Tag Archives: easy

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.

Materials:

  • 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,

Kristin

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Completed hotpad made from a washcloth and crochet

World’s Best Hot Pads – Made from Washcloths

Completed hotpad made from a washcloth and crochet

This is a very photo heavy how-to to make the best hot pads ever. I learned how to make these from my Aunt Harriet. She wasn’t really my Aunt, she was a friend of my Grandmother’s who the family adopted. Harriet Saine was a wonderful woman and is greatly missed.

Her hot pads are famous in our family. Every year at Christmas she would pull out this gigantic stack of hot pads and every woman (with a house or apartment) would get to pick two. Sometimes Harriet brought so many we would get to chose a third one. When Harriet passed away, I got her supplies for making these hot pads. In her supplies were her crochet hooks. There is one that is completely eroded down to a nub. I had no idea you could even do that to a metal crochet hook. I cannot even begin to create as many of these as Harriet was able to. I am amazed every year I am able to make these for the family that she was able to do this every year for as long as I can remember. This is my homage to Aunt Harriet.

Supplies for the hotpads

The supplies for these hot pads are very few:

Cheap washcloth (this means no embroidered stripes or thick edges)

Crochet thread

1″ plastic rings

Crochet hooks (size 4/2.00mm and size 8/1.50mm)

Pins (optional, though recommended)

Scissors

You really do need to use cheaper washcloths for this project. Cheaper washcloths do not have a high thread count and make it much easier to get the crochet hook through the fabric for the first round of stitching. You also are much better off using plain washcloths, the ones with no embroidered stripes or thick edges. The stripes are very difficult to get a crochet hook through. That is not to say impossible, but it will hurt your hands if you have to force the hook through these stripes very often. I have somehow managed to collect around 50 washcloths to make into hot pads. Eventually, I will have to stop buying them.

The crochet thread can be any sort. I now have a huge collection of thread from variegated, solid, metallic, to threads with differing thickness. I personally prefer the variegated for my hot pads. I really like the effect it makes. I currently have 2 Rubbermaid tubs of crochet thread, and like the washcloths, I may eventually have to stop buying new colors. (I have a bad habit of buying every new variegated skein I find.)

For the plastic rings, you can use any size you prefer, but I tend to buy 3/4″, 1″ or 1 1/4″. I just have to make sure that I grab two of the same size for the set of hot pads (I always make sets of 2).

I use a size 8/1.50mm crochet hook for the first round of stitching and a size 4/2.00mm crochet hook for the decorative round of stitching. The size 8 goes through the fabric of the washcloth much easier and I like a slightly larger hook to make the edging, this is just personal preference though.

To make:

You fold the washcloth in half  and pin it to hold it in place. As you stitch, it tends to drift and you will end up with a lopsided fold. Holding it with the fold closer to you, begin the first single crochet in the upper left hand corner, at the midpoint of the corner.

First single crochet stitches

Continue your single crochet stitching around the corner, the first short side, next full corner, and to the folded edge. Keep stitching along the fold, next full corner, and up the second short side of the washcloth. You stop your stitching at the midpoint of the upper right corner. At this point, you have single crocheted around three sides of the washcloth (1/4 of the way finished).

Single crochet around three sides.

Now you need to open up the washcloth and put the two midpoints together (be sure to remove your pins). This makes what in the origami world is called a balloon fold. You connect all four corners of the washcloth at the top of the hot pad and this creates 4 triangle shaped wings. The photo below shows this fold in a flattened view from the top. You can see the four corners of the washcloth stitched together, although in the photo, the edges are not yet completely stitched. Putting a couple of pins into the wings will again help keep your folds straight and prevent you from having a lopsided hot pad.

Start of second round of single crochet stitches

You stick your crochet hook through the two pieces of fabric at the midpoints of the corners and start single crocheting down the short side (from here on, all the sides are short sides). Continue around the washcloth (you will stitch over your first round of crochet as you go) until you are again back at the top. This should have closed all the sides and created the 4 wings and top and bottom points (1/2 way finished). You are now ready to start the decorative edging. You can also remove all the pins now.

Here the single crochet is finished and you are ready to start the decorative edging.

I switch hooks to the larger size 4/2.00mm hook and double crochet at this point. When I started making these hot pads, I used to make different types of edgings. You can experiment until you find one you like. I like this one and it is very easy and pretty. Single crochet twice and insert the hook under the first single crochet on the opposite wing of the hot pad. You will use this stitch as the post to stitch 3 more double crochet stitches around. Finish off with one single crochet. This completes one scallop. You will make one of these scallops in every other single crochet stitch from the first round.

dc in first sc, *dc around first dc 3 times, sc, skip single crochet and dc in next sc, continue from *

Double Crochet post stitch

First of the three DC stitches

Second of three DC stitches

Third of DC stitches

Decorative Edge Finished

Add Ring

When you finish the edging and are back at the top of the hot pad you will add your plastic ring. You don’t have to add a plastic ring, but so many people like to hang their hot pads from hooks. You can skip this part entirely if you don’t want to hang your hot pads. You single crochet around the ring making sure to completely cover the plastic ring. I finish the ring with one final single crochet back into the hot pad. I tie off the threads and pull the ends inside the hot pad with the crochet hook.

