Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: Year in Review!

                I thought about doing a year-end post of the most popular posts of the year. However, I decided that chances are good you have already seen those! Instead, I chose my 12 favorite posts of the year (June was kind of a bust, post-wise, since I was busy helping with the wedding, so I chose a post from July that I actually did in June.) So without further ado, here are my personal faves from the year:

January: We made "Adorable Aliens"
February: I whipped up some "Happy Hearts Trail Mix" (Anyone interested in a printable for this? Let me know in the comments!)
March: I shared some of my favorite recipes from my "Crockpot Goodness" Pinterest board.
April: I put together these "Teacher Thank-You Handsoap Sets".
May: I threw Carson a "$25 Birthday Party".
June: More teacher thank-yous: "Cute Coaster World Carnival Favors"
July: I loved the "Wedding Day Candy Bar" from my sister's wedding so much, it got its own post!
August: I finally blogged these fun "Art Party Krispy Treats".
September: I helped decorate for this fun "Raindrops and Sprinkles Baby Shower".
October: I blogged for 31 Days! This was a huge accomplishment. I loved the whole "31 Days of Perfect Party Planning" series.
November: I talked about "Teaching Kids Gratitude" just in time for Thanksgiving.
December: This is definitely the post I am the most excited about: I created a "31 Day Reading Guide to Ephesians" and shared it just in time for the New Year!

This has been a huge year for my little blog. I started a Facebook page (I would love it you would "like" it!). I joined a group Pinterest page (Thanks so much Living Well, Spending Less!). I was featured at several different blogs (check out the right hand side of my blog if you are interested in where). I committed in the second half of the year to blog at least 4 times a month, and gain 100 Facebook fans and I did both. I am so excited to see where the Lord leads in 2014- I know He has had His hand all over this. Thanks for joining me! My prayer for all of us in the New Year is:

"May He give you the desire of your heart
    and make all your plans succeed." Psalm 20:4

Happy New Year!

Linking Up:
"Whatever Goes Wednesdays" at Someday Crafts
"Create It Thursday" at Lamberts Lately
"Fabulously Frugal Thursday" at A Life in Balance 
"Thursdays are Your Days" at 52 Mantels 
"All Things Thursday" at All Things with Purpose
"Thrifty Thursday" at Living Well, Spending Less
"Craft Frenzy Friday" at Craft Dictator 
"Super Saturday" at Made From Pinterest

Monday, December 30, 2013

31 Day Reading Guide to Ephesians

   I am so excited to share this special New Year's gift with you. It's a Bible reading guide for the book of Ephesians! I have a passion for the Word, and I love to study and read it. However, I have started to realize that it is a daunting book for so many people, and I think that it is a tragedy that they allow that fear to keep them from delving into one of God's greatest gifts to us. The Bible *is* an exceptionally complex, challenging book. However, that should be the last thing that keeps you from reading it, because we are promised that the Holy Spirit will help us to understand:

"What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord
    so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ." " 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 (NIV)
   (By the way, that is a passage we will cover this month!)  We are promised that the Spirit will teach us and impart wisdom. Sometimes, though, it is still hard to know where to start! But if your New Year's resolution is to read your Bible, then I would love to help. I have put together a reading guide that will take you through the entire book of Ephesians ( Did you know it is called the greatest of all of Paul's letters?) including background, and complimentary/explanatory passages. You will read a passage from Ephesians one day, and then the following day you will read other verses from the New and Old Testament that will help you to have a richer understanding of the Ephesians verses.  I've even made a printable!

Right click on the image to save and print

 All you need to do is print it out and place it with your Bible. I folded mine in half and plan on using it as a bookmark. I have scheduled it so that you will not have any passages to read on Sundays. However, that isn't a day "off"- it is a day that you can look up additional verses on your own, focus on different portions of Scripture, or catch-up if you missed a day. I

   The Word will never return void, so if  all you do is read the passages you will be blessed. However, if you are looking to dig deeper, I encourage you to keep a journal, and write down your thoughts and impressions. Or perhaps you could choose one of the particularly meaningful sections to memorize. How ever you use it, I hope it provides a jumping-off point to a deeper relationship with God this year! That is one of my New Year's goals that never changes.

