Category Archives: General Crafts

Create a Mistletoe Kissing Ball – Homemade Christmas Decorations


Mistletoe has been used to decorate homes during Christmas for many, many years. There has been a long held tradition of kissing underneath mistletoe hanging from a door frame. Making your own mistletoe creation is simple and inexpensive, so get ready for the holidays by making an easy mistletoe kissing ball.

50 DIY Christmas Gift Ideas


1. Make a piece of furniture. If you are not proficient with tools and things, this might be an even greater reason to build – surprise someone with your new found hobby. While the options are limitless, the best ideas are usually items for organizing or storing knickknacks. There is probably a closet in your home that could use a little organizing. Why not build a customized storage/organization center.

2. Coupon book. This is an oldie, but still a great personalized gift. Depending on what the recipient enjoys you can customize the book. Include service things like breakfast in bed, a day of help, and a night off. I suggest you put an expiration date to help motivate the recipient to use the coupons. If they have not used the coupon in a few weeks, give them a call and (lovingly) force them to use one.

3. Make a silhouette picture. One year my wife gave me silhouette pictures of my kids. It is still a favorite gift I have received. Get a picture of the kids and cut out the shape of the head. Use that pattern to cut out a silhouette on black construction paper. Just glue the picture to a piece of colored construction paper and throw it in a frame. This is an awesome gift idea for family.

4. Scrapbook/scrapbook calendar. Find some picture that have special meaning for you and the gift recipient. Neatly and creatively compile those pictures into a scrapbook. You could even go to your nearest Hobby Lobby and for about $10 buy a blank calendar. Use your scrapbook skills to custom design your own calendar.

5. Baked goods. Your neighbor or boss might just enjoy some cookies from Grandma’s famous recipe. They will probably enjoy it more than a gift basket you bought from somewhere.

6. Homemade gift basket. For just a few dollars you can buy a basket. Fill the basket with several of the items listed here.

7. Paint or draw a picture. The picture could be of a favorite memory, favorite place, or anything sentimental. If you specialize in a type of drawing or painting, make some personalized pictures for friends and family.

8. Create a CD mix with some of the recipient’s favorite songs. You could even put a group of CDs together with favorites from different decades or stages of your relationship.

9. Sew something. Kids think it is so cool to have a matching outfit with a parent. Sew mother and daughter a matching outfit. One year my wife sewed me an organizing sheet for my tools. Fix up a favorite piece of clothes for someone.

10. Search high and low for a rare item. Using resources like the internet – can anyone say ebay?- you can get your hands on some rare items. This does not necessarily mean expensive items. Your grandfather might be amazed if you tracked down that spinner top he always used to play with when he was a kid. I guess you’ll have to do more than search high and low – a letter explaining why searching is all someone gets is not going to cut it. Search high and low and FIND a rare item.

11. Organize a family experience. Take the family somewhere extra special. I’m not necessarily talking about a trip to Disney. It could even be to take the family for a day of sledding or skiing. How about a trip to the farm for a sleigh ride? Consider substituting gifts with a vacation or family activity. I know one family (grown kids) that does not do any Christmas gifts anymore, but once every couple of years they use that money saved to all get together for a week vacation.

12. Make a hand mould with your children’s hands. The nice thing about having kids is you can completely exploit their cuteness for a ton of awesome gifts. Just buy a little clay and let junior shove his hand in the mold. Any aunt, uncle, or grandparent will treasure your gift.

13. Homemade recipe book. Collect all your favorite recipes or even the recipes of friends and relatives and give the book to someone who loves to cook.

14. Homemade Christmas card. Here is another one that uses kids’ cuteness to your advantage. Take a piece of paper and have your kids leave hand prints (just use a little paint for them to dip their hands into). Position the prints in such a way that the hand prints can be reindeer antlers. Write a heartfelt hand written note to accompany the letter.

15. Make a video. If you don’t get to go home for Christmas this year, make a video of the kids playing and saying hello to everyone.

16. Get friends of the gift recipient to help make a book of memories. Ask each friend to write one page of memories. Encourage them to add a picture. Take all the pages and creatively combine them into a book.

17. Write your story for adult kids with unknown facts. If you have adult children or family members, spend an afternoon writing down your memories as a kid. Include mundane events, the happy events, and yes, even the sad times.

18. Write a poem. While roses are red, you might be better off breaking the mould and writing something a little more original. Don’t write poetry? Get a book on how to write poetry (from the library) and follow the format. Some nice paper really helps compliment kind words.

