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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

6 Last Minute DIY Gift Ideas & FREE Gift Tag Printable

 Christmas is only 2 Sleeps Away!! If you are running behind DO NOT FRET I've got you covered with a list of DIY Christmas Gifts that you can easily pull off  before the Big Day - Hand made is more personal and also gives you the chance to individualy customive them!

Gifts in a Jar: 

The possibilities & tutorials for this are seriously endless from Cookie Recipee's to Teachers Gifts!

I decided to create my own variation - an Arbonne Spa in a Jar - this is great idea for any of the lovely ladies left on your List & would also make a perfect Hostess Gift! Simply fill a Mason Jar with Luxury Spa Products -the possibilites are endless!

Indivudal facial packs, mini/ purse sized cleaners, shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, lotions, nailpolish & a file just to name a few!

No Dent Hair Ties for Her: 

These are SO simple, & inexpensive to make, & can be done in about 5minutes!
 Make these as a last minute special something for all of the fabulous women on your list, would be adorable paired with a gift card & would also make the perfect stocking stuffer.


  • fold over elastic - 5/8 inch width, in any design, pattern, or colour ( You can find this at just about any craft store for just a few dollars a Foot)
  • scissors
  • a ruler / measuring tape
  •  & some fire (lighter, match, candle, etc.).


Before you begin, pick out a color of fold over elastic that you want to use.
Measure and Cut the elastic to the approriate length (8 & ¼ inches works well, but depending on thickness of hair- a ½ inch more will help)
& Tie a knot at the end - As a sizing guide - It should fit snugly around your wrist.
Lastly hold over whatever flame you have chosen for a few seconds to melt and secure any freyed ends. & you're Done! 
These could even be cute in lieu of a Bow as a gift topper!

DIY Map Wallet: For Him

This is an amazingly creative - And Man Approved - DIY Wallet that was created by upcycling a Map - A girl after my own heart!! The Tutorial was created by the incredibly talented Wilma - you can find it on her Blog By Wilma HERE!

Gift Ornaments 

I have shared a variety of DIY Ornament tutorials that can be found HERE & HERE

You can also find the tutorial for these DIY 'Sharpie' MUGS HERE which would make an awesome and very personalizable (is that a word) gift & could be filled with just about anything to take it to that next Step.

Baked Goods / Home Made Treats

Always a classic & well recieved choice! With all of the adorable festive treat boxes available now & cute DIY tutorials online you can really dress up & personalize your packaging to take this gift to the next level!

Home Made Dog Treats : Perfect for the Pup or Animal Lover on your List

Recipee - Pumpkin Perfection

Pumpkin is loaded with proetin, key nutrients, antioxidants, & vitamins C and E which help to reduce cataracts, as well as heart and digestive problems. This is a great recipee for Senior Dogs with sensative stomachs / digestive systems. It is an incredibly healthy alternative for ALL dog types, especially compared to what you will find in Pet Food Stores!
  • One 15 oz. can organic pumpkin puree (NOT the spiced pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup dry, uncooked cream of wheat (or rice cereal or rolled oats if your dog is wheat-sensitive)
  • 1/2 cup dry powdered milk or the equivelent.
    • Preheat oven to 300°.
    • In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients..
    • Gently combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.
    • Knead with your hands until you have a smooth ball of dough. Sometimes I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for faster results.
    • Take a rolling pin and flatten out the dough. Use a cookie cutter to cut out fun shapes. Or leave & bake as one large cookie &  break it up after it's cooked.
    • Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. If you want the dog treats to be softer, take them out 10 minutes earlier. Make sure you're using a non-stick baking sheet or spray it with oil.
    Adapted from All Natural Dog Treat.


I have decided to share the FREE Gift Tag Printable again Today (Dec 23rd) - Tomorrow CHRISTMAS EVE (Dec 24th - 11:59pm EST.) Enjoy & Merry Christmas!

Just a little heads up for those who see it - be sure to Follow & keep your eyes locked on the Upcy Blog in 2015 for Fast Fingers Giveaways! - Details to come. Stay Tuned. 