P.S. I made a little error in two of the dates. If you are using the printable for January, you will see that the 11th and 12th need to be switched (read on the 11th, rest on Sunday the 12th) and the 18th and 19th (read on the 18th, rest on the 19th). I hate mistakes, but hopefully this won't be too big of  deal. Thanks for understanding.

Are you looking for Bible study tools? Here are some of my favorites!

Linking to:
"Whatever Goes Wednesdays" at Someday Crafts
"Create it Thursday" at Lambert's Lately
"Fabulously Frugal Thursday" at A Life in Balance 
"Thursdays are Your Days" at 52 Mantels
"All Things Thursday" at All Things With Purpose
"Pin It Thursday" at Sweet Bella Roos
"Thrifty Thursday" at Living Well, Spending Less
"Craft Frenzy Friday" at Craft Dictator 
"Super Saturday" at Made From Pinterest

Thursday, December 26, 2013

New Year's Metallic Dot Wreath (Updated!)

             I posted about this New Year's metallic dot wreath I made last year, and I pulled it out again to decorate with this year! It was so easy to update it- I simply pulled off the "3" and since I saved my stickers from last year, I just added a "4" instead! The wreath saved beautifully, and I am still in love with the metallic colors- they are such a refreshing change from the bright, sometimes overwhelming colors of Christmas! I love to leave it up the whole month of January. If you would like to make one, it will cost you about $5 and only take about 20 minutes, and you can find the whole tutorial here! I feel like the poor New Year is overlooked after Christmas, so it deserves some special New Year's  decorations of its own!

Linked at:
"Live Laugh" Thursday at Live, Laugh, Rowe 
"Create It Thursday" at Lamberts Lately 
"Show Your Stuff" at Just Winging It 
"Craft Frenzy Friday" at Craft Dictator

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas is for the Hungry


    I don't really love to cook. I looove to bake, and make candy, but I don't really get into making "real" food. However, back in the beginning of December, I was taken captive by an idea. I really wanted to make dinner for my husband and all his co-workers, and take it up to their shop. Even I was a little surprised- where did this craziness come from? But, because I love to fill my plate beyond full, I decided to make it happen.

   So now, in my kitchen, there are the ingredients to make dinner for over 20 people. And I started to get a little nervous. *What* was I thinking? These people are not needy! Why was I so intent on feeding them? And then, a little Voice said," Jesus came to feed the hungry, not just the needy. And everyone is hungry."

   Everyone is hungry. We are looking for something to fill that hole. In our stomachs. In our hearts. In our lives. And isn't that what Christmas is all about?

"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us." John 1:14a

"For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink." John 6:55

   He knew our souls were starving, He knew our minds and hearts were empty. He came so that He could fill us, so that we need never know that gnawing, biting, all-consuming ache again. He made Himself into the very thing that we needed most, the thing we were literally dying without. 

   And the Word has always spoken of the importance of recognizing the parallels between spiritual and physical hunger. One of my favorite passages from Isaiah says,

"“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke
  Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 
 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 
 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I. "
                                               Isaiah 58:6-9 (NIV) 

    Jesus knew all about hunger. He fed the thousands more than once. He came to show us that satisfying physical hunger is often the first step to healing spiritual hunger. We break down walls when we break bread together. Those men my husband works with- do they *need* my food? No, probably not. But I know they are hungry, in more ways than one. And if I want my "light to break forth like the dawn" then I am commanded to share my food with the hungry.

    Christmas is about satisfying needs. We see "wants" run a muck this time of year, but we fail to recognize that Christmas is for the hungry. He came to feed the hungry- and not one of us is excepted from that title. And if I have already been filled, if my deepest desire has been met- then I am commanded to pour out, to give much, to follow Him in feeding the hungry. And so maybe, that is where all of this craziness came from. This need to make a meal, is really about meeting a need. Maybe by satisfying one small physical want, I can show them Who can satisfy every want. He came so that we would never hunger again.

"Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35 (NIV)

   So this Christmas, may you be full. May the Bread of Life, the only One who can satisfy all your desires dwell among you. And may you be able to share the fullness of His love. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Great Grinch Party

            I have wanted to have a Grinch party for a while now. It has long been one of my most favorite Christmas movies. My friend Sarah and I talked about it, and we agreed that it was a holiday necessity. However, we all know how crazy this time of year is, so we didn't want anything over the top that required too much time or money.

