Confetti Banner {June’s Paper Pumpkin}

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned a time or ten how much I love Paper Pumpkin, Stampin’ Up’s subscription monthly crafting kit. If you’d like a creative escape for an hour or so each month, it’s totally worth the $20 cost. Of course, there’s a link on my Stampin’ Up! website if you’re interested…you can try it out for a single month, or choose other lengths of time. Anyhoo…June’s package contained the directions and ingredients for cards and/or a banner with confetti in each little triangle. Super cute. Banner-Heart-ChaosServedDai

I hadn’t come up with a good reason to make it yet, and then I read a fabulous blog post by my most favorite niece, who will be a senior in college next year. Entitled “Choose Love,” it’s about her efforts to make a difference by showing love.  It’s well worth the time to read it…check it out here, if you’d like (after you finish this post, or be sure to come back!). I was so impressed with her ideas, as well as her expressiveness, I thought she was in need of a care package. Okay, so actually, Princess Thundercloud was baking brownies with mini M&M’s on top for her before I read the post, but the post DID inspire me to make the package a little more special.  So I made a banner from my kit and included that.

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The first step was to stamp the die cut circles and put letters on each.  I used Mint Macaron and Tip Top Taupe, alternating them.  The letter stickers were metallic gold. I also punched out a crafty heart from some gold sticker sheets I had on hand, because I like the slightly asymmetric heart rather than the ones that came on the sticker sheet.

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Next, the instructions said to put “a pinch” of confetti in each little cellophane triangle. This nearly drove me crazy…next time I’ll use a teaspoon, so they’re evenly divided!  After the confetti was in the triangles, I put a letter-circle in each one and used the included washi tape (I know…washi tape and confetti in one project…woohoo!) to seal the open end, taking care to go all the way to, but not cover, the holes already punched.Banner-Filled-ChaosServedDaBanner-Taped-ChaosServedDai

After laying the banner out in the order I wanted, I cut a piece of gold and white baker’s twine about a foot longer than the banner pieces were. The kit came with plain white twine, but I wanted to use some gold and white that I had. It’s cuter, I think. Banner-Layout-ChaosServedDa Banner-Twine-ChaosServedDai

I threaded the pieces onto the twine, from front to back so that the twine stretched across the back of each piece, not the front.  I put a small (about 1/2″) piece of washi across the twine in the back so the pieces wouldn’t slide around, since I was planning to mail the banner.

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It sounds like a lot of steps, but took less than half an hour actually…the same as Thundercloud’s brownies!  The boys made something, too…my middle kid made a card with a nice quote in it about love changing the world, and the eldest made a sign that said “If you need happiness, take one” then had tear-off strips along the bottom with “happiness” stamped on each. It was quite cool…I should have taken a photo of that…a good mom would have. We also tucked in a good book, some pretty-smelling lotion, and a few other little fun things. Banner-E-ChaosServedDaily

Oh, I almost forgot…I folded it, accordion style, and slipped it into one of the envelopes that came with the kit. I used the stamps from the kit, along with a quote from Mother Teresa from a retired stamp set, to make a pretty tag.  I then used a little more twine to attach the tag to the envelope. All in all, a fun little project!

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Mochas, Flowers, and Chocolate..a Perfect Gift!

Here’s a quick idea for a fun friend gift… I dropped this off at a friend’s house to celebrate the end of school (she’s a teacher). It would be a great hostess gift if you’re headed to a 4th of July celebration, too.061716_0006_MochasFlowe1.jpg

A bonus to this plan is that the mochas come in a four-pack, yet you only need two…someone has to drink those two extras so you can use the bottles.  I washed the empty bottles, after removing the labels by filling the bottles with hot water to loosen the adhesive. Then they peeled right off and I used Goo Gone to remove the residue. After the bottles dried, I embellished with washi tape and filled one with M&M’s. 061716_0006_MochasFlowe2.jpg

I had some daisies and Queen Anne’s lace growing out front, so I just snipped them and added them, with a little cool water and flower preserver, to the remaining bottle.061716_0006_MochasFlowe3.jpg 061716_0006_MochasFlowe4.jpg 061716_0006_MochasFlowe5.jpg

Ta-da…gift finished!

