craft explosion

November 7, 2009 at 10:51 pm (Uncategorized)

3 cupcakes

I am on something a little less than a tight budget. There is like no $ in my current budget, to even budget! So buying new craft supplies is totally out the window. Luckily for me, I happen to have been investing in my ameature craft warehouse/workshop for the past few years, so I’ve already got the glue gun, spools of trims & ribbons, yards of fabrics, a box of candle making supplies, and left over lip balm making supplies. I was also given cases of canning jars, and I have a habit of stock piling flours, sugars, oats and other dry goods, because the trips to town are pretty few and far between.

If I were to write out a Christmas Shopping List, the items I listed above would be on it. But this year, I won’t be doing any shopping, just making! I think half the fun of gift giving is the fun you have making the gifts anyways.

Here are some fun, cheap & easy gift ideas for the holiday season.

Rattlesnake Barrettes. Okay, this is the coolest gift I will be giving, and the only one I am “cheating on”. I had my sister pick up $8 worth of bobby pin barrettes, glue & blank wood rectangles. She is also sending along some snake tanning solution & a paint brush from her personal craft supply. The snake was killed out here earlier this year by a friend of mine. He was kind enough to leave me the skin all cleaned up & salted. I have been reading different theories on snake tanning, many’s first choice is to buy the actual “snake tan”, others use salt or borax.rattlesnake skin By the end, I will have used all three. I cut out strips of the rattlesnake skin, glue them down to 1 & 1/4″ piece of wood, then use a heavy duty glue to affix the wood piece to a barrette. I have had a lot of friends ask me to get them a rattlesnake hide, but by splitting up this hide, I am able to make 6 gifts (12 barrettes, 2 to a pair).

Candles.  You can make candles in canning jars, ice cream dishes to make them look like sundaes, tea cups, or even tin cans. candlesI used these little metal tins I had, so a gal could keep a candle tin in her purse or glovebox for an emergency or romantic moment (or both), I also had a roll of wick, a pound of soy wax, a pound of beeswax, and a whole bunch of different essential oil scents. It’s pretty much a melt & pour craft. A while back I also invested in a $5 skillet at a Thrift Store for crafting. I like to fill it with 1 to 2 inches of water, get it to a simmering boil, put a shallow rack in the skillet, and then melt down the wax in smaller containers which set on the rack, so it becomes a double boiler. This is the easiest way I have found to do this, and you won’t end up scrapping wax off your stove the next day! I made Lavendar candles which I scented with essential oil & tossed in pieces of actual lavendar for added decoration & scent. For the Coconut candles, I added a coconut essential oil, and just before they finished cooling I topped them with shaved pieces of wax to emulate shredded coconut.

tin of lip balmLip Balm. Like any “new” hobby, there are some initial investements for lip balm making. I suggest buying your supplies from Majestic Mountain Sage, . I like to melt down lip balmcocoa butter, shea butter, sweet almond oil, beeswax, vitamin E & an essential oil, but you can also buy a premade melt & pour lip balm that is pre mixed.  I use the same skillet double boiler method described in the Candle Making above. Again, just melt & pour. This time around I made a Margarita Balm & a Cranberry Chapstick. I poured it into both plastic tubes and little tins.

Recipes For Making Lip Balm:
40% of your recipe should be any cosmetic grade oil that is liquid at room temperature (sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, grapeseed, hemp seed, macadamia, olive, sunflower, etc.)
25% of your recipe should be any cosmetic grade oil that is solid at room temperature (coconut, lanolin, palm, mango butter, shea butter, etc.)
20% of your recipe should be cosmetic grade Beeswax (white or yellow, pellets or solid blocks)
15% of your recipe should be any cosmetic grade oil that is brittle at room temperature (cocoa butter, palm kernel, etc.)
The above measurements are “weights”, so you can calculate your own recipe in ounces, grams, or pounds.

oatmeal cookie

Jar of Goodies. Homemade jams and jellies are always great gifts. I also like to bake a couple different varieties of cookies & candies, and layer them in large canning jars, tie a ribbon round it, and tada another yummy gift. Do you have a recipe that you swear by, a failproof cookie perhaps?  A fun idea is to pre measure out the whole recipe and layer it into a canning jar, leaving out any ingredients that require refridgeration. Oatmeal cookies are an easy one. A layer of oats, layer of flour, sugars, follwed by baking powder, salt, nuts, chocolate chips & raisins. Simply layer neatly in a jar, tie the recipe on with a fancy ribbon, and give as a premade mix. When the recipient is ready to bake the gift, they will simply add their own eggs & butter, and follow the recipe you have attached.

Epoxied Creepies. I am always finding creepy crawling things in my house. Just today I found a scorpion in an upstairs bedroom, and I have recently killed quite a few black widow spiders. You can pour epoxy resin into a mold and preserve the creepy things, and make them into paper weights, jewelry, or more hair barrettes!

Copy of 55

Homemade Christmas Cards. I think it’s most fun to give and receive homemade holiday cards. I usually end up dressing up a couple of the animals in wacky outfits and having them pose together. Then I use a gluestick to glue the picture to blank note cards. Colored Paper, Glitter, and a Box of Markers can also go a long way! Haven’t yet decided what this year’s card will be, but above is one a I made a couple years ago of Mimi & Ginger dressed up as reindeer.

Wrapping Paper. No need to “buy” actual Wrapping Paper. I like to make gift boxes out of old calendar pages, or wrap gifts in scrap pieces of vintage fabrics. White tissue paper with a fancy ribbon always looks great too!

goat headsOrnaments. I love Making Ornamnets, because, when it comes down to it, just about anything can be an ornament! I like to work with scraps of wool felt and fabrics to make little woodsy animals. Here are two goats I just made that will end up hanging on someone’s Christmas Tree. When all else fails, Moms and Grandmas always love to receive homemade ornaments (even well after the kidergarten years are over).

PinCushions. You can use felts & fabrics to make fun pincushions. Pictured at the top are 3 cupcake pincushions I made out of wool felts and stuffed with lentils & poly fiber. They make a cute addition to any gal’s sewing basket.

Okay, now get busy, and make something neat! [hint hint, i love getting homemade gifts too!]



  1. hartage said,

    Some great craft ideas, you would be awesome as a grade school teacher ! How about a balloon caption for the Mimi and Ginger reindeer picture ? Something like… ” The last of my dignity just died ” It would be so funny for the pooch on the right.

  2. Badger said,

    Those goats are adorable!!!! I can’t believe you found a freakin’ scorpion upstairs! that would scare the shit out of me! Anyhow.. awesome ideas, as usual!

  3. Badger said,

    Oh yeah, and i’m really looking forward to my rattlesnake barettes!

  4. Amber said,

    Holy macaroni noodles, that is a lot of crafting. Are you going to hook up mimi and ginger to a sleigh? It’ll be like the grinch! Too cute.

  5. Lizzard said,

    I remember when you moved out there there were shelves and shelves of all your arts and crafts stuff. I think it had taken over the whole closet. Glad you’re putting it to good use. Can’t wait to see you next week!

    • galwith750acres said,

      Hey Liz,

      Funny you remember that! I just had a flashback to you saving my ass & helping me pack that day!!! Don’t know what I woulda done without you! One year & 1/2 later, the supplies were all organized just like you had help me pack ’em, and now I am finally using ’em!


  6. Electric Shower · said,

    usually, i buy my craft supplies on the internet because of the cheaper price and countless options “”‘

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