Project Roundup: Holiday Inspiration!

I have to confess that I did not pre-plan a blog post for today.  I practically forgot that today is Monday.  Anne and I had a wonderful weekend together, as we celebrated our 6-year anniversary! We purchased our very first Christmas tree — a little guy, about 2.5 feet tall — that fits perfectly in our apartment, and enjoyed a delicious dinner at probably our favorite restaurant in Philly.

In conclusion: I didn’t write a blog post.  So, today I have for you a nice roundup of a few giftable projects I’ve created here on Scissors & Sage.  I hope that they inspire you to make something special for a loved one this holiday season.  And if they don’t inspire you — well, let me make it for you!

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These Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies really are perfect.  If you don’t believe me, make them yourself and find out!

Make Quick & Simple Fudge for your holiday hosts, family members, or friends.  It makes a big batch that can be distributed among many.

These Chewy Chocolate Jumbles are delicious, and can be customized with all kinds of added ingredients like nuts or dried fruit.

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Make someone happy with this Honey Citrus Hand Scrub.  It smells incredible, and leaves your hands feeling very soft.  Easily gift it in a small jar.

This DIY Stencil Pillow is a labor of love.  There’s still plenty of time to begin working on lengthy DIY holiday gifts!  (This was also, believe it or not, the first project I ever posted on Scissors & Sage!)

Learn to make these Mirror, Mirror bathroom signs that are only readable when viewed through the mirror.  Check out the first installment of Mirror, Mirror here, too!

Feel like knitting?  This Cowl Me Crazy project has you covered.

These DIY Pencil Eraser Stamps require few materials and yield great results.  Use these stamps to create a matching set of custom stationery for a friend or loved one.  Need envelope inspiration?  Look here, and be sure to use old December issues.

Do you know someone who loves cooking or baking?  Give them the gift of a curated recipe box.  First, find a beautiful recipe box.  Second, learn to create custom dividers (see link).  Third, add recipes you think your gift recipient will enjoy — perhaps recipes that are important to you!

These DIY Dragonfly Earrings are cute and simple for the nature lovers in your life.

Make a statement with this Oscar Wilde Stencil Art.  It’s easily customizable if you know your gift recipient loves a specific quote.

I hope you enjoyed this roundup.  Be sure to let me know if you make any of these projects!  Share your creations using #scissorsandsage on Instagram and Twitter.

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Mirror, Mirror: Part Two

Last year, I made my friend Caroline an apartment-warming gift for her move to The Big Apple.  It was a framed sign that read, “YOU LOOK GREAT” when read via the bathroom mirror.  When not read through the bathroom mirror, the DaVinci-style message appears to be written in reverse and with mirror-image letters.  The trick is to hang it on a wall directly opposite the mirror so that you can read it when you’re brushing your teeth or getting ready to go out.  It can be a nice way to counteract self-criticisms.

I’ve been thinking about ways to spruce up our own bathroom recently, and recalled this project.  I got to thinking that I kind of wanted one, too.  We have a wall in our bathroom about 3-4 feet from the mirror, so it was perfect for a similar sign.  I wanted it to be subtle and unique, and quickly settled on “INSIDE AND OUT.”  (As in: “You are beautiful, inside and out.”)

The steps for this project are almost identical to my first Mirror, Mirror sign.  Read up on how to make either of them here.  There are, however, two differences in this one.  First, the two frames need to be far enough apart on the wall so that your head fits between them when looking in the mirror.  They may look oddly far apart on the wall at first, but it’s worth it when you or your house guests discover the secret message!  Second, the frames need to be hung in reverse order.  When looking directly at the wall, the left frame must read “AND OUT” and the right frame must read “INSIDE.”  Capiche?

What would you write in your own secret bathroom sign?  Leave your response in the comments section below!

