Top Ten Tips: Handmade Gifts Under $10

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

Looking for that perfect little something for someone special this Christmas.  Needing the perfect “Thank You” gift for a teacher, mailman, or beautician?  Look no further than the Christmas in July team to give you stunning, handmade gifts with a small price tag.  Simply click on the collection to be swept into our CIJ World of Wonder this holiday season.

Click on this lovely collection to be swept into the shopping world of Etsy.  Read the item's stories below to make shopping even more memorable this Holiday Season!  Season's Greetings from the Christmas In July Team!

Click on this lovely collection to be swept into the shopping world of Etsy. Read the item’s stories below to make shopping even more memorable this Holiday Season! Season’s Greetings from the Christmas In July Team!

10) charlene c from CeeCeeandBee says

I’ve chosen my Simplee Irresistible Luxe Body Soap in Rosemary Mint. This handmade soap is minty to the max made with extra strong peppermint tea and essential oils combined with Rosemary for a bit of an herbal punch. Great gift for the mint lover in your life!

9) Jennifer from DtailsULike says

Delicate holiday earrings made for the petite woman or a minimalist lover. They are also hypoallergenic. It can be a great secret Santa gift for teen, teacher, co worker or a family member.

8) Sherry from treasuresRtimeless says

Most everyone little girl loves pink! This vintage jewelry box has been restored with just a few pink touches. It is a wonderful idea to help organize a young girls jewelry!

7) Nautico Creations from NauticoCreations says

 This set of three Santa ornaments was created because I wanted to have something in my shop that anyone could afford for the holidays. I love homemade gifts and these just bring a smile to my face. Hopefully they will find their way into someone’s home.
6) Cindy R from PlethoraGifts says

These owl earrings have been one of my most popular items! I started making them because they are my oldest daughter’s favorite animal. Not only are owls a popular owl in fashion and home decor, but they’re absolutely adorable. Perfect for a teenager or young women who likes fun accessories with a bit of personality!
5) Bhanumathy Sankaran from SunMoonJewels says

This sun catcher or  tree ornament is a perfect gift for anybody. After X mas you can hang it on a window to brighten up the room.

4) Bee Macneil and Caroline Pinnington from PaintedSongbird says

This cute little blackboard is great for a kids room. This duck egg paint is perfect for any room so even grown ups can use it for leaving notes or reminders. Leave a message for Santa or practice your homework. Its uses are endless. Such great value and a really durable gift. All of our blackboards have been upcycled from unwanted picture frames so they have been given a new lease of life.
3) Jessi K from WillowandQuail says

I love the “saltbox” house design of the brick, east coast houses. They just remind me of coooold, cozy winters! Plus they have so much history, and living out here on the west coast, we just don’t have the same kind of historic houses that have been up for so long!
2) Ifigeneia tsiltikli from fifirixtra says

I made these tree ornaments as a tribute to my daughter who loves pink, the white-red is for my husband!  This year my Nsyfsika is almost 2 and she understands everything, so I want to make this Chrismas unforgetable for her, starting from now!
The price is for 2 candy bars and it a great gift for everyone because it can be made in so many colors… You can use it not only as a tree ornament, but also as Christmas spirit at your presents this year!
1) And our Top Tip is a Tie!

A Christmas Tree Ornament is a perfect Hostess gift, gift exchange, stocking stuffer, or to tie on a Christmas present. This particular ornament is a vintage decoupage one!

Key chains and key rings make great little gifts for that woman you need to buy a gift for but just aren’t sure. They don’t have a size or need to match anything in particular and can just be fun! Great idea for co-workers, teachers or the office grab bag or, as we say around here, “Yankee Swap”!

Top Ten Tips: Holiday Entertaining on a Budget

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

Nothing stretches the wallet quite like the stretch from Halloween to New Years Eve.  Don’t let that be daunting…the CIJ team to the rescue!  Our members share their Top Ten Tips for saving money while entertaining those you hold dear this Holiday Season.

10) Wezz from cyberwezz says

 I really like all the little tiny lights at Christmas! Since candles are not always the safest to use, especially with little ones around, you can get these tiny lights for very cheap and they make a world of difference in the season feel of your decorations.

One of my favs is to take a large glass vase (I love the tube style or square/rectangular ones) and fill it with christmassy stuff: use baubles, pine cones, holly, whatever, and wrap those tiny lights around. I also like to wrap them around a bunch of holly branches and other greens from the garden. You can even find these lights in small sets of 10 or 20 lights with batteries, which I so love to put a decoration like this in the middle of the table.
oh, and put a bunch of cloves in a fresh orange and enjoy the smell!

9) Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says

 A Thanksgiving ice breaker or way to pass the time while the turkey is basting:

Cut out large leaves of various shapes and colors. Have guests write what they are thankful for one one side of each leaf. Then gather them up and before the meal or during dessert, read the leaves out loud. We have a large basket of “Thanksgiving leaves” that we have saved up over the years and add to every year. We still love reading them.

8) Marjorie Scenna from mscenna says

Hosting a tree trimming party is lots of fun and a great way to show off your ornaments to your friends and family. Making ornaments from recycled materials such as buttons and beads, or nature materials such as pinecones or acorns, is fun and can be a great activity idea for children or adults! I love to make my own ornaments.

7) Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

A fun way to entertain with vintage items this Christmas Holiday is to set up a beverage station with vintage paper goods, cocktail napkins and coasters.

6) Another tip from Lia Russo from Ghirlandiamo

A very easy way to decorate and let kids helping is this:
From a felt red piece and from a white one, cut the different parts of Santa Klaus dress ( pants, jacket, bell, and so on).
But previously design them on a piece of paper.
Then glue all the pieces on a rope, like Santa Klaus’ laundry.

5) Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says

In Australia,  Christmas happens right in the middle of summer, so while we can dream of a white Christmas, it’s usually around 100F!  Christmas on a budget is a simple thing here, collecting shells, driftwood and the like, adding a bit of tinsel and the all important bonbons to the table and it’s a gorgeous Aussie Christmas!

4) Nautico Creations from NauticoCreations says

 One of my favorite things for a party is to have a small gift for guests to take home so they remember the party. I have had a tiny ornament for years that was given to me by a friend at their party. Ornaments are inexpensive to make or buy and make a nice keepsake. Handing them out is a great way to end the evening.

3) jennifer mccarthy from artsix says

I love incorporating vintage and new decor,especially for the holidays. Vintage items make great gifts, too!

2) Courtney from courtneyannabanana says

My favorite easy finger food for the holidays are meat and cream cheese roll ups! The kids can even help make them. Purchase large tortillas (I like the spinach and tomato ones), spread cream cheese thinly over them, roll up an entire pickle wrapped in a slice of lunch meat, slice, insert a toothpick to hold in place and eat! They can be layed out in cute shapes or stacked to make a tree! Always a crowd pleaser in my home!
And a tie for Tip Number One….
1) Rose LAbbate from rosepetalsjewelry says

A real crowd pleaser. Savoy saltine crackers.

Tip. 1 pk savoy saltine seasoning. 4 slevers saltine crackers ( I use the mini ones.1 box), 1 c canola oil, (1) 2 gal. zip lock. Mix oil and seasoning to bag. Mix well, add crackers toss until seasoning is absorbed. Let rest overnight.

Susan Fowler from SSFDesigns says

 My tip for entertaining on a budget for decorations and arragments I take evergreens, pinecones, sticks, berries and holly things I can find outside in the yard and spray them with fake snow, put them into fun ontainers.  This gives the house a festive feel without spending too much.
Visit these shops for great deals on Holiday Entertaining!  Just click on the image to be taken to the world of Etsy!

Visit these shops for great deals on Holiday Entertaining! Just click on the image to be taken to the world of Etsy!

Top Tips for Cooking Light (Even during the Holidays)

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

The Holidays are all about indulgence, opulence, and spending time with the ones you love.  Our Team has come together to offer you suggestions for shaving off a few calories so that indulgence doesn’t go all to our hips!

1) Tisha from quiltytherapy says

 In an effort to get more fiber and heart healthy fats into our diet we almost always have avocado on Taco Tuesdays. We sub out the sour cream and cheese and use avocado to provide that creamy texture. We don’t miss the salt and excess fat.  Make sure to have napkins handy on Taco Tuesday, it can get really messy.
Napkins for Taco Night!

Napkins for Taco Night!

2) Angie from SucculentBathAndBody says

 Each year we have a large garden, and that alone inspires healthier eating with fresh veggies grown in our own soil, not over-farmed land depleted of minerals. It starts in the spring with homegrown lettuce for salads, and continues into late summer with tomatoes and peppers. I love to combine a 15 oz. can of chickpeas with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and a little onion for a quick salad that is low in calories and high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Simply dress the salad with 4 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar and salt & pepper to taste. And, if you like to garden (or just know that fall yard and garden clean-up are coming up soon), you’ll need Succulent Bath & Body’s “Johna’s Garden” gardener’s soap, made with organic essential oils, activated charcoal for extra cleaning power, and magnesium-rich Epsom salts for scrubbing.
Great idea for gardeners!

