A Little Twist

December 14, 2009

One thing that I love is when we have something at home, something plain or used or just in need of embellishment, that we can make our own. I attended an open house at Hip Mountain Mama on Saturday, and as I was leaving, I saw that she had the same eco-lunch bags that we had at home. While I love the natural look, all that I could see when I looked at those bags was a blank canvas to fabric paint with (see, I told you I was becoming obsessed).


When I got home, the boys picked out a design that they liked, and we painted a few colors on, and made it our own. The excitement that they had, and the incredible transformation that the bag took on, led me to see those bags in a new way. I love wrapping gifts, but I hate the waste, so they became the bags that we would pack some of our holiday goodies in to give to friends and family.


I quickly called Suzy and asked to pick-up a few more bags yesterday, and then the boys and I set off to paint and package our new gifts. We made homemade granola, to jar and place in each bag, which we thought would be a fun twist on holiday treat giving (I know that by the time we get to Christmas day, I need a healthy snack to help me with all the sugar that I have consumed over the holidays).

Many of you asked me in last week’s post about how exactly I made the fabric bag, and the stationary.


The stationary was made from a simple stamp, and a variegated stamp pad. The stamps were store bought, and only slightly raised. I am working on carving my own lino and wood blocks, but I am not ready to show those yet (need a bit more practice).


Over the weekend, I took stationary that I have had since I was in college, and I gave it the same stamping that I had done with the cards last week. Four different designs, simple and quick, transformed plain paper into something that felt custom and unique. I think that is really the joy of using a stamp for this kind of project; It takes something that almost all of us already have, and it makes it completely our own. Even simply stamping the envelope to a store bought card can make a huge difference for me now.


The fabric painting on the bag last week, and the lunch bags above is all done with freezer paper stencils. I have experimented a lot between using freezer and contact paper, and I am much more comfortable with the way that freezer paper handles itself. I have trouble keeping contact paper sticking on fabric, and I have had a few projects that have not come out as clean as I would like because of that. Having said that, I recently stenciled a corner of our bedroom wall, and the contact paper worked perfectly on that surface.

Finding a new way to package up some Christmas yumminess was a fun way to spend the weekend. What did your weekend craft time yield?

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

kyndale December 14, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I have been meaning to do this with freezer paper! The bags turned out great! I need to make some granola too. Yum!

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Valarie December 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Well I'm in love with your new obsession. What a great way to deliver a gift. Whoever will receive one of these will be very very happy. The granola look great. I'm going to make a big patch to put in the big counter jar for people to munch on. Happy Monday.

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AdirondackMama December 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I've never seen a variegated stamp pad…that is really neat. I wondered how you got so many hues on one stamping.

WOW, you are becoming quite the painter. I love those bags. I was wondering what to do with the jars of the Vanilla spiced granola that I made as gifts for the boy's teachers. Now, I know how to package the jars for a little added charm, so thank you, I was stumped..

PS, what is your recipe for granola, it looks delicious!!!! I'm on the lookout for an alternative to the one I did a bit ago.

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Kerry December 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I love that you've been stamping. I just did some stamping on brown craft paper to make wrapping for wedding and shower gifts. I haven't stamped in a long time. It was so fun and I loved the results. I made a matching card and am thinking about stationary. I love the idea of a variegated stamp pad.
We gave granola last year and people loved it. I love the idea of the painted lunch bags that you made!
We've been doing a lot of baking. Cheese crackers and gingerbread men. Later today I'll be making some biscotti. I've been trying to finish up some knitting projects too. I'm sharing a lot of these things with some how-to's on my space this week. Come on by if you have time.

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Jennifer December 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Scarves! I cut out six scarves last night that I plan on sewing today while the boys are out for a bit. I LOVE the lunch bags. I need to start doing stencils again, but just can't seem to find the time. One of these years the boys will be old enough to do it with me! :)

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Lisa Q December 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm

super neat ideas…i love the reusable lunch bags decorated and used for gift giving. very nice idea!

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sowabisabi December 14, 2009 at 6:24 pm

I love your stenciled bags…I like the geometric pattern especially. great way to package gifts. I also really like the stamp with the grouping of trees. simple but very beautiful.

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Brooke December 14, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Love the bags! Such a great idea. I know I would love to get one. As for crafting this weekend… it was crunch time. I got some of the relatives placemats and napkins done, and finished up some of the packaging… I used some handmade reusable xmas bags (xmas fabric was on sale at Joann's, and the kids kept picking out some cute stuff so we ended up with 8 yards! We made probably 30 reusable bags of all sizes and hope that they keep getting passed on!) They all look so cute and festive. I also finished up some felted slippers for my mom, although I had a tough time felting them in our front loading washer… not completely happy with them, but they sure are cute! Thanks for always having such great ideas!

