Monday, December 7, 2009

Gifts Galore! {DIY Dare}

Dare to DIY

I love making holiday gifts! Once again, I owe this to my crafty mom. Every year she had my sister and I make Christmas tree ornaments as gifts for our teachers. And not just our current year's teacher, but all our previous teachers and specials teachers. We had our own little sweatshop operation going. Last year, one of my former teachers (yup, I'm nerdy enough to exchange holiday cards with a few of my old teachers) sent me two of the ornaments I had created for her.

I still love crafting some simple gifts for the current teachers I work with, and other neighbors, friends and family. Although I have branched out (pun intended) a bit from the ornament theme...well expect for last year.

This year I created two different gifts.

The first is really just a Leigh-bellishment. I used the same technique over the summer to make a gift for a friend.

You can add a design to a candle by stamping on white tissue paper, then using a heat gun to melt the paper into the candle.

I added some interesting detail and texture with raffia and beads.

A few tips- this does not work well with colored candles, be sure to buy a few practice candles, soften the wax a bit before sticking the tissue paper to the candle, hold the head at least 6 inches away & move in a slow circular pattern, attach the paper over the course of a few melting sessions so wax doesn't over melt, and use your fingers to rub out any winkles/bumps and to soften the edges of the melted wax. 

I'll be making about a dozen of these candles over the next few weeks. 

My second gift takes a bit more time to make but will last a lot longer. I'm making multiple sets (snack and sandwich size) of fabric ziplock bags. 

The set of bags will be paired with a jar gift of cookie mix, expect instead of jars I'll be using glasslock containers. I think they are more useful and reusable.

Go take a peek at what the others created. I've got plenty of inspiration for next year!


Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

I'm totally in the process (as in, I bought the fabric) to make the fabric ziplocs. I guess great minds think alike. Hubby is a bit of a tree hugger and always reuses his Ziplocs (yuck). So, I picked out some fabric in Bears colors to make fabric bags. I hope they turn out as good as yours.

Emily said...

Love all of these ideas! I've seen the fabric ziplocs in stores, really great idea to make your own. I'm not a tree hugger - but I have a tree hugging Boulder based family now. Great idea.

ecb1422 said...

I especially like your "teacher gifts' this year. Do nurses fall in that category too? ;>

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

How sweet of your teachers to send them to you - to even still have them!

Kristen @ Miss Prissy Paige said...

What a great idea! I want to make some of these for my everyday use!

Emily said...

I'm laughing at your "how do you get your candles to be puffy at the top" question. Um, I bought the cheapest candles I could find at walmart, they melted unevenly and spilled wax all over the place (prompting me to learn good skills for removing wax from upholstery and wood floors if you ever need to know)!.

Lauren said...

Great ideas as usual Leigh!!

Megan said...

Love the idea of fabric ziplocks! So creative!

Sarah - La Jeune Marie said...

Ok I REALLY like the candle decal idea! That would be perfect for literally any occasion and it's so easy to customize!