I've told you (many, many) times before what a handy guy my husband is. If he doesn't know how to fix it, he will make it his mission to learn. He's a diy natural and we've had a lot of fun collaborating on projects around our house. We tend to take turns being the voice of reason, but every once in a while something a little crazy gets through. This one probably falls into that category...Read More
You worked so hard to secure a pair. Then, maybe another if yours were among the many victims of a recall. Now the eclipse is over and you're left with a pair of glasses that had one job. What do you do with them now...Read More
I’m here today with a book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing. They have provided me with the book in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own. This post also contains affiliate links. This latest book from Tuttle Publishing, Stylish Remakes by Violette Room, is quite a departure from the sewing books I’ve reviewed from them in the past. For one, the author is not a single person, but a Japanese clothing brand specializing in comfortable, everyday but stylish clothes for women. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a sewing book by a brand before, but I do like the idea, especially since the focus is on ways to repurpose and restyle items you may already have in your closet.
Some of the remakes are a little unconventional, like the two sweatshirts cut in half and sewn together to make one giant sweatshirt. I also thought the tops sewn to skirts were odd, as they looked the same as if you wore the two together, while still having the option of wearing them individually. However, there were a few things in the book that I thought were really cute.
This combination of a t-shirt and tank is a clever way to salvage one or two things that may have shrunk up too short. You can even keep the graphics on the T. The sweetheart styling on the front is also a nice touch.
I would wear this Jacket with Gathered Waist. It’s actually made from a men’s flannel shirt, but I love the girly twist the cinched waist adds. They also tweaked the sleeves to create a more feminine line. My husband should probably keep one eye on his closet.
I thought this little girl’s outfit made from bandanas was pretty adorable, although I wish they would have photographed it in a way you could see more of it. I’m kind of intrigued by the adult dress made entirely of bandanas as well.
The instructions are clear and illustrated well. The few patterns that are needed are printed directly in the book.
I’ll admit, most of this book is not for me. The tone is young and trendy. However, I think this would be a fantastic gift for a teen or pre-teen with an interest in clothing construction, design or repurposing. Most of the projects are very appropriate for beginners, and some are exceptionally simple. It’s the kind of book where a project can be adapted or altered easily, which encourages creativity. Always a good thing!
It’s been a busy week here, what with my sewing room update and learning a new art, but I can’t share either of those things yet. Trust me, once they are completely finished, you’ll be hearing ALL about both. In the meantime, since it’s the day we celebrate our big, blue marble, so I’d like to talk about a few of my favorite Crafty Staci projects that are all about reduce/reuse/recycle.
What makes them Earth-friendly? Using cloth instead of paper cuts down on waste!
What makes it Earth-friendly? It’s a great way to repurpose those rusty, old mason jar rings!
What makes them Earth-friendly? A handy use for those plastic shopping bags to keep them out of the garbage.
What makes this Earth-friendly? It doesn’t matter what condition an old cookie sheet is in, it will work for this project.
What makes these Earth-friendly? Besides the fact that I was able to refashion an outdated coat into several new items, that coffee cup sleeve has saved some cardboard ones from the trash!
What makes this Earth-friendly? Thread spools get a second life as craft floss storage.
What makes this Earth-friendly? Reusing a tissue box instead of throwing it away!
What makes these Earth-friendly? Saving lots and lots of zippered plastic bags from the garbage can.
What makes this Earth-friendly? This shirt may have found a new owner at a thrift shop, but instead I turned it into something I still have in my closet years later!
What makes these Earth-friendly? No more paper or plastic!
Tell me about your favorite Earth Day projects!
Here in Oregon, I’m pretty sure they throw you out if you don’t recycle. It’s a rule. However, despite what you may have seen on television, you do not have to wear socks with sandals or have chickens in your backyard. Since Earth Day is coming up next week, let’s take a minute to embrace all those creative recyclers out there. Consider yourself honorary Oregonians, even if you’re not wearing socks to feed your chickens.
Do you still have CDs floating around your house? I know I still have a few somewhere, and I think these Fabric Covered CD Coasters from Mojo and Co. are a perfect use for them.
Can you believe these little baskets from I Love Paper Beads are made from a soda can and some plastic bags?
This Plantable Paper Earth from Modern Parents Messy Kids isn’t so much a recycling craft, but it certainly could be if you can find blue and green paper to reuse.
You need #6 plastic containers to make these Shrinky Bracelets from Rust and Sunshine, but if you can find them – so worth the search!
To extend the recycled-ness of these Farmhouse Cotton Branches from Prodigal Pieces you could reuse old pillow stuffing for the cotton.
