DIY gifts kids can make

I am a fan of family game nights.

And I love the idea of making games from pictures of all of your family’s favorite people, places, or things. Here, a few of my favorite personalized game ideas. With one more coming tomorrow.

Totally beautiful memory game by Say Yes to Hoboken. Get the full tutorial here.
Also love this bottle cap version.

I was completely blown away by the method for making these photo bean bags.

And a few favorite ideas for photo puzzles from here,

here,

and here (via here).

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A country girl just isn’t a country girl without her pasture boots. And my last pair had given all they had. I was in desperate need of a new pair. And though I’d love a pretty pair of wellies, they weren’t quite in the budget this month. But I came across this pair, totally affordable, and all made from a solid piece of something sturdy, so I brought them home.

I walked in the door and put them down, then looked at my Silhouette. Then back at my boots, than at my Silhouette. Wait. a. second. I found a friendly doily shape that came with my Silhouette and thought it was just the thing.

I sized the doily shape to work on my boot toes, loaded a page of vinyl on my Silhouette, and put it to work, purring away and cutting out my doilies.

I have never worked with vinyl before. So this vinyl transfer paper was new to me. It is a dream come true. You peel off the negative parts of your design from the vinyl you’ve cut, then stick vinyl transfer paper right on top of the smooth side of your vinyl. Then peel off the bottom of your vinyl to reveal the sticky side. This lets you place your vinyl right where you like it. Once it’s in place, you peel off the transfer paper.

After placing my vinyl stencil, all that was left to do was color in with my sharpie, let them dry, then peel away the vinyl.

Do you like how they turned out? I’m very satisfied. My daughter is dying to design her own.

Steel-toed boots are great and all, but doily-toed boots? You can’t beat that.

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Silhouette SD

I hope you’re enjoying my Silhouette fest! Don’t forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for a Silhouette SD of your very own. You have until next Wednesday. And don’t miss the great discounts offered by Silhouette for GiversLog readers. It’s okay to email this to someone who loves you as a hint for an early Christmas. A very early, very good Christmas.

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Hello again!

I’ve stopped by today to get your 4th of July wheels turning.  I can’t believe it’s only ten days away.  Do you already have plans?  It always seems that we have nice long summer days in June and then July is over before I can catch my breath.

Take a look at a few of the festive things I found rummaging around online–I think you’ll find something you like:


1.  Pillowcase dress from The Uptown Baby

2.  Sailor Dress from Topshop via Found It.Loved It.

3.  Bobby Pins from howbeadyful

4.  Striped Canvas Wedges from TOMS via Found It.Loved It.

5.  Vintage Enamel Brooch from Nonnie’s Treasures

1. The Perfect Burger from Martha Stewart

2.  Grilled Corn on the Cob from Epicurious

3.  Red, White, & Blue Parfait from Weelicious

4.  Cupcake Liners from Crate & Barrel

5.  Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad from The Pioneer Woman

1.  Red, White, & Blue Garland from Martha Stewart via Kind Over Matter

2.  Confetti Popper Rockets from alphamom via Kind Over Matter

3.  Pinwheel Cupcake Toppers from the long thread via Kind Over Matter

4.  Sidewalk Chalk Stars from alphamom via the long thread

5.  Star Medallions from Martha Stewart


1.  Lunchboxes from Target

2.  The 4th of July Story from Amazon

3.  Happy July 4th Tags from Fresh Lemon Blossoms

4.  Ballon Pump from Vat19 via Found It.Loved It.

5.  Tabletop Pennants from possibly & perhaps

6.  Patriotic Eagle Plaque from Wisteria

7.  Guac Off! from Chronicle Books via Oh Happy Day

8.  Army and Navy Dolls from Wisteria

Here’s to an Independence Day full of good food, friends, family and fireworks! 

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Darling Clementine

Crystal stops by GiversLog a couple times a month to share her fresh ideas. When she’s not writing for GiversLog, Crystal can be found mothering, knitting, and cooking.  Stop by and see some of her handy work at her etsy shop.

