ALL POSTS IN Handmade

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Sweaters used to be my winter uniform, but pesky moths seem to have made a feast of my fashions. If you’re like me and have a closet full of holey sweaters that you’d like to replace, don’t toss them out before you take a look at these cool ideas for upcycling sweaters.

5 Sweater Crafts That Are No Sweat

These dress shirt and sweater pillows from Brian Patrick Flynn are delightfully preppy and would add a wonderful menswear touch to any bedroom. Get all the how-to details and instructions here.

MORE AMAZING WAYS TO UPCYCLE SWEATERS

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Even though we’re always crafting something up here at HGTV, March is officially deemed National Craft Month. Created by the Craft & Hobby Association in 1994, this month is all about helping people rediscover the joy of crafting. This is a great time for those of you who haven’t crafted before to give it a go, or for you craft geniuses to try your hand at something new. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is offering specials all month long, so what are you waiting for? Get crafting!

Need a little inspiration? Here are a few of my favorite how-tos — perfect for all crafting levels.

Living Wreath

Spring is right around the corner, so welcome guests with a living wreath filled with low-maintenance plants, such as succulents and moss.

Spring Wreath

Get the Full Instructions Here>>

Get More Crafting Ideas

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We had a little taste of spring here this past weekend, and let me tell you, I didn’t realize how ready I am for warmer days. Cheerful weather always puts me in the mood to revamp my home, but there’s a lot to think about: What’s my budget? Which room needs the most work? Can I find the time? If you need an easy solution to refresh your home, start with your windows. Changing your window treatments in every room is more cost-effective than you think, and it’ll make your home feel like it got a complete makeover even if everything else goes untouched.

Try one (or all!) of our easy, DIY window treatments to get your home ready for spring.

Ombre Ruffled Curtains Using Old Bed Sheets

DIY Ruffled Curtains

Get the Full Instructions Here>>

Stenciled Draperies

Stenciled Draperies

Get the Full Instructions Here>>

Leather Belt Tieback

Leather Belt Tieback

Get the Full Instructions Here>>

7 Other Easy, DIY Window Treatment Ideas

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The winter Olympics may be over, but you can still add a little sporty spice to your home. If you have old baseball, golf, billiard or croquet equipment collecting dust in your home, these sports crafts are perfect for you. Take a look at these ideas and hit a DIY home run!

5 Sports Crafts for Your Inner Athlete

If you’re like me and played croquet a sum total of one time after watching Heathers, turn your old set into some way-cool wall art like this vignette from HGTV’s Cousins Undercover. Move over, starburst mirror! These mallets really make a statement.

MORE SPIFFY SPORTS CRAFTS

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DIY Fabric Garland

Whenever a craft requires extensive sewing I start to get a little nervous. It’s true … I am driving blind behind the metaphorical wheel of a sewing machine. Every now and then, with meticulous planning, I work up the courage to take on a sewing craft, but if I can avoid stitching, I do. That is why I brainstormed ways to create home decor projects with all my scrap fabric without going to battle against a bobbin. Here is what I came up with: a ripped fabric garland! It is so easy and so simple that you could do it in your sleep. Okay, maybe not in your sleep (safety note: using scissors while sleeping is hazardous, in case you didn’t know), but you don’t have to be a DIY enthusiast to master this fabric garland.

Let’s Get Started

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If there is one thing we know for certain, it’s that trends are cyclical. Just how frequently those trends cycle seems to be a matter of how often popular sentiment shifts back and forth between excess and simplicity. Following a period of excess, it’s only natural that people tend to seek a more organic and handmade aesthetic, along with a more minimal lifestyle. That is precisely what we seem to be experiencing in the world of design at the moment, as we recover from the glitz and glam that ran rampant during the previous years.

Potted Plants

As we nurse our shiny object hangovers we can revel in our hoarder tendencies and rejoice that we didn’t toss out our early attempts at ceramic crafting from school-aged art class. It just so happens that those oversized, bulbous and haphazardly glazed creations are trending like Justin Bieber’s mugshot pics.

