Scratch-Off Valentines

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I’ve been wanting to make some kind of scratch-off card forever, and I decided Valentine’s Day was the holiday to finally give it a try. I love the results!

There are a few ways to go when making scratch-offs. You can mix your own metallic scratch-off paint or you can use stickers. I went the sticker route… clean and easy. I designed and printed a few Valentine puns, cut them out, and applied the stickers, rounded the corners and voila… scratch-off valentines.

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I put the mini valentines in 2-inch boxes filled with candy and decorated with polka-dotted hearts, red and white twine, and “be mine” flags I picked up at Michaels.

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I enjoyed handing these out at work today. And, I have plenty of stickers left over so I see more scratch-offs in my future.

P.S. Here’s what I did last year for Valentine’s Day.

Free Printable: Fa La La Garland

falala_garland2

What are you doing this weekend? If you’re like the rest of the country, you’re probably baking and entertaining and shopping and wrapping. Maybe you’re addressing your holiday cards while watching your favorite Christmas movie. Is there time to squeeze in a quick decorating DIY? Yes! And I have a free printable for you to make it easy.

For the simple accordion folded garland above, I printed the letters needed on sticker paper I found at Paper Source. I then used a 1-inch circle punch to cut the letters and adhered them to the “garland.” So simple. I created free printables of several color combos so you can make your own garland.

Here’s How:
1. Use a 2-inch paper punch to create 18 circles of patterned paper or card stock.
2. Print* one of the PDF templates below and use a 1-inch paper punch to cut out each letter.
3. Adhere one letter to each patterned circle.
4. Use a needle to thread the circles on a piece of embroidery floss or twine.
5. Hang above your bed, from your mantle, or use the garland to wrap a gift.

Free Fa La La Garland Printables
1. Cherry & Kelly
2. Berry & Pine
3. Blush & Mint
4. Magenta & Lime
5. Black & Gray

BONUS!
Here are a few “Happy Birthday” and “Happy New Year” garland printables.
1. Happy Navy
2. Happy Gold
3. Happy Black

* Be sure to print at full size with no shrinking or the circle guides may be too small and show on your final product.

 

 

3 Easy Holiday Garlands

Have you ever looked around after completing your holiday decorating and thought – it needs something. Maybe it’s more color, more shine, or something new to rest on that shelf you hung a few months ago. Garlands to the rescue! Here are three easy-to-make garlands that will add that needed finishing touch to your holiday decorations.

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1. Fa La La Garland
This is an accordion garland perfect for a mantle, a desk , a coffee table or as the centerpiece on your holiday buffet. Simply decide what you want to spell out and how long it needs to be and that will determine how many folds you need in your garland. I glued several pieces of card stock end to end to have the length I needed. You can decorate each folded piece in numerous ways. I went for a Nordic/ski lodge feel and used printed letters on stickers to spell out the fa la la. The best part is it folds up neatly which makes it easy to move and store.

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2. Santa Hat Garland
I collect Santas so I wanted to make a garland that worked well with my collection. For this garland I cut diamond shapes out of red card stock and folded them over bakers twine to form the hats. I folded a white card stock rectangle over each hat for the white fur, and glued a white pompom on each tip. I alternated the hats with tiny jingle bells which I think makes the garland a little more fun. Be sure to use good glue to keep the hats in place. (Note: the card stock was more difficult to keep glued together but regular paper may not be sturdy enough.)

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3. Christmas Lights Garland
When I was in grade school my dad would line the eaves of our house with big, old-fashioned Christmas lights. I could see them out my bedroom window and sometimes they would be covered in snow, creating a soft glow of red, green, orange and blue. There’s no snow where I live now but I figured out a way to get a colorful holiday glow in my windows.

To make this garland, I used these directions for crayon hearts and this punch from EK Success. (Looks like the punch is discontinued but you could cut the shape by hand.) I spaced the lights out along a piece of black embroidery floss and glued each one to a piece of folded black construction paper. I love how the light shines through the melted crayons making unique patterns on each bulb. This one’s probably my favorite.

Holiday Gift Wrapping

scotch_gift_pugh2 Just like people eat with their eyes, I believe gift-givng starts with the eyes. How a package is wrapped is as important to me as finding the perfect gift to give. I’m not always convinced I’ve selected a gift that’s “just right” (although I try), but I certainly can take the time to make sure the wrapping is top-notch.

When I stumbled upon the Most Gifted Wrapper contest, I had to enter. I thought of three different ways to wrap the same size box and carefully executed my plan. Wouldn’t you know it… you can only enter one wrapped gift. Bummer. This nature-themed gift was one of my rejected wrapping ideas. I don’t want to jinx it by posting the one I entered. If I win, I’ll share.

Do you love to wrap gifts? You have until December 10, 2014 to enter. By the way… I am not being paid by Scotch Brands to promote their contest (and I hope it doesn’t disqualify me!). I just got so excited about it I wanted everyone who loves gift wrapping as much as me to have a chance to enter.

5 Simple Advent Calendars

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When I was little, we always had an advent calendar. They were made of paper and generally depicted a manger scene, but sometimes the image was secular like the Santa advent calendar shown above. Every day my brother and I would take turns opening the tiny paper windows to reveal an image related to Christmas – a star, an angel, a bough of holly. Advent calendars were special and glittery and, at once, increased anticipation and managed expectations. There’s no need to ask, “how many days ’til Christmas?” when there’s an advent calendar in your home.

Advent calendars have morphed (especially if there are kids in the house) from a daily, brief moment of wonder to the added pressure of coming up with 24 tiny gifts or activities to enjoy every day. If you’re scrambling to come up with a last-minute advent calendar, here are five easy-to make versions made with materials that are easy-to-find or you may already have around your house or in your stash of craft supplies.

