Burlap Gift Bags

Burlap Gift BagBurlap is so versatile and my daughters love it as much as I do.  All year I have been using it to make my own gift bags.  Recently I made some really cute ones for their St. Nicholas Day gift bags.

We always give a St. Nicholas bag to each of the girls on St. Nicholas Day which generally is a couple of weeks before Christmas.  We put Christmas goodies in it like socks, an ornament, some candy and other little presents that they can enjoy during the holiday season.  Even though they are now adults, the tradition continues and they love getting these little bags and love the little treasures in them.

This year, I made burlap bags to hold the goodies.  Look how simply easy and fun they are to make!

I fold the bag at the bottom so I cut a piece of burlap twice the length of what I want the finished bag to be.  These bags are about 15 x9. The beauty of working with burlap is that it doesn’t need to be perfectly straight; they are rustic you know!

After cutting my pieces I laid them out (I am making 3 bags here) and started decorating.

I cut out felt reindeer and stars to glue onto the front of the bags.  Again, these shapes do not have to be perfect.  The little imperfections make them perfect!  I made the bodies green (doesn’t show well in this pic) and the antlers, ears and noses brown.  Choose any colors that make you happy!


Then get your glue gun or craft glue and start creating!

gluing shapes star with button reindeer with googly eyes decorated bag





I added buttons to the stars and googly eyes to the reindeer.  I don’t know about you but I have boxes of buttons from my grandma, mom and aunt.  I can always find some really cool looking buttons in there!



Then I sewed up the side seams with a zig zag stitch.  I just leave the seam on the outside and don’t bother with turning the bags to get the seam inside.  It just adds to the character of the bag I think.

sewing the bags


I trimmed the seams just a bit close to the stitching and then filled with goodies.



I used a large knitting needle to pull some yarn through to close and tie up the bag. You could use ribbon too if you wanted to.  All three bags turned out so cute and the girls loved them.  They stated that they were “keepers” to quote one of them.  Aren’t they adorable?

3 finished bags


Do you make your own gift wrappings?

Happy Unleashing!


Primitive Snowmen: DIY

DSCN3784Do you have a favorite holiday decoration? Do you have a collection of something in particular? I have a few collections that fill my holidays with smiles and giggles. One of those are my snowmen. I cannot resist them! Each year we adopt some more of them. Many are on the same cabinet in our living room and then others mischievously show up in other locations. In a future post I will give you a tour of them.

But this weekend, with the snow falling, music playing and me in the craft room I created a couple of new snowmen. I call them “Primitive Snowmen” as they are made of burlap and buttons rather than stuff that is soft and fluffy.

They are easy; here’s what I did.

I used a Styrofoam cone; mine were 6 inches tall.  I wrapped burlap around them and then trimmed up the bottom excess so they would be flush and stand unassisted.


For their “hair” I decided they needed to have totally different looks.  I mean what snowman wants to look just like the next guy?

I decided pigtails would be really cute so I pulled out some strands in the burlap until I had some “hair”.  Then I divided it up and put little bows on.

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I added some buttons and ribbon for a scarf.  What do you think?


It was then time for snowman #2…  I used spanish moss and glittery stars in her hair.  I pinned the stars in with decorative straight pins and hot glued her “hair” in place.  I added buttons and a little scarf held together with a mini clothespin to her.








I went out in the snow to get some twigs.  They were ice covered and I had to melt and dry them before I could use them.  I poked little holes in the side of the cone form with a chopstick, then hot glued their little arms in.

It was time for them to meet!



Last night I added them to the snowmen shelves.  They are happily getting acquainted with the gang. I think they fit it, don’t you?



Happy Unleashing your creative decorating side!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #131

DSCN3364Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!  So happy you have stopped by to read a bit and share a bit.

I don’t know about you but living this farmgirl lifestyle is a constant stream of learning!  Whether you are discovering a great new paint for refurnishing furniture like Deb over at Dandelion House, cooking up something new and yummy like Dolly, exploring and learning about your community like Heidi, learning a new way to garden or something new to grow, or a new craft, or how to do something yourself that never occurred to you before or…. well you get the idea.  Us farmgirls are always learning and trying something new.  This weekend I head off to beekeeping school. Did I ever have that in my plans a couple years ago?  NOPE!  But it seems perfectly in sync now with my ever evolving lifestyle.

