Christmas Tree Plan B

What do you do when you close on a new home about ten seconds into the new year, yet still want to make your home festive for your kids without unpacking and repacking all of your Christmas stuff?

Keep it all packed up nicely in the garage rafters and improvise! christmas tree ornaments

-Real tree.  More like a treelet so we can keep floor space open for the bins and boxes that will likely be piling up by then. Came in its own tree stand.

-string of lights $3. We’ll donate those with the tree stand if we don’t manage to throw it in while our other stuff is getting packed on the moving truck. Everything else is paper so we can recycle it.  Waste free and pack free-yay!!

photo(114) photo(113)

-Paper garland.  The boys’ attention span matched the necessary length.  Win!

-Beloved action figures as climbing the tree count as ornaments.  They do.  It’s about what you love and right now, this is what they love.  Included in our tree are an armless GI Joe, headless Spiderman, legless Spiderman, motorcycle-less Spiderman (meaning he looks like he’s pooping in the tree), 2 Darth Vaders a Stormtrooper and an Elvis.  The joy they felt decorating this tree was incomparable, as were the sound effects.

best ornaments for kids

-My favorite part is the star decorated by my oldest, which includes the word, “Pese” with a peace sign covered in what appears to be bacon.

We rocked it.  I haven’t loved a Christmas tree this much since I was stringing the sweet 70’s candy garland on my childhood Christmas tree with my family.  I’ll be sneaking one of Spideys into my purse, marking the year with a sharpie, and whether or not we do our Plan B tree next year, I’ll be hanging this memory on our tree for years to come.

What about you? What’s your favorite holiday decorating memory?


pin babies

***Update:  Kind readers have suggested that oil-based Sharpies and enamel-based paints made specifically for ceramics will make these dishwasher safe. Mine made with traditional Sharpie markers were not, even after baking. I hand washed one and it was fine, but none survived the dishwasher.  I’ve seen a few tutorials for these and none mentioned troublen so I just went for it.  I shouldn’t have assumed.  I’m sorry for any wasted mugs this may have caused : )  It still helped us undo our super cranky day, so I can’t call it a total loss.

What do you get when you add a guilty conscience to two simple Pinterest ideas? An apologetic Pin Baby!

Good and Messy DIY Sharpie Mug

It was a crummy day. The boys were inside all day because I was sick. Thank God my husband played with them for a couple of hours in between work sessions while I huddled under the blankets to shake the chill. They had an “entertain yourselves” kind of a day. That’s not a bad thing, they are quite capable of doing that. But they definitely needed more of my attention than I could give today. And I had zero patience at cleanup time. Coupled with their buckets of attitude, it was all kinds of cranky. I apologized. They cleaned up. We’ll all live. But I haaaate when I take their bad choices personally. It’s like I get offended by their whines before it occurs to me to redirect them. The ping pong of furrowed eyebrows gets us nowhere, and I’m better than that. I want them to be, too. It’s one thing to have a bad day, but it’s another to end a day on a bad note. I just can’t do that. So I wanted us back at the table: the magical place that is torturous at mealtime yet super sweet at play time.

Inspired by this DIY mug idea form Dollar Store Mom, we picked up some white mugs at the thrift store last week for 59 cents each. (Pier One too – yay us!) I was going to let them draw whatever they wanted for Christmas gifts, but that would take about 3 seconds and we needed more time with Pandora and Jack Johnson if we were going to change the tide. Then I remembered this pin of fun negative space (that seems to have lost its rightful owner. If someone has the source, can you please share?-thanks). The result was a cute little Pin Baby that did the trick for this grumpy evening.

Good and Messy DIY Sharpie Mug

Good and Messy DIY Sharpie Mug

Good and Messy DIY Sharpie Mug

Good and Messy DIY Sharpie Mug

I don’t have a ton of supplies other than paint, but I did happen to have a bunch of these dollar store letter stickers so we did some names and peeled them off when we were done decorating. (*note: the original pin/link has the instructions for baking and curing. 350 for 30 minutes and it should be good to go.) I really wanted to do some fun color combos, but we only had 2 Sharpies, and one of them was dying. Oh well, if I had gone to Target to get more Sharpies in fun colors, I would have surely bought a pity coffee, some sort of Rubbermaid storage container and a sweater. Because I was still cold. So look at that! I saved a bundle by sticking with simplicity. Aaaaand we ran out of m’s so Michael suggested “Ma” could work instead of Mom. Resourceful. I like it.

Good and Messy DIY Sharpie MugMy little guy enjoyed the dots for one minute, and then went to town destroying the stickers and playing with Legos. He was very proud of the doodling he did on the back of the initials. I was happy to get a couple of gifts done. My six year old ditched the dots and went with coloring and a thought bubble saying, “hey”. Yup, back to normal.

What about you? Do anything creative this week?

Good and Messy DIY Sharpie Mug

Good and Messy DIY Sharpie Mug