DIY Felt Christmas Tree

Happy December, friends!
The Christmas season is upon us - filled with the chaotic wonderfulness of baking, get-togethers, and decorations! Do you have your tree set up yet? We do - and my little man is OBSESSED with it! He even says "twee" :) 
I've been impressed with how gentle he's been with the tree - we had the baby gate, ready to protect the tree, but we haven't needed to pull it out.
I did fill the bottom of the tree with fabric (read: unbreakable) ornaments, just in case.
I wanted my son to have a special tree of his own - one that he could touch and play with, without constant supervision.
Enter: the felt Christmas tree idea!
You've probably seen it on Etsy or in stores - but they can be pretty pricey, ranging from $20-$50. Being on a budget (at Christmastime who isn't?) I knew there had to be a cheaper way - so I decided to make one myself!
I gathered my supplies from the craft store:
Because I already have the cookie cutters, scissors, and sharpie, I only had to buy the felt - which cost me exactly $4.33! Definitely better than the $30 price tag I saw on Etsy.

Once my supplies were bought I got to work!
1. Use the cookie cutters to trace various Christmas shapes on the different pieces of felt. I made 20 shapes.

2. Cut out the felt shapes - these are your "ornaments"
 
3. Cut a tree out of your large piece of green felt. I attached it to the wall with command strips - that way I know it'll stay up all season and will come down without a mess.
4. The felt sticks to felt, so the ornaments stick to the tree without any tape or velcro. You can rearrange the ornaments again and again!
That's it!Easy-peasy, right?So far it's been a big hit!

We even had a playdate and it survived being decorated by three toddlers at once:
I have a feeling that this will be a Christmas tradition we play with year after year! And for less then $5 it can't be beat :)

What are some of your favorite Christmas crafty creations?

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teachers/Day Care Workers/Baby-sitters

Happy December, friends!
The holiday season is upon us - and while Christmas brings with it so many wonderful things (family time, delicious treats, heart-warming Hallmark movies, etc.), it can also be a busy and stressful time as you try to juggle everything that this season entails.

One thing that, though wonderful, can also prove to be time-consuming and stressful is gift-buying. The malls are crowded and the thought of standing in endless lines with a whiny toddler in tow would make even the bravest mom dread this time of year. Sure you can shop online - but if you're just browsing, then Amazon's suggestions of the 13,542 of the world's must-have gift ideas can be overwhelming to say the least.

And what do you do for those on your list who you don't know very well? There are those who you want to show your appreciation for - teachers, day care workers, and/or baby-sitters - but you don't necessarily know their favorite things or their must-have gifts.

Well, fear not, my fellow busy mamas - I have scoured the Internet and found 5 fun, easy, and inexpensive holiday gift ideas that anyone would love to receive:
A Hand-written Note
Never underestimate the power of a hand-written note or thank-you card. More than any monetary gift, teachers love to be appreciated for their hard work and their investment in your children. Write a note expressing your thanks - and have your kids include a note or drawing too! It will mean the world to the teacher.

Thanks a Latte
Who doesn't love coffee? Most of us run on coffee during the busy holiday season, so gift cards to your favorite coffee shop are always a big hit! Plus with a punny tag like "thanks a latte" you can't go wrong!

Hand soap/Lotion
Teachers love hand soaps for the classrooms or home, so this is a gift they won’t turn away. Plus you can find all sorts of fun and festive scents this time of year - and usually on sale! Pair with with a cute ribbon and a cute note to make this a truly festive gift. Be sure to visit MichellePaige for a free printable.

Red Box Movie, Popcorn & Drink

These days, going to the movie is no cheap affair, and most of us would rather watch in the comfort of our own home (and elastic waisted pajama pants) anyways. Red Box movies are the cheapest way to rent a movie, coming in at just $1! You can purchase codes on the Red Box website and pair with a small bottle of soda and a popcorn bag. Your teacher will love the creativity, and movie rentals are never a waste! Visit Over the Big Moon for a free printable
Succulent in a Mason Jar
Mason jars are all the crafting rage right now - why now capitalize on the craze with this cute gift that even someone with the brownest thumb can't kill? Succulents are cute and cheery any time of year - and I love the pun "thanks for helping me grow"...perfect for a hard-working teacher or day care worker! Read the full step-by-step tutorial on Live Randomly Simple

I hope you've found some gift inspiration from this post - if you have any other ideas or gifts you've given to teachers/day care workers/baby-sitters in the past that were a big hit, please leave a comment below!