thrifted and made holiday gifts. week two – a blessing book and a little brass and cloth.

Week two’s thrifted and handmade holiday gift idea combines a simple yet lovely pair of slim brass candlesticks (perfect for this time of year), an old linen calendar/ decorative towel, and a handmade 2020 blessing book. I also included a pair of candles that I had, but some handmade beeswax ones would be the perfect addition (if you’re a candle maker).

Thrifted goods:

Handmade goods (excluding the candles):

If you should have a hard time locating some pretty candlesticks, a pair of mugs with a bag of coffee/ tea or some pretty plates for hanging or filled with goodies are also a lovely idea. These are both easy thrift finds! And as for the towel/ cloth, think something vintage, perhaps embroidered, quilted or simply the colors of the season (somewhat why I chose the one I included). Below are examples of the mug and plate ideas.

As for the “Blessing Book”, inspired somewhat by Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, it’s a handmade booklet where one can write down a few words to describe a blessing or gift from that particular day. It’s straightforward and simple enough for them to stick to and it’s small enough for them to throw into their purse, briefcase or bag and later to hold onto as a keepsake. Such a beautiful idea to look back on “blessings” from year to year and to see how they might change based on age and time!

Supplies:

  • paper – one piece of lightweight card stock (6.25 by 8.25 inches) and six pieces of regular printer paper or something like the weight of a resume paper (6 by 8 inches)
  • twine or string
  • pdf’s – inner pages and cover page (find them at bottom of post
  • printer
  • paper cutter (or you could use a rotary cutter or scissors to cut paper if no paper cutter is available)
  • long arm stapler or hole puncher
  • scissors

Instructions:

1 Cut all of your papers down to size. For inner pages, cut down to 6 x 8 inches and for the one cover page 6.25 x 8.25 inches. Remember the cover or piece of lightweight card stock needs to be slightly larger than the inner pages. I say lightweight because if you use papers that are too heavy in weight they will not fold as easily. However, because you are printing front and back, you may want something just a smidge better than regular printer paper for your inner pages (so that you can’t see the other side through the paper).

2 Print pages. Open the pdf for the inner pages. Once open, it looks a little tricky and confusing, but they are ordered in front, back page order. For example, pages one and two are the front and back of your page 1, pages three and four are the front and back of your page 2 and so on. If you’d like to print all pages at once, print all of the odd pages, place pages back in printer and print all even pages onto the backs of the printed odd pages. How you place them back in your printer (which side is up, etc), is determined somewhat by your printer settings. Once all of your inner pages are printed, print your cover page.

3 Fold all pages in half separately and then place them together like a book and continue to fold. Keep working the fold until you have a really good crease.

4 Stapling or securing book. Make sure that all of your folds are lined up nicely. Line up your long arm stapler with the crease or fold. Then place two staples along the crease or fold of the booklet. To further adorn or secure your booklet, tie some string or twine around the stapled fold. *If you don’t have a long arm stapler, you can simply use the twine to secure your book, use a heavy duty small size hole punch and thread the twine through the holes, or you can even sew the book together with a machine or by hand (this is a nice touch if you have the capability to do so).

5 The End. Enjoy gifting!

Now, hopefully you have a pretty little book(s) for gifting and to pair with your thrift store goodies! I hope you’re having a beautiful November! And please, let me know if you have any questions about the making of your blessing books.

-xoxo- and many blessings to you!

blessingbook2020innerpages.pdf

blessingbook2020cover.pdf

Find week one’s handmade and thrifted gift here.

P.S. – Speaking of thrifted, I found the cutest set of Christmas glasses last week. That little yellow house- swoon. If you are in need of glasses of any kind, secondhand stores always have a great selection.

wreaths. for the season.

same wreath,

from summer/ autumn to autumn/ winter,

with just a few things from around the house (and backyard).

But if I were to have made or purchased a new one, these are all such beauties . . .

top row (l to r): dried orange wreath // star wreath // thread wreath

middle row (l to r): grapevine with bells wreath // pampas grass wreath // felted wreath

bottom row (l to r): white wool wreath // festive wreath // this one was handmade by me a few holidays ago

thrifted and made holiday gifts. week one – “the smell of Christmas”.

As we are getting our first real winter weather of the season today, I find myself suddenly yearning for the cozy of the holidays (unlike yesterday where it was nearly seventy and I wanted nothing to do with it). Therefore to better prepare myself and perhaps you, for the next month, I am going to be sharing some simple yet lovely gift giving ideas that are a little thrifted / a little handmade. Think teachers, neighbors, coworkers, friends, etc.

Week One: “The smell of Christmas”. A festive pot (thrifted) paired with items to make a homemade potpourri (handmade).

It’s an oldie but a goodie.

Items needed:

  • thrifted pot
  • an orange
  • one to two cinnamon sticks
  • a handful or two cranberries
  • greenery
  • a small bag or parchment or scrap fabric
  • an instruction card (I have included mine below if you wish to use it)
  • scissors and a hole puncher (optional)

The red pot was thrifted for a dollar or less and all the other items can be found at your local market, in your fridge or pantry, around the house or in your backyard. I’m thinking this enamel pot once had a lid and was perhaps part of a fondue set; however my thoughts upon finding it automatically turned to the holidays and how pretty it would be on a stove simmering with the smells of the season (cinnamon, orange, cranberries, evergreen). Keep an open mind when thrifting. Your pot doesn’t necessarily have to be red or “Christmasy” or in great condition. A black and white worn enamel pot would be perfect as would just a simple metal or copper pot. Look for something that is a bit unique and nicely made.

As for the brown bags, I had them and just dressed them up a little with a simple tree. However, you could use cellophane, parchment, or even some scrap fabric to enclose the potpourri items in as well.

I grabbed the greenery from the backyard and tied a few hand torn pieces of scrap fabric around the handle. The key (and the fun part) is to just use what you have – all of those odds and ends you have in your craft or sewing cabinet leftover from other projects or from the kids past projects.

Lastly, include an instruction or recipe card. A handwritten one would be sweet but if you wish to use it, I have provided mine below.

Printable instruction card: smell-of-christmas-potpourri.pdf

*You will need just a half of a sheet of paper and it will print two copies.

Enjoy!

-xoxo

P.S. – Now off to enjoy the smell of my bathed babe’s head as he drifts off to sleep in my arms one last time as a one year old. Life is so fun right now, may our days with him as a two year old be even sweeter!

sixteen years.

We celebrated sixteen years of marriage (twenty years together) today with a breakfast date (us and the babe) because of an evening full of practices for the bigger two. We took a car to get fixed at the shop, started preparing for the little’s second birthday party (this weekend), helped with homework, put away laundry, did the dishes (always doing the dishes), worked, picked up kids from school, had a late dinner of pizza and kept five humans and a dog alive one more day. Just another day full of love and life and living. Sixteen years of marriage has given us everything we ever hoped for. Those and every minute more with all of these gifts is so worth celebrating!

-xoxo-