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Patriotic Painted Rocks

Many people celebrate Memorial Day by visiting grave sites with their families and leaving flowers.  Painted rocks are a nice way for kids to feel involved, and to feel like they are leaving something that will last.

Painted RockMaterials

  • Rock
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brushes

Choose a smooth rock that is a nice size.  Wash the rock with soap and water, and allow to dry thoroughly.  rock

Plan out your design before you start.  Paint the rock using acrylic paint.  I used a paint that is labeled for outdoor use, but my experience has been that most acrylic craft paint is pretty durable in any situation.  After you paint the rock, you may choose to use a protective acrylic spray.  I didn’t, but using it would make the rock look shinier.

If you don’t visit a grave site on Memorial Day, this is a nice activity to keep the kids occupied while the hamburgers cook!  Painted rocks look nice in a garden, or among other decorative rocks.

Happy Memorial Day!

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Finding Vintage Patterns

I love vintage stuff, so I was pretty excited when I came across a website recently, Vintage Literature Reproductions, where you can purchase vintage books.  I bought a couple to see how I liked the format, and I think I’ll be going back for more!  I’ve got my eye on this one, with 66 books including crochet and vintage dress patterns!

Vintage Book DVDsWhat’s it Like?

I ordered books on CD and data DVD, but some are also available for instant download.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when the product info said the Embroidery disc had 44 vintage books on it.  I’ve bought a few ebooks that have multiple volumes in one book, and navigation isn’t always ideal with those.  This disc, however, was pretty easy to use.  Each book is in a separate pdf.

Embroidery BookPortability

I like to print out my patterns to take with me, since I like to take crafts along when I travel, so I like how easy it is to print from the pdf.  Some of the books are long, and take some time to load all of the pages, but the overall size of everything doesn’t eat up too much space.

I like that it uses simple pdf files instead of something specific that only works with certain software.  A pdf means I can load it on my phone or iPad to take it with me.

What’s Next?

I saw a neat tutorial recently about how to crochet with beads without having to thread them all on the yarn before you start.  I have to try it out!

How to Make a Yarn Basket

For National Craft Month, I’m revisiting crafts that inspired me as a child.  When I was in elementary school I made this “basket” out of a butter tub and yarn scraps.  original basketMaterials

Butter Tub (empty and clean)

Scissors

Yarn Scraps

Instructions

Start with a plastic tub like butter or margarine comes in.  I used a small one that had held almond paste.  Make sure to wash it very well to remove any food residue.  Make evenly spaced cuts down the sides of the tub.  It is very important to cut an odd number of sections, or your weaving will not alternate properly.  cut sectionsDo not pull the yarn too tightly.  The original basket I made years ago is lopsided because I pulled it too hard as I wove in and out.

lopsided

Do not pull the yarn this tight.

Starting at the bottom, weave scraps of yarn over and behind the sections. It won’t look perfect in the beginning, but it will straighten itself out a bit as you continue.  When you reach the end of the yarn scrap, or you would like to switch to a new color, knot the new yarn to the old one so that the knot is on the inside of the basket.  weaving yarnI decided to use only green yarn because St. Patrick’s Day is coming up.  Depending on the yarn you use, this could be cute way to make Easter Baskets.  At the top of my basket, I used some green eyelash yarn that I’ve had for a long time.  Eyelash yarn is easier to work with when you use it with regular worsted yarn.  I used it with green yarn, but if you use it alone, it is fluffier.finished basketWhat’s Next?

March is National Craft Month, all month! More easy crafts for kids or adults!

How to Make Perler Bead Coasters

March is National Craft Month!

Materials

Perler Beads

Perler Bead Tray

Perler Bead Paper

Iron

Felt

Hot Glue Gun

Instructions

Choose a pattern if you like, or make up your own as you go.  I used this pattern, which is 34×34.  By dividing the pattern into quarters, each coaster will be 17×17.  Start placing the beads along an edge of the tray, then work each different shape.  This is easier than placing beads row by row.

start the patternAfter you have placed all the beads, make sure you like the design before moving ahead.  I changed the colors on mine several times before I was happy.complete the designUsing the paper that came with the perler beads, iron the beads on a medium setting.  Leaving the beads on the tray, place the paper on top, then iron using light and even pressure.  You should be able to see the beads through the paper, and judge how much you have fused them together.  After the beads have cooled, peel off the paper.  Flip the coaster and iron the other side.  This will make the coaster more durable and help make sure all the beads are well fused.

iron the beadsLay out the coasters to determine which side is the “up” side.  Mark the up side with post-its.

lay out the coastersCut a piece of felt the same size as the coaster.  cut a piece of felt

Using a hot glue gun, glue the felt to the bottom of the coaster.  Start with just one edge.  If you try to spread glue over the entire coaster and then place the felt, the glue will cool before it attaches the felt.  glue the felt

Continue gluing the felt a small amount at a time until the entire piece of felt is attached.  Trim any excess edges from the felt, and you’re finished!

finished coaster

What’s Next?

Use up scraps of yarn by making a basket!

Valentines For Riley

My sorority, Psi Lambda Xi, made valentine cards to send to kids at Riley Hospital for Children.  I thought they all came out really well, and I wanted to share them with my readers.

We tried to make sure we were making cards that were more or less gender neutral, and to make them different instead of all them being a pink card with a red heart.

I made a Ninja Turtle card that I think came out pretty recognizable.

Ninja Turtle

I also liked the Pikachu card. My friend, Zoe, helped me write a Pokemon-themed poem for the inside. “Charmander is red, Squirtle is blue. Of all the Valentines, I choose YOU!”

Pikachu

We made a total of 28 cards. I think we’re going to make this a tradition, and make even more cards next year by getting more of the campus involved.

ValentinesWhat’s Next?

I’ve got a few more ideas for Valentine’s Day crafts.

Craft Goals for 2015

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but this year I do have a few crafting goals.

Revisit Knooking

Knooking is a cross between knitting and crocheting (with a crochet hook).  I got some knooks and an instruction booklet for Christmas last year, but I haven’t had much success with it.  I’m going to try it again this year.  Maybe if I try a different yarn than before, it will work better.

Knook

Crochet Something for Myself

Usually, when I crochet something, it’s for someone else.  It’s probably been seven or eight years since I’ve crocheted something for no other reason than to just make myself something pretty.  This year, I’m going to fix that.  I think I’ll do a matching scarf and hat set.

Finish a Cross Stitch

I started a cross stitch at some point last year, and I never finished it.  I lost patience with it, then I lost the half-finished attempt in the depths of my closet.  But I recently found it again, and this year I’m going to finish it!

Cross Stitch

Pin All the Things!

Even though I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, I’m always forgetting to pin my own creations.  My final goal is to remember to pin all the projects that I’ve spent so much time on.

Happy 2015, and happy crafting!

How to Make a Bow

I saw this pin on Pinterest and decided to try it out.  I actually modified the instructions a bit, and I think I made it even easier than it already was.  This would be a good way to use up some of your leftover Christmas supplies while dressing up a hostess gift for a New Year’s party.

Bow

Materials

Wired ribbon

Twist tie or craft wire

Rubber band (optional)

 

 

Instructions

With the right side of the ribbon facing out, start folding the ribbon over on itself.  The more times you fold, the fuller the bow will be.

Hold a rubber band to the back (if you need it to attach the bow when you’re finished) and twist wire around the layers of ribbon.  Be sure to only twist the wire around one edge of the rubber band.

Tighten the wire, re-center it if needed, and fluff the loops of ribbon.

Cut the tails of ribbon to the same length, and use the rubber band to attach the ribbon to a gift.

 

See you in 2015!