a crafty christmas

I'm of the school of thought that homemade gifts are often a million times more special than the ones we buy. I'm also doing my very best to be frugal for Christmas this year, so we all decided to get a little crafty this season. This Christmas will be spent with my parents, my sister, Nikki, and her husband, Adam, my little sister, Kristina and her boyfriend, Josh, my brother-in-law's sister, Rachel, and her friend, Carlos and, of course, Ryan. That's a heck of a lot of people (and gifts)…the most ever.

We do a gift exchange each year where we choose a name from a hat, and that person gets a big gift.  Everybody else gets a gift of a $25 max, so I decided to mix things up this year and make some gifts that might mean just a little bit more.

Rachel recently moved to Boston for a year-long orthopedic fellowship after a year in Los Angeles, and she misses it so much. I knew I wanted to make her something that would remind her of her home and keep it in her heart until she goes back next year. I found a little inspiration on Pinterest & made this:


Guys, this was super easy, fast and really affordable, and I'm it's the kind of gift that a person can look at for a little happy reminder all year 'round. I spent a grand total of $19.33 on her gift, and I'm legit pondering making one for myself…except there is no one state that I really consider my home! Sheesh.


To make one of your own, all you need is a picture frame - I think an 8x10 would be best to make sure you can really see the state - matting for the frame, mod podge, glitter, glue (a hot glue gun, glue dots or a stick would be better than the liquid glue I used), a sponge brush, hair spray, white or colored card stock and scrapbook heart stickers. 

I printed an outline of California, then I cut it out and traced it upside down on card stock…this is so the lines you trace won't show up. Once I cut the state out of the card stock, I brushed it with a thin layer of mod podge and then doused it heavily in glitter. I did this in a deep baking dish to attempt to stop the spread of glitter, which is honestly the herpes of craft supplies. Let the glitter and mod podge and glitter dry for ten minutes, then shake off the excess. If it needs another coat, repeat the mod podge/glitter step again. Once it's completely coated and dry, spray it lightly with hairspray to fully adhere the glitter to the state.

After that, glue the back of the state and place it neatly on a second piece of card stock behind the matting in the frame. Adhere a heart sticker in the city or locale of your choice, then tighten up the frame and voila! Seriously, it's super easy and despite the fact that glitter is the bane of my existence, I'm really happy with how it turned out. 

Do you guys ever do crafty gifts? I can't wait to do a few more and, hopefully, share better pictures ;)

21 comments

  1. This is so cute! I LOVE glitter :)

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    1. Glitter is awesome...until you have to clean up again! ;)

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    1. Thank you! I give all credit to Pinterest for any crafty things I come up with ;)

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  3. We do home made Christmas at my inlays every year! It's so much fun to see what people come up with!

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    1. That's awesome! I'm a huge fan of personalized gifts...I'm hoping everyone likes what I make this year :)

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  4. That is adorable. I'm totally doing this.

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    1. It only took me about 35 minutes, and half that time was waiting for it to dry haha

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  5. GLITTER is the herpes of crafts...AHAHHA. welcome to my house. i just did a project with glitter and a frame and i swear it's EVERYWHERE!

    this is such a cute idea!

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    1. Thanks, Ashley! I love glitter, but it never. goes. away!

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  6. I'm obsessed with this!!! I am from california too and have been searching for something just like this! I am so excited to try it!

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    1. Thank you, doll! It's so so so easy, and if you try it, I'd sure love to see how it turns out!

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  7. Adorable! Such a good idea. And it's freaking blingy. Like oh my god.

    › xo fal • falfindshappiness.blogspot.com

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  8. This seriously turned out SO cute! I really want to make one! And I about died when I read "glitter is the herpes of craft supplies"... so much truth to that haha

    XOXO
    Chelsea
    http://www.anchorsaweighblog.com/

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  9. That is adorable! Handmade gifts always have more meaning in my opinion!

    I also wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for an award on my blog!

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  10. Oh wow, that turned out amazing!! Can't wait to make one for myself one day!! Ha!! I am a big fan of homemade, every year I do something homemade for everyone that I give a gift to (for the most part) this year I made homemade vanilla extract, one year I made homemade spaghetti noodles & sauce, it adds a meaningful touch to gift giving, that's for sure!

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  11. What a CUTE idea! You can't go wrong with glitter, either!!!! I don't think I've ever made a gift before... besides coupon books when I was a kid. :) I'm horrible at crafts. :(

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  12. LOVE the glitter and everything about it. i might need to make a pdx one.

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  13. Looks awesome! The minute I decide where to hang one of those in our house, I'd love to make something similar!

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  14. LOVE this! I think I might have to steal this idea when I have more time for crafting. I'm thinking of doing one for Texas with two hearts (one for my hometown and one for my hubby's). And then do all of the other states we've lived in with American flag stickers for where we've been stationed.

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