Ordinary cardboard can easily become a perfect quad blaster. Part 3 of this Star Lord costume tutorial shows you how to make a cheap and easy one. Continue reading
Need an easy belt and Walkman for your DIY Star Lord costume? This tutorial shows you how to make them with a little cardboard and some distressed fabric. Continue reading
Shredded layer soaps consist of cutting up an opaque bar of soap, and immersing the shreds in a transparent bar of soap. Continue reading
This cheap DIY infinity orb is very easy to make, and it actually opens so you can put your infinity stone inside. Continue reading
This is part 2 of how to make a Superman costume. This is for the pants and the belt. Continue reading
A couple different fabric patterns can get you an easy, DIY reversible headband. Continue reading
This is a tutorial for a fairly easy DIY Superman costume. This tutorial is for the first part of the costume, the shirt (I broke the usual bodysuit into two pieces) and the S emblem. Continue reading
A few cookie cutters and a little melt and pour soap equal creative cookie cutter soaps. Continue reading
The more a person crafts, the more they realize, there are some things that are just a part of crafting life. While crafting is for the most part a very pleasant experience, there are a few things that strike a chord with those who create. Here are a few things that almost every crafter can probably identify with… starting with the fact that those of us who have used glue guns, can attest that they will indeed burn off one’s finger prints…
A fun and easy way to decorate a plain shirt is to make a reverse silhouette on it. Continue reading
This is a tutorial for the Chewbacca bowcaster from Star Wars. Had a request for this one, so put it together from some fairly common items that most people already have lying around their house. Continue reading
Had a request for a Wizard of Oz scarecrow costume tutorial. Continue reading
This Easter egg wreath is quick and easy to make. Continue reading
So the final part of the requested Suicide Squad Harley Quinn costume is the pigtails, tattoos and good night bat. Continue reading
This simple Easter Egg garland is super easy and quick to make, and very inexpensive. Continue reading
Part 3 of the Suicide Squad Harley Quinn costume is her Puddin choker and bracelets (both the spikey ones, and the Yes & Sir bracelets she wore below the spikey ones). Continue reading
So here is part 2 of the Suicide Squad Harley Quinn costume tutorial. This is the tutorial for the shorts and the belt. Continue reading
A little cardboard and some scrapbooking paper can make a simple little fairy door to decorate your house. Continue reading
I had a couple requests for a Harley Quinn costume from the Suicide Squad movie. Continue reading
It’s easy to make “fossil” soaps with safer melt and pour soap, and it makes a fun craft to do with kids (under adult supervision). Continue reading
I’ve had quite a few people have asked about the family Iron Man costume, since it’s seen in the background of a lot of my tutorials, so this is a little video basically explaining how our Iron Man costume was made. Continue reading
Had a request for an Iron Man repulsor tutorial. This a fairly cheap and easy Iron Man repulsor which you can put together with some pretty basic supplies. Continue reading
Had a request for a wheat weaving head wreath tutorial. Continue reading
This is the second half of the Falcon Wings tutorial, this is for the pack part that the wings actually fold up into. Continue reading
Had a couple requests for how to make Falcon wings and it’s taken me quite a while to figure out how I was going to do it, but I finally got ’em made. Continue reading
This is a very easy way to make a Valentine’s Day hearts garland. Continue reading
So had a request for the Luke Skywalker costume x-wing pilot helmet, so this finishes out that Star Wars costume tutorial. Continue reading
So here is part 2 of the Angel Dust costume tutorial, to follow last week’s Angel Dust corset. Continue reading
This is a simple Valentine heart wreath made from spent roses. Continue reading
Took the week off for Christmas, so didn’t work on a requested tutorial, so instead here’s a little more of the Luke Skywalker costume I made for my brother last Halloween. Continue reading
This is a DIY Luke Skywalker costume tutorial for Luke’s x-wing pilot suit. Continue reading
If you’re doing the gift wrapping this year, you might be wondering how to wrap presents while still making them look nice and neat, particularly in the area of corners. Continue reading
Had a couple requests for a Wrath of Khan era Star Trek movie uniform tutorial, so here it is. I broke it into 3 how-to videos below. Continue reading
So as promised, here is the rest of the requested Boba Fett costume tutorial, the helmet and the gauntlets. Continue reading
Here are the other two tutorials for the rest of the Anakin Skywalker costume: the glove he wears over his prosthetic limb, and the scar he had over his eye in Revenge of the Sith. Continue reading
Had several requests for an Anakin Skywalker costume. Continue reading
This is part 3 of my Han Solo costume tutorial. Continue reading
This is a pepakura tutorial guest filmed and narrated (mostly) by my brother (he’s not used to doing this for film, so it got a little long). Continue reading
This is the rest of the Gimli costume tutorial. Continue reading
The tunic part of the Gimli costume is basically just fabric-covered pellon. Continue reading
