dad’s cigar box desk set

dad's cigar box desk set desk setcigar box desk set

Make a cigar box desk set for dad by up-cycling a cigar box.  You can transform reclaimed items into an organizer that adds vintage flair to Dad’s workspace while keeping supplies within reach.  Dad will love it even more because you made it.
If you would like to see more or my craft projects or printables please check out my site

  • Reclaimed items: cigar box, cardboard jewelry containers
  • Brown cardstock
  • Patterned papers: brown embossed, blue grid
  • Hewlett Packard Premium Matte Photo Paper
  • Jute twine: thin cording, 1”-wide trim
  • Prima Marketing embossed chipboard stencil letter
  • Walnut Hollow Aluminum Sheet Metal
  • Aluminum screw posts, 1/2″, two


  • Clearsnap ColorBox Fluid Chalk Ink Pads: Creamy Brown, Chestnut Roan
  • DecoArt Americana: Butter Acrylic Paint, Matte Spray Sealer
  • Drill with 1/4” bit
  • Hole punch, 1/4”
  • Computer, photo editing software, and printer OR calendar stamp set
  • Digital craft items: Jessica Sprague Strawberry Lemonade Yellow Solid digital patterned paper, Katie Pertiet Hemp Tie digital jute cording
  • Adtech Hot Glue Gun and Glue sticks

Basic Supplies

sponge brush, scissors, ruler, newspaper (to cover work surface), paper trimmer


  1. On covered work surface, basecoat entire cigar box Butter. Let dry. Apply sealer. Let dry. Drill two holes in box lid approximately 1-1/2” from front edge, 3” apart. Cover outside of lid with brown embossed paper and inside of lid with blue grid paper. Cut holes in paper to access holes in box lid.
  2. Ink edges of jewelry containers with Chestnut Roan. Cover inside and outside of boxes with brown embossed paper. Cut 5” square from blue grid paper and adhere to top right corner of cigar box base. Attach jewelry boxes to base of cigar box to form compartments.
  3. Use Creamy Brown ink pad to color embossed stencil letter. Ink edges Chestnut Roan. Trim metal sheet to fit back of stencil letter and adhere both layers to cigar box base.
  4. Use photo editing program to create calendar page for each month on digital patterned paper, adding month name in text box on left side and digital jute cord at top. Print each calendar page (or develop photos) at 3”x4” onto matte photo paper. (Alternatively, stamp calendars on yellow card stock.)
  5. Cut twelve 4”x4-1/2” rectangles from brown cardstock and mat calendar pages to rectangles, leaving extra cardstock at top. Punch 1/4” holes in cardstock to match holes drilled in cigar box lid.
  6. Insert screw posts through holes in lid to attach calendar pages to lid and screw in threaded tops to secure.
  7. Print additional sheet of digital paper (or use yellow cardstock). Trim to size and attach to inside bottom of desk supply compartments.
  8. Adhere jute cording around inside of lid and 1”-wide jute trim around outside of cigar box base.

journey hope faith pillow

journey hope faith pillow hope faith pillow

journey hope faith pillow

Simple sentiments and a pink silk ribbon come together in unity on this burlap pillow.  Create classic and simple home decor with iron on vinyl and a die cut machine. Sewing a pillow is very basic and can be done by hand or by machine.  You can use this pillow as inspiration and add the words that mean the most to you.

  • Fairfield Processing Home Elegance Pillow Insert, 12”x16”
  • Natural burlap, 1/3 yd.
  • Iron on vinyl
  • Blumenthal Lansing LeBoutin Jewelry Button (611006104)
  • Offray Light Pink Satin Ribbon, 7/8” wide, 7” length
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Sewing needle and white thread
  • Digital Die cut machine

Basic Supplies:

  • scissors, iron and pressing surface, towel

Directions for Pillow:

