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1  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Double Rainbow Swap (or internet memes) on: November 14, 2010 09:55:56 PM
I personally would dig a Double Rainbow swap... but if there aren't enough other peeps out there into the Double Rainbow (it's so intense), how about an internet meme swap.
2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Pizza Supreme Costume on: November 02, 2010 09:35:18 PM


My four year-old son had a few ideas for his Halloween costume this year, but he finally settled on dressing as a piece of pizza.  A piece of pizza is a great costume: it's funny, instantly recognizable, you can customize it, and of course, it's easy! It's also comfortable and easy to move around in, and you can remove it in a jiffy if necessary (perfect for a school or work costume!)

I made this costume out of felt yardage (the kind you get on the bolt at the fabric store, as opposed to the small sheets of craft felt). I love making costumes out of felt! It's inexpensive, easy to work with, and you don't have to finish it by hemming. Perfect for a one-time-use costume.

Project Materials:

    * 1 yard each of cream-colored and tan felt (72" wide), $3.59 per yard
    * 1/4 yard of dark red felt, $.90
    * 1 sheet each of black, brown, green craft felt, on hand or $.25 each
    * A piece of batting, 24x24", on hand or $4.95 (I bought a bag of crib-sized batting at Wal-mart)
    * Sewing machine & thread
    * Hot glue gun & glue
    * Velcro, on hand

Total: I spent $13.98, but you could make it for about $8 (if you have batting on hand, or if you skip the batting)

Tutorial for making it is on my blog, Dollar store Crafts
3  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Steampunk Necklaces out of old jewelry on: July 12, 2010 05:03:35 PM
I recently participated in an awesome steampunk charm swap (check the gallery -- it's amazing), and when I sat down to turn my charms into necklaces, I ended up playing all day yesterday with transforming the charms into bigger pieces. I LOVE the results!



I turned Lady_Lovecraft's charm (center) into this awesome necklace. LOVE it!!



Scrabble tile pennyfarthing charm into this cute necklace (notice I used 2 key charms as links in the chain)



This is one of my own charm rejects turned into a cool winged necklace



And Doxie24_7's (I think) round swallow charm as the center for another winged pendant



Cool steampunk orb... barely changed anything. Just turned it to its side, added a swallow charm and some chain.

4  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Quilt block swap: charity crosses on: May 10, 2010 05:13:04 PM
Anyone feeling the love for a quilt block swap?



Here's the pattern I was inspired by: Moda Bake Shop's Charity Crosses

although, i am in love with its more mod cousin. (find the original photo here)



And a couple other ideas in the cross family:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlandq/3865047834/in/faves-17261684@N00/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/carryboo/3657610186/in/faves-17261684@N00/


I'm thinking stash busting (i.e. try not to buy new fabric, as much as you might want to - ha ha!) and make x number of different blocks so everyone in the swap has enough blocks to make a quilt. (The moda quilt has 35 blocks). The number of participants in the swap would help us decide how many different blocks we'd make...

Like, if we had 7 participants, we could each make 5 different designs (7 blocks of each design). Or whatever... we can talk about it.

Anyone like this idea?

5  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 46 ENTRIES / Little Lowes Houses on: January 01, 2010 05:16:33 PM


I'm sure I'm not really a contender, but I had a great time making gingerbread houses this year! This was the first time I'd ever made gingerbread from scratch (instead of using either a readymade house kit, or graham crackers). I mixed up the gingerbread with my preschoolers one day, and baked it another day (actually, my husband rolled it out and made the house templates and components, which was awesome because I was kind of intimidated to come up with a template, and also, it made the project more do-able to tag team it). We made two tiny houses with templates taken from the measurements of these little wooden houses we made with the boys at Lowes (the home improvement store) at their build & grow clinic.

Each boy got to decorate a house. But they're so small they pretty much just hung out with me while I did it and they ate candy. Heh. We used a bunch of candy we got in bulk from Winco (plus some other random stuff I had on hand).

I'm only posting a pic of the first house we did, in keeping with the "one entry" thing.



My 3 year-old starting the project out strong. He even put some icing on the house.



Here's the house after his contributions. He then ate candy for about thirty minutes (and he even got sick of that!) but it was fun to have him standing there while I covered every exposed inch of gingerbread with candy. Fun!



The walkway was made with candy rocks and lemonheads and cherryheads.



The roof was made with those old lady stripey hard candies (the kind that are always stuck together when they're left in a bowl... I think they had that scene in Coraline.) I love the licorice mix that I used for random parts of the house (the round pastel with black dot ones, and the 3-part striped squares). It tastes awesome - a barely black licorice flavor along with chocolate or coconut or orange (depending on the color). I love black licorice, but that stuff is good in a different way.

Oh yeah, that's a chimney and the white thing is Santa standing on the roof.



Here's the back of the house that took on a Halloweeny feel thanks to the leftover candy corn from halloween paired with the black licorice.



Here's my two year-old surveying the house. I made gingerbread boys with the leftover scraps of gingerbread (they looked very bumpy/bad, but the royal icing helped a bit!). You can see that the house was pretty small...about six inches tall.

