Friendship Bracelets

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When I was a kid, one thing I remember doing was sitting and hand-making lovely little bracelets that we called Friendship bracelets. I used to love doing that so I thought it would be fun to revisit. They are really easy to make, don’t require any additional tools (like needles or hooks) and can be made almost anywhere! Heck, I remember my sister sitting in the back seat of the family car on long road trips, her floss pinned to the knee of her jeans, braiding & knotting away as we traveled.

All you need for this project are the following items:

  • embroidery floss (thin yarn also works)
  • scissors
  • scotch tape or safety pins
  • tape measure

First step is to cut your floss. I always used to hold the floss in my left hand and measure it up to my shoulder (that’s how my mom taught me). But you can also measure the width of your wrist and multiple by 5 to get an appropriate length. This is going to seem really long but remember, you are braiding/weaving/knotting it so it will shorten the finished product. If you are using different colors for patterns, cut one stand with measure and then you can use that as a ruler for the other strands/colors!

Let’s just focus this post on easiest, basic beginner so we will only do six strands of floss and only three colors in one bracelet. Once your floss is cut, you will lay all three colors together and tie a knot into one end. Then adhere it to a table top or your pant leg or a pillow. Braid a simple braid three inches down (you will be doing this at the end of the bracelet too). After you have your 3 inches of braid, knot under the braid again.

 

Now to the detailed part of our bracelet! Choose what order you want your colors to go in. Example: I’m using yellow, green, pink, blue, orange and purple in that order. Arrange your floss in the order you want from left to right. The first row will be the farthest left-hand color. So my first row will be yellow, followed by green, then pink, then blue, then orange, and finally purple.

Take the first two strands (yellow and green) and pass the first strand OVER the second, then behind the same strand. Basically, you are knotting your first color around the second strand. Pull this up toward the top knot gently to tighten it. Don’t pull it super tight, just pull it up lightly so that it is knotted around the strand snug. Do this a second time on the same strand (there should be TWO knots on each strand). Follow these same steps for the rest of the row. So same snug knot of yellow around the pink strand, then the blue strand, then the orange strand, then the purple strand.

You will now have a row of yellow bumps across the top of your bracelet.

Start again at the left (this would now be my green strand) and do exact same steps across the row. Continue doing this until you have 3-4 inches of knotting done.

Once you have the amount of rows you need (roughly 3-4 inches worth), gather all the strands together and make a large knot (like we did at the very start). Then simply braid three more inches, knot again and snip excess floss from ends.

Voila! Friendship Bracelet Achievement Unlocked!

Happy crafting, friends!


Miniature Magnetized Handmade Calendars (Year)

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Happy New Year, my crafty little friends! I hope that you all had a very fun and safe celebration to say farewell to 2017 and welcome in 2018. I raise a proverbial glass to new and exciting ventures for us all in the new year!

My extraordinarily brilliant and crafty mother provided me with this week’s blog post in the form of one of my stocking stuffers this year; a small magnetized calendar that she had made herself.

She had gotten the idea from a lady at her church. I though it was such a cute and easy thing, I have sort of reverse-engineered it to share with all of you. Since it is the first day of a new year, this calendar will come in quite handy and can be completely and totally customizable.

All you need is one of those 4×6 plastic picture frames with no border. If you can find one with a magnet already attached to the back, great! If not, you can also purchase strips of magnet with adhesive on one side and just stick it to the back of your frame yourself. You can find some on Amazon.com here. You will also want to have some card stock (white is preferable if you are planning to color and decorate each month but you can also use different colors for different months as well). Also have some markers or crayons or colored pencils (all of the above?) and, if you like that sort of thing, rubber stamps. Other items you can use to really make your calendar unique are stickers and washi tape…maybe even some thin felt or eco-glitter (if you, unlike me, don’t abhor glitter and how it gets all over EVERYTHING FOREVER). Just go the to craft store and look around, the options are endless.

Here is one adaptable part of your project. If you are tech savvy, you can play around with formatting and design of the calendar part on the bottom of each month’s card and then print them out. If you don’t want to fiddle around on the computer or you simply like working with your hands, you can use a ruler and hand-write the month and days into the bottom of the card. You get to decide how much effort and time you want to or can put into this. This adapting applies to the top part of your card as well. As you can see from my mom’s example, you can use the rubber stamps to give fun themes to your months and simply color those in.

You can also use stickers, draw pictures (or have your kids draw pictures!), put inspirational quotes on them, or even print or paste family photos on each month. The sky’s the limit!

Once you have your calendar and picture done, simply cut the card out to fit into your magnetized frame. (You can cut this out before decorating if you wish, it’s up to the creator’s preference.) You will need to make twelve cards total; one for each month of the year. It’s quick and easy to swap out at the change of each month.

