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Free Printable Gift Tags for Boys

Good Morning Friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Is it Tuesday already? I’ve been a little slow getting back into the swing of things due to a little back-end blog trouble, but I think it might be fixed. Hooray!!

Today I wanted to share with you some printable gift tags I made this weekend. Chloe had a birthday party to attend on Saturday for a male classmate. After finding a gift bag from our party box, I remembered (again!) that all of our gift tags are girly and feminine – no boy themed ones at all. In the past I’ve resorted to using a sticky note, but this time I created some “boy” appropriate tags instead.

Could you use some boy themed gift tags too? We are happy to share! Just download the pdf at the bottom of this post.

Free Printable Gift Tags for Boys

Free Printable Gift Tags for Boys

Free Printable Gift Tags for Boys

What do you think? Will they come in handy? They aren’t strictly boy, as you can see. The colored bunting flags and the ombre-style “Happy Birthday” text versions could just as easily be used for both genders. And some girls like trucks and dinosaurs and circus tents, too, right?

Click here to download the Gift Tags for Boys PDF or click on the image below. For best printed results use your printer dialogue box to choose the “high quality” setting. On the colorful ones I used my old Crop-A-Dile to add some silver grommets as a finishing touch, but realized a hole punch alone looks just as good. Enjoy!

Free printable happy birthday party gift tags for boys download pdf

P.S. The icons are from the free font LoKinderDingsBum. They have some super cute dingbats. You can find it here.


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DIY Paper-Covered Jewelry Organizer

Over the years I’ve collected, or been given, various pieces of jewelry. I stopped wearing most of it when Chloe was born (except for my wedding ring), and now that she is a little older I’ve begun to phase in a few pieces every now and again. Often I forget what I own until I go digging around in the box. The earrings and bracelets are organized somewhat decently, but the lengths of necklaces and pendants are all jumbled together. It is not a pretty sight.

Months ago I chose some paper and hardware to make two necklace hangers, although the hooks would also work nicely for rings and bracelets, too. Here is the one I made last week. It is sized to fit a narrow space on the wall of my closet. That’s the nice thing about making something yourself – it can be whatever you want it to be, plus it would make a sweet gift. The wood came from Home Depot (recycled from another project), the paper from Craft Warehouse and the hardware from Target.

Materials
12 x 12 sheet of heavy scrapbook paper
4 x 10″ piece of wood
7/8″ nickel-plated cup hooks
2 sawtooth hangers

Tools
Xacto Knife
Cutting Mat
Bone Folder
Glue or Double stick tape


Step 1: Fold the paper around the board, basically like you’re gift-wrapping a present. For best results, run the tip of a bone folder along the edges to make the smoothest and straightest folds possible.


Step 2: Seal the sides down with adhesive. I used double stick tape.


Step 3:
Make a tiny mark where you want the cup hooks to go. Drill pilot holes at each mark so the cup hooks will go in smoothly, and then screw them in. Finish by lightly pounding in the sawtooth hangers on the back side, one at each of the upper corners. Enjoy!


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Wooden Name Puzzles

When I was visiting Colorado for the wedding, I came across an old wooden name puzzle from when Andrew was a kid. I loved it – the colors, the size of the pieces, and more importantly, the font. The maker’s name was stamped on the back, but an internet search came up empty, which is no surprise since it’s probably almost twenty years old. Then, just yesterday when we were over at a friend’s house for dinner, I noticed their little boy had his own name puzzle, too (I meant to take a picture, but I forgot). Anyway, here are a few that I’d consider for Chloe:


mooo.com.au $30.95 for 5 letters, $14.95 for box


personalizationmall.com $5.95 per letter


personalizationmall.com $52.95 one name, $64.95 two names


puzzlepeople.etsy.com $21.00


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Birth to 1-year Poster

I thought I’d share this collage I made for the grandmas (framed) and great-grandmas (5×7 matted) for Christmas this year. David and I aren’t big on hanging family pictures (thus there are none around, mostly due to lack of space), but I might try and make room for this one. It is sort-of an updated version of this Mother’s Day photo card I put together when Chloe was 6-months old. It might have been easier to choose just one image per month, but I obviously got carried away.


