Make a Valentine box out of a cereal or cracker box to collect all the classroom Valentine’s Day cards. Try a sweet and sassy purse to carry home all the cool cards and tasty treats collected from classmates. This project feels a little old school to me and that makes me happy. I was a little disappointed last year when the teacher sent home the cards in a decorated paper sack.
MATERIALS for a Valentine box:
Recycled cereal boxes, two
Ellison Sizzix Machine and Dies: Layered Flowers, Layered Flowers #5
Pearl brads, nine
Felt: pink, red
DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Pink Chiffon, Carousel Pink, Baby Pink, Lamp Black
Foam alphabet stamps
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
BASIC SUPPLIES for a Valentine box:
scissors, ruler, paintbrush, newspaper (to cover work surface)
Instructions for a Valentine box:
1. For purse shape, open cereal box on seams. Reposition cereal box (with printed side on inside). Glue seams. On covered work surface, paint purse Carousel Pink. Let dry.
2. For purse flap, cut top, bottom, and one long side of remaining cereal box. Use decorative-edge scissors to trim flap edges. Measure and mark 1/4″x4″ slit (for mailbox opening) on flap and top of purse.
3. For purse handles, trace 8″ circle on remaining piece of cereal box scrap. Trace 6″ circle on center of 8″ circle. Cut out center 6″ circle. Cut circle in half, creating two handles.
4. Paint flap and handles Lamp Black. Let dry.
5. Use alphabet stamps and inkpad to stamp name on bottom of purse.
6. Use machine and flowers die to cut flowers from pink and red felt. Cut additional flowers from cereal box scraps. Paint flowers Baby Pink and Pink Chiffon. Let dry.
7. Layer flowers together, alternating colors. Use hole punch to punch hole on center of flowers; insert pearl brad and bend ends on back.
8. Glue purse flap on top of box, lining up mail slit. Glue flowers along purse flap.
9. Use hole punch to punch two holes, centered, along top edges of purse and along handle ends. Insert pearl brad into handle holes and into purse holes; bend ends on inside.
Lean to make an indigo lampshade with natural indigo dye. Earlier this year I set about playing this Indigo Dye Kit by Jacquard Products. Indigo, which comes from a plant, is one of the oldest dyes used for coloring fabrics and the one still used today to color blue jeans. It has a fascinating history and this natural dye process has long been used in many cultures around the world. The unique characteristics of indigo dyeing make it easy to create wonderful resist patterns on fabric.
It is an easy enough product to work with. It’s a little messy, so I would recommend taking advantage of the remaining warm weather days this year and work with it outside. The kit comes with everything you need to dye several yards of fabric. All you need to add is water, a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and a super long stick to stir with. I used a 1″ dowel since they can be purchased for very little but a paint stick meant for stirring paint would work too. I had a lot of fun making this interesting pattern using the rubber bands contained in the kit and it is very similar to Shibori dying.
Supplies for Indigo lampshade with shibori fabric:
I created some additional patterns as well, which I used to create a couple of unique home decor projects including a pillow and a small tote bag that I use as a mail sorter.
Armed with some scraps leftover from these projects, I set about creating my indigo lampshade inspired by one that I saw on the popular social media site, pinterest.
Instructions for Indigo lampshade with shibori fabric:
Removing the fabric from an old lampshade is fairly easy. Just use scissors to cut and tear pieces away from the metal frame. I tied the fabric pieces, which I cut into strips and tied into knots on each ends of the frame until the entire frame was covered. Very Easy!
To further embellish the indigo lampshade, I used a disappearing fabric pen to draw free form flower shapes on two layers of white muslin and cut them out at the same time so both pieces fit together. Once I cut out I machine stitched the edges together in a very free form fashion leaving a small opening for stuffing. Once I stuffed the flower, I continued and sewed the opening closed.
To embellish the flower center, I gathered various embellishments including 1 1/2″ craft mirrors and some random plastic scrapbook supply letters I had in my stash.
I used fabric glue to attach the flowers to the indigo lampshade along with some glittery silver trim for the flower stems.
I have learned to always keep my fabric scraps as I am constantly coming up with new ways to use them. I had a great time recently creating these fun ribbons from small bits and pieces of scraps.
What kinds of fun projects do you make from your fabric scraps? I would love to hear about them. Leave me a comment and share!
DIY selvage edge gift tags for the holidays are fast fun and easy to make in bulk. Each tag takes less than 15 minutes, so you could easily make one in that short amount of time. But if you have a spare hour you can make a whole bunch more. Shipping tags can be found at the office supply store in bulk so it is pretty in expensive too. I like to keep my gift closet stocked with gifts and wrapping papers and gift tags because you never know when you are going to need something last-minute.
