Friday Favorites–Quick and Easy Gifts to Make

Let’s face it – if you’re still planning on making Christmas gifts they had better be quick and easy, right?  I think I’m done this year, but I always get sucked back in by some cute last-minute idea.  If that happens to you here today I apologize, and we can exchange hot glue scar stories later.

Quick and Easy Gifts to Make - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Fleece is so easy to work with, but sometimes those knots to finish the edge of a blanket aren’t that comfortable.  Pieces by Polly shares an alternative that’s much smoother and can be used on a single layer of fleece.

Braided Fleece Edge Blanket from Pieces by Polly

Brit and Co offers a little different design to the quick crayon candle.

Color Block Candles from Brit and Co

This one might have caught my attention because as our Christmas gift to each other my husband and I are re-doing our bedroom, which I’m over the moon about.  Our soon-to-be organized closet might need these Fabric Covered Hangers from The Sewing Loft.

Fabric Covered Hangers from The Sewing Loft

I can imagine how good this Coffee Sugar Scrub from A Pumpkin and a Princess must smell.

Homemade Coffee Sugar Scrub from A Pumpkin and a Princess

I actually made a couple of these Fabric Tortilla Warmers from The Good Hearted Woman a few months ago.  They’re easy to make and go well with an apron, or in a basket of taco night supplies.

Fabric Tortilla Warmer from The Good Hearted Woman

This Washi Taped Toilet Paper Roll French Knitter from Buzzmills would be fun to make with your kids (or FOR your kids!)

Washi Tape French Knitter from Buzzmills

These Cozy DIY Flannel Scarves from Delia Creates look like you took a lot of time to make them.

Cozy DIY Flannel Scarves from Delia Creates

Edible gifts are sometimes the way to go when you need something quick.  This Spice Cake Mix from I Am Baker could be made in batches for neighbors or family gifts.

Homemade Spice Cake Mix from I Am Baker

These Cream Cheese Mints from Real Women of Philadelphia could also be easily made in bulk.

Cream Cheese Mints from Real Women of Philadelphia

This Snowman Cocoa Gift Set from Reasons to Skip the Housework is pretty simple, but those faces on the marshmallows make it feel a little special.

Snowman Cocoa Gift Set from Reasons to Skip the Housework

Visit me on Monday to see the doozy of a cookie recipe I have to share with you! Smile

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Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks

I love giving a little something handmade with something store bought.  It makes it just a little more personal and special.  I don’t know how many coffee cup sleeves I’ve given along with a coffee shop gift card or travel cup.  So many, in fact, I think just about everyone I know has one and it’s time for something new.  These bookmarks can be made from fabric scraps, take no time at all and would be great paired with a book or bookstore gift card.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 1

I made about two dozen of these, just using pieces of fabric from my scrap box.  You need two 4” by 4” pieces of iron-on interfacing and three 4” by 4” squares of fabric.  Cut one of the interfacing squares in half diagonally and save one half for your next bookmark.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 2

Iron the triangle of interfacing onto the fabric you want for the corner.  Iron the square of interfacing onto the piece you want to face the front behind the corner.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 3

Fold the fabric with the triangle in half diagonally, where the interfacing edge is, and press.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 4

Lay the square with interfacing on it face up.  Add the triangle on top in the upper right corner.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 5

Lay the other square on top, face down.  Pin.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 6

Stitch around the outer edge with a 1/4” seam allowance, leaving 1 – 1 1/2” open at the bottom.  Clip the corners.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 7

Turn right side out and press, turning in the opening.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 8

Stitch all the way around, close to the outer edge.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 9

Slide a gift card inside or slip it onto a book.  This would also make a great little gift all by itself!

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 10

Giveaway Day Winner

Congratulations to my Giveaway Day winner – Sandra!  Here’s her favorite holiday gift:

“This year I made quilted Christmas postcards instead of regular cards. The recipients were really thrilled with them. One niece wants to learn to make them as gifts next year. Love to share ideas with loving family.”

