Handmade Halloween Treats

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I decided at the last second that I didn’t want to give out just candy to my loved little ones for Halloween, and took on the challenge of crafting some handmade gifts over night. I decided I couldn’t mess up too much on plush monsters so I headed to Joann’s for some fuzzy fabric.

I drew a monster shape on piece of paper as a pattern. I cut two pieces of plush fabric and found some felt for the eyes. Two oblong circles in each black and white did the trick. The best part is that the messier, the better with these monsters. Before sewing the two main pieces of fabric together, I ironed my felt shapes to the monster using fusing web. Next, I recalled some embroidering stiches from my grandmother’s lessons and used them to add some quick details. I think these monsters look better with fewer embroidered details, but do think the tiny knot that adds a gleam to the eyeballs adds a lot.

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Once finishing the embroidery details, I sewed my monster, right sides facing together, leaving a 3-inch opening on one side. I stuffed with polyfill and a few tablespoons of lavendar I had leftover from my flax seed pillows. I handstiched the side closed and wallah, Halloween monsters for the little ones!

Embellished_caps

We wanted to get something special for the boys across the street. So besides their favorite candy and pop, I also bought dollar stocking caps from Walmart and embellished them by hand. I created a design on my computer, then transfered the pattern to a plastic sheet. I cut out the shapes from the plastic sheet, leaving me with a stencil. Next, I watered down some white acrylic paint and used a foam brush to roughly paint directly on the cap (don’t forget a piece of cardboard to keep the paint from soaking through!). It took about 30 minutes to dry (faster with the help of my hair dryer, as recommended on the bottle to set the paint). I cut shapes out of white felt that already had fusing on the back, peeled off the paper backing, and hand-stiched some details. Then I ironed the patch to the hat on top of the painted graphic, giving it a screen-printed feel straight from the ads.

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My nephew Beau went as a pea pod.

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He lit up when he saw his monster, then spent the next five minutes trying to eat it.

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My niece Annabelle looked very sweet this year in a butterfly/fairy costume.

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Jenny

Shared on:

The Girl Creative Hump Day link SPOTLIGHT YOURSELF

Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden giveaways

Baristas Need Flair Too

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Handmade pins with coffee cup charms.

Work uniforms can be a drag. But you just got to get creative with the details… I made these by making a flower from green, white, and black fabric. I added black lace and rhinestones to spice it up. I designed coffee-themed charms in Illustrator and printed it on Shrinky-Dink plastic–that stuff is awesome!

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Starbucks pins feature a coffee cup charm that says “Stay Strong”

Jenny

Crocheted Beer Cozies

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I have a secret, and it’s one that could be detrimental to my marriage…but I’m spilling it anyway! This fall, my husband took up a new hobby and spent many hidden weekends making something for my birthday. I had no clue what he was making, but grew very curious as the weekends went by. My guess would have been something like woodworking or metal-smithing, interests I’ve heard him mention before. But as time went on, I knew it must be something small because his hiding spaces weren’t very big. I also knew that it must not require much equipment because it was a project that he was taking to other’s houses and easily working upon. I was completely baffled until the big day came.

The morning of my birthday, he could barely wait to give me his present. I was shocked when he pulled a little bag out from behind the couch. I reached in to pull out the object to find a crocheted scarf!!! It seriously took me over 15 minutes to believe that he had made it. My husband? Crocheting? I thought it sounded impossible. To think of all the hours he had spent learning how, and not to mention the teasing he endured from friends! My mother-in-law told me that one night she walked in and found him drinking beer and watching football while crocheting. When questioning him about the odd combination he said that he felt the need to “butch up.”

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Teasing aside, he’s moved on to crocheting beer bottle cozies, which I then help him finish off with handmade appliques that feature witty sayings. They were a huge hit at Christmas! Now he’s made a few for my Etsy store for Valentine’s Day. What an awesome handmade gift for Valentine’s Day – made by him, for him! Inspired by his wife’s creative hobbies, my husband now has a way to be apart of my crafting time. I’m really proud that I have a husband who is compassionate and humble enough to learn a new skill that lets him express his love for me. Now we’ll see if that love’s still there after he finds out I spilled his secret!