     I decided that I would not make any decorations before the party day-I put everything together this morning, the only thing I did beforehand was shop and make the cookies. I used a great recipe I got from my sister for "Gooey Butter Cookies" and simply added green food coloring.  Oh, and I had already made these "Cake Batter Truffles" a few days ago, so I just put them in a pretty white dish!

   One of my favorite decorations was this paper garland. I literally put it together in about 15 minutes! I had some paper strips left over from my wreath (yes, I am a scrapbook paper hoarder!)  and then I cut a few more on my paper cutter. I didn't worry about the widths or lengths, I wanted them to be varied. Then I hot glued them onto a ribbon, randomly choosing strips. It turned out so cute!

   I made the tulle pom-poms for Josie's birthday (I plan on sharing that next month!) and they were just perfect for this party. I printed off this Grinch printable and used some ribbon to make the frame longer for hanging. Then put green striped candy canes in a vase with this printable on the front, and a little green tissue paper in the bottom. I put my truffles in an olive dish and a few floating candles in a glass bowl and put everything on cake stands. My peppermint tree worked with the color scheme so I put it on there, too. My friend Sarah put together these cute "Grinch" fruit kebabs. The kids loved them!

    I taped my "Paper Straw Snowflakes" over the pictures on my wall. They were the right color, too. I love this kind of decorating- simple, easy and cute. I put everything up in about an hour, and that included printing the printable, and making the garland!

     The best decoration isn't one I made. Sarah's talented husband drew this amazing Grinch free-hand so the kids could play "Pin the Heart on the Grinch". He looked so great on the wall!

           The kids had a great time trying to get the felt heart onto the right spot. And doesn't the Grinch look like he needs a heart (or 6)?!

    I put together this "Melt the Grinch's Heart" game. I used cherry Runt candies (not only do they look like hearts, but they are the right color). I made put them in ice cube trays filled with water dyed green. The water did mostly remove the color from the candies, though!

   I told the kids they could use any part of their bodies to get the candy free from the ice. They were kind of hilarious! They really enjoyed it, and I provided several towels to warm and dry their hands with. Their reward for getting the candy out was another heart candy.

The favors were the last part. So easy and cheap, too! I had a coupon so I got the Market Pantry reindeer grahams from Target for $1. Just like Max the "reindeer"! The tree shaped bubbles were $0.75 for two at Target-just like the trees the Grinch stole. And then I tied two green striped candy canes with a little curling ribbon.

 I used more of the Grinch candy cane printables to top cellophane bags with! I love having favors and these were so simple and inexpensive, less than $1 each!

    I forgot to take photos of the "green" hot chocolate I made. I used this "White Peppermint Hot Chocolate" and it was delicious! We topped it with whipped cream, snowman marshmallows and sprinkles. The kids had a "teeny" sugar high, but it was worth it. We munched all the goodies while watching the classic "Grinch" movie and it was just delightful.

      We decided that this little party definitely needs to be an annual event. It was just perfect for the holidays-easy, fun, and low-key. I think Sarah and I liked it almost as much as the kids!

Linked up at:
"Whatever Goes Wednesday" at Someday Crafts

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sweet and Simple Cookie Kit Gift-with Free Printable!

         I have another easy gift idea for you- and another printable! This little cookie kit can be put together with just a few inexpensive items from Target or Walmart, but it makes a sweet, thoughtful gift for a teacher, neighbor or friend! It is perfect for a last minute gift, since you don't have to make anything.

I purchased:
-"Cookie Cookbooks" from Mardel. These little books are so cute, and they were only $2 each.
-Cookie cutter sets from Target. Dollar Spot score!
-Cake Mate "Sequins" Frosty Mix sprinkles, from Walmart $1.30 each
-Vanilla Cookie candle from Walmart $1
-Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix $1.50 at Target
-Polka Dot Paper Bins (I bought mine last year, they were clearanced for $0.25, but you can get the same thing for around $1)
-some ribbon to tie your printable on with.
 Right click on the printable to save, and then print full sheet size. You will have four labels. The front says, "Merry Christmas" and the back says,

"Sprinkles and sweets, 
delicious cookies and
treats, we hope that is 
what your holidays are
made of!"

