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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 »

Camp craft

Away at camp

13 Jun 2010

The Craft Shack

Just a quick note to let you all know what I’ve been up to. I’m volunteering as the crafts director at a girls camp this week. So, for the past couple months, I’ve been preparing all the crafts and buying supplies for about 90 teenage girls to make cool stuff. I’ve kept the projects secret in case any of the girls read my blog…but now that they are soundly sleeping, I’ll fill you in. These are the projects I have planned: duct tape wallets, resin pendant necklaces, alphabet fleece pillows, yo yo headbands and pins, door name plates made from subway tiles, and paracord bracelets. I hope the girls have as much fun making them as I have. The picture above is our Craft Shack. Needs some work, I know, but I think it’ll be great. I’ll post lots of pictures and share all the crafts with you when I get back. Have a great week!

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