Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas

Since it is already the beginning of December {how did that happen?!}, I wanted to share a few tried-and-true handmade gift ideas in hopes they’ll inspire you to DIY some gifts on your holiday list!

gift ideas

Below are links to either my version of the project [if I blogged about it] or a direct link to a tutorial I followed [if I didn’t blog about my version].

For everyone:

  • Mug RugThese are great for anyone! You can pair it with a vintage teacup and a few bags of your favorite tea. {Find a bundle of mug rug gift ideas and a free gift tag printable in this post}

mug rug

  • Stationary Set No better time to upcycle the year’s calendar than now – find my tutorial here. Don’t have a calendar to upcycle? No problem! You can use a magazine or vintage maps – like I did here.

envelopes

  • Quick & Easy Big Block Quilt – use the method I used for my Beach Blanket to save loads of time.

blanket

tree ornaments

Quilted Christmas Tree ornaments made by yours truly using the tutorial linked above.

  • Throw PillowsYou can find my tutorial for very basic pillows here (below: right). You can also read about the sweater pillow covers (below: left) I made here.

pillows

For more pillow ideas, check out my Pillow Ideas Pinterest Board!

For gals:

envelope clutch

  • No-Sew Blanket Scarf – confession: I haven’t tried this yet, but the tutorial from the OK Southerner (PS: Love her blog!) is pretty straight forward. This is a DIY gift anyone could make!
blanket scarf

{Images borrowed from the OK Southerner}

  • Addie K’s Canny Tunic – this pattern is very forgiving. Even if you don’t know the exact size of the gal you’re making it for, you can guess and it’ll likely still fit her. Plus, everyone needs a tunic like this for the holidays [hello desserts! And chocolate! And warm snuggles instead of running!].
{Photo credit: Addie Martindale}

{Photo credit: Addie Martindale}

  • Lace Locket Necklaceso stinkin’ easy! Elevate yourself to “Best Gift Giver” status if you can snag some lace from the recipient’s wedding dress. 

lace necklace1

  • Bossypants by Tina Fey – give the gift of a laugh-out-loud book sprinkled with moments of pure empowerment. {Spoiler: this is not a DIY…because sometimes you just gotta BUY the gift!}

bossypants For guys:

DIY

For little tots:

  • Cloth Baby Shoes – they’re easier to make than you think! Bonus: Make them from an old pair of Dad/Grandpa’s shorts!

shoes 3

For more ideas: Check out last year’s Handmade Holiday Blog Hop Recap (follow the links to the five blogger’s posts all full of ideas) or browse my Pinterest Boards where I’ve been frivolously pinning ideas I’ll never get to.

What are your favorite handmade holiday gifts? I’d love to hear about your favorites – leave a comment below!

Advertisements

DIY Beach Blanket

I know I’m wayyy late (like, a full month), but I couldn’t resist sharing a picture of my oh-so-festive Independence Day brunch at Eggs Up Grill!

july 4th

The Fruited Plain Ultimate French Toast {y’all know my sweet tooth…it was worth every calorie!}

Don’t worry – I suffered through a very humid run before consuming these tasty, festive treats 😉

Onward! To the beach quilt!

Remember that time I made my first quilt? Oh yes, me too. I love it so much…in all it’s flawed beginner glory. I love it so much that I make the Hubs lay it across our comforter every morning so I can see it when I get home! (I know, I’m a nerd.)

Anyhow – as soon as my Mom saw it she was all “Ohh..you should make me one to take to the beach.” After giving her the side-eye and replying that I don’t make things to go in or on the sand, I revisited her request (I mean…the woman stayed with my dogs for TWO AND A HALF weeks OVER CHRISTMAS. She’s a saint. I owed her).

I was planning to visit her this summer so we could walk go shell hunting at the beach. As my trip approached, the idea of a beach quilt floated in and out of my mind (mostly out)…until I ran across this Picnic Blanket Tutorial on Pinterest.

