Snowman Placesetting for Kids

Snowman Placesetting for Kids

I like to make the grandchildren’s placesetting special for Christmas. Last year, I did the Snowman Placesetting for Kids! I took pictures and decided to share them with you this year.  The funny snowman in the middle was a last-minute thought and I couldn’t find a better one anywhere. It worked, though. I found him at a thrift store for $1!

Snowman Placesetting for Kids grandparentsplus.com

 Materials Needed for Snowman Plates:

Cheap white paper plate

Clear Plastic Dinner Plate

Black Olives – sliced

Carrot

Chocolate Chips

 

This is the easiest way to set a snowman table for kids. I used the sliced olives for eyes, slice of carrot for nose and chocolate chips for the mouth. Lay everything on the white paper plate and cover with the clear plastic dinner plate. Now, kids can eat and not disturb the snowman face!

Snowman Lights, lit up with an LED light, were at each placesetting. I purchased the snowman cups after Christmas on clearance the year before. Also, I added a snowman straw decoration for another accent. The snow globes came from Dollar Tree. Finally, I added a snowman in the middle for a fun Snowman Placesetting for Kids!

Snowman Placesetting for kids grandparentsplus.com

Put the lights down low and let the snowman globes glow!

Snowman Placesetting for Kids grandparentsplus.com

 

Be sure to use LED lights in the snowman globes as the little candle lights are not strong enough to show through. Besides, the candle lights give a yellow glow and you want your snowman globe to have a white glow. Find the LED lights at a local craft store.

Watch the faces of the children light up as they see this special Snowman Place-setting just for them! The snowman face stays perfect while they eat on the plastic plate on top. You may want to check out my other kids place-settings for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Snowman Placesetting for Kids grandparentsplus.com

Make memories this Christmas! 

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Christmas Idea House Part 4

Sad to say that this is the final post of the Christmas Idea House for this year. It has been fun to show you all the ideas included in this house decorated by many talented designers. Some ideas never go out of style so be sure to look at last year’s posts of the Christmas Idea House 2014 Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3  for more inspiration.

Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

 

This time we’ll visit the last four areas of this home: Den, Guest Bedroom, Sunroom and Living Room.

In the guest bedroom, three metal floral panels create this amazing headboard. For the Christmas season, lights are added for that holiday sparkle.

Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

 

In the black lanterns below, artificial snow and a couple of birch branches with battery operated lights make an easy, but lovely display. The stencil on the windows is the same one that we saw in the kitchen and bathroom only this is used on the windows with snow spray.  The window stencil is not permanent, but sure adds to the woodsy feel of the room. The curtain tiebacks, use small pinecone ornaments as another woodland touch.

Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

 

The Christmas tree has decorations of metal orbs and birch branches. The guest bedroom light is a metal orb attached to make a chandelier decorated with birch branches, batting for snow, and metal snowflake ornaments. The arrangement on the dresser uses a mix of metals, finials, and candles all highlighted by a star accent. Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

In the den, mini pallets provide a background for artwork and mini lanterns. A vintage dock makes a unique coffee table.

Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

 

The vintage pie cabinet stores games and books with lit stars shining out as a Christmas accent. Small twig wreaths and  picture frames decorate the tree. A little vintage wall cubby placed under a picture makes a perfect spot for seasonal decorations of skis, pine stems, small ornaments, and battery votive candles. This is easily changed for another season, too.

Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

The fireplace display is the first thing that catches your eye as you enter the living room. Small. assorted-sized red decorative boxes create a Christmas tree above the mantle. The boxes hold artificial pine boughs, lanterns, birch sticks, and ornaments.

The logs in the fireplace have white lights wrapped around them with some red pinecones placed underneath. It suggests a burning fire.

Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

 

Christmas Idea House part 4 grandparentsplus.com

The arrangement in the vintage metal bowl holds twig balls, wrapped with battery powered lights, along with pinecones and an array of other ball ornaments and artificial greenery.

Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

A large vintage wood rolling rack makes a one-of-a-kind wall shelving unit with lots of space for books, seasonal displays, candles, and baskets.

 

Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

The living room Christmas tree is decorated in red and white. White decorative lanterns hang from the Christmas tree branches with large balls adding a bold punch of red color.

Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

 

Adjoining the living room is the sunroom with an antique cabinet set on the radiator to create a bar.

Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

To the right of the bar, a vintage drawer is attached to the top of an iron stand to create a side table. Perhaps a vintage sewing machine stand would work, too!

Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

So many great ideas for decorating your own home both using vintage and new items. Did you find some ideas that you can use? The Christmas decorating season is upon us! I hope you enjoyed this tour and that it helped spur some creative ideas of your own. Be sure to go to Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of the 2015 Christmas Idea House, if you missed these posts.

Christmas Idea House Part 4 grandparentsplus.com

Happy Decorating!

Phyllis

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Christmas Idea House Part 3

Christmas Idea House Part 3

Christmas Idea House Part 3 takes you into 4 areas of this home which is full of inspirational ideas for your own Christmas decorating. A team of decorators  fill this home with arrangements using new decor, vintage pieces re-purposed, along with unique decorating ideas that can be done in your own home.

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

The headboard in the master bedroom is a beautiful mirrored vintage window. (actually an antique ballroom mirror) A large wreath makes it special for the Christmas season.

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

Notice the tables along side of the bed. They are metal garden urns turned into side tables.

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

With a circle of glass on top and twig balls with Christmas lights inside, this garden urn makes for an unusual, but lovely bedside table.

Two more creative ideas in this bedroom are the salvaged wooded gate and a non-traditional Christmas tree. The gate has decorative metal added between the rungs to hang jewelry.

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

In the corner of the bedroom is the non-traditional Christmas tree. Three birch poles, two wreaths of different sizes, various ornaments, and lights all arranged in a garden urn become a unique tree.

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

Over the dresser, another vintage window makes a backdrop for a Christmas wall plaque.

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

Hanging from the ceiling light fixture is a vintage wall frame decorated with ribbon, icicles, and ornaments.

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

In the stairway, a salvaged frame with a wooden star, decorated with wreaths and ornaments, looks beautiful for a large space. If you want to know how to make an inexpensive star, go to $1 wooden star for an easy tutorial! Use it both for Christmas and 4th of July!

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

The small upstairs bathroom is very tiny, but it has big ideas. The curtain rods are birch branches with a wood-slice garland creating a valance for the small window. To the left of the window is a small wooden sleigh turned into a wall shelf.

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

 

The birch printed shower curtain has accents of wood ornaments and permanent pine stems.

Graduated pieces of wood tied together create a Christmas tree that fits perfectly with the Northwoods decor.

 

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

 

Of course, to go with the woodsy feel, the toilet paper holder is a birch box with a dowel through it! Also, the salvaged wood with baskets attached hold extra towels and pinecones.  They sure packed a lot of ideas in such a small bathroom!

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

The last room of this post is the office. On the wall, gold cubes attached to the wall create very interesting decorative shelving.  The hollow lamp-base on the desk holds pinecones and ornaments.

Christmas idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

On the opposite side of the room are an array of gold mirrors on the wall. On several mirrors, they used gold window markers to write “Joy, Peace, and Noël”. That’s an easy Christmas idea!  The hanging pendant light is actually a re-purposed bird-cage.

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

The coffee table is a salvaged lobster cage with an added glass top.

A metal deer decorates the bulletin board. The backing of the bulletin board is a paper tablecloth.

 

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

I hope you are inspired by the wonderful creative ideas in this Part 3 post. If you missed Christmas Idea House Part 1 or Christmas Idea House Part 2, be sure to click on them and see the decorating ideas there, too!

Christmas Idea House Part 3 grandparentsplus.com

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Thanks for stopping by and Happy Decorating!

Phyllis

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Christmas Idea House Part 2

The Christmas Idea House is decorated by several designers and is filled with Christmas decorating inspiration! I love new ideas to make our home festive at Christmas. For this post, I’ll show you the dining room, kitchen, and small bathroom. Watch for lots of re-purposed vintage pieces used in fun new ways!

Christmas Idea House Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

As you enter the house, the dining room catches your eye right away with the wonderful buffet displays and vintage pieces re-purposed.

The  table is all set for a fabulous buffet. Notice the toboggan placed on top of the table (how could you not notice – ha) with two large metal reindeer leading the way for the beautiful array of food! 

Christmas Idea House Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

The desserts are displayed on another European sled on the built-in buffet.

Christmas Idea House Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

This is the cute little red sled that I use for decorating at Christmas. Sometimes it becomes the centerpiece and sometimes I use it on my coffee table.  It’s a great vintage piece that I really enjoy using.

