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state gift tags

March 27, 2015

state shaped gift tags pleasure in simple things blog

Today I am sharing an idea for a gift tag – one that is in the shape of a state.  Come spend Friday field trip in my craft room!

I wanted to come up with a state gift tag design so that I could create two states and use them together on a gift for a baby shower. An upcoming shower is being held in Connecticut by the baby’s future aunt for a soon-to-be mom that lives in Florida. I thought state gift tags would be a great way to acknowledge both states on the gift I am bringing to the shower.

The tags were really easy to create. First, I found a website that had outlines of every state. I saved the photos of the two states I wanted– Connecticut and Florida – to my computer. After printing them out, I cut the shape of each state to use as a template for my tags.

steps in making state gift tags pleasure in simple things blog

The color theme for my gift is white, gold, and pink and I decided kraft paper would go great with the look. So, I glued brown kraft paper onto some cardboard, traced the shape of the two states, and carefully cut each one out.  To go with the theme, I painted the back of each tag pink using acrylic craft paint.painting map gift tags pleasure in simple things blogTo add some gold to the mix (carefully following the instructions), I added some gold leaf to the areas of each state that marked the hometowns of the two families, protecting my table with wax paper. Of course, if you make these, you may rather add a dot, star, or heart to mark a specific city/town within each state. Or, you may want to use a different color – one that coordinates with your own gift wrap color theme. This idea is also easily adapted to a wedding gift.

gold leaf on gift tags pleasure in simple things blog

Lastly, I used a paper hole punch to put a hole in each tag and I tied the two tags together with a gold cord. After the gold leaf adhesive was completely dry – I was done!

state shaped gift tags pleasure in simple things blog

I can’t wait to show you the gift I made!  But, I can’t share that until after the shower!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at Coastal CharmHouse of Hipsters, Nancherrow, Thoughts from Alice, and Craftberry Bush.

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easter fortune eggs

March 24, 2015

easter egg fortune takeaways pleasure in simple things blog

Today I am sharing a really quick and fun Easter takeaway idea.

For this project, I used plastic, fillable Easter eggs. It is so very uncharacteristic of me to use these brightly colored eggs! And, I have to admit, it was very hard for me to resist transforming the plastic eggs by painting them in neutral hues and adding speckles!

fun easter fortune eggs pleasure in simple things blog
With that said, I decided to use the eggs I had on hand to create some ‘fortune eggs.’

I filled each egg with a mini version of my favorite Easter treat – the Cadbury crème egg (they are so cute!) – in addition to a favorite quote. These small eggs don’t fit much more. I was able to squeeze in two additional little candies inside each egg.

fun Easter idea pleasure in simple things blog
You may wish to use a bible quote or fortune in place of the quote.  If you are creating this for a family party, you may want to write up some favorite family memories to include in the eggs.

basket full of Easter fortunes pleasure in simple things blog
These ‘fortune eggs’ are great when you are beyond the Easter egg hunt stage. It is the perfect opportunity to provide your friends and/or family with a little treat to celebrate Easter! So fun!

I hope I have inspired you to come up with your own version of ‘fortune eggs!’

small easter egg pleasure in simple things blog
Thanks for stopping by! Remember to find pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with Craftberry BushSand & Sisal, Coastal Charm, and Crafts a la Mode.

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egg tea infuser diy

March 20, 2015

homemade tea infuser pleasure in simple things blog

I am a sucker for a cute tea infuser.  I have seen so many great ones…sometimes they are just too hard to resist buying!  Have you seen the one that looks like the Titanic?  The problem is – these store bought tea diffusers, though cute, never hold enough tea for my taste.  So, today for Friday field trip, I am taking you into my kitchen to show you a quick and easy homemade tea infuser.

easter egg tea ball pleasure in simple things blog

Not only is it cute and seasonal, but it holds plenty of tea!  First, purchase some small plastic eggs – the kind that are used to fill with treats.  There are plenty of them around at this time of year!  I found a bag of 12 assorted colors at Target for less than $2.  I figure if they are food safe to put candy inside, they must be safe enough for tea!  (And, since I don’t even bring my tea water to a boil, I don’t think the plastic will be in danger of melting lol!)

easter egg tea diffuser pleasure in simple things blog

Now just (carefully) use a power drill to make some holes in the egg.  That’s it!  Determine which size drill bit to use based on the tea you normally use.  You obviously don’t want the holes so big that all the tea slips through.