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Chocolate Covered Oreos + Label and Packaging Idea

For other procrastinators like myself, I thought I’d share this quick and tasty treat I made earlier this week. A search for “chocolate covered oreos” provided several good recipes and instructions (1, 2, 3), but basically I just melted a package of chocolate chips in the microwave. The cool thing about these cookies is that you don’t actually have to bake in order to have pretty handmade treats to give friends and neighbors. For packaging and display, I found tall glass canning jars at our local New Seasons, covered the lids with fabric and attached a label, which you can download here. For more packaging inspiration, marthastewart.com has a nice slideshow on 13 beautiful ways to package cookies, my favorites being the cookie gift sleeve, and the cellophane-wrapped cookies.

Download your own free “Fudge Dipped Oreos, Made with Love” Labels here.


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Free Holiday Gift Tags – Updated Colors

I was hoping to make a brand new set of gift tags to give away this year, but time just seems to be slipping away! Instead, please enjoy this updated color set, or feel free to download the original color set. Why buy tags when you can download and print them for free?!

Also, the following downloads are still available from previous years:

……

Holiday Gift Checklist 2007 / Happy Holidays Card / Printable Snowflake Giftwrap

…

Holiday Gift Tags / Holiday Cheer Board Game / From Me to You for the Holidays

…

Little Bird Notecard Set / Snowflake Placecards


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Appliqued Handtowels in 5 easy steps

While we were in Colorado earlier this month, I had an opportunity to watch my mother-in-law make this fun set of appliqued handtowels as a gift. She made it look so easy! Here are the materials and steps she used:

Materials
Dishtowel
Double sided fusible interface
Fabric scrap for the design
Thread for both the top side and bottom side

1. Find an image that you like and cut the shape out of both the interface and fabric. Sandy chose to use this cat image.

2. Sandwich the fusible interface between the dishtowel and the fabric, and iron them together until they are properly adhered.

3. Using a satin stitch (also called applique stitch, or tight zig-zag stitch), sew around the border of your shape. This will cover the raw edges of the fabric. I was surprised to note that Sandy kept the feed dog up, yet was able to move the fabric around with her fingers pretty easily.

4. After the border of the shape is done, use a pencil to draw the inner details to be “traced” by stitching. Sandy wanted to use a thinner satin stitch, so she adjusted the settings on her sewing machine and did a few tests before continuing.

5. Stitch over the pencil marks to add detail. Sandy noted that it is very helpful to always snip the loose threads as you go.

The finished designs!


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Vulli Sophie Giraffe Teether – Ooo la la!


Photo above from here.

We bought a Vulli Sophie Giraffe Teether from a local toy shop yesterday. I’ve wanted to get Chloe one for a while. I know it doesn’t seem particularly fancy or engaging, but there is a certain je ne sais quoi about this little French toy.

I saw it first on DeliciousBaby. I must have been blog-surfing when I found Debbie’s excellent advice on traveling with infants, plus kid-friendly city guides to destinations around the US, Canada and Europe. Instantly I imagined Chloe and I in Paris, her dressed Madeline-style and us sitting at a cafe, eating chocolate croissants and taking in the atmosphere of a very-much-hoped-for-someday mother-daughter experience.

My attention finally returned to the computer  and I found her list of recommended baby travel toys, including Sophie, “the most popular baby toy in France”. After that, I would see Sophie again and again, on sites like Land of Nod, Diapers.com and Amazon, where it is ranked as their #1 selling baby toy.

At almost 9 months, Chloe still has no teeth. We also have two flights scheduled to visit each set of grandparents within the next couple months. And I kept thinking about that little teether. Now we have one.

So what is all the fuss about?

