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

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.

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: Marble Paper with Oil Paints

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Whenever Rachel and I get together there is always a lot of making. We hang out, paint, draw, and then we party (ie: DIY TIMES). In anticipation for this visit, we made lists of possible crafts, and “Paper Marbling” appeared on both lists. Done!

We’d seem several methods, but we had almost all the supplies to marble with oil paints so we decided to try that out first. It was a long, fun day; full of “oooooh” and “aaaaahhh,” sunshine, and turpentine fumes. We wanted to share our method and tips with you, so that you can make your own marble marvel.

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Basic Supplies

  • Oil Paint Colors – cheap oil paints should work just fine, we used the M. Graham paints we had on hand.
  • Turpentine – Easily found at a hardware store.
  • Big plastic bin to float the paint in
  • Small containers to mix paint colors and turpentine
  • Cardstock (We loved the colored card stock best!)
  • Disposable bamboo skewers or spoons for stirring
  • Nitrile Gloves

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Step 1: Prep

Before we got started we made a comb by taping toothpicks into a small strip of card stock. The comb was handy for pulling through the colors, and encouraging more “swirly bits.”

We set up our marbling table outside, which I recommend highly. You want to use a table or cover that it’s okay to get paint on. This is a messy craft, to be sure. We set out a tarp for drying our finished papers, put on our gloves and starting mixing things up.

We filled two plastic bins with about an inch or water and set them aside. Then we put out several colors of oil paints in our mixing containers.

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It was a little trick to get the right mix of turpentine and paint, initially. We discovered that the ideal texture was somewhere around the thickness of whole milk.

marbledpaper_IMG_0740We added turpentine to the paint containers in small pours, and mixed it thoroughly with a bamboo skewer. If we needed to add more turpentine we did it as soon as we had the paint mixed to a consistent texture.

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Step 2: Pouring the Paint

Then we just poured the paints on top of the water! Simple. Sometimes we did little drops, sometimes we just chunked it all in.

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Our first batch of color was always full of the same color family, so that as the colors mixed in the water we didn’t end up with a bunch of brown paper. (Towards the end we got a little more daring, and had great results adding in complementary colors to the batches.)

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We got a lot of mileage out of our toothpick combs, pulling them through the paint to swirl the colors together.

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Step 3: Dipping the Papers

Once we were happy with a design, we laid the card stock quickly on top of the swirled colors, and removed it as delicately as we could. (Rachel had a great dunking method that involved bending the card stock down the middle– hamburger style– then rolling down from the middle to the outside edges before lifting from the water.)

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Tada! It was amazing how unpredictable the results were. What you saw on the water might not be at all what showed up on the paper. We loved the look we got towards the end, when there was less paint and it all seemed to be thinner.

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We did two different color stories, one was reds and golds and one was blues and greens. The reds tended to get a little “gory” at times, but looked beautiful on colored papers.

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Step 4: Drying and Future Projects with Marbly Goodness

We laid the paged out for a few hours, while we cleaned all the paint up. When we were ready to go inside we stacked the sheets and set them aside to dry. It took a good 5 days for the oil to be dry to the touch, but now they are, and I have all kinds of ideas about what to do with my collection.

Maybe I’ll revisit an old DIY, what do you think?

The possibilities are endless. I’m okay with that.

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Things We Learned

  • Working outside is key. The Turpentine is kinda smelly, and even with a light breeze we felt like we were standing in the fumes. Working outside also made cleanup a lot easier, with a big trash can and a hose available. Make sure to dispose of turpentine properly!
  • Initially we tried thinning the oil paint with walnut oil, but it did not allow the paint to spread out across the water. We had to drop everything and head to the store for turpentine to make the project come together. I have seen a couple of recommendations online for turpentine alternatives, but we didn’t try any (after the oil fiasco.)
  • If your paint drops to the bottom instead of floating, add a little more turpentine.
  • Sometimes less paint is better. I loved the last sheets we printed from each batch.
  • Opaque paint on black paper is tres cool.
  • Each sheet is cooler than the last, which means you won’t ever want to stop. Ever.

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: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

I’ve recently gone through some major life changes, one of them being a complete overhaul and reorganization of my home. I had piles and piles of ‘stuff’ accumulated over the years that was literally taking over my space and my life. Making room for a new roommate was the perfect motivation for me to sort through and get rid of stuff and it feels so good to say goodbye to ‘the pile’ and start fresh.