Last seen in the years following the infamous Summer of Love and encompassing all that was both loved and hated about the 70s, this trend has definitely morphed over time to include some very modern takes on this relatively ancient craft. Yet, it appears as though this fabulously retro-inspired accessory seems to be enjoying a moment of almost exacting similarity to its original predecessor. Of course, this means those vintage versions, commonly overlooked during your visits to the local thrift stores, are now going to become something of a highly sought after addition to your decor. What is old becomes new again, inevitably, and this trend is no exception to the rule. The question is — are you ready to embrace this trend in its new form, that isn’t actually new at all? Or do you prefer to avoid anything that even remotely hints at lava rock and gold-flecked faux marble surfaces?

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It’s been snowing pretty much every other day here in NYC (or that’s what it feels like!), so I have been thinking a great deal about footwear. I’d been getting by with some cheap wellies and thick socks until one of the wellies sprung a leak. Now I’ve got proper snow boots (thank you, Sorel), but even though my old wellies aren’t made for walking anymore, they’re pretty perfect for fun projects. Take a look at these ideas for old shoes and achieve great crafting feats with things that used to go on your feet. (Oof, sorry. I think cabin fever makes me punnier than usual.)

Revive old shoes with these craft ideas on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Now here’s a wonderful way to give some new life to your old galoshes…literally! Grow a strawberry plant in boots with this tutorial on HGTVGardens. Sigh. This is definitely making me long for spring.

MORE IDEAS FOR OLD SHOES

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Cross Stitch Painting

Last week I was chatting with my friend who pointed out that cross-stitch is kind of a dying art. These are the important things we contemplate.

“Maybe older women do cross-stitch a bunch?” I suggested as a feeble attempt to defend our beloved cross-stitch hobby.

“There’s lots of ‘hip’ cross-stitch art you can buy online I think?” she piped in.

The truth is, cross-stitch may not be our craft of choice when we think “hip”, “modern” or even relevant interior design. I refuse, however, to believe that cross-stitch doesn’t have something to offer when it comes to home decor.

I saw our little chat about cross-stitch as a challenge to be accepted! Here is what I came up with — (drumroll now) — A cross-stitch painting using a cross-stitch pattern! This tutorial will teach you how to take your old cross-stitch patterns and turn them into artwork for your home!

Cross-Stitch Painting
Let’s Get Started

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East Tennessee (where HGTV Headquarters is located) got a jaw-dropping eight inches of snow in some areas. We haven’t gotten a snowfall like this in years. It started snowing yesterday afternoon and was still flurrying when I hit the hay. I woke up to a sparkling Winter Wonderland that will soon turn to slush. I know winter weather has been taking over for a few weeks in many parts of the country. You get snowed in, the kids are out of school and chaos ensues. Once snowmen are built, snow cream is made and sledding has become exhausting, frozen little ones will surely need something to keep them busy. Pull out the craft bin, whip up some hot cocoa and put on some tunes. [These are also perfect for rainy weekends come spring.]

Recycled Crayons

How to Make Recycled Crayons >>

Easy Pencil Pinwheel

Easy Paper Pencil Pinwheels >>

Say that three times fast.

Duct Tape Crafts

DIY Washi Tape + Duct Tape Decorations for Kids’ Rooms >>

More Crafts Kids Will Love

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Doilies are a bit fancy and frilly, but that’s part of their charm, am I right? If you’ve got leftover paper doilies from celebrations or other crafting endeavors, there are plenty of adorable things you can do with them for Valentine’s Day…or anytime you want to add a little sweetness to your life. Take a peek at these paper doily crafts that are so darling, they just may sway the doily-haters. (I’m looking at you, Troy from Reality Bites.)

Make adorable treat cups out of paper doilies! See how on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Making treats for your sweetheart? (Like say, these Neapolitan Bonbon Cupcakes?) Add an extra special touch with these doily treat cups from our own Camille Smith.

MORE DARLING IDEAS FOR DOILIES

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Of course, there’s the “big game” coming up this Sunday, but if you’re like me, you’re more into board games, card games and puzzles. I have quite the collection at this point, but some of them have been with me since I was a kid and are missing crucial pieces or are just looking shabby. Fortunately, there are a bunch of nifty craft ideas for old game boards, cards and pieces so I can turn my old amusements into something equally diverting.

