Simple Sharpie Journals and Matching Gift Wrap


Holiday gift idea: Sharpie Journals with matching gift wrap #gift #diy #michaelsmakers

Oh, this is one of my favorite little projects ever. I was trying to come up with something that would appeal to almost anyone for a holiday gift idea…and who can’t use a journal or notebook? These little journals are very inexpensive from Michaels…with a coupon I think I ended up paying under $3.00 each:

Blank Journals from Michaels Stores to customize

You can sketch a design or trace one using white chalk transfer paper (in the aisle at Michaels with all the other transfer papers):

Using Transfer paper to add a design to a journal

I used a metallic Sharpie marker to draw the sketch that I transferred:

Sharpie Project Idea: customized journal or sketchbook

Another transferred design:

Drawing Antlers on a Journal

I used the transfer paper to draw these lines to write my text upon:

Adding a quote to a journal

A damp paper towel will wipe the white transfer chalk right off once the design is finished:

DIY journals using sharpie markers

A few of the designs I created for holiday gifts:

Christmas Gift Idea DIY


How to make a customized journal gift


Written in the Stars DIY Journal - Sharpie project idea

A great quote:

Dead Poet's Society Quote on Journal

I used a roll of black kraft wrapping paper for the wrapping:

Using Black Wrapping Paper - Chalkboard Wrapping Paper

And the same Sharpie to create the designs:

Creating your own DIY Wrapping paper

Some natural colored twine is almost gold itself and matches very nicely:

DIY Sharpie Doodle Gift Wrap

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The Scandinavian Christmas Tree Ornaments

Today I’m revealing the behind-the-scenes of the Scandinavia Christmas Tree:

Scandinavian Christmas Ornaments DIY #tagatree

Here are all the ornaments we made:

Handmade Rustic Christmas Ornaments DIY Tutorial
Clothespin ornaments rustic DIY

This year I went with a Scandinavian theme based on a little dala horse block print carving I made:

Christmas Ornament Ideas Handmade



Ribbon ornaments were made using different sizes of embroidery hoops and ribbon. I stitched the ribbon together in rows, put it into an embroidery hoop, trimmed off the excess and used glue to keep the edges from fraying:

Handmade Ribbon Ornaments Christmas Tree - Embroidery Hoop

I took raw ornaments from Michaels and applied a light coat of wood stain. Using a plain wood heart as a stencil I spray a light coat of white spray paint overtop: [Read more…]

A Scandinavian Christmas Tree

Today is the reveal day for this year’s Michaels’ Dream Trees.  And it’s snowing at my house…for real.

This year I went with a Scandinavian theme:



Dala horses, DIY ribbon ornaments, rustic Santa and reindeer ornaments and much more:



I love how it turned out.  The whole family helped with this year’s theme: cutting, staining, stamping, etc.


On November 14th I’ll have tutorials for each of the ornaments and the supplies I used to make them! But for now you can get a head start by following this tutorial below and using the free template download for the Dala horse image!

(click here to view the tutorial if image doesn’t work)



Click here to view the past two years of Christmas Trees!

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Holiday Prep

This past week I’ve been working on the annual Christmas Tree I do for Michaels each year.  Most everything was handmade in some form.  I love how it turned out. Will share all the photos in just a few days. Here’s what I’ve been working on:


Rustic Scandinavian Christmas Decor - Dala Horse Print

Rustic Handmade Christmas Decor

It’s way too early to put up a Christmas tree though. I put the tree up last night, photographed it, and then took it back down.  It will be donated to a good cause.  We don’t really have room for a full sized tree anyways so we’ll have a miniature tree this year.  The Hemlock Inn puts up their own huge tree after Thanksgiving. Boo is so excited to help decorate that. She’s told every guest that asks about Christmas that “Mr. Mort (the innkeeper) has to take down the dining room’s ceiling fan for the big Christmas tree!”

Turn Children’s Artwork into Gifts


Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas: Turn Children's Artwork into meaningful handmade gifts with these ideas via #gifts #diy #tutorial

Looking for some special gift ideas for the holidays?  I’ve come up with a few ways to turn your child’s artwork into amazing gifts this year.  Boo has a new “how to draw cats” book that she’s so excited about. I asked her to draw me a cat that we could make into some handmade gifts:

Gifts from kid artwork via

So impressed by her cute little cat:

turn children's artwork into gifts via

Here’s what we made with that one simple drawing:

1. Printed Paper

screen print paper bags and paper via


2. Printed Pillow

turn kids artwork into stuffies and stuffed animals via

3. A Rustic Piece of Artwork

preserve children's artwork making meaningful gifts via

4. T-shirts with Matching Packaging

how to make your own t-shirts and print your own boxes via

Materials Needed: (click for source info)
Adhesive Shelf Paper or Contact Paper
Double Sided Tape or Glue Stick
Razor blade or Exacto Knife
Speedball Screen (reusable)
Screen Printing Ink for Fabric and Paper
Small Squeegee or use an old credit card

Things to Print:
Wood Cradled Panel Canvas
(use Minwax Driftwood Stain to make rustic)
Kraft Paper

[Read more…]

Four Projects For a Pinterest Party

I had a Pinterest party recently for a few close friends I hadn’t seen in a while. 4 projects from Pinterest….in 2.5 hours.

