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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / OWL PLUSHIE XMAS TREE ORNAMENT TUTORIAL (with pix) on: November 23, 2009 06:13:43 PM

Materials: Black, white and your choice of colored felt (you can purchase single sheets at your local craft store for approximately 25 cents each; you wont need more than one sheet of each color for this project), card stock, pen or pencil, white sewing thread, sewing needle, poly-fil or cotton balls or even an old sock (for the stuffing), a piece of white yarn five or six inches in length. and fabric scissors.

Step One: Draw all the pieces shown in Figure 1 (front body, back body, wing one and wing two, eye one and eye two, and the face) out on a sheet of card stock (the owl measures approximately four inches in height and three inches in width at it widest point), then cut them out and assemble to match the finished ornament (you may want to modify your cutouts at this point); once you are pleased with your cutouts, you will use them as a pattern to cut our your felt pieces by tracing a line around each pattern piece.

Step Two: Start by sewing eye one and eye two onto the face (see Figure2). To do this, you will employ the blanket stitch (which you will use to finish all edges of the ornament).

Step Three: Using the blanket stitch, sew the face onto the front body (see Figure 3).

Step Four: Using the blanket stitch, sew wing one and wing two onto the front body (see Figure 3).

Step Five: Using the blanket stitch, sew the front body to the back body. Be sure to leave enough room at the top of the ornament so that you can stuff it and attach its loop (see Figure 4).

Step Six: Fill your ornament with your choice of stuffing (Ive used Poly-fil here). You dont need much; a handful will do the trick.

Step Seven: Make a loop with your piece of yarn and secure by knotting the two ends together.

Step Eight: Insert the knotted loop of yarn into the top of your ornament (see Figure 5) and secure it into place as your finish sewing up the top edge of your ornament.

Step Nine: Hang on your tree and admire!
2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Cute Kitty Cat Felt Hand Puppet Tutorial on: July 16, 2009 04:25:36 PM

Materials: orange, brown, magenta, pink, mustard yellow and white colored felt (you can purchase single sheets at your local craft store for approximately 25 cents each; you wont need more than one sheet of each color for this project), card stock, pen or pencil, brown & white sewing thread, sewing needle, and fabric scissors.

To begin, draw all the pieces shown in the diagram out on a sheet of card stock, then cut them out and assemble (you can make your modifications at this stage); once you are pleased with your cutouts, you will use them as a pattern to cut out your felt pieces by tracing a line around each pattern piece. Pieces A and D (see diagram) measure approximately 8 in height and 5 in width. Piece C (see diagram) measures approximately 4 in height and 3 in width. All additional pieces can be cut to proportion and/or adjusted to suit your preference.

Next, start by sewing the three flower pieces together (see F in the diagram). To do this, employ the blanket stitch (which you will use to finish all edges of the puppet). To start, employ the blanket stitch around the edge of the small pink circle and attach to the gold floral shape. To follow, employ the blanket stitch around the edge of the gold floral shape and attach to the magenta floral shape. When you finish, do the same with the magenta floral shape and attach it to felt piece A as indicated in the photo.

Next, employ the blanket stitch around the smaller gold eye pieces (see G in the diagram) and then attach to the larger brown eye pieces. To follow, employ the border stitch around each completed eye and then attach to piece A (as depicted in the finished puppet).

Next, employ the blanket stitch around the edge of piece C and attach to the body of piece A.

After, use the satin stitch to create the cats nose and then use the back stitch to create the whiskers.

Next, employ the blanket stitch to attach the two tail pieces (see E in the diagram). The brown piece will be seen from the front, the orange from the back. To follow, attach the finished tail to piece A so that the inside lower edge tucks behind piece A and the curved inner edge sits atop piece A (see finished photo). Be sure that when you attach the tail that your thread doesnt go entirely through the piece A so that its not visible.

