Friday, November 30, 2012

Handmade Christmas Cards

I've been wanting to make Christmas cards since I got my first Cricut and for whatever reason it has taken me about 2 years to actually get around to it.  I looked online for inspiration, gathered a few ideas and came up with this:

With everything I do this year from the wrapping paper, to the gifts, to the cards, I'm trying to go simple and classic.  I think Christmas has gotten out of hand in alot of respects and I think there is something to be said for simplicity around the holiday season.  I think these cards hit the mark.  I debated on whether or not to put Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays on the front but nixed the idea since I always write personal messages on the inside and lets face it, everyone will know this is a Christmas card regardless if it says Merry Christmas or not.

Now, on to how I made them.  I bought the cards with envelopes from Hobby Lobby (I'm really into rustic country/primitive looking stuff right now which is why I chose the brown) they were a package of 50 for $6.99, and I of course used a 40% off coupon.  The green/white polka dot paper I purchased in a Christmas stack of cardstock at Hobby Lobby as well. I used my Cricut and the Joys of the Season cartridge to cut out the reindeer at 3 inches, and Accent Essentials cartridge to cut out the green/white polka dot image behind the reindeer at 3 inches too.  I attached everything with micro sized glue dots.

I have to say for my first attempt at Christmas cards I'm really really pleased with how they turned out.
Whenever I start a project with my cricut I almost always google ideas whether it be Christmas cards or birthday invites and let me tell ya there are some amazingly talented cricut users out there.  I usually end up getting more discouraged the more ideas I see because some of them seem so intricate and time consuming, I figure there's no way to make them and have them turn out well.  That being said, what I try to stick to and my piece of advice is to keep it simple, at least to start with.  If you start simple you can always add ribbon, buttons, glitter, or words.  By starting with a simple design or idea first it makes the task less daunting and keeps you from getting discouraged.  So if you, like me, have been wanting to make your Christmas cards this year go ahead and bust out the Cricut and get crafting.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

2 Mikey Monkey's for 2 Little Boys

My cousin has twin, almost 1 year old boys, I threw her a baby shower last year, and since we will be seeing her in Tennessee over the Christmas holiday I wanted to make something for them.  My cousin is not in the least bit a crafter, I swear one day I will convert her, so I never think of what to buy them but what to make them.  For Grant's first Christmas I made him a Mikey monkey and I thought it would be perfect for their gift this year.  There is something about a handmade toy, I feel like every child should have one.

I have to say I love these monkies but there are certain parts that can be a bit of a pain in the neck, not because of the pattern or instructions but because I never seem to follow them completely which can get me in trouble.  Anyway, I wanted to make them matching but not identical and I'm really pleased with how they turned out.  Originally I was going to do really good and make the matching baseball hat and tennis shoes but after I stuffed and stitched them up I decided for my crafting sanity I should leave them as is.  I'm so glad I can now mark these off my Christmas craft to-do list.  I can't wait to see the boys open them, my little guy has already been giving them kisses and trying to drag them around the house.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grandparent Christmas Ornament

I made this ornament for my Grandparents:

It is simple and classic and I'm in love with how it turned out.  I didn't want anything over the top or fancy because, to me, the picture speaks enough for itself.  It's their wedding picture over 50 years ago.  I've seen these ornaments done all over blogland and didn't ever really read a tutorial, I thought "how hard can it be?"  Well I don't know how other's made their ornaments but here's a few issues I ran into.

Originally I was going to make wallet size copies of the picture, cut them to size and put them in the glass ball.  FYI, it doesn't work.  I bought regular glass ball ornaments so I had to roll the picture up to get it inside the ornament and the photos don't unroll all the way.  Luckily I practiced with another photo first.  What I ended up doing was scanning the photo into my computer, printing it out on regular computer paper in a 3x5 size.  I cut a circle shape (trimming as needed), rolled it up, stuck it in the ornament, then used tweezers to maneuver it and straighten the paper out.  Once it was situated to my liking I stuck the top of the ornament back on making sure the metal things that stick down in (have no idea if they actually have a name, but you know what I'm talking about hopefully) were positioned behind the photo.  This prevents the photo from falling backwords.  I used some simple red ribbon to tie the bow on top and TA-DAAA, all finished.  I made 8 total one for each of my aunts and uncles as well as my Grandparents and plan on giving them at Thanksgiving so they can hang them on their trees this season.

Total these ornaments cost about $0.33 each since all I had to buy was the ornaments, everything else was already in my craft stash.  This is the perfect gift for a group of people or if you have multiple family members you want to gift to without breaking the bank.  Best of all it brings back memories for people and I think that's the best part of it!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Superhero Cape for Sophie: A Christmas Gift

I have to take a moment and say how proud I am of myself for already having quite a few Christmas gifts bought and made than I think I ever have in the past.  Usually the handmade gifts are always being finished into the wee hours of Christmas morning.  I vowed to myself I would not be doing that this year since we will be out of town for part of the holiday & packing up extra sewing and crafting supplies is not an option.

Sophie and Grant love playing together and see each other every weekend.  I knew I wanted to make them both superhero capes this year and finished Grant's about a month ago.  I'm thrilled with how both of them turned out, especially since I didn't have a pattern to go by.

I made this cape using the same pattern I created with Grant's.  I made it using one of his large bibs and newspaper.  I traced the neck part of the bib and created an A shape.

For the "S" I printed the letter from a Word document in the size I needed, traced it onto the fabric, cut it out, backed it with head and bond and stitched it to the triangle shape.
I think I mentioned this when I posted about my son's cape but here's a note, make sure you clip the corners and all the curves to make the fabric not bunch up around the neck when you turn it right side out.  I learned this the hard way the first go round.
I'm so excited to see them running through the house Christmas morning with these capes.


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