Friday Favorites–Quick Gifts to Make for Kids

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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

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

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Friday Favorites–Counting Down to Christmas

Most of us are either eating leftovers or standing in Black Friday lines today (or maybe both?).  If you’re shopping at home, remember my Black Friday Weekend Sale starts in my Etsy shop today!  Shop Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday with FREE SHIPPING on any order over $10 within the United States using the code JOLLY2014 at checkout.  For international customers, use the code WORLD2014 for $4 off any order over $10.

Black Friday Weekend Sale - Crafty Staci

I’m part of that crowd that’s putting up Christmas decorations today.  In fact, most years it’s all I can do to wait until Thanksgiving is over, so today is a little victory for me.  I usually blame my hurry on the fact that the Christmas countdown needs to be up before the 1st.  Works every time.

Countdown to Christmas - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Speaking of Legos, skip the expensive, pre-filled advent calendars and make your own Lego Gingerbread Path Countdown with Frugal Fun for Boys.

Lego Gingerbread Path Advent Calendar from Frugal Fun 4 Boys

This Mousetrap Advent Calendar from Fynes Designs might be one of the most unique I’ve seen.  It can also double as a card holder!

Mouse Trap Advent Calendar from Fynes Designs

This Felt Advent Calendar from Skip to my Lou looks fun to make.  If you wanted to get fancy, you could add some embroidery stitches onto the felt.

Felt Advent Calendar from Skip to my Lou

It doesn’t get much simpler than this DIY Advent Calendar from Third Floor Design Studio.

Paper Bag Advent from Third Floor Design Studio

These fabric links from Stitch/Craft are so cute, and the daily countdown activity inside each one is a nice touch.

Countdown to Christmas from Stitch Craft

Technically, this project from Skip to my Lou is called Advent Calendar for Boys, but I see no reason why this wouldn’t be great for girls as well.  Just ask my daughter.

Yardstick Advent Calendar from Skip to my Lou

This Paper Gnome Advent Calendar from Twodaloo is a fun way to use some of the pretty paper you find in the craft stores.

Gnome Advent Calendar from Twodaloo

If you have any toilet paper rolls left from those Thanksgiving projects, this DIY Toilet Paper Roll Christmas Calendar from Morning Creativity would be a great use for them.

Toilet Paper Roll Christmas Calendar from Morning Creativity

This Animals in the Forest Advent Calendar from Deli from the Valley is pretty amazing.

Animals in the Forest Advent Calendar from Deli from the Valley

Advent Calendar for Seamstresses from 2 Little Hooligans – can I get a hallelujah?

Advent Calendar for Seamstresses from 2 Little Hooligans

Friday Favorites–Thanksgiving

Okay, I swear it was just Halloween.  How did we get to Thanksgiving already?  I suppose next I’ll turn around and Christmas will be here.  I don’t want to get ahead of myself though – let’s take a little time to give this holiday its due.  Otherwise, I’ve got a 20 pound turkey in my fridge that I’ll need a new excuse to cook.

Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites - Thanksgiving

Speaking of turkeys, and it doesn’t seem like you can avoid it when it comes to Thanksgiving crafts, I think this Little Turkey No-Sew Thanksgiving Onesie from Creative Ramblings is adorable. 

Little Turkey Thanksgiving Onesie from Creative Ramblings

Something about Thanksgiving particularly brings out the toilet paper roll projects.  These TP Tube Turkeys from A Girl and a Boy would be fun to make with the kids.

Thanksgiving TP Tube Turkeys from A Girl and A Boy

This recipe for Turkey and Stuffing Turnovers from A Family Feast is more day-after fare, but definitely sounds worth the wait.

Turkey and Stuffing Turnovers from A Family Feast

I’ve never seen Corn Husk Pom Poms, like these from Centsational Girl, but wouldn’t these be great Thanksgiving decorations?

Corn Husk Pom Pom from Centsational Girl

These sweet, printable Thanksgiving Utensil Holders from Craftaholics Anonymous are easy to make and would be a nice addition to the table.

Thanksgiving Printables from Craftaholics Anonymous

These Turkey Rod Pretzel Treats from Sugar Aunts (great blog name!) look fun to make and eat.

Turkey Pretzels from Sugar Aunts

The New York Times shared a collection of Thanksgiving Recipes representing each of the 50 states, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico, which is beautifully done and fun to read.  Pictured below is Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir from my home state of Oregon.  Thanks to Craft Gossip for the heads up on this one!

Thanksgiving Recipes Across the United States from The New York Times

These Printable Thanksgiving Placemats from Cheryl Style are just genius.

Printable Thanksgiving Placemats from Cheryl Style

Oh, you need some crayons for your placemat?  Just add these DIY Crayon Turkeys from Paging Supermom.

