Category Archives: How to

Ribbon garland

Christmas Advent 2015 – Day 4 Ribbon Garland Finished!

Hey all! So, my SO and I went out for breakfast and then made a run to Joann’s this morning and I got the rest of the ribbon I needed to finish the ribbon garland. Of course, I go too much, so do not be surprised to see the ribbon in another project before this year’s advent is finished.


  • Gold bead garland
  • Lots of ribbon
  • Scissors

Ribbon garland

In theory, this is an easy project as long as you have the time. It took me two days working about 10 hours total to finish 13 1/2′. I used a gold bead garland and tied 4″ strips of ribbon between each bead. My total yardage of ribbon was approximately 90 yards.

Close up of ribbon garland

You can see from the image above that I tied two pieces of 6″ ribbon between each bead. I am very happy with the result. It is going to look great on the Christmas tree. The start of this post (from yesterday) is here.

Happy Crafting,


Beaded ribbon garland.

Christmas Advent – Day 4 Ribbon Garland

Good evening!

So, I have my day four Christmas advent project started, but as is my usual habit, I misjudged. I have a terrible tendency to completely underestimate materials and end up with way, way too much, or no where near enough. This time around, I have no where near enough.

I am going to give you a sneak peak and will post the completed project tomorrow after a run to Joann’s.

Beaded ribbon garland.
Beaded ribbon garland.

The garland is made from a gold bead garland and Christmas color ribbons. I cut the ribbons to four inches long and have tied them on to the bead garland. I had five shades of green, one red, and one gold ribbon. I mixed the greens together with two colors tied together and then red and gold pieces tied together. I am tying them between each bead.

The bad thing is that I have 396″ (yes, that is 33′) of gold bead garland and I have only tied about 78″. I have a long way to go. I don’t need to do the whole of the bead garland, but I would like at least 10′. So, official pics tomorrow, stay tuned!

Happy Crafting,


Three green foam tree ornaments.

Christmas Advent 2015 – Day 3 Foam Tree Ornament

I made it to day 3 of the Christmas countdown! This feels a bit monumental, as we have been absent from craft blogging for so long.

Today, I made little tree ornaments out of foam sheets (Foamies) in various shades of green.

First my materials:

Photo of materials used.
The materials I used to make my foam tree ornament.
  • Small plastic snowflakes
  • Head pins with eyes
  • Jump rings
  • Tiny jingle bells
  • 4 sheets of green Foamie sheets
  • Wire cutters and pliers
  • Pointed yarn darning needle
  • Circle cutter (Thank you Martha Stewert)
  • Superglue (not pictured)

I used my circle cutter to cut out 24 circles of various sizes of green foam from 1″ to 2″ in diameter. I then poked a hole in the center of the plastic snowflakes and the green circles with the darning needle. Using the head pins, I slid on one snowflake, one circle, and another snowflake, twisted a loop and cut the wire. I ended up making 24 of these and then using the jump rings, I strung them together for a total of eight green circles on each ornament. I attached a single jingle bell to the last foam circle with a jump ring to add a little fun and noise.

Lastly, I cut three more circles at 1 1/2″ diameter and cut them in half. I glued these into cones with superglue and then slid another snowflake on a headpin, then poked the headpin through the bottom of the cone, made a loop at the top of the cone and attached an ornament hook. I used another jump ring to attach the cone to the rest of the tree ornament and Voila! I was finished.

Green foam tree ornament.
Pretty green tree ornament.

I am very happy with how these turned out. My one recommendation is to use a circle cutter as cutting these out by hand makes them look very lopsided and wrong. The circle cutter makes them perfect and even.

Three green foam tree ornaments.
Just as easy to make three as it is to make one!

Happy Crafting,


Red wreath, completed and hung on my door.

Christmas Advent 2015 – Day 2 Paper Wreath

Day 2, Hurrah!!

I have been making wreaths off and on over the years, but lately, for every season. I love all of the pretty scrapbook papers available and I have such a hard time not investing in every type of paper punch ever made. I have managed very admirably to keep this part of my craft collection to a small box that holds my paper and various cutters.


  • Scrapbook paper (heavy and thin)
  • Paper punch
  • Glue
  • Wire
  • Wire cutters

I have this awesome petal paper punch that I have barely used and picked up on clearance some time ago. I needed an excuse to use it. After this project, it has certainly seen some usage. I started by making two green wreaths (I had a LOT of green scrapbook paper). I cut out 1 large circle (about 10″ for the outside diameter) from two pieces of heavy paper, glued them together, made a quick wire hanger that I attached to the circle, and then I started punching out petals. And more petals. And more petals.

