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IndiPatterns: 11/6/11 - 11/13/11

Friday, November 11, 2011

Advent Calendar Tutorial

Well, every year I think that I will make a hand crafted advent calendar, but I never manage to get there.  Plus, our mom gave us all such nice wooden calendars that I normally just use that one.  However, here are some great tutorials for advent calendars or countdown calendars that you can use.  P.S. these are really fun when tweaked to countdown to an special event: new baby, graduation, birthday - let your imagination run wild.





Well those are a few of my favorite advent calendars.  Hope you like them too.


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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Easy Christmas Candy

It seems like every year I have to make more and more cookies and candies for holiday events but I have less and less time so I figured I would put together some really quick and easy - but still cute - holiday candy ideas.



1) Jane Pfaf - Reindeer Noses Tutorial
2) Pecan Pretzel Turtles
3) Santa Hat Pretzels
4) Piccilona's Snowman Pretzels
5) Joy of Baking's Peppermint Bark
6) Baker Girl's Smore Bark

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Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas

Over the next couple of weeks I will be putting together some terrific posts on Christmas gift wrapping ideas.  This post is dedicated to altered gift bags.  I love gift bags and I don't mind taking the time to make them because - they are easy and fast, you can reuse them, and they are really affordable to use.  We actually have a dresser dedicated to wrapping and I keep all of the gift bags in there to use over and over again.  It makes me feel a little less guilty at Christmas.  Someday, I hope to make a ton of fabric bags in assorted sizes to use every year, but that hasn't happened yet. 

Amy at Living Locurto came up with these great ruffle and flower embellished bags.
Truly it's projects like these that keep me hoarding fabric scraps.  Plus, the plain bags are so affordable.  You can get 13 for under $3.00 with coupon at most craft stores.  That's less than a roll of wrapping paper.  Check out all of her designs here.

If you are more into the paper arts or just have a bunch of paper left over from your last holiday project, there are some really cute bags here.

Here is another great idea to help get the kids involved.


I also thought that it could be fun to let them color on Christmas coloring pages and then double stick tape them onto the front of the bag. 

Make your Own Gift Bags
This is a great tutorial for how to make your own gift bags from junk mail from Junk Mail gems.  The kids would probably love some made from all of those holiday toy ads. 

Here are a few santa inspired bags:


 I love these embellished with simple santa faces.  I would just grab a coloring book prinable and use it as the pattern to cut the faces from scrapbooking paper.

Here are a few reindeer and snowman bags.



Happy Wrapping.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Some Christmas Gifts for Men

Since our last post was dedicated to girly spa gifts I thought that I would put together a post with some manly gifts. 

Classic Boxers


The nice thing about this tutorial is that you can really specialize these boxers and make them in a college print or something else that your guy would like.  Check out the tutorial here.

Men's Wallet

First off, totally ignore the fabric this wallet is made from.  It's a little tweeny.  I made a wallet for my brother-in-law a few years ago for Christmas and will be making another one this year using a very similar pattern.  Wallets are actually really eay to sew and you can make one relatively cheaply with fat quarters of stash scraps.  For my wallet I used the printable fabric for the outside.  I printed a black and white photo of the Beatles on his wallet and I made another wallet for my husband with our daugther's baby pictures on it.  They really make nice gifts.  Just make sure that you size the photos about the same size as the measurement for the cover of the wallet and then print on the fabric.  The tutorial for the wallet it here.

Mama Tortilla's Neckwarmer

I love this pattern.  First, it's sew simple.  I mean you are literally sewing up a rectangle.  You could even let your child sit on your lap and help stitch this one up as a gift for dad.  Secondly, it is a great gift for any guy, especially one who love the outdoors - skiing, hunting, etc.
Check out the tutorial here.

Sweater Mittens

I know that these are women's mittens in the photo, but they really do make a great men's gift too.  These things will cost you abotu $30.00 at a craft show, but they are cheap to make.  They use up left over fleece scraps and a ruined men's sweater.  So, if you have ever shrunk your honey's favorite wool sweater, you can make it up to him with this project by turning it into a great pair of winter mittens.  Plus, these mittens are insanely warm.  I got a pair last year for Christmas from my mom and they are a favorite gift still.  If you don't have a wool sweater that is already shrunk you can pick one up for a few dollars at your local thrift store.


If you want a complete pattern, you can use the fleece mitten pattern from Simplicity or McCalls (both on sale over the next couple of weeks for under $2.00) and just substitute the felted wool sweater for the outside. 


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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pampering Patterns

I am already starting to gather up ideas for this year's Christmas gifts. 

I just adore this free sleep mask pattern from Willow and Wolf.
If you are currently into crochet then I love this Harry Potter inspired pattern from the Leaky Cauldron.

Sew News Magazine offered up this great pattern for simple to sew slippers.  I see these in my future this year.
For those who crochet there are several great patterns for slippers here.
I got a package of these crocheted face scrubbers from Lisa last year and they really are worth the effort.  They take make up off like a champ.

You can check out Lilly's Left Hook for the tutorial.
Check out this tutorial/recipe for a great body scrub to throw into your pampering gift basket from Senn & Sons.
I can't wait to get started putting together some pampering gift baskets for Christmas this year.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Give Thanks Tree

We've really been working on explaining to our little one's about being thankful and what that means. So this weekend we celebrated our girls night in (Dad works Friday nights) with some thankful crafts. The girls had so much fun decorating their leaves and putting them on the tree that we made 100% out of paper bags.

To make your own you will need:
3 large paper bags
Tape
Paper Leaves (Dollar store)

First we started by cutting the bottom of the paper bags off and opening them up so that the lay flat in long sheets. Then I cut one of the bags into the trunk shape and taped it to the wall. For the branches, we split the flat bags down the middle to create two long strips. WE just simply twisted them until we got a nice somewhat tight looking branch. I taped these to the wall above the trunk. Then we stared to place our leaves on the tree. I found some paper leaves that the dollar store that had floral wire stems. Bonus!! So I wrapped them around the branches but you could cut out your own. The girls and I wrote down things that we love and are thankful for and then placed them on the tree. All together the tree cost us $3!


If you can't find paper leaves, you could cut out your own by using this template over at Enchanted Learning.

It was really touching to see what the girls thought about being thankful. Chances are you'll be one of the first things your child mentions, which is always nice to hear;)
Happy Crafting!

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall Wreath Round Up

Despite seeing people putting up Christmas decorations, I still would like to put up a few fall decorations for Thanksgiving.  Here are a few easy to make fall wreath tutorials.
Burlap Ruffle Wreath tutorial

This is a really cute wreath and I love the flowers made from burlap.  Tutorial here.

Not the best photo here, but I do like this wreath.  If you looked at the last post you know that I love these twisted roses.  Here is yet another project with them.  Also, I love the little pendant.  Pendants are really in right now in the crafting world, so I think that this is a great little wreat.  Also, it looks really cheap to make out of leftover fall fabrics and a very inexpensive twig wreath.  Tutorial here.

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