Wooden Cookie Invite

This cookie exchange invite by Under My Umbrella (found via Be Different, Act Normal) is so clever! The cookie is mdf, the frosting is spackle, and the sprinkles are beads. I bet you could find precut circles at a craft store to make this even easier. I wish I had a cookie exchange to host!

Countdown Chain Freebie

There are so many cute advent calendars out there. My favorite growing up was the countdown chain! I did something similar for my sister in law to countdown to her due date, here. I had an itching to put another one together, so I did this little one for my niece and nephew.

I also included a couple of candy canes and 3D Christmas light glasses that I picked up for them a few weeks ago. Have you seen these before? They’re so much fun!

They live in town, but I thought it would be more fun for them to get a package in the mail. :)

You can download the chain for yourself here! If you were doing this for your kids, you could write a different activity on the back of each link to do each day as you count down. Love that idea!

Snowman in a Hat

There’s a teensy tiny chance, 23 to be exact, that we may have snow on Friday!  These chances don’t come around much in Alabama and even if it is predicted, it hardly actually comes. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

For those of you who are lucky enough to get that pretty white stuff, check out this Build your own snowman kit. This is such a thoughful, fun and easy gift idea. Love it!

Reusing Christmas Cards

If you haven’t thrown out those Christmas cards yet, please donate them! St. Jude’s Ranch has a card recycling program. You can send in any type… thank you, birthday, Easter, etc. The kids there reuse the front of the cards to make new ones and they sell them to raise money.

I am always at a total loss with what to do with mine. It hurts me to throw them away, but if I keep them, they stay shoved in a drawer. This is the perfect opportunity to be a little green and donate to a wonderful cause.

They’re accepting cards through February 28th. Find out more info here.

(Last Minute) Gift Idea: Magazine Subscriptions

This year I gave a ton of magazine subscriptions as gifts. They can be very inexpensive, there’s something out there for everyone and I see it as the gift that keeps on giving year round! :) Amazon runs specials frequently for $5 subscriptions and any google search for the title you’re looking for + ‘discounts’ will most likely lead you to a good deal. All the subscriptions I picked up were $4-10.

I made up little cards to let each person know which magazine they were getting and when the first issue should arrive. I tried to pull the newest cover from each magazine. All were easily found through google searches.

I handled about 15 gifts with just an hour of clicking. No crazy crowds for me!

Personalized gift wrap

I promised myself I wouldn’t go out and buy any gift wrap this year and I’ve stuck to it! I’ve mainly gone with brown contractor’s paper I bought almost a year ago at Lowe’s. This $9 roll has lasted me forever! A box wrapped in brown paper definitely gives you a blank canvas to work from. I’ve been trying to find ways to dress it up. Here’s one of my favorites. It takes a little effort, but I really like how it comes out.

Start by printing out your names in a font of your choice.

I used a light box, but you could also use tracing paper…or if you’re lucky, a Cricut, which would allow you to skip this whole silly tracing process.

Trace the names onto a pretty paper. I traced on the back of my paper so I wouldn’t have to worry about any accidents I might have while tracing.

Cut out name with scissors. You can adhere it to your package with glue or spray adhesive.

Ta-daa

Personalized Santa Videos

DisneyFamily.com allows you to upload your child’s picture and name and puts them in a little video with Santa. Pretty neat! I made one for the niece and nephews. So much fun!

Click over to make your own.

Macaroni Tree

Have you guys ever seen macaroni look this fancy? Lucky Star Lane made the cone from newspaper, slapped on some pasta and spray painted it silver. And it’s gorgeous!

Click over for more details and lots of other great ideas!

Sugar cube buildings

Is this a cool twist on the traditional gingerbread house or what? Chez Larsson and her fam built a NYC skyscraper from sugar cubes!

And to add that extra, they added lights to the inside.  How awesome!?

This is definitely on the must try list for next year. My engineer minded husband would love figuring out how to build something like this!

Gift Idea: Art Boxes

I made up these art boxes for our niece and nephew. We swapped gifts last night, so it’s safe to post now. :)

I found these silver lunch tins at work. They both just magically appeared in the ‘Take’ area in the same week. Both came with promotional stuff inside and were stamped with logos on the outside. I was able to peel both off and then had myself two pretty lunch boxes. I bet you could find these at a craft store. Or you could use a small toolbox. There’s lots of options!

I covered Morgan’s lunchbox with pink polka dotted paper and made a bee magnet from the little wood animals you get can at Hobby Lobby. Her nickname is Morgie Bee, so I thought it fit. For Caleb’s I just stuck with the industrial silver and added a pirate magnet.

I filled their boxes with washable markers, crayons, glue sticks, twine, construction paper, lots of stickers, Martha Stewart puppet kits, and other odds and ends.

Here’s Caleb’s box. The stickers are in library card holders I got from the Dollar Tree earlier in the summer. I put a magnet on the back, so they could be held on the inside of the lid. I put round office labels, smiley faces, and these stickers from Lotta Bruhn. I downloaded her pdf and printed on sticker paper. They are so cute!

Here’s Morgan’s loot (apologies for the awful pictures. This is what happens when husbands rush their wives!)

The ‘paper doll clothes’ pouch is for this sweet little girl. I posted about these free paper dolls last year. You can download your own here. Morgan is 2.5 and a little too small to cut these out herself or be gentle enough not to rip the paper, so I cut them out and ‘laminated’ them with contact paper. I put a magnet on her back so she can stick to the inside of her artbox or on the fridge. Then I put a piece of velcro on her tummy and some on the back of each of her outfits.

Here she is with a few of her outfits. :)

I bought them each a drawing pad at the Dollar Tree. The covers were not pretty, not to mention totally falling apart. So at the last minute, I decided to make them a little cuter. I ripped the cover and binding off, then cut down scrapbook cardstock to size. I used double sided tape along the top to tape my new cover onto the pad. Then I used decorative masking tape to replace the binding. I printed their names on sticker paper and adhered them to the front. So much better!

Here they are before their makeover….

And after….

These are so much fun to put together and don’t have to be expensive. There are so many great bloggers out there offering free printables. As far as supplies, you can start early stocking up so you can really shop for sales on little craft kits or supplies (think back to school sales!)

And just for fun. Here’s Morgan after she opened hers. She immediately dumped her crayons in the floor and ate markers the rest of the night! Oops!

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