Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

Silent Night, Holy Night
It is Christmas Eve and it is time to wish you a Merry Christmas.  I hope that you are having a lovely holiday season.

Thanks to everyone who entered the Gingher Shears giveaway.  Some of you left some truly funny comments and I hope that you have better luck keeping your fabric shears away from your husband/boyfriend/children/siblings.  Thanks also to those who left me kind comments -- so glad that you enjoy the blog!

So here is a Christmas present for one lucky reader:
the winner of the Gingher shears is commenter number 60, 
Elizabeth Guerrero!

I will also update the Christmas Shadowbox Tutorial in the next couple of weeks to show you how I made the tiny nativity above.

I also would like to take a moment to thank those of you who reached out to me via email in the last couple of weeks.  We've had some ill family members; one of them was seriously ill but is doing well now.   Other surprises cropped up too, making this an incredibly stressful month.  So I will be taking a couple of weeks off from the blog and will be back on January 9th. 

Nevertheless, all of the beautiful moments of this season are a time for peace and love and joy.  A time for goodwill.  A time to be with family and friends.  I wish you and yours the most blessed and peaceful holiday season, and a wonderful New Year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Shadowbox Tutorial

Re-purpose small gift boxes and old Christmas cards to make a 3D winter shadowbox decoration or ornament:

Group a few of these together to make a small display, or disperse them around your house to brighten little nooks and crannies.  This is also a fun little item to take to the office to bring some holiday cheer to your desk or cubicle.

You can also hang these on the Christmas tree -- just poke a hole in the top with a tapestry needle and use cord or ribbon to create a hanger.

I found this idea for a shadowbox ornament in an issue of McCall's Needlework & Crafts from 1981, but I'm updating it a bit to make it easier and faster, of course. You might have known that I save all of the Christmas cards that are sent to me, so I have plenty of options for a shadowbox.


  • Gift boxes in various shapes, sizes, colors
  • Christmas cards from years past
  • Construction paper, card stock, scrapbook paper, and / or scraps of wrapping paper
  • Piece of white scrap paper
  • Ruler and / or paper trimmer
  • Paper scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Pencil
  • Embellishments such as sequins, trim, lace, raffia

First, select your box. You can make these as large or small as you like.  For the project above I chose a shiny silver gift box so I didn't have to decorate it.  If you use a plain box you can cover it in wrapping paper scraps first as extra decoration.

 Taking the piece of scrap paper, trace around the bottom of the box (the deeper side, the lid is too shallow for this project). 

I used two cards to create the shadowbox above.  Select your background card (mine is a Suzy's Zoo card).  Now, using your scissors, cut out the inside of the squares on your scrap paper to create a "frame."

This will give you an approximation of how large to cut your background. Trace around the card with a pencil, and cut it out.

You will probably have to trim a tiny bit more off of each side so the background will fit inside of the bottom of the box. Go slow when cutting because you want the background to cover the entire back of the box with no gaps. 

My card is a rectangle, so I had some leftovers.  Save those to use as the sides of your shadowbox.   I also used a small piece of blue construction paper to approximate the sky, and some white scrap paper to continue the "snow" at the bottom of my shadowbox.

When you are done trimming you should have the following pieces:

Next, glue all of your pieces down with your trusty craft glue.  Glue the large background first, and then all four side pieces:

Next, cut your foreground image out of the second card.  I chose this little guy in a snowsuit from the Mary Englebreit "Winter Schminter" card.  Cut your image out with scissors or a craft knife.

Be sure to leave a little extra card underneath your image to form a tab. You'll use the tab to stand your image up when you glue it to the foreground (see the photo below):

Glue your image into the foreground of your shadowbox to create a three-dimensional look:

You're almost done!  Add embellishments as you please to the inside or outside of your shadowbox for that little something extra.  I used some tiny snowflake garland that I bought at the big-box craft store for this winter-scene shadowbox.

 *I've got one more shadowbox to show you.  I'll update this post as soon as I get it finished!*

This is an easy and fun project that I hope that you'll try!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gingher Shears Giveaway

From me to you this holiday season....

 Gingher 7" Knife Edge Dressmaker Shears

Guess what? I was given these 7" Gingher scissors and I already have a similar pair.   I figure that 'tis the season of giving, so this is my holiday gift to one lucky reader.

I love my shears!  You'll love this pair too.

To enter:  just leave a nice comment!

Comments will be open until Friday, December 23rd at 11:59 Pacific Standard Time.
International entries are welcome.

Additional entries:
  • Become a new follower of  Serendipity Handmade via Google Friend Connect
  • Like Serendipity Vintage on Facebook
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (be sure to use @SerendipityVint in the tweet)
  • Blog about this giveaway (be sure to leave a link to the blog post in the comment) 
Don't forget to leave a way for me to contact you (like an email address!). Winner will be chosen by random number, as always, and announced on December 24th. Good luck!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Sorry to be missing this past 10 days or so dear readers, but we've had a family emergency that hasn't yet resolved.

I do have a lovely giveaway for you which I will post tomorrow. I also am in the middle of a Christmas-themed tutorial for you, but I can't guarantee that I will get it finished and posted. I will try!

So....if posts are a bit spotty over the next couple of weeks, my apologies. I will let you know in the future if I need to step away from the blog.

Until tomorrow,