DIY Travel Checkers

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Good morning, Friday Crafthackers!

We are in the middle of road trip season,  and you know what that means? It means keeping people entertained. In a car. For hours on end. So I bring for you a beautiful little diy that can be brought with you anywhere! You can find the full tutorial here for how to make a travel checkers kit.

You’ll need some supplies: Felt – two colours, 1 piece each at 8″x 8″ for the board. Two colours, one piece each for the tokens at 4″ x 5″. You’ll need one colour of  8.5″ x 8.5″ for the board, and one more colour, two pieces of 9″ x 11″ for the bag, if you’d like to make one. Cotton:  1 piece of 10″ x 23″, to line the bag so it can slip easily in and out. You’ll also need thread, a hot glue gun and glue (optional), buttons (12 of each of two different colours), 2 one yard measured drawstrings that can be made from whatever you like. 2 Pony beads.

To make your checkerboard, cut 8 strips of each colour for your board at 1″ wide and 8″ long. Cut the background piece of felt to 8.5″ x 8.5″. On a flat surface, lay background piece flat and weave the strips together to form the board on top of the background. This can be done by weaving over and under, and centre the board on the background piece so that you have a background border of about half an inch.

Stich the pieces down with a wide zigzag strip, going around the pieces that have been woven to make the board. Make sure to test each strip when you’re done to make sure they won’t pull up, especially ones hidden by the edge strips. Give the edges a second go over if you’re finding anything pulling.

For your tokens, use a quarter or another 1″ circle and trace 12 circles on each of the two different colours of felt you chose for your pieces. Cut the circles just on the inside of your traced lines so you don’t see the ink. Attach your buttons to the circles either sewing by hand or using hot glue. The felt tokens will cling to the board and when they are kinged, you can flip them over and put the two felt sides together and they should cling there as well.

You can follow the directions on the page for a drawstring bag, and there are directions here for a fabric bag. You might also just want to stick this in a little ziplock bag, and be done with it, if you’re anything like me.

Another interesting take on something like this would be to print symbols for chess, and glue them to round buttons (instead of anything else) on the pieces. You could even make two sets of tokens, one for chess, one for checkers.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


DIY Personalized Mouse Pads

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Good morning Crafthackers!

I have for you a DIY for he men in your life. Whether it’s a birthday or a groomsmen gift, finding hand made gifts that work for men can be a challenge. What I love about this tutorial, as the original writer states (who is a gentleman), is that it’s gender neutral. So you can customize it for whomever you’d like to give it to, but that makes it perfect for a gift for a gentleman.

This is a tutorial for a hand printed mouse pad (you can find the original here). Perfect for gamers, tech lovers, and people who work at a computer. You’ll need some supplies for this. You’ll of course need an 8″ round, blank mouse pad. For your own ease of work, I would probably choose ones that don’t have the wrist rests, and I would probably choose white, so you can do whatever other colour you would like, and it will show up easily. You will also need 8.5 x 11 full sheet labels, a computer and printer, a craft knife/box cutter and cutting surface, a textile acrylic paint and stencil brush (which is available at craft stores, and iron and wax paper.

Your first step is to choose your design from a template that you can find online (check out this website here) or you can design your own if you’re artsy that way, and print it onto the label paper. Secoondly, you’ll need to choose your colour palate, and a lighter colour for the background is recommended, and a darker one for the foreground image. You will need to use the stencil brush to apply a base layer of colour.

While this coat dries, you can use this time to cut out the grey images of your template.

Make sure to keep the white images that you cut out though, as they will be the resist for the top layer of colour.

Peel the backing layer off the largest piece, and carefully adhere it to where you would like it to be on the mousepad. Using the template to refer back to, place the other pieces on the mousepad so that you have a replica of the original image on the mousepad.

Mix your top colour to your satisfaction and using a stencil brush, use quick dabs to apply the paint. Wish stencilling, you don’t want to have massive quantities of paint on your brush. It’s better to go with less to get the sharper lines. Remember, you can always go over the design a second time to make sure the area is covered.

