December 5 Upcycle A Sweater to Mittens
It’s finally cooled off here in Phoenix, which meant I can cozy up in sweaters and knit hats! I realized I needed a pair of gloves the other night while I was walking the dog; since I won’t need them too often I wanted something really stylish and fun. I decided this would be the perfect diy project, so I grabbed some old sweaters and turned them into a cute pair of mittens! And in just a few simple steps, with a handful of supplies, you can make your own.
-Needle & embroidery thread
-Permanent marker, pen or pencil
- Using a pen or pencil, trace around your hand in a mitten shape or use a mitten template on a piece of paper. Allow a little excess room around your mitten shape or template. You can always cut down the size later.
- Cut out the shape from your paper.
- Lay your sweater on a smooth surface than lay your shape on top of the sweater. Using a permanent marker, trace that shape twice onto sweater, flipping the stencil for your second shape.
- Slowly cut through both sides of the sweater around the shapes you have made using scissors. You will have 4 pieces when you are done.
- Discard scrap material, then lay the 4 mitten shapes on top of each other and trim the uneven edges. Feel free to cut the size closer to your hand shape at this point if needed.
- With your new mitten shapes, invert your pieces as a pair so that you are now viewing the inside of your material that you have cut.
- Take a piece of embroidery thread at desired length and thread your needle. If you are not comfortable with sewing you can use pins to hold both sides together as you sew around the edges.
- Begin sewing pieces together. To make first stitch, thread needle and thread through material and tie a knot at end of thread to material to secure in place. Then continue hand stitching around the edge of the mitten, keeping in mind to stitch closely along that edge.
- When you have finished sewing, cut the thread off of needle and then tie another knot to secure. If you have run out of thread before finishing simply repeat step 8.
- Turn material shape right side out for finished mitten.
- Repeat 6-10 to complete the pair.
You can be finished here, or continue with the creativity! Sew on a button to the edge, or embroider an initial to one side of the mitten before sewing together. These are a great white elephant or stocking stuffer idea for the approaching holiday season.
Sept 12 DIY Notebooks and Pens
School is back in session and taking notes couldn’t be more fun with these adorable and simple handmade notebooks. Even if you are not in school, you can never have too many notebooks, can you? These are perfect for keeping organized jotting down plans, even journalling.
Notebooks (a size of your choice)
Patterned scrapbook paper
- Using a pen, trace the outside of notebook onto the back side of scrapbook paper.
- Using scissors, cut that shape out.
- Using a paint brush, cover the back side of paper and front cover of notebook with a generous layer of modpodge. Lay paper on surface and press firmly down to smooth out any bubbles. Fold the spare section of paper to the inside or trim it off with scissors.
- Repeat on the back side of notebook if desired.
- Using stickers, washi tape, rhinestones or other small pieces of scrapbook paper to embellish the cover, or leave it plain.
- To make a pocket on the outside or inside of cover, cut a square shape to fit on the cover. Using mod podge, paint along back sides and bottom edge of back side of paper. Flip over and attach, sealing to cover. Again press firmly to smooth out paper, Remember to leave the top unglued so it can be a pocket!
- Ready to take some notes? Keep reading to see how to make some cute pens to match!
Pom Pom Yarn Embellished Pens
Yarn or embroidery thread
Large Pom Poms
Hot glue gun
- Take your pen and remove cap or clip.
- Take embroidery thread or yarn, and tie a knot near the head of pen.
- Using your paint brush, apply a small amount of mod podge about a third of the way up the pen. Steadily and slowly wrap the embroidery thread or yarn so that each wrap meets the previous wrap around body of pen. You can use the embroidery thread or yarn as far up the pen as you’d like.
- When you’ve reached desired stopping point, cut the thread and seal it with a dab of mod podge.
- Turn on your hot glue gun.
- Cover remaining portion of pen in a light layer of mod podge.
- Cut or unravel a long piece of twine and put a dot of hot glue at the base of twine where it meets the thread or yarn. Press that down for a moment so it settles in place. Use the same wrapping technique in step 3, going slowly and pulling tightly until pen is covered. Hold your stopping point so twine doesn’t unravel and trim remaining twine.
- Add another dab or two of hot glue to pen and secure that twine down. Add another dab of hot glue to base if it is still not secure.
- Add one final dollop of hot glue to the end of pen and place a pom pom on top. press down firmly so it will attach.
- Let dry completely and your pens are ready for use!
July 29 Ribbon Lace Up Tank
After looking for a way to add a little flair to my everyday summer tanks and tees, I decided to do a lace up accent with ribbon. Even though the steps to this diy are a bit tedious, its an extremely simple project that turned out very cute.
tank or tee
chalk or pen
- Measure length of shirt from under the armpit to hem. Mine was 14″ or 35.5 cm.
