Boxes, bags, hostess gifts, etc – Miriam Thomas

Category: Boxes, bags, hostess gifts, etc

Every year my kids like to give their classmate a little something before the end of the school year.  We’ve done Christmas cards in previous years but the sweet treats always seem to be more popular with young folk.    This year we ran out of time to hand stamp their little gifts so instead I used “My Digital Studio”  to save a little time.

I created the following “bag topper” using the simple-to-use program

My Project 34-001- reduced size for blog


I then had them printed off and stapled them to the top of the fabulous Stampin’ Up Cellophane bags.  These bags used to have a ‘seam’ on the back and I used to have to remind the kids to fill the bags so that the seam was on the back! Not anymore! No seams! Gosh even more reasons to love these versatile little bags (Check them out in my store)

This was the end product filled with some Christmas lollies

christmas lolly bags 2


……and of course we made sure there was enough for everyone in their classes

christmas lolly bags


I also wanted to decorate some of the “Decorative Window Gift Boxes”  and was thrilled to find that the lolly bag toppers I had created were the perfect fit for the clear window on the top of the kraft boxes.

kraft boxes 2


I filled them with chocolates and little candles and tied with a simple bow and they made cute little gifts for the Teachers and Education assistants.

kraft boxes

In my last blog entry- I shared Adam’s Angry Birds Birthday Party . The day after Adam’s party we had a party for his twin, Erin.  This was a GIRL ONLY EVENT!  Even her 3 brothers had to spend some time outside with Dad while the girls enjoyed some crafty entertainment….much to their disgust! (Having said that all the boys- including Dad were allowed into the craft classroom after the party and were allowed to get creative too!)

Erin enjoyed the afternoon with a group of really lovely young ladies.  They were beautifully behaved the entire time! What a gorgeous bunch!

Here is the invitation that went out to her guests (Created in “My Digital Studio”)

erin invite 3


opening gifts small

A SNAPSHOT OF SOME OF THE DECORATIONS (Luke asked me why Dad and I hung up ‘lots of those things you use to wash yourself in the shower’….Hmmm I guess some of them looked a little like a ‘shower puff’)

decorations small

The girls were invited into my ‘craft classroom’ (that I use for adult classes) for a bit of creative ‘girly time’.

craft room small

erin craftng small

Each guest made a bracelet, a little purse to carry the bracelet and an ice cream card.

crafty creations small

They cut out the purses using a die and my Bigshot. Aren’t they cute!?  The ice cream on the front of the card was cut out of the shapes on the petal cone die.

I’m pretty sure they all enjoyed themselves and they all did such a wonderful job! 🙂

girls with creations small

We got so distracted that we ‘almost’ ran out of time for the party food.  I had just enough time to throw the party food on the table before the parents arrived to collect their children.  Please excuse the photos….it was my intention to make it look ‘pretty’ but in the end it was just placed on the table randomly and the sun was in an awkward position to take decent photos.

party food 2 small

party food 1 small

icecream cones small

party food 3

jelly small

The main food was of course- Ice Cream! All the girls were able to make their own ice cream Sundaes.  (I think a few were so ‘creative’ that they went home with a belly ache!) There were a variety of toppings to create their own ultimate Icecream Sundae! The other party food included cupcakes, sherbet cones, purple butterfly shaped biscuits, fairy floss, ice cream ‘cake pops’, marshmallows, popcorn, lolly teeth and other tasty treats!


cake small

I must admit that I wasn’t entirely happy with how the cake turned out! I’m not one to make too much of a fuss of a birthday cake.  I am normally one to just  throw on some icing and lollies and hope for the best…..but I’m not sure I pulled it off this time! I just didn’t get the balance of colour right! I was hoping the chocolate on the icecream would be a deeper turquoise, the purple icing darkened over time and the pink wasn’t ‘pink enough’ (I used most of the food colouring on the red part of Adam’s cake the day before oops! )   At about 11pm I wasso disappointed that I was very close to starting up the oven to bake another cake and Jason convinced me that it would be crazt- reminding me that it only takes a moment to sing “Happy Birthday” and then the cake is cut into pieces!  No-one seemed to mind that I didn’t bake another cake.

