Tag Archives: homemade

Ornament Advent Day 6: Sunday Comics Christmas Ball

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Cheri: I love comics, funnies, and cartoons. And I really love using comics for craft projects. This one is a favorite of mine. I hope you like it.

Supplies:

Sunday Funnies

Circle template (cup, glass, anything circular and in whatever size you would like, my circles were about 2 ½ inches in diameter).

Glue (any kind is fine).

Cardstock, (just a small circle is needed).

6 inches of ribbon

Instructions:

Fold the Sunday paper up so you can cut as many circles at once as possible. Then cut all of the circles in half. When you roll the paper, you want the circular edge to be the outer rim of the cone. Make about 45 cones and lay them aside.

Cut a smaller circle from the cardstock, this is just for a base to glue to.

Lay your cones around the cardstock circle, with the points touching, when you like how it looks, put a small amount of glue on each one and glue down. Place the next row of cones, try to put these in the little valleys created by the first row. You will be using a few less. Finally, glue one straight into the center, there should be a small spot for it. Do the same on the other side of the circle of cardstock.

Look at your ornament, and if you notice any thin spots just glue another cone into the spot. If you would like, you can glue more cones inside of the first cones. This gives the ornament a rose bud look.

What a fun project to make with the funnies, just make sure you read them first.

Merry Christmas

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Ornament Advent: Day 5 Tiny Paper Stars

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Loryn — I see a lot of ornaments made the way these are – just glue three or more circles together – but I thought they would be really fun made with a star paper punch. They make tiny ornaments, just a few inches tall, and they’re perfect for a miniature tree.

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My paper punch is from Martha Stewart crafts. I cut a few stars from different colored scrapbooking papers, then folded each one down the middle. Glue three together around a piece of embroidery floss, then put beads on the bottom.

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I like the single bead better than the one with two beads. Bells would be fun, too. They need some weight to make them hang right. The ornaments take just a few minutes to make, so you could decorate a mini tree in no time!

— Loryn

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Ornament Advent: Day 4 Pop Up Sticky Notes

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Lynne: I was surfing the web hoping to find an idea for our Advent Countdown when I came upon this great video from EepyBird. I fell in love with the sticky note pinwheels and started to think how I could modify one into an ornament. I needed a pad of pop up sticky notes, a glue stick, a darning needle, monofilament fishing line, micro glitter, spray adhesive and two buttons.

EepyBird.com counts out twelve pairs of pop up sticky notes and then glues the endnotes of the stack to each other. The structure is rotated three times to make the pinwheel. I must admit that I had to watch the video several times before I understood how the turns were done. If I watched where the doubled edges were each time the figure was turned, I could manage the proper sequence. Their excellent tutorial video is here.

The resulting structure holds its shape enough to roll down an incline, but not well enough to hang on a tree. I decided to gather the fins (the doubled edges) to prevent the pinwheel from coming apart. I used a large-eyed darning needle (sharp enough to go through the paper) with about 20 inches of fishing line. I used fishing line since it is invisible and I had a spool in my craft drawer. Using the needle to punch a hole about 1/8 inch from the edge (see photo below), draw the thread of fishing line through each fin until all the fins are gathered in a circle. Pull the line tight and knot the ends. Don’t cut the thread.

I used the two buttons to cover the hole in the middle of the pinwheel. Thread one of the buttons onto your fishing line and then push the needle through to the other side of the pinwheel. Gather these fins the same way, add the other button and tie a knot to keep everything together.

I used spray adhesive and micro glitter to add some holiday sparkle. For the hanger, I made a loop with the fishing line and attached it to two fins (see photo below) for the best balance.

I really like how the pinwheel looks and was especially pleased to make something with such an unusual material.

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Wreath of copper leaves

Crafty Challenge 11: Copper Fall Wreath

Hello Again! I feel like I have been incommunicado for a very long time. All the Crafty Sisters got together last weekend for our latest Crafty Challenge. This challenge was to make a fall wreath.

