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!

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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!

Mickey Mason Jar Lid Ornament

When my daughter graduated from high school, her gift from us was a family trip to Disneyland and she was allowed to bring a friend.  This summer it’s my son’s turn.  We told him we’d still bring his sister, since he got to go on her trip, even though she’ll be married by then.  So who did my son choose as his friend to bring along?  His soon-to-be brother-in-law!  Some days I think the kids are all more excited about that trip to Disneyland than the wedding.

Since we have a Disney trip on the calendar, I thought it would be fun to make a Christmas ornament to count down to it.  Anticipation is half the fun. 

Mickey Mason Jar Lid Ornament - Crafty Staci 2

This ornament is a great way to reuse old mason jar lids and is easy enough to make with the kids.  For the full instructions, visit me over at the Undercover Tourist blog!

Friday Favorites–DIY Christmas Decor

In my house, the day after Thanksgiving is reserved for eating leftovers, listening to the Christmas music my daughter complains about until one second after turkey day is over and doing a little shopping online.  The biggest, most important part of the day, though, is getting out the Christmas decorations.  I look forward to it all month, and it usually takes us a couple of days to get everything in its place.  That doesn’t even include the tree, which usually comes a week or so later.  When it comes to Christmas, I’m kind of a big kid.

10 DIY Christmas Decor Projects - Crafty Staci

For many years we had an artificial tree, so we put it up at the same time as everything else.  Now we’re back to a real one.  We have a beautiful red, swirly cast iron tree stand, so I kind of hate covering it up with a tree skirt.  However, this black and white beauty from Project Run and Play could make me change my mind.

Tree Skirt - Project Run Play

With a little planning ahead, this year’s tree could be used to make this Wood Slice and Burlap Christmas Wreath from Finding Home for next year.

WoodSliceandBurlapChristmasWreath - Finding Home Online

Do you remember the days when America Online used to send a CD in the mail about twice a month advertising their service?  I saved those for a craft project and ended up making ornaments with my nieces and nephews.  Extra CDs are less of a problem these days, but I’m going to have to scrounge up a few to make these ornaments from Crème de la Craft.

CD Ornaments - Creme de la Craft

Pillow covers are an easy, temporary way to decorate for the holidays, like this Holly Wreath Pillow on Skip to my Lou.

Holly Wreath Pillow - Skip to my Lou

I’d love to try making this Wire Wrapped Joy Ornament from The Crafty Sisters.

Wire Ornament - The Crafty Sisters

Makedo shares a template for making this cardboard tree on Instructables.

Cardboard Christmas Tree - Makedo on Instructables

I have a plastic mistletoe kissing ball, but this felt version from Apartment Therapy is so much prettier.

Mistletoe Kissing Ball - Apartment Therapy

These Quick and Easy M&M and Mike and Ike Christmas Lights from Hungry Happenings would be cute on so many Christmas goodies.

The Zipper Ornament from A Creative Princess is super easy to make and would be a fun gift tag.


There is nothing sweeter than a felt ornament, and this Nativity Stable from Wild Olive is just perfect.

Felt Nativity - Wild Olive

If you’re shopping in between your decorating today, don’t forget about my Black Friday Weekend Sale on Etsy and Zibbet!

Teacup Bird Gift Card Holder

Sometime around Christmas last year, I saw a cute, fat stuffed bird and thought “I should make a chubby bird ornament!”  I wrote it in my notebook, where it sat until this year.  I came across it again, so I started sketching out a drawing.  As I worked on it, I noticed he started to look a little like a teacup.  Great, I’ll go with that.  Once I made it to drawing the actual pattern I thought “Hey, you could leave the top open and put a gift card inside!”  Sometimes things just take on a life of their own.

Teacup Bird Gift Card Holder - Crafty Staci

To make this bird, you’ll need this pattern, felt, craft thread and ribbon or cord.

Teacup Bird Gift Card Holder - Crafty Staci 2

Cut two of each pattern piece from the felt.

Teacup Bird Gift Card Holder - Crafty Staci 3

Stitch the wing to the body on both sides, making sure to reverse the direction for one of them.  For the rest of the pieces, put both together and stitch around the edge.  Add a black knot on the body for the eye.