How much do we all wish we knew Sandra right now?  What a great Christmas card idea! 

Sandra’s prize of three Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve Kits is on its way to her today.

December 2014 Giveaway Day prize at Crafty Staci

My deepest thanks to everyone who entered!

Friday Favorites–Quick Gifts to Make for Kids

Today is the last day to enter to win my Coffee Cup Sleeve Kits for Giveaway Day – click through to leave a comment to enter!

 

We’re getting down to the tinsel-covered wire, but if you’re like me there’s still Christmas making to be done.  Even when I feel like I’m getting an early start it seems like things keep popping up.  If you have little ones left to craft and sew for, I’ve got a few ideas here that can be completed before you can say jingle bells.

Quick Gifts to Make for Kids - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

This Ice Skating Rink from an Altoid Tin by Small World Land is a great idea, and I think the idea she mentions about using tiny photos of your kids would be adorable.

Ice Skating Rink from Altoid Tin from Small World Land

I think the reason this Velcro Kids Activity Bag from Haberdashery Fun folds open so you can easily see what’s inside, but I think that makes it a great portable play mat as well.

Velcro Kids Activity Bag from Haberdashery Fun

With a little decorating of the cardboard, these Finger Cymbals from Kiwi Crates would make a cute gift for a little musician.

Finger Cymbals from Kiwi Crate

These Jelly Bean Bracelets from Artzy Creations would be fun to make with your kids to give their friends.

Jelly Bean Bracelets from Artzy Creations

This CD Case Labyrinth from The Journals of Giddy Giddy would be a great activity to keep in the car – providing you don’t have the quick-to-get-carsick kidlets that I did.  What a great way to recycle old cases!

DIY CD Case Labyrinth from The Journals of Giddy Giddy

If you’re looking for a gift for a little DIYer in the making, why not give them a Puppet Making Kit from Childhood 101?

Something about this Mini Foosball Table from U Create just cracks me up.  How fun would this be to make?

Mini Foosball Table from U Create

These Felt Flash Cards from Sew Much Ado can also double as a memory game.  I love that you can store them on a ring to keep them from getting lost.

Felt Flash Cards from Sew Much Ado

These last two projects only qualify as quick if you already have a bit of sewing experience under your belt.  Sew Can She shares the pattern to make this handy Bike Messenger Bag.

Bike Messenger Bag from Sew Can She

This DIY Bear Rug from We Lived Happily Ever After would be fun and cute in a little one’s room.

DIY Bear Rug from We Lived Happily Ever After

Bacon Wrapped Turducken Roast Review

This Bacon Wrapped Turducken Roast was provided by Echelon Foods in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.

I know from the recipes I’ve shared here it looks a little like my family survives on sugar and snacks.  Cookies are my kryptonite, but we eat normal food too.  Sometimes we even get a little adventurous with it, which is why we recently had our first taste of Turducken, courtesy of Echelon Foods.

Turducken Review - Crafty Staci 1

If you’ve never heard of Turducken, let me fill you in.  The name is a composite of the different birds used in preparing it – turkey, duck and chicken.  The way I understood it was done was that the chicken was stuffed inside the duck, which was then stuffed into the turkey.  While that is one method, thankfully the one we received was a little different.  From the Echelon Foods website:

“These turducken roasts are composed of turkey breast that is wrapped in bacon and layered with boneless, skinless chicken breast meat, boneless, skinless duck breast meat, more bacon inside and stuffed with an Italian sausage mixture.”

No bones, some of each kind of meat in each slice, dressing inside and wrapped in bacon.  Bacon.  We were so in.

The turducken arrived frozen, wrapped well in a styrofoam cooler and surrounded by dry ice.

Turducken Review - Crafty Staci 2

We decided this was the sort of thing that should be shared, so we invited a couple of our friends over to join us.  I was at a fabric shop teaching a class that day, so my husband was in charge of cooking.  He went with the low and slow cooking method for the roast, so you can imagine how my house smelled when I walked in.  He also made homemade cheesy bread rolls and oven roasted potatoes and squash.  Sorry ladies, he’s all mine.