1.  Use rotary cutter and mat to cut two 13″x17″ rectangles from burlap.

2.  Use computer and die cutting machine to create desired phrase.   Type “journey,” “hope,” and “faith” in font of choice. Make sure letters are flipped horizontally and sized appropriately before die cutting or what the manufacturer of the vinyl instructs.
3.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions to print images on t-shirt transfer paper using inkjet printer. Cut out words with scissors leaving 1/4” border around all sides. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse words onto one burlap rectangle using iron and photo as guide. Peel away backing paper when cool.
4.  Cut 7” ribbon length. Fork ends with scissors. Form ribbon into folded shape as shown. Thread sewing needle with thread; hand-sew ribbon center onto pillow. Attach button on center of ribbon. Knot and clip thread ends.
5.  Place burlap rectangles with right sides together. Hand-sew along edges with 1/2” seam allowance, leaving bottom edge open. Turn right side out. Insert pillow form. Whipstitch bottom edge closed using needle and thread. Knot and clip thread ends.

Monogram tote for summer

monogram tote monogram purse joy letters pb textiles

This monogram tote is awesome.  I love monograms and some of my favorite things have them.  Well anything with a monogram is going to be on my favorites list.  That is why I was excited to make somethings with Joy iron on letters.  I covet a monogram sewing machine.  One day I will get one and I will monogram the world.  Okay, maybe not the whole world.  Just mine and those in it.

I decided to make a little summer tote to hold my keys, phone, money and lip gloss.   Literally that is all I ever carry with me.  I went with this neutral fabric because of the clean lines and classic colors.  The fabric sent to me by P&B Textiles.  I used a line called

Check out their  Creating with Joy blog @  for more inspiration on the monogram letters

joy logo


Naturally for the monogram tote, I used a product on the inside.  Smooth fusible fleece.  It has fusible webbing that you can iron on and it gives the fabric a smooth and soft feel.

Monogram tote supplies:

  • 3 fat quarters of fabric that coordinate ( PB textiles- Still Life)
  • Smooth interlining by Fairfield
  • Joy Iron on letters
  • cotton rope
  • iron
  • sewing machine
  • coordinating thread
  • scissors
  • clasp
  • Pattern for tote**I will update this post with a free pattern and instructions on how to make it soon.  I am learning how to self draft patterns and I want to make sure I get it right before I give it to you.Overall this took me about two hours.  BUT I am learning and making the pattern as I go so I would think once the pattern is perfected it could be made in about an hour.  So stay tune for that part.Joy iron on letters easy sew tote

dyed tag place markers

favor tags dyed tag place markers

The dyed tag place markers use colorful dyes and fabric scraps to decorate these simple manila tags.  You can make these for a bridal shower, a wedding reception or for gift tags.  Chose colors that coordinate with your event.

Supplies for dyed tag place markers

  • Manila shipping tag, 4-3/4”x2-3/8”
  • White cotton fabric
  • Beige fabric, scrap
  • Prima Marketing Dynasty Ivory Flower Center
  • Adhesive-back rhinestone rows
  • Sizzix Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine and Caged Bird Bigz Die
  • Sewing machine and brown thread
  • Liquid Dye: Dark Cocoa,  Yellow, Teal, Purple
  • Tiny alphabet stamps and black pigment ink
  • Paper trimmer with scoring blade, rotary cutter and self-healing mat
  • Adhesives: Beacon Adhesives Zip Dry Paper Glue, Fairfield Stick fusible interfacing.

Basic Supplies for dyed tags

  • measuring cup, measuring spoons, plastic disposable spoon, plastic containers, rubber gloves, plastic tablecloth or newspaper (to cover work surface), paper towels,
  • iron and pressing surface, ruler


1.  On covered work surface, cut 6” fabric square from white fabric. Measure 1/8 tsp. Purple dye and mix with 1 cup very hot water (at 140º F) in plastic container. Stir well. Place fabric square in dye bath and remove. Rinse under cool water; squeeze out excess dye and water. Let dry on paper towels. Repeat process to create light green fabric, mixing 1/4 tsp. Teal dye and 1 tsp.  Yellow dye with 1 cup hot water. For tags, use 2 Tbsp. Dark Cocoa dye and 1 cup hot water. Remove fabric and tags from dye baths and let dry on paper towels.