I had 9 requests for a Kylo Ren costume tutorial, so figured it was high time I got to making it. Continue reading
These cute little Halloween bat clothespins can be easily assembled with a bit of glue, paint, and craft foam. Continue reading
This is the pants and blaster holster part of the Han Solo costume. Continue reading
Gimli’s Axe is pretty easy to make. The basic supplies are just pvc pipe, foam, and paint. Continue reading
These little foaming Halloween potion bottles are super easy to make. Continue reading
This is the tutorial for the Winter Soldier costume weapons harness. Continue reading
These little Halloween ghosts are super quick and easy to make. Continue reading
This is based on the Aragorn costume version that he wears after the fellowship leaves Rivendell. Continue reading
This is a tutorial for the Evenstar necklace that Arwen gives to Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings movies. Continue reading
Take advantage of fall’s beautiful color by making this autumn leaf bowl from the fallen leaves. Continue reading
Ok, so finally got the DIY Winter Soldier mask tutorial finished. Continue reading
This Frodo costume was made entirely from second hand clothing items (with the exception of the elvish cloak). As such, this costume can be made very inexpensively. Continue reading
Those little berry baskets that berries come in from are perfect for weaving paper and ribbons through. Continue reading
This is the belt and boots part of the Princess Leia costume tutorial. Continue reading
A broom corn wreath is a nice autumn decoration because, while it has a variety of colors, the colors are muted in autumn hues. Continue reading
This is part 2 of my Princess Leia costume tutorial, the dress. Continue reading
This is a tutorial for a cheap and easy Star Trek Skant. Continue reading
So to follow the unicorn hoodie, this week I have a dragon hoodie tutorial. Continue reading
A Princess Leia costume just wouldn’t be complete without her trademark cinnamon buns on the sides of her head. Continue reading
So here is part 2 and 3 of the requested Thranduil costume tutorial; the robe, boots, and brooch. Continue reading
You can turn a plain hoodie into a fun unicorn hoodie for a child with just a little white material and some gold thread. Continue reading
Star Wars is mainstream enough that it’s easy to find a plastic Han Solo blaster fairly inexpensively, so here’s how to make a Han Solo blaster look a little more movie authentic. Continue reading
Had a request for a Thranduil costume tutorial, so this is the first part of the how-to, the Thranduil crown. Continue reading
A lot of my tutorials involve hand sewing, so someone requested I do a tutorial on how to sew by hand. So here are the basics of hand sewing for those who have never done it. Continue reading
This is a DIY Boba Fett jet pack tutorial for a very simplified version of Boba Fett’s jet pack. Had a request for this one after I posted the Boba Fett blaster tutorial. Continue reading
Had a request for the alternative Captain Kirk green tunic that appeared scattered throughout different episodes of Star Trek TOS. Continue reading
Had a request for the inverness cape coat that Jonathan Frid wore as Barnabas Collins in the Dark Shadows TV series. Continue reading
A carrick bend knot bracelet is an easy to way to make a simple bracelet using scrap materials. Continue reading
Had a request for a Hawkgirl helmet tutorial. The whole Hawkgirl helmet is made up of just craft foam and glue, so it’s very inexpensive to make and fairly simple in its construction. Continue reading
Had a request for a tutorial for how to make a lightsaber with a flashlight. Continue reading
If you have a patch of lavender, it’s easy to turn the stems into a lovely lavender wreath. Continue reading
The EE-3 Boba Fett blaster is unarguably one of the coolest guns in Star Wars (kinda the space-age equivalent of Steve McQueen’s Mare’s Leg rifle) Continue reading
Had a how-to request for the formal green tunic that Captain Kirk wears in Star Trek TOS when guests are invited to the Enterprise, or when court is in session. Continue reading
A little ribbon and some fabric or lace can turn old, used jars into adorable upcycled containers. Continue reading
So here is part 2 of the DIY Black Widow costume tutorial, following last week’s Black Widow bodysuit tutorial. Continue reading
Had a request for a how to make a Black Widow costume tutorial, so now I have officially done a tutorial for at least a piece of all the Avengers from the first movie. Continue reading
Ok, here is part 2 of the DIY Jedi costume tutorial; the brown outer robe. Continue reading
Had a request for a DIY Jedi costume tutorial. This the tutorial for the main off-white tunic part of the Jedi costume. Continue reading
I had a request for another Star Trek phaser tutorial, but this time it’s the one from the Wrath of Khan movie. Continue reading
These little pom pom Easter bunnies are a good way to use up spare yarn and felt scraps. Continue reading
I had a request for a somewhat for a less common Star Trek costume this week, Spock’s meditation robe from Star Trek The Motion Picture. Continue reading
Had a request for a Hawkgirl mace tutorial. This can be made for around $5. Continue reading
This is the final part of my Darth Vader costume tutorial (are you sick of him yet?), showing how to make the Darth Vader helmet. Continue reading
