Thursday, December 11, 2008

Great tutorials from last Christmas' posts!

I hope you don't mind a few reruns today....the kids are due to arrive any minute!! Poor things are exhausted as it's about 12:30 a.m. Thursday morn. and they've been battling the rain all the way from Savannah with Brent driving a packed 24-foot moving truck with a boat attached and a packed little car following with Emily driving!! Enjoy the tutorials, maybe you haven't read these :)

Easy Gift Bag Tutorial ~

This is so easy because you can really use supplies that you have on hand. I happen to have vintage sheet music but you could use a ripped piece of wallpaper, unused giftwrap, a page from an old dilapidated book, I could go on and on. Here's what you need:

First, I purchased a pack of small brown kraft gift bags at Target.

I used spray on glue but if you don't have any, just use a glue stick.

A fast drying glue (fabri-tac, I use it for more that fabric!) or a hot glue gun.

Some string - a thin hemp is pictured.

Sprigs of greenery from your yard or in this case, my Christmas tree!

A ruler to help you tear straight.

Have you seen this cool ruler that Stampin' Up sells? It was kind of pricey, I think 19.99 but I have to say I love it! You just have to pay attention to which way you are tearing your paper or you will have more of a scalloped edge rather that the "torn" look that I love.

Here I've used just an old ruler to tear the music in a size to go on the front of the bag with several inches all around. I don't measure but just lay it on top of the bag and eyeball where to tear the next side.

Tear all sides and make sure it looks good laying on top of the bag and is square.

Here's where I take the piece of paper outside and spray the back with the adhesive but you could also use a glue stick here and there, too.

Place the paper on the bag and press. Next cut a decent length of string to wrap around your greenery.

Simply tie around the greenery and tie again to form a knot. I do it pretty tightly.

Turn your bundle over and add a drop or so of glue.

Turn it over and press into the area where you think it looks best and voila! You have a simple, elegant gift bag that would have cost tons at the store. When the greenery dies you can just rip it off and add new!

You can keep embellishing the bag if you choose. Add a vintage button to each corner of the paper and possibly to the center of the greenery. Or instead of string, tie the bundle up with some old lace.

I love the natural look of these and the simplicity. You could sit down for about 30 minutes and make up a bunch to use for your gifts. Some raffia would be beautiful tied around the handles too to keep the surprise a secret from those sneaky peekers! Let me know if you try these or if you have any questions!

Wish Bottle Ornament ~

I made a Christmas tree ornament out of another repurposed little item. Do you know when you go to the thrift store and see those spice racks for sale, some of the bottles are missing, they need a good bath and probably will end up in the garbage?

Well this is one of those little spice bottles, all dressed up, dolled up and transformed into a Wish Bottle! Decorated with sheet music, an image of vintage holly, an old button and ending with slight dusting of ultra fine glitter.

You hang your little Wish Bottle on your Christmas tree. Inside, rolled up, is a small piece of paper that you can jot down your wishes for Christmas just for that special someone to walk by and see! They can pull your wish list out, tuck it in their pocket and then leave theirs for you!

Easy Tag Tutorial ~

I'd like to share with you another one of my projects ~ these are so very simple but they really are beautiful, my decorated tags. These tags are the large size manilla price tags that you can buy at Staples, Office Max or Office Depot. They are a creamy yellow color to start off with but I dip each one in a bowl of instant coffee to age them! So here we go with the steps:

1) Heat a bowl filled with only an inch or so of water in your microwave, about as long as you'd heat it to boil it. Remove and spoon in a couple of tablespoons of instant coffee, stir to dissolve. I've featured the brand that I use but you can even buy the no-name brand and use it. I leave them in a couple of minutes and lay them out on an old hand towel. At this point if you'd like "age" spots, using a dry hand, pinch a little of the coffee between your fingers and "grind" it into a fine powder as you are sprinkling it over the tags. I place them on a microwave safe plate with the strings on the outside and then microwave them for a minute or so to dry them fast! But please be careful, paper can catch fire if you don't watch it.

2) This is how your tag will end up looking after the coffee aging process:

3) This step is optional if you don't have a background stamp but I love the effect that it gives. I just use a gold ink because it's not really dark and press on my background.

3) Next I use images that I've printed out from my computer or you could use the images cut from old Christmas cards ~ what a great recycling idea! You can use decorative edge scissors here. Then I use a glue stick on the back of the image and place it on the tag.