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While we’re talking Father’s Day food, here’s one more edible surprise for Dad. This is something we put together for my husband’s old college roommate to use at his desk. He really, really likes curry. So we gave him a salt, pepper, and curry shaker, plus a little hand mixed garam masala, to have on hand for lunch breaks. The curry was pre-mixed store-bought, but next time, I’m making my own. I know many men have a spice they favor, and unless it’s garlic, I figure it’s worth encouraging.

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Divine Twine

If you haven’t had the chance to stop by the new shop for  Whisker Graphics , make sure you schedule a stop today. So many fun printables and paper goods. Not to mention the famous Divine Twine.

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For some time I’ve been meaning to start highlighting your comments. So often they put a smile on my face so I’d like to pass them on every now and then. I thought Mandy‘s comment on this blog post was a good place to start.

“holy crow are those weck jars…it’s my dream jar shelf…” —Mandy

If you are unfamiliar with Weck, you can feast your eyes right here.

And one last, very important thing. Be sure to stop by Mandy’s blog. She has a recipe for Disappearing Strawberry Freezer Jam that I can’t wait to try.

[pantry image from here via here]

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Here in my little town we have some amazing places to pick up dessert. We have a country roadside stop for soft-serve cones, we have this incredible European-style pastry shop, and finally, we have a cupcake bakery that sells the best cupcakes I have ever tasted. Yumm. Just thinking about it makes me want cupcakes for breakfast.
Incase you can’t tell, I’m a sucker for a pretty dessert. Especially a pretty cupcake. And though I love eating them, I also like giving them away. So a few months ago, I came up with a fun way to present a single cupcake, enthroned in all its sprinkled glory. It started when we realized these make the perfect dome over a cupcake.
I ordered a set of these deli containers, and flipped them upside down.


I pulled out the drill and made a single hole in the center on top.

Then I added a favorite drawer pull that I picked up, where else?, from Anthropologie. (Note: the knobs at Anthropologie are always long, so if you get one from there, you’ll need to either cut it down or replace it with a shorter screw. Some unscrew easier than others, so check before you buy.)
We discovered that a liner beneath the cupcake is the perfect place for a secret message. If you have a particularly buttery cupcake (the best kind) and are worried about grease spoiling your message, use a layer of glassine.
All that’s left to do is snap on the dome. And there you have it, a pretty cupcake, packaged and ready to send home with a guest or birthday girl, even with a handle for easy carrying. After finishing this project I decided that the next time we have a tea party over here,

we are definitely having a cupcake tree.

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If you’re new here, you can check out my other tutorials here, or get some inspiration for other party favors on my blog, my gift inspiration board, or my pretty packaging inspiration board. Thanks for stopping by!

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I love May. I’d love to spend the entire month outside. In honor of May I thought we’d do a project that is reminiscent of May poles and of frolicking in the spring sunshine. We put together some DIY ribbon sticks.

When I first saw these clear tubes from Garnish, I was giddy with the possibilities. So I ordered a few.

Then I pulled out some leftover craft supplies: a few jewelry fasteners, leftover ribbon, one-foot wooden dowels, and some tacks I found out in the shed.

I started putting it all together. Ribbons sewn to fasteners and fasteners nailed to dowels. (If you don’t want to sew, tying knots works just as well). My fasteners allowed for three ribbons on each stick, which I thought was just right.
We did some test frolicking. The best ribbons are definitely the light, silky ones. (And as a side note, I decided to do this tutorial during my all-things-wedding weeks, because I can’t help think that a bunch of little girls frolicking with ribbon sticks would totally add to the scenery of any wedding. Or picnic. Or backyard barbeque. Or school yard. Or anything.)

Then we packaged up our creations in our tubes and added some labels (available for free here). We’re excited to spread some May sunshine. We’re off to the post office to see how the mail clerk likes them, but more importantly, the little girls who will be receiving them in the mail.

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and incase you’d like to see a little more, here is my favorite fun mail inspiration from the archives (or see it all right here):

A Great Big Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

 

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My brother and SIL are the coolest. For my kids’ birthdays this year they sent this.
Bubble wrap hopscotch. And what do you do when you receive a package of bubble wrap hopscotch in the mail? There is only one thing you can do. Tear it right out of the package and get hopping.

