Archive for the ‘ Crafts ’ Category

Crafts Part 2: T-Shirt Yarn

I was browsing craft gawker (which btw is addictive) and found a post on making a headband out of a t-shirt. I started looking around and found a few tutorials on how to make t-shirt yarn and other projects to make with them including coasters, rugs, a placemat, a necklace and other headbands. Also you can crochet with t-shirt yarn! I don’t know how to crochet, but I would love to learn and then be able to have free recycled yarn!!

By now you may be wanting to try your hand at t-shirt yarn, so onto a tutorial!

What you will need:

  • A t-shirt that has little or no graphics (above the arm pits is ok) and that doesn’t have seams up the sides.
  • Scissors
  • A ruler
  • A pencil or pen to mark on the t-shirt
First lay your t-shirt flat and then cut of the bottom seam and at the arm pits.
Second fold the t-shirt leaving an inch not doubled at the top.
Next, mark out 1-inch sections and cut strips, but (THIS IS CRUCIAL) don not cut the top 1-inch that is not doubled over.
Once you have cut all the strips open up the t-shirt and have the uncut section on top.

Now you are going to cut the t-shirt so that it makes one long continuous piece of yarn. Do this by cutting diagonally from strip to strip. It is easier to start with the bottom of the first strip and cut to the top of the second. Just don’t cut straight across, well you can but you will end up with shorter lengths of t-shirt yarn. Also don’t worry about it if the cuts are straight or if they have little bumps in them because it won’t matter in the end!

Last step! Now that you have one long continuous piece of t-shirt you simply pull on the fabric and it will curl up to make the t-shirt yarn! I couldn’t pull the fabric and take a picture at the same time, but you can see the part that I have pulled and what I still need to pull.

You end up with a pretty good length of t-shirt yarn to work with!

As I said at the beginning of the post there are a lot of different things you can do with this now, which is really great! Plus you could say this is a “green” craft that is recycling something that you already have! Here are a few of the things that I have made with t-shirts and t-shirt yarn.

I think this is a craft that anyone can do because who doesn’t have an old t-shirt laying around and a pair of scissors?! I hope you give this one a try!!

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Crafts Part 1: Cards

I have been meaning to put up posts on the crafts I have been doing and I am finally getting around to it! I think there will be three installments of craft posts. So if you like crafts check back here the next few days and if don’t like crafts well then check back next week sometime!! To start off the series on crafts I am doing a post on cards!

I decided not to do a tutorial or instructions simply because there are so many different cards with different techniques and whatnot. BUT, let me know if you want to know how to make them or any specific part of the cards that you would like to recreate let me know and I can write a post about them 🙂

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So what is your favorite card? What other kinds of cards would you like to see?

Crafts Crafts Crafts

This post is going to be like three mini posts of crafts that I have done in the past month or so all wrapped up into one post. So get comfortable because it is gonna be a long one!

Christmas Cards

I wrote about making Christmas cards a few times earlier. Making Christmas cards was a great study break and a fun way to unwind. I realize that for some people that might not be true, but there were a few things that made it not stressful or burdening. First I had a general idea of people I wanted to send cards to, but I didn’t set a number of cards that I had to make. Actually I had planned to make cards for friends not in SLO and even more friends in SLO, but dead week and finals week got super busy and after that I didn’t have to drive to make more cards. So I didn’t force it. If I would have it would have become a chore and that doesn’t make for fun crafting! Also sorry to friends I didn’t send cards to, I wanted to but I couldn’t send them to everyone because of time. Know that I would if I could! Well I said I did a few things to make sure making cards wasn’t a chore, but now that I think it was really just notforcing myself to make a certain amount. Anyway, I didn’t post this picture before because I didn’t want people to possibly see the card they were getting. But I thought it would be fun to show you all the different cards. I tried to make the cards unique from one another. I will admit that I had some duplicates, but I think that was ok. I truly loved making these cards and I have loved hearing that people enjoyed getting them! Overall, it was fun to make them and really put me in the Christmas mood!!

Fabric Wreaths

I had seen one wreath on one of the blogs I read and then searched around and found a few other blogs. I ended up choosing between two different wreaths to make. (you can click on the names to see the tutorials for each wreath 🙂 )

Ruffly Felt Wreath

vs.

Ribbon Wreath

If you recall from a few posts earlier I posted a picture of the wreath I made for Gavin’s parents and it was a version of wreath #1 the ruffly felt wreath. The basic steps for making the wreath are cut out a TON of circles from felt. Then take a circle fold in half twice and pin onto the wreath. Repeat many times!  If you don’t recall the picture here is one to refresh your memory.

