Saturday, December 20, 2014

14 Creative Gift Wrap Ideas



I love wrapping gifts creatively and making the packages pretty. My family makes fun of me because "it just gets thrown away," but it makes me happy, so who cares? It's my therapy.  If this is something that makes your heart leap for joy, read on. If thinking about tape and wrapping paper makes you break out in hives, stop now. And don't feel pressure to make pretty packages! Remember what is important is the heart behind the gift-not pretty packaging.

As mentioned above, I love wrapping gifts and making them pretty, so I will admit-I usually have themes to my Christmas giftwrapping. I know, I am a craft nerd. This year my themes were Chalkboard and Polkadot & Brights. But, they all kind of got morphed together in the end!


I love this green paper from Hobby Lobby, so I decided to mix it into my chalkboard theme. Baker's twine is one of my favorite materials for adding color and flair to packages. The chalkboard tag came from the Dollar Spot at Target, which is a gold mine for inexpensive wrapping. I wish I could write like this, but I was not given that talent!


A simple way to add flair to a package is to add a large tag! I got this fabulous free chalkboard printable from Simply Kierste. Washi tape is another favorite material for adding color and flair.

I love using paper doilies for wrapping. They are inexpensive, plus I have a ton left over from other projects! This beautiful tag by Lia Griffith is a free printable from World Label.


For this gift, I punched the edges of plain white paper with my Martha Stewart Doily Lace Edge Punch. The chalkboard tag came from the dollar spot at Michael's, another goldmine for gift wrap material!

I love how this one turned out-simple, but pretty! I love using monogram stickers to label packages without messing with a tag.

Don't have any Christmas gift bags on hand? Don't go out and buy one when you can turn a plain bag into a Christmas one! I glues on a piece of scrap wrapping paper I had left and added a doily and this cute free tag from Studio sjoesjoe.

Layering wrapping paper adds flair to a package!

I got this idea from My Life, Laughs, and Love. I've used washi tape as a banner before, but I love how she just handwrote on the package, so I shamelessly copied.


You can turn a simple black box into a personalized chalkboard extravaganza with a chalk marker! I got this black gift box in the dollar spot at Target and drew on it. I used one side to label who the gift is for. This is a fun idea for kids to decorate a gift box. Because I draw like a child, this is appropriate to point out. :-)

I like to use double tags. It adds an extra something. This free printable tags came from Living Locurto.

Here is some more monogram tagging and inexpensive embellishments from Michael's.

Last year, my theme was Black & Bright. I only took three photos and they are not great-sorry!

Using scrapbook paper scraps is a great inexpensive way to decorate packages. I also like using stray buttons.

If you still read newspapers, it's back in style to use them to wrap gifts-or you can buy a dollar roll of newsprint wrap from the dollar spot, like me. 

I have a ridiculous amount of embroidery thread leftover from my cross-stitching days. I use any excuse I can to use it up! 

Delightfully Wrapping,
 Linking To

MONDAYS


TUESDAYS

Tutorial Tuesdays with Hope Studios




 WEDNESDAYS

Work It Wednesday with The Happy Housie // The Blissful Bee // The Turquoise Home // Place of My Taste
 
THURSDAYS  
Inspiration Gallery with Design, Dining, Diapers // Crafterberry Bush // The Golden Sycamore



FRIDAYS
The Party Bunch Link with
The 36th Avenue // The Idea Room // 30 Handmade Days // Whipperberry
Anything Goes Party with Bacon Time with Hungry Hungry Hypo
Link Party Palooza with
 I Heart Nap Time // Lil’ Luna // Somewhat Simple // Tatertots & Jello //
Today’s Creative Blog
Creative Collection with
Craft-o-maniac, NoBiggie, Classy Clutter, The Cards We Drew, Blooming Homestead, Lolly Jane, Giggles Galore and The Crafted Sparrow

SATURDAYS/SUNDAYS

 Think Pink Sunday with Flamingo Toes  
That DIY Party with DIY Show Off  
The Sunday Showcase with Stephanie Lynn

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Homemade Flavored Sugars Gift and Recipes



Last year for Christmas, I gave my sister a tea gift basket full of her favorite British treats, tea, and tea accessories. I also made some homemade flavored sugars to go with it. 

