Tutu for You

I don’t know what it is about little girls and tutus, but they are just cute.  Fortunately, they are pretty easy to make as well. (Dogs could really do without them, but I needed a model.) What You’ll Need: 3/4 inch wide no-roll elastic (2 inches shorter than waist measurement) 2 rolls of tulle (25 yards each) Hobby Lobby carries these. sewing machine or needle and thread scissors measuring tape Sew the elastic ends togther either using a zig zag stitch on your sewing machine or sew by hand. If you are not sure about waist measurement for a particular size, try this Wikipedia page. Cut the tulle into strips 24 inches long. Then alternating the colors, use a slip knot to attach to the elastic. I preferred the knot to show on the outside. There are hundreds of tutorials out there for this and really anyone could make these – no skills required. Here is a good step by step tutorial from Just We Moms. Now I just need to figure what I would need to make an adult sized one.  

Cylon Pumpkin

This was a joint project with my husband for Halloween.

Halloween Wreath

I love fall. It is my favorite time of year and it is also the start of decorating for the holidays! No offense to Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, but there is only so much decorating you can do for those. Halloween is coming and here is an easy way to get ready for it. What You’ll Need: Wool-Ease Yarn from Lion Brand or a Super Bulky weight yarn in your favorite Halloween colors (I only used 1/2 skein of black and orange and just a little of the cream) Styrofoam wreath form Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks Pins This really couldn’t be easier, you just start putting a little glue on the wreath to get the yarn started and then you just start wrapping. Be sure you covering up the white of the Styrofoam. You can measure out your wreath to be sure you get equal stripes if you want, but I just eyeballed it.   Once the wreath is done, you can start on the rosettes. These are just made by wrapping the yarn around itself. On a flat surface start wrapping the yarn with one hand while you hold the center down flat […]

T-shirt Roses

More fun with glue guns! I’m definitely on a kick with flowers and glue guns. This project is inspired by the blog called Matsutake that I discovered through Pinterest. I was frankly a little surprised how great these turned out looking considering they were just discarded t-shirts a few minutes prior. These are quick and can be used in so many ways as accessories like glued on headbands or made into bib necklaces, attached to belts or used as a brooch, the list goes on and on. So, find an old t-shirt and let’s get cracking. What You’ll Need: Old t-shirt Needle and thread or you can use your sewing machine Glue gun (You can also sew these and I would recommend that if this is something you every want to wash or permanently attach to clothing.) First start with cutting up your t-shirt into strips. To make the rose I’m showing here I used one strip that was 3 inches wide and about 48 inches long. If your t-shirt isn’t that wide, you can cut shorter strips and just use more of them in your final product. You can also make them more narrow if you want a shorter rose. […]

Flower Bib Necklace

This is really the simplest thing to make and just looks lovely. I’ve seen a few of these bib necklaces on Pinterest and elsewhere and decided to use some of the same methods from the feathered headband to make one for myself. The trickiest part of this is finding the right flowers or other notions for the necklace. You can try artificial flowers from the craft store, but just be sure that the bottoms are flat or flat-ish so they will be easily glued to your base. For this, I use flowers more commonly used in scrapbooking made from a company called Prima and purchased on scrapbook.com. When I got these in the mail, I was less than thrilled. They look good in pictures, but close up you can see all of the glue and the thought immediately that came to me, “I can make these myself.” Trust me, next time I will but, they are here and I paid for them, so might as well use them. What You’ll Need: Hot glue gun Felt (I used wool felt since this would be next to my skin, but craft felt will do) Flowers, notions Coordinating Ribbon (Amount depends on how […]

Feathered Headbands

With all of the hub bub with the Royal Wedding, Easter and the Kentucky Derby, hats, fascinators and feathers are definitely in the air. I guess I’m not a slave to fashion because I didn’t even really notice the trend until recently, but it looks like girls have been putting feathers in their hair with headbands and clips for quite a while (not counting Marie Antoinette of course). There are a lot of entries on Etsy and even more videos on YouTube describing how to make your own. Even Martha has one. I took a look at a few of them and went to my local Hobby Lobby to come up with some feathered headbands for myself. First, I will say I think the best video describing how to make them comes from Threadbanger. They describe the trend and attribute it to Kenley from Project Runway. Did you know she was arrested and sent to jail for two days for throwing a cat and a laptop at her boyfriend? Seriously. See for yourself. To the video: And Martha’s had some good points as well: Fashion Headband I would take two things from Martha’s segment on this, use Fabric – Tac […]

