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December 2017

In DIY, Holidays, Silhouette on
December 22, 2017

Craft Night No. 1 – Holiday Gift Tags

About a month ago right after Thanksgiving, I co-hosted my first craft night for a group of friends. It was a little MNO (aka Moms’ Night Out) where we sipped some wine, ate some finger foods, and chatted all night long while making some holiday gift tags. The event was so much fun that I hosted it again a few weeks later. For the past several years, it has been a little dream of mine to share my love for crafting with friends. These days, people are busy…I for sure fall in that camp as well. But I think it’s sad when we become too busy to even try something we’ve been longing to do. I see you adding pins to your Pinterest “One Day I’ll make this” board! 

So it was such a joy to teach and show my friends how to make personalized and unique holiday gift tags that they can actually use to jazz up their gift wrapping! Practical crafting is my jam! 😊

Since I have become such a paper hoarder, this craft night was a great way to use up those excess sheets of paper and finally put to use some craft supplies I’ve gathered but haven’t used! #craftersconfession

After scrolling through, yup, you guessed it…Pinterest, I found several tag designs ranging from simple to intermediate in difficulty. Various paper crafting techniques were even incorporated, such as stamp/heat embossing. Below is a roundup of the holiday tags we made as well as other helpful info related to each tag should you be interested in making your own!

Clockwise from top left:

  • This was the most intricate gift tag of the collection but probably the most fun as it’s a shaker tag. Circle shaker pouches were purchased from My Favorite Things. Shaker fillers were a hodgepodge of holepunched paper, holiday confetti bought from Target’s dollar bins, and sequins. The stamped sentiment inside the shaker tag was created using Versamark ink with gold embossing powder.
  • The adorable 3D-looking Christmas tree is a Silhouette Design created by my friend Amy Robison. The unique technique used here was curling the tree layers for a dimensional look
  • The Peace, Joy, Love tag features white embossing powder on a sheet of vellum. I love how the white “pops” off the vellum and pairs well with the red tag backing.
  • Who doesn’t love to know right away which present is theirs? This simple monogrammed tag showcases glitter adhesive chipboard letters purchased from Michaels. I love the black and white color palette that gives a very classic look!
  • The Joy to the World tag looks fancy but really just required a lot of simple assembling. With all the pieces prepared, crafters simply wrapped washi tape on the bottom of the white tag, glued a red button and two green leaf paper cut outs, and stamped the Joy to the World sentiment. The stamp was custom designed with my Silhouette Mint.
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In DIY, Holidays, Silhouette on
December 18, 2017

Holiday Teacher Gifts (with Silhouette Designs Mash-up)

 

Does it seem like Christmas shopping gets harder each year?! Despite getting a bit of a head start with Black Friday sales and even wrapping a few presents right after Thanksgiving, the month of December still flies by so quickly! We are in the home stretch!! I’m running on hot cocoa topped with whipped cream and holiday sprinkles. Yes, sprinkles. You can never be too old for sprinkles.

On my Christmas shopping list are my son’s preschool teachers for whom I am so grateful. They have not only taught him how to write his name in upper- and lower-case, counting to 100, but more importantly, have shared important lessons on feelings and kindness. There is a wonderful book they read called “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” that teaches a very simple yet meaningful message: kids have the “power” (think kid-like fun super-hero power, not the bossy authoritative kind) to “fill” people’s buckets with kind and positive words versus actions/words that can “dip” buckets. It is such a simple concept but has made a huge difference in our child’s understanding of empathy, especially towards his little sister! Ha!

Anyways, I’ve digressed but you know it’s hard to not talk about something you love! Hey, maybe it could even be a good Christmas present…there’s still time with Amazon Prime!

