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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Simple & Pretty Handmade Gift Ideas {And a Free Vintage Image Download!}

Ribbons. Scraps of fabric, paper and lace. Pretty vintage buttons. Few things make me as happy as sitting down to a work space full of the possibilities these things bring to a creative project!


One of my very favorite books for creative inspiration is Vintage Paper Crafts by Anna Corba.


There are so many beautiful ideas here!

If you are looking to create a gift or just something pretty for yourself, this book is a goldmine of inspiration.

Today I worked on a couple of small Valentine projects, but I'm actually going to show you two simple and pretty handmade gifts I created for a friend's birthday this week.

 I was inspired by the lovely embellished vintage hangers in Anna Corba's book.

 I knew I had some hangers I could work with, so I decided I would start with this gift.

I painted the hangers white.

I used alphabet rubber stamps to add the words.  

I'm really hoping that someone will see the ironic humor in the fact that I stamped the words "make it pretty" TOTALLY CROOKED. Argh. I could sand it off and fix it, but in the interest of getting this post done, I'm not going to do it right now. Let's just go with crooked and pretty, okay? : )

 I wanted it to have a little bit of an aged appearance, so I lightly sanded the edges and over the stamped letters.

 I added a soft, wide ribbon.

One charming, feminine gift complete! You could use anything to embellish a vintage hanger. Paint, stickers, decoupage, fabric flowers, buttons-the possibilities are endless. It would be so easy to create one of these with more of a Valentine theme, also. Maybe I'll do one of those next week : )

The second simple and pretty gift I made today is a birthday card/decorative hanging, inspired by an antique book cover.

 I love the beautiful cover on this antique book!  I photo copied it onto card stock, but it didn't seem to have enough "weight" to it, so I glued another layer of card stock to it. When that was dry I just cut out around the image of the book cover (on the right). 

I selected two vintage buttons from my collection. I wanted buttons with the metal loop on the back to hold the hanger for this piece. 
I punched two small holes so I could pop the buttons through to the back. 


 I used a piece of wire from a castoff Christmas ornament, but could easily have used a piece of ribbon or twine, as well. I wrapped the wire around the button loops on the back of the card.

 Wire hanger attached

I added a little snippet of green velvet ribbon and a couple of shabby paper roses, and another handmade gift is complete!

I will write my birthday wishes to my friend on the back, but think how easy it would be to add some heart embellishments and a sweet Valentine's Day sentiment. I hope you feel inspired to create something simple and pretty for someone special in your life!

Feel free to use this image for your own creative projects or cards. The publishing date on this book is 1914.

 Hope you're all having a good week!


Sharing over at:
Vintage On a Dime-Welcome Home Wednesday 
twelveOeight-Pretty Things Link Party 
Debbiedoo's Newbie Party
The Dedicated House-Make It Pretty Monday 
Knick of Time Tuesday 
Coastal Charm-Nifty Thrifty Tuesday 
House on the Way-Twirl and Take a Bow 
Cozy Little House-Tweak It Tuesday 
Alderberry Hill-Make the Scene Monday
Savvy Southern Style-Wow Us Wednesdays 
French Country Cottage-Feathered Nest Friday 
The Charm of Home-Home Sweet Home 
StoneGable-Tutorials Tips and Tidbits 
The Craftberry Bush-The Inspiration Gallery
Embracing Change-Creative Inspirations  
Diana Rambles-Pin Me! 
Common Ground-Be Inspired 



  1. Two great projects. They are both so soft and feminine, I love that. Good idea for the wire on the buttons. I'm inspired!

  2. love the hanger! I think the croocked lettering makes it more "real"

  3. Hi Jeanette! I would LOVE that hanger. Very sweet gift. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you again for giving us "newbies" a fun place to meet and share, Debbie!


  4. Your handmade gifts are so sweet! I totally need to get my hands on that looks like a secret goldmine of ideas. Thanks so much for visiting me at Pondered Primed Perfected. Loved reading your comment!

  5. I know for a fact these gifts can't be mailed to China, but I know a friend who will treasure them (and should start reading your blog- you'd never get away with featuring MY b.d. gifts on it!:)... they're beautiful and attainable ideas, too... lovely job! A bag of "creativity" coming your way, hopefully soon, and with all my love! Dina

    1. Hi Dina! I think that other friend does read this blog every now and then. I hope I haven't ruined it for her, it was a calculated risk. Of course I'd never dream of trying to slip by a surprise for YOU here. I do know what a dedicated follower you have been :)Can't wait for my bag! I'm emailing you.


  6. What a beautiful blog you have, Jeanette! The loveliness you create is amazing!!! Thanks for sharing it with us! I am a new follower!

    1. Thank you so much, Yvonne! I'm so glad you're here!


  7. How beautiful is this! I love the hanger and the "make it sweet" is so cute!


  8. Your hangers are perfection! I might have to try it!

    Have a winter wonderland weekend!

  9. I think your hanger is very charming. I really thought the letters were done like that intentionally to make the piece look old. It would look too new and manufactured if you made the hanger too perfect. Next time just don't tell anyone you messed up because it looks good as it is! Thank you for stopping by my blog the other day and have a great weekend!

  10. Love the hand stamping! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!


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