Autumn Islander Cocktail
Jura 16 Year Diurachs’ Own Scottish Whisky
1 cap of Real Canadian maple syrup
Dash of Tesco Peach/Orange flavour water.
1 ice cube.
Build in glass and add ice. Drink and Enjoy.
Christmas just isn’t Christmas without holiday cards. I’ve always loved to get mail, and at the holidays, I find the beauty of Christmas cards from around the world make me smile in their color, sparkle, design, and different languages. Some are elegant, others sparkly, some are celebrating winter and snowflakes, while others show off all the traditions of the holidays. Every year, I carefully pick out or make my cards and try to get them out the first week of December. And then.. the waiting begins. I practically stand at the door every day (hurry up postman!) waiting for the colorful envelopes. After all, no other time of year does the mail from my friends and family come in droves – out weighing the bills. (Who likes bills?!?).
Once they arrive, I carefully open each one, basking in the joy of the card (it’s like a little gift in each one) and then put it on the mantle or tape it up to the walls in a lovely display. When Christmas is over, I save each card – and try to find unique creative things to do with them later. It’s a great way to Upcycle, be eco-friendly, and keep memories intact from year to year.
This year, I didn’t have much money for decorating my flat. I’d spent most of my savings on medical bills, and that meant that not only was I trying to do handmade items for Christmas (I had time – not money) for everyone, I had to find a unique way to decorate. This is what I came up with. A simple re-purposed series of Christmas cards that were a bit folksy, eco-friendly, and totally made me smile every time I saw them hanging across my mantle.
Here’s how I did it, so you can make your own Recycled Christmas Card Bunting.
Step 1: Take your circle or template and move it around on the card until you find a place you’re happy with. Depending on the card, you may be able to get two circles or ovals per card.
Step 2: Trace around the template and then cut out the shape. Repeat for each of your cards. Try to get an even number of similar theme or similar looking cards. Don’t forget that you may be able to use the inside wording from the card or back of the card may have pictures too!
Step 3: For double sided cards, match similar cards together – eg. The two snowmen on the far left came from the same card and look nice front / back. Add glue to the reverse of one of the rounds, taking note of which way is “up”.
Step 4: Attach the round to the other selection, again, being careful that they are both in the correct direction when looked at on the front and back.
Step 5: Squeeze out excess glue, wipe it off, and then weight the round with a book for a while until the glue sets. Wait for the glue to dry.
Step 6: Once the glue is dry, punch 2 holes in the top of each card.
Step 7: Thread the ribbon through the card, making a center and trying to balance the size / shape / color on each side of the bunting.
Step 8: Hang up across your mantle, on your wall, or anywhere else where you want the display.
A few other things you can do with the same technique – just punch fewer holes –
Mobiles to hang from ceiling
Why not make a Rectangle from a card – and hang several different size rounds down from it like raindrops from a cloud
Add some mod-podge and make necklaces
Attach some flower wire and make centerpieces for the table
What else can you think of? Share your ideas and how this turned out for you – I’d love to see it!
Sometimes, being a Jill of all Trades (or crafts in my case) makes for a bit of fun when shopping. I was at the Euro store near where I live recently buying the standard toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, batteries and the like when I happened to head down the crafts aisle. Generally speaking, the crafts in the row are geared toward children, and sometimes you’ll get yarn or a bit of something that is for card making or can be used for something else. It’s usually inexpensive, and an almost never-ending supply of inspiration for me. Near Christmas, I saw a set of do it yourself magnets in a packet which got my wheels turning.
The craft set contained 5 unfinished ceramic tiles, a few acrylic pots of paint, self adhesive magnets, and a paintbrush – for 1.50 Euro. I went a bit mad and bought several packages, because I thought that I wouldn’t paint them – I would do permanent marker doodle crafts instead.
What are permanent marker doodle crafts you ask? Well, basically, you get sharpie brand markers (or other permanent markers) that you can draw with. You’ll need some ceramics (eg. A Mug, Tiles, ceramic box, etc.) and you doodle on them with the markers.
Then, you bake them in the oven at 350 F for 15-30 minutes to set the marker so it can’t be washed off. I’d seen some interesting ideas for this on Pintrest, and had been keeping my eyes peeled for something suitable to try this on. For me, I thought the magnetic tiles were going to be perfect as they were inexpensive and small enough I could try all the different colors / designs I had in mind.
Once I got home, I started out with my off brand permanent markers (again 1.50 Euro at the Euro store) and set to work. A few of my designs:
I really liked how bright and colorful they were, and was rather encouraged as I put them in the oven. I checked them at 15 minutes, and they weren’t even warm yet, so I put them on for 15 minutes more. Mistake.
You see, once the ceramic starts getting hot, the marker sets very quickly. And little did I know – the colors also change with the addition of heat. The black stays the same, but the Red turns pink or brown; the Bright Green turned yellow, the Violet went pale blue, and yellow? Well it turned orange. And they weren’t bright anymore. So, while I liked how they turned out – I ended up going back and re-coloring where I could and re-heating them a second time.
I realize now two things that would have made it easier –
a) You have to watch the heating process very closely – once they start to discolor they need to come out of the oven – immediately.
b) Rather than worrying about watching like a hawk – it may be best to use only black and the plain ceramic color to make the designs. I liked the addition of color in mine – but in the end, they would have been just as striking had they only been black / white.
After heating and befpre a bit of recolor/second baking you can really see the discoloration on the middle two:
What did they look like when they were done? Not bad – just not what I expected. And they still made great Christmas gifts for my homemade holidays. 2 per person – so out of 4 yellow packages; I got 10 unique Christmas gifts. It ended up being 0.75 Euro per gift – including the cost of the markers (which I still have plenty of use out of). Handmade AND inexpensive. Who can argue with that ?!?