Christmas Gift Wrap

Last year I decided I was not going to give into the Christmas wrapping paper.  I really don’t like 99% of it and I wanted to spend my money on something creative rather than wrapping paper.  I found some butcher paper (or you can use craft paper).  Then I discovered that I could use my scrap booking tool, Cricut machine, to create a wonderful gift tag.  I got some great festive gold, red, white & silver scrap booking paper.  Then I made all the cuts I needed to  and used my sticker maker.  Some of the gifts I used initials and others I used the whole name.  Then for the final touch I used different textures of ribbon and yarn to create bows.  These gifts ended up looking more like my christmas decorations than cluttered gifts below the tree.

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Milk Themed Baby Shower

When my dear friend Blair Moore told me she was pregnant I just knew our Cross Point Community Group would be throwing her a baby shower.  I had originally seen this idea on Pinterest, but it seemed like they spent a whole lot of money, we found a way to make all this ourselves and it was so much fun!  This is what we came up with:

Milk, Cookies, Cows, Black, White, Pink & Cookies-n-Cream

Here are just some of our creative projects for this Milk Themed Shower:

Tables:

-Cow Print fabric for each, 1/2 yard per table.  (I even got the Fabric store to make this one cut for me, so basically I just threw them on!).

-Black table clothes underneath the cow print fabric

-Pink flowers for the new baby girl, placed in cool old milk bottles ($3 each for these)

-Chick-Fil-a cows

Party Favors:

Soy & Oak Milk Lotion Samples

Invitations:

-My friend Adam Buzard made these awesome invitations for her

Food:

New mom & the food!

-Katie Ward made some beautiful Cookies-n-Creme cupcakes, check out her other cakes and cup cakes

Heather West used some empty Frappuccino bottles to make individual milk bottles for everyone.  She took off each label, added the baby’s initials & painted the tops black.  (Word to the wise on the bottle caps, do not use spray paint, let these dry for days before placing on the milk, we don’t want our milk tasting like paint 🙂

Alyssa Pantana made some fun candy pacifiers with good and plenty candies

Diaper Cake-

Next week I’ll cover how to make a diaper cake!

I love to throw parties and I really love to make them personal.  Throwing a baby shower doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to one aisle at the party store.  Make up a fun theme and do it for cheap!

Guest Post: Gifts for Girlfriends

DIY: Gifts for Girlfriends

by: Christy Brown

You know what I love? Crafts.

You know what else I love? Natalie.

So you can imagine my excitement when my beautiful friend Natalie asked me to be a guest writer for her blog about crafting.

Natalie + crafts = Yes, please.

I’ve never been trained in crafting, nor do I know if there is such a thing. Usually my crafts are a result of my cheap (Dave Ramsey) budget combined with my mind running at 100 i.p.h. (Ideas Per Hour.)

This Do It Yourself project is just one more example of that when I decided to make gifts for my girlfriends rather than buy them this past Christmas.

Making gifts is better than buying them (I think) for two reasons:

1.       It’s budget friendly. (See Matt’s map project.)

2.       It’s more thoughtful because it took time and effort to create.

I decided to make my close girlfriends each a pair of earrings. Aside from fresh highlights, nothing makes a girl feel more put together than a few great accessories, right? Right. So, I picked a cold night in December while Matt was out of town to work on it. I went to Michael’s to get all of my supplies and here’s what I bought:

1.       5 different types of beads.
I was going to make them each one pair but when I got there, the beads were so affordable that I decided to make them each two pairs.

2.       Earring hooks

3.       Round wire pieces to join the pieces together

4.       Straight pin pieces to put the beads on

Next, I threaded the straight wire through the beads in the order that I wanted.

The straight wire was sticking out of the top so you have to bend it into a closed loop. The wire is pretty thick and hard to bend accurately into a loop with your finger so I found a nail in a junk drawer and used that to shape it.

Needle-nose pliers are particularly helpful to pull it all the way around.

You are left with a nice closed loop at the top of your wire which keeps your beads securely in place.

Next, you take one of your round pieces and pry it open. You will thread this through your loop above the beads, leaving it open. Then, take the earring hook and loop the bottom around the same round bead while it’s open. Then use your pliers to close the round bead around all of the pieces. You end up with a complete (and quite dangly) earring!

Repeat x the number of girlfriends that made the gift list this year and Bada-bing-Bada-boom! Earrings!

In this case, I repeated the process again for the second pair of earrings for each girl so that each of my friends ended up with two pairs as a gift.

Last step: Wrapping!

