Journaled Tote Bag

Journaled Tote Bag with rosette flowers and instructions

Create a custom Journaled Tote Bag for you or for a friend.  I don’t know about you but I can always use an extra bag.  They are perfect for trips to the library, gym or to the grocery store.  If I am going  to carry something around I might as well carry something pretty and inspiring.

Materials for Journaled Tote Bag

  • Black canvas tote bag, 24”x16”
  • White cotton fabric, 1 yd.
  • Natural canvas, 10” square
  • Black embroidery floss
  • Sewing thread: black, white
  • Buttons Galore and More Laura Kelly Hand Dyed Sunshine Yellow Button Mix
  • Prima Marketing Dynasty Ivory Flower Centers

Basic Supplies for Journaled Tote Bag

plastic container, spoon, old towel, scissors, iron and pressing surface, paintbrushes, rubber gloves, straight pins, newspaper (to cover work surface)


  • Sewing machine
  • Embroidery needle
  • Jacquard iDye for Natural Fabrics: Deep Orange, Chartreuse, Pink, Turquoise, Lilac
  • Jacquard Lumiere Paints: Hi-Lite Red, Metallic Gold, Metallic Silver, Metallic Olive Green, Neopaque White
  • Markers: Jacquard Tee Juice Black Medium Point Marker; fine-tip black
  • Beacon Adhesives Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive


  • 1. On covered work surface, use paints to create color swatches on tote as shown. Paint Metallic Gold along bottom of bag; drybrush Neopaque White. Let dry. Paint section of Neopaque White along top edge of bag; drybrush Metallic Gold. Let dry. Add Hi-Lite Red and Metallic Silver randomly along top and bottom of bag. Let dry.
  • 2. Cut white cotton fabric in half; set one half aside for use in Step 5. Tear other half into 2”-wide strips. Machine-sew straight stitch using white thread joining strips on short edges, creating one long strip measuring approximately 2 yds. long. Cut sewn strip into five shorter strips for dyeing.
  • 3. Wearing rubber gloves, follow manufacturer’s instructions to mix 2 cups of hot water with Deep Orange dye in plastic container. Stir well with mixing spoon. Submerge one fabric strip into dye bath. Remove and rinse under cool water. Squeeze out excess dye with old towel. Hang to dry. Repeat process to dye remaining four strips Chartreuse, Pink, Lilac, and Turquoise. Let dry.
  • 4. While strips are drying, freehand draw and cut out seven leaves from natural canvas. Paint leaves Metallic Olive; let dry. Machine-sew straight stitch for vein lines and leaf outlines using black thread. Knot and clip thread ends.
  • 5. Cut remaining white fabric into two 2”x10” and one 2”x8” strips. Position fabric on work surface. Use Medium Point Black marker to write “Be the Change” and “you want to see” on longer strips and “in the world” on shorter strip. Pin strips in place on front of tote. Machine-sew zigzag stitch around edges of sayings using black thread. Remove pins. Lightly drybrush around strips Metallic Silver and Metallic Gold. Let dry.
  • 6. Use iron to press dyed strips. Cut 1/2”x12” Turquoise strip (for stem). Use fine-tip black marker to journal message or sentiment down length of stem.
  • 7. For rolled flowers, twist one end of dyed strip inward and roll into spiral. Continue, adding small amount of fabric glue every 1-1/2” to 2” on spiral. Create rolled flowers that are various sizes by using more or less of dyed strips. Create one Lilac, one Pink, one Turquoise, and two Deep Orange flowers.
  • 8. For ruffled flowers, use sewing machine and white thread to knife pleat dyed strips down center. Roll strips into spirals, adding small amount of glue every 1-1/2” to 2” on spiral. Adhere end to secure.
  • 9. For flower centers, cut small 1” circles from remaining dyed fabric or roll remaining strips into small spirals. Adhere flower centers onto flowers. Adhere Ivory Flower Centers and rhinestones onto flower centers. Adhere flowers onto front of tote using photo as guide. Adhere journaled stem along left side of tote and leaves around flowers.
  • 10. Use embroidery needle and three strands of black embroidery floss to attach buttons onto flowers and leaves. Knot and clip thread ends.
  • Tip
  • 1. Add ruffled lace, fabric bows, and other embellishments onto tote handles as desired.