When the paint is dry, cover the mouse pad with two layers of wax paper and iron on medium high heat (or follow the package directions) to set the ink.

And that’s it! Now, keep in mind that if you’re wanting to add other colours, that you can do that in any of the negative spaces. You’re not limited to one colour.

Hope you enjoyed this cool tutorial. Happy crafting!

~Megan


Burlap Candle DIY

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers.

I’ve found a lovely DIY for you that’s a lovely little gift that you can personalize for any occasion. I’ve used this tutorial as a reference from DIY Beautify.

You will need a few basic supplies that you can find at any craft store. You’ll need a large cylindrical glass vase that is large enough to showcase your ribbon and be an appropriate size for a candle holder. Remember you can make them big enough for pillars, or small enough for tea lights. You’ll need some wide burlap ribbon. You might be able to find this edged in something pretty, and if not, you can beautify it yourself with some inspired trim and a glue gun. You’ll also need some black acrylic paint, a stiff stencil brush, craft vinyl and transfer paper.

The original poster does this tutorial with a die cut machine or silhouette machine that’s often used for scrapbooking and other paper crafts. If you don’t have one though, you can always cut a stencil that’s a little less delicate and easier to work with and use that instead.

First. you will need to create your design. You can do this yourself or if you’re not super digitally crafty, you can use Pic Monkey. You can also use other programs online or find a design you are fond of. Keep in mind if you’re wanting to do a wedding specific monogram, there’s an order to the initials. It should be the wife’s first name initial, the husband’s last name initial, then the husband’s first name initial.

Your next step is to cut your design out on craft vinyl. This will mean that you’ve measured, saved and printed your image to cut it out on the vinyl, or that you’ve done your own creative work. The vinyl will be discarded as it’s just a stencil, but the transfer paper is what’s important, and if you’re unsure of how to use it, here’s a tutorial. Use the transfer paper. Please keep in mind this isn’t a necessity, but it does help make it easier to keep everything centred and where you want it to be. It also allows  you to keep all the small pieces where they need to be for the very fine stenciling.

The colour of the vinyl doesn’t matter as we’re creating a stencil that will get discarded. This is a super easy way to get the design transfered to the burlap all in one piece. Using the photos above, 1. Use transfer paper to remove your design from the cuting matt. peel all the positive space away from your vinyl, leaving the negative space to give you a stencil. 2. Lay the stencil (which is still on the transfer paper so you can centre it with ease) on the burlap and burnish well. Gently and slowly peel the transfer paper away from the vinyl while making sure all the pieces stay behind. 3. Using the acrilic paint and brush, stencil the design. Use minimal paint for a crisp design. 4. Make sure the whole area is covered with paint before you peel and discard.

When your paint is dry, use a glue gun to affix your ribbon to the vase.

You can fill the vase with whatever you’d like to make it beautiful. Sand, rocks, coffee beans, fish tank pebbles. Whatever you think will look nice. Coffee beans and a vanilla candle can make some beautiful aromas though.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial!

Happy crafting!

~megan


DIY: Birdseed Wedding Favours

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Hello Thursday Crafthackers!

Wedding season is coming up and if you’re getting married, and haven’t taken care of your favours yet, not to worry! Here’s a DIY from Intimate Weddings that is simple, easy and super sweet.

All you’ll need is 3/4 cup of flour, 1/2 cup water, an envelope of unflavoured gelatin (2.5 teaspoons), 3 tbsp corn syrup, 4 cups of birdseed. You will also need some tools. A large mixing bowl, a heart shaped cookie cutter (or whatever shape you would like), nonstick spray, a chopstick or bamboo baking skewer (for hole poking), parchment paper, a cookie sheet and jute or raffia or whatever string/ribbon you’d like to use to hang your feeders (you can go rustic or match your colours). You’ll also need some card stock, a rubber stamp (with your message on it), ink, a rounded corner punch and a hole punch. Be aware, this will make approximately 20 two inch hearts.