"Sweet friendship refreshes the soul." Proverbs 27:9 (the Message)0

Even if you don't want to make the cookie kits, you could put this little tag on any kind of homemade treat! Since they don't specify what is inside, you can use them however you want. And, since they don't have a particular recipient on them, you can use them for teacher gifts, neighbor gifts, or just whoever! 

I printed the labels, folded and then placed them at the top of the cookie mix packages. I punched two holes (be careful to punch at the very top of the bag, on the sealed part, so you don't puncture the part with the mix in it!) and then I tied ribbon into a bow.  There are lots of other fun things you could add to your gift, or you could make a homemade mix, but I was going for frugal and easy, so all my items are store-bought. However you do it, it will still be a cute and thoughtful gift!

Mine ended up being around $6 each. I always think that homemade gifts are lovely, and it would have been fun to have given cookies that I had baked, but time is short, and I thought these would be fun for the recipients to use with their families. They can be also be used after Christmas, when everyone isn't completely inundated with homemade treats anymore!

Linked up at:
"Fabulously Frugal Thursdays" at A Life in Balance 
"Thursdays are Your Days" at 52 Mantels 
"Pin It Thursday" at Sweet Bella Roos 
"Thrifty Thursday" at Living Well, Spending Less
"Craft Frenzy Friday" at Craft Dictator

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Glam Feather Holiday Wreath

      The last time I made a holiday wreath for my door, it was this one. My style has changed a *lot* since then, and it was really time for an update. I made this paper Christmas wreath, but it wasn't suited for my front door, it was a little too fragile. I love Christmas, but I decided that you could definitely leave this wreath up past Christmas, even up to Valentine's Day if you wanted to, so "holiday" wreath was an appropriate term. However, if you prefer, you can definitely call it a Christmas wreath!

     This is one Christmas wreath that is fast, fun and cheap! You can get started after a quick trip to the Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby.
You will need:
-5 red feather boas from the toy section at the Dollar Tree. They may not look like much, but once you shove them on the wreath form, they will look much more expensive!
-floral pins
-a wreath form, I used an 9.5 inch extruded foam one, but those are kind of pricey (about $4 at Hobby Lobby), you could definitely use a cheaper foam one, or even a straw one. The fluffy feathers cover a multitude of flaws!
-embellishments, if you want. It looks just as good plain! I used a snowflake ornament from Walmart that was $0.98. I have three in the photo, but I only ended up using one. I also ended up adding some ribbon.
- a lint roller. This is not a joke-you will get "fluff" everywhere, and this will make clean up much easier!

Total cost: around $10

  To get started, find the end of one of your boas. All the ones I bought had yarn loops at the end, so it made it really easy to pin it into the wreath form. I made sure to keep all my pins on one side so that it had a "back".

Push the pin securely through the yarn and into the form.

Start looping the boa securely around the wreath. Don't pull too tight-you don't want to damage your feathers and pull it apart. Push each loop together to cover the form completely. Once you reach the end, secure that yarn loop and start another boa next to it.

In less than 10 minutes you will have a fabulously feathery glam Christmas wreath! You can stop here, or you can embellish it.

I removed the hanging loop from my ornament, and then I secured it with three floral pins-make sure you are pushing these into the wreath form, and not just the feathers! If you look closely at the photo, you can see the pins. I then attached a simple bow to the top.

This is the part where you will want the lint roller. See all the feather bits? Once it is clean, you can enjoy your lovely "Glam Feather Holiday (or Christmas) Wreath!

Isn't it delightful? It is definitely the easiest wreath I have ever made, and it is definitely my favorite Christmas one! I may leave it up until summer...

Linked up at:
"Be Inspired" at Elizabeth & Co.
"Wow Me Wednesday" at Ginger Snap Crafts 
"Whatever Goes Wednesday" at Someday Crafts
"Fabulously Frugal Thursday" at A Life in Balance 
"Thursdays are Your Days" at 52 Mantels 
"Sugar and Spice" at Seven Thirty Three 
"Thriving on Thursdays" at Domesblissity 
"Lovely Ladies Linky" at Life with the Crust Cut Off 
"Pin It Thursday" at Sweet Bella Roos 
"Thrifty Thursday" at Living Well, Spending Less 
"Craft Frenzy Friday" at Craft Dictator

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pretty Peppermint Tree

This week has had two special blog "firsts" for me. I shared my first printable! That was very exciting. And today, I am guest posting for the first time ever! Anne, of "Planting Sequoias" graciously agreed to share her little corner of the blog world with me today. I shared a post about a whimsical peppermint tree I made!

