DIY Faux Bois + Real Wood Gift Bows

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Oh craft fails! There have been so many in my life lately. In fact, today’s project came out of the aftermath of a particularly disappointing project gone wrong. What started as a hopeful bunting morphed into a heap of wonderful wooden gift bows, and since several of you asked me about them over on Instagram, I thought I’d share how I made them so you can make some too!

I initially hesitated to share this project because I used real wood veneer (on the pricey side) for my first bows. I’m an equal opportunity crafter, and believe that everyone should have a chance to make something great, so I came up with a more wallet-friendly solution: paper bows that are printed to look like real wood! I’ll be sharing the tutorial for those below.

If you’d like to try your hand at some true wood bows, simply follow the steps below, skipping the paper printing step and substituting the printed paper for Band-It Paper Backed Veneer Facing Sheets (found in some hardware stores – I found mine at Ace Hardware).

diy_wooden_bow_supplies Supplies Needed:

  • Cardstock paper
  • Color printer
  • Woodgrain printables | Found via How About Orange
  • Scissors
  • Low-heat hot glue gun with glue sticks | Resist the urge to use other glues or tapes…I tried them and they do not adhere well enough for this project
  • Pencil
  • Adhesive glue dots (optional) | Used to easily attach finished bows onto gifts

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Start by choosing which woodgrain pattern you would like to use. Print it onto one side of your cardstock. Allow page to dry for a moment. Flip printed page over and print same woodgrain pattern onto the backside of your paper, so that both sides have a woodgrain pattern printed on them.

Trim off any white areas. Use your ruler and pencil to lightly mark long strips of “wood.” You can do anything from .5″ to 1.5″ in width, depending upon the bow size you’d like to make. The bows I created here were around .5″ wide.

To create bows like the ones I made here you will need to cut your .5″ wide paper strips into several different lengths. You will need the following:

  • Main bow portion: 8.5″ length (CUT 1)
  • Bow loops: 4.5″ length (CUT 2)
  • Tails: 2.5″ length (CUT 2)
  • Bow center: approximately 1″ length (CUT 1)

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Curl your longest strip of paper around until the ends overlap, and glue together.  Place a dab of glue inside the center of the paper band and press down to adhere.

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Place your shortest strip of paper onto the center of your bow, wrap around and seal with a dab of glue on the backside. Prepare your two bow loops by gluing ends together. For a neater bow, it helps to cut an angled portion off of the end of each loop (as seen in the image above).

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Prepare your bow tails by cutting out an inverted V-shape from the bottom of each paper strip, and removing an angled portion from the top of each. Attach bow loops onto the top backside of your main bow loop with ends pointing in towards the middle. Finish by gluing on the bow’s tails beneath the bow loops.

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Decorate your gifts…and your home. I put some of the bows I made onto our Christmas tree and love them! xo Ez

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Find more DIY projects and inspiration in the Creature Comforts DIY Gallery.

DIY Customized Gift Jars with Free Templates

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I’ve been sitting on this DIY post for quite a while now, so I’m super excited to finally be able to share it with you all today. One of my favorite gift giving solutions: DIY Customized Gift Jars!

We all know someone (or more than one someone) who is tricky to buy for. Luckily, with just six simple steps and a few basic supplies, you can bust out these custom gifts that are sure to please just about anyone. I’ve created 4 different jar variations (with free templates): The DIY Treat / Food Jar, The Pampered Pet Jar, The Craft Supply Jar, and The Mini Spa Jar. You’ll find ideas below on what to fill each one with, but since the best gifts always reflect the tastes of the person receiving them, feel free get creative with the contents of your jars. Time to start checking people off your holiday gift list!

