Our HOMEMADE Christmas

I hope that you all had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  Ours was wonderful!  This year we took things down a few {okay, a few major} notches.  As I posted earlier, we needed to simplify Christmas this year and decided to make all of the gifts. {with the exception of clothes they needed & thanks to wonderful Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, Santa Claus brought them a gift that they wanted, too!}

But –  this post is to tell you all about the HOMEMADE part of Christmas.

I don’t mean to sound like a salesperson – but I couldn’t have done these projects without 3 things.

1. My sewing machine.

2. My Silhouette Cameo

{If you got one for Christmas but need to learn how to use it – you can sign up for my Online Silhouette Course HERE.  Class begins Monday January 6th!}

3. My Photoshop Skills.

self-paced-newbies-ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what we all made for each other:

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PINK FLUFFY PILLOWCASE

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My cute hubby made my 9 year old daughter this “pink fluffy” pillowcase.

She see’s them in the store and loves them and says funny things like:

“It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die” – so he knew that it was the perfect gift for her.

{He was VERY proud of himself}

Fluffy-Pillow

That’s a dedicated dad :0)

 

Dedicated-Dad

 

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JAREDOPOLY

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My husbands favorite game is Monopoly.  Our family has a not so good history with it.  I’m ashamed to say that the biggest fights in our marriage have been over Monopoly.  We were actually banished from playing it at his moms house.  I thought that maybe if I made a homemade version that had funny things to lighten the mood that we could play a friendly game.  So – I put my photoshop skills to good use and made him a JAREDOPOLY board.  I had so much fun thinking up clever Chance & Community Chest cards, talking to his mom to find out the places he’s lived for the properties (which she impressively remembered them all!) It was ALOT of fun!

Jaredopoly

 And even more fun when we played and I CRUSHED him Christmas Morning!  {although – he was so mad that he didn’t enjoy my funny cards :0(  There is a price that comes with Monopoly Domination.  Ho Ho Ho!}

I will post all of the details on making this board another day.  That would be an entire post on it’s own and I need some time to change the files to be generic for you to use!

But just be throwing around ideas for a board of your own.  I think that a LOVEOPOLY board would be SUPER FUN for Valentines!!

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HAND DRAWN i-Pod SKINS

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My 13 year old daughter has been wanting new ipod covers.  One day she will say “I want a minnie mouse ipod case” another day it was “I want a BYU iPod case” – so my 9 year old, who loves to draw, decided to make her these interchangeable skins to go inside this Clear iPod Case.  You can download the silhouette studio cut file HERE.

ipod-skins

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PVC Pipe Bow & Foam Tipped Arrows

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My 11 year old son is boy through and through – so we helped our 7 year old son make him this PVC pipe bow and arrow. (the “arrows” are wooden dowels tipped with cut up pool noodle)  We’ve seen them made with hula hoops – but we had extra PVC and 45 degree elbows laying around – so used those with a rubber band for the the string.  We now have 3 other kids that want one, too…so our work here is not done.

Bow-&-Foam-Arrow

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Constellation Flashlight

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My 7 year old son has a hard time staying in bed – so we thought that something interesting to keep him there would be PERFECT!  I’ve seen these around – but decided to make more work for myself and make a set.  My 9 year old son got to learn how to use my Silhouette to make these.  He thinks he’s pretty cool now.

You can download the Silhouette Print & Cut File HERE.

Or print a regular printable HERE.  {Just cut out the big circles and use push pins to punch out the small constellation circles.}

Don’t want to mess with it, and would just like to purchase??  I’ve added them to the shop, and the low cost keeps them in the frugal category!

I put a tiny piece of double sided tape on the flashlight to hold the cards in place – but they still pull off easily.

Constellation-Flashlight

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SCREEN PRINTING FRAME HOLDER

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I’m ashamed that I had to ask what this thing was.  My husband helped my 13 year old daughter make it for me.  Once I found out – I was REALLY excited!  I’ve been doing a lot of screen printing using my Silhouette to make the masks.  This will make my work go MUCH quicker!!  Very thoughtful!  LOVED IT!

Screen-Printing

The rest of the homemade stuff was all me.  And I had so much fun doing it.

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FROSTED MONOGRAM MUGS

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Hot-Cocoa-Mugs

I used the Silhouette to cut out vinyl to act as a mask – and then sprayed them with this frosted glass spray. (and I couldn’t help myself – I added a blast of glitter spray, too)

You could also use Etching Cream – but I had this spray on hand – so I used it, instead.

**If you use the frost spray – they MUST be hand washed!  If you want dishwasher safe – go for the Etching Cream!!**

{If you don’t have a Silhouette – you can use contact paper and an exacto knife.}

Making-the-Mugs

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Christmas Jammies

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Every year on Christmas Eve we have our fancy Christmas Dinner.  They each have a wrapped gift at the table, and it always has their Christmas Jammies inside.

