DIY: Glitter Pumpkin Candles

DIY: Glitter Pumpkin Candles  #autumn #fallcrafts

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year to make things. There’s something about the crisp autumn breeze that makes me want to spend an afternoon with a hot cup of tea and a craft project. I’ve been collecting small pumpkins for the past few weeks and drawing inspiration from this post by Hello Natural, I decided to make my own pumpkin candles.

DIY: Glitter Pumpkin Candles  #autumn #fallcrafts

Supplies Needed

• Small pumpkins
• Soy wax flakes
• #2 candle wick
• Wick tabs
• 30 drops clove essential oil (optional)
• Glitter

Additional Tools

• Carving knife
• Spoon
• Pliers
• Tin can (or double boiler)
• Popsicle stick
• Clothes pins
• Scissors

Cut the top off of each pumpkin and use a spoon to scrape out the insides.

DIY: Glitter Pumpkin Candles  #autumn #fallcrafts

Prep your wick with metal tabs (alternatively you could also use pre-tabbed wicks). Cut the wick to size and insert it through the metal tab with the end of of the wick lining up to the bottom of the tab. Use pliers to pinch the metal tab tightly around the wick. Place into the center of each pumpkin. Use a clothespin to hold the wick into place.

DIY: Glitter Pumpkin Candles  #autumn #fallcrafts

Using a double broiler, melt soy wax flakes over medium heat. Use a popsicle stick to stir the wax. Once completely melted, add the essential oil (optional).

DIY: Glitter Pumpkin Candles  #autumn #fallcrafts

Pour melted wax into the prepared pumpkins. Allow wax to dry almost completely, then sprinkle glitter over the top. Use a hairdryer to ‘hot top’ the glittered wax. The wax should remelt slightly and allow the glitter to set on the top. Allow to dry completely and trim wicks.

DIY: Glitter Pumpkin Candles  #autumn #fallcrafts

Simple as that! Now you can light them up and enjoy a hot cup of pumpkin spice.

DIY: Glitter Pumpkin Candles  #autumn #fallcrafts

SHOW+TELL: Mounting a Phone to a Tripod Using Sculpey

IMG_1329_tshirtrugWhen I was working on the rag rug post I had to finally face up to the fact that I need a tripod for my phone. In a crunch, I decided to try my hand at making one, using an extra phone case and other materials I had around.

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SUPPLIES

 
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First I rolled out a 3/8″ piece of clay and cut it into a fun shape. I pressed the nut into the bottom portion to give me a template to cut out with my craft knife.

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I placed the nut into the hole, and pressed the clay firmly around it.

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I worked the clay form around the camera case, and squeezed it into a speech bubble shape. (Why not?)

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Since I was going with a speech bubble, and had some lead type on hand, I pressed a cheery little message into the clay before baking it.

Afterwards I remove the clay from the case, and added a couple of pieces of wire across the bottom to reinforce the form. Then I popped the whole thing into the oven at 275˚ for 22 minutes.

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When it was done cooking and cooling, I used pieces of double stick mounting tape to attach it to the extra phone case…
 
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and bolted it onto my tripod mount.

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A quick project that let me record some videos of the trickier parts of the weaving process.

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Now, to admit the reason this is a “Show+Tell” instead of a “DIY”. This little guy worked great in a pinch, but I am scared to death that it will break if I’m not careful enough. I tried my best to reinforce it, but it’s just light weight polymer clay.

Have you seen or made a custom mount for your phone that can withstand repeated use? Any advice for making this design work?

DIY: Turmeric Tie-Dye Scarf

DIY: Turmeric Tie-Dye Scarf #natural #dye #tiedye

Tie-dye has been a favorite hobby of mine since I was a kid. I remember first learning to tie-dye as a girl scout at summer camp and it’s what initially inspired my former handmade business, Camp Smartypants back in 2009. While I still love to wear tie-dye today, it’s been years since I’ve dug out my supplies and tie-dyed something new.

