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finished napkins

Christmas Advent 2015 – Day 15 Napkins

As part of my Christmas table decorations, I made some homemade napkins. I consider myself a very amateur sewer. If it involves straight stitches, I can probably do it. These are nice and easy turned out really well.  I am very happy with them. I made them like the tutorial here. The only difference with mine was that I did two rounds of top stitching at the end.

finished napkins

Materials:

  • 14 fat quarters
  • 3 yards of fabric
  • coordinating thread
  • rotary cutter
  • sewing machine
  • pins

Following the tutorial linked above, I ironed all my fabric, cut out my pieces (I cut mine 21″ x 14″), and pinned them right sides together.

fabric all cut out
Fabric all cut with my rotary cutter.
napkins all pinned together
Fabric all pinned together and ready for sewing.

I sewed around each napkin leaving a 3″ space open to turn the napkins right-side out. Next, I cut the corners off, making sure not to cut the seam. After turning the napkins right-side out, I picked out the corners of the napkins with a large darning needle. The chopstick method the tutorial mentions works well too.

sewing topstitching
I did two rounds of top stitching.

I ironed the napkins and then sewed the top-stitching, closing up the hole in the process. I did sew two rounds of top stitching as I like the finished look it gives the napkins.

finished napkin

I did my happy dance when I got my first one finished and had to send a photo to my mother and sister.

finished napkins

I am really happy with the look of all the different colors. Pick your favorite color to use at dinner!

finished napkins in homemade napkin rings

The napkins look great in my homemade napkin rings. In the picture above, you can see the fabric I used for the backside of all the napkins. I wanted something to tie them all together as a set.

Happy Crafting!

Kristin

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finished rhinestone covered ornament

Christmas Advent 2015 – Rhinestone Ornament

I previously bought a box of plastic rhinestones with pointed backs for a project that did not work out, so I have re-purposed them as a wonderful Christmas ornament.

Materials:

  • Styrofoam ball (3″)
  • Pointed back rhinestones
  • Superglue
  • Small piece of wire

finished rhinestone covered ornament

To start this project, I made a loop with the small piece of wire and pressed it into the Styrofoam ball and super glued it to provide a place to put the tree hook.

Next, I started pressing in the pointed backs of the rhinestones to form small depressions in the Styrofoam ball. I then placed a drop or two of super glue in the depression and added a rhinestone. I kept working circles around the foam ball to the bottom and I was done.

start of gluing rhinestones to foam ball almost done gluing rhinestones to foam ball

This will look absolutely fabulous on our Christmas tree. The lights will just make it glitter and glow!

Happy Crafting!

Kristin

side view of completed wreath

Christmas Advent 2015 – Day 13 Icicle Wreath

Halfway done now, which means 12 days to Christmas! Start singing!

Years ago, I found in my possession some 12″ plastic icicles with loops on one end. By “some” I mean around 400 of them. I have used a few for my own holiday decorations, but there was no way I was going to use all of them easily. I also had a foam wreath form and I decided to use this and the icicles to make a wreath.

Materials:

  • Icicles (mine are plastic, wood dowels would work as well)
  • Foam circle
  • Silver spray paint
  • Green paint and brush
  • Tacky Glue
  • Hobby lichen in various shades of green
  • Mod Podge Acrylic Spray
  • 12″ piece of heavy wire (about 15 gauge)

finished wreath

First, I pressed the plastic icicles into the outside of wreath form, removed them, dabbed tacky  glue into the hole, and pressed the icicle back into the hole. I did this all around the wreath form alternating so that one was close to the front edge of the wreath and the next was close to the backside edge of the wreath. After this, I left the wreath for a couple of days to make sure the glue was dried really well.

icicles glued into foam circle

icicles glued into foam circle

Then, I covered my outdoor, cheapy, plastic patio table with wax paper and laid out my wreath in preparation for painting. I sprayed the icicles with the silver spray paint. I did a very light coat as I wanted the bubbles in the plastic to show through. I also just wanted to hint at the silver color. Once it was dry, I flipped the wreath over and sprayed the other side.

You should also add the hook for the wreath here. I did mine later and it was much more complicated to add. It would have been so much easier to do it before I started adding the lichen. I bent the heavy gauge wire into a hook and wrapped it around the wreath form with a hook at the top to hang it.

silver spray paint, last coat

silver spray, first coat

Fortunately, we have had some beautiful weather here and spraying outside has been very easy and enjoyable. I did not have to do this in the garage.

