Dancing Rain

My Life Inspired by My Loves

Organize Those Hair Clips and Bows

Our hairbow collection was overflowing and needed a nice display. My sister made the “L” for my daughter and it quickly filled up. She had so many bows and hair clips that I added the “A” with leftover ribbon my sister had. All it takes are some wooden letters from your craft store, ribbon and a glue gun. Add a couple small nails to the wall and voila!

Best part is my daughter now gets to admire all her bows and likes to pick out which one to wear!

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If you want to incorporate a headband holder as pictured on the right above, just grab a smaller contrasting ribbon, loop it and glue to the larger ribbon. Do this as many times as needed for your headbands. You can also make your large ribbon double-sided for extra durability. Just double your ribbon length, fold it in half and use your glue gun to glue the pieces together.

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DIY “Halle-Luau” Teacher Gift

Check out this cute idea for a luau or Hawaiian themed gift to mark the end of summer! The card reads: “Halle-luau for wonderful teachers like you!”

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This is a simple dollar store gift, using a colorful cup, lei, coconut or tropical flavored candy, and lemonade flavor packets.

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Happy 30th Birthday Bucket Gift Ideas

Following my recent post about a 40th birthday gift basket, I also have a couple variations for 30th birthdays! They say 30 is the new 20, so these gift buckets focus on fun and celeration! They would be great for 21st or 25th birthdays as well.

Party Girl Birthday Bucket
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This gift bucket is simple to make, just requires gathering the items you need and about 20 minutes of assembly. You can find mini liquor bottles at most liquor stores. Get a good mix based on flavors the birthday celebrant likes, name of the liquor (some are called Kinky, Cake, etc.), and colors you want for your basket. Wrap some colored pipe cleaners around the top of each liquor bottle and attach it to a sturdy popsicle stick, skewer stick or dowel rod by continuing to wrap the pipe cleaner. From the party supply store (or online printables), place a big “30” on another dowel rod or large popsicle stick. For this I used a store-bought “30” centerpiece. To hold everything in place in your bucket, throw in some candy and any other goodies. I added a “30” pint glass, dial-a-shot game and “30” candles from the party store. Finish it with some beads decorated around the top of the bucket!

30 Ways to Celebrate Bucket
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I made this bucket for my little sister’s 30th as a partly celebratory and partly sentimental gift. It included things for her now and things that we used to like growing up.

The theme is “30 Ways to Celebrate” and included 30 gifts grouped together in several categories:

  • Pamper Yourself (1-3: facial masque, scented lotion and body wash)
  • Play (4-9: puzzle, iTunes gift card, beach ball, poppers, Barbie, princess autograph book for Disneyland)
  • Indulge (10-15: popcorn and candy)
  • Celebrate (16-20: silly string, sparklers, wine glass, wine bottle, beer bottle)
  • Reflect (21: a list of 30 of my favorite sister memories we shared)
  • Dress Up (22-24: jewelry)
  • Relax (25-27: pajama set and candle)
  • Get Lucky (28-30: lotto tickets)

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For the bucket I re-used a Popcorn Factory bucket that was given to me and that I kept because it screams party! I wrapped each item in coordinating patterned and solid color tissue paper and tied ribbons on many. I used mailing labels for the numbers. Finish it off with a couple “30” items from the party store, including a beaded shot glass necklace and a cut-out for the backdrop, which I taped to a festive straw to stick in the bucket. I printed the “Ways to Celebrate” and description on my printer, taped them to purple paper backings and taped them to the “30” cut-out. As you can imagine, not everything fit in my cute birthday bucket so I used a separate gift bag for overflow items. Not a big deal and it still looked great!

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“Celebrate 40” Birthday Gift Basket

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I am a fan of making gift baskets for milestone birthdays. For a friend’s 40th, I put together this gift basket.

The theme is based off the phrase “Some people say turning 40…” and each of the 40 items in the box follow this phrase:
…is wild
…is a gift
…makes you a cougar
…is magical
…is hot
…calls for a drink
…is spicy
…is happiness
…is a headache
…is great
…is crazy
…rocks
…sucks
…requires bling
…requires shots
…and so on… use your imagination to make your basket items fit the theme!

I recommend printing each phrase on mailing labels so you can easily stick them on to the paper backings. For the basket/box, I glue-gunned some coordinating ribbon around a plain white box. Carefully place the items in the box, taping things down if needed to prevent movement. Then use cellophane and more ribbon to wrap it up. You could skip the cello wrap, but I was bringing this gift to a party and didn’t want things to go missing.

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School Spirit Grad Gift Idea

Celebrate your high school graduate with a fun gift to help them show pride for their future college! For this gift, I included a pom pom, water cup, spirit shirt and bookstore gift card. Shout-out to my alma mater, San Diego State University!

This would also make a good care package for a college student or gift for a college sports fanatic.

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Two Special Christmas Gifts

The gift of Jesus and this adorable DIY card my daughter made showcasing that special night long ago are two of the best gifts!

Being a fan of handprint art, I had seen this art idea floating around Pinterest. I love it and am so glad that the awesome teachers at my daughter’s daycare took the time and care to help the kids make these as gifts for the parents!

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To make this, they started with having the kids paint the night sky on heart-shaped paper using cotton balls and light blue paint. The child’s brown handprint formed the manger. Then raffia was added to make the bed and paper cutouts were used to make baby Jesus and the big bright star. It looks as though the teachers drew the halo with a gold paint marker. They finished the card with this bible verse:

You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths lying in a manger. Luke 2:12

Like I said, two very special gifts. ♡ Merry Christmas! ♡

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Wrap Your Gifts in a DIY Rudolph Gift Bag

There is so much creativity around me, I had to share this cleverly wrapped gift my sister made recently also.

