InspireMe Crafts

Creative inspiration for the home, entertaining, and unforgettable gifts

Gotta Make It: Chinese Takout Box Party Favor & More! December 9, 2007

Filed under: Entertaining,Gift Packaging,Gifts,Gotta Make It — inspiremecrafts @ 2:10 pm

“Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.” – Reverend Larry Lorenzoni


I hope you got a little chuckle out of the birthday quote!  I’ll be honest…it took me a second because at first I thought he was referring to material things when he said “the most” and then the lightbulb went on in that little head of mine and it all made sense…

Anyway, I thought I would take a one day break from the Christmas ideas to share some pictures from a Surprise 30th birthday that I helped plan for my friend.  Her husband chose the location which was a cozy and hip Asian restaurant and then I had a $100 budget to get the cake, party favors, decor, etc.  Luckily the restaurant was already decorated well with lots of bright colors and candlelight.  1/2 the budget went to the cake so I basically had $50 for everything else.  For the party favors, I used chinese takeout boxes from Michaels.  They were 10 in a box for $6.  I then used fortune cookies from World Market to place in the boxes as a favor.   To personalize the favors I used her favorite colors – pink, purple, and green – and designed a Happy Birthday message for the front.  With a little help from my nifty glue gun and some adorable ribbon… the favors were done!

We also wanted to have a keepsake for her so we bought a frame that everyone could place their 30th birthday wishes on.  I wanted a picture of her from her childhood for the frame, but we were afraid she would notice if the pictures were gone.  So instead we placed a Happy Birthday message in there that I designed on the computer.  At the celebration, we made sure to take a picture of everyone that she could place in there later.

Lastly, I added some trivia and special messages in some standing frames.  I had these frames for my wedding (purchased at Target) and I have used them for so many different things!  The trivia were all questions from the year she was born, 1977.  One was sport themed, one was entertainment, and the other was economy.  These can be great ice breakers for a group who may not know each other that well and will always give the birthday celebrant a good laugh….along with everyone else.   I also would have done pictures of her when she was younger if we were able to get to them…everyone’s always curious to see what fashion trends you decided to follow!

So there you go…some ideas for your next party!  It turned out to be a great evening, but then you realize that as much as all the small touches count its truly the people you surround yourselves with.  They make the party! So remember to surround yourselves with the people that you love and the ones that bring the best out in you…not the worst!

Be inspired, get creative, and have fun! 


Gotta Make It: Photo Magnets and Decorated Tin December 6, 2007

“Christmas is not in the presents, but in the presence”


Our kitchen table is officially a disaster zone.  I decided I couldn’t procrastinate any longer on getting all the presents made if I wanted any chance of being at the post office less than an hour.  I’m not sure if that is possible this time of the year, but I am sure going to try.  So if you are like me and both sides of your family are huge and leave you a zillion aunts, uncles, and cousins to think about for Christmas presents than this is the perfect gift for you to make!  Its inexpensive and relatively quick! 

Go to your local craft store and pick up the following:

Small tins (like the Altoid tins) or Already decorated tins (I found the tin in the 3rd picture at the Dollar Tree)
Instant Krazy Glue – Brush On (trust me…the others don’t work)
Magnets (I used ProMag – they come in various sizes and are circular)
Clear Marble Accents with a flat side (make sure they are clear.  The best ones I found were at the Dollar Tree….better price and clearer than the ones at Michaels)
Circle Punch or Circle stencil
Favorite Paper, Accents, and Ribbon
Favorite pictures, photo paper, etc

Ok- so now that you have all the supplies lets get going on the How-To’s. 

1. Using your circle punch or stencil cut out your favorite photos or designs from paper.  (Note:  I glued a plain piece of photo paper to the back of my picture and scrapbook paper to make it thicker and so you wouldn’t see the magnet.)

2.  Using the Krazy Glue Brush, apply the glue to the flat side of the marble.  Quickly apply the picture face down to the marble.  This next step is key:  Press down firmly for 30 seconds with your thumb and fingers.  You want to make sure the glue spreads out and that you don’t have any bubbles.  I had quite a few that I had to toss because I wasn’t doing this step well enough.  You might want to have nail polish remover (to unglue you) near you because this glue is strong and there were a couple of times I thought I glued my fingers together….ooops!

