Monday, December 30, 2013

DIY Christmas Gifts?

And just like that, Christmas is over! I feel like it always sneaks up on me and then is gone way too fast. I've been thinking about summertime a lot the past few days and dying for some sun and heat!! Hopefully we have another freak spring day soon. I can't wait to sit on the beach and look at this....

Back to Christmas - This year, I told my family they were all getting homemade gifts. They were skeptical at best but at least glad that I would be saving some money. I must admit that I was worried that they would be thrown in the junk pile immediately. Overall, I think my first DIY Christmas turned out pretty well! (Although hopefully I'll be able to upgrade my gifts/plan ahead next year) 

My dad has always been the hardest to buy for - what do you get the man who has everything? or dads in general? Clothes, underwear, and deodorant. Maybe a book or two? The best present that I ever got my dad was an electric wine bottle opener - I mean really, how can you top that? Turns out, figuring out what to make for him wasn't nearly as hard. I recently bought ModPodge and was looking for a craft to try it on. I saw a few pins about coasters and decided that would be a great idea. 

[Map Mod-Podge coasters]

These turned out to be super easy. I bought these cork coasters at Target and some map scrapbook paper at AC Moore. I tried to stick with a similar color scheme. I simply made a stencil (the hardest part of this project) and cut out eight circles to fit the coasters. I used a small foam brush to put a thin layer of ModPodge on the coaster then I fit the circular map on top. I put another thin layer of ModPodge on top of the map and voila!! A map coaster. It was super quick to dry and very easy!

[fabric covered bulletin board]

Next up: my sister. She's a freshman in college and her dorm walls could use some decoration...and she  some organization. I bought a bulletin board at target (less than $10) and some fabric at JoAnn's. I tried to match the green and navy colors in her comforter. I used spray adhesive to spray the cork part only - I tried to avoid the wooden edges. Then - I carefully laid the fabric over it. This was my first time using spray adhesive and it was sticky!! (Duh.) Once the fabric was down, it was very difficult to reposition. I tried to keep the pattern as straight as possible although you can see it does have a bit of an angle. Next, I placed these furniture tacks around the edges. I pulled the fabric taught around the back and just staple gunned the fabric every few inches. I bought a plain wooden T (for Tess) at Michael's and painted it with some navy Martha Stewart paint I had. I also used spray adhesive to attach this. I was a bit worried about it's holding power but was out of hot glue sticks. Turned out great! It's nice and sturdy and hasn't fallen off yet. 

[gold & white polka dot napkins]

Normally for my mom's presents (Christmas, birthday, etc.), I go to the mall and pick out a few things that I would really like. We have similar taste and let's face it, I usually end up borrowing it at some point. This DIY present was no different. I've been obsessed with gold and white recently and thought they would look nice on napkins. I got these napkins weeks ago on clearance and Bed Bath & Beyond. I bought eight and I think they came to $10 total - what a steal. I mixed white and gold paint with Martha Stewart's fabric medium and got to work. I used these foam pouncers and started stamping! I used a slightly larger stamp for the sparkly gold paint and a smaller one for the white. As you can see, I was very methodical about the stamping. There is the same pattern on every napkin - next time, I'm hoping I can break my OCD and be a little more sporadic. Either way, I think they turned out great. A quick press with the iron to set the paint and they are ready for use! 

So there it is - my first DIY Christmas. Next year, I'm hoping to plan ahead and maybe make some larger/more elaborate presents. Overall, I would call these projects a success! Did anyone else make their Christmas presents this year? I would love to hear about them. 

Next up, I have to tackle the coffee table project I've been putting off.....Stay tuned! 

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