Tag Archives: DIY gifts

Mickey Mania

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We did it.

Again.

We took the kids to Disney World.

The last time we made the journey to the “Happiest Place on Earth”, Christopher was 6.  He loved it, aside from the usual meltdowns associated with not being tall enough to ride various rides, and ignoring the middle of the day meltdowns from being tired, hot and sweaty. I enjoyed it because he enjoyed it, but I didn’t feel the need to go ever again.  I figured a kid should go once, and that was enough.

But then His Majesty was born, and with a 10 year gap between him and Christopher, there was a shrinking window of when we could go and have both kids enjoy themselves without making it too miserable on my husband and myself. Don’t get me wrong, Disney World is great, but we’re not exactly “Disney people”, and running through theme parks with a toddler in a stroller isn’t exactly our idea of relaxing, but as with most things, we’re willing to do it for our kids to enjoy it.  Plus, my Grandma had never been, so that added some extra incentive on my end.  Next to watching my kids experience something new, I absolutely love taking her on new adventures.

In preparation for our trip, I took the opportunity to make His Majesty a few Mouse themed t-shirts using a freezer paper stencil method I’d pinned from Urban Pioneer Story.  You won’t believe how easy this it was.

I started with two plain cotton t-shirts that I bought at Hobby Lobby for $6.  His Majesty chose the colors– he wanted a pink and a blue.  I printed the mouse ear profile on regular paper, and cut it out with scissors, and then traced it onto the dull side of a sheet of freezer paper (which I purchased at the grocery store in a huge roll for under $5), and cut it out with a razor knife, giving me an intact stencil. Then, I ironed it, shiny side DOWN, onto the shirt, resulting in this:

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You want to leave a little extra freezer paper around your stenciled shape, to allow you to easily paint while protecting the clean part of the shirt. Next, I put a sheet of cardboard inside the shirt (I used an empty cereal box folded down to be flat), and used a round sponge paint brush to apply black fabric paint to the inside of the stencil.  At the edges I pressed down with the brush, and brushed towards the inside of the shape, to keep from moving the edges of the stencil.  I painted two coats, letting it dry for about an hour in between coats. Image

The next day, I peeled the freezer paper off, leaving me with this.

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Oh boy.  I was excited.  And so was His Majesty.

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But for the pink shirt, I decided that I wanted to try something a little different, using spray paint, gaining inspiration from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom.  So this time, I used the shape of the ears as my stencil, and painted around them with spray paint (again, be sure you put a piece of cardboard inside of the shirt, as the paint will soak through). I held my hand about 10 inches away, and sprayed a light coat of paint, keeping my arm moving the whole time to avoid blotches and drips. Image

ImageWhen I pulled the stencil off, I basically did a happy dance. Image

His Majesty was pleased as well.

ImageI liked the results of the spray paint method so much that I decided to do it on the back of his blue shirt as well. You can only use each stencil once, so I cut another one out.  It’s so easy, though, that it’s hardly a big deal.

ImageAnd that’s how I made two shirts for Disney World in a breathable fabric (helpful, given that it was 90 degrees and all kinds of humid during our trip… I was melting, MELTING!!) for a fraction of the cost we’d pay at the park. And, these are one of a kind.  I’m proud of them, and His Majesty loves them.  For the record, I offered to make some for Christopher, but he deemed himself too cool for them.  He did, however, request that I make him a shirt with The Hunger Games symbol to go with his Halloween costume– He’s going as Peeta.

This method is amenable to any shape that you want to create.  You can do words, names, whatever your heart desires.  Once you have your paint and your freezer paper, you can probably even make a shirt for everyone in your family with supplies left to spare.  Birthday shirts for your little one?  Done.  Shirts to show support for your kid’s Little League team?  Done.  Bring it on, baby.  The sky is the limit with the freezer paper stencil shirts!

