My So Called Crafty Life

Monthly Archives: November 2012

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12 Days of Handmade Gifts- DIY Recipe Potholders

Hello there! Welcome to day two of my 12 Days of Handmade Gifts. Today I am going to show you how to make these fun recipe pot holders. I love hot pads, but mine are getting pretty nasty, so I thought I would try making some. I know a lot of you are familiar with Spoonflower. For those who are not, Spoonflower is a print on demand fabric company that will print your design onto fabric, wallpaper, wall clings, and now even wrapping paper. I have ordered from them twice now and have been really happy with the quality of the printing as well as the fabric. It’s a great tool for artists and crafters, and I’m sure you will see many more projects from me in the future that involve their fabric. When I decided to make hot pads for christmas gifts this year, I thought it would be fun to include a special family recipe on them. The cookie recipe is my grandmothers, her pecan cookies were a big hit around the holidays. The other recipe is for cheese straws that my Aunt Jamie makes and they are so delicious they always disappear within a day. These little pot holders whip up really quick, so you could make a whole batch in an hour or two!


 First decide how large you want your pot holder to be. I made mine 9″. They ended up being closer to 8″ though because I trimmed them down after quilting. To make the recipe, in your photo editing program first type up your recipe and save your file. Then, make a new page that is 18″x22″ for a fat quarter. Now drag and drop your recipe onto the blank page, repeating until you fill up the page with them. You want to make sure that your recipe is as wide as your pot holder so when you cut it out it won’t be too small. I made my recipes 8″ with 1/2″ of white space on either side, and I was able to fit six in a fat quarter. Save your page of recipes, upload them to spoonflower and buy your fat quarter. When your fabric arrives cut out your recipes to 9″ wide by however tall your recipe is. Cut two squares of your pretty fabric, one square of warm and natural batting, and one square of your heat protective batting for each pot holder. For the pocket, cut lining fabric and batting the same size as your recipe fabric. Now layer your square and pocket pieces in the following order; place your pretty fabric face down, then place your heat protective batting on top, then your warm and natural batting on top of the first batting and then the other piece of pretty fabric face up. Starting diagonally in one corner mark your quilting lines. I made mine 1.5″ apart, then turn your fabric and mark the other direction so you end up with a diagonal grid for sewing. Stitch all your layers together row by row until all of your pieces are quilted. If you need to, trim your sides down so they are neat and even. Take your pocket piece and stitch a length of bias tape on the top raw edge. Make a loop with bias tape or ricrac and staystitch in one corner for hanging with the loop facing in towards the middle. Now you are ready to bind with your bias tape. You can staystitch your pocket to the front of your square or you can pin it in place. Open up your bias tape all the way. Take the shorter edge and lay down flush with the side of your square, stitch down in the crease of the first fold all the way around your pot holder stretching around curves. If you want to do mitered corners, you can find a great tutorial Here and Here. Now fold your bias tape over the edge encasing the raw edge of your pot holder. Pin in place and stitch down close to the edge. Clip threads and you are finished.

I have to say that even though my degree is in fashion, and I like to sew, I’m not a perfect seamstress. This was the first time I have ever used batting, and let me tell you, when batting is involved, bias tape is not my friend. I am not totally happy with the binding, but I do think they are cute. I love adding the recipe to the mix. They make great gifts, and adding a family recipe makes them special and heartfelt. I think they’d be fantastic given with a tin of cookies from the recipe, a complete and personal gift! These little hot pads make a sweet addition to your kitchen too. And with all the amazing fabric out there, you could make one for every season and occasion. I hope I’ve inspired a few of you to give Spoonflower a try, it’s really fun! Be sure to tune in next week for more fun and easy handmade gift tutorials!

Happy Crafting!

12 Days of Handmade Gifts- Vintage Feedsack Chalkboard Lockets

Hi everybody! Welcome to day 1 of my 12 Days of Handmade Gifts. For the next twelve weekdays I will be featuring a new DIY gift for you to make for just about everyone on your list. Today I am going to show you how to make these fun little lockets for your favorite gals. It’s really easy!

