make a bird nest shadow box – creative gift packaging


bird nest shadow box gift packaging idea for jewelry

Make a bird nest shadow box for creative gift packaging.  The gift recipient will be as delighted with the gift as the packaging.  The box is the perfect size for giving jewelry or to tuck in a gift card.

There is an interesting story behind my inspiration for this project.  It’s hard not to be inspired by birds in Spring. The cheerful singing and constant presence of birds this time of year cannot be ignored. I create almost daily next to a large window. Almost every five minutes or so I am startled by a cardinal who thumps the window almost violently. This occurrence has gone on for a few weeks now. After searching the web, I found out that cardinals are notorious for fighting their own reflections in an effort for territorial rights. With the constant thumping and sweet site of my cardinal, I once again became inspired to create a bird themed project.

It was by pure chance that I ran into these really cute wood boxes at my local craft store recently. I thought they were really different. I also snagged these super cute laser cut wood bird shapes. Super tiny and perfect for jewelry projects.

The boxes are different. They have a glass top and a wood slat that is removable so that you can display components of your choice, shadow box style.

Supplies for bird nest shadow box:

  • wood shadow boxes
  • liquid dye
  • glue
  • polymer clay
  • wire
  • wire cutter
  • embellishments

Here is a look at most of the supplies I used for this project, give or take a few.

Instructions for bird nest shadow box:

Instead of painting the boxes, I decided to use Rit Dyes to stain them. I love this process because its fun, fast and easy. I simply used a teaspoon of dye to about 1/4 cup hot water to mix a dye bath. (Remember to wear rubber or latex gloves when using dyes) A paintbrush was used to “paint” the dye to the top of the box.
For a two toned stained effect, I added some water to the dye and painted the bottom of the box a lighter shade of Rit Dye’s Aquamarine. I also dropped the shapes into the cup that I used for the dye bath and let them sit for five minutes or so.

For the second box, I used Cocoa Brown. Here is a shot of all the pieces dyed drying on paper towels.
So, with my bird theme, what to display under the top glass but a sweet little wired bird nest? I used Artistic Wire to create a simple spiraled nest.

These are super easy to create, just keep wrapping the wire in a circular motion until you have a nice full “nest.” Use wire nippers to cut off a few small piece of wire and use them to wire the spirals together. Twist them tight with round nose jewelry pliers.
Don’t worry too much about what your nest look like at this point. After you feel them with eggs in the center, any little “imperfections” will be invisible.
I used Premo by Sculpey to shape little tiny eggs. A pea sized piece will make perfectly sized eggs for these nests.
The eggs were baked right in the nest, in the oven at about 225 degrees for about 25 minutes on a clay dedicated baking sheet. Then I brushed the eggs with Silver PearlEx by Jacquard Products.
To embellish the box, I added a stamped oval, some fabric washi tape from Stampington and some self adhesive gem stone rows.
To make the pendant, I glued the bird to the center of the dyed circle and added some rhinestone chain to the edges with Beacon’s Glass Metal and More. I also attached a super sparkly brooch to the piece. To create a brooch, I added a pin back.

Add brooch to pendantThis little brooch turned out to be the perfect addition for the boxes. My cardinal is still outside the window, thumping away and reminding me that birds are so artfully inspirational.

Country Chic Valentine decor

Country Chic Valentine decor – My littlest child thinks we need to have decorations for every holiday and I tend to agree.  I love to create and decorate and make our house a home.  She is old enough to help and definitely has a great sense of what she likes.  She posses a huge amount of creativity for a preschooler and it makes my heart swell with joy.  The option to color the hearts red or pink was given to her.  She declined because hearts come in all sorts of colors and sizes and she wanted to make the hearts pretty with all the “stuffs”.   This artistic mom could not have been happier with that statement.  We made these with a the box of Christmas craft supplies that were never quite incorporated back into my craft stash and were sitting in the corner of my room patiently waiting to be sorted and put away.  The bits of twine, ribbons, buttons and fabric were all left over from a craft night before Christmas.  Even the straws were left over from another festive occasion.  I keep a large box of Poly-Fil on hand so we did not have to purchase anything to make this decorative trio.   Making the decorations from leftovers made me happy and we created something that can be displayed for many more Valentine’s Days to come.
muslin heart trio - country chic valentine

