Christmas Ornament DIYs

Last year, I made a series of Christmas Ornaments that I gave out to friends and family. If you’re looking for a little something to add to a plate of cookies, a card, or on a present, check out these easy to make Christmas Ornaments.

Origami Christmas Ornaments | Red Circle CraftsAn old, falling apart book turned into an origami ornament.

Fall Leaf Christmas Ornament | Red Circle Crafts

Easy and fun, these leaf ornaments are made from plaster of paris.

Felt Christmas Ornament | Red Circle CraftsSwirly ornaments made from Christmas-colored felt. Could be made to match any color scheme.

Paper Ball Christmas Ornaments | Red Circle CraftsThese paper ball ornaments were really easy to make (as long as you have a circle punch) and turned out really great.

Gift Toppers: Twig Trees

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Before I jump into this tutorial, a quick reminder that TONIGHT is craft night at Behind the Museum Cafe at 6pm in downtown Portland. More info and to RSVP here.

This is Part Three of three of my Gift Toppers Series. Part One. Part Two.

Aren’t these twig trees adorable? We’ve had some serious wind here in Portland lately and it’s knocked a lot of branches down. I’m doing my part to collect them and put them to use. These are pretty easy to make and if you aren’t making a million they won’t take up too much time either.

I made a million because I’m using them to wrap gifts at the Holiday Market this weekend. Someone was asking me if you need to purchase the gifts at the market to get them wrapped. Nope. If you want amazing gift toppers on ALL your presents, bring them with you and I’ll wrap them all (prices will vary depending on the size of your items).

Ok. On to the tutorial.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

What you’ll need:

Sticks of various sizes, vaguely straight (I like the thicker ones the best, but even the skinny ones work.)
Yarn in colors of your choice
Clippers (You could also use a saw)
Hot Glue Gun

Step One

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

To make your trees, you’ll need to cut down the sticks. I made this up as I went along. For each tree, I used 2 4-inch, 1 2.5-inch, and 1 nub. Nub is the technical term (not really) for the scraps I had left over from cutting down larger pieces.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

The 4-inch pieces are the sides, the 2.5-inch piece is the bottom, and the nub is the base of the tree.

Before you start gluing, pick out which pieces you want to glue together for this tree. I tried to pick pieces that were similar thickness.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Glue the top together first, holding it for a moment to set. I found it useful to glue it with the pieces lined up for how they would meet the bottom piece, otherwise I tended to glue them at the wrong angle. It’s also helpful, especially on thick twigs to trim a little at an angle with your clippers so they’ll meet together with two flat pieces.

Now take a dab of hot glue to the bottom piece in both of the places where it will connect to the sides of the tree. Hold it in place for a few moments while it sets.

Lastly, dab a bit of glue on the nub and glue it to the middle of the bottom piece.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Step Two

Take some of the yarn and use it to decoratively wrap the trees. I tried two ways, and definitely liked the second way better.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

With a dab of hot glue on one end of a piece of yarn, attach it inside the corner you’re wrapping. Wind it around each twig separately and then around the whole corner several times. Finish up with another dab of glue to hold it all in place. Repeat for each corner.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Starting at the bottom, with a dab of glue at the end of the yarn, wrap the yarn vertically around the tree. Putting a dab of glue at the top helps to hold the yarn in place as you wrap. End with a dab at the end of the yarn again. You can also wrap the top corner like the first way on top of the yarn. Although I found it expedient to start at the top and end at the top then continue wrapping around if I wanted to go that route.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Step Three

Add to presents! You don’t need to wrap trees. I think they look pretty amazing just plain too.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Swag Bag Creation

I’m really happy with how the swag bags turned out, but they basically took over my life for a few weeks. Here’s a quick snapshot of printing the 110 bags. (Swag Bag Graphic by Wes Boyd.)

Swag Bag Printing | Red Circle Crafts Swag Bag Printing | Red Circle Crafts Swag Bag Printing | Red Circle Crafts Swag Bag Printing | Red Circle Crafts Swag Bag Printing | Red Circle Crafts Swag Bag Printing | Red Circle Crafts Swag Bag Printing | Red Circle Crafts

I had some great help this weekend stuffing all of the bags with the goodies that vendors and local businesses have been sending me. You can see some of them on my Instagram feed.

These bags are going to the first 50 people both days at the Holiday Market this weekend. Doors open at 10. Get there early if you plan to get a bag!

Christmas Card Round Up

I may have made my Christmas cards this year (it’s always amazing when that happens), but I can’t help eying some beautiful cards.

Warm Wishes Holiday Card from Ello LoveyThis winter holiday card from Ello Lovey is everything I’m looking for in a non-Christmas holiday card.

Illustrated Christmas Lights Card from acbc Designacbc Design will be at the Holiday Market, hopefully with these. I love something that says it all without words.

Merry Krampus Christmas Card from Quill and FoxI didn’t grow up with the fear of Krampus, thankfully, but he’s as much a part of my German heritage as Ruprecht (thanks J for the little song that you always get stuck in my head). Also, the bright lights of the season have shadows and I love the mythology that brings them to life. This Merry Krampus Card is from Quill and Fox, a Portland company.

Joyeux Noel Christmas Card from Ink Meets PaperThis modern Christmas Card from Ink Meets Paper is great for all the francophiles. And who doesn’t love letterpress?