At first, I had planned to buy some terry cloth, but I was running low on time (and if I had to go to JoAnn’s in search of terry cloth, I’d most certainly lose a solid 4 hours after getting “lost” in all the other great fabric and craft supplies I so desperately need). In addition, I’ve been on a mission to purge my fabric stash (after realizing it was suffocating my creative process/sewing room/space to create, I purged and then offered free bags of fabric to my friends on Facebook. I highly recommend offering your Facebook friends things you want to get rid of. They jumped right on it! By passing my stash onto friends, I didn’t have to live in fear that my fabulous fabric might not make it to the sales floor of the local thrift store). On that note, I decided that I shouldn’t buy any new fabric for this project. In my Mom’s original request she said “you could use big pieces for my quilt so it wouldn’t take as long” (she’s thoughtful in her requests, right?!). Since I’d be raiding my stash for this one, her “easy solution” was great inspiration.

Step 1 – Find a large piece of fabric (or piece together scraps) that represents the size and shape you desire for your blanket. This will serve as your template for the quilt.

I had one beautiful curtain panel in my stash that had previously adorned the one window in my tiny dining room until the pattern had become too aesthetically busy. I knew it would be the right size for this – larger than a regular beach towel, but smaller than a traditional quilt. After cutting off all of the finished edges of the curtain, I laid it out flat to use as a template.

The unused curtain edges made a great doggy bowtie…

My helper, Twitch, snoozing on the job (like usual) while wearing the fancy new bow tie I made him ;)

My helper, Twitch, snoozing on the job (like usual) while wearing the fancy new bow tie I made him 😉

Step 2 – Find some batting.

There are lots of options here – you don’t have to use traditional batting. You could use an old fleece blanket, towels, flannel, etc.

Last year (while on the high from beginning my first quilt) I found a large white polyester-blend blanket at a thrift store. I bought it thinking it would make great batting (after some bleaching of course). The material wasn’t up to my standard of soft-n-cuddly so I knew I wouldn’t necessarily want to use it for a traditional blanket. It worked out perfect as batting for the beach quilt!

Step 3 – Cut your batting to match the size and shape of your “template” fabric.

Using the curtain piece as a template, I cut the batting to be the same size and set aside.

If you are using scraps of material for the batting, just sew the pieces together and trim as necessary until you have a piece that fits your original “template” (made in Step 1).

Step 4 – Gather fabric for your “top piece” (this will be the fancy side of your quilt that you will most likely use as the “top” so be creative with your selection).

For my quilt, I raided my fabric stash and stuck with large pieces of home decor / upholstery weight fabric for durability. I recommend using canvas, home decor fabric or upholstery weight fabric – something sturdy and durable.

I also recommend sticking with similar weight fabric (i.e. I wouldn’t recommend using lightweight cotton and upholstery together as it will cause one area to be heavier than the other. Additionally, the lightweight cotton wouldn’t be able to withstand the same wear-and-tear that the upholstery which may alter the look of your quilt in the future).

Step 5 – Piece together your quilt top.

Once you have gathered a stack of prints you like, start cutting the pieces to straighten the edges (basically: you want to turn your pieces into rectangles of sorts – all straight edges. Differing width and heights are fine for now – just focus on straight edges).

Now place your scraps on your template and arrange until you get the look you desire. Overlap them slightly (by about an inch) to ensure that your piece will be large enough to cover your template.

Starting with rows that use more than one piece of fabric to cover the quilt horizontally, sew the pieces together along the vertical seams so that they construct one long horizontal “row” that matches the width of your template. Trim the pieces so that the row is the same height across all pieces horizontally (making one long rectangle). Be sure to press the interior seams open and flat.

Once you have all multi-scrap rows constructed (you should have several rectangular rows now), lay them across your template in the order you want them to appear.

Step 6 – Begin sewing the rows together to build the top of your quilt.

I free-styled this (aka: made it up as I went along) so I don’t have great instructions. I used my basic quilting knowledge (piecing, pressing seams, squaring up, etc). If you have never pieced together a quilt top before, have no fear! You can do this with two giant pieces of fabric that are the same size and skip steps 4-6.

