DIY Casette Tape Wallet

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

This morning, I have a lovely DIY tutorial that works those retro stylings with a cassette tape wallet. Now, I know there are those of you around who have never seen a cassette tape in real life before but they do still exist! Raid your parent’s basements or you can find them at second hand stores or used music stores pretty easily.  By the way, I took this tutorial from Wonderful DIY and you can check out the original here.

Your tools are pretty simple: You’ll need glue (E600 is excellent as it will work on porous and non porous materials), and a screwdriver. You’ll also need some materials: a fabric zipper, scrap fabric, a disposable plate for mixing epoxy and a wooden stir stick, if you’re using a glue that is an epoxy.

Next, you’ll need to open your tape. If your cassette is screwed together, you can use the screwdriver to loosen the screws so the tape will come apart. If they’re welded with fasteners, gently pry the sides apart until the fasteners break. Be gentle and it should come apart just fine.

Empty the cassette of the tape and any other bits, and make sure that you take off anything extra with pliers or a box cutter. You basically just want the shell.

Measure your zipper. It should be the same length as three sides (the bottom long edge will basically be the hinge). Trim the zipper at the right length and sew the end so it doesn’t come off where you cut it. Glue the zipper around the edge of each side of the cassette.

Open the zipper, and start at one side and then the other, apply glue around the inside edges of the plastic and carefully press the outer fabric of the zipper into it. Make sure the side of the zipper with the pull is facing outwards so you can open and close your wallet when it’s done. Let everything dry.

Along the edge of the cassette that doesn’t have zipper attached to it, create a fabric pouch. This will help the wallet open and close. Unzip the wallet and lay the sides open and flat so the unglued sides lay parallel. To do this, measure a rectangle of fabric as long as the middle side. The strip should be about as thick as the zipper when it’s zipped. glue the pouch fabric in place and let it dry.

Cover the holes in the sides of the cassette by gluing paper or fabric over them. Cover the insides of the wallet. You can use graphic fabric or the paper booklet that came with your cassette. Let it dry. Test it, and make sure the zipper works.

Now you have a totally awesome retro wallet that you can reminisce about the good times with your friends when you pull it out of your back pocket.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY Colourful Suncatchers

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

Today is a special post because this is my last post as a single lady. In fact, I’ll be getting married tomorrow! So you’ll have to forgive the simplicity of the post but I wanted to find something colourful, beautiful and easy to match my mood. So I’ve got a really easy sun catcher tutorial that is just so cheerful that I couldn’t resist. The original tutorial is from Life In the Nuthouse, which can be found here with all the photos you might need.

So I love that this can be made into an upcycling project as you will need plastic cups. Look for ones that are clear and colourful, rather than just the red solo cups. So if you’re at birthday parties through the summer, maybe save some, or you can buy some at the varying places around that carry plastic cups :).  Look for type 6 recycling plastic as those will be the ones that will shrink down. You can buy ones for you to use or you can buy some to bring to parties and then reuse them.

First, you will need to start with clean cups and cut off the base.

Next you will need to punch two holes across from each other.

Preheat your oven to 250 Farenheit, and line your pans with parchment paper. Place the cups top side down. They won’t really melt too much, but leave a little room between them so they can collapse. If they aren’t completely flat, use a spatula right after you remove them from the oven to flatten them. If your oven is hot, it will only take 2 minutes for them to melt. Scoop them off and let them cool either on a cool pan or if you have a granite counter top, you can let them cool on there. Don’t use cookie racks or you’ll have indents.

When they’re cooled. use some string/yarn/fishing line to string them up with an outer circular layer and an inner one.

For the top of the chandelier, you can use any round plate but the packing boxes from clocks from Ikea can be repurposed and painted. Since the clock used was octagonal, 8 strands of discs made sense, as well as an inner ring of 8 for a total of 16 strands. The outer ring has 5 discs (one of each color) and the inner ring has 7 discs, so that they would hang down a little more.

Hang your strands how you like them, and for your last step, you can glue a last ring to the top of the sun catcher facing the ceiling (with a string hanging from the holes) so you can hang it. And voila, you have a cheerful, beautiful sun catcher.

Hope you guys enjoyed and as always…

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 

 

 

 


Friendship Bracelets

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When I was a kid, one thing I remember doing was sitting and hand-making lovely little bracelets that we called Friendship bracelets. I used to love doing that so I thought it would be fun to revisit. They are really easy to make, don’t require any additional tools (like needles or hooks) and can be made almost anywhere! Heck, I remember my sister sitting in the back seat of the family car on long road trips, her floss pinned to the knee of her jeans, braiding & knotting away as we traveled.

