Monogrammed key holders: Quick to make and thoughtful to give, these monogrammed key chains will go everywhere with the recipients. The lettering and leather color options mean everyone gets a unique gift.

Ten Quick Gift Projects

Give gifts that surpass what the mall and web offer. In a few hours you can craft personal, stylish presents and save money at the same time.

1. MONOGRAMMED KEY HOLDERS 

Quick to make and thoughtful to give, these monogrammed key chains will go everywhere with the recipients. The lettering and leather color options mean everyone gets a unique gift.

Makes 6 key chains

Materials

Tools

  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Fabric scissors
  • Leather skiver
  • Small foam brushes
  • Alphabet stamp set, ¼-inch, Tandy Leather
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Craft knife
  • Small paint brushes
  • Leather punch
  • Hammer

Instructions

Lay leather strip on flat surface. Use a ruler and a pencil to measure and mark six 8-inch increments down the length of the strip. Cut marked measurements to separate six 8-inch strips. Discard remaining piece.

With a skiver, trim leather strips until they reach the pliability desired, focusing on the center of the strip, where it will fold in half. 

Place a strip, face up, on a smooth surface. Lightly wet the bottom 3 inches of one end of the strip with a foam brush dipped in water. Use alphabet stamp to monogram wet end as desired, leaving 1 inch clear below the bottom of the monogram. Repeat on opposite end. Repeat for remaining strips. Let dry. 

If desired, fold strip in half, aligning bottom edges and make small make a ½-inch v-cut at the bottom of each side.

Use small paint brush to apply color (edge paint or water stain) to the back side of each strip, if desired. Use paint brush to carefully paint all edges with edge paint. Let dry 5 minutes.

Apply clear matte finish to the face of each leather strip with a foam brush. Let dry. 

Place key ring in the center of the strip and fold strip in half over the ring, back sides touching and bottom edges aligned. Approximately 1 inch from the top of the fold, use a leather punch to make a centered hole through both layers of the key chain. Push long piece of double cap rivet set through one side of the hole. Place shorter piece on top of the hole of the other side, aligning the pieces to meet through the hole. Use a hammer to secure cap rivet pieces together. Repeat for remaining key chains.


Marbled bowl: A ho-hum glass bowl becomes a gilded conversation piece when finished with gold leaf, two colors of glass paint and white acrylic craft paint. A toothpick swirled in the wet paint creates a marbled appearance.

2. MARBLED BOWL 

A ho-hum glass bowl becomes a gilded conversation piece when finished with gold leaf, two colors of glass paint and white acrylic craft paint. A toothpick swirled in the wet paint creates a marbled appearance.

Makes 1 bowl

Materials

Tools

  • Parchment paper
  • Disposable plastic spoons
  • Toothpick
  • Metal leaf adhesive
  • Small paintbrush, optional
  • Metal leaf sealer
  • Instructions

Working on a smooth surface, place glass bowl upside down on a piece of parchment. Apply glass paints with plastic spoons in a random pattern around the outside of the bowl, covering 75 percent of the surface area. Remove excess paint. Pour white acrylic paint over the entire outside of the bowl. Gently drag a toothpick through the layers of wet paint, creating a marbling effect. Let dry 5 hours.

Place bowl right side up onto parchment paper. Use metal leaf adhesive spray to coat the inside of the bowl. Use fingers or small paintbrush to apply gold leaf flakes to cover the inside. Set with metal leaf sealer. Let dry 20 minutes before using.


Graphic spoons: Show your creative side using a wood burning tool to burn designs into plain wooden spoons. Go tribal with dots, stripes and chevrons or personalize wooden utensils with Bible verses or the cook's initials.

3. GRAPHIC SPOONS 

Show your creative side using a wood-burning tool to burn designs into plain wooden spoons. Go tribal with dots, stripes and chevrons or personalize wooden utensils with Bible verses or the cook’s initials.

Makes 1 spoon

Materials

  • Wooden kitchen spoon

Tools

  • Pencil
  • Baking sheet
  • Wood burning tool

Instructions

Use a pencil to draw design on wooden kitchen spoon. Place spoon on baking sheet. Use heated wood burning tool to burn in sketched design onto the spoon.


Glass coasters: Coordinate these coasters with the recipient's room decor. Star with glass disks usually seen under pillar candles, then add our inspirational backgrounds or make your own with personalized sentiments or monograms.

