Tag Archives: gifts

Naptime Craft: Springtime Baby Sweater

WHERE have I BEEN, you ask? Well, after a crazy run of brother-in-law’s wedding, my family visiting, sick babies, and general craziness and havoc, I’ve had my hands full. But I have not been idle! Actually, that’s not entirely true. With the change of seasons, I got a little craft-stuck: I could not, for the life of me, think of anything to make that wasn’t a big fluffy scarf or mittens or some other wintery thing. Plus, I was bored of making the same ol’ projects. So I decided, what the heck. I’ll give something more complicated a try. How ’bout a baby sweater? Sure. And if it’s a disaster, I’ll rip it all out and wind the yarn back into a ball and never speak of it. It will be my disastrous little secret.

So I hopped on Ravelry and searched through their patterns, automatically tossing out anything that was knitted (duh, since I don’t knit), super girly, or super complicated-looking. This left me with just a handful of patterns, two of which I thought had the most potential. Then I got freaked out by the prospect of sleeves, and piecing it together, and ending up with something inside out… Which left me with the Bombay Love pattern from Yarny Days. And PEOPLE, this pattern ROCKS. It rocks in an all-caps, italicized kind of way. It is adorable and so easy it’s shocking.

This short-sleeved little sweater is crocheted in one piece from the top down. There is nothing to piece together, no separate sleeves to make, nada. And it’s worked in double crochet, so it goes very quickly. As usual, I made a couple modifications of my own, but nothing major to the pattern.

Here’s what I used:

  • Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn in Seaspray (for the sweater) and Red Barn (for the edging and closures). It uses less than one skein for a whole sweater!
  • A size J-10 (6 mm) crochet hook
  • A large-eyed needle
  • 2 buttons

A few notes:

  • You can easily change the size of the sweater by changing hook and/or yarn size. Mine is larger than hers (worsted weight yarn and a J hook gave me a sweater that I think is 6 month size, meaning, it was a little small on my boys) but it took a couple tries to get it the size I wanted. I started another sweater, again with worsted yarn, but this time with an H-8 (5mm) hook and it’s more like a 0-3 month size.
  • The pattern author recommends 2 sc in each corner when you’re doing the edging, or the edges will curl. I’m still having a little curling, so I would recommend 3 sc in the corners.
  • I sewed on my buttons so the sweater front is crossed over the other side. I like this look, plus mine turned out a little wide, so this made it narrower. For a very chubby baby, this might make it too slim.
  • The pattern author made her sweater closure by knitting a cord with double-pointed needles. Like I said, I don’t knit, so you have a couple options. You could buy a little bit of cord or ribbon, or (and this is what I did), you could crochet a simple closure. Here’s how I made mine: ch 26; leave enough chs to make a loop that your button can pass though; sc in each remaining ch and fasten off.

So gather your yarn and head over to the Bombay Love pattern at Yarny Days. Get a move on!

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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.)

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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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Free Printable: Bookplates

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about today! It’s the 21st Day of Christmas, and I have a special printable for you. Print them out and use them for yourself… or give them as a gift, along with a favorite book. They work equally well printed on regular paper and glued in (with an acid-free glue stick) or printed onto label paper (the full sheet kind). And as always, please take a peek below and check out the fine print before you go a-printing.

To print:

Click on the image of the letter. It should open in a window by itself. You may need to click it again to make it full-sized (it’ll probably be larger than your screen) and save it. Then print, print, print away!

The fine print:

This printable is free for your personal use and enjoyment, and is not to be altered, sold, or used for profit.


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Gifting Guide: The Sophisticate

Gentleman or lady, there’s probably at least one sophisticated someone in your life that needs a gift that’s just right. Take a look below, and maybe you’ll find the perfect thing!

