DIY Mid-Century Christmas Village Putz Houses

I’ve always had this wild fantasy that I would become one of those people who collect and make elaborate Christmas villages. I just love the idea of making perfect make-believe Christmas towns and being able to look at them all season long. The first time I ever walked into a Department 56 store I almost died. Alas, those things are expensive and I’m not a millionaire (Yet.) (Kidding.)

However, to fill the Christmas village hobby void I started making DIY Christmas village houses, otherwise known as Putz houses! Porcelain versions became popular around the 70s, but cardboard versions were very popular in the mid-20th century. Just my style.

Traditional cardboard putz houses were just that – traditional. Most were the standard cottage or a-line box. I have a love affair with mid-century modern architecture, so I sketched my designs pulling inspiration from some of my favorite architects and homes I grew up around in Palm Springs and LA. Then when I started to render them to be printables, a quick little internet search for putz houses led me to one of the best retro blogs out there called Retro Renovation! I’m so glad it did because they have some pretty amazing and inspiring Putz house patterns and tutorials! Great minds! Check those out immediately.

Anyway, this is a pretty easy and straight forward craft that can be done a few different ways. I personally printed the patterns out on cardstock and used hot glue to assemble them. DIY Mid-Century Christms Putz HousesDIY Mid-Century Christms Putz HousesYou can also trace the pattern onto cereal or gift boxes. To color them you can digitally fill the pattern in with color before printing, or you can use paint, crayon, or colored pencils to fill it in. Then use cardboard pieces for the roof and base. Whatever works for you!

After assembling the walls and roof, I covered a piece of cardboard in white felt and attached it using hot glue. I applied a hefty amount of white glue to my roofs and piled on the buffalo snow.

DIY Miniature Christmas Village Mid-Century Putz HousesYou can use miniature trees and accessories like cars, animals, and snowmen to bring the scene to life, and as you can see every house has a tree up in the window.

DIY Christmas Village Mid-Century Putz HousesFor this one I used paper straws to hold up the carport.

DIY Christmas Village Mid-Century Putz HousesAnd for this house I cut light shapes out of scraps of felt and glued them on. DIY Mid-Century Christms Putz Houses 4

So fun! Get out your exacto knife and start cutting!

Click here to download my variation of the patterns that I used here, and be sure to visit Retro Renovation for the originals and even more great putz templates, ideas, and step by step photos.

DIY Gold Accented Gift Boxes and Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Remember when getting clothes for Christmas was a big bummer when you were a kid? Nothing was worse than opening boxes filled with sweatshirts and socks. Isn’t it weird how much that changes as we get older? Now I love getting clothes for Christmas!

Something I like to do when giving apparel as gifts is to be as clever as possible with my gift wrapping. This year I teamed up with LOFT to bring you some easy and interesting ways to wrap your holiday presents.

Instead of wrapping your apparel boxes in the standard wrapping paper fare, try decorating them instead. There are a ton of ways to do this, and you probably have everything you need in your craft arsenal already. You can use markers, washi tape, stamps, stickers…just let your creativity flow.

DIY Gold Accented Gift BoxesI went with gold accented clothes boxes this year, so all I had to do was paint random brush strokes with gilding adhesive and then laid my gold leaf over it. I brushed the excess off and ended up with a really chic gold accented gift box.DIY Gold Accented Gift BoxesAnother thing I did was used metallic gold tape to create abstract line patterns.DIY Gold Accented Gift BoxesI’m telling you these are so easy and inexpensive but make a really beautiful presentation. Yay for DIY metallic gift boxes in any design you want!

Socks from LOFT used as stockings. Great gift!Another fun thing I like to do for stocking stuffers and little gifts is to use a cute pair of socks instead of standard Christmas stockings.Socks from LOFT used as stockings. Great gift idea!The socks act as an extra little gift that the recipient can actually wear and use.

Now go pick up a pack of cheap-o apparel boxes and decorate them to your hearts content!

 

This post was sponsored by LOFT through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about LOFT products, all opinions are my own. 

DIY No-Sew Felt Christmas Tree Skirt

I’m totally and completely obsessed with my Christmas tree this year. We do natural trees around here and always spend way too long trying to pick the right one, but this year it took 5 minutes and it’s the best one we’ve had in years. It’s the perfect size and shape and flocked to perfection. It’s chockerbock full of my vintage ornament collection which really makes it feel and look like a throwback to a mid-century Christmas.

Flocked Christmas Tree with Vintage Ornaments via MelodramaThe only problem I had was finding the right tree skirt to cover up the wooden planks that is holding it up. I found a couple that I liked but they weren’t quite right so I  used them as inspiration and make my own using felt and pom-pom trim.

