patriotic party favors and decorations

Create nostalgic and patriotic party decorations for the 4th of July using scrapbook paper and paper punches.  Add a few pieces of ephemera for embellishments and you have unique decorations.

Patriotic party favors – Create nostalgic and patriotic party decorations for the 4th of July using scrapbook paper and paper punches.  Add a few pieces of ephemera for embellishments and you have unique decorations for your party or for decorations around your home. Fill the adorable little cones with candies as a thank you gift. Here is a super simple solution to making easy party favors using materials you probably already have on hand. If you have Marvy Uchida’s Extra Giga and Giga paper punches, you can make several of these in less than an hour. The supplies are minimal as you will need some double-sided patterned paper in a patriotic theme or just combine coordinating patterns in red, whites and blues.

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Supplies for patriotic party favors:

I used Marvy Uchida’s Scalloped edged Clever Lever Extra Giga Paper punch, Giga paper punch, extra jumbo punch in flower and extra jumbo punch in scalloped circle.

Cone favors 004

Once you punch all your pieces. Roll the large pieces into cone shapes by bending the edges in as shown above. Glue edges together and slightly bend out so that you have a cone shape. On the smaller cone, layer together the scalloped circle and flower and glue it to the front of the cone. Use a vintage game piece to add a little dimension. You can use old games you have or find them at yard sales or thrift stores. Create nostalgic and patriotic party decorations for the 4th of July using scrapbook paper and paper punches.  unique decorations.

Finally, glue the cones together, smaller on top and add a stamped sentiment. Fill the cones with excelsior or shredded paper filling, and small wrapped candies such as peppermints. To double the fun, create a patriotic party string using the same materials. I buy the excelsior in bulk because I use it a lot.   You can buy small packages on Amazon and at big box stores around the holidays. 

Live Life Creatively,


thank you for your kindness free printable

thank you for your kindness free printable

The thank you for your kindness free printable was inspired by free Kind bars and I like free stuff and I like puns! I thought they would be perfect for a thank you gift that I needed for a young adult friend who came over and helped me move some furniture around.  Clearly, I suffer from a case of chronic furniture rearranging or at least that is what my husband calls it. 

The monogram tool box comes with a cool bottle opener on the side that is perfect for craft beers with caps that do not twist off.

To make the “thank you for your KINDness” gift tags I created a whole sheet of tags to have for later use. You can click this link for the free thank you printable or you can right click the image and save it.  I had no clue what variety of craft beers he liked so I went to the store that carried them in singles and I don’t drink beer so I hope he likes the variety of beer I selected. The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Supplies for the thank you for your kindness gift:

  • free thank you printable printed on an 8.5×11 sheet of white cardstock
  • red cardstock
  • scissors
  • adhesive (I used glue dots)
  • twine
  • monogramed tool box
  • Kind bars
  • beer (probably Mike’s favorite part)
  • monogram tool box

Instructions for thank you for your kindness gift set:

  1. Order the tool box from Oriental Trading it is a great price and often you can get free shipping.
  2. Buy the beer and “Kind”ness bars. You can read about their healthy ingredients here.
  3. Print the labels and cut out the label of your choice.  Cut the red yardstick larger than the white yardstick to form a tag.  Use Glue Dots to adhere the yardstick together.
  4. Cut a piece of twine and form a bow.  Use a tiny piece of a glue dot to adhere the bow.  Place an additional glue dot on the back of the tag and stick it on the tool box.Give to the lucky person and if they are under 21 you could (should) give them a variety of non-alcoholic drinks.

Mother’s Day Spa gift set

Mother's Day Spa bath salt gift idea you can make

Mother’s Day Spa gift set is an easy gift you can make on the cheap with a few key ingredients and simple to make gift packaging. Essential oil, a colorant and epsom salt are really all you need. There are a few more things you can add in to make it relieving and relaxing.  Add on custom gift packaging and you have a super terrific gift that you can give to almost anyone.

When using essential oils do not go overboard a little goes a long way and same goes with the coloring. A couple of drops are really all you need.

