Thursday, January 24, 2013

Refashioned Hair Ties

So, I have very thick, long hair. I know, what a tragedy.  Well, it's a tragedy for my hair rubber bands because they tend to get severely stretched out after a short while, but I can't bear to throw them out.  Because I'm cheap.  But we all knew that. I usually buy my elastics in bulk in LA, so they come in weird colors if you don't get the all-black set.

So I devised a way to extend the life of my hair ties while also creating fun little things for my hair which I usually wear in a ponytail to work.

I like this little method because I usually will wrap a single rubber band 3 times around my ponytail to secure it, but with the doubled up elastic, I only need 2 wraps to secure it.

I have little names for them, is that weird?
Rainbow Sherbet (left),  Hot Topic (middle), Winter Wonderland (right)


Here's the how-to: (which is more like just explaining my process.  Go ahead and get crazy with it)

-Cut apart your old, stretched out rubber bands so that you have one long piece.
-Use a binder clip to secure multiple bands together at the same length and hand sew them together as if you were starting a friendship bracelet.
-Braid your 3 strands together or twist 2 together (like the pink and black in the middle of my photo).
-Use another binder clip to keep the braid intact and sew together the ends of the bands.
-Bring your two ends together to reform your elastic and sew the elastic shut so that it looks like one continuous loop (so sew the elastics end-to-end not side-to-side).
-And you're done! Rock that pony!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Veggie-tastic Crochet Case

I've been wanting to make a cute little crochet case for N for a while. Personally, I use an old Lisa Frank stationery binder to hold my hooks and various crochet odds and ends. 

If your new year's resolution is to crochet more, maybe this cute case will inspire you to take your crocheting with you everywhere.

Sorry I didn't take process photos, but I kind of winged it as I went, so I'll just explain my process.  Honestly, the whole thing is just sewing felt shapes to another big piece of felt.

I have a carrot scissors holder, eggplant safety pin tab, bell pepper needle holder, and beet hook slots.  These are all vegetables that we actually grew in our garden. 

I think other vegetables that would be cute here are mushrooms, ears of corn, peas in a pod, green onions, and tomatoes. Just try to pick vegetables that translate easily to graphic line drawings (for example, not round yellow onions because the shading and skin would be hard to convey with felt),

See the how-to below:

-2 full sheets of felt (any color) in standard 8.5x11"(?) size bought at Michaels
-Various scraps of colored felts for veggies
-2 Buttons and elastic or 2 pieces of ribbon
-Flat plastic sheets, I used part of the top of a sandwich party platter plus two pieces from a plastic school folder

All the pieces will be sewn onto the inner piece of felt and then the cover will be added with the plastic for stiffness.

1. Trim your inner felt piece so that it's a little smaller than your outer piece so that it will fold nicely.

2. Cut out all your shapes from various colored felts and make sure that they fit onto your inner piece.  The carrot should be big enough to cover most of the scissors but with the handles peeking out (see picture below)

3.  Do all the embroidery and top stitching of details before you sew anything down onto the inner piece of felt.

4. Working from left to right on my case, start with the carrot.  Sew down the greens first with an extra strip of green (with a buttonhole!) tacked to the bottom of the foliage.  Sew your button onto the carrot then sew the bottom v-edge of the carrot but not across the rounded top!  Gotta leave room to put the scissors in.

5. Bell pepper next. Sew down 2 strips of felt across the top of the bell pepper leaving spaces for needles to go through.  Sew around the outline of the pepper and its stem.

6. Eggplant. I actually hand stitched the eggplant because much less of it is tacked down to the felt to leave room for it to be lifted up to get safety pins in and out.  I sewed around the outside of the foliage and the outline of the eggplant down about an inch and then straight across to the other side. You will end up with a trapezoid-like shape of seams on the top of the eggplant.

7. Beets! Sew down the greenery. Add a strip of beet color in the middle of the greenery and sew up the sides but not the top and bottom (the hook is going in there).  Finally, sew the beets on top and position so they are just barely covering the bottom of the greens.  Sew around the bottom of the beets and leave the top open so that the hooks will poke through (I top stitched the beets before hand to make them look more complete).

8. Sew the little hot pepper onto the cover piece of felt.  Place and sew the button on.

9. Add the front cover! Sew a seam down the middle of the case for a center seam.  Carefully sew around the edges leaving the top open.  On the back side seam, tie your elastic into a loop and push the knot between the cover and inner felt pieces even with where the button is on the front.  Stitch over the elastic while doing the seam. Instead of elastic and button, you could use 2 pieces of ribbon for a tie closure.

10. Adding the plastic.  Cut your plastic sheets to fit the front and back of the case and slip them in between the cover and inner felt pieces.  For the back piece of plastic, I used the top plastic cover from a sandwich party platter and cut it to size.  For the front, I used a beat up plastic file folder and cut 2 of the same size since they were a little flimsier than the sandwich tray.  Sew a seam across the entire top of the case to encase the plastic and sew the pieces of felt together.

Fin!  Now you have your own veggie-tastic crochet case to take your crocheting on the go - in style!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, I know there are a lot of words and not that many pictures, so ask away!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Rosemary Wreath Present Topper

I love prettily wrapped presents.  It's also like how I love making beautiful cards but then have nothing to write inside of them, haha!  I'm usually super cheap about things, so I oftentimes wrap things in brown paper bags from the grocery store.

I had this brown cardboard box from the 85 degree bakery in Irvine that was perfect for wrapping up a shirt.

I loved this idea from Crafts Unleashed via Craftgawker.  I have limited access to craft stores in my area, so I didn't want to go out and buy wreath forms.  I opted to make the whole wreath out of rosemary since it grows wildly abundant here in SD.  Beware, working with the rosemary does make your hands pretty sticky.  But it smells so lovely :)


The close up!

I just used 3 woodier sprigs of rosemary and made them into a roughly triangle/circle shape and used wire to bind the stems together.  Then, I added sprigs on top of the round to make the whole thing fuller and tied them on with a little bit of white thread where needed.  I made a big red bow out of felt (here's a good little picture tutorial) and then tied the wreath to the package.  Ta da!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Please Sir, I want S'more

Ok, that was a bad pun, considering that this has more to do with S'mores than Charles Dickens.

This little guy was inspired by the A Beautiful Mess post about fancy S'mores. I love the idea to use fun-sized candy bars as the chocolate!  My roommate and I were talking about how we missed the entire s'mores/bonfire season even though we live in SD!


And here's the free pattern!
Finished size: ~4 cm tall

Ch 2, 6 SC.
[2 SC in next st] repeat x6.
[2 SC in next st, 1 SC in next st] repeat x6.
sl st to first SC, Ch 1.
(in BackLoopsOnly) SC around
SC around
SC around
SC around
SC around
(in FrontLoopsOnly) SC around
[sc2tog, 1 SC] repeat x6.
[sc2tog] repeat x6.

Ch 9, turn
[SC 8, Ch 1, turn] repeat for 8 rows
Make 2, SC around edges to join 2 together

Graham Cracker: (2)
Ch 10, turn
[SC 9, Ch 1, turn] repeat for 9 rows
sl st evenly around edges
Optional: Embroider French knots in darker tan onto graham cracker surface (3-2-3 offset pattern like you might see on the 8 of diamonds)

Stack up your pieces and glue or sew together! Add a sweet little face with black puffy paint and maybe some pink felt for blushing cheeks.