2 Creative & Sweet Ways To Say Happy Birthday!

Are you looking for a special way to say happy birthday, or celebrate an anniversary or Mother’s Day? We’ve found 2 really creative and sweet ideas to show someone how much you care!

Celebrate With A Balloon & Photo/Note For Each Year – This is such a creative and whimsical idea from Bebe a la Mode Designs! She used it to celebrate her anniversary, (be sure to check out her blog for the adorable photos she included) but this would work just as well for a birthday! For each year (age or anniversary) fill up a balloon and tie a personalized note or photo to it. If you are celebrating a birthday, use photos from birthday’s past! Put them in a bedroom or at the breakfast table to surprise your loved ones!

Image & Idea from Bebe a la Mode Designs!

Create A Birthday Banner & Message – How sweet is this sign by Room for Dessert? She made this for her boyfriend James and decorated their bedroom with it. This would be perfect for a kid, sibling, or roommate as well, decorate their room while they are at school and surprise them when they get home!

Happy Birthday Banner Image by Room for Dessert

How do you usually tell someone special happy birthday?

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Happy New Year! Looking Back to the Best of 2012!

Image from the Huffington Post.

Happy New Year to all our readers and supporters out there! It was a fantastic year in 2012, we were able to help bring joy and relief to hundreds of kids in San Jose during their birthday months. And in 2013 we hope to reach even more :). With 2012 behind us it is important to reflect back on what was good, so today we have our top 5 posts from this past year! You guys really like to craft don’t you ;)!

Make A Birthday Wishes Top 5 Posts in 2012:

  1. DIY Decorations: Paper Stars – A great tutorial for handmade paper stars perfect for a party or just because!
  2. DIY Party Decorations: Pennant Banner – Both fabric and paper options abound in this post!
  3. DIY Owl Crafts: Part 1 – Seriously adorable owl crafts at a variety of difficulty levels! Who doesn’t love owls?
  4. DIY Crafts: Button Bracelets – So simple and so cute. These make great little gifts or packaging additions.
  5. 3 Party Favor Packing Ideas We Love – And apparently you love these unique ideas too!

What was your favorite post this past year? And what would you like to see more of in 2013?

If you are interested in supporting what we do at Make A Birthday Wish or learning more you can go to our website by clicking here. Have a great New Year’s Day!

DIY Gift Ideas: Homemade Coupon Books

Holiday Coupons Image from One Artsy Mama

Christmas is just around the corner… no seriously it’s next week! And we at Make a Birthday Wish are extremely excited for all the love and giving that takes place this time of year. If you are still lost for gift ideas, then have no fear, we’ve got a collection of great resources to help you make a great gift for just about anyone on your list (even the person that has everything!). The best part about this gift idea, it is practically free (except for the paper it’s printed on) or close to it.

DIY coupon books are the perfect solution for someone that is difficult to buy for, or if you want to give something more meaningful and personal this year. You generally are giving your time (a foot rub, scrubbing the shower, etc.) , or maybe entitling a friend to a cup of coffee, dinner, or a movie. One of our favorite things about DIY coupon books is they let you be as creative as you want to be. You can completely hand-make your book, or use a free online site to generate a clean-looking book that you can print out. To get started think about the person you are giving the coupons to. What do they enjoy doing, what do they need more of in their life (maybe time, or quiet), what do they hate to do (clean, laundry)? Then make a list of possible coupons:

  • Back massage
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Organizing the closet
  • A cup of coffee & good conversation
  • Their favorite dinner
  • A trip to the bookstore
  • A night of babysitting
  • An at home spa day… the list could go on forever

Once you have your list you can use MS Word, PowerPoint, Keynote, Photoshop, Online tools, or old fashioned paper, glue, and scissors to create a coupon book. Here are some of our favorite resources:

Have you ever made your own coupons or vouchers before? What kind of coupons did you come up with?

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DIY Christmas Ornaments!

There are a ton of tutorials out there for crafting your own ornaments. Handmade ornaments not only look great on your tree, but they also make fantastic (and affordable) gifts! Crafting a new ornament each year could also be a special holiday tradition you start with your friends or family. And if your family isn’t down to craft you could see if there is a craft swap nearby where fellow crafters get together and swap handmade ornaments. Check out these tutorials for dozens upon dozens of DIY ornaments!

25 Christmas Ornaments To Make

This collection of tutorials comes from The Ornament Girl and is full of really beautiful decorations.

The Best Handmade Christmas Ornaments

We would expect nothing but the best from Martha Stewart! These tutorials are really divine and the results are awesome!

