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brown paper packages: December 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

{twine-covered cans}

With two babies at home, we go through an ENORMOUS amount of formula. Thus, we have a plethora of formula cans that I've saved, not wanting to throw them out, knowing I would want to do something (or more than one thing) with them.
The first thing I decided to do was use them to add a little more space to my craft closet. I am lucky enough to have a large walk-in closet with storage drawers that houses all of my craft & sewing supplies. It's amazing, however, how fast I have filled up that space! In making these cans for some of my supplies, I emptied out a couple of drawers to make room for other things. Yay! They are cute, and can you beat that?
You could really use these for just about supplies (next on the list), laundry items (clothespins, etc.), pantry storage, or even in the bedroom (lotions, hair supplies) or bathroom.


  • empty formula can, label removed (you don't have to use a formula can. I'm also saving oatmeal canisters...but you could use any type of round or square container that's big enough for your needs.
  • natural jute (I used 1 1/2 spools for 3 cans)
  • hot glue gun
  • ribbon
  • scrapbook paper
  • double stick tape
  • hole punch
  • distress ink
  • small safety pins
  • Cover your can with twine, using thin streams of hot glue to hold it in place. I only used hot glue every once in awhile, making sure to secure the beginning and end really well. I didn't want to glob it down with too much glue. Pull the twine tightly, and wrap it well, and it will stay in place.
  • Using the glue gun, adhere ribbon to the top and bottom rims of the can.
  • Create your label, and mat on card stock and scrapbook paper. I printed mine on the computer, but you could use vinyl lettering, foam stamps, or other method of lettering. Distress all edges.
  • Punch holes in the sides of your label, and tie ribbon in a knot through the hole.
  • Attach the label to the twine, using the small safety pins. Ta-da!

Now I'm off to my put my feet up, read the book I've been dying to dive into, and eat a candy cane (maybe a little hot chocolate too.) Bliss.

Merry Christmas all!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

{christmas hand sanitizers}

I fell in love with THIS hand sanitizer idea as soon as I saw it (follow the link for a complete tutorial).
It's a fun, personalized gift, and perfect for so many occasions, including teacher gifts and baby gifts (with baby's name). They can be personalized with first names, last names "the ___________ family", or even holiday greetings.
I have experimented quite a bit with some of the different options, and usually I use the clear hand sanitizer. However, I was excited to discover how cute the green was for Christmas--tie on some ribbon, and voila!
It also works really well with liquid soap--it is just as easy to work with the sanitizer. With soaps, you could really make one for each holiday--orange soap with a black gingham ribbon for Halloween, brown soap with a cream or orange ribbon for Thanksgiving, pink soap with red and white ribbon for Valentine's darling for a guest bath! LOVE it!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

{monogrammed taggies}

Okay, okay. I know I am crazy about anything and everything monogrammed. It can automatically make anything ordinary into something special, and SO adorable. I made these taggies for my baby boys for Christmas, and the felt initial just makes it! I followed THIS tutorial.
This is also a personal accomplishment--I am most definitely not a seamstress. After a rough go in my 8th grade sewing class, I figured it was not for me. Finally, last year I got a sewing machine, and although I have tried a few small projects here and there, this one definitely taught me some new things.

Merry Christmas, babies!

Monday, December 14, 2009

{for your favorite teacher}

This is the gift we made for our favorite 2nd grade teacher this year. I found the paper box at Walmart for around $1.30. (I am a sucker for a scalloped edge) I got out some of my favorite BasicGrey paper and covered the box. I inked the edges with chocolate brown ink and added a cute tag on top that says, "clips and bits". I made a matching notebook, some matching magnets and threw in a bunch of paper clips. It ended up looking like this:

The magnets are a fun project to do with your kids. You just buy some clear pebbles from your local craft store and then use a circle punch to punch out circles the size of the pebbles. Glue the paper to the back of the pebble and then glue a magnet to the back and let dry overnight. I love the way everything coordinates.

If you are looking for something more, I did this gift basket for my son's Kindergarten teacher two years ago. I went totally overboard, but it turned out darling. It includes: A clipboard, treats, a "to do" book, a set of cards, a personalized notebook, a personalized checkbook cover, a candle, a small clips and bits box, and a "so silly" journal to write down funny things the kids say in class.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

{personalized treat containers}

I was at Target (my favorite store--I could live there) when I had an epiphany. I was buying all new Gladware (LOVE that stuff!), and pondering all my options, when I suddenly knew exactly what I could do with them. Even better? The holiday version with the red lids was perfect for what I had in mind.
I love to give treats to my friends/neighbors every Christmas, and this is such a fun and easy way to dress up a regular container. And who doesn't love something personalized?

