DIY MAKING GIFT BOXES

I was on line and saw these cute and easy ways to make our own gift boxes and I thought I’d like to share these with you. Christmas is right around the corner and truthfully, it’s not just Christmas time that we often find ourselves needing a gift bag or box to put a gift in for someone. Hope you enjoy these sites.

GIFTS IN A JAR

SORRY. PHOTO WILL BE POSTED SOON

Each year, there is somewhere I get invited that is totally unexpected. It is nice to have these items already made up, especially around the holidays, so you do not have to show up empty handed or rush to find something to bring with you.

HOMEMADE HOT COCOA MIX IN A JAR YOU WILL NEED: For the container: Mason or other jar you have repurposed. Beware however, certain odors from jars previous use may linger. Jelly jars are great and do not have this problem. Pretty ribbon Card stock Thin fabric Pinking shears ( optional) can use regular or other decorative scissors. 2 packages of Powdered milk 3/4 cup Cocoa powder ( preferably organic) 2 cups Confectioner’s Sugar ( powdered and preferably organic) Mini marshmallows ( preferably without high fructose corn syrup) Crushed candy canes or peppermint or butterscotch hard candies. DIRECTIONS: In a large mixing bowl add your ingredients and stir. Before you place into mason jars, take three heaping tablespoons of the mixture and make yourself a cup of hot cocoa. I say this because different brands may not taste the same. Once you’ve tasted it yourself, you know what is lacking and can stir in more.

HELPFUL HINTS

 1. Use a coffee filter instead of paper towels to clean glass and mirrors. You will get a streak and lint free shine.

2. Sand the ends of your paintbrushes flat. You will now have the perfect dotting tool. 

3. Bad odor in a small place? Place coffee in a filter or container and put into your small space.  It will absorb the odor.

4. Have leftover soysauces, duck sauces etc from a takeout meal? Don’t discard. Place in ziplock bag or container and store in refrigerator. They’ll be neatly stored, out of the way and may be useful in a recipe.

5. Like to spray your home with scented sprays? Save money by spraying onto your A/C filter. It will distribute the fresh scent to your entire home at once .

6. Throw pillows getting a little flat? Pop in your dryer on air dry setting for a few minutes.  They will be fluffy as new. If you use a dryer sheet they will smell fresh too.

7. Have too many small wallet sized photos? Buy a roll of magnetic strip and turn them into refrigerator magnets.

8. Love your lamps but have changed your decor colors? Get some craft paint and paint them. Spray with a clear spray paint to finish them off.  

9. Move into a home with old switch plates? Save money and time searching at the store. Take them all off, wash and dry them and spray with white spray paint or whatever color you desire. They will hold up to cleaning for many years.

10.  FOR ADULTS ONLY…. Want a new twist on your hot cocoa? Try adding a teaspoon of amaretto, romana sambvca, or your favorite liqueur .

HOW TO CROCHET LETTERS

This is such a nice tutorial I found, I thought I’d share it with you. The woman is a very good teacher and has a very soothing voice. Thefact that you can pause it until you catch up is a plus too. Enjoy! Happy crocheting!

If you want to look her up you can google happy berry crochet and learn how to do the entire alphabet. I plan on making my great grandchild a blanket with her name running across it. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. 🙂

 

CROCHETED CANDY CANES

Tis the season!  Once again we are decorating not just a tree but our home, packages and entryways as well. I saw this video that I’d like to share with you. I actually have made these many years ago and they turned out very nice. I did make them TRI- colored though ( green red and white. The white had to go between the green and the red so I just doubled the length for the white). I experimented with the pattern and made some smaller ( using 25 stitches) and they were small enough to hang on a tree and decorate a package with. If you’d like them thinner just use a smaller crochet hook.Hope you’ll give it a try. Fun for children too, if you’re trying to teach your child to crochet. This is an easy one. I wish a Merry Christmas to all of you.

HOLIDAY TABLE CENTERPIECE

Site under construction . Photo will be posted soon.

