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.

Lean how to make 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.  You can make each one unique and use scrap fabrics and embellishments from your stash.

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

DIRECTIONS for place cards:

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.
hand dyed name cards - custom place cards

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

Make a Quick teacher gift

Teacher Gift

Make a teacher gift that is quick and thoughtful.  Place a gift card with a personalized note from your child inside the gift box.  The box can be used on their desk if there is enough room after all the greatest teacher mugs.  I could not help myself on the apple buttons.  I would only give this too an early education teacher.  Not cool enough for the over 10 kids to see.  Make sure it is a gift card to a place that is on their wish list or to a place  you know they love.
Back-to-School-teacher gift

Materials to create a dyed wooden gift Teacher Gift box:

  • Wooden box available at local craft stores. Generally around a dollar
  • Dye in Aqua
  • Adtech Adhesive Glue Gun and glue sticks
  • Back to School ButtonsTutti Fruity
  • Misc.  Paper towels, plastic grocery bag, sand paper, disposable container for dye.

Directions to make the wooden teacher gift box:

  1. If the box has rough edges you can sand them smooth with sandpaper.  Wipe off dust with a damp paper towel or tack cloth.
  2. Dip the box in heated dye bath.  Tap to remove excess.
  3. Place a paper towel on a plastic bag.  The paper towel is used to gather excess dye.
  4. Once the wood is dry you can add the button embellishments.
  5. Always cover your work surface when working with dye.  Gloves are a great option too.  I use metal tongs to keep my hands clean.Enjoy the process.You can change out the buttons for any occasion too.  Spring flowers for Easter maybe?  If you want to see other quick and awesome Teacher Appreciation crafts click on the link below.

Faux Mother of Pearl Jewelry

Create a Faux Mother of Pearl necklace and earring set with these easy to follow instructions.  The craft tutorial can be used to create the faux mother pearl look on any paper surface and is not limited to jewelry only.  Bring texture and color into your creations with this fun faux technique.

faux mother of pearl
sizes: necklace, 18” length; earrings, 2”

Materials for Faux Mother of Pearl:

  • Darice pearls, three each: brown, 8mm; cream, 6mm
  • Darice silver findings: ear wires, two; jump rings, seven; headpins, three; plate chain, 18” length; clasp
  • Mat board

Basic Supplies

paper towel, small container of water, 1/16” hole punch, newspaper (to cover work surface)


  • Sizzix Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine and Originals Ovals #3 Die
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • DecoArt Americana Metallic Paints: Sky Blue Pearl, Moss Pearl, White Pearl; Sea Aqua Acrylic
  • DecoArt: Americana Satin Varnish, Small Mini Mop, Glazing Medium

Directions for Faux Mother of Pearl Technique:

1. Die cut one large and two medium ovals from mat board.

2. Quickly dip large oval in water and tap off excess. Place oval in palm and press in center of oval with thumb creating indentation. Use fingers to pinch edges to add greater depth. Let dry. Repeat for remaining ovals.

3. On covered work surface, basecoat all ovals Aqua Sea using mini mop. Let dry. Apply Sky Blue Pearl and then Moss Pearl on ovals; do not let paint dry between coats. Use mini mop to gently blend colors.

4. Mix White Pearl and Glazing Medium together; liberally apply mixture on all three ovals. Let dry.

5. Punch hole on top edge of each piece. Use needle-nose pliers to open jump ring and attach to hole.

6. String cream and brown pearls on each headpin. Use needle-nose pliers to form loop at end of each headpin; trim excess wire using wire cutters. Attach headpin to jump rings on ovals.

7. Attach ear wires to small ovals.

8. Attach large oval jump ring to center of 18” chain length. Attach jump ring to ends of chain length. Attach clasp to jump rings to finish.


1. Gently work moistened mat board around bowl or other rounded surface for curved seashell shape.Faux Mother-of-Pearl Jewelry

color washed daisy tags

color washed tagsThe color washed daisy tags are transformed from plain shipping tags into lovely mixed-media accents for spring and summer gifts. Make a bunch to have on hand for a quick gift package topper.  You could even tie them around a bottle of wine for a thank you gift.

Materials for color washed daisy tags:

  • Manila shipping tags, 2-3/8”x4-3/4”, four
  • Black cardstock
  • Vintage book pages
  • Jacquard Products Cotton Inkjet Fabric Sheets
  • Flower center embellishments
  • Computer, inkjet printer, and font(s) of choice
  • Sewing machine and black thread
  • Sizzix Big Shot Die-Cutting System and Bigz Build a Flower #3 Die
  • Jacquard Products Lumiere Paints: Citrine, Pearlescent Blue, Pearlescent Magenta, Metallic Copper
  • Black chalk ink pad

Basic Supplies for color washed daisy tags:

paper trimmer, scissors, ruler, pencil, foam paintbrush, small disposable bowl, wax paper
(to cover work surface), heat tool, Adhesive – hot glue or glue runner
For each tag, mix one part water with one part paint in small bowl. On covered work surface,
lightly apply paint mixture to one side of tag. Repeat for back of tag; let dry completely.
(Note: Tags will curl while wet, but will flatten out as they dry. Speed dry with heat tool, if desired.)

