Messy pen set giveawayOn the eleventh day of Christmas... we are giving away messy pen sets! Eleven lucky readers are going to win a messy pen set to use for all those thank you cards you're gonna need to write after the holidays are over. :) If you haven't already, to check out our new pens, click here.

Because we had so many of you interested in the giveaway yesterday (wowzers!), we decided to change up the rules a little moving forward. Rather than choosing from the first 100 entries, we'll leave open each giveaway for 3 hours. Anyone who enters within that 3-hour window is eligible. 

Ready to enter 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 already follow us or have already signed up for the newsletter or 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

11th Day of Christmas

A Beautiful Mess Giveaway Rules 

Thank you tons and tons for all your support! We'll be contacting the winners directly shortly. If you missed out this time, be sure to keep checking back.

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Emma's winter skin product favoritesWinter is here. What I love most about winter is when we have a light snow that is beautiful but still easy to drive in, and of course, the holidays! What I dislike about winter is the early sunset (it's so hard to take photos after 5pm!), and my skin gets weird during the cold months. 

Growing up I had oily skin that was often prone to breakouts. You know, average teenager stuff. And for a long time I didn't really get out of the mentality of, "I have oily skin." But over the years my skin has changed, and now I get really dry, flaky skin sometimes. Especially in the winter months. So, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite winter skin products with you.

Day moisturizer1. Josie Maran Daily Moisturizer.

I actually use this all year round. I just apply it a little more liberally in the winter months. I wear this everyday under my makeup (if I wear makeup that day). It's light, smells great, and has plenty of SPF, which is important in the summer for obvious reasons. But I think wearing a light sunscreen in the winter is just as important since the sun doesn't just go away during those months, and with snow you can still get sunburned (or at least, I can) from reflections. 

Foot creme2. Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Crème.

Confession: I use this on my hands sometimes too. I don't use this everyday, but probably a couple times a week I'll rub some of this on my feet after a shower before bed. I also rub it into my hands and elbows. I mean, it's already on my hands from rubbing it on my feet, so why not? (I'm not weird, you're weird.) This stuff smells like vacation and makes my feet less scratchy. Love it.

Night moisturizer3. Josie Maran Infinity Cream.

I swear this is not an ad for Josie Maran. I just like two of their products. For me, this is the nighttime version of my daily moisturizer. After washing my face, I'll apply a little bit of this to any dry areas before bed. It's pretty thick, so a little goes a long way. And it kind of smells like oranges, so that's cool. I really think this is the main product that has been helping me avoid dry, flaky skin this season so far. 

Great for chapped lips4. Smith's Rosebud Salve.

I use a variety of lip products in the winter, so there isn't just one that I swear by. But currently I am loving this stuff! I like this version of applicator (as opposed to ones you have to dip your finger into in order to apply, seems kind of unhygienic), and this stuff helps protect my lips from cold air and wind. It's like a shield. It is glossy but not tinted, so if you want color, you'll have to wear something under this. But for everyday use I really like it.

Face cleanser wipes5. Yes To Coconut Cleansing Wipes.

OK, so you really should wash your face every night. I know, I know. But sometimes I don't. I get lazy. It's bad. So I like to have these as an alternative so I can remove at least most of my makeup quickly. And these feel pretty hydrating compared to other cleansing wipes, so I prefer these in the winter months. If you can't tell, I'm also a sucker for anything coconut scented. I love it!

What about you? Do you have favorite products you switch to when the seasons change? xo. Emma

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

Try this-pvc pipe wreath Try this-pvc pipe wreath
We've been seeing a number of what I like to call circle or bubble wreaths lately. We loved this pretty one from CB2 (although we can't find it online, only in the catalog). And it looked simple enough to put together. You can do all kinds of different designs with these simple materials too! For example, check out this beautiful PVC pipe Christmas tree via Martha Stewart

You likely don't need to see step-by-step instructions for this project as it's pretty well known. So I'm just going to briefly go over how I made ours. I loved this project, and I hope if some of you haven't thought of trying this yourself yet, maybe this will inspire you to!