Basic Jar Making Supplies:

  • Printable templates
  • Glass jars with smooth sides | I found all of the ones used here at Target. If you’re not sure what size jar(s) to get, I recommend printing the templates to bring along with you to the store
  • Sakura 1.0mm Fine Point Pen-Touch Paint Pen | You can use white, gold, or silver ink varieties. Available in many craft stores
  • Removable tape / masking tape
  • Gift fillers | Store-bought or handmade

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There are only six simple steps to this project, and the same basic steps are used for all four jar versions (easy-peasy):

  1. Print and cut out the desired word template
  2. Tape template inside jar using removable tape
  3. Use your paint pen to carefully trace the template on the outside of the glass
  4. Remove template from inside the jar and allow paint to dry (Sakura paint pens dry quickly)
  5. Add a second coat of paint pen over the original layer if desired (optional)
  6. Fill your jar with small gifts and give

Note: Once design has dried fully, jars can be washed by hand with warm soapy water if needed. Avoid scrubbing the design on the exterior of the jar.

DIY Treat / Food Jar: diy-treat-jars

Download and use the FOOD JAR TEMPLATES. Fill customized jars with an assortment of the following:

  • Hard candies
  • Chocolates
  • Caramels
  • Candy canes
  • Cookies
  • Sweet bread
  • Savory snacks
  • Homemade goodies

DIY Pampered Pet Jar: diy_pampered_pet_gift_jar

Download and use the PET JAR TEMPLATES. Fill customized jars with an assortment of the following:

  • Leash
  • Collar
  • Brush
  • Nail clippers
  • Toys
  • Bones
  • Biscuits
  • Other treats

DIY Craft Supply Jar: diy_craft-jar_gift

Download and use the CRAFT JAR TEMPLATES. Fill customized jars with an assortment of the following:

  • Glitter
  • Glue
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Pom poms
  • Sequins
  • Clay
  • Googly eyes
  • Washi tape
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Other craft supplies

DIY Mini Spa Jar: diy_mini_spa_jar_gift

Download and use the MINI SPA JAR TEMPLATES. Fill customized jars with an assortment of the following:

  • Nail polish
  • Polish remover
  • Cotton pads
  • Cotton swabs
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Hand / foot lotion
  • Bubble bath
  • Loofah
  • Lip Balm
  • Other pampering supplies suited to the gift recipient

If you end up making any of these jars as gifts, or come up with your own variations I’d love to see! Have a happy crafty day friends! xo Ez

Psst…if you’re looking for more DIY ideas for the holiday, be sure to check out the Creature Comforts DIY Gallery!

Easy DIY Block Stamps + A Watercolor Gift

easy-diy-block-stamp One of the things I’m most excited about for our trip to the East Coast this weekend is the chance to meet my dear friend’s daughter Lucy, who is turning one this week! One…and this will be my first time meeting her! How does time go by so quickly?!

lucybear-framed-art0713 Anyhow…a few months ago my friend asked if I would illustrate Lucy’s party invitations (such an honor), and since I couldn’t exactly arrive for her big day empty-handed, I decided to watercolor a sweet baby bear that could double as both a gift and the invite illustration.

lucybear-art-detail713  I first sketched the design in pencil, applied watercolor, and then finished the piece by adding a bit of a gilded touch (my latest obsession) using my favorite gold paint pen.

When the painting was done, I decided that I wanted the gift presentation to have an extra special touch, and stamped up some wrapping paper to coordinate with the stars on my watercolor. I quickly photographed and listed the steps in a slideshow below so you can create your own easy DIY Block Stamps next time you’re in the mood for something crafty.

You will need:

  • Plain Gift Wrap | I only tested my stamps on non-glossy paper, purchased at Michael’s and Target…so I can’t vouch for how well they would work on standard glossy paper
  • 2mm Thick Sticky Back Foam Sheets | These are available at craft stores and look very similar to the non-sticky back variety. Make sure that the ones you get have one foam side and one sticky side (protected with a sheet of peel off paper)
  • Wooden block | Available in craft stores, or you could probably use a piece of smooth scrap wood
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Stamp pad or block printing ink (such a Speedball water soluble ink – this is what I used for this project)
  • Brayer (optional) | This handy rolling tool is great for smooth ink application on stamps. I highly recommend it, although it is not entirely necessary.

stamped-gift-wrapped I hope you have a blast whipping up some of your own stamps soon! You can find more DIY projects in the Creature Comforts’ DIY Gallery. Enjoy! xo Ez

P.S. I’ll be away until Tuesday of next week. Don’t forget that you can keep me company during my trip over on Instagram. See you again soon!

