SMP Craft
14 Oct

How-to Tuesday: Fabric Pumpkins!

I’m not a fan of Halloween but I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart (and stomach) for pumpkins. Maybe it comes from watching Cinderella so many times as a little girl, or the numerous field trips to the pumpkin patch followed by roasting seeds, but the reappearance of pumpkins is a bright spot in October for me. So when I came across how to make fabric pumpkins on Me and My Shadow, I couldn’t resist the urge to make my very own pumpkin patch. Special thanks goes to Michelle Cashman, one of our guest posters who is a crafting guru.

materialsSupplies
– Orange material
– Green material
– Yellow/light orange embroidery floss
– Green embroidery floss
– Sewing needle (preferably a long one, size 16 or bigger)
– Polyester filling
– Scissors

 

step 2      step3     step 4

step 5     step 6     step 7

step 8     step 9      step 10

            finished one

Step 1. Cut your orange fabric into a rectangle. The size doesn’t matter as long as it is twice as long as it is wide. The pumpkins above were 8″x16″, 6″x12″,     and 4″x8″. We also tried out different material for each pumpkin. The biggest was made with orange felt, the polka dotted with cotton fabric, and the smallest came from t-shirt scraps. Once your material is cut, fold it in half making a square. The inside of your pumpkin is now showing.

Step 2. Using only three strands of the floss, take your yellow-orange floss and stitch the right sides of the square together.  This works best if you use a very long piece to keep using for the whole pumpkin

Step 3. After stitching the right sides together, move to the bottom of the square and sew a running stitch going all the way around the bottom. Once you go all the way around, pull the thread taut creating a pouch. Sew some back stitches to keep in place and turn the material right side out.

Step 4. Stuff the pouch with the polyester filling. This craft works best with stretchy material so don’t be afraid to really stuff those pumpkins!

Step 5. Just as before, sew a running stitch along the top of the pouch. Pull taut and sew a few stitches to keep in place. If you have a little  extra fabric and don’t want to stuff your pumpkin anymore, just tuck in the edges into the pouch and sew shut.

Step 6. Take the needle through the center and come out through the bottom. Repeat this step a few times to have the pumpkin take shape.

Step 7. This step requires a lot of thread or floss so I would check to to make sure you have enough to circle the pumpkin five or so times. Take the needle around the outside of the pumpkin and come back through the bottom giving the pumpkin one of its signature ridges. Repeat as many times as you’d like to finish the pumpkin shape. Knot and cut your floss.

Step 8. To make the stem: cut your green material into a small rectangle and roll it into a sausage shape. We used felt for our stems. Thread your needle with green floss (using 1 or 2 strands) and wrap it around the stem sporadically from top to bottom.

Step 9. Sew the stem to the top of the pumpkin. Make sure it’s secure before knotting and cutting.

This craft is doable despite your sewing experience. I have never sewed anything besides the occasional cross-stitch and with Michelle’s guidance was able to make my own pumpkin. When making your own pumpkin patch, experiment with different material and don’t be afraid to mix up the colors and patterns. The orange polka dotted pumpkin was our favorite!

all pumpkins

 

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9 Sep

How To Tuesday: Straw Sunbursts!

Now that fall is approaching I wanted to find a way to keep the warm summer sunshine alive in my apartment. The perfect solution was found while searching the glorious Internet for easy craft projects. On the blog, How Does She, I found instructions to create a sunburst wall hanging. The pictures showed it spray painted with metallic colors so it appears to be made out of metal, but in fact is made from something much cheaper and lighter, and therefore easier to hang: straws!

8 finished

Supplies
Cardboard
Preferred tool for cutting cardboard (we used an X-Acto knife)
Straws
Glue gun with lots of glue
Scissors
Spray paint

      combined 1 and 2

     Step 1. Trace and a cut a circle from the cardboard. Draw a smaller circle about 2 inches away from the edge. Cut this circle out leaving you with a cardboard ring.

5 glue straws to hoop

Step 2. Glue straws to the cardboard ring. We found it easier to put the glue on the straw and then press the straw to the cardboard ring. Repeat and make your way around the cardboard ring. Leave a little bit of space between straws to add the second layer. Tip: Use both thin and thick straws to add a little extra design to your sunburst. Regular drinking straws and milkshake straws worked best for us. (Available at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for less than $2 for a pack.) Be sure to line up the edges of the straw with the inside of the circle so you create a nice circle of straws.