ERIN BLOWING OUT THE CANDLES ( I can’t believe she is NINE!)

blowing out candles small


the aftermath small

Each guest took home the items they had made, a bag of lollies (decorated by Erin using retire Stampin’ Up! papers that matched her theme perfectly) plus a small wrapped gift containing a journal and shower gel, lotion etc all wrapped up with gorgeous Stampin’ Up! ribbon.

lolly bags small

take home gift small

It is our final family birthday this month (All 6 birthdays are within a 6 week period) – I must give some serious thought to what I’m going to do for Jared’s birthday in about 9 days time!


10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Blast off!


It is the start of the ‘birthday season’ in our household.  The first birthday for the year is Luke and he will be turning 5 years old tomorrow!   I’m in disbelief that my ‘baby’ will be FIVE! As his birthday falls over the Easter weekend he celebrated with a party with his friends on Wednesday.  I was quite rapt when he requested an alien/ space themed birthday.  Luke has quite a vivid imagination and I was worried his ideas would be a bit too ‘out there’ for me to achieve but I knew I could pull off a space themed party- especially as I had the “Blast off” stamp set and “Outer space” wheel sitting on my stamp shelves ready to be used.

blast off


outer space wheel

I obviously started with the invitations.   I didn’t want to have too much cutting out or anything too fussy/ time consuming so most of the stamping was on a single layer of whisper white cardstock.



At this point I hadn’t even considered a colour theme- but when I stumbled across as a space themed tablecloth and a space shuttle pinata I decided I would go with blue, orange and yellow (and black and white)- or in stampin’ up colours Pacific Point, Tangerine tango, and Daffodil delight.    I managed to find lovely paper lanterns and stars to decorate the backyard



luke party

Of course, all of the party food was linked to the theme and I used the petal cone die to make rocket shapes and the Apothecary accent framelits to make labels for the food items.

mini meteorites

more alien cupcakes


milky ways


star cookies

space rocks


saturn rings


planet balls

hot meteorites



alien slime

alien face biscuits


food tables 3

food table

food table 2


alien cupcakes


I made little cupcake toppers using the “Blast off” stamp Set, circle punches and scallop circle punches




blast off cupcakes

alien cupcakes 2


There was so much left over food.  At least some people stopped to enjoy the sugar feast

adam at luke's party



Luke LOVED his birthday cake

luke and cake 2


singing happy birthday


luke and cake


If laughter and excited squeals is anything to go by, then the kids all had a great time.  We played traditional games such as pass the parcel and musical bobs.  They went hunting in the backyard for planet tokens.  Those who managed to find Saturn received a prize.   I found a great rocket that the kids enjoyed colouring in


luke in rocket


They also had fun with the Space Shuttle Pinata




pinata 2


There were smiles all round! 🙂


erin at luke's party


Of course, no 5 year old birthday party would be complete without a fun loot bag to take home


party loot


Here are the “Loot bag” contents.  I must confess that I think I have just as much fun as the kids trying to find items for the loot bags to fit the theme.

loot bag stash


Luke tells me his party was AWESOME and he is already looking forward to his 6th birthday party! I need to make it through the next 3 kids’ birthdays in April and May (as well as Jason and my birthday too) before I start thinking about his 6th birthday.   🙂


Sincere apologies for my lack of blog posts lately- I’ve been doing what one does during the school holiday break-Enjoying Christmas and the new year and spending quality time with my family and friends.  We’ve just returned from a lovely relaxing getaway.  It was so nice to get away but I despise how a little holiday always results in lots to unpack and mountains of washing when you get home…..  Don’t you agree!?  I thought I’d take a break from unpacking to share some projects with you.  I’ve been itching to share some of my Christmas projects with you….I simply haven’t had the time to sit at my computer before now- I’m sorry if you are a bit ‘over’ Christmas but I’ve had these photos waiting for my computer for ages!  As the saying goes, better late than never….or perhaps I’m getting in early with some ideas for you for Christmas 2013

Here are some delightful little characters that I made with the kids in the lead-up to Christmas….even my husband joined in on the fun and helped with the punching and adding M&sMs to the lolly tubes.  He was the strict one- not allowing any M&Ms to go anywhere near anyone’s mouths.  Thank goodness there were a few leftovers after all of our hard work.

