Category Archives: gifts

Father’s Day Present: DIY Personalised Plate and Mug


For whatever reason, in Australia we celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September.  So in the last few weeks, my  thoughts have turned to what the kids and I will give the fathers in our lives.  In addition to a gift, the kids usually create something for their father and grandfathers.  This year for my father, we decided on a personalised plate and mug for him to use in the office.

To create this project I picked up a plain white plate and mug from Target.  After giving it a good wash and dry, I used a Sharpie to label the plate and mug, ‘Grandy’s Biscuit Plate’ and ‘Grandy’s Coffee Mug’.

Initially the plan was to let the kids go crazy on the crockery with coloured Sharpies, but they wanted to use paint.

How to Personalise Your Crockery

Using acrylic paint, the boys painted on some biscuits/cookies and finished them off with some choc chip dots.

They did a pretty good job of these, so I didn’t need to fix anything.  I did have some rubbing alcohol on hand, just in case I wanted to remove anything.

To fire the crockery and allow the print and painting to remain, I placed the crockery in my cold oven, turned the oven on to 350 degrees farenheit/180 degrees celsius and baked it for 30 minutes once it reached temperature.

And viola! Here is the finished product.

How to Personalise a Mug and Plate for Father's Day

How to Personalise a Mug and Plate for Father's Day

The plan is to bake a batch of his favourite biscuits, melting moments, and bundle these up inside the mug.

You could use this technique to create all sorts of fantastic pieces for yourself, or those you love. How about beautiful monogram plate to place on the mantel, or use a stencil to give your crockery some flair? The options are infinite. I am already itching to have a go at something else.

What would you do?

Birthday Idea: Photo Cufflinks


My husband is notoriously hard to buy for when it comes to birthdays and Christmas.  It doesn’t help when he says, “I don’t want anything.” And it is just plain frustrating when you push for ideas and the response is, “I really haven’t any suggestions.”

So it was just by chance that the boys and I stumbled upon this gift, standing in line at the photo centre, photo cufflinks. Sorry about the dodgy photos.  I took these last night in very low light.

Photo Cufflinks

It was decided then and there that it was the perfect gift for the boys to give hubby for his birthday.

For the last  couple of years, my husband has only worn French cuffs.  In the past I had nearly bought him these cufflinks, engraved with the boys’ names.


They are made by Koolaman Designs, the same company that made my engraved necklace, like the one below.

Koolaman Designs

I love them. They are beautifully made, but are quite expensive at $200 a pair. Maybe one day he will own a set.  Without giving away the price of my photo cufflinks, they were much more economical.

It was so simple to complete.  I picked a photo of each of the boys, reduced their size and printed them on photo paper.  The cufflinks easily came apart and I used the example photo as a template to cut out my photos.  The whole thing popped back together and was ready for giving.


The boys gave Dad the cufflinks this morning and he proudly wore them to work.  He was very impressed, especially when he found out I  ‘made them’.

The boys also, with a little help from Mum, made the birthday cake, which we will cut tonight.  I am sure  he won’t mind (much) that his cake reminds him of his age and that it is displayed here for all to see.

Birthday Cake

Happy birthday John!


A Bedroom for a Dinosaur Loving Boy


It occurred to me the other day, as I was giving Master O’s room a quick tidy, that I hadn’t shown you all the changes we made in his room.

Towards the end of last year, as Master O’s 4th birthday loomed, we struggled to find him a present.  We really didn’t want to buy him toys as we knew he would receive more than enough as gifts from the family.  I really had no inspiration until I found myself staring absent-mindedly into a store window while waiting for my sister.  As she arrived and I turned to leave, I realised what I had been staring at…..the cutest range of dinosaur linen and accessories on a fantastic sale.  There and then I decided his present would have to be a dinosaur room makeover.

The day before his birthday party, while he was a daycare, I set about transforming his room.  Previously it had sported a nautical/pirate theme which I shared in these posts here and here, but this is what it looked like on the morning I started the transformation.

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

After a good clean up and rearrange, followed by the addition of  the new duvet cover, matching cushions and bunting, the room looked a lot fresher.Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

I added a few other nick nacks that suited the theme, like these cute bookends.

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

I had already added a padded cushion to the Trofast toy storage units to make a reading seat, but now I could see how well my colour choice matched with the linen. You can read about how I made the seat  here.  A little rearranging of the Trofast tubs I already owned enabled me to bring the colour green into this area of the room as well.

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

I had tried to purchase some artwork for the walls in time for his birthday but I couldn’t find anything that matched the colour scheme. Master O didn’t mind, he was chuffed with the transformation.  The walls remained blank until about 3 months ago when I returned to the linen store and found a matching dinosaur canvas in stock.