Great idea for gardeners!

3) Sandra crochet from Ankleknits says

 I was born in Europe. And when I was a child we had our own fruit and vegetable garden, so my mom always used fresh produce from garden all year long. And now I have 3 children and I am growing my own vegetables and strawberries so my kids would know how they grow and tastes. We often drink peppermint tea from our little garden and I always use coasters under the tea cups.
Coasters under healthy tea is a great idea for those cold winter evenings!

Coasters under healthy tea is a great idea for those cold winter evenings!

4) Elizabeth Wellburn from ElizabethLovesGlass says
A “build it yourself” salad is always fun and healthy at family gatherings. A big bowl of greens, then smaller dishes of sliced tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, etc. so guests can choose what they want. We tend to keep the dressings simple – often just a pair of shaker bottles for oil and balsamic vinegar. Goes with almost any meal!These crystal serving utensils could be a great part of such a mini salad bar.
Salad Bars are a great idea for holiday gatherings!

Salad Bars are a great idea for holiday gatherings!

5) Angie Fitzpatrick from CraftyMom75 says

 WE love pureeing and “hiding” veggies in our meals so our little guys will eat their veggies. For example, pumpkin puree blends magically into spaghetti sauce and no one knows it! Plus, always have a great helper to keep you on your toes!
Nothing says cooking like potholders!

Nothing says cooking like potholders!

6) Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says

Growing my own herbs and veg has become one of the smartest things I decided to do. I have pots full of goodness, ranging from basil to strawberries, red onions to thyme! Our two year old thinks it’s awesome that we can go into the backyard and pick our food, and it’s really made her more interested in eating more, so it’s a win/win!
Great gift for the chef with everything!

Great gift for the chef with everything!

7) Megha Silvano from byTheArtBug says

Instead of buying ready-made Jams from the store why not make your own!

This way you can control and know the ingredients that go in. Here is a simple 3 ingredient home-made Strawberry Jam Recipe.
Ingredients:
1 Cup chopped Strawberries.
3/4 Cup Sugar.(or you can add more if needed)
1 Tsp Lemon Juice.
*both sugar and lemon juice act as natural preservatives.

Method:
Mix everything together and cook in a non stick pan till the mixture thickens and leaves the edges of the pan.
Cool and Store in an airtight glass container and refrigerate.
It would be good for 2-3 months. (Unless you like eating spoonfuls like me)

Warm jam and biscuits on Christmas morning sounds just lovely!

Warm jam and biscuits on Christmas morning sounds just lovely!

8) Amy Spock from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says

I love substituting oil or butter in cookie recipes with applesauce. My husband loves my applesauce raisin oatmeal cookies made this way. It takes some playing around with the amount, but it is well worth the effort! Any time I bake, I love my apron! Saves me laundry and stains on my clothes, and wearing it always reminds me of my grandmother.

Aprons are great holiday gifts for the health-conscious chef.

Aprons are great holiday gifts for the health-conscious chef.

You can be crafty, too!

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

Around the holidays, I love giving and receiving crafted goods.  It means so much to me that my loved ones think enough of me to pour their heart and souls into creating a gift for me.  My mother used to crochet blankets and doilies, my aunt used to quilt picture albums and create Cabbage Patch doll clothes, and my grandmother used to can foods for holiday gifts.  I loved every gift and still treasure them today.

Our Christmas in July team has some wonderful kits, supplies, and patterns to offer you for your holiday crafting.  Whether a beginner or expert, you are sure to find all of your supplies for crafting the perfect, heartwarming gift.

1) Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

 This is the time to start making or thinking about giving a gift of crafting supplies! We have many different kits available in our shop – our favorite being this beautiful Nativity Scene Tree Skirt Kit by Bucilla. Whether you like to craft yourself, or know others who would love to make this tree skirt, it would be a beautiful gift or made up, a gorgeous heirloom to pass down generation to generation!
tree skirt kit

Beautiful Christmas Tree Skirt Kit. Click the pic to view the listing.

