Handmade Holidays 2014 Hop Logo

Welcome to day 2 of the 4th Annual Handmade Holidays Blog Hop! A few years ago we were looking online for handmade gift ideas and thought it would be great if there was a resource dedicated JUST to handmade gift ideas. Enter the Handmade Holidays hop! We’ve gathered over 100 of our creative blogger friends in the craft industry as well as some of our fellow product manufacturers to bring you a plethora of inspiring gift ideas you can make now to give to your friends, family, and colleagues. Pin and bookmark these ideas for this holiday season and to use throughout the year! Each day of the hop features approximately 30 gift projects and you can “hop” from one blog to another to check them all out.

This past year I’ve become a total instagram junkie. It’s my first thing in the morning internet app. What better way to wake up than looking at pretty pictures while drinking coffee? It’s also fun to share photos that don’t have a place on this blog. And this past year I’ve shared a lot. So I thought it would be fun to turn some of these pics into holiday gifts.

 I love these instagram magnets because they can be so personal and thoughtful, the supplies are easy to find in your local craft store, and they take less than an hour to make. If your holidays are as hectic as mine, fast is a big plus!

instagram magnets

instagram shrinky dink magnets


  • shrinky dink paper for ink jet printers
  • instagram account or photos from another source
  • scissors
  • baking sheet for oven
  • parchment paper
  • stick-able magnets

instagram magnets

  First, you need to get the photos from your instagram feed.  There’s lots of ways to do this. Here’s two:

 1. You may already have them in the camera roll of your smartphone.  In the instagram app, click on your profile (bottom right bottom that looks like an old radio). In your profile, click the little blue sun/wheel in the top right corner. Scroll down to “save original photos” and switch button to on.

2. If you haven’t been saving them using your instagram app, you can save them with your computer. Go to the instagram page, log in, and click on “view profile”. Once your photos come up, click on the one you want to save. Right (control for mac) click on “view background image”. Right (control) click again, rename your file and save to your desktop.

  Open your saved image in photoshop if you have it, or you can get picmonkey, which is a free photo editor. (I use a mac, and had to first open my image in preview, then save as a jpeg to open it in photoshop).

Once baked, your magnets will be  slightly bigger than one third of the printed size. I size my photos to 5.25 inches square in photoshop (do this in Image>Image Size), so they’ll be just about 2 inches square baked. Sounds good. That way I can also fit 2 photos per sheet of paper. I also increased my resolution in Image Size to 300 dpi.

instagram magnets

 I added a border to some of my photos. To do this in photoshop, Select>All. Then Select>Modify>Border> 30 pixels. Paint in your border (I used black).

*IMPORTANT* Once your photo is ready, you need to lighten it or they will be too dark when shrunk! I did this by going to Image>Adjust>Brightness and bringing it to between 75 and 100, depending on the photo. You want it to look washed out but still show details.

Once you have all your images ready, print them onto your shrink paper.  Set your printer to high quality printing, photo paper (matte if possible) and best print mode. Trim the paper to your photo borders.

instagram magnets

Place parchment paper on baking sheet and put trimmed photo on top of parchment paper. Put into a 275-°300 oven for 3-5 minutes. Watch your photos! When they have curled and re-flattened, give them 30 more seconds, then take out of the oven and smooth the top with a clean piece of paper til cool. Let cool completely then stick magnet to the back. Done!

instagram magnets

TIPS: the shrinky dink paper I used can be printed on both sides, and when cooked becomes opaque, so if you change your mind about a print, just print on the other side.

A few of my magnets curled up in the oven and refused to go flat, so buy more paper than you think you need, just in case.

Oven temperature seemed to be a big factor in how well these shrunk.  The sweet spot for my oven was 290°.  So do a little experimenting one magnet at a time.

Some of my magnets cooked into rhombuses instead of perfect squares.

