Friday, October 29, 2010

Homemade Stocking Stuffers Part 3: School-agers

 In Parts 1 and 2 of this series I covered homemade stocking stuffers for Toddlers and Preschoolers. On to the next: here are my ideas for the School Aged set. I wish I had more photos but I don't have a big kid yet!


Make-your-own Goop: Put a cup of cornstarch with half a package of Kool Aid in a (sealable) bag and label it "Goop". When they're ready to make it, just add small amounts of water until it's in between solid and liquid. When they squeeze in their hands, or slap it hard, it turns solid!

Paint with Water Booklet: There is a very cool tutorial here for how to make your own paint with water designs! So cool! You can put them in a small folder or make them into a booklet.

Hemp Bracelet Kit: There are great instructions here, that you can print. Add a small ball of hemp, some beads in favorite colors and the instructions to a small box or tin.

Reindeer Poop: Put chocolate covered almonds in a cellophane bag and make a small paper label that says "Reindeer Poop".  Fold the bag over and staple the label on.

Soap Surprise: Chop up a bar of soap and add a few tablespoons of water. Melt it down SLOWLY in the microwave or on the stove top. Pour into a soap mold, or small sound/square container. Tuck a small plastic toy into the center of the bar. Let it sit for 3-7 days until fully dry. You can use clear soap to show off the toy, or opaque to make it a mystery!

Funny Magnets: You can turn just about anything into a magnet. A pad of paper, a carpenters pencil, wooden shapes, small toys or mini game key chains (just remove the key chain). Just add hot glue and a strong magnet.

Finger Puppets: There is a great tutorial, and patterns at Make Your Own Baby Stuff. Simple and fun!

Stuffed Animal Sleeping Bag: Make a sleeping bag for your child's favorite doll or stuffed animal. If you're good at sewing, make a liner and outer layer from cotton and sew together. If you're a beginner, use a single layer of fleece-it doesn't fray!

Hacky Sack:  Knit or crochet a hacky sack. These are especially popular with boys!

Tiny Needlefelted Animals: This is something that I'd really like to try my hand at! I just ordered a few for Daniel, and next year I may try to make some myself. There is a good Martha tutorial for beginners.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cute New Set!

I just whipped up this reusable lunch set for a friend and I am SO tempted to keep it for myself! I just love the little woodland animals!

I hope it fetches a pretty penny for the United Way!

My favorite tutorial is over here along with how I make my own beeswax cloth.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Homemade Stocking Stuffers Part 2: Preschoolers

A few weeks have passed since part one...I don't know where the time went! Busy, busy, busy with getting ready for my first craft sale!

So, at last, Part 2 of my Stocking Stuffer Series. Keep your eyes open for the school age list in the next week or so!


Baby Food Jar Matching Game: A friend shared this link with me, for how to make a matching game from jar lids! She even shares her images so all you have to do is print and paste!

Homemade Modeling Beeswax: Recipe- 1 cup of beeswax, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp lanolin. Melt beeswax over low, remove from heat and stir in oil and lanolin. You can add grated crayon for color. Let it cool in a lined pan. If it's too soft, add a litle more beeswax, if it's too hard add a little lanolin. You can find all the ingredients at most health food stores

Mini Notebooks: It's basically as easy as picking one scrapbooking paper that you like for the cover, cutting it to size, cutting blank paper just a smidge smaller, fold in half, staple in the center and then stamp or embellish the cover!

Crayon Roll: This is a perfect mate to the mini-notebook! It's a great beginner sewing project and because it's small it's easily done by hand too. There are tutorials all over the place, but I like this one.

Funky Fleece Scarf: There's a great tutorial here for a fun, simple scarf. Preschoolers love funky accessories!

Bath Paint: A great way to get a reluctant bather into the tub! Mix 4 Tbsp cornstarch, 1/3 cup body wash and food coloring. Add extra cornstarch if it's not thick enough. Store in plastic containers with lids and top with a paintbrush!

Craft Kit: Put some googly eyes, popsicle sticks, feathers, pipecleaners, ribbon and yarn in a ziploc bag. This is a great thing for when the Christmas excitement wears off just before dinner and you need to distract them!

Lick-and-Stickers: Make your own lick and stick stickers! Cut out your images from magazines, coloring books, old art projects or scrapbook paper. Add a pkg of gelatin to 1/2 cup water. Stir to dissolve gelatin and paint onto the back of images. Let dry wet side up. When they're dry, they're ready to be licked and sticked!

Apron: Kids love helping in the kitchen and an apron makes preschoolers feel even more grown up! You can find all sorts of tutorials and patterns on line and in books. I use the kids patterns in The Perfect Apron.

Shape Crayons: I just bought a silicone ice cube tray from Ikea that I am going to use to make shaped crayons as gifts for Daniel's classmates. All you do is warm the oven, break up crayons into the mold, turn off the oven, wait until they melt and remove and cool. Simple and fun.

Next Week: School-Agers!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Favorite

I just spent the last few days modifying and reworking a great crochet pattern of a Mushroom Pouch. It was originally a large, hinged, yarn pouch and I turned it into a sweet little mouse house! I used different yarn, different gauge, and at the end of everything, it's not much like the original at all.

