My friend Holly and I spent last week making centerpieces for our church women’s conference. What an undertaking! We had 20 round tables, 3 food tables, and 2 registration tables to decorate. Our theme was “In this life I shall have joy,” and the colors were magenta and yellow. I wanted to think beyond standard bouquets, so I searched the web for springtime centerpiece ideas. When I saw these moss centerpieces at The Handiwork Chronicles, I became obsessed with moss.
We wanted the centerpieces to be as natural and earthy as the inspiration photos, so we used a burlap fabric overlay, logs, and rocks. We added the “joy” flags and bright mums to bring in color. We wanted to use what Moss Mountain calls cupcake moss, also known as pillow moss or cushion moss. But heavy snow storms on the East Coast delayed its availability. So we bought the next best thing: a mixture of cupcake moss and mood moss, also known as bear fur moss, from Patrick’s Floral Studios. Mood moss grows in larger clumps than cupcake moss, but it worked well enough for our purposes.
Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »
I am pleased to offer my first book review and giveaway here at Crafty Nest! And what a worthy title to start with: ReSew: Turn Thrift-Store Finds into Fabulous Designs by Jenny Wilding Cardon.
In her book, Jenny turns secondhand basics (i.e. sweatshirts, sheets, pants, etc.) into adorable new fashions and home decor. She offers 20 beginner-friendly projects, including tops, dresses, skirts, hats, bags, and a rug—all made from thrift-store cast-offs. You’ll never look at a boring sweatshirt on the rack at your local Goodwill the same again. BTW: Her projects remind me of my own thrift-store tank-top totes.
Jenny’s instructions are easy to follow (she hand-drew all the illustrations herself!), which makes any beginning sewer feel confident that s/he can tackle her projects with success. And she includes instructions for basic sewing techniques, such as shirring, along with helpful tips and tricks. Her designs are so inspiring that it makes you want to run to your nearest thrift store and start hunting. Here are some of my favorite projects from her book:
This dress makes me long for warm summer days. Sigh. Read more »
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. This year I made myself my own Valentine’s gift. I loved the feel of this reversible fabric scrap that I got from FabMo. It’s woven but soft and thick like knit. The beauty of this craft project is it takes very little fabric. I started with a 15-inch x 17-inch piece, and I still have leftovers.
This purse set solves three common handbag problems: 1) I hate stuff rattling around loosely in my purse, 2) Digging things out of myriad purse pockets makes switching purses a chore, and 3) I own handbags that are perfect but utterly lack pockets.
At first I set out to make just a soft eyeglass case because my hard case is too bulky and heavy, but then the project grew as I thought of more and more cases I could make. BTW: I don’t actually use the change purse for coins (my wallet has one of those). I fill it instead with travel essentials: lip gloss, hair elastics, nail clippers, etc.
Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »
When I discovered that my matchbooks fit perfectly into this old unfinished cigar box, I knew it was a DIY matchbox in the making. I wanted to step up the fancy in a subtle way, so I could leave the dingy box out in plain site. I’m all about pretty and practical—and simple—crafts these days. And this matchbox was definitely simple.
Ok, I admit covering each individual matchbook with colored paper is a little bit obsessive, but in my defense, I did that part of this project years ago when I must have had more time on my hands. The match box itself was a breeze. If you don’t want to cut and paste colored paper onto each matchbook—and let’s face it: who does?—you can buy these gloriously pure white matchbooks at Amazon.com.
In case you’re wondering, a friend of mine made that little Dutch couple kissing. She gave them to me expecting that I would paint them the traditional blue and white, but I like them plain white. (I know: You’re shocked.) And, yes, that is my bizarre kitchen counter from the 60s. Boomerangs must have been big then. Read more »
I’m excited to share the news that I’m teaching my first craft workshops next spring at Sharon Art Studio in San Francisco! I’ll be teaching three classes in February/March: 1) Paper Lantern Making, 2) Duct Tape Wallets, Cases, and Bags, and 3) Fabric Flower Brooches. Click here for more information on the workshops. So, if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and you want to learn these crafts, please sign up early. You can register for the classes here. By the way, craft classes make great Christmas gifts. I look forward to meeting some of you in person and making crafts together!
UPDATE 2/3: Unfortunately, these classes were canceled for health reasons. Not to worry, though. I will post my instructions to make the tissue paper lanterns (bottom three lanterns in the photo) and some of my duct tape crafts here on Crafty Nest.
See below for the rest of the tutorials:
Paper star lanterns (or you can buy gorgeous ones here)
Duct tape wallet
Wired ribbon flower pin (the pink one in the photo)
Felt dahlia corsage (the red one in the photo)
Melted fabric flowers (the white one in the photo)
I am all about being hands-free and reducing the weight on my shoulders. I use a lumbar bag instead of a backpack for hiking. Being an asthmatic, taking the load off my shoulders makes a world of difference. Any chiropractor will tell you that carrying a heavy purse on one shoulder can cause misalignment, strain, and injury, so I wanted to find a fashionable belt bag for everyday use. But, aside from the infamously hideous fanny packs of the 80s, I had yet to find one. That’s why when I came across these fabulous hip pouches on Etsy, I was excited.
Clockwise from top left: The North Face Sport Hiker, Recycled Leather Hip Bags by Happy Cow, Stow All Unisex Pocket Belt in Green, Black Gold Utility Wear Pocket and Belt, Happy Cow Urban Travel Packs, Recycled Black Leather Unisex Hip pouch.
Then I thought there might be a way to convert a regular purse into a pocket belt. To make one as cheaply as possible, I combed thrift stores for the right purse. I bought this black fabric pouch purse for $3. Converting it to a hip pouch was a cinch. This one is great for casual T-shirt-and-jeans days, but now I’m on the hunt for a more dressy, leather version.
Read more »
Homemade ornaments are so much more fun, rewarding, and cheaper than buying them. Especially when they’re made of paper—in this case, sheet music. That’s why I included so many paper ornaments in my handmade holiday gift list. For this project, I made stars, but you can use nearly any symmetrical shape to make these ornaments (tree, wreath, heart, bell, angel, ball, snowflake, etc.). I made four patterns for you to download to make your own ornaments: star, bell, angel, and ball. Click here to download the patterns.
The song printed on the star is a little-known Christmas hymn titled “With Wondering Awe.” I chose it because it mentions the star more often than any other Christmas carol I found. Bell: “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Ball: “Silent Night.” Angel: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” As long as you have a sewing machine, these ornaments are super easy to make. Read more »