Recent Posts

Rustic Nativity {and my first ever craft event!}

I could never find a nativity set that I liked, until I saw this style! I love it so much! #rustic #nativity #clevernest #woodennativity

The last couple months I've been keeping pretty darn busy, doing a lot of cool stuff! Making Emo Pumpkins for Joann Fabric, celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary, hosting family, celebrating Thanksgiving, and most recently, putting on a craft night for my MOPS group!

Whew!! a really satisfied whew, not an exasperated whew. This is what I love.

We made Nativity sets for our craft night. I fell in love when I saw these rustic nativity sets from Kennakee and ThatsSewPersonal Etsy shops, and was inspired to try putting together one of my own.
I could never find a nativity set that I liked, until I saw this style! I love it so much! #rustic #nativity #clevernest #woodennativity
So adorable, right? Here's mine
I could never find a nativity set that I liked, until I saw this style! I love it so much! #rustic #nativity #clevernest #woodennativity
I'd never put on a craft night before. Overall it was super fun, and I learned a lot about how to make it easier/faster/simpler the next time around. I hope I get the chance to do something like that again!
I could never find a nativity set that I liked, until I saw this style! I love it so much! #rustic #nativity #clevernest #woodennativity
A lot of pieces to assemble! All for one craft too, holy moly. In hindsight this was probably not the best option for a large group. Oh well, we had a good time!

I could never find a nativity set that I liked, until I saw this style! I love it so much! #rustic #nativity #clevernest #woodennativity

I could never find a nativity set that I liked, until I saw this style! I love it so much! #rustic #nativity #clevernest #woodennativity

I could never find a nativity set that I liked, until I saw this style! I love it so much! #rustic #nativity #clevernest #woodennativity
Success!
I could never find a nativity set that I liked, until I saw this style! I love it so much! #rustic #nativity #clevernest #woodennativity

Here's how we made our Nativities. It looks like a lot of directions, but that's just because there are 7 characters and a sheep and all their accessories. Get your glue gun cooking, roll up you sleeves, and let's roll!

Rustic Nativity Set
Supplies:
  • Seven 1 1/2" wooden ball knobs, found mine at Hobby Lobby
  • 3/4" round wooden ball, Hobby Lobby
  • 2x2 board, 96"long, Home Depot
  • 1 1/2" x 3/4", 6" long
  • 1/4 yd. white burlap
  • 3"x 9" muslin fabric (optional, for Jesus' swaddle)
  • Four 1x1 wooden blocks
  • 46" jute cord, cut into two 15" and three 8" pieces
  • 8" stick, from a tree ;)
  • Craft paint in light gray, medium gray, and dark gray
Other stuff you'll need:
hot glue gun, paint brush, sand paper

1. Cutting
I really wanted to use the power saw for this project, but Jason in his infinite wisdom wouldn't let me anywhere near it. So aggravating! What?? You want a wife with all her fingers still attached? such artificial standards men have these days. I begrudgingly let him cut all the boards for me. Thanks, Babe, you are probably right about me and saws. Gimme a high 9!

However you get it done, get the 2x2 board cut into 7 pieces, or bases.
Three 5"- Mary, Wise Man #1, and Wise Man #2
Two 5 1/2"- Joseph, Shepherd
Two 6"- Angel, Wise Man #3

Cut the 1 1/2 x 3/4 board into two pieces
2 1/2"- sheep
3"- Jesus

2. Fabric
You can eyeball it on your own, or download the templates I made here, and here. The Angel wings and Mary's veil are burlap, and Jesus' swaddle is the muslin.
Rustic Nativity set with downloadable templates #woodennativity #clevernest


3. Assembly Time!
All the characters follow the same steps.

Joseph
Paint a 5 1/2" base with one light coat of medium gray. I made my coat light so I could see the wood grain underneath, and it would be easier to sand once dry. After a couple minutes it should be dry enough to sand the edges, and some other spots here and there, and glue a large wooden ball "head" on.

Mary
Paint a 5" base light gray, one light coat like Joseph! Sand the edges and glue a head on (here after S&G!). Gluing on the veil is a bit tricky, my advice is to start conservative with the glue and add dots here and there until it looks right! I glued the top and back of Mary's head first, then added glue to the sides of her head, and sides of her body.
I die over these rustic Nativity figures! Directions for the whole set, even a sheep! #woodennativity #clevernest

Jesus
Paint the 3" wood block white. S&G* the small head on. It might help to sand down one side of the ball so it rests flat on the block. Glue the swaddle to the base, leaving enough room for it to fold over Jesus' head a bit, and crisscross over his body. I did this on one set, and decided I liked it better without. There was just a lot going on between Mary's veil and Jesus' blankets, haha. Totally personal choice! Finally, glue Jesus to Mary.
*see Mary's directions
I die over these rustic Nativity figures! Directions for the whole set, even a sheep! #woodennativity #clevernest