4) Then I use my finger to spread a little glue around the edges of the image, Elmers is fine here or even use the glue stick again, then sprinkle some fine clear glitter onto the tag and shake off the remaining glitter into something that you can pour what's left over back into your glitter container. I let them dry and voila! You have custom handmade tags for your gifts that have a beautiful aged look and you made them yourself!!

PS.....They look beautiful tied on the Christmas tree as ornaments!

Enjoy creating sweet friends!!!! Love and hugs,

xxoo, Dawn


Myrna said...

Wow! How sweet of you to share your tutorials! You are so thoughtful and generous! I'm going to have fun with the gift bags and 'wish' bottle!!
I'm praying for a smooth transition time for 'the kids' these next few days...

marie said...

thanks for sharing the tutorials Dawn ~ I especially love the wish bottle! Too sweet!

Your family is in my prayers ~ right now for safe travel ~ and later for a smooth "move in". What fun you'll have!!

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Hi Dawn,
Since I wasn't in blogland last year, I have enjoyed these tremendous.
Enjoy your family and may you all have a Merry Christmas,

Dorthe said...

Thankyou Dawn, for lovely tutoirials, your little bottle is over-sweet.
I hope your family by now are safed landed, -enjoy,enjoy-i wish all of you a happy thursday.
P.S. there are a little something posted for you today, so look out for the mail hopefully next week.
Hugs from Dorthe

Nita Jo said...

Love the tutorials! Now I just have to find some time to create. Thank you so much for all you share with us.

Nita Jo

Nita Jo said...

Oh, almost forgot... Said a prayer for Brent, Emily, and baby Clara. I know they will need lots of rest, especially mom-to-be, after such a trip.

I know your heart must be bursting with joy to welcome them home.

Peace & rest to all of you!
Nita Jo

Sweet Old Vintage said...

Hi Dawn... You still have the gift of sharing even with all you have going on in your life.... Thanks so much.... You are blessed and friends are blessed with you.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, these are wonderful ideas! Thank you so much!
Using vanilla coffee - how much nicer than the scent of just plain coffee when one uses it as an aging medium!
Or even hazlenut or peppermint. You could add the peppermint to the coffee dye using baking flavorings! One idea leads to another....who knew!'re so inspiring all the time!
I found 3 empty glass bottles in my studio yesterday...wish bottles I think! What a sweet idea!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the "tutes"! Those are some lovely ways to make the season a little sweeter.

Sherry said...

These are some of my favourite tutorials...I'd forgotten about the gift bag...guess what I'll be doing for the rest of this week?!?!?! :)

Safe arrival to the little family...

larkswing said...

Neat! Thanks for reposting these. I had bought some tags, but had not had a chance to get creative!

Have a great day!!

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

Dawn, you have the coolest ideas!! You should put all your great ideas in a book; sign me up for your first copy :)

Mary Anne Drury said...

Such beautiful ideas !!! thank you so much for sharing with us!!

Vee said...

Oh boy! I hope that I can gather a few moments to do these special touches. Thank you for sharing your ideas, Dawn!

Amber said...

WOW! I just love the ideas!! What a nice to to decorate plain bags!! TFS!

kate said...

you are so talented, i love always looking at your ideas,
Youve been challenged, please go to my blog and ck it out...
it was sent to me by design by
thanks again for all your inspiration!!!

Carol said...

Hi Dawn!
Still loving your blog...
My daughter does a cool thing when tearing paper to give it an interesting edge - with a small paintbrush she wets along the ruler edge on the paper where she wants to tear, and then pulls gently along to tear. Depending on the paper, this can look really nice and "feathered" (- how appropriate!) I would experiment with a surplus piece first though as all paper differs.
You asked before where I was from - I am here in Ireland.

Chrissy...The Apothecary Shop said...

LOVE those ideas the last one is amazing!Great blog!!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Dawn ~ I love your tags ~ they are so sweet and so much fun to make ~

Monica said...

Other great ideas!! Beautiful bag and bottles, and... I make the tags in such a similar way!!!! I use the microwave too... (no patience)!!!
Oh, we are sooo similare in our crafting, Dawn!!

LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!!!!
Monica x.

Simply Debbie said...


Barbara Jean said...

I was trying to look back through some of your wonderful posts to find some little Christmas children in creams and whites/neutrals, for tags similar to these for my shop tree.
can you head me right direction??
I'll keep looking in case you are busy. and I totally understand. =)



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