Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Easy Teacher Gifts on a Budget

I love getting gifts for my boy's teachers.  I have five teachers, so far, and don't want to spend an arm and a leg to let them know how much I appreciate them and value the time and effort they put into my sons.  But I think, even on a budget, I got them nice gifts (and from the feedback I received, the gifts were very well received!)  Here is the Christmas Bucket of Fun:

Each bucket contains the following: three plastic bags as padding for the goodies (see pic), one piece of tissue paper folded, one cupcake mix, one icing, either sprinkles or the spatulas and squeeze bottle from the baking set (I could only find four of the sets,) one personalized zippered pouch, and a personalized card and gift card for lunch.

Extra baking supplies that didn't fit in the bucket nor did it look pretty!

OK. I usually hate talking money, especially if I get gifts for crazy, good deals.  But here goes...  I paid very little for these Christmas teacher gifts, with a little planning.  At an after Christmas sale, I bought these buckets for ten cents each!  The tissue paper (one per bucket) was less than ten cents a sheet.  I bought the cupcake supplies (mix, icing (both on sale with coupons) and 11 piece baking set on clearance), made a zipper pouch and got them a gift card to our favorite fast food restaurant that is near the school.

Now, you don't have to do the gift card, but I know several of the teachers like this Chick restaurant (as do we) and I was very careful with our grocery budget over the last several weeks, so it was a splurge I am willing to make. I was able to see four of the teachers and they said the following: I am going to make these cupcakes with my granddaughter, I love to bake - you are so creative, I love the pouch with my name and that I love school ribbon is darling!  All gave hugs and had big smiles.

That's really what it's all about!  Though I was crazed trying to get everything done, I am so glad I was able to get it all together for them!  What do you like to give your hardworking teachers in your kiddo's lives?

Take Care,

Linking up to:
Bloom Designs Linky Party - Best of 2012 
Cheerios and Lattes - Show and Tell 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Easy Teacher Pouches

Ok, can I say that this whole post was inspired by this cute ribbon?  Once I saw it, I knew I had to make some teacher pouches!  

I only bought the zippers and ribbon, both for a steal, and used up my fabric stash and iron on paper (laying around from a long ago project) and voila!


Cute gingham lining
In my old age, I am getting worse at procrastinating (though I am busy doing a lot of things), but on the upside I am getting better at sewing.  I sewed these five pouches from cutting to gluing the ribbon ends in less than three hours and we had dinner during that time, too.  I did these assembly line style from cutting all one time, ironing and such.  Though if I encountered a problem, which I did with my bobbin in the beginning, I put the pouch to the side and moved on.  During a break, I ripped out the seam and 'caught' the pouch up with his friends and chugged along.

If I were going to make these again, I would definitely iron-on the names at the end after making the entire pouch.  The first one you see in the pics was completed that way and I think it looks the best.  Oh, and you know your iron, if it's too hot and your doing the package directions on the iron-on paper, go with your gut! Momma burned the fabric on hers (because it said to hold it on there 20 seconds, so I did!) and got a real nice burn mark of the iron.  I was there counting and seeing smoke wondering why am I seeing smoke, not thinking IT WAS FROM THE FABRIC!  Sometimes I really wonder about myself!  :)  Plus, I let her name cool and then peel, so it came out darker.  The others I pulled off while hot (ouch!) and as a result, they are lighter, but still cute.

These are going in some end of year buckets for five teachers!  My two boy's have two teachers each and one for before and after school....  Whew!  That post will be coming shortly, too.

What inspires you to make a 'crafty' gift?  Thanks for coming by!

Take Care,

Linking up to:
Bloom Designs Linky Party - Best of 2012
Cheerios and Lattes - Show and Tell   
Creative Collection Link Party 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Gift Project

I am going to apologize in advance for the very bad pics you are about to see...  Now that we got that out of the way, I am so excited to share with you the project that took up my time for the last several weeks.  Now just to be honest, the project didn't take very long, but my procrastination did...

Remember when I did the mom's market and said I had a custom order from it?  Well, it was my middle son's teacher, so I wanted it to be perfect.  She ordered four pouches (for four of her daughters!) a regular 12 inch caddy and a custom 18 inch caddy.  This woman is a saint!  She has eight kids of her own and teaches at a mother's day out program, too!  Like instead of getting some peace and quiet away from her own kids, she goes and teaches someone else's rowdy kids!  She is a lovely woman who wanted some nice gifts for her family.  I tried my best to deliver some awesome gifts for her family complete with packaging...

Cute sequined letters.

For her 'little monkey'

A simple 12 inch caddy
Last name with year of marriage.

