Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One More Christmas Craft That Should Have Been Posted A Long Time Ago

Here's a quick little gift card/gift bag craft that I'm late posting for Christmas (and with crappy photos!).  At least maybe it will give you some ideas for next year :)

If you've ever purchased anything from Anthropologie online, you've probably received your receipt in a little paper pouch.  They used to send your receipt in a little cloth bag.  Both of these items are great to recycle into gift bags for little items and gift cards.  I like that these pouches are a little bit bigger, maybe 4 x 5 inches, so they fit a number of things (gift cards, jewelry, handmade cards, little art pieces).  But you can, of course, use any envelope or pouch - even make your own!

I've recently invested in a few inexpensive holiday stamps.  Totally worth the 5 or so $$ I spent.  I've already used them for a few projects.  I simple stamped a design over the front of my paper pouch.  (If you use a cloth pouch, I would suggest putting some newspaper or wax paper instead the pouch before beginning to stamp.  This should keep the ink from transferring to the other side of the bag.)  I clearly need to improve my stamping skills, but you get the idea.  These holiday designs add a fun, festive touch to my pouch/envelope, making it a little more special.

The back side of these pouches have Anthropologie's logo on them.  Luckily, a many years ago, someone gave me this cool "recycled" stamp.  I'm not sure if this stamp is still available from Storybeads in Ann Arbor, but it's the perfect way to cover up the logo and proudly proclaim that this item is RECYCLED.

Hope you had a great holiday!  Now would be a great time to pick up some holiday stamps in the after-Christmas sales!  What a great way to spend New Year's Day :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Little Gift to You: Favorite New Craft Websites!!

In this season of giving, I thought I would share some great new craft sites I've found:

First up, Find+Craft, a searchable website of craft tutorials.  Here, you can search for craft projects by category, length of time to complete, and experience level.  You can save the projects you like in your "stash" and even easily add your own tutorials.  I think this website is relatively new - the categories are somewhat limited and there aren't A LOT of projects listed.  But hopefully as more people visit and use the site (hint, hint), there will be more tutorials and categories added.  Go check it out now, I'll wait :)

Next - this cool online magazine, Amy Powers' Inspired Ideas.  The current issue is just chock full of great Christmas decorating and craft ideas.  This magazine is gorgeous, and I love, love, love so many of these projects (check out the little Christmas village covered in snow glitter!).  What is particularly great about this magazine is that the projects include all the templates and print outs that you need to complete them!  Looks like I've missed some previous issues, but I'm definitely going to spend some time on this site!

And possibly my fav new site - Pinterest Fail - a BRILLANT idea!!!  This blog heartbreakingly (but hilariously) posts failed attempts at replicating various projects and tutorials on Pinterest.  Let's admit it - we've all been there.  Why not share the pain?  My favorite post - the DIY Chevron Melted Crayon Art.  I remember seeing this on Pinterest and thinking, "that just can't be as easy as it might seem."

So, Happy Holidays from me to you!  I hope these sites were exactly what you were hoping for  :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Wrapped Up in a Wreath

Perhaps like a lot of people, my husband and I don't put up a Christmas tree for the holidays.  There's many reasons for this:  we don't have children, we often travel over the holidays, etc.  Despite all that, I do love Christmas tree ornaments, and have made and collected some much-loved decorations over the years.

So this year, I decided to buy an artificial wreath for over our fireplace, and decorate it in lieu of a tree.  All of the decorations are handmade, but come from a few sources:

Some are made by me from recycled greeting cards (tutorial here)!

Some are made of polymer clay and decorated with various stamps (super easy - check out my tutorial)!

Some I received in my knitting group's annual ornament exchange!

I love them all, and found that this burlap ribbon (with just a hint of gold running through it) did a nice job of tying together my shiny, glittery ornaments with my clay and fiber-made decorations.  One note:  I found that just hanging the ornaments on the wreath looked a little weird.  All I could see were the hangers and it distracted from the decorations.  So instead I removed the hanging loops and wired the ornaments in place, securing them to the frame of the wreath. 

I still need to do some re-arranging with the decorations, but I'm really happy with the overall results.  I think it's a great alternative if you don't have a tree.