Tag Archives: DIY

Crafty Christmas

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I’m the youngest of four kids…by a lot. And while I kinda love feeling like an only child now that everyone’s moved out, I missed some of the little activities that my siblings did when they were younger. So my mom and I have been recreating the Christmas themed activities the last couple years. Last year we painted ornaments and this year we painted cinnamon sticks to look like Santa Claus. Santa Sticks were super easy and didn’t take long at all so here’s a step by step tutorial (with pictures) of how to do it.

You’ll need:

  • Acrylic paint
    • red
    • white
    • black
    • flesh tone
  • Paint brushes
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Styrofoam box

The Styrofoam box is used to hold the cinnamon sticks while they’re drying so if you have some other method of propping them up, like a test tube rack, you don’t need the Styrofoam. If you do buy the Styrofoam remember that the cinnamon sticks have to be shoved in pretty far in order to stay so go with a deep box. We did 7×7 and that worked well. And cinnamon sticks are available at most craft stores, especially around the holidays.

A quick word about paint. If you’re like my family and own a million colors of paint but none that are suitable for skin, you might need to mix your own. We mixed and light brown, white, and pink to create a pretty good peachy tone. If you are going to mix your own color, be patient and just keep adding and mixing until you’ve got the color you want.

We used several differently sized paint brushes. We had a small one for detail work like the mustache, a slightly bigger one for the beard, and a foam brush that is about an inch thick. That’s just what he had on hand and any number of brushes would work.

Now that you have all of you materials, let’s begin.

  1. Paint the cinnamon stick red. We used rather large cinnamon sticks so we only painted the top third, however it is up to you on how elongated and large you want your cinnamon Santa to look. We had to use two coats of red paint in order to cover up the brown of the cinnamon stick. wpid-wp-1419703171067.jpeg
  2. Add white and black stripes to mimic the Santa suit. Feel free to also add buttons, which we did by dipping the back of a paint brush handle in paint and using that to create more perfect circles. wpid-wp-1419703208053.jpeg
  3. Take the flesh color and paint an oval. This will be the face. Be aware of where your putting it so that it lines up with any buttons and does not interfere with the shape of the cinnamon stick. wpid-wp-1419703214452.jpeg
  4. Decorate with the details! We added a beard, eyes, a mustache, and the mouth. We chose to make the mouth singing, because Santa has a beautiful voice! wpid-wp-1419703322224.jpeg

So that’s it. Hope you can use these instructions to make these cinnamon stick Santa’s with someone. Comment below if you have any questions! Happy Holidays!!

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Tried and True Tips and Tricks

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I don’t know about you guys but I love Pinterest. I’m on there all the time. I love looking at the beauty tips and reading the DIY projects. I constantly look to the fashion boards for inspiration any time I get a new article of clothing and need some advice on the best ways to wear it. I love looking at hairstyles and makeup and nail designs. I love scrolling through the geek board where I can find fellow nerds and dorks who obsess about the same things I do. However, I’m always a little wary to try out the “LifeHacks” or whatever they’re called. What if they don’t work and I’m stuck looking like an idiot because I tried to do so and so? So here is a list of tips and tricks found on Pinterest that I have tested and whether or not they worked for me.

