DIY: T-Shirt Rug

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I came across this tutorial and loved it because it reminds me of old rugs that grandparents had and it is a great way to upcycle your old tshirts. The original tutorial can be found here at My Poppet and your supplies are pretty minimal. I’ve posted some pictures here but be sure to visit the original tutorial for lots of other shots!

So, to prep, you’ll need to cut your t-shirts into 2″ strips to make into “yarn”. If you are mixing thinner and thicker fabrics, cut the thinner t-shirts into wider strips so that they will be a little more substantial. Here is a tutorial to follow if you have not made t-shirt yarn. And roll your yarn into balls. You can absolutely make a ball of yarn per t-shirt.

Work with the yarn like you would braid some hair. You can choose if you want to braid and sew the rug as you go, or if you want to finish all the braiding before you sew. To start and change colour you can either sew your strips of fabric together or use a no sew option of making a little hole in one strip and looping the other colour through.

When you’re braiding, think about how you want the rug to look – for solid bands of colour, two of the three strands of braid should be the same or similar colour. If you want a more random look, you can do whatever combination you like.

You can sew a circular or oval rug. For circular, start rolling from one end. For oval, circle around a straight length of your braid. The initial length will determine the final shape, so adjust accordingly. When you lay out and sew your rug, run the new braids clockwise around the rug so that you will always have a small piece of fabric in the space underneath your machine. Start sewing where the arrow is pointing (see photo) and use the widest zig zag stich and a medium stitch length.

Push together the edges of the braid and use the zig zag stitch to hold them to each other. When you get to the first turn (the first end), loop the braid around, and tuck the start of the braid underneath and sew around it to fasten the end. Continue sewing around until you have the size that you like!

Finally, to finish off the rug, just tuck the end under and sew it so that it will be held in place.

And there’s a lovely tshirt rug and it’s a great way to use some old clothing.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


DIY: Valentines Day Ornaments

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a couple small tutorials for you for making some Valentine’s day ornaments. I think that it’s a neat idea to have a little “tree” where you can hang themed ornaments. Now we’re not talking a Christmas tree. I mean branches gathered into a vase to give you a bare tree. My mother always has done those and I just love the idea of themeing those trees to the season. So here are a couple wee tutorials that are super cute and pretty easy to dress up the trees.

This first one is from Dozi Design and you can find the original tutorial here, as this will be a condensed version of it.  Basically you will need some coloured construction paper of your choice, and you will need to cut a 4″ x 4″ circular spiral – you can also make different sizes for different flower sizes.

You’ll need to cut out your spiral and then begin rolling it up to look like a rose starting from the outside, rolling to the middle, and then gluing it closed. Just make sure you’ve left enough room in the centre for it to be popped onto a branch.

The second tutorial is from Some the Wiser and the original tutorial can be found here. In this tutorial, you will be using a corn starch glue to mould some yarn ornaments. You will need yarn of your choice of colour cut into 12 inch pieces, heart shaped cookie cutters in the sizes of your choice, parchment paper and ribbon. You’ll also need to make a corn starch glue which is done by combining 1/4c of cornstarch with 1/2c of water and some glitter of your choice. Combine the cornstarch and water in a saucepan and stir until smooth. Heat over medium heat, constantly stirring until it’s thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, stir in 1-2 tbsp of glitter and allow it to cool enough so it’s cool to the touch. If the glue becomes too thick, just add water a tsp at a time until it is easier to work with.

Lay your cookie cutters on parchment, and when your glue is warm, rather than hot, coat a piece of yarn with the glue. pull the yarn through your fingers to remove any large clumps and then arrange your yarn in the cookie cutters. Keep adding gluey yarn to the heart until it’s the thickness you’re looking for.

Add more glitter,and then remove your heart mould. Repeat until you have as many hearts as will fit on your parchment paper (that’s on a cookie sheet). Place in a warm oven (150 degrees F) for 2-3 hours until the hearts are hard. Remove from the cookie sheet, let them cool, then string them up to decorate with ribbon.

Hope you enjoyed these quick and easy ornament tutorials.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY Valentine’s Day Wreath

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

Valentine’s Day is just one day that doesn’t get a lot of decorating opportunities around the home since it isn’t one where we really decorate the outsides of our homes. Where we like to keep things classy, I love to see a little touch of holiday decor around this gloomy time of year. So for today I have a really neat tutorial for making a heart shaped wreath out of dyed coffee filters, so not only is it pretty and fluffy, it’s also cost effective and the materials are easy to find. The original tutorial can be found here from Bye Bye Soccer Mom.

There’s some materials and tools you’ll need: A large piece of cardboard (think old boxes), a utility knife, pencil, a medium glass or plastic container for the dye bath, a Phillips head screwdriver, needlenose pliers, a package of 8-12 basket style coffee filters, some red poster paint or watercolour, a craft brush, ribbon or yarn for hanging and some strong tape.