Personalized Treat Containers


-Gladware container, any size (holiday ones with the red lids are best)
-scrapbook paper, desired embellishments
-mod podge, foam brush


-Trace the inside of the lid onto a piece of white paper, to make a template. You want it to fit in the center of the lid, not over the raised edges. It may need a little adjusting to get it just right, but I kept placing it in the center of the lid to figure out where I needed to make any changes.
-Trace the template onto scrapbook paper.
-Embellish as desired.
-Using the foam brush, apply the mod podge to the top center of the lid (not the raised edges), then place your paper on top and gently press.
-Apply a top coat of mod podge, and let dry!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

{handmade game...don't eat the piggy}

I have a good friend who introduced this game to me. She is the mother of four children, two of which are grown, and two of which are still in high school. This game was (and still is) a favorite of their family, and the best about it is that all ages can really get into it.
With all the gift exchanges with our family and friends, I am always searching for fun family games to give. This particular one is fun, because you can personalize it for the family or individual you are giving it to. For example, you could do different, princess, trucks & "things that go", jungle animals, states, countries, etc. Or, you can do like I did and mix and match some fun shapes and letters (my kids' initials).
My first thought was to use a large piece of felt as the bottom piece, then cut the shapes out of of fun pieces of fabric and sew them on (or use heat 'n bond, or both!). But, today was a snow day, and since we were stuck inside, it was the perfect project to do, even though I didn't have what I needed. So, I improvised, and found some fun coordinating scrapbook paper, then went to work. (I used a 12x12 piece of cardstock as the bottom piece.) The only think I have left to do is get it laminated. I had every intention of using contact paper, but it scares me. :) I can never get it to work right, or it will crease right where I don't want it to.
It's SO easy to make, and very inexpensive, but it will provide hours of fun! Just cut your shapes out of paper or fabric, adhere them to your bottom piece (whatever you choose to use), then laminate them if you are using paper. There are some great templates online, just do a google search and you will find lots of options. I did use a few templates (the octopus and rocket) from Char over at Crap I've Made. Love them!

You are all probably do you play??? Well, here are the rules:

1. Sit in a circle, with the playing board in the middle.
2. Place a few candies (M&M's, Skittles, mini marshmallows, etc.) on each shape.
3. Have one person close their eyes, and another person point to one of the objects/shapes.
4. The person closing their eyes opens them, then start to point to an object of their choice. As long as they do not choose the object that was chosen at the beginning of the game, they get to take the candy.
5. As soon as they point to the object that was initially chosen, everyone yells, "don't eat the piggy"!!!

How fun for a Family Night! I think this would even be fun for adults to play. Enjoy!

Monday, December 7, 2009

{peppermint popcorn crunch}

I SO wish I had a picture of this to post, but I just discovered it yesterday, after a good friend made it. It's actually just like one of my favorite recipes, but with a Christmas twist. I usually make it with toffee bits (delicious), but the peppermints are delightful.

It's so fast, and so easy, which is good, because you will want to make batch after batch!


-popped popcorn (I usually use around 9 cups or so. I like to use air popped popcorn, but my friend made it with a bag of butter microwave popcorn. Both are good, just depends on your preference.)
-1 bag white chocolate chips, or equivalent amount white baking chocolate
-candy canes or peppermint candies, chopped (to taste)

Place popcorn in large bowl. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave, making sure to stir every 30 seconds. Chocolate will hold its shape even when completely soft, so check often to avoid burning. Stir in peppermint, and pour over popcorn. Mix well, then lay out on a cookie sheet or baking dish. Let cool.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

{an answer to my stocking dilemma}

Several years ago, before my girls were born, I bought the cutest stockings ever. They were on a great sale, plus I loved them, so it was a win-win situation. I also only had one child, and after years of infertility, I didn't think I would ever be able to have another baby. So, I picked out three stockings, and then, with some wishful thinking, grabbed an extra one, just in case. Well, fast forward four years, and four more miraculous children later, we no longer have enough stockings.

As Christmas was quickly approaching, I was starting to feel a little desperation. I really wanted to have stockings for my kids, but I did not want to buy any that I didn't absolutely love. I also was having a hard time, knowing that as soon as Christmas was over, any that I did love would most likely go on clearance. very smart friend had a brilliant idea, and I ran with it.

I bought red felt stockings for $1.20 at Joann's the day after Christmas, along with a yard of green and white polka dot fabric and some heat 'n bond. I finished them today in about 45 minutes, and I ADORE them. I love them so much, I don't know if I will ever change them! Plus, I spent less than $15 for 7 stockings--what a deal!!

*I used the smiley monster font, sized to 400.

{rag garland}

It's been so fun to see these around again... I have been making rag garland for years (in fact, it was Angela who first introduced it to me when we were both first married), and love it!
I think it's the perfect addition to my Christmas tree, and this year I was excited to make one with longer pieces and different fabrics.


-choice of fabric or ribbon, cut (or ripped) into 2x8-10 inch pieces.
-jute, however many feet you need

Now, make yourself comfy, turn on a Christmas movie and tie, tie, tie! When you have the length you want, cut the jute, and tie a double knot at each end.

You can also make these much shorter, and hang on a mantel, or a piece of furniture. My next rag garland project? For my girls' room...I am re-finishing shutters to hang on their wall, then hanging the garland across it. Can't wait!!