Black Friday Weekend Sale Preview

Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow?  We’re going to celebrate twice.  I’m cooking dinner for my boys on Thursday, then my daughter and son-in-law are joining us for leftovers and some Christmas decorating on Friday.  I’m not sure I warned them about the decorating part, so that might be a little surprise.  They can work on assembling the Lego Christmas village.  That’s less like work and more like play.

After everyone has spent the day with family and friends on Thursday comes Black Friday and the official start of the shopping season.  Like every year, I’m having a four-day long sale in my Etsy shop.  What’s different about this year is that I’m including my custom items!  Here’s the deal:

Black Friday Weekend Sale - Crafty Staci

Shop Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday with FREE SHIPPING on any order over $10 within the United States using the code JOLLY2014 at checkout.  I haven’t forgotten my international customers, so use the code WORLD2014 for $4 off any order over $10.

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That means you sewists out there, or those of you encouraging others to sew, can get two of my new Coffee Cup Sleeve Sewing Kits for $10 shipped!

Make Your Own Coffee Cup Sleeve Kit - Crafty Staci

The coupon codes will be active at midnight on Thursday through Monday.  Have a great Thanksgiving and happy shopping!

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Friday Favorites–Gifts to Make for Makers

Do you have someone in your life who’s creative – besides yourself, of course?  Do you ever want to give them a handmade gift, but don’t want it to be something they could just make for themselves?  Give them something they can use while they’re being creative!  I’m here today with some ideas for people who sew, scrapbook, knit and crochet.  Don’t be afraid to craft for a crafter!

Gifts to Make for Makers - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

No seamstress goes without somewhere to put her pins.  Make her this cute Mini Cupcake Pincushion Ring from Obsessively Stitching with an equally tiny number of supplies.

Mini Cupcake Pincushion Ring from Obsessively Stitching

I love the fact that this Pincushion and Thread Catcher from Sew Mama Sew could be used by the sewing machine or draped over a couch arm.

Pincushion and Thread Catcher from Sew Mama Sew

I have two sewing machines, and neither of them has anything prettier than their plastic travel cases to cover them.  Any sewing machine driver would appreciate this Sewing Machine Cozy from Notes from the Patch.

Sewing Machine Cozy from Notes from the Patch

I love the colorful look of displayed thread spools.  Why not go all the way and make them into art, like this project from Grey Luster Girl.

Framed Thread Holder from Grey Luster Girl

I only recently remembered how handy pattern weights can be.  Remind someone in your life remember with this tutorial from Tea Rose Home.

Pattern Weights from Tea Rose Home

This Needle Book from Domestic Doozie would be helpful for someone who sews, an embroiderer or a cross-stitcher.

Needle Book from Domestic Doozie

The Stir is calling this a growth chart, but wouldn’t this make a great craft studio decoration?

DIY Growth Chart from The Stir

Thistlewood Farms used this Pegboard Box for gift wrapping supplies, but I think this could be a great organizer for a scrapbooking fan.

Peg Board Box from Thistlewood Farms

This Crochet Hook Holder from Future Girl is not only functional, but would be cute hanging in a craft room.

Crochet Hook Holder from Future Girl

With a little wood skill, this Bamboo Yarn Bowl from Instructables user dtextor would be a great gift for a knitter or crochetist.

Bamboo Yarn Bowl from dtextor on Instructables

Friday Favorites–Gifts to Make for Families

I’ve been following the annual Sew Mama Sew Handmade Holidays series for years now.  I’ve had my projects featured and I’ve donated one of the prizes in the form of a gift certificate to my Etsy shop.  But this year I am actually one of the curators!  My selections are things you can make for those times you need to give a gift a whole family can use.  After sending the projects for Sew Mama Sew to feature, I found myself with lots of great ones still left in my file, so we’re going to have a little crossover episode today.  Check out these fabulous projects you can make to give a family, then click on over to Sew Mama Sew for more!

Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites - Gifts to Make for Families

One of our favorite activities to do as a family is play games.  I’ve never heard of this one, but I’m intrigued.  We might need to try out this DIY Koob game from Let’s Get Together.

DIY Koob Game from Lets Get Together

What better gift for a whole family than a big Striped Stash Buster Blanket, like this one from Simply Collectible, that everyone can cuddle under together?

Striped Stash Buster Blanket from Simply Collectible Crochet

Make everyone in the family their own personalized ornament, with these Felt Monogram Ornaments from Say Yes.  These would also make cute gift toppers.

Felt Monogram Ornaments from Say Yes

Bread mixes make great family gifts, and I love that Wicked Good Kitchen went with the slightly less common Homemade Cornbread Mix, complete with a gluten-free option.

Homemade Cornbread Mix from Wicked Good Kitchen

Get the whole family in on the fun (or their photos at least) with this Go Fish Game on Infarrantly Creative.

This refurbished picture frame from Goodwillionaire would be a great place to display family photos and art.

Photo Frame from Goodwillionaire

You could make one of these Dress Up Activity Magnets from Minted Strawberry for every member of the family.

Dress-up Activity Magnets from Minted Strawberry

Everyone needs a place to set their drink, and if you’re making these Reversible Drink Coasters from The Stitching Scientist you could use different fabrics for each member of the family.

Reversible Drink Coasters from The Stitching Scientist

I know ours isn’t the only family with a plan for when the walkers try to take over, so this Zombie Apocalypse Kit from Comic Con Family is a great idea.  I’d add a few items from this list of Useful Stocking Stuffers to Help Survive the End of the World from DoDo.

If the family you make these English Toffee Bites from Shugary Sweets for doesn’t like them, go ahead and send them my way.

English Toffee from Shugary Sweets

For more family gift ideas, come see me over at Sew Mama Sew!


Peppermint Vanilla Chex Mix

Just in case you’re looking for one last sweet treat to add to your holiday, I thought I’d share with you a recipe I made last week, which was inspired by recipes at A Pumpkin and a Princess and Daily Dish Recipes.  Even my son, who isn’t a big peppermint fan, loved it.  The big batch I made did NOT last long at all. 

Peppermint Vanilla Chex Mix - Crafty Staci 1

Peppermint Vanilla Chex Mix

7 cups rice and corn Chex cereal

1 1/2 cups vanilla chips or melts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

6 large candy canes

1 cup white peppermint M & M’s

Peppermint Vanilla Chex Mix - Crafty Staci 2

Using a food processor, crush the candy canes to a powder.  Who thinks this is going to sound like a bag of hammers in a garbage disposal?  That doesn’t even cover it.  I should have worn ear protection.

Peppermint Vanilla Chex Mix - Crafty Staci 3

Combine the candy canes and powdered sugar in a large ziplock bag and set aside.

Melt the vanilla chips in the microwave or a double boiler.  Stir in the peppermint extract.  Pour over the cereal in a large bowl and gently stir until coated.  Add to the ziplock bag and shake until coated.  Stir in the M & M’s.

Peppermint Vanilla Chex Mix - Crafty Staci 4

Are you done with your Christmas baking?  Yeah, not me!

Friday Favorites–Quick Gifts to Make

It’s December 20th, so there’s no denying it any more – it’s crunch time.  If you think it’s too late to make those gifts you need to finish your list, you might want to check these out first.  From stocking stuffers to co-worker or neighbor gifts to gifts for a whole family, there’s a little bit of everything here.  Just don’t take too long reading it…you have work to do.

Friday Favorites - 10 Quick Gifts to Make - Crafty Staci

If you’ve got an ornament exchange coming up but still want to give it a little personal touch, try this One Minute Ornament from No Time for Flash Cards.  There are some great ideas for ornament fillers, but I just can’t wrap my brain around how she got those flat marbles in there.

If you have a little more than one minute, there’s always a Five Minute Infinity Scarf from Sweet C’s Designs.  This is a great idea if you still need a gift for a co-worker.