Starting from the top, take the second row and flip it up so that its’ right side is facing the right side of the first row. Align the pieces along the bottom horizontal edge and pin. Stitch along the bottom horizontal edge. Press the seams.

Now align the third row (right sides facing) to the bottom edge of the second row and stitch. Press the seams. Repeat until you have your entire top piece stitched together.

Step 7 – Make a quilt sandwich.

Layer the fabric flat (make sure there are no substantial wrinkles on any of the layers as you place them on top of one another):

1) Bottom layer: Quilt back [made in Step 1] facing right side up

2) Middle layer: Quilt top [made in Steps 4-6] facing right side down (so that your bottom and top pieces have the right sides facing each other).

3) Top layer: Batting [made in Step 3]

Step 8 – Pin the layers together.

Using a bundle of large safety pins, carefully pin the layers together. Since you are only going to be sewing around the edge of the quilt, you only need to pin around the edges.

Step 9 – Square up the top piece of your quilt.

Cut the edges of the quilt so that all three layers match along all edges.

Step 10 – Sew the layers together to hold in place.

Before you start sewing the layers together, make two marks along the bottom edge of your quilt (about 10-12 inches apart). This will be the opening that you use to flip your quilt – do not sew this area together in this step. If you are using extra fluffy batting or layers, you may need a slightly larger opening.

Starting at the left mark, begin sewing around the quilt until you reach the right mark (again: do not sew between these marks – this is the opening you will use to flip your quilt).

The seam allowance is not strict, but I recommend something larger (1 inch) to ensure that you are sewing through all 3 layers.

Step 11 – Flip your quilt inside-out so that the right sides are facing out.

Before flipping, trim the corners of your quilt (cut diagonally across each corner – be sure not to cut into your stitching).

Using the opening you left in Step 10, reach inside your quilt (between the top and bottom quilt pieces) and begin pulling the right sides out to “flip” it.

Step 12 – Sew around all edges of the quilt.

Once you have the right sides out (with the bottom and top quilt pieces in place and the fleece inside), tuck the edges of the opening under and pin. Starting with the opening, sew all the way around the edges of the quilt. I recommend a 0.5 inch seam (this seam needs to be slightly smaller than the seam you chose in Step 10 so that when you sew across the opening, you are able to sew all 3 layers to keep it securely closed).

Step 13 – Take your quilt out to play!

Congratulations! You just finished a fabulous beach blanket / picnic quilt / whatever-kind-of-blanket-you-want-it-to-be! I’d love to see your creations – tag me on Instagram when you share: @jordslice11.

For a little inspiration, here is the Beach Quilt I made for my Mom (she loved it by the way!):

blanket back

This is the quilt BACK – the curtain I used as a template for the rest of the quilt. {Oh, and Mr. Twitch posing alongside with his matching bowtie}

blanket front

This is the quilt TOP {And the Hubs who had way too much fun helping with these photos!} 😉

It’s hard to believe I had scraps that large in my stash. It sure felt good to use them up – this is a great scrap buster and easy gift!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and are inspired to make something pretty for yourself! I’d love to see what you make – if you blog it, link your post in the comments and tag me on Instagram with your photos: @jordslice11.

{UPDATE: See my beautiful Mom enjoying the beach quilt here.}

Handmade Envelopes from Last Year’s Calendar

My 2014 fridge calendar was so beautiful that I wanted to find a way to salvage / reuse the beautiful images.

At this point, you are probably well aware of my new love of making my own envelopes {remember that time I made envelopes from an old skirt magazine for the Bridal Tea party?}. I knew the weight and size of the glossy pages would be perfect for constructing envelopes so I saved a few of my favorites.

