DIY Crochet Owl Blanket

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Returning to my love of crocheting today, I’ve found a super cute and fairly simple pattern to share with you all!

It’s a super bulky Owl Imitation afghan! Designed by Ravelry user MJ, this afghan is one of many designs they’ve released but one of my absolute favorites. 😀 The pattern includes instructions for Child or Adult size for only $6. Besides looking super cute and comfy though, I love how it looks when it’s all folded up.

They’ve also included lots of info about hook and yarn yardage required to make, as well as estimation for yarn substitutions. Overall it’s designed to be worked up in about a day for an advanced/experienced crocheter, with some possible extra time for working on the owl hood part. If you’re intimidated by the hood, fear not! MJ has included a video tutorial for how to sew/attach it all together on her youtube account. I’m definitely considering making some of these as gifts for my nephews this Holiday season. ^_^


Sweet Messages

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Happy Sunday, all!

Only 2 more days until V-day and perhaps you or the child in your life still hasn’t made up their mind about cards to give their friends. I’ve found some great, quick ideas for DIY Valentine cards that leaves a lot of room for personalizing and creativity. First up is a throwback to one of my other posts dealing with peg dolls:

Make them as nerdy as you want!

I could just imagine making some Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter peg doll Valentines with sayings like “Be my precious” accompanying a Gollum or “I’m mad about you” with a Mad-eye Moody (find the tutorial here). No? Just me? Ok, then. How about something slightly simpler that could help you reduce your fiber stash? The saying could also be adjusted to the situation:

Perhaps you could go with “Why knot be my Valentine?’ or for closer friends “You make me feel knotty.”

These are definitely customizable to favorite colors and appropriate puns, tutorial found here. Or maybe you already had a little bit of a splurge and find yourself with a bunch of chocolates that would be better off going to new homes PLUS it could help reduce a stash of scrapbooking materials:

It’s like a mini piñata!

Small toys or (if you are actually sending an anti-Valentine) glitter would also fit well into it, tutorial found here. Finally, if you find yourself with a lot of time or want to make a really big impression, I highly recommend taking a look at the hexagon explosion box:

Adding quotes, pictures, and rose petals is highly recommended. Glitter is not.

These beautiful three dimensional cards are simply amazing! When you do peruse the tutorial, make sure to scroll down to examples of what others have made because there are some that create a tower when you pull on the center! Again, the geek in me is super excited to turn this into a Tower of Sauron with hearts and pictures of the ring all around it. I know, not for everyone. Well I hope I am leaving you with some great ideas to send to your friends/sweeties/worst enemy (that glitter thing I mentioned, seriously). Have a great week!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Giant Fluffy Slime

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Crafty Girls is one of the cute kids blogs I follow that provide a lot of DIY projects.  I especially like their Giant Fluffy Slime.

Learn how to make this GIANT FLUFFY SLIME with Annelise, Julia & Rachel. It makes perfect poking slime too! NO Borax, liquid starch or detergent needed for this slime! Happy Crafting!

You will need:
White school glue
Baking soda
Eyedrops or contact lens saline solution (see note below)
Shaving cream (get a scent you like!)
Foaming face or body wash – this is optional
Food dye – this is optional

*Note about eyedrops/saline solution: Make sure that you see either Boric Acid or Sodium Borate in the ingredients. If not, check for the words “Buffered Saline” on the package. If it says this, you can make slime!
Have fun making your Giant Fluffy Slime!

-Toni


DIY Zelda Shekiah Slate

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With less then a month until the release I just cannot contain my excitement for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. 😀 So, in case any of you out there feel the same (or just wanna make a really great cosplay prop), today I’d like to share a great step by step DIY video for how to make your own Shekiah Slate.

You will need several supplies to make this excellent looking prop, including:

-EVA Foam
– Hot Glue Gun + Hot Glue Sticks
-Acrylic Paint (Orange, Black, Blue)
-Spray Paint (Gold, Brown)
-Scissors
-Xacto Style Knife
-Clear Plastic Tube
-Sand Paper
-Wood Filling Paste
-Tiny LED Lights
-Wire Cutters
-Electrical Tape
-Plastic Sheet

There are a few more tools you could get to help you make it easier, but as you can see by the materials list, this project is gonna take some time to make. Worth it though for the awesome prop piece you’ll have by the end. ^_^


Some Heartfelt Decor

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Happy Sunday, all!

There’s less than two weeks until Valentine’s Day and I’ve been feeling quite crafty lately (not that there isn’t truly a time when I don’t feel it) so why not dig up some cute V-day DIY décor ideas? I found a few that seem easy and look great, including, of course, one that helps with a little recycling. On that note, first up is this very tasteful cork heart:

Classy and an excuse to drink a little more wine!

