Handcrafted for the Holidays: Holiday Wreath

Handcrafted for the Holidays

Holiday Nature Wreath created by Laura from Roots and Feathers

For the Handcrafted for the Holidays lookbook, I chose to create a Holiday Nature Wreath because I have always wanted a wreath to decorate within my home for the holidays, but have never found one that I absolutely loved.I’m not one for very traditional Christmas decor so when I was dreaming up the perfect wreath I instantly thought of this and this DIY I had recently done for my blog.  I love incorporating nature into my home and this was the perfect project to do so.  What I love most about it, is that the wreath is so natural looking I don’t need to put it away after the holidays!

Things from nature; ie: pine cones, leaves, seeds, feathers
Dried flowers
Twine, lace, leather, yarn
Hot glue

How To:

Step 1. Gather your sticks.  Try to find ones that naturally have a curve to them, it will help to form a circle easier.  You can make this large or small depending on what size sticks you find or want.  Gather other things from nature.  This can be just about anything you find out in the wild that can be glued down, even delicate things like leaves can be used.

Step 2.  Lay your wreath out in the shape that you want.  Double up some sticks on it so that it is thick enough to have a good surface to glue things onto.  Begin to glue all of your sticks together.  Don’t worry too much about the glue showing because it will get covered up with trim and your nature pieces.

Step 3.  Reinforce all of the points where your sticks are joined with twine, wire, leather or lace.  You can be as minimal as you want or go crazy with fun details.  This part is for function and beauty.

Step 4.  Arrange and glue your pieces from nature and dried flowers if you are using them.  Most craft stores have a section of flowers that are real dried flowers, not the fake plastic kind (although you could use those too if you want).

Step 5.  Add a piece of yarn on top to hang your wreath from.  And you’re done!

Laura’s featured Minnetonka style, a pair of Mukluk Lows.

Handcrafted for the Holidays: Swedish Tea Ring Recipe

Handcrafted for the Holidays

A Swedish Tea Ring Recipe shared by Elizabeth from Delightfully Tacky

Growing up, every Christmas my mom would make us a Swedish Tea Ring.  We’d wake up, open up our stocking presents, and then in between stocking presents and tree presents we’d stop to eat breakfast.

Every year there would be a Swedish Tea Ring.  Now that I’m married and living away from home, I figured it was time I learn how to make my own tea ring for Christmas mornings!  It’s a one of a kind feeling baking the same recipe my mom and grandmother both made, linking me back to generations before me.  I suppose that’s what the meaning of tradition truly is.

While I’m merely a new rung on the ladder of the tea ring tradition, Dan and I started a little tradition of our own on our first Christmas eve together two years ago.  I had made some homemade peppermint liqueur, so we decided to make hot chocolate, put the peppermint liqueur in it, and then go on a walk around town, getting hot chocolate refills at local coffee shops.

It was fun to be bundled up, walking around the city we love, and giving holiday cheer to the baristas we love.

Swedish Tea Ring Recipe (via Betty Crocker)

for the dough (makes enough for two batches.  Use half of this to make the tea ring, you can make Cinnamon Rolls with the other half!):

1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 – 115º F)
1/2 cup lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1 egg
3.5-4 cups all purpose flour

for the filling:
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins

for the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To make the dough:

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl.  Stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg, and 2 cups of flour.  Beat until smooth.  Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

2. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl and turn greased side up.

3. Cover and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1.5 hours.  Dough is ready if an indentation remains when touched.  If you want to make the dough ahead of time, you can keep it in a greased bowl, covered, and refrigerate it after kneading.  It can keep for up to 4 days.


To make filling + form rolls:

1. Use 1/2 the dough you just made and roll it into a 15 x 9 in rectangle on a lightly floured surface.  Spread with softened butter.  Sprinkle cinnamon, sugar, and raisins over the rectangle.

2. Roll up the dough, tightly rolling from the long 15 inch side.  Pinch edge of dough into the roll to seal well.  Stretch the roll to make it even.  With the sealed edge down, shape the dough into a ring on a lightly greased or parchment paper covered cookie sheet.  Pinch the ends together.  With scissors, make cuts 2/3 of the way through the ring at 1 inch intervals and turn each section on its side.  Let rise until double, about 40 minutes.

3. Heat the oven to 375º F.  Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes.  If the tea ring browns too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.

4. Spread ring with glaze (below), and decorate with cherries!

To make the glaze:

Mix powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until glaze is smooth and of desired consistency.

Elizabeth’s featured Minnetonka style, a pair of Mukluk Highs.

Handcrafted for the Holidays: Glitter Pinecone Ornaments

Handcrafted for the Holidays

Glitter Pinecone Ornaments created by Katie from Skunkboy

Our handcrafted tradition begins with a cold-weather scavenger hunt!  We search for things like pinecones and fallen branches to bring home and make into ornaments.  It’s a fun way to stay in touch with nature during a season where we mostly stay indoors.

On this particular day we came across a gaggle of geese, some squirrels taking food back to their home, and a bunny near a slow-moving brook.  After staying and playing at the park a little, we took our findings home (the fallen branches and pinecones, not the animals!) and made some pretty ornaments for our Christmas tree.

If you don’t have access to pinecones in nature, you can purchase some at your local craft store.  After we gathered some, we took them home to hang them on the tree!