These make great gifts for tea and coffee lovers, but they also would make great hostess and neighbor gifts. 

I put the sugar in glass  containers I found at World Market. I made the labels from these free editable labels.

To make the sugars, you will want to use a small mixing bowl and spoon. Blend the ingredients with the sugar throughout before pouring it into containers. 

Citrus Sugar Recipes

I made lemon and orange sugars, but you can do this with any fruit that has a rind. First, you need to zest the fruit with a grater and allow the zest to dry over night. Then, mix the zest with the sugar-I did 1/2 cup per lemon zest and per 1/2 orange zest. Allow it to sit a week for best flavor. 

Vanilla and Spice Sugar Recipes


Vanilla Sugar
I simply added cooking vanilla to the sugar and decided when was enough by taste. You can infuse vanilla sugar using a vanilla bean, but this was much simpler. It makes the sugar a bit wt, but it works!

Cinnamon Sugar
I simply mixed cinnamon with the sugar to taste. You can buy cinnamon sugar already made, obviously, but I like the homemade-ness of mixing your own.

Gingerbread Sugar
For this sugar, I blended one cup of sugar, 2 tsp of ginger,  1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg.

I tasted all of them, of course, and they were yummy. I really liked the gingerbread in coffee!


Delightfully Creating,

Linking To

 MONDAYS
TUESDAYS
Tutorial Tuesdays with Hope Studios

 WEDNESDAYS

FRIDAYS
The Party Bunch Link with
The 36th Avenue // The Idea Room // 30 Handmade Days // Whipperberry
Anything Goes Party with Bacon Time with Hungry Hungry Hypo
Link Party Palooza with
 I Heart Nap Time // Lil’ Luna // Somewhat Simple // Tatertots & Jello //
Today’s Creative Blog
Creative Collection with
Craft-o-maniac, NoBiggie, Classy Clutter, The Cards We Drew, Blooming Homestead, Lolly Jane, Giggles Galore and The Crafted Sparrow

SATURDAYS/SUNDAYS

 Think Pink Sunday with Flamingo Toes  
That DIY Party with DIY Show Off
The Sunday Showcase with Stephanie Lynn

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Some Small Changes to the Blog

(If you just want to know what is changing and could care less why-skip to the bottom!)
Hello friends! First, I just want to let you know that I appreciate you reading my blog-whether you are a regular reader, casual reader, or just a one-time visitor-I appreciate you!

I've mentioned here before that I do this completely for fun-writing is a hobby of mine, so it is fun for me to share my other hobbies through writing. So, the fact that other people like to read along makes it extra fun. It has also taken the pressure off when I feel the temptation to perform up to the blog two world's standards.

When I started blogging, I started two separate blogs-Cup of Delight, which I describe as my fun, crafty blog, and Reflections of a Sojourner, which I describe as my spiritual reflections blog. I kept them separate for many reasons- mostly because I am obsessed with themes, but also because Cup of Delight started out as a personal detox from all things serious and heavy in my life. Reflections of a Sojourner was where I got serious and maybe even a little weepy. It made sense for me to keep them separate.

My perspective on this has changed. I have woefully neglected my Reflections blog and I miss it. So, I've been thinking and praying about ways to get back into reflection blogging AND about how I can use blogging to compliment my ministry. Bloggers write about  what they know-I craft. I create. I like to dress up. I'm a mom. But, I've also worked in college ministry for 11 years. I've walked with the Lord for over twenty. 

So, the thought occurred to me-why not? Why not just merge the two blogs? Life changes, so surely blogs can! The beauty of the blog world is that most people follow my blog through readers, so if you don't like the new topics, you can just skip them :-) The old ones will remain too.

