My line of DIY Valentine's Day printables is featured on WeddingLovely's blog today and I wanted to make sure I shared that post with all of my loyal readers!

It is very exciting to have my items in front of so many possible customers and right before Valentine's day no less!

It would be awesome if a few of my loyal readers could stop by the WeddingLovely blog and leave a comment or two about the feature!

My inspiration behind these Valentine’s Day DIY greeting cards, gift tags and mason jar wraps sold on Etsy is to provide my customers with an affordable and simple way to celebrate Valentine’s day with their loved ones. Be it your spouse, your children, a sister or a friend, these DIY downloads allow for anyone to create an affordable Valentine’s day gift for someone they care about.

These affordable gifts range from mason jars filled with Red Hots and labeled with our Happy Valentine’s Day wrap and “I have the hots for you” gift tag to our “I love you to the moon and back” celestial Valentines Day greeting card, all do it yourself projects that are affordable and simple to complete.

Click on the image to visit my Etsy store and shop today!

For more DIY tutorials, wedding inspiration and inspirational musings visit www.bethericksondeisgns.com/allthingscreative.

Do you take a lot of photos of the places you have been, the ones you love, nature, rustic old buildings or just things that catch your eye? Do you ever wonder what to do with all those photos? Why not make them into a personalized gift for someone special? Did you know that it’s really very easy to do?

All you need is a jpeg of your image, a computer, an Internet connection and a debit/credit card and you are ready to go. Now you are thinking but where do I go to make these personalized gifts? Well look no further than this post! I have some resources for you that will be helpful for you. You can personalize almost anything with your own photos, your name, your initials and more! You can have your photos printed on wood, metal, glass, and canvas or poster paper! You can customize a cell phone case, cutting boards, serving trays, giftwrap, note cards and the list goes on!

I have used these sites for just about every special occasion in my marriage to make my husband a photo book or calendar that captures all our special moments. These are gifts that will be held on to and looked at over and over for a lifetime.

My first recommendation is www.zazzle.com. Zazzle allows you to customize wedding invitations, save the date cards, cell phone cases, leggings, tote bags, t-shirts, watches, tissue paper, gift wrap and a lot more.

I have a store on Zazzle, www.zazzle.com/EricksonDesigns* where you can order, photo Christmas cards, stationary, home décor items, tissue paper and more. My collection is still growing so check back often! If you see a design in my store that you would like to see on a different product feel free to send me a message and let me know. I love customer feedback!

Next, www.snapfish.com which is primarily a photo driven website. They allow you to put your photos on fleece blankets, mugs, canvas, metal, wood, Christmas cards, gift items and create photo books to hold all your memories. I have found that Snapfish photo books make wonderful gifts.

After that, www.shutterfly.com. They pretty much do the same items as Snapfish but allow you to personalize stationary, cell phone cases and gifts. They are affiliated with TinyPrints and Wedding Divas.

Along with all these websites you can also visit Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Costco and Rite-Aid to have your photos printed or put on special gifts. It all really depends on the price you want to pay and the quality you want to receive. Another option is Etsy. There are many shops on Etsy where you can work with a designer one-on-one and they will design your item for you and even help you order the end product if you need them too.  Visit my Etsy store, www.bethannerickson.etsy.com to see the item I offer or contact me for a custom order.

The steps to customize your items really are very simple and each of the sites work pretty much the same way. I will run through the basics with you below.

Step One: Chose the site you want to order from. Click a link above or search or a site on your own. There are many more companies out there than I have room for in this blog. A search on Google will highlight most of them for you.

Step Two: Create and account on the site you choose by clicking their “sign-up” now button.

Step Three: Search their site for the product you want to customize.

Step Four: Once you have found the item, click through to the customize page for that item. Once you are there, there will be buttons that either say customize, upload, edit or something along those lines. Click the appropriate button.

