Our Favorite Summer Crafts: Part II

Hey there Make A Birthday Wish Readers! Last week we shared a few of our favorite summertime crafts. This week we have a few more, including some that would make great Father’s Day gifts! So read on, then get your craft on!

DIY Wool Felt iPhone Sleeves – These little sleeves are super adorable, and the tutorial from Poppytalk will have you crafting a carrier for your phone in no time. And these would make a great gift for dad!

Wool Felt iPhone Sleeves – Image & Tutorial from Poppytalk.

Perler Bead Bracelets – These adorable little bracelets come from the Swedish Blogger Helena, of Craft & Creativity. Check out this tutorial and her blog, and don’t worry there are English translations throughout!

DIY Perler Bead Bracelets – Image & tutorial from Craft & Creativity.

DIY Hula-Hoop Rug – How fun is this rug made from spare t-shirts from Spoonful? This step-by-step tutorial complete with pictures will have you weaving and re-purposing in no time! This could also make a great gift!

Hula Hoop Rug – Image & Tutorial from Spoonful.

Which is your favorite craft?

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A Big Collection of DIY Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Hello there! With Mother’s Day just a few weeks away we thought now would be a good time to share some DIY gift ideas for Mom’s special day.

14 Awesome DIY Mother’s Day Gifts from I Heart Nap Time – These are seriously cute DIY crafts. The emergency tin and mason jar pin-cushion are our favorites!

Mason Jar Pin Cushion – Image from I Heart Nap Time

50 Fab & Fun Mother’s Day Gift Ideas from Inspired Housewife – So these aren’t all DIY crafty gift ideas, but there are a lot of good ideas in this list. We love #50 – buy (or you could make) a journal and write 50 reasons why you love and appreciate your mom! Although #35 is pretty cool – rent your mom’s favorite car and let her drive it around for the day! Looking for something thriftier? Make it a fun day, dress to the nines and test drive cars that are way out of your price range. Then finish off the afternoon with a fancy lunch!

Mother’s Day Brag Book from A Cup of Jo – This adorable accordion style photo book would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift! And it’s super simple to make, what’s not to love?

Mother’s Day Brag Book – Image & Idea from A Cup Of Jo

25 Perfect Mother’s Day Gift Ideas from Little Inspiration – So 3 of these from this post are repeats, but that still means 22 more great ideas for Mom this May. We especially love the Mother’s Day Balloon Bouquet and the last idea, placing black and white images into glass vases or cups and using paper flowers to create a centerpiece or gift!

Mother’s Day Balloon Bouquet – Image & Tutorial from Martha Stewart

Photo Centerpieces – Image from Everyday Celebrating found at Mother’s Day Gift Ideas at Little Inspiration

What do you have planned for Mom on May 12th?

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3 DIY Tutorials for Chain Bracelets

2013 is here and we have 3 great tutorials for making adorable chunky chain bracelets. These bracelets are a great trend for this year and would make great gifts (but be sure to make an extra for yourself)! The first tutorial that is our favorite combination of trendy and sweet comes from the blog Honestly WTF.

DIY Woven Chain Bracelet – we love the color combination and the final result from this tutorial by Honestly WTF.

Image & Tutorial by Honestly WTF.

DIY Rope-Wrapped Chain Bracelet – this great tutorial comes from I Spy DIY. We’d love to do one in nautical colors!

Image & Tutorial from I Spy DIY.

DIY Chain Link Bracelet Part 1 – great tutorial for an adorable chain bracelet from SWELLMAYDE!

Image & Tutorial from SWELLMAYDE.

Which is your favorite chain bracelet?

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?

 

Sustainable Gifting: Give A Gift That Supports A Cause

Birthday’s and holidays are sometimes overshadowed by the gift-giving process. These are times to share memories and experiences with loved ones, not necessarily getting a new pair of shoes or the latest iPhone. We aren’t saying that at Make A Birthday Wish we don’t get excited about presents… we do. But we get excited about giving presents to those that are in need and truly could use a boost. So if you are looking to show your kids the beauty of compassion and giving (not receiving), or if you are looking for a gift for the person that has everything why not consider giving the gift of charity. We’ve got a collection of great causes that will give you the chance to give the gift of charity no matter what your budget!

