APRIL DIY Challenge Roundup

Don’t know what it’s like where you are, but in the Pacific Northwest we’ve had a confusing collection of warm sunny days and cold rainy days. The plants seem to like it, though. It looks like spring!

We’re excited to present this little round-up of Garden inspired projects from you (and people just like you).

1604_diychallenge_logo_wide

claire_DSC0858-sm
Claire made an upcycled window herb planter that has us buzzing.

This craft composed of 2 parts: the first was painting a cheesy pun and some bees onto an old window. The second part was decoupaging some old tin cans with insects to attach to the window and use as a herb planter.

She has provided free templates and instructions to make your own herb window at her blog – Pillar Box Blue.


maura_IMG_4981
Maura, The Messy Brunette, shared these amazing crocheted blooms (and a nest she found in her garden in Ireland).

Weather hasn’t been great here to get out in the garden but I did manage to make some little flowers…


cintia7
Spring has long since passed in Córdoba, Argentina; home of Cintia and Sol de Noche {deco crochet}; but she’s bringing a little of the garden in, in a beautiful way.

As Winter is just around the corner here, I decided to bring some of my plants inside. Your theme has given me the chance to recycle some jute I had and leftover yarn in order to create these crochet pot covers.


tara_IMG_0788

Tara submitted a little of her amazing artsiness  (and legendary lettering) in these swoon-worthy practice pieces.

…just experimenting with gouache and brush lettering. 


donna_signDonna sent in this lovely spring wreath.

I wasn’t planning to make a new wreath for our front door this spring, but as the weather got warmer, I decided I wanted something new.  I had an idea and went to the store to buy some pretty artificial flowers, some ribbon, and a wreath form.

She added a welcome sign to the center, and it turned out wonderfully. You can see more photos on her blog.


becky_image1

Becky Kimberly of Cotswoldcre8 shared these awesome bright fiber flowers.

I’m a self-employed community artist whose been experimenting with gorgeous Marino wool create  to funky 3-D blooms!


I love finishing the roundup with a project that reminds me of the next theme, too! Rachel and I have been hard at work on the May theme, and hope you’ll be happily ever after surprised.

 

 

SHOW+TELL: Hanging Basket Gnome Home

Gardens grow, and so do ideas, so this month is a great time to sit back and realize that some projects keep growing with you, they aren’t just done in one sitting. Some can be done a bit at a time, though, and this fairy garden (AKA Gnome Home) is a great example of a quick project that uses a lot of imagination and a little time.

The inspiration for this garden was a hanging basket that I let wild, which filled up with all sorts of awesome moss. I loved all the textures and colors, and decided that I would express a little whimsy.

IMG_5602_gnomehome

I started collecting bits and baubles from the yard and house. Copper penny steps, a gravel riverbed and a small sparkling glass pond. Piece by piece I placed them into the basket, using a small spoon to pull the moss away as I went.

I put the basket aside for a week, then came back to it when I had time, adding more detail to the door with paint, a button, and some dremel carving.

I also added a swing, because no house is complete without a swing. (My personal motto.)

IMG_5702_gnomehome

All the while I was imagining the little guy who lives in the house, and swings each afternoon- because sometimes it’s fun to let your imagination run wild.

IMG_5699_gnomehome

What’s your most whimsical project?

 

SHOW+TELL: Growing Garden Journal Kit

IMG_5667_growinggardenjournal

I don’t really have a green thumb, so I’m always trying to learn more about my garden in hopes I can make it flourish. This year, in anticipation of spring planting, I am going through my notes and compiling it all in a garden journal. I made a ring-bound set of cards with a thick chipboard cover that can grow with me and with my garden!

IMG_5661_growinggardenjournal

In addition to helpful information fields on the front and the back of each card, I left a little space for a plant doodle or collage.

IMG_5664_growinggardenjournalSince each card is decorated differently, it’s easy to sort through the book and quickly find the plant I’m looking for, plus it’s fun to illustrate the plants. (It would be a great project with the kiddos.)

IMG_5689_growinggardenjournal

I decorated the book cover with scraps from my seed packets and collage materials. (Waste not, want not!)