Not only is the bottle recycled in this Water Bottle Dog Toy from Andrea’s Notebook, but the author suggests using an old sweatshirt for the fabric. I know my dog would love something he could play with that smelled like his boy.
I’ve seen many crafts that reuse old jeans, but these slippers from Wikihow might be a first.
Amazingly, Draft Magazine says these Bottle Cap Candles will burn for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the prettiest. Imagine a bowl full of these Toilet Paper Roll Yarn Holders from Sewlicious Home Décor.
I cannot believe that this lovely fall wreath from Saved by Love Creations started out as aluminum cans.
I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work. Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website. You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board. Thank you!
We have two October birthdays in our house, so if I’m going to decorate for Halloween I try to hold off until those have passed. My husband’s was yesterday (Happy birthday honey!), so I think it’s time. Since my kids are grown and we don’t get trick-or-treaters I don’t often do much, but I’m feeling it this year. I think it might be nostalgia, since my oldest is completely out of the nest. That’s okay, because there is no shortage of good ideas out there – I had a hard time narrowing it to ten this week!
I noticed after I was done collecting this week’s favorites that almost all of them involve repurposing. One of the most impressive transformations is this pink and purple Little Tikes playhouse that became a spooky haunted mansion, thanks to the talents of Saki.Girl on Halloween Forums.
Thanks to so many charities using “flocking” as a fundraiser, you can buy pink flamingos lots of places year round. Pick up a few and make these Painted Skeleton Flamingos with Craftbits.
I think these Rock Jack-O-Lanterns from No Time for Flashcards might be my kind of pumpkin carving.
I think these Halloween Spiders from Crafts ‘N Coffee are adorable, and not even a little scary.
These DIY Halloween Lanterns from The Australian Baby Blog would be a fun craft to make with the kids. All the glow, without all the fire hazard.
These Coffee Filter Spiderwebs from The Artful Parent remind me a little of snowflakes – until you add the spiders.
I might need to start saving up shopping bags to make this skeleton from Curious Tangles on Instructables.
I love a craft that can transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving, like these Reclaimed Wood Pumpkins from The Summery Umbrella.
These Toilet Paper Roll Bats from Practically Functional are easy, just the right amount of spooky, and use something everyone has around.
These Barbie Zombies from Crafts by Amanda are at the top of my want-to-make list. It probably helps that we’re big Walking Dead fans.
Are you all tired of hearing about wedding stuff yet? I hope not, because we just got the photos from the photographer last week, along with her okay to share them here, so I have lots more to tell you about! I have one more bathroom-related project I’d like to share with you before I reveal the whole thing next week. I know it’s weird to be so focused on the restroom, but it was just adorable, and this project was the biggest focal point.
We found the tub and watering can at Ikea last spring, so this wasn’t an expensive project at all.
It was important to my husband to have a unique handle for the faucet, so we visited a local antique hardware store and found the one on the left for about $5. He also needed a piece of 1/2” copper pipe and a drain, found at Home Depot.
Replacing the faucet handle with the older one was as simple as unscrewing the nut, removing the one it came with, putting on the antique and screwing the nut back on.
He pushed the copper pipe into the spout on the watering can just hard enough to make a small indent in the bottom.
After that, he drilled a hole at the point of the dent…
…large enough for the pipe to fit through.
He put a piece of wood under the tub and pounded lightly on the bottom in the center to create a recessed area for the drain.
He drilled a hole in the bottom that was slightly bigger than the diameter of the pipe. After the hole was drilled, he hit it a few more times with the hammer to flatten the rough edges.
He removed the rubber gasket and nut from the bottom of the drain. He pushed the drain into the drilled hole, adding some sealant to the underside. Then he threaded the gasket and nut back on, tightening it with a wrench.
With the drain securely in place, installing it involved some plumbing skills I won’t get into here.
It turned out even cuter than I pictured when my husband suggested it. And it worked!
Next Wednesday – the big bathroom reveal!
When I was asked by Earth 911 if I had any good recycled crafts they could share for Earth Day, I didn’t think I’d have any problem digging one up. I was surprised to find most of my projects that fit the bill were seasonal, and not appropriate for spring. I really wanted something that was mostly repurposed, didn’t take a lot of materials and was a little unusual. I think this bag fits.
To make this, you’ll need a clean yogurt tub (about 24 oz size), a piece of denim (a leg cut off to make shorts will work) and two shoe laces.
Ok, so I know that’s technically not just yogurt, but have you tried this stuff? Yum.
Measure around the top edge of your tub. Add 1/2” to determine the width to cut your denim. Measure the height of the tub, multiply by 1 1/2 and add 3” to determine the height. Mine came out to 14 1/8 by 9”.