Here’s What You Need:

*Locket with Round Setting (find them Here)

*Fabric covered button kit 3/4″ size with setting tool

*Scrap fabric in a small print (I used vintage feedsack scraps, you can find them on ebay or etsy has some at Pink Cozy Cottage Here)


*Black chalkboard paint

*Pictures cut to 7/8″ round


*Beads, charms, etc…

Step 1: Make your button- There is a template for the size circle you need to cut on the box of your button kit. Use this template to cut out your circle to size. Lay your fabric circle face down on the rubber round tool. Lay your top piece of your button facing down onto the fabric and press down until the button top is pressed into the rubber mold and the fabric should be even sticking out of the mold. Fold your excess fabric to the inside of the button top. Then cover the fabric with the button bottom shank side up. Place the blue plastic cap on top of the button bottom and press down into the mold until you feel the button click. Now remove the button from the mold. Now you have a fantastic button for your locket.

Step 2: Finish out the locket pendant- With jewelry pliers, fold down the shank of the button until it is up inside the button so it will lay flat. Put a generous amount of E6000 onto the back of the button and glue down into the setting of your locket. Let the glue dry. Once the glue is dry, paint one of the inside sides with chalkboard paint. The paint I have is from the craft store. You paint it on in coats, letting dry for an hour in between. I did three coats on mine.

Step 3: Make locket into necklace- Embellish the top of your locket with a few charms or beads. I used vintage lucite flower beads and stacked beads on headpins for my embellishment. Load your locket, beads, and chain onto a jump ring and close up. I used tiny silver ball chain from Sun and Moon Craft Kits, but you can use any kind of chain you like. Finish your chain and you are done. Et Viola!

I just adore these little lockets! They are totally customizable to your taste and style. All you have to do is change up the fabric, and beads. I love putting chalkboard paint on the inside! It is perfect for writing a tiny message! They are really easy to make too, and pretty inexpensive. But the thing I love the most about these lockets is that they are a sweet and substantial gift that is very heartfelt! So go ahead and make one for all of your favorite gals, and don’t forget to make one for yourself too! Be sure to tune in tomorrow for another handmade gift DIY!

Happy Crafting!

Holiday Gift Guide 2012- Handmade Gifts for Gals

Hi everybody! It’s Wednesday again, and it’s time for another holiday gift guide! This week I am showing off some of my favorite gift ideas for the gals in your life. Today’s guide features handmade gifts for gals from the wonderful world of Etsy.  I absolutely love buying handmade gifts! They are usually much better made, and a lot more unique than what you can find at the mall. Etsy is full of amazing handmade things, I had such a hard time narrowing my list down to just 20! Here are some of my favorites:

Check out these sweet Silver Initial Necklaces from Fiore Jewellery Here

Check out this awesome “I Party with Jay Gatsby” Tote Bag from Silks and Screens Here

Check out this amazing Customizable Flying Airplane with Banner Locket from Khara Ledonne Here

Check out this beautiful Hand Knit Chunky Teal Blue Infinity Scarf from Blue Birds Fly Boutique Here

Check out this adorable Jaunty Animals 2013 Calendar from Hello Small World Here

Check out this fun “I Love You” Messege in a Bottle Necklace from Faerie Nest Here

Check out this funky Monster Coin Purse in Neon Colorblock from Woolly Mammoth Design Here

Check out this fabulous “Off to See the World” Pillow Cover from Three Red Apples Here

Check out these cool CHOOSE YOUR OWN – 1 teeny fabric stacking ring from Shop Marmalade Here

Check out this fun Meet the Gang small clutch / Coin purse from Cute Fairy Bear Here

Check out this sweet Knit Bow Ring Light Blue from Sheepish Knit Crochet Here

Check out this fantastic Bear, Bunny, Bird Pocket Notebook Three Pack from The Black Apple Here

Check out these lovely Hand Knit Boot Cuffs from Ozetta Here

Check out this fantastic So Loved – Large Format Print from The Wheatfield Here

Check out this amazing Paris Wood Wall Clock from I Luxo Here

Check out this sweet Forest Animal Deer Trinket Box Vintage Design in White from Fruit Fly Pie Here

Check out this awesome The Cat that Dreamt of the Moon Necklace from Tilly Bloom Here

Check out this fantastic Such a cool cat – limited edition giclee print of an original illustration (8 x 10 in) from Helen Dardik Here

Check out this lovely Little Star Gazing Bunny Pendant from Sarah Birt Jewellery Here

Check out this fun Fox Stole Scarf from Cheshire Cat’s Madness Here

And there you have it! Aren’t they all just fabulous! I would love to have any of these lovely items under my tree! I hope I have given some of you some great gift ideas for your favorite gals! You can see more items including some of my favorites from Modcloth and Anthropologie on my Holiday Gift Guide on Pinterest Here. Be sure to tune in Friday for part two of my Gifts for Gals!

