for the stocking. a few ideas for the tween girl.

The stocking! It will always be my most beloved part of Christmas gifting (and morning). And searching for fun finds for tween girls is one of my favorite pastimes! Ahhh, how it takes me back . . .

1 – Bombas Socks – great quality socks for all. For every pair purchased, a pair is donated to the homeless.

2 – Posca Paint Pens – these were on my daughter’s Christmas list. You can use them on a variety of surfaces – including glass, wood, metal and plastic. I’m also excited to give them a try!

3 – Noonday Destiny Necklace – I’ve purchased several items from Noonday over the years. Love their mission and their goods!

4 – Florence by Mills – clean beauty products for tweens/ teens by Millie Bobby Brown (or Eleven – for those of you that are or have a “Stranger Things” fan in the home). My tween loves the face wash and moisturizer.

5 – A Customized Paint By Number. Also available on Amazon. This is my first time ordering one of these. Hoping it’s a hit! Such a neat idea.

6 – Mom and Me Art Journal or this one has writing prompts. Really looking forward to doing this in 2020 with my tween lady.

7 – Needle Felting Kit or there some really sweet ones available on Etsy as well.

8 – Candy Scarf. This shop has so many beautiful and one of a kind hand made items!

9 – Wood Wand – Harry Potter inspired. Harry Potter is all the rage again and my tween is in the midst of reading the series. A wand was also on her wish list as well! Hoping one wave of it = a clean room. 😉

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

-xoxo

P.S. – My “tween” just asked for zipper earrings. Wish I would’ve kept mine. 🙂

thrifted and made holiday gifts. week three – thrifted shirt bunting and a few homemaking pretties.

Happy Tuesday and Merry December!

My thrifted and made gift idea for week three of this series is a handmade bunting made out of a thrifted shirt (or shirts you were about to take to the thrift 😉 ). I went with traditional seasonal colors but feel free to go with colors that don’t necessarily speak winter or Christmas. Think Spring – pinks, greens, yellows. Or muted tones that would easily match any decor or time of year. Also, if you have scrap fabric lying around, feel free to use it as well. Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of having to sew something, you can also do a no-sew bunting by simply using fabric glue to attach the flags.

The bunting is such a sweet gift given alone or pair it with one or two other thrifted goods. Depending on how well you know the person you are gifting, you can pair it with a pretty platter, pitcher, a small art piece or print, a tea kettle or pot, a small indoor planter, a wool blanket or afghan, etc. With a just a little effort, these are all easy to find pieces at your local thrift store or estate sale. A few things to keep in mind – vintage tends to be more unique, quality over quantity, and purchase items that have multiple use potential. For example the old bread pan below makes for a great candle or trinket holder, the pitcher can be used not only to hold cream or milk but pencils or other goodies, and the platter is beautiful for serving treats or simply as an accent piece on a coffee table.

Thrifted goods:

Handmade goods:

Supplies:

  • thrifted shirt (made of quality shirt fabric)
  • a couple yards of ribbon, lace, binding or small width rope
  • scissors
  • pencil, pen or marker
  • sewing machine or fabric glue or sewing needle
  • thread
  • measuring tape
  • bunting flag template – buntingtemplate.pdf

Instructions:

1 Print and cut out bunting flag template.

2 – Trace and cut. Lay shirt out as flat as possible and trace around the template onto the shirt with a sharpie, pencil, etc. Repeat. I used a larger boy’s shirt and was able to get at least 12 flags out of it.

3 – Fold and Iron. Fold the flags in half doing your best to get the back and front edges as even with each other as possible. Then Iron each flag.

4 – Measure and Place Flags. Lay out your lace, ribbon or binding on a large table or floor. Place flags evenly along it. I ended up using 10 flags. I left about 20 inches on each end and around 3 inches between each flag. You could pin your flags or I just placed small pencil marks along my lace where each flag would begin. (If you are using glue instead of sewing, you can go ahead and just fold each flag over your ribbon at this point, place glue along the edges of the flags, press down so that the front and back edges are even and then repeat for each flag.)

5 – Sew. Fold the flag over your ribbon or lace. Starting at the top of one edge of the flag, sew down one side of the flag and then up the other edge or side. I just kept the foot of my machine even with the edge of the fabric – so I got somewhat of a straight line. I used a zig zag stitch but a straight stitch would be perfect as well. Keep it simple. (If you are hand sewing, I would use an embroidery floss and just do long stitches.) Continue doing this with each flag.

6 – Done! Now gift or hang.

So sweet of you to follow along! Whether you are budgeting this Holiday season or simply enjoy the idea of giving handmade gifts, I hope my ideas are providing your with a little inspiration.

