An Easy Way to Store Spool and Bobbin Together

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials, Thumbs Up

How do you store sewing threads and the corresponding bobbins? Petro at Easy Peasy Creative listed two solutions she found very helpful, and I really liked one of them: joining the spool and bobbin with a rubber band.

Easy Peasy Creative Petro Thread and Bobbin1

Petro Neagu at Easy Peasy Creative

Easy Peasy Creative Petro Thread and Bobbin2

Petro Neagu at Easy Peasy Creative

What an ingenious idea. I just love it when you take a regular old anything and use it to solve a new problem. I’ll have to do this!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Wardrobe Hack: Pants into Crop Wrap Top

Before & After, DIY, Fabrics & Materials, Inspiration

LOVE this idea by Tiffany Michey – turn a pair of pants into a short wrap top!

Tiffany Michey Pants into Crop Wrap Top Screencap

Tiffany Michey

Tiffany has the tutorial in a video (my image above is just a screencap, don’t try to play it). She also gives you a rough pattern:

Tiffany Michey Pants into Crop Wrap Top Schematic

Tiffany Michey

Reusing at its best, isn’t it? I really wish I had a pair of pants to try this with. Ohwell; the next time I visit a thrift store I’ll keep my eyes peeled. 🙂

Visit Paper Michey or YouTube for the how-to video.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Intricate Knitting Pattern Based on Pictish Artwork

Arts & Crafts, Design & Designers, Fabrics & Materials

Many people in my social bubble have turned to handcrafts during the covid-19 pandemic as a way to pass the time and provide comfort. I’ve seen such a wide spread of projects and patterns and inspiration as a consequence, and enjoyed every one. Here’s an example.

This intricate knitting pattern for a scarf by Lucy Hague is based on Pictish artwork. In Hague’s words, it “explores the relationship between key patterns and spirals – slowly morphing from one to the other, and then back again.”

Twitter Lucy Hague Kirriemuir

Lucy Hague at Twitter

Ravelry Lucy Hague Kirriemuir Closeup

Lucy Hague at Ravelry

Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous? The knitted surface can replicate curvilinear shapes well, and the purled background literally lifts up the pattern. Excellent design work!

The color is wonderful, too; it reminds me of the blues and greys in northern skies and waters. 🙂

Find the pattern at Ravelry.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

New to Me: Mermaid Skeleton Print Fabric

Design & Designers, Fabrics & Materials

I was looking for something quite different when this print fabric caught my eye: skeleton mermaids. (Skeletal mermaids? Mermaid skeletons? Mer-letons??)

JoAnn Novelty Mermaid Skeleton Print

I see one playing a panflute, another a harmonica, yet one more a guitar; some are wearing sombreros or crowns on their heads. What?!? LOL! 😀

Sadly, the vendor doesn’t describe it in any more detail than “novelty cotton”. I wonder whether it might be a Day of the Dead print? It’s fun, nevertheless.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Yarn Winter Wreath from Upcycled Materials

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Fabrics & Materials

Last year I tried my hand at making decorations out of upcycled materials (like the ribbon remnant ornaments I already blogged about). Here’s the quick and dirty how-to for a small wreath.

Yarn Wreath on Vase w Spruce Branches

For the wreath form, I cut out the plastic ring at the mouth of an instant oats tube. I used a sharp knife and went as close to the plastic without cutting into it as I could. Some bits of the cardboard did remain, but they were nicely covered by the fuzzy yarn.

Yarn Wreath Basic Materials

I covered the form with white wool-blend yarn unraveled from a sweater I wasn’t using, and also made three pompoms out of the same yarn for an accent. Finally, I made a bow for the top of the wreath out of a pale pink satin ribbon I’d saved from a gift box.

Yarn Wreath Collage

Granted, the wreath isn’t very big at all – the diameter is about 5″ / 13 cm. But for a whopping $0 it’s not too shabby, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

What crafting successes have you had with recycled materials?

Online Finds: 2x Felt Winter Wreath

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Fabrics & Materials

What lovely felt wreaths these are:

Country Hill Cottage Cyna DIY Felt Wreaths

Cyna at Country Hill Cottage

I really love both versions – they combine the different shades so thoughtfully. And Cyna even provides a file for a precision cutting machine AND a pdf template for hand-cutting, plus measurements both in inches and metric.

Tutorial by Cyna at Country Hill Cottage. Lovely job, and thank you for sharing!

Next week I think I’ll post about a small wreath with pompom accent I made last year. Time to dig it and the rest of our Christmas decorations out of storage! *<:)

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Faux Fireplace with Tablecloth “Tile” Surround

Fabrics & Materials, Inspiration, Stunt Double

I’m always on the lookout for unusual solutions to decorating problems. The fireplace below certainly applies: despite it’s traditional looks, the reality is very non-traditional.

