DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy

Cooper, who is now becoming a-big-cat, has finally demolished his favourite toy (seen here with kitten Cooper.)

DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy from Adventures In Making blog #craft #yarn #tutorial

In a typical bout of consumeristic frenzy, I searched high and low for a replacement. NEEDS : Yarn pom-pom with bell. FINDS : Nothing. At some point I thought “I have yarn, I have bells… lets craft this thing.”

What You Need

• Yarn
• Cardboard
• Circle shape to trace
• Scissors
• Bell (optional)

DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy from Adventures In Making blog #craft #yarn #tutorial

Patrick, Kat, and I traced two concentric circles on a piece of cardboard, and cut along them to make a ring with an opening. Then we did it again so we had two rings. We cut a piece of yarn or heavy-duty thread about a foot long and sandwiched it between the two cardboard rings with the ends sticking out at each side of the opening. Using our fingers to hold the sandwich together, we starting wrapping the whole thing with yarn.

DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy from Adventures In Making blog #craft #yarn #tutorial

So we wrapped…

DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy from Adventures In Making blog #craft #yarn #tutorial

and wrapped…

DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy from Adventures In Making blog #craft #yarn #tutorial

and wrapped…

DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy from Adventures In Making blog #craft #yarn #tutorial

until it was about this thick.

DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy from Adventures In Making blog #craft #yarn #tutorial

Then, while holding it carefully, we cut between the layers of cardboard, pulling the inside string to gather up the pieces.

DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy from Adventures In Making blog #craft #yarn #tutorial

and we cut…

DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy from Adventures In Making blog #craft #yarn #tutorial

and pulled until it made a pom-pom.

DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy from Adventures In Making blog #craft #yarn #tutorial

We tied up the strings, used them to attach a jingle bell, and gave it a haircut.

DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy from Adventures In Making blog #craft #yarn #tutorial

Here’s one…

DIY: Pom-pom Cat Toy from Adventures In Making blog #craft #yarn #tutorial

and here are three.

During this adventure I learned…

• Cheap yarn works best for pom-poms.
• It is faster and easier to make a pom-pom than shop for a cat toy.
• I should always employ a quality control expert for crafty inspections.

SHOW + TELL: Handmade Paper Envelopes

Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft
Tara over at Ephemera Press started a great new project called the Elevated Envelope. It’s just what it sounds like, a chance to brighten some people’s day with an artsy envelope (made by you); and you get cool envelopes back! The theme was “Summer,” so I used my summer obsession with handmade paper to my advantage.

Check out my full tutorial and paper making adventure here.

I started with a blended concoction…

Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft

which included cotton paper scraps, cut off pieces of cover paper, and (of course) junk mail. I did my usual process (blend, screen, roll out, dry) with one big change.

Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft

For these envelopes I did some quick-pressing to get plants I could add into the paper. I used the microwave, board and rubber bands to get nice flat pieces I could embed.

When I pulled the screen out of the pulp, I laid a few leaves on top, and gently poured more pulp over them with a spoon. I then went ahead with the rolling and drying process.

Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft
Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft

A few days later (so I knew it was really dry) I trimmed and embossed the paper to fold into an envelope. I decided to stitch the ends together with my sewing machine rather than glue it like a normal envelope. (This was both creativity and laziness on my part.)

Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft

I included an extra piece of handmade paper inside of a little story. Some of the pieces were seeded with wildflower seeds. (If you want to add this to your paper, make sure you have really small seeds, and add them before straining your pulp. Don’t blend them or try to sprinkle on top.) I put the whole thing together and sealed the flaps.

Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft

So now these little envelopes are headed out all over the world. It was an awesome excuse to do my favorite summer things (wander around my yard picking flowers and making paper.)

Now back to the real world.

DIY: Handmade Paper Tutorial

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled
I have always wanted to make paper. It seemed like a magic trick.

I mean, you’re gonna make paper out of only paper? AMAZING.

When Rachel asked me what I wanted to do on our upcoming craft retreat, this was the first thing that popped into my head. What follows can only be referred to as an adventure… in magic!

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

What You Need

• Recycled wastepaper
• Paper shredder
• Blender (I would recommend buying one second hand and only using it for paper making)
Large Dip Handmold
• Bucket
• Large dishpan or container
• Sponge
• Piece of cloth or sheet
• Warm water

For those of you who don’t know, you can make paper out of your trash. This part I found particularly exciting because it fit in perfectly with my hoarder tendencies. (No, I don’t keep my trash, I just hate throwing it out. Especially shredded paper which the recycling “man” won’t take.)

