Sunday, December 19, 2010

Leisure Arts - Paper Tags, Ornaments, Cards and Gifts

click on painting to watch it snow

A Winter's Eve

Susan Rios graciously allowed me to promote this snowfall painting, which can be purchased here.

Just to relax a little, I have made a few things that are quick, easy, yet beautiful, and can be used for children's activities or, with luxury papers, can make beautiful adornments for packages.  These little tags can also become ornaments or cards or garlands. These can be used year-round, in any season, for any occasion, with small changes.

They are only one-dimensional, which makes it a very non-stressful project, yet is quite luxurious and pretty.The paper bow instructions are in a previous post.
Print out the template on card stock, trace around it and use glitter glue to outline the pieces. These are great for tags or ornaments and can be stored in a zip-lock bag. Try making them in white, outlined in crayons. If you want to have a more sophisticated craft, outline white tags/ornaments in shiny white polymer paint. I've used children's construction paper to make the above gift tags.Some of these might make nice book markers, especially the candle.

This is a white poinsettia, but could be made light pink, as well. It can be used as a tag or added to several others on a ribbon to make a garland to drape across a mantel or window. It is cut from card stock, painted with a sponge brush and white Elmer's all purpose glue, and then drenched in clear crystal glitter. Puff paints, glitter, card stock and ribbon for these projects can be found in the Wal-Mart craft department.  Make a stack of paper and cut out several of the white poinsettia's at the same time. Glitter them or put a sparkly glue on the edges, tape a straw to the back of each one for a stem, and place a bouquet in a jar.  Add the leaves from the template pattern, by cutting them from green paper and glueing on the flower, on the other side, slightly showing from the front.  Make a huge poinsetta and use it for a paper fan.

 Right click on this template and print on card stock. Cut out the pieces and trace around them on interesting types of papers.  Add stickers or any kind of trims you like.  Use what you have in your home: cardboard from cereal boxes or other products, crayons, markers or pens.

Click for a larger view of Utopia sign

 You have probably seen words or word-phrases painted on metal or wood in shops, and here is a way you can make some of your own. If you have an old house, try making name signs for each room of your house, similar to the custom of  the bed and breakfast inns. Outline the edges and the words in glue, and then sprinkle glitter on it, or, use Polymer or Scribbles puff paint to give this project and embossed look.

Click for a larger view of Sunshine and Lollipops

Remember Leslie Gore's song, "Sunshine and Lollipops?"

Consider using the "whatever is lovely" verse from Philippians 4:8 for words and phrases on these sweet signs.

Take a shape you like, such as a little serving tray, or trace a square, circle, oval, or anything you have, on cardstock or poster board.
Try making up your own phrases, or use familiar favorites such as "Home Sweet Home," or "Enter With a Cheerful Heart."  Words like "luxury," "happy", "joy" and "enjoy" can be penned into the shape you choose, and outlined with embossing pens.  I saw one recently in a shabby chic shop that read "Be nice."  I've had a lot of fun making up my own, and you are welcome to print out what you like. Use them for tags, gifts, or sell them.  Just right-click and then "print."

Upper sign says "Pretty and Sweet," and lower sign says "See you in Wal-Mart."

Once or twice week, after I get caught up with some of my work at home, I look forward to going to WalMart to do a bit of grocery shopping, where I sometimes see other homemakers stocking up on food and fabric, so I made up this sign for a friend of mine.

I have heard young children say, "Can't we just stay home?" indicating how much they love their homes and their familiar surroundings, so I thought it was a cute saying.

Upper sign says "Let's stay home," and lower sign says, "I like it here, where it's cozy."
This one alludes to Mr. Knightly's remark about not going to Emma's party, because his dark, dreary looking manor in the background was apparently 'cozy'.  "I want to stay here, where it's cozy," he said.

Let's Play House, and Stay

Upper sign says "Welcome to My Dream World," and lower sign is "Enjoy Your Stay."  Both phrases could be made into one sign.

This one is dedicated to the homemakers who have been accused of living in a dream world. You could also pen, "My dream world is better than a nightmare," or something like that.

