DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments

This post was sponsored by Dr. Oetker Virtuoso Pizza. Thank you for supporting
the sponsors that 
help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

Decorating the tree is undoubtedly one of my favorite parts of the holiday season each year. As a kid I loved helping my mom unwrap all the ornaments while my dad strung the lights. Oftentimes my grandparents would come over and hang out while we were working away, and to this day there is just something about the tree trimming ritual that I love. Each year my mom would sit down with us in the weeks leading up to Christmas and we’d craft homemade ornaments for the tree. They were usually made from things like walnuts, pipe cleaners and glitter, and they were always some of my favorite ornaments to pull out of the boxes of decorations. As an adult I’ve kept that tradition alive, making a few new homemade ornaments each year, and this year I teamed up with my good friends at Dr. Oetker Virtuoso Pizza (formerly Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza) to make these super pretty gold leaf star ornaments! Invite the grandparents over, pop your favorite gourmet frozen pizza in the oven, make a few ornaments and deck the halls. Hands down the best way to spend an evening that I can imagine.

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

Supplies

  • Plain papier-mâché ornaments
  • Gold leaf sheets
  • Foam brushes
  • Gold leaf sizing/adhesive
  • Golf leaf sealer

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

Begin by covering all or most of the surface of your ornaments with a thin layer of gold leaf sizing using a clean foam craft brush. This is the adhesive that holds the gold leaf to the papier-mâché. The adhesive is very thin and watery, so don’t necessarily look for it to be an opaque layer. Then allow the ornaments to sit for 10 – 15 minutes or until the surface is tacky to the touch and the adhesive is completely transparent. (Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for best results with whatever brand of adhesive you decide to use.) For reference, I applied adhesive to the front and sides of my ornaments, but skipped the back although you could definitely do all sides if you prefer.

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

Once the adhesive is set up and tacky, gently lay a sheet of gold leaf over the surface of your ornament. Use a clean, dry foam brush to smooth the gold leaf over the star, burnishing off any excess. The gold leaf won’t have 100% perfect coverage, but that’s ok! That’s the beauty of gold leaf and exactly why we’re using it versus painting our ornaments. Once you’ve achieved the coverage you like, apply a very thin layer of gold leaf sealer over top using a third foam brush. Repeat the process for each ornament and allow them to dry completely before hanging.

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

Being our first Christmas in our house, this year we decided to get two trees, which we cut down at a local tree farm. Luckily for me, that meant twice the tree decorating joy! I baked up a few of our favorite varieties of Virtuoso (they bake to the perfect thin, crispy crust in about 12 minutes at 425°) and had an easy dinner while we listened to Christmas music and sorted through ornaments, garland and lights. (The Signature Spinach and Pepperoni Pesto flavors have been in high rotation around here lately.) We did one tree all in gold, blue and silver and covered it with toddler-friendly non-breakable ornaments, like these gold leaf stars! The second tree (which is on the big wide landing halfway up our staircase) holds our breakable and keepsake ornaments, because it’s in an area where the baby is never hanging out unattended. The combination of the two is making me so happy!

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

To host your own little tree trimming or ornament crafting party, pop a few Virtuoso pizzas in the oven. They offer nine gourmet flavor pairings all with that signature thin crust that I love so much. You can track down your favorite variety by checking out the store locator to find where Virtuoso is sold near you, or put in a request with the manager at your favorite store! The pizzas (now showcasing a hip new name and a cool new box) feature seriously delicious, fresh ingredients that sincerely elevate the frozen pizza game. Once your pizza is baked up, slice it and set it out on a tray or platter with a stack of cute paper plates and call it done! If you want to go one step further, serve it up with a tasty salad pairing, simple enough for pulling together quickly, even on a weeknight.

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Gold Leaf Star Ornaments | Homemade ornaments, homemade Christmas gifts, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

Don’t forget that for more recipes, tips and entertaining ideas, you can follow Virtuoso on Facebook! You can also give me a follow over on Instagram where I’m sharing loads of holiday DIY ideas, Christmas decorating ideas and more all season long. If you give these ornaments or any of my other craft projects or recipes a try, share it with me there using the hashtag #thesweetestholidays so I can see how you’re making the season merry and bright!