So, what will this change look like:
  • I am keeping Cup of Delight open and moving my spiritual reflections to this blog. If you already follow Cup of Delight, you don't have to change anything. If you just follow Reflections of a Sojourner and want to keep reading, you will need to follow Cup of Delight.
  • I will not simply move my spiritual blog posts, but will edit and re-post them as new-along with new material too. Basically, I am just adding spiritual reflections as a new category to Cup of Delight.
  • I will still post craft posts weekly! I will also still post on other topics I usually blog about, thought the less read ones will probably be posted about less (and actually I've already done that anyway).
  •   My loose plan (I am an ENFP who needs LOOSE plans :-)) is to write a craft post and a spiritual reflections post weekly, along with a couple of other topics I normally cover: fashion, home, parties, books, travel.
  • Reflections about God: I usually stay away from controversial topics and just try to encourage people to walk with the Lord. I hate controversy and politics and if that makes me a wimp, oh well-Jesus still love me. :-)
  • These changes will begin January 1!
Thanks again for reading!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ladder and Bucket Advent Calendar


I have wanted to make this Advent calendar for about three years now and FINALLY accomplished it before Advent started this year! I am so excited!

A lot of bloggers have made such an Advent calendar, but since I originally fell in love with the one Brown Eyed Fox made four years ago, I will site her as my inspiration.

Because my ladder is smaller, I had to place some buckets on the floor, but I don't mind. I don't have room for a real, full-sized ladder!


My mom gave me this little decorative wooden ladder. It was brown and rustic. I wanted to add a little color, so I painted it messily in Country Red-messily to give it the distressed look.


I bought the little galvanized buckets at Michael's a couple of years ago when they were on sale. You can find them in most craft stores. The Dollar Tree sells white ones for 3 for $1.

The labels are a free printable from Wings of Whimsy.


 I tied the buckets onto the ladder with ribbon, lace, and jute that I had on-hand. My husband is probably thrilled that I am using the stash of ribbon I already have!


Inside the buckets, I placed candy and in some, a Christmas activity for us to do that day. Then, I topped off the bucket with scraps of fabric, linen, and burlap.


Each day, we take the fabric scrap out and see what is inside! I leave out the scraps so we know which day we are on.

I love how it turned out and I am also impressed by Cupcake's willpower to not touch the buckets!
 

Delightfully Creating,

Linking To

MONDAYS
TUESDAYS
Tutorial Tuesdays with Hope Studios

 WEDNESDAYS
Work It Wednesday with The Happy Housie // The Blissful Bee // The Turquoise Home // Place of My Taste
 
THURSDAYS  
Inspiration Gallery with Design, Dining, Diapers // Crafterberry Bush // The Golden Sycamore

FRIDAYS
The Party Bunch Link with 
The 36th Avenue // The Idea Room // 30 Handmade Days // Whipperberry
Anything Goes Party with Bacon Time with Hungry Hungry Hypo
Link Party Palooza with
 I Heart Nap Time // Lil’ Luna // Somewhat Simple // Tatertots & Jello //
Today’s Creative Blog
Creative Collection with
Craft-o-maniac, NoBiggie, Classy Clutter, The Cards We Drew, Blooming Homestead, Lolly Jane, Giggles Galore and The Crafted Sparrow
 
SATURDAYS/SUNDAYS
 Think Pink Sunday with Flamingo Toes
That DIY Party with DIY Show Off
The Sunday Showcase with Stephanie Lynn

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday 12/3/14

It's time again for What I Wore Wednesday with Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy!
It's been a while since I linked up, so here again is some random out-of-order outfits I wore.

 

For some reason, I never paired these two tops together before...


Cardigan: Bass Outlet...I think
Blouse: Banana Republic Outlet
Skinny Jeans: Faded Glory from Walmart...no joke, I love these jeans
Boots: Target

One of my favorite casual Fall pairings: (and as usual, enjoy the toddler fingerprints :-))


Plaid Flannel: Old Navy
Boyfriend Cardigan: Target
Skinny Jeans: Gap Outlet
Boots: Target

Probably my most favorite:

Blouse: Steve and Barry's...yes from many years ago before they went out of business!
Skirt: ModCloth
Scarf: Gifted
Heels: Target

Another new pairing:
Blazer: Maurices
Top: Old Navy
Shoes: Zulily

Not sure how I feel about this next one, but I did get a lot of compliments, so I guess it's a winner?

 Military Blazer: Maurices
Top: Downeast Basics
Shoes: Payless

I wish I had better lighting for this-you can't see it, but I was pattern mixing. The blouse has a floral print.

