Winter means embracing the rustic beauty of nature. Freshly fallen snow, aged tree bark, semi-frozen lakes with mossy logs along the water’s edge – it truly is an awesome sight to see, especially during the winter months.

Today we are excited for another fun Group Project. This week features ideas for sharing projects that incorporate a natural element. Join the design team, as we share our {Nature of Winter} projects.  We’ve included a full list of participating CSS designers:

Lori | Jennifer | Dana


Haute Chocolate


For many winter equals short, blustery days and long, chilly nights. What better way to stay warm, than with a cozy cup of hot chocolate? But not just your average cup of cocoa. Let’s kick it up a notch and papercraft a fun gift set of Haute Chocolate…on a stick! This is homemade hot chocolate with gourmet flavors added in for fun.

First you will need to round up a few ingredients:

  • dutch cocoa (baker’s chocolate)
  • chocolate chips or shavings
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • heavy cream
  • flavor toppings (orange, chili peppers, cinnamon, mint)

The flavorful toppings are what takes this winter treat from ordinary to simply delicious. Follow the Haute Chocolate recipe (available for PDF download) to create your tasty, single serve beverages.

We selected three fun topping options: Mint, Chili Pepper, and Orange Peel to infuse our haute chocolate.

As cute as the single serve cocoas can be all by themselves, we couldn’t resist packaging them up with a few of our crafty Clear and Simple Stamps supplies.

To start we cut a band of Kraft Like a Rockstar gift wrap to fit a standard white paper cup. (click here to view another project using stamped gift wrap) We’d advise the you cut apart a cup from the pack to use as a template for this part of the project, as cup sizes will vary based on the supplies available to you. Cut the gift wrap according to your template, then stamp with the Birch Trees background in Dish All the Dirt Brown ink.

Now that our cups have had a bit of a makeover, we wanted our Haute Chocolate on a stick to have equally fun packaging.

We die cut Cube favor boxes, with a hole cut from the center using a Shapes: Circles die, and a tiny Word Window from the top. Here the wooden spoons can easily fit into the lid of the cube to create the perfect single serve packaging for each Haute Cocoa serving. Each box is color coordinated to match the flavor.

We hope you enjoyed seeing fun ways to incorporate natural elements into papercrafting.



STAMPS: Cup of Cocoa, Birch Trees / CARDSTOCK: Glamazon Green, Orange You Fabulous, Dare to be a Diva RedINK: Perfect Little Black Dress / SIMPLE CUTS: Word Windows, Cube, Shapes: Circles / GIFT WRAP: Kraft Like a Rockstar  / RIBBON: Glamazon Green, Orange You Fabulous, Dare to be a Diva RedOTHER: Dimensionals, 1/4″ Simple Adhesive, Paper Cups, Wooden Spoons, Haute Chocolate Recipe


Design Team Inspiration


Our natural element for today’s project was paper and wood. Be sure to visit with each CSS designer for more inspiration that can be found in “Nature”

LoriJennifer | Dana


Looking for more inspiration?
Download the CSS Daily Papercrafting App {2.0.1} available on iTunes

{You can download the CSS App from iTunes here}



Style Watch {Backgrounds + Borders}

You all know how much I love papercrafted packaging, right? Well my new favorite things to make are tags! It’s always great to have some on hand when you need to label your gifts. Today I’ve created a realistic birch tag using an awesome new addition to the Clear & Simple Stamps collection…

Winter Rustic: Style Board Inspiration


The Birch Trees background stamp in totally unique and so perfectly designed. I combined this stamp with the Clear & Simple Stamps Imprints 4 Impression plate. Together, these products create a beautiful wintry birch texture. To add a more realistic winter look to this packaging, I used my Leaflets dies to create a paper crafted pine sprig. You’re gonna love how it comes together!

Until later Loverlies,
Amber KG


Winter Rustic: I’m Dreaming of a Rustic Winter


Join me at Damask Love for a photo tutorial on creating this for yourself, along with a few tips for more rustic winter projects.


Visit the Style Watch this month for fun with backgrounds + borders.



You’ve earned your stripes, now let’s put them to good use. We hope you have enjoyed the “Tag-a-licious Tuesday” series. Today is our final project for November, and is a fun way to use up any left over bits and pieces of papers you may have in your craft room. After all, you’ve earned the right to hoard every last bit of scrap paper, so now is your chance to use them up and get ready for the holidays… Read more


Style Watch {A Year in Review}

Winter is in full throttle and that means chilly weather, lots of snow and bottomless cups of hot cocoa. The new sotm {Icons I} has a delightful snowflake that can create so many wonderful winter themed cards. Keeping with the holiday fashion, we see snowflakes everywhere. From intarsia sweaters to hats and gloves this icon truly represents winter.

And on a special holiday like today, winter also brings the blessings of the season.  From all of us at Clear and Simple Stamps, we wish you a very Merry Christmas! Read more

Make it personal.  We are talking about your candy dish to be specific. Try adding sweet sentiments to the bottom of candy kisses for an extra personal touch. What better way to spend a snowy, winter day, than reading sweet little messages… Read more


designed by Dana Grothaus

{Dana’s Dabbling Studio}

There is an exciting new SOTM Color Story {Emerald Bling}, and designer Dana Grothaus took our breath away with this lovely card featuring the hybrid ink*, double-faced satin ribbon, buttons, and cardstock – all in the December featured Color Story Emerald Bling…

*Find out why Creating Keepsakes selected Clear and Simple Stamps Hybrid Ink as a “Must-Have” in their special Tips and Tricks: Stamps & Ink issue. Read more