Mini Holly Wreaths

Paper wreaths are perfect for holiday decorating

I love the look of multiple wreaths holiday decorating. There are many pinterest pins of beautiful kitchens with each cabinet door adorned with a tiny, perfect boxwood or rosemary wreath.

I’d love to do this in my kitchen, but I know making that many of the same item will tire me out, and not be as much fun as I hoped. Plus I’m not sure how fun it is to have a wreath swinging around as you open and close the doors to make meals. Especially breakfast, before you’ve had any coffee 😉 .

However, a set of 4 small holly wreaths made from paper are within my funzone, and are perfect for hanging on a stair railing.

Supply List

To create your own set of mini holly wreaths, you will need:

  • 3 Sheets (8.5 x 11) green lightweight cardstock. They can all be the same color, or vary them as desired.
  • 1 small scrap of red lightweight cardstock. (Or if you save all your paper weeding shapes, you might have enough red dots in your stash to skip cutting this part)
  • Glue or glue stick
  • Ribbon, twine or yarn for hanging
Cut the files

I’ve created a Silhouette Studio file that contains the holly leaves, the wreath shape with the hanging holes and the circles for creating the berries.

Cut the two different sizes of leaf shapes and the wreath backer out of the green paper. Cut the circles for the holly berries out of red paper.

Cut pieces for the mini holly wreath

Assembly:

Each wreath needs 7 large holly leaves and 7 small. Fold the leaves in half before gluing them down to give the wreath more dimension. To keep the dimension, don’t glue them flat down – just apply the glue in a center stripe and refold them as you push them down to adhere. I glued the large leaves down first, and then added the small leaves in a second layer.

mini holly wreath with first row of leaves

Add the red circle berries as desired.

Assembled mini wreath

Thread yarn/ribbon/twine through the loops and hang. On my stair railing, I added a plaid ribbon bow at the top to hide where I tied them to the baluster.

Mini Holly Wreath ready for hanging

 

Create a set of mini paper holly wreaths perfect for holiday decorating with the free files in this post. | suzerspace.com

Holiday Light Paper Garland

Mini Gift Tags to match!

The first week of December is always holiday decorating time at SuzerSpace. We especially like outdoor lights, but because we both don’t enjoy being on the roof, we never hang them there. We go the easier route of wrapping the bushes and putting up some oversize lights in the flowerbeds.

A Holiday Light Paper Garland fills the back window nicely, and the way the files fit together, there’s room to create a bunch of matching mini gift tags.

Supply List

To create this holiday light paper garland and matching gift tags you will need:

  • 1 sheet (8.5 x 11)  each of Yellow, Green, Red, and Blue light weight cardstock (so four sheets total)
  • 2 sheets of Black Card stock (8.5 x 11)
  • Black yarn/twine/string
  • Stapler
  • Glue, glue stick or glue dots. Or a really tiny stapler
Cut the files

Download the cutting files – I’ve saved them as Silhouette Studio files and as a PDF in case you want to cut them by hand

Holiday light paper garland cut pieces

Cut the Light Bulb shapes on each of the colors of the cardstock. And then cut the two different bulb ends on the black card stock.

Assembly:

For the garland, fold the each bulb end in half and sandwich a colored bulb piece at the end. Staple them together, being sure to catch all three parts in the staple, and try to keep the staple straight since this will determine how the bulb will hang on the string.

One assembled light from the holiday paper light garland

When all the bulbs are complete, thread your yarn/twine/string through both slots on the bulb end and then spread the bulbs evenly across the length of the string. I attach my garland to my back window by tying a loop at each end and putting those loops over two push pins I have stuck in the top of the window frame. The pins nearly invisible at that height.

For the mini gift tags, the assembly process is the same, except I used glue dots to adhere the bulb end assembly to the light piece. If you have a tiny stapler, that would work, tool.

I will thread them onto the ribbon on the gift packages as I wrap them, and add the person’s name in Sharpie on the colored bulb part.

Holiday paper light garland matching gift tags

Paper Holiday Light Garland with matching mini gift tags (free cutting files included!) | SuzerSpace.com

 

 

I was featured at Handmade Monday!

Merry Everything Door Sticker

Create a hand-lettered look decoration for the winter holidays

While walking at the mall just before Thanksgiving, one of the trendy stores was setting up a big holiday window design with snowflakes, and glitter, and big script words that said “Merry Everything”.

