Yesterday, I posted about my little man’s Icicle Ornaments, but this time I wanted to share a “Mommy project” that I have been doing to get into the holiday spirit.

This craft is based on Jenn’s reindeer canvas over at Clean & Scentsible. I think this is beautifully simple and love so many things from her blog. The twinkling Christmas canvas she references? Stunning. A little out of my league, but stunning. I briefly contemplated making a reindeer canvas exactly like hers, but then I remembered (1) how little available wall space I have for something like this and (2) how few silhouettes of reindeer heads I have laying around. I was also nervous about how I would integrate this into our Christmas decor, given that deer don’t feature prominently in many of our home decorations.

Now baskets. Baskets are a big hit in our home. They are like purses for every room in your house. I love them. I’m obsessed with a Pottery Barn vintage canvas mail basket that we have on our kitchen island. Longaberger baskets make my heart sing. For my wedding shower, my mom got me an assortment of LB baskets for the different seasons and holidays throughout the year. Swoon. Finally, baskets, in their infinite beauty, also serve as a way to organize, which is where my Type A personality shines the brightest.

But back to this post. I decided that I could alter Jenn’s canvas project into a basket and make it my own. Here’s the finished product, of which I’m feeling pretty proud:

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Now how stinking cute is that little reindeer?! The white couch and white walls in this picture (of my other office) make it look fake but I swear I made this.

Supplies

– Hot glue gun and sticks: yes, I crossed back over to the dark side and picked back up my discarded hot glue gun again. Although I swore we needed some time apart after Halloween, we met again briefly for this project. No fingerprints were lost in the making of this basket.

– Festive Christmas Basket: I got mine from Michael’s, on sale for $9.99. Houndstooth and baskets are quite possibly the best combination ever, so you can imagine my excitement over this baby. I did that thing where, although you are the only one in the aisle, you frantically scurry over and snatch up the thing your eye has caught. I felt this weird exhilaration when I realized it was the last one. I’m only mildly ashamed to admit this.

– Red and white baker’s twine: if you are like me and had no idea where the hell to find such a thing, or what you were even looking for on the shelf, I will tell you that it is the same consistency of brown twine but much softer. Bakers twine can also be found in the baking aisle of Michael’s – imagine that.

– “Believe” sign: I was soooo excited to find this. Jenn said she found hers in the dollar section at Michael’s, right around the check out line, but I am rarely lucky in that section. Once I ended up with really cute notepads, but otherwise, it’s a lot of stuff that I’d like to find a use for but ultimately can’t. In addition to the “Believe” sign, there were also a couple cute others that say “Merry”, “Peace”, and “Silent Night”. I have tossed around the idea of making another basket, maybe as a gift or something, and making a pom pom star, or pom pom Santa’s beard to go with one of them. Thoughts? Opinions? Interest in crafting with me?! That sounded more desperate than I meant it to.

– Reindeer to attach: here is the package of mine…I share this not because I don’t think you are capable of finding your own reindeer, but because I picked up and put down probably ten different reindeer because they just didn’t feel right.  I can’t explain it in any other way than to say when you know, you know. These particular cuties are made of foam board. Right now you can get them at Michael’s for 50-60% off the original price. Go!

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Instructions

To make the pom pom, I consulted several different pages, and came up with this (cameo: The blue couch at my office as the background, for which this blog is lovingly named):

1. Take a fork and your baker’s twine. You should probably use non-disposable cutlery, but this was all I had at my office where I did this after a client no-showed for his appointment. Begin wrapping the twine around the two outermost stakes of the fork, and do so about 20 times (for a pom pom this size…more if you want to go bigger).

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2. Once you are finished wrapping, cut the twine to separate it from the rest of the spool. Cut another small piece and tie it tightly around the twine longways. Someone suggested using the space between the 2nd and 3rd stake to center it, which was a great idea. I wish I hadn’t lost her webpage or I would reference her here.

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3. After tying it the little piece in the middle, I knotted it, because I didn’t know any different, but you should definitely take my advice and just tie it sans knot. Next, you slide the twine off the fork. Here is where I would tighten your tie and then knot it a couple times. Otherwise, your pom pom-to-be will be loose, and you’ll, like me, have to find a way to untie a teeny tiny little knot without ruining the impressive wrapping you  have just done. Forgot to take a picture of this step because I was too busy trying to untie my knot with a safety pin, but you know better now. You are welcome.

4. Start cutting the loops so that you make some fringe. I’d recommend cutting all of the loops individually (or close to it) to avoid accidentally snipping the emerging pom pom or that knot in the middle that holds the whole thing together.

It was also at this point that the light  in my office eerily changed and all pictures from here on out look like yellow and red twine. Weird.

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5. When you are finished, your pom pom should look something like this, but white and red, not yellow and red:

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If you are better at this than me, you might not be able to see the place where you knotted the pom pom in the middle. For the purposes of this project, where I just glued one side down and fluffed the other side out, it was no biggie, but I’ll have to practice if I need a pom pom for another purpose one day. I would imagine using yarn over the baker’s twine might also help with this.

6. After that, you can put together your basket together! I had to trim my pom pom more so that Rudolph’s nose didn’t overpower his whole little face.

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Some hot glue on the back of the sign, the reindeer’s body and the pom pom, and you are finished! I think we are going to use this basket for our Christmas cards, but I can imagine it being used for lots of other cute, Christmas-y things. Because baskets are amazing.

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