gift guides 2010: the diy’er


Are you buying a gift for your favorite DIY’er this holiday? Here are some ideas to keep them inspired and well-stocked for the next year! –Rebecca F.

Rotary cutter – Rotary cutters are excellent to cut through several layers of fabric and paper. Also makes quick work of strip cutting.

Self-healing cutting mat – Great for using with a rotary cutter or Xacto knives. No more shredding magazines!

Sharp craft scissors or a gift of scissor sharpening – You don’t know what sharp scissors are until you have new ones! Or, for more experienced DIY’ers, a gift of scissor sharpening from a local fabric/craft store is also a great and unexpected treat.

Steel ruler – Wooden rulers get nicked and can cause rough edges when used with a cutting blade. A steel or metal ruler guarantees a nice crisp edge.

Sharpie fine point pen sets – Great for customized projects like labels, cards and coding systems, these come in handy often, and this pack includes almost any color one could ask for.

Durable plastic or vinyl tablecloth – For those of us that don’t have a dedicated project space, a plastic table cover is indispensible for protecting that kitchen table from crafting mishaps!

A label maker – Help your favorite DIYer stay organized!

Task lamp – Great for shedding light on projects that involve detailed beading, sewing, etc.

Personalized labels – A beautiful touch to add that special final sentiment to handmade gifts!

Have ideas for specialized craft categories? Share in comments!

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elf on the shelf: a christmas tradition

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Mr. Claus is a busy guy. He’s making a list, and then meticulously checking it over more than once. Take the global population into account, do some quick math and you’re realizing he must be running that tight schedule on some pretty calculated military time. So how does he also have time to see us when we’re sleeping and know when we’re awake? Easy. He sends scout elves. This week I was introduced Elf on the Shelf, a concept that is apparently a very popular Christmas tradition. The book, written by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell, explains how Santa resolves his logistical issue by sending elves that watch children by day and report back to him at night. The elves return to their assigned houses by morning and assume a different hiding spot each day to keep kids guessing while on their best behavior. Crafty and effective! Reviews seem to show that many families love the tradition; others think it’s silly, while still others ask the tough questions, like, why doesn’t the elf have feet? What do you think readers? Do you have an elf on your shelf? –Sarah C.

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just for fun:

While surfing the web for some new holiday recipes recently, I stumbled upon this listing for Santa’s Whiskers Cookies. The source? The Mrs. herself! The link brought me to Mrs. Claus’ Cookbook at Further investigation unearthed a world of holiday cheer for those who celebrate Christmas. Festive recipes, crafts, games and even letters to Santa and ElfChat with chief correspondents Bif and Bonnie are a few of the features on this massive site dedicated to ringing in the holiday for parents and kids alike. Looking for the weather at the North Pole? Get the five day forecast here and track Santa’s epic flight via NORAD starting December 24! –Sarah C.

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ring in 2011: the international year of forests

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We Need More Trees 2

While we take these few weeks to look back on the year that was, the United Nations General Assembly is busy looking ahead to 2011, which it has declared the International Year of Forests. In celebration, Treehugger contributor and product designer Petz Scholtus has created the We Need More Trees card. Available in her Etsy shop ($20 for five) the card features a connect-the-dots design intended to spread the word through a new year’s greeting. Grab a marker or a needle and thread (helpful tips here) and complete to reveal a happy visual message for what will hopefully be a more sustainable new year! –Sarah C.

Images from via Treehugger

From our partners

inside-the-box gift idea: playing with cardboard


Bring home anything and kids always seem to think that the cardboard box it comes in is the coolest part. (Growing up, I remember when my best friend’s parents bought a new refrigerator and we got a new fort out of it. Score!) But, in this case, the cardboard really is the best part — because it’s designed to be a tree, a cooker, a playhouse, a rocket or a dollhouse. Unlike cardboard nursery gear, which raised some safety concerns when we posted about it earlier this year, these imagination-boosting cardboard products for toddlers and school-aged kids are getting positive buzz on design sites and making appearances in interior design magazines. The concept and price tag won me over … we’ll have the Color Me House playhouse under our tree this year — the moon and star cutouts in the roof are definite upgrades from my fort days! –Ginny F.

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