I can't believe how long it took, or how challenging it was to modify, but I am in love! I think it's just the cutest little thing, and I pretty sure Daniel will be receiving one at Christmas. It's in my shop now too!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hand Dyed Magnet Tutorial

I just tried dyeing wood for the first time and it went quite well. So well, in fact, that I've posted the final product on my Etsy shop, but I wanted to give my readers the opportunity to try this one out themselves!

How to Dye Wood with Food Coloring:

1.) In a bowl, mix boiling water (1-4 cups depending on batch size), food coloring (enough to make the water brightly colored) and unfinished wooden cutouts (Michael's sells lots of shapes).

2.) Let sit for 15-45 min, or until the wood has absorbed enough dye. Stir every 5 minuted or so to ensure even coloring.

3.) Remove wood for food coloring. Use gloves, or wash your hands RIGHT AWAY! Food coloring stains like crazy! Place on paper towel lined plate and let dry. It took mine a full 24 hours before being dry, and I turned them a few times.

How to Make Magnets from Dyed Wooden Cutouts:

1.) Make sure wood is DRY!

2.) Stamp images onto the best looking side of the cutout. I use Archival ink, but you can use acrylic paint (test it first and wash paint off the stamp immediately), water proof ink, or paint your own design on.

3.) Dab of hot glue on the back side of the cutout and stick the magnet on.

TA DA! It's simple, but time consuming.

These little magnets make great stoking stuffers, add-ins to gifts, kids gifts (careful though, can be a choking hazard), favors, or a little something to top gift wrap with. I'd love to see some in red and green for Christmas party favors!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Homemade Stocking Stuffers Part 1: Toddlers

Last year we had our first handmade Christmas. It was awesome! And a LOT of work. I am not making everything this year, but from now on, I will always make some or all of our gifts. Here are some of my favorites for toddlers. Be careful, some are a bit chokey for little ones.


Magnets- you have to be careful because they can be a choking hazard, but I scanned, cropped and printed Franklin Characters onto magnet paper from Staples. Daniel is still playing with them! There are probably all kinds of tutorials for other types as well.

Painted Wooden People- I  painted wooden people pegs to look like our family. They were a big hit but Daniel lost himself almost immediately.

Homemade Play Dough: Here is one site, with a million recipes. You can also pack it in a stainless steel conatiner like this and have a great, eco friendly way to pack snacks later.

Honey Toffee: I use Honey, butter and vanilla and boil to the hard crack stage (it doesn't come out hard because honey is pretty gummy) and wrap it in wax paper. It's one of those treats I don't mind giving Daniel because it has no sugar in it. For those of you who like recipes, there's one here.

Felt Cookies: There is a great tutorial at Prudent Baby, but really it's as simple as cutting felt into cookie shapes, sewing embellishments on the top side of the cookie (beware of small things that may come off) and hand stitch them together. Felt doesn't fray, so it's a great beginner sewing project to do by hand.

Crayon Roll: I made a mini one for Daniel's stocking. I recommend reading a few different tutorials and choosing what you like best, or making up your own! Who doesn't love new crayons???

Crocheted Headband: I made myself a headband from this pattern at Creative Yarn, and noticed that someone modified the pattern to fit her daughter. I made one for a friend and it's cute!

Neck Tube: Best thing EVER! No more scarves all wrapped around to go out and play. Cut a piece of polar fleece fabric about 5x20 (measure you child's neck and leave a little extra room to pull over head), fold it in half and sew it together, right sides together. Voila! We love ours.

CD from Daddy: Or mommy. Or whoever is not the crafty one! My hubby burned Daniel his own CD of favorite songs and it was a huge hit! In fact, he received another one for his birthday. This is a great way for older siblings to make gifts for each other or the non-crafters to get in on the handmade goodness.

Felted Balls: Ours were a bit awkward looking, because it was my first try. Luckily, wonky balls are still fun.

Foot Bath in a Bag: I put a bit of oatmeal, some lavender buds and a bit of loose leaf tea in a bag and Daniel enjoyed his very own relaxing footbath. Yes, he really did sit still! He still talks about it!

Add a candy cane and a Christmas orange (or is that just my family?) and you have a pretty well rounded, toddler stocking full of handmade goodies!

In the next few weeks, I will be posting ideas for Preschoolers, School agers and maybe even grown ups! I don't know if I'm brave enough to tackle a handmade teen stocking!

Last Day of Alberta Team's Etsy Sale!

Today is the last day of the Etsy Alberta Team Sale! Check here for all participating shops and be sure to stop by my shop too!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Back in the game!

I finally got a new listing together! A Farmhouse Memory Game, with a cute little Pumpkin storage bag!

I am hoping to get the creative juices flowing again this week...I've been out of the game for too long! If anyone has any thoughts I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Team SALE!!!!

The air is crisp and cool, the sun is shining, the leaves are turning and today is the first day of the Etsy Alberta Street Team Autumn Harvest Sale! I am so pumped!

FREE CAD SHIPPING and FREE US SHIPPING on orders over $50 from October 1-7. Time to start the holiday shopping! I've already bought some eyeshadow and am thinking of buying this Tim Horton's notebook for Daniel's stocking.

I've already been featured in a treasury and am planning creating one of my own later. My facebook page is all a flutter with updates, and I am itching to make some things! I think today is the day I will call myself "recovered" from my shoulder injury.

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