Paper Goods Projects - Book Review

We all have household items sitting in our cupboards or kitchen cabinets that can be used to create art pieces, if we look at them in a different way.  Read my book review of Paper Goods Projects to see how you can transform everyday objects into creative pieces. 

Paper Goods Projects - Book Review.  How to transform everyday objects into creative pieces.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for writing this review.  All thoughts are my own and are not swayed by receiving a free copy of this book.  This post may contain affiliate links.

Recently I received a copy of Paper Goods Projects by Jodi Levine with photography by Amy Gropp Forbes.  Jodi Levine worked for 19 years with Martha Stewart so I immediately knew that she had the talent to share these projects.  I was worried that the projects would be difficult to replicate or too advanced for a novice paper goods crafter, but once I looked through the book I knew that I was wrong.  These projects are easy to replicate for a beginner crafter and even many are for children.
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How to Make a Fall Wreath

Join me today as I share with you how to make a wreath to decorate your door for fall. Gather the supplies needed and within about 15 minutes you will have a nice decoration to display on your front door.


*** This post contains affiliate links ***

I don't decorate very much for holidays or seasons; I have a cat that likes to jump up on furniture and shelves to knock things over, and two little girls who like to play with our decorations.  One of the things that I do like to display is a seasonal wreath on my door.  I like having a decorative welcome and something that makes our door a cheerful entry to our home.

This wreath is very easy to make.  It will take about five or ten minutes for you to attach the different decorations onto the wreath.  I am not great with bow making skills, so I will include a few links that you can visit to learn to make different bows.  Alright, let's get started.
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10 Creative Ways to Store Fabric

Looking for some new ways to store your fabric stash?  Today I am sharing 10 different ways you can keep your fabric organized.


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For the past few months, my husband and I have been slowly working on my craft room.  It is a new space for me to plan, create, blog, and photograph.  He moved my large storage cabinet into the room and I spent some time this week putting my fabric back into it.  As I was doing this, I realized that I needed to be a little more organized with my fabric, so I started searching the internet for some inspiration.

I found some wonderful ideas, and decided to share them with you today.  I found ways to decoratively display your fabric, different storage solutions, a great way to make your own mini bolts of fabric, and new ideas for scrap fabric storage.  My scraps are always floating around at the bottom of different project bags, so it was neat to see ways to store them.
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How to Sew a Quick Trick or Treat Bag

Join me today for this tutorial and you can learn to make a trick or treat bag in about 20 minutes.


*** This post contains affiliate links ***

Every year for Halloween we buy those cute plastic pumpkins for trick or treating.  My girls play with them for a while, then they get broken. This year instead of buying another pumpkin, I decided to make a trick or treat bag.

This was a quick project and I thought that I would share it with you here so you can make your own.  September is National Sewing Month and I have shared a new sewing project each week.  These are easy enough for beginners, but also fun projects for people that have experience sewing.
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Oven Roasted Baby Potatoes with Sea Salt

Are you looking for a potato dish that will please the whole family?  Try this basic oven roasted baby potato recipe and I'm sure that it will become one that your family asks for often.

Oven Roasted Baby Potatoes with Sea Salt - a potato dish that will please the whole family

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This is one of the side dishes that everyone in my family loves to eat. These potatoes turn out so tender and flavorful.  This is a basic recipe that pleases all the different taste buds in our family.  There are many herbs you can add to make it have extra flavor, but I've tried that and we honestly love the sea salt and pepper combination the best.  You aren't masking the taste of the potatoes, you are just enhancing the natural tastiness of these young, new potatoes.

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Must Have Items for a Guest Gift Basket

When you have guests coming into town, it's nice to put together a little gift basket for them.  It doesn't have to be fancy, just a few items that let them know you are happily planning for their visit.

10 items to buy for your guests

Recently my sister-in-law came to visit for a little over a week.  She lives out of the country so we don't get to see her very often.  I was excited to see her and wanted her to feel welcome at our home.  She had come to visit before, but this time she had a room of her own and I bought a few items for her while she was staying with us.
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Sewing for Beginners - Easy Doll Blanket

My girls love having their blankets nearby at bedtime and have been asking me to make their dolls a blanket too.  I sewed one quickly and decided it would be a fast, easy tutorial to share with you today.


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Welcome to week three of my Sewing for Beginners series.  I have shared two other simple tutorials in honor of National Sewing Month.  You can also learn to make a pillowcase and burp cloths.

This tutorial will show you a quick and easy way to make a doll blanket.  This will only take two pieces of fabric and you can add a middle piece for thickness if you would like.  There is no cutting and piecing of squares, rectangles, or triangles to make a quilted blanket.  I have plans to make a doll quilt in the future, but for now I thought this would be a good project for beginners at sewing.
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25+ Fun Things To Do This Fall

Our family sat down together to talk about the fun activities we want to do this fall.  With school starting, after school classes, preparing meals, work, and day-to-day life happening; sometimes I forget to write down the fall activities and the season passes by with just a few fun outings.  This year I decided to make a list of some fun ideas, and thought that I would share it with you.

25+ fun things to do this fall

I will share my list with you, then you can print your own copy of my list from the file at the end of this post.
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Blog Income, Stats, & Goals - Month 8

This post may contain affiliate links.


I mostly keep this monthly accounting of my blog for me to keep track of what is going on, write out what has been working, and figure out where I want to go from this point on. I like to share the interesting new social media tips I find in case it can help any other bloggers out there.  In fact, this past month while I was looking through some of my pins, I created a new board on Pinterest that just deals with social media tips for bloggers.  You can find that here. Here is how August went on Home Crafts by Ali.
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Sewing for Beginners - Super Simple Burp Cloths

This post may contain affiliate links.

