Tutorials

A Little Wreath Craft

wreath

Here is a little wreath craft just in time for Christmas, but you can leave it up all year long. 🙂

Supplies

  • A picture frame
  • A wreath
  • Chalk paint (Sometimes it’s called “chalky finish” or “chalked” paint. It is different than “chalkboard paint,” although chalkboard paint would also be cute, without the wax.)
  • Clear and dark waxes made for use over chalk paint.
  • A small 3M Command Mini Hook
  • Some fishing line

Sources

Our picture frame and wreath came from Target.
We used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Aubusson Blue, Annie Sloan Soft Wax in Clear, and Annie Sloan Soft Wax in Dark, available locally at Knot Too Shabby (stores in Downtown Glendora Village and Old Town Monrovia).

Directions

  1. Take the glass out of the picture frame and Windex both sides as needed.
  2. Paint one side only of the glass with two or three coats of chalk paint, until you have a solid finish and can’t see the glass peeking through. You can apply each new coat as soon as the previous coat is dry-to-touch. This won’t take long.
  3. Go over the paint with a coat of clear wax made for use over chalk paint. (Don’t do the dark wax first.) Use a special round wax brush or a regular paint brush to swirl it on, and then wipe off the excess with a white paper towel.
  4. Swirl some dark wax (made for use over chalk paint) all over it, and then buff it with a paper towel or clean white cloth to get off the excess. (This waxing is really not an exact science. Read all the directions on the cans of wax. They are very informative.)
  5. Finish it off with another coat of the clear wax, and wipe off the excess. Be careful when you’re buffing, and don’t forget there is glass under the paint. 🙂
  6. Put the glass back in the picture frame with the painted side facing out.
  7. On the back of the frame at the top, stick a small Command hook upside-down. (Make sure you use a small, flat Command hook, so that it doesn’t stick out farther than the hanging hardware on the back of the frame.)
  8. Cut yourself a long piece of fishing line, loop it around the wreath, and tie the ends a few times so the knot doesn’t come undone.
    Hang the fishing line from the upside-down hook on the back and position the wreath on the front of the frame.
  9. Stand back and enjoy your pretty framed wreath.

wreath2

Tutorials

Felted Wool Cupcakes

felted wool cupcake
Some of you will remember several years ago when our talented friend, Paula D., taught a group of us at church how to make cute cupcake pincushions from felted wool.

Paula bought old, 100 percent wool sweaters from thrift stores for about $1 each and washed them in hot water to felt the wool. Felting keeps the wool from fraying. It gets soft and fuzzy, and you can make lovely things out of it.

This is how to make them.

Paula D's Cute Felted Wool Cupcake Pincushion

Materials

  • felted sweaters in various colors (Sweaters need not be whole. Scraps are okay, as are sweaters with moth holes, etc.)
  • felted sweater ribbing (that is the part from the cuffs or waist)
  • fabric glue
  • 8″-12″ trim, such as ric-rac
  • small felt ball (for the cherry on top)
  • scrap green craft felt (or felted green wool if you have it) for the leaves
  • pretty sewing pins with multicolored heads
  • scissors, needle & thread, straight pins

Directions

1.  Cut two 5 x 10 inch rectangles (in contrasting colors) of felted wool.

2.  Fold each rectangle in half along its longest edge (the folded piece will measure about 2.5 x 10 inches), and pin.

directions1

3.  Lay the two pinned rectangles on top of each other, lining up their folds.  Roll the two rectangles together into a roll (a snail/cinnamon roll shape), gently stretching the fabric as you work, until the diameter is about 2.5 inches.  (Optionally, just quit rolling when you run out of anything to roll. 🙂 Tightly-rolled cupcakes are cutest.)

4.  Trim away the excess fabric at the end, and secure the end with pins, then baste it. (A slipstitch works okay.)

directions2

5.  With your finger in the middle of the bottom of the cupcake, push it up a little bit so that the  jelly roll pushes up and the cupcake gets some height.

6.  Measure and cut a piece of sweater ribbing for the cupcake “wrapper.” Measure the ribbing by wrapping it around the basted roll.  Add 1/4″ to the circumference, and trim the ribbing to size.  The height of the rib should equal the height of the roll plus 1/2″.

7.  With right sides together, stitch the end of the rib together, leaving a 1/8″ seam allowance.  (Optionally, measure nothing and just stitch it.)

8.  Slide the ribbed sleeve onto the cupcake roll, making sure the top of the “wrapper” is about 1/2″ down from the top of the cupcake.  The finished edge from the original sweater will end up at the bottom of the cupcake.  Match up the seam of the wrapper to the seam on the cupcake, so you have all the ugly part in one area, and it can be the back of the cupcake.  Hand baste the cupcake sleeve to the top of the roll.

9.  Glue a scrap of felted wool to the bottom of the cupcake to finish it off.  It’s easiest to glue a big chunk of wool felt on the bottom and then just cut around the cupcake to make the circle.

10.  Cut a piece of trim to go around the cupcake, and apply it with a bead of glue about 1/4″ from the top ribbed edge of the cupcake wrapper.