Shepherd and Sheep
Paint one 5 1/2" base dark gray. S&G. Glue the stick to the front and tie a 15" jute tie around Mr. Shepherd's waist. Paint the 2 1/2" block and one 1x1 wood block white. Sand the edges and glue the block "head" to the sheep.
I could never find a Nativity set that I liked until I saw this style, and now I am in love! The shepherd's staff is driftwood from the beach. I'm so happy how the whole set turned out! #rusticnativity #clevernest

Angel
Paint a 6" base white. S&G. Tie a 15" jute tie around his waist and glue the wings on the back.
I could never find a Nativity set that I liked until I saw this style, and now I am in love! The shepherd's staff is driftwood from the beach. I'm so happy how the whole set turned out! #rusticnativity #clevernest

Wise Men and Presents
Wise Man #1- paint a 5" base light gray, S&G.
Wise Man #2- paint the last 5" base medium gray, S&G.
Wise Man #3- paint the last 6" base dark gray, S&G.

Tie three 8" jute ties around three wooden blocks, and glue one to the tallest Wise Guy.
I could never find a Nativity set that I liked until I saw this style, and now I am in love! The shepherd's staff is driftwood from the beach. I'm so happy how the whole set turned out! #rusticnativity #clevernest

This is my favorite Nativity of all time, totally digging the rustic look and the grays! #woodennativity #diynativity #clevernest

For kicks I made a set in color as well as the grays. Which one is your favorite?
This is my favorite Nativity of all time, totally digging the rustic look and the pops of color! #woodennativity #diynativity #clevernest

This is my favorite Nativity of all time, totally digging the rustic look and the pops of color! Shown in grays too #woodennativity #diynativity #clevernest

This is my favorite Nativity of all time, totally digging the rustic look and the pops of color! Shown in grays too #woodennativity #diynativity #clevernest

This is my favorite Nativity of all time, totally digging the rustic look and the pops of color! Shown in grays too #woodennativity #diynativity #clevernest

I had such a great time crafting with my MOPS ladies! By the way, if you have preschoolers and you've never been, MOPS rocks! They have them all over, and it's a fantastic friend base and support group. I heart my MOPS <3.

Have a great week! Happy December!!





    
This is my favorite Nativity of all time, totally digging the rustic look and the grays. Too bad my husband wouldn't let me near the power saw. Apparently he prefers me with all my fingers still attached. #woodennativity #diynativity #clevernest

6th Anniversary: OMG girl, RELAX!

This post is a Williams-Sonoma initiative. 
I was not paid to write this post, all the opinions are 100% mine!

Today is me and mah Sweetie's 6th anniversary!! We're celebrating with a (mostly) kid-free weekend, and it is glorious! I've been with this amazing man for 10 years now, including dating, woot woot! Writing this post had me scrolling thru the old wedding photos. I feel like I was so such a little kid then. I looked like a little kid then!
our 6th anniversary! Advice I would have given my pre-wed self #clevernest #williams-sonoma #registry

our 6th anniversary! Advice I would have given my pre-wed self #clevernest #williams-sonoma #registry

Too many good times to count :)
our 6th anniversary! Advice I would have given my pre-wed self #clevernest #williams-sonoma #registry

It's been awesome thus far, and I can't wait for the next 66 years together <3 I love you, Babe!

Looking Back
Don't freak out.

Basically that's what I would have told myself 6 years ago, when I was a couple months shy of becoming a Mrs. Sweetie. I was a total stress ball of planning, details, more planning of more details. Decisions, budgets, registering!!! It was well documented.
our 6th anniversary! Advice I would have given my pre-wed self #clevernest #williams-sonoma #registryour 6th anniversary! Advice I would have given my pre-wed self #clevernest #williams-sonoma #registry

our 6th anniversary! Advice I would have given my pre-wed self #clevernest #williams-sonoma #registry

I particularly remember the day me and Jason registered for all our wedding stuff.

We headed into our local Big Store of Everything You Could Want or Imagine, checked in at their registry kiosk, and were handed our scanners. So much power! So much responsibility! Registering for your wedding is supposed to be fun.  But, for me, this was equivalent to getting a man on the moon. One wrong move, and SPLAT!  or whatever noise you make when you hit the moon.

Instead of relaxed, this was me, in my head.  "Must register for every single item I will ever need in my life, forever. Must find the best quality-slash-best price of said item, no matter how long that process takes. Must decide on my decor style for the next 20 years. Must not forget anything!!"