Die cut flower layers from vintage book pages and black cardstock.

1.  Using computer and following manufacturer’s instructions, format and print small sentiments
onto cotton fabric sheets; sentiments include “sweetest friend,” “thank you so much,”
“happiest birthday,” and “for someone special.”
2.  Cut sentiments into strips, leaving borders around text. Adhere sentiment strips and flower
layers to tags as shown using glue.
3.  Sew straight stitch around edge of each tag, 1/8” from edge, and around each sentiment strip.
Sew directly through flower layers to secure.
4.  Using Gem-Tac Permanent Adhesive, adhere flower center embellishment to center of
each paper flower.

Strawberry Jam Recipe Gift packaging idea

Country Fair Jams & Jellies  strawberry jam recipe,

Make this delicious strawberry jam recipe, plus two others  and give them as a gift with cool packaging that is made by hand.


  • Recycled 4-pack coffee drink carton and bottles
  • Patterned papers: red/cream polka dot; red/cream stripes; black Swiss dots
  • Kraft cardstock
  • Americana Acrylic Paints (DecoArt): Light Mocha; Lamp Black’ Traditional Burnt Umber
  • Melissa Francis Vintage Label (Heart & Home Collectibles)
  • Wool Felt (National Nonwovens): Cottage Red; Camouflage
  • White scrapbooking mesh
  • Black pebble beads (five per strawberry)
  • Natural hemp
  • Blue floral scraps
  • Red flat back buttons, two


  • Tiny Alphas rubber stamps (Hero Arts)
  • Black pigment ink pad
  • Duraclear Varnish (DecoArt)
  • Cotton Batting by Fairfield
  • Embroidery floss: red; green
  • Marvy Craft Punches (Uchida): 3” Scalloped; 2” Circle
  • Embroidery needle
  • Sanding block
  • Paper trimmer
  • Rubber bands


  • 1. Paint carton Traditional Burnt Umber and lids Light Mocha. When dry, dry brush lids Lamp Black for an enamelware look. Dry brush edges of die cut tag. Apply varnish to lids.
  • 2. Cut patterned papers to fit all sides of carton. Glue papers to carton. Use paper trimmer to cut 2”x5-1/4” rectangle from kraft cardstock; glue to carton front. Trim edges of vintage tag and glue to die cut tag. Glue buttons to ends of tag and tag to carton front over center of craft strip. Cut four 1-1/4”x7” strips from mesh; wrap and glue around bottles. Punch four scalloped circles from Swiss dots paper and four circles from kraft cardstock. Stamp circle labels as shown. Layer circles together and glue to front of bottles.
  • 3. Print and cut out patterns. For each bottles cut two strawberries from Cottage Red felt and stem from Camouflage felt. Use red floss to sew beads to one strawberry piece for seeds. Layer strawberry pieces together and blanket stitch around edges, leaving 1” opening for stuffing. Stuff with a quarter-sized piece of batting and blanket stitch closed. Use green floss to sew details to stem and sew to strawberry.
  • 4. Cut 36” length from hemp. Center and sew hemp to back center of strawberry. Tie hemp around bottle neck several times and knot. Cut pieces of blue floral and glue inside hemp. Fill jars with jams and jellies.

Materials for delicious strawberry jam gift set:

  • Glass quart canning jar
  • Cardstock (Core’dinations): Black Core Abracadabra; Vintage Asparagus; Ruby
  • Black Semi-Gloss Indoor/Outdoor Spray Paint (Krylon)
  • Jute Cording (Toner)


  • Sizzix items (Ellison): Big Shot Machine; Tim Holtz Movers & Shapers Die: Baroque; Bigz Die: Vines with Leaves & Fruit
  • Ink (Clearsnap): Smooch Illuminate; Vivid Vintage Green
  • Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue (iLoveToCreate)
  • Sandpaper
  • Rubber bands


  • 1. Die cut Baroque from Black cardstock. Sand edges of die cut and glue to jar. Secure with rubber bands while drying.
  • 2. Die cut Vines with Leaves & Fruit from Vintage Asparagus and Ruby cardstocks. Ink edges of vines and berry tops. Adhere vines to front of jar and secure with rubber bands while drying.
  • 3. Use Illuminate ink to highlight embossed areas and edges of berries. Adhere berries to jar as shown.
  • 4. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to spray paint lid. Let dry.
  • 5. Wrap jutecording around lid; tieknot. Adhere berries to jute. Fill jar with blackberry jam and replace lid.Country Fair Jams & Jellies patternUsePolyfil to stuff the strawberries.Delicious Strawberry jam recipe:

