What a crafty year!

Can’t believe 2015 is over so soon, and at the same time sooo looking forward to all the great things 2016 has in store! In bullet form, here are some of the personal highlights for me this year:

  • Started this blog! duhhhh!!
  • Moved to a new apartment and got to decorate it!
  • Bought an apartment, and got to renovate it! Phew… enough moving for one year!
  • Started planning our wedding for next year- stay tuned for details!

And here, at a glance, are all of the crafty projects I have posted about in the past year, as a quick reference if you are feeling crafty during these cold winter night:

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Toilet paper roll wall art

 

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Melted vinyl record bowls

 

bottle after

Beer bottle vase

 

bunting 2

Recycled pennant bunting

 

blur plate pic

Thrifted cake plate / cake stand

 

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Painting laminate furniture

 

succulents 3

Felt succulents

 

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Crisco candle

 

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Magazine paper trees

 

3 stockings

Felt stockings (ornament / gift card holder)

 

I hope you find some inspiration and give at least one of these projects a try! And here’s to a crafty, inspired, thrifty, and colorful 2016! 🙂

Handmade felt stocking ornaments / gift card holders

3 stockings

For holidays, I like to give gift cards. I’m terrible at buying gifts, so this is a good option that takes the pressure off. Since it is a small sized gift, I like to present it in a way that makes it feel more substantial and special, for those who deserve it of course (see my craftworthiness article to learn more).

This is a very affordable project, and you only need basic sewing skills. Here’s what you’ll need:
supplies

Felt: you can get this for $0.30 a sheet at Michaels, and my local dollar store has it for $0.25 a sheet, so a very inexpensive material. I had some felt at home already from a previous project (like my felt succulents), so I wanted to use it up.

Needle + Thread: I like to use embroidery floss to make the stitches stand out. I got a pack of 8 colors for $1 at dollar tree. If you only have regular thread you can double it up on your needle to get thicker stitches.

Ribbon: You don’t need a lot, again you can get cheap ribbon at the dollar store. I always keep ribbon I get with gift wrapping and re-use it.

stocking templateA template: I traced around a gift card on some cardstock, then shaped my stocking around it, leaving a bit of space around the sides for stitching. You also need a little rectangle piece to go at the top of the stocking, you can leave it plain or scalloped.

Decorations: you can use buttons, sequins, appliques, or anything else you can stitch on there! A few other ideas are little jingle bells, or metallic charms.

 

Let’s get started!

1) First, trace the template on a piece of felt, then cut it out. You will need two of the “sock” shape, and two of the rectangle shape.

parts

2) Now is the time to decorate the pieces. You can use basic embroidery, or add anything else you would like to make is special and personalized for the person you are making it for. Also add the ribbon at the corner of the stocking with a few stitches.

stockings halfway

3) Now sew around the sides and bottom of the stocking, connecting the 2 pieces together. Lastly, sew the rectangle parts to the stocking, and to each other around the sides.

finished stocking

Done! Now you can tuck in your gift card, or any other special treats, and you are finished! If you want more of a glitzy look that is not quite this rustic, you can sew or glue on some sequins or beads, or go crazy with glitter glue. I like both looks, so its up to you!

I hope you try this affordable and gift-able holiday craft, and leave a comment for any other projects you would like to see! ❤ Happy Holidays! 🙂

 

DIY Felt Succulents

So I think it has already been established that I cannot keep any type of plant alive.  However, I could not deny how cute succulents are (yes, I just referred to a plant as “cute”) so I had to find a work-around. At the same time, I had quite a bit of leftover felt from a previous project, so in my effort to smash my stash, I set out to make succulents out of felt!

First thing is selecting colors. I tried to stick to greens and neutrals, but had to work only with the colors I already had in my stash. If I could go out to buy some, I would pick up different shades of grey, light purples, dusty greens, but avoid browns and creams.

After looking at a few different tutorials online, I figured the most realistic way (but not the easiest or fastest!) would be to cut out individual ‘petal’ shapes and glue them together going from smallest to largest.

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Here is an example of the petal shape I was using, and also an idea of the size variation going from small to large. I also experimented with other petal shapes, using both pointy ones  ‘>’ and completely rounded ones ‘)’ . I found that this shape ‘}’ ends up looking the most realistic.

I stuck to around 25 petals for the large succulents, and about 20 for the small ones.

Starting out with the smallest petal, I glued it folded in half, kind of like a taco shape. Then I glued additional petals one at a time, wrapping around the center petal, keeping the glue only at the “base” of the flower, and staggering the petals so they don’t overlap.

Once I got a succulent-like shape, I added shading around the edges in a different color using eye shadow. Yes, you read that right. Felt doesn’t take on paint or ink very well, so I used eye shadow to brush on some dusty color on the edges to add depth and color. I tried to stick to neutral shades, and purples, and concentrated the color along the edges and tips of the petals.

succulents 1

Warning- these are pretty addictive to make, so plan to put aside enough time!

I added in spiky bits, and more “leafy” bits so that there is some variety, and tried to have a good variety of colors and sizes for more realism.

succulents 2

I ended up painting the bowl with some leftover paint, for a more modern and clean look for our entry way table.

succulents 3

I was originally thinking of gluing down the succulents to the bowl and adding some pebbles around, but I am having too much fun playing around with them and re-arranging them in the bowl, so not now, but might do that at a later time.

This project is also great with felt scraps, and would definitely work on a smaller scale- picture a single succulent “bloom” in a tiny terracotta pot, or even better, an ornate teacup!

Let me know what you think, and if you will try this project! 🙂