Ringing in the New Year

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Happy Sunday and happy New Year’s Eve, all!

Holy cow, this year went fast! I can’t say that it has all been bad or especially good but I can say that I have definitely learned some new crafty skills and even enhanced some of the old ones. I also find it a little mind boggling that all of the bloggers here have still been churning out new and interesting topics consistently through another whole year. Go us!

To celebrate the end of this and the beginning of a new year, there are some traditions that I love to keep and I thought I would share them with you in case you needed some last minute inspiration for your own NYE par-tay.

1. Wear silly hats. Ever since I can remember, my Mom either helped us find or make hats for new year’s. If you like to keep it simple (which we often did), here is an easy little tutorial from Skip to My Lou for a basic newspaper hat:

This can always be enhanced with glitter glue and feathers, rest assured.

As I grew older, though, I didn’t mind taking a little more time to create “fancier” hats. So, likewise, here is a tutorial (and some templates) from Happy Thought UK for some festive mini top hats:

These could also be slightly enhanced for a more steampunk themed occasion.

2. Make a festive mess. We usually found those little plastic popper bottles that were filled with confetti strings and Mom would boot us outside before we popped them. But sometimes they were duds and that made for some disappointment. So why not make sure they aren’t by making your own? If you just want to make a big poof of confetti and streamers, this great tutorial from Ehow is just the thing:

These can also be filled with confetti made from used wrapping paper if you want to keep it green.

Or if you want to add in a little more fun and class, you can use this amazing infographic from Wonder How To and make some paper hat/small prize/confetti containing crackers:

Yes, the “cracker” inserts can easily be found on Amazon and other sites.

3. The final thing we do (besides supply massive amounts of food and drink, of course) is make a lot of noise to ring in the New Year! So how about a few different types of noise makers from Kid Friendly Things to Do, Jman and Miller Bug, and I Heart Naptime:

   

I can honestly imagine turning these into more geeky versions by introducing a theme…like Harry Potter house colors. Whichever way you choose to celebrate, be safe and have fun! We’ll see you in 2018, fellow Hackers!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


10 Scrap Wood Projects for the Novice Wood Worker

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Hi! This is written by Paul from Woodworkboss who is the guest blogger today.

If you’re a novice wood worker, you might be looking for a few easy projects to hone some of your basic skills, so you can then move onto more advanced projects. There are numerous projects that you can start with that you do fairly inexpensively by using scrap wood.

Here are ten projects that can be completed within a day or even a few hours, that will help you practice your skills, and only require scrap wood and the tools that you will need to invest in to move onto larger and more complex projects.

1. Wood Wall Hooks
If you have some old crown molding lying around, you can make wooden wall hooks by painting or staining them and attaching hooks. With this project, you’ll can practice drilling and using a power sander. As the end result, you’ll have a fun place to hang your coats, hats, and scarves in your entryway.

2. Kids Step Stool
With a couple of 2X4s, some scraps, a few screws, and the help of a miter saw, you can make a stool that will help children reach the sink to brush their teeth and wash their hands in the bathroom or kitchen. As always, don’t forget safety when dealing with saws and remember to use safety goggles. This is a great project for learning how to cut with a miter saw and make fairly simple schematics for the project.

3. Wood Shelves
A miter saw might be helpful for this project, too. If you choose to make shelves that require 45 degree angle cuts, you will learn how to use your miter saw’s capabilities for cutting other than 90 degree angles. You will also learn how to fit corners snuggly.

4. Scrap Wood Snowflake
Decorations for the home can become expensive, but if you learn to make wall decorations, such as a wood snowflake using reclaimed wood, you can have a project that you can proudly display, at a fraction of the cost. This project will also help you visualize a complete project, but it’s nice for beginners because the angles don’t have to fit snugly together.

5. Pallet End Table
There are countless projects that you can create just by recycling pallet wood. An end table made from an old pallet is just one of many. Using exclusively 90 degree angle cuts, this project is easier than it looks, but it also gives the maker practice is creating a sturdy design. For projects two through four, you can check them out here.

6. Drum Planters
The nice thing about scrap wood is, if you make a mistake, you can try again at a low cost. A drum, due to its circular shape, will require you to make 45 degree angle cuts for the top, but the bottom is simple, straight lines.

7. Scrap Cutting Board
With a few pieces of multi-colored wood, a miter saw, a hand or electrical planer, a sander, and some wood glue, you can make a beautiful cutting board. Photos and more detailed directions for ideas six and seven are here.

