Back to School Crafting

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Hi everyone and Happy Wednesday!

I’m a guest blogger on CraftHackers today!  My name is Lindsay and I own a small business called Stamps & Stitches.  I’m a general crafter as in I do a little bit of everything – card making, cross-stitching, scrapbooking, and knitting.  You can see what I’m up to on my Facebook page!

Today we’re going to talk about crafting for back to school.  It’s a great time of year for everyone to learn something new, not just the kids!  Learning different crafts is in my opinion the best kind of learning!  It’s also never to early to inspire your kids with a bit of extra creativity and get started on those teacher’s gifts that you might give out at different times of the year.

Let’s start out with the teachers’ gifts.  How adorable is this apple clay jar?  All you need is a clay pot, some paint and either some clay or a marble for the top.  And don’t forget the leaf!  It’s the finishing touch!  Here are the instructions and don’t forget to fill it with the teacher’s favourite goodies!

Clay_pot_jar_lid_fun_kids_craft_7 Clay_pot_jar_lid_fun_kids_craft_9

Next up, I am sure your teenager would love to decorate their lockers to make it their own and unique.  How about some hand-made bottle cap magnets?  You and your teen can decorate them to fit their specific style and interests!  These instructions include graphics to turn your bottle caps into super cool clocks but get out your paintbrush and any design will do!

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Finally, how are you going to keep your kid’s space or even your crafting space organized?  Take some old cans (especially those that don’t have sharp edges), decorate them with some pretty designer paper and glue them together into a cool shape!  For this particular craft, all you would need is some empty cans or containers (try to gets ones that are all the same size), some decorative paper, paper adhesive, hot glue to glue your cans into whatever shape you like and your imagination!  Having each container hold a different type of item is the perfect way to keep your kids organized and have them WANT to put away their pens and markers!  I know I’ll be using this one in my craft room, nevermind the kids!!

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I hope you’re all enjoying the silence with the children off to school and are getting some crafting done!

Craft on and make sure to share with us what you’re working on!

– Lindsay


Recycled Suitcases…

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Hey there Thursday Readers

I found a great tutorial that I thought you might enjoy. It’s all about upcycling, but beware, it does use a little bit of hardware, though it’s quite simple and the full tutorial does a really great and thorough walkthrough for what you need to do to make it work. Here’s what I will be presenting you with today:

This can be made either into an ottoman or stool, or into a fur baby’s bed. I am really fond of using this idea for your pet, as if you travel with your dog, then you can fold this up and bring it with you to a hotel or friend’s house.  Alternatively, it also provides you with a way to store your pet’s toys and tuck the bed away.

There are 2 ways you can do this. The tutorial for ottoman/chair is a little bit more detailed, and would turn into a very long blog post. You can find detailed instructions from See Kate Sew on her blog here. See Kate Sew offers a sturdier, slightly more complicated tutorial but there’s lots of photos and details on how to get it done, even if you aren’t the most craft-minded person. The pet bed is the tutorial I’ll be presenting to you, since I think being able to close it up and tuck it away (with toys inside) is just the coolest idea ever. The full tutorial can be found here, further down the page – Variation 1. This site has 2 variations on the original so please scroll through and find one that looks good for you! FYI, this tutorial is a little simpler, and will not be quite as sturdy as See Kate Sew, so please take a look at both of them and see which one would work for you.

Your materials are relatively simple: you will need any vintage (hard shell) suitcase, tools (hammer, drill, and ribbon or strap material), 4 feet (you can use a variety of things. You can buy proper feet at a hardware store. The article recomends using something round with a flat base) Gorilla glue, or another heavy duty glue, 2 large snaps, a pillow (or stuffing) and a pillow cover.

First thing’s first – clean that suitcase! And repair any torn lining. Measure for pillow. Using a tape measure, measure the width plus the depth of bottom suitcase cavity x 2. This gives you the width of your pillow. Then measure the height (from front to back) plus the depth of the bottom suitcase cavity x 2. This gives you the height. You must add the depth of the suitcase x 2 or else your pillow will end up too small. You want a nice fluffy bed for your fur baby. You will need to add an inch to your final measurement and use a 1/2 inch seam allowance when you sew.  Use these measurements to sew your pillow cover, sewing right sides together with a small hole left for you to add stuffing. Turn your fabric right side out, add your stuffing and hand sew that small hole closed.

You can tuft your pillow at this point if you would like (see photo to the right). It’s not too difficult, and can be found on See Kate Sew’s tutorial with all kinds of photos.  Your next step is to attach the strap of your suitcase. The instructions for this are a little difficult, but you can use ribbon or a thin belt or any other kind of strap that can attach or be tied together. Basically, you will need to attach one to the back of the bottom portion of the suitcase, and one to the top so that they tie together behind the lid.  You can follow the guide in the tutorial on how to add straps with snaps, but I found this to be a little too complicated and involved than I would want to do.

