Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rue de Noel--what I made

If you follow me on Instagram, you have already seen most of these pictures already because I had fun posting the items I made before I packed them away in my boxes to take to the market. I made a ton of stuff and even though it was so much work, it certainly is FUN work!

One of the things I had in my stash was a bag full of covered buttons that I'd covered with scraps of feedsack quilt squares. I made them earlier this year and then stuck them into a bag in the closet because I couldn't figure out what to do with them. I pulled them out and made two different types of items to sell:

the first is these bookmarks. I had a box of huge oversized paperclips in my stash and the buttons fit perfectly on top of them. I was afraid that glue alone wouldn't hold the metal together and would look messy, so I ended up pulling out my soldering gun and soldering the paperclips to the backs of the buttons. It looked a lot neater and hopefully they are nice and secure! I packaged them up by folding a piece of old book paper and clipping the bookmark to the flap, then wrapping the whole thing in a self-closing cellophane bag. I wanted these to be able to be given as gifts and thought they might be more appealing to shoppers if they already looked like they were ready to give.

The other item I made with my buttons (once I ran out of paperclips) are these hair elastics:
I had purchased the elastics on post-Christmas clearance last year so they were in my stash as well. I packaged them on old Flinch playing cards and put them into cellophane bags as well.

These are one of my favorite things that I made! I used some of my old milk bottle caps and some magnets from my stash and created refrigerator magnets. For packaging, I had some old metal game tins that I bought from the dollar store back when we lived in Georgia, 10+ years ago. I covered up the graphics on the lids with cute vintage-style scrapbooking paper, stuck the magnets to the metal and packaged the whole thing up in a cello bag. I had enough magnets and milk caps to make only 4 sets and I must admit I was a little bit surprised that only one set sold! Oh well, I thought they were so darn cute that I'm happy to hang onto them for a little longer.
These snowman tags were one of the very first things I made to sell. I raided my collection of mother-of-pearl and shell buttons to create the snowmen and made their hats from an old Bingo card that I cut up. I stamped the 'snow' on the kraft tags with white ink and tied the tops with two different colors of seam binding ribbon. I sold out of these on Friday (the proprietor of a very upscale antique store bought most of them--I know she was planning to mark them up hugely and resell them but I'm flattered at having something of mine in her shop!) and these are one of the things I made more of on Friday night to take in on Saturday.
Several years ago I bought a bag of balls of crochet string at a small-town thrift store. I've used them as jar fillers before but this year I decided to make them into snowmen! Their hats are made from old wooden spools of thread and black checkers and they have vintage glass buttons on their bellies. These both sold (as did the tree in the pink LuRay sugar bowl, the tree in the white ceramic trophy, and the clear paint can full of vintage Shiny Brites that are sitting in the background)
I also had enough of the big thread balls to make one big snowman! He has arms made of brown floral wire and carries a glittery cupcake pick tree, which is a bit hard to see in the photo. His face and buttons are all vintage (his nose is an old celluloid button and his tummy buttons are glass). His hat is my favorite part--I was stumped what to use because a spool would be too small. I used the text-a-friend option for help and after I thought about it for a few days, I found an old gelatin mold in my stash that was just the right size and shape. I covered it with black glitter (thanks, Shara!) and added a vintage holly leaf thrifted earring. He didn't sell on Saturday and I'm not sure I really mind because I love him! Now I get to enjoy him for a while.
I raided my vintage canning jar collection and made the few clear ones I have into waterless snow globes using bleached and glittered bottlebrush trees, fake snow, glitter, scrapbooking rub-ons, and various lace/ribbons/seam binding and old bling earrings. These are hard to see but they have little sparkly stars dangling from threads glued inside the lids.
All of these except the pink jar sold. Surprising to me since so many people are into pink vintage Christmas decor!
These cute jars with red lids had wider mouths so I was able to fit a tree and a cute vintage plastic deer inside, along with some cute vintage spun cotton toadstools! Both of these jars sold.
When I ran out of big jars, I moved on to the wee jars! The salt shakers were from a garage sale a few years back--they're special because they have beautiful mother-of-pearl shakers lids! You may have seen the teeny jar on the right on Melissa's blog--she came and visited me on Friday! All three of these jars sold, in addition to the salt shaker's mate.
And two more, one in an old olive jar with a red lid. Wish I could find more of those because they sure made cute little snowglobes! Both of these sold as well.

