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Category: Hand Made Hand Made

Handmade Holiday: No Sew Leather Clutch

no sew clutch diy

We are really getting down to the wire here, but in my mind, this is the most fun time of the holiday season when creativity and resourcefulness take center stage when trying to really pinpoint the perfect gift for someone special.  My favorite part of the gift giving is really when someone opens a gift and they LOVE it. Isn’t that the best feeling?

This gift is designed for an easy, two material way to show someone that you love them enough to hand make them something.  This is a gift I’m planning on giving to my sister and I know she will not only love it, but be so proud that it was made for her.

envelope clutch diy

I love working with leather, which is a total throwback to my corporate days working with leather goods in the retail industry, but there is something deep inside of me that just loves the texture, the grain, and the smell of leather. I bought a few beautiful metallic skins from Florence, Italy a few years ago and I’ve been doing projects with them ever since (a full skin lasts me that long!).  You don’t have to be a leather buyer, though.  There are loads of wonderful resources that I use in the U.S. who offer fabulous quality skins for crafting.  Tandy Leather Factory is one of them and ACS on Etsy is another good one.  Although a good hide will cost between $50-100 they are fairly large and you can use them on lots of projects.

This clutch was a challenge to myself to make a beautiful no-sew style.  There is one piece of leather and some ribbon involved… that’s it!

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Although it’s a super easy project, there are a fair amount of photos to follow (just so that you all can get the most detailed tutorial!)  Continue Reading…

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Birch Cottage Christmas Ornament

mini gingerbread house ornaments

What is it about all things mini that makes me get all excited?  I love mini anything!  I was inspired the other day by the adorable mini house luminaries

I saw on Remodelaholic and thought… “I want mini houses in my house”.  It was a deep thought, I know.

So, I had these birch sheets that I’d purchased from a local nursery (the tree kind, not the kid kind) and although I was planning to make ornaments with them to share with you guys, the luminary idea sparked in me the desire to make mini house ornaments.

 

birch christmas ornament

The mini birch houses are way more practical than the typical gingerbread, and still have all the charm.  I made a few for our tree (to be revealed on Monday!) and couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.

Since the birch sheets can be cut with scissors, it’s really the only ‘special’ thing you need.  I used a hot glue gun to bind it all together and a little piece of twine with which to hang it! On to the Step-by-Step!  Continue Reading…

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DIY Luxe Fur Pom Throw

diy fur pom throw

I have loved all of the fur pom throws I’ve seen around the webs over the past year or so and have always loved how girly and lavish they feel.  Pom poms are awesome on their own, but in fur they really shine.  I’ve always wanted to try and make one of these throws and I thought this time of year was the best to give it a try and give it to someone really deserving of a unique and elegant gift.

I couldn’t be more excited to share this DIY holiday gift with you guys. Granted, I didn’t ‘make’ the body of the blanket, but making existing things better and more beautiful is almost just as good as making something from scratch (in my mind at least).

homemade fur pom throw

homemade pom throw

The other options in the market are crazy pricey (like, over $150), but my version is under $30.  Thats enough of a savings to make one for a gift and one to keep! (keep!  keep!)

Here’s how we did it!  Continue Reading…

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How to: Turn an Unscented Candle into a Holiday Scented One

holiday candle hack

I love a good holiday scent – specifically anything Christmas Tree related – spruce, fir, whathaveyou. I find, however, that with the bajillion of candles that I have in this house, there is just no need to add more.  So I’ve developed a little trick to turn the plain votives that I use so much into scented candles.

diy scented candle without melting wax

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Years ago, I bought a Balsam & Cedar home fragrance oil for about $5, but realized that burning it straight was a little overwhelming, so that is when I developed this little trick.  I simply add the oil to drugstore epsom salt and surround a plain glass votive with the salt. Then, when the plain candle burns, it warms the salt, giving off a much more subtle scent than just the straight oil in an oil burner.

Not only do you use less oil, but then you don’t have to buy a burner!  I’ve told you guys how many of my DIYs stem from being super cheap! See the step by step photo directions below.  Continue Reading…

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DIY Monogram Wreath

DIY monogram wreath

I’m clearly loving monogrammed things this Christmas, and my wreath is no different.  I created this ‘S’ wreath to go in my entryway, hanging from the mirror, but have experimented with it on the back door as well (since I’m trying not to neglect the back of the house).  I find monograms are inherently preppy, which isn’t really me, but I love being a little over-the-top for the holidays.

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It’s actually a super easy DIY although it looks fairly complex.  All it takes a few quick materials and 30 minutes!   Continue Reading…

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Handmade Holiday: The Blanket Cape

blanket cape diy

We’re back again with another fabulous idea for a handmade gift.  Like I’ve said, my family has a $25 cap on gifts between my sisters and brothers, so I really have to get creative sometimes! This project is one of my all-time favorites.  I bought myself a blanket cape at a cool boutique a few weeks ago and when I got it home and wore it, I kind of just discovered it was a blanket with a notch cut out of it.  I was torn between feeling silly for spending big bucks on it and feeling delighted that it’s something I could easily make – and share with you!

The blanket cape trend has been around for a few years now, but it’s really starting to mainstream recently and this DIY makes it easy to make and easier to wear (as opposed to the straight-up rectangular versions).

diy blanket cardigan blanket kimono diy

I’ve worn mine belted, hanging open, or draped across one shoulder.  Its a versatile addition to anyones wardrobe and makes leggings and a t-shirt look pretty chic.