Supplies for Mother’s Day Spa gift set:

Instructions or Mother’s Day Spa gift set:

The ratio for the ingredients is 3 parts coarse sea salt; 3 parts epsom salt and 1 part baking soda. You can make as much as you want using the ratio above.The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

  1. Ink up the stamp and press firmly on flat box but do not rock the stamp.  Rocking will cause distortion and smudges.  I use the lid of the box with my clear stamps when I do not have a block handy and I am too lazy to go searching for one. 
  2. Stamp the images on the edges of the box similar to what is shown.  If you get ink on the clear part you can wipe it off with your finger or a paper towel.
  3. Assemble the box and add the pre-made black bow to the package and secure with a glue dot.  I am completely horrible at making bows so the already made bows so they were completely worth every penny to me! Mother's Day Spa creative gift packaging
  4. To make the bath salts use a large bowl, mix to combine: 3 parts coarse sea salt; 3 parts epsom salts, and 1 part baking soda.
  5. Add a few drops of essential oils, and stir well.
  6. Add a few drops of food coloring, until you achieve the desired shade. If you want to purchase colorant for soaps you can, but food coloring works fine.
  7. Add the salt mixture to the clear bags.

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Visit Jen for a Mother’s Day Coloring card.

Easy DIY gift packaging

DIY gift packaging is easy and not that expensive to make.  If you are a crafter then you likely have every thing you need in your stash.  I like to use my scraps from card making and scrapbooking to make the toppers on the plastic pouch.  I get the plastic pouches from Oriental Trading Company.  I happen to be a blogger for them so they are my go to resource for supplies.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.


I treat the plastic pouch just like I would a card front and add layers and dimension with twine and bling.   Sometimes simple strips of paper can be the easiest and you can make multiples in one sitting.  Figure out the dimensions for your package and add layers of pattern and solid paper that are separated by 1/4 or 1/2 inch increments.


A few small details like crystal stickers added in the corner give it additional volume and really make it look more expensive. tank-you-up-close I like to use the preprinted thank you pennants from Oriental Trading.  They are perfect for gift packaging and cards.

Supplies needed to make the DIY Gift Packaging:

Blog Hop List

Anika’s DIY Life – LED Christmas Tree Wall Decor
Intelligent Domestications – Poinsettia Christmas Wreath
365 Days of Crafts – Handmade Christmas Cards
Love My Simple Home – Chicken Wire Christmas Tree
Day to Day Adventures – Glitter Letters for Christmas Decorations
Faeries and Fauna – Christmas Cushion and White Glitter Christmas Tree
Our Crafty Mom – Glittered Mason Jar Light
Knock It Off Kim – Holiday Napkin Rings
The Latina Next Door – DIY Christmas Ornament
Finding Your Joy in the Journey – Christmas Letters with a Little Bling
Craft Create Calm – Gingerbread House
DIY 180 Site – Vintage Christmas Bulb Wreath
The Inspirational Vault – Glittery Snowflake Decor

All of the bloggers have also gone in for a holiday giveaway.  Make sure you enter. The give away ends at 12:00 am on 11/24/2016

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behind the scene

behind the scene

Not often do we show you what happens behind the scene.  But here is a little glance into how things sometimes happen.  Not often, but we are all moms, crafters and bloggers and have to multi-task to the extreme.  The end of the school year is a particularly busy time for every one and bloggers with kids are no exception.  When people find out you are a craft blogger you are hit up for class parties, end of the year events, baked goods for parties and you are still expected to be a mom and do your job on top of it all.  Yes, there is a wonderful word called NO, but man is it so hard to use sometimes. So when you are over booked and running out of time for everything you bring your work with you on the road.   This particular project was created for Father’s Day for Oriental Trading Company.
You can see the actual project here on their site.   I just ran out of time trying to be SuperMOM, Wife-of-the-year and Blogger Extraordinaire.  The products arrived in plenty of time for creating the project.  Oriental Trading is a great place to order from especially for classroom and party supplies.  You can get bulk items for great prices.  If you are not familiar with them you should acquaint yourself.  No, I am not  getting paid for saying that either.  I was a customer long before I became a project designer/blogger for them.
Time was running out and this project needed to be finished because Carla and I were going on a road trip.  The conference was booked months ago and took place in Chicago.  So what is a craft blogger to do?  Well, I popped a bag of supplies in the trunk and headed out to pick up Carla.  5 hours later we arrived in Chicago where we picked up Jen for the conference.  After dinner and catching up we went back to the hotel room where we all had work to finish up so we all worked on what ever it was that we needed to work on.  I was the only one who had a finished project to photograph.  We were all cracking up as I whipped out a paper backdrop, my DSLR and set up my own little photo studio in our hotel room all before breakfast.  Like my fancy set up?

During down time the photos were edited and submitted for approval.  That is how things happen… sometimes.   😉 Next behind the scenes I might show you where I really take photos.

