Dec 26, 2010

bag re-do

After more than a week off, I needed to be crafty again.  The holidays are great but they are busy and so it was a treat for me to be home last night, hanging with my fam, and digging into the craft supplies.

A little bit of a back story about my project:  We just returned from visiting family in Utah.  It takes 7 hours to get there and we drove.  (Ugh!)  Needless to say we weren't looking forward to the 7 hour drive home.  Lucky for us though, my awesome sister in-law packed us a goodie bag for the drive home.  That bag of love was just what we needed to help pass the time.

The actual bag was just a simple bag, like something you'd get from trade shows and such.  She got hers from her work.  It's a good sized tote, has plenty of uses and life still in it.  I knew it could be re-used I just wasn't too jazzed about the logo so I needed a way to cover it up and make the bag a little cuter. 

Here's the bag in it's original form

I actually like the last line of the logo,  "Imagination at work".  That's pretty cool so I wanted to keep that but I wanted to cover up the rest.

I decided that some fabric rosettes would work great to cover the logo.  These rosettes are all over blogland.  They are super easy to make and look cute on hair barrettes and accessories clips.  If you haven't seen them before, just do a search and you'll find lots of tutorials and styles.

So next, I made three rosettes in slightly different sizes and starting with one of the medium ones, I placed it on the logo.  You could sew it in place, I was lazy though and just used hot glue.

Then I added the second rosette and slightly overlapped it on top of the first.

And then I added the third, which was the largest of the three.

I was so happy with how it turned out that I decided to make a few more rosettes and place them on the back side of the bag.  Here's what the back side looked like:

And here is the front and the back together - such an easy project and now i have a cute new bag to carry all my stuff to church in.  

Look around your house, chances are good you've probably got a bag or two just like these that are just waiting for a lovely rosette or two.

mmm button

Dec 24, 2010

All the best!

I want to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas and a super crafty New Year!

Dec 13, 2010

Money Tree Version 2

So, I've had a lot of response from the money tree I made on the previous post (Thank You!).  However, I know everyone has different tastes and styles, especially when it comes to homemade crafts/gifts. So, while I prefer the first version, I thought I'd show you another one, we'll call it Version 2.  If the first one wasn't your style maybe you'll like this one.

Want to make this one?  Here's what you need.

Clay pot
Styrofoam cone
bbq stick
stack o cash

1- Cut off about an inch off the bottom of the styrofoam cone and place it in the pot.
2- Put your bbq stick in the center of your cone and then center it in the pot
3- Fold all you bills in half and, starting at the bottom of the cone, pin each bill in place.  Over lap as needed.  Do one complete layer, working in a circle around the cone, before moving on to the next layer.
4- Repeat step three until the whole cone is covered in cash.
(Note:  Make sure you are watching for any open areas and cover then as need so your tree looks full)

5- Add the star to the top and moss to cover the styrofoam that is in the pot.  Then decorate as desired by adding ribbon and a gift tag.

So there you have it, Money Tree Version 2!  


You can check out Version 1 here:  Money Tree

Dec 10, 2010

A week of gifts - Day 5

So, I saved the very best for last. All my other gifts ideas were just little simple things that you could give a teacher or neighbor, nothing too serious.  However, the last gift is by FAR my very most favorite.  This is the gift that when I give it, other people in the room say "I want that!".  It's fun to hear the comments.

Plus, it's better than a gift card as they can spend it anywhere.  And, it's better than just handing them an envelope of money because it shows you put some effort into the gift.  Seriously, it's a win/win for both the giver and the receiver.  So, here it is.....

The Money Tree

Want to make one?  Here's how:

You'll Need:
- A stack of cash - you can make these in any amount.  Use all $1 and make a $10 tree or use $20's, doesn't matter, just use what fits your budget.
- A can or small pot for base - I actually prefer using a pot but I didn't have one

- Floral foam
- Wire
- Wire cutters or scissors you don't mind cutting wire with
- Glue gun
- BBQ sticks or a cinnamon stick - again, I prefer the cinnamon stick but I didn't have one on hand
- Fabric
- Wooden star or make one from cardboard.
- Moss
- Ribbon

What you do:

1- Place floral foam in can (or pot) and insert sticks in place.  Set aside.  (Note:  my bbq sticks were really thin so I put three together to help give it more strength, if you have regular ones you only need one)

2- Cut a long piece of wire, I didn't measure but you'll want it at least 18

3- Center your wire at the base of the sticks and wrap it around them one time.  You want it centered so that the wires are equal on both sides.  (think shoe lace and how you want both laces even when tying them)  

4 - Next, you need to fold the money.  This is pretty easy, just accordion fold each bill like shown below.


