Displaying your jewelry designs

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Good morning all. This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. My summer season has started with a great bang, and for those of you who also make jewelry, I’m sure you think about how best to display the unique pieces you craft. Whether it is at home or at a show, it can be tricky to come up with ways that show your pieces to their best advantage, and let others know how unique your things are. I’ve found some excellent craftsmen on Etsy that make some excellent displays, ship, and are happy to customize them.

WhatWeMade is based in Arizona, and has some unique designs. Their necklace bust is gorgeous, wooden, and striking with any silver pieces you have.

DalesWoodandMore has a lovely wall unit that would be great for personal collections, or hanging on grid for a nice table display.

If you want to go more metal, BlackIronIndustrial has some unique shelving and bar selections.

I also love this wonderful travel case from Canoa Naturals

It is versatile and pretty. If looking to make your own display, there are a number of tutorials out there to make it a snap for any crafty person!


 


DIY Laundry Supplies

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I don’t normally post “life hacks” types of crafts, but I’ve been looking into more of this stuff to suit my family allergy needs and I figure I shouldn’t just hoard it all to myself. 😉 So today I’m gonna give you the info you need in order to make your own laundry detergent and an anti-static wool ball.

 

Washing Detergent

  • Borax
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
  • 5.5oz Fels-Naptha Soap (you can also just about any bar soap really, but this one is made specifically for laundry)
  • water
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Hand Grater (Yes, like the one for cheese)
  • Essential Oils (Optional; only used to add a scent to the clothes)
  • 5 Gallon Bucket (for liquid detergent only)

Once you have you ingredients gathered you have 2 options. Powdered or Liquid. The first step for both requires you to grate the Fels-Naptha Soap bar. A normal house hold grater will do just fine. Then for powered detergent simply multiply this out depending on how much you want to make:

1 cup Washing Soda

1 cup Borax

½ cup – 1 cup grated bar soap

That’s it! Use maybe a ¼ cup per full load. You’ll likely adjust to suit your needs after a few experiment loads.

If you prefer liquid soap, you’ll need to perform a few extra steps. First, take your grated soap and add it to a pot with 4 cups of hot water.  Put it on the stove on medium-high, and stir until completely melted – about 10 minutes. Take that 5 gallon bucket and fill it half way with water, then pour in your liquid soap. Stir in 1 cup of borax & 1 cup of washing soda into the bucket. If you want to make it scented, now is the time to add your essential oil. You’ll need ½ – 1 oz total depending on how strong you want the scent to be. Stir that in as well to combine. Now, fill up the bucket with warm water all the way to the top – and stir again.  If you don’t have a utensil long enough to reach the bottom, just put on a pair of rubber dish gloves beforehand. SNap the lid on the bucket and let it sit for at least 24 hours so it can gel up.

Once it’s done, you’ll likely notice it’s got clumps, or if you made it while it’s humid out it may still be pretty thin. This is normal/fine and you should still use it like normal. If you really want it to have that store bought consistency instead of being lumpy though, you can take an immersion blender to it to smooth everything out. Disperse it into other containers (empty detergent or milk gallons for example) and voila. You’re no longer beholden to the detergent industry.

Anti-Static Ball

I know we’ve all heard the aluminum foil ball thing, but this one will leave your laundry smell nice instead.

  • 100% Wool yarn would into a ball
  • Essential Oil

Make sure your ball of wool is tightly wound and wash it until it becomes felted. Then add a few drops of essential oil to the ball, letting it set before using. It will not need to be rewashed (bar anything happening to it), just add more essential oil again if the smell fades. Simply it toss it in when you are drying your clothes and bam. No more static. 🙂 If you really need that dryer sheet feel you can soak the wool ball in fabric softener instead, but the wool is key to help get rid of static.


DIY Mermaid Crown

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My sister is expecting her second child within the next few weeks (aka not soon enough if you ask her) and has been nesting. She’s constantly fiddling with the baby’s room and fussing over it being “not ready” with her latest obsession (since the room actually is ready and has been for some time) being the decorations in the room. Since she lives by the beach doing a beach/mermaid theme appealed to her and she’s been bombarding me with every mermaid print/decoration she’s fallen in love with for the last 2 weeks.

