Category Archives: Holiday Crafts

Make Handmade Valentines for Your Girlfriends This Year

This is one possible idea for a Valentine's Day card you could make for your friends this February. The card features heart-shaped balloon stamps by Lawn Fawn.

This is one possible idea for a Valentine’s Day card you could make for either your sweetheart or your friends this February. The card features heart-shaped balloon stamps by Lawn Fawn.


Valentine’s Day has traditionally been a romantic holiday to celebrate with your sweetheart, if you happen to have a sweetheart. However, the sad truth is, there are some Valentine crafts that might unfortunately be, shall we say, under-appreciated by some of our sweethearts. On one hand, there are definitely guys who appreciate lovey-dovey handmade Valentines. On the other hand, if you’re going to be brutally honest with yourself, you have to admit that there are probably things your husband or boyfriend would rather have than a Valentine card. And if there are, I think it’s probably better to give him that — whatever that is. For some guys, a home-cooked meal or a batch of heart-shaped cupcakes would be more of a win. That’s just one example; there are plenty of other creative, guy-friendly Valentine gifts you could come up with…

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun making Valentine crafts like the fun, playful balloon-themed Valentine’s Day card pictured above. My opinion is that your crafting time is best spend making projects for the people in your life who would most appreciate them. So if that means you end up making Valentine cards to send to your best girlfriends, your sisters, and / or your mom, so be it!

Pictured above: This Valentine’s Day card is fun and playful, and it is super easy to make using an affordable set of Valentine’s Day-themed stamps from Lawn Fawn. I actually think this card design could be suitable for guys if you dare to go there; it isn’t too “mushy” or lovey-dovey, so it would be suitable for giving to a newish boyfriend who you aren’t quite ready to start composing love poems for. But when I designed this card, I made it for one of my best girlfriends who LOVES pink, purple and blue color combinations.

If you’d be interested in making cards for anyone in your circle, you’re invited to use our free step-by-step instructions and tutorials for doing so. You can find our list of Valentine Cards to make here on THIS PAGE. Instructions for making the heart balloon card pictured above are HERE. And you can find even more handmade greeting card ideas and instructions HERE. Hope you’ll have a fun, enjoyable Valentine’s Day this year! Best wishes.

Holiday Craft Pattern Books You Need to Know About for Christmas 2021

The Holiday Season Is Upon Us! Are You Ready to Get Busy Making Holiday Crafts?

Happy November, everyone! Today is November 1, 2021. Halloween is now over and done with, and that means your local retailers are probably putting up their Christmas displays and getting ready for the holiday rush of shoppers.

For those of us planning to make our own Christmas gifts and Christmas decorations, the pressure is on to get it all finished before December 25 rolls around. On the one hand, there’s plenty of time. On the other hand, there’s never enough time — so there’s no time like the present to get moving on your 2021 holiday crafting.

If you need a little inspiration for what to make for the 2021 holiday season, we invite you to check out our list of the best Christmas craft books. These books all have fantastic Christmas project ideas, plus the patterns you can use for making each project.

I’ll highlight a few of my favorites from the list here in this blog post — but I hope you’ll check out the entire list to find some amazing Christmas knitting books, Christmas crochet books, and other assorted Christmas craft books.

Annie’s Christmas Special 2020: Includes Patterns for Crochet, Sewing and Quilting Techniques

Annie's Christmas Special Edition 2020: 65+ Christmas Patterns for Crochet, Quilting and Sewing

Annie’s Christmas Special Edition 2020: 65+ Christmas Patterns for Crochet, Quilting and Sewing

If I had to choose just one Christmas pattern book to work from, it would be a tough choice — but I think this is the one I’d go for.

Why?

Because, for starters, it has a high number of usable patterns. It also has a fantastic variety of different techniques to try, which could help to keep you from getting bored out of your mind halfway through your gift-making sessions.

Beyond that, the patterns are mostly appealing ones, and there are bunches of easy, beginner-friendly projects included in the book. So far I’ve made one project from this book, and I’m hoping to make a bunch more before Christmas this year.

Learn More About Annie’s Christmas Special Edition 2020: (yes, this was last year’s special edition, but don’t worry, none of the projects are out of date; they’re all still totally current for Christmas 2021.).