Decoupage Ornament

Decoupages Ornaments tear drop

Make a Decoupage Ornament with craft paper ornaments and pattern paper you can get from the scrapbook section of almost any big box store.  The handmade ornaments are a fun craft activity for the kids and they also make great package toppers.  You can embellish them with scraps you have on hand.  If you are a scrapbooker or carmaker then you can use up your stash to make the Decoupage Ornament. Create sophisticated ornaments on a shoestring.

Materials for a Decoupage Ornament:

  • Two coordinating decorative papers
  • Papier-mâché ornament
  • Desired embellishments
  • Ribbon or heavy string


  • Pencil
  • Scissors or Paper trimmer
  • Adhesive
  • Dauber or sponge
  • Brown ink – chalk ink works great
  • Sandpaper is optional

Directions for a Decoupage Ornament:

  1.  For each ornament, choose two coordinating decorative papers.  if you are using your stash you can use more than two.  Press the paper onto the ornament and make an impression into the paper.  If it does not work for you can cut the paper close to the size of the surface.
  2. Trim and adhere papers to cover alternating sides of papier-mâché ornament. If you need to you can use sand paper to make the edges smoother and more uniform. Make sure to dust off debris.
  3. Use dauber or sponge and brown ink to antique edges. I like to use chalk ink.  If you use pigment ink let it dry overnight or use a heat gun to heat set the ink.
  4. Embellish as desired with coordinating ribbon, buttons or anything you have on hand.

Make a set of these charming ornaments packaged in a coordinating découpaged gift box for a lovely, budget savvy gift idea.  Give to your friends and enjoy or make enough to decorate a wreath or even a whole tree.   The Decoupage Ornament can be made using any shape ornament or style of pattern paper.

Decoupages Ornaments star

Rustic Dyed Floral Wreath

rustic floral wreathCreate a colorful yet rustic dyed floral wreath with liquid dye , flowers and a hot glue gun. DIY any color combination and make it in a day.

•Liquid or Powder Dyes, Green Apple,Tangerine, Violet, Wine
• 100% cotton, torn into three 2×18 strips
• 1 wreath
– Dried white flowers
• Measuring cup
• 3 Plastic shallow containers (8-cup size)
• Plastic disposable spoons
• Plastic wrap
• Paper towels
• Rubber gloves
• Plastic cover to protect table
• Microwave oven
• Ad Tech Glue Gun with Glue Sticks
wreath niki meiners
INSTRUCTIONS for Dyed Floral Wreath:
Cover table with plastic sheet or tablecloth. Keep paper towels at hand. Note: When preparing dye, wear rubber gloves, mix well and heat water to at least 140º F.
For best results, prewash and cotton to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.


1. Dip material in water and squeeze out excess water. Set aside.

2. Prepare dye: Measure and mix ½ cup Violet liquid dye or 1 box powder dye with 4 cups very hot water.

3. Pour dye into shallow plastic container or bowl. Twist material around itself and bunch up. Secure bunch with rubberbands or string. stripa Immerse material in dye bath for 2 minutes. Wearing rubber gloves, move top of shirt around in dye bath and push down on tied area to help dye penetrate the fabric. Then remove shirt and squeeze out excess dye and place in shallow plastic container.

4. Cover container with plastic wrap. Cover bottom of microwave with paper towels. Microwave plastic-wrapped dish in oven on High for 2 minutes. Remove container and plastic wrap carefully – items will be hot. Allow to cool.

