Tag Archives: Christmas

Hot Cocoa for a Cause

If you have been following along on Instagram the past few weeks, you have seen me post and talk about the hot cocoa stand my kids did last year to earn money they could use to buy toys for those in need. It was an amazing experience and one we are going to make a tradition.

I decided to share all the details about it in hopes that it might inspire some of you to set up a hot cocoa stand of your own to raise money for charity. I have loved the response I have seen on Instagram and I hope this can be a guide for you to use while you prepare and set up one of your own.

How did it start?

Let me first give you a little backstory and then we’ll get into all the details. I’ll share some free signs and games you can use for your toy and hot cocoa stand, too.

Last year while my kids and I were reading The Friends magazine, we came across a story of a boy that earned money to buy a toy for someone in need by setting up a hot cocoa stand. After a few years of trying different ways of helping others during the holidays, we came across that special way for our family to serve together. This is what I had been searching for!

I decided to have the kids make homemade toys to sell along with the hot cocoa to make them work harder for the money. You hear so much these days about how our generation is raising entitled children who expect everything to be handed to them. These are not the kind of people I want to raise and send out into the world. I wanted my kids to invest a lot of their time and talents into something that, in the end, would benefit someone else instead of themselves. I also wanted a project that would require the whole family to work together and spend more quality time with each other. The hot cocoa stand was the answer. It allowed us to make a bigger impact than we normally would have been capable of on a small income. We gathered some supplies and got right to work. It was the perfect way to start the holiday season.

If this sounds like the answer to what your family has been missing during the Christmas season, I invite you to join us by hosting a hot cocoa stand of your own this year. Let me tell you all my tips and tricks for making it a success.

Prepare your kids

When I first told my kids (ages 4,4 and 2) about my idea for them to make toys and sell them, they loved it. They thought they were going to earn a ton of money to buy whatever they wanted. Umm… not quite. We had some expectations to clear up first, and I’m glad we did.

Each day as we sat down to make toys I would ask them what they were going to do with all of these toys. They would tell me that they were going to give them to their friends, or sell them to people at the cocoa stand. When I would ask what they were going to do with the money they earned from selling the toys they would get a big smile and tell me they were going to buy toys. Then I would ask them who they were buying toys for, and they would shout “Us!” Wrong answer, kiddos.

I’m glad we spent time working on this hot cocoa stand for a few weeks so that I could have all that time to continually review with them again and again what our purpose was. We talked about how some kids didn’t have toys, some just wanted new coats, and some didn’t even have homes. This was the first time they finally started to put the pieces together of how blessed they were in this life, and that they had the power and duty to help others.

Make the process of creating toys and games a fun experience. We worked on one project each day so the kids didn’t feel burned out. Every day they would wake up and be so excited to see what the “toy of the day” was.

I would have the table all prepped and ready for them to start working. We listened to Christmas music and I also filmed them making toys. They thought it was so fun to teach how to make each item on a movie. Almost like their own little YouTube channel.

ADVERTISING

I know it can be hard to share and talk about a service project you and your family are doing. It’s scary wondering how people are going to take it and if it’s going to come across self-righteous. I struggle with this. It’s not something I’m comfortable sharing, but if we wanted to provide a better Christmas for others, we needed people to come to our hot cocoa stand, right? I had to advertise and put ourselves out there. If it was just me selling something, I probably wouldn’t have spread the news like I did, but it was my kids who had worked so hard and were so eager to see this succeed too. I had to do all that I could to support them.

This meant I posted about it on Instagram and our neighborhood Facebook page. I let friends and family know what the kids had been working on and when the hot cocoa stand would be open. We posted signs along the streets with arrows giving directions to the hot cocoa stand, similar to what you would do for a yard sale. The boys are in kindergarten now and will get to take flyers to their classmates and friends on the bus inviting them to come to the hot cocoa stand.

Free Hot Cocoa for a Cause Kit

And now, here I am blogging about the whole experience to hopefully make a bigger impact. Your interest from my posts on Instagram sparked an idea to provide a free kit with signs and some game templates for you to download and print to help make your hot cocoa stand a success. If you have found this helpful, please share and help us make an even bigger difference in the lives of those who are suffering and without this season.

The more people we can get involved the better. My kids may have made the toys and set up the stand, but without other people generously stopping, purchasing items and making cash donations, they wouldn’t have been able to help as many people as they did. It takes a village to serve each other and I was so grateful for our village that day. Together we raised almost $200 in those 2 hours. We were thrilled!