That is why I love our blog hop on Fridays!  You share so many things with us that enrich my life or that gives me confidence to try something new.

Last week I read with such great interest City Boy’s blog on finding that his Honey Bee Queen had died and what he did when that occurred.  Since I have bees on the brain right now that caught my eye, but also educated me on something that may occur in my future with our bees and was just a darn good read!

So what are you learning, trying, experiencing this week?  Grab a seat and share some of your farmgirl (farmboy) happenings!

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A MEMBER OF THE FARMGIRL SISTERHOOD to join the FARMGIRL/BOY FRIDAY BLOG HOP.  BUT with all the cool stuff ya’ll do I would highly recommend it!  Earning badges for doing stuff that we are doing!  It’s like scouts for grownups.  How fun is that???  I just love being a part of the Farmgirl Sisterhood.  Finding MJs Farm  is helping me discover and embrace all the things I love!  

Friday Blog Hop


So if you love to play in the dirt, in the kitchen, in your craft room, with your animals or where ever you do your farmgirl thing come on and join the fun!

So, who are your hostesses? Be sure to visit them and see what they are up to.  Say “hello” while you are there!”

Deb of Dandelion House (our blog hop founder and hostess primo)
And the rules…. simple, but here they are:
1.) Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals,  quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!
2). Leave your entry in the  Linky tools space to your  Farmgirl Friday post.
3). Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
4.) Enter up to three entries per hop!

Be sure to leave a note if you’re new to the hop! If you haven’t clicked that follow button yet, please join us and be sure to stop by our FACEBOOK page and like us there too!

As always, thank you for your continued participation and welcome to our new friends and followers! Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! See you on the hop!

PS. This is a blog hop, so please share it with your friends by copying the code at the bottom of this post and including it into your weekly entry! 



Laundry Day

I have been making my own cleaning products and one of those is laundry detergent. The “recipe” is based on one from DIY Natural and is super easy.  After doing it one time, I can whip it up without reference to the recipe.  It cleans great and is CHEAP and is without all those toxins and artificial ingredients.

You may ask “what do you mean by cheap?” I mean it is .04/TBL and most loads only take 1 TBL; for really, really dirty outside garden clothes I use 2 TBL.  Compare that with an average of .21/load if you are buying a commercial brand.  AND when you are running low, you don’t have to wait until you hit the store; in 10 minutes you can refill your supply.  So are you ready? Here we go:

These are the ingredients; pretty simple and basic wouldn’t you way.  I get mine in bulk using either Sam’s or Amazon.  If you have better sources, let me know!


Step 1: Grate one bar of soap; I use Fels Naphtha but there are others.

Grated Soap

Step 2: add 1 C of washing soda and 1 C of baking soda.  Sprinkle a few drops of your favorite essential oil and mix.  I use Bergomot (citrus) oil.  It smells so good!  Then I take it for a quick spin in the food processor.  Some people use a dedicated food processor for this, but I do not.  I just wash it really well afterwards.

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Now you are done!  Pour it into a cute jar with a tight fitting lid.  I use a canning jar:

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1 C Baking Soda

1 C Washing Soda

1 bar of Fels Naptha soap

few drops of your favorite essential oil

Give it a try!  You will love it and love the idea that you made it yourself.


I was so excited to get my tortilla press.  In my journey to make more and more things myself, rather than buying something processed, it seemed to make sense that tortillas were next on the hit list!  I make my own chips from tortillas so the next logical thing to do was to make my own tortillas.  So I ordered my press  and was so excited to open the box and get it out!

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I was amazed to find out how simple (and cheap!) this is to do.  All you need is Harina De Maiz and water.  How simple is that?  Mix the maiz with hot water– we used 1 3/4 C Maiz and 1 1/8 C boiling water.  Then into the mixer it went.  You need to knead it for about 10 minutes.  We let the Kitchen Aid do that…

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You divide the dough into about 16 pieces.  Roll into a ball and place into the center of the press (lined with grocery bags!).  Press and into a dry hot skillet.  They cook up very fast and then they are heaven to eat!

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We served ours with salad with a mojo dressing  and pinto beans that had been cooking all afternoon. I used my veggie stock in the pinto beans as I am obsessed with it.  I know the beans do not look appetizing in this picture but they were fantastic.

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Very simple meal that was full of freshness and flavor.  I cannot wait to get my press out again!  It will definitely get a lot of play time!