8 Magical Things You Can Do With Christmas Lights

January 16, 2015 in DIY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

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Christmas lights have a lot more to offer than being put on your Christmas tree once a year. What is it about Christmas lights that creates an ambiance that is so warm and welcoming? When you walk into a room they give off an air of magical wonderment. String lights create an atmosphere that we just can’t help but want to be in and around.

Here we have collected a list of  things you can do with christmas lights, including cotton candy inspired lights, a hula hoop chandelier and even a twinkling Christmas wreath:

 

DIY LED Light Canvasesthings-to-do-with-christmas-lights – If you an extra pair of LED lights and would like to use them throughout the year, not just at Christmas, then this DIY is perfect. It’s easy to do, but the effect is super cool. This canvas would transform any room from dull to fabulous in minutes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kirkland-holiday-hostess-ideas-full-buffet-1024x685DIY Fairy Light Jars – This simple DIY is a great little craft project to start in the festive season to get your home ready for Christmas. Place these jars on the mantle piece and your room will instantly become festive!

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Light Star lighted-star-cherylstyle-H-400x262– The best part is that it only costs a few dollars to build it, and if you have some old Christmas lights lying around unused in the basement (who doesn’t) it can be built for under $10 in materials.

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Pixie Dust LightsPixieFeatured – These tinkerbell inspired lights would be perfect for a little girls bedroom, or a big girls for that matter. They would add a touch of magic and charm to any room with little effort. They are super easy to make, so what are you waiting for?

 

 

 

 

DIY Cotton Candy Fairy Lightscotton-candy-lights-dark – This DIY is a cute idea for any type of girly occasion, from baby showers to birthdays, a room filled with these is a room ready for a party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

light12Geometric String Lights – With a free printable template this tutorial couldn’t be easier. It’s origami inspired project that will keep little ones entertained for a while. They would look pretty in any room any time of year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo-7Yarn Wrapped Twinkle Lights Are My Fave - Amelia wanted some cheap and colorful lights for her babies nursery, but couldn’t find any she liked, so made her own instead. Here she shares her great tutorial which is surprisingly easy!

 

 

 

 

 

lightbottle1Wine Bottle Light – If you have drank a unique or special bottle of wine, this crafting project is a brilliant way to remember the occasion and keep it in your home for longer! It’s simple, easy but the results are both beautiful and surprising!

 

 

 

Christmas lights are often kept in a box until Christmas Time, but wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to use them all year round? What are things you can do with christmas lights?

 

 

Tips for Surviving the Back to Work BLUES

December 29, 2014 in CHRISTMAS

Christmas is over. No more long days in your pyjamas, watching The Holiday and browsing the sales online.

It’s time to get back to work! It’s enough to strike terror into even the most enthusiastic employee. So now what? How do you break down this self-imposed wall and return to reality? Especially when you feel like you’ve just rediscovered that Father Christmas doesn’t exist?

Clarify Your Goals

Nothing is more demotivating than working without having a clear vision, mission and set of objectives for your work. Without a clear vision and knowledge of how your work impacts the big picture you may well end up spending a lot of time on urgent unimportant matters rather than tasks that positively impact the big picture. Never word a goal with vague terms like “some” or “a little bit”, or “more”. Be specific! If you want to lose 8 pounds and reach a weight of 175, specify those exact numbers. If you want to save $200 this month, be exact. Your brain can help you accomplish almost anything if it knows precisely what you are aiming for.

Have Something to Look Forward to

Plan something for after work so that you have something to look forward to. Monday is probably just the start of a hard week ahead, so you deserve an exciting event at the end of the day to motivate you while you work. If you feel that you’d be too exhausted for a night out, consider doing something at home; something relaxing. Taking a long bath while indulging in soothing music and a homemade aromatherapy session should lessen the stress you are facing at work or after a long weekend, partying.

Ride the Wave of your Successes

Success is very stimulating. Work hard enough to achieve successful results and see how motivated you are to achieve further successes as you excel in your performance. Work hard, aim to overachieve your goals and ride the momentum of each success to achieve further successes. Remind yourself that once your vision is clear and you have a set of well-defined, reasonable objectives and milestones to reach, the secret of success is hard work, creativity and perseverance. Aim to ride the wave of each success to further the next success and channel the positive energy to achieving similar superlative performance in your next task or project. It is not always that you can ride the wave of euphoria that arises from a sound success story so make sure you leverage and take advantage of these bursts of energy and motivation to the extent possible.

