ALL POSTS IN Handmade

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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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When I heard that a rustic-meets-elegant table setting was part of the plan for our holiday party, the first project that popped into my mind was DIY mercury glass votives. I love the timeworn look of the mirrored finish and have been wanting to try out a little trick I know for recreating it with just 2 materials: looking glass spray paint and a spray bottle filled with water. Yep, that’s it, this project is as simple as that – just 2 materials and 2 steps you repeat a few times till you’re happy with the mirrored finish.

But the finished votives don’t look super simple — their subtle mercury glass interiors lend an elegant sparkle to our holiday table:Easy to Make Mercury Glass Votives

Ready to make your own? Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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We’ve talked about elevating old magazines before, but where’s the love for old newspapers? If you still have a hard-copy subscription to the local newspaper, then you likely have even more raw material on hand. Here are some ways to use up that looming stash that don’t involve papier mache or packing ceramics.

Newspaper gift bag

Personalized, green, and cheap, this handmade gift bag serves as the perfect vessel for an equally clever gift. Hand over those presents with pride!

Newspaper Nails

You can show off these wordy nail designs everywhere. In case your stack of old newspapers is dwindling, they require little actual newspaper. Just use rubbing alcohol to transfer the newsprint to your nails, then seal it on with a shiny top coat. A light gray base coat will make the print pop.

MORE NEWSPAPER TRICKS

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So, as you’ve probably heard by now, we’re throwing a holiday party — and not just any holiday party — a crafty holiday party where we’ll make the decorations, drinks and nibbles then show you guys how we pulled it off.

Our event space has a massive stone fireplace flanked by shelves so I decided to finally tackle a project I’d been planning for a while and cover a few of my coffee table books in leather. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m *all* about antiques and naturally wanted my leather books to look like they’d been around for a few decades so I originally planned on covering them in leather from an old bomber jacket. After unsuccessfully scouring thrift stores for the perfect piece of vintage leather, I decided to just purchase new leather then age it myself using the same tricks I use for distressing furniture.

And, voila, they turned out great — and the process was actually easier than I thought it would be. So easy, in fact, that I may have to make a few of these expensive-looking antique tomes to hand out as handmade holiday gifts: Leather-Wrapped Books

Want to make your own antique look-alike leather books to add a timeworn touch to your home or as a cool handmade gift? Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>


We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s
Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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If your recycling bin is so full of aluminum cans you find yourself crushing them to save space, here are some ways to make that chronic soda habit work for you! Lightweight aluminum is easy to work with for a variety of cute, kitschy projects.

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Have any ceramic tile squares lying around from a recent home improvement project? Turn them into eye-catching coasters with soda can prints — perfect for entertaining.

Soda Can Barcode Earrings

These earrings, while stylish, aren’t shy about their soda can origins. This pair came straight from soda can bar codes. The Crafty Soccer Mom’s ideas call for minimum crafting skills, allowing the can designs to shine through. Check out her other ideas and safety tips.

CHECK OUT MORE CUTE CAN CRAFTS

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The Knit Parade by Rebecca Rymsza showcases 12 original knitting patterns for motif sweaters from the creative team behind the Wheres Me Jumper brand. These patterns make a bold statement and encourage knitters to personalize their sweaters as much as they like. Each pattern is inspired by a song, ranging from musical notes (“On Repeat” by LCD Soundsystem), to a leopard print (“Me Jane” by PJ Harvey) and dripping paint (“Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones).

The additional six customizable graphic swatches are practically begging to be played with. “Use one or use them all, however you like. You might be a polka-dot prince, or princess, and choose to stick to one pattern … or you might want to channel the Fresh Prince, circa 1991, in which case, we salute you,” Rebecca says in The Knit Parade.

Take a peek into the funky patterns you can expect. (Hello, handmade Christmas gifts!)

The Knit Parade Sweater Pattern

Pattern: Bad Girls
Inspiration: “Bad Girls” is a song from alternative electronic hip-hop artist M.I.A’s fourth studio album, Matangi, in 2013.

The Knit Parade Sweater Pattern

Pattern: Weather Experience
Inspiration: “Weather Experience” is a song from English electronic band The Prodigy’s debut studio album, Experience, in 1992.

The Knit Parade Sweater Pattern

Pattern: Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
Inspiration: The song “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” is by English new wave band Tubeway Army from the 1979 album Replicas.

Who’s ready to get out their knitting needles and speakers?!

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Made By Hand, the newest book by Lena Corwin, is a collection of projects based on the classes held in her studio. Her first book, Printing By Hand, showcases a modern guide to handmade printing with stamps, stencils and more. In her newest book, she decided to expand her curriculum and even invited some of her talented friends to teach classes on everything from dyeing and sewing to weaving and jewelry making. In 26 studio classes, Made By Hand introduces readers to ageless crafting techniques with modern projects. Take a look at some of my favorites straight from the book:

Lena Corwin's Made by Hand - Rotary-Printed Cloth Napkins

Project by Lena Corwin

Rotary-Printed Cloth Napkins: ”While planning this book, I spent time experimenting with printing techniques that were new to me, and I have become especially interested in the concept of rotary printing,” Lena says in Made By Hand. “When manufacturers produce rotary-printed fabric, a large cylinder is carved with impressions and is used to print on long, continuous rolls of fabric.”

To make a smaller rotating stamp, Lena attached pieces of foam to a rolling pin. The foam pieces soak up the ink, allowing the design to easily transfer to the fabric. Here, she chose a fun polka-dot design in neon hues to create napkins.

Lena Corwin's Made By Hand - Crocheted Garland

Project by Erin Weckerle

Crocheted Garland: To create this garland, Erin used three different doily patterns and chose muted, vintage colors. You can hang the garland anywhere around your home — on a mantel, headboard, window, etc.

Lena Corwin's Made By Hand - Crocheted Rugs

Project by Cal Patch | Braided rug, top; Crocheted rug, bottom

Crocheted or Braided Rugs: “For this project, Cal and I decided to show two great rug-making methods — braided and crocheted. Both methods use the same fabric but produce distinctively different looks,” Lena says in Made By Hand. “Braided rugs … have a classic, old-fashioned appearance, while crocheted rugs … look more modern.”

SEE MORE HANDMADE PROJECTS

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