Hello again friends! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by with me today! I’m cheating today and ‘recycling’ an older post of adorable DIY Valentine’s Day gifts that the whole family will love! They are inexpensive, customizable, cute and heartfelt! We actually unpacked ours after our recent move and everyone still enjoyed seeing them and all the love that went into making them.

Valentine gifts handmade

Some of the sweet gifts I made for my loved ones a few years ago.

A few Valentine’s Days ago I made all of the below for our girls and my family and they loved them. Some of the ideas I got off of Pinterest and some I just made up. Hope you enjoy!

1. Date Jar
Supplies needed:
Mason/Ball Jar
Wide Kraft Sticks
Paint
Permanent Marker
Remnant Material
Thread

A wonderful way to show your loved one how much you value your time with them. Easy to make and really gets your creative juices flowing! Instructions can be found here!

2. 30 things I love about you jar!
Supplies needed:
Mason/Ball Jar
30 Narrow Popsicle sticks or kraft sticks
Paint (if desired)
Permanent Marker
Remnant Material
Thread

I was inspired to make this one after doing the first one above for my hubby. This smaller one I made for my eldest daughter. I labeled 30 sticks with things that I love and appreciate about her. That way she could read one each day of the month. Two years later she still smiles quietly when reading these! (and that makes it all worth it!!) After I made the sticks I simply cut out a circle of fabric out with pinking shears and hand sewed a heart to the fabric at the top of the lid. I then added a ribbon to add some ‘girly’ charm to the gift. (she loved this!) I attached a small heart-shaped note explaining what the jar was to the ribbon with a piece of thread.

3. Knit stuffed hearts
I made these little hearts for my girls with some leftover yarn I had lying around. For my eldest I made them into little hanging hearts so she could hang them on her door. For the little one I just made them soft and squishy with no hangers on them. She loves to carry them around even now! I just kind of made up the pattern, but here is an easy pattern if you would like to try them out!

4. 52 things I love about you!
I love this idea from Pinterest!! The directions are no longer linked to this pin but here’s the link so you can see the picture! You are basically gluing things you love about your loved one that you’ve written or typed to a pack of playing cards. So sweet and such a fun exercise to list all of the things you love about your significant other! The photo shows the cards tied with ribbon, but I simply used an O ring to connect the cards.

5. Poem with children’s footprints
I first found this beautiful poem on Pinterest as a free printable but the link no longer works so I’m just linking the Pinterest pin for you! You can easily type out this poem yourself and just add the painted footprints to it afterwards. What a wonderful way to tell Dad that you love him than with the little feet that love to climb all over him!

I hope that you have enjoyed these handmade gift ideas for friends and family! Thanks for stopping by and please let me know if you try any of the ideas! I’d love to see pictures!

Blessings to you friends,

Charlotte
Charlotte

Are you searching for a last-minute decor idea for your table or tree this Christmas?? Come on by and check out this super easy one that will have your home looking (and smelling) fantastic in just minutes!!

A gorgeous set of orange pomanders

A gorgeous set of orange pomanders

If you haven’t heard of orange pomanders before be assured they are amazing and you’ll love them! I remember seeing them and hearing about them from my Grandma and her friends. I’ve seen gorgeous photos of them all over the web and have always wanted to make some. So this year we decided to give them a try! And they were so easy and fun for the whole family to make!!

The joy of creating!

The joy of creating!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Oranges (clementines, tangerines, etc.)
Whole cloves

orange and cloves

Optional:
Toothpicks or other sharp tool
3 Tbs. ground cinnamon
3 Tbs. ground cloves
3 Tbs. ground nutmeg
3 Tbs. ground ginger
3 Tbs. orris root powder (dried and ground root of certain iris’ used as a fixative)  Although I have a couple sitting in my office that are a couple of years old and had no fixative used and they still smell great!

Directions:
1. Pick out orange with good solid rind. I picked up a bag of Cuties the other day and not only were they delicious but just the right size for little hands.
2. Decide what pattern or design you’d like to make. You can draw it on beforehand or just ‘wing it’ and see where your imagination takes you! (Anyone else like the idea of planning when it comes to crafty projects – but secretly you’d rather just see what happens?) :) If you are going to hang it sometimes it’s easier to attach the ribbon or thread before you start placing the cloves.

