In July I went to a super.cool blogger event thingy at Ikea. My friend, Natalie, is a pretty cool blogger lady who is awesome at what she does. After attending a national blogger conference in the spring, she wanted to gather together bloggers who are in the Pittsburgh/Ohio Valley area. The Ohio Valley Blogger Meet & Greet was dreamed up, and 27 of us gathered. It was a tremendous time. I won't get into the event details though, today I want to write about what I took with me to give to the others.
In one of the communications with us, she sweetly suggested that in addition to our business cards we should/could/might want to bring some sort of "extra" or "treat" to share, too. hmm. What? Business cards? Oh. Of course, it's a networking event. Established bloggers are attending. [Pep talk for me and now for you: Pretend to be "real" and established and you will be. Eventually. If you want it. Just dive in. Do it. You know, like Nike says.] Okay, well, yeah, I didn't have cards, or an idea for a treat. I started to wrack my brain for something original for both my cards and my treat.
Creating a Treat.Trinket.Gift
I don't know about you, but I am always on the lookout while in craft stores for clearance items that can be made/crafted/transformed into something else. Isn't everybody? Oh. Not everyone is crazy. That's right. Ahem, well, prior to deciding to go to the Meet & Greet, I had spied Michael's clearance and they were practically giving away adorable little wooden trinkets (I think they were 3 in a package for 30 cents or less) and I wanted them. I wasn't exactly sure what I'd do with them at the time, but I knew that I wanted them for something. Christmas presents for family? Crafting with the littles? I didn't know, but I bought some anyway because well, look at the photo, they are super cute.
Seriously, how cute are these?
As I was thinking about a treat, the trinkets came to mind but I wondered if it would be weird to give them to people -- do I make them an ornament? It was July, is that weird? I probably could do it, as long as they weren't too Christmas.y. Well, the kids and I stood in the spray paint aisle for too long as I tried to decide what colors to choose (you know, so they wouldn't be christmas.y) because I wanted them to be sweet and chic or some trendy word like that. My little girl almost sprayed her brothers orange while I tried to decide. I finally chose blue and yellow and we got the heck out of there. ha!
I hadn't used spray paint around the littles before and they had so many questions and really tried hard to be in the wrong place as I was spraying so they could breathe in the fumes (sigh), but after shoo-ing and many "back up, stay there, goodness, don't touch that" admonishments, the littles ultimately thought it was the coolest thing ever that I could spray the color on and it was done so quickly(ish).
Okay. Painted. Now what exactly? I needed to find something to fit into the tiny lattice holes if they were going to be not-so-christmas.y-ornaments. I had limited choices. I bought twine of different colors and double strung it. For packaging, I chose glassine bags that you would use to packages cookies and baked goods. They were super cheap (25 for $1.99, I think). The washi tape was on clearance. Woot! I bought four rolls for $3 (Oh! I also learned how to make my own. We'll chat about that in the future). I stamped the front and framed it with washi tape. The stamp was already in my collection, but it probably cost me $1 at Michael's.
I love love love how you can see the contents through the bag -- it's just fun and sweet and whimsical (I hope! I think!) Put it this way, I know that I would have liked to receive this treat, I hope that the other girls felt the same way.
Question: Do you create for yourself? The way I seem to work is when I reach the point of being excited myself for whatever it is that I am making, I know that it's good enough -- perhaps, hopefully often, awesome enough -- to share with others. So yeah, I create for myself but for you. Does that make sense? Crafty people, do you know what I mean?
Also, what sorts of simple gifts do you like to get? To receive?
Yes, yes, you are.
After the party, I realized that I hadn't taken a picture of the contents of the treat bag, so this one is a leftover bag that's kind of crinkled with a less than stellar stamp job, but you get the idea.
So yeah, that, my dear friends, it what I took with me. My little treat seemed to be well received, and the treats I received from the others were simply SO cool!
If you take anything away from this post today, take this: You don't have to spend a lot of money on something that's special and cool for your friends. The materials that I actually used for this little project cost me less than $10, and now I've got lots and lots left over for other projects in the future.
simple. easy. fun. diy.