19. Send 12 consecutive cards (or small gifts) for 12 days of Christmas. While it might be hard to time this one every day for 12 days, put a card or item in the mail for someone. Let them enjoy your gift over a period of days.

20. Compile a book of pictures, archive, and journals notes from a deceased family member. Gift the book to that person’s closest relatives.

21. Get a newspaper advertisement honoring someone. You might need call them to be sure they see it.

22. Make a PowerPoint presentation that includes pictures and old memories.

23. Start a blog in honor of someone. Blogspot lets you start a free blog. Just call the blog – Best Dad Ever. Post a few entries and send the web address to the recipient.

24. Recreate a Christmas past. Share something, do something, or give something that someone said was always their favorite thing about Christmas. This might be especially meaningful (and emotional) especially after the loss of a loved one over the last year.

25. Customize an email address and send a heartfelt email from the new address. For example open [email protected] and send mom an email.

26. Donation to charity on behalf of someone.

27. Give yourself or your time for a day to someone.

28. Volunteer to help a charity for the holidays.

29. Plan a surprise visit to see someone you have not visited in a long time.

30. Go on an exotic flower hunt. Find that person’s favorite flower and give it to them.

31. Make a meal. You probably have a recipe that others love. Bake up a batch and take it to them during the busy holidays.

32. Write a fictional / children’s story based on your family.  When you write the story use your actual family names (nicknames are great too). If you don’t draw, ask a friend to illustrate the book.

33. Write a song or drama for someone.

34. Meet some childhood dream.

35. Buy a favorite book or movie from someone’s childhood. To make the gift extra special ask their dad to read the book to them. Perhaps with a favorite movie recreate the atmosphere they used to describe when they watched the movie.

36. Break a bad habit for someone. Throw out something someone hates. Use Christmas as a motivation to finally kick a habit for someone.

37. Make a special dinner for two somewhere unique – by the fireplace, on the roof, or under a tree.

38. Have your children make their own wrapping paper – family won’t care what is inside.

39. Give a homemade Christmas ornament.

40. Pictures of your kids.

41. Buy a blank puzzle and make your own puzzle. You could even take a poster board and make your own. Use the back of a puzzle you already have. Draw a personalized picture on the puzzle.

42. Write a list of your favorite Bible verses. Use some fancy paper and a nice frame and the item will be something that younger generations cherish.

43. Handwritten favorite Bible verse. Put it in a frame.

44. Create a T-shirt design and have it screen printed.

45. Teach a skill – piano or dance lessons.

46. Write a ‘ways you’ve blessed me’ list. On homemade paper or special paper, just write all the ways that a person has blessed you. Give them the list for Christmas.

47. Get a phone card for someone so you can talk to them instead of a gift card in the mail.

48. Make your own candles. This really is not a very difficult thing to do. Just get on google and type “make your own candles” and you will have a million guides.

49. Homemade cider or grape juice. My parents make their own apple cider and grape juice. These jars would make excellent Christmas gifts.

50. Pray for someone. If you just don’t have the money to spend gifts for people, make them a card and explain your situation. Let them know that each day for the next week you are going to be praying for them so if they have any specific requests they can let you know.

The Author:

Maxine Rivers is a writer for

Photo. Digitalart

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Fun Things You Can Make From Cupcake Liner Papers


We have a wonderful selection of paper cupcake liners and I thought it would be fun to see what ideas we could come up with on what else you can do with them besides baking! Of course you can use them for serving other food like cookies or hors devours.

How to Choose Yarn for Your Next Project


How to choose yarn for your next project, whether for knitting or crocheting, can be an overwhelming task. Your local yarn shop has a vast array of colors and textures. There must be a logical way to narrow down the choices. Focus on your particular yarn project or pattern and its function. Yarn shop staff should be able to direct you to the best yarn for what you are trying to do. But you might want to figure out for yourself how to choose yarn for your next project and here are some ideas that may help.

Re-Use Those Plastic Knitting Needles


If you’ve inherited your grandmother’s plastic knitting needles, here’s how you can repurpose them.

Making Homemade Goat’s Milk and Honey Soap


I learned to make homemade soap from my grandmother who is now 97-years-old. Way back when I was a young girl this was a monthly process I helped with.

Grandma would ask her friends from church, the quilting bee and Elks Lodge to save all their grease drippings for her to make soap with.

