Toilet Paper Roll Star


Judging by the Paper Bag Christmas Cards I made earlier this week, I like to use household items to make pretty things.

Hang it on a tree, tie it on a package, or set it on a bookshelf.  However you display it, these stars (flower, maybe?) are lovely. and sparkly. and use book pages. and toilet paper rolls.

DSC_0487You’ll need:

  • 1 toilet paper roll
  • ruler, pencil, scissors
  • glue – preferably with a pointed applicator
  • 1-2 old book pages
  • glitter [optional]
  • button/pearl for the center [optional]

Toilet Paper Roll Star:

Flatten each roll and mark off 1/2″ segments along both sides of its length.

Cut across the roll using the marks as guidelines to make pointed oval (marquise) segments. You only need 6 pieces to create this star.  Use leftovers for more stars or some other crafty project.

Place a dot of glue about 1/8″ from the tip of one oval and press it into the same spot of another oval.  Wait 30 seconds or so for the glue to dry and continue the process until all the ovals are glued together (creating the star/flower shape).

As you continue to glue, the marquise shape will spread out to create the “petals”.  You may have to help them along a bit so they don’t tear apart.

Let the star dry while you work on the book page center.

Book Page Medallion:

My method for making the book page medallion was very experimental.  I’ll tell you how I did the one above, but would encourage you to check out any tutorial online for making paper medallions for a clear explanation of how you SHOULD make paper medallions.

I decided how wide I wanted my medallion and cut two strips of book page to that width.

Each strip was folded accordion style, about 1/4″ (ish) wide and then folded in half to create a middle crease.

The pieces of paper closest to each other in the crease were glued together, giving me two semi-circles of accordion book page.  Glue the semi circles together and voila!

starStar Construction:

I created a placket to attach the star and medallion because there are so many thin edges on both pieces.

Cut a square of card stock and glue to center of the star.  Glue the medallion to the card stock.

Use a toothpick to apply glue to random edges and sprinkle glitter liberally over the glue. Let dry for a minute then tap off excess glitter.  Tap over a piece of paper so you can recycle the glitter.

Add a button or pearl to the center.

photo (16)I tied mine on to a package of gingerbread granola for a hostess gift.


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Fabric-Covered Christmas Balls

DSC_0504Since you have your fabric stash out after making some Christmas garland, why not use it to make these decorative fabric-covered Christmas balls?

  • Rip fabric into strips about 1/2″ to 1″ wide. The length doesn’t matter too much, but the longer they are, the less glue you will have to apply.
  • Use a dot of glue to secure one end to a styrofoam ball.
  • Wrap fabric around the ball until all the styrofoam is covered.
  • Cut excess fabric off and glue the fabric end to the ball.

The method is simple and can be repeated on different size balls (which can be found at craft supply stores).

My fabric-covered balls are in a ceramic bowl on the coffee table. Using the same fabric patterns as the garland ties the colorful decor together, creating nice Christmas cohesiveness in your house.



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Christmas Garland

DSC_0323I inherited my Gramma’s sewing skills.  In other words, I can sew straight lines and that’s about it.  I look up the directions for threading my little, purple sewing machine every time I sew something.

I saw some adorable fabric scrap bunting on Pinterest a couple months ago and immediately saw visions of this Christmas garland in my head.  Even my basic sewing skills wouldn’t keep me from making this vision a reality.  Heck, even hand-stitching would be an acceptable, albeit slower, option for those who are completely allergic to sewing machines.

DSC_0317Twine seemed like a sturdy stringing option and I always have a spool on hand.  My mom, creator of my beautiful wedding ornaments, brought her stash of Christmas fabric when she visited last month.  We ended up making three garlands.

The process is simple.

  • Create a template with the size flag (for lack of a better descriptor) you’d like.  Mine are 4″ wide and 6″ tall (with the triangle point coming up about 1 1/2″ from the bottom).
  • Cut, cut, cut! Fold your fabric to cut out more than one at a time. Vary the fabric to your taste.
  • Fold down the top edge to create a 1/4″ opening.  Iron the flags and the fold.

DSC_0308Now, the sewing part.  I’ll admit it.  My mom did all the sewing, which turned out great because my sewing machine had some needle issue that would have made me throw it all out the window before I got even one hem sewn on these cute flags.