Jenny

Handmade Holiday Picks on Etsy

Here are some festive items that caught my eye on Etsy

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From left to right:

  1. Crimson and Chartreuse Fingerless Gloves – mickieandbetty
  2. Fabric Bookmark – GreenBeeGoods
  3. Festive Flower Brooch – HappilyMade
  4. Christmas Pearl & Satin Necklace – SewKnotSimple
  5. Sweet Leaves, Christmas Joy Fabric Branches – JaneJoss
  6. Strands of Vert – Poppy Clothing Creations
  7. Splat Green Bamboo with Red Wall Clock – Pilot Design
  8. Little Soft Trees Vignette – Lola Nova
  9. Roses Are Red Green Damask Mary Janes – Gracious May
  10. Handstamped Holiday Hemp Pillow – NestaHome
  11. Fresh Holly Soap – Intentions
  12. Cranberry Cowl Neckwarmer – Crazy Jane Knits
  13. Holly Berry Brooch – Sneal
  14. Orbs of Glisten Bulbs – GlissKnits
  15. Berry Branch Glass Pebble Magnets – Daisy Mae Designs
Jenny

How to Make Felt Banner Garlands for the Holidays

Felt Circle Garland Banner Tutorial

I spent the afternoon crafting felt banner garlands for our Etsy store. They are so fun! I’d like to make a few for each season. But today’s were for Thanksgiving, as I had a custom order for a gal who wanted to hang hers above the children’s table at her Thanksgiving meal. I’ve also thought of making one to hang above my computer monitor at work or as gifts–the possibilities are endless! Making a felt garland is super easy and is a great way to use up scrap fabrics.

Here’s what you need:

  • Felt: I buy mine by the yard off a bolt. I keep a natural color and heather gray on hand.
  • Fabric: Pick three to five colors that go well together. Or, use up some of your scrap pieces.
  • Double-sided fusible interfacing: I use Pellon. Anything that will let you fuse two pieces of fabric together without sewing works well.
  • Scissors or a rotary cutter
  • Twine or ribbon
  • Font/Typeface: If you aren’t comfortable free-handing your letters, consider pulling up a favorite font and typing your chosen word. I’m able to freehand just fine when staring at a typeface in front of me, but otherwise you can print the letters in reverse, cut them out, and trace them.

Each letter will include three layers of felt/fabric. Start by choosing a word. I recommend keeping it short for the first project! Maybe 3-6 letters long. I gave some tips above for helping you draw the letters, so if you chose one of those methods then be sure to have that part ready to go. Also, consider the final length–do you have a specific spot in your house in mind? If so, keep that measurement in consideration. Next choose your fabrics – this is the fun part! Make sure they serve as a good background to the felt color you chose. Once you have all these decisions made and materials gathered, then heat up your iron because you’re ready to begin!

How to make felt garland fabric banners

Materials for Felt Garland Banners

How to assemble the garland:

Cut out the felt circles. These will be the biggest and will go on the bottom layer. I usually grab something circle in shape around me, trace it, and cut a couple layers of felt out at a time. Mine are normally 3″ to 3.5″, depending on big I’d like the final garland to be. The circles don’t have to be perfect, as oblong shapes can add to the handmade charm. I find it easier to cut out the circles using scissors.

Iron on the fusible interfacing. You will need to fuse interfacing to the patterned fabric and to the letters. But, you’ll want to do this before you cut out any shapes or letters.

For the patterned fabric: Allow enough patterned fabric to cut out circles slightly smaller than your felt circles. I often only cut out one or two circles from each print, so the original pieces I start with are small rectangles, around 4″ x 12″ or so.

For the felt letters: Cut out a large piece of felt, big enough to cut out all of your letters. Make sure you add some extra inches, just in case you need to redo any mistakes when drawing your letters!

Now follow the instructions on the fusible interfacing to apply it on the back of your large pieces of felt and fabric. Be sure to get the exposed adhesive side down on the back of the fabric and leave the paper on to protect your iron!

