Spend the holidays with the Design Team at Heather Ann Designs as we showcase our favorite handmade holiday projects.
Let's kick off our holiday inspiration with a great gift idea - recipe albums! I've made it super easy to create a designer recipe album of your own with my album templates, available here. Just add a photo and type your recipe in the included text template and you're on your way to a fabulously unique album full of your favorite recipes. What a terrific gift idea for family, friends, neighbors and more! How about a holiday recipe album full of inspiring recipes to last the whole year through? Or a collection of your favorites for a newly married couple? The possibilities are endless.
And I've just added a FREE designer album cover - download yours by clicking here.
Happy cooking, scrapping, and gift creating!
These 11"x14" wall calendars are a great way to showcase your three favorite photos all year long! I love having this in my office, in addition to traditional monthly calendars, to see the whole year at a glance.
You can pick yours up here, pop in your photos behind the template, and upload it to Shutterfly for printing. Such a great & quick gift for the ones you love (and yourself!).
In a few hours Thanksgiving will just be an memory. That's when the panic sets in. So much to do in such a short time. Now you realize that's it time to think about those holiday cards. No need to decorate the tree, don the kids in matching reindeer sweaters, and set up the tri-pod. Instead, pick out that favorite family photo from during the year, put together a quick card, and upload to Shutterfly.
This is our card from last Christmas. Photo was taken on our family vacation to the beach earlier in the year.
(inside reads: from our family to yours.)
With all the time you've saved by not torturing the kids (and yourself) with that Christmas photo session in front of the treee, you can now put together a Holiday Letter.
The holiday letter has become a bit of a tradition at our house. It all began when we were looking for a fun way to announce the upcoming arrival of our first child. I've done one every year since, and I actually receive more comments on our letter each year than I do on our cards. I think people actually look forward to receiving it!
A few pointers when writing a holiday letter.
1. Keep it to one page. More than that is just overkill. No one wants to read a novel.
2. No bragging! It's OK to highlight the kids' accomplishments, but a little goes a long way. This is your chance to share all the good news from throughout the year. Not all the awards.
4. Keep it up beat. Don't be a downer!
3. Pick up this cool template from HAD.
For our newsletter I used coordinating photos from the same beach vacation. I think that helps tie the card and letter all together. So it's easy to have a one-of-a-kind truly personalized holiday card and letter this season. Easy, quick and fun! Plus, you'll enjoy looking back over it in the years to come!
Heather Ann Designs Holiday Letter
Heather Ann Designs: Two If By Sea Kit
My family has a number of teachers and daycare providers who we'd like to recognize with a little gift during the holidays, but we also need to keep the cost manageable. One thing that we tried last year was such a big hit for us that I think it will become an annual tradition for years to come. I created a playlist of our favorite Christmas music at itunes, burned the music to cds, and used my digital scrapbooking supplies to create a custom cd cover and label for them.
To create your cd cover, start by using your image editing software to create a document that is 4.75 inches square and 300 dpi. Then use your photos and digital supplies to create your cover art. I also designed a coordinating inside cover, which is where I included the song list and our holiday greeting. These files can either be printed on your home printer or placed on a 5x7 canvas for printing at Shutterfly. If you plan your design carefully to account for the circular format of the cd (Don't forget that there will ultimately be a hole in the center!), you can use your cover art to create a custom cd label. Printable cd label stickers are available at office supply stores if your home printer cannot print directly on cds.
My son's teachers loved these last year and immediately asked him to autograph them. He felt like a rock star! :-)
Heather Ann Designs Winter Chill kit
Heather Ann Designs Reindeer Games kit
fonts: An Unfortunate Event, Dolphin
Over the next few weeks, many of us will be hosting holiday parties and get-togethers for family and friends as we prepare to ring in 2009! Add an extra special festive touch to the plates of your guests by crafting these adorable candy cane place cards.
2-3 regular-sized candy canes per place card
Heather Ann Melzer's Reindeer Games digital kit
Your favorite photo-editing program
Adhesive or a glue gun
Heavy paper or cardstock
1) Create 4 in. x 1.5 in. place cards using Reindeer Games papers and elements in your photo-editing program
2) Add the name of each guest to a card in your photo-editing program (or write by hand after printing)
3) Print on paper or heavy cardstock and cut into individual pieces
4) Break or cut candy canes to fit the size of your place cards
5) Adhere cards to candy canes and candy canes to each other using adhesive or a glue gun (works best)
6) Decorate guest plates with the place cards
6) Enjoy a beautiful and creative holiday table with your friends and family!
Let me know if you have any questions about the products used and I'll be glad to help! www.heatheranndesigns.com
Earlier this year, my little brother called to ask if I could tell him how to make a simple dish he remembered from our childhood.
Our mom passed away when we were teenagers. Like a lot of cooks, she worked without a recipe a good portion of the time. As the oldest child in the family, I had just enough experience watching or helping her make certain things that I have since been able to recreate some of her dishes for my own family. But after the conversation with my brother, it suddenly occurred to me that he and my sister probably had not.