Dinosaur Themed Boy's Room

So with one wall decorated,  I thought I might have to make something for the other wall – but what?  On holidays last month I came across a stall that sold all manner of dinosaur cutouts,  2D and 3D.  The were amazing and so well priced that I had to be restrained.  I purchased 2 x 2D cutouts and after a bit of spray paint, attached them each to a canvas.  It was a such a simple art solution and they really do pop with their shiny bright orange paint.

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

The other purchase I made was 3D pterodactyl.  After a couple of coats, also in the bright orange paint, I attached him to the ceiling.  I was concerned that he might be a bit scary for a 4-year-old, woken in the middle of the night, but Master O has entrusted the pterodactyl with the task of keeping him safe.

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

So after stalling for nearly 4 months with the artwork, the room is pretty much complete now.  Master O received a couple a big dinosaur figurines for his birthday and Christmas that fit in perfectly with the colour scheme so they now reside on top of his Trofast unit and look very much at home.  We also picked up a hat stand shaped like a tree on sale at Target.  It is the perfect place to hang his Kindergarten and library bags when it is not some how involved in some imaginative dinosaur play.

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

This really has evolved into the perfect room for our dinosaur loving boy.  What are you favourite themes for little boy’s rooms?

Birthday and Anniversary Calendar


Last week I received a member’s $10 birthday voucher to spend at Kikki K – a truly divine stationery store with some amazing organising products.  So today I popped in, excited with the prospect of finding a little project to do. I know….. I am crazy.

I ended up buying a birthday and anniversary calendar.  Absolutely perfect.

Birthday and Anniversary Calendar

There are always dates that I struggle to remember or fail to transfer into my new diary or calendar.  There is a constant stream of new additions to the family and friend’s families that I don’t want to forget. This will hopefully be my saviour.

I love that I now will never ‘lose’ an important date, it will just remain on the calendar for future years.  I also plan to include anniversaries of special, yet different, events I don’t want to forget.  I love recalling and putting favourite events in context like,  “It was 6 years ago we took off to Italy” or “It was 7 years ago today we bought our house”.

Birthday and Anniversary Calendar

After a little session of filling in dates I did know and writing a list of dates I needed to find out,  I hung the calendar in the office on my noticeboard.

Birthday and Anniversary Calendar

I know I will see it everyday here and hopefully I will always be on top of special events.

Easter Gifts


A few weeks back I found these great Easter cupcake boxes and wrappers at Big W. I thought that they were so cute that I had to buy a stash to use for neighbour’s and friend’s Easter gifts.

Easter Gifts

I made a batch of  vanilla cupcakes ( I thought it might be a nice change from chocolate at Easter) and decorated the tops with the cutest mini candy-shelled eggs.

Easter Gift

Very simple but I think they look gorgeous.  I just love how they look snuggled in their special carry box.

Easter Gift

Easter Gift

I hope everyone enjoys them.  I am off to deliver them now so they can be gobbled up for morning tea.


Easter Craft: Thumbprint Easter Egg Gift Cards


I came up with this cute card design to accompany my kid’s teachers’ Easter gifts.

Fingerprint Easter Egg Gift Cards

The kids were able to get involved and we had a lot of fun completing them.  Give them a go yourself.

What we used:

Blanks cards – we purchased ours or you could make these from card stock

A variety of acrylic paints


Coloured textas

Green paper


How we did it:

Taking the first colour, I painted each child’s thumb and got them stamping.  I directed the kids to stamp away from the very bottom of the card – you will see why later.

Before we used the other chosen colours, we washed and dried our hands.  This helped to keep the colours crisp.

Fingerprint Easter Egg Gift Cards

Once the thumbprints had dried, we used textas to decorate the eggs and to add a greeting to the card.

Fingerprint Easter Egg Gift Cards

Taking a strip of green paper, I cut out a zig-zaggy section of grass.

Fingerprint Easter Egg Gift Cards

Using some glue, we secured the grass to the bottom of the card.  As we had positioned the thumbprint eggs further up the card, they appeared to be hiding in the grass.

Fingerprint Easter Egg Gift Cards

And that is it.  Relatively quick and easy to make and they look gorgeous.

We have attached these cards to a bundle of mini eggs for each of the kids’ teachers.

Fingerprint Easter Egg Gift Cards

As we had such a fun time doing this, I have dreamt up other uses for fingerprint Easter eggs. Tune in tomorrow to see them elsewhere.

Kid’s Valentine Art & Craft: Toilet Roll Heart Stamp


There is less than 2 weeks until Valentine’s Day, so the boys and I have been making the most of our days at home, crafting up a storm.  Last weekend I completed this Valentine’s present artwork for my hubby.  It records all the important locations in our relationship.  You can read that post here.

Valentine's Day Art

Yesterday, I pulled a Valentine’s craft idea out of the recesses of my brain.  Somehow I recalled that last year, Rust and Sunshine had posted a tutorial on how to make a heart stamp out of a toilet roll.  You can check out their tutorial here. Such a fun idea for the kiddies.