2.  When fabric is dry, press with steam iron setting. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse beige and dyed fabrics to fusible webbing.


3.  Die cut bird and wing, with paper side up, from purple or light green fabrics. Cut 1-1/2” beige fabric square. Peel away paper backing and fuse to tag using iron.


4.  Machine-sew freeform outline on bird, wing, and beige square 1/4” from edges. Machine-sew outline around tag edges.


5.  Use alphabet stamps and pigment ink to stamp guest name on beige square. Let dry. Heat set using iron on medium setting.


6.  Tear 1/2”x5” strip from dyed fabric. Thread strip into punched hole on tag; tie ends into knot. Press rhinestone rows on bottom of tag. Adhere flower center on tag using paper glue.


7.  Use paper trimmer to cut 1”x4” strip from card-stock scrap. Score strip three times, every 1”, along length. Fold on lines to create open box shape. Adhere onto back of tag for stand.

decorative trimmings Rosettes.

Adding decorative trimmings to your sewing projects can really kick it up a notch.  For this iPad 2 shoulder bag I added ric-rac sent to me by Decorative Trimmings and my newest favorite batik fabric from Hoffman.

Transport and protect your iPad2 with simplicity and style using this easy-sew iPad case.  By using a light-weight fusible batting creating this lightly padded case is easier than ever and it also will help ensure protection from everyday bumps and scratches. The ability to  customize this envelope-style case to genuinely express your own personal style lies in the choice of fabrics, trims and notions selected. Due to the design utilizing multiple patterns of fabric, the combination options are truly endless. In addition to the personalization of style, the fact that the simplistic design allows for the addition and customization of size, shape and number of pockets used, once again allowing this fabulous iPad case to really meet all needs of both style and function.

decorative trimmings shoulder tote


To make the ipad2 shoulder bag with decorative trimmings:


  • Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP Thread
  • Fairfield Processing –  Smooth Fuse Interfacing 1/2 yard
  • Velcro® Brand 1×1″  Square White Sew On
  • Grey button (optional)

Scissors, ruler or tape measure, iron, ironing board, sewing machine, straight pins, sewing needle and thread in a coordinating color.

Instructions for  the ipad2 shoulder bag with decorative trimmings:


Cutting guide:

For the layer with the fold-over flap, ( the longest piece)  cut two pieces of fabric and one piece of the fusible batting to measure 9 inches by 15 inches.

For the smaller layer cut two pieces of fabric that measure 9 inches by 11 inches and one piece of fusible batting that measures the same.

Sew your  Velcro® Brand 1×1″  Square  9 by 11 inch OUTER piece.  Then match it up with the INNER piece that is 9 inches by 15 inches. You are sewing both of these on the right side of the fabric.  They to line up when the flap is folded down.

With your Velcro® Brand 1×1″  Square  in place, iron your fusible fleece to your inner pieces. Iron it so that it is on the back side of the fabric. Lift and press the iron.  Do not move back and forth.  That will stretch your fabric.

With the right sides together pin the layers in place.  Next, sew the 2 outer pieces together and the 2 inner pieces together.  Trim off any excess fabric.  Leave one edge open so you can turn it right side out.   Repeat this step on the longer piece too. Trim off any excess threads.

Turn both of the pieces right side out and press both of the pieces flat.

Places the pieces together with the outside fabric on the inside. Start with the open edges and pin the two pieces together.  Sew around three of the four edges.  (This will form the pouch.)  Trim off any excess from the bottom and  press flat.  Turn the pieces right side out and press again. Trim off any excess threads.

Hand stitch on the button. Trim off any excess threads.
To adjust the measurements for any tablet or electronic device take the measurements of the device and add 1.5 inches to 2 inches.  If the piece is thick add the two inches.  If it is thin add 1.5.

