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.

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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

P.S. I Love You Crafts – Our First Christmas Together Ornament
Anika’s DIY Life – LED Christmas Tree Wall Decor
My Pinterventures – Baking Soda Gingerbread Ornaments
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
Decoupage flower pots are 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 pot. Use baby photos and snapshots from important life events to make this visual keepsake extra meaningful.

Materials and tools for decoupage flower pot:

  • Terra cotta pot, 6”
  • Wooden heart tag, 2-1/2”
  • Inkjet photo paper or copy paper
  • Acrylic flat-backed crystals
  • Ribbon or fabric of choice, 1” wide, 14” length
  • Jute twine, 3” length
  • Computer, photo-editing software, scanner, inkjet printer or copier
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Lamp Black, Snow White, Boysenberry Pink, Olive Green
  • Tiny alphabet stamps and black pigment ink
  • Adhesives: DecoArtAmericana Decou-page, Beacon Adhesives Gem-Tac Permanent Adhesive
  • scissors, paintbrushes, foam brush, wax candle, sanding block, newspaper (to cover work surface)

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 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 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

Christmas Tree book craft

Make a christmas tree from an old book

Make a Christmas tree for your home decor with this easy to make Christmas Tree Book Craft made from paper back books you probably have sitting around your house.  We like to repurpose items and upcycle them into fun and useful new items.  Our Christmas Tree book craft incorporates a well loved paperback book that was missing a few pages.  The last ten pages to be exact and if you are anything like me you would go crazy if you made it to the very end and did not get to know the ending.  No love was lost turning this book into a craft project.

Please join me in a hop too.  It is being coordinated by HomeTalk.com and Country Living.com


Materials to make a Christmas Tree book craft:

  • paperback book 100-150 pages is ideal
  • foam ball
  • Jute cording
  • Adtech Hot Glue Gun and glue sticks
  • glass candle stick
  • DecoArt Chalky Finish Glass Paint, Heritage
  • Polymer Clay Rosette
  • DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint, Promise
  • Gold star
  • Glitter spray

Use this tutorial to make the polymer clay rosette or use a different embellishment.


Instructions to make a Christmas Tree book craft:

  1. Paint a glass candlestick from the dollar store with Decoart Chalky Finish Glass Paint in Heritage. Allow to dry.  Bake if desired.
  2. Hot glue jute cording around a foam ball then hot glue onto candlestick.
  3. Remove the front and back cover and spine cover of a book 100-150 pages. The older and more flexible the better. I folded a large section of the pages to make folding easier. christmas tree book instructions
  4. Take the first sheet and fold in tight to the edge of the spine.  Try to keep your point a clean as you can.  Repeat this for every single page.  This is a good activity to do while watching tv or chatting with a friend.
  5. Use clothes pins if you need to keep the out of the way as you fold.make a book tree for christmas
  6. If you would like a tall skinny book you can repeat step one and fold the first and subsequent pages with the edge close up to the spine again.  You should have a narrow and thicker page that looks sort of like the tip of a man’s tie.  Yes, keep on until you have folded all the pages.  If you have anything hanging out of the bottom.  Fold the bottom point of the “tie” to create a flat bottom for your tree.  You may choose to tuck this flap inside the previous fold.
  7.  Hot glue the jute covered ball to the candlestick base.  Then hot glue the Christmas Tree book to the jute ball.  Spray glitter over the book outside in a well ventilated area.
  8.  Hot glue on the rosette.  Use the tutorial linked above in the supply list.home for Christmas
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Faux Quilted stamped card

Faux Quilted stamped card  Ann Butler

My friend Ann Butler  has a new ink and stamp line and asked a few of us to make projects for her and let people know how awesome they are.  Believe it or not I actually ran out of handmade cards so I whipped this quick card up and have it doing double duty.   It is for a friend and you get to see it too.

Blog Hop Announcement Banner Ann Butler Designs Clearsnap June 2015 DCC

These are the colors from Ann’s stamps that I used.  They are pigment ink and work on many surfaces including paper, fabric and wood.  When working with pigment ink, you need to be careful not to smudge since it has a longer open work time.  I like to heat set mine with a heat gun or an iron depending on what I put the ink on.  Pigment ink also works great for embossing. The style of the stamps lend themselves to a “Faux Quilted” look.