Felted Peeps

I originally saw felted Peeps in a Craftzine article and thought they were just too cute. I’m not a Peeps fan myself, in fact my husband wants to explode the ones I bought like another article in Make. The felted ones will survive though and are super easy to make. You will need: 2 ounces of roving (You can use less, but this is the average amount roving comes in for felting. This will be enough for at least 6 peeps depending on size of course) Small amount of brown roving or brown marker Needle felting needle, size 38 Foam   Step One: Divide the piece of roving in quarters and take the piece and it wrap it completely around your index finger. Remove from your finger and it should form a circle. You can compare the size  to a real Peep if you have one handy if you want to go for an accurate size. You do want it to be a little bigger since the felting will reduce the size.  Start felting with your needle along the sides and in the center of the roving. Step Two: Repeat. The smallest of the two circles can be the head […]

Sublime Embroidery

I began doing embroidery in my teens and it is something I’ve just recently started going back to. There are so many cool patterns out now and some of the coolest are coming from Sublime Stitching. This small company out Austin is bringing embroidery back in a big way with their irreverent patterns and kitschy style. As they say, “This ain’t your gramma’s embroidery.” I started on the Krazy Kitchen kit embroidered on a tea towel and the whole thing is very easy to use. You cut out the patterns, arrange them and iron it and embroidery long the imprinted design. They also offer some pointers and beginning instruction to get you started. They have over 50 different design collections to choose from. If you haven’t embroidered in years or ever, then give Sublime Stitching a try. They have a kit you can buy ($20 – $30) that will get you started if you need the supplies including the floss, loop, needle and scissors.

Woolpets

As the needle felting obsession continues, I’ve bought a couple of the kits from Woolpets and I love them. The kit comes with all of the wool and notions you will need including very thorough instructions with pictures that guide you every step of the way. If this is the first thing you have felted, you will need to get some foam or a sponge to felt against. You can get the foam at Living Felt.  I have named my chicken “Pissy” just because she kind of looks that way to me, but I love her just the same. The trickiest part for me were her feet and I just couldn’t seem to get the wool around her leg tight enough. She kind of has duck feet. It does make it easier to stand her up though! Woolpets has dozens of kits that feature everything from bluebirds to witches. They also have a very adorable blog. You can buy kits at the Loopy Ewe and Felt o Rama (closed until March 4 for some reason, but great otherwise). Woolpets even encourages you to recycle the container to make a bird feeder – you’ve got to love a company that thinks that way.

Video Games + Craft = Win

Video games aren’t just for kids anymore and they certainly aren’t just for socially challenged boys anymore either. One study by the Consumer Electronics Association discovered that 65 percent of women in the 25 – 34 age bracket play video games. That has led to more games for females and crafting is being incorporated into some them. Kirby’s Epic Yarn is for the Nintendo Wii  and has gotten rave reviews and tons of awards from the gaming community. In this Kirby adventure, Kirby is turned into yarn and travels through a beautiful land filled with buttons, fabric and stitches to save the day. The graphics on this game are crazy good. Check out the Nintendo site for videos and extras. Here is a review of “the cutest game around”. Crafting Mama is for the Nintendo DS and features Mama trying out 40 different types of crafts. The Mama franchise started out in the kitchen with Cooking Mama and features the same sort of game play here with lots of “mini game” type levels as you work your way through the game. It’s gotten some good reviews on Amazon as well.

Happy Felted Valentine’s Day

I recently took a class on needle felting and it is quickly becoming a new obsession of mine. What I love best about it is that there is no special skill required and someone can start out doing something pretty complicated in the beginning and it gives you instant gratification. All you have to know how to do is poke and that is something we all learned early on. It came in real handy in elementary school. This project is on the very basic end of the scale, but it will start you on your own obsession with wool and needles. You Will Need: Foam or a sponge *Felting needle (size 38 preferably, but it doesn’t really matter here) Red corriedale wool roving (most craft stores carry wool roving in multi-color packs) Heart cookie cutter Embroidery thread and needle if you want to embellish *These you may not find in a craft store. I bought mine from Living Felt. To begin, place the cookie cutter on your foam and fill the cookie cutter with pieces of the red wool. The using one needle or if you have a needle holder that can hold more use that to start punching down […]

Happy Groundhog Day

When I was a child,  I ended up in the hospital for Valentine’s Day a few times and it turned me against the holiday. I had my tonsils and my appendix taken out on Valentine’s day (different years and operations) and was admitted for a kidney infection once, too. Add to that all of the sadness and the pressure that can come when you’re alone on that particular day, I started celebrating another holiday – Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day seemed perfect because there were no gifts to buy, no expectations, no rituals to partake in other than watching the video to see if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, but at the same time it’s quirkiness and hope for a quick end to the bitter winter makes the day special.  I’ve always gone into Groundhog Day feeling like nothing bad is going to happen on this day, this day of all days is going to be a good one and it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. So even if you think Groundhog Day is silly and things might seem a little bleak weather-wise and/or economy-wise, try thinking that this is going to be an excellent day full of fun and laughter and it […]

