For the Host with the Most

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Happy Sunday, all!

Since the holidays are coming up and most of us are forced to interact with people we don’t see often, I thought an opportunity to bring the host/hostess a little handmade gift would be very appropriate. Some of these take longer than others to make and some make multiples at a time so if you have plenty of parties/get-togethers or just want to get a head start on some stocking stuffers or secret Santa gifts this may be the time to start! First up, for those that already have crochet implements, this crochet rope trivet is super sturdy, cute, and serviceable:

For those hot tea pots or even candles (especially if you include those in the gift, too).

It appears to be simple crochet but may take a little bit of muscle to get it through the loops. Next up is an idea for making their table a little prettier, some quick and easy sewn reversible napkin holders:

There’s also instructions on the site for a matching bias tape table runner.

If you have a little more time on your hands and are comfortable with the corner to corner method of crochet, then this Thanksgiving themed pillow set CAL that just released it’s last part of the pattern is for you:

So super cute and perfect for the season!

If you’d rather not assume their decorating style or give them something they are more likely to use, how about one of these neat little tea trees:

This is also a chance to get creative in finding tea bags in several colors.

Or even trying your hand at making these dip mix filled ornaments:

Whichever you choose or if you want to brainstorm on your own to suit your particular host/hostess, we all just want them to feel appreciated. Next week we’ll continue with some ideas for cooking/baking based host/hostess gifts that I’ve really wanted to try out!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


It’s Getting Cold Outside

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Happy Sunday, all!

It’s finally feeling like fall here in the Midwest US, so that means it’s also colder and damper. It usually stays pretty warm in our snug little condo until about mid-December when we try to avoid turning on the heat for as long as possible. But it still gets me to thinking about and planning for those times when I need some extra warmth for my extremely cold feet. First plan of attack is usually to cover with an extra blanket, the easiest being one of those tied fleece type ones. To help with that, Kim from A Girl and a Glue Gun has some excellent instructions and ideas for different types of quick fleece blankets:

Second cold foot defense would be to find something that actually covers the feet themselves. I’ve seen plenty of DIY mermaid tails snuggle sack patterns but I had yet to see a dino/dragon tail until now:

Thanks to Bernat and All Free Crochet, you too can have the long, luxurious spiky tail you’ve always wanted. Definitely a must to keep those feet toasty. Lastly, if you’ve got a little time on your hands and some extra fabric you could make these lovely pockets that are solely for warming your feet:

I’ve been wanting to make the foot warmer from Little Oak Creations ever since I posted about those rice/corn/flax hand warmers (A Hand Warming Experience). The top portion houses the recently heated packets and your poor cold feet go directly under them in the cushy bottom. Think warm thoughts and heat up some cocoa, everyone! Next week we’ll take a look at some cool DIY host/hostess gifts for the inevitable holiday parties.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Last Minute Mania

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Happy Sunday, all!

I know most of the Halloween parties probably took place last night but there are still some purists that celebrate on the day itself or some of those that would like to have more attendees and wait for the following weekend. So if you or even the kiddos have been invited and you still haven’t figured out that perfect costume, maybe one of these will spark your creativity.

First up is one of my absolute favorites for a couple from Creating Really Awesome Fun Things (not just because the Art of Chill came out this year), Bob Ross with Happy Tree:

Complete with Peapod the squirrel!

A lot of this, save the squirrel and magnificent hair could come from your own closet, which I love. Simple, yet effective. Other accessories could include an easel and painting if you feel so inclined!

My second pick comes from another wonderful childhood memory (and not JUST because the memes on the subject have been fantastic), this DIY Arthur tutorial from LaurDIY:

I would definitely encourage some red Chuck Taylors and a backpack to complete the look.

A warning on that tutorial – she is VERY perky so I would recommend having at least one cup of coffee in you if you are watching early in the morning (not that I learned that from experience or anything). Ultimately it’s really a tutorial for the ears, which could be used for a variety of other possibilities as well.

Third up is a truly terrifying costume…and by terrifying I mean if you are an animal lover and a Pixar fan. Because Amy from Amy Ever After has come up with a brilliant Darla from Finding Nemo costume, complete with tutorial:

The horror! Just don’t use a real fish, please.

I may honestly have to try that one in the future. Brings back fond memories of the year the husband and I went as Vanellope Von Schweetz and Wreck It Ralph:

Pardon the crappy lighting and Ralph trying to look grumpy.

I used this tutorial from The Lovebugs Blog for the tights and movie screen shots for reference on the other pieces. It was super fun to make and took only the bare minimum of sewing (for the bright pink yarn on the hoodie).

One of my most favorite things about Halloween costuming is the kiddos because, let’s face it, they are just too cute. Like this amazingly adorbs scuba diver costume for toddlers from Ali Schroeder:

OMG, the binkie attached to the “oxygen tank” and the tiny flippers. I can’t even, you guys.

