Wednesday, December 13, 2017

DIY: Giant Pom Pom Tree Topper

If you follow us on Instagram, you know that we went to put up our Christmas tree this year and realized we didn't like any of our ornaments. Or maybe it was that none of them went together and we wanted to have a more cohesive tree. Wait, side note.... do you prefer white or multi-color lights? This is always a debate for our tree, but we always just end up using both. So we wanted our tree to go along with that. Casey found a waffle ornament (and she LOVES waffles) and then we found a french fry ornament (and i LOVE those) so we just decided to go with the kitschy colorful tree. I think my favorite ornament though is the jigsaw one that Casey found. How perfect?! Anyway...what's the perfect kitschy tree topper to go along with all of this? A giant colorful pom pom.
You may have made pom poms before, and the method for this is no different. The only thing is that you won't be able to find pom pom makers big enough to make this one. So we are going to show you just how to make it.

You will need:
- A cardboard box or 2 sheets of cardboard
- Xacto knife
- String
- Pencil
- Scissors
- 6 or 7 skeins of yarn in the color of your choosing
- Patience

To start out, stick your Xacto knife in the middle of your cardboard and tie a string to it.
Measure 12 inches away from the X-acto knife on the string and wrap the string around a pencil or marker. Draw a circle using the tension of the string. Do the same 2 inches away from the center.
Cut out both circles with and X-acto knife and trace it onto another piece of cardboard and cut it out too.
Stack the pieces on top of each other and start wrapping yarn around the cardboard from the inside circle to the outside circle. This is the part that requires much of your patience. It's tedious and great for something to do while watching TV. What made it easier for me was to cut enough yarn to roll up into a ball that would fit through the middle hole. I also doubled, tripled and sometimes quadrupled the yarn when wrapping it around so it took less time. You could definitely use fatter yarn to make this process go by fast. That would also make it less shaggy if that's the route you are going for!
I alternated colors so I would just tie the ends together when it was time to switch.
The goal is to wrap the yarn around over and over again until it completely fills the hole up. Another way to create less of a shaggy pom pom is to make the center hole larger.
Once you have filled the hole up, cut through all of then yarn around the cardboard circle. I put the scissors between the two layers as a guide.
Make sure not to move the yarn once it is cut.
You should have a massive thing that looks something like this.
Take a long piece of string and wrap it around the center of the yarn by placing it in between the two pieces of cardboard and pull it really tight before tying a knot.
Like REALLY tight.
And then you have to finagle the ball of yarn out of the cardboard. I ended up cutting the cardboard towards the middle because I couldn't pull the yarn out of the middle hole.
And then you have something that resembles this. I ended up trimming a lot of the excess off and shaping the ball into a sphere. I left it a little shaggy though to keep a more vintage vibe.
Now setting this up on the top of tree is actually more of a balancing act. You could get some long twist ties and attach them to the pom pom and the tree, but all I did was bend up the top pieces (yes, we have a fake tree) into Y shapes so the pom pom could balance perfectly in the middle. Works like a charm if you don't move the tree around! Anyway, if you have the patience to do this project, it will really add some color and texture to your tree. You could also use the pom pom as a party decoration that doesn't involve Christmas. The possibilities are endless!

If you liked this tutorial and would like to see more like this, pin the image below!

xo, Savannah

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Recipe: Pink Hot Chocolate

The other day I was searching the blog for our pink hot chocolate recipe because I couldn't remember how we make it. It was then that I realized that we never actually put the recipe on our blog! After making it for a few years, you'd think we'd have shared it with you already. We are currently on a blogger retreat and we decided to make it for our new friends. And now we share it with you!
Now here is a very important detail... this isn't made with chocolate. Peppermint is what gives this drink it's pink color. And as for the chocolate? It's white chocolate.
With the help of this Candy Cane bar, you may be surprised at how easy this recipe is! (Also, this is NOT sponsored, just the candy bar we use!)