How to throw a Pinterest party and 4 projects to get you started. Includes free instruction downloads! via #mpinterestparty

I thought it would be fun to carve out a morning for them to try something new:

How to throw a Pinterest Craft Party via


Here’s what we made, along with four PDF downloads if you want to have your own party:

4 Pinterest Party Craft Projects: Sharpie Marker Art Ornament via #sharpie

Here’s the Sharpie station:

Sharpie Marker Ornament Station Set Up for your Pinterest Craft Party via


Ceramic ornament from Michaels Craft Store ready to decorate:

Ornaments ready to decorate! Sharpie Marker Ornament Station Set Up for your Pinterest Craft Party via

A snowflake ornament:

Make a snowflake! Sharpie Ornament Project for your Pinterest Craft Party via


Download the PDF:

Free Sharpie Marker Ornament Tutorial PDF Instructions for a Pinterest Craft Party via

1. Materials: Industrial Sharpie, Ceramic ornaments
2. Hand write lettering.
3. Use initial stencils as a guide for calligraphy.
4. Let dry.
5. Hang from tree!
6. Not a step really. Just admire my nice “H”.


[Read more…]

Michaels Dream Tree Challenge 2013 | The Reveal

Here’s my 2013 reveal for the Michaels Dream Tree Challenge!

Michaels Dream Tree Challenge 2013 Reveal #christmas #JustAddMichaels via

Green, white, champagne, silver:

Michaels Dream Tree Challenge #christmas #JustAddMichaels via

I love the glow of the lights behind the flowers:

Christmas Tree Decor: Michaels Dream Tree Challenge Reveal #christmas #JustAddMichaels via

The inspiration for the tree came from these silver pine cone ornaments.  They reminded me of the seed bombs that my brother used to launch from our Magnolia tree when my sister and I were little. Funny memory.


Pine Cones and Gold Bows - Michaels Dream Tree Challenge Reveal #christmas #JustAddMichaels via

Each ornament was tied onto the tree with a bow:

Gold, Greens and Cream Michaels Dream Tree Challenge Reveal #christmas #JustAddMichaels via

A lot of twinkling:

DIY Christmas Tree - Michaels Dream Tree Challenge Reveal #christmas #JustAddMichaels #dreamtreechallenge via

Silver berries:

Christmas Tree Ideas - Michaels Dream Tree Challenge Reveal #christmas #JustAddMichaels #dreamtreechallenge via

I love the natural look of the whole tree: [Read more…]

The Rustic Christmas Tree

The Lil Blue Boo Christmas Tree for Michaels Dream Tree Challenge via (click through for the time lapse video of the DIY ornaments!)

Last year I participated in the Michaels Dream Tree Challenge and I’m looking forward to doing it again this year! I just got my new tree so stay tuned for the big reveal! Be sure to stop by your local Michaels store between November 3rd and 9th for their special tree event!

Here’s a short time lapse/process video of my Rustic Christmas Tree from last year:



Yearly Photo Book Ideas

Creative Yearly Photo Book Ideas via


In addition to our yearly family photo albums, I make a photo book for Boo stocked full of memories. I just finished 2011:

How to make a yearly photo book via

My method/thoughts on photo books:

1. I complete the books about 10 months after a year has ended. I like for them to be January 1st through December 31st. It’s an OCD thing. The delay also allows time for missing photos to show up.

2. I compile memories, quotes, etc by going through blog posts, Facebook posts, and even just browsing photos. I usually cut and paste snippets into a word document in order of date.

3. I organize my photos, artwork, etc by month before starting my project. I work on the book by month….sometimes skipping around to the easy months first and then coming back to the hard ones.

4. I never feel bad about going overboard on pages. The bigger the better and I don’t think there is a price I can put on family memories. My books (through iPhoto/ usually cost about $75 to $100 each. It seems like a lot (especially when ordering multiple copies) but I would rather have a photo book over a few trips to a restaurant!

5. I  save the photo book as a PDF (“Print” as a PDF in iPhoto) and back it up to a hard drive or CD and store in a safe place.


Here are a few things I added into this years book:

Boo’s Self Portraits:
Boo asked for a mini tripod a few years ago and she had so much fun taking self portraits. When I would look at the camera I would be surprised by hilarious snapshots she’d taken of herself. I made them into a collage (using and then loaded that collage as one photo into the book template:

Photo book ideas: Self Portraits via

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Boo’s Christmas Highlight Reel

I can’t believe Christmas has already come and gone! It flew by!

We spent a few days at my in-laws house here in town starting last Sunday so everyone would be together at the same time:


I wonder what Boo is whispering to my niece “Coco” in this photo:


Love this photo of my nephew Jordan:

The adults played the annual Christmas stocking game where you have to guess who bought your stocking stuffers:

I made outfits for all the wee ones. We actually got them all in one photo looking at the camera!

All the cousins (minus 2 who are in Seattle) for one photo:


My mom is here for a few weeks and Boo is always on cloud 9. She is so patient and will play Barbies and “library” with Boo for hours:

Boo was so excited that her two cousins Duncan and Cameron were staying at our house for Christmas. We played Xbox sports at night:

The day before Christmas Boo got her nails done:

And she helped me make cupcakes for Jesus’ birthday:

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