  1. Oxfam America UnwrappedOxfam is a great relief and development organization working to save lives, end poverty, and fight for social justice. Through their “Unwrapped” program you can choose from one of 70 unique gifts (ranging from 40 chicks to mosquito nets to art supplies) to donate in honor of your friend or loved one for their birthday or for the holidays. You will get a card with an image of the unique gift you chose and then you have the option to personalize it online and have it sent to the recipient directly, or receive the card in the mail for you to handwrite a personal message. Donation prices range from $12 to $1,500, so there really is something for any budget.
  2. TisBest – TisBest is the original charity gift card—which means you select a design (or upload your own image) for the gift card and choose a value between $10 and $5,000 to give to someone special. You can have the gift card emailed, print from home, or have a physical card made of recycled plastic sent to you or the recipient directly. To use the card you redeem the code and select up to three charities of your choice to donate to. This is especially great for someone that wants to be more involved in the process. Their are hundreds of charities to choose whose missions range from helping animals to promoting the arts to education to promoting women’s rights. There really is a charity for everyone at TisBest.
  3. DonorsChoose.org – This online charity platform helps you give gifts that support classrooms in need. Teachers and schools can post projects that you can donate to specifically, or you can give a gift card, a tote bag, mug, or t-shirt that supports the classroom causes. If you are getting married you can even create a wedding registry for people to donate to in place of gifts.
  4. Make A Birthday Wish – Of course we think our cause is a worthy birthday gift for the humanitarian in your life! If you are looking for a unique and memorable gift why not sponsor a party for children in need (or sponsor a child and purchase a gift from our wish list)? We throw birthday parties and buy presents each month for children in need in the San Jose area in partnership with West Valley Community Services. If you aren’t in the Bay Area and prefer a more local cause look into charities where you live that also have donation and gift options!

Have you ever given or received a charity gift? What did you (or the recipient) think?

 

Stationary Love Part II: DIY Tutorials Books & Other Paper Goods

 

To continue with our stationary love series we’ve selected a collection of tutorials for binding books, creating bookmarks, and adding little touches to your paper creations. Combining tutorials we shared on Tuesday you could even use your own handmade paper to create a darling book!  Simply click the title of each tutorial to be taken to the original instructions (all images also come from the original blogs)… So onward to the tutorials!

Books:

Other Book Goodies:

  • Heart Shaped Bookmark from Craft & Creativity. Scroll down to see instructions in English!

Which bookmark tutorial is your favorite? We are kind of partial to the bows!

 

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5 Gift Ideas For Your Bestie… Or Any Special Girl In Your Life!

Have a friend with an upcoming birthday (I do!), or just trying to plan ahead? These 5 tutorials we have to share would make great gifts for a best friend, or any special girl in your life (daughter, sister, etc.)!

  • DIY Camera Purse/Bag – This tutorial comes from Vanilla and Lace (also the source of the picture) and is just amazing. This is an affordable and eco-friendly way to make a stylish camera bag for the photographer in your life!

  • DIY Glitter Vases – These pretty vases from The Sweetest Occasion would make a great gift. But to ensure durability we recommend sealing the glitter with another layer of mod podge or sealant spray like this stuff from Martha Stewart!

Which of these sweet tutorials is your favorite?

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2 Crafty Ways To Wrap Gifts!

Buying wrapping paper, boxes, and bags can get expensive, and let’s face it—kind of boring! So we want to share two great tutorials on how to create your own gift boxes and gift bags from common materials that will be fun to make and add some pizzazz to your gifts! The first tutorial comes from Jessica Jones, a designer and author of the adorable blog, How About Orange. Her blog has a fantastic collection of DIY tutorials, free printables, and other great resources—we highly recommend you check it out. Today though we want to share a link to her tutorial detailing how to make gift boxes from paint chips—brilliant!

DIY Paint Swatch Boxes

Materials:

  • Large paint swatches
  • Double sided sticky tape
  • Pen
  • Exacto knife
  • Cutting mat

Instructions:

Click here for step by step instructions and the template created by Jessica Jones!

The next tutorial comes from the website Instructables, and was created by a woman in Anchorage, Alaska. We love the idea of repurposing cereal boxes into gift bags! these bags will be super sturdy, and could even be a fun birthday party craft!

DIY Gift Bags From Cereal Boxes

Materials:

  • Empty cereal box
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Tape
  • Ribbon
  • Pretty papers to wrap the box in

Instructions:

Click here to view the step by step tutorial (pictures included) for creating beautiful gift bags from cereal boxes!

Which wrapping idea do you like? If you make any of your own boxes, bags, or paper, share your tutorials, pictures, or ideas with us! We love featuring crafty people on our blog!