Remember when I told you never to believe anything I say?
This is going to blow your mind... Today is day one of the thirty days to a Winter Wonderland.
I know, I know... I bet you thought I wouldn't do it, didn't you? Guess that will teach you to never underestimate the element of surprise! So then, without further delay, here is the first craft that I produced on my path to a Winter Wonderland.
There is a reason why the first project is a candy calendar. In fact, there are two: #1: Candy is cheap after Halloween thus leaving a sizable amount of my budget in tact. #2: You are working hard on these crafts (you know, if you do them) so after every craft you complete, boom: candy reward. Feel free to hang this calendar in your craft space, so that no-one else knows you have candy available.
To begin, here are my materials... aside from the candy, I already had everything:
1. 12 Muslin Tea Bags - Mine came from the Atlantic Spice Co.
2. Spray Adhesive
3. Cardstock for use as stencils
5. Paint - I used wood paint, but Fabric Paint would also work well
6. Stamps, embellishments
8. Cricut to cut stencils (or you could free hand with a sharpie, or use an actual stencil)
9. Yarn or Jute to hang the finished product.
10. (optional) Goo Gone to clean the spray adhesive off your hands because you are a messy Marvin.
1. I used the cricut to cut out stencils for me. I used a 2" scale and that worked perfectly. If you wanted, you could freehand the numbers with a sharpie, or paintbrush... my hand isn't steady enough for that, but if yours is, skip down to step 5.
2.After cutting the numbers, I used the spray adhesive to get them sticky (remember to do this on the WRONG side of the stencil). Once you affix the stencil to the bag, you should wait a minute or two, making sure it stuck in all the right places. Keep in mind that you must spray down the o's inside your 6, 8, 9, and 10's, or you will end up with a snowman for an 8.
3. After stuffing each bag with a piece of cardboard to keep the paint from seaping through, I dabbed on the paint, little by little with a sponge brush. For a more distressed look, you can use less paint to achieve a worn, antiqued feel. I let this dry overnight, so that the paint wouldn't seep out, but you could hurry the process along by using a hair dryer or something.
4. Remove the stencils carefully.
5. Voilà! You now have numbered bags!
6. Jazz up your bags with stamps, rhinestones, stickers, iron-on snowflakes, whatever you have that goes with your theme. I wanted mine to fit in with the whole winter wonderland thing, but you could just as easily make it Scandinavian, red and white, Whoville, Christmas Plaid, whatever you want. The point is: get creative and use things that you have on hand.
7. Fill! Use that candy I told you to buy on November 1st, and fill 'em up. As much as you want. Keep in mind, there are 30 days to a Winter Wonderland, so you'll want to pace yourself in order to maintain your candy stash (hide in a sneaky spot away from kids and dogs and husbands - try underneath a bag of frozen veggies in the freezer... you know that no-one is lifting those up!)
8. To hang your bags, use something strong: Jute, thick yarn, you get the idea. Keep in mind that the weight of the bags will make your "rope" slack, so when your first secure your rope, keep it taught. If you have a mantel, that's a great place! If the only open space happens to be a bookshelf in your craft room, that's fine too.
9. I spaced my bags 2-3 inches apart, but I'm nearly 100% certain it does not matter at all.
10. Stand back and marvel at the cuteness. Take a picture, post it online. Reward yourself, day one is done!
Total Cost: $3.75
Remaining Budget: $96.25