Dec 24, 2015

How to Make Christmas Crackers

Dear Chicago House,

When I was in the UK a few weeks back I saw loads of boxes of Christmas Crackers..sadly they were too bulky for me to carry back to the US. They are traditionally used as a festive table favor..you choose a partner to pull your cracker, the winner is left with a trinket, paper hat and lame joke!

You can occasionally find them in stores here...but this year I have not had the time to hunt them down...so...I thought I'd have a stab at making my own.

how to make christmas crackers

How to make Christmas Crackers.

What you need 
  • Nice thick festive paper. I used scrap booking paper which was the perfect size to produce 2 crackers
  • Toilet roll
  • Double sided tape
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Small gift to place inside cracker
Start by cutting your paper to size. Each cracker requires a piece of paper 12" by 6"
how to make christmas crackers
Fold as illustrated above .
Your paper will now look like this.

how to make christmas crackers

Fold the paper in on itself and  carefully snip triangle shapes as shown.
how to make christmas crackers
 Do both sides
how to make christmas crackers
Using double sided tape stick paper to a toilet roll, starting at one edge.
how to make christmas crackers
how to make christmas crackers
how to make christmas crackers
Add more tape to finish the ends
how to make christmas crackers
Add you gift, joke, paper hat or what ever takes your fancy and seal ends with some pretty ribbon. I curled my ribbon with scissors.
how to make christmas crackers
how to make christmas crackers
Merry Chritmas!

Love from

Creative in Chicago

XX

Dec 22, 2015

Free Geeky Merry Xmas Card

Dear Chicago House,

The geeky, maths side of me loves this fun concept for a Christmas card.


..and yes, I do understand the alegbra!

It is yours FREE to download for all those maths bods in your life.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwc_jc1on9kqMXJkZ2RfUXYwQTQ/view?usp=sharing

Love from Creative in Chicago XX

Dec 17, 2015

Simple Christmas Decorations for a Dining Room

Dear Chicago House,

What with my hectic trip to England last week, Christmas is really creeping up on me this year. Fortunately Miss Chicago took it upon herself that the Christmas decorations should go up extra early so at least our house is looking festive.

One of my favorite things she did was create these beautifully simple decorations for our dining room chairs.

dining room chair christmas decoration
dining room chair christmas decoration

dining room chair christmas decoration
They are super easy to make.
What you need
  • Wide ribbon
  • Holiday sprigs - we used pre-made bundles but you could easily use some festive greenery.
  • scissors
Cut a piece of ribbon that will go twice around your chair. Tie and knot then create your bow. Snip the ends of the ribbon to create an inverted V. Thread your festive sprigs into the bow and you are done!
christmas dining room
christmas dining room

This dining room has come a long way from the sorry state it was when we first moved in. You can see it HERE. The most recent update we have made, was to change out the horribly traditional chandelier with some more in keeping with our modern dining table.

Now I need to get going with some festive food to serve up in this room!

Love from

Creative in Chicago

XX

Dec 14, 2015

Festive Greenery

Dear Chicago House,

I had a rather hectic trip to the UK last week with Miss Chicago teen. She had an important "appointment" and I had an opportunity to do a little Christmas shopping!

It has been a long time since I have shopped over there at Christmas time but despite the jet lag, it was fun.  The market in the center of Cambridge, even in the rain, was a feast for the eyes with beautiful holly wreaths and festive greenery.

holly wreaths cambridge market

mistletoe cambridge market
In Convent Garden, London, there was more festive greenery suspended from the market place roof.
festive greenery convent garden
and this fun Lego Christmas tree

being transported by this fabulous Lego train...complete with steam coming out of its chimney

We were only there for a few days and I wish we could have stayed longer but I did have a chance to stock on up on British chocolate!

Love from

Creative in Chicago

XX

Nov 3, 2015

Pumpkins

Dear Chicago House,

I always leave it until the last minute to carve my pumpkins and this year was still hands deep in orange mess when the door bell rang for our first round of Trick or Treaters.

This year Mr Chicago House joined in on the action and carved the one on the left..while I took an arty approach and decided to do a swirly patterned pumpkin.

carved pumpkins

It took ages but I was really please with the result.

carved pumpkins swirl pattern
carved pumpkins
I like to do something different every year.

Here are last years efforts

carved pumpkins
carved pumpkins

Love from

Creative in Chicago

XX

Nov 2, 2015

Secret Messages for Kids

Dear Chicago House,

What kid isn't intrigued by secret messages and codes?  ... I am a grown up and they still fascinate me!

I have been designing a collection for a while and have brought my first round together in a new web site called "Secret Messages for Kids" It is a fun site with lots to do.

Here are a few examples.

Use a piece of transparent red plastic to decode these Cosmic Color messages
secret messages for kids



A bit of nifty...but easy folding will reveal these clever Fancy Folding messages
secret messages for kids


Print out  grid decoder to crack these Groovy Grids

secret messages for kids


And some really simple folding to crack these "Mask Letters"
secret messages for kids



The site also offer a Secret Message Master Challenge

secret messages for kids

Your kids will have fun! ..visit at Secret Messages for Kids

Love from

Creative in Chicago

XX

Oct 12, 2015

Easy Pistachio Shell Art

Dear Chicago House,

Tasty and nutritious, what's not to love about pistachio nuts. If you needed an extra incentive to munch down on their loveliness you can now  re-cycle those shells into a piece of pretty artwork too! 

Pistachio Shell Art

This is easy and fun to do

What you will need
  • Washed pistachio shell halves
  • Sharpie Markers
  • Stiff card
  • Glue
Pistachio Shell Art

Simply color in about a quarter of each shell with a sharpie. Each flower will require 5-6 shell halves. Arrange each flower on your card as you go and once you have filled it up and are happy with your design break out the glue.


Pistachio Shell Art
Frame it up and you are good to go! Pistachio Shell Art


Enjoy!

Love from

Creative in Chicago

XX