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Made in Minutes T-Shirt Tote Bag

A couple of weeks ago, a hooligan helpfully left a crayon in a pocket in the laundry…fortunately, the only thing it really ruined was a t-shirt belonging to Princess Thundercloud. I’ve successfully gotten crayon out of clothes before, using dish soap, hot water, and a whole process I found online that took about a day of my life. This t-shirt, adorable though it is, was on the verge of being outgrown anyway, so I planned to just throw it out. And, happily, I found the next size larger on clearance last weekend.

Anyway, this ruined one has been sitting on the dryer for two weeks and I just couldn’t bring myself to throw it in the trash…but I also couldn’t donate it to the thrift shop with those crayon marks on it. So I decided to make a tote bag out of it for Princess Thundercloud’s gymnastics gear…she has very little gear, and what there is, is not substantial! It’s basically flip flops, a dinner bag, and a water bottle. This t-shirt would be a perfect size bag.  I saw this idea on Martha Stewart years ago, and it’s been stuck in a corner of my mind ever since.

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Here’s what I used:

  • a t-shirt
  • stapler
  • scissors for cutting material
  • scissors for cutting duct tape
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And there’s no sewing involved!  This actually would have been a good project for Thundercloud to make herself, but I wanted to give it to her as a Christmas gift.

First, cut off the sleeves along the seam, then cut around the neck and as far down as you want or can without interfering with the design.

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Next, turn it inside out and staple all across the bottom.  Then turn it over and staple the same thing again, to reinforce it.

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Now grab your duct tape and just start covering it. Make one strip across the bottom so that half of its width is on one side and half on the other. Keep covering until you get to where you cut the sleeves out. Yes, the armpit of the shirt.

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Staple a triangle on each bottom corner to make a sort of gusset, fold it up along the staples and duct tape over to make it smooth. Tote-Corner-ChaosServedDail

Now just turn the bag right-side-out.  I added a strip of tape around the top of each handle, just to reinforce it a little.  But I forgot to take a photo of that, so see…it’s up there at the top of this photo. I’ve already wrapped her bag, so can’t take another photo now!

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I think she’ll love it!

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Homemade Kahlua and Irish Cream

Yep, I’m cheap. I mean, thrifty.  Whatever…I hate spending tons of money on big bottles of liqueurs when I can make them at home. Not to mention that they make great gifts…a little handmade gift to spice up your coffee…what’s better than that?

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This is really easy, y’all…here are the recipes for both.  The Kahlua does need to sit for 2 to 3 weeks, but you have plenty of time before Christmas.

Homemade Kahlua

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder (or 3 Tbsp instant coffee)
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups good-quality vodka

1. Combine the sugars and water in a small saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Stir in espresso powder. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Pour into a quart size jar. Add the vodka, vanilla, and vanilla bean.

3. Refrigerate for two to three weeks, until flavor develops.

Homemade Irish Cream

  • 1 can (12 oz) sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 1 cup Irish whiskey
  • 2 teaspoons dark cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 cup heavy cream

1. Combine all in a quart jar and shake until well mixed.

2. Store in refrigerator and shake well before serving.

Click here for the printable recipe.

Give a little bottle of each, along with a bag of coffee, for a perfect neighbor or hostess gift!  I did write directions to refrigerate on the backs of the tags, just to be safe. I think these are a perfect thing to keep on hand for the holidays, in case friends drop by…a fresh pot of coffee and the addition of one of these, and you’re the hostess with the mostest!

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A Few of My Favorite Things

It’s that time of year again…the time when I am ready to get in my craft room and make tons of fun Christmas gifts!  I’ve been finishing up Calc 2 this week, so my school term is done and I have no academic responsibilities until 2015…YAY!  So today I’m sharing a little recap of some wonderful gifts I’ve made (and given away, even!) in the past…enjoy!

These Washer Necklaces are inexpensive and quick to make in any color you’d like.

Handmade Coffee Syrups are, hands down, my most popular post…and you won’t believe how easy they are!