DIY Felt Christmas Tree Skirt 7

The first thing I did was cut my foundation felt into a circle. The easiest way to do this is to fold your felt into quarters (fold in half, and then fold in half again the other way). Starting at the folded corner, measure how big you want the skirt to be. I measured mine at 27 inches.

DIY No-Sew Felt Christmas Tree SkirtKeep marking your measurement until you get to the other side. You should have something that looks like this. Mark the corner to make the hole for the middle, too.

DIY No-Sew Felt Christmas Tree SkirtIf done properly you should have a circle tree skirt.

The next thing is to decorate it!

DIY No-Sew Felt Christmas Tree SkirtYou can use cookie cutters, templates, or free hand any decorations of your choice and cut them out of felt. I went with the vintage ornament theme and free-handed different ornament shapes. I used fabric glue to glue them on.DIY No-Sew Felt Christmas Tree SkirtI glued on silver baby rick-rack and thin ribbon as the strings for my ornaments. DIY No-Sew Felt Christmas Tree SkirtThe last thing I did was glued on pom-pom trim. Seriously so easy and adorable.DIY No-Sew Felt Christmas Tree Skirt

DIY No-Sew Felt Christmas Tree Skirt

Now my tree feels complete!

DIY No-Sew Felt Christmas Tree SkirtI’m so happy with the way this turned out and even happier that I didn’t have to lug out my sewing machine. The total project cost me around $25 so that’s also a bonus!DIY No-Sew Felt Christmas Tree Skirt

DIY Patrón Bottle Snow Globe | The Art of Patrón

You guys! This is very exciting news. For the first time ever Patrón has a 1-liter bottle of tequila! That’s right, a whole liter of delicious tequila. The limited edition bottle is wrapped in their iconic bee design rendered in hand applied pure pewter.

Patron Bottle Snow GlobeIt’s so pretty it would be a shame to toss it out once the you’ve finished off the contents. In the spirit of the Art of Patrón I decided to turn the bottle into something else. You can use it for so many things! Put flowers in it and use it as a vase, use it to make a lantern, or do what I did…

Patron Bottle Snow GlobeDrink all of it and make a snow globe!

What You Need:

Empty Patrón bottle
Heavy duty glue or epoxy adhesive
Decorative trees (make sure they fit into the bottle opening)
Glitter
Glycerin
Distilled water

What You Do:

Drink all of the tequila. Rinse and dry your empty bottle. Make sure the bottom is very dry so the glue sticks to the glass.

Patron Bottle Snow Globe 2

Add a hefty dollop of glue to the base of the trees.

Patron Bottle Snow Globe 3Feed the trees through the bottle opening. I used a hair clamp for help.

Patron Bottle Snow Globe 4 Once it’s in there use something like a chop stick to press it down as much as possible.

DIY Patron Bottle Snow Globe

Let the glue dry for several hours or over night. Then pour the glitter in. Use as much as you’d like. I used a hefty amount, probably about 1/2 cup.

DIY Patron Bottle Snow Globe

Mix about 6 ounces of glycerin with a liter of distilled water. Fill the Patrón bottle up to the neck of the bottle. Put glue around the cork and place it into the opening.

DIY Patron Bottle Snow Globe #ArtofPatron

Now you have an adorable snow globe to display on your bar!

This project was sponsored and made possible by Patrón, but all opinions are my own.

DIY Painted Wish Bone Thanksgiving Plates | 12 Months of Martha

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it’s time to get cracking on finalizing your table setting details. For me Thanksgiving is the one time, besides weddings I guess, where a proper table setting is an absolute must have. I mean think about it, the entire holiday basically revolves around food and gathering around a dinner table. Your dishes need to be on point.

DIY Wish Bone Painted Plates 6If you want to add some flair to your holiday table, but don’t want to go out and spend loads of cash on new plates, here’s a fun project for you.

DIY Thanksgiving Wish Bone Plates #12monthsofmarthaPainted wish bone plates!

You’ll need:
Printer and paper
Basic clear glass plates (I used 7 3/4 inch dessert plates)
Craft Paint (I like Martha Stewart Crafts, it’s oven curable)
Gloss Finish Decoupage Medium

Here’s what you do:

First you need your wish bone shape. You can print the ones I used here. This is scaled to fit 7 3/4 inch dessert plates, but if you want to do larger plates, just scale the image to your desired size. Print and cut out the wish bone shape and use decoupage medium to adhere it to the back of your plate. Cover with another thin layer of decoupage and let dry.

