Felted Decor and Ornaments

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The Holidays are always the time to show off your best crafting skills. The one time of the year you can fill the house with what you love and no one will bat an eye; they’ll simply call you festive. 😉 I’ve got 2 artists today that both specialize in wonderfully detailed hand felted items that work great on a tree or even around your home!

Miri of Noristudio specializes in making adorable woodland creature who often have an adorable acorn beret on their head. I personally loved this little hedgehog, but you can find a whole collection of them in her shop, including a set of ornaments to hang up in your home! Another thing I love is that they’re interested in bringing new people to the medium with their DIY kits for beginners. Something that could make an excellent gift for the crafter in your life that’s seeking a new and challenging medium to tackle. 🙂

The second artist is just as exciting with their dedication to realism in their pieces. I mean, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear some of these pieces were real.

Made by Natalja of TaFiOLand, these pieces are really quite wonderful. They are a German based artist of quite some talent, imho, and I just find their precision with the medium to be considerably well honed. Several of their pieces can be used as table decoration or hanging on your tree, but there are even a few pieces that can be used for lighting fixtures around the home. Really just lovely work that I highly recommend checking out. 🙂


DIY: Rag Rug

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Good morning Crafthackers!

I have for you today a tale as old as time… well. Maybe not quite that old, but it is something that’s been around for quite some time and I have to say, it makes me feel great that these things are still being made. Rag rugs. That’s right. I know people who had them, I used to make yarn rugs, and the process is similar. They’re easy to do, and the best part is you can use your fabric scraps and you can also customize the colours you want for whatever room they will be staying in.

As with many older crafts, there’s many places to find tutorials, and many different ways to do it. This one  has a few extra photos on the site and is from Craftaholics Anonymous.

This rug is super simple to make. You will need strips of your choice of fabric about 1 inch wide by 5 inches long, and you will need thousands. Lots and lots in the colours of your choice. I would personally recommend cotton (quilting or otherwise) as anything else would probably fray too much. The bottom of the rug is a non skid rug mat, which you might need to order, but also may find in home stores and possibly craft stores.

Basically, this tutorial doesn’t even tie the stips. They are just looped through the mat so that the centre of the strip hugs the rug mat. The rubber of the mat should hold it in place, but keep in mind, if you are going to be washing this mat, you will want to tie a knot or slipknot them like rug hooking. The tutorial also recommends that you skip some of the holes as the pieces are fluffy and big and having a piece of fabric on every part will make it overly fluffy. You can also use a latch hook like for rug hooking, if you would like. It’s simple, but it’s a great way to use your scraps and to make something that colour coordinates so easily with whatever your rooms are like.

 

Enjoy, and happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY Wax Luminaries

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Good morning, Thursday readers.

I found a really cool tutorial from Candle Tech that caught my eye and initially I thought it might be a little silly, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. Tea light/votive holders made from wax. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but what makes it work is the type of wax used. And plus, they look really cool.

You do need some supplies and tools: High-melt paraffin wax – IGI-1260 – (this one is super important – don’t use something that isn’t high melt), party balloons, a double boiler and a cookie sheet with parchment paper. You will need to start by filling your balloon with tepid water.

Your next step is to melt your wax in a double boiler. The best temperature for this project is 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Using a double boiler will help to keep things from overheating, and you can use a thermometer to double check if you have one.

Slowly dip your balloon into the wax to just below the water level inside the balloon. If you go past the water level, your balloon can pop. Hold the balloon in the wax for a few seconds and then slowly lift it out. Let it cool between dips, but you’ll need to do this a few more times to get a good thickness of wax on the balloon.

When the wax is still fairly warm, put the balloon on a piece of parchment or on a cookie sheet. This will allow a flat bottom to be created so it’s level and won’t topple over. Allow to cool a little, and then repeat the above process a few more times. You’re going to want a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of wax on your balloon. Set it aside again to let it cool.

 

When the water inside the balloon and the wax are completely cool, holding the wax portion so it doesn’t fall and aiming the mouth away from you, pop the balloon over this sink with something sharp to let the water drain out and toss the deflated rubber.

If the top of your luminary isn’t level, that’s okay. There’s an easy fix, since you’re working with wax. Just heat up a cookie sheet in the oven and place the luminary top down onto the hot metal (you can put some parchment paper down to catch the wax) and melt the edges until it’s level. You can wipe the paper with a paper towel if you’re going to need to do it a couple times.

