Monday, December 17, 2012

Challenge: Gift-spiration

Whether handcrafting something special, making gift tags or wrap, ornaments, decor, or hand crafting your cards - the odds are that you’re up to something crafty, and we’d love to see it! This week our challenge is inspired by gift giving and our design team has traditions as well as project ideas to share with you.

Check out their inspiration - then join us and share your projects!
Anna-Karin made a winter woods Christmas decoration, based on her memories of driving through snowy forests on the way to her grandmother on Christmas.
In Sweden, Santa knocks on the door on the evening of Christmas Eve, which is the main family celebration day. We sisters used to sit in a window and see who could spot him first. Santa hands out the gifts one at a time, and there are often rhymes written on the gifts, so the recipient can try to guess what is inside. On the evening of the 23rd of December, the whole family would sit in separate places in the house and wrap gifts and make up rhymes. My project would work great as a gift, but I think I might keep it for myself. I covered a wooden box with Composer tissue wrap and built a snowy scene inside, using layers of Tim Holtz's tree line die cuts, Woodland trees, a dimensional deer and a star hanging in the sky. Snow was created with Enamel Accents, white flock, white paint, snowflake die cuts, dry Distress Stickles Rock Candy glitter and lots of faux-snow.

Tracy decorated two seasonal candles perfect for decorating any home at Christmas.
It's always a Christmas tradition in our family to fill every room with candlelight, and it gives such a warm cosy seasonal feel to a home. Candles at Christmas are a perfect inexpensive gift for a friend or family member, simple to decorate and long lasting. The ornate reindeer from the Reindeer Flight stamp set decorates one of the candles and the background stamp from the Seasons Silhouettes stamp set is added to the smaller candle.  For added dimension I have included two wonderful decorative buttons from Cosmo Cricket. No gift is complete without a coordinating tag also showcased on my blog. When it comes to wrapping your handmade gifts, try brown paper stamped with Christmas images or simply wrapped with ribbons and twine it gives such a real Christmas cottage hand made feel to your gifts.

Dan has made his own crackers as wrapping for small gifts.
In our family I'm known as the one who puts a little more effort into gift wrapping than the others, which is nice, but does mean I get phone calls asking for help when there's an oddly-shaped gift to be wrapped!  I have a few small gifts for various people this year so I thought I'd put them inside homemade Christmas crackers rather than wrap them conventionally.  Traditionally, crackers contain a gift, a cheesy joke and a paper hat.  We put our crackers on the tree until Christmas dinner, when everyone gets a cracker at their place at the table.  After pulling them we share the cheesy jokes with each other and wear our hats while we eat dinner.  I cut the crackers from the Dear Mr Claus collage kit and made my own hats to put inside them with the Classics #6 stamp set.  The toppers used the Holiday Wishes and Santa's Wish stamp sets and lots of Rock Candy stickles.

Candy created a very useful gift that keeps on giving throughout the year; a birthday calendar album.
Since I was a little girl, some of my favorite Christmas memories are of big family dinners on Christmas Eve; with as many family members as possible gathered around the table (or tables).  In the days leading up to Christmas, I would help my mother wrap Christmas presents and she would always finish them off with the most beautiful hand made bows and glitzy sprays of tinsel or corsage type pine cones and shiny balls.  So many wonderful memories that I now carry on with my children and grandchildren.  With an increasing family, there comes more birthdays that need to be remembered.  So, I created this vintage style birthday calendar album.  It is constructed from chipboard and covered in papers from Prima's beautiful Ledger #1 Paper Pad.  The metallic antiqued tiles on the cover are really embossed Ranger's Metal Foil Tape Sheets that have been given a patina look with the help of a Juniper Paint Dabber.  A Tim Holtz' Large Ring Binder holds monthly pages with pockets for the easy addition of birthdays.

Trace created a gift for her family tree.
One tradition in our family is that I always buy a new ornament for our Christmas tree. So with this challenge, I knew I would make a home-made ornament. It was so much fun, maybe this will become a new tradition! I think these would also be great hostess gifts for the holiday season. They don't have to hang on a tree, but I know that when the Christmas lights shine on this ornament it will be magical! I started by embossing the Ranger Metal Foil sheets with my Tim Holtz Regal Flourishes embossing folder. I applied a thin layer of Claudine Hellmuth Gesso, and went to town adding various Ranger Alcohol Inks and Heidi Swapp colour shine sprays. Two of my favorites are topicana teal and chartreuse green. These sprays have such a pretty shine to them.

 Ashli was inspired by this week's challenge to create a little hostess gift for her dear friend.
One of my family's Christmas traditions is participating in our dear friend's cookie swap. Well, for my family the tradition is mostly that I come home with a bag full to the brim of homemade cookies. But for me, the tradition is much more than that. Joy, affectionately referred to as "Joyful," puts her heart and sole into creating a perfect evening of food, fun and friends. It wouldn't be Christmas without it! So, I wanted to create a personalized journal to give her as a hostess gift. I began this little book by stenciling and misting a piece of Sticky Back Canvas. Once that had dried, I adhered it to some Lily Bee paper. A bit of Basic Grey floral paper embellishes the cover and some Doodle Twine and Alphas finish off this little holiday journal for my wonderful and deserving friend.