Supplies for Country Chic Valentine decor:

  • Duck Cloth or Canvas
  • Pencil
  • Fabric scissors and utility scissors
  • Sewing machine and coordinating thread
  • Embroidery floss and embroidery needle
  • Iron on letters and Iron
  • Paper Straws
  • Bamboo Skewers
  • Fairfield Processing – Polyfil fiberfill
  • Adtech Pro100 Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Paint brush
  • Americana Acrylic Paint – White,
  • DecoArt Metallic Luster –  Gold Rush, Iced Espresso
  • DecoArt Dazzling Metallics – Gold
  • Washi Tape
  • Misc. buttons and trim in neutral colors
  • shredded brown paper
  • rocks 

Country Chic Valentine decor Instructions:

  1. Gingerly paint the terra cotta pots with a coat of white paint.  If you go too heavy on the paint you can remove excess paint while it is damp using a cloth or use sandpaper after the paint is dry.  Allow the paint to dry then wrap the washi tape around the lip of the pot.  Use your finger or a cloth wrapped around your finger to apply the metallic paint around the edges and along the rim of the terra cotta pot.  Start with the Gold Rush then layer on the Iced Espresso.
  2. Trim jute and ribbons to size and hot glue on bits of old doilies, rickrack or other natural colored embellishments.
  3. Draw one large and two small hearts on canvas and then cut out the shapes with scissors.  Water down Gold paint and drizzle over fabric randomly.  Let the paint dry.  Add hand embroidery details around the hearts.  Place right sides together and sew the pieces together leaving a small opening at the bottom for the Poly-Fil and to place over the straws.  Iron on the sentiments of your choice to cotton ribbon remnants.  Hand sew or hot glue on the decorative embellishments.
  4. In the bottom of the terra cotta pots, place a few small rocks and generously add hot glue into the bottom to adhere the rocks..  While the glue is still warm insert a bamboo skewer into the glue.  Then place the straw over the skewer and hold in place until the glue cools.  The skewers provide stability.  Add the Poly-Fil to the hearts.  Add a small dot of glue onto the top of the straws and place the hearts on the straws through the opening at the bottom.  Let the glue cool and close off the opening with embroidery floss applied in a decorative fashion.   Add in brown shredded paper.  I run leftover cardstock through the home office paper shredder.

Tip: Hot glue a few rocks in the bottom of terra cotta pots to weight them down and to keep objects centered.  Use an old credit cards to smooth the washi tape ripples.

Recycled jar harvest terrariums

harvest terrariums fall tererriumharvest terrariums

Make harvest terrariums, miniature earthy scenes with berries, flowers, and moss.  This recycled jar craft  is the perfect accent for your fall table or gathering.  It is a fun project that you can do with the kids using found objects or bits and pieces from other left over crafts or decorations.  Use the basic concept to create terrariums with all sort of different themes.

Materials for harvest terrariums:

  • Recycled or purchased wide-mouth quart jars
  • Wooden items, two each: acorn finial, 2”; candlestick, 1-7/8”x1-15/16”; oval, 2-1/2”
  • Off-white script patterned paper
  • Artificial fall greenery: orange berries, purple berries, purple floral stem, Spanish moss
  • Dow STYROFOAM Brand Foam Ball, 1-1/2”
  • Tags, 1-1/2”x3-1/4”, two
  • Wrights Simply Creative Topaz Seed Bead Wire

Tools for harvest terrariums:

  • Rubber stamps: Impression Obsession Leaves, Hero Arts Bird Branch Alphabet, Anna Griffin Alphabet
  • Black pigment ink pad
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Honey Brown, Antique Green, Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange, Gold
  • DecoArt Duraclear Varnish
  • Florist wire cutters
  • Adtech Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Basic Supplies

serrated knife, sanding block, paper trimmer, paintbrush, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Directions for harvest terrariums:

1.  On covered work surface, remove lids from jars. Paint one lid, one finial, and one candlestick Honey Brown. Paint remaining lid, finial, and candlestick Antique Green. Paint ovals Burnt Orange. Thin Raw Sienna with equal part water; lightly paint tags. Let dry. Ink tag edges black; set aside. Mix gold paint with equal parts varnish; dry-brush lids and wooden items. Sand edges of ovals to lightly distress. Use ink to stamp leaves in center of ovals.


