make: felt succulents

This past year I’ve become a terrible succulent owner. My succulents keep dying. I think the main reason is the light situation in my apartment.  We have morning light and not a lot of room by the windows so I’ll blame the light (and maybe a little bit on my sporadic overwatering).

So when I heard about felt succulents I was pretty excited to try making a plant that I couldn’t kill. There are plenty of tutorials out there if you need step by step instructions, but I’ll just share with you my interpretations.

My first attempt I just used the felt I had on hand. And it wasn’t exactly succulent colored. for the turquoise one I cut two sizes of petals/leaves and made a peak on the top. After creating a core I used a hot glue gun to glue the leaves on working in a circle. For the spike one I just cut tall triangles and glued them together in the same fashion.

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Then at my friend’s bachelorette party we did breakfast crafting. One of her other friends brought some amazing supplies. She had four colors of green felt, two types of moss, and little flower pots to put our creations in.

We cut styrofoam balls in half to fill the bottom half of the pot and then covered the ball with moss. I started with a little mossy spikey thing then decided to try a tall skinny plant. For the tall one I cut skinny strips that tapered at the end. Then I folded the bottom half in half (hotdog style) with glue to give each leaf a bit more support.

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I then made a wider and flatter guy. I made the core out of a rectangle piece then glued the rounded petal shapes around and around.

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I arranged my three succulents on top of the moss and added a little glue to keep them in place.

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Here is to hoping I can keep these guys alive!

make: embroidery hoop di hoop

I had some of my lady friends over a while back and decided to have a craft project for us to do while we hung out and chatted and drank mimosas. I thought a hoop craft would be fun. Once you stretch fabric in the hoop it is a blank canvas for embroidery, appliqué, painting, and/or gluing fabric or buttons. I ordered the hoops from Hobby Lobby. The 4 inch hoops were $0.99 a piece! Shipping was a bit more, but a pretty good deal. I also ordered some new felt, but otherwise I used materials I had on hand.

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I had some canvas I cut into squares to use as the background, but also had some other fabric if someone wanted a different look. Since it was around valentines day I was inspired to do a conversation heart. I free hand cut the heart out of felt then used a simple stitch to attach it to the canvas.

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I eyeballed the lettering too. I don’t remember how I decided on “You Rock” but I’m still enjoying my choice. To finish off I cut the canvas down to within about 3/4 inch from the hoop. Then I used a glue gun to fold the canvas down and glue it to the inside of the hoop.

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I set up all the supplies I could think of on my desk, hoping to spark the creativity in my friends and see what people would come up with. I had a box of embroidery thread, several colors of felt, bits and pieces of fabric and leather, and buttons. The results are amazing!

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So many different interpretations from the same supplies. What would you make?

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make: kindle holder

For Christmas Brian got me a Kindle Fire. I had an old Sony eReader, and since Sony had since gotten out of the eReader business, it was starting to not work so well. So the Kindle was much appreciated and enjoyed but as soon as I took it out of the box I started worrying that I would scratch the screen. So I stared looking online for a case. I didn’t want a big case because I wanted to be able to easily slip the kindle in my purse to carry around and read whenever I had a moment. I didn’t want a boring case either, because well… I’m not boring. Nor did I want an expensive case. So I decided to make a case! More of a sleeve really.  I didn’t put a lot of thought or planning in to it, one could say I didn’t put enough, but I think it turned out great in the end!

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I started by finding a movie on TV. I picked The Hundred-Foot Journey and picked out my fabric from the craft cabinet. I decided on some fun batik fabric for the inside, a layer of thin batting for padding and some grey felt for the outside that won’t show dirt. Here is where a little more planning would of come in handy. I just kind of eyed a seam allowance around the kindle and cut out a rectangle.

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I sewed the three layers of each side together on three sides and turned it right sides out. I ironed the pieces and ironed the open ends under to prepare for sewing them together. I put the open ends on the bottom so when I sewed them together I closed the openings too!

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I used a contrasting blue thread for an additional pop of color. To secure the kindle inside I cut a rectangle of leather and sewed one side to the back. I had some large snaps on hand that I decided to use. I sewed the one side to the sleeve and then glued to other side of the snap to the leather. I used my E600 permanent craft glue and so far it has held amazingly well. I can tug the snap by the leather and there is no sign of the snap coming off.

