Gift Card Pairing Ideas is sponsored by Ralph’s. All opinions are 100% my own.
I’ve often heard people say “gift cards are so impersonal”. On the contrary, gift cards allow the recipient to buy what their hearts desire without the hassles and hurts of playing the return and exchange game. I’ve put together a fun list of creative gift card pairing ideas to make the “impersonal” a thoughtful and stand out holiday gift. Oh! And of course I had to throw in my own upcycled DIY tutorial!
My husband and I went to Ralph’s and were inspired by so many ideas. We searched the aisles to look for creative gift card pairing ideas… and I must say we were EASILY inspired! We came up with several ideas to fit many different types of people like, co-workers, picky family members, and fellow Moms. More on this later… I want to share with you what I ended up buying my in-laws along with a gift card from Ralph’s.
My in-laws are coffee drinkers like me, so we bought two recycled eco-friendly Aladdin coffee travel mugs, a bag of their favorite Starbucks coffee, and some Private Selection Carmel Sea Salt hot cocoa.
I decided to make my own gift box out of a recycled food box. I cut it to size leaving the top open.
To cover it, I used:
Recycled burlap coffee bean sack
Hot glue and glue gun
The burlap I used was a little see-through, so I covered the box with paper to hide the writing. I had this burlap coffee sack left over from when I made my recycled coffee bean sack pillows. I used a glue gun to secure the burlap in place.
I stuffed the inside with some extra burlap scraps and placed my items gift card inside. It turned out quite sturdy and cute!
Here are some other gift card pairing ideas we came up with while inspired by walking up and down the aisles of Ralph’s:
Dessert theme: ice cream cones, sprinkles, chocolate and caramel sauce, and cherries
Baby theme: any baby products along with your gift card
Nail theme: nail clippers, nail file, nail polish, cotton balls
Spa theme: face mask, wash glove, loofa, sponge, lotion
Mixed drink theme: any of the Bonny shakers, corckscrew, jigger, or cocktail strainers, and a bottle of liquor
Wine theme: bottle of wine, wine charms, wine bag, and corkscrew
The list goes on and on but those are our favorites. We wanted to give a big THANK YOU to Ralph’s for sponsoring this post and inspiring us!
My older brother told me that when I was little I used to sing “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music and I would mess up the words. For example I would sing, “When the bee bites, and the dog stings.” I often think of that time and age in my life when I’m stressed out. Being creative is very therapeutic for me. Sometimes it’s just the little things like wrapping presents for friends that make me happy. Many times (if not all) when I’m “crafting” there really isn’t an exact plan. Things just happen and fall in place. Anyway, I decided to wrap these brown paper packages tied up with string to relieve some stress of the holiday season this year.
This was my process… just picture me staring at the boxes and raiding my craft room in between each step wondering what to do next.
I started with these boxes. You can’t see what’s inside because it’s for two of my best friend’s birthdays coming up and I don’t want them to see it!
Because of “My Favorite Things” I wrapped them in brown paper.
I looked in my cabinet filled with all different types, colors, textures of ribbon and pulled out this super thick lace.
I also found some pretty pink satin ribbon.
I finished them off with some twine, a felt flower, and I used a craft punch to make the tags.
I know I know… not a crazy tutorial or upcycled DIY project today… but just taking a moment to enjoy simple things like wrapping presents for friends that make me happy!
How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint is sponsored by Elmer’s. All opinions are 100% my own.
I had the honor of testing out a fun craft product, Elmer’s Paint Markers. They are great because you can use them on wood, metal, glass, ceramic, and even fabric. When I received these markers I knew immediately what I wanted to try with some recent thrift store finds.
Here is a short four minute video tutorial I did on How to Upcycle a Vase with Paint.
I purchased these glass vases at a thrift store for $2-$3 a piece.
Once you remove your Elmer’s Paint Markers from the package, shake them well. Remove the cap and press the tip down onto a piece of scrap paper for approximately 60-90 seconds to allow the paint to bleed through.
Fill your glass with a generous amount of paint.
Move and shake the glass until the paint coats the entire inside of the glass. This takes time and patience! Allow the paint to dry overnight.
Apply an adhesive stencil to your vase. Feel free to free-hand your design instead of using a stencil.
Fill in the stencil with the desired Elmer’s paint Markers color.
Remove the stencil.
Here is another clear glass vase that I painted green and added polka dots with the metallic markers.
Here is another vase I found at a thrift store that was already green in color. I painted a flower trim with the markers.