Wreath of copper leaves
The wreath is 15″ tall and 13″ wide.

Due to everything in our house breaking down all at the same time, I was under a bit of a money crunch so I knew whatever I made, I had to have all the supplies already on hand. It helped that as soon as we started talking about a fall wreath, I was picturing a leaf wreath made of copper. And as some of you might remember, we did that wonderful Copper Crafty Challenge a while back and I still had a lot of the copper discs leftover from the copper necklace I made. The discs are remarkably easy to cut with heavy-duty scissors and I knew that they would make beautiful leaves.

Here you can really see the oily effect that burnishing the leaves created.

So, I started cutting and cutting and cutting. I had some very interesting dimples in my fingers from the force of cutting the copper discs, but I had some amazing maple leaf shapes. I also knew that I wanted to burnish the leaves to create different colors. I pulled out my trusty propane torch and proceeded to burn the crap out of one of the leaves. I learned very quickly that you only wanted to brush the copper leaves with heat very quickly. If you wanted a deeper color, you just kept running the torch over the copper quickly and letting it cool a second and repeat to the color desired. Thankfully, the blackened portions just wipe off and you can burnish again to your hearts content. I then bent the leaves very gently with a pair of pliers to give them some depth.

I did not coat the copper leaves with anything as I really will like the aging effect on the copper.

I made the ring the leaves are attached to as well, the wreath frame that is. I had a length of copper pipe (again left over from the Copper Challenge that I never used) and I ran a wire through the pipe and bent it all in a circle. I used the wire to make a hanger at the top of the frame. It turned out that the length of pipe was not long enough, but as I originally planned to let the pipe show through in some places, I would just make sure the leaves covered the wire parts of the wreath frame. I then used one of my hammers and my anvil to flatten the pipe to make the leaves attach better.

Here you can see the depth of the copper leaves.

I knew that my personal soldering abilities were not good enough to be able to place the leaves exactly where I wanted them so I switched my connecting component to hot glue. This worked out very well and I was able to place the leaves precisely where I wanted each one to go. I then flipped the wreath over and poured hot glue all over the frame where it connected to the leaves. This gave the wreath lots of stability and now absolutely nothing moves.

Photo showing wreath hanging from my loft
This is where I hang my wreathes in the house.

I am so happy with my wreath and it is now hanging in my house and just looks gorgeous. I did have a good laugh at the unveiling though. You will find out when more wreaths are posted! Amazingly, working with all that cut copper, I never did cut myself. This may be the first project in a while that didn’t end with a few bandaged fingers.

Happy Crafting,

Kristin!

Side view of felt flower magnets.

Crafty Challenge 10: Felt Flower Magnets

So, we didn’t announce our latest challenge publicly, but we decided to make magnets! I have still been having too much fun with felt lately and figured that what better material to use for my magnets.

Overhead view of all 18 felt flower magnets.
Here are all 18 magnets that I made.

I decided to make felt flower magnets and as usual, I giggled my way through the project. Something about felt is so much fun and is so enjoyable that I just laugh and chuckle the whole time. I think it is also one of the few materials that I can almost always get exactly what I imagined in my head created with my hands.

Side view of felt flower magnets.
Here you can see the depth of each flower magnet.

I bought myself a bunch of magnets from our local hardware store, Kleindorfer’s. They have everything! The magnets are wonderful and are just right for holding miscellaneous objects to my fridge. I used that wonderful crafter staple, Aleene’s Tacky Glue to hold everything together and the felt is just standard crafter’s felt that I have bought from Joann’s and Michael’s.

Side view of felt flower magnets.

I used Google Images with the search on “flowers” and made most of my magnets based on photos of flowers I saw there. I didn’t use any patterns for these flowers, just cut out shapes that fit the petals I was trying to create. Some of the flowers are just images from my head and an imaginative use of various petal shapes.

Top view of felt flower magnets.

I did go through the flowers afterwards and do some tugging and pulling to be sure that all the petals and stamens would hold well. I had to touch up a few places with some more glue, but I think they will stand up to regular use very well.

