Simple Holiday Teacher Gift

Each day that my boys open another door on the advent calendar, it reminds me how close we are to the holidays… and how terribly behind I am! If you’re like me (and I’m fairly sure that anyone who didn’t start Christmas prep in December is in the same boat), then you need some quick and easy holiday gift ideas too.

When my friend Laura Kelly sent me some adorable Me and My Peeps personalized stationary from Expressionery, and asked me to write a little about it… I was super excited! While I’ve whipped up a little craft to go with the personalized stationary that makes it a great holiday gift for a teacher, it also would be a great stocking stuffer for moms, aunts, sisters, or kids who love writing their own notes!

Simple Teacher Gift

I used the notepad Laura sent me, but you can customize a Me and My Peeps notepad for whoever you like. I paired this one with pens, to show how it would make a great gift! Use Promo Code PEEPS for 30 % off sitewide. * And order by December 19th to get your custom gifts before Christmas.

To make the fun holly pens you’ll need:
Holly (from the floral section of the craft store)
Pens
Floral Tape

Simple Holiday Teacher Gift

Pull the leaves and berries from the holly stems.

strip off leaves and berries

Wrap the end of a pen with floral tape to cover it. Stretch your floral tape as you wrap to help activate the stickiness, and get it to really stick in place.

wrap pen

Place the leaves and berries, and wrap into place.

wrap in place

Wrap all the way down to the end of the wires, and back up. Tear off the floral tape, and stick into place with some pressure.

finish pen

Make another to package up with your gift!

make more pens

And head over to Expressionery to check out the fun, customizable Me and My Peeps designs!

*Limited time offer valid through December 30, 2014 at 11:55 PM CST. Receive 30% off sitewide plus free standard non-trackable shipping and handling on orders over $50 with offer code “PEEPS” at checkout. Offer excludes embossed stationery and paperweights. This offer may not be combined with any other offer or discount, and shipping fees and sales tax are separate. To prevent abuse, prices, specifications, and availability subject to change without notice from Expressionery.com.

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Date Planning Book Becomes an Annual Scrapbook

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Groupon Gift Shop. All opinions are 100% mine.

It took 6 years, but this year my husband and I finally spent a kid-free night away from home. It took an out-of-state, no-kids wedding to make it happen. Which helped us realize – we need to spend more time together. Just the two of us. While we love being parents, and hanging out with our two awesome boys, it is important for us to spend time with just the two of us. So, this Christmas, I thought a year of date nights would make an awesome Christmas gift. To make it even more special, I created a little book to help us plan our dates – and at the end of the year, the book will be a scrapbook we can look back on – a year of special memories and new adventures.

Date planning book becomes Annual Scrapbook

To make your own date book, you’ll need:

Chipboard book (found at the craft store – comes with the rings)
Craft Knife Ruler
12 Envelopes (these are leftover Christmas Card envelopes)
Duck Tape sheets
Scissors
Date night printable
Scrapbook Paper (I used Valentine’s paper)
Glue Markers
Date ideas from Groupon

Date Book Supplies

Start by using the Craft Knife to cut the Chipboard. Cut it 1/4 to 1/2″ larger than the envelope.

trim chipboard

Cut the printable pages to fit the envelopes.

trim pages

Glue the pages to the fronts of the envelopes.

glue on fronts

Punch holes in the envelopes that line up with the holes in the chipboard album.

punch holes

Cover the front with the Duck Tape sheet.

Duck Tape Sheets

Assemble the book. Stack the back cover, the envelopes, and the front cover. Secure them together with the rings.

add rings

Decorate the cover – cut up your scrapbook paper.

cut with scissors

Write your title on the front. You could type something out, but using your own handwriting adds a personal touch!

write title

Glue the title to the front of the book.

add label to front

Start planning your dates! I searched Groupon for some fun local date ideas. Living in Las Vegas, there are lots of great deals for bar hopping, and Las Vegas Shows. Hubby and I picked a variety of activities for our first few dates – Riding the High Roller (the largest Observation Wheel in the World), A wine tasting night, and Curling lessons (yup! And we’re super excited)! We made sure to keep an eye on the expiration date for each of these Groupons, so they are good for the next several months. Then we’ll pick some more fun activities to do together.