Anyway, it was fun to make! Thanks for letting me share pics with you!
6  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 43 ENTRIES / Make an Atomic Starburst out of Recyclables on: October 01, 2009 09:38:11 AM


I love a good starburst, and especially love the mid-century look of the George Nelson Ball Clock, which inspired my entry. I used drinking straws along with recycled milk jug lids to make this playful decoration, which would be a cute addition to a kid's room or playroom ( milk lids attached to the ends of the straws remind me of Tinker Toys!), or your room if you like bright colors! This would also be so cute as a clock, just add a clock-making kit to your materials list (or tear up a dollar store clock and attach it to your styrofoam disc).

We always have drinking straws on hand, and I have this recycled stuff hoarding problem (it's all for crafting, I promise!), so I was super excited to use up some of my milk lids. I have a few more ideas for milk lids, but sometimes the ideas are more plentiful than the time to carry them out (did I tell you I'm having a baby on 10/10?). The idea for this project was simple, but the materials provided me with a medium challenge in making it work!

I had everything on hand I needed for this project, but you might need to pick up one or two things to make it work for you. You'll need about an hour to put it all together. (I included foam stickers in my supplies photo because I thought I was going to incorporate them into the design, but I ended up not using them).



Project Estimate:

    * 5" Styrofoam disc, 2 for $1
    * Drinking straws, big package for $1 or on hand
    * 12 recycled milk lids, on hand
    * A piece of scrapbooking paper, on hand
    * Hot glue, on hand

Total: $.50 and up



Preparing Your Supplies:

Milk Lids: If your family drinks as much milk as ours does, it won't take too long to save up enough lids for this project. If they don't, you can use juice lids, soda bottle lids, wooden discs, or round game pieces (like checkers!). If you don't use any of these things, ask a friend to save them for you, or raid a public recycling bin (like at school, work, etc). If you go with milk or other food lids, be sure to wash them very well in hot, soapy water, and let them dry thoroughly before you begin. You can paint the lids in any color, if you like.

Straws: If you have bendy straws, cut them off at the bendy part.

Styrofoam Disc: Trace the disc on the wrong side of the scrapbooking paper and cut it out. Glue it to the disc. I used Elmer's glue.



Use a pencil to poke 12 holes in the side of your disc. I drew a grid on the back of the disc to help me space the holes.



Gluing plastic to plastic:

Drinking straws will melt and warp if you use a hot temp glue gun, and possibly even with a low temp gun. I put a dot of glue on the milk cap, let it cool for a second, and then held the uncut end of the straw up to the glue dot for 15-20 seconds to help it set.

Once the "lollipops" are made, attach them to the disc:

Hot glue will melt styrofoam as well, and any ensuing fumes aren't healthy! To avoid this problem, squirt a glob of hot glue on the other end of the straw, and allow it to cool somewhat, about five seconds. Stick it into the hole in your disc, and hold it there for 15-20 seconds to help it set.
7  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Another Junk Jewelry Necklace Swap? on: August 10, 2009 05:07:45 PM
Here's the original swap: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=289375.0
And the gallery: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=291636.0

The idea is to make a necklace out of old jewelry (or whatever assorted randomness you have). It was so fun!! I totally want to do it again.
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies / Scrappy Star Wars Bib (Scrap-buster!) on: August 07, 2009 09:22:56 PM


Ever have small pieces of fabric that arent big enough to make what you want, but you cant bear to throw away? There are lots of projects that make use of scraps to make little things, but you can also use scraps to make larger things! How? By sewing scraps together patchwork-style to create a new, larger piece of fabric.

I recently made a few Star Wars-y items for a craft swap, and I was WISHING for a Star Wars sheet (in fact, I asked if they had any in stock at my favorite craft thrift store yes, there is such a thing! If youre ever in Portland, OR, you MUST visit Knittn Kitten), but I know that you never find something like that at thrift stores when you really NEED it. And then I was rummaging around in my garage and FOUND ONE!! I had one in my stash of scrap fabric dedicated to making Morsbags (reusable grocery bags). I had no idea it was in there, but I was so excited when it surfaced!

So, in order to squeeze every precious drop of Star Wars goodness from the sheet, I used a scrap of it that I had off-cut when making another project to make a scrappy bib. This is a very simple project that you can use up all your lovely scraps on! You can also use this technique to make nearly anything else you can think of!

Click here for the tutorial at Dollar Store Crafts
9  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Star Wars Finger Puppets on: August 07, 2009 09:19:52 PM


I made some simple Star Wars finger puppets from craft felt (one of the best crafty bargains around at about a quarter a sheet!).

You can make finger puppets in any shape or theme you want to. You can construct them from simple shapes, you can add googly eyes (or not), or button eyes. You can basically embellish them any way you want to. Great summer craft for kids!

Tips: If you have specific characters in mind (like these Star Wars guys), I recommend doing a quick sketch in your sketchbook so you know what pieces to cut out. I glued additional pieces to the backs of the heads to reinforce the puppets, since regular craft felt is not very stiff.



Check out more at Dollar Store Crafts.
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Yoda Hat on: August 07, 2009 09:17:21 PM


While I was working on my Star Wars 3 swap crafts, I came up with this idea, using a green fleece blanket from the dollar store that I found in my arsenal of dollar store crafting supplies. The Yoda hat is a quick and easy project, and you can make three or four of them from one dollar store blanket, making them quite the bargain!

Project Estimate:

    * Fleece blanket, $1
    * Buttons, on hand
    * Sewing machine, thread, etc., on hand

Total: $1

I posted the full tutorial at Dollar Store Crafts.
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