 

Mix flour, water, gelatin and corn syrup. Add birdseed and mix well.

Lubricate the inside of the cookie cutter with your spray (or wipe it with oil), Place the cookie cutter on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and spoon the mixture inside of the cookie cutter and press the mixture firmly with greased fingers. Make sure it’s tightly packed, as the tighter it is, the less shedding you will have.

 

Use your skewer or chopstick to poke a hole near the top of the heart to thread your string through.

Carefully pull cookie cutter away from birdseed heart.  Repeat until all the mixture is used up.You should respray the cookie cutter after every six hearts, that way it won’t stick.

 

Let them dry for 6-8 hours or overnight. Cut 10-12 inches of jute/whatever you chose for each heart. String the jute through the heart and add your tag. You can use the rubber stamp (your choice), your card stock, and the rounded corner punch to create your tags. Tie the jute into a knot after you have added the tag. They’re ready to be hung from branches at the wedding or you can put them on the table inside bags or boxes. It’s useful to note you should make these no more than a few days ahead of time, otherwise they may molder if they’re left for long periods of time.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan.


DIY Ring Bowls.

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Hey Thursday Readers!

Still being in the throws of wedding season, I thought another DIY gift would be in order. You can make something like this for a shower before the wedding so that the couple can use it on the day of their wedding, or it can be a gift for after that they can leave by the sink to put rings in while we wash dishes. This project was taken from Intimate Weddings, so feel free to check the full tutorial here.

For this beautiful and simple project, you’ll need:

  • 795 gram package of White Oven Bake Clay (which should be available at any local craft store.
  • Letter Stamps (also should be easy to find at a craft store)
  • Rolling Pin
  • Bamboo stock or chopstick for to use as an awl to poke holes.
  • Lid to cut out the shape (like a lid for a tub of ice cream)
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Parchment paper.
  • A smallish oven safe bowl (like Pyrex)
  • Spray sealant and paint for finishing if you would like it.
  • A fabric doily

Your first step is to form your dough into a ball and place it on the parchment or silicone liner. Roll your dough out with your rolling pin until it is about 1/4 inch thick.

Place your fabric doily where you would like it to appear (you can put it in the centre or off to the side and either way it would look fabulous). Roll your rolling pin over top of it to press the design into the clay.

Use your lid to establish how big your bowl will be and to use it as a centre point to choose where to put your letters. You can do initials, or names, you could even do a small poem if your letters are small.

When you’re ready to cut the shape, peel off your doily to reveal the beautiful imprint.

Use your lid to cut the clay and form your circle. Save any excess clay for future projects.

After you remove the clay and the lid, you’ll have a circle that’s ready to be moulded into a bowl.

Use your awl tools to poke two holes at the top of the plate if you’re thinking of giving this as a ring bearer bowl at a wedding. You can omit these if it’s to be used as a ring dish at the sink or elsewhere.

Next you need to form your birds (if you’re making birds) or any other accents that you would like. If you’re making something you’d like to have stand on the side of the dish, use an existing dish to form the clay underneath them so they will be easy to adhere to the bowl.

Place your soft clay plate into the bottom of your oven safe bowl. Remember, it should be big enough to create a bowl, but not so small that your bowl is a teacup.

Place oven-safe bowl (and birds) on a cookie sheet and put into the oven for approximately 30 minutes (use the baking directions on the package, please!). When it’s done, remove from oven and let cool inside bowl for 20 mins. When cool, turn bowl over. It should pop right out.

Sand down the edges of your bowl until they are nice and smooth, as well as your birds. A sandpaper sponge would be ideal for this as opposed to regular old sandpaper. Use a little superglue to adhere your birds to the dish.

