Posts Tagged ‘gift ideas’

The Ultimate Calligraphy Gift Guide


As Christmas is fast approaching (it’s likely too late for this guide, but I don’t care – I want to put this together anyway), I thought I would post the ultimate gift guide for calligraphers, beginners and calligraphy enthusiasts. I’m always scouring the web for interesting things, I may as well share with you my favorite items along with a few that are on my wishlist as well!


For the beginning calligrapher:

For the intermediate/advanced calligrapher:



Grow your library with these must-haves:


Everyone loves pretty letters. Grow your art collection from one of these fabulous artists:

Check out my pin board for more calligraphy-related giftable items.

*Affiliate links are used in this post. This doesn’t change the price of the product, it just gives me a small kick back. Each affiliate link is to a product I personally own and absolutely love.

DIY: Watercolor Magnet Shadow Boxes


Last week I participated in the semi-annual Creative Collaborative gift swap. Last christmas was amazing, so I wanted to participate again. Trying to think outside of my normal make-jewelry-from-my-leather-scraps box, I found a use for these sweet little tins I picked up from Pick Your Plum last year.

DIY Painted Magnetic Shadow Boxes

I guess you could consider me a sucker for mini packaging. I am. I thought these little containers would be perfect for little spices, but they’re much too small, coming in at about 1 1/8 inches in diameter. They’ve just been sitting, begging to be used for something.

I’ve been trying to get back into painting, so a little lightbulb hit: make watercolor shadow box magnets. I had originally been inspired by the idea of doing a magnetic spice wall (like here and here).

Simple enough, fun and I get to paint! The DIY is pretty darn obvious, but read below for supplies and tips on how to make your own. You will need:

Open your jars and trace around your jar with a pencil. Trace as many as you want out on a page.

Make your mini watercolors, but don’t worry about staying perfectly inside the lines. It’s nice to have a bit of a bleed with these kinds of projects.

In the Instructables magnetic herb jar tutorial, the author talks about putting the magnet on the inside of the jar. Since you’re not putting food in there, the magnet on the inside would be perfect. Glue your magnet inside the jar. Cut out your watercolors, but just inside your pencil line, for a snug fit. Insert into your jar. I had a really snug fit, so I didn’t have to glue it in place.

Stack them and take pretty pictures with your watercolors. Enjoy!

This would be a fun way to hang to do lists or children’s artwork. Heck, if this is a great way to immortalize your child(ren)’s artwork! Just cut out small vignettes of their paintings and mount! Even using larger jars and mounting to the wall would look absolutely lovely.

This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without the express consent of Melissa Esplin. I love getting shout outs from around the web, but please, link with love. Do not copy this post, publish more than 2 photos or outright steal this idea for commercial publications. If you would like to use this tutorial for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!


Baby Leggings Tutorial + Pattern


There are a million and a half legging tutorials out there and how to make your own. No joke. This is one of them. How is this any different than the others? The tutorial is illustrated(makes it easier in some parts, in my opinion), I don’t thread the elastic, there’s NO HEMMING required and this tutorial includes a printable pattern for leggings size 9-12 months. I hate hemming and threading elastic. Don’t you? See the list of a few of my favorite legging tutorials at the end of the tutorial.

I used a vintage knit given to me from my friend, Stacy, gave to me not long after I had Felix. I’ve been meaning to make leggings out of this since I first laid eyes on this awesomeness. I love the little monsters and random illustrations!


Once I figured out the pattern, these little leggings took about 10 minutes to whip up. I stitched together another pair for a friend of mine who just had a baby boy not too long ago. Make these baby leggings for a baby boy, baby girl or for a friend who’s choosing not to find out the sex of her little one. Check out the tutorial after the jump.


You are SO Indie Card. . .


Indie Father's Day Card

I’ve been kicking this idea for a card for a while now, and finally I’ve mustered the motivation to do it. Yup, My middle name is procrastination.

I’ve noticed a SERIOUS moustache trend about the internet/indie crowd recently, and I wanted to tell Christopher that he’s a very cool dad. I really made this card just for him, but I’m sure there might be some dads out there that are cool, too. Maybe this would be a good last-minute card. Although I’m giving this card to Chris for father’s day, there’s no reason you couldn’t send a cool man in your life a little love any day of the year.

Click here to download the Father’s day Tri-fold Card

Click here to download the plain “You are so Indie” card


Happy Father’s day, Chris. You’re a wonderful dad.

Father’s Day & Tribute Books



I really love your emails, thank you!! After I posted about Brooke’s book, I got a few responses from readers interested in Father’s day/tribute books. It was a pleasant surprise and I had a lot of fun making something special and memorable for the men in these ladies’ lives.

hand bound tribute books

Two of the books I bound were tribute books with printed text from family members and friends. I can’t tell you enough how much I love this idea. Funny, Marissa and Audrey both wanted the cork/leather combination. I don’t blame them, if you could feel the cork and leather materials, you’d just drool. I love how yummy these books turned out.


In addition to making the custom tribute books for Marissa and Audrey, I also made a blank journal for a fellow blogger, Pattie. I love the checked paper and I’ve got a huge soft spot in my heart for the Coptic bind. The stitching is just so beautiful and theraputic. It’s also perfect for a pass-around book because the pages lay flat, perfect for writing in. Have I told you how much I love bookbinding?!? I got a year’s supply of PVA in the mail yesterday along with some beautiful paper from paper-source, so off I go to make some more books!!

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