3 Quick Christmas Crafts

Crafting is an addiction and the internet is our pusher. There are so many festive tutorials and inspiring projects out there, I can imagine myself happily hibernating and crafting my life away for the duration of the winter. Alas, like most people, I have a full-time job and a part-time job and shopping and baking and cleaning to do during the holidays, so I typically push my crafty cravings aside. But not this year! This year I found three easy projects and I made the time to try them. I love how they turned out and since I had all of the supplies already on hand, each took less than an hour to make! I hope you can make a little time yourself to try at least one of these out. Let me know if you do! xo

All three of these adorable crochet ornaments/gift toppers can be found on The Royal Sisters blog with really easy-to-follow instructions that this beginner certainly appreciated after stumbling through this not-so-easy pattern. Each one starts the same way and uses the same basic stitches to get the various shapes, so you catch on pretty quick. I got these down to 15 minutes a piece. Let's race!

The inspiration for this little fella came from this cross-stitch pattern by andwabisabi . I purchased the pattern, and fully intend on cross-stitching it, but I wanted something smaller and quicker and have been thinking about making stitched brooches for quite awhile. Plus, I don't have a Christmasy brooch - crazy, I know! After I shrunk down the pattern and transferred it to fabric,  I quickly realized it was much too tiny to cross-stitch, so I tried simply embroidering it with little satin stitches. This was my first time embroidering without cross-stitch, and I think he looks pretty good.

To finish it, I traced the brooch shape onto cardboard, trimmed the fabric so it was about a quarter-inch longer than the cardboard and cut out an oval piece of quilt batting to place in between the fabric and cardboard. On the back, hand-stitch along the edges of the fabric, pull tight and tie off. Then secure both the fabric and pinback to the frame with hot glue. I bought this gorgeous wooden frame from artbase in the Fall, but I'm sure it would be lovely without the frame too.

This pretty ornament idea came from a book I scored at the Hamilton Public Library book sale in the summer for a dollar, Gifts from your Scrap Basket. I gave myself a pat on the back for thinking of Christmas in the middle of the summer and another pat for the sale. If you want to go for a hat trick of back pats, try using all recycled materials, like I did: fabric scraps, cardboard headed for the blue bin and old ribbon. I dare you!

To make, cut out two leaf-shape patterns (8cm x 14cm and 6cm x 12cm) and proceed to cut 6 pieces of the larger shape out of fabric and 6 pieces of the smaller shape out of cardboard. Glue the fabric to the cardboard — when you get to the tips, fold down the fabric over the point first and then the sides. Using an exacto knife and ruler, slice along the center of each piece, being careful not to cut all the way through, and fold. With wrong sides facing, hand-stitch along the edges. Keep doing this for all the pieces. Attach a loop to the top and any fancy adornments you'd like to the bottom before sealing it up. Don't worry if the ends seem kind of open, just keep stitching and pulling tight and they'll close up.

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