Top view of felt flower magnets.

I had a lot of fun with this project and cannot wait for the next one!

Top view of felt flower magnets.
I just love the chrysanthemum shape!

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

View of copper star-burst necklace from the bottom of the pendant.

Crafty Challenge Six: Copper Star-burst Necklace

View of copper star-burst necklace from the bottom of the pendant.

We are back, baby!

After an additional week due to some time constraints, our Copper Crafty Challenge is complete. We had our final reveal among the Crafty Sisters this afternoon, and boy, we really seem to be at the top of our game for this challenge. I cannot wait for you to see all the projects. We are going to post one project a day, so keep coming back!

I waffled quite a bit on this challenge. I make a lot of jewelry and I wasn’t sure if that was where I wanted to go with this particular project. After a week and a half of indecision, I decided, why mess with a good thing, jewelry it would be.

Copper star-burst pendant and leaf chain.

Using a compass I played Spirograph on a copper disc and cut out the star burst pendant. Amazingly, the copper is thin and soft enough that you can cut the discs with heavy duty scissors. I hammered the star on both sides to give it some depth. I then curled the points of the star (I couldn’t see any other way to really blunt the points. Those suckers were sharp!) to keep from puncturing anyone wearing it or snagging your clothes. I attached the light green crystal bead in the middle with wire and did some wire-wrapped crystals (also light green in color) for the dangles at the bottom of the pendant.

Close-up of the star-burst pendant.

The chain is made up of hammered copper ovals and more wire-wrapped crystals. I did  make all the jump rings and the clasp out of wire as well. The wire is standard 18 gauge copper wire from the hardware store.

All the hammering was done on an anvil that my dad made me for Christmas several years ago and with a series of hammers that he made for me 2 years ago. I started all the holes with a punching awl then enlarged then with a Dremel tool and a diamond tipped drill bit. I filled all the edges with a mini file to be sure that you wouldn’t slice yourself open on the sharp edges caused by the scissors.

The star-burst was actually the second pendant I made for this necklace. I wasn’t all that happy with the first one I had made. I showed it around and the other Crafty Sisters and my M-I-L (who joined us from my house this week) thought it was great, which just goes to show how hyper-critical I can be about my own work.

First copper pendant I made.
This pendant is made of a copper plumbing pipe fitting.

Side view of the alternate copper pendant.

I did make a pair of earrings to go along with the necklace (my usual M.O.) and I think they turned out rather well.

Copper leaf earrings.

I really like how the hammered ovals came out looking like leaves. The hammering causes the copper to curl a little and I liked the affect so much that I left it and used the same affect in the star-burst pendant.

Close-up of the hammered copper leaf.

That is my completed project! It was a fairly easy process all in all and one that I found rather fun (until my arm got tired of all the hammering). I cannot wait for the next challenge. In the meantime, I have promised this necklace to my M-I-L and and am going to take the earrings apart to make a matching bracelet instead as she does not have pierced ears. So, back to my craft table to work on some more copper!

Happy Crafting!

Kristin

This post is featured on Todays Creative Blog.

Almond ear wires with pink conical beads.

Almond Ear Wires and a Pretty Pink Earring/Necklace Set

Almond ear wires with pink conical beads.
I just love this shape of ear wire.

New and interesting shapes for ear wires are very popular lately. My favorites are the almond-shaped ear wires.These have been featured all over the web and television. The first time I really noticed them was on Emily Deschanel in the television series “Bones.” They are elegant and fun and are actually very easy to make.

For demonstration purposes and because it photographs a little easier, I made these ear wires out of heavier 18 gauge sterling silver half-hard wire. I usually use lighter 21 gauge sterling silver half-hard wire, but I wanted something that would be very visible in the photos.

Wire bent at 90 degrees at 3/4".
Bend the wire to 90º.

Using flat nose pliers (although you can use the rosary pliers for the whole project if you prefer) I bent the wire at 3/4″ to a 90º angle.

