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:-)

Ribbon Flower

In just a few minutes you can make these sweet ribbon flowers!  Add one to your beach tote, gift bag, headband, a backpack or how cute on a pair of flip flops.  You will want to make more then one!!

Materials:

  • Grosgrain ribbon
  • Candle or lighter
  • Scissors
  • Needle and matching thread
  • Button(s) for center

Directions:

I have 7/8″ ribbon cut into 7 one and half inch long petals, rounded one end.   Now you want to singe all the raw edges by holding them to a flame!  You can use a candle or a lighter, I like using a lighter!

With needle and thread, stitch the ends of each petal. I like to fold in half the straight end of the ribbon, then fold up each side (it makes a W) and stitch together.  You want to do the same to all the petals.

Now run the needle through the end of each petal, forming a circle.  I think the flower looks best if the “W” stitch is facing the same on all petals as you sew them together.  You may need to make a few small stitches each time you add a petal to hold in place.  If needed go around again, stitching each petal together!

Flip over and add a button(s) center!  This flower is 2 1/2″ when finished.

Your ribbon flower is ready for…a  hair clip or headband, sew a safety pin to the back and pin on a tote bag or backpack!

The first ribbon flower shown (the print one) the ribbon size is 1 1/2″ and I cut each petal 2 1/2″ long!

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!!

 

Beaded Wire Circle Charm

My sister ask my to come up with an unique and inexpensive gift that she could give her girl friends who where putting together a big birthday party for her (one of those birthdays with a big number)!  I came up with the Circle of Friendship beaded charm.  It’s a wire ring wrapped with seed beads that you slide onto your favorite chain and I found a beautiful friendship poem to put with it.

I wish I could give credit to the author of this beautiful poem, but I do not know the author.

Materials:

  • Seed beads
  • 26 gauge wire like Darice brand permanently colored copper wire
  • Small metal ring or washer
  • Wire cutters

I had an old circle chain from another project and liked the larger size ring, but any solid ring will work.  Cut about an 18″ long piece of the 26 gauge wire ( if the wire is too long it’s hard to work with and you can always add more) wrap a few times around the ring, then start stringing on some seed beads (not too many) on the wire and start wrapping around the ring.  You may need to use your fingers to hold the beads in place while wrapping.  I like to go all the way around one time then go back in the other direction one time.

The more times you go around adding beads the larger/thicker the ring will become.  If you use a washer that is already thicker, you will have a different look.

The ring I’m using is only about 3/4th of an inch!

When you have all the beads on, wrap the wire (with no beads) around a few times pushing it down into the beads and cut off what you do not need, pushing cut end down into the beads (making sure the sharp end is not sticking out).  It takes me about 20 minutes to make one charm, making this a fast, inexpensive and unique gift!

Now your Circle of Friendship charm is ready for you to slide onto your favorite chain/cord or give a gift to a special friend.

The 26 gauge wire comes in a lot of colors, it’s by Darice in a 30 yard roll for $2.50 (no coupon) and the seed bead comes in all colors, you can get small packages for $1 to $1.50 (no coupon).  If you are like me and love the 40% off craft coupons from Jo Ann, this project would be under $3.00 (using coupons) and you could make about 10 charms!!

Each charm is different, unique, and worn close to your heart, as each friend is special in their own way and always close to your heart!

Grape Vine Wreath Snowman

How adorable is this snowman made out of grape vine wreaths!  This idea has been around for awhile, but he is so simple to make and fun to add your own personal touches too!  He can hang from your front door or hang him inside.  Even quicker, make him out of green wreaths.