2) Barbara from AuntBsAttic says

 My youngest fell in love with outer space when he was 4 years old. His Favorite Uncle lives out in the country – free of street light interference – and most nights are spent on the back porch looking through several telescopes. When I saw this fabric, I was flooded with wonderful star gazing memories – of visits to my brother’s house, and the happy squeals of a child discovering his first hidden treasures in the night sky (and he now owns his own telescopes and is an avid star gazer!)
Out of this world fabric.  Just click the pic to be taken to the listing on Etsy!

Out of this world fabric. Just click the pic to be taken to the listing on Etsy!

3) Sheila and Shannon from BeadyEyedBird says

 This little item has been used by my happy customers to make a simple and quick (and adorable) necklace — for themselves or for gifts for others. Just add a simple ball chain and you’re there! When I lived in Santa Fe, we often saw the most gorgeous blue birds — bluejays & bluebirds, primarily! And I LOVED them. So of course I was delighted to find this pendant and offer it to others. Another reason I love these is because I used to get goose eggs and spray paint them gold for Easter, and tell my daughter these were very special eggs laid by the Easter bunny, just for her. Ah, I loved those days! (And she did too…) So the gold egg in this wonderful art pendant reminds me of that too.
Make a quick necklace for that special person with this charming pendant.  Just click the pic to view the Etsy listing!

Make a quick necklace for that special person with this charming pendant. Just click the pic to view the Etsy listing!

4) Jennifer Loftfield from CaffeinatedPapercuts says

 I love scrap booking (it’s an easy offshoot) but I always feel like I’m “behind” in keeping up with the piles of photos laying around. To catch up, I’ve started dong some traditional scrap booking and some pocket scrap booking. That said, I can never leave anything just a flat, boring piece of paper so I decked out some journaling / pocket cards for my pages and decided to offer them in my shop as well! They’d be just as perfect to use on a card, tag…anything you can think of.
Lovely Holiday Scrap Book Tags to add to your holiday memories.  Simply click the pic to see the Etsy listing.

Lovely Holiday Scrap Book Tags to add to your holiday memories. Simply click the pic to see the Etsy listing.

5) Amy Spock from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy says

I love to sew, and have way too many patterns! I actually ended up with a duplicate of this one. If you like decorating your home for the holidays, these patterns will sure let you do that. They’d also make great gifts!
Home decor, easy sew patterns would make great holiday gifts!  Click the pic to view the listing!

Home decor, easy sew patterns would make great holiday gifts! Click the pic to view the listing!

6) Carolyn Eady from SproutsPressDesigns says

 I’m not sure if this counts as a supply, since it’s also a kit. But here goes anyways.

This is a bookbinding kit I put together as a result of requests for workshops outside of my city. While I love to teach in person, it’s just not always possible, so I created a simple, step by step kit for eager bookbinder enthusiasts. This kit is a beginners kit, easy peasy, low stress and simple. It comes with all the tools and materials needed, so it makes a great gift or the perfect thing to bring on a cottage vacation!

Stunning book binding kit would make a lovely, personalized gift for any one in your family.  Click the pic to see more details!

Stunning book binding kit would make a lovely, personalized gift for any one in your family. Click the pic to see more details!

7) Rachel Palmer from 910woolgathering says

 Along with my hand made knit and crochet items I carry supplies as well, from my own hand spun yarn to excess factory yarns I no longer need. This particular hand spun is made from a natural colored sheeps wool and is three ply. I spun this at a re enactment event, and this item is great for recreating items for other re-enactors or any other typical use for yarn.
Stunning yarn for crochet or knitting a heartfelt gift!  Click the pic for more information about this lovely yarn.

Stunning yarn for crochet or knitting a heartfelt gift! Click the pic for more information about this lovely yarn.

8) Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital says

 My shop is mainly all about digital craft supplies – DIY printable papers for scrap booking, card making, decoupage, any craft project needing background papers. This Christmas themed paper pack is one of my favorites. It is useful for making Christmas cards and tags and scrap booking and more.
Scrapbooking, anyone?  Downloadable paper is a perfect way to display those family pictures!  Just click on the pic to view the Etsy listing!

Scrapbooking, anyone? Downloadable paper is a perfect way to display those family pictures! Just click on the pic to view the Etsy listing!

9) msmadmax from madmaxshop says

 All the supplies in my shop have been found in an old sewing basket…they are at least 60-70 years old. If you are looking for that special vintage item… want to enhance your restoration project…accent an accessory…create earrings or give a vintage sweater an authentic look…check out the supplies section in my shop.
These vintage buttons could be used for so many things-jewelry, embellishment, or clothing.  Click the pic to see these 60 year old beauties!