150 New Money-Saving Container and Product Ideas for Making Personalized Gift Baskets


A standard willow basket is what usually comes to mind when people think of gift basket containers, but there are many other unique containers that can be used that will save you money. Often these containers are much more practical and have far more uses then a standard willow basket and are much more personalized.

Sachets Recipes


Get back to the basics by making your own scented herbal sachets with these 4 easy Pioneer Thinking recipes for you to make and enjoy.

Family Quilting Traditions


For many people, family quilting traditions have been passed down from generation to generation. Creating a quilt for a to-be married couple or an expectant mother has been in practice since the 17th century or earlier. While some may view quilts as a more “traditional” present for a bride and groom or mother-to-be, others pass the quilts down as family heirlooms through generations of family members. The keepsakes are ideal for both wall decorating or using as bed spreads and decorative pieces in bedrooms or living rooms.

Adding Clay to Soap

Soap_logs_all_naturalSoapy Soap Company-1

Clay has been known as a therapeutic agent for thousands of years. Before we’ll discuss the wonderful benefits of clay to the skin when used in soap and cosmetics, let’s take a glimpse at fascinating facts about clay and its uses.

Candle Making Containers and Jars


The great thing about candle making containers is that you can get really creative with them! You could buy them or you can use materials found at your home. Whatever materials you do find at home, make sure the material is strong and non-flammable!

12 Days of Learning to Quilt


Learning anything new always takes time and patience. Learning to quilt is no exception. Here are the 12 days of learning to quilt that I used to help a friend make her first baby quilt.

Fun ‘Do It Yourself’ Ideas


Being in possession of a wild bunch of unused, old stuff, can be pretty annoying. At the same time, having to discard all of your old things, feels like cheating on your memories. So, why not try to find useful ways to employ, those space wasting objects, instead of just throwing them away.

Bees Wax: History and Origin


We have often been asked where wax comes from. Well there are many types of waxes. Bees wax has been around for a while. There are many mentions of beeswax in historic writing such as the myth where Icarus son of Daedalus put on wings of wax and as he flew too close to the sun, it melted and Icarus fell to his death.

Making Your Own Cheese Basket for the Holidays


Perhaps the best type of gift baskets is a cheese basket. Not only do the cheeses taste good, putting one together is also very simple. Whether you are giving the gift basket to a cheese lover or not, the experience of tasting new flavors in the mouth is simply incomparable!

How to Make a Journal Jar

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You need a quart canning jar with lid and ring, a small piece of cloth, some raffia and the following material. The idea is to cut the question in strips and place them in the jar. Put the material under the ring on top of the jar, and tie raffia around the neck of the jar with the card Recipe for: my Life History. . Give as a gift.

How to Sell Your Crafts


Having a craft hobby is relaxing and fun. However, once you have been either knitting or crocheting for many years, you will find you have excess finished projects that you do not need.

Easy Gifts to Make For Women

512px-Peanut_butter_cookies_ Janet Hudson-1

Finding the perfect gift for that special friend, mother or sister is not always easy. In these busy times where we are fighting to take care of our own needs, spending money on a gift isn’t always an option. You don’t want to be cheap but sometimes you have to find a gift that is cheap. There are plenty of easy gifts to make that won’t cost as much as buying something from the store. They are more personal and can look very nice.

Birch Bark – A Great Material For Crafting


Birch bark is a versatile material for seasonal arts-and-crafts projects.

Here is a partial list of the items which can be made with birch bark:

How to Make Dried Gourds

512px-Gourds-Peter Woodard-1

Dried gourds are very desirable in the crafting community. Dried gourds have been used to make bird houses, bird feeders, utensils, musical instruments, and various other forms of art mediums. Dried gourds can be purchased or you can dry fresh gourds yourself. Whether you wish to grow your own gourds and dry them or purchase dried gourds find out more.

Best Knitting Needles For Arthritis – Choose From Several Options


If you’re itching to knit, but comfort is an issue due to arthritis, you may prefer knitting needles that are warm and somewhat flexible in your hands versus cold, unyielding metal. Here are the best knitting needles for arthritis nowadays.

How to Make Tealight Candles

Photo: Andrew Smithson

Tea light candles are fun and relatively simple to make and once you begin, you’ll be making many of your own candles in next to no time.