It was very cheery.

And then I looked harder, and saw all the mannequins wearing age inappropriate trashy clothing and the big price tags.

Sigh. Not so cheery.

I decided SuzerSpace could do that theme way better.

Hand lettering is all the rage these days (I’m on that bandwagon, practicing…practicing…practicing). Until I get good at it, the free font sites are full of good choices. I chose a print and script, and then set up my artboard as a 12 x 12 square, since that’s the largest mat I have for my Silhouette Cameo.

I played with the word stylings, trying to keep the letters large so they would be readable from the street, and not a total disaster when they were cut. I welded any overlapping letters together so that the little overlapped parts wouldn’t cut out later.

artwork for the merry everything door sticker

Once happy with my design, I exported it as a DXF, because I use Adobe Illustrator to set up my artwork and the basic version of Silhouette Studio can’t handle an AI or EPS or SVG file. But it can work with a DXF file, no problem.

In Silhouette Studio, I set up my Design page also as 12 x 12, cutting with a Cameo mat. I’m cutting this out of white Contact paper since it’s super cheap and it is a good mix of good adhesion but easy enough to remove when the season is over. I cut my roll of white Contact paper into a 12 x 12 square, and stuck that, carrier side down on my mat. Normally I cut vinyl without a mat, but my roll of Contact paper is really curly so the mat gives me more stability.

cut file for the merry everything door sticker

Because I want to put these letters on the inside of my glass storm door, I mirrored the design, and then sent it to cut. Once it was cut, I weeded out all the material that wasn’t part of the design, and cursed myself AGAIN for forgetting to add weeding lines. Weeding lines are where you add boxes around the main design to pick up non used pieces in parts instead of having to deal with the entire big piece of waste material. Here’s good post on the concept. I don’t actually use that technique to make them, but you get the idea.

I then pulled the sheet off of my mat, and set up to transfer it.

I’ve done a couple of projects with Contact paper, and one of the bummers of the removable adhesive backing is it can be really hard to get off of the transfer tape when you move it – the tape is stickier than the Contact paper. I had just read a post about painting wood signs with stencils with a great tip – that crafter used Clear Contact paper as the transfer tape instead of the stickier Silhouette version. So I cut a matching 12 x 12 piece from clear and used that as my transfer tape.

merry everything door sticker on transfer paper

Big improvement! The rules of transfer tape still apply – going slow, rubbing the design carefully onto the clear paper, and peeling carefully, stopping to re-rub anything that isn’t lifting off the carrier sheet properly.

After cleaning the inside of the storm door (I guess every 15 years or so is a good time 😉 ) I applied the transfer papered image. You don’t get too many tries at this, so try and go slow and get it straight and centered the first time.

merry everything door sticker on the door

More rubbing with the scraper tool, and more patience as I pulled away the clear paper, stopping to rub down with either the back of my hook tool, the scraper or my finger to get all the letters onto the glass.

It’s a little tricky to photograph with the shadows, but it makes me super happy. I’ve added my favorite “Let it Snow” sign, and later this week I’ll add in my outdoor lights and I’ll be set for the holidays.

No trashy clothing or expensive price tags required!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week, most people are taking a short week at work, wrapping up on Wednesday for the holiday. So at SuzerSpace, I’m doing the same thing, posting my normal Friday post on Wednesday. That will give me more time to enjoy the holiday, and I wanted to squeeze these two crafts in that are Thanksgiving themed.

Script Thanksgiving Banner

Creating a banner of separate letters with holes for stringing isn’t too hard once you get a system down. I’ve done it for New Year’s, and for no reason at all, and then I’ve done some heart and bicycle shapes that used the same treatment.

So of course it was time to try something new. I wanted a “Happy Thanksgiving” banner that was in joined script letters. I knew it wasn’t going to be as easy as just setting the type in script and welding it together and putting the circles at the top and stringing it. Unless your string is exactly level, doing it that way would make the two words dive down in the middle at awkward angles.

But I wasn’t sure how I was going to figure out how to gracefully space the letters so they’d hang evenly.  There’s science to how things hang on strings. It’s gravity, and -gulp- Calculus.