DIY Thanksgiving Wish Bone Plates #12monthsofmarthaDIY Thanksgiving Wish Bone Plates #12monthsofmarthaNext, paint over the wish bone and the entire back of the plate. Do a few layers, letting dry between coats. To cure the paint, bake plates at 350 degrees  fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Turn your oven off and let the plate cool inside of the oven before removing it.

DIY Wish Bone Painted Plates 3Lastly, to get everything really sealed in, cover the entire back of the plate with gloss decoupage medium and let dry for several hours.

DIY Thanksgiving Wish Bone Plates #12monthsofmarthaNow you have adorable, custom plates that are safe to eat on and totally washable!

DIY Mini Pumpkin Pie Thanksgiving Drink Stirrers

There’s nothing I love more than kitschy holiday decorations and cocktail accessories are no exception. What do you think of when you think of Thanksgiving? Pumpkin pie, right? Me too. That’s why I made these adorable mini pumpkin pie drink stirrers for all of the autumnal cocktails I’ve been drinking (specifically this spiced pumpkin pie nog cocktail).

DIY Pumpkin Pie Drink StirrerI love making miniature things out of clay. It’s so…therapeutic. These mini pumpkin pies were particularly easy and fun. Here’s how I did it.

What You Need:
Oven-bake Clay (orange, brown or tan, and white)

Plain 6 inch Drink Stirrers

First I cut out triangles out of orange clay. The easiest way to do this was to use a small, sharp knife to cut a 7cm think piece of clay to a 25cm x 20cm rectangle. Then cut it into a triangle.
Mini Pumpkin Pie Drink Stirrer

Mix some brown clay with a little white to get your desired shade of brown for the pie crust. Roll it into a ball and press it out into a 3cm thick disc. Place the orange triangle onto the disc.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Drink Stirrer

Pull up and flute the clay to create the crust.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Drink Stirrer

Then cut the remaining clay off.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Drink Stirrer

Roll white clay into snake-like shapes and spiral it onto itself to make a dollop of whipped cream.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Drink Stirrer

Next, use a cocktail stir to make a hole on the bottom of the clay pie.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Drink StirrerRemove the stick and bake at 275 degrees fahrenheit. Mini Pumpkin Pie Drink StirrersUsing a little super glue, replace the cocktail stick into the pre-made hole.

And that’s it! Adorable, right? I got carried away and made a bunch of these as gifts. Happy drinking!

DIY Pumpkin Pie Drink Stirrer

DIY Decor: Simple Halloween Living Room Decorating Ideas

My husband and I are pretty big fans of all things creepy so it totally makes sense that Halloweentime tops our list as the best time of the year. I wish I had a house that I could deck out for trick or treaters, but I have to make do with decorating my apartment for my own personal enjoyment.

Here’s what I’ve got going on so far.

Halloween Gallery Wall via MelodramaI have a colorful gallery wall above my sofa that features vintage illustrations. In honor of Halloween I kept it colorful and replaced the pictures with vintage Halloween themed advertisements and magazine covers.

Vintage Halloween Adverts via Melodrama Halloween Gallery Wall via Melodrama

Over on the other side of the room I used my DIY Halloween candles and hand painted IKEA FADO Jack o’Lantern lamp. I like to cast photography and art on our TV when it’s not in use. It makes it feel less like a big, black, empty square on the wall. For this I’ve been casting creepy photos and vintage Halloween greeting cards. Cuuuute, right?

Halloween Decor via Melodrama

And then there’s the bar (AKA my favorite corner). I kept it simple with black decorations. Because the room is already so colorful I didn’t want anything to clash too much. Black decorations bring the creep vibe, but don’t take away from the existing decor. I made black pennant garlands with Martha Stewart Crafts Pennant Garland Punch and used “Poison” and “Potion” bottles to Halloweenify the shelves. Oh and my DIY Ouija board tray!


Halloween Bar Decor via MelodramaHalloween Bar Decor via Melodrama

I tried not to go overboard this year, but still have a lot of fun with it. What do you think?! For more decor ideas be sure to follow along with me on Instagram @melodramablog.

DIY: Día de los Muertos Sugar Skull Pumpkin Idea

Growing up Mexican-American I grew up celebrating Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). I remember visiting my family in Mexico and going to the cemetery where families would bring gifts, food, and build colorful, elaborate altars (ofrendas) for their loved ones. People would stay all night, often dressing up and painting their faces like skulls.

This tradition is especially popular in LA. For the past 15 years the Hollywood Forever cemetery has been holding yearly Día de los Muertos events with food, contests, and live entertainment. It’s the perfect opportunity to join in and learn more about Mexican culture. 