DSponge Schroors Netherlands Fireplace Sm

It’s from the Drachten, Netherlands, home of Mindy and Theo Schroor. From their description (the mantel is “purely decorative”) it sounds like the fireplace is a faux one built around an electric stove. The tile surround is actually a tablecloth mounted to the wall.

I’ve seen clever faux fireplaces before. In this one, it’s the tablecloth surround that really makes the whole, however: the print displays copies of Dutch artists’ work and details from Delftware ceramics, repeated tile-style, as a lovely nod to the local history. The history nerd in me definitely appreciates the choice!

Found via design*sponge.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Ribbon Ornaments from Leftover Crafts Supplies

Arts & Crafts, Colors, DIY, Fabrics & Materials

I have a problem: as long as they are in good shape, I’m unable to throw away pieces of ribbon, however short. As long as there aren’t that many, though, they’re easy to store. But when you’ve been sitting on a stash for a while, suddenly (err– nope, not so suddenly, he hee) they’re EVERYWHERE.

This year has become the latter. So, I did some crafts! Ribbon ends that are too short for anything else, combined with other bits and bobs, make wonderful small ornaments. Since I had a variety ribbons etc. in various lenghts and amounts, I tried a few different types.

First, I adapted the ribbon hair bow tutorial by Camille Gabel at Growing up Gabel into bow decorations. For a test piece, I combined fuchsia, burgundy red, pale pink and white, plus a random peach-colored remnant.

Ribbon Ornament Test Piece Finished

That worked really nicely! I didn’t have enough of ribbons in more colors, though, so I cheated and added a few short pieces of fabric.

Ribbon Ornament Project More Colors Cut

Ribbon Ornaments Finished

The fabric edges do ravel, which might be a problem when hanging the ornaments on the tree or taking them off. I tried snipping the ravelled threads off as well as I could. We’ll just have to see how they fare long term.

I also tried making a tree-shaped ornament out of short green bits of ribbon and a stick (like this one made by Melissa Lennig). When I started, though, it was raining buckets and I didn’t at all feel like popping into the woods to pick up a stick and wait for it to dry. Instead, I decided to try a q-tip with one end snipped off. How bad can it be, I thought.

Mini Tree Ornament Collage

For the record, a q-tip is way too small for this project. It was too short and slippery and difficult to handle or try to tie the ribbons on. Phew! I only had the patience for one. The basic idea is neat, though, and works just fine, so I might make more with actual sticks at some point.

Mini Tree Ornament Finished

While rooting around in my cabinet for supplies, I came across a pile of ornaments I started some years ago but never finished. I filled clean silvery candy wrappers with rolled-up paper, glued them shut and added a hanging loop out of cotton yarn. Here they are almost finished:

Candy Wrapper Ornaments Assembled

Finally, I made a minimalist, tiny white-on-white wreath with a gold-embellished bow.

White Mini Wreath on Mirror

You’ll never guess what it’s made out of – used plastic packaging strapping! I glued two lengths into a circle, then glued the circles together and added a bow. The bow came pre-tied; I saved it from a store-bought gift packaging and merely added a gold-colored twist tie at the back.

White Mini Wreath Collage

White Mini Wreath Finished

It was really satisfying to take a bunch of waste material or remnants and turn them into something useful. In fact, we used them all in our Christmas decor this year: the mini wreath hangs on the front hall mirror and all of the ornaments in our little tree.

2018 Rainbow Tree Collage

With the rainbow-colored paper chains I made years ago, our tree is very colorful indeed!

What are your favorite Christmas projects that involve recycling or upcycling?

Paper Rose Wreath Made from Recycled Book Pages

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials

Brittany Bailey shared a paper rose wreath made from recycled book pages:

Pretty Handy Girl Brittany Bailey Book Page Rose

Brittany Bailey.

Pretty Handy Girl Brittany Bailey Book Page Rose Wreath

Brittany Bailey.

So beautiful, right?

As a booklover and librarian, I’m protective of books in good shape. But as a maker, if a book is beyond saving, I’m glad to see it continue its life as crafts materials. Brittany’s project definitely brings together the best of both worlds. Thank you for sharing!

Visit Pretty Handy Girl for the tutorial.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Pieced Prototype Placemats: Progress on Quilting

Colors, Fabrics & Materials

I’m slowly chipping away at the small piecing / quilting prototypes that I started in February.

Piecing1 WiP Half Quilted Top View

My goal is to find a good-looking, neat, satisfying and fast way to machine quilt this kind of a pieced surface. I’ve figured it out halfway: I’ll sew diagonally across the small squares to create diamonds at 45-degree angle to the edge.

Half the battle is done! 🙂