Tag Archives: DIY gifts

Beauty is in the Eye of the Flamingo

26 Mar

Handmade gifts are the best, right?  Don’t you love receiving a gift that someone you care about has painstakingly fabricated with their own two hands?  And it’s the thought that counts, even if you don’t totally adore the gift . . . right?

Muuwaaaahaaahaaa UNLESS the gift was made with pure malice and EVIL by your cunningly handy sister!  Muuwaaahaaaaahaaaa!  My friends, may I introduce to you . . .  My sister’s birthday present . . .


A little back-story may be in order here.  My sister HATES pink flamingos.  She thinks they are the tackiest animal on the face of the earth.  So naturally, she despises those lovely plastic pink flamingos that grace the gardens and yards of home everywhere.  What’s worse than an ugly plastic flamingo?  A BEJEWELED plastic flamingo!

If you want to make one of your own, because well why the hell not, right?  All you need are an ugly plastic flamingo, 1500 crafts jewels, a LOT of hot glue, and a lot of patience.  This bad boy here took me about 6 hours to bejewel, and is the reason I no longer have finger prints.  And since I ended up with 2 of these flamingos, of course I HAD to make a 2nd one!  Any takers?  Hehehehe



Melted Bead Sun Catchers

4 Mar

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I had a terrible, throbbing headache for several days last week.  The kind that makes even a whisper seem like someone is using your head as a bongo drum.  The kind that makes it very difficult to be home with a rambunctious 3 year old all day.  I needed a quiet activity that would keep him busy and quiet long enough for my Advil to kick in.

Little C and I, thinking Spring and sun, made some cute little sun catchers using plastic craft beads and muffin tins.  Here’s how it’s done:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Do NOT grease the muffin tins.  Create designs in your muffin tins using the craft beads.  We had quite a few designs, as well as a few cups where Little C just packed in as many beads as he could.  You only want to cover the bottom of the tin with your designs.  The thicker you pack them in, the longer they will take to melt and cool.


Bake the beads at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until fully melted.  The beads stink a little as they are melting, but not nearly as bed as I thought they would.  I cracked a window even though it was pretty cold out, just to ventilate for a while.

When the beads are all melted, remove the muffin tins carefully from the oven and set them somewhere safe to cool.  Little C was anxious to take them out, but you have to let them fully cool and harden or you are going to get some nasty burns!

Once they are cooled and hard again, there are a number of ways to get them out of the tin.  You can place it upside down on a towel on a hard surface.  The towel just softens their fall so they do not break.  The tapOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA the tin until they pop out.  Or, you can use a butter knife and simply press down on the edge of on of the sun catchers until it pops out.

I drilled holes in each little disk using a very small drill bit in Handy Hubby’s power drill.  Then we strung them up with fishing line and hung them in the window!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese would make really cute gifts, and maybe even a cool necklace!

Scrabble Tile Photo Ornaments etc etc etc

19 Dec

Only 5 days til Christmas folks!  Got last minute peeps you need gifts for?  Hate shopping this late in the season because all the good stuff is gone, little old ladies are hitting you with their handbags, there’s a major snow storm coming and a partridge in a pear tree drank the last of your eggnog?  Well, have no fear, because the Crafty Dummy is here!  (I’m a total infomercial right now, aren’t I?)

First handmade gift for you all is this adorable Scrabble Tile photo ornament.  Super easy to make, takes mere minutes and is great for teachers, grandparents and aunts and uncles!  You need hot glue, scrabble tiles, ribbon and cardboard.  IMG_6610Lay out your tiles and spell out whatever words you want.  Mine just happen to be Winter themed, but I chose words that describe Big A’s favorite season.  I glued them to the cardboard I had already cut to the size I wanted.  I tied a bow (I suck at bows) and glued that to the top, leaving a loop for an ornament hook.  I trimmed down Big A’s school picture and glued it to the backing inside the frame.  Cute, eh?  I thought so!