This sign says "Life is a garden of roses" and it reminded me of a poem that illustrates it:

This life that we're a-livin' in
Is mighty hard to beat:
You get a thorn in every rose,
But ain't the roses sweet!

Tea Time and Lovely

I included doilies in a favorite word plaque, because I have been researching the history of doilies, which were created by a 17th century draper named Robert D'Oilly. Doilies were a smaller, more affordable version of the long and heavy lace tablecloths used by royalty.  I have inherited some, and I display them in my home.

In the late 1800's several writers produced books about orphans (Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna, and others) whose lives were so bleak,  they taught great lessons to grumpy, complaining, critical people. "Play the glad game," said Pollyanna.  After that book was written, critics of the time sniped  that people who had a Pollyanna attitude were simplistic and ridiculous, but in the end Pollyanna made life better for everyone around her.  In the book, Pollyanna was accused of spreading sweetness and light, a habit that is most appealing and needed today. These little signs are cheerful and easy to make.

The upper sign, "Utopia" is the easiest to make, and the lower sign, "Sunshine and Lollipops" is rather small, so it takes some careful outlining if you are using glitter glue.  These signs might look nice done in black and white and hung with black ribbons.

To make the hanger on the back, cut ribbon, or grosgrain ribbon, jute rope, string, yarn, wired ribbon, and tape it on the other side of the sign with a shiny clear tape.

Glitter from Dollar Tree seems to have more gleam to it than the expensive glitters, if you like that sort of thing.

These are thoughtful gifts to make, and work up quickly.


Blessed Homemaking said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

I love your frugal yet pretty craft ideas, and your home looks simply lovely! I wish I could come and visit.

Jan Hatchett said...

Your home is so lovely, decorated for the Christmas season! I enjoy seeing your craft projects and am thinking seriously on making a few myself. Thank you for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,
I love the signs and garlands of ribbon you put on your tree. So Pretty!
Keep posting the great craft ideas and thank you for sharing.

At the Dollar Store I found reproduction German style Christmas tree candle clips. I took out the heavy plastic candles and used floral clay to stick real birthday candles in them before attaching them to the tree. We would never burn them because it is dangerous.

At the Dollar Store I also found clear plastic icicles and hung mom's hand crochet snowflakes on the tree. Now it looks like a reproduction Victorian Christmas tree.

Have a blessed Christmas celebration!

Blessings, Janet Westrup.

Far Above Rubies said...

Your home is lovely. I hope to do the decorations with my daughters this week. They are simple and inexpensive to create.

Thank you for the templates.

Many blessings,


Suzanne said...

That painting is lovely. Your home looks so festive and inviting,especially by candlelight. Have you seen Lorraine's German paper start tutorial that you dip into wax then glitter. They are soooo pretty! She blogs at With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart and the tutorial is in the sidebar.

Anonymous said...

Your home is very pretty! I always get good ideas when I visit this blog!

I live in a large low to moderate income apartment complex. No one here is rich, and every apartment resembles a functional box to some extent. I am amazed at the difference it makes when tenants do or do not care for their dwellings. We have apartments here that are kept spotless and beautifully decorated. Heirlooms and seasonal decorations are lovingly displayed and lace curtains adorn the windows. Little flower beds are planted in the spring and add beautiful color.

On the other hand, there are apartments that are filthy and completely uncared-for, with clothes and trash strewn about, no curtains on the windows and clutter outside the door. It is amazing what different people do with the same "box" on the same income. It really does not take a lot of money to have a nice home, but it definitely takes care on the part of the people living there.

Lydia said...

Thank you for your comment about the apartment dwellers. I was asked quite awhile ago to write about living in a row house or terraced house, on how to make it a home. This is such an interesting subject, and I do mean to write when I get time.

I also have a slideshow of a few portions of my home, if anyone would like to have it emailed to them.

Lydia said...

I checked out the blog and found the wonderful German snowflake dipped in wax and then glitter. She has a nice tutorial for it, too. Thanks for posting the information.