Are you ready for lots more creative handmade gift ideas and projects??
Follow along on our blog hop! Simply click on each of the links below to be taken to that post with additional information and photos on how to create a handmade gift project. Have fun and pin away!


Ellison Educational Equipment

Walnut Hollow

Graphic 45

Hydrangea Hippo


Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L 

Rowland Technologies 

Neat and Tangled 

ICE Resin   ‎

Therm O Web

Elizabeth Craft Designs

Pink and Main 

The Buckle Boutique

Clearsnap – Vivian Keh

Ashley Rader – Giddy Upcycled

ICE Resin – Jen Cushman   ‎

Candy Spiegel- Candy Scraps

Graphic 45 – Andrew Roberts

Rina Gonzales – Mothership Scrapbook Gal

Therm O Web – Amanda Niederhauser

Cori Warner – The Flying C

Yana Smakula – My Cardmaking & Scrapbooking

The Buckle Boutique – Shawn Mosch

Eileen Hull Designs – Eileen Hull

Angela Muir – Handmade in the Heartland

Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L – Erica Houghton

Katie Smith – Punk Projects

Elizabeth Craft Designs – Karen Aicken

Jeanie Hevener – Create & Babble

Ellison Educational Equipment – Hilary Kanwischer 

Fancy Shanty – Stacy Molter

Liz Hicks – Blogerisms

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow our Handmade Holidays Gift Ideas Pinterest board for even more inspiration!

Follow Jennifer Priest of RainMaker Media Works + Hydrangea Hippo’s board Handmade Holidays on Pinterest.

A huge thank you to our sponsors for this hop – please visit their blogs below and follow them. And be sure to come back tomorrow for another 30+ amazing Handmade Gift Ideas!

Handmade Holidays 2014 Hop Logo SPONSORS 300dpi

Clearsnap || Ellison Educational Equipment || Walnut Hollow || Graphic45 || Westcott || ICE Resin || Therm O Web || Rowland Industries || Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L || Pink and Main || Elizabeth Craft Designs || The Buckle Boutique || Neat and Tangled

Additional Sponsorship provided to bloggers by:

Sakura || Fairfield Processing

basset hound costumeThe dictator demanded a basset hound costume this year.  She has a thing for dogs. We have a basset hound.  We are basset hound people.  So the costume request was not a surprise. The surprise was that no one makes a basset hound costume. As much as I enjoy a good DIY, making Halloween costumes always strikes me as time consuming and more expensive than buying one. What’s the point of a good DIY if it’s cheaper to buy it?

 Much googling (with no luck) and an epiphany that Halloween is in 8 DAYS! (crap), I accepted the fact that I would be making one.  And so I am posting this hack for the other basset hound people in the world, who maybe also have a 6 year old for whom no other breed will do.


  • Simplicity pattern #2855
  • 2 yards white plush felt
  • 2 yards brown plush felt
  • 1 yard black plush felt
  • lining fabric for hood and ears (less than 1 yard)
  • thread
  • zipper (14″ for size xs and 18″ for other sizes)
  • 1 pkg. of 1″ single fold bias tape
  • 1 pkg. of 1/2″ wide elastic
  • 2 large snaps
  • polyfill for tail
  • heat n’ bond (optional)

For most of this pattern hack, you follow the instructions given in the pattern.  But first, you have to turn the front, back, leg and tail pieces into basset hound colors.

Cut out all the pieces you need for the pattern and iron them.  Disregard pieces 2, 21 and 22. You won’t need them.

