December 20, 2012

2012 White House Christmas Decorations

Every year I enjoy taking a look at the White House Christmas decorations.  The 2012 White House Christmas theme is “Joy to All.” 

The main Christmas tree is an 18+ foot Fraser Fir located in the Blue Room and is dedicated to military families and veterans.  The banner on the tree reads “Joining Forces” and it is decorated with ornaments made by children living on military bases. 

2012 White House Christmas Tree

The Blue Room tree is one of 54 Christmas trees decorated in the White House this year.  A pair of beautiful trees is located in the Diplomatic Reception room.  And take a look at that decorated mantle!

White House Christmas Decorations

The Christmas tree in the Green Room is decorated with living ornaments.  How cute is this terrarium ornament!  This could totally be a DIY project for anyone’s tree.  The White House even provides instructions on how you can create your own terrarium ornament on their website.

White House Living Christmas Tree Ornaments 2012

Another pair of Christmas trees decorates the East Room.  The theme of these trees is American folk art and the room’s décor is full of handmade elements.

2012 White House Christmas East Room

Another pretty Christmas tree can be found in the East Room.  This tree is decorated with all white ornaments.  In the photo below you can also see one of the few stained glass windows designed for the White House this year.

White House Christmas Decor East Wing 2012

My favorite Christmas tree in this year’s White House décor, is this colorful rainbow tree located in the East Garden room.  Most of the White House Christmas décor is so traditional, I think this bright and cheery colorful tree is such a fun surprise.

Colorful Christmas Tree White House 2012

Of course the White House Christmas décor isn’t all about the beautiful trees, there are holiday accents throughout the White House.  Each year a huge gingerbread house of the famous estate is created.  I love the little Bo guarding the front of it.  The gingerbread house weighs over 300 pounds, including 50 pounds of chocolate.  I hope someone gets to bite into this tasty treat after the holidays are over!

2012 White House Gingerbread House

Bo is a common element in the 2012 White House Christmas decorations.  There is even a huge Bo sculpture made of 20,000 pom poms!  It took a volunteer over 80 hours to create it.

White House Christmas Bo Sculpture

Bo tends to steal the show at the White House.  This year, he even gives a tour of all of the White House Christmas decorations which you can watch below!

I love taking a look at the White House holiday decorations each year.  With such a big and grand house, it’s no surprise they go big with their holiday décor!  You can check out White House Christmas decorations from past years with my 2011 and 2009 decorating recaps.

December 18, 2012

DIY Matryoshka Felt Ornament

I have a friend who lives in Europe and I wanted to send her a care package for the holidays.  I thought it would be nice to include something handmade and for her Christmas tree in the package, but of course it couldn’t be anything fragile and it couldn’t weigh a lot either since shipping overseas is so costly.  So I decided to make her a cute little felt ornament, and I loved making it!

I found this great matroyshka doll ornament pattern and wonderful instructions at My Sparkle and thought it would be perfect for her.  I printed out the pattern and cut out the individual pieces from paper and then traced them onto felt and then cut them out.

how to make felt ornaments

Then I used tacky glue to glue the front pieces onto each other.  I think what makes this ornament look so cute is the multiple layers it has going on.

diy matryoshka christmas ornament

For some added interest, I hand-sewed a cute outline from yarn around some of the pieces.  Once I had the front done, I partially sewed it to the back piece using the blue yarn again and then stuffed the ornament with fiber-fill before sewing completely shut.

diy matroyshka ornament

I finished up the ornament with a little bead in the center of the flower and a drawn on smile.  I think my little nesting doll ended up looking very cute and I really loved making it.  It was time consuming to get all of the little pieces looking just right, but I had fun in the process.

diy felt christmas ornament

I’m so happy I was able to send a friend who lives very far away something homemade and special just for her.  Now I’d love to make some more felt ornaments since I enjoyed the process so much.

Have you tried your hand at making felt or any other ornaments for your Christmas tree?  You can check out my round-up of 12 DIY Christmas Ornaments or 8 DIY White Ornaments for some more do it yourself ornament ideas.

December 13, 2012

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater

I was invited to an Ugly Christmas Sweater party recently and thankfully I didn’t have anything in my closet that I deemed ridiculous enough to wear.  It was probably the first time I was happy I had nothing to wear to a party!  If you’ve never been to an ugly sweater party, it’s exactly what it sounds like- everyone comes decked out in their wackiest or most wonderfully ugly holiday getup and it is a blast!

