Sunday, 4 December 2011

full blown christmas mode. . .

i am painfully aware of the fact that i haven't
posted anything about my thanksgiving.
i promise i had one.
and i promise it was good.
i realized that i literally took like 3 pictures that day
and i have also been a little lazy :)
here is a picture of my glorious plate of food as proof
that it was indeed a day filled with family, food & laughter:

now that december is finally here, the theodore house
has basically been filled with jolly holiday music
and the christmas candles have been blazin.
i've been in the process of completing a few projects
over the past week or so.
one project includes making some christmas invitations to
an annual family party, & the other is a big fat secret.
more on that later;)
the other project i have been working on was finished last night & i
couldn't help but share because i am grinning from ear to ear
now that it's complete!
i had been wanting to make a 'merry christmas' banner for
a while, & yesterday i finally had time to do it!
here is my step-by-step process because i'm
sure you are just dying to know how i made it:

materials needed: newspaper, 1/4 yard of burlap, letter stencil,
red & green paper, twine, & a pen.
you also need a sewing machine, scissors, a ruler, a safety pin & glue stick
but i forgot to include those in the picture.

i started by deciding what shape i wanted the pieces
of the banner to look like.
there are a million shapes you could use: square, triangle, etc.
i decided on a shape that i don't know the name of. . .but it's cute.
i had logan make a template of the shape so i could use it
to trace all of my burlap/paper with.
i enlisted him because he is better at drawing shapes than i am.
just being honest.

after i had my shape cut out, i used it to trace out shapes
from the burlap.
'merry christmas' has 14 letters, but i traced 15 shapes so i could
have one to practice on.
heaven knows i would need a practice piece.

i cut out all my burlap shapes and then i was ready
to cut out similar but smaller shapes from paper.
does anyone know what this shape is called?
it's like a square & triangle combined??

using a similar but smaller shape, i traced the
red & green paper 15 times.

depending on the color order you want your banner
to go in, you might have more red than green or vice versa.
i wanted more green in my banner but you can literally
create whatever pattern you want for the letters.

then it was stencil time!
the stencil part is what took the longest.
i found this stencil and really liked the letters because they weren't
totally cutesy looking.
do you know what i mean by cutesy?
i'm not the biggest fan of swirly twirly letters-i wanted mine to
look more solid so that's why i went with this stencil.
it was a little tricky as you can tell because the letters are in sections.
this meant i had to cut out each piece and glue them individually
onto my red & green shapes.
it turned out just how i wanted it to though-so it was
time well spent in my eyes.

i really liked how the newspaper letters turned out.
they gave the letters a little more dimension but still looked
clean & simple which is what i wanted.
you could use any color paper to stencil your letters, but
newspaper is a good & cheap idea if you have one laying around.

after a few hours of cutting and gluing letters
it was time to sew!
can i just tell you that i have literally overcome my fear
of the sewing machine?
i don't know why i was so scared to try and use it to make
crafts-but now my sewing machine is like by BFF for reals.
first step is to take a piece of burlap and fold down
the top about 1/4 inch.

then take you letter and place it on the front of the
burlap piece, making sure the tops align.

then just align the burlap and colored paper, making sure
to sew down the folded piece to create enough space
for your twine to string through.

sew each letter individually & start lining them up.
i'm not going to lie, it's pretty exciting as
they start to come together.

after you've sewn each piece, it's time to string
them all together!
cut a long piece of twine & tie a safety pin on the end.
take each letter and string the safety pin
through the loop you created after sewing.
the safety pin helps a lot while stringing.
it gives the string a little more weight and just makes
it easier to push through the loop.
nbd that i initially tried to string the letters onto the twine
using nothing.
i was making pretty intense/annoyed/loud sounds each time
the string would get stuck in the middle of the loop.
logan walked over, assessed the situation & gave me the
safety pin idea.
bless him.

after you've strung all your letters, it's time to hang it up!

now all of our christmas decorations are complete!
we bought a tiny tree from the dollar store the other day & found
a tiny star to go right on top!
total cost of tree & star: $3.00
total cost of banner: $10.00
our first christmas decorations: priceless.

merry christmas!


  1. I love your Christmas banner! I've been crafting Christmasness all week and I'm now a little sad that I no longer live in Utah because I think we'd partake in lots of craftiness with one another. Merry Christmas!

  2. Your craftiness is blowing me away! Can't wait to see your super top secret project wink wink :)

  3. That's very cute Maren, and you have the perfect place to hang banners in your cute little house. It looks great! I would love to craft with you sometime, you have such good ideas!

  4. that banner is perfect! look at you and all your sewing techniques!
    oh, and i still can't get over that scooter story. ridiculous!!

  5. Classy and beautiful! I'd call the shape a shield shape, what do you think? You are a sewing machine wizard!!


  6. I love the way your banner turned out. I am loving the burlap and the newspaper.