Holidays are expected events that have the same colors and the same decorations each year. We have the biggies, Christmas , Easter , Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, New Years and many others . There’s Valentines Day and St. Patrick’s Day and a host of others. I was thinking, that’s a lot of decorations to store.

If you are anything like me, you are blessed with a lot of stuff but, not a lot of space to store it in. So, as I have gotten older (and find myself running out of storage for all my new creations) I thought,  ” Why not make a decoration that has interchangeable parts to it? ” So, I sat around thinking about what I could use that could be the base and fitting for all seasons. And, I have created the All-purpose wreath and the all purpose table  centerpiece. It looks great with a pillar candle in its center.

NOTE: I did not make all holiday items on the same day. I went with the idea of it being an interchangeable wreath and started with Christmas. When it came to valentines day I made those interchangeable parts  and so on. As for the flowers, I repurposed ones I already had. There are a million things you can use for each diferent holiday. I’ve listed only some ideas.

You will need:

A small wreath ( mine is the green Christmas type but you can substitute with twined wooden ones)

Floral wire or other wire

Hot glue gun and glue sticks

1/2 inch ribbon ( color or holiday design specific to wrap randomly around wreath or to create bows)

Large ziplock Baggie ( to store your wreath and other baggies that will contain each holidays interchangeable items

White craft paint if you desire to mimic snow on pine cones and to flock interchangeable wreath branches.

A  pillar candle. ( white seems to go well with all holidays)

NOTE : Some ideas of inexpensive things you can use are: Tiny Easter eggs ( plastic and wooden ones can be found in craft stores or walmart), American  flag cupcake toothpicks, Shamrock cupcake toothpicks! Easter cupcake toothpicks, small pine cones, nuts of your choosing still in their shells ( walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts etc.), mini snowflakes, jingle bells, mini candy canes ( preferably plastic), an additional wreath to break into branches and flock with white paint.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. First separate your holiday  items.
  2. Take your wreath and place it in front of you and figure out where you’d like to place items on wreath. Put items onto wreath ( without connecting) until you have the design you like.
  3. Determine the length you need your wire to be. Hot glue each piece onto the floral wire.
  4. If you have chosen to add ribbon, place ribbon first then Place wired items into your wreath.
  5. If you are using tiny flags or shamrocks from cupcake toothpicks, I found it nicer to remove toothpick and glue two together, with wire placed inside.

FAIRY GARDEN MUSHROOMS (FAIRY RING)

Site under construction. Will post pic soon.

I searched everywhere to find lawn ornament mushrooms for my fairy garden.  There were none to be found so, I decided I would try to make some. In the ground they look real. I recently took out to repaint and took pic. They are five years old and have weathered many winters but still remain intact.

YOU WILL NEED:

Mortar

Water to mix the mortar

A medium sized hollow rubber ball. This can be a dog toy or a child’s toy ball. It must be made of rubber or plastic and hollow inside.

Beige or off-white colored craft paint

Clear spray paint to spray after dry to protect from sun and rain

Water bottle caps

Dowel rod or 1/4 inch PVC piping

Old towel for propping your ball halves till dried. Takes about 36 hours to be fully dried.

Dap brand clear caulking . It is waterproof and unlike silicone, clears up easily. I prefer this as it stands up well in all weathers

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Cut rubber ball exactly in half and set aside.

2. Roll your towel long ways and make a nest of sorts for both halves of balls to rest upright. You do not want the bottom of the ball to touch the surface as it will result in a flattening of the mushrooms top.

3. Mix a bit of mortar and fill balls 3/4 full and place in nests so that mortar is resting level.

4. After mortar has been sitting an hour or so, place a water bottle cap ( with top side of bottle cap facing down) into mortar.

5. After another hour or so, ( this is optional ) draw lines from center of cap toward outside edge of your mushroom.  This will give the underside the appearance of a real mushroom.

6. Once dried thoroughly, 36-48 hrs, remove ball by peeling ball away from cement. The ball can be used to make more.

7. Paint your mushroom.

8. Cut PVC or dowel to desired length taking into account a few inches that will be stuck under ground , and paint.

9. Once dry, place dap caulking in center of bottle cap and insert dowel rod or 1/4 inch PVC pipe into glue in bottle cap.