4 straws on hoop

Step 3. Add another layer of straws where there are gaps, or where you want more “sunbeams”. Using straws allows you to fold them and wedge them into tight spaces if you’re thinking of experimenting with another material.

6 cut straws

Step 4. Work around the circle and cut the straws. Try cutting them in varying lengths or keep them all the same length. This craft is great because there are lots of ways to make this your own design!

7 spraypaint straws

Step 5. Take our creation outside (or a well ventilated area) and spray paint thoroughly. Once dry, flip the sunburst over and repeat. We used copper rose and gold colored paint to keep the illusion of a metal pipe wall hanging, but you can never go wrong with bright colors. Tip: Prop up your sunburst on something in order to be able to spray paint between the straws.

9 finished no mirror

(Optional) Step 6. We thought something was missing and decided to turn our sunbursts into mirrors. All it took was finding mirrors like these at our local Michaels. We glued them over the sunburst and voila! Small (but beautiful) sunburst mirrors! Other ideas to customize your sunburst: turn it into a picture frame or for the meticulous crafter only use 60 straws and create the classiest crafted clock ever.

Of course once you’ve finished your sunburst the most nervewracking part is hanging it. Luckily I had my copy of How to Hang a Picture by Jay Sacher and Suzanne LaGasa nearby. How to Hang a Picture: And Other Essential Lessons for a Stylish Home is a user-friendly guidebook that details everything you need to know about hanging, framing, decorating and displaying art. It has simple rules and essential information presented with charm and intelligence for any DIYer.

how to hang      
Buy your copy today!

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12 Aug

How-To Tuesday: Gift Card Holder

This How-to Tuesday is a guest post by one of our SMP Crafters! Michelle Cashman is a publicity assistant who has helped Karen on numerous How-to Tuesdays…take it away, Michelle!

Gift cards are lifesavers.  Sure, I always try to look for that perfect gift but sometimes if that alludes me due to time, funds, or a general feeling of “I just don’t know what to get them,” I never feel bad about purchasing a gift card for someone.  It always guarantees that they can get exactly what they want (just so long as they like the store you bought it from).

One thing I do hate about gift cards is the store-branded holders they come with.  I find them ugly and tacky. What if I didn’t want all the other guests knowing I only bought you a $10 Starbucks card for your birthday? So instead of using the designated holder, I whip up my own customized ones in a few minutes using adorable scrapbook paper. They are cheap to make and one piece of standard sized scrapbook paper can make several holders.  The instructions below fit a standard sized gift card.

Supplies
Scrapbook paper, preferably heavy-weight
Ruler
Scissors
Glue or double stick tape
Pencil
Clips (optional)
Stickers, glitter, decorative materials (optional)

1. Using the corner edge of your paper measure a rectangle that is 4 1/2 inches long x 3 1/2 inches wide. Then,  draw a line down the middle of your rectangle (this will be 2 1/4 inches from the outside edge).  You gift card should be able to fit inside of these two rectangles.

Photo 2

2.  On the right side of the rectangle, draw a line 3/8 inches from the outside edge. Then draw another line 3/8 inches from the bottom edge of the right rectangle. These will form the tabs.

Photo 3

3. Draw four angled lines on each end of the tabs you just created. You can erase any excess lines you have on the paper.

Photo 4

4. Cut out the pattern. Be careful not to accidentally cut off the tabs.

Photo 5

5. Score the paper on the remaining lines. One for each tab and one down the middle, making sure you don’t cut through the paper. (Note: if using a thinner weight paper, you may not have to score the paper as long as you can bend and fold it easily)

Photo 6

6. Put a thin layer of glue on the outside of each tab.

Photo 7     Photo 8

7. Fold the left side of the holder over, securing to the tabs.  If necessary, use clips to secure the back of the holder to the tabs while it dries.

Photo 9

8. When the glue is dry, you can customize the card holder further with stickers, glitter, or whatever your crafty heart desires!

Photo 10

Now your gift card says more than, “I didn’t have time to buy you an actual gift.”  It will say, “I got you this awesome gift card because you deserve to treat yo’self and because I love you, I took the time to make you the fabulous one-of-a-kind holder because that’s how special you are to me.”

