Oldies But Goodies link party at Crafty State of Mind

oldies but goodies blog posts

Last week I added my DIY Ring Holder post to Crafty State of Mind’s “Oldies but Goodies” link party.  This is such a neat idea for a link up because it gives you an opportunity to dust off some older posts and introduce them to a new audience. I’m sure almost everyone has an old post that they love that they’d like to bring to the attention of new (and existing) readers. I certainly did!
Jen, from Crafty State of Mind, picks a few posts from the previous week’s link up  and features the on the current link party… and my post was chosen!!! I was so excited and surprised to hear that she picked mine among so many outstanding submissions.  Hop on over to her blog to check out all the great submissions and to add your own post to the link up!

DIY: Teacher Appreciation Gifts


A few weeks ago at Ian’s day care, it was Teacher Appreciation week.  Ian’s teachers are so fantastic, I knew I wanted to do something special for them… I just wasn’t sure what.  So, as usual, I turned to the internet (Pinterest, Etsy, etc) for inspiration.  There were a ton of cute things, but not much that was appropriate for us.  The “I’m a toddler and even though I have teachers, we don’t take tests or get grades” demographic.  I finally settled on a combination of things I found, and came up with this…I call it the “one smart cookie jar”.

The "One Smart Cookie Jar"

The “One Smart Cookie Jar”

Cute, right?  I love it and love how it turned out… and his teachers did, too.  So I thought I’d share it with you all, along with some instructions, so you can make your own!


{{ the supplies }}

+ mason jar
+ cupcake liner
+ colorful paper
+ scissors
+ yarn
+ pen/marker
+ tape
+ cookies


{{ the steps }}

1. First, remove the lids from the jars. Take out the metal disk from the lid, place a cupcake liner inside the lid screw ring, and replace the metal disk. Try to center the cupcake liner so it is mostly smooth. Now take the lid apart. You should have a slight indentation on the cupcake liner that roughly corresponds to the size of the lid opening (and metal disk). Cut the cupcake liner in a circle slightly large than the indentation. Place the cut circle back in the lid screw ring and test fit on the jar to make sure the liner is small enough that it doesn’t interfere with the lid closing, but large enough to cover the entire opening. Now set aside the lid. You can discard the metal disk part (or save for a future project)- you won’t need it anymore.

Lids cut

Lids cut

2. Next, take the remaining piece of the cupcake liner (the ruffled edge), and stretch it to encircle the top of the jar, sort of Ike a collar. You will want it to overlap itself a little, but not too much. When you have an acceptable overlap, cut the excess and tape the ends together (concealing the tape).

The cupcake liner "collar"

The cupcake liner “collar”

3. Now it’s time to make and attach the tags. I used colorful scrapbook paper cardstock, but you could use anything, really. I used a flower stencil to trace the shape for my tag. But, again, do whatever shape you want. Write a cute note:

Ms X,
Thanks for making me
one smart *cookie*!
~ child’s name

Punch or cut a hole in the top of the tag, thread your yarn through it, and tie it around the top of the jar. Try to hide the yarn underneath the cupcake liner collar. Add your cookies, and you’re done!!


I hope you found the tutorial clear and easy to follow. Let me know if you make one of these for your teachers. I’d also love to hear about other teacher appreciation gifts you made or bought!

DIY: Ring Holder tutorial

Back in November/December, I was trolling pinterest (because I do that, you know), and stumbled across a pin of a ring holder made from a picture frame.  It was so clever and so cute- I knew I could reproduce it.  Armed with just a picture in my mind, I decided to collect some supplies and make two for Christmas presents. The gift recipients really loved them and some of my friends commented that they thought they were cute, so I thought I’d share them with you guys and also provide a bit of a tutorial 🙂

Here are the finished products- I think they turned out really cute.

Ring Holder #1- 2×2 square

Ring Holder #2- 2×3 rectangle

First, you need to get some small frames, no larger than wallet sized (2×3).  The square frame is a 2×2 (I loved the beading design of the frame), and the rectangle frameis a standard wallet frame (2×3).  I got my frames at Hobby Lobby because they have a HUGE selection, and they have good sales- but it doesn’t really matter where you get your frame.

Take the glass out of the frame- you don’t need it anymore.  Save it for a future project, or just toss it.

Next, you need scrapbook paper for the background. I had some scraps lying around that I knew I wanted to use, so this wasn’t an issue for me. Maybe you have some, too- you just need a square/rectangle/circle the size of your frame opening. If not, a quick trip to the scrapbook store (wait.. is there such a thing as a quick trip??) will do the trick.  I just used the frame backing to trace on my scrapbook paper, but you could also measure instead (I know… what is measuring???).

Paper cut to fit the frame

Once you have your paper cut out, you need some cardboard. I actually used an empty tissue box, but it probably would have been better to use something thicker. Then I wouldn’t have had to make so many layers.  Cut your cardboard to be the same size as your paper and glue them together.  I did the tissue box printed side in, so that if you turn over the paper, you just see brown cardboard.  If you are using a thin type of cardboard, you’ll probably have to do 6 or so layers.  The goal is to get the paper thick enough that when you put it in the frame, there is little to no “wiggle”- it doesn’t slide forward in the frame, or back.  You want a snug fit.

The snazzy cardboard I used

Now you need to punch a hole in your paper/cardboard so you can insert the hook.  Fortunately, my mom got me a cropadile tool many years ago, so I used that.  And it made this SO easy.  It’s basically a very sofisticated hole punch.  You’ll want to punch the hole near the top of your paper/cardboard so that there is maximum space for the ring to hang inside the frame.  You might want to assemble the frame first, and then mark a spot with a pencil before punching the hole.  That way you know you get it in the right spot.

This contraption is the cropaile

Finally, you need hooks. This was trickier. The picture I saw on pinterest had a needle stuck in the center and the ring(s) just rested on the needle. But I didn’t like that. It seemed too flimsy, too cheap. So I knew I wanted some type of pretty hook. This was a pain and a half! I went to Home Depot because they have all those bins of screws and nails and bolts… and they even have hooks. But all the hooks were ugly. Either plastic covered (tacky!) or just a simple, boring metal. The latter would have worked, but I knew I wanted something more decorative. I finally stumbled across an already assembled key hook plaque. It was just a slab of wood with five hooks in it. And the hooks were the perfect size, and just decorative enough to be what I wanted. So I bought it, figuring those hooks have to be removable somehow. If I hadn’t been so impatient to start making these, I probably would have tried a few other stores (Lowes, Ace, maybe even Michaels) to see what they had for hooks. But I didn’t want to drive around, and I do love these hooks.

Anyway- my hooks had a post the hooks screwed onto.  So I stuck the post through my newly created hole, added a metal washer to the front (to help eliminate any gap between the hook and paper), and then screwed the hook on.  Then I put the whole thing in the frame, put the frame backing on, and stood it up.  And viola!  You now have a very pretty ring holder.  Perfect for a dresser or the bathroom, or wherever!

The finished Ring Holder!

So, what do you think?  Pretty cool and not too difficult, right?  I’m sure you know someone in your life who could benefit from one of these.  So next time you are trying to figure out what to get for someone, why not attempt making one of these?  Or, if you’re not sure you have the craftiness inside you, leave me a comment, and I’ll make one for you. Happy crafting!