Happy Shopping!

DIY Double Sided Lighted Tree Topper

When I took out all of my holiday decorations this year, I noticed that my tree topper was a bit worse for wear. So, I decided to try making a new one. This topper is really pretty easy to make and not only is it lighted, but double sided as well. One side is painted with chalkboard paint so you can easily change the design whenever you feel like it. The other side is painted with a decoupaged christmas card santa for a little extra style. This topper works up pretty easy. You can make one in just a few hours.

Here’s What You Need:



*Drill and bit the same size as your wire

*Copper Wire #6 (1-2 feet)

*Flat jaw pliers

*Spray Paint

*Craft Paint, Chalk paint, etc

*Led battery operated lights


*Glue Gun

*Craft glue or modge podge


First draw your star shape onto your plywood. Carefully cut out the shape with the jigsaw. Sand any rough spots with sandpaper. Drill a hole in the bottom of your star to insert the wire. Now bend your wire at a right angle 3 to 4 inches down from the top. Then bend another right angle about an inch down. Place on top of a bottle and start wrapping it around the neck of your bottle. You may need to use pliers. Use flat jawed pliers with no teeth so it doesn’t mar the wire. Once your wire is formed into a spring shape spray paint it in your desired color. A few light coats works best. Set aside to dry. Next, paint your star with craft paint on one side and chalkboard paint on the other side. Paint your sides the same color as your tinsel. Once your paint is dry glue your cut out holiday card to the craft painted side of your star with craft glue or modge podge. Now you are ready to add your lights. First insert your wire into the bottom of your star. Snake the light strand up through the coil, leaving several inches for the battery box to hang down below the coil. Now, start at the base where your wire is and place a dab of hot glue onto the wood, press your light strand into the glue. Go around the star glueing every couple of inches until you have your whole strand glued down to the outside of your star. Now go back around the star with your tinsel, glueing over the light strand. Once you have covered your lights with tinsel you are done. Top your tree and watch it sparkle!

I love how my little topper turned out! It was a lot of fun to make! You could customize your topper any way you like by changing up the paint and tinsel colors and embellishments. Make it your own style! Overall this is a great holiday project to deck out your tree! This is my last holiday decorating DIY this season. Tomorrow I will start a series of hand made gifts you can make for your family and friends. Be sure to tune in for day one of my 12 days of handmade gifts! Until then…

Happy Crafting!


DIY Lighted Tied Fabric Garland

 Hello Everyone! Today I am going to share a project I made last year and absolutely love, tied fabric garland. I had originally seen it on pinterest and knew I had to try it. This craft is so easy and it looks so cute hanging on a tree, around a table, or even over a bed. You can make it as small or as long as you wish. All you need is a strand of lights and bunch of scrap fabric in 1×5″ strips. Tie your fabric strips onto your light strand and hang it in your favorite spot. I hang mine over the bed, but I may make it longer one day to hang on my tree. It’s got a great fluffiness and looks so sweet and festive when lit up. It does take a little while to make since there is a lot of tying involved, but the outcome is totally worth it. You could easily make one while watching a movie one evening. Overall this is a fantastic cheap and easy craft to do for the holidays. So go ahead and deck your halls with some lighted garland! You can see the original ribbon version from Whitney Caroline Designs Here. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for more Christmas fun!

Happy Crafting!

DIY Drawstring Bag Advent Calendar

 Hello Everybody! I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend! Today I have a DIY Advent Calender for you. I am going to show you how to make an advent calendar of little drawstring pouches. These pouches are a great size to slip candy or a small toy in for your family. I don’t have children yet, but I always do an advent for my husband. He’s a big kid, and always really enjoys it! I used Spoonflower to design my little bags. You can design your own fabric at Spoonflower or you can use fabric of your choice and embroider or paint numbers on them. Stitching these up is time consuming since there are twenty-four bags, but it is really easy as well.