Blouse: Charlotte Russe (from a long time ago)
Sweater: Old Navy
Pants: H&M
Necklace: Charming Charlie

 More Pattern Mixing:
Blouse: Forever 21
Dress: Altard State
Boots: Charlotte Russe

Without my light jacket:

Dress: Altard State
Leggings: H&M

With my fabulous jacket from Downeast Basics!


I started doing #stylemeDecember again with Hilary from Dean Street Society. She is my most favorite fashion blogger-you should check her out! She has made fashion inspiring and a creative outlet for me. Many think fashion is shallow, but Hilary uses it to serve others-one of her projects is volunteering to help style women getting out of sex trafficking, so they can feel confident and find a new job. Redemption through fashion. Love it!

Challenge: French Hen


Dress: Old Navy
Blazer: Maurices
Necklace: Me!
Shoes: Gifted

And that's all for now!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

DIY Five Year Journal: December Questions

I can't believe it! It's been a year and this is my last installment of the Five Year Journal Questions. I apologize for being a couple of days late-my life is really chaotic this week. As much as I love blogging, it's just a hobby for me and I've had to step back and re-examine some priorities in life. 

As usual, just right-click and save!

There are a lot of Christmas-themed questions this month, so if you do not celebrate Christmas, you can insert whatever holiday or maybe the winter season.


It's been fun! Hope you enjoyed it and will answer the questions again for the next four years. It will be fun to see how the answered do or do not change.

Previous Months:

Linking To
MONDAYS



TUESDAYS

Tutorial Tuesdays with Hope Studios

The Inspiration Exchange with 



 WEDNESDAYS

Work It Wednesday with 



FRIDAYS
The Party Bunch Link with  The 36th Avenue // The Idea Room // 30 Handmade Days // Whipperberry
  Anything Goes Party with Bacon Time with Hungry Hungry Hypo
Link Party Palooza with
 I Heart Nap Time // Lil’ Luna // Somewhat Simple // Tatertots & Jello // Today’s Creative Blog
Creative Collection with Craft-o-maniac, NoBiggie, Classy Clutter, The Cards We Drew, Blooming Homestead, Lolly Jane, Giggles Galore and The Crafted Sparrow
 
SATURDAYS/SUNDAYS

 Think Pink Sunday with Flamingo Toes
The Sunday Showcase with Stephanie Lynn

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Bookshelf


I don't have a mantle, so I decorate the bookshelf in our living room for each season/holiday. It's my make-shift mantle!

I keep most of the same decorations up for Fall, but I added a little Thanksgiving flair after Halloween this year.


I brought back some favorites from the past: the wheat and leaves in the milk can, pumpkin and leaves bunting, and Faux Chalkboard.


This adorable chalkboard printable was free from Happy Go Lucky!!
I recently posted about my leaf art and turkey art
I found this cute wooden acorn on sale at Hobby Lobby. 


I bought the cute, little distressed stool from Hobby Lobby. Use their 40 percent off coupon and it's a fabulous price!

The turkey came from World Market. I thought it was cute and fit in well, so I bought it. Online, you have to buy two, but you can buy them separately in-store for about $6.

Here's a side-view of my cornucopia which I bought from Consumer Crafts. I filled it with things I had on-hand: fall florals, faux leaves, wood acorns, indian corn, and those little pumpkins I've had for years. I am not sure what they are made from. Grape leaves, maybe?

I love decorating my shelf. If nothing else gets decorated, the shelf will at least. It's my happy place!


Delightfully Nesting,

Linking To

MONDAYS
TUESDAYS

 WEDNESDAYS

FRIDAYS
The Party Bunch Link with 
The 36th Avenue // The Idea Room // 30 Handmade Days // Whipperberry
Anything Goes Party with Bacon Time with Hungry Hungry Hypo
Link Party Palooza with
 I Heart Nap Time // Lil’ Luna // Somewhat Simple // Tatertots & Jello //
Today’s Creative Blog
Creative Collection with
Craft-o-maniac, NoBiggie, Classy Clutter, The Cards We Drew, Blooming Homestead, Lolly Jane, Giggles Galore and The Crafted Sparrow
 
SATURDAYS/SUNDAYS
 Think Pink Sunday with Flamingo Toes
That DIY Party with DIY Show Off  
The Sunday Showcase with Stephanie Lynn
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