Free kit includes:

  • Advertising street signs
  • Donation sign
  • Two styles of flyers
  • Thank you tags
  • Don’t Eat Pete game
  • Santa Countdown – coloring page and colored picture

PICK A CHARITY

When picking a charity there are a few things to think about.

  1. What are their deadlines for donations?
    You obviously don’t want to have your hot cocoa stand after they’re no longer accepting donations. We had ours the middle of the month last year and almost learned this the hard way. We barely made the Toys for Tots deadline on their last day. Most other charities had already stopped accepting physical donations and were preparing to deliver them.
  2. Can you cover the remaining cost to provide Christmas to a family if your hot cocoa stand doesn’t raise as much money as planned?
    If you are going to select a Sub for Santa family or pick a name off the Angel Tree or another charity like that, can you still afford to provide Christmas for them if your sales aren’t as high as you had hoped? If your answer is no, find a different charity, such as Toys for Tots, where you can donate whatever you have and they will find a place for it.

HOT COCOA

I was nervous about how we were going to be able to keep the hot cocoa warm outside in the cold weather, but it all worked out surprisingly well. Here’s how we did it.

Supplied Needed:

  • 5 gallon cooler
  • hot cocoa mix
  • insulated cups and lids — I’m not sure if these are the exact ones I used last year, but they are close. I bought mine at Costco and loved that they were plain white.
  • straws
  • mints or creamers if you do a hot cocoa bar with toppings.

Directions:

We boiled large pots of water on the stove and poured them into the 5 gallon jug. Then we mixed in the hot cocoa with a giant spoon. The insulated cooler kept the hot cocoa warm for 2 hours. It was incredibly hot at the beginning of the hot cocoa stand, so make sure you and your customers are careful.

If want to have different flavors of hot cocoa, have some toppings such at mini candy canes, creamers and whipped cream. And remember, toppings are extra. ;) People won’t mind because it’s going to a good cause.

TOYS

Children’s handmade toys are absolutely adorable… to their moms. There, I said it. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love arts and crafts made by kids. I have a house full that I cherish, but will other people want to spend money on crafts your kids made? They will most likely be kind and buy one or two, but would be more likely to buy a kit of the craft to take home and have their own children make.

We selected toys and games our kids could make, but wouldn’t look like a child made it. That meant if we painted something, it was all one color. We used molds when shaping things, and packaged items with care. Reese, who was two at the time, helped with every single project and they all looked like quality items. I tried to limit my involvement to just prep work, and not the actual creation of each item. That part was left to the kids and they excelled. It was important for me to have the kids do most of the work. This was their project. I was just there to help and support when needed.

I have a few ideas for toys and games your kids can make that I’ll share below. You can also visit a Pinterest board I set up with more ideas.

Journals/Notebooks

I let my kids sort through all my paper stash and select the papers they wanted to use in notebooks. We mixed pattern paper with printer paper. I trimmed the paper down to size and then they put the papers in the order they wanted. After each notebook was organized, I folded the papers in half and punched the wholes for the binding. The boys then sewed the books together using this book binding tutorial. Reese was a little too small to sew the books, so she measured and cut the string. There was a job for everyone and each one was important.

Tic-Tac-Toe

Do you have a stash of cotton muslin bags? I do and I love it. They come in all sizes and are so handy to have on hand. I drew a tic-tac-toe board on the outside of the bag using a Sharpie. My kids searched the backyard for small rocks that they washed and painted. We put 5 of each color of rock in a bag and that was it. A fun tic-tac-toe game for kids to take with them on the go. You can also use pom-poms, buttons, plastic jewels and more for the markers.

Hot Cocoa Mix

This is such an easy one for kids. We put plastic triangle bags inside cups to help hold them upright. Then the kids passed them down the line as each one took a turn putting their ingredients in the bag. First hot cocoa, then crushed candy canes, and finally marshmallows. We used clear hair elastics to close them tight and then tied some string around to make it look pretty.

Bath Bombs

These were a hit at the hot cocoa stand. They are a great gift idea and stocking stuffer for all ages so they went fast. You can put little toy prices in the middle for younger kids to enjoy. I didn’t love the recipe we used last year because it was hard to mold, so I’m not posting it here. There are a ton of recipes out there though, so try some out and see what works for you.

