MY FIRST CHRISTMAS D.I.Y. PROJECT: TABLE TOP TREES

I have always wanted to have those table-top Christmas trees that I can place on our console table but I was faced with these challenges:

1)   It was only November and there weren’t much available Christmas décor on sale in Jakarta on that month. (I am a Pinoy  and we’re licensed to start Christmas in November, woohoo!)

2)    Everything is so expensive in Jakarta. (I am a housewife and I find everything expensive, haha!)

Naturally, a do-it-yourself (DIY) project is the most practical solution to this décor dilemma.

It was so unlikely that I, who barely had good marks in my Practical Arts projects in school and  I, who have never used a glue gun before, have finally decided to make my own table-top trees.  Yes! After a few hot glue burns and glitters all over me,  I was able to create something with my bare hands.  I still can’t believe I did it, but there’s always hope for everybody!

For those of you who are interested with this Christmas project, I’m sharing the procedure with you below.  It just looks complicated but it’s really easy.  Enjoy yourself and happy decorating!  By the way, don’t forget to play your favorite Christmas tunes while making this this project.

MATERIALS:

MATERIALS

– Large sized ribbon of your choice

– Glue gun (with glue sticks)

– Popsicle stick (or anything you can use to press hot glue)

– Scissors

– Cardboard cone

*TIP:  There are ready-made styrofoam cones in some stores but I suggest that you just make your own out of poster cardboard to save yourself some bucks.

HOW TO DO IT:

  1. Measure out your ribbon to cover out the bottom part of your cone and glue it.  Let an inch dangle out around it, cut some slits  all the way to the edge of the cardboard and glue them back in the cone.                                                       TIP:  Cover your working table with a mantle cloth or newspaper to protect it from the falling glitters and melted glue later on.

STEP 1

2.  Cut your ribbons into about 3.5 inch rectangular sheets.  If you have wire on your ribbon, you may remove the wire for easy folding.

STEP 2

3.  Make little triangles out of these rectangular sheets using the glue gun to secure them.  This is where you’ll use the popsicle stick, don’t use your fingers to fold and press the glued ribbon because it would be too hot.

The back part where the crease is may appear to be a little messy but don’t worry about it, the only visible part would be the front part.  Make sure that the pointed part of the triangle is clean too.

TRIANGLE 2

I can’t tell exactly how much you should make because it depends on the size of your cone.  I suggest that you make about 2 dozens first and then  just make another bunch when you run out.

TRIANGLE 3

4.  Stick you first triangle over the seam so you’ll cover it right away.  Put glue on the bottom part of the triangle and stick it upside down such that the pointed tip is facing down.

LAYER 1

5.  Your next triangle should slightly overlap the one next to it.  Make sure that the triangle tip ends at the edge of the cone.  Continue doing this until you fully cover the bottom layer of your cone.

6.  For your second layer, put your triangle in the middle of two bottom triangles and slightly higher.  Repeat this process until you cover the entire cone.

LAYER 2

7.  For your finishing touches, take your favorite tree ornament to serve as your tree topper.  You may also opt to embellish your tree with little rhinestones or other ornaments, I just went for a simpler and cleaner look.

My green and blue table-top trees together with our store-bought decor.  Not bad for a first-timer eh? :)

My green and blue table-top trees together with our store-bought decor we’ve collected since our first Christmas in Jakarta. Not bad for a first-timer eh? 🙂

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Hello World!

Image by inferno.freedom-uplink.net

Hello, I’m back from a three-week holiday from Manila, Philippines.  Translation: I haven’t been blogging for the past three weeks.

Our recent Manila vacation was packed with the Christmas rush, holiday traffic, last-minute shopping, reunions, get-together dinners, etc.  The schedule was crazy fun that I never found time to even write a single post on this blog… Well, it didn’t help that we had erratic internet signal and a very low battery life for the camera as well (we left the charger in Jakarta 🙂 ).  I guess that’s the universe’s way of telling me to just have FUN, enjoy the company of my loved ones, and just document these wonderful moments from the heart… teeheee!

