Rag Baskets

Fabric strips, piping cord, a little time and patience….you have made a unique one of a kind rag basket!

Materials:

  • Fabric – torn into strips
  • Piping (cording)
  • Large needle or large safety pin
  • Masking tape
  • Wire 18 or 19 gauge
  • Scissors

Directions:

The piping (cording) that I like to use for my baskets is found in craft stores in the upholstery area.  It comes in different sizes, the cost is around 30 to 40 cents a yard depending on size.  For the multi colored basket (6” round bottom) I used 7 yards of piping and about 1 yard of fabric, the oval basket (9” by 6 1/2″) made of all the same fabric, I used 10 yards of piping, and all use 2 yards of fabric.  So it takes more piping than you think!

The needle: I’m using a plastic yarn needle (it has a large eye) but a large safety pin will work.

First you want to tear you fabric into 1” to 1 1/4” wide strips, if you are using scrap fabric you do need the strips to be at least 18” to 20” long.  With masking tape, tape one end of the cord, then cover and wrap with a strip of fabric, wrapping 4” to 5” on the cord (wrap with a slight angle) and start to roll into circle.  This might take one or two tries, don’t give up, the starting point is the hardest!

Slide on your large needle, or pin a large safety pin to the end of fabric strip, holding fabric wrapped piping in a circle, pull needle through, then push needle back up on other side of fabric strip.  If it is not holding tight, try again…remember this is the hardest part of making the basket….do not give up!!

In the picture below, I have loosened up my circle so you can see where to put the needle. But you do want a tight stitch that will hold!

The picture below shows where to push the needle back up, making sure you are holding on tight to the circle! Now push needle down on other side of the fabric strip and wrap the fabric 2 times around piping and make another stitch!!

This is what up should have!  Now it’s time for a new strip….just lay the new fabric strip under the one you have been stitching and wrap the new strip around (you want it tight)! And keep going!!

Keep going until you have the size bottom you like!! Tip: before you start the sides, count the rows, in the picture above there are seven rows for the bottom, all sides need to be equal, and I’m ready to start up the side! To make the sides going up (no worries the hard part is done), you want to push the piping up on the fabric wrapped cord and keep stitching!!!

You want the sides of the basket to be even also!  So count up on all sides, you want one side to have one row more than the other.  The handle will even out the sides!  But I like to add wire for extra support!  I like the wire to run around the top row and handle of my baskets.  This means you need to start the wire when the side count is 7 on one side and 6 on the other (for this basket).  Cut wire to your size (top rows and handle) and use masking tape to hold in place (it is easy to add more wire if needed).

Now that the wire is in place, go half way around, again the side count is not even. Now we are ready for the handle, this basket has a double handle, below I show a single handle and side handles!! Make a tight stitch and bend up and over to form the handle. The first side you will just wrap with a fabric strip, until it gets to the other side.  Now bend cord with wire back to the other side.  In the bend area make a stitch, keep tight and keep making more stitches around the wrapped handle side, holding the handle together.

Now bring the wired piping down and bend around the top of the basket, this will be the last row….All most done!!  Cut the piping and wire where it meets back to other side of handle.  Cut piping at an angle and wrap tight with tape.

Keep wrapping and making stitches.  When you come to the end, wrap all the way to the tip (you do not want the piping to show through) then back to make the last stitches.  With the needle push through a stitch inside of basket and make a knot and cut off any extra fabric.  Done….now that wasn’t so hard!!!

This is the inside of the basket.

For a single handle basket, again the side count will be off by one!  Add wire before you start the last row on the side, continue the wire for the handle, and for the last row on the other side of the basket.  The single handle you bend over shaping into your handle size and then back the other way, making the last row of the basket.  Make a good tight stitch before and after the handle on each side.

Easter basket!

The oval (oblong) basket, you just need to shape the bottom and then make the sides!  This basket I use smaller size piping and used the same fabric!

This is the bottom. I placed a button so you can see the center, and how I’m making both sides even.

Starting to make the sides!

If you run out of piping, it is easy to add more, cut the piping at angle (both the new and what you are using) fit them together and tape tight and keep going!

No one will know!!

This basket has side handles, and again I used wire to help shape them!

I love making these for gifts!

My next basket I’m going to try using ribbon instead of fabric….I need to find a sale on ribbon!

Hope you will be inspired to make rag baskets!

Fabric Pumpkins

Make your own unique pumpkin patch in an afternoon!

