Friday, December 30, 2011

Maltese cupcakes

Hubby found these cute cupcakes on the internet.  Not sure who took the photo or made them but if you did, let me know and I will post the appropriate credit!  I really love maltese - my beloved Ziggy was featured on this blog several times, and so is our new-ish maltipoo bebe.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What to do with leftover Gift wrap?

Do you have extra gift wrapping paper left?  Or maybe some of your presents were wrapped with gift wrap too pretty to throw out?  Check out these crafty ideas and upcycle your wrap!  Afew of my favorites are:
1. Line a tray (see below for instructions)
2. make a party banner
3. Cover tin cans with the colorful paper and spruce up your desk
4. Shred and use as packing material for fragile and pretty gifts
5. Use it to re-wrap other presents
6. Make a bookmark
7. Turn it into a bookcover

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Annie's Snowman

Using model magic, Annie made a cute 3D snowman complete with scarf, hat and a carrot nose!  her friend Jason turned the orange box from a dice to a nicely decorated present.  The capri sun juice boxes in the background are for an upcoming upcycled craft....stay tuned.  We need 6 pouches per child so we will be collecting them for a while since we have 8 kids in the class.  But in the meantime, especially for those in non-snowy climates, enjoy Annie's cute little snowman. Cheers!

Sorry you must view it sideways - not sure how to fix this.

Monday, December 26, 2011

project: Sweater into Sling Purse

Ashley from Makeit-loveit has this great idea for re-purposing an old sweater...I seriously need to learn to sew...I love this idea!

Fall is the time that I start looking through the piles of old sweaters.  
Do you have a big stash like I do?  Even if they are outdated, stretched out, shrunk in the wash, etc.?  
It’s time to give those old sweaters a new life.  And turn them into something new.
I have turned my old sweaters and scarves into projects here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.  
(Haha, whew, I didn’t realize how many there were until I started attaching the links.  Wow.  But 3 are from sweaters and 4 of those are from scarves.)
But today, the old (too short) angora wool sweater becomes a sling purse.
And I think that this sweater is much happier out in the cool fall air, rather than in my stuffy dark closet.  
Don’t you agree?
It really is a great cozy little companion for any sort of outing.
The bottom of the purse adorns the ribbing from the bottom of the sweater……as well as each side of the strap.  Adds great texture.
And come on, who doesn’t love a big homemade flouncy satin flower……tacked right on with a large button?
And the inside is fully lined (helps the purse keep its shape) with a magnetic closure.
A quick project for those lonely sweaters.
(And maybe a great gift idea for you gift-givers!)
Want to make your own?
Come on, let that favorite (no longer fitting) sweater go.  She will be loved in a different way.   
Or wait, don’t have a sweater?  
Check out the thrift store…’ll surely find some great options there.
Here’s the pre-sweater.
First, you need to cut off the bottom of the sweater, underneath the armholes, creating a square shape.
If your sweater has any contour to the sides, trim them off to make the sides straight. 
 (And I actually trimmed my sweater front and back pieces down to be 13 inches wide by 12 inches tall.)
Place the two pieces together with right sides together and sew along the sides and bottom.  Then zig-zag or overlock stitch….securing the raw edges. 
(If you’re having a problem with the sweater stretching badly as you sew, lengthen you stitch length.  Also, do another straight stitch instead of a zig-zag if that’s causing the pulling.)
Trim the two bottom corners and then turn right side out and iron flat.  (Use caution while ironing… don’t want to melt/burn the sweater, depending on what it’s made from.)
For the purse lining, I used sturdy cotton.  I cut out two pieces that were the same size as the sweater pieces and sewed them together the same way.
Then, I marked on my fabric where my magnetic purse closure would go.  Be sure to center each piece and also measure down enough from the top, to allow for a seam allowance… a little extra space.  I knew I would be using a 1/2 inch seam allowance later on, so I measured 1 inch from the top.
 Next, I attached some squares of white denim fabric (with double sided fusible web) to the wrong side of the lining fabric, right where the closures would poke through… it some reinforcement.  If you don’t have denim, use some sort of sturdy fabric. Then set aside.
Onto the purse strap.
Cut long strips from the sleeves.  From each sleeve, I cut a strip that was 3 x 22 inches.
Then I connected the two strips together to create one long strip that was about 3 x 44 inches.  
Right at the seam where I attached the two pieces together, I top-stitched on either side of the conjoining seam.
 Then I cut a piece of the lining fabric that was the same size and sewed the 2 pieces together with right sides together……only along the two long sides.
Then I turned the strap right side out and ironed it flat.   
(If your strap isn’t laying flat, top stitch along both edges of the strap…..that will help.  Or do it anyway if you like the look.  I didn’t end up doing it on mine though.)
 Then I pinned the strap to the outside of the sweater part of the purse (right sides together), making sure to center each strap end to the side seams of the purse.  Make sure to match up the raw edges of the strap and purse as well.
Then slide the purse (and attached strap) into the inside-out lining.
Pin all along the purse opening, attaching the sweater to the lining.
Sew all the way around with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving about a 5 inch opening along one side.
Then turn the purse right side out through that opening, iron flat, then stitch all the way around the top…..being sure to seal off the 5 inch opening.
You can either stop here or add some detail to the purse.  
I added a big satin flower to the front, like the ones I made here.
The only difference is that I used the lighter a lot more to really ruffle up and curl the edges of the flower a lot more.  I also wanted more imperfect pieces to really give the flower some dimension…….so if you’re trying to do the same thing, just keep melting it with that lighter.  (But be careful to not burn or smoke the fabric.  Just do a little bit at a time.)
Then I placed a button on top and stitched it right to the purse.  (If you have a larger flower, you may want to add more stitches to the back of the flower in a bigger circumference than just the very center of the flower.  This will help it from flopping down.)
And that’s it.
A brand new Sling Purse from that old sweater.  
Great transformation.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Candy Cane Mice

