‘Tis the Season to Be Crafty (Thanksgiving Edition)

Nothing like the holidays and your first-born’s first birthday to spark some crafting adventures.  That and having a yard full of leaves screaming “decorate with me!”  We are expecting a few crafting activities over the next month or so, but we just polished off a few Thanksgiving decorations that we wanted to share.

Autumn Hurricane Candle Holders

We were inspired by Martha Stewart’s tutorial found here for “Flaming Foliage Candleholders” (how does she come up with these names??):

We ventured over to Michaels and bought some small hurricane candle holders.  We also picked up spray adhesive, as Martha recommended (we got a different brand than she suggested, because that’s what our Michael’s had) and some 90%-off pumpkins, which are discussed in more details below. Martha’s suggestion was simple: spray adhesive on the leaves and stick them onto the candle holders.  The end.  Or it should’ve been.

The pumpkins we picked up had some fabric leaves attached to them, which wouldn’t be used for our pumpkin project, so we thought we’d improve upon Martha’s project by using the fabric leaves instead.  Big mistake – they don’t work.  The spray adhesive is not strong enough to hold them onto the glass.  We tried using rubber bands to hold them in place while the adhesive dried, but when you take the rubber bands off,  you end up with this:

So, we pulled the fabric leaves off, cleaned the spray adhesive off the glass, and tried again with real leaves.  Lesson learned: don’t try to correct The Craft Master, Martha Stewart. Here’s how awesome the candles looked after we followed her instructions:

One small additional point to add: originally, we applied spray adhesive to both the candle holder and the leaf, thinking that would give us a better hold.  It actually just made a mess.  You can see from the picture above that it makes the candle holder look like it’s covered in spray adhesive (because it is).  The real leaves stick to the candle holder with spray adhesive on the leaf itself only, so there is really no need to make such a mess.  Here’s a closeup so you can see how much better it looks:

Dried Leaf Wreath

The inspiration for our next leaf-themed Thanksgiving craft project was from HGTV (found here):

While we will not be putting our dried leaf wreath over an open flame (hello, fire hazard), we were excited to see such a simple project that might spruce up our living room for the holiday.

We went to Michael’s to pick up a wreath frame, wire, mesh ribbon, and “adhesive glue.” (is any glue not supposed to be adhesive? We might suggest a proof-reader, HGTV.)  We ended up finding a wreath frame that was a solid wood frame instead of a wire frame, which meant we didn’t need to buy mesh ribbon.  We planned to use the spray adhesive that we picked up for the candle project too.

We laid out some leaves to get an idea of what our wreath was going to look like:

We sprayed the wreath frame with the spray adhesive.  Then it was time for our first layer:

We did a second layer of the same type of brown leaves, this time spraying the adhesive on the leaves themselves:

The third layer was a smaller red leaf, again sprayed with adhesive:

The last layer (#4) was a combination of green and yellow leaves in the corner for a decorative touch:

Between each layer, we held the leaves in place with a combination of a book and a box (thanks to Bapcia for the delicious pears, which she sent to celebrate Kristin’s first trial).  We also ran some wire through the back so we could hang it on the wall.  After all the layers were dry, we ended up with this:


(P.S. We forgot to tell you that we updated our outdoor light timer.  You can see it in the light switch.  The other one was terrible.  This one works.  That makes us happy.)  The hook could be smaller.  We used one of those removable/reusable hooks from 3M.  We could’ve gotten one of the smaller ones that they make, but we had this one in the house and used it.  It works fine; it’s just overkill for this little wreath (we use the same hooks to hold our winter coats).

Project successful.  Woot woot.

Copper Pumpkins

This was an easy one.  We bought a couple of decorative plastic/styrofoam pumpkins from Michaels.  They were 90% off bringing the total for all three to… 67 cents. 

Woot. The one in the picture above had glitter on the stem, so we peeled that off.  Another one was cracked and so we peeled off the broken portion:

In hindsight, this wasn’t a great idea since the imperfections would’ve been covered by the paint.  Oh well.  Next, we trimmed off the leaves, etc. and spray painted them a copper color:

We tried a new spray paint, which went on heavy.  As a result, we ended up with some drips, which you can see forming in the pic above (you can also see how the paint puddled).  It left us with a suboptimal result.  But not to fear, we are still going to use them.  We plopped them in the window where they are backlit, so you can’t see the imperfections:

 This one in particular, which was covered in glitter before we painted it, looks really neat with an unusual texture.  Such a treat because we can see them when we first come down the stairs in the morning.

Those three crafts took only an hour or two to complete but really spruced up the house and made it feel more fall-themed.  We think they’re nice touches in anticipation of Thanksgiving.  Now we just need to figure out how to cook a turkey….

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