Too Many Good Things Out There Not To Share Them With You!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Valentines - Treat Bags

From one of my very favorite blogs, Twig & Thistle, comes these fabulous free printable Valentine treat bags and favor box.
Print the download on white paper sacks to make the most darling DIY Valentine Goody Bags.

These DIY Brownie Bags make the perfect packaging for heart shaped brownies.

And for the apple of your eye a little DIY Sweetie Pie box to hold an apple hand pie.
...such sweet goodies.  Enjoy!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nothing V-dayish here but thought this one was simple, cute, and clean. Hope you can make one. I think I will put hearts on mine in stead of fags. Find it over at How About Orange blog. 

Mini bunting birthday card

My latest quickie DIY project: a birthday card with a tiny bunting of miniature flags. If you want to try one, here's how to make it.

Fold a sheet of cardstock into thirds, accordian style. If you want a printed message on your card, run it through your printer before folding.

Cut out strips of colored paper and fold them in half lengthwise. (My strips were about 1" wide.) Cut the folded strips into tiny triangles; they should look like little hinges. Make a few strings of bunting by folding triangles over a cord and gluing both halves together.

With an X-acto knife, cut tiny slits in the folded edge of the cover of your card. Thread one end of each bunting cord through a slit and secure the cord end behind the cover with a piece of tape. Wrap the opposite end of each cord around the cover of the card and secure it in the back with more tape. Then place double stick tape around the edges and center of the back side of the cover and stick the cover to the adjacent panel, hiding the taped ends of your bunting. Round the corners of your card if you like, and you're done.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I NEVER Would Have Thought of This!

So pretty and I'll probably add letters to this one too with my die cutter. It's going on the front door tomorrow though! From Skip to My Lou, of course.

I have a double front door and need two door decorations and wanted something inexpensive.  When I saw this red burlap on sale this week at Hobby Lobby for $1.99 a yard I decided the price was right. I realized for less than two dollars I could make two wreaths.

Supplies for 1 wreath

1 metal hanger
12" X width of  burlap (my burlap was about 50" wide)
glue gun
a rotary cutter to make cutting the strips easier
dental floss


Cut 3 - 4" X about 50" burlap strips. Sew these three pieces together, so you have one long strip. To gather the burlap, machine zig zag stitch over dental floss.  I used red cinnamon flavored floss so it wouldn't show, even though it looks white in the picture. Pull the floss and gather the burlap.

Bend 1 wire hanger into a heart shape.

Adjust gathers to fit around frame, cutting off any extra that isn't needed. Hot glue to wire frame. I used clear fishing line to hang, but a pretty white bow would be nice.

If you want a no sew method, Craftaholics Anonymous gathered the burlap by threading it about every three inches or so right onto the wire Hanger.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Valentine's Day Classic

Here's another one we probably made as kids but have not in a while. So here's the tutorial in case you forgot from Skip to My Lou. I'm thinking about adding letters to the mobile and using my cricut I received for Christmas -- thanks mom and dad!!!

Crayon shavings melted between wax paper and then cut into hearts make a beautiful display in windows. This is an oldie but goodie craft that we love. Here are ours made with lots of kid help! I can't think of anything more cheerful or happy hanging from a window.
We made lots of crayon shavings with a pencil sharpener.
Place shavings on a piece of wax paper.
Either place another piece of wax paper on top or fold over the edge to cover all of the shavings.
Iron on the lowest setting for about 1 second. You can go always go longer after checking to see if the shavings have melted. Be careful to not burn the wax paper. It is a good idea to do the ironing on a piece of newspaper. Some shavings could leak out of the sides and it does leave a residue underneath the wax paper. If you are worried about your iron, just place your wax paper between two sheets of newspaper or scrap paper.
crayon-hearts-5.jpg crayon-hearts-6.jpg
I think it is easiest for kids to trace around cardboard so I took cereal boxes and cut out heart shapes to be used for patterns. This is where you get variety so let the kids draw the hearts.
Draw around your pattern.
Cut out, hole punch and tie on ribbon, thread or fishing line. Hang!
Martha has directions and a gorgeous display at her place.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oooooooo Monograms!

Ok, you have to love letters. I teach them in my class, we can't get enough of them and they are all over my house. I'm going to make one for my sisters I think and one for my house all Valentine's up and stuff. Have fun, I know I will! Found over at Dollar Store Crafts. I told you there would be more than just STML on here. Smile.