Or this equally sweet, freaking darling snail costume from Oh Happy Day:

If you have any brown packing paper laying around from your last Amazon order, this is a great way to upcycle!

The last one I have to offer today literally made me giggle with delight. My fellow hackers, this Little Dude costume from Skirt As Top is something I keep in my heart as #parentlifegoals:

This is definitely my El Duderino of choice.

While it is not a full tutorial, she does make mention of the pattern used for the bathrobe (if you feel like doing a little bit of quick sewing) and the other pieces seem easy enough to find.

So there you have it, folks! I did sort through a ton of “last minute” lists in my search so there are plenty out there. Whatever you choose to dress up as, stay safe and have a wonderfully spooky Halloween!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


The Festive Portal

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Happy Sunday, all!

It’s a little more than a week until the big day! Since I still live in a condo, my decorating capacity is rather limited so I tend to gravitate towards door and window décor, which might explain why I’m the one that posts the most about wreaths. Hopefully it comes as no surprise, then, that this week I found some door décor tutorials that I simply must try out! First up is something adorably creepy, this Monogram covered in googly eyes from Craft Cuts:

Now I finally have a use for my googly eye collection, besides putting them on random things and laughing.

While we are on the slightly creepy route, I quite like how all of these are also very cost effective to make, including this dollar store skeleton hands wreath from Tried and True:

A round of applause for this neat wreath!

If you’d like a little more elegance but still keep the spookiness, this tulle wreath from Our Best Bites is just the thing:

And if you feel like adding a spider instead of a raven, you do you!

Finally, because fandoms are kind of our thing on Craft Hackers, a little Nightmare Before Christmas action from Thrifty Fun:

This is DEFINITELY Halloween.

I don’t know which one it will be, but I will certainly be adding one to my personal collection (pending what the dollar store has to offer). Since the weekends before and after Halloween are usually reserved for parties, next week we’ll take a look at some great ideas for last minute costumes!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Loot Carriers Made Easy

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Happy Sunday, all!

Last week I promised some DIY loot bag ideas and these will not disappoint! 3 of the 4 do involve sewing but they are all pretty easy to make, even for those new to sewing. The first one up is a very simple box bottom bag done in fun Halloween print from Almost Supermom:

Best part is making them to suit the size you want…for more loot.

I think they are super cute and will give everyone some more practice on the basics. Now you’ll have the pattern for a basic box bag! Bonus! Plus the fabric selection is completely up to you – so if your kiddos want a bag to match their costume, there is plenty of fabric out there to choose from (like those new Star Wars fabrics we mentioned?). The second has a similar tutorial but on a much cheaper scale. So if you are trying to save a little money by making your own trick or treat bags, this bandanna bag tutorial from 2 Little Hooligans is the right choice for you:

I am NOT a fan of candy corn but I do love that bandanna pattern.

I think that one is also super cool for customizing as I’ve seen all kinds of themed bandannas out there. Again, this does not have to be used solely for Halloween purposes. Super awesome bandanna bags for all occasions! The third one is interactive and kind of creepy. This “sticky” spider web loot bag from Merriment Design has just the right amount of fun for the little ones:

They also make flies and other bugs that the spiders could have “trapped”…just sayin’.

I love the innovative use of the Velcro to bump up the play factor. The fourth one I found is for those of us that either don’t know how to sew or would rather let our sewing machines have a break after rocking out some amazing costumes. This duct tape bag from Dukes and Duchesses looks simple and useful:

Plus this one is guaranteed to be fairly waterproof in case Halloween is a bit damp.

I’ve seen all kinds of cool, creepy, or even shiny types of duct tape that could be used for those. Hope you’ve enjoyed our festive romp through DIY bags this week. May your bag overfloweth this Halloween season!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


A Glance into the Future

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Happy Sunday, all!

Today I have for you a DIY project that is just too cool not to share and (of course) it’s a bit creepy! From Bev at flamingotoes.com, I give you spooky crystal ball candlesticks:

They don’t HAVE to be creepy but they sure look good when they are!

I will say that you do need a few specialty items to make these look great like ink jet printable transparencies and good quality images but the original tutorial has a complete list and some resources for those images! Ultimately you’ll need: Inkjet Transparency film, candlesticks, clear holiday bulbs, hot glue, a candle, and the crystal ball shape pattern.

It starts with printing the images on to the transparency film and cutting them into the crystal ball shape:

Eye see some other great ideas in your future!

Make sure that the little tab at the bottom is included as that will become important in another step. But first, the crystal ball should look a little smoky so the next step is to light a candle and let the smoke drift up into your clear bulb:

Use extreme caution! It will get hot!

As it states in the tutorial, do this is stages so that you don’t burn yourself and the bulb does not shatter. After it is a lovely smoky shade and has cooled, it’s time to insert the image:

Also, make sure you are inserting with the tab facing out of the opening!