  • Sew along the raw edge of your fold.
  • Keep feeding your flags through the sewing machine, until all of the hems are closed. You’ll end up with a string of flags connected by thread.
  • Cut each flag from the thread string.
  • Arrange the flags in a fabric pattern you find aesthetically pleasing.
  • Use a paper clip or safety pin  to pull twine through each flag.

DSC_0313Spread the flags out along the twine and hang the garland.  Stand back and admire your handiwork!

I draped mine behind the couch to give our normal display some Christmas cheer.  I sent one to my sis and bro (in-law) and they hung it on a mirror in their dining room.

I love the folky aspects of this garland – no need to have clean edges or cookie-cutter flags.  The imperfections add to it’s primitive charm.


Read Along The Road ~ Christmas Edition

A list of favorite Christmas tomes that adorn my bookshelves:

Christmas With Anne by L.M. Montgomery.

  • A fellow Anne fan gave this to me a couple years ago and I have read it every Christmas since. Christmas with Anne is a collection of 16 holiday stories, including favorites like “Matthew Insists on Puffed Sleeves” and others that have never appeared in book form.

Christmas Cookies by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

  • I was charmed by Amy’s first book, Cookies: Bite Size Life Lessonsand was so excited to see a Christmas themed follow-up.  Gorgeous illustrations accompany a delicious ABC dictionary of holiday lessons.
GRATITUDE means taking a minute to look around the table and be thankful for all the people and all the cookies.


The Greatest Shepherd of All: A Really Woolly Christmas Story by Holley Gerth

  • Grandpa Woolly shares the story of THE Shepherd to his little woolly grandkids – Faith, Hope, and Joy.  The whole Really Woolly line (brought to life by Julie Sawyer Phillips) makes me smile and this book is a prime example why.  Part allegory, part kid’s book, this little gem manages to be cute without being simpering.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

  • It just so happens that one of my favorite novels also has plenty of Christmas spirit.  Little Women is wholesome and worth reading no matter what holiday is around the corner, but there’s something special about snuggling up to read the March women’s timeless story during the Winter months.

The Gift of The Magi by O. Henry

  • The twist ending in this popular short story has long lost its surprise, but O. Henry weaves a sentimental tale that continues to resonate with gift-givers everywhere.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

  • Beneath the ethical and emotional transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge lies the subtle comedy of Dicken’s literary genius.  The story is oft adapted, but the original definitely earns its classic status.


How to have a Mary Christmas

How is always the hardest part for me.  What and why are simple enough, but how is a different story.

Where do you start when what you want to do calls for stillness, silence, and sitting?

I don’t know how to turn on a switch and be still.  If I manage to sit down, my mind is inevitably whirring with activity.

I’m realizing that having a Mary Christmas isn’t accomplished through action steps, even if the actions are stillness, silence, and sitting.  A Mary Christmas comes by choice – a choice to slow down and focus my mind.

When I make space to dwell on the season, I’m forced to slow down. I can’t hurry past my Savior when meditating on the joy, peace, glory, and wonder surrounding His earthly beginning. Slowing down is a non-negotiable when my soul is frozen in awe.

The how becomes inextricable from a heart meditating on Jesus. I take cues from the heart of other key players in the humbling narrative of Christ’s birth.

Sing with Mary:

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.

{Luke 1:46-47,50}


Praise God with the heavenly hosts:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!

{Luke 2:14}

Rejoice with Simeon:

For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.

{Luke 2:30-32}

Let our Savior inspire stillness with joy, with awe, with wonder. Let praise and glory bloom in the silence of your heart.


My aunt shared these thoughts with me recently:

Someone once said something to the effect: the words don’t have to be spelled right, don’t have to be perfectly written to be beautiful. So it is with Christmas. The house does not need to be perfectly decked nor the presents perfectly wrapped. The most perfect of “home”  has already been set. The stable – no bells, whistles, decorations, fancy wrapped gifts – just God’s perfect plan. 

God’s perfect plan for Christmas is not perfection. A Mary Christmas follows His example of simplicity and a heart swelling with our Savior.

How will you celebrate a Mary Christmas?