You can leave a decorative seam if your sewing machine can handle sewing over it doubled.
Fold the denim with the short sides together. Subtracting the 1/4” seam you’ll sew in the next step, find and mark the center on both sides. Unfold. Measure 2 1/4” down from the top edge at the mark. Draw a 1/4” line from 2 1/4 to 2 1/2”. Stitch a 1/4” buttonhole at the line and carefully cut it open.
Fold the denim right sides touching and short ends together. Stitch a 1/4” seam down the side. Press the seam open.
Stitch over the edge at the top and bottom with a zigzag stitch or serger to reduce fraying. Fold the upper edge toward the wrong side 1 1/2” and press. Stitch 1/2” from the edge and 1/2” from the fold.
Using scissors or a razor knife, cut the lip off the tub. Slip the fabric tube over the tub, wrong side of the fabric toward the tub and the top edge of the fabric and tub even with each other.
Using a long stitch and a large needle, stitch 1/4” from the edge through the plastic and denim. Add a pleat to the denim if you need to make it fit. If you have any doubt at all about whether your sewing machine can survive this, punch holes in the plastic with an awl and sew by hand.
Pull the denim up over the tub, turning right side out. Feed a shoelace into one of the buttonholes, all the way around through the casing, and back out through the same hole. Repeat on the opposite side with the other shoelace. Tie the laces together near the buttonhole and again at the ends. Pull both sides to draw closed.
I thought I was done at this point, but when I turned around the lid was laying there. I cut a small flower from it, which I stitched on with a button on top.
I keep imagining taking this to the beach with my sunglasses, bottle of water and sunscreen in it.
If this wasn’t Oregon. In April. Maybe a snack instead?
I had two long-sleeved t-shirts in my closet that I hated because they were both too short. I have a long torso, and like my shirts long besides, so it’s a constant problem for me. The thing is, I kept forgetting that I hated these shirts so I’d pull one of them out, put it on, remember the problem, and decide to just wear it anyway. I thought I’d grab them from the clean laundry and not stick them back in the closet. As you can imagine, I’d forget (again!) and hang them right back up.
I broke the cycle! I have hooks on the back of my sewing room door where the future project clothes hang, and I finally managed to move them there. Sometimes things live there for a long time, but I just kept looking at those two shirts thinking they might work if they were combined into one.
The first decision I had to make was which shirt to keep as the main color. I went with the green because it was in a little better condition than the blue.
I very lazily held the shirt up to myself and estimated how much longer I’d like it to be. I highly recommend actually trying it on for this step. Fortunately, I guessed too long which is much easier to fix than too short.
I cut off the amount of length I wanted to add to the green shirt from the blue shirt, plus one inch, which was 6 1/2” total. Since the sleeves weren’t too short, I just wanted to add a little of the blue, so I cut 2” from the bottom of each sleeve.
Since the fabric didn’t unravel when I cut it, I didn’t finish any of the edges. I marked 1” from the edge on the blue so I would know where to overlap the green to.
I overlapped and generously pinned all the way around the bottom and both sleeves.
I used a narrow zigzag stitch to sew them together so it would still stretch.
You might be thinking this looks a little weird. Well, it did. I tried it on and it was twice as long as it should be, so I folded the blue in half and stitched again.
I could have stopped there, but that blue t-shirt carcass was laying on my table just begging to not get thrown in the trash. Starting from the bottom of the shirt, I cut off four 1” strips. I then cut off the side seams, so I was left with eight strips.
I lined up a strip about 1/8” away from the top edge of the neckline and sewed a zigzag stitch down the middle, overlapping the strip back on top of itself about 1/2” as I went. When each strip ran out, I just started the next one where it left off.
I was a little concerned this was going to make the neck too heavy and it would hang too low, but I tried it on and it fit just like before.
You know I still have blue shirt pieces left, right? At this point, I cut everything up that I had left into equal width pieces…
…and sewed them together by overlapping them slightly and zigzagging.
I wrapped the remaining strip I had around one section, tied it and tucked the tail under the knot. Infinity scarf!
I have to admit, I was a little hesitant about mixing these two colors, but I’m happy with the result. Two shirts I couldn’t stand wearing turned into one I love with a bonus infinity scarf? Today was a win.
The Protect Your Tech Challenge is over, so now I can share my project with you. Every time I think I’m done using the leather I cut off to refashion this coat, I find something new to do with it. Believe it or not, I still have a little bit left, so I can’t guarantee you’ve seen the last of it.
