To Make Pouches

 
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     Hi there! I wanted to share an easy stamp DIY today, just in time for the holidays! I've been in need of a new clutch/pouch for makeup, or for going out. I stumbled on this project from Almost Makes Perfect, and loved the graphic shapes and black + white color way. I also know a few friends who could use one too, so I whipped up a couple. Get the how-to below!

Materials:

- two small canvas pouches, I got mine from Hobby Lobby

- black acrylic paint

- a sponge

- scissors

Directions:

1. First, cut out what shapes you want from your sponge. Then, dip in paint (make sure to really saturate the sponge!) and press in whatever pattern you like on your first pouch.

2. Do the same to your next pouch and with another shape + pattern.

3. Let dry. I recommend setting them outside to dry a little quicker, as the thick paint will take a long time to dry inside. Enjoy!

Gift Guide: Her

 

     Hi guys! Today, we have the Gift Guide for Her, covering everyone from your BFF who loves her baths, to your creative sister who needs some inspiration. I personally would love everything on this list (and am even asking Brett for that beautiful bucket bag :)). Finding gifts for girls is usually pretty easy, everyone I know isn't very picky. Something simple and nice looking will usually do the trick! However, it's always nice to have a list like this to fall back on for last minute gifts, or if you're absolutely stumped. Who doesn't love an amazing smelling candle? Happy shopping!

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1. A luxurious and natural bath soak that anyone in need of relaxation would love.

2. If you don't have time to make one, go ahead and purchase an essential ring cone! Everyone needs some sort of ring storage in their life.

3. This bucket bag is sleek, classic, and on trend. I need one.

4. A classic rose scent for the classy women in your life.

5. This new book on creativity is on everyone's wishlist this year!

6. One look at the packaging on this perfume, and I don't think anyone will even need to smell it to love it.

To Make Ring Cones

     It is definitely the most wonderful time of year around here! I've thoroughly thrown myself into the holiday season, and I couldn't be happier. In years past, I always appreciated beautiful decorations, gift wrapping, and all of the holiday goodness from afar. Other than helping my Dad pick out a Christmas tree from an actual tree farm (my favorite Christmas tradition), I never really got involved with much else. I think the main reason I'm embracing it now is because having a child truly makes you excited for the smallest things. Everything is new to Bailey, even now that she's nearly two. The fact that I get to introduce her to everything makes me want to try my hardest to make it the most fun for her. 

     Having a baby also gave me the urge to start showing more gratitude. While others might do this best using just words, for me, it's always been easier to make something. A handmade gift gets my gratitude across so much better than if I just say thank you, because I can't just say thank you. I babble all day every day, and I feel like the thankfulness just gets lost in there, as do most points I try to make. :) This is why I'm always so happy that I'm actually O.K. working with my hands. While I don't sew, mostly because I haven't really tried, I have tried my hand at multiple arts. Pottery, woodworking, 3-D art, and more, all in the pursuit of higher education. I've loved them all, but the simplest form for me was pottery and working with clay in general. If I work with wood, I have to be careful of dimensions and math things that I don't look for in any kind of pastime. 3-D art was great, but cardboard and similar materials are not nearly as easy to manipulate as clay. It's why most D.I.Y. projects on this blog involve clay, or another forgivable material. This one, is yet another zero skills clay project. It mostly involves rolling and painting. I've always liked a rougher texture on the clay. Smooth, but a few bumps and lines won't bother me. If they do bother you, just keep rolling the clay and smoothing with your fingers until you get your desired texture.

     I won't say who these are for, because they are Christmas presents, but I know plenty of people who need them. We all wear rings, and desire a nice pretty place to put them when we aren't wearing them. So family and friends, if you are reading this (which I sincerely hope you are!) guess all you want, but I'm not telling until the 25th and that's final! Maybe. Like I said, I babble, so it could accidentally slip out if I get to talking. Oh well, happy gifting!

Materials:

- air dry clay (I use Crayola)

- gold spray paint

- painters tape

- gloss glaze and a paint brush (optional)

Step one: Get a good chunk of clay and roll out into a cone shape. Make sure it's slim enough at the top for the rings to fit on!

Step two: Let dry for at least 24 hours, the thicker the cone, the longer it may take.

Step three: Apply a ring of painters tape where you would like the cone to be color blocked. Make sure to tape newspaper around the part you want to stay white!

Step four: Once paint has dried, add a layer of gloss if you'd like, and let that dry. You're ring cones are now complete!

To Make Pear Butter

 

     Hey readers! Have you ever given food as a gift? Well I haven't, so this year, I decided to make some pear butter and put to good use all of my little jars that I've been hoarding. While I have tried and loved apple butter, I wanted something more seasonal for the winter. Pears are deliciously sweet, just like apples, so I figured they would make an excellent substitute. This pear butter is a nice, clean recipe; no sugar and only the three ingredients you see above! Honey has become one of my favorite things to cook with, seeing as its natural and just as sweet as sugar. Also, that beautiful golden color gets me every time. Especially when styled next to pears. Oh, how they compliment each other! It doesn't hurt either, that this butter is so good it's addictive. Slather it on some fresh bread, and you can't stop eating it! If you love pears, this one's for you!

Ingredients:

- 3 large pears (any type will do)

- 3 tbs. of honey

- 1 tsp. of cinnamon

- 1 tsp. of nutmeg

Directions:

Step one: Skin and dice your pears, then throw into a medium size saucepan with all other ingredients. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

Step two: Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 50 minutes.