There you have it! The possibilities are endless. Try these markers on canvas, metal, and wood too!
Thank you to Elmer’s for sponsoring this video and post!
FINALLY! I get to share the vintage themed baby shower that I have had the honor of working on for my best friend’s brother and sister-in-law. It was a beautiful day and my friend had the perfect back yard for it.
I had such a great time decorating for this party. I bought some flowers and arranged them all before I left. I loaded the car and brought all my decorations including the thrift store shelf I made over. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to decorate because I had no idea how the venue would be set up. There were five tables, so I needed five centerpieces. I brought some toys, vintage books, small decorative suitcases, several handkerchiefs I bought while antique shopping, and of course the flowers.
I also had the food table to decorate. I layered the table with boxes to create some height. I also brought some cupcake stands I made. The table was quite the hodge-podge, but I think I made too many decorations!
I ended up using my thrift store shelf to place the favors on. I brought my DIY pedestal trays, some antique books, and more handkerchiefs. I c small flower boxes from the craft store and put chocolates inside.
I wish I took more pictures of the backyard in total but I forgot! There was too much going on and I was trying to enjoy myself. Oh well!
There is so much that goes into decorating a baby shower…well, at least when I decorate for one! Last week, I shared a couple decorations I made; a fabric scrap bunting and recycled jar flower vases I made for a vintage inspired party. I’ve been on a roll with making these fun and easy baby shower decorations, and sometimes some of the work and details are missed when you only show the final product, so I thought I’d share a few more.
I bought these wooden frames from Michael’s and Mia and I painted them different colors. I bought some onesies and baby socks and hung them from twine. I embellished each end with lace and ribbon in different colors and textures. They turned out so cute.
Here’s another tiny flag banner made out of scrapbook card stock, twine, and mini clothes hangers. I will string this inside a vintage suitcase as part of one of the center pieces (I think… We’ll see how it actually turns out the day I decorate. I always end up moving things around).
I made this banner using doilies I found in the dollar bin. I simply folded them in half and secured it with double sided tape.
I’m getting really excited for this shower! I’ve pulled a bunch of thing together that I already have, I’m just going to bring it all and wing it that day. I think I’ll bring my up cycled blue thrift store shelf to put the drinks on. We’ll see! The shower isn’t for a couple weeks. Can’t wait to show you!
My baby cousin got married!!! Woo hoo! I’m so happy for them…they are seriously PERFECT for one another. With their permission, I just HAD to share some fun DIY wedding ideas for this very sweet, very whimsical navy and yellow wedding.
This was a very small and intimate wedding. It was the perfect size, if you ask me. There were about fifty or sixty guests. The center aisle was lined with lanterns adorned with painted wooden yellow hearts with a navy background. Simple white paper flower flowers graced the alter.
Covered in navy linens and yellow napkins, the table was beautifully done with wooden boxes. Each box had three bottles of yellow and white flower bouquets.
The bride and groom had special Mr. and Mrs. Wooden letters on their chairs.
There were also special bottles of wine gifted by the groom’s father. Each bottle had a personalized number of years labeled on it and a silver pen attached. Each guest wrote a special note on the bottle for the bride and groom to open on the corresponding year.
Lanterns and lights were strung across the entire dining and dance floor.
The bride crafted recycled bottles spray painted in a textured gray spray paint as pretty vases scattered on the food, gift, and favor tables.
The bride also upcycled a hutch she found for five dollars and used it to display cupcakes.
She also make DIY cupcake stands with candlesticks and plates.
There were several games for guests to play under a beautiful gazebo with cushioned seats.
Last but not least, there were personalized navy and yellow pinwheels for each guest to take home and place in their garden to remind them of this special day.
This was one of the best weddings I have attended… congrats again to Mr. and Mrs. Brian and Jenny Fusco! Love you guys!
I have been working on this vintage themed baby shower that I have coming up for a friend and I just wanted to share a couple of the decoration ideas I have already started. You know how I love upcycling so I started saving sauce and dressing jars to use as flower vases. I also had some fun vintage inspired baby fabric from my swag bag from the SoCal Social event I went to last year… I knew it would eventually come in handy!
Here are the materials I used:
Recycled Jars and Bottles
Paper Craft Flowers
Double sided tape
Here are a couple more pictures. I will use them for the flower arrangements for the shower.
I also used the scrap fabric to make a banner. My daughter, Mia helped with this one! I cut all the fabric I had into strips.
I also cut a few pieces of left over lace ribbon.