This is an easy, inexpensive, and sweet craft for preschool classes.  They can be used as holiday gifts, gift toppers, party favors, etc.  For a twist, use heavyweight paper instead of felt.  Kids of all ages will be doing the nibbling when these sweet mice are around. A combination of two holiday icons -- mice and candy canes -- these tiny fabric creatures with their red-and-white-striped tails make fitting favors at a holiday dinner or delightful gifts for children to give to friends and relatives.

Mouse How-ToOn a photocopier, enlarge mice template by 150 percent; cut out. With a pencil, trace ears and body onto felt; cut out. Cut inner ears and a dot for a nose from felt in a contrasting color, cut dots for eyes from black. Glue the face and inner ears in place. Make slits in body for ears and candy-cane tail where marked; to make cutting easier, fold felt across center of slits, and snip. Slip ears through slits at front; then slide wrapped candy cane through body slits, tucking the end underneath the ear piece at the back. 

For variation, you can use 5mm pom poms for the nose instead of felt and 7mm googly eyes.  you can also use foam sheets if you don't have felt or heavyweight paper.

Source: Martha Stewart

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Craft Project: Ribbon Bracelets

How do you recycle the ribbons you get with your holiday or birthday gifts or other packaging?  Here's one idea from martha's blog.  And this would also make a decorative pet collar as well.

Shane Powers's easy accessories require only dabs of glue and a few stitches. "You can buy ribbon in short lengths, so I pick a different kind for everyone on my list," he says. I select the color, texture, and pattern based on the person's style." These custom bands go with looks both casual and dressy.



Tools and Materials

  • Ribbon (new or vintage)
  • Tacky glue, such as Magna-Tac
  • 2 D rings
  • Thread
  • Sewing supplies
  1. Measure a piece of ribbon that circles once around the wrist, add 4 inches, then cut.
  2. To prevent fraying, fold over 1/4 inch toward the back on 1 end; glue. Slip 2 D rings onto this same end. Then fold again by 1/2 inch, enclosing the flat sides of the D rings into the fold.
  3. On the other end of the ribbon, fold 1/4 inch toward the front of the ribbon. Then fold another 1/4 inch and glue.
  4. Secure both hems in place with a few stitches either by hand or on a sewing machine.
Matte gold D rings, (#49505009) 10 mm, and (#495050510) 15 mm; gold D ring, (#42189002) 3/8", and (#44736122) 25 mm; plastic buckle D ring, (#49748007) 25 mm; and assorted ribbons;

From: Martha Stewart - Craft of the day

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Llamas love chili

News flash: llamas love chili!  Well at least this one made from rice does. This looks so cute, I wouldn't want to put my fork to it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Project: New use for old lotion bottles

Source: Makeit-loveit blog

Here's how to make aperfect little holder for yourcell phone while it’s being charged.

