Yarn Christmas Tree DIY (click through for tutorial)         Christmas is my favorite time of year for so many reasons but one big reason is the decorating. I like to keep certain decor items and ornaments year after year, but I always like to make a few new things each season as well. I saw some white yarn trees out in the sea of new Christmas decorations this year and I thought they would be really easy to make in different colors so you could match them to your own holiday color scheme.

Yarn Christmas Tree DIY (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
-yarn in as many colors as you’d like
-cardboard or styrofoam cones (check your local craft store)
-wooden toy wheels in a large and small size
-dowel rod that will fit the hole of the wooden wheels
-small wooden stars
-white and gold paint
-gold glitter paper
-scrap piece of cardboard
-hot glue gun

Yarn Christmas Tree DIY (click through for tutorial) Take your hot glue gun and glue the start of your yarn all the way around the bottom of your cone. Keep gluing the yarn around and around as close to the previous layer as you can until you have filled the cone to the top with yarn. I used a high-temp glue gun for this project since the glue is hotter and you have a longer time span before it cools too much to adhere anything, but a low-temp glue gun will work too. I would suggest that on the bottom wider half of the cone you lay down one line of glue at a time before placing your yarn on top, and then once it gets skinnier up top you can do more of a vertical zig-zag pattern with the glue so you can wrap several times around before the glue dries.

Yarn Christmas Tree DIY (click through for tutorial)   If using a hollow cone that doesn’t have a bottom, once your cone is full of yarn, trace the bottom of the cone onto a scrap piece of cardboard and cut out the circle. Glue the circle onto the bottom of your cone so you have a platform to attach your tree base to.

Yarn Christmas Tree DIY (click through for tutorial)  Cut your dowel rod into 2-3” sections (you’ll probably want a small saw or hacksaw to cut these) and slide a small wheel on one side and a larger wheel on the other side. You can glue these together if you like, but they usually fit pretty snugly even without glue.

Yarn Christmas Tree DIY (click through for tutorial)    Paint the tree bases white and let dry. Glue the base to the center of the bottom side of each cone.

Yarn Christmas Tree DIY (click through for tutorial)      Paint your small wooden stars gold. Trace the star shape onto the back of some gold glitter paper. Cut out the stars and glue them to the fronts of the wooden stars and attach the star to the top of the tree. Set out your trees and admire your work!

Yarn Christmas Tree DIY (click through for tutorial)           Yarn Christmas Tree DIY (click through for tutorial)           Yarn Christmas Tree DIY (click through for tutorial)           See, not too difficult at all for such a cute result! The yarn is such a pretty texture and you can use whatever colors you want so your trees will match your scheme perfectly. You could also do color blocked versions and switch yarn colors 1/3 of the way up the tree or make stripes as well! Happy decorating! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Up Your Instgram GameToday I am launching my latest e-Course, Up Your Instagram Game!

It's no secret that Instagram can grow brands like never before! In the past two years, we grew the @abeautifulmess Instagram feed 5X larger. It went from around 60k to over 500k followers in just two years. And we did this all organically, honestly and in a way that is completely authentic to our brand!! In my new course, I teach you all kinds of tricks and useful habits for creating a stronger Instagram feed of your own. 

ABM IGThis is my first ever video-based class. There are eight sessions with over an hour of videos, total. There is also fun and useful homework for every session so you can USE the information you learn right away. This is a self-paced e-Course that you can start today and is available worldwide! 

You can check out the full list of every session on our shop page here.

The class fee also includes a private Q&A board with me (Elsie!) where you can ask me anything, and everyone in the course can get that information as well!

Read more about who this course is for, what you need, and what you get with the Up Your Instagram Game course.

 

Up Your Instagram Game is $50 USD and available NOW. And for our loyal readers, we are offering $5 off for the next three days only—so don't miss out!

Let me know if you have any questions!! I am really excited to hear YOUR success stories and answer your questions in our private Q&A board. xx -Elsie 

Disco wreath diySome of you long-time readers might remember the last few years that we hosted 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways here on ABM. We can hardly believe this will be the third year! So what is it? Well, it's our way to gift some of you lovely readers because we LOVE you guys and this site would not exist without you. We're going to be giving away lots of exciting prizes to over 75 winners during the next twelve days. Whoa. Get excited, guys—it's the giving season!

12 days of giveawaysTell you more? You got it! Over the next 12 days, we're going to host a series of giveaways here on the blog, just for you! Each day will have different prizes and a corresponding number of winners. So, on the twelfth day (today), there will be twelve prizes and twelve winners. Get it?! We'll be giving away ABM products, collaboration items, and other fun goodies as well. And of course, on the last day there will be a GRAND prize. 

In every giveaway, we'll be offering multiple ways for you to enter. Which means more chances to win!

But here's the catch, giveaways will only be open for two hours. So the quicker you enter, the better your chances of winning will be! We'll be launching each giveaway at a different time every day. Some will even be super late at night (for us) since we have so many awesome international readers as well. And we won't be posting about all the giveaways on social media, so you have to check here to catch them going up! 

Just check back often, and you'll have a higher chance of winning! 

