21 April 2015


This is the first time we haven't had a birthday party at our house. So far, we have had 11 parties between our two kids with themes like Cupcakes, Japanese Girl, Dutch Tulips, Polka Dots, Fairies, Farmer's Market, Cinderella, Pastel My Little Pony, aaaaand Frozen. I'm kind of running out of wowza. I think we peaked with that Frozen party last year... no pun.

I'm actually trying to tone it down a bit. So we booked Red Butte Gardens. They entertain the kids with a story, craft and games. They also do the clean up, which is mighty nice.

So on the party planning end, all I did was prep a snack, cupcakes, a few decorations and a party favor. In all honesty, any normal person would have just paid the fee for the event and be done. I'm taking some baby steps with this toning it down thing.

The following images show the party favor, decorations, cupcakes and twelve really happy kids. You can also check out my Party Plans board on Pinterest.

Includes a garden shovel, Easter grass and candies, strawberry marshmallows, handmade watermelon notebooks, pencil, bugs and sugar stick. I made the clothes pins with washi tape for each kid. Many items purchased at Target's Dollar Spot or on sale after Easter had passed.

I used baskets (luckily on sale at the Dollar Tree, 2 for 1:), lined with a napkin and then each had an Izzy's soda can, Angie's Boom Chicka Pop, napkin with straw, granola bar wrapped in kraft paper and  an applesauce squeeze.

Because our party was in a garden we focused on watermelons and strawberries, using lots of pinks and greens. Balloons with paper 7s tied to the strings, white flowers in milk glass vases and green tea tins, colored table cloths, a handmade banner on skewers stuck in potted plants, and a "seven" cupcake topper skewer. I made the seven topper with a wood seven, covered it with washi tape and glittered the edges.

Chocolate with pale pink frosting and a watermelon sour topper.


14 April 2015


I made a shorter version of the same necklace as the last post for my girls easter outfits. *Side note, after they wore them for 10 minutes and proceeded to attack each other as they do, I noticed the necklaces were starting to fray at the tussle's knot. So I tugged the strands down again and superglued the top of the tassel. This process is called NinaProofing. I should have done it from the get go.

P.S. The dresses are made by Nicole Paul of Hum Stitchery and the sweaters are from Zara.

03 April 2015


Here's a quickie for the Easter Baskets. I made these for a birthday party favor last weekend, but after my daughters saw these colorful tassels ... I had to make one for them too.

Natural Hemp Cord
Elmer's Glue - I use this to stiffen the ends for easier threading
Small Natural Wood Beads
16-20mm Wood Bead
Florescent Yellow Rubberized 8 mm Beads
Florescent Yellow Enamel Paint
Clear Gloss Spray Paint
Masking Tape
Fabric Scissors
Fraycheck or Superglue
Florescent Yellow Polyester Thread

1. Mask off the larger wood bead in the way you want to paint it. You can slant or half it. You can paint the whole bead or leave it natural. I like mine slanted or half painted.
2. Paint several coats and let dry in between. I like to paint with the bead on a chopstick... stick the handle end into a piece of Styrofoam to dry. When you're happy with the amount of color, you can spray it with a clear gloss spray paint.
3. During dry time, prep the necklace and make the tassel. First cut a piece of hemp cord about 80" long. This may seem long but if you want a long necklace that slips over head you'll want plenty for knotting. It's better to have too much than too little.
4. Next start on the tassel by winding yellow thread around a book (6" wide or so) about 75-100 times. Slide the thread off of the book, carefully gather it at its half point and wrap it around the hemp cord half way point (40"). Take another piece of the same yellow thread, wind it around and knot it. I like to wind it again and knot it again for extra security. I also dab a little fray check or super glue on the knot just for good measure. Secure! Then cu the loops and trim the tassel.
5. Dab a bit of Elmer's glue on the end pieces of the hemp cord. I like to twist it between my fingers to make each end stiff and straight. * FYI, if these aren't good threading ends, it makes it tough to get through the bead holes easily and this project that once seemed simple becomes a real drag. So these ends need to be good and stiff and tight for threading. This cord doesn't go through needles easily, and many needles are too large for these smaller beads. I've experimented and the glue ends has proven to be the easiest method.
6. Once the wood bead is dry you can thread it onto the necklace by taking both ends together and putting it through the wood bead hole. I like the yellow half to be closer to the yellow tassel. Take the bead all the way down to the tassel top and superglue it into place, tightly so that you don't see any hemp cord. I glue it so that the bead doesn't slip through all the way.
7. Knot at the top of the wood bead and start adding beads to each strand to your desired point. I had some medium sized beads (about 8-10 mm) that I used first, you can put two or three of these first, then the smaller. For little kids, it's cute to skip these middle sized beads. After each bead I knot it tightly into place before adding another bead. I put the same number of beads on each strand and stop at about the collar bone point. I like seeing a bit of string at the top but you can keep adding beads all the way around to the top if you'd like.

That's it, you can make this as short or long as you'd like. For women, these were about 10" o beads and then some string. For kids I did less.

Happy Easter! xoxo

24 March 2015


When planning a party, after the space has been chosen, the first thing I do is see what that area has to offer. For a girlfriend's party, our chosen space comes with a lot of beautiful windows, light, exposed brick, white furniture, florescent yellow tables and an enormous globe in the entry. Those are some fantastic qualities to build from! 

Globes. Florescent Yellow. Light Wood. Plants. Sushi

We are getting sushi takeout from Takashi. Instead of just opening up the take out boxes and putting out paper plates, I've got some ideas. Here's what we'll need:

- Burlap Runner
- Globes (placed on top of the runner)
- White horizontal plates for sushi
- Wood horizontal boards for sushi
- Banner (String it in the front of the table or above - DIY)
- Cake with florescent yellow topper
- Wood forks for cake

- Burlap Runner
- Globes and Plants (wrapped in kraft paper and taped with florescent yellow washi tape)
- Wood plates
- Wood chopsticks (with painted ends florescent yellow - DIY)
- White napkins (with florescent yellow washi tape)
- Limonata Bottles at each place setting

- Pillows (world map, florescent yellow, white fur)
- Throws (white fur)
- Plants (on the side table with kraft paper and taped with florescent yellow washi tape)
- Party Favors (florescent yellow bead necklaces - DIY)

*This is a last minute party plan so I'm going to use as many things from home as possible. If I have a plant in a white planter, I'll use it, if I have a pillow with some bit of light blue, I'll add florescent yellow yarn pom poms or tassels. Keeping in mind that I need to transport all of these items so I'm keeping them as light and compact as possible.

17 March 2015


My dear friend, Nicole has wanted to start a children's clothing line for so long. Now that she's launched her kickstarter campaign, it's time to shout it out!

Nicole is so very talented in every way. Through the years she has made little dresses and tunics for my girls and I cherish every piece she's ever created. She uses adorable fabrics and is really a master at her craft. Please, please, please check out Hum Stitchery and pledge to help her get her dream off the ground.  Look for my little redhead in her video, she has even named a dress after her. That makes me smile so big.

Good luck Nicole!!

04 March 2015


I teach some young girls every other week about... well, there isn't a curriculum, but rather some values and such to touch upon. Along with some activities and treats. It's called Activity Days. It's a lot of fun. I had no idea what to expect when I started teaching but these girls are so fun and eager to learn new things. Yesterday we talked about OUR PLACE IN THIS WORLD. I wanted to get them thinking about how we treat others, our differences that go beyond what we eat and wear to how we can take care of one another.

I put together a little passport that we went through and they each got to put a star on the countries that are tied to their family heritage. It was a fun activity and it got them really excited about the unique things that each country is known for.

I've included the passport cover and pages and you can put your own booklet together. Be aware, this is me taking bits of information from the internet, I may have gotten a thing or two wrong ;)

Inside there's a pledge for them to sign. Also, they can draw a self portrait and fill in the information, name, birthdate, country of origin and where they'd love to go.

For these kids, it was really all about opening up their minds to a place beyond their neighborhood, city, state and country. To understand more about all of the fabulous people and places in our world.

After we did this, I taught them how to make mini weavings. One of them said, "I could do this all day." I can't help but smile at that. It's a fun little group.


Printer & paper
Xacto Knife
Ruler & Cutting Board
Bone Folder
Needle & thread
Awl (to poke holes in spine)
Rubber Cement
*I happen to have bookbinding tools, if you don't have these, something similar will suffice.

1. Print Cover and trim off the white border all around leaving all four panels of the front/back and inside.
2. Fold at the half point (short fold), then fold in half again.
3. Carefully glue the corners in place.
4. Print the pages so that pages 1-5 are on the front and 6-10 are on the backsides.
5. Trim off all the white borders and fold in half. Use your bone folder if you have one to get a good creese.
6. layer all the pages so that the cover is on the outside and the first page is Ireland (I did this mostly because it's St. Patrick's day soon). Put the Mary Blair illustration in the middle and make sure that United States is last, next to the child's passport information.
7. Open the booklet and poke a hole in the center of the creese. Then another a 1/2" from each end.
8. Thread your needle, no need to knot it.
9. From the inside go through the center hole, leaving about 3" of thread hanging.
10. Hold the tail in place and from the outside of the booklet go in from the top end hole. Now go back out through the bottom hole and back in through the center hole so that your back where you started with the tail.
11. Knot the two threads in the center inside of the booklet and trim.
12. You can trim the fringe of uneven pages from the outside if you'd like, but be aware that you could trim off the little flags on each corner of the pages.

26 February 2015


Last March I made these skirts for St. Patrick's Day for my little girls and then posted a quick photo but I never gave a tutorial. This year you get the tutorial.

I love this Cricket Clover fabric by Heather Ross. It's part of the Briar Rose collection from 2013. You can still find it. When I bought it, I wasn't sure what I would use if for so I only bought a half yard. Then I decided to make mini skirts for my girls but I needed enough fabric for two skirts so I added a band at the top for one and a different band at the bottom for the other to make it work. Overall, the size 3 (the skirt with the pink on the top) is 1/2" shorter in length and has a 1" smaller waistband than the size 5 (the skirt with the pink on the bottom). My measuring is very rough because I made these quickly and I can't stress this enough... I am not a seamstress with real skills. I wing it. Always.

As a side note, these skirts still fit my girls, a year later, so the size 3 is working for 4 and the size 5 is working for 6, almost 7. I figure, if it's too short, put on some leggings or shorties underneath and it's all good.

- Looking only at the size 3 skirt with the top band of pink:
(A) Fabric for the large portion - (Cricket Clover) 9"H x 44"W
(B) Fabric for the shorter portion - (pink) 5.5"H x 44"W
Iron & Board
Sewing Machine & Thread
Elastic (3/4") & 2 Large Safety Pins

1. Wash and dry your fabrics. Iron and lay out flat. *My fabric shrunk a bit so it was more like 42" after washing (instead of 44").
2. Cut the (A) half yard of clover fabric in half down the long length so you have two 9"x44" pieces. I was making two skirts so with a 1/2 yard of fabric and only one skirt, you could make it much fuller and have two side seams. I only had one side seam and utilized 1 piece per skirt. The more you have, the more fullness in the skirt.
3. Cut the (B) shorter portion of fabric to be the same long length but only about 5.5" in height.
4. Back up (A) and (B) along the long side and pin. (see top photo)
5. Stitch those two together about 1/2" from the edge.
6. Fold over and press the (B) fabric on one long end about 1.5" pin.
7. Stitch about 1.25" from the folded edge on the (B) fabric. This will be for the elastic.
8. Press the sewn seam connecting (A) and (B). Then go back and top stitch along that seam so it lays flat. (see second and third photos)
9. Roll fold and iron a hem at the bottom of (B) fabric. Top stitch 1/4" in from the edge.

10. Insert a large safety pin into your elastic piece and feed it through the elastic seam. Pull it so that the waste band is about 18" (size 3-4) or 20" (size 5-6). At your end point, safety pin that end to the fabric to hold it in place. Make sure the starting pin is connected to the fabric as well. Leave a few inches of elastic on both ends hanging out just incase you need to loosen it.
11. Back up the long strip so that you create one large hoop and pin the end side (see bottom photo).
12. Using just one safety pin, pin all of the waistband into place. Make sure your pin is going through all layers of elastic and fabric.
13. Stitch the end seam about 1/2" in from the edge. Make sure you stitch over the elastic a couple of times. And cut the excess elastic. *My girls don't like to feel their seams etc. so I actually stitched a smooth ribbon over this edge... again, a fine example of me winging it. I know there's a real way to insert elastic and have it hidden, but I need to figure that out.
14. Turn the skirt inside out and Press the seam open.
15. Flip the skirt back out so that the print is on the outside and top stitch the seam so that it stays open in place. On for each side of the open seam.

Once this was finished I added a little pocket to the front of each skirt in the coordinating (B) fabric.

19 February 2015


St. Patrick's is coming up next! I'm not Irish but I like this time of year a lot. I think it's the colors!

I love all greens. It's so refreshing to bring the beginnings of spring color inside after a long winter. Of course, this winter is weird... it's February and it feels like April. So I'm feeling Spring early.

Along with green I'm ALWAYS interested in adding gold. I have several ways of adding gold. First, I love to gold foil anything and everything (plus a little more).

I also appreciate a good gold paint. The Martha Stewart Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint is my favorite. It works great on glass, wood, cork, leather, fabric... just about anything. I have yet to find a really amazing gold spray paint, but I keep trying.

I painted the bottom of an old vase to use for St. Patrick's Day decorations. It's so easy. Seriously, zero effort on this one.

Masking Tape
Paint Brush
MS Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint

1. Just mask off a clean line with masking tape.
2. Brush on a couple of coats, and let dry.
3. Peal off the tape carefully.

You can also paint the inside of a vase by swirling the paint around and turning it upside down onto wax paper to let it drain to the top of a vase. This is great if the vase isn't going to ever have water in it. I like to have a variety of green vases and gold objects in my St. Patrick's Decorations so I use both methods.

I also like to include, clover, moss and gold chocolate coins. That's all I need to feel the St. Patricks vibe. This year, I may add a little more. Stay tuned.

14 February 2015


These are are a fun craft to do on Valentine's Day. I did this little "love" impromptu with a couple of girlie friends while our kids played. I do so enjoy walking away from a playdate with a completed craft in hand.

Once this is learned you'll want to make these for every holiday. They can be any shape you want... St. Patrick's Day is next... four-leaf clover! This idea is also great for kids names too, to put in their bedrooms.

Wire - 12 gauge aluminum
Mod Podge

1. Draw out the shape you want on a piece of paper.
2. To create your shape or word, place the wire over the drawing and follow it.
3. Slightly undo the word to just loosen up the loops so you can wrap the wire easily. You'll get it back into shape after it's wrapped.
4. Glue an end of yarn to one end of the wire and wrap it around the tip of the wire, then wrap the yarn back over itself to secure that end. Keep wrapping, you can glue occasionally if you want but I try not to glue, it leaves the yarn stiff.
5. If you change colors, cut the yarn and glue it down. Start your new color, glueing slightly over the top of the old to secure the transition.
6. Keep wrapping until you get to the end of the wire and finish it the same way you started. Wrapping the tip with yarn so you don't see the wire.
* The more you wrap the thicker it becomes so try to keep all the yarn on the same level (one layer).
7. Once it is all wrapped and glued, you can reshape using your drawing as needed.

These can be hung with straight pins on a pin board, or you can add tiny magnets for a magnet board. You can also create a small loop on the ends and tie string to it.


11 February 2015


I'm a bit late with my kids class treats for Valentine's this this year. If you are as well, and need a quick idea, print this out, gather some goodies, load some baggies... you can get this checked off your list in an afternoon.

Cello Bags - I used 2.5" x .75" x 6" (Try to get bags as close as possible to this size).
Cardstock - I used Paper Source Stardream Opal or Quartz
X-acto Knife, Cutting Board & Bone Folder (Scissors or a paper cutter will also work)
Ring Erasers - I got these from Target
Candies - I got chocolate kisses, Jelly Beans, and gummy XOs all at Target. Also at grocery stores.
Stapler - This could be cuter, with ribbon etc., but a stapler will do in a pinch. I thought about making the staples gold but again...!
Sharpie - To write their names on the back.

1. Print out the cards below on 8.5" x 11" cardstock.
2. Cut the center vertical line, and two outer vertical lines.
3. Turn your paper and cut the horizontal lines.
4. Keeping the paper in it's place, score on the fold lines. You should have six cards.
5. If your child is old enough to write their own names have them help out with this part. If not, write in their names.
6. Partially fold each card along their scored line so that they're ready for placement.
7. Fill each bag with a ring and some candies. Of course, the kids love to be involved in this part.
8. Fold over the top of the bag and place the folded card over the top of it. Staple closed.
* If you can't find this size bag, use what you can and fold it down to fit within the card closure.
9. I used the red for boys and the pink for the girls.

09 February 2015


It's not very often that you can gather 30 creative ladies together. It's even less often that you can get them to make a dozen of something crafty and lovely. These crafts are time takers for sure but when Stephanie throws her annual Valentine's Exchange Party, it's time to get busy and get there.

The deal is you craft up twelve of, something... a Valentine, to exchange. With so many talented people there, I was a wee bit intimidated. But it really was fun and rewarding.

I made weavings, each one of a kind with a mix of cream, gold and pink yarns on a gold painted twig. Then I placed each one in a glassine bag, tossed in a few tissue hearts, sewed the top, and topped it with a heart sticker.  Twelve of those, took me about a week of nightly work while watching TV.

After a short break, maybe I'll make myself one too. I'll show them all soon.

For now, take a peek at what I traded them for!
Starting at the top left:
Flowers by Millie
Deer Valentine by Stephanie Ford
Moss hearts by Rachel David
Cornhusk Flowers by Brittany Jepson
Needle Keeper by Amy Holmes
Felt Tissue Case by Tia Harrison
Heart Paper Garland by Faith Wallis
Candy Jar by Caroline Drake
Fabric Garland by Melissa Bell
Bag of Felt Balls by Aubry Bennion
Cement Earrings by Kersey Campbell
Lavendar Sachet by Kersten Swinyard

27 January 2015


My Sister-in-Law threw a Cocktail Tutorial Party and asked me to put together a little give away gift. I designed and hand stitched little french-fold brochures and we attached a jigger to each one. Because the brochure was full of recipes I wanted photos that didn't represent Miami circa 1982 so I began the hunt. I found a couple of blogs (here and here) that were filled with beautiful photography of cocktails and recipes. I gave them credit in the brochure, but of course, I'd like to show off their talents here as well. See below for recipes, complements of Elisa Noelle of Bar X.

P.S. I don't actually drink cocktails (though sometimes I wish for them at about 4:00 when my kids are at each other, not doing homework, being uncooperative and snippy. That's when we all need one, right.)

2 oz. Rye
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
2 Dash Bitters
two hearty shakes of bitter in glass, add vermouth, add rye, drop three broken ice cubes, and stir

2 oz London Dry Gin
1 oz. Dry Vermouth
add vermouth and gin in glass, add ice cubes, stir, add lemon twist

2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
combine all ingredients, shake

2 oz Spirit
1 Sugar Cube
place sugar cube in glass, douse with bitters, add ice, stir, add twist

1 Egg White (set aside)
2 oz Bourbon
3/4 Lemon Juice
3/4 Simple Syrup
5 Ice Cubes
combine bourbon, syrup and juice, add egg white, and dry shake,
add ice cubes, and shake again, double strain into glass, and add line of bitters

1 1/2oz Spirit (Brandy)
1/2 oz Citrus (Lime)
1 oz Cointreau
combine ingredients, and shake

1/2 oz ginger root juice
1/2-1 oz lime
3/4 simple syrup
combine ginger, lime and simple syrup, shake with ice and double strain into glass, top with soda

05 January 2015


I am DROWNING in art. I'm not kidding.... My kids probably produce on average 8 pieces of art daily, and at least 4 pieces that are really adorable and savable... EACH! There is a crazy pile of artwork in my sewing room, another in our home office, the daily schoolwork pile has art from September to now, the art drawer has a pile and then this pile shown below in the photo (note the art boxes, which make it seem like it's organized, but those are jam packed)... there are at least five different places where artwork is being placed in my home.

I consider myself to be pretty organized, but the artwork has gotten out of control. Literally... out of control!! Can you sense the panic? I can't get on top of these piles. So here's my idea...

STARTING NOW, JANUARY 2015 Everything created by my kids will be photographed on my phone and printed into Chatbooks.

After this is set up and rolling, THEN... I'll go through the many piles and edit and keep only the really amazing pieces of art. and file them into my kids craft boxes (see the top left of the photo). Those boxes by the way were meant to be for school, home, and church art up until age five. I currently have two boxes for my six year old, so they need editing too. But again, this is going to get attention after this project is under way.

I've had several chatbooks made already and I love them. They're affordable and easy to use and their customer service is amazing. I've already got an account so I can easily add another book. All I have to do is this:

1. Set up a new email account. I used an old yahoo account from years ago.
2. Set up a new private Instagram account. The downfall to this plan is that Instagram makes you sign out and in of each account which is a huge drag but for this project, I'm willing! I did, however, leave them a comment to get with it and make it easier for people to have multiple accounts.
3. Add a new book to "My Books" in the Chatbooks account (or for those that haven't done it before get the app on your phone and start... it needs to be done on your phone, not the computer).
4. Start taking photos.
5. Start posting photos to the new private Instagram account. Nobody else will see them if you keep it private. Don't add any followers and don't follow anyone.
6. Photos are added to your Chatbooks account in the same order that you add them to Instagram so be mindful of how you want them to appear in your book. You can delete images, but you can't move them around.
7. You'll start receiving books once you subscribe. Each volume is sent out after 60 photos. Chatbooks will send an email to edit your book (change text etc.) and then it comes to your house like magic. Pretty amazing set up, I say.

I've created all kinds of photo books from several sources and this is by far the easiest option. I'm looking for something that will actually get done so it has to be easy. I will shoot art on a daily basis, mostly likely at the end of the day so I only have to log out/in once per day.

Now I won't have to fret when it's time to toss the little love notes and drawings and art created at school and at home. It's also great for the bulky pieces that just don't work well in the filing system.

And THAT is my plan. Pray for me and my piles of madness.

02 January 2015


Well, we're running on empty over here... out of things to do in this 7˚ weather. Too cold for making snowmen or sledding... well, let me take that back, we could do it, but it would last all of 12 minutes. Too much effort for the likes of me.

Running out of crafts to do too. Here's one to share in case anyone out there is feeling the winter blues like we do. Oh fret, we're only in January, we're in trouble!

Toilet Paper Rolls
Paint & Brush - White or Frosty Silvery White
Construction Paper - Red. Orange. Black
Fringe Scissors (not necessary, but certainly fun)
Black Sharpie
Greenery (a small sprig from a garland or the tree is all that is needed)
Hot Glue Gun

1. Paint the toilet paper roll and let dry.
2. Cut two black circles, one slightly larger than the toilet paper roll diameter. The second the same size as the toilet paper roll diameter. Then cut a black strip about 1"x5".
3. Cut a small orange carrot nose
4. Cut a red strip and some fringe for the scarf.
5. When the paint is dry draw on a face. Of course, construction paper eyes, and mouth would be great too.
6. Glue the black strip into a tube that is the same diameter as the smaller black circle. Glue the smaller black circle to the top and the larger to the bottom. Glue that to the top of the snowman.
7. Glue the scarf around the neck and add fringe.
8. Glue a bit of green fir to the top hat and add some small red berries.
9. Glue on the orange carrot nose (my kids opted for no nose).

You can make a whole snowman family if you'd like. And you can make Santa too!

26 December 2014


After all the toys have worn out the kids brains and they've come off their sugar rush... here's a little craft to entertain. It's set up to give as a gift for their friends too so they can share in the fun.
xoxo Merry Christmas!
FREE PRINTABLE BELOW (print at 100% on cardstock)

Brown Pipe Cleaner (cut in 1/2)
Candy Cane
Googly Eyes
Red Puff Ball
Brown Paper Bag
Washie Tape
Printout *Optional for gift giving

24 December 2014


Happy Christmas Eve, friends. I've got all kinds of crafty bits to share, some you can still do in time for Christmas, others I'll do after the all the hubbub and we're all searching for things to do ;) Is there EVER a time when we're searching for things to do?????? Gah! no.

