10 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS

Wow. Good thing I have been working like crazy! I’ve finished 5 Christmas gifts this week, and already have a couple more started 😀 I just can’t wait for people to open them!! Since many of my lovely family and friends read my blog (I found out, even though they rarely comment 😛 *hint*), I can’t actually show you what I’ve been working on :(

Instead I’m going to share some fabulously festive photos I’ve taken using Instagram 😀

Alex at the festively decorated Hula Hut
Sweet Treats Tree at Toy Joy
Santa has a parrot
Chase snoozing
Our 4' Christmas Tree :)

I seriously love Christmastime. Everyone’s so festive and happy, and interested in helping other people…you know, how it should be all year ’round 😉  I hope all of your presents are coming along smoothly and that you’re enjoying the season, too!

Santa Threads

It’s Thursday Threads time! But today, in honor of a Handmade Holiday, I’m sharing some awesome winter clothing tutorials!

A Santa Hat by Puppy52Dolls. It’s for a Blythe doll, but you can customize it for any size!Santa’s Hat pattern

The Purl Bee has a tutorial for these beautiful flip-top mittens:Hand Warmers and Flip Top Mittens

Make a festive headband with creativeyarn:

headband-with-bow

This patchwork scarf by Sew, Mama, Sew! is adorable for kids or adults!Patchwork Scarf Tutorial

You can find these toe-up socks on Knitty:toe-up short-row sock worksheet

And make these adorable tie on slippers from Cut Out + Keep:The Elle Tie On Slippers

Handmade Holiday: Sweetness

In addition to the Holiday Bread in a Jar and Peppermint Marshmallow recipes, I thought I would share a few that I’ve found online that just look delectable. These are recipes that I think would be great for holiday parties, for a quiet night at home, or to give as gifts!

Eggnog Fudge by Recipe Girl (who also has a list of amazing Christmas cookies):

Eggnog Fudge

Hot Chocolate on a stick by Giver’s Log:Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Homemade Cocoa and Chocolate Ganache from In Jennie’s Kitchen :homemade hot cocoa + chocolate ganache recipe

Gingerbread men from Joy of Baking: Gingerbread Men Recipe

Crunch Top Apple Pie by Paula Dean on the Food Network:Crunch Top Apple Pie

Etsy Crush: Stocking Stuffers Under $10

Sometimes it’s a mad rush to find that perfect little gift to complete your list, so here are a few handmade suggestions for under $10 each! (Click the photo to go to the listing)

A cute mustache stamp for someone silly:Bushy Mustache - Hand Carved Rubber Stamp

Luscious Lavender Loofa Soap for someone who needs some pampering:Lavender Glycerin Loofah Soap 5 oz by LifeSoapSimple

A pocket-sized journal for the artist or note-taker:Mini Toffee Journal - Unlined

A pretty pick for the musician:Silver Nickel Guitar Pick - Hand Stamped - I Pick You

Flowery hair pins for a flowery girl:Icy Blue Blooms - Bobby Pin Set

Coal soap for someone a little naughty:Santa's Lump of Coal Soap

Lego crayons for the kids:Mini Men Crayons - Lil Doodlers (tm) - Set of 9

Pearl earrings for the sophisticated lady:A perfect gift for bridesmaids under 10 dollars - real pearl studs - classic

Wine bags for the dinner partier:Sweater Wine Sleeve - Cream

Oh, I just love stocking stuffers! Happy Tuesday :)

Decorated Gift Boxes

Here are a couple quick ideas to make regular gift boxes look grand!

Starry Box

Add a shiny ribbon and embellish with glittery, stick-on stars (I found these at Hobby Lobby). It’ll glisten under the tree!

Ric Rac Gift Box

Give your box a little flair with brightly colored ric rac and/or lace. Layer in different ways for fun textures.

Trim Gift Box

Add some vintage fun with vintage trim in festive colors. Wrap it crossed or in layers and include a candy cane as an extra treat!

Now just add a great gift tag and you’re ready to go. Remember, the simplest touches make all the difference in the world!

Holiday Bread Jars

Homemade Holiday Bread in a Jar

My friend Mary and I love giving home-baked gifts. And since she is an amazing chef, I asked her to help me come up with one we could bake in jars and mail to friends. She created this amazing recipe for holiday bread!

Ingredients:

  • 8 8-oz Ball jars
  • 2c flour
  • 1-½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¹⁄₈ tsp nutmeg
  • 1c buttermilk
  • 1c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1c peeled, diced apple
  • ½ c dried cherries (you can substitute raisins or craisins)
  • 1c chocolate chips

Instructions:

Recipe & ButtermilkChop ApplesZest over bowlWhish wet and dry ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease Ball jars.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sugar, eggs, oil, zest, and vanilla.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry mix. Give three good stirs (should be about half-way mixed) and add apples, cherries, and chocolate chips. Stir to combine. [Don’t overmix! It’ll make it tough.]
  5. Fill jars about ⅔ full. Bake 35min or until done.
  6. Cool completely. If they’ve overflowed, scrape off a bit so you can put the glaze and lid on (and taste it ;))!
  7. Then spoon 1 tbs of the glaze* on each and top with sprinkles (optional).
  8. Package them up pretty and send away 😀

*Glaze: Mix 1c powdered sugar with 1 tbs orange juice (from the one you just zested!).

Put into ovenCook 35 minutes or until donePour on glazeAdd sprinkles

I hope you’re enjoying my Handmade Holiday Blogathon! Feel free to share your favorite handmade gifts/recipes/tutorials, too :)

Fabric Button Ornaments

Mini tree with Fabric Button Ornaments

Here’s a little tutorial to make some adorable button ornaments!

First, cut fabric of your choice (consider a theme for your tree as you go) and use a button maker to make your fabric buttons.

Add ribbon to fabric button ornament

Then attach coordinating ribbon or a wire hook to the back of the button.

Lastly, hang on your tree and admire your work!

Fabric Button Ornaments hanging on treeFabric Button Ornaments hanging on tree