5- Now, starting at the base, attach one bill to the base of the sticks.  The easiest way to do this is to wrap the wires so that they form an X over the front of the bill like shown below.  Then, wrap the wires behind the sticks and bring them around to the front so that they are ready for the next bill.

6-  From here we just keep adding more bills.  However, you want them to taper to look like a tree so with each new bill you need to make a small fold like shown below before attaching to the stick.

7- Keep repeating this process making each fold a little bigger so the bill is smaller.  Repeat until you have all the money attached to the stick.

8- Next you need to cover the can.  If you are using a small pot, you can skip this step, otherwise just wrap fabric around it and glue in place.

9-  Now we decorate.  Add a little moss and a small ribbon to the base like shown below.

10-  Then add the star to the top

And there you have it - you're very own money tree that is ready to give away!


Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Dec 9, 2010

A week of gifts - Day 4

Ok, I'm kind of cheating here.  I've been working my little fingers to the bone on a clay nativity set so I haven't gotten around to doing today's gift.  Instead I thought we could revisit and idea I shared at Halloween but got a lot of response about the Christmas version I posted.  Remember this?

This would make a really cute gift, especially if you put a photo inside.  Or better yet, download one of those cute Christmas printables that are everywhere nowadays and you've got an instant gift. 

For more info on how I made this ribbon matt/frame see here:  Ribbon Frame post


Dec 8, 2010

Week of gifts - Day 3

Sheesh!  The day is almost over.  However, it's not too late and here is another really easy idea that can totally be personalized and I love that.

I got this idea from Photojojo way back in 2007 and I've been using it ever since.  I love the idea of using one of my photographs to make them and love that I can drop text on it and spruce it up.  Soooo, without further delay, here's my quick tutorial on how to craft one.  And, if you are interested, pop over to the Photojojo
 and check out the original post, it has a video tutorial that is useful too.

Custom made Photo Journals

You'll need:
1- 4x6 photo
1- chipboard or cardboard cut to 4x6
a stack of paper
Elmer's Glue
Clips of some sort (binder clips or hair clips work great.
small strip of decorative paper for binding

Here's what you do:
1- If your paper isn't already trimmed to size, do that now.  It needs to be the same size as your photo.  You'll want a good size stack, 30 to 50 sheets is usually what I aim for but you can add as much as you'd like.

2- Clip paper together and hold firm so that all the paper is aligned well on one edge.

3- add a bead of glue all the way down one edge of paper stack and smear with finger.  Then move clips and place them over the edge that was just glued (see photo below).  This will help the papers stay together and not separate.

4- Once glue is dry, repeat step three at least two more times until you have a good thick coat of glue on the edge of the paper.
5- Add photo to front of stack and piece of cardboard to the back, clip to hold in place and then add one more layer of glue.

6- Glue a piece of paper to the binding and adhere in place so that a little of it covers the front and a little covers the back like shown below.

7- Let it all dry and that's it.  Now you have a fun and personalized notebook.

Here's a few I made today.  The larger one, since it is made from a 5x7 photo is glued at the top instead of the side.  You could very easily make these any size you want and any style.  Even if you don't have a photo on hand, you can just add a decorative paper to the top instead.  
And, add a few other things, like a pen, some envelopes and stamps and you could make a custom stationery kit.  


Dec 7, 2010

A week of gifts - Day 2

It's day 2 and here's the second gift idea.  I will say this idea has been around a lot.  I first saw it about 4 or 5 years ago and then I saw it resurface on another blog a few weeks ago.  It's still a good idea though and it's really easy.  My teen daughter loves to make these for her friends.