  This little candy-covered tree makes me happy every time I look at it. It is just a fun, simple decoration with a lot of charm. I put together step-by-step instructions for how to make your own peppermint tree. So jump over to "Planting Sequoias" to check it out! Drop Anne a comment, and maybe she will ask me back!;)

P.S. (updated as of 12/4/14) I had people ask about how well it would store. True story: I packaged mine in clear wrap, and then carefully bundled it in packing paper and put it with my other decor in a Rubbermaid container. We moved over 800+, stored it in a shed for 6 months, I schlepped it to our new apartment, and opened it, thinking for sure it would be ruined. Nope! It stood up like a champ! It had lost two candy pieces, which I hotglued on, and it is proudly standing on my bookshelf. You can definitely store this-I didn't even shellac mine. Love this thing!

Linked up at:
"Whatever Goes Wednesday" at Someday Crafts
"Thursdays are Your Days" at 52 Mantels 
"Thriving on Thursdays" at Domesblissity
"Lovely Ladies Linky" at Life With The Crust Cut Off 
"Pin It Thursday" at Sweet Bella Roos 
"Thrifty Thursday" at Living Well, Spending Less 
"Craft Frenzy Friday" at Craft Dictator

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Warm,Fuzzy (Gloves!) Teacher Gift-with a Printable!

I am over the moon to show you this project for one major reason: I HAVE A FREE PRINTABLE! Yes, I am shouting, because I am *not* tech-savvy at all. I am sure this would have been easy for the majority of the population, but that isn't the case for me. However, it will be totally worth the work as long as it makes things a little easier for at least one or two of my readers. It really is all for you. ;)

This little gift comes together in a snap (since you don't have to play around with making printables!) and it costs less than $5! I wanted to give something useful and calorie-free to my kids' church teachers-and since touchscreen compatible knit gloves (yes, I'm an iPhone junkie!) are on my own Christmas list this year, I decided that was just the thing!

Supply List:
-pair of gloves for each recipient, I chose "touch screen compatible" ones from Target, $3 each
-Nivea lotion tins, I specifically chose these because 1. I love the lotion, its terrific. 2. I knew they would be a good fit for a 2 inch hole punch! Bonus: they are only about $0.89 each.
-a 2 inch hole punch
-clear cellophane bags to fit your gloves, I picked up a package of 25 at the Dollar Tree
-silver "foil shreds" to place in the bottom of the bags, this is definitely optional, but fun! $1 at the Dollar Tree
- my printables! Simply right-click on the image to download and save, then right click on the image to print. Chose regular paper size (8.5x11) to print the right size for both images.
-standard hole punch
-ribbon for tying the bags and toppers together

Bag Toppers for Teacher Glove gift

 The bag toppers are super easy, simply cut off the extra white paper around each topper and fold along the line in the middle. It looks like half of the topper prints "upside down" but it will be right-side up when it is folded.

The front of the tags says, "Merry Christmas!" and the back says,
"Thank you "snow" much for being a great teacher. All the kindness and g"loves" you've shown warms our hearts." The small print says, "Every time we think of you, we thank God for you." 1 Thess. 1:2.

Snowflake Lotion Toppers
The lotion toppers can be used for a variety of things-I think they would make cute gift tags, even. To use them for the lotion, cut the rectangles apart, you don't need to do this with any precision.

Center your punch opening over the snowflake and punch. You will have a perfect circle that fits great on your lotion tin!

 I also discovered that this fit great on top of Nivea's "lip butter" tins- so if you are looking for another gift option, this is cute, too. I placed four tiny glue dots on each punch and stuck it on top of the tin. It will be easy to remove, but it looks cute in the packaging.

   I added some silver "foil shreds" to the bag and then placed the gloves and lotion tin inside. I needed to slightly fold in the sides of my bag, I taped them down. Then I added the topper and punched two holes centered near the top, and then tied a bow with some ribbon.

See? A super simple, yet thoughtful, gift that teachers of all kinds should appreciate- I know I would! Now, if only I could get my "students" to make these for me....