For years I have saved my fabric scraps, at least those that are 3″ squares and larger. But lately, I’ve found myself cutting the selvage off my fabrics and saving them as well. I have been very inspired by all the clever fabric selvage projects I have noticed. So I decided to create these gift tags made with fabric selvage.
I plan to use my selvage edge gift tags for special occasions such as birthdays, hostess gifts, wedding gifts, etc. But I couldn’t resist adding in some holiday themed motifs such as this simple Christmas tree.
After deciding on a pink and orange color palette for this project, I tore some fabric scraps into strips, roughly 1 1/2″ wide. Some of the strips I sewed knife pleats in using a sewing machine and black thread.
I also added a sewn black straight stitch to the border to frame each design out. Sew any design or pattern you want and don’t worry about neatness. This is a freestyle sewing technique and there is no right or wrong way.
Adding bits of layered tulle add to the gift tags, as does some strips of bling here and there.
The gift tags can be used for special occasions such as birthdays, hostess gifts, wedding gifts, etc. To make a wedding cake simply mimic the Christmas tree tag and leave off the trunk of the tree.
The orange and pink colors made these especially feminine. These might be good even for a baby girl gift. Changing the colors selvage edge gift tags to a turquoise and lime green and choosing different fabric scraps, such as polka dots and stripes would result in tags that would be good for a little boys birthday gift or to welcome a baby boy.
But no matter what colors and patterns you use, pairing fabric scraps and selvage with painted and sewn paper results in a project that is fun, easy and somewhat addictive!
Do you create with fabric selvage? I would love to see what you’ve made!
If you would like to see other bloggers create in 15 minutes sheck out this great group of craft bloggers.
Scrap fabric strip pumpkins make me want to sing our Happy Fall Y’all! Don’t you just love this amazing season? I’m a sweater and pumpkin spice kinda gal. I love all things pumpkin. To celebrate Autumn, I am going to show you how I made these simple patchwork pumpkins to help usher in Fall and kick off the upcoming holiday season. Making decorations is one of my favorite things to do.
When working with scrap fabric and trying to cut a straight line, I have found that working with rulers and a rotary cutter works best for me. I have tried to draw a straight line and cut on it but I am not very good at that. I used a rotary cutter to cut my fabric into jelly roll sized strips (2 1/2″). (If you want to purchase jelly rolls of fabric they are pre-cut strips that would also work.) They are about 14″ in length and then I placed two of them right sides together and sewed one long edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
I continued until I had one piece that measured about 14″ x 12.” I doubled the fabric over and used
a rotary cutter to cut a round shape from the doubled over for the pumpkin front and back.
I cut a pumpkin stem from the black wool felt and pinned it to the inside of the pieces before I started sewing them together. I sewed the pieces together, leaving the edges raw but left a 4″ opening at the bottom for stuffing the fabric strip pumpkins.
I sewed the bottom together but left a 1/2″ opening for the insertion of the dowel. The wood pieces were painted black and embellished with gem stone rows. A glue gun and glue sticks are used to join the pieces together and to keep the dowel in place inside the scrap fabric strip pumpkins. You might also call these stuffed patchwork pumpkins.
I used alphabet stamps to stamp seasonal sentiments on the wood tags, which were painted orange. I also added some sparkly embellishments and tulle scraps.
Make painted dryer vent pumpkins for your home. You can use the painted dryer vent pumpkins September through November because they are perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Not only can you use them for several months they are affordable to make.
Mixed media bird Christmas ornaments are a painted and stamped version of this bird Christmas ornament. Yes, I really like birds and I really like Christmas and it is never to early to start on your gifts or decorations. To make the projects, I like to buy fancy embellishments when I catch them on sale at the craft stores. When the mood strikes I want to be ready with all the supplies and avoid a trip to the craft store.
Supplies for mixed media bird Christmas ornaments:
The links below contain affiliate links to Amazon where a small commision is earned.
By using the die cut machine with the foam core, you get nice, even smooth edges. No need to sand. The die cut comes with a wing shape, but I am partial to teardrop. So I elected to trace 3″ teardrop onto foam core and cut out with an X-acto knife. You will need to sand the edges with a nail file (emery board) or a smaller paper sander made especially for paper crafting projects.
For the paints, I chose Lamp Black, Snow White and Antique White by DecoArt. I painted the wing shape one coat of black since I knew I would be covering with one or two shades of white to create a distressed effect on the Mixed media bird christmas ornaments.
I also painted the back of each foam core bird shape ornament black. Once the wing is dry to the touch, use a candle stick to randomly rub the surface.
Paint the wing two coats of white and then sand gently to remove areas where the candle wax was applied.
Paint the front of the foam core bird shape Antique White. Use an ornate foam stamp and the white acrylic paint to stamp the surface randomly.
For a layered stamp look, I used StazOn ink in black and a script stamps to completely cover the bird.