Pink Hot Chocolate

- 1 half gallon box of Almond Milk
- 4 - 5 Candy Cane Bars
- 1/4 cup Vanilla Creamer or 1 tsp. of vanilla
- 2 Candy Canes (optional)

1. Empty all contents into a pot over low to medium heat. Stir until everything is melted and mixed. Serve with mini marshmallows and a candy cane for garnish.
If you like this recipe and want to see more like this, please pin the photo above!

xo, Savannah

Monday, December 11, 2017

DIY: Cactus Christmas Tree

You know we are always looking for new ideas and cool things for our home. We follow someone on Instagram (@leahhoff) who posted her Christmas Tree that is a CACTUS. It was so cool, we loved it so much and knew we needed one ASAP. Upon further research we found out that her exact tree isn't sold anymore. Search the internet and you will find that these babies cost hundreds of dollars and are all sold out. So of course as we do with everything, we decided to figure out how to make it. Today, I'm going to show you how to make one for yourself!
You will need:

- Corrugated Drain Pipe (4"x10')
- 2x4 cut into 5', 14", 12", 2-10", and 5.5"
- Wood screws and drill
- 12" Terra Cotta Pot
- Duct Tape
- Newspaper or scrap fabric
- Scissors
- A bag of rocks, we used White Marble Chips
- 4 50ft. pieces of garland
You could adjust the wood measurements to the height and width you'd want, but this is the general shape you are going for.
Start by screwing together the 4.5" piece to the bottom of the 5' piece of wood.
Place the 4.5" side of the wood down in the pot.
I ended up cutting two small pieces of wood to go on either side of the standing piece of wood and prop it up in the pot. Just measure from one edge to the wood and adjust accordingly. I think my piece ended up being around 3.5".
Fill the pot with rocks up to the braces.
And then add a couple more braces going in the other direction.
Next, cut the pipe to about 5 feet. You can just use a good pair of scissors for this. A box cutter or xacto would work as well, just be careful!
Slide the pipe onto the wood and trim down if needed.
Measure where you want your cactus arms to be on the pipe and then trace the circle end of the extra pipe onto the 5' pipe. I took the pipe off to do this.
Cut the circle out.
It should look something like this.
The next step requires you cutting a small rectangle on the opposite side of each hole. This is so you can screw into the wood and attach the arms right in the center of the hole.
Attach the 10" arm.
And attach the upright arm piece. These are the 14" and 12" pieces. I used the 14"inch piece for the arm that is higher up.
You can also assemble both arm pieces before you attach them to the base. Make sure that the upright piece is on top of the piece that is attached to the base. This way it can support the weight better.
Attach the other arm. (Don't worry about the arm I've already covered. I'm about to get into the instructions on that.
I used a screw diagonally from the top to secure the arms even further.
Okay now this part is a little tricky and requires a lot of finagling. Cut the remaining pipe straight up the side on both sides. Only cut about 18" for the long arm.
Slide the pipe on the arm.
Twist the pipe so the cuts are placed like the picture above.
On the inside, cut along the ridges closest to the corner. This is how you will be able to bend the pipe at a right angle.
Bend up on side into the hole that is cut on the base and tape it to the wood. Wrap the piece of tape completely around so it sticks to itself also.
Repeat on the other side.
Cover all openings completely with tape.
Fill the rest of the pot with rocks.
I had to get a little creative to make the arms rounded on the top. I used scrap fabric (you can use newspaper) to shove down in the holes and then put 2 pieces of duct tape over the hole to make it rounded.

Wrap the entire cactus shape with garland. My method was to wrap a piece in each crevice. You could probably use less than that if you wanted, but I wanted it to be full.
I used some E-3000 glue to adhere the garland to the pipe. I just put a dot in each crevice. The middle section gets kind of weird, but you just have to wrap it a lot to cover everything.
Then it's time to decorate! We wrapped it with lights first, just as you do a regular Christmas tree. We used a bunch of ornaments that we already had and some things we got while we were in Mexico this summer.
We are so excited about our new tree! We hope you get the chance to make one for yourself too. If you like this post, please share the pic below on your Pinterest!

xo, Savannah

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