5. Carefully cut rubber bands or string. Rinse material under cool running water until water runs clear. Wash with warm water and detergent; rinse and dry.

6. Wrap strips around wreath. Note: For extra security, add a dab of Hot Glue  at the beginning and end of the strips.

Flowers for wreath
1. Prepare flowers in the same manner, by preparing dye bath and placing flowers in shallow containers. Allow flowers to soak and absorb dye.

3. Rinse flowers and allow them to dry to dry. Adhere with Hot Glue Gun


Button and rosette frame

button and rosette frame shabby chic

Looking for a holiday gift or a for a fun decoration? Why not make a frame embellished with buttons and rosettes?  I love the blank wood frames from Michael’s.  I usually purchase a dozen or so when they go on sale for $1.  They are great, low-cost  homemade gift and you  make them in any style you want.  A little paint and a few embellishments and you are good to go

Tools and Materials for button rosette frame:

  • Blank wood frame
  • paint brushes,
  • 3 colors of paint ( similar colors work best),
  • Hot Glue Gun and hot glue-sticks
  • Scissors
  • dyed fabric strips ( scraps or old sheets)
  • buttons greenwaterfall, and bittersweet.
  • Ink in colors similar to fabric strips
  • Water mister ( spray bottle)

Instructions for Button and rosette frame:

  1. Paint wood frame with base paint color of choice.  Allow to dry.
  2. Dry brush on other colors.
  3. To make rosettes –  cut or tear a strip of fabric 1-2 inches wide and  44″ long.  Tie a knot at one end.  Twist the fabric around the knot and hot glue as you go.  Wrap until you reach the end and hot glue tail to back.
  4. Mist  flowers and run an ink pad across to create a multi tonal effect.
  5. Glue on rosettes and buttons as shown.

Dream Catcher

Niki’s Dream Catcher

A Dream Catcher is an old Native American symbol.  Storytellers speak of the Spider Woman, known as Asibikaashi; she took care of the children and the people on the land. Eventually, the Ojibwe Nation spread to the corners of North America and it became difficult for Asibikaashi to reach all the children. So the mothers and grandmothers would weave magical webs for the children, using willow hoops and sinew. The dreamcatchers would filter out all bad dreams and only allow good thoughts to enter our mind. Once the sun rises, all bad dreams just disappear. The Ojibwe believe that a dreamcatcher changes a person’s dreams.  Only good dreams would be allowed to filter through.   Bad dreams would stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day and good dreams would pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.

emilys dream catcher
Emily’s Dream Catcher

My little sister wanted to to make a dream catcher for her new place.   It was her first time living alone and she liked the protective elements behind the symbol.   She is 15 years younger and a really cool free spirit.  (She would have made a great hippie.)  Naturally being the crafty sister I was ready for our dream catcher making.  We each gather bits and pieces from my stash and we both picked bottles of dyes to work with.

Materials and tools for dream catcher:

  • Embroidery hoop
  • Scissors
  • Cotton twine
  • Lace doily
  • Fabric Dye
  • zip top bag or mason jar
  • microwave
  • Adtech Hot glue Gun and glue sticks

dream catcher

Instructions for dream catcher:

Misc items such as beads, feathers and things you find in nature, ribbon, old fabric or things you find in your stash.

