Arts & Crafts, Miscellaneous

15 Ways to Embellish a Fleece Blanket

If you’re looking for new ways to add a little pizzazz to a plain or printed fleece blanket, then you’ve come to the right place! These 26 blankets were all embellished in some way to make them truly unique.

For the solid-colored blankets, we used characters from coloring pages as a simple pattern to cut out pieces of fleece to form layers of the design then zigzag-stitched the pieces together and then zigzag-stitched them onto the blanket.

On some of the blankets with printed designs, we either zigzag-stitched or hand-stitched with metallic thread around the design to make it “pop” out.

Several blankets have 3-D accents such as tassels (elephant tails), pompoms (lion’s tail), buttons (duck eyes), bows (balloon bouquet) and sequins.

For blankets with busy patterns, we sometimes added (using zigzag stitch) a coordinating color of fleece as a border then attached cute trims and rickrack. Other times we simply stitched around the blanket’s edge using a decorative stitch, blanket stitch or simple straight stitch.

Thinking “outside-the-box” on several blankets resulted in adorable designs and techniques that we’ll continue to use on future blankets! The Cars & Trucks blanket features a road-like dashed line around the border which was achieved by cutting slits in the blue area and weaving white ribbon in and out. The Alphabet Stamp blanket and Polka Dot blanket both feature a cute wavy border that was cut along two sides. The Rainbow blanket not only has a fleece rainbow and sun sewn on it, but also features multicolored yarn fringe tassels along each corner.

We hope these techniques inspire you to turn your mass-production fleece blankets into a one-of-a-kind blankets that someone you know will treasure!

Arts & Crafts, Miscellaneous

Marvel-ous Snow Globe

MadeCreatively | Hulk, Iron-Man, Spider-Man, Thor and Captain America make this a Marvel-ous Snow Globe!
Hulk, Iron-Man, Spider-Man, Thor and Captain America make this a Marvel-ous Snow Globe!

There has never been a snow globe more MARVEL-ous than the one we made with these superhero TsumTsum figures! Hulk, Iron-Man, Thor, Captain America and Spider-Man are stacked upon each other and surrounded by glitter inside this plastic snow globe. Shake it to unleash their super powers! (Ok, all it really does is make the light glisten off of the glitter inside but hey… let’s use our imagination here!) Truly one-of-a-kind!

Arts & Crafts

Adorable Snowman Crafts

MadeCreatively | Snowmen that will melt your heart!
Snowmen that will melt your heart!

Take a look at these adorable snowmen which were created in just a few minutes! With a handmade scarf and matching felt hat, each snowman took on his own personality when adding the button eyes, mouth and carrot-like nose. These snowmen will melt your heart!

MadeCreatively | Wal-Mart Snowman Wall Art
Wal-Mart Snowman Wall Art!

Hanging on the wall with wintery delight is this adorable snowman! Created using glittery plastic snowflakes from Wal-Mart, this snowman truly came to life once his button eyes, felt top hat and red Christmas scarf were added!

Arts & Crafts

Handmade Seaside Christmas Ornaments

“Melekalikimaka” is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day and if you’re a lover of all things sand and surf, then you probably decorate your Christmas tree each year with beach-inspired ornaments. Take a look at this collection of handmade ornaments that were created for just that purpose!

  • Felt Sea Horse – Hand-sewn with felt, Red Heart Scrubby Cotton yarn mane, sequins and beads.
  • Starfish – Accented with rhinestones, pearls and mini flower embellishments.
  • Jellyfish – A sea urchin with pearl-accented tentacles.
  • “Beach” – Scrabble tiles on a small ribbon.
  • Beach Pallet – Beach-themed accents on a mini wooden pallet.
  • Framed Sea Horse – Coastal-colored mini photo frame with a sea horse sticker in the center.
  • Sea Turtle – Crocheted by hand with colorful yarn.
  • Sea Chest – A small wooden chest filled with shells and pieces of sea glass.
  • Beach Chair – Wooden beach chair with sandy legs, a mini wreath and “Somewhere there is a beach chair with my name on it” sign.
  • Seashell Garland – Mini seashells strung on fishing line along with blue and white glass beads and pieces of sea glass.
Arts & Crafts

Farmhouse Window

The rustic charm of this farmhouse window is ideal for the country home! It all begins with the weathered-looking wood of the 6 pane window purchased from Hobby Lobby. Added to the window with small metal clips are 5 painted wood vegetable ornaments: peas, tomato, radish, onion and corn which were purchased from an antique store. Finally, vinyl lettering for each veggie as well as “Farm Fresh” with a tractor were cut out and applied to the glass panes. Whether handmade or homegrown, this home accent blends the best of both!

