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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Handmade Gifts for Mother's Day

Homemade Body Scrub
Make Mom her own all-natural body scrub filled with salts, sugar, and lemon zest.
Tools and Materials
Body oil, Burt's Bees
Epsom salt, sea salt, or organic cane sugar
12 oz. PET Jar with cap,
Lemon zest
How-To:Combine 1 cup of body oil with 2 cups of Epsom or sea salts or organic cane sugar (depending on how fine a grain you like). We added lemon zest for color and fragrance. Package in jars (plastic is safest by the tub).

Floral Fabric Boxes and Journals
This Mother's Day, make a lasting impression by making and giving mom one of these fabric-covered boxes and journals by using bold, geometric patterns.

Sewing Kit in a Jar
Transform an old-fashioned Mason jar into your sewer's must-have kit, complete with a built-in pincushion on top.
Tools and Materials
Mason jar
How-To: To begin, separate the lid's sealer and screw cap. Trace around sealer on cardboard. Using a compass, draw another circle on linen or cotton, 1 inch larger in diameter than the first. Cut out both circles; make cushion by placing batting between fabric and cardboard. Turn screw cap upside down, and apply hot glue to inside edge of rim; quickly press cushion into lid until cloth protrudes smoothly above screw cap's opening and cardboard is flush against rim. Apply hot glue around edge of cardboard, fold over excess fabric, and press down. Glue top of sealer to cardboard. Fill jar.

Tote Bags with Iron-On Silhouettes
Use sleek silhouettes to turn a modest bag into an artful gift for Mom.

Dip-Dyed Baskets
When dipped in paint, rustic baskets become thoroughly modern carryalls that look as if they came straight out of a design shop. If you don't have enough paint to dip large baskets, use a foam brush to apply the paint instead.

Tub Teas
Treat mom to lemon, lavender, peppermint, and chamomile homemade tub teas.
Tools and Materials
Heat-sealable tea bags,
Lavender buds,
Chamomile buds,
Peppermint leaves,
Dried organic lemon verbena,
How-To:Fill heat-sealable tea bags (perfect for one bath) with 1/4 cup lemon verbena, lavender, peppermint, or chamomile. For small bags, top 5 1/4-inch starched muslin circles with 1 tablespoon of botanicals; tie with waxed twine. Giving a few of these in different scents lets bathers customize each bath.

Spring Flower Sugar Cookie Gift
Simple sugar cookies spring to life -- and become a sweet gift for Mother's Day -- when baked on skewers and arranged in a "meadow" of wheatgrass.

Homemade Body Scrub
Make Mom a jar or two of exfoliating body scrub using her favorite scents. When you're done, print our clip-art labels to customize your gift.
Tools and Materials
2 cups Epsom salts or organic cane sugar
1 cup carrier oil
8 drops essential oil(s)
1 drop food coloring
Special equipment: plastic pipette, canning jars
How-To: Stir together Epsom salts or sugar and carrier oil in a bowl, mixing well. Using pipette, add essential oil, 1 drop at a time. Add food coloring, and stir until color is even throughout. Spoon into canning jars. Download clip-art labels, enlarging or reducing to fit top of canning jar if necessary. Print onto ink-jet bumper-sticker paper (which is designed to withstand water). Cut out the labels, and affix to clean jars.Gift-Packaging Idea: With their flip-top lids and gaskets for sealing, canning jars have a clean look and also keep any oil in the scrub from leaking. Decorate the jars with labels, and tie a pretty spoon or a bath sponge to the lid with waxed twine.

African Violets for Mom
This Mother's Day, treat Mom to these petite African-violet pots with a personalized tag. Note: Any flower will do ;)

Teacup Lights
Antique teacups that have lost their saucers still make sweet gifts when fitted with candles.