20 Easy Handmade Holiday Ornaments

This collection comes from HGTV and several tutorials involve easy-to-find natural materials!

Do you usually make ornaments for your tree? Feel free to share pictures 🙂

Our Top Craft Books For This Holiday Season

If you are looking for a unique, thoughtful, and purposeful gift for a friend or your children, why not give them a book? Books make wonderful gifts and today we have selected 5 of our favorite crafting books. So you can be sure that your gift will not only give the gift of knowledge but also help unlock the creative juices of your someone special! Several of the books we selected even feature “green” craft ideas and specialize in crafts suitable for younger kids! Onto our picks!

Craft-A-Day: 365 Simple Handmade Projects

This wonderful little gem is jam packed with tutorials and crafting ideas. Great for adults and kids alike, and a pretty good bang for your buck at only $16.47 on Amazon.


Drawing Lab For Mixed Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises To Make Drawing Fun

This book is perfect for both seasoned drawers and beginners. It will help reinforce good techniques and expand any readers’ artistic side. And with 52 exercises, the book lends itself well to a year-long self-guided study in drawing. Pick it up from Amazon for $15.63.

 

Green Crafts For Children: 35 Step-by-Step Projects Using Natural, Recycled, and Found Materials

This book would make a great gift to both kids and parents looking for ways to engage their children in the arts while teaching them about environmental stewardship. A great deal at $11.73 on Amazon!

 

Sewing School: 21 Projects Kids Will Love To Make

This book is fantastic if you are interested in teaching your kids how to sew and is available on Amazon for $11.53.

The Big Green Book Of Recycled Crafts

A great collection of crafts that reuse, repurpose, and recycle materials into handmade treasures. Just $3.98 on Amazon!

Do you craft with friends or your family for fun? What kinds of crafts do you do?

 

Have A Paper Holiday: 3 DIY Paper Crafts For A Homemade Christmas!

At MABW we love crafting, reusing, re-purposing, and putting a personal touch on special occasions. Today we’ve got 3 tutorials to share with you that will have you crafting most everything you need this Holiday season with paper!

DIY Recycled Paper Tree

We love this idea! Imagine using brown packaging paper, newspaper, or magazines to make mini versions of this tree? Can you say great centerpiece for practically nothing?!!!

DIY Tutorial for Recycled Paper Christmas Tree by Casa Sugar

DIY Tutorial for Recycled Paper Christmas Tree by Casa Sugar

DIY Star Wars Snowflakes or Garland

These snowflakes would make any nerd proud. Such a fun idea, you could try it with different colored paper too!

Free Printable Template from Matters of Grey

Free Printable Template from Matters of Grey

Free Holiday Gift Tags

These printables from Sass & Peril make adorable homemade packaging a cinch this holiday season!

Gift Tag Printables by Sass & Peril

Gift Tag Printables by Sass & Peril

Which is your favorite holiday paper craft? We are partial to the Star Wars Snowflakes 🙂

Our Favorite Cookie In A Jar Recipes

Cookies are amazing any time of the year, but fresh baked cookies at Christmas time takes amazing to an all new level. If you are looking for great cookie recipes to bake up for a party or searching for a great gift idea we think you’ll love these recipes we have collected from around the web. Some of the recipes even accommodate special dietary needs (vegan & gluten free).

Cranberry Hootycreeks from All Recipes

Cranberry Hootycreeks – Recipe from All Recipes.

These cookies look great in the jar and taste delightful. You could even change out the cranberries, chocolate chips, and nuts to suit your personal tastes. Dried currants, walnuts, & white chocolate chips could be a lovely combination! This recipe would make a great gift for a neighbor, coworker, or as a hostess/host gift if you are visiting family or friends over the holidays.

Julia’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – Recipe from All Recipes.

Chocolate chip cookies rank at the top of most people’s favorite cookie lists. Simple, chocolatey goodness. This recipe is very delicious and again provides opportunity for experimentation (different kinds of chocolate chips, or swapping chocolate chips for M&M’s etc..). If you aren’t sure what cookies your friend would want, chocolate chip is a safe bet.

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies – Recipe from Oh She Glows

This recipe promises thin, crisp, and chewy chocolate chip cookies that even those on the most restricted diets can enjoy. But don’t get us wrong, these cookies aren’t really a compromise. They are kind of amazing. Angela’s recipe uses a mix of almond & oat flour to create this crowd pleasing cookie. Scroll to the bottom of her post to see the recipe!

Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies From Oh She Glows

Gingerbread Men Cookie Mix In A Jar – Recipe from Food For My Family

These gingerbread men are tasty and adorable. We love the idea of attaching cookie cutters to the jar to really complete the gift! We love this recipe for a holiday staple! Shaina even included free printables—holiday gifting can’t get much easier!