Reward Yourself

Reward yourself as you achieve your objectives and/or reach specific important milestones. Plan ahead what forms this reward will take and what tasks/projects/results will be rewarded. This will give you something to look forward to, extra drive to get there and a surge of excitement and enthusiasm when you do attain your desired goals.

Keep Things in Perspective

It is important to keep things in perspective and always remind yourself of why you work. Beside the pay, it is often about realizing your potential, feeling alive and useful, feeling connected, making a difference in the world, expressing creativity, expanding your skills and abilities, helping others and contributing to the community. List the reasons you entered the field you are in and when times are tough remind yourself of why you do the work you do. Also remind yourself that work is work and that you have a life outside of work to look forward to, enjoy and make a difference in.

Maintain a Healthy Work/Life Balance

It is very easy to lose yourself at work and forget what awaits you outside of the work arena. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is essential both for your general motivation level and your overall wellbeing. Make sure you take the time to do the things you like to do outside of work whether it be connecting with friends and family, exercising, reading, taking courses, shopping or other hobbies and activities that channel your creativity and energy. Having something to look forward to after work will see you through moments of drudgery at work when your motivation and energy levels are not as high as they could be and will also make you more productive at work.

Think Positive

Negativity is a contagious affliction that drains you of energy, slows you down, saps your enthusiasm and blinds you to the reasons you work. Avoid negative feelings at all costs and concentrate on the positive. To do this, listen to motivational tapes, to music that particularly inspires you, read motivational books, talk to inspired or inspiring people, surround yourself with positive stimuli and concentrate on the reasons you work. Find things to laugh at as long as you are not laughing at your peers and count your blessings at every opportunity. Focus on positives regardless of how small or inconsequential they are whether it be a positive remark from a boss or peer, accomplishing your day’s goals earlier than usual, overachieving on a small deliverable, working well with people, a looming vacation, completing a difficult task or any other positive stimulus.

Are you ready to get back to work?

18 Leftover Wrapping Paper Ideas

December 22, 2014 in CHRISTMAS CRAFTS

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It always seems like such a shame to spend so much money on gift wrap, only to have it tossed after a single frenzied morning of opening presents. If you don’t want to store wrapping paper for the next appropriate holiday or birthday, get creative with these leftover wrapping paper ideas. Make the most of your Christmas trimmings this year with these these ideas for reusing gift wrap and gift wrap tubes.

Here are 18 Leftover Wrapping Paper Ideas:

Leftover Wrapping Paper Ideas

1. Party Hats: Turn the party up with playful and festive hats for everyone. Make it a fun activity, have all the partygoers join in on the DIY project. (via Brit + Co)

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2. Envelope Liner: Deck out envelopes for the entire year with extra wrapping paper. Now, not only will the recipients love the sentiment of a handwritten card, but they’ll also fall for the details of the package. (via Ashley Lurcott)

Leftover Wrapping Paper Ideas

3. Photo Booth: Seriously, who doesn’t love a photo session?! Why not put that extra wrap to good use instead of in a bin and get it up on the wall so you can have a backdrop for photo shoots everyday/at your next shindig.  (via Brit + Co)

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4. Confetti: Pop the bubbly and the confetti. No need to spend additional money on the festive paper shreds, just cut up leftover wrapping and you’re good to spend that extra cash on more champagne ;) (via One Good Thing by Jillee)

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5. Paper Garland: We love throwing these decorations anywhere and everywhere. Why not make an easy garland piece for your last minute NYE party you forgot you volunteered for. (via Brit + Co)

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6. Tray  Liners: Hor d’oeuvres are tasty and beautiful, but why not step up the cocktail party game and make the finger food look even better with some wrapping paper accessorizing? (via Thoughtfully Simple)

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7. Patterned Prints: Stencils not your thing? No worries, grab your glitziest and funkiest leftover present wrappers and place ‘em in a frame for fab wall art or home decor. (via Brit + Co)

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8. Arrows Mobile: Easily make some hanging art for over the baby’s crib, or anywhere really. (via Brit + Co)

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9. Book Covers: Paper bag book covers are so not in style anymore. Wrap your bound books in colorful pieces to make them stand out. (viaPine to the Pacific)

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10. Mini Garland: Garland goes a long way when it comes to decorating a space, so if you don’t have a lot of wall room there’s no need to worry because you can always make a tiny version ;) (via Brit + Co)

