Quick and easy handmade holiday cards

November 14, 2011 - Filed under Christmas

Apparently the general consensus on when you should mail your Christmas cards seems to be the first week in December. That means if you’re planing on making your cards this year, it’s time to start thinking about them.

I know, I know, it’s still November and seems way too early to be thinking about Christmas, but as the weather starts to turn and the days get shorter and shorter, why not get started early before the real rush of the season kicks in and you get distracted by all the fun holiday parties!

Here are just a few great examples of how you can get creative with your own holiday cards. Combine these simple techniques and let your imagination guide you.

Easy Handmde ChristmasCards

1. & 2. Modern Holiday 3D Tree & Ornament Cards: Use bold trendy patterned paper to make these modern holiday cards really stand out.

3. Sewn Bunting Holiday Card: These whimsical cards are so cute and easy to create. Simply cut small triangles out of scrap material and sew to the front of your cards.

4. Pop-up Reindeer Card: Although this card looks a little more complicated, Samir’s great tutorial makes it easy for you to recreate to this cute pop-up card yourself.

5. Modern Christmas Tree Card: Another modern, but simple card, made by wrapping embroidery floss around a card. Little whole punched notches help hold it in place to create a decorative tree.

6. Shape Punched Holiday Cards: These cards are made easily by punching out shapes in card stock. You can find all kinds of craft punches at your local craft store.

7. Thumbprint Reindeer Card: This cute idea is perfect for kids. Use your thumb to stamp reindeer heads your card. Then glue on googly eyes and pom-pom noses, and finish by drawing on the antlers.

8. Happy Snow Stamped Card: Vivian from Polka Dot Robot, shows you how easy it is to create a unique holiday card with just a couple of stamps and some imagination. She also beautifully decorated the inside of the envelope with some co-ordinating patterned paper.

9. Die Cut Ornament Card: A great idea for those of you with lots of people on your mailing list. This card uses a die-cutting machine to create the ornament shapes, but you could use craft punches to create a similar look.

Posted by: kelly

DIY Handmade Advent Calendars 2011

November 9, 2011 - Filed under Christmas

TalkCraftyToMe is getting a jump on the holiday season, we’re back with this year’s edition of “Handmade Holidays”.

For some reason Christmas always has a way of sneaking up on me, and I can never seem to get everything done that I had planned. I always have grand ideas of making decorations and creating homemade gifts, but there just never seems to be enough hours in the day. So this year we’re getting started early!

First up, we’re talking advent calendars. I know I’ve talked about this before, but I was a little late to the game, and lets face it, if your handmade advent calendar isn’t ready to go by December 1st, well… it just isn’t gonna happen. So with a few more weeks left whip something up, here’s a look at some great alternatives to store bought advent calendars.

1. Christmas Tree Advent Calendar: Download the free template and create your own little forest of Christmas Trees. Use your favorite patterned papers and fill each of the 24 trees with a unique surprise to help personalize this project.

2. Paper Stocking Advent Calendar: This project is perfect for kids. Simply cut out the template on card stock and then decorate away. You can fill each stocking with a candy cane treat for each member of the family.

3. All Shapes and Sizes Countdown Calendar: Purchase this calendar or use it as inspiration to create your own pocketed calendar.

4. Christmas Countdown Wreath: Combine two holiday traditions with this count down wreath. It uses magnets to attach little metal tins to the wreath that you can fill with candy and treats of your own.

5. Advent Train: This idea comes from a German site, but would make a great addition to an fireplace mantel. Paint the train in your favorite Christmas colours and fill will all kinds of goodies. Check your local craft store or even Amazon for unfinished wooden trains.

6. Lego-inspired stack-able treat boxes: Not only is this a super cute and unique idea, but there’s also a fabulous tutorial to show you everything you need to know to make your own stack-able lego Christmas tree.

7. Snowing presents Advent calendar: Another totally unique idea for an advent calendar. This cute project depicts two little kids jumping for their presents as they snow down around them.

8. Decorated Tree Advent Calendar: While this idea isn’t new, creating your own little tree to decorate is a great way to make your advent calendar as imaginative and creative as you are.

9. Baby Sock Advent Calendar: Last but not least, from the queen of crafting Martha Stewart, comes this super easy baby sock calendar. Simply purchase 12 pairs of different of baby socks (or 24 and make one to share with a friend) sew them to a ribbon and fill them with treats.

Posted by: kelly

Handmade Advent Calendars

December 1, 2010 - Filed under Christmas

December has arrived… and thus the countdown to Christmas begins! There’s just something about marking off the days that I’ve loved ever since I was little. Ok I’ll admit, it probably has a lot to do with that little chocolate hidden behind each door, but still, having an advent calendar is a great way to kick-start the holidays. Here are some great ideas for handmade advent calendars, if you’re looking for something a little more personal.

1. Advent Pockets 2. Felt Advent Calendar 3. Countdown Calendar 4. Mitten Garland 5. Framed Presents 6. Hand Pressed Winter Calendar 7. Toilet Paper Tube Garland 8. Wooden Box Calendar 9. Here Comes Santa Calendar

Posted by: kelly

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2009 - Filed under Christmas


Feliz Navidad from Costa Rica. I’m taking a few days off over the holidays so posting around here will be a bit light, but we’ll be back soon with lots more crafty goodness! Happy Holidays, and thanks for reading!

