December (Travel) Favorites

Hey Everyone! Can you believe it's almost 2014!?! It's NUTS! I hope you have had a WONDERFUL holiday season! Sorry for the lack of posts on the blog, I've been crazy busy, and now we're vacationing in Colorado!

Anyways today I have my December favorites video for you! It's a little different, because I'm taking a travel spin on the favorites! I hope you enjoy the video!

(All product links are in the description box on YouTube.)

Happy New Year!
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Allie Elliott

DIY Personalized Hot Cocoa Mug Gift

5 Days Until Christmas, can you believe it?!! Today, for a twist on my regular Coffee Date post, we are continuing with this series I'm doing to get ready for Christmas! It is The 12 Days of Christmas DIY.
This is the time of year where you get to sit down by the Christmas tree and fire with family, and just revel in all things good! My favorite way to do so is with a warm cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa. Today's DIY is perfect for your favorite drink, or to make as a last-minute Christmas gift for that special someone on your list! It is the DIY Personalized Hot Cocoa Mug Gift!

For this DIY, you will need:
Sharpies (or any permanent markers)
Cotton Balls or Pads
White Vinegar
A Cheap White Mug
Candy Canes
Cellophane Wrap
Hot Cocoa Powder
Mini Marshmallows
Masking Tape
(*NOTE: The cheaper the mug, the better! Dollar Store mugs work great, because the glaze is cheaper, so the marker can penetrate it. I got mine at JCPenney on clearance.)
Start by designing your mug. Use masking tape to tape off where you want to write, so you have a guide.

Then, soak a cotton ball with white vinegar and rub on the surface of the mug, where you will be writing. This cleanses the surface of any oils. After this step, make sure you do not touch that part of the mug.

Write on your mug! You can also draw a picture or a design. Most people stick with black, because some of the colors will change once baked, but I decided to step out on a limb and try a purple accent. You can write on the inside of the mug as well, as long as you rub the vinegar on it first.

I love this saying- it's just so cute! I thought it would be perfect for all year round!

 Put your mug in the cold oven, and THEN preheat to 425 degrees. At this time, start your timer for 30 minutes.
After your timer has gone off, turn off the oven and crack the oven door. DO NOT REMOVE YOUR MUG. IT WILL BE VERY HOT AND MAY CRACK. Instead, let the mug sit in the oven for another 30ish minutes, until it is cool to the touch. Then remove it!

If you decide to make it as a gift, it is fun to fill the mug with some goodies!
Follow the instructions on your container of hot cocoa mix, and measure enough cocoa into the bottom of your cup for at least one portion. I did a little extra.

Then, add mini marshmallows! The more the better...YUM!

Finish by breaking up some candy canes.

And pour your candy cane parts on the very top! It'll add a fun Christmas touch!

Then go ahead and cut a generous piece of cellophane.

I folded mine over to give some extra volume. Set your mug in the center, and bring all the edges up top.

Secure with a ribbon or twine.

Cut the cello down to size, so it's poufy but not too long. Cut the ends of your ribbon also.

And there you go! A perfect holiday gift they can use all year round!
 Over all, this DIY only cost me about $5 to make, which would make it a great White Elephant or Secret Santa gift!

If you liked this tutorial and try it out, post a picture on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #GypsyTeacherDIY. I'd love to see your mugs!
Here's where we are in our 12 Days of Christmas DIY!
1st Day of Christmas DIY: Chai Tea Latte
2nd Day of Christmas DIY: No Heat Sponge-Rolled Curls
3rd Day of Christmas DIY: Christmas Cards and Tags
 4th Day of Christmas DIY: Travel Journal
5th Day of Christmas DIY: Ethereal Smoky Eye Look
6th Day of Christmas DIY: Wrapping Paper
What do you guys have going on this weekend? Any fun Christmas parties to go to? My family is going to see Narnia tonight at a theatre downtown with dinner before! It shall be very fun and festive! I'll see you tomorrow with another DIY!
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DIY Wrapping Paper

"...Brown Paper Packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things!"
Welcome to the sixth day of my 12 Days of Christmas DIY! I hope you're staying warm and dry this holiday season!
I think the whole DIY/Handmade fad going on right now is so much fun and makes this very personal. This DIY helps you personalize each gift you wrap and set under your Christmas tree! It is my DIY Wrapping Paper.

For this DIY, you will need:
wax or news paper~ anything to cover your workspace
masking tape
Sharpies (I love all the colors!)
Tape (I'm using some fun Washi Tape!)
Brown Paper (You can get rolls of this on Amazon, HERE, or at a craft store)

STEP ONE: Cover Your Workspace
This is SUPER important! Because I'm using permanent markers, I want to make sure none will get on the counter, so I covered it with wax paper and secured it with masking tape. You could also use newspaper.
STEP TWO: Measure your paper
Just like you do with regular wrapping paper, measure your paper and cut it out! You could also plan ahead and do the following with your WHOLE ROLL! Don't cut it, but just keep rolling it out! Either way works great, and you'll be all set for your holiday wrapping!
STEP THREE: Decorate your Paper
 Using sharpies (or washable markers if you have kids!), draw, doodle, write, and color on your paper to your heart's content! As I've alluded to, this is PERFECT for children too! It's such a fun activity, and I loved to do it too! I used a twelve-pack of colored Sharpies, for a fine tip, with great color!

I laid out my paper, and went to work! I was at the end of the roll, so I used odds and ends to keep the edges down.

 I went all out for Christmas! Greetings, sayings, candy canes, presents, trees, stars, lights, wreaths, and more!
 Make it your own! I loved personalizing mine, and letting my creativity do the work!

 STEP FOUR: Wrap your Package
I wrapped up my package and used some fun Washi Tape to seal and secure the ends. It's a purple tape that says "WRAPPED WITH LOVE". I got it from Pick Your Plum or Jane Deals when they had it, and I thought it would be perfect for the Christmas season! I also like wrapping with washi tape, because you can remove the tape and reuse the wrapping paper again!

And here is the finished product! I think it makes your packages so unique, and it's so fun and festive! If you have little ones who like to color, they could use washable markers or crayons! It's so much fun to do too!

I hope you liked this DIY and got some ideas for your own wrapping paper! If you decide to design your own paper, tweet or instagram a picture using #GypsyTeacherDIY as a hashtag, because I love to see your creations!
Here's where we are in our 12 Days of Christmas DIY!
1st Day of Christmas DIY: Chai Tea Latte
2nd Day of Christmas DIY: No Heat Sponge-Rolled Curls
3rd Day of Christmas DIY: Christmas Cards and Tags
 4th Day of Christmas DIY: Travel Journal
5th Day of Christmas DIY: Ethereal Smoky Eye Look
 Whew! We're halfway through! Come back tomorrow for more crafty fun!
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