When I was asked to create a holder for a cell phone or tablet using recycled materials, it was important to me that as many of the materials were reused from something else as possible. The only thing I ended up using that was brand new was the thread. Seriously, I draw the line at trying to reuse thread…just, no.
This is what I used:
leather – from refashioned coat
hook and loop – from a duffle bag
D ring – from a bag
clip-on wrist strap – from an old point and shoot camera bag
lining fabric – scraps left from my Pan Protector and Hot Pad project
webbing – from a belt
To create my pattern, I drew a rectangle that measured 3/4” larger than my phone on all sides. My phone is pretty thin (Samsung Galaxy SIII) so be sure to take the thickness of your phone into account when drawing your pattern. I used something with a rounded edge to round the two bottom corners. If I could remember what that was, I’d tell you, but it was probably a jar or something similar.
After you’ve drawn your pattern, cut two pieces from the leather (or whatever fabric you’re using) for the outside and two from the lining fabric. You’ll also need a 1 1/4 by 2” piece of leather for the side loop. Cut the 5/8 to 3/4” wide hook and loop 1 1/2” long. The webbing I used was 1 3/4” wide and had a finished end, so I cut it 3 3/4” long. If you’ll have to finish the end, cut it 1/2” longer, fold it under 1/4” twice and stitch.
Sew the loop piece of the hook and loop to the front leather piece, centered side to side and 2 1/4” from the top edge. Sew the hook piece to the webbing, 1/4” from the finished end.
Fold the 2” sides of the small piece of leather under 1/4” and stitch.
Slip into the D-ring and fold, wrong sides together.
Use binder clips to clip the two remaining pieces of leather right sides together. Slip the D-ring loop into one side with the ring inside, 1” from the top. Stitch 1/4” from the edge, leaving top open. Do the same with the lining, without the D-ring loop, and leave a 4” opening at the bottom.
Turn the lining right side out. Stuff it into the leather piece. Clip the top edges of both together. Slip the webbing between the layers , opposite the front hook and loop (the loop part) with the hook and loop on the webbing facing the lining. In the photo you’ll see my webbing sticking up above the edge, which is only because I started out with it too long. Yours should be even with the edge.
Stitch around, 1/4” from the edge.
Turn right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining. Stitch the opening closed by hand or machine.
Push the lining to the inside. Roll the seam with your fingers until it is completely turned. Stitch around close to the upper edge.
For the flower embellishment, cut your favorite shape from the leather. I also cut a smaller starburst shape for the center to add a little more texture.
Stitch onto the webbing through the button.
Clip the wrist strap onto the D-ring and it’s finished. If you don’t have a wrist strap, some narrow webbing stitched together and a carabiner of some kind will do the trick.
My phone fits in the case perfectly without my phone cover, however I’d make it larger if you want your cover to stay on.
I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for my project in the challenge. I appreciate the support!
I’m starting to feel that anxiety of a busy week coming up. I don’t mind the chaos. In fact, I sometimes like a little crazy. The part that makes me tense is the thought that I’ll forget something important. When there’s so much to do, something is bound to slip through the cracks (FYI – as I was typing this I wrote “crafts” instead of “cracks” – psychoanalyze that!). One of the things I want to make sure to remember is a hostess gift for Thanksgiving. My husband is still away and my sister invited me and my kids to spend the holiday with her family. Hosting Thanksgiving is no small task, so I want to thank her properly. Before you think I’m giving away the surprise here, this isn’t the gift I decided on, but I love it and wanted to share it with you anyway.
Everywhere we have lived has had either a fireplace or a woodstove. I love being able to have a fire in the winter. What I do not enjoy is wading up balls of newspaper to start it. I decided instead to make something I could just grab out of a basket and throw in under some kindling.
To make the fire starters, I used cardboard rolls. Mine are toilet paper rolls, but you could also cut down a paper towel roll or the center from the wrapping paper. Speaking of gift wrap, you’ll need some of that too. You’ll also need some cotton string and something flammable to stuff inside, like shredded paper. I’ve even seen these made with dryer lint.
I used shredded paper for mine. I also wadded up pieces of the instructions that come wrapped around interfacing and stuffed that in the ends of the tube so the shred wouldn’t fall out while I was working with it.
Cut the gift wrap into pieces about 6” by 10”. Starting from the larger side, roll it around the stuffed tube. Secure with a small piece of tape.
Squish the ends just above the tube and tie with a 6” piece of string at each end.
To use, simply stick a couple under some small pieces of dry wood…
…and light the ends.
I normally use a butane lighter to start a fire, but I thought something prettier would make this a better gift. The Burlap Bag had shared a match jar project that was exactly what I was looking for. The only changes I made were to not cut a hole in the top and use the lid insert under the sandpaper. I actually had a partial box of strike anywhere matches that I’m pretty sure has been around our house through most of our marriage.