Basically you have her to thank for today’s topic, lol.

Now this wouldn’t work well with a new born outside of a photo shoot of course, but she loves the idea  of using found shells from the beach near her home to make one. Personally I’d like a more tiara styled one, but that’s the beauty with this type of thing, once you know the basics, you can easily adjust it to suit your needs. 🙂


No One Steals Alone Cookie Jar

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So we’ve all done it. Swiped a few fresh baked cookies from the jar when your friend/family walked away. Rookie mistake of course on their part as they could lose all their baked treats this way. It happened to me so I suppose that’s Karma for ya. Well this one artist has designed a cookie lock bx that will require an assistant for you to get in to.

Crafted by Thijs Sondag and his friend Gustav, this cookie box requires at least 2 sets of hands to open. Now if it were me, this is where I’d use my many younger siblings to swipe cookies for me so I could truthfully admit I’d not touched the box all day. You could of course use this for hiding things from those without built in teams of scapegoats  assistants, but if you make it out of wood it probably wouldn’t keep a determined thief from simply breaking it open. Still, if you’d like to make your own, the creative duo has kindly shared the plans online. You can also watch the full video of the box here if the lovely gif loop just doesn’t do it for ya. 😉


DIY Unique Yarn Storage

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Hey there, Hackers! Tis your intrepid ScribeSarah, back with some tips on how to keep your crafting space clear and organized. Now, even little ol’ anal-retentive me gets her home a little messy with all her little projects but there are ways you can get that chaos organized, even if it doesn’t always look like it. While I tend to be a bit of a jack of all trades in the craft arena, for today’s exercise, I thought we would focus on ways to keep your yarn both accessible and stowed so that it’s not taking over your home.

There are quick and easy ways to store your yarns and threads, most of which you can find at your local Container Store (a place I am not allowed to go unsupervised because I will buy all the things). However, if you’re looking for something a little less ordinary (and costly), there are a bunch of things out there that you can use or re-purpose for these needs.

For yarn that isn’t being used currently (or for that yarn you found you just couldn’t leave the craft store without despite not having a specific project you bought it for), you could use old wicker/weaved baskets. My grandmother had a ton of these just hiding in her cupboards and when she passed away, rather than donate them to the Goodwill, I kept and re-purposed them. Some I use for small balls of yarn (leftovers from projects past) and some I use to keep finished projects. These can be decorative and left out by a chair or sofa or can be standard square that fits in a closet or on a shelf easily.

Another thing that gives your not-being-used yarn a happy and somewhatImage result for vintage suitcase retro home is to put those old suitcases to work. Vintage suitcases are a beautiful way to store these items that still look neat and classy. They fit in closets, under beds or sofas, but still show off a little glamor when pulled out for use. They can also be stacked decoratively in a corner or on a shelf (e.g. hat boxes, etc). You can line old suitcases with any fabric you like too, so the inside as well as the outside has a special sort of flare.

If you like assembling items, this next item is for you. Simple pegboard and hooks are a fabulous way to store your yarn while still keeping it readily accessible and easy to use. You can customize size, shape, even color quite easily and load as many or as few skeins onto a board as you see fit. You can also create many small boards to mount along the wall of your craft room in a funky design or pattern. The sky’s the limit with this option and it works best if you have a dedicated craft area or room.  For an easy-to-follow tutorial, check out Dwell Beautiful’s step-by-step instructions here.

Coffee cans are a fun, decorative way to store yarn you are currently using on projects. They come in various sizes and, depending on how much coffee you consume, you may have a restoring supply. You can paint or decoupage the outside of each can, simply slice a small hole in the lid of the can, then place the ball or skein in the can and thread the end through the lid. Glue guns, glitter, rhinestones, shelf lining paper and yarn itself are also fun ways to decorate the outsides of the cans. Not only does this give you storage, it is also an inexpensive yarn holder. But if you don’t want tons of coffee cans just sitting around your space, you can also mount them on the wall (without the lids).