24 Christmas Tablesettings grandparentsplus.com

 

On one wall of the dining room, a display of Christmas wall hangings, wreath, lanterns, and winter decor all hanging from a vintage coat rack. Everything is changeable for a different season.

Christmas Idea House part 2 grandparentsplus.com

I’ve seen many ideas for a crib bed-spring, but this is one tops them all, I think! Each small section of a birch branch hangs from the sections of the spring to create a tree. Don’t you love the little bird, too?

The sections of birch branches have a cup hook attached at the top. 

Christmas Idea House Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

A wooden star finishes off the top of the tree! I think this is outstanding! It’s certainly a conversation piece! I thought the Fall Decor Idea House – Part 3  had an unusual idea for a bed-spring. Now, this is totally different. I wonder how many ways you can re-purpose an old bed-spring, don’t you?

The kitchen wall looks interesting with  birch trees stenciled on the wall. Little red birds accent the birch trees and add a pop of color. This winter scene wouldn’t last all year, but by putting it in a large frame instead of on the wall, it would be changeable with the season. 

Christmas Idea House Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

The open kitchen shelving includes red and white Christmas accents among the red and white china.

On the wall, a unique piece of metal screen is re-purposed as an accent for a piece of Christmas art. Also, an old insulator attached to the wall, serves as an apron hook. 

Christmas Idea House Part grandparentsplus.com

The island in the kitchen is a salvaged industrial cart. It gives extra storage below and can be moved anywhere.

 

Christmas Idea House Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

Salvaged wood with decorative wooden snowflakes create an interesting valance for the season.

 

Christmas Idea House Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

In the small bathroom just off the kitchen area, you see the same birch tree stencil. A simple wooden cut-out of a deer hangs as a seasonal decoration. He looks like he is running though the woods! The lanterns hang from metal twig hooks. 

Two metal suitcases, attached to the wall at different levels, serve as shelves and storage. 

Christmas Idea House Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

 

The small bathroom window also uses wooden snowflakes along with red wooden hearts hanging from the valance. The curtains are Christmas kitchen towels.

 

Christmas Idea House Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

All these wonderful ideas and this was just three rooms, but there is still much more to come in part 3 and 4! There’s eight more rooms to show you!

Christmas Idea House Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

Were you inspired by any of these ideas?  

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Hope you enjoyed the Christmas Idea House Part 2!

Phyllis

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Paper Poinsettia Art Project

Paper Poinsettia Art Project

This Paper Poinsettia Art Project is very do-able for elementary children. Nothing about this is hard. The important part is to fold the petals to a point.It looks great as a tree decoration (when made small), package decoration,  bulletin board decor, and window decoration Wherever you use them,they look lovely and appear more difficult to make than they actually are.

Paper Poinsettia Art Project grandparensplus.com

Paper Poinsettia Art Project Directions:

1.Use two pieces of red construction paper. Cut one large circle out of one piece. Fold the other piece in half and use only one half sheet to cut another circle. Make these circles as large as you can make them out of that size paper.

 

Paper Poinsettia Art Project grandparentsplus.com

 

2. Fold once…

Paper Poinsettia Art Project 2 grandparentsplus.com

3. Twice….

Paper Poinsettia Art Project grandparentsplus.com

4. Three times!

 

Paper Poinsettia Art Project grandparentsplus.com

5. Now cut on the folded lines from the outside of the circle and stop 3/4 to 1 inch before reaching the center.

 

Paper Poinsettia Art Project grandparentsplus.com

 

6. From the outside edge, fold each piece to a point and glue the folded flaps together….

Paper Poinsettia Art Project grandparentsplus.com

 

7. Put your finger inside the glued area to pinch it out and give it dimension.

 

Paper Poinsettia Art Project grandparentsplus.com

 

8. When finished with both sizes, glue the small one to the center of the larger flower.

Paper Poinsettia Art Project grandparentsplus.com

 

9. Cut leaves and glue to the backside.

Paper Poinsettia Art Project grandparentsplus.com

 

10. Cut small yellow circles from construction paper, glue in the center, and add some sparkle. A paper punch works well for this, too.

Paper Poinsettia Art Project grandparentsplus.com

Now, you’re done!

Paper Poinsettia Art Project grandparentsplus.com

 

The flower sizes are variable. Small ones look great on a homemade card, but are harder for children to make due to the size. The larger ones are easier and look beautiful on a package! They, also, look great on a wreath or as a table decoration.

