DIY Origami Paper Garland

A friend of mine gave me a package of lovely origami paper this summer and it’s taken me this long to do something with it.  We finally managed to get Christmas out of the boxes and up around the house this week.  Now that we are in a new house, I have to reconfigure all my decor for the holidays.  It’s nice to have a little more room to spread out the cheer.  The cheer moved into the dining room this year in the form of glass ornaments and a simple DIY paper garland made from origami paper.  

 I started with the square origami paper and then cut them in half, using my paper cutter.  One could also fold them if you wanted your garland to be two-sided.  I stacked them up according to the in order in which I wanted them to appear on the garland.

Then, I ran them through the sewing machine using a simple straight stitch through the middle of the triangle.  I used festive gold thread to complement the gold theme throughout the origami paper.  Be sure to leave a little space between each piece of paper to allow for movement and hanging abilities of the garland.

The finished design looks festive, though I am thinking that this garland plus the ornaments may be a bit much.  Like I said, I am still figuring out how things work in this new place – perhaps the garland will find a new home today.  Sometime in the next few months that chandelier will get a makeover.  I have bright plans for it.

DIY Felted Wool Balls

I made sets of these felted balls a few years ago as presents for friends and family members.  Put them together in sets – half in one color, half in another, with a smaller different colored felted ball and you have an indoor bocce ball set. 

Start with felted wool sweaters.  To felt sweaters, take 100% wool sweaters and wash them on hot and then dry them on hot.  Cut felted sweaters into strips and rectangles. 

Begin fashioning the rectangles and strips into lumpy spheres.  Use the strips to tie knots to hold it all in place.  It’s ok if the spheres look really lumpy and messy – we will fix that soon enough.

Once you have the approximate shape and size for your sphere, wrap the felted core in roving wool or 100% wool yarn.  Wrap until the felted core is completely covered, making sure to wrap in several different directions around the sphere.

Here are my 5 wrapped orbs. A few pockets of felted core showing are ok, however they will most likely show up in the finished product, so if you want to avoid that, wrap completely.

Carefully slip the wrapped orbs into OLD socks, push down to the toe gently.  Twist the sock closed and secure tightly with a twist tie.

Wash in hot water and a small amount of detergent.  You can also boil them in a large stockpot for 10 – 15 minutes for a quicker felt.  However, only boil like colors with like colors as the dyes tend to run and bleed in boiling water. 

Greta immediately loved these felted balls – grabbing for them while I tried to photograph them.

Greta discovered that her felted wool balls fit into her plastic cone set that is supposed to go in the sandbox.  However, it is way too much fun and so has never made it out to the sandbox and just stays in the house.  Now she likes to pair up felted balls with cones – we just have to work on avoiding the pairing of mustard & ketchup.  : )

This is a fun and easy day project that requires minimal planning, prep, time, or skill.  The nice thing about these felted balls is that if they should happen to get funky just throw them in the wash and dry them.  They are already felted, so no need to worry about shrinking any more.  Some people even add scented oil to these and turn them into natural dryer balls/sheets.

Sweet Gum Wreath

The sweet gum tree can be a thorn in the side of any homeowner.  They are a mess and quite difficult to  clean up – clogging many a leaf blower.  However, they are a crafter’s delight.  I first encountered these seed pods when I was in kindergarten in New York.  My teacher brought a bag of them into class and had us glue toothpicks into the holes.  We then spray painted them gold and gave them to our mothers as Christmas ornaments.  My mother still gets hers out every year and they grace a table or buffet top.  
This wreath stems from that very project.  When I moved from the Midwest to North Carolina I found these gumballs all over my neighborhood and I quickly put them to use for a pretty wreath for my front door.
Simply hot glue gumballs onto a wreath form.  Spray paint silver, gold, or any other desired color.  Hang with a ribbon.  

DIY Felt Garland

This wool felt garland is ridiculously easy.  So easy I cannot imagine why anyone with scissors and a sewing machine would ever shell out $25 or more for a garland in a store. 

I had a pile of triangular felt scraps left over from another project and so decided to put them to good use.  More about the other project later.  
I needed a few more scraps to complete the garland.  I started with a felted red sweater, and cut it into a rectangle with my rotary cutter.  
Next, I cut sections on the diagonal – like so. 
Then, I cut vertically – like so. 
You will be left with a series of triangles.  
Then, simply sew the triangles together.  Let the machine run for a few stitches between each triangle to allow room for extra thread.  This way, when you hang the garland it will twirl and move a bit.  I opted for gold metallic thread for a little more of a festive look.  
This garland is easily adapted to other shapes, colors, materials, and thread.  The basic concept is: cut, sew, hang.  
Happy sewing!

Easy DIY Bedside Organizer

{UPDATE: Since this post was created, we have moved and have created a new use for this bedside organizer.  Click on the link to see the updated idea of a DIY Charging Station.}

Our home is an older, smaller home.  With that being said our bedroom has room for only one nightstand. The only nightstand is on my husband’s side of the bed leaving me with the second window wall next to my head.  I needed somewhere to put my reading materials, Chapstick, hair ties, and such because they had been piling up on the floor next to me.

So I headed to a discount store, looking for solutions.  I found a sea foam green metal desk letter organizer for a whole whopping $8!  This is the white version of my desk caddy.

 

I love the cut out designs, which will also serve a functional purpose for my bedside organizer.

I used the removable tab hooks, measuring with the metal organizer, ensuring that the cut out leaf designs would line up perfectly with the hooks.  These hooks are my new best friends – they can go up anywhere and come down easily without taking away paint.  And they are cheap!

The finished bedside organizer.  It is lightweight, cheap, roomy, and a nifty color.