18 Dec Part 3: Holiday Craft Guide
Welcome to Part 3 of our Guide to Merriment: the Holiday Craft Guide! As we dive into the winter season full force, we have put together a small collection of simple and inexpensive craft ideas that you can create using your Trail Hound lights, powered by your Day Tripper battery pack or external power source. If you have littles at home, get together with friends and family, or those who are flying solo, to light up the holidays and bring some extra cheer to your home. Get into the spirit while sitting down to craft by jamming to some holiday music while you work and setting out a plate of festive cookies to munch on.
Let’s get started!
// Orange Garland
Thinly slice your oranges, or any other fruit you’d like to add – lemons, limes, or a blood orange can add some extra color to mix it up. To help with drying, lay the slices out between paper towels ahead of putting them in the oven. (We left ours overnight.) When you’re ready, place them on baking sheets or pans with parchment paper. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 4-6 hours. We used the full 6 just to make sure they were fully dried out.
Flip your slices occasionally throughout the process to help them dry evenly. Once ready, they cool quickly and you’re good to start stringing! This was super easy with the oranges because you can pop out the little core piece in each slice leaving a perfect sized hole to gently feed your Trail Hound through. Space them out along the strand and you’re ready to decorate!
These are perfect on trees, above doorways, or across the mantle. We love how these add a natural element to your decor. If you have extra orange slices leftover, you can hang them on hooks to create ornaments.
P.S. They smell INCREDIBLE! Several days later and they still smell as good as the day they came out of the oven.
Once you’re done with them, you can put the slices out for the birds. The gift that keeps on giving, with zero waste!
// Holiday Village
Need: tiny houses (painted or unpainted)
Quiet evenings painting can bring some calm amongst the bustle of the holidays. Slow down with some music playing softly in the background, or you can of course purchase pre-painted houses and skip right to the set up. Setting up a holiday village can become a wonderful tradition to pass down through generations. My Grandma started this with me when I was very young, and it has been added to every year for as long as I can remember. Since her passing, I’ve continued setting up the village year after year to honor our fond memories and what we’ve built together. Even though she’s not physically with me during the holiday season, it is so comforting to feel like I have a piece of her here with me. Fake snow, trees, people, a train, and even some little raccoons getting into garbage cans are just some of what has accumulated into ours, but you can keep it simple with just houses if you like.
Revel Gear’s 30 ft Trail Hound lights will go a long way in lighting up the town, and they offer lower power draw to alternative holiday lighting. Place one bulb under each house and make the glow from the windows as bright or dim as you’d like with the dimming button.
// Wreath Sweater
Need: Real or artificial garland, decorations, bow
Take your merriment to the next level with this one!
Measure a piece of garland to the length of both arms outstretched – from one wrist, across your chest to your other wrist. Weave your Trail Hound lights amongst the garland, leaving the USB at one end. If you’re feeling going all natural, you could totally do this with real garland made from pine or cedar branches. Add any baubles you’d like to make it your own and attach a bow in the middle.
While you can permanently attach the garland to a sweater, we chose a temporary alternative without having to purchase one specifically for the holidays. This way, you can switch it out each year or for different festive get-togethers. To prevent any casualties, I highly recommend using heavy duty safety pins that are much less likely to open than the smaller, cheaper versions. Carefully pin the garland to the sweater, across from one arm to the other. It definitely helps to have a second person nearby to help pin it with the sweater on for perfect placement. Bring your Day Tripper to power yourself on the go and be the star of the show at all of your holiday parties. To make a hilarious wreath, lift your arms in a circle above your head with your hands meeting in the middle.
// Wall Forest
Need: scotch tape
For this one you need nothing more than your Trail Hounds and a method of securing them to the wall. We opted for tape, but you could also use stick on clips, putty, or go full send with some tacks. Choose your design and have ‘atter. To add to the effect, while keeping the tree lights solid, bounce through the control panel until you land on the effect you like best to replicate falling snow. You can also speed this up or slow it down with the speed button. Make your scene as big or small as you’d like!
