Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts - review and giveaway!

It's no secret that I love Martha - everything that comes from her company is pure perfection.  Today she is releasing a new book, Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: 225 Projects for Year-Round Celebrations.

From Easter eggs, to Father's Day gifts, to Christmas decorations, the book offers dozens of crafts for every holiday.  It feels like a collection of all the best "Good Things" projects and special holiday issues of the magazine, all bundled in one spot.Of course, there is a fabulous Halloween section (Martha's favorite holiday), which is the perfect jump-start I needed to get started on Oscar's 3rd birthday party, a Halloween extravaganza (at least in his eyes).
I am excited to try the Jar-o'-lanterns, featured in the Halloween section.  (Photos by Eric Piasecki. Reprinted from the book Martha Stewart s Handmade Holiday Crafts. Copyright öa9 2011 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.  Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.)

Jar-o'-lanternsTools and Materials
Clean glass jars

Oil-based enamel paint (black and orange or yellow)
Extra-wide masking tape

Jar-o-lantern template (
Craft knife
Plastic-covered 20-gauge wire
Needle-nose pliers
Wire cutters

 1. Working in a well-ventilated area, coat the inside of a jar with orange or yellow paint. Apply a square of masking tape to the outside of each jar. Press out any air bubbles. Use a marker to draw face on tape. Cut out features with a craft knife to form a stencil. (Alternatively, download and print jar-o -lantern templates, cut out features, and secure over the tape; cut around them to form stencil.)

2. Using black paint and a brush, fill in the features of the stencil. Let paint dry completely, then carefully peel off and discard tape.
3. For a handle, loop one end of the wire with pliers. Make a lasso shape to hug the neck of the jar. Bend remaining wire over for a handle. Cut wire; make another loop to hook onto ring. Slip ring over jar's mouth; tighten as necessary.

How cute are those?  All I need is some orange paint and I'm set to start.

Ok, onto the really fun part.  Would you like a copy of the book?  Today I'm giving away 5 copies of Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: 225 Projects for Year-Round Celebrations!

I'm going to run this giveaway a little differently, just for fun.  To enter:

  • Leave a comment telling me your favorite crafting memory!  It can be anything - a success, a funny failure, just the sweet memory of crafting with someone special.  I'll choose my 5 favorites for the winners.  Make me smile.  :)
  • One comment per person please.  If you accidentally leave duplicate comments, please delete the extras.
  • Please leave me a way to contact you, either with an email address, or a public profile that leads to your blog.  Thanks!
  • This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  So sorry, international friends!

This giveaway is open for 24 hours only!  Get your comment in by 9 a.m. PST, on September 28th.

One of my favorite crafting memories is when I got to meet Ms. Martha herself and talk to her about something I made.  It was October 2008, just 11 days after Oscar was born, and I had submitted a pair of baby booties to the MSLO employee art show.  She loved the shoes (I about passed out on the spot), but even more she loved Oscar, and took his picture.  The shoes and Oscar's little newborn face even flashed briefly on the show the next day.  My tiny celebrity!   It was a thrill.

Good luck!  I'm really looking forward to reading your crafting memories.
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