Posts tagged ‘affordable crafts’
I mentioned my cousin’s upcoming fourth birthday and the first part of his present here. The other half, I completed Sunday night.
Riley is the quintessential boy’s boy – he loves trucks, cars, anything with wheels. And recently, he’s fallen in love with fire trucks.
When trying to decide what to get him to go with the aforementioned monster mittens, I wanted to get something fireman/fire truck related but didn’t want to accidentally get him something he already had/would get for his birthday. So, after much deliberation, I decided to try my hand at creating a fireman puppet.
If I were to do it again, I might make a few changes. The hat isn’t quite right, and I would have sewn a separate jacket and sewed it on top of a puppet base. Nevertheless, I think it turned out pretty cute and I think a 4-year-old’s imagination might overcome my pattern’s shortcomings.
One of our dogs was certainly fascinated with the creation, though:
I love surfing blogs for inspiration. I found these easy-enough looking softies here, that are just too adorable. I didn’t follow this pattern, but it did open my eyes to making softies outside of the animal realm.
I mentioned in an earlier post my burgeoning collection of acceptable career-based crafts. So far, there’s a nurse and a doctor. (No, the cowboy and matador don’t fall in the same category )
Now that my mom has received her Valentine’s Day gift in the mail, I can share one of my weekend projects with you.
The idea for this gift came from – where else – Martha Stewart’s Web site. You can see it here. I did a few alterations to the directions that I will go over. I have made these necklaces before in blues and greens, and wanted to do some Valentine-friendly colors this time around.
My kind husband was nice enough to document the process by using the photo feature on my video camera. We will never do this again – the quality is terrible. So, I took pics of the finished product with my Canon Digital Rebel and the results were much better.
Here is a sampling of the basic supplies you need:
After you have assembled your supplies, pick a color safe bowl and fill with warm water. Add Rit dye until you achieve a color you really like. I used about 1/2 a box to about 12 cups of water. The less color you use, the lighter the beads will be and the longer the dye process will take.
Throw in wooden beads, and stir constantly with a color-safe spoon to make sure beads are rotating and all sides are getting dyed. When they are the color you are aiming for, remove with a small strainer and lay on a thick layer of paper towels to dry overnight. Beads will get darker within a few minutes of removing, and will lighten a bit when completely dry. A general rule of thumb – which differs from what Martha Stewart’s site says – is that the beads will dry darker overall than the color they are when you remove them from the dye. So, take them out just before they reach the color you are aiming for. You can always redye later.
Our Springer Spaniel Anna was unenthused by the whole process.
The next day, when the beads are dry, string them on your chosen medium. I chose a variety of colors of very thin satin ribbon in contrasting colors. I figured out the length I wanted the finished ribbon to be first, cut it, and then strung enough beads to cover about 2/3 of the length of ribbon. Center the beads in the middle, and tie knots on either side of the beads to keep the beads from sliding too far. On Martha Stewart’s site, the beads go all the way around and to the back, but I find the necklaces don’t lay as well if there are big bulky beads around your neck. Once your knots are tied on either side of your string of beads, tie toggle clasps on to the end of each side of the ribbon, and voila! You have necklace.
Finished necklaces, taken with a much better camera:
I absolutely love making cute little projects out of felt. It’s a cheap, quick material to craft with. Total cost for creating this puppet was less than $1.
It’s part of the beginning of a series of admirable career-based toys. Coming up with this pattern, cutting everything out and sewing took a total of 1.5 hours, or about the length of one movie that you 1/2 pay attention to.
Materials – white, off-white, black, chocolate brown felt. Several colors of embroidery floss.
I completed a new project this weekend and have loads of photos to show with you – but alas, it must wait a few days as it’s part of a Valentine’s gift for someone who reads this blog.
So, in the meantime, more photos from the vault of easy craft projects.
This quick project will take you about an hour to make 3, is a great way to use up scraps of your favorite fabrics, and makes a sweet, thoughtful gift for any newborn babies in your life. Plus, they’re cute enough in grown up fabrics that you could use them to decorate your home.
For these handmade baby blocks, I cut out 5 inch squares of fabric (6 per block) in a lot of my favorite fabrics that I had only bits and pieces left in. This is also a great fat quarter project. I just figured this out as I went, but this is a great tutorial if you need some extra help.
Sew all of the sides together, and leave about a 1.5 inch opening to flip the blocks right side out through. Then, fill with polyfill and, if you wish, a noisemaker. I used leftover jinglebells from a Christmas-time project. Handsew the remaining seam closed. You’re done!
If you would like to make your project a bit more complicated, add some satin ribbon “taggies” to your blocks to give babies a way to grab them with little fingers, and to give them something to suck on.