10 Last Minute DIY Gift Ideas

Only a few more days until Christmas. Are you all done on your shopping list? Or did you plan on doing lots of handmade gifts this year? If so you might enjoy my round-up of last minute DIY Christmas gifts (click on the pictures for the full post and tutorial).

1. Homemade Tea

I am a big sucker for chai teas. Mostly they are way too sweet for my taste. You are with me? Make your own.homemade gift chai tea

But then on the other hand there is nothing better than a hot cup of green tea for breakfast, no?

gift idea homade vanilla green tea

 

2. Baking goods

Do you love baking? Do you have friends who love baking? Why not make them a little baking kit with lots of supplies?

baking gifts

 

3. Star Hair Accessory 

Making hair accessories is actually quite simple. Here is a sparkling one.

sparkling hair accessory

 

4. Tea Cup Cozies

Just a fun litte way to spruce up a cup. Perfect for any home lover and foodie.

gift idea cozies

5. Velvet Bracelets

Too lazy to be doing your DIY. How about buying DIY like those gorgeous holiday bracelets.

bow bracelet in shop

6. Homemade Candles

If this isn’t the season for candles I don’t know. How about making your own and being creative in form and smell and look?

homemade candles

7. Hand Stamped Napkins

During holidays we get all fancy and in my house it’s all about cloth napkins to get this festive feel. Here is how I made my dad some for last Christmas.

gift idea hand stamped napkin

8. Colorful T-Shirt

It looks a bit summery but this tutorial also works on sweaters. Maybe with a reindeer? (only in German)

gift idea shirt

9.  Cake Pop Ttuffles

For people who have everything it can be so complicated to find a gift. Or maybe you just need a little hostess gift for the Christmas party? Well here you go. (only in German)

p23_cake pop praline_b4

10. Fabric covered Bracelet

A girl can never have enough bracelets, right? And specially when they are made of fabric or leather matching the favorite shirt!

DIY fabric covered bracelets

Well so much for the round-up. Now its your turn the get started. Will you share if you do a project? I would love to see your version.

Happy crafting,

Tobia

10 Creative Book Ideas & a Give-Away

It’s about time to make a little list to sent to Santa Clause, right? I usually have a tough time telling people what I wish for when asked.

I love getting books. In my family it was common to get at least one book. In the last couple years however I missed my books. So maybe I have to conciously but them back on the list to get some. Because who can have enough books, right?!

The following lists are all books I own and like (click on the headlines). Maybe an inspiration if you need to be Santa Clause. So lets get started:

1. Der große humboldt Fotolehrgang

I have been looking for a while before I actually decided on this photo course book. And I still believe it is one of the best out there. This book focuses on the technical equipment and the workings of light, aperture, focus and speed rather then the artistic design and com positioning rules. I prepared with this book to take the wedding pictures of my sister and I hear no complains. I especially like that there is a whole chapter of exercises you can take to practice all the different options and get to know your camera.

2. Schmuckgestaltung heute – innovative Materialien und Techniken

This book is my discovery of the recent years. I found it when I signed up for the library after oh so many years. It’s a book talking about all the different materials and techniques of jewelry design. It’s not a real DIY book with step-by-step instructions. While they show the technique on one example its more an inspiration book. I love it because my mind starts going off with ideas. There is a sequel about” textile jewelry design” but I heard it’s not that great. Does anyone woe it?

3. Fang an mit Kork – 35 Einfache DIY-Projekte **

Now this is the third book by my blogging friends Jutta and Maike. And as the first two “Fotowohnsinn” and “Porzellanfieber” it’s another firework of DIY ideas. I specially like that first of all the materials are introduced. Did you know that there is cork fabric? Or cork paper? Now this opens up so many possibilities. The good thing is they have tested it all and give instructions on how to use which material and when. I like that.

My favorite project is probably the belt made of cork fabric with punched stars. But I also like the different boxes and baskets made of cork paper. It makes simple origami so much more sophisticated. And the star tea lights make such warm light I think I need to make some for Christmas. Well you see, lots to discover in this book.

