Monday, January 16, 2012

Very Pinteresting!

I did all my Christmas shopping on Pinterest this year. If you don't know what that is, you might want to check it out at Let me know and I'll even send you an invite (the quickest way to get involved). It's a site that lets you organize all your web browsing into "bulletin boards" where you "pin" images to help you find things again later. I have boards for cooking, gardening, crafts, etc. When I see something I like - a project or recipe - I "pin" it with an image from the site that will help me quickly locate it on my "bulletin board". I think it's rather ingenious. I'm a visual person and it's so much easier to navigate than bookmarks. One of the really fun things is that you can see what everyone else is pinning, too, and follow those pins back to the nifty sites and stuff they have "pinned". It's like a clearinghouse of great things on the web.

If you are familiar with Pinterest, you might be asking yourself, "How did she do her Christmas shopping on Pinterest? You don't buy things there." And you would be right! But I found great ideas for gifts to make and I'll run through them here for you. I'll provide the link to the original "pin" and then I'll show you what I did with my own version of it.

Another feature of Pinterest is that you can "follow" people who pin things you like or friends/family who are pinning. This turned out to provide me with lots of fodder for gift ideas. My daughter pinned several things that got me excited to make her gifts I knew she'd like.

Like little stuffed owls:

And I made these. She got a kick out the fact that the fabrics included scraps from projects we'd done together and clothes we've made.

She also was quite taken with the Narnia lamppost "snow globe".

Kent and I believe we improved upon the idea with our version.

We searched high and low for a lamp that looked like the one in the movie. When building the nightlight we hid the power supply in a book with a hollowed out space, mounted the jar to the cover and put a fake spine on with an image from Narnia. Again, very well recieved.

This keychain design was a hit with me. A long fob that hangs out of my purse so that I can find them quickly and the loop means I can hang it easily on my wrist while carrying groceries or items in the house.

I made keychains with fabrics hand-picked for the recipients. Since I was mass producing them, I found a few ways to make it easier on myself. Such as doing all my cutting out at one time

And using a posterboard guide for ironing the quarter-inch seam allowances and center folds of the fabrics.

And here are just a few of the finished fobs.

Next up, coasters. When I saw these coasters on Pinterest, I just knew I had to make some.

The tiles come from Home Depot and I used scrapbook papers for decorating. I also got real handy with the ModPodge. Again, I hand-picked colors and papers to hopefully personally suit the recipients.

And then there were the photo cubes. These struck me as beautiful and elegant.

I, however, can't take credit for these, as Kent did all the work. He even figured out a way to make the larger ones double sided by attaching the photos to black foam core and standing them up inside the cubes. I think he did a fabulous job!

And lastly, there are the bracelets. I saw this bracelet on Pinterest and was immediately smitten. I put it right on my to-do list.

What I didn't realize until it was time to make them was that the blog the picture came from was in Russian or some other language I couldn't read. I was on my own... so I winged it.

It was a challenge to get all those buttons strung together and I tried a couple of techniques. In the end, though, I was pleased with my results.

So now you can see why I say I did my Christmas shopping on Pinterest. I have many, many more ideas for things I just can't wait to make. I'll probably be doing birthday and next Christmas's shopping on Pinterest as well. There are just so many wonderful ideas out there!

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