Have a Happy Crochet Christmas 2021: Lovely Holiday Patterns for Blankets, Ornaments and More

Have a Happy Crochet Christmas: Crochet World's Christmas 2021 Edition Filled With Patterns for Crocheting Festive Blankets, Christmas Ornaments, Christmas Decorations, Christmas Gifts and More

Have a Happy Crochet Christmas: Crochet World’s Christmas 2021 Edition Filled With Patterns for Crocheting Festive Blankets, Christmas Ornaments, Christmas Decorations, Christmas Gifts and More

Crochet World’s Fall 2021 issue is titled Have a Happy Crochet Christmas 2021. This edition of the magazine offers you 40+ outstanding, “giftable” Christmas crochet patterns. I think this is one of the best Christmas editions ever! It’s loaded with fantastic project and patterns you’re likely to enjoy if you make it a high priority to crochet your own gifts for others during the holiday season.

Projects included in this title include a blankets, table linens, pillows, Christmas garlands, Christmas ornaments, a Christmas stocking and more.

A Merry Crochet Christmas

A Merry Crochet Christmas Pattern Book, Published by Annie's Crochet

A Merry Crochet Christmas, Published by Annie’s Crochet

If you’re hoping to find a whole bunch of appealing Christmas crochet patterns, this is a book you’ll definitely want to take a look at. It includes some seriously fun patterns you can use for making your own Christmas decorations plus crocheting gifts for your inner circle. You’ll find patterns for crocheting afghans, Christmas ornaments, an adorable scarf, and many other wonderful holiday-themed items.

Learn More:

Be sure to check out our complete list of the best Christmas craft books HERE!

BEST DEAL on a 2021 Christmas Photo Album Kit: Includes Page Protectors, Cardstock, Stickers and MORE!

Christmas 2021: Carta Bella Paper 6″ x 8″ Poinsettia Album Kit – 157 Piece Bundle

I went looking for the BEST DEAL on a Christmas photo album, and this is what I found: A Christmas scrapbooking kit that includes a photo album, page protectors, cardstock paper, alphabet letter stickers and a set of dies that says Merry Christmas -- all for $19.99!

I went looking for the BEST DEAL on a Christmas photo album, and this is what I found: A Christmas scrapbooking kit that includes a photo album, page protectors, cardstock paper, alphabet letter stickers and a set of dies that says Merry Christmas — all for $19.99!


Are you in need of a Christmas-themed photo album for displaying your holiday photos — or for giving as a Christmas gift to a friend this coming holiday season? If so, I have a suggestion for an album kit I hope you’ll consider: It’s the Carta Bella Christmas Album Kit from Scrapbook.com. This kit is an AMAZING value for the money you spend on it — and it includes ALMOST everything you’ll need for putting your photo album together. (I say almost everything because it doesn’t include adhesive; if you don’t already have an archival-quality, photo-friendly adhesive on hand, you’ll want to make sure you also grab some of that so you’ll have everything you need for putting your album together.)


I went looking for the best deal on a Christmas photo album, and this is the one I ended up buying.


I think this Christmas scrapbooking kit is a truly fantastic value for the money you spend on it. But to be honest, I was a little skeptical about this kit at first, because I’m honestly not a fan of two-ring binders. However, now that I have this one in hand, I’ve had to revise my opinion; it turned out to be a LOT better than I thought it would be.


My first experience with two-ring binders was in the Middle East. All the office supply stores in the Middle Eastern areas I visited had full-sized two-two ring binders available instead of the full-sized three-ring binders I was accustomed to from my school days. The full-sized two-ring binders are not at all ideal for holding loose leaf paper that you use for school or work. My experience was that two-ring notebook paper is much more prone to tearing than three-ring notebook paper is. As it turns out, that third ring somehow seems to alleviate a lot of the pressure on the notebook paper. When using two-ring binders, I had to buy bunches of page reinforcement stickers to use for mending all the torn filler paper in my full-sized two-ring binders — a huge time waster.


So that experience initially soured me on the idea of wanting to ever use a two-ring binder in my scrapbook albums, which need to last much longer than my work notebooks do.


When I first decided to switch over to using 6″x8″-sized photo albums instead of the larger 12″x12″ photo albums I used to use, I initially decided to try a six-ring binder instead of a two-ring binder. The six-ring binder is fantastic! But the biggest downsides with them are the high cost and lack of widespread availability of the page protectors to use with them. I bought two of them, and then the page protectors for them went out of stock at the store where I bought them. I found another source for them and bought the last few packages that source had in stock. Then after that,
I discovered that Scrapbook.com has them in stock, but I decided to hold off on buying more of them in favor of trying a different style of album.


