Friday, October 7, 2011

Start of Handmade Holidays

I have a very ambitious goal this holiday season… I want to hand-make all the Christmas gifts we give out to family and friends.  I’ve had a list of potential projects in my Evernote for months now.  Finally I need to start executing my plan so that I can at least achieve some parts of my goal for “Handmade Holidays 2011”.  I’m starting to get anxious that I won’t be able to make everything that I would like to make before the holidays are here.  It’s so typical of me to hatch a plan so big that I can’t possibly do it all.  Especially since my full time job of being a financial analyst is the busiest between the months of September and December, when we go through several iterations of budget submission for the next year.  We will see how far I get!  Obviously, some of the things I make I won’t be able to put on the blog until after the holidays, so my family/friends won’t see their gift prematurely.  But this first one should be safe to share.

Last year we had our first annual “Elf Party”, where we invited some friends over to our house to watch the movie “Elf” together.  This year we’re planning on the second annual party and I thought I would create some party favors for our Elf Party.  So I whipped out some kraft cardstock, some white printer paper, holiday stamps, red ink pad, red embroidery floss, paper piercer, and a needle. 

I made some 3.5” x 5” little notebooks!  I love these Papertrey Ink Stylish Sentiments:  Holidays stamps!  When I saw that it had this quote from Elf on it, I had to buy the stamps.  The other sentiments are great too for making Christmas cards.  I trimmed the kraft cardstock first, and also trimmed the white printer paper to the same size.  Then I used my Martha Stewart Scoring Board to score the cardstocks and papers so they folded perfectly.  Then I unfolded the cardstock and stamped the sentiment on the right side. 
I used a paper piercer to pierce 3 evenly spaced out holes in the crease of the papers.  Then I hand-stitched the notebook together with red embroidery floss and embroidery needle. 
Pretty cute huh?  These can be used to make Christmas lists, or to keep a little journal of the holidays.  I love how they turned out!

Oh, and remember the first time I tried to heat emboss with a stamp?  And how the powder didn’t melt?  I tried it again!  This time, I held the heat gun closer to the paper and heated it more directly.  I was so nervous about the high heat!  But it worked and the embossing powder solidified and raised up.  I did this with both the American Crafts Zing! white opaque embossing powder and the Michaels Recollections white embossing powder that I had before.  Guess what?  The Zing! was SO much better!
Not sure if you can see the difference, but the top is American Crafts Zing! powder and the bottom is the Michaels brand powder.  The Zing’s coverage is much better than the Michaels brand powder!  In the bottom images, you can see through to the black cardstock underneath, whereas the top images using the Zing powder had full coverage and the raised shape is a lot more solid.  I’m totally sold on the American Crafts Zing! embossing powder now!  Here is another look at the difference.
I hope to get some more crafting done this weekend, plus make some progress on my Project Life album!  :)

Here's a list of supplies I used in this post.  You can click on any of the images to find out more info about the product.


  1. I love those notebooks Christine ... such a simple idea, yet the results look wonderful! WTG on mastering heat embossing ... just don't make the same mistake I made one year, when I melted my cutting mat when I held the heat gun in one place for too long ... ooopppss!!!

  2. I absolutely LOVE the little notebooks! That quote is my favorite.

    And I totally get the whole "big ideas for Christmas" and "finding the time/energy/etc to complete them."

    Can't wait to see what else you create!

    Have a great weekend!

  3. An Elf party sounds like so much fun!

  4. Love those notebooks!! And good to know about the embossing powder.


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