Tag Archives: Gifts

Restaurant Idea Book

29 Mar

My boyfriend and I love to go out to eat, and we treat ourselves pretty regularly. The problem comes when we need to decide on where to go. Since I’m a vegetarian, and a fairly picky eater, it’s not always easy for me to try a new place without a little research. George, on the other hand, likes to try new things, and never has a problem with any menu. Tired of scanning through restaurant options on date night, I went ahead and created a Restaurant Ideas Book.


I did a little digging on Trip Advisor and Yelp to find restaurants we haven’t tried within a reasonable radius. I only included places with average or better reviews, and looked at the menus to make sure there were a couple options I was okay with.


I wanted to make a little book, so I planned out mock pages on plain paper. This allowed me to see how I wanted the book to flow.


After printing out my pages, I made an orange cover. To bind the book, I just stapled the middle. In order to make the cover a little fancier, I used matching origami paper around the “spine.” I would have used rubber cement as an adhesive for the origami paper, but I couldn’t find it and used spray mount instead.


For my creation, I divided up some of the suggestions into Date Night, Weekend Breakfast/Lunch, regular suggestions, and a special Bonus for an ice cream place. I did my page layout in Photoshop since I don’t have InDesign at home.

The biggest part of this project was researching which eateries to include! The book itself was very simple and printed on a home inkjet printer.


I already presented this craft to George and he was appreciative. I told him we have a year to try the 13 places listed. It should be fun!


Boyfriend Easter Basket Alternative

22 Mar


I remember the joy that I had every Easter morning when there was an overflowing basket of candy and toys waiting for me. Because of this, I always want to pass on special treats and candies for Easter. Instead of spending lots on candy to fill an Easter basket for my boyfriend, I decided to make a more meaningful gift. For George’s Easter present, I created  the perfect mix of candy and love notes.


I purchased Easter colored mini Reese’s Cups and small circular labels.


On each candy, I put on a sticker with a thing I love about my boyfriend, George. They ranged from his sense of humor to his love for his family. These labels fit perfectly on the bottom of each candy.


I used a Ball Jar to hold all the candies. Before I started writing out my notes, I dropped candies in to see how many would fit. For my jar, I could get about 25.


After each candy was labeled with a thing I love, I put them all back in the jar. I cut out a circle of paper to display through the top of the jar, and made a cute little label to go along with it. Tied with a ribbon, my Easter gift is all ready to go!


This “25 Things I Love About You” jar is the perfect present for a husband or boyfriend on Easter or any other occasion. It’s especially nice for guys with a sweet tooth, like George!

Clothespin “Mail”

20 Mar


Today’s quick craft creates a hiding spot for a short message on a clothespin. It’s a perfect way to send some love to your friends or hunny.

For materials, you’ll need a clothespin with a spring mechanism that opens and closes, as well as some paper, glue, and a fine-pointed pen.


I measured out the front “pincher” part of my clothespin. That’s where your miniature envelope will be. For me, I needed to cut pieces of paper that were .5 inches tall by .75 inches long. On the front piece I drew the mock-up of a letter addressed to my boyfriend George. On the other piece, which became the back of the envelope, I drew fake fold marks.


The idea is that when you open the clothespin, you’ll reveal the hidden note. Therefore, you need to cut the front piece in half. You will glue the pieces to the top and the bottom of the “pincher” part of the clothespin. On the other piece of your envelope, which looks like the back, you’ll flip it over and write your hidden message there. Since I wanted to glue my back to the bottom “pincher” part of the clothespin, I wrote my message on the top of the piece of paper.

I used simple Elmer’s glue to attach the envelope cutouts to the clothespin.


It’s just that easy! I’m going to mail my clothespin letter to George. I know it’s going to make him smile.

Custom Wine Glasses: Two ways

18 Mar

For my friend Ashley’s Bachelorette, we went wine touring. In addition to the party box I sent her in advance, I was also tasked with bringing a fun wine glass. Instead of buying a pre-decorated one for $15 or more, I made my own.


My initial idea was to paint “Bride” on the glass. I purchased white craft paint specifically for glass and ceramics. For the lettering, I printed out a design and taped it to the inside of the glass. This way I could just copy over the font on the outside, and didn’t have to rely on my poor handwriting.


Using this paint on the glass was a bit of a disaster. It had poor coverage, and ended up a little streaky. I did the best job I could, and then cleaned up the edges with a toothpick.