Honestly, I’d prefer to have a simple three-ring binder, but I haven’t yet found a 6″x8″ three-ring photo album I like. (If you know of one, please comment!)


But in this smaller album size — which is 6″ x 8″ — the two-ring binder turned out to not be a deal breaker. I think there are two things saving it from being a disaster:

  • The page protectors you put in it are substantially heftier and stronger than ordinary notebook paper, and so they are less prone to tearing.
  • Although the entire album ends up being heavy, this smaller-sized album isn’t as heavy as a full-sized filled notebook, so there’s less of a burden on the pages in this binder than there is on the paper in a full-sized two-ring binder.

I haven’t had this album long enough to comment on how it will hold up in the long term, but so far it’s doing well. It seems pretty sturdy overall. When it’s filled with layouts and photos, the album turns out to be heavier than you would probably expect, but so far the binder is holding them effectively.


In the end, I decided to give this kit a try because I thought the deal on it was too good to pass up. The poinsettia-print Christmas album alone sells for $12 and change, and the Christmas cardstock pad sells for $18 full price or $9.99 on sale. So for $19.99 total, with this bundle, you also get the page protectors, stickers and dies in addition to the photo album and cardstock pad. Overall, the bundle looked like it would be a really great value for the money, so I decided to give it a try. I’m SO GLAD I did. I liked this kit so much that I’m likely to go back and buy a second one.


The poinsettias printed on the album cover are lovely and festive. This print coordinates beautifully with the prints on the other products in the “Home for Christmas” collection by Carta Bella (which are sold separately). I didn’t buy any of the other products, but if you’re inclined to do so, those look super pretty and festive, too.


The cardstock pad that comes with this bundle offers you a varied selection of Christmas-friendly colors that are all totally usable (although they aren’t an exact match for the colors printed on the cover of the pad. In the cardstock pad I got, there are two reds shown on the color, but there aren’t really 2 reds; the one that looks like the darker red on the cover is really a brown — which is fine with me, as I find browns easier to use in my pages than the reds are).


Overall, this is really a fantastic selection of cardstock colors. The grays, browns and black are totally easy to use, even if you’re a beginner to scrapbooking. If you have cardstock left over when you’re finished putting together your album, you’ll find that these colors work well for designing everyday layouts in addition to your Christmas layouts. Aside from the greens and the one red color, the other colors are all highly usable neutral colors.


The black alphabet letter stickers come in a basic, narrow font. The font is a great size and shape for using on 6×8 pages.


The page protectors are high quality and attractive. You can get them as part of the kit, and you can also buy them separately at Scrapbook.com. The album will hold many more page protectors than the amount that comes with the album — so if you take a lot of photos during the holidays, I recommend picking up an extra pack of 30 page protectors. The page protectors are also available in packs of 10 in case you need a different amount. The album has a 2″ spine and holds bunches of pages. I haven’t tested its upper limits to know for sure how many it will hold, but I’m guessing it would hold around 50 filled page protectors, assuming you make pages that are relatively flat and not too weighed down with heavily textured embellishments.


The die looks like it will be really useful, although I haven’t had a chance to use it yet. In addition to using it for making your scrapbook album pages, you could also use it for making your own professional-looking Christmas cards to send to family, colleagues and friends.


Overall, I’m more than satisfied with my purchase of this Christmas photo album kit. If you celebrate Christmas, I’m delighted to recommend it to you, too.

Where to Buy This Christmas Photo Album Kit:

Click here to shop for the Carta Bella 6″ x 8″ Poinsettia Album Kit – 157 Piece Bundle — at Scrapbook.com.

Over to You:


Have you found a better deal on a Christmas photo album or Christmas-themed scrapbooking kit? If so, please give us the details! We’d love to hear about the Christmas-themed scrapbooking goodies you’re LOVING for Christmas 2021.


Also: If you have had any long-term experience with this album or with two-ring binders in general, how did it work out for you? Thanks in advance for any insights you have to share.

More Christmas Crafts You Might Enjoy:

Big Book of Christmas Crochet, Published by Annie's

Big Book of Christmas Crochet, Published by Annie’s

Posted By: Amy Solovay

Are You Ready for the Holiday Season This Year?

This photo collage shows bunches of different Christmas crochet projects. These projects are all current for Christmas 2021, and are ideal for Christmas gifts or decorating your own home for the holidays. Ideas include Christmas tree motifs, wreaths, Christmas blankets and more. These designs are all available as free crochet patterns on the Internet.