All you need for this project are the following items:

  • embroidery floss (thin yarn also works)
  • scissors
  • scotch tape or safety pins
  • tape measure

First step is to cut your floss. I always used to hold the floss in my left hand and measure it up to my shoulder (that’s how my mom taught me). But you can also measure the width of your wrist and multiple by 5 to get an appropriate length. This is going to seem really long but remember, you are braiding/weaving/knotting it so it will shorten the finished product. If you are using different colors for patterns, cut one stand with measure and then you can use that as a ruler for the other strands/colors!

Let’s just focus this post on easiest, basic beginner so we will only do six strands of floss and only three colors in one bracelet. Once your floss is cut, you will lay all three colors together and tie a knot into one end. Then adhere it to a table top or your pant leg or a pillow. Braid a simple braid three inches down (you will be doing this at the end of the bracelet too). After you have your 3 inches of braid, knot under the braid again.

 

Now to the detailed part of our bracelet! Choose what order you want your colors to go in. Example: I’m using yellow, green, pink, blue, orange and purple in that order. Arrange your floss in the order you want from left to right. The first row will be the farthest left-hand color. So my first row will be yellow, followed by green, then pink, then blue, then orange, and finally purple.

Take the first two strands (yellow and green) and pass the first strand OVER the second, then behind the same strand. Basically, you are knotting your first color around the second strand. Pull this up toward the top knot gently to tighten it. Don’t pull it super tight, just pull it up lightly so that it is knotted around the strand snug. Do this a second time on the same strand (there should be TWO knots on each strand). Follow these same steps for the rest of the row. So same snug knot of yellow around the pink strand, then the blue strand, then the orange strand, then the purple strand.

You will now have a row of yellow bumps across the top of your bracelet.

Start again at the left (this would now be my green strand) and do exact same steps across the row. Continue doing this until you have 3-4 inches of knotting done.

Once you have the amount of rows you need (roughly 3-4 inches worth), gather all the strands together and make a large knot (like we did at the very start). Then simply braid three more inches, knot again and snip excess floss from ends.

Voila! Friendship Bracelet Achievement Unlocked!

Happy crafting, friends!


DIY Spindle Windchimes

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

Last week I posted on a DIY for sun catcher wind chimes. This week, I have a tutorial for you from Confessions of a Serial DIYer on making some wooden wind chimes, and the full tutorial can be visited here.

I love wooden wind chimes for a number of reasons, but the biggest is probably the sound. Its pretty unique and you can use different wood types and lengths to make different sounds. The other part of this tutorial that I love is that the tools and materials are very simple.

For this project you’ll need spray paint in the colours of your choice, spindles from old chairs (for a good size). You can also use wooden dowels in various lengths for different sounds, or cut these ones to varying lengths. You’ll need fishing line, scissors, a drill and a very small drill bit (the size just needs to be big enough to drill holes through the wood for the fishing line) and super glue. For the hanging base, you will need a round piece of wood like the one pictured, but you can find bases like this attached to lamps or candle holders at thrift stores, or you can just buy a round disk of wood to use to the same end. You’ll also need a metal ring, the size is up to you, but you will just need something to tie your fishing line to so that you can hang your chimes.  Your last thing is a topper. it isn’t necessary, but it can be something you find in a thrift store, or something at home you’d like to repurpose.

Your first step is to spray paint your wooden parts. Please do this in a well ventilated area outside, and give them some time to dry.

When they’re dry, your next step is to drill tiny holes horizontally at the top of each spindle. For safety, wear safety glasses and have a spare piece of wood underneath where you’re drilling to catch the drill bit. This should keep you and your furniture safe.

Next, mark and measure where the spindles will hang on your base.  They should be hanging around the base in a circle, and be more or less equidistant from each other along the outer rim. The tutorial writer sanded everything to antique it a little, but this is a step that you can skip if it isn’t your preference.

Next, you can thread your spindles. Cut enough fishing line for each of your spindles. Cut half of the lengths at 12 inches, and half at 24 (so if you have 8 spindles, you’ll be cutting 4 and 4).

Thread the sorter string through the hole in the spindle, and then thread both ends through the top of the disk. Tie the string so that there’s a knot big enough not to fall through. If your holes are a little too big, you can thread a button onto the end and tie the thread around the button so that you basically have an easy peasy stopper.

