Showing posts with label craft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label craft. Show all posts

Snowman Play Doh Gifts {Craft Tutorial}

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My FAVORITE play doh recipe!

I'm not much a fan of the stuff that makes irreparable messes in my home, such as slime, gum, glitter and play doh,  but this is seriously the best dough!  It's super soft, smells amazing and will leave your hands feeling silky smooth!   We enjoy making large batches and sharing it with family and friends, especially around the holidays!  

Here is a quick how to for the best play doh ever and these adorable snowman play doh gifts you will want to share with all the favorite children in your life!

Materials Needed:

For the dough:

For the containers:


To make the dough:

Mix 1 part Conditioner to 2 parts corn starch until you have a smooth doughy consistency.  

That's it!  

Marvel at your wonderful two ingredient, barely any effort dough!  It is literally that easy!

Next, make your jars:

Paint the lids of the jars black and set aside.  

Use the acrylic paint to paint one side of the jar to look like a snowman - just a few dots and you'll be done!

Note:  Acrylic paint will scratch off over time.  If you would like to protect your craft, I would recommend using a spray sealant like the one listed above.

Now you can optionally dress up your snowman with a bit of ribbon and a cookie cutter if you want to provide one as a gift.

Now gift and enjoy!

Guest Post: How to Make a Gift Card Holder

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Have you ever been just a bit disappointed when you receive a gift card as a present? This doesn’t mean you are greedy or ungrateful; it just means that, perhaps, you were hoping for a gift that was more personal. We all love to get presents – there’s no denying it! But what makes it so special is that someone thought of us. When we get a gift card, it can seem impersonal. It may not be; the giver may know that you’ve been eyeing a new pair of sneakers and wants to let you choose your own size. The giver may know you love to shop!

Whatever the case, there are good intentions behind the gift. But we can make our good intentions known more clearly when we create a homemade gift card holder. There will be no doubt that you were thinking of your recipient then!

Version One

You don’t have to be a craft expert to make wonderful gift card holders. You can even use some pre-made materials to get you started. Martha Stewart suggests buying inexpensive pre-cut tags. Get the kind with grommets on the end (which allows you to put a ribbon through, if you want).

Cut a piece of fabric or extra-wide ribbon so it measures 3.5 inches. Fold each cut end under by ¼ inch and glue securely. Sew (or use strong glue) the bottom and side edges to the tag to form a little pocket for the gift card. Voila! A beautiful, thoughtful card holder. You can do something very similar just using fabric or felt and making a little pouch.

Version Two

For this next one, use a piece of cardstock and trim it very carefully so it measures 6 5/8 inches x 4 ¼ inches. When you have trimmed it, fold one end in towards the center and flatten it. Fold the other end in to the middle and flatten it. Now you have a tri-folded little envelope.

Next, unfold it and lay it flat on your working surface. Decorate it with fun stamps or even with crayons and markers. (This way you can get children involved as well.) A nice touch is to sponge all of the edges with a complementing or contrasting color. Fold the card again to reinforce the lines and then get ready to glue or tape it together.

Double-sided tape works well for this, as does glue. Make sure that you leave enough room so the gift card fits in though. Put your glue or tape on the two sides of the middle third, and then fold up the bottom third and press it down firmly to achieve a strong adhesive bond. You are just about done. You now have a functional envelope for your gift card. You can tie a ribbon around the whole card or around the top flap and adorn the front of the card with a greeting or the name of your recipient.

There are endless videos and tutorials online available to help you make your own wonderful gift card holders. Take advantage of them! Watch craft experts as they effortlessly create these beautiful, personal holders – and then try your best to do the same. You can always add your own ideas and variations so you make a holder that best suits your recipient. It is the thought that counts.

Author Bio:

Sarah is a writer who enjoys doing crafts and giving creative gifts. She also contributes articles to the All About Gifts & Baskets blog, where you can find all kinds of discount gift baskets.

Introducing... The Octonauts!

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These little buggers were a commission from a gal I work with for her little boy.  For those of you who don't know, the Octonauts are a BBC show, made up of a team of deep sea diving rescue animals.  (From as near as I can gather)  Either way, they're totally adorable!  I can't take credit for the patterns for them, as they were obtained from Etsy.

Here they are in their own little photo shoot before they left my house to hers!

Aren't they just adorable????

Guide to Yarn: What are weights, different types and how to use them

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Many beginning yarn crafters make a common mistake (myself included, many years ago) and this mistake is not knowing enough about yarn.  Different yarn can behave rather differently when you are crafting with it, and it is very important to know what type of yarn you can use with different patterns, hooks, and techniques.  I have experimented with almost every type of yarn out there, and let me tell you, there is a world of difference.  For ease of reference, I will list them from the lightest weight to the heaviest and will discuss each one a little more.


Category 0-1: Super Fine
   Yarn types: Fingering, Sock, Lace
          Hook Size: 1-3mm
                 Average Number of Stitches per 4 inches: 27-32
                      Used for: socks, lace, doilies, baby wear, delicate work


Category 2: Fine
    Yarn types: Sport Weight, Baby Yarn
        Hook Size:  3-5
                Average Number of Stitches per 4 inches: 23-26
                       Used for: babywear, sweaters, and lighter throws.


