My So Called Crafty Life

DIY Upcycled Children’s Christmas Frame

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01 DSC 0141 DIY Upcycled Childrens Christmas FrameHey guys! Is everybody getting ready for turkey day? I am super excited this year since we are having a lot of the family getting together! We are looking forward to seeing everyone! It’s going to be a great kickstart to the holidays! I absolutely LOVE this time of year! So, before we all end up in our post Thanksgiving feast coma, I thought I’d share one more Christmas project with you all! One of my favorite things to collect is vintage children’s books. I pick them up at the thrift stores and flea markets all the time. Sometimes they are in good condition, and sometimes they are falling apart. I never pass up a good book if it’s shabby, because I know there is always something I can do with it. I had picked up this adorable Christmas storybook a while back and the pages were coming out of the spine, so I thought this would be a perfect subject to try making a book frame with. It is really pretty easy and really fun to make!

Here’s What You Need:

*Old book

*Xacto Knife

*Ruler and pencil or pen

*Self healing mat

*Double stick tape

*Pipe cleaners or trim

*Eyelets and setting and punching tool ( i believe mine is called a cropodile)

*Ribbon or twine (I bought my thick striped sisal twine at Michaels)

*Easel back (mine is for a 5×7)

*Glue- e6000, hot glue, whatever you like to use…

Instructions:

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So, the first thing you want to do is prep your book. Remove the pages carefully. Sometimes they will already be coming out on their own and you can just gently pull them away from the spine. Some might need to be cut down the center of the spine. If you have a really thick book, sometimes you can just cut the cover off the front and back with your xacto. Once you have removed the pages, cut the front and back apart in the center of the spine. Trim off the excess spine on each, making sure that you end up with a back and a front that are the same size.

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Now you will want to measure and mark your photo opening. Decide how far you want it from the edge or the bottom. Mark the halfway point of the book, then mark out in each direction for the size you want. I made my opening to be for a 3.5×5, so to allow for the photo to sit properly in the opening, I came in half an inch, so I made my opening to be 3×4.5.”  It took me measuring out a couple of times before I decided exactly what size and the centering, so if your lines look off, remeasure and fix if you need to.

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Next, using your ruler to cut straight, cut along the lines of the opening you drew on the back side of your cover with your xacto knife.

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Now you need to punch your holes for your eyelets. I have a tool that punches the hole and then sets the eyelet. I used 1/8″ eyelets. Measure and mark where you want your eyelets to go on the top and bottom of your frame. These will help hold your frame together and also you will run your twine through them later.

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Now, glue a bit of trim or a couple of pipe cleaners around the opening on the front side of the cover.

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Now you need to tape the back and font together. I planned on sliding my photo in from the side, so I put my double stick tape near the top and bottom of the opening, and also in an “x” above the opening for extra hold. Make sure you line up all the holes in the front and back when you press them together.

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Once you have taped your front and back together you are ready to set your eyelets. Place an eyelet through one of your holes, then use your punch to squeeze it and set it into the book. This can be a little confusing at first, so make sure you read the instructions on your eyelet setter if you have never used one.

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Now, glue your easel back on the back of your back cover. Let the glue dry.

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To finish off your frame, run some ribbon or twine through your eyelets and tie in a bow at the top. Now you are ready to insert your sweet photo and enjoy!

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02 DSC 0140 DIY Upcycled Childrens Christmas FrameI love how my book frame turned out! It looks too darn cute mixed in with my holiday decor this year! I used a holiday themed book, but you could use any shabby book you already have. It is a really fun project and it’s pretty quick to whip up, so it is great for a weeknight craft. I hope you all will make your own book frame sometime! I think you’ll love it! I’ll be back next week with more fun DIY’s. Until then….

Happy Crafting!

DIY Mini Framed Vintage Christmas Paper Ornaments

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01 DSC 0507 DIY Mini Framed Vintage Christmas Paper OrnamentsHey everyone! Today I am going to share one more ornament tutorial with you all! I am going to show you how to make a super easy and quick treat for your tree using some of those little mini frames you can get in the dollar section at Michaels. You only need a few items and you can make several in under an hour, making it a perfect weeknight craft or craft party candidate! I had a blast making these the other day! I love them so much, I may have to make some more. 