This is the color breakdown for the pieces you will be cutting:

  • white, brown and black: pieces 1 and 4
  • brown and white: pieces 3, 5 and 15
  • all white: pieces 2, 10 and 19
  • all brown: pieces 6, 7, 11 and 12

basset hound costume


Line up front and back pieces (#1 & 4) and pin together.  Mark lines on the pattern where you want the color changes on the fur to be.  Make sure the lines match up with each other on the front and back, so they will match up when sewn together.  Mark each piece with a pattern number, letter and color (ex: piece 1A-black).  Cut on the lines you made. I marked a notation each place I cut onto the pattern piece: “add 1/2″ here”, so I knew to cut an extra 1/2″ of material past the pattern piece, and to make my seam 1/2″ wide there (not shown).  That way, the pattern piece ended up the same size.

basset hound costume

Pin 3 and 5 together (sleeve front and back).  Mark into 2 pieces: brown and white. Mark the same way as above and cut.

Mark piece 15 (tail) into brown and white and and label and cut as above.

Now sew the pieces you have cut from the pattern pieces back together. Continue to follow pattern directions until you get to the ears.

basset hound costume

 I made a quick pattern on paper for the ears (here’s the PDF). Cut 2 pieces for the ears using the brown felt, and 2 pieces using the same fabric you used for the lining. Pin felt and lining right sides together. Sew a 3/8″ seam, leaving the top open.  Trim the seam close to the stitching, then turn the ear right side out and press flat with a warm iron.

  Hand stitch the top of the ears closed, then stitch onto hood. I stitched  the ear sticking up, lining side out, so they would flop over themselves a bit instead of lying flat.

basset hound costume

To make the paws, follow heat n bond instructions to adhere to a small piece of black felt (or skip and sew the paw pads on). Cut out 4 circles and 1 oblong shape for each paw, put them in postion on the gloves and iron (or sew) into place.

basset hound costume

basset hound costume


If you liked this post, maybe you’d like to see what else I get up to.  You can follow me on bloglovin’, facebook, or see my latest pin obsessions on pinterest.

If you like my pictures, you can see what else I shoot that doesn’t end up on the blog on instagram.

coconut cream pie

  My dad died 17 days ago. He had been sick but I wasn’t expecting it. That also happened to be my daughter’s 6th birthday, and the day before my own. It’s been a fuck of a couple of weeks.

 The dust has settled a bit. We waded through the wake and the funeral. It oddly reminded me of my wedding, where everything seemed too bright and dizzy and I had trouble remembering the details afterward. Too much to process in too short a time frame.

  And since then, life has gone on. I hosted a birthday party for said 6 year old with 50 people in attendance 2 days after the funeral. I played hooky in the city and bought a cookbook. I’ve done laundry, but ignored the cleaning. I’ve brunched. I’ve cleaned out his apartment. I’ve napped a lot. I’ve felt alternately fine and then wept in large retching gasps with no warning it’s coming. This is grief for me.

I’ve had the banal epiphanies I usually associate with hallucinogens. That having complicated feelings about someone is not the same as having no feelings at all. That this puts me one giant step closer to my own death (which it really doesn’t). That I need to be a better mother, wife, friend. That most of things I spend a lot of time caring about don’t actually matter at all.

 We did not have an easy relationship.  He was not the kind of man that most people close to him would say that about. There were huge incidents and hurts of the type that scar instead of heal. He was without remorse. But he was also incredibly charismatic. He filled a room with the force of his personality. He could be incredibly generous (like secretly paying my cousin’s college tuition on the condition she not tell anyone). And he endured hardships that most people claim they’d rather die than undergo. I struggled to find balance with him.

 More than anything, he loved to eat. Most of the memories he shared about his childhood involved food. There was his grandmother’s homemade fudge, his first job selling spudnuts door to door, the hot dog stand in California we returned to each visit  we took to the west coast see his family. The black eyed peas and the coconut cream pie his mother made. My own mother tried over the course of my childhood to duplicate the pie.  It was never quite up to the standard of his memory.

 20 years later, I made him my own version. I don’t know how it compared to his long dead mother’s, who hadn’t baked him a pie in 50 years. But he oohed and aahed and made yummy noises and ate most of it by himself. With that pie, he did everything right.