I’m excited to add more layers and more pages as I go along, and I thought I’d make up a few kits in case anyone wants to follow along with their own gardening adventures.

You can find a kit on the Adventures-in-Making etsy shop – here
IMG_5651_growinggardenjournallabel

April Growing Garden Journal Includes:

  • Punched Chipboard Cover pieces (labeled “Growing Garden Journal”)
  • 15 front/back printed and punched plant cards on assorted cardstock
  • 1 binder ring
  • Additional plant cards are available as a refill.

Garden Journal Kits and Refills available here.

All you need is a pen and some plants to write about!

MARCH DIY Challenge Roundup

1603_diychallenge_logo_wideb

.. We’re excited to share the submissions for the March #DIYCRAFTCHALLENGE. There are some really great projects here, and I love the variety of medium and method.

As always, we want to thank those who contributed for taking the time to share your creations with us and the rest of the team. You’re an inspiration!

If you haven’t contributed yet, think about joining us next month. It’s such a great way to get your creative neurons firing.


cintia_Peacock-Dreamcatcher2

Cintia from Córdoba, Argentina is the founder and designer of Sol de Noche {deco crochet}.

I love crocheting amigurumis and home decor. I’ve always wanted to design a dreamcatcher and your theme has given me the motivation I needed.

Her dreamcatcher features amazing crocheted peacock feathers. You can see more of her creations on her blog, Sol de Noche.


maura_image1

 

Maura of the messy brunette shared this awesome jar she decorated with a folk  art painting technique.

I have been practising folk art painting & learning how to do the comma stroke. So in order to paint the little birds on the jar I had to get this right …. Getting there as you can see…


_DSC0359 sm

Claire lives in Bedford, England and loves to craft with materials she has lying around.

The birdcage was made out of 2 old wire coat hangers bent into shape taped together and then covered in strips of scrap fabric. This was a really quick and easy fun craft to make.

 For step by step instructions, check out her blog post on PillarBoxBlue.

 


christine-stoll-the-birds-necklaces

I recently returned from a vacation to Northern California where I visited Bodega Bay (made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film, The Birds), and was inspired to make my talisman necklaces with bird images from vintage dictionaries.

Christine Stoll shared a few of her gorgeous found-bauble and resin mounted pieces. You can grab a necklace for yourself at christinestoll.com.


donnah_bird

I was thinking about redecorating our fireplace mantle for spring and decided I needed some sweet little birds sitting on a branch to complete my design. I made my birds out of polymer clay, using stamps and household items to form and decorate them. Once they were complete, I glued them to a real branch to sit on my mantle.

There’s a whole flock of  adorable birdies and step-by-step instructions at Donna Herron’s blog.


2-love-birds

Colleen McGinty used stencils, scrapbook paper and watercolor ground to create these little love birds.

I love to use watercolor ground with a variety of different coloring mediums for a soft look and feel. When dry, I added color with gelato & pastel pencils, gently rubbing for the desired color.


anna_Origami-Earrings-7

I used this project to brush up on old origami skills adding the challenge ofworking on a very small scale. I’ve been wanting to try this since my husband gave me a couple pairs for our first anniversary.  

Anna made these tiny, amazing, paper crane earrings for the challenge. You can follow along with her at her blog, 64 Color Box.


danita_FullSizeRender(18)

Danita sent in this wool appliqué illustration of two sweet chicks hatching out of tulips. She embellished it with buttons and decorative stitches.

You know Spring is coming when birds hatch and flowers bloom, so why not put them together!


gail_IMG_5709-001

I was inspired by the extreme cold and blustery snow we were having when I thought about making a baby snow owl.

You can can find a clever DIY to make your  very own floofy owl out of basic materials at Gail’s blog, Purple Hues and Me.


Rachel and I both have a soft spot for birds, so this was a fun month for us. I hope this amazing roundup will inspire the rest of you to play along next month by sending your theme inspired projects to alison@adventures-in-making.com. Remember, we welcome all kinds of creative adventures, and they can even be loosely inspired by the theme. April’s will be….

announced tomorrow! (Did I getcha?)