2. Multiply the measurement by 4 and cut two pieces of ribbon with scissors that length. Mine was 56″ or 124.24 cm.
3. Fold ribbon in half so ends are equal. You may want to secure ends with a small piece of tape to avoid fraying like in the photo below.
4. For my pattern, I used chalk to mark an inch vertically down the shirt and a half inch horizontally. An inch horizontally would have been fine as well. Use the crease of the hem connecting front and back of shirt as a center point. You could also use a pen, depending on the color of the shirt.
5. Cut or poke holes on marked locations made with chalk or pen. I made 5 criss crosses, so I had 22 holes. There were 4 holes per 1 cross, so 20 of them were used in 5 crosses. The last 2 holes were so I could tie the ribbon up at the bottom hem of shirt.
6. Take ribbon and insert through top two holes from inside to outside. Then cross ribbon to make an ‘x’ pulling ribbon through holes securely making sure it is not too twisted on the back side.
7. You should stop after each cross to make sure ribbon is even on each side before continuing. Continue crossing ribbon threading through holes until you reach the bottom hem.
8. At this point you will knot end of ribbon or tie a bow, adding a little hot glue to secure in place.
9. Trim remaining ribbon.
10. Repeat on opposite side.
*Also note that you may cross the ribbon again from the inside to outside as you thread, or leave it plain. Remember not to pull too tightly or the shirt will start to gather.
This can also be done on the sleeve of a shirt or sweater.
And/or continue to spice up the shirt by sewing on sequins or beads to the front of the top with needle and thread.
June 6 Holly Golightly Sleep Mask DIY
I recently got a new comforter and have no shame in admitting all I want to do is sleep in and have breakfast in bed. This month’s diy was inspired by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, honestly I’ve always wanted one, and it turned out so nicely. This is just a one day craft that requires a little patience and will add instant glamour to your morning/evening routine!
light blue felt or fabric
sequin trim ribbon mine was 18″
1/4″ wide gold ribbon
gold glitter glue
- Using sharp scissors, cut the straps off of the eye mask. Then, lay it on the blue felt or fabric (I used felt) and draw around the mask with pen leaving an inch of space to glue over the back edge. Cut out the shape.
- Next, to make an eyelid, cut a small semi circle out of blue felt. To make the eyelashes, cut small slits on an inch long piece of black felt. Do not cut all the way through, leave a small section at the top solid.
- Using the glue gun, slowly hot glue the blue felt to eye mask. Go slowly and in small sections so pieces are secure and felt is tightly placed in addition to avoiding air pockets. Leave a small opening at edges large enough for ribbon to be glued in later. Fold over extra felt and hot glue to back of mask.
- Measure gold ribbon that will be long enough to tie around your head. Cut that in half so you have 2 pieces to be hot glued on each side of mask. Carefully trim any extra felt off those edges.
- Place sequin trim around edge of mask. When trim has covered edge, cut the length out and slowly hot glue it in place.
- Glue eyelash shape to eyelids. I put the black felt under because I thought it looked cleaner, but you can put it over top of the eyelid if you would like. Measure length from left to right to determine where to place eyelids so they are even. I placed each eyelid an inch inward from outer edges.
- Use the gold glitter glue to make eyebrows and let dry.
**You can also make the eye mask yourself using cardstock paper, batting and fabric. Measure distance between your temples for width of mask and use that line to draw a kidney bean shape of an eye mask. Cut out the shape and then use that shape to cut out batting and fabric. Pin pieces together and sew, still leaving small openings at each side for ribbon strap. Then continue steps 2-7.
May 8 Custom Photo Memory Game
With summer around the corner, I have been looking for card and board games for those sunny (and hot) afternoons when I’ll have a bit of free time to fill up. After sifting through some photos, I thought it would be cute to make a memory game using my own photos. With just a few materials, you can make your own as well!
-Card stock scrapbook paper
-20 wallet size matte finish photos
-liquid glue or mod podge
- Select 20 photos that you would like to use. When ordering wallet sizes, they usually come with at least 2, but if not, be sure to order or print 2 of each photo to make a pair.
- Lay scrapbook paper pattern side down and arrange photos. Using a heavier paper will create some weight that will make the cards sturdier. Leave a small bit of space between photos to cut later. Use more space if you are not comfortable with cutting close to images.
- Generously apply glue or mod podge to back of photos using a paintbrush to get along the edges and corners.
