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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 »

Monica's birdhouse

I learned my lesson last year at girls camp. I spent the entire week teaching step-by-step instructions for most of the crafts, which left me exhausted and sick of my own voice. So this year I chose a few crafts that didn’t require constant instruction from me. Birdhouses was one easy solution. And I even had time to paint my own birdhouse (above) at camp.

Row of birdhouses

The essentials for this project were paint, creativity, and unfinished wooden birdhouses. Then I let the girls loose. And boy did they let loose. I’ve never seen so many bright-colored, creative, and unique birdhouses.

More 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 »

Dining room makeover

An update…

First, I know I still have three tutorials to go to finish off my office/guest/craft room makeover series. But they’re going to have to wait, for a couple reasons. I’m once again planning new camp crafts for a girls camp in mid-June. Rest assured that I’ll also blog about the crafts when I get back from camp.

A before…

Second, I’m pleased to announce my next room makeover! American Express has asked me to make over a social space using merchandise available through Membership Rewards points. I’ve been an AmEx cardholder for years, but I didn’t know that American Express launched Membership Rewards 20 years ago as a first of its kind program. Today it offers rewards from over 500 brands.

Best of all, Membership Rewards points don’t expire and you can redeem them for anything from gift cards to movie tickets to travel. Now I buy everything with my credit card (and pay it off monthly, of course) to take advantage of the rewards. Read more »

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.

Read more »

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 »

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