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Handmade Christmas Cards

This year’s Christmas cards are made.  I can’t seem to get away from the fabric covered card.  I love them.  Simple, yet stylish and I find them very addictive to make!  I have updated the instructions on how to make them here if you’d like to give them a go.

As well as the ‘Made ‘n’ Thornbury’ market on the Friday night just gone, I will be selling my cards, as well as my paper garlands and clay decorations at the Wale St Primary Christmas Market in Thornbury this coming Tuesday from 6.30 – 9pm.  Love to see you!

A per usual if I have any left over, they’ll be my Christmas cards for this year.

Do you make your own Christmas cards?  Do you bother with Christmas cards at all?  

DIY FABRIC CHRISTMAS CARDS

Christmas cards finally written & sent.  

This year, I used the same card making method as last year.  Ironing fabric onto card.  Simple, yet stylish I think.  Do you do Christmas cards?  
This year I did a big run and made 50.  I sold most of them at a fundraising market at my friends kids school, which left just enough for me to use myself.  I tend to only send to those who I don’t see regularly and live interstate & overseas and then use a few more to add to a Christmas gift or two.
If you’d like to give this method a try, this is what I do…
FABRIC COVERED CHRISTMAS CARDS

1.  Fold a piece of card* in half.  

2.  Round the corners with the corner punch if you’d like, or just leave it.  Up to you.

3.  Trace around your card using a pen onto Vliesofix giving a border of less than half a cm.  You’ll only need to cover the front of the card, with a few cm overhang on the back of the card.

4.  Cut around your pen mark giving about a centimetre border.

5. Place the Vliesofix onto the wrong side of your fabric, paper side up.  (wrong side to rough side) 

6. Glide iron evenly across the paper side of fabric for approx 10 secs. (longer for thicker fabric) so that they stick together.  Use a dry iron on a low heat setting.

7. Cut fabric to size, along the outlines of the Vliesofix.

8. Allow a bit of time to cool before peeling off paper carefully.

9. Place the folded card on top of the fabric, wrong side of fabric up.  You’ll be able to see the pen marks now ironed on to your fabric so line the card up inside the pen lines.

10. Keeping your card closed, iron the fabric onto the card.  Start by lifting the small bit of fabric over the back and ironing that on first, then turning the card over and doing the front of the card.  Always iron on fabric, never on card.  Make sure it is a dry iron with a low heat setting or the card will warp.

11.  Let it cool down for about 30 secs and check that it sticks really well everywhere.  If it doesn’t – iron some more.

12.  Trim the excess fabric from around the edges with fabric scissors.  Et voila!


*The card needs to be quite thick or the heat of the iron will warp your card.  I use 300gsm and it seems to work well.  You’ll also find that your fabric will adhere better if your card has some kind of texture and is not too smooth.

**Vliesofix is a double sided heat bonding material commonly used in applique.  The brand that I find the easiest to work with when making cards or notebooks is called ‘easyfix’ which I purchase from ebay, but I’m sure you could find it from an online or local fabric store.

Do you make your own Christmas cards?

1/12/12 – tutorial updated.

Christmas Past

As last year I ran out of time to post our Christmas crafts and posted them far too late to be useful for anyone.  I’m not always the most organised of people despite the very best of intentions so all of these things can be done very quickly and very last minute.  That’s how we roll over at Frog Goose & Bear.  As last year’s Christmas posts have been getting a good viewing with almost a thousand hits a day on my blog at the moment (that’s double the usual!) I thought it might be handy to combine all of last year’s Christmas posts into one….
BON BONS (aka CHRISTMAS CRACKERS):



CHOCOLATE BARK:



the one on the left being the Christmas one with crushed candy canes.  
This post, although an Easter post, contains the link to the recipes for each of them or you can go 
straight here for the recipe we used 2 years ago for Christmas cocoa in a jar.





These are all fun activities to do with your kids.

Stay tuned for even more Christmas crafting this year!

What Christmas creativeness have you been up to?

REINDEERS & CHRISTMAS CRAFT

Now that the gifts for teachers, classmates & neighbours, kriskringles & ‘plates’ for 1001 Christmas parties, breakups & end of year celebrations are (almost) done and dusted and kinder, playgroup, swimming lessons, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. are all over for the year, I can finally start doing the Christmas shopping…we’ve still got another 5 days haven’t we?!

I love all of the craft at Christmas – there are so many reasons to get crafty!

Along with many in blogland, reindeer food for kinder friends and Reindeer noses for school friends are all made and delivered.  Head here for last year’s reindeer food.  This year, I used this free printable for the reindeer food (there’s other cute ones here & here) and this printable for the reindeer noses.  You could use some gorgeous free ones here & here.  

Now I’m off to make cupcakes for Goose’s class Christmas party tomorrow.  Don’t you love it when the teacher sends a note home with all of the food they would like at the party with it already allocated.  Everyone else gets the ‘packet of chips’, ‘popcorn’, ‘dip & biscuits’ and I get ‘small cakes’.  Actually, I do love it!  Any excuse. I’d much rather be making cupcakes than folding the ever rotating gigantic pile of washing!