I saved some of my favorite pages from the calendar before recycling the rest. The pages had been sitting aside waiting patiently to be turned into envelopes for a few weeks now.

handmade

To get started you’ll need to gather these supplies:

  • Calendar pages (alternate options: magazine pages, wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, etc)
  • Glue stick
  • Scrap paper for the address label (alternate: use a permanent marker if the design is light enough)
  • Permanent marker
  • Blank piece of paper (if you want to make a template to reuse later)
  • Envelope (used or unused – doesn’t matter)
  • Scissors
  • Strong liquid glue or clear tape
  • Washi tape
  • Paper for envelope lining – optional
  • A card that fits inside your envelope template OR make your own with construction paper, scrapbook paper or other colored paper pieces

Instructions:

Creating the Envelope template

If you have a used envelope whose size you like, deconstruct it by carefully detaching the sides and bottom of the envelope. Since you will be using the deconstructed envelope as your template, skip to the instructions for constructing the envelope.

If you have an unused envelope, you can create a template without deconstructing by following these steps:

1. Lift the top flap of the envelope (so that it is “open”) and align it with the top edge of the paper you are using to trace the template.

2. Trace the side edges of the top flap on the paper. Carefully hold the envelope in place on top of the paper and close the top flap. Trace around the rectangular body of the envelope (with the top flap down).

3. For the bottom of the envelope, measure the height of the bottom flap. On your paper template, measure the same distance (from the bottom of the envelope body outline) and draw a few marks. Connect the marks with a straight, horizontal line across the bottom of your template paper.

4. Measure the length of the top of the bottom flap (the area where the top flap would overlap when closed). It should be slightly less than the horizontal length of your envelope’s body.

5. On the line you have drawn at the bottom of your template page, draw notches that match the length measured in step 3 centered (as best you can) below the envelope body.

6. Draw a line from the bottom left corner of the envelope body to the left end of the line drawn in step 4. Repeat on the right side. The lines should be angled slightly inward.

7. Use the same method to draw the side flaps.

8. Use your scissors to cut around the outline of the envelope.

9. Fold the side flaps in then fold the bottom flap up. You can use a ruler to help with this by aligning the edge of the ruler along the folding line (outline of the envelope body).

10. Ensure that the side and bottom flaps overlap enough so that you will be able to glue them together. Also ensure that when the top flap is folded down, there is enough overlap so that you can secure the envelope.

If my directions are hard to follow, I suggest checking out these directions from The Postman’s Knock.

Constructing the Envelope

Once you have your template constructed (and tested to make sure the pieces align properly), you are ready to start tracing.

1. On the wrong side of the calendar pages (in our case, on the calendar grid side), trace the template using a permanent marker. Before cutting, make sure that the outline is lined up how you would like it on the image (pay particular attention to where the body of the envelope / middle rectangle aligns as this will be the front of your envelope).

2. Using your scissors, cut around the outer edges of your template outline.

3. Line your ruler up to the corners of the side flap (along the edges of the envelope body) and fold the flap towards the calendar grid (interior of envelope). Repeat for the other side flap.

4. Repeat step 3 for the bottom and top flaps.

5. Use your glue stick to coat the exterior of both side flaps where the bottom flap overlaps. Fold the bottom flap up so that it sticks to the side flaps.

6. Ensure that the envelope doesn’t glue shut by inserting your card or a piece of paper to separate as necessary. (Remove the paper or card / don’t leave the card inside the envelope while it dries.)

7. Set envelope aside to let glue dry.

8. Using a piece of scrap paper, write your recipients address and attach to your envelope using strong liquid glue or clear tape.

9. If you already have a card to use, go ahead and write a sweet note to someone you love. If you don’t have a card, cut pieces of construction paper / scrapbook paper / other colored paper slightly smaller than the body of your envelope. I found some colored 5×7″ card stock on clearance at Michael’s so that’s what I used 🙂

10. Put the beautifully written note inside the envelope and seal with washi tape. If you are feeling especially handy, you could try making your own envelope glue.

11. Send your lovely happy mail on it’s way! {Don’t forget a stamp!}

Here’s some envelope eye candy from my 2014 calendar…

e 1nvelope

Wouldn’t this be perfect for holding a handmade wedding card?

envelope 1a

Envelope interior with exposed calendar grid (no lining)

I kind of like how the calendar grid peeks through on the inside of the envelope. To me it screams: “Once upon a time I was trash, but now I’m treasure!” 😉

If you want your upcycling to be a little less obvious, feel free to add a lining to your envelope. Martha Stewart has a nice how-to on envelope lining here or you can download her liner templates with this tutorial.

envelope 2

I can’t wait to send this one in the spring!

envelope 5

I sent this one to my penpal and was able to write her address directly onto the front with a permanent marker.