Free Printable Floral Stitch Gift Tags

printablefreestitchtagslead One of my most favorite printables that I’ve created for Creature Comforts was the Free Printable Tag Set inspired by Fossil’s Spring Collection. Ever since, I had been on the lookout for a fashionable source of inspiration for a new tag set, and then a few weeks ago I came across the gorgeous Daksha Stitched Blouse from Anthropologie! Those colors…that pattern…swoon!

creaturecomforts_floralstitchtags2 freefloralstitchtags3 So with a little extra time on my hands last night, I put together a sweet little set of Printable Gift Tags inspired by the blouse. I hope enjoy using them to top presents you will be giving…or you could even string a few up as a garland to decorate a Summery party! Download your free set using the link button below. Enjoy! xo Ez

floralstitchtagsbutton Psst…you can find even more Free Downloads + Printables in the Creature Comforts DIY Gallery!

DIY Making Tape Stickers – Monogram / Alphabet Edition

diymaskingtapemonogramstickers2 My apologies for the super late post today friends! My computer decided to go on strike last night, and it ended up taking me the better part of today to get it cooperating again. Phew!

Anyhow, I’m excited to finally have the chance to share a tutorial for these DIY Monogram Masking Tape Stickers that I created to top a gift I was giving a couple months ago. You might remember the DIY Layered Masking Tape Borders and DIY Easter Stickers I created a couple years ago using the same process. This time around I used a nice bold font for my sticker templates. You can download the version that I used in the PDF below (it includes the full alphabet in two different sizes), or use any font from your computer that you’d like. Just be sure to keep in mind that the more ornate the font is, the more challenging it will be to cut out.

diymaskingtapemonogramstickers4 Supplies needed:

  • Printed letter template(s) | DOWNLOAD LETTER TEMPLATES
  • Japanese paper masking tape | available online and in craft stores
  • Parchment paper
  • Sharp scissors
  • Craft knife | optional
  • Self-healing matt | optional – for use with craft knife
  • mini binder clips or paper clips | optional
  • Wrapped gift | optional

diymaskingtapemonogramstickers3          Start by printing out your desired letter template(s) onto standard copy paper paper. You can choose to print the entire alphabet, or just select the letter you need from the PDF file. Once your template has been printed, place a piece of parchment paper on top of it. Note: I used waxed paper here, but it does not work nearly as well as parchment paper.

diymaskingtapemonogramstickers5 Begin sticking strips of masking tape onto the parchment paper so that the ends of each strip are slightly wider / longer than the edges of your letter template. Overlap each new piece of tape on top of the previous piece.

diymaskingtapemonogramstickers6 Overlapping the tape edges will ensure that your sticker holds together as one solid shape, and won’t easily peel apart.

diymaskingtapemonogramstickers7 Once you’ve completely covered your shape with tape layers, remove your template from below the parchment paper. Trim around the edges of your paper template so that you are left with only a narrow border (1/2 inch wide is good). It is easiest to cut your letters out with a craft knife. To do so, place your taped parchment paper down on top of a self-healing matt, set your paper template on top of that, and then use a few pieces of tape to secure the template on top of the parchment paper.

diymaskingtapemonogramstickers8 Cut any interior spaces in your letter design out first, and then carefully cut around the outside of your letter template until you have trimmed around the entire shape. Pull the paper template away…and Tada!

diymaskingtapemonogramstickers9 You can also cut out your letters using a pair of sharp scissors (this will be a trickier if you have letters with interior shapes that need to be removed). TIP: To keep your layers from sliding around, you can use a couple of small binder or paper clips to hold everything in place while you work.

diymaskingtapemonogramstickers11 When you are ready to use your letters as stickers to decorate a gift, carefully peel the paper backing from your design, starting at the top (where you placed your initial strip of tape). Adhere your sticker to your pre-wrapped gift, and you’re done!

diymaskingtapemonogramstickers12 You can also use these stickers to decorate a wall in your home with an inspirational phrase or word (they are easy to remove without damaging paint)…or frame one for a quick and easy custom art piece!

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