Dream Big      Sparkle More      Shine Bright

Sunday, December 21, 2014

DIY Christmas Tree Garland

I am certain I am not the only one who has been seeing this old 90’s style swinging back into trend!!
 I remember seeing “JOY” on Monica’s Tree on the show Friends & thought it was the cutest thing ever – When I started seeing it in advertisements leading up to the Holiday I knew I just had to try it! Such a simple & inexpensive way to add create a big impact on your tree, and is certainly something you could easily switch out & update annually!


  • A Hole punch / Hot Glue Gun
  • Decorative string 
  • Card Stock Paper
  • Glitter
  • Craft Glue
  • Paint brush
  • Stencil OR Create your own.

NOTE: I created Mine using left over card stock & gold glitter – you could Simplify this even FURHTER by using Glitter Paper – which you can find at any Craft or Dollar store – usually less than $1.00 a sheet!

How To:

Before you do ANYTHING you will have to choose your word/phrase.

If you do not have alphabetical stencils the appropriate size – my letter are about 3 x 6 INCHES but you may want to adjust the sizing depending on your tree size – you will have to create/draw your own or PRINT them off the computer. 

I only needed to create 3 stencils to create my phrase - so drew mine by hand using Graph paper as a guide. See Images below.

 You will then need to trace & cut out the appropriate number of each letter on either your card stock or Glitter paper to create your phrase!

EXAMPLE: Fa La La La La La La
1 x F
6 x L
7 x a

If like me, and you chose to use cardstock – you will want to add the Glitter at this point.
Using a Paint Brush – apply a liberal about of glue & sprinkle with glitter. Let set to dry – shake of any excess back into the bottle/ jar. 

Punch a hole using your Hole punch and loop through the holes OR Attach the string to the back of each letter using Hot Glue. & Display! 

Just a little heads up for those who see it - be sure to Follow & keep your eyes locked on the Upcy Blog in 2015 for Fast Fingers Giveaways! - Details to come. Stay Tuned. 

Dream Big      Sparkle More      Shine Bright

Monday, December 15, 2014

DIY Christmas Bulb(s)

Decorating the Tree is one of my favorite Christmas memories from my childhood, it was always such a big moment at our house. We would all collect around the tree & hang the ornaments one by one, laughing at old pictures of ourselves & our childhood artistic talents! 
I loved looking through each ornament - & the handmade ones were always the most special to us all. Each year we would make ornaments at School to give as gifts to our Parents; 
& they all pieced together like a beautiful time capsule we created together over the years.
Making my own ornaments is still something I continue to do. 
This year made a few different ones for the Christmas Craft Show, & to suit the different styles of important people in my life.

 This will be a bit of a round-up style post where I will share three different variations to switch up / DIY your old Christmas Bulbs & in case you missed it, I also previously shared a tutorial on how to create your own DIY Toboggan Ornaments, that you can find HERE.
CHRISTMAS IS ONLY 9DAYS AWAY!! So lets get cracking!! 

Dried Flower Petal / Memorial 

These hollow bulbs can be filled with any objects small enough to fit into the opening, use little moments from an Event/Trip/Achievement/ OR Milestone to create a super unique keepsake ornament! The ideas are absolutely endless with these!!
I decided to fill mine with a range or dried flowers, I had collected from various flower bouquets over the year & dried them by taping them to the wall upside down! (This will actually preserve the shape of the flower as well, & makes a gorgeous wall display using washi tape! However i decided to take them apart and use the loose petals!)
I also filled one with bright coloured confetti just for fun!!
  • Plastic/Glass Hollow Bulbs - can be found at just about any Dollar store this time of year.
  • Dried flower petals
  • Confetti(?)
  • OR whatever small trinkets you can fathom!

Hemp Wrapped

I wrapped the ornaments in hemp, securing it using a Hot Glue Gun. I decorated & hung these with items i already had including Bakers Twine, Bells & Lace and painted on a few Christmasy words - Noelle - Jingle - Merry - Joy - Peace . A few other items that would work well for these could be acorns, chestnuts, winter berries, or fresh clippings from your Christmas tree / Garden. 

