DIY: Seed Starters

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

In an effort to encourage the cold to go away, I’ve got a simple little tutorial for you that would be really nice as Valentine’s day gifts, wedding or shower favours, or just an I’m thinking of you gift. With the warm weather coming, and gifts of all types being needed for all kinds of different spring and summer celebrations, I thought this might be nice to post. The original post is from Hands Occupied, and is meant as a valentines day tutorial, but looking at it, there’s a lot of different ways you can decorate and manage these special little gifts.

You will need a few supplies: mini mason jars, rubbing alcohol, potting soil, coffee beans or small pebbles, glass adhesive or a stencil of your choice, glass paint, a stiff bristle paint brush, thread, scissors a hole punch and a spoon. You’ll also need the seeds to your favourite plant!


Use the rubbing alcohol to clean the jar and place your adhesive stencil if you’re going to use one.You can also just paint the glass freehand, add glitter, spray paint it, really whatever you like. The simplicity of the little hand painted heart is just so sweet.

Dab the glass paint over the stencil with the stiff brush until the stencil is completely filled. Let the paint dry before removing the stencil.

Cover the bottom of the jar with coffee beans or small pebbles – these will help with the drainage for the plants and seeds – nothing that grows likes to drown. Since there’s no holes in the bottom of the mason jar, this is an important step. Add potting soil to the jar and leave enough room for your seeds to be added and the extra soil they’ll need on top. Give your seeds some water (follow the directions on the seed packaging), but as a general rule, enough water so that the soil is moist  with a little water along the bottom with your beans.

Your last step is to cut a little card and attach it to your mason jar. If it’s for Valentine’s day, a little heart might be sweet. If it’s another event, think of a little vintage style tag. You may want to include how to take care of the seeds: Water regularly but not too much, keep in a warm, light filled area, remember to transplant to a bigger pot once they’ve sprouted.

These little beauties can make great little votive candle holders when the plant has been transplanted. Hope you enjoyed and as always…

Happy crafting!

~ Megan


DIY: Paint Chip Calendar

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers,

I saw this and though tit was pretty awesome, so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a customizable calendar made out of paint chips. Which does mean that you can do whatever colour scheme you’d like and you can absolutely customize the sizing outside of what we’re showing you here. You can find the original tutorial here at DIY Projects.

For this project you will need a few things: A 12″ by 16″ picture frame (check your craft stores – they often have interesting and larger sizes), 35 paint chips in your choice of colours, scotch tape, scissors, a ruler and a dry erase marker. Your first step is to open the frame and take out the stock photo they have there. If you want a white background, just flip this over and use it as your background. If you’d like something a little more festive, you can use a piece of wrapping paper, wall paper, or you can wrap the back cardboard piece in fabric (though you may want to use a glue gun in that case rather than tape).  Next, measure a paint chip and cut it into a 3 and a quarter inches square – do this for all of them.

Lay out and affix the paint swatches to your board, and put 5 chips for each day. You can use a piece of some of the chips as a header for the day of the week if you like. Affix these by using tape – don’t worry, the picture frame will hold everything securely in place.

Your last step is to use your marker to label the calendar – the glass will work with the dry erase so you can customize it every month and add whatever you have going on through the month.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


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


DIY: Salt Water Etching

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I found a tutorial that I wanted to share, especially since it will be brought to you by SCIENCE! Also by this tutorial from Upstarter Ramblings. But by SCIENCE! Check out how super cool this looks.

So, there are some things you’ll need. First, you will need whatever it is that is stainless steel that you will be etching – this tutorial uses a water bottle… which are pretty easy to find hanging around at your local home, school camping… many stores have them. You will also need a lead set with alligator clips, a stencil of the pattern to be etched, 1/2 C of water, 1/2 tsp salt, 9 Volt battery and cotton swabs.

Your first step is to find a design you want to put on your stainless steel thing. It will need to be a stencil that you can cut out on vinyl, a prepared stencil, or one that you make from masking tape it it is a simple design. As long as the stencil is sticky, you will be good as the parts that aren’t stuck to the surface  (the exposed parts) will be what gets etched.