8. Gardening Trellis
Many plants, such as cucumber, need a trellis to expand and grow on. This is a greatly useful and super easy way to use your scrap wood. Attach some mesh wire to the frame with a staple gun and your plants are ready to grow.

9. Tea Light Candle Holder
This is a very popular project, because it only requires a small amount of wood. You can create them in simple square shapes or get fancy with sanding and shaping and make them into hearts.

10. Fish and Fisherman Wind Chime
This is a really fun project, and it only requires some scrap wood and some old silverware. Photos for projects eight through ten are here.

There are countless ways that you can use old scrap wood to make items that are fun, beautiful, and useful.

Seamless texture of wooden blocks in collage background.

 


Happy New Year!

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The countdown is on, Thursday Crafthackers!

If you’re throwing a New Year’s Eve party, then you are in countdown mode (literally) for figuring out food, outfit and of course, decorations!  I’ve got one for a photobooth backdrop that is super impressive and really festive!

The first is from Oh Happy Day (the original post can be found here). The only thing that you will need to get ahold of is large sequins, which might be a little challenge to find but they can certainly be ordered here or here, or you can check the craft stores near you to see what they have available. You can use any size, but the larger they are, the less you need, the less time consuming. At 60mm, you will need about 600 of them.  You will also need 6 pieces of thin foam board at 1/8″ thick, and 32″ x 40″ wide. 2 rolls of cheap gold or silver wrapping paper to cover the board, good masking tape (that comes off the walls without tearing the paint), 600+ sequin pins (really short straight pins, one for every sequin), a ruler and a long piece of posterboard to make a guide.

Your first step is to attach the foam board. Tape it to the wall, so that we can have an undamaged wall after this project. Stack them from the floor up so that the weight is on the floor and the tape just holds them in place.

Next, tape the wrapping paper on top of the foam board. Don’t worry about the seams, when the sequins are added, you can’t really see them.

Next, add your first row of sequins, starting at the bottom of the wall. You don’t have to start at the very bottom, just below where your camera will capture. Figure out how far apart you’d like the sequins. This tutorial used 2.5″ between each pin, and, to get it straight, use a ruler :).

For the second row of sequins, you can test out how you like the spacing. They look nice when they’re staggered, so they nestle between each other.

 

You can now make a guide so that you only really need to measure those first two rows Use a long piece of poster board the exact distance between the first and second row of pins. Using a ruler, make a pencil mark every 2.5″ on one side of the guide. Make a few marks on the other side to line up to the pins that are already in place.

Your next step is to pin them all up! When you have your guide, you can place it on top of the second row of pins and you will know exactly where to stick your pins into the board. It’s good to try to be accurate but it will get easier once you get going. The sequins cover up many flaws. Just try to make sure that they are parallel with the floor, that way they won’t sit against the wall, they’ll dangle and sparkle and move when people walk by. Hanging it towards the front of the pin will give you maximum shine!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years!

~ Megan

 


Winter Crafts for Kids – Snow Edition

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Happiest of Christmases to you all, my crafty little elves!

For today’s post, I wanted to focus on the fact that many of us will be spending time with family. And sometimes that family includes children. Children can become bored very easily. So I thought I would share a number of fun and easy craft projects that are fun for children and adults alike. Since not everyone celebrates Christmas, this post will focus on SNOW! Even if you live in a place where snow isn’t prevalent, this fluffy white stuff has sort of become synonymous with winter. Snowmen, snow ice cream, snow angels…Snow can be so much fun! These crafts all feature snow (fake, not real. Real snow crafts wouldn’t hold up indoors too well).

Tea Light Snowmen from One Little Project At A Time…

These little snowmen ornaments are not only easy but they are not just your run-of-the-mill ornament. By using tea lights, your ornament helps light your tree as well.

Find the simple instructions on how to make these adorable little guys here.

Handprint Snowmen Ornaments from Simple Fun for Kids

This project will be sure to get the kids excited because it’s MESSY. I mean, come on, what kid wouldn’t want to get paint all over their hands and then touch things that they normally wouldn’t be allowed to touch? This one is simple and cheap and the instructions can be found here.

Popsicle Stick Snowflakes from The Chaos and The Clutter

Not all ornaments have to go on the tree. These snowflake ornaments can be hung in windows or around the house from ceilings and in doorways to make it look like a winter wonderland inside as well as out. Sharla over at The Chaos and the Clutter lays out a beautiful and instructional blog post on making popsicle snowflakes here.

