DIYP-Guest Post from Bake at 350

I am so excited about today’s post! My next door neighbor, Bridget of Bake at 350 is not only adorable and classy, she has become my friend (remember when we met?) and if I need a cup of sugar, I think I’m all set.
Don’tcha think?
Because, hello, have you seen her cookies? 
Oh, it gets better, you can actually taste them in her Etsy bake shop.
And I live for her “mistakes.”
Since her mistakes are 100 times better than my cookies on a good day, I give you:

Hi, We Are THAT Family readers!!! I am so tickled to be here today. I’m even more tickled that I live NEXT DOOR to Kristen (how lucky is THAT) and that she invited me to guest post today.

Cookies are the ultimate DIY gift! Who doesn’t love a cookie? They make perfect gifts for teachers, neighbors, friends and family.

I’m going to share with you a simple and fun decorated Christmas cookie idea.

First, you’ll need a Christmas light cookie cutter (check craft stores, kitchen stores and even the grocery store) and cookie dough. Here is the recipe I use, but I won’t tell if you buy it from Pillsbury. ;)

Once your cookies are cooled, make up a batch of royal icing and tint in the colors you’d like. (I used AmeriColor Gel Paste food colorings in egg yellow, super red, leaf green and regal purple.)

Now the fun begins:

  • With a #4 icing tip, use a zig-zig motion to make the light bulb base in yellow (AmeriColor Egg Yellow).
  • Using a #2 tip, outline the bulb shape in color of your choice.
  • Thin the bulb color icings with water, a little at a time and stirring, until they reach the consistency of thick syrup. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest several minutes.
  • One color at a time, stir gently to break up large air bubbles that have risen to the surface. Transfer icing to a squeeze bottle.

  • {I work about 3 cookies at a time when filling.}

  • Fill (or flood) in the outlined area. Use a toothpick to guide into edges and fully cover.
  • Let dry at least one hour.
  • Again with the #2 tips, add a little curved line for detail on the bulb.

Stop here, they are perfectly cute OR the next day….

…mix a little meringue powder with water and paint it (with a child’s paintbrush) on the line detail and shake on sanding sugar (turn upside down to remove excess)….

…OR, coat the entire bulb with the meringue powder/water mixture and shake on sanding sugar.

OK, who’s ready to make some cookies?!?

DIYP-CheeseCloth Rosette Pins

I have a new love. 

Her name is cheesecloth (no cheese involved, sorry).
We’re exclusive.
Well. Except that you can buy it at WalMart and all craft stores, especially this time of year with all the fruitcakes. You know what I mean.
I made a cheesecloth rosette on this burlap pillow, remember?
Well. I think they look pretty cute grouped on a plain pillow:

Or as a pin for a shirt.
Wouldn’t these make great teacher gifts? So easy and inexpensive!

Here’s a slideshow showing how to make them: 

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Rosette Tutorial
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox

Check out Kimba’s for more great ideas!
Some other gift ideas I love:
Gift jars-cute idea!
Paper flowers-Last-minute, inexpensive
Cupcake Bath Bombs- this is on my Christmas wish list!

DIYP-Handmade Gift Idea: Art

This is such an easy idea and I think it makes a unique (expensive-looking) gift!

You can create this gift on any scale, a small piece of art for a desk or a large piece of art for your friend’s empty mantel. It’s up to you!
Here’s what you need: a blank canvas and a vinyl decal (large canvas for large decal, small canvas for small decal)
In the pictures below, I used an 18×24. Every week our local paper has 40-50% off coupons for Hobby Lobby and Michaels Arts & Crafts and I clip them just in case. I also found the vinyl decal at Marshalls. Etsy has a huge selection and many craft store are now carrying them.
This is the one I found:

But I love this small chandelier decal for a small canvas (only $3.50!) or this one in white ($6) with a black painted canvas. Be creative!
I removed the decal and decided not to use the chain. I placed it face down on the canvas and followed the instructions which are to lightly rub the decal with a credit card.

So simple!!
And it makes a stunning piece of art to give.

Or keep.
Some other handmade gift ideas I love:
Matchbook Notepads-cute stocking stuffer idea
DIY holiday gift ideas-Living Locurto has a whole slew of great projects!

DIYP-Beaded Utensils

  • Stainless steel serving utensil w/hole in the top
  • 20-gauge silver craft wire
  • various beads of choice.  I like glass beads.
  • Wire cutters or heavy duty kitchen scissors to cut wire
  • Jewelry pliers

Detailed instructions here
(I use my beaded spoon to stir my sweet tea. For Christmas, I’m giving my Mom and Mother-in-law the Life pitcher and this platter. 

I LOVE this line from Dayspring so much! It makes me happy to use it and to give it. And, it’s on sale right now. The Life Collection is 15% off, just in time for holiday shopping!)
Here are some gift ideas I love (for kids):
Kid’s Meals -such a creative idea
Handmade Ornaments-I love these!
P.S. Come back later today for the PERFECT gift idea from your kids-for that hard to buy for person (Yes, Mom, I’m talking about you-but don’t come back and see what you might be getting for Christmas!) Oh, and I’m giving TWO of them away!

DIYP-Custom Monogramed Burlap Pillows

This is by far my favorite handmade gift this season and I’m just getting started!  I’m making a ton of these and if you are related to me, there may be some burlap in your future.
I’ve only bought burlap once. It’s a long story, but it involves me, a children’s Christmas program and an ornery 5 year old dressed up like a camel.  So, you could say I’ve been a little slow to the whole use-burlap-in-your-home-decor-fad.
Until now. 
My friend Karen and I made these right before Thanksgiving:
Love it.
So, here’s what I came up with:
Supplies: Freezer paper (you can read how to use it here)
Burlap -any fabric store (even Wal Mart)
X-acto knife
Pillow stuffing
Sewing machine
In 6 easy steps, here we go:
  • Print out a letter (For the “C” pillow above, I used the Edwardian Script font and sized it at 400 in a Word document), lay freezer paper of the letter, cut it out with an X-acto (this is definitely the hardest part).
  • Place the freezer paper stencil over the burlap square (all my pillows are different sizes, burlap is so forgiving) and make sure you put something under the burlap because the paint will bleed through.
  • Iron the paper onto the burlap (freezer paper lightly sticks waxy side down)
  • Paint the letter. After it dries, peel off the freezer paper.
  • Sew the pillow pieces together, leaving room to stuff and about a 1″ hem. 
  • Fray the edges (the 1″ you left from the seam). This is the fun part. Just pull the threads and they unravel in a most becoming frayed edge!

So. Easy.
Nice gift, eh?

I’m linking up to Just a Girl‘s “I can make that Party” and Kimba’s DIY day!