I picked out my favorite one and sent it to my Mom 🙂

calendar envelope

I love how colorful this pattern is (and so did my Mom!)

A lesson learned: a glue stick isn’t quite strong enough to hold the address on (I glued paper scraps with the address directly to the front of the envelope). If it’s possible, I recommend using a permanent marker to write directly onto the envelope. For some of my designs (like the white flower), this worked, but for others (like above) that wasn’t an option. Next time I will try using my liquid glue or clear tape to keep it secure.

Luckily, the address piece didn’t fall completely off until it had reached my Mom (yay!), but I wanted to share a word of warning because it would be a real tragedy if your beautiful masterpiece didn’t reach it’s intended recipient!

envelope 4

When I send this one, I think I will try to wrap the address below the purple flowers.

A wall calendar is the perfect material for making envelopes. If you’re still holding on to last year’s calendar, give handmade envelopes a try!

Keep an eye out – these envelopes will likely make a reappearance in some future #reslicedHappyMail!


DIY Beard Oil & Shaving Cream

We celebrated the Hubs’ 27th birthday on February 5th. I love celebrating the Hubs – for obvious reasons [he’s awesome] and also because I always try to DIY most of his birthday presents which can be a fun challenge.

It’s not super easy to find DIY gifts for men that aren’t centered around beer (since he doesn’t drink that rules out about half of the DIY ideas online).

Well, this year I had some great ideas!

The Hubs has been growing a pretty nice beard which he has lovingly been maintaining because I told him I liked it 🙂

I have also recently purchased a Young Living Essential Oils Premium Starter kit that came with a set of everyday oils. I’ll admit that I primarily ordered my kit so that I could use the oils to make lotions, lip balm and shaving cream {and it was the biggest bang for my buck in terms of ordering a variety of oils}. There are tons of other benefits of having these oils, but that was my primary motivation 😉

And while I do love my diffuser (Stress Away + Lavender is my absolute favorite combination so far), the oils have proven very handy with my DIY projects.

{As a side note – by ordering the kit, I’ve become a “member” with Young Living. If you are interested in essential oils, I’d be happy to chat about them and share what I know [which isn’t too much]. If you want to place an order, I’d be so grateful if you used my member number: 2434224 :)}

Ok, back to those manly DIY gifts…


DIY

Beard Oil

Inspired by the Art of Manliness DIY Beard Oil post

Materials / Ingredients

Directions

  1. If you are using it, place the mini-funnel atop the glass jar and fill about half the jar with your carrier oil of choice (Almond oil).
  2. Add your essential oils. I used 4 drops of the tea tree oil, 2 drops of the peppermint oil and 1 drop of Frankincense.
  3. Close the jar and flip a few times to mix. Take a sniff and adjust the scent as necessary. If the scent is too strong, add more almond oil to dilute.
  4. Optional label: Add washi tape to the outside of the bottle and stamp or write (with permanent marker) “beard oil” for your label. You could get fancy if you have a label maker, but I’m a frugal DIY’er.
beard oils

Beard oil combination: Peppermint, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree), and Frankincense essential oils.

Shaving Cream

Original recipe from One Good Thing by Jillee

Materials / Ingredients

  • Glass container(s) – I used three 4 oz. mason jars, but you could use 1 bigger jar if you prefer.
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup raw shea butter (I ordered mine from Amazon)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (you could substitute other carrier oils like Almond or Jojoba)
  • 10 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • washi tape – optional label