make more pages

The printed Groupons can be tucked inside the envelopes to keep them safe. Along with anything else we might need for the date like – cash to pay the babysitter. After the date, we can tuck mementos into the envelopes – photos, a cocktail napkin, show program, or anything else. We couldn’t wait until the new year to start our year of dates, so we took a date night a couple weeks ago. We rode the High Roller at the Linq, which is the tallest observation wheel in the world. The groupon included a free photo from the Polaroid Photo Bar, which I’ll be tucking into our date night envelope.

Date night on the High Roller

This is a great gift for newlyweds, new parents… or really any couple! Tuck in Groupons for the first few dates to get them started. Or, like me, you can make this a gift for you and your spouse. I’m looking forward to an awesome year of really fun dates!

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How to Gift Swim Lessons

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Groupon Gift Shop. All opinions are 100% mine.

Though I was a good swimmer before I was 3, my boys haven’t been as lucky. We haven’t spent enough of our summers near swimming pools, and I haven’t spent the time I should getting them enrolled in swimming lessons. But they love water anyway. So, when I saw that there was a Groupon on for swimming lessons – I knew it would make the perfect gift for my 6-year-old. Buying the Groupon meant a fun gift at a great price… but I couldn’t toss a printed piece of paper into a gift bag, and expect my young child to get excited on Christmas morning.

So, I came up with a fun way to wrap up his swimming lessons.

how to gift swimming lessons

If you’re planning on giving swimming lessons, or a similar gift, this holiday… here is what you’ll need to put it all together:

Smooth sided mason jar (it MUST be smooth-sided – you can find them at most big-box stores)

Blue Glitter Vinyl (any color)

Rubbing Alcohol & paper towels

Glass Etching Kit

Pennies (optional)

Goggles supplies to give a swim lesson gift

Start by cleaning off the outside of the jar with rubbing alcohol. You’ll want to get any oils or residues off the outside. Cut the word “SWIM” from the Vinyl. I used my Silhouette cutter – you can use a craft knife or other cutting machine. Remove the letters, and place the outline on the glass jar.

put vinyl in place

Following the instructions on the etching cream, apply the cream.

add etching cream

Etching cream is very easy to use – brush on an even coat, leave for the required amount of time (usually only a couple minutes), then rinse off.

rinse off etching cream

It may not look like much while wet, with the vinyl still on. To see the magic of the etching cream, peel away the vinyl.

peel away vinyl

Fill the jar with the glitter and pennies. Why pennies? Because when I was a kid, we’d throw pennies into the pool, then dive into the water, and pick them up off the bottom. You can leave out the pennies if you like.

fill jar with pennies and glitter

Add the goggles, fill with water, and secure the lid. I added the printed groupon, wrapped everything in tissue paper, and put it in a box. This gift is way more fun to open… and he gets a new pair of goggles! If you wanted to add more to the gift, you could add a swimsuit or beach towel as well.

give a swimming lesson groupon

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Snowscape Ornament

I finally have my Christmas Tree up! While most of my crafty friends have had their trees up for weeks, I’ve finally pulled out all my holiday decor, and started decorating the house. Hopefully all in time for our annual party this weekend. While I’m in the Christmas spirit, I made this little snowscape ornament. Super simple to make, and you don’t need any special crafty skills. If an adult helps with the cutting, and hot glue, a child could help with the rest – it is that simple to make!

snowscape ornament

To make the Snowscape Ornament, you’ll need:
Small tin
Styrofoam Sheet
Mod Podge
White Glitter
Paintbrush
Small bottle-brush trees
Ribbon
Hot Glue

supplies for ornament

Take the lid off the ornament, and press the ornament into the styrofoam sheet.

cut into styrofoam

Lift it out, cut around the indentations, then cut a curve through the middle to make a hilly shape. Check the fit.

