Poofy Cheeks

November 19, 2014

Santa Sack Process - Selling Handmade #PoofyCheeksShop

Three years ago I started making and selling the infamous Santa Sacks in my online shop Poofy Cheeks. The bags have evolved and I have learned so many tricks to getting them out the door faster without cutting any corners when it comes to quality. In the past month I have sold over 800 sacks and every single day my house has been buzzing with the sound of Santa sack making. I do most of the work fitting in time to make them between school drop off and pick up, naps and meals (I am a mom of four!). I couldn't do it all on my own though. I get help from my husband, sister, parents, sister-in-law and friends. They are all truly a blessing to us during what we call Santa Sack Season - helping me out in what we call the Santa Sweat Shop. Thanks to my helpers we take bolts of fabric, huge rolls of ribbon, a few other supplies and turn them into personalized Santa sacks that will hopefully be a keepsake and tradition in your home.

Here is a behind the scenes look at the process of getting the Santa Sack bags from my door to yours...

After a purchase is made I ship out all of the invoices and organize them with Excel for shipping purposes. I have found that being organized is the only way for things to run quickly and smoothly. I print my list out alphabetical by the buyers name and later when I print shipping labels I also arrange those alphabetical.



 The next step is gathering all of the supplies ... the fabric, ribbon and everything else I need (lots of thread, scissors, and even a lighter to seal the ends of each ribbon tie). After the supplies are gathered the fabric is cut to size and the ribbon is cut.


 
This is my sewing machine - she is a work horse. I have two sewing machines so that when I have my helpers come over someone else can be sewing too.

This is a picture from last year. My sister, her boyfriend and another friend were all at the desk helping a sista' out! We work late and we drink lots of cocoa (and caffeine) to keep us going.

When the bags are sewn we run the ribbon through the tops to create the ribbon drawstring and use a lighter to heat seal the edges to prevent fraying. Some work even happens in my alternate office AKA swagger wagon AKA minivan while waiting in the school pick up line for my two oldest boys.









Once the bags are sewn it is ready to personalize them with the design. I designed the bags myself using Adobe Illustrator. I put in each name and align so everything is centered. Each design is cut into commercial grade vinyl, weeded and then pressed on a commercial heat press.


I work in batches so once a big batch is done the bags get laid out so the names are showing and I use my alphabetical list to match the shipping bags to the Santa sacks. The sacks are packaged and then dropped off at the post office headed for their new home! It is a bit of a process but totally worth it when I get to see all of the pictures of them under Christmas trees and shared with me on social media! Don't forget to tag your Santa Sacks on Instagram with #poofycheeksshop #santasack!


Enjoy,

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November 17, 2014

DIY Twine Art Chistmas Tree

Get your tools out and get ready to make some awesome Christmas crafts! I am showing you how I made a twine art Christmas tree with the help of my Ryobi handheld screwdriver. I won't begin to decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving but sometimes things get so hectic I don't have time for Christmas crafts the month of December so I am working on them now!

After you see the tree I made scroll down to the bottom of this post and find out what else some of my blogging friends made with the help of a few tools!


To make my tree decoration I started out with an unfinished MDF tree I picked up at Hobby Lobby for around $5. I painted it with a cream chalk paint and then added chalk paint wax to create a rustic look. I have a collection of rustic Christmas decorations so I wanted this tree to fit right in. Once the paint was dry I used my drill to put small screws into the tree and then ran the twine around it. I added a few fun embellishments and in under an hour I as done.


 
 
Here is the cast of characters I used to make my decoration - I have truly fallen in love with the FolkArt chalk paint and wax! Then there is my Ryobi screwdriver - I literally use it on a weekly basis for crafts or around the house. I call her my baby and have been using it on a daily basis since we moved for hanging things on the walls and putting things together.


Check out the links below for some other awesome Christmas inspiration! I am in love with the snowflake string art project!



 DIY Vintage Sled- Fynes Desings
Rustic scrap wood Christmas tree- Dukes and Duchesses
Snowflake String Art- DIY on the Cheap
Silhouette Stand Nativity- My Day Lights
Instagram stocking holders- Frenchie Wraps
Wooden sign- Poofy Cheeks
Repurposed Gift Carry All- Let’s Go Junking
Rustic Christmas Tree Decoration-Her Tool Belt
PB Inspired Wall Art- Create and Babble
Woodland Reindeer Ornaments-Whats Ur Home Story
Advent calendar- Carissa Miss
DIY Stackable Slatted Fruit Crates- Pink When
Joy wood slice sign- Dandelion Patina
Gold Reindeer Décor- Simply Designing
Wooden Christmas Tree Display- Lauras Crafty Life
Pallet Wood Christmas Tree- Roubinek Reality
Christmas countdown chalkboard- Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza
Caddy with Herb Infused Oils- 356 Days of Crafts
Wood gift tag- Being Spiffy


