Category Archives: Crafts&DIY

Using Katie Holland Art Collage Paper Packs in #THSSnailMail

Disclosure: Katie Holland Art provided free products to select members of the HLB Team for review; all opinions below are my own.

I love snail mail, don’t you?  I’ve talked about my love of the good ole parcel post here on THS from time to time, and shown it off on the regular via Twitter and Instagram, too. Several months during my adulthood I’ve challenged myself to send one piece of mail each day, and over the years I’ve naturally fallen into a habit of dropping a couple of pieces into the blue box each week.

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When Healthy Living Blogs partnered with Chicago based artist Katie Holland to review her Etsy-available Collage Paper Packs, I felt inspired to partner the paper pack with some #THSSnailMail inspiration.

The packs are a mix of vintage and new papers that Katie curates herself and can contain pages from all sorts of old paper products; ‘lesson books, children’s books, etiquette books, dictionary, color sample swatches, patterned scrapbook paper, wallpaper sample sheets’ just to name a few.

Each pack has about 20 pieces of paper, so your creativity can go on and on and on during your next craft session.

Here are two of the pen pal creations I that came out of my Staycation craft session last week.

pass it on
Pass It On Pen Pal Cards – Sparked by a small Manhattan map found in the paper kit, I decorated a duo of blank note cards for a NYC-obsessed pal. I included postage on the envelopes for each and included a note encouraging her to pass on the snail mail fun to another long distance pal.

I’m a big fan of layering when working with paper crafts and the abstract sky line theme was an easy design using several different selections from the paper pack. The friend I made these for is also a reader, writer, and lover of words, so including the snippets of type in both cards felt like a special detail.

nyccard1

nyccard2

#HLBTea Swap Tea Wraps – I try to send ‘bonus’ tea to HLB members who support our annual tea swap by sharing on social media and encouraging others to sign up, too. This time around, I created individual tea wraps using paper from the collage packs paired with Halloween themed washi tape from my collection to send this week for a little pre-holiday snail mail surprise.

HLBTeaSwap finished

Here’s a bit of how I did it, step-by-step style…

step1

First I cut out strips of paper to fold over two tea bags and create a type of pocket/envelope. I used magazine pages found in the collage pack and cut them into 3 inch strips.

step2

Using pieces from the paper kit, I created a small “enjoy” tag to attach to the tea. I used washi tape to decorate the tag, to attach the tag to the bags, and to attach the two bags of tea together, back to back.

step3

I folded the strip of paper to create a pocket for the tea, temporarily placing the tea on the strip to fold as if I were wrapping it as a present to make sure I was folding in the right place.

I used washi tape to seal the edges of the folded paper to create the envelope.

step4

Then I folded the top flap of the strip in half and used tape to secure.

step5

Adding additional decoration to the envelope, I used a lot of different Halloween themed washi designs [howwwwwwwwww did I end up with so many!?] and layered them with scraps from the collage pack. Adding tape along the edges also adds structure to your package.

I slipped the tea bags into the envelope, folded the flap and secured closed with additional washi tape. Easy peasy!

When Toddlers Dress Their Mamas: What I Learned About My Wardrobe, My Body, & What My Daughter Thinks of Both

Hi, friends! A very special guest post brought to you today by one of my favorite creative humans, Megan Dollarhide. Here’s three things to know about Megan: her Etsy shop goods make perfect gifts for littles, her IG shares featuring her family of four will melt your heart  and her recent #onemonthofstarwarsshirts is my favorite thing on the internet from 2016 thus far.  Like everything Megan creates, I think the post below is a real treat. Enjoy!  xo – Heather

toddlerdressmamas

Hey, y’all! Megan here. You might remember the post that circulated last year — I Let My Toddler Dress Me For A Week.  Basically, Summer let her 3 year old son pick out her outfits for 5 days and it made for a super fun post with some funny results. I had several friends send me the post because I have a 3 year old myself.

Emery is sweet & spunky & a little bit sassy. She is super independent & hilarious. She loves dinosaurs, reading books, cookies, and picking out her own outfits (and they’re pretty great.) So I considered trying this fun little experiment, but I’m a major t-shirt & jeans girl and I don’t have an extensive wardrobe, so I just filed it away in my brain… (and totally forgot about it.)

