DIY Pom Pom Bow + Wooden Spool Garland

Following on the footsteps of yesterday’s egg nog and linzer cookie recipes, our girl Andrea Harper of Gray Harper Event Maker  is back with two last minute quick and easy holiday DIY projects for you today! It’s no secret that one of my favorite parts of the holidays are those little homemade details that make everything feel especially merry. Putting a little love into your gift wrap or decor is such an extra special touch this time of year and it’s always appreciated by family and friends. So while you’re working on wrapping, decorating and baking this weekend, here are two such DIY ideas to get you inspired!

DIY Yarn Pom Pom Gift Wrap

DIY Holiday Crafts

I love handmade gifts, don’t you? Why not take the gift giving to the next level and make some fun DIY pom pom yarn bows to adorn all your pretty packages? These pom pom bows are a cinch to make and really jazz up a package in no time. Use them for presents under the tree or to give a tray of cookies a touch of something fun and merry.

  • Yarn
  • Card stock cut to 2″x6″
  • Scissors

DIY Pom Pom Gift Wrap

DIY Pom Pom Gift Wrap DIY Pom Pom Gift Wrap

Take a piece of yarn about an arm’s length long and lay it on top of the piece of cardstock. Using the same piece of yarn, wrap the cardstock, making sure to overlap the end of the yarn. Once you’ve covered most of the cardstock, use your scissors to cut along the wrapped threads.

DIY Pom Pom Gift Wrap DIY Pom Pom Gift Wrap

Tie all the new loose threads with the original strand of yarn. You now have a cute little yarn bow to place on top of your gifts!

DIY Pom Pom Gift Wrap

DIY Wooden Spool Garland

  • Thread (I used cotton thread with a little gold in it)
  • Wooden spools
  • Metallic spray paint

This project is very simple! Begin by first giving your wooden spools a coat or two of metallic spray paint in your choice of color. Allow them to dry completely.  Take your thread and a spool and wrap the thread around the spool until it’s full, make sure to leave enough thread on the end so that you can tie it when you’re done.

DIY Wooden Spool Garland

Tie a knot around the spool to keep the thread from unraveling. Move along the thread about 5 inches and repeat the steps with additional spools. Continue until you’ve reached the desired length, or until you run out of spools! Hang on your tree or above your fireplace, and enjoy!

DIY Wooden Spool Garland DIY Wooden Spool Garland

DIY Wooden Spool Garland

[Styling by Andrea Harper of Gray Harper Event Maker | Photos by Jade + Matthew Take Pictures.]

3 comments

25 Homemade Christmas Gifts

25 Homemade Christmas Gifts | The Sweetest Occasion

I’m a full on fan of homemade Christmas gifts! Each year I make a point of including a number of homemade gifts among the treasures I wrap up to stow away under tree. Whether it’s as simple as a mason jar packed with yummy biscotti or DIY aftershave with fragrances picked to suit the gentleman receiving it, I just think little homemade touches make the holidays feel incredibly special. Today I’m sharing 25 homemade holiday gift ideas with you – ranging from sweet little trinkets to more sizeable projects that you’ll have a joy tackling.

Click through for 25 homemade Christmas gifts and be sure to follow along over at Pinterest! I’m constantly adding to my Homemade Holiday Gifts board, which is actually perfect for gift giving all year long, too. Happy gifting!

4 comments

Christmas Egg Nog + Linzer Cookies

Christmas Egg Nog | The Sweetest Occasion

It’s really taking me by surprise that Christmas is next week. Next week! I know we’ve been talking about the food and the gifts and the parties for weeks now, but somehow it still found a way to sneak right up on me. I’m so excited that today AndreaSamantha and Jade and Matthew are here with a couple of perfect holiday recipes for you! We’re talking the perfect boozy Christmas egg nog and linzer cookies. (Side note – I am obsessed with linzer cookies!) If you’re hosting friends this weekend, this combination is the perfect pairing for a casual Christmas gathering or it makes the sweetest little treat on Christmas Eve. Have you ever had real egg nog before? If not, give this recipe a try. It’s a winner!

by Matthew McCully

  • 6 eggs separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup spiced rum (or bourbon if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste

Whisk egg yolks until light yellow and creamy. Add sugar, salt, vanilla and mix to combine. Add alcohol and milk. This mixture can be made up to 5 hours ahead, covered, and refrigerated. When its time to enjoy whip both heavy cream and egg whites separately until soft peaks form in each. Fold in egg whites and heavy cream to pre-made alcohol mixture. Less whipped cream and more milk can be used to make the mixture thinner. Sprinkle top with a little fresh grated nutmeg, cinnamon…or both!

Linzer Cookies | The Sweetest Occasion

Linzer Cookies | The Sweetest Occasion Linzer Cookies | The Sweetest Occasion

by Samantha Sanford

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups slivered almonds
  • 1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp dark rum
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup seedless jam (Raspberry is great!)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Pulse flour, almonds, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor until almonds are finely ground (no larger than poppy seeds). Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Beat in rum and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients. Beat dough just to blend; gently knead if necessary to form a ball. Divide dough in half. Place each half between sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Working with 1 piece at a time, flatten dough into a disk; roll dough, occasionally lifting paper on both sides for easier rolling, until 1/8 inches thick. Chill dough in paper until very firm, at least 2 hours. Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.

Arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Linzer Cookies | The Sweetest Occasion

Linzer Cookies | The Sweetest Occasion Linzer Cookies | The Sweetest Occasion

Working with one dough disk at a time, remove top sheet of paper and, using 2-inch star cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Transfer to baking sheets, placing 1/2 inch apart; chill. Repeat with remaining dough. Gather scraps; repeat rolling, chilling, and cutting until dough is used. Using 1/2-inch star cookie cutter, cut out a star from the center of half the cookies. Working in batches, bake cookies until light golden brown, dry, and just firm to the touch, 11-13 minutes. (Cookies will firm up as they cool.) Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.

Linzer Cookies | The Sweetest Occasion Linzer Cookies | The Sweetest Occasion

Linzer Cookies | The Sweetest Occasion

Bring jam and 1 teaspoon water to a boil in a small saucepan; let cool slightly. Arrange whole cookies flat side up. Spoon 1 teaspoon cooled jam in the center of each, dabbing slightly to spread. Arrange cookies with cutouts flat side down on a wire rack; dust with powdered sugar. Set atop whole cookies, lining up star points and allowing jam to push up slightly through center.

Note: Cookies can be baked 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

[Styling by Andrea Harper of Gray Harper Event Maker | Photos by Jade + Matthew Take Pictures.]

2 comments

DIY Linen Wall Calendar

by Caitlin, Marla and Manda of The Merrythought

DIY Linen Wall Calendar

DIY Linen Wall Calendar

I know it’s hard to believe, but 2014 is really just a couple weeks away! Time to think about a pretty new wall calendar for your home – or just a fun present to give next week!

DIY Linen Wall Calendar

  • Linen
  • Calendar graphic (Download ours here)
  • Iron-on fabric transfer
  • Iron
  • Pencil
  • Fabric paint
  • Paint brush
  • Wooden dowel 3/8″ x 36″
  • Hot glue gun
  • String

DIY Linen Wall Calendar

Cut a 15″ x 21″ piece out of your linen and iron flat. If you don’t want raw edges in your fabric, use fray check along the edges or sew a thin hem along each side. I decided to leave mine with the frayed edges showing for a little more of a natural feel. Print out your calendar dates (download it here) on an iron-on fabric transfer. Lay out the design of your calendar, leaving room for months, year, and any design you want, and then iron the months in place. You can leave them in a bunch or cut each one out individually.

DIY Linen Wall Calendar

Now you can sketch out the months, year, and additional designs with a pencil and then use a paint brush and fabric paint to paint over the pencil. Let dry. Cut your wooden dowel into two 16.5″ pieces. Sand the ends smooth. Use the hot glue gun to glue a dowel to the top and bottom of the calendar. Tie a string to each side of the dowel on the top side of the calendar.

DIY Linen Wall Calendar DIY Linen Wall Calendar

DIY Linen Wall Calendar

And that’s it! A beautiful calendar for hanging or gifting. Happy a safe, happy holiday, friends!

DIY Linen Wall Calendar

[Photos by The Merrythought for The Sweetest Occasion.]

The fine print: Please link with love! As with all of our posts, DIY projects featured on The Sweetest Occasion may not be copied, distributed or reproduced without express written permission. Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share this post, please link to this post directly for the DIY tutorial and do not include the instructions in your own post. Thanks so much! xoxo

4 comments

A Tasteful Holiday Giveaway with Nespresso

This post was sponsored by Nespresso. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that so generously help
The Sweetest Occasion keep the jingle bells a-ringin’ all season long!

A Tasteful Holiday with Nespresso

I’m probably not alone when I say that my favorite part of the holidays is spending time with family and friends. Whether it be fixing a feast for sixteen of our nearest and dearest (which is going down Christmas day at our house) or a flurry of little hands constructing gingerbread houses, it’s the people that are the cornerstone of celebrating the holidays. One thing we’re both passionate about, B and I love inviting over friends and family this time of year. We have so much fun planning the menu (a job we take quite seriously, I must admit) and taste testing recipes leading up to the big celebration. Our parties always revolve around the tastes of the season, with food and drink aplenty. On Christmas Day I’m planning a cocoa station for the kiddos and a full-out espresso bar and prosecco bar for the grown ups. And the food? The quantity of food is going to be record breaking.

A Tasteful Holiday with Nespresso

Nespresso recently sent me one of their Pixie espresso machines to try out and I have to say – we’re in love! The tiny size makes it perfect for our teensy kitchen and I love being able to make espresso and lattes on the fly during the day while I’m working. Combined with the Aeroccino milk steamer/frother, this little guy had me feeling like a barista in no time. Want to see it in action? B and I tackled our first stop motion video about a month ago for another project I was working on and I couldn’t resist a video today to show off my love for this little powerhouse, which will no doubt be playing a starring role in our upcoming holiday celebrations. You just pop in one of Nespresso’s delicious coffee capsules, push a button and watch it do it’s thing.

Oh yeah, that’s right. Guess what? Nespresso is giving one away to one of you, too! One reader is going to win a prize package from Nespresso worth over $400. (Woot woot!) The winner will receive the same Nespresso Pixie and Aeroccino they sent me plus a whole bunch of their tasty coffees to test out. Pretty sweet, huh? Just trust me when I say, you’re going to have to forcefully remove yourself from the presence of this little guy from time to time because slurping down those delicious espressos one after another is way too easy.

A Tasteful Holiday with Nespresso

PRIZE: (1) Nespresso Pixie + Aerocinno prize package (with a sampling of coffee, too!)

TO ENTER: We’re using Rafflecopter to organize this giveaway. See the form below for details on entering. There’s up to 15 chances to win!

GIVEAWAY ENDS: Wednesday, December 25th at 11:59pm EST

NOTE: I apologize but this giveaway is open to US readers only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Photos + video by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]

This post was sponsored by NespressoRead more about our editorial policies.

7 comments