I started toying with the idea of putting together a cookbook of foods "just like Mom used to make" for my siblings. But as my mental list of recipes grew, I realized that the bits and pieces I had did not follow any sort of standard format. Rather than a list of ingredients, directions and a photo for every recipe, what I had was a hodgepodge of recipes that I had recreated (but like my mother, had never measured out or written down), tattered recipe cards (I used the ones that were in my parents' handwriting), current photos of a few dishes, memories of foods that I don't have a recipe for at all, and faded family photos from the '70s and '80s.
In the end, the project became part recipe book, part heritage album. Click here to view a slideshow of the album. I hope it will inspire you to document some of your favorite family recipes/food memories. If there is a cook in your family that makes a special dish without a recipe, ask them to measure their ingredients and write down the instructions the next time they make it! If the recipe is gone forever, scrap your memories of it, instead!
Heather Ann Designs Art of Play kit (striped paper, brown paper- recolored for cover)
Heather Ann Designs Thankful kit (ribbon)
Heather Ann Designs Cotton Tail kit (kraft paper)
Heather Ann Designs Eclectic kit (clear tape)
Heather Ann Designs and Digital Design Essentials 2009 Calendar Kit (worn frame, bookplate)
I love these little cardboard gingerbread house favors I picked up at Michael's. They're the perfect holiday treat for kids to give out to friends and teachers and they're so easy to assemble. They come in packs of six and are just right for little hands to pass out. Together, my kids and I filled the boxes with chocolates, gumdrops and small candy canes and tied them shut with ribbon. I added photos and text to Heather Ann's fabulous little gift tags, printed and mounted the tags on cardstock and glued them to the sides of each gingerbread house. Each house has a photo gift tag on one side and Santa gift tag on the other side with the rhyme: "A little something sweet, a special Christmas treat, from our house...to yours." Fun and super easy, with an added personal touch! And, I just realized how fun it would be for the kids to sign and decorate the roof space before assembly as well!
I've been giving Heather's calendars as Christmas gifts for as long as she's been designing them. She makes them so easy to put together - all you need is a photo editing program and 15-17 of your favorite photos.
The third tool that you'll need is Shutterfly - they make it super easy to upload & order your calendars. Mine arrived today & I can't say enough about the impeccable quality of the final product.
After you have inserted your photos & saved all of the calendar toppers on your computer, just follow these simple steps to print.
On Shutterfly's home page, click on the "Store" tab.
Click on "Calendars" under the Products list on the left side of the page.
You'll see three options of calendar designs - choose "Collage Calendar."
Make sure that January 2009 is your starting month for a 12 month calendar and click "Get started."
The next page you'll see will be "Style." Just click "Next" - the calendar style won't matter because you'll be filling each page with the toppers on the next page.
Under "Layouts," select the full-bleed 1 picture option - it will be the last of the 1 picture styles. Keep this option for each of your months, including the cover.
Below the calendar, click on "Get pictures" and upload the cover and 12 monthly toppers you have saved on your computer.
And then, it's so simple - just drag each month and the cover onto the calendar in the correct order and see it come to life! Along the way, you can personalize any dates you choose - I always select all of the major holidays and add my family's birthdays and anniversaries. You could also add the first day of school, spring breaks, weddings, etc. Really, the possibilites are endless, and it's such a fun project and a gift that your family will cherish forever.
I am so bad about never having current pictures of my kiddos in my purse, so I'm really excited about carrying this little purse calendar I put together. I can carry it in my purse to share whenever someone asks to see photos of them. Plus it's a whole year of some of my favorites memories/photos.
Here's a look at the inside:
And I think it will make a great Christmas gift for the grandmothers.
You know they need a brag book for their purses!
I love to display the Christmas cards we receive every year and thought this was a fun idea! It's very simple too!
1) In Photoshop, I opened up Heather's Berry Merry Kit and selected different papers - cropping them before dragging to a 8.5 x 11 canvas.
2) Print the collage of different papers on regular copy paper and cut to the size of the clothespins.
3) Glue each piece of paper to the clothespins with a glue stick.
Then I took some ribbon and tied a knot in the end. I hung it on the same nail that was holding one of my holiday signs, then I tied a ribbon on top of the nail to cover it.
I attached the cards to the ribbon with the clothespins and that's it!
Supplies = Heather's Berry Merry kit, copy paper, printer, clothespins, scissors, gluestick, ribbon.
Every year I have big plans for a wonderful holiday card with a family photo, everyone smiling and looking cheery and bright. We spend enough time together, you'd think we could get all of us into the frame for one good card-worthy image. But no such luck and this year was no exception. For our family of six (four under the age of eight), even a halfway decent family photo existed only as a mirage in the desert, mission impossible, and one giant frustrating chore. Peace, love, and joy indeed. So in my determination to send out photo cards this year, I decided to put together a bunch of individual pics of our family in a simple 5x5 collage design, using Photoshop. To create a unified look, I chose some of my favourite recent photos, stuck to a general holiday theme and converted them all to black & white.
