Category Archives: Crafts

Fingerless Shell Gloves

Fingerless Shell Gloves.

via Fingerless Shell Gloves.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafts

52 Ideas for Mother’s Day Gifts

  1.  Gift basket: cup and saucer, tea, cookies, and sweetener in a nice basket
  2. Foot care basket for the mother on her feet a lot: lotion, scrub, moisturizing socks, and fluffy socks in a nice basket or tin
  3. A gift basket with several of her favorite treats
  4. Gift certificate for dinner to her favorite restaurant and an offer to babysit for the evening
  5. Stationery and tea gift basket for the letter writer
  6. Wine and cheese gift basket for a romantic and/or relaxing evening
  7. Book or books that you know she’d like, with a book mark and a book light
  8. A weekend at a bed and breakfast for a peaceful, relaxing weekend on her own.
  9. Gardening set – there are a lot available on Amazon and in other online shops (as well as gardening centers in most cities, I’m sure)
  10. Take a class together (cooking, wine, computer class, whatever shared interest you might have).
  11. Handmade card from her children or grandchildren
  12. A letter describing all the things about her that you love
  13. For your wife: take the kids out for the afternoon and let her enjoy her home in peace and quiet
  14. A meal cooked and cleaned up by the children and the other parent
  15. List 12, 52, 365 of your favorite memories together.
  16. Clean the house.
  17. Give her a day at the spa.
  18. Cook Mother’s Day Brunch.
  19. Candy bars wrapped in a special, cute printable wrapper (there are some to be found online and of course, you can get creative with markers and crayons and plain paper)
  20. Really high thread count  sheets
  21. Egyptian cotton towels
  22. A notebook with letters between her and the children
  23. A hug
  24. A memory jar
  25. Box of surprises (little things that she likes, wants, or needs – wrapped individually).  Let her open one every so often throughout the day!
  26. Print out her favorite family recipe in a nice font, on nice paper and frame it.
  27. Ask what she really, REALLY wants for Mother’s Day.
  28. Take a picture each Mother’s Day and create a keepsake at some point with all of the pictures.
  29. Start a fun tradition to celebrate with the family.
  30. Order her favorite, hard-to-find treat online.
  31. New gardening tools
  32. New cooking tools
  33. Make tea cup candles (Here is a lovely blog with instructions (and all sorts of other interesting ideas, I might add): ).
  34. Fingerprint charm (here is an example: , another blog that looks like fun!)
  35. Homemade flavored oils
  36. Box of sunshine (here is a good explanation, for those who hadn’t heard of this before: )
  37. Gift box for the letter writer: stationery, stamps, envelopes, perhaps a seal with wax and a nice pen.
  38. Crocheted, knitted, or sewn cover for their cell phone.
  39. Take her out for tea or coffee and conversation.
  40. Let her do nothing for an entire day, if that is what she really wants.
  41. Take the time to really listen to her and make her feel special
  42. Make coupons: “One week of taking the trash out without complaint”, “One Free Housework Day on the Weekend,” that sort of thing.
  43. Craft supplies for the crafty mother in your life
  44. A movie, popcorn/candy, and soda in a large bowl for movie night
  45. Coffee sampler and a large mug.
  46. Decorate a frame and put your child’s picture in it.
  47. Take her on a picnic.
  48. Make a personalized gift: a calendar with family pictures, a hardcover book with pictures, a blanket with family pictures (I’ve used Wal-Mart for these and gotten GREAT results).
  49. Frame a child’s drawing.
  50. Take her antiquing in a quaint little town.
  51. Plant flowers for her in the flower beds.
  52. Make her lunch for a week and include a love note.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafts, Family, Gifts, Lists