Show+Tell: Printable Color-in Birds and Postcard Kit

birdcoloringsheet2_photoshopped
I’ve been trying to do a little more illustration lately, and the bird theme this month was a perfect opportunity. I had a ton of fun making these whimsical feathered friends and thought I would share them as a free printable sheet.

birdcoloringsheet
Click here to print a free coloring sheet!


Even better! These guys make lovely postcards, and if you’d like a set to color and share, you can pick up a set from our Etsy Shop. Each postcard set is printed on thick, durable 110# smooth white stock. The sheet is perforated into four postcards with a a space for a message and address on the back. All your purchases go to help us continue sharing our creative adventures and yours!

IMG_4835_birdcolorinpostcardskit
Just color in as much as you’d like, and send them to a friend to finish.

IMG_4828_birdcolorinpostcardskit

Pick up a set to share!

DIY: Paper Maché Birdy Penny Bank

IMG_4952_birdybank
My friend Tara is a paper maché inspiration. A couple of years ago she made a couple of piggy banks that were so amazing I decided I needed to make a bank of my very own. A birdy bank.

I love that papier maché gives you the opportunity to make basically anything out of recycled materials. This is a great project for kids and adults alike- just be ready to take it in shifts over a couple of days so that the form has time to dry between each coat.
IMG_4669_birdybank

Basic Supplies and Tools

  • A table cloth or paper cover and an apron. This is a wonderfully messy project!
  • A balloon
  • Newspaper
  • Flour and water (to make paste)
  • A piece of chipboard (like scrap from a cracker box)
  • This template for the feet, beak, wings and tailfeathers (which you will cut from chipboard.)
  • Masking Tape
  • Glue – Hot glue works great, but other thick glues work in a pinch
  • Scissors and craft knife

Finishing Supplies

  • Sand paper or sanding block
  • Acrylic paint
  • ‘ glue or similar
  • Brush

 

Step One: Starting the Paper Maché and Form

IMG_4676_birdybank
Blow up one balloon about 5.5″ in diameter, and crumple up a piece of paper to make a head about 2.5″ in diameter. Tape the “head” to the balloon*, roughly the opposite side from the tied end.  (If you would prefer the inside of the birdy to be smooth, cover the balloon with a layer of paper maché before attaching the head.)

IMG_4685_birdybank
To make your simple paper maché paste, mix one part flour with one part water. (You can change this ratio if you prefer a more watery or thicker paste. Practice makes perfect.) Stir the paste with your finger until it is smooth.

IMG_4686_birdybank
Tear your newspaper into small strips and pieces and begin to coat your body form with a layer of newspaper. Dip each strip into the paste, and pull it through your fingers to remove excess paste and moisture.

IMG_4690_birdybank
Overlap the pieces of newspaper on your form, and cover all but the tied end. It may be helpful to set the balloon on a cup or bowl to lift it off of your surface.

IMG_4700_birdybank
When you have completely covered the form with one layer of newspaper, set it aside to dry. If you have a fan or space heater, set this little guy in front of that and it will dry faster. Make sure to let it dry almost completely before moving to the next layer of material, or you will have a soppy mess. At least wait a few hours.

Step Two: Adding more Detail

IMG_4708_birdybank
Since your bird looks nothing like a bird yet, it’s time to add some appendages. Download and print this template and cut each of the pieces from a piece of chipboard.

IMG_4711_birdybank
To build the birdy legs, cut into one side of the chipboard as shown, and roll the other end into a cylinder. Secure the roll with a couple of pieces of tape.

IMG_4714_birdybank

IMG_4717_birdybank
Then tape across the foot to attach it to the leg. The flap left at the end of the leg will be glued to the base of your balloon form.

IMG_4726_birdybank
Roll the beak to form a cone shape, and tape it in shape. Stuff a little piece of paper into the open end of the cone to make it easier to attach to your birdy head.

IMG_4732_birdybank
Glue works best to secure the wings, legs, beak, and tail feathers to your form. Hold them in place until the glue is holding firmly. When everything is in place, begin to add another layer of papier maché,  covering all the new parts of your bird in addition to adding another layer to the main form you’ve already covered.