I made one other cool thing for our Disney trip, and also did some preplanning for our trip that saved me a little money and gave my kids some extra fun along the way.  Stay tuned for more on that this week 🙂

Adorable Toddler Backpack

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I got to break out my sewing machine again this month.  And I’m pleased to say that my meager skill set is improving.

I made a backpack for His Majesty last fall (which is when the first two photos below were taken, and as I look at these, I can not believe how fast he is growing up.  It is unreal), using this amazing tutorial from Indietutes.  When I say amazing, I mean it, y’all.  I have such a pathetic resume of sewing skills right now, but last fall, I was completely clueless (My husband had to thread my machine for me… true story), and yet, I was able to not only figure this out, but do a pretty decent job.  Not perfect, but certainly passable.  My son loves it.

As soon as I presented it to him, I immediately knew I wanted to make one for His Majesty’s “Beft Fwend”  (for those of you who don’t speak toddler, that would translate to “Best Friend”), and I’ve been planning this project ever since.  As much as he adores her, I do, too.  She was the first little girl born to any of my close friends after a slew of boys, so she has always been somewhat of a novelty,  and seeing her grow and watching her adorable flirty antics just makes my day every time I see her.  She’s a one of a kind kid, so it’s only right that she receive a one of a kind backpack.

 Well, Best Friend turned two this month, which gave me the opportunity to move on my plan.  I headed to Hobby Lobby with my good old 40% off coupon and picked up some fabric, fusible interfacing (that’s a stiffer lining that you can iron on to your fabric to give it more form.  I had no idea what it was when I first sewed the backpack for His Majesty.), coordinating thread, and a sequined iron on flower patch to make it more fun for my little friend.   I chose a bright, colorful pattern for her that I felt wasn’t too girly, because bows and tutu’s aside, she is one rough and tumble princess.  Then I printed out the free pattern from Indietutes, and by simply following her tutorial, I was able to go from this:

To this.

I ironed on the flower patch after I’d cut out the pattern and ironed on the fusible interfacing, as I felt it would be easier to do that than to do it after completing the entire project.

I am so pleased with how this came out.  My skills have definitely improved since I made His Majesty’s dinosaur backpack.  Best Friend really seemed to like it, too.  She put it on as soon as she opened it, and, as expected, it looked absolutely adorable on her.  It’s the perfect size for a toddler, and, while it won’t hold a whole bunch of stuff, it will hold a snack, or a stuffed bunny, or a pink puppy.

Happy Birthday to His Majesty’s Beft Fwend.  We love you!!

Thanking our TEA-chers

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Thanking our TEA-chers

This month marks the end of His Majesty’s first year of play school.  He goes one morning a week at a church located about a 25 minute round trip from our home; A duration of time just long enough for me to accomplish nothing of real value.  I call it “doing the preschool shuffle”, because the amount of time is just long enough to start something, but not long enough to finish anything.  I can grocery shop, but I can’t make it all the way home, unload the car, and get everything put away.  I can clean a few rooms, but then I find one more thing to clean, and I don’t leave myself time to put everything away that has managed to navigate into the wrong place, resulting in yet another pile of stuff that then needs to be tended to “later”, as I dash out the door to pick His Majesty up at the appointed time.  Every time I tried returning home to clean something, I was late picking him up.  Every time.  I tried taking Christopher out for breakfast, but he doesn’t like getting dressed before 9, and he says that he gets more work done without His Majesty squawking in the background.  Even shopping for myself– in all of the unaccompanied bliss that the preschool morning would afford me– proves challenging, because most of the department stores that I favor don’t open until 10, and/or are a 30 minute drive from the school, which wastes far too much time.  So, I’ve all but given up on finding practical uses for that 2.8 hours a week (it actually works out to be a little less than 2.8 hours, since His Majesty is not a morning person, and the more I try to get him ready on time in the morning, the more he digs in his heels and intentionally moves slower, resulting in us chronically arriving about 15 minutes late), and I have taken to doing more self oriented (note that I did not say “selfish) activities like reading, making uninterrupted social phone calls, eyebrow and hair maintenance, and the occasional deep tissue massages.  I’m all about time management, folks.

