Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Putzing Around

This week is the beginning of advent! BJ and I wrote down an activity to do every day until Christmas using a Very Merry Advent by Heidi Kenney and Amanda Krueger. I'm really excited about all the fun things coming up this month- there are a bunch of vegan meet up activities and old Christmas movies at AMC!

To start out the month we decided to finally make some bottle brush trees- I've been dying to try making my own for a couple of months and we kept putting it off for some reason or another. Then I saw the new December issue of Martha Stewart living and knew that this had to be on my crafting list! The author of the how-to article says that vintage putz houses are easy to find and inexpensive. I don't know what world that person lives in, but it certainly is not in Minnesota. I have seen one vintage putz house in person my entire life and it happens to be one of my most cherished ornaments from childhood. These ornaments are probably what sparked my passion for vintage Christmas.

Needless to say, my childhood putz house is not being sacrificed for craft and I don't have any others to make up the wreath. That means I have to make some! I looked online for a while to find some that tickled my fancy, but I couldn't find any that were ornament sized so I went into my printer settings and was happy to find that I could shrink them! (I have a printer that is nearing 10 years old and usually hates me, so this may not be a revelation to most of you, haha!)

I decided on a couple of designs- a Mid Century Modern design from Retro Renovation and the Little Charmer design from Little Glitter Houses. I just printed out the designs to cut out and put them together however I wanted without reading the directions because I don't like following directions, so they look a little different. I used old food boxes that I've been saving for the project and tried to use the folds in the boxes for the folds in the houses when possible. I also used old plastic packaging for the windows instead of using tissue paper or red cellophane, which was my original plan. If you already have it, it's free and saving things from the landfill is always the best option!

I just happened to use mostly Martha Stewart products because I love them- it actually was not planned. So I started by cutting out all the pattern pieces, tracing them onto the cardboard, then cutting them out. Then I painted the pieces, trying to get full coverage over the boxes' designs, which I put on the inside of the houses. Once dry, I cut out little pieces of plastic for the windows and glued into place. If some of the hot glue squishes out, it kind of looks like ice, which only adds to the look, but I cut or pulled off the dried pieces if I didn't like the look of it.

Then I glued the houses into shape and onto the bases. When that's all taken care of, it's time to decorate and make a snowy scene!

I used Sparkle Texture by Martha Stewart as the snow. I found this in the clearance section of my Michaels about a month ago. I've been thinking about making putz houses even before this wreath project and knew that it would be oh so perfect- and it is! I recommend using a palette knife to put it onto the houses. It is really thick and will take a while to dry. Projects that require patience- ugh! At least it is one of the last steps before assembling the wreath. I've got bottle brush making and dying to do before assembly anyway, so I've got something to keep me occupied. If you can seen it in the picture, I also made little icicles out of hot glue. I'm excited to show you the end result in a couple of days!

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