Barbara Jean said...

Oh what a lovely post.
Thanks for letting me know about the new craft. All the sayings are quite lovely. Of course at the store, I would say "Welcome to my Dream World". =)
I have not had much computer time last few days. Doing book work, getting ready for inventory, and doing a bit of shopping.

Hope you and your family all have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas.


barbara jean

Anonymous said...

As my apartment could be considered a row house, I would like to make a few suggestions on how to make it "a home". There may be regulations that prohibit some of my suggestions, like a small garden, but where I live there are not. People can just pick the suggestions they are allowed to do.

1) Make sure your door way is welcoming by using a nice doormat and wreath or other seasonal decoration on the door. A small garden is a very nice touch if you can have one. If not, place flowers in pots outside the door.

2) Put the prettiest curtains you can find on the windows and make sure they let in plenty of light. I use lace curtains in my downstairs rooms that I found at thrift stores and they look lovely while still providing privacy. We put the blinds down at night. Upstairs, I use heavy drapes to provide privacy at all times, but open them during the day when I want to let the light in.

3) Bathrooms can be a challenge but you can use prettty linens here as well. A toile fabric shower curtain with a plastic liner makes my bathroom look pretty, and I put out pretty soaps. I also leave out good cotton hand towels that I trimmed with cotton lace. Even little touches like pretty Kleenex boxes instead of functional ones make a difference in apartment bathrooms.

4) I use pretty quilts on beds, complete with dust ruffles and shams. Dresser scarves and throw rugs add character.

5) I have a very good 1940s kitchen table that I got at a resale shop along with a hutch. If you can get a hutch, I recommend one because they add character and storage space. Even a corner hutch would be good. My table has leaves I pull out when I have company and need more room. All of my dishes and accessories are Pfaltzgraff Tea Rose and I recommend settling on one pretty pattern of dishes and building your collection over the years.

Slipcovers and pillows on couches, plants, candles and lighting are other ways you can make an apartment more home-like. The things you do there make a difference, too. If you are friendly with your neighbors, invite people over to visit, cook and bake, and keep your place very clean, it will feel more like a home. There is no reason you can't be a happy homemaker in an apartment.

Anonymous said...

Great ideas for crafts as usual. I love the way your home looks, it does make one want to come and visit.I went to a Christmas party last night at a perfectly decorated home but it wasn't homey at all. Everywhere I looked there were untouchable breakables and it made me nervous.Keep up the great ideas!

Anonymous said...

Very pretty crafts. The one, "I Like It Here" might be my favorite!

Your house looks lovely and cozy indeed.

Merry Christmas!

~ Ann

Unknown said...

Love the photos of your home. I especially like the first one with the lights in the darkened room. Makes a body want to take a cup of hot chocolate, a good book, and a warm blanket and read the night away in a room like that.

Lydia said...

To the lady in the apartment: your comments are very good tips, and I will use them when I do a post on terraced apartment living. I know a lot of people hate living like that, and for some, it is temporary, and so they just use it like a motel, not treating it like a real home.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you liked my tips. I know some people use their apartments like hotels, but in today's economy, apartments may end up being more more than temporary homes. Sometimes, what was supposed to be a temporary situation turns out to be long-term, so it is not a bad idea to plan to make a home of an apartment from the start. It shows a good attitude and if a homemaker collects nice things for her apartment, she will have nice things for a house if she gets one in the future.

Thank you for your blog and Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

How pretty! And these paper crafts would cost mere pennies to make. Two or three of these coupled with a candy cane in a treat bag would make a nice hostess gift or a present to have on hand for an unexpected guest or vistor.
Maybe not this year but a gift like this with a homemade matchbook type note pad, a pen, a small plastic cup and a yard of some Christmassy fabric would be a nice present to take to homeless shelters. Of course a little prayer for a home and a few scripture promises on a simple card made by just folding a sheet of paper in quarters to give hope could be tucked in.
For a future posting how about some things that could be made from the tissue paper many of us will be receiving in the gift bags along with the presents.
Growing up there were not any picutres on our walls, and I would have liked having a pretty sign to hang in my room. The sayings could be glued onto a piece of pretty calico or a tapestry type piece of fabric to make a wall hanging.
Thank you again for such nice projects.