Mix the water and salt together into a jar and stir. Add a bunch of cotton swabs to the jar. Next, hook  one wire from the positive terminal of the batter to the metal water bottle. You can attach it to the open lid with the clip.

Hook the other wire from the negative terminal of the battery to the wet end of one of the cotton swabs. The clip has to be on the wet part of the swab.

Place the swab on the bottle where you want your design to show – in the negative spaces of the stencil, and make sure to dab the entire area.

The tip of the swab will get discoloured as metal is transferred from the bottle to the swab so replace it often – hence the handful of cotton swabs needed.

Try to cover the area evenly and when you’re done, dry off the design and remove the stencil. Wash away any remaining liquid.

And there you have it. A super impressive, super complicated looking project that you can do yourself.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan

 

 

 

 


DIY: Antique Flatware Rings

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers.

I have to say, I have always loved flatware rings. Whether it’s spoons or forks. There’s one catch though: they need to be silver. Which means you can check out your local antique stores or you can order them on Ebay. I’m using this tutorial from Kristen Danielle Designs as my reference.

So, you do need some specialty tools, but this is also a specialty DIY. You of course will need a sterling silver spoon or fork. A metal cutter, hacksaw or jewelry saw, file or sandpaper – coarse and fine, a dowel or ring mandrel, a paper and pen, a hammer or mallet (optional) and a butane torch (also optional but good for creme brule also). You’ll also have to decide what type of ring you want to make. You can make one that wraps up your finger, like so:

Or you can make one that wraps around itself, like so:

You can make whatever you like, you just need to make the wrap ring (the top image) a little longer.

When you’ve picked out which ring you want to make, pick out your cutlery and make sure it’s sterling silver – it will be stamped on the back of the spoon (900 or 925).

Next, measure your finger. You can do this by cutting a strip of paper and cutting it to measure or marking the overlap. If you’re doing a wrap ring, add an extra 1/4 inch for the overlap. If it’s the other type, you can just wrap it on itself.

For the next step you’ll need your saw or cutter. If you’re making a wrap ring, you’re going to want to cut the handle at the length you measured. The other ring, you can cut it just below the bowl of the spoon. File/sand the cut tend with a metal file or coarse grit sandpaper, and work your way down to fine grit sandpaper to get it super smooth so you don’t cut yourself or others.

Your next step is to bed the spoon. You can bend it around a dowel using the force of your muscles, you can hammer it around the dowel, or you can heat it with a butane torch before you bend. I would test which method works best for you.

If you are going to use a hammer, to avoid scratches, wrap the head of the hammer in a folded dishtowel. If you torch it, you’ll need to heat it for a little while, but don’t let it start glowing orange, that’s bad. The last step is to buff or polish the ring to get it to shine.

And voila, you have rings that you can give as gifts, or sell if you’re so inclined. Have fun!

~ Megan

 


DIY: Teacup Makeup Stand

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Hello Thursday readers.

I found something I thought was rather lovely, and I thought I’d share it with you. At first glance it’s really cool. But on top of that, it’s actually pretty useful for the intended purpose, which is even better. You will need some supplies and tools and a little technical know how: A plate, bowl and cup (it’s really nice if they match, and you can totally find some on the cheap at second hand and vintage stores), a threaded rod for lamps with nuts, 1/2″ (hole) washers, 1/2″ diamond drill bit and drill, spray primer and paint, a drawer knob and 8-32 machine screw for the drawer knob. You can find the original post here from Design by Studio C, if you’d like to check back for reference or check for some other awesome posts.

Your first step is to mark the position of the holes to be drilled into the pieces. You can find the original poster’s video on how to do this here. Using the diamond bit, drill holes and then set the dinnerware to the side. Keep in mind, if you want to add any decor, such as decals or any paint, or you want to decorate the plates on your own, this is the time.

