Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Countdown 2014 - Paper Clip Flags #5

For the teachers and staff at my school this year I made Paper Clip Flags.  The flags are easy to make and are economical to create for large groups.

Paper clip flags are easy to make.
To assemble the flags simply cut a ribbon approximately 3 1/2" long and tie around the end of the paper clip.  When you attach the paper clip to the paper the flag will extend beyond the edge and be easily found in a stack of papers.  These are great for teachers because they constantly have stacks of papers on their desks.  Whether it is papers to grade, send home or next weeks spelling list there is always something that needs to be found quickly.
The fun part of making these for the teachers and staff was the packaging.  At our Holiday Fair this year one idea they gave was to take the small solo type cups from the dollar store and decorate them to resemble a Santa suit.
Isn't this the cutest idea.
The small cups were found at the Dollar Tree.
To make the Santa suit design I used a 1/4" washi tape in black.  The yellow buckle is cut from peel and stick vinyl.  I was able to make about 45 of these for only a few dollars.  I placed 8 paper clip flags in each cup.  I used ribbon I had on hand but it probably took about 4  spools of ribbon to make enough for 45 cups.

Each cup has 8 paper clip flags enclosed.

Simply wrapped in a fold and lock baggie, tied with
a raffia ribbon and a cute tag attached.

I made about 45 of these for my school staff.

All bagged and ready to distribute. 
The teachers and staff loved the small packages and hopefully it will help them find those important papers on their busy desks.  These would also be great for office coworkers.  Everyone can use a little help finding items on their desk.  Only 5 days left!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Countdown 2014 - Food Anyone? #6

The holidays always call for a time in the kitchen to prepare gifts for family and friends.  I try very hard to find recipes that don't take a lot of prep or ingredients.  The ability to find something with the previous criteria and be welcomed by a variety of recipients is sometimes hard.  This year I think I was able to blend the two quite well.

I decided to make Glazed Pecans and pack them in small canning jars for my husbands co-workers.  If you search the Internet you will find dozens of recipes for all kinds of spruced up pecans or other nuts. 

I packaged the nuts in small caning jars and decorated the lids.

These glazed pecans are just the right amount of sweet.

I added the spoon for easy consumption.
I had all the ingredients on hand to make this particular recipe.  It called for 2 Tbs of butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup.  Heat the ingredients in a skillet and stir in 2 cups of pecans.  Then bake the pecans on a parchment lined cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes.  My first batch I cooked longer than 8 minutes and they were a little toasty.  This batch I cooked for the 6 minutes and they turned out to be slightly gooey.  Hence the spoon attached to the jars.  So I guess in my oven 7-8 minutes would be perfect. 
Any kind of food packaged in small jars with decorated lids upgrades that food item.  It can be as simple as peppermint candies, nuts or cupcakes.  Taking the time to wrap the food in cute containers makes the recipient feel loved.  If you are in need of a quick simple gift for your family, friends and neighbors try wrapping up something good to eat.  Only 6 days left!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Countdown 2014 - Wooden Spool Ornaments #7

As you have probably figured out by now I love to craft and sew.  I have a hard time throwing anything away that has crafting possibilities.  As my husband says "You can take the most ordinary item that is destined for the trash and create something wonderful and unique."  So I have on my sewing table a large glass jar that is full of wooden spools that were destined to be transformed in some way.

I was preparing for our annual quilt group Christmas party and wanted to make something small for each member of the group.  Thinking about quilting, sewing etc. I heard the large jar of wooden thread spools calling out to me.  So I created an ornament using the spools, old hymnal pages, beads and a touch of glitter.

I was able to make an ornament for each member of our group.
The spools turned out quite nice as an ornament.
Using pages from an old hymnal I cut a piece to cover each spool.  I glued the music to the spool with tacky glue.  Next I threaded the beads and spool onto a long ear ring wire and created a loop at the top.
The crystals hanging from to bottom came from a set of old ear rings.

Old hymnals hold an abundance of crafting possibilities.

