Pinterest Inspired Christmas Gift Project #2: Scrabble Tile Coasters

We hope everyone had a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year. We’ve enjoyed the last week by spending time with family and friends.

I wanted to circle back to one of the Pinterest-inspired Christmas gifts mentioned here. Our second Pinterest-inspired Christmas gift was a set of DIY Scrabble tile coasters.

Here’s the Pinterest pin that inspired our Scrabble coaster Christmas gift:

20121230-005125.jpg

To put our scrabble coasters together, I bought three Scrabble games. Two of which I bought on a Black Friday sale for $7, and the third game I bought on sale for $8, plus I had a $2 coupon, making it $6.

Before we started assembling the coasters, we spelled out beverage-related words with the tiles. The trick: words should be four letters to make sure your coasters are square.

Once we came up with the words, we started arranging related words together. We ended up only using two of the Scrabble games, but in order to make more four word coasters, it probably would’ve taken all three games.

20121230-005937.jpg

For some of the coasters we came up with four four-letter words, for the others, we arranged two four letter words that shared one common letter.

20121230-213246.jpg

To fill in the extra space on the two word tiles, we flipped the extra letter titles that were left over and used them as blank tiles.

Next, we super glued the tiles together and then sprayed them with a clear enamel like this one:

20121230-213717.jpg

We used cork as the backing for the tiles. I found this role of cork in the school supplies section of Target.

20130101-112806.jpg

We unrolled the cork and let it rest on the counter for a few days. We also placed bowls on the cork to help flatten it out.

Once the cork was flat enough to use and our tiles had a chance to dry, we measured the cork and cut it to fit each tile square.

20130101-122524.jpg

20130101-113318.jpg

For the last step, we placed the cork backing on each tile with Scotch double-sided tape. You can also use glue.

20130101-122636.jpg

20130101-113553.jpg

We stacked the coasters up and put something heavy (like a book or pot) on the tiles to ensure the tape had time to set up and achieve good contact to the tiles.

And there you have it.

Now for the finished product:

20130101-114145.jpg

20130101-114223.jpg

It was a lot of fun to make our Pinterest-inspired gifts this year. Here is one of our mugs pictured with the completed coasters:

20130101-115335.jpg

Happy 2013! Here’s to more DIY adventures in the new year! How are you planning to DIY this year?

Christmas Tags: Meet Gifts

The Christmas tags we posted about in November made their officially debut on our Christmas gifts. And since it’s Christmas Eve, I thought we would show you how they turned out!

20121224-141458.jpg

From our last post, we even added another feature to the tags. (Click here to see instructions on how to make the tags.)

In order to label each gift recipient, I needed a way to write names on the tags. To solve this, I created labels with “A gift for” and the recipients’ name to place on the back of the tag.

20121224-133007.jpg

To create the labels, you can use programs like InDesign or Pages.

After I was satisfied with the design and printed a test page on regular paper, I printed the labels on sticker paper like I did for the front labels. And in case we needed to purchase any additional gifts, I also created a few blank labels to write on.

20121224-133514.jpg

Here is the front of the label:

20121224-133619.jpg

And the back:

20121224-133711.jpg

I’m really happy with the way they turned out. They were a little time consuming to make because I had to cut all the labels by hand, but the end result was worth it. They are a nice personal touch to each of our gifts this year.

Do you make your own gift tags or bows? I love adding personal touches to Christmas gifts. I think it makes them more fun to open.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Holiday Planning

I originally thought I would save this post for closer to Christmas, but if some of you are like me, your inherent need to make lists and plan starts to overwhelm you this time of year. I admit, it’s still too early to put up Christmas decorations, crank the ”NSYNC Christmas album or even drink peppermint mochas but for those that have already done all the things I just listed, I don’t judge. There is no shame in a peppermint mocha-loving, ‘NSYNC fan. I should know. 🙂

To kick off our holiday planning this year, I started by making personalized Christmas gift tags.

These tags are really easy to make and need just a few supplies.

To make these Christmas tags, you will need:

  • Sticker paper, a ink jet printer and scissors. I bought our sticker paper at Staples. It is the cheapest I could find.

  • Craft paper that you can find at Michaels, Jo Ann Fabrics or A.C. Moore. You can use two-sided or one-sided craft paper. I chose both to see how they would look.

  • Ribbon to hang the tags. I found this ribbon at Michaels.

  • A circle punch, which you can find at Michaels. This is the super size which is 2.5 inches. It works really well for cutting big circles.

To make the tags, I started by designing a template in Adobe InDesign for the smaller personalized circles. You can also use other programs such as Pages or Microsoft Word. Before I printed my template, I lightly outlined the circles so I could see where to cut them. Then I printed the circles on to the sticker paper using an ink jet printer.

After you print the small circles on to the sticker paper, use the paper punch to cut out a larger circle from the craft paper.

Next, neatly cut out your circles from the sticker paper. Remove the sticker backing and place the small circle sticker in the middle of your large craft paper circle.

Use a hole punch to create the hole for the ribbon. I used one punch of a three-hole punch.

Then, cut a piece of ribbon and loop it through the hole and tie it together at the end.

And there you have it! A fun gift tag for your Christmas gifts.

These tags are also great for wine bottles. If you are bringing wine to Thanksgiving dinner, you can make a few of these tags. They would even be fun with sayings like “Happy Harvest” or  “Give Thanks.” Last year I made napkin rings with fun Thanksgiving sayings on them that you could use for the wine tags.

You could also give some wine for Christmas with these tags and perhaps use a ribbon or two to wrap the bottle.

The Christmas craft paper I chose is two-sided so it’s even fun when you turn the tag around.

Another project I started early this year was our Christmas cards. I bought a Groupon for Zazzle.com and designed our cards on their Web site. I don’t want to give too much away before the holidays, but the cards already here and I can’t wait to send them!

Have you started your Christmas gift planning and projects already? What fun projects do you have in store this year?