For a few years now I've been collecting thrifted silverplate sugar bowls and cups to use for holding bottlebrush trees. This year I finally got around to making them! Some of the trees are actual vintage (thifted) and some of them are new trees that I bleached and/or dyed. All of them are decorated with vintage feather tree ornaments and mercury glass beads and other trinkets like sugared bells or tiny reflector flowers. All of these sold except the gold and silver tree that is second from the right. I also made some smaller trees in thrifted vintage Lefton candlestick holders, but I didn't get any photos of those.
Another jar with a deer and a tree in the middle. It's sitting on a pair of vintage books I bundled together and tied with jute. Every single thing in this photo sold!
More bleached and glittered trees. These topped vintage wooden spools of thread and were fancied up with seam binding and a bit of vintage bling. I made 8 of these and all but one sold on Friday. Friday night I found more trees and spools in my stash and made up 9 more of them to take in on Saturday, and all but one of those sold too!
I made three ornament wreaths this year using tinsel, wreath forms, and ornaments that I already had. The large pink wreath in middle was the first to sell, and it went early on Friday morning. Unfortunately, it's the only ornament wreath that sold, which is a pain because they are a drag to transport and store given their fragility. However--having those big, shiny, beautiful wreaths at the back of my booth was 100% worth it even though they didn't sell, because of the amount of people they brought into my booth to look at them! I believe I was the only one at the market who had any ornament wreaths and they were so pretty and eye-catching that they really worked well to draw people in.
Even though the ornament wreaths didn't all sell, the two wreaths I made using vintage light bulbs did both sell, as did 2 of the 3 vintage-style dangly ornament things I made (you can see them near the top, hanging between the big wreaths).
And of course there were banners. This one was my very favorite and it was also the very first to sell! I don't have any more of the red and green diamond ribbon but I think I have enough of the other materials left that I can make one like this for me to keep. I used vintage bingo (actually Beano!) cards for the base, red glass glitter on the letters, my favorite black and white striped ribbon, hand-sewn red crepe paper ruffles, and cute green vintage-style washi tape to make this one.
This one sold too. It had glittery silver letters, iridescent ribbon, jewels, beautiful felt snowflakes, and striped ribbon. The banner pieces were covered with canvas and now I wish I'd bought more of those because they were so fun to work with.
I loved how this one turned out! It wasn't what I had started out making but it turned out so cute. The black stripes in the middles are covered with tiny black jewels and there are glittery black balls on the bottom of the points. I am in love with tissue fringe and used it on several of my banners. This one sold.
This one didn't sell, and I'm kind of surprised. The colors are bad in this photo but those circles are red and aqua peppermint swirls that are actually from a package of Martha Stewart coasters I bought post-Christmas last year. The pennants are glittery silver paper and I used some red striped and aqua ribbon as well as red tissue fringe.
Another one of my favorites--this sold before I even had a chance to pin it up on my board! I had some green bingo cards in my stash that were perfect bases for the metallic red and silver striped paper rosettes, glittery silver letters, green tissue fringe, and glittery red balls. This one had glittery red polka dotted ribbon and green ribbon with red stitching. It was so fun to mix and match ribbon for all of these banners!

There are many more things I made that I just didn't take individual photos of, but that I can see sprinkled around my photos in my previous post: vintage-style foil-covered cardboard bells adorned with vintage Christmas corsages...greeting cards made with vintage sewing pattern bundles with red and green Readers' Digest books...glittery vintage cookie cutter ornaments and garlands...tags with trees made from folded vintage sheet music...tags made from vintage button cards...rickrack flower pins...Christmas card holders made from vintage folding rulers...stationery folios covered with old sewing patterns and tied with vintage cloth measuring tapes...all of it SOLD! I do regret not getting photos of all of the banners I made that sold but I didn't have a good place to take them before I packaged everything up and then things literally sold out of the boxes before I had a chance to pin them on the board on Friday morning. I took 15 different banners/garlands and I brought home fewer than 5, so those were good sellers and they're one of my very favorite things to make because they're all one-of-a-kind.

I'd definitely love to do this market again next year, so I'm already trying to think of things I can make so that I can take advantage of post-Christmas sales to stock up on materials and supplies. And I think next year I'll start making inventory in June instead of in November!


  1. EVERYTHING looks WONDERFUL Heidi!! How do you find the time & energy to do it all ~ and with two small chilluns!! GLAD YOU did so well ;-)

  2. I really like everything you showed us and know I would like what you didn't have a picture of! Way to go girl! I hear ya about starting sooner, I pretty much say that every year! Maybe we can spur each other on - do you think Shara would join us??

  3. YES! I have a plan to start crafting in June. I want to do a local Craft Fair in December as well as my two Barn Sales next year. We will have to motivate each other (Lynn too!) to DO IT! All of your things are just so cute. I was at Lowe's today and they had a Made in China version of your twine ball snowman and it was cute, but just not vintage whimsical cute like yours. All of your things are just so sell made and I am thrilled that you sold so much. That is just fantastic. All the snowglobes in the wee jars are such a great idea. I agree with Sue - how DO you do it all with two littles and a bun in the oven!


Spill it!


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