Tag Archives: crafts

halloween-costume

Halloween Costumes: 15 Ideas You can DIY This Year

Fall is here, which means that it’s time to start thinking about Halloween! One of the best parts about Halloween is coming up with the perfect costume, but sometimes actually shopping for costumes can be exhausting and frustrating.

To make your costume hunting easier, we’ve rounded up an awesome selection of easy Halloween costumes that you can DIY (some in minutes!).  Whether you’re going as an individual, one half of a couples’ costume, or as the member of a group, you can find the perfect costume for your Halloween celebrations! Continue reading

Finished Spoon Rose

How to Creatively Repurpose Plastic Spoons: The Spoon Rose

Everyone has left the party and you’re left with the plastic cutlery. But before you haul out the trash can, check out this simple and bloomingly beautiful DIY project.

Plastic Spoon Flower

Make this budding flower entirely out of plastic spoons.

As I was browsing Pinterest today, a white flower caught my eye. It looked a little like some decorative ceramic flowers I’ve seen at different shops around town. Intrigued, I clicked on the photo, which led me to this blog, where I realized that – gasp! –  it was crafted entirely out of plastic spoons.

Now, before I jump into the how-to portion of this blog, I have to admit that my first attempt at this project (the lovely specimen to the right) does look like it was obviously constructed out of plastic spoons. However, after my first go at this, I’m absolutely convinced that I could quickly learn the art of beautifully bending those tiny spoon petals to make a more realistic-looking bloom.

This is a super simple craft that only requires a couple of supplies, almost all of which you probably have at home. I tweaked the tutorial a bit from the original blog and made a few changes as I went just to make the process a bit simpler for myself. Here’s how I did it:

The supplies you'll need to make a spoon rose

Step One: Gather Your Supplies. You could also use needle-nose pliers to hold the spoon over the flame.

1. Gather Your Supplies: For this project, you just need 17 plastic spoons (you may want a couple of extras in case you mess any up), a candle, scissors and a glue gun with just one glue stick.

Step 2 for Making a Plastic Spoon Rose

Step 2: You may want to cut your spoons even shorter than this, as it might make them easier to attach at the end.

Step 3: How to Make a Plastic Spoon Rose

Cut 10 large spoons, 5 medium and 2 small.

Step 2: Cut three sizes of spoons – 10 of the largest kind, 5 of the medium and 2 of the smallest. You can use the scissors to try and cut the spoons, but I found that it was easier in the end to just break them to the approximate size I wanted.

Step 3 How to Make a Plastic Spoon Rose

You can move the spoon over the flame to try and get the shape you want.

Step 3: Hold each of the spoons over the flame, keeping in mind which part of the flower you’ll be creating with each size of spoon. The longest will create the bottom layer, the middle size will go in the middle and the tiniest two will be the central petals of your rose. During this step, you can use your fingers to shape the petals while they’re still a little hot. You may want to do the melting portion of this project outside to avoid the smell.

Step 4: How to Make a Plastic Spoon Rose

Step 4: Melt the remaining ends of the handle one by one and join them together.

Step 4: This was a tiny bit tricky at first, but it ended up turning out well. Melt the remaining ends of the handles one by one and join them together in a circle. You’ll want to start with the longest spoons, creating a circle, as seen above. Then, melt the ends of your medium spoons and add them to the top and do the same with the smaller ones. You have some freedom here to place petals wherever you want them. Hold them in place for a few seconds to give the plastic time to harden.

How to Make a Plastic Spoon Rose

Step 5: How to Make a Plastic Spoon Rose

Step 5: Using your glue gun at the end adds extra hold for the petals.

Step 5: Add a circle of hot glue beneath the petals. This just helps fortify the melted plastic bonds of the spoon. My flower felt a little fragile until I reinforced it with the glue.

Finished Plastic Spoon Rose

And voila! Now you have a cute plastic spoon rose, and you can let your imagination run wild thinking up where you want to use it in your house. I think I’ll make three and place them in the center of my table as a fun centerpiece. You can also used colored spoons or spray paint your finished product to give it a little more pop!