Wire loop made with rosary pliers.
Wrap a loop with the rosary pliers.

Then I used rosary pliers (also called round-nose pliers) to make a loop by placing the pliers above the bend on the short wire and wrapping it around the nose of the pliers.

Completed wire loop.
Finish wrapping the short end of the wire around the stem.

Holding onto the loop with the rosary pliers, I use the flat nose pliers to twist the short end of the wire around the stem (below the loop). By having only 3/4″ of wire for the loop, there is no wire to trim and you are good to continue on to the next step.

Wire wrapped around the mandrel.
Wrap the wire around a mandrel or other object approximately 1" in diameter.

Here I used a mandrel that my father made me for Christmas a few years ago (Aren’t fathers wonderful?). The widest end of the mandrel is 1″ in diameter and the thinnest end is 1/2″ in diameter. For these ear wires, I wrapped around the widest point of my mandrel at 1″. I just made one wrap around the mandrel and as the wire is half-hard, it stretches back out to an incomplete circle when I let it go as shown in the photo below.

Wire just removed from the mandrel will stretch out to form an incomplete circle.
Wire just removed from the mandrel will stretch out to form an incomplete circle.
Completed almond shaped ear wire.
Here is the finished view of the almond ear wire.

Next, I bend the circle at the half-way point to create the top of the almond and lightly stretch out the two halves to create the full almond shape. I also bend the wire-wrapped loop to hang correctly down from the almond. I then use a small file to smooth the cut made by the wire cutters so it won’t catch in your ear when you put it through.

Almond ear wire earrings and matching necklace with pink pendant.

To show the ear wires in action, I made the matching earrings to a necklace I made from pretty pink glass florets, red pearls and crackled white quartz beads. The pendant is a piece of dyed jasper that I wire wrapped to hang it from the necklace.

I hope this helps you to create your own almond ear wires, or inspires you to create your own new shape entirely!

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A Gallery of Handmade Christmas Trees

Chenille Pipe Cleaner Tree

Loryn:  I’ve collected handmade Christmas trees for over ten years, ever since Cheri made me one for Christmas. Since then, she’s given me one just about every year, and Kristin has contributed to my collection, too. I’m always amazed at how unique each tree is! The one above is made from chenille pipe cleaners that came from a 1950s chenille tree that was badly damaged. Cheri remade them into my tree and a wreath for Kristin.

Glass Garland Tree

This tall beauty is made from a vintage glass bead garland wrapped on a foam form, then embellished with more vintage glass ornaments.

Felt Tree

This felt tree started my whole collection. Cheri made it from an old army blanket, a brass tube, and a wood scrap. It’s so simple and cute!

Papercraft Tree

A few years ago, Cheri did a bunch of paper sculptures, and she made this little tree out of paper.

Pink Feather Boa Tree

I wore nothing but black throughout my teens and 20s, but when I got into my 30s, I fell for pink in a big way. This crazy feather boa tree is an homage to my love of pink. It’s wrapped around a felt form and decorated with small ornaments pinned into the foam. The white base is an old piece of ironstone of mine that makes a perfect stand for the tree.

Silver Tinsel Tree

This is one of my favorites. Cheri made it the year that we put together a vintage aluminum tree. It had almost a hundred branches in all different sizes, and we drove ourselves crazy assembling it. Her pipecleaner version makes me smile every time I see it.

Kristin's Beaded Tree

Kristin made me this elegant beaded tree. I love how naturalistic the branches look.

Mobile Tree

Here’s Cheri’s Alexander Calder tree. Simple and fun!

Wooden Ornament Picture Tree

I collect wooden ornaments, so Cheri made this great tree to add to my collection. I love how she paired the ornaments with that great paper.

Charlie Brown Tree

Last, but not least is this adorable Charlie Brown tree. She made it from wire, florist’s tape, and a branch from a fake tree. Just a year later, they were all over stores, but none as nice as this one!

I love my Christmas tree collection, and I hope to keep adding to it every year (hint, hint)!