So, as much as I now enjoy those few hours, what’s more important is that His Majesty LOVES it.  He runs down the hallway towards his classroom, bursts through the door, practically rips his backpack and jacket off and rushes to embarks on what is certainly an exhausting few hours of hard core play.  He makes art work.  He goes on the playground.  He listens to finger plays and songs and stories. He thoroughly wears himself out, and takes a monster nap when we get home.  He is all about going to play school.

Plus, he loves his teachers, Miss Beth and Miss Sarah.  Aside from noticing that they are always hugging him and telling him how fantastic he is, I also noticed that they always show up with coffee or hot tea in the mornings.  So, when I originally pinned this tea wreath, from Kojo Designs, it was with them in mind.  Last week, as I was getting a thoroughly awesome massage from Tabitha at Balance Day Spa, it dawned on me that due to an upcoming family trip, His Majesty’s last morning of play school was coming up this week, and I had better get moving on the project.  The things that occur to you while you’re getting a massage.

Luckily, it didn’t take long, and the supplies are easy to find and inexpensive.  You probably have some of them lying around your house already.

Here’s what I used for each wreath:

A large cardboard box to cut the circles that would serve as the wreath

10 inch Dinner plates to serve as the stencil for how large to make the wreath

A compass (remember those from when you were in school?) to make the inner circles

2 large pieces of scrapbook paper (I used 14 inch squares)

ribbon, coordinating with your scrapbook paper (to hang the wreath)

wooden clothespins (I used 24 on one wreath and 21 on the other, it just depends on how you space everything out)

mod podge

foam brushes to apply mod podge

hot glue and hot glue gun

tea bags in individual packets (equal to the number of clothes pins you’ll adhere to your wreath)

scissors

a pencil or pen for tracing

I started by cutting out my wreath forms from the cardboard boxes.  I traced around the plate and then had my husband cut them out.  I am not handy with a pair of scissors.

I used thick corrugated boxes for my cardboard, so I didn’t bother gluing two circles together like the tutorial at Kojo Designs, but that’s your call, depending on how firm the cardboard you use is.  Remember that it is going to support the weight of the clothes pins and the tea, so you don’t want it to be too flimsy.

I traced the cut out circles onto scrapbook paper, sticking close to the edge.  Don’t trace your circles in the middle of the page.  Tracing close to the edges allowed me to use the leftover paper to trace out the pieces that would eventually be used to cover the clothes pins.

Trace on the “bad” side of the paper, so that you don’t leave marks on it after you’ve cut the strips out.

Then I had my husband use the compass to trace out the center circles, and cut them out.

Finding the center of the circle.

You want the thickness of the cardboard to be about as wide as the clothes pins.

I covered both sides of the cardboard with scrapbook paper, using mod podge applied with a foam brush.

Then I covered the clothes pins with the paper strips, again using mod podge and a foam brush.  I let them dry for a few minutes, and then applied another thin layer of mod podge to the top of the scrapbook paper.  You only need to cover one side of the clothes pins, because the other side is going to be glued to the wreath.

I let everything dry overnight, and then I glued the ribbon that will allow the wreath to be hung on a pantry door or hook.  I knotted the ribbon together, tied a bow at the top, and hot glued it for stability.

The next step was to use hot glue to adhere the covered clothes pins (applying glue to the plain, uncovered side) onto the wreath.

As the glue was drying, I opened up my tea packets.  Learn from my mistake, please. I bought three yummy sounding teas made by the same manufacturer.  But then, I opened the first box, Lemon Zinger, and sighed.

They were not individually wrapped tea packs.

Boo.  When I bought them, I had a 50/50 chance of getting what I needed.  A smarter woman would not have gambled the entire purchase on one brand, and would have gotten multiple brands, just in case she was wrong.  I was mesmerized by the delicious sounding names, and made a bad call. Raspberry Zinger, Lemon Zinger, Honey and Vanilla… Mmmmmm….. Learn from my mistake.