The roast said it would easily serve 10.  I was skeptical, but they’re absolutely right.  There were four of us, and we had more than half of it left over.  I have to say, I’m not normally a fan of duck, but this was delicious.  Three out of the four of us liked it, with the holdout being the guy who spent the day cooking it.  He thought is was okay.  Our friends said it would be a great addition to a Superbowl party or other special event. 

Turducken Review - Crafty Staci 3

The turducken is definitely on the spendy side.  It’s not something you’d have for Tuesday night dinner though, but at a time when you’d splurge on a special item anyway.  Our cook thought the directions could have been more clear.  He wasn’t sure whether to cover it or not, but cooking it for the first hour covered, then the rest uncovered, seemed to work out fine.  It was a little difficult to slice because the different meats wanted to fall apart.  However, we all tried each kind of meat and a bit of dressing.  I wish we would have thought to make some gravy from the drippings in the pan.  I’m sure it would have been fantastic.

Turducken Review - Crafty Staci 4

This was definitely a little out of the norm for us, but my thanks to Echelon Foods for letting us try something new, unique and tasty!

December 2014 Giveaway Day

It’s that time of year again – Sew Mama Sew has organized their semi-annual Giveaway Day!  I don’t often participate in the December party because I’m so busy it’s difficult to come up with something good to give away, but this year I have the perfect thing.

December 2014 Giveaway Day at Crafty Staci

I’ve gathered up three of my most popular DIY Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve Kits and they can be yours!  They make great gifts for people who sew, or stitch them up yourself for those coffee lovers on your list.  When they’re finished, they look a little something like this:

Crafty Staci's DIY Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve Kits

One winner will receive all three kits shown in the photo.  This giveaway will be open until midnight PST on Friday, December 12, 2014.  At that point a winner will be drawn at random and notified via email.  If I’m unable to make contact with that winner by 6 pm PST on Sunday, December 14, 2014 a new winner will be drawn.  This contest is open to international entries.

Coffee Cup Sleeve Kits from Crafty Staci

To enter, just leave a comment here telling me about one of your favorite handmade gifts, given or received.  Be sure to visit Sew Mama Sew to enter all the other great giveaways starting today!

Friday Favorites–Gifts for Guys

I’ve been writing Friday Favorites for years now, and some of my most popular collections are the Gifts for Guys.  Take a spin in the Way Back machine to see the 2011, 2012 and 2013 versions.  See, guys aren’t that tough to make stuff for!

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

Make a hanging rack from hammers for your guy, like this one from The Family Handyman.  Just make sure you don’t use the good tools – maybe old hammers with broken handles.

Hammer Hanger from Family Handyman

There are all kinds of fun games to be played with these Wood Dice from The 36th Avenue.

Wood Dice from The 36th Avenue

I can only imagine how fantastic this Rosemary Mint Shaving Cream from Food for my Family smells.

Rosemary Mint Shaving Cream from Food for my Family

Add to that these Burly Man Shaving Towels from Sew Mama Sew for a fun shaving set.

Burly Man Shaving Towels from Sew Mama Sew

My favorite thing about this Dad’s T-shirt from She Knows is that little established year.  It’s a cute touch.

Daddy T-Shirt from She Knows

It would be nice to have a couple of these Rough-Cut Lumber Beer Flight Sets from ManMade around for beer tasting with friends.

Custom Rough Cut Lumber Beer Flight Set from Man Made DIY

If you want to expand that beer theme, try this Beer Soap from Suzy Homefaker.

Beer Soap from Suzy Homefaker

No matter how hard we try, we always seem to have several remote controls around.  Keep yours confined to one place with this Remote Control Pillow from Make it Handmade.

Remote Control Pillow from Make It Handmade

Bags don’t get much more manly than this Canvas Bucket Tote from Sew 4 Home.  Unless you rub some dirt on it.