DIY Crayon Turkeys from Paging Supermom

This Kraft Paper Table Runner from Dawn Nicole is so simple, but the little bit of black calligraphy makes it look elegant.

Kraft Paper Table Runner from  Dawn Nicole

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!

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Friday Favorites–Halloween Party Food

Happy Halloween!  Since I’m still frantically trying to get ready for Siren Nation this weekend, I hope you don’t mind if I keep this short and sweet.  Enjoy!

Halloween Party Food - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Dracula’s Dentures from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Dracula's Dentures from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Brains in a Jar Cake from Living Locurto

Brains in a Jar Cake from Living Locurto

Thai Spiced Deviled Eggs from Foodista

Thai Spiced Deviled Eggs

Halloween Eyeball Punch from Happiness is Homemade

Eyeball Punch from Happiness is Homemade

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats from Essentially Eclectic

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats from Essentially Eclectic

Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats from Cincy Shopper – Combine this recipe and that last one – pumpkin flavored, pumpkin shaped rice krispie treats!

Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats from Cincy Shopper

Homemade Candy Corn from Hoosier Homemade

Homemade Candy Corn from Hoosier Homemade

Candy Corn Pudding Pops from No. 2 Pencil

Candy Corn Pudding Pops - Number 2 Pencil

Halloween Pretzel Spider Web Treats from One Little Project at a Time

Halloween Pretzel Spider Web Treats from One Little Project

Sugar and Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds from The Baking Beauties

Sugar and Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds from The Baking Beauties

Have a safe and happy Halloween tonight!

Friday Favorites–Halloween Costumes

We moved our family out to the country about 11 years ago.  Before that, we lived in a neighborhood in the suburbs with lots of other families with small children.  We probably had quite a few trick-or-treaters stop at our house, but I wouldn’t know because we were out with our own little ones on Halloween.  I haven’t got to hand out candy since somewhere in the early 90’s.

This year, I’m hanging out with my daughter while her husband goes on a civilian ride-along with mine.  Lots of trouble happens when Halloween is on a Friday night, so it’s all hands on deck at the police department.  The good news for me is that my daughter lives in an apartment complex with a jillion kids.  At least, that’s how it feels when you drive through the parking lot.  I get to hand out candy and admire all the spooky-cuteness.  I can’t wait!

Halloween Costumes - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

This Book Fairy Costume from Lilliedale would be the perfect thing for my book-loving daughter.  Although I doubt she could bring herself to do this kind of damage to any book.  They’re like puppies to her.

Book Fairy Costume by Lilliedale

We aren’t dressing up, but if we were, this Wonder Woman Costume from The Sewing Loft is what I would go with, hands down.

Make Your Own Wonder Woman Costume by The Sewing Loft

If you happen to be using my Robin Hood Hat pattern this year, you might be on the lookout for some green tights.  Dye your own with this tutorial from If You Give a Girl a Needle.

Dying Tights by If You Give a Girl a Needle

If you’re looking for something quick, easy and completely adorable, check out this Flower Pot Costume from Dukes and Duchesses.

Flower Pot Costume by Dukes and Duchesses

This little Wolf Costume from Make It and Love It has rascal written all over it.

Wolf Costume by Make It and Love It

I love the idea of using capes to create different costumes, like these from Simple Simon and Company.

Easy Cape Costumes by Simple Simon and Co

As the proud owner of a Maleficent t-shirt (bought years before the movie) I’ve gotta love a girl who thinks outside of the Disney princess box, like the wearer of this Evil Queen Costume from Northstory.

Evil Queen Costume by Northstory

Babies in costumes – it doesn’t get better than that.  This little Pineapple from Lines Across makes me smile.

Pineapple Onesie Costume by Lines Across

Sometimes you need a costume you can whip up quickly.  As long as you’ve got a yellow hat, the rest of this Last Minute Minion Costume from Make and Takes is a piece of cake.

Last Minute Minion Costume by Make and Takes

Not to leave out the traditional Halloween fare, I love these DIY Skeleton Gloves from Eat Sleep Make.

DIY Skeleton Gloves by Eat Sleep Make

Friday Favorites–Decorating for Halloween

We have two October birthdays in our house, so if I’m going to decorate for Halloween I try to hold off until those have passed.  My husband’s was yesterday (Happy birthday honey!), so I think it’s time.  Since my kids are grown and we don’t get trick-or-treaters I don’t often do much, but I’m feeling it this year.  I think it might be nostalgia, since my oldest is completely out of the nest.  That’s okay, because there is no shortage of good ideas out there – I had a hard time narrowing it to ten this week!

Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites - Decorating for Halloween

I noticed after I was done collecting this week’s favorites that almost all of them involve repurposing.  One of the most impressive transformations is this pink and purple Little Tikes playhouse that became a spooky haunted mansion, thanks to the talents of Saki.Girl on Halloween Forums.