Here’s What You Need:

*Mini Frames (michaels)

*Vintage wrapping paper scraps (small prints work best)

*Old books, magazines, etc for words

*Scissors

*Pen or pencil

*Rubber cement

*Tweezers

*Cupcake picks, vintage minis, floral picks like holly, etc…

*Ribbon

*Hot Glue and glue gun

Instructions:

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First gather up all your supplies and decide what papers and words you want to use.

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Take the paper insert out of the frame and use it as a template for your wrapping paper. Trace the shape and then cut out your wrap.

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Then, cut out words you want to use from your ephemera.

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Glue your wrapping paper to the white side of the frame insert with rubber cement. Put a little rubber cement on the back of your words and place them where you want them on the wrapping piece with your tweezers. Smooth down and rub off any excess glue.

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Decide what minis or embellishments you want to add to the outside of your frame.

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Glue the embellishment to the front with hot glue.

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Cut a length of ribbon to about 4-5″ long. Glue the bottoms of the ribbon together to form a loop. Then glue the bottom of your loop onto the top back side of your frame. Hang on your tree and enjoy!

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02 DSC 0503 DIY Mini Framed Vintage Christmas Paper OrnamentsAren’t they so dang cute! You guys know me, if I can make something with vintage stuff I ALWAYS have to! My wrapping paper and paper ephemera was all vintage as well as my little plastic deer. You can make these easily with your own paper scraps or with some fun new wrapping paper (Target has some super cute wrap this year!) Have fun with it and make it your own! I hope you guys will give this one a try for your next mid-week make, or party! They are so easy and fast to whip up, and they make really cute and inexpensive last-minute hostess gifts for those holiday parties! I’ll be back tomorrow with another Christmas diy. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

Favorite Vintage Finds of the Week- November 24th

Happy Monday everyone! It has been a little crazy around here this past week. I have been trying to fill some custom orders, and our internet was on the fritz. I did want to share my Monday finds with you all this week before it got away from me. One of my absolute favorite things about the holidays are the Christmas parades. It all starts with the Macy’s parade, and then we have all the local Christmas parades. I cannot wait for the Thanksgiving Parade this week! It is something I look forward to every Thanksgiving! So, this week my vintage finds are all inspired by the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and holiday parades everywhere. I did not have the time to write out the full list like I usually do this week, so I opted to share them via a craftcult.com treasury widget. To see the item and the wonderful shop it came from, click on the image thumbnail and it will take you to that listing. I hope you all enjoy my vintage parade finds! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

DIY Vintage Inspired Diorama Ornaments

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1 DSC 0355 DIY Vintage Inspired Diorama OrnamentsHi guys! Happy Friday! I know for a lot of people it is sacrilege to decorate for Christmas before it’s even Thanksgiving. However, that is exactly what I am doing this weekend! It makes me happy, don’t judge me icon wink DIY Vintage Inspired Diorama Ornaments One of my favorite things about the holidays and holiday crafting in particular is that my mom and I always make ornaments together. This year I wanted to make some ornaments that were similar to vintage jewel brite’s or vintage diorama ornaments. These do require the use of a dremmel, but other than cutting, they are pretty easy to make! We made a bunch of them in just an afternoon.

Here’s What You Need:

*Plastic Ornaments

*Dremmel Tool fitted with a cutting disk

*Paint

*Mod podge or medium to attach glitter

*Glitter (I used Diamond Dust)

*Cotton Balls

*Toothpick

*Vintage and new miniatures

*Little bottle brush trees

*Hot Glue and Glue Gun

*Pipe Cleaner

*Wire Snippers

*Ribbon or Twine for hanging

Instructions:

04 DSC 0091 DIY Vintage Inspired Diorama OrnamentsTo start with, draw a line to use as a cutting guide on the front of your ornament. Draw the circle to be about 1/2 to 3/4″ away from the seam in the center of the ornament.

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01 DSC 0099 DIY Vintage Inspired Diorama OrnamentsCarefully cut your ornament with the dremmel. Insert the cutting wheel into the cutting line and then carefully follow it around until you reach the other side. Remove the cut front. You will be actually melting the plastic when you cut, so it may stick to itself after you cut, but you will find that you can easily twist it off.