And you’re ready to go with a tea light or a votive (remember, votives need some kind of container to keep them from melting everywhere). So long as you’re just using those types of candles, the luminary won’t melt. Remember, it’s high temp wax, so you need more heat to melt it. If you want to add some colour to your wax, you can add some crushed crayons (though it might make them a little less transparant). You can also think about adding glitter or even doing a few white layers of wax as a base with a couple colour layers over top. You could even dip the top rim in glitter once you’ve melted it to make it level or you might want to carve your creations afterwards… but regardless of what you end up doing, they do look super cool!

Happy Crafting!

~Megan

 

 

 


DIY: Light Up Halloween Tree

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I came across this lovely DIY that is amazingly versatile since you can apply the same techniques to different holidays. All you need to do is use different colours and accents. Since Halloween is coming up soon though, it’s going to be a Halloween one, because it’s a holiday I love. I didn’t make this up myself, so you can find the full and original tutorial here.

You’ll need some materials, but they can be found at craft stores or hardware stores. If you make these a little closer to the holiday, you can often find the seasonal stuff on sale. You will need a 54″ tomato cage (lots of hardware stores sell them year round, but if not in your area, you could always order one) and you could do it any size for your space with a tutorial for making one from a larger cage here, but we will do this larger size for outdoor. You will also need 10-15 zip ties, 2 sets of 100 christmas lights (white works well with any colour ribbon, but keep in mind, if you can find other colours, purple or green would look just amazing), 5 rolls of mesh ribbon, 100 black pipe cleaners and extra seasonal decorations of your choice (like spiders, witches hats, sparkly pumpkins…)

If you’re going to be putting your tree into some soil, in a pot or on the ground, you can cut the widest ring off the cage so you can create stakes to hold them in place.You could also skip this step and have it sit on a flat surface, though you might need some extra ribbon.

Use a zip tie to attach together the top of the tree (the bottom of the cage) to create a tip that comes together.

 

Start adding lights and loop them around and around, using the zip ties to secure them every so often when they get droopy. You’re now ready to cut your ribbon.

 

You can use scissors. But if you have a rotary cutter, you can go for that too. Cut them at 10″ each so if you have 10″ wide ribbon, you’ll end up with 10″ squares.

Attach one pipe cleaner to the cage.

 

Accordion fold two pieces of mesh and hold them side by side.

This photos is with the two sets of two (so there’s 4 accordion folded pieces of mesh)

Twist them in the pipe cleaner. Repeat this at least twice per pipe cleaner, and keep adding the mesh until the tree is covered. You can clip any ends of pipe cleaners if they are a little long, but save them so you can use them to attach the decor.

Attach your little seasonal decorations to the pipe cleaners (or add in any extras you might want to). This tutorial writer even added witches legs, that would be super easy to do and super cute coming out of the bottom of a planter pot.

It just looks so good with the lights, it’s unbelievable!

 

And you’re done. And  you’re fabulous. And the best part is that after this tutorial you have a beautiful Halloween tree that’s covered in sparkly decorations and lights up when you plug it in.

Happy crafting!

~ Megan

 


DIY: Vintage Light Fixture Revamp

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

I found a DIY that looks much more complicated than it is, and it is a great way to bring vintage into your home  – or your apartment. The best part is, is that it uses the base of light fixtures that I see in almost every apartment that I’ve been in, and they’re in my apartment right now.

You can find the original tutorial here on A Beautiful Mess, and you really can do any colour you prefer, given that you can use spray paint to either match the pieces to each other or do do it in another colour entirely. You do need some supplies and tools, though. You’ll need a sunburst mirror frame, like this one. You can use any mirror frame as long as it’s easy to remove the mirror so you can use the base. You’ll need a ceiling flush mount light small enough to sit inside your mirror frame, like this one. You will also need gold (or your choice of colour) spray paint, painter’s tape as well as screws and a drill.

As always, we recommend safety first, so since we’re getting into working with light fixtures, you can do this project together with an electrician or a friend with experience, or you can use this guide to help guide your experience. Please make sure that your power is off whenever you’re working on a light fixture. We don’t want any mishaps.

So, depending on what method you choose, you may need to remove the existing light fixture. Since this tutorial uses a light that is a few inches smaller than the mirror frame, paint was added to the ceiling area that would be showing in between the fixture and the mirror. All you need to do is place each fixture where it will go, trace around them and tape off the area that you’re not painting. If you’re worried about using spray paint and the fact that it is airborne and can go anywhere, you can use a liquid paint and brush. Remove the tape when dry (see above).

Using the same paint, paint the base of the light fixture. Just make sure to tape off the back so that there’s no electrical parts that get painted. Add your light bulb and globe shade.