Paper Poinsettia Art Project grandparentsplus.com

 

These are so easy and fun to make! You’ll want to make several.

Enjoy!

Phyllis

 

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Christmas Idea House Part 1

I don’t mean to rush Christmas, but now is the time to gather ideas that inspire your own Christmas decorating. This Christmas Idea House – Part 1 is a home that designers transform three times a year with current trends, new items, old vintage pieces re-purposed, and loads of unique decorating ideas. There’s so much seasonal decorating inspiration here!

Christmas Idea House Part 1 grandparentsplus.com

 

Let’s start outside….

A pair of birch reindeer with big red bows greet guests  If you have access to birch trees, these would be easy to make.

Now that your gardens are in their winter state,  reuse a trellis by filling it with large red plastic ornaments. One change I would make, is to add a large red bow on top! What do you think?

PicMonkey Collage2a

This container winter garden display uses lots of greens, three birch logs, pops of red balls, berries, red twigs, and accented with cotton bolls.(yes, bolls; not balls) If you’re from the south, you may have easy access to these. Up north, you need to buy them. They make a nice white accent among the green and red. I, also, though they would make a great accent on a Christmas tree. I like to use natural items on my tree along with the ornaments. 

Christmas Idea House Part 1 grandparentsplus.com

The window ledge of the out-building displays white baskets filled with evergreens and red balls. Whimsical snowmen, fashioned from a birch log, peer out among the greens.  Notice the lanterns hung from the garland spell “JOY”.

The window boxes of the home look festive filled with spruce tops, red balls, bows, along with more accents of white cotton bolls. 

Christmas Idea House Part 1 grandparentsplus.com

 

This old house has an enclosed front porch. As you enter, to one side there’s a display of snowmen and trees  The trees are faux birch bark with lots of glitter added to make them sparkle. Behind the snowman display, Christmas knit stockings, clothes-pinned on a decorative rope ribbon, hang in the windows.

 

Christmas Idea House part 1 grandparentsplus.com

On the other side of the porch, you see the same hanging stockings repeated along with another snowman display. A stuffed snowman toy sits on one pillow while a funny snowman pillow repeats the theme.

Christmas Idea House Part 1 grandparentsplus.com

Using a vintage shutter, lanterns and Christmas plaques create a unique re-purposed decor idea.

Christmas Idea House Part 1 grandparensplus.com

 

Above the windows to the house, you see vintage skis used as a valance.

Christmas cards hang from the green garland.

 

Christmas Idea House Part 1 grandparentsplus.com

A  section of a vintage gate is transformed into a unique wall piece when a plaque and red bells are added. Decorated trees flank each side of this gate so it was hard to photograph the entire piece, but I think you get the idea.

Notice the chalkboard ornaments which are easily personalized with both art and words. Each year you can change what is on them. Now, that’s an easy project!

Christmas Idea House Part 1 grandparentsplus.com

 

Under the trees is a red vintage wheelbarrow filled with gifts.

Christmas Idea House Part 1 grandparentsplus.com

 

Sitting on the window ledge are faux birch bark planters filled with more spruce tops,  red berries and illuminated stems. A simple garland spells out “NOEL”.

 

Christmas Idea House Part 1 grandparentsplus.com

This is just a small sampling of ideas. More to follow..

Next time, we’ll enter the house with oodles more inspiration. You won’t be disappointed, I promise! 


Christmas Idea House Part 1 grandparentsplus.com

 

Thanks for viewing this Christmas Idea House Part 1. Hope to see you for Part 2!

Phyllis

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Easy Burlap Christmas Wreath

Easy Burlap Christmas Wreath

Easy Burlap Christmas Wreath grandparentsplus.com

A lot of Christmas decorations are glittery and elaborate, but sometimes a room calls for something more casual. This Easy Burlap Christmas Wreath might be just what is needed. Burlap is certainly popular for any season and it works for Christmas as well.

Check your Christmas decorations for items you already have on hand. I had most of the items needed and just bought the ribbon and burlap wrap (with a coupon, of course). Now, with glue gun or florist picks in hand, you are ready to put it together!

These are the supplies needed for a 12 inch diameter wreath. (either foam or straw) Make a bigger one if you wish, just adjust the size the other supplies fora larger wreath.