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I think it turned out great and I’ve been using it for a few weeks now with zero issues. What would I of done differently? I might assemble the pouch differently, sewn the outside together than the inside instead of the top then bottom. The Kindle fits perfectly, I would of made it a touch bigger and a touch longer as the end sticks out a tiny bit (good thing I made a closure!).

make: love banner

I fell into a blog hole last Friday. I was clicking link after link after link looking at tons of fun crafty blogs. Somewhere along the way I saw some banners and decided I needed to make one of my own. Then on Saturday I went the the Crafty Bastards Cabin Fever craft show and saw a tote bag printed with the middle of the letters solid and was inspired. Next I just needed a phrase. With Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day coming up I was focused on love. I thought of one of my favorite movies Love Actually and the phrase, Love actually is all around. Well that was just a little too long and I like the sound of Love is all around better. I made a quick paper pattern for the banner part just to make sure the triangle bottom was even. I planned the letters out a little more by creating a grid on a piece of paper the size of the banner and planning out the letters so they would be evenly sized. I cut a strip of 1.5 inch white felt and then just freehanded cutting out the letters. The white felt is stiffened, which made it easier to cut out. Also leaving the middle of the o’s, a’s, r, and d really simplified the process.

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I thought folding up the bottom edge and gluing it would make a more finished look. It was a mistake. I didn’t allow enough felt to fold over and it wouldn’t stick. As you can see below I tried many types of glue, unsuccessfully.  Finally I used the Elmer’s craft bond and binder clips. After drying overnight the felt stuck, but the binder clips left some little marks. If I did the project again I probably wouldn’t bother with folding over the bottom edge. The top hem over the dowel rod worked much better. I folded over about an inch and a half and used the craft bond, it was stuck after 10 minutes.

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I sprayed each letter with the craft bond and they stuck easily and have stayed on great. In the image below you can see a little white along the bottom, that was a glue mistake, but has since dried clear.

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I used pink yarn to tie on each side of the rod to hang up my banner. Now its hanging in our apartment. We could all use a little reminder…

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make: felt jewelry bags

To make my oven bake clay necklaces more finished for gifts I decided to make pouches for them. I got the idea to use the felt with a folded top from a similar pouch I got from Madewell a few years ago with the purchase of some earrings. I put my own spin on them by making them smaller and in all different sizes and by adding a ribbon tag on the side.

The felt I had on hand. I bought it a year ago to make a shave kit for my boyfriend and still had plenty left over. The ribbon I had bought on a whim.  I liked the design and knew I would find a use for it, I just didn’t know I would find a use so soon.

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The best part about these is they each can be a slightly different size, so no need to worry too much about measuring. Just make sure to cut a rectangle not some wacky quadrilateral. The right angles are important. Then it just takes two seams on either side. I put a few pins in them to keep the flap down and the ribbon piece in place. To speed up the sewing process don’t worry about cutting the thread between each pouch and sew all of one side before cutting threads and going back to sew the opposite side.

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They worked great for gifting and made my necklaces feel more professional.

make: stockings

I’ve been making a lot lately, but a lot of my makes were for Christmas gifts. Therefore I held off sharing them till now. Hopefully they are still inspirational.

I meant to share the new Christmas decorations Brian and I made in December, but you know how December goes.

While I have a large tub of Christmas decorations and an artificial tree, Brian had zero decorations other than what he made with me. So after hanging two Courtney stockings in the apartment we decided to make new stockings we could hang together.

I have a small stash of felt so I thought that would make a good base. I kinda of eyeballed the sock shape. I sketched it out with chalk first and the cut them out. From there we both had free use of all the craft supplies.
I decided to stick to felt and did some decorative stitching. I used the blanket stitch around the outside and added a hook for hanging.

Brian’s is more mixed media. He used acrylic paint for a tree, sewed a felt piece on and used fun ninja turtle fabric for the hanger.

We hung them right where the modern household without a fireplace hangs their stockings… above the TV.