One by one I tied on each strip, alternating the colors and patterns to some rope that I had left over from some thrift store rope vases I made a long time ago.
It turned out so cute!
I can’t wait to show you the shower. It’s coming up soon! I’m never sure exactly how things will turn out until the day of the event but I know I am using some things I already have for decorations like vintage suitcases, antique books, vintage handkerchiefs and baby books I bought while antique shopping, and some other things! Until then!
My husband and I went to visit his parents in Wisconsin recently and we had such a nice visit. My Mother-In-Law and I got to go shopping a few times but I have to say, my favorite shopping outing with her was our antique shopping trip. This is probably because antique shopping in Wisconsin is SO much better than antique shopping in California. In my experience, shopping in California is so much more expensive. I just wanted to share some of the pictures I took and the fun finds I bought.
These stores had rooms upon rooms of stuff… from old bed frames to walls of vintage mason jars. It was every crafter’s dream.
A few stores had sales which was great and made it even more enticing to buy things. I had a vintage baby shower that I had in mind so I was on the lookout for some unique party decorating ideas. I found some blocks for fifty cents apiece and a couple vintage nursery rhyme books.
I also found some amazing deals for delicate and feminine handkerchiefs. Many of them were only eighty cents or less than two dollars.
I loved all the wooden crates industrial pieces. Unfortunately I couldn’t take those home with me on the plane.
I’m a big fan of milk glass these days and bought this sweet little bud vase to hold my rings on my dresser.
We could have spent hours in these stores. I wish I had more time, money, and space!
Planning an Autumn Party for Your Little Pumpkin, Written By Heather Martin
If you’ve got a little one on the way, then baby shower party planning is also on the horizon. As leaves change colors and breezes turn brisk, why not theme your autumn party to complement the season? Replace bright floral invitations with invites featuring owls and ditch the strawberry lemonade for apple cider punch. Host an autumn-themed baby shower for that special little pumpkin and mom-to-be with the following ideas.
Since “your little pumpkin” is the theme of the baby shower, host a pumpkin carving and decorating contest. Fill a large wheelbarrow full of mini pumpkins for each guest. Provide each table with supplies, including newspapers and pumpkin carving knives, Sharpie markers, puffy paint, glitter and glue. Also provide baby materials, such as pacifiers, ribbon, diapers and bibs. Guests can either carve their pumpkins into shapes like baby feet and hands, decorate the gourd into a baby or decoratively write a warm message, such as “Congratulations on your little one!”
Image by Flickr user Brett L.
Fruit & Gourd Table Centerpieces
For your fall-themed baby shower decorations, adorn each table with a festive centerpiece. Fill large glass vases of various sizes with plastic pears, apples, pomegranates and oranges. Fill another group of glass vases with a variety of gourds. Accent the vases with fake (or real if you can) berries and foliage. Place the fruit centerpieces on a couple tables and the gourd centerpieces on other tables. For additional fall flair, disperse artificial colorful autumn leaves throughout the tables’ surfaces.
Image by David Boyle via Flickr
Autumn Sweets & Treats
Sweeten your party with homemade maple cupcakes and caramel apple bites. Friends’ and families’ mouths will water as they sink their teeth into Country Living’s maple cupcakes made with tasty ingredients such as ginger, brown sugar, walnuts (or pecans), and of course, maple syrup. Top cupcakes with homemade light and fluffy maple-butter frosting. As an extra touch, Country Living suggests creating a dimple in the center of each cupcake to fill with maple syrup.
Burwell General Store’s Amaretto-spiked caramel apple bites will also impress guests. An indulgent bite full of tangy sweetness, these caramel apple desserts are green apple squares deliciously topped with soft and buttery caramel and laced with a hint of Amaretto liqueur. Once you’ve made a pan of caramel in a thin layer, cut apples into cubes, top with a square of caramel and insert a toothpick. Display cupcakes and caramel apple bites on a three-tired cake plate and “sprinkle” candy corns throughout each tier as edible decor.
Image by Flickr user solyanka
As party favors, bag pumpkin Rice Krispies treats and frosted pumpkin sugar cookies. Tie each favor with fall-colored ribbon. You can place a favor in an every other-style pattern by each plate on tables or fill two baskets for each favor to set on a display table. To make the Rice Krispies treats, add red and yellow food coloring to give the melted marshmallow mixture its orange color, and then stir in Rice Krispies. Separate the mixture into small pieces, wrap with wax paper and shape into round balls. After they cool for 30 minutes, put in a tootsie roll to create a stem and insert a Popsicle stick. Draw a jack-o’-lantern face with black decorating gel, and use green decorating gel to create pumpkin foliage. Not only are these favors tasty treats for guests to enjoy at home, the favors are festive decorations for the baby shower as well.