All it involved was squashing a toilet roll until it made a heart shape.  The tutorial recommended taping this shape in place, but I found my roll stayed in a nice heart shape all by itself.  A little red paint to dip into, some craft paper and we were away.

Valentine's Craft - Toilet Roll Heart Stamp

Valentine's Craft - Toilet Roll Heart Stamp

We completed some wrapping paper before sleep time beckoned.  Later today I thought we would make some matching gift and greeting cards.

At times I struggle to come up with interesting and do-able craft ideas to do with my 14-month-old, but this was a winner.  Both my boys had a lot of fun and it all looked so cute.

Valentine's Craft - Toilet Roll Heart Stamp

Linking up with some of these fun parties
Monday: Singing Three Little Birdies, I should be Mopping the Floor, Polly Want a Crafter?, Cherished Bliss, The Gunny Sack, Skip to my Lou, Craftomaniac, It’s so Very Cheri, Keeping it Simple, Creating Really Awesome Free Things, Alderberry Hill, Its A Blog Party, A Pinch of Joy, Making the World Cuter, Mad in CraftsSew Can Do, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tip Junkie, New Nostalgia, Ladybug Blessings,  How to Nest for Less, Watch Out Martha, Clairjustinexoxo,

Tuesday: Coastal Charm, Today’s Creative Blog, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons , DIY by Design, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Home Stories A to Z, Hope Studios, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Organising HomelifeCarolyn’s Homework, The Blackberry Vine, The Kurtz Corner,  A Little Tipsy, Gingersnap crafts, Time Warp Wife, These Creative Juices, The Thrifty Home, Its a Very Cherry World,  Cornerstone Confessions,   Rae Gun Ramblings, Northern Cottage, Clean and Scentsible, Creatively Living , Kathe with an E, Ivy and Elephants, Romance on a Dime,   The Real Housewives of Riverton, DIY DreamerPrimp, JAQS Studio

Wednesday: Oopsey Daisy, My Girlish Whims, Uncommonly Yours, Creations by Kara, Raising Homemakers, The Thrifty Home, Twin Dragonfly Designs, A Creative Princess, Sugar and Dots, Seven Thirty Three, Fabric Bows and More, Someday Crafts, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Trendy Treehouse, Women Living Well, We are that Family, The Mommy Club , Raising Homemakers, Sew Much Ado,t SimpleFireflies and Jellybeans, Beyond the Picket Fence, Free Pretty Things for You, DIY by Design, Bloom Designs, Mom on Timeout, We Like to learn as we GoFamily Home and Life, Savvy Southern Style, Fine Craft Guild, Embracing Change, HandyMan, Crafty Woman, Polkadots on Parade, No Minimalist Here

Thursday: House of Hepworths Delightful Order, Its a KeeperThe Frugal Girls, The 36th AvenueThrifty 101, A Glimpse Inside, Brambleberry Cottage, Bear Rabbit Bear, Michelle’s Tasty Creations and Crafty Ideas, Shabby Creek Cottage, Goings on in Texas, Happy Go LuckyRaising OrangesThe Answer is Chocolate, The Taylor House, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Imparting Grace, Made in a Day, 52 Mantels, Loving This Crazy Life, Days of Chalk and Chocolate, Confessions of an ADD Housewife

Friday: The Shabby Nest, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, At the Picket Fence, Whipperberry, French Country Cottage, Thirty Handmade Days, Creation Corner, Finding Fabulous, Stuff and Nonsense, Fingerprints on the Fridge Naptime Crafters, While He Was Napping, My Romantic Home, Bacon Time With the Hungry, Hungry Hippo, Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons, Remodelaholic, Happy Hour Projects, Simply Designing, Simply Sweet Home, Tidy MomYoung and Crafty, Serenity Now , Life as Mom, At the Picket Fence, Tatertots and Jello, Craft Junkie Too, A Little Knick Knack, Blissful and Domestic, Maiden D’Shade, Petites Passions, Bubbly Nature Creations, Here Comes the Sun, Liz Marie Blog, THe Grant Life, Craftionary, Redoux Interior, Common Ground, Just Us Four, Delicate Construction, AKA Designs, Family Ever After,

Saturday:  Be Different Act Normal, The Girl Creative , Funky Junk Interiors , A Vision to Remember, Positively Splendid , Its Overflowing, Natasha in Oz, Shaken Together, Homemaker in Heels, Addicted to Decorating

Sunday: A Rosie Sweet Home, I Heart Naptime, Under the Table Dreaming, DIY Showoff, Nifty Thrift Things, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Homemaker on a Dime, DIY Home Sweet HomeCherished Treasures, My 1929 Charmer