4. GLASS COASTERS 

Coordinate these coasters with the recipient’s room decor. Start with glass disks usually seen under pillar candles then add our inspirational backgrounds or make your own with personalized sentiments or monograms.

Makes 8 coasters

Materials

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Medium-size foam paint brush
  • Decoupage medium

Instructions

Print coasters template out with a laser printer onto laser printer paper. Cut out printed coaster template. On a smooth surface, place glitter onto the cut coaster images, leaving space around the perimeters and the coaster text.

Place glass candle plates on top of white felt, allowing four coasters per sheet. Use a pencil to trace around candle plates. Set candle plates aside. Use scissors to cut out felt circles. Set aside.

Remove any labels from candle plates. Use a medium foam brush to apply decoupage medium to the back side of one candle plate. Carefully align the coaster plate over one coaster image and apply. If needed, gently pull back the paper coaster image paper from the candle plate to adjust the glitter placement. Smooth paper onto glass candle plate. Repeat for remaining coasters.

Apply decoupage medium to the back side of a papered coaster. Align prepared felt circle and place on top of decoupaged coaster template. Let dry. Repeat for remaining coasters.


Designer case: No need to buy expensive designer bags. Make one with a large piece of leather -- available at leather specialty stores -- in aqua, shimmery gold or other colors. Each leather piece produces several pencil case or cosmetic bags in an afternoon. Add a tassle or charm to the zipper pull to give it a custom touch.

5. DESIGNER CASE 

No need to buy expensive designer bags. Make one with a large piece of leather—available at leather specialty stores—in aqua, shimmery gold or other colors. Each leather piece produces several pencil cases or cosmetic bags in an afternoon. Add a tassle or charm to the zipper pull to give it a custom touch.

Makes 1 case

Materials

Tools

  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Leather sewing machine needle
  • Straight pins
  • Wire cutters

Instructions

Lay leather face down on a clean, smooth surface. Measure an 8x9-inch rectangle and outline it with a pencil onto the leather. Cut out along the outline.

On each 9-inch side, fold the front side of the leather over the back side ½ inch and pin into place. Bring 9-inch sides together, front side on the inside. Pin along the short sides, ½-inch from the edges.

Thread sewing machine and bobbin with teal thread. Sew seam along each short end, ¼-inch from the edge. Remove pins before they reach the needle. Back stitch both starting and ending points to reinforce. 

Turn leather case right side out. With the zipper open, pin one side of zipper to one side of the case. Sew zipper side ¼-inch from edge of hem. Backstitch to reinforce. Align other zipper side to remaining case side and repeat instructions from the first side. Trim any thread ends. Zipper the case closed.

Wrap gold embroidery floss in 3-inch-long loops around a 2-inch piece of gold metal wire. Tightly wrap an additional piece of embroidery floss around the neck of the hanging floss, gathering it tightly to the wire and tie off. Use fabric scissors to cut the looped end of the floss in a straight line. Use fingers to unwind the floss to make a tassel. 

Pull one end of metal wire through zipper and twist wire ends to secure. Use wire cutters to trim.


Stamped mouse pad: Fast-track your gift-making by cutting a circle or square from leather and decorating the surface. A pencil eraser dipped in metallic and turquoise paints easily creates polka dots.

6. STAMPED MOUSE PAD

Fast-track your gift-making by cutting a circle or square from leather and decorating the surface. A pencil eraser dipped in metallic and turquoise paints easily creates polka dots.

Makes 1 mouse pad

Materials

Tools

  • 9-inch circular plate or bowl
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Craft knife
  • Wooden pencils with erasers
  • Medium foam brush

Instructions

Place plate or bowl upside down on top of leather and place cutting mat underneath leather. Using a craft knife in your dominant hand to cut with a craft knife along the perimeter of the 9-inch object while using other hand to secure the object in place. Remove circular cutout from leather and discard remaining material.

Dip pencil eraser in aqua paint and stamp mouse pad in desired pattern. Repeat with gold paint. Let dry. Apply clear matte finish with a foam brush. Let dry.


Beaded necklace: String turquoise and gold beads onto a chain and add a clasp for a stylish accessory that won't tarry in a jewelry box. Then put together matching bracelets for gifting friends and family members.

