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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)

belt bag pouch hip

Small pouch purse

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.

The North Face - Sport Hiker (Black) - Bags and LuggageRecycled Leather Hip Bags by Happy CowStow All Unisex Pocket Belt in GreenRecycled Black Leather unisex Hip pouchHappy Cow Urban Travel PacksBlack Gold Utility Wear Pocket and Belt

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.
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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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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 »

Tank top totes - after

Tank top totes - before

Before you pack away your summer clothes for the winter, you might want to set one of your tank tops aside to make one of these easy totes. The best kind of tank tops to use for this project are ones that have front and back necklines that are the same height—or very close. Otherwise, your tote bag will be lopsided. The brown tote is reversible, so the pockets can be on the inside or outside. I made that tote small because the straps were thin and wouldn’t hold a lot of weight. The magenta tank top had a gathered neckline in front and back, so a gathered bottom was ideal. A pink store-bought flower pin finished it off. Read more »

DIY spa slippers

When I told my brother about this week’s project, the first thing he said was, “You know you can buy those, right?” Halfway into the project, I started to wish I did. My old shower slippers fell apart recently. I examined the shreds and decided that I could make my own—only better. I bought a thrift-store bath towel for $1, grabbed an old pair of flip-flops, and went to work. So glad I stuck with it. They feel like heaven on my feet.

UPDATE 10/2011: Good news! These slippers are machine washable and dryable. I just pulled mine out of the dryer, and they’re clean, fluffy—and a little damp. They’ll need to air dry overnight. Read more »

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