Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

diy | christmas fabric banner

Isn’t it amazing just how quickly Christmas sneaks up on us year after year?  I am a little in shock that we are only 4 days away from waking up on Christmas morn, full of excitement (and exhaustion) for the day ahead.

I am a little behind on the fabric banner trend, but I knew that I wanted to make a Christmas fabric banner this year to go above our fireplace. We don’t currently have a mantel in our home so every year I cringe when I think about hanging up our stockings.

This year my solution came in fabric strips wrapped around twine.  And I am very pleased with the results!  Therefore, I wanted to share with you (in case you were in the dark ages like myself) a little DIY “how-to” if you are interested in making one for yourself.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

First, you will need some fabric.  I picked these Fat Quarter Bundles from Hobby Lobby.  You can choose your own fabric to have quarter yards cut for yourself, but these were the exact colors I wanted so I let Hobby Lobby do the work for me.  Also, I checked out using the 40% off coupon and made Jonathan go to the next cash register and do the same, so we got both of the buddles for $6 a piece.

The bundles have a quarter yard each of six different prints, so 12 different prints total.  Of course, you do not have to do that many prints (it could be a little too busy) but it worked for what I needed simply because the colors matched so exactly.

The only other material you will need is twine.  Since I already had that at home, this project cost me a grand total of $12!

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

For ease, I used a cutting board and a rotary cutter.  It makes the project much faster.  However, you do not have to have either of these!  If you have scissors, you can eye-ball your measurements and make the cuts free handed.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

I chose to fold my quarter inch fabric in half and then made one inch cuts. This made each strip 1 inch wide by 18 inches long.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

The wonderful thing about this project is that it doesn’t have to be perfect!  In fact, you can play on imperfection and make each strip a little bit different (wider/thinner, longer/shorter) and come up with a great whimsical look as well!

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Keep cutting until your fabric is gone.  I think my piles ranged from 18-20 strips of each fabric pattern.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

In the end, I kept all of my fabric bundled together so that when it came to tying it onto the twine I could follow the same pattern each time.  Red, green, red, green, red green.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Now that you have all of your fabric cut, it is time to tie it onto the twine.  When looking up tutorials to do this myself, this was the most confusing part.

There are various tying options, but this is what I chose to go with.  Hopefully the step by step pictures will help explain how to tie each piece of fabric onto the twine.

HOW TO TIE ON THE FABRIC TO THE TWINE:

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Step ONE | Folding the fabric in half, create a U shape with the ribbon, holding on to the twine behind the ribbon.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Step TWO | Start pulling the two tails of the ribbon up to wrap around the twine.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Step THREE | Pull the tails of the ribbon through the middle of the ribbon but over the twine.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Step FOUR | Keep pulling the tails of the ribbon until they are completely pulled through the opening.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Step FIVE | Your knot should now look like a bowtie. Holding firm to the twine and the tails of the ribbon, start pulling tightly.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Step SIX | Keep pulling. Your “bowtie” should be getting smaller and smaller.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Step SEVEN | Once your ribbon is tightly secured to the twine, push it over to the start of your banner. Depending on the look you are going for will depend on how close you want each knot.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Step EIGHT | Continuing creating knots in alternating fabrics to create your banner until all fabric has been used.

Clear as mud?  Doing something is the best teacher, so if how I tied my ribbon doesn’t work for you, feel free to wing it!  Any knot will work. 😉

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

I am really pleased with how it turned out.  The colors match our stockings PERFECTLY.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Not to mention, the banner hides the ugly nails I used to hang up the stockings to begin with.

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Now you can enjoy your new Christmas fabric banner for years to come!

 

Fabric Christmas Banner DIY | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Questions?  Don’t hesitate to ask!  I’d be happy to help in any way I can.

Merry Christmas, dear friends. May your day be full of joy, love, and laughter.

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Create a fun Christmas season with an Advent Calendar | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

advent | calendar two

When I reminisce about my own childhood, many of my favorite memories surround traditions.  Combine traditions with holidays, and you create a magical combination.

Therefore, this year, I wanted to embrace the popular Advent Calendar and create a December to remember!  Many of these activities are ones that we would have done anyway, but this year I want to be a little more purposeful about the holiday season.

Create a fun Christmas season with an Advent Calendar | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

…and with this calendar comes lots of grace.  If I don’t (and I’m sure I won’t) get to every activity, I will let myself off the hook, because mom guilt is the worst.  And my babies won’t know the difference anyway!

