Monday, December 20, 2010

Inexpensive Gift Ideas

More stuff for you to try to make yourself! 
1.  One note:  We did buy paintbrushes which do not fit our buying guide but seemed completely necessary for the Rainy Day Box project.  Paper and paint are depletable and we felt like the wooden sticks were an okay thing to purchase, as well. By covering many of the items with coordinating papers, it brings a sense of the items being custom.
1. On the "Nature Boxes" which contain birdseed, pinecones, peanut butter and twine, a shoebox would work just as well as the paper mache boxes we used.  I decorated with paper and paint and bought the peanut butter at Dollar Tree for one dollar.  The bag of birdseed I bought is enough to do six of these nature boxes easily. The pinecones were provided by nature. And I already had the twine on hand.  So this project could be done as cheaply as $4-$5, depending on the price of the birdseed and peanut butter, as well as the supplies you may already have on hand. 
2.  The red bag with the Christmas Tree is a No-Sew felt bag.  I used a hot glue gun to glue the seams together and used some gold twine I had to pull the top together.  This took two pieces of pre-cut felt pieces, no cutting and no sewing.  Can't get any easier than this!  Plus, I already had the supplies.  This is what years of crafting is good for :)
3. Lastly, the pom-poms are a very traditional, easy craft project that allows for some very cute ornaments.  They look especially nice in a decorated shoebox!

Shoeboxes were of major importance this year for the Snack Packs, Rainy Day Boxes and used as gift boxes. Maybe you can try your hand at some of these.  I actually looked up the pom-pom instructions on You Tube.

Monday, December 13, 2010

More Gift Ideas

Promise me you won't tell anyone about these gift ideas!  These will be under the Christmas tree in a couple of weeks but I am letting you in on these in case you need an idea or two.  The Snack Packs are similar to the ones I have posted before.  The fish bowl is one we had in the attic, collecting dust.  My oldest boy loves to collect shells and rocks so I painted on some seashells and coral and now he has a place to keep his collection and be able to enjoy it.  The pictures of the alphabet pages with little items to match is a "matching game."  I got the idea from something I saw at our local library.  So, I made the alphabet cards on the computer and began either searching for items or making items that would coordinate with the pictures.  I am having the alphabet pages laminated and will cut them into individual cards.  I also painted a shoebox and this will be the container that holds the game. Remember, shhhhhh!  And, happy crafting!

Friday, December 10, 2010

What About Santa?

Several folks have asked us about the Santa Factor.  How do we explain to our children that Santa can only bring edibles and depletables this year for Christmas?  First, we have never let Santa bring a lot of anything.  Santa is limited to only one or two things.  Second, we told them that we used the magic Santa number to contact the North Pole and request that Santa and his Elves respect our wishes this year and what we are doing.  Santa became a questionable figure for our oldest boy when he was about 5 and asked why his toys were "made in China" if Santa brought them from the North Pole. The other night, however, our pastor accidentally 'outed' Santa in church.  He didn't mean to and now the topic is really a moot point with our 8-year-old.  Our 3-year-old still believes so there will be presents from Santa - they just have to fit the criteria we have set!  Easy, huh?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Giant Ornament

I may have mentioned this from time to time, but I LOVE paper crafts, especially card-making and paper decor.  A friend of mine was making some things at my house yesterday and she came up with a cute paper photo frame.  I took her inspiration and made an ornament instead of a frame.  The idea is essentially the same, except I went ahead and decorated the center instead of leaving it open for a picture.  It is about 8 inches in diameter and consists of some chipboard circles I had on hand, as well as a stamped image of a poinsettia.  With the addition of some Christmas craft paper and a touch of glitter, I have a giant ornament for decorating with or to gift with.  Here's a pic.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snack Packs

Here are a couple of things we made for two of our young cousins for Christmas.  We did each of them a Snack Pack of their favorite snacks. The containers are decorated shoe boxes.  We also made a Bird Feeding Kit from a paper birdhouse that included peanut butter, pinecones, and birdseed.