SHOW + TELL: Watercolor Gift Packaging & Free Printable Gift Wrap

Watercolor Gift Packaging & Free Printable Gift Wrap #printable #giftwrap

I had so much fun making my ‘Cat Nap’ Eye Pillows that I decided to whip up some cute gift packaging to give them as gifts. To start, I decided to make my own gift wrap. First I got out my watercolors and painted some doodles in cool colors; blues, greens and purples. Then, I scanned in the artwork and made a repeating pattern in photoshop.

Watercolor Gift Packaging & Free Printable Gift Wrap #printable #giftwrap

I printed the patterns on my Canon i9900 inkjet printer. It can print oversize so I was able to print 13″x19″ size sheets. I also made an 8.5″x11″ version for you all to download and print (see below)! This free printable gift wrap is perfect for wrapping up small packages.

Watercolor Gift Packaging & Free Printable Gift Wrap #printable #giftwrap

I also tie-dyed some tissue (tutorial on this coming soon!) and made some tissue flower gift toppers following Lia Griffith’s tutorial. I tied each box with baker’s twine and added some custom labels and gift tags courtesy of Evermine.com.

Watercolor Gift Packaging & Free Printable Gift Wrap #printable #giftwrap

Custom labels and gift tags courtesy of Evermine.com.

Watercolor Gift Packaging & Free Printable Gift Wrap #printable #giftwrap

Free Printable Watercolor Gift Wrap

Click on the images below to download, print and use how you like.

Free Printable Watercolor Gift WrapFree Printable Watercolor Leaf Gift Wrap

Welcome To Adventures In Making!

Adventures In Making: A new community blog for creative people #diy #craft #adventuresinmkg

Welcome to our new site and home to Adventures In Making: a blog devoted to crafters, designers, and artistic types of all sorts. We can’t wait to share our latest DIY projects, craft tutorials, recipes, creative business advice, our favorite tools and techniques and more.

Our goal is to create a growing resource that supports creative business and creative life. We want to share our skills and experiences, support our fellow creatives, and inspire YOU to start your own path of making.

How It All Started…

Alison and Rachel met in 2008 while working as graphic designers. They became fast friends and supported each other in their adventures in starting their own creative businesses. Over the years they have turned to each other for constructive feedback and support- and of course enjoyed spending countless afternoons working on crafty projects together.

Adventures In Making: A new community blog for creative people #diy #craft #adventuresinmkg

Read more about Alison and Rachel on the About Page.

Help Us Spread The Word!

We would love your help in letting people know about Adventures In Making! For starters we invite you to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Also feel free to join us on Pinterest and Instagram where we’ll be sharing our latest inspirations and projects. Take a look at our Spread The Word page for shareable images, tweets and more.

Take A Look Around

We’ve been secretly blogging for the past few months so be sure to take a look around our site. We’d love to hear your comments and questions. We’ve got lots of fun things in store for the summer including maker interviews, giveaways, guest bloggers and a new Adventures In Maker shop! We hope you’ll join us and be a part of our new creative community.

TOOLBOX: Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad Review

TOOLBOX: Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad #product #review

My mom, who is especially good at finding useful things in unlikely places, brought me home a Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad one day. Actually, typical of my mom, she bought 3! One for her, my grandma and me. Both her and my grandma are sewers, so she thought they would be useful in tracing pattern pieces. Boy, was she right! Who would have thought you could find such a handy tool in the toy section.

TOOLBOX: Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad #product #review #adventuresinmkg

What’s great about this light pad is that it’s small and portable. You can easily fit it into your bag along with your sketchbook. After showing it to my friend Tara, she picked one up to use during her calligraphy classes! The light is powered by three AA batteries and is nice and bright, making for easy tracing.

This has become one of my go-to tools for my illustration work and I love that I can sit with it on the couch, at a bar or in a cafe.

TOOLBOX: Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad #product #review

UPDATE! Here is a video from Crayola showing off their Light-Up Tracing Pad. Watch to see it in action.

Note: I did not receive any kind of compensation for this product review. At Adventures In Making we love sharing information about our favorite tools and resources because we believe knowledge should be shared and that we can all learn from each other’s experiences.

DIY: Aromatherapy ‘Cat Nap’ Eye Pillows

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

I’ve been struggling with neck and back pain for over a year now. Chiropractic and physical therapy haven’t seemed to be working so I’ve been looking for alternative, DIY treatments to manage my pain and heal. The first thing I’ve started is learning and practicing yoga. I’ve found that the gentle stretching and relaxation techniques that yoga promotes help to calm my nervous system and relax tight muscles. One of my favorite poses that I do every day is called Legs-Up-The-Wall. I try to hold the position for 10-15 minutes at a time and always feel better afterwards!