The tutorial (found here) is pretty straight forward – use some corks, hot glue, paint, and cardboard backing to give your place a bit of flair! Next up, I was never really a big fan of those little conversation hearts as they all tasted pretty much the same…like chalk. But they are cute to look at! So why not personalize some super sized ones for your wall:

Even if you don’t want to include names, you could make these naughty hearts as well!

Again, this tutorial (found here) seemed straight forward and simple – find the heart shaped wood (I’ve found them at local craft shops), add some paint and ribbon and voila! A sweet little decoration for the home. What about personalizing things a bit further? Do you have some pictures of family sitting around? This next one I simply love and don’t think it should be relegated to JUST Valentine’s décor:

I simply adore the idea of including pics of grandma and grandpa or mom and dad with the kids.

Truly a beautiful expression of how V-day doesn’t have to be about romantic love but love of family, as well. The tutorial (found here) does recommend using high quality paper and a laser printer simply so the images come out crisp and don’t smear but if you wanted to give them a dated, antique feel, I’m fairly certain regular will do just fine. The last tutorial I discovered actually introduced me to a new paper folding technique that I fully plan to put into use in the future, iris folding:

Just like the iris in a camera, these folds draw your eye to the center!

Named after the iris of a camera, this folding technique purposely pulls the eye towards the center of the piece. The tutorial and many others on the technique can be found here. You could make a whole series of these out of different color schemes, frame them, and then arrange them on the walls! I hope you are all feeling the love right now. Next week I’ll have some follow-up ideas on creating some of your own unique Valentine’s greetings.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Fruit Tart Tutorial, Part 2

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Good Morning and Happy Wednesday! This is Kim, of Fantastical Menagerie. Today I’m bringing you the second half of my Fruit Tart Tutorial. The first part can be found here.

1. Roll out five small balls of Premo brand polymer clay in Pomagranate. Approx 4 mm in diameter.

2. Shape each one into a teardrop shape.

3. Flatten it slightly on your finger.

4. Using your needle ended tool, make small dots on the teardrop shape. They should be in alternating rows, all the way to the back end.

5. Place into the shell, with flat ends in the center.

6. Take the fifth berry, and add the green leaves to the top. Place it on top of the other four.

7. Optional- use green Pearl X on the leaves, and a dusting of the macro pearl on the berries for shine.

8. Put the finished piece into the oven. I would recommend 240 F, for approx 30 minutes. Once it cools, you can add findings to turn it into a pendant, earrings or a pin.

Continue reading »


DIY Doorknobs.

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!
I found something that’s a super cool, super cheap way to do an update to your kitchen cabinets, closets and wherever else might use a knob. I bring you, from The Painted Hive, a fabulously easy and cheap doorknob tutorial (you can find the full one here, with a plethora of photos) that can look super cool when it’s done.

These are super easy and you don’t need many tools or supplies. You will need some plain timber knobs that you can find at any hardware store (in whatever size would work for you), spray/craft paint, clear matte spray sealer, scissors, a paint brush, an adhesive (mod podge a similar craft glue will work just fine), and images, paper (as well as a printer and a connection to the internet will make this much easier), and paint to match the images you’ve chosen.

Notice how the colours of the knobs match the background colours of the images – this will help keep the illusion of seamlessness.

 

Your first step is to use your computer to create or find an image that you’d like to see on your knob and scale down to fit on the size that you’ve chosen. Print your images out onto regular copy paper, and colour match the background of your image with the paint you are using for your knob. Then, you can go ahead and paint the knob your colour, and be sure to let it dry.

Lightly spray your images with a clear matte sealer. This will give your images a protective coating and stiffen them slightly to keep the ink from running and the paper from bubbling and buckling when you’re gluing them.

 

Once they’re dry, cut the images out, cutting as closely as you can to the symbol using very sharp scissors or a craft knife.
Using your paint brush, apply a thin coat of adhesive to your knob, and while the glue is still wet, position your image in place. Press down firmly and smooth out any air bubbles, making sure that you keep your eye on the edges and that they are all nicely attached.

When you’re done, give your knobs a few sprays of the matte spray sealer. For extra protection finish off your project with a few coats of brushed-on clear acrylic poly too.  And you’re done!

You can do this with almost any image you can find, so be creative and find ones that speak to you.

Hope you guys enjoyed this, have fun, and as always…

Happy Crafting!

 

~Megan


Fruit Tart Tutorial Part One

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Happy Wednesday! This is Kim, with Fantastical Menagerie. Last week we talked about keeping clay soft in winter, today I’m going to start you on how to make fruit tarts in clay.

For this project, you need the following:

  • pastry shell mold, preferably silicone. You can find them on Etsy here
  • a small dollhouse plate
  • Sculpey Bake n Bond. This can be found in the polymer clay aisle.
  • Premo clay in ecru, pomegranate, and either green pearl or jungle green. You can get it from any craft or hobby store.
  • tweezers, needle tool, and flat blade or razor.
  • Optional: pearl x powders in Macropearl, green and antique bronze.

