Blogmas | Christmas Tree Projects

Hello!

This season I was inspired to do something a little bit different.

In September, when I was able to decorate my bedroom for autumn, I went on YouTube to find tutorials on how to make my moon phase garland together easier on my mom and I. As you now know, this still didn’t really help, all it really did was my parents wish we had done it all homemade like in the video. Anyways, as I continued to look for other helpful ways, I came across four DIYers that just seemed fun and genuine with their personalities. I watched all of them for basically a least a week and afterwards, I became inspired to do a little project myself.

I’m still shocked that I came up with this so quickly, because usually it happens within two days (or nights) to finally figure out how I want everything, but not for this one. I instantly knew what I wanted to do but asking for it proved to me a little scary, because I haven’t done anything as grand as this since I was a senior in high school! I still don’t think what I did was at the same scale considering the fact back then, I made six similar portraits on larger canvases within a week apart from each other. For these projects, there were only three items on slightly smaller surfaces, but the biggest difference is that instead of drawing with pencil, pen, and pastels. I only used pencil to start and eventually acrylic paint.

I am not a painter. I’ve never thought of myself as a painter but since the videos I was watching online were in that media, and that’s how my vision was coming to me, I thought I would take a crack at it.

There was something that my mom told me on the second day that stayed with me throughout the process and made me feel at ease once I started on it again. I wanted to share it here in case anyone reading this is like me, and needs some type of encouragement.

You’re not Picasso, and we don’t expect you to be.

If you want to copy what I did or make something similar, here are the materials you will need:

  • Canvas – ours are 12×6
  • Acrylic paint – we purchased the prime colors: red, blue & yellow
  • Assortment of paintbrushes – I used both thin brushes, one a little bigger than the other
  • Paper plates or handy palette
  • Ruler
  • Water

When I officially started on them, I forgot that I never told my dad about what everything was for, and after I asked where the ruler was, he showed me how to actually use one. Honestly, I’m thankful he did it because I’ve never really used them, I usually just estimate and go from there. And after he showed me where the middle was on the first canvas, you could still see my remints on the first time I made my lines and I was off by a couple of inches! My dad was pretty impressed by it and so was I!

So, we measured the border first, and with all of my patience, I did miss the mark a couple of times, but in order to make it more about fun, I had to tell my ego to shut up to make myself keep going, especially when I got to doing the measurements for the big item that all three will have and that was a large triangle or Christmas tree in the center of the canvas. Once I figured out everybody’s shapes, I took pictures for both proof and to show you the process as I continued on this artistic journey.

The next day, I went back to it and was utterly excited to get my toes dirty!

Despite knowing I’m not a painter, I still freaking love it! It’s like glitter but more liquid-y…

Anyways, I thought the best decision would be painting all three trees first and then move on. My mom poured out my blue and yellow onto my plate and I started mixing it with the end of the brush I was going to use first and I wasn’t necessarily happy with the color that appeared first, it was more blue-green and as pretty as it was, it obviously wasn’t the shade I was going for, so I grabbed the yellow again and undid the cap and put the container on its side and squeezed with all of the strength in my feet to get a small amount of paint. Once I got what I wanted, I mixed it all again and I ended up with a very green color and it still had a little blue but it wasn’t as noticeable as the first color, so that was good for me!

I got to painting the sides of the first, I used my homemade desk that my dad made for me back in October. However, everytime I went to turn it around I would end up with more paint on my toes than I liked because that meant, it wasn’t sticking and I would have to go back over it with a second coat. Well, as I let that one dry, I looked around my room to see if I had anything to help fix this problem. So, I have another, older foam box that I have used in previous DIYs and I really needed an easel and my thought was I could prop each one up so I could see everything and allow it to dry a little bit before turning it over. The only issue was, I didn’t have anything to put underneath the canvases to make sure I don’t make a bigger mess than I was, and I grabbed my sunflower rug and flipped it upside down so that I wasn’t ruining the pretty side and this turned out to the second best idea I had that day.

Once I got everybody arranged, I was moving pretty quickly but I have found my absolute weakness with painting: borders. It wasn’t the paint this time; since I made “proper” measurements with a pencil, staying within that area was a bit difficult, but I refused to let it get to me in the end. After all of the borders were a royal blue, I got to work on giving each tree a decoration of some sort with using ideas I found on both YouTube and Instagram.