  • Hemp
  • Plastic Christmas Bulb
  • Ribbon / Red & White Bakers Twine / Lace / Paint Markers

  • Sparkle Vintage Paper

    This is one I actually did last year as favors for the Cookie Exchange!
    Using Recycled Newspaper clippings, Sheet Music or Old Book Clippings (you could use clippings from a favourite song or book, to create a cute & very thoughtful gift. Simply cut up the paper into small clippings as seen in the photo below & adhere using Mod Podge. Clear drying craft glue will also work. After the entire bulb has been covered completely paint on a final coat of Mod Podge / Glue and sprinkle with glitter & hang using a piece of rope or ribbon,
    • Paper clippings of your choosing 
    • Mod Podge / Clear Drying Glue
    • Plastic Christmas Bulb
    • Glitter
    • Rope

    Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more DIY Christmas Tree Decoration Inspiration & Tutorials!!
    & Happy Decorating!!

    Dream Big      Sparkle More      Shine Bright

    Thursday, December 11, 2014

    DIY Recycled / Music Paper Wreath

    There is less than 15 DAYS until Christmas & I for one am not prepared! I normally have all of my decorating & most of my shopping done by now... Thankfully the massive snow fall has got me in full hibernation mood & feeling inspired! We celebrated the snow fall & 15 Day mark yesterday by getting our Christmas Tree, so that is one more thing I can check off the To Do! 
    This is a super simple tutorial 3 Step tutorial for the Paper wreath I did last year for our front door & a variation of the same design this year for the Craft Show - I had a lot of feedback for a Tutorial on this one - So here it is! 
    *I apologize in advance for my lack of progression shots.* 
    This would make an excellent addition to any Christmas Decor 
    OR make a beautiful handmade gift! 


    • Recycled Newspaper , An old Phone book, or sheets of music, you could even switch this up by using coloured Scrapbook/Craft paper for a completely different look!
    • Transparent tape!
    • Christmas Bulbs /whatever you chose to decorate your wreath. - I just used some old plastic gold bulbs that I had left over from years past, but you can find packages of these in varying sizes at any Dollar store & just switched a few of them up by adding Red & Green glitter!
    • Card Board (for backing)
    • Hot Glue Gun / Stapler - whichever you feel more confident using! 

    How To:

    Once you have the paper you've chosen to work with you will begin rolling up the sheets of paper individually - from corner to corner as shown in the image below! This will be the most time consuming portion of this project, but is super simple & certainly do-able while watching a Christmas Movie! 
    Note: just to give you an idea/depending on the size of wreath you wish to create, this Over-sized wreath took roughly 70 pages to create / The Phone book example shared later was roughly 50. 
    After this step has been completed you will want to trace & cut out your cardboard base.
     A small desert plate or saucer is an ideal tracing template for this step
    Using your Glue Gun or Stapler begin securing your paper rolls to the base from the outside in - overlapping slightly to ensure the cardboard is covered completely!
    Continue layering the paper rolls around your base working in towards the center until your entire wreath has taken shape! You can trim down or cut some of your paper rolls in half as you begin to approach the center of your wreath to give it a little more depth & texture! 

    Once the entire base has been completely covered attach a few Christmas Bulbs and perhaps a Bow to create your center. 
    Note: You will want to use a Glue Gun for this step! 

    Lastly secure a Loop of ribbon or Rope to the back to hang & you're DONE!

    Here is another example, one I created last year out of an old phone book.

    I know it is hard to not get caught up in all the busy hustle bustle of the Holidays, but I do hope you all have been able to pause & enjoy the season & The Snow even slightly 
    before it is too soon gone!
    & Always
    Dream Big      Sparkle More      Shine Bright

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    DIY Yarn & Christmas Lights Wreath

    Lately I have noticed that my eye has been gravitating towards the more non-traditional styles of wreaths!
     I have been experimenting a lot the last few weeks trialing different styles/methods of creating Wreaths for Christmas - Vine, Paper, Mesh, as well as abandoning the typical round design & playing with different shapes!
    This Wreath, created using just Recycled paper & Yarn is the first of many DIY Christmas Wreath Tutorials 
    I plan to share this year!