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[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

This post was sponsored by Dr. Oetker USA LLC. I received compensation for this post, but all opinions are my own. Read more about our editorial policies.

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A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays

This post was sponsored by Keurig Green Mountain®. Thank you for supporting
the sponsors that 
help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

When I think about entertaining during the holidays, I like things to feel really fun and special for friends and family, but not at the expense of my sanity. We have a huge family and a lot of obligations this time of year, so time can be limited and throwing extravagant parties just doesn’t make the cut on my list of priorities. What I love to do instead is have one really fun self-serve feature that feels festive and merry, and makes our guests get excited, without taking me all day to pull together. Enter this super fun spike your own hot cocoa station, which I created in collaboration with Keurig Green Mountain® as a nod to the holidays and National Hot Cocoa Day, which is today! We’re talking an epic hot cocoa bar with every kind of garnish and topping imaginable that will have your friends talking about your amazing holiday party long after the season has come and gone.

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

The star of the show here is the Keurig® K55 brewer, which makes brewing the perfect cup of hot cocoa quick and easy! I stacked a bunch of Swiss Miss® Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa and Swiss Miss® Peppermint Hot Cocoa K-Cup® pods on a cake stand and set out an assortment of mugs to make it really simple for guests to create their own cocoa concoction. I poured spiced rum, peppermint schnapps and Irish cream into simple glass carafes (which is prettier than setting the bottles out, but still really easy to pull off) and set out a jigger so it’s easy to spike at will. Then it’s all about the toppings and the stirrers and the dunkers! We’re talking loads of marshmallows in two varieties, candy canes, shredded coconut, sprinkles, chocolate covered pretzel rods, cookies, peppermint patties, and candy galore. A big bowl of homemade whipped cream was the final finishing touch, but you could just as easily set out a can of whipped cream and call it good!

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

My favorite part about doing a hot cocoa station like this is how simple it is to cater to every guest’s flavor preferences without a ton of effort. The peppermint lovers can brew a mug of Swiss Miss® Peppermint Hot Cocoa, add a shot of peppermint schnapps and garnish everything with pink peppermint marshmallows, whipped cream, sprinkles and a candy cane. The chocolate lovers can opt for Swiss Miss® Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa with a big splash of Irish cream and a dollop of homemade whipped cream with a chocolate chip cookie or two for dunking. (Um, that’s my personal favorite if you’re wondering!) The candy lovers can spike their cocoa with spiced rum and then load it up with marshmallows and a big handful of candy toppings. The possibilities are endless!

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

A Spike Your Own Hot Cocoa Station for the Holidays | Christmas party ideas, hot cocoa recipes, Christmas party recipes and more from @cydconverse

If you’re still on the hunt for great gift ideas (like I definitely am), the Keurig® K55 brewer also makes a perfect gift for someone you love this year! It brews the perfect cup of cocoa, coffee or tea every single time with the touch of a button so it’s a really thoughtful way to treat someone. I personally love that I can easily make a cup of coffee while I’m juggling a baby on my hip and a dog circling my feet. Plus, then they’ll be able to create their own hot cocoa station and what could be better than that? For more sweet ways to show someone you love them this holiday season, be sure to check out the Keurig® gift guide!

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[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

This post was sponsored by Keurig Green Mountain®. I received compensation for this post, but all opinions are my own. Read more about our editorial policies

15 comments

DIY Eucalyptus + Pine Christmas Wreath

DIY Eucalyptus + Pine Wreath | Homemade Christmas wreath, Christmas DIY ideas and more from @cydconverse

It’s no exaggeration when I say that it’s always a great day when I get to share the work of longtime friend Andrea Harper of Gray Harper Event Maker. Andrea, a massively talented event designer, has contributed loads of incredible cocktail recipes and DIY ideas over the years, including her own truly gorgeous baby shower. Today she’s sharing what has to be the absolute prettiest DIY Christmas wreath I’ve ever laid eyes on. I’m crazy about the mix of seeded and silver dollar eucalyptus, cedar, and pine, and the addition of succulents for a modern touch. This wreath is like the perfect modern take on a traditional holiday wreath, which may just be why I love it so much.

