Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Fall Frugal Fun: Thanksgiving Favors, Place Cards and More!

Hi everyone,

It's hard to believe the holidays are here!  The local radio station just started playing holiday music 24/7... that's when you know Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  And you know what that means: FOOD, FAMILY and FUN!

When I was younger, our family would typically drive down to New Jersey and spend Thanksgiving at my aunt's house.  We would have an amazing weekend of eating.  Thanksgiving dinner typically consisted of half "American" and half "Chinese" food.  Occasionally we would experiment with different food discoveries.  One year, I went back and wanted to show of my sushi making skills and tried to make sushi for the whole family.  Only, I misread the recipe and added a cup of vinegar to the rice instead of a tablespoon. As a result we had a lot of vinegar flavored rice to use up that weekend!

After Thanksgiving Day, we would get up bright and early and head to the outlet malls for some fun shopping excursions, fighting the insane crowds and cars.  We set out in multiple cars, had different meeting times and locations and went off on our own to shop.  I'm always impressed that we were able to make this happen and not get lost. After all, this was the era before we all had cell phones!

But the holiday season doesn't necessarily mean we need to spend a ton of money.  I'm here today with a few easy DIY Thanksgiving decorating ideas that are fun for the whole family to make. Consider these projects "frugal fun" ways to use up any scraps you have lying around.  And, if you're interested in tips to help you stay on budget this holiday season, check out these free financial tools from Personal Capital.

First up: Party Favor Boxes.  You can fill them with candy and other treats!

I used the Mama Elephant Gable Boxes and one sheet of 12x12 patterned paper to make these two party favor boxes.  It's so easy and fun.  I decorated the front with an embossed "thanks" from the Simon Says Stamp Thankful Hearts stamp set and paired that with some scrap patterned paper.

Next, I have place cards.  These are so easy to make!

I used the same patterned paper as the paper I used for the gable boxes, cut them into 3.5"W x 4.25"H rectangles and folded them in half.  I used the same rectangle die from the Gable Boxes and cut out scraps of orange and green paper.  I stamped "Mama" and "Baba" in gold ink using the Mama Elephant Calli Letters stamp set.  You could easily just write the names by hand.  I finished them with decorative leaf stickers from my ever-growing sticker collection.  This pack of 18 clear glitter stickers was only $1 from Hobby Lobby!

Lastly, I made a few napkin rings with my remaining scrap paper.

I punched two circles from the same scrap paper, added the stickers and wrapped a ring around the napkins with the leafy patterned paper I used for the favor boxes and the place cards.  

In addition to these projects, there are so many other DIY projects you can make for the holidays.  Banners, thankful/gratitude cards, food labels for parties... the key is to have fun and get the whole family involved.  It's all about the fun and you don't have to spend a lot of money.  Just search the house for different scraps you have lying around and make something creative!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Gobble Gobble!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Card Series: One Kit - Five Cards | Doodlebug Design | Under the Sea

Hi everyone,

Given all the recent events happening IRL (in real life), I've turned to my happy place... card making. I also haven't posted a video on my YouTube channel in a while, so this weekend, I posted a series of card videos where I use one kit and make five different cards.

The original inspiration for this project came a few weeks ago as I was preparing for my much needed vacation to Hawaii.  I was so excited and thought it would be fun to create a bunch of cards for each day while I was in Hawaii.  Well, guess what?  I didn't make any videos or do much of anything while I was on vacation.  In the days leading to vacation I was busy with work and packing and just getting everything in order.  Do you ever clean the house before you leave for vacation?  For some reason, I like do tidy up before I go... or at least try to tidy.  I had grand plans of writing blog posts and editing videos while on my trip... but guess what?  I didn't.  I spent most of my vacation eating yummy food, relaxing, spending time with fun people and experiencing once in a lifetime adventures, like watching lava flow straight into the ocean at 5am.

Okay, back to this card series.  With the ocean, beach, Hawaii them in mind, I decided to use this super cute Doodlebug Design Under the Sea Collection Essentials Kit.  If you're not familiar with Doodlebug Design, they make the happiest, brightest, cutest designs, characters and patterns.  Everything coordinates.  Everything is just ever-so-cheerful!  This kit is no different!

Here are images of the five cards I created (well, 6 really) and a BONUS plan with me video.  I also posted tutorial process videos on my Bubblegum Paper YouTube Channel.  You can see the entire playlist here or click on each image below to go directly to the corresponding process video on YouTube.

Card 1: Hugs - Click to see this card on YouTube
Card 2: Peace - Click to see this card on YouTube
Card 3: Aloha - Click to see this card on YouTube
Card 4: Love - Click to see this card on YouTube
Card 5: Happiness - Click to see this card on YouTube
BONUS: Plan with Me Planner Video - Click to see this card on YouTube

Hope you enjoy watching the videos and I'll be back soon with more projects!


Monday, November 7, 2016

Fairy Wishes | Collab: Chibitronics + Lawn Fawn

Hello everyone!

I has been a long time since I've posted cards... but rest assured there are many cards (and videos) coming your way shortly.  Today, I'm posting another fun design team collabortation card.  The Chibitronics design team paired up with Lawn Fawn once again to bring you some festive holiday cards.  I used the Frosty Fairy Friends stamps and dies to make this card.


  • Chibitronics: Chibi Lights LED Circuit Stickers starter kit*
  • Lawn Fawn: Frosty Fairy Friends stamps and dies*
  • Lawn Fawn: Cross Stitched Squares dies (large and small)
  • Lawn Fawn: Stitched Hillside borders dies
  • Distress Ink: Salty Ocean, Chipped Sapphire, Seedless Preserves
  • Copic Markers
  • Foam Adhesive
  • Adhesive Tape Runner
  • White card stock
    • 4"x4" square for the sky background
    • 4"x8" card base
    • extra card stock for frame and hills
  • Stamp all the images, color with copic markers, cut out using coordinating dies
  • Die cut stitched hillside borders to make two hills
  • Die cut the cross-stitched frame
  • Use distress inks to blend the sky
  • Place all elements on the card to find the spot where the light sticker should go.
  • Punch a hole in the treehouse window and mark the spot on the sky card with a pencil
  • Punch a hole in the sky card.
  • Place sky card over the card base and mark the spot with a pencil.  This is where the light sticker goes.
  • Using copper tape, lay down a positive and negative lead to the battery holder and place sticker on top of the copper tape right over your pencil mark.  Place battery in battery holder.
  • Add foam adhesive in two layers around the entire card base and three sides of the battery holder to keep the battery from slipping out. 
  • Attach the sky background.
  • Layer the scene on top using foam adhesive and adhesive tape runner.
  • To turn off the battery, insert a scrap piece of card stock in between the battery and the copper tape.  When the recipient pulls the tab, the card will light up.

Note: the products noted with an asterisk (*) were generously provided by the sponsors.  All other products I purchased on my own.  All opinions expressed are my own.