We wandered through the kitchen section, and dishes, me darting in and out between the aisles with that scanner thing beeping away, like I was in a war, trying not to forget anything, and really trying not to double back. Because, did I mention? Jason hates shopping??

 By the time we got to the towel wing of the store, Jason had had enough. I think it was when he saw my eyes hit the three story tower of towels, and heard me whispering my mantra like a sleeper agent's trigger word. "Must find the best quality-slash- best price thing! Must find the best quality-slash- best price thing! What color towel do I want to look at for the next 20 years?!?!?"

Omg, girl. Re-lax.

I'm not sure why I went all Manchurian Candidate on him. Maybe it was that my mom still owned and used practically all the stuff from her wedding. Or that I was being super OCD. And basically just getting totally stuck in my head about it. Deep breaths, Alyssa. deep breaths.

Besides RELAX, this is what I wish I could have told my pre wedded self.
  • Have fun with it!
  • Don't be afraid to ask for something pricey, if it's what you really want.
  • Don't freak out about bath towels! You will be replacing them within 5 years, and in a totally different colors scheme!
  • It's ok to ask for fun stuff, just because you like it!
  • Know that if by chance you forget anything, you'll be getting a bunch of gift cards, and you'll fill 2 carts full of additional stuff at Target the week after your honeymoon.
My friends at Williams-Sonoma have a fabulous wedding registry, which you can find here, that couldn't be easier or more stress free to use.
our 6th anniversary! Advice I would have given my pre-wed self #clevernest #williams-sonoma #registry

They even have tips for registering, so you'll never have to worry, "did I ask for enough left handed pot holders???"
our 6th anniversary! Advice I would have given my pre-wed self #clevernest #williams-sonoma #registry

followed up with free stuff, just for putting things on your list!
our 6th anniversary! Advice I would have given my pre-wed self #clevernest #williams-sonoma #registry

I highly recommend checking out Williams-Sonoma, and their registry rocks! They have the highest quality stuff you can breath easy as you scan away and build your list!

Looking Ahead!
A lot has changed in 6 years. My oh-so-stressed-out-must-pick-the-perfect towels are long gone, and other stuff from my registry I used daily- hello white dinner plates I love you still! I'm blessed to love my Sweetie way more than I did on our wedding day (muah!!). Off to do some skeet shooting, lunch, and then dinner with our family!

Have a lovely day!!


    
I'm now on Instagram!! It's so new, I don't even have a cute thing for it. Find me at @alyclevernest!

Woven Hipster Pumpkins

This post is sponsored by Joann Fabric and Craft, 
but the pumpkins and brilliant pumpkin puns are all my own!

Woven modern pumpkins #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric #clevernest

I got to participate in Joann Fabric and Craft's A Halloween to DIY For craft challenge! My
 #DIY4Halloween assignment was to make something pumpkiny using supplies I could find at Joann. You can see a bunch more Halloweeny crafts and get inspired at Joann.com!

Woven Hipster Pumpkins 
(because orange is so mainstream)

Supplies:
Strong wire (I used floral wire, but should have used something a lot less bendy)
Thin wire 
1 skein of yarn
2/3 yard fabric, cut into 1 inch strips

I originally wanted to make an all wire pumpkin sculpture. But the wire was particularly uncooperative, so I scaled down my plans and went for a more baskity approach. I like these a lot better!

I made two woven pumpkins, one big and one small. The smaller one is about 16 inches around, and the larger one is about 27 inches.
My "mama" and "baby" pumpkins, at least that's what my toddler would call them. Joann Fabric's A Halloween to DIY for crafting challenge, accepted! #DIY4Halloween #clevernest


I popped off to my Joann and grabbed me some supplies. 
Woven modern pumpkins #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric #clevernest


To get things rolling, I cut four lengths of wire about 14 inches long out of floral wire and bent them into a pumpkin-esque shape. I figured out pretty much instantly that I should have bought stuff that was a lot stiffer and would hold it's shape better. But it was naptime, I had a moment's peace, and a pumpkin to bring to life! Oh well, let's call this a prototype model!