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Hip Mountain Mama December 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Those bags turned out super cute! When we did them, I just had the kids have a free for all and they turned out cute, but definitly kid made. I am going to try out your idea and make a few of these in the new year! Thanks for posting the pics…I was dying to see how they turned out!

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Meryl December 14, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Very cute! And what an awesome website (Hip Mountain Mama)–thanks for the link!

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Gypsy Forest December 14, 2009 at 8:19 pm

love those bags! I am currently stuck on applique myself! I do have a quick question…. what is the gorgeous turquoisey green yarn you sent me? it is the only one without a tag….. thank you so very much again….. I love all the vintage goodies and yarn :)

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nicola December 14, 2009 at 9:05 pm

i love them! i have lunch bags on my list for my husband, but i don't know if i will get to them!
your are gorgeous!
nicola
http://whichname.blogspot.com

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erin December 14, 2009 at 9:42 pm

what a sweet gift!!!

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Living Slowly December 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Since my fine arts degree was in graphic design, my first love has always been paper. I love it as much as yarn. Have you seen a Gocco? They are fabulous little things. If you want to see what they can do head over to this Flickr group. http://www.flickr.com/groups/gocco/

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Chelsea December 14, 2009 at 11:42 pm

I love that idea! Its going into my ideas for next holiday season folder — this month is far too short! This weekend yielded one finished sweater sleeve, a felted yule log, a pan full of dried cinnamon orange slices and a partially finished flannel and silk scarf (oh yes I did give the unfinished item to my friend and then told her to give it back so I could finish it… deary me.) +Chelsea

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Jodi December 15, 2009 at 12:02 am

What a wonderful idea. And I like the fact that you are making granola — something different than the usual Christmas cookie. Jill over at Mamaloaf had a granolathon the other day. I get so many ideas from you fellow bloggers.

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Earth Mama December 15, 2009 at 12:10 am

I can definitely see how this could become addictive. Who doesn't want to personalize their own stuff. I REALLY love the swirly branched tree! Awesome!

:)Lisa

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Tonya December 15, 2009 at 12:34 am

Heather,
Those bags are great. I am off to order a couple – what an affordable, beautiful gift idea – and good for the earth.
Really beautiful work.

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jessica December 15, 2009 at 12:40 am

I dug out my freezer paper last night–I need to find fabric paints pronto!

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Arianne December 15, 2009 at 2:46 am

Heather, that granola looks delicious! Stencilling seems pretty simple, I guess I did have directions for it in The Creative Family, which reminds that ever since I have put away some old scraps of prints from the boys' old T-shirts and onesies that I wanted to make into stencils and they ended up in the backburner. I think all I need now is freezer paper and fabric paint and make it a go!
Thanks for sharing your beautiful projects. Stamping plain envelopes is a great idea! The Spiral Tree is my favorite.
cheers! Arianne

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larissa December 15, 2009 at 3:05 am

The embellished bags are such a great idea! and they would be great personalized for kids. I love the classic, geometric designs you're using. Thanks for sharing all these great projects. I need to purchase some fabric paint.

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Maeghan December 15, 2009 at 3:30 am

Great bags! Maybe a new craft for me in the new year?!

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melissa December 15, 2009 at 4:08 am

they look so great! thank you for sharing all your wonderful inspiration, heather. :)

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Ivy December 15, 2009 at 4:43 am

I'm going to try freezer paper stenciling for a shirt for my oldest son for Christmas. I'm so excited to see how it turns out. I'll be thrilled if it looks half as cute as those bags!!!

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Imene December 14, 2009 at 10:21 pm

I love the bags. I was looking for inspiration for my fabric gift bags. I didn't want to use paper and this is such a wonderful idea

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Francesca December 15, 2009 at 10:04 am

I'm a big fan of this latest obession of yours: you've turned those bags into something really artistic.

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Jessica December 15, 2009 at 1:42 pm

oh stamping is so fun. we made button wreaths, homeade marshmallows and i finished up a fabric wreath. it was a productive weekend! i cant wait to see your wood cuts – you have me inspired to make some again…after christmas. check out Leonard Baskin's woodcuts- they are amazing and very large. i especially like the crows and self portraits.

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Nina - Tabiboo December 15, 2009 at 2:34 pm

I think they look amazing and what a wonderful way to jazz something up – I love the earthy tones you have used.

Have a wonderful day,

Nina x

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samthehamsmom December 15, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Heather,
Those stationery pieces are to die for. Love the twirly tree especially!

P.S. I just put in a submission to Rhythm of the Home!!!!! SO EXCITED~

Laura

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