Tag Archives: Crafts

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.

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Filed under Crafts, Gifts

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