Finished Ring

You have now finished your first hot pad! As I said above, I always make these in pairs and would now start my second one. I can make one hot pad in about an hour (1 and 1/2  if I am interrupted a lot).

Pile of finished hot pads

I have tried to photo the whole process, but if you have any questions, or want another photo, just let me know. I hope you enjoy these hot pads as much as I and my family do!

Happy Crafting,

Kristin

Finished hot pad

Crocheted earmuffs in cream and black wool yarn.

Crafty Challenge 12: Headwarmer – Earmuffs


Crocheted earmuffs in cream and black wool yarn.

Our most recent crafty challenge was to make a headwarmer. This could be in any color, material, style or shape. Cheri was ahead of us all and posted her adorable recycled sweater hat here. We gave ourselves 3 weeks to make this particular challenge as we were all still recovering from the holidays. I had mine done in less than a week and then had to try very had not to talk about it or brag about it. Of course, this early birdness of me is now completely offset by my late posting.

I love earmuffs, but have never been able to find a satisfactory pair. The never stay on my head or they don’t cover my ears very well. I also hate hats as I have very static prone hair. I knew as soon as we started talking about a headwarmer challenge that earmuffs were my challenge.

I bought a cheap set of fleece wrap-around earmuffs for less than $2. I then cut the fleece off the wire and used the wire for the base of my earmuffs. I have some lovely wool yarn, one skein in cream and another in black. I also received this gigantic spool of very fine black alpaca yarn on year for Christmas. I took all three yarns and crocheted my earmuffs with this lovely and warm combination.

Crocheted earmuffs made on wire frame.

I crocheted 4 circles in double crochet, all the same size and just big enough to cover my ears. I then held two of these circles on either side of the ear part of the wire frame and using half-double crochet, I stitched the circles together. I really wanted the double thickness which provides amazing protection from cold and wind. You could also put some stuffing or quilting in between the two circles if you wanted poofy earmuffs (this would be very cute for a child).

After stitching both circles on the frame, I then single crocheted around the length of wire between the ear pieces. To keep from having to weave-in ends, I folded the ends from the ear pieces under the single crochet. This made the back wire a little thicker and made it so I only had the ends from this last stretch to weave-in.

Crocheted earmuffs in black and cream wool yarn.

This completed my earmuffs. This project took me all of about 2 hours and most of that was just figuring out what stitch I wanted to use to make the circles. I have been wearing these for weeks now and just love them. They are comfortable, very warm, and I haven’t had cold ears at all this year!

Happy Crafting!

Kristin

Pendant made of resistors.

Crafty Challenge 8: Resistor Necklace and Pendant

So some of our Crafty Sisters have been a little distracted lately and it took an extra week to get our projects posted this week. (I cannot complain as it has been me a couple of times who has been distracted.)

Our found item that must be used in our challenge was resistors. Out of the Crafty Sister storage came a canister full of old resistors. We divided them up and got to work.

Resistors just seem to lend themselves towards jewelry and I was inclined to follow. My foremost concern was an interesting pendant.

Pendant made of resistors.

My entire necklace is made of resistors, even the hook and eye clasp. The wired ends make wire-wrapping a breeze.

Necklace made up entirely of electronic resistors.

This is a very simple necklace to make and only took me about 2 hours. Most of that time was spent messing with the style and shape of the pendant.

I am pleased with how this turned out and will probably wear it from time to time.

Happy Crafting!

Kristin

Pistachio Shell Animals, Whimsical Cards

Pistachio Shell Alligator
Pistachio shell alligators grin so you can admire their teeth.
Pistachio Shell Alligator
What big teeth I have!

-Cheri: About 15 years ago I discovered this wonderful nut, that for some reason I had very little knowledge about up until then. It was pistachios. Pistachios are extremely yummy nuts. I love them and really can’t say anything bad about them other than the frustration of the shell not being open enough on a few.

I love to eat the nuts but I also like to use the shells. The shells are these pretty little half clam shells. They have a woody feel to them and take paint, marker and glue really well. They are really a nice item to work with. When I first started making items with the shells, I would very carefully tease the nuts out of the shell to leave it whole and would glue them together to make little Mallard ducks. I would then take the ducks and put them on a pond I had drawn on a piece of cardboard.

After I grew tired of the ducks, I started looking closely at the pretty little ovals and started thinking about all the creatures I could make out of them. Thus, the creatures featured here were created. Eventually, I ran out of ideas. But the funny thing is that every time I eat pistachios I usually save a handful of shells back just in case…..

-Lynne: These make whimsical cards of all kinds. Eat some pistachios, collect the shells, grab your scissors, construction paper and markers and have some fun making your own creations.

Pistachio Turtles
Pistachio shell turtles sunning on an island in the middle of the river.
Pistachio Lady Bugs
Pistachio shell Lady Bugs looking for aphids among the rose leaves.
Pistachio Tree
Pistachio shell tree all decked out in autumn colors.
Pistachio Beetles
Pistachio shell beetles on a window screen dazzled by the lights.
Pistachio Spider
Pistachio shell spider working on a special web for Halloween.
Pistachio Fly
Pistachio shell fly zeroing in on a bread crumb.