Terrie and I love crafting and always have our eyes open for new ideas or new twists on old favorites. At Christmas we’re especially interesting in craft projects that work for gifts. Through our web wanderings we’ve found the following ideas – a dozen ideas to make dozens of gifts!
I’ve bought pre-cut stencils and I’ve made my own stencils but Jessica at How About Orange demonstrates a stencil making trick that is much simpler than what I’ve done before…it’s REALLY simple. I don’t want to spoil the surprise (you’ll have to click through to see her trick), but you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can create your very own stencil (and, it’s cheap) - tracing over just about any design and transferring it to fabric. If you think you’re not artistic, try simple graphic designs like a triangle Christmas tree, or a stylized bell or wreath. You could use this technique on placemats, sweatshirts or t-shirts or night shirts, fabric for ornaments, pillow covers……just imagine the gift possibilities!
If you’re an avid reader part of you might resist the idea of this project since it uses a book. For heaven’s sake, don’t pull one of your favorites reads off your shelf, but how about recycling an outdated textbook or cheap find from a thrift store? And instead of thinking you’re harming a book – think about recycling one that’s already been read! Over at Living With Lindsay, she gives complete instructions for making this unusual wreath from a book. She suggests painting the edges for a little more vintage look but you could also glitter the edges for a fabulous holiday version.
For those of you who sew, here is a collection of easy sew gift ideas – actually Sew, Mama, Sew! was even more ambitious than me. All their posts for the month of November focused on crafting projects of all types, but usually geared around sewing. Easy is my fave, easy is good, easy and good-looking is the best!
While working hard on your projects, take a break and enjoy some hot spiced cider. A few weeks ago at A Field Journal Livy published a week of apple recipes, all accompanied with her trademark lovely photography. This easy recipe for mulled apple cider seemed appropriate as we head to the holidays. Keep some on the stove all the time to infuse your home with the yummy smell.
This striking orange pillow (made in felt – a great texture to add to a room), is from the book “Felt Furnishings: 25 Accessories for Contemporary Homes” by Anne Kyrro Quinn (buy the book by clicking through via our Amazon affiliate link at the bottom of the post and use keyword “Felt Furnishing”). The book provides instructions for gorgeous designer pillows that you’ll love. There is also an online tutorial for this wonderful pillow . It seems pretty simple and what a conversation piece when it’s done!
Honor the meaning of the season with Thankful Jar. Made by Little Birdie Secrets this project provides a simple but delightful visual to remind us what’s good in our lives. If you don’t have or don’t want to use a jar, try a box, an empty oatmeal container, or any container that you want to decorate. There’s such a wide and wonderful selection of scrap booking papers that you’ll be able to match any theme, scheme or time of year so you won’t have to limit it to just Christmas.
During November Kelliegh Ratzlaff designsprovided 30 days of handmade paper ornaments. Kelleigh Ratzlaff designs and sells patterns to make these charming little boxes out of scrapbook paper – perfect for jewelry or small gifts. The pattern is down-loadable and printable on standard paper – how easy is that? then you decorate as you please.
Two years ago Elsie Marley provided directions for this charming little gingerbread man. Gingerbread never goes out of style….and this one will make you chuckle. Make one for each of the kids in the family (or the kids-at-heart), maybe even add their names to personalize the ornament. Or, make boy/girl gingerbreads….
My Goodness! What will people think of next? This clever project is from My Frugal Family blog - a few bit of work but worth the effort – not only is it cute, but it’s a green gift too. Using an old sweater, she made a new winter scarf and hat! I’ve certainly never looked at a sweater and thought “Gee that would be a cute hat & scarf” – which is why I’m sharing someone else’s genius with you.
Blue Cricket Design shows a way to make personalized paper mache’ ornaments using Modge Podge. The step by step photos are clear and the end results are fun and graphic – check it out.
Another paper project – use cutout leaves for an elegant name place-card at a dinner table, make a garland to drape a fireplace or window or any number of other uses. ProjectWedding.com has the complete tutorial and photos and ideas.
Here’s an easy paper ornament -these are made from solid colored card stock, but try it with firm holiday design scrapbook paper. A grouping of these would be lovely hanging in a window or kids’ room. In fact, enlist their help and make it a family project. The tutorial is here at Simply Modern Mom.
There are so many creative folks out there willing to share their projects and ideas that it’s easy to spend hours just looking and never get around to making something yourself. This post offers a good cross section of web findings that hopefully will inspire you and save you some search time – so you have some craft time! When you try one of these projects, take a picture or two and send to us. We’d love to see the results of your creativity in action!
Reminder: Drawing for Pillow
Also, remember to attach a photo of a favorite tree ornament (maybe one you made?) with a explanation why it’s a favorite – (send it to solutions@YourDecoratingHotline.com) you could win a 16″ X 16″ French burlap pillow slip (value $31) provided by Michelle at Petite Coterie, ETSY store.
Each attached tree ornament photo and comment you send enters your name in the pillow slip drawing – and you’ve got until Dec. 22 to send as many entries as you like. We’ll share some of them in our posts so everyone can enjoy them.