I ended up making the circles for this one a little bigger than the tutorial said to so it ended up more full, but I like how it tuned out. Also I used a 14″ wreath form rather than 12″ so I used more circles. I used approximately 440 felt circles on this wreath!! Also my circles were on the wreath more densely now that I compare the two pictures. Part of this is because I was using colored felt and if you didn’t put them close enough together you could see the white styrofoam form between the circles. I like how it turned out, but I also like in the original one how you can see more of the ruffles. But it could also be the lighting. Anyway, I actually made two of these. I know slightly crazy, but I am so happy with how they both turned out! This next one was for one of my best friends since elementary school. She is getting married this summer and is super crafty. So I wanted to make her something that would be handmade, incorporate her wedding colors and could possibly be used at the wedding if she wanted, but could be used in their home after they get married.

Once they get married her (and his) last name will start with H so I thought it would be nice to have a monogram in the middle of the wreath. For this one I did 3″ circles like the tutorial said to do. At the top where the letter hangs from I made the circles progressively smaller so the letter would  hang better, but I don’t think you can even notice it. (Ash had you noticed that before reading this?) Anyway I painted the letter in one of her wedding colors and got ribbon in her two other colors. I just glued the ribbon onto the back of the H with a glue gun and then wrapped it around the wreath for more stability and pinned it and then covered up the ribbon with felt circles.

The one tool that I got that made this project 100x easier and faster was this wonderful little invention:

The rotary circle cutter from OLFA! I got it on sale from Jo-Ann Fabrics, but had to order it online because not one of the 5 stores I went to or called carried it in the store. I have no clue why they don’t because it is an amazing little tool. I could cut about 80 circles in 20 minutes because you can cut two layers (when the blade is sharp), so really it was only 40 cuts but you end up with 80 circles! When you are talking about cutting 900+ circles not having to cut them by hand and being able to cut lots of circles in a short amount of time makes a HUGE difference. If you are thinking about making one wreath it might be worth the investment (I got it for $15 + shipping), but if you are wanting to make more then one it is definitely worth the investment! I will mention that the blade is dull now, but after cutting that many circles out of felt I can’t say I am disappointed or dissatisfied with the circle cutter. It just needs a new blade and it will be good as new!

I am glad that I ended up doing the felt wreath, but might find another occasion to do the ribbon one. That one is fairly simple where you just tie knots around a wreath form. I actually found a picture of one that someone made for Christmas and thought it turned out pretty too. (Flickr won’t let me put it in here, but you can go to the link) I think this would be much less time consuming and less work than the felt wreath.

 

Bookmarks

As part of my Christmas present Gavin got me the study bible that was on my Christmas list. Side note: my roommate has this bible and I used it for a few days when mine was at home and I really liked it. It has thought provoking questions for every section of scripture in the bible and then also specific studies for different groups of people (men, women, single, married, ect.). You can take a look at the bible at Amazon.

Anyway, I wanted a bookmark for my new bible and was bored earlier this week so I decided to make one! First pick a verse you like, or really any other saying. I picked Ephesians 3:17-19 that reads:

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Then I picked a font that looked like handwriting, but you could choose any font you like. Printed it out on card stock. The first one I did was the purple one and it was kind of hard to read because the paper was so dark. I also tried to print in white or a very light gray, but that totally failed. So for my second try I printed in a larger font, in bold and on lighter paper.

I think all of these helped with visibility and ease of reading. Then I just glue more layers of paper together to make a firmer bookmark. Before gluing the last layer on the back I sandwiched ribbon between the two pieces of paper to make a little top to the bookmarks. I like how the pink one turned out more, but don’t crafts usually turn out better the second time once you get a feel for how things work? Anyway it was super easy and functional! Plus you can customize it to any color(s) and any verse. I think I am going to try to memorize this verse and then once I memorize it I will make myself a new bookmark with a new verse to memorize! The picture above is of my new bookmark in action!

 

Also I made Gavin a scrapbook of our relationship for part of his Christmas present. I don’t have any pictures of it, but if you live in SLO and really want to see it and are at the Phillips house you can bug him to see it 🙂

 

Well, as promised that was a long one! Congrats if you are still reading!! Did you attempt and DIY projects for Christmas? Are there any DIY projects you are thinking about trying?

Crafts!!

So a while back I mentioned making Christmas cards. So I thought I would post about some of the fun I have had crafting and making them!

**Warning: men this might be a boring post for you. But if you enjoy crafting or think you might, then read on**

First off embossing. I had looked around online and seen this as a technique that was used. I really liked how it looked (as much as you can tell online) and was really eager to try it out. Then about a month or so after learning about this technique I got a 50% off one item coupon from Michael’s! So I headed down to Michael’s and bought a heat gun for embossing at half price making it $12. Even though I only saved $12, it was still better then full price! I also got embossing powder that is needed to create the raised image.

So onto a tutorial!

1. Gather materials: heat gun, embossing powder, ink pad, stamp, paper you want to stamp on and scratch paper folded in half.

2. Stamp image onto paper

3. While ink is still wet generously sprinkle embossing powder over the entire image. Make sure your scratch paper is underneath to catch the extra powder.

4. Turn paper over and tap off excess powder onto scratch paper. Fold paper in half and pour excess back into the embossing powder container.

5. Turn on heat gun and warm up. Hold about 2 inches above the image and you will be able to see the image start to change and become embossed. It is hard to describe, but very obvious when it has happened. Move the heat gun around so the entire image becomes embossed.