4. P.S. – I made this… Ich mach das selbst

This book is the first blogger book I owned. Erica is blogging on PS. I made this… and I think this is her first book. After she explains the tools (she colored them all gold! it looks so cool) she shows projects for jewelry, accessories and fashion. Every project has six pages, one introduction page, one page with a  mood board and then 2-4 pages for instructions. In the end there is a link list for further reference and shopping. I like this inspiration book and for DIY beginners it’s a good start because of the step by step tutorials.

5. Tolle Taschen selbst genäht

This is a book I have probably used most. I think I’ve done 3 or 4 bags. And while I don’t like them all it’s a great way to sew together because most likely everyone will find a pattern. I had a craft afternoon with my godchild and we both made new ones and spent a great day together. I also like that there are a number of accessories and embellishments as well as instructions on how to turn plastic bags into fabric to sew with.

6. Schnittkonstruktion in der Mode – Band 1 Grundschnitt

Another really great basic book. I have taken two courses on pattern design and this was the basis for the course. I believe you can learn pattern design just by this book. While I haven’t done an entire pattern based on my measurements (lazy anyone?!) I have a much better understanding of how to alter things or see in if a bought pattern would fit. I say it’s definitely a win.

7. Natürlich schick gestickt – Deko, Accessoires und mehr

Finding this book in the list is actually funny because I wouldn’t say I am big on stitching. However this book shows some fun projects. Most of all I like that in the beginning of the book you have a section where materials and stitches you need to use are explained.  Every project comes with a little stencil so you can get going right away. Some projects are are easy (notebooks with stitched arrows) while others leave me totally awestruck (tiger on a sweater). One of my advent calendar ideas was inspired by this book.

8. Ein Guter Plan

What discovery this one is. And an adventure…

As always I was looking for a planner. Usually I get my moleskin one and I am happy. But lately I was thinking about starting a happiness diary for 2016. But then two books to carry… And of course blog planning, right? So when I came across this planner my heart took a beat. At first glance it seemed like a combination of all and then stories and articles about happiness and mindfulness and such. And it was a crowd funding project. Nothing I’ve ever done before. When they added a black version I jumped and secured me my very own. You can get yours until December 7, 2015 and they ship before Christmas. Yeahh!

9. Die Kunst, aufzuräumen

This is just one book of a series. I like the idea and I love how he takes simple everyday pictures or well known art pieces and “cleans them up”. It opens a whole new perspective on things. This is just an eye candy book for the end.

10. Persönlicher Kalender & a chance to win your own

First time I heard about “Persönliche Kalender” was in 2013. I loved the concept of getting your own personalized calendar. Back then it seemed a first.

I got mine in 2014 I. The materials and paper are great. I personally thought the design on the pages was a bit childish. I would have loved to be able to change colors in the modules. Since then the calendars have evolved and there are lots of fun covers if you don’t want to upload your own picture. There are continuously being new modules added and the possibilities are so much broader than two years ago. They now even offer wall planners.

Every year they cooperate with an artist who is then designing covers. This year it’s Sofie from Fia Lotta Jansson – a lettering artist. Just in October I had the chance to meet Paula and her team at a lettering workshop with Sofie here in a Berlin. Of course we were working with their notebooks. And I really really love them. The paper is great for lettering. And you can choose between a bunch of page designs like ruled, squared and square dotted or even sheets of music. The dotted is perfect for practicing lettering. And they also offer gadgets like pens, and rulers and such to go with your planner.

The Give-Away

cover persönliche Kalender

And the greatest thing is: I have a little gift for you! Leave a comment about your favorite DIY or creative book and have a chance of winning a 33,90€ voucher to get your own calendar or notebook. Now that’s something, right? And the best thing is: they ship worldwide! The winner will be drawn December 18 at 9pm and will be announced on instagram first so make sure to follow me there. And if you don’t want to wait that long or need to get a present beforehand use the code: L-ETTE-RING and save 10%.

Now please share your recommendations on fun and educating DIY books so I can add some to my list.

Happy gift shopping,

Tobia

 

*This post contains affiliate links when you click the headlines. If you buy a book through this link I get a few cents and can get another great book myself. So thank you!

**This book has been sent to me for a review by the Landwirtschaftsverlag. The enthusiasm is all mine.

Jewelry Finds in my archive

It all started with jewelry. This getting back to being more creative. My former work colleague now friend Nicole invited me to a jewelry making session back in 2005 or so and ever since than my stack of beads, wires, ribbons and co just starts increasing.

