Saturday, October 24, 2009

First Two Holiday Reader Kits

As I said in this post, I'm making kits for Christmas gifts this year. Here is one for my uncle Herb. For once, I genuinely enjoyed doing a dude project, using semi-Christmas-y images of pine cones and boughs from Fantastic Foliage, an old StampinUp set that I will never let go. First, let's see the card, which has an insert (undecorated so I can write a personal message) to hold a Barnes & Noble gift card.

The slits for the card were made with an SU punch, and I glued the vintage cream piece inside the card after punching and rounding the corners. The only reason why I rounded the corners was that the corners of the gift card will be rounded.

Obviously, for the main border, I randomly stamped the images in avocado and close to cocoa, off-stamping to create a bit of depth, and going over the finished pieces with the SU bitty background (is that the name?) stamp with creamy caramel. Then I inked the edges in creamy caramel using a sponge. I continued this technique for two toppers and two bookmarks.

I added the sentiment in chocolate chip after I made these because I felt that they really needed a focal point with all that randomness. Hence, the different placement on the two bookmarks since a dark pinecone blocked the choice spot on one of them. The snack mix is a commercial Tex Mex mix I bought at Kroger. Herb likes hot and spicy food, and it's fun to munch while reading.

My aunt Sylvia loves all things Celtic, so I made her kit with a Celtic theme. Her card includes edging with a gold pen, gold-embossed sentiment, and the same insert as Herb's card for a gift card.

Her kit is a bit more diverse, because I included a drink (Russian Tea mix in individual servings) and Avery-address-label-wrapped Hershey's Nuggets. (Herb's favorite drink is beer, which won't fit in any of the bags I have, so he will have to supply it himself, LOL!)

Notice her bookmarks. I stamped Sylvia's name in a stylized way that evokes the odd letter arrangements in the Book of Kells. The toppers are very simple, with a single stamped image cut out and glued flat onto the toppers.

It bothers me that the Avery labels are white and the toppers are vintage cream, so here's a...

Simplicity Tip: If you're planning a kit using wrapped nuggets, remember to use white as your neutral.

Here's my Russian Tea recipe, from the Kitchen of my friend Claire Leivestad.

2 cups sugar
1 tsp cloves
2+ tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cups instant tea (no sugar or lemon)
2 cups Tang
1 1/4 cups powdered lemonade

Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Mix about 4 tsp in a cup of hot water. Enjoy!

Note: I make mine with decaf tea so people can enjoy it anytime.

Supplies for Pine Set
stamps: SU Fantastic Foliage, background; PTI sentiments
ink: artichoke, creamy caramel, close to cocoa, chocolate chip
paper: artichoke, chocolate chip, PTI vintage cream
accessories: sponge, staples, cello bags, pre-made tassles

Supplies for Celtic Set
stamps: unknown
ink: VersaColor burgundy and evergreen; Colorbox gold pigment ink
paper: bravo burgundy, vintage cream
accessories: gold embossing powder, staples, gold pen, pre-made tassles, cello bags, small zip bags (for the tea)


  1. What wonderful gifts!! I love your manly design. I also love the Irish designs and how you used them. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. hi susan,
    your family and friends will be soo pleased to receive these awesome gift sets. i love the way you folded over the top of the bookmarks and added the circle to make it stronger. you are a clever one! thanks for sharing.
    marty ferraro

  3. Wow Susan these are great!! You coordination is awesome!! I have never heard of "instant tea" where do you buy it???

  4. Wow, what nice little gift sets. I love your "dude" project, too. It turned out fabulous. Those pine cones are perfect!

  5. Donelda,

    I buy Nestea Instant Iced Tea Mix, Decaf UnSweetened at the grocery store. It's shelved near the tea bags.


  6. I like all the projects you stamped, simple and lovely. Small gifts or treats are appreciated so much more when they're personalized like this.

  7. Hi Susan, what thoughtful and wonderful gifts. I love both, but as I have a weakness for all things Celtic my heart did a little happy dance when I saw project number 2! Must try that tea recipe - I don't drink regular tea and coffe so am always on the lookout for new herbal/fruit brews!Jo x

  8. I love your foliage goodies in the perfect colors, and your uncle Herb will love his card!! Your Celtic gift set is awesome as well, Susan!!

  9. Susan, these are fantastic gifts. You've given me a great idea to use for co-worker gifts. Thanks so much for sharing these projects. I'm sure your aunt and uncle will love them!

  10. WOW what fantastic ideas you do have ... even your gift packaging is CAS!!! Everyday items turned into really special gifts..... who wouldn't delight in receiving one of these. Love the design and colour of both sets.... thank you once again for the great inspiration. Now where oh where can I find the tea ingredients this side of the pond ... what is Tang?

  11. These are just fabulous. I am so glad you are sharing the gift packages with us.

  12. Look at you, already making Christmas presents. These are a great idea! I LOVE Russian tea, I just wish the recipes didn't make so darn much----I always have way more than I need! I need to put on my math hat so I can proportion it down! But your ideas are very clever and I can see how these would make great thrifty gifts!!! TFS!

  13. Great gift ideas. I especially like the pine needle/cone project because of the way you isolated the busy stamping to just a single strip. And, I'm a nature girl so I like all things outdoorsy.

  14. What beautiful and thoughtful gifts!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!