Monogram Plaque by Southern Hospitality
Here’s a simple and fun idea for making a custom monogram plaque that you can customize in infinite ways to go with your personal taste and decor. Rhoda at Southern Hospitality made these, inspired by a project she saw at Joys of Home (a blog that often has great dollar store decor ideas, by the way!). Choose your favorite scrapbook paper, paint color, and initial, and get creating. You can find wooden initials and plaques at the dollar store, or check the unfinished wood section of your local craft store for a wider selection. Oh, and this will probably only take fifteen minutes or less, and no special skills are needed. Wouldn’t it be a fun slumber party activity, or a great gift for a housewarming? [click here for Monogram Plaque Project] [inspired by] [via]
Monogram Plaque by Joys of Home
Project Estimate:
  • Wooden plaque, $1
  • Wooden letter, $1
  • Scrapbook paper, on hand or $.50
  • Paint (spray or acrylic), on hand
  • Sandpaper, on hand
  • Glue, on hand
Total: $2 and up
Striped polka-dotted monogram by Southern Hospitality

Monday, January 25, 2010

Good Old Glitter Hearts

It's glllllllllllllllllllitter! My little people L-O-V-E glitter so I think we will make these during our valentine's day party this year. They're from you guessed it, Skip to My Lou. What, she has great stuff. More blogs to be featured - don't get your panties in a wad :0)!

I will say right up front ---- this little craft was messy. It kept small hands busy for quite awhile --but for a price! So if you don't LOVE glitter stop reading! You will like these hanging hearts better!

We took our empty food boxes and cut out hearts.  The Cricut made quick work of the cutting, however scissors work great! For the Cricut we used a deep cut blade set to 5 with maximum pressure. This will vary with the box weight and how sharp the blade is. We cut one heart from the Plantin Schoolbook Cartridge at 5 inches. Use center cut so when it is finished it will go back to the center of the heart and you can cut another heart inside. We cut our next heart at 2 1/4 and then again at 2. This allows the heart inside to move when hanging. (Remove the 2 1/4 inch heart)

Sew through the hearts with sewing machine set on long stitch length. Leave plenty of thread at starting point for hanging.

Spread glue onto cardboard

Sprinkle with glitter. Allow to dry and repeat on back.
We did try to cut a 7 inch heart with two hearts inside (in background of third picture above). Because of our technique (excessive glue and glitter) the 7 inch heart would not hang straight.
Once my daughter was finished and the hearts were mostly dry, I placed them between parchment paper and sat a book on top for awhile to flatten them.

If you are looking for more ways to dress your house up for Valentine's Day try this  Valentine doormat, make some fun painted soaps for your bathroom, decorate with these stain glass hearts or make an inexpensive heart wreath.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bath Fizzies

As I have two articles on this I thought I would post them both. Here they are. One from Skip to My Lou and one from Mom Advice. The first article I'll be shaping with a heart mold in stead of the round ornament and the second is an article for Christmas but put a different tag and ribbon on it and viola -- Valentine's day gift! Now to figure out what to do for my sisters. 

We thought bath bombs would make the perfect Valentine's Day gift when packaged to look like  a bomb along with a tag that says, "You're the 'bomb'!"

DIY Bath Bombs

2 Cups Baking Soda
1 Cup Citric Acid
4 teaspoons massage oil ( or 2 teaspoons essential oil and 2 teaspoons olive oil)
Spray bottle with water
mold (60 mm 2 part plastic ball)
This amount only made 5 bath bombs.  If I was making more I would buy the citric acid online in bulk. The small bottle  you see pictured (1/2 cup) was $2.50. I purchased it from my local health food store.  You can buy citric acid online for $2.25 per pound. BrambleBerry is offering all Skip to my Lou readers 10% off citric acid, use LOU10 at checkout to receive your discount!
Mix baking soda and citric acid in large mixing bowl.  Mix very well! You can use an electric mixer if you like.
Add in 4 teaspoons of scented massage oil (or other combination of skin safe essential oil for scent and another oil for moisturizing the skin). The scent is personal, so start with a teaspoon or so and add more until you are satisfied. Mix well.
This next step can be a bit  tricky because you don't want your bath bomb to start fizzing. Start by adding a couple of fine mist sprays of water to your mixture and mix well.
You will continue spraying until the mixture will clump in your hand when squeezed. (I used 5-8 sprays, however this will depend greatly on your local climate)
Fill one half of your mold.  Pack it tightly.
Fill the other half of the mold and place them together---don't snap together.  I slightly overfilled each half.  When I pushed the two halves together they became a ball.
Gently remove the ball from mold.  If I had problems with the ball coming out easily  I dumped the mixture back into my bowl, added a mist of water (carefully), mixed well and then tried again.
Cut out about a 10 inch circle of black tissue paper.
Wrap tissue up around your bath bomb and trim if necessary.
Place a silver pipe cleaner in the center and then wrap a shiny red pipe cleaner around the the tissue paper and silver pipe cleaner.  Add a tag and you are finished! You might want to write instructions for using the bath bomb on the back of the tag.
The bath bomb worked great. It provided fizz, bubbles and fun for my daughter's bath.
These were very simple bath bombs.  If you are interesed in more recipes and detailed instructions, the internet is a great resource. Try Teach Soap for loads of bath and body recipes!