Are you looking for an easy sewing project so you can make a gift for a friend or loved one that is having a baby?  Then I have a great, easy project for you.  These burp cloths are quick to make and easy enough for a beginner at sewing.  My step-by-step tutorial will help you make your own.  Following are two options for making these.


September is National Sewing Month and every week I will be sharing an easy sewing project for beginners.  These are fun items to make for people with experience as well.  You can visit my Quick & Easy Pillowcase tutorial from last week after you read this one.
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How to Make a Spiritual Journal

I like to have a journal for different topics, but I hate having to go to different stores to look at their options.  Usually I don't like the price either.  A few years ago, I started to make my own journals by altering a composition book.  This ensures that I have a journal that I like, and it also fits into my budget. 

As I have practiced making them over the years, my technique has changed.  If you remember a few months ago I shared a post about How to Alter a Composition Book.  For the project today, I have changed a few of the steps.


Yesterday I published a guest post from my friend Sabra, and today I am over at her blog sharing the instructions to make this spiritual journal.  If you aren't interested in making a spiritual journal, you can still follow the steps to make any kind of journal.  You could make a travel journal, a day-to-day journal, a dream journal, a birthday present, or a craft for a girls' night.

Here are a few links to ideas for scripture journal prompts.

Scripture Journaling - Sketch Notes (her site is full of many templates, ideas, & freebies)
Spiritual Art Journal Page (her site has lots of different ideas for journals)
How to Do a Prayer Journal (also a template)

You can find some great free printables for journals if you do an internet search.
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Homemade Cooking - Date Edition

Today I would like to welcome one of my blogging friends, Sabra, to my site.  She is going to share her real-life adventure in date night cooking with her husband.

Hi everyone! I'm Sabra from Becoming A Gilbert, where I write about my faith, college, marriage, and basically anything else that catches my fancy!! I also love sharing my photography as I work my way from novice to professional! Now I will admit that I don't do a lot of homemade dinners or projects, mostly because work and classes take up a good chunk of my time. But Simeon (my husband) and I have been trying our best to cook healthier meals.

This is the story of our latest date night, homemade, healthy cooking fail.


Homemade Cooking - Date Edition a guest post by Becoming a Gilbert


So we had done the grocery shopping a week beforehand and had everything that we needed to try out this brand new meal that involved steak. I have never cooked with steak before. Simeon has never cooked steak before. We were both excited and nervous but it looked like a yummy recipe.

Simeon and I love cooking together for bigger meals. We split up the responsibility and it is just fun to banter and sing together in the kitchen (we met in high school while both in theater so singing is a must in our house). So the night was starting off on a good night, Simeon was cutting up the steak into bite size pieces, and I started blending the sauce/marinating stuff.

That's where we hit the first problem.

We couldn't stand the smell. We were trying to make steak bites with parsley-garlic sauce. And the sauce calls for 2 cups of parsley. Must I repeat that. . . . 2 CUPS OF PARSLEY. The sauce smelled like grass and tasted like it too. So we added a few extra teaspoons of the lemon juice and olive oil and concentrated on the steak part. We mixed some of the sauce with the steak and put it into the fridge to marinate.



We were a little skeptical on how it was going to turn out.

We started cooking the steak in the skillet a little while later. I was loving how it was smelling and so was Simeon. So we started getting excited that we had found something that was pretty healthy and was going to taste good. I mean, the just because the sauce made us think we were rabbits didn't mean that we were going to completely hate all of it right?


We loved the steak. Especially when we put Simeon's favorite BBQ sauce on it. But the parsley-garlic sauce wasn't liquid enough to really be a sauce at all. Maybe we made the recipe wrong. Maybe it just wasn't something we could get into. But we just weren't big fans.

We love cooking together and trying new recipes. So we'll probably be back at it this week! It's one of our favorite at home, decently cheap dates to do. We get to explore in the kitchen and being college kids, that is something we really need to do! Because when we find a recipe we like, we eat it until we hate it. So if you have a recipe that you think we might like to try, put it in the comments please!!


Thank you for letting me share my story with you!!!





I love how honest Sabra is in this post.  Don't we all have some of those nights when your meal doesn't turn out the way you planned?  She has such a good attitude, ended up having it taste good with a little added BBQ sauce, and I loved hearing how her and her husband cooked the meal together.  What a fun date night!

Visit some other great posts by Sabra over on Becoming a Gilbert (now Becoming Sabra Gilbert)

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Sewing For Beginners - Quick & Easy Pillowcase Tutorial

Today I have a great step-by-step tutorial for anybody interested in a first time sewing project.  I know that if you don't have experience, it can be kind of overwhelming when you first hear sewing lingo.  This project is simple and easy and I hope my step by step tutorial will make you feel confident to try a new craft.  Once you make your first pillowcase you will want to make more, which is great because they are a thoughtful present for someone.

Sewing for Beginners - Quick & Easy Pillowcase Tutorial

September is National Sewing Month.  If you are experienced at sewing, now is the perfect time to look through some projects you want to work on.  If you are a beginner or haven't sewed anything, now is a great time to start!  Many craft/fabric stores are having month long sales on fabric and sewing essentials, so it's the ideal time to visit them and see what great bargains you can find.

Now for the tutorial I have planned for today.
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Oriental Ramen Noodle Chicken Salad

A perfect combination of flavors to satisfy your taste buds.

Oriental Ramen Noodle Chicken Salad

This is the family favorite salad that I make at our house.  I sometimes make a double batch just so we have a bit leftover for the next day, or a late night snack.  It's a light salad that is perfect for a potluck, brunch, or dinner.

Oriental Ramen Noodle Chicken Salad

With just a few ingredients, it's easy to put together.  Remember to use Napa Cabbage, it tastes the best with the homemade dressing.  I'm over at Flourish & Knot sharing the full recipe. 
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