All that Shimmers ...
So, I posed a question on our Facebook page last week about whether you love glitter or would rather not go near it. If you haven't done so already, please log on and let us know your thoughts and/or share your favorite glittery projects in the comments! C'mon, you know you want to. ;-)
Just like there are moms here in sunny SoCal who are "sand moms" (meaning, they don't care whether their kid goes to a playground with little areas of sand or not -- of which there are many to be had -- resulting in the inevitable pile dumped onto the floor once they're home when they're taking off their shoes) and then there are moms who aren't.
What I see when my kid takes her shoes off after the playground.
Glitter is just one of those things.
It sparkles and adds a bit of fun to everything, but has a tendency to linger long after the project is complete. And what's worse is that it seems to spread too!
I'm in the camp that loves rhinestones, sequins, and glitter -- I feel like I would've bedazzled like nobody's business had my parents bought me the kit back when they were really popular. Part of me "blames" my love for all things sparkly and shimmery on being in color guard through high school and college. But who am I kidding? I've always had an affinity for the stuff.
While I certainly wouldn't want to be the victim of a glitter bomb any time soon, using glitter to craft with doesn't bug me in the least. (Though my husband may have some thoughts on that, especially when traces end up in his manly lunchbox he's taking to the construction site. Tee hee!)
The reason for my Facebook post was to tease out what you're reading now. This year's Christmas gifts for our family members.
I originally saw some chic decor using this idea while browsing online (Pottery Barn? Martha Stewart?), knowing full well there was no way in Hades I was going to buy something at a ridiculous price if I could DIY it for way cheaper.
And we've had some large California pine cones that my daughter and husband have been collecting since we moved here stockpiled with no real purpose or home, so inspiration struck.
Now, I know. You're reading these words and saying, "uh, it's Christmas Eve! Ain't no way, no how I'm doing a messy project with my family now."
But, hear me out. This doesn't have to be a craft and gift situation specific to the holidays happening right now. Perhaps you want to just save it as an idea of something to do with the kids (that doesn't involve screens) while they're off from school this week and next. Keep them (and you!) from going stir crazy ... and create a keepsake for years to come, of course!
It could be a fun activity for everyone to do to add just one more trinket to next year's tree, a little more blue and silver to make your Chanukah decor pop, or just something shiny to liven up a spot in your home that needs a little bling.
OR, get creative and plan ahead! I could see these easily being adapted for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, or even Easter! With the array of colors that you can find in the glitter section of your nearest craft store, the possibilities are endless.
The supplies are cheap and easy to come by:
Pine cones (you pick the size!)
Tacky glue - Dollar Tree now sells this in small bottles!
Extra fine glitter
Glue gun and glue sticks
First, you'll want to prepare your work surface. We were doing five different colors of glitter and didn't want any cross-contamination or mixing of colors. I grabbed some of the butcher block paper we had stashed away (the stuff Amazon uses in excess to ship your purchases) and covered our dining room table -- it won't prevent a glittery mess, but will minimize the damage.
Next, mix a small amount of water with your tacky glue -- you just want to dilute it enough that it spreads easily while still doing its job of sticking, but not really runny.
Take your brush and paint on the glue -- you decide on the coverage (just coating the tips of each scale, or in every nook and cranny of your pine cone).
Now, get busy with your glitter! Extra fine clings much better than coarser glitter (and it feels really nice and silky too) -- and I found once you do the initial "dump," you can gather from the pile on the table and continue to sprinkle the spots that still need some sparkle.
Look at that attention to detail! Haha
As you can see from this picture, we had quite a lot of gifts to make and various pine cone sizes, so we just wrote our family members' names under each size to keep them in order ... and I had a separate list, detailing who got what color in the end.
Note: If doing several different colors, you'll want to wash (and completely dry) your hands in between each batch.
But that's basically it! Once you're done, leave the pine cones to dry thoroughly and go wash yourself up and relax.
If you want to make ornaments as we did, you'll come back the next day and affix ribbon to the top/bottom (you choose!), and then hang them on the tree or wrap up your gifts.
I goofed and totally forgot to take pictures of our end results (d'oh!), but I flipped our pine cones upside down and used the bottoms as our base for a loop of ribbon so it would hang from a tree, along with a bow I made and glued into place.
Found this pic (courtesy of WooHome) to show what our finished pine cones looked like before we added the ribbon.
Since you can make this your own entirely, feel free to add bells, sprigs of evergreen, holly berries, baubles, etc. to your glittery pine cone -- the sky is the limit as long as you have enough hot glue to make it happen.
Pro tip: Before you start gluing on anything, be sure to shake off the glitter that isn't stuck on. Since it's extra fine glitter, a small glitter cloud will be produced and rain down on your work surface. (Rest assured, your pine cone will still be fully coated though.)