December 12, 2011
‘Bless you’ Angels: A pocket tissue holder project
It happens almost every Sunday. I’m in Church with my three kids and inevitably one whispers about needing a tissue. I scramble to find something adequate in my purse, but it seems I’m often fresh out. This inspiring scenario led to the idea to make cases for tissue packs to whisper back “bless you” the next time they were needed (and I’ll never admit I created this project in my head during the homily, although thinking about angels and blessings is appropriate, right?!)
As the holiday season approaches, I’ll be creating more of these to “bless” family and friends. This quick and easy project make adorable stocking stuffers for loved ones. They also make the perfect holiday gift for those angelic teachers.
6 1/4″ X 7″ piece of Jacquard Stabilized Fabric
6 1/4″ x 7″ piece of coordinating fabric
Jacquard textile fabric paints
Jacquard Lumiere metallic acrylic paints (I used Metallic Gold; Pearl Turquoise; Pearl Violet; Pearlescent Magenta; Pearl White; and Pewter)
1. Cut one 6 1/4″ x 7″ piece of Stabilized Fabric and lightly draw an angel design with pencil. (Click angel pattern above for a printable PDF of my design. Use tracing paper to transfer on fabric.)
2. Paint the angel and background with fabric paint. Use Lumiere metallic colors for the wings, halo and background.
3. Let fabric dry for 24 hours before peeling off backing. Remove paper backing and heat set with iron for three minutes.
4. Cut a coordinating 6 1/4″ x 7″ piece of fabric. With right sides together of the coordinated fabric and painted fabric, stitch 1/4 inch from the edge all around the outside of the fabric. Leave about a 1 inch opening for turning near the bottom of the angel.
5. Turn and press. Fold the sides of the tissue holder with coordinating fabric facing out. Overlap the edges approximately 1/4″ in the middle.
6. Stitch 1/4 inch from the edge along each short end.
7. Turn right side out and insert a pocket tissue pack.
Dip a wooden dowel in white paint and “stamp” on your fabric to make a quick and uniform dot pattern.
Make each angel unique by painting different hair and skin colors.
Work assembly style and you’ll be blessed with a chorus of tissue holders to gift before you know it!
p.s. I’m super excited to now be collaborating with Jacquard Products to develop new project ideas with their fabulous art supplies! In the notice of disclaimers all Jacquard products have been provided. However, a glowing recommendation is all my own.
October 25, 2011
Quilted Halloween Potholder
Wondering how you’re going to handle your hot caldron this Halloween? How funny…so was I! Witch, I mean which : ), is what inspired me to design a couple of quilted caldron/pot holders. Follow along for a quick tutorial.
4 assorted fabrics (9″ x 9″ top; 9″ x 9″ bottom; hat and star according to pattern
; 40″ x 2″ binding; 6″ x 2″ loop hanger); batting (3-10″ x 10″ squares); fusible web; iron; sewing machine; thread; needle; embroidery floss.
Use my free pattern (click here
) to trace the hat bottom, middle band, hat top and star onto the smooth side of the fusible web, leaving a 1/4″ allowance all around each shape. Cut out the shapes just outside the marked lines. Press the hat shapes and star onto the wrong side of each of the chosen fabrics. Cut out the shapes accurately along the marked lines. Iron the shapes to the quilt top.
Make a quilt sandwich with the bottom/back fabric, three pieces of batting and finally the top/front of the potholder (a.) Pin together with safety pins.
Use a variety of machine stitches to quilt your block together (b.-c.) Use hand stitching to quilt the twirly line connecting the star to the hat.
Trim the excess batting from sides to make a perfect square.
To make the hanger loop, fold a 6″ x 2″ fabric strip in half lengthwise and press. Open out and fold each raw edge toward the center fold. Stitch along the long edges (d.) Set aside.
Cut a 40″ x 2″ strip of fabric for the edge binding. My new favorite way to machine attach binding is courtesy of my quilting instructor, Heather. She has a fabulous picture heavy tutorial here
. Attach the loop hanger into the left hand corner of the binding.
For an alternative design, I attached a spider to the end of the hat rather than a star. The spider consists of two fused circles and hand-stitched legs and eyes.
Enjoy creating a funky piece of functional decor just in time for Halloween!
April 26, 2011
An Office Staple
I’ve stared at the same old, ugly stapler on my desk for a long time. I use that standard office tool almost every day. I decided it was time that it got a makeover/sprucing up and joined in on my mantra of “art just for fun.” Now when I staple documents together, I can’t help but smile at my cheerful office companion.
