Showing posts with label Handmade Gifts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Handmade Gifts. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Handmade Gifts: Stenciled and Gold Leafed Hanukkah Treat Plate


Hanukkah begins next week and each year I try to make a gift for a special friend to celebrate. This year I went with what I'm calling a Hanukkah Treat Plate that can be used each night to share the goodies of the season. 

Supplies: 
  • Clear Dinner Plate ( I got mine at Cost Plus)
  • Mod Podge Super Gloss Formula
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Gold Leaf
  • Gold Leafing Glue
  • Clear Contact Paper
  • Stencil ( I made my own using my Cameo 3 but you could use a ready made stencil)
  • Paint brushes and foam applicators
The plate is food safe since everything is done from the underside. You can bake it to "cure" it so the paint won't come off or if you think ahead like I did for once in my crafting life, you can make 21 or so days ahead and it will cure.

Let's get started! 


Clean the underside of your plate with alcohol to make sure you get all the oils store dust etc off and you get good adhesion of your materials. I cut my own menorah stencil using my Silhouette Cameo and contact paper from the dollar tree. This is my favorite stencil material. It cuts great on a digital cutter and you can't beat the price for a roll ( $1).  I also covered the areas I didn't want to paint w/ contact paper. 


Using foam applicators, paint your stencil. I used metallic silver for the menorah and gold for the flames and did 3 coats. 


For this kind of project, you have to reverse your brain because you're building the layers in reverse. So start with the focal image and then do the background. Once I was satisfied w/ the menorah, I added the gold leafing.  Apply the glue per directions ( you'll find this in the fine art section of the craft store) and then apply the leafing. I remind people every time I do a leafing project IT'S MESSY. The gold leaf will fly everywhere as you apply it so be prepared. 


Yes this looks like a hot mess but keep going. Once you're done w/ your leafing ( and clearly I didn't want a perfectly covered plate...I wanted a streaky look) then mix your acrylic paint ( I used Deco Art Navy) with the Mod Podge ( I did 1/2 and 1/2 because I didn't want this part to be opaque) and apply with a flat brush. 


I did this for the whole plate then filled in the center with just plain paint. Sealed the whole thing with a coat of just the Mod Podge. 

NOTE: Mod Podge formula matters! Use the Super Gloss for projects like this. 


Once your plate is dry, flip it over and imagine it filled with chocolate rugelach

A few years ago I included some gift tags with my friend's gift and the following year her relatives were asking if she was getting more so I've done them ever since. 


The black and gold foiled paper is my current addiction. Better yet, I got a stack of it ( ok I bought 2 stacks) when Michaels had one of their $5 Hot Buy stack sales. And of course, I made a coordinating card: 




Monday, December 4, 2017

Handmade Gifts: Brushed Gold Geometric Tile Coasters


Like all makers, I'm sure you're in full fledged Handmade Gift mode. This is actually one that wasn't  on my list but which I was thrilled to make. Here's why.  

When my son came home for Thanksgiving, he was telling us about a party he and his roommate had thrown just before. Last year, I'd made and given him a set of coasters and he'd used them for the party but nicest of all, one of his guests wanted to know where he'd gotten them. "Um , my mom made them". Awww! She really liked them and I was so honored that of course I had to make a set for her! 

Supplies: 
  • Ceramic Tiles . I got mine at Lowes for $.16 ea ( and a weird look from the Lowes guy when he asked if I was replacing tiles and I told him I was making coasters)
  • Vinyl / Foil. I used Cricut Brushed Gold Adhesive Foil
  • Die Cutter or Digital Cutter. I used my CAMEO 3 ( yep I use Cricut stuff on my Silhouette Cameo. I'm a riddle wrapped in an enigma). 
  • Images to cut. Mine came from Silhouette Online Store
  • Aluminum Tape
  • Vinyl Bumpers ( Clear self adhesive dots to put on the bottom of the coasters)



Clean your tiles with rubbing alcohol to make sure you remove all the warehouse dust and fingerprint oils etc. 