 Matching Game

We used the cotton muslin bags again for this game along with some wood discs and stickers. I divided out the stickers for each game. 6 different stickers, 2 of each one -12 stickers and discs total. The kids put the stickers on each wooden disk. You could also apply temporary tattoos to the discs like I did here.

Don’t Eat Pete

This game is a huge favorite at our house. Kids of all ages can play. You can search online for Don’t Eat Pete games and find a ton, but I wanted one that the kids could make and sell. I made a blank board for the kids to put stickers on. Each sticker must be different. After the stickers were on, we laminated each game and attached a bag of candy. I included the the file in the free kit for you to download and use at your hot cocoa stand.

PRICING

When setting your prices, remember that this is a hot cocoa stand for people passing by. They are most likely going to spend their change or what little cash they have on hand, so don’t get too carried away with the products you make to sell. With that in mind, card readers are easy to get and might make a difference in what your hot cocoa stand can earn. The convenience of running a credit card at your stand would be very helpful for some.

We kept most of our items priced at $10 or lower, with the exception of a few weaving kits that were $13. Our hot cocoa was $.50 per cup so that a mom stopping could afford to get a hot chocolate for a car full of kids.

We had a few smaller items like packs of stickers and scratch cards that were a quarter or $.50. The rest of the toys were mostly $1-$5. I hope that was somewhat helpful.

People are so kind. Just about everyone would tell my kids to keep the change. We had a few neighbors give my boys a $5 bill for 2 cups of hot chocolate. We also had a jar with a lid on the stand where donations could go for those feeling extra generous.

BUILDING A STAND

Building a stand is completely unnecessary, but I love to decorate and go all out for any event so we made one. I LOVE it so much! I have used it all year long with other parties and it’s perfect. We used some pallets that our neighbors had leftover from laying sod in their yard. I love the wide planks on the front. If you don’t want to go through all the work of building a wood stand, a folding table with some chairs works just as great. :)

BUYING THE GIFTS

I’ll be honest, even after all the prepping I did that we would be buying presents for others kids, I was worried we would get to the store and my kids would not be on board and would just want the toys for themselves. I was completely wrong. They were amazing. They were so happy going through the isles picking out toys and talking about the kinds of kids they thought each one would be perfect for. I laughed when they were surprised at how quickly their money was spent. I feel that way all the time.

They were so proud handing the money to the cashier and paying for all of those toys themselves. That’s stuff grown-ups do and they were loving the responsibility.

The thing I love so much about this project was that it brought our family together with more quality time and my children learned some big lessons. You don’t have to go all out and make handmade toys, a wood stand and decorations. A simple table and jug of hot chocolate will work too. And if you don’t have the time or resources to set up a hot cocoa stand of your own, please support one that you may drive by. It takes baths sides and everyone working together to help those in need.

** If you host a hot cocoa stand with your family or friends, I would love to here about it and see pictures. You can email me through the contact page or send me a message on Instagram. #hotcocoaforacause

Thank you so much, and have Merry Christmas!

hot cocoa for a cause helping kids raise money for charity at Christmas #christmas #hotcocoastand

Elf on the Shelf Yoga Poster – Free Download

elf-yoga-mountain-pose

I’m at it again with another yoga poster. This time it’s an Elf on the Shelf version! Whether an elf visits your home or not, this is a fun activity for the entire family.

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Make your Elf Bend:

Does your Elf on the Shelf bend and hold its poses? If it doesn’t, there are a bunch of tutorials online to show you how to make it bend. I used bailing wire my husband had, and poked it through the bottom of each leg all the way up through the torso. I did the same with the arms. It was a little tricky to get the wire past the shoulders into the torso, but with a little maneuvering it can be done. Some of the tutorials have you cut a stitch to get the wire in, but I just threaded it through in-between stitches. I also found that it was helpful to have the hips and shoulders have wire run through them, that’s why I didn’t end it there like most tutorials, and had it run through the torso. It takes just a few minutes and opens up so many more poses and options for your little elf.
elf-on-the-shelf-yoga-headstand-pose elf-on-the-shelf-yoga-plank-poseFree Download and Printing Tips:

The Elf on the Shelf Yoga poster is available for free download here. Just send it to your local copy store and have it printed. The poster measures 20×30, but can be printed smaller too if you would like.

Costco does 20×30 photo prints for around $10. You can also have it printed at Office Depot and other large office supply stores. My local Office Depot offers colored engineer prints (lower quality than photo) for around $7. I also found a few local copy stores that print posters this size for around $7 also.