You can buy a package of jewelry boxes at the craft store along with some ribbon. I chose navy because it’s one of my colors for Matt and I’s wedding this Spring. J

Place the earrings in the box,

Wrap your ribbon around it, write a thoughtful note in the card and Viola!

You have a thoughtful gift with a total cost per girl (with card, box, and all supplies) being less than $7!

Oh and one last thing: take the leftover beads and make some for yourself!

 

Happy Crafty Thursday, Friends!

Fabric Flower

Fabric Flowers

Especially good for a baby shower as party favors. I made one flower per guest and asked every guest to take one home, to wear it on a regular basis and pray for the new baby girl.  I have also sewn these flowers to a head band or hair clip!

Supplies:

Fabric- 3-4 yards, thicker or textured fabric is better.

Thread & needle-matching the fabric color

Buttons

cookie cutters

fabric pen/pencil/sharpie

Hot glue gun

Pins

Fabric scissors

Additional supplies for making party favors with your fabric flowers

Clear Party Bags

Card stock paper (any light color)

Hole punch

Colored pen

Ribbon

Tutorial

Step 1: Use medium sized cookie cutters to trace 9 circles  (per flower) on fabric with fabric pen/pencil/sharpie. (If you are not using buttons for center cut another very small circle).

Step 2: Cut circles

Step 3: Thread similar colored thread into needle.  (Cut thread, it should be about 2 ft. Tie several small knots in the end opposite the needle, creating one larger knot.)

Step 4: Use one circle as the base.

Step 5: Fold 2nd circle in half twice, creating a 1/4th pieces.  Start needle from the underside of your base and tack down all 4 of the 1st layers of your flower.  You can see a picture below to give you a better idea.

Step 6: Fold the 6th circle as you did the others.  Do not place this circle directly on top of the other pie pieces, rather place it half way between each, to cover the edges of each of the pieces you placed on the 1st layer.  This picture below will help you more than my description.

Step 7: Tack down the rest of your circles this way, making the 2nd layer of the flower.

Step 8: From the bottom thread the needle up, place button in the center of your flower and sew it on.  This take 8-9 stitches for the button to become secure. (If you are not using a button take your small circle, fold in half. From one side start to role the fabric, you will be making a cone shape.  When finish simply tack down in the middle as you would all your previous fabric.)

Step 9: Heat hot clue gun.  Place a very small amount of glue onto the underside of the flower and quickly place flat side of pin onto the glue.  Hold for a few seconds.

If making guest party favors with your fabric flowers:

Step 10:  Put each flower in a clear bag.

Step 11: Cut stripes of paper & hole punch one end.

Step 12:  Write a phrase on slips of paper, for example “Pray for Baby Esther every time you wear this flower”

Step 13:  Use the twist ties provided to close all bags.

Step 14:  Tie each slip of paper onto each bag with ribbon

Let me know if you have questions on how to make these flowers headbands or hair clips, I would love to help!

Brown paper packages tied up with string…


Try this project next time you have a gift to wrap. 

The 1st picture is my very first try, so it could have been better!  The picture at the bottom of the post is our Christmas gifts, you can tell experience helps. And yes it is cheaper than gift bags or wrapping paper.

Supplies:

Heavy Duty Craft Paper

Ribbon/Yarn/Bow (You can buy a bow as I did in the first picture or check out the picture at the end for other ribbon/yarn options)

Scissors

Tape, I like packing tape

For Letters-

Colored card stock paper (I like scrap booking paper)

A Cricut machine, die cutting machine

Sticker Machine

Alternate for letters- You could also buy scrap booking stickers if you do not have these sticker making tools or the time to do your own letters

Tutorial

Step 1: Wrap in Heavy Duty Craft Paper. (Price this out, the cheapest I have found in a retail store has been $3 a roll, it may be cheaper online). I let my husband wrap a couple and he isn’t the world’s best wrapper but with this paper it actually doesn’t look too bad.

Step 2: Cut yarn or ribbon for each package, depending on the size.  If using yarn I like to use at least 5-6 pieces per package. (If doing a series of gifts, I love having different textures of ribbons, different thicknesses etc.  I thought it gave it all some depth.)

Step 3: Tie ribbon or yarn around packages. (Or attach bow)

Step 4: Cut letters with Cricut using card stock paper.  I like to use shadow letters and normal letters, your Cricut should be able to give you instructions on how to do this.

Step 5: Feed letters into sticker machine.  If making shadow letters I advise making the shadows first, then make the actual letters in a different color.

Step 6: Put letters on packages.

Let me know if you have questions on any of these supplies or steps.