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 .

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.

REPURPOSING GLASS CONTAINERS

Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge

We throw away more things each year without giving a thought to what else they might be useful for. Below I would like to share with you some things that I have done. Things that allowed me to free up drawer and closet space as well as be able to display them decoratively, incorporating them into my homes decor.And I don’t know about you, but I can never  have enough closet space.

My marbles I keep in an old Maple Syrup jug displayed on the bookcase instead of tucked into a drawer.  The jars that I , personally, have found to be most useful are:

Maple syrup jugs

Glass orange juice or grapefruit juice jars

Used Yankee or other type Candle Jars,

Honey jars

Any glass jar can be used really. I prefer jars that have either clear, silver, black or gold lids without any graphics on them. They are useful storage containers that can easily display things like cotton balls, Q-tips, makeup sponges, marbles,  seashells, nailpolish bottles, bobbypins or other hair ties, even teabags, whatever you like. Because they are taller than they are wide, they can help you consolidate space.  Or, can be displayed on your bathroom counter or anywhere else you choose to display them. And the lids are snug  as well, so no danger of things falling out. Old glass juice bottles are great for storing cereals and macaroni and take up less space in your cupboard.  Hope you’ll give this a try.

YOU WILL NEED:

Hot soapy water

A sink or other container to soak them

Scrubber sponge

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fill your jars with hot water, put lid on and submerge into a sink filled with hot soapy water.
  2. After about 15 minutes you should be able to peel off jar labels quite easily. For the more stubborn ones you can use a scrubber sponge. They typically get scrubbed off with little effort.
  3. Rinse your jars and lids with cold water and set aside to dry.
  4. Fill your jars.