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! 🙂

Pieced Prototype Placemats

Colors, Fabrics & Materials

I’ve had a hankering to do some piecing and quilting lately, so prototypes it is! At this stage, I’ve been working on placemats made from two different sizes of squares.

Piecing Purple Blues Greens

The placemat colors are based on a rainbow, with each color moving diagonally across instead of the more static horizontal or vertical layout.

Piecing Purple Blues Greens Yellows Reds

After piecing the top on the first one (the photo above), I re-did some color selections for the second one.

Piecing2 Ready Purple Blues Greens Yellows Reds

Better! There are still improvements I could make, but it seems my stash is getting too low on the shades I’d need.

Even though I haven’t yet fully finished the placemats, I can tell that the math seems to work – the dimensions are suitable. That’s the most important part; colors I can always tweak ad infinitum. 🙂

Possible Presidential Wool Socks?

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials, Thumbs Up

My native Finland is voting for a president this coming Sunday. One of the most quirky newspaper articles leading to the election focused on the candidates’ favorite wool socks.

That’s right – their wool socks.

Helsingin Sanomat (HS), the largest national daily, asked all of the eight candidates to bring in their favorite pair of wool socks to be photographed (note: article in Finnish only). The socks were then arranged into a quiz for readers to try and match each candidate with their socks. And here they are:

Presidentinvaalien lempivillasukat 2018

Outi Pyhäranta / Helsingin Sanomat.

It’s telling that no-one refused to share their favorite socks. Like sauna or certain traditional foods, wool socks are a core part of the Finnish identity. Journalist Marko Junkkari writes that wool socks are a symbol of ordinary, everyday life, which is the image the candidates aspire to portray. If one candidate were to refuse sharing their favourite socks, they might come across too cocky and pompous.

On one hand, I was left wondering how serious the article was, but on the other I do appreciate that Junkkari thought to ask and the candidates all responded. It’s not that I really need to know what kind of socks each candidate is wearing. Rather, knowing that our presidential candidates do wear wool socks and took the request seriously is a nice reminder of our unifying humanity, especially in a small country that’s partially in the Arctic.

Another reason I loved the article is that I do love wool socks! Sock knitting is still very much a living tradition in Finland. In fact, one of the candidates told HS that her mother knitted her socks, and two more said their socks were made by supporters. Another of the three female candidates said she’s favoring a loaner pair.

Oh, Finland – never change! 🙂

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

Multicolor Coordinating Bag Tassel

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Fabrics & Materials

Do you ever make tassels? Back when I was playing with book bag prototypes, just on a whim I made a tassel for one of them:

Fuchsia Book Bag w Tassel Closeup

It’s attached to the top of the side seam, so it’s not really a bag charm.

Fuchsia Book Bag w Tassel

 

I made it with yarns that match the fabric colors, with fuchsia on the outside and pale yellow and two different greens on the inside.

I still like how the other shades peek through the hot pink. I’m just not sure how practical it is. Thoughts?

Discoveries: FUJITAMIHO Lace Accessories

Design & Designers, Fabrics & Materials, Stunt Double

Miho Fujita creates delicate jewelry and accessories out of crocheted lace under the label fujitamiho. If that sounds hopelessly old-fashioned, you’re in for a treat: the end result is about as far as you can get.

Fujitamiho Instagram Blues

Fujitamiho on Instragram.

The accessories are made to look like leaves, berries, clusters of mushrooms and other natural elements.

Fujitamiho Instagram Fern Earrings

Fujitamiho on Instragram.

Fujitamiho Instagram Young Bracken

Fujitamiho on Instragram.

The crochet is incredibly tiny and delicate, and the shapes are as marvellous as only a close attention to detail can produce. Some of the jewelry looks almost modern and minimalistic. The pale, natural colors certainly speak to my Nordic sensibilities. 🙂

Found via Colossal. If you read Japanese, you can browse her online shop.

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

A Magnificent Minecraft Quilt

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials, Stunt Double

Quilter by the nickname Knittette made this fabulous Minecraft blanket:

Knittette Quilting Board Minecraft Quilt

Knittette at Quilting Board.

Wow. Really impressive piecing, especially since not all the basic squares are the same size. The math to make the finished blocks match must’ve been intense. I also love how closely the blocks resemble Minecraft icons. Very well done indeed – thanks for sharing!

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

When Even the Waste Looks Good

Behind the Scenes, Colors, Fabrics & Materials

Recently I’ve worked on several small projects with colorful fabrics. One of the delights of working with bright colors is that even the littlest scraps look cheerful!

Colorful Clippings

It’s especially nice on grey days. This weekend’s forecast looks rainy; I’d better bring out my scraps bin again for more projects. 🙂