It is hard to see it online, but the image in now raised and when you run your finger over it you can feel the difference. The final product:

Embossing has been really fun, but you don’t need to have fancy tools or even stamps to make fun Christmas cards! Earlier today I was experimenting with plain ribbon that I got a Michael’s for 5 for $1. I wasn’t sure exactly how I would use it, but it was too good of a deal to pass up.

I got my super glue out (I use the gel kind so it doesn’t get everywhere) and started playing around. These were the result:

To me they are simplistic, easy and yet still seem Christmas-y. I just glued down the ends of the ribbon with super glue. I did have the ribbon longer to make gluing easier and then cut off the ends once I had glued them. These are super easy to make all you need is ribbon, super glue, scissors, blank cards and your creativity!

 

Mom if you happen to be reading this please stop, its for your benefit. Thanks 🙂

 

 

I want to share this one last card that I made with you for my Mom’s birthday tomorrow! I know it is a little cheesy, but I made it and it was one of the two birthday stamps I have (both of which are slightly cheesy). The stamp is embossed and then I colored in the balloons and then mounted it on paper. Under the stamped image the paper is raised away from the pink paper and the blue is raised away from the purple. There are foam sticky adhesives that make things 3D and that is what I used to raise the layers.

 

I really want to show you other Christmas cards I have made, but those are getting sent out to people who could possibly be reading and I don’t want to ruin the surprise 🙂

 

Have you ever made cards before? How did they turn out? What other crafts do you enjoy doing?

Care packages are wonderful things!

So I wrote this post a few days ago, but waited until the care package arrived at its destination to post it. It was to Gavin, but there were some goodies in there for some other special people in SLO : ) Isn’t getting mail the greatest?! I LOVE getting mail. The effort the other person has to put in just makes it all the more special. I am always so excited when I see something in my mail box that isn’t one of those generic mailers! Do any of you get excited over mail like me??

I love making things and have always enjoyed making cards. I was going to post a few pictures of the cards I made, but then I realized I didn’t take any before I mailed them! Oh well! They were Halloween cards, only because it was the next holiday coming up, not because I normally think of Halloween as a card giving holiday and I wanted to write to people : )

BUT Christmas is coming up and I already have Christmas card ideas brewing. I made Christmas cards for two years in High School, but I didn’t have my crafting stuff down in SLO, and there isn’t that much time over winter break before Christmas to make cards. However, I have been reunited with my stamps, ink pads and paper and this year I am making Christmas cards! I’m pretty darn excited! Making cards is somewhat soothing and relaxing, plus I get to be creative AND then I get to send them to people and let them know I am thinking about them and wish them a Merry Christmas! How great, right?! Can you believe there are 74 days until Christmas?! It keeps creeping up! But we still have Halloween and Thanksgiving! Speaking of Halloween, I have no idea what to dress up as! Any suggestions??

On to the main topic of what I wanted to post about: the yummy recipe for the bars I baked for Gavin

The recipe came from the Cookshelf cookbook on Baking. It is a cute little cookbook and I got it along with ones on Italian, Mexican, Chocolate, and Vegetarian for my birthday. This is the first recipe I have made out of any of them and I think it turned out pretty good! So here is the recipe:

MILLIONAIRE’S SHORTBREAD

Shortbread Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 Tbsp light brown sugar

Carmel Topping

  • 14 ounce can condensed milk
  • 4 Tbps light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter

Chocolate Topping

  • 5 1/2 ounces milk chocolate (I used more like 6 or 6 1/2, the more chocolate the better right?!)

Directions

  1. Thoroughly grease a 9-inch square cake pan. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Sift flour into a bowl (I just whisked it to get the lumps out) and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix to form a firm dough. (I wouldn’t have called my dough a “firm” dough, but when I pressed the dough together it held. It was fine because of the next step.)
  3. Press the dough into the prepared pan and prick with a fork. (See why it didn’t need to be a “firm” dough?)
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool completely in the pan.
  5. To make the carmel topping, place the butter, sugar and condensed milk in a nonstick saucepan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the carmel is pale golden and tick and is coming away from the sides of the pan. Pour over the shortbread base and let cool. (I re-greased the pan before I did this just to help the carmel not stick to the side. I figured a few more calories from the butter wouldn’t make that much of a difference in the long run)
  7. When the carmel topping is firm, melt the milk chocolate in a double boiler (I just used a smaller saucepan inside of a bigger one). Spread the the melted chocolate over the topping, set aside in a cool place, then cut the shortbread into squares or bars to serve.

Overall it is a pretty straight forward recipe. However, there is a lot of down time waiting for things to set up and/or cool. So just be prepared to do one layer at a time and wait 30 minutes to an hour between each one. Here is the final product!

Lastly, OREGON FOOTBALL #2 IN THE NATION!!! I love how into football people are here! I am really hoping I will be able to get tickets!!! Watch out Ohio State, we are right on your tail!

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