Fast forward a few months & I bought a maxi skirt that I had no idea how to wear, but Emery loved it. And that’s when I remembered Summer’s post & decided to give it a go. I explained the idea to Em to see if she felt up to trying it. (She totally did, duh.) We pulled out my whole (tiny) wardrobe and laid it out on my bed so she could see all of her choices. She was especially excited about a basket of belts & tights that I had completely forgotten about. Let’s get to the fun part:

Day 1

Day 1: Girlfriend loves bright colors so she went for the few bright pieces I own & completed the look with a pearl headband. She kept telling me I look “beautiful and so COLORFUL!” I felt a little self conscious that morning, but it was really comfortable. This was probably my most popular outfit of the week on social media. A few people told me they would wear this exact outfit. (I was also compared to a La La Loopsy doll. I can see it.)

My favorite part of today: these are some of my very favorite shoes – faux suede fringe!

My least favorite part of today: too many colors going on for me.

Day 2

Day 2: “Emery, I have work today, so I don’t really want to look crazy.” “You will never look crazy, Mama, you will look GREAT!” Enter maxi skirt I mentioned. Paired with one of my (ahem, many) Star Wars t-shirts that she insisted I tuck in with a black belt and gold braided sandals. I was super curious to see if anyone at work would say anything because I always wear jeans, but no one said a thing!

My favorite part of today: This is the most comfortable skirt I’ve ever tried on. Why have I not been buying these for years?!

My least favorite part of today: I haven’t worn this belt in 5+ years. I’ve had 2 babies in that time and it was definitely tight. Also I just don’t really like it.

Day 3

Day 3 (featuring Em’s photo skillz. She’s multi-talented, ya know): This outfit started with Emery picking out the shoes and then matching every other piece of clothing to them. Cool. I thought it was going to be a pretty great day to run errands until she ran out of my room and came back with this bow, declaring, “I found the PERFECT last little thing!!!” The bow is leftover from our Powerpuff Girls Halloween costumes from two years ago.

My favorite part of today: New American flag shoes!

My least favorite part of today: Hello, that bow. Luckily, she decided she wanted to wear it herself about halfway through our errands.

Day 4

Day 4: I got a new shirt as an early birthday gift. Em was so excited to have another more colorful option and styled the whole outfit around it. Obviously. Blue-green forever.

My favorite part of today: Someone said I was a mermaid! And I do love this color.

My least favorite part of today: The tights. Also, at this point in the week I was over wearing belts.

Day 5

Day 5 (featuring my tiny stylist): Another day, another Star Wars shirt… of course tucked in with another belt. She paired it with a polka-dot skirt I’ve never worn but Em LOVED.

My favorite part of today: Star Wars shirts forever is my jam.

My least favorite part of today: The shoes. Hahaha, my cozy around-the-house moccasins just didn’t work great with this. And another too-small belt.

megan

While I set out thinking this was just going to be a fun & funny week for us, I actually came away from it with some realizations.

First, Emery did such a good job?! Haha, but seriously! I thought this was going to be hilarious and potentially disastrous, but for the most part, I loved what she put me in! And seeing her little face so excited and proud everyday was so awesome and worth it. When I felt silly, I tried to remember what Summer said in her post: “Don’t take yourself too serious: they’re just clothes.

I had more stuff in my closet than I thought I did… and a lot of it had never been worn! About half of the pieces Em picked out I likely would have never chosen myself. A lot of this comes from insecurities I’ve had with my body after 2 pregnancies & lots of changes. But when my friends & family looked at these photos, they didn’t see the imperfections that I saw – they saw a fun week for me & Emery. That’s what I want to see, too.

Every day this week, Emery would pick the outfit and wait impatiently as I got dressed. And then, every single day, she would yell excitedly, “MAMA!! YOU LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL TODAY! I LOVE YOUR OUTFIT! I LOVE YOU!!!” After 5 days of hearing that, all I can think about is how I want her to see herself that way – and right now, at 3 years old, she thinks she is pretty awesome. But I want her to continue to know that she’s awesome and beautiful and so much more than that. And one of the best ways I can do that is by truly thinking those things about myself and modeling confidence for her.

I’m ending this week with a determination to step outside of my t-shirt & jeans comfort zone & a promise to love my body more.

Also, I learned that Emery really likes to style belted outfits 😉

Megan Dollarhide is a stay-at-home mama & wife, reader, writer, and maker committed to her faith, her family, & raising strong, capable girls. She captures their little moments on Instagram and fills her Etsy shop with cheerful goodies for babies & children.