But, as it turned out, I had many varieties of tea in individually wrapped packets in my kitchen, and more than enough to complete this project.  Plus now I’ve added these three boxes to my collection.  Quite a selection, indeed.  Friends who are reading this, accept my offer for tea when you come over next.  Please. I have so many options for you to choose from.  Just. Drink. Some. Tea.

In any regard, you want your tea to come individually wrapped, like this.

I applied them to the wreath using the clothes pins, alternating the colors to make them extra pretty. (After I took this picture, I found another variety, so I swapped some things around and added an additional choice, which you may notice in later photos)

I finished both wreaths in under about 2 hours total (divided up into smaller blocks of time) and spent less than $10 per wreath.

I’m going to combine these with gift cards, and I hope that the combination will be a nice treat for His Majesty’s teachers.

But what do you think?  Did I do the tutorial justice?  Do you think the gift will be well received?

Mother’s Day Kid’s Creation

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My kids love to art.  Christopher takes an art class, and studies art history as part of his lessons, and few things cause shrieks of joy from His Majesty quite like the sight of crayons or paint.  They are little artists, and I love their creations.  A few years ago, when I’d accumulated so much of Christopher’s art work that it was spilling out of two Rubbermaid bins, I decided that I had to do something different in terms of storage, so I started photographing his artwork and printing it out in bound photo albums, just like in this pin.  That allowed me to keep the image of every adorable stick figure crayon drawing without having to store the giant piece of paper it was crafted on.  It changed the game entirely, and I highly recommend it. 90% of the boys’ artwork  now gets photographed and filed to go into an album, and the other 10% is handprint art.

There are few things that I like to do more than go back and compare their little hands to prints from when they were younger, and to compare Christopher’s handprints from when he was the same age as His Majesty.  It’s so nostalgic and sweet to see how they’ve grown.  Since there’s so many great ideas for handprint art out there on the web, I decided to help them create a masterpiece for their grandmothers this year for Mother’s Day.  I gathered some pinspiration from this pin from The Crafty Crow, which has all sorts of creative children’s craft ideas, and from  this tutorial from  Share and Remember, which shows you how to make the most adorable handprint calendar.  I’ve already got my wheels spinning to make it in the future.

Our project didn’t take very long to complete, and, as an added bonus, it fit into a large mailer envelope from Wal-Mart, which made it easy to ship.  We started off with 11×14 canvases, a foam roller brush, foam brushes, small (very inexpensive) paintbrushes, and acrylic paint.  I had all of this lying around my house from previous projects and purchases, so the only thing I actually had to purchase were the envelopes and the cost of postage.  If you had to purchase everything, it would be under $10.

Christopher mixed some blue paint and used a foam roller to cover each canvas. We did this just before bed one night, and it took less than 10 minutes to do both canvas.

The next day, he mixed some green paint to make grass along the bottom.

Then, we helped his Majesty work his magic, crafting some of the “flowers”.  He’s a pro at fingerprint and handprint art, on account of he goes to play school one day a week and they do lots of art.  Right now there’s a wrapped gift for me taunting me on the counter that I’m confident is some sort of handprint awesomeness made with the help of his play school teachers.  I want to open it badly, but I’m patiently holding out until Sunday.  Anyway, I  helped him use his thumbprints to make the yellow centers of the “daisies” and part of the orange and pink “gladiolas”, his palm print to make a red “rose”, and a purple handprint “tulip”.  I use a foam roller to apply the paint nice and thick on his little hands, and I had to work fast, because the paint starts to dry quickly.  Then I applied a little bit of pressure to his hand and fingers on the canvas to get a nice even print.

They added stems and leaves next.  But do you see that really fat stem on the “rose”?  That was the stem that led to Christopher vetoing any further attempts by His Majesty to paint on the canvas. We distracted the little guy play with a foam brush and a scrap piece of paper instead, and everyone was happy.