After I made the first batch of these using Christmas wrap, I happened to find some wood grain print paper at Target. Now they’re perfect!
Throw in a few dried pinecones and you have a gift that’s both functional and pretty – if your hostess can bring herself to actually burn it. The wood grain starters will probably still be sitting on my hearth in April.
I’m never quite sure what to say about Earth Day. It feels similar to what we all tell our children when they ask why there’s no Kids’ Day. Say it with me – every day is Kids’ Day. Isn’t every day Earth Day? Do you only recycle on April 22nd? Probably not, and I found a bunch of creative people who do it year-round too.
I just bought some shrinkable plastic sheets to play with. I wish I would have found these DIY Shrinky Dinks from Curbly first.
If someone comes up with some creative way this thing will water itself (I’m sure it’s out there) I’ll be all over this Vertical Vegetable Garden from Instructables user pippa5, because I’m pretty sure I have this shoe organizer somewhere.
I’m sure if you’ve even dipped your foot into Pinterest, you’ve experienced the frustration of trying to track down the original source of a pin. I saw this photo and loved it, but finding where it came from took a LONG time. Turns out, it’s an entry in a photo contest on Dave’s Garden. The photo, taken by Elfishone, is lovely and the idea is a brilliant way to reuse an old purse.
Who hasn’t found themselves with old, empty DVD cases and wondered how they could be repurposed? This DVD Coloring Case from Handmade by Stacy Vaughn is the perfect answer.
I’m not sure how difficult it would be to find the hardware for this Book Page Bracelet from Happy Hour Projects, but I think it’s definitely worth looking.
Start collecting those pop tops, because you’ll need a lot of them to make this Pop Top Lamp Shade from Make.
This Buckle Up Key Holder from Uncommon Goods is a ready-made item, but with a little ingenuity and access to an old seatbelt, I’m sure you crafters out there could make one.
Something about this Corner Door Shelf from Craftaholics Anonymous feels like Alice in Wonderland.
This braided belt from Instructables user hammer9876 uses ties from yoga pants, but the possibilities for reusing other string-shaped items are endless.
I’m going to start stashing away colorful magazine pages so I can make these gift bows from How About Orange. As if I need another excuse.
The winter after my daughter turned one, I bought an amaryllis bulb. Surprisingly, I remembered to water it a few times, and it bloomed into a beautiful red flower. It just so happened that Codi had a favorite book, which we had to read every day, that included a flower that looked just like it. Every single time we reached that page, she’d point to the flower. The weird thing is, she continued to point at the spot where the flower used to be every time we read the book, long after it was dead and gone.
In the wake of this same girl turning 18 and every day bringing up a new aspect of what college life will be like, I nostalgically bought another amaryllis last month. It finally bloomed a couple of days ago, leading me to a realization. I need one of these every year. Having that bright flower in the window is the perfect antidote for the dreary, post holiday month of January. Even without a little blonde girl pointing it out.
For all the beauty of an amaryllis, with none of the watering, check out this lovely pop-up card from CardNotions on Etsy.
The flower on this Back to School Headband from Brassy Apple is simple enough to make with some motivated little girls.
I like the way this Fabric Flower from I’m Feelin’ Crafty is cut in a spiral, making it curve perfectly.
I love a tutorial that has no words, like these Paper Dogwood Flowers from La Manufacture, and what a fabulous re-use of a shopping bag and tissue.
Do you have an old necktie lying around? Make it into a cute flower with this tutorial from My Heart is Yours.
These Felt Camelias from How Joyful would be perfect on top of a gift or attached to a headband.
I just love the ruffley-ness of these Ruffled Fabric Flowers from Quiltish.
Buttons always make cute flowers, and here’s a slightly different take from Artsy Crafty Babe.
As if I needed a reason to want a rainbow of duct tape, I’ve added these Duct Tape Flower Pens from Seven Sisters to my want list.
Here’s hoping you find something to brighten up your day today!
Thanksgiving is over, and the Christmas season has officially begun. If you’re not out shopping the Black Friday sales, you might be considering handmade gifts. Actually, if you are out shopping, you might be standing in a LONG line contemplating the same thing, along with “What was I thinking?!?”
For the next few weeks, my Friday Favorites will be full of gift ideas and we’re going to start with the most difficult of all – guys.
I have a couple of bicyclists in my house who might appreciate this Cycling Cap from Dude Craft.
With all the holiday events coming up, maybe your guy could use this Bow Tie and Pocket Square from Craft.