Directions

  1. Add water to a sauce pan (so it is between 1/3 and half full) and bring water to a low boil over medium heat.
  2. Add coconut oil and shea butter to the glass measuring cup. Create a makeshift double boiler by placing the glass measuring cup into the sauce pan. Stir occasionally until both materials are completely melted.
  3. Carefully remove glass measuring cup from sauce pan (using an oven mit). Add olive oil and essential oils and stir to mix.
  4. You can either refrigerate until the mixture becomes solid or cover and leave on your counter overnight.
  5. If you’ve refrigerated the mixture, remove once it is solid and let it sit at room temperature for about half an hour.
  6. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and add baking soda. Whip mixture for about 3 minutes until it is smooth and fluffy.
  7. Transfer fluffy mixture to your jar(s) and store at room temperature.
  8. Optional label: Add washi tape to the top of the jar and write “Shaving Cream”. The jar I ordered came with labels so you could use those or add a fabric swatch to the top – there are all kinds of options with mason jars.

Had I been better prepared this year, I would’ve made the Hubs a new toiletry bag (like this one or this one) to store the two.

What are some gifts you’ve made for the men in your life? Share your experiences and ideas in the comments! {And help me be better prepared for next year!}

Save this DIY for later:   

DIY Bridal Tea Party

I hinted to you in my #reslicedHappyMail post that I am planning my Bestie a Bridal Tea Party and today I want to tell you all about it the preparations I’ve made so far. I DIY’d a lot of stuff for it so far and I’m excited to share those with you.


blog pic
I’ve been best friends with the bride since middle school and when she asked me to be her Maid of Honor, I was over the moon! {Remember how cute the card was that she sent to me last August?!} In lieu of a traditional Bachelorette party, Caroline requested that we have a tea party with all her favorite gals. You see, the reason Caroline & I have stayed Bestie for so very long is because we’re both 85-years-old at heart. So the minute she released me from planning anything involving penis straws was just further confirmation that she’ll be the one in the rocker beside me on the front porch of our nursing home gossiping about all the old guys one day. We had originally planned to have the Bridal Tea at a tea room a few towns away, but that fell through. Caroline almost gave up on the tea party idea until I persuaded her to let me attempt to throw one myself. With help from another of Caroline’s wonderful Bridesmaids, we came up with an alternate plan that worked out perfect. There’s a lovely [locally-owned!] bakery in Irmo (our hometown) that offered to let us use their space in the afternoon to throw our own tea party. I could spend all day telling you how delicious the chocolate chip cookies are at Blue Flour Bakery, but you should probably just go buy some of your own {oh.my.word. – so good!} Ok, back to the DIY portion of this post… To start, I searched for a site where I could design and print my own invitations (I was short on time and was worried I wouldn’t get printed invitations as quick as I needed them). I stumbled upon Greetings Island (browse their Bridal Shower invitations here) and loved their templates and how easy it was to customize. Once you design your invitation, you have a few options for exporting. I chose to save mine to a PDF file with four on a page. I knew I wanted to mount mine on scrapbook paper so I opted to have them a little smaller than usual.

invitations

The final invitations

I actually had tea party themed scrapbook paper already that I use to mount my jewelry (makes for a great necklace or earring holder when gifting, displaying or shipping) so I didn’t have to buy any (yay!). To make the scrapbook paper “frames” around the invitations, I traced around my invitation and added an inch to each side. I didn’t love how the pointed corners looked so I grabbed the paper coffee cup I was drinking from and used the bottom to trace a rounded edge for the corners. From there, I traced the template on the back side of the scrapbook paper so the lines wouldn’t be visible on the front when cut. Then I glued the invitations to the middle of the scrapbook paper. And voila! Handmade [nearly free] invitations. With some inspiration from The Postman’s Knock, I knew I wanted to attempt making my own envelopes. What better way to practice than with 11 invitations?! This also allowed me flexibility in sizing of the invitations (since I’d be customizing the envelopes to fit). To make my template, I deconstructed the envelope that Caroline’s wedding invitation came in – like this:

envelope

To customize the envelope template to fit my invitations, I cut off the left and right triangle flaps and sliced a bit off each side of the main piece until it was sized to fit. I reattached the side flaps though they proved to not be as necessary (since I switched to a square template and just used the top and bottom points as reference. That might be a bit confusing so if you are interested in making your own, I highly recommend following The Postman’s Knock instructions. I used a copy of our local Skirt! magazine for the envelopes.

skirt mag

This is the November issue – isn’t the cover lovely?! I also used the December issue (not pictured).