The main objective to these projects was to make them as different as possible. So, the first one looked absolutely gorgeous! There were no mistakes at all, but the other two: well, the second has one side bigger than the other and the third actually looks like a tree with branches as I was running out of green paint and it turned out better than I expected it to be. This one is actually my mom’s favorite, so go figure! I left everybody to dry for the day before I moved on to the decorations!

For the most part, I used the pencil to create the star on the first project in the way I know how and even though the yellow we had was light, after splashing two coats in that small space, it covered up the guide. I pushed it to the side to dry before doing the trucks, and I did the next with ornaments. Now in my original idea, I was only going to put three in different sizes but once I grabbed the pencil, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. The first trick I found was using the back of a pencil (I got really creative and used the back of my red colored pencil!) or small lid and just coat the flat surface in whatever paint you’re using and pressing it like a stamp on your designated area. Well, if you know me, once I get going, there’s really no stopping me. I meant to do the tree but was having so much with this trick that I kept going all around the tree. Technically, everytime I look at it, it makes me think of an apple tree because of how many dots I laid on the tree.

For the second, I had my mom grab two Q-Tips from the bathroom and I took both in between my toes and held on tightly to both and just did the same motion with the pencil, expect for having individual dots, I took the gold color paint and dotted in a line from one side to the other to the paint where it looks like you wrapped tinsel all around the tree. After I was done, I told my mom that it was my favorite because it looked like what I was initially wanted and I think the lopsided part helped a lot because it meant I could make the tinsel look long and thicker like regular garland.

The final addition that was put on all three projects was some sort of truck; in my head, I just wanted something minimalist and for the most part I stuck to that idea and two of them ended up with a L shape at the bottom of each decorated tree. I used the last bit of brown that we had for it too. As for the third, I was going to put two little vertical lines showing you the outline of a trunk but never connecting the two, but I didn’t like what I had painted on the canvas so I just gave it a full trunk and leave it to me, to place it on the tree that has an odd shape already, so the trunk isn’t necessarily in the middle as the other two but by the time we figured it out, the paint had dried up and I just waved it off.

After they were all dried, I told my mom where I wanted to hang them. There is a mini hallway in between the spare bathroom, my room and Nolan’s playroom. There is a medium sized of wall space that has always looked dull and I thought these would be perfect to hang them and make the house a little more Christmassy! My parents are not the type to decorate every space in the house like I would, especially being that this house is still “brand new” to us and I feel like it needs that sort of vibe going on. So, my mom hung all three in the order I had already picked out and since they are all unique, I thought my last wish for them are three have the same meaning but it is translated in three different languages: the top is the star and this one is called, “Merry Christmas”. the middle is the gold tinsel and full trunk and it’s name is, “Feliz Navidad” for Spanish and the third with the pretty red ornaments is German’s way “Fröhliche Weihnachten”.

Overall, the projects were a success and I am very proud of myself for not only being strong throughout the whole process, but for being committed to doing something different and definitely out of my comfortable zone. Here are the rest of the photos I took of the whole thing.

When was the last time you did something that was out of your comfort zone, but that was bigger than you would normally do? If you create your own Christmas décor, what is your absolute favorite you have made for 2020?

snowflake

DIY | M&M’s Pumpkins

Hello!

The last time I did a post about pumpkins was in 2017! So, that was two years before my sister had my nephew–technically, she might’ve been pregnant with him if I remember correctly! Anyways, we were hoping to have all three of them over to have a big painting party but between the COVID scare and work schedules, it didn’t end up happening.

For once, we finally decided on a theme for the pumpkins. We have always wanted to do that, but then after some time we would forget about it and end up on doing our own thing. However, my mom was looking through her Facebook memories and found a photo of around six pumpkins painted with various M&M faces from the commercials, I shared this with her back in 2015, and I’m so glad I did because this was a perfect idea to do with our front stairs display, but of course we had to do ours differently.

Things you will need:

  • Pumpkins – various size is optional
  • Old newspapers
  • Brushes – sponge & regular
  • Paper plates
  • Acrylic paint

The last time we did this, our cats were fairly distracted and didn’t even come around to the front porch to rub up on us, so it was a pleasant surprise that I think all three of us enjoyed. For this project, we started off on feeding the cats before going outside to start and I think that was our issue because they eat quickly and if they know someone is on the porch they think we brought out even more food for them! They act like we don’t feed them at all and we do, trust me!