Hole poked with toothpick pre-clove

Hole poked with toothpick pre-clove

3. If your orange rind isn’t too tough you can simply push them through the rind by hand in whatever design you like. If it’s too tough or your little ones need some help you can use a toothpick or other piercing device to make a small hole so that the clove pushes in more easily.

Tiny hand pushing in clove

Tiny hand pushing in clove

(or if your kids are anything like my helper, they may just enjoy playing with the toothpicks!)

Concentrating hard on her craft!

Concentrating hard on her craft!

Be careful as the whole cloves can be very sharp. My fingers have built up a tolerance from all of the cloves that we use here in the shop though. Here are a few examples of some designs that the tiniest Spice Grove and I came up with!

4. Step back and enjoy your work!
5. Let the orange dry for 2-3 weeks in a dry place. A sunny window is the perfect place! If you want you can let it dry in a delicious spice mix of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and orris root powder. The mix will add an even more delicious smell to your beautiful orange. If you do this last step, just turn the orange in the spice mix every day or so, so that it gets coated evenly. (Sadly I don’t have any photos of this last step as I was too anxious to get this post done and share it with you!

Pomander display in a deep vase

Pomander display in a deep vase

Have fun with it and get creative! Remember there is no wrong way to make these! They will look (and smell) gorgeous in a simple bowl on your holiday table or hanging on your tree! The beauty is they will last for years!! If you’re really prepared you could have these made up early and give them as gifts for the Holidays. I’d love to see photos if anyone tries these out!

Our smiley face and toothpick pomander!  He may just be my favorite!

Our smiley face and toothpick pomander! He may just be my favorite!

I know there are only 6 days until Christmas – but I wish you peace and joy this wonder filled week before Christmas! Take time to enjoy and see the little miracles!

Blessings friends,

CharlotteCharlotte

Today I wanted to share an easy and very inexpensive DIY gift you can make for your kids for Christmas! Or use this as an awesome craft to do with your kids this Holiday Season!

The finished spiced Playdough!

The finished spiced Playdough!

I first found this play-dough recipe over at The Modest Mom Blog. She has so many great ideas for DIY crafts! I wanted to ‘spice’ up the play-dough though as presents for our girls this Christmas, so a few tweaks and I ended up with some amazingly fragrant play-dough! It’s great for all the senses. And I made 2 batches so there won’t be any arguing over the sets!! (fingers crossed on that)

Here is what you’ll need.

~Jars – plastic or glass depending on the age of your kiddo’s. I really wanted to use some recycled glass jars I had, but my 2 yr. old still drops a lot of things so we went with plastic ones this year. Here are some I found at Michaels for $6.99 for a 4 pack. With a 40% off coupon they wouldn’t be bad at all!!
~Saucepan
~Labels if desired. These FREE printables were also on The Modest Mom’s Blog or get creative and make some of your own!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients:
1 cup of flour
1 cup of water
1/3 cup of salt
2 tsp. cream of tarter
1 Tbsp. canola oil
Food Coloring (I’d love to try this with natural food coloring sometime but I wanted our girls to get to see that so I’ll save that for later!)

Spices for fragrance

Spices for fragrance

Optional:
1/4-1/2 tsp. of one or more of the following spices, according to how strong you want the fragrance.
Cinnamon
cloves
nutmeg
allspice
ginger
orange peel (dehydrated)

Directions:
1. Put all ingredients in the saucepan. I added my spices and food coloring after I cooked the initial recipe as I wanted different spices/colors for my little jars but if you are making a big batch I would just add the spices and food coloring in at this point too.

Mix all ingredients together.

Mix all ingredients together.

2. Heat at a medium low temperature until the play-dough forms a ball. (roughly about 3 min.) Make sure to stir the ENTIRE time. (This isn’t a ‘walk away’ recipe!! :))

Play-dough formed in a ball at the end of cooking.

Play-dough formed in a ball at the end of cooking.

3. Put the ball on some wax paper to cool for a bit.

Cooling on wax paper

Cooling on wax paper

4. When it’s cool enough knead into a ball (if you already have spices and coloring in it) or divide it into smaller portions for your jars. This recipe made 8 little golf ball size portions for me which fit perfectly into my little jars. If you need some ideas to your creative juices flowing here are some scents and color combos that I did this time!

