Dec 122012
 

Back in 2010, in an effort that can only be described in hind-sight as ridiculous, I set out to have a 100% Homemade Christmas.  Every gift I gave that year was either made by my own two hands or purchased directly from an artist who made it themselves.  I adorned my tree in handmade paper decorations and spent many hours in the kitchen creating gifts from the stovetop and oven.

Since then, I’ve dialed it back a little, finding a manageable balance between the homemade and the purchased.  I love putting the time and care into crafting a unique gift for my loved ones, but also know that dedicating all of my free time to making things by hand overfills my plate and keeps me from truly enjoying the holiday spirit in the air. 

This year, I’m doing some knitting [scarves!], some baking [poppy seed crackers!], some kid gift creating [craft kits!], and a little bit of paper craft, too. Here are a few of my favorite DIY tutorials if you are on the look out for fun, DIY gifts to give to your friends and family this year! 

For the foodie or chocolate lover: DIY Handmade Cocoa Mix Jars

cocoa

For the lady who loves a unique accessory: DIY Vintage Style Button Earrings & DIY Fabric Flower Brooch

vintage styled earrings

last minute brooch

For your fitness fanatic friends: DIY Workout Journal

workout journal

For the little ones: DIY Alphabet Blocks

blocks

For the person always on the go: DIY Coffee Koozie

cozy coffee koozie

For decorating the tree: DIY Button Ornaments, DIY Knit Heart with Inspiration Ornament and DIY Cute Cupcake Ornament

button ornaments knit heart ornament

cupcake

What are you crafting up this holiday season?

Best Craft Blogs Part 2

 Posted by at 6:00 am  Crafts&DIY
Nov 022011
 

Remember last year, when I kinda lost my mind and decided to complete a 100% homemade Christmas? 

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For Handmade Christmas 2010, I decided on the following rules for myself:

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At the end of it all, I was exhausted and swore that I’d never complete a 100% Handmade Christmas again in my lifetime, or at least not in my 20’s.  As a matter of fact, by December 20th of 2010, my head was spinning, my apartment was a mess, and I was sure I wouldn’t be making even ONE handmade gift for the 2011 holidays.  But then, you’ll never guess what happened.

The best craft blogs [ you know, the ones I compiled in a list last year ] continued to put out great ideas for gifts and treats for friends and family.  I started a collection of future DIY presents to make.  Along the way, I also found myself creating a new list of sites to visit for inspiration and creative edge, which is why I present another list to you today:

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The Best Craft Blogs,
Sites Inspiring My Gift Giving: part 2

A Steed’s Life

Bugs and Fishes

Capture the Details

Corrieberry Pie

Craft Snob

Crafty Scrappy Happy

Creatively Ordinary

Down and Out Chic

Edible Crafts

Enjoy It

Evie S.

Family Chic

Folksy

How Does She

Life of a Modern Mom

Rock Scissor Paper

Stamp 48

Thirty Handmade Days

 

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Get Crafty: Silhouette Art

 Posted by at 4:00 am  Crafts&DIY
May 152011
 

Today seems like a great day to get crafty, right?

I’ve got another super fun magazine craft tutorial for you; and did I forget to mention it’s SUPER EASY, too? [like you would expect anything less from me, really.]

Previous magazine tutorials, for your crafting pleasure:

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This silhouette art collage is a great gift to make, as it can be designed around a specific memory or made to reflect the personality of your loved one.  In this example, I made a cross design for a pastor friend.

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Materials needed:

  • canvas board/panels of desired size, [for this project I used 8 x 10]
  • magazines for ripping
  • Modge Podge
  • foam brush

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Note on materials: Canvas panels are relatively inexpensive.  I got a 3 pack of 8×10 boards for less than $8 at a major craft store.  For an even farther “recycled” gift, you could cut a piece of sturdy cardboard from a box to use as your base/board.

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Instructions:

Step 1: Decide on color pallet.  I like to use two agreeable colors that are slightly contrasting.  In this example I used purples and yellows.  These work well because I could gravitate towards deep, dark purples and brighter, lightening golden yellows.

Step 2: Sketch out design on paper, if necessary.  Because the cross is a simple shape, I didn’t spend too much time on this.

Step 3: Flip through magazines and rip out pieces and pages that work within your color pallet until you have a good pile of each color.
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Step 4:  Tear colored pages into smaller, coin sized pieces.  I love the rough look and try not to keep any straight edges on the small magazine pieces.

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Step 5: Using the foam brush apply a thin covering of Modge Podge to the area of board you want to start covering with magazine pieces.  Continue to apply pieces in the formation of your sketch.

Notes for this step:

  • This can seem intimidating, as you are basically applying pieces freehand.  Don’t be afraid – dive in!
  • If your design is especially complicated you could sketch it with pencil on the canvas before you start to layer magazine pieces.  Don’t feel like you need to stay on the sketch 100%, though.  Allow yourself to break the edges.
  • When making a Modge Podge collage, there aren’t really any “mistakes” because you can always cover up an area you don’t like with another piece of paper.
  • The idea is to overlap the pieces coming from different directions.  You don’t want to start 100% in the middle and move outward, or start on the edge and move inward – I like the entire piece to be overlapped from various directions.

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Step 6: When you have finished setting all the magazine pieces to form your design, gently brush a thin layer of Modge Podge over the entire canvas and set to dry for several hours.

For an extra special touch, write a note on the back of the piece.  Don’t forget to sign and date it!