Next, I started squeezing on tacky glue and then adding the lichen to the foam wreath form, mixing the colors and styles of lichen that I had. This took several days as I took my time, and again, made sure that the glue had plenty of time to dry. I would gently shake the wreath occasionally to dislodge any loose pieces and add glue and more lichen where needed.

acrylic spray, first coat

Once the glue had dried, I carried my wreath back out to my wax covered table and sprayed Mod Podge Acrylic Spray. This gave a nice top coat and helps to hold the lichen in place.

close-up view of finished wreath

Then, I hung it (I knew it was big, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it fit on my door, I will be hanging it from my loft later) and took some final photos.

I am still trying to use materials I have in my house and spend as little money as possible on this advent event. The lichen we had was from about 10 years ago when my husband and I made some set pieces for our role playing gaming. We hadn’t used it in years, so I finished it off with this project. Plus, it suits us, our hobby of role playing games and artistic talent all in one wreath! I like it!

side view of completed wreath

Happy Crafting!

Kristin

 

 

finished mini tree

Christmas Advent 2015 – Day 12 Mini Christmas Tree

Today I am finally able to post a project I have been working off and on for days. I have been working on four different projects at the same time. I had so much gluing and painting, that while one was drying, I worked on another project.

I am so very happy with how my mini Christmas tree turned out that I did a little dance after the final photo shoot.

Materials:

  • Bamboo skewers
  • Green ribbon in various colors
  • Styrofoam ball
  • Tacky glue
  • Super glue
  • Brown paint and paint brush
  • Fine green grass turf
  • Green felt
  • Mod Podge Acrylic Spray

finished mini tree

I cut up five spools of various green ribbon (I said in a previous post that you would probably see this ribbon again as I had bought too much of it). They are all six yard spools that I bought for $0.50 each at Joanns. I cut 30 pieces in each color in 3″, 4″, and 5″ long strips. I split these between the three trunks of the tree.

I stuck the bamboo skewer in the Styrofoam ball for stability and handling and started tying on ribbons with simple overhand knots. The ribbons are tied on with the longest, 5″, tied at the bottom, then the 4″, and finally the 3″ pieces at the top. I mixed up the colors as I went along.

ribbon being tied onto bamboo skewer

Once I had all the ribbons tied, I pushed them all to the blunt end of the bamboo skewer. I dabbed a bit of super glue to the top ribbon to ensure they would not come off the skewer. I added another drop of super glue to the bottom ribbon so they would not slide down.

Next, I cut the Styrofoam ball in half and tested the appearance with the be-ribboned skewers stuck in the half ball.

trees done, stuck in unfinished styrofoam ball

After a successful test, I knew that I would need some weights added to the bottom to keep it from easily falling over. I grabbed four of my small magnets and drew around them on the underside of the half ball. Then, I cut out the Styrofoam and inserted the weight/magnet. Once I had all four cut out, I glued the weights/magnets into the Styrofoam holes.

styrofoam ball cut in half, cutting holes to insert weights

I painted the trunks (the exposed bamboo skewers) and the Styrofoam half ball brown. When the paint dried, I covered the top of the Styrofoam half ball with watered-down tacky glue and then coated it with the fine green grass turf (this is used for dioramas and small figures and is fine green dust essentially, you can find this easily at Hobby Lobby).

After the glue dried, I lightly brushed the green turf to remove and loose bits. Quite a bit came off, don’t worry, this is normal. I sprayed the turf covered dome with the Mod Podge Acrylic Spray so that no more of the turf would come off of it. The brown paint showed through and looked like real life pine trees where the grass is thinning due to fallen pine needles. (I actually added a little more brown paint after adding the turf as well, as I really liked this effect.)

Then, I cut a piece of the green felt to fit the bottom of the turf dome and using Tacky Glue, glued it to the bottom of the dome. This would keep it from scratching on any surfaces.

Finally, everything was dry and I stuck my be-ribboned skewers back into the turf covered dome and Voila! It was done.

finished mini tree

Happy Crafting!

Kristin

napkin rings

Christmas Advent 2015 – Day 7 Napkin Rings

Loryn has been doing lots of entertaining lately and has the most awesome table. It is gigantic and sits our family very well. I decided that for this advent, I would make the table decor for Christmas family dinners. Today I made the napkin rings.

napkin rings

Materials:

  • Scrapbook paper
  • Tacky glue (white glue)
  • Foam sheets
  • Mod Podge
  • Sponge brush
  • Wax paper

I cut strips of scrapbook paper in three different styles to 1 1/2″, 1″, and 1/4″ wide by 7″ long. I used a sponge brush and some watered down tacky glue to glue the papers one on top of the other. I then squeezed these flat between some wax paper and heavy books.