Teacup Bird Gift Card Holder - Crafty Staci 4

Pin the two body pieces together with the wings out.  Slide the tail, feet and beak in 1/4” in the appropriate places and pin.

Teacup Bird Gift Card Holder - Crafty Staci 5

Stitch around the edge of the body, leaving the top open.

Teacup Bird Gift Card Holder - Crafty Staci 6

Cut 12” of ribbon or cord.  I remembered I had some Christmas-colored baker’s twine, so I went with that.  Tie a knot at the ends, slide into each side and stitch about three stitches above the knot to hold in place.

Teacup Bird Gift Card Holder - Crafty Staci 7

In addition to gift cards, he also happens to be kinda great at holding a teabag or two.

Teacup Bird Gift Card Holder - Crafty Staci 8

And when he’s done with that job, he can be an ornament.  I love this little guy.

Teacup Bird Gift Card or Teabag Holder - Crafty Staci

And on this Monday before Thanksgiving, be sure to support your favorite artisans by shopping handmade!

Shop Handmade Monday

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, watch for the first edition to hit your inbox today.  Join me here again on Wednesday for details on my Black Friday weekend sale and an additional discount code just for my readers!

Simple Cinnamon Stick Ornaments

Well, this isn’t something I can say often, but this project was inspired by a trip to Costco.  On a recent trip down the baking and spice aisle, I discovered the warehouse-store-sized container of cinnamon sticks.  Despite the sangria recipe on the side, my first thought was how I could use them to keep my house smelling like cinnamon. 

Simple Cinnamon Stick Ornaments 1

To make these, all you need is a cinnamon stick, a jingle bell and some wire.  I used both 18 and 20 gauge craft wire and both worked well.  Anything thicker would be difficult to work with.

Simple Cinnamon Stick Ornaments 2

Cut the wire 36 inches long.  My cinnamon sticks are about 6 inches long, so if yours are different you may want to adjust that measurement.  String a jingle bell onto the wire, about 2 inches from the end.  Bend the wire and twist it above the bell.

Simple Cinnamon Stick Ornaments 3

Push the other end of the wire up through the center of the cinnamon stick.  Leave about 1/2 of an inch between the bottom of the stick and the top of the bell.  Make a loop at the top.  I bent it around an old film canister.

Simple Cinnamon Stick Ornaments 4

Twist the wire around the bottom of the loop.

Simple Cinnamon Stick Ornaments 5

One thing I’d like to point out is, try to choose sticks with thicker sides so you can avoid this problem.

Simple Cinnamon Stick Ornaments 6

After twisting around the bottom of the loop, bend the wire to the outside of the stick, spiraling it toward the bottom.

Simple Cinnamon Stick Ornaments 7

When you reach the bottom, twist the end of the wire around the top of the jingle bell.

Simple Cinnamon Stick Ornaments 8

Ready to hang.

Simple Cinnamon Stick Ornaments 9

A fun side effect of making these ornaments was that my hands smelled like cinnamon all day.  Yum.

Simple Cinnamon Stick Ornaments 10

Friday Favorites–Christmas

I have the Christmas decorations up.  My son braved the roof to string the outdoor lights.  The tree is in place.  I’ve spent some time listening to holiday music.  But even with all the traditions up and rolling, it just hasn’t completely felt like Christmas to me yet.  I’m pretty sure it won’t until my husband is back.  Lucky for me, I’m on my way to start the process of bringing him home.  I’m waving to you from Virginia right now.

I know that may sound a little bah-humbug, but I’m still spending plenty of time gawking at cute Christmas stuff.  One of the most adorable things I’ve seen this year is Emma’s Advent Calendar from Confessions of a Sewing Addict

emma_s advent calendar[8]

My husband’s large family is of German descent, so we all have the required Christmas Pickle ornament, or Weihnachtsgurke, complete with tag telling the legend on our trees.  Of course, it turns out it’s probably not a legend, but an American marketing ploy to sell more ornaments, but who cares when the pickle is as sweet as this one from Abby Glassenberg Design?


These Icicle Ornaments from Plastic Bottles by Cut Out and Keep are a great way to reuse some of those empties, and they look a lot like some glass icicles we put on our tree every year.


I love the nail beak on this Hummingbird Felt Ornament from Mostly Photos.