Gingerbread Men In A Jar Recipe from Food For My Family

Have you ever given cookies in a jar before? What are your favorite recipes?

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4 Handmade Gift Tutorial Collections We Love

We hope you had a wonderful and loving Thanksgiving! But with the next round of holidays right around the corner there is little time to catch your breath. Don’t worry, we’ve collected some links to great tutorials for you and your kids to make handmade gifts this year! Handmade gifts can save money and are so much more personal. Oh and there are a lot of ways to reuse materials or repurpose scraps—making the handmade option more green! If you don’t have time to hand make gifts this year you should think about supporting artists and crafters that do hand make beautiful things on sites like Etsy! These tutorials make great gifts for kids and adults alike! We love the blog Everything Etsy, and she has rounded up 101 Simple Handmade Gift Tutorials for Kids! These would be great for your kids to make for their friends, or for you to make for them!

101 Simple Handmade Gifts for Kids by Everything Etsy

The 36th Avenue Blog has a list of 21 handmade gifts for guys! Great for husbands, boyfriends, dads, brothers, or just friends! Definitely worth checking out!

21 Handmade Gifts for Guys from 36th Avenue

The Huffington Post even came out with a list of last-minute handmade gift ideas that is worth perusing! These are great small gifts that would be worth making to have on hand for those times when someone unexpected comes over for the Holidays!

Homemade Gift Ideas: Quick and Easy Last-Minute Gifts by The Huffington Post

The blog The Tip Junkie is another great go-to gift-making guide. We love her collection of hand-made gifts you can see here.

Tip Junkie’s Homemade Gift Tutorials

 

Are you trying homemade gifts this year? Need some ideas? Let us know what you want to learn to do!

3 Handmade & Recycled Gifts

With a little over a month left until the winter holidays it’s time to start crafting some handmade gifts! Today we have three tutorials to share for amazingly beautiful and recycled gifts! These gifts will show just how much you care about the person receiving, and the planet… all without breaking the bank. So onwards to the tutorials!

Recycled Woven Rag Rug – We love this rug tutorial from craft passion! It is so adorable and really only costs you some time (if you have 3 old sheets). This would make a great birthday, christmas, or housewarming gift 🙂

Recycled Woven Rug from Craft Passion

Tin Can Planters For Succulents – These succulents would make great gifts for the holidays, or again for a housewarming party. This fantastic tutorial comes from ElizaKPrints!

Tin Can Planters for Succulents by ElizaKPrints

DIY Teacup Candles – This tutorial comes from Martha Stewart. What a sweet homemade gift—it would be the perfect relaxation gift paired with some homemade bath salts or body scrubs 🙂

DIY Teacup Candles by Martha Stewart

Are you having a handmade holiday this year? If you are looking gifts for someone in particular and would like some help let us know! We can help find some ideas to help you out!

DIY Cards & Money Holders

Last week one of our readers, Lacey requested we find some tutorials for handmade cards, so here it goes! We’ve got a great collection of tutorials and photos to inspire and guide your crafty side. The tutorials help you create traditional cards, gift cards & money holders! So onto the tutorials!

DIY Happy Birthday Banner Card – This great tutorial comes from Martha Stewart’s website!

DIY Happy Birthday Banner Card by Martha Stewart

DIY Money & Gift Card Holder 

DIY Money & Gift Card Holder from Studio DIY

DIY Puppy Ear Card – This tutorial is super cute! You could change it up to be a rabbit or just about any other animal!

DIY Puppy Ear Card from Skip To My Lou

DIY String Tie Envelopes  – These are adorable and would look amazing with printed paper too!

DIY String Tie Envelopes by Mini Eco

Handmade Candle Wish Card – This photo isn’t a tutorial, but with some card stock, sewing machine, candle, and stickers you could easily recreate this card.

Handmade Candle Wish Card

Let’s Get Our Celebration On – This isn’t a tutorial either, but with a blank white card, a printer (or stamps, or a pen), a transparent mini envelope, and confetti, you could recreate this adorable card!

Let’s Get Our Celebration On Card

Have A Wish On Us Birthday Card/Money Holder – This tutorial from One Little Minute is fantastic. It will take a little patience if you cut it out by hand, but the results are great!

Have A Wish On Us Birthday Card from One Little Minute

Hopefully these tutorials and photos will get the creative juices flowing for you Lacey, and all our other readers! Have you made your own cards before? Share your photos or tutorials with us 🙂 We’d love to feature your crafts!

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