Step three: After the simmering, put softened pear mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a jar or whatever container you choose, and enjoy!

Gift Guide: Him

 

     Hello, all! Today is the day for our second Gift Guide! I don't know about you, but it's always a little challenging to pick out gifts for Brett. Guys just seem like they get along fine without needing or wanting extra things.  Brett especially, he rarely seeks anything out or asks for anything, only what he really needs. Every now and then though, something really cool will come along and he'll immediately go for it. This is why most of the gifts on this list are all things I would get him if he didn't already have them. The most likely thing to be in his stocking from me though, is the beard tonic set. This is pretty much the only thing I can think of that he actually needs! I am very excited about it though, because he loves his beard and I love any products by Herbivore, so it's a win win. Happy shopping!

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1. Every guy needs a timeless, classic watch. This one is affordable, but looks very luxe.

2. If your guy has a beard, he needs something to keep it in check. Herbivore products are natural and beautiful, so this set is definitely a keeper.

3. Gloves are one of the most useful gifts in this part of the country. These are extra special because of their text-able fingers!

4. Brett loves his Jordan's, and this Eclipse style is so sleek.

5. Some guys aren't readers, but if yours is, I'm sure he'd love a biography of his favorite musician!

6. Everyone needs a phone case, and these utilitarian ones are on the pricier side, but keeping your iPhone safe is really priceless, right?

To Make Gift Boxes

     Hi readers! I'm so excited for this D.I.Y.! These gift boxes turned out so cute, it will be a real struggle to actually gift them. It was one of those projects that, while you're making it, you aren't really sure you're liking it. Once I photographed it though, I was sold! I've really been loving minimalism lately, especially when it comes to prints. The little triangles and dashes are the perfect complement to the white. They'd look great if you wanted to keep the kraft paper and forgo painting them. I just wanted a little bit of a cleaner look with the white. I plan on wrapping most gifts this year in kraft paper, so these little white printed boxes will add a nice contrast.

     The project itself is very straight forward and minimal, much like the aesthetic of the boxes themselves. You can customize the washi tape shapes to reflect whatever look you're going for. If you want something more bold, you could deck the entire box in running stripes; or you could even just paint the boxes white and leave it at that! Twine looks great with the white and bright washi tape, so I highly recommend picking up a spool. Enjoy!

Materials:

- paper boxes (these are from Hobby Lobby)

- white acrylic paint and a brush

- washi tape

- scissors

- twine (optional)

Step one: Paint boxes white (I did a couple of coats) and let dry.

Step two: Cutout shapes from pieces of washi tape and adhere however you like to the boxes.

Step three: Bundle in twine, if you please and gift away!

To Make A Necklace

 
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     Hi readers! Who doesn't love a really easy DIY gift? If you do, this one's perfect for your BFF, mom, or sister! Really, any woman in your life who likes jewelry would probably love this. A simple gold and white color palette means this will pretty much go with anything.  You could do copper and white, or silver. Any metallic will look cute, since mixing metals is on trend. I'm loving the clay right now too, so easy to work with. If you screw up, you can just start over again! That was necessary for me, in this project, to get a decent sized hole through the clay to make it a little tube. I used copper wire to carve one out, mostly just because it's what I had on hand. I'm sure there are easier tools to use, like a dowel rod, to make a more even hole. Oh well, I got through it! This particular necklace is a gift for someone I know, but I won't say who! They might figure it out though, because it's right up their alley. Hopefully they'll like it, and hopefully you all enjoy making one for yourself or whomever! Happy crafting!

Materials:

- Air Dry clay

- painters tape

- white acrylic paint and brush

- gold spray paint

- gold necklace chains

- wire or dowel rod

Directions:

Step one: Pinch off a small piece of clay, and roll til' sides are smooth.

Step two: Drive your wire through the center and create a tube for the chain.

Step three: Let dry for 24 hours. Once dry, paint white and let dry.

Step four: Wrap a small piece of painters tape around the halfway point of the tube. Spray paint uncovered side gold and let dry.

Step five: Place the tube on the chain and enjoy!

Gift Guide: Children

 

     I have always loved when bloggers have posted their favorite things to give each season. I wanted to join in on this as well! I've created this gift guide here and two others to be posted throughout the month, in preparation for Christmas Day! For the children's one, I wanted to include things that aren't gender specific, but the Fauna doll and PJ's were too cute to not include. Having a girl is a blast because, as a mom, you get to relive what you loved about being a girl growing up. The adorable stuffed animals and clothes just happen to be a part of that, for me. If anyone is at a loss of what to get your niece or grandson, the options below are crowd-pleasers! I would buy any of these items for Bailey (and probably will, to be honest). The doll and matching game from Anthropologie are definitely on the list, seeing as I've never met a kid who doesn't love playing matching games. Hopefully this is helpful, and keep an eye out for my upcoming Gift Guides for him and her! Happy shopping!

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1. A Melissa and Doug Tabletop Easel. Perfect for the little creator in your life!

2. Some adorable and warm PJ's with a nice little subliminal message :).

3. The Day the Crayons Quit is quickly becoming a classic, and the illustrations are perfect!

4. These dolls are so unique, and much more affordable than ones in a similar style.

5. I always thought these branch colored pencils were too cute! Hopefully, Bailey will feel the same.

6. I used to work at a daycare, and every child would beg to play matching games all day. This bear themed one is on point.