Do you go crazy with Christmas craft, like me? 

EASY PAPER CHRISTMAS DECOS (& a handy tree hanging tip)

While making some paper garlands for last week’s fundraising Christmas market, I experimented a little using the same concept and came up with a fun & simple way to make this paper bauble Christmas decoration.

To make these cute garlands you need a large circle hole punch* (or some scissors & a shot glass), some old sheet music and a sewing machine.  Place 2 paper circles on top of each other and thread through the machine and repeat until you have a garland of your desired length.  

To make the single bauble decoration you use the same concept.  This time you pile 5 paper circles on top of each other (depending on the thickness of your paper & what your machine will cope with) and thread it through the machine, leaving a long thread at one end to use as the string to attach to the tree.  Both the garland and the bauble really work best with double sided paper.

While we are on the topic of Christmas decos, I thought I’d share a little cheats way of hanging Christmas decorations that my mother taught me…Twisting open a wire paperclip (as pictured below) makes decorating the Christmas tree so much easier for little hands!

To be honest, you don’t really need a sewing machine to make the paper bauble Christmas decoration.  I have seen it made many times using glue.  Just slightly more time consuming.  With a gluestick and some more paper circles, you could also have fun making a larger paper bauble like this one made by my clever friend Heather.




I have also seen the same concept work really well on Christmas cards here.

This garland that I saw on the Creative Place last week is what I want to try next…after I purchase some different sized hole punches… a whole new league of garland!  


For some more paper decorations made from old sheet music check these out.

My circle punches are both 2″ in size.  One plain circle and one with a scalloped edge.  Mine were purchased on ebay, but I have seen them at art supply shops in various shapes and sizes.

KIDS CHRISTMAS CRAFT: {Reindeer Food}

If you have a school aged child, you’ll know the deal where the kids like to give out a Christmas card to everyone in their class. Goose, as always, wanted to join in the fun again this year. Remembering last years excitement over making handmade cards which was promptly followed by the reluctance (of the drawing blood from a stone kind), to actually writing ‘Merry Christmas love Goose’ 24 times, I thought I’d try something different this year…

A few years ago we lived in Alice Springs and at Christmas time that year the clown doctors at Alice Springs hospital (where my husband worked at the time) gave out bags of reindeer food with a simple message inside. Every year since a family tradition has developed and we have left food out for the reindeer.
Combining these concepts and a quick trip around the internet we had a Christmas card replacement idea ….

We mixed some quick oats with some glitter in a large bowl then put a few spoonfuls into each small plastic bag. We printed some red and white stripes* onto card, cut a rectangle shape, folded the card in half and stapled it onto the top of the bag. We then used some free printable reindeer tags from here printed onto sticker paper.

We printed the following poem** onto sticker paper and stuck it on the back:
Sprinkle on the lawn at night


The moon will make it sparkle bright

As Santa’s reindeer fly and roam

This will guide them to your home.
24 all done for school friends and a few extras for other friends. All happy and over in no time at all. Doing the activity outside also meant for quicker clean up!

This is something that even the 2 and 3 year old siblings could join in with as well. We even took the excess bits and pieces to playgroup this morning and had it as the craft activity. It worked really well.

Here’s hoping every parent in the class sees the fun and doesn’t hate me for sending home such potential mess makers! I did tell her she had to hand them out at the end of school……. fingers crossed…

Addition - I have just found these free printable bag toppers for reindeer food – gorgeous! Use these and it’s even easier!

Addition no 2 - you can see the reindeer food that we made in the following years here, along with some other fun reindeer class gifts.

For more Christmas craft ideas you can pop over to our Kids Craft Ideas page …
http://froggooseandbear.blogspot.com.au/p/kids-craft.html



* we used printable paper from this party pack but you could use this free one which is similar.
** nabbed from a thousand places all over the internet. Not sure of original author. If you know please let me know so that I can credit them.

Reindeers & the Class Gift

In Prep, Goose made her own Christmas cards for her class mates at school and really enjoyed making them.  She loves that kind of thing.  But getting her to write ‘Merry Christmas love Goose’ 24 times was like drawing blood from a stone, so in the years since we have tried something different…that didn’t involve writing!  

In Grade 1 she made reindeer food for her friends, in Grade 2 she made reindeer noses and this year she made candy cane reindeers.  We may have a theme…

To make a candy cane reindeer you will need some mini red pom poms, some mini googly eyes, some brown pipecleaners and some candy canes.  Spotlight has red pom poms and googly eyes in a whole range of sizes as well as brown pipecleaners.  I’m sure they could be purchased at your craft supply store.

She glued on the eyes and nose with craft glue and then twisted the pipecleaners around a pencil to get the curly effect, before twisting them around the top of the candy cane.
 Bear, not to miss out, has been following suit and last year made reindeer food for his friends at kinder.  This year we made 50 bags of reindeer food, because now that she is a kinder kid too, Frog had to do the same!  

It is simply rolled oats, mixed with glitter, bagged with a free printable on the top.  
These gorgeous reindeer food printables came from Anders Ruff design.