After about 20 minutes of drying time, Christopher used the top joint of his index finger to fashion leaves for the “daisies”, and then used his middle fingertip to polish off the pink and orange “gladiolas”.  Then, he put the finishing touch on the pieces, placing a bright yellow handprint in the corner as the “sun”. There was a gap at his wrist area, so he filled it in with yellow paint and the foam brush.

See how proud he looks?

He really had fun doing it.  He also wrote cards for them, and in the cards, he told them all about which part of the painting he and His Majesty  had done.

A simple, easy, from the heart–and from the hands– gift for their grandmothers.

I hope all of you mothers– and all of your mothers and grandmothers– have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!

Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub

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Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub

I love spring, partially because it’s warm enough to be outside, but not so hot by noon that it makes me want to hibernate with the shades drawn and the AC set to South Pole, but mostly because of the flowers and the garden and the yard work.  A lot of yard work.   It don’t mind though, because it’s generally work that I get to be immediately rewarded for.  I can see the results of my efforts right away when I rake out leaves and set more mulch and prepare the ground for another round of annuals (our frost date is April 15, and I can hardly wait!).  Then there’s the garden boxes that will need planting, and some potted herbs and lettuce given to me by my awesome friend Emily.  I really enjoy this time of year.  I really just enjoy getting to play in the dirt.  There’s something kid-like and soothing about patting down soil and handling mulch and mud.  I don’t wear gloves unless I am messing with something “picky”, so I tend to get good and dirty.

And so do my fingernails.

Which is pretty gross.

Enter this recipe for  lemon sugar hand scrub, which was inspired by Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming.   I made some of Stephanie Lynn’s version for a Christmas Bazaar a few months ago, and gave some away as gifts, and it was so easy.  I figured that I might as well whip some up to keep around my kitchen.

Three ingredients: Lemon juice, sugar, and vegetable oil.  Stephanie used olive oil, and you can also use sunflower, grape seed or safflower oil if you prefer.  This is a pretty flexible formula.

I’ve learned that the ratio of sugar to oil when you’re making a scrub is 2:1, so 2 cups sugar to 1 cup oil.  Then add a few tablespoons of lemon juice (I used 4, like Stephanie Lynn suggested) and blend it all together.  You can also use a few drops of lemon essential oil instead of the lemon juice.  I used my stand mixer, because it’s this is all obviously edible stuff, but you can also use a big bowl.  If you mix it by hand, literally, mix it BY HAND.  It will be easier than using a spoon and you’ll get everything blended better. Plus, you’ll exfoliate your hands while you mix it.

Once you get it mixed to a uniform consistency, spoon it into a wide mouthed container.  You want to container to be large enough at the opening so that you can fit your hand inside.

This recipe makes a little more than 1 cup of Lemon Sugar Scrub.  I stuffed mine in an 8 ounce mason jar, and used the rest on my hands right after I finished making it.

Perfect to have around the house for yourself, or to give as a gift to a friend!

Do you make any of your own beauty supplies?  Care to share any ideas?

Easter Egg Door Decor

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As much as I loved my Valentine’s Day wreath, I had to take it down, being that it was about a month after Valentine’s Day.  But no worries.  I replaced it with something just as pretty.

My (p)inspiration to make an Easter Wreath came from this “Easter Egg and TuTu Wreath” from My Creative Way and this “Yarn Egg Wreath” from The Sweet Survival.  Both sources offer really easy to follow tutorials.  Ultimately, it came down to which was going to take more time, and I decided that an Easter Egg and Tutu wreath was going to be faster and easier to pull off, and, I’m happy to tell you that I completed mine in about an hour while watching Netflix while Christopher played outside with his friends and His Majesty took a nice, and much appreciated, nap.  But, I also put my own spin on the design of the finished product, partly because I wanted to in the first place, and partly because I ran into a problem with my original plan.