Supplies:

2 Christmas greenery picks (size them for the 12 inch wreath)

Red berries

Burlap Fabric Wrap  (found at Michael’s for about $2. Don’t look in the ribbon aisle, but in the floral wrap.)

Burlap Poinsettias (found at the Dollar Tree. One pick had 3 flower on it.)

Burlap ribbon for the bow. Choose a different texture of burlap ribbon from the wrap or flowers.

Easy Burlap Christmas Wreath grandparentsplus.com

Step 1:

 Whatever wreath you are using, wrap with the wide burlap fabric. Start at an angle and overlap each round by just less than half. When you are back where you started, either hot glue it together or use a florist pin to hold it.

(Before I do any gluing or pinning, I like to lay out all my pieces in order to get the look I want.)

Step 2:

 Place the Christmas greenery on the wreath. Place one stem going down and the other going up. Get an idea of where you wanted it positioned before you attach it permanently. Once you have it positioned the way you like, cut the stems short and either use a florist pin or hot glue it to the wreath. (I like to use floral picks so I can change the wreath easily for another season or just a different look.)

Easy Burlap Christmas Wreath grandparentsplus.com

Step 3:

 Add the flowers using a group of 3. If your flowers are smaller, use 5. Always use an odd number.

Easy Burlap Christmas Wreath grandparentsplus.com

Step 4:

 Add the bow

Step 5:

 Glue the red berries in 3 to 5 places for an accent of color.

Step 6:

 Add a wire loop on the back for hanging the wreath.

Step 7:

Hang and enjoy your Burlap Christmas Wreath!

Easy Burlap Christmas Wreath grandparentsplus.com

 

When you compare the price of a ready-made burlap wreath, this is a real bargain! It is quick and easy to do. No real talent involved. ( OK, you need some talent to know how to use a glue gun!)

Try it!

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Pringles Lid Ornaments

This is not an advertisement for Pringles, but when I saw those clear lids, I knew that they would be perfect recycled as Pringles Lid Ornaments. With kids bringing them for snack time at school, it is not hard to collect a few to try. One idea is a bit more difficult for young kids, but the snowman sticker idea is very easy for them to do. It’s a great way to emphasize reuse and recycle!  These would be perfect for a classroom project, too. I’m posting this early enough to collect those lids.

  Pringles Lid Ornaments grandparentsplus.com

  These are some of the supplies I used…..     Add to this tacky glue (a glue that sticks to plastic) along with string or ribbon for hanging.

Pringles Lid Ornaments grandparentsplus.com

 

I used lids from a can of Pringles. (With a snack-sized can, they get eaten faster so you have more lids.) Make sure they are clean and wiped dry.

Winter Scene Ornament:

For the sticker version (snowman), Cover the inside of the lid completely with tacky glue. Over a box, sprinkle the glitter into the lid and let dry. (the glitter I used was Crystal)  Make several as kids can easily do more than one.

When dry, cover the edge with tacky glue and roll in the glitter.  Let dry.

Add stickers to the flat front. Add a little “snow”. (cotton)  Hint: cut the stickers out so that kids can see where to place them before removing the backing.

The stickers can be of any Christmas scene. Just make sure they are the right size for the lid.

Punch a small hole on top and add a string or wire hanger.

 

Pringles Lid Ornaments grandparentsplus.com

 

Looks great hanging in a window, too!

Pringles Lid Ornaments grandparentsplus.com

Nativity Ornament:

I made this Pringles Lid Ornament by stamping or downloading a Christmas scene. I had a Nativity stamp, stamped it on a white sheet of paper, and reduced the picture down so it would fit in the Pringles lid. The one pictured is from a free clip art site that I had in my files.

I made copies of the reduced clip art and stamped image so it just needed to be cut out. Older kids can do the stamping themselves on a separate piece of paper as long as the stamp size works for the lid.

Don’t glue on the inside of this lid. Simply cut out and place the picture inside facing the front. (no glue) Remember, that the inside circle size is different from the outside. Your picture may need some trimming. (approx. 7.5 cm diameter) Cut a piece of felt or other paper and make a backing. After the picture is in place, add the felt backing and glue around the sides to hold it in.  