A prop I like to use while doing the Legs-Up-The-Wall pose is an aromatherapy eye pillow. I find that it really helps me to relax! Rather than going out and buying one, I decided to make my own. Inspired by my own feline pets, I made this cute ‘Cat Nap’ eye pillow. It was such an fun sewing project, I wanted to share my pattern and process.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

I ordered my herbs in bulk from the San Francisco Herb Company. Beware that they aren’t joking when they say ‘bulk’! I have A TON of these herbs on hand now. I’m ok with it as I know I’ll find more ways to use them. But you can also look for a local herbal apothecary in your area. Here’s a little info about the herbs I chose:

Lavender: Soothing, relaxing and eases headaches.
Chamomile: Calming, relaxing, and said to keep bad dreams away
Lemon Balm: Relieves stress, anxious and nervous feelings, insomnia, stress, and headaches.

Check out The Mountain Rose Blog for more herbal suggestions and their effects.

‘Cat Nap’ Eye Pillows

Note: This is an intermediate level sewing project. I used my sewing machine, but this project could also be done completely by hand.

Also, I have included links to videos on how to do the basic embroidery stitches I used for the cat face. Another alternative if you don’t want to embroider is to buy fabric markers and simply draw the face on.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Supplies:

‘Cat Nap’ Eye Pillow Pattern
• Cotton fabric (I chose fabrics in calming colors like blue, purple and green. Plus some pink for the inside of the cat’s ears)
• Pink and black embroidery floss
• 3 tablespoons of each: dried lavender, chamomile, lemon balm (I ordered in bulk from the SF Herb Company)
• 1 cup flax (purchased from the bulk section at my local grocery store)

Tools:

• Sewing machine & thread
• Fabric scissors
• Pins
• Craft scissors
• Pencil
• Transfer paper
• Iron & ironing board
• Small embroidery hoop
• Needle

Step One: Cut Out Your Pattern

Print out the pattern provided and cut out with craft scissors. Following the instruction on the pattern, cut out all your fabric pieces using fabric scissors. Iron all your pieces flat.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Step Two: Draw the cat face

Pattern piece A is the front of your pillow and also where you will embroider the cat face. Fold your fabric in half and iron. This fold will be your center guide for the face. Lightly sketch the eyes, nose and mouth freehand with a pencil. If drawing freehand isn’t your thing, you can also use transfer paper to trace the cat face directly from the pattern onto the fabric.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Step Three: Embroider the cat face

Cut a length of black embroidery floss and thread it through your needle. Using a Back Stitch, embroider the eyes and mouth of the cat.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Next cut a length of pink embroidery floss and and rethread your needle. Back Stitch the outline of the cat’s nose, then use a Satin Stitch to fill in the outline (note: you’ll notice in the video, she uses a split stitch as an outline instead of the back stitch. Feel free to do either).

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Now that your cat face is complete, you can begin sewing your pieces together!

Step Four: Sew the Cat Ears

To sew the cat ears, put two pattern C pieces together, right sides facing in. Use a small pin to hold in place. With your sewing machine (or by hand), sew around the top sides of the ears leaving a ¼” seam allowance. Repeat for the second ear. Turn both ears right side out and press with an iron.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Take pattern piece D and pin to the center of each ear. Sew again along the top sides of each ear, leaving about a ¼” seam allowance.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Step Five: Sew the pillow

Next it’s time to sew all the pillow pieces together. Pin the ears, front side facing down onto the top of the cat face. Be sure to place them equal distance apart from the center. Next place piece B on the top, right side facing down and pin together with piece A.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Sew all the way around, making sure to sew through the edge of the ears, leaving a ¼” seam allowance. Leave about a 2-3” opening at the bottom edge (so we can fill the pillow with the flax and herbs).

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Trim notches where indicated on the pattern (be sure not to snip through your stitches) and then turn right side out and press with the iron.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Step Six: Fill the Pillow with Herbs

Add 1 cup of flax plus 3 tablespoons of each herb of your choice. Carefully hand stitch the opening closed.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

RECIPE: S’more Trail Mix

RECIPE: S'more Trail Mix by Adventures In Making blog #homemade #favor #snack

S’mores are one of my favorite treats. You’ll often find me roasting a marshmallow over the stove in my kitchen late at night, chocolate and graham cracker in hand. I recently made up a batch of S’more Trail Mix for a woodland theme baby shower I hosted for my brother. Not only did this recipe make for wonderful favors to send home with our family and friends, but it was super easy to make. Feel free to adapt this recipe to suit your tastes.

RECIPE: S'more Trail Mix
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Ingredients
  • Honey flavored Teddy Grahams (Golden Graham Cereal would also work great)
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate Candies (I used M&M’s)
  • Honey roasted peanuts
  • Mixed Nuts
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Keep fresh for up to 1 week in an airtight container until ready to serve or package into favors.

 

RECIPE: S'more Trail Mix by Adventures In Making blog #homemade #favor #snack
RECIPE: S'more Trail Mix by Adventures In Making blog #homemade #favor #snack

DIY: Herbal Sachets + Free Sewing Pattern

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

These sachet pillows are a simple sewing project and make gifts or favors for any occasion. The best part is that you can coordinate your fragrant herbs and fabric to match your theme, color palette and season. I chose to use lavender, chamomile and lemon balm for their relaxing effects and fresh spring scent.

Supplies Needed:

• Cotton fabrics (three different colors/patterns of your choice)
• Herbs (I ordered mine in bulk from the San Francisco Herb Co.)
• Tablespoon & funnel
• Sewing machine, thread & pins
• Iron & ironing board
• Sewing scissors
• Kraft scissors
Free sewing pattern

The first step is to wash and iron your fabric. Then download and print the free sewing pattern. Using kraft scissors, cut out the template pieces. Then pin them to your fabric and cut out with sewing scissors.

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

Next take your two front triangle pieces and place them together (right sides facing in). Use your sewing machine to sew along the longest side of the triangle leaving a ¼” seam allowance. Iron open to form a square and trim the triangle edges where indicated in photo below.

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

Place your front and back pieces together, right sides facing in, and sew all the way around with a 1/4” seam allowance. Make sure to leave a 1-inch opening on one side (see photo below for reference).

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

Trim the corners, making sure not to cut too close to the seam (you don’t want to make a hole in your pillow!)

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

Turn your pillow right side out using the opening you left and iron flat. I like to use a pencil or pen to push out the corners completely.

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

Using a funnel, fill your pillow with herbs. I added about 2 tablespoons of each to make a nice plump looking pillow.

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

The last step is to carefully hand-stitch the opening closed.

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

Personalized favor tag courtesy of Evermine.com



Note: This DIY was created for Evermine.com. We love collaborating with like-minded companies to create fun DIY projects. Have a product you’d like us to review or share with our readers? Email us at info@adventuresinmaking.com

RECIPE: Oatmeal Cake & May Wine

Recipe: Oatmeal Cake #mayday #beltane #spring #dessert
Last week my boyfriend James and I celebrated Beltane for the first time. Beltane is an old pagan holiday that celebrates the midpoint between spring and summer. It’s traditionally celebrated by having a bonfire, sipping may wine, eating a traditional oatmeal cake, and of course, by constructing a May Pole. Festivities begin on April 30 and are continued through the next day, May 1st.

Although we didn’t have a May Pole, I did make a small mobile decoration out of an embroidery hoop and ribbon to hang in our living room.

For dinner we made herb & citrus baked chicken (recipe from The Comfort of Cooking) with a green herb salad with strawberries, avocado and goat cheese. Both turned out delicious!

May Day Decoration #beltane #diy

For dessert, I made the traditional Beltane treat, Oatmeal Cake. I adapted a recipe from Jenny Can Cook and it turned out delicious. It has a muffin-like texture making it the perfect dessert when topped with vanilla ice cream and fresh berries. Plus you can have a slice for breakfast with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey the next morning!

Recipe: Oatmeal Cake #mayday #beltane #spring #dessert

 

Recipe: Oatmeal Cake
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1¼ cups boiling water
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole grain pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup + 1 Tablespoon oil (canola or extra light olive oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup + 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla
  • Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
  • ⅓ cup diced pecans (preferably toasted)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Pour boiling water over the oats in a small bowl and let stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer and a large bowl, beat oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla for 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed until thick.
  4. On lowest speed, slowly stir in warm oats, followed by the flour mixture. Bake 35 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
  5. Next prepare the topping. In a small bowl combine the softened butter, brown sugar, flaked coconut and diced pecans using your fingers.
  6. Cover cake with topping and broil for about one minute until just browned. Be sure to watch it carefully as it will brown very quickly!