Divided playdough - ready to scent and color

Divided playdough – ready to scent and color

~red – allspice
~yellow – nutmeg
~green – cloves
~brown – cinnamon
~orange – orange peels and ginger
~pink – unscented
~blue – unscented
~purple – unscented

Have fun and get creative!

Have fun and get creative!

Finished playdough with labels

Sorry about the wrinkles…..I just couldn’t wait to show you all how cute they turned out!! They smoothed out nicely though after they dried!

Have fun and get creative with your spices and colors! Pair the playdough with a couple of cute little cookie cutters for an adorable gift set! I’d love to see pictures if you decide to try this spiced playdough recipe! (By the way it’s really fun to let the kids help with this – I was just making this batch for a Christmas surprise so the girls didn’t get to help with this one!)

I hope you are having a blessed Holiday Season friends!
Blessings,
Charlotte
Charlotte

In keeping with our series theme of “using what you have,” welcome to our autumn DIY post! I hope you’ll enjoy these easy and low-cost ideas for freshening up your Fall table! Read on to see our 5 simple table centerpieces!

1. Use what is in your yard. Since we live in the desert our yard is mainly rock with a few cactus and other desert plants. Our girls are constantly bringing me rocks to add to their collections so one day we decided to see how they would look as a centerpiece.

Rocks
Using the rocks and a few pinecones that I’ve collected over the years we were able to make a simple and rustic centerpiece that was FREE and took only about 2 minutes. (More if you are having fun looking at the rocks with your little ones!!)
Rocks and Pinecones
2. Nature provides us with so much beauty, why not use some of it inside your home? Whether you have a herb garden with some fragrant lavender, some mini pumpkins or beautiful branches lying around your home don’t be afraid to use them!! Get creative and see where your imagination takes you!
LavenderPumpkins or flowersBranches
3. Now as much as I love the branches and pinecones, the desert doesn’t provide many of these naturally so I have taken to using what grows naturally here.
Prickly pear
I found these amazing prickly pear fruit in our front yard and just simply arranged them in this large cylindrical vase. Again, super quick, easy and FREE!! (Important note!!! Make sure you are wearing thick gloves to handle these little guys as they have amazingly small little needles on them!!)

Prickly pearPrickly Pear
4. Another sweet idea is to take a peek into your spice cabinet and see what whole spices you have available!

SpicesThen take the lovely seeds and berries and let them arrange themselves into whatever container or bowl you have available. Now you have a beautiful and fragrant centerpiece that evokes the scents of Fall all found in your own kitchen for FREE! (My favorite Fall scents to use are probably, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, star anise, and rose hips for a splash of Autumn color!) Buying these in bulk or online will save you money if you want to purchase more than just a little bit!
Pinecones and Spice BallsRosemary and cranberriesCloseup pinecones and spice balls
Besides the spices, I also love using some coffee beans or natural herbs from our garden in various vases!!

5. The last idea features one of our rustic spiced candle wreaths. I love that they have four different uses! (candle wreath, napkin holder, flower holder or vase decor) I’ll show you how I used the wreath in a vase decor and flower holder here.
IMG_0079closeup of vase with candle wreath
Now since we don’t have abundant flowers here in the desert I just used some tiny little ‘weeds’ that the girls are always bringing in. They are just the perfect size for the tiny votive candle holder and the yellow looks so pretty with the Fall hued candle wreath!
I also made a tiny centerpiece with just the wreath and the flowers. I know it won’t last long but we loved the understated look of this one. (our household thrives on simplicity and creativity!)
Candle wreath with flowers
I truly hope that some of these easy tips and ideas will spark your imagination and let you come up with some new Autumn decor for your own table! I’d love to see pictures if you do!

Autumn Blessings to you friends,

Charlotte
Charlotte

Welcome to the new blog series titled ‘Use What You Have!’

Use What You Have

I am so excited to share a special collection of all things inspirational for your Heart and Home! This new weekly/bi-weekly series will feature so many wonderful ideas you won’t want to miss a moment! Just some of the ideas I have planned for you are:

~Gorgeous DIY Home Decor Ideas using things you ALREADY have!