Great ideas for a FREE advent calendar 2015 | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

For a FREE downloadable PDF, click HERE.

Great ideas for a FREE advent calendar 2015 | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

For a FREE downloadable PDF, click HERE.

 

  1. Read about the birth of Jesus, watch THE NATIVITY (found on YouTUBE: 48 mins), make & eat haystacks.
  2. Watch THE SANTA CLAUSE and write letters to Santa.
  3. Listen to Christmas music all morning.  Decorate Felt Christmas Tree with Felt Ornaments.
  4. Make Christmas ornaments together.  This year’s ornament: Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments.
  5. Watch A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS and decorate the small, kid’s Christmas tree.
  6. Make banana bread (or other baked treats) for friends and deliver.
  7. Go meet SANTA at the mall and get pictures taken.
  8. Watch and read THE POLAR EXPRESS.  Eat cookies and drink hot chocolate while wearing pajamas.
  9. Help put up Christmas decorations at a local retirement center with our Community Group.
  10. Watch RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER and make reindeer treats/reindeer chow.  Play reindeer games (marshmallow toss/pin the nose on the reindeer/candy cane hunt).
  11. Go to the Fayetteville Square to look at the Christmas lights and take pictures.
  12. Make fingerprint/footprint/handprint Christmas cards to mail to Grandparents.
  13. Watch ELF and eat spaghetti for dinner.
  14. Watch MICKEY’S ONCE/TWICE UPON A CHRISTMAS and eat puppy chow (in honor of pluto).
  15. Make small THANK YOU gifts (mason jar gifts) for our Church staff and deliver.  Give M&M thank you to our mailman.
  16. Watch and read FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, eat popcorn out of snowman cups (sharpie on a clear plastic cup) and make snowman cloud dough (Pinterest).
  17. Read THE GINGERBREAD MAN stories and make a gingerbread house or cookies.
  18. Attend a CHRISTMAS PARTY with friends.
  19. Drive around our city, look at Christmas lights, listen to Christmas music, and end the night with an ice-cream family date.
  20. Watch and read HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (original cartoon) and make GRINCH slime!  Grinch Kabobs for a snack (grapes/bananas/strawberries)
  21. Watch HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS ( Jim Carey) and make breakfast for dinner (green eggs, green pancakes, and green milk).
  22. Throw a BIRTHDAY PARTY for Jesus.  Bake a cake, sing Happy Birthday, and read the Nativity Story again.
  23. Attend our church’s Christmas Eve Eve services.
  24. Open Christmas Eve Box (new pajamas to wear that night, and a new Christmas book/movie), make cookies, drink hot chocolate.  Put out Santa’s Christmas plate full of cookies/milk/carrots/and THANK YOU note to Santa.
  25. Eat a large breakfast, open gifts, take naps, play games — ENJOY every moment!

After I made this list, I realized I completely left off one of our family favorites — HOME ALONE!  So at some point we will also squeeze in watching Home Alone and buying tooth brushes to put in our stockings.

Having a plan also helps me to be able to keep my eye out for great deals on things to help assist in our Advent Calendar.  For example, while at Hobby Lobby yesterday, I was able to find a magnet Nativity scene kit that we can use on a large baking sheet to help retell the story of Jesus’ birth as well as a couple of great books…all at HALF OFF!  They also have a great Happy Birthday Jesus section that we can go and get some goodies for our Birthday party for Jesus.  Win, win, win.

Advent Calendar 2015 | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Hobby Lobby 2015 — half off Christmas sale!

Here is to the best Christmas yet!

*If you missed the inspiration behind this all, be sure and check out my previous post ADVENT | CALENDAR ONE*

Advent Calendar | ponytailsandpajamas.com

advent | calendar one

Today, I want to introduce you to a very dear friend of mine, Megan.  Our story is one that proves just how small this world is.  We once were two wee bloggers on a hosting site called Xanga, who randomly connected, only to realize we shared family, an alma mater, a love for crafting, Jesus, and a whole lot more.

Over the past ten years, our friendship has had its own ebb and flow, as most relationships do, but one thing remains… this woman is a hero of mine and I am a better person for having her in my life.

friendships are so sweet | ponytailsandpajamas.com

My sweet friend, Megan, and I on my wedding day.

I wanted to share with you a tradition that Megan created for her family six years ago, before the popularity of advent calendars or Pinterest to help guide her.  She set out to make the holidays special for her kids — and y’all, she did just that and more.