I painted the beak black and added a small black dot for the eye. I slightly inked the edges of the bird to give it an aged look. Add a floral embellishment, stamp a sentiment on the wing, glue pieces together and your die cut painted and stamped bird ornament is complete!
I bears mention that I hand dyed muslin using Rit Dye in Apple Green and purchased the silk flowers
Just think of how many wonderful, lightweight but sturdy birds you can get from one sheet of foam board!
Although I used my Sizzix BigShot pro machine, I tried cutting the foam core with my smaller, standard BigShot and it worked too for the Mixed media bird christmas ornaments.
A Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial for you. Fir balsam is one of my favorite holiday scents. This mixed media project is not complicated when you break it down into easy to manage steps. It is also easier to make multiples at the same time. The Balsam Sachet are great as ornaments, package topper or small thank you gifts. You could also use the balsam in a draft dodger.
Today, I am showing you detailed instructional photographs for making these sweet Balsam Sachet ornaments. (I order my supplies from Amazon and if you order from my links I will make a small commission.) To make them smell so great, you will need Fragrant Dried Balsam Tips.
I got my package very early this year and since I am keeping the leftover stash in my desk drawer, I can tell you the balsam still smells heavenly. It’s never too early to get started crafting for the holidays. Follow along as I walk you through the Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial project.
Supplies needed Christmas Balsam Sachet:
I recommend working “assembly style” and making more than one sachet at a time once you get the hang of it.
Step 1– Use a 6″ cardstock square as a template to trace and cut out two pieces of burlap for the Balsam Sachet.
Step 2– Cut a 9 x 12 fusible webbing sheet in half. I like to use Stick Fusible Webbing. Fuse the sheet halves to red ticking and muslin, making sure fabrics are wrinkle free. Remember to turn off your steam function on your iron when fusing. Always leave a slight border around the fabrics to make sure the fusible webbing does not stick to your ironing board.
Step 3- Now comes the fabric stamping part. Choose stamps you wish to use and use pigment ink to stamp on the fused muslin. You can also use a specially formulated ink for fabric. Pigment ink, heat set with the iron on a low setting works just as well.
Stamp the burlap with a background image of your choice that will show up well such a florals or swirls. Burlap does not show the stamped images as well as the muslin, so the images need to be bold. Step 4- Now cut out the stamped muslin motifs, leaving an 1/4 around the edges for stitching. Cut a fused red ticking piece, approx 1/4- 3/8 larger than the stamped motif.
Step 5- Center the pieces on the stamped burlap square that will be the front piece of the Balsam Sachet and fuse with an iron. (if your pieces seem uneven, don’t fret, I find that uneven edges only add to the country charm!) Step 6- Get out your sewing machine. Straight stitch the edges of the ticking and muslin border with a dark-colored thread for contrast. if you don’t want contrast, use a light color to match the muslin.
Now is a good time to create your dryer sheet sachet. You will need one used dryer sheet cut to two pieces of 3 1/2″ squares. After you straight stitch the muslin and ticking edges, straight stitch three sides of the dryer sheet together.
Step 7- Fill the sachet with a small hand full of balsam. Straight stitch the top opening closed to secure. (Note- if you are not comfortable machine stitching with the balsam inside the sachet, hand stitch. When machine stitching, make sure you do not overstuff the sachet. You don’t want to end up with balsam inside your machine parts!)
Step 8- Place the two burlap squares together. Machine stitch together about 1/2 from the edges (seam allowance.) Start at the bottom left edges and stitch left, top and right side together but leave the bottom open for turning and stuffing. Steam the seams open on all four sides.
Step 9- Turn the right sides out. If needed, use a blunt object to push out corners. From the bottom opening, stuff the sachet with the balsam sachet and a small amount (golf ball sized) of polyfil stuffing. If you are using a brad to embellish as I did, go ahead and insert the brad while the bottom is opening to make it easier. As an option, you can sew on a button embellishment later. Whipstich the bottom opening closed.
Step 10- Finally, insert a piece of wire for the hangar, inserting the ends into the Balsam Sachet at the top and bending to make secure. Tie on a bit of tulle and an embellishment and you are finished!
Beaded and Sewn Christmas Ornaments are an easy sew project that is great for beginners and pros alike because you can add all the details you want. Each handmade piece will be unique and reflect the skill and style of the maker.
My tree is up, adorned with lights and ornaments. After the Christmas table celebration, I often find myself more in the Christmas spirit than ever and itching to create something that captures that feeling with my hands. So this year I decided to make these beaded and sewn Christmas ornaments to give away as gifts for next year.
Instructions for Beaded and Sewn Christmas Ornaments:
I started out selecting fabrics and wool felt for my project. The fabric is from Fabric.com and the wool felt is from National Nonwovens.
