Well, all of our grand plans of making and baking this week are far from happening! Sickness has taken over our home and we’re SLOWLY coming out of the fog. Fortunately we have had lots of cuddle time which is way more important anyway. After the tragedy that occurred last week, I am so overly thankful for my time with my beautiful family. Sickness will pass.
I hope you are able to take the opportunity to slow down and cherish this special season with your family. One activity that we were able to sneak in was to make our own wrapping paper with materials found around the house. All you need are brown paper sacks, paint, and string. I have a collection of paper bags from those times when I forget to bring my cloth bags to the store and they are perfect for a craft like this. View this tutorial for more details on string painting, although it is pretty simple to understand just by looking at the images above.
have fun creating and giving!
The kids and I made these for gifts last year and it was one we really had fun with. I posted it on the Five and One Facebook page before the blog was up and running, but wanted to give it a proper place here on the blog. It is such a simple craft and can be a very freeform activity, creating an abstract design, and using the burlap makes it very easy to see the needle while little hands are embroidering. The inspiration for these ornaments came from the embroidery work of Evelin Kasikov, which is quite stunning. Take a look at some of her work here.
4″ embroidery hoop
embroidery thread – any colors
creme colored cotton thread for stitching pieces together
creme burlap fabric (roughly a 6 inch square)
creme felt – 2, 6″ square pieces
8″of twine for hanging
stuffing or cotton balls
Place a piece of burlap into the hoop and secure it. The kids might want to start with a pencil drawing or just create a freeform shape with the thread (if starting with a pencil drawing, be sure to do this before placing the burlap into the hoop). Start with a color of embroidery thread and help them thread it, if needed. You can tie a large bead to the end of the piece of thread so they do not pull the entire piece through while they are stitching. Experiment with different colors. When they are finished, draw a circle on the back inside of the embroidery hoop and then remove and cut out the design. Cut two circles of felt, one 1/4″ larger than the design and the other 1/4″ larger than the first piece of felt. See the final image above. It might be a little harder for them to stitch the entire piece together, so you may want to help with this. First, we stitched the design to the smallest circle of felt and then started to stitch the larger circle of felt to the back, leaving enough room to stuff a few cotton balls in and the ends of the twine for hanging. Now, stitch to close and you and your children have together created a simple, unique handmade ornament for giving!
I recently had the chance to see Barclay Martin Ensemble in concert with great friends, which was FANTASTIC! A few of their songs were from The Snow Globes, a collaboration with Barclay Martin featuring vocalist Lindsey Jones. The group is based here in Kansas City and always donates a portion of their proceeds to a worthy cause (take a look at the Barclay Martin Website for more info on the causes they support). A portion of the proceeds from The Snow Globes CD benefits the Spofford Home, a residential treatment facility for children here in Kansas City. I highly recommend adding this to your christmas collection or giving to others on your list. It is available for purchase through ITunes here along with their CD from last year, which is also a great one! I bought mine at the concert so I was able to admire the letterpress design by Hammerpress Studio, a local Kansas City Letterpress studio and retail shop. As far as I know, you are only able to purchase the CD/with cover at their shows and at the Hammerpress shop.
If you live in Kansas City, and would like to support a great local organization like Spofford House, share some fantastic christmas cheer by purchasing a CD at Hammerpress Studio or at one of their shows this week. You can also purchase through ITunes, which will still benefit the Spofford home, and present your gift with a nice card.
I wrapped mine using a nice, scrap piece of fabric, knotting at the top, and adding a colored piece of grosgrain ribbon to polish it off.
Enjoy seeking out gifts that benefit others this Christmas season.
Nourish the ones you love this holiday season with one of these homemade gifts above. The mulling spices, pinecone fire starters dipped in beeswax, and the Christmas in a jar are great ones to make with your children.
Mulling Spices | Good Eggs
Beeswax Pinecone Firestarters | Imagination Childhood
Gifts from the Kitchen | Bon Appetit
Christmas in a Jar | Dandee Designs
Plus, this roundup from the Kitchn is a great resource for finding homemade gift ideas!
Above are a couple of great free printables to complement your homemade treats. The jam labelizer is fantastic ( you may even want to whip up some jam just to be able to use these customized labels).
Make your own jam labels | Jam Labelizer
Free printable recipe cards | Love vs. Design
These might look a bit familiar. They are the same leaves I used for printing the Thank You gift tags a few weeks back. I love incorporating natural materials into holiday decor and these are very simple to make.
A variety of pressed leaves (thin leaves work better with this because after pressing the leaf onto paper you roll it slightly to slip it into the glass bulb. Wide leaves and ones with a lot of points are harder to slip into the glass bulb.)
4″ Clear glass bulb ornaments (I found mine on sale at a local Hobby Lobby)
White acrylic paint + paint brush
Brayer (these work well, but are not necessary. You can also just use your hand to press.)
Brown kraft cardstock (The weight of the cardstock works well, it seems to helps the print lay on the inside of the ornament nicely)
First select your leaf. The leaf I used for this was 4-1/2 inches long, but just experiment with sizes. Paint the backside with white acrylic. Lay painted side down onto craft paper and then lay a scrap piece of paper over it. Either use your brayer or your hands to press, making sure you press on all areas of the leaf. This might take several tests to get the print you like, but this is the fun part! You can keep repainting the backside of the leaf with paint as long as it is a sturdy leaf. When you have a good print, let it dry. After the print is dry cut around your design and roll with painted side to the outside and slip into the glass bulb. It should lay on the inside of the glass, but you can also use a Qtip to help press it to the side.
To make this an even easier craft, use leaf stamps and white stamp pads to create your designs.
Involve your children in the collecting, painting and pressing of the leaves and maybe make some homemade woodland holiday cards while your supplies are out.
Share some together time with your child making these christmas decorations for your own home or give to someone as a gift.
Fabric Trees | Kasparasregnbue
Tree Paper Stars | Home Sweet Homemade
Paper Star Garland | Papierwunder
Paper trees | Papierwunder
Share the gift of handmade this holiday season with these unique projects!
Eco Friendly Vanilla Lavender Soy Candle DIY | Ruffled Blog
Handmade cutting board DIY | Oh Happy Day
Wooden Bead Trivet DIY | A Merry Mishap
Rosemary Mint Shaving Cream DIY | Food For My Family