With your 24 inch thread, thread it through the spindle and tie a couple knots a few inches up from the spindle before pulling it through the holes in the top piece – this will keep them from pulling through the top  and you can use the same trick with the button if your holes are too big.. Try to keep them hanging at about the same length as the 12 inch pieces, and then tie them to the ring when they’ve been threaded through.

Next, use superglue to affix your topper, whatever you’ve chosen it to be. Hang in your garden and enjoy!

Happy Crafting,

~Megan

 


DIY: Suncatcher Wind Chimes

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a really neat DIY project for you. I was looking around at DIY wind chimes, as I absolutely love them. I grew up with someone in my family who always had them, and though I can’t remember who it was, I am always transported back to that time. There’s quite a few different tutorials online for making your own wind chimes, and I might post another one next week. But I came across this:

… and I just fell in love with the idea of suncatcher wind chimes, and thanks to this tutorial from Hands On as We Grow, there’s an easy way to make them, and not just that, but to have it be a project that you can do with your kids. You will need some supplies to do this though: Contact paper (you will want transparent rather than a patterned one) that can be found at any craft store, and maybe even some kitchen stores, scissors, a marker or pen, rings (your choice of size) from mason jar lids, string or cord, and a sturdy stick. Outside of these materials, you will need to go in search of foliage to actually keep inside the suncatcher portion of these chimes.

Your first step (other than collecting flowers) is to cut a piece of contact paper and trace mason jar rings onto the paper side of the stuff. Do as many as you have the rings for. Then you’ll want to peel the adhesive off and – very carefully – lay it on the table with the sticky side up.

When you have your foliage where you would like it, peel the other contact paper, and try to stick it as smoothly as you can over your creation. Cut out the circles.

Tie a knot around the rings using the string, and then simply push the suncatcher circles into the ring. They might be the right size enough to fit, or you might have to tape them in place. Then just attach them to a stick to turn them into some beautiful windchimes to hang near your window.

Hope you enjoyed this easy and beautiful tutorial.

Happy Crafting,

~Megan

 


Small Kitchen? Maximize Your Space!

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Happy Monday, friends! First off, I apologize for my absence. Had a bit of a family emergency but everything is looking better now. So I’m back to provide you with some fun ways to organize your kitchen!

I’m going to brag for a moment. I have been blessed to live in a lovely, LARGE and affordable apartment in Chicago-land. There really is only one thing I don’t like about it and that is the size of the kitchen. I love to bake and am getting more into cooking as I age so the lack of counter space has been a real challenge for me. There is also fairly limited storage space. Because of this, I am always looking for ways I can make the most out of the least space.

One problem with my storage is that I LOVE coffee cups; the geekier, the better (which explains my absolute and total adoration of the lovely HandPainted Nerd whom I’ve featured on this very blog). But I find I am running out of room in my cabinet for all my pretties. Some of the mugs are larger than standard size too. So when I saw this wall mount, I thought, “What a gorgeous idea!” Not only would this clear up some cabinet space but it also creates some awesome decoration for my blank walls in the dining area and puts all my beautiful mugs on display.

I also don’t have a lot of under the sink space and this is where I keep both my garbage can and recycle bin (so my HeloKitteh can’t get into them). Right now, I have sponges, scrub brushes and extra rubber gloves along with bottles of cleaning solutions just sort of strewn about under there. However, with some adhesive hooks and plastic baskets attached to the insider of the cabinet drawers, all those sponges and gloves can be put in one, easy-to-reach spot and never get lost in the bowels of the under-sink. Using an adjustable curtain rod can give you a place to hang those bottles out of the way. Doing this allows me space to put my dish drainer under the sink when not in use and opens up a bit more counter space.

One other thing I struggle with is where to put my fruits and veggies. Sure, some of them go into the fridge but the majority don’t require refrigeration so they end up on my one already small counter top.

This is where the wonderful ModernMomLife comes to the rescue. This tutorial walks you though an easy and inexpensive way to get your produce up off the counter. And it looks great too!

But what about those fruits and veggies in the fridge? Some of our readers my have gorgeous new appliances with crisper drawers and the like. My fridge is older than God so it’s pretty much just wire racks. Solution? Office supply store! Plastic desk organizers can be re-purposed into your very own fridge separation and organization.

 

 

The other thing that takes up a lot of space in my kitchen are my baking and cooking supplies; namely the baking sheets, muffin tins, and pots & pans. Now, the pots and pans can nest and for the most part, don’t take up a lot of room. But those lids…there’s just no easy way to stack them. So I say, don’t even try! You can hang a magazine rack or even a metal towel rung onto the insides of your cabinet doors or a wall in the kitchen and just slide them onto it. For the cookie sheets and muffin tins, a simple wicker basket from Target will suffice and you can mount a floating shelf on a door (if you have high ceilings like me) to store it out of the way.