These vintage buttons could be used for so many things-jewelry, embellishment, or clothing. Click the pic to see these 60 year old beauties!

With Christmas and the Holiday Season just 4 months away, visit any of these shops to help you find the perfect supply to make the perfect gift.  Handmade says “I Love You”.

Top Ten Tips for Busy Moms

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

Welcome to our first “Top Ten Tips” blog entry! Each month, we will offer our readers ten tips and products to make a task easier, less expensive, or just more fun. This month’s Top Ten Tips is for all busy moms. We hope you walk away with some tips and products to save time and money and really maximize your time with your kids.

10) Sherry from treasuresRtimeless says “Get Organized”

School time is now upon us and mom’s will even be busier than before! They will have all those wonderful “after school activities ” to do, adding an even more hectic schedule! I thought perhaps, this listing article that I am presenting to you could be used two fold to help a busy mom get organized!

This wonderful lazy susan can be used as a quick supper station! The compartments can handle a quick supper before or after a school function. It could also be used to organize, keys, kids usv drives for school, pens, pencils, notes that needs to be returned to school, almost anything, just a little imagination is all that is needed! What do you think?

Get organized with this lovely Lazy Susan.  Add fun to a Taco Dinner or organize all those Back to School supplies.

Get organized with this lovely Lazy Susan. Add fun to a Taco Dinner or organize all those Back to School supplies.

 

9) UnexpectedTreasure says “Keep it Simple”

I think this 3-piece accessory set is perfect for the busy mom on the go. Key chain coin purse wristlet can replace a large purse or handbag so mom can carry just the essentials few folded dollar bills or twenties along with her credit cards or ATM cards.

Fill up the business card holder with your cards and have them at the ready to pass out to prospective customers.

The tea wallet carries four tea bags, sweetener and lemon juice. All mom needs to do is add the cup and hot water! She can sip a nice soothing beverage while she waits for the kids to come out the school building.

This three piece accessory kit has so many uses... First Aid Kit, Snack, or organization.  Great for a mom on the go!

This three piece accessory kit has so many uses… First Aid Kit, Snack, or organization. Great for a mom on the go!

8)  Jennifer Loftfield from CaffeinatedPapercuts says “Keep your memories close”.

For those of us who are crafty moms trying to fit in some scrapbooking time during naps or when the kiddos are at school, I’m busy playing “catch up” by using scrapbook layout kits! I can get one done in about an hour, so not only did I accomplish something crafty and fun but also relaxing.

Keep all those photos organized and turn them into a family keepsake with this adorable scrapbook page!

Keep all those photos organized and turn them into a family keepsake with this adorable scrapbook page!

7) Bar Shiff from kukiness says”Keep the Diaper Bag fully stocked and organized”.

 This stylish and functional accessory is the perfect solution for parents who are tired of losing pacifiers at the depth of their diaper bag.
This adorable pouch is perfect for keeping your baby's pacifier clean and easy to find in the diaper bag.

This adorable pouch is perfect for keeping your baby’s pacifier clean and easy to find in the diaper bag.

6) Rachel Palmer from 910woolgathering says “Take a little time for yourself…and when you can’t: Wear a hat!”

 My favorite time saver when I am on the go and in a hurry, a hat. Look good with out having to fuss with your hair. No one will ever know you didn’t take time to fix it . Just tuck it up or quick pony tails, and you look perfectly polished.
Pull your hair up under this darling hat for a great look when you are in a hurry to get the kids!

Pull your hair up under this darling hat for a great look when you are in a hurry to get the kids!

5)  Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says “Always be Thankful…no matter how busy you are”.

 As Mum’s/Mom’s, we’re all running around crazy and frantic getting everything sorted, people to places, meals cooked, the endless mountain of washing… and we sometimes forget to just sit down with our kids and just watch/play and interact. I have this print on my wall at home near my front door as a reminder each day to think of something I’m thankful of, and a lot of the time it ends up revolving around my daughter.
Lovely sign to remember to be thankful for the love and laughter in our life no matter how hectic our life becomes.

Lovely sign to remember to be thankful for the love and laughter in our life no matter how hectic our life becomes.

4) charlene c from CeeCeeandBee says “Always remember…wash your hands!”