5 Minute Infinity Scarf from Sweet Cs Design

Gift cards are always appreciated.  Add a little handmade to them with a 10 Minute Gift Card Holder from See Vanessa Craft.

10-Minute-Gift-Card-Holders from See Vanessa Craft

If you need a gift for a family, this Root Deer Float Kit from Thirty Handmade Days would be fun to make and to give.

Root Deer Float Basket from Thirty Handmade Days

A tea-loving friend would enjoy this Tea Wreath from Dollar Store Crafts.

Tea Wreath from Dollar Store Crafts

Your neighbor might like this Peppermint Crunch Dark Chocolate Cookie Mix in a Jar from The Frugal Girls.  I love the Santa belt, wrapped in just the right spot.

Peppermint Crunch Dark Chocolate Cookie Mix in a Jar from The Frugal Girls

Do you have a young lady still to shop for?  Make her this Bottle Cap Necklace from Mrs. Greene.

Bottlecap Necklace from Mrs Greene

How about the guy who has everything?  Give him the gift of prognostication with this Fortune Telling Cube from DHagen on Instructables.

The Fortune Telling Cube from Instructables

We all need a little unwinding and pampering after the holidays are over, so this Cinnamon and Vanilla Sugar Scrub from the Idea Room is a great idea for just about anyone.

Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar Scrub by The Idea Room

If you need something a little more substantial, but still pretty easy to pull off in a short amount of time, check out this Quick Drop Zone from The Shabby Creek Cottage.

Quick Drop Zone from The Shabby Creek Cottage

Here’s hoping you only need one or two of these!

Friday Favorites–DIY Gifts for Kids

As I’ve mentioned before, technically I have no kids left in my house.  If I keep saying it over and over again, eventually I might believe it.  Now that my last one turned 18, there’s nothing but adults around here, but I still enjoy browsing fun kid projects.  The day will come again when I get to make things for little ones, but by then I’ll have so many ideas saved up that I’ll never be able to finish them all.  Crafter problems, right?

Friday Favorites - 10 DIY Gifts for Kids - Crafty Staci

This set of Old MacDonald Puppets from Just Another Day in Paradise is adorable, and if you look at each individually they look like they’re pretty easy to make.

Old MacDonald Puppets from Just Another Day in Paradise

A Lego Puzzle Book like this one from Kids Activities Blog would be a great gift for a variety of ages, just vary the difficulty based on the recipient.  I want one.

Lego Puzzle Book by Kids Activities Blog

There are all kinds out outfits and accessories to make for dolls, but this Mermaid Tail from Lil Blue Boo is something I’ve never seen before. 

Mermaid Tail for a Doll by Lil Blue Boo

If you have a future chef on your shopping list, this Apron and Chef Hat from Making it Fun is a perfect gift.  Imagine all the fabric combining possibilities.

Kids' Apron and Chef Hat from Making It Fun

What kid wouldn’t love this Magnetic Me Doll from Creative Juice?  For even more fun, add in some friends and family member dolls.

Magnetic Me Doll from Get Creative Juice

Shopping is boring, especially when you’re small and cart-bound.  Liven things up with this Kids Shopping Book from She Wears Flowers.

Kids' Shopping Book by She Wears Flowers

To really get a feel for how cute and tiny The Penny Coat from Shwin and Shwin is, click through to see it on a little bitty person.

The Penny Coat from Shwin and Shwin

I love the idea of this memory game from The Purl Bee.  All you need are a bunch of fabric scraps.  Not exactly hard to come by.  I could make about a million of these.

Memory Game from The Purl Bee

All the kids on your list might not be small, but there are some great ideas out there for the older crowd too, like these Bias Tape Shoelaces from Clothworks.

Bias Tape Shoelaces from Clothworks

This Acoustic Guitar Bag from Bored and Crafty would work all the way up into the teens and even beyond.

DIY Acoustic Guitar Bag from Bored and Crafty

If none of these work for you, there’s always the classic pajama bottoms – for every age, gender, color preference and climate.  Just ask my not-kid kids.