1. Condition your clay. Leave the red until last because the color transfers.

2. Take a small piece of the ecru clay, roll it into a ball, and press it into your mold.

3. Carefully remove your clay from the mold. If there is any excess, use your razor to trim it to shape.

4. Add a small amount of Sculpey Bake & Bond to the plate. Put your tart shell in the center over the adhesive.

5. Optional- use a brush and add a little Pearl X Antique bronze on the tart shell to simulate color from baking. Add a bit of Bake & Bond to the center of the tart.

6. Make your leaves for the strawberries. Roll two small balls of green clay into a teardrop shape. Flatten them, and use your needle to run a line down the center of each. Then use the needle to draw veins into the leaves.

7. Roll out five small balls of Premo Pomegranate clay. Approx 4 mm in diameter. These will become your strawberries.

This tutorial will pick up next Wednesday, where I will show you how to form the strawberries, and then put everything together to form the piece.


DIY – Exploding Death Star Lamp

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So I found this awesome little Gem over the weekend that I just knew I had to share with my fellow geeky crafters. 😀 It’s a fairly low cost project, but it will take you some time, and lots of painting.

Here’s your materials list:

  • IKEA PS 2014 Lamp
  • Light Grey Spray Paint
  • Masking Tape
  • X-acto Knife
  • Dark Grey Paint (either acrylic or spray depending on color options in your area)
  • Sealant Spray Paint

You’ll find the full step by step instructions over here. The quick and short of it though, is you’ll be spray painting the whole lamp shell with the light grey spray paint first, and marking and using masking tape to block certain areas off once it’s dried. After that you paint the whole thing again; with the darker spray paint if your lucky, of by hand if you’re not. Do one more round of spraying (2 if you’re paranoid) with a sealant spray and you’re done! It’s a pretty simple project that could easily be done in the afternoon if you have all the materials. 🙂 Then you too will be able to explode the Death Star whenever you like!


A Hand Warming Experience

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Happy Sunday, all!

While we are enjoying some unseasonably warm weather this week, it’s still winter and the Midwest US is famous for it’s sub-zero temperatures. So how to keep warm? With a little help from some grains (or seeds)! I’m talking hand/feet/neck warmers here. If you spend any time at all on Pinterest, I am quite sure these have popped up in your feed at one point.

If they have unicorns on them, even better!

They are pretty fantastic and a tutorial for the rice type ones has been posted before on Craft Hackers (here) but I want to go a little more in depth because these things are super effective, easy to make, and great for gifts. I’ve seen tutorials for rice, corn and flax seed types but hadn’t quite settled on which one would suit me. Lo and behold, someone has actually done some informal research on the subject! Sew4home compared the three for the time it take for each type to cool down (read the entire article here).

Which will it be? Will longer grains prevail? The seeds? The round kernels?

It turns out that flax seed keeps the heat steady for the longest period of time but there are other parameters to consider such as smell, feel, and cost. Each has a bit of a smell when heated but this can be reduced by adding in some aromatherapy (a great tutorial with different smells can be found here).

A little lavender can go a long way!

As far as feel goes, corn with all of it’s round bead-like size can be the most soothing against the skin. Corn also heats up faster and has great heat staying power as well. My favorite tutorial for making corn bags comes from the PlaysWithNeedles blog where she has a handy dandy tip sheet for making a “Cozy”:

The final parameter they mention is cost but I would also put in an honorable mention for availability. Rice is generally cheapest and most widely available but if you have a feed/grain store nearby, corn and flax can still be very economic. Flax does recommend itself as a reasonable option, especially as it is a seed and won’t need replacing as often (a purely flax tutorial can be found here).

Although I can just imagine the mess that comes with flax vs rice vs corn cleanup.

Whichever you may choose, there are some items they all share in common when making a warmer/cooler (yes, these can be stored in the freezer for soothing ouchies and headaches as well):

  1. Only use 100% cotton fabric, flannel is preferable for feel but not a necessity.
  2. Only partially fill the bag so that it still has movement and is not as hard as a rock – this also helps when sewing the end closed.
  3. Ensure that before the first use, you zap it a couple of times in the microwave to kill off any possible bugs and eliminate moisture.
  4. A funnel is your best friend when filling.
  5. Put a double seam around the edges to prevent these from breaking open (the temptation to toss them like bean bags is great).
  6. A cover is a great way to prevent these from getting too dirty but again, not a necessity.
  7. Heat in a clean microwave as I’m fairly certain you don’t want them to pick up the smells of leftovers.

That’s everything I’ve saved along my way in the quest for fantastic hand warmers! I think I’m going to use some of this good weather to open the windows while I get some sewing done, in prep for colder temps I know are just lying in wait.

Stay crafty!

~Laura