Wrapping those gifts

We have our little fake tree up and lightly decorated; an experiment since we have an 18 month old curious little boy. This weekend we put up a real tree to go in front of our bay windows. The mantel is decorated, I’ve been experimenting with the best sugar cookie recipe, and my Christmas shopping is about 2/3’s done. I can’t believe Christmas is 13 days away! I can’t wait!

Have you started wrapping your presents yet? Here are a few things that might help šŸ™‚

Free Printable Labels

gift wrap ideas logo

 

 

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Easy Paleo treats and healthier sweets

We usually have a ton of candy around during the holidays, but all that has changed! My husband and I are really working to keeping our foods clean and healthy and not keeping junk around. Not to say that we can’t have a treat, but I would rather splurge on something truly delicious than eat 12 crappy heart-shaped candies.

My husband also has no desire to be tempted with store-bought candy that has an ingredient list long and hard to pronounce. So this year I am not loading up his gift basket with high-fructose corn syrup; I’m making my own sweets!

Most Paleo (and GAPS, Primal, and other healthier grain-free/sugar-free options) usually contain the following ingredients: coconut, coconut oil, coconut butter, dark chocolate, cocoa, honey or pure maple syrup, almond flour, almond butter, and coconut flour. There are a lot of healthier options out there that taste just as good.

Here are a few simple treats you can make for your sweet heart or yourself!

mounds truffles

Homemade Mounds (or Almond Joy) from Detoxinista: I’ve made these before and they taste like the real thing! I had to use a bit more coconut oil then the recipe called for, but maybe my coconut was stale. I might also try and put the filling in cute molds before freezing and coating in chocolate.

fudge

Paleo Fudge from Practical Paleo: I have a friend who loves this stuff, and it is super easy to make!

Paleo-Chocolate-Cupcakes-5875

Paleo Chocolate Cupacakes from Elana’s Pantry: And chocolate frosting! I want to make these!

coconut klondite bites

Coconut Klondike Bites from PaleOMG: I really need to get some coconut butter so I can try these out. I love mint.

white fudge

Coconut Orange White Fudge from The Nourishing Gourmet: This looks so good. Like I said, I really need some coconut butter.

Chocolate-Covered-Cookie-Dough-Bites

Chocolate Covered Cookie Dough Bites from The Unrefined Kitchen – These seem easy to make and a nice chewy treat.

reeses hearts

Almost Reeses’ Candy from Whole New Mom: My husband loves Reeses, so I really want to try these.

Don’t forget about chocolate covered strawberries! Melt some dark chocolate with a little coconut oil and dip the berries, drizzle the chocolate on top, or look for other creative ways. Chocolate fondue and mixed berries is a fun dessert, too!

 

You can find more Paleo treats on my Pinterest Board “Healthified Sweets”

board

Free printable tag for your lemon curd

Have I mentioned that I LOVE lemon curd? I really do. I need to find a healthier option, but until then, I will enjoy it as a special treat. But seriously, it is one of my most favorite things ever.

I canned a few jars of it this week and needed a nice little gift tag for it. Fold it in half and write a nice message inside the card. Lemon curd should be consumed no later than a year after it’s been canned (who would wait that long?!), so make sure you write the appropriate dates on the back.

Fold it, punch a holdĀ  towards the top fold, and hang by a pretty ribbon or bakers twine.

lemon curd tags

*Will post a picture soon, my printer is out and I need to get them printed. If you are having problems with the quality, email me or leave a comment.

How to create pendants and charms using resin

It can be easy to make quality photo pendants and charms using resin. Some resin can be tricky to work with, but I’ve found that Castin’Craft’s Easy Cast Epoxy is actually very easy to use. You just need a few supplies and before you know it, you will have fun charms or keepsake photo pendants for you or for gifts!