Materials:

  • 1 18″ grape vine wreath
  • 2 12″ grape vine wreaths
  • Foam black hat
  • Red felt 56” long by 8” wide ( about 1/4 yard)
  • 2 Bells 1 1/2″
  • 1 Bell 1″
  • 1 1/2″ Red ribbon for hat about 14” long
  • 3/8” Silver ribbon (about 1 yard)
  • Black wire or black pipe cleaner
  • 3 white pipe cleaners or wire
  • 1 red pipe cleaner
  • 2 silver plastic 2 1/2″ ornaments for “buttons”
  • 1 can White spray paint
  • Scissors
  • Optional: bird for top of hat, 4 snowflake picks, holy pick for side of hat

Directions:

The first and second wreaths are both 12″ in size, however I did look through all the wreaths to find one smaller than the other!!

Start by spray painting white all 3 wreaths.  You can leave them natural or even use green wreaths, it’s all about the look you want.  While the wreaths are drying, cut the foam black hat in half.  I found this hat at Michaels ($3.99 without coupon).

  

Once the paint is dry, lay out the smaller 12″, the other 12” and then the 18” wreath, with white pipe cleaners attach them together (12″, 12″ 18″).  With a black pipe cleaner or wire, attach the hat to the top of the wreath.  The wire or pipe cleaner easily pushes through the foam hat, and around the wreath.

   

With a white pipe cleaner or wire make a hanger, under the hat on the wreath, this will give a hanger for a door hook or nail.  Wrap ribbon around the hat and add a holy pick.

   

At this point I think it is easier to work on him hanging up, slide him on a door hang!  Add the bird to the top of the hat.

For the scarf I’m using red felt, but if I had a holiday scarf I would have used it!  Cut the felt 56″ long (longer if you like) by 8″ wide, cut “fringe” on each end.  Lay out the scarf and fold over each side, this way you will not see any raw edges!  Now wrap scarf around the snowman and just loop it on, it’s too thick to make a full knot!

   

String all 3 bells onto a red pipe cleaner, then wrap bells around scarf and tie onto wreath, keeping the scarf and bells in place.

   

Slide plastic (silver) ornament onto 3/8” silver ribbon, slide one end of the ribbon through wreath, tie ends in a bow and let the ornament hang down.  Tie ornament/ribbon on the other wreath…how cut are the snowman buttons!!

Add a few snowflake picks.

   

Done!!

The wreaths were about $4.88 each (without a coupon!!), 1/4 of a yard of red felt $1, foam hat $3.99 (without a coupon), bells $1, holiday picks (4 snowflakes, 1 bird, 1 holy) on sale $2.50 and spray paint from Home Depot under $2, I had the ribbon and pipe cleaners!  Using coupons with Snowman cost under $15.00.

Beaded Serving Spoons

Add some sparkle and fun to your serving spoons, dip spoons and spreaders!  These are so much fun to make, and add the personal touch to any party!  They make a great gift.

Materials:

  • 16 gauge aluminum Jewelry Wire
  • Spoon
  • Beads different sizes
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle nose pliers

Directions:

Double check your beads to make sure they will slide on to the 16 gauge wire.  Pick a spoon or spreader, you want to choose one that is not to decorative, you will be covering it with beads.  If you choose a sterling silver piece once the wire and beads are on it will be very hard to polish!  Bed, Bath and Beyond have serving pieces from $2 to $9, bring a coupon!

The  aluminum jewelry wire bends easily and is very easy to work with.  The pliers will leave marks, so I use double stick tape to tape down a little strip of felt.

Cut a piece of wire about 18” long (the length will depend on how many times you wrap and the number of beads), with the needle nose pliers, gently start to form a circle.  Place on the top center of spoon and wrap tightly 3 times with your fingers.

   

You want to keep the wire tight and close together.  Slide on a bead, with your finger or with pliers, gently bend the wire down the center.  With your fingers push bead into place and hold.

  

Holding the bead in place, start wrapping 2 to 3 times in the opposite direction, add more beads and wrap.

  

Remember you want to wrap the wire tight.  End with another circle swirl.  When wrapping check the back, to make sure the wire is straight.

  

When making your designs, you want to wrap the wire 2 to 3 times between each bead.

  

Note: beaded wired spoons and spreaders should be hand washed, not in dishwasher.

 

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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