Pringles Lid Ornaments grandparentsplus.com

Finish the edge with ribbon or a rhinestone ribbon {cut two sections wide) and be sure to use a glue that will hold on plastic. (regular school glue doesn’t work)

Pringles Lid Ornaments grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Pringles Lid Ornaments grandparentsplus.com

 

Pringles Lid Ornaments are a fun, easy, inexpensive, and look fantastic! Kids will want to make more than one! (Adults, too!)

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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30+ Easiest Wreaths of the Season

30+ Easiest Wreaths of the Season grandparentsplus.com

No matter what season it is, wreaths are a wonderful home decoration. When used on a front door, they’re a lovely visual welcome to your guests. The history of the wreath goes back to Greek and Roman times where it was associated with victory, but today, wreaths are for any season and any reason. They can be large or small and displayed anywhere outside or inside your home.

Buying wreaths can be quite spendy!  For those who like to stay within a budget,  making your own is more cost-effective and fun to do. It seems that wreaths can be made from just about anything such as dried materials, sweaters, jeans, burlap, ribbon, Christmas balls, paper, or fabric scraps.

I’ve gathered together “30+ Easiest Wreaths of the Season” ideas. Some of my own creations are included in this collection. Each wreath idea has a link to complete instructions.

Go to….. 30+ Easiest Wreaths of the Season!    or click on the picture above.

I know you’ll find some creative ideas to make for your own home whatever the season!

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Reason for the Season – Nativity

Reason for the Season - Nativity   grandparentsplus.com

Reason for the Season – Nativity Set Tour

There has never been the birth of a child that has been internationally known and celebrated as is the birth of God’s Son, Jesus. He came to save a world that would kill Him. He loved us so much that He was willing to die to save us! What overwhelming love Jesus has for us!  Let the story of Christmas be celebrated and told around the world.

As we have traveled different places, instead of souvenirs, I decided to start a Nativity Set Collection from places that we’ve visited. Believe me, it is not always easy to find them, but I hunt them down. Some have been given to me as gifts from places I’ve never been. I always appreciate unique sets and like them especially when they reflect the culture. 

 

The first set I received was from my mom. She gave each daughter an Anri set from Italy. That started it….

Nativity Set Collection

 

 

It is still a favorite! I love the expressions on the faces.

The next one is from Mexico. On our first trip to Puerto Vallarta many years ago, I found this sweet set. They have lots of Nativity sets, but I’ve never again found one as detailed from Mexico.

Nativity Set Collection  grandparentsplus.com

 

 

The one on the left is carved from one piece of stone.  The one on the right is a slice of a nut. It is so unusual and measures only 1  1/2 inches wide and 1  3/4 inches tall.  This one was found at Tarpon Springs, Florida. These are the smallest in my collection!

Nativity Set Collection grandparentsplus.com

 

 

While this is not a set with Mary and Joseph, I loved just the manger. It is by Annalee.

Nativity Set Collection  grandparentsplus.com

 

A Nativity Set made of small gourds from Columbia, So. America was a gift from a friend. Love all the detail!

Nativity Set Collection  www.grandparentsplus.com

 

 

This pottery set is also from Columbia. The small gourd is from Mexico.

 

Nativity Set Collection  grandparentsplus.com

 

Many years ago, I was on an adult exchange with Friendship Force (started by Jimmy Carter to foster friendships with other countries through adult exchanges). I went to Belarus and lived with a family for a week. It was a wonderful experience and we still keep in contact with the Belarussian family. Of course, I did find a Nativity set!

Nativity Set Collection   grandparentsplus.com

 

 

These next few Nativity sets are from a trip through Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic visiting the Christmas markets.

Nativity Set Collection   grandparentsplus.com

 

Two more small ones from Germany……

Nativity Set Collection   grandparentsplus.com

 

The next two are from the Czech Republic Christmas markets.

Nativity Set Collection  grandparentsplus.com

 

This one is made of dough. It has weathered pretty well for as many years as I’ve had it.

 

Nativity Set Collection   grandparentsplus.com

 

The smaller nativity set is from Austria and the globe is from the U.S.A.

Nativity Set Collection  grandparentsplus.com

 

On a visit to the Ozarks, these had to be in my collection!  The wood slice one is a favorite!

Nativity Set Collection   grandparentsplus.com

 

 Ahhh! From Israel where Jesus was born!

 

Reason for the Season - Nativity   grandparentsplus.com

 

This is not all of my collection, but a look at some of the more unusual and favorites that I display every Christmas. My grandkids like to go around and find all the sets I have displayed.