Supplies:

  • Castin’ Craft Easy Cast Epoxy
  • Cup (disposable or only to be used for resin0
  • Stir stick/plastic knife/Popsicle stick/tongue compressor
  • Toothpick
  • Scrabble tiles, picture frame charms, cabochon settings, or other setting (I usedĀ  charms like THESE)
  • Glue (if using a bail or glueing a frame or scrabble tile onto another setting, use e600 or something similar)
  • Scrapbook paper, digital negatives, small pictures, or other paper-type item
  • Blow dryer (optional, but recommended)
  • Optional – chain, key ring or ball chain, bails, or cufflinks

Epoxy, digital negatives, and frame charms

For this project, I used Costco’s 5×7 digital negatives and frame charms. In the photo on the top of this post, there are cufflinks made out of scrabble tiles, using pictures from a vintage bug dictionary. You can also do photos or scrapbook paper on scrabble tiles and glue a bail onto the back, or use a cabochon setting.

To make tiny pictures: In a photo editing software or PowerPoint create a 4×6 inch shape, insert the pictures you want to use and minimize them to your setting’s shape. Do a couple different sizes to play around with, fill up your 4×6 shape and have printed at a 1 hour photo place.

Directions:

  • Follow the Easy Cast directions and mix your epoxy. The amount you need will determine how many items you are using. A little bit goes a long way, so do several pendants at a time.
  • Cut your paper/photo to fit your setting, tile, or frame; glue into place.

  • Using your plastic knife, small spoon, or stick, carefully drop a small bit of resin on top of your photo. Use a toothpick to spread it into corners and sides. Add more if needed. Resin is thick enough to “dome” on to of a surface, like water on a penny.
  • Using a blow dryer on low, directly above your pendant, carefully blow out any air bubbles.
  • Keep in a warm, dry, place for 24+ hours until no longer sticky
  • Ā Glue a bail on the back of your tile, attach chain or key ring to your pendant, and enjoy!

Ideas:

  • Charms for jewelry
  • Lockets
  • Key chains
  • Cufflinks
  • Necklace pendant
  • Glue tiles onto bobby pins with settings, or other berets
  • Wine glass charms
  • Napkin ring charms
  • Pins
  • Glue settings onto rings
  • Glue onto picture frames
  • Make 3D stickers by coating store-bought or handmade stickers with resin
  • Use in goodie-bags and stocking stuffers

Quick and easy photo charm keepsake

Don’t forget to “like” The Life of Lulu Belle on Facebook for extra goodies!

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas for Children

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Every year we would get Easter Baskets from the Easter Bunny (just like stockings from Santa). My mom would fill our baskets with special treats and toys along with hiding Easter Eggs. It was almost like waking up on Christmas morning!

This year I only have my toddler-age Godchild to make a basket for, but I have been thinking about lots of other ideas! The following is a list of Easter Basket Filler Ideas that don’t involve candy – some to make and some to buy. Just follow the links for the craft tutorials or instructions!

What to use for baskets:

  • The cheap wicker Easter baskets they sell at the store
  • Other stores have more fun “baskets” like fabric animals and colorful pails
  • Colorful organizational totes at the dollar store (we get these the most – fun and functional for after Easter!)
  • Decorative bowls
  • Toy containers: baby doll bath tubs, strollers or cradles, Lego containers, etc. (holds the goodies and doubles as a toy)
  • Real baskets from a home or craft store
  • Instead of using Easter grass, use fabric, a new piece of clothing, a baby blanket, etc.

Easter Basket Ideas (other than candy):

