Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cyber Monday and Handmade Ornaments

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveAmericanHome #CollectiveBias

I have always thought of Thanksgiving as a speed bump on the road to Christmas. Once dinner is done, I love to pull out those twinkly, sparkly, fragrant holiday things that have been sitting in boxes for 11 months. And then it all seems to roll by quickly - we traditionally cut down a Christmas tree on the day after Thanksgiving (what other people call Black Friday). Because we miss the hoopla and hullabaloo of shopping in packed, people-trampling, TV-sale-fighting, no-parking-space physical stores, we always look forward to the joy of at-home Cyber Monday sales. Cyber Monday is simple, quick, people-free, and lets you find (sometimes better than Black Friday) deals and perfect presents for those around you. I like to use the day to stock up on a few things for my family: stocking stuffers, last-minute hostess gifts, and gifts for friends. 

My latest favorite gift-giving items are candles. I started decorating my own home with candles - a way to add some wonderful, seasonal scents, light, and ambiance to a room - and find that they often come with a big price-tag and I'm shy to spend that much on myself. Getting a candle as a gift has become a bit of a luxury that I look forward to during the holiday season. Once something starts feeling like a luxury to me, I think of it as a wonderful gift. Only problem? Despite the fact that a candle is a fantastic addition to a home, it can still seem like an impersonal gift. Add online shopping to the mix and you take all the handmade, personal touch out of the holidays. The solution? Add a handmade piece to your gift that shows the recipient you did more than click "add to cart." I have a tutorial for some handmade (and super simple) clay ornaments that would love lovely on any tree and double as gift tags!

This Cyber Monday, when you're comfy at home in your PJ pants (or at work wishing you were in your PJs), check out the new American Home™ by Yankee Candle® brand sale on They defy the standard of expensive candles (you can get 19 oz. of happy fragrance for under $15 and smaller 12 oz candles around $10, all the way down to some $2-4 options for votive candles!). The line-up of fragrances actually had Ben and I arguing over the potential best for our home: we waffled between the happy, cinnamon fragrance of Warm & Happy Home™ and Ben's favorite, the woodsy Balsam Fir, and then we both fell for the sweet baking fragrance of Ginger Pumpkin Pie. Take advantage of Walmart's line-free sales on Monday, the 30th, and snag two 19 oz candles (in Sparkling Cinnamon Spice and Balsam Fir) for only $22, while supplies last. A serious steal! What fragrances would you pick from the Walmart assortment page?

Read on for a DIY that'll accompany your cozy shopping day and make any candle gifts you give out sparkle brighter.

You'll need:

Air dry modeling clay
Rolling pin
Holiday cookie cutters
Metallic paint or paint pens
A paint brush or sponge
An American Home™ by Yankee Candle®  brand candle to set the seasonal mood!

Step 1: Take a small handful of air dry modeling clay and roll it out, on a hard surface or cutting board, to about 1/16-1/8" thick.

Step 2: Take a cookie cutter shape of your choice (I love a star shape) and cut out as many shapes as your sheet of clay will allow. Punch a hole in the clay shape with a straw in a location where you can tie on a ribbon later.

Step 3: Let air dry until hard for 24 hours.

Step 4: Take gold or silver paint and a brush or sponge (a paint pen also works) and decorate your shapes with the sparkly paint.

Step 5: Take a small piece of yarn or string and tie a loop through the hole in your shape. 

Step 6: Hang your ornament around a gift, the neck of a bottle of wine, or a candle for a homemade touch.

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