New & Now
Good design doesn’t have to cost a fortune: This month’s hottest buys are all under $100.
Grid Light Panel $13
Wall Hook $2
Total // $15
If you're tight on space or can't get your hands on a real spruce, this geometric grid alternative is fit for you (and your living area). Mark your tree's trunk at the middle of the short side of a grid light panel. Use the grid squares as a guide to indicate the branches and top of the tree. Once you are satisfied with your design, snip the edges of the grid along your guideline with wire cutters (A). When finished, hang the tree on a hook or lean against a wall. Decorate with lightweight ornaments.
Plastic Serving Tray $1
Clear Cast Epoxy Casting Resin $16
Metal Leafing Flakes $10
Total for four 9-inch wreaths // $27
Add glamour to your walls with these sparkly resin wreaths. To start, look for a disposable plastic tray that, when turned over, has a channel that can hold water. This will act as your resin mold. Place the inverted serving tray on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area. Mix clear casting resin according to the package directions. Stir in 1–2 teaspoons of silver and gold metal flakes until evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Pour the resin into the serving tray rim (A). You have about 20 minutes to make adjustments before the resin is no longer workable. Allow to cure for at least 24 hours. Once hardened, remove from the mold and hang from ribbon.
3 Birch Wood Strips, 3×36-inch $10
Yarn or cord $5
Metal Leaf Mix $10
Decoupage medium $3
Crafts Paint $2
Total // $31
This airy valance warms the wintry scene outside your window. To make, soak three birch strips (found at crafts stores) for about five minutes to soften the wood and prevent it from splitting or breaking. Cut circles from the strips using a hole punch (A). We cut fifty-two 2∏-inch circles for our 36×36-inch valance. In some of the circles, cut a triangle shape using a crafts knife if desired. Brush decoupage medium over the remaining circles and press on metal leafing (B). Let dry. Tape off sections of a dowel starting about 4 inches from each end and working toward the center to create a desired pattern. Apply crafts paint to the exposed areas and let dry. Measure and cut yarn or cord in varying lengths and tie each length to the dowel. Hot-glue the circles to the yarn. Once dry, place the dowel in the curtain rod holder.
These cotton tassels are so pretty you may want to keep them up all year. Begin by cutting 4–5 feet of clothesline cord and tying a double knot at each end. To make the tassels, wrap cotton cable string about 40 times around a 20-inch piece of cardboard or wood. Tuck one of the knotted ends of the clothesline cord into the center of the wrapped string. Slide the bundle off the cardboard and tie a string around the middle of it to secure. Fold the bundle in half, and cut the loops at the bottom. Arrange the clothesline cord so the knot is covered by strings and the other end is at the middle of the tassel top. Cut a 24-inch length of string, and starting about 1 inch from the top of the tassel, form a 3-inch loop with the string, then wrap the rest around the tassel. Stick the string's end through the loop you created and pull tight; trim tails. Add pops of color to the long clothesline cord by wrapping embroidery floss tightly around the cord in about 2–4-inch lengths (A). Repeat along the cord as often as desired.
Who said tinsel could only go on trees? Tie a knot at each end of a length of clothesline cord. Separate a small amount of tinsel from the rest of the box. To tie the tinsel to the cord, lay it over the cord to create an A shape (B). Thread the two sections of tinsel up and under the cord, then through the loop; pull. Secure with a small rubber band to prevent the tassel from unraveling. Repeat at regular intervals along the cord. Trim the uneven ends of the tinsel with scissors.
Three 1-mm, 8×10-inch Plexiglass Sheets $2 each
Cyanoacrylate Glue $1
Copper Foil Tape $7
Copper Jump Rings $3
Velvet Ribbon $3
Total // $20
Geometric ornaments give your tree an elegant upgrade. Use a marker to trace triangle or square shapes onto a sheet of plexiglass. Lay a metal ruler next to the tracings as a guide when you cut out the shapes with a crafts knife. Remove the protective plastic film from the plexiglass, and create the prisms by attaching the edges of the shapes with cyanoacrylate glue. Once dry, fold copper foil tape over the edges to hide gaps. To create a hanging loop, cut a small strip of foil tape, thread it through the hole of a jump ring, and secure it to a prism end with a drop of glue. Hang the prisms with velvet ribbon.
Hang these mod movers as seasonal art. To make the larger mobile, trim two square wood dowels to 16 and 18 inches long, and cut a 12-inch embroidery hoop in half. Paint the dowels and hoop; let dry. Set a 12-inch metal macramé ring inside a 14-inch ring, and place the semicircle embroidery hoop toward the bottom. Glue pieces in place using metal epoxy. Once cured, make a tassel to hang from the metal rings. Wrap embroidery floss about 50 times around a 12-inch piece of cardboard (A). Slide the floss off the cardboard, and fold it in half over the bottom of the rings (B). Tightly wrap a length of floss around the bunch under the metal rings to secure. Cut the bottom loop to create the tassel. Adhere the two dowels parallel to each other on the metal rings using cyanoacrylate glue. Adhere three bells evenly across the underside of the longer dowel; let dry. To create the smaller mobile, paint the inner circle of a 4-inch embroidery hoop; let dry. Place the embroidery hoop and 6- and 8-inch metal hoops together, touching at the bottom center; adhere together using metal epoxy. Make a small tassel by wrapping floss 30 times around a 5-inch piece of cardboard. Loop and tie the floss around all three rings at the bottom. Glue a bell to the top underside of the embroidery hoop.
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