From scratch category

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DIY cloth napkins

When I needed cloth napkins for my Easter table setting, I couldn’t find the right ones. But I had the ideal fabric. So I examined the perfectly mitered corners on my Williams-Sonoma napkins and figured out how to miter the corners on my own DIY cloth napkins. After one minor misstep that involved repairing with an iron-on patch (oops!), they turned out better than expected. Once you figure out the first one, the rest are a breeze. BTW: Handmade cloth napkins make a great Mother’s Day gift.

Sew

When making napkins, choose a soft, lightweight 100-percent-cotton fabric. Personally, I hate it when you dab your mouth with a cloth napkin and it feels rough. Most cheap, poly-blend, store-bought napkins are too rough for my taste.

Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »

Easter egg garland close-up

My grandmother and great-grandmother were crafty too. My great-grandmother specialized in tatting, crochet, and ribbon roses. My grandmother dabbled in many handicrafts, including painting china, sculpting clay roses, découpaging, quilling, welding, and making 3D pictures (I’ll teach you the latter someday). She even made adorable miniature Play-Dough Christmas scenes inside gilded duck eggs. Oh, how I wish I had a picture of them.

My grandmother made these decorated plastic ball ornaments for us grandkids one Christmas, and we received another one year after year. She made these for me when I was in my peach faze. Before that was my lavender faze. I soon learned not to choose a favorite color because every gift she gave me (bless her heart) was my favorite color. I got tired of my “favorite” color quickly.

Easter egg centerpiece

My grandmother intended these ornaments as Christmas decorations. I loved them, but I never hung them on my tree because they didn’t seem Christmasy to me. They’re perfect for Easter, though. You can hang them on an Easter tree, set them on candlesticks and group them as a centerpiece, or dangle them from a a gossamer garland. Any way you display them, these clear Easter egg ornaments are fun and easy to make. Click “Read more” to see a two versions of the entire Easter garland. Happy Easter!

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Coffee filter Snowball light - on/off

Lately I’ve been working with wire and wire mesh. First I made jewelry holders, then a jingle bell ornament, and now this decorative light fixture.

When I tell you what it took to make this Snowball light, you’ll think I’m crazy. So I’m not going to tell you right away. Just know that its basic components are basket-style coffee filters, a sheet of hardware cloth, and a string of LED lights.

I call it the snowball light because it reminds me of the giant snowballs that terrorize Scrat, the acorn-obsessed saber-toothed squirrel in Ice Age. But if you look closer, the delicate ruffles of the coffee filters look like carnations. I thought it would be fun to dye the coffee filters or dip the tips in paint to mimic red-tipped carnations. In the end, I kept it simple.

The snowball light also resembles Serena & Lily’s Feathered African Headdress. Although not as elegant, it’s fun and a lot more affordable.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Teardrop jewelry holder

Heart jewelry holder

These jewelry holders were the one original camp craft idea I had this year. When I discovered the different types of hardware cloth and chicken wire stacked in the back of The Home Depot, my mind started churning out all kinds of projects I could make with them. Baskets and suncatchers were my first notions, but jewelry holders were more economical, practical, and fun for teenage girls.

Four girls making jewelry holders

I tried to make the project as easy as I could for the girls by pre-cutting the hardware cloth into squares and providing templates for the heart shape, but it was still a challenging craft. They stuck with it, though. And I’m happy to report that although working with wire has the potential for injury, no one got hurt. Except for me.

FYI: I’m planning four more projects using hardware mesh: a decorative light fixture (excited about this one!), a Christmas ornament, a basket, and a dispenser.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Bamboo orb pendant lights - on/off

Apologies for my long absence. A month ago I landed a full-time job (gotta pay the bills) along with a 3-hour round-trip commute. Ugh. It’s left little time for crafting. Not to worry, I’m still going to keep blogging, but it might be on an infrequent basis until I adjust to my new schedule. For now, it feels good to be back! I’ve missed you. I have three more camp crafts to show you, and I’m excited to share this year’s Christmas crafts, plus much more, so don’t give up on me yet.

Inspired by the Cassiopeia chandelier.

Anyway, these bamboo orb pendant lights were inspired by the Cassiopeia chandelier from Ironware International that I saw on the cover of the April 2011 issue of House Beautiful. And I noticed today in the latest Restoration Hardware catalog a similar one called Foucault’s Iron Orb Chandelier. While both of these are gorgeous lamps, their price tag is out of my reach.

So, I made my own version using bamboo strips instead of wrought iron and a single CFL bulb instead of five candelabras. You might be surprised where I got the bamboo (click the read more link below to find out). And you’ll have plenty of bamboo strips left over to make those paper lanterns that I blogged about last spring. I know I still owe you a tutorial. Coming soon!

Two more things: I found that fabulous shabby-chic trunk on the side of the road with a “free” sign taped to it! And, yes, I will be watermarking my photos from now on. The plethora of plagiarizers on the web drove me to it. Not happy about it, but there it is.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Orange fabric flower headbands

Fabric flower headbands

As some of you may recall, I saved last year’s yo-yo crafts for this year’s girls camp. The girls with patience and determination loved making yo yos. For others, hand sewing was a bit arduous. So, I came up with an easier alternative: fabric flower headbands. It was a hit. (I just added pictures of some of the fabulous yo-yo headbands the girls made. Check them out here.)

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Stitched leather bracelets

As a kid, I was jealous of my brothers who got to do leather crafts at Boy Scout camp, while we at girls camp never did. So I was determined to teach these girls a leather project this year. We ended up doing two leather projects. This stitched leather bracelet is the first. We just used multicolored thread, but you can go crazy with your designs by adding ribbon, beads, buttons, etc.

(I know. I still owe you lots of tutorials from my craft room and dining room makeovers. Oh, and the paper lantern tutorial too. I’ll get to them soon, I swear. Girls camp crafts come first because they seem more timely. And fun.)

Stitched leather bracelet closeup

This bracelet was inspired by a souvenir my friend Kristi brought home from Mexico. Essentially, it’s a strip of soft, thin leather that’s folded, glued, punched, and sewn. The girls loved it. You should have heard the racket when all 12 hammers were going to town on those punches! They came up with some super creative designs. I wish I was able to take pictures of all of them.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

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