To make the rosette with the rid-rac decorative trimmings:


dyed wood coasters

dyed wood coasters
dyed wood coasters

Give mom a gift she can use everyday.  Heck, you could make a set for your dad too.  These dyed wood coasters would make a great gift for almost anyone.  Hand-dye thin basswood strips and arrange them in colorful patterns on cork foam board. The foam board is sturdy, but lightweight, and the cork creates a great, nonabrasive base.  Make sure you cover them with a finish or the dye will bleed.


  • Elmer’s Cork Foam Board or cork
  • Basswood strips, 1/2” wide


  •  Liquid Dye: Apple Green, Purple, Lemon Yellow, Sunshine Orange, Cocoa Brown, Aquamarine
  • Adhesives: Adtech Hot glue gun Glue sticks for woodDecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze


  • sandpaper, rubber gloves, ruler, pencil, paper towels, stirring spoon, measuring cup, measuring spoon, plastic containers or bowls, craft knife, old pair of scissors, newspaper (to cover work surface)


  1. Use ruler and pencil to draw 4” square on foam side of cork foam board. Use craft knife to cut out, using several passes to score and then cut through cork foam board.
  2. Use ruler and pencil to mark 15-20 lengths measuring 1/4”-4” on basswood strips. Use old pair of scissors to cut strips. Sand cut edges as needed.
  3. On covered work surface, separate basswood strips into six piles. Wearing rubber gloves, prepare six dye baths by mixing 1 Tbsp. of dye with 1 cup hot water in each plastic container. Stir mixtures until dyes have dissolved. Place piles of basswood strips into each dye bath. Let set for a few minutes; remove strips and let dry on paper towels.
  4. When dry, arrange dyed strips on foam side of cut square from Step 1. Arrange strips vertically and horizontally. When satisfied with arrangement, apply tacky glue onto back of strips. Press strips onto foam side of square; let set. If desired, layer strips along edges to create raised border. Let dry.
  5. Spray coaster with several coats of gloss glaze to seal. Let dry. Repeat process to create additional coasters.

dyed rosettes & twig wreath

twig wreathdyed rosettes & twig wreath

Dyed muslin rosettes transform this budget-friendly natural twig wreath into a colorful door accent.  If you do not have any trees in your yard you can get creative and go for a walk in a park and pick up a few.   If you do not want to get muslin you can use left over sheets and pillow cases.  I save mine. This twig wreath makes the perfect Earth Day project to make with your kids.


  • Recycled corrugated cardboard box
  • Muslin, one yd.
  • Natural or purchased twigs
  • Wire, 6” length


  • Liquid Dye: Tangerine, Aquamarine, Taupe, Cocoa Brown
  • Recycled plastic containers, four
  • Adtech Hot Glue gun and glue sticks


  • scissors, pencil, iron and pressing surface, spoon, rubber gloves, hot water, old towel, measuring cup, plastic tablecloth, awl, hand saw, ruler


  1. Wash muslin to remove fabric starches. Machine dry without fabric softener. Press with steam iron.
  2. Gather straight twigs from fallen tree branches or overgrown bushes. Or purchase twigs from local craft store. Use hand saw to cut sticks into 9”-12” lengths. (Note: To cover 10” wreath form, you will need approximately 55 pieces, depending on thickness of twigs.)
  3. Trace 10” circle onto flat side of corrugated cardboard box. Trace 5-1/2” circle on center of larger circle (for wreath shape). Use scissors to cut out wreath and opening.
  4. Tear twelve 2”-wide strips from muslin. Remove any excess strings from edges.
  5. Cover work surface with plastic tablecloth. Wearing rubber gloves, measure 1/2 cup of Tangerine dye with 1 cup of hot water (at least 140º F) in plastic container. Mix well with spoon. Repeat process to prepare separate dye paths for Aquamarine, Taupe, and Cocoa Brown dyes in remaining plastic containers. Submerge six strips into Tangerine dye bath and two strips each into Taupe, Cocoa, and Aquamarine dye baths. Remove strips and rinse under running water to remove excess dye until water runs clear. Place strips on old towel to remove excess water. Hang strips to dry.
  6. Adhere twigs to one side of cardboard wreath using tacky glue. Use generous amount of glue and let dry thoroughly overnight before handling.
  7. Use steam iron to press dyed strips. Starting at one end of strip, twist tightly and begin to roll into spiral shape. Use small amount of fabric glue to secure edges every 2”-3”. For Tangerine rosettes, use two strips of muslin, adhering one end of muslin to other end to make larger flower. For remaining rosettes, use one muslin strip.
  8. Use awl to pierce two small holes, approximately 1-1/2” apart, on one side of cardboard wreath. For hanger, place ends of wire into pierced holes and bend ends onto lengths to secure.
  9. Use fabric glue to adhere rosettes to wreath as shown. Let dry.