Funny Christmas Card from The Detroit Card CoThis card from The Detroit Card Co might be my favorite card this year. As someone who lives in a loft (no halls here), it makes me giggle every time. Maybe I should get it just to put it on my fridge. Although I won’t shy from decking the walls, even if I have no halls.

Still interested in making some of your own cards? Check out my embroidered holiday card tutorial, or last year’s stenciled, glittered holiday cards.

Embroidered Christmas Card | Red Circle CraftsGlittery Holiday Card Tutorial

Gift Toppers: Crepe Paper Flowers

Crepe Paper Flower Gift Topper | Red Circle Crafts

This is Part Two of a three part series of Holiday Gift Toppers. See Part One. Stay tuned for Part Three next week.

I prefer gift toppers that are something people will want to save after they open their present, something that can be appreciated beyond the immediate presentation. These are exactly the sort of thing I would pluck off the wrapping and stick behind my ear or tuck into my lapel.

Crepe Paper Flower Gift Topper | Red Circle Crafts

What you need:

Crepe Paper (Red is a good choice)
Wire (the tutorial calls for 22 gage, but I just used what I had)
Hot Glue Gun
Wrapped Presents
Twine, String, Ribbon, Etc.

While you can definitely use any flower that you fancy to make these. I used The House That Lars Built’s tutorials for Parrot Tulips (large flowers) and Little Tulips (small flowers). [Note: Both of these tutorials are just one part of larger tutorial that uses them, so keep scrolling until you see flower making photos.] I wanted something that would be easy to make a whole bunch of, didn’t require too many supplies, and would look good together.

Crepe Paper Flower Gift Topper | Red Circle Crafts

After you follow the instructions to make the flowers, twist two flower stems together so you get a stronger stem. You can cover the wire with floral tape or not. I like the metallic look, plus most of the wire is hidden by the wrapping anyway.

Tie your packages up tight and just before you add a bow, tie the flower in. Once the ribbon is tied, you can move the flower around to get just the right angle. Then wrap the end of the wire around the knot to secure it in place.

Crepe Paper Flower Gift Topper | Red Circle Crafts

I’ll have these at my gift wrapping station at the upcoming Holiday Market in NW Portland. Hope to see you there!

Crepe Paper Flower Gift Topper | Red Circle Crafts

My Favorite Free Plush Toy Patterns

It’s the time of year where I turn down engagements to stay home and make Christmas presents. Or sometimes agree to them if I can bring my project along.

One of the things I almost always end up making is a plush toy. I love plush toys. So here’s a list of free patterns and tutorials that I really like.

Yeti Monster Softie from Amanda Tepie

I made this yeti for myself last Christmas, I like it so much. It’s pretty easy to make and turned out super cute. Get the pattern and tutorial from Amanda Tepie on Tuts Plus.

Wool Bunny from Purl Bee

This sweet wool bunny from Purl Bee comes with a really detailed tutorial and a printable pattern. I love those ears so much!

Whale Plush Toy from Valaan VillapaitaThe tutorial from Valaan Villapait is really tough to follow and doesn’t have a printable pattern, but I love the way it looks! Recommended for experienced softie-makers. You can see the one I made that was inspired by this tutorial here.

Nessie Plush Toy from We Lived Happily Ever AfterThis nessie is about as big as a toddler. I love giant plush toys. If I didn’t need to ship the majority of my Christmas presents, I would already have made this. Tutorial and printable pattern (requires taping sheets together) from We Lived Happily Ever After.

You can also find lots of patterns on etsy for lovely plush toys. Here’s a short list of some that I like.

Plush Toy Patterns on Etsy

Gift Toppers: Clay Ornaments

Clay Gift Toppers | Red Circle Crafts

This is part one of three in gift toppers. Part Two. Part Three.

I’m a big fan of fancy gifts. And I’ll be using some of these gift toppers at the gift wrapping station at the Holiday Market. So even if you don’t have time to make your own, you can use some of mine (assuming you’re in Portland, anyway).

Clay Gift Toppers | Red Circle Crafts

Materials:

Oven bake clay
Cookie cutters (I bought some on the cheap from our local SCRAP that I use only for clay)
Plastic straw
Rolling pin, glass jar, or other cylindrical object
Lace, sweater, stamps or something with an interesting pattern
Wrapped presents
Ribbon

Clay Gift Toppers | Red Circle Crafts

Directions:

Roll out the clay. Lay ribbon, sweater, etc on the clay and lightly roll with the rolling pin again. Lift up lace and then cut out with cookie cutters. Use a straw to punch holes. Bake according to package instructions.

Clay Gift Toppers | Red Circle Crafts

Tips:

  • Try poking some with two holes instead of one for a different packaging look.
  • Between rolling out the clay and imprinting, lift the clay up off the surface you rolled it out on. It will be easier to lift up after you cut out if you do this step.
  • Try cookie cutters that may not strictly be holiday themed, like the arrow or letters.
  • Fore more detailed (photographed) instructions of the clay process, check out this tutorial.

Clay Gift Toppers | Red Circle Crafts

Present wrapping can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it.

I prefer a plain wrapping paper, pretty ribbon or twine with a topper tied firmly onto it. I crease all my edges as I wrap to get a really nice tight wrapping.

Clay Gift Toppers | Red Circle Crafts Clay Gift Toppers | Red Circle Crafts

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