  1. Wrap the hoop with strips of fabric.  Secure the first piece with a small dollop of glue.  I chose to use a half hitch knot around the edges of mine.  Once you have wrapped the hoop, secure the end with more glue. (I used old pillow case for the strips) We dyed them before using them.
  2.  Take a long piece of twine  and tie it onto the edge of your hoop. Secure the knot with a little glue. Every  inch and a half on the hoop, wrap the twine over the hoop. Put the twine between the loop you’ve made and the hoop. This is called a hitch.
  3.  An inch and a half away make another hitch to the hoop, just like the one before.  This is the same hitch for your entire dream catcher.  Once you have gone completely around the hoop you will start on row two.  The next hitch is made at the midpoint of the first loop. Repeat and keep slightly to make a dream catcher
  4. If the beads you’d like to use fit onto your twine add them wherever you like in between hitches.
    add beads to dream catcher
  5. Continue around the web tying a hitch and pulling tighter on each row until you are down to a small center hole in your web. At the point you want to quit your web, tie a double half hitch knot over the middle of the next section in the web and pull tightly. Secure with a dot of glue. IMG_1320
  6. To make the dyed doily, mix fabric dye and water in a zip top bag.   Add the doily and let it soak for a few minutes.  Then take the doily out of the bag and place in another zip top bag and microwave for 30 seconds and then again for 30 seconds.  Watch carefully and have an adult supervise.  Remove from microwave and rinse thoroughly.  Allow to dry and glue to the center of the dream catcher.spray dye on yarn
  7.   I sprayed my dream catcher with different colors of fabric dye to create more depth.dyed doily dream catcher center
  8.  Embellish the center with buttons or other objects that you like.  I used a wood button and beads to form a turtle.  Turtles are peaceful and serene, how I want my dreams to be.found object dream catcher
  9.  To embellish the bottom tie ribbons, strings and other found objects.  Secure them with a little glue.

dream cater found objects

Attach a final loop to the top of your dream catcher so you can hang it above your bed.

Have sweet dreams!


365 days of crafts dream catcher

DIY Colorful dyed tights


Hand dyed tights are one of my daughters favorite fall accessories.  The more colorful the better.  If she can pair them with a tutu then she is even more excited.  Yes, I have a girly girl.  It is a good thing her mother is an artist and loves to play with dye.  Last year I purchase a ton of white clothes from the clearance rack at Target.  I think the most I paid for any one item was $2.49 and with prices like that I can afford to customize them to suit her taste.    If you want to see they other dyed pieces check out the category Hand DYED PROJECTSDyed Tights



Directions for colorful dyed tights:

Rinse white cotton tight.  Squeeze out excess water.


Place tights over a raised covered surface or in a stainless steel sink on a drying rack. Do not place them directly on the colored surface the colors will blend together.

Tights in the Sink


Use a squirt bottle or purchase dye that comes in a bottle.  Mix the dye according to manufacturers direction.  If you are using a dye that requires heat to work, you can microwave the mixture for faster results.   Allow they dye to dry according to directions.  Rinse at the tights one color at a time starting with the lightest color.  Rinse until the water comes clear and then wash.

I personally recommend that you wash them separately.  Do not wash them with whites.


DIY Kids Shoes with Tulip Brand

decorated shoes embellished shoes

DIY Kids shoes with Tulip Brand and a CASH giveaway at the bottom. 
decorated shoes embellished shoes

blank shoes


Instructions for DIY KIDS shoes:

Start with white canvas shoes.   Squirt on dye.

tulip brand tie dye on canvas shoes

tulip brand tie dyecove shoes completely and let them sit over night. Wash and allow shoes to dry before embellishing them.

diy beads in a bottle Add the beds in a bottle a little bit at a time.  You do not want to smudge the pearls of liquid bead.  Embellish the shoes to fit your fancy.

IMG_1513I decorated the back too.

For the Love of Cash has started and we want one of our readers to win.  Follow the directions below to enter in the giveaway.  Imagine all the craft supplies you could buy with the money.  You could redo your bedroom or maybe even redecorate your bathroom with all the craftiness.  I know what I would get if I won $500. I would purchase an area rug that I could stencil and place it in my dinning room and stencil some curtains to go with – but not in a matchy match type way.  If I had any green left over, I think I might pick up a couple of frames for family pictures too.  What would you do with the cash?
giveaway logo

Welcome to the $500 For The Love Of Cash Giveaway!

We’ve joined an amazing group of bloggers to bring you this great giveaway. One lucky person will win $500 cash.