My son has been working on this Paracord Belt from Instructables user Jake22 for months. I should say he started it, made a mistake, then couldn’t decide whether to continue or fix it. Still waiting on a decision.
I’m sure this Rubberband Gun from Sugar Bee Crafts was intended for a little boy, but I can totally picture my husband keeping one of these on his desk at work.
This Pocket Knife Key Wallet from OnlyKnives just says “guy” all over it.
If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, these Salted Chocolate “Twix” Bars from Crepes of Wrath are the expressway.
He might not know it yet, but your guy definitely needs a holiday tie, whipped up using this Father’s Day Tie tutorial from The Purl Bee.
If he’s less tie and more hoodie, try this Men’s Fleece Hoodie from Craftstylish instead.
I don’t know which would be more fun – to make this Bike Tube Wallet by Instructables user Captain Molo and give it to your guy, or give him a bike tube and the instructions to do it himself.
If you don’t want to make him something yourself, but still like the idea of handmade, check out this Shaving Kit from Etsy seller orangefuzz. It includes beer shaving soap and comes in a cigar box. It doesn’t get much more manly than that.
Yes, you read that right. Pharmacy bottles. Before you get concerned about my medicinal habits, let me explain.
My brother-in-law, Jerome, found himself in need of a career change a couple of years ago. He decided to go back to school to become a pharmacy technician. No small task, but he stuck with it and graduated at the top of his class. That part has nothing to do with these trees, but I’m just so proud of him!
His training involved some practice with the bottles used in a pharmacy. They were empty, and would have been disposed of after the class was finished with them. Like any good crafter, Jerome saw a better use for them and brought them home. Lots of them.
He dog-sat for us when we went to Seattle for a couple of days, and spent most of that time working on these. I think before this he thought I was a little crazy for all the crafting I do. He thinks I’m completely off my rocker now.
After a couple of tubes of glass and bead glue, and possibly some damaged brain cells, he had glued together 132 bottles and a variety of beads and decorations. Not to mention inserting Christmas lights into every single bottle.
The tree on the far right is actually made from mini-bar size vodka bottles. Luckily, he was given the bottles already empty. Otherwise we might have an entirely less attractive group of trees. Here’s the vodka tree lit up.
I didn’t get a photo of this one with the lights on, but it was a wedding gift for Jerome’s friend, who was one of the many married on 11/11/11. Seems appropriate somehow.
This blue tree is ours. It looks really pretty in the window in my kitchen.
Jerome is definitely the biggest Kiss fan I’ve ever met. He has been for all of the 22 years I’ve known him. This is his tree.
I’ve never seen someone so happy to be done with a craft project. In fact, it kind of seems like he’s running past my craft room when he comes in the house now. I’d feel bad for him, except I really love my new blue tree.
I think sometimes crafting is like having a baby. Eventually, you forget the pain you went through to get the amazing end product and you do it all over again.
T-shirts are like the flour of fashion. They aren’t good for much all by themselves but they’re the foundation of a lot of things that couldn’t exist without them. Once in a while, I look into my closet, wonder how I ended up with so many t-shirts and go shopping for something new. But I always come back to them, and occasionally try to figure out how I can make them better with crayons, paint, bleach or scissors. And I’m not the only one out there.
These T-Shirt Pom Poms from Craftaholics Anonymous are not only cute, but they look like they would be really fun to make.
I’m so glad I found this this tutorial for Dear Lizzy’s Pretty Petals Tee before I bought another one of these flowery tops. I actually wish I had found it before I bought the first one.
I like crafts I can do while I watch television or movies with my family. These T-Shirt Yarn Braided Coasters from Homework would be perfect, and when I’m done, I can set whatever tasty beverage I’m drinking on them.
I love all of the texture and detail on this Anthropologie Pratia Tank Top from Made by Lex.
I’ve wanted to try these Bleach Pen T-Shirts, like these from Show Tell Share, for months now. I’m just waiting for the weather to be nice enough I can do it outside so I don’t knock myself out.
This Empire Cut Blouse from Guaya is cute, but the bit of ribbon and lace she added makes it adorable.
This Long Sleeved Shirt to Short Sleeves from Make It and Love It didn’t just get its sleeves cut off, but added details as well.
All I can say about this reverse applique t-shirt from Sew Simple is wow.
And finally, a pretty Lace Applique Tank Top refashion from Ali Foster Patterns that would be perfect for the lovely summer weather I’m sure is coming our way soon.
I had grand intentions this week. I have a pair of jeans with a broken zipper that I was going to use to create some sort of Easter basket/container, covering my Easter and Earth Day projects in one fell swoop. Didn’t happen. Honestly, there was just too much going on this week. But it’s Friday, so instead I’m going to let you in on some great recycling projects other people have done. Don’t worry – that denim thing will turn up here at some point.
