Tag Archives: crafts

Braided Rag Rug

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Alright, so what do we do with A LOT of left over fabric? We use it. We use a yard to make a pillow, or a quarter to make a stuffed animal. So after several suggestions I decided I would try my hand at making the braided rag rug suggested by Crochetycrochetlady. Other than the fact that it was a PAIN IN THE BUTT, I think it’s coming along nicely :).

If I were to ever do this project again, I would use double sided fabric that didn’t fray. It would not only have been finished SIGNIFICANTLY sooner but I wouldn’t have ran out of the 6 spools of green thread that I had to buy so that my strips would have finished edges…and still need to go out and buy more. That is, however, the only expense I had for this project. I already had all of the fabric necessary for the project (unfortunately it didn’t use up nearly enough :P) and I braid like speed demon so no problems there.

So what do you need for this project?

About 5 yards of fabric cut into 1″ strips
A clothes pin
Safety Pins
thread to match your fabric
invisible thread
a sheet of fabric the shape and size of your finished rug

To begin, sew three strips together into a “T.” I stitched up to 12 of my cut strips together at a time so I could spend some time sewing and then time braiding however, in order to do this roll up one of the three tails and secure it with the clothes pin so you don’t end up with a tangled mess on your hands. So braid away. I made an oval rug and it took me a minute to think about it but it made sense that however long you make the center strip is the difference between the length and width of the finished project. So, if you want a 3’x5′ rug you need your center strip to be 2 feet long. Mine was just under three feet long so mine finish project will be roughly 5’x 2′ or 6’x3′ depending on how much I want to do. In order to make such a tight turn for the first couple rounds skip a couple strands in the braid. I know that doesn’t really make any sense but I’ll post a picture tomorrow. I have a book that has an absolutely beautiful diagram of it.

Anyway, after the first couple rounds you don’t need to do any special braiding and can just make a straight regular braid. After I had roughly 52 yards [give or take, I used the very scientific fingertip to nose method of measuring (which I actually measured once and was actually pretty accurate for my arm length)] I wrapped it up and safety pinned it so that I could see about how large my rug is and this is what I ended up with.

That’s Daggett, he stole his sister’s bed and she’s not too happy about it but he’s helping me by holding that corner together. ><

He looks so innocent…BAH has he got you fooled!

Now I’m going to add a little more green around the outside edge because I think I have something like 30 or 40 more strips cut already. Then I should be done. As for size, I think it’s almost 5’x2′. By the time I get the rest of my already cut strips on it’ll be about 5.5’x2.5′. We’ll see how it looks again then.

 

When I do get finished with my braid, I’m going to take my rug sized fabric and finish the edges. Then, I will sew it all together, starting in the center and working clockwise with the invisible thread using the zig-zag stitch.Β  We work clockwise so theΒ  rug won’t get jumbled up in the sewing machine arm.

I’ll post pictures when I’m done, I just wanted you all to know I wasn’t being a TOTAL bum πŸ˜›


Beyond The Picket Fence

Awesome Doily Idea

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So this is mainly for crochetycrochetlady, but I figured everyone else would like it too. SO LOOK WHAT I FOUND ONLINE LAST NIGHT! I’m definitely going to tackle this one sometime this fall. Instead of making a rug though (I feel like the rope lights might be hard on your feet) I’m thinking wall lighting. It’d be like those recessed ceiling lights or back lit canvases. I think it’d be great.

LOVE

Basket weaving

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I have always wanted to weave a basket. Ever since I was little I knew it couldn’t be that difficult and yet I never understood why they were so expensive. So I was in a hobby store again (there was a relatively bad wreck with the remote controlled helicopter and it needed new parts again) and they had basket weaving kits. So for $13.99 I bought one and learned how to make a potato basket. It’s true they are incredibly time consuming, however I was right in thinking that they aren’t difficult at all. If you’ve got a couple hours free(this took me between 5 and 6) one weekend I suggest you buy a kit if you’re interested. It was a lot of fun and the finished product looks awesome. My fiance even said it looked like something his mother would spend upwards of $100 on! πŸ™‚

Anyway, the finished product!

I don’t mean to sound proud, but I think it’s pretty good for never making a basket before in my life!

Farm Craft Part 2

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So this is my original gourd…

Gourd

As you may recall, this is what I did to the bottom of it.

What of the top? It’s such an interesting shape and with so much material it seems like a waste to just throw it away. So I sat and looked at it for a minute and what pops into my mind? A VERY large calla lily.

So I sanded down the rough pieces and painted it. (Much like I did my bottom half if you would like a tutorial) What would make a better pistil than a creamy yellow tapered candle? So I plopped one in the center and glued it down with 2 part epoxy and then glued the whole thing to a dowel rod that I had laying around which I had also painted and it turned out pretty well. Maybe a little campy, but no more so than those other garden ornaments people stick in the ground. I weather proofed the entire thing with a clear acrylic sealant but I decided I liked it better inside. We have an umbrella plant which is large enough not to look funny with it stuck in the same pot.

Ta da!