Country Fair Jams & Jellies 3
Country Fair Jams & Jellies recipe

Country Fair Jams & Jellies 2

Sparkling Jewelry Organizer

This Sparkling Jewelry Organizer is a very special piece to me and I think it is great way to start the new year, sharing a bit of the past and getting organized for the new year.  The Sparkling Jewelry Organizer  was my very first project published in a print magazine.  The magazine was Crafts ‘N Things.  If not for this piece being picked up by the Editor Abby,  I am not sure what I would be doing or if this website would even exist. This is the piece that jump started it all.  I am often asked what my style is and I usually say I do not have one.  Looking back 10 years later, I guess I do.  This is still my favorite color combination, I love the mix of patterns and textures and I love the sparkle.  This piece sums me up perfectly.

first published piece


Sparkling Jewelry Organizer

Sparkling Jewelry Organizer

Materials for Sparkling Jewelry Organizer:

  • Bare Elements Shelley case 7-1/4″ tall
  • Assorted Blush Collection Papers
  • Assorted Flat Back Crystals, 6mm: red; blue; crystal
  • Lt. blue velvet ribbon, 3/8”


  • Crillon Stamp Set
  • ColorBox Chalk Ink Pads: Ice Blue; Warm Red; Dk. Brown; Creamy Brown
  • Adhesives: Zip Dry Paper Glue; Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive

Directions for Sparkling Jewelry Organizer:


  • Choose five coordinating paper for inside of box, one for exterior, one for band, and one for lid. Ink all inside and all inside and outside box edges and creases.


  • Trace lid on back of blue pattern paper; cut out. Use Warm Red ink to stamp image in center. Follow BeJeweler Pro manufacturer’s instructions to affix crystals to stamped design.


  • For lid sides, cut 5/8”x12” strip from blue patterned. Cut strip to fit each section length. Stamp image on four short rectangles and apply crystals in same way as Step 2.


  • For each tray, cut 1-5/8”x12” strip from a different patterned paper. Cut strip to fit each 1-1/2”- and 2-1/4”-long sections. (Note: Adjust strips accordingly where trays are attached.)


  • For exterior sides, cut 1-3/4”x7” and 2-1/4”x7” rectangles from floral print paper; glue. Repeat for inside, adjusting paper height for trays.


  • For front two pieces, cut two 1”x7” floral print strips; glue. Cut two 1-1/2”x12” strips from red patterned paper; join strips together in back and glue horizontally around box, trimming excess at front. Glue strips to box, 1-1/2” from bottom.


  • Use Fabri-Tac to glue velvet ribbon strips around red strip borders as shown. Tie green ribbon knots and trim loose ends. Use Fabri-Tac to glue knots to box front.


  • On exterior panels, affix crystals to flower centers as desired.


  • For tray cushions, trace lid on paper, adding 1/4” to each side for octagon template; cut out. For each cushion, cut two octagons from fabric. Sew right sides together, leaving open on one side for turning. Turn right side out through opening. Stuff; sew opening closed. Repeat to make four cushions.


  • 1. Ink paper edges as desired.

Decoupage Ornament

Decoupages Ornaments tear drop

Make a Decoupage Ornament with craft paper ornaments and pattern paper you can get from the scrapbook section of almost any big box store.  The handmade ornaments are a fun craft activity for the kids and they also make great package toppers.  You can embellish them with scraps you have on hand.  If you are a scrapbooker or carmaker then you can use up your stash to make the Decoupage Ornament. Create sophisticated ornaments on a shoestring.

Materials for a Decoupage Ornament:

  • Two coordinating decorative papers
  • Papier-mâché ornament
  • Desired embellishments
  • Ribbon or heavy string


  • Pencil
  • Scissors or Paper trimmer
  • Adhesive
  • Dauber or sponge
  • Brown ink – chalk ink works great
  • Sandpaper is optional

Directions for a Decoupage Ornament:

  1.  For each ornament, choose two coordinating decorative papers.  if you are using your stash you can use more than two.  Press the paper onto the ornament and make an impression into the paper.  If it does not work for you can cut the paper close to the size of the surface.
  2. Trim and adhere papers to cover alternating sides of papier-mâché ornament. If you need to you can use sand paper to make the edges smoother and more uniform. Make sure to dust off debris.
  3. Use dauber or sponge and brown ink to antique edges. I like to use chalk ink.  If you use pigment ink let it dry overnight or use a heat gun to heat set the ink.
  4. Embellish as desired with coordinating ribbon, buttons or anything you have on hand.

Make a set of these charming ornaments packaged in a coordinating découpaged gift box for a lovely, budget savvy gift idea.  Give to your friends and enjoy or make enough to decorate a wreath or even a whole tree.   The Decoupage Ornament can be made using any shape ornament or style of pattern paper.

Decoupages Ornaments star

Silhouette CAMEO and starter kit giveaway

The Ultimate Silhouette CAMEO Giveaway

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Silhouette America ,  The Pinning Mama


365 Days Of Crafts


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