This is the sixth part of my Darth Vader costume tutorial, showing how to make the Darth Vader gloves and shin guards. Continue reading
This is the fifth part of my Darth Vader costume tutorial, showing how to make the Darth Vader shirt, pants, and inner robe. Continue reading
These cute little mason jar Valentine votives are quick and easy to make. Continue reading
This is the forth part of my Darth Vader costume tutorial, showing how to make the Darth Vader cape. Continue reading
This is the third part of my Darth Vader costume tutorial, showing how to make the Darth Vader shoulder armor. Continue reading
You never have to worry about these little snowmen melting, as they’re crafted out of clay. They make a fun set of snowman earrings to wear for the holidays. Continue reading
Though this Galadriel crown looks metallic, it actually just started out as some string. Continue reading
An autumn leaf and some colored paper can turn a plain clothespin into a Thanksgiving turkey, perfect for sealing up the Thanksgiving leftovers. Continue reading
This is the tutorial for the short-sleeved, satin medical tunic that McCoy usually wore on board the Enterprise in Star Trek TOS. Continue reading
This fairy harp is a wheat weaving of my own design using spiral and Welsh fan plaits. Continue reading
While Jack o’ lanterns are always nice, sometimes it’s fun to bring a little more character out of the pumpkin by doing an intricate pattern; in this example I’m using Bruce Springsteen. Continue reading
Get your kitchen or bathroom ready for Halloween by making some Halloween spider soaps. Continue reading
It’s easy to learn how to make a witch’s broom with a little “broomcorn” and a twisty piece of wood. Continue reading
With a little tissue paper, you can give an old hardcover book new life as a magical Halloween spellbook. Continue reading
This wheat weaving is one of my designs that echos traditional designs using one of my favorite plaits. Continue reading
A Celtic knot wheat weaving is very easy to make. Continue reading
A little paint can turn an aptly named “birdhouse gourd” into a charming home for your yard’s feathered friends. Continue reading
These Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle soaps are super easy to make, all you need to add is some googly eyes. Continue reading
This love brooch combines both traditional wheat weaving techniques, as well as straw marquetry. Continue reading
This is the third part of the Legolas costume tutorial, the Legolas bow, quiver, arrows, and hair. Continue reading
This melt and pour soap bar gives the illusion of a dolphin swimming in the ocean. Continue reading
A little yarn and some glue gets you a cute pom-pom barrette. Continue reading
The elven cloak is a very simple design, so it’s easy to cut freehand. Continue reading
A little clay and some paint give you a fairly convincing Lord of the Rings elven leaf brooch for a fraction of the cost of a replica. Continue reading
If you have some old neckties lying around, you can easily turn them into a necktie skirt. Continue reading
I had a couple requests for how to make a winter soldier arm, so here it is. Continue reading
If you live in an area with dandelions, it’s super easy to turn them into a beautiful golden dandelion soap dye. Continue reading
This is part 2 of my Wonder Woman costume tutorial. Continue reading
Wonder Woman is probably the most iconic of all the female superheros. Here is part 1 of my Wonder Woman costume tutorial. Continue reading
This is a tutorial for making a fairly simple staff that lights up, horns, and ring for a Maleficent costume. Continue reading
An old silk tie will produce uniquely dyed Easter eggs. Continue reading
An old knitted blanket, some craft foam, and duct tape will get you chain mail, armor, and movable gloves to finish your Sauron costume. Continue reading
A few layers of tissue paper glued together in a honeycomb pattern makes a charming pop-up Valentine heart card. Continue reading
This Renaissance fortune teller costume requires a little bit of sewing on the over skirts and sequins, but much of the rest of the costume base can be picked up for a few dollars in a 2nd hand shop. Continue reading
Here are two simple Christmas card ideas for the holiday season. Continue reading
A broom corn swag will last for many years as broom corn dries very easily. They make lovely autumn decorations. Continue reading
To make a paper fortune teller, all you need is a square piece of paper and a marker. Continue reading
You can make a cute mason jar mummy Halloween craft with a simple canning jar and a little cheesecloth. Continue reading
Having a Halloween party this month? Make some stardust glasses to go with it. Continue reading
A God’s eye is generally done with yarn, but is very striking when done as a wheat weaving. Continue reading
If you have a box of tacks and an old transistor radio, you can make an inexpensive Star Trek communicator and Tricorder. Continue reading
Turn your no longer used or duplicate records into a cute record wreath for your favorite music-loving friend. Continue reading
Making a rag strip garland is a fun way to use up small pieces of fabric that are too little to use in other projects. Continue reading
When a dream catcher is hung above one’s place of sleep, they are said to protect a person from bad dreams. Try making a dream catcher of your own and test the theory. Continue reading
The Corizon is a traditional Mexican wheat weaving that was used as a house blessing. Continue reading