IMG_4736_birdybank
As you add paper, make sure to leave the end of the balloon visible; this is where you’ll be breaking the balloon and pulling it out. Paper maché is very forgiving and it’s easy to cover up this hole.

IMG_4742_birdybank
When you’ve covered the form with one or two layers of paper, let it dry again. You may find that you have to stop before you’ve completed covering the whole thing because life gets in the way of your messy fun, or your messy fun become a little too messy. No worries! Just make sure that your paper is as smooth as you can make it, and let the bird rest.

Step Three: Removing the Balloon and Making this Guy a Bank

IMG_4743_birdybank
Yes. It looks silly. That’s okay, the best things are silly. When your form is completely dry, you’re ready to remove your balloon. Gently grip the balloon’s knot, and pierce the balloon to let the air out. As it shrinks, it should pull away from your paper. If it sticks in a spot, gently pull it out of the hole.

IMG_4754_birdybank
No bank is complete without a place to put the money. Mark a line down the back of your bird, between the wings, about 1/4″ wide and 1.5″ long. Use a craft knife to carefully trim out the piece you’ve marked.

To finish the bottom of the bank, you have a couple of options. You can either add an access hole for money to be removed or go with the ol’ piñata method– keep the money inside until it’s time to smash! (Which is definitely satisfying.)

IMG_4747_birdybank
If you’d like to make your bank reusable, find a small lid or something else that would work as a plug. Trace around the shape and cut any extra paper. It you’re having trouble keeping the cover in, trace it onto a scrap of chipboard and make a ring the perfect size, then glue that on top of your form and cover it with paper. The chipboard with provide a little extra stability. (Yes, I know this all looks kinda amusing. Giggles are allowed.)

Step Four: The last of the Papier Maché

IMG_4760_birdybank
If your form is feeling pretty secure, it’s time to start adding the last layer of papier maché. The paint will not completely cover the paper (unless you want it to) so this is a great time to start having fun with your paper color and prints. Save gold and orange colored paper for the beak, cover the wings and head in dark colors, and use white newsprint for the breast. When you’re happy with the way it looks, let it all dry overnight!

Step Five: Sanding and Painting

IMG_4763_birdybank
If you’re anything like me, your form will need a little sanding. USe sand paper or a sanding block to smooth off any edges of paper, clumps of paste, or rough edges- making sure not to sand below your papier mache layers.

IMG_4765_birdybank
To make a transparent paint layer, mix equal parts glue and white acrylic paint with a little water.  (Add more glue for more transparency, or more paint to cover the paper more opaquely.)

IMG_4772_birdybank
Gently apply a layer of paint and glue to the whole form and let it dry.

IMG_4790_birdybank
When it dries you will still be able to see a lot of your newspaper pattern. If you like, add another layer of white paint, or start to add more colors to bring out details. To keep some of the transparency, you can water down your colored paints and streak them across your form.

IMG_4955_birdybank
Let it all dry, and get ready to fill it with money!

IMG_4976_birdybank
Using this balloon method you can make pretty much any animal you want! I’d love to see!

DIY: MARCH Embroidered Bird Journal Kit

IMG_5011_MARCHbirdatistjournalembroiderykit
Whenever we come up with a monthly theme, we always seem to have a couple of images floating around in our minds- a couple of things we’d like to tackle. Ever since last month, I wanted a chance to play around with stitching on paper, and I decided this little bird was just asking for it.

I had so much fun making this journal, I thought I would share the experience with you! This kit includes a bound journal of found papers, a black band, embroidery floss, a needle, and basic instructions. You can pick up a kit for yourself at our Adventures in Making Etsy Shop.

IMG_4980_birdatistjournalembroiderykit

March Journal Kit Includes:

  • One staple bound journal (~3.5 inches)
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Sewing template (if you’re reproducing this design exactly.)

Additional tools needed

  • Scissors
  •  Pencil

IMG_4986_birdatistjournalembroiderykit

Paper Stitching Tips

  • Pre-pierce with a needle or awl. Paper is less forgiving than fabric; every hole you poke will show through. To minimize the damage to your paper, poke all your holes before you start stitching.
  • Pull your thread in the direction of the paper. When you tighten up your stitches, pull your needle parallel to the paper surface. If you pull away from the paper you’ll strain you paper and make the hole larger.
  • Use half a strand of floss for a flatter piece of art. A full strand of floss was a little too thick for any of the stitches in this journal.
  • Make lots of knots, even though knots are tedious sometimes.