  • Sidewalk Chalk (make your own without any toxic ingredients if you have the time)
  • Playdough
  • GakĀ  (another homemade ooze recipe)
  • Bubbles
  • Crayons (melt old or new crayons down and more into molds for personalized crayons)
  • Color books (or print coloring pages from online)
  • Babydoll or stuffed animal sleeping bags (See how HERE – Sleeping bags are good for boys or girls, just alter the color combinations!)
  • Spongeballs (great water toy or baby toy. Cheap and easy!)
  • Chipmunk or other animals from a glove
  • Teddy bears or a socktopussĀ  from colorful socks
  • Letters, shapes, or number sponges for bath time
  • Felt Food for play kitchens (Lots of stuff out there!)
  • Dinosaur tails for imagination play
  • Superhero capes (I can personally attest that super hero capes are for boys AND girls!)
  • Eggs full or small toys (think plastic dinosaurs, army men, Legos, etc)
  • Eggs full of colorful goldfish or cheerios (love this idea for my Godchild)
  • Stickers or stamps (My basket always had a ton of Lisa Frank stickers! Here’s a link on how to make your own stickers)
  • Pencils and stationary (there is so many free printables out there, you could probably print your own out as well)
  • Art supplies (one of my favorites as a kid)
  • Kites (we always got one of these in our basket!)
  • Balls or other sports equipment
  • Make your own airplane kits (you can buy these for a dollar or two at craft stores usually)
  • Sippy cups or drink cups (I bought a bunny cup with a straw for my Godchild)
  • Puzzles and other games
  • Flash cards or playing cards
  • Hair or jewelry accessories
  • Dress-up items
  • New clothes or shoes
  • Movies or music (Veggie Tales Jonah DVD is $5 at Target, along with some other kids movies)
  • Books and comics
  • Sand toys
  • Bath toys
  • Kids gardening supplies
  • Bug catching supplies
  • Craft kits

Theme Baskets:

  • Art supplies – paints, crayons, color books, notebooks, etc.
  • Sports/outdoor equipment – Frisbee, balls, 2 person paddle games, etc.
  • Baking or food – Aprons, play food, plates and other containers
  • Bathtime – foam and sponge shapes, containers, other bath toys
  • Beach or toy box– Sand pails, shovels, measuring cups, sifters, funnels, etc, This book would be cool too.
  • Gardening/bug catching/exploring – bug containers, nets, child-size shovels, boots, pots, explorer hats and vests
  • Superhero: Capes, KIDS comics and movies, action figures
  • Dress up – Jewelry, shoes, clothing, etc.
  • Game Time: Games and puzzles, snacks for family game night

What are you putting in your Easter Baskets?

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creativegiftsforchildren

Heart Quilt for Your Little (Or your Lap)

Better late than never, but I finally finished by Godchild’s Christmas 1st Birthday Valentine’s Day quilt. I’ve been limiting my internet time during the day and wow, does that make me 100x more productive. I used some shortcuts that made making this quilt pretty easy, and while it’s not perfect, I’m happy with the overall results.

This quilt does not have batting, instead, I used a fuzzy blanket I bought for $4 at the craft store – those fleece throws you can buy cheap at drug stores or Wal-Mart work well too.

I didn’t have anyone at home to help me hold it up and take a picture, so excuse the weird angle.

Quilt steps:

  1. Sew strips of fabric together (can be different widths)
  2. Cut vertically, into several peices (I cut into 4 pieces)
  3. Cut strips of matching fabric (I cut mine 2.5 inches)
  4. Sew strips of fabric together, alternating upside down and rightside up, with the color strips in between
  5. Cut hearts our of felt
  6. Sew several hearts by hand or with your machine, onto quilt top (leave a few to sew on when you put the back on, optional – stuff hearts with batting)
  7. Pin quilt onto fleece throw
  8. Baste (wide-stitch) around the edge of quilt, securing top and bottom pieces together and trim the excess
  9. Pin binding around edges, and sew
  10. Sew on additional hearts to “quilt” your top and bottom together
  11. Hand or machine embroider a note on a felt heart (my first time doing freestyle machine embroidery, looks pretty good for being a beginner!)
  12. Sew on heart to back (but do it better than I did!)

Ta-da! All done!

 

Lots and Lots of Felt Flowers!

Felt flowers are everywhere; these cute flora can be used for brooches, hair bands, home decor and more! Not only are there a ton of different things to use felt flowers for, there are a ton of different felt flowers as well.

Here is a compilation of some of my favorite felt flowers and tutorials. Stay tuned for Christmas Gift Ideas using these rad rosettes!

Click "more" to view many more felt flowers and how to make them!

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