Posted by: kelly

Christmas dinner place card holders

December 22, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, How-to, Inspiration

Place card holders are a fun and festive way to glam up the table and add that personal touch. Here are a few DIY options for your holiday dinner.


Twig and Branches | Christmas Ornaments | Rustic Napkin Holders | Branch Place Card Holder | Eucalyptus Chair Tags | Pine Cone Place Card Holders | Gingerbread Cottages | Paper Tree Place Card

Posted by: kelly

Gifts from your kitchen

December 21, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, How-to

I don’t know about you, but food is one of my favorite gifts to give and to receive. It doesn’t have to be difficult to make, or use expensive ingredients, it’s just the thought and time that makes it special.


1. Cocoa Candy Cane Marshmallows – There’s nothing like a hot mug of cocoa on a cold winter’s night, and what better way to make it special that with these Cocoa Candy Cane Marshmallows.

2. Cranberry Infused Vodka – For those of you who usually give a bottle of wine this time of year, why not try some infused vodka instead. This one is cranberry but you can use all sorts of things, fruit, peppers, spices, even bacon!

3. Gingerbread Caramels
– These cute cones filled with caramels make great stocking stuffers or party favors.

4. Cowgirl Cookies – This is a super easy gift that doesn’t require any cooking! Just layer the ingredients into a jar and let the recipient do all the work.

5. DIY: S’mores Kits – Another great gift that doesn’t require cooking! Just assemble the ingredients and decorate.

6. Gingersnap Palmiers
– I love the decoration on this jar as much as the contents.

7. Homemade Vanilla – This idea is just beautiful, and you can download the labels to make yours looks just as pretty.

8. Mocha Cocoa – Another idea that just involves layering ingredients

Posted by: kelly

Make your own Christmas Crackers

December 18, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, How-to


Christmas Crackers are another tradition in my family. They are really easy to make, and since you’re doing them yourself you can make them to match your holiday table… plus I love being able to personalize the little trinkets inside.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lightweight wrapping paper, crepe paper or tissue paper
  • Toilet paper rolls (2 per cracker, or one paper towel roll)
  • Cracker Snaps (you can buy them at craft stores like Michael’s or online here or here)
  • scotch tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Candy, toys, trinkets etc. to till it with

Here’s how to make em:

Step 1: Layout your paper, placing one toilet paper roll in the middle. Cut the second roll in half and place one at each edge, leaving about 2 inches between the one in the middle. Use tape to attach the cracker snap lengthwise in the middle of the paper. Tape both ends, but not the middle. (you can also attach the cracker snap in the middle of the rolls, taping the ends to each of the cut rolls)

Step 2: Start rolling the paper around the toilet paper rolls, glue it down as you go, to help keep it’s shape.

Step 3: When you’ve rolled it all the way up, make sure the edge is sealed.

Step 4: Pinch and twist in the paper in the gap between the middle toilet roll and one of the ends. Secure with a ribbon.

Step 5: Fill the open end with candy, toys and trinkets

Step 6: Secure the other end by pinching and twisting like before. Then tie with a ribbon.

And you’re done! If you want you can add additional decorations to the outside, or add the names of your guests and use as place markers at your table.

Picture Links: Making Crackers | Reindeer Crackers | Wrapping Paper Crackers | Tissue Paper Crackers

Posted by: kelly

Crafty Christmas Stockings

December 17, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, How-to

Opening stockings is one of my absolute favorite parts of the holidays. Notoriously crammed full, and usually spilling out the top, there’s just something about the little gifts, that often feel more thoughtful than the big ones. I’ve had the same stocking since I was little, but if you’re looking for a new stocking this year, try some of these creative ideas.


Knit Stocking Pattern | Striped Piece Stocking | Simple Embroidered Stockings | Recycled Sweater Stockings | Christmas Bloom Stocking | A Rebel Christmas | Babushka Christmas Stocking | Recycled Striped Stocking | Jingle Bell Stockings

Posted by: kelly

Creative Gift Wrap Ideas

December 16, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, Inspiration


Now that you’ve made gift tags and learned how to make your own bows, it’s time to talk gift wrap!

  • Kraft paper is always a favorite of mine. Keep it simple with a beautiful ribbon , dress it up with some sequins and string, or add a few stamps for that personal touch. Kraft paper is very flexible and always adds a little handmade feel. (1, 2, 3)
  • If brown isn’t your thing, you can use any colored paper you prefer. You can buy Christmas themed stamps at your local craft store, or make your own. Just be sure to pick ink that will show up on your paper. (4, 5).
  • Try adding some elements from your own backyard. Pine cones, berry, branches and holly make great decorations and wont cost you a thing. Or fake a little nature with wood grain paper and cut out leafs.(6, 9)
  • For an alternative to stamps, try cutting out holiday shapes like this winter scene by Martha Stewart. (7)
  • Your sewing machine can also be used to help with your wrapping this holiday season. Sew cute little paper envelopes or re-usable fabric gift bags. (8, 10)
  • Posted by: kelly

Free Gift Tag Download

December 15, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, Free Stuff


My holiday gift to you! If you don’t have time to make your own gift tags, you can download these snowflake ones I designed.

Place white card stock into your printer and print page one. Then take the same page and flip it over and print page two. This will give you double sided gift tags you can then cut out and address. Use a small hole punch to punch a hole in the top of the tag, then use ribbon or string to attach to your gifts.

Download Here


Posted by: kelly