Try this-pvc pipe wreath As far as supplies go, I bought some 5 foot PVC pipe with diameters ranging from 1/2" to 2.5". I used a hot glue gun with extra strength glue sticks (for stronger hold) to construct the wreath. I used a chop saw to cut the pieces, but you can use a PVC pipe saw if you don't have access to power tools. A Sharpie and measuring tape came in handy for measuring and marking lengths (as they do).

Try this-pvc pipe wreath I cut the pipes down in varying lengths, ranging from .5" to 3".

Try this-pvc pipe wreath Arranging the pieces to look symmetrical and balanced took a bit of time. It was like putting together an open-ended puzzle, which was both challenging and fun! After I had the pieces arranged, it was just a matter of going through and gluing each piece together one by one.

Try this-pvc pipe wreath Once the wreath was constructed, I spray painted a couple coats of gold and called it a day. This wreath took an afternoon to make, and cost about 20 bucks. If you dig the look, give it a try this season!

Try this-pvc pipe wreath Try this-pvc pipe wreath
Laura helped me style the wreath and made it look good. :) We have it on the mantel, and things are looking pretty festive around here! -Josh

Credits // Author: Joshua Rhodes. Photography: Joshua Rhodes And Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

Crochet coastersHere's an adorable crochet pattern for a quick project! These mason jar cozies are great for using with tealights for a wintery decor DIY.

Use these crocheted mason jar cozies for small plants!These also work great for presenting gifts such as homemade jams & jellies. Use them to decorate any small mason jar that you use for holding pens, plants, etc!

Use these crocheted mason jar cozies for small plants!Materials:

-Sport/DK weight yarn. (I recommend not choosing a cotton yarn because it doesn't stretch as well as wool or acrylic yarns do.)
-3mm crochet hook

Abbreviations:

inc - double crochet increase, 2 dc stitches in the same stitch.

Pattern:

Round 1: Ch 4, sl st in 1st ch to make a loop. Ch 3, 12 dc in loop. Sl st in 3rd ch.

Round 2: Ch 3, 1 dc in that same stitch, 2 dc in each stitch around. You should have 24 stitches around.

Round 3: Ch 3, 1 dc in same st. *1 dc, inc* repeat around. You should have 36 stitches.

Round 4: 1 sc in each st around.

Round 5: Ch 4, skip 3 stitches, 3 dc in the 4th stitch. *ch 1, skip 3 st, 3 dc. Repeat from * 6 more times. Ch 1, skip 3 st, 2 dc in the 1st ch st (1st of the 4 ch that you made at the beginning of this round), sl st into the 3rd ch.

Round 6: Ch 4, 2 dc in space. *Ch 1, 3 dc in next open space. Repeat from * 7 more times. Ch 1, sl st into 3rd ch. 

Round 7: Ch 4, skip 3 st, 3 dc in space. *Ch 1, 3 dc in next open space. Repeat from * 6 times. Ch 1, 2 dc in space, sl st into 3rd ch.

Round 8: Repeat rounds 6 & 7, 3 times.

Round 14: *Sc in space, 3 sc* repeat around. (36 st)

Use these crocheted mason jar cozies for small plants!A set of these charming clover shaped coasters would make a great handmade gift! 

Materials:

-worsted weight yarn in 2 colors.
-4mm yarn hook

Abbreviations

inc - double crochet increase, 2 dc in the same stitch.

Pattern (Small Coaster):

Slip knot onto hook, ch 4. Sl st into first ch to make a loop.

Round 1: Ch 3, 11 dc in loop. (12 st) Sl st into 3rd ch.

Round 2: Ch 3, 1 dc in same st. Inc (2 dc in each st.) around. (24 st) Sl st into 3rd ch.