Yes- it took us quite a while- but we really enjoyed ourselves and the kids really enjoyed sharing these with friends at school, kindy and playgroup.  We even had enough to adorn the table on Christmas day!

The little characters have been made using punches from the catalogue.  You’ll find the selection of punches on page 182-185 of the main catalogue

Here are a few close-ups…..




The lolly tubes we used are FABULOUS!  You can find these little beauties on page 161  of the main catalogue (with our other cellophane bags)  They are 2.5cm wide and 20cm long and a pack of 50 is only $4.50.  If you’d like to order some of these to decorate with your own little toppers, please be sure to get in touch with me!

As well as making the little gifts for the kids, I enjoyed making some gifts for my Kids’ Teachers and Education assistants.

I just love making these Chocolate block holders

Pulling on the ribbon box reveals this chocolately surprise

….and for those who know me well, I couldn’t stop at one!

I made use of a few goodies from the Holiday Catalogue which retires at the end of January.   Please don’t forget to contact me to order items from this catalogue just in case they retire with the catalogue.  I used the”Ornament Keepsakes stamp set” and matching dies (pg 3() for the ornament on the front of the chocolate boxes.   I also used the “Snowflake Soiree” stamp set (page 5) on the background piece of garden green cardstock.  Of course- out came the bigshot- I used the “Window Frames Framelits” (page 30) and “Apothecary accents Framelits” (page 191 Annual catalogue) to create the bases for the ornaments.

Some people were lucky enough to receive the gift of Stampin’ Up! products- finished off with “Snow Festival Designer Printed Tags”. These tags on page 12 of the Holiday catalogue could be used as they are or even converted into cards.  With 25 tags in a pack that’s really good value.  (Why not buy some now and put them aside ready for Christmas 2012!?)

I still have more Christmas projects…..and other non-Christmas projects to share- but the next load of washing is ready to be hung on the line.  Back soon!

Scallop Square bag

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Anyone who knows me well will know that I am someone who does not sew. I love handmade items (that goes without saying- right?) and I admire those who can sew! I just lack the ‘know-how’ and the talent to achieve that gorgeous end product.

I did some sewing in home economics at high school and the only thing I remember making was a mint green camisole complete with slippery fabric, fine detailed lace, ‘spaghetti straps’ and french seams.  That in itself is enough to turn a beginner right off sewing for life…… I am reluctant to sew buttons back on as I’m too concerned they won’t stay put and I would rather have my pants too long than attempt to hem them myself.  Even the whir of the sewing machine gives me flashbacks to that mint green fabric……  So you can imagine just how excited I was that I actually made something with fabric using a sewing machine!

I made use of the fabric from page 140 of the main catalogue.  We currently have 6 different fabrics available (5 in the main catalogue and one on the mini catalogue) I used “Deck the Halls” (121716).  The pack includes three pieces of co-ordinating fabric in an extra wide fat quarter for only $19.95

Are you ready to see the little fabric project  I made !?……………………. Here you go!

Again- thanks to Stampin’ Up! products I managed to make something that doesn’t look like a complete ‘dog’s breakfast’.  It may not be much- but I made it with my own two hands and a real sewing machine!

Using the Scallop square die and the bigshot I cut out a total of 28 squares to make my project.  You can easily cut through at least 8 layers of fabric in one pass using the bigshot and the scallop square die.

I then made use of the smaller scallop square die to cut out 14 smaller scallop squares out of cotton wadding.  I placed the cotton wadding between two pieces of SU fabric and used the sewing machine to sew a cross in the centre of each piece.  It was simply a matter of attaching the pieces together.  The beauty of this type of project is that it is supposed to look shaggy so it disguises my crooked sewing!