1. Mini silver buckets from Our Vintage Home Love.
2. Needlepoint hoop from Lapinblu.
3. Free printables from Melanie Blodgett for Julep.
4. Envelopes from Martha Stewart.
5. Kraft boxes from Sally Shim.

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DIY: Mini Pumpkin Piñata

This year I wanted to give mini piñatas a try for a Halloween decoration. Here are the five designs I created and here’s how I made them.

You will need empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes, paper, crepe paper, glue, scissors, pencil, construction paper, embroidery floss and needle.

2. Trace around the end of a empty tube with a pencil on a piece of paper. Draw four tabs. Cover opposite side of traced circle with crepe paper. Cut out both circles with tabs and glue one over one end of tube. Thread a piece of embroidery floss through the center of the other circle with tabs.

Halloween piñata - step 1 | Emote Design

2. Fill the tube with treats and glue the second circle to the end of the tube to enclose the contents.

Halloween piñata - step 2 | Emote Design

3. If there are gaps between your circle with tabs and the tube, cover them with more crepe paper. Cut three pieces of crepe paper about 6″ long and glue around the tube to cover it completely.

Halloween piñata - step 3 | Emote Design

4. Cut eight pieces of crepe paper about 12″ long. Stack them and cut fringe about 3/4″ into the crepe paper and about 1/4″ apart. Starting at the bottom, glue each strip around the tube. They will wrap around the tube several times. It’s OK – don’t skimp!

Halloween piñata - step 4 | Emote Design

5. Add some eyes and mouth using card stock. To access the treats, just pull the string!

Pumpkin Piñatas | Emote Design

Get creative! Check out my other piñata designs for inspiration. If you make a Halloween piñata, be sure to add your link in the comments. I would love to see it!

Mini Halloween Piñatas

Happy October! It’s time for all things Halloween. What’s your favorite Halloween decoration? Do you like cute or spooky? Do you make or buy?

This year I wanted to give mini piñatas a try. They are easy to make (although they do take some time) and crepe paper is a very forgiving medium. Fill them with candy, stickers, crayons, spider rings, etc. Or, leave them empty and create a garland. Here’s how I made them.

Spider (or bat or vampire) | Ghost

Spider and Ghost Piñatas | Emote Design

Candy Corn | Martian

candy corn and martin piñatas | Emote Design

Pumpkin | Filled with candy!

Pumpkin Piñatas | Emote Design

 

Hi! Five: Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas

Hola! Listo para una fiesta? Say “hello” to these Cinco de Mayo party basics I found on Pinterest.

Cinco de Mayo party ideas found on Pinterest | Emote Design

1. Lovely tin can floral arrangements from wedding style guide.
2. Refreshing strawberry agua fresca from The Taylor House.
3. Classic salsa fresca recipe from Martha Stewart.
4. Fiesta favor bags filled with goodies from Camille Styles.
5. Festive pull piñata garland from Love + Cupcakes.

Bonus: How adorable are these individual seven layer dips? (Leave a comment if you know the source.)

Individual seven layer dip found on Pinterest | Emote Design

May Day Paper Cones

May Day – May 1st – is traditionally a day to acknowledge the coming of summer. To celebrate, some communities host Maypole dances, public garden clean-up events, or picnics in the park. One May Day tradition I always wanted to try is the secret hanging of May Day baskets filled with flowers on the doorknobs of neighboring homes.

Instead of baskets, I made simple paper cones to fill with flowers. (Here are the directions.)   Below are some of the May Day paper cones I made to hang over doorknobs and chair backs, both inside and out.

Red Gingham Paper May Day Cone | Emote Design

Black Toile Paper May Day cone | Emote Design

Paper May Day Cones | Emote Design

Green Polka Dot Paper May Day Cone | Emote Design

Yellow Polka Dot Paper May Day Cone | Emote Design

Weekend DIY: Paper May Day Cone

May Day (May 1st) is recognized by many as the unofficial beginning of Spring. A common way to celebrate May Day is by hanging baskets of fresh flowers on the doorknobs of neighbors’ houses.

Red Gingham Paper May Day Cone | Emote Design

You can easily make your own paper May Day cones and fill them with Spring flowers to surprise your neighbors. Wrap a few light-weight flowers in a piece of damp paper towel then wrap again in a piece of foil to keep the paper cone dry.

To make one cone you’ll need:

  • 6 x 6 inch piece of patterned card stock
  • Bone folder
  • Glue or adhesive tape
  • 2 eyelets
  • Eyelet setting tool (like the Crop-A-Dile)
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Scissors

Directions

Paper May Day Cone Directions | Emote Design

Fold a piece of 6 x 6 inch card stock in half diagonally (below, left) with the pattern on the outside of the fold. Reopen the square and fold two opposite points to center fold (below, center). Refold the paper at the center fold (bottom, right).

Paper May Day Cone Directions | Emote Design

Cut off the pointed tip to create a straight top to your cone (below, right).

Paper May Day Cone Directions | Emote Design

Use glue or adhesive tape to adhere the outside flap of the cone to the inside flap (bottom, left). Use eyelet tool to punch two holes at the top of your cone (below, right). Reenforce holes with two eyelets (optional – below, right). When you punch the two holes, be sure the glued side of the cone will lay flat against the door when hung on the knob.

Paper May Day Cone Directions | Emote Design

Finally, thread twine or ribbon through the two eyelets to create a handle for your cone. Add flowers and surprise a neighbor!

Yellow Polka Dot Paper May Day Cone | Emote Design