Category 3: Light
     Yarn types: DK, Light Worsted Yarn
            Hook Size: 5-7
               Average Number of Stitches per 4 inches: 21-24
                   Used for: baby and light-weight adult garments, light-weight scarves


Category 4: Medium
     Yarn types: Worsted-Weight, Afghan, Aran Yarn
           Hook Size: 7-9
                 Average Number of Stitches per 4 inches:  16-20
                        Used for: Throws, adult garments, blankets, sweaters, outdoor wear
                       *Most Popular Weight for Knitting and Crocheting*


Category 5: Bulky

     Yarn types: Chunky, Craft, Rug Yarn
          Hook Size: 9-11
               Average Number of Stitches per 4 inches: 12-15
                      Used for: hats, scarves, throws, rugs, jackets, and blankets


Category 6: Super Bulky
      Yarn types: Bulky, Roving Yarn
            Hook Size: 11 and up
                 Average Number of Stitches per 4 inches: 6-11
                        Used for:  Heavy Blankets and Rugs, Sweaters, Scarves

For some additional information regarding yarn weights, see the following links:


Some Typical Mistakes Made by Crocheters When Choosing Yarn:

Pay attention to your pattern.  When a pattern calls for a light sport, don't use a super bulky or your item won't end up looking anything like the pattern.  If you MUST use a different yarn, it's worth doing a test gauge so that you know what changes you should make, like going up or down a hook to get it to the right size.

Don't start with Bulky or Super Bulky.  I know it's tempting, because these yarns are just so lush and inviting, but they're much harder to see where your stitches are, making the learning process even harder.  Instead, start with a DK or a regular Worsted Weight (I highly recommend the worsted weight).


Well, I hope that helps everyone!  Do you have any beginning yarn stories or advice?  If so I'd love to hear them!!!

Bernat 2012 Spoiler Page is Now UP!!

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Ok, so I couldn't keep it a secret, because it's something that I've been working so hard on behind the scenes.  So, I found a creative solution... I created a page within this site for the 2012 Bernat Crochet Along that you can get to via link, if you want to spoil the surprise.  I'll post updates on that page with pictures of the clues as I go along and you can follow me on my progress if you so desire.  If you don't want to spoil the surprise and you want to wait and see it until it is all done, then don't ever visit the page.. simple, really!

Bernat 2012 Mystery Afghan Crochet Along Spoiler Page Link Here!

Holiday crafting, Loofah {Crochet Pattern}

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I made a couple of these Loofah's for inclusion in my holiday crafting this year.  They're so easy to make and are such a great gift!

Copyright 2010-2012 LiLu Studios: This Crafting Life, by Lori Steffens. {} Make it, Wear it, Love it, but above all, Share it, don't Sell it!
Size H, I or J Hook
A cotton/acrylic blend of yarn.  (You can also just use cotton, I do not recommend using straight acrylic yarn however)  


ch 4, form a ring by joining with a sl st in first st 
ch 40 
sl st into center of ring (this forms the loop for hanging the loofah)

R1: ch2, dc 40 into center of ring, join with sl st
R2: ch2, dc 3 in each st around, join with sl st
R3: ch2, dc 3 in each st around, join with sl st
R4: ch2, dc 3 in each st around, join with sl st

Bind off. Weave in ends.

You can play around with the thickness of the loofah here too, by in the last row, working 2dc, then 3dc around instead.  It will give it a more ruffly texture and be a little looser.

Holiday Crafting 2011- Naughty and Nice Themed Gifts

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This year, I thought it would be appropriate to
ask my gift recievers to contemplate whether they have been naughty or nice this year.  With no indication of what was in the box, random selection was going to tell them if they've been good or bad.  
Here's how I set it up.  I chose six packages to be "naughty" and six to be "nice."  On the nice items, were nice names such as "Oh Soup Divine" and "Winter Wonderland Bath Icicles" and "Jingle your Bells" coffee.  The naughty names (which were mostly thought up by my husband) were names such as "Cream of Elf Soup" and my personal favorite, "Stocking Stuffer Stomach Pumper Coffee."
After having named all of the items, I put them all into random boxes, along with my crocheted washclothes, potholders and loofahs, stamped the box with either "Naughty" or "Nice" and then wrapped them all in plain brown Kraft Paper and tied a simple ribbon around them.  I then attached my "Have you Been Naughty or Nice?" stamped tags that Lily and I made, and voila!


Needless to say, even if someone was deemed "Naughty", they still thought I was very nice!  It was a lot of fun making them, and is an excellent project for children.  I recommend only doing one item at a time, having all the stuff ready before hand, and your child could definitely help you on this too!  I know Lily really enjoyed helping everyone make their gifts!

My Total House Makeover (on a budget!)

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My house has just got me down right now.  I figure, what better time to revamp than with the coming of the new year!  I've been cleaning and trying to pare down some belongings, and as part of my blog, I'm going to cover some of the projects that I'm working on, things I have planned, things I re-purpose and all sorts of other goodies for your home that will surely involve a bunch of crafty stuff!

Here's a sneak peek at a few of the ideas that I am taking inspiration from: