Homemade Christmas Gifts In A Snap

December has blown in with the wind from the north and it’s a great time of year to show those we love just how much we love them by creating homemade gifts. Baking delicious homemade quick breads is a great start. Learning that presentation is everything is the clincher to the deal! Today I have a quick and easy Gourmet Bread Wrap to share with you. With just a few fun paper crafting projects and a few extra minutes, your gift goes from nice to AMAZING! :) And as an added bonus, I will even share with you my very own Chocolate Chip Banana Bread recipe – a crowd pleaser each and every time I bake it!

Size:

Approximately 4¾” wide

Materials

  • Cardstock: kraft, cream, black
  • Red satin ribbon
  • Prima Marketing Crystals & Glittery Leaf

Tools & Supplies

  • Gina K Designs Rubber Stamps: Holiday Greetings, Vintage Backgrounds, Vintage Borders
  • Clearsnap Fluid Chalk Ink Pads: Lipstick Red, Blackbird
  • Sizzix Bigz Dies by Tim Holtz Styled Labels
  • Krylon Copper Leafing Pen
  • Adhesives: Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L 3-D Foam Squares; Beacon Adhesives Zip Dry Paper Glue

Directions

Step 1

Cut kraft cardstock to 4¾”x12”. Stamp Blackbird ink using hound’s-tooth background image. Wrap around center of wax paper wrapped bread loaf; adhere using Zip Dry Paper Glue. Tie a length of red satin ribbon around top third of wrap. Tie leaf stem in center of knot; bend wire to hold in place off to right side.

Step 2

Die cut cream cardstock using Styled Labels die. Stamp using Blackbird and Lipstick Red ink flourish image and sentiment respectively. Embellish image using crystals. Guild edge of die cut using Krylon Copper Leafing Pen. Adhere die cut to bottom third of wrap using 3-D Foam Squares.

Gourmet Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

 Ingredients

  • Yellow cake mix
  • Cinnamon, one tsp.
  • Nutmeg, ½ tsp.
  • Eggs, three
  • Oil, 1/3 cup
  • Bananas, four medium (approx two cups, mashed)
  • Chocolate chips, one cup

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour two loaf pans. Mix cake mix and spices in bowl. Blend eggs, oil, vanilla, and bananas in blender. Add to cake mix; stir until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared loaf pans. Bake until deep golden on top and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (approximately 30-35 minutes). Remove from pans and allow to fully cool prior to wrapping in waxed paper.

by Keri Lee Sereika (www.pinklemonade.typepad.com)

Fall Bake Sale Treats

Hello there! I’m so excited to be joining you with my first post as part of the Crafts ’n things Blog Team. My name is Alice Golden and I live in Massachusetts with my husband of 23 years, three teenage boys, a dog and two cats. I’ve loved arts and crafts for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until my youngest son was born 13 years ago that I started working in the industry. One of my favorite things about my job is teaching classes, so I was thrilled when Crafts ’n things asked if I would be interested in sharing ideas with their readers twice a month on this brand new blog.

Today I have some ideas that combine two of my favorite hobbies – baking and paper crafting. It seems like fall is full of opportunities for creating yummy baked goods. Whether it is making a treat for a friend, goodies for a class party, or something special for a family celebration, a homemade delicacy is always sure to delight.

For many school organizations and community groups a national election is a fundraising opportunity not to be missed. Next Tuesday here in the U.S., in addition to choosing the next President, you’ll most likely be faced with lots of tasty choices at the ubiquitous Election Day Bake Sale. If you are helping out with a bake sale, I have a few ways for you to put your crafting skills to good use.

By using a few inexpensive paper goods and craft supplies – many are probably things you already have on hand – you can turn a humble cookie, brownie, or loaf of bread into something that looks like it came from a high-end bakery… and will get top dollar at your bake sale.

Using cellophane bags – not thin plastic ones, but the stiffer ones that make a crinkling sound – makes a huge difference. You can find them in a variety of sizes and they don’t cost that much… on average just a few cents each. I got these from ClearBags.com.

I also like using glassine bags. Many online retailers carry these – try searching for “glassine envelopes” or “glassine sleeves”. I used a glue stick to attach the strip of red and white paper to the top of the bag for a custom look.

I found these unbleached, natural waxed paper bags at my local grocery store for less than 5 cents each. A circle punch and sticker help to quickly make a label.

There are usually a lot of kids in tow with their parents, so having a few items geared to the younger crowd is a good idea.

Miniature loaves of bread always seem to be a big hit at bake sales. Cover up plastic wrap with strips of patterned paper, ribbons, and a tag.

This is a great way to use up paper scraps too… even a 1” wide strip of paper can come in handy. Don’t have any ribbon on hand? Try using inexpensive jute garden twine instead for a rustic look. You can create your own tag using punches or die cuts, or use a pre-made tag from the office supply store.

If you are making lots of one thing, use your computer and printer to create labels. Print an entire sheet and then punch or die cut one at a time (this is a perfect job to do while catching up on your favorite fall television shows).

If you are using a die that you can’t see through, try creating a template out of a scrap of cardstock. Place the opening over the spot you want to cut and then use that to help position the die.

I cut a slit in the template to make it easier to remove when the die is in place. I also use a piece of tape to help hold the die in place.

Who could resist a brownie wrapped up in parchment paper and tied with baker’s twine? The tag came from the office supply store.

Hope I have given you some useful ideas today… at the very least, I bet I’ve made you hungry! Please take a minute to say hello and let us know what types of projects you would be most interested in seeing in the future.

Happy Halloween!

Alice Golden from Golden Moments (www.alicegolden.typepad.com)