I cut 1 1/2″ by 6″ long strips of the foam sheets and once the paper strips were dry, I used some more watered down tacky glue and the sponge brush to glue them to the foam strips. I again squeezed these flat between my sheets of wax paper and heavy books.

I then trimmed the paper on one end to evenly match up to the foam and left a 1/2″ edge of paper on the other end. I smeared straight tacky glue on the inner side of the leftover edge of paper and a bit on the end of the foam and curled it around the tacky glue bottle (nicely doing double duty here) and glued the ends of the foam/paper strips together, making sure the paper strips lined up, wiping any excess glue away, and ensuring the rings formed good circles.

napkin rings

After the glue was dry, I used another sponge brush and covered the rings with one coat of Mod Podge. I am not too worried about durability and if I need to make more next year, I will gladly do so. This was fun and easy and only took a couple of hours.

I only show five of the rings above as the others were all still drying. I only made a few to start to be sure I liked how they turned out. I also used several colors of foam sheets to add a little more color. (I know the insides of the napkin rings will be hidden by the napkins themselves, but they do spend a lot of time on the table with nothing in them after everyone pulls their napkins out.)

Stay tuned for napkins and other table decorations coming soon!

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

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.

 

 

Erector/Steampunk tree

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Cheri-This tree was very simple and if you have an old Erector Set you can make as many trees as you want.

I adore Erector Sets and when I was little, my brother would build me little doll carriages out of his set.  I thought he was the most awesome brother that ever existed. Too bad he doesn’t have them anymore.

These happen to be some odds and ends that I picked up at a sale, they have the  most amazing patina. I ran screws down the center to create a color contrast.

My only regret is, these were the only ones I found.

I don’t think anyone will need detailed instructions because it really is self explanatory.

Hope you like it. And, you can never have too many odds and ends. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Ornament Advent Countdown

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Lynne : This is my second ornament for our 2013 countdown. I am in love with trees right now and have been drawing them over and over so it seemed natural to find an ornament that looked like a tree. I was browsing through google images and I found this article from Just Something I Made by Cathe Holden about how to make bottle brush trees. Since I do not have much need for bottle brushes any more I was delighted to find that she uses rope and wire for her trees and shapes them with scissors. And as a bonus I could use my Copic airbrush system to color the trees.

Cathe Holden website:
Just Something I Made by Cathe Holden

Here is the tutorial:
Handmade Colorful Bottle Brush Trees

You will need these things:
Wire
Wire cutters
Rope (sisal, jute, or any twisted fiber)
Drill
Hook (shaped from a wire coat hanger or from a small S-hook)
Vise (or something that will hold the wires securely when twisting them with the drill)
Pliers
Copic airbrush (optional)

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I already had some jute, but when I untwisted the fibers I thought they were too fuzzy and too fragile. I made a trip to the hardware store and found some thick rope that is used on farms. (I remember swinging on the hay ropes as a child. When my grandparents weren’t looking of course.) I cut my rope into lengths of 3 to 4 inches and then began to untwist the fibers. When I had an amount that looked like it would make a full Christmas tree I laid the fiber between the wires as described in the tutorial. It is so nice that you can make two at once by cutting on the diagonal.

I didn’t have a wire coat hanger to make into a hook for the drill because I don’t like the sound they make rattling in the closet. So I took an S-hook and straightened one end so that it would fit into the drill. You can see it in the drill in the photo. I put the wire ends in my vise and inserted the hook in the top of the wire and the wire began to spiral just like it was supposed to. I noticed that the fiber also tangles and you do need to spend some time straightening and combing the fibers to approximate the shape of your tree. Then I used small scissors to cut the final shape. It’s best to do this over something you can throw away because the fibers are very small and sticklish.

When I had the shape I wanted I looked for something to hold them while I spray painted them and found an empty Kleenex box. The wires poked in easily and the setup worked, but I think I’d rather have had a piece of styrofoam. I’m sure we’ll have some after unwrapping presents and I intend to save a piece for a painting stand.

To color the trees I used mostly blues and yellows and finished with a dark green. I start with the lightest yellow and spray the whole tree. Then I concentrate yellow on the ends of the branches using what yellows look good on the fibers. I then use blues from the lightest to the darkest making sure that the lightest yellows remain as free as possible of the blues. The yellows and blues make a lovely variety of shades of green as they are sprayed one on top of the other. I use a dark green to deepen the shadows between the branches to create more depth in the tree. I touch up the yellow and the tree is almost done.

I bent the stem wire with pliers into an X-shape for the bases, but you could use cork or wood or just about anything for a base.

These trees look so good and once you have everything laid out, they work up very quickly. I hope you have as much fun making them as I did.

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.