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The granddads (and dad, too) in our lives loved these Shadow Words I Love You Photos.

Just wanting a cute giftcard holder?  This Purse Giftcard Holder is adorable and quick to make!

What neighbor or friend wouldn’t love a personalized, Etched Glass Baking Pan, complete with your favorite breakfast casserole inside? And you get to play with etching cream and stencils!

And don’t forget about making ornaments!  These Simple Nativity Ornaments are perfect gifts for religious ed teachers, or to tie onto any package!

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These “Cozy Toes” Cupcakes, which actually hold a pair of warm and fuzzy socks, make a great little gift for teachers.

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People will be your friend forever if you give them a jar of delicious Jezebel Sauce.  It takes seconds to whip up, and is perfect for friends or as a hostess gift.

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We also like to give a Soup and Bread Gift, with homemade lentil soup mix and beer bread mix tucked into a fun bread pan.

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And, just to make it an even ten ideas, these Personalized Coffee Cup Notecards were easy to make, and impress anyone you give them to! Coffee-Notecards

Now, go get crafting!

Daily Gratitude Library Card Garland

Whew…that’s a mouthful for a title!  The actual Gratitude Garland is much less cumbersome and much more appealing…see?

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I based this on a set of stamps and a kit to make a similar garland in Stampin’ Up!’s Holiday Catalog, called Gratitude for Days.

I’ve made a couple of printables, though, that will simplify making your own garland, possibly even with supplies you have on hand!  And wouldn’t that help justify the next craft purchase you want to make?!

I downloaded a file for cutting the library card envelopes from Silhouette, but you could use small treat bags or small envelopes, both found in the scrapbooking section of craft stores. Mine are 2-1/2” x 3-1/2”, so something about that size. You’ll need 30 of whatever you’re using.   You can also find the miniclothespins there, and the bakers’ twine for hanging.

Once you have the envelopes made or bought, you can download this sheet of cards. I printed it on vanilla cardstock, cut into individual cards, (they’re designed to be 2-1/4” x 3-1/4”) and rounded the corners with a punch. Thankful-cards-ChaosServedD

I put the envelopes in a “random” color order that I liked, then added the cards so that they would also be different on adjacent days.  To finish it off, I created a sheet of numbers from 1 to 30 and printed that on white cardstock.  I used various punches and cut out the numbers and adhered them to the envelopes.  You can download the sheet of numbers here.  A couple of numbers are duplicated, so you can use whichever you like better!

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Then just hang up orange and white bakers’ twine wherever you’d like your garland, clothespin the envelopes up in numerical order, and you’re ready to be thankful starting November 1!

I made this for a friend’s birthday gift, and here’s how I gave it to her:Gratitude-Gift-ChaosServedD

I put the clothespins in a little tin, and I found just a small skein of bakers’ twine for her.  I thought it turned out to be super cute, and now I just need to find time to make a set for my own home!

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TBT: Dad’s Day Gifts from the Past

What with the end of school, my birthday, and all the other daily stuff we do, Fathers Day always sneaks up on me!  In case that’s true for you, as well, here are a few ideas we’ve made in the past…in a hurry!

Last year, we made these fabulous Shadow Photo Posters for the hubs and the grandpas. They loved them, and it really took very little time to do!  Gravel-CHaosServedDaily

Before that, the hooligans loved making Cookies and Cream Fudge Rocks for their dad…and helping him eat them, of course!

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Last but not least, the kids’ photos cut into their handprints made a super fun Hands Down, You’re the Best! canvas for his office.

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Pretty, Pearly Bangles for Mom

It’s true…Mother’s Day is this Sunday!  Did you already buy, make, and/or mail a gift to your mom (or any of those amazing women who have kept you on the straight and narrow all these years)?  Well, I haven’t. But, in my defense, in the last three weeks, I’ve had a birthday party to plan, Easter and all it entails, and a First Communion celebration to whip up; of course, I’ve also been trying to finish school for the term so I can have a month “off” before the hooligans are released for the summer. And I’m sure you’ve been just as busy!

