DIY: Playing Card Ornaments

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An old deck of cards in one hand, and the perfect Christmas Tree outside… something weird’s gonna happen.

We love games at this house. Card games, board games… you name it. I don’t love worn-out cards, though, so I’ve been looking for a clever way of getting rid of a couple of our older decks. After playing with strips of paper as Christmas ornaments, I started thinking about ways to turn flat cards into 3-d shapes. Internet searches gave me a few options, including this great tutorial for making ornaments out of MTG playing cards. After following the tutorial, I made a couple of tweaks and ended up with another great collection of ornaments for our outdoor holiday tree.

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Supplies

  • A deck of cards
  • Thin-ish wire: I used 22 Gauge floral wire
  • Assorted beads or buttons: Make sure the wire will fit through the holes.
  • Wire clippers and pliers
  • Craft knife or paper cutter
  • Awl or large needle for piercing cards
  • Ribbon or string

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To begin you will cut several playing cards into 1/2″ strips. Choose 16 of those pieces to turn into your first ornament.

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Poke a hole, at the bottom and top of each piece, approximately 1/4″ from the end. (You should be able to pierce through multiple cards at once.)

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Trim a length of wire, approximately 10″ long, and put a small loop in one end. String at least one bead as a stopper, then start feeding your card pieces on, one at a time. This will be the bottom of your ornament, and the side showing from the bottom (shown above) will be the side of the card facing out on your ornament.

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The red side will be hidden on the inside of this ornament.


Once you have all your card pieces fed on the wire, add about 1-1/2″ of beads as spacers.

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Starting with the bottom piece of card, gently feed the wire through the pierced hole at the other end.

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Do the same with the next lowest piece of card, letting it rest against one side. Repeat with the next lowest piece of card EXCEPT let it rest on the other side of the center.

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Repeat this action on each piece, going back and forth between each side of the ornament. It should begin to form a sphere.

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There should be just enough space to feed the last (most interior) piece through. If you feel like the pieces are too cramped, you may want to gently tear a piece or two off your wire.

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When you have all the pieces wrapped back around, add another bead or two, make a loop in the wire, and trim. Feed a ribbon through the loop, and you have a nifty ornament!

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Other things to try

  • Make the spacer inside the ornament longer for a more spherical ornament, or make it shorter for a more compressed “space saucer” ornament. The different shapes will need a slightly different number of card pieces, but I’ve found that they all use between 14 and 16 pieces.
  • String two ornaments on the same wire for a more complex shape.
  • Mix and match back pieces and front pieces for a striped pattern.
  • String an extra piece of beaded wire or string to the bottom of the ornament for even more decoration.
  • Go crazy with bead spacers and see what happens.

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What do you think? Trash to treasure?

DIY: Washi Tape Tea Lights

DIY: Washi Tape Tea Lights #candles #gift #favor
I’m sure I’m not the only person out there with a washi tape obsession. I just love collecting all the different colors and patterns. I decided it was time to start using my collection and started researching some fun craft projects on Pinterest. I stumbled across this post and wanted to try it out. Not only is it a budget-friendly project, decorating the tea lights is so easy and fun! These would look beautiful placed in small tea light holders and scattered along a dinner table. You could also package them up to give as little favors for any type of occasion.

DIY: Washi Tape Tea Lights #candles #gift #favor

Supplies Needed:

• Washi tape (choose a few colors to match your theme)
• Tea light candles
• Scissors
Small organza gift bags

DIY: Washi Tape Tea Lights #candles #gift #favor
Simply wrap the washi tape carefully around the metal tea light holder. If the tape is too thick, make small cuts with scissors around the bottom and then fold the excess down and round the bottom of the candle.

DIY: Washi Tape Tea Lights #candles #gift #favor
DIY: Washi Tape Tea Lights #candles #gift #favor
If you want to give these as small gifts and favors, you can insert three decorated tea lights into small organza bags.

washitape-tealights-1

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink
I’ve had my eye out for something special to make for Valentine’s Day this year. When I spotted this recipe for Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies I couldn’t resist giving it a try. Not only are these cookies PINK but they’re also strawberry flavored and have a white chocolate center!

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

These cookies are another spend-all-afternoon-in-the-kitchen type of dessert, which I don’t mind as long as I can take my time and enjoy the process. In an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar. Using a separate bowl, combine the egg with the strawberry and vanilla extracts. Beat together then pour into the butter/sugar mix. Mix well.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add it, ½ cup at a time, to the mixer until fully combined. Now you should have a nice dough. It shouldn’t be too sticky, so add more flour if it sticks to your finger when pressing into it.

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

Roll the dough out into a log, and then cut it into three sections. Roll each section into a ball then poke your fingers in to create a small hole. Add your gel coloring a little at a time until you achieve a color you like. I chose three different shades of pink. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll the dough into approx. 1.5” balls, then press a candy melt into the center of each ball. Next roll them back up into balls (with the candy melt inside).

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink
RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

Pour your various pink sprinkles into small bowls and coat each ball with a good layer, then place it back onto the baking sheet. Once all the balls are sprinkled, use the bottom of a pint glass to press the cookies down into a round disk.

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink
RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Makes approx. 2-dozen.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp strawberry flavor
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pink gel coloring
  • Pink sprinkles
  • White candy melts
Instructions
  1. In an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar. Using a separate bowl, combine the egg with the strawberry and vanilla extracts. Beat together then pour into the butter/sugar mix. Mix well.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add it, ½ cup at a time, to the mixer until fully combined. Now you should have a nice dough. It shouldn’t be too sticky, so add more flour if it sticks to your finger when pressing it.
  3. Roll the dough out into a log, and then cut it into three sections. Roll each section into a ball then poke your fingers in to create a small hole. Add your gel coloring a little at a time until you achieve a color you like. I chose three different shades of pink. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll the dough into approx. 1.5” balls, then press a candy melt into the center of each ball. Next roll them back up into balls (with the candy melt inside).
  5. Pour your various pink sprinkles into small bowls and coat each ball with a good layer, then place it back onto the baking sheet. Once all the balls are sprinkled, use the bottom of a pint glass to press the cookies down into a round disk.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Makes approx. 2-dozen.

 

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

These cookies are so pretty, they’d make a wonderful gift for Valentine’s Day! Stack them up inside a wide mouth mason jar and decorate with a pretty ribbon and gift tag.

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

Labels and gift tags courtesy of Evermine.com.

DIY: Cornucopia Candy Favors

DIY: Cornucopia Candy Favors #thanksgiving #kids

Are you ready for Turkey Day? This year for Thanksgiving I wanted to try making up these cute Cornucopia Candy favors to give to everyone at our family thanksgiving. They are fun and easy to put together and the perfect project to do with your kids. They could even take them to school to give out to classmates!

DIY: Cornucopia Candy Favors #thanksgiving #kids

WHAT YOU NEED:

• Waffle ice cream cones
• Candy (I chose Autumn M&Ms and Pumpkin Candy Corns)
• Rubber bands
• Plastic sandwich bags
• Raffia or ribbon
• Favor tags (optional)
• Scissors

DIY: Cornucopia Candy Favors #thanksgiving #kids

The first step is to curl the ends of each waffle cone so they look just like mini cornucopia baskets. To do this- soak the end of the waffle cone in warm water for about 30 seconds. Then place it in the microwave for 20 seconds. This will soften the tip of the cone enough for you to carefully bend and curl the end. You can use a clean pencil to wrap the cone around or just use your hands to form a nice curl. Let cones dry completely.

DIY: Cornucopia Candy Favors #thanksgiving #kids

Next, cut out small squares of plastic. I used plastic sandwich bags and cut them to size with scissors. Then fill your cone with candy, cover with a plastic square and secure with a rubber band.
Finally, tie a piece of raffia or ribbon around the cone (to cover the rubber band).

DIY: Cornucopia Candy Favors #thanksgiving #kids

Scallop favor tags courtesy of Evermine.com.

DIY: Herb and Spice Gift Wrap

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I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about my lettering, and a few poor souls have even asked if I teach a class (HA!). I tell everyone the same thing– my lettering has improved over the past year because I’ve been practicing. I know, that sounds like a cop-out, but it’s true! I’ve been making signs and chalkboards for the store, lettering in my prints, and wearing through Prismacolors like nobody’s business.

The key, for me, if to cut myself some slack while I’m practicing. Doodling letters is swell, and I take any opportunity to write words in weird ways.

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This wrapping paper is a perfect example. I wanted to come up with a simple way to wrap a couple of small gifts, and went to the (very soggy) garden for inspiration. The remaining herbs were so pungent and gorgeous that I decided to use them as accents on a basic brown paper wrapping.

The whole thing’s pretty simple, and I’m sure you could come up with something even more special. The point is, I was able to mess around with letters and words without feeling too self-conscious. It’s just wrapping paper, and the herbs take center stage.

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For the second gift, I made a tall bag with a few materials, and I thought I’d share my process.

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Supplies I Used

• Plain brown kraft paper – you could also repurpose a grocery bag.
• Fresh herbs from the garden
• White Prismacolor Pencil
• Flour & water to form a paste. You can also use glue, of course!
• Scissors
• Pencil
• A can of spray paint as a base form

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First I traced the base of the can to form the bottom of my bag…

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and cut out the circle, about 1/4 inch inside my line.

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I then measured the can and cut out a piece of paper for the main part of the bag, leaving myself about 2 inches of extra height to wrap along the bottom and enough width to cover the whole can with a little overlap.

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I made a fold at that 2 inch mark, and cut a little fringe into that end (the bottom.) You’ll see why in a second.

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I used my trusty white pencil to doodle words all over the paper.

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I’ve started using a flour paste for a lot of paper projects, lately. Here I used about equal parts water and flour, mixed well, and applied with a cheap paintbrush.

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I wrapped the paper around my spray paint can and painted both edges with my paste…

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then began folding the fringe pieces down. Once those were down I painted them, and the round bottom piece with paste…

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applied like so, and left to dry.

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After it was completely dry (a few hours later) I trimmed the top of the bag, and filled it with my gift, and a little tissue paper.

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Simple directions for a unique bag- and a great way to work on those lettering skills.

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Are you inspired by herbs, like I am? Don’t forget to share you spice & herb work with us for our November DIY Challenge! We’d love to see what you think up.

(You know, keep life spicy.)

DIY: Number Etched Drinking Jars

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I used to have a set of numbered glasses that I loved. Each was marked (1-6) with a decal. When people would visit, I would give each their own number, so they wouldn’t mix up glasses. It was lovely.

Unfortunately it’s a partial set now, because they were delicate, and I am clumsy.

It’s been my goal to replace them for some time. So that was my first project when I got the Dremel etching underway.

Supplies Needed

Dremel Micro rotary tool, or similar.
• A Dremel Diamond Wheel Point Bit.
** UPDATED 12/14 – I’ve since started using two different diamond bits with more success. 7105 Diamond Ball Point and 7103 5/64-Inch Diamond Wheel Point
• Printed Number Templates (described below)
• Scissors
• Tape
• Unlabeled Glass Jars – mason or other. I have used salsa jars for my glasses.
• Optional – Sharpie to trace template onto glass.

Safety First

Refer to your tool manual. I have listed my safety gear below, but it might not be adequate for your setup. Take all the precautions you can, and be ready to pay attention to what you’re doing.
• A respirator or dust mask.
• Safety goggles or Safety Glasses.

Tool Tips

• Practice a little bit with the tool to get an understanding of how it works on glass.
• Higher speeds seem to work best on glass.
• Build a jig to hold your glass in place while you work on it. I used a piece of plywood with scrap “rails” attached to it. My jig is painted black so I can easily see my project.
• Rubberized gloves may make it easier for you to hold onto your jar.
• Remember not to etch too deeply into the glass. Don’t hold the bit in one place for too long. Your goal is to make a pattern that is just barely felt when you run your finger across it.

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Measure your glass and decide how large you would like your number to be. (I decided that a 2.5 inch number would be perfect. That’s roughly 180 pt.) Choose your size, and type numbers in your favorite font. Make sure to leave some extra space to cut the templates apart.

Cut the numbers into strips that will fit easily within your glass. You want the paper to be pressed as closely to the glass as possible.

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Use a little tape to hold the paper template in place.

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Now it’s time to etch! First take a good look at your number and make sure it’s straight and located where you want. You will notice that the thickness of the glass will affect the way you see your template from different angles, and it may be difficult to trace the number perfectly. If you like, you can trace the number on the glass with a Sharpie to make sure you have the shape just right. (The Sharpie mark will come off easily after you are done etching.)

Your first etching step (shown above) is to make a light outline of your number, using the pointed end of the bit and a very soft touch.  Try to keep as straight-on to your template as possible– and cut yourself some slack. These are going to be awesome even if you have a stray line or two.

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Once you have outlined the whole number lightly, remove the template and retrace the number to thicken up your outline. Hold the bit close to parallel with the surface of the glass to get a thicker, more consistent, line.

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If you are happy with the shape of your outline, move on to outline the other numbers you would like to do in the same way.

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Voila! You have numbered glasses! But don’t stop there…

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Using the pointed end of the bit, add small designs and lines to the inside of your number. These little additions will look fun, camouflage any mistakes you made with the outline, and make the numbers pop-out on the glass. (This was my favorite part of the whole project. Any opportunity to doodle.)

IMG_2986I’m excited to show off my new glasses, and love that I turned something that should have been recycled into something I can use for years.

Other symbols to try

• Initial Letters for the people who visit often, or to give as gifts.
• Card Suits for game night (Which drink is trump?)
• Astrological Symbols
• Different Speech Bubbles
• Animal Silhouettes
• Punctuation marks (which I love)

What would you make?

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags
Do you collect little treasures throughout your day? I’m always on the lookout for a pretty rock or shell; a tiny acorn, flower or anything that catches my eye. My shelves are lined with treasures and trinkets I’ve collected over the years. There are times when I like to hold a few treasures together after say a special walk on the beach, or a magical day spent in nature. Sometimes I’ll carry a small drawstring bag in my pocket to keep the things I collect safe.

After looking over all the things I’ve collected, I thought it might be fun to put together a small bag of treasures for ‘good luck’. It would make for a wonderful and thoughtful gift to someone special. Decorate a muslin gift bag with a stamp or RIT dye and you have the perfect gift or favor.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #craft #dye #gift

DIP-DYED BAGS

• Muslin drawstring bags (any size you like)
• RIT liquid dye
• Salt (if needed)
• Paper towels
• Small disposable plastic cups
• Plastic gloves
• Bake sheet and dry rack

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags

The first step is to fill your cups with 1/2 cup hot water (one for each color of dye you want). Then add in 2 tablespoons of dye and *2 tablespoons salt to the water. *Be sure to read the instructions on the bottle. Not all colors require salt.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #tutorial #dye #gift

Prepare a surface with paper towels or newspaper. Place a cooling rack on top of a bake sheet lined with paper towels. Carefully dip a muslin bag into the dye, holding it in the dye for 3-4 minutes. Once you get your desired shade of color, carefully place the bag onto the rack to dry. Repeat this process with all the bags you plan to make. Allow to dry completely.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #craft #gift #dye

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #craft #gift #dye

Treasures to find and collect:

• Rocks, stones or gems
• Feathers
• Shells
• Flowers
• Buttons
• Acorns
• Coins
• Beads or charms

Always keep your eye out for treasures! Whether you are taking a walk through your neighborhood, hiking through the forest, relaxing on the beach or digging through a thrift store- look for things that attract YOU. It could be a shape, color or texture that you feel drawn to. Listen to your intuition and you’ll find some truly amazing treasures!

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #craft #gift #dye

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #craft #gift #dye

DIY: Flower Flip Flops

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft

With summer here I’m busy working in my garden, escaping to the beach for a mini-vacation, and coming up with fun summer craft ideas. I stopped into my local Dollar Tree the other day and picked up a bunch of pairs of flip flops knowing they would become great summer gifts. I decided to paint them with nail polish and attach a handmade fabric flower for a fancy fun summer shoe!

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft

Supplies Needed:

• Flip flops
• Cotton fabric
• Felt
• Hot glue gun & glue sticks
• Fabric scissors
• Nail Polish
• Needle & thread

Step 1: Make fabric flowers

The first step in making fabric flowers is to cut a 1 3/4″ circle from a piece of felt. The circle does not need to be perfect (I drew one with a pen and then cut it out) and any color felt will do as it won’t be visible when the flower is finished. Use the felt circle as a template to cut approx. 20 circles from cotton fabric.

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft

Using a hot glue gun, place a dot of glue at the center of each fabric circle and fold in half. Place another dot of hot glue at the center of the folded circle and fold in half another time. Repeat this process for all the fabric circles.

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft
DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft

Next begin gluing the folded circles to the piece of felt starting in the middle and working your way around until the felt is full and flower-like. Make two fabric flowers per pair of flip flops.

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft
DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft
DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft

Step 2: Attach flower to flip flop

You can tack the flower in place with a dot of hot glue, but I recommend using a needle and thread to stitch it to the flip flop. You can feed a string through the flower (using a needle and thread) and tie it securely to the flip flop.

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft

Step 3: Paint with nail polish

Using coordinating colors decorate the straps of your flip flops with nail polish. (I originally tried glitter glue, but it fell right off once it dried). Paint over your design with a clear polish to finish.

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft
DIY: Flower Flip Flops

DIY: Crayons + Free Printable Coloring Book!

DIY Crayons + Free Printable Coloring Book #craft #kids #printable #bug

Making your own crayons is a popular craft and a great activity you can do with your kids. I used a mini cupcake mold to make our crayons, but you could also try using a fun shaped silicon mold as well. Get your kids involved and help them make their own party favors for their friends! Plus we’ve got a free printable coloring book (illustrated by me) for everyone to have fun coloring in.

DIY Crayons + Free Printable Coloring Book #craft #kids #printable #favor

DIY Crayons + Free Printable Coloring Book #craft #kids #printable #favor

DIY Crayon Favors

• Old, broken crayons
• Mini cupcake tray (or other oven-proof mold)

First you want to peel the paper off all the crayons. You can soak them in water to make them easier to peel.

Next, break them up into small pieces and place them into the mold. You’ll want to be careful not to fill them too full. You don’t want to overflow the pan.

DIY Crayons + Free Printable Coloring Book #craft #kids #printable #favor

Preheat oven to its lowest setting. I set mine for 170 degrees. Bake the crayons in oven for approx. 30 minutes, or until they are completely melted. Let cool completely (about 1 hour) and pop the crayons out of the mold. I used an x-acto knife to loosen any crayons that did not come out easily.

Package crayons in hand-stamped muslin drawstring gift bags and a cute custom favor tag from Evermine.com

DIY Crayons + Free Printable Coloring Book #craft #kids #printable #favor

Click here to download the free printable coloring book!

To assemble, print pages 2-3 back to back. Fold all pages in half and saddle stitch (staple) together to form a book.

DIY Crayons + Free Printable Coloring Book #craft #kids #printable #favor