11.  Glue leaves on top or pin them down with a straight pin. Position them to hide the ugly part where the jelly roll ended and is basted to itself.

12. Glue cherry on top. (It would go over the top of the pin if you pinned the leaves on.)

13.  Add pretty sewing pins all over for the “sprinkles.” (Glass-headed pins are the nicest, because they sparkle.)

felted wool cupcake 2

Tutorials

Bug Pots

bug pots 3

Have you made bug pots before? It is a fun way to remember the little fingerprints and thumbprints of your favorite kids.

Supplies Needed

  • New terra cotta pots (unglazed)
  • Patio Paint (or your regional equivalent)
  • A marker that will work on pots that go outside.

(We found all three of these things together at Michael’s.)

You can buy individual containers of Patio Paint, or a little sampler of many colors, like this:

bug pots 2

Instructions

The kids just dip their thumb (or finger, if you like skinnier bugs) in a color, then press it onto the pot to make the bug’s body.

If you’d like bugs that clearly show the child’s fingerprint or thumbprint (the lines and ridges of the print, which make it more personal), have them press their paint-covered thumbs onto a bit of paper towel to remove some of the paint before they press it to the pot.If they go straight from paint to pot, you will get solid oval bugs without the fingerprint itself.

When the bugs have dried, the kids can embellish them with the marker. (The paint and marker are permanent, so wear a smock or old t-shirt.)

You need to let the whole thing cure for about 72 hours before you stick a plant in it or get it wet.

These pots last outside for years. The pot itself will weather, but the paint and marker will remain vibrant.

Tutorials

Infinity Scarf

Thank you to Becky M., who made this awesome tutorial for us. She notes that infinity scarves are quick and easy to make.

Step 1:  Choose your fabric.  Any kind of fabric that has a nice “hand” and drape to it will work: sheer polyester, silk, fleece, velour, challis, cotton or synthetic knit  — anything you’d like draped around your neck.

Start with fabric that is about 56-60 inches wide. You will need ⅔ of a yard (or 2 feet) of it so the rectangle you are starting with is 24 inches by 60 inches. If your fabric isn’t quite straight along the cut edges, you can neaten it up a bit at this point.  Using a self-healing mat, rotary cutter and acrylic ruler will make it easy to get the edges fairly straight.

Step 2:  Fold your rectangle in half lengthwise with RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.  It is now 60 inches long and 12 inches wide.

 

If your fabric is slippery, you might need to stick a few pins in to hold the edges together along the long open side.

Step 3: Head on over to the sewing machine (or serger) and sew the long open side closed. Make sure you have the fabric right sides together (“RST” in sewing lingo) before you start; the pretty sides are on in the inside. You will end up with a looooooong tube that is open at both ends.

If you don’t have a serger, sew the edge with a straight stitch and then go over the seam with a zigzag stitch to reinforce the edge. Works just the same.

Step 4:  Turn your tube right-side out!

 Starting to turn it here…

Here the tube is right side out.

Step 5:  This is where the magic starts – make a cuff at the bottom by turning the open edge up.  This “cuff” will have the wrong side of the fabric showing.  That’s hard to see in this picture but believe me about this.

Now keep making this cuff bigger and bigger until the edge you are holding comes aaaalllll the way up to the open edge at the top.  

Pulling the cuff up higher.

You should have both open edges together at the top now.  Like this.  It’s still a tube but now it’s two layers thick.

Another view

:

Step 6:  Look for the seam on both layers of the tube. Line them up so they are more or less together. Now pin the edges of the two layers together every so often around the circle.  

Step 7:  You are now going to sew the layers together all the way around the circle EXCEPT for about 3-4 inches WHICH YOU ARE GOING TO LEAVE OPEN so you can turn the scarf right side out again.  You will be sewing through two layers and sewing around the circumference of the circular tube.  If you are using thicker fabric you will want to leave a generous opening so it isn’t too difficult to turn at the end.

 

Here you can see that I’ve sewn most of the way around the tube and am leaving a few inches open. I prefer to start sewing just a little behind the place where the seams come together so that the seam joint is NOT in the opening I leave for turning.  I am going to sew that opening closed by hand at the very end and I find the hand sewing is easier if I don’t have to sew over those thick seams.

Step 8:  You are almost DONE!  Now reach inside that tiny little opening you left and start pulling the fabric out.  

Keep pulling the innards out until the right side is all out again.  


Voila.  Amazing, huh?

Step 9:  Hand sew the opening on the center seam closed.  You are now finished.  Wasn’t that easy?  Make a few more to keep your neck warm!

You can see that starting with 58 inch wide fabric gives you a nice big circle.

Or wrap it around twice to keep your neck toasty warm.  

Here’s a little “twist” if you want to make your scarf extra twisty.  Go back and look at step 6, right?  Where you put the seams of the two layers together?  Before you pin the layers together spin the outside layer of the tube around two or three times before you line those seams up.  That will put built-in twists into the scarf.  If you don’t get it, don’t worry about it.  It’s super easy to do and hard to explain.  After you’ve made one or two, I bet you will figure it out!