Christmas Basket Series: The Finished Product

Well, that’s it folks. Christmas is over for another year. There’s always so much build-up, and then it’s over in a flash. My family basically had a Christmas extravaganza that spanned over three days. It was awesome to see and spend time with so many people we love. It was also our baby boy’s first Christmas, which makes the holidays exponentially more fun.

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I’ve been putting together food-themed gift baskets this year. Here they are, in all their yummy glory:

Read more

Christmas Basket Series: Sauces & Jams

Cranberry sauces and jams are holiday staples that round out any gift basket. I like them because they’re versatile and can be made in big batches. I preserve them using a boiling water method to make sure they’ll keep for several months. Canning preserves can seem daunting at first (at least it did for me), but once you understand the basics, it’s easy to DIY some great food gifts.

Read more

Christmas Basket Series: Candied Pecans

A few Christmases ago, in my quest for frugality and creativity, I realized that food-themed gift baskets may be THE perfect gift…

  1. They’re like stockings for adults.
  2. Everyone needs to eat (that’s just science).
  3. Making things is therapeutic.
  4. People tend to appreciate handmade gifts.
  5. You can make them look cute as all get out without spending a ton of money.
  6. They’re completely customizable.

Gift baskets are always a hit with my family. I like to include a mix of fresh-baked items and ones that have a bit of a “shelf life” because, let’s be honest, nobody is hurting for sweet and savoury goodies at Christmastime. This year is round three or four of my food-themed baskets, and I’m doing it bigger and better! This is the first in a series of posts where I show you what goes into making these baskets, starting with candied pecans.

*DROOL*

Read more

Christmas Shadowbox DIY

I’m one of those people who, as soon as pumpkin spice season has ended, is ALL ABOUT Christmas. You can find me on November 12th perusing the aisles of Walmart, sniffing the cinnamon-scented pinecones, throwing all the shiny things in the cart, and singing out loud to the carols. Christmas has never lost its magic for me, and I want all the holiday swag around me at all times.

The Inspiration

During one festive jaunt to Walmart, I spotted these cute holiday shadowboxes. Loved the idea and the look, but the sayings…not so much.

    

Walmart wanted $15.98 and I thought, I could probably make these for less than $15 and with a cuter saying. And so begins my Christmas shadowbox DIY tutorial. I ended up spending under $10 and I like mine a whole lot more!

You will need:

  • A proper shadowbox or a 9×9 deep picture frame
  • A chalk marker
  • Tinsel, pompoms or other small Christmas decorations
  • Christmas wrapping paper (optional)

Find a Frame

I quickly learned that shadowboxes tend to be on the expensive side, so I opted for a 9×9 deep picture frame (“deep” as in, the sides of the frame are wide). This IKEA Ribba frame only cost me $7.99. I removed the mat and saved it for another project.

Fancy Schmancy Lettering

The lettering is basically the main event of this decoration, so I wanted to do it right. In order for the lettering not to rub off, you need to write on the inside of the frame. On a blank piece of paper, mark off the parameters of your frame so you know how much space you have to work with. A quick image search will give you a ton of inspiration for sayings and fonts. You can either print your lettering off the computer, or eyeball it like I did. Make sure the lettering is dark enough that it shows through the other side of the paper. As you can see, mine isn’t perfect, but you get the gist.

Use tape to secure the paper to the outside of the frame, positioned where you want the words to appear. Then, use a chalk marker to trace the letters on the inside of the frame. This is kind of challenging because you’re writing backwards!

   

Once you’re happy with how the lettering looks, let it dry. I recommend waiting at least half an hour to make sure nothing smudges.

Cover Your Behind

Since the back of my frame is made of cardboard, I decided to cover it in wrapping paper. This step is optional, depending on the frame or shadowbox you use.

Time for the Shiny Things!

All that’s left to do is fill the bottom of the frame with shiny things! I already had these mini glittery styrofoam balls from the dollar store and thought they were perfect for this project. Here it is – the finished product:

I think this would make a great, inexpensive and easy DIY gift for someone on your list, or for yourself! If you use materials you already have lying around the house, you can make this for just the cost of the frame. Merry Christmas!

🙂 Jessica