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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Recyled mittens

 This is a pair of mittens that we have made from a wool sweater. The sweater had a lot of detail work on including french knots.  You will want to wash this sweater before you begin the cutting. Depending on what you are doing with the sweater, it wouldn't matter if it was mostly wool or not, but I would suggest when making mittens, that you do use a sweater that is made of wool. The mittens will be warmer.
 I forgot to take a picture of the sweater before I began my cutting.  Sorry, sometimes I just get so excited with what I am doing!  So here you can see the sweater after I did some cutting.
 The pattern is a free down load from www.hobbyfarms.com, they have two sizes.  I do think once you got the concept down you could make them any size you like. You will want to have the bottom of the mitten pattern against the edge of the sweater.  This way you mitten will have a finished edge when you are done with your sewing.
 You could open the sleeve and try and get a pair out of there too.  I wasn't sure how pressing that sleeve would work out, so I didn't give it a try.
 I opted to have the inside part of the mitten a different color, I'm glad I did.  I think it adds some interest, plus stretches the pretty sweater farther. I can only see one pin- but you will want to sew from pin to pin.  These directions are included in the patterns. Once you have sewn this part together, you will want to put the back and front together, and sew them.
 Start at the bottom edge, to begin your sewing. You are going to need to sew up to where the thumb part is and then stop sewing. Flip the thumb and finishing sewing the mitten.
 So here we are sewing up to the thumb joint.
 Flip the thumb and finishing sewing to the bottom edge.
 It should look something like this.
And when it's turned right side out, you've got yourself a really warm mitten.  When cutting out your mittens, I found it very helpful to use the color pattern pieces.  When the red was up, I got the one mitten, (left)  color down the other side (right)  Hope you have as much fun as I did.

Monday, December 30, 2013

More recycle-this time a sweater

 If you haven't seen this before, you are going to want to do this, we've added a little something extra that we did as well.  Many times, when people talk about recycling sweaters, they are looking for wool only. This was a cotton sweater, with a beautiful cable stitch design to it.
 So here is our sweater, after it is washed. This was a ladies size large, and we used a 18" pillow form for what we did. You can change this how ever you like, and whatever size sweater that you want to use.
 I checked to make sure the pillow form fit in the sweater, before I started to cut anything.  Now you will want to make the sweater square, we are using a square form.  Feel free to make it whatever shape you like, circular-rectangular, you get the idea.  We measured up from where the side seam and the sleeve meet, keeping this measurement the same on both sides.  Using a marker you can see, mark the sweater, so you will know where to cut.
 Once it was cut we zig zag stitched it twice to make sure it was going to hold when it was stretched. Because of the sides and sleeve being in the stitching, we took a little off the sides as well. The bottom edge was left open for stuffing the form inside the sweater. Turn sweater right side out.
 Here the pillow form is inside the sweater.

 We pinned the bottom edge so we could hand stitch this closed.
 We used a blanket stitch and matching floss to close the bottom edge.
This vase was made by using one of the sleeves. We cut it off the remaining sweater and placed it outside a glass cylinder.  Add a belt and here you have a cute little vase. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Recyling a new way!