Image by Veganbaking.net via Wikimedia Commons
About Heather Martin
Heather is a wife and mom from the South who just sent her oldest daughter off to college. She loves to blog about arts and crafts, DIY and green living.
I have been brainstorming some ideas for a baby shower that I am helping with. The Mommy-to-be requested a vintage inspired shower with lots of lace and burlap. She is not giving away the gender, so she wants neutral colors or both blue and pink and other pastels. I decided to try and make a felt flower. I have sewn similar fabric flowers before and working with felt was actually easier because it is sturdy.
Here are the materials I used for one flower:
Each flower takes six felt petals. Here is how I cut mine. In hindsight I would have cut smaller pieces.
You can play around with the size and shape of each petal. With a good pair of scissors, you can easily cut 3-4 petals at a time. Keep in mind that each flower will be 5-6 times larger than one petal.
Thread your needle and sew each petal together as shown.
Lastly, sew on the pearl.
I think I may make smaller ones in blue, pink, yellow, and green and embellish some mason jars with them with burlap and lace for flower vases. I think it will be cute to mix in rattles, white baby shoes, and vintage books.
You can also use these to make hair accessories like this one and this one or use them to embellish gifts or cards. Use them for home décor and sew a cluster of them on accent pillows or throw blankets.
OK, so now you know I like Patron…Silver, that is. It took a long time and a few parties and get-togethers to get through this bottle. Initially I didn’t intend on keeping it. After I finished it, however I couldn’t part ways because I love the shape, color, and durability of it. Instead of throwing it away, I made a recycled Patron bottle vase. The pictures speak for themselves; however I wanted to write out the tutorial. It’s a fun and SUPER easy project you can do in minutes with any type of bottle or vase. I did a guest post for Jill over at Popsicle Blog and she gave me some great materials to use.
Patron bottle or any bottle or vase
Coffee bean sack or burlap
Here is the Patron Bottle BEFORE. It’s the large size (I know, I know, I SWEAR my husband bought it!)
I used a thick lace ribbon first and wrapped it around, securing it with glue.
Next I found an old coffee bean sack that I used to make outdoor coffee sack pillows with a few months ago. I measured and cute accordingly.
I secured it over the lace ribbon with glue.
That’s it! Here is another AFTER photo.
The possibilities of decorating a bottle are limitless. You can use all different textured, patterned, and colored ribbon to match your home or party décor. This is an easy and inexpensive way to recycle bottles and use them for wedding or bridal shower centerpieces as well. Group or cluster a few together to make a whimsical tablescape.
My best friend Jenny attended a retirement party recently and was kind enough to get the permission and share the hostess’s adorable picnic themed party decorations, invitations, and cupcakes. Perfect for spring or summertime, these retirement party ideas include recycling old ornaments and Mason jars, making handmade burlap invites, and sculpting with clay. The main colors were red and white with watermelon and a little army of ants used throughout.
The hostess made handmade and hand sewn burlap invitations embellished with plastic and paper flowers and colorful yarn. She printed the invite with a watermelon design to fit the red and white picnic theme and inserted them in to a burlap envelope.
She also made a cute retirement sign for the table. It is decorated with scrapbook embellishments and says, “Happiness is Family, Friends, Love, and Retirement.”
Wild flowers were displayed in scrapbook and ribbon covered Mason jars atop a red and white checkered tablecloth to fit the party theme. She used several different types of textured and patterned red and white ribbon.
The tables and cupcake stand was absolutely adorable and had little ants she made from old ornaments that she had. She also made clay food to make it look like the ants were carrying the food away!
The cupcakes were also adorned with chocolate ants and a gummy watermelon on top with green icing.
This summer picnic themed retirement party was so sweet and clever. A big thank you to Jenny for allowing me to post it!
Who says cereal and cracker boxes can’t be pretty? I don’t know about you, but I hate spending money on gift boxes. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most people do to, because at every party I’ve been to in the last few years have gift tables, filled with gift bags with tissue paper hanging out the top. Am I right? So, I decided to use what I already had available and came up with recycled food container gift wrapping.
A very special birthday came up recently for my beautiful twin baby God Daughters. Since it was their first birthday, I went all out and bought matching clothes and a couple other things. Since the clothes are still so very cute but tiny, food boxes are the perfect size for their little outfits.