    Psst...Make sure you scroll all the way down to the bottom to receive my Gift to You!


    • Old News Papers / Advertisements / Magazines / Whatever you have lying around
    • Tape - Of any kind as this will not be visible
    • A Hot Glue Gun
    • Scissors 
    • I spool of Yarn
    • Ribbon - Again of any kind
    • Coloured Paper - including black
    • Festive String / Rope - I used silver

    How To:

    Creating your Yarn Wrapped Wreath 

    You are going to want to begin by creating your basic wreath shape / skeleton using whatever recycled papers you have rounded up! 
    You will do this by simply rolling the papers, using tape to secure it into a rough circular shape as seen in the image below.

    Once you have your rough shape made you will want to begin wrapping it using ribbon of any kind to secure & stabilize your shape! - This will all be covered in yarn & will not be visible once completed! 

    Once you have finished this step begin wrapping your wreath with Yarn & secure using Hot Glue as you Go.
     - I did mine using a Sparkly Red 'FunFur' Yarn - Continue this process until the entire Wreath has been covered as seen in the images below. - mine took just under one spool to complete!
    I apologize for the different lighting - the photos were all taken at different times of day.

    Creating Christmas Light Detail 

    Draw & cut out your Light's out of coloured paper & tops using black as seen in the series of images below!
    Once all your pieces have been cut out Glue them into shape & onto which ever string you have set aside to use as your Lights cord, again as seen below!
    Now that you have both your Yarn Wreath created & Christmas Lights strung - drape them accorss your wreath & secure at the back using your glue gun. 

    Tie a small loop of rope or create a bow out of ribbon to Display & you're Done!

    I created this Printable of Custom Upcy Christmas Gift Tags to use & share this past weekend at a Christmas Craft Show & have decided to share it here as well! It will be available as a  FREE Printable to all of my amazing followers until Dec 10th 12:00 *Midnight) EST.
    I can't thank you all enough for your continued show of support & encouragement in all of my ventures here in the Blog over the past year!

    Never Stop 
    Dreaming Big Sparkling More Shining Bright

    Monday, December 1, 2014

    DIY Toboggan Tree Ornaments

    Playing off the DIY Snowflakes Tutorial I last shared, these super cute Toboggan Tree Ornaments / Gift Topper(s) are also created using Popsicle Sticks! I like this one because it is even appropriate to do with kids (depending on age/under supervision as there is a Hot Glue Gun involved).


    • Popsicle / Craft Sticks
    • Rope
    • Ruler
    • Paint & Paint Brush
    • Hot Glue Gun& Re-fill Glue Sticks!
    • Sandpaper

    How To: 

    Step #1. Begin by cutting two of the craft sticks down to roughly 3 1/2" to use as the braces!
    Step #2. Next you will want to create the ski's for the bottom of your toboggan - do this by hot gluing two craft sticks together to create one 9 " long ski & repeat this process to make your second ski! 
    You are going to want to just set these aside for the next step - but within hands reach as you will need them again for Steps 4 & 5!
     Step #3. Lay down 8 craft sticks in an arch-shape!
    Step #4. Using your hot glue gun again, secure your Toboggan shape in place by gluing down the braces you made in Step #1 as shown above!
    Step #5. Glue your Skis one on each side - one craft stick from each side - with the majority of the Ski coming off the front - leave about 1/2" sticking out the bottom.
    Step #6. Lastly attach the front strut craft stick as shown above!
     Step #7. Using Red paint (or whatever colour you've chosen) apply 2 coats!
    Step #8. Using your sand paper, rough-up the edges a little bit to give it a rustic look!
     Step #9. Lastly Glue on a piece of Hemp rope as the Toboggan Handle / Ornament Hanger & you're Finished!

    Dream Big      Sparkle More      Shine Bright