Choose, cut and weed the images you want to apply. I wanted to do a coordinated set so I went with varying geometric images. I used a couple of the same ones I'd used for my son's, but I added the heart for the ones I made for his friend. 


I went with three images and made two of each.  Using transfer tape, apply the images to your tiles. 




To finish, I wrapped adhesive aluminum tape ( I bought a huge roll of this at a stamp show years ago but I believe it's from the electrical aisle of the HW store so your Lowes guy can look at you funny too!)


Finally, I put clear vinyl bumpers ( the kind you use to prevent cabinet doors from slamming) on the bottoms since I wasn't finishing the bottoms with cork or felt which are a couple of ways I've seen people complete these. 

Easy peasy and inexpensive gift that's pretty and functional. Can'tbeat that.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ermagerd! Special Gift for a Special Friend


A few years ago, fate introduced me to someone who has become a great friend. A change in work assignments brought us together though in our company, "together" is virtual since she is on one side of the country and I'm on the other.  

Our paths had never crossed before and we quickly discovered we had many things in common. Our passionate love of our kids, our "wicked smaht" sense of humor, our shared love of the same TV series and movies and more. I don't remember exactly how the expression "ERMAGERD" (for OMG) became part of our daily discussions but it was probably from something that had happened on "Game of Thrones" or "Bates Motel". 

We'd always have the same take on something and that morphed into us saying we were like Forrest and Jenny from "Forrest Gump" ...."peas and carrots" which became "peas in a pod". She became Erma and I became Gerd and that's been our thing!  I wanted to commemorate our relationship which is what this gift represents. Still with me? 


I knew I wanted to letter something, and I knew I wanted to frame it so I started with these supplies: 
  • Unpainted Frame
  • Acrylic Paints 
  • Lettering Pens
  • Embellishments for frame
  • Heavy Paper ( I used watercolor paper)
  • Lightbox
  • Fun Font


I painted the frame black , then crackled it using my tried and true white glue crackle technique with metallic gold as the top coat.  Once dry I added the rolled paper flowers I picked up on one of my Michaels trips. 


For the lettering and pea pods, I chose a fun font, found a piece of clipart I liked, created the sentiment on my computer, printed off and then using my lightbox, layered watercolor paper on top. Traced with a pencil, then outlined with a high quality non-bleed pen ( I bought a pack of pens by Recollections @ Michaels, comparable to Micron Pens). 

Some might ask why I didn't just use the computer generated print but I wanted this to have a hand lettered feel (and the watercolor paper wouldn't fit my printer anyway). Since I wanted it to coordinate w/ the frame, I used a metallic gold gel pen to accent the peas in the pod. 



We also share a love of black and white clothing. Since I love making jewelry and had recently picked up some new supplies to play with, I made her a pair of earrings, and made a complementary pair for me! I wear big earrings, so I made hers a little less bold but using the same beads. 


I  can't have pierced ears so mine are clips and hers are pierced. I'd picked up a package of  connector links ( the silver ovals) and layered different sizes together for each pair, and then strung the beads on headpins as shown, connecting them to the links with jump rings. 

I've waited to post this until I knew she received ( and liked!) her gift which she did and does. As I told her, the BEST feeling in the world for us makers is the excitement we feel when someone loves something we made for them. My gift in return ( not that one was expected) was her excitement over receiving this. Best feeling in the world! 



Love ya Erma!



Monday, December 26, 2016

Adventures in Beginner Bead Embroidery : Handmade Gifts


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Can't believe another one has come and gone already. But now that gifts have been given and opened, I can share a couple of gifts I made. 

One of my BFFs and I went to an Art Fair earlier this year and there was a fantastic booth with the most incredible bead embroidery. I immediately became fascinated with a new medium and wanted to try my hand at bead embroidery. It was instantly addicting. 