Quick and Easy Gift–Candle Jar Cozy

There’s nothing like a good scented candle to bring a sense of the season to a house.  I’ve disappointed many a friend and family member when they’ve walked into the house and thought I was baking something delicious, only to find out it was a candle burning.  I can evoke a sense of summer fruit or Christmas cookies and all I need is a lighter.  I almost feel guilty.

Because I’m such a fan of candles, I love to give them as gifts.  Not that a candle alone isn’t great to give and receive, but it’s nice to add a little handmade touch.  For my grandma’s birthday recently, I sent her this:

Candle Jar Cozy - Crafty Staci 1 

You might recognize the fabric from the tote bag I made for her last year – she loved it.  Underneath that wrap is a Lavender Vanilla Yankee candle, which smelled even better than it sounded, but it’s the wrap I want to talk about today.  It’s quick to make and it can be moved on to the next jar when this candle is empty.  I liked it so much I made myself a Christmas version.  Don’t tell Santa.

To make this you’ll need:

outside fabric, cut to 13 1/2″ by 4”

inside fabric, cut to 13 1/2” by 4”

batting, cut to 13 1/2” by 4”

Elastic cord, 3” long

button, 5/8 – 1”

You’ll also need five to nine squares of fabric, either 3” square for the five petal flower or 2” square for the nine petal and a button for the center.  Make the flower using the tutorial shown here.

Candle Jar Cozy - Crafty Staci 2

Lay the outside piece face up.  Tie the ends of the elastic together using a piece of thread or zigzag on your sewing machine.  Place the elastic in the center of one end with the loop facing in.  Add a tag on the other end if you have one.

Candle Jar Cozy - Crafty Staci 3

Lay the inside piece over that, right side down.  Finish with the batting on top and pin everything in place.  Stitch around the outside, 1/4” from the edge, leaving a couple of inches open at the bottom for turning.  I always add some extra stitching over the elastic so it doesn’t pop out.

Candle Jar Cozy - Crafty Staci 4

Clip the corners, turn right side out and press, turning in the opening.  Top stitch all the way around, close to the edge.

Candle Jar Cozy - Crafty Staci 5

Loop it around like it will be on the candle with the ends touching and mark the spot where the elastic reaches without stretching.  Stitch the button on that spot.

Candle Jar Cozy - Crafty Staci 6

Stitch your flower on where ever it looks best on your cozy.

Candle Jar Cozy - Crafty Staci 7

Wrap it around the candle and hook the loop around the button.  I made sure this was tall enough to cover the label on most 22 ounce candles.

Candle Jar Cozy - Crafty Staci 8

This would make a great gift for a teacher, a neighbor or my grandma.  I’ve got her covered, so go ahead and give yours to someone else.

Candle Jar Cozy - Crafty Staci 9

I’m pretty sure I’m going to need one of these for every season, just like my candles.

Candle Jar Cozy - Crafty Staci 10

Mickey and Minnie Caramel Apple Ornaments

If you’re a Disney fan and you’ve never been to one of the parks during the Christmas season, it’s definitely something to add to your must-do list.  Sure, it’s more crowded than usual.  Ordinarily that seems to make everyone a little cranky, but what we found was that at Christmas everyone is just glad to be there.  The Happiest Place on Earth is even happier, if you can imagine that.

During our visit, we spotted caramel Mickey and Minnie apples all over Disneyland, just like these, found on The Disney Food Blog.

Disneyland Christmas Caramel Apples on The Disney Food Blog

They were so cute, I decided to make a felt version to hang on our Christmas tree to remember our fun trip.  I actually shared these on Undercover Tourist last year, but things got so busy I didn’t get a chance to tell you about them until now.

Mickey and Minnie Caramel Apple Ornaments - Crafty Staci 1

I’ll give you the short version of how these are made.  If you find you need more photos and some tips on cutting out the pieces, you can find them at Undercover Tourist’s blog.