Make valentines and more crafts with game pieces from HGTV's Design Happens blog!
Give your valentine a piece of your heart and a few pieces of your games with these card ideas from Camille Styles. Old Bingo cards adorned with hearts have a vintage charm and Scrabble tiles are great for spelling out your sweet nothings.

MORE GOOD IDEAS FOR OLD GAMES

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I remember my dad tucking fold-up maps and road atlases in the car before road trips when I was a kid. These days, in-dash navigational systems are becoming standard and smartphones can call up directions with a few finger taps and swipes. Paper maps may be falling out of favor when it comes to travel, but they’re hotter than ever in the home. Take a look at these cool vintage map crafts and get ready to raid your car’s backseat pockets and glove compartments for supplies!

Like these chairs? See 4 more cool map crafts you can make on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Plain wooden chairs for little explorers are a lot more appealing after a decoupage map makeover! Follow Brian Patrick Flynn’s tutorial and jazz up your kids’ bedrooms or playrooms on the cheap.

MORE EYE-CATCHING MAP CRAFTS

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I live in the land of subways and taxis here in NYC, so while I rarely get a chance to drive anymore, I still appreciate the look of license plates. I particularly love vanity plates and the designs on plates that support worthwhile causes. While I may not be behind the wheel anytime soon, these eye-catching license plate crafts mean I can surround myself with road-tested style. Check out my finds and get inspired to snatch up vintage plates the next time you’re thrifting or browsing an online auction site!

Learn how to make this license plate divider and more license plate crafts on HGTV's Design Happens blog
This license plate room divider by Brian Patrick Flynn provides a jolt of color and a little privacy to boot. It looks super cool in this outdoor room, adding a bit of art where it’s usually hard to find.

MORE IDEAS FOR OLD LICENSE PLATES

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It’s been a while since we featured projects specifically for oenophiles, but if you’ve crafted with all of your corks and are still looking for more raw materials, look no further than the wooden wine crate. Like milk crates, these sturdy boxes are surprisingly simple to transform and have a certain rustic flair. (Not big on wine? Fruit or soda crates may work for many of these makeovers, or you can head to your local craft supply store for plain crates.) Drink in these clever ideas and when you find one you like, try the tutorial!

6 Crafty Ways to Update Wood Crates: Toy Box
Keep kid clutter to a minimum with these mobile wooden crate toy boxes from Brian Patrick Flynn. Names spelled out with stencils are a cute, personal touch.

MORE WOODEN CRATE CREATIONS

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With less than a week left till Christmas, I’m betting that you —  like me – are spending a fair amount of time wrapping gifts. Which, to be honest, I don’t mind. Wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things about the holidays; I like to come up with new ways to package them each year.

Here are a few of my gift wrap ideas from 2012 with links to instructions below:
Wrapped Holiday Gift Ideas
* Left and bottom right: Easy doily gift wrap plus how to make a yarn pom-pom
and upper right: Menswear-inspired ribbon rose plus how to make a chalkboard gift tag

This year, I decided to shake things up a bit and use fabric trim instead of traditional ribbon for smaller gifts: Fabric Trim Instead of Ribbon as Christmas Gift Wrap

And cover reusible containers, like this mailing tube, in fabric for pretty packages that can be reused by the recipient as year-round decorative storage:
Easy Fabric Gift Wrap*The fabric is HGTV Home’s “Ring Around Peacock” in turquoise – available at your local JoAnn store.

Here’s another view, I just added a wired bow to one of the mailing tube’s plastic caps to finish off the wrap:
Easy Fabric Gift Wrap

Ready to make your own no-sew fabric gift wrap? It’s easy and your friends and family will thank you for the cute container they can use again and again. Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>

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The weather may be less than ideal for outdoor gardening in much of the country right now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any fun to be had until spring. If your green thumb is getting itchy, why not channel that energy into some totally cool crafts made with old gardening tools and accessories? Here are some inspired ideas I spotted (with some help from MacGyver veteran, Briana)…

garden watering can planters

Dented or leaky watering cans can become the perfect vessels for the plants they used to water! Take a look at Nancy Ondra’s other ideas for stunning, low-budget container gardens here.

