Christmas Countdown: Felt Animal Ornaments

animalornaments

Remember a good while back when I made these finger puppets?  Well, turns out I don’t really have much use for them. I suggested at the time that they might make nice Christmas tree decorations and I finally got round to it.  I can’t believe how adorable they turned out.

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To make the ornament I made holes in the side of the finger puppet and created arms out of the string from a La Senza bag.  I then stuffed the body, added legs made out of the same string as the arms and sewed the whole thing up to secure it.

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So they can hang on the tree I sewed on a loop of string to the back of each ornament.

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A little unconventional for the Christmas tree, but cute nonetheless.  I can’t wait to get the tree up to take some proper pictures.

Christmas Countdown ’13: Kraft Paper Bows

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I don’t care if it’s still November, I’m feeling all Christmasy already.  To tidy up the presents lying about my room I decided to get wrapping.  I found the template for these cute paper bows, which cut out of kraft paper look great alongside my brown paper wrapping.

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I used paint pens and Sharpies to decorate the cut out pieces before gluing it all together.  I then decorated the plain brown wrapping paper in the same way (a little squint, but lets ignore that) and I think it looks pretty good.

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That’s one down, only heaps more to go!

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Thanksgiving Mini-Pumpkin Centrepiece

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I’m supposed to be writing an essay, so typically I’m looking for other ways to spend my time.  We had this mini-pumpkin lying around from Halloween (no time to carve it), so I grabbed a paint pen and started doodling.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and think it might make a pretty little centrepiece for Thanksgiving, especially when paired with these cute golden leaves cut out from a tomato puree tube.

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Christmas Countdown 7: Candy Cane Truffles

title truffles

In case you were wondering what I did with the rest of the giant packet of candy canes, here’s what I used them for: white chocolate and candy cane truffles.

The original recipe is from Your Cup of Cake, but as it is my nature to meddle with things and ignore instructions, I made some changes, which I think turned out pretty well.

making trufflesI followed the original recipe for the most part, but instead of immediately rolling the truffles in the candy cane pieces, I chilled the centres and dipped them in an additional layer of white chocolate before sprinkling with the crushed pieces of candy cane.

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Once I ran out of the melted white chocolate I began to make the truffles as the original instructions suggested.  Although these look much more professional (they actually stayed round), I have to say I do prefer the ones dipped in chocolate.  I also think it might be a fun idea of experiment by dipping these centres in dark or milk chocolate as well.

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Christmas Countdown 5: DIY Reindeer Six-Pack

six-pack

I’m a bit wary of posting gifts that I’m going to be giving to people this year in case they see it on here before they get the chance to open them, so I’m sharing something else I made last year.  I got the inspiration for this cute little gift from Life of a Modern Mom where Kim dressed up six-packs of rootbeer and beer for her family.  I thought this was the cutest idea and just had to make them myself.

I made mine a little differently.  Instead of wrapping the pipe cleaner around the top of the bottle, I cut up the pipe cleaners and made antlers by glueing the pieces together with a hot glue gun.  I then glued the antlers to the bottle caps, so they wouldn’t get in the way while trying to drink from them.  I used smaller stick on eyes and sparkly pom poms for the noses.  I also used some extra wrapping paper to wrap the box in order to make it seem more festive.  I think these turned out really well, and I would be making them again this year if I didn’t think my dad would get bored of receiving the same gift two years in a row!

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Christmas Countdown 4: Homemade Mince Pies

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It doesn’t feel like December until my mum has made her mince pies.  Apparently some people aren’t familiar with mince pies in the States, some of my friends actually thought they had meat in them.  Basically, mincemeat is a mixture of dried fruit, alcohol and spices.  It smells amazing and you get to make a wish when you stir it.  This is always a family thing, but I figured I would share my mum’s recipe with you.  It is loosely based on a mincemeat recipe from Delia Smith’s Christmas recipe book and the pastry is store-bought, but you could make your own if you can be bothered.

Here’s what you need:

supplies for mince pies

225 g Bramley apples (chopped into small pieces)

112 g vegetarian suet

400 g dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants)

120 g dried apricots (cut into smaller pieces)

175 g soft dark brown sugar

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon

25g pecans (chopped)

2 teaspoons mixed ground spice

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Nutmeg (grated)

3 tablespoons brandy

Ready rolled sweet pastry

Mincemeat:

1.  Combine all ingredients (apart from the brandy) in a large bowl and mix them together.

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2.  Cover bowl with a cloth and leave in a cool place overnight.

3.  Pre-heat oven to 120 c, cover the bowl with foil and put in the oven for 3 hours.

4.  Stir occasionally as the mixture cools down.

5. When cool, add the brandy and stir.

6.  Store mincemeat somewhere cool if not using it immediately – it should keep for a long time.

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Mince Pies:

1.  Roll out pastry and using a cookie cutter cut out circles for the bases and stars for the tops.

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2.  Grease muffin tin and press the pastry bases to fit.

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3.  Add a couple of spoonfuls of mincemeat (make sure not to overfill them).

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4.  Cover with pastry stars.

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5.  Separate an egg and brush the yolk over the tops.

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6.  Bake in a 200 c oven for about 15 minutes or until the tops are golden.

7.  Sprinkle with icing sugar.

These taste especially yummy if you eat them warm with a dollop of cream.

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Christmas Countdown 3: DIY Lightbulb Ornaments

DIY lightbulb ornament

So, this is a bit of a cheat because I made these last year, but way back then I didn’t have a blog to share them with the world and these are so cute they definitely need to be shared.  When I was searching for cheap, but creative, ways to decorate the tree in my old flat I thought these penguins made from lightbulbs that I found on Pinterest would be perfect.  I made my own version with a smaller lightbulb, using acrylic paint and puff pens to decorate.  The snowman was rolled in white glitter after being painted white and the penguin’s feet were made from a scrap of cardboard painted orange.  These are really simple to make and I’m sure there are many variations that could be fun to experiment with.

snowman lightbulb ornament

snowman lightbulb ornament

penguin lightbulb ornament

penguin lightbulb ornament

lightbulb ornaments -amessotbemadex

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