To make these, you’ll need felt in the appropriate colors, lollipop sticks, a piece of cardboard and ribbon.  You’ll find the pattern here.  Cut each of the pieces as indicated.

Mickey and Minnie Caramel Apple Ornaments - Crafty Staci 2

Starting with the cardboard at the bottom, layer each of the pieces on, gluing as you go.  For Mickey, it’s head, pants, hat, buttons, hat fluff and ball.   Minnie is head, skirt, hat, bow, bow center, hat ball, bow and skirt dots.  I used hot glue, but a more patient crafter could go with craft glue.

For either one, once it’s dry, flip it over and glue on the stick and the ribbon as shown.

Mickey and Minnie Caramel Apple Ornaments - Crafty Staci 3

Glue the final piece of felt over the top of the stick and ribbon on the back and you have a Disney keepsake ornament to either remember the trip you’ve already had or anticipate the one you’ll eventually take.  I guess mine are both, because I’ve already been, but can’t wait to go back.

Mickey and Minnie Caramel Apple Ornaments - Crafty Staci 4

On an unrelated note, I wanted to share a little good news with you.  My Spool and Button Garland was included in Australia’s Homespun magazine!  Since I’m not in Australia, they were nice enough to send me a photo of the front cover:

Homespun magazine cover

And the page my project appeared on (I’m slightly right of center at the bottom).  If you click the photo, you can see four pages from the magazine.Homespun magazine inside_Page_1

A great way to start out the week!

Friday Favorites–DIY Gifts for Guys

Ahh, shopping for men.  If the ones on  your list are anything like mine, it’s a bit challenging to come up with good ideas.  It isn’t that they don’t want anything, but a giant toolbox and a Camaro aren’t in my budget.  And believe me, if I could make that Camaro happen I would.  With a little thought and creativity though, you can give your guys something special and from the heart.  Just not a car.

Friday Favorites - 10 DIY Gifts for Guys - Crafty Staci

Guys don’t like to admit it, but sometimes they need to carry stuff too.  Give him something he might be willing to throw all those things he can’t quite hold in his man-hands into, like this Manly-Man Tote Bag from The Seasoned Homemaker.

Manly Man Tote Bag from Seasoned Homemaker

Technically this idea is meant for little guys, but I know a few who are full-grown and would still proudly wear this Fleece Knight Helmet Hat from Wine and Glue.

Fleece Knight Helmet Hat from Wine and Glue

Does your guy carry a pocketful of keys?  Help him get those organized with this Magnetized Pocket Folding Key Organizer from m_jorge on Instructables.

Magnetized Folding Key Organizer on Instructables

This one isn’t completely DIY, but I think a hand painted or embellished mug would go nicely with these Pallet Drink Coasters from HowellsProducts on Etsy.

Pallet Coasters from HowellsProducts on Etsy

Maybe you have one of those guys who is anxious to have a mounted deer head on his wall.  Until your hunter reaches his goal, give him one of these Fabric Deer Heads from Charming Doodle to hold the space.  Make the red nose removable, and he can do double-duty as a Christmas decoration.

Fabric Deer Head from Charming Doodle

Granted, you’d probably have to make it in more manly fabrics to get him to use it, but what guy doesn’t need a Doorknob Reminder Caddy, like this one from Sew4Home?

Doorknob Caddy from Sew4Home

If you’re a little handy with some simple power tools, you could easily make this DIY Magnetic Beer Bottle Opener from Décor and the Dog.

DIY Magnetic Beer Bottle Opener from Decor and the Dog

For the really ambitious, try this Homemade Skee Ball Game from seamster on Instructables.  Better yet, gather the supplies and give it to him as a make-your-own kit.

Homemade Skee Ball Game on Instructables

Again, some camouflage or brown fabric might be needed here, but once you find that, this Double Bike Saddle Bag from Sovanisa would be a great gift for your biker.

Double Bike Saddle Bag from Sovanisa

Guys.  Bacon.  Candied Bacon with Pecans from Food Stories.

Candied Bacon with Pecans from Food Stories

Less than three weeks until Christmas!