  1. Licking wet nail polish. You know when you paint your nails and 2 hours later you bump into something and they get a little dent? I hate that. Luckily, this trick works for me. Just lick the damaged nail several times and the smudge should be significantly less noticeable. The downfalls of this trick are that it tastes terrible. Like, really bad. Also, after I use this trick, my nail polish is much more susceptible to other dents and smudges. I haven’t tried coating the nail with another layer of clear nail polish but that might help…
  2. Using glue to remove blackheads. Basically, this tip says that you can use plain Elmer’s white glue to remove blackheads. Just put a good coating wherever you have blackheads and let dry completely. Then peel it off and the blackheads will go with it. Unfortunately, this tip did not work for me. It did remove a few blackheads but not enough to make the smell worth it. Not for me anyway. My friend has a routine that she uses that you can read about here. I’ve never tried this so I cannot personally verify it.
  3. Spray cooking oil on nails. This trick states that using cooking spray on wet nails can help prevent those annoying smudges you get when you think you’re nails are dry. It seems to instantly dry your nails. And it worked! If you decide to do it, the first step is paint your nails. Then spray cooking oil on them, preferably over a sink. Let it sit for a few seconds then wipe it off. When I first did this, I was hesitant about wiping off the spray, afraid that my wiping would ruin my nails. But it didn’t. I think this tip is genius and would use it more often but my family goes through spray cooking oil fast enough without me using it every time I paint my nails.
  4. Lotion or Vaseline around the nails. If you haven’t noticed, I love to paint my nails and love tricks that can make the process as easy as possible. This trick says that if you put Vaseline or lotion around your nails before you paint them, it will be easier to wipe off the nail polish that gets on your skin. I don’t actually have a definitive “yes this works” or “no this doesn’t” for this trick. I don’t find it worth it for the everyday painting of the nails. It makes it a little bit easier but not enough for me to take a minute and rub Vaseline on my fingers. However, I totally find it worth it in water marbling, where you can’t help but get covered in nail polish.
  5. Using watercolor paint over white crayon. Now I haven’t used this tip in an arts and crafts project but I am a watercolor painter so I know that this tip is true. It says that you can write or draw in white crayon and then paint over with watercolor paints and the paints will not stick to the crayon and you’ll have a quote or picture in white and the background in color. It has something to do with chemistry but I’m sure you don’t really care about that. Just know that it works.
  6. Bandanna bow. There’s this really cool way of folding a bandanna that you can find here where it makes the bandanna into a big hair bow. This technique did work for me but I had to practice several times in order to get it the way I wanted it. I also have a little trouble attaching the bow to my hair but a couple of good bobby pins usually get me there.   
  7. Painting bobby pins. I love this trick because it makes all these colorful pins for my hair! Just take some booby pins and paint them with nail polish any color you want. I put several pieces of paper or a thin piece of cardboard between my bobby pins while I paint so that I’m working on a steady surface and it also gives them a good place to dry. The only thing I’ve found is that I can’t overlap the bobby pins without the paint coming off of them.
  8. Hair chalking. I just tried this out a couple weeks ago and it worked for me. I watched this video to learn. DO NOT try to use ordinary sidewalk chalk. I thought that that was what she meant at first. It did not work. I have light brown hair and I have to wet my hair and the chalk in order for the color to stick. And when it comes to applying heat, I recommend using an old straightener or curling iron because some of the color will come off.
  9. The Brilliant Braid. This braid is certainly original and pretty easy. It involves you flipping and twisting your hair and in the end, it looks kinda like a fishtail braid. Or at least, that’s what was supposed to happen. I had trouble with this braid because my hair just kept falling out of the braid. I would recommend trying it to see if it works with your hair but it didn’t really work for mine. Find the instructions here.
  10. Dotting tools. I’ve read a lot about different things around the house that you can use that will create pretty good dots for nail designs. I can tell you that I’ve used bobby pins, the ones with the spheres on the ends, to make dots and they worked pretty well. I’ve also used toothpicks. The cool thing about the toothpicks is that you can either keep them super pointy to help create small dots or rub the points on a piece of paper to make slightly larger dots. The only downfall to these tools is they are very small and can be awkward to hold. Eventually, someone gave me a set of real dotting tools and they are much easier to work with and come in eight different sizes. If you really get interested in nail art, I suggest you get a set from Amazon. They were like…$3 or something crazy cheap like that.

I will probably do another post later about recipes that have worked for me along with any adjustments I made or should have made. Also, just because a tip or trick did or did not work for me doesn’t mean you’ll get the same results. However, for the ones that did not work, I did try them several times to make sure I hadn’t just messed up once (yes, I put glue on my nose more than one time). Let me know if you have any other tips and tricks that have or haven’t worked for you!