You may have seen these Faux Taxidermy Deer heads around.  I have, but I really like the fact that Know and Tell Crafts scaled this one down so it prints out on just a couple of pieces of cardstock.


This duct tape road from Miss P may not seem like a Christmas project, but as soon as I saw it I thought of my Lego Christmas village and how much it needs this road running in front of it.


This transformation of Easter dresses into Christmas dresses by Thrive is so clever. 


I have so many fabrics that would be perfect for these Fussy-Cut Polaroid Ornaments from Sew, Mama, Sew.  If you’re not familiar with the term, fussy cut just means you cut around a specific part in the fabric, like a little picture.


When I was a brand-new wife, I had a thing for cookie cutters.  I don’t know what that was about, because it’s not like I was making lots of cut-out cookies, but I still have a pretty good sized tin full of them.  These Cookie Cutter Ornaments from A Spoonful of Sugar would help me cut down my collection a bit.

Cookie Cutter Collage 2.jpg

The house we live in has a fireplace, but our last one only had a woodstove.  We hung the stockings near it, but it just wasn’t the same.  This Build Your Own Fireplace project from Over the Big Moon is a fantastic solution to that problem.


Ready or not…Christmas is coming!

Stained Glass Cookie Ornaments

This project has been on my mind since before last Christmas.  In fact, that’s when I bought the supplies.  But time ran short and I didn’t get a chance to make them.  That sounds better than admitting I was disorganized and let that one slip through the cracks, doesn’t it?

Stained glass cookies are basically cut out cookies with hard candy melted in the center so it looks like colored glass.  Simply Recipes has a recipe for them.

Stained Glass Cookie Ornaments 1

I won’t be hanging any actual cookies on my tree, if for no other reason than I don’t want to come home to find the tree in shambles and the dog licking his guilty face.  But I can’t wait to hang up my felt version.

Stained Glass Cookie Ornaments 2

To make these, you’ll need this pattern (or just trace around your favorite cookie cutter), brown felt, ribbon, white embroidery floss and sheer, colorful fabric like organza or tulle.

Stained Glass Cookie Ornaments 3

Cut two of the cookie shapes from the brown felt, carefully cutting out the center shape as well.  Cut 2 or 3 layers of the sheer fabric, smaller than the entire ornament, but larger than the center cut-out.  Cut a piece of ribbon 6 inches long.

Stained Glass Cookie Ornaments 4

Run a skinny string of hot glue around one circle in the center.  Lay the sheer fabric over the top.

Stained Glass Cookie Ornaments 5

Repeat the glue as above and add the second ornament circle.  Fold the ribbon in half.  Pull back the top of the ornament, add a bit of glue, and place the ends of the ribbon in it.  Press the top back down over the glue.

Stained Glass Cookie Ornaments 6

They’re actually pretty cute just like this, but I wanted a little stitching, to represent frosting. Use the stitch of your choice and white embroidery floss.

Stained Glass Cookie Ornaments 7

I really like these hung in the window all together so you can see through the centers.

Stained Glass Cookie Ornaments 8

But I also like them each on their own.

Stained Glass Cookie Ornaments 9

They look good enough to eat.

Thread Spool and Button Garland

I’ve mentioned here before, my husband is in law enforcement.  The first Christmas after he became a police officer, I bought a little police car ornament.  I’ve bought nearly every police-themed ornament I’ve seen since, so we have quite a collection.  We also have a nutcracker police force.  Our Christmas village is full of cops.  I love all of it, but a couple of years ago I started to realize I didn’t have much to represent my own interests among all our holiday décor.  That was the year I bought my sewing nutcracker.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 1

I’ve been saving my empty thread spools this year, which are now part of the perfect garland to hang over the window in my sewing room and compliment this stitching soldier.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 1.5

To make this garland, you’ll need empty thread spools, felt, large buttons (1” or more), beads and about 200 inches of jute or other string to hand it all on.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 2

I used Gütermann 500m spools and cut the felt into pieces 1 3/4 by 6 inches.  If you’re using a different spool you may need to adjust that size – make it as wide enough to cover the part of the spool where the thread was and long enough to overlap a bit.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 3

Glue one end to the spool using a hot glue gun.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 4

Wrap the felt around the spool and glue the other end.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 5