7 Tips to Read Vintage Knitting Patterns

Knitting_needlesTransportation Security Administration

In the past 50 years, knitting patterns have tended to conform to generally-accepted standards. Before these standards came into being, people wrote knitting patterns using the terminology and conventions of their time. When you first try to read a really old knitting pattern (like one published in the 1800’s), you may be surprised at the assumptions and terminology in it. This article provides 7 tips to help you read these vintage knitting patterns and convert them into modern form so that you, too, can create a knitted project just like your ancestors did.

Preschool Easy Crafts – Fall Leaf Crafts


It’s that colorful time of year again! Fall is a great time to go outside with your preschooler and explore nature. Freshly fallen leaves can be used in a variety of easy craft activities. Use these easy preschool fall crafts to create and learn with your preschooler or toddler. Here are three preschool easy crafts for you to enjoy!

Making Decorative Candles


Have you noticed, when shopping for candles, the ones with the dried herbs and flowers are sometimes three times as much as the plain candles? And they are just oh so beautiful, but what do you do? Well, I’d thought that same thing years ago. It was around that time that I had embarked on making my own candles at home. Once I had the basics of candle making, I proceeded to move on to decorative candle making. And I’m happy I did, as not only was my house filled with the wonderful candles at a fraction of what they would’ve have cost retail, but my friends took notice. They put in their “orders”. Soon their friends were calling me up…and thus I began my new career as a decorative and aromatherapy candle maker.

The Well-Equipped Sewing Basket

Photo Credit: Gracey

So you are thinking about getting back into sewing? Whether sewing garments, crafts, quilts, or dolls, you will need a list of supplies in your sewing basket, ready at all times. A sewing basket can be anything like; a shoebox, a sweater box, a hat box, or anything that will hold your sewing supplies in it.

The History of the Handmade Apron


Aprons of Today and Long ago… Were aprons of yesteryear really made from bags of seeds and flour?

Free Candle Wick Making Instructions That You Can Do at Home

Candle_Wick-Vive la Rosière

Are you ready for some free candle wick making instructions? Making a candle wick at home is a fairly simply process and it is very rewarding. With that being said we want to make sure that you know before you start that although the steps are simple it does take a long time to complete the process, for this reason you may want to make many wicks at once so that you have several prepared for you at all times.

Drying Flowers With Silica Gel

Manfred Heyde

There are many ways to dry flowers. One of the best ways is to dry flowers with the use of silica gel. Silica gel is a drying compound (desiccant) for use in drying flowers. Using this method allows one to dry flowers while the flowers its shape and superior color. The silica gel mixture can be used over and over so the initial expense of about $20.00 for a large can is a one- time expense. Other less commercial examples of a desiccant are fine sand, borax powder, alum, finely ground kitty litter, and detergent powder. All these may be used to draw moisture from plant material.

The Herbal Primer – Creative Uses for Herbs


We have seen that herbs are wonderful for alternative medicinal uses, fantastic for recipes and can be used and grown easily. What else can you do with herbs?

Borax Facts – Making Homemade Soap

Photo Credit: Wdaloz

Borax is a natural, white powder, mineral of colorless crystals that dissolve in water easily. It was discovered in the dry lake beds of Tibet. Its chemical formula, Na2B407-10H2O, is a combination of sodium, boron, oxygen and water.

Tips For Making Wood Beads From Twigs

Photo Credit: Bosela

If you like to make crafts that call for decorations with wooden beads then you might be interested in learning how to make wood beads using twigs that you already have in your yard. You can make your wood beads the size you want them to be, and color them using stains, paints, and varnishes; so that they are the color you want them to be.

Choosing a Thimble for Hand Quilting

Photo Credit: Phrontis

Choosing a thimble for hand quilting is important and may take some time. A thimble is a personal tool for any quilter.

Tools to Make your Own Candles – Thermometer, Scales, Utensils

Candy_thermometer_Steven Jackson

You have decided that you want to make your own candles. I think that is wonderful! Here is what you are going to need to get started in the candle making craft:

Tea Tree Oil Soap Recipe

512px-Handmade_soap -Malene Thyssen

All the major brands selling natural and wellness products, have introduce the products containing tea tree oil. The customer preference for natural products have made it an important ingredient in cosmetic and medicinal products requiring antiseptic, anti fungal and anti inflammatory products.

The History of Candles From Prehistoric Times until Now


“Now, as to the light of the candle. We will light one or two, and set them at work in the performance of their proper functions”. – Michael Faraday, The Chemical History of a Candle, London 1908.

The history of candle making began with the discovery of fire. That makes it approximately 790,000 years old, based on evidence found in 2008 at the Gesher Benot Ya’aqov site in northern Israel. It is widely accepted that the first candles were actually torches that were used to transport fire.