I’d been planning on waiting to give out the reindeer food in the last week of kinder, but unfortunately one of her kinder friends pipped her at the post and handed out reindeer food on Monday.  I’m sure the reindeers will appreciate 2 lots of food right?!

And because I loved the reindeer noses so much last yearI had to make lots of them just to have on hand to give to friends over the Christmas period.  8 maltesers and a jaffa with a cool tag on the top.  

These ones were designed by my very clever friend Caroline, a fellow ‘kinder’ Mum,  who very kindly let me use her design.  They even have the names of the reindeers on the back – gorgeous – thanks Caroline Caroline is talented in many ways and also has her very own store on madeit where she sells beautiful dolls & accessories, called ‘Madebyme’.  She is also selling her reindeer nose printables at the moment.  I highly recommend a look!

While we’re on the topic of reindeers, how cute are these reindeer biscuits that someone brought to a Christmas party we were at last week?

Do your kids make a class gift, give a cards or candy canes?   or do you just think I am a little mad* and merely adding to the pressure at this already busy time?!



* I probably am, but this is the stuff that the kids and I love about Christmas time and we just want to share the fun!  

Ready to Rummage

Frog Goose and Bear will once again be having a stall at the Melbourne Suitcase Rummage at the Thornbury Theatre tomorrow from 11 – 4 if you happen to be in the area.  I’d love to say hi!  I’ll be selling lots of fabric covered Christmas cards, clay birdies and rainbow garlands.

Along with my gorgeous friend Candy who makes the coolest magnets around!

At the last suitcase rummage I was lucky enough to have a stall next to a gorgeous young gal who made soy candles in all kinds of funky containers.  I was inspired and we have been making some of our own.  Head over to Kidspot Village Voices for FGB’s next eggshell craft instalment!

Have you ever been to a suitcase rummage? 

SIMPLE HANDMADE GIFTS FOR GIRLS… part fourteen

Last Monday night a few friends and I had a little stall at a fundraising market at their children’s school.  So much fun! I sold all of my little birdies, along with some Christmas cardschai tea sachets, reindeer food, reindeer noses & paper garlands.  The other ladies had some gorgeous stuff, along with these super cute and super simple hair clips that I just had to share with you this week in my simple handmade gifts for girls series. 
RIBBON COVERED ALLIGATOR CLIP

To save myself some time explaining in detail, I did a quick google search and found this simple tutorial for you to follow if you’d like to make some yourself.  All you need is a hot glue gun, some grosgrain ribbon, an alligator clip & just a few minutes of your time.
To add to the cuteness of the gift, she had made simple clip holders with a piece of ribbon and some more hot glue! (Or of course, they’d fit very well onto one of these also!)
I can see these as great stocking stuffers and birthday gifts for Frog & Goose’s friends for quite some time!  As we have moved around quite a lot and have friends all over, I also love a gift that fits into an envelope and can be mailed interstate or overseas.
Come back next Monday for another simple handmade gift for girls.  I’m planning on posting an idea every Monday until Christmas*, so if you have an idea to share and would like to guest post – send me an email.  I’d LOVE to hear from you! 

SIMPLE HANDMADE GIFTS FOR GIRLS… part five

Some more quick and simple handmade gifts for girls for you…

Paper has always been a favourite craft medium of mine.  Japanese paper* is something that we have a soft spot for at our house and due to Goose’s love of all things Japanese, we have it in abundance.  
As well as a cute gift, these ideas would make great party favours also!

I made this fabric covered notepad using the same method that I used to make my Christmas cards last year.  Ironing fabric on to the cover using vliesofix.  Simple, but very effective.  Full tutorial here.

I just wrapped some paper around the pencil and eraser using some mod podge glue.  
Full tutorial on pencil here.

I love how something plain & inexpensive…


can quickly be made into something cute & giftworthy.

To make the peg magnets, I simply used double sided tape and stuck the pegs onto a sheet of patterned paper and used my scissors to cut around the peg.  I then attached a magnet onto the back.  I can imagine the gift above being given with a fabric covered notebook or some free printable stationery like this one.


Goose and I made up this little package for our lovely friend Shannon’s birthday last week – who also happens to be our gorgeous babysitter!


fabric covered notebook – tutorial here
paper covered pencil – tutorial here.
origami covered erasor
paper beaded bracelet – tutorial here
origami paper crane – tutorial here
paper garland made from a mix of old sheet music & origami paper.

Shannon is in her mid twenties, but the same things could easily be modified for a younger girl…


Take out the tea and add some origami paper and an instruction sheet on how to make their own origami creatures.  There are many simple origami tutorials to be found here.

The Japanese card above was made from an old children’s encylopedia, along with some origami paper.

Stay tuned for more simple handmade gifts for girls and even some guest posts from some other crafty handmade gift givers in the coming weeks.  If you are interested in doing a guest post for this simple handmade gifts for girls series – send me an email - I’d love to hear from you!

Linking in today with one of my favourite creative places on the web.



* I purchase all of our origami paper from ebay where there are many different sizes and prints to choose from.  I have found this store particularly prompt & helpful.
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