Acrylic Frame Note Set

You will need:

1 - 4x6 acrylic frame.  (You can find them at Walmart for like .88 cents)
1 - Note pad (you can use a Sticky note pad or buy the pads shown in a set of three)
1- scrap of pattern paper cut to 4x6
1- pen (you need the kind that the barrel can be separated from the ink and writing part)
Polymer clay
Ribbon, Rub-ons, and anything else to dress it up

What you do:  Note Pad/Frame part
1- First, slide your 4x6 paper into your frame.
2- Attach the paper pad to the front of the frame
3- add rub-ons and ribbon
4- set aside

What you do: Pen
1- Remove the ink from the plastic barrel of the pen. (use a pen that is round, Bics work great)
2- Set ink aside
3- After conditioning your clay, wrap the plastic pen barrel with clay.  You can design this any way you like.  I turned my clay into a long rope and wrapped it all the way around.  Then I added little circles to make it have polka-dots.  (TIP:  Be sure not to cover the end of the barrel where the ink will need to go back in. It needs to be clear of clay or the ink part will not insert all the way after the clay bakes.)
4- Bake pen barrel (not the ink part) according to directions on clay package.  Usually it's 275 degrees for about 15 minutes, but, as you know all ovens vary and so does clay.
5- After clay pen has baked and cooled, insert the ink part back into the barrel.
6- Add pen to frame and give away.

There you have it a very simple, expensive desk set that would be perfect for writing down phone messages, grocery lists, or love notes for lunches.  And, it could be easily made in Christmas colors and used just for the holiday season.

Publish Post

Dec 6, 2010

A week of gifts - Day 1

I've been a bit sporadic in my posts lately but I'm back and just in time, too.  It's time to totally get serious about this Christmas thing and so I've decided this week should focus on quick and easy homemade gifts.

Some of these are new to me this year and others are good old stand-bys that I've made year after year.  And I PROMISE you want to keep checking back because one of these gifts is the best gift ever!!!  (Yep, it deserves three exclamation marks.)   Every time I've given it, I always hear the other people in the room say, "I want one of those!".  I'm not bragging here, just sharing something that I think will work for you too.  So check back every day and in the meantime, let's kick the week off with ....

Day 1 - Paper Potpourri sachets!

If you've got some thick cardstock or pattern paper lying around you can whip these up in no time flat!

You'll need:

12x12 thick paper (Note:  you can use a smaller size.  And, it works great if it's double sided with a different print on the back so that you can mix up your designs)
paper trimmer or scissors
potpourri (small potpourri works best or crush it so it's small)
Sewing machine (optional, as you could probably glue the edges, I haven't tried that though so I don't know for sure)

To Start:

1- Cut down your paper so that you have 4- 6x6 squares.  (really, you could make these any size you want, but this size worked best for me)

2- Take two squares of paper and sew threes sides of it together with your sewing machine.

3- Fill the paper pocket with potpourri

4- Being careful to keep the potpourri inside the pocket, carefully sew the last side closed.

5- Next, carefully rip the edges of the paper so that it just adds a little more texture to the overall design.  You could leave it as is or you could ink the edges.

6- Repeat the above steps on your remaining two pieces of paper.

7 - Decorate outside of sachets (NOTE:  if you are using brads or things that need to poke through the paper, decorate the outsides first before you do the sewing)

8- Stack sachets on top of each other and tie together with a pretty bow!

9- Give away!

So there you have it.  There's today's gift idea.  This is great for friends, neighbors, church ladies and grandmas.  You could even be all creative and throw some pictures on there too or, let the kids get crafty and make them for their primary teachers and youth leaders.

Total cost?  Easily under a $1 for both sachets.

Enjoy and check back tomorrow for Day 2!

Dec 3, 2010

Christmas cards

Ok!  How is time passing so quickly?  I started planning my Christmas cards months ago and I still haven't even started them.  (Insert giant GASP)  I know, right?!  I better hurry.

The good news is they are all planned out, I just have to wait for the right day to take our pictures and then I'll be all set.  In the meantime though, I thought you might enjoy seeing a card idea from a few years ago.

I really like making my own cards but was totally stumped for a design idea so I decided to take the design idea straight off of the scrapbook layout above and just scaled it to fit the card and, of course, changed the theme.  Here is the end result.

If you are stumped for ideas and you like to make your own cards, go back and look at your layouts, you just might find something that will work.


Nov 30, 2010

Activity based Advent Calendar

The count down begins!

As you know from previous posts, we love advent calendars at our house.  The kids each have their own candy countdown and I've been known to make a new one every now and then.  Here's the one we are currently using, it is activity based.

To make it, I took a sturdy box that a birthday gift came in and cut off the two ends and one of the long sides.  Then I attached the remaining ends together to form a triangle.  This became the base of the count down.