Helping to support the rivalry!  Whoop!
One the other side of the big caddy...
12 inch caddy packaged up
Wooden letters I found at HL ages ago
All of the pouches with letters
18 inch caddy didn't want to look cute, but I tried!
I really enjoyed making these and hope she loves them, too!  She didn't even get to see them finished, so it will be Christmas for her, too, when the gifts are opened!  What projects do you like to make for Christmas?

Take Care,

Monday, December 10, 2012


Shut your mouth!! No, not mine!  :)  My husband's friend from college and his wife, recently had twin boys!!  So, I decided this was an occasion for a monogrammed, zippered bag for the boys.  I mean momma could use the bags, she has two boys, right?

I hit craft pay dirt when she sent a picture of the nursery and it had a gray and white chevron fabric, which I have been coveting from my local HL.  I had actually picked up the bolt a couple of weeks ago wanting to purchase a couple of yards, you know, just in case I wanted to make something out of it, but talked myself out of it saying it will be there when I need it...  Well, I got the nursery pic and called my HL - you know, cause I roll like that - and they were out and didn't know when they were getting it again!  This is the reason why I have a fabric stash!  Anyway, I ended up finding another HL which had the fabric (30% off I might add) and with the three boys in tow went on a little day trip.  Crisis averted!

I decided to make everything the same because they are twins, but changed up the font on the monograms.  You know, they will have years of momma dressing them the same (from the pics I have seen thus far, she is on her way! which is so cute!) that they need a little individuality with different scripting...

Here goes: 

This blue, green broadcloth complements the color scheme in the nursery, so the stars couldn't have aligned better on this one...  I love giving homemade gifts, what do you like to give a new momma?

Take Care, 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Free Christmas Decorations - Reuse and made new

I love using what I have already.  It's not that I don't like to spend money (just ask my husband!) but I like to spend money when I have to.  Not today, oh, not today....

I think Poinsettia flowers are lovely.  I have children, so I know there is a lot of back and forth on how safe they are around them and pets and so on...  Plus I don't like buying them every year, so a few years back during an after Christmas sale I bought 6 fake picks of the flower.  I didn't mind because they were pretty and cheap!!  I used them in my tree for pops of color during the Christmas season.  Well, that gets old after a couple of years and they needed a revamp.  I couldn't part with them, but wanted to find a great place for them....  I think this is it:

Please don't look at the safegaurd bumper for the fireplace!  I reused one of the 18 inch caddies from here , used two floral foams and stuck the poinsettias in there.  All free, totally easy and completely portable.  This can be a centerpiece during our Christmas meal or moved around where a little pretty is needed. 

I am so glad I was able to get a new-ish Christmas decoration that looks really nice!  What would you re-use and make new this Christmas season?

Take Care,

Linking up to:
Be Different Act Normal 
Cheerios and Lattes 

I am still here...

I have not been a good bloggy friend.  I know this.  I feel guilty about this.  So, that's why I want to get you all up to speed on why I haven't been a good friend...  It's because I overbook, take too much on and otherwise do too much.  How does one not do this?  Especially when there are so many fun crafts to do or when life is generally occurring?

Since Halloween, we had our second, sweet boy's birthday, a crafting market I showcased some items in, Christmas orders (arising from said market,) and decorating for Christmas; all the while, having our daily life occur.  I want to show you some of the fun, we have had along the way...
I made two balloon wreaths for the front door to celebrate birthdays.  Well, correction, I had one half-way made for the past year.  So, I finished it and another for our double doors.  I also made some fabric bunting; I like the idea that it's good for the Earth (no throwing it away) and maybe the boys will want to use the decorations for their children some day.

There are billions (like Dr. Evil says) of tutorials out there on the wreaths...  Word to the wise, buy more floral pins and balloons then you think.  I kept my receipts, just in case I had any leftover...  Not a chance as I had to go back and purchase more balloons and pins.  They don't go that far and I didn't even worry about the sides.  I just did the top, outward facing part of the wreath.

At the crafting market, I showcased some caddies and zippered pouches... I simply stained the caddies, which were 12 and 18 inches.  Left plain for the recipient to use as they wish.

Of course, I couldn't help but Aggie up a caddy.  Unfortunately, this one didn't sell, so momma gets to keep it!!  I know it's not a sound business model, but what the heck!  I love it!!

I did get a large custom order out of the market.  I will be showing some of the things I will make for one lovely customer in the next few weeks.  So, I was actually doing stuff and even documenting it along the way, just not blogging about it.

I will be better about completing my blogging duties, but as you can see I am a work in progress.  This is supposed to be fun (which it totally is!) but also, this blog was to help me finish crafts, too (which I have been doing.)  So, stay with me...  I am here and will continue to blog.  Thank you for hanging in there!

Take Care,
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