These adorable calendars are great for use at home or in the office (the magnet should stick to most metal file cabinets) but they also make wonderful and useable gifts for others. You can make as many as you’d like and if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can get a bigger sized frame and make larger ones. Recommendation though, don’t go above 5×7 as the frame and card stock inside it may be too heavy for the magnet to support. You can try gluing more than one magnet on the back of the frame if you want to try making an 8×10 but there is no guarantee that will help support the weight. But play with it, experiment, make the project your own!

May this fun craft help you keep track of all the busy days 2018 will surely bring us and may it also remind you daily of the simple and fun things we all can look forward to in life. Have a fruitful year, friends!

~Scribe Sarah~


Feature: 42 Nerdtastic Place

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Happy Monday, Hackers!

Today I want to tell you about a wonderful place you should all visit: 42 Nerdtastic Place.

Last month, I was working at a convention out in Schaumburg, IL for the television show, Gotham. It was a small show, it only had a few vendors but there was a new booth that I hadn’t seen before. I was intrigued. A friend of mine and I went over to check it out on Friday night during pre-registration and the young woman I spoke to was an absolute delight. She told me all about her products and that they are all handmade. I told her about my quest to become truly cruelty-free in my product usage and asked about that. She said that not only are her products cruelty-free, they are 100% vegan. What caught my eye was the comprehensive selection of lip balms she had out (and it wasn’t even all that she offers). I had found out that the balm/chapstick I had been using most of my adult life wasn’t something I was comfortable using anymore (short version: the company itself is cruelty-free but the parent company is not). So I had been looking for a balm to replace it and was finding it difficult. You don’t want to spend money on something like that only to discover you hate it and you have this whole tube of it you won’t use. So a lot of the online options I was finding, I was hesitant to purchase. But here, I had testers.

Long story slightly less long, I fell in LOVE with these balms. It was like smoothing silk onto my lips and the scents were unique but still heavenly-scented. The best part was that they are GEEKY. This woman taylors her recipes and products to a myriad of fandoms.

I walked away from that convention with four new lip balms (two of which were Gotham-themed).

Now, I want to share this fabulous person and her equally fabulous products with you all!

Amanda Mayer launched 42 Nerdtastic Place on Etsy in 2014, starting out with fandom-themed jewelry and coasters. But Amanda’s crafty mind didn’t just stop there. She branched out, wanting to provide a plethora of items for shoppers. She started making other items, like scented candles and melting waxes, lip balms, room sprays, etc in addition to original items like necklaces, bracelets, and bag clips. Her site’s About page states that they “wanted the feel to be of a place you would go to when shopping for your Hogwarts school list or a place you might go to cozy up to fellow enthusiasts.” Amanda and her crack team have accomplished this goal resoundingly!

42 Nerdtastic Place sells both online and maintains a presence at local fan conventions so you have different ways to purchase products. They are also always expanding. The Gotham blends, for example, were created specifically for the Gotham convention (though Amanda had been asked by shoppers in the past). And it doesn’t just stop with television and movie fandoms. There are products that feature animation (both American and Japanese), fantasy creatures, literature, even musicals (I personally need to try the Forgotten Spot in the Caribbean – Hamilton body spray).

42 Nerdtastic Place offers the following items: Bag clips, bracelets, necklaces, Hogwarts House combs, air fresheners, candles, hair care & grooming products (like Asgards’s Finest Beard Oil…You too can have the beard of a god!), lip balms and lip sheers, perfumes, and wax melts. They also have some lovely gift sets and they offer samples (not something you come across for online stores much, in my limited experience).

Amanda has also generously provided all our Craft Hacker readers a discount code for 15% off any regular priced items. Simply input code CRAFTHACKER15 to receive 15% off any of their regular priced items!

Hope you all enjoy as much as I do, Hackers! Be beautiful to each other.


Etsy feature: gorgeous flower hats by FilcAlki

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Good. Opening and happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. I’ve spent most of the last five weeks on the road going from show to show, and I’m finally on the way home for a few weeks of much needed rest.

Yesterday I felt in need of a pick me up. I wandered through Asheville, did some shopping, and ate at a few local little places with great food. I also browsed a bit through Etsy and debated getting myself a treat for my hard work. I stumbled upon an amazing shop with some gorgeous felted hats. The Shop is FilcAlki, and she is an artist based in Poland. Her work is vibrant, crisp and bright. She offers hats, gloves, and some felted scarves. It’s the hats that really shine to me.

Her flower hats are sassy and bold.

Also in love with these architectural gems.

I have worn felted hats with a great coat and scarf in winter, as an addition to a cosplay, or simply to celebrate the season. Reasonably priced, handmade and unique, I’ll be adding more of these to my personal collection!

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