If you’re printing this last minute, you can always just print it at home on an 8.5×11″ paper. That seems about the dimensions for an elf-sized poster anyway. :)
elf-on-the-shelf-yoga-squat-pose
elf-yoga-corpse-pose I have to share this funny story about our elf. Last year was the first year with the elf and it lasted all of 30 seconds before the elf was held by one of my boys, and had to go back to the North Pole. When it miraculously disappeared, my kids said they didn’t want an elf in their house anyway. Little stinkers.

This year I thought I would give it another try. I hid the elf in my room while we decorated for Christmas so the kids wouldn’t see it in the box of Christmas stuff. My little boy Jax comes out of my room holding the elf, looking at me like I’m so pathetic and says, “Remember when you tried to tell us this was a real elf last year and it’s just a toy?” WHAT??? Who is this kid? He is only 4-years-old!!! I was trying so hard not to laugh. Needless to say, we don’t have an elf visiting us this year either. Haha!

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Thanks for stopping by to grab this free download during your busy holidays. I have loved sharing these yoga posters with you this year. You can find my other skeleton one here. Don’t forget to share this link with your friends so they can enjoy a little elf yoga too.

Christmas Advent Calendar

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Yesterday was a busy and exciting day for us. The kids put on their new Christmas pajamas and we went and did our annual Santa pictures. Each of the boys asked for a BB gun, which they have been asking for all month long so there was no surprise there. When Santa asked Reese what she wanted, she confidently exclaimed “A SHOTGUN!”. A what??? I didn’t even know she knew the word “shotgun”. Like any good mother would, I quickly shot the idea down and told her she wasn’t getting one and to try again. She then asked for a shelf. A shelf? Haha! This girl kills me. All of them were so good the entire time and I just wanted to cover them in kisses. I really lucked out with these kiddos.

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When we got home everyone got to color their own Santa advent calendar. I even let them use glitter, so they were definitely loving life. While they were coloring,  Jax said with a smile, “I love this day!” The rest of the kids agreed and started talking about how much fun they had had doing Christmas activities all day. It’s those kind of moments that just make my heart so happy!santa-beard-countdown-2

Don’t forget to blow off the extra glitter!

santa-beard-countdown-kidsWe set up a card making station in their playroom to leave up during the holidays. I’ll share more about that later, but it made the perfect spot for today’s fun. There are two versions of this calendar. One that is colored and ready to be hung, and a black and white coloring page.

santa-beard-countdown-hatAlthough the file says “print and cut”, you don’t need to cut anything out. You can simply print the page and you’re done. The Silhouette designing software is FREE. So even if you don’t have a Silhouette Cameo, you can still use it to design cards and other projects, then print. Or in this case, you can just download the Santa advent calendar and print it out. Add a cotton ball each day of the month, and when Christmas arrives, Santa will have a nice fluffy beard to keep him warm while he delivers presents.

santa-beard-countdown-tableIt’s never too late to make an advent calendar. In fact, the further into the month you make it, the more days you get to fill in right away. It’s like making a to-do list and checking off half of it instantly. So satisfying.

You can find both versions of this advent calendar, by clicking on the images below.

Christmas Village

christmas-village-advent-calThis Christmas advent calendar started out with just the idea of making a Christmas house gift box. When I finished this first box, I thought a little village would be fun. From there it grew into an advent calendar. You can put treats or notes with activities in the boxes, under the trees and in the tiny gifts on the sleigh. Make more boxes and trees and you can do the advent for the whole month of December. Use less boxes and do it for the 12 days of Christmas. This design is flexible in how many days you will be counting down, so you can start it any time of the month.

christmas-village-open-box

This little village would be so cute on a shelf or the centerpiece for a holiday party. You could even send the guests home with the little houses filled with party favors. christmas-village-from-abovechristmas-village-trees-and-snowflakes

There are so many fun details that make this little village magic. The lights on the houses, pine bough wreaths on windows and doors, and a peek inside each tiny home on every side of the box. The view of all the wrapped presents ready to be delivered to all the children on Christmas Eve is my favorite view into the Toy Shop. christmas-village-toy-shop-back-windows

When I think of elves, I think of them always having fun and enjoying everything around them. So I put a little snowman outside their house on one side, and a sled propped against the house and homemade snowflakes hanging in the window on the opposite side. And aren’t those itty bitty bows on the boxes just the cutest? christmas-village-toy-shop

The warmth of a fireplace with fresh cut logs on a sled outside, and the view of Santa’s coat, mittens and gloves hanging up in the back window are my favorite on Santa’s house. And that little mistletoe hanging above the door for when he greets Mrs. Claus looks so pretty. christmas-village-santa

christmas-village-cottage-2

Everything about this Christmas village advent calendar is so fun, but I think my very favorite part is the special mailbox for letters to Santa. There is even a tiny envelope addressed to the jolly man with a teeny stamp. The mail box opens and closes too!

