Brown paper bags turned into holiday decorations

My sister-in-law is an amazing artist, one of those people who can do everything. She paints. She draws. She throws clay. She crafts. She crochets. She takes inspiring photographs. Even her name screams creative genius – Piper LaRue. Nice, right? So today I’m sharing a few of Piper’s masterpieces with you, specifically her hand-drawn gift bags. Yep, these all started as plain brown paper bags. I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away after last Christmas so I trimmed, laminated, and framed them. Voila – handmade holiday decorations.

Santa Elvis

Santa fish

flying Santa

Santa puppet

If you don’t have access to an amazing young artist, you can find fabric and scrapbooking paper these days that’s frame-worthy. I’ve even seen some wrapping papers here that I would gladly hang on my wall. Do you have any “repurposed” holiday decorations? Send me a link, I’d love to see it.

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DIY cafe mocha sugar scrub and free printable

A couple weeks ago I shared a recipe for a DIY pumpkin spice sugar scrub. Since then I’ve come up with another scrub that is UH. MAZE. ING. It’s perfect for holiday gift giving and you probably have everything you need in the cupboard right now.

Cafe Mocha Sugar Scrub 

diy cafe mocha sugar scrub

1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of regular white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground coffee
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil (see #3 below)
1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Mix together brown sugar and white sugar.

2. Add the coffee and cocoa to the sugar mixture and stir together, being sure to break up any lumps. I used a french vanilla coffee because it’s what I had. I’m sure any kind will do.

3. Add the oil and mix well. What kind of oil you choose is really up to you. Sunflower, safflower, or plain vegetable oil will all work. My only suggestion is to NOT use olive oil because it has such a strong scent. I used this from my local grocery store.

diy cafe mocha sugar scrub

4. Lastly, stir in the vanilla. (The smell might seem overpowering at first but it will mellow.)

That’s it, you’re done. All that’s left is to scoop it into some pretty containers and deliver it to your friends. I usually go with mason jars – simple & classic.

diy cafe mocha sugar scrub

But this time I was looking for something non-breakable so it could be used in the shower without worry of broken toes or bloody messes. I decided on this little number from The Container Store.

diy cafe mocha sugar scrub

Of course I had to make a pretty label for it too. It’s not professional or anything but I’ll put a link at the bottom of this post. You’re more than welcome to use it for your own sugar scrub adventures.

You could give it with a Panera or Starbuck’s gift card.

diy cafe mocha sugar scrub

Or with a coffee mug that’s perfect for you-know-who.

diy cafe mocha sugar scrub

A few other ideas bouncing around my noggin:

  • tuck it inside stockings
  • give as gifts at a ladies holiday brunch
  • package with a bag of specialty beans from Harry & David
  • surprise your favorite barista
  • put a basket full in the teacher’s lounge at school
  • give as a hostess gift at Christmas dinner

As promised, here are the labels I made. Let me know if you decide to mix up a batch of this yummy stuff. I can’t wait to hear how you like it.

Photobucket

Photobucket

DIY pumpkin spice sugar scrub

You are not going to believe how easy it is to make your own yummy-smelling, skin-softening sugar scrub. And cheap. I mean really, really cheap, using things you probably already have in your cupboards. This recipe is perfect to give as a Christmas gift or next week as a hostess gift at Thanksgiving. Here we go.

1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of regular white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil (see #3 below)

1. Mix together brown sugar and white sugar.

2. Add the spices to the sugar mixture and stir together, being sure to break up any lumps.

DIY pumpkin spice sugar scrub

My inspiration, Stephanie Lynn, uses pumpkin pie spice. I tried it both ways and think using the four individual spices makes it smell . . . yummier.

3. Add the oil and mix well. What kind of oil you choose is really up to you. Sunflower, safflower, or plain vegetable oil will all work. My only suggestion is to NOT use olive oil because it has such a strong scent. I used this.

DIY pumpkin spice sugar scrub

Did I mention that you’re done? Yep, that’s it.

DIY pumpkin spice sugar scrub

All that’s left is to put it in a pretty jar and ask me, “hey, where’s the cute packaging and free printable?” I’m working on it, I swear. I’m looking for a non-breakable container so it can be used in the shower. When I find it, I promise to share. Until then, scoop a batch into a mason jar, tie a ribbon around it, and deliver it to your Thanksgiving host. They will love you for it.

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

It’s Movember. Time to put a spotlight on men’s health issues and, of course, have a little fun doing it. In addition to letting my mustache grow for the whole month I made these new Mustache and Lip Pillow Shams.

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

You can find them for sale over in my Etsy shop. While they were inspired by the Movember movement they would be the perfect gift any month of the year.

– Christmas/holidays
– traditional wedding
– gay wedding (2 staches or 2 lips)
– house warming
– kid’s/teen rooms

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Hope you love them as much as I do. I’m trying to figure out how I can make a donation for each Etsy purchase. Will let you know when I do.

Funny holiday gift tags and wine tags

It’s officially the holiday season and while I’m not one of those people who skip Thanksgiving, I do like to get a head start on anything that requires shipping. With that in mind I’m sharing these funny holiday gift tags and wine tags today. They’re my own creations and I sell them in my Etsy shop. Their clean, simple design is perfect for traditional or modern tastes and they’re perfect for gifts that ship – no more squished bows. So take a look and have a laugh. See something you have to have? Visit http://www.etsy.com/shop/LaughingAbiStudio and you can get it.

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DIY Masterpiece Monday: Money Bows

I love creative gift wrapping ideas and this is one of my favorites. My daughter received it on a birthday package years ago and I managed to snap a photo before she started spending.

creative gift wrapping

This is the perfect solution for that cousin or nephew that you don’t know very well but still need to buy for. Maybe wrap a box of homemade cookies in plain white paper and top it with one of these “green” bows. It’s more thoughtful than a gift card or check but won’t be re-gifted next season.

Check out http://laughingabi.com for more creative gift wrapping ideas.

DIY Masterpiece Monday: New Chatterbox Gift Tags From Laughing Abi Studio

new gift tags from laughing abi studioI just got home from Bloggy Boot Camp and I gotta tell ya, it rocked my world. Look for a post later this week dedicated to the SITS Girls and all their Bloggy Boot Camp fabulousness.

Today I’m squealy- excited to introduce my latest DIY masterpiece, new Chatterbox Gift Tags from Laughing Abi Studio. Like everything I design, they are fun, silly, and a little bit outrageous. Continue reading