Step Five: Upload your photo by clicking the appropriate button on the page and navigating to your computer and the location in which you store your photos. Choose the correct photo and wait for it to upload.

Step Six: Check to make sure you photo is positioned the way you want it, resize, rotate and crop it using the tools on your chosen site, add text or other elements until you like the way your item looks.

Step Seven: Place your order and pay.

Each site will be a little different in how it operates, but these are the basic steps you need to know to create your own personalized photo gifts. All of these sites have extensive help pages to help you learn how to use their site and customer service agents you can contact. I have found that these sites are very user friendly, I hope you find them to be also.

Consider turning your photos this holiday season to the perfect gift for someone you love.

More holiday ideas still to come! I love Christmas!

Yes, I know, Thanksgiving has not even been celebrated yet! But if you don't start thinking about Christmas gifts now, the next thing you know it will be December and you will be running out of time. You will really be out of time if you want to give handmade gifts. So, even though it’s early, let’s get started! Who knows, maybe you will have all your gifts done before Thanksgiving and you can just look forward to enjoying the hustle and the bustle of the holiday season without the stress of shopping at the busiest time of the year!

I know I always say I am going to start early this year and then it never happens. Well, I am hoping to change that this year and I hope this list of creative gift ideas will help you change that too! Some of these items will be things you can make yourself and some of them will be beautiful finds on Etsy! I love finding a few of my gifts each year on Etsy (www.etsy.com), because I truly believe that Etsy provides an avenue to find a gift the perfectly fits the person you are giving it too. Etsy may not have something for every single person in your life, but I do believe you can find at least one of your gifts there and also enjoy the idea of shopping small and supporting those who pour their time and energy into making something unique. I challenge you to find at least one gift on Etsy this year for someone special in your life. Okay, back to the list!

Handmade note cards: Make them yourself with wonderful instant downloads from Etsy or purchase completed notecards. A few of my favorite Etsy shops for purchasing completed cards are: CreationsKMP (www.etsy.com/shop/creationsKMP), HeartsEase2 (www.etsy.com/shop/HeartsEase2), or BlueVioletSentiment (www.etsy.com/shop/BlueVioletSentiments). To purchase instant downloads to create your own notecards try these stores: pointandpoem (www.etsy.com/shop/pointandpoem) or dariakonik (www.etsy.com/shop/dariakonik). These are just a few of the shops I found on Etsy that supply clipart or notecards, there are many more to be discovered.

Mason Jar Gifts: Mason jars can be used in a variety of ways at Christmas for gifts. A few ideas that come to mind are, cookie mix, hot cocoa mix, quick bread mix, an assortment of favorite candy or nuts, beauty products, art supplies and much more. Decorate your mason jar with one of these free mason jar wraps (Download here, 10 inch or 14 inch) or purchase a mason jar wrap from my Etsy store (www.bethannerickson.etsy.com). My mason jar wraps come in 10 inches or 14 inches, to print the larger size you need to have access to a printer that prints on 11x17 paper.

Unique Jewelry & Engraved Items: Etsy is home to many talented jewelry artists. Shop for beaded earrings, beach glass pendants, engraved sterling bracelets, key chains and everything in between. You are certain to find the perfect piece for the special person in your life. Visit some of these shops to see if they meet your needs: BethAnnErickson (www.bethannerickson.etsy.com), TimArtCreations (www.etsy.com/shop/TimArtCreations) or sweetstonesjewelry (www.etsy.com/shop/sweetstonesjewelry).

Crochet a Scarf: A soft warm scarf is the perfect winter gift and even better if you make it yourself. Don't know how to crochet? Did you know that www.youtube.com has instructional videos for beginners just like yourself . We are heading into the season where you will find yarn on sale at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and other craft stores, making this gift idea very affordable. So why not pick up some yarn today and try out a beginner’s video. I watched this video myself and found it very easy to follow. (Beginners Crochet Project) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx6oEOxOekI)

Baked Goods: We all spend time in the kitchen at the holidays, cooking and baking so we usually have the supplies we need on hand. Why not put some of that time baking to use finishing up your holiday gifts. Holiday tins are easy to find this time of year at Walmart, Fred Meyer and any craft store, along with holiday themed parchment paper. A few supplies and some time in the kitchen and you have some tasty holiday gifts that are sure to please. They are perfect for that one person in your life who is difficult to figure out what to give.