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11. Napkin Rings: Get ready for a dinner party the best way you know how, with a little DIY action. (via Brit + Co)

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12. Cabinet Liner: Give your medicine cabinet, or even a bookshelf or two, a new life with a pop of wrapping paper color. (via In My Own Style)

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13. Gift Tags: Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you’re completely done giving gifts. Prepare for upcoming birthdays and weddings with these wrapping paper accented tags. (via Brit + Co)

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14. Origami Crane: Remember how much you loved making the origami swan in school? Bring back those memories with your loose holiday paper. (via Brit + Co)

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15. Envelope: Really impress those receiving your snail mail with a handmade envelope (and hopefully a DIY card too). (via Brit + Co)

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16. Cupcake Toppers: Sweets really aren’t complete without an adorable accessory. Top yours off with a festive toothpick. (via Brit + Co)

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17. Origami Bows: Go wild with these cute bows. Why not have them be multifunctional as gift toppers or even fashion accessories. (via How About Orange)

Fold up some festive and colorful origami.

18. Fold up some festive and colorful origami. Keep your kids busy with an (hours long for tiny humans) origami project, or make a bunch of these and hang them somewhere at different sizes and lengths as decor.Tutorial here, video below. (Via relevedesign.com)

Are you planning on repurposing your extra wrapping paper after the holidays? Let us know in the comments what you’ll be making.

DIY Rustic Wood Candle Holders

December 18, 2014 in CHRISTMAS CRAFTS

DIY Rustic Wood Candle Holders

Reclaimed wood is a beautiful and inexpensive way to bring rustic charm into your home during the holidays. These DIY Rustic Wood Candle Holders have a sculptural look and they make quite an impression. Add your own personal touch to seasonal decor with this simple, nature-loving idea. They were so easy to make I decided to make sets of them as gifts.

Below is a quick and easy guide on how to make a set of DIY Rustic Wood Candle Holders for the Holidays.

SUPPLIES:

  • Wood Logs (We used Christmas Tree Stumps for a local Christmas Tree Lot)
  • Drill
  • 1 1/2” Spade Bit
  • Tea Lights
  • Painters Tape
  • Spray Paint (We used Rose Gold)
  • Optional – Glitter (We used Rose Gold)
  • Optional – Glass Vase and Flat Tree Stump

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. First I selected logs, then I cleaned each log with a slightly damp cloth to lift the dirt and dust. Make sure they clear of mold, moss and critters. You can do this by picking a branch and leaving it for a few days in a cool and dark place to dry it out, or you can place it near a fireplace or vent for a few days to dry it out. We went to a local Christmas Tree Lot and they gave us them for free!

2. Use the 1 1/2” spade bit and drill to about 1” deep.

Drilling

3. Tape off the candle and spray paint the bottom. Let dry and take off tape.
Optional: Put a strip of glue and sprinkle glitter at the top of the spray paint.
Optional: You can seal the wood with a wood sealer or polyurethane if you are worried about the wood splitting or separating.

4. Place tea light candles in the holes, ensuring there’s enough space to be able to take the tea lights out once they are consumed.

Now you can enjoy your new rustic candle holder!

Bring some of the outdoors in with these DIY Rustic Wood Candle Holders. This craft can make a great center or mantle piece, and you can dress it up with holly or pine to add more holiday flair.

If  you have some smaller pieces of wood, check out my DIY on Wood Slice Christmas Ornaments!

 

DIY Wooden Christmas Light Star

December 17, 2014 in CHRISTMAS CRAFTS

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I think that we can all agree that the best Christmas decorations are the homemade ones. So I decided to make this DIY Wooden Christmas Light Star – huge wooden stars made from 69 cent yardsticks and wrapped in Christmas lights. It’s quick, cheap and easy, and will last you and your family through many holiday seasons. The best part is that it only costs a few dollars to build it, and if you have some old Christmas lights lying around unused in the basement (who doesn’t) it can be built for under $10 in materials.

HERE ARE ALL THE SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED:

5 Wooden Yard Sticks – I got mine from Joanns
Strand of Lights – I used a strand of 50
Tape
Gorilla Glue
Large Binder Clips (Not Pictured)
Paint (Optional)

DIY Christmas Light Star Supplies

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. I started out by using tape to arrange the wood sticks into a star.

2. One end at a time, take off the tape and bind the two sticks together with Gorilla glue. Clasp together with a large binder clip and let dry for at least an hour. I let mine dry overnight.

