Thursday, December 29, 2011

Santa Doesn't Need Tags and Bows

When I was kid, I was always questioning my mom about Santa. I would notice little things like Santa having the same wrapping paper as us. My mom would try to cover it up by saying, "Haha. Look at that... Santa has the same wrapping paper!" or "Santa let mommy wrap the presents this year." But I was not buying any of it. So for my boys, Santa has special wrapping paper that they have never seen. Santa also does not use bows or name tags. Each boy has his own paper, and all his presents are wrapped the same. Then, Santa places each boy's stocking by their presents so they know which is which.

Constellation Gloves

I love wrist warmers. They're a fun accessory and they keep my forever freezing fingers warm. I combined a pattern called Constellation Gloves, and Highland Gauntlets. I converted the pattern to work in the round because I hate seams. The yarn I used is knitpicks Gloss DK. These patterns can be found for free at

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

5-Minute Treats

          These are so fast and so addicting!

Rolo Pretzel Delights

small pretzels
pecan halves
rolo candies

Heat oven to 250. Use parchment or foil on a cookie sheet. Top pretzel with rolo. Bake 4 minutes. Top with pecan and press down. Refridgerate.

Teacher Gifts

What do you give someone you don't know very well? I think Christmas treats and an ornament are a good choice. It's thoughtful, but not too personal. I like these small cardboard treat boxes instead of the big tins. They were only $1. Aiden gave each of his teachers a box of homemade treats with an ornament tied to the front. The celephane treat bag is filled with dark chocolate hazelnut biscotti. They are perfect for dunking in coffee. I also like that they seem to stay fresh a little longer because they are supposed to be dry and crisp.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Towels As Gift Wrap!

I saw a cute way to wrap a small present using a Christmas towel in Crate and Barrel. I thought it was a creative way to be green. The best part is, your recipient gets an extra gift! This works great for hostess gifts, or to wrap your baked goods to give to neighbors, teachers, co-workers...etc.

My towel looks a little wrinkled cause I wrapped and unwrapped it a few times. Just tie the first two corners opposite each other, then repeat with the other two corners. You may have to play around with it, and tuck the edges in to get it how you want it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gift Card Holders

Last year, I saw an idea from Claire at Blah to Tada, who was guest blogger at Delia Creates. It was a way to make money or gift card holders out of paper bags. I love how they turned out. I wish I had taken a picture of the ones I made last year...But you can find out how to make your own here. You might have to scroll down til you see the paper bags.I also dressed up a birthday card with cutouts from a Crate and Barrel catalog.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cookie Cutter Gift Tags

Make your own gift tags using scrapbook paper and ribbon 

Here's another way to make your own gift tags using what you have around the house. I traced cookie cutters onto leftover scrapbook paper, punched a hole, and added ribbon from my stash. Done!

Recycled Gift Tags

 If you're like me, and you save every gift bag (including the tissue paper) that you're ever given, then you probably haven't had to buy gift wrappings for at least 5 years! Yes, I get teased for saving every little bow and scrap of ribbon I find. But you never know when you will be able to use it. It's not just that I am cheap,but I feel so guilty about throwing things away when they are in good condition. My mom and I pass the same gift bags and bows back and forth every year until they get too raggedy to use anymore.The worst for me, was throwing away stacks of Christmas cards every year. As much as we would like to save every card from every family member on every occasion, we just can't. My husband already jokes that I am a hoarder! So I save the ones with cute shapes or designs that can be cut out and used as gift tags. I got this idea a long time ago, from my aunt. I'm not sure where she saw the idea, but she would cut them out and tape them to the package. It was so much more fun than ordinary gift tags. I later found a way to make it work for those gift bags that no longer have a tag. Simply punch a hole in the shape, about an inch or two from the edge, and then cut from the edge to the hole, and you can hang it from the cord handle of the bag. You can also use a little piece of tape for extra security if you are worried the tag will fall off. Dress them up with a little glitter or puffy paint to make them even more fun. This idea works for any occasion...birthdays,showers...etc. There is also a cool tutorial on how to make money and gift card holders out of old grocery bags at Blah to Tada. And for a great way to wrap a present without wrapping paper, try this idea- Eco-Christmas from Claire at Blah to Tada.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Handmade Gifts for Little Girls

Having two boys, I rarely get to make anything pretty. So I was excited to make something  for 2 little girls in my family this year. I decided on matching aprons made from fat quarters of fabric with a ruffle trim, and crocheted hair clips. I didn't use a pattern for the aprons, but Prudent Baby has some cute apron tutorials here. The hair accessories are just little crocheted flowers that are hot glued to a metal clip. These clips can be found at any craft store. Making these little flowers is a great way to use up scraps of yarn in your stash. You could even attach pins to make brooches for hats, scarves, sweaters...etc.