 

Step One: Draw Template Lines

IMG_4981_birdatistjournalembroiderykit
With the band in place, trace a pencil line gently along each edge. You will not put any stitches directly under the band.

IMG_4984_birdatistjournalembroiderykit
This kind of paper-stitching is kind of like 3-d doodling, so let your imagination take you away! Trace circular items, use a ruler or free-hand lines you want to use.

(If you want to reproduce my design instead of making your own, you can skip the drawing step and use the template to pierce holes. Instructions in the next step.)

Step Two: Pierce the Paper

IMG_4985_birdatistjournalembroiderykit
Use your needle to poke small holes along each of your curved lines, about 1/4 – 1/2″ apart. You can use fewer holes for straight lines, just make sure to have a hole at each end. (If you’re using the birdy template to recreate our circular pattern, line it up on the front cover of your journal and press your needle through at each red dot. Put the template to the side, and use the colored lines as a reference to connect the dots!)

Step Three: Adding Stitches

IMG_4993_birdatistjournalembroiderykit
You can try any embroidery stitch you want to connect your dots. Rachel’s embroidery sampler is a great reference for stitches. The back stitch is especially useful.

back-stitch

Check out the sampler post for more stitches to try on your journal!

Step Four: Finishing Up

IMG_4998_birdatistjournalembroiderykit
When you’re all done stitching, and want to hide the back of your work, pull the adhesive strip backing from the front cover…

IMG_5004_birdatistjournalembroiderykit
Then partially close the book and wrap the cover flap over the cream-colored end page. Run your finger along the flap to adhere it.

IMG_5009_birdatistjournalembroiderykit
If you have any remaining pencil lines, gently erase them, and you’re all done!

IMG_4938_birdatistjournalembroiderykit
Each journal was made with vintage papers, so there’s lots to inspire art journaling or collage. You can even embroider inside!

IMG_5005_birdatistjournalembroiderykit

February DIY Challenge Roundup!

We want to thank everyone who participated in the February DIY Craft Challenge. We were so inspired by your creations it’s had to move on to the next theme, but with this amazing collection of projects we’re excited to see what you’ll do next.

A few of you had questions about what kinds of projects we accept as submissions for the challenge, and we wanted to tell you that you to let your imaginations run free! Use the theme for inspiration to try something you’ve always wanted to, revisit an old favorite, or go crazy. We like it all.

Without further ado, here’s what some of you have been up to!


 

20160131_163450-01-01~2 I make States and Countries pillows for my shop, Mod’s Best Friend. The challenge inspired me to try something new for Valentine’s, incorporating California into the word LOVE for a really fun applique.

You can find some of Jennifer’s creations at www.modsbestfriend.com, and on instagram (@modsbestfriend).

I recently decided to try my hand at embroidery and hope to share this little adventure with you. Your theme is perfect for me as its given me the push to get started.  I had a kit sitting there for ages, looking all sad and lonely. 

Maura is an Irish blogger with and interest in crafty things, especially crochet and upcycling furniture. Follow along at themessybrunette.com and on instagram (@TheMessyBrunette) and Pinterest (@messybrunette)

hoop3

Although I don’t sew much, I thought that an Altoids tin would make the perfect base for a charming little pincushion.  Two things I like about this pincushion, (1) the tin offers some handy little storage under the cushion for needles, buttons, and notions, and (2) I used a little bit of netting from a vegetable bag to create the floral embroidery that decorates my pincushion.

Check out the tutorial for Donna Herron’s kit here, and her other great projects at hubpages.com/@purl3agony

In August 2015 my sister-in-law was diagnosed with myelofibrosis which quickly turned into leukemia. To keep her warm, I made the beanie in the attached photo.

Rebekah Burr-Siegal stitched this E. E. Cummings poem with a back stitch and chain stitch, and it’s absolutely amazing.