Looking for a craft project to do with the kids? Try making some button earrings. Continue reading
To color one item in a black and white photograph, all you need is editing software that can make layers and turn images black and white. Continue reading
Need a 4th of July serving tray? You can easily make one from an old cookie sheet and some red, white, and blue paper. Continue reading
If you have some old vinyl records lying around, use them to make a record wreath. Continue reading
The Welsh fan is a very traditional wheat weaving design. Continue reading
You can dye your eggs in gradient by slowly removing them from a single dye color one section at a time. Continue reading
You can easily replace a zipper on a coat or other garment using an ordinary presser foot on a sewing machine. Continue reading
Making a quilted pillow is a beautiful way to use up old material scraps. Continue reading
To make these St. Patrick’s Day crafts, all you need is a little paint and glitter for some appropriately shamrock-ed dinnerware. Continue reading
This is the explaination for how to make Loki’s coat, cape, and tunic. Continue reading
Here is the second part of the Loki Costume tutorial. These are the gold bracers. Continue reading
Here is the first part of the Loki Costume tutorial. It’s a fairly simple and inexpensive way to make a Loki staff that actually lights up. Continue reading
These little Valentine decorations go together pretty quick and they’re easy enough Valentine crafts that kids can make them. Continue reading
A shag rag rug is the perfect way to use up old shirts or other rag material you might have laying around the house. Continue reading
You can buy flare jeans in the store, but when you make them yourself, you can add more of your personal style to your flares. Continue reading
This tutorial shows how to make a Christmas wreath using pine cones. The pine cones are spray painted white to create a contrasting background for the red birds and ribbon. Continue reading
These DIY wedding invitations are easy, inexpensive, and fairly quick to make, but the lace and ribbon give them an elegant touch. Continue reading
A duct tape mannequin is an easy and inexpensive way to make a sewing mannequin. All it will cost you is a pair of pants, a shirt, and a couple rolls of duct tape. Continue reading
Here is part 2 of the Harry Potter costume tutorial. This covers making the robe, the house crest, and a pair of glasses. Continue reading
This is a quick and easy Harry Potter costume that requires almost no sewing, save for a small bit to attach the robe closure. It’s easy enough that kids can make it themselves. Continue reading
Here is the third and final part of the Thor costume tutorial. I was starting to run out of time before the comic con, so I wasn’t able to film the actual production of these parts, but here’s the explain on how to complete the remaining Thor costume pieces. Continue reading
This one was a request I got from someone wanting to make heart-shaped wheat weavings as favors for their wedding. The hearts are woven around a wire core which allows you to bend the finished weaving into any shape; in this case a heart.
You can upcycle an old pair of jeans into a fun denim skirt by adding a little bit of material. It’s a good way to use up old jeans that have holes in the knees, but where the top is still good. Continue reading
This is a quick way to put a “reverse” image design on an Easter egg.
Just dab a little paint over the leaf with the sponge and the leaf’s basic shape remains free of paint on the egg. Continue reading
With St. Patrick’s Day being next week and all, a leprechaun costume or two usually shows up this time of year. You can turn pretty much any pair of plain, black shoes into leprechaun shoes to go with a leprechaun costume just by using a little cardboard, gold paint and some masking tape. Continue reading
This decoration was inspired by those garden spinners that seem to be so popular now. They’re usually metal, in several layers, and the layers separate and spin at the slightest breeze. This shamrock for St. Patrick’s day won’t be outdoors, so cardstock works fine instead of metal for this decoration. Continue reading
This little card is made by placing colored paper or cardstock under a printed tissue paper overlay for a muted rainbow effect. Easy for kids. Using recycled paper keeps your cards eco-friendly.
Scuffing my feet in and out of farm boots all the time means that I go through pairs of socks pretty fast. That leaves me with quite the pile of socks with holes in the heels. I’ve tried darning them, but it doesn’t really last that long, so what to do with all those un-wearable socks? Make sock sachets!
More specifically, sock sachets filled with lavender. It’s a “two birds with one stone,” solution. Moths don’t like the smell of lavender, so a sachet filled with lavender heads keeps moths away from clothes just as well as cedar or mothballs would (and the lavender smells a lot better too!). And making the sachets out of old socks is a great way to upcycle socks that are past their prime.
Most Valentines go through the mail, are enjoyed for a few weeks, and are then thrown out, never to be seen again. So this year I decided to try something a little more practical, by giving out Valentine magnets instead of Valentine cards. They’re something practical (as far as I know, everybody uses magnets at some point or another) as well as being cute enough to keep year round.