You could obviously use more squares and make this bag larger and add pockets, a flap, buttons or clasps or any of those other things that people who actually know how to sew can do!  I wasn’t worried about making mine all fancy- I’m just glad that mine didn’t fall apart when I put it in the washing machine!

If I can interest you in any of the fabric from Stampin’ Up! or you’d like to order a scallop square die to make a bag similar to this OR perhaps even a shaggy quilt then please do not hesitate to contact me to place your order! 0419 947 047

Well it has been some time since I’ve shared some ‘creations’ on my blog.  It doesn’t mean I haven’t been creating- that’s always important…… but it is about finding ‘balance’- isn’t it!?   I won’t start listing all the excuses as to why you haven’t seen much on my blog- it’s called ‘life’ We all have busy ones and I’m sure you can relate. But……today I have some stuff to share and I know I have more snapshots of some projects I’ve made recently so please keep an eye on my blog.

Last month we celebrated the birthdays of three of my four kids.  With so much on we struggled to find the time to have a party.  Don’t get me wrong I love planning parties for the kids but there just seemed to be so much happening at the time that we couldn’t decide on a date and venue.      I was quietly relieved that the kids all agreed that they would just like to have a few friends come out for dinner and have a “sleepover”.  Some people thought I was crazy to have so many kids overnight but fortunately we have the space in our home and honestly ALL the kids were SO well behaved.

So bearing in mind I was flat out at the time- Here are the invites that I prepared for each of the kids.  Don’t you love how the gorgeous paper from “Stampin’ Up!” does all the hard work for you?  Some patterned paper and a shape cut out using the bigshot and the framelits die and Voila- quick and easy invites!

DSP- “Frightful sight”

DSP- “Frightful sight”

DSP- “Sweet Shop”

I had grand plans for fun lolly bags- but ‘time’ wasn’t my friend! I ended up giving some guidance to the kids and then ended up ‘handing the reins’ over to the kids and this is what they arranged for their friends to take home!

I love the versatility of our Bigshot dies. One that has been a favourite of mine has been the “Petite Pocket” Die (It is the same one I showcased a few weeks ago where I made a little sewing kit)  Today I have a little box to share with you.

Let me start at the beginning…..

When you run your cardstock through the bigshot using the Petite Pocket die you will get a shape that looks like this.  If you were to fold it up as intended you get a nice little pocket envelope

For this particular box you will need to cut out four petite pockets (but you could also try cutting 6 for a hexagonal box)  The curved section of the petite pocket is too long so you will need to trim it down so that the flap is only 5.5cm long.  You then secure each of the petite pockets by the tabs as shown in the next image.

It is simply a matter of securing the last piece to the first piece and securing the tabs at the bottom and you get a box that looks like this.

How’s that for bright and summery!?  To be honest I’m not sure I really like the colour combination but we all have such different tastes….and that Tangerine colour really seems to feature a lot in fashion at the moment so it might just be someone’s cup of tea.

So the colour may not be my ‘thing’ but that flower certainly is and it is “oh so easy”.  Simply run some cardstock through your bigshot using the “Fun Flowers” Die.  You can always give Tangerine Tango or Calyposo Coral a miss 😉 (or find a better balance of colour) and opt for a different colour.

Here’s what you get….

Hmmm….actually it’s not quite what you get.  The Bigshot is pretty special but it won’t give you lovely Pacific point flowers if you cut from colours like Tangerine Tango or Groovy Guava….but I’m sure you get the idea.  To give your flowers a more natural look simply SPRITZ them with some water or some smooch spritz and then SCRUNCH the paper and unfold.  Layer the pieces on top of each other and then pop a brad through the centre.  Leave it to dry for a few moments before securing it to your project.