I tied the wire pumpkins to each other at the base, then bent each wire to "fan" out and make a 3D shape. I tied the wires at the stem with more wire.
My "mama" and "baby" pumpkins, at least that's what my toddler would call them. Joann Fabric's A Halloween to DIY for crafting challenge, accepted! #DIY4Halloween #clevernest

My "mama" and "baby" pumpkins, at least that's what my toddler would call them. Joann Fabric's A Halloween to DIY for crafting challenge, accepted! #DIY4Halloween #clevernest


My "mama" and "baby" pumpkins, at least that's what my toddler would call them. Joann Fabric's A Halloween to DIY for crafting challenge, accepted! #DIY4Halloween #clevernest

My "mama" and "baby" pumpkins, at least that's what my toddler would call them. Joann Fabric's A Halloween to DIY for crafting challenge, accepted! #DIY4Halloween #clevernest

My "mama" and "baby" pumpkins, at least that's what my toddler would call them. Joann Fabric's A Halloween to DIY for crafting challenge, accepted! #DIY4Halloween #clevernest

Yay! a pumpkin...! sort of...? Things were looking a wee bit seedy, pumpkin seedy that is. Safe to say I was seriously doubting the blogability of this little guy at this point. The wire was way too soft and got bent out of shape at the slightest thing, literally. *note to self, buy stronger wire next time! With no way to go but forward, I started in on the weaving, using up a whole skein of fluffy white yarn and 2/3 of a yard of black cotton material between my two pumpkins. This part took the equivalent of 3 Walking Dead episodes (why always Zombies but never Halloween??).
Ta da! It's a woven pumpkin using wire, yarn, and material. All the extremely original pumpkin puns ALONE make this post worth your time. Promise. #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric

Ta da! It's a woven pumpkin using wire, yarn, and material. All the extremely original pumpkin puns ALONE make this post worth your time. Promise. #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric

Ta da! It's a woven pumpkin using wire, yarn, and material. All the extremely original pumpkin puns ALONE make this post worth your time. Promise. #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric

Ta da! It's a woven pumpkin using wire, yarn, and material. All the extremely original pumpkin puns ALONE make this post worth your time. Promise. #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric

Ta da! It's a woven pumpkin using wire, yarn, and material. All the extremely original pumpkin puns ALONE make this post worth your time. Promise. #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric

I covered the wire "stem" with a bit of black material, and tied it off with a knot. The little leaf is the uncut end of the knot that I cut into a leaf shape.
Ta da! It's a woven pumpkin using wire, yarn, and material. All the extremely original pumpkin puns ALONE make this post worth your time. Promise. #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric

Hey, look! It actually came out! what do you know? I was so excited, I shouted, "Oh my Gourd!" Orange you glad I didn't stop half way? I thought to myself. When it got all jacked up, and looked rotten? Glad I carved out some time in my day, and patched things up on this craft! *eeh, must think of more pumpkin puns.... gourd... uh... seed...hmm... These pumpkins are divine! pumpkin vine that is. They're... smashing!! *wipes sweat from brow. K, I'm out.

All done! Everybody say, Pumpkin photoshoot!
Purdy pumpkins! floral wire woven with yarn and strips of material. Cheap to make, and big impact. They say, bam! I'm a pumpkin. In your face! #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric #clevernest

*click!*
Purdy pumpkins! floral wire woven with yarn and strips of material. Cheap to make, and big impact. They say, bam! I'm a pumpkin. In your face! #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric #clevernest
*click, snap!*
Purdy pumpkins! floral wire woven with yarn and strips of material. Cheap to make, and big impact. They say, bam! I'm a pumpkin. In your face! #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric #clevernest

*click, click!* C'mon, work it, girls!
Hipster pumpkins. They are so modern and hip, they were doing Halloween before it was cool. There's a whole photo shoot of these beauties up on the blog!! #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric #clevernest

Hipster pumpkins. They are so modern and hip, they were doing Halloween before it was cool. There's a whole photo shoot of these beauties up on the blog!! #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric #clevernest

Yes, yes! Now, give me the "I was raised by farmers" stare!
Hipster pumpkins. They are so modern and hip, they were doing Halloween before it was cool. There's a whole photo shoot of these beauties up on the blog!! #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric #clevernest

Just so you know, I only cleared about 3 square feet of crap important items off my dining room table for this shoot. The piles of diapers, dishes, and picture books are nicely piled to the side there.
Hipster pumpkins. They are so modern and hip, they were doing Halloween before it was cool. There's a whole photo shoot of these beauties up on the blog!! #DIY4Halloween #JoannFabric #clevernest

My plate wall and Mighty to Save canvases are photo-bombing nicely in this pic (way to go, self promo!). The mid century buffet that usually lives behind the table is missing. It's off doing double duty in the living room while we refinish our media cabinet. Hopefully it will be done sometime in 2015 or 16, and I can share pictures someday!

That's all from me. Happy crafting. Have a great weekend!


    

              You may also like:
Trick or Treat Halloween sign11 Kid Friendly Halloween Ideas

32 Kid-friendly Halloween Ideas #hometalk #roundup #clevernest
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...