Round 3: With second yarn color, Ch 1, *1sc skip 2, 11 dc (in the same stitch), skip 2* Repeat from * 4 times. Join with sl st in 3rd ch from round 2.

Round 4: (1 sc, *2sc, 1sc. Repeat from * 4 times, sl st) Repeat ( ) 4 times, tie off and weave in ends.

Pattern (Large Coaster):

Slip knot onto hook, ch 4. Sl st into first ch to make a loop.

Round 1: Ch 3, 11 dc in loop. (12 st) Sl st into 3rd ch.

Round 2: Ch 3, 1 dc in same st. Inc (2 dc in each st.) around. (24 st) Sl st into 3rd ch.

Round 3: Ch 3, 1 dc in same st, *inc, inc, 1dc. Repeat from * around.

Round 4: With second yarn color, Ch 1, *1sc skip 4, 10 tc (in the same stitch), skip 4* Repeat from * 4 times. Join with sl st in 3rd ch from round 2.

Round 5: (1 sc, *inc. Repeat from * 10 times) Repeat ( ) 4 times, tie off and weave in ends.

To ensure that your coasters retain their shape and flatten, you need to block them. Simply spray them with water and pin them to an ironing board in the desired shape. Let them dry this way overnight.

Use pins and an ironing board to block small crochet projects!Use these crocheted mason jar cozies for small plants!Crochet Party!Whip up a set of these as a special gift for that coffee or tea lover in your life! The mason jar cozies work well for jar tumblers too! -Holly

Credits // Author: Holly Neufeld, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this seasonGarlands are a great way to instantly add holiday cheer to every unsuspecting surface or ledge in your home. The fireplace mantel? Well, it probably saw it coming. But the chandeliers, picture frames, and curtain rods? They won't know what hit 'em.

Yeah, I get a little garland crazy for the holidays, but I can't help it! They're irresistibly charming and really fun to make. Check out these five holiday garlands I created for Christmas decorations this year, difficulties ranging from time-consuming and meticulous to quick and dirty.

DIY Stocking Advent Calender GarlandADVENT STOCKING GARLAND

This project was the most tedious of all the garlands I created because of all the cutting and hand stitching involved. This is a great project for those who enjoy things like crochet, embroidery, or hand quilting.

Supplies:
-felt in two colors
-fabric scissors
-stocking template (click to download)
-embroidery needle
-embroidery floss in coordinating and contrasting colors
-your choice of trim, such as rick rack and pom poms

DIY Stocking Advent Calender GarlandStep One: Using this template, cut out 24 stockings in each of the two colors of felt you selected. It's easier to only use the template for the first stocking, and then to use that felt stocking as a template for the others—this is because felt sticks better to felt, whereas paper will just want to slide out of place as you cut.

Step Two: Add details to the stocking. Use the template to cut toe and heel pieces of contrasting felt to applique to the surface of the stocking, or make up your own designs. I free hand embroidered numbers to the middle of each stocking for the days of the advent calendar.

DIY Stocking Advent Calender GarlandI crocheted a rope and used mini clothes pins to connect each stocking to it, but you could easily use cut slits in the back of each stocking to thread a ribbon through to hang yours.

I liked the simplicity of this project, particularly in the restrained color scheme, though it did take quite a bit of time to add details to each stocking. Hopefully this will be a garland we use for many, many years!

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this easy pom pom garlandEASY POM POM GARLAND

I love making big fluffy pom poms, but I wanted something more delicate to drape along the big window in my dining room. So I whipped up a big pile of little pom poms using just a fork, some yarn, and scissors. Check out how simple it is!

Supplies:
-yarn
-sharp scissors
-large fork (My fork wasn't too large, but slightly larger than a table fork.)

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this easy pom pom garlandStep One: Wrap yarn around your fork until it looks as full as the photo above.

Step Two: Slip a length of yarn between the middle prongs of the fork and tie it around the wrapped yarn. Then slip the bundle of yarn from the fork.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this easy pom pom garlandStep Three: Use sharp scissors to cut around the looped yarn. Make sure you don't cut the length of yarn that's keeping them all together!