Once the image is inserted, the tab should be slightly sticking out so that you may glue it to the rim of the opening. This will make the image stand upright:

Thank goodness you remembered the tab, right?

Finally, it’s time to place it on your candlestick. I would definitely get a feel for the size of the rim to the size of your candlestick opening as you may have to use a little filler if the candlestick is bigger. If not, it’s still suggested that glue be applied for stability:

The eyes have it!

So there you are, some added sophistication and creep factor in your decorating this season. Next week we’ll take a look at some DIY treat bags for the kiddos.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Apothecary Accents

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Happy Sunday, all!

It’s October!!! Hopefully you know what that means around here…if not, be prepared for fall/Halloween posts galore! To start us out, I wanted to showcase a craft I’ve been wanting desperately to try out: DIY apothecary jars! I’ve always loved the look of the apothecary jars you can purchase from big box stores but the price tag and possibility of cats knocking over my precious purchases often discouraged me. Now, thanks to this lovely tutorial from Ria’s World of Ideas, I won’t feel half as bad if I make my own from dollar store items:

For fall, there are a wide array of fillers to choose from. If you like to keep it classy and colorful, some fall leaves and pinecones (perhaps with some hidden pumpkins) would look wonderful.

Plus it makes for a great “I Spy” game!

Or keep it classic by throwing some seasonal gourds into one.

I love weird shaped gourds for some reason.

Or keep it natural with some acorns, pinecones, and bits of wheat.

Just make sure if you harvest your own acorns/pinecones, that you check for any little buggy “friends” that may tag along on them.

Let’s be honest here, though. If it’s me we are talking about, there will be some kind of creepy element added to these jars, more than likely some skulls.

Ah, eyeballs and skulls, that’s more like it.

I’ve seen plenty of posts that include different arrays of colorful beans (natural or the jelly kind), Halloween candy, and mini terrariums that would also be amazing displays for the season. Bring a little bit of those fall colors inside!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Beautiful and Spooky

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Happy Sunday, all!

I know I hinted at some fall décor in the next post but then something came across my feed that I simply HAD to share. These amazing little embroideries and artwork from French artist Petrichor are something that should be sought out and purchased immediately:

Not only does she hand embroider each of the delightful, dark images on the pins but many of her pieces of one of a kind. She also has an impressive line of lino-printed keepsake boxes:

So lovely and perfect for storing all of your precious bits and bobs.

Her main line of artwork is just as gorgeous, with more wonderfully witchy prints to be had:

These could arguably be considered fall décor but I’m more inclined to keep them up all year round.

If you fancy yourself some spooky items to adorn your walls or yourself, she can be found on her website, Etsy, Facebook, and Instagram. Please note that she also does custom designs! Also note that she is based out of France so some of her pages are in French.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Tons of Tentacles

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Happy Sunday, all!

I’m not sure how much I have expressed my love of all things with tentacles. I am also not sure where this obsession started, save perhaps vague memories of the large octopus sculpture at the Shedd Aquarium. So I figured this week I would highlight some of the lovely pieces of cephalopod paraphernalia I’ve come across lately. First up being all of these wonderful clay pendants from Indolent Jellyfish:

The teeny pink dumbo octopus is soooooooooo cute! I also adore the sweet purple octo and the awesome vampire squid. The artist also has a plethora of very life-like nudibranchs, nautilus, cuttlefish, and (of course) jellyfish. I would like one of each, please. Up next, I wouldn’t mind giving our living room a bit of a bump with some gorgeous pyrography from Glenouther Crafts:

The patterning and shading really makes it!

Or perhaps if you or someone you love has a special occasion coming up (or maybe an important interview), consider one of these beautiful ties from one of my all time favorites, Cyberoptix:

It comes in the shade of your choice, of course.

Last but most definitely not least, I present a mug I’ve been lusting after ever since they made their debut…tentacle mugs from Dryad Pottery:

I love the blue ones best.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tentacle-y romp this Sunday, next week will be a perfect time to start thinking about fall décor (yes, I can’t believe it’s that time, either).

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Yarn Project Totes

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Happy Sunday, all!

As we are at GenCon this week, once again I thought we could take a look at travel totes but this time around focusing on yarn projects. The issues I usually run into when bringing along my crochet projects often include tangled yarn and/or carrying the right hooks (but not all of my hooks), so I’ve been looking in to DIY patterns to solve these or at least reduce them.

This first one from SewMamaSew is an all-inclusive type that can fit at least a couple skeins of yarn and has pockets for both patterns and other utensils (hooks, stitch markers, etc.):

This second one from JustCraftyEnough could be placed inside of a larger tote for portability because it definitely solves any tangling possibilities. I really love the idea of essentially having a portable yarn bowl:

This last one from CherishedBliss is probably my favorite, not only because of the clever graphic but also because of the clever construction with multiple grommets and pockets:

 

I hope these inspire many happy traveling craft shenanigans.

Stay crafty!

~Laura