Lastly, employ the border stitch to attach piece A to piece D. Be sure, however, that you do not stitch the bottom edges together. Rather, stitch each edge independently so that you can slip your hand between the pieces and utilize your finished produce as intended: a kitty cat hand puppet!
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Finger This! on: June 23, 2009 01:31:26 PM

Just wanted to share these finger puppets that I made with you all - they were so fun to make and make my son super happy!  Enjoy!
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Get out those 45s on: June 22, 2009 05:11:35 PM

I've just started playing with felt and am finally using those embroidery skills I honed when I was a Girlscout (it's amazing I can even remember that far back - ha ha).  Anyhow -- I just had to share my latest creation - a felt eyeglasses case, embellished with an embroidered HiFi, popular with the kids of the 70s (and yes, I had one that I used to spin all my favorite 45s).  I love, love, love this and I hope you do, too. 
5  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 39 ENTRIES / Catalog Circular Tray (with lots of pix and a tutorial) on: June 01, 2009 08:07:56 PM

Once I read about this month's challenge, I immediately knew what I wanted to do.  I knew I wanted to make a tray: an actual item often featured in a number of catalogs that specialize in housewares.  The irony was too obvious to ignore as it was the publishers of the catalogs themselves who provided me with the medium to make my own houseware -- rather than sell me one of theirs.  For that satisfaction alone, I thank you Craftster! 
Materials required: eight or so catalogs, tacky glue, super glue, clear packing tape, scissors, polyurethane lacquer finish.

First, begin by tearing out the pages of your catalogs and then folding each torn page, long ways, by creasing the paper approximately from the edge and then folding it over.  Continue by making another crease from the new edge and then folding it over.  Proceed until you have folded your paper over enough times so that it measures in width.  Its length, however, should still be the height of the original catalog.   

Once you have a number of folded strips, you can begin to create the base for your tray. To start, take one folded strip and start to roll it as you would tape measure.  Once it is completed rolled into a circle (see photo), use a piece of tape to secure it into place.  I used clear packing tape (I just cut small strips in size before I started this part of the craft). 

To follow, take another folded strip and tape it to your rolled circle, then coil it completely around the circle and secure it into place with another piece of tape.  Continue until you are happy with the size of your base of your tray.  My tray base measures just under 14 in diameter (see photo).

To follow, you will want to brush a coat of tacky glue across the top and bottom of the base.  This will ensure that the base remains intact.  Let the base dry for at least twelve hours before adding the lip. 

While the base dries, you can begin making the lip of your tray.  With your remaining folded catalog pages, you will use the same technique you used to create your base to create the lip.  The only difference is that you will create several small circles with your folded catalog pages rather than one large one.  I used three pages for each of my circles, of which I made 27 in all.

After all your circles are completed, you will then want to brush them each with tacky glue and allow them to dry as you did the base. 

Once all your circles are dry, you can then begin to glue them to the rim of your base to form a lip.  To start, coat the bottom third of one side of each circle so to adhere each circle to the rim of the base.  You will also want to place a dab of glue to the edges of each circle so that they will stick to each other and remain in alignment.  In addition to using tacky glue, you will want to go over your finished project with super glue to ensure its overall durability. 

After you have glued all your circles completely around the bases rim and finished up with super glue, let your project dry overnight and then coat it with polyurethane, as many times as desired, depending on the level of shine you desire.

Let dry and enjoy!
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / EcoFi Those Old Throw Pillows on: May 15, 2009 02:19:08 PM

Sick of looking at those same old throw pillows that have been sitting on your couch since the twentieth century? What to do? Throw them away? Of course not! Opportunities like this are what keep the crafting community alive.

Materials: One old, sorry throw pillow with a removable case, five or so sheets of felt (I used Kunin Rainbow Classic Felt which measures 9 x 12 and is made from EcoFi, recycled post-consumer plastic bottles love that!), scissors, a guide to create your circles (like a small glass or lens cap), pen, embroidery thread, and a needle.

First, you will need to decide how many felt circles you want to cover your pillow. This will depend on the size of your pillow and how big, or small, you want your circles to be. The pillow I used measures 18 x 18 and my circles each measure 2 in diameter. To cover my pillow, I needed 36 circles (just figure out how many circles you need to line two sides of your pillow and then multiply those numbers; I figured six circles would work for each side; thus, I came up with the figure 36).

