Friday, January 29, 2016

Sweet and Affordable Hot Cocoa Gift Set

Not everyone in your life is going to be a coffee drinker. Every once in a while, you will come upon that crazy person who never liked it. Therefore, I have for you a fun gift idea for the non-coffee drinker. 

Now I have to admit, even though I love coffee, who doesn't want a good hot cocoa on a cold night? Throw in some mini marshmallows and I'm set! 

I found this wonderful idea over at Sugar & Cloth- find the original posting here. She pulled this off much better than I, but it was definitely a blast to re-create and super affordable. 

I used the following: 
An unfinished wooden box - I used the largest size listed, which you can purchase separately in store. 
Glass jars - I would recommend purchasing in store at the same time as the box, just to make sure  they fit in the box well. 
Ingredients to fill the jars- I personally used mini chocolate chips, hot cocoa mix and mini marshmallows bits.
Twine and labels optional! 

The process is super simple: Just fill each little jar with your ingredients (which isn't limited to hot cocoa- use your imagination! DIY sugar scrubs, lotions, candies, etc.)

Then just tie a string or twine around the top (prior to closing the lid) and label however you'd like!

I personally followed the example of Sugar & Cloth and wood burned initials on the front to personalize the gift a bit. 

All that was left is to place the jars in the box (Which I paired with some plaid-printed filler) and tie them up with twine or whatever else matches the occasion! 

This was lots of fun and super cheap. I ended up making six of these at once for some friends and paid about $34 total! I'd say that roughly $6 per homemade gift is a pretty good deal. :) 

Have a wonderful weekend! I am super psyched for my niece's baby shower tomorrow and will definitely be posting soon!

Monday, January 25, 2016

No-Sew Paper Garland

Sorry for the lack of humor or creativity in the title, but "I love garlands a hole punch" just seemed a bit too cheesy- even for me! 

Needless to say, I wanted to give a brief tutorial on a super easy craft that can be used in countless ways. I just used this particular garland for a photo booth about a week ago, and I'm using another one for my sis's baby shower this weekend. It's a great touch to add some color and easy to customize.
I'm not so great with sewing, so I ended up spending way more time on this than necessary. If you can sew, then just sew all these little circles in a line! I went the hot glue route and it is tedious. 
You only need a few things for this project: some string or twine (I used this twine) A hot glue gun and hot glue, whatever form of paper or material you choose, and a hole puncher. I borrowed this one from my mother-in-love, but will be buying a similar one soon- it was a HUGE time saver! Can you imagine cutting these things out? Yuck! 

And what fun would crafting be without Wookiee there to help out? 

It is about as easy as you can already imagine: measure out as much string or twine as you need for your project and bust out the hot glue! I put a thin line down the back-center of the paper, then stuck the string directly to it so I knew it would stay in place. I put the hot glue in a circle around the edge and placed the same color paper backside down, pressing on it slightly to secure it in place on the string. 

I also learned that you should not leave your twine roll unattended with a Wookiee around...  

I think it ended up turning out really well, although for the photobooth backdrop, I would use larger circles next time for better visibility. My dad is rocking this photo though!

I designed a whole large-scale party around this rustic old-school theme, so I will be posting those photos soon as well as a tutorial on the pinecone garland shown above. 

Have a great week!

Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.
-Psalm 86:11

Friday, January 22, 2016

This calls for coffee...

This week has been one of the harder weeks I've had in the last five years. Without going into much detail, I have been cut down to size and felt completely worthless and confused. Not to say I haven't had downs before- life is full of them- but there are some times when I just wonder why. 
I have no doubt God has great plans for me, but I am always curious about the timing.  When are you going to do something great, God? When will you use me? Am I meant for something more or do you want me to contentedly "stack chairs?"
Something I have learned this week, however, is that God doesn't ignore our pain. I believe He uses it to draw us closer to Him and I believe He doesn't enjoy it when we are struggling. He always seems to find ways to show me He cares about my small problems.
My verse-for-the-day came in perfect timing. When I was feeling worthless, I opened my e-mail to this verse: Ephesians 3:30- "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."
I don't think I could have found a better verse if I had been looking!

Now I just need a bit of wisdom and discernment. It always astounds me how much I don't act like Christ in the moments that call for it most. 

Anyway, I digress..

There are some amazing changes going on at the moment as well, as my hubby and I bought a house and will be moving next month! I had all my ideas in a special Pinterest board and was super excited to use the colorful sticker method and have a numbered box-chart, but it turns out I was over-complicating things a bit, so we're just going with the old fashioned way of writing the contents on the box and hoping for the best. :) 

On top of prepping for the upcoming move, I am in the process of planning my sister-in-love's baby shower next weekend. I'm super jazzed to have a new little niece! So even though this is super basic in the craft-department, I wanted to share one of the fun things I'm doing for the party: 

I found this awesome idea on Pinterest and knew I would be making them, but had no idea how to use them at the moment. 

You start by cutting up a bunch of circles from old sheet music, books or pretty much any paper you want! It felt a little horrible to be cutting up an old book, but I think it ended up being worth it. (I used a Tupperware lid for a guide.)

Next, I used a paper lantern and started hot gluing a small strip along the top of the paper and gluing them in a scalloped pattern.



 I used the actual whole circles just for the top, since those are the only full circles you'll see.

 And it ended up turning out really cool! I found that I needed about 80 circles per lantern, but I suppose that depends fully on the size of lantern and size of circle pattern used.

And I actually know what I'll be doing with them now! I love the idea of using different papers for different rooms- I've heard of some using kids books for a light in their nursery, so maybe I'll test that out next.