 Back to school, or starting school for the first time… means coming home with germs and getting sick. I should know, I’m a single mom of two elementary school aged kids! Make sure everyone washes their hands when they get home – and all the other regular times.

I’ve made this non-toxic hand soap perfect for killing germs and bacteria without any of the crazy chemicals in other products. Stay well my friends!

Be sure to keep germs at bay so you can give your best to the people who depend on you.

Be sure to keep germs at bay so you can give your best to the people who depend on you.

3) Sheila and Shannon from BeadyEyedBird says “Always remember…you are beautiful, too”.

 I think Mom’s on the go need a little magic in their lives (what this cool star Quartz crystal pendulum represents). Just something in their pocket to remind them remember to stay calm and hug the kids, because nothing else matters more.
A magical pendant to remind you how special you are to everyone around you.

A magical pendant to remind you how special you are to everyone around you.

2) Ifigeneia tsiltikli from fifirixtra says “Always remember the baby wipes”.

My tip ( as a new mam) is to have ALWAYS in your bag baby wipes! You can use all the time to clean any kind of mess that a baby can make! In my house i have 1 pack in every room!!!!

Keep your daughter's hairclips (or your clothespins) organized with this adorable holder.

Keep your daughter’s hairclips (or your clothespins) organized with this adorable holder.

1) Angie Fitzpatrick from CraftyMom75 says “Stay on track with an organized calendar and some treats for the toddler”.

Keep one calendar with separate colors of ink for each person to keep items all in one place.

Also, keeping a few small treats with you while running errands always can keep a toddler calm. Dollar store toys, crayons, goldfish all work well!

Keep goodies, toys, or other small items organized and within easy reach with this zipper bag.

Keep goodies, toys, or other small items organized and within easy reach with this zipper bag.

We look forward to more Top Ten Tips articles with advice and time savers from our Christmas in July Team.  Thank you, Busy Mom, for taking the time out of your day to read our Tips for You!

Back to School In Style

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

Sending your kiddo back to school?  Why not do it in style?  The Christmas in July Team offers everything you need to send your student back to school from pre-K through college.  We even offer great back-to-school gifts for teachers.  Why not stop by and browse?

Fantastic selection of back to school items from the CIJ team!  Just click the pic to visit any of the items or shops displaying their wares!

Fantastic selection of back to school items from the CIJ team! Just click the pic to visit any of the items or shops displaying their wares!

 

DLTK’s Crafts for Kids
School Poem

Today I hurry off to school,
To work and learn and play
I’m in a brand new grade this year.
What a happy day!!!!!

Fabulous collection for teachers and college students.  Just click the pic to be taken to this wonderul selection of items.

Fabulous collection for teachers and college students. Just click the pic to be taken to this wonderful selection of items.

 

Two More Days til School

by:  Leslie Kimmelman

I’m finally going to school this year,
and now the big day’s almost here.
I’ll learn to write and count and read–
Only two more days till school.

I got new pants and shirts and socks,
a brand-new red and blue lunch box;
I’ll paint and sing and dance and play–
Only one more day fill school.

My hair is washed, my sneakers squeak,
I’m so excited, I can hardly speak!
New things to do, new friends to meet–
Hooray! It’s the first day of school!

The CIJ team is wishing everyone a healthy, happy school year full of wonder, fun, and learning!

Gift Giving on a Budget

At the holidays, I am always looking for thoughtful gifts for those people that make my life a little brighter: my hairstylist, my postal worker, my UPS driver, teachers, and the like. Unfortunately, as a teacher myself, I am usually on a limited budget. Have no fear, the Christmas In July team is here. These items can be purchased on a $10 per gift budget. No better way to show someone you care than with a handmade gift (just click on the pictures to be taken to the item for purchase)!

1) Melanie from WoodlandMarket says

I started making feather jewelry and hair accessories several years ago when I was living in the mountains and the huge feather trend started, and I sold my feather earrings and hair extension clips at a hair salon I worked at for $20-$40 a pair. I am now moving on to working with other mediums and my feather earrings are under $10 a pair so that I can clear out some inventory!

Love these feather earrings!

Love these feather earrings!

2) Jean Harbort from LittleMeBling says

What female (mom, tween, school teacher, daycare worker, postal carrier, babysitter, etc.) doesn’t need elastic hair ties? These also can double as cute bracelets to add a little pizzazz to your outfit! I have them stashed all over the house, in my purse, my desk drawer, vehicle, just about anywhere you can think of as I have long and very thick hair! These would be a great stocking stuffer!