Sandra Mouwen made some snowflake ornaments out of the Snowflake decorative strips, that would make lovely gifts.
The preparations for the holidays are such fun times. I really enjoy decorating my house in Christmas style. I like to use just a few colors, and not the traditional ones. I thought that a great gift would be some Christmas decorations. So I made some ornaments made with the Snowflake Rosette and Mini Snowflake Rosette Decorative strip. Love those strips! I've used Peeled Paint, Shabby Shutters, Crushed Olive and Walnut Stain Distress Ink for the background on both sides. To create some design I've stamped with the Merry Christmas tree, the dots of Bitty Grunge and with En Francais on both sides also. Just attached a Jump Ring through one of the whole, so it can be used as an ornament.

I (May) believe that whether you're a scrapbooker or not - creating a gift with phoos is one of the most simple and cherished homemade things to make!
In our family I'm definitely the go-to girl for wrapping gifts. One tip that I'd share with you for saving time but having a big impact is to use something bold in your wrapping. A big fancy lace, a big paper doily with a stamp layered over it - just something that is bold without a lot of time or extra work. That is definitely the approach I took with this fun Heidi Swapp memory display stand - I love how quickly the project came together. I used some mistable butterflies and hearts, webster's pages trims and cameos, and before I knew it my little display was ready to share! Despite being an avid crafter I rarely make homemade gifts, so this was a real treat to create.

Suzz's family exchanges gifts for nieces and nephews and gift card holders are especially helpful this time of year.  
For our family get together the nieces and nephews exchange names for the gift giving.  As the kids have gotten older the gifts have turned into money and gift cards.  I am always looking for clever ways to wrap up the gift to give them something fun to open.  This year I looked to upcycle a few items and the Artistic Outpost Frosty & Friends stamps paired with the October Afternoon Make it Merry Paper made it easy to create my gift card holder.  I added a  little sparkle to my card and box to finish it off. At least the wrapping for one of  the gifts is done.

Sarah was asked to make some tree decorations for her sister but they also had to be child friendly and able to withstand the odd nose-dive!

I often get asked to make something crafty around this time. It's a busy month for us all and you might be short on time, yet you still want to get into the creative festive mood. You just can't go wrong with paper decorations and who remembers making those long paper chains as a child? Well, this is the grown up take on that and you don't need to worry about any breakages or little fingers either! I used variety of blue Distress Inks, Tim's Mixed Media and Snowflakes stamps and just one festive word to create a stylish addition to any tree!

Terry loves gifts and giving them to someone is even better, so she created a Christmas Chocolate Gift.
I just love making Christmas Gifts and giving them to someone is even better, so I made a Christmas Chocolate Wrapper. I used the fabulous paperpack from Tim Holtz and played around with the Embossing Folder, Embossing powder and lots of Crackle... The Deer are just perfect for my Project. The first one that I was making did not even end up inside a wrapper because I ate it! So I am sure the recipient will have a yummy time enjoying the chocolate inside this one because they taste delicious.
I love all of the approaches and tips the team shared this week - be sure to check out their blogs for more photos, how-to, and supply lists too. Once you've done that remember that you can share a project of your own to join in our challenge! Any gift-spiration is welcome big or small, wrapping or gift itself!
Note: This week our challenge will end on Saturday December 22 at 5pm EST, and the winners will be announced later that evening.
As always, Simon Says Stamp is giving away a $50 gift voucher that will go to a random entry chosen by Random Generator. To qualify all you need to do is create a new project that ties in (in any way!) with our theme and post it, along with a link back to this challenge, and add a link here.

For the full rules, read the "challenge rules" posted in the side-bar here on our blog.



  1. Gorgeous projects from the whole team! Have a fantastic Christmas, all of you.

  2. great gift inspiration! from the DT- thank you, Debi x

  3. WOW! You guys give me so much ideas for xmas creations. I just hope to have time to make a few!!!!

  4. Great ideas for gifts, tags and ornaments from your design team. Thank you for the challenge!

  5. See what you've inspired!!!!
    Merry Christmas everyone!

  6. Beautiful, each & every one. Merry Chritmas to all at SSS & all your DT too.

  7. Thanks for the gorgeous gift-spiration from the team! Great challenge!
    Alison xx

  8. the DT work is just spectacular! you continue to inspire and excite me!

  9. Wow! Absolutely gorgeous inspiration by the DT!!!

    die amelie x

  10. WOW!! Stunning DT creations, thank you for a fabulous challenge


  11. This post was a bad influence on my schedule today! I bet I spent 1-1/2 hr. on it because there were so many tempting projects that I wanted to know more about. So then I got lost in the designers' blogs too!

  12. These projects are stunning. The work, talent and time that went into them are amazing. Thank you for letting me play along with my little project.

  13. Once again, you all have outdone yourselves! Thanks to you for your inspiration over the past year. Merry Christmas and Warmest of Holidays!


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