Sunday, December 18, 2016

Last Minute Gift Ideas Blog Hop


     There is always so much to do this time of year and I'm always looking for quick, easy and inexpensive ornament/decor items to give or keep.  Especially when a last minute invitation comes up and you need a hostess gift asap!

Welcome to the Last Minute Gift Ideas Blog Hop and please visit all these talented designers (see end of post) for more ideas.  And a chance to win a $100 gift card too!  The winner will be announced on Sunday, December 25th on


     One of the easiest ornament ideas utilizes clear ornaments that open in half for easy filling of some many ideas.  Here are just a few but I'm sure you can come up with so many ideas of your own.  Look for sales/coupons at retailers and your local dollar store is another great resource.

BEADS:  I tend to have a lot of beads left over from various jewelry projects and I store them by color in an organizer meant for nails,screws, etc.  (Yes I re-allocated from my husband's stash!)  Just simply fill an ornament and it makes a pretty and quick ornament.

PINECONES:  I found bags of glittery pinecones at my local dollar store and I love the way it captures the sun.

POM POMS:  From the discount bin at my local big box retailer, I loved these pom poms and what a cute filling they make.  And with matching tassel hangars, they make a great ornament and you can also use it as a package topper.

FLORAL ITEMS:  In the floral department of my craft store, I found balls used for vase fillers as well as some floral picks that were marked down.  Again, just a simple fill and you are ready to go.

MINI SNOWMEN:  In my stash I also had some miniature snowmen beads -- I'm not sure I remember why I had them, but with a little glue they make a nice ornament.  Using a heavy duty glue (I like E600), glue the beads to the bottom of one half of the ornament.  I also found a pretty star in the scrapbook department, all ready with a string.  Once the glue has dried, add some fake snow.  Then thread the star through the hanging part of the ornament.  

     I have always loved bottle trees and there are many deals to be found this time of year (and I'm also the person that shops the day after Christmas for next year's supplies!).  They remind me of my Grandmother.  You can find multi packs of the trees and here are some ideas on how to use them as last minute gifts:

ORNAMENT:  Again, just by using some heavy duty glue and fake snow, you can quickly make an old fashioned ornament to keep or give!  Apply a small amount of glue to the bottom of the tree and once dry add in some snow.  It gives you the illusion of a snow globe but without any liquid -- this works out well for me because I have friends/family all over and this makes it easier to ship them a gift.  

BRINGING HOME THE TREE:  All you need are little trucks and bottle trees and you can replicate "bringing home the tree" which is a motif I have always loved.  These examples use various sizes and these were easy to find at my local drug store and the dollar store.  The large blue truck actually works as a wind up toy so it can serve double duty!!!  Simply rest the tree where you think you want it on the truck and glue.  On some of the examples I used raffia to act as twine to imitate the look of bringing home the tree.  

CHRISTMAS VIGNETTE:  I found small mirrors in the mosiac department of my local craft store as well as fake spray snow.  My goal was to create a little vignette that would work well on its own in addition to adding to someone's existing village display.  Simply spray the snow as desired on the mirror.  I used the package as a template as I only wanted 1/2 of the mirror covered -- I wanted it to look like a small town pond.  Using bits from Christmas pieces, simply glue on to the mirror and that is it!  Many of these items come in multi packs so you can usually get 1 - 4 completed projects out of each pack.

   I have many items salvaged from my Grandmother's house.  She had a bunch of glass doorknobs and I added the bottle trees to the flat top and I think they make a wonderful vignette.  If the metal part that goes through the door is still connected, use a saw or power tool to remove it so the top is flat -- again thanks to the hubby!  

   I discovered these shabby chic hanging frames and magnetic birds while strolling through my local craft store.  I simply cut out some holiday themed paper, glued to the open part of the frame and added the bird.  Since it is magnetic, the bird can live anywhere on the piece and this literally took 3 minutes to complete.  And if you have any leftovers after the Holidays, just change out the paper and you can use for Easter, birthdays, housewarmings, etc.

Please head over to each of these other blogs for more fun and creative inspiration for last minute gift ideas! Click to see each designer:
Ola Khomenok
Kathy Clement
Alexandra Morein
Sandy Trefger
Gloria Stengel
Pam Bray
Einat Alagem

Saturday, March 26, 2016

From That To This


     I'm always saving containers in the hope of "rescuing" them.  Finally, a project came up and I thought these containers would be perfect.

    My friend's daughter was getting a room makeover because, as she said, "I'm a big girl now".  They decided on a paint scheme -- blue and brown.  I also knew that her daughter was starting to take classes in sewing, knitting and crocheting and was enjoying her classes.  I decided to take some containers, try to upcycle them with just some paint, glue, etc. and turn them into fun little containers to start storing her supplies.....because you know if you are a crafter, getting those supplies are part of the art!


    The items I decided to use for this project were:

  • A metal cookie tin
  • A large plastic sugar container (we did ALOT of baking over the holidays)
  • An unfinished wood box
  • Acrylic paint, Mod Podge, Tissue Paper
I included a baby wipes container as another option but did not use it for this example.


     In keeping with the brown and blue colors, I coated the tin with 2 coats of burnt umber acrylic paint.  You may need more depending on your surface. 

     I wanted to try to achieve a vintage look which my friend's daughter is a big fan of.  I collect old sewing patterns and using the tissue paper patterns, I ripped them and applied several different coats with Mod Podge.  Let each coat dry before applying the next one.  You don't necessarily need to see the words, etc on the patterns but I liked the aged appearance it gave the tin.  When you are completed, add a final coat of Mod Podge to seal.

    This container makes a great holder for crochet and knitting hooks.


     Coat the container in a dark blue (or whatever color you choose) acrylic paint.  You will probably need at least two coats to cover.  Once dry, sponge paint a lighter blue and then your brown acrylic -- creating an almost splattered enamel look to the plastic.  Same for the lid.

    Cut a small hole in the top and this would be a great container for yarn as you can feed it through the hole while you are working on your project.


   Cover the box with a couple of coats of the burnt umber paint -- I love the effect this paint gives.  It takes a plain old box and makes it look much richer!  

   I added some of the blue paint from the sugar container on to the legs and front edge of the box to tie it in color-wise so all the bits of this project looks good together.

  Add a peel and stick magnetic sheet to the inside front lid and it is a great place to keep pins.  I added some vintage items from my Grandmother's sewing basket as part of the gift -- a thimble, buttons etc.

  With just some paint, glue and paper you can upcycle any container.  Have fun!