I checked out Goodwill to see if there were any old fashioned sweaters there, or maybe a bedazzled holiday sweatshirt from the 80s, but no such luck.  So I decided to make my own DIY ugly Christmas sweater.  And I won’t lie, it was a ton of fun to go crazy with the glitter and decorations!

Here’s how I did it.  I started off with a white thermal shirt that actually used to be my hubby’s until it shrunk and was relegated to our give-to-Goodwill pile.  Then it was time to break out the scissors, felt, and glue!  I printed out a Christmas tree template and hot glued pieces of felt cut to size onto the shirt (this project was entirely no-sew).

how to diy ugly christmas sweater

Of course every Christmas tree needs ornaments, so I broke out the pom-poms and got gluing. 

make an ugly christmas sweater

I realized pom-poms make a wonderful accent, so the collar got trimmed with them too.  But the sweater wasn’t quite over-the-top yet, so I broke out some of my parent’s old soft ornaments and got gluing. 

diy ugly holiday sweater

While I like these ornaments for sentimental reasons, I’ve always found this bear to be a little frightening.  Anyone agree?

old christmas ornament sweater

The shirt was almost done, but it was still missing something important- glitter!  I used glitter glue to outline the Christmas tree and draw a star of gold.

diy ugly christmas sweater

Now that’s what I call an ugly holiday sweater!  And I use the word “ugly” very loosely, because let’s admit it, it’s a pretty awesome looking shirt!  This shirt very well might be a new Christmas tradition for me.

ugly christmas sweater

Unfortunately for you (but very fortunate for me), I didn’t capture any good photos of me wearing the sweater.  But I can assure you it was a hit and it looked wonderful worn with the jingle bell earrings I’ve had since I was a kid.

Have you been to an ugly Christmas sweater party?  I highly recommend going to one or throwing your own, it was so much fun.  Do you have any wacky things you like to wear for the holidays?

December 10, 2012

8 DIY White Ornaments

Every year I try to think of a slightly different look for our Christmas tree.  This year I wanted to go for a more white, silver, and gold look.  I’m calling it my elegant wintery look (and no I’m not done with the tree yet, please tell me I’m not the only one without a fully decked out tree at this point?  I feel like I make this same statement this time every year!)  Anywho, I already have some white ornaments but I’d like to make some diy white ornaments myself.  So in my interwebs research of diy ornaments, I put together a round up of some cute make-your-own white ornaments.

DIY White Ornaments

1- DIY Pearl Ornament – I think this looks so elegant!  And it seems pretty straight forward to make, lots of faux pearls glued onto an old ornament.

2- Paper Poinsettia Ornament – How cool is it that this beautiful flower is made from paper.

3- Glittery Newspaper Ornament – I couldn’t find instructions for this beauty, but I bet it’s made by mod-podging (that’s an adjective right?) newspaper strips onto an old ornament and then covering it with pretty glitter. It would be very cool to wrap the pages of a Christmas book or words of a poem onto an ornament.

4- String Ornament – A pretty ornament out of just string?! Crazy, but true.

Make White Christmas Ornaments

1- DIY Glitter Ornaments – I go a little glitter crazy during the holidays, so of course I love this diy ornament idea.

2- Button Ornament- How cool is this ornament made from repurposed buttons.  I bet this would also be a nice gift to anyone who loves to sew.

3 – Yarn Ornaments – So simple, yet cool!

4- Glass Feather Ornaments – The ornaments shown above are actually available for purchase, but I bet they would be fun to make yourself too.  Just a clear glass ball and some pretty white feathers are needed.

I better get to work making some of these ornaments!  Have you crafted any ornaments yourself this year?  And anyone else still working on (and way behind on) their Christmas tree and décor?

December 03, 2012

DIY December 2012

It’s December, so that can only mean one thing around here- DIY December is back!  For the third year in a row, I will be featuring a full month of holiday crafts, diy projects, decorating ideas, gift ideas, recipes, and more!  This is my favorite month for blogging and I already have a whole bunch of ideas and projects lined up to share! 

I pulled together a few of my favorite past DIY December projects below, but you can check out all of the posts from the past two years by clicking on the image above or here.


1.  Broken Ornament Photo Frame
2.  Reindeer “Food”
3.  DIY Sweater Pillow
4.  DIY Fabric Gift Bags
5.  Gold Painted Christmas Tree Branches
6.  Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags

Please join me this month for some DIY holiday fun!  And if you have a cool holiday project you’d love to share, please email me and I’d be happy to feature it!