My Process

We shredded paper using a paper shredder, and our hands (when the shredder died a loud horrible death, making a noise that Patrick referred to as a cry of “just let me go.”) We sorted it by color (which meant that the resulting papers were slightly different shades of gray.)

I dunked it all in a bucket of warm water to soak for a while.

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

Here I am, excited about a bucket full of water and shredded paper.

I took these handfulls and put them in a blender (ala Goodwill) along with more warm water. I then blended them until they were the consistency of…. pulped paper.

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

I poured several batches of the pulp into a larger storage container filled with more warm water.

There are several ways to build the “pulp catcher.” I cheated and bought one on clearance at a craft store. (It’s an Arnold Grummer.) It’s basically a thick screen with small holes sandwiched between a wooden frame (deckle) and a hard plastic screen. I slipped the whole sandwich underneath the water and brought it up slowly until it was above the water and evenly coated in pulp.

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

This is what the pulp looks like at first (and when it starts feeling like magic.)

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

The kit also included a thin piece of screen. After removing the whole kit from the water, I removed the wooden deckle, and laid the piece of screen over the top.

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

I have to admit from here on out the tasks were a little tedious. First I had to press most of the water out of the pulp, through the screen, using a sponge and all of my wringing strength.

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

Then I got this piece of magic… something that looked like a piece of paper!

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

After flipping the thick screen over onto a piece of old sheet, and sponging the back of it some more, I was able to separate the paper from the whole kit. I sandwiched the piece in between two cotton sheets, and ironed it like crazy (highest setting) until it was mostly dry.

IMG_0070

I left all the pieces between two heavy wooden planks over night… to see what happens next check out this post on Handmade Paper Envelopes.

During this adventure I learned…

• Paper is magic, and putting your hands in warm pulpy water is therapeutic.

• Don’t use your fancy appliances for crafting. I killed the shredder and blender. (Though, I think it was shoddy modern manufacturing what did them in.) The iron…

• The iron got coated in some sort of ick. Fortunately I used our old iron, AND discovered that the ick was easily removed by white vinegar and a little scrubbing.

• After doing the paper making process a few times, I actually got rid of the ironing step. Now I roll the sheets out between 2 shamwows (I know…) and then place them on extra cardboard while they are still pretty damp. Once they are dry enough to hold their form, I transfer them to a clothes line to dry, until I move them into a stack to dry fully between two heavy peices of wood.

• When you use junk mail, your paper is going to be gray. Most of the tutorials I read recommended using blank papers, and colored tissue paper. I’d rather have gray paper than create more trash in the world, but we’ll see how things go.

• Thick flower petals and pieces do not work best for this project. I ended up with a couple of very lumpy pages. Also, predried flowers often have dyes on them that do not bleed how you think they should.

• Rachel is a great crafting cheerleader and documentorian, and Patrick loves me, and proved it by ironing paper for hours.

SHOW +TELL: Tips On Creating An Amazing Costume

Handmade Faerieworlds Costume #fairy #bohemian #hippie

In 2012 my boyfriend James and I went to Faerieworlds in Eugene, Oregon to see Donovan perform. Costumes are a big part of the festival so we had fun creating our own.

Handmade Faerieworlds Costume #fairy #bohemian #hippie

James created his costume with all thrifted items he found at Goodwill and SCRAP here in Portland.

Handmade Faerieworlds Costume #fairy #bohemian #hippie

MY COSTUME DETAILS:

Dress: Used to be a long skirt I wore bellydancing in high school. With the help of this easy tutorial, I transformed it into a faerie dress.
Belt: I first saw this belt worn by Kaylah from The Dainty Squid and recently found this one at Wanderlust here in Portland.
Large Bead Necklace: Bought on Haight & Ashbury during my 2008 trip to San Francisco.
Love Beads: Thrifted at Red Fox Vintage.
Beaded Choker: Handmade by me when I was in high school.
Rose Hair Clips: Claire’s.
Beaded Cuff Bracelet: I don’t remember! Bought it in high school during my belly dancing days.
Rings: Silver spoon ring, Red Fox Vintage. Red rose ring, Flora. Mood Ring, Fuego.
Dreamcatcher Wings: Handmade by me!