- Allow time to dry completely. To ensure cards will lie flat, place them under a heavy object, like a book. For greater durability and protection, add a layer of mod podge to the photo surface.
- When dry, use scissors to cut along edge of photos. I cut the paper in strips and then cut the photo pair into cards. Trim any uneven edges and your game is ready to play!
To play, mix all the cards together and lay them face down. Then each player takes turns flipping over 2 cards at a time. Players want to find the match of the first card flipped over. If 2 cards are not a match, then they are both flipped back over. If they are a match, player collects the pair and takes another turn. When all the cards have been collected by players, the player with the most matches wins.
*This game has a lot of pieces, but can easily be stored in a small makeup bag or box. Be even more creative with this diy by adding stickers or painting the back of cards. You can also make a matching box by adding the paper used on the card pieces to the top of box lid and using same stickers, paint colors, etc. Happy crafting!
March 8 Sugar scrubs
Sugar scrubs are a natural way to soften and freshen up skin. Its fine texture gently exfoliates the skin without leaving a harmful residue that can clog pores, making it ideal for use in natural beauty regimen. It can be used as a face, body, hand and foot scrub. What I love about this diy is that it only calls for a handful of ingredients and is completely customizable.
The basic formula for creating a sugar scrub is 1/4 c coconut oil and 1 1/2 c granulated sugar. Then add whatever scents you like! Its is not limited at all, so any essential oils, fruit or florals you’d like to use go for it. I substituted brown sugar for white sugar in the recipe I created below.
BANANA RASPBERRY COCONUT BROWN SUGAR SCRUB
1 ripened banana
1/4 c coconut oil
1 1/2 brown sugar
1/2 tsp raspberry extract
Scoop coconut oil into a bowl and melt in microwave at 1 minute. Mix melted coconut oil with brown sugar and raspberry extract. If there is excess coconut oil add more sugar until mixed evenly. Using a fork, smash peeled banana over top, mixing chunks in gently. Make sure banana pieces are broken up well, but don’t over mash or scrub will be too thin. When at a good consistency, place into a jar with airtight lid.
Use 1-3 times/week on wet skin and avoid eye area when using. The coconut oil will leave a slick residue in bathtub, so be sure to wipe surface down after use. Scrub should last about 10-14 days.
January 17 Citrus Pouches
I made these sweet little pouches for protecting sunglasses when they’re just thrown into a bag or keeping makeup together. I wanted something fun that would also organize my bags better. It’s fairly easy assembly and has really cute and functional impact!
What you need is felt, a pen, scissors and a hot glue gun.
You can use various colors of felt- orange(oranges), yellow(lemon), green(lime) and white for the inside, or pink against yellow if you want it to resemble a grapefruit.
Using a large circular object (I used a plate) trace and cut out circle. Then cut triangles out of the white and pink felt. For better shape, make the base of the triangle a curve so it follows the outside line of the circle shape. You will need approximately 4 triangle per side.
Fold the circle in half so opposite ends meet up, and you can either use a dot of hot glue in the middle and leave a small pouch opening on one end to slip in lipgloss or mascara, or glue on a snap button and leave sides open to place small items like sunglasses or keys.
Then lay out the triangles and glue down. Once the glue is dried, they are ready to use!
January 12, 2017 Fruity gift boxes
About now I’m sure many of us are craving a warm, sunny day. Even out in Arizona its been crisp and has me thinking about sweltering weekends, grabbing brunch at the farmers market. One of my favorite things to do is browse through all the fresh fruit, and that’s what inspired my next series of DIY projects.
To start, I have some friends and family birthdays coming up and I thought it would be fun to make some gift wrap and boxes myself. The first is the simple strawberry box. What you’ll need is a box in desired size, red acrylic paint, a paintbrush, sharpie, green paper or foam, scissors and glue.
So the first step is to paint the box and lid with 2 or 3 coats of red paint and let dry. Once its dried, draw small teardrop shapes around box with sharpie to create a seed pattern. Then take green paper or foam and cut a leaf shape, or individual leaves if you’d prefer, and glue it to the lid. You can also make a stem with a small rectangle shape about an inch or two long. This turned out so adorable, I’m going to make a few to keep around my kitchen!
I also made some pineapple bags that turned out super cute as well.
What you need are brown paper bags, green and yellow acrylic paint, paintbrushes, scissors, a marker and yarn in a color of your choice.
Paint a coat of green and yellow on the bag, with the yellow taking slightly more space than the green. Once its dried, draw diagonal lines on yellow portion to add detail. The cut green portions vertically into strips about an inch wide to the start of yellow paint. When ready, insert gift into bag and then tie with yarn. That’s it!