Bear in mind that these are beginner projects without any training beyond a few You Tube videos! But the recipients seem to like their gifts. I made a couple of beaded cuffs ( and since I wasn't sure how this was going to go , I didn't take pics along the way) using felt scraps as my base and random patterns that just kind of unfolded as I went along. I also incorporated some coordinating ribbon scraps from my stash. 


This was the first one I made using my Mom's favorite colors. I did actually draw somewhat of a pattern on the felt. Once the top of the cuff was done, I stitched  heavy jewelry wire to the back then finished the back with a piece of ultra suede.  You can find lots of tutorials on You Tube and Pinterest to get you started. 


For the Blue Cuff  the process was the same only I added even smaller seed beads which now I'm even more addicted to. I like the combination of different sizes and types of beads. 

I quickly discovered ( especially for the smallest beads) that this is my favorite bead needle. They look delicate but they are very strong and when working with curves etc. so much easier to use than a traditional straight needle. You can get these at bead stores or craft stores. I got mine at Michaels. 

I couldn't stop once I got started so I also made this pendant which I used as the focal for a necklace: 


Before I added the backing, I glued a bail to the heart and then used a combination of bright and antique gold chains ot make the necklace. 

And while not bead embroidered,  I made these earrings to go along with the Blue Cuff: 




Monday, July 15, 2013

Christmas in July : 17 Gift and Decor Ideas You Can Start on Now!



Happy Monday everyone. We're halfway through July already and it seems the deeper into the year we get the faster it goes. I have already seen Halloween items in a couple of stores! That got me to once again thinking about getting a head start on the holidays and I asked a few other bloggers to share some of their handmade gift ideas that we could get a jump start on NOW. Many of these are things that are great for Christmas and Hanukkah but can also be adapted for any time of year gifts. 

Decor:


DIY Snow Globes from Domestic Superhero  Start saving your empty jars now!



Use scraps of velvet and mini ornaments to make these elegant napkin rings. Visit Carolyn at homework for the how to. 


Save empty boxes and packaging shred to make groups of frosted paper trees. Also from Carolyn at homework


Personalized ornaments are always a hit. These stamped double washer ornaments could from Sweet Pea could also double as package tie ons.  





Elegantly transformed Dollar Store Vase Candleholder from Eclectically Vintage. Make some for your own own and some to give as gifts


Upcycled Pringles cans either as standalone or like these from DIY Inspired that contain a fun girlfriend gift. Perfect for showers too!


Practical and Personal Gifts: 


Etched beer glasses. You could monogram, spell out the name, or in this case the German word for "Cheers". See Laura at The Shed for the how to. Not that it's only guys who like beer but perfect "Man Craft"! 


This would be a wonderful Christmas gift but could also work for Weddings and Anniversaries. A "Family Tree Mirror" from Becoming Martha.




Or how about some twine wrapped monogram ornaments? You could also spell out a holiday word or family name. Also from Becoming Martha


With all of the patterns and choices of polar fleece, there's sure to be a design for whatever passion your gift recipient has. Get the how to on easy fleece throws from Craft Quickies


In our electronic age, I love the idea of something "old school" that challenges the mind. Jamie over at C.R.A.F.T has an easy but ingenious puzzle you can make to give as a gift. If you're way smarter than me, you might be able to have it spell something out when it's all put together. 


Speaking of blocks, how about customized photo blocks for friends and family. Visit Measured By Heart for instructions. 


Whip up a fun and fashionable apron from a hand towel and coordinating fabric scraps. Head on over to Uncommon Designs to see more.


Scrubs and Soaps:

Perfect for holiday  or anytime gifts. From Yesterday on Tuesday 






Spicy Apple Brown Sugar scrub from Sew Woodsy


Handmade herbal and botanical soaps from A Nest For All Seasons

I hope you've found some inspiration and ideas to get you jump started on holiday crafting!