Tag Archive: gifts

nailed it

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (6)

My ten year old wanted to make his big sister a special Christmas gift. A few weeks before the holiday they were both saying “nailed it” over and over and over to each other. Together we decided to get a piece of wood at the craft store, spray paint it, then hammer nails to form the words ‘nailed it’. He chose the font, and I did the nailing, because it was a lot harder than I thought it would be to nail those little things into the wood and he just couldn’t manage the hammer. This project took a few days and many sore fingers, but it was well worth it! His sister loved the present and it’s now displayed in her college apartment for all to see.

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (1)

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (2)


twisterfishcrafts nailed it (4)

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (5)

princess hat (hennin)

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 6

Okay, as of five minutes ago I had no idea the correct name for these conical princess hats. Now I do, thanks to the internet! Hennin. I learned something new today!


My daughter turned twenty last month. She’s a wonderful, kind, silly, lovely, funny, odd (in a good way) person. What did she want for her birthday? Anything odd or weird or strange. Anything you’d see in the store and think, “who the heck would want that?”

So that’s exactly what she got: a box full of odd and funny and strange gifts. One of them was a ‘make and decorate your own cardboard pony’ which she had seen at a store and got excited about, as silly 20 year old girls do. When I saw a felt princess hat at the dollar store, I knew it’d go great with her pony (which I instructed her to turn into a unicorn, because unicorns are cool!). The hat was pretty, purple with a bit of ribbon hanging down from the point. But…

I decided it needed more. While spending the evening on the sofa watching people select their new house (one of my favorite past-times), I added some decoration using more ribbon at the point, and embroidery thread in different stitches around the hat. The results were perfect (if you don’t look too closely to see that some of the rows of stitches are not perfectly straight).

She wore this beautiful one-of-a-kind princess hat while opening her other presents the morning of her birthday and sent me picture of her in the princess hat while ‘riding’ her cardboard pony later that day.

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 1

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 2

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 3

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 4

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 5

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 7

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 8

gift card wreath

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (2)

My memory is horrible…. I thought I had already posted this back in June, when I made it for my youngest son’s teacher as an end of year gift. The students in the class donated money for gift cards to the teacher’s favorite shops and restaurants. I purchased the gift cards in small amounts so that we could have many cards instead of a few larger ones.

On a large piece of foam board I cut out a circle and an inner circle. The largest was 12 inches in diameter. I used different sized bowls to trace the circles. My goal was to have the width of the ring the same size as the length of a clothes pin. I then traced this circle onto two sheets of 12×12 card stock (different patterns) and glued those onto the foam board. I put the paper on the front and the back, just to give it a nice look no matter where it was hanging. I then glued thin ribbon to the outer and inner edges, using hot glue.

On the clothes pins I used washi tape. My obsession with washi tape is bordering on insane, so I had plenty of patterns to choose from.

I then used hot glue to attach the clothes pins to the ring.

A ribbon finished off the wreath.

Added the gift cards, and voila! The gift was ready to go!

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (1)

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (3)

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (5)

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (2)

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (4)

washi tape notebook


twisterfishcrafts washi tape notebook (2)


I picked up a few hardcover notebooks from the dollar section of a favorite store years ago. I had the intention to cover them with wallpaper. But then I couldn’t find the extra roll of wallpaper that I had bought years prior to that. So these notebooks have been in my craft bin, waiting for the right time to be transformed. Today was the day! Washi tape to the rescue!


To hide the ends of the washi tape strips, I covered them with a wide tape on the inside front and back covers.

twisterfishcrafts washi tape notebook (3)


A notebook, before and after: 


twisterfishcrafts washi tape notebook (1)





cross stitch — stay gold

twisterfishcrafts stay gold

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton was my favorite book when I was a child. One of my sisters also loved the book and she and I fought over the one copy of the book we were meant to share. All these years (decades) later, we still sign cards to each other with “stay gold” — it’s our signature phrase.  So when I went across the country to visit this sister back in May, it made sense to give her a gift that means a lot to her and will help her always think of me.


twisterfishcrafts stay gold (2)


My daughter liked the finished piece so much, and the colors worked so well in her room (see photo above), and she has come to love The Outsiders almost as much as I do, that I allowed her to keep the first one I made.  A week before my trip I quickly stitched a second one for my sister and put that in a white and gold frame (see photo below).

twisterfishcrafts stay gold (1)




twisterfishcrafts save water drink wine (2)


Another friend had a birthday and I wanted to make her a special gift. She enjoys wine so I made this for her to put on her wine bar.


Here’s a close up of the stitches (this photo shows the colors better than the photo of the framed piece):

twisterfishcrafts save water drink wine (1)

twisterfishcrafts be nice or get out

I’ve done a few more framed cross stitch pieces lately. Here’s one I made for my mom while visiting her this summer. She had complained about someone who came to her house and “didn’t have anything nice to say” and this came to me as the perfect thing to have in her kitchen. Just in case that person comes to visit again.


Here’s a pic of the piece in progress:

twisterfishcrafts be nice or get out (1)


cross stitch — bitch, please

twisterfish crafts bitch cross stitch

A good friend turned 40 and I wanted to make her a gift. Something personal and fun and very “her”. This is what I made.


The process:

#1: I used a dark gray color. Wanted it to have a modern, sophisticated look to it. (If you look very, very, very closely you may notice an extra stitch. Good news: That kind of mistake is hard to see unless you know it’s there!)

twisterfish crafts bitch cross stitch (1)

#2: After finishing the comma, I realized I had not planned ahead and wouldn’t have room to put both words on the same line.

twisterfish crafts bitch cross stitch (2)

#3: It needed a border, so I stitched a simple one.

twisterfish crafts bitch cross stitch (3)

#4: Decided it needed more than just that simple border, and a flower was too big, so I picked a fancy heart.

twisterfish crafts bitch cross stitch (4)

#5: I felt it needed still more. So another border and an additional heart. The placement of the small heart also helped to cover a missed stitch.

twisterfish crafts bitch cross stitch (5)

During this part of the process I had to put masking tape on two sides to prevent it from unraveling.

#6: Ironed the reverse side. Used the warm setting with no steam.

twisterfish crafts bitch cross stitch (9)

#7: Used the back of a spiral notebook and some small duct tape to attach the piece to the cardboard before putting it into the frame.

twisterfish crafts bitch cross stitch (6)

twisterfish crafts bitch cross stitch (7)

#8: Framed and ready for the birthday girl.

twisterfish crafts bitch cross stitch (8)

homemade cards — house

twisterfishcrafts welcome home card (5)

I received a “we’ve moved” notice and I wanted to send them a “welcome to your new home” card. This is what I came up with.

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animal magnets

twisterfishcrafts animal magnets


I’ve had this project pinned to a board on pinterest for a long time. When I was making other animal projects (you can see one of them here) I also made some of these.

Here’s the link to where the idea came from on the site Lovely Indeed. (Click on that link to see her instructions.)


I found inexpensive plastic animals that had a visible seam. They divided in half easily by working a straight edge around the seam.

Then I painted each half of each animal a different color. Spray paint worked best, but I did use craft paint on a few of these.

My animals were hollow, so I didn’t need to drill a hole for the magnets. At my large home store I found super magnets in a few different sizes. I stacked a few of these super magnets together then used super glue to attach to a flat magnet. Then super glued the back of that flat magnet to the plastic animal.

Ta da! Tell me, who wouldn’t want a blue dinosaur’s butt as a magnet?