~Easy, Healthy Recipes using what is ALREADY in your pantry!

~Inspirational stories and thoughts to uplift your spirit!

~FREE tutorials! (These will make your Holiday parties so special!)

~Amazing guests!

~Festive Holiday ideas and Gift Guides!

~And MORE!!!! (giveaways too!!)

I’m so thankful for all of you and that you took the time to stop by! Do you have a recipe or awesome DIY you’d like to share with us? Just contact us here!! (or leave a comment below)

Have a beautiful day friends!
Blessings to you,

 

Charlotte
Charlotte

Looking for some easy and sweet Valentine gifts that are super sweet and inexpensive? We have some wonderful ones that won’t take you any time at all and will be wonderful memories to cherish for years to come! Come on in!

Handprint Memories

Memories of little hands

Memories of little hands

This first gift is wonderful for your children or loved one to create an instant memory that they’ll treasure for years to come. To make the first one pictured above you only need the following items.

Heavy cardstock – at least 60 weight
Regular paper
Felt
Thread
Frame (if desired) I used a recycled one I found at Goodwill.

Step 1-
Trace your kid(s) or loved ones hand print on regular paper and cut out.

Step 2-
Trace the hand print(s) onto your felt and cut out. You can use any color(s) you want. I thought the pink and purple were sweet for our two girls.

Close-up of stitching and text

Close-up of stitching and text

Step 3-
Figure out what design you’d like to create on your heavy cardstock. I wanted to emphasize the difference in size in our little ones hands while showing the love between them so I overlapped them and cut out the heart. (I suppose you could trace the heart and make it perfect but I’m more of a ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants’ sewing gal so I just did it by sight.) Make sure you leave room for any wording or script that you want to add to your design.

Step 4-
Pick out a color of thread that either complements or contrasts with your felt. Start sewing a basic running stitch around the edge of your cut out hands. It may get a bit tricky as you don’t want the paper to bend, but if I can do this then so can you!

Step 5-
After the hand prints are sewn on decide where and what you want to say. Very lightly write the words or phrase you want in the design on the paper. (If you are more talented than me you can probably just sew the words on without tracing!)

Closeup of signature and stitching

Closeup of signature by my little one and stitching

Step 6-
Now just sew over the writing using the back-stitch until you have sewn over the wording. I used a french knot for the dot on the ‘i’.  So sweet!  Just insert into frame and you are done!!

For an even sweeter gift, have your little ones write the word or phrase on the card stock for a lasting memory of their adorable hand writing.  We did this idea for Daddy for Christmas and it was a big hit!  I love that the kids can help write and sew if they would like to!

Gift for Daddy with the girls' writing and hand prints!

Gift for Daddy with the girls’ writing and hand prints!

Other EASY and cute DIY Valentine gifts!

Last Valentine’s Day I made all of the below for our girls and my family and they loved them.  Some of the ideas I got off of Pinterest and some I just made up.  Hope you enjoy!

Valentine gifts handmade

Some of the sweet gifts I made for my loved ones last year.

1. Date Jar
Supplies needed:
Mason/Ball Jar
Wide Kraft Sticks
Paint
Permanent Marker
Remnant Material
Thread

A wonderful way to show your loved one how much you value your time with them. Easy to make and really gets your creative juices flowing! Instructions can be found here!

2. 30 things I love about you jar!
Supplies needed:
Mason/Ball Jar
30 Narrow Popsicle sticks or kraft sticks
Paint (if desired)
Permanent Marker
Remnant Material
Thread

I was inspired to make this one after doing the first one above for my hubby. This smaller one I made for my eldest daughter. I labeled 30 sticks with things that I love and appreciate about her. That way she could read one each day of the month. I haven’t pulled it out in a while, but I’m sure it would be fun to look at again. After I made the sticks I simply cut out a circle of fabric out with pinking shears and hand sewed a heart to the fabric at the top of the lid. I then added a ribbon to add some ‘girly’ charm to the gift. (she loved this!) I attached a small heart-shaped note explaining what the jar was to the ribbon with a piece of thread.