Your first step is to prep your dye-bath.  Fill your bowl with water about 1 inch deep and dip your brush in red paint. Rinse it in the dye bath water. Divide your package of coffee filters into a few separate batches (they can be stacked in the batches, but you don’t want to do them all at once) and place them upside down in the dye bath, and then remove them immediately for a nice ombre.

Load your wet brush with a little paint and touch up the edges of the still damp filters so that there will be more pronounced colour on the edges. Put the batches of filters somewhere to dry for at least several hours, or overnight if you can.

Using the knife, cut out your heart shape on the cardboard (you can use an outline shape or a solid shape, as you prefer), and poke holes with the screwdriver about 1.5 inches apart, all over your base. You can use the pencil to mark where you’d like them.

With your pliers, widen each hole to about one quarter of an inch in diameter to make it easier to put the filters into them. You can also skip this step and use hot glue instead, it just depends on your preference. Separate your dry filters and make flowers by pinching the middle and twisting.

Feed these flowers through the holes in your cardboard.

Continue this step until you’ve filled in all the holes, and you’re done! Attach a piece of ribbon if you’d like to hang it or you can have it resting on a bookshelf.

Where red or pink is beautiful for Valentine’s day, keep in mind you can do other colours and other shapes. You could add glitter, or whatever else you can think of.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


DIY Dinosaur Serving Dish

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Good morning, Thursday folks!

I’ve got a cute little DIY for you. I saw this as I was browsing earlier this week and said to myself, “Self, we would use one of those, wouldn’t we?” Well. Who doesn’t need a dinosaur serving plate?

The materials are simple, and can be found at second hand and craft stores. You’ll need a hard plastic dinosaur toy (it has to be sturdy and balanced so that it can be useful), a small melamine plate, sandpaper, strong adhesive, spray paint of your choice, a hand held saw and parchment paper for lining the plate (for food safety reasons). You can find the original tutorial here at Three Little Monkeys Studio.

First, use the saw to cut off the dino’s head just above the shoulders. Try to keep your cut level and use the sandpaper to smooth the cut edges. Also use the sandpaper to score the surface on the top and bottom of your plate so that your adhesive will hold better and have something to grip to.

Apply your adhesive to the body and plate (use the manufacturers directions on your adhesive, as some may want you to let it set before adhering). When you’re ready, attach the plate to the body and allow to cure for 24 hours. When everything has dried and cured, do the same for the dino’s head.

When you’re dry, you can start painting. If you’re feeling super creative, you can do multiple colours, designs of your own, or you can use your favorite spray paint in your favourite colour. A white dino plate is chic. A silver dino plate might be out of this world!

Happy crafting!

Megan

 

 


DIY Stained Glass Votive Candle Holders

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Good morning, hacky friends! Happy start of the week to you all! I hope that you all had a restful weekend (but if it wasn’t restful, I hope it was at least productive).

By now, you all know how much I adore DIY projects and refurbishing things around the house. Well, this weekend, I decided to try out an idea to make your own stained glass votive candle holders. This is a very inexpensive way to decorate for whatever occasion you want. All you need are the following items:

  • Tissue Paper
  • Matte finish Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Glass Containers that hold votives
  • Paper Punches (optional)
  • Q-Tips (optional)

You can pick up glass containers that fit votive candles at any Dollar Tree. But look around your house too. You never know when and where you will find the perfect items to rehab.

First, you want to cut out your shapes from your tissue paper. You can use the scissors to make you own shapes or paper punches to save some time or if you want a more uniform look. Once you have those cut out, set them aside.

Next, scoop out a bit of the Mod Podge with your paintbrush. You can use school glue if you can’t get your hands on Mod Podge. Thin it out very slightly with some water (don’t add too much water or it will saturate your tissue paper, causing it to tear more easily). Place the tissue paper onto your glass and gently affix with the Mod Podge. Be patient and gentle brushing the Mod Podge on or your tissue paper will tear. Once you have your shapes affixed how you want, let the object dry completely.

The dried Mod Podge will give any portion of glass without tissue paper a frosted appearance. If you don’t like or want that, take a Q-Tip and some hot water and scrub the glass sections clean. of the Mod Podge.

Once complete, place a votive candle into the glass, light it and enjoy. You can make holiday specific ones or just everyday decoration. These also make great centerpieces for weddings and banquets. As projects go, this one was easy and inexpensive and thankfully, did not turn into a “Pinterest Fail.”

Enjoy!

~Scribe Sarah~


DIY Doorstops out of Concrete Patio Stones

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It’s Monday, my friends, and today we’re going to talk about doorstops. If you’re like me, you live in an older building and while they do have tons of character, they may also have one other thing; uneven rooms. Most of the doors in my apartment don’t stay open when I want them to. What’s a girl to do?