DIY: Turmeric Tie-Dye Scarf #natural #dye #tiedye

For my newest hobby (I have many), I’ve taken up the study of herbs and creating my own Materia Medica. When choosing which herb to research next, I settled on Turmeric for it’s amazing orange color (perfect for the fall season). Turmeric is used in Indian and Asian cuisine, it has amazing medicinal properties, and is also used as a natural dye for both food and textiles.

Turmeric is one of my favorite spices (I turn to it often to help ease pain and inflammation) and I was excited to be able to get crafty with it and dye a new scarf to wear this fall season. Of course, I couldn’t resist tying up the fabric before tossing it into the prepared dye, making for a vibrant, natural tie-dye.

DIY: Turmeric Tie-Dye Scarf #natural #dye #tiedye

Supplies Needed

• Turmeric powder (about 1/2 cup)
• White vinegar
• *White natural fiber scarf (like cotton or silk)

Additional Tools

• Large pot
• Rubber gloves
• Waxed thread (I used Flat Sinew)

*I used a white jersey scarf from American Apparel

DIY: Turmeric Tie-Dye Scarf #natural #dye #tiedye

Instructions

First things first, wash and dry your fabric to release any starch that might still be in the fibers. Then simmer fabric in a large pot with a water/vinegar solution for one hour (use 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar). This process creates a fixative for the turmeric dye.

DIY: Turmeric Tie-Dye Scarf #natural #dye #tiedye

Rinse and ring out your fabric under cold water until it no longer smells of vinegar and set aside. Fill the pot with fresh water again (using enough water to cover your fabric) and bring to a simmer. Add the turmeric powder (I used about 1/2 cup of turmeric, but you can use more or less depending on whether you want a dark or light color) and stir until dissolved. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.

DIY: Turmeric Tie-Dye Scarf #natural #dye #tiedye

While the turmeric dye is simmering, tie up your scarf any way you’d like. I like to use flat sinew (a waxed thread) for tie-dye but you can use rubber bands or regular string as well.

DIY: Turmeric Tie-Dye Scarf #natural #dye #tiedye

Submerge the tied fabric into the dye bath and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir the fabric every once in a while to make sure it’s completely soaked in the dye and to prevent the fabric from burning. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let the fabric sit in the dye bath for as long as you want. I wanted my scarf to be as dark yellow/orange as possible so I left it in the dye bath for a full 24 hours.

DIY: Turmeric Tie-Dye Scarf #natural #dye #tiedye

Once the fabric is approximately two shades darker than your desired color, remove it from the dye bath and rinse under cold water to remove the excess dye. Cut off your string or remove your rubber bands and continue squeezing and rinsing until the water runs clear again. Place rinsed fabric in the dryer or hang dry.

DIY: Turmeric Tie-Dye Scarf #natural #dye #tiedye

What a fun project! I am so happy with the results and am loving the pungent turmeric aroma that filled my kitchen over the weekend.

I used this post by Itty Bitty Impact as a guide for this project.

Three DIY Projects To Try This Fall

1. Black Cat Stamped Scarf

Carve your own cat stamp and make this purrfectly cute scarf to keep you warm on the brisk autumn days ahead. [Click here for the full tutorial]

DIY Cat Stamped Scarf #craft #kitty #blackcat #fashion #fall

2. Mini Pumpkin Macrame Hanger

Add some unique pumpkin decor to your home with this simple DIY. [Click here for the full tutorial]

DIY: Mini Pumpkin Macrame Holder

3. Felt Sugar Skull Sachets

Watch your favorite fall movie and practice your embroidery stitches to make some felt sugar skulls. [Click here for the full tutorial]

DIY: Felt Sugar Skull Sachets #dayofthedead #diadelosmuertos #embroidery

Hope you all have a wonderful and crafty weekend!

DIY: No Sew Woven T-Shirt Rag Rug

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A couple of months ago I tore up the carpet in my office and replaced it with a wood-ish surface. It’s been great through these warm months, but I want something to stand on when the cold sneaks in. Couple that need with a stack of t-shirts left over from the quilt project, and you have my newest best friend, the t-shirt rag rug.