Now you have a reusable infuser!

And, they also make for a great gift paired with a pretty mug for your favorite tea drinker!

eggs for crafting tea infusers pleasure in simple things blog

We are expecting four inches of snow today…I may need an extra cup of tea or two! ;)

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend welcoming the new season!  xo Jackie

Sharing at House of Hipsters, Nancherrow, and Love of Home.

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growing easter grass

March 17, 2015

hello sunshine Easter grass pleasure in simple things blog

I am a huge proponent of unconventional Easter baskets – I think an Easter basket can be any vessel that appeals to your sense of style. And, at Easter time, I feel the same way about the containers I chose to plant grass seeds. I love to plant grass in any and all containers (including Easter baskets) that currently hit my fancy! Today, I am sharing a couple of this year’s container picks for grass planting!

You don’t need to celebrate Easter to plant grass – think of it as a ‘celebration of spring’ activity!  A grass filled mug makes a cute spring gift that can be reused long after the recipient tires of the grass.

fun Easter grass pleasure in simple things blog

Any type of grass seed will work. Here, I have used wheat grass seeds. It won’t take more than a week to have a nice patch of grass. Just put potting soil in the container you have chosen. I always use packaged soil, not soil from the outdoors. The reason for this is that I don’t need any unwanted insects, etc. from the outdoor soil to find their way into my home!

steps in planting Easter grass pleasure in simple  things blog

Liberally add grass seeds onto the soil, and then cover with a thin layer of additional soil. Water your new planting and keep in a sunny spot. Be careful not to water too much if you have a small container and/or no drainage. You will want to moisten the soil, but too much water (a puddle) will inhibit the seeds from growing.

an easter grass plant pleasure in simple things blog

Now you can just water daily and wait for the seeds to grow! They will sprout very quickly and grow rapidly. They are so much fun!

I always start planting containers in March and just trim the grass with scissors if needed. You may remember last year I shared planting grass in egg shells – click here to see the tutorial for planting grass in real egg shells.

single grass in weck jar for easter pleasure in simple things blog

Small, clear glass containers, like the Weck jars I have used here, provide an opportunity to see the roots of the plant. In this way, using one of these tiny jars at each Easter place setting at the ‘kids table’ is a great way to get the children excited about the growing process! Additional jars can be used to fill with treats.

grass place cards pleasure in simple things blog

cadbury eggs in weck jar favors pleasure in simple things blog

Do you have a special container in mind to try your hand at growing grass? I would love to see what you choose!

spring quote pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with Craftberry Bush, The Shabby NestNancherrow, Thoughts from Alice, Sand & Sisal, and House of Hipsters.

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anthro inspired leather tassel necklace

March 3, 2015

anthro inspired finished green leather tassel necklace pleasure in simple things blog

Tassels are definitely cool. I have made them from paper or yarn, never really thinking about substituting these materials for leather – until now. I happened to notice a leather tassel necklace on display at Anthropologie and that sparked my desire to make my own leather tassel and create a necklace.

I have a whole box of scrap leather in my basement that came from the dumpster of a factory that manufactures some very famous (and expensive) handbags. After seeing the leather tassel necklace, I knew I needed to use some of that scrap leather to make my own tassel!

Anthro leather tassel necklace

My inspiration to create a leather tassel necklace. On the left is a photo from the Anthropologie website. On the right is an Anthropologie in-store display.

