Friday, May 27, 2016

Cat Hug Mug Coaster

Don't you just love handmade craft gifts!  I'm part of a group of twelve creative bloggers who have joined together for a 12 Month Christmas Blog Hop where one of us will be making a fabulous handcrafted Christmas gift for us to re-create each month!  Our goal is to make one handmade gift a month for 2016 and by christmastime we'll really be ahead of our holiday gift making!  

For the month of May, T'onna from Navy Wifey Peters Aboard the USS Crafty made lovely burlap Christmas Mug Rugs for gift giving.  These cuties brought back memories of a cute cat coaster I remember seeing online. While mug rugs are usually quilted, mitered, and larger than coasters, I was still inspired from T'onna's adorable creations to make this charming felt Cat Hug Mug Coaster. 

Materials used:
  • Cat body template
  • Felt - gray/white
  • Scissors
  • Needle/embroidery thread
  • Beads (eyes)
  • Poly-fil

To get started, I created a pattern to save to Word, print, and cut-out.

Next,  put the paper pattern pieces directly on the felt and cut out instead of tracing and cutting out - thus saving a step!

Then match the two body pieces together (wrong sides together).  Start a blanket stitch (a decorative hand stitch to finish the unfinished edges)just before adding the paws to the body, so you can include them in the blanket stitch when getting to those areas.

Continue blanket stitching around the entire cat body and tail until reaching the previous starting point.

Next, take the right side of one head and hand baste the ears on .  .  .

and then the mouth.

Take the other head and match to the first. Begin blanket stitching the two together, leaving an opening to add poly-fil. Push enough filing inside to plump up the head and ears.

Blanket stitch the opening close.

Stitch the bottom edge of the head between the front legs and center edge of the body so that the head will sit upright and hugging when a mug is placed on top.

And finally, using a different thread, stitch on whiskers and beads for eyes.

Your cat hug mug coaster is now complete! So easy!!!!

Make several for gift giving and then enjoy using your cat hug mug coaster!

Be sure to check out more Christmas gifts to make in our Blog Hop link-up below!

Happy Holiday Crafting!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Turn Grapevine Wreaths Into a Whimsical Cup & Saucer Planter

This rather large but adorable grapevine tea cup & saucer is an easy, repurpose gardening project.  I got the idea when my niece, Patricia, sent me an adorable message  on Facebook that showed a lovely purple pansy plant in a grapevine cup and saucer. I told her that the picture was inspiring and would be fun to re-create. She agreed, so here I am showing you how I did it.

First off, I found a few old grapevine wreaths in my stash that I took apart and soaked in water for a few days.  Soaking helps to soften the vines and make them more bendable. 

Once you remove the vines from the water, you have to work fast since they will dry out quickly.

Begin by wrapping the vines in the smallest possible circle without breaking them. That proved to be very challenging for me!

At first, I tried wrapping the vine around a bowl but it was hard for me to control, tighten and hold them in place, and I got a bit frustrated.

So I gave up on the bowl and just kept wrapping the vine around in a circular motion to get a base to work upon.  Once I had a base, I started cutting the vines into workable lengths and wrapping them around, tucking the ends in, here and there and adding more and more vines to mimic the round look of a teacup. You can use brown wire to help keep it all secure.

Continue adding vines, moving up and around, filling in the gaps until satisfied with the look.

To make the handle, group a small portion of thin vines together and bend into a backward "C". Then push the ends through the top and bottom side portions of the wrapped vines.  Separately tuck the ends of the handle into the vines to secure.

The saucer is nothing more than some leftover grapevine garland that I had coiled into a flat circular surface a bit larger than the base of the cup.

And finally,  to help with drainage, I inserted a coconut planter liner from the dollar store. 

To complete the look, added soil and a few petunia plants!

What an adorable whimsy garden container!

Take a little time to enjoy
Happy Crafting!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Interchangeable Guest Towel Picture Frame Tray

Here's a cute easy DIY idea for a paper guest towel tray that's interchangeable. Make your guests feel welcome in your home with this personalized tray featuring towels in a favorite decorative color or monogrammed with an initial.  This tray is made from a 15 1/2"x7" picture frame with attached feet and handles that flaunts a changeable guest towel pattern that's actually a cardboard insert decoupage with a matching guest towel. Additional space on the tray is available to add a decorative homemade diffuser.