You can, however, do the same thing with some strategically placed ribbon and some glue. Think of gluing two pieces – one on the inside front of each lip, where a lock would be, and then wrapping them around the lip, over the ouside of the case, and fastening at the back hinge. You can cut down a belt, you could even use a piece of fabric and some glued on velcro. You want to make something to hold the lid open so that the suitcase doesn’t close on your pet. That would be bad.  Just be aware of what you’re using and if it will allow you to pack and fully close the suitcase afterwards. Alternatively… you can keep your eyes open for a suitcase with locking hinges and avoid this step altogether.

An example of wooden legs you can buy from a hardware store. You can buy any shape, and paint them any colour!

 

Your very last step is the legs.  You can be creative this one or omit it, as you prefer. You can buy leg brackets and legs from a hardware store and screw those into the bottom (before you fasten your pillow down, if you’re going to do that), or you can find something appropriate to glue onto the bottom, if it isn’t going to be handled much. Or you can use no legs at all, it’s up to you.  Again, there’s instructions on how to use the brackets (seen below) here. It really depends on how well you work with power tools. For me? I think I would find some short legs I like from the hardware store and glue them on. If you’re going to be travelling with your bed, then you may opt to leave them out.

Leg brackets that you can find at any hardware store.

I know that was a little more involved of a tutorial, but I think your end result is something that is just so super cool, and if you’re like me who has cats, then you know how much they would enjoy lounging in a bed that used to be a box.

 

I hope you enjoyed it!

~Megan

 


Artist Feature – Dog Might Games

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The other day, as I was watching Critical Role, I began lamenting the fact that, despite my previous assumptions, I actually don’t have enough geeky friends to join me for some D&D.  I’m considering joining some kind of meetup for it, I’d want to do it in style, and a recent mention to me by Craft Hacker Toni came to mind.  Dog Might Games is a small company of a few dudes (and some dogs) who create tabletop games, as well as high quality, detailed, and frickin awesome wooden tabletop hardware.

These dice chests are made with sturdy wood, lined with felt, and the lid can double as a roll screen, for those who are shy about their numbers.  They also make some pretty decked out card boxes.

These ‘adventure’ cases are like a higher level dice chest, with space to hold cards, lights, and all sorts of customizable pieces.

Yes, they also make dice towers, which are super detailed and are also customizable with your own logos and designs.

These guys seem to have a lot of fun making these pieces, as well as coming up with their own card games.  I love that they include an image of Skeletor in their suggestions for custom symbols to add to your purchase, and their company page gives you a good idea of the creative and humourous attitude of the humans and canines who run things.  Looks to me like they all rolled 20s on this work.

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– Shalyn

 


Crafting Storage Management

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Instead of highlighting an artist today, I wanted to share some of the organizations tips I’ve gathered over the years. Like any crafter my supplies often exceeds my storage space so I’m always looking for the best ways to store my materials yet still have the easily accessible. While it’s not super extensive, here are some tips/suggestions I’ve put into practice.

1) Hanging Shelves

I’m starting off with my most used product storage system: Hanging Fabric shelves. As a crocheter, these things are a life saver. They’re cheap, easy to use, and lightweight. Quality will vary depending on how much you want to spend of course, but since I only needed my to sort my yarn I can get away with the $5-$10 ones. You can also purchase separate drawers to place inside of each cubby hole if you are have product that might fall out. Free closest space is a must of course, and if you’re like me and have a entire closet free then you’re better off combining it with number 2

2) Closet Organizer

The setup will take some time and you’ll want to plan your layout before you buy anything, but man oh man it is so worth it. I’m at a disadvantage with my current set up as it’s old and I had to adapt with what was already in place, but with all the options that exist with the adjustable shelf heights, basket racks and their sturdy design you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to organize all your crafting supplies. Not to mention that it has the added bonus of keeping your materials from taking over a room/the house as they “should” have a proper home to go back to. I should cause….yeah….my stuff still explodes all over the room during crunch time so I know it’s not realistic all the time, lol. If you can’t possibly spare the close space though….

3) Scrapbooking Desks/Storage

This is just one part of the larger Recollections Craft Storage Set that is often used for scrapbooking but can easily be adapted for other crafting needs. All the cubes in the set are the same dimensions and can be fitted into a larger shelving system. Great if you’re not into books and have the wall space to spare, while keep your house looking neat and tidy…ya know….when you’re not crafting. This can get pricey so if you lack space and money…well….

4) Storage Bins

Yup. When in doubt, go with the classics. The clear ones are the best if you need them for storage as you can easily get smaller bins to go inside, allowing you to see what is in which bin in a matter of minutes. Not the easiest to access, but hey, when you just need to toss your stuff out of the way so you house can be used for no crafting things, they get the job done. 😉 If you have any recommendations on storage item, feel free to share it with me over in the forums/in the comments and I’ll see about adding it next time. ^_^

~Nicole