11 DSC 0053 DIY Vintage Inspired Diorama OrnamentsPaint the inside of the ornament with your choice of paint. It may take a few coats. Set aside to dry thoroughly.

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09 DSC 0056 DIY Vintage Inspired Diorama OrnamentsPaint a layer of decoupage medium on the inside of the ornament, leaving the bottom of the inside clean. Pour a little glitter into the ornament, then swish it around to coat and tap out the excess.

08 DSC 0060 DIY Vintage Inspired Diorama OrnamentsNow you need to glue in your minis. Glue them down to the bottom inside of the ornament with hot glue.

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06 DSC 0062 DIY Vintage Inspired Diorama OrnamentsTo add the snow, you will need cotton balls. Pull the cotton ball apart. Add a little glue to the bottom of the ornament around the minis you glued down. Lay a little cotton onto the glue. Use your toothpick to smoosh the cotton down and around the minis.

05 DSC 0064 DIY Vintage Inspired Diorama OrnamentsTo finish the cut edge, cut a pipe cleaner to size to fit the opening. Glue the pipe cleaner around the cut edge of the ornament. Snip down the wires in the top of the ornaments if you need to. Put the tops back on. Pliers will definitely help get the wires into the holes in the top. To finish, tie a ribbon or some twine to the loop in the top of the ornament. Now you are ready to hang.

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2 DSC 0352 DIY Vintage Inspired Diorama OrnamentsI am so in love with these little ornaments! I had a total blast making them, and I love the vintage charm they add to a tree! I will be selling a few of these in my shop if any of you would like to have one of these fun ornaments on your tree, but don’t want to make them yourself. I hope some of you all will make some of these this Christmas with your favorite crafty partner in crime. You’ll totally love them! I’ll be back next week with more fun holiday crafting! Until then…

Happy Crafting!

DIY Salt Shaker Christmas Photo Holders

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18 DSC 0201 DIY Salt Shaker Christmas Photo HoldersHey everyone! One of my favorite things to craft with during the holidays is Christmas miniatures. I love creating little snow scenes, and I am head over heels for any kind of mini deer! I saw some salt shakers at Anthro last year that had little trees in them, and thought they were pretty darn cute. I wanted to make some of my own, but I wanted to add a little something extra to them since I already have jars and bell jar ornaments with snow scenes in them around my home. I thought I’d make mine to be photo holders. They are super easy to make and they make a great conversation piece to add to your holiday decor!

Here’s What You Need:

*Salt Shakers (I bought mine at Walmart)

*Christmas Miniatures (my deer were vintage, my snowmen came from AC Moore)

*Diamond Dust or glitter of your choice.

*Hot Glue and Hot Glue Gun

*Extra Long Tweezers

*Wire

*Glittered Poinsettia (I bought mine at Michaels)

*Jewelry Pliers

*Ribbon or Trim

Instructions:

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First clean and dry your salt shakers. Next, grab your mini with your pliers and place a nice dab of hot glue on the bottom of your mini. Insert the mini into the open salt shaker and press into the bottom. You may need to hold it in place for a few seconds until the glue sets up.

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Now, take a little spoon and spoon in a little glitter into the bottom of each shaker.

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To make your top, start by clipping the stem off of your flower. Cut a length of wire about 4″ or so. Stick the wire through the center of the flower and through the center hole in the top of the shaker. Fold the bottom 1/2″ or so of the wire snugly to the bottom of the shaker lid.

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To make the photo holder, start at the top end of your wire. Make a loop with your pliers. Then, with your fingers loop the wire around itself in a spiral pattern to the bottom where it meets the flower.

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To finish your photo holders, glue a little trim or ribbon around the shaker lid. Screw the lid on and insert your photos into the wire between the spiral loops. If your glitter is super fine and comes out of the shaker lid easily, you may want to close up the holes in the underside of the lid with some tape or glue.

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17 DSC 0200 DIY Salt Shaker Christmas Photo HoldersAren’t they so fun! I love my photo holders! They are a fantastic size! My little Printstagram mini prints are just perfect displayed on top! I think these would also make wonderful place card holders for your holiday table. The best thing about them is that you can make a group of them in under an hour. It is a perfect weeknight craft and would be a sweet gift for a hostess. I hope you all will give them a try sometime. I will be back tomorrow with more holiday fun! Until then…

Happy Crafting!