First wreath in progress.
First wreath in progress. I made the other two wreaths much wider.

The first wreath I made is pretty thin, and while it looks great, I like wider wreaths better. When I started, I just randomly placed the petals to get a feel for the design. I found that I really liked the way the wreath looked with the petals pointing out on both the inner and outer side of the ring. Above you can see a few, but I had not quite gotten into the swing of placing the petals.

Close up of wreath hanger.
Here you can see my hanger and how I covered it up with petals.

I then found that I needed to cover the wire hanger and built up petals around the wire until I could hide it under yet more petals. You can also see the petals pointing inside and outside the wreath. I just kept layering until you could no longer see the paper ring underneath and until I liked the layout of the petals.

Green wreath, half completed.
Mostly complete wreath, still have to add the outside petals.

Above is the first wider wreath I did, again all in green paper. You can also see the start of hiding the wire hanger. I found it much easier to do all the inner pointing petals, then some of the middle petals, glue on the outer pointing petals, and then finish filling in the middle part of the wreath with the paper petals.

I was using the cut out center piece of the paper ring for my glue. I would pour some out, dip the wider end of the petal into the glue and then place it on the paper ring. In the picture above, you can see my bowl of petals. I punched lots and lots of these.

Green wreath, completed and hung on my door.
Green wreath, completed and hung on my door.

The finished green wreath looks great and I was very happy with the outcome. So happy that I immediately set out to make another one in more Christmassy colors, red and green.

Red wreath, completed and hung on my door.
Red wreath, completed and hung on my door.

So happy with it!

Happy Crafting,


Gold spiky star on our tree!

Christmas Advent 2015 – Day 1 Tree Star

Hello! Kristin here. We are all still around. We had taken a break to work on lots of other projects (houses mostly) and we are back for the holiday advent!

Lynne and I put up our Christmas tree on Sunday and found that it needed a new tree topper. Our previous tree topper was part of our 2011 Christmas event Paper Star Christmas Tree Topper.

We did this project together and we had a great time. Our materials list:

  • Styrofoam ball
  • Heavy wire
  • 10″ Bamboo skewers – package of 100
  • Spray Glue
  • Spray Paint
  • Heavy bamboo skewer – 1
  • Wire cutters
  • Glitter
  • Green florist tape
  • Wire
  • Tacky glue

Styrofoam ball with wire stuck threw it.

I took the old topper apart and we reused the spiral wire from it and stuck it through the Styrofoam ball. At this point, I was using a lint roller to hold the topper to see what it looked like. This changed very quickly to something else that would actually hold the star up straight while we worked on it.

Styrofoam ball with lots and lots of bamboo skewers stuck through it.
Spiky Styrofoam ball!

We switched to one of Lynne’s weights (painted milk bottle filled with bb’s) to hold the star. A recommendation that we have after having finished the star, once you stick the bamboo skewer in the ball, pull it back out and dab the end in glue (Alene’s Tacky Glue) to hold the skewers in place. Otherwise, you will be picking up and replacing skewers every time you move the star.

We cut around 20-30 skewers in half and the rest in thirds with the wire cutters. When cutting the skewers, slant the wire cutters to make an angle for ease of stabbing into the Styrofoam ball. Also, put the shorter skewers in first and then the longer ones to avoid stabbing your hand or the need for a leather glove. (Always good to learn from someone else’s experience).

Painting the ball and skewers with Copic markers,
Starting the spray paint.

We then started spray painting the star with Lynne’s awesome Copic markers and air compressor to make them work as spray paint. This was long and did not need to be done, and didn’t cover the star nearly as well as we had hoped. We decided that this did not work and bought a $3 bottle of spray paint and sprayed it gold. Worked so much better! Then you spray the star with the spray glue and dust with glitter.

Star spray painted gold and re-glittered.
Spray painted gold!

The ball has been spray painted gold and covered with glitter. Lynne then covered the bottom part of the heavy skewer with green florist tape (matched the tree) to hide the length that goes into the tree and is wired down.

Gold spiky star on our tree!
Gold spiky star on our tree!

The topper is now on top of the tree. Lynne and Loryn did this part as I had already driven home after the Thanksgiving break. It is wired to the top of the tree to keep it straight.

Photo of full tree and topper.
Our beautiful tree with all homemade decorations.

Our beautiful tree is now complete! The ornaments and garlands are all homemade and have been previously posted on The CraftySisters. It looks just wonderful!