There are a ton of easy, inexpensive ways to have fun with kids. And the internet is just full of people willing to share those ideas. I also recommend checking out the sites I linked above. These bloggers are fun and informative and may just help inspire you in your next crafting adventure.

Stay snowy, Crafty Hackers! And Merry Christmas!

~Scribe Sarah~


Wrapping Things Up

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Happy Sunday, all!

It’s Christmas Eve, can you believe it? Have you gotten all those lovely gifts wrapped? If not, I’ve got a few more fantastic ideas for bumping it up a notch. First up is a quick and easy option if you have a hoard of wrapping paper (guilty as charged), DIY paper gift bags from Designer Trapped:

Super cute and can be made to any size specifications!

If you’ve got some small things, these DIY pyramid boxes from Lines Across will do the trick:

If you’ve got a card stock hoard, too, these will also help clear some out.

If you are really ambitious, though, I’d love to give or receive these adorable DIY animal boxes from Lia Griffith:

I just can’t get over how super cute they are!

Maybe you’ve got a huge roll of that brown butcher paper? This next one from Burlap and Blue is a great project for the kiddos as it entails dipping your thumbs into paint to create the light bulb shapes on the paper:

You could also theoretically use brown paper bags if you like to think green.

Finally, one more thing to be made from that wrapping paper stash is…the bow itself! This quick little tutorial from Charlet’s Website looks super easy:

This is great to know for other occasions as well.

Hopefully at least one of these have helped you get those last minute things done. Have a safe and happy holiday tomorrow, everyone!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Charity Stream

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I have a huge event planned tomorrow.   I am raising money for St Jude!!

What is St Jude?  StJude is a leading children’s hospital pioneering research and treatments for kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

So what am I doing to raise money?  I am doing a marathon stream on my Twitch channel where I will be making a lap quilt completely start to finish in one day.  Cutting, Piecing, pinning, quilting, and binding.  During the stream I will be accepting donations for St Jude (the link takes you right to St Jude, I never touch the money).  For every $5 you donate you earn one ticket into my drawing.

So what do you win?  The quilt I make that day!  As soon as I finish making the quilt I will immediately hold the raffle and award the quilt.  This will be a special one time quilt made only for this St Jude stream.

I will also be holding giveaways throughout the day where you can win a quilt pattern, a bag of scraps, stickers, or a dice bag!

So head over to my Twitch channel and join the fun!!

-Toni


DIY: Family Luminaries

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Hello all!

Happy Thursday to all you Crafthackers. If you are still scrambling for some last minute gifts for family members, I have a lovely solution for you and a tutorial from Our Best Bites! This is a really easy way to make some very touching gifts and I think that they’re just amazing.

So you will need a photo printer that can print onto vellum (most photo printers should do the trick) and you’ll need vellum to print onto. You can find vellum at craft stores and I’ve even found them at business supply stores as it’s what architects and designers use for drafting. You will also need some double sided tape. This is so easy and pretty, I love it.

You will also need a selection of vases or glass jars to use as the candle holders. Look for smooth, cylindrical jars that will be easier to wrap. You can use square ones but the photos won’t be quite as smooth.

So you need to print out your photos onto the vellum and trim them to the size of whatever glass you will be using. Landscape photos will work better as you’ll get the width to wrap them around the different jars. If you have a large one, however, keep in mind that you can use two photos to make up the difference.

Simply attach your photo to the glass (on the outside) with the double sided tape.  You can put these jars in windows to allow the photos to glow from the natural light, or you can put candles inside to light them from within. If you have some half used candles (probably best as a self gift, however), the light lower in the jar makes the luminaries look amazing, so you can also attach photos to these.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Gift Wrapping DIY style

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All week I have been just going over ideas trying to think of one way to help others repurpose something for gifts or what not since we are just a few days away from the big day.   I thought about wrapping paper and gift bags and how much I feel like I am throwing money away…quite literally.   That’s when it hit me.  How do your wrap presents with items that can be reused?  It may seem logical, but it was staring me in the face when it finally it me this morning.

There are many ways to wrap presents and most people will think of newspaper.  That would work.  I watch children of friends regularly so I am realizing with young ones, their books are often ripped up.  If you have those books still laying around, you may want to consider using some of those pages for wrapping depending on the size of pages and present.  Today, a friend posted even how to reuse maps from a map book.
 