Stitches and threads are my main medium (along with felt) so I knew I had to enter the challenge. All my dimensional felt flowers are hand-stitched. I also love to add stitched details to the the flat flowers as well. 

Cathy is a freelance social media manager/writer/photographer in the Pacific Northwest and makes all sorts of awesome felt creations for her shop Catshy Crafts. Follow her on Instagram (@catshycrafts) and her site catshycrafts.com

Stitches and Threads inspired me to try different stitches and colors to create a sweet heart. I enjoy stitching, knitting, crocheting, quilting, mixed-media journaling, painting, poetry, gelli printing, collage, ….

Uli Day shared this lovely Valentine’s heart with us. You can see her other fun adventures at her site, uliday.blogspot.com.

So glad the challenge is back! I went with a super simple crocheted chain stitch scarf/necklace thing that I really love.

Sarah White shared instructions for this fiber project at her site, ourdailycraft.com.

I’m Dani from California. Each year my New Year Goal is to learn something new every year. This year I chose needlework, and I love it! I’m learning different stitches and mixed media is addicting. 

Dani from California made this sweet little stitched piece from a printable and some needle felting, fabric and buttons for a friend undergoing cancer treatment.

I have been wanting to try paper embroidery for some time now and this challenge provided the push I needed to just go for it. I can’t wait to try another project.

Anna lives in Florida, and is a “teacher by day and sewist, baker, and crafter by all other hours.” She has an amazing step-by-step description of her project at her site, check it out!

Those last two projects are the perfect teaser to March’s theme. Can you guess what it is?

DIY: Turn a Tea Towel into the Simplest Apron

IMG_4401_teatowelapron
My cooking style is much like a cartoon: with ingredients flying everywhere, sauces spilling across every surface, and flour covering every inch of my clothing.

Aprons and abundant cleaning cloths are an absolute necessity. Since I like to cook my aprons need frequent washing, so I set out to make one to spare from a fun tea towel. (Before you ask, this lovely tea towel is from Seattle local Sunday Drive Designs.)

IMG_4029_teatowelapron

SUPPLIES

  • One pre-washed and lightly ironed tea towel
  • About 3 yards of fabric ribbon
  • Corresponding thread
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • A sewing machine or hand needles

IMG_4053_teatowelapron
This design breaks down very simply into a tie around your waist, and a loop around the back of your neck.

Start by holding the tea towel up in front of you, and marking with a straight pin where your natural waist is. (For me, it was about 1/3 of the way from the top of the tea towel, at about 9″.) Cut a length of about 2 yards from your ribbon, and pin it across your tea towel at the point you marked.

IMG_4055_teatowelapron
Cut two more lengths of ribbon, on 12″ long and one 24″ long. One each piece, fold about 1″ underneath, and pin to one of the upper corners of the tea towel.

IMG_4056_teatowelapron
Now to the sewing! I used a straight stitch on my machine to attach the ribbons to the tea towel (which I show below) but if you don’t have a machine, don’t fret! You can hand stitch these pieces on without too-much trouble, just give yourself a little time.

IMG_4072_teatowelapron
If you’re using a machine, follow the waist tie with a straight stitch, about 1/4″ from the edges.

IMG_4064_teatowelapron
Then tack the neck straps on each side. (I stitched an “X” shape across the tab for reinforcement.)

With all the ribbon ties attached, slip on the apron and tie the pieces.(The knot of the neck strap will be on one side, since one strip is longer than the other.) Check the length of all the pieces, and trim the ends off of any of the pieces that are way too long. Make sure not to trim any of the pieces too short! You might want to share the apron with someone who is a different size.

Once the pieces are trimmed, take off the apron to finish the edges of the ribbon.

IMG_4081_teatowelapron
Fold about 3/4″ of the ribbon under, then fold again to hide the raw edge of the ribbon. Pin it flat, and repeat on all of the raw edges.

IMG_4082_teatowelapron
Finish by stitching the fold down on each end. Bang! Done.

IMG_4413_teatowelapron
Super simple (and cute) protection from dangerous food-shrapnel.
No more will people know everything about you by the stains on your clothing. You can hide those stains on an apron instead.