And you’re done! Well. If you’re inclined to paint your project, now would be the time, or add accents in paint or gold leaf or anything fancy like that. If you’re adding extra touches at the end, or if you’re going to be having this dish be for ring removal when you’re washing, I would make sure to use a good spray sealant so that the paint is sealed on, and the water can’t get in.

and you’re done! A beautiful gift, that takes just a little creativity.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Put a Cork in it: DIY Etched Wine Cork Shadowbox

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers.

I have a tutorial for you this morning on making your own etched shadow box from Sometimes Homemade. As an FYI, this isn’t a tutorial for creating a shadow box, but there are plenty of tutorials online. Just keep in mind if you’re making one, to leave an opening at the top to pop corks inside. This tutorial is going to focus on glass etching a box that has already been put together, and you can find them online or at craft stores. Just remember to look for a top loading shadow box, otherwise, you’ll need to drill a hole for the corks to be dropped in.

This is a great gift for any wine drinker, as not only does it preserve their great wine drinking memories, but it looks pretty awesome as a piece of art, too. You’ll need some supplies which you may have to visit a craft store for, anyway. You’ll need the top loading shadow box (make sure to get one big enough to hold a number of corks – 12×12 is a decent size), etching cream (Martha Stewart is easily found at craft and hobby stores, and might come with a brush), a medium sized craft paint brush, rubbing alcohol and cotton balls or cloth, and lastly, a stencil. You may also want a box cutter to cut out finer details on your stencil, depending on what you’ve chosen.

The stencil is the cool part. This is one that you can design yourself or print out something to personalize your gift. If it’s a wedding gift, you can monogram the box with the bride and groom’s initials, or give them a logo to go with their last name. You can do this freehand, or if you’re handy with the computer. You can also find lots of different printable stencils online, so make sure to do your research for what you’d prefer to do on this one.

For your first step, you should clean the glass with the rubbing alcohol and cotton, and allow to dry thoroughly. While it dries you can cut out your stencil and temporarily adhere it to the glass where you would like it to be.

Apply a thick and even layer of the etching cream to the glass that is exposed through the stencil. You are going to want it thick, so apply at least two thick layers, if not more. Only put the etching cream where you want the etching cream. You can’t really remove the effects once it gets put on the glass. After the cream is dry/set, about 15-20 minutes (see directions on your product) you can rinse away the residue and you should come out with etched glass underneath. If you’ve missed spots or it isn’t as etched as you like, you can go over your spots a second time and repeat the process.

And you’re done! A personalized, super cool way to give a really neat and affordable gift that is sure to impress.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY: Aged Canvas Prints

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I bring to you a lovely little tutorial. Given that we are coming into the season of weddings and birthdays, I though that this is something you can do to make a fairly impressive gift that is personalized and awesome. I found this tutorial at A Beautiful Mess and I love that you’re able to do this on a canvas. It’s super impressive!

You will need a few supplies. You’ll need a stretched canvas (8×10 is nice, and you can find these at craft and sometimes dollar stores), a gel medium (like Liquidex), a paint brush and a laser copy of the image you’re wanting to transfer. You’ll also need a spray bottle filled with water.  Your next step is to paint your canvas with the gel, and be generous. Next you will need to press the photo copy onto the canvas and let it dry for few hours, or overnight if you have the time.

After the image dries, use the spray bottle to get the top of the paper wet again, and then rub the surface with your fingers until the paper starts to come away. This will reveal your (mirrored) image underneath. Just be careful not to rub too vigorously, as it might remove the image rather than just the paper. Remove all the paper this way until you can see the whole image. Cover the canvas with an extra coat of the gel medium to seal and protect it.

Remember, that your image may not come out perfectly. In fact, it will probably have a number of spots where the image didn’t transfer exactly, but this is a project where rustic is the name of the game. So that’s kind of the idea. This is a great gift idea for any wedding, or any other occasion where pictures make a great gift but you want to give something just a little bit more.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


Rowe’s Fashion: Unique Canadian Designs.

