - cut your wood at a 45-degree angle.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Now, put aside your scraps. We’re going to use them for our final project!

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Rinse and repeat for all 4 pieces. I made my frame 24”x 36”. This means that I also measured out the length of my pieces as well as the angle of my wood. You will cut 8 angles.

After your cuts are all made, flip your pieces to the back side, and line up one 24” side with one 36” side. MAKE SURE YOU’RE MATCHING UP THE RIGHT PARTS. That shout-out was mostly a reminder to me, but just like they say in sewing, woodworking is the same, measure twice and cut once.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

If you are wanting to make sure your frame stays together, you can opt to add some wood glue into the seams. For me, I don’t like to use a glue on my frames.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Next, start screwing in your L Brackets. To make sure that it’s coming together well, I always screw in one of the outer holes and then skip over to the other side and screw in the inner hole. That’s confusing so check out this pic to help:

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

And don’t forget to double reinforce. I put two L Brackets on my frames to better secure them.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Finally, hang your wreath! I used a pine needle wreath in the middle of mine hung with red and white striped twine.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

For the wreath project in Design Space, check out: Backless Pine Needle Wreath and Frame

PROJECT #2:

Take your wood beams and cut them down to equal sizes. My sign is 30”x 30”. I measured my pieces and was able to get 3 pieces from each of my boards. Remember, draw your pencil line across your cut to help guide you!

I reinforced the back of the sign with two 1”x 4” beams that I had leftover from another project. If you don’t have any scrap wood, you’ll want to pick up a piece. Don’t get anything expensive as it’s on the back of your sign and won’t be visible. You can simply screw each cut into your mounting pieces.

Step 1 – Lay out all your pieces to get an idea of where to place your reindeer. I always like to get the painting out of the way before I start on any other areas of a project. After figuring out my arrangement, I added the stencil for my reindeer and painted Rudolph on!

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Step 2 – Use a shimmer glaze after your paint dries by simply leaving your stencil in place and painting over your original white coat of paint. A shimmer glaze adds a really subtle, refined shine to your paint.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Step 3 – Use a cotton swab to help draw out any paint blotches or small pools. Be careful not to smudge it, but if you accidentally do, you can always use a piece of sandpaper to sand the paint off your wood in unwanted places.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Step 4 – Clean up the drips in the gaps. I use a folded piece of paper and then pull it along the gap to clean out any unwanted drips or globs of paint.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays
3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays
3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Here’s a quick 5-second video to show you how to do it.

Step 5 – Add your embellishments! This is the fun part. I added a red felt pom pom for Rudolph’s nose (I really like a little texture and a little 3D!). I hot glued the stars. The stars are made from Chipboard and Textured Vinyl to also give the project more depth. Finally, I tied the same twine from my wreath on the backless frame to wrap around this project at the bottom.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

If I was using as a standalone sign, I would have also added a phrase in the bottom right corner, most likely! As it was part of a collection, I didn’t need it.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Check out the project in Design Space: Reindeer Wood Sign

Project #3:

The final project is quite simple. You’ll want to dig through your scraps to select the right ones.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Look for pieces that can be cut into triangles – even if they’re taller, more slender one. I also looked for pieces that could be put together to create a triangle by trimming an angle across a larger, longer piece.

Next, I’ll sound like a broken record – draw your triangle onto your piece of wood.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Put together your scraps into tree forms. If you are gluing multiple pieces together, be sure to give them a healthy dose of wood glue.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Now, they’ll need time to dry. I hold mine in place with clamps during the drying process.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Let them dry longer than you think it will take! I hate when I try to work with them too soon and then I can’t ever get the glue to stick. If you’re impatient (ME! ME!) then pick up the fast drying glue!

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Your trees are now prepped and ready for staining.

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Simply cut out your stencil in vinyl – for smooth wood, I use the stencil vinyl, and for rougher surfaces, I use a black removable vinyl as the stick is a little firmer.

If you’re doing multiple things, you can reuse the stencil, but I recommend letting it dry in between each application so you don’t get smudge marks. Once again though, a little sandpaper can help you take those right off. It’s harder on textured wood surfaces because you could also take off some of your texture.

Voila! Here’s your final look!

3 DIY Wood Projects for the Holidays

Find this last project in Design Space too: Scrap Wood Trees

Cheers!

t

DIY First Christmas Ornaments

DIY Our First Christmas Ornament

November 23rd, 2017 • Contributor: Jen Causey from Something Turquoise

Celebrate your first Christmas in true creative style by making your own custom “our first Christmas” ornament using your Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore. All you need is a blank ornament and a few different colors of vinyl… choose the perfect hair, flower, and fashion to build a darling little portrait to hang on your tree.

Our first Christmas ornament
Our first Christmas ornament
Our first Christmas ornament

This project would also be a lovely gift for the newlyweds in your life. These three designs are waiting for you to personalize in Design Space… so half the work is already done for you! Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

SUPPLIES:

  • Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker
  • Cricut Vinyl
  • Cricut Weeding Tools
  • Blank Christmas Ornaments
  • Spray Paint

1: Choose a Design and Personalize

Pick which image you want to use for your design

Visit this link to personalize one of my ornament designs. Click the “Color Sync” tab in the layers panel to make sure that each element is labeled the correct color.

2: Prep Your Vinyl

Get your vinyl pieces ready

Cut the appropriate amount of vinyl for each layered color of your ornament design. Since there are so many different colors and cuts for this project, doing this step ahead of time really helps with organization.

3: Cut & Weed Vinyl

Cut your vinyl out

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Cut your vinyl out

Let your Cricut work its magic!

4: Prepare the Ornament Blank

Get your ornament blank ready for your design

Prep your Christmas ornament blank. I used cheap wood blanks and spray painted them with metallic paint. You can use wood, ceramic, glass or even cut an ornament out of chipboard!

5: Apply the Vinyl

Put the vinyl on the ornament blank

Since these designs were super detailed with small intricate pieces I decided to hand place them instead of using transfer tape, but you can use it if you’d like. Pull up the Design Space canvas to see what color vinyl layers on top of each other and follow the pattern to create your custom design.

Apply the vinyl
Apply the vinyl
Apply the vinyl

 

Use the hashtag #cricutmade to show us your ornaments!