15 Diy Nautical Inspired Crafts

15 DIY nautical Inspired crafts that you can make.  If you like the lake, beach, river or ocean we have 15 nautical inspired projects you can make for your home and to give as gifts.  There are kids crafts, party themes with free printables, home decor and jewelry.  Plus if you are feeling really adventurous there is even a great boat reading nook tutorial at the bottom.

DIY Nautical Inspired Crafts Collage

Make a sparkling orange and turquoise jewelry set using supplies from Oriental Trading company.  The pieces are both beginner level and can be made with ease even if you have zero crafting experience.  My five-year old made a bracelet using the tutorial for her end of the year teach gift.  I promise you it is that easy.


The nautical inspired jewelry set supplies and instructions.

Make easy home decor with sea glass style vases, burlap and jute cording and fun beach inspired charms.  All supplies and instructions are available from Oriental Trading.

DIY nautical vases and jewelry

15+ Diy Nautical Inspired Crafts for you to make.

Diy Nautical Inspired Kids Crafts

Driftwood Sailboats

Simple Sailboat with Olyfun

Diy Nautical Inspired Jewelry

Beachy Button Bracelet and earrings

Summer Earrings

Diy Nautical Inspired Home Decor

Driftwood Sailboats

Nautical Anchor String Art 

DIY Nautical Bathroom Decor

An amazing do it yourself reading nook

Olyfun Beach Waves easy sew pillow

Diy Nautical Inspired Party Decorations

Sailboat Centerpiece

Beach Collage

Baby Whale Printable

Nautical inspired sewing Projects

Beach ball bag

Olyfun Beach Waves easy sew pillow

Reading Nook


decoupage flower pot tutorial

decoupage flower pot
A decoupage flower pot is a great gift for graduation, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.  Use black and white or tinted copies of photographs to create a personalized flower pot. Use baby photos and snapshots from important life events to make this visual keepsake extra meaningful.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Materials and tools for decoupage flower pot:

Instructions for decoupage flower-pot:

Use scanner to scan photographs and save. Use photo-editing software to convert photos to black and white and to tint photographs if desired. Resize photographs into various sizes ranging from 1” to 4”. Print photographs on inkjet paper (or copy photos onto copy paper). Use scissors to trim photographs as needed.

On covered work surface, paint flower pot rim and inside of pot Boysenberry Pink or Olive Green. Paint wooden heart black. Let dry. Use wax candle to lightly rub surface on heart randomly to create wax resist. Paint heart Snow White. When dry, sand surface lightly to reveal distressed finish.

Use alphabet stamps and pigment ink to stamp sentiment such as “we grow through a mother’s love” or “we love you Mom” on heart. Adhere crystals on heart using Gem-Tac. Set aside.

Use découpage medium and foam brush to adhere photos to bottom of flower pot. Overlap photos slightly and vary position. Use fingers to smooth out air bubbles. Let dry.

Tie ribbon into bow around top of pot. Use jute or string to tie heart tag around knot in bow.

Pink cupcake gift set

pink spa gift set

Give a sweet treat to your favorite person with a cupcake gift set.  Use your favorite recipe to make the cupcakes and icing and give them the ingredients to make them too.  The cupcakes are perfect for any occasion.

Supplies for Cup Gift Set:

  • Recycled glass jars in various sizes
  • Light turquoise blue fabric, 1/4 yd.
  • Americana Acrylic Paints (DecoArt): Olive Green; Bubblegum Pink, Glamour Dust, Duraclear Varnish
  • Cardstock: turquoise; white
  • Black 6-strand Embroidery Floss (DMC)
  • Small plastic bag
  • Bubble Stripes Baking Cups (Wilton)
  • Multi colored beads: 6/0 pebble; bugle
  • Birthday Cupcakes stamp set (Inkadinkado)
  • Black pigment ink pad
  • Scallop-edge scissors
  • Circle punches: 1/2”; 1”
  • Toothpicks
  • Batting and Stick Fusible Webbing by Fairfield
  • Sewing needle and matching thread
  • Glue (Beacon Adhesives): Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive; Zip Dry Paper Glue
  • Iron and pressing board

Instructions for cupcake gift set:

1. Paint jar lids Olive Green and Bubblegum Pink. Let dry and apply varnish. While varnish is still wet, sprinkle with Glamour Dust.
2. Trace 4” and 3-1/2” oval, and 2-1/2” circle on batting; cut out with scallop-edge scissors. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse light turquoise fabric to fusible webbing. Trace and cut out 3-3/4” oval, 3-1/4” oval and 2-1/4” circle from fused fabric. Layer ovals and circles together and fuse so batting ovals and circles are matted.
3. Use pigment ink to stamp sentiments and images on fabric. Heat set with iron on warm setting.
4. Use three strands embroidery floss to blanket stitch edge of turquoise ovals and circles. Sew multi colored seed and bugle beads for sprinkles on cupcake image. Use fabric glue to adhere sewn ovals and circle to jars. Carefully fill jars with contents (cake mix, frosting and store-bought chocolate sprinkles).
5. For cupcake picks, punch several 1” circles from turquoise card stock and several 1/2” circles from white cardstock. Stamp small cupcake images from set and glue circles together. Glue toothpics to back center of larger circle. Cut small rectangular turquoise piece to fit opening of small plastic bag and mat with white cardstock. Stamp sentiment on white cardstock. Place picks in bag and stamp ends to rectangles to secure.
by Melony Bradley

Valentine heart flag with Olyfun

Valentine heart flag

Create a Valentine heart banner with Olyfun.  The flag is super easy to make because the material does not fray and cuts like butter.  I used a heart die cut from Sizzix.  You can layer up to 4 layers of the material over the die but I like to do two at a time.  To adhere the fabric together I used  Fabri-Tac glue. If you have a low temp glue gun you can use that as well.  If you have a sewing machine that is also an option.  The 12×12 OlyFun sheets can be found in most craft stores or big box stores with a craft department. If they don’t have the sheets they might have it by the bolt.  Either way it is pretty inexpensive .  I used my sewing machine to make a quick straight line across the top.  You could hand sew or use glue.  I might go back and ass some glitter and more hand detailing.  But considering this is supposed to be a quick craft I did not.  This piece was actually made in 10 minutes including drying time.  The fabric glue dries super fast.   Last minute I added buttons in coordinating colors.  The flag needed a little pop.  if you do not have a die cut machine you can hand cut the hearts.

I’m excited to be participating in the Valentine edition of Craft Lightening sponsored by The Country Chic Cottage30 Minute Crafts, and 100 Directions.

heart buttons

Material for Valentine heart flag with Olyfun:


Valentine heart flag with Olyfun Instructions:

  1. Place die on machine and add two layers Oly*Fun.  Run through the machine.  Remove hearts and repeat as many times ass needed for your flag.
  2. Glue the two layers together for each heart and then glue onto the black 12×12 sheet.  Let a few hearts go off the edge.  Trim off the excess.
  3. Cut the slate grey sheet of Oly*fun in half.  Fold over and sew on the top edge of the Black 12×12 sheet.
  4. Glue on the yarn and buttons.
  5. ENJOY and

    cl valentines day_

    olyfun valentine banner

Bird box embellishment kit

embellishment kitThis Christmas, why not give your artsy crafty friends and family Inspiration kits? These adorable Christmas embellishment Kit Gifts are embellished with buttons. They are fun to make and will surely delight every creative person on your list.

Materials and Tools for embellishment kit gifts

Instructions for embellishment kit gifts:

To create your Inspiration Kit Gifts, die cut one Bag Caddy from the matboard. Assemble it according to manufacturer’s instructions using the red line tape.

Paint the box, inside and out Tuscan Red. Measure the front and sides of the box and cut patterned paper using the paper trimmer. Use the foam brush and decoupage medium to apply the paper to the box.  Dry brush snow white on front of box. Paint the bird shape Antique White. Paint the teardrop for wing and bird beak Lamp Black.

Using the brown chalk ink, ink the clothes pin. Print out holiday sentiments using plain computer paper and a printer.


Cut the sentiments out with the scissors. Use the decoupage medium to apply them to the clothes pin. Glue button on one end of clothes pin with the Gem-Tac. If desired, glue a flat backed acrylic stone to the center of the button.

Glue the bird shape, wing and flower center to the box.

Stamp the sentiment over the white swatch of paint on box front.

Here is the super fun part… die cut flowers, tags, etc. to fill your Christmas Inspiration Gift Kits. Die cut the cardstock and the wool felt.

I also included some hand dyed stamped ribbon in my Inspiration Gift Kits.

Glue some buttons to the front of the box.

These embellishment Kit Gifts are great gifts for teachers, hostesses, neighbors, gift exchanges, etc. Make several at once so they will be on hand if an unexpected guest drops by. Instead of art supplies, fill the boxes with homemade edible goodies.

Thanks for letting me share my Inspiration Kits with you.

Live Life Creatively,