Occasionally Crafty

Monday, November 20

Gift Guide for Book Lovers (Ultimate Gift Guide Roundup and Giveaway)

If you've ever heard him/her say "Just one more chapter!" or "Leave me alone, I'm reading!" then you have a book lover on your hands!  Whether it is your child, your parent, or your spouse, your book lover will love receiving one of these awesome gifts!



Hey all- today's the day for you to stop procastinating and get that shopping list put together!  I've teamed up with some of my bloggy friends to share a bunch of fun and unique gift ideas for everyone on your list!  Plus, you're going to want to enter our giveway for a $100 Amazon Gift Card- just in time for holiday shopping!


I surveyed my book-loving friends to find out what they want for Christmas this year.  I am a book lover myself, as are my kids, so I can personally vouch for anything on this list!

1.  The absolutely best gift you can give is TIME to read!  I don't know how many people tell me they have a book list a mile long and no time to sit down and read.  Take the kids for a day, take over the housework for your spouse, or just be patient and let them disappear into their room for awhile instead of whatever it is they usually do.




2.  How about a snuggly blanket?  There's nothing like curling up in a soft blanket with some hot cocoa (or whatever your drink of choice may be) and a good book!  This Sherpa Fleece Throw Blanket is a steal at Target this season.



3.  If your book lover is also tech-friendly, how about getting them a Kindle?  Purists may sniff, but owning a Kindle gets me lots of free books I otherwise wouldn't pay for, plus the ability to bring a whole library of books with me wherever I go.  I love my Kindle Paperwhite, and they will too!



4.  Add on a Kindle Gift Card (also perfect for someone who already has a Kindle).  You can never have too many books!



5.  How about a tote bag to hold all those books, or just to let everyone know about your love for reading? There are TONS, but I love this one found on Etsy.



6. Another way to show your love for reading is an awesome book-themed shirt!  Again, there are so many options, but I love this one found on Etsy.




7. This mug with famous first lines from books is awesome.  Get it here.



8.  Another fun find are these candles that are paired up with an author for a unique scent.  I wonder what Edgar Allan Poe's might smell like....  Check them out here.



9.  This Book a Day Calendar gives recommendations each day with a blurb from each book.  They might hate you for making their "need-to-read" list even longer!  Find it here.



10.  For the Jane Austen aficionado, these book cover coasters are divine!  Buy them here.



11. If your book lover also loves jewelry, check out the book-themed necklaces at Tea and Tentacles.  I really loved this one!



12.  If your book lover is always reading in bed, get them this clip-on Book Light that doubles as a bookmark.  Thin and easy to carry around wherever you go!


Your book lover will love receiving any of these gifts this holiday season!  Now, buy yourself something nice (or use it for your Christmas shopping) by entering our Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

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Now, visit my bloggy friends for other great gift ideas to add to your list!




Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund this blog so I can keep bringing you fun new craft projects to try at home!
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Tuesday, November 14

Andes Mint Christmas Fudge (Lt. Terry's Christmas Fudge Book Review)

Curl up with a great little book and a delicious treat, just in time for Christmas!

Lieutenant Terry's Christmas Fudge


Imagine you had been kept in a POW camp for months, cold, wet, dirty, and starving.  One day, there's good news and bad news.  The good news is, the Red Cross has delivered Christmas packages for the POWs! 

 The bad news is, there are only a few packages to give among hundreds of men.

It is determined a drawing will be held.  Now, imagine it is your lucky day-- you are one of the winners!  When you open your package, among other things you find evaporated milk, sugar, and a chocolate bar.  Chocolate!  It's been months since you've seen chocolate, and you are nearly intoxicated by the thought of it.  

All the other POWS from your building crowd around you as you open your package.  They smile wistfully as they see your goodies.  It's hard to disguise the longing in their eyes, wishing they had been the lucky ones to win.  

You realize that these are the perfect ingredients to make some Christmas fudge.  But here's the question: do you wordlessly devour your goodies, or is there something more, something better you could do?

Wednesday, November 8

Jingle Bell Christmas Tree Door Hanger


Want to show off your Christmas spirit?  Make this Jingle Bell Christmas Tree instead of hanging a wreath this year!

DIY Jingle Bell Christmas Tree Door Decor

Hey everyone- it's time for this year's Handmade Holidays Blog Hop!

After you check out my tutorial, check out all the other great ideas my blogger friends have put together for you this week.  Click on the links later in the post to visit- and we have an awesome giveaway too!

I was walking in the craft store the other day, looking for inspiration for a new front door decoration.  I usually have a wreath, but to be honest, mine is a little worse for wear.  I saw this chicken wire Christmas tree amid all the Christmas craft supplies, and I knew this would be a simple and cute project!
DIY Jingle Bell Christmas Tree Door Decor

You don't even really need a tutorial for this.  All you need is the chicken wire tree, a pack of 28 or so jingle bells (medium size), and a hot glue gun.