So save your bubble wrap, because this is such a great thing to get in the mail. Writing the numbers is easy, just make sure you’re writing on the bubblewrap’s smooth side.
You might want to make a set for yourself.
Then just package it up and send it off. Ours looked a little like a bubble wrap sandwich.
Incase you’re interested in the rules, here are the official hopscotch rules, according to my playground experience:

1. Lay out numbers as shown.
2. Toss the marker on square one.
3. Skip square one and hop on all the other numbers, using only one foot for single squares, both feet for doubles. Then turn and hop back, stopping one square before the marker (you must balance on one foot if it is a single square), and bend over and pick up your marker. Then finish hopping home.
4. If you over throw the marker or lose balance then you end your turn. Continue with remaining numbers (2, 3, 4, 5…) until done.

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and incase you’d like to see a little more, here is my favorite fun mail inspiration from the archives (or follow my 13 oz or less Pinterest board, or see it all right here):

A Disposable Camera | A Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

 

 

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I love this idea for anything, but especially for Mother’s day. Inspired by vintage tinted photos, Unplug Your Kids made this simple project. You are looking at photos printed on standard copy paper, then colored with colored pencils. Wouldn’t this be beautiful with lovely pictures of grandma in her heyday or surrounded by her grandkids? Get the full DIY here (found via here).


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Today I’ve put together a gift idea for you that Grandma can keep in her purse and that involves pictures of her Grandchildren. I thought that might be a nice combo. And I also made a discovery in the process. Read on to hear more.

Here’s what you’ll need to make Grandma her own checkbook cover that features the silhouettes of her favorite people in the world, her grandchildren:
A scrap of fabric big enough to wrap around a checkbook cover
A scrap of colored felt
Fabric glue, like Liquid Stitch
A fabric marker or permanent marker, or fabric paint and a paintbrush
Embroidery thread or Divine Twine and a needle

I love getting Divine Twine in the mail. It makes for a happy mail day.

Start by cutting your fabric in a rectangle big enough to be the cover for grandma’s checkbook. Lay a checkbook cover flat, and cut around it, leaving an extra quarter inch on the sides for gluing, and adding an extra inch or two on the top and bottom to fold over the checkbook and make pockets for the back and front cover to slip into. Remember the way you used to cover your books in grade school? This is a little like that.

Cut out frame shapes from the felt and glue them where you’d like them.

Now it’s time to take some pictures of your kids to use for the silhouettes. Have your kids stand in front of a window and snap the picture with the window as backlighting. This will give you a stronger silhouette line than if you just take a regular indoor picture. Print the picture out at an appropriate size.

Place the picture behind the fabric and trace each silhouette with a pencil. I taped my picture and my fabric to a window so I could easily see the outline. Bring the fabric off the window and trace the profile again with a fabric or permanent marker. Here’s a little tip on technique: be sure to keep the marker moving. If you stop to hold still the ink will bleed a little more into the fabric and make an unsightly blob.

Fill in the silhouettes with the marker or with fabric paint. Now here is my fun discovery. Did you know you can embroider with Divine Twine? I’m so excited about the possibilities! I pulled out two threads of my licorice twine and used the remaining two to embroider a little hanger for my frames. I thought it added a nice final touch.


Finally, flip the fabric over and glue the sides together to make the pockets that the checkbook covers will slide into.

After you’ve given your project a day or two to dry, send it off to grandma with a note of love.

And once you’ve gone to the trouble of making silhouettes of your kids, you can get creative and make other goodies for mom’s or grandma’s purse. Like maybe a set of calling cards and matchbook notebooks featuring the same silhouettes. Any other fun ideas of things to do with silhouettes? I’d love to hear.