3.  After letting the picture and marble dry for a couple of minutes, take the magnet and apply the Krazy Glue to one side.  Then attach that magnet to the back of the marble.  Hold firmly for 30 seconds and let it set for a couple more minutes. 

4.  Voila!  Your magnets are done. 

5.  Now decorate your tin. I used spray adhesive to attach my paper to the tin and then Mod Podged the top (I did a couple coats).  I added some ribbon around the bottom of the tin and some embellishments. 

6.  Place the magnets in the tin and you have completed one of your gifts…good for you! 

Like I mentioned before, if you want to make this a quick present you can find some cute tins at the Dollar Tree.  I purchased the “Paris” tin from there and decided to go with that theme for the magnets so I just used leftover black and white scrapbook paper.  I also used scrapbook paper for the wine magnets and then created my own photos and “I love U” magnets in Microsoft Word.

I hope this idea gets you moving on getting those Christmas gifts all done.  This would make a great stocking stuffer along with presents for all those extended relatives and friends! 

Be inspired, get creative, and have fun!


Gotta Make It: Christmas Candy Jar December 4, 2007

“Always keep Christmas in your heart”


As the day quickly approaches when our guests will start arriving, I am running around trying to get “organized”.  In the process my Christmas Candy Jar developed.  I finally decided to keep my empty spaghetti jars knowing that they will be put to use (…someday).  So after a couple washes in the dishwasher to make sure the spaghetti smell doesn’t linger it was ready to go. 

I added some of my favorite ribbon, painted a star, attached it (used double sided tape so that I can re-use the jar later) and Voila!  You have a candy jar to store all those goodies you will be receiving for the next month.    But of course there can be more uses!  This would be a great idea for a DIY Christmas gift package.  Add some holiday candy or bake some cookies and give it to that special someone this holiday season.   Or decorate it and place a candle in it for a rustic candle holder.  Let your imagination roll and look around your house to see what you need and ask yourself if that empty spaghetti jar could solve that problem!

This is sooo easy, soooo quick, and soooo cute….so you have to do it!

Be inspired, get creative, and have fun!


Gotta Have It: Glitter Letters November 30, 2007

“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air”


We declared after our holiday traveling fiasco last year that we were not traveling this year.  And guess what?  A lot of family is coming to us!  This is my first time hosting a Christmas and to be honest…I’m losing sleep over it.  I keep thinking of all the “To-Do’s” and have to constantly remind myself to relax…its not that big of a deal.  But to me it is.  I want it to have a nice Christmas feel, for our guests to be comfortable, for our home to be everyone’s home away from home, and to cook a kick-ass Christmas dinner! (this is where my mother would tell me that no boy would want to marry me with a mouth like mine….see – moms aren’t always right). 

We really haven’t accumulated a lot of decorations since we are a young married couple so I am looking for decorations while making sure we have enough sheets, towels, and figuring out how to make a turkey…ahhhh!!!! And keep in mind we are budget conscious.  So not only am I here to share some Christmas ideas, but when I find some good deals I HAVE to share them with you too because I just get so excited.  So in the picture you see my little “JOY” creation.  Two stops – JoAnn Fabrics and Dollar Tree.  The glitter letters are from JoAnn Fabrics and were a dollar each.  They come in gold or silver.  For some reason they were all spread out in our store so I did have to do some hunting to find the letters I wanted, but for that price it was worth it.  The round cranberry wreaths were found at The Dollar Tree.  Now I originally didn’t buy these Christmas decorations for this project.  The cranberry wreaths were hanging as just some decoration.  I tried hanging the “JOY” letters with ribbon around one of our windows but it just wasn’t working for me.  So that is when I had my ah-ha moment.  You know you get those…you just have to think outside the box.  I took the ribbon and tied it to the cranberry wreaths and voila!  A quick, easy, and inexpensive Christmas decoration. 

