February 22, 2018

Saturdays with Shandy: Christmas Edition! Last Minute Gifts for Your Girls

Christmas is a few short days away! If you’re in need of some easy, inexpensive, handmade gifts for the girls in your life – whether little or all grown-up! – then you’ve come to the right place! This round-up includes nine awesome gifts that any girl would love to get!

*Note: You can find all nine ideas on our “Saturdays with Shandy” board on Pinterest!

Did someone say scrapbook paper?!?!

paper crafts

  1. The adorable DIY Dry Erase Board from Leah Marie V is so cute, and so useful! The shabby chic DIY flowers give it an extra feminine touch. You can use this for a hundred different things, and customize it with scrapbook paper that fits the style of the person you’re creating it for. This would be great to leave notes for your family, or to jot down what you need to pick up at the grocery store!
  2. The Scrapbook Clipboard from KaeliElyse would be a great gift for any girl on your list, and would come in handy on a daily basis! Just like the dry erase board, you can customize this with your choice of scrapbook paper!
  3. Aren’t these pens super fun? I found them at Chocolate on My Cranium! You can make these to match the clipboard! Or make all three a matching set! What a great gift that would be!

What girl doesn’t love hair accessories and nail polish?!


  1. This Headband Organizer from Lyssa Beth (tutorial found at Make It My Own) would be great for any girl with a love of hair accessories! The best part? You can put all kinds of barrettes, ponytail holders, bobby pins, and clips in the inside! I am definitely making this for my daughter!
  2. How cute is this play on words?! For Your Mistle Toes! Such a creative idea from Carissa Miss, and she has a free printable!
  3. Make those ugly bobby pins cute with this tutorial from Colour Me Everywhere! A simple, inexpensive, and fantastic stocking stuffer!

And the last three fabulous gift ideas…

gift ideas

  1. How amazing are these Coffee Cozies from The Sitting Tree?! I can think of at least a dozen people I could give these to, and I know they would be LOVED! I’m going to knit one for myself, too!
  2. Shhhh! Don’t tell my daughter, but she’s getting one of these Friendship Bracelet Kits from Tater Tots and Jello for Christmas! I loved making friendship bracelets as a kid, and now my daughter loves them, too!
  3. I received a personalized hand sanitizer bottle for Christmas one year, and I absolutely loved it! I can tell you these would be a big hit with your child’s teacher! You can also use soap bottles! Either way, put a classy monogram inside, and this would be a welcome gift for anyone’s home! Be sure to check out the tutorial at The Idea Room!

I have to go and get busy making all of these wonderful handmade gifts (and a few for myself!) I hope you found some of these ideas to be excellent as well! There’s nothing like handmade for the holidays! Thanks for joining us for Saturdays with Shandy: Christmas Edition! It’s been a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to get started on our next series!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, and may you be blessed abundantly in the new year!

Love & {Christmas} Blessings,


Be sure to visit Shandy’s personal blog Aprons ‘n Pearls for crafts, recipes, homekeeping tips & more!

Saturdays with Shandy: Christmas Edition! Prim Christmas Stitcheries

Hand embroidery, particularly primitive hand stitching,  is one of the easiest craft projects there are. It’s very forgiving, and is meant to be imperfect. It’s also very rewarding, because in a very short time, you can create something beautiful for your home, or to give as a gift. You can really take creative license with hand embroidery, and there are many different styles you can create… everything from modern to vintage to primitive designs (like we’re doing today!) and anything from pictures to quotes to stitching names and words in your own handwriting!

Believe me when I tell you that even someone who has no craft experience can do this! I wasn’t taught any specific technique when venturing into prim stitcheries, but instead taught myself. I saw a pricey stitchery in a catalog, looked at it and thought, “I can do this!” I went to the craft store and bought some inexpensive materials, then I just sat down and started stitching – knotted the end of the embroidery floss and began running the threaded needle under and over until my project was complete!

I like to put my stitcheries in frames when complete. I buy inexpensive black picture frames, and use sandpaper to distress them. Usually, I remove the glass so the fabric is exposed (like the one on the left) but there is one stitchery I made (shown on the right) where I created a “photo mat” by folding the muslin and tea-staining the middle darker than the border.


I also create “labels” to affix to stackable boxes (another project I like to do!) or to attach as tags on gifts.


At Christmastime, I display many stitcheries… ornaments, table runners, magnets, framed pieces…  there’s nothing like a handmade Christmas!

have yourself a merry little christmas

I hope this has given you some ideas of your own! Or maybe you’ve seen something here you’d like to create! Start with something simple if you’ve never made a stitchery before.