 These are pop cans that have been cut and painted. So let's gather our supplies and get going.  You will need a pop can, black acrylic craft paint, paprika, scissors, (hot glue gun and pliers-if making scoop)
 Wash out your pop can, we drink Pepsi, but any kind of can will work for you.
 I kind of made a paper template that looked something like this, I was sure if I didn't have some kind of a cutting guide I'd be in trouble. 
 You will want the rounded end toward the bottom of the can. I used a marker to give myself a cutting guide.
 Remember you will want to leave yourself about 1/2" or so from the bottom.
 Using a knife, cut a slit that you can put your utility scissors through.  I cut the top off, right by where the can tapers. Then you can cut your can following your cutting guide. If you are making a scoop, save the part you have cut off, take make the scoop handle.
 So from the side, it might look something like this.
 Here is the part we used for the handle.
 Fold the sides in with a pliers.  Someone ask if these edges are sharp.  I guess you could cut yourself, I've made several and haven't, but maybe not a craft I'd suggest doing with small children. 
 Here both edges are folded in and I folded in the ends too.
 Form it into the handle shape.
 And if you were making a scoop, here you would glue the handle on with hot glue, and then the finishing is all the same.
 Take your black paint and paint the inside and outside, while it is still wet, you will want to sprinkle this with Paprika. 
 I tried cinnamon as well, but I really liked the color and texture of paprika.  The cinnamon was more powdery, and it kind of disappeared in the paint, but the paprika made it look rusty.
We were able to punch a hole in the top center, with a paper punch, I was surprised at how easy it was to punch through.
We added some pine and homespun tie, and a little timer candle.  How cute would these be for on your Christmas table by your table settings.  Also would be great for bridal showers, with different color paints.  Hope you have fun and we would love to see your version of this project!  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bowling pin fun!

 Do any of you have bowling pins around the house? Ever wish you could think of something to do with those 'bad boys'?  Well how about turning him into a snowman?  A little felt, hat and wreath- and there you go!
So much prettier than this!  Or how about taking some old sheet music and use Mod Podge to attach it to the pin?  I think that would be pretty too.  Try it out and share your ideas with us. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Snowballs that won't melt!

 This is so much fun to do, if you don't mind a little mess! Well, actually it's a lot of mess.
Here are the finished snowballs, with some pines and lights. So let's get started making snowballs..
 I'm lucky to have a thrift store just down the street from where we live, and I was able to pick up a box of these ornaments 20 for $1.00.  So you will need them plus a scissors, and joint compound.
 These ornaments have a styrofoam ball on the inside of them.  If you want to use a styrofoam ball, you can, but I think they can be expensive.  But if you have a good source, where you can get these balls, for not a lot of money, go for it!
 So to use these ornaments, pop the hanger off the top and cut off the nylon stringy parts of the color.  I'm not sure this is nylon, but you'll see it reminds you of ribbons.  Once you get it started, it sort of peels off. And on the inside you will have a styrofoam ball.
 Now for more mess!  I didn't take a picture of this part, messy hands don't take pictures well!  I got this joint compound at Walmart for 2.97, so you can tell I don't have a lot of money tied up in this craft, just time and mess!  Smear this all around your styrofoam balls.  If you want your balls to be really smooth, you can smooth the joint compound out, I left my kind of bumpy.  But make it look how you like it.
 I put mine on waxed paper and put them on a cookie sheet.  They will air dry if you like, but I put mine in the oven and turned on the light.  I do have an electric oven, so I'm not sure how this would work in a gas oven.  If I were doing this again, now is when I would sprinkle them with glitter or mica.  I didn't mine, until they were totally dry and then I sprayed them with spray adhesive and then sprinkled it on .  So that part is up to you, or you can leave it all altogether if you like.
When they were dry, I put them in a treen trough and added some lights and greens.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Darts anyone? and not the kind you throw....

 This post is going to go through the techniques of sewing a dart in fabric.  This is going to be a pineapple, and the top and bottom have 7 darts sewn in to them.
 Here you see how the darts look when they are sewn on the one side.
 The pattern calls for sewing your darts 1 1/2" apart.  So from your last stitching to where you want to put a dart, measure 1 1/2" and place a pin here.  The darts are 1 3/4" long, and about 1/4" at the beginning of the dart.
Here is our pin at the 1 1/2" mark. Then we fold our fabric, on itself, right sides together.
 A pin was placed at the 1 3/4" mark, so this is where our dart will end.


 A third pin will mark your 1/4" at the top of the dart.  We've drawn it on paper so you can see what your sewing will look like. the dotted line is your sewing line.

 Taking your piece to the sewing machine, begin at the top and back stitch, to hold your stitches. You will be stitching a straight line, you can see that your fabric is at an angle.
 When you have sewn to your bottom pin, you will want to back stitch to hold the end of your stitching. You have completed your dart!