16 Favorite DIY Holiday Gifts

Looking for a gift to give your neighbor, co-worker, or favorite yoga teacher?  Handmade gifts are always a super thoughtful, unique, and fun way to show your appreciation to the people in your life that deserve the extra effort a gift made with love takes.  Here’s a collection of my favorite homemade gifts to give to my favorite folks during the holiday season.

Click on the photo to get to the recipe/instructions for each gift listed below.

Gifts to Make with Pretty Paper

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This is on the list of best gifts I’ve ever received, for sure!  A DIY Cookbook is the perfect gift to give if you want to share family recipes and traditions or if you’re the type of person who has a mile-long list of favorite blog or magazine recipes.  Inspire your foodie friends or pass on your most-loved kitchen secrets to cooking-newbies.  Julie has some wonderful recipe cards as a free download for you to use, too!

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The best part about these coasters is that you can very easily find a design to match any personality on your list! Have an LSU fan to gift to? Find yourself some purple and gold paper and you’re set.  A Disney lover as your Secret Santa match?  Look for some Mickey and Donald paper at your local craft store.  The possibilities are endless.

 

Gifts to Make in Jars

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I love this uber easy DIY gift ffor rich and fudgey gluten-free brownie mix.  Perfect for your favorite chocoholic! This recipe also includes dairy-free and vegan options, too!

MUSTARD

This mustard is one of my favorite food gifts I’ve ever received.  The recipe includes steps for canning to preserve, but also includes a note for instructions if you want to give it as a fresh, use-soon gift, too. Partnered with a loaf of fresh baked bread is a wonderful gift to bring to a holiday party, too.

A classic gift that can be fancied up with extra goodies worth the splurge [think gourmet crushed peppermint candies or your absolute favorite chocolate] or a mug that perfectly fits his personality.

 

Gifts for Wearing

last minute brooch

Sometimes life gets away from you and you need a last minute gift and PRONTO.  I once decided to make these fabric flower brooches as a party favor for all of my ladies-night guests one evening while I was getting ready for the party, which was less than an hour away.  They were ready in plenty of time for me to clean up the fabric pieces from the living floor and make a party play list.

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If you’re a knitter and ready to graduate from the gifts of scarves and wash clothes, this hat should be your next gifting challenge.  In this post Kelly shares her favorite knitting projects for winter – all of which would make great gifts!

A favorite, simple gift to make and give.  I love making a color coded set in the recipients school colors or to match her favorite color scheme.

 

Gifts for the Bartender in Your Life

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Spiced simple syrup makes a great gift because it can be used to fancy up anything! Cocktails, of course, but also coffee, tea, oatmeal, and desserts, too.

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A jar of homemade maraschinos is what takes your bar from good to great.  Pair this with some fun cocktail glasses or accessories, or a bottle of booze for mixing for a great host/hostess gift.

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Gifting homemade liquor and infused spirits is downright fancy, if you ask me.  Who doesn’t love booze made with love?

 

Gifts to Pair with Presents Bought

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This DIY Tea Travel Kit makes the perfect gift for the tea-lover or travel-maven on your list.  I received a travel tea kit last Christmas and carry it with me on the regular.  Add your loved ones favorite flavors when choosing your tea for the kit, or add a luxury tea or tea-of-the-month gift to really splurge on someone.

These pretty clip magnets are a nice addition to gifts of funds.  Checks, cash, gift cards or certificates – they are all a lot more fun to receive when you have to unwrap something more than an envelope, wouldn’t you agree? Clipping these magnets to your gifts add a bit of extra fun to your giving and your gift-getters receiving, too.

POPCORN-KIT-2-TEXT

Popcorn Gift Boxes are a fun DIY gift to give to the person (or family!) who loves options because this box comes with a variety of seasonings.  I really love the idea of pairing this DIY with a DVD from the recipient’s wish list or Netflix gift subscription.  Throw in a large box of milk duds and you’ve got yourself a movie night gift pack.

 

Gifts that Taste Like Christmas

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These cookies have a sweet and spiced flavor that you won’t find in regular sugar cookies. They are perfect with a mug of hot chocolate or even some eggnog!

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If someone showed up to my door with a plate of Cranberry Bliss Bars purchased from Starbucks, I’d be elated.  But if they showed up with a healthier version crafted with their own two hands, time, and energy – I’d be blown away.  This bar is a holiday treat I hold close to my heart (and tastebuds!); perfect gift giving, if you ask me.