Materials:

  • Fabric (I’m using a piece 14″ by 22″)
  • Natural Jute
  • Poly Pellets
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue
  • Poly-Fil (stuffing)
  • Sewing machine, thread, needle
  • Scissors

Directions:

I’m using a piece of fabric 14″ long by 22” wide.  This will make a 6” to 7” tall finished pumpkin.  By changing the size of the fabric, it will change the size and shape of the finished pumpkin!

If you do not have a sewing machine, you can easily make one by just hand stitching!!

Let’s make pumpkins!!  Start folding the fabric in half, right side to right side making your piece 14” long by 11”wide, sew down the 14” side.  Now sew a long gathering stitch across one side which will become the top (stitch by hand or machine).  Cut a piece of jute about 12” long, hand gather the bottom (the end without the gathering stitch).  Wrap and tightly tie the jute around gathered fabric about 2” to 3” in, make a tight knot and cut off extra jute if needed.

Turn your soon to be pumpkin inside out!  Pour in some Poly-Pellets for weight in bottom of pumpkin.  Add some Poly-Fil (stuffing), do not over stuff.

This is the bottom of the pumpkin!

Start pulling the gathering threads around the top.

With needle and thread stitch top closed.  I like to tuck in the raw edge of the fabric down then stitch closed.

Cut 3 pieces of jute, each about a yard long, holding the 3 pieces make a knot in middle.  Spread out the jute to make 6 strands, place the middle of the bottom of the pumpkin on the knot.  Bring up 2 of the jute pieces that are opposite of each other and tie in a knot on the top center of the pumpkin.  You do not want to make it too tight, you might want to play around with it and see how you like it.  Do this two more times, all the jute will now be tied up.

This is the bottom of the pumpkin!

This is the top with one pair tied.

I like to make sure that one of the jute ties is over the seem.

Now you have all 6 pieces of jute on the top, make one big knot, nice and tight.  Do not cut the jute yet, we are going to use it to make the stem!

Pull 2 of the jute strings out, and gather up the other 4. Fold down the 4 making it about 2” tall (this is going to be the stem, so make it shorter or tall to what you like), take the other 2 and tie a knot holding the other 4 in place.

Now fold up the tale, tie another knot, cutting the jute so it fit into the loop.

With one of the long jute piece, start wrapping up and then down (I like to end at the bottom) add a touch of hot glue to hold end of jute in place.  Now do the same with the next piece of jute (I like making the bottom of the stem thicker), glue in place when finished.  If you want a thicker stem, wrap more jute.

You are done!

Are you going to make a pumpkin patch!!

This stem I just folded over all 6 and tie a knot, cutting off the extra jute!

How about using ribbon instead of jute, for a different look!

Hope you are inspired to make your own pumpkin patch!

 

Crepe Paper Flowers

So much fun to make these beautiful flowers!  They are made from crepe paper, making color possibilities endless!!

Materials:

  • Crepe Paper (I have used white, light pink and dark pink)
  • Floral Wire for stems
  • Hot glue
  • Floral Pearl centers
  • Scissors
  • Wire Cutters
  • Optional: bleach, food coloring, ink pads

Directions:

Cut out petal shapes from the crepe paper, I cut off about 18” and folded several times and then cut my petals (you are going to want to make a lot).  For the center cut about a 3″ strip of crepe paper, fold in half and make cuts downward, making it look like fringe!  With hot glue, glue the floral pearls for the center, then glue and wrap the fringed strip.

Now glue each petal, gluing around the center, then around with next layer until you have enough (I made them in different sizes)!  I even made some that looked like buds.

Some of the flowers I bleached the tips and dipped in food coloring!!  In a small bowl use straight bleach (you might want to go outside, you must have good circulation!!),  dip end into the bleach to remove the color, let dry on newspaper. When petals are dry, dip into food coloring, and let dry!

These I  dipped into bleach only!

These petals were dipped in food coloring!

These I used ink pads, inking the ends of the petals for a different look!!

These elegant crepe paper flowers would be beautiful added to or covering a wreath!  How about in fall colors…I think that might be my next project:-)

Framed Chicken Wire

I have been having so much fun with old wooden frames! Recycle an old frame into a fun message board, by backing it with chicken wire!

Materials:

  • Wooden frame
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Tape measure or yard stick
  • Small nails with heads and small hammer
  • Optional hook for hanging, ribbon, small clothespins, ribbon and or rag flowers

Directions:

I went to a local feed store for the chicken wire, it’s 36″ long and sold by the foot ($1.20 a foot)!

