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Sunday, November 28, 2010

12 Crafts of Christmas part 10 - Gift packaging & wrapping

So once you've made your fun treats and all your wonderful handmade gifts, the wrapping begins!

I've got a few great ideas for packaging treats to give away
as well as a super cute and easy pillow box template to make packaging easy and cheap!

Now for my treat packaging I reused two different containers rather than throwing them away.
The first is the plastic container that your Crystal Light {or any knock off brand} comes in.
 Once you peal off the label its as easy as covering it with some cute paper and adding a cute ribbon and tag!
Look how perfect it is for stacking cookies! 
 Next thing I used was an old peanut container.  I covered it with paper just like the juice tub but this time I filled it with my yummy peppermint candy!
These were super quick and easy, but the best part is that they are free, and its a great way to recycle.
{You're welcome Earth - I try to do my part}

Ok on to the next. . .
You need something to wrap all that jewelry you've been making.  Or maybe a little something to jazz up those gift cards you're giving.
How about a pillow box?
 This little box is perfect for a necklace/earring set!
Now, here is s fab little template for you!

All you do is print this baby onto any piece of card stock that you want. 
Then you cut on the solid lines and score on the dotted lines, and fold.
A little glue on the flap and your box is ready to use!

Now that it is officially Christmas time, its time to break out the scissors and tape and start wrapping!

Friday, November 26, 2010

12 Crafts of Christmas - Part 9 - Chocolate Candy Cane Yumm!

Is anyone familiar with those unbelievably delicious Ghiradelli limited time only chocolate peppermint candies that they sell only during Christmas time?
I. Love. Them.
Seriously, one bag just doesn't do it for me.

This year I tried making my own, and let me tell you, I won't be buying them any more. . . I'll be making them!
Super yummy and who whoulda known they are so easy to make!

 Milk chocolate bark
White chocolate bark
1 package of candy canes
parchment paper
jelly roll pan

First start with your chocolate.
Melt the whole package of milk chocolate and pour it into a parchment lined jelly roll pan.

Stick it in the fridge to harden.
While its hardening put your candy canes into the food processor and grind them up!
Grind it til its about the same consistency as sand, some bigger chunks and some fine dust.

 Once the chocolate in the fridge has hardened melt your white chocolate.
Once it is all melted stir in your crushed candy canes.

Now pour it over the milk chocolate in the pan and spread it all out evenly.
Do this pretty quickly or the chocolate underneath will start to melt and the two will mix together.  {you can see a spot or two on mine where this started happening}

Now put the whole thing in the fridge and let it harden.
The last step is to break it all up into pieces.  I tried cutting it into a bunch of neat squares, but it just didn't happen.  No biggy.
Now make sure you put it in two containers, one to share with your family, and one to hide in your sock drawer.  {just kidding - or am I?}

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

12 Crafts of Christmas - Part 8 - Gift Idea - Flower Pearl Necklace

I think handmade jewelry makes a fab gift!
For a fraction of the cost you can replicate almost any jewelry you see!

I'm gonna show you how to make this necklace!

I've gotten lots of compliments on this necklace and a few requests for a tute so, here it is!

Supplies needed:
Beads - I used pearls in 2 sizes {glass pearls obviously} 
and maybe a few other beads for some variety.
Jump Rings
Eye pins
Thick elastic
Gorilla glue
Flower embellishment
Needle nose pliers (or jewelry pliers)
Wire cutters 

Ok, now lets get started!

Step1 - Put one of the larger pearls on an eye pin
Step 2 - cut the eye pin about 1/2 inch above the bead
Step 3 - bend the eye pin around the tip of the pliers
Step 4 - finish bending until you have a closed loop
Repeat this about 20 times or so.

Step 5 - Attach all the bead/eye pin thingys you just made together with your jump rings

This is what you should have once all your bead are attached.  A cute little chain of beads.

Now lets get working on the flower.
I used a fabric flower that was attached to a bobby pin. . .Perfect!  I only had to tweek it a bit and voila!
If you can find a bobby pin flower, it would be super easy - so look at the dollar store - thats where I got mine.

Step 6 - Remove the bobby pin
Step 7 - Put a jump ring through the hole where the bobby pin used to be
Step 8 - Create a second loop on the eye pin like you did in step 3/4
Step 9 - Put a jump ring on both sides of the eye pin.  
One one side you will attach the beads you strung together and on the other you will tie your elastic (step 11)

Step 10 - String a whole slew of your smaller beads onto your elastic.  Easy.
Step 11 - Now tie the elastic onto the jump rings on both sides. . . add a few knots and a drop of gorilla glue.
{Gorilla glue is my little trick when working with elastic.  One drop is all you need.}
If your bead has a large enough hole you can slip the know into the bead so its not so apparent. 

Once your glue is dry, your necklace is ready to wear!
There are quite a few steps but I think the end result is worth it.

Too much work for you??
Try an easier necklace like this one.

Now go and make some homemade gifts and Happy Christmas Crafting!

Monday, November 22, 2010

12 Crafts of Christmas part 7 - Christmas Countdown Blocks

Christmas is getting close!  How many days do we have left???  I don't know, let me go count it up on the calender.  No, wait. . . Let me check my new Days til Christmas countdown blocks!

{Ok, there is not 10 days left, but you get the idea.}
I love being reminded that Christmas is getting closer, don't you?!
Wanna make one? 