Want to kick this up a notch? Here’s some other awesome DIY gift card tutorials courtesy of Buzzfeed!

Ready to take your gift card to the next level? Buy Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe and give it a go!

modern call

 

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29 Jul

How to Tuesday: Colored Pencil Vase

Now that July is coming to an end I decided I better put away my Christmas tree switch out my 4th of July table centerpiece for something new. When browsing various websites I came across this Colored Pencil Vase. Being that this vase was found in a list for kids’ crafts I had a feeling my handy dandy glue gun and I could handle it. The hardest part of this craft was deciding which colors to use and how to arrange them. So grab those rogue colored pencils you’ve been hiding in your junk drawer and get craftin’!

Supplies

 

Supplies
– colored pencils (I used 42 for a vase that had a circumference of 4.5″.)
– rubber band
– glass vase or jar (Make sure to choose one that is smaller than the pencils so no vase shows. I used this one from Michaels.)
– glue gun
– pencil sharpener (optional)
– ribbon (optional)

 

 

Arrange your colors

 

 

1. Wrap the rubber band around your vase. Place the pencils between the rubber band and vase in the order you want them to be glued. Tip: Try to use colored pencils that don’t have any markings and/or price tags. I struggled to arrange the pencils without a little painted price tag or engraved brand name showing.

2. Once you have the pencils arranged and your glue gun is heated up, it’s time to start glueing. Take off the rubber band and work around the vase one pencil at a time. I found it was helpful to keep the bottom of the pencil on the table (the part that won’t be glued to the vase) and pull it away from the vase creating a 45° angle. Add a thin line of glue to the pencil and bring it to the vase and hold for a few seconds.

  hold pencil  finished product

That’s it! Only two steps. Couldn’t be easier. Add some flowers, wrap a ribbon around that bad boy, and call it a day!

My favorite thing about this craft is there are lots of ways to make this your own design. I chose colors that matched my tablecloth and did my best to make a pattern out of the colors I had bought. If that kind of thing makes your eye twitch then choose all one color or forget the pattern and put the pencils where you please. Another way to change up the pencils’ appearance is to sharpen them. Bonus points if you make them varying lengths! Halfway through my vase I realized it would look cool if I had tilted the pencils a bit, but I’ll save that for next time! Speaking of next time…who wants a homemade vase for their birthday/anniversary/Christmas present?

finished product w flowers

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17 Jun

How To Tuesday – DIY Koozies!

Happy summer, Crafters!

It looks like the warm weather is finally here to stay which means it’s time for regular picnics, beach trips, and plenty of time outside. But when you’re spending so much time outside you have to remember to stay hydrated. And what better way to keep those beverages nice and cold than with your very own customized koozie? This craft comes from Katie of View from the Frige who shared these fabulous fabric koozies while guest posting on A Prudent Life.

DIY Koozies  |  A Prudent Life

Image from A Prudent Life

As someone whose parents reclaimed all the souvenir koozies I’ve grown accustomed to when I moved out, this craft is something I need to do before the 4th of July holiday. Is there anything worse than warm soda? (Yes, yes there is. The answer is warm beer.)

Head on over to A Prudent Life and get started on yours!

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CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Crafting

SMPCRAFT #CAUGHTCRAFTING Thursday morning, Astoria, Queens. Accessorizing with a lovely temporary floral tattoo she learned to make from DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It by Pepper Baldwin!

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

Father's Day is less than three weeks away -- Sunday, June 19th in the U.S. -- just enough time to start prepping for what would make dear old pops feel loved....What dad, what MAN, wouldn't want to get a bright red tool box full of homemade BBQ, bacon, and chili flavored chocolate? Or a handmade Paracord hammock? Does he play golf?--hand dipped tees? Does he like to hike? Enjoy nature and the great outdoors? How about homemade beef jerky? Or does he enjoy watching sports--Remote Control Cookie? What about beer? One of the coolest new items coming out of Japan is a Frozen Beer Slushy Maker by Kirin Ichiban that perfectly pairs with the DIY black and tan soap! Scroll and click for more homemade DIY Father's Day gift ideas sure to make pappy happy! Hashtag #SMPCRAFT #DIYFATHERSDAY!

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