I’ve sat back and watched her complete her advent calendar throughout these past several Christmas seasons… and this year, I finally get to do it myself!  I am SO EXCITED to start this tradition with my own family.  I’ll post my adapted version of Megan’s Advent Calendar tomorrow but I did not want you to miss out on the original inspiration behind it all!

Advent Calendar | ponytailsandpajamas.com

So without further ado… here is a creative, fun, and totally do-able Christmas Advent Calendar.

For the last 6 years, we have done a different activity for each day. You can do an activity each day through the month of December (we actually start Thanksgiving Night) or the 12 Days Before Christmas.
1: Read about the birth of Jesus, watch THE NATIVITY, make & eat HAYSTACKS*
2: THE SANTA CLAUSE–watch movies & write letters to Santa
3: Watch IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE and VT: It’s a Meaningful Life. Eat PASTA (this is a family tradition that we started a few years ago. It has nothing to do with the movie, except George’s “best friend” is Italian. We just like it).
4: Watch CHARLIE BROWN & decorate the small (kids) Christmas tree
5: Make SALT DOUGH ORNAMENTS*
6: Read & watch POLAR EXPRESS. Enjoy HOT CHOCOLATE & COOKIES
7: ELOISE DAY–Read & watch. Eat OATMEAL & RAISINS for breakfast (just like Eloise)
8: RUDOLPH–watch Rudolph & make reindeer treats. Play reindeer games
9: Read ABC Pop-Up book & make pop-up Christmas cards for family/friends
10: MUSIC, LIGHTS & SWEET TREATS–look @ lights while listening to Christmas CDs. Go to Braums/Starbucks/Dairy Queen for holiday ICE CREAM (Shelby Farms Drive Through Display)
11: GRINCH DAY–read & watch Grinch movies. Eat GREEN EGGS & HAM for supper
12: A VERY FROSTY DAY–watch Frosty, have a snowball fight (white socks), make SNOWBALL COOKIES (meringue cookies* with mini chocolate chips for face)
13: MICKEY CHRISTMAS–watch MICKEY’S ONCE & TWICE UPON A CHRISTMAS, eat PUPPY CHOW* (for pluto) & have HOT COCOA (like Donald Duck)
14: A CHRISTMAS CAROL–watch movies & write your own story using people you know
Mickey. Muppets. Musical. Barbie. Jim Carey
15: Watch A CHRISTMAS STORY & eat CHINESE FOOD
16: FIRESIDE–build a fire, roast marshmallows, sleeping in the living room
17: Make cookies & other goodies for friends
18: Caroling & deliver gifts to friends
19: Take turns reading THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER and discuss how YOU would direct the play
20: Jingle Bowling (take 10 clean 2-liter bottles and fill with Christmas items such as wrapping paper strips, jingle bells, cotton ball snowballs, mini ornaments)
21. Shop for siblings gifts (or make gifts) then wrap them (we split up and each adult takes a kid, then we come home and wrap presents for each other)
22. Santa Train
23. Watch ELF! & eat spaghetti
24. Family Game Night with finger foods & apple cider
25. Read THE NIGHT BEFORE THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
26. Bellevue Singing Christmas Tree Christmas Program (or any church program)
27. Candle light church service
28. Peabody Ducks or your Local Square (Fayetteville Lights)
29. Hannukah Party. JELLY DONUTS & LINZER COOKIES
30. Read JUNIE B. JONES. Read in parts
31. Make a gingerbread house/village
CHRISTMAS EVE
Attend Christmas Eve service with N&P. Look at Christmas lights. Watch THE CHRISTMAS STORY. EAT! Open pjs from Nana
*ham, cheese & turkey rolls *sausage balls *sweet & sour sausages *cheese cubes *fruit
*pecan tassies *pumpkin fudge *something CHOCOLATY
CHRISTmas DAY!
Celebrate the birth of our Lord & Saviour, Jesus Christ. Open gifts. breakfast (by the men). PLAY! Lunch. Look at lights. Left-overs. PLAY SOME MORE!
Other holiday “classics” that we like to watch
*Phineas & Ferb Holiday Specials *Elf on a Shelf (Thanksgiving) *Adventures in Odyssey *White Christmas *Holiday Inn *Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (with toast, jelly beans, & popcorn) *Shrek Christmas Special *Blues Clues Holiday Specials *Barbie Nutcracker *Home Alone *A Christmas Child
Isn’t that just AMAZING?!

Thank you so very much my friend, for giving us a glimpse into that creative brain of yours, and for allowing me to share it here to inspire others like it inspired me.   I love you, Meg!