Well, a girl can go to any home improvement supply store and pick up a few concrete patio stones. You can use regular bricks as well, but I like the patio stones for the shape. Having the wider bottom lends to creating some fun and interesting little characters to hold open your doors for you. However, I feel obligated to point out to you that you can paint regular bricks to look like books, which is also super fun decor (at least if you are a book nerd like myself).

What else might a girl need for this little project? A girl will need some acrylic paints and sealer. I highly recommend getting a large bottle of them at a place like Blick Art Supplies or Michael’s as these bricks are pretty large and you will most likely need more than one coat of paint. A girl may also choose to have decorative items such as ribbons, scraps of fabric, googly eyes, and felt on hand as well. And finally a girl will need paint brushes in many varying sizes and a hot glue gun. (If making these for outdoor use, make sure to get outdoor paint and varnish.)

I will now stop talking like a Faceless Man and move on to describing all the fun things you might want to do with your concrete patio stones. Since they are so easy to make and don’t cost a fortune, you can potentially make one for every holiday! Below are examples of Easter, Christmas, and Halloween.

     

But you don’t just have to stick with holidays. Maybe you really really REALLY like chickens? Or dogs? Maybe you want something special for the door to your new baby’s nursery. Perhaps you live on a farm, or run a dog shelter, or a daycare? These three examples would work great!

     

To make these adorable decorations, start by washing your concrete patio stone with soap and water, then let it dry completely. This removes any dirt or dust that may prevent the paint from sticking to the stone. Once the stone is dry, paint on a layer of the sealer so that your paints don’t “soak” into the stone’s pores. Next, you’ll add your first coat of paint. Since the sealer isn’t going to block off those pores completely, this is why you may need multiple coats of paint for a nice, smooth finish. You don’t have to paint both sides of the stone but you can if you want to.

For your pattern, you can either use graphite paper to transfer a traced pattern onto your stone (you can even purchase patterns from sites like The Winfield Collection) or you can free-hand your own pattern onto the painted stone with a pencil (use light strokes!). Use your pattern to paint on the details for your doorstop. Faces, spots, hands and feet…whatever your pattern calls for that you don’t think you’ll use other mediums to depict. Example of other mediums; wooden cut-outs of hands and feet that can be affixed to the stone and give it more of a three-dimensional feel. Once all of that is dry, put another coat of your sealer on to protect the design. If you are using other mediums (such as those cut-outs or the googly eyes or pacifiers), use your hot glue gun to attach these items once the sealer is completely dry. And that, as they say, is that!

Baseball players, brides & grooms, cows, turtles, ducks, cats… you name it, you can probably paint a concrete patio stone to look like it. The heft of the stones makes them perfect for pretty much any door in your house (unless you live in a castle, like Hogwarts). As with most of my posts, these are great gifts for people as well. They’re functional and fun. They’re ‘fun’-ctional! (Get it? I know, I know… that was such a dad joke. My father would be proud.)

Happy painting, crafty people!

~Scribe Sarah~


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

 


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


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.


Snow, Snow, Beautiful Snow

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Happy Sunday, all!

As the name of today’s post implies, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. We’ve only gotten a couple of light dustings so far here in the Midwest and I’m ok with it snowing from the end of November right up until the new year but then I’m done! So while I’m hoping for a little more of the flakes, I’ve gathered some cool (pun intended) snow-inspired decorations for the season. First up is one large but very easy way to get your fix, shiny popsicle stick snowflakes from Making Home Base:

Silver can certainly be an option, too!

For the second option, do you happen to have some clothespins sitting around with no clothes to hang (I do but then I am a noted craft supply hoarder)? Then how about turning them into some of these lovely glittery snowflakes from Eighteen25:

Yay glitter everywhere!

Ok, so let’s say you don’t have clothespins but what about wine corks? I have a whole big bag of them from Mom and the girls that are just screaming to be turned into these cute cork snowflake ornaments from Virginia Sweet Pea:

These are getting made for everyone…I have that many corks.

So far these mostly require adult supervision but I swear I have at least one kid friendly option. This is really adorable and a great idea for any shape – glitter snowflake window clings from One Little Project:

Seriously, can’t you imagine making your own Nightmare Before Christmas window scene like this?

Finally, because the classics can’t be discounted, what about paper snowflakes you may ask? Let’s take them up a notch and make some large 3D paper snowflakes with instructions from Handimania:

There are some great ideas through the link for different kinds of paper to use!

So there we are, hopefully this will keep us both happy until the real stuff descends from the heavens. Next week is right before the big day (I can’t believe it, either) so I’ll dig up some ideas for last minute but awesome wrapping ideas.

Stay crafty!

~Laura