I found my wooden frame at the flea market, removed old nails, sanded and painted it!  Once your frame is ready, measure the inside of the frame, and cut the chicken wire with wire cutters to your frame size.

Depending on where you cut on the chicken wire pattern you may need to cut off or bend back sharp point of the wire.  For this reason I would cut the wire just a bit larger, lay the wire in the frame, then cut or bend the wire to fit!

Once you have the perfect size, lay the wire in the frame and nail into place.  I found nails with a small head worked the best for me.

This picture shows where I had to bend the wire for a good fit and makes it easier for nailing in place.

Done!! Now it’s time to have some fun…ribbon and flowers!

Simply weave ribbon around and through the wire.

I added 3 flowers!

Found small wooden clothespins, glued buttons on some!

Super fun and unique message board! Hope you are inspired to make one!!

 

Crepe Paper Pom Pom Flowers

Who wouldn’t want a vase full of these colorful crepe paper flowers!

Materials:

  • Crepe paper
  • Scissors
  • Green floral stem wire
  • Floral stem wrapping tape (green)
  • Wire cutters
  • Tacky glue
  • Optional food coloring

Directions:

Cut a 12″ to 18″ long piece of crepe paper, with your scissors make cuts into the paper about every 1/4 of an inch without cutting all the way through, coat one end of the floral wire (stem) with Tacky glue, lay glued end onto crepe paper that was not cut and press with fingers to hold in place.

Add more glue and roll crepe paper around wire, pinching, and gathering with your fingers.  You do not want to just roll the wire flat onto the paper, I think the flowers look best with some gathering!

As you are forming the flower, keep the crepe paper going straight around the top, you do not want the crepe paper going down the wire!

When your flower is the size you want, glue the end of the crepe, with your fingers push in and around the base of the flower making sure it held tight in place and is not too thick.

Tear off about 6″ of the floral tape and wrap around the glued end and down around the wire.

Depending on the vase size you are using, you may have to cut the wire stem to size!

It so easy to make multi colored flowers!  Start with a center color, glued in place and then add another color and another!!

For the multi colored look, I took white crepe paper and dipped it into food coloring!

I love the look!

Maybe red, white and blue for the 4th of July table!

Leather Cord Bracelet

These leather cord bracelets are so quick and easy, you can use beautiful buttons or colorful glass beads.

Materials:

  • Buttons or glass beads
  • 1.8m Leather cord
  • Scissors

Button bracelet:

Before you start make sure the leather cord will slide through the button holes!  I’m using 7 one inch mother of pearl buttons and one 1/2″ button as the fastener.  I want the bracelet to be 7″ to 71/2″ long when finished, so I will need to cut the leather cord 36″ long.  Fold the cord in half, make a knot on folded end about 1/2″ in, this end will be your fastener, so make sure your button (the 1/2″ button) will slide through!  To keep the first button in place tie one more knot about 1/4″ from the first knot.  Slide your button through one of the cords.

Slide the button all the way to the knot, tie another knot with both cords to hold button in place!

Add another button, tie a knot until you have all your buttons on and the size you want.

To finish your bracelet, tie one more knot to keep the buttons from being to close to each. Slide the smaller 1/2″ button on, sliding a cord through each button hole, and tie cording in strong knot.

Cut off extra cord.

Button bracelet done!

Glass bead bracelet on a leather is just as easy!

For the glass bead bracelet, cut the leather cord 36″ for a finished 7″ to 71/2″ bracelet.  Fold cord in half and make a knot, with the opening large enough for your last bead to go through (this last bead will be your fastener).

Before you start make sure the glass beads will easily slide on the leather cord!  And the bead that will become the fastener needs to slide on to both cords!

Slide the first bead onto just one of the cords, and make a knot, slide next bead on and make a knot, until you have the size you want!

 

Now for the last bead, slide this bead through both cords knot a strong knot and cut off extra cord!

Done, how easy and quick!

Or try this, make a loop large enough for a bead and tie a knot.  Slide the first bead through both ends of the cord, cut extra tail of cord hiding it in the bead!

Make a knot, add a bead, make a knot, until you have the size you want.

The last bead will be the fastener, so it needs to fit through the loop!  Slide this bead on, make a tight knot and cut off extra cord!

These bracelets would make a great “crafty” project for a tween sleep over or for a birthday activity!

Enjoy and be inspired!

