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.

gifts_from_kitchen

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

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:

christmas_crackers_f01
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)

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

stockings

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

Handmade & Recycled gift tags

December 14, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, How-to

Handmade_Holidays

Handmade gift tags are another great way to personalize your gift. Many of the same ideas we talked about for holiday cards, can be used to make gift tags too.

The easiest way to cut out lots of tags is with a craft punch. This tag shaped one from Martha Stewart is great, but they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, even a simple circle punch would work perfect. Check your local craft store to see what punches they have and pick something that works for you. If you don’t want to invest in a punch, lots of craft stores will also have precut tags you can personalize, or of course you can always hand cut your own.

gift_tags1
Tag Punch | Craft Tags | Red & Green Craft Tags

For paper you’ll want something a little thicker than standard paper, If you’ve got leftover card stock from making your holiday cards this is a great way to use it up. Another idea is to recycle all your old cards from last year, by punching out tag shapes – just be sure to check the back to make sure to avoid any writing. If you’re like me however, and didn’t save any of your cards from last year plain or decorative card stock works just fine.

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Recycled cereal boxes & holiday magazines | Hand carved stamp on Etsy | Recycled grocery bags | Sewn gift tags | Recycled Christmas cards | Paint Chip Tags | Holly & Berry craft kit

And of course don’t forget all the amazing handmade tags ready and waiting to be purchased over at Etsy. Just be quick, as holiday shipping deadlines are drawing near!

gift_tags3
Seasons Greetings | Noel | White Trees | Deer Blossoms | Noel Scarlet + Candy | Merry Merry Christmas

Posted by: kelly

Handmake Your Holiday Cards

December 10, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, How-to

Handmade_Holidays

Receiving a handmade card, always feels great. They don’t have to be complicated, but just knowing that someone took the time to make my card rather than buy a big box of generic cards, makes me feel a little bit special.

Here are some easy ideas to get your creative juices flowing…

holiday_card_stamps

If you’ve got a long holiday mailing list, stamps are a great way to create a lot of cards. Most craft stores have a large selection of rubber stamps, but if you can’t find one you like, don’t forget you can always make your own.

Picture Links: deeljea designs | CozyMemories | letterknit

Read More…

Posted by: kelly

Nuts & Bolts Christmas Tree Alternative

December 9, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, How-to

The people over at Lowes have come up with this great tutorial for a wooden Christmas Tree. It’s made out of pine craft boards, nuts, and washers, all bolted together.

christmas_tree_alternative

Check out the tutorial here

Posted by: kelly

DIY Garlands & Bunting

December 8, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, Fabric, Felt, How-to

Festive garlands and cheerful bunting, for your mantel, your railing, your tree or your window. Here are some simple tutorials, that can add a lot of impact to your holiday decor.

garlands_and_bunting

1. Miniature Fabric Flower Garland – This one was originally created for a wedding, but you could easily swap the fabric for something a little more Christmasy.

2. Felt Dot Garland – Simple felt dots sewn together create this super simple garland.

3. Felt Garland – This one takes a lot of felt but doesn’t need much skill.

4. No Sew Felt & Fabric Garland – Skip the sewing and use iron-on adhesive.

5. Blanket Stitched Garland – A cozy blanket stitch gives this garland an ultra-handmade look.

6. Snowflake Bunting – This cute bunting is for sale on etsy, but here are a couple tutorials if you want to make your own. one. two.

7. Paper Snowflakes – Another Etsy find for those of you too busy to craft this Christmas.

Posted by: kelly

Holiday Wreath How-to’s

December 7, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, How-to

Looking for some alternatives to your traditional cedar branch holiday wreath? Check out these creative ideas, and let their great instructions inspire you to create your own.

christmas_wreaths

1. Fabric Wreath from ModaBakeshop | 2. Felted Sweater Wreath from Betz White | 3. Ribbon-Poinsettia Wreath from Martha Stewart | 4. Button Wreath from Craftapalooza | 5. Paper Leaves Wreath from The Red Thread | 6. Ribbon Wreath from The Long Thread | 7. Christmas Ornament Wreath from Eddie Ross

Posted by: kelly

More ornament tutorials

December 3, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, How-to

ornaments

In case yesterday’s felt ornaments weren’t enough, here’s a few more.

Felt Ball – Inspired by one of those paper party decorations that fold into a ball… but instead made of felt.

Retro Ornaments – Decorated with ricrac and ribbons, these classy ornaments are sure to spruce up your tree.

Triangle Trees – These are quite similar to the trees I posted the other day, but they’re still cute so I thought I’d post them anyway.

Jingle Mice – Pimp Stitch has a great tutorial for this little squeaker.

Quilled Candy Cane – Wrap red and white paper strips around a toothpick creating spirals to make this candy cane ornament.

Posted by: kelly

Handmade Holidays

December 1, 2009 - Filed under Christmas, How-to

Handmade_Holidays

It’s December 1st, and you know what that means… Christmas is just around the corner. I’m kicking off a month of Handmade Holiday goodness, with some ornament inspiration. Over the next few days I’ll be posting some great ideas for handmade ornaments, including a few tutorials & patterns as well as some links to a few ornaments you can purchase, in case you run out of crafting time.

First up are a couple of felt ornaments I made a few years ago for a charity auction at work. These were really easy and fun to make, and were a huge hit at the auction.

felt_snowmen

For the Snowmen: Cut the snowman shape out of white felt, and stitch the two pieces together with colored embroidery thread (pick something that matches the color of felt you’ve chosen for the scarf). When you’ve almost finished stitching around the snowman, stop and fill it with stuffing, then continue stitching him up. You can add the face first if you’d like, but I found it easier to add after.

For the scarf, cut two strips of colored felt, one to go around your snowman’s neck and the other to loop over and hang down. I originally tried tying a longer strip like you would a regular scarf, but found that it didn’t lay very nice. Wrap one piece around the neck of your snowman, and use the second piece to cover the seam and hang down. Don’t forget to cut a little bit of fringe on the bottom too!

Then simply sew on a few tiny buttons and make a loop at the top with thread so you can hang him on your tree.

felt_trees

For the trees: Cut the tree shapes out of green felt, using pinking shears. Sew around the edge using colored embroidery thread (something that matches the ribbon). When you get to the top, insert the two ends of the ribbon making a loop, and continue sewing. Remember to leave a little hole to stuff it before you sew it all the way up. Then simply sew on a few multi-colored buttons to make the ornaments. I was lucky enough to find little star shaped buttons at my local craft store, but you could use anything.

Stay tuned for more Handmade Holiday goodness all December long.

Posted by: kelly