Thursday, February 26, 2015

2015 Year of the Sheep Craft

The Chinese New Year was celebrated last week and 2015 is the year of the sheep, goat and ram. The celebration started on the 19th and lasts for 15 days, ending with a Lantern Festival.  There are so many interesting facts about the year of the sheep.  People born under this Chinese zodiac sign are polite, shy, frank and honest, are highly creative focusing their energy on artistic hobbies.  Their lucky colors include purple, red and brown.  You might think that I am one of the sheep people, but I'm not.  I am a rooster. 

I love watching them. There's a farm a couple of miles from where we live and every time I drive pass it, I make a point of seeing if the sheep are out grazing.  They seem so cute, fluffy and cuddly! Watching them inspired me to make these adorable stuffed sheep.

Isn't she precious!
And putting this together was so easy to do!
Here's how:
Start by right-click copying the pattern for the sheep and paste to Word.  From there, you can adjust the size you want and trace the pieces onto faux fur and felt or fleece fabric.

1.  Cut out the six pieces - one top, two ears, two face, and one body. 
2. With right sides together hand or machine stitch around edge of face. 
3. Once stitched, separate the center fabric and make a slit opening in back and turn inside out.
4.  Stuff face with poly-fil.
5.  Hand-stitch opening close.

6.   Insert needle and embroidery thread from the back to make eyes, positioning thread into a slanted line as pictured.

7.    Move the thread into a v shape and push needle through to the back in the same area.

8.    Continue pushing the needle in the same area, under the fabric for the other eye and make the v shape as before.
9.    Move the needle from the back down to the cheek dimples and pull through to the front and back again.

10.  Fold the ears together and sew ends onto top of head.

11.  Gather the body by weaving the needle and thread over and under.

12.  Pull the threads and fabric together leaving an opening to insert the stuffing.

13.  Add stuffing half way to body leaving space.  

14.  Add decorative filler for weight (optional). add more stuffing for a round full look.

15.  Add more stuffing for a round full look and stitch opening close.

To complete the sheep:
        - Make running stitches in top to close and hot glue between ears.
        - Hot glue head to stitched area of body.
        - Use rouge or pink chalk dust to high-light dimples and inner ears.
        - Add bow embellishments.

    I dipped the beige faux fabric in diluted black acrylic paint to make the black sheep on the left.  The fabric became very rough with the watered down paint rubbings and dust smearing on my fingers and everywhere else for that matter.  I don't recommend doing this.  

The Year of the Sheep runs from February 19, 2015 to February 7, 2016.

Wouldn't this be a fun project to make with kids?  Imagine the possibilities!  Don’t ever be afraid to get creative or to try something new. From making simple birthday cards on Shutterfly, to sculpting clay from Michael’s, start small and work your way up if this is a new realm for you or your kids! You never know what idea will turn into a lasting keepsake for the house, or a nice gift for a loved one. These DIY sheep are easy enough that any of you can give it a try!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hand Laced Chalk Cloth & Jute Twine Tote Bag

It's so cold outside that I'm staying indoors and shopping my stash to come up with things to make.   A few years ago I saw a video where a craftsman made a leather bag primarily by lacing the main body and straps together through punched holes.  Unfortunately, I didn't bookmark the video to give him credit and now I've been unable to locate it in my search.  Since I don't have leather anyway I decided to use a piece of chalk cloth remnant leftover from when I made a chalk cloth table runner here

You know how you can visualize something in your head but when you attempt to put it together, it doesn't quite go as you planned.  This might be the project that almost got scrapped.  I thought using chalk cloth to make a no-sew bag a terrific idea.  Chalkboard this and chalkboard that are very popular and trendy right now.  And when I did a google search I found just a "lunch" bag tutorial using the material.  Now I know why.  But I want you to be the judge of this project  .  .  .  as always.  No sewing was involved and I liked that!

Materials Used:
  • Chalk cloth
  • Jute twine
  • Ruler                                                       
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Chalk
  • Mode podge

Cutout the following from chalk cloth
Main body - 12"x27"
Side gussets (2) - 12"x6"
Handles (2) - 44"x2"
Jute twine - Lacing handles (4) 36",  Gussets (2) 36" 

The surface of the chalk cloth must be primed before writing on the cloth by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the entire surface from top to bottom and side to side.  Next, take a soft cloth to wipe off the chalk.  The fabric is now ready to write on.

Main body:
Punch 26 holes one inch from the sides of the chalk cloth and one inch from the top edge of the main body piece on each side.

Punch eleven holes on each side of the gussets and four holes on the bottom, 1/2 inch from the sides and 1 inch from the top edge.
For a better fit, round off the bottom edges of the gussets. 

Punch six holes on each side of the straps, 1/2" from edge, lining up with the holes on the main body. Round off ends of straps as pictured.

Jute twine:
Wrapping straps:
Place a drop of glue two inches on the wrong side of chalk cloth from the last holes and place twine inside and close.  Begin wrapping twine around the chalk cloth strap pressing the cloth together as you wrap .  .  .
until you reach two inches from the holes on the opposite end. Glue as before.

Next, saturate the ends of the twine (cut to apply handles & main body) with mod podge and let dry.  The stiff ends wrapped with clear tape will make it easy to lace through the holes.

Position handles on the main body of chalk cloth two inches from edge and 7 1/2 inches down from top edge lining holes up with the main body holes. Starting at the back bottom, push ends of twine through holes, crisscrossing the twine as you go up. Reaching the top, tie off excess twine and insert ends into crossed twine. Repeat for both sides, front and back, lacing on both handles.  

Adding Gussets:
*Gussets should be placed on the inside next to the main body, but after lacing them, there was too much cloth showing (wrong side) and bulking on the bottom so I laced them on the outside of the main body which looked a bit better.
Match up the holes on the gusset with the ones on the main body and start lacing at the top hole going in and out of the holes, all the way around.

Finish lacing the gusset to the main body by tying off the twine and inserting the ends into some of the inside loops.
Have fun writing on the chalk cloth bag:

What do you think?
I need to find some real leather, suede or pleather and make more!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Valentine 3D Heart Within A Heart

Thinking about a quick and easy way to decorate for Valentine's .  .   .  one that's different and catches the eye of your loved ones?  How about making a hanging 3D heart within a heart?

Materials needed:

  • cardboard
  • glittered cardstock
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • decorative beads
  • twine

All you have to do is:
  • Draw two 1/2 heart images (smaller heart in center) on a 5 1/2"x8 1/2" cardboard and cut out.

  • Fold six or more* -  8 1/2"x11" sheets of glittered cardstock in half and using the cutout cardboard heart image, draw the hearts on the plain side of the cardstock, on the folded edge and cut out.  Make sure all the edges match perfectly.   * You can cut out as many as twelve hearts for a nice full, twirly look.  Also, save the middle hearts, glue together same way for cute little ornaments!

  • Using a glue stick, apply glue to the plain side of one closed heart and press a second closed heart together, making sure edges match.

  • Continue gluing hearts to one side until you have two sets of three or four hearts together.  Let dry completely.

  • For a bit of bling, add decorative beads to hanging twine and place beaded end in center of open heart group.
  • Apply glue to twine so that the beaded end is hanging down and straight.  Let glue dry.  
  • Once the twine is dry, close heart and glue second heart group to first group and let dry completely.  Finally, open and admire your handicraft!

Hang your open heart under a chandelier or in the window.  Make several and have a beautiful wonderland of glittery hearts!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!

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