The best part of the whole project is the price!  A $19 blanket from Home Goods and a little thread was all it took.  Best yet, it’s super easy and takes a total of 20 minutes to make.  Who on your list could you see wearing this beauty?

turn a blanket into a kimono wrap

This project does require some sewing, but if I can do it, you can do it too… my sewing is an absolute atrocity.  So, if you have $20 and 20 minutes to spare for someone you love?  Continue Reading…

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Handmade Magnolia Garland

handmade holiday garland

Maybe it was my time in the south, or maybe it’s the fabulous smell, but I am obsessed with adding magnolia into my holiday decor.  This year, I found some magnolia branches at a local floral shop, so I wanted to make a garland for our mantle out of it.  Garland is one of those things that people don’t often make themselves, but it’s deceptively easy, so I’m gonna show you how it’s done.

homemade evergreen garland diy magnolia garland

You can also do the same steps using pine or any other greenery.  This is the same exact process I used when making the eucalyptus garland as well.  When it comes to buying greenery (or any flower for that matter) I always just pop into a floral shop that is near me and ask if I can buy from their coolers.  I figure, a sale is a sale and if they don’t have to do the arranging, then most florists are totally cool selling you bulk bunches. All this tutorial takes (aside from the branches) is wire and wire clippers!   Continue Reading…

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Cozy Sweater Gift Bag with Kahlúa

sweater upcycle gift bag

First, I have to say that I’m obsessed with this project.  I had to tell myself to stop taking photos of it because they were getting out of control.  Does anyone need 40 pictures of a sweater gift bag?  I didn’t think so.

Gifting a bottle of something tasty to a hostess is a good standby, but it’s easy to get lost in the pack of gifts arriving at the party if yours doesn’t stand out. Instead of wine, think about gifting a fun liqueur, like Kahlúa, and to include a few recipes along with it.  The reason I love giving recipes is because it gives your hostess some creative ideas and shows her that you put more thought into your gift than swinging by the liquor store on the way to her house.

kahlua recipe cards and gift bag

sweater bottle gift bag

In addition to the recipes, a beautiful and handmade gift bag highlights the specialness of what’s inside.  This darling sweater gift bag cost me $1.50 to make.  No kidding.  That’s cheaper than the paper ones at the store. Here’s the full how-to!  Continue Reading…

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Handmade Holiday: Monogram Copper Candle

embossed monogram candle diy

I hope you’re as excited as I am! Today is the first day in our ‘Handmade Holiday’ series!  We’ll have five gifts which you can make, but look good enough to pass off as store bought.

Monogrammed things are absolutely perfect for this time of the year.  When giving someone a gift, a monogram says, “I thought about YOU”.  It also says, “I didn’t get this out of my gift stash.”  Not that I have a gift stash….

handmade holiday copper candle

I mentioned it in my gift guide, but I get so crazy about why some candles are so expensive.  I would imagine that I has to do with the quality of the ingredients, but some $200 candles just don’t seem worth it to me.  I felt that wrapping a great smelling mall-brand candle in a beautifully shiny monogram would do the trick to make a ho-hum gift seem so chic.

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Want the full how to?  It’s next!  Continue Reading…

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Dried Orange & Cinnamon Garland

dried orange garland

Yesterday, I shared the first post in my Christmas decor, my porch, with you all.  On the mini trees and strung throughout the green garland, I had a handmade dried orange and cinnamon garland that was a cinch to make.

Not only did the garland adhere closely to my colonial theme, but it is much less expensive than lots of the garlands out there on the market and it smells amazing (win – win – win).

Today, I’ll show you the easy steps so that you can make your own.

colonial tree with orange garland

dried orange slices christmas dried whole oranges

dried orange slices

Slice a few orange in 1/4″ – 1/2″ slices.  Arrange them on a non-stick surface or parchment paper.  Set them in a cool oven and turn the temperature onto the lowest setting your oven will allow.  Mine was 170° F.  Leave the slices in the oven for about 5 hours, then shut the oven off and leave the oranges in there overnight or until completely cool.  They will be fairly dry, but will continue to dry out over time.

whole dried oranges

Using a paring knife, slice the oranges vertically being careful to cut the majority of the way through the skin without cutting the fruit inside.  This will help the moisture of the oranges to escape while drying out and it looks pretty! Arrange the oranges on a non-stick surface and put the pans in a cool oven.  Set the oven temp as low as your oven will allow (again, mine was 170°).  Leave the oranges in the oven for 48 hours.  Yes, two whole days.  Turn the oven off after 48 hours and leave the oranges in there to completely cool down inside and out.  I left mine in the over for another 24 hours.

dried orange christmas garland

When your oranges are dry, you can use them anyway you’d like!  I strung some together using an upholstery needle and twine.  The twine helps the oranges stay put on the garland since it has a rough texture.  Alternate the oranges with large cinnamon sticks.  I found that the cheapest and best cinnamon sticks were at World Market or in the Mexican section of the grocery store (NOT in the baking aisle.

You’ll be happy to see that I’m using this garland throughout my decor and there is more in store to show you tomorrow in my entry way (and pomegranates too – watch out!)

 

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