Tag Archives: Shrinky-Dink

Quick! I Need a Crafty Gift!

It  happens.  I understand.  Things get hectic, and you inevitably forget someone on your gift list.  And the teachers!  What about the teachers?!?  Well, I have a habit of making many of my gifts myself (when time permits), and have learned a few pointers that will help you give them a personal touch, even if time is running out.

1.  Something Wooden.  In any craft store or section, there’s usually a decent selection of random wooden things.  Grab a sharpie, get to doodling, then spray it with gloss varnish to set it.


If you’ve got a little more time, you can paint it in a little more detail with acrylics, or decoupage some little graphics onto it.  Doodle some final touches with a permanent marker or paint pens, and you’re good to go!


2.  Personalize Some Clothing.  Inexpensive shirt + permanent marker and a little heat-setting=cute little something for someone.IMG_5594

Got a new baby in town that you need a creative gift for?  Give your kid free reign with some permanent markers (hey–be careful with those!) on a package of plain onesies and it makes a cute (and wearable) keepsake.  (These are ones our daughter did for her new baby cousin.)


You could also personalize it with some iron-on transfers or shapes you made yourself…(I did a blog post about it ages ago).


3.   Embroidery Hoop T-shirt Art.  SUPER easy.  Take some favorite old “retired” t-shirts, cut ’em up, and stretch them across some embroidery hoops to hang on the wall.  Voila!  Fancy wall art!


4.   Cup Cozy.  With some iron-on appliques or your own brand of embroidery work, a quick little cup cozy is a nice touch around the office (at least, I hope my manager thinks so).  They even have pre-made base parts in some crafty places.  Wrap it around a reuseable coffee cup with a button hook or velcro, and toss in a gift card, or a few packets of tea.


5.   Shrinky Jewelry.  A good gift for a loved one.  We love shrinky art.  But what do you do with all those wonderful little doodles?  You can make these doodle chimes.  Or drill some tiny holes in them and hook them up to a ready-made charm bracelet.


6.   A Quick Little Doll.  I’m not sure, but most kids like dolls, don’t they?  Mine does.  If you’re skilled with the sewing of things, a quick little doll can be made with a little bit of fabric and some easy shapes.  I made this little brachiosaurus in just a couple of hours.  I probably wouldn’t turn to me if I needed help with the basics of sewing, but if you can handle your own, this is a quick & easy gift to make that kids should like.


7.   Drill a Hole in a Dinosaur.  Okay, I found this on Pinterest somewhere.  I got an inexpensive little plastic dinosaur toy & used my Dremel tool to cut his back out, filled him with dirt and put a little mint plant inside.  Easy peasy!


8.   Turn a Watch into a Locket.  Got a little more time?  Find a used watch or order a cute crafty-looking one.  Take the back apart (just go with it–I had to experiment myself) and replace all the guts with a cute little photo of your intended person’s family, pet, or special something-or-other.


9.   Something Edible.  If baking’s your thing, you could make all kinds of fantastic, wonderful, edible things.  I’m not so good at that sort of thing, but I know an edible thing is nearly always appreciated (as long as you’re aware of someone’s possible allergies or food restrictions).  This is an owl cake I made for our daughter’s 3rd birthday.  Okay, I’m not suggesting you make someone a full-on CAKE, but if baking is your thing, I’m sure you already have ALL sorts of wonderful, edible ideas.  We made cookies for the local firefighters, and they were so happy to have us stop by, that they didn’t even notice (or care) that I pretty much stink at making decent cookies.


10.   Fill Up A Cup.  This is an easy go-to I like to do for teachers or friends.  Find a cute cup (OH!  Look!  This one happens to be from the shop of our collaboration doodles!  Um.  Yeah, a lot of people might be seeing those for Christmas this year…).  Anyway, fill up the cup with a handful of chocolate kisses or candies, a pen and a notepad, and show  your teacher how much you appreciate them!


So there you have it!  Just a few little easy ideas for some last-minute gifts.  I hope it helps if you’re in a pinch.  I know most of my friends and family have personally already seen half the things on this list, or gotten them as gifts already.  If not….well….Keep an eye out, you’ll probably see them THIS year, too.  Not because I waited til the last minute….but BECAUSE I CARE!  🙂

And since I’ll be out of the loop and full of all kinds of good cheer next week, here’s wishing you all happy holidays, everyone!  And my fingers crossed for another very happy new year…

Doodle Chimes

Our kid likes to draw a lot.  I mean a LOT.

I take photos of all of them, because I’m so fascinated by them.  I love watching her skills develop, and love seeing how her mind thinks, how she can see something and observe how it’s done, and sort of meld that with her own work.

Through all my scouring the internet, I’ve seen lots and lots of ideas of what to DO with all these doodles, and I’ve done quite a few of them.  We have bulletin boards where we’ve pinned some of our favorites.  We have some in changeable frames.  I’ve had strings with doodles clipped to them with clothespins.  My mother uses the photos of doodles in the backgrounds when she makes a digital photo album.   I’ve heard of people making books full of kid doodles.

I wanted a way to show them as a decorative piece in the house; a way we could enjoy them in an awesome way while putting all those doodles to good use.


So I got some laminate paper, stuck them on there to keep ’em safe, punched some holes in them, and strung them from eachother.  We hung them in her bedroom window, and I think they turned out lovely!


Our daughter went through a Shrinky-Dink period for a few weeks, where she created TONS of Shrinky Dink doodles.  What to do?  Why, same thing, of course!  Strung up little doodles look like lovely little wind chimes hanging in our kitchen windows!  With Shrinkies, you have to either punch the holes before you shrink them in the oven, or spend some quality time with your Dremel and a tiny drill bit….

So what do you do with all your kid doodles?

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