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I built a 30″x30″ make-shift loom out of a piece of plywood and scrap wood, but if you search online you can find frames built from pretty much anything. (A Beautiful Mess used cotton scraps and a big piece of cardboard. Also, Pinterest)

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I put nails along each end, 1 inch apart. Good hammer practice for a hammer novice.

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With the loom assembled, I moved to materials.

SUPPLIES

Stripping

The rug was built with 1.5″ loops for the warp (base strips) of my rug, and 1.75″ strips woven through.

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I used a large straight rotary blade and a metal ruler to cut three navy shirts into the 1.5″ loops, then cut the rest of the shirts into 1.75″ strips. (This is a very forgiving fabric, so estimation is ok!)

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I hooked the navy warp pieces on each side of the loom using the natural loop and stretch of the t-shirt.

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I prepared to weave by attaching the first strip to the first warp loop. I cut a slit in one end of the strip, fed the other end around the first warp piece and back through the slit. Then I pulled it tightly and began to weave.

Not a normal knot.

I connected a lot of strips to finish this rug using the method shown below. It’s quick and tidy, and ensured you don’t have a lot of extra bulk at your connection points.

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  1. Cut a small slit in the ends of each strip.
  2. Feed the new strip into the hole at the end of the other.
  3. Take the other end of the new strip and feed it through the slit on the same strip.
  4. Pull on the new end to tighten the knot. Smooth or trim extra material if needed.

(The video below shows how I knotted at the end of a strip.)

 

Now Weave!

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Starting at that first warp piece, I wove in and out of each loop to the end of the loom. At the end I wrapped either over or under the last piece to start back down the loom. The second strand went over the strands that the first went under, and vice versa.

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From there it was basically rinse and repeat. I wove back and forth, connecting strips and changing colors.

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When possible I fed the strip through the warp flat, then pulled it down with my fingers to bunch it up.

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The pattern and color combination were very important to me, and I got more and more excited as I worked on it. When I put the final strip in, I tied it off using a normal knot on the last piece of navy.

Finishing it off

Here’s where I admit this rug is really just a gigantic pot holder, and I finished it off the same way. I pulled the first warp loop free and fed the second through it, then fed the third through that one, and so on down the line. (Video Below)

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Once I was down to the last two loops, I changed tactics. I cut the loop of the last piece, fed one strip through the second to last loop and tied it off.

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I did the same thing on the other end and suddenly had a rug in front of me.

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After basking in the last moments of sunshine, I rolled up the rug and brought it inside.

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Where it was immediately claimed by another friend…

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Cooper.

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Looks like I’ll have to weave another rug for myself.

Next Time

  • The next rug will be bigger. Once I took this one off the loom it shrunk down a bit, and I love it too much for it to be small.
  • I won’t pull the woven strands as tightly, which will hopefully help with the shrinking.
  • Maybe I’ll try non-stretch cotton scraps?
  • I will plan to move the loom frame around a lot, and possibly rig up some way of leaning it upright while I’m weaving. Working flat gave me a back-ache.
  • I will take it in little batches, weaving in front of the tv or in public. If I weave in public I will look very serious about turning scraps into a comfy rug.

A sign of a successful project is the ability to look forward to the next one.

UPDATE: I enjoyed this project so much that I decided to remake this rug- BIGGER! I built a much larger loom using scrap wood and screws, then followed the same process to build this monstrosity. It sits cozily by my work table now, warms my feet, and makes me happy.

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DIY: Culinary Herb Wreath

DIY: Culinary Herb Wreath

Herb gardening has become one of my favorite hobbies and this year I’m growing over 25 different types of herbs! There’s nothing better than a backyard garden full of fragrant edible plants. Now that it’s harvest season I’ve been researching ways to use them. I mainly use fresh herbs in cooking. Last year I made up a batch of yummy oregano pesto. I plan to make my own herbal vinegar and infused olive oils this year, but first I wanted to try something completely new- I made a gorgeous culinary herb wreath!

