DIY Gift Idea: Recipe Scrapbook

Are you on a tight budget? Are you feeling extra crafty? Are your relatives impossible to buy for? If you answered yes to any of these questions, perhaps you should consider making your own gifts this holiday season. Unless you happen to be Ron Weasley's mum knitting monogrammed jumpers every year, your friends and family members will appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes into your one-of-a-kind creations. And no, not in the "Oh [insert small child's name], I love this painted macaroni necklace so much I am going to keep it safe in my jewellery box" kinda way. If you really want to wow that special someone (and not seem cheap by doing so), present them with a homemade gift that a.) they would not think to make themselves and b.) can cherish year-round. Once upon a time our favourite family recipes were handwritten on faded cue-cards and scattered throughout the dog-eared pages of multiple Best of Bridges. It was organized chaos in the Rubert family kitchen until inspiration struck--I would compile a scrapbook of all the recipes we know and love. Just in time for last Christmas. I ordered all my craft supplies online from scrapbook.com (save for the permanent markers which I purchased at Costco) and had a blast making this big book of love for my mom. The pictures don't show it, but I slid each piece of paper into a clear page protector and organized them neatly into a 12x12 photo album. Now my mom can't help but think of me lovingly every time she cooks! Here are a few of the pages. Feel free to try some of the recipes, especially the cheesecake--it's a crowd-pleaser for sure. DSC_0777 DSC_0778 DSC_0779 DSC_0780 DSC_0782 DSC_0783 DSC_0786 If you like this homemade gift idea, please check out the DIY Scrabble Tile Coasters I made for Roger last year! 🙂
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DIY Embroidered Headbands

Gossip Girl may be off the air; however, girly headbands still remain pretty cool in my books. I decided to channel my inner Blair Waldorf and make from scratch a few fancy headpieces of my own after seeing how expensive they are to buy in boutique stores. The best thing about making your own accessories is having 100% design influence over them; you can use any colour and incorporate your own style. They're also very budget friendly! May 16 - Headband on I spent the majority of my childhood pouring my heart into and straining my eyes over crafts that involved either sewing, embroidering, or threading beads onto a string. My favourite pastime was hand-making clothes for my Barbies and decking myself out in one-of-a-kind jewellery. I can't even count the number of sequinned bras and t-shirts I eventually donated to the Goodwill. I still have bags of small plastic beads tucked away in various corners of my family home from my incessant crafting days. May 16 - Headpiece That being said, I was ever so pleased to rekindle my love for these beads when I found them in my closet. All it took was a visit to the local craft store and I soon found myself in a blissfully nostalgic state of embroidery. I'm excited to share with you the secret behind my thrifty and stylish headpieces. I can't wait to make more! May 16 - Sewing Kit What I used: - 12 pack of fabric headbands (Etsy - $10) - felt (Michael's - less than $1 per square) - scissors - needle & thread - an assortment of small beads (dollar store brand or Michael's) - $1.50 - sequins (mine were left over from the glittery cowboy skating dress my mom lovingly made me when I was 6) May 16 - Felt and Materials These cute headpieces are certainly made with love and quite a bit of labour--the more intricate the pattern, the longer it takes to sew on the beads. Totally worth it though! I get a lot of compliments when I wear them and I absolutely adore the fact that I didn't shell out a fortune. I have since stumbled across similar ones selling for upwards to $30! I'm thinking of crafting my own unique headpiece for my wedding! What do you think? May 16 - Headbands May 16 - Gold and Silver May 16 - Black and Purple Thanks for reading! If you attempt to make a headband for yourself or if you've made a similar accessory with beads, please #sleepinginsocks on Instagram. I'd love to see your creations! 🙂
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DIY Reupholstered Dining Chairs

If I have one piece of advice for first-time homeowners it's this: Do not say no to hand-me-down furniture. It may not suit your taste from the get-go, but this all can change with a little creativity and TLC. Roger and I have been very fortunate in the area of furniture inheritance. Thrift shop finds courtesy of his mom, knickknacks from my nana, bed frames from university--our home boasts a mishmash of freebies. Something old, something new seems to be our motto and somehow everything comes together quite nicely. I almost icksnayed the light oak dining chairs offered to us by my aunt and uncle. I was less than smitten by the floral seat pattern and especially turned off by the plastic covering. It was Roger who said yes when he confirmed that they were extra sturdy and Made in Canada. Yesterday we gave them a slight makeover and now we are proud to have them in our home! The reupholster process was surprisingly easy. It took us 2 hours to finish 6 chairs and this included disassembling the pads from the chair bases, cutting the fabric, staple-gunning and putting the pieces back together. We also took tea breaks, naturally. May 10 - Chairs May 10 - Plastic May 10 - Assembly We decided to go with the "Damask" print to match our living room. May 10 - Staple Tada! Old chairs made new in little to no effort. The chairs were free and the fabric cost us only $24. We had a staple gun in the house, but I'm sure these aren't very expensive to buy/rent. May 10 - Finished Chairs We left the wood plain for now, but we anticipate painting it black or staining it dark brown another weekend. What colour would you recommend?? MAy 10 - FinishedMay 10 - Done
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Scrabble Coasters

I'm feeling exceptionally creative this holiday season! After completing most of my shopping on Amazon, I had a considerable amount of free time to get in touch with my crafty side while waiting for my packages to arrive. Our Christmas tree went up a few days shy of December and craving more festive flair, I decked out the bannisters with garland, deco-mesh, and sparkly holly berries (all purchased from the local dollar store). It's certainly looks a lot like Christmas in our home!

Dec 23 - Bannister

I work Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day this year, so I had to make the most of holiday lead-up time. Thankfully my wonderful family (close and extended!) catered to my schedule and we were able to shift the festivities back a couple of days. I took three vacation days last week and Roger, Tundra, and I headed up to the country to visit my parents. We celebrated Christmas Eve on Friday, the 20th with my Dad's family and Christmas Day on Saturday, the 21st with my Mom's family. From the Secret Santa gift exchanges to the Eggnog by the fireplace, everything was perfect--it just goes to show that it's not the physical day that matters, but the company you share it with. (Presents help too, hehe.)

Dec 23 - Tree

I spent the majority of my vacation days making gifts--a recipe scrapbook for my mom (detailed post to follow) and awesome customized drink coasters for Roger.

Oh, Scrabble Tile Coasters... where have you been all life?! My heart broke a little as I plundered the wooden letters from my favourite board game, but I now beam with satisfaction every time I drink my tea. I absolutely adore these witty coasters and they were easy-peasy to make. All you need are the following materials:

- 4 inch x 3.5 inch cork squares or pre-made coasters (I purchased pre-made ones and my Dad cut them to size for me)

- wood glue

- polyurethane stain & brush

Dec 23 - Before

Squeeze a thin layer of glue onto the cork backing. Arrange the letters. Allow to dry on a flat surface with 90 degree edges. When the glue is dry, seal the tiles by applying a thin layer of clear polyurethane.

Dec 23 - Template

Dec 23 - Scrabble Coasters

Roger and I were so excited to exchange presents this year that we gave into temptation early. I suggested tea on Sunday afternoon, which led to Roger giving me my milk frother, which led to me giving him his coasters. So there we were conveniently sipping tea lattes by the Christmas tree with pretty presents in plain view. We couldn't resist unwrapping all of them! To savour a hint of holiday magic we will give each other cards on Christmas morning.

Dec 23 - Tea

So this post explains why I didn't get around to doing any holiday baking this year... I was too busy decorating and making crafts!

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