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BUY

 

Going Hunting Red and Camel jersey hand printed circle scarf, Bark Decor, $41

Mint leaf necklace, sammi84, $43

“Reticulate” stainless steel leaf earrings, Nervous System, $40

Set of 3 Modern White Small Bottle Vases, Sara Paloma, $140

Looking Glass Decanter, Anthropologie, $58

Lollia In Love Bubble Bath, Anthropologie, $34

Mini Espresso Maker, Restoration Hardware, $27

Lucia Box of Assorted Guest Soaps, Burke Decor, $18

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MAKE


Floral Pillows with Ultrasuede Petals, Martha Stewart

Father’s Day Tie, The Purl Bee

Ear Warmers, Delia Creates

Map Coasters, Martha Stewart

Tub Teas, Martha Stewart

Renske’s Minimalist Tote Bag, Design*Sponge

Leather Envelope Phone Case, Design*Sponge

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Make-It Gift: 2-Pom Crocheted Hat

I have something to admit: I have a thing for goofy hats. I’m talking giant pom poms, crazy stripes, animal shapes… and the silver sparkly Santa hat my mom just got me! (Have pity on my poor husband. My headgear can be pretty loud and embarrassing. For him, not me.)

So this gift is the perfect way for me to embarrass him in public more! It’s also very warm and works up quickly. (Helpful hint, though: if you want to make it even faster, use one color of yarn. All those end were a doozy!)

If you’re making this for a child, you’ll want to modify the pattern with fewer stitches per row and fewer rows, and maybe even use bulky or worsted weight yarn. Just make as many chains as it takes to get your hat the desired height, then as many rows as it takes to get your desired length.

2-Pom Crocheted Hat

Here’s What I Used:

  • Super-Bulky yarn in a variety of colors: I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Taupe, Citron, Butterscotch, and Raspberry and Hometown USA in Charlotte Blue and Aspen Tweed.
  • Size L-8 crochet hook: it’s a few sizes smaller than the yarn calls for, but I wanted a tighter stitch.
  • A needle with a large eye for weaving in your ends.

Here’s What I Did:

(Pssst… just so you know, the hat is just a big rectangle sewn together on two sides. Easy peasy!)

Abbreviations:
Ch = chain
Sc = single crochet

Ch 22 + 1 turning ch.
Row 1: Sc 1 in each ch (22 sts.)
Row 2-24: Sc 1 in the back post of each st across (22 sts.); this gives the hat a ribbed look. Change colors whenever you feel like it- here’s how to change colors. Or don’t change colors at all, if you rather.
Row 25: Sc 1 in the back post of each st, going through each ch as well, to make a tube.

Weave in all your ends.

Blanket stitch straight across the top of your tube to close it off.

Make two pom poms. Attach one to each corner of the top edge (that you just stitched shut) of your hat.

That’s it! Now wear it and feel ten times more fun.

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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!

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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.

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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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Gifting Guide: Out of the Ordinary

It should be the 16th Day of Christmas. It is, however, the 15th Day, because we were in Florida and then I had two sick babies… but enough about that. I had a total blast putting this guide together! Because everyone has at least one person to buy for that has  E V E R Y T H I N G. So take a look below at some out-of-the-ordinary gift ideas for anyone on your list!

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BUY

Custom Star-Naming Kit, International Star Registry, $54

Help Save the Lives of Mothers and Babies, Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog, $45

Mushroom Growing Kit, Uncommon Goods, $20

Livestock, Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog, $350 (or $35 to share the cost)

Emergency Clown Nose, Perpetual Kid, $5

Team Tattly Picks Gift Box, Tattly Temporary Tattoos, $25 for set of 12 assorted temporary tattoos

Construction Plate & Utensils, Uncommon Goods, $15-$17.50

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MAKE

Create custom photo books with Shutterfly, Snapfish, MyPublisher, or Mixbook: all of these companies run great sales and deals from time to time, and yes, I’ve used them all! Starting from $2.49-$12.99.

Make your own recipe booklet from Martha Stewart: fill with your favorite family traditions or holiday recipe.

Sew these cute Monster Mittens from Martha Stewart

Make this No-Sew Felt Playhouse from Sew Can Do

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ET CETERA

Still want more ideas for unusual or unique gifts to give? I love Wantist; they call themselves “a curated collection of gift ideas”, and have fantastic ideas for all kinds of people. Other good places to look are Uncommon Goods, Think Geek, and Threadless.

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