I’ll tell you now.  Go to the Dollar Tree.  Go with out the kids so you can take your time going through there.  There are some great basics that help you make adorable inexpensive gifts (you’ll see in the days to come) and decorations that won’t break the bank.  Who wants to spend loads of money on decorations that you may change next year?

Until later….

Be inspired, get creative, and have fun! 


Gotta Make It: Christmas Cards….made by the kids November 29, 2007

“We make a living by not what we get but we make a life by what we give.”Winston Churchill


Brace yourselves because today’s post takes some major talent.  Done right, you may have a true Picasso on your hands…..and he/she may be as little as 18 months.  As you know, I love projects and have been anxiously awaiting the time when my son was old enough to participate in some with me.  I decided to give it a try.  As of now the most art he does is coloring….and we haven’t even mastered that.  We aren’t even worried about lines…we’re just battling staying on the actual page and not using the walls, table, chairs, floor, etc as his blank canvas.  

 So I decided my 18 month old could handle some foam stickers.  The Dollar Tree actually has some great stuff right now including a bag of 300 pieces of foam Christmas stickers, pipe cleaners, and some cotton balls for snow.  All I did was lay out the blank cards, remove the sticker backs and place them on my fingers.  That way he chose the one he wanted and bam!….he put it where his little artistic fingers led him.  Then we decided to attempt the coloring part again.  And what was I thinking?  I let him use glitter markers….it just seemed more Christmas-y.  To my pleasant surprise he stayed on the paper – for the most part.  To finish it off, I wrote “Merry Christmas” and “2007” on the front. 

So you really aren’t learning anything new and exciting today, but my point is that sometimes simple is just right.  These handmade Christmas cards will be just the right touch in a stocking stuffer for Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and whoever else is important in your child’s life.  Let them have fun and be creative…and worry about the mess later. 

Be inspired, get creative, and have fun!   


Gotta Make It: Paper Christmas Tree November 27, 2007

Filed under: Christmas,Entertaining,Gotta Make It,Gotta Make It...with the kids,Home — inspiremecrafts @ 10:54 pm

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”  ~Roy L. Smith


I’m here, I’m here!  I have been wanting to share some Christmas craft ideas for awhile, but the combination of being out of town for most of November and trying to make our house all “Christmasy” has left me a sparse amount of time to spare.  But now the lil bugger is down for the night (hopefully) and the husband is working late.  Ahhh…peach and quiet!  What more can you ask for?  Maybe a glass of wine to go with that….

So here it goes.  I have been working on this Paper Christmas Tree.  I say “working” because it did take me a few days.   I did it in bits and pieces when the lil bugger was down for naps.  However, if you have some older kids who can help you out you’ll finish it in no time! 

Here’s what you need:

Favorite patterned paper (I chose 5 different ones)
Tree shaped craft Styrofoam (find in floral section of craft store)
Scissors, glue (I used glue gun), ruler, pencil
Stick (smooth and rounded)  Can find at craft store.  Size depends on Styrofoam
Ribbon and other embellishments (optional)
Spray Glitter (optional)
Terra cotta pot (optional)
Small piece of craft styrophoam to put in terra cotta pot (optional)

Glass marbles (optional)

Now the To Do’s:

1. I used 8×8 scrapbook paper since my Styrofoam base was relatively small (around 5 inches tall).  I measured and cut it into 2cm wide strips.  I then cut the 2cm wide strips into thirds.  You can adjust the width and length depending on what size styrophoam you choose.  The bigger you go the bigger strips you’ll want otherwise this will truly turn out to be a loooonnng  project.  The is the part that takes awhile so if you have kids who are old enough to cut and measure….for goodness sakes get them to work!
2.  Take a cut strip and attach the ends together with glue.  Don’t fold it though…you want to keep the other end rounded. 
3.Attach the glued ends to the Styrofoam with glue.  Start at the bottom.  Continue this all the way around.  When you finish one layer move up and start on the next level. Indent where you start on each new level.  A few tips:  If you have more than one child helping you on this it would go extremely quickly if you have one gluing the ends together and then the other gluing the finished piece to the Styrofoam. Next tip:  I layed out my 5 different cut papers in piles and lined them up in the order I wanted to attach them. For the most part I used that same pattern.  However, sometimes I came across areas that had too much red or too much green so I did change it up a bit when needed.  So go with what your eye tells you. If it doesn’t look right…change it up. 