Ann Butler ink pads from Clearsnap

Faux Quilted stamped card supplies

The instructions are pretty self-explanatory based on the simple nature of the card. Stamp your images and then add the sentiment.  Cut twine to fit and add a button and tie.  Trim off the ends of the twine and you are good to go.

ann butler ink pad lid


This is a trick I came up with while stamping on vacation.  I forgot to pack my acrylic blocks so I used the lid to hold the cling stamps.  It works great if you are adding words because the lids are printed and it helps you keep the words straight and you can see where you are placing your stamped image.

use cling stamps on stamp lid

If you want to see more crafts created with Ann’s stamps click the Designer Crafts Connection Logo in the bottom right section of the right column.  It will take you to the next person in the blog hop.

I hope you enjoyed this super simple Faux Quilted stamped card.



4th of July party decorations


Our 4th of July party decorations are part of a patriotic blog hop hosted by blogger The Cards We Drew and we are joined by over 85 other bloggers for this fun event.  Book mark this page so you can come back when you are ready to create your decorations or pin the images on Pinterest. There are recipes, decor and fun craft ideas.  Surely something will pique your interest.  I see a few tasty treats I might have to try.

Red White and Blue Food Decor and Craft Ideas party decorations


Our contribution to the Red White and Blue hop takes on a more rustic note with darker reds and blues and a hint of aged white paint.  Or you could create the fun and whimsical 4th of July party decorations with a traditional color combination.  Either way use solid colors and simple shapes for the star spangled banner.  These 4th of July party decorations are very easy to make and you can have the kids help you.  You can add a pop of pattern in the paper flower decorations.

square 4th of july banner, and table settings party decorations


Materials and supplies for 4th of July party decorations:

  • dark blue and red paper
  • pattern paper
  • Sizzix Die cut machine
  • bow die
  • large and small star die
  • flower die
  • scissors
  • Adtech hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • soup cans
  • bamboo skewers
  • jute or twine
  • buttons

How to make the of July party decorations:

1.  Cut several dozen large and small stars in red and blue.  Hot glue to the jute or twine.  Add more or less according to the size garland you would like.

2.  Layer pattern paper into flower die cuts.  Randomly mix the patterns to create different flowers.  Use tape runner or hot glue to secure.
3.  Add a dollop of hot glue for button centers and on the back to affix the bamboo skewers.
4. Wrap paper around the cans and secure with a strip of hot glue.
5. Die cut bows from card stock.  Tie string around cans and hot glue the ribbons and buttons on.
6. Repeat step 5 on the napkins.

square 4th of july banner, and table settings party decorations

Follow The Cards We Drew’s board Three Cheers for the Red White and Blue ULTIMATE Round Up of Patriotic Ideas from Top Bloggers! on Pinterest.

Win a Cricut Explore Air Machine

Cricut Giveaway -Jen-Goode - 365 days of crafts Cricut Explore Air Machine
Win a Cricut Explore Air Machine.  How about a giveaway to kick your creativity up a notch?  My friend and designer extraordinaire, Jen Goode of 100 Directions is hosting a fantastic giveaway.  ( I am so happy she included me and I know you will love her designs.)  The projects she creates with her machine are so fun and whimsical.  I am total awe of what this machine will do.  The options are unlimited when you add in the digital files that are included.  Currently, I use a manual die cutting machine and I am a little green with envy at the choices in digital files.  The variety of designs available with a digital cutter is impressive.  Not to mention that you do not need all the extra storage space.  The Cricut Explore Air Machine would make a great addition to my studio.  Plus,  who would not love a Visa gift card to purchase other supplies? Unfortunately I cannot win, but one of my readers could. So make sure you enter the giveaway linked below to have your chance at winning a Cricut Explore Air Machine and a very nice prize bundle.

Cricut Explore Air Machine Giveaway Details:

Cricut Explore Air™ Prize Bundle Giveaway June 1, 5am MST – June 7, 11:59 pm MST  Open to U.S. residents only.

Cricut Explore Air Machine Prize bundle includes:

  • 1 Cricut Explore Air™ machine
  • 1 Cricut Explore® Pens Set
  • All current Jen Goode cutting designs in the Cricut Design Space
  • 1 $125 Visa Gift Card
  • 1 cutting material and tool sampler

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feel free to share this giveaway  with your friends.  If they win maybe they will invite you to use the Cricut Explore Air Machine too.



If you would like to look around at the items in the prize package the links are below.

Cricut Explore Air™ machine

Cricut Explore® Pens Set

Jen Goode Cutting File Library

Cricut Deals