Thursday, December 16, 2010

Home-made Christmas gift

With everything that's been going on the latter part of this year, I only had time to make one Christmas gift. I'm hoping to do a home-made Christmas next year, or at least a lot more home-made gifts, so hopefully with Chris's school now being done, I'll be able to focus more on that while still doing all of my other million projects I've got planned for 2011. Pretty soon, I'm going to have to start filling out my 2012 project list. The 2011 one is already getting quite long.

Onto the gift...

I always ask my sisters for ideas on what my nieces need or would like for Christmas. One of my nieces was adopted last year from China. She is such a special little girl, and we're so lucky to have her as an addition to our family. My sister's suggestion for her this year was "maybe you could do Chinese symbols that mean special things for Ashlyn or she really likes pretty princess stuff for her walls". So, I racked my brain and came up with my own DIY idea to incorporate both.

First up, I got this pad of scrapbook paper from Jo-Ann's. I only needed 6 sheets for my project, but I couldn't find 6 sheets that were princess related, so I just bought the whole pad. Besides, it gave me room to error (which I most definitely did...a few times!).

Next up, I got a 4x8 piece of wood from home depot and had them cut it into 12" squares.

Then, I found a website that translates English words into Chinese lettering, here, and came up with 6 different words that I wanted to put on my scrap paper.  I copied them onto a word document and blew them up, and then printed them out.

I traced over the Chinese lettering with a pencil, pushing really hard (like so hard my arms were shaking) so that I left the outlines of the Chinese lettering on my scrapbook paper.  Then I traced over that with a black sharpie, painted inside of my tracings, painted the side of my 12x12 board, decoupaged my paper to my board, and WALA :

Oh yeah, and I wrote the English version of what I had written in Chinese in the bottom right hand corner.  Yeah, I know, I skipped taking pictures step-by-step, but I'm on a time crunch here lately!

Here's a view from the side :

Of course, she needs to be able to hang these on her wall, so I picked up a pack of mounting hardware that you just push into the back of the picture to secure.  My husband came up with this solution after my fat fingers couldn't hold the silly little nails that come with normal hanging hardware, and the board is too thin to use mounting hardware with screws.  He's a genius, I swear!

And then I repeated this 5 more times, each with different sayings.  The next two were words that come to my mind when I think of Ashlyn.  If they would've had the word goofball or silly, I would've written that down, but since they didn't, I decided to go the more sentimental (yet still true) route.

For the next three, I love the live, laugh, love saying...and I think it especially holds true to how Ashlyn, even at only 7 years old, lives her life.  She's such a carefree and fun little person to be around!!

The laugh one is actually my least favorite with the way it turned out.  It was late one night when I was trying to finish this up, so I got a bit of bubbling, and one of the fans blew some stuff on top of it while it was still drying.  I'll probably try to do another one for her at some point, assuming she likes these, but this will just have to do for now!

And here's a shot of all 6 of them together :

I have no idea why I thought this would be a quick and easy project, but overall I'm pretty happy with how it all came out.  And I'm happy with the fact that I could give my niece a gift that I spent time thinking about and making...a gift from the heart.

What do you think?  Are you making any homemade gifts this year?

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!  Happy almost Friday!!!
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I'm linking up to the parties on my sidebar...go check out what everyone else is making!


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! They turned out so well and I bet she loves them too. Homemade gifts are my favorite. =)

  2. And again Kara we Kara's must be linked somehow. Our youngest son was born in Krorea.
    A few weeks ago I made this for our wall. :)
    Ok not the same idea, but funny we both were playing with language fonts and words.

  3. what a great way to incorporate all you were going for, and what a great focal point it will be. i hope you take pictures after they are hung up!

  4. I love sweet and personal and princessy and just perfect! : )

  5. These look great!! I love the thought behind them and it turned out so beautiful! I'm making a few gifts for my sister this year, they'll be posted AFTER christmas since she reads my blog!

  6. Makes me wish we had some little girls in the family right now!

    I just finished a braided scarf from the tutorial on Crafty Staci's blog. She calls it a Rapunzel scarf:-} Two skeins of yarn and about an hour's time! I love it. I posted a pic on my blog.

    I hear you Floridians need some scarves with the cold weather that's been pushing its way south! You'll have to check out Staci's blog.

  7. Hey, Kara! I haven't been by in quite a while . . . sorry! I'm glad I dropped by today. I love these! I did something similar on canvases - for feng shui, actually. I love the princesses though, and the special words!

    Would love for you to drop by and link up to Passion for Paint this weekend.

  8. cute idea! Great words to have on your daughters wall too. :) Drop on by DIY Thrifty Thursday and link up of you have a sec. I only have boys, so some girly stuff is always welcome! :)


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