I always try to bring elements of Dia de los Muertos into my October decorating, so for my first pumpkin of the season I decided on a Día de los Muertos theme.
Dia de los Muertos themed pumpkin #12monthsofmartha

If you celebrate Día de los Muertos and want to make this for your ofrenda, or maybe just want to show some love for Mexican culture at your home, here’s how to make your own skull pumpkin. You can use a real pumpkin or a faux pumpkin. I want to keep mine long term, so I chose faux.

I started by painting a calavera (skull) on to the pumpkin. If you’re bad at drawing, just search Google for “sugar skull templates” and use it to trace a skull on. Then paint it in with lots of color.

Finish your calaca (skeleton character) off by gluing a crown of flowers around the skull. Marigolds, roses, and other colorful flowers are most authentic. 

And that’s it!
Dia de los Muertos themed pumpkin #12monthsofmartha

DIY: Stamped Metal Decanter Tags | 12 Months of Martha

I’ve always loved the look of bars with fancy liquor decanters adorned with pretty tags naming what liquors they contain. They always remind me of scenes in TV shows and movies where someone grabs a bottle and aggressively pours a shot of some sort of brown liquor into a glass. Then they either shoot it down or just sort of roll it around in their hands while looking very pensive. It’s very dramatic, and I’m all about drama. It’s also super classy and vintage and I’m all about that too. What I’m trying to say is I like decanters with tags and I wanted to add some of that flair to my bar at home.DIY Stamped Metal Decanter Tags #12MonthsofMartha
I always see decanter tags at flea markets, but I never seem to snatch them up. Probably because they’re either too expensive or they’re not the right style. Recently I added some shelves and revamped my bar, so I picked up some new liquor decanters and decided to DIY some decanter tags using my new Martha Stewart Crafts metalworking tools.

Here’s all you have to do. It’s super simple and it took me less than 20 minutes.

Tools I Used-

Martha Stewart Crafts Metalworking Metallic Sheets
Martha Stewart Crafts Metalworking Alphabets Stamp Kit
Martha Stewart Crafts Metalworking Tool Kit
Martha Stewart Crafts Metalworking Awl

DIY Stamped Metal Decanter Tags #12MonthsofMartha

All you have to do is just cut a piece of metal to your desired dimensions and shape. I did a simple rectangle shape. I wanted my piece to be a little thicker, so I simply cut it to twice my desired height. That way I could fold it over and the metal would be doubled for more heft.

DIY Stamped Metal Decanter Tags  #12MonthsofMarthaThen I simply stamped my letters right into the metal. I used the awl to make the holes for my cord and to deepen any letters that didn’t get stamped deep enough. You can also use the awl to add more detail or filigree if you want.

DIY Stamped Metal Decanter Tags  #12MonthsofMartha

Simple! Done! Think of all the things you can use this technique for. Gift tags, food labels, etc, etc, etc.

Be sure to check out my other 12 Months of Martha projects and keep up with me and the rest of the #12MonthsofMartha bloggers on Instagram!

DIY: Patrón Bottle Cantina Lights | The Art of Patrón

Alright, guys. Here’s my last Art of Patrón bottle art contest project. This time I used mini bottles!

All you need for this is a strand of standard string lights and as many mini Patrón bottles as you can muster. Just buy a bunch and keep drinking them until you have enough. It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it.

DIY Patrón Mini Bottle Cantina Lights  via Melodrama #ArtofPatron

Drill a hole straight through the top of the cork, making it just big enough to fit the light through snuggly.

DIY Patron Cantina Lights via Melodrama

Feed the lights through the cork so only the bulb part is sticking out.

DIY Patrón Bottle Cantina Lights  via MelodramaThen just place the cork back in the bottle. These corks are snug as a bug so it should hold nicely.

DIY Patron Cantina Lights via Melodrama #ArtofPatronI didn’t need to use any glue or anything, but feel free if you’re worried about the cork slipping out.

DIY Patrón Cantina Lights via Melodrama #ArtofPatron

That’s it! Patrón cantina lights perfect for taco night or bar decor.

DIY Patrón Bottle Cantina String Lights via Melodrama #ArtofPatron

Feeling inspired to create something with your Patrón bottles? Time is almost up, so if you’re going to enter you better get on it quick! The deadline for entries is July 17th. One lucky winner will win $10,000 and nine runners up will win $1,000! Click here to enter. If you need more inspo and want to see what else I’ve made using my Patrón bottles, click here.

This project was sponsored and made possible by Patrón.