Top 10 Seashell Crafts Ideas

512px-Shell_Manfred Heyde

If you enjoy seashells, then in all likelihood, you are almost always hunting for seashell crafts ideas to discover a functional technique to display seashells at your house and / or share them with your friends and relatives. Little kids enjoy trying to find seashells, and creating a little something of their very own to showcase them is a fantastic method to get them involved with showcasing their precious proud discoveries!

Kids Play – Get Creative with Baking Soda


To unleash creativity and encourage scientific inquiry, it’s important to stimulate a child’s mind with exploration and play. Often, this is as simple as turning to your own kitchen cupboards.

Soap Bubble Art

512px-Bubble_wrap_Miika Silfverberg

Soap Bubble Art is fun for kids and easy for parents! Use your child’s artwork as notepaper, party thank-yous, or just to decorate your walls.

Play Clay Recipes – Homemade Clay Made Simple


This quick basic recipe is very easy to make and to use. It is soft and pliable for little hands to work with ease. Color, scent, and even glitter can be added to the recipe to make more interesting clay creations.

How to Make Sea Shell Candles


Collecting sea shells along the beach is a favorite kids summer activity. Take it one step further by transforming their seaside treasures into beautiful decorations or kids make-and-take party favors. This easy sea shell candle craft shows you how.

Make Your Own Citronella Candles


Need a cost effective way to get rid of mosquitoes? Try making your own citronella candles and eliminate mosquitoes while providing a romantic, outdoor setting. Making citronella candles is easy and can cost as little as $0.25 per candle. Follow this step-by-step guide and make your own candles at home in less than 10 minutes:

50 Ways to Use Your Ribbon for Scrapbooking, Home Decor, Crafting and Fashion


Ribbons are one of the hottest crafting items around. I’ve seen ribbons used in so many places and in so many different ways that I wanted to create a list of random ribbon usage ideas, so here it is. I haven’t tried each and every one of the ideas…yet. Enjoy!

Bubble Recipe Secrets – Ten Tips and Techniques to Making Super Bubbles

bubble-Serge Melki

Making and blowing bubbles with your kids is one of the most carefree pastimes imaginable – giggles guaranteed! And yet, blowing bubbles without knowing these simple bubble recipe secrets can turn your bubble fun into a “bust”! With these simple bubble recipe secrets, making super-sized long-lasting bubbles is a cinch.

Making a Chunk Candle


Making chunk candles is a fun activity for all ages. A unique technique using wax chunks of different colors gives the finished candle a beautiful texture and look. They make a refreshing alternative to the usual pillar candles. Follow these step-by-instructions and make your own pretty chunk candles to gift or keep.

Preserving Old Photos


My mother has several albums of family photos going back to the early 1900s and even before. Her mother and grandmother, thankfully, kept scrapbooks and photo albums. But as these pictures age, I worry about preserving them. Here are some things that we have been doing that may help you in preserving your old photos. These are the steps I go through.

Family Tree Scrapbooking


Creating a family tree involves a good bit of time, effort and study. As you research the basic chart of ancestors, you will undoubtedly collect a treasure trove of documents, photographs, letters, and maybe even some diary or journal entries from your ancestors. A good way to preserve and display these records is through scrapbooking. By assembling all of the items in a scrapbook, people can easily read it. It also keeps your research safe and protects it from being ruined or lost.

Here are three things to keep in mind as you create a family history scrapbook.

Jar Lid and Jar Candle Decoration

jarlid- ExpressiveCandles

Decorating Candle Jars and Lids is a fun and easy project for all ages. You can use many different craft items to embellish your jar and lid. If you are really creative, you could even make a snow globe out of the lid. But we are going to go over a few inexpensive ideas to turn your Jar into an attractive looking and still functional decoration.

Rose Centerpiece Ideas – How to Create Rose Centerpieces


Modern roses are easy to grow with few requirements. They need eight hours of sun a day, rich soil, and moist but not soggy soil. Roses are available year round at Florists. Grocery store floral departments often offer roses at bargain prices in a wide variety of colors. So what can you do with all those roses? Here are several rose centerpiece ideas.

Make Your Own Candles With Old Wax in Just an Hour


If you want to make your own candles with old wax then just try this very simple and quick method. It is just four easy steps, you can do it are in under an hour, and best of all it’ll barely cost you anything. Are ready to get started?