The primary focus I had with my gifts were homemade.   So why not make a homemade reusable gift container.   What I started doing today was taking some mini and small wooden crates that you can easily find in a craft store.  My dollar store didn’t have them but the mini ones were less than a dollar at my craft store.   I then painted and decorated them with a holiday theme.   Some I am still working on and decided staining would fit better with the gift or the person’s decorating theme in their home.  I took the person and the gift into account when creating this crates.   I decorated with snowflakes on blue painted crates as well for those who aren’t all that into Christmas.
 
You see mason jars often with cookie mixes especially around this time.   That is a classic and you can always switch it up with hot chocolate mixes or anything.  I am also filling oven mitts for a few of those just starting their cooking adventures as adults filled with some kitchen essentials like spices.   I took some hot tea sachets (in the packaging) and put them in fleece socks.   I found some aloe infused socks to also include things for a pedicure.  Don’t be scared to think outside the box.
 
Have fun and enjoy the Holidays!


Crystalline Light

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In honor of the Winter Solstice this week, I thought I’d show case that ~Winter Aesthetic~ today with some really lovely crystal light fixtures designed by Melbourne Australia artist: Christopher Boots.

All his work is made by hand and with real metals and naturally formed crystals. Much like a traditional jeweler, he will spend hours scouring crystals to find the ones with just the right hardness/crystalline structure/fracture/transparency. A lot of his work plays with the organic yet geometric form of his medium and the results are just wonderful to behold.

You can find more of his work on his instagram page, as well as see glimpses of his upcoming projects/inspirations. Worth the follow if you have the app and are an art lover. ^_^


Light Bulb Ornaments

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It’s just another Manic Monday, fellow crafters! The last one before Christmas Day! So I thought I would focus on the holiday that is quickly approaching.

If you celebrate Christmas, you no doubt have had at some point in your life, a Christmas tree. And you probably were really excited to decorate it too, right? Except ornaments (like so much else during this holiday nowadays) can end up costing you quite a bit of moola. And that’s money you could be spending on presents for your loved ones. But you don’t have to sacrifice your decor just so you can put presents under that tree. If you have old burned out light bulbs, you can decorate with your own personal flair. Heck, you can do what store bought ornaments don’t always allow and customize your tree to whatever your holiday heart desires.

All you need to accomplish this goal are those burnt out light bulbs (and don’t limit yourself to regular sized incandescent light bulbs! You can also use candle, flame, candelabra or even classic Edison style bulbs). You will also need a selection of different sized paint brushes, acrylic paints in the colors you plan to use, and some ribbon and a hot glue gun. I personally also like to keep some colored felt, puff balls, and scraps of old fabric to use, should I be so inspired.

If you don’t feel particularly good at coming up with ideas on your own, here are a few you can try. Christmas ornaments don’t just have to be Christmas-related, you can also do winter themed ideas. So in addition to Santas, Rudolphs, and elves, you can also make snowman and penguins! Really, you can make whatever you want to decorate your tree with. Maybe you want to go with a ballet theme to your decorations this year…paint a Nutcracker’s head. My mom’s house always has references to a Winter Wonderland…this would be a great theme to incorporate snowman and penguins and maybe even a narwhal into.

The penguin would probably be the quickest and easiest to paint. An upside down light bulb already resembles a penguin, you really just have to color it in. Go as simple or as exquisite as you want. You can make a simple cartoon penguin or a regal Emperor penguin (if you are a slightly more talented painter than I, that is. I’ll stick to the cartoon-y one). And you don’t have to add anything to the top to hide the metal portion, you could just paint it black. But I personally like the idea of giving your chill little friend something neat like a hat.

For you Santas and your snowmen, you have a couple different options. Stick with either the head only (easier to paint in the long run in most cases) or make the full body too! Again, adding little touches like a flannel fabric to Santa’s body (Santa Jammies!) or a tiny yarn scarf around your snowman’s neck can give your ornaments that something special, a little personal flair.

While I personally love this idea for decorating your tree each December, decorative bulb ornaments don’t stop at Christmas. You can make dreidels as well for Hannukah. You can make turkeys and scarecrows for Thanksgiving, witches and jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and bunnies for Easter. And you don’t have to hang these from a tree either. You can hang them in doorways (just warn your taller guests of the potential hazards), dangle from the front of your mantelpiece or even hang in your windows.

This is not only a great way to decorate with your own style and flair, it is also an inexpensive and relaxing way to holiday up your home. Enjoy sitting down with a few old light bulbs, some paints and your imagination and see where the day will take you.