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10 simple gifts to make + give

There is something just a little extra special about receiving a gift that’s been handmade. The thought, the time, the unique end-product … all of these things make a difference.

handmade-gift-guide It’s not always easy to come up with unique – yet do-able – homemade gift ideas. Just glance at pinterest and you’re sure to be overwhelmed with options! And then once you decide, there is nothing worse than attempting to do a project you find online and ending up with a big craft fail (believe me, I’ve been there).

If you’re going the handmade route this year and need a few tried and tested ideas, I have narrowed it down to 10 simple gifts (I promise you can do these!) to make and give this holiday season. Each one, with step-by-step photos and complete supply lists, are included in the brand new 51-page Handmade Holiday Gift Guide.

In it you’ll find super cute projects like these foot/hand/neck warmers:

warmer

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These darling modern wood blocks (for baby, of course, or toss them in a pretty bowl for an unexpected coffee table accessory):

handmade-gift-guide---blocks

handmade-gift-guide-wood-blocks-steps For book lovers, try making a few tassel bookmarks to tuck into a new novel:

handmade-gift-guide---bookmarks

or for the techie, sew up a padded ipad cover (the little x stitch on the closure is my favorite):

handmade-gift-guide-ipad-case

What teacher wouldn’t love some precious jewel magnets to use on their whiteboards (hint: they are not actually precious):

handmade-gift-guide-jewel-magnets

and a cozy pom pom blanket is a great choice for your mom or sister or teenage daughter who is impossible to shop for:

handmade-gift-guide-pom-blanket

(I made my first pom blanket with a solid gray throw from IKEA, added the pom poms and it looks so chic! See it in action here)

Get all 10 projects with full steps, supply lists, sources, helpful tips and printable templates in one downloadable 51-page pdf. Your friends and family with love you for it!

handmade-gift-guide-book

grab-your-copy

May your weekend be filled with inspiration and creating!

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diy thankful string art

string-art-diy

This year, our thankful tree sits on the bar cart in the dining room. I thought it would be fun to have some sort of interesting art to hang nearby and decided to try a technique I’ve seen and loved all over the web. Here are a few of my favorite string art examples (1 / 2 / 3). My version is subtle and the white string and linen backing look pretty next to the vintage gold frame.

thankful-string-art-bar-cart

Want to see how I made it?! Continue Reading →

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art from art (woodland animals + templates)

art-from-art

Today I’m joining in on a fun ‘think outside of the box’ challenge so if you’re here from Perfectly Imperfect, welcome!

My blog friends Jamin and Ashley published three awesome books filled with removable 8×10 art prints. The idea is brilliant and makes switching out art affordable and so, so easy.  The art work is all great, but no one can hang all of it in their homes, so they challenged a group of bloggers to come up with other creative uses for the artwork – the only request was that we could not place them in a frame (which I sort of cheated on …).

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I was inspired to use the pretty paintings to create these cutie royal woodland animals. I call it making art from art.

woodland-artwork

They were so simple to make (and I even have templates for you so you can make them too!). Continue Reading →

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thanksgiving table

thanksgiving-table-inspiration

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I know I say that about every major celebration, but truly, Thanksgiving ranks high (like right at the top with christmas and easter). We have the best memories of Thanksgiving from when we were kids – big family gatherings, weekends at my great Aunt & Uncle’s house in their small town, cutting down our christmas tree – and it’s continued to be a time of year that feels festive and filled with tradition even now.

thanksgiving-table-setting

I love watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the kids, then the dog show after (weird, I know. But I tend to be a bit like my mom and she always kept the dog show on so naturally, I do the same), then football for days. Our house fits the most people in it, so we often host here which we love. We do some of the cooking, and the rest of the family each bring a favorite dish (sweet potato puree, sauteed green beans with shallots and bacon, sweet potato cranberry crescent rolls – yum). Continue Reading →

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start today: a thankful tree with printable tags

For the past three years our family has done a thankful tree and it has become my kids’ favorite tradition for this time of year.

make-a-thankful-tree

Our entry table was the spot for our tree last year, and this year it sits on the bar cart in our dining room (photos coming tomorrow!)

A full explanation is on this original thankful tree post, but the idea is simply to grab a few branches, pop them in a pretty urn and put out tags to write on and then hang from the tree. As the boys went out the door to school this morning, each stopped to think of something they are thankful for and put it on a tag. It was so sweet to watch them do it on their own and take a few seconds to reflect before they went on with their day. You can dedicate a time each day to do this as a family, or just let them go at it – which is probably our approach this year – every time they pass the tree, they are welcome to use another tag.

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There are thankful tags from that first thankful tree post which you are welcome to use, or choose your favorite from these designs.

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Just dowload the pdf, print on your favorite paper (see my favorite sources here) and cut around the edges. Punch a hole in the top if you’ll be hanging from branches, or just use as little cards to keep in a pretty bowl, or on your thanksgiving table or as lunchbox notes.

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