These little magnets are also a good way to recycled excess seambinding pieces, small bits of cardstock and business card magnets. (In the office where I work, they often update the magnetic business cards. Rather than throw out the old ones, I take them home for crafts, so I’ve usually got plenty that need recycling.) The lace makes these look fancy, but really they only take a few minutes to make, and since they use hot glue, you don’t even have to wait long for the glue to dry!
Here’s a simple, kid-friendly Valentine card that’s good to do with younger kids. It’s quick and easy and turns a bunch of hearts into a flower for Valentine’s Day. Regular tacky glue and kid-friendly scissors will help keep the project nice and safe for tiny hands.
This wreath uses 6 strips of scrapbooking cardstock to make hearts. I used tacky glue to fasten my hearts together which makes the sides pinch up and gives the hearts a pointed, abstract look. If you don’t like that look and want the heart edges to remain rounded, use some scrapbooking sticky dots instead to connect the hearts together.
I have long hair so I often wear it in a scrunchy, and as I don’t really like going shopping, I usually make my own. Due to sewing all the time, I generally have plenty of leftover material lying around, and scrunchies are a great way to use up some of those extra pieces. They require very minimal sewing, using only a basting stitch. For each scrunchy you’ll need a piece of fabric 18 inches long and 3 inches wide, as well as a piece of thin elastic (no thicker than 1/4 inch).
These bracelets are a great kids’ craft. Just a little twisting of embroidery thread and a bracelet is made. It can be as plain or as colorful as desired simply by changing the colors of the thread being twisted.
Just a little bit of stamping and some glue and you’re good to go. These little gift tags are cute name holders when you’re in a pinch for time.
This card is a good way to recycle used Christmas cards from a previous year. You’ll be needing one with a Santa and sleigh, and one with a door. The slight pop up part of this card is on the front, which leaves the interior blank for writing.
I have a tendency to use scrapbooking paper for pretty much anything but scrapbooking. In particular, I love making Christmas decorations out of it. The Christmas Tree I have in my bedroom is an old artificial one that someone was getting rid of, so I took it. It’s kind of scrappy (It makes Charlie’s Brown’s tree look good!) so it needs plenty of color to jazz it up. This scrapbooking paper garland fits the bill. It’s made using the same technique as a gum wrapper chain, so if you’ve ever made one of those, this garland should be a cinch. But if not it’s pretty easy to get the hang of.
For years I’ve been making up clue games for my siblings and relatives (that usually result in headaches for them as they try for hours to solve the riddles and get to the next clue), so I thought it’d be fun to extend a bit of that cipher-making into some Christmas cards. It’s just kind of a fun way to make your family and friends think for a moment when they open their Christmas cards. However, the riddle on this card is pretty straight forward and easy enough that there shouldn’t be any headaches involved for the recipients. Though if you do want to make it a bit more difficult for them, you can leave out the underscore completely so it takes just a bit longer to figure out what letter is missing.
A little color can go a long way. It can turn a hum-ho room into a bright and happy place. Here I redo the window, bed, and dresser in this room, giving them a splash of color to make them pop. The Buddhist style motif was inspired Inara’s lavish shuttle decorations in Firefly. A little bold color goes a long way to making the room seem energized with life.
A bow is a pretty basic need in crafting, but sometimes a perfect bow can be an elusive item, especially when it involves multiple loops. The trick is to use wire-edged ribbon, as it allows you to bend the loops into any shape. That and a little twisting, and you’ve got an easy, perfect bow. I use these on wreaths and centerpeices and sometimes even on wrapped gifts if I want to make them look extra fancy.
Autumn time is usually when I start getting heavily back into the wheat weaving, but thought I’d start with something simple. A harvest braid is very traditional wheat weaving. It’s also very easy, as the “hair braid” is the only plait you’ll be needing. The trick to making this braid look good is to ensure the straws all stay in the same order and remain flat as you’re weaving, otherwise it tends to look messy.
These are something I make every year. They’re just cute little table decorations and look great in a bunch. They can work for any of the autumn holidays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. Usually they’ll last all the way through Thanksgiving before they start to rot (so long as they’re not kept in a very warm spot). Although one year I gave one to my grandmother and it dried, so she kept it right through Christmas!
The nice thing about these is that everything on them is real, except the silk leaves. (I tried real leaves one year and they ended up a crumpled, powdery mess by the end). You can usually find them by the bag at Michael’s or Joann Fabrics. If not, you can cut the leaves off one of those holiday leaf garlands.
I use a lot of dried flowers in my crafts and basically the 3 easiest ways to preserve them are by air drying, silica crystals, or pressing. Air drying is by far the easiest. Just tie a string ’round the flowers and hang ’em to dry. Silica crystals are cool because they preserve the original shape and color for the most part. Plus the silica crystals can be reused again and again. (An alternative, but similar method to silica is to put the flowers in a pan of sand and bake them on low for about 20 minutes. It sucks the moisture right out of them). And of course pressing is an irreplaceable method to obtain preserved flowers suitable for note cards or other projects requiring flat blossoms.
