The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my all-time favorite movies. I could watch it every day for a week and still be happily singing along with it.
I’ve already posted about my first Jack stitching (and hand-painted frame!) here. Someday soon I’ll get around to stitching up a matching Sally for my Jack, especially after completing this commission. The red background turned out so wonderful, I wish I’d done the background for my Jack in red, too! 80 hours of stitching has never felt so satisfying :-)
You can buy Jack and Sally patterns so you can stitch them up yourself, too! And I’m always available for customized commissions!
It’s getting close to autumn, that strange season (for me, at least) where I can go from comfortable to cold in a matter of minutes. My solution? ARMWARMERS! They fit so easily in my purse and can be slipped on for comfort. I also have a bad habit of wearing through the bottoms of my socks so this is an excellent way to get more use out of a pair of socks! These can be made in about 10 to 15 minutes so they’re a great project. Before we begin, let’s see the finished project!
- Sewing machine
- A pair of socks (knee-high for full forearm armwarmers, shorter socks for wristwarmers)
First, gather your supplies and lay your socks out. Figure out where it's best to cut off the foot portion.
Evenly trim the feet off of the socks.
Set your machine to a zig-zag stitch, remove the storage compartment/extension table and slide the sock onto the remaining part of the sewing machine. Slowly zig-zag around the edge of the sock, then repeat with the other sock. I zig-zag'd around the edge twice using two different lengths of zig-zags to ensure it wouldn't unravel. Note: the wider your zig-zag stitch, the more pronounced the ruffle will be.
Ta-da! You're ready to wear your new armwarmers!
You can also add a thumb hole by cutting a very small hole in the heel, testing to make sure your thumb fits through, then zig-zag stitching very slowly around the thumb hole as well.
Have you ever want to do something small but special for someone you love, just because? I got that urge recently and decided to make something special for a very special someone. I wanted them to know just how much I appreciate and love them, so I quickly made a tiny handmade gift bag with two mini scrolls inside with little messages in them.
It looked a lot like this! Because, well, this is it!
I used this tutorial to make the little scrolls, then used this tutorial for the bag.
I decided to make a tutorial because, well, I like making tutorials! So, here we go.
Materials for scrolls
- Thread (I used scrap 6-strand thread for this, it turned out perfect)
- 4 toothpicks (2 per scroll, you could also use a wooden skewer if it’s thin enough)
- Calligraphy pen
- Craft glue
- Nail file or medium- and fine-grit sandpaper
- Construction paper or unused colored file folders (construction paper worked out best)
- Template for cutting the construction paper (optional, but I’m terrible at cutting straight so I needed one!)
First, gather all your supplies.
Next, roughly cut a piece of construction paper and write your message as close to the center as possible. For my other scroll I wrote "You are wonderful", any sort of message will work!
Center the text and cut your message using your template. Make sure you leave at least 1" of blank paper on each side of the text.
Take your toothpicks and carefully cut off the pointy ends. Try to cut all of your toothpicks to about the same length, if it's not perfect you can fix them in the next step. Watch out for flying bits when you're cutting!
Using your sandpaper or nail file, smooth out the ends of your toothpicks. To make sure the pairs for each scroll were even I rubbed the ends of both toothpicks together onto the nail file until they were perfect.
Use your craft glue to glue the stick to the paper. Make sure you let the glue dry fully then start very slowly rolling up the sides. I found it easiest to completely roll it from one side until all the paper was sort of creased, then undo it and roll both sides evenly into the center.
Roll up both sides evenly then wrap your thread a few times around your scroll to keep it together, then tie it in a bow to keep it secure. Trim your excess thread so that they're even and your scroll is done!
Materials for a tiny gift bag
- Large embroidery needle
- Decorative paper (or plain construction paper)
- Double-sided tape
- Ribbon (or, like me, you can change your mind at the last minute and use twisted embroidery thread when the ribbon doesn’t quite fit nicely through the holes you need to make in the bag)
- Matchbox or anything else the size you want your bag to fit
First things first: you guessed it, gather your supplies!