Hair ties...great little stocking stuffer!

Hair ties…great little stocking stuffer!

3) Rose LAbbate from rosepetalsjewelry says
I’ve always collected sea glass but with all the recycling it’s harder and harder to find. So I decided to make my own. I bought a tumbler and found some interesting glass and started experimenting with different abrasives to use in the tumbler. The results were fantastic. I always have my eye out for unique colored glass.

Stunning, hand tumbled sea glass pendant!

Stunning, hand tumbled sea glass pendant!

4) Zlatka Minđek from LAURELISjewelery says

This earrings are a part of my non silver simple collection of earrings – I tried to be true to my style, and quite frankly, I like them. They are not exclusive and complex, but simple and maybe already seen, but affordable and pretty 🙂

Lovely, feminine earrings are always a hit at Christmas!

Lovely, feminine earrings are always a hit at Christmas!

5) Clare McGibbon from AWAYSAWAY says

These little hand painted neon hairclips were one of my first listings that doesn’t fall under the “jewelry” category. They’ve inspired me to venture into creating items that suit different price ranges for my shop! Bonus: they’re on sale for Christmas in July!

What a clever idea...and packaged with care!

What a clever idea…and packaged with care!

6) Hunter Love from RusticSilkSoaps says
Lotion bars are a unique and thoughtful gift for anyone with dry skin. My lotion bars are crafted with splendid butters of mango and shea to nourish and moisturize itchy, parched skin. And they’re only $6.00!

Another great stocking stuffer or stand alone gift for anyone on your list!

Another great stocking stuffer or stand alone gift for anyone on your list!

7) Faith McCathern from QuinnsBin says

It’s so nice to have a little gift on hand! We provide a variety of prices in jewelry to make the items popular for everyone-whether it’s for a friend, teacher or yoga instructor!

Lovely and affordable jewlery!

Lovely and affordable jewlery!

8) Marjorie Scenna from mscenna says

I make jewelry with recycled and repurposed materials and started with vintage buttons from my collection. I love buttons and think they are so versatile for crafting and making great gifts too. This button inspired me to turn it into a pin!

Up-cycled, eco-friendly, and adorable!

Up-cycled, eco-friendly, and adorable!

9) Valérie Bijoux Elkasa from BijouxElkasa says

Like I have 3 daughters, ponytail holder is a very casual thing in my house!! My youngest doesn’t like me to do her hair but if I offer her a cute ponytail holder like this one, she’s SO ready to to have a ponytail! No more crying! Plus it gives a cute look in their hairs.

Great stocking stuffer for a little girl!

Great stocking stuffer for a little girl!

10) Elizabeth Wellburn from ElizabethLovesGlass says

The felting process sometimes leads you in directions you didn’t expect. I started this project with the idea of making felt balls, Working with the felt before it was perfectly round, I saw a mushroom-top shape emerge. So I added detail to enhance the mushroom look, and created these pincushions!

Great gift for the seamstress in your life!

Great gift for the seamstress in your life!

11) Angel Soyars from LilLoveBugsCreations says

This last holiday my niece came to me with an issue much like this. She is part of a cheer team at her middle school with about 14 other team mates. She wanted to give them a gift that was cute without breaking the bank. Let’s face it, she’s 13, so there wasn’t much of a bank to break. LOL I came up with these super cute hairbow/earring gift sets. She was able to choose school color fabrics and I was able to make 14 sets for her. They were a huge hit!

Love this candycane inspired set!

Love this candycane inspired set!

12) Lindsey Blair from AddyluCandles says

My handmade soy candles are the perfect gift for under $10. An 8oz jar is just $8.50, and on sale for Christmas in July! Citrus Cilantro is an especially wonderful scent because it fits so many different personalities. It’s not too floral or fruity, it just smells crisp, citrusy, gardeny, and great! It’d be a great gift for men or women, young or old. It’d be a great scent to use in a kitchen!

Citrus is one of my favorite kitchen scents...clean and crisp!

Citrus is one of my favorite kitchen scents…clean and crisp!

13) Sarah Johnson from BellaBoutique23 says

I love girly things and love these decorative button bobby pins. I have a lot of fun making different combinations with buttons. They are perfect for any age and make a wonderful gift. They come on a handmade music note tag for gift giving at any occasion.

Great options here!

Great options here!