From there I covered the base with paper using mod-podge.  Next I added 24 sheets of paper, each with an envelope of some sort.  Here's a few so you get the idea.  In some cases I just used an envelope I had on hand, for others I made the envelopes or pockets myself.

Besides just using pattern paper and cardstock for the backgrounds, I also used transparencies.  I like crafting with transparencies as there is a lot you can do with it.  For this page I painted my foam stamps and stamped the word "Merry". Then I used StazOn ink and stamped snowflakes as well.  I like how the page underneath peeks through. 


So, how does it work?  Each envelope has an activity that we will do as a family each day.  It may be something as simple as making gourmet hot cocoa or going ice skating.  We also have stories to share, crafts to make, treats to deliver, etc... as we get closer to Christmas the focus will shift to activities geared around Christ.

The basics of the count down are really very simple.  Each envelope has a number on it, that number is the number of days remaining until Christmas.  Also listed is the actual date we will need to open each envelope.  This was important for me so I could align the activities with what was already scheduled for our family.  For instant, we wouldn't go ice skating on Sunday so I needed to make sure that was scheduled for a Friday or Saturday. 

It's fun to plan ahead and the girls are so excited to start counting down.  This certainly helps the time pass quicker and in so many ways keeps me sane because I have plan and schedule to keep them busy.

Let the count down begin!


Nov 23, 2010

China or Chinet?

So, do you pull out the good china for 
Thanksgiving or do you buy Chinet?

Ya, I don't even own china so you can figure out pretty quickly what we use.  However, we do dress it up and here's an idea you can do too:

Turn your paper plates into turkeys!

This works great if you will be entertaining small children.  Cut out several different turkey parts: feathers, heads, waddles, beaks, feet, etc... from pieces of cardstock.   Just make a big pile of each.  Then, as your guests arrive have them make a turkey out of their paper plate and place it on the table at the place they'd like to sit.  Because they've picked their place, you won't need name cards or assignments.  And, the cute little turkeys act as table decor.  Plus, it gives the little ones something to do while they wait for the yummy food to be served. 

Enjoy!  And Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 22, 2010

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

My house smells WONDERFUL!!!

I made up a small batch of Cinnamon Applesauce ornaments last night. These are the easiest, yummiest smelling things you'll ever create - at least that is my opinion.

Want to make some? Here's what you do....

Gather your ingredients:
Elmer's Glue

I made a small batch which actually produced quite a few medium sized stars but you can adjust the amounts to what ever you feel is best.  Here are the measurements for the batch I made last night.

Mix 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup cinnamon together.  Then add 2 TBSP of glue and mix well. You want a dough that can be rolled out so if it is too runny, add more cinnamon.  (I used homemade applesauce which usually is a little more runny than store bought so I did need to add more cinnamon into my dough.)

Once the mixture has formed into a dough ball, remove it from the bowl and place it onto wax paper.  Slightly press the ball down and cover with another sheet of wax paper.


Then, with a rolling pin, roll out the dough.  You want it anywhere in between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch thick.   Remove the top piece of wax paper and cut out shapes.

After you have several shapes cut out, carefully remove the excess dough from around each shape and start the process over until all the dough is used.  Be sure to add a small hole in each of the shapes so you'll have somewhere to attach ribbon.

Next you will take your shapes and place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 150 degrees for 2 hours.  Then, turn off the heat in the oven and leave the pan in the warm oven for 5 to 6 hours.  I just left mine in the oven overnight.

TIP:  you can leave them on the wax paper when you cook them, however it is best to remove the wax paper after one hour of cooking, otherwise it is hard to get off later.  Also, depending on your shape, the edges may curl during cooking.  After an hour of cooking just turn the shapes over and they will most likely flatten back out.

If you pull them out of the oven and they are still somewhat moist, let them set out on your counter until they are completely dry.  It may take a few extra hours.

Once the ornaments have hardened, remove from pan and attach ribbon or string, or whatever you'd like, to turn them into ornaments.

See, easy!  I promise you'll love the smell - it's wonderful!  And, the smell last forever.  You can store them in ziplock bags with your Christmas items and they will still smell good next year too.

You can do a lot with these things:  I like to wrap up brown paper packages with raffia and use them as accents that hang from the bow.  It's a very rustic country look but I think it's heartwarming.


You can also string several of them together and either make a garland for your mantle or a wall decor.  I currently have this hanging on our closet door and I love how it smells when we walk by.  mmmm good!

And then of course there is the simple, traditional Christmas tree ornament.