Tuesday, July 31, 2012

DIY: Crochet Bows Tutorial

A wonderful blog by "Little Things Blogged" makes me want to squeal in delight!  These are so freaking adorable it hurts.  Cannot wait to make them!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

DIY: Felt Bead Necklace

We admit that we have wanted to try a felting project forever now!  This seems like the perfect catalyst to begin a new crafting obsession!  This wonderful and straight forward tutorial from Dans le Townhouse should make you feel inspired, too!

Basically, felting a ball is super simple.  Start with a wool roving and tear it apart like you would cotton candy.  Add a bit of dish soap, a bit of water, roughly shape it into a ball and then start rolling it between your palms like you would a piece of clay.  Rinse it in hot water, then cold, to "shock" the fibres into felting (you continue doing this throughout the rolling process).  It will feel like it won't work, then it will start to felt.  Trust me.  Add increasing pressure as your felt ball becomes firmer and when it is nice and firm, set it aside to dry for a day or two.  Remember your finished ball will be smaller and denser than the rough ball you created when the roving was dry.  Once my beads were dry, I simply strung them with some heavy duty beading thread and the sharpest needle I could find.  You can fuss with a clasp or just tie a knot and slip it over your head.   

Wool Roving

Wool roving pulled apart and ready to shape
How NOT to create a felted ball - squoosh too hard in the beginning

Lay out the beads as you work to get a sense of the pattern. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

DIY: Make Your Own Stickers

Little Grey Kitteh has a wonderful tutorial on making your own stickers.  This will come in really handy as the holiday gets closer and closer!  Just think, we are already more than halfway to Christmas...Eek!  But, if you start now, maybe it won't be so overwhelming??  What do you think?  Ready for the holidays?  Love these stickers?  We do!!

So for starters, pick out whatever paper you want to use and a hole puncher for the shape that you want your stickers to be. I used some cute cardstock that I had on hand as well as a heart hole puncher that I had purchased at Michaels. You could also be more elaborate and use an Xacto knife or scissors to cut out your design, but I just wanted a simple heart. :P

Now, cut out your shapes! I only made two stickers, but it would be just as easy to make a whole ton! :P

Then, you need to gather the following things:
  • White Vinegar
  • White Glue (such as Elmer's)
  • A bowl
  • A spoon
  • A paintbrush

Now, the magazine said to combine equal parts of white glue and white vinegar into a bowl. I used a spoonful of each, which ended up being wayyy more than plenty for my two stickers. So combine the two ingredients and stir until the mixture becomes milky and somewhat thin.

Finally, once it's been mixed enough, grab your paint brush and the paper pieces that you cut or punched out earlier. Dip the brush into the milky mixture of glue and vinegar, and liberally smear a thin-medium amount of it onto the backside of your paper. Wait about ten or fifteen minutes, depending on how thickly you applied the glue-vinegar mixture. You just want it to be wet or moist, but not soaked. My stickers were still flimsy when I applied them to the card, and they worked fine. So in short, the drying time isn't an essential and precise part of the process. :P

I didn't have anything special in mind for these guys, so I tested them on a plain piece of white copy paper. I folded the paper in half to represent a card, then I placed one sticker on the front of the card and used the other sticker to close and seal the card. They held up well and they didn't soak the paper, so all in all, I was very pleased! :D

Saturday, July 28, 2012

DIY: Packthread Wrapped Vase

A wonderful upcycle tutorial from Sheepy Me!

1.) Double Sided Tape
2.) Packthread
3.) Scissors
4.) A used bottle!

Friday, July 27, 2012

DIY: The Ten Minute Bracelet

What a great fashion accessory that can be made in no time at all!  We love this tutorial from Happy Hour Projects.  Check out their blog for more great DIY!!

I didn't invent this design or anything - I'm sure you've seen variations floating around on Craftgawker and Pinterest.  But I finally made some - there's hardly even a tutorial involved, they're such a quick thing - and I will give you some hints for keeping it as simple as possible.

First of all, my focal pieces are links from a chain I picked up somewhere along the line.  I just used a pair of wire cutters to remove a few links.

Think creatively here: you can use anything round, or anything that has two holes.  Anything that you can tie two sets of twine to.  Washers, connecting charms - just raid your box of things-you've-been-hanging-onto - you may surprise yourself at what you can find that will work!

Cut six lengths of 18" (give or take an inch or two) twine.  I have LOTS of hemp leftover from the wish bracelets and word bracelets I made, so that is what I used.  If you're low on twine you can make this with four strands, but braiding with four strands takes more time than a traditional braid for me, so to keep this *simple* I'm going to tell you to use six.  You could also use embroidery floss here, cotton twine - really, anything you like the looks of!

Take three of your strands, and double them in half, so that you have six loose ends, and three loops in the center.  Take the loops and thread them through your focal ring.

(You'll notice there are only two in the photo - when I took my photo, I hadn't yet discovered how much slower I would be at a four-strand braid.  So yours will have three loops here.)

Thread the tails of your string through the loops of the string - making a knot.  Knot people, help me out here - isn't this a square knot?  **Update** - many thanks to Salla for solving this mystery, it's a lark's head knot.  A square knot would tie two loops together.  I learned something today, thank you!!

Anyway, knot it with your lark's head knot, and do the same on the other side of your focal ring.  Like so.

Now, separate your strands for your braid.  Remember, you will have six (I fixed that below).  Just divide them up two, two, and two.  I find that clamping it into my clipboard really works the best to secure it while I braid.  And yes, my clipboard does have a giant pink flower on it. :P

Now, just braid it like normal!  If you have decided to use more or less twine, there are methods to braiding any number of strands out there.  But to keep this fast, I used a traditional braid.  It took me maybe a minute to do each side this way.  Once you get to the end, tie an overhand knot to finish it off.  That's it.  Super easy!

You could also fancy it up and attach end caps and a clasp, or even a button and loop end.  But with the twine, just tying it like a friendship bracelet really seemed the most appropriate to me.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY: Rotating Goal List

If you are anything like me - you are always trying to stay organized!  This tutorial from Cornflower Blue Studio may be just the thing to help out.  It's easy to make and will allow for those of us who have ever changing schedules to quickly and easily handle anything that comes our way!

You'll need post-it notes, a pencil, markers, a ruler, and an 11 x 14 inch piece of bristol board or heavy card stock.

Start by sketching out a simple layout with your pencil.  I left a half-inch border around the entire design, then added a 4.5 x 10 inch rectangle at the top of the page.  Use the bottom section of the page to add six three inch squares, evenly spaced.  And one more square inside the rectangle, too!

Now you can use your markers to fill in the design with lettering, doodles, borders, or whatever you like!

Next you need to decide on the time frame for your goals - are these weekly goals, things you want to accomplish this month, this season?  It's up to you, and you can always change it because you can switch out the post-it note whenever you like.  I decided to make my goals for the week this time.

Now fill in your goal squares with more post-its.  You can put the most pressing goals first, and order the rest in terms of importance.  Remove the goals as they are accomplished so you can keep track of your progress : )

I used a little silver clip to hang my list where I can see it as I work.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DIY: Fabric Button Boutonniere

Green Wedding Shoes has an awesome tutorial on how to make your own customized modern button pin!  Although it shows a guy in the picture, we think this is definitely a uni-sex piece!

DIY fabric boutonniere materials

Materials need to create one boutonniere
• ribbon – you will need 5 strips cut in 7″ of length
• wooden button
• safety pins
• spray paint
• tacky glue
• felt (not shown above)

instructions step one
instructions step two
step three instructions
DIY fabric button boutonniere finished
DIY fabric button boutonniere