Some other affordable gift ideas are homemade candles, hand-painted kitchen utensils or a handmade Christmas tree decoration. I am sure I could come up with many more ideas for you, but I think this list will get you started. Etsy is a great resource for handmade gifts if you don’t have the time or inclination to make them yourself.

If you have an idea but are not sure how to accomplish it feel free to contact me and I will see if I can help. Good luck with your Christmas shopping!

Make sure to stop by my Etsy store, www.bethannerickson.etsy.com or my Zazzle store, www.zazzle.com/EricksonDesigns to see what other wonderful items we have for sale!

Father's day is just around the corner and today I was thinking, what ideas do I have that might help those needing a last minute gift idea for dad?

That's when it came to me! Why not use my mason jar wrap available at www.bethannerickson.etsy.com to wrap a jar of peanuts, a wine bottle, a jar of salsa or bag of coffee beans or fill a mason jar with his favorite candy. Really anything could be wrapped with one of my mason jar wraps to make into a personalized gift for Dad. There are so many ideas I could go on and on!

As I think about it, my dad has practically everything he could want. Does he really need another bbq set, car wash kit, or some trendy gift item he might never use? No! But I do know that every Dad has a snack food or a drink that he loves, that he would buy for himself. Why not make it into a Father's Day gift?

My mason jar wraps are affordable and easy to purchase and download on Etsy.

Supplies Needed:

  • Jar of Peanuts or other gift item
  • Printer
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Tape
  • PDF of Mason jar wrap

Step one: Purchase and print the mason jar wrap

Step two: Trim the wrap to size

Step three: Wrap around the gift item and tap in place

Three very simple steps and you have the perfect gift for dad!

Visit www.bethannerickson.etsy.com to purchase one of our very versatile mason jar wraps today and create your own unique gift for dad!

Happy Wednesday! This week I want to share with you how to create your own mason jar gift basket! Gift giving is an art and to give the perfect gift you must think about the person you are giving it to and what they might enjoy. What could be more perfect than filling a mason jar with gifts chosen just for that person.

In the following tutorial I will give you a few ideas on how to create a mason jar gift basket. But the sky is the limit, well actually the size of the mason jar would be the limit, have fun and think outside the box, or should I say jar.

Step One: Purchase your mason jar in any size you would like to fill. Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Wal-Mart, among many other stores, are good places to find these. If you are like me you already have dozens around your house.

Step Two: Visit www.bethannerickson.etsy.com to purchase a pre-designed mason jar wrap. The wraps are instant downloads that you print at home and then wrap around the outside of the mason jar to help set the tone of your gift.

Step Three: Trim the print to the correct size, tape one end to your mason jar and wrap around until it meets the other end and tape together to hold in place. (At the time of writing this tutorial our mason jar wraps did not fit around the quart size jars, we have now added a 14 inch file to all the listings on Etsy, but you will need a printer that can print on larger paper than 8.5x11 to be able to use them.)

Step Four: Fill your mason jar with the appropriate gifts for the recipient.

Examples :

Pedicure Kit: Nail polish (1-3 bottles), nail clippers, nail file, toe separators and any other nail care items you think they might enjoy.

Shaving Kit (Men): Small bottle of shaving cream, new razor and blades, small bottle of aftershave and any other useful shaving items.

Movie Night (Men and Women): Candy, popcorn, popcorn seasoning shaker, gift card to purchase a new movie.