All ready to say a warm, fuzzy thank-you!

Linked up at:
"Pin It Thursday" at Sweet Bella Roos
"Fabulously Frugal Thursday" at A Life in Balance
"Thursdays are Your Days" at 52 Mantels
"All Things Thursday" at Posed Perfection
"Thrifty Thursday" at Living Well, Spending Less 
"Craft Frenzy Friday" at Craft Dictator 
"Thoughtful Spot Blog Hop" at Ironic Adventures

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Simple Paper Straw Snowflake Ornaments

    I'm a tiny bit obsessed with paper straws. I'm not sure why. Maybe its because I'm a trend-follower, maybe it is because they are so colorful, but whatever the cause, I just love them. And when I saw red and green ones at Target I was inspired to put together this cute and simple ornament craft-it is so easy you can make it with your kids!

First you need:
-paper straws in whatever "Christmas" colors you want. I purchased mine at Target in the Dollar Spot. At 10 for $1.00 it can't be beat!
-pipe cleaners, I would recommend white
-scrapbook paper
-ribbon for hanging
-1 to 1 and 1/2 inch hole punch (mine is kind of an odd size, it's like 1 and 2/5!)

Start by measuring and cutting your straws. I cut mine at 2 and 1/2 inch lengths, which gave me exactly three pieces per straw. However, you can make them as large or as small as you like, just be sure you have 8 equal pieces.

Then you need to trim 4 pipe cleaners to double the length of your straw pieces, minus a tiny bit (less than 1/4 of an inch). Basically, this ensures that you don't have pipe cleaner sticking out of the top of the straws.

Grab your pipe cleaners in the middle and twist them into a bunch. You don't need to twist too much, because you don't want a big lump. Just enough to keep them together.

Spread them out into a rough "snowflake" shape. Don't worry about getting it perfect, you can fix it once you add the straw pieces. Pipe cleaners are forgiving like that!

Simply slip your straw pieces over each pipe cleaner. There is no need to glue.

Now you should have an eight pointed snowflake!

Cut your ribbon double the length you want it for hanging and tie it securely in a knot around the middle.

Line the ribbon up on either side of one of the straws, so it will be in place once you add the center embellishments. Add a generous dollop of hot glue, or tacky/craft glue if you are working with children, making sure it touches the bottom of all of the straws.

At this point you have lots of options. You can use two paper circles to cover the center. You can add all kinds of embellishments on top of the paper, like rhinestones, buttons or ribbon. Or you can use a large button to cover the center. Basically, you just need something to cover the pipe cleaner twist in the center, and the glue that is holding it together. I used paper circles and buttons!

If you would like to finish the "ends", cut a piece of pipe cleaner about 1 and 1/2 inches. You will need 8, one for each point.

Fold it in half, and then take the top of each side, and bend that about halfway down, leaving it to point out horizontally.

That will give you a "T" shape like this. You can place these into the straws at the end of each point. I just pushed mine in and they stayed just fine, but if you are worried about them falling out, just put some glue in the end of each straw and then put the pipe cleaner piece back in.
I snapped a quick outdoor shot for you, but since it was 8 degrees and the wind was blowing sideways, it isn't too terrific!

I got a better shot indoors. These are great tree ornaments, but they would also be cute package toppers, or embellishment for a wreath. You could even string them together to make a garland.

They are also a really inexpensive project, too! The cost breakdown:

$0.30 for the straws (3 at $0.10 each)
$0.15 for the pipe cleaners (I bought a package at Hobby Lobby for $1 and didn't even use a fourth!)
Various embellishments and ribbon were probably less than $0.25
Total= around $0.75 each

I had the ribbon, buttons and paper on hand, but you use so little of these that even if you had to purchase them you would still have plenty left for other projects! They are quick to put together, so you can whip up a whole tree-full in no time.  Quick, cheap, colorful and easy-that is my kind of Christmas project.

Linked up at:
"Fabulously Frugal Thursday" at A Life in Balance 
"Thursdays are Your Days" at 52 Mantels 
"All Things Thursday" at Posed Perfection
"Pin It Thursday" at Sweet Bella Roos
"Thrifty Thursdays" at Living Well, Spending Less 
"Craft Frenzy Friday" at Craft Dictator


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