This is the true meaning of Christmas and the “Reason for the Season”!

 Jesus, God’s Son, came to earth to pay our penalty for sin! We have the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ! That’s something to celebrate! 

Have a Blessed Christmas! 

Phyllis

 

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Hot Spiced Cider Punch

Hot Spiced Cider   grandparentsplus.com

On a cold winter evening, serve your guests Hot Spiced Cider Punch as they arrive. The aroma in the room will be so inviting and the hot punch will be just what is needed for a quick warm-up! What I like about it that it is ready to go when your guests arrive. There’s no last-minute preparation and anything left over is still good to use the next day. I use a large coffee percolator to keep it warm and ready to serve. This is a great non-alcoholic cider punch for any winter get-together.

  

Hot Spiced Cider Punch

1 gallon cider

1/2 cup sugar

1 stick cinnamon

5 whole cloves

Simmer these ingredients for 30 minutes.  You can make this in a saucepan over the stove or in a coffee urn.

When I use a coffee urn, I place the first ingredients in the basket and pour the cider in the coffee urn. I let it perk through the cycle and get hot. Then, I remove the basket and add the O.J., Lemon Juice, tea and mix together.

 

Add:

1/2 cup orange juice concentrate – do not dilute the concentrate

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon instant tea or 2 tea bags

Let everything get hot and serve.

 

 This is so quick and easy to make. We served this at the last Christmas women’s event at church and they loved it!

Hot Spiced Cider   grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Enjoy! 

Phyllis

 

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Christmas Tablescapes – Part 2

Christmas Tablescapes – Part 2 is another tour of the wonderful tablescapes that many women from our church did for the Christmas Extravaganza.   It’s a beautiful way to begin the Christmas season. I’m sure you’ll find lots of inspiration to spur your own ideas for your Christmas table. I hope you didn’t miss the first post, but if you did, here it is….. Christmas Tablescapes 2014

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

I’ll first start with some traditional red, white, and green tablescapes!

Red and white  always make a striking tablesetting!

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

 

Traditional red,  green, and white can be changed and dressed up many ways. The red candle centerpiece, surrounded by greenery and red berries, is set off by the addition of the white cutwork table-topper. Red and green patterned napkins add another festive touch.

Christmas Tablescapes  Part 2   grandparentsplus.com

 

Use glittered branches lit with small lights and place in a vase. Accent the branches with red and silver balls and you have a quick centerpiece!

 

 

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Red, brown, and gold are the colors of the next Christmas tablescape. The color brown is repeated in the napkin rings, tablecloth, pinecones,  and twigs in the centerpiece.

 

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

This year, I’ve seen lots of mixing of gold and silver. This table shows that trend.

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Burgundy, white, green, and gold are the next Christmas tablescape combination. The colors in the plates are repeated in the centerpiece, placemats, chargers and glassware. This was the second table that I decorated (first was Duck Dynasty Tablescape). Would you believe I found this set at a thrift store? Yes, a placesetting of 12 for $22! I couldn’t do better at a dollar store! I must have hit the store at just the right time. (Not that I needed more dishes! Ha!)  The napkins are rolled with a burgundy bow attached with wire.! Simple and inexpensive!

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

 

This black, red, and white tablescape has a nature feel with all the birds placed around the centerpiece. The white snow on the bottom had lights underneath which illuminated the centerpiece.

 

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Carolers with a church in the background, look lovely with the Christmas china used on this table.

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

 

A white tablecloth sets off the deep red, antique dishes. The centerpiece is a red mosaic glass candle holder. Around the candle holder is greenery with woodland animals and pine cone accents. Peeking out of the greenery are birds, fox, owls, squirrels and other creatures of the woods.


Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Here come the blues!

 The “in color” of turquoise is lovely with this silver and white accented tablescape!  The woman who did this tablescape got her dishes at a thrift store, too! Nice bargain! Those silver and white dishes will go with anything!

 

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

More turquoise, silver and white! This centerpiece started out as a garland. The raised 5 candle holders are a glass dish glued on top of a dollar store glass candle holder. The garland wraps through and around the candle holders. The placemats are  from a paper napkin and coordinating paper napkins are placed in the water glasses. I hope you can imagine this table lit as my picture of it all lit up didn’t turn out. Sorry! 

Take notice of the ribbon on the plate! More color and texture are added to plain white plates.

