Elegant Art Laptop Bag {tutorial}

*Tutorial by Catherine @ CathGrace for the Elegant challenge of season 14*

Hey everyone! Last week’s voting was a total nail biter, I cannot believe how close it all was! I want to thank everyone for all the votes for my laptop bag!

To begin with, I measured my laptop bag and came up with all my needed measurements, I’m showing a graph of the pieces here without measurements, because every laptop will differ a little bit (and my canvas helped dictate the size too.) For your measurements, just measure [Read more…]

Crystal & Beaded Hair Clips {tutorial}

*Tutorial by Catherine @ CathGrace for the Glitter/Shine/Metallic challenge of season 14*

I’m so excited to be here with you today to share my beaded crystal hair clips, and I want to thank everyone who voted for me! I wear some variation of bun in my hair almost everyday, so being able to add clips to my hair is really a great way to add color and style.
(the head on the left is not mine, it’s my daughter’s, which is why her color is different)
 I’m only going to show pictures for the clip on the far right, because it used the most steps, but all the clips are some variation on the same theme. To begin with I put some plain white cotton fabric in an embroidery hoop, and then put a square of wool felt on top. The felt is for structure, and the cotton for something that will stay taught and not stretch.
In the middle of the felt, I sewed down a green flat backed plastic crystal; next I added a ring of glass beads, and then an additional ring of navy diamante trim. The trim is couched down on the low spots between the crystals.
For the next step I added teardrop shapes of gold chain by stitching through the holes in the chain. Inside of the teardrop I couched clear diamante.
 Inside of the clear diamante I added more blue glass beads, a couched row of real gold bullion chain, and then cream glass seed beads; I then traced 3 new tear drop-ish shapes in pencil onto the felt.
 And then there was MORE layering!on the outside of the gold chain, a layer of green crystals, and then more blue glass beads. Then I added more green crystals to the additional teardrop-ish shapes, and then more blue beads, gold bullion, cream seed beads, etc.
After filling in everything, I lastly added some more navy crystal diamante, and then some glass beads to bridge the top loops shape to the rest of the clip, so that it’s not floppy, and although I didn’t take the picture, on top I added a ring of the clear and green crystals over everything (can be seen in the finished product.)
Once all the beading etc. is done, you cut the cotton fabric as close to the stitching as you can on the back.
 I also cut the felt a little closer, but not all the way close to the edge yet.
 Next I cut a tiny slit in the back piece of fabric, and slotted an alligator clip through.
 Here’s the closed clip on the inside.
 Then I covered the back of the felt in a lot of fabric glue
and thoroughly squished the clip and fabric onto the back of the felt piece. I stretched it from the center out so there is a slightly cupped shape to the clip, so it forms better to the head.
 Before the glue dried, I trimmed the edge closer to the beading, and then blanket stitched in tiny stitches around the edge. I sewed it before it dried, because it is easier to stitch then. I don’t think there is any likelihood of fraying with the felt, and all the glue I used on the back fabric, but I added the blanket stitch so that there is no chance the layers would start to roll apart or separate at all.
 and then here are the finished products…..
I used a hole punch to open up a couple of holes in the clip, so there wasn’t the expanse of blank felt.  For the other two clips I used some large plastic jewels, and the yellow one has some sequins too (I also couched a navy silk cord down with the blanket stitch on the edge) but they are pretty much just about hand stitching and building the layers. My big hints are to have a variety of beads and stones, use felt that will blend into the background (the felt isn’t the star of the show!) and use really strong thread. I have so many more of these clips in the works as soon as we get done with So You Think You’re Crafty! I need more colors! I would love it if you came and said hi! to me over at cathgrace, and I am so excited for the rest of the competition!!!

Hand Turned Wood Bracelet Tutorial

*Tutorial by Erin for the DIY Jewelry challenge of season 12*

I am very excited to share with you how to hand turn a wood bracelet.  I understand that not everyone will have the tools to do this, but maybe some of you do or know someone who does.

You will need a lathe or midi-lathe in order to do this project.  My husband and I purchased ours off of a local shop teacher that was laid off.  So many high schools are closing down their wood shops (insert super sad face here), and many of the teachers are given the tools to do with what they please.  Yay for Craigslist!  We also took a class on pen turning and bowl turning at our local Woodcraft store to get the basics skills needed to use our midi-lathe.

Please do NOT attempt wood turning without taking a basic class and reading the instruction manual for your lathe.  Please wear your protective safety gear when wood turning.  I do NOT want anyone to hurt themselves.  As with any power tools, there are risks associated with it’s use. [Read more…]

DIY Jewelry {week 9}

At my church I’m the leader in charge of all the girls ages 12-18 in our congregation. Our annual summer girls camp starts tomorrow so this weekend was spend frantically making sure all their health and permission forms were in and that we had enough rides and gear for all of them.  I’ll be so relived with this week is over and done with  🙂

 *Note – this picture is from a family camping trip from earlier this summer.  The girls will be staying in cabins for the week.  So not fair.*

We’re down to the top 3 this week.  That means that no matter what, these three ladies will be going home with a fantastic prize package from our sponsors. Yay!!

As a reminder the top three are:

ChiWei @ One Dog Woof
Erin @ Erin’s Creative Energy
Chrissy @  There are UFO’s under my stairs

This week’s theme is one that we’ve never done before, but had a few requests for.  And it’s a fun one.  So enjoy DIY Jewelry that’s been linked up this week!

Remember the poll is in the sidebar and will be open until Thursday night. [Read more…]

Scrap Ribbon Wallet/Clutch

I love giving my project scraps new life instead of just throwing them into the trash. These little wallets (or clutches depending on the size you make them) are made from small scrap ribbons that most people would have already thrown away! I made one for a “little princess” and one for her teacher. I personalized one of the gifts with a printed tag made from a ribbon and an iron on ink-jet transfer (the name is blurred out for the contest). They look intricate but they are super easy because there are only 2 measurements to remember and all of the seams are covered by ribbon pieces…..so you can’t really mess this project up. There is a vinyl pocket for an ID or a photo, three slanted pockets for credit cards/money and a key ring can easily be added so you can travel light. They close with a magnetic clasp. These would be perfect stocking stuffers or Christmas presents! Think “green” and think twice before throwing your scraps away!

Mitten Purse

A fun purse made for the little girl in your life. Flannel lining and drawstring ties along with rick rack touches complete the look of it. Simple and cute. Easy peasy.

Accessorize Your Mittens Scarf

It’s cold out, you need mittens…but you also need a stylish scarf to go with it.

Made out of flannel, this scarf with time will fray and become that much more snuggly and comfy.

Whether dressed up or out on the town, you for sure will make your mittens proud with that scarf to accessorize them!

Placemat Clutch

*Project by Camilla @ Candied Apples for the Dollar Store challenge*
What is the perfect bag? Well, it must be big enough to hold the essentials, light weight and cute. Oh and if you’re a mom, it should probably be washable, of course.
This bag started out as a slightly boring placemat. Now it is a clean, modern bag with cutout handles. All from the dollar store for just $1.50. If it gets dirty, just wipe it down, it’s vinyl.
It could not be any cuter!