A leather tassel is so easy to make and only requires a small piece of leather and some scissors or knife! I was surprised at how easy it is to get really great results. Basically, I just cut a rectangle piece of leather, cut fringe, added a loop for hanging, and glued (I used Gorilla glue) and rolled the piece of leather. Measuring is not even required. I made mine pretty much by eye, although I did measure the width of the pieces of fringe (1/4”) since I wanted to be sure they were consistent.  green leather tassel collage pleasure in simple things blog

To turn my tassel into a necklace, the only supply I would need? A chain. I decided I would purchase the chain and just hoped to find a reasonably priced one. Guess what? I found the perfect chain (40” long – more than I needed) on clearance for $1.97 at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft store! At this price, I decided I would make two necklaces and I picked out and purchased two chains. I could make each leather tassel necklace for under $2.00! The one I saw at Anthropologie was $78! Plus, I would like mine better because I could eliminate the shiny gold metal piece I didn’t really care for on the Anthro necklace.

green leather tassel pleasure in simple things blog

I used a rectangle of green textured leather for my first tassel and I cut a separate small piece of leather to fashion a loop for hanging. I used black leather for the second tassel I made and created the loop by folding up and gluing the end piece of fringe. The black leather was much heavier than the green, and I found this method for creating a loop worked better with the heavier leather.

green leather tassel anthropologie inspired neckace pleasure in simple things blog

I got a little adventurous creating the black tassel – I glued pink felt on one side before I cut the fringe so that hints of pink would show on the completed tassel. Love it!

anthro inspired finished black leather tassel necklace pleasure in simple things blog

starting a leather tassel pleasure in simple things blog

black tassel collage pleasure in simple things blog

Didn’t they come out great?

anthro inspired leather tassel necklaces pleasure in simple things blog

If you want to make some tassels and don’t have a scrap box of leather, think about using leather from handbags you were planning on discarding or from handbags from the thrift store. Give it a try! I am making more tassels – and, I have plans that go beyond necklaces! ;)

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with Craftberry BushThoughts from Alice, House of Hipsters, Sand & Sisal, and Elizabeth & Co.

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driftwood trinket dish diy

February 24, 2015

diy trinket dish for $3.99 pleasure in simple things blog

I will let you in on a little secret. Well, I don’t know if it is actually a secret since I am sure many others have discovered this wonderful little tidbit. Are you ready?

IKEA sells a 6” x 6” candle tray for $3.99. It is a beautifully simple, white ceramic square tray and has four protective rubber feet on the bottom. Why is this a wonderful tidbit?

easy to make trinket dish pleasure in simple things blogThis candle tray makes the best trinket dish ever! At only $3.99, it is perfect to create a beautiful – yet quick, easy and inexpensive – trinket dish!

ikea candle tray to trinket dish pleasure in simple things blog

As a decorative addition to my dish, I chose an interesting piece of driftwood, approximately 4” long, from my collection of driftwood pieces. Because of the porous nature of the driftwood, I chose to use caulk as an adhesive to mount the driftwood to the tray. If you use a decorative addition made of a different material, be sure to consider the item you are adding when choosing a glue. For the most part, E6000 glue or Gorilla glue is probably the best choice of adhesive. (Be sure to follow directions carefully.)

driftwood trinket tray diy from pleasure in simple things blog

Why driftwood? I have something of a collection of trinket dishes with a nautical theme and a piece of driftwood coordinates great with my bedroom décor. I love the simple white dish with an interesting (aren’t they all?) piece of driftwood from my favorite beach!

driftwood diy trinket dish pleasure in simple things blog
The driftwood can easily be substituted for something that coordinates with your décor or the décor of the recipient – if the dish is a gift. You can pretty much add any embellishment that hits your fancy…just glue it down with good, strong glue and you are good to go!

diy trinket dish from ikea candle tray pleasure in simple things blog

I have made so many different variations of this trinket dish! Ideas include spray painted animals or figures, cars (think Father’s Day), or natural elements. If you are stumped, shoot me an email and I will help with ideas! Have fun with it!

diy trinket dish from IKEA tray pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing at Sand & Sisal, Shabby Nest, House of Hipsters, Nancherrow, and Thoughts from Alice.

