Thursday, December 10, 2009

Homemade Gift Ideas...

I love handmade gifts..always have, always will. There is something so special in knowing that someone else took the time to make me something. I'm not saying that store bought gifts are less thoughtful because that isn't the case either..I just get all happy inside when someone tells me they are making me something. I wanted to show you some things I have been working on. I have a few food friends in my life and we agreed to make handmade items for eachother. Although these are not the exact ones I made for them these are the ones I made for myself. I made handmade marble magnets and cupcake one day! It's not hard, just takes some free time from you. I love magnets and collect them. Whenever I travel somewhere new I make sure to pick up atleast a magnet, hopefully an ornament that shows where I went and food to bring back and I love seasoning packets and other packaged foods that can be brought home to consume and hopefully love.

Anyway I have had this idea for the longest time. They were all over the internet a year or so ago and I finally was able to give it a go. To make the marbles all you need is flat bottomed clear glass marbles wich can be found in the flower arrangement area,or aquarium store. You need small round magnets, a silicone sealer, modge podge, and tiny images of choice. You can get creative with those. These images came from a Taste of Home magazine. I put my marbles on top of the photos I hope to use to make sure the image looks ok inside of there. I have heard of people actually printing out tiny photos of their family and sending those to family for gifts. I cut out the image and make sure it does not overlap the marble. You want it to be the size of the flat part. I place the cut out picture on a protected surface and place a small amount of modge podge on the back using a toothpick to smooth it out. I then place that part on top of my photo and press down...quickly turn it over to make sure the picture is on the back straight. You can then use the toothpick to flatten it out. Then take another small amount of the modge podge and cover the top of the picture to seal it onto the marble. Repeat with the others and let them sit until they are all the way dry. I start in the morning and don't touch them until later on in the afternoon. I will check them to make sure they are all flat and that the edges are not coming up. If they do, apply more modge podge with the toothpick.

Once they are dry, take your clear silicone sealer and put a small dab onto the non magnetic side of the magnet and place onto the back of the marble in the middle. Gently but firmly press down and allow to seal for the rest of the day. Repeat with remaining magnets. I will walk over and check on them from time to time to make sure they are still in place and sealing properly. For a step by step photo tutorial, head over HERE.

As for the cupcake toppers, those are easy peasy aswell. You can either cut out or use punches in various shapes. Stamp an image onto it,color it in and use a glue gun to attach the toothpick to the back of the stamped image. You only need a small glob of it to get it to stick. I went ahead and made toppers,magnets and small handmade matching 3x3 cards with the same theme and packaged it all up as a complete set. You can decorate an Altoid tin and place your magnets on the inside. So far everyone has loved their handmade themed sets that were made with them in mind.