For now, it's getting down to the wire and almost time to start wrapping gifts. My own personal little tradition (In our house, I'm Santa, BTW) I like to spread out everything in the living room, put on "White Christmas" and get'r done all at once on Christmas Eve.

I mentioned in my last post the mini weavings. I've seen several that have inspired me and after checking out some tutorials, I dug out my yarn (and bought a little more), made a mini loom and started in. I think I made over a dozen. They really don't take very long, once I got it all figured out. And they're a nice mindless craft to do while watching TV. 

Above is a weaving along with the fixings for my girlie friend gift. A Diet Coke or Dr. Pepper, a lime and a bit of Coconut Syrup in a small glass vial. Wrapped in a cello bag with some newsprint and shred mix. Tied with a ribbon and the weaving on the outside. When I write up a tag, I mix rubber stamps ("for") and calligraphy (their name) and I hand write (my name).

Sturdy Board cut to about 4"x6" (1) + 4"x1.5" (4) - You can choose your size
Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
Hefty Scissors or Box Cutter

1. Cut down the board and two strips for each end (4 strips total). I happened to have some packaging from a Mac box and I liked that it was coated and sturdy. Cardboard would work too, but I think it could fall apart from the yarn being pulled in and out of the slits.
2. Hot glue two strips to each other. Hot glue each of the strip stacks to the main 4"x6" board, one 1/2" down from the top and the other 1/2" up from the bottom. 
3. Snip slits from the stacked strips to the top edge. I cut 5 about 1/2" apart. Do the same at the bottom. See photos below.

Choose 3-5 different yarns with a mix textures. I had a thin cream with gold, a couple of chunky, and some standard bold colors.
Sewing Scissors
Pack of Tapestry Needles - I like these for their fat tips and large eye to thread the yarn. I also like a pack of 4-6 to have several yarns threaded at once to switch back and forth easily.
Fray Check
1/2" Gold Jingle Bells
A Stick from Nature about 4"-6" long and 1/4" in diameter
Masking Tape
Wide Tooth Comb for pushing up the yarn

1. Cut five strips of yarn to a desired length. I've done short and long and in the end I preferred the long. 16" strands folded in half are great.
2. With one piece of yarn folded in half, hold the folded part to the stick and pull the ends through. Repeat for all five strands of yarn.
3. Pull each "set" of yarn strips through the top slits of the loom. Each set has it's own slit. The stick should be pulled closely at the back of the loom. 
4. Pull each set of yarn strips straight down and through the bottom slit. Repeat for all five sets. 
5. Turn the loom over, and twist the excess yarn, and tape to the back. You've created the warp and are now ready to start weaving.
6. Thread each of the pieces of yarn about 14"-20". 
7. Start with whichever you'd like at the top leaving about 3" of yarn hanging out at the top. Weave up and down through each of the pieces of the warp. If you pull tightly, the weaving will warp in. If you leave it too loose, the yarn will bubble. I kind of like the variation of it going in and out, but some may not. Use your comb to push up each row.
8. You can add different bits of color or texture by weaving to a point (see the bottom left photo) and filling in with another piece of yarn.
9. I keep weaving until they are about 3"-4" long.
10. On the back side, I leave 2" ends near each other to tie a knot and then dab a bit of fray check and cut. I take care of all of that business with the knots on the back before I undo the warp.
11. When you're finished weaving, carefully take off the tape on the back. 
12. Starting on one end, I undo the warp. One slit at a time. Tie the yarn in a square knot and move on to the next slit until all five are knotted.
13. At the top, carefully pull the stick side of the warp out of the slits. Thread the top starter piece of yarn and weave it back into the top, fray check and cut.
14. *Optional - Thread a bell on one side or in the middle and tie with a square knot.
15. With all of the warp threads hanging down, you can cut them straight across, or angle cut them. You can also stagger cut them, which is what I like the best when they're long.
16. Cut a 7" piece of yarn and tie it to the stick on each end to enable your weaving to hang. I also fray check these knots.

Next, I'd like to try a larger weaving with more official equipment. P.S. You can also see my little helper below. She likes to pick out color combinations with me.

* FREE PRINTABLE for your coconut vials.