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love letter heart tags diy

February 13, 2015

love letter heart gift tag pleasure in simple things blog

For Friday field trip today, I am sharing one last Valentine’s Day idea before the weekend. These are really sweet, easy to make love letter tags made with hearts of dried lavender. I have been on a lavender kick lately – adding lavender to my shortbread cookies, making lavender heart shaped linen sachets, and now…using lavender on gift tags!

heart love letter gift tag pleasure in simple things blog

Just follow the easy steps pictured and you can have some romantic tags put together in no time flat! There are plenty of options for the ‘love letter’ part… you can use printed paper from the craft store, paper from an old book – an old poetry book is perfect – or, print something from your computer printer.

diy love letter heart tag pleasure in simple things blog(1.) Cut a piece of cardstock to size and (2.) glue ‘love letter’ paper to the front of it. (3.) Draw a heart shaped bead of glue onto the front of the card. (4.) Sprinkle dried lavender over the glue and press lightly. ( 5.) Let dry before shaking off excess lavender. (6.) Trim the top corners of the cardstock and use a paper punch to add a hole. Add some twine or cord.

love letter lavender heart gift tag pleasure in simple things blog

That is all it takes to create a romantic little tag with a wonderful hint of lavender fragrance!  Enjoy!

lavender heart diy gift tag pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend!

love letter lavender heart gift tag from pleasure in simple things blog

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie xo

Sharing with Nancherrow, House of Hipsters,  Craftberry Bush, Crafts a la Mode, The Shabby Nest, and French Country Cottage.

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easy lavender heart sachets

February 10, 2015

easy diy linen heart sachets pleasure in simple things blog

Who wouldn’t want to receive a heart on Valentine’s Day? A great way to give one is to gift a homemade heart-shaped sachet.

pink linen heart sachets pleasure in simple things blog
Today I am sharing some really easy ones I made up using lavender. These sachets are created with just a basic straight sewing stitch and do not require any measuring at all. I used a sewing machine, but they can also be sewn by hand if need be.  (If you would rather try a sachet with a no-sew method, click here for a great option.)

pretty diy heart sachet pleasure in simple things blog
I made a template using a piece of scrap paper by folding it in half and cutting out the squatty heart shape I wanted…approximately 6 1/2 “ across – making it palm size and the perfect little heart to tuck into a drawer. I purchased a small piece of pale pink linen and pulled out a scrap of white linen I had at home in my pile of fabric scraps. Muslin would also work.

lavender heart shortbread cookies pleasure in simple things blog

Another great way to use lavender for Valentine’s Day…add some to your heart shaped shortbreads! (Be sure to use culinary grade lavender.)

I stamped a message on a small piece of the white linen and pulled threads to fray the edges on all four sides. Using the heart template I made, I cut two heart pieces from the pink linen. On the right side of the fabric on one of the pink linen hearts, I positioned the white message piece and attached it with one short running stitch up the middle.

making a lavender heart sachet pleasure in simple things blog
Then, I positioned the two heart pieces – right sides out – together and stitched around the border, roughly 1/4 “ from the edge. Remember – I did no measuring! About 1” before reaching around the heart with the stitching, I stopped to add in the lavender. I spooned in enough lavender to get the look I wanted. Then I went back and finished the stitching.making lavender heart sachets pleasure in simple things blog

I think these sachets are so sweet…and, the lavender smells so lovely!

Because I wanted the look of the raw edges on my heart, it really simplified the sewing and made this a super easy project for any skill level! There is still plenty of time to make some up before the weekend!

lavender heart sachet diy pleasure in simple things blog (2)
Thanks for stopping by! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with Sand & Sisal, Homework, and Elizabeth & Co.

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polka dot fringed pencils diy

February 3, 2015

diy tissue paper pencils and heart tag pleasure in simple things blog

I think most of us that love creating are collectors – often collecting beautiful scraps to recycle for imagined future projects. Today, I am sharing one way I use my salvaged tissue paper by providing a tutorial for creating pretty fringed pencils. How earth friendly to use recycled tissue paper and old pencils that have been in the junk drawer, for who knows how long, to make these cute pencils!

fringed pencil diy pleasure in simple things blog

Because Valentine’s Day is so close, I have chosen to use tissue paper that coordinates with a Valentine’s Day theme in one of my favorite patterns…polka dots! Join me as I channel my inner Kate Spade! (Am I the only one that has a polka dot Pinterest board?)

Supplies Needed
Pencils (round)
Spray adhesive
Decorative tissue paper – one 6” x 12” piece for each pencil

Start by deciding how many pencils you will create, and cut the appropriate number of tissue paper pieces. A tissue paper with a little more weight is preferred over a super thin variety.