Arts & Crafts, Operation Christmas Child

Fun On-The-Go!

Have you ever seen an item sold in bulk at such a great price that you just can’t turn it down and then after purchasing, wondered what to do with them all? We found ourselves in that very quandary after purchasing 708 unused 4″ plastic bottles for the bargain price of just $5! That works out to be less than a penny for each! We knew there had to be an ingenious way to turn the bottles into a creative craft or toy for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and after much brainstorming and several trips to craft stores for ideas, we created these three great travel-sized games…

(Hover over image to enlarge)  (Hover over image to enlarge) (Hover over image to enlarge)


Filled with 25 clear and blue mini decorative marbles from Michaels then sealed with a cap that was custom 3-D printed.

Supplies cost: $0.16

Necklace Kit

Filled with 18″ of rat tail cord and 21 plastic pony beads from Dollar Tree then sealed with a cap that was custom 3-D printed.

Supplies cost: $0.11

Pick-up Sticks

Filled with 18 multicolored mini wooden dowels from Michaels then sealed with a cap that was custom 3-D printed.

Supplies cost: $0.34

Three great additions to our shoeboxes!

Arts & Crafts, Operation Christmas Child

Exciting Little Elephant

We have another completed crocheted project to share with you today! This adorable little blue elephant will be nestled in one of the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes we’re filling this year! With big floppy ears and a cute little tail, this elephant inspired us to theme the shoebox “Scripture Safari”. Measuring 6 inches from trunk to tail, 5 inches from ear to ear and 3 inches high, it fits perfectly in the palms of a child’s hands. Click here to see a complete list of the themes for the 23 shoeboxes we will be donating this year!

Arts & Crafts, Miscellaneous

Jellyfish To Bring Joy!

The other day, we ran across a tutorial on how to crochet a curlicue which inspired us to give it a try and make a jellyfish! Despite not knowing how to crochet, let alone increase and decrease stitches you may think this project seemed impossible. Oh, and what pattern did we use? None! Armed with only an image in mind of what we wanted the finished jellyfish would look like, a crochet hook and ball of cotton yarn, we watched a few tutorials then got started. Several hours later (after unraveling and re-starting a few times), we were adding stuffing to the finished bell (that’s the body) of our jellyfish and sewing on 5 dangly curlicue arms! We even ended up with a spiral pattern on the underside of the jellyfish bell – which was totally unintentional and simply the result of playing around with different ways to crochet! Measuring 8 inches tall and just over 4 inches in diameter, this soft little guy will bring a smile to the face of the child who received it! From the very beginning of this project, we had a plan for where this little jellyfish will end up – in one of the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes that we will create this year using the profits from our Shoebox Packing Party sales. Take a look at those eligible products here or a list of the themes for each of our 2017 shoeboxes here!

Arts & Crafts, Miscellaneous

“Sweet” Candy Bouquet

Take a look at this “sweet” candy bouquet birthday gift that a friend made using a variety of scrumptious treats, cellophane, skewers, tissue paper, styrofoam, curly ribbon and a plastic vase! The vase is filled with mini white Reese’s peanut butter cups and supports a bouquet of colorful (and delicious) foods. Here’s a list of the hunger-busting snacks in the bouquet:

  • Skittles
  • Ice Breakers mints
  • Payday candy bars
  • Reese’s pieces
  • Reese’s peanut butter eggs in white chocolate
  • Planter’s peanuts
  • Planter’s cashews
  • Orchard Valley Omega-3 mix
  • Think Thin white chocolate protein bar
  • Werther’s soft caramels
  • Batman-themed popping candy

Yum! What a great birthday gift!

Arts & Crafts

Autumn Pom-Pom Garland

Autumn has arrived and we’re falling in love with the beautiful fall foliage and crisp fall weather!

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been on a pom-pom-making kick and have made over 100 adorable yarn pom-poms. 23 of our largest pom-poms made their way into our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes (check them out) as a light-weight easy-to-pack ball for kids to enjoy. With a mountain of yarn still left to use, we’re on a mission to create as many large pom-poms as possible (so far we have over 35!) and donate them to OCC as a Gift-In-Kind during National Collection Week!


As I sit here, the topic of this blog post is draped across my desk, just waiting to be shared with all of you! Using scraps of yarn in all sorts of autumn shades, we made 44 small and medium pom-poms then strung them on 5 feet of fishing line to make the absolute cutest autumn garland you’ve ever seen! Oranges, reds, golden yellow, browns and greens bring the beauty of outdoors, inside! Check it out…

What will our next pom-pom garland look like? Stay tuned to find out!