Canvas Bucket Tote from Sew 4 Home

Cashew are delicious, and bacon is bacon, so what guy wouldn’t love this Cashew Bacon Brittle from Taste and Tell?

Cashew Bacon Brittle from Taste and Tell

The Bouqs Review and Mason Jar Vase Cover

I received a bouquet free of charge for this review and this post contains affiliate links.  All opinions are my own.

As a DIY blogger, I get offers to review items often.  If I feel like it’s a product that’s relevant to what I do here sometimes I accept.  When I was contacted by The Bouqs recently, my first instinct was to say no.  I wasn’t sure if fresh flowers really fit in here, even though I love bouquets and the photos on their website were drool-worthy.  But then I realized I had a project I’d been wanting to make that would pair perfectly with a beautiful bunch of flowers!

The Bouqs and Fabric Mason Jar Vase Cover by Crafty Staci

Lets start with those flowers.  They offered a list of options I could choose from, and I went with a bouquet called Fortified.  I was very excited to see these in person, but I have to admit, when this box arrived in the condition it did I feared for the delicate cargo inside.

The Bouqs box - Crafty Staci

I’m pretty sure it was the bat in someone’s lunchtime baseball game.  I didn’t need to worry though, because when I opened it up I found these without a bit of damage.

The Bouqs first opened - Crafty Staci

The packaging inside kept the contents from feeling any of the roughness that the poor box had been through.  They were secure and well-wrapped.  They even had this goopy gel on the ends, which I can only assume kept them hydrated.  It did its job well.

Gel on flower stems - Crafty Staci

I was prepared to be critical of these roses because I wanted to make sure this was an impartial review and not pull any punches.  But these roses were (and still are) GORGEOUS.  Everyone who has seen them so far has commented on how beautiful they are.  I would order them again in a heartbeat, with my own money, which I did for my grandmother’s birthday.  If I had one complaint about the roses, it would be that they arrived a day early and had it been for a special event that could have been disappointing.  However, they did deliver Grandma’s sunflowers on her birthday as I requested and sent my confirmation the moment she received them. 

I’ve had these roses for eight days now, they’ve opened perfectly, and not a single petal has dropped.  I haven’t changed the water or clipped the stems since the day they arrived.  The Bouqs will get my business again.

Roses from The Bouqs - Crafty Staci

How about that container?  I was trying to think of a way I could use fabric to change up a vase for different seasons, so I came up with this cover that slips over a 1/2 gallon mason jar.  And it’s reversible!

Fabric Mason Jar Vase Cover by Crafty Staci

To make this you’ll need two rectangles of fabric that are 17 by 12” (I used a fall fabric for Thanksgiving and a snowflake for Christmas) and two strips that are 1 1/2” wide by 42” (or the width of the fabric). 

Fabric to cut - Crafty Staci

Fold the two long edges into the middle on one of the strips.  I recommend a bias tape tool for this.

Making bias tape - Crafty Staci

Unfold the short ends and fold each to the inside 1/4”, then refold.  Fold the entire length in half with the raw edges to the inside and press.  Stitch close to the folded edges.  Fold the tie you’ve made in half and stitch close to the fold to hold.  Repeat to make the second tie.

Ties - Crafty Staci

Bundle up most of the tie and secure it with a pin or tying.  This will keep it from accidentally getting sewn into the wrong seam.  Place the tie fold you stitched even with the 12” edge of the fabric rectangle, 2” from the top.  Make sure your pin head is on the outside.

Pinning the tie - Crafty Staci

Fold the rectangle in half, lining up the 12” edges.  Stitch 1/4” from the edge, backstitching over the tie.  Repeat for second rectangle.

First seam - Crafty Staci

Press the seam open and center it in the back.  Stitch across the bottom, leaving 2” open on one of the rectangles.

Second seam - Crafty Staci

Flatten the corners with the bottom seam centered, as shown.  Stitch across the corner 1 1/2” from the tip.  Trim off the corner.