I’ve been seeing these homemade play kitchens for a while and every one of them is more clever than the last. They are usually made from a piece of old furniture, like a night stand. The details on this version from My Little Gems really put it over the top.
I don’t think it would be especially difficult to get a kid to empty a candy bag for me so I could make this Sweet Tooth Pouch from Punkin Patterns.
And I think there’s someone else in the house willing to empty the dog food bag for the Upcycled Garden Tote from Garden of Eden Goods.
I really like this Braided T-Shirt Yarn Headwrap from Sew Homegrown, but I also think it would make a great belt.
I’ve worried that bags made from old t-shirts might stretch and sag, but I think She Wears Flowers has solved the problem by lining hers.
We have loads of Pez dispensers floating around this house. I seriously love this Toy Story Wall Art by Under the Table and Dreaming and might have to make one for myself.
This Ribbon Sling Bag by My Recycled Bags is an ingenious use of old store shopping bags.
This is one of the most unique recycling projects I’ve seen. UrbanWoodsWalker on Our Everyday Earth made this plastic coat by fusing plastic shopping bags together with an iron and using it as fabric. Pretty amazing!
Happy Earth Day…now go recycle something!
I couldn’t let Christmas go by without sharing this tutorial with you because it has special meaning to me. This little guy is the project that planted the seed for this blog years ago.
I’m a complete and total coffee addict. Coffee house lattes are my favorite, but when I’m at home it’s vanilla flavored coffee with vanilla creamer. I kept looking at the creamer bottles and thinking how easy they would be to make into a snowman. I know there are others out there now, but at the time I hadn’t seen any.
Finally, I saved bottles until I had enough for friends and family. I came up with a powdered drink recipe and the snowman army was born. After I made them, I thought it would be nice if I could share how I did it with other crafty people. And then I let that thought go.
Here I am, several years and creamer bottles later, with a tutorial to show you how they’re made. I feel like I just completed some sort of loop.
You will need:
an empty 32 ounce liquid creamer bottle
5” by 1 1/2” flannel (cotton will work too)
18” by 1 1/2” flannel (again, cotton is ok)
12” by 4” felt
8” by 1 1/2” felt
18” of wire
embellishments (buttons, felt scraps, etc.)
Print the pattern here. You’ll want to print it borderless because it barely fits on a piece of paper. Cut the larger piece for the vest from the 12” piece of felt. Cut out 4 of the mittens from the smaller piece of felt. You can also cut little squares for embellishing the mittens from a contrasting color of felt.
Wrap the vest tightly around the empty creamer bottle. Glue the edge down to the vest in the front using a hot glue gun.
Using a pencil or pen, mark a dot on each side for the arms. Slide the vest off the top of the bottle. Using a toothpick, poke a hole on each side at the mark. Feed the end of the wire out each hole, bending it slightly so it conforms to the back of the vest.
Slide the vest back onto the bottle. Glue the edges down using tacky glue. Secure with a rubber band until it’s dry. I used hot glue, but I don’t necessarily recommend that. You have to be very careful not to melt your bottle and the edge doesn’t end up looking as neat.
If you’re adding the contrasting piece, sew them on with embroidery floss before sewing the two mitten pieces together. Stitch two mittens together using a blanket or straight stitch. Repeat with the other set of mittens.
Curl the wire around a pencil, leaving about an inch at the end straight.
Squirt some hot glue into the bottom of the mitten and, working quickly, slide the wire in between the two pieces of felt. If you’re me, carefully pry the finger loose that you glued to the back of the mitten.
Fringe both short ends about 1” up on the 18” piece of flannel. Tie it around the snowman’s neck, pushing the knot to one side.
Fold the 5” piece of flannel in half lengthwise. Press. Fringe, clipping close to, but not through the fold.
Unfold. Roll up from one end, wrong side in.
Hot glue to the top of the bottle with the edge in the glue. After the glue is cool, fluff.
Glue a button or other embellishment onto the vest on the side opposite the scarf.
Let me apologize for his nose. I know, it’s cute. It’s a carrot button I’ve had for a thousand or so years. I don’t know if you can still get them. A piece of orange felt cut into a carrot shape would be a good substitute. You could even add a little black stitching.
For his eyes, I used a Sharpie. You could also paint them on or glue on a little button. When I made these the first time, I used fabric puffy paint. It gave them nice shine and dimension.
Somewhere in the years since I first made these, they changed the bottles from white to clear. I hadn’t even realized it until I washed a bottle to make this one. I have an easy solution to that though. Here’s the recipe for the drink mix I put in mine.