I'm happy to add that "This pattern is featured in 8 Old Picture Frame Crafts from FaveCrafts" How exciting is that!

Materials used:
  • Frame w/glass
  • Wooden balls
  • Cardboard
  • Paper guest towels
  • Mod podge
  • E6000 glue
  • Decorative handles 
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paint
To begin, remove the backing from the frame and use that as a pattern to cut out cardboard the same size.

Next, separate the plain layers of the guest towel and mod podge the paper napkin onto the cardboard, smoothing it out and let dry.

Next, paint the balls and let dry. After drying, glue the balls onto each corner of the frame base. Check to make sure the balls aren't preventing being able to easily insert the cardboard into the frame without having to bend it.

Insert the glass, decoupage cardboard and apply the frame backing.

Glue decorative handles on each end.

There's enough space on the tray to have a easy to make decorative diffuser.

Here's how:
Take a small glass or ceramic container with a narrow opening.  Pour in 1/4 cup of carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil and add 20-25 drops of your favorite essential oils, mixing them together.  I like the smell of ginger and lemon!  Place the reed diffuser sticks in the container.  It will take a while for the oil to travel up the sticks so turn the sticks upside down to quicken.

The tray is interchangeable just by switching out the look with different decoupage paper towel patterns like this monogrammed one.

Makes for a great hostess gift too!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Ribbon Wrapped for Mother's Day

This post first appeared on Bowdabrablog where I'm on the design team.
Wow your mom on Mother's Day by wrapping her gift with just ribbon! That's right - ribbon! No paper whatsoever!  Imagine that!  And it's absolutely stunning topped with an adorable Bowdabra bow!  

You only need the following supplies:  Wire Ribbon, Scissors, Bowdabra, Bow Wire and Wand, and of course a round box, to make this lovely creation!
Lots and lots of ribbon is used!  I found colorful 50 yard ribbon roll at Sam's Club for less than six dollars.  

First unroll several feet of ribbon so you can wrap the box freely. Don't cut any ribbon off the roll. 

Begin by laying the beginning end of the ribbon across the top of the box, leaving the end "tail" hanging.
Next, start wrapping the ribbon down and around the box, bringing it up and crossing over the placed end, creating an "X" in the center of top. Make sure the side edge of the ribbon is overlapping to the left and the "tail" always staying in place.
Continue wrapping the ribbon down and around, crossing over on the back, coming up and across on the top front, overlapping the edge.
You will notice a lovely crossover pattern forming as you continue to wrap the ribbon around covering the box.
Make sure to leave the ribbon "tail" in place and exposed as you wrap.
This is how the box looks upside down.
Once you have wrapped the box completely, cut off the remaining ribbon leaving a matching tail. 
Then, pick up both tails .  .  . 
and tie into a center knot
Dove tail the ends by folding the ribbon end together lengthwise and cut on the folded edge at a 45 degree angle.
To make a spectacular bow with lots and lots of 3" loops, cut 15 feet of ribbon. 

Next, fold a 18" piece of bow wire in half and lay it into the Bowdabra.

Fold the ribbon in half to find the center and make a crease.  Place the creased ribbon down into the Bowdabra.

To make your first loop, fold and make a crease in the ribbon and press into the Bowdabra.

Next, fold the other side at the same width (3"), crease and down into the Bowdabra.

Continue to fold the ribbon tails one at a time down through the center of the Bowdabra, making creases into each tail.

Fold as many loops into the Bowdabra .  .  . 

until reaching the end.
Scrunch down with the Bowdabra Wand.
While the bow is still in the Bowdabra, thread the two loose ends of the bow wire through the loop at the other end, pulling the wire tightly.
Gently pull the bow out of the Bowdabra, separating the two loose ends  and taking them around to the back, tying in a knot. 
Have fun fluffing the bow!
Attach the Bowdabra Bow to top knot of the ribbon wrapped box with the bow wire.  Cut off excess wire.
A very impressive package that's simply gorgeous!
Take a little time to enjoy
Happy Crafting!