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers!

This morning, I present to you a clothing company that designs, cuts, sews and patterns from Canada. As someone who does the same and feels that businesses have a responsibility to contribute back to their own economy, this alone is a hugely attractive quality. When you buy a piece of their clothing, it means not only are you spending your money on a quality product which is supervised by those who have developed the company, but the money you spend is also going to pay your fellow Canadians, if it isn’t the same people who made it.

Rebecca Rowe is the founder of Rowe’s Fashions, and she not only worked throughout the retail industry, but also went to study first in New York City and then in Paris. She came back to Canada to start her own business with the help of her family. She works closely with the varying aspects of the company, working closely to have a good connection with her employees and also with the quality control of the clothing that is produced.

Having seen her product, I can tell you that they are designed for women, and for women of varying body shapes. She cuts curves into her patterns so that a fitted skirt is not just a sheath, it’s a piece that is cut to curve to your curves, giving shape to a piece that is so often without it.

Her styles are creative but wearable. I love that this is a designer who has thought about usability to build into the garments so that you’re not left with something that you don’t know how to wear or have no where to wear it. This is possibly one of my favorite qualities in a clothing designer, as, if I buy a piece of clothing or jewelry, I plan to wear it. And as often as I can.

Rowe Fashion has a website where you can purchase her wears and peruse photos. You can also read the full history of the designer and company in the About Us section. You can also find hand follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pintrest.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading about this designer and happy crafting, and happy shopping!

~Megan


Couth and Nail: Unique Jewels.

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have for you a jewelry designer who specializes in the unique and slightly macabre when it comes to jewelry. She had her work purchased for the tv show Winona Earp and creates some really interesting pieces to sell.

Skeleton key encased in quartz.

She started making interesting jewelry and trinkets out of leather and fabric for friends and family and then moved into making things out of metals, gemstones, wood and the remains of small insects and animals. All of her materials, however, are responsibly and ethically sourced and collected, and that means that her pieces are unique and that the same item may not be available at later dates.

I absolutely love the little touch of darkness to her work combined with the delicate flowers, the sparkle of gold leaf, or the shine of gemstone. It is such a beautiful and unique combination that you don’t see anywhere, and that will set her pieces apart from others.

A mink’s tooth set in a wristwatch – inspired by Victorian mourning jewelry.

She has so much to look at and she keeps producing all kinds of new things. You can peruse her wares available now at her Etsy shop, and you can also find photos and keep up to date with her latest creations on, Pintrest and on Facebook as well.

Check her out. There’s lots of stuff to look at from the dark to the light. Not only does she work with bones and small animals, but flowers as well.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Sheena’s Scottish Shortbread

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Good Morning Crafthackers.

This chilly morning, I bring to you the perfect thing for having with your nice hot tea or coffee. I don’t often run across food vendors when I go to markets and shows for makers but, as you can see, it does happen. I love when makers make food and bring them to craft shows. Not only because it’s a way to get some home made goodies made from family recipes out into the world, but as vendors, it can provide some delicious noms during the slow moments.May I present, Sheena’s Scottish Shortbread.

This particular set of noms comes from a 100 year old recipe that was literally passed down through the family. It is also a recipe that can be traced back to a Scottish origin, so these are true Scottish shortbreads. Not just that, they’re hand made, so you know that the secret ingredient going into the food is love. They also come in 3 flavours – original, lemon and maple.

You can buy these lovely shortbreads (I can tell you they’re lovely, I tasted them), at makers shows across the GTA, which you can find a list of here, something that’s pretty amazing is that when I talked with these ladies, they don’t just sell bags for your personal consumption. Orders can be put in to have wedding or shower favours made, or favours for some other kind of special occasion.

Be sure to check out their website, and their Facebook page for updates as to where they’re going to be and when as well as photos of not just the booth but new baked goods that are coming out of the kitchen.

Now that you’re hungry,

Happy Crafting!

~Megan