DIY Eucalyptus + Pine Wreath | Homemade Christmas wreath, Christmas DIY ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Eucalyptus + Pine Wreath | Homemade Christmas wreath, Christmas DIY ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Eucalyptus + Pine Wreath | Homemade Christmas wreath, Christmas DIY ideas and more from @cydconverse

Supplies

  • Greenery (this wreath uses seeded and silver dollar eucalyptus, cedar, and pine)
  • Succulents
  • Wire wreath form
  • Floral snips
  • Zip ties
  • Floral wire
  • bamboo skewers (if your succulents don’t have stems)
  • Floral glue (optional)

DIY Eucalyptus + Pine Wreath | Homemade Christmas wreath, Christmas DIY ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Eucalyptus + Pine Wreath | Homemade Christmas wreath, Christmas DIY ideas and more from @cydconverse

Being with making small bundles of mixed greenery. We used three to five stems of each of our various greens depending on how full each stem was. Next, lay the first of your bundles over the wire wreath form and use a zip tie to secure to greens, trimming the excess ends of the zip tie once secured. Layer the next bundle on top of the previous one, being sure to cover the stems and once again use a zip tie to hold everything in place. Repeat all the way around the wreath until the entire form is covered in greenery.

DIY Eucalyptus + Pine Wreath | Homemade Christmas wreath, Christmas DIY ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Eucalyptus + Pine Wreath | Homemade Christmas wreath, Christmas DIY ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Eucalyptus + Pine Wreath | Homemade Christmas wreath, Christmas DIY ideas and more from @cydconverse

DIY Eucalyptus + Pine Wreath | Homemade Christmas wreath, Christmas DIY ideas and more from @cydconverse

If your succulents don’t have stems, insert a bamboo stick gently into the back of the succulent head. You can add floral glue here if necessary to help keep the skewer secure. If your succulents have stems, you can skip this step entirely. Next up, wrap a bit of floral wire around the stem of succulent. Insert the stem (or skewer) into the desired location on wreath and use the wire to secure it to the form. Repeat with as many succulents as you’d like. We used two on our wreath, but the more the merrier! Then all that’s left is to hang and enjoy. Happy holidays!

DIY Eucalyptus + Pine Wreath | Homemade Christmas wreath, Christmas DIY ideas and more from @cydconverse

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

6 comments

My Christmas Wrapping Theme for 2016

My Christmas Wrapping Theme | Gift wrapping ideas, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

I have a bit of reputation among family and friends as being the gift wrapper. You know, that person who gets a little crazy about making sure every package is perfectly, neatly wrapped and topped with just the right festooning of ribbons or twine. I completely understand why some people find wrapping gifts to be a hassle so good enough is good enough, but for me I feel like that extra bit of care and those special little details really make the gift recipients feel extra loved. Each year I pull together a Christmas wrapping theme that I use for every gift I wrap. It’s a signature look that I carry through the whole season with a pretty serious commitment. At family Christmas celebrations you can always tell which stack of packages originated in our house, and I love seeing people get excited about what’s inside. Under our tree on Christmas morning, all the packages coordinate and stick to the theme of the year, whatever it might be. This year, it’s all about white, blue, gold and kraft paper. Actually, most year years I include kraft paper, because it’s an inexpensive way to supplement your wrapping paper supply without spending hundreds of dollars on wrapping paper, even though that’s always pretty tempting.

My Christmas Wrapping Theme | Gift wrapping ideas, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

My Christmas Wrapping Theme | Gift wrapping ideas, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

My Christmas Wrapping Theme | Gift wrapping ideas, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

To pull together my slightly obsessive wrapping scheme each year, I start by finding one paper I absolutely love and let it set the tone. In this case it was this beautiful white and blue plaid, which was practically begging to be paired with gold. Add in some gold and white stripes, the gold foil stamped kraft pattern and the basic kraft paper and you’ve got something pretty stunning, even if I do say so myself. I personally love twine for decking out gifts, but always make sure to add in a bit of ribbon, too. This textured gold ribbon, the metallic baker’s twine and the big yarn pom poms with the gold foil tags make for the perfect finishing touches.