Wee Mittens

I made these mittens to match my baby's hat. Let's hope he keeps them on and doesn't lose them. This pattern was supper fast and easy. It came from Vintage Knits For Modern Babies. This book is filled with darling patterns. I used Knitpicks Gloss DK, which is a wool and silk blend. I love the feel of this yarn.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gift for a little girl who likes to sew

Here's a fast, handmade gift for anyone who likes to sew. I had so much fun making this, I may have to make one for myself. He's filled with stuffing and a few pinto beans in the bottom to make him sturdy. I found this adorable tutorial at Prudent Baby. Porcupine Pin Cushion.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Star Crossed Slouchy Beret

I have been wanting to make a slouchy beret for a long time. This Knitpicks Gloss HW was the perfect yarn for this project. The pattern is by Natalie Larson.This was my first time trying the  Long Tail Cast On method. I love the look of it and will use it more often.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reusable Sandwich Wrap

Lately, I have been feeling guilty about all the plastic baggies I throw away. My husband takes 2 sandwiches for lunch at least 3-4 days a week. I have been going through the baggies like crazy. With the prices going up, I decided to look into sandwich wraps. I thought wraps would save more space in a lunch box, instead of those tupperware sandwich containers. I found an adorable wrap from But when I got it, I decided to save it for my son, when he starts bringing his lunch to school. I was worried that the bread would not stay fresh overnight in the fridge, since I make my husband's lunch the night before. But these would be perfect for a peanut butter and jelly, that only needs to be kept fresh for a couple of hours. I will be looking into other snack bags for the boys to keep their chips/crackers in. My husband is now using the plastic sandwich containers. I have more dishes, but I feel a little less guilty...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Plastic Zipper Bags Reused

I love when I buy bedding, and the comforter or sheets come in a sturdy, zippered pouch. I don't have to feel guilty about throwing plastic away, and I can use the bag to organize something. For those of you who knit or crochet, these pouches make great project bags. You can also use them to store balls of yarn or knitting accessories. They're perfect because you can see through them. Typically, bags like these can start around $9-12-plus shipping per bag. Before I had a sewing machine case, I used a large comforter bag to protect my machine from dust. I have my glue gun and glue sticks in one, my husband's hair clippers (with attachments) in another, and I made a first aid kit with a smaller one. These bags would even work to keep toys organized-blocks, puzzle pieces, fridge letters...etc.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My First Wreath

I did not intend to buy a wreath when I went into Joann Fabrics, but when I saw these feathers, I could not resist. Yes, I am a copycat. My friend has a gorgeous, white feather wreath that I have been admiring. Not much work here. I just wrapped a few embellishments around it. In the middle of the white feathers, is a hair clip I never wear.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sham-Style Pillowcase

I love the sewing tutorials at Prudent Baby. They are so easy to follow. This was really fun to make, though it could have been a little shorter. The tutorial is for a king-size pillow, but I used a standard. There are directions for adjusting the measurements, but I'm more of an "eyeball it" girl. Head over to Prudent Baby to try the DIY Sham-Style Pillowcase.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cupcake Decorations

There are so many cute cupcake decorations out there, but all they are,  is paper glued to a toothpick. So why not make your own? Any scrapbook embellishment will work. I attached die-cut birds to a toothpick using yard sale stickers. You can also cut out little pennants and use a glue stick to hold them together.


Pinwheels are really easy to do. They make a cute outdoor decoration for backyard parties, or a nice table decoration in a vase. And best of all, the kids get to play with them!
Here's how I do pinwheels:
double-sided scrapbook paper
push pin
pinwheel kit, or a straw and a small brad

Step 1.  Cut a square (mine is about 6 x 6)
Step 2.   Lightly draw a line from corner to corner, across the square. Repeat from other corners.
Step 3.     Cut along lines, being careful to stop about 1/2 in. -3/4 in.  from the center.
Step 4.   Start at the top left corner and gently bend toward the center. Repeat with each left corner.

Step 5.    use the push pin to poke a hole in each corner (not too close to the edge) and through the back.
Step 6.  remove push pin and assemble your pinwheel using the kit, or use push pin to make a hole an inch from the top of a straw, and insert brad into to the center of the pinwheel, and then through the straw and secure. This method will not create a spinning pinwheel, but it still looks cute.