Now that my life feels back in order, I can make time for some new decor ideas for my home. The first thing I wanted to do fill my new bedroom with hanging plants in the window. I spied a lovely Boston Fern at the grocery store and brought it home on a whim. Macrame is one of my favorite craft activities, since I already have the supplies on hand and a hanging planter is a fairly simple project to take on. I decided to use precut strips of jersey (t-shirt) material that I had in my stash for this project, but you can also recycle an old t-shirt by cutting it up into strips.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Supplies Needed

• Jersey (t-shirt) fabric, cut into strips
• Wooden beads
• Scissors
• Ruler or measuring tape
• House plant
• Hook (to hang the plant from)

Cut your t-shirt material into 1.5″ strips (you’ll need 8-12 strips total), then stretch each strip into round cords (if you pull on both ends and stretch the fabric strip it will roll itself into a cord naturally).

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Take 8 strips and tie them together into one big knot as shown below. I chose to use two different colors of blue jersey fabric.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Group your cords into 4 sets of 2 and tie a knot in each set. To determine where I should tie the first knots, I first measured the radius of the bottom of my plant pot, then divided that number in half (my pot radius was about 6″ so I tied my first knots 3 inches below the first big knot).

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Next separate your sets again into twos as shown in the photo below and tie knots again, approx. 3″ below the first set.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor
DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Repeat the last step to make a third row of knots. At this point you can stretch your macrame around your plant pot and adjust any knots if necessary. To finish, simply gather all your cords together and tie into one big knot at the top to finish.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

But I tried my own variation…

You may have noticed that the cords look too short in the photo above to complete the hanger. Inspired by this image, I decided to change cord colors to finish the top of the hanger. To do this, I loosened the last row of knots and inserted a purple cord though the knot, then tightening securely.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor
DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Use scissors to trim the extra blue cord to 2-3″ long.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Next I added beads to the purple cords, using an awl (bookbinding tool) to help feed the cords through the bead holes. I also added wooden beads to the bottom of the big knot for some extra flair.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

Finally, I stretched my completed macrame hanger around the plant pot, pulled the purple cords up and tied a knot at the top. To hang, install a screw-in hook into your ceiling.

DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor
DIY: Jersey Macrame Hanging Planter #craft #home #decor

DIY: Art Journal Techniques with Katie Smith

Hey everyone, This is Katie from Punk Projects and today I am taking over the Adventures in Making blog! Last year Rachel guest posted on my blog sharing a peek at her art journals so today I wanted to share a peek into mine! More specifically, a couple of fun techniques I like to use.

I love drawing and painting people in my art journals, but some days I’m feeling a bit lazy or I want to do something different, so I grab a magazine and pull pages from it to use. I like to cut around some of the people/models in the pages and use them in my journal, but being an artist I like to alter them a bit.

Today I want to show you 2 ways to alter cut outs from magazines.

1. Gesso’d and Doodled.

If you want the look of a hand drawn person but perfer to trace this is a good technique for you! Start by finding some people or objects in your magazines and cutting them out.

Next glue your person down onto your journal and paint over it with a light coat of gesso. Most gesso’s dry slightly transparent so you will be able to see your cut out underneath and easily trace it.

Once your gesso is dry, take a black marker and trace your cut out. If you can’t quite see through the gesso in places, use your imagination! It won’t be perfect, but that’s okay! The result is a fun, doodled look and can even be colored in as well!

2. Packing Tape Transparency

I like using this technique when I have a fun background I don’t want to completely cover up. You will be able to see a bit through the magazine transparency.

Start by covering your cut out in clear Scotch/packing tape. Depending on the size of your cut out, you may need to use multiple pieces of tape, which is fine. Just make sure the edges of the tape pieces slightly overlap each other.

Next soak your cut out in a bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes. This will wet the paper and make it easy to peel up.

After 2-4 minutes pull it out and flip it over so the backside is facing up. Use your fingers and rub the paper off. Be gentle, but persistent and you’ll remove all the paper and end up with the image on the tape transfer!

 

Do you like to use magazine cut outs in your art journals? Do you have any other favorite techniques?

Thanks for letting me share! If you get a chance, come stop by my blog for more crafty inspiration! I’m hosting a free 8 week craft challenge this Summer and I’d love to have you join!