Was just kind of in a cardmaking mood, so here’s another card. This one uses a cookie cutter cut out, and a little piece of cardstock on the inside to make what’s cut out on the top, pop up on the inside.
I was just having some fun with this card. I had some really small pieces of incense leftover that were way too small to be of any use to burn, so I figured, why not use ’em on a hippie-themed card. It also let me use up some leftover flowered cardstock that was too small to use for much of anything, but still too cool to throw out.
Well it’s Queen’s Anne’s Lace season (a.k.a wild carrot), so I’ve been dying some as usual. There really is something that’s almost magical about watching those pristine white flowers slowly take on the vibrant colors of the food coloring they’re immersed in. It’s a great country pastime, and it’s so easy anyone can do it. The shorter the stem, the quicker it takes up the dye. And once the flowers are dyed, they can be dried for brightly colored craft projects!
Well, I’m betting I’m the first one to try this! A mockingjay pin made out of wheat. I just finished reading the first and second Hunger Games books, so I decided to weave the famous mockingjay pin out of wheat. (Hey, we all need to geek out once in a while, right). So I used a simple plait for the circle and used a straw marquetry technique for the bird, and then just joined the two with glue to make the pin. Straw marquetry refers to the practice of ironing wet straw flat and then gluing them onto a surface (in this case cardstock shaped like a mockingjay). It actually came out great on the first attempt, so I thought I’d post it for any fellow Hunger Games fans who wanted to try it. Hope you all have as much fun with it as I did!
One of my favorite parts about summer is of course sweet corn (who doesn’t love that?) and the leftover husks (ok, a little less commonly sought after than the sweet corn, but still loads of fun). Most of our leftover husks go to the cows, as husks are like a cow’s version of desert, but I always save a out a few to make cornhusk dolls. They’re cute little folkart things that are fun to make, and the best part is, if anything gets messed up during the creation, there are plenty more husks where those came from.
Cornhusk dolls have their origins in Native American culture. The dolls were made as toys for children as well for more serious ceremonies. In later years, the pioneers also borrowed the tradition from the Native Americans and made dolls for their children out of cornhusks.
Traditionally cornhusk dolls have no faces. This is due to Continue reading
Normally I’m a patient person, but when it comes to redecorating my room, I turn into a rather lazy seamstress. When it’s my own room, I pretty much want it “done yesterday” so I end up taking a lot of shortcuts. Some of those shortcuts crash and burn, but others end up fine. This set of curtains is one of the latter. I needed some curtains for my window, and lately I’ve really felt the need to add some orange to my room. So I got myself a piece of material that wouldn’t fray, a little glue and a pair of scissors and set about making a set of curtains that only took a few minutes. Since there’s no sewing, these curtains are easy enough that anyone can make them. (Sorry, the sound isn’t great in this. I was shooting this video at midnight so I couldn’t talk very loudly, as everyone was sleeping.)
The lavender is in full bloom, so it’s time to make some lavender bottles! I always make a few to hang off my bed’s headboard because the relaxing aroma of lavender is good for insomnia. It also helps with headaches. Lavender bottles are a pretty way to keep that lovely fragrence in the house all year long. And if they’re kept in a clothing drawer, they give all the clothes a nice, lavendery scent.
There aren’t too many cats that don’t love the smell of catnip. It’s basically like a feline drug that makes even older cats seem like they’re crazy high. I usually have a lot of excess material lying around from old sewing projects, and usually extra peices of small quilt batting which are much too tiny to be used for anything else. Catnip sachets get two birds with one stone; they’re a quick and easy way to recycle my extra material and batting, and they make my cat love me even more (or maybe that’s just the catnip talking). I’ve also heard that catnip is good for insomnia. So if you don’t have a cat, make one for yourself to put under your pillow. (If you start meowing, you’ll know you’ve gone too far!)
With Father’s Day not far off, I figured I’d better do a few cards for Dad. So here’s one for this week to remind dad that we think he’s #1.
I used a sunflower, but this technique can be done with any soap mold. It’s just a matter of layering it in multiple colors and putting a little rubbing alcohol in between.
Here is part 2 of the tutorial.
Hemp is one of the strongest most eco-friendly fabrics on the planet. The hemp used in this project came from www.hemptraders.com (Sorry, the sound in this one is rather poor after the intro)
Here’s an easy way to make an Easter basket card.
Melt-and-Pour Soap is a fun and safe alternative to traditional lye for making handmade soaps. This video demonstrates how to use two colors to make a two layer bar of soap, with a clear glycerin layer on top.
A lucky horseshoe and paper that looks like barnwood gives the horses on this card a nice stable to cozy up in.