On the mirror frame, you can bend back any tabs that hold the mirror in place and remove the mirror and any backing material from the middle. Just give this frame a coat of the same paint that you used for the rest of the project so that it looks like one unit and there’s no odd colour difference. You can just use 4 screws and wedge them between the spokes of the frame to hold it in place.

When your light fixture is secure, you’re done! It looks fabulous in the gold, but if you’re going for a different kind of retro vibe, you could use a beautiful teal spray paint, or copper. Whatever colour suits your mood and decor!

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Hand Felted Stone Rugs

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We’re bringing the outdoors indoors today with some really awesome looking handmade rugs. 😀

Crafted and sold by Etsy shop flussdesign, these rock rugs start at around $160, but the one pictured above costs $940. They come in all sorts of colors options too. So, yeah, if you’re low on cash now might be a good time to learn how to make felt stones, lol. I’ve never hand felted before, but I do know it’s very time consuming work so you’d better be prepared for that.

Maria Schuhman is the artisan behind these beauties and she also makes matching pillows, baskets, and loose decoration rocks! Her work is really well done, and i could see this rug working well with a crochet grass style rug to really bring your outdoor love into the clean dirt free space of your home. All of her felt stones are super soft and made from 100% wool so do be aware of any allergies you may have before falling in love. 😉


Spring Quilt Market

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Today is the start of Spring Quilt Market!  What is Quilt Market?

It is a credentialed quilt trade show.  This means you need to be a quilt shop owner or industry professional (professional quilter, teacher, designer, or publisher).  The fabric manufacturers, wholesalers, and companies that we want to see will all be there.  This is the show where we get to see everything new coming out!  I have seen a few previews and am SUPER excited about the new fabrics I will be able to get.

I am also super excited to see new products from some of my favorite Companies, Arrow and Sew Steady.  They have both agreed to give away products!

I will be giving another chair away from Arrow!

If you watch my Twitch live stream, you know how much I LOVE my Arrow sewing chair.  It is comfortable the wheels are amazing.  you really want one of these for yourself.

Another super special giveaway will be from Sew Steady.  We will be giving away their Ruler Work Kit.

I will be holding the giveaways today and tomorrow as well as live streaming, sharing photos, and maybe an interview or two!  Make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see all of the goodies.  I won’t be picking winners until Monday so make sure you find the giveaway videos on my Facebook page, watch the video, and comment to win!

-Toni


DIY: Wine Bottle Chandelier

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!
I have for you a super cool tutorial that is relatively easy but still will take some time and some tools. The end result is super cool, and there are a number of different ways that you can do something like this.

There’s a number of different styles, and a number of different complexities in doing the electrical wiring for this. I thought this one was super cool. To do this you will need wine bottles – these ones were clear and then painted for colour, but you can absolutely do regular wine bottles if you like the green/brown hues.  If you’re liking the look of this (the original can be found here at Mod Podge Rocks Blog), and others like this tutorial, you might need this previous post on how to cut bottles safely. Make sure you follow the steps to sand down the edges, and if you would like to take any labels off, now would be the time.

This tutorial uses Mod Podge sheer colours, but there are methods to make the colours yourself with just one jar of Mod Podge (see if you can find a sheer one) and food colouring. You can find my tutorial for the ratios and the how to on the colour here (including how to set it). Use whichever you have the time and comfort level for. You’ll need the basics of the world of crafting, so craft paper/wax paper or a non stick craft mat, a craft knife, and you will also need the pendant light hardware kits which you should be able to find easily at any hardware store, or at an online retailer like Amazon.

Whether  you make your own colours or buy pre tinted Mod Podge, your first step is to get the inside of your bottles covered. You can do this by adding a generous amount of glue/colour to the inside of the bottle and swirling it around inside until it is covered. Try to get as far up the neck as possible so you get consistent colour all the way up. Do this to each bottle. Whether you use the same, themed or different colours is up to you. If you’re making your own colours, remember that you can change your one batch of colour just by adding other colours of food colouring to change the tints. You’ll either need to follow the directions in the previously mentioned tutorial for baking the wine bottles, or you will need to let them dry overnight (sitting on the mouth of the bottle to get maxiumum air flow) After they’re dry, if you want to add any stencils or glitter, now is the time.

The original poster used a light fixture like this. They didn’t use the switch on the cord, and cut the cord before that point since they manually are wiring everything together.

The wiring was cut about 2 feet from the bulb socket base, but you can do them longer or shorter based on the needs of your space. If there is a switch on your fixture, you can cut below it if you aren’t using it. Above if you would like to keep it.