My Christmas Wrapping Theme | Gift wrapping ideas, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

My Christmas Wrapping Theme | Gift wrapping ideas, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

My Christmas Wrapping Theme | Gift wrapping ideas, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

My Christmas Wrapping Theme | Gift wrapping ideas, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

My Christmas Wrapping Theme | Gift wrapping ideas, Christmas decor ideas and more from @cydconverse

This year most of my packaging accoutrements came from Target, which to be honest is my usual go-to destination for gift wrapping supplies. They have the best collection of patterns, colors and gift topping accessories and it’s just so easy to pull together all the pieces to create really beautiful packages. For more speciality papers to add into the mix, Paper Source always has a great selection and if you have a great local stationery store be sure to check out what they might carry from independent boutique lines. Oh, and because I’m nosy, I’d love for you to show me how you’re wrapping your gifts this year on Instagram using #thesweetestholidays!

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[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

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The Sweetest Christmas Playlist

The Sweetest Christmas Playlist | Best Christmas playlist, Christmas decorations, recipes, craft ideas and more from @cydconverse

I know a lot of people love Christmas music, but today I’m going to make a really big claim. I am going to come right out and tell you. I love Christmas music more than most people who love Christmas music. As a kid we would go caroling at local nursing homes with my aunts and cousins, wearing Santa hats and singing in four part harmony. In high school I was in a show choir where we’d start practicing our Christmas medleys and choreography (complete with an obscene number of outfit changes and loads of sequins) in September. We’d then perform dozens of times throughout the holiday season throughout the local area and at community events. To this day, I am not even the teeniest bit ashamed to sing and dance in public if one of my favorite Christmas jams comes on while I’m out shopping or running errands. Luckily for her, I’m already hard at work passing this love down to little Baby E. She starts dancing and singing along in her baby way and she hasn’t complained a bit that we’ve been in full-on Christmas music mode around here since October. All of this rambling said, today I’m sharing with you The Sweetest Christmas playlist! 26 of my favorite songs, although it’s in no way inclusive or exhaustive. Consider this a really solid go-to list, a mix of classics alongside modern selections, too. The essentials that will suit just about every crowd and a few fun things in the mix. The playlist you’re going to be playing heavily for the next few weeks. Hit the link below to listen along and pipe up in the comments and share your favorite Christmas songs with me!

Click here to listen to The Sweetest Christmas Playlist!

  1. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree | Brenda Lee
  2. Little Saint Nick | The Beach Boys
  3. All I Want for Christmas Is You | Mariah Carey
  4. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas | Kacey Musgraves
  5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas | Michael Bublé
  6. Feliz Navidad | José Feliciano
  7. Baby, It’s Cold Outside | Brett Eldredge + Meghan Trainor
  8. River | Sam Palladio
  9. Holly Jolly Christmas | Lady Antebellum
  10. Christmas All Over Again | Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  11. Christmas Time is Here | Vince Guaraldi Trio
  12. Blue Christmas | Elvis Presley
  13. What Christmas Means to Me | Stevie Wonder
  14. Underneath the Tree | Kelly Clarkson
  15. Santa Baby | Eartha Kitt
  16. Jingle Bell Rock | Bobby Helms
  17. My Only Wish | Britney Spears
  18. Mele Kalikimaka | Kacey Musgraves
  19. This Christmas | Donny Hathaway
  20. White Christmas | Irving Berlin
  21. Step Into Christmas | Elton John
  22. A Marshmallow World | Darlene Love
  23. Carol of the Bells | Peter Wilhousky + John Williams
  24. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve | Kacey Musgraves
  25. Happy Xmas (War is Over) | John Lennon
  26. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town | Bruce Springsteen

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