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


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 ‘Leave Me Alone’ Sweater

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It’s winter and I’m an introvert, so I already get the isolation I need most of the time, but sometimes….sometimes people just don’t get the message. Instead of running off though, I can now do like I did as a child and hide in my sweater thanks to this awesome instructable!

So what will you need to make this awesome custom refuge? Not much actually; though understanding of sewing clothes/patterns does help.

– Sweater that fits you (to use for sizing)

– 2 yards of fabric: Ideally a thick warm knit

– Zipper: She used a 22 inch zipper and cut it down to 14 inches. Use a longer zipper if you want your sweater to be able to go more off the shoulder. YYK is an excellent brand from something sturdy and long lasting. (~$3)

– Thread ($2)

Tools required:

– Sewing machine

– Zipper foot

– Hand sewing needle

– Jean needle for Sewing Machine (for use when sewing the zipper on. The thick weave will break normal needles)

The full instructions can be found here on instructable, but the quick and dirty has you taking the fabric and cutting it to size, using a current sweater you own as the template for sizing. From there you can alter the bottom length, but the top will be extended to give and extra long cowl that the zipper will get attached to. The idea of not having to talk to anyone will certainly be a big motivator for me to finish it. ^_^


DIY Kinetic Sand

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kinetic-sand

Only a few days left of holiday shopping, so I’ve got a super simple (and cheap!) DIY gift that you can mix up in a few minutes, and have it ready for play just a few hours later. Here’s the shopping list of materials you will need per batch:

  • 1 Cup of Fine Sand (can be found at craft stores in small amounts or some hardware stores in large bags)
  • 1.5 tbsp of Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Dishsoap
  • Water (amount will vary as you are looking to reach a touch consistency more then a certain water level)
  • Medium to Large bowl for mixing
  • Food coloring (optional)

First things first, make sure your hands and work space are clean to keep any foreign crumbs or debris won’t accidentally get mixed in. Then, using you bowl, mix together the sand and cornstarch with a whisk; making sure the two are well and thoroughly combined. Next, add the 1 tsp of dishsoap and some water (no more then 1/4c) and start mixing with the whisk again. This step will take some time as you are looking to evenly mix everything without adding too much water. You can always add more water if need be, so best to start small and add if needed. This is the consistency you are looking to achieve:

kinetic-sand-2

It should be able to hold form, but not look soupy. This is a bit of a personal preference level as well. Speaking f personal preference, you can now add food coloring to the sand if you wish. About 1/2tsp to 1 tsp should be more then enough to get a nice vibrant color. Once your sand is the color you want, set the bowl aside to let it dry for 1-2 hours. When you come back, it will be like magic.

kinetic-sand-3

Your sand should now be moldable and easy to cut and play with! Make sure to store it in an airtight container to keep it from drying out (as unlike the commercial product this has no special chemicals to keep it from happening) or to use as a container to give it as a gift! 😀


Stockings to be Stuffed

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Hello Sunday readers!

We now have some ornaments and wreaths that have been made out of recycled materials so to make the place even more festive, let’s make some stockings! I’ve seen a lot of tutorials on upcycling sweaters and this one is pretty straight forward:

Super cozy stockings for lots of swag.

Super cozy stockings for lots of swag.

Or how about that favorite pair of jeans that you just can’t seem to part with but have holes in embarrassing spots? Let’s make them into a festive memorial:

More pockets = more room = more treats!

More pockets = more room = more treats!

Do you still have some ties leftover from last week’s wreath project? Use them to make a matching/accenting stocking:

So colorful!

So colorful!

This last one was actually pretty near and dear to my heart. What if you have a quilt that is just so old and loved that it is literally falling apart? You don’t want to completely trash it and there is really no saving it so make part or parts of it into some beloved stockings:

Just don't pack it too full unless you line it with something heavy duty!

Just don’t pack it too full unless you line it with something heavy duty!

So now that you’ve got all of these lovely stockings to hang by the chimney with care, what if you don’t have a mantle, let alone a chimney? There is a recycled solution out there for you, too. It involves an old headboard, paint, and some pegs:

Just make sure to mount it properly otherwise there will be new holes in the wall from the weight of the loot!