Does the Elf on the Shelf visit your house? Wouldn’t it be fun to cut a larger mailbox and some envelopes out for your kids to write mini letters to Santa that your elf can deliver? There are so many different uses for this Christmas Village this holiday season.christmas-village-2

I hope you enjoy it as much as my kids and I already have. You can find all files to print and cut each piece of this Christmas village advent calendar below. Happy Holidays!

 

Gingerbread House Decorating Party for Kids

gingerbread table

I hosted a gingerbread house decorating party for my twin boys and their friends. It was so fun and went so smooth I had to share my tips so you can host your own. Here are the details of the party and why it was the easiest and best party I’ve done with little kids. Once I showed the kids how to spread the frosting on the houses and put on candy, they didn’t need any help for the remainder of the party, and the majority of the kids sat there for 1.5 hours. Yep! Three-year-olds sitting there for 1.5 hours. It was a Christmas miracle! ;) The only time I was needed was to look and admire the wonderful job they were doing. It was awesome! Okay, so here’s the info on the party prep.

Gingerbread houses:

I bought these in a gingerbread village kit at target for $9. It includes 4 mini houses, candy and frosting. These kits are always stingy on the frosting and candy so I bought extra. The houses come with a base that’s about 3 inches. The perfect size for kids. Also the perfect size when you have to find a space in your house to display 3 houses your kids made. I would recommend putting them on a larger base so they can decorate a yard. My husband sliced up a log to use for our bases. My biggest tip for the whole party… ASSEMBLE HOUSES BEFORE THE PARTY! This made the party so much smoother than if I had to try to help each kid assemble their own. I used HOT GLUE to put them together. That saved so much time and made the houses very sturdy. After hot gluing, I piped along the edges with icing to make them look cuter and to fake the look of assembling with icing. These houses were strong and had no problem holding the 5 pounds of frosting the kids put on them.
gingerbread setting

Candy and frosting:

I bought a variety of candy in addition to what was included in the kit and divided them into bags for each kid. I didn’t worry about using royal icing because the houses were already built and we didn’t need super strong frosting to hold any structures. The store bought frosting works great. I looked for smaller candy because our houses were so small. The kit also included sprinkles. I put these in a separate container from the rest of the candy to make it easier for the kids to use.

Hot cocoa bar and snacks:

We had a mini hot cocoa bar with just marshmallows and candy canes for toppings. A few years ago I did a larger hot cocoa bar with several toppings and the whole nine yards. It was a waste. The only items people added were marshmallows, candy canes and whipped cream. Lesson learned. The smaller hot cocoa bar for this party was the perfect size. I also had a little platter of crackers, cheese and deli meat to help balance out all the candy they were consuming. They gobbled it up. All of the kids left with a little chocolate snowflake my boys helped me make with chocolate molds. They love to help and it was the perfect little party favor.
party favors
This party took less prep work than any of my others and was by far the funnest! I can’t even tell you how nice it was to be able to actually talk to the moms and chat while the kids decorated their houses. I’m sure most of it was the novelty that this is something we only do once a year, so it was extra special to the kids.
All of the cut files for placemats, food labels, and party favors will be available in the Silhouette design store soon. I’ll be sure to post here and let you know when they’re ready. I hope you found these tips helpful in planning a gingerbread decorating party of your own.

Redbox Neighbor Gifts | Free Download

Still trying to get last minute neighbor gifts made? Here is a very easy gift that your neighbors will actually like. Did you know you can give Redbox movie rental codes? It’s so easy to do and I even made a gift tag for you to write the codes on. Just print and cut out the gift tag, write down your Redbox codes, and tie to some popcorn or boxed movie theater candy. Read below to see how to purchase your codes for your Redbox neighbor gifts.

