Tag Archives: homemade

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

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,

Kristin

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.

Materials:

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

Pins

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.

9_CutRibbon
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.

10_AlignRibbon
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!

12_FinishedBoard
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!

Kristin

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,

Kristin

Sterling Silver Hammered Ring

I have been slowly adding to my metalsmithing supplies and have finally reached a point where I am able to make rings (well, almost, I do not have a ring mandrel yet). I made my very first 4mm sterling silver, hammered ring today. As it is my first attempt, I already see many things that I can improve upon, but for a first try, it isn’t half bad, especially since it fit from the beginning. I did not have to make any size adjustments. I will have no qualms about wearing it until I make a better one.

Sterling silver hammered ring

After putting my photo lights to rest, I realized that the inside of the ring could have used some polishing and the outside could have used some additional polishing, but you get the idea.

I have had this idea for a ring for years. It is to be my anniversary ring. I thought that it would be much more fun to make one rather than to buy one. No, this is not it, but it is the first step in my plans. Now, I just have to practice making rings. It is going to be a fun year getting everyone’s ring sizes for Christmas presents next year!

Happy Creating!

Kristin

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.

Supplies

Large paper clips

Round nose pliers

Grommets

Small gauge wire

Glue

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.

 

 

Close up of Christmas ball earrings.

Christmas Advent: Tree Pendant and Christmas Ball Earrings

I had to make a necklace and earring set for myself for Christmas this year. I realized that I do not have any holiday jewelry and that just seemed to be a very strange oversight on my part. So, here are my Christmas ball earrings and tree pendant. I am really happy with how they turned out. I did a happy dance!

Pic of tree pendant and Christmas ball earrings

I used sterling silver 18 gauge wire for the tree and ball shapes, 26 gauge for the garlands, and 21 gauge for the ear wires. I have some really pretty glass red florets, glass green diamond shapes, and silver delicas that I used to make the garlands.

Close up of tree pendant

The pendant was a lot of fun to make. I just used a pair of flat-nose pliers to make the shape, bending it until I liked the general style.

Close up of Christmas ball earrings.

I just love the Christmas ball earrings. I did hammer the 18-gauge wire after I made the ball shapes.

I am so happy with how these turned out and will be wearing them to work tomorrow (probably every other day until Christmas too).

Happy Crafting,

Kristin

Paper Punch Ornament

Okay, I am 2 days late with this post, but you will have to forgive me, between class, a major migraine, and a massive snowstorm, I have been a little bogged down.

In my last post, I used this wonderful paper punch and I just have not been able to resist using it again. This time, I used gift-wrap for the paper cut-outs. I have discussed before my one-time hobby of making temari balls. I have massive amounts of supplies left over from this hobby and I raid it regularly for other projects. For this project, I nabbed a wrapped ball that I had already made. I use stuffing and wrap it with loads of sewing thread. I was a little more proactive this time and added my hanger before I got started adding the paper punch-outs.

Paper ornament with paper punches

I cut out loads of the paper punch-outs and used beading pins and sequins to attach them to the ball. I started at the bottom of the ball and went around in a spiral adding paper punch-outs as I went around and up the ball.

Paper ornament close up

It is a really easy ornament to make and only took me about a 1/2 hour. This does not include the time it took me years ago to make the thread-wrapped ball, but that only took me about 20 minutes at most. You could also use a foam ball for your base as well.

I am really happy with how the ornament turned out.

Happy Crafting!

Kristin

Small photo of paper ornament.

 

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