              

There are always very simple and easy solutions to maximizing your storage space. I hope today’s blog helped someone out there to really open up their kitchen.

Happy Organizing, people!


DIY: Upcycled Paper Wreath

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

If you’re living in a condo where decorating might need to be kept to a minimum, or in an apartment, or really anywhere where you have a front door that is safely kept away from all the elements, this paper wreath might be just the thing for you! It’s beautiful, upcycled, and can be customized more than what is shown. The original post can be found here from A Piece of Rainbow.

You will need a few things: Some old books, about a cup of white craft glue, natural twine for hanging, and any embellishments you’d like to add. You’ll also need an old stock pot so that you can get a circular form without using a foam wreath form, and clamps or possibly clothespins would work, to hold things together while they dry. The original poster used outdoor faucet handles, but you can add anything to spruce this puppy up.

Cut some book pages out, and glue 2-3, end to end to make a longer piece. Make about 20-30 pieces.

Crumple each piece and dip in glue that has been diluted with an equal amount of water. Squeeze out the glue while twisting and rotating to make a paper vine, and then drape your vines over the outside of a stewpot laying on its side. You’ll want to cover the size with a garbage bag or a shopping bag to keep the glue from sticking to the pot.

When the vines are dry, take three pieces and glue them together to form a circle. Use your clamps to hold everything together until the glue dries.

After they’re dry, add three more and glue to the mid point of the first three pieces. This will give a base to start with and provide many openings to weave the vines.

When the base is dry and sturdy, weave the rest of the paper vines around and through the base in a circular way so that they look like they’re growing around each other. If you find anything feels loose, just add some glue to secure them down.

To make flowers from the book pages, just cut two connected petals, crumple in the centre. Do this a number of times as all you need to do is glue a few pairs of these petals together to make beautiful flowers. You can tie your flowers to the faucet handles, or just glue (if you’re not holding something heavy) or tie them to the wreath.

Keep in mind that here’s where you can decorate and use your imagination. you can add rhinestones, glitter, you can add painted details, or paint just the flowers to give them some pop. You can add antique jewelry findings, or old coins that you have laying around. With the book prints, old and antiqued accents look amazing.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and as always,

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 

 


Sewing with Scraps – Sandwich Wrap

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A bit of a step back in difficulty from last week, and yet this one is slightly more annoying to make (more on that in a bit, lol). So we go thru a lot of plastic baggies for conventions and I thought this pattern would be great to help reduce on that waste! Not to mention you can claim a fabric as ‘yours’ so no more need to write a name on bags either! 😀

These are plastic sandwich wraps from the ladies at Chica and Jo. Now, right off the bat, I’m gonna admit that I changed one main aspect about this pattern. While it walks you thru the steps very nicely for how to make fused plastic from extra plastic shopping bags…none of my attempts really ended up with something I liked. We also have been using reusable shopping bags here for years so I didn’t have much to work with. Instead I just bought some plastic from Joanns for like $3 a yard. Totally worth it.

Okay, so it’s hard to see since my plastic is clear, but want to cut a 14″x14″ square of the fabric and a 12″x12″ square of the plastic. With wrong side facing you for the fabric, lay the plastic on top; centering it to give a 1″ border all around. Now the next step is hard to explain and I couldn’t be bothered to take pics of it, but basically you have to do a double fold over all around the border and pin it in place. See the Chica and Jo site for great photos to walk you thru it. I personally used my iron to hold down the first 1/2″ fold to make my pinning life easier, but you do what works for you.

With all your pins in place, you simply sew around the boarder to attach these two. I recommend sewing as close to the fold as you feel comfortable to reduce the size of the hangover for your finished piece. Once that’s done you just need to add velcro; which is used to hold your wrap in place. You’ll need 2 pieces total: a 1″ long and a 2″ long piece. Now the only velcro I have is 2″ wide, so I just did two 1″x2″ pieces. You’ll be attaching them in the corners with 2 on the inside, and 2 on the outside.

Once they’re on, that’s it! You have a finished wrap! The plastic will make it very easy to clean up as you can just wipe off and dressing/condiments or even toss the whole piece in the wash for bad stains. I wouldn’t recommend putting it in the dryer (cause plastic), but just let it air dry by laying flat instead.

Overall I give this pattern 4/5 bobbins. It seems like it can work great, and I look forward to giving it a try at C2E2 this weekend, but until I do I can’t say as to how well it performs. I may come back and give it 5/5 if it amazing, lol.