The size of the magazine is perfect for envelope-making because it is longer than a traditional magazine and the cover illustration is always beautiful. In fact, I was able to use a good bit of the magazine because the content (even the advertisements) is so lovely – it’s a very well-designed magazine. For pages that were too thin to stand alone as an envelope, I just glued two together to double it and then cut my template. If you look close at the cover picture above, you can see my envelope template outlined in pencil.

kroush

This is the front of the skirt magazine transformed into an envelope.

kroush back

I always love the quotes on the front cover of skirt magazine. I had to cut and reattach it so that the recipient could read it (without turning it upside down), but I love how it fit perfectly on the back of the envelope.

sarah key

The girl is actually holding a stalk of celery in her mouth which worked perfect as a placeholder for the address 🙂

skey back

And since weddings are all about “cooking the perfect mix”, I thought this quote was a good one for the back of the envelope 🙂

szimbardi

rlewis

This was actually an advertisement for a local cosmetics shop. The address covers the shop name.

kdixon

jcrew

This might be one of my favorites – isn’t the girl so cute?!

I love how each one turned out differently. I had a blast deciding who would get each one and how I’d display the address within the design. I can’t wait to make more envelopes to use for #reslicedHappyMail – speaking of, have you nominated someone yet?! If not, read all about it here & follow the link to the form. In addition to the invitation and envelope DIY, I also found a lovely [free printable] tea package. I struggled with customizing these, but the team at Botanical Paperworks was amazing and responded quickly over email to help me out. Each package says “T&C – the perfect blend” and “thank you” on the flip side. They printed in 3 different colors – one of which was coral which is the color of our bridesmaids’ dresses! Perfect.

tea satchets

I absolutely love how these turned out! The perfect favor for a tea party.

I had originally planned to make my own tea bags by purchasing loose leaf tea in the bride’s favorite flavor (berry) and sewing them by hand – like these. However, I decided to save myself the extra effort so I could use that time and energy elsewhere 🙂 Instead I used Tazo Passion herbal tea which was perfect – berry flavored and it said “passion” on the paper label which seemed appropriate 😉 To fit the tea bags into the packets, just remove them from their original paper wrapping (or purchase tea bags that aren’t individually wrapped). Have you planned a Bridal shower before? I had a ton of fun planning this one and I’d love hear about your DIY shower experiences – share them in the comments below!

{UPDATE: Read all about how the party went and pictures from the event in this post.}

Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop – recap

I sure hope you enjoyed last week’s Blog Hop as much as I did! I am so full of handmade gift ideas – my creative brain can hardly process it all!

To save you some searching later, I’ve gathered direct links to all the posts from the Blog Hop below. To save yourself even more time, go ahead and pin the image below to your favorite “gift ideas” board on Pinterest for future reference!



HH Blog Hop 1

I’m so honored to have all of the talented bloggers below participate in the Blog Hop with me! These ladies keep my creativity alive and inspire me constantly through their friendships with me (and blog posts!).

I hope you’ll take some time to read through their posts and explore their blogs!

The links below will take you to each blogger’s post for the Blog Hop. As you saw on the introduction post, each of us have different skills and interest areas so you can bet the variety of tutorials will keep you inspired (and very busy!).

If you’re local, follow Columbia’s Etsy Market Team on Facebook to stay in the loop with upcoming events where you can find local, handmade businesses and all things crafty in Columbia.

What are your favorite handmade gifts to give or receive? I’d love for you to share a link to your favorites in the comments below!

Happy [Handmade] Holidays!

Thrifted Thursday: Sailor Skirt

A few weeks ago I hit the jackpot while thrifting. I found this super 80s (though I have no idea which decade it’s actually from) sailor dress that was in perfect condition and just screamed “take me home tonight!” So I did.

It's like I'm a life-size version of how my Mom dressed me at age 4.

It’s like I’m a life-size version of how my Mom dressed me at age 4.

