Saturday, November 28, 2009

Even More Thankfulness!

So I know that Thanksgiving was two days ago, but I'm still thankful for a lot of things! The condo is clean! The hubby and I are going to see Fantastic Mr. Fox today! I got to spend a few days with my parents (which only happens about three times a year thanks to me moving 1,000 miles away)!

My parents drove out to visit us for Thanksgiving this year and we celebrated the holiday at my in-laws' home. When we weren't eating loads of turkey and pie, I took my parents to see some sights and eat some food that they hadn't seen/eaten before in New York and New Jersey. Our first stop was the Intrepid Museum. We had a lot of fun having our pictures taken on stuff:


We even convinced my dad to join in on the fun:


We had a lot of fun exploring other places and eating lots of good food (John's Pizzeria, anyone?), but the fun had to come to an end. My parents left early this morning to start the drive back to the Midwest. I'll miss them, but I will look forward to visiting them next year over Easter!

And that brings me to one of the Christmas presents that I gave my parents. The other day I posted a link to another blog that featured some really cute homemade Christmas ornaments. But today, I'm featuring some different ornaments — that I made, thanks to inspiration from a Vera Bradley catalog.

First you need some cookie cutters. I have to say, finding a bunch of holiday-themed cookie cutters that you can buy individually was REALLY hard, especially because I was looking for snowmen cookie cutters. (My parents' Christmas tree is strictly snowmen ornaments.) Most stores and online retail sites sold big sets of cookie cutters that only featured one snowman cookie cutter, if that, and I wasn't about to buy multiple sets just so I could get more than one snowman cookie cutter. But if you aren't particular about the shapes of the ornaments, a set like this one from Crate and Barrel might work or Target and a variety of other stores sell holiday-themed sets as well.

I ended up buying my cookie cutters from a Kansas City, Missouri store that specializes in cookie cutters! The online store is called Off the Beaten Path and sells a variety of shapes and sizes, including snowmen. I was really pleased with the prices of the individual cookie cutters and shipping, as well as the shipping time. I ordered my cookie cutters on a Tuesday and received them that Friday. The company also emailed me a tracking number so that I would know where my package was along the way. (Although USPS hasn't exactly been on the ball lately with its package tracking.)

Aside from cookie cutters, you'll also need some string or yarn, Elmer's glue, toothpicks (optional), and photos. Now, you can try this with regular photos, but the Vera Bradley catalog's instructions said photocopies. I think this is because regular paper will adhere better to the cookie cutter than photo paper. I just printed out my photos (3x5 size, but it might differ depending on the size of your cookie cutter) on regular printer paper.

Okay, let's get started!
1. Lay out some newspaper on your workspace so that you don't get glue everywhere. (You'll notice in my photos a lack of newspaper. I'm dangerous like that!)

2. Once you have your photo printed, lay the cookie cutter on top of the photo and trace around the cookie cutter. Then, cut out the photo.

3. Tie the string or yarn around the top of the cookie cutter so that it will be ready to hang once you have adhered the photo to it.


4. Using a toothpick (I opted not to do this because I found it was easier not to), spread a thin line of Elmer's glue around the edge of the photo. Then place the cookie cutter on top, press down a bit, and wait for it to dry.

5. Then, voila! You have a cute cookie cutter ornament with a fun picture inside!



Tip: Because printer paper is a little flimsy, I reinforced mine by gluing some white cardstock to the back of the photo. Just trace the cookie cutter onto the cardstock, cut out, and glue. I probably could have avoided this step if I had just printed my picture onto white cardstock in the first place, so maybe that is something to keep in mind as you embark on this crafty endeavor!

And remember, these ornaments don't have to look perfect. Any imperfections only make them more endearing and the recipient will simply appreciate the time and effort you put into making the gift.

Stay crafty!

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