Melted Snowman Ornament

When I’m inspired by something, especially when I want to re-pin it or talk about it here, I make a huge effort to find the original source of the project.  It’s often not as obvious as it seems.  Greta Gluegun makes a project and happens to take a better picture than the original, and suddenly that idea is attributed to Greta.  There’s nothing wrong with sharing that great photo, but I like to make sure the person who first had the light bulb go on over their head gets credit.

The cleverness and simplicity of this ornament is what caught my eye.  After some research, I believe the originator of this idea is a blog called Living Life in PA.  This is her adorable ornament.

Melted Snowman Ornament 1

As most popular crafts go, many people have created their own take on this little guy, including using salt for the snow and peppercorns for the eyes, nose and buttons.  I haven’t seen one yet I didn’t like.  Of course, I had to try it myself, with my own tweaks to the materials.

I used regular shimmery white glitter for the snow. I liked the peppercorns so I stuck with that for most of them, although I also used some tiny black buttons for some. I went with yarn for the scarf and a little different shape than the usual round bulb to hold it all. The copper wire is for the carrot nose, which I’ll show you in a minute. I also used a little bit of green felt. I guess the jingle bells are there to look pretty, because I didn’t use those at all.

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I started by making the scarf.  I pictured a cute little crocheted version in my head, but given my lack of skills in that area, I braided it instead.  I used six strands, each 10 inches long, and knotted each end, leaving a little for fringe.

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My carrot nose is a little unconventional, but I like it.  To make it, I cut 6 inches of copper wire and cut a tiny green leaf shape from felt.  Bend the wire around the center of the leaf, then twist it tight.

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Start twisting the wire around a pencil or pointy stick.

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Keep twisting to the tip.

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Pull out the stick and bend the leaves up.

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Now it’s just a matter of filling the ornament.  Start with the glitter or salt.  Don’t curse at the glitter like I did…it’s not very festive.

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I found after putting in the first one, the scarf worked better if I twisted it up before I pushed it into the ornament.  I just dropped everything else in.  I also busted up a little stick someone had tracked into the house and threw it in there for arms.

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I left these hanging in my office, and at least three people looked at them and declared how cute they were.  When I asked them what they were, they had no idea.

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When I told my son it was a melted snowman, he said “You mean you made ornaments out of dead snowmen?!?!  Wow mom.”  Ah, nothing like teenage boy humor.

I’d try not to shake these up too much, because everything sinks.  The good news is, with some tapping, it floats back to the top.

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My thanks again to Living Life in PA for the great idea!

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Friday Favorites–Christmas Treats

Welcome to the Thursday edition of Friday Favorites and my last post before Christmas!

Holiday food is like none other.  Not only should it taste good, but it has to look festive.  Those two things aren’t always easy to achieve simultaneously.  Here’s a few things I’ve found that have the look down, and I’m betting the flavor is there too.  I know, I know, again with the sugar.  At least I have the holiday excuse this time.

Two of my favorite holiday treats are fudge and eggnog.  Thanks to RecipeGirl for sharing her Eggnog Fudge recipe and saving me a step.

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My daughter and I recently discovered Red Velvet Cake.  We decided we don’t care it’s just chocolate cake and food coloring, it’s still pretty.  These Red Velvet Cake Balls from Polka Dots and Pizza make me swoon.

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I’m kind of a sucker for reindeer.  And marshmallows.  And chocolate.  And cuteness.  Imagine me when I found these Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Reindeer from Betty Crocker Wannabe.

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There tends to be extra kids around my house during the holidays and they like to eat.  A lot.  This Peanut Butter Popcorn from I Am Just Lu on Leafy Treetop Spot would be a good way to keep them out of the stuff I don’t want them to inhale before Christmas.

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Most people I know seem to either love or hate coconut.  Our house is equally divided.  Personally, it’s one of my favorite flavors so I’d love to try this Almond Joy Cocoa from Delia Creates.  At least I only have to share it with one other person.

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I don’t know how long this Snickers Christmas Tree from The Crafty Chica would survive intact, but I’d kinda like to find out.

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What can you say about a gingerbread house that includes meat?  Seriously.  Go ask Almost Bourdain about the Chocolate Bacon “Not Gingerbread” Cake House.

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Sometimes you need something you can make quickly that still looks impressive.  Candy Cane Mint Milanos from Hostess with the Mostess – done and done.

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These Melted Snowman Cookies have been all over the place lately.  I’m not sure who gets credit for creating them originally, but the ones at Truly Custom Cakery are the cutest I’ve seen yet.