Easter Eggs, Dyed Naturally.

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I was thinking about the traditions we had when we were kids with dying eggs that were hidden for us in the morning by the Easter bunny. When I was a kid, we always used the little vinegar/food colouring pellets. In the last few years, I’ve done Ukranian egg dying, which was entirely different and special also (you can see the post about it here). Today, I found a tutorial for how to not only make your own dye from natural ingredients, but how to dye these eggs with reliefs of interesting leaves.

The original tutorial is from Cynthia Weber and can be found here for the full tutorial. The dyes are made from cabbage, onion and beets, and as you can see, the colours that they make are pretty darn awesome. To do this, boil separate pots of chopped up red cabbage, onion skins and chopped beets (covered with enough water that when you add eggs later they’ll be covered). Allow to boil for about twenty minutes and let them cool slightly. Add 4 tablespoons of vinegar to each pot.

 

While the pots boil, you can get your eggs ready. You will need nylons, twist ties or string, and some interesting pieces of foliage either from outside or from the herb garden. Use thin nylons for this, as if they are too thick, you won’t get enough of the dye to the egg to do it’s job. Cut the toes out a few inches to make a pocket (you can use the rest of the nylons, just cut pieces large enough to encircle your eggs). Place your interesting herb or flower into the nylon and lay the egg on top. Tie the nylon off so that the plant is held tightly against the egg.

When your eggs are ready, put them into the dye of your choice, and bring that pot back up to a slow boil and boil them for at least 20 minutes, though for more vibrant colours, you can let them sit in the bath for longer.

Pull your eggs out, remove the nylons and herbs, pat to dry and rub with oil. The cabbage dye makes a blue colour, and you can make two tone eggs by dying them first with the nylons and the foliage, then taking that out, taking the nylon and the greenery off, and letting it sit in the cabbage pot.

I love the natural colours, and I love the look of the leaves on the eggs. I hope you guys have a very nice holiday, and as always…

Happy crafting!

~ Megan

 

 

 


Sewing with Scraps – Earbud Pouch

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Okay, so I probably queued these out of order as this is the pattern I learned how to make a tab from which I put in the tissue pattern for last week, but I was trying to do these in increasing order of difficulty sooooo……sorry. XD

Anyway, this is the first pattern I found using the scraps and what made me dig to find more as I thought that was something useful in daily life. The pattern comes from Dog Under my Desk and it’s probably one of my favorites from how high quality it looks when you’re done.

Materials needed were about a 6″x7″ piece of fabric for both inner and outer fabrics along with the same amount for interfacing (midweight again). A keyring (or hook) and a 5″ or longer plastic zipper.

You’ll have to print out the provided template, but it prints true to form so as long as you have a printer you’re good to go. Cut your fabric per the pattern requirements while your iron warms up. Then apply interfacing to the circle and 2 half circles for the fabric you want showing. Now, I’m not even going to try and write up how to explain adding the zipper cause I’ll screw it up, lol, but that where you’ll start by layering the half circles on one side (curved ends facing the zipper with right sides of the fabric facing each other), sewing, pressing, and then repeating on the other side. You’ll end up with something like this.

Next you’ll make the tab and sew it at the top of the circle edge where the zipper pulled from. I accidentally did this at the bottom on my first one. So learn from my mistakes, lol. The tab should be laying on the zipper track towards the inside of circle when you do it.

Now, making sure you zipper is in the middle of your circle, layer the circles with right sides out -not touching- and lay it on top of the zipper (yes you’re covering the zipper. This is why it needs to be half way down so you can reach inside). The the fabric you want on the outside should be touching when you do this. So for me, zelda fabric touching zelda fabric and green on the top.

Start anywhere you like, but I did it at the tab on the top. I also recommend do a few back and forth stitches here to reinforce that tab. You’ll want a 3/8″ seam on this one, so give yourself extra room and if it starts to bunch/pucker then stop sewing, lift the foot and smooth things out before continuing. Once you’ve sewn the edge, you also want to pinking shears to trim the edge. I used scissors my first time to clip the circle and the shears work waaaay better. This is why you had to leave so much space for your seam. Once you’re done just turn it inside out and ta da! You’ve got a pouch!

I really like how this looked and part of that admittedly is cause I did fussy cutting to get the image centered just how I wanted. It’s really just a nice little case and I may even make some as gifts for my family. 🙂 Overall I’d rate this a 5/5 bobbins. Great little pattern, but take your time and follow the step by step info at Dog Under my Desk and not my general ramblings.