IMG_4398_teatowelapron
Sneaky.

DIY: Target My Heart Pincushion

IMG_4390_hearttargetpincushion
About 12 years ago I stitched together a utilitarian pillow stuffed with cloth scraps and called it a pincushion. It was my sad companion through many a sewing project, and as much as I wanted to replace it I never made the time.

Well! The time has come.

Seeing as it’s February and Stitches + Threads time, let’s turn Cupid’s target into a nifty little pincushion.

IMG_4290_hearttargetpincushion

SUPPLIES:

  • Red and white craft felt
  • Corresponding thread or embroidery floss
  • A small scrap of chipboard
  • A black permanent marker (I used a Sharpie Stained marker.)
  • Your favorite adhesive
  • A pair or scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • A strong thin magnet
  • The printed fabric template: to download click on the image below, or here.

hearttarget

  • * Optional : If you’d like to turn your pincushion into a wrist band you will need a small length of elastic and a second magnet.

IMG_4305_hearttargetpincushion
First use the “Wrist Guard” template piece to cut a small heart out of chipboard. This will be place inside the pincushion to keep you from pushing pins all the way through. Use your favorite adhesive to attach one magnet to this piece of chipboard.

IMG_4294_hearttargetpincushion
Next tape a small piece of white felt to the template sheet and use a window to trace the rings of the target shape with your black marker. You may need to go over it a few times to make the rings as dark as possible.

IMG_4304_hearttargetpincushion
Set this piece aside for a moment to dry or you will end up with marker all over your hands. (Which is fun!) While you are waiting, use the “Heart” template to cut two red heart pieces, then when the target is dry cut just outside of the first dark ring. Keep all your little fabric scraps for the stuffing steps later. (Waste not, want not and all that.)

IMG_4314_hearttargetpincushion
Place the target piece in the center of one of the heart pieces and pinch or pin them together. Using black thread or embroidery floss whip the target down to attach it to the pincushion. (I used a blanket appliqué stitch around my target, similar to the one Rachel used in her Alphabet Hoop Art DIY . You can watch a video of how it is done here. If this looks tricky to you, use any old stitch you want!)

IMG_4315_hearttargetpincushion
When the target is all stitched down make a sandwich with the remaining pieces: target+heart piece, chipboard+magnet piece, plain heart piece.

IMG_4317_hearttargetpincushion
Then use thread (or floss) to stitch the two red felt heart pieces together, beginning at the top of one side. (For this stitching I used a blanket stitch. You can see a video of a pro doing it here. Any stitch should work to make this little pillow, so play around with it!)

IMG_4326_hearttargetpincushion
When you reach the top of the other side of the heart, stop sewing and collect your scraps to stuff. Any large scraps can be cut into tinier pieces that will fluff up the inside of you cushion.

IMG_4327_hearttargetpincushion
Start to fill the space between the chipboard wrist guard and the heart+target piece, using a little bit of stuffing at a time. Make sure to press into the point and sides of your heart to make it really puff.

IMG_4331_hearttargetpincushion
When you’ve got it almost over-full stitch up the remaining open space and tie a firm knot. Tuck your thread-end into the heart or trim it and you’re all done!

IMG_4380_hearttargetpincushion
So, why did I have you include a magnet? Because magnets are awesome! If you’re prone to losing straight pins like a startled porcupine loses quills you’ll appreciate the pin collecting magic of a strong magnet. Have a magnetic board or fridge in your making space? Smack your pincushion there for safe keeping!

But if you want to really kick your pincushion up a notch…

IMG_4329_hearttargetpincushion
you can make a magnetic wrist band. Cut a piece of elastic a little bit smaller than your wrist, and glue a magnet to one end. Sew the two ends together to form a loop, stitching around the magnet.

IMG_4335_hearttargetpincushion
Then you should be able to attach your pincushion temporarily to your wrist whenever it’s convenient.

IMG_4376_hearttargetpincushion
If you’re anything like me, it will be convenient a lot.

IMG_4369_hearttargetpincushion
I don’t think I’ll ever look back to the silly old pincushion of yesterday, but I am tempted to make a bunch more of these guys. Maybe a porcupine…