Magazine Beads

Stop… do not throw away that magazine, recycle and make beads.  Yes these beads are just strips of magazine pages rolled into a bead.  Grab some glue and lets make these easy beads.  This is a great project for older children!

Materials:

  • Magazine
  • Tacky Glue
  • Scissors
  • Double stick tape squares
  • Plastic cocktail straws
  • Wax paper
  • Long wooden skewer
  • Clear varnish sealer gloss or satin and paint brush
  • Optional for necklace: jump rings, seed beads, eye pins, needle pliers

Directions:

Pull out pages that you want to use from the magazine, I like finding colorful pages.  Cut pages into long triangles, the fatter end will determine the length of the bead, the longer you cut the triangle, the fatter the bead will be.

Lets make a bead(s), place the side you want seen down and place a double stick square about a 1/4″ from the top (the larger end).  Place a small plastic straw on the top and start to roll, you want the tape to stick and hold the paper not on the straw,  this makes it so easy to slide the finished bead off.

I outlined the tape, see how it is not all the way at the top.  I have found this step makes it faster and easier to make the bead, if you do not have double stick tape, glue will work but you need to keep the bead moving around the straw or it will not slide off.

Now add a line of Tacky Glue and keep rolling to the end.

There will be glue that comes out the sides, with your fingers rub the glue over the bead and slide of straw to dry.

You can make this beads in any size.

Lay the bead(s) on wax paper to dry (do not let them touch each other).  When they are dry I like to paint a coat of gloss varnish sealer.   Slide the beads on to long wooden skewers, paint a coat of sealer, and use a jar to balance the skewer on top to let the dry.

You do not want the sealer to get on the skewer, it will make it hard to get the beads off.  When dry slide off.

Now what to do with all the beads….lets make a necklace.

I’m using eye pins, but you could use wire and roll each end to hold the jump rings.  I start with a small seed bead, then a larger bead, the magazine bead, larger bead, and end with seed bead on eye pin.  With needle nose pliers round the end to make a closed circle.

 

 

When all beads are on the eye pins, open and attach a jump to the ends, keep going until you have the length you want.  I made two strands, one with 24 beads and the other with 22.

This necklace cost under $5 and I love the colorful look.

A quicker way to put together this necklace is to string the beads on leather cord or hemp!  Tie a knot to hold magazine bead in place and maybe add some small glass beads or wooden beads, tie the ends together and you a have a one of a kind necklace.  This project is great for older children, they can make them for all their friends!

Frosted Glass Candle Holder

A can of Frosted Glass spray paint, stickers, decorative punches, and a glass vase or recycled jar, the possibilities are endless!

Materials:

  • Frosted Glass spray paint
  • Glass vase, candle holder, glass jar
  • Stickers
  • Decorative punches

Directions:

I’m using two sizes of snowflake punches.  Punch out the stickers and firmly place on outside of the glass piece and spray with Frosted Glass (outside) let dry and remove the stickers!

 

This one I just used the round stickers!

I wanted to make a stripped vase using masking tape, but my tape was too old, so I used rubber bands!

I think my oil bottle has a new life as a vase!

This is a vary inexpensive project, the spray I purchased from Jo Anns with a 50% off coupon for about $3.00 and sprayed four different pieces, (I had the stickers and the snowflake punches), Micheal’s had the glass candle holder/vase on sale $2.50!

 

Pine Cone Deer

How cute are these little deers!  Just pine cones, sticks and glue, add a red pom pom nose or a jingle bell, couldn’t be easier.  The kids will love helping find the perfect pine cones and sticks!!

Materials:

  • Pine cones different sizes, and not broken or too old
  • Sticks and branches for legs and antlers
  • Glue: Hot glue or any strong holding clear glue
  • Scissors and or small branch clippers
  • Optional: gloves, bells, ribbon, small ornaments, small birds, red pom poms

Directions:

Time for a pine cone hunt,  you do want to be picky picking your pine cones!  You do not want them too old, falling apart or broken, you also want different sizes, I like the head to be smaller than the body!  For the legs and antlers, I cut a branch from one the oak trees (it needed to come down), and cut the ends for the branches for the antlers and the thicker straighter branches for the legs.  I did let them dry out for about 2 days!  If you are using branches that have fallen to the ground, check to make use they are still in good shape, not too old!

  My box of branches….ready to go!

For the legs you want them some what straight, and the same size (thickness) for all 4 legs.  Cut off any small branches off.  Do not cut them too short, wait and cut them to the size of your deer pine cone, mine were  4” to 4/12″ long!