A piece of plastic and a little spray adhesive keep the pressed leaves in place on this bookmark. If you’ve never pressed leaves and want information on how to do so, follow this link: Pressing Leaves and Flowers
A love knot is one of the easiest designs to weave and is a good one to start with if you’ve never woven with wheat before.
In order to weave with wheat, there are a few basics things that will be required for any weaving you choose to do. This tutorial shows those basics.
Cutting an image from the white reveals the red beneath, creating a mirror-image Valentine card.
Scissors make quick work of turning a plain piece of fleece into a soft and warm winter scarf.
Real feathers can be used to make beautiful and unique jewelry.
Old soup cans take on new life when used as holiday candle holders.
A little paint and some black felt is all that’s necessary to transform a dried birdhouse gourd into a charming holiday snowman.
I’m not sure what the technical name for this sort of tie-dye is, but I call it sherbet tie-dye due to the fact that it’s part white, part colored, kinda like sherbet ice-cream. This is one of the simplest tie-dye methods to use.
You will need:
Start by wetting down a white shirt (this project can also be done with a black shirt for a striking effect). Wring it out to remove excess water, and lay the shirt out flat on a table. Grabbing the very middle of the shirt, begin to twist it in a clockwise direction. Continue twisting until the entire shirt is tightly wound up into the spiral. Secure it with rubber bands.
Next drop the twisted shirt into a vat of dye, and quickly pull it out. (You may want to use gloves for this part to prevent your hands from getting all dye). Without squeezing the shirt and without removing the rubberbands, set the shirt aside to dry.
When the shirt has completely dried, remove the rubberbands and untwist the shirt. You should now have a colored spiral pattern on the white shirt. Wash the shirt on its own the first time to remove any excess dye. After that, the shirt can be washed normally with the rest of the colored clothes.
Rub-on transfers can give new life to old wood. They look hand-painted, but are so much simpler.
I had one of those little wooden garden wagons lying around in storage. It was weathered and beat up, not much to look at, so I decided to try a little experiment. The materials required for this project are pretty simple:
Something to paint (in this case I used a wooden garden wagon, but the rub on transfers will work of most surfaces)
Spray paint of your chosen color
To begin this project, spray your entire item with two coats of paint. You can also paint it with a brush, but the spray paint is much faster, espcially on wood. Let dry overnight.
To use the rub-on transfers (these can be found in almost any craft store, I got mine at Joann Fabrics), cut around the shape you want to rub. It’s ok if you have white around the image because most rub-on transfers don’t transfer the white part. Lay your transfer picture-side down on your item and use the popsickle still to rub the back of the transfer. Use a circular motion and rub the entire transfer. You’ll be able to see through the backside when the transfer leaves the backing paper. Carefully pull off the backing paper.
Continue this process using as many rub on transfers as you need to complete your project. When finished, coat the entire project with a layer of spray varnish. This will help prevent the transfers from getting scratched off. If you plan to you item an an outdoor decoration, the varnish is especially important.
The butterfly on this card has wings outlined in gold paper, and little foam stickers give it a 3D effect.
My aunt used to work for a design company and every year, when the new wallpaper samples would come in, she would give us the books containing the old samples from the previous year. I think more than anything we spent time making Valentines out of the wallpaper.
Wallpaper samples offer a great range of creative possibilities. The paper samples themselves are thick and flexible so they don’t rip easily, which is always nice. And the selection of wallpaper usually lends itself well to Valentine’s Day as floral patterns are often found in abundance. A simple heart made of wallpaper cut with decorative shears looks several times more elegant than the same heart made of construction paper.
A simple way to make an attractive Valentine heart is to cut two half heart pieces from different colored wallpapers, but with corresponding patterns. Then cut two slashes half way up each of them like this:
Weave the two pieces together to create a beautiful Valentine heart. (I was looking for a picture of the ones my siblings and I used to make, but can’t seem to find one. If I locate one I’ll post it) This is a great project for children.
This card is quick and easy if you want to give something with the handmade look without spending a lot of handmade time.
Basic stamping techniques and a little varnish can turn a plain wooden box into a cute keepsake.
You will need:
- Beeswax or another type of wax
- A tall dipping container
- A tall container of cold water
- Washers or bolt nuts
- Double boiler (or two pans)
- Scissors or sharp knife
To begin, cover the area with newspapers as this is one of the messiest forms of candlemaking. Decide how long you want your candles. You will be dipping two at a time, so measure a piece of wicking twice your desired length, then add two inches. Cut the wicking. Tie the washers, bolt nuts or a similar small object to the wick. These will be used to weigh down the wicking and keep it straight during the dipping process.
Beeswax makes the best taper candles, as it adheres to its own layers very well, however, any wax can be used to produce decent result. Heat the wax in a double boiler, or if you don’t have one, make one by placing the wax in a pan that sits on top of a second pan filled with water. Heat the wax until it is melted. It is very flamable, so if it begins to smoke, remove it from the burner immediately.