The stack just keeps growing and growing.
To add the final touch to each ornament I made a glittered snowflake.  The small snowflakes are from a punch and then I put a small dot of tacky glue in the center.  Poured fine glitter over the glue to create a glittered center for each snowflake.  This small sparkle detail was just what each ornament needed.  A hanger from gold embroidery thread was added so the ornament is easy to hang.
The snowflakes are buried under each pile of glitter.

This small detail was just what each ornament needed to sparkle.
I was able to make about 25 ornaments before I ran out of the beads I was using.  Yes I still have a lot of wooden spools in my thread drawers.  Before starting this project I made sure it was not going to deplete my spool stash.  I like they way they look in the jar by my sewing machine. 
Packaged and ready to distribute at the party.  

Each quilter at the party loved their new ornament. 
So the next time your spouse or friend gives you a hard time about saving something that they deemed should be trashed.  Tell them you are saving it for a special project.  Who knows what wonderful creations will emerge.  Only 7 days left!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Countdown 2014 - Paint Chip Tags #8

Now that you have some gifts bought and made it is time to wrap them.  Today's project will give you a fun tag to attach to any gift.  Paint Chip Gift Tags.

These tags will be an attractive addition to any present under your tree.

Simple to make and fun to attach.
Gather those paint chips from your decorating idea file or head to your local hardware store and pick some up.  Then cut the tag shape by using a punch or simply cut the tags into rectangular sections.  After you create your tag shape select a smaller punch to cut out at the bottom of each tag.  (Save the drop outs for another project)  Punch a hole at the top and add some ribbon.  Viola your done. 
From the long paint chips you can create several tags.
Strong bold shapes work the best.
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...
This type of tag works great any time of year by changing the colors and the bottom punch.  Hearts in red for valentines, pastel colors with bunnies for Easter, and so on and so on.  Now get to wrapping those gifts and attaching these fun tags.  Only 8 more days left!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Countdown 2014 - More Cookie Cutter Ornaments #9

If you still have an abundance of cookie cutters in your cabinet you might want to try this ornament project.  Wrapped Cookie Cutter ornaments.  They are simple and can be done with metal or plastic cookie cutters.

Using variegated yarn gives you the stripe effect.
Simply secure the yarn to the cookie cutter and wrap the yarn around the outside.  Be sure to keep the yarn straight and tightly wound.  Secure the end again and add a hanger.  It would even be cute to suspend something from the center of the ornament like a small star etc.
Keep the yarn tight when wrapping.

On tight corners you might have to slightly overlap the yarn.
After you make all of your cookies for the holidays sort the cookie cutters into stacks of "keep for cookies" and "turn into ornaments" piles.  Then grab your yarn and have some fun.  This would be a great craft for the kids to help with.  These simple ornaments great gifts for coworkers and teachers.  Only 9 days left!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Countdown 2014 - Cookie Cutter Ornament #10

Only 10 days left! What, only 10 days left!  Yikes I am not ready for Christmas there is still too many projects left to finish.  Today's project is a fun ornament made from old metal cookie cutters.

These ornaments are quick to make but have that antique quality.
The ornaments are made from the old metal cookie cutters like your mother and grandmother had.  You can paint the cookie cutters (as my friend did above) or leave them in the original metal.  After you have painted the cookie cutter you cut out music or another kind of paper and glue it to the bottom on the inside of the cookie cutter.  Then to finish off the ornament add any kind of embellishment you want in the center.  My friend used simple die cuts from Christmas scrap book paper.  Add a hanger and you are done. 
Even slightly bent this ornament is a prize.
An old hymnal was used in the backs of these
but scrap book paper would work well also.
I found these ornament at a garage sale.  They are copper I think they would look
great as ornaments but probably will not get them done this year.  Oh well, maybe next year.
I think it would be cute to add some old buttons in the center to give it another dimensional layer.  But the simple die cuts are cute also.  Remember Only 10 days left!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Countdown 2014 - Joy to the World! #11

As the Christmas carol says - "Joy to the World the Lord is come: Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room, And heaven and nature sing."

As we sing the carols that have resounded across the world for many generations I pray that you and your family will prepare your hearts to receive the King of Kings.  Take time to share memories of Christmas past and may Joy fill the Christmas of 2014.