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I think a fabric bloom is just the thing to give mom on Mother’s Day, don’t you? Something lovely for her to pin on to make her feel queenly. I’ve seen so many beautiful fabric flowers floating around that I thought I’d gather them here for a little inspiration in case you’d like to buy or DIY.

buy Heart of Light | Grosgrain tutorial | 100 Layer Cake tutorial

buy Emersonmade | Miss Priss tutorial | Prudent Baby tutorial

buy Twigs & Honey | buy Sarah Culleton (via here) | Ruffles and Stuff tutorial

Everyday Chaos tutorial | buy K. Autumn (via here) | Mama Monster tutorial

Salty Pineapple tutorial | Knit Picks tutorial | buy Tago Design

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Clickin Moms

If you happen to be a budding photographer, you are going to love one of my new sponsors. More on Clickin Moms coming soon.

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Here’s a quick little project I thought you might like to make for mom or grandma on Mother’s Day. It easy, and come on, aren’t the results fab? Put a few scraps of fabric on the table in front of your kids and see what lovely things they come up with.

You’ll need just a few supplies:
-A pair of scissors
-Scrap pieces of felt and patterned fabric
-Pipe cleaners
-A fun array of buttons

We  snipped out a few varying shapes and sizes of fabric. I liked the round felt with the scalloped pattern fabric. Layer them as you like and snip a single slit right in the middle.

With the pipe cleaner, make a loop big enough to fit as a ring in the back, and make a little twist to finish the loop.  Then poke both ends through the slit in the fabric, through the button holes, and give the pipe cleaner one more twist on the top to hold everything in place.

And there you have it. Something fabulous for grandma or mom to wear on her special day.

We also discovered that if you make a slightly bigger version you can make mom’s bike pretty too.

Happy snipping.

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Do you have any favorite teacher appreciation gifts you’ve given in the past? Teachers, any favorites you’ve received? Here are a few of my all-time favorites that kids can make for teacher appreciation, many of which can be paired nicely with a gift card for say, a book on tape, a car wash, or bread from a yummy bakery. (Or go in with other class members and give them a night away, which we’re planning to do.)
pictured: handsoap with kids’ art from here, block notepad from HowDoesShe, Pencil Puzzle from MaryJanesGoloshes.

Gifts using pictures of the kids. A few ideas for using photos of the kids themselves, which are an especially great surprise if you can get the class together for a group photo. These photo gifts are helpful for kids too young to write thank you notes to teacher.
1. Thank you portrait. Have the kids spell out “thank you” by laying on the ground and forming the letters with their bodies. Take pictures from overhead.
2. Knee-down portrait. Have the kids line up against a wall and take a photo of the kids from their knees down. Wrap the photo around a can for a pencil holder.
3. Thank you board book or moleskin. On each page put a picture of each child and a reason he or she loves the teacher.
4. Photo beanbags for the classroom.
5. Pencil photo puzzle (found via OnePrettyThing).
6. Photo magazine holders for classroom organization (found via OnePrettyThing).
7. A set of magnets for the classroom.
8. A water bottle.

Gifts using kids’ artwork. And here a few ideas for making gifts from artwork your little one has already created.
9. Handsoap with art inside.
10. Personalized pencil sharpener.
11. Personalized book plates.
12. Stationary for the classroom.
13. A photo desk calendar.

Things kids color directly on
. Self explanatory, right?
14. Rocks and a planter. Have each child paint a small rock. Add these to the top of a plant in a pretty pot for the teacher’s home or classroom.
15. The classroom door. Get students together to decorate the classroom door with loving notes.
16. Cube notepad. Get or make a cube-sized notepad, have the kids color on the sides.
17. Pretty thumb tacks, or try a more rustic set.
18. A good reference book with something pretty stamped on the side.
19. Premium fruit juice with labels drawn by your kids.
20. Cloth Napkins. Use the batik method to decorate a set of cloth napkins. Just drizzle Elmer’s glue over the fabric, let it dry, dye it, and wash it according to the directions on the dye.
21. A notebook with sweet messages hidden throughout.