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redbox code popcorn wrap

How to purchase Redbox codes:
1. At the bottom of the Redbox home page, select “Redbox Gifts.”

redbox code step 1

2. Select “Promo Code Bundles”

redbox code step 2

3. Select the item you would like to give and the number of codes you wish to purchase from the drop-down menus. Add to cart and complete your purchase.

redbox code step 3

Merry Christmas!
-Amy

Easy Christmas Ornaments and Tags

I have been dying to show you all these easy Christmas ornaments and tags I made this year. They are a great way to personalize your tree and gifts this holiday season. I used the adorable Felicity Jane | Fa La La kit and whipped these babies up in minutes. Head over to the Craftsy Blog for more detailed pictures and instructions to make your own.

amy robison photo ornaments on wreath

paper ornaments

ornament present tags

Gold Foil Printing Tutorial | FREE Download

joy goild foil gift tag 2 blog

One of the favorite projects at my advent workshop was gold foiling tags. Everyone couldn’t believe how easy it was. I have a gold foil printing tutorial for you today showing how you can make your own gold foil prints at home. Professional printers charge a lot to gold foil, but for a tiny fraction of the cost you can do it yourself in only a few minutes. The key is using laminating foil (available in a variety of colors) and laser prints. Download your FREE tags and follow the instructions below to create your own gold foil gift tags.

Supplies Needed:

laminating foil
laser printed tags
laminator or iron
text weight paper
scissors
twine

gold foil tutorial 1

Instructions:

  1. Place laser printed tag with design face up.
  2. Place gold foil on printed design. Gold side up.
  3. Keep the foil in position and place in between a half sheet of text weight paper. Cardstock is too thick and won’t allow the gold foil to get hot enough to adhere to the printed design.
  4. Set your laminator to the highest setting. If using an iron, set to the highest dry setting.gold foil tutorial 2
  5. Send the half sheet of paper through the laminator, folded end first.
  6. If using an iron, place on a hard surface and press down firmly on the half sheet of paper for about 30 seconds. Make sure to iron over the entire area of the printed design inside the paper. You may have to test out different times with your iron. Be sure to protect the hard surface you are ironing on with a thin cloth, while still keeping the surface firm.
  7. Peel off gold foil.
  8. Finish your tag with a string.

joy gold foil gift tag

You may have tiny flecks that don’t completely transfer to the printed design. All of the tags are printed in gold to help mask the little imperfections that come with doing it at home. This technique isn’t perfect, but for the price and convenience, you can’t go wrong.

Advent Workshop Photos

The Advent Calendar Workshop a few weeks ago was so much fun. It has made me even more excited for my next workshop in January. I was surrounded by family and friends, both old and new. We all had a great time creating our Advent Calendars while mingling and eating some yummy treats. Take a look at all the fun that was had crafting with new tools and winning some pretty awesome prizes.

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Photo Credit: Just Izzy Photo

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Silhouette BLACK FRIDAY SALE!!!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Black Friday deals are upon us. I love being able to share Silhouette’s amazing sales with you. You all know I’m a huge fan of Silhouette and can not live without my machine. I wish I were kidding. My Silhouette CAMEO is amazing and I use it all the time. I find myself using it more and more as my kids are getting older. We love it for school and holiday crafts and projects. It makes everything look professional, but with very little time and effort. You better believe I’m on board with that. :) This is the perfect Christmas gift!

Check out this short video to get a tiny glimpse at what this incredible machine can do. The sky is the limit.

Let’s get to the good stuff. Can you believe the prices? Look how much you’re saving with each bundle. You must use discount code ROBISON at checkout to receive sale pricing.

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Christmas Advent Calendar Workshop

My Christmas Advent Calendar Workshop is just over a week away. I’m so excited to teach you all fun, new techniques and introduce you to tools that will make crafting a breeze. Today I wanted to give you a little overview of the workshop and what we’ll be doing. You do NOT need to be crafty to come to this workshop. Hopefully as you read through this, you’ll see just how easy this advent calendar is. The easier the craft, the more time you have for chatting. My favorite part. :)

The advent calendar has five different styles of paper ornaments that hang from the pine bough or elk antler. You will make five of each kind, totally 25. The gift card envelopes will be made using a tool called an envelope punch from We R Memory Keepers. It is so simple and easy to use, it’s genius.

dear santa banner

These 3D ornaments will all be cut and scored ahead of time thanks to my trusty Silhouette machine. All you need to do is fold, fill and glue together. Easy right? Silhouette will have two machines there for you to try out and watch it cut like magic. These diamonds are cut from the most beautiful woodgrain textured cardstock from American Crafts. You’ll love it! I promise.