place styrofoam inside

Mix an equal part of Mod Podge and glitter. Paint into the back of the ornament. Make swirls with your brush strokes.

swirl in the mod podge and glitter

Press the trees into the hilly shape.

insert trees

Add some of the glitter and Mod Podge mixture to the trees to make them look snow-covered.

add glitter and mod podge to trees

Hot glue the styrofoam hill in place, then cover the front with the glitter mixture.

swirl in more glitter and mod podge

Cut the ribbon. Tie an overhand knot to make a loop.

knot ribbon

Glue the ribbon ends to the lid with hot glue.

glue ribbon to lid

Allow the Mod Podge to dry.

allow to dry

Once the Mod Podge is dry, put the lid back on. Your snowscape ornament is complete!

close ornament

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Gift a Groupon Necklace

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Groupon Gift Shop. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you have someone in your life that is hard to give a gift? Maybe they already have everything? Or maybe you can never find the right color or size… so you just end up giving them something you hope they’ll like, and then giving them the gift receipt so they can exchange it. This year, Groupon is a great way to give gifts to those tricky people on your gift list! There are so many fun experiences – from classes to tours to trips and more! Today I’m going to share with you a fun way to gift some Groupon Jewelry! Necklace made from a groupon I found a Groupon that is perfect for my crafty friends – a glass blowing class where they get to make their own necklace pendant. Which gave me an idea – I’d turn their Groupon into jewelry. So really, I’m giving them a piece of “jewelry” that will allow them to make their own custom jewelry – and have an awesome time learning glass blowing at the same time! And, this is really easy to do! You’ll need: Printed Groupon at 15-25% (depending on how big you want your necklace) Paper Cutter Resin & doming tray Glue (I used hot glue) Bezel Necklace Chain and clasp Jewelry Pliers Jewelry Box supplies to make a groupon necklace Mix the resin according to package instructions, and set aside for it to thicken a little. mix resin Cut out the Groupon. trim to size Place the Groupon on the doming tray, and pour on a little resin. Use the stick to push it to the edges so that it covers the entire top of the paper. spread to edges Allow to sit overnight. The next day, your resin will be hardened, and you can turn your Groupon into a pendant! Glue the bezel to the back of the Groupon. time to glue on the bezel String the chain through, and add a clasp to each end of the chain. Tuck into your jewelry box. turn a groupon into a piece of jewelry You’ll want to print a full-size version of the Groupon to tuck into the bottom of the box, to make it easier to redeem. Just wrap up the box with some fun holiday ribbon, and you’ve made a gift that is perfect for any of your creative friends! wrap the jewelry

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Annual Glass Memory Block

Before I had kids, I did a lot of scrapbooking. I have scrapbooks from High School. I have scrapbooks from when my husband and I were dating. I even have a wedding scrapbook and a separate Honeymoon scrapbook. I have a scrapbook of the first 6 months of my oldest child’s life. And that’s where the scrapbooking ended. But that hasn’t stopped my desire to collect the various bits and pieces of our lives – all the ticket stubs, matchbooks, napkins… all the little things that are great for sticking in scrapbooks, but so hard to keep track of when you’re not actively scrapbooking. So, I came up with this simple glass block as a place to store all the annual bits and pieces. Maybe until they get scrapbooked… but most likely, this will become their permanent home.

Annual Memory Blocks

You’ll need:
Glass Block (I picked this one up at the craft store)
Paper towels
Rubbing Alcohol
Glass Etching Kit
Vinyl Number Template (cut it out with the Silhouette using this file – I have 205, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 if you want to plan ahead)

supplies for etched block

Start by peeling the labels off the block, and cleaning it with rubbing alcohol.

take off label

Attach the vinyl stencil.

adhere vinyl

Cover with etching cream, and allow to sit per the package directions – it takes only a minute or two! So fast!

add etching cream

Rinse off the etching cream, then peel off the stencil.

rinse off cream

Start dropping in your stubs and bits of life… keeping them on display without having to scrapbook. Yet, anyway…

fill with ticket stubs

 

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Simple Customized Piggy Banks

My boys love putting change into their piggy banks. They love it when their dad comes home, gives them each some of the change from his pockets, and they get to run upstairs to put it their piggy banks. These customized piggy banks are even more fun – they love seeing their names on the sides of these piggies!