 I never made it again. No one else liked coconut except him. It was too time consuming. Anytime I thought of baking him another pie, old battles and resentments would surface and the pie pan would go back on the shelf. Someday I would make him another, when we had smoothed over the bumps. There was time. But of course, there wasn’t.

 So I made one last pie. I don ‘t think he knows. I don’t even really believe he still exists in some form, except maybe as energy. He was a believer, though. He thought there were great things waiting for him on the other side. I envy that kind of faith. And for all our sakes, I hope he’s right. And I hope the smell of toasted coconut and sugar finds him somewhere, healthy, with a smile on his face and a huge appetite.

RIP dad.

dad’s coconut cream pie

ingredients for crust:

from the Back in the Day cookbook
  • 2 c. unbleached flour
  • 1 c. cake flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 c. ice water, plus up to 3 more tbl.
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1/2 vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into bits
  • 1 stick (8 tbl.) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into bits

 Whisk flours, sugar and salt together in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the vinegar and 1/3 c. ice water.  Place flour mixture into a food processor.  Sprinkle butter and shortening over the top.  Pulse 5-10 times until butter is size of small peas.  Return flour mixture to bowl and pour egg mixture on top.  Use a fork to carefully mix together, adding more water, 1 tbl. at a time, if dough seems too dry.  Do not overwork the dough.

Form dough into a ball and cut into 2 pieces.  Flatten each piece into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill the the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

  When dough is chilled,  generously sprinkle your countertop with flour,then roll out dough to fit a standard size pie pan.  Carefully place into the pan, and trim edges to 1″ past the edge of the pan.  Tuck edges under and crimp the edges.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap, and place back in the fridge for at least 1 hour until fully chilled.

  When ready, preheat the oven to 400°. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork, then line with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until dough appears set and dry, and is no longer shiny.  Remove foil and pie weights and bake another 5-10 minutes until the crust turns a light golden brown.  Remove crust from oven and cool on a wire rack until completely cool.

ingredients for coconut cream filling:

from the Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking cookbook
  • 1 & 1/4 c. sweetened dried coconut
  • 1 & 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 tbl. cornstarch
  • 2 tbl. unsalted butter
  • 2 c. heavy cream (for topping)
  • 1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar (for topping)

 Preheat oven to 325°. Pour coconut onto a metal baking sheet and spread out evenly.  Toast in the oven, stirring frequently, 5-10 minutes until it becomes fragrant and turns a light brown.  Remove from oven and place onto a clean, cool baking sheet and allow to cool.

  While coconut is cooling, pour milk into a medium saucepan. Slice vanilla bean down the middle length-wise (not all the way through), scrape the insides into the milk and put the scraped pod into the milk as well.  Warm over medium heat, until bubbles just begin to break the surface of the milk.  Remove pan from heat, and remove the vanilla pod and discard.  In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together.  While whisking constantly, slowly pour milk mixture into bowl. Whisk until combined, then pour mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until it thickens and begins to boil, 3-5 minutes. Continue to cook for 1 more minute, whisking constantly.  Remove from heat, and pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.  Whisk in butter until melted. Whisk in 1 c. of the toasted coconut, reserving the other 1/4 c. Cover surface of coconut cream with plastic wrap and let cool about 20 minutes.  After it has cooled to warm, pour cream into cooled pie crust, smooth out and cover surface with plastic wrap.  Chill in the refrigerator at least 5 hours or overnight.

  When pie has chilled, make whipped cream topping by combining the heavy cream and the confectioner’s sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the whisk attachment and set the mixer to medium, whisk until soft peaks form. Remove from bowl, spread over the coconut cream filling, and sprinkle the top with the remaining coconut.

coconut cream pie

You see some images I shot in his apartment on instagram.

If you liked this post, maybe you’d like to see what else I get up to.  You can follow me on bloglovin’, facebook, or see my latest pin obsessions on pinterest.

If you like my pictures, you can see what else I shoot that doesn’t end up on the blog on instagram.