Lay out your bells on the tree until you're happy with the layout.  Then glue in place.   I chose to have the bottoms of my bells all facing up for a uniform look.

DIY Jingle Bell Christmas Tree Door Decor

I love the look of the glittered bells mixed with the shiny ones- and the traditional red and green match my traditional holiday decor.  You could go all silver, silver and gold, red, and white, etc.

Top with a bow or star if you want.  I just liked mine plain and kind of rustic-looking.

Hang on your door for everyone to see!  Or, this would make a great wall hanging, too!

DIY Jingle Bell Christmas Tree Door Decor

DIY Jingle Bell Christmas Tree Door Decor
Now, get your craft on by entering to win a $50 Michaels gift card!  Then, don't forget to click around to all my bloggy friends for more great ideas!


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Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund this blog so I can keep bringing you fun new craft projects to try at home!

Tuesday, November 7

DIY Farmhouse Welcome Sign

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DIYHolidayWithSCJ #CollectiveBias

I met my lifelong best friend in 8th grade.  I knew who she was, of course, but we weren’t really more than casual acquaintances until the day I decided to stay after school and watch my boy-crush play football.  I didn’t want to go alone, so I announced to the crowd of kids hanging around “Anyone want to go to the football game with me?”  She volunteered to come with me, and the rest, as they say, is history.
DIY Welcome Sign SCJ.jpg


We’ve been best friends through the drama of high school, bad choices in men, babies, cross-country moves, the illnesses and deaths of several family members, and more.  We’ve been more than 1,000 miles away from each other for years, until last year, when I moved to Iowa.  Now, we’re only a three-hour drive apart, and we see each other much more often.


This year, my best friend and her family are coming for Thanksgiving, and I want everything to be just perfect!


If you’re hosting family or friends in your home this season, you know how much excitement, joy, and of course, stress comes with that!  It can be a challenge getting everything just right for the holiday season.  Apparently, I like stress, because we decided to remodel our guest bathroom just before guests are due to arrive.  Everything has been a huge mess, and we finally put the finishing touches on our bathroom to make it feel like home for our guests.  Thank goodness for SCJ, who has all the products I need to clean up my mess before my friend gets here.


I knew I wanted to make the bathroom extra welcoming, so once we had all the fixtures in place, my husband and I shopped Home Depot for supplies to make our own industrial-style shelves and a sign to welcome our guests.  


Welcome Sign on Shelf.jpg


While we were there, I picked up the cleaning supplies I needed too.  I absolutely love Scrubbing Bubbles® Fantastik® for tubs, sinks, and showers, and I’ve just started using it on my toilets to keep things easy.  There is literally no scrubbing needed, and everything from soap scum and dirt are easily washed away!  It’s absolutely the lazy mom’s favorite cleaner.


I also got Windex® Original Glass Cleaner, which I love for streak-free cleaning on mirrors and my glass shower doors, and Pledge® Lemon Clean Furniture Spray, which I will use to quickly clean, condition, and protect the furniture around the house before everyone arrives!  

SCJ Products 1.jpg


My products were all in the cleaning aisle in Home Depot, but be on the lookout for Pledge® product promotions on display in Home Depot stores 11/1/17 through 1/31/18!


SCJ at Home Depot.jpg


Once we had our shelves made, I made a “Welcome” sign to display on the shelves, along with some other pieces I picked up at the store.  


DIY Famrhouse Sign.jpg


Here’s how to make one of your own:


Supplies needed:
1x6x12 Common Board
Cream colored paint
Rag for stain
Brush for paint
1. I purchased a 6 ft board at Home Depot and cut it into 12 inch pieces.  


Common Board Home Depot.jpg

This is the perfect size for a shelf sign.  Once yours is cut, make sure to sand the rough edges.

2. Using a rag, stain the entire board.  Let dry completely!


Farmhouse Style Welcome Sign 1.jpg

3. Once dry, use a sponge brush to paint a rough rectangle on your board.  This is farmhouse-style, so no need to be exact.  Let dry, then paint a second coat.

Farmhouse Style Welcome Sign 2.jpg


4. Once paint is dry, lightly sand to distress.  Clean off any excess debris.

5. Purchase a vinyl decal, or cut one with your desired saying.  I cut this “Welcome” decal on my cutting machine.  (Email me if you’d like the file!)  Apply using transfer tape and smooth the decal into place.  Remove transfer tape, leaving vinyl decal on your board.

Farmhouse Welcome Sign 3.jpg

6.  Display on your shelves!

How to Style Bathroom Shelves.jpg


When accessorizing shelves, I find less is more.  I picked up a cute basket (and put some extra toiletries inside for guests), a small plant or two, and of course, this handmade welcome sign.  This is a great time to “shop” around your house and see what might work in a different place.  I had an extra canning jar that was the perfect vase for some flower stems, and the small plant is actually from my “summer” decor box.  I love how it turned out!

How to Style Bathroom Shelves 2.jpg

You can find tons of great ways to use these cleaning products as you prepare for your holidays here.  
 