Supplies: pinecones, tacky glue or Elmer’s glue, paint brushes, ribbon, glitter


Step 1: Coat your pinecone in glue with a paint brush.  We used tacky glue diluted with water so it was easier to spread.

Step 2: Once your pinecone is covered in glue, shake the glitter all over!  You can use any color glitter- we went with a shimmery white so it would like like they were coated in snow.

Step 3: After your glue has dried, tie a ribbon around the stem, or if there is no stem, glue the ribbon to the top.  Now you can hang it on your tree!

Katie, Poesy & Hope wearing Minnetonka 5-Layer Fringe Boots, 3-Layer Fringe Boots and Ankle Hi Tramper Boots.

Handcrafted for the Holidays: Santa’s Whiskers Recipe

Handcrafted for the Holidays

Santa’s Whiskers Recipe shared by Tieka from Selective Potential

I’m excited to share one of my favorite holiday cookie recipes, Santa’s Whiskers! These cookies are so easy and fun to make. Plus the dough is just as delicious to eat as it is cooked. They look adorably festive sitting out at a holiday party, and everyone always loves the unique name! Enjoy!! xo

Santa’s Whiskers Recipe


1 Cup butter (softened)

1 Cup sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

1 Teaspoon vanilla or rum flavoring

2 ½ Cups flour

¾ Cups red or green maraschino cherries (chopped into small pieces)

½ Cup finely chopped pecans

¾ Cups flaked coconut

2 sheets of wax paper


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Cream together butter and sugar

3. Blend in milk and vanilla

4. Stir in flour, cherries and pecans.

5. Divide dough in half and form into to two 8 inch rolls

6. Sprinkle coconut on wax paper and roll each log in the coconut

7. Wrap the wax paper around the logs and chill thoroughly

8. Cut into ¼ inch slices

9. Place on ungreased cookie sheet (you can place them close they don’t spread out)

10. Bake until edges are golden, about 12 minutes

Tieka’s featured Minnetonka style, a pair of Suede Ankle Boots!

Handcrafted for the Holidays: DIY Bow Ties

Handcrafted for the Holidays

DIY Bow Ties created by Liz from Cotton & Curls

Every year growing up my mother would make me and my brothers something very over the top Christmas-y for all of the festivities. For me this would involve puffy plaid velvet dresses with elaborate lace collars, and for my brothers lots of Christmas plaid bow ties and little 3-piece suits with cumber belts.

I do appreciate a very well put together outfit and in plaid no less, but for me to carry on this tradition I simply made myself a plaid pair of pants and my boys a couple of very simple and easy plaid velcro bow ties. I can’t say that I won’t eventually go more and more over the top, but for now this is what I will do!

These simple bow ties are perfect paired with something dressed up or down. Now all I need to do is make one for my husband. Happy holidays and happy bow tie making!

fat quarter of fabric (I just used scraps)
interfacing (optional) if you are using a thinner fabric
3″ of 1/2″ – 1″ wide velcro
sewing machine


1. Measure and cut out the bow tie material, it is 4″ to 6″ and add a half inch of seam allowance (the bigger this is the bigger the width of the bow in the end). The length will be 7″ to 8″ and add a half inch seam allowance (the bigger this is the wider it will be). I did 4.5″ X 7.5″ (this included seam allowance) and it was perfect!

2. Fold the material in half so it looks skinny and long (hot dog style) and sew up the side a quarter inch.

3. Iron the seam into the center.

4. Fold again the other direction (hamburger style), and sew up the side.

5. Turn right side out and iron that new seam into the center.

6. Crease the center of the bow with your fingers, making the material look like a bow tie.

7. Stitch the bow tie crease into place.


8. Measure and cut out the middle piece of the bowtie. I did 1.5″ X 6″.

9. Fold it in half so the two small ends are touching (hamburger style). we are folding it twice to make it a little thicker, so we don’t need any interfacing.

10. Fold again, but the other direction this time (hot dog style). So there will be a fold at one of the ends. Sew up the long side.

11. Iron the new seam in the center.

12. Wrap the little piece around the center of the bow tie, measure where you will sew it. Leave a little tiny bit of slack because we are going to add the velcro tie in it.

13. Fold in half and sew where you marked.

14. Flip right side out and slide it onto the center of the bow tie, leaving the seam hidden in the back (last pic on right).


15. Measure the person’s neck you are making it for and cut out the piece for the velcro tie. I did 1.5″ X 12″ (for toddler size), but this will be longer (not wider) depending on the size of person’s neck. This is the only part that will be changed depending on the size of the person.

16. Fold in half so the longer ends are touching (hot dog style) and sew up the side.

17. Turn right side out, iron the seam to one of the sides to make it look seamless. Then top stitch both sides.

18. Fold the ends into a triangle shape and top stitch over it, make sure the ends are folded in on opposite sides of the tie (i.e. in order for the velcro to fit together properly, one end needs to be folded up over and the other down under)

19. Looks like this.

20. Sew 3″ of velcro on the ends covering the triangle you sewed. Make sure to test out the velcro’s positioning, so if you sewed the ends properly, the velcro should touch perfectly. I made sure that the end that would face the neck would be the soft part of the velcro.

21. Pull the center piece onto the tie and tack it down. in the center.

22. Pull the tie back in and reposition it in the center. Tack it down.

Liz and her boys are wearing Minnetonka Double Fringe Tramper Boots, Double Fringe Size Zip Boots and Back Zip Boots.