7. BEADED NECKLACE 

String turquoise and gold beads onto a chain and add a clasp for a stylish accessory that won’t tarry in a jewelry box. Then put together matching bracelets for gifting friends and family members.

Makes 1 necklace

Materials

Tools

  • Needle-nose pliers

Instructions

Gently squeeze the hoop on the end of the necklace chain with a pair of needle-nose pliers, making sure not to completely flatten. String nine gold beads onto the chain followed by fifteen turquoise beads and finished with remaining nine gold beads.

Use pliers to attach new jump ring through the space from the original hoop and tightly close. Clasp necklace.


Felt organizer: Heavy felt is thick and weighty enough to hold its shape as an organization box. Because felt is made from pressed fibers that won't unravel, you won't need to line the inside or finish the edges.

8. FELT ORGANIZER 

Heavy felt is thick and weighty enough to hold its shape as an organization box. Because felt is made from pressed fibers that won’t unravel, you won’t need to line the inside or finish the edges. Create your own pattern or use our template. Use embroidery floss to blanket-stitch the felt sides together.

Makes 1 box

Materials

  • White wool felt, ¼-inch thick
  • Teal embroidery floss

Tools

  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Fabric scissors
  • Electric drill, optional
  • .75mm drill bit, optional
  • Curved upholstery hand needle

Instructions

Place felt on a smooth, flat surface. Use a ruler and a pencil to create measurements shown on the template (download here).

Cut out measured outline with fabric scissors. Starting at the bottom of one side, measure ½-inch increments ¼ inch from the edge and mark with pencil. Repeat for all box sides.

Use a drill to create pilot holes for needle, or push needle through marked holes. Pull two adjacent box sides together. Starting at the base of the box, thread embroidery floss through holes, making a blanket stitch between the two box sides. Repeat three times per hole set. Continue to blanket stitch remaining holes. Trim any loose threads.


Metallic-striped tray: Stripes of gold leaf create the lines on this decorative tray. Once sealed, this tray is ready for service.

9. METALLIC-STRIPED TRAY 

Stripes of gold leaf create the lines on this decorative tray. Once sealed, this tray is ready for service.

Materials

  • Melamine serving tray
  • Gold leaf sheets

Tools

  • Painters’ tape
  • Small-size foam brushes
  • Metal leaf adhesive
  • Metal leaf sealer
  • Craft-knife

Instructions

Measure 1½-inch in middle of tray. Place strips of painters’ tape on either side. Continue to stripe tray with 1½-inch exposed sections and painters’ tape.

One stripe at a time, use a foam brush to apply metal leaf adhesive to the exposed, interior portions of the tray and apply gold leaf sheet to cover stripe. Gently smooth gold leaf with fingers. Repeat for remaining stripes.

When striping is done, use a craft-knife to gently seperate the edges of the tape from the gold leaf stripes. Use a small foam brush to apply metal leaf sealer. Let dry.


Color-dipped ornaments: Glass paint and spray paint embellish plain glass balls with color and shine. Add satin ribbon to these tree decorations. Gift one or nest a collection in a pretty box filled with shredded paper.

10. COLOR-DIPPED ORNAMENTS 

Glass paint and spray paint embellish plain glass balls with color and shine. Add satin ribbon to these tree decorations. Gift one or nest a collection in a pretty box filled with shredded paper.

Makes 6 ornaments

Materials

Tools

  • Baking sheet
  • Painters’ tape
  • Kraft paper
  • Disposable plastic cups
  • Drop cloth
  • Fabric scissors

Instructions

Remove ornament caps from glass ornaments and set aside. Squirt turquoise glass paint into three ornament openings. Cover opening with thumb and shake until paint covers the entire interior surface of the glass ornaments. Repeat for three ornaments with aqua glass paint. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet to let dry.

Place a piece of painters’ tape around the lower diameter of each ornament, making sure the sides of the tape are flush to the ornaments. Tape kraft paper over the upper portion of the ornaments. Set each ornament top-down in a disposable plastic cup. In a well-ventilated area, place ornaments in cups and ornament caps on a drop cloth. Apply gold spray paint in even coats. Let dry.

Remove tape from ornaments and secure caps back on ornament openings. Cut six pieces of ribbon to desired length and string through ornament caps.