Personalized Piggy Bank

Supplies:
Plain Piggy banks (you can find them at the craft store)
DecoArt Glass Paint Pens
Paper Towels
Rubbing Alcohol

piggy bank supplies

Wipe off the piggy banks with rubbing alcohol – this is not optional! You want to clean off any dust, oil, grime, whatever to help the ink from the pen stick.

Then, write whatever you like on the piggy banks!

write on piggy bank

If you don’t like your handwriting on the first pass, just wipe it off with the paper towel and rubbing alcohol, and try again.

finished piggy banks

These are great simple gifts for nieces, nephews, or whatever change-loving folks you have in your life!

 

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DIY Feather Earrings

Looking for a gift to give a stylish friend or family this year? Make these DIY Feather Earrings – they’re super simple to make, only require a few basic supplies, and cheap enough to make that you can easily make yourself a pair, too!

Simple Feather Earrings

Gather your supplies:

Feathers
Earring Hooks
Jewelry Pliers
Embroidery Floss
Glue (optional)

supplies for feather earrings

Pick out feathers that are similar.

pick feathers

Open up the bottom of the earring hooks. You can toss the spring and bead bits. Or keep them for another craft at some point, up to you.

straighten out earring

Cut a piece of embroidery floss about 12″ long. make a loop.  Line up the loop, the earring hook, and the feather.

loop thread

Making sure to leave the short end of the thread at the top, and sart wrapping the floss around the earring hook and feather, towards the loop at the bottom.

wrap around

When you get to the bottom, tuck in the end of the floss.

thread through loop

Pull on the tail you left at the top to tuck the loop under the wrapped section. Then trim off the threads. You can add a dot of glue at the top and bottom if you want to be extra-sure that everything is secure.

finished earring

Repeat these steps for the second earring.

make second earring

Then your earrings are all done!

feather earrings

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Nutella Emergency Chocolate

A few months ago, I shared my Emergency Chocolate Craft. Like all projects here on 30 Minute Crafts, it is super simple to make. But, if you want to gift some emergency chocolate in an even easier way, then Nutella is absolutely the way to go! Wrap it up with a spoon and a tag, and you have a gift for almost anyone on your list.

Nutella Emergency Chocolate Craft

You’ll need:
Jar of Nutella
Spoon (I prefer a nice metal spoon over a plastic one – check Thrift stores for fun spoons)
Ribbon
Scissors
Paper
Marker
Hole Punch

supplies for gifting nutella

Start making the tag. Cut a rectangle, chop off the corners, and punch a hole.

cut tag shape

Write on your tag.

write on tag

 

Tie the ribbon around the top of the Nutella jar.

tie ribbon on top of nutella jar

Then tie on the spoon.

tie on spoon

Add the tag, and tie a bow.

the gift for anyone - nutella and a spoon

Emergency Nutella – a great stocking stuffer, or gift for any occasion!

delicious nutella gift

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Simple DIY Wine Glasses

Looking for a super easy and customizable gift for the wine lover in your life? Whip up these super simple wine glasses! You can write whatever you like on them, and they take only minutes to make!

Simple DIY Wine Glasses

Supplies:

Wine glasses (these were on clearance at Target)
DecoArt Glass Paint Pens
Paper Towels
Rubbing Alcohol
Oven

supplies for wine glasses

Start by cleaning off the glasses with the rubbing alcohol. Don’t skip this step! The ink on the glass paint pens works best on a super-clean surface.

Then write your saying right on the glass. If you’re not happy with your penmanship, just wipe it away with some more rubbing alcohol, and write again.

write on glasses

You can write a name, favorite quote, draw a picture… whatever you like. These wine glasses are simple to make! When you’re done, pop them in the oven according to the directions on the package. This will set the ink so that it is dishwasher safe through tons of washings.

finished glasses

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