Image result for coffee can yarn

And finally, we come to milk crates. These may be a little harder to come by but they give you a great way to create your own yarn shelves. They are stackable, come in different colors and can be used in small and large spaces equally as well. Got a lot of yarn? Just keep stacking on the crates until you have a place for it all. For this idea, I recommend using an anchor of sorts when stacking against a wall; the higher you stack the crates, the more likely it is that the whole thing could topple over. You will also want to lash the crates together as well to make your yarn storage sturdier.

Image result for milk crate yarn storage

These are just a few ways to take items you may have either laying around the house or are easy and inexpensive to acquire and use them to organize your space. But don’t stop there. Look around you. You never know when inspiration will strike. That random item that’s just collecting dust in the corner may be the next great organizational tool in your crafting adventures.

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DIY Vinyl Art for Bags & Purses

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I’m not a big purse person, never have been, and I don’t care to have decorated ones as a result. The idea of customizing one though? Sign me up!

This idea comes from the folks at StudioDIY, and is all about making a custom donut image for your round purse, but if they’re not your thing, I don’t see why you can’t apply these methods there to any purse/bag you like! You’ll want to visit the DIY page to make sure you understand the process to tweak it to your needs, but here’s the quick run down of supplies required for this project.

It involves lots of spray adhesive to get everything together, so you’ll want to make sure you’re in a well ventilated space or outdoors so fumes don’t become over powering. I’m not sure if this would work on fabric, but I think it would since it’s mostly the adhesive keeping things in place. So if you’ll excuse me, I have a blank to tote to customize.


DIY Simple Paper Cup Gift Box

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Gift wrapping can be hard. Like, really hard. Have something weirdly shaped or super small? You’ll be better off just using a gift bag most of the time. While I don’t have the perfect solution to large weird shapes this time, I have a pretty simple and cheap DIY for making one out of a paper cup.

Made by the folks at fabartdiy, this simple image guide shows how to turn any 10oz or large paper cup into a cute and simple gift box. The supplies you will need are:

  • Scissors
  • Paper Cup 10oz or larger
  • Sticker for sealing
  • Stickers/markers for decorations (optional)

You start by cutting the top rim off the cup (typically this is white). Then make 8 equal length vertical cuts around the top. Once that’s done simply fold the tabs in, making sure to go clockwise around as you do with each tab overlapping on the right side. Push them all down and seal with a sticker. Done! ^_^  Use them for wrapping gifts to even for making little grab bags for your shows  if you have small items like stickers or charms.


A Bit of Spring Cleaning

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Happy Sunday, all!

The up and down weather has continued here but the warm temps have definitely outweighed the cold ones! As it stays brighter longer and the breeze is full of the smell of growing things, my mind inevitably turns to…cleaning! Purging! Out with the old! Seriously, I’ve been putting some real effort into using/recycling/pitching many of those things that have been cluttering up my space. What I’ve found should be no surprise as I am a self confessed fabric and yarn hoarder but I’ve also found a lot of scraps. I *know* I’ll use them but the question is when? Right now, I say! Easter/May Day/Mother’s Day and other celebrations are afoot and what better way to bust some scraps than to make things, especially useful things like this earbud pouch:

This looks like the perfect way to keep them untangled and easy to find.

You could definitely experiment with different pattern and zipper combinations. Along with that pouch, I am always fighting with my various device charging cords so you could also use scraps to make a cord keeper:

Keeping those cords organized in a stylish way!

Now we don’t have to JUST make useful things, there are plenty of pretty projects to use up those fabulous colorful or fancy scraps like this bracelet:

Which could include more than one fabric type for more texture.

Or these bobby pins:

Imagine what I could do with all of my character fabric!

Or even these fabric flowers:

They will last a lot longer than their regular counterparts and you could put some potpourri in the planter so that they still smell lovely.

Now doesn’t that feel good? Even if I didn’t offer something you may want to try, I assure you that there are dozens of other scrap project lists out there. We’d love to see some of yours, too! I’m off to sort through another mountain of stash fabric in the meantime.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


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. 😀


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. ^_^