I’m very crafty. But not really mathy. But Adobe Illustrator is, in disguise. (Other software will do this too – I just have years of Illustrator experience so it’s always my go-to).

I measured off my window, and measured the low point of the garland that was hanging there at the time. I then created an Artboard in Illustrator the same dimensions as my window, and added a guideline at that low point. I then drew a oval that had the bottom part of the curve meet that low point dimension.

happy thanksgiving banner

Then I set my type use the Type on a Path tool, and used the Type on a Path options window to set the baseline to Center. I fiddled with the spacing and then converted the type to outlines and ungrouped it so I could move the letters higher or lower on that path so that I’d have good spots to put the holes for the string.

happy thanksgiving banner with holes

Because of that pesky gravity thing, you need to keep watch that more of the heavy part of the garland is below the line, otherwise it will flip over when it is hung. I learned this the hard way last Christmas, when I created a garland of reindeer that unfortunately hung upside down because of where I placed the loop holes.

Finally I used the Pathfinder tool to weld the letters together. I exported this file as a DXF since the basic version of Silhouette Studio won’t work with an AI or EPS file.

After merging in my DXF file, I moved the words around to get the best fit on my sheet (don’t always lock yourself into cutting things in reading order – diagonal often words best since it lets you cut more than the width or the length).

thanksgiving banner

“Thanksgiving” was too large for my paper any way I spun it, so I did it in two parts, and then glued the overlap of the “s” and the “g” together.

happy thanksgiving banner cut letters

I then threaded twine through my holes, and put the garland up, adjusting it to where the string reasonably looked like the curve I had set up in Illustrator. And it worked. Just like I planned it!

Thanksgiving Turkey Placeholder

My second Thanksgiving craft is based on this one. I didn’t do mine exactly the same way (I have a great stash of googly eyes), and because I used cover stock for my accordion fold it so it isn’t exactly level, but I love it anyway. If you make one, consider using lighter weight stock for that fan so it sits better. This could also be a great kids craft while they wait for dinner on Turkey Day.

happy thanksgiving placeholder

Since the original post has a great tutorial, I’ll just share my photo of my finished version, and then let you enjoy your holiday!

Turkey Door Decoration

It’s no secret I like to make door decorations. Flowers. OwlsWreaths.

So with Thanksgiving coming up, I bet you can guess what I made this weekend.

Yup, a turkey for my door 🙂 .

I started this one the way I always do, looking at clip art and craft ideas and noting what makes an image “work.” And then I drew up my own mashup, keeping in mind the sizing I have to work with (12 x 12 paper in particular).

I like to draw the finished image first, colored in vaguely like it’s going to be.

Turkey door decoration base design

That gives me a guide for my project as I get deeper into it, since sometimes I get completely off track and forget what the little yellow rectangles are for. (Oh yeah, buckles for the turkey shoes! Right!)

Then I break apart the image to separate the pieces by the color they need to be cut on.

Turkey door decoration cut files

I found a neat burlap digital print texture online, and the colors were perfect for this project so I printed off several sheets.

I exported my design files as DXF, because I like to work in Adobe Illustrator (I have more than 25 years invested in that), but the basic version of Silhouette Studio won’t accept an AI or EPS file. But DXF files are perfect.

Turkey door decoration cut out files

After I cut the various pieces, I traced the turkey body onto a cereal box and cut that with scissors to create a stable background. I don’t like to use my Silhouette to cut cereal boxes because it’s rough on the blades, and since this part won’t show, it isn’t worth wasting them. I also cut a few circles (I used a juice glass as a template) for gluing down the feathers. On the turkey body piece, I left an extra bit of cereal box at the top to hide under the pilgrim hat to reinforce the hanging hole.

Turkey door decoration cereal box parts

Quick drying tacky glue and staples were what I used to put the various pieces together. I created the feather rounds first, and then stapled them to the cereal box back. I glued up all the turkey details onto the turkey body, and then glued that on top of the cereal box, which hid the staples. Finally I added the hat and punched a hole in it for hanging.

Once it was on the door, Mr. SuzerSpace (who is an editor by trade) noticed the background feather colors were too close to the door color. So I freehanded a white background  cut a little bigger than the turkey and hung that on the same hook so it has something to stand out against.

Turkey door decoration | suzerspace.com