Run the cut end of the cord up through the neck of the bottle so that the bulb socket fits nicely in the taper.

Expose the ends of each of the wires using your wire cutters to peel away the plastic coating (there will be 12 wires, hot and a neutral for each lamp or 18 if the kit is wired for a ground). This tutorial used a room that already had a simple ceiling fixture on a wall switch. This made it easy to take down and I just used the existing junction box and cover plate from the old light to mount my wine bottle chandelier. With the wall switch OFF (throw the service breaker for extra safety) take down the old ceiling light and find the white (neutral), black (hot), and green (ground) wires. Pull them down out of the box and make sure you have enough room to go back with the new wire bundle you’re going to create.

Next, combine all the neutral wires from the lamp kits together into one pigtail. Do the same for the hot and the ground if present. Use some electrical tape to help hold them all together while you get ready to connect them to the junction box. Using an appropriately sized wire nut, connect the white pigtail of the lamp kit to the white (neutral) wire from the ceiling. DO the same with the Black (hot) and ground (green, if present). Carefully push the wires up into the junction box and allow the weight of the lamps to be carried by the bundled lamp cords over the junction box support bar.

Slide the fixture cover you used from the old light up into place to cover everything.

You should be able to flip your switches and bring light! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and remember to work safely with any electricity!

Happy crafting.

~Megan


DIY: Rustic Magnetic Knife Rack

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Hello Thursday Readers,

Here’s a nifty little tutorial I found for something I’ve always had a soft spot for: a magnetic knife rack. Now of course, if you’re going to do this tutorial, you’ll need to ensure safety first, so when choosing a place to mount this beauty, you will need to make sure that it is out of the reach of any little hands, and not in any danger of being knocked off accidentally. The original tutorial for this was posted here, if you’d like to visit the source.

You will, of course, need some tools and materials. You’ll need a wood board 15 inches by 3.5 inches. You can reclaim wood, or even use driftwood. You can pick it up at the hardware store, sand and stain it yourself. It all depends on how you want it to look. You’ll also need some sandpaper, a tape measure, trigger clamps (these are optional) a power drill with a 1 inch round Forstner bit, 1 inch round ceramic magnets (54 of them), some gel adhesive, a 5/32 drill bit, and 2.5 inch wall mounting screws (two of them).

Your fist step is to measure and cut the board to your desired size. For this particular tutorial though, it was made to be 15 inches long. If you’re buying wood at a hardware store, they will generally cut wood to your preferred size for no extra cost. You will need to clean and sand the board to your desired finished. As I said, if you want to apply stain and sealer, now is the time. Decide which side of the board you’d like to display and then turn it over to measure the back where you will be inlaying the magnets.

Allow one inch on each end of the board for drilling the wall screws into and then mark two straight lines 2.5 inches apart. This will help you line up your two rows of magnets. On each of the lines, mark nine points that are 1.5 inches apart, and you’re ready to drill. Your goal is to have two central rows of nine holes that measure half an inch apart.

It is now time to make the holes so you can inlay your magnets. Use your Forstner drill bit, which will drill a solid round well into the wood. The key to having a good, strong magnetic hold is to get the magnet as close to the front of the wood as possible, so you want to drill as far as you can without drilling through the surface. You might want to practice this a couple times before you begin for realsies, and when you find the right depth for the drill, you can put a piece of painter’s tape on your drill to mark where you should stop. This will take the guesswork out of your drilling.

You can use trigger clamps to hold the wood in place to allow for more overall control during this step. Then you can drill your 18 holes (two rows of nine) as close to the surface as possible, leaving about 1/8 inch of wood where the magnets will sit.

Now is the time if you’d like to have starter holes for your screws in the sides. Measure and drill a starter so you don’t have to guess where the screw will be going.  So for the strongest hold, stack three 1 inch round ceramic magnets together. Use your adhesive to glue your magnets to the back of the board. It isn’t necessary to glue the magnets to each other… they’ll stick to themselves.

Use your wall mounting screws to mount the rack in place on your wall, and then you’re ready to display all your wonderful knives!

 

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. I thought it was really neat, and such a cool way to display some pretty amazing sliceware.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


DIY Pom Pom Rug

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Got a nice simple project today with spring break coming up for many. It’s a super cute and easy DIY rug that would work great in the kitchen, kid’s room, or heck even a dorm room.

Here’s your materials list:

  • 4-6 yarn balls (thick or ultra thick)
  • Large container lid, chair back or other household item to wrap yarn around
  • Scissors
  • Rug base canvas

And if you don’t like videos, you can find the full written out steps here on Hello Giggles. 😀