Tagged: birthday present

Presenting Presents

Presenting Presents

With Christmas right around the corner I thought it would be a good time to explore the art of gift giving, or, more specifically, the art of presenting your gifts.  I’m one of those people who feel it necessary to put at least as much time wrapping the gift as I do in figuring out what to get my person, especially because I generally don’t spend a lot (if any) money on the actual present.  Hey, it’s the thought that counts, so make that thought golden!  Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

    1. Make their card!  Nothing says “I care about you” like making a card specifically for them.  There are so many ways to make  cards (see my Christmas card from last year or consider drawing them a card like I did for my MIL above) that you can always give them something completely unique.
    2. How about a cool gift tag?  They’re quick and easy and super cute.  The one I made above was created cutting out a gift tag shape from card stock with scissors, hole punched for the ribbon and punched on the corners with a cute corner punch, and drawn on with pen and marker.  You could also create one using an awesome stamp, or find some to download and print, like these crazy cute freebies.
    3. Make unwrapping the presents into a game!  I pretty much get the same presents for my wife Tawnya every year.  That makes her both really easy and really hard to shop for.  For her birthday this year, since she already knew she was getting movies like she always does, I wanted to make it more fun for her by giving her hints as to what movie was inside the wrapping.  I wrapped them using brown paper bags so that I could easily draw on them and just taped little flaps over the drawings of her clues.  Everyone had a lot of fun trying to guess what movies she got!  It also made me feel like less of a loser.  Getting the love of your life the same present all the time (even though it’s what she asks for and really does want) is kind of lame, but this definitely made it more unique and gave me more of an opportunity to put effort and love into it!

      Make it a game

    4. Bows and stuff!  Seriously, there are so many many things you can do!  How about using some live plants?

      Wreath Wrapping

      Wreath from Odessamay Society

      DIY-Fresh-Flower-Gift-Tag

      Live flowers from Sugar & Cloth

      I bet they smell wonderful! You could use cinnamon sticks, fresh pine, holly berry twigs, mistletoe or pine cones for a nice winter holiday touch.

      Felt Dahlia

      Beautiful felt dahlia from NotMartha

      crochet star

      Adorable Twinkler Stars from Cherry Heart.

      Or how about putting some of your crafting to use to create a cute ornament like a felt flower, crochet star or let’s not forget about our paper flowers!

I’m getting pretty excited about making things for Christmas and winter decorating in general.  My newest find that I want to try out today?  These crazy paper woven ornaments. 

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American Flag

American Flag from a mini pallet

We celebrated my sister’s birthday last night.  It was a super fun get together out in the country, which was the perfect setting for giving Tina her gift!

A little bit ago Tina sent me a picture from Dishfunctional Designs of an American Flag made out of a pallet saying she would love something like it.

The link to the original post was broken, so I decided I would wing it and make it my own way.

I made a bit of a smaller version, using a miniature pallet which my local grocery store was nice enough to give to me (the bigger pallets have to go back to the vendor I guess, but the smaller ones they are happy to give away).

Materials:

  • Mini pallet
  • Hammer
  • Sand paper
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes (bristle and foam)
  • Wood sealer
  • Short nails (1/4 in in length should be good)
  • Mending plates (Example here)
  • Thick string or wire to hang

I tore up the pallet gathering 5 of the boards, doing a light sanding just to get the biggest rough spots out.  I probably looked like a crazy person spreading all of this out on the sidewalk in front of our house.  We live on a really busy street, and don’t have a yard at all (one of the downfalls to renting a townhouse).  It’s really fun to take a hammer and go to town, though.  Just HULK OUT and pry those boards apart with your hammer (wait a second… Thor’s the one with the hammer)!  I brought my phone out with me and was listening to the show “Once Upon a Time” on Netflix while I was working.  Wearing ear phones makes it easier to ignore people walking by 🙂

Tear pallet apart

Line up the boards how you would want them to look.  I particularly went for the boards with character because I wanted a rustic and weathered look.

Align boards in prep for painting

You really only need the three paint colors.   (Ignore the white, I decided not to use it).  I used a light beige color instead of the white so it wouldn’t look so new.

Paint stripes

I watered down my brush quite a bit and did one layer of really watered down paint to sort of act as a stain.  Then I dry brushed on top of it.

Tape off corner for blue square

Make sure to tape off the blue square.

Blue square painted

I created my own stencil of a star using a note card and used a foam brush to apply the paint.

Star stencil

Almost there!

Hold your horses, I know you’re excited, but you are not done yet!  You’ll reallllly want to make sure you put some kind of finish on your wood, especially since we used a pallet.  That pallet has probably gone through all sorts of nasty stuff, and you want to protect your home from it.  I used a spray-on finish.  Next time, I would use a paint-on one instead, just because I inhaled way too much of that crap and I want to be able to control where it’s going better.  Use whatever method you are comfortable with.

Here’s where you’ll have to use a bit of your imagination.  I realized after finishing all of this, I had no way to hold the boards together.  Basically, I used thumb tacks and some finagled metal pieces and a huge dose of luck to hold it together.  I will fix it for Tina as soon as I get the right supplies.

What you will want to do is, on the backside of the boards, connect them together using mending plates and nails.  I bet you could find one long mending plate… ?  You will also want to attach a string to the back with nails to hang the flag with.  Here’s my fancy diagram.

American Flag back diagram