This week I was especially on the lookout for projects that would make good gifts, and I think I found some! Hope you’re inspired to give DIY projects this year.
12-20-14 links
1. Turn a discarded painting into a painted canvas clutch.
2. Make a salvaged wood bath caddy for your favorite bathing beauty.
3. This leather ornament is a perfect way to use up stray leather scraps.
4. Sew a faux fur coat with this free pattern.
5. Wouldn’t this marble and wood cheese board be a great hostess gift?
6. Keep track of whose mug is whose by making chalkboard mugs.

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For the last couple of years I’ve done round-ups of DIY gift ideas. (I also included buy-able gifts in last year’s guides.) I’m terribly behind with my Christmas shopping, but just looking through some of these old round-ups is inspiring. So if you’re still planning to make some (or all) of your gifts this year, but still need ideas, check out these projects.

For the Nester

For the Nester
For the Home Bartender
For the Plant-Lover

For the Globetrotter
For the Stylish Lady
For the Fashionista
For the Fashionista
For the Fashionista
For the Fashionista

For the Beauty Junkie
For the Foodie
For the Foodie
For the Techie
For the Pet-Lover

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I mentioned last week that I was excited about Christmas this year, and I really must be, since last year we waited so long to get a tree that they were on sale by the time we got one, and this year we have one already. Since we didn’t have many interesting ornaments, I decided to make my own out of little more than paper, glitter, and glue.  You may recognize the glitter paper–it’s actually left over from this garland. The non-traditional colors and shapes make for a fun holiday tree, but you could also use them for a garland or even for New Year’s Even decorations.
DIY geometric paper ornaments
Paper – I used colored cardstock that I found at Michael’s and Collage.
Glitter paper
Gem template – I used my own template for the glitter version, and one from here (Model A) for the non-glittered shapes. Here’s another, more complicated diamond.
Glue – I used Alene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue
Yarn or thread
Chopstick or bone folder
DIY geometric paper ornaments
1.Print and cut out the gem template. I sized the one I made so that you can get two ornaments out of one standard piece of paper. There are a lot more paper gem templates here (I used Model A). Here’s another, more complicated diamond shape.
geometric ornament
2. Fold along the lines of the lines of the template so that the printed side will be inside the shape. I found that it really helped to get nice lines to use a chopstick or ruler to burnish each fold after I made it.

3. Trace one of the triangles (minus the flap) onto a piece of scrap paper. Use this is a template to trace and cut out four glitter triangles.

4. Choose which segments to add a glitter piece to by folding up the shape and looking for the ones that will be on opposite sides. Mark with a pencil. Spread glue onto those four triangle segments.
DIY geometric paper ornaments
5. Press the glitter triangles onto the segments you spread with glue, and allow to dry.
DIY geometric paper ornaments
6. Fold up the shape, using glue on the tabs to hold it together. Be sure to add a loop of string or yarn on the point where you want to hang the ornament.
DIY geometric paper ornaments
Proof that these shapes look cute as part of a garland:
DIY geometric paper ornaments

Have fun folding!

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12-13-14 links
1. Crafting a skinny leather belt is probably easier than you think!
2. Need a quick holiday gift? Whip up a chain and leather wrap bracelet.
3. Make modern and festive brushstroke ornaments.
4. These mini star piñatas can be used as ornaments, but you can also fill them with additional treats.
5. I really like the understated looks of these monochrome pinecone wreaths.
6. Sew a cool pyramid leather pouch. I bet felt or faux leather would work well, too.

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Don’t these super chunky wool blankets look incredibly warm and cuddly? Perfect for curling up under on a cold winter night, and they look beautiful even when not in use. There are lots of places to buy them, and if you don’t knit, employing a skilled knitter to make one for you is a great idea. But as a knitter, I can’t help but want to try my hand at making my own. So below I’ll give you some resources and ideas for making your own chunky knit blanket, or buying one pre-made.
chunky knits 1
Clockwise from top left: Nocturnal Knits for Free People, deas og mia, stadshemLily and Peabody

chunky knits 2
Clockwise from top: stadshem, loopy mango, kara rosenlund by little dandelion

In my quest to make my own blanket, I searched high and low for patterns and yarn. The trickiest part is finding the giant yarn, and the most visible resource for this is Loopy Mango. They sell the wool on its own, but they also sell kits that include the yarn, needles, and pattern to make your own chunky wool goodness in many luscious colors. They also give away the (simple) patterns. If you want real wool yarn, you can’t expect to do this on the cheap, but their yarn and kits were more than I wanted to pay. When I was doing some searching, I noticed that the yarn retailer Fabulous Yarn recommended BigStitch Merino Wool Bumps as a substitute for Loopy Mango (which they used to carry, but don’t any longer). Two bumps in light grey, plus a pair of Knitters Pride Basix Jumbo Circular Needles size 50 needles in 32″ length, combined with a free pattern, cost considerably less than the kit I had been considering. Here’s my progress so far:
chunky knit 1
I’m about a third done, but Delicious sees no reason to wait to incorporate the blanket into her couch nest. I’ll be sure to post an update when I’m finished.

Other shops with kits and supplies:
Colorways Gallery
Little Dandelion
Wool and the Gang

Several of the shops from the DIY list will also make a blanket for you, if you prefer.
Lily and Peabody
Loopy Mango
Natural Wool Knits
Colorways Gallery
Knitting Noodles
Wool and the Gang
Little Dandelion

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