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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Handmade Holidays!

1. Personalized Stationery Gift Set—(Not pictured.) Buy a package of six blank cards and envelopes from Wal-Mart (or just buy the envelopes and cut the cards from cardstock). A package is less than $2. Gather six of your desired initial (you can use a die cut such as Sizzix, QuicKutz, Cricket or AccuCut or rub on or sticker lettering). Punch out flowers, small and large. Assemble flowers by stacking several layers of “petals” and securing with brad. (Hide the brad’s splayed “legs” under the petals.) Glue flowers onto the fronts of the cards. Add the initials—a good way to put glue on these is by running them through a Xyron. Add return address stickers to the envelopes and include stamps.

2. Notepad—My friend Ann Farnen of Scrapbook Factory in O’Fallon IL made one for me. Here’s the scoop so you can create one for your friend! Cut a small (5” x 8”) legal notepad in half. (Flip it face-down so that the cardstock side is up. Mark the cardstock down the center, longwise. Using a craft knife slice through the cardstock and through the paper, dividing one notepad into two smaller pads.) Cut a patterned piece of paper 2” by 2 ½”, fold it at the ¾” mark, and add a trinket or brad to the ¾” area. Affix the patterned paper over the selvage, the paper binding edge along the top of the notepad, in order to cover the ugly binding. Emboss another piece of patterned paper (slightly larger than 5” x 8”.) Fold it around your pad like a book cover. Glue it to the back of the notepad. Use a clip to hold it closed.

3. Crocheted Scarf—You’ll need three colors of yarn. A is your base color. B is one stripe. C is another stripe. (I used A = black, B = yellow, and C= white.)
Using a size J hook, chain stitch 18. Starting in the third hole from your hook, single stitch the remaining 15 stitches to form a base. Now
* DS 20 rows of A, chain two and turn
* DS 6 rows of B, chain two and turn
* DS 15 rows of A, chain two and turn
* DS 6 rows of C , chain two and turn
* DS 15 rows of A, chain two and turn
* DS 6 rows of B, chain two and turn
* DS 15 rows of A, chain two and turn
* DS 6 rows of C, chain two and turn
* DS 15 rows of A, chain two and turn
* DS 6 rows of B, chain two and turn
* DS 20 rows of A, end.
With “furry” or “eyelash” yarn, go around the entire scarf twice. (Use a smaller hook and try to space your stitches evenly.

4. I-Pod Purses--From a Goodwill or thrift store buy an all-wool sweater of some lovely color. (Or clean your closet!) Throw it in the washer, soak it in hot water, and run it through the dryer until it becomes a soft and pliant felt. Cut a pattern of newspaper, 14” long and 4 ½” wide. Pin it to your felt and cut. On another piece of paper, draw a letter (the initial of the person for whom you are making the gift), fatten it up, and cut it out of felt. Add stitching with embroidery thread. Sew the initial onto the bag. Add a button and button hole (stitch around it with pink embroidery floss). Blanket stitch the sides together, and blanket stitch the flap. Add ribbon handles.

5. Memory Jar—(Not pictured.) Find an empty jar or plastic canister with a lid. (You can buy an inexpensive jar from Wal-Mart). Create a “label” out of attractive scrapbook paper to wrap around the outside. Add sticker lettering to create your recipient’s name. (You might also add a saying like, “Beautiful Memories.”) On your computer or by hand, write down happy memories. (They’ll read: “Remember the time we took a walk by the beach and saw the turtles hatching? Remember the time we slid down the hill on flattened boxes?”) Put the memory slips in the jar.

ALTERNATIVE IDEA: Journaling Jar--Fill the jar with journaling prompts such as “Journal about what makes the holidays special” or “Journal about a time you received a very special present.” (Thanks to Ann Farnen!)

6. Holiday Cards— CHRISTMAS TREE--Buy a package of six blank cards and envelopes from Wal-Mart (or just buy the envelopes and cut the cards from cardstock). Cut a piece of red paper, ½ inch smaller than the front of your card. Now cut a triangle out of waste paper. Compare this to your red paper (let’s call it your “topper”) and adjust the size of the triangle as necessary so it fits within the topper with at least an inch border. Using a craft knife, cut the triangle out of the center of your topper. On the REVERSE side of the topper, affix double-sided tape all around the triangular negative space. (Negative space is a fancy phrase for “hole.”) Now cut strips of green patterned paper ¼ to 3/8 of an inch wide and 6” long. Starting at the small tip of the “tree,” overlap the strips RIGHT side of the paper showing through the hole. You are creating a chevron or a V-shaped pattern with your green paper, overlapping each new strip. (See the picture for an idea how the RIGHT side will look.) Trim the leftover length of your strip and affix it to the back of your topper by pressing it against the double-stick tape. (You might need to add tape to the whole shooting match as you go to keep pieces from slipping.) Keep overlapping until you’ve filled the hole. Add a punched star or a star sticker to the RIGHT side on top of your tree. Add a short piece of brown paper to RIGHT side at the bottom for a trunk. Affix topper to your card.

MITTENS—Cut a topper out of solid paper ½” smaller than your card front. Cut two mittens out of patterned paper. (No pattern? Go to clip art and find a mitten to download and use.) Color the edges of the mittens by dragging the edge across an ink pad. Glue felt along the bottom and trim to make fur. Add a short piece of white yarn by taping this to the wrong side of the mittens. Glue mittens to your topper and add snowflake punches.
Happy Holidays! Don't forget you can email me at and put HOLIDAY in the subject line and we'll send you a file of hand-drawn, hand-colored holiday art--sleigh, Santa, snowmen, poinsettia, ornaments and "Merry Christmas" title--to download FREE. Our holiday gift to you!


Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Aren't you sweet? It's nice comments like this that keep me posting!

Linda said...

The card ideas are great! Plan to do them this afternoon. My Grandkids can help. They are great scrapbookers.

Just finished Paper, Scissors, Death. Kept me up half the night, I liked it so much! I was disappointed when I got to the end and read about the contest I missed! The book was an asked-for Christmas present. And Christmas was too late to enter! Hope you will have other contests for new readers!

Loved all your thoughts about scrapbooking. I learned a few things that I hadn't heard here on Cape Cod.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Linda, thanks for the kind comments about my book. I'm sorry we had to put an end-date on the contest, but we had coupons for hotel stay dates that had to be used early in the new year...

I suggest you sign up for my free scrapbooking electronic magazine (ezine). Go to and sign up. I have lots of ideas and patterns and freebies that come with the e-zine!