Happy Crafting,


Custom Tool Belt How To


I wanted a simple tool belt that I could wear working on projects around the house. It needed to be lightweight (that ruled out traditional leather ones), hold all my basic tools, and have a pocket for my phone. I had some nifty vintage floral twill that I thought would be fun, but any medium weight canvas or twill will work. All of the pieces are doubled to hide seams and give it more weight.

Vintage floral twill

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • One 21 x 17″ rectangle to make the main body of the tool apron (all measurements have 1/2″ seam allowances included)
  • One 17 x 14″ rectangle to make the large pockets
  • One 9.5 x 7.5″ rectangle for the upper small pockets and slot
  • One 6 x 6″ piece for the lower small pocket
  • One 2″ wide strip that is long enough to go around your waist and tie. You can piece two strips together if you don’t have a long enough piece of yardage.
  • All the tools that you will carry in your tool belt so you can determine sizes
  • Sewing machine, thread, and basic tools


The first thing to do is to lay out the tools that you want to put into the tool apron. These are the basics that I frequently use around the house. You’ll want the main body to be long enough to fit all of your tools, plus an extra inch on each side. To determine the large pocket size, use a vinyl measuring tape to measure around the tools, leaving ease for each one. My large pocket ended up being 16″, plus 1″ for seam allowances (a half inch on each side).

The two large pieces

To get started, take your two largest pieces (the main body and the large pocket), fold them in half right sides out, and iron. The fold will be the top of the tool belt itself and the top of the pocket. Turn the main body piece wrong side out and stitch all the way around with a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving a 2″ opening at the top of each side. Use that opening to turn the piece right side out. You’ll use the opening at the top to put the tie through. In the meantime, turn the corners neatly and press.

Do the same to the large pocket, leaving only one 2″ opening on one side. You’ll end up with this:


Next, make the tie. I hate turning tubes, so I always make my ties using the method here. Make one long tie. It will run through the body of the apron and give it more support.

Topstitch around the tie, and run it through the main body. Then you can topstitch around the apron. I stitched at the top and bottom of the tie to hold it into place.


The next step is to topstitch all the way around the large pocket, stitching the turning slot closed. Now line one edge of it up with the main body and pin it into place. Now you need to start placing your tools to determine the pockets.


Above, you can see that I grouped the tools by size to make best use of space. Also, keep sharp and pointy tools to the sides, so you don’t poke yourself. Pin the pockets in place, and stitch each one:


Here you can see the large pockets are stitched at the sides, but not the bottom. Sewing the bottom seam will be the last step. For now, we’ll move on to the smaller pockets at the sides.


The upper part contains a place to slot hang the measuring tape, and an open slot to hang the small cat’s paw (though it is awkward to carry, so I normally don’t use that slot). Below those pockets, I added two small pockets for nails and screws.

Once those pockets are in place and seamed at the sides, you’re ready to sew the bottom.


Form pleats to make the pockets lie flat. Pin them in place, and then sew the bottom seam. You’ll be sewing through a lot of fabric at this point!

Once the bottom seam is done, your tool apron is ready to go! I made my ties long enough to wrap around and tie in front. You could also add a buckle if you prefer.

— Loryn


close up of earring display

Earring Display

close up of earring display
Close up of completed display.

I had an old earring display that I made several years ago that had some really bad fabric on it. I was in a hurry at the time and just wanted somewhere to hang my earrings. I decided that it needed to be updated. I also figured in the process that I would show you how it is made. I have a larger version of the earring display on the other side of my sink where I hang my necklaces. It is done in the same new fabric, but does not have the ribbon embellishment.


Ceiling Tile (cut to size needed, I used a utility knife to cut my tile)

Fabric (enough to cover ceiling tile)

Ribbon (or any embellishment)

Scissors or Rotary Cutter

Staple Gun


Materials needed to get started.
My tile board was already cut from the previous version of the display, I just took the old fabric off.

I ironed my fabric and rolled it for dust, lint and pet fur. The fabric has been sitting out for a while and needed a quick lint-rolling.

cut material to fit tile
Here I used a rotary cutter to cut the fabric to size.

I left about 2 inches of extra fabric on each edge to wrap around my tile board.

staple the sides of tile board
Sides stapled.

I stapled the sides of the board first. It really doesn’t matter if you do the sides or top/bottom first.

First step in corner fold.
First step in corner fold. (What an odd view of my hand.)

I folded the corners like you would a present. I am sure there are fancier or neater ways to do this, but I like the end result.

Second step in folding corners.
Second step in folding corners.

Fold up the bottom edge and hold to staple.

Nicely stapled.
Nicely stapled.