We open the gifts and change into our Jammies and eat our super fancy dinner in them.  I love it.  I’ve never attempted making PJ’s before and was a little nervous.

I followed this SUPER EASY TUTORIAL and they turned out great!

The only changes to the tutorial I made were:

*adding the ribbon to the girls and a shoelace to the boys to look like ties. (in hindsight I would’ve used thinner ribbon)

*I didn’t make the pattern like she suggested.  I just eyeballed cutting around the sample and then used the first cut as a pattern for the second cut.

Luckily – I’m a fabric junkie – and have  A LOT of fabric hanging around.  Leftover from old projects – or projects that never came to fruition – however it worked out – I had ticking stripe fabric lying around – and thought that PJ’s would be the perfect use of it.

Christmas-Jammies

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Rosemary Place Card Wreaths

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For the dinner table – my sister in law shared some of the rosemary from her garden and I made these wreaths and place cards:

Rosemary-Wreath-Placecard-Holders

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Piñata 

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We also break a piñata on Christmas Eve – and they started last week making it.  I didn’t get a picture of the finished product – because, to be honest, it creeped me out.  It was supposed to be rudolph the red nosed reindeer – but it looked more like a brown rat with a red nose.  Not pretty.

If you want a tutorial on making a piñata – check out this post.

Making-the-Pinatas

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Homemade Tamales

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I used THIS RECIPE for the masa & some of my leftover TOMATILLO CHICKEN for the filling.  I even used the juices from the chicken to make a sauce to top them with.

I wish I could tell you how delicious these Homemade Christmas Tamales were…

BUT…I burned them.

Yep – they were all destined to be perfect.  I didn’t add more water to the bottom of the pan and before we knew it – the house filled with smoke and my favorite pan was scorched and our Christmas Tamales had a inedible smokey flavor and went into the trash.  Here is a picture of them all perfect going into the pot to their un-forseen demise.

Tomatillo-Chicken-Tamales

I was sad – until I had the idea to have cereal instead.  And then I was happy – because I love cereal!

I had a lot more plans – as you can see on my Homemade Christmas Pinterest Board – but not enough time.  But, regardless of having or not having a job next year – I’m definitely doing this again!!!

For a lot of reasons:

*got to teach the kiddos a few skills while we helped them make the gifts

*having them think of the idea {thank you pinterest!} & make it was WAY more exciting for them than picking out a gift in the store

*christmas morning seemed much more exciting – because they had their handiwork to show off & they were much more engaged while they opened gifts.

*the joy of giving really took center stage this year.  I think because they were more invested…

 

I hope you’ve been inspired a little bit to do this with your family. And I hope that you’ll share any links to great homemade Christmas Ideas in the comments section!

**Erin

 

Ice Cream Party Tablescape

 

Silly Silly Me!!  I planned on having a party recap for today’s post – and I stewed and fretted about sticking so much information into one eternally long post.  { Thus, the late hour of my post }  I still wanted to show you the games we played, the food we ate, the cute table that we ate them on – so I’ll have to continue the posts into next week as well.  This really was a GREAT party!  {I guess this is what happen when you have a mother that goes overboard X 2!!}  So today – I’ll post about the DARLING tablescape!

Here’s a view from the top:Ice Cream Party Table Setting - purdueavenue.com

 

And here are some closer views at the cuteness:

The Place Settings

Ice Cream Party place setting - purdueavenue.com

 

 

The Tablecloth

Randi made using THIS darling blue chevron fabric.

At each place setting:

Plate, 4 inch doily, Ice Cream Sundae Cup, Spoon

Napkin (Randi made them, and they were DARLING!) held with a candy necklace wrapped around twice and twin cherry lollipops.

You can find a similar fabric for the napkins HERE, and she trimmed them with tiny pom pom ribbon.

Glass with Pink Swizzle Stick, Blue Striped Paper Straws, and Cherry Limeade Yummy Straw Tag, and a candy bracelet around the bottom of the glass.

Cherry Limeade Straw Tags - purdueavenue.com

 

Ice Cream Scoop Place Card (You can see the tutorial HERE)

Ice Cream Party place card - purdueavenue.com

 

 

We gave each girl a glass “jewelry jar” to take home the candy jewelry they made. (more on the jewelry later!)

Ballerina jewelry jar with chalkboard label

What you’ll need:

Crystal Glass Jelly Jars

Pink Spray Paint (or preferred color)

Ballerina Cake Topper

Chalkboard Stickers

Hot Glue Gun

Chalk Marker

How To Make It:

1. Remove the lid & spray paint them the desired color

2. Once the lid has dried, use a hot glue gun to put a ballerina cake topper in the center of the lid.

3. Write the names on the chalkboard labels using the chalk marker

4. Attach the label to the front of the jelly jar

DONE!

Chalkboard Place Mat

Chalkboard Place Mats

 

Love those adorable chalkboard placemats?  Wanna know how easy they are to make??  It’s just black card stock, a chalk pen and a circle punch!

Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

Black Textured Card Stock

Chalk Marker

1.5″ Circle Paper Punch (or some scissors)

How to Make:

Step 1: Punch the corners using the circle punch (or find something round, trace onto the paper, then cut out with scissors)

Step 2: Using the chalk pen, draw a border about 1/2″ inside the paper.  If you’re not comfortable freehanding it – just use a ruler for the edges and something round for the ticket stub part.

DONE!  See?  I told you it was easy!

Next week  I’ll show off the decorations, activities & food.  You’re gonna love it!!

**Erin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re Invited…to an ice cream party!

Summer is officially over at my house.  The kids are back in school and my quiet house feels super lonely.  So – I’m glad that I have all of my friends in blog land to keep me busy & happy!!  Thanks in advance!!  It was really nice to take the summer off and just enjoy being a mom, having some fun with my kids, and not be at my computer all day every day…but…it’s GOOD TO BE BACK!

I thought that this month I would catch you up on some of  what we did over the summer – and hopefully inspire you in the process!

The first thing was my daughters ice cream birthday party!  Since she and her BFF share a lot of the same friends, and their birthdays are so close together, and we both wanted to do an ice cream party, we did it together – and I’m so glad that we did – because her BFF just happens to be the daughter of my BFF.  Perfect.

If your kids aren’t back in school yet – this party would make a FUN back to school get together as well!!  Whatever reason you do it – ice cream parties are always a good idea.

To keep the post from becoming a novel – I’ll break it up into different projects we did leading up to the party, and then have all of the pics from the party on Friday.

Obviously – when throwing a party – the first thing that needs to be done are the invitations – and these ones are DARLING!!

{if I do say so myself}

Ice Cream Party Invitation

They were very simple!  I added the clear glitter to make it look a little bit “frosty” – here’s a closer look: {scroll down for the tutorial}

Darling Ice Cream Party Invitation Printables!

To make your life easier – I’ve attached the printable files for these darling invites!  Just CLICK HERE to preview them and download.

You can:

Print & Cut out with scissors the old fashioned way!  This means that you will need to hand write the party information in yourself.

If you have photoshop, you can edit the file to add in your party info or make any changes.  You’ll need to download the fonts I used: Airplanes in the Night Sky & Engravers MT

{If you would LIKE to use photoshop – but don’t know how – I’ll teach you!!  CLICK HERE for more info on my Photoshop for Newbies Online Classes.}

 

**If you have a Silhouette Electronic Cutting Machine**

I’ve made a video tutorial that will walk you through creating the cards.  I can’t give you the studio files because I don’t own the artwork :0(  Sorry!

 

To Make 6 Cards You Will Need:

{adjust your numbers for the amount of invites needed}

Cardstock (mine was textured bazzil stock from Hobby Lobby) in these colors:

     For Scoops: 1 sheet of each color 

Cream

Light Pink

Dark Pink

     For Cones:

Light Brown

     For Back: 3 sheets

Dark Brown

     For Cherries: {1 sheet will make TONS of cherries!}

*Note: I put the cherries for the place cards on the same file as the invitation cherries.  If you don’t want to make place cards – just disregard those cherries.

Red

Glue Stick or Pen

 

Step 1:

Print & Cut the Scoops, Cones, Backs & Cherries

**NOTE: I suggest printing on the NON-TEXTURED side of the cardstock on the cones, backs and cherries – that way if your cuts aren’t perfect – you don’t see the printed image.**

Step 2:

Start gluing pieces to the BACK starting from the CONE and work your way up, ending with the CHERRY on top.  HA!

Apply the glue around the outer edges, and then add a little scribble of glue in the middle.

Repeat with all of the pieces until your card is assembled.

*OPTIONAL: tutorial on adding the glitter to give it that “frosted” effect.

It’s super quick and easy and it really gives it some wow factor!  {This is actually of me glittering the place cards for the table – but the steps are the same}

What you’ll need:

invitations, printed & cut & glued together

glue pen (I like the EK Success Zig 2-Way Chisel Glue Pen)

clear glitter (I used Martha Stewart Coarse Crystal Glitter)

Step 1: Apply glue randomly on the cherry and each scoop of ice cream.

(I painted blue on the places that I applied the glue)

 

 

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Step 2: Cover the entire card in glitter

(I do this on a glitter tray or piece of paper to cut down the mess and transfer the excess glitter back to the jar)

DSC_1486

 

Step 3: Tap off excess glitter & admire your awesomeness!

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This next picture shows the glitter better

IMG_1455

 

**Note: I like to set the glitter using hairspray or Mod Podge Spray. It dries clear and isn’t sticky at all!

That’s the invitation – Wednesday I’ll show you how I made this darling chalkboard banner to go above the Ice Cream Creation Station!

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and this one in the window:

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See you then!!

**Erin