(You can also use a paper cocktail napkin – by separating the top layer and using that in place of the tissue paper. The fringe will not be as long if you choose to use a napkin, since they are not the full 12” specified. Also, I find the cocktail napkin does not hold up as well as the tissue paper when sharpening the pencil. The beige with white polka dot pencil shown here was made with paper from a cocktail napkin.)

Kate Spade inspired polka dot pencil diy tutorial from pleasure in simple things blog

kate spade inspired pencil tutorial pleasure in simple things blogSpray the wrong side of the tissue with the adhesive, being sure to plan for overspray (protect the area), leaving a section without spray (use a piece of paper to mask the area from spray). The reason for the non-adhesive section is because you don’t want adhesive on the area that will be the fringe. With care, lay the piece of tissue paper on a clean, flat surface – adhesive side up. Carefully line up the pencil in the corner of the tissue paper remembering that the adhesive is in place and put it directly on the right spot the first time. The eraser side will be on the inside, and the writing side on the outside edge, of the tissue paper. Roll the pencil tightly down the length of the tissue paper.

Cut the end of the tissue paper to make the fringe, stopping within a 1/2” of the eraser end of the pencil. You will want to make cuts approximately 1/4” spaces apart – this does not need to be exact – by placing the bottom of your scissors inside the tube you created at the pencil end. As the final step, twist the fringed end of the pencil…because there is a little adhesive on this end, it will keep the twist in place. Trim the fringe to desired length, if needed.

polka dot pencils inspired by Kate Spade tutorial pleasure in simple things blog

That’s it! Cute, right? I made a tag from a round cut from a pink paint swatch and added a gold leaf heart. If you are giving your pencil(s) as a Valentine to a youngster (or someone young at heart), you may want to add a gift tag with a corny Valentine saying like:
• You’ve got the right stuff!
• You are just write for me!
• Write on!
• You’re all write with me!

I hope you enjoyed today’s fringed pencil craft. Maybe I have inspired you to make up a batch to match your office décor, or… to match your kitchen where you keep the grocery list?

polka dot pencil craft pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with NancherrowCraftberrry BushThoughts from Alice, Sand & Sisal, Homework, and Elizabeth & Co.

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special date valentine skewer

January 23, 2015

special date fruit skewers pleasure in simple things blog

What better way to commemorate a date with significance than to just spell it out…with food! I guess my ‘playing with food’ theme from earlier this week is still going strong! Once I get started with something, it is hard to stop! So, for Friday field trip today, come into my kitchen where I will share an easy and fun idea for Valentine’s Day…or, any day!

valentine fruit date skewers pleasure in simple things

I am using fruit (any melon works great) on a skewer for a Valentine meal to evoke memories of a special day.  Mini cookie cutters are perfect to cut numbers from fruit!  Do you have a date with special significance? Maybe a first meeting? Or, the date you were engaged? Maybe it is a future date – like the due date of your first baby (a great reveal!) or the closing on your first house.  Whatever the significance may be, putting it right out there on the plate is a fun way to include past or future memories to your Valentine’s Day table.

cookie cutters for Valentine fruit kabobs

Can’t think of any date appropriate to serve up? That is okay…just make x’s and o’s…or, hearts. :)  Or, at a family meal, spell out the names of your children (just monitor the sticks!)

making fruit numbers from cookie cutters pleasure in simple things blog

The fruit can be served as an appetizer or as a dessert…served with a spiced yogurt dipping sauce, melted chocolate – fondue style, or alongside a scoop of sorbet (you guessed it – I am thinking of my favorite, coconut lemongrass!).

fruit kabobs for Valentine's Day pleasure in simple things blog

I prefer a simple skewer, but if you want to get fancy, you can simulate an arrow with a few strategically placed pieces of pink paper!

making Valentine arrows from skewers pleasure in simple things

Have you thought of a day you would like to use?  Have fun with it!

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend, Jackie

Sharing at NancherrowCrafts a la ModeCraftberry BushThe Shabby Nest  and French Country Cottage.

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