Repeat this same procedure for the other three corners, then staple the rest of the top/bottom fabric.

all sides and corners are now stapled to board
Fabric now attached to tile board.

I decided that I wanted to have a bit of embellishment to my display, so I chose some ribbon I had left over from a previous project and cut it to fit my tile board.

Again I left about 2 inches of extra ribbon on each edge to wrap around the board.

Once I had decided on my placement, I used my cutting mat to make sure my ribbon would be level and even on my board.

The cutting mat made the alignment very easy.

I stapled the two vertical ribbons to the board and then added the horizontal ribbon in the same manner.

All ribbon is stapled to the display.
All ribbon is stapled to the display.

And here is the board all ready to go. I just need to add the pins and earrings!

All done with the staple gun!

I had been working in the loft at my craft table, but as all the pins and earrings were downstairs, the project shifted to the dining table.

board, earrings, and pins all ready to be put together
I used flower headed pins to hang my earrings.

I used a wide earring and a long earring to help decide the placement of my pins. I have a lot of earrings and needed to be able to display long and short earrings.

pins added to board
I ended up adding another row of pins after this photo as I more earrings than I thought.

Now the display is ready to go. I pushed it in place and hung my earrings!

Completed earring display in place and full.
Completed earring display in place and full.

If you cannot tell, the earring display is in the over the toilet shelf. I have more necklaces hanging all over the shelf itself as my other necklace display is already full, another project?

I like the color, I have lots of stained pine in my house (a LOT of it) and the more color I can add, the happier I am. As I cannot paint, I will add color wherever possible.

I am really happy with my finished Tile Board Earring Display!

Happy Creating!


sterling silver zigzag hoop earrings

ZigZag Hoop Earrings

After much whining (and an exhaustive search), I have realized that however convenient it may be, I just cannot take photos of my projects that I like with my iPhone. Some people may be able to do it, I am just not one of them. I did have to search my house pretty thoroughly for my real camera, it was in hiding. It is fairly old (Fujifilm FinePix), but it still takes good photos. I am much happier with the results for today.

If you have been watching the news, you would have seen the massive cold weather system that tromped all over the Midwest yesterday and the extreme cold that has followed it. Due to this, my place of employment closed for the day and I have had a wonderful day at home, staying out of the cold. After a big breakfast and some lazing around, I made these wonderful hoop earrings with a zigzag in the center.

sterling silver zigzag hoop earrings

I am really happy with how these turned out. They are made out of 21 gauge sterling silver wire. I wrapped the hoop around a mandrel to make the main frame of the earrings. Then I used a 4″ piece of the same wire to make the zigzag which is connected to the hoop frame with 26 gauge sterling silver wire. After the zigzag was wrapped to the frame, I used a plastic mallet to harden the hoop and zigzag so that they wouldn’t get bent too easily.

close up of the sterling silver zigzag hoop earrings

Have a great day and stay warm!

Happy Creating,


Paper clip snowflakes

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Cheri-I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holiday Season so far.

These are two ornament that I made from paper clips.


Large paper clips

Round nose pliers


Small gauge wire


I first started by experimenting  with different paperclip bends.  I knew that I wanted to make a snowflake so I made sure that I would have a way to connect them to each other. After I had a pattern I liked, I began to work on the connection. The grommets worked great for the 2nd snowflake as I had a loop to affix it to. The top one I decided to wire, after I wired it I put a drop of E-6000 on each wire. This stabilized the connection.

Hope you are enjoying our Christmas countdown and again Happy Holildays.



Vintage Button Christmas Tree Ornament


Loryn: I had some vintage green corduroy that I wanted to make into an ornament, so I made up the tree before deciding how to decorate it. I’ve collected buttons since we inherited my great-grandmother’s button box when I was six, so buttons seemed like a natural fit. Quilting or embroidery would look great, too!


To get started, I drew out a couple tree shapes onto my corduroy, then decided which one I liked best.


Then I stitched the tree, leaving an opening to turn and stuff it.


Then I cut out the tree. It’s much easier to sew an irregular shape if you wait and cut it out afterwards.


Then I turned the tree right side out.


Then pick out what embellishments you want to use. I picked out buttons for each side of the tree.


Lightly stuff the tree with batting and stitch the opening closed.


To sew the buttons on, add one at the front and one at the back and stitch both on at the same time. When finished sewing through both button shanks or holes twice, make a quick knot underneath the button, and run the needle through the middle of the ornament to the next button location, without cutting the thread.


Make a hanging loop at the top after you’ve sewn on the “stars” and your tree is ready to hang!

— Loryn