Cut out circles from your patterned fabric. I make this slightly smaller than the back felt circle, and I normally make these messy. I use the rotary tool to whip these out, making each one a little different. If you want a cleaner look, I’d recommend tracing a circle on to the back papered-adhesive, then cutting them out.

Cut out the letters for your word. This is the most challenging part of the fabric, but mine have gotten so much better with each garland. Read tips in the list of materials. The most important thing to remember is to cut and draw them to read properly from the front of the felt, not on the backside that has the interfacing paper! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve drawn beautiful letters on the back on the interfacing paper, cut it out, then realized it read in reverse. Sometimes I make the letters on the taller side so that it hangs off the patterned fabric a bit, but be sure to keep it smaller than the bottom circle of felt.

Fuse the pieces together. Now that everything is cut out, you can assemble the pieces. Peel the protective paper off of the fusible interfacing, then layer the bottom felt circle, the patterned circle, and the letter on top of each other. You can iron all three layers at once. Once they’re cool to touch, I pick at the layers to make sure I didn’t miss a spot with the iron. Thank God for fusible interfacing, because I don’t like sewing!

Make slits on each letter circle. In order to feed the twine/ribbon through each piece, I make tiny slits on each side of the letter circle using the rotary cutter. Don’t make the slits too big or else your knots will pull through. Also, don’t put it so close to the edge that it could easily tear if yanked upon. Be sure to make the slit on the top third of the circle to keep your garland from flip flopping. Sometimes, I line the letter circles up on my cutting mat, lay down a metal ruler, then make all my cuts in order to make sure they’re consistent. But more often than not, I’m comfortable eyeballing it. Whichever works for you! I’m sure there’s a fancier way of making holes for the ribbon/twine, maybe with grommets, but this method looks fine to me.

Cut your twine/ribbon. I fancy twine, but either will work. I assemble my garlands in two different way: by cutting individual short pieces, and knotting them to keep from slipping through the holes or by using one long strand and slipping each letter circle onto one strand. Regardless, I will loop the ends and knot the twine as a way to hang it. When using one long strand, I will wrap masking tape around the end of my twine to make it easier to feed through the tiny slits. I think they look best with little room between the letter circles, but play around first before finishing your garland. Assemble the garland and then you’re finished!

If you want yours to be fancier, you could embellish the pieces between stages with embroidery, sequences, beads, buttons, etc. You could also use an icon on one of the circles. For example, one time I did a tree in replacement of a “Y”. Please be sure to post a photo of your garland in the comments below so that we can see how you approached this versatile project! Happy Crafting!

Jenny

Great Finds at the Hoosier Artisan Holiday Boutique

It happened. Row after row, aisle after aisle, I felt it increasing inside of me. My eyes couldn’t dart fast enough, my mind couldn’t process all the wonderful images. It was only a matter of minutes before I couldn’t contain it any longer – I crashed from a creative overload. The Hoosier Artisan Holiday Boutique was the best handmade show I’ve been to in a long time. So much, that I had to take a breather half way through in order to contain my excitement. It was a first-time show organized by Megan Martin in Carmel, Ind. that featured Etsy artists from the INCrowd Team – Etsy.com’s Indiana Street Team. My only regret is that we weren’t organized in time to have a booth ourselves. But that wouldn’t have left much time to shop any way!  

 

Here’s what I bought:

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Keep Calm and Carry On Canvas – I bought a bigger canvas than pictured here, in a stripe print that I already had in my house. I also bought a brown brooch from them that looks like a circle-shaped rag rug! By Stinky Toe Designs.

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Leather Poppy Brooch – I bought my pin in a khaki color to match my favorite cowboy boots. You should see the purses! By Sakura Urban Studio.

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You are Beautiful Greeting Card – I bought this as a birthday card for my fabric-lovin’ sister-in-law. By The Binding Bee.

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Nursing Cover – Or as my husband calls it,

Other mentionables:

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Butterfly Card Collage Art Print – This artist takes your old greeting cards and turns them into custom collages. My favorite was one from her wedding, featuring bright colors and snippets of messages from loved ones. By Art*iculate.

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Fabric Covered Magnet Board – These are beautiful! The fabric choices are neverending. By Steel Dreaming Designs.

Jenny