Little Tikes Playhouse Makeover by Saki.Girl on Halloween Forum

Thanks to so many charities using “flocking” as a fundraiser, you can buy pink flamingos lots of places year round.  Pick up a few and make these Painted Skeleton Flamingos with Craftbits.

Painted Skeleton Flamingo by Craftbits

I think these Rock Jack-O-Lanterns from No Time for Flashcards might be my kind of pumpkin carving.

I think these Halloween Spiders from Crafts ‘N Coffee are adorable, and not even a little scary.

Halloween Spiders by Crafts 'N Coffee

These DIY Halloween Lanterns from The Australian Baby Blog would be a fun craft to make with the kids.  All the glow, without all the fire hazard.

DIY Halloween Lanterns by The Australian Baby Blog

These Coffee Filter Spiderwebs from The Artful Parent remind me a little of snowflakes – until you add the spiders.

Spider Webs from Coffee Filters by The Artful Parent

I might need to start saving up shopping bags to make this skeleton from Curious Tangles on Instructables.

Halloween Skeleton Made of Plastic Shopping Bags by Curious Tangles on Instructables

I love a craft that can transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving, like these Reclaimed Wood Pumpkins from The Summery Umbrella.

Reclaimed Wood Pumpkins by The Summery Umbrella

These Toilet Paper Roll Bats from Practically Functional are easy, just the right amount of spooky, and use something everyone has around.

Toilet Paper Roll Bats by Practically Functional

These Barbie Zombies from Crafts by Amanda are at the top of my want-to-make list.  It probably helps that we’re big Walking Dead fans.

Barbie Zombies by Crafts by Amanda

Friday Favorites–Fall Cleaning

I’ve never really understood why Spring Cleaning is a thing, but you never hear anyone say “Oh, it’s October! Time to start my fall cleaning!”  When spring finally arrives, don’t we all just want to get OUT of our houses?  When fall hits, and we realize we’re about to be cooped up in the dirt pit that our families have been running in and out of all summer, wouldn’t that be the perfect time to clean it up?  I’m not saying I ever actually succeed at getting my entire house clean at once, no matter what the season is.  I just think it’s time to reconsider the timing of the attempt.

Fall Cleaning DIYs - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I haven’t taken the plunge and tried dishwasher pods or packets, but I’ll admit they intrigue me.  They seem so much easier and less messy than my method of glopping the liquid in from a little too high and splattering it on my legs.  These DIY Dishwasher Soap Packets from Lady with the Red Rocker might be just the thing for me.

DIY Dishwasher Soap Packets from Lady with the Red Rocker

I have almost all hard floors in my house.  The only place we have carpet left is the basement, so these DIY Swiffer Pads from Sew Take a Hike would come in handy.  They’re also pretty darn cute.

DIY Swiffer Pad from Sew Take a Hike

Since I do a lot of sewing, I use my iron frequently.  Oh, you can flatten your clothes with it too?  Who knew?  Anyway, it could probably stand a good cleaning, so I’ll be checking out these instructions from Homemade Mamas.

How to Clean Your Iron from Homemade Mamas

I love grinding up lemon peels in the garbage disposal.  Everything smells clean for a while.  You can have that experience any time with these Homemade Garbage Disposal Cleaning Cubes from New Leaf Wellness.

Garbage Disposal Cleaning Cubes from New Leaf Wellness

When my kids were small it seemed like we were constantly trying to get the mystery stain of the week out of the carpet.  We needed this Homemade Natural Carpet Shampoo from Surviving the Stores.

Carpet Cleaner from Surviving the Stores

I really, really do not enjoy scrubbing the showers.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Next time I think I’ll try this Tile and Grout Cleaner from Food. Or pay a kid to do it.

Tile and Grout Cleaner from Food

Cleaning off sticky messes is much easier with the right cleaner.  Try this 2 Ingredient Homemade Goo Remover from Spend with Pennies.

2 Ingredient Goo Remover from Spend with Pennies

Ahh, windows.  Another personal favorite of mine.  I’ve tried homemade cleaners, but this recipe from One Good Thing by Jillee has a secret ingredient I haven’t seen before.  I’ll be giving this one a try soon.

Streak Free Window Cleaner from One Good Thing by Jillee

I have a dog and a son, so Febreeze is my friend.  Now I can make it myself with this recipe from My Crazy Blessed Life.

DIY Febreeze from My Crazy Blessed Life

Let’s face it – sometimes you just want your house to smell nice, whether it’s actually clean or not.  I have a small crockpot that would be perfect for this Fall Air Freshener from Maggie May.

Don’t forget, there are still a couple of days left to enter to win the Super Stitches Sewing book!