 

DIY Vintage Christmas Brooch Necklace

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07 IMG 1298 DIY Vintage Christmas Brooch NecklaceHey everyone! One of my favorite things to collect at the holidays is vintage brooches! I love the whimsy of them! I thought it would be fun to add in one of my newest vintage reindeer brooches to a statement necklace to wear for the holidays. It’s super simple to make a necklace with a brooch as a focal point, and all you need are a few supplies! The best part about this diy is that you can create a fabulous piece of jewelry in under an hour (plus drying time.) Check it out:

Here’s What You Need:

*Vintage Brooch

*Vintage or New Beads of Your Choice

*Eye Pins

*Jump Rings

*Lobster Clasp

*Bails or little Metal Tags (I bought mine at AC Moore)

*Jewelry Pliers

*Round Nose Jewelry Pliers

Instructions:

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So the first step to making your necklace is to make your chain of beads. Take an eye pin, load a bead onto it. Snip the excess wire at about 1/2″ or so from the top of the bead. Take your round nose jewelry pliers and curl the wire around to make a loop in the top. So you should end up with a bead that has an eye at the bottom and at the top. Now, take another eye pin. Open up the bottom with your pliers. Hook the open loop onto the top loop in your first bead then close the loop. Load on another bead, snip the wire, make a loop and then load another eye pin. Continue making your chain of beads.

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Make your chain as long as you want. I made mine so the the stripe bead and the brooch would hit right about my collar bone on each side. Make one side to be from the back of the neck where the clasp will go down and around to the other side of your collar bone where the brooch will go. Then make the other side from the back of the neck to the top of where the brooch will go. Connect the two chain pieces with a lobster clasp. Attach the clasp with jump rings.

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Next, you need to prep your brooch for your necklace. Pull the pin part of the brooch off of the back with your pliers. My little deer brooch had antlers that I was able to hook a jump ring to. If your brooch doesn’t have a place at the top to hook a jump ring you will need a tag at the top as well as the bottom. Put a little E6000 onto the back of your tag(s) and glue them into place on the back side of your brooch. Let the glue dry thoroughly.

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Once your glue is dry, attach your brooch to the ends of the beaded chain you made earlier with jump rings. Now you are ready to wear!

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06 IMG 1300 DIY Vintage Christmas Brooch NecklaceI just love my new Christmas necklace! How fabulous is this brooch, really! I am just head over heels for my little deer! I used vintage lucite beads from a broken vintage necklace I had, but you can use any kind of beads you like. Have fun with it and make it your own! I can’t wait to see what you guys do with this one! I hope you will give it a try! It is super easy and fun! I’ll be back tomorrow with another fun DIY. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

Favorite Vintage Finds of the Week- November 17th

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We had a very cold one here, at least cold for us southerners. We set up shop at the flea market and over all it was a very nice weekend! One of the new handmade vintage items I have been working on lately is vintage wool handbags. I picked up a bunch of vintage plaid wools at Liberty this fall, and have finally finished making some bags with them. One of my favorite things for fall and winter is all the beautiful plaids! I am a plaid lovin’ gal! So, this week I thought I would share some of my favorite vintage plaid finds with you all from Etsy’s wonderful world of vintage shops. Here are just a few of my favorites this week:

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1950s vintage Brownie Scout hankie / Aqua blue vintage Brownie hankie / Blue plaid Brownie Scout handkerchief from Little Vintage Stories

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Set of four classic red plaid 1950′s Juice glasses in perfect condition from Good Stuff Here

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1950s Plaid Dress / 50s Cotton Dress from Female Hysteria

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Exceptional Vintage Heavy Wool Blanket / Buchanan Clan Tartan and Black Wool Throw from Smallbones Studio

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Vintage 1950s tie . Prim and Proper . plaid clip on 50s bow tie . plaid bow tie by Arrow from Voyeur Vintage

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Vintage Mens Plaid Fedora … Champ, Feather Detail, Size 7-1/8, 1960s, Mad Men, Black and White Plaid from Cushion Chicago

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Vintage Mens Tie and Muffler Tartan Gift set from Lochcarron from Charmed Kitty