Pineapple DIY idea courtesy of The House Lars Built.
December 22 Gold painted star shaped bowls
I have one more quick gold painted DIY! I had found these bowls at a thrift store over the summer and I’d forgotten about them until the other day, but thought they would be cute jewelry dishes. I painted the base and rim in gold and then the inner and outer sides with a brighter shade of white. (These are also a pretty gift idea!)
December 16 Gold Brushstroke Shoes & Sunglasses
This is a pretty simple DIY, but they make for big statement and easy gifts if you are looking for a quick gift idea with the holiday right around the corner.
For the shoes, you’ll need shoes with a sole, gold acrylic paint, (or any color of your choice) a paintbrush and mod podge.
If you aren’t comfortable with paint, then you might want to line where the shoe and sole meet with tape to avoid splatter or smudging. Just apply paint to sole and let dry. Apply a second coat for stronger color and coating, then seal with mod podge.
For the sunglasses you will need a pair of sunglasses, acrylic paint or paint pen, washi tape, mod podge(not pictured) and glitter(optional)
Use washi tape to seal where you want paint to stop. You also might want to tape off the lenses. It will help to avoid extra work. As you can see in the one photo, I did not and had to scrap off excess. Then I nicked the paint on the rim and had to repaint. ugh. Once paint is applied you can simply finish with mod podge or you can mix glitter into it and have that little dose of sparkle.
Like I said, its pretty simple and straightforward, but it makes for a unique piece that is truly one of a kind, and you can never go wrong with that!
December 2, 2016 Felt Heart Cactus Keychain
This year I moved to Arizona, and while I was working on a scrapbook, I made these little cacti out of a heart template. It turned out so cute, that with Christmas coming up I thought I’d make them into keychains for my siblings as a part of their gifts!
For this craft you’ll need:
-needle & embroidery thread
-Strong glue or glue gun
-small artificial flowers
The first step is to cut out a heart shape from felt. You will also want to cut small strips to attach keychains. I eyeballed it, but about an inch long should be sufficient.
Then using strong glue or glue gun, add a small drop to strips to create a loop. Put the loop in the dip of heart before gluing 2 pieces of hearts together.
**You don’t necessarily need to glue the hearts together, I just wanted the extra support. I found using a glue gun easier, but have the glue closer to the inside of the heart than the outer sides because putting the glue on the outside made it difficult to thread needle through.
Next you’ll thread a larger needle with the embroidery thread. Be generous with length and double knot the ends. This was just a simple under over stitch that continues along the rim of the heart.
Once finished with the outer threading, use smaller pieces of thread and make small x’s or v’s on the body of heart to act as the prickles of a cactus. I found that less was more in this instance. The first one I made I tried to put 6 prickles and it looked a hot mess. (Its in the first photo) But the light green cactus below has only 3 and looks really good.
Gently attach a keyring like so.
The final step is to add a flower blossom. Pull the flower head off the stem and there will be a small piece of plastic that can be covered in hot glue and then inserted in a small gap between stitches.
And there you have it, what do you think? Feel free to share thoughts in comments!
October 6, 2016 Fashion Monster Sweater
Halloween is my favorite holiday and I am so excited that its creeping up on us! This DIY is pretty quick (I don’t have a lot of patience for huge time consuming projects, but I’m trying to be better, do it yourself is always worth it!) I found this fuzzy sweater at a thrift store and thought it could be really cute with a monster face. As I was putting the eyes on, I thought I’d add some extra details like the lips and eyelashes to make it a girl monster. All the face pieces are cut from felt and glued on. (I really need to get my sewing machine out of storage!) I added rhinestones to the pupil for extra detail. I’m so happy it all came together so well!
Wishing you all the spookiest of fright night!
September 8, 2016 Quick DIY: glitter camera strap
Is anyone else bored to tears by the lack of colors and prints camera straps come in? I know one can never go wrong with black, but when I’m out and about with my camera around my neck I want it to double as an accessory. So I gathered up some supplies for this easy 10 minute craft.
-ribbon the fits width of strap or can go down the middle with equal spacing on both sides
So the super easy way to do this is just take an equal width ribbon to the camera strap, cut ribbon and glue it down.
Another way to do this is use a smaller width of ribbon and measure it so it has equal spacing on both sides of ribbon to the camera strap. Then if you have a patterned strap like I had, it can compliment the ribbon.
A sturdier way to attach the ribbon is to sew it down, but I haven’t had a problem with the E6000 so far. Once I had glued it down, I just added drops where pockets popped up or the glue didn’t attach well.
I love how this turned out with the full width covered in glittery ribbon and I get compliments all the time!