Determine the height of the organizer (and take into account any room needed to grasp the top to move the thing) and cut a length for the rod. You can use a metal primer to prime the metal bits (including the nuts, rod and washers) and you can spray paint them a particular colour, if you so choose.

 

Thread a nut onto the rod and leave it as close to the bottom as possible. Add a washer and then the plate. Add another washer and then a nut to hold the plate securely in place.

Thread a third nut onto the rod and add another washer. Adjust the height for where you would like the bowl to sit. Leave a little room so you can get your hands underneath it to access anything that gets pushed closer to the middle. Add the bowl, another washer and a fourth nut to secure it in place.

Do the same with the cup.

Remember that so long as you’ve left enough height, you can adjust things at this point so that there’s enough space and every piece is at the height you’d like it to be.

Insert the machine screw in the bottom of the drawer knob, making sure the head of the screw will fit through the opening in the rod.

The last step is to glue the drawer knob to the top of the rod inside the cup so that it can be a functional handle. Voila! your project is complete. Super easy and makes a really beautiful gift.

Happy crafting!

 

~Megan

 

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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 Dog Bed Tutorial

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As a quilter I don’t use a lot of home decor fabric.  I was just introduced to Crypton Home Decor fabric that is odor resistant and spills bead and wipe up easily.  Why is this important?  Fabric.com gave us a great pet bed tutorial that you can make with any fabric, but the Crypton is recommended because of the amazing versatility and the cute dog themed patterns.

Supplies Needed

The instructions they give are great and can be easily found on their website.  But in addition to great instructions they also supplied us with a great video!

If you make one, share it with us!  We would love to see it.

-Toni

 


How to Cut on the Bias

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If you pick up a piece of fabric, you can stretch it in three ways, vertically, horizontally, and diagonally.  This diagonal stretch is the stretchiest and is the bias of the quilt.  You may need a cut of bias for hems, bindings, or may have a pattern that calls for this special stretch.  But cutting the bias may be something new to you.

The Dutch Label Shop is where I get my special labels for the backs of my quilts.  I love the quality of the labels and the way they look on my quilts.  In addition to making a great product, they periodically blog about important things sewers should know.  One of the blogs they ran was how to cut on the bias.

Reposted from The Dutch Label Shop:

First, you have to understand two other fabric terms: selvage and grain.

WHAT IS SELVAGE

Selvage is the name given to the self-finished edges of a piece of fabric. It keeps the fabric from unravelling and fraying. Often it serves the further purpose of providing information about the producer and designer, information that is printed directly onto the unpatterned area.

When a fabric store associate pulls down a bolt, rolls it out on their cutting table, and cuts you a portion of it, they will always cut perpendicular to the selvage. Each piece of fabric will therefore have two self-finished edges, top and bottom.

WHAT IS GRAIN

Just like wood or meat, fabric has a grain. In reference to fabric, the term “grain” indicates the way the fabric is knit or woven together. Take a close look at any piece of fabric. You will notice threads running parallel and perpendicular to the selvage. This is the grain of the fabric. Take your hands and place them on a perpendicular line and try pulling the fabric. There will be no give. Do the same on a parallel line. Again, the fabric will not stretch. Cutting along a parallel or perpendicular line is cutting “with the grain.”

WHAT IS BIAS

Now, back to bias. Take your hands and place them on the opposite selvage, diagonally across from each other, and pull. The fabric stretches! This is because you are pulling along the bias, against the grain. When a pattern calls for a bias cut, it is to take advantage of this stretchy quality. Bias is the thread line which cuts the grain at a 45 degree angle.

 

BIAS SEWING BASICS: HOW TO CUT ON THE BIAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO CUT ON THE BIAS

To easily measure this 45 degree angle, take the top corner of your fabric and fold it down to the bottom edge of the fabric, creating a diagonal fold. Cut along the fold, and voila! You’ve cut on the bias.

If you would like to see more posts by Dutch Label shop or check out their cool labels, you can find them here.