Ribbon Candy Ornaments

I remember trying to eat ribbon candy at Christmastime when I was a kid.  It was always a little too big for my mouth and didn’t really taste that great.  But I ate it anyway, because it was one of those things that was only available this time of the year, which made it special. 

As the years passed, I got over the need to actually eat the stuff, but I still think it’s pretty.  When my kids were small, we found kits to make ribbon candy ornaments from actual ribbon, thread and beads.  This is my take on those, using wire instead of thread.  I’m sure they taste just like the original.

ribbon 0
ribbon 0

To make these you’ll need:  Ten inches of 20 gauge craft wire, ten 8-millimeter beads (give or take a few millimeters), and two pieces of 1 1/2” wide and 17 1/2” long grosgrain ribbon.  Grosgrain is the kind that isn’t shiny and has bumped-up rows on it. 

ribbon 1
ribbon 1

Melt the ends of the ribbon carefully with a lighter so they won’t fray.  Using a fine-tip pen, make small dots, starting 3/4” from one end, then every 2”.

Using needle-nose pliers, make a hook using 1” from one end of the wire.  Thread on a bead.  Lay the two pieces of ribbon together, making sure the ends and edges are even, with the dots on top.  Stick the wire through both pieces at the first dot.

ribbon 2
ribbon 2

If you have trouble pushing the wire through, you can use a large needle to make a pilot hole.  It also helps to cut the wire at an angle so it’s pointy.

Thread on another bead.  Push the wire through the next dot.

ribbon 3
ribbon 3

Continue threading on beads and pushing the wire through the next dot as shown until you reach the last dot.

ribbon 4
ribbon 4

Add one last bead to the bottom.  Push all the beads up to the top.  Bend the wire 1” below the bottom bead.

ribbon 5
ribbon 5

Twist the remaining wire around a pencil to make a curl.

ribbon 6
ribbon 6

Push the beads back down and you’re done.

ribbon 7
ribbon 7

These are so easy and fun, I went a little crazy making them.  This set is in my boy’s favorite color:  camo, with a little Christmas thrown in.

ribbon 8
ribbon 8

These would be cute gift toppers too. 

ribbon 9
ribbon 9

And you still have a little time to make them!

Fabric Sympathy Card

I just came across a photo I wanted to show you last year, but I forgot.  It happens.  More than I’d like to admit. 

This is a card I made for a friend who lost someone she was close to.  I wanted the personal touch of making the card myself, while keeping it toned down and respectful.  I was very happy with the way it turned out.

Sympathy Card
Sympathy Card

To make this, I just cut pieces of fabric and stitched them onto a plain, white card using my sewing machine.  I also made an envelope by stitching some cardstock to fit the card.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that thoughtful doesn’t have to be complicated.

Birthday Badge

My little girl turned 18 this week.  I don’t know where the time went.  I swear we were just trying to get her to take her first steps last week, now we’re lucky if we can catch her as she runs in and out the door.

Her birthday was on Monday, which deserves something a little extra. I decided to make a badge for her to wear so everyone at school would know it was a special day for her and give her the big, ninja-attack hugs she’s so fond of passing out to others. 

049
049

This bright idea hit me at about 10:45 the night before her birthday, so please forgive the messiness of it.  To make this, you’ll need fabric, thin cardboard, clear vinyl, bias tape, a pin back and an oval birthday message printout.  I printed mine on cardstock, but it would also work on regular paper.  If you have little ones around, it would be fun to let them create a design for you.

001
001

Cut out the printout, then use it as a pattern to cut the vinyl, cardboard and fabric.  Layer the pieces with the fabric at the back (wrong side up), the cardboard, the printout (facing up) and the vinyl.  I found it helpful to put a bit of double stick tape between each layer to hold it in place.  I didn’t put any between the printout and vinyl, although you could use it close to the edge.  Glue would work as well.

Unfold one side of the bias tape.  Press one end under 1/4”.  Starting with the pressed end, lay the tape so the edge is even with the edge of the vinyl and the folded side of the tape is to the inside.  Stitch close to the fold line all the way around, holding the vinyl in place.  Stop after the tape overlaps itself and clip the remainder of the tape off.

002
002

Turn the tape over the edge toward the back.  Mine was pretty tight.  Stitch around on the front close to the inside edge of the tape and again toward the outside edge.

003
003

I’ve mentioned before how great I am at binding, which is essentially what this is, so the back of mine looks like it was done by a rabid squirrel.  Fortunately, no one is going to see the back.

004
004

I forgot the press the end of the tape under before I started, so I ended up with a raw edge showing.  Remember, it was getting late at this point.

005
005

I just gathered one edge of a bit of the bias tape, turned it into a little flower and sewed it on to cover it up.

050
050

I sewed a pin back on, but you could also hot glue it.  There’s that squirrel again.

006
006

As I suspected, she kind of gave me the “Oh, Mom…” face when I gave it to her and then went on to secretly enjoy the attention all day.  She didn’t want to poke a hole in her shirt, so we clipped it on with a hair clip through the pin.

013
013

You only turn 18 once, so you deserve all the attention you can get.  Or 28.  Or 37.  Or 42…

Glass Block To-Do List

Since I already covered some things I like on my birthday this week, I thought I’d bring you a project instead of my usual Friday Favorites.  Hope you don’t mind. I was wandering around Craft Warehouse a couple of days ago.  They lured me in with the “Truckload Fabric Sale” sign out front.  They have things hanging around the store that their employees have made and there’s almost always an instruction sheet nearby.  I spotted two different projects I liked and decided to combine them into one…

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Paper and Wire Hearts

I’m supposed to be cleaning up my sewing room.  Everything needs to be taken off the old shelves and put onto the new.  Instead, I’m making stuff.  It’s sort of like when your kid finds a toy at the bottom of the box he hasn’t seen for a while.  That’s all he wants to play with for a couple of days.  I’m there...

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