Enjoy,

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November 16, 2014

Handmade Christmas Ornament DIY - Wood and Vinyl

I know it isn't even Thanksgiving yet but I can't help but get into the Christmas mood when I walk into a store and they have Christmas music playing, Christmas displays on every end cap and even the Christmas candy is right there starring me down. I was THIS close to buying a bag of candy cane kisses yesterday.
 
I am joining with a bunch of other bloggers to bring you a whole lotta handmade ornament ideas. I am going to show you how I made these super easy wood slice ornaments. When we moved I got rid of a lot of holiday décor including all of the cheap Christmas balls Mike and I had bought during our first Christmas together. I am going to need to make quite a few ornaments to make up for the ones I tossed and donated.

 
Handmade Chistmas Ornament - DIY Wood and Vinyl Ornamentsa
 
 
Handmade Chistmas Ornament - DIY Wood and Vinyl Ornamentsa
 
 
Supplies Needed:
  • Unfinished wooden discs
  • Screw hooks
  • Vinyl (I used red sparkle vinyl from myvinyldirect.com)
  • Vinyl transfer paper
  • Ribbon and/or twine
The wood slice and vinyl ornaments I made are probably one of the easiest things I have ever made. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out glitter vinyl shapes and then used vinyl transfer paper to apply them to wooden circle discs. I twisted in screw hooks and used twine and printed ribbon to make ornament hangers. The hardest part was twisting in the screw hooks - the first few were easy but some weren't so easy so I enlisted the help of a pair of pliers.
 
Handmade Chistmas Ornament - DIY Wood and Vinyl Ornamentsa
 
Handmade Chistmas Ornament - DIY Wood and Vinyl Ornamentsa

Handmade Chistmas Ornament - DIY Wood and Vinyl Ornamentsa
 
You could make dozens of these in no time - they are going to look perfect on my rustic Christmas tree this year! If you are in the handmade ornament mood take a look at what my blogging friends made!
 
 




 
 
Enjoy,

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November 15, 2014

Recipe:: Turtle Cookies




When I am alone at the grocery store (which rarely ever happens) I treat myself to a pack of turtles on the drive home. I am not a big chocolate lover but there is something about the combination of pecans, caramel and chocolate that I can't resist. The other day I was craving cookies but I didn't want just a plain ole' chocolate chip cookie so I added in caramel and pecans to make a yummy turtle cookie! I admit I probably ate one from each batch I pulled out of the oven.
 
Turtle Cookie Recipe - an easy cookie with all the extras.

 I may or may not have also been sneaking bites of the dough. Eat cookie dough at your own risk - as for me I haven't really heard of anyone getting salmonella from raw cookie dough so I will take my chances.

Turtle Cookie Recipe - an easy cookie with all the extras.

Turtle Cookie Recipe:

Ingredients-
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup caramel chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Directions:
  • In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat butter, sugars and vanilla until creamy.
  • Add eggs into the sugar mixture one at a time beating until well incorporated. Then gradually add in flour mixture.
  • Stir in chocolate chips, caramel chips and pecans.
  • Drop onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from oven and allow to sit on baking sheet for two minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
My notes-
*I am a firm believer in pulling cookies out while they are just barely brown on the edges and letting them cook a few minutes on the pan after removing them from the oven. Doing this keeps the cookies moist and chewy.
*I also used Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose white flour because it helps keep baked good light and airy. This flour is a kitchen staple which is incredibly versatile and perfect for all of your baking needs.
*To keep all of the cookies the same size for baking time purposes I use an ice-cream scoop to scoop the cookies onto the pan.

Turtle Cookie Recipe - an easy cookie with all the extras.


Turtle Cookie Recipe - an easy cookie with all the extras.

Turtle Cookie Recipe - an easy cookie with all the extras.

Turtle Cookie Recipe - an easy cookie with all the extras.

Turtle Cookie Recipe - an easy cookie with all the extras.

Do you treat yourself to anything when you make it out of the house alone? Well if you like turtles you are going to no only like these cookies but next week I am sharing another turtle recipe too!

P.S. here is a coupon you can use for Red Mill flour which will come in handy around the holiday baking season! Click here to download a $1 off coupon for any Bob’s Red Mill product!

Enjoy,



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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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