Jacquard Piñata alcohol-based paint (I chose a palette of white plus three additional colors: sunbright yellow, lime green, baja blue);
Jacquard Piñata clean up solution;
Jacquard Piñata claro extender;
clear satin fixative;
16″ of trim (more or less depending on the size of stapler);
aluminum flashing (to use as a paint palette);
glue gun and glue sticks.
1. Clean stapler as needed. When the stapler is clean and dry, apply paint directly from the bottle to the stapler. You may also squeeze a small amount of paint to the aluminum palette and apply the paint to the stapler with a paintbrush. Continue adding paint to the stapler. Piñata paints dry quickly so use claro extender if you want to buy yourself more drying time. Otherwise, enjoy experimenting. You can always remove the paint with the clean-up solution and start over if you wish.
2. After you have painted all the parts of the stapler, let dry, preferably overnight.
3. To give your stapler an extra coat of protection, spray with a clear satin fixative and let dry.
4. Choose a coordinating trim to decorate the top edge of the stapler. Cut the piece to fit all the way around the top edge. Make sure the trim does not interfere with the loading of staples or the stapling! Use a glue gun to adhere.
5. Don’t forget about the staples! Who says staples need to be a boring silver? Apply Jacquard Piñata alcohol-based paint directly from the bottle to the top and sides of the staples. You can paint an entire row one color or make a rainbow-colored staple row so you never know what color will emerge next.
Enjoy your one-of-a-kind, extraordinary stapling sensation. This functional work of art will brighten up any office space making work seem more like play.
Experiment with different paint combinations on the aluminum palette before applying to the stapler. Limiting your palette to three or four colors may produce the best results.
Try painting wet on wet, as well as allowing the colors to dry between applications.
Add white to the colored paints for a more opaque effect. However, the color will still remain somewhat translucent blending with what’s underneath.
Young artists can try this project too. Nobody should be stuck with a boring stapler!
Remember there is no right or wrong way to paint a stapler.
For a printer friendly pdf of this project click here.
p.s. I’m super excited to now be collaborating with Jacquard Products to develop new project ideas with their fabulous art supplies! In the notice of disclaimers all Jaquard products have been provided. However, a glowing recommendation is all my own.
December 6, 2010
Still posting more than ever
My dear friend Anke softly reminded me that I haven’t been around here too much lately. My excuse is I’ve been continuing to post daily over at Merrier Shopping. I’m having fun writing about all things holiday, but I’m not going to lie. Daily posting including weekends is quite a job. Especially when you strive to make every post interesting by throwing in tutorials and illustrations to boot. If you didn’t follow me over, here’s a roundup of some past craft and recipe posts that I don’t want you to miss:
1) Glittered toy ornaments;
2) Chalkboard placeholders and acorn napkin holders;
3) Baked apples with cranberries;
4) Dressed-up Peanut Butter Cookies
Today, I resorted to letting my cat write the post. I may have lost it.Until I can hire an assistant, the felines of the family need to be on high alert as they could be called into service at any second. I really need to teach them how to work my Etsy shop..tons of new prints to load. Or maybe I should give up on sleeping…hmmmm….
While I mull it over, I promise to come around here more often now that I know someone is paying attention. Thanks Anke!
November 14, 2010
Surf for Sewing and Candy Tutorials
My holiday blog job has been keeping me busy to say the least. I’ve been posting over there daily since November 1st. This weekend, I’ve added two tutorials that my like-minded, creative friends might enjoy. You can make my original JOY potholder by clicking here.
You can also check out my step-by-step recipe for Rocky Road Bark candy by clicking here.
This week, I’m looking forward to meeting my GGP friends (sponsors of the Merrier Shopping blog) in person. We’ve been chatting over the phone and by e-mail for over a month so it will be great to connect with actual faces. And I hear there will be press involved. Pray for a good hair day. Thanks for visiting this site and my holiday blog. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support through the comments and the warm e-mails sent my way. Thank you! : )
August 31, 2010
A piece of heART
My very youngest is in the process of phase-in to all day kindergarten. Over these first two weeks, she’s slowly working her way up to being at school for an entire 8:00am to 3:00pm day. I’m working up to that too. It’s strangely quiet here. She knew I’d miss her, so she made me this Perler bead heart. She gave specific instructions to “kiss it when you miss me.” sigh. She is so much older and wiser than her five years.
Speaking of which, we are huge fans of perler bead crafting around here. All three of my kids (and many of their friends) enjoy it, with the added bonus that it’s a pretty fabulous hand-eye coordinating activity too. If you’re not familiar, Perler beading is where you design a pattern on pegboards (like you see above) placing…
..plastic Perler beads on the pegs. Then, a responsible adult covers with ironing paper, irons and the beads magically melt together. Finally you take the creation off the mold, iron the other side and there you have it…a piece of art. Kisses optional.