So! To thank the wonderful teachers, some of the parents and I are getting what I hear is the most favorite (and practical) gift for teachers…gift cards! Perfect! But then came #craftersproblem… I kind of wanted to do something a little special/different with the gift cards rather than slipping them into a card/envelope. Because crafters never make things easy. 😬

Luckily, this gift packaging idea was not too complicated and I’m really pleased on how it turned out! Hooray for an idea in my head actually working out! #winning

I purchased regular wide-mouth mason jars and white crinkle paper shreds from my local crafts store. The rest of the supplies I already had at home. Yes, I kind of have a mini mini craft store at home. You’re more than welcome to “shop” and help me with my craft supply hoarding issues. 😳

I have always loved the look of upside down mason jar snow globes and thought it would be neat to create a faux snow globe scenery by papercrafting.

  • First, I measured the interior cavity of the mason jar to create the main piece which also served as the background. I used scrapbook paper that had a snowfall design.
  • The snowy hills were also custom designed and cut out with my Silhouette CAMEO. There are three hills, which were put together with foam scrapbooking adhesive giving a dimensional look.
  • Next, I created a Silhouette mash-up featuring designs from two of my favorite artists, Amy Robison and Lori Whitlock.
  • Lastly, I glued mini iridescent sequins in the sky to give the illusion of snowflakes. Plus, a little sparkle is always fun!

Then, I wrapped the gift cards to look like a little present and secured it to the back of the main piece with strong adhesive. I added a little gift tag with the kids’ names. Finally, I added white paper shreds to the base (aka jar lid) so that it would look like snow and tied a cute red ribbon for a finishing festive touch that also helps keep the neck of the jar from looking bare.

The practical side of me loves this gift because after the teachers retrieve the gift cards, they can re-use the mason jars for whatever else. I’m sure they have plenty of ideas being teachers!

 

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In DIY, Freebies, Holidays on
December 2, 2017

Reverse Advent Calendar (FREEBIE!)

 

My 4.5yo preschooler is really into a calendar his Oma gave him earlier this year. We have different symbols for when he goes to preschool, church, doctor/dentist offices, and even when visitors are coming. He adds stickers when it’s someone’s birthday. It’s like a year-long art project. So, it was no brainer that we would get one of those ubiquitous chocolate advent calendars. I mean, they are only 99 cents at Trader Joe’s!

The other day as I was unpacking all our Christmas decorations, I came across a large empty plastic fillable ornament. I think it was something someone used to pack their Christmas gift and because I am a pack rat AND maker, I kept it. I bet I thought I could come up with some need for it. And so the creative juices were going and going and *ding* …light bulb!!

The month of December can easily become stressful and busy. Even more so with my family as we have two December birthdays. While my children are at that age where Christmas is now oh-so exciting with bright shimmering lights and fake snowfall, my ultimate hope for this Christmas is to truly experience the gift of the advent season together. So, as a way to cherish this special time, I created this month’s FREEBIE, a Reverse Advent Calendar, which I am having my preschooler do each day this month. It’s reverse because instead of taking something out, he’s putting something special in(to the ornament).

Here’s how it works:

  • Simply download the FREEBIE file (click here) and print
  • Cut out each tag and either hang them on a string (like a banner) or leave them as a stack
  • For each day, write down (or draw!) a favorite memory
  • Wrap the tag around a pencil to curl it and drop it into your ornament
  • Store your ornament in a safe spot to be opened and read next Christmas or 10 Christmases from now!

Supplies Needed:

  • Printer
  • Two 8.5in x 11in sheets of paper. NOTE: I cut 12in x 12in cardstock into 8.5in x 11in sheets. This way, the back of the tags were colorful. Totally not necessary!
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Pen
  • Fillable plastic ornament
  • Ribbon (to tie your ornament closed when finished)

 

We did time capsules for both our kids’ first birthdays, where we asked party guests to write a message for them to read when they turn 18. Pretty cool right? I mean, it sounds like a long time from now but at the same time, if you’re a parent, you know that day will come soon and fast! 

While I’m certain my son won’t remember a single memory from this year’s Christmas, my hope is that when he opens the filled ornament years from now, he will see how much we did together as a family, how many special memories were made, and maybe even laugh at the cute, only-a-kid-would-say “favorite” memory. (I’m not crying, you are…)

I hope you and your kids enjoy this activity! 😊

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