To create my beaded and sewn Christmas ornaments, I started out by cutting two 3″ squares for each ornament (front and back) and some simple motifs a snowman, a stocking and a tree. I ironed a 1/4″ seam allowance on all four sides of the fabric, which was cut into a 3″ square.
I used three strands of black embroidery floss and a blanket stitch to sew the fabric to the wool felt.
Then I blanket stitched the stocking on, leaving the top open so that I could stuff it with goodies! I used a blanket stitch for this as well, but sewed 6/0 red pebble beads to the stocking before attaching it to the squares. Then I cut the borders of both felt squares with scalloped edged scissors and sewed beads to the borders.
I left the top open so I could stuff it with poly-fil fiber. I added a jute hanger with a little glue to the top.
Creating these fun sewn and beaded ornaments over the Christmas holidays will keep my hand busy while we watch “A Christmas Story” for 24 hours! I will be happy thinking that I am getting a good start for Christmas 2014.
What will you be creating this Christmas once the packages are opened and dinner is served?
Make a popsicle stick craft that is suitable for tweens and teens. This type of craft is perfect for summer gatherings, day camps and VBS. You can also use scraps of pattern paper and random buttons making the craft very affordable too. If you are doing it as a short activity you will need to boil the popsicle sticks and allow them to dry ahead of time. It does take the wood craft sticks some time to dry out, especially if it is humid. If you are in a rush you can place the glasses on a tray and dry in an oven on a low temperature. If you have plenty of time you can set them out in the sun to dry.
I am loving all the adorable versions of this throw back popsicle craft from my childhood I am seeing all the web these days. When I found my stash of buttons last week, I knew I had to give this old craft a new try to incorporate these adorable buttons. The concept is rather simple. Wood can be manipulated when soaked in water since it tears down the wood fibers. So, grab some jumbo craft sticks and let’s get started.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Turn off the burner, Insert the craft sticks and let them soak for about 10-15 minutes. Put a few more in the water than you will think you need. I broke a few not being patient while trying to bend them.
Once the sticks are soaked. Grab some proper sized glasses or plastic cups and patiently work them into the glass. Work slowly if you don’t want to end up with a lot of broken sticks like I did. It takes a little patience to get the hang of it.
These have to set up for 24 hours to completely dry. While they are drying, go ahead and grab some acrylic paints and pattern papers to coordinate with the buttons. I used acrylic paint and some older random simple printed patterned papers.
Here is another step you can do while waiting for the sticks to set up, On the wrong side of the patterned paper, use a pencil and a jumbo craft stick to trace it. Use a pair of scissors to cut out the paper.
Once the bracelets have dried, gently remove them from the glasses.
Paint the bracelets in the colors of your choice.
Use a decoupage medium like Mod Podge and a foam brush to apply the papers to the front of the bracelets. Allow the medium to dry and gently sand the edges of the papers even with the wood. Now comes the fun part! Glue some rhinestones in the center of the stitched buttons using a tacky glue like or hot glue gun.
Glue the buttons to the front of the bracelet and let dry.
My bracelet’s didn’t turn out as snug as I wanted them to be, so I used some chain and jump rings to pull them a little closer in. I can still fit them over my hand without using a closure such as a lobster clasp but that still be another option. Learning from this, make sure you use a glass or cup that is slim enough if you want to skip this step!
Before you go check out all the other summer fun posts that are joining the series today. As always you can find lots of summer fun inspiration and ideas on Life Sew Savory.
Patriotic party favors – Create nostalgic and patriotic party decorations for the 4th of July using scrapbook paper and paper punches. Add a few pieces of ephemera for embellishments and you have unique decorations for your party or for decorations around your home. Fill the adorable little cones with candies as a thank you gift. Here is a super simple solution to making easy party favors using materials you probably already have on hand. If you have Marvy Uchida’s Extra Giga and Giga paper punches, you can make several of these in less than an hour. The supplies are minimal as you will need some double-sided patterned paper in a patriotic theme or just combine coordinating patterns in red, whites and blues.
I used Marvy Uchida’s Scalloped edged Clever Lever Extra Giga Paper punch, Giga paper punch, extra jumbo punch in flower and extra jumbo punch in scalloped circle.
Once you punch all your pieces. Roll the large pieces into cone shapes by bending the edges in as shown above. Glue edges together and slightly bend out so that you have a cone shape. On the smaller cone, layer together the scalloped circle and flower and glue it to the front of the cone. Use a vintage game piece to add a little dimension. You can use old games you have or find them at yard sales or thrift stores.
Finally, glue the cones together, smaller on top and add a stamped sentiment. Fill the cones with excelsior or shredded paper filling, and small wrapped candies such as peppermints. To double the fun, create a patriotic party string using the same materials. I buy the excelsior in bulk because I use it a lot. You can buy small packages on Amazon and at big box stores around the holidays.