Category Archives: Design & Decor

Little Glimpses

So, yes, we’ve moved, and no, we are not finished unpacking. (Would you like to come unpack the rest of our stuff? Pretty please?) Anyways, I’ve been slooooooooowly working through the boxes- it’s quite the process, since we didn’t go through anything before we packed it all up. (Side note: if you can avoid moving while hugely pregnant and on strict bedrest, I highly recommend waiting. If it can’t be avoided, well, have fun unpacking mystery boxes later! With help! From toddlers!)

In the meantime, though, I’ve been trying to make the boxless (or box-light) parts of our new place feel home-y. We’re getting there.


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Wrap it Pretty: What to Do About Those Gift Cards!

Let’s talk gift cards.

I think gift cards are brilliant. I love them. I love getting them.

I do not, however, love giving them. I know that sometimes, they really are the perfect thing, but I always feel like a little bit of a jerk: like I didn’t really give a whole gift. And I hate the idea of the recipient feeling like I gave a gift card as an afterthought (although I’ve never felt like that when given a gift card!), so I like to think of ways to make a gift card feel more thought-through and personal.

One way to do that is to wrap it up beautifully. I know it’s easier to grab one of those lame little tins in the checkout line- or worse, just shove it into the envelope they give you and scrawl a name on the front. (No offense. But UGH.) A beautifully-wrapped package- even if it’s just socks inside!- always feels more important. So here are a few easy bits of inspiration that you can quickly DIY to make your gift cards (or whatever it is you’re giving) look like a million bucks!

P.s. Did I mention that they’re all F R E E (or nearly so)?

  1. Hand-drawn gift wrap from MiniEco: silver Sharpie on kraft paper.
  2. Handmade Holiday- Woodland Wrapping from Odessa May Society: white pen or marker on brown kraft or butcher paper.
  3. Holiday wrapping with paper bags from Alisa Burke: white-out pen and Sharpie marker on brown paper grocery bags!
  4. Fabric poppy flower gift toppers from Creature Comforts: red polyester fabric and black embroidery floss.
  5. Magazine-page gift bow from How About Orange: reuse your pretty magazine and catalog pages!
  6. Paper bow freebie and how-to from Ellinee: print out her template, cut it out, tape it together, and make things prettier.
  7. Sheet music gift wrap from French Larkspur: use old sheet music (or print some off) as beautiful wrapping paper.
  8. Waxed paper pom pom flowers from Nice Package: all you need is waxed paper and a little wire! They’re gorgeous.
  9. Yarn pom-pom gift topper from Creature Comforts: you know I love my pom poms! So simple and fun.

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Make-It Decoration: Toilet Paper Tube Wreath

This wreath, made from empty toilet paper and paper towel tubes, not only ends up looking classy and fun, it’s very nearly FREE. Who doesn’t like FREE? It’s also quick- all the steps up to letting it dry and spray-painting it took me just thirty minutes! Not bad for something so cute!  Who would guess it’s made of glue and toilet paper tubes? (While you’re at it, why not make some little ones as well to use as gift toppers?)

Here’s what you need:

  • Empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls: I used 2 paper towel rolls and 4 toilet paper rolls, and had lots of pieces left over.
  • Scissors
  • Glue (See below for a brief discussion on glue. I know, fascinating, right?)
  • Spray paint

Here’s what I did:

  1. Flatten your paper rolls.
  2. Cut them into strips about a centimeter wide. Don’t worry about measuring or making perfect cuts; this project is very forgiving!
  3. Arrange into a ring as large as you want your wreath. (Hint: put a bowl into the middle to help you create a circle, then pull the bowl out and fill in the middle of your wreath a little more.)
  4. Glue all your pieces together, then let your glue dry.
  5. Spray paint, then let dry again. You may need a couple (thin!) coats for full coverage.
  6. Hang it up! (You can tie a piece of string through one of the pieces to hang it, or simply put one of the pieces over a nail.)


About Glue:

There are a few different adhesives you can use to put this together, and each has its own  pros and cons.

I used: Aleene’s Tacky Glue. Pros: no odor, inexpensive, dries clear. Cons: takes a while to dry, can be a little messy.

Other options:

  • A glue gun. Pros: dries quickly, no odor. Cons: not good for little helpers, your project can end up covered with glue-gun-strings.
  • Double-sided tape or glue dots. Pros: no dry time, no odor. Cons: expensive, difficult to reposition if you make a mistake.

Of course, if you have a preferred sticky substance that you would rather use, go for it!

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Kid-Friendly Christmas Craft: Pom Pom Garland

Yep, it’s pom poms again! They’re cute and easy and fast, and boy, do they make a fun garland! Kids can easily make this themselves if they’re old enough to (safely) use scissors, or they can do everything but the cutting if they’re a little younger. You don’t even need a pom pom maker for these: I just use my two fingers!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here’s what I did:

1.  Make your pom poms: I made mine by wrapping my yarn about 40 times around my index and middle fingers*, then carefully pulling the wrapped yarn off and tying around the middle of the bundle. Then cut all of the loops open and trim the pom pom down evenly. I made a total of 19 pom poms for about 7 feet of garland (plus extra on the ends for hanging).

