So, due to the fact that I have no idea which of my friends and family actually read this thing regularly and I didn't want to spoil the surprises of Christmas, I did not show you anything I handmade for those on my Christmas list. Yes... it was due to that and not at all because I procrastinated once again. Yes.
Well, now's the moment! No better time than the week AFTER Christmas to share some Christmas present ideas, correct-o? Come on, some of you have already started planning for next year, be honest. So while you're scheming up ideas, pin a couple of these maybe?
I shall start with the ideas I stole. Because we all know that as good as I am, I am not creative enough to do a homemade Christmas without a little help from the masters.
First off. I would like to point you in the direction of A Girl And A Glue Gun. As if you didn't know she was awesome... Well, she does some great things with felt. I saw her Lego Mat tutorial and knew I need look no further for my nephews. The two younger nephews (who are very into legos right now, so good timing) got one of these:
Well, not exactly. That's Kimbo's. This is mine (I know, not quite as impressive...):
(The older nephew just got a gift card to Olive Garden for him and a girl of his choosing because he's dating age now and that is SOOOOO weird for me.)
I tried both sewing the casing around the edge and hot gluing and I think the hot gluing actually worked better. I did not follow the tutorial step by step as I was going by memory - surprise, surprise, right? And obviously I should have followed the tutorial as her way was easier than mine AND that rid edging totally looks waaaaaayyyyy better than my unfinished innards. ANYHOO. I didn't make a lego man for the inside, just a lego man head. Which I am pretty happy with. That was my nephew's favorite part.
Other differences - instead of a rope I just cut a length of some scrap knit fabric and pulled it so it stretched out and curled around. I used a large safety pin to thread it through the casing around the felt mat and then tied huge knots in the ends so that they wouldn't go back into the holes.
I also added a little scrap of green felt (two-ply) in a loop to the top of the bag on the back (when it's scrunched up) so the bag can be hung for easy storage.
Then I hand painted the label's for the front of the bags, cut out each of the different colors around the letters and hot glued it all together - which took longer than making the darn mats in the first place. And yes, I DID want to redo the labels and NO I am NOT particularly happy with the way they turned out -although the idea of using the lego font to make a label was on the right track - thanks so much for asking.
Next up. Stole this idea from Delia of Delia Creates. I dare you to go to Delia's blog and NOT pin something. Go on. It's a dare. I'll up the ante - I triple dog dare you.
It must be a lego themed Christmas because the first idea I duplicated was her lego belt.
Awesome right? I was thinking about how I should have made this for my husband when it dawned on me that I still needed something for my best friend's husband. And this seemed just right for him, too. I did not have a belt buckle on hand, nor did I have the time to scour the thrift stores for one (although I may take to collecting them now, just to have them on hand for this...) so I just bought an inexpensive belt at Walmart. It was plain black, which was perfect. I simply took a flat black rectangle from mr's stash and used E-6000 to glue it to the buckle.
I used two clamps to keep it nice and straight while it dried overnight. Then I fished out a few more small pieces and put them in a little container with a clear top so he can choose to decorate his belt buckle according to his mood and/or outfit. (Because guys totally do that, right? Yeah...)
Since the only piece that is glued to the buckle is plain black, it's pretty much a blank slate. He can put a smaller rectangle on and form a "C" in yellow - his first initial (which is how the belt looked when I gave it to him).
OR, he can just put a large rectangle over the black one and change the color completely.
Just stack the legos up and you've got a completely different belt.
Literally a two minute present that I'm fairly certain was very well received.
And my best friend? Well, firstly she got this t-shirt strip scarf:
Which I have to admit I do not know where this started - but you've seen them all over, right? I made one for myself back here. This looked totally cute on her, even though I made it smaller than I had intended.
And secondly, she got ANOTHER Delia-inspired present. I know, I know. I should just marry her, jeez. Wait. We're both already married. Never mind.
So, remember her distressed canvas art? I saw this tutorial and was hooked.
I made one for my mom for mother's day using a photo I'd taken of her apricot blossoms. But for El, I needed to do something super special... so I went to her idol. The elegant and charming Audrey Hepburn. I found a photo I liked and did some basic editing:
Then I found a quote I liked and did it up in Pages on my mac. I added the vignette in iphoto:
One word of advice. Do NOT forget that the image will be REVERSED when you transfer it to the canvas. Which isn't a big deal for photos usually, but IS a big deal for words. Just sayin'. You don't want to have to run out to Kinkos for the THIRD time in two days in THREE degree weather while you're supposed to be making Christmas cookies. Not that that happened to me or anything. Do you want one already flipped for you so you can just download it, print it, copy it and go? Oh, ok.
I painted my canvases off white with bright white undertones. Then I just followed Delia's tutorial to the T and ended up with an Audrey canvas:
and an Audrey quote canvas:
To make a complete set:
Which will look infinitely better on El's living room wall than they do on my family room floor, but you get the idea. And that carpet's way better than the green yuck, am I right?
I guess the moral of this post is, if you don't have great ideas of your own, go bug Delia and Kimbo. No way you'll walk away from there empty, er, headed.
And coming up? Some gifts I DIDN'T steal. Amazing, right? And some tutorials, too.