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Silhouette Cameo

I got a new toy. (Grin.) I can’t wait to open the box and try it! I’ve wanted a Silhouette CAMEO electronic cutting tool for a while now, and I’m jazzed that I finally got the CAMEO. This machine cuts paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric and more — up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. I’ve got several projects planned using the CAMEO. But until I get a chance to break it in, I wanted to share some exciting Silhouette Black Friday deals and a special discount code just for Crafty Nest readers! 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 »

Leather coffee sleeve from Ooh Leela!Leather coffee sleeve from Ooh Leela!

I’m happy to present our new Guest Nester: my friend Isabela! Her husband and I met at Sportivo Coffee Bar. (I don’t drink coffee, but my friend owns the place, so I visit often.) Isabela invented these leather coffee sleeves, which she sells at Sportivo. I adored them so much that I asked her to do a tutorial for Crafty Nest. I was ecstatic when she agreed!

You can buy these sleeves and other darling creations at Isabela’s Etsy shop. Isabela writes: “Hello Crafty Nest friends! My name is Isabela from Ooh Leela! I have been an avid reader for quite some time, and I have always admired Monica and her creativity. I am so excited to be here today. Thank you so much for this opportunity, Monica!

One of Isabela's cup coziesOne of Isabela's appliquéd coffee sleeves

A couple of Isabela’s handmade fabric cup cozies. Available through Isabela’s Etsy shop.

“I’m here to share a fun project with you: a leather coffee sleeve. It’s an earth-friendly alternative to the usual disposable cardboard sleeve. The leather stays cool and soft to the touch while keeping your beverage hot/cold. Every time I use mine in public, I get lots of compliments. This is a super easy and fast project—perfect for all skill levels.”

Isabela has offered to give away a leather coffee sleeve to one lucky Crafty Nest reader! Leave a comment to tell Isabela how much you love her coffee sleeves to be eligible to win. The deadline is in one week—Monday, July 4, 2011. Thanks, Isabela!

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Purse kit

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 »

Matchbook box - after

Match box open with matchbooks

Unfinished cigar box - before

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 »

Paper lantern making

Fabric flower brooches

Duct tape wallets, cases, and purses

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)

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