Unexpected Inspiration

Today’s project started at Home Depot……

With this display……

Home Depot display

I am always on the lookout for interesting seasonal gift items to have on hand for whenever the need or opportunity arises, and when I saw these seed pods, I knew I had just found that “perfect little something” for my springtime gifts. I was so excited! It’s not everyday that you find such a fun and unique product! I thought that the herb pods would be the most versatile and appealing, so I purchased 2 of them and left the store with a big smile on my face.

Now for the fun part–the packaging! The packaging is just as important as the gift, and it is one of my most favorite things to design. I had already begun to think about all sorts of ideas the minute I saw the display, so I could hardly wait to get home and start creating.

The most challenging part of the project was finding a container to fit the depth of the seed pod. I had initially thought that I would use a flower pot, but the pots I had were either too shallow or too wide at the top. I didn’t have any boxes that were the right size, so I thought about making one, but that was going to require more effort than I really wanted to put into this project. I knew I could use a cellophane bag, but I was reserving that as a last resort– I was really hoping I could come up with something more creative than a bag. The turning point came when I found a package of berry boxes during a final search through all of my gift wrap supplies, and folks, we had a winner. The seed pod fit perfectly in the berry box! With container in hand, the rest of the design came together quickly.

First stage of seed pod packaging_2

I wanted the packaging to have a garden theme in the same yellow and green color scheme found on the pod label. I started out by wrapping the top edge of the berry box with some vintage lace, before adding the strip of patterned paper. I added the lace not only for softness, but to help tone down the vibrant green paper. The flower pattern on the paper and the flower embellishment helped to support the garden theme, and the felt and the tiny button used on the flower helped provide additional softness and charm. The only other thing I wanted to do was add a plant marker before filling the basket with the pod.

Finished seed pod packaging with yellow filler_1

The second most challenging part of the project was choosing what color of shredded filler paper to use in the basket. I had thought all along that I would use brown paper to imitate dirt, but it didn’t even last long enough in the basket for me to snap a picture! Brown was definitely the wrong color. My next choice was yellow, and, while it stayed in the basket long enough for a picture, it too was the wrong color. The only green paper I had wasn’t the right green, so I moved on to white paper, which ended up being the perfect choice. The pod stood out better against the white background, and the white color didn’t compete with or detract from the overall project.

Finished seed pod packaging with white filler_1

I think the plant marker is so sweet, and I can’t decide what I love more–the fonts used on the sentiment or the tiny yellow button and twine bow. I’m so happy with how this packaging turn out; it just makes me smile. Here’s a side view of the basket:

Side view of seed pod packaging_1

This project isn’t done yet, though, as you can’t give a gift without a card, can you? I kept the same color scheme and used some of the same elements to make a coordinating notecard.

Seed pod gift ensemble_1

It would be very easy to tailor this card to any occasion by just changing out the sentiments. It doesn’t get much better than that–a fun and versatile gift with a versatile card design. And to think that this all started at Home Depot, of all places!

I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit today, and I hope my project has put a little extra “spring” in your step. Have a good rest of the week, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out-number the stars.”





Oh, Happy Day!

Hello, and welcome to Made by the C, where I, Cyndi Johnson, have just gone live with my first post on my very own paper crafting blog!  This really is a happy day for me, as I have wanted to have my own blog for a long, long time.  However, in trying to get my blog established, I discovered that my paper crafting knowledge far surpasses my knowledge of technology.  If it weren’t for the constant help and guidance of my children, I  wouldn’t be at this point today.

In addition to today being my first blog post, it’s also May Day, which, when I was growing up, was a very exciting day.  Each year on the first of May, my sisters and I delivered a handmade basket of sorts with candy inside to all of our friends.  My mother would come up with a different pattern each year, and we would spend hours making our May Day baskets.  The basket part of the project didn’t necessarily need to be a traditional basket–it just needed to be something that would hold some candy.  My clearest memories are of making a paper flower that held a Tootsie Roll Pop, and a kite that had a piece of gum attached to it.  The goal was to put your basket on the doorstep; ring the doorbell; and hope that you didn’t get caught running out of the yard; if you got caught, you got kissed!

In the spirit of those memories, I thought I would make a May Day Basket for my first blog project. Here’s what I came up with:

A sweet berry basket with two coordinating sachets. This project is a perfect example of my style. I gravitate towards soft, subtle colors, and this particular combination is one of my favorites. I tend to use smaller, more traditional images and patterns, and I love vintage embellishments like buttons, bows, lace, and doilies.  It all adds up to simple, country charm and that’s what makes me happy!

While this ensemble might look complicated and time consuming to create, it really wasn’t.  Die cuts make all the difference!  I’d like to share some tips for both the basket and the sachets that might help you in creating a similar project:

Basket–Follow the package directions for die-cutting and assembly of the berry basket.  Make sure that you stamp or embellish all four sides of the basket before assembling.  The step that amps up the charm on this basket is adhering 1/2″ washi tape to the band around the top of the basket.  I’ve found that washi tape tends to loosen over time, so I adhered it to the basket band with double-sided tape.  Here’s a close-up picture of the berry basket:

Berry Basket close-up_1

Sachets–I am not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination, but I can manage a basic straight stitch using a sewing machine.  The most intimidating part about the sachets is making sure that the stitch lines are straight, and I have a tip for you:  I used a Mark-B-Gone marking pen by Dritz.  I took a picture of the packaging:

Marking pen packaging_1

The pen marks the fabric with blue, water soluble ink.  I used a straight-edged square die to draw straight lines on the sachet top, and used those lines to stitch on.  Once the sachets were filled and finished, I gently wiped the ink away with a damp cloth.  Magic!  Pure magic!  Here’s a picture of marking the sachets:

Marking sachets_1

I filled these sachets with scented rice, although I found a post on Pinterest for using the Downy Un-Stoppables pellets as filling that I thought was interesting.  You would just have to make sure that your material was dark enough to hide the bright colors of the pellets.  I have created a sachet board on Pinterest, and you can view it here:  www.Pinterest.com/BoardsbytheC/sweet-sachets.

If your doorbell rings this afternoon, it might be me leaving you a May Day Basket.  Take your time answering the door, however, as I don’t seem to be able to run as fast as I did in elementary school.  Ha ha!  Have a wonderful weekend, and remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out-number the stars.”



Stampin’ Up!:

Stamps:  Your Perfect Day

Paper:  Very Vanilla

Ink:  Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding

Tools/Embellishments:  Big Shot, Berry Basket Bigz L Die, Mini Stapler, Sweet Sadie Designer Washi tape, Pistachio Pudding Thick Baker’s Twine


Muslin fabric, Scalloped and Straight Square dies, Mark-B-Gone pen, Buttons, Scented rice