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This tag is something I’m dying to teach you. It is gold foiled and takes under a minute to make. It’s amazing and my only regret is that I haven’t shared this sooner. Once again, the tags will already be cut out, so you get to spend your time doing the enjoyable part.

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How cute are these gold polka-dot bags from Whisker Graphics?! I will provide a few tags you can gold foil and stuff inside before stapling shut with gold staples. You can also bring your own goodies to fill inside.

merry-and-bright

Thanks to the Silhouette again, the reindeer is already cut out for you. You will get to use the Silhouette to cut out your numbers from sticker paper. Then just tie on a bell and you’re finished!

reindeer-games

When you finish all the ornaments, you simply tie them on your pine bough or elk antler with the amazing twine from Whisker Graphics, and it’s ready to hang in your home for the holidays. Sign up for the workshop today and join me for an evening of fun.

The workshop will be held:
Friday, November 21, 2014
6-9pm
Lehi, Utah (The address will be emailed to those attending.)

Purchase your ticket HERE.

Christmas Advent Calendar Workshop | Utah

The day has finally come that I get to share this huge project I’ve been working on. YAY!!! I am so excited to announce I will be hosting craft workshops every three months or so, and the first one is this beautiful Christmas Advent Calendar.

Amy Robison Advent Calendar Pine Bough

photo credit: justizzydesign.com

Everything you need to make this advent calendar is included in the workshop. Each attendee will go home with a FINISHED project ready to display for the holidays. And don’t you worry, there will be plenty of time for chatting and snacking too! There will also be some fun prizes to win! Believe me, there are some good amazing ones!

The workshop will be held:
Friday, November 21, 2014
6-9pm
Lehi, Utah (The address will be emailed to those attending.)

Purchase your tickets HERE.

Amy Robison Advent Calendar 3

photo credit: justizzydesign.com

There are two choices of advent calendars with the only difference being the live pine bough or genuine elk antler. I love the look and feel they both give to the holiday season, and the stability given to this whimsical calendar of dangling paper ornaments.

Amy Robison Advent Calendar Elk

Hosting and teaching workshops is something I have wanted to do for years. A few months ago I decide, there’s no time like the present, (3 kids under 3-years-old seems like perfect timing, doesn’t it?) and I jumped in with both feet and went for it. I have learned a lot and worked hard making a craft that is not only visually appealing and useful, but affordable too. We will get to play with some fun tools and materials at the workshop from these wonderful companies: American Crafts, Pebbles in my Pocket, Silhouette America, We R Memory Keepers, and Whisker Graphics. I can’t wait to introduce you to new tools and techniques.

Join me for some fun holiday crafting and grab your ticket today because space is limited. See you there!

DIY Silhouette Handprint Tutorial

hand wreath present

I wanted to add a personal touch from my boys on their grandparents gifts this year. I decided to go with handprint crafts on the gift wrap. Projects like this make me love my Silhouette even more. Rather than tracing and cutting out handprints for wreaths on several gifts, I just traced their hands in Silhouette Studio and cut them without taking up all my spare time. Jax and Mason’s handprints are in separate colors to make them stand out on their own a little more.

The handprint wreath is available in the Silhouette store. You can resize the handprints in the file to match that of your own child, or you can draw your own in Silhouette Studio. Here is a little tutorial I put together to show you how you can trace your own child’s hand in Silhouette Studio to use for handprint crafts too. Continue reading

Christmas Roundup

christmas roundup

 

Christmas is less than a week away. Here is a little Christmas roundup of quick and easy gifts that are perfect for neighbors, classmates and friends.

  1. Santa | Snowman | Reindeer
  2. Snowman | Reindeer | Santa
  3. Merry Kiss-mas! stickers
  4. Santa-tizer
  5. Don’t Open Until Christmas | Pinecone and bough | Wreath
  6. Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
  7. Lace-up Stocking Pocket

Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

Advent Tree Calendar Amy RobisonDecember is just around the corner which means it’s time for advent calendars. I love advent calendars! I created this one as a craft for my nieces and nephews to make together. I cut out all the ornaments in a variety of colors and let them mix and match to make their own special ornaments that hung on each family’s tree. I love little creative minds. They came up with more decorating ideas for each ornament than I did. I wish I had a picture of their trees to share. Take my word for it, they were adorable. Continue reading