Handmade Faerieworlds Costume #fairy #bohemian #hippie
Handmade Faerieworlds Costume #fairy #bohemian #hippie

Read more about our adventure into the faerie realm on my personal blog.

Handmade Faerieworlds Costume #fairy #bohemian #hippie
Handmade Faerieworlds Costume #fairy #bohemian #hippie

Tips On Creating An Amazing Costume

Collect. Start collecting items a month or so before your event. Frequent your local thrift and vintage stores, dig through “FREE” boxes in your neighborhood, check out garage sales- you never know what you might find!
Make a Costume Box. Get a box to hold all your costume pieces. Then whenever you find something with potential, you have a place to put it. Once you’re ready to start putting together a costume, you already have a slew of things collected in one place to start with.
Remake or DIY. Whenever I’m creating a costume I try to find easy ways to make as much as I can rather than buying everything. I had a silk patchwork skirt I hadn’t worn in years and decided to look up a tutorial on how to transform it into a dress. It was such an easy remake and it didn’t even require any sewing.
Make It Unique. For my Faerieworlds costume I dreamt up the rainbow dreamcatcher fairy wings. They started as a sketch, I did a little research and then gathered my supplies and gave it a go. They didn’t turn out perfect, but I loved the look and I received many compliments from fellow faeries at the festival. Don’t be afraid to dream up something you’ve never seen before!
Test it Out. One week before your event, try everything on and make sure it works. If it doesn’t, you still have time to make adjustments. We knew we would be camping for an entire weekend, so we wanted our costumes to be comfortable and easy to take on and off. Also be sure practice any special hair or makeup styles so that you feel confident when getting ready the day of your event.

Lastly, HAVE FUN!

Photos taken by Bobby Pathammavong.

DIY: Friendship Bracelets for Beginners

DIY Friendship Bracelets by Adventures in Making #tutorial

Friendship bracelets are a great craft to make with a friend or for a friend. Growing up I made tons of these bracelets; I loved trading them with friends and I always had a few tied around my wrist. I call this method “Snake Around The Pole.” It’s the easiest friendship bracelet you can make so it’s great for beginners.

DIY Friendship Bracelets by Adventures in Making #tutorial

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

• 3 different colors of embroidery floss
• Scissors
• Some tape or a safety pin

1. Cut Your Thread

First choose the colors of your bracelet. You can use anywhere from 2 to 10 different colors. If this is your first friendship bracelet, I suggest using 2 or 3 colors. I have chosen to use 3. Cut a strand of each color that’s about 32 inches long.

2. Securing Your String

Holding all the strings together, tie a knot, leaving about 3 inches above the knot. Then secure the strings so that you can begin your bracelet. You can either use a safety pin to pin it to your jeans or you can tape it to a table or book.

DIY Friendship Bracelets by Adventures in Making #tutorial

3. Choose Your First Color

Separate your first color from the rest of the strands. With your starting string on your left side and the rest of the strings held together on your right, take your left string and cross it over the right strings, making the shape of a number 4.

DIY Friendship Bracelets by Adventures in Making #tutorial
DIY Friendship Bracelets by Adventures in Making #tutorial

4. Tying The Knot

Then loop the left strand under the right strands and through the middle of your number 4 shape. Pull the end up firmly to complete the knot. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the same string for as long as you want that color to be.

DIY Friendship Bracelets by Adventures in Making #tutorial

5. Changing Colors

When you’re ready to change colors, take the next color from your right hand and trade it with your left. With your new color in your left hand, repeat steps 3 and 4 until ready to change colors again. Continue to change colors until you reach the end of your bracelet, leaving about 3 inches at the end.

DIY Friendship Bracelets by Adventures in Making #tutorial
DIY Friendship Bracelets by Adventures in Making #tutorial

6. Finishing

I like to finish the ends of my friendship bracelets by dividing the strings into 3 groups and braiding both ends.

DIY Friendship Bracelets by Adventures in Making #tutorial

7. TA DA!

You have finished your friendship bracelet. If you make yours with a friend, you can both trade and wear each other’s. You can also make two matching bracelets for both you and your friend to wear. Once you get the hang of making these feel free to add more colors! My favorite number is 6 different colors, but you can have as many as you want.

DIY Friendship Bracelets by Adventures in Making #tutorial