I printed them at Costco, then adhered each card to cardstock, leaving slightly more space at the top than on the sides (of the cardstock border) to add on a fun, festive piece of ribbon. As for envelopes, I couldn't seem to find the size I needed in our local office supply stores (and didn't have time to check Michael's or elsewhere) so I purchased a box of regular Christmas cards that had been discounted, gave those cards to my kids to colour and use for crafts and used the envelopes for our photo cards. It was more economical that way and the envelopes were perfect.
I really had a lot of fun making these cards. And as for future family photos, it's gotta get easier, right? If not, I've made my peace with it...well, for this year at least.
More Christmas card ideas coming your way today for all of you who are like me and still scrambling to find that perfect card to give to friends and family. Here's an easy and cost-effective idea you can do at home with your own color printer. I made these for my sister last night of my darling little niece (in the midst of frantically preparing for my trip to see her late tonight!) and I think they turned out so cute!
Here's how to do this yourself:
1. Open a new 4.25 x 5.5 document and create your Christmas card in your favorite photo-editing program (I use PSCS2) using Heather Ann Melzer's Reindeer Games digital kit.
2. Save your card as a flattened jpg image.
3. Open a new 8.5 x 11 document and place the card in each corner so you have 4 copies on one page.
4. Print your card- I reduced the size to 98% and chose the option to print borderless and they printed perfectly, right to the edge.
5. Cut into four cards, add a personalized note and you're ready to send! We're using envelopes from a standard white card/envelope bulk set I found at Michael's, but you could also find colored envelopes or make the card bigger by adhering to additional cardstock and mailing in larger envelopes.
I hope this helps anyone who thinks it might be too late to create your very own personalized Christmas cards. Happy Holidays!
I needed a quick & easy gift, and it doesn't get any better than this!
I had already created & uploaded my calendar toppers to Shutterfly, so I decided to pull one of the month's (May) pages onto Shutterfly's custom notebook to create a quick and cute cover! I adjusted the positioning, making sure it was centered where I wanted it, and voila! A fast gift for my mom. I could've added text to the file in Photoshop, but really didn't have time so I just used the layout that fit best (on the left panel where you're previewing your notebook) and typed in a quick title to customize it just for her. Here's the original topper, where all I had added was my photo behind it:
You could use any of the calendar toppers for this project - just find the one that works best for you! It's such a great way to create something unique without taking up any of your (oh-so-precious) time! Happy Holidays...
Here's a quick little project to add to someone's stocking!
Just print a digital element on photo paper, place the image in a tiny metal frame (mine is by Nunn Design), and attach the frame to a chain using a jump ring. Wouldn't this look cute hanging from a coat zipper, a backpack or a purse this winter?
Be sure to seal your image for durability. I just poured a little clear nailpolish on mine.
My family loves (and expects!) getting photos for Christmas. This year, I decided to put some quick covers together to add to these photo books I picked up at Target for $3.99. I simply measured the current cardstock inserts, created a new design in Photoshop, printed, cut, and slipped it right into the album. Easy peasy.
And after finding similar cheap-o monthly planners at Walgreen's, I decided that they needed personalizing, too! Just went through the same process and had the whole project done in under an hour. So for under $10, I got two really priceless gifts for my mom that I know she'll treasure more than anything else we give her this year.
I know it's a little late...but I thought these turned out cute! My sister-in-law gave us these ornaments - using Heather Ann's 2008 December calendar kit. But these would also be cute decorations for Valentine's Day or other holidays!
Step 1 = in photoshop or another program, open a 8.5 x 11 canvas.
Step 2 = size photo to 3" x 1.75" and drag to 8.5 x 11 canvas.
Step 3 = open December 2008 and drag it to 8.5 x 11 canvas - placing it underneath photo as desired.
Step 4 = open Heather's "Monthly Memories" kit and select the circle - then circle the date.
Step 5 = print out design on desired paper
Step 6 = trim and glue to cardboard. Decorate with ribbons as desired.
Try it for yourself! It's easy and it makes a great gift!
The holidays are officially over. Now it's time to tackle those holiday photos. I am ashamed to say that I still haven't scrapped all our photos from last Christmas. Maybe that is why this year I took less photos and focused more on our activities at home.
We have several holiday traditions at our house, and this year I have decided to put together a Shutterfly album about those traditions. Seems like a much less daunting task than scrapping every activity in the month of December!
The first tradition I have scrapped is my husband reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to our children on Christmas Eve. We started this tradition with our oldest daughter's first Christmas and have continued it every year.
I put this page together in a matter of minutes using HAD's Reindeer Games Quick Page. With HAD's Quick Pages just add your photos, a title and journlaing. Your done! Makes your holiday scrapping a snap!
I just finished creating my kids' valentines for their friends at school. I usually do the little treat bags, but I decided to do a little something different this year.
I created these cards and have uploaded them to be printed as 4x6 prints.
Aren't they cute?! I had so much fun creating them!
HAD Kits: Sugar Kisses, Art of Play, Eclectic Christmas.