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A tiny gingerbread house that sits on the edge of your mug.  What will they think of next?  Thanks to Not Martha for sharing these.  They’re so cute I can’t stop looking at them. 

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Well, that’s it for my Christmas posts this year!  Happy Holidays from my crazy house to yours!

Creamer Bottle Snowman

I couldn’t let Christmas go by without sharing this tutorial with you because it has special meaning to me.  This little guy is the project that planted the seed for this blog years ago.

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I’m a complete and total coffee addict.  Coffee house lattes are my favorite, but when I’m at home it’s vanilla flavored coffee with vanilla creamer.  I kept looking at the creamer bottles and thinking how easy they would be to make into a snowman.  I know there are others out there now, but at the time I hadn’t seen any.

Finally, I saved bottles until I had enough for friends and family.  I came up with a powdered drink recipe and the snowman army was born.   After I made them, I thought it would be nice if I could share how I did it with other crafty people.  And then I let that thought go.

Here I am, several years and creamer bottles later, with a tutorial to show you how they’re made.  I feel like I just completed some sort of loop.

You will need:

an empty 32 ounce liquid creamer bottle

5” by 1 1/2” flannel (cotton will work too)

18” by 1 1/2” flannel (again, cotton is ok)

12” by 4” felt

8” by 1 1/2” felt

18” of wire

embellishments (buttons, felt scraps, etc.)

Print the pattern here.  If you have the capability, you’ll want to print it borderless because it barely fits on a piece of paper.  Cut the larger piece for the vest from the 12” piece of felt.  Cut out 4 of the mittens from the smaller piece of felt.  You can also cut little squares for embellishing the mittens from a contrasting color of felt.

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Wrap the vest tightly around the empty creamer bottle.  Glue the edge down to the vest in the front using a hot glue gun.

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Using a pencil or pen, mark a dot on each side for the arms.  Slide the vest off the top of the bottle.  Using a toothpick, poke a hole on each side at the mark.  Feed the end of the wire out each hole, bending it slightly so it conforms to the back of the vest.

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Slide the vest back onto the bottle.  Glue the edges down using tacky glue.  Secure with a rubber band until it’s dry.  I used hot glue, but I don’t necessarily recommend that.  You have to be very careful not to melt your bottle and the edge doesn’t end up looking as neat.

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If you’re adding the contrasting piece, sew them on with embroidery floss before sewing the two mitten pieces together.  Stitch two mittens together using a blanket or straight stitch.  Repeat with the other set of mittens.

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Curl the wire around a pencil, leaving about an inch at the end straight.

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Squirt some hot glue into the bottom of the mitten and, working quickly, slide the wire in between the two pieces of felt.  If you’re me, carefully pry the finger loose that you glued to the back of the mitten.

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Fringe both short ends about 1” up on the 18” piece of flannel.  Tie it around the snowman’s neck, pushing the knot to one side.

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Fold the 5” piece of flannel in half lengthwise.  Press.  Fringe, clipping close to, but not through the fold.

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Unfold.  Roll up from one end, wrong side in.

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Hot glue to the top of the bottle with the edge in the glue.  After the glue is cool, fluff.

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Glue a button or other embellishment onto the vest on the side opposite the scarf.

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Let me apologize for his nose.  I know, it’s cute.  It’s a carrot button I’ve had for a thousand or so years.  I don’t know if you can still get them.  A piece of orange felt cut into a carrot shape would be a good substitute.  You could even add a little black stitching.

For his eyes, I used a Sharpie.  You could also paint them on or glue on a little button.  When I made these the first time, I used fabric puffy paint.  It gave them nice shine and dimension.

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Somewhere in the years since I first made these, they changed the bottles from white to clear.  I hadn’t even realized it until I washed a bottle to make this one.  I have an easy solution to that though.  Here’s the recipe for the drink mix I put in mine.

Cinnamon Vanilla Warmer Mix

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cup powdered vanilla flavored coffee creamer

1 1/2 cup dry milk

6 tablespoons cinnamon imperials (known as red hots around here)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Add 3 tablespoons of mix to a mug of boiling water.

This recipe will fill the snowman with some left over.  I will warn you, when you add it to the hot water, it turns pink.  Tasty, but definitely pink.

The smaller snowman shown here is a stripped-down, quick version, using a smaller creamer bottle.  The buttons are glued on the front.  I now realize I forgot to fluff the pom-pom on the top of his hat. Don’t worry, I fixed it.

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It seems fitting that this would be my last tutorial before Christmas.  This chilly guy and I have come a long way together.

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