A bit ago I went through my photo archive and was really amazed even shocked on ow many things I have done over the last years. And even though I don’t wanna seem cocky I am actually quite impressed with myself.

beaded necklaces

And since this blog doesn’t really show much of the jewelry addiction of my real life I figured I share a few pictures today.

beaded bracelets

I mainly do earrings. I feel naked when I forget my earrings before I leave the house.

beaded earrings

These are ones of the early beginnings hence the terrible pictures. sorry. But I got better:

long beaded earrings

Those earrings are my favs. I wear them like every other day.

But then I got enough of beads for a while and started experimenting with cold porcelain for a change.

cold porcelain necklaces

And if you like what you see you might wanna hop over to my Dawanda Shop and check out my stuff there.

jewelry dawanda craftaliciousme

Some pieces made it to Dawanda. But would you like to see something specific in the shop? Let me know I would love to get some hint.

Happy shopping,

Tobia

 

Dressmaking for the Godchild

I’ve got a gazillions kids clothes patterns and tons of cute stuff and fabrics laying around. So when my sis announced my niece into the world I was happy.

knot dress with tilda fabric

She turned two and I have only sewn her a ‘welcome pack’ so far. And a garland for her first birthday. High time for some dressmaking.

I won the fabric in my early blog days and picked it with my god child in mind. I was looking for a pattern that’s cute, a bit different, matching her personality and also fits as I couldn’t take measures. I ended up with this cute pattern from The Sewing Rabbit.

The hardest was probably cutting the pattern. I should have taped the sheets together (as instructed) and then cut out the size. Well I went the hard way and it still worked.

knot dress back and knot tilda

Sewing with only cotton was a nice change. It is so much easier than jersey or other fabric. I don’t know how long it took me overall but it was not that long. It’s the ironing in between that’s time consuming.

What I learned:

  • ironing is important and actually helps sewing however it is a boring task
  • you should always buy more fabric because it might not be enough (happened almost here I just pivoted the fabric for the skirt)
  • didn’t quite understand how the professional method to attach the skirt is better as you can see the rough ends. would not do it again this way

Well I think she liked it. Haven’t heard back if it fits only she’s gonna wear it for a summer wedding.

What are you giving for toddler birthdays?! Spill it. Have a boys 2nd coming up and 3rds too.

Happy sewing,

Tobia

Oh and since it’s creadienstag link-up party time check out the other geniuses.

Starry Night #12 * Star Magnet * DIY Advent Calendar

star magnet

Now that we have the first decoration in place let’s move over to the kitchen. I bet a bit of sprucing up doesn’t hurt. Also today’s advent calendar DIY would make a great gift!

star magnet

Porcelain Star Magnets

Most of the supplies you’ll probably have somewhere in your household:
8-9 tbs starch (Speisestärke) – should be white
4 tbs glue (Holzleim)*
1,5 tbs hand cream – also white
1 tbs glycerin*

And this is it!

You need to make a dough which will have the consistency of fondant.
I start by combining glycerine, glue and the cream. Make sure to combine well.
Now add the starch until you have the right consistency. It’s a bit like baking.

star magnet

Now comes the fun part.
Get out you cookie cutters and start making stars (have I said yet it’s like baking?). Well of course you can sculpture your own stars or figures or what ever. The possibilities are endless as you have probably realized by now.

Leave out to dry for at least a day. You will feel and see if your stars are ready for the paint job. They get really light and have a bit of transparency.

Before you color your stars I would file down rough edges. I used a plain old nail file I got in a hotel ;-). I use this color for model making but you could probably go with acrylic paint too. When done leave to dry again.

star magnet

I have come to realize a top coat is better otherwise it looks a bit ugly after some time of usage.

If you don’t use all of your cold porcelain you can keep it in an air tight container for up to 4 weeks.

Time of preparation: 15 min
Time of DIYing: 1 hour
Time to dry: at least 24 hours

So what do you think? Will you give it a try? Show me your version, would you? Have a great day and see you back tomorrow!

Happy Crafting, Tobia

 

PS. To lazy to that on your own? Then check out my store where you can buy it.

PPS. I also added this tutorial to Sissi’s X-mas Linkup Party 2014.

*affiliate link (more info here)