Enter to win $500 cash via PayPal.

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.

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Ends at 11:59pm EST on February 23rd, 2014.

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Shibori scarf – hand dyed indigo scarf

hand dyed indigo shibori scarf


Hand dyed Shibori scarf

hand dyed indigo shibori scarf

This hand dyed shibori scarf is simple and easy to make.  You can either make a scarf with some jersey knit cotton or purchase a white scarf and dye it.  I purchased this scarf at Hobby Lobby about 5 months ago.  I would bet they still carry it.  You can either use a navy blue dye or purchase an Indigo Die kit.  If you want the authentic look I suggest the Indigo Dye kit.  It is a fun and messy process but the results are great.
hand dyed scarf

You can wear the scarf as a head scarf to keep your tresses under control.hand dyed shibori scarf shibori wrap

You can wear the scarf as a shawl to keep your shoulders warm.

Shibori Scarf logoYou can wear it the fashionable way and loop it around your neck to protect from drafts.

Instructions to make the shibori scarf:

  1. To make the scarf you will need to cut the fabric to 6 feet long.  Since it is not a thick material, I would make it 18 inches wide.
  2. Fold the material into thirds, and then fold into three inch sections.  Eventually you will have a 3×6 stack.  
  3. Tie the stack with string or use binder clips to clamp the fabric together.
  4. Soak in the dye according to manufactures directions.
  5. Wash, dry and enjoy.

So no mater what way you decide to wear your scarf, I hope you enjoy it.  A handmade and hand dyed scarf makes a great gift.  If you know the recipients favorite  color you could dye it that color.  When using dye, use care and caution.  If possible do it outside to avoid staining anything in your home and make sure you wear gloves.  It takes a few days to get rid of the dye on your fingers.  Trust me.

—->    a Rafflecopter giveaway   (CLOSED)This giveaway was coordinated by Giveaway Promote.

Gift packaging for food

food gifts

food giftsPretty gift packaging for food makes it taste even better.  Okay, not really but I like to pretend it does.  When you use scrapbooking paper and pre-made gift tags a boring container is instantly prettier.  Do you like to bake or make candies during during the holidays?  I know I sure do and I love to give them in reusable containers.

Directions for Gift Packaging:

I bought a dozen of these little round wooden $1 containers from Michael’s when they were  forty percent off.  I dipped them all in bright red dye from Tulip and let them dry.

doodlebig showflake tags


The next day I added paper to the lid, around the edges and to the top.  I used a tag punch to create the base for the tag.  I thought the tag could use a little more so I added another layer to it and trimmed it to size by hand. I then added the pre-made snowflake sticker and added a little ink around the edges of the lid and the tag.

Materials used for gift packaging:

homemade gift box


Rit Dye Back Pack for Preschooler

BackPack dyed with rit liquid dye - back to school

Rit Dye Back pack for preschooler –

Rit dye is a great way to transform a dull canvas back pack into an exciting adventure for your preschooler. What little kid would not like to have a fun backpack like this one?  My 3 year old calls her backpack her packpack and I think it is the cutest thing ever.  I am  her mom, so it is naturally the cutest thing to me.

brown rit dye

Wet the fabric before placing in the hot water and dye bath.  This will allow the dye to absorb into the fabric at a nice even rate and help prevent splotches.  But if you are going for the splotchy look then leave it dry.


Let the back pack soak in the mason jar filled with hot water and liquid Rit dye.  I soaked this piece for about 20-30 minutes.  If you leave it longer that is okay too.  The less time you leave it the lighter the color and also the warmer the water is the darker it will be.

dye fabric in a jar with rit liquid dye

Once the back pack is finished soaking in the dye bath. Remove it from the bath and rinse in cool water until the water runs clear. Wash and dry.

Once the piece is dry you can add your embellishments. I chose cute novelty buttons from Buttons Galore and More .  I adhered the buttons with my hot glue gun from Adtech.