And no more phone hanging down from the outlet while in this room or that room……..the cord and phone are  now up off the ground, and tucked away into the little holder, while the phone drinks up a full charge.

And of course I couldn’t just leave the poor little holder alone……I had to Mod Podge some fabric right onto it for some kick.  Hey, when my cell phone is happy, then I’m happy.

If you look closely, you can see that the orange print is fabric.  There are edges of fabric along the bottom and then one line down the back where the fabric met up.  But hardly noticeable while in use.  (For a few more options……you could also spray paint it, then stencil it or use vinyl cut outs over the paint.  That would be cute too.)

And my favorite part, is that I didn’t have to buy a thing.  The entire holder was made from things I had on hand. 

And turns out, it’s pretty useful.  And not one bit of an eyesore.

Would you like to make your own Cell Phone Holder?

First of all, take a look around your house?  Do you have any old plastic bottles that are just about empty?  A lotion bottle, a mustard bottle, a hairspray or shampoo bottle?  Whatever you choose, find one that’s more flattened rather than a circular bottle.  The flattened shape will keep the bottle closer to the wall and out of the way once a cell phone is placed inside.

Now, measure your cell phone against the bottle, to be sure the bottle isn’t too big or too small.

I found that this bottle of baby lotion was the perfect size for my iphone.  So I washed this out with hot water and let it air dry. 

Then I held my phone up to the bottle, starting at the bottom…..and decided how high I wanted the front of the holder to be.  Then I made a line with a pen across the front at that point.  Then I turned the bottle around and continued the line to the back but curved the back upwards.

I cut the bottle out with some kitchen scissors but a box cutter (or exacto knife) would work too.  I just have more control with scissors…….so I used them for this part.  I cut along the line until I was left with my phone holder shape.

Then, I drew a curved box shape on the upper back of the bottle.  Then I cut it out.  (What worked best for me was using a box cutter/exacto knife with a cutting board underneath.  This helped my control a ton.)  Then I used sand paper to smooth out all of the edges.

Like I mentioned above……you could now try spray paining and adding vinyl or stenciling it to finish your look.  Do whatever is best for you.

But here’s how I added the fabric:

First, you want to sand the surface of the whole thing.  This will really help to rough it up so that the Mod Podge will stick really well in the next steps.  Also, I didn’t want that blue ink to show through from the other side, so I sanded most of the lettering off too.  Worked great.

Then, I cut a piece of fabric that was big enough to wrap around the phone holder and was also an inch or two taller on the top and bottom.

Then, I turned the phone holder with the front facing me, and applied a generous layer of Mod Podge to the front.

Next, place the fabric right on top, centering it where it needs to go.

Then, apply more Mod Podge around the side of the container and continue to lay the fabric down right against it, pulling tightly as you wrap.  Also, be sure to pull the fabric down around the curve of the bottom of your bottle, if needs be.  This will help keep the fabric flat and smooth.  Use plenty of Mod Podge to aide you in this process.

When you get to the back, overlap one of the edges over the other.  Make sure the fabric is smooth all the way around the bottle……and then cut a straight line up the back of the container, trimming off the excess fabric.

Then trim around the entire container, cutting off the fabric nice and close to the edge.  Now, apply a nice thick layer of Mod Podge over all of the fabric.  Be sure and seal around all of the edges of fabric with the Mod Podge, ensuring that the fabric won’t peel off.

Lastly, cut an oval shape (or whatever shape applies to you) to fit the bottom of the bottle.  Place a layer of Mod Podge on the bottom of the bottom, place the oval shape on the bottom, then apply another coat of the Mod Podge.  Now set it upside down on something tall and slender and that your container can fit on top of, so that it can dry without touching anything.  (That’s a single flower vase that I’m using.)

Once it’s dry, use a box cutter/exacto knife to cut out the square-ish opening.  You’ll probably need to apply more Mod Podge around the opening and allow it to dry again.

Now, don’t worry if your edges aren’t smooth and have little pieces of fabric sticking off.  Use your box cutter/exacto knife and run the blade right along the edge of the phone holder all the way around, to remove any stray threads or chunks of dried Mod Podge.

And that’s it.  Your phone holder is ready for use.