The first thing you want to do is iron your fabric and cut it down to size. I wanted to make my finished bags about 3.5×5, so I cut them 4″ wide by 7″ tall allowing for 1/4″ seam allowance and 1.5″ for the top casing. Next, fold the top edge under 1/8″ and stitch down. Repeat with all other pieces. Then put your front and back pieces together with right sides facing each other. Begin your seam about 1.5-2″ down the side, continue around the side, the bottom and the other side up to 1.5-2″ from the top, clip threads. If you have a sleeve board iron your seams open. If not, try to press and crease them open by hand. With the sides folded into place or pressed into place, fold the top over to just below where the side seams start. Stitch it down, forming a casing on the front and back pieces. Clip threads. Next, cut pieces of ribbon or string 16-18″ long. Attach one end of ribbon to a small safety pin. Insert the safety pin into the casing and scooch it through to the other opening of the front casing and into the first opening of the back casing. Continue to pull through to the second opening of the back casing and pull the ribbon until it evenly meets the other end of ribbon making the drawstring. You can knot the two ribbon pieces together or you can leave them loose and tie the bag up once it is filled. And that’s it, easy right! I find it makes things easier when doing a lot of something to do all the pieces one step at a time. So I would stitch all the side seams of all my bags, then press them all, etc.

 I really love my new advent calendar! If you want to make an advent just like mine, my Spoonflower fabric is available to purchase to the public through the spoonflower website Here. These are so adorable and fun! I think they are the perfect size! You can gather them all in a basket or bowl, or you could string them up on some ribbon or twine and hang on a fireplace or wall. I hope you all enjoyed my little advent craft! I had such a blast making it! Be sure to tune in tomorrow for a Christmas decorating diy from the wonderful world of Pinterest!

Happy Crafting!

DIY Christmas Craft Round Up- Part 2

Hi Everyone! Today I have a fun Pinterest craft round up for you all. I have compiled some of my favorite DIY Christmas tutorials and inspirations into my pinterest board, Christmas DIY. There are a lot of really cool christmas things to see. Here are a few of my favorite pins:

Aren’t they all so inspiring! I just want to make them all! To see the source of all of these pins and more fantastic Christmas inspiration check out my pinterest board, Christmas DIY Here. Hope you all have a fun and crafty holiday season!

Happy Crafting!

DIY Retro Tinsel Christmas Wreathes

Today I have a super kitschy and adorable project to share with you, retro tinsel wreathes. These little wreathes are a snap to make and so flippin’ cute! I love that they are just as cute unlighted as they are turned on! It’s a great way to show off awesome vintage christmas tchotchkes like plastic deer or knee hugger elves! This craft is so easy and totally customizable depending on the lights, tinsel colors and adornment you have.

You only need  few supplies to make a wreath. You need a wire wreath form, a few packs of tinsel in your choice of color, christmas lights, adornment and hot glue. For the large wreath I started by wrapping tinsel, looping it around my form until it was nice and full looking. Hot glue the ends in place. For the lights I used large christmas bulbs around the outer edge. Place a bit of hot glue inside the clip on your lightbulb and clip it to the top wire on your wreath. Add a bit more glue to hold it in place and continue every inch or so with each bulb all the way around the wreath. If you are nervous about spacing, clip the lights to the wreath first and then go back around and glue them. When you are done with your lights, hot glue your figure the inside bottom of your wreath and once it is dry you are ready to hang. For the small wreath, I wrapped a 50 bulb strand around my form all the way around, then I wrapped my tinsel around the form and hot glued the ends down. Then I glued the elf to the bottom. See how easy they are!

I made both of these wreathes in less than an hour. They are so fast to make up and so fun! I had a blast making mine, and they look fantastic at night when lit up! You can hang them on your front door, hang them in windows, or even on a wall for a fun holiday statement piece! I just adore these little guys! I hope I have inspired you to try one of these for yourself! Be sure to tune in tomorrow for more Christmas fun!

Happy Crafting!


