I like making stuff. Lucky for everyone who knows me, I usually prefer to make useful things, not just doodad things. For Christmas, I made my mom and my sister beach bags. I think they were kind of fun. Of course, I did not take pictures, but I will when I am at my mom’s next time. I used pants from Goodwill in fun patterns (my sister got a striped pair of pants on the outside and olive green on the inside and my mom got a 50’s Parisian print on the outside and the stripes from my sister’s bag on the inside). The pants make great bags because of the pockets. For the bottom of the bags, I used a mesh that will allow sand to fall through as you walk back to your car or your beach house (preferably the beach house). Inside the bags, I stuck a book, lip balm, funky toenail polish, a beach sheet (lined with a vinyl tablecloth and weighted with some painted washers) and some sunscreen. I made the straps long and sturdy. They are long enough that you can carry them across your chest with the bag part bumping on your butt if you have to walk a long way. I made another version of this bag for my neighbor’s best friend. Her’s was preppy pink and green striped pants with a beautiful lining of a matching silk floral pant and I knitted the strap from some kind of funky, chunky pink yarn. It was a hit too. Anyway, I thought I’d share the idea for those of you crafty folks already thinking about next Christmas. I will try to get some pictures. (Picture is NOT one of my bags, mine have practical straps! And, um, yeah, I don’t sell them.)
I showed you the wreath I made for the front door back in November. My neighbor fell in love with it. She would come to visit the wreath. It got weird. I explained to her that we could go to Goodwill and get ornaments and make a wreath for her door too. But, she’s not really into making things. I didn’t push it. After New Year’s she asked if I would mind going to Goodwill. Talk about a wild Saturday night! We found a ton of great ornaments, Mike cut us a round piece of peg board and I fired up the glue gun.We started with a newspaper template for the base. Pegboard is a great, cheap sturdy base and all of the holes on the back give you lots of options for hanging the thing up later.
Now, I spend my life making messes and cleaning them up. There is very little in my house that has not been abused. I forget that most people do not live like this. My neighbor was so tentative when we started. We worked for about an hour just getting her used to the glue gun and accepting that it was okay to glue colors randomly. I showed her how to stand on a chair to look down at what we were doing (much prettier). After an hour, things relaxed. I did a load of laundry while she took charge, gluing and ignoring the strings of hot glue (you get those at the end).
At this point, we took the wreath across the street to make sure it wasn’t too deep for the storm door to shut in front of the front door. Made it by about 1/4″!!!!! We broke out the snacks and declared it Happy Hour as we proceeded (well she did with me nagging in the background) to add the fun, pretty ornaments on the top.
I was so proud of how confident my neighbor became by the end! She was just tossing stuff on the floor and rearranging without even looking at me for approval. Does it get better????? And the finished product is perfect (though my photography does not do it justice!)
I love it! The old, tarnished silver ornaments we picked up for $.50 look like pearls on this wreath. Overall, my neighbor spent $17.00 for this one-of-a-kind “heirloom.” And, I get to see it every year from the front of my house! I’ll see her wreath way more than I ever see mine. LOL
(For the record, we both cleaned up. And, during the whole process only one ornament was shattered on the floor!)