Happy Crafting,

Captain Neen

Doilies

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My grandma asked me a while back if I could pick her up some size 10 crochet thread so that she could make her ladies aid group some doilies as a gift.

Since then, I have seen doilies EVERYWHERE! I never knew there were so many things to do with them. I was under the impression that you just put them under lamps or picture frames or what-not. However, there are several fashionable things to do with them.Β  Pillow covers seem to be the most common use but I have recently seen them sewn onto dresses, wallets, clutches, necklaces, bracelets and much more.

Anyway, I decided to make a couple myself since I would be traveling and needed something to do in the car anyway. It was really not bad, I did skip a couple stitches in my first one by accident and I will never do the spider web pattern EVER again, but it really wasn’t that bad πŸ™‚ I’ll have to post pictures later (my camera’s dead) so you will have to wait!

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Here are my doilies that I forgot to post pictures of πŸ˜›

This one has very nice points at each green clump (also I messed up somewhere in the very beginning so that two points are too close together. It still looks nice though, and what do you do with doilies when you have nothing to put on top of them and no end tables to put them on?

You make them into dream catchers.

Farm Craft

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The man who lived in our house before us was a farmer through and through. He left us an orchard, and a huge wood shop (he used to make and sell cabinets), and a trash bag full of dried out “bird house” gourds…among other things. He used to wood burn images of hunting and animals and landscapes on them an sell them on the side. Now the left over plain ones are all mine to do whatever I want with them.

I had never worked with gourds before and I had never wood burned anything. As for wood burning, the concept seemed easy enough. As for the gourds, I just had no clue. Fortunately, the gourds had been dried out already (…for about a decade in my attic) but unfortunately for anyone who wants to do it on there own it doesn’t seem like a very fun process. ( http://gardening.about.com/od/vegetables/a/DryingGourds.htm )

Anyway, I decided I would try my hand at making a tutorial on what I did when I found my gourd.

What you need to recreate these steps is…
A dried gourd
x-acto knife
medium grit sand paper (or sanding block)
pencil (or stamp with brown ink)
Cream and Charcoal colored paint
Paint brush
Wood burning tool and tips
Orange colored fine tip marker
Matte clear coat spray

I started by shoving an x-acto knife at the base of the cone part and cutting the entire top off at an angle. Inside was a gross, dry cobweb of that gunk that you find holding all the seeds together when you carve any pumpkin for Halloween. There was a bunch of seeds inside as well which I plan to plant. I don’t know if they’ll grow or not but I know several plants can remain in a dormant state for decades so we’ll see.

Anyway, after removing all the extra stuff, it looked a little like this.

I sanded down the inside so the veins weren’t so pronounced. I didn’t take a picture of it at the time but hopefully you can get the drift from this one.

I then drew a picture on the bottom that I wanted to wood burn into the gourd. I made a couple trial runs on the bottom and then I decided I wanted to paint the entire thing cream colored. I painted it and then I redrew my little flowers.

If you don’t want to draw your own image, you can stamp it on. I would use brown ink if you stamp though so it would look more like then burn in case you make a mistake.

After making sure my image was just the way I wanted it, I started wood burning. Let me tell you, a lot easier said than done. I think I screwed up a dozen times, but thankfully, you can’t really tell unless you look πŸ™‚

After I finished wood burning the image on, I decided a little color would be nice. I colored in the petals with an orange fine tipped marker and I thought it looked awfully nice.

I then covered the entire thing with a matte clear coat.

Now comes the hard part – realizing when you’re actually done with a project. I liked the way it looked on the outside but the inside was still unfinished. So I painted the entire inside cream as well which was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be. The inside of the shell was spongy and absorbed the paint which was really annoying. I ended up going through an entire bottle of paint on one little gourd! Then I thought I would add a little depth by painting the bottom of the inside a charcoal gray.

So looking at it from the front it looks like this.

I think I’m going to do one more thing to it before I’m done. I think I’ll add one blade of grass and a flower to the back, directly in the center, on the inside. I’ll color it orange as well so I think it’ll bring it all together well at the end.

Ta Da! This is the finished product. I think I like it πŸ™‚

I hope you enjoyed!

Captain Neen

For more ideas on what to do with any gourds you might come across try these links.

Gourd Candle Holder

World of Gourd Art

first summer craft

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I’ve seen a few posts around lately about succulent wreaths. They look great and in theory, seem to be a good idea so I thought I’d try to make one myself.

Instead of posting my own tutorial I thought I’d just share the one I used to make mine.

http://www.prudentbaby.com/2010/12/diy-simple-stunning-living-succulent.html

I thought it was simply beautiful and I only had two types of succulents (two different Hens and chicks) and I collected several types of moss from my own back yard. Anyway, here is a picture of mine about a month after I finished it. I thought I had taken a pic right after I made it but I can’t seem to find it.

1st summer project

I believe the two hens that seem to be lengthening out like they are is due to the fact it’s hung under my porch roof and isn’t getting as much light as it wants. I’m currently looking for a new place to hang it before it begins to look to other-worldly.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial, get out there and get crafting!