Coffee Lover (Cold Brew Set): Cold brew Mason jar kit (Can be purchased at www.etsy.com/shop/CoffeeSockCo. A special thanks goes out to CoffeeShock Co. for offering to send me a ColdBrew filter to try out. As soon as I receive it I will post a blog about how it works and pictures of a completed Coffee Lover Gift Set.), coarse ground coffee, mini bottles of coffee syrups or simple syrups. (There are various recipes online for making your own simple syrup coffee flavors. They are also sold on Etsy.)

Tea Lover: Nut bag Tea Filter (for sun tea), Loose leaf tea, tea bags, instructions for making sun tea (www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/sun_tea), honey sticks (Can be purchased on Etsy or other local retailers.)

Date Night: movie tickets, restaurant gift card, pre-Movie date activities (search online and write them on colorful pieces of paper).

Artist: Mini Colored Pencils, mini sketch pad, small tubes of watercolor paints, watercolor pencils, watercolor brushes

There are so many more ideas; I could go on and on. I am sure you can come up with your own unique ideas. The key to the art of giving: It’s all about the recipient! Who are they? What are their hobbies? What do they enjoy? Focus on them and your gift will turn out perfect.

Thank you so much for reading our tutorial and don't forget to sign up to receive the blog in your inbox each week and we will send your a discount code good at our Etsy shop. Visit www.bethericksondesigns.com//beth-ann-erickson-designs to sign up!

BONUS IDEA:

Another wonderful use for mason jars to save money for special trips and/or purchases as shown in the example here of our Road Trip Fund Jar.

Coming Next Week: Mug Love: Mug Cakes as Gifts & more (WITH A FREE DOWNLOAD).

WELCOME

Welcome to my blog! This is my very first entry and hopefully, it will be the start of something wonderful! This blog is dedicated to all things creative. What falls within that category is well...completely up to me. I am an artist, graphic designer, and an Etsy seller (www.bethannerickson.etsy.com). I always have some sort of craft, art, or design project running through my head, and what better way to put them to good use than to share them with you. I hope you enjoy this blog and find it informational, fun, and useful!

JOURNAL TUTORIAL

Personalizing your own journal or notebook is a very simple and affordable project. It only takes an hour at the most, but usually less. There are a variety of images available for sale online. They come as an instant download in a JPEG or PDF format that you can download and print on your home printer. You get to choose what type of paper you would like to print it on, what style of journal you would like to affix it to, and the color combinations that are most pleasing to you. To guide you through the process I have detailed the steps below. Follow these simple steps and you will have a journal that uniquely yours! It's a perfect project for a rainy spring day! The images used in this tutorial come from Etsy (www.bethannerickson.etsy.com) and there are many more to choose from besides those posted here.

Step One: Purchase a journal or notebook. I found mine at Marshall's but I have also located them at Ross, TJ Max, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Amazon or PaperSource. (Cost approximately $2.99 - $5.99).

Step Two: Search Etsy (www.bethannerickson.etsy.com) for the image you would like to purchase, print and download. (The images I used cost about $3 each). Make sure you are choosing images that fit your journal. The ones I used were 5x7 sized. Purchase and download your images.

Step Three: Decide what type of paper you would like to print your image on. You don't have to use a special paper like I will outline here if your trying to keep your costs down. You can use whatever paper you have at home. Some ideas for paper are Canvas Paper, Bristol (Card Stock) or Watercolor paper as shown in the photo. I chose to use watercolor paper for my prints.

Step Four: Print your image in color onto the paper of your choice and trim the image to the appropriate size to fit your journal using scissors or a paper cutter as shown here.

Step Five: Using Glue dots, glue stick, or scrapbook tape or glue affix the print to the cover of your journal!

It's that easy, now you have your own customized journal that is uniquely yours! This project also works well for gifts! As you can see from my pictures my notebooks came in a set of three so now I have three journals. I can use all three as a gift set or keep one for myself and give the others away.

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