Arts & Crafts, Miscellaneous

Nautical Daily Planner


Last month, this blank nautical journal was in a clearance bin for $6. Today, it is a hand-drawn daily planner that covers 30 months with blank pages to spare! The days of the week are color-coded to make it easy to identify each one and every day has a “Today…” banner to fill in birthdays, appointments, reminders and more. To the front of the planner we added Hebrews 6:19 which reads: “Jesus is the anchor of my soul.” Considering most 12-month daily planners cost $17 or more, this 30-month daily planner is a bargain for only $6 (plus a few hand cramps!).

Arts & Crafts, Operation Christmas Child, Products

Our Collection Center Journal


If you are an Operation Christmas Child Collection Center Co-ordinator, you have to remember countless numbers, names, dates and stats. What were the destination countries for your center in 2013? When Aunt Sue drops off shoeboxes from her packing party and asks how many she gave last year – will you remember? Why can’t you remember the name of the contact person for your newest Relay Center? To help you remember all of those important details, we designed this handy Collection Center Journal. Easily find stats and notes using the provided 5 tab dividers and 52 journal pages that were designed to help you record the vast amount of information that Collection Week brings (more on that below). While NOT meant to replace official Collection Center logs/reports/forms, this journal is a great way to record memories and notes for your personal use!


The journal is easy to assemble too! Simply print as many pages as you need/want, cut them out and bind together.
For our example journal, we laminated the cover pages and all 5 tab dividers. Then we purchased 2 clear check-size poly envelopes at the office supply store and some 18 gauge silver craft wire. We cut off both ends of the poly envelopes, hole-punched the pages, tabs and envelopes and then sliced the bottom edge of one poly envelope into two pieces. After wrapping the craft wire around a wooden dowel rod to form a spiral, we threaded it through the holes to bind the pages and envelopes together. Now our journal is protected from rain and random beverage spills with a velcro-secured cover!


For the second poly envelope, we trimmed the ends to match the size of the journal pages and had placed it between the last page and the envelope cover. With a needle and red embroidery thread, we stitched both sides of the envelope to form an enclosed pouch. It’s perfect for holding business cards, Post-It notes, paperclips, small pens or pencils and more!

Using green embroidery thread, we stitched the leftover poly envelope pieces to the back cover to form two pouches to hold items that we might need quick access to!

Needless to say, we can’t wait for National Collection Week to begin! We hope you find this journal helpful and remember, all profits from its sales go to shipping shoeboxes! Click here to purchase it!

Here’s a list of the pages included in the Collection Center Journal:

  • 1 Front Cover and 1 Back Cover
  • 1 Collection Center Info tab
    • 1 Collection Center page
    • 1 Processing Center page
    • 2 Things to Remember pages
    • 4 Trailer pages
    • 4 Year Total pages
  • 1 Daily Totals tab
    • 2 Monday pages
    • 1 Tuesday page
    • 1 Wednesday page
    • 1 Thursday page
    • 1 Friday page
    • 1 Saturday page
    • 1 Sunday page
  • 1 Relay Centers tab
    • 4 Relay Center pages
    • 4 Gifts-In-Kind pages
  • 1 Shoebox Donors tab
    • 4 Shoebox Donor pages
    • 4 Gifts-In-Kind pages
  • 1 Notes tab
    • 8 Blank lined pages
    • 8 Blank pages
Arts & Crafts

Easy Autograph Book!

Are you looking for an easy way to bind the pages of your autograph book or journal? Nothing could be simpler than hole-punching one the corner of each page and slipping them onto a 1″ metal book ring! This technique gives you the ability to re-order or add/remove pages at any time. Tie a variety of colorful ribbons to the ring for some extra pizzazz!

For a more conventional journal-style binding technique, read about Our Collection Center Journal.

Arts & Crafts

D.I.Y. Giant Flip Flops


Today’s D.I.Y. craft project is a giant 24″ pair of flip flops! All you need are a few supplies and a knack for hands-on projects. Instead of leis, you can use braided rope, belts, feather boas, or anything else that comes to mind. Use these eye-catching shoes at a luau party, as props in a play or even in an oversized Operation Christmas Child shoebox float!

Arts & Crafts, Operation Christmas Child

Create a Shoebox Costume

Make your very own Operation Christmas Child shoebox costume! Wear it for Halloween, to OCC benefit events or simply to promote OCC during National Collection Week. All you need are a few supplies and a willing person to wear it. Our costume has received countless comments and received a lot of attention when being worn. Kids love it!