Bacon Ranch Crackers Gift in a Jar

Bacon Ranch Crackers 2 gift in a jar

Buttermilk Bacon Ranch Crackers are totally awesome according to my kids and I think I might agree.  They make a great gift in a jar and a snack to have on hand for movie nights.  In my world bacon is like butter and it makes everything better.  When you combine bacon with buttermilk ranch powdered dressing you have hit the trifecta of flavor.  Excellent snack or appetizer to give as a gift for the food lover on your gift list.  They also make a nice simple hosts gift and a thank you gift when you do not know what to get the person.
The recipe below is a powdered mix I make in bulk and keep on hand.  It does not have to be used for Bacon Ranch Crackers only.  You can add it to sour cream or mayonnaise to make a dip or dressing, sprinkle it over chicken for a marinade or any way you would use a powdered mix from the store.

Homemade Buttermilk Bacon Ranch Dressing Mix:

2 Tbsp powdered buttermilk
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried dill
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/4 tsp bacon salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
( 1/4 tsp salt optional)
5 cups oyster crackers  ( a standard bag from the store)

(equal to one packet of store-bought)

Add each of the dried spices to a bowl and mix carefully.   If you want to make the dressing mix in a double batch you can store the remainder in a canning jar or zip top bag.

Directions for Bacon Ranch Crackers Gift in a Jar:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the spices.   Add oyster crackers and olive oil and toss to coat.  Spread evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring gently after 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool before serving.

Materials for Pyrography Spoon:

  • Wood Spoons
  • Pattern Hot Stamp
  • Creative Versa-Tool
  • Twine
  • Button
  • scissors

Then I used a pattern Hot Stamp from the Creative Versa-Tool to add the circles on the back and the front of the spoon.
wood burning spoons
You can draw images or stamp images and the follow the lines with the wood burning tool
draw pattern on spoon before wood burning

If you are interested in learning other ways to do a wood burn spoon you can check out this thinks to Pyrography Spoons

I hope you enjoy the Bacon Ranch Crackers as much as my family does.

Faux Tile Technique Butterfly

faux tile butterfly necklace2
size: 16”

Materials for Faux Tile:

  • Polyform Premo! Sculpey White Oven-Bake Clay
  • Cousin Corp. assorted beads: Pearl/Crystal Green Mix, Orange/Yellow Mix, Glass Green Mix
  • Silver findings: eye pins, 1-1/2”, eight; jump rings, four; connectors, two; bead caps, four; toggle clasp

Basic Supplies for Faux Tile:

paintbrush, toothpick, cornstarch, sandpaper, damp paper towel or baby wipes


  • Polyform Sculpey: Clay Conditioning Machine, Essentials Tool Kit, Translucent Liquid Sculpey, Glossy Glaze
  • Round-nose pliers and wire cutters
  • Butterfly rubber stamp
  • Jacquard Orange Piñata Alcohol Ink
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven
  • Beacon Adhesives Gem-Tac Permanent Adhesive

Directions for for Faux Tile:

1. Run clay through clay conditioning machine on medium thickness; do not roll too thin.

2. Dust stamp with cornstarch and tap to remove excess. Stamp butterfly image into clay and remove rubber stamp. Trim excess clay using blade from tool kit. Poke holes on each wing using toothpick. See Photo 1. (see photos)

3. Bake butterfly pendant on parchment-lined baking sheet for half baking time suggested on manufacturer’s instructions. Remove from oven and let cool.