Sophie has been in production since 1961, “born” in France on May 25th, St. Sophie’s day. She is made from 100% all natural rubber (BPA and Phthalates free), derived from the sap of the Hevea tree. She smells like rubber, too, but not unpleasantly so. She stands about 5 inches tall and squeaks when you squeeze her. Her body feels soft and yielding, yet firm, like skin. She is slightly cool, but not cold like hard plastic. Her spots, painted with food grade paint, are attractive to baby, and I think her various parts – ears, horns, legs, mouth, etc, provide just the right amount of stimulation for the mouth and gums. She is also very easy to grasp, even for little ones.

So, am I silly to spend so much for a little rubber toy? Probably. But Chloe likes it, and that is good enough for me. :-)



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Sister-in-law Love

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but one of the most crafty/creative people I know is my sister-in-law Liza. She always seems to be painting, cooking, knitting or sewing something really cool, and because of this her gifts are always unique. This past Christmas, one of the handmade gifts she gave me was a pair of grey cashmere arm-warmers (re-purposed from a thrift store sweater) hand-stitched with a lovely little flower design. Oh boy. Its hard not to feel like a million bucks wearing them.

Recently, she sent me this snowflake obsidian and labradorite pendant as a belated birthday gift. Believe it or not, but dark grey is one of my favorite colors to wear. Of course, I love it. It reminds me of living in the Eastern Sierra Mountains of California, where huge blocks of black obsidian could be found right along the highway. A quick web search says that snowflake obsidian can clear away negative energy and bring balance and harmony to the wearer, which I’m all for (if you believe in that sort of thing).

A few of Liza’s other handmade items can be seen here.


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Babyness – Cutest Baby Shoe Tutorials

My friend Greta had a baby shower today. It was a stylish get together and it was so good to see her. Only 5 weeks left and she’ll be a new mommy (although, maybe she can already be considered a new mommy just for being pregnant?). I was blown away by all the gifts, some items I hadn’t heard of or even knew existed. And the adorable baby clothes! So tiny! I mostly bought a group of items off her registry, but this morning I had just enough time to whip up a second pair of felt shoes (first pair here, little boy booties here). I don’t know how long I’ve had those butterfly buttons, but I remembered them at the last minute.

Two interesting things – Mariah, who organized the shower (and who handmade the most adorable burp cloths. I wish I had taken a picture of them) held something called a “diaper raffle.” Basically, your name was entered if you brought a package of diapers, and the winning person got a prize (in this case a nice gift card). A great way to get the new mom stocked up on diapers. The other interesting thing was that, besides registering for just pink items, Greta also added solid white, yellow and green colored items, so that if they had a boy down the road the same items (bibs, blankets, burp cloths) could be used again. That made so much sense, but I doubt I’d have thought of it. So I’m sharing it here! :-)

PS. I thought I’d respond to Aubrey’s comment/question here in the post. The pink and white felt was sewn together by machine, and then the button embellishment and felt strap were sewn on by hand. The velcro was self-adhesive, and I started to secure the ends with a few stitches, but I ran out of time, so I hope the adhesive holds!

The template I used came from a book. I wish I could remember the name of it. However, four of my favorite online felt shoe tutorials and templates are Martha Stewart’s Felt Baby Shoes, Baby Booties, and Crocheted Booties (if only I knew how to crochet!) and Heather Bailey’s Bittie Booties. I haven’t tried any of these yet, but they loof very fun and fabulous!


Martha Stewart’s Felt Baby Shoes and Baby Booties

Martha Stewart’s Crocheted Booties and Heather Bailey’s Bittie Booties


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Free gift to you (or someone else!)