I originally planned to cover the entire wreath in strips of tulle, like the tutorial at Creative Way had done but using a foam wreath form, but then my goal was to cover the entire front of the wreath with Easter Eggs, using a hot glue gun.  Then I was going to fill in any gaps with eyelash yarn, hoping that it would look a little like plastic Easter “grass”.

I was worried that I didn’t have enough eggs.  Turns out the eggs weren’t the problem.  I’ll come back to that in a second.

So, I started by cutting the tulle into strips about as long as the diameter of the wreath form.

I folded the strips of tulle along the length, to make them less sheer, and to give them more fluff, and then tied them in a knot.

You see that glitter in the tulle? That shiny, pretty glitter?  It wasn’t so pretty when it was all over my floor.  What a mess.  Anyway, I tied the strips of tulle all along the wreath… Until I ran out, which was about halfway around.

*Sigh*

At that point, I decided to finish as much as I could by glueing the eggs along the tulle wrapped portion of the wreath, and then go back to the craft store at some point to pick up more tulle, allowing me to finish the wreath.  I applied a little hot glue along the opening of the eggs, to keep them intact, and then I applied a big glob of glue on the egg itself and pressed it to the tulle to stick them together. I alternated the colors, simply because I’m cool like that.

Once I’d covered the front of the tulle covered portion in eggs(I would have been dead on accurate with 50 eggs if I’d covered the entire thing, by the way), I held it up and examined it, and just as I was ready to clean up my mess and put it aside until I was able to get to the store for more tulle, and the idea struck me to cover the top portion of the wreath form in the eyelash yarn, which I thought might make the wreath slightly reminiscent of an actual Easter basket.  Plus, I reasoned, there really wasn’t enough space between the eggs to easily use the eyelash yarn otherwise, so why not.  I didn’t have any other options at the moment, so I gave it a try.

I was so unsure about the idea that I didn’t even glue the yarn, I just wrapped it around itself and tucked it in where it met the tulle.  It’s held up fine on the front door thus far, but if it looks decent when I take it down, I’ll glue a few pieces to secure it before I store it.  (But, that probably won’t be an issue, since the pollen in the air is almost certainly going to do a number on it and prevent me from using it again next year anyway). After I’d finished wrapping it, I took a leftover piece of tulle that had been just a touch too short to use earlier, and tied it at the top of the wreath, so that I could hang it.

I am really happy with how it turned out, and I’m extra glad that I was able to finish it in one sitting, and avoid another trip to the store (which I’m sure my husband is happy about).  I love seeing the colors when I pull in the driveway, all bright and cheery and spring-like.  It’s enough to bring a smile to my face every time.

So, what’s decorating your door these days?  Do you decorate for Easter?

Pink is in the Air

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Just as 2011 drew to a close, two wonderful new people entered the world!   My friend from college and our neighbor both had baby daughters.  How exciting, pink ruffles everywhere!  The birth of these two little ladies presented me with the opportunity to try my hand at a version of this idea, from Baby Xpress over on Etsy.  Doesn’t Etsy just have the most fantastic products ever?!  So many great ideas! And Baby Xpress is no exception, this seller offers dozens of gift ideas that would be fantastic ways to shower a friend, neighbor or colleague, and they are very affordable.

The idea that I pinned was for Washcloth Cupcakes.  Precious idea, no?  Not to mention that anyone with kids knows that having extra washcloths definitely comes in handy (Who knew that such a little human could leak so much, and from every available orifice?  Ahh, the things they didn’t teach in Home Ec…  Do they even offer Home Ec in schools anymore?! Man that class was fun! Did anyone else have the egg babies to take home? Haha, good times.).  Regardless of the practicality of washcloths, I knew that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give them clothes.  Seriously, baby girl clothes = SO STINKING CUTE.  I decided to make my “cupcakes” out of onesies.

Naturally, I had to find a tutorial to help me out, and I chose this one over at Our Little Casita.  I hit Target and picked up two packs of onesies, and then I hit Micheal’s and picked up the rest of my supplies.