To set the paint, you need to cook it in the oven according to the directions on the container. However, to add insult to injury, the paint yellowed in the oven! I was a bit panicked since my plan wasn’t working out as well as I hoped.


Luckily, the wine glasses I got came in a set of 4 for $5 from Walmart. I needed to come up with something as an alternative wine glass. For my next try, I used scrapbooking stickers and gems.


Obviously, this version is not dishwasher safe. However, it was extremely easy and turned out better than the painted version.


On the day of the bachelorette, I gave the bride a choice of glasses and she picked the sticker version.


Coincidentally, the bride gave us all hand-painted wine glasses as party favors! For mine, Ashley used pink and black paint to put my name in freehand script and added polka dots. I love it! Apparently she used Martha Stewart paint. Ashley did a great job!

Even with Ashley’s successful wine glass, I’m still not sure I’m sold on ease of glass craft paint. I guess I’ll have to try higher quality paints next time.

Have you ever painted on glass? How did it turn out?

Bachelorette Party Box

13 Mar

I have two friends getting married this June. A bachelorette party is coming up for one of the brides, and I’m very excited to celebrate with her. Throughout the planning process she has faced a lot of obstacles and luke-warm people, so I wanted to get her pumped for her party. To get her excited, I mailed a pre-bachelorette party box.


To fill the package, I gathered up all the essentials: a little bottle of alcohol, pink nail polish, silly sunglasses, a light-up ring, and my home-glittered picture frame. Inside the frame I added a funny little drawing of all us party girls.


I also enclosed a card with “One last fling before the ring.” I even painted the inside of the box pink. So fun!


This is a great pre-bachelorette package to cheer up a bride. Now I can’t wait for the party!

Glittery Picture Frame

6 Mar

easy glitter picture frame craft

Sometimes I start a project, and while I’m working on it, I realize that things aren’t going to end as I planned. That’s what happened last night with a picture frame improvement craft.

picture frame painting craft diy

I wanted to gift a friend a cute frame, and was very pleased to find an unused 4X6 black and silver frame stored in my apartment. I didn’t buy it recently, but at the time I got it for a dollar! It wasn’t in bad shape, but since I am going to give the frame to a girlfriend, I wanted it to be jazzy and fun. I originally intended to do pink polka dots.

polka dot frame fail diy

I had hot pink craft paint and used the back end of an eraser to make the dots. It did not work. The frame is enamel and the paint wouldn’t evenly apply, and the coverage was spotty. I tried to wipe it off, but it was too late. I tried to paint over it with white craft paint, but that was also was streaky.

craft picture frame glue glitter

Just about to give up, I went back to where I store all my craft supplies and found fine black glitter. Bingo! I painted the frame with Elmer’s school glue and tossed on the glitter. It covered perfectly and was so easy.

diy frame glitter repurpose

Now that I’m done, I can’t believe that I didn’t start with the glitter. It looks so fun, and I can’t wait to give it to my friend.

Stuffed Animal Duck

4 Mar

Currently ducks are my niece’s favorite animal. She’s one and a half, and I’m completely in love with her. In a couple weeks I’ll be out to visit, and I decided I needed something to give her as a gift. This weekend I made a simple stuffed animal duckie for her.

stuffed animal duck craft

I am a beginner sewer, and I haven’t made any stuffed animals since I was about 10 years old, when I used a book to guide me through the process. I browsed the web and found a pattern for a completely felt duck that I based my design upon.

pieces for stuffed suck toy

I traced out my design on computer paper, and selected my fabric. I had a patterned yellow print remaining from a fabric coaster project, and planned yellow felt for the wings and beak. My pattern was very basic, with two sides, and a bottom to add a little dimension.

stuffed animal sewing craft

To assemble the duck, I put the pattern pieces facing each other and pinned. I hand sewed the entire duck, which was both positive and negative. I had more control, but it took longer, and I occasionally had uneven stitches or knots in the thread.

Blanket Stitch fabric and felt

After the duck was almost sewed all the way around, I flipped it right side out and stuffed it with poly fill. I switched from thread to embroidery floss for the felt details. I used a blanket stitch (which I just learned!) on the felt beak and wings.

stuffed animal duck diy

I am pretty pleased with how this stuffed duck turned out. There are a couple things that I can improve for next time. For now, I’m just happy to have a great gift to present to my toddler niece when I visit!

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