Download and print these free notecards! (see below)

Okay, I know this post was supposed to fall on Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day will have to do. I’m working on a borrowed laptop (thank you, Andrew), because the operating system and software on our old laptop was more versions back than we thought. Oops.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all of you out there in blog land. It is snowing here in Colorado where I am visiting with my husband’s family for the holidays. My first white Christmas in a long time. It is warm and cozy in the house though, with a fire going in the wood stove. We went to Christmas mass this morning and sang many traditional songs, which was fun. Now we’re waiting for David’s brother Eric, and his wife, Liza, and son, Paolo, to arrive. Their United flight was cancelled because the crew “just didn’t show up.” Can you believe that? Luckily United placed them on a similar flight through Continental, even though they had to layover. What’s worse, when they arrived at the airport they found that their bag with all the Christmas gifts had gotten lost. Sad. But the important thing is that they arrived safetly and are on their way.

Today marks the final day of my free weekly holiday posts. Thanks to everyone who left nice comments. I am so glad to hear that each pdf was so well received. As a final gift, today’s free download-and-print pdf is for a set of 3 Little Bird Notecards. One each of “Thank You,” “Happy Birthday,” and “Hello.” These are notecards that can be used throughout the year, not just during the holidays. Also, for those of you who are scrambling to come up with a last minute stocking stuffer, these could be great! Just print out a couple sets on cardstock, trim and wrap with ribbon and you are all set!

Merry Christmas everyone!!!


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Recycled Gift Crafts

blog action day

In response to this year’s blog action day on the environment, I thought I’d list 7 recycled craft ideas that I really like, including links to their instructions. Besides ending up with a wonderful, handmade gift (for you or someone else!), recycling also conserves energy, natural resources, saves landfill space, and most of all, saves money! So instead of throwing away that moth eaten sweater, scratched record, old candles, and empty glass jars, use them instead to create these useful recycled crafts…

Recycled Envelopes
Make unique envelopes by recycling calendars, magazines, maps, sheet music or any other unused papers that you might have lying around. There are several places where you can download templates, including here, here or here, or you can simply find an envelope you like, unfold it and trace.

Recycled calendar kitten envelopes from kimmzy’s flickr photostream

Recycled magazine paper envelopes from janick’s flickr photostream

Recycled Sweater Crafts
I can’t resist these projects made from old sweaters. Leave it to Martha Stewart (and her staff and guests) to come up with such beautiful handmade items. Here are instructions on her website to make recycled sweater mittens (including video!), pouches, pillow covers, soft toys and stuffed animals, christmas stockings and a felted knitting basket.

Homemade Gel Air Freshener
Air fresheners are a nice way to reuse smaller glass jars from baby foods, jams, and fancy condiments. You can even learn to punch fancy lid designs by adapting this project. Add a little extra flair with descriptive labels or decorative embellishments.

gel air fresheners

Pinecone Firestarters
Cozy winter fires are so fun. I only wish our house had a fireplace! Nevertheless, its nice to use all those pinecones in our backyard for something. According to Orvis’ website, pinecone firestarters are “an environmentally friendly and totally sustainable way to start a fire,” plus “there is no messy residue because the wax burns away completely.” So save those chemically treated firestarter sticks and use these babies instead! The perfect opportunity to use up the wax from old, burnt-down candle ends. Instead of paying a small fortune at Orvis or LLBean, it’s easy to make your own firestarter gift baskets. Try these directions here, here or here.

pinecone firestarters

Melted Vinyl Record Bowl
This is a project I’ve mentioned before. These bowls are so easy and fun to make, and there are a ton of old records just waiting to be recycled in this way. Because of the hole in the center, these bowls work best for larger items like fruit, or candy, or it can be used as a catch-all for keys and wallets.

recycled record

Recycled Paint Chip Business Card Holder
I’ve also written a post on these before, but I still think it is one of the coolest projects. Plus these could be used to hold more than just business cards – maybe a tiny set of note paper or sticky notes, or a miniature stack of bookmarks made of recycled greeting cards, even toothpicks! The possibilites are endless. Instructions and templates can be found at Designverb.

recycled paint chip business card holder

Plastic Bag Messenger Bag
My husband found this video on youtube for making a messenger bag by ironing plastic bags. It’s a bit more involved, but the result is SO COOL! Check it out:

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