DIY Christmas Light Star Close

3. Take off all the clasps

4. OPTIONAL - Paint the star. I used a white paint and just painted it lightly so you could still see some of the wood through it. Let dry.

5. Add the lights. I started at the top and just went down the star wrapping around the ends. I have also seen people wrap the lights around the sticks which look really cool. Just a little more work ;)

I highly recommend trying your hand at one of these stars!

 

Here are some DIY Wooden Christmas Stars:

Christmas Eve Traditions

December 16, 2014 in CHRISTMAS

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There’s no other evening quite as magical as Christmas Eve. It’s a lovely time of family traditions. Traditions which are guaranteed to make the night before Christmas almost as special as the big day itself! Every family celebrates special holidays in their own way. Christmas Eve is no exception, with families incorporating a wide variety of traditions, from the sacred to the sentimental. Here are a few of our favorite Christmas Eve Traditions. Maybe they will inspire you to start a new tradition this year with the ones you love!

1. Pajama Game

In more than a few families we talked to, each family member is allowed to open just one gift on Christmas Eve. Several of these same families know exactly what they’re opening: snuggly Christmas pajamas. This traditional kick-off to the giving and receiving of gifts gets everyone set for bed and looking cute for Christmas morning photos.

2. Movie Night

What’s Christmas Eve without watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Christmas Story? Gather the family and snuggle up in front of a DVD or Christmas film. You could make a supper of hot chocolate and popcorn (or gingerbread cookies) to enjoy while you watch.

3. Christmas Eve Hot Chocolate and Christmas Stories

Before your little elves head off to bed, spend part of the evening drinking hot chocolate and sharing Christmas stories. We have 10 Great Christmas Stories you can print out and read to your children tonight. Some also have free e-reader versions. Of course, you can always go right to the source for your Christmas story and choose a reading from the Gospel.

4. Candlelight Communion

Many of our families treasure memories of attending a candlelight service on Christmas Eve, with some even taking communion. While attending church together is a year-round family staple, there’s something uniquely moving about the dim lighting, the glow of the candles and the words of the age-old Christmas hymns.

Can’t make it to church with small children or elderly relatives? Then bring the warmth of the experience to your living room. Just dim the lights, let members of the family read the story from scripture, and sing your favorite carols by the glow of candles.

5. Reindeer Gifts

On Christmas Eve, when we are at church, the reindeer come and bring all 5 of us a gift—usually PJs, slippers or robes. They leave a note saying they wanted to figure out where our stockings were to let Santa know. They also remind our kids to get to bed early so Santa can come. My kids look forward to it every year!” -Kim Van Camp

6. Sibling Slumber Party

The anticipation of Christmas morning can bring together a group of siblings like little else. Some maximize the fun by sleeping together in one room. It’s fun to have someone to whisper to while listening for reindeer hooves on the roof!

7. Caroling the Neighborhood

What better way to spread Christmas cheer than to serenade the neighbors? Some families love bundling up after a hearty Christmas Eve dinner and singing their way through the neighborhood. Who knows? If you’re good enough, there might be hot cocoa and cookies in it for you!

8. Stuffer Scramble

One family reported a hilarious tradition that started on the parents’ first Christmas together: having just married 6 days earlier, they realized they had no “stocking stuffers” for one another. In a panic, they set out for K-Mart and had only 15 minutes until closing to come up with unique, funny gifts for one another. It was so much fun, they’ve done it every year since—on purpose!

9. Twinkling walk

You could also wait until it is dark and head out on a family walk around your local neighbourhood to spot all the twinkling Christmas lights. The streets always look magical lit up ready for Christmas and you can stretch little legs to help children get a good night’s sleep on Christmas Eve with all the excitement ahead.Steaming mugs of hot chocolate are a great way to warm up when you get back home.

 

Traditions are so important; you’ll see it more as time goes by.  And once you stop them, it’s very difficult to start them again. What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

 

12 Ways to Bless Others During Christmas

December 10, 2014 in CHRISTMAS

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I feel like December is always filled with great memories and precious time spent in laughter filled with love. Christmas is my favorite time of year, and it happens to be one of the best times to bless others. I love Christmas, from decorations to the tree, shopping to giving gifts, seeing family to just an amazing “jolly” time.

Christmas, at its heart, is about the love that Christ bore for us when He came to earth on His mission of salvation and deliverance from sin.  We give gifts at Christmas in honor of Jesus as a baby in a manger who was God’s gift to all mankind. As you seek to love and bless others during Christmas, here are 12 ways that you can do just that.