IMG_7024-600x400_featured

How to Make a Pine Cone Bird Feeder (It’s Messy, but Fun for Kids!)

Blogger and mom Jenny Yarbrough outlines the easy steps for kids to make a natural bird feeder. A little mess, but it provides a fun outdoor project and a treat birds love.

We live in a city, but somehow we managed to end up with a house that has a little bit of a wooded area behind it. We see all sorts of woodland creatures scampering around: baby bunnies, squirrels, and even foxes, but the birds outnumber them all! There are so many birds!

My children and I decided that we wanted to create some natural bird feeders for them, so we went on a pine cone hunt to the end of our street where a huge (I mean HUGE) pine tree resides. We gathered a few large pine cones and headed home.

No mess so far, you may be thinking. Don’t be fooled. We are about to introduce peanut butter into this project. But first the string needs to be tied to the pine cone.

The second step is to spread peanut butter all over the pine cone, trying to get it in the nooks and crannies too.

The third step is to roll the peanut butter pine cone in bird seed. We poured a bunch into a big bowl. Then my youngest son poured a bunch of bird seed onto the porch. More messiness.

The result is a great little snack for the birds in your neighborhood. The birds are able to land right on the pine cone and eat to their little heart’s content. We hung one in our Japanese maple and it was bared within 48 hours!

Have fun with this project, get messy! Let your kids help… this is something that they can do all by themselves. Then sit back and watch the birds come!

This photo was taken last fall. If you look closely you can see the bird snacking away.

Could You Make a Mystery Quilt?

Could You Make a Mystery Quilt?

McCall's Quilting magazine March/April 2012While some love unplanned adventures, blogger Summer Huggins prefers to have a map. Here, she has to decide whether or not to take McCall’s Quilting mystery quilt challenge. 

I just started quilting last year. I make a ritual of reading the instructions for each quilt from the very first word to the very last–sometimes more than once–before even reaching for a single piece of fabric. I’m still a beginner, after all.

However, now I’m going to have to change my routine because McCall’s Quilting magazine is trying to challenge that ritual.

Starting with their January/February issue and lasting for three full issues, they’re helping quilters create a mystery quilt–a quilt readers begin without yet having the full instructions. My hands almost sweat just thinking about it.

Still, I’m trying to learn the lessons the McCall’s staff is sharing with me, like enjoying every step of the process and taking care when choosing my fabrics.

Step one in the January/February issue was doing just that. The magazine offered tips and tricks for choosing fabrics that work well together and complement each other nicely. We even got to see the fabrics they had chosen as inspiration–they’ve been quilting along with readers, of course! They then outlined the fabric requirements for each of the four fabric choices for the mystery quilt, and readers started cutting their own fabric selections into squares.

Cutting squares without even knowing where I’m going with all these pieces? I still can’t decide if I can do it. My hands definitely sweating now.

Step two in the March/April issue had quilters begin to put the squares from step one together and add some other pieces. Step three–the final installment of the mystery quilt series–will come out in the June/July issue.

Several groups on Facebook and other online forums feature quilters showing off what they’ve done so far. I even saw two sisters who live across the country from each other and are each going to make the mystery quilt and then swap them as gifts for each other. It’s a sweet way to do a project together with so many miles between them.

Imagine getting into your car and just driving, not knowing where the road or your car would take you. It could be an exciting prospect for some. For others, like me, not having a full plan, destination and map in hand can be a little nerve-wracking. I just can’t decide. Should I drive ahead at full speed and start my mystery quilt?

How to Make Parents Magazine's Stuck on You Valentine

How to Make Parents Magazine’s Stuck on You Valentine

Now that the holidays are over and we’re well into 2012, it’s time to think about Valentine’s Day!  I hope you’re not crafted out from the gift-giving season because this little guy is pretty hard to resist.

Maybe you’ve never made a craft before and you’ve resolved that you will try to be crafty in 2012. This is the perfect thing to start with. It’s an easy paper craft from Parents magazine–the Stuck On You Valentine.

