From the category archives:

The Perfect Gift

DIY pom pom bookmark

Created by Jane from See Jane Blog . Edited by Amy Christie.

Has the weather turned cold where you live? In my neighborhood, temperatures have dropped and my instincts are to spend the day cozied up with a favorite book and favorite mug full of hot cocoa. Are you the same? I’m sure you have many fellow book worms in your neighborhood, so I thought it would be fun to create a charming little bookmark that would make a great anytime gift for anyone that needs a little fall comfort.

DIY pom pom bookmark
DIY pom pom bookmark

It was actually my daughter’s clever idea to make yarn pom pom balls in the style of a bookmark. This is the perfect anytime gift because it’s affordable, easy to make, and turns out a fluffy ball of cuteness. It’s sure to improve the look of any book!

Click here for the full tutorial. It’s super easy!

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Super Easy Tutorial for a Zippered Pouch

By Amy Christie.

Gabrielle has mentioned that in France, her kids are required to carry pencil bags at school. So I thought it would be fun to create a DIY for a simple pencil bag in fun fabrics that could work for boys or girls. It would make a fun fall gift for your child.

But then I made some, and I’ve been using them for all sorts of tasks! Who doesn’t love a little pouch to zip up things in?

I’m going to tell you right now: Sewing is not my forté. Add zippers to the mix and I start sweating. But this little pouch only requires five lines of stitching. Five! That’s it! And two of them are for looks so if you nix those, you are down to three. If I can do it, so can you.




Try this tutorial, and I’m betting you’ll be adding pouches to purses, suitcases, and yes, backpacks too! Lets get started.

Click here for the full tutorial. Super easy, I promise!

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By Amy Christie.

Fall has arrived — and a new season of cooking! I feel like every time I open a magazine or check a favorite website, people are planning autumn dinner parties. So I thought it would be fun to come up with a knock-your-socks-off hostess gift for those of you with dinner plans on the calendar. I love how they turned out! I think I might need to adapt them into Christmas ornaments.



The changing leaves are one of my favorite parts about fall. I love the gradient colors and have collected a couple of trees worth over the years. But they don’t last! Sigh. They lose a bit of the color. They dry out. They crack and crumble and I’m left with a pile to clean up. Using a bit of plaster, some paint and inks, I figured out a way to make them a little more durable. And entirely perfect for a beautiful setting a fall table.

Click here to get the full instructions.

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The Perfect Gift: Cork Stamps

September 10, 2012

DIY: Carve wine corks into pretty stamps!

It’s mid-September and you’re probably settling nicely into a school year routine. If you’re like me, you love a good excuse to stop by the school and say hello to your kids — and maybe even spend time in the classroom. So I asked Amy of This Heart of Mine to come up with a little gift for teacher (the perfect excuse to drop by!). Her idea is a great one. Enjoy! — Gabrielle

The (pre)school year officially begins at our house today! The excitement has been brewing for some time now, I’m glad the day is finally here. With the first day upon us, we have readied our teacher gifts. I thought a collection of handmade stamps seemed perfect. Very teacher-rific! These cork stamps are very easy to make, use simple materials, and allow for a lot of personalization.

This project is so much fun! I think you’ll love it.

Gather your supplies and get stamping! Click here for the tutorial.

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I love gathering school supplies for my kids, but I’m always tempted to pick up fresh pencils and crisp notebooks for my friends as well. It seems like everyone enjoys a fresh start in the fall! So I asked Jordan of Polkadot Prints to come up with a perfect gift for friends who are trying something new. — Gabrielle

A friend of mine has recently gone back to part time work after taking some time off to focus on her young family. She is in a creative industry, so she’ll no doubt have light-bulb moments and genius ideas on the go! I’m hoping these gilded Moleskine journals will come in handy for her brainstorming and note taking whether in the board room, the car or anywhere in between. They were quite easy to make and once on a roll, I ended up making myself a set too!

So lets gather our tools and get started.

Click here for the full tutorial.

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DIY Alphabet Cookies for Teacher

This post is sponsored by Nestlé® Toll House® Morsels, the perfect special ingredient for all of your family’s favorite treats!

Hey. The school year is long. And it never hurts to try and get on the teacher’s good side early on. : ) So I asked Amy of This Heart of Mine to create a sweet back-to-school gift for teachers — something fun you can bake with your kids! (Take note: the squeeze bottles are genius.) — Gabrielle

DIY Alphabet Cookies for Teacher
DIY Alphabet Cookies for Teacher
DIY Alphabet Cookies for Teacher

Another summer is at its end and school’s start is coming soon (or maybe it’s already begun!). It’s hard to part with the lazy days of summer, for student and teacher alike. Lucky students, they get new gear, new backpacks, new pencils, maybe new clothes if there was some summer growth. Teachers might get a few new materials too, but why not help start their year with a little extra sweetness?