November 17, 2009
Hanging Acorn Frame tutorial
My girls and I went for a fall walk the other day. Crunching under our feet were hundreds of little acorn hats. We stopped to inspect them closer, loving their tiny details…an absolutely gorgeous crafting material. We collected as many as our pockets could hold and brought them back to the studio for some acorn brainstorming. While my daughters dreamed up a family of acorn people, I worked to create an acorn frame with a hanger.
acorn tops of various sizes
flat wooden frame with at least an 1 inch border
hot glue gun
brown craft paint
20 inch piece of 1/2 inch wide brown ribbon
a photo or piece of art to frame
step one. Remove the glass and back of the frame for crafting purposes. Paint the frame with brown craft paint. step two.
Attach the ribbon middle to a large acorn top by hot gluing the ribbon into the acorn.
Hot glue the ends of the ribbon to the top of the front frame corners like so.
Hot glue acorn tops to the front of the frame. You will cover where the ribbon was previously attached.step five.
Insert the frame glass along with a photo or a piece of original art and hang your finished creation on a wall or a doorknob.
Giving thanks for the little things including time to paint, craft and look for acorns. : )
October 23, 2009
When a spider leads to a pumpkin
Inspiration is a funny thing. It begins as a spark and catches quick if you let it (kind of like a certain flu you may have heard is going around.) In the case of inspiration, it’s a good thing (the other, not so much.) I ‘ll admit that when I’m asked to help with 5th grade math I don’t jump quite as fast as when my 7-year-old son (or any child for that matter) comes to me asking for help with a craft idea. Brendan thought the spider pincushion I made earlier this week was pretty cool. He told me he had another idea for a pumpkin pincushion and wondered if I could help him make it. Let me tell you, when my sports driven-nintendo playing-legoite-son asks to make a pin cushion you had better believe it gets my attention.
We quickly gathered our supplies which consisted of orange fabric, orange thread, a bottle cap, fiberfill, black felt and a green chenille pipe cleaner. Then using the exact same technique as with the spider body, I guided him in the making of his one-of-a-kind creation. After Brendan had the pumpkin all sewn up, he cut the eyes and a mouth out of the black felt and attached with liquid stitch. Then, he cut a bit of the chenille pipe cleaner for a stem and inserted it in the top of the pumpkin. Finally, Brendan added a few pins to top off his completed pincushion. He was so proud he even brought it to school to show the class.While this cute pumpkin is smile-inducing on its own, it’s the fact that it was created from a tiny spark of inspiration by a 7-year-old boy that makes me smile the most.
October 19, 2009
Bottle cap Spider Pincushion
Just in time for Halloween, I’ve put together a quick little project to add a dash of fun to your sewing area. That’s if you can get your…ahem…three kids to stop playing with it.
Here are the craft supplies you’ll need:
1-4 inch circle (spider body) and 1-2 inch circle (spider head) cut from your choice of fabric
1 bottle cap
2 beady red straight pins (spider eyes)
4-5 inch pieces of black craft wire (spider legs) and 1-1 inch piece of craft wire (spider palps)
pliers, wire cutters, fabric scissors, needle
September 21, 2009
Sweet Sweater Rosettes
The past week has been filled to the brim with design work, kid’s homework and activities plus all the usual. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been dreaming of new projects. Over the weekend, I took a crafty time out and made a half dozen or so of these happy rosettes from recycled felted wool sweaters. The idea stemmed from a rosey wreath project by Betz White in the new Holiday Crafts magazine by Better Homes and Gardens that I’m planning to make very soon. This tutorial focuses on a hair clip, but the idea can easily be adapted for pony tail holders, headbands and pins.
In addition to felted wool (in the colors of your choice), you’ll need a 3/8 inch coordinating ribbon, a hair clip, fabric scissors, fabric glue and a glue gun.
To felt wool: Place your thrifted or unwanted 100 percent wool sweaters in the washing machine. Wash on the HOT cycle. Place the sweaters in the dryer. Basically do all that you would never dare do with 100 percent wool sweaters and feel very rebellious. Next, go over to your local tattoo parlor…kidding. Do that after you make your rosettes.
For the patterns, left click on the above image and print. Your circle pattern should be approximately 3 inches. If for some reason your circle prints larger or smaller than three inches, adjust the print percentage as necessary.
Using your pattern, cut a circle from the rose wool color. Then, cut a spiral shape using the pattern as a guide. It doesn’t have to be perfect (no flower is) so wing it with confidence. Starting from the outside of the spiral, use fabric glue to attach at the bottom edge of the flower. Wind to shape the rosette.