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Okay, first, I should come clean and confess that while I love all things crafty, sewing has never been my forte. My mom is a whiz and has tried to instruct me in the ways of the force many times (I even took Home Ec in high school and made an almost wearable drawstring-waist skirt) but all the math and measuring — ugh — too hard!

But, recently our friends at HGTV Home offered up their on-trend fabric from JoAnn if we wanted to do some holiday crafts and, of course, we jumped at the chance even though some of us, like me, are decidedly sewing challenged. 

So, now I had yards of beautiful fabric and no way to magic it into a viable project. Enter fusible web, which is seriously one of the greatest inventions of all time. All you need is a hot iron to permanently join 2 pieces of fabric — no sewing machine required. It’s fabric magic which helps you create easy ornaments as cute as this:

No-Sew Fabric Christmas Ornament as a Gift Topper *This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Ring Around Peacock” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.

I’m in full-on handmade-gift-fabrication mode right now so I decided to use my ornaments as colorful gift toppers. The recipients can then hang them on their trees:Handmade Fabric Ornament on White Christmas Tree *This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Jigsaw” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.

 Or use them to top another gift:No-Sew Fabric Christmas Ornament as a Gift Topper*This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Turtle Shell” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.

Ready to make your own no-sew fabric ornaments? Our free printable templates make it a snap. Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>

Fabric Ornaments and Printable Templates

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This is the only time of year you can completely indulge in your guilty pleasures and get away with it. If you want to eat 5 cookies after a big dinner, go for it. That’s what the holidays are about — gathering around your loved ones and eating delicious homemade food. Fudge is one of my all-time favorite holiday desserts. It’s a crowd-pleaser, cheap and easy to make and satisfies my chocolate cravings. What’s not to like?

Make big batches and use cute wrapping to gift to friends, or make a small batch for an intimate family gathering or maybe even for yourself (why not?). Our recipe only requires 5 ingredients and 5 steps. Give it a try!

Simple Homemade Fudge Recipe

Homemade Fudge

 

Ingredients:

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Directions

Instructions:

1. Line a square 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Over low heat, in a medium sized pot, add the chocolate chips, condensed milk and salt, and stir with a wooden spoon until chips are melted.
3. Remove from heat and add the vanillas. (If you don’t have vanilla paste, just double up on the vanilla extract.)
4. Pour into the parchment lined baking pan and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 4 hours until firm.
5. Serve as needed.

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Most of us probably still have a lot of holiday shopping left to do. I always leave the men for last because they’re the hardest to buy gifts for, and I tend to procrastinate. Does he really need another sweater? Do I really want to spend a lot of money on the newest gadget? I’ve learned over the years that making something is the best route to go. Bonus: You can skip the crowds!

However, handmade gifts for guys can be a bit tricky — you want to make something useful but also something he can brag about to his friends. While we’re at it, let’s make it really easy to make (Nobody has time to spend hours crafting!).

Here are our top 5 DIY holiday gifts for the men in your life:

 Felt Gadget Case

How to Make a Felt Gadget Case

He may already have the latest gadget, so get him a felt cover to help protect it. If you don’t have basic sewing skills, try this project with fabric glue!

Get the Full Instructions Here>>

4 More Gifts For Guys

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Pinecones: they last forever, they’re interesting to look at and they signal the season where evergreens reign supreme. Throw a couple of pinecones on a coffee table or mantle and you could call it wintertime decorating success. Orrrrr you could always take things further with these ideas…

Pinecone Wreaths

 Construct this wreath with rolled up book pages and an assortment of pinecones for a result that gives off a wintery welcoming vibe without the usual pine needle shedding.

pinecone garland

Wintertime is garland time, right? Make your own with pinecones laying about outside and whatever spray paint and string you like.

THIS WAY FOR MORE PINECONE CRAFTS

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