 

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

A lighthouse is the focus of this tablescape! How does this fit into Christmas? Well, Jesus is the Light of the World! He came to save the world! A lighthouse saves those who may be lost and can’t find their way, too!  Blue toule surrounded the base and was lit with small Christmas white lights!

 

Christmas Tablescapes part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

If you have a beautiful set of blue dishes, a white tablecloth and silver accents really enhance the blues!

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

A glowing candle centerpiece surrounded by peacock feathers features the color tones for this table. Peacock ornaments, turquoise glasses and beautiful peacock feather, textured salad plates make this a very unusual, but gorgeous table for Christmas or New Year’s.

 

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparenstplus.com

 

 

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Here’s “The Little Drummer Boy Table!”

How sweet is this Drummer Boy? Criss-crossed burlap runners have some of the lines from the song written on them. The candles are filled with tiny drum ornaments.

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2   grandparentsplus.com

 

Individual Drummer Boy ornaments with a tiny drum are wrapped around the napkin.

Christmas Tablescapes Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

The women of our church really came up with some gorgeous tablescapes, didn’t they?

Hope you enjoyed the Christmas Tablescape inspiration!

Phyllis

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13 Creative Holiday Party Favors

I love setting a beautiful table at Christmas time. One thing that adds so much detail is placing  holiday party favors at each placesetting. It’s especially fun to use a theme throughout your tablescape and add a favor that goes with it. Sometimes I use a favor as a napkin ring or a placecard holder. Here are some favorites that I’ve pick out. Check out all the details and directions on Hometalk or click on the picture below.

13 Creative Holiday Favors grandparentsplus.com

I’m sure all these holiday party favors will give you inspiration and ideas for your own tablesetting!  If you don’t have time this holiday season, save to use next year. 

Enjoy!

Phyllis

 

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Shrimp Christmas Tree

I needed a quick appetizer to bring to a party. There was no time to make something so I grabbed a bag of shrimp, went home, and shaped them into a Shrimp Christmas Tree! I lined the tray with spinach leaves. A cheese star is at the top, celery for the trunk, and sliced stuffed olives for tree balls. Along side the tree I placed a small bowl with cocktail sauce. 

Shrimp Christmas Tree grandparensplus.com

 

Now, that’s fast and easy!

 

 

Shrimp Christmas Tree grandparentpslus.com

 

The Shrimp Christmas Tree tastes good, too!

 

Enjoy! 

Phyllis

 

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DIY Gift Bags

 

DIY Gift Bags are fun to make, easy to use and delightful to receive! They make gift-giving even more special when it’s in one of these cute DIY Gift Bags! Kids can make them, too. It is a wonderful classroom or individual project. 

( OK, this is another DIY Gift Bag idea. I got going by doing a snowman and then Olaf and then couldn’t stop with the ideas. So now you also have a reindeer, penguin, puppy and Santa! )

 

DIY Gift Bags grandparentsplus.com

Materials are inexpensive and easily found. The bags are under $2.00 for 50 in the grocery department of Walmart next to the regular lunch bags. Other materials include fun foam or construction paper, felt, and glue (if using foam, be sure you use a special glue).  I used a combination of fun-foam and construction paper on these samples, but if you’re doing it in a classroom, all construction paper works fine and keeps the cost down.

Personally, I like a bit of dimension that the combination gives. For kids, it is harder to cut and more expensive to use the foam.

 

First, gather all your materials…..

Fun foam or construction paper, white bags, scissors, glue, pom-poms, cotton balls, permanent marker and felt

On the following pictures, there are approximate sizes for each piece. 

 

Santa Gift Bag

DIY Gift Bags  grandparentsplus.com

 

 Puppy Gift Bag

DIY Gift Bags   grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Rudolph or Reindeer Gift Bag  

 

DIY Gift Bags  grandparentsplus.com

 

Penguin Gift Bag 

The only difference for the Penguin Bag is the face piece. Cut from a piece of white  3 1/2 inches by  2  3/4 inches. The orange triangle beak is 3/4 in. by 3/4in.

On the Santa and Penguin bag, add a touch of blush on the cheeks with a q-tip. 

When you have placed the gift in the bag, secure on the sides with a small amount of tape. Now, watch for the comments on your cute DIY Gift Bags. These aren’t just for kids! 

DIY Gift Bags   grandparentsplus.com

Enjoy!

Phyllis  

 

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