4. While butterfly pendant is cooling, place one dollop of Translucent Liquid Sculpey on covered work surface. Add three drops of Orange alcohol ink to top of dollop. Let rest for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, mix contents together using toothpick. See Photo 2. (see photos)

5. Gently sand rough edges on butterfly pendant. Remove dust with damp paper towel or baby wipe.

6. Paint mixture on butterfly pendant coating entire piece. See Photo 3. Add one drop of Orange alcohol ink to painted butterfly. See Photo 4. Let set. Return butterfly pendant to oven and bake for 20 minutes following manufacturer’s instructions. Remove from oven and let cool. (see photos)

7. For necklace, on first eye pin, alternate orange and turquoise beads threading four of each color. Use round-nose pliers to form loop at end of eye pin; trim end. Attach loop to jump ring. Attach jump ring to butterfly through poked hole on wing. See Photo 5. (see photos)

8. On next eye pin, thread bead cap, green pearl, bead cap; form loop at end. Trim end. Attach loop to jump ring. Attach jump ring to previous threaded eye pin.

9. On next eye pin, thread mixture of green and turquoise beads in random pattern. Form loop at end; trim end. Attach to previous threaded eye pin. Attach silver connector to end.

10. On last eye pin, thread mixture of green and turquoise beads in random pattern. Form loop at end; trim end. Attach to silver connector. Attach one end of toggle clasp to other end of threaded eye pin. See Photo 6. (see photos)

11. Repeat Steps 7-10 creating other side of necklace.


1. Use Sculpey Glossy Glaze to add shine to pendant after painting.


If you would like to see a step out tutorial for the polymer clay faux tile technique.

Girlfriends Mini Book


Girlfriends Mini Book
The Girlfriends Mini Book is a great way to document a favorite event with your bff. This mini-book  is made with coordinating paper, flowers and images are stamped in a coordinating ink. Buy the paper together and turn this scrapbook session into a fun evening sharing supplies and reminiscing about the event.  This project also makes a great graduation gift for your bestie.

Materials for the Girlfriends Mini Book:

  • Mini Board Book (Kaiser Craft)
  • Country Grove Paper Collection (Kaiser Craft)
  • Pearls (Kaiser Craft)
  • Flowers (Kaiser Craft)
  • Rub-ons (Kaiser Craft)
  • Shellz Buttons (Bleumenthal Lansing)
  • Photos of choice

Tools for the Girlfriends Mini Book

  • Rubber stamps (Unity Stamp Co.): Vintage Blue Bells; Daisy Days; Lifetime of Inspiration
  • Ink pads (Clearsnap): Watermark; Olive Pastel Chalk Ink
  • TopBoss Opalescent Clear Embossing Powder (Clearsnap)
  • Gel pen (Sakura)
  • Scallop-edge scissors
  • Paper trimmer
  • Heat gun
  • Sandpaper
  • Adhesives (Beacon Adhesives): Zip Dry Paper Glue; Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive
  • Computer and printer

Girlfriends Mini Book inside

  • 1. Cover front and back covers with paper. Sand and ink edges. Stamp around edges of pages with Watermark ink. Sprinkle with embossing powder while still wet. Tap to remove excess powder and use heat gun to emboss.
  • 2. Cut strip from decorative paper and use scallopedge scissors to trim edges. Punch holes in scallops. Ink edges Olive.
  • 3. Glue photos to book and flowers to edges as desired. Glue pearls to flower centers and stamped designs.
  • 4. Adhere strip to chipboard. Trim excess paper from edges and sand smooth. Ink edges Olive. Use stylus to apply rub-on.
  • 5. Repeat these techniques for inside pages for a unified look.
    Girlfriends Mini Book