I took a picture of all of the ingredients needed so you can see exactly what they look like when you go to the store. Don’t you hate it when you can’t picture what you should be looking for?
The kosher salt is over in the baking aisle with the regular salt, the Epsom Salts should be over in the first aid supplies of your superstore or drugstore, and the glycerin will be behind the drugstore counter where you pick up your prescriptions (and can also be used for your giant bubbles in the summer).
Now head to your craft store and go into the aisle where the soap making and candle making supplies are. There you will find colorants to dye your bath salts (you need the package with red in it) and the essential oils needed (for this craft it will be the eucalyptus mint). The last thing you can buy is some peppermint striped ribbon or whatever is on sale and festive will totally do the job!
As for jars, I found those at Big Lots and you can get a dozen of them for $6.50 or check the canning supplies section of Walmart (our store was out). I hope that helps with your shopping list and helps with the visuals for what to look for!
You will need two big bowls for this and a giant spoon to mix with. Don’t you love crafts that don’t require a lot of equipment? Now, empty one bag of Epsom Salts into one bowl. Next add 3 cups of your kosher salt, and stir well. Then stir in 1/4 teaspoon glycerin and eight drops of your eucalyptus essential oil. Mix well.
In your second large mixing bowl, empty one bag of Epsom Salts and add 3 cups of your kosher salt. Stir well. Next stir in 1/4 teaspoon glycerin and eight drops of your eucalyptus essential oil. To this bowl, you will add fifteen drops of your red colorant. This will give you a pale and pretty pink bowl of salts. Mix this side really well to incorporate the coloring throughout this batch.
Now grab a 1/2 cup measuring cup and start doing layers to create the peppermint candy look in the jar- a layer of white, a layer of pink, a layer of white, and then a layer of pink. I would recommend filling them on a cookie sheet to catch any runaway salts and to make clean-up a little bit easier. Once everything is filled, you should have 12 jars full and even a little leftover for yourself.
Now tie your gift up with a little festive ribbon and a beautiful gift tag instructing the recipient to put three tablespoons of salts in the bathtub to enjoy a relaxing holiday bath.
Candy Cane Bath Salts

12 tall jelly (12-ounce) canning jars with lid and rings
2 bags of Epsom Salts, 4 pounds each (approximately 16 cups)
4 lb kosher salt (approximately 6 cups is needed, buy two boxes and cook with the rest)
1⁄2 teaspoon glycerin, divided
16 drops eucalyptus peppermint essential oil
15 drops red colorant
Empty one bag of Epsom Salts into large mixing bowl. Add 3 cups kosher salt, stir well. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon glycerin and eight drops of eucalyptus
essential oil. Mix well. In second large mixing bowl, empty one bag of Epsom Salts, and add 3 cups kosher salt. Stir well. Add 1/4 teaspoon glycerin, eight drops of eucalyptus essential oil, and red colorant. Stir until completely blended. Color should be even. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup and fill canning jars at an angle, layer salts in jars, alternating white and colored mixtures.


Just to make your gifts a tad more festive and to ease the burden of making those gifts, we have included free gift tags to download and print for the holiday season!
Free & Beautiful Holiday Printable Gift Tags
Luckily for you, there will be just a tad too much of both of these bath mixtures to fit into the jars and you will be forced to partake of your efforts. Throw whatever is left in that food processor or bowl and put it into your bath. Now fix yourself a cup of vanilla chai tea, light a candle, and smuggle in a good book or magazine. Promptly, lock the door and pretend like you have no idea how that happened when everyone starts knocking. Enjoy a moment to yourself and relax, you deserve it!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lovey Dovey Soap

Here's another favorite from Skip to My Lou. I think I will make these for my mom this year with some homemade bath fizzies. Bath fizzies to come tomorrow.

Even the bathroom needs a little holiday cheer!
Paint Glycerin soap with acrylic paint. One side of the soap needs to be non-imprinted, so you have a nice area to paint on.
Melt paraffin in a double boiler situation. I used a metal measuring cup set in a pan of water. An old food can could also be used. Wax is highly flammable so it is best to melt it in water. DO NOT allow any of the water to get into the wax!
Brush a thin coat of melted wax over your painting. Do not paint the sides or bottom of your soap. The wax must be very hot to give a clear coat. It is probably best for an adult to do this step while wax is still at the stove so it remains very hot.
When you use your soap the wax will protect your paintings.