My 3 neices (ages 16 to 20) are hard for me to shop for because they are no longer kids that like toys, but there are only so many gift cards I can give. I know they would probably appreciate going to shop for themselves the best (after all, what girl doesn't want to be set loose in a store with a gift card in hand to pick out what they want), but I like knowing that I made something for them. (Hopefully, something that they like and can look at, think of me, and realize how much I love them.)
Unfortunately, I made these items before I started a blog so I did not take pictures of each step. You will have to bear with the instructions and wait to see the finished products :)
I made them each two presents, the first was a wooden bracelet made out of (are you ready?) a popsicle stick. How fun does that sound??? After searching on-line and at Michael's for the popsicle sticks with the shape I wanted, I came up empty-handed. Then, my dear friend called one day saying she found the popsicle sticks at Hobby Lobby. (Ahhh, it was almost like angels singing because it was so great to hear.)
The bracelets only required a few simple steps. First, you soak the sticks in water for three hours. After that was the hardest part: bending them to fit in the cups without splintering the wood. The only tip I can provide is to go slowly and bend it a little at a time. After drying in the cups for a day, they are the shape of the cup and you are ready to mod podge on scrapbook paper of your choice. loved how earthy they looked. (Maybe next time I will find something to put them in that is more oval in shape to better fit on smaller wrists.)
The second item in each picture was a scrabble tile necklace. This project was a little more time consuming. I first had to find images I liked for each person. I ended up searching online for images and uploading them to Walgreens to print out in a collage. (I recommend printing a few different collages because they randomly place the images in different places so they are not always the size you want.) Once you have the images printed and cut to fit on the Scrabble tile, you simply attach the image with some craft glue or mod podge directly on the back of the tile. After the picture dried, I sealed it with Americana Triple thick Brilliant Brush-On Gloss Glaze (found at Michael's). One tip I can provide is to make sure you don't shake the glaze before putting it on because it will put air bubbles on the project that you will be able to see once it dries. After three days of drying time, I super glued on a bail to the top of the tile and added a necklace. I chose to glue on a small bail directly on the top so the necklace could face either direction (showing off the image or their first initial).
I hope you find a little inspiration in these projects and make something special for someone you love.