Next, cut two pieces of paper. Use the match box as a template, being sure to leave enough room on both sides and the bottom to go just up the sides of the match box. Make the top as long as you want but I suggest at least twice as big as the side of the match box. Try to cut a little straighter than I did :-)
Fold the bottom up along the match box then fold each of the bottom corners down; crease and repeat with the other piece of paper.
Side view of the above step.
Hold both pieces of paper together with the bottoms folded then fold the tops down so that they are an even height (as you can tell, they might not be the same exact length inside but that's ok).
Top view of above step.
Randomly switch tape dispensers! Using your double-sided tape, tape the top of ONE piece of paper down.
Take your other piece of paper, put tape along the top of your previously un-taped piece of paper and fold it down over one side of the other piece, using a small piece of tape to keep both sides of the paper down (both the side on the outside and inside of the bag). Next, fold down the middle, then wrap your still-untaped end onto the corner of your first piece as you did with the other corner so that the top is now complete.
Put double-sided tape on the sides of one piece of paper and fold them up. At this point I found it helpful to slip the match box inside with a length of ribbon wrapped around the bottom so that I could easily pull it out of the tight slot and use it to press against so the tape adhered well.
Fold up the bottom of the "inner" piece of paper (this is where it helps to have the match box inside), then put double-sided tape on it and fold up the other piece so that you have a functioning bottom. Make sure you press firmly against the match box so that it sticks well then carefully remove the match box.
View of the completed bottom.
Take your ribbon or thread and tie a knot in one end. Make sure it's a big enough knot so that it won't pull through the hole your needle makes.
Pierce the needle through one side of the bag (making sure the knot is on the inside, you can measure from the edge if you want it perfect but I just eyeballed it) then thread it back through the other side. Tie a knot in the other end of the ribbon/thread.
Complete the previous step on the other side of the bag.
Stuff your little bag with tissue paper (being lazy and having my tissue paper all the way downstairs I used actual tissue for this!) and one or two scroll messages. You can be done here if you want! Or...
You can add a little embellishment to the front. I just took a cutout from an old birthday card and used double-sided tape to stick it on. Ta-da!
I am so happy with how this turned out, it turned out even better than I had thought it would! This whole thing only took two to three hours for both of the scrolls and the bag. A great, relatively quick craft to show someone you’re thinking of them!
I love doing custom work for people. When one of my friends saw my embroidered rainbow panties she decided she wanted me to do a few custom pieces for her. We talked about what she wanted and worked out a price, and ta-da! She got some custom items that she (hopefully!) loves!
Headband, two pairs of embroidered undies, and a butterfly bookmark
I even wrapped the bunny panties in a cute little carrot bag!
If you have an idea for something custom you’d like me to make, leave a comment and we can discuss the details! If not, I hope you at least enjoy seeing my custom work :-)
I have a friend who really likes wolves, so I decided to make him a special framed cross stitch of his favorite animal!
And, I’ve decided to share the pattern with all of you! I just used all generic colors for this project.
Click for larger image
So I’m going to be trying out something new: A crafter’s spotlight, where I show off a craft (or crafts) of someone and give a little bit of information about the kinds of crafts they do. So here’s my first Crafter’s Spotlight: My mom’s friend Liz M.
Liz is a retiree on a fixed income and loves spending time making crafts, especially as gifts for others. She has been crafting for 40 years and started crafting with her mother. She enjoys needlepoint because she can buy yarn and plastic canvas for cheap (she picks it up at thrift stores for next to nothing!) and can make just about anything with just a few simple supplies. People always love the personalized touch of something handmade :-) This project was for a friend’s wedding.
If you’d like to be featured on Crafter’s Spotlight please leave a comment! This is a feature that’s still in development so bear with me while I work out the kinks :-)
My mom has been crafting since she was 5 years old when my great grandmother taught her how to embroider. She made these gorgeous embroideries in 1982 when she was pregnant with my big brother.
These embroideries came in kits with ugly plastic frames but my mother, being a crafty lady just like I am and not satisfied with following kits to the letter, mounted these in hoops and added pretty lace to them. My mom was the whole reason I got into crafting so it was obviously in my genes!
Aren’t those awesome? I totally see where I got it from now :-)