Oscar Wilde Stencil Art

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One of my first-ever blog posts on Scissors & Sage was a stencil pillow I made.  It was my first time using a stencil for a crafting project, and I couldn’t believe what a fun and relatively simple process it was!  Months later, I made another stencil project, Mirror, Mirror, as an apartment-warming gift for my friend, Caroline.  I’ve started using stencils to craft homemade cards, too, and it works quite well!  Today, I present a project I recently finished for my uncle’s birthday.  I knew it was a quotation that he really liked, so I thought I’d give him something that he could put up in his home.  Making this stencil art is not difficult; it only requires some layout planning and a good eye!

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Materials:

  • Stencil pack
  • Black marker, thin enough to fit in the stencils
  • Colored paper
  • Computer paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Eraser

The first step is to choose a quotation.  Then, use computer paper to sketch out the individual words and design you want.  This took some trial and error, as I wasn’t sure how I wanted the words to fit together.  I decided to cut up the computer paper so I could move the words around individually.  Once you have the layout you want, get the colored paper ready and place the rough draft above it, like this:

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That way, there will be a guide to show you where to place each letter.  (I really don’t like it when things aren’t centered, so this helps to avoid that!)  Continue stenciling each word.  When you finish, fill in the stencil gaps in letters like “B” and “U” by hand.

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The project is complete!  Finish it off with a frame or tack it to a cork board.  My project is happily framed at my uncle’s house.  What are some other ways to use stenciling?  Happy crafting!

Mirror, Mirror

Ever wake up in the morning and stumble into the bathroom with one eye still closed and a bird’s nest for a head of hair?  Well, this happens to me often.  I reach for my glasses, and examine the day ahead of me.  My outlook on life come 7 a.m.  is not always the brightest, but all that changed this past summer.Anne and I went on a two-week road trip from Philadelphia, PA to Chicago, IL, with many stops along the way.  We stayed in a hip hostel in Ohio City, Cleveland’s artisan neighborhood.  (This was one of our most favorite places, but that’s a whole other story!)  And in our bathroom that day was a framed “YOU LOOK GREAT” message hanging opposite the medicine cabinet.  My heart leapt with joy!This message was a little blessing to read come morning.  While it is written backwards, it appears correctly when looking at it via the bathroom mirror.  Genius?  I think so.  No wonder Da Vinci used this method!Creating this self-esteem-boosting message (or one similar to it) is very simple!  Once you have gotten your papers and markers picked out, flip your stencil so that its front face is touching the paper.  All you need to remember is to write the individual words backwards, too.  For example: “YOU LOOK GREAT” will be spelled “UOY KOOL TAERG.”  Got it?!  The last step is to find a picture frame.  I used a black 5 x 7 frame from Blick.I made this particular sign as an apartment-warming gift for my dear friend Caroline.  Its versatility makes it a great gift idea, or even just another way to spruce up your own bathroom.

What’s a phrase that you would want to read one-eyed in the morning?

Note: All photos were taken by Caroline Wurtzel.  Check out her graphic design work here!

Ode to Adrienne Rich

When my girlfriend, Anne, and I moved in together, it was late summer 2012.  We were moving to Philadelphia from different cities for graduate school, and it was an exciting and hectic time to say the least!  We found a beautiful apartment amidst the hustle and bustle of Center City.  Hardwood floors.  Built-in bookshelves.  We were ecstatic!

I knew that I wanted to surprise her with a homemade housewarming gift – something that captured this important moment in our lives.  When I found this quote by Adrienne Rich, I knew that something had to be done!  I was inspired by a stencil pillow from Wit & Whistle.

Here is a list of some supplies & tips:

  • As an Etsy advocate, I decided on this linen pillow cover.  I used a pillow insert that I already had, which saved a lot of money!
  • I purchased a black Pebeo Setaskrib marker from Dick Blick, and stencil from Amazon.
  • Before getting started, I mapped the project out on a piece of paper to get a sense of the layout that was needed.
  • Keep a piece of cardboard inside of the pillow while you work in order to avoid any bleeding from the marker.

This stencil pillow was a big success, and it is something that Anne and I both look at every day.  It is a reminder that we are always learning.  Happy crafting!