Have different sizes and shapes of end branches for the antlers.

Match up the pine cones, find the pair that look the best together.  I like the head (pine cone) smaller than the body.

You may need to wear gloves, then gluing!  I using hot glue, it’s just quicker, but if the kids want to help (please be careful using hot glue around children) but if they are willing to hold the pieces together while the glue sets…why not (try Weldbond glue)! For the deer body, as you see in the picture above, the head (pine cone) goes one way, the smaller end is the nose, and the body (pine cone) the other way.  Find the best spot for both pine cones, where you can push them together and get a good hold, now that you have a good spot, pull them apart and glue, hold in place until glue has set.

See how the two pine cones are pushed down together.

For the legs, before you glue, find just the right spot, 2 for front legs and 2 back legs.  Cut the leg branch to the right size and glue ( about 4” to 4 1/2” long).

    

Make sure your deer can stand on it’s own!

Now for the antlers, pick 2 branches, and fit them to the top of the larger end of pine cone, pushing into pine cone for a good fit. Make sure the antlers do not make the deer top heavy, if the deer falls over, the antlers are to large and or too heavy.  Now glue antlers into pine cone.

   

Done…now maybe a red pom pom nose, tie on a jingle bell or small ornament!

 

How about silver spray paint!

     

Maybe add a little bird in a nest, and jingle bell.

       

Are you inspired!

 

Paper and Bead Ornaments

So fun and fast to make these beautiful balls using decorative paper punches!  Every year I like to have a “girls” holiday party, and what would a party be without a party favor, these are this years party favor!

Or maybe a bowl of the flower balls to match your decorator!

 

Materials:

  • Decorative punch (I using a flower punch)
  • Card stock paper
  • Glass seed beads in coordinating colors
  • Sequin pins: gold or silver
  • Smooth foam balls, your choice of size I’m using 2″ and 3″ balls
  • Acrylic paint for the foam balls
  • Paint brush
  • Optional: for hanger, eye pins or wire,  fishing line, ribbon or string, Tacky glue

Directions:

I do think it is best to use the smooth foam balls!  Start by deciding on your colors, and paint the foam balls.  I find it easy and fast to stick a tooth pick into the ball, paint it and then stick into foam sheet or card board box to dry (the tooth pick hole will be covered with a flowers)!   You do want a good coat of paint, but remember you will be covering with flowers!

While the balls are drying, start punching, and punching and punching.  I tried to count when I was making a 3″ ball, it was around 80 flowers and it will depend on how close together you put them.  Since I was making about 75 covered balls, I just punched each of the colors I wanted to use and put them in bags, when I ran out of that color I just punched more!

I found the Sequin pins from Jo Anns for 99 cents for 300 and of course I used a coupon!  But any thin straight pin will work, you just have to make sure the seed bead will slide on and stay on!

Pick your seed bead color and slide one bead on the pin and stick on a flower. Now I just pushed it right into the ball, but you could dip the end of the pin in Tacky glue if you felt like it needed it.

Since I was making sooo many, I found it easier to sit and watch TV 🙂 and slide on the bead and flower and make a bowl full and then put them on the balls!

I also found that if the card stock was super thick (like some of the heavy glitter ones from Micheal’s) they were too hard to punch and way to hard to push a pin through….just thought you should know!

Remember it’s up to you on how close together to put the flowers, it gives you a different look when the flowers are on top of each other!  If you do not do the pin gluing, it’s no problem to move the flower pin around, which you might need to when you are fitting in the last ones!

To make a hanger, I’m using an eye pin (which is used to make jewelery) but works great for this project or you can use wire. First slide the seed bead on, then the a flower and dip the end of the pin in Tacky Glue and push into ball!  Tie fishing line or ribbon on and hang your ornament!

Here is tip, I found that Velum paper works great (I used velum paper for the snowflake balls, second picture from the top) and it’s a beautiful look, it comes in colors like red, gold and silver!

Think about a different shape of punch, hearts, snowflakes, two different sizes of flowers…what shapes do you have!

I also love them just in a large glass bowl!  A fun and inexperience way to add color and or texture to your coffee table?

Did you know you can get the foam in an oval egg shape….Easter eggs how much fun!

How about making a topiary, one (or two) large ball covered with flowers, use a ribbon wrapped wood dowel as the stem, and placed in any vase or pot!  So pretty for a baby shower or bridal shower center piece.

 

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