I want to know-- who’s coming over for Thanksgiving?  Or are you the guest this year?  Let me know in the comments!

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund this blog so I can keep bringing you fun new craft projects to try at home!

Wednesday, November 1

Little Lamb from Bethlehem Free Printables

If you're tired of that elf leaving his shelf and causing trouble in your house, and want a more Christ-centered approach to Christmas fun, bring home the Little Lamb from Bethlehem instead!

If you're tired of that elf leaving his shelf and causing trouble in your house and want a more Christ-centered approach to Christmas fun, bring home the Little Lamb from Bethlehem instead!

I know, I know.  Halloween just barely passed by.  And here I am, with a Christmas post.  I love me some Thanksgiving, don't get me wrong.  But, I want to make sure all of you are prepared for the holiday season.

On that note, I am thrilled to tell you about the Little Lamb from Bethlehem.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my picture and story about this little guy.  My friends at Deseret Book sent me a Little Lamb gift box to try out, and I am in love!  The box contains a super soft plush friend, accompanied by a book reminding us of that first Christmas night.  You can read the story with your family, then use the ideas in the book (or come up with your own!) to keep the true meaning of Christmas in your homes and hearts this season.

Purchase your own Little Lamb here.

Here's the basic overview of how to use the Little Lamb in your home.

Introduce your lamb with a welcome letter for your family!  Then read the book together.

If you're tired of that elf leaving his shelf and causing trouble in your house and want a more Christ-centered approach to Christmas fun, bring home the Little Lamb from Bethlehem instead!

Make a plan of activities or acts of service to do together.  Leave the Little Lamb whenever you do something for someone in your home.

If you're tired of that elf leaving his shelf and causing trouble in your house and want a more Christ-centered approach to Christmas fun, bring home the Little Lamb from Bethlehem instead!

When it's time for the Little Lamb to go away, sit him out with a goodbye letter and encourage your family to keep doing service and showing their love for Jesus Christ all year long!

To help you carry out your plan, I've created some printables for you!

Little Lamb from Bethlehem Free Printables

 I have a welcome letter, a welcome back letter for future years, a family activity planning sheet, and some good deed cards you can use to have lots of fun serving others with your family this Christmas season.

My email subscribers can get these printables for free.  To subscribe, enter your email address below:









FYI- if you are a previous subscriber, you'll need to contact me directly as this offer is only for new subscribers! Email me at info@occasionallycrafty.com and once I verify your subscription I'll send them right out! 

I'm so excited to use the Little Lamb from Bethlehem with our family soon.  I think it will really help us stay focused on our Savior, and the true meaning of Christmas.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund this blog so I can keep bringing you fun new craft projects to try at home!

Tuesday, October 17

DIY Vampire Bat BOO Kit (BOO It Forward)



This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS Incorporated. All opinions are mine alone. #BOOItForward #CollectiveBias


We love to BOO our neighbors!  Do you BOO?  It's when you drop off a cute basket or bag of treats to your neighbors, anonymously, with instructions to BOO It Forward to other neighbors in a certain amount of time.  It's such a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit!

You might remember that last year, we moved to a new city across the country.  This year, we're excited to pick out a few of our new neighbors to BOO.  I picked up a few supplies at Walmart, including some American Greetings gift bags



and this bag of delicious MARS® Candy found exclusively at Walmart.




I really wanted to buy this specific bag to last throughout all our Halloween events.  I actually found it by the College Football display, though you may find yours in the seasonal candy aisle or in a special display!  So, if you want this awesome bag, check everywhere or don't be afraid to ask a store manager for help!




I also picked up a black bowl and some other fun Halloween goodies for my BOO Kit.  I knew I could make it into a really fun Vampire Bat Bowl!  Let’s do some friendly neighborhood BOO'ing!

I used my cutting machine and some adhesive vinyl to make this cute little bat face




and also to cut out some wings for my bat.  



Then, I glued the wings on each side of the bat bowl.





If you don't have a cutting machine, you could easily trace some clipart onto some white paper (for the face) or black paper (for the wings).  Could you imagine Frankenstein on a green bowl?  Or a ghost on a white bowl?  The possibilities are endless!


Now it's time to fill up the BOO kit!  I included a cute little bag filled to the brim with my favorite MARS® candies, some glow in the dark goodies, Halloween sprinkles, the American Greetings gift bags (for the neighbors to use when they BOO It Forward) and a cute Halloween wooden stacker set I also made with my cutting machine.



I finished off with this BOO card with instructions for the neighbors. 




If you want to make your own BOO Kit to BOO it Forward,  you could also include a movie.  Get the Spider-Man Homecoming DVD & Blu-Ray on October 17th at Walmart.

(Do you NEED this value bag for your BOO kit?  Hover over the photo to click through to Walmart.com to buy it!)


Once I had everything just the way I wanted it, I put it in a cellophane bag and tied it with some cute Halloween ribbon.  






We're so excited to deliver this to our new neighbors this Halloween season!  Who will you BOO?