Lydia said...

You could rubber-stamp a scripture or an image and you could also include sayings like "There's no place like home," or "Home". These tags could be made with something more substantial, like tag board, and hung with wire. The little pink tags could be made into garlands to drape across a door. Try a row of houses with different trims, or a row of white houses with black outlines on the roofs.

Anonymous said...

So beautiful! Thanks for sharing! :)

Lydia said...

Mrs. Angulo is a cousin of mine. Do you know there is a restaurant chain that is called "Cousins"? The one that greets you says, "Hi Cousin" and the one that takes your order says "what will you have today, cousin?" I suppose with the internet, many people are finding cousins they were not aware of.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks for this bit of joy and cheer. Your living room is lovely, and I really like the rattan indoors. We've done the same. It's very practical - easy to clean, change out the cushions, and takes up minimal room. I find it very comfortable as well.

Unknown said...

So many great ideas here. Love all the sayings. I have a sign on my guest room door that says "Here's Where You Sleep".

Thanks for all the new sayings.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your post and pictures! I think I've found what I'll be doing in January!! :)

Anonymous said...

Lydia, I wasn't sure if you were aware that "Raising Homemakers" is having a homemaking link-up.

God bless you!

Mrs. A (Rosemi)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your paper crafts!

Candy from Canada

Trish said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
Thank you for all the lovely and encouraging ways you help us care for our family and home.
May you and yours have a most blessed and happy Christmas!
joy in Christ..Trish

Mrs. Miller said...

Thanks for all of your beautiful and inspiring posts!

Deborah Swinson said...

Hello Lydia, I always love visiting your blog. It is so inspiring and pretty. I love the cute and lovely ideas you come up with. Bless you for being so kind to share your talent with us.

Anonymous said...

Commented at 12:45 PM
I reread your posting (as I often do) and I this time noticed the part on doilies. I crochet. I learned while in the sixth grade and have enjoyed it since. I never had been able to find out anything about the history of doilies. Something as simple as a small to medium sized doily will change a plain surface to somethings quite pretty especially if there is a small arrangement or a candleholder placed on it. One nice thing about crocheted doilies is they do not cost very much to make, even some of the larger pieces take only two balls of thread.
Regarding your signs: Perry Stone recently aired a portion of one of his sermons on the importance of words. He showed picutres of an experiment done with cooked rice which was placed in a sealed jar. Each jar had a card with words on it placed in front of the jar. One jar had the words "I love you, you are good rice" and the other had the words "I hate you, you are bad rice". After many days the jar with the good words "looked" fresh while it was obvious that the other jar was very moldy.

I've been meditating and studying what the scriptues have to say about words and confessions (speaking the word of God). Isn't God loving to have given us words and more importantly His Word. While I was listening to the sermon part of the time I was thinking about the pretty signs on your posting. I especially want to make many of these to give to a particular group where even the online description of that area is listed as a low-income, disadvantaged community. Hopefully, some godly words will impact a change.

Thank you again for sharing with us the sign craft that God blessed you to create.

Lydia said...

I will try to remember to put a blank oval up that you can take to one of the programs on your computer and write a verse or word of your choice in.

Lydia said...

I am working on a very tedious project for everyone to print: a calendar of roses. You will be able to print out the calendar on cardstock, or send it to a copy store and have it printed and bound.

More signs: No Entry, Under Construction, Resting, In Progress, and of course, many scriptures coming up to print on little signs. I also have planned for signs of names of places BESIDES Paris!! Dallas, Fort Worth, Galveston, Raleigh, Savannah, Sydney, Wellington, etc.

Mrs Miller said...

Just made the "let's stay home" and strung it on a ribbon to hand from a door knob!! Looks so cute. Thanks for the continued inspiration!! I'd love to send you a photo.
Thanks, God Bless, Mrs. Miller