Things kids can make
22. Handlebar flower.
23. Seed tape.
24. Fabric tissue case (found via OnePrettyThing).
25. Friendly felt-embellished paper clips.
26. Sunprint pencil cup.
27. Pretty pens.
28. Fabric-covered journals (found via OnePrettyThing).
29. Pretty binder clips.
30. Poetry suitcase f
or use in the classroom.
31. Fabric catchall.
32. Corner bookmark.
33. Fabric-covered pots (found via OnePrettyThing).
34. Forced bulbs or an herb garden planted and nurtured by your child.
35. Footwarmer.
36. Lavender drawer sachets.
37. Reusable lunch bag.
38. Yummy bread. If your child has just learned to read, have them use their new skills to read a recipe and make homemade bread.
30. Homemade croutons to go with a salad kit.
40. Homemade pasta cut in fun shapes with a cookie cutter.
41. Chocolate dipped strawberries.
42. Macarons.
43. Waffle mix and real maple syrup with a label drawn by your child.
44. Hot chocolate on a stick (in colder weather).
45. Homemade granola.
46. A caramel-dipped apple.
47. Homemade salsa.
48. Homemade hot sauce.
49. Vanilla sugar.
50. Cookie dough frozen in cookie-sized portions. I like using a bag to pipe out stir and drop cookies.

UPDATE:
Comment from a teacher.
I thought this note from Susan, a real teacher weighing in, was helpful: “These are great ideas!  If you include picutures of your kids, make sure the gift is really for the teacher.  I once got Christmas ornaments with student pictures in them.  While I love your kid and happy to spend all day with them, I don’t want to take them home with me.” Thanks, Susan!

Treats in the teacher’s lounge. I love this idea, found here: “Our school provides the best teacher appreciation week. Each day a different grade level is responsible for providing snacks and goodies for the teachers lounge. We always have a ton of food. One year we all received corsages made from one mom! This year we were surprised with 15 minute massages for each teacher. A therapist came in to our building for 2-days and gave each teacher a 15 minute massage. It was wonderful!!!!”

Teacher favorites survey. I also love this idea found here: “My daughter’s PTO has a form that each teacher fills out at the beginning of the year with their “favorites” (favorite color, soda, candy, scent, etc.). They keep all of the teachers forms in a book in the office [or keep them on the school's website]- that way parents can have easy access and get the teacher something they like or will use.”

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Ever since high school, I have always carried a blank notebook with me almost everywhere I go, for recording bits of inspiration as they strike. I also like carrying a black pen and a pencil. And only recently did it occur to me to have a pencil sharpener to carry around too. It’s the simplest but greatest thing. To have a sharpened pencil anytime I need it is such a joy. So we recently started giving pencil sharpeners to other people too (you may have noticed it in this post). We found it to be the perfect teacher gift, and with teacher appreciation day fast approaching (it’s May 4), I thought you might like the how-to.


I simply decided to buy wooden pencil sharpeners and follow the directions for making a scrabble tile pendant. Here’s what you’ll need:
—A wooden pencil sharpener
(I was turned on to KUM pencil sharpeners after reading this hearty endorsement)
—Modge podge
Diamond glaze
(can be hard to find, so shop around in advance, you can also use epoxy resin, which is more permanent and is water resistant, but you won’t want to use it around kids)
—A piece of artwork to add to the pencil sharpener


It’s true, KUM sharpeners are the best.

We’ve used a couple different kinds of artwork to apply to the pencil sharpener. I printed an initial for one, and my son drew a picture for his teacher for another sharpener. I took a photo of it and reduced its size.


I sanded off the paint from the sharpener.

I painted the surface of the sharpener with Modge Podge, then added my artwork and painted again with Modge Podge. I decided to give the sharpener a little extra time to dry.

I flipped over the sharpener and used a craft knife to trim the overhanging edges of the artwork.

Then I added the diamond glaze. This part can be a little tricky. I added a bead of glaze the size of a dime to the center, then tilted the sharpener until the glaze covered most of the surface. I used a straight pin to guide the glaze to the corners of the surface. And finally, I set up the sharpener on a bottle cap so the sharpener was perfectly level as the diamond glaze dried (which takes a few days, so be prepared to wait).


Once the glaze was dry, we had a personalized pencil sharpener ready to go.


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