Vintage Tablecloth Christmas Stockings

Hi everyone! Today I have a really fun craft for repurposing your spotty vintage tablecloths. I am going to show you how to make Christmas stockings! I am head over heels for vintage linens, tablecloths being my favorite! A lot of times I find tablecloths at a great deal because they have several stains or small holes. These are fabulous for crafting! I found a couple of vintage Christmas tablecloths from Molly, my favorite vendor at the Raleigh Flea. They were both in good shape color-wise but they did have quite a few yellow spots on them and I knew that they’d be perfect to make christmas stockings with this year! If you are handy with a sewing machine you can whip one up really fast too. I’m not a fast sewer and it still only took me around an hour to make these three.

Here’s what you need:


*Flannel Fabric for lining


*Pattern (you can use mine which is medium and skinny or search around the web, there’s a lot out there)

*Sewing machine, thread and scissors

 Cut out your pattern, then trace the pattern to your fabric cutting two of the shell and two of the lining. Cut out your pattern pieces. Stitch a loop of ricrace facing in towards the middle of the stocking about 4″ down the side seam of one of your pattern pieces. With right sides together sew the outer stocking and the lining pieces around the sides and bottom leaving the top open. Notch corners, turn right sides out and iron. Stitch the ricrac trim to the top of your outer stocking at the top. Now, stuff your shell into the lining piece right sides facing each other, matching the tops together. Stitch around the top leaving an inch or so unsewn for turning. Turn stocking out and stuff the lining into the stocking. Smooth out and iron. Top stitch around the top edge of your stocking closing up the turning gap. Fold the top of the stocking down a little to make the cuff. Now you are ready to hang and enjoy.

I love how these stockings turned out! The tablecloth fabric is fantastic and totally my style! I made one for myself, my hubby, and my sister. And yes, we are totally using these this Christmas morning, I can’t wait! I love how easy these are to make as well, and you can embellish them any way you like with different trims and buttons. My stockings are fun and retro, but if you are into a shabby cottage look you can use sweet floral tablecloths in those old beautiful soft colors. There are so many ways you can style these to your own. They are so much better than commercial stockings. I know I’ll treasure them for years to come! Be sure to tune in tomorrow for a fun and retro Christmas DIY!

Happy Crafting!


Holiday Gift Guide 2012- Gifts for Kids

Hello everyone! It’s time for my next holiday gift guide! This one is for all the kiddos out there. All of my picks are handmade and from wonderful Etsy shops! I am a big advocate for buying hand made whenever you can. The quality is better, you get a mor unique product, and you are supporting artists who pour their hearts into their work. I don’t have any little ones to buy for, but I love looking through children’s toys and plushies, they are so fun! Here are some of my favorite gift ideas for your little ones:

I am a huge stuffed animal lover so a lot of my picks are plush. Take a look at my faves:

Check out this fantastic Alix the reindeer plush toy rattle from Bling France Here

Check out this adorable Plush Named Marins from Tulinki Here

Check out these fabulous mini rag doll plushies from Jess Quinn Small Art Here

Check out this funky Red Fox Plush from To Tootse Here

Check out this sweet Penny the Polar Bear Plush from Patty Dear Here

Check out this fantastic Alphonze the Llama from Toxic Noodle Here

Check out this adorable Hugo the Dog Lambswool Plush from Sara Carr Here

Check out these sweet little Mini Plush Wee Owlies from KraKra Craft Here

Here are some of my other favorite toys for children:

Check out these awesome All Natural Kitty Egg Crayons from Kitty Baby Love Here

Check out this Wooden Ninja Toy Skittles Game from Indie Bambinos Here

Check out this awesome City Wood Blocks and Puzzle from Fidoodle Here

Check out this Make a Match Toddler – Zoo Edition from Mama May I Here

Check out this sweet Kid’s Lace Ruffle Play Tent from Teepee and Play Tent Here

Check out this fun Doorway Puppet Theater from Striped Coast Here

Check out this funky Superhero Tutu Costume from Jessica Kertel Here

Aren’t they all just fantastic! I love them! Obviously I am smitten with all of the plushies! I love the wooden toys and the cool kitty crayons too! Go check out these fabulous Etsy shops and see all the amazing goodies you can get for your little ones this year! Be sure to tune in next week for my next Holiday Gift Guide. Until then darlings…

Happy Shopping!


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