Repeat to make as many as you need for the length of garland you’d like.  I ended up making 22 of them and used 20 on my garland.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 6

Feed the jute through the two holes on a button, about 14 inches from one end.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 7

Wrap the other end of the jute with a piece of masking tape.  That will keep the end stiff while you feed it through each item.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 8

This is a very long piece to work with, so I found it helpful to tape the end nearest the first button to my worktable to keep it from getting tangled.  String a bead onto the opposite end.  Push it until it’s about one inch from the button.  Bring the end of the jute around and feed it back through the bead so it wraps around it as shown.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 9

String a thread spool on, pushing it up next to the bead.  Repeat with a bead on the other end of the spool.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 10

Add another button, then repeat the bead-spool-bead process until you’ve reached the end.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 11

I had a couple of spools left over, so I made ornaments from those.  If you only have a couple of empties or are looking for a quick gift, this is your project.  Attach the felt to the spools the same way as for the garland.  Cut a piece of jute 20 inches long.  You’ll also need two beads.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 12

Fold the jute in half.  Feed the folded end up through the spool.  String a bead onto that end and tie a knot above it.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 13

String a bead onto the bottom and tie a knot below it.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 14

Trim the ends shorter if you’d like and untwist them to create a tassel.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 15

You know what you’re going to have to save this year?  That’s right, empty thread spools.

Thread Spool and Button Garland 16

The 36th Avenue

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House of Hepworths

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Melted Snowman Ornament

When I’m inspired by something, especially when I want to re-pin it or talk about it here, I make a huge effort to find the original source of the project.  It’s often not as obvious as it seems.  Greta Gluegun makes a project and happens to take a better picture than the original, and suddenly that idea is attributed to Greta.  There’s nothing wrong with sharing that great photo, but I like to make sure the person who first had the light bulb go on over their head gets credit.

The cleverness and simplicity of this ornament is what caught my eye.  After some research, I believe the originator of this idea is a blog called Living Life in PA.  This is her adorable ornament.

Melted Snowman Ornament 1

As most popular crafts go, many people have created their own take on this little guy, including using salt for the snow and peppercorns for the eyes, nose and buttons.  I haven’t seen one yet I didn’t like.  Of course, I had to try it myself, with my own tweaks to the materials.

I used regular shimmery white glitter for the snow. I liked the peppercorns so I stuck with that for most of them, although I also used some tiny black buttons for some. I went with yarn for the scarf and a little different shape than the usual round bulb to hold it all. The copper wire is for the carrot nose, which I’ll show you in a minute. I also used a little bit of green felt. I guess the jingle bells are there to look pretty, because I didn’t use those at all.

Melted Snowman Ornament 2

I started by making the scarf.  I pictured a cute little crocheted version in my head, but given my lack of skills in that area, I braided it instead.  I used six strands, each 10 inches long, and knotted each end, leaving a little for fringe.

Melted Snowman Ornament 3

My carrot nose is a little unconventional, but I like it.  To make it, I cut 6 inches of copper wire and cut a tiny green leaf shape from felt.  Bend the wire around the center of the leaf, then twist it tight.

Melted Snowman Ornament 4

Start twisting the wire around a pencil or pointy stick.

Melted Snowman Ornament 5

Keep twisting to the tip.

Melted Snowman Ornament 6

Pull out the stick and bend the leaves up.

Melted Snowman Ornament 7

Now it’s just a matter of filling the ornament.  Start with the glitter or salt.  Don’t curse at the glitter like I did…it’s not very festive.

Melted Snowman Ornament 8

I found after putting in the first one, the scarf worked better if I twisted it up before I pushed it into the ornament.  I just dropped everything else in.  I also busted up a little stick someone had tracked into the house and threw it in there for arms.

Melted Snowman Ornament 9

I left these hanging in my office, and at least three people looked at them and declared how cute they were.  When I asked them what they were, they had no idea.

Melted Snowman Ornament 10

When I told my son it was a melted snowman, he said “You mean you made ornaments out of dead snowmen?!?!  Wow mom.”  Ah, nothing like teenage boy humor.

I’d try not to shake these up too much, because everything sinks.  The good news is, with some tapping, it floats back to the top.

Melted Snowman Ornament 11

My thanks again to Living Life in PA for the great idea!