Bringing Out the Artist in You

There have been paint your own pottery stores for years, but a new trend is to bring some wine and friends to a party atmosphere where you actually paint on canvas. There are a few of these in my neighborhood and they are growing like weeds, so if you don’t have one near you now, I’m sure you will soon. Maybe you should open one of your own! A friend and I recently visited Pinot’s Palette in Houston and attended the Pet Portrait class where you send in a photo of your pet and they enlarge it and gray it out and paste in a canvas you paint it in like paint by numbers. The class is led by real artists that can help you out when you get in trouble and offer friendly advice on color choices and techniques to try. The goal is for you to love your painting, so they can offer as much or as little help as you require. All levels of skill are encouraged to participate. The wine you can bring also helps you to let your inner Picasso thrive. They have lots of different kinds of classes as well that can help you […]

Tutorial for Creating Your Own Stuffed Toys

A tutorial from artist Abby Glassenberg was featured on Craft recently and it is an excellent guide for designing and making your own stuffed toys. There are six posts in the series so far from how to design your pattern to how to turn the fabric right side out after sewing. Check it out. While She Naps Site If you’re not up for making your own, you can buy one at the While She Naps Etsy store.

Crafty Film

There are some films that focus on the craft movement and I want to encourage you to see them if you can. The first is Handmade Nation that will be showing in Houston, TX on  Saturday, January 22, 2011. Reception, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Film Screening, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main Street See details. “Handmade Nationis a documentary about the new wave of art, craft and design that is capturing the attention of the nation. Director, author, artist and curator Faythe Levine traveled to 15 cities and covered more than 19,000 miles to interview artists, crafters, makers, curators and community members for her feature film debut.”   For more information and to find out about future screenings see Handmade Nation Movie. Another documentary film is by Australian director Anna Brownfield and it’s called Making It Handmade. While I didn’t find any preview clips from the film, you can buy it.

Melt and Pour Soap Making

Happy New Year! What better way to start the new year than with a clean craft like soap making? Melt and pour soap making is one of the easiest and most satisfying crafts you can try. You can personalize the soap using whatever combination of oils and fragrances your prefer and they make great gifts at a fraction of the cost to buy them elsewhere. Melt and pour bases are also easy to use and you don’t have to worry about lye and putting your hazmat suit on to get your craft on. Let’s get started. All of the supplies for this I purchased at Hobby Lobby and there are many more options available online. One site that has a lot of variety is Bramble Berry and it has  great tutorials as well. You’ll need a melt and pour soap base (these come in many varieties from glycerin, Shea butter, olive oil and more), fragrance or essential oil, dye and molds to get started. Everything pictured here cost around $40 total and everything but the soap base can be used many, many times over. I chose a Shea butter base to start with and cut off a few chunks and put them in […]

Cinnamon Dough Christmas Ornaments

When we travel, we like to purchase Christmas ornaments that remind us of our many adventures. On a trip to Vermont several years ago, my husband and I bought two ornaments that smelled of cinnamon. When we were putting up the tree this year, I was surprised that these ornaments still smell wonderful after so many years. Then I thought these can’t be that hard to make. A few online searches lead me to a a few recipes which I combined and tested to form the recipe below. These take a few days to make, so be sure you give yourself plenty of time to make these before the big day. Sorry it is too late for this year, but there is always next year! The “dough” is basically cinammon, nutmeg, school glue and applesauce. Weird combination I know, but it seems to work. These will NOT be edible. Mix it all together and it will form a ball just like regular dough. Let it sit for awhile and then knead it for a few minutes. Kneading it is really critical since it will be very crumbly without it. Once it seems like it smooth and sticking together well, roll out […]

Yarn Wreath

This Christmas, I wanted to incorporate my love of knitting and yarn into my decorations. For this wreath, I was inspired by a yarn wreath that has made the rounds on Craftzine and the Knitty blog created by Kristi of Life Through the Lens. To get started, you need a wire wreath frame, Styrofoam balls (I used the sizes of 1 in., 1 1/2 in., 2 in., 2 1/2 in. and 3 inches), lots of yarn, a few ornaments and some low temperature hot glue. To wrap each ball in yarn, I used a little hot glue to get the ballrolling. Be sure you are using low temperature glue/gun so you don’t melt the Styrofoam. And then keep wrapping…. And wrapping…. Until all of the styrofoam is covered. Tuck the end of the yarn into the ball or you may want to hot glue gun it down and hold with a pin for a few minutes. I did have some unravel while I was gluing everything together and the 1 inch balls are so small that gluing them is really the only way to keep the yarn tight. This project will eat up a massive amount of yarn and towards […]