Cinnamon Vanilla Warmer Mix
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup powdered vanilla flavored coffee creamer
1 1/2 cup dry milk
6 tablespoons cinnamon imperials (known as red hots around here)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of mix to a mug of boiling water.
This recipe will fill the snowman with some left over. I will warn you, when you add it to the hot water, it turns pink. Tasty, but definitely pink.
The smaller snowman shown here is a stripped-down, quick version, using a smaller creamer bottle. The buttons are glued on the front. I now realize I forgot to fluff the pom-pom on the top of his hat. Don’t worry, I fixed it.
It seems fitting that this would be my last tutorial before Christmas. This chilly guy and I have come a long way together.
We’re getting our tree this weekend, so I have ornaments on the brain. I try to add a new one or two each year, but I can never bring myself to get rid of any. I’m either going to need a bigger tree or a taller ceiling.
When my kids were small, AOL was at it’s peak. They were sending us a CD once a week, trying to get us to sign up for their service. I could never bring myself to throw them away, thinking they would be perfect for a future craft project. We used a few of them over the years, but I really wish I would have seen Helenismos’ Quilted CD Ornaments before I tossed the rest.
I already made one of these Yarn Stocking Hat ornaments by Craft Elf. They’re really cute and would be a great kid project. Just make sure you read all of the directions, instead of trying to finish it without completing all the steps. I don’t know who would do something like that.
I. Have. To. Make. This. We have ornaments representing the interests of everyone in my family, but I don’t think I have any sewing-related ornaments. I love this Cute as a Button Ornament from Zakka Life. I need a whole tree of them, in every color of felt I can find.
This Royal Icing ornament from Food Mayhem looks so delicate, which is kinda what I like about it. This is a top-of-the-tree ornament, so the kids won’t break it and the dog won’t eat it.
This is actually a pattern that’s available for purchase from Rosie Little Things. I can’t even tell you how much I love the red coat. In fact, I wish it came in my size, complete with the mittens.
I just like how these Paper Mache ornaments from Blue Cricket Design look. That simple. This would be a great way to repurpose old, scratched up ornaments.
I try not to include something from Martha Stewart in every one of these things, but there’s a reason she became a bajillionaire by making stuff. This Button Wreath ornament would be another good one to make with the kids and the color options are just about endless.
I had to include these Mason Jar Lid Ornaments from Fun on a Dime because I remember having something like this on our tree growing up. I think ours had photos of us in the middle, but I like the idea of using old Christmas cards.
Anyone who sews has fabric scraps. Unless you’re making big rectangles. A few of those scraps and a foam ball and you have this cute fabric ornament from Jody on WhipUp.
Argyle was popular for a while in the 80’s. I don’t think I ever let it, or plaid, go. No, I’m not sitting here in my neon tank, off-one-shoulder Flashdance shirt, zipper-ankle jeans and legwarmers. You can’t see me, right? Like everything I just listed, I think argyle is back and I couldn’t be happier. This Argyle Applique ornament from So September is both current and nostalgic, making it a perfect fit on my tree.
I've told you all about the crafty family I was born into. I've even touched on the creative children I'm raising. However, until now, I haven't revealed much about the inventive and talented man I married. I think that's because too many people already know what he's capable of, and it takes him away from home a lot. My husband is the kind of guy who can look at something and see what it could be. Our breakfast bar is made from an old church pew. We have a coat rack that was once a coffee table and copper piping. He has remodeled, refashioned and expanded our disco-era house into something we both love. He's a home-improvement rock star, and he's all mine.
We were in Lowe's the other day, and walked past a table full of random clearance items. There were some trash cans that caught our attention. Me, because I wasn't sure what they were but I was intrigued by them. My husband, because he thought "That could be a lamp." They had a very heavy base and my hubby was pretty sure he had the supplies at home, so for $5 at 80% off, it was worth a shot.
He took it out to the shop and came back just a few minutes later with a working lamp. It reminds me of a giant candle holder, which is fine with me because I'm a huge candle fan.
While he was busy creating a lamp from a trash receptacle, I was trying to figure out how I could decorate it for Halloween, without doing permanent damage. I ended up cutting bat shapes out of parchment paper, cutting it to fit inside the lamp, and stapling the ends together so it wouldn't curl and touch the bulb. The beauty of it is, I can cut new paper for other holidays or seasons. I'm thinking snowflakes next.
With talent like his, you can imagine the honey-do list I have for him. Often though, it's the things that I don't see coming and didn't even know I needed that end up being my favorites. Kinda like him.