3. Knit stuffed hearts
I made these little hearts for my girls with some leftover yarn I had lying around. For my eldest I made them into little hanging hearts so she could hang them on her door. For the little one I just made them soft and squishy with no hangers on them. She loves to carry them around even now!  I just kind of made up the pattern, but here is an easy pattern if you would like to try them out!

4. 52 things I love about you!
I love this idea from Pinterest!! The directions are no longer linked to this pin but here’s the link so you can see the picture! You are basically gluing things you love about your loved one that you’ve written or typed to a pack of playing cards. So sweet and such a fun exercise to list all of the things you love about your significant other!  The photo shows the cards tied with ribbon, but I simply used an O ring to connect the cards.

5. Poem with children’s footprints
I first found this beautiful poem on Pinterest as a free printable but the link no longer works so I’m just linking the Pinterest pin for you! You can easily type out this poem yourself and just add the painted footprints to it afterwards. What a wonderful way to tell Dad that you love him than with the little feet that love to climb all over him!

I hope that you have enjoyed these handmade gift ideas for friends and family! Thanks for stopping by and please let me know if you try any of the ideas! I’d love to see pictures!

Blessings to you friends,
signature
Bio Picture

What You Will Need

What You Will Need

If you are like me you have great intentions of baking the fall pumpkins that graced your tables or maybe your entryway, but life gets in the way sometimes. (Especially now that I’ve learned pumpkins don’t last as long in the hot Arizona sun as they did in the cooler New York weather!) Since I won’t be baking the little guys I just had to try this idea that I saw online from DIY Home World I changed it up a bit since we here at Spice Grove Designs love to reuse things.

Here are the things you will need!

~Pumpkins – the sweet ones or mini ones work great!
~Wicks
~Wax (reused or flakes)
~Cinnamon sticks or other spices you enjoy
~Knife

Steps 1 and 2

Steps 1 and 2

Step 1:

Cut off the top 1/4 – 1/2 of the pumpkin and clean out seeds and pulp. I did use a beautiful acorn squash here too as I just couldn’t resist the gorgeous colors!

Step 2:

Melt wax in a double boiler. You can buy new wax bricks or flakes, but since I’m in a reusing frame of mind I pulled out candles that I’ve saved that are no longer usable as the wicks have disappeared. I melted the wax back down in an old pot that has been deemed my ‘craft pot’ by a very thankful Hubby! This was by far the most time-consuming part of the project.

Steps 3 and 4

Steps 3 and 4

Step 3:

While your wax is melting get out those wicks! I just happened to have some that I rescued from some old taper candles. I wrapped the end in tin foil about 1/4 of and inch up. This end will sit in the bottom of the candle. I then put more tin foil around it making it lie flat in the bottom of the candle. Then I tied the long end of the wick around a pencil so that it would stand up straight as I poured the wax in.

Step 4:

Pour the wax in the pumpkin adding whatever spices you desire! I did this in stages so that I could add the spices throughout the candle. In the photos I’ve shown the 3 that I came out with; pumpkin cinnamon, pumpkin cinnamon anise, and pumpkin cinnamon coffee bean! (Which smells FANTASTIC!!)

Step 5:

Trim your wick after the wax has cooled and enjoy!

The 3 types of candles we made

The 3 types of candles we made

What a lovely way to bring these harvest scents into your home. And just think – if you are a packrat like me – the only thing you’ll have to buy are the pumpkins!! This was a very easy and budget friendly craft for the holidays. (Although I do recommend caution when pouring the wax into the pumpkins and maybe having some tin foil under your Hubby’s beautiful handmade cutting board so you don’t spill!) I can’t wait to see what the family says about these beauties. What a wonderful Holiday gift to bring to someone’s home for a Thanksgiving meal!

What other pumpkin crafts are you doing this time of year? Let us know and send a picture! We’d love to share your creativity!

Wishing you a wonderful week of yummy fall scents,
signature

PS. Make sure and check back next week!! You won’t want to miss meeting 5 amazing friends of mine that have so kindly shared their work with us! I’ll have some amazing coupons, 3 giveaways and a ton of fun and inspiration so come on over!! Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss a word!

The scents are heavenly!

The scents are heavenly!

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On Twitter