Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Library Tote Bag

We go to the local library once or twice a week, so I decided to make a tote for my daughter so she can carry her books. She loves Curious George- LOVES him, and I had some Curious George fabric laying around.
This tote is reversible and it has the blue fabric on the inside. I made it from the tutorial in the book, Sew What! Bags: 18 Pattern-Free Projects You Can Customize to Fit Your Needs. This book is a great guide to basic bag making, and even their "daredevil" level bags are fairly simple to make. I highly recommend it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Halloween Tulle Wreath

I've seen a few different versions of black tulle wreaths, so I attempted my own. The great thing about this wreath is that it requires no glue or sewing. I'm limited to Walmart for crafting supplies unless I can find the patience for online ordering or I want to make a 2 1/2 hour drive to the nearest Hobby Lobby.

To follow this tutorial, you will need:

One 12 inch wreath frame,
4 and 1/4 yards of black tulle,
a few inches of thin wire,
an orange ribbon,
and Halloween spider rings.

Many tutorials use spools of black tulle, but I couldn't find any in the stores near me. I have also seen versions of this wreath using a Styrofoam or straw wreath or an embroidery hoop. If you use a light colored wreath I recommend either spray painting it black or covering it in black ribbon prior to tying the tulle.

First, cutting the tulle:

The fabric I bought was 54 inches wide, so that divides easily into 3, 18 inch wide strips. To cut the tulle easily, roll it up so you have a roll 54 inches wide.
Just snip it into three rolls 18 inches wide each.Then unroll each of the three pieces and individually roll them back up the other long way. I then cut these three long rolls into 1 1/2 inch pieces to make my tying strips. This is the same process you can use when making tutus.Use two tulle strips together for more fullness and tie them onto the wreath with a square knot. As you tie, bunch the strips together as thickly as you prefer.For the bow, I used orange wired ribbon and loosely followed this youtube tutorial. Use the wire to hold the bow together and to attach it to the wreath. Use another small piece of wire to make a loop at the top of the wreath for hanging. I added spider rings by just stringing a piece of tulle through the ring. You could also try some orange Halloween lights or other decorations, or leave it plain for a more classic look.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Balls

Today I made a pineapple upside down cake for tomorrow's church potluck. I used a store-bought box of pineapple cake mix. I only wanted to make a 9 inch round since I only had one can of pineapple on hand, so I came up with a delicious way to use up the other 1/2 of the cake batter- pineapple cake balls! This is what I threw together and it turned out yummy.
I used:
- 1/2 of a 24 oz package of almond bark. - 12 cooked pineapple cupcakes, or you could use another 8 or 9 inch round baked cake.
- 1 package softened Neufchatel cheese because I like to pretend this dessert is low fat.
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 1/2 a stick of softened butter
Crumble the cake while it's warm.  Blend together the butter, neufchatel cheese, and powdered sugar.  Then add the crumbled cake and mix. 

Roll the mixture into 1- 1 1/2 inch balls. Refrigerate them while you prepare the melted almond bark as directed on the package. I prefer to microwave it in a glass bowl. Using a spoon, coat each cake ball with almond bark.

Tap the spoon against the edge of the bowl to let the excess drip off.
Place them on a sheet of waxed paper and refrigerate until solidified.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Earring Stand

Welcome to my blog! I wanted a place where I could show off, or ehem... display my crafting projects and hopefully help other people make wonderful things.

For today's project, I needed someplace to put my earrings that would keep them organized. The drawer in my jewelry box just wasn't cutting it. I got tired of pulling out tangled twisted earrings covered in other odds, ends, and bits of smaller earrings, so here's my solution.
It was so simple to make that you really don't need a step-by-step tutorial. All it takes is a cheap-o frame (this one was $3.00 at Walmart) and a piece of tulle. The frame already came with a mat, but make sure to buy one if yours didn't come with one. Just remove the glass and the cardboard back of the frame. In this case I had to cut the backing off of the frame because it was attached on one side. Then pop out the mat and lay a piece of tulle on it with about an inch of extra fabric all around the mat. Tightly tape down the tulle on the back side, as you can see in this picture, to hold it in place while you prepare to glue. Run a bead of hot glue along the inside edge of your picture frame and then set your tulle covered mat into the frame.
Easy peasy and you're done! Add all of your prettiest earrings and display. I put mine on my dresser leaning against my mirror, but you could also buy a stand so it will sit anywhere. Alternatively, you can use a piece of window screen in place of the tulle and mat for a sturdier earring holder, or you could cover the mat in decorative paper and modge podge for some color.