Snowflake Puzzle Piece Ornaments

Hello friends! Here’s the gift I made this year for our church ladies. Yes! I’m posting it the same year in which I made them! That’s progress, eh? 🙂 This simple little ornament turned out better than I’d hoped, which was a blessing. I’ve come to expect things to go wrong when I try to make something! There were few snags, but nothing major. This is yet another idea I found on Pinterest, and, yet another idea that wasn’t explained very well for amateur crafters like myself. I wanted to share the idea in more detail than the original post.

I’ll go through and explain the project with photos. If you so desire, you can click the green button at the bottom of this post and choose to print all or part of this post, pictures or no pictures, whatever you like! It’s great!

Let’s get started!

First, gather your supplies:

Supplies:
  • Newspaper and wax paper
  • A cereal box or oatmeal box, called “gray-board”.
  • Glue – I used both Elmer’s school glue and clear Tacky glue
  • Sponge brushes
  • Puzzle that has 1,000 pieces (this is important because I wanted the smaller puzzle pieces that come in that size puzzle).
  • Acrylic Gesso paint. I’d never heard of it, but it can be purchased in the canvas painting section of the store.
  • Iridescent glitter
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon

 

Directions:
Cut your cereal box so it lays flat.
Select a small, round object to use to trace a circle. I made my circles 1.5 inches in diameter. Trace circles onto the gray-board and cut them out.
Before we discuss the circles, let’s talk about puzzle pieces. I learned the hard way that you want only the puzzle pieces that have rounded ends. Notice, in the photo below, how every piece has a round piece on the narrow ends? Yes, that’s what we want.
Not these kinds of pieces:

 

See the difference? These pieces with flat sides are no good. They make your snowflakes look lopsided and weird. So, edge or corner pieces have to go. I made three ornaments with these pieces before I realized how funny it looked. I tossed them. I hope to spare you that time waste!
Okay, back to circles:
Put a circle of Elmer’s glue around edge of printed side of the gray-board circle, as seen above.
Arrange six of the right kind of puzzle pieces around the rim of the gray-board circle, printed side up. This is a slightly different arrangement than described in the original post. I tried her way and it didn’t look quite right to me, but feel free to experiment!
Allow this to dry. It should only take an hour or so.
Cover your work area with newspaper and get ready to paint! Yeehaw!
Get your sponge brush and Gesso paint. Lather on a thick layer over the top of the puzzle pieces. Be sure to cover up all the gray-board, too. You don’t have to be too careful here, just put it on any way you can.
Allow this to dry on wax paper. The wax paper prevents the ornament from sticking too much as it dries. You can gently peel it off the wax paper, unlike regular paper or newspaper, which sticks to the paint. Again, it should take a couple of hours.
Flip it over and coat the back of the ornament. This side should need only one thick coat of the Gesso.
Allow to dry.
Next, flip the ornament back over and paint on another coat of the Gesso. This time, as soon as the second coat goes on, sprinkle on the iridescent glitter. Allow to dry.
Turn the ornament over to the back. Fold a 6-8 inch piece of ribbon in half, and glue the ends onto the back of the ornament. Center the ribbon above one of the puzzle pieces. I used clear tacky glue for this part. Allow to dry.
Using a fine tip black Sharpie marker, write the year and/or your name on the back.

 

And you’re done! Hang and enjoy.
Merry Christmas!

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Little Girl’s Slip {Tutorial}

My daughter Laci, is needing a new slip for some of her Sunday dresses. It is *very* hard to find her size slip at an affordable price. I am not a seamstress. I’ve sewn a lined vest in high school, a jumper for Lauren when she was two, and a few aprons. That’s about it. I’ve done a lot mending with my sewing machine and made some curtains, things like that. However, I break out in a cold sweat and feel quite nervous whenever I get out my sewing machine. It just isn’t my forte.

I think it’s been over a year since I bought this material to make a slip, which originally was for my oldest daughter. She grew tall enough to be able to wear an adult ladies’ slip, so I didn’t need to make her one. Phew. But, I have two other daughters! I dug out of storage one slip that fits my 7 year old, but we still needed one for the 5 year old. What should a girl with minimal sewing skills, without a pattern, do? Well, if you’re like me, you risk it. My mother used to say “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I ventured, and I gained! 🙂 I was so shocked! I photographed the process “by faith”. After all, if it was a failure, I could just delete the photos. 😉

Okay, I guess  I did sort of have a pattern. I cut up her old slip along the seams and used that as a guideline. It still fit her on the width, so I didn’t need to add anything that way, we just needed some length. I have no idea what this fabric is. Broadcloth? Is there such a thing? This is some kind of white fabric. Not stretchy or silky, just plain. I wasn’t sure if I could sew very well on slick fabric.

Here are the steps I used to do this. You might call this “slip making by a dummy” (It’s not for dummies, you people are NOT dumb!) I’m sure there are dozens (perhaps scores?) of my readers who could do better, but, just in case someone out there would like an easy way to sew a slip, here ya go.

  • Cut apart an old slip on the side seams.
  • Line up the straps along the fold of the fabric. 
  • Using a tape measure, find the length and/or width that you want the new slip to be.
  • Cut along your markings, making the front of the slip neckline a bit lower than the back.
  • Slide the slip over your girl’s head, to be sure the neck and arm holes do fit her, checking also that the sides will meet.
  • Sew side seams.
  • I didn’t have any pretty lace or bias tape to put on the edges, but that would make it really cute. Maybe even a little pink bow on the front? I didn’t have that, either. I also didn’t make a ruffle or even a hem! After all, no one will see it. I could have hemmed it, but I wanted to have all the length from it possible. If it needed to be shorter, I would have hemmed it.
  • Stitch unfinished edges using a zig-zag stitch (or hem).

The finished product: not pretty and not fancy. But, it fits, and it hides unmentionables, so it worked! 🙂 

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An Autumn Decoration

I wanted to share this very cute and easy way to adorn your Thanksgiving table. I have made these for a ladies meeting as well as for our family Thanksgiving celebration. These add a warm, homey touch to your family gathering, but make no mistake, nothing can replace smiling faces of loved ones at the dining room table. 🙂

Items needed:

  • Large red apples, Honey Crisp work the best.
  • Small disk candles. (These can be purchased at craft stores.)

Directions:


Place the disk candle on top of the apple and trace around it. Then, using a sharp knife, cut that circle out. Use a spoon to carve out the flesh of the apple until the candle fits down inside it. The candle should be level with the apple once it’s pushed inside.

Put one at each place setting, or however you’d like to decorate. Light, and enjoy with your favorite people around you.

Thanksgiving blessings,
Valerie