Stamped Gift Tags

Scrooge or Santa’s helper? My pre-Christmas mood swings between bah-humbug and happy industry. Buying stuff can send me into ethical, financial quandries, but wrapping stuff? I can handle that. The complicated origami of neatly packaging a basketball? Bring it on.

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Stamping gift tags is another merry, mindless task for me. I made these stamps (cut out of foam) years ago, and I love digging them out every year. This year, I found a date stamp (the most recent year on it is 2007)–and put that to work, too.

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. . . Merry Christmas, everyone!

Bunny ornaments

img_24381These little bunnies are easy and addictive to make–plus so cute! I had some left over wool felt from a tree skirt I made last year and wool stuffing that I bought ages ago and have used countless times. (I love when a seemingly extravagant purchase turns out to be perfectly practical.) I made a cardstock template and cut out two felt bunnies for each ornament. I added the embroidered details and then blanket stitched the two sides together leaving a gap for stuffing. I learned after a few bunnies that more stuffing is better and it’s important to fill all the spaces. Then I just closed the gap and left a loop of thread for hanging. Simple!

Advent calendar

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Five days of cuteness! Still to come, six more peg elves, two more elf houses, the big guy himself on the 24th, and some other little surprises. I’ve had so much fun making this advent calendar. I haven’t painted anything except walls in a long time, and I was a little out of practice. My skills definitely improved after a few elves–the elf waiting on December 18 is superlatively cute. The little drawstring bags were pretty easy to make and I just stamped the numbers on with a regular ink pad. I still have a few more things to make–Santa’s house!–but I’ve got days and days to finish up.

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Paper heart pouch

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These paper heart pouches, with conversation hearts inside, are perfect for class valentines. They have  a little bit of candy, and are easy enough for kids to make before they get bored and wander off. We traced hearts using cookie cutters and taped two together with washi tape, leaving the top open. Then we punched a hole through the top and tied the opening shut with some baker’s twine. To finish them off, we taped a heart to the end of the twine for a label.

Be Our Valentine

A Sweetheart candy-induced sugar rush fueled a valentine bonanza at our house this weekend. We tried out stamps that we made from heart-shaped buttons glued on wine/beer corks and tiny heart stamps carved into pencil erasers. Yes, carving a pencil eraser takes some adult fine motor skills–and I learned that a Speedball carving tool works better than an X-acto knife. We also sewed paper valentines with yarn stitches (I punched holes and my seven-year-old Zeke stitched). Zeke preferred simple stitches–the star design (above) was too tricky for him.

But when it came time for all-out valentine production for Zeke’s classmates, we kept things simple. With washi tape and construction paper, we made big, neon plaid hearts. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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