From scratch category

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DIY yo-yo headbands brooches hairpins

These yo-yo headbands, brooches, and hairpins were the sixth and final camp craft I had planned. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for them at girls camp last June, so we’re saving the supplies for next year. In these samples, I hand-stitched them to a stretchy headband, pin backs, and a bobby pin. The brooches look great pinned on a scarf or hat, and the headbands are cute alone or in multiples.

Yo-yo headband

After you make a few yo-yos, I’m sure you won’t want to limit yourself to just these accessories. Try sewing them onto a tote bag, purse, hat, belt, scarf, or shoes. Or a sweater, t-shirt, tank top, or socks. Or sew them onto pillows, pillow cases, towels, quilts—you get the idea. I just made small yo-yos for these projects, but you can make them any size you want. Have fun!

Yo-yo headbands

Special thanks to all my friends who spent hours cutting circles with me. We had fun chatting and working together. Don’t worry, ladies, our work will pay off next year!

UPDATE 7/2011: I just added the photos above from this year’s girl’s camp. The yo-yos were a success. For an alternate craft using most of the same supplies, check out our fabric flower headbands.

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Resin pendant necklaces

Resin pendants close-up

Devon at girls camp

Resin pendants at girls camp

These resin pendant necklaces are the final craft that we made at girls camp last June. (I planned one more craft that we didn’t have time for in the end: yo yo headbands and pins. I’ll share that craft next week.) They were inspired by bethtastic’s amazing photo necklaces. We chose something from nature or created a scrapbook-paper design to embed in the resin. The girls embedded blossoms, leaves, twigs, bugs, and spiders. One girl even put the tick that had been removed from her body in her pendant. And some girls embedded their .22 shells saved from shooting at the camp rifle range.

Although the girls loved the pendants, I wouldn’t recommend this as a camp craft. Four reasons: 1) The process is quite involved and doesn’t lend itself to group participation, 2) It requires some special tools, 3) Cold weather delayed the typical 24-hour cure time, and 4) The end result was unpredictable. Almost everything from nature floated out of place and changed color (usually yellow or brown), some more dramatically than others. It became a science experiment to see how each pendant would turn out.

A special thank you to my lovely and talented sister-in-law, Devon, who single-handedly taught the girls how to wrap the wire (or did it for them) and attach their ribbons and cords. Read more »

DIY subway tile name plates

Camp crafts

All you scrapbook fanatics are going to love these. The girls at camp took this idea and ran with it. I wish I had photos of all their great plaques. These subway tile nameplates to stick on your bedroom door were inspired by a reader, Josie, who asked me for suggestions for what to do with some leftover white tiles that were given to her. I thought of the ceramic nameplate that I’ve had since I was a child, and decided white subway tiles would make excellent nameplates. We decoupaged scrapbook paper and added stickers, rhinestones, ribbon, etc., but you can use whatever artist’s medium your heart desires. Paint? Glitter? Knock yourself out. Read more »

DIY fleece alphabet pillows

Fleece pillows at camp

Alphabet pillows at camp

I anticipated that this these pillows might not be as well-liked as the other camp crafts because hand stitching is rather time consuming. Surprisingly, these fleece alphabet pillows were very popular at girls camp.

I got the idea from a book titled 101 Crafts Under $10 from the editors at Butterick. Their craft is called “Felt name pillows.” The Butterick editors ironed the rest of the name in smaller letters onto the pillow, which I loved but decided was too difficult for camp purposes. We used fleece instead of felt because it’s softer and cheaper.

The hardest part (for me) was drawing and cutting out each letter of the alphabet in cardboard for the girls to trace onto the fleece, but you won’t have to make the whole alphabet.

Mostly everyone made a pillow out of their first initial, but I thought it would be cute to make “X” and “O” (kiss and hug) pillows. I used red embroidery floss on the “X” and charcoal floss on the “O” so they coordinate. Read more »

Survival bracelets

Paracord bracelets at camp

These paracord bracelets were a hit at girls camp. As you can see, even some of the male camp leaders joined in. I got the idea from Stormdrane at Instructables.com. His tutorial is excellent, but although the site pictures two-color bracelets, he doesn’t explain how to make a two-color bracelet. I wanted to keep it simple for camp anyway, so we made one-color bracelets. However, a few innovative girls at camp figured out one way to make them, so I’m passing the info on to you. I also improved upon the final step to better prevent the bracelet from unraveling. This bracelet takes about 45 minutes to make.

Survival bracelets at camp

By the way, paracord bracelets are also known as survival bracelets. They’re a convenient way for soldiers and hikers to always have eight feet of 550 parachute cord (which easily supports many times one’s own body weight) literally on hand. Check out Stormdrane’s Blog for more amazing paracord projects. I’m planning to make the adjustable paracord watch band myself.

UPDATE 10/2011: Check out the fabulous video tutorials for making other survival bracelets, keychains, and sinnets at TyingItAllTogether’s YouTube Channel. Thanks to Austin for sharing this information! Read more »

Three duct tape wallets

Girls camp - duct tape wallets

Girls camp 2010 - duct tape wallets

After volunteering for girls camp, I needed a couple weeks to recover. Now I’m back. I planned to take lots of photos at camp, but instead I ended up spending every moment teaching the girls how to make duct tape wallets. By the end of the week, I was seriously sick of duct tape wallets. But the girls loved them, so it was worth it. A friend sent me these photos that she took at camp. (That’s me in the gray sweatshirt in the first photo.)

Because of the green tarp roof on the makeshift quonset hut that we called The Craft Shack, everything looked green tinted. It reminded me of the Mr. Big song “Green Tinted Sixties Mind.” Admit it, you know you loved Mr. Big. :)

Anyway, duct tape wallets are certainly not a new thing, and I probably don’t need to tell most of you how to make one. But when I was searching for instructions online, I couldn’t find one easy-to-follow tutorial for a simple duct tape wallet. Plus, friends have asked me for the instructions for my wallet design. Though I developed this pattern myself, I’m told it’s not exactly original, but here it is. This wallet takes about 45 minutes to make. Read more »

This is the third and final post in my Victoria magazine series.

As I mentioned in my last post, hats were commonplace in Victoria magazine. In fact, every issue included at least one woman wearing a hat. Here’s a look at some of Victoria’s many hat ladies…

Summer Victoria hats

Photo credits (left to right, top to bottom): Toshi Otsuki, Geoffrey Gross, Toshi Otsuki (3), Tom Hooper, Toshi Otsuki, Luciana Pampalone, Toshi Otsuki

I love high-quality simple straw hats in summer. When I lived in New York City, cozy felt hats were a must for winter. I especially love the big black fur hat, though I doubt I’d have the courage to wear it. It’s too bad we don’t wear hats much on the West Coast. Which one is your favorite hat?

Winter Victoria hats

Photo credits (left to right, top to bottom): Pia Tryde, Thomas Hooper (2), Barry Dunne, Stefano Massimo, Steve Randazzo, Toshi Otsuki (3)

All those hats inspired me to make some paper art using their fabulous shapes. I titled my silhouettes “The Hats of Victoria.” All four are made from one of the hats pictured above. Can you find all of them?

Victoria hats silhouettes

I’ve included pdf downloads of all four patterns after the jump for you to make your own paper hats. I thought it would also be great to mix in other feminine accessories: sexy stiletto, small purse, bright umbrella, etc., so I’m planning to make another set soon. Read more »

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