I want to say within five minutes of coming outside to get into a comfortable position, and actually begin to paint the pumpkins, all of the cats came up to the porch to find giant orange things stealing their attention. Honestly, they behaved like good kitties throughout the entire thing.

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This was a two day project, as the first my mom and I just painted on the base coats on the five pumpkins we had, and unfortunately my mom didn’t take my advice to purchase the primorary colors in medium size bottles, because it is really easy to mix the colors with acrilyic paint. As I mentioned above on the things you’ll need, your pumpkins can be in various sizes but you also need to keep in mind about the size of paints you have too. We had somewhat larger ones with small tubes of paint, so we ran out of some colors quicker than we expected to; which is why I heed this caution to you as I do not want you to be stuck with one color and find it run out before finishing the entire surface. We had to do this with our blue pumpkin. It started out with a bright blue but the next time my mom went back with a darker color for the bottom and she wasn’t very happy about the contrast in the end.

In order to cover the entire pumpkin with paint, we used the large sponge brushes. I really enjoy using these types of brushes because since they are sponges, they can absorb quite a bit of paint so you don’t necessarily have to go back and get more on the tray, but I also like them for the fact they are easy for me to grip and move around the object. I ended up painting three out of the five pumpkins while my mom did the other two and the bottoms of mine because I can’t keep my balance and paint at the same time.

The really cute part happened the next day, after we left them outside to dry fully, my dad really fall in love with the red one so he decided to come into my room later that day to create a face for the pumpkin. He made his very animated and everything had to be perfected but unfortunately he was only able to do that one, while the next time my mom and I went back to them, we just freehand the faces with a sharpie. I thought this would be easier so to give us some kind of guide to what the faces should look like, and I’m glad we did it this way and because it was helpful to us.

After my mom finished her pumpkin: the only girl and green pumpkin. (which turned out really cute, but I think we overestimated the size of the pumpkin because the whole face is so small compared to the rest, but like I told her, everything is a trial and error; we learn from previous “mistakes” and move on. If we had decided to keep the letter “m” underneath the faces, I think we might’ve liked it a lot more, but really it was not only her first time doing freestyle, she also exercised that she does have some patience stored within her. Honestly, both of my parents have expressed that they don’t have any patience at all, but yet they really took their time to get their ideas in order. It was a lot easier to convince my mom that she didn’t need to be perfect with it than dad, because for us we got through our pumpkins faster than he did and he also became very messy too!

In his defense though, he not only went off a totally different picture we did and on top of that, everything was bigger and since he likes everything to go right, it was very critical of his handiwork. Since we only gave faces to three of the pumpkins, I was next on the latter and I think I mirrored what each of my parents did with their pumpkins. I kept myself contained in my mind and thoughts but I really attempted to find a medium to both of them and I think I did a pretty good job after not painting a face for a long time.

As my dad was working on this lone tomato looking pumpkin, my mom was busy with creating the “M” on our final two pumpkins. Since she went back with the blue one, it hadn’t dried enough before she started on the white so on the picture you can kind of see how the letter blending into the background a bit, but thankfully she was able to add two coats on it so it is readable and personally, I think it looks cool like that. It is unique with the marbleizations of all three colors. The brown one also has a cool factor too, two of pumpkins had these great greenish veins going from the bottom to the top and unfortunately they were painted over with the red pumpkin but I guess mom thought it was neat too, so it almost turned out to look like a bowling ball in a way!

It was pretty fun and interesting to do a craft with my folks, especially since one has confessed that they are not a big fan of these types of things, but has painted quite a few pumpkins this month! After we finished our creations, my dad has made me a desk out of a Styrofoam so I can have an accessible table for my future projects. I am really happy that he didn’t make it before the pumpkins because I don’t it could take all of the weight of the some of them!

I think I am officially done with this post. I’m not sure when I will be doing another project, but when I do, you know I’ll try to put it on here for you. So, I hope you have enjoyed this crazy adventure that happened in the middle of October and here are the rest of the photos that were taken in the course of two days!

Have you been able to do any type of DIY or crafty projects for Halloween or fall in general? It doesn’t have to be with paint like ours, but I would still like to see your end result. Send me your pictures through Facebook or Instagram please!

snowflake