2.  Use paper trimmer to cut 1-1/2”x12” strips from patterned paper; adhere around bottom center of each jar. Lie jars on sides and adhere ovals to paper strips. Let dry.


3.  Use serrated knife to cut foam ball in half. Cut pieces of berry and flower sprays and inserts ends into round ball halves, then remove. Apply tacky glue to ends of sprays and reinsert into holes. Use three to four individual stems per ball cut between 3” and 4” length. Place generous amount of glue on bottom of ball. Carefully place ball with floral pieces into jars, securing ball to bottom of jar. Fill bottom of jar with moss, making sure foam ball is completely covered. (Note: Use paintbrush handle or scissors to position moss on bottom of jar.)


4.  Adhere acorn finial to top of jar lid. Adhere candlestick to bottom of jar, carefully centering jar on wooden candlestick. Use ink to stamp sentiments on tags. Use decorative branches and leaves from stamp set to embellish sentiment. Cut 8” wire lengths; tie around acorn finial. Thread one wire end through tag to secure.If you like this fall craft you might be interested in these:

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.



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 French Country Flowerpot and Towel

French Country Flowerpot & TowelGive your kitchen a little ooh la la with this french country flowerpot andTowel DIY.  The right decorative accents can make a big difference when decorating your home.  You can get the customized look when you make things yourself. These two pieces also make a great gift or start to a gift basket.  Add some gourmet food to the french country flower pot like herb de provence, or lavender seasoning salt.  If you click the link you can get the recipe to make your own seasoning salt. Add things the recipient would like or even french herbs to use in cooking.  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 for french country flowerpot and towel:


Directions to make french country flowerpot and towel:

1. Paint bottom of pot French Vanilla and lip Country Red. When dry, lay pot on surface and stamp, rolling stamp across pot. Repeat by lining up stamp with previous image until pot bottom is covered with manuscript.

2. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse webbing to back of fabrics. Use scallop-edge scissors to cut 4-1/2” oval from red gingham, and regular scissors to cut 4” oval from script fabric. Print and cut out pattern. Cut rooster from black/white dot fabric. Fuse ovals together and rooster to script fabric.

3. Use three strands of black floss to blanket stitch edges of rooster and oval. Sew seed bead to each scallop.

4. Glue oval to center of flowerpot.

5. For towel, repeat Step 2. Fuse ovals to towel and repeat Step 3. If desired, use black floss to blanket stitch bottom of towel edges.


1. Use rooster pot as a gift basket and fill with gourmet treats.

Crystal Bangle with Sparkle and Dazzle

Crystal Bangle  super simple bangle bracelet


Turn a boring wood bangle into a Crystal Bangle with Sparkle and Dazzle. Get your wrist ready for a night out on the town with this sparklicious bracelet.

sparkle bangle Crystal Bangle

Materials for Crystal Bangle:

  • Crystal Sheets from Connie Crystal in black and white
  • bangle bracelet
  • black ink
  • hot pink paint
  • clear sealer
  • crystal sheets in black and white
  • jewelry glue
  • misc.- paint brush, tack cloth, sand paper

Directions for Crystal Bangle:

  1. Smooth any rough images with sand paper.  Remove debris.
  2. sparkle bangle
  3. Paint inside of bangle and allow to dry.  Sand and add a second coat if needed.IMG_6133
  4. Apply ink to exterior of the bangle.  You can apply it to the bangle or roll the bangle into the ink.
    apply clear coat to wood bangle
  5. Trim the crystal sheets to fit the size of the bangle and then adhere.  Allow the glue to dry a then wear for a night out on the town.

Connie Crystal logo Connie Crystal provided the crystal sheet for this project.

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.

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.