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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Burlap Wreath

Nothing gets me more excited then being able to create and give a gift to a friend.  I will confess that because I enjoy this so much that it’s very difficult for me to just buy a gift I don’t get excited about, espically by a certain date.  So this is why I’m always late on your gift or one time you may get something amazing and the next year I may completely forget your birthday… I apologize in advance!

All of that brings me to our project today.  It has been my stable, my GO TO gift for baby showers (espically little girls) over the last year.  My friend Ashley showed me last year how to start these wreathes.  The one below is my very first attempt, you can see how much better I’ve gotten over the last year!

Without you knowing this I’ve been building up to this blog post.  I felt like these wreaths offer so many options that I couldn’t give you 3 tutorials in one day so I have already outlined several elements I have already taught you!

Check out these posts for ideas-

Yarn letters/numbers for your wreath

Cloth letters/numbers for your wreath

Supplies:

Straw Wreath (For your 1st attempt I would start with a smaller one)

Burlap (caution: Red burlap fades if used in direct sunlight)

Scissors for cutting Burlap (I have a old back up pair because the material tends to ruin your scissors)

Scissors for cutting cloth

Hot glue gun

Lace or Ribbon for making hanger (I like wide lace the best!)

Fabric 1/2 yard per fabric should do for most wreaths  (I use between 3-5 different types and textures of fabric)

Ribbon of different textures

Quilting pearl pins

Tutorial:

-Cut long stripes of burlap, between 4-5 inches wide

-Hot glue one end of the burlap stripe to the back side of your wreath from the inside out, at a SLIGHT angle

-Wrap the burlap around the wreath working from inside out

-When you come the end of your strip of burlap hot glue it to the back of the wreath

-Start a new stripe of burlap until your whole wreath is covered

-Attach any letters/numbers you would like to with the hot glue gun (if you are doing a large letter in the middle you can save this for last)

-Cut your fabric for the flowers, free hand cut circles in different sizes of all the fabrics

You can see from all the various wreaths that for some I only used a few of these circles in small clusters, but like the one above I think I cut circles for 2 hours.  What look would you prefer? Some like to cover their entire wreath in these circles!

-To start this process I will take 2 different fabric circles (I like to start with larger circles) and grab them in the middle making a sort of stand up cone.  I put these two together on one of the pearl pins and pin it to the wreath at a angle.  I continue this over and over again until I achieve the look I desire, the great thing is you can remove any pins you want!

-After you have all your little round circles pined to your wreath take a step back and see how you like it, I always end up cutting a few more circles and adding more!

-The final step to your fabric circles is to secure them with a dot of hot glue.  I typically leave the pins in and just add dots of glue to secure the fabric to the burlap, don’t forget a circle, if you put this on the front door those pins can come lose easy with a strong wind.

-Cut your ribbon to hang your wreath from, like Steph said last week I don’t really love my wreath hanger I had so I just hang my wreath from a nail on my front door

-If you check out the first wreath in this post you will notice I also cut some small lace ribbon and burlap type rope to wrap around my wreath for additional texture, my friend Ashley has done this with leather ribbon and it looks awesome!

There really are a million different ways you can make these wreaths, I have friends that hate burlap and they have done virtually the same thing with cloth covering the wreath instead.  Let me know if you have questions or suggestions.

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!

For you and all the little girls

Bad hair day? Want to look awesome at the gym?  Need ideas for a great gift for that little girl you know?  What about saving money making your own accessories?

3 Tutorials for you today, Not vastly different but slightly!

1. Fabric Flower  (2) headband

Supplies:

Fabric (3 different colors or patterns, any light weight material will do, the cheap stuff is great for this project).

Headband (pre-made or lace ribbon, must have some elastic qualities, see the 2nd tutorial for details)

Hot glue

Needle & Thread

Tutorial:

Step 1: Cut stripes of fabric, I like each to be 1′ long & about 1″ to 1.5″ wide.  The longer the fabric the larger the flowers.  I would advise you try this flower with some scrap fabric first, it doesn’t take much.

Step 2: Start at one end of the fabric.  Fold the strip in half horizontally or long ways!  Then fold it again.  This should give you one long piece of fabric folded into a very skinny strip.  Really only worry about having one end tightly folded.  Start to roll this end of tightly folded fabric.

Step  3: After rolling the fabric to the size of your thumb nail put a dot of hot glue to keep it tight.

Step 4: Start to turn the fabric half way around and glue after every few turns to ensure that the fabric will stay put. Do not keep turning your fabric at the same point every time, make it more of a random turn so you get petals that look natural with frayed and smooth edges.  Your fabric will quickly start to unfold from your original but that is okay, this is what is making the petals of your flower.

Step 5: Try to keep the flower as flat as possible.  If you find that your flower is tall you may want to start again with a new piece of fabric and cut a skinner piece of fabric.

Step 6: Once you feel as though you have the appropriate size flower take the tail and pull it around to the underside, securing with a dot of hot glue.

Step 7: Continue this process with the other two pieces of fabric.

Step 8:  Sew each flower to the head band.  Remember that with the elastic of the headband that when you put it on the material will stretch.  I learned this the hard way.  The first one I made the flowers were very far apart on the head band when I put it on. The second one I made was the one pictured and I sewed each flower almost on top of each other to get a better look.

2. Making lace headbands

Check out last weeks blog for details on how to make this fabric flower (1): https://24natalie.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/fabric-flower/

You may also use the fabric flower (2) for this head band.

Supplies for Headband:

Elastic ribbon

Thread & Needle

Tutorial:

Step 1: Cut elastic ribbon to size of head, keep in mind how small infants heads are.  The one pictured was tiny! Leave a little extra fabric for step 2.

Step 2: sew together ends of ribbon with matching color thread.  I was not great at sewing this lace but after the second one I got it pretty well!

3. Layered button fabric flower (3)

Supplies:

Either headband from today’s tutorial 1 or 2

Fabric (2 different colors)

Buttons (at least 3 of similar colors but slightly different sizes)

Thread & Needle

Tutorial:

Step 1: Use tutorial 1 or 2 head band

Step 2: Cut fabric, alternating sizes of fabric

Step 3: Start base color, opposite color of headband

Step 4: Tack down 1st color of fabric to headband, start alternating colored fabric, sewing each one, you will only need 2 stitches per layer.

Step 5: Sew each button in a cluster in the middle.I loved having multiple buttons of slightly different colors, that matched the head band.

I hope you enjoy these projects!  I have found they are my go to when I need a gift.

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.