Just make sure to mount it properly otherwise there will be new holes in the wall from the weight of the loot!

The whole place should be looking cheery and festive now! There’s only one more Sunday before the big day so I’ll be back next week with some recycled gift ideas.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Put a Wreath Around It

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Greetings Sunday readers!

I promised recycled holiday goodness and I aim to please! Last week I offered up some recycled ornaments so the next progressive step to decking out the home for the holidays should be fairly easy – a wreath for the door. I had some fun finding a variety of different materials to use while just staring around the house at possibilities. The first and most obvious for me is magazines. We don’t have as many physical subscriptions as we used to but we still get enough to put some solid weight at the bottom of the recycling bin. This first DIY is one of the more time intensive ones on the list but the results are just lovely:

Gardening or floral magazines would work best but even junk mail catalogs could work!

Gardening or floral magazines would work best but even junk mail catalogs could work!

Really, you could probably just use any kind of paper you have laying around for this but I think the glossy paper in magazines give it that shiny, leafy realism. Ok so now I’ve used some of the old magazines up, what else? In the kitchen I have…corks! We don’t drink nearly the amount of wine in this house as beer but we still occasionally bring out a bottle with the evening meal. I definitely have enough to do a slightly larger wreath than this:

This would make a great gift for those wine enthusiasts in your life, too.

This would make a great gift for those wine enthusiasts in your life, too.

I keep all of the corks and bottle caps I want to save in a clear jar on the counter under the cabinets. What’s in the cabinets? I have some canning jars that were used for projects/preserving last year and they have lids. So what could be better than candy-striped canning jar ring wreaths:

We always re-buy the lids every year so I have a ton!

Remember to use a couple for those shadow box ornaments from last week, too.

I wandered into the closets at this point and thought about all of those old ornaments we had packed away that are getting replaced with handmade ones. What should I do with them? Toss them or donate them? No! Let’s make them into another wreath!

You could even ask the parents or grandparents for some of their old sets for nostalgia purposes.

You could even ask the parents or grandparents for some of their old sets for nostalgia purposes.

While in the closet, I had some of the husbands clothes brushing the top of my head and I wondered if there were some cool recycled clothing wreaths out there (of course there are). He’s not really into wearing ties so we’ve accumulated quite a few that were gifts. I think there are enough colors to do a variation on this:

If you don't have enough/any, I'm pretty sure the local thrift store does.

If you don’t have enough/any, I’m pretty sure the local thrift store does.

Whew, not only did we get some great craft ideas but it allowed me to clean out a bit! Just in time to receive more gifts and start the cycle over. Have a great week, crafters and next time we’ll try our hand at some recycled centerpieces.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


DIY Bathtub Tray

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December, the month of holidays, starts tomorrow, and I’m back with another DIY gift idea for your loved ones. This week it’s a DIY Bathtub Tray from the folks at Lil’ Luna that requires no power tools and could probably be done in an afternoon if you’re determined.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • 1’×10′ pine board cut to width of tub (so make sure you measure before you go get your wood, but most hardware store will cut it for free; also make sure it’s a thick board like 1″)
  • sandpaper
  • stain or paint (their formula for a warm gray stain is here)
  • sealant (gloss or matt; can also get a stain with a sealant included)
  • 2 cabinet pulls with screws
  • self-adhesive grippers

I would also recommend not just one, but two levels of sandpaper be used. A harder grit (around 80) to sand the edges down of any jagged parts, and then follow it up with a finer one (160 or so) to get it primed for staining. Don’t be afraid to sand and restain again after the first round if the board feels too rough. This is fairly common and nothing that another round of the finer sand paper and then staining again won’t fix. Once the stain is done and dry, simply apply the self adhesive grippers (which will keep it steady on a slippery tub) and then install the cabinet pulls. It’s just that simple. 🙂 You can find a fully documented step by step guide with pictures right here at lil Luna though if you need it. 🙂