You could always try some of these ideas using different colours, different papers and different types of flowers like this example I have shared previously

Wine Bottle Tags

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A super simple idea for a gift! Add a wine bottle tag!  Imagine popping around to dinner with a friend and taking a bottle of wine.  Adding a wine tag adds a personal touch.    It makes it oh so easy to crack open that bottle of wine….AND you can sit and enjoy the tag while you finish the bottle together!

I used the “Two Tags die”  (page 159) with  my bigshot to cut out the tag.  I then used a circle punch so I could fit the tag over the neck of the wine bottle.  It is probably difficult to see the actual tag in the following photo- largely because I took the photo on my iphone (and I was in a hurry) but also because the colours blend so nicely into the colours on the wine bottle- but that’s the idea, right?

The tag could be decorated in any number of ways but I wanted to add a flower.  I simply punched out several shapes from a piece of blushing bride cardstock using my scallop circle punch.  I scrunched and distressed the pieces to break down the fibres.  The ‘blushing bride‘ colour is a lovely dusty pink but it is not quite the colour of the pink on this bottle of “Vintage Bella” so I spritzed the cardstock with Silver Foil Smooth Spritz (page 147)  Not only did this bring the colour closer to the pink colour in the label and add a touch of sparkle- but it also made the cardstock moist enough to scrunch and shape into a flower.  The smooth spritz didn’t take long to dry and helped to keep the shape of the flower.  A lovely vintage brad was all that was needed to hold the pieces together

I love giving presents!   Have I mentioned that before?   🙂 At the end of the year I love to give a present to my children’s teachers.   I know how hard they work and want to be able to offer a small token of my appreciation.   For today’s post I wanted to share some gifts I made for my children’s Teachers.

First the thank you card


STAMP SET: (A la Carte) -Triple Treat flower; (Hostess Set)- Perfect Words

PUNCHES: Decorative label punch, Fancy flower punch, 5 petal flower punch

BIG SHOT ACCESSORIES: Little leaves sizzlet die, Many Thanks sizzlet die,

EMBELLISHMENTS: Designer printed brads (In Colour), 1 cm ruffled ribbon

COLOURS: Basic Black, Calypso Coral, Lucky Limeade, Wisteria Wonder

I also made matching boxes to hold a gift! I used the Petal Cone die for the first time and I love love love it! It is one of those Bigshot dies that I flicked past in the catalogue (pg 160 by the way) MANY times and just didn’t see the potential!

What was I thinking!?

This die is fabulous and I can’t believe I didn’t realise the possibilities!  The petal die can be left open or folded- and even when folding it there are lots of options depending on whether you attach the tabs or not!   It also cuts out little labels when you pass it through the bigshot so you can add a sentiment or someone’s name!   This die would be fabulous for lolly bags for child’s birthday party, they would make gorgeous decorations on the Christmas tree (that could be filled with goodies).  You could even flip them over and make them into witches hats for a Halloween party or spooky themed party!  You need not even make them into a box- you could just use the panels to make a love heart shaped card!    You really need to get your hands on one of these dies (Just ask me and I’ll pop in an order for you!)  In the meantime- here is what I made!

I made a few more bits and pieces for the small gifts at the end of the year.  Please be sure to check back tomorrow!

By the way- if you want to contact me to order your petal cone die my number is 0419 947 047 or

Don’t own a bigshot yet?  Why not consider contacting me to book a workshop and I will do all I can to help you earn a discount on a bigshot.  Just by hosting a $600 workshop you could receive a half price bigshot as well as  $100 hostess dollars for you to select whatever you like out of the catalogue for FREE.

Before school finished for the year my kids wanted to make bags with reindeer noses and reindeer poop to hand out to the kids at school.  I’ve made many of the bags over the years but never tire- it was lots of fun getting the kids involved.

If you search through my blog you may find other versions of these reindeer noses and reindeer poop

NB: Please excuse the quality of the pics.  I had to use my phone for taking pictures as I’ve been having issues with my camera.  These pics were snapped in a hurry as we rushed out the door on the way to school.  The kids were so proud of what they’d done that I just had to share them on my blog- dodgy photos and all!

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