{Last week, we learned how to make “tea-stained” fabric in preparation for this week’s project. If you missed it, you can find the tutorial HERE.}

Round up the following supplies:

  • muslin
  • embroidery floss
  • embroidery needle
  • embroidery hoop
  • scissors
  • sharpened pencil

Basic directions:

  1. To get started, lightly sketch your design onto the muslin with the pencil. You’ll be stitching over the pencil marks, so don’t worry that they’ll show.
  2. Then, place the fabric into the embroidery hoop so that the area where you are starting is in the middle of the hoop and taut.
  3. Thread the color of embroidery floss you’re working with first through your needle and knot it at the end.
  4. Starting on the backside of your fabric, use simple back stitching to complete your project. (Our very own Shauna did a post on embroidery a while back, and shared THIS picture with us to give us a visual on how to back-stitch. You come up from underneath the fabric on the odd numbers, and go back down through the top on the even numbers. Piece of cake!) *See notes below.
  5. When complete, or to change colors, knot your embroidery floss (which must now be on the back of your fabric) and cut off the ends.
  • Note: Space evenly and pull gently, but not allowing the embroidery floss to be loose… you want it to be snug on the fabric, but not so tight that it’s wrinkling or puckering the fabric.
  • Note: On curved lines, you may need to make the stitches a bit smaller so the curve forms nicely.

Happy stitching!

Love & Blessings,


Be sure to visit Shandy’s personal blog Aprons ‘n Pearls for crafts, recipes, homekeeping tips & more!

Our next Women’s Online Bible Study,

“Crazy Love,” by Francis Chan,

begins January 6, 2013.

To sign up for this Online Bible Study, click HERE and follow the instructions. You will also be given a link to where you can purchase the book for this Bible study. We’re looking forward to learning about this “Crazy Love” with you!

Saturdays with Shandy: Christmas Edition! Distressed Wooden Sign

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! If you joined us during our last six weeks, your house is sparkling clean and organized! The hard work is behind us; now it’s time to have fun! For the next five weeks, we will meet here every Saturday for tutorials on homemade Christmas gifts, crafts, and decorating! Turn up the Christmas music, and let’s get started!

This week, we are making distressed wooden signs. I’ve been making signs for years, and they are wildly popular! You can make them in any size and color you want, and with any name or quote you’d like! The versatility makes them not only beautiful decor, but wonderful gifts as well… and inexpensive, too!


  • wood (reclaimed wood, pallets, or pre-cut wood from a home improvement store)
  • base color paint (color of your choice) I used a barn red acrylic paint from the craft store. Only $1.19, yay!
  • lettering paint (color of your choice) I used black acrylic paint from the craft store.
  • paint brush
  • stencil sponge (spouncer)
  • paper plates
  • letter stencils
  • fine grit sandpaper
  • sawtooth picture hangers (1 or 2 depending on size of sign. Nails are included.)
  • hammer
  • hair dryer
  • newspaper or paper bags


  1. Put your piece of wood on top of newspaper to protect your table. Make sure it is free of dust and DRY. If it’s too rough, you will need to sand it down a bit, and then wipe away the dust.
  2. Shake your base color paint and squirt a good amount on a paper plate (you may want to double up the plates.)
  3. Using a dry paint brush, paint the top and sides of the sign. The key is thin layers! You don’t want drips or dollops.
  4. Allow to dry. I’m impatient, so I use a hairdryer on low to dry the paint. It only takes a minute or two this way.
  5. Paint a second thin coat on the sign, and dry.
  6. Lay out your stencils… planning is important! You don’t want to run out of room with a letter or two to go! For this reason, it’s good to know what you want your sign to say BEFORE you buy your wood.
  7. Shake your lettering paint and squirt a small amount on a new paper plate.
  8. Press your spouncer in the paint, then press it down on a clean part of the plate. Again, you don’t want to put too much paint on your sign, and you don’t want your paint to seep under the stencil.
  9. Place your stencil on the wood, and holding it perfectly still, in an up and down motion, use your spouncer to paint each letter. You will need to use the hair dryer to dry each letter before moving on to the next one, and when removing your stencil from the wet paint, carefully lift it UP. Do not slide it off.
  10. Continue stenciling your letters until your name or phrase is complete.
  11. When the sign is completely dry, take the fine grit sandpaper to distress the sign, especially the edges and at random spots on the front of the sign. The goal is to make it look aged and the letters somewhat faded.
  12. Using a soft cloth, remove any trace of dust from the sign, then nail the picture hangers onto the back of the sign… either one in the middle, or one on each end. Your sign is now ready to hang, or to give away as a gift!

*Not for outdoor use.

Love and Blessings,


You can visit Shandy’s personal blog at Aprons-n-Pearls.blogspot.com