14) Valentina Cáceres from JuguetesEloisa says

My wooden toys are ideal for giving your kids an under $10 gift. They are all handmade and hand painted, which makes every one of them unique! Its size is ideal for kids to play with them and their cute and simple designs enhace their imagination when playing!

All toys sold individually are under $10. And now they are on sale, so are even cheaper!

Great toy, room decor, or gift for someone who loves the water!

Great toy, room decor, or gift for someone who loves the water!

15) Kristen Sargent from KestrelCollection says
Edited on Jul 7, 2014

When I was young my aunt made me a dream catcher for my bedroom. I loved to look at the intricate web-like knot work and the shiny beads that she wove onto the circular frame. I would gently feel the softness of the feathers trailing from the bottom and imagine all the bad dreams they could suck up.

These earring bring back those memories for me. Done in single tone copper these are sleek and modern but still have a summer day dreams vibe to them.

I hope they bring you good dreams day and night. These would make a thoughtful gift for any lady in your life who needs to have some happy thoughts.

Lovely, lovely earrings!

Lovely, lovely earrings!

16) Elizabeth Wellburn from ElizabethLovesGlass says

I have a stash of old silver-plate cutlery and some of it is just a bit too shabby or mis-matched to use as table ware any more. But it’s lots of fun to use such pieces to make items like these wall hooks. It’s sort of therapeutic to hammer them flat, then drill the screw holes and finally bend them into shape!

These would be perfect with one of my aprons hanging on it!

These would be perfect with one of my aprons hanging on it!

17) Sue Green from GreenbriarCreations says

Always a great idea to have some pretty hankies on hand. These make great shower gifts for a bride to be. Something fun to slip into a card with a gift certificate to her favorite store!

This lovely item brings back fond memories!

This lovely item brings back fond memories!

18) Valérie Bijoux Elkasa from BijouxElkasa says

I have three daughters and they are 3 real princesses! So, i decided to start a kid’s collection to let them wear jewelry. I made light weight earrings, all made in stainless steel. It is the perfect gift to complete their birthday gifts or fill their christmas stocking!

Feminine and lovely!

Feminine and lovely!

19) Natali from DizzySheepUK says

Only one item, specially for you!
Merino wool Felted ponytail band with leather decorations
Lovely to touch, real woolly luxury.
Great for everyone and for any occasion.
100% handmade.
Felt handmade from 100% merino wool.
Non-toxic! Eco friendly!

Adorable pony tail holder!

Adorable pony tail holder!

20) Carola from CarolaBartz says

I have often given handmade mini journals as a gift to friends or family members. They are so versatile – you can use them to write down your thoughts and feelings. They are great for collecting quotes in them. Write down recipes that you always wanted to try. Use them as inspiration for all the things you want to photograph, paint, write about etc. They can serve as a wedding planner or some kind of Santa’s list. Their size is perfect for fitting into small purses, even the back pocket of your jeans.

journal

21) Noel from MinkCouture says

I absolutely love the patterns on vintage polyester ties-combinations that should really not work together but somehow do. Paisleys, sots, stripes and even crowns decorate these poor ties that I rescue from being forgotten.
This set of 3 pins is made from 3 different ties and would be a great stocking stuffer for men, women, boys and girls. Add some to a messenger bag or jacket. I try and have each set have a similar color pallet. The best part-not only are they under $10, but they are on sale too!!

A gift for the guys!

A gift for the guys!

22) Brittany from BrittanysBest says

I started making these itty-bitty tags because I always had a hard time finding cards or tags small enough to fit on a small gift like a box of jewelry. I ended up liking them so much that I started to add them to my husbands lunch sac with a sweet note. They have been stashed around the house (in his glasses case, above the visor in his car) on special occasions too. I figured if I liked the idea so much, others would too and I added them to my shop. Customers have shared that they have used the cards for
advent calendar fillers, notes from the toothfairy and for Easter scavenger hunts.

My grandmother left scavenger hunts for us under the tree to keep us busy while the women prepared Christmas dinner.  These would be perfect for that!

My grandmother left scavenger hunts for us under the tree to keep us busy while the women prepared Christmas dinner. These would be perfect for that!

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TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

Once again it’s Christmas Time,
time for us to be,
Busy wrapping presents
and setting up the tree.
It seems we have so many things,
to think of and to do,
We may forget that Christmas,
has a deeper meaning too.
A meaning that goes far beyond,
the things the eye can see,
Such as Holly wreaths, Mistletoe,
and Gifts beneath the tree.

-Eugene W. Miller