Christmas Punch – A Family Game

Easy to make – fun to play!

What? Place small prizes in a punch cup, cover with tissue paper.

Then… Play trivia.

How? Get a correct answer, pick a random cup, punch through the lid to reveal your prize.

Why?  It is lots of fun for the whole family.

Supplies Needed:
Punch cups
Tray or box for display
Tissue Paper
White School Glue (like Elmers)
Trivia Questions
Prizes – Use your imagination and select items that will appeal to your group.  
This is where you need to evaluate your ‘audience’ and your budget.  I want this to be just a fun game so I am using simple inexpensive prizes like candy, coins and small toys.  If you want to ‘up the ante’ you might use gift cards, $20 bills or more, maybe even jewelry.  Just keep in mind that the prizes will be drawn randomly so be sure every prize can go to any participant.

Larger Size Prize Alternative – if your prizes are larger than the cups, simply wrap the large prizes separately and label with a number.  Then write the corresponding number on a small piece of paper and put that into the cup instead of the small prize.

Here’s how:
1.  Cut tissue into 5” squares (one per cup). This will be used inside the cup to conceal the prize.
2.  Cut tissue into circles about ½” larger than the rim of your punch cups.
3.  Loosely wrap a ‘prize’ in the square tissue and place in a cup.
4.  Squeeze a very small ring of white glue along the rim of the cup.
5.  Take the tissue circle and place over the top of the cup so that it is taut.  Press the edges downward so it creates a ‘lid’.

Continue this for each cup/prize set
then get ready for the fun.

Prepare your game:
I like to make up my own trivia question and make them personal for my family with questions like “Who lived in the brick house on Oak Street?”  What happened to Grandpa Frank in 1921? What is Aunt Linda famous for?”  You can make up your own or pick from a Trivia Book like …..

Take turns around the group asking questions.  When the question is answered correctly, that person will select a ‘punch’ cup.  "Punch" through the tissue to reveal the prize. 
I think the fun is in the randomness of ‘quality’ of prizes.  It might be as simple as a piece of candy or more valuable like a dollar bill.  Just be sure you know your group and plan accordingly.  You really don’t want anyone in tears.  That is why I like to do it with simple prizes.

If your group is larger, you might want to create teams but you will need to be sure your prizes are appropriate. 

The Clean Up:
When the fun is finished, collect your cups and pull off the loose tissue.  If it doesn’t come off easily, soak in hot water a few minutes.  Run the cups through the dishwasher to completely remove any traces of the glue and they will be ready for the ‘liquid’ kind of punch and your next party.  (This is why you want to be sure to use white school glue.)

I hope you and you family have lots of family fun over the holidays and throughout the year.  Happy Crafting!


Make Pretty Baby Burp Cloths

My friend is having twins!  Hooray!  A boy and a girl.  I am so happy for them.  For the baby shower I wanted to make something special but also something practical.  Burp cloths!  Also known as Fancy Spit Up Rags!

There are some nice tutorials out there but none were exactly what I had in mind.  I wanted all diaper on one side and all pretty cotton on the other.  It is really VERY EASY.  It is slightly more challenging if you finish them off with trim but still pretty easy straight stitching.

You will need:

Wash everything in hot water with mild baby safe detergent and then dry in a hot dryer.
Trim the loose threads

Press the fabric (and trim) with a hot iron and trim loose threads from the edges. 

Trim the fabric to equal the width of the diaper.

With right sides together and using a long straight stitch, start at sewing the long edge of the diaper, sewing the two pieces together around three sides.

Now turn right side out, smooth and press the cotton side.

Flip it over to the diaper side and press the raw edges in as shown.

Now fold the cotton edge over the top edge of the diaper.

If you do NOT want to use ribbon or trim, sew a simple or decorative stitch across to secure the final edge.  Finish off by top-stitching all four sides.  Now ADMIRE!

If you DO want to finish with some trim it gets just a tiny bit trickier… 
Although I am going to describe how to do it, please just use your good judgement and common sense to find a way that works for you.  Remember these are burp cloths - fancy spit-up rags! They certainly don't need every stitch to be perfect!

You now have two choices…. 
1.  Use the trim on one side… Cut the trim the width of the diaper plus about 1.5" to tuck under.
Tuck the raw edges between the layers of cotton and diaper on each side and stitch in place.  For rick rack I just use one line of straight stitching but for ribbon I use a zig zag stitch on top and bottom.  Now top-stitch the entire piece on all four sides for a nice finished look.

2.  If you want trim on both sides, cut a length of ribbon/trim twice the width of your fabric plus 2".  Carefully pin the trim all the way around both cotton and diaper side.  Take care to match up the edges so you can stitch in place through all thicknesses at one time.  Tuck the raw trim edges in on one side.  Now top-stitch all around and you have completed your beautiful, fancy, burp cloth!

For a nice presentation, I folded in thirds and bundled them in sets of five and tied each bundle with a length of tuile.


Upcycle a Sweatshirt to a Tote

This nice thick sweatshirt was just so lonely in the closet waiting for Christmas.  The candy cane decoration, although cute, was keeping this fine fleece from realizing its full potential. So I gathered a few supplies and turned it into a great, roomy tote bag.

I was planning on writing a full "how-to" tutorial but then realized that construction of your shirt might be different.  So here is what I did and I hope it inspires you to create an upcycled bag of your own.  Just think it through to figure out the best way to make your particular size and shape work.  Be creative - YOU CAN DO IT!

Basically what I did was cut off the sleeves and saved the cuffs for little pockets.  Flipped it upside down, stitched across near the (former) neckline, then covered the design up with a big pocket.  You will want to sew on all the pockets before you stitch the two sides together.  I sewed some sturdy, wide grosgrain ribbon on for handles.  The opening was a little baggy so I stitched some elastic on the sides of the opening, then trimmed it out with bows. By the way, the stretchy cuffs made really cute pockets and help secure the contents.  Just perfect for my phone!

Here are a few pictures to give you the idea of what I did.  You can adapt my ideas to your particular shirt style.  The neck edge is going to be the bottom of my bag and the bottom rib, the opening.  So I  cut across both layers just under the scoop of the neckline.  To cover up the candy cane, I created a pocket from the neckline and shoulder of the shirt and I trimmed it out with polka dot ribbon.

So now, I have one large pocket on what WAS the front of the sweatshirt and now I'm going to use the cuffs to make smaller pockets on what was the back side.  Stitch across the (former) neck edge to create the bottom of your bag.

I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.  Very cute and works perfectly to hold a change of clothes and even makes a great resting place for your favorite stuffed buddies.