Soap Cubes
Go ahead -- wash your hands with these pastel ice cubes. They're actually soaps made using an ice cube tray as a mold: a gift for Mom that's pretty as well as practical.
Tools and Materials:
Plastic ice cube mold.
Blocks of glycerin
Liquid food coloring
Petroleum jelly
Cotton swabs
How-To: Experiment with ice-cube trays of various shapes and sizes. Glycerin is usually sold in large blocks; to melt it, cut it to a size that will fit in a microwavable bowl or measuring cup. Smear a dab of liquid food coloring into the bowl or measuring cup with a cotton swab or coffee stirrer. Food coloring is very concentrated, so only use a dab; try mixing different colors. Heat the glycerin in a microwave on high, stirring at 15-second intervals, until it's completely melted. Use a cotton swab to coat the inside of the ice-cube tray with petroleum jelly. Pour the melted glycerin into the tray, filling each section almost to the top. Cool for about 2 hours; the soap cubes will pop right out. Like cubes of ice, they'll also melt -- getting gradually smaller as each pair of hands is washed.

Monday, April 22, 2013

21 May Day Crafts ~ For Kids and Adults

May Day (May 1st) is celebrated in many places around the world. The traditions and stories surrounding May Day vary from place to place. There is, however, one thing that is similar in most celebrations - the use of flowers!
One of the most popularly known May Day traditions is to hang a basket full of spring flowers and/or other small gifts on a neighbor's doorknob. The trick is you don't want the neighbor to see you! If you get caught, you are supposed to get a kiss.

1. May Day Baskets for Friends – Take a cute basket around the neighborhood, to the office, to school, to church, etc. Everyone loves a surprise made with little love!
2. How to make Hydrangea Cupcakes – A gorgeous way to re-create such a beautiful flower for a yummy May Day treat.
3. How to Make Matchbook Favor Boxes – A tutorial on how to create this adorable matchbook favor boxes to fill with treats or goodies of any kind.


4. A Visit From The Garden Fairy – This was a perfect activity for kids, make dirt balls and package them up cute with a fun little note and instructions from the Garden Fairy.
In case you can’t read the Garden Fairy’s instructions, they say:
Find sunny spot in garden
Dig five small holes six inches apart
Place one cookie in each hole and cover with dirt
Enjoy wild flower blooms all summer


5. May Day Jar – Made out of a baby jar, ribbons, and large flower by Prima, Wire and floral tape, other flowers.
6. Merrie May Cone - A tradition, is “hanging upon the door-knobs of friends spring-offerings in the shape of small baskets filled with flowers.”
7. Pixie Stick Cone - A cone out of scrapbook paper and filled it with pixie sticks. We made the pixie sticks look like flowers by adding some punched scallops and circles.
8. May Day Cone - A little May Day basket to hang on a neighbor’s door.


9. May Day Basket - It’s a project using those little lunch sacks (3 1/2 x 2 1/4 x 6 3/4) and is so pretty.
10. Woven Paper Basket – I have vague memories of weaving paper baskets for May Day as a kid and leaving them around my neighborhood (using dandelions of course and lined notebook paper =).
11. Spring Baskets – These sweet baskets are an easy, Spring-y craft and I bet you have all or almost all of the supplies in your house already.
12. Brown Paper Bag Basket - This activity is based off of the simple paper May Day flower cones traditionally left on friend’s and neighbor’s doors to brighten their day.


13. DIY: Making a Maypole for a Maypole Dance - Create a Maypole from a salvaged branch to serve as the focal point of a casual gathering with children ages two years-old to six years-old and their parents. It was extremely easy.


14. Two Page Paper Basket - A darling tutorial to create a lovely little May Day basket to fill with treasures and pretties in celebration of Spring
15. Weaved Paper Basket & Flowers - Full printable instructions on how to create this darling woven paper basket and flowers.
16. The Recycling Bin: May Day Baskets - An easy project using decorative masking tape and recyclables.
17. Make Your Own May Day Basket Out of a Tin Can – These taller pasta sauce cans are perfect for May Day Baskets (smaller cans could also be used). Since the cans are water tight they are perfect if you are using fresh flowers.


18. Photo Flower Bouquet - A fun photo flower bouquet craft and homemade gift idea for Grandparents for May 1st.
19. Paper Flower Bookmarks – A really simple craft and activity for kids that you can make together.
20. Glossy Paper Flowers - Far from the garden variety, these blossoms stem from magazine pages. They’re easy to make and leave lots of room for inspired creativity.
21. Tissue Paper Flower Bouquet – These flowers are quick to make and the children enjoy making them. Younger children may need some help with accordion-pleating the tissue paper.