Click here for the cookie tutorial — and the little school bag too!

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August is one of the year’s biggest moving seasons and chances are you have a dear friend settling into a new home right this minute, or some new neighbors who looking to make friends. So I asked Miranda of One Little Minute to come up with something lovely to make as a housewarming gift. Take a look at her adorable idea! — Gabrielle

DIY French-Braided Welcome Wreath. via DesignMom.com

Inspired by the french braid trend, I came up with this simple, french-braided fabric wreath and know it will make an easy, versatile housewarming gift. I chose to make it with bright gradient colors of fabric scraps, but I think it would look equally amazing in raw burlap or all white linen. Gorgeous! There are so many possibilities that you could use this technique to match any style.

DIY French-Braided Welcome Wreath. via DesignMom.com DIY French-Braided Welcome Wreath. via DesignMom.com

After you make your wreath, feel free to download and print the free Welcome Home Tag to make your gift complete!

French braiding ahead! Click here for the full tutorial.

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Our upcoming trip to the U.S. involves several long road trips, and chances are, you have some car time ahead of you this summer as well. So I asked Jordan of Polkadot Prints to come up with an awesome gift for a car trip. Don’t miss the free printable she created! Enjoy. And bon voyage! — kisses, Gabrielle


We’ve been doing a fair bit of driving since we moved out to the lake. Visiting family, weekends in the city, even groceries involve quite a bit of driving for us. So, to keep things interesting and little people occupied, I created these snack bags for a recent trip.

Each treat box spaced out the goodies for our journey. For instance, Levi could have a bag of goodies once we “saw a deer”, “had been driving an hour”, “had a nap”, “saw 15 red cars,” etc.

With school out, I thought they might be just what you need for your summer road trips. Cute gifts to give your kids, or to give to favorite friends before their family vacation!

Click through for the tutorial and free printable!

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Summer is here! For many of us that means things like summer camp and road trips. So I asked Amy of This Heart of Mine to think up a perfect gift to make for kids who’ll be doing a bit of traveling this summer. I love the project she came up with — bookmaking is awesome! — kisses, Gabrielle


Bookmaking is a project close to my heart. I’ve been making sewn books since childhood. Made with cereal box covers, covered in wrapping paper, filled with stories and ‘thumb thing‘ drawings. In college, I spent a few semesters learning every which way to create and compile books. Even though they weren’t filled with my thumbprint drawings, each was a labor of love and my work was joy-filled.



I spend time each year teaching bookmaking to school-aged children. The children are excited and I love talking about and teaching about bookmaking. There is just so much potential in a blank book! I have this dream that if I can continue to share my joy and love of bookmaking, there will always be moms and children making cereal box cardboard and wrapping paper books in the years and decades to come.

Interested in making a sewn book with me? Click here for the full tutorial.

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Still looking for something awesome you can make Dad for Father’s Day? Well, Jordan of Polkadot Prints — one of my favorite Australian bloggers — has just the thing. And it includes a free printable. Take a look! — kisses, Gabrielle

So your dad has the shiny BBQ, he has the large over-sized BBQ utensils and now you’re scratching your head as to what to get him for Fathers day. Enough of the scratching, as today I have a practical and fun fathers day gift for you that will take his BBQ’ing to a whole new level.

Create a gourmet BBQ sauce pack perfect for summer picnics and get togethers!

Click for full instructions plus the free printable.

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Hello, Friends! I’m delighted to introduce a new column today. It’s called The Perfect Gift! The column will feature great ideas for gifts you can make for every occasion. We’ll start with Father’s Day, and cover things like housewarming gifts, graduation gifts, holiday gifts, hostess gifts, coach gifts, etc. — and even include ideas for wrapping up the gift!

Why gifts? Great question! Turns out the number one topic I receive questions about is gift ideas. What should I buy for my mother in law? What’s appropriate for an end of year teacher gift? That sort of thing. And I love coming up with great answers! So I hope this new column will be helpful, useful and inspiring.

For the debut post, I asked Miranda of One Little Minute to come up with something perfect for Father’s Day. I love her idea! Take a look. — kisses, Gabrielle


Nothing feels more like summer to me than roasting marshmallows around a fire pit, then using those perfectly toasted mallows to create gooey s’mores. I spotted these simple wooden-handled roasting forks, and thought they would be wonderful items to personalize for each member of the family. Tied up in a simple paper bag with some s’more fixings, they make the perfect gift for Dad. Include a reservation for a night at Dad’s favorite campground and it turns into the best gift ever!


Instructions and wrapping tips below. Click here!

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