Not only was it fun choosing and harvesting the herbs I chose to use in my wreath, I also love that once the wreath has dried it becomes both decorative and functional. Find a spot in your kitchen (near the stove) to hang an herb wreath and all you have to do is snip off a few sprigs here and there to add to your cooking!

DIY: Culinary Herb Wreath

Read the Tutorial

You can find the full tutorial and make your own herb wreath by visiting my guest post over at Garden Therapy!

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden
Crystals and succulents have become some of my latest obsessions. Both are naturally beautiful and when put together make for a breathtaking combination. This has sparked my latest project- making my own mini crystal + succulent garden. I decided to start small with this project and hope to add to it and create larger arrangements as I collect more crystals and succulents. I recommend that you trust your gut with this project and simply follow your intuition when selecting and placing your succulents and crystals.

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden

Supplies Needed

• Succulent plants
• Crystals
• Planter
• Potting Soil

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden

First select your succulents and begin visualizing an arrangement within your planter. When you are ready, fill your planter about half way with potting soil and begin placing each succulent into the pot, filling in with more soil where necessary.

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden

Next, gather your crystals and begin placing them around your succulents. Remember to let your intuition be your guide and arrange your crystals in a way that feels meaningful to you.

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden
DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden

Once you’ve finished, find a sunny spot in your home for your mini crystal succulent garden to glisten and grow.

DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden
DIY: Mini Crystal Succulent Garden

SHOW + TELL: A-Frame Canvas Card Wall

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One of the best things about having “a summer off” is that I am slowly getting to the projects that have been stacking up, with the help and company of Safety Husband. It feels great to make forward progress, but it is INSANE how much I expected to have done in a couple of weeks.

This weekend I finally got to a pressing project, and built an a-frame portable card wall out of two canvases and some scrap wood. There are a million options when it comes to displaying cards, but I wanted something light-weight with a little character, and I think this project absolutely fit the bill.

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Safety Husband makes a great arm model. Safety goggles not shown, but surely present.

Since these canvases were big (~30″ x 48″) they were reinforced on the back, so our first step was knocking those bars out. Fortunately they came out pretty easily with a couple of smacks from a mallet.

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We decided to use some trim leftover from the shop, and ripped it (on a table saw) to be the same depth as the canvas. That left us a scrap that made a perfect lip for the front of the card rails. We cut the trim to fit inside the frame of the canvas.

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Once all 10 card rail pieces and lips were cut, I glued and clamped them together and left them overnight to dry. Once they were dry, I used a semi-gloss white spray paint to cover all the green painted sides (all that would be visible from the front of the display.)

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I made a mark along my frame every 9 inches to allow for enough room for the cards, and the occasional journal.

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The shelf pieces ended up being a tight fit in the frame of the canvas, so I decided that wood glue would be enough to hold up the light weight of the cards. I put glue on the ends to mount into the frame. I also put glue along the long back of the rails to attach to the canvas and keep cards from falling behind the shelves.

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I then gently put the rails in place, using a piece of scrap wood and a mallet to tap some of the tighter pieces in.

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I used painters tape to secure shelves in that were more likely to shift around. Most were held in place by friction and perfectly measured cuts.

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When the glue had set, I finished by attaching the two canvases together with old door hinges. (The best hardware has a little character.)

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I love the simple but rustic look of the a frame, and I adore how light weight and durable it is. It will soon find a home in a local store, and I’m excited to see how it looks.

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I always get a sense of satisfaction when I finish a project like this, when I get over all the “What if I…” ideas and just get it done. This one is especially rewarding because I only used materials leftover from the shop and previous projects.

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What are you working on?

May DIY Challenge Results!

This month’s DIY Challenge theme has reached full bloom, and we’re very excited to share a roundup of submissions we received from our readers. With a theme like ‘flowers’ you know you’re gonna have some fun. Without further ado, here are the May DIY Challenge Award Winners along with the gallery of everyone’s lovely submissions…

DIY Challenge Award: Brightest Idea

The award for “Brightest Idea” goes to Lori Miller of Eldridge, Iowa. Lori is a fine art fiber artist and loves transforming cast-off sewing materials into something new. You can see more of Lori’s work on her website.