Next, you will want to double that number. I cut 72 circles to complete my project. Doubling each circle creates more dimension to your end product.

To follow, you will need to choose your colors. I used a palette of five colors, all of which complemented my throw. To create a sense of cohesiveness, I created a pattern that I used consistently. Its up to you to decide how you want to use your colors to design your pillow, or even if you want to use more than just a couple colors. I imagine that the possibilities are really endless.

To create your circles, use the bottom of a glass or a lens cap, or any circular object that you have handy and is the size you want your circles to be. Next, use your pen to trace the circles onto your felt so that they are all the same size. Once you are finished, cut out your circles. Once you are done, you can then play with your design to see what looks best.

To follow, you will remove the case from your pillow so to sew on your circles. Use embroidery thread to attach each of the circles onto your pillow. (If you are a perfectionist, you may want to use a ruler to mark the placement of each doubled circle. I just eyed it, but sometimes this isnt always the wisest choice). You will just need to loop the thread through the middle of your circles once or twice when attaching them to your pillow. You will want to knot and cut the thread you use to attach each doubled circle so that gathering wont occur.

Lastly, once all the circles are attached, return the pillow to your couch, smile, sit down and relax with a new sense of satisfaction: not only did you beautify your couch, but you did it with an eco-friendly product.
7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Mother's Day / I Love Mom Magnetic Scrabble on: May 09, 2009 08:05:46 AM
This is an incredibly easy craft to make. Your child can help you, no problem, which in turn should get them that more interested in utilizing it once its completed which is the ultimate goal.

Materials needed: Scrabble tiles (I love playing Scrabble and didnt want to break up my set, so I bought my tiles for this craft on Ebay; theres several listings most all the time), magnetic adhesive (available at most any craft store), scissors and a cookie sheet.

Simply cut your magnetic adhesive into small squares, a bit smaller in size than an individual Scrabble tile, and then stick them to each of your Scrabble tiles. Once you are finished, you can then place your Scrabble letters on the cookie sheet as an inventive way to teach your child to spell and build vocabulary.

Have fun and a happy Mother's Day!
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Easter / Easter Bunny Napkin Rings Tutorial on: April 05, 2009 03:12:46 PM

This is an easy, fun craft that will get you and your little ones in the Easter spirit as well as brighten up your Easter table by adding a little pizzazz to each place setting.  All you need is some tracing paper, card stock, printed-paper (wrapping paper works well), one or two toilet paper rounds, glue, a ruler and a pair of scissors.  

To start, create a silhouette of a bunny on a piece of tracing paper (if you dont feel comfortable drawing one yourself, you can simply trace one off a chocolate bunny box or out of picture book).  The one pictured here measures about 3  x 2 . Once you are happy with your silhouette, transfer it to a piece of card stock and then cut it out.  This will be your guide.  

Next, decide how many napkin rings you plan to make and then cut out that number of rectangles using your card stock.  You will want each rectangle to be slightly larger than your guide.  To follow, cut out twice as many rectangles using your printed-paper.  Then, paste a piece of printed-paper to each side of your card stock and let dry.  To ensure each piece of glued card stock remains flat, you may want place them under a heavy book.  

While your card stock is drying, cut your toilet paper rounds into wide pieces (cut as many rings as you plan to make).  To follow, cut twice as many strips of printed-paper, each wide and about 5 long.  Then glue the strips to inner and outer sides of each cut toilet paper round.  

Once your card stock is dry, use your guide to trace your bunny silhouette onto each piece.  To follow, cut out each silhouette.  

Next, cut two strips of printed-paper, each wide and 1 long, for each silhouette.  Fold each strip in half and attach two to each silhouette (see photo).  You will then use these tabs to attach each silhouette to a cut round with glue.  After youve finished making all of your napkin rings, let them dry overnight.  

Enjoy and have a happy Easter!
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