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40s or 50s argyle pattern plaid sunglasses sun glasses from All Bark No Bites Bits

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New/Old 1950′s Outing Picnic Set Complete in Original Box by Universal from The Freckled Berry

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Vintage 1950′s Plaid and White Shell Plaid Umbrella Pin Set from CoriLu Vintage

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Vintage Teddy Bear Plaid Fabric Taffeta Googly Eyes from Gizmo and Hooha

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Vintage Tin Litho Friction Toy Dog with Plaid Vest from Songbird Salvation

Aren’t they all so fantastic! I want everything on this list! The greatest thing about plaids is that there are so many different styles of plaid and so many beautiful color combinations! Be sure to check out these amazing Etsy vintage shops to see these wonderful vintage finds and much much more! You’ll love them! I’ll be back next week with more vintage finds. Until then…

Happy Shopping!

Holiday Gift Guides 2014- Gifts for Kids

Happy Friday everyone! It’s time for another gift guide for the holidays, and this one is all for the kiddos. There are so many fabulous items for children and babies on Etsy! Some of them make me wish I was a kid again! This guide is longer than my usual guids since I could have done a whole post just on plushies. I narrowed them down a bit and added in some great toys and accessories. Here are just a few of my favorite holiday gift ideas for the little ones:

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Fox Plush Toy with Scarf, Fox Softie, Fox Stuffed Animal, Handmade Fox Art Doll, Toy Animal, Kids Christmas Gift, Poosac, Nursery, Kids Toy from Poosac

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Modern Kids Play Kitchen from Mint Home

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Limited Edition Metallic Gold Moccs, Moccasins, Baby Moccs, Baby/Toddler Shoes, Genuine Leather, Metallic, Metallic Gold, Gold from Tiny Baby Soles

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Mr. Beaver, a woodchuck softie plush doll toy, made to order, OOAK from Dunlap Love

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CUSTOM Signature Cotton Candy Dolly,Handmade Dolls,Homemade Dolls,Cloth Doll,Fabric Dolls,Handmade Fabric Doll,Soft Cloth Dolls,Rag Dolls from Cotton Candy Dollies

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Christmas deer plush toy , handmade stuffed toy, baby safe soft toy, holidays from Skripskrap

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Kniting Teddy Bear Hat – Hat Character – Boy hat – Teddy Bear Beanie – Best Teddy Bear – Animals hats – Teddy Hat – Winter hat – Warm hat from Meet Best Knit

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Forest Friends Roll Up and Play Mat, woodland roll up with wooden figures, waldorf inspired, wool felt toy, handmade kids toy from Gnome Werks

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Stuffed Animal Teddy Bear Plush Toy Charcoal Grey Neon Pink Lime Green Linen Doll Handknit Ecofriendly from Me and Tex

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Outer Space Wood Bank from Mmim

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Baby Mobile — Bears in Party Hats — Customize to Match You Modern Nursery from Pink Cheeks Studio

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Plush Owl Softie Stuffed Owl Doll for Children and Baby Plush Toy from Friends of Socktopus

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Marimekko Unikko Kids’ Teepee (Small) from Teepeedees

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Free Armbands!!! Personalized Boy SUPERHERO Cape for Christmas comes with FAST DELIVERY – 26 inches – Custom Letter from Pip and Bean

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Cute Bug Plush – Handmade cloth doll kids toy monster bug plushie from Palooka Handmade

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The Farm Paper Toy Kit – DIY Paper Craft Kit – Puppet Theater – Paper Toy – Birthday Party Favor – PRINTABLE PDF from Pukaca

Aren’t they all just so adorable! If I had children I’d be buying them all! As it is, I’ve got a few of the softies on my Christmas wish list. I hope you all enjoy browsing through these fantastic shops! I’ll be back next week with another gift guide. Until then…

Happy Shopping!

DIY Easy Upcycled Christmas Cannisters

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I have a little thing for tins! Whenever I see a cute tin, I grab it up for craft storage, and I literally have dozens. I thought it would be fun to make a few christmas cannisters to use for storage and gift wrapping this year. I had some cute vintage gift wrap laying around, and the tins I picked up at the thrift store. This is a great weeknight craft, since it is so fast and easy to whip up!