Boxing the corners - Crafty Staci

Turn one right side out and stuff it inside the other.  Match the seams and edges.  Pin in place.

Upper edge - Crafty Staci

Stitch all the way around the edge.  Turn right side out through the opening at the bottom.  Hand stitch the opening closed.

Turned right side out - Crafty Staci

Push one side back into the other and press the fold at the top.  Stitch close to the fold.

Topstitching - Crafty Staci

Slide a half-gallon mason jar inside and tie the top to use as a vase.

Fabric Mason Jar Vase Cover on jar - Crafty Staci

Or you can use it as a gift bag for a quart-size mason jar full of goodies!

Fabric Gift Bag for Quart Mason Jar - Crafty Staci

Mine is sitting on my table, holding my fiery flowers from The Bouqs!

Beautiful bouquet from The Bouqs - Crafty Staci

Disney Movie Quote Ornaments

I’m just popping in today to tell you about the holiday ornaments I’m sharing over at Undercover Tourist today.

Disney Movie Quote Ornaments - Crafty Staci

Each of the ornaments features a quote from a Disney movie.  They can be printed out on your home printer, and are sewn with straight lines, so they’re really easy.

Disney Movie Ornaments - Crafty Staci

Hop on over to the Undercover Tourist blog for all the details!

Disney Movie Quote Ornaments by Crafty Staci

Felt Camera Ornament

Business in the front:  today is the last day of the Holiday Sale in my Etsy shop – free shipping on any order over $10 within the U.S.!  Enter coupon code JOLLY2014 at checkout.  International customers receive a $4 discount on your order with code WORLD2014. 

And party in the…Christmas tree.  I was playing with some felt recently, and thinking about all the camera fans I’ve met through my shop.  I know I like to have some ornaments on our tree that reflect the interests of the people in my house.  I’ve noticed a couple of camera ornaments in stores, but nothing all that cute, so I thought I’d see if I could come up with something better. 

Felt Camera Ornaments - Crafty Staci

These take a little time with all that stitching, but they aren’t particularly difficult.  In fact, if you don’t mind losing the look of the stitching, you can simply glue everything together!   

To make one of these, you’ll need this pattern, felt in black, white, grey and your choice of color, a button no larger than 1/2”, ten inches of 1/4” wide ribbon and embroidery floss. 

Felt Camera Ornament ingredients - Crafty Staci

Cut two of the camera body pieces, two of the flash (one is shown in the photo below, but you need two) and one of each remaining piece.

Felt Camera Ornament Pieces - Crafty Staci

Stitch the top and bottom pieces (green, in my case) to the top and bottom edge of a body piece.  Stitch only along the inner edge of each, as shown.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 1 - Crafty Staci

Sew the button on with the smallest circle underneath on the left.  Sew the viewfinder on the right.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 2 - Crafty Staci

Sew the white paisley-shaped reflection onto the black circle.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 3 - Crafty Staci

Stitch the black circle onto the grey circle.  While I used white thread for most of the stitching, I did this in black to make the reflection stand out.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 4 - Crafty Staci

Stitch the lens onto the body with a straight or blanket stitch.  I did one of each and I actually like the plainer straight stitch better.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 5 - Crafty Staci

Sew an asterisk shape onto one of the flash pieces.  You might want to draw it onto the felt first.  I didn’t, and it turned out a little wonky.  Stitch the two flash pieces together with white thread.  Make sure the knots are either in between or near the bottom edge.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 6 - Crafty Staci

Pin the ribbon near the edge of the back body, 1” down on each side.  Pin the flash next to the ribbon on the left, 1/4” down.

Felt Camera Ornament  Step 7 - Crafty Staci

Pin the camera on top.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 8 - Crafty Staci

Stitch all the way around the outside edge through all layers.  Make sure to hide your knots between the layers and stitch through the ribbon and flash as you go.

Felt Camera Ornament in Green - Crafty Staci

These would make a great gift for the shutterbug in your life – maybe that’s you!

How to Make Felt Camera Ornaments by Crafty Staci