// Revel Wreath
Need: wreath frame, decorations or bits of nature (optional)
We would like to introduce you to the first ever Revel Wreath!
Secure the end of your Trail Hound to the wreath frame to keep your USB from dangling and wires being pulled. It’s very important to keep the strand wound neatly during the whole process to prevent pulling and tangling. Be gentle, and take your time. There is no right way to do this, so enjoy the process! Meditate!
Disclaimer: I did chose a bit of a complicated way of wrapping the wires of the Trail Hound in order to make lit up inner and outer loops, but I promise, it gets easier as you get the hang of it. *Just be sure to always wind the lights in the same direction!*
If you feel like tackling this, here are the steps:
- Make a loop of extra wire and keep it above the top of the frame, you will alternate this from top and bottom as you go.
- Take the whole strand through between frame wires and wrapping once around the frame from front to back.
- Wrap once around the wire light loop gently – across the front of the loop and around the back.
- Continue onto the next.
- Just remember – front, back, over and around!
Avoid super tight loops around the edge of the frame or bending the wire where the light chips are so that the wires don’t pull from the bulbs.
Make the loops as loose or tight as you’d like. Gently pinching the group of wires helps press them closer together. Keep in mind, the closer together they are, the more Trail Hound light strands you will need to make sure everything is filled in. We chose green, but you can get wild and use any color you’d like. Splay your loops out around the edges and you can then leave it as is, add baubles, decorations, or bits of nature. You can also keep it simple and just wrap your strand continuously around the frame. We collected some cedar foliage to weave through the wire frame and copper wires to fill in the gaps and make the room smell great.
// Peppermint Candy Wreath
Need: wreath frame, small circle for the centre
Here’s a super simple one (but heads up, it’s time consuming!). All you need is a wreath frame and something to make a small circle in the centre. We bent a piece of wire for the centre loop.
Using your Trail Hounds, wrap the strands around the frame and through the centre circle, alternating sections of red and white. When you’re finished you’ll have a lit up swirl candy like the red and white holiday mints!
// Candy Cane
Need: pool noodle, tent peg
I opted for pool noodles that come in festive colors like red and green. You can also use white PVC pipes as a more sturdy alternative.
Start by bending your noodle into a candy cane shape, using twine to secure the bent end for it to settle in place.
Wrap your Trail Hound strands in colors of your choosing around your cane structure in layers. You can make it more interesting by adding multiple colors. When you’re done, secure a tent peg in the ground and line it up with the hole in the bottom of the pool noodle. Stick your candy cane on top and let it shine!
For a little extra, we hung an ornament from the end of the candy cane with a hook. That’s it!
// Minimalist Advent Calendar
Need: Adhesive (tape, tacks, putty), paper, gift wrapping bow
Use your Trail Hound to form the outline of a Christmas tree onto a blank wall. Then, use a different colored Trail Hound to add light strands to your tree.
Once your outline is finished, take pieces of paper and write down different activities to do with your family or friends throughout the holiday season. If you don’t want to do activities, words of kindness or funny jokes will do too! Fold these up into little paper fans and tape them onto the wall as your tree’s decorations. Scraps of wrapping paper is a wonderful way to reuse while also adding some color and pizzaz. A little bow at the top makes the perfect star.
You can number the activities if you want them pulled in a certain order, or play holiday roulette and pick them at random not knowing what you will get each day. A few ideas to add to your advent days can be found on our Merry-Making Bingo Card (are you playing?!).
Once the holidays have passed, you can keep the paper activities for next year or recycle them to leave space for creating new ones. Perfect for van life and traveling as well!
// Lighting Pro Tip
Stagger two or three different Trail Hound lights to create a strand of alternating colors!
From our family to yours, Happy Holidays and Merry-making to all!