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The Rudolph gift bag is a great wrapping idea on its own. Kids of all ages would love receiving this! It is a great option for giving money or gift cards. Or have your kids help make it to give a present to family or friends!

All it takes is some basic crafting supplies. Grab a brown lunch bag, some googly eyes, a red pom pom, brown pipe cleaners and you got yourself a Rudolph! Don’t have a red pom pom, a black pom pom would work just as well to make a generic reindeer gift bag.

She made this for my nephew’s teacher so she added a printed note to the bag that says, “Thanks for making my future bright!” Inside was holiday-scented handsoap tied with Christmas ribbon and a printed note that my nephew hand signed. I had seen this on Pinterest and am glad to see she made it!

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Last minute gift idea for teachers, mail carriers, barbers, babysitters, anyone!

This low-cost DIY gift was made by my super creative and crafty aunt Gerri (a love of crafting runs in the family!) for her Jazzercise instructors. She isn’t even on Pinterest or any other social media site to borrow other peoples’ ideas. Her innate creativity is inspiring!

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Each box contains 10 hot cocoa packets and a note saying, “A Christmas delight for a cold winter’s night!” She wrapped each box in brown bag paper, tied with raffia ribbon and decorated with a pine sprig, holly berries and pinecone. Very cute and a simple, last-minute DIY gift idea!

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“Money Tree” Gift Idea for Adults

Who says money doesn’t grow on trees? It does when you give someone a lotto tree! This is the perfect gift for that person on your list who always dreams of winning the lottery, or that hard-to-please person who has everything. Maybe they will win a little, maybe not. The fun part will be scratching off each ticket!

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I made this for my dad as a non-traditional advent gift, so he could scratch off a ticket each day of December leading up to Christmas. The tree is an inexpensive pre-made tree with a hard plastic frame that I found at a hardware store. I got 24 $1 scratchers and taped ornament hooks to the back of each ticket to hang them from the tree. Very simple!

I wrapped his actual present and used it as a base under the tree, using ribbon for tying the tree to the box. (Personally, I felt like I had to add a little present just in case he didn’t win anything, but it’s probably not necessary for everyone.) My dad was surprised to see all the scratchers and was even excited to use the tree as a little holiday decoration for his man-cave!

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Countdown to Christmas with a Family-friendly Advent Tree

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Looking for a fun use of all those toilet paper and paper tower rolls you have been saving? Use them to make an advent calendar tree with punch-out numbers to help the kids count down to Christmas. Kids will love looking for the daily number and punching it open to see what fun activity waits inside.

How to make this:
1. Cut the toilet paper rolls in half to maximize your supply. Then cut the paper towel rolls to match. Skip this is you have plenty available and want to have larger tubes for your advent tree.

2. Prep your tube wrapping materials. This includes cutting 24 strips of wrapping paper to wrap around the tubes. Cut 24 squares of tissue paper that will be used to cover the tubes. And cut 24 strands of ribbon, long enough to make small knots around the tubes.

3. Gather your numbers. I chose a variety of sticker numbers that I had on hand. Printing small numbers in different font types and colors could also work. You would just need to cut them out and have double-sided tape handy.

4. Prep your advent filling. I used this printable list of kid-friendly activities and folded them up inside each tube. Some days I included two activities, especially on weekends, because there were so many cute and fun ideas. As a variation, you could include candy, a Christmas joke, an act of kindness, a bible verse, or mix and match!

5. Prep your backboard. I cut a cardboard box (diaper box actually) to use as the backboard of my advent tree. I wrapped it using a different paper than I planned to use to wrap the tubes.

6. Assemble. This is obviously the longest step, but once you get into a rhythm it goes quickly. To start, wrap the tubes with the wrapping paper. Then cover one end with the cut tissue paper and tie with the ribbon. Add the number onto the tissue paper.

7. Add your filling (candy, activity, etc.) and secure the tube to the board to make a tree shape. I used white glue and planned out the best tree design to fit my backboard before I started assembly.

8. Repeat for all tubes, making sure to vary the number placement on the board as you build the tree shape. This makes it more fun for the kiddos to find the number each day. I chose to make the trunk and star on top part of the advent calendar, and used different colored tissue paper to create the look of the trunk and star tree-topper.

9. Optional: I made this advent calendar as a gift for my sister and her family. So I planned ahead and got their gifts to include as gifts under the tree. I purchased small gift boxes from a craft store and wrapped them in a contrasting wrapping paper. I made little nametags by cutting tag shapes out of patterns on old Christmas cards I have been saving — DIY gift tags is something I plan to do from now on for all my gifts! Then I taped the gifts to the board so they would be able to pull them off to open on Christmas Day.

10. Optional: I also included instructions for the advent calendar in the form of a wall hanging/gift tag that I affixed on the backboard next to the tree. I again used a fun saying cut from an old Christmas card and wrote the message on the back, making sure to let them know to wait until Christmas to open the gifts under the tree.

I hope my niece and nephew enjoy this advent activity tree. Given that we won’t see each other very much this holiday season, I hope they will think of us each day they do their advent activity. I think I am going to ask them to send me pictures of them doing their activities too!

Happy crafting and have a blessed advent!

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