Oh yeah… I better wrap them. I made some coffee filter paper flowers and decided to die the paper flowers as well. After they were dry, I trimmed the ones that went on the smaller boxes with scissors. It was sort of like trimming a real flower. I cut out green leaves out of card stock and hot glued the flowers on, and added ribbon.
Here is a photo of the gift assembled all together. My God Daughter, Jamie is the pink package and her sister Brooklyn gets the purple package.
I bought the chairs at one of my favorite stores, Homegoods. They just happen to have one purple and one pink so I couldn’t resist! Here is the back.
The actual party isn’t for a few weeks, but I can’t wait to show you the Alice in Wonderland extravaganza that I know it’ll be!
One of my thrifty obsessions is to walk through the local Goodwill shop on the weekends, particularly because of the half off sale. Throughout the day, they announce a color and the price tags labeled in that color are half off. It never fails, each time the make the announcement they assure you that you will find that color label in every department. Naturally, you will always find me by the home goods and furniture section. This trip I found a nice white ceramic beaded ramekin and a short pewter candlestick all for less than three dollars. I had to marry the two together and make a DIY Pedestal Bowl.
I’ve made something similar to this for my daughter’s birthday party last year. For her cupcake decorating station, I made party platters made out of plastic serving trays and candlesticks. I still have them today and have used them several times since then. This project is quite simple and doesn’t really need too much explanation, so here are just a few tips that may help you out.
Tip #1: When looking for candlesticks, look for the shape you want. You can always paint them.
Tip #2: The wider the candlestick the sturdier.
Tip #3: Consider wine glasses or champagne flutes instead of candlesticks.
Tip #4: Use a strong bonding agent like E6000 and let it dry for 24-48 hours.
Tip #5: Consider spray painting them to fit your theme or décor. Protect the surface with a doily or decorative paper if you are using it for food.
There are several uses for this easy project. Use them for displaying desserts or appetizers for parties and entertaining. Use a small pedestal bowl for jewelry or a larger one to hold toiletries in your bathroom. You can also use them to display flowers or favorite collections. Make several in different heights and group them together for a unique display.
I am ecstatic to feature Bethany from Whistle and Ivy today! Bethany is multi-talented from her party throwing and sewing skills to her crafty know-how. On her blog you can find craft tutorials, recipes, and original sewing patterns (I’m a fan of her Barba Beanie). I personally admire her humor and photography skills.
Here is a baby shower for her sister with the color scheme pink and orange. She served colored deviled eggs, orange cream cupcakes and make-your-own fruit pizzas. Be sure to check out the rest of her decorations, diaper cake, and party favors.
She also has a tutorial for turning an old thrifted frame into a cute earring holder. With a few materials and the fabric rosettes she made to embellish the frame, Bethany made organizing quite stylish!
I may have saved the best for last! Bethany decided to put a pile of t-shirts destined for Goodwill to good use and started making bibs for her baby. She said that they are so fun to decorate and customize. Complete with a pattern for an owl applique, this project was a fantastic upcycle!
A big THANK YOU to Bethany for sharing her fabulous creations! You can follow her on Facebook and Google+ to see what she’s up to!
Do you have and crafts or DIY projects you would like to submit for a chance to be featured on DIY Inspired? I would love to hear from you! Just fill out this submission form.
Fabric flowers have many uses in the craft world. I use them to embellish pillows, adorn wreaths, and dress up a plain head band for my EXTREMELY girly daughter. I use them for so many things and since spring has officially sprung, I thought I’d post a tutorial for fabric flowers today.
These fabric flowers are so easy and inexpensive to make. All you need are:
Fabric of choice
Button (per flower)
The magic number that I have found to work best is five (pretend there are only five pictured below…haha!). Cut out five flower petals in the desired size. Remember that there will be five petals, so the larger the petals the MUCH larger the flower. If you choose a lighter weight fabric, you can cut all five petals out at once. The lighter the fabric, the flimsier the flower, however the more realistic they look.
Once you have your petals cut, sew your petals together, keep the ends of each side flapped down.
Continue sewing your petals together.
Once all five petals form the flower and are sewn together, sew a button in the center to complete your fabric flower.
Here is another AFTER photo.
Consider making them in several patterns, sizes, and fun colors! Add them to jackets, clothing, purses, and hair accessories. You can even use them to add a special touch to a gift or use them for weddings or baby shower and bridal shower decorations.