10. Spray with clear spray paint and allow to dry overnight before placing in garden.

SKI PEOPLE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS

Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge

Cute little guys to hang on your tree. Children can do all the painting however, I recommend Mom or Dad do the hot gluing and prune shear cutting to avoid injury.

 

 

 

 

 

YOU WILL NEED:

Round topped wooden clothespins ( can find in local dollar store, Walmart or craft store

Bag of Popsicle craft sticks

Ruler

Wooden skewers

Pruning shears to cut Popsicle sticks

Assorted paints

Flesh color for hands and face

Black or silver for skis

Whatever color you wish for ski persons pants and shirt

Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Decorative thin cord or ribbon to hang your ornament

Kitchen Twine of any color for scarf ( Dollar Tree stores have bag of three colors each in children’s craft section all year round)

Old wire cake cooling rack  ( this is my all time favorite thing to dry crafts on when you paint both sides at once)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Paint head of clothespin with flesh color.

2.Paint skier’s shirt front and back and set on rack to dry.

3. Once dry, paint skiers pants. and set on rack to dry.

4. Can paint boots if you wish to . I did not.

5. Paint some Popsicle sticks , front and back, the  color you wish the shirt to be and set aside to dry. These will later become the arms.

6. Once dry, measure  how long you need arms to be and cut that length off Popsicle stick with pruning shears. ( PARENTS PLEASE DO THIS PART TO AVOID INJURY) . Touch up with chosen colored paint.

7.  Paint flesh colored tips onto both sides of ends of arms to represent skiers hands. Set aside to dry.

8. Round off corners of  flat part of the Popsicle stick with pruning shears. This part will become skiers shoulders. Touch up exposed wood and set aside to dry.

9. Paint Popsicle sticks front and back black or silver and set on cooling rack to dry. These will become the skis.

10.  Using pruning shears, cut Popsicle  sticks in half. You will need one Popsicle  stick for each pair of skis. Touch up with paint where the exposed wood is and set aside to dry.

10. Cut off point of skewer and paint skewers the color you chose for skis and set aside to dry.

11. Paint hair on your skier.

12. With the end of a skewer dipped into paint, dot eyes and make smile.

13. When clothespin is totally dried, hot glue the clothespin to the skis. Be sure rounded part of ski is used for front of skis.

14. Glue arms on with arms partially extended ( see photo).

15.  Take your black or silver skewers and cut to make the poles the skier will hold. DO NOT CUT THESE FIRST. Depending on how far you extended your skiers arms will determine the length you will need to glue to side of hand facing skiers body and then to side of skiers pant leg near ski.

16. When gluing on poles to hands and skis I took hot glue and placed with skewer to avoid large area of glue.

17. Now, if you wish, you can braid colored kitchen twine to make a scarf. Place dab of hot glue on back of neck and attach hanging ribbon or cord and this will also hold scarf in place. Glue scarf to side of skiers shirt near arm to hold in place.

You will create memories for your child each Christmas when you bring them out to place on tree.

STARFISH WALL DECORATION

Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge

I am a beach person. I love the ocean and even more, I love collecting seashells. I have my master bathroom decorated in a beach theme. I have clear glass jars of seashells displayed on the windowsill and wanted a starfish for the wall. This is what I did. Hope you’ll give it a try! So easy! Takes just a few minutes.

 

 

 

YOU WILL NEED:

A Starfish ( or more if you want several) these can be purchased in Walmart or any craft store, individually or in a bag .

White paint OR no paint, leave natural

Glitter if you are painting and wish it to sparkle

Hot glue gun with glue sticks

White pipe cleaners or a wire ( when I run out of wire I have been known to use a Christmas tree ornament hanger for these small tasks).

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Either leave natural or paint your starfish white and apply glitter. 2. Hot glue pipe cleaner to back center of starfish to hang on wall.
  2. NOTE: There are some on a shelf in my guest bedroom that just rest against a book or other item.