Recipe: May Wine and Oatmeal Cake #mayday #beltane

 

Recipe: May Wine
 
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A traditional drink served for Beltane and May Day.
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 1 bottle champagne
  • ½ cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 small bunch of sweet woodruff (or substitute with an herb of your choice)
  • Ice
Instructions
  1. In a large pitcher, combine the wine and sweet woodruff and let infuse for at least 1 hour or overnight. I wasn't able to find any sweet woodruff so I substituted some pineapple sage instead. Feel free to do the same with any fresh herb of your choice.
  2. Next pour in the champagne and strawberries. Serve over ice.

 

RECIPE: Passion Cookies For May Day

Recipe: Passion Cookies #beltane #mayday #homemade

To celebrate the beautiful weather we are having here in Portland and to welcome the coming May, I decided to whip up a batch of Passion Cookies. These cookies are the perfect spring treat. Sweet, spicy and crunchy. I plan to treat myself to some May Wine and cookies tomorrow evening to welcome in the warm weather and the May.

Recipe: Passion Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1¾ cups whole grain flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 5 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • Red sugar sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar then beat in the egg and molasses.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a medium bowl, then stir into the wet batter. Add crystallized ginger and mix until combined. Place dough in the refrigerator to chill at least 20 minutes.
  3. Using a rolling pin and a floured surface, roll out the dough to about ¼" thick. Cut out with a cookie cutter. Press one side of the cookie into a plate of red sprinkles then place sugar side up onto the baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. Bake 9-11 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Recipe: Passion Cookies #beltane #mayday #homemade

RECIPE: Carrot Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe: Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting #easter #dessert #homemade
Carrot cake is a flavor I often overlook, but love. I’ve been getting into the Easter spirit and decided to make Carrot Cupcakes. This was my first time baking carrot cake from scratch and I chose this recipe from Averie Cooks as my guide. The result was so delicious; they quickly disappeared from my kitchen. They are the perfect blend of sweet and spice and have a moist, soft texture. Plus the addition of the Robin’s Eggs and nuts on top added even more yummy-ness to this Easter treat.

Recipe: Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting #easter #dessert #homemade

Recipe: Carrot Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Easter
Serves: 18 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • Cupcakes:
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup sour cream (or greek yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • Pinch of salt (to taste)
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 medium carrots, coarsely grated (about 1 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)

  • Frosting:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar (more or less as desired)
  • Crushed pecans (optional)
  • Whoppers Mini Robin’s Eggs (optional)
Instructions
  1. To make the cupcakes, first preheat oven to 350F. Line two muffin trays with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl (I used my electric mixer), whisk together the first 11 ingredients until combined.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and stir until just combined (don’t over mix).
  4. Next fold in the carrots and raisins.
  5. Fill each cupcake liner ⅔ full. I got 18 cupcakes, but you may get more or less depending on how full you fill each liner. Be careful not to fill them any higher than ¾ full or they will overflow when baked in the oven.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. With your electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla on high until light and fluffy.
  8. Slowly add in the powdered sugar until you get your desired frosting consistency. 1 ½ cups was perfect for me, but feel free to adjust to your own tastes.
  9. Frost the cooled cupcakes then add about a teaspoon of crushed pecans to the top of each to form a nest. Then add three Mini Robin’s Eggs for the final touch.

Recipe: Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting #easter #dessert #homemade

DIY: Quick & Easy Peep Skewers

Peep Skewers #easter #favor #gift #candy
Spring is here and Easter is right around the corner! I love coming up with simple, fun ways to celebrate the season and this year I decided to make these colorful Peep Skewers to give to my friends and family. I absolutely LOVE bright colors and making these candy favors was just what I needed to get me excited for spring.

Peep Skewers #easter #favor #gift #candy
Peep Skewers #easter #favor #gift #candy

Quick & Easy Easter Favor: Peep Skewers
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert Favor
Ingredients
  • Peeps® marshmallow candies (1 package of each color)
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Cellophane Bags
  • Ribbon
  • Custom favor tags from Evermine.com
Instructions
  1. To assemble your Peep Skewers all you need to do is open up all your packages of Peeps® candies (I chose the chicks but bunnies would be cute too). Choose whichever color order you want and then start poking them onto the bamboo skewer one at a time. I used a total of 5 peeps per skewer.
  2. Package however you like. I slipped my Peep Skewers into large cellophane bags and tied them closed with coordinating ribbon and a custom favor tag from Evermine.com.

Peep Skewers #easter #favor #gift #candy
If you want to gift a little something extra, pair each skewer with a bar of chocolate and a package of graham crackers– because we all know that Peep S’mores are the best!

Peep Skewers #easter #favor #gift #candy

Note: This DIY was created for Evermine.com. We love collaborating with like-minded companies to create fun DIY projects. Have a product you’d like us to review or share with our readers? Email us at info@adventuresinmaking.com