Here’s what you’ll need* to make this Toad-ally adorable (their words, not mine) card:

* The heart paper puncher in the photo does three different punches with one tool. A single solid heart hole punch is what you need for this craft.

Step One: Take one piece of paper and fold it in half. Then fold it in half again (as if you were making a paper snowflake). Draw a half heart at the folded corner, making sure the top and the inside edge of the heart are on the top and side folds.

Step Two: Punch out six hearts with your paper puncher and set them aside.

Step Three: Cut four legs like the ones in the photo. The straight legs should be 4 inches long, and the angled legs are about 5 inches long. I eyeballed the measurements but used a ruler to make the lines straight. Glue the heart to the legs, using two for each angled leg.

Step Four: Use glue to attach the legs to the bottom side of the heart (body) and allow the glue to dry.

Step Five: Create the frog’s eyes by cutting two sets of ovals from different papers–one set smaller than the other–and gluing them together. Draw the pupils with the black marker. Allow to dry and fold the bottom edge toward the back of the eyes.

Step Six: Use the spoon to create a long and skinny tongue for your frog.

Step Seven: Finish your frog by gluing the tongue to the inside of the mouth and the eyes to the top of the heart. Then you can write a message inside the mouth! Maybe something like: “You’re a catch!” or “Will you toad-ally be mine?” Have fun with it! It’s a great one to make with your kids for their friends.
Stuck On You Valentine
Handmade-Card-1-25

How to Create Handmade Cards in Minutes

Paper Creations magazine winter

Paper Creations magazine

Who doesn’t love receiving a handmade card? But then again, who really has hours to make them? Here are five tips for making cards in a flash.

Once I started making handmade cards, it became an addiction. I was so dedicated to sending handmade cards that when I ran out, I would put off sending a card until the occasion had passed–just to avoid the store-bought variety.

Clearly this was defeating the point of reaching out and showing someone they were loved. I recently came across a box of blank cards that were given to me as a gift years ago. I’ve started using those when I’m out of my handmade favorites. However, I still enjoy sending the homemade ones, so I devised a five-tip strategy for stocking my card box so I can get my handmade cards created in a timely fashion.

1. The interchangeable card: Often we get hung up on not having a card with the right sentiment. We stamp a few birthday cards, a few sympathy and a few thank yous. But what if you have five birthdays in a row and no need to send a thank you? You can make the most of that stamping time by making a handful of identical cards and leaving a block of space for a sentiment. Then, measure to fit several squares to fill that space and stamp multiple, various sentiments. That way you can just grab the sentiment you need and glue it to the card.

2. Poach your magazines for ideas: We often sit and stare at our workspace waiting for a muse to shake us into inspiration. Don’t hesitate to pull out your craft magazines and start copying what you see. This isn’t cheating–I promise. There is little chance you will exactly duplicate what you see anyway. Paper Creations magazine is a great place to go for just this type of jump-start, as all their samples provide a helpful guide.

3. Upcycle everything: There’s no reason you can’t cut and paste the front of that hilarious birthday card and either decorate it or send it right on. Don’t let a lack of fancy paper keep you from making your own card. Take a page from your magazine and create a humorous collage on the front. You really can make an amazing card from very little.

4. Don’t rule out digital: If you haven’t begun exploring the realm of digital paper crafting, you’re in for a treat. Many great programs and resources allow you to create a digital card and then have multiple copies printed by a professional printer or at your own at home. You can also use this method for creating hybrid cards that are half digital, half handmade.

5. The assembly line is king: When I’m really in need of filling my card box, I usually try to create one general card that I can use as a template and then measure all the elements on that card. Next, I cut all the paper for the card, do any stamping and treat the process like an assembly line. I fully complete each element and save assembly for the end. This also lets you include children in the process because you can delegate a job that suits them.

Most of all, remember that sending a card is about showing someone they are loved. Getting the card in the mail–no matter what it looks like or where it came from–is essential to communicating that love.