What you'll need;
two square blocks - you can get these from the craft store.
a piece of wood for the base - I used a 2x4 cut a little longer than the two blocks put together
Christmas paper (scrapbook or wrapping paper would work)
numbers to put on the blocks I used stickers but vinyl would work too.
"Days 'til Christmas" printout for the base or vinyl or marker
glue or mod podge
First step, paint all the wooden pieces.
next cut your paper the size of your blocks, or maybe slightly smaller.  You'll need to cover all six sides.
Glue or mod podge them on and let them dry.
For my base I just printed out "Days 'til Christmas" on regular computer paper and mod podged it right on the base.  But you could use vinyl or even a marker and just write it on.

Now its time to stick on the numbers.  On the first block you are going to put numbers 0,1,2,3,4,5 and on the second block you are going to put 0,1,2,6,7,8 (note: your 6 will also double as your 9 so make sure it looks like a 9 when turned upside down!)
Now its time to display them. . . almost.  Your new blocks will count down from 32 days til Christmas all the way down to 0!
What a perfect way to keep track of how many days left, without all the mess and bulk of other methods like the good ol' paper chains!

Happy Christmas Crafting!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bee Thankful Thanksgiving Printable

Tis the Season to be thankful!
I don't know about you, but I love a cute little reminder to be thankful and to count my blessings.

So I made this cute little Bee Happy, Bee Thankful print to put in my frame on my entryway table.
Really, at this time of year I am reminded of just how fortunate many of us are, me especially, and there is absolutely no reason not to be happy and thankful!

 If you want to print your own, here you go - especially for you.

 I also made this other print and put it in a frame and it works just like a dry erase board.
Now we can write down our blessings one by one each time we are reminded of something else we are blessed with.

Its a super easy way to count your blessings.
If you'd like one to frame for yourself, once again, go ahead and take it.
Just right click on the printable and save them to your computer then print and frame!

All I ask is that you tell people where you got them. :)

Happy Crafting, and remember to count your many blessings!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

12 Crafts of Christmas part 6 - Christmas Decor - 2 Christmas Wreaths

We all love a craft that doesn't cost too much {especially around the holidays}!
I've got two fun Christmas-y wreaths that are both super easy and super inexpensive! 

This festive ornament wreath,
 and this super fun card holding wreath!

First for our pretty and shiny ornament wreath here is what you need:
A pre-made wreath, or some garland made into a wreath
Ornaments in a few different sizes
Hot glue gun
Sparkly J-O-Y
First things first, the sparkly J-O-Y letters I made myself.  I just used wooden letters from the craft store, some glue and glitter - easy peasy!
So I glued the letters on to the wreath first where I wanted them, then I just started placing the ornaments where I wanted them.  I took off the top metal piece and glued the top of the ornament onto the wreath so it doesn't show.  
Seriously easy!  It took me a half hour and cost me $4.50!
Oooh Yeah!

Now onto the card holding wreath.  
Only three ingredients needed:
A wooden embroidery hoop
mini wooden paperclips

And this project really is as easy as gluing the paperclips onto the embroidery hoop!
Make sure you alternate where the paperclip opens as shown in the picture below.
Every other one opens to the inside and every other one opens to the outside.
 Let your glue dry for a while so your paperclips don't pop off and there you have your fun card holding wreath!
I like this one cuz its different from what you normally see in the way of Christmas card displays. 
Again this one only cost me a couple bucks as well.
My kind of projects. . . cheap and done in a snap!

Happy Christmas Crafting from me to you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

12 Crafts of Christmas part 5 - Gift Idea - Snowflake Etched Glass Plate!

 This super festive etched glass plate is so cute you may have to make two. . . one to give away and one to keep!
This would make a cute plate to set out for Santa on Christmas eve, or just a great way to give treats to your friends and neighbors.  Once the treats are gone, they still have the pretty plate!  
Two gifts in one!
Really cute and really easy!!  You have to try it, It will be time well spent!
Start out with the dishes you are going to etch. . . other than plates you could use etch onto glasses or a casserole dish, or even a big glass bowl, pretty much anything.  

Next, decide what you want to etch into the plate.  I went with a simple snowflake, this way it can be used all winter, not only at Christmas.  You could etch a snowman, or candy canes, or even a Santa silhouette.

Next cut out your stencil.  I printed and cut out a snowflake then traced it onto contact paper.  

Now Cut it out of the contact paper and stick it to your plate.  
Be sure to make sure your plate is nice and clean.  
I etched my design onto the bottom of the plate so the top surface would remain nice and smooth.
 Now its time for the etching.  I used Armour Etch that I got from Michaels.
It costs right around ten bucks for a little bottle, so it is tempting to be a little stingy when putting it on your plate. . . not a good idea. 
My first try I painted on a thin layer of the cream.  When I wiped it off it was etched all weird and uneven.
So make sure you really glob it on and cover every little spot.
Let it sit there for as long as you like. . . one minute is not long enough, and I found that 5-10 minutes is about perfect.  
Now scrape it all off.  The great thing about this stuff is that you can reuse it!  You can use it then scrape it right back into the bottle!
A penny saved right?!
 Once your plate is all done you can display all your hard work!
 Maybe even with some yummies on top?  

So give it a try, and Happy Christmas Crafting!

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