Anyway, you’ll love these Pretty, Pearly Bracelets for yourself or to give someone special. I love that they’re quick and inexpensive, and you can make them in any color you’d like. Ready to see how? Here goes!

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First, you’ll need only a few supplies:

  • Bangles (these were 12 for $8, but I had a coupon, so they were even less at Michaels)
  • Embroidery thread
  • A spool of 3mm “pearls” (from the wedding section at the craft store)
  • E6000 (isn’t that a well-loved tube…and it says “Amazing” right on it!)

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Run a very thin bead of E6000 around the outside of a bangle, then press the pearls around it, snipping the strand when you’re all the way around.  Place it on a silicon mat or waxed paper to dry while you “pearlize” the other bangles. The glue doesn’t need to be continuous, but enough to hold the pearls securely around the edge.

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When the glue is pretty dry, begin wrapping the thread around the bangle.  I held an inch-long “tail” and wrapped over it to secure the starting end.  I wrapped twice between each pearl.  It sounds tedious, but really took about 5 minutes per bangle. And I was watching TV, so time flew.

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When you have wrapped all the way around, put a small bead of E6000 on the bangle and lay the thread over it, pressing it into the glue.  Let it just sit for a few minutes to allow the glue to dry a bit, then snip off as close to the glue as possible.Bangles-Glue-ChaosServedDai

And now you’re finished with that lovely bangle!  Make a set, tie them with a ribbon, and present them with a smile!

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I think I may have found a new jewelry-making addiction!

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Teacher Appreciation Ideas

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, so I thought I’d have a roundup of several ideas I love from past posts.  You can click on the highlighted link or directly on the photos to go to the post and get all the easy how-to info.  And now I’m off to Pinterest to find ideas for this year!  What me, procrastinate? Anyway, hopefully one or two of these will strike a chord with you and save you from the time-suck of surfing for ideas!

What teacher wouldn’t be able to use a jar filled with pencils?  And this Pinwheel Pencil Bouquet is so cute and fun to make, you might not want to part with it!

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Or maybe an apple for your teacher (accompanied by yummy Toffee Dip), tied up with a cute printable tag?Apple-Teacher-Gift-ChaosSer

This S’Mores Bucket is one of our favorites, either for Teacher Appreciation or as an End of School gift.  And, of course, we always end up making s’mores at home, after this reminds us how much we love s’mores!

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And a trio of other ideas we’ve given in the past…our appreciation knows no bounds!

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Happy Appreciating!

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Simple Knotted Jar Hangers for May Day

So, even though we have rarely remembered May Day (May 1) or to deliver flowers to our neighbors on that day, following an old tradition, I have the best of intentions this year. And I want you to remember and plan ahead, too, so here’s a post from last summer that would be perfect for May Day giving!

These jar hanger are so simple, y’all…you’re going to be in search of places you can hang “just one more!” They’re perfect for flowers or candles, or I’m sure you can think of something else. And…this is important…Ball released these vintage-style blue-green jars last summer and green ones this spring…I saw both at Michaels just yesterday. I love that they’re heat safe, for canning, which my vintage jars are not. But on with the how-to for these hangers.

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Supplies:

  • Five pieces of twine or whatever rope you’d like to use, each 6 feet long
  • A ring to hang from…I used a key ring
  • A jar or other heatproof container (if using for candles)

1. Gather all five pieces of twine and fold in half. Tie onto the ring at the center of the twine.

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2. About 8 inches down, tie every two strands together, for a total of five knots.Hanger2-ChaosServedDaily

3. Scoot down the twine about 4 inches (I used the width of my hand for consistency) and tie one strand from each of two neighboring knots together, forming another five knots. Hanger-3-ChaosServedDaily4. Move down a couple more inches and repeat step 3, tying knots using strands from neighboring knots to form a web.  To finish it off, tie a knot with all the strands about 3 inches below the last knots.Hanger-6-ChaosServedDaily

5. Put your jar into the center, and you’re ready to hang it! (Don’t tell you neighbors, but I think they’re perfect for a Ding-Dong Dash…you know, ring the doorbell, leave the jar of flowers, and dash!)

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