Basics Messy Inks Brights Messy InksToday we are giving away a mix of our Brights and Basics ink pad sets to 12 lucky winners. Whether you are a scrapbooker, crafter, or just plan to dress up your Happy Mail by ABM correspondence with some cute stamped elements, you'll love our ink pad color options! 

To enter for a chance to win, sign up below and you'll also see that you can submit more than one entry by following us or signing up for our newsletter. If you have already signed up for the newsletter or already follow us on Twitter/Pinterest, simply do it again below to receive the extra entries (it won't cause you to receive duplicate newsletters or anything; it's just so we can verify your entry). Good luck! xo. Emma + Elsie

1st of Day of Christmas 2016 .

Chocolate Snowcap Mountain Cookies (via abeautifulmes.com) I follow a lot of good accounts on Instagram. I mean, I hate to brag, but my follow game is on point. And spoiler: it's a lot of pug and pig accounts. Ha! Of course I also follow family and friends, but probably some of the most inspiring groups I follow (other than the pugs which I already mentioned) is a number of chefs, restaurants, and bakeries. One account that has me cookie obsessed every time they post is Levain Bakery

What? You all DON'T follow accounts filled with oversized, ooey-gooey cookies? Your loss. 

Chocolate Snowcap Mountain Cookies (via abeautifulmes.com)This recipe is very much inspired by their IG account, because for weeks now I've been dying to make big, gooey cookies, and I finally made the time. But, if you can't be bothered to make these cookies, feel free to go straight to the source and just order some from Levain. Either way you'll want to get your giant glass of milk, cozy socks, and Netflix selection ready to go as these are not on-the-go cookies. They are big (hence the name "mountain cookies"), they are decadent, and they deserve a little sit-down-and-enjoy attention. 

Now let's bake. 

Best chocolate cookie recipeChocolate Snowcap Mountain Cookies, makes six

1/2 cup softened butter (room temperature)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark cocoa
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 cup snowcap chocolate chips (I got mine at Target)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and sugars for a couple minutes with an electric mixer (or stand mixer) until well combined. 

Gooey oversized chocolate cookie recipeScrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined. 

Now add the cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder and mix until a dough ball begins to form. You may need to mix by hand a little as this dough is fairly dense. Then stir in the chocolate chips. 

Chocolate Snowcap Mountain Cookies (via abeautifulmes.com)  On a baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment paper, divide the dough into six balls.

Bake at 350°F for 16-18 minutes. If you are aiming for slightly gooey centers, remove right at the 16 minute mark, but if you want them a bit more cooked through, then add on a minute or two. Again, these are inspired by Levain Bakery, which boasts very gooey centers, so I'm not going to tell you the right answer here but... I think you know it in your heart. 

Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool for a few minutes before enjoying. 

Oversized chocolate cookie recipeIf you've got a cookie craving, you've got to make these—they are too good! Here's a couple notes:

-To soften butter, it's best to just let it sit out on the counter, still in the wrapper or covered, overnight or half a day until softened.

-Each dough ball will be around 4 1/2 oz. if you like to measure as you go rather than divide into six eye-balling-it style. 

-If you can't find snowcap chocolate chips, you can just use semi-sweet chocolate chips and it's basically the same. The only difference is the little, white sprinkles from the snowcaps add a little crunch and some color contrast to these, but no biggie if you can't find any. 

Happy baking! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.

Emma of A Beautiful MessPom pom hat and army green coatA Beautiful Mess for FossilFossil Q watch and cute toteHave you started your holiday gift shopping yet? So far I've only gotten one of the items on my list—I'm behind already! No matter whether you've started your gift shopping yet or not, we've got something pretty exciting to share with you.

We’re thrilled to announce that not only are we partnering with Fossil for the amazing new A Color Story filter, Brilliant, but also for their 12 Days of Gifting event! Starting tomorrow through December 13th, they’ll be sharing all kinds of surprises through their Instagram channel, @Fossil. Hint hint, a few of the items below might even be up for grabs. So make sure to go check it out!

Cozy white sweatersEmma ChapmanFossil tote Zebra bootsEmma's wearing: Sweater/Kiwi Tucker, Jeans and collared shirt/F21, Rachel Tote and Q Wander Watch/Fossil, Boots c/o Boden, Coat/SheIn, Hat/Target

Other than the gifting season, I am very excited for cozy sweaters and coat season—which is also very much in full swing already. A big goal of mine is to get through this entire winter without spilling coffee or hot cocoa on this bright white sweater I picked up a couple months ago. Big goal, I know. We'll see if I can make it. 

What's up in your world, sister? 

The Giving SeasonHi, friends! I have just started gift shopping this past week. This year I am taking my time and really ENJOYING the gift giving season. I know some people enjoy the challenge and the rush of last minute shopping, but to me it's too stressful. So I am taking it slow and doing a little bit of online shopping each day and a couple of local errands each week. So much better, in my opinion! 

The Giving Season The Giving Season The Giving Season The Giving Season The Giving Season Elsie's wearing: Dress/SheIn, Crossbody Bag/Fossil, Shoes/Swedish Hasbeens, Watch/Fossil (similar style here!)

12 days of gifting with FossilHappy gifting season to you guys! And don't forget to check out the Fossil Instagram account to see what surprises they have planned this season! xo. Emma + Elsie

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson. Photography: Janae Hardy and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.

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