And what great fun it was!  I couldn’t believe I was actually having lengthy adult conversations, laughing so I hard ’til my ribs hurt, getting a haircut-mani-pedi package without worrying how much it’ll cost me, and best of all, satisfying our pork (and Pinoy food) cravings! 🙂

I shall be sharing some of our Manila adventures here.  Meanwhile, I’d like to thank our family and friends back in Manila for scheduling the meet-ups despite their equally crazy holiday schedule.  ‘Twas great to once again see friends from the neighborhood, school and work.

Now that the fam is back in our second home,  this means my laptop is once again my bestfriend *sigh*.  Brighter side:  I now have more free time to write and update this blog.  But before that, please excuse me as I organize my cupboard with my Manila loots… 🙂

RAISE YOUR HANDS IF YOU THINK SANTA CLAUS IS REAL

With THE guy... in the flesh!

Like many kids, I was a Santa Claus believer.  We would wake up on Christmas mornings and find candies in our stockings.  Gifts were already under the tree waiting to be opened.  Never mind if I saw the same wrapping papers on my Mom’s dresser, maybe Santa and Mom just happened to shop in the same stores in Anson’s Cubao or SM Escolta.  Hey, maybe my mom knew the guy!  After all, didn’t Michael Jackson have a song about his own mom tickling Santa Claus?  After interrogating her about it, my mom said she hasn’t seen him and I believed her, she further said that Santa Claus NEVER shows himself to anyone.  That became a challenge to me.  Nights before Christmas, I would fall asleep waiting for him on the couch beside our Christmas tree.  I’d tell everyone to leave the front door unlocked, we didn’t have a chimney and the poor guy’s too old to climb on windows.   I just gotta see him!  I wanted to speak to him and find out if he really was multi-lingual.  How did he understand my letters written in Tagalog?  Okay, if he wouldn’t show himself and wanted to be mysterious, fine.  Maybe I could just catch a glimpse of the reindeers?  Yes, reindeers would be fine.  I wanted to see if Rudolph’s nose really glowed in the dark.   I always made sure that our garage was clear from any mess for the sleigh’s parking.  This would be my mission impossible year after year.

Then the horror of horrors happened one Christmas season when our helper got possessed by the combined spirits of Mr. Scrooge and The Grinch and decided to tell me that “Santa Claus is your Dad.”.  Huwaaaattt??!?! I felt sorry for my Dad… How could she squeal my Dad’s little secret!  He worked so hard to grow that belly…  I didn’t want to hurt Dad’s feelings so I never told him what I just found out.  I told our helper “Wag mong sabihin sa kanya na alam ko na ha”  (Don’t tell him I already knew).

Things became clearer to me as this development unfolded.  For example, this could be the reason why we had a garage but never had a car.  It’s for the sleigh! There were times I’d be curious and would sneak to my parents’ bedroom and look for that red suit inside my dad’s closet.  One time I asked him, “Daddy, can you say ‘Ho-ho-ho!’?”  but he gave me a puzzled look so I just dropped it.  Besides, no one should hear him do the Santa laugh while he’s wearing his favorite puruntong shorts. I just gave him my reassuring look and in my mind I was  saying “Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.”  The more he looked puzzled.  My gosh, he is good!  Knowing “the secret” felt like being in the CIA or something.  I enjoyed being part of the “connivance team” so much that I would have this all-knowing look over my playmates. “Hah, you better be good or I will tell my Dad not to give you gifts!”   I just had some questions though…  Where did he keep the reindeers?  He knew I always wanted to see Rudolph!  Who were his elves?

photo by: thefunnyblog.org

Fast forward to 2011 and I now have a 5-year old boy who believes in Santa Claus.  He gets a small treat in his stocking everyday with Santa’s little note reminding him to study hard, always be polite, eat his vegetables, etc.  This routine has been encouraging the Little Boy to get up every morning without any prodding from me.  I’m aware of this argument among parents and experts that this “myth” glorifies lying, deception, materialism, etc.  My take is, kids should be sat down by the parents and be told about the truth when parents feel that their kids are ready to handle it.  Kids can keep on believing as long as they know the REAL reason for the Christmas celebration.  After all, Jesus’ birthday is a great, interesting and inspiring story by itself.  Meanwhile, let kids be kids.  I don’t think this will make a traumatic impact on them when they become adults.  I turned out well… I think. 🙂

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