You don’t want the wax to be too hot for this project or the dipped layers will be too thin to adhere. As soon as the wax is melted completely, remove it from the heat. Pour it into the tall dipping container; the container should be several inches taller than your wicking.
Holding the wick in the center, dip both ends into the wax, almost to the top; just beware your fingers don’t touch the wax. Wait until the wick hardens. Dip the wicking into the hot wax once again, then quickly dip it into the container of cold water. This will immediately harden the wax. When you pull the wicks from the water, run your hand down them to remove excess water, which could cause bubbles in the finished candles. Continue alternating dips in the wax and the cold water, removing excess water each time. Keep your dipping hand steady as possible to ensure straight candles. Keep dipping until the candles reach your desired thickness. Usually about 25 dunks makes a good candle.
Using a sharp knife or a pair of scissors, cut the now wax-covered weights off the bottom of the candles. Once more, dip the candles into the wax, then the water to give them a smooth finish. Drape the candles over a stick or a dowel and leave them to completely harden for a few days. At that point, you can cut the wick in the center. The candles can be made into a lovely gift by bundling several together and tying them with ribbon or raffia.
Copyright © Amber Reifsteck ~ The Woodland Elf
At the end of the season, I always like to make a few weavings out of rye or wheat.Wheat weavings, also called corn dollies, are traditional end of harvest crafts. They can also be woven from rye, barley, and oats, but wheat is most commonly used due to its flexibility.The Celts used to do this to ensure good luck for the next years harvest. ‘Round here we just doing because it’s fun.
You will need:
10-12 long stalks of wheat, rye, barley, or oats with heads
(For those without access to grain stalks, these can be woven from plastic drinking straws as well.)
In days gone by, farmers used to take the last few stalks of the grain harvest and weave them into beautiful designs in hopes of capturing the spirit of the grain to ensure a bountiful harvest the following year. These weavings were kept inside all winter. In the spring the weavings were unraveled and the heads were the first seeds sown in the fields, as it was believed they would bring good luck for the growing season. Today most people wheat weave for aesthetic pleasure as opposed to good luck for harvest, but the designs are just as beautiful now as they were hundred of years ago.
To begin, soak the straws in warm water for 20 minutes. Tie four straws together just below the heads. With the heads at the bottom, gently pull down the stalks so they splay in four different directions. Leave one gap wider than the others.
Start weaving by holding the gap away from you. Bend the straw across from the gap (second from the right) into the open space. A new gap will form where that straw was. Turn the weaving so the new gap faces away from you. Bend the straw across from the new gap (now second from the right) into the open space. Continue “filling the gap” until the weaving is about 5 inches long.
Do the same with another set of four straws, making a weaving that is 5 inches long. If you break a straw, just insert one of the extras in its place and continue weaving as though nothing happened.
Tie the two weaving together at the heads. Bend the weavings up into a heart shape. Allow the unwoven ends to drape down into the center. Secure the ends to the heads with thread. To finish, tie the bottom of the heart with a festive ribbon. As grain dries naturally on its own, these will last for many years.
Copyright © Amber Reifsteck ~ The Woodland Elf
The secret to making fabric ghosts hold their shape is a little flour and water. These are loads of fun to make and look great displayed as a group or on festive Halloween wreaths.
You will need:
- A saucepan
- White fabric
- Balloon or fish bowl
- Black marker
To begin, you will have to make the paper mache paste. Adding 8 parts water to 1 part flour, boil the two ingredients together in a saucepan. When it reaches the boiling stage, remove the pan from the heat and stir in a tablespoon or 2 of sugar. Let mixture set until it is cool, it will thicken into a paste as it does. When it has completely cooled, it can either be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator. It will usually last about a week before it starts to mold.
Cut a square of white material; muslin or another similar material works well. Adjust the size according to what you want to use the ghost for. These are equally fun as tiny ghosts to decorate a wreath or as large ghosts to suspend from the ceiling. Paint the mache paste onto both side of the material. Prop the balloon or fishbowl up on a box and drape the mache covered fabric over it. (If making smaller ghosts, use an aspirin bottle to drape the fabric over.)
As the fabric is drying, cut a square of cheesecloth. Don’t worry if the ends fray, as it adds to the ghostly effect. Paint the cheesecloth with mache paste. Drape the cheesecloth over the white fabric, turning it so the ends fall in between those of the white fabric.
Let the ghost dry completely. The white fabric and the cheesecloth will stick together as they dry. Once the ghost has completely dried, remove it from the balloon it was draped over. It will hold its own shape now. Using the black marker, draw two eyes, and the ghosts are ready. The eyes can also be painted on. They can be reused year after year.