52 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

  1. Write a note on a napkin or small piece of paper for your spouse’s or child’s lunch.
  2. Do a chore for your spouse.
  3. Cook your spouse a nice meal (their favorite).
  4. Cut out heart shapes and write little notes about what you appreciate the most.
  5. Send a letter of love to your parents.
  6. Send a thank you note to someone you appreciate.
  7. Really listen to someone who needs it.
  8. Do something nice for yourself.
  9. Color with your child.
  10. Make Valentine’s Day cards.
  11. Print out a love poem in a nice font on nice paper for your loved one.
  12. Leave love notes around the house.
  13. Fill a cute mug with red and white candies.
  14. Put together a “romantic movie night” basket – movie, popcorn/candy,  beverage (or a more romantic combination of wine, cheese, and a romantic movie).
  15. Unplug and spend time together as a family.
  16. Write down the story of who you met your spouse for your children.
  17. Cut sandwiches into heart shapes.
  18. Bake Valentine’s Day cookies with your child.
  19. Make a CD of love songs.
  20. Cook a romantic dinner.
  21. Make heart shaped muffins or pancakes.
  22. Frame a love quote or poem.
  23. Give someone you love a red scarf.
  24. Make heart-shaped pins for your loved ones.
  25. Buy a simple, inexpensive bouquet and put into a vase.
  26. Make a set of personalized “coupons”.
  27. Give a candy bouquet.
  28. Make a Valentine’s shirt by tracing your children’s hands on the shirt with fabric paint – good for grandparents or parents.
  29. Make a booklet of love poems or quotes.
  30. Really simple: just spend a quiet evening together.
  31. Write a letter to someone you love; children specifically love getting mail.
  32. Leave an affectionate note on the mirror for your child or spouse.
  33. Make a garland of hearts and decorate your room, your child’s room, the dining room…
  34. Leave flowers on a friend’s front porch.
  35. Make a jar of quotes for someone.
  36. Make a bookmark for a book lover.
  37. Give yourself a gift – time to read, write, play games, play ball, sit still…
  38. Make  Valentines messages to wrap around candy bars.
  39. Using candy kisses and stickers, make a Valentine’s matching game and play with your kids.
  40. Put a message in a bottle and decorate the bottle.
  41. Decorate your child’s bedroom door with hearts, one per day.
  42. Make handmade hand-warmers.
  43. Make heart envelopes.
  44. Do “14 Days of Valentines” – 14 small gifts, one per day up to Valentine’s Day.
  45. Make handshaped Valentines for grandparents.
  46. Make paper fortune cookies with messages.
  47. “I dig you” – attach a bag of goodies to a plastic shovel.
  48. Make a Valentine’s door hanger with a pocket to hold goodies.
  49. Get a small bottle of honey, decorate it, and attach a note – “Bee Mine”.
  50. Make Mommy and Me journals that you and your child can write messages in and pass back and forth between you.
  51. Put together a list of date ideas on strips of paper, place in a nice vase or decorated jar – so that you and your spouse have date ideas for those nights when you are indecisive.
  52. Get a box of donut holes and add a note: “Donut you know I love you a hole bunch”.


Leave a comment

Filed under Crafts, Gifts, Lists

Quote Jars

I came up with this idea of a quote “container” for my mother about four (maybe five) years ago. She enjoys those quote-a-day calendars and I wanted to make something for her, but couldn’t find what I thought would be a good way to make a calendar like that for her. So I decided to make something along the lines of fortunes for her.

I spent quite a while gathering 370 quotes or so – I like to have extras for some reason. There are a lot of great quote sites out there; I went to one that has random quotes and found quite a few. I also found some for specific topics, like quotes from women and I think there might have been one with Winston Churchill quotes. For my mother, I decided to focus on humorous quotes, religious quotes, and motivational quotes. I knew she was having a hard time overall so I wanted things that would cheer her up.

When I was done, I spaced them out so they could be easily cut out when printed and printed them on colored paper. One year I used pastel papers, the next I used bright colors. I usually alternate, since each package of paper was quite large. For several years, I did quotes in different fonts, but several of them turned out to be more difficult to read so I finally settled on one nice, easily readible font for last year’s gift.

Once they were cut out, I folded them up fairly well (in half, then in half again). I ended up with quite a pile of little bits of folded paper. It is actually rather pretty. I decided I needed a nice container to put them in. I found a large plastic container with a plastic lid at a craft store, cross stitched a little design on perforated plastic and glued that to the lid. Then I put the folded quotes in the decorated container.

Since that first year, I usually just give her a zippered plastic bag filled with the new quotes. It is not as elegant perhaps, but it is simple and she loves it. Of course, another alternative is to simply put them in a sealable gift bag of some sort or a decorated gift box.

My mother has enjoyed her gift so much that she now makes these as gifts for friends.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafts, Gifts

Ideas for Simple Thank You Gifts

There are so many occasions on which a small gift is appropriate that it can be difficult to come up with different ideas. The gift you give should, first of all, reflect the interests of the recipient. Just putting enough effort into the gift to show that you really thought about is important. So, what do they like to do? What do they like to read or listen to? What colors or scents do they like? Is the gift a family gift? That would broaden your range a bit. Some ideas that I’ve come up with, been given, or given myself over the years are as follows:

  1. Movie night basket: Buy a gift card to a movie rental place and place it in a basket with microwave popcorn, several kinds of candy and a soda. Rather than using a basket, in fact, you could use a large bowl for the popcorn; you can get those inexpensively from garage sales, flea markets, or a “dollar” store.
  2. For the candle lover: Simply buy a pillar candle and a candle holder. Chose a scent and/or color that the recipient would like or that would match the decor. Another idea is a candle accessory; a candle snuffer is nice, and now they make a wide range of decorations for candles.
  3. For the wine lover: There are all sorts of decorations for wine glasses now that are inexpensive; they make your drink distinctively your own at a party. Of course, another idea is to select a moderately priced bottle of wine that you enjoy to share with your friend.
  4. For the gardener: Buy a simple pot, place gardening gloves, a tool or two, and maybe some seeds in it. Another idea is to buy them a small plant, either indoor or something that can later be placed outdoors.
  5. For the book lover: Find several books in a genre that they enjoy and tie them together with a ribbon or something that could be used as a book mark (or two). If there is something that you’ve read and you think they might enjoy it, share that with them, with a note explaining that you thought they’d enjoy it.
  6. For the pet owner: Put together a basket for their pet; include some treats (be sure they aren’t on a special diet), a brush, maybe some toys.
  7. For the music lover: Pay attention to new releases in a genre that they like, look at reviews or ask others who like the same thing about what is “hot” and buy a CD or two. If they have a favorite artist and don’t have the latest album, that’s a good way to go.
  8. For an artistic person: Buy some supplies for their favorite type of project. Actually, an even simpler idea is to get a gift card to their favorite craft store or hobby shop. Put that in a nice card with a personalized note.
  9. For the coffee lover: Give them the gift of caffeine; if they love coffee from a coffee shop, then a gift card from said shop would always be welcome. Something else that makes a good gift for a coffee lover is a bag of their favorite gourmet coffee with a nice mug.
  10. Take them to their favorite restaurant for dinner, then go to a movie.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafts, Gifts, Lists

10 Gift Basket Ideas

Gift baskets make great gifts and they don’t have to be particularly expensive. Some ingredients mentioned below can be purchased from “dollar stores” or flea markets (like mugs, candles, candle holders, some bath products, lotions, etc.) Here are some ideas that I’ve had on how to put one together without spending too much.

  1. Movie night basket: Get a gift card to a movie rental place for whatever denomination that you think is appropriate, perhaps enough for two movies. Buy movie sized candy bars or boxes of candy, some microwave popcorn, and a two-liter of soda. Place all of these in a basket or box of a suitable size; craft stores often have sales on baskets, or you may find a suitable container at a flea market or yard sale.
  2. Mini loaf basket: Buy some quick bread mix or muffin mix from the store. Mix up and bake mini loaves. You can make several baskets with the loaves. Cushion the bottom of the basket with new dish towels or something else useful like potholders, and place the loaves on it.
  3. Italian night basket: Buy a large colander, put a box of spaghetti in it, along with a nice jar of sauce, some Parmesan cheese, and a fresh loaf of Italian bread. You could include garlic powder or garlic salt and a dessert item as well.
  4. Chocolates basket: If you know someone that likes a particular type of chocolate, like Ghirardelli, buy a selection of candy bars or smaller pieces and put them in a handmade bag or a nice basket lined with a nice piece of cloth. You could tie the candy bars with a nice ribbon as well.
  5. A Get-Well-Quick Basket: For someone with a cold, you could buy several cans of soup, a large mug to eat it out of, some crackers, and maybe something like hot chocolate or a type of tea. You could also add something to do to the basket, like a book, some crossword puzzles, or a movie to watch.
  6. New Baby Basket: A nice gift for a new mother might be a gift basket of little things for the baby, things that people may or may not think to give her at the baby shower: a thermometer, baby washclothes, nail clippers, baby toothbrush, baby cold medicine, baby Tylenol, baby Q-tips, toddler spoons, toddler feeding sets, and the like.
  7. Another new-baby-related basket: Another idea for gifts for new parents is a gift basket for them. You could include bath salts, a bath poof, and body wash, as well as a book for the father, his favorite snacks, and a movie that both will enjoy (with perhaps a coupon for baby sitting so they can watch the movie).
  8. Housewarming Basket: For a couple just starting out on their own, you could buy a laundry basket and include things that they may not think of for their new place: matching kitchen towels and dishwashing clothes, potholders, a kitchen timer, a meat thermometer, measuring spoons and cups, corn holders, and some basic spices. You could also include ingredients for a first meal, like spaghetti.
  9. Wedding Basket: For newlyweds, you could go with several themes: if they are going on a cruise, go with things they might need: sunscreen, books to read, lotion, body wash, sea sickness medication, brochures about the areas they will visit, a nice thick bath sheet for each, and so on. If they are flying, you could put together a little bag of things to keep them distracted on the flight, particularly, if one or both dislikes flying. Ideas include magazines on subjects they enjoy, books, CDs if they have a portable player, a DVD if they have a portable player, cards so that they can play something together, or things like that. If they are going somewhere you’ve been, you can include a list of suggested restaurants, sites to see, and so on. Another idea is colorful hand towels rolled up in a basket that they can used to hold the towels in their bathroom.
  10. Hostess gift basket: A nice gift for the hostess of a party, particularly a large one, might be a basket with a bottle of wine, some cheeses and crackers, and a DVD. For a winter season gift, you could put in hot chocolate, marshmallows, a throw, and a good book.


Filed under Crafts, Gifts