12 Ways to Bless Others During Christmas:

  1. Remember our servicemen and their families. If there is a Veteran’s Home or Hospital near you, send Christmas cards to several of our Heroes, thanking them for their service and sacrifice. Taking cookies or candy is also a possibility. If you know of a wife, mother, or family of a soldier serving overseas, think of ways you can fill their loneliness and let them know people care about them.
  2. Give a gift of sponsorship. Rather than giving your friends or family members more “stuff” they don’t really need, why not give a gift to a charity in their names. You can give a gift that feeds a child, provides clean water for a community, rescues a child from sex slavery, or whatever it is you or the gift receiver are most passionate about.
  3. Serve the homeless on Christmas morning. One of the most rewarding things my family has done on Christmas mornings is to serve the homeless. Getting up early, we take coffee, donuts, and little gift bags and go in search of homeless people to wish a Merry Christmas.
  4. Visit a nursing home. Many elderly people in nursing homes will not have any family or friends visiting them this holiday season. Image sitting in a nursing home during the holidays by yourself.
  5. Serve a neighbor in need. As you think about your neighbors, which one is having the hardest time this holiday season? It could be someone who has lost a loved one, is struggling financially, or is experiencing health challenges.
  6. Bless a single mom. The life of a single mom is a tough life as my opening story highlighted. Do you know a single mom who is having a particularly difficult time? How can you make this holiday season brighter for her and her children? Would a card with an anonymous cash gift enhance their holidays?
  7. Help a struggling co-worker. What if your company was giving away $100 gift card to one deserving employee who is to be selected by co-workers. Each person has one vote and must include the reason why you gave this person your vote. Who would you vote for and what would your note say?
  8. Make dinner for a family. If there’s a family you know that had a new baby or is suffering from a loss, meeting this practical need is one way to alleviate stress and help them in a huge way.
  9. Cover someone’s layaway. Especially around the holiday season, surprise a total stranger by picking up their layaway tab.
  10. Pay for a stranger’s gas. See someone struggling at the pump? Offer to get their gas and encourage them that they’re not alone.
  11. Hang Christmas lights for the elderly or a single mom. Christmas lights are a fantastic way to spread Christmas cheer. If you’re not able to install them yourself you can hire a Christmas light installation company like www.wehangchristmaslights to do it for you.
  12. Invite others to serve with you.

 

By blessing and serving others, I feel that we truly grow in our relationship together and our relationship with Christ. When we stop focusing on ourselves so much and focus on others, great things can happen that shape our lives and who were are. When we are more focused on “loving God and loving our neighbors,” we are experiencing biblical joy. And, nothing can top that.

Merry Christmas!

Will you give unselfishly of your time and/or resources this holiday season to serve or bless those who aren’t as fortunate as you?

DIY Christmas Decorations ~ Reindeer Christmas Light Canvas

December 4, 2014 in CHRISTMAS CRAFTS, CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

DIY Christmas Decorations - Reindeer Christmas Light Canvas

I love Christmas Decorations! I love the sparkle of Christmas Lights, the beauty of Christmas Trees, and the festivity of Christmas Mantels. Christmas is a special time of year. It is about family, friends, great food and gifts! It is also a great time to start your simple and affordable DIY Christmas decorations.

There are so many ways to celebrate the holiday season. And between planning dinners for the family and throwing cocktail parties for friends, hosting can be overwhelming. However, it’s actually possible to survive it (and enjoy it!) by keeping everything simple. And that includes your Christmas decor.

I have been searching for some easy DIY Christmas decorations. Festive homemade artwork add a classic, vintage feel to your Christmas decor. So, I decided on a twinkling Reindeer canvas with Christmas lights. This Christmas canvas art is the perfect addition to your holiday decor and super simple to make! I already created the artwork so it will be super easy for you to do!

Give your home a cheerful and festive holiday update with DIY Christmas decorations.

HERE ARE ALL THE SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED:


INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Download the canvas artwork above.
  2. Print a 16×20 canvas. I used Walmart.com
  3. Using the exacto knife cut out the Christmas bulbs.
    DIY Christmas Decorations
  4. Carefully separate the bulbs from the strands.
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  5. Stick the strand through the hole and place the bulb back on.
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  6. Finish all holes.
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  7. Turn on and Enjoy!
    DIY Christmas Decorations - Reindeer Christmas Light Canvas