This photo collage shows bunches of different Christmas crochet projects. These projects are all current for Christmas 2021, and are ideal for Christmas gifts or decorating your own home for the holidays. Ideas include Christmas tree motifs, wreaths, Christmas blankets and more. These designs are all available as free crochet patterns on the Internet.

The holiday season is coming up quickly. We’re more than halfway through September, and next month is Halloween. Then the following month is Christmas, followed by the New Year.

Are you ready?

Now’s a great time to make a list of all the most important thinks you want to get done before the holiday rush. This is particularly important if you want to make holiday crafts. You can’t do everything, much as you might like to. Having the list prioritized on paper makes it so much easier to remember the most important things, and to not get sidetracked by less important stuff. Your list can also be a helpful motivator for accomplishing your most important goals.

So, what’s going to be on your list?

Our holiday craft patterns and tutorials could help you with any of these worthy goals. You’re invited to load up on patterns and instructions for any of the holiday (or other) craft projects we’ve posted.

Pictured Above:

Wishing you and yours the happiest, healthiest, most creative holiday season ever!

Blessings,

Amy Solovay

Decorate a Heart in Red, White and Blue for Fourth of July

Decorate a Heart in Red, White and Blue: This Version Features a Czech Glass Button as the Focal Point

Decorate a Heart in Red, White and Blue: This Version Features a Czech Glass Button as the Focal Point

Decorate a Heart in Red, White and Blue: This version of the heart incorporates crocheted lace trim with ribbon; faux flowers; and a sparkly dragonfly-shaped gem

Decorate a Heart in Red, White and Blue: This version of the heart incorporates crocheted lace trim with ribbon; faux flowers; and a sparkly dragonfly-shaped gem


There are zillions of different things you can do with crocheted heart shapes. A lot of times, people think of these as being Valentine’s Day craft projects; but the truth is, you can find suitable ways to use them for many other holidays — and for everyday, too.


Lets try decorating a crocheted heart shape with red, white and blue accents for Fourth of July.

Choose a Heart Shape to Crochet

Your first step is to choose a heart shape and crochet it in the yarn, thread or other material of your choice.


You can crochet a heart shape using this free crochet pattern; then decorate it in red, white and blue for Fourth of July (or in any colors, for any occasion).

You can crochet a heart shape using this free crochet pattern; then decorate it in red, white and blue for Fourth of July (or in any colors, for any occasion).

I’m starting with this heart shape crocheted in red yarn; but there’s nothing particularly special about this design. If you want more options, there are many different heart designs you could crochet.

Choose Your Decorations

After you’ve made your heart shape, it’s time to grab some things to use for decorating it. How you decorate your heart depends, to some degree, on what you want to do with it. You could turn it into a wall hanging. Alternately, you could crochet two hearts and put them together to make a pouch. One of my readers crocheted two hearts and a strap, and she used those to make a purse. Those are just a few ideas.


I’ll probably use these hearts as wall hangings, so I still have some work to do to figure out how I want to hang them.


I like to use lace, trims and edgings on my hearts; so when I am decorating hearts, I usually start off by stitching a bit of lace or trim to the heart and then building up layers of decorations from there. One of my favorite trims for this purpose is this easy scalloped trim with ribbon. If that one isn’t what you want to use, you can check out this page of (mostly free) patterns for edgings, borders and trims to find bunches more suitable options — or take a look at our recommendations on the best crochet edging pattern books for even more ideas.


Decorate a Crocheted Heart Shape: Start by Embellishing With Lacy Trim

Decorate a Crocheted Heart Shape: Start by Embellishing With Lacy Trim


Next, you want to grab whatever other pretty baubles you have hanging around that could be used for heart decorations: crocheted flowers, silk flowers, buttons, beads and ribbons are all fair game. If you want to use crocheted flowers, check out these crochet flower patterns for some options for flowers you can make. If you want to use faux flowers, I recommend scrapbook.com as being a great source for pretty ones. Czech glass buttons are particularly pretty for this sort of project; Etsy is one of the best sources I know of for Czech glass buttons.


Choose some Czech glass buttons for decorating your heart shapes.


The last step is to do your finishing. How you approach that will depend on what your plans are for the project; but, in general, you’ll need to sew, glue or otherwise attach your embellishments to your heart. I like using a tapestry needle and thread to do this part, but you could also use a hot glue gun.


So there you have it: Those are some ideas for decorating a crocheted heart in red, white and blue for Fourth of July.


Happy Independence Day!

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