Step Four: Trim any unevenness from the finished pom pom.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this seasonStep Five: Use the tails of the pom poms to tie them to a ribbon or rope (I made a rope by crocheting yarn), then trim off the tails. You can also trim off the tails first and use a needle and yarn to thread the pom poms onto the yarn.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— including this wooden peace garlandWOODEN WORD BANNER

There are lots of words for the holiday season, and many of them are nice words! I thought about making my garland say "Let it snow!" or the real original "Merry Christmas," but when it comes down to it, I think peace is something that each of our hearts are aching for this holiday season, so that's what I chose for my banner. If you have a wide expanse to cover with your banner, you can also have it say "Peace on Earth."

Supplies:
-PEACE template (click to download)
-very thin bass wood sheet or birch veneer
-sharp X-Acto blade with blade refills
-wood stain of your choice
-rag, brush, or paper towel for applying stain
-straw
-scissors
-glue
-ribbon, rope, or yarn

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— including this wooden peace garlandStep One: Print out the PEACE template and use it to cut out each letter from your bass wood sheet. Make sure to not press too hard with each swipe of the blade, or the wood may crack. More swipes with a sharp blade is best.

Step Two: Stain the letters with the stain of your choice. I used Minwax's Early American stain.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— including this wooden peace garlandStep Three: Trim pieces of a straw and glue them to the back of the letters. When the glue dries, string a ribbon or yarn through the straw segments to hang your banner.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this sparkly snowflake garlandGLITTERY SNOWFLAKES GARLAND

As we all know, when you let something glittery into your home, it gets everywhere! But I'm convinced it gets into your blood too, because how else can you explain my need to have sparkly things all over my home each holiday season? This glittery snowflake garland is simple to make, and would also make great ornaments or gift toppers. I even managed to keep the collateral glitter damage to a minimum.

Supplies:
-polymer clay in silver, gold, or whatever color glitter you plan to use
-snowflake cookie cutter (here's a nice set with different sizes)
-toothpick or skewer
-baking sheet and oven
-Mod Podge
-glitter
-brush

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this sparkly snowflake garlandStep One: Warm the polymer clay in your hands by squishing it all around. This will make it easier to work with. Then roll it out to approximately 1/4" thickness and cut out the snowflake shapes with a cookie cutter. Re-roll the scrap pieces of clay and repeat.

Step Two: Pierce the tip of each snowflake with a skewer, making sure you have a hole big enough to thread a ribbon or string through.

Step Three: Bake the clay in the oven according to the package instructions.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this sparkly snowflake garlandStep Four: After the baked snowflakes have completely cooled and hardened, brush them with a coat of Mod Podge and sprinkle with a generous amount of glitter before the Mod Podge dries.

As the Mod Podge dries, use a skewer again to make sure the holes in the snowflakes are unobstructed.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this sparkly snowflake garlandI strung my snowflakes onto a thin ribbon, knotting each snowflake to keep it from turning side-ways while hanging. You could also use jewelry rings around the hole for a more finished look.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this glamorous ornament garlandORNAMENT GARLAND

This garland is the most glamorous of all the ones I made this year, and has the potential to cost the most money. But! It's also the easiest. I bought my ornaments from a local craft store, but I'd also suggest scouring thrift stores for old, forgotten ornaments that would make a charming garland.

Supplies:
-ribbon
-ornaments

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this glamorous ornament garlandAll you need to do for this garland is string the ribbon through the hooks of the ornament. So easy! Knot the first one on the string, and bunch the others together. If you want your garland to be not as thick or full, you can space out the ornaments more, but you'll need to knot them into place or they will slide around according to gravity's whims.

So there you have it! Five choices for fun holiday garlands you can make according to your personal taste and holiday style. Try one or embrace your inner crazy craft lady (like me) and try them all! -Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella and Valentine from the Signature Collection.

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