No Scrabble tiles handy?  You can’t go wrong with giving the gift of tasty treats!  The chocolate covered marshmallow treats were very easy toIMG_6618 mIMG_6617ake, and bonus . . . Gluten Free!  You need a bag of marshmallows, the larger ones work nicely.  A bag of lollipop sticks, which you can get at the craft store, or tooth picks if you don’t want to go to the store!  A bag of whatever flavor chocolate chips you like (dark, semi sweet, milk chocolate, white . . .) Sprinkles!   Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and start with 1 minute on a low setting, or defrost.  Stir and do for 30 seconds, stir . . . keep doing this until they are melted but be VERY careful not to burn them!  Stick your lollipop sticks or toothpicks, one into each marshmallow and dip in the chocolate.  I also used a plastic knife to smooth out the chocolate so it coated evenly.  While the chocolate is still warm, shake sprinkles over your marshmallows.  Once they are all done, pop them into the freezer for about 5 minutes to cool the chocolate.  I keep mine in the fridge because I love cold chocolate . . . but you don’t have to keep them cool.

How about the kids?  They like to get involved in the gift making too, right?  My kids LOVED making and painting salt dough ornaments for the tree, and one batch made enough that they were able to give away a few too!  You need 1cup salt, 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water.  Mix well, roll out on floured surface, cut out or sculpt shapes (we used Christmas cookie cutters) Poke a hole in the tops of the ornaments with a straw  and bake on a greased cookie sheet for about 2 hours at 200 degrees.  If you want, you can just let them sit our for 2 days to air dry . . . but I’d rather bake them so the kids can paint them sooner!  We used regular acrylic paints to decorate them.  You could do glitter, modpodge photos onto them . . .whatever you want!  Notice the green ninja ornament?  Gee, think my kids like Lego Ninjago or something?


Need more ideas?  Check out my archives for great DIY gifts that will cost under $10 and won’t take more than an hour!  Merry Christmas !





Dollar Store Wreath

20 Nov

First, I have to apologize in advance.  From now until approximately  New Years Eve, all I will be blogging is Christmas and Winter crafts.  This is because there are SO many awesome projects this time of year!  My kids love making holiday decorations, making gifts . . . and let’s face it: we can’t get outside as much during the Winter months here in the Arctic.


What you need:

  • pool noodle
  • sharp knife
  • 2-3 15 foot long garlands
  • wide wired ribbon
  • hot glue gun
  • ornaments
  • pre-made bow unless you are cool and can make a pretty bow, which I cannot


Before I get into the how-to, I need to point out the title “Dollar Store Wreath”.  Everything I used to make this wreath came from the dollar store.  This is because A- I was at the Dollar Store and decided to make a wreath.  B-I’m cheap.  And C-The holidays are expensive enough without spending a fortune on decorations, or even on the supplies to make them yourself.

Take your pool noodle and cut it in half the long way.  This is a royal pain in the ass and very messy, so do not decide to do it on your living room floor like I did.  Also, I used a box cutter, which is why it was a pain in the ass.  If you use a longer kitchen knife you won’t have to keep going back and recutting.  So, big knife, less time and less of a pain.  Just be careful.

Depending on how large you want your wreath to be, you can cut the noodle or leave it full length.  Mine was going to hang on the front door, and I wanted it big, so I left it fell length.

Bend the noodle into a circle and hot glue the ends together.  Hold them in place for about 30 seconds to a minute until the glue has dried.  Otherwise it’s just going to sproy-oy-oy-oing back to it’s original shape.  (sorry, Little C has been sick so we’ve been watching a ton of cartoons.  Hence the cartoon-like sound effect)

Now you start wrapping the garland around the pool noodle.  I used a wired garland, but you really can use any kind you want, even the shiny tinsel garland would work.  Hot glue the end to the noodle and wrap, not too tightly, but not so loose that it flops around or shows noodle.  (wow, get your head outta the gutter people!)

Once you have all your garland wrapped and ends are glued down, give it a good fluff so it looks more natural.  Now you can start Total with the ribbon, wrapping it loosely around the garland.  The wired stuff is a little better because you can form it to the wreath.  I didn’t glue the ends of the ribbon down, I just tucked them into the garland.

For the ornaments, I glued them so they looked like balls, with the hook holder part hiding in the garland.  If you want that ornament look, then glue them with the tops out.

The last thing to do is glue on your bow. Like I said earlier, I SUCK at bows, so mine was premade.

  • pool noodle $0 (I had one in the attic)
  • 3 15ft garlands $3
  • 2 tubes of 12 ornaments $2
  • Spool of ribbon $1
  • premade bow $1

Total cost= $7!  Now that’s what I call a Christmas miracle!