Here’s What You Need:

*Old Tins

*Wrapping Paper or Scrapbook Paper

*Chalk Paint or Spray Paint

*Decoupage Medium or Double Stick Tape

*Paint Brush

*Cabinet Knobs

*Drill and Drill Bit the same size as the bolt on the knob

Instruction:

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05 DSC 0092 DIY Easy Upcycled Christmas CannistersFirst you need to paint your tins. You can spray paint them, or you can use spray paint or paint them with chalk paint. Cut your wrapping paper to be just a little smaller than the height of the can by the width of the circumference of the tin. So, if your tin is 4″ tall, you want your paper to be 3.75″ tall. Paint a layer of decoupage medium onto your tin. Also paint a layer onto the backside of your wrapping paper. Smooth the wrapping paper onto the tin. Smooth out air bubbles. My wrapping paper was really thin and it wrinkled badly when it dried on the tin. I am not sure how to remedy that issue. Maybe thicker paper? Anyone have advice on getting out the wrinkles? I think next time I will just tape on the wrapping paper with some double stick tape. To make the top, take the top of your tin and mark the center. Drill a hole in the top of the lid with your drill and drill bit the same size of the knob bolt. Insert the knob through the hole and screw on the nut on the underside of the tin and tighten down.

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These little cannisters only cost me a couple of dollars each to make since they were upcycled. You can find old tins at the thrift store for .50 cents or less usually. I used wrapping paper, but you could use regular scrapbook paper or even just leave the tins plain and painted in your favorite christmas colors. They are fantastic for storage all around the house, like holding craft items or toiletries. You can use them as gift wrap as well. One would make a sweet hostess gift with some yummy home made treat inside! I love how easy they are to make too! I’ll be back tomorrow with another Christmas project.Until then…

Happy Crafting!

DIY Upcycled Vintage Tea Towel Christmas Curtains

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One of my favorite spots in our home is the window at the kitchen sink. I love the view to the screen porch and back yard and it is a cute little size and perfect for cafe curtains. It is too small for traditional cafe curtains, and I love to sew, so I have always made curtains for this spot. Last year I picked up a fantastic linen Christmas tea towel at the antiques festival. It ended up being a perfect size to use for my curtains in the kitchen window!

Here’s What You Need:

*Vintage Christmas Tea Towel

*Trim

*Festive Fabric

*Scissors

*Ruler

*Sewing Machine and Thread

*Tension Rods to fit your window

*Curtain Rings with Clips

Instructions:

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First gather your supplies. Cut your tea towel in half. Measure your window opening so you can decide how big to make the valance. For example if my window width was 45″ then I would make my fabric 90″ wide. Determine the height you like and then add a few inches for the casing and also the hem. So if you want your length to be 12″ finished, then you would cut a piece 15″ long by the width you want, so in my example it would be a piece 15″x90″. You may have to cut two pieces that are 15×45 and stitch them together to form your long piece.

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Next, fold under your top edge by about a 1/4″ and press. Then fold again towards the wrong side by about an inch. Press. Stitch the fold down all the way down the width of the fabric close to the open edge of the fold. This will form your casing that you will stick the rod through.

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Next, fold under the bottom edge 1/4″ and then over again and press. Stitch down to hem. If you want to add ricrac, you can stitch it to the underside of the bottom hem. Now you should have your valance.

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Now you are ready to work on your tea towel pieces. Press under the top where the raw edges are towards the back side. Stitch. Now, you can stitch on your trim or ribbons.

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Stitch down any other trims you may want to add. I added a felt trim to the tops and gold ric rac on the front close to the bottom. Then I stitched green ricrac to the underside of the hem.

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Now your curtains are sewn. Insert your tension rod through your valance and position it in the top of your window opening. Load the rings on your other tension rod and position that one right in the middle. Clip your tea towel sides to the clips. Enjoy.

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I LOVE my Christmas curtains! They have made one of my favorite spots even cuter and jolly for the holidays! I love sipping tea and looking out the window in the morning at all the dog walkers in the neighborhood. This was pretty easy to whip up and takes less than a yard of fabric for the valance so it is an inexpensive window treatment! I hope you guys will try tea towels as cafe curtains for your small windows sometime, you’ll love them! I’ll be back next week with more Christmas crafting! Until then…

Happy Crafting!