-xoxo-

Thrifted and Made gift idea – week two.

Thrifted and Made gift ideas – week one.

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.

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!

sweet little things. via hallmark baby.

Littlest man is now almost just a week shy of eighteen months. Ahhh, how can that be. At about six months pregnant, I stumbled upon Hallmark baby. It has since been one of my most adored places (on the web) for purchasing sweet little things for sweet little ones. See below for just a few of the clothing, nursery and gift items you can find on Hallmark baby. A random post, but definitely a noteworthy website if you’ve got little ones in your life.

(all items and so many other sweet little things can be found on Hallmark baby)

bunny hair clip. a sweet & simple diy.

Supplies & Materials:

  • a stiff felt (I used these that I had leftover from another project, but any stiffer felt will work. You don’t need much at all. Also, see note below.)
  • small faux pearl beads (I used these but in an off white/ ecru. You can find these at any craft store in the jewelry making section.)
  • flat alligator clip (2.25 inches or smaller) (A pack of these can be found at your local craft store or on amazon for a couple of dollars and I find all sorts of uses for them.)
  • bunny and ear template – bunnytemplate.pdf
  • hot glue
  • a clear drying craft glue, fabric glue, or an industrial glue (like e6000)
  • scissors
  • a pen or pencil

* Chipboard or a heavyweight cardstock could also be used instead of felt. Leave as is or paint whichever color you prefer before proceeding with the steps below.

Instructions:

  1. Print & cut out bunny and inner ear template.
  2. Trace templates. Trace templates onto your felt or chosen material. Then cut out.
  3. Glue. Glue inner ears to the bunny and then glue beads. I used a fabric glue and completed sections at a time – the head and then the body. Use a substantial amount of glue. You may want to have a tweezers handy to place and move the beads. I just used the tip of my pencil. 🙂 Once all of your beads are in place, go back over the beads with glue filling in the gaps.
  4. Let dry. This is the longest and most important step. Let the bunny dry overnight before moving.
  5. Add clip. Make sure all of your beads are secure, flip the bunny over and then hot glue your alligator clip onto the middle of the underside of your bunny.

The End! You have a really sweet and simple accessory for Easter Day or any day. It took less than fifteen minutes to make and even better, the hardest part was waiting for it to dry. The key to keeping it simple and low cost is to adjust the design according to the supplies you have around the house. This clip would be lovely a variety of ways using a variety of supplies. What about a little brown bunny accented with a patterned fabric instead of the pearls and a little bow on its neck!

Enjoy and Happy Easter!

~xoxo~

paper carrots. a simple easter craft.

Supplies & Materials:

  • Brown packing paper or kraft cardstock (I used both) – or any slightly heavy paper you have on hand (think upcycle)
  • Thread and/ or embroidery floss
  • Scrap fabric (green or any color you have on hand)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Carrot templates (you really could just easily free hand the carrot as well)
  • Sewing Machine or if you don’t have a sewing machine sew by hand with the embroidery floss
  • Fillers – fun items or candy to fill your carrots with

Instructions:

  1. Make carrots. Print and cut out your carrot templates and trace them onto your packing paper or cardstock.
  2. Sewing carrots. Take two of the same size carrots and layer them on top of each other so that all sides are even with each other. Sew your two long sides together either by hand with the floss or with your machine.
  3. Make carrot leaves. Tear your scrap fabric into narrow strips. The length is your preference. I used about six per carrot. Set aside until after you’ve filled your carrots.
  4. Fill your carrots. Fill your carrots with any sort of small candy, chocolate, handmade items, stickers, accessories, gift cards, etc. I used jelly beans, chocolates, chocolate eggs, tattoos, friendship bracelets, hair ties (just things I had on hand).
  5. Add leaves and sew the top. With one hand hold your leaves in the center of the top of your carrot. Place them far enough into the carrot that you will sew through them. Sew the top of your carrot.
  6. Accessorize. Add names or initials to the carrots or some additional floss. You could even paint the carrot if it’s not quite colorful enough for you.

Now – make a few, leave them separate or tie them together, and place them in your littles’ basket for them to tear open Easter morn.

This little project is so simple and inexpensive. If you don’t have orange thread and green fabric on hand, just use what you have. Using colors not necessarily unique to the typical carrot would be lovely. Same goes for the paper- just make sure it’s a little heavier than your regular printer paper. Even your fillers could be simple handmade items like stickers, friendship bracelets, homemade crayons, etc.

Templates:

largecarrot.pdf

smallcarrot.pdf

P.S. – My most recent favorite store bought sweet treat – Anise flavored pizzelles from Aldi.