Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

Hello March :: A Simple Sewn Folder for Letters and Notes

Letter writing has been so fun lately. It’s liberating, personal, and gives me an excuse another way to be creative. As a kid, I would write to friends and cousins. When one particular friend traveled, I would write her “letters from the future” and make up games for her to play while she was sitting in the car or flying. When I started college, pen and paper sort of went to the wayside because we were all given e-mail accounts… DOS, even. No windows-based programs yet.

I thought I  would share some pictures of a paper folder I put together for one of my favorite pen pals of all time. She received it recently, so now I can “unveil” it. 🙂 A little paper, a little sewing, some washi tape, envelopes – all things I love playing with!

Inspired by oh, hello friend


Folder front page

I love mixing paper and stickers. And I’m totally in love with my retro Dymo labeler.

Sewn binding in my paper folder reinforced with washi tape

Sewn binding in my paper folder reinforced with washi tape

I folded a 8-1/2″ x 11″ cardstock in half, and used washi tape to strengthen the fold before sewing the other pages in place.


Envelopes and a postcard taped into place

What a fun way to use up bits of paper, postcards and little notes.


Mis-matchy embellishments make me swoon

Mini-envelopes taped into place are perfect for holding tiny treasures.

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12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Earrings and Brooches

Raid your jewelry box for a little bling on your presents! I have a few orphaned earrings that would make fun embellishments for the fashionistas in my life.

Dig through a stash of jewelry for single earrings or old brooches.

Dig through a stash of jewelry for single earrings or old brooches.

An old brooches can dress up a gift.

An old brooches can dress up a gift.

You don't have to throw away single earrings or old holiday pins. Put it on a gift!

You don’t have to throw away single earrings or old holiday pins. Put it on a gift!

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12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Scrap Fabric

Here’s how you could use some scrap fabric in gift wrapping!

Gift wrapping with fabric as ribbon

Selvedges make a cool ribbon substitute.


Instead of ribbon, maybe you have some left over selvedges (the edges of a bolt, or cut, of fabric). Or you can take scraps and sew them directly onto paper tags in the shape of a tree, star, stack of presents… anything seasonal.

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12 Days of Gift Wrapping: Quick and Easy Gift Tags from Envelopes

Sometimes, I just cut my own. It’s really handy if you only need a few, and it’s fun! We all still receive junk mail and bills, but before you throw the envelopes away, check the security envelopes. You might be surprised!

Security envelopes turn into scrap paper

Find really cool patterned paper by just looking inside security envelopes!

Lots of pretty patterns!


Take plain cardstock (or index cards) and cut them into 1″ x 3″ (approximately 25 mm x 75 mm) strips.

Generously apply glue to the cardstock strips with a glue stick, then adhere the patterned paper.

Using an X-Acto knife or crafting blade, trim the excess paper. The just punch a hole and tie some yarn, ribbon, or baker’s twine.

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One Way to Recycle Glass Jars into a Fun Party Favor

So I’ve established that I’m sort of a hoarder, and my poor husband was so nice turning the other cheek when he saw I had a crazy amount of glass jars stashed away… in the basement, under the stairs. I explained to him that I had every intention to use up the glass jars – well, I thought I had a craft for them. I just hadn’t gotten around to it. I’ve seen a lot of recycled glass jar projects around Pinterest, some of them leading to non-English tutorials, but pretty easy to figure out.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor

Friends, grab your glue gun (Note: Super Glue did not work well), miscellaneous plastic animals from the party store (or your kid’s collection from the dentist’s treasure box), and clean, empty glass jars. Get a can of spray paint. I have metallic silver, so that’s what I used.

Wash the lids well. After your lids are clean, you can swipe them with some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to make sure they’re really clean. Using your glue gun, adhere your little critters of choice to the lids. They should all be secure after a minute. If you’re a good crafter, you’ll wipe away the hot glue “strings” before painting, I didn’t bother since it didn’t look too bad.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Spray Paint

Now for spray paint… Make sure you have good ventilation and a spray box (optional). If you can head outside and spray them, kudos to you. It’s freezing here, so I ended up spraying them in my (heated) garage. I gave the lids and animals three coats, 15-20 minutes in between. And, I still have a little touch-up to do.

You could wash all the glass jars while you’re waiting for the lids to dry. I took the labels off the same way I take off wine bottle or beer labels. And if the label adhesive doesn’t come off easily, grab some Goo Gone (Just follow manufacturer’s directions on the bottle.).

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Plastic Animals Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor

I let them dry overnight, and now my daughter will fill them up candy for her buddies.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Plastic Animals

I’d love to know if you end up making this project!

Click for more party ideas!

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Chinese New Year: Crafting mini {Red} envelopes with free printable

Crafting envelopes from old magazines and calendars

My obsession with making envelopes from old magazine and calendar pages

I’ve always had a love affair with paper, especially making envelopes from old magazine and calendar pages… even wallpaper scraps. And, I actually use them to mail letters! In college, I would take junk mail envelopes, open them up and use them for templates. Every envelope was different; I didn’t care if the picture was tilted, or if there was text. The envelopes were that much cooler.

Chinese New Year: Making mini-envelopes

Recycling / upcycling my Crate and Barrel and Anthropolgie catalogs into mini-envelopes

Since it’s Chinese New Year’s Eve, I pulled out red envelopes for the kids. I was inspired to make a few mini envelopes… from some favorite catalog mailers. (Crate&Barrel and Anthropologie, I love your layouts.)

Chinese New Year: Making mini-envelopes

Here, I’ve carefully opened up my red envelope to figure out the shape and to make a template on a blank piece of paper.

I also put together a Mini / Red Envelope template that can be downloaded here. Just print on cardstock, cut, and follow directions.

Making mini-envelopes from old magazines and catalogs

Sometimes you get cute envelopes from unexpected pages. It’s all template positioning  – trial and error.

Before I cut out my envelope shapes, I used a silver marker to go around my template. It made a nice edge on the finished envelope. I also tried a colored permanent marker.

Making mini envelopes from Crate and Barrel catalog

Like I said, I thought I would make a few envelopes, but I got carried away. (Yes, a die-cut machine would probably be more efficient but where’s the fun in that?) Guess I better figure out who to send these to.

Mini envelopes from Anthropologie catalog

Finished size is approximately 4 inches x 2-3/4 inches.

I wonder what else I could cut up to make envelopes? *grin*

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