I know what you’re thinking: “Jordan, why on earth would you even consider refashioning this dress? It’s like 11 shades of all things perfect!”

Well, friends – here’s my defense:

1. Long dresses are a short girl’s worst nightmare (is it possible for my legs to look shorter?! Oh yes, it is.)

2. My sister’s birthday was fast approaching and I had not even started on that bag I’d promised her (new designs are fun to dream up in your head, but extremely intimidating to actually start so I’d caved to the intimidation…for now). I knew I wanted to make her something special. She loves sailing so obviously she loves anything nautical and THIS was IT.

In addition, my sister had recently started a new job (being that myself, my sister and both our Hubs started new jobs this year, we’ve declared 2014 “The Year of the Slices” – which includes spouses 😉 ). She was transitioning from the classroom to take on the role of a “Reading Coach” at the same school where she’d been planting her roots for the last 5 years. Since she’d be out of the classroom and in meetings a lot more often she’d already started the hunt for more “grown-up” clothes. So I thought: “I can help with this!”

My definition of “grown-up” clothes is a little skewed. Rather than being defined by suits of any kind [I. will. not!] I believe in cardigans. Lots of cardigans! And this was about to be a “just-add-cardigan” outfit!

While trying on this beauty, I realized the back zipper stopped just above the skirt. Meaning: I could easily chop off the bottom and preserve the top without struggling around removing a zipper. Win!

One last chance to truly appreciate this beauty..from the poof sleeves to the square collar with bow embellishment, it's just too stellar.

One last chance to truly appreciate this beauty..from the poof sleeves to the square collar with bow embellishment, it’s just so stellar.

Like any thrifted outfit, I started by washing (because duh) and drying – a recommendation for all fabric you work with. Whether you are chopping cloth off the bolt or refashioning, always wash and dry so that you don’t end up with an outfit for a toddler after it’s first wash.

I used some washi tape to secure the sides of the dress to the door I’d hung it on. It’d probably be better to cut on a flat surface, but I like to bend the rules for my convenience.

Since I’d decided this would make a super easy (did I mention my sister’s birthday was fast approaching?!) elastic waist skirt that would be a perfect gift for my sister, I started by cutting the skirt off just below the gathered top/waist of the original dress.

taped edge

Snip snip!

This pretty much ends my photographed steps – I’m not so great at documenting my visual progress. However, I loosely followed a tutorial I found a while ago that worked for me – it’s this one from Extra Petite.

I adapted this tutorial a little: I omitted the pockets because my sister always complains they make her hips look too big. If you love pockets and have little hips like myself, include them – they’re fun! I also decreased the width a bit because the first skirt I made following the tutorial was a bit too full for me.

Once I had inserted the elastic waist band, I had my husband stretch the skirt to it’s full capacity. Then I went around it and vertically pinned a few places about 6 inches apart. I used those places to stitch vertical lines so that the skirt wouldn’t bunch unevenly at the waist. Bonus: you can’t see the stitches because of how they fall between the bunching.

pinned elastic

Here you can see the pins – they are a bit closer (maybe 3 inches) once the elastic is “un-stretched”

And – tada! – the final product of this simple skirt:

skirt

Makes for a pretty cute skirt, right?!

While it is cute on my door and all, it’s way cuter on my sister!

Excuse the wrinkles (though you probably didn't even notice because of all the cuteness!), I made her try it on as soon as she opened the present!

Excuse the wrinkles (though you probably didn’t even notice because of all the cuteness!), I made her try it on as soon as she opened the present!

Seriously! How cute are these two?!

Seriously! How cute are these two?!

TIP: I have several skirt tutorials pinned on my Seamstress Dreams Pinterest board where I collect all the clothing tutorials I’ll probably never try, but dream about conquering one day. I usually read several tutorials before starting a project like this and combine little pieces from each until I get what I want.

I hope you enjoyed this #ThriftedThursday post!

PS: I’m still working on finishing up the matching top. Keep an eye out for that one – coming soon!

{Catch up on all the Thrifted Thursday posts here.}