You'll need: cupcake boxes, crinkle paper, paper rose stickers, Gerber multi-pack of onesies, cards, jumbo cupcake cups, packaging ribbon/twine in coordinating color, 1 inch ribbon in coordinating colors, 3/8 inch ribbon in coordinating color, rubber bands, straight pins, scissors, scrapbook paper; also tacky glue (not shown)

During the coveted nap time (which, I’m sad to report, seems to be getting shorter and shorter), I completed both gifts, delivered one to my neighbor (and caught a peek at their beautiful baby), and started this post.  Not too shabby. What I’m trying to say is that you can knock this out in about an hour, if you gather everything that you need up first.

I started by snapping the onesie closed, and lying it face up.

Then, I folded it into thirds, so that the front of the onesie was on the inside.  Any embroidery or printing will more than likely look wonky when you roll it up, so it’s better to just hide it for the time being.  Think of it as being an extra little surprise when your gift is fully opened.

Then I folded it in half again so that I had a nice narrow piece of fabric to work with.

Rolling the cupcake took me a little bit of practice, not because it’s hard, but rather, because I wanted to see how many different methods I could try to achieve the look I was going for.  I ended up rolling it on a slight angle, so that the first roll was the HIGHEST portion, sort of like the icing on a real cupcake.

This is how it looked when I was finished rolling it.

After I was happy with how my cupcake was rolled, I used a rubber band to hold it in place, and then tied a piece of 1-inch ribbon around it to hide the rubber band, like so.  You can see that I didn’t want the ribbon to tie in a bow, but only so that it was secured around the rubber band.

At this point, it was ready to be set in the cupcake liner.

Oh yeah, now we’re getting somewhere.  The next step was to decorate the cupcake.  I used 3/8 inch ribbon to tie a small bow and then secured it to the top of the cupcake with a straight pin.

This is where the paper roses came in.

I used them to cover the straight pins.

Then I did the same thing with the rest of the onesies.

Next came the packaging.  I filled the box halfway with crinkle paper.

And it was WAY too much paper. The box wouldn’t close without smushing the cupcakes.  So, I took out half of the crinkle paper, and put it on the other box for the second gift, and we were good to go. Don’t buy a new bag of crinkle paper if you have some in a color that will work already.  You hardly use any.  I didn’t have any, or else I’d have likely worked with what I had on hand.

Aren’t they just adorable? All that pink is about to give me a sweet tooth!

At this point, they are ready to go, and I think they are plenty cute as is.

But Emily at Our Little Casita covered the sides of her box with scrapbook paper, and it really just jazzed them up, so I took my inspiration from her, and did the same thing.  The cupcake boxes that I bought came in a 3 pack, so I used the empty box to trace templates in the scrapbook paper, cut it out, and then glued it to the sides of the box with tacky glue.

When all 4 sided were covered, I tied my ribbon twine around the box and tied a bow.

Then I did the same to the second gift.

The next time I make these (and I will get the chance to do it again really soon, as my cousin just had her second son, and if I wasn’t so wrapped up with my head in a pink cloud thinking about baby girl gifts, I would have picked up a pack of baby boy onesies today– *DOH*), I will buy some scrapbook stickers to decorate the outside of the box a bit more.  You can really do a lot to up the presentation of the box, if that’s your thing.

I couldn’t wait to deliver the gift to my neighbors, and I’m happy to report, they loved it.  I’m sure my friend back home will think it’s really sweet, too.  And even better, it’s calorie free.

There are tons of tutorials online for making cupcake onesies, even some that use receiving blankets and socks and really go all out.  I think that this is such a fun way to gift something.  A friend made me a diaper cake when His Majesty was born, and it was so wonderful, not only because it was useful, but because I knew that she had taken the time to create it, and that particularly meant a lot to me.

It isn’t how much money you spend that makes a gift special.  I spent less than $30 on the onesies and the supplies to make both of these gifts (and I have a great deal of supplies left over).

Have you found any great gift ideas lately?  Made anything special?  Please share your (p)inspiration with me!