2.  String your pom poms: Thread your needle with a long piece of yarn; mine was 9 feet, so I had extra to hang my garland. Run the needle through the center of each pom pom, pulling it down the yarn towards the center. Note: It’s a lot easier to make the garland working on one side at a time, working out from the center; that way you aren’t having to pull the pom poms as far down the yarn. Space the pom poms evenly as you go, about 3 inches apart.

3.  Hang your garland using the extra yarn on the ends.

*These pom poms are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter once they’re trimmed. If you want bigger pom poms, wrap the yarn more times around more fingers.

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Free Printable Round-up: Happy Christmas!

This time, I have a whole bunch of wonderful, absolutely free printables for you: everything from gift tags to printable stationary, buntings, and labels for edible gifts. Neat!

Now fire up your printer and get going- there are only 19 days ’til Christmas!


Printable Gifts

DIY Compliment Bunting from How About Orange

“Sweet Tidings” Clip Art Labels from Martha Stewart: put it on some homemade goodies and voila! Gift = done.

Mini Greeting Card and Letter-writing Set from Eat Drink Chic

Free Printable Notecards from Oh, Hello Friend

Holiday Wine Label Clip Art from Martha Stewart: this would make a great hostess gift.

Cookie Exchange Freebies from Joy Ever After: recipe cards, cookie tags, and even a cookie-exchange thank you!

Christmas Papercraft – Dimestore Christmas Lights from Toyshop Greetings: print out and fold your own vintage-inspired miniature Christmas Tree Light boxes.


Miscellaneous Tags

Printable Gift Tag Freebie from Hello!Lucky (via How About Orange)

‘Peace, Love and Reindeer Hugs’ Gift Tags from Eat Drink Chic

Typographic Gift Tags from Eat Drink Chic

Monogram Gift Tags from Martha Stewart

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Free Printable: Stephanie Fizer for Feed Your Soul

It’s Day 12 over here of the 25 Days of Christmas!

Have you heard of Feed Your Soul: the free art project? It’s a project by IndieFixx; artists are invited to create original artworks that are then available for free download and printing! There are so many, and it’s a fun way to have unique pieces hanging in your house. And since you print them yourself, you can switch them out at will!

This download, in keeping with the theme of Book Lovers, is reading themed, and is by Stephanie Fizer. Clicking the image will take you off of Ink & Squid, and over to the Feed Your Soul PDF for downloading. Don’t just print the image here, as it’s too small and won’t print clearly.

P.s. This freebie wasn’t created by me, so be sure to read the rules for fair play over at Feed Your Soul.


Have you missed a day or two so far? Be sure to catch up!

Week 1: The Kiddos

Day 1: Gifting Guide: The Kiddos, Part 1 and Gifting Guide: The Kiddos, Part 2

Day 2: Free Printable: Letter to Santa!

Day 3: Make-It Gift: Fleece Baby Blocks

Day 4: Make-It and Give-It Recipe: Oreo Truffles

Day 5: Kid-Friendly Christmas Craft: Graphic Paper Ornaments


Week 2: The Food Lover

Day 6: Gifting Guide: The Food-Lover

Day 7: Make-It and Give-It Recipe with Free Printable: Homemade Masala Chai

Day 8: Make-It Gift: Felted Wool Mug Cozy

Day 9: Make-It Recipe: Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce

Day 10: Wrap It Pretty: Origami Gift Boxes


Week 3: The Reader

Day 11: Gifting Guide: The Reader

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Gifting Guide: The Reader

Today is the 11th day of Christmas, and I am horribly sorry (being the visual person I am), but I have no pictures. BOO! HISS! I know. I’m really sorry. But trust me, all of these links are totally worth clicking on!

I love to read. L  O  V  E   it. And I’m betting that someone in your life is a reader, too… or would at least enjoy clicking around Facebook on a snazzy new Nook tablet. So, happy shopping, and happy crafting!

(Edit: I put in pictures. It just looks ugly. I apologize.)



Nook Tablet, Barnes & Noble, $249

Skull and Crossbones letterpress bookplates, Rx Letterpress, $6 for 10

The Fantastic Bicycle Voyage Bookplates, The Oddest Owl, $15.75 for 24

Mighty Bright Green Xtraflex 2 LED Book Light,, $17

Embroidered Penguin Classics: Emma, The Secret Garden, or Black Beauty, Anthropologie, $16 each

Book Lover Typography Print, Flourish Cafe, $30



Monster page corner bookmarks,

Old-school book strap, Design*Sponge

How To Turn Old Paperbacks into Custom Hardbacks, Ohdeedoh

Brenna’s Book Page Fabric, Design*Sponge

Photo bookmark, Martha Stewart

Waterproof book covers, Martha Stewart

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