4.  Attach any embellishments.  For example, I added a star to the top along with ribbon hanging down.  I also used a star punch and red scrapbook paper to make “star ornaments” that I glued to the tree.  At the end…spray the tree with some spray glitter to give it that extra ummphh. 

5.  You could call it quits here and your paper tree would still ‘wow’ everyone as a unique Christmas decoration.  But if you want to do it like the picture I show then keep going…..

6.  Take a stick and stab it into the bottom of the tree.  I put a little glue around it with the glue gun to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere.  Confession:  The stick I had was too short.  Being lazy and not wanting to go to the craft store again I started looking around the house.  I had a red colored pencil.  So I took it and used it.  It worked out great and I didn’t have to paint it or anything!

7.  Put the small piece of Styrofoam into the terra cotta pot.  Take the other end of the colored pencil and stab it into the terra cotta Styrofoam. I once again used the glue gun to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere. 

8.  Take some glass beads/marbles and put them around the “trunk” of the tree and to cover up the Styrofoam.  You could also use fake snow if you wanted to. 

9.  I added a large red ribbon to the terra cotta pot.  If you choose to paint or decorate the pot any other way it would probably be easier to do before step 6.

Well….there you have it.  It really is a fun Christmas craft project and rewarding when you finish.  And who says you have to use red and green?  Use the colors that go with your Christmas home decor and get creative.  Instead of paper star cutouts for ornaments why not use some buttons?  You always get those extra buttons with your clothes…so put them to use!

Anyway, I enjoyed sharing this with you and will be bringing some more.   In fact, go check out the Paper Wreath I just finished!  Until then….

Be inspired, get creative, and have fun!


Gotta Make It: Footprint Resin Wall Art November 25, 2007

Filed under: Chrsitmas Gifts,Gifts,Gotta Make It,Home,Kid Gifts — inspiremecrafts @ 7:30 am

“Grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing your kids”


It’s now that time to start planning the Christmas gifts you need to make!  I made these resin pictures last year for grandparents, aunts & uncles, Godparents, etc. 

The items needed:  wood from craft store, paper, glue, resin (found in your craft store usually with all the different glues), ribbon, scissors, paint

First layout some newspaper on the floor and have pre-cut pieces of scrapbook paper ready to put the footprint on.  Grab your child, paint their foot, and start stampin away on the paper.  Make extras because some won’t turn out as good as others and its always nice to have choices!  Don’t forget to have cleanup rags damp and ready to go!

Then I took a piece of wood that I found at the craft store for about $2.  I chose my favorite paper and pictures.  I chose a paint color that coordinates with the paper and painted the wood.  Let it dry.  Then use a spray adhesive to apply  your paper and pictures to the wood.

Next lay out some newspaper and find a cardboard box top.  Place the empty resin box in the middle of the cardboard box top (edges facing up).  Place the wood picture on top of the empty resin box (this raises it up from the box and prevents it from sticking to it when the resin pours off).  Then mix the resin according to the directions that come with it.  Pour the resin over the picture and spread evenly.  The directions say to blow on it to get rid of the bubbles, but  I found that a hairdryer on low works better.  That way you don’t have to inhale all the fumes…they are nasty!  The resin is going to drip off the sides and thats why the cardboard box is good to have.  Once in a while I will take scrap piece of wood or paper and scrape around the edges so it doesn’t leave drip bumps.  Let it dry as directions instruct.

When its all dry attach ribbon to the back and voila!  You have a great personal piece of art that is great for grandparents or even for your own house! The project takes a little work, but if you do them all together it goes pretty quickly.  Plus the result is well worth it! 

Be inspired, get creative, and have fun!