May DIY Challenge Results #adventuresinmaking #flowers

As I am always seeking ways to turn the cast-offs into some type of treasure, I came up with a variation of the zipper pin. The idea is not my own originally but I modified it to make a more fresh, funky flower design. Combinations of colors was fun as well as the different type of zippers. – Lori Miller

DIY Challenge Award: Most Inspired

We were “Most Inspired” by Gail Griffin’s handmade foam lilies. Gail is from Millersville, Maryland where she teaches crafty classes and creates various projects for her blog, Plum Perfect and Me. Check out Gail’s step-by-step tutorial and have fun making your own foam flowers!

May DIY Challenge Results #adventuresinmaking #flowers

DIY Challenge Award: Most Treasured

This beautiful handmade journal deserves the “Most Treasured” award because it is almost too gorgeous to write in! Made by Nikki, the creator of Venus Envy Paper. Nikki used K & Company scrapbook paper to create this book and used the coptic binding technique. As a lifelong journal writer, she loves that her handmade journals have the ability to lie completely flat, for easy writing. Be sure to check out Nikki’s Etsy shop where she sells handmade wax seals, custom journals, paper flowers and more!

May DIY Challenge Results #adventuresinmaking #flowers

I specialize in making custom art journals, paper flowers and wax seals. I live in a smallish (read growing way too fast) town in Northern California. I am a proud sci/fi nerd and have adopted six homeless cats. Or I should say, they decided I was going to be their human servant for the rest of their natural multiple lives. I am most passionate about creating journals that will last not for the moment, but for generations. – Nikki

Flowers Gallery

May DIY Challenge Results #adventuresinmaking #flowers

Credits (left to right):

1. Homegrown Lollipop Flowers by Stephanie Rose from Vancouver BC, Canada
2. Field of Flowers Tote by Donna Heron
3. Mixed Media Collages by Becky Brooks from Issaquah, Washington
4. DIY Flowers On A Stick by Despina from Greece
5. Painted Sunflowers by Madison Lee from Southern California

Thank you for participating in the May DIY Challenge! We will be taking a break for the month of June but we’ll be back with our next DIY Challenge theme in July!

DIY: The Simplest Paper Flowers

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A while back my friend Susan made a bunch of simple paper flowers that found a home on a shelf in my store.

Every few weeks a kid would ask me about the flowers, and I would give them one and tell them to take it home and try to figure out how to make their own. Without fail the kid would stare at the flower until it was time to leave, and I could see the parents trying to work out what materials they needed to make it happen.

Sometimes they asked me to demonstrate, but mostly I just loved the idea that I had inspired a kiddo to use their imagination and ingenuity to make something fun.

I think this is a great project to do with kids of all ages, and you just need a few simple supplies to make it happen.

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Supplies

• Scrap Paper – Anything from text weight paper, to light weight card stock will work. Big pieces will make big flowers, small pieces will make small flowers. Susan used some old book pages for her flowers, you could use wrapping paper, catalog pages, or anything really!
• Scissors
• Your favorite glue – I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue but Elmer’s would also work.

Step 1

Cut an oval out of your piece of paper. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to keep the corners rounded.

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Step 2

Starting from one side, cut the oval into a spiral. You should have a pointed end on the outside, and a rounded end on the other.

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Step 3

Take the pointed end, and fold it down toward the center of the spiral.

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Step 4

Starting at that fold, begin rolling the paper into a flower shape.

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Step 5

When you get to the center portion of the spiral, tighten the bloom up by twisting the paper around the folded piece.

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Step 6

Hold the bloom in your hand, and apply a drop of glue to the folded portion you started the flower with, then

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fold it over and hold it for a few seconds until the glue holds.
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The whole process takes a couple of minutes, and gives you a lovely simple flower to brighten up your day. You can put them in a basket, like I did, hang them like a mobile, or decorate a table with them. They don’t fade, and the possibilities are endless!

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So make a bunch and send us a picture of your creation for the DIY Craft Challenge this month! Or share your favorite flower craft.