Casual summer weekends are a great time to break out vintage scarves to create a fun hairstyle with virtually no effort. But now that the days are getting cooler, here’s another scarf use to consider: year-round gift wrap.
Furoshiki is a Japanese fabric-wrapping technique to add reusable, eco-friendly style to everything from packaged gifts to vases to food. Techniques can get pretty intricate, but today I’m showing you some of the basics. Take a look:
You can find traditional furoshiki-style wraps online, but the thrift store is a great place to stock up on vintage scarves for those last-minute gifts. Bonus: Your friend can reuse the scarf to wrap another gift or spice up her wardrobe.
What do you think? Would you ditch rolls of paper in favor of pretty fabric this year? Tell us in the comments below.
When you begin searching for a new craft idea, it’s easy to be lured by two magical words: NO SEW. Sure, no-sew crafts generally seem less daunting and easier to put together in your spare crafting time. And of course, if you don’t own a sewing machine, no-sew crafts are the only way to go.
That said, yesterday marked 163 years since Isaac Singer patented the sewing machine, so in honor of this momentous day in crafting history, dust off your sewing machine (or borrow one from a friend), grab some thread and try some of these cute craft ideas! Trust me, they’re sew simple and fun, you definitely won’t regret giving one a try.
Fabric Pouf Ottoman
Creating a custom ottoman is an easy way to add a punch of color and personality to a room. Something to consider with the school year just around the corner: These poufs are a great option for college dorm rooms since they’re super versatile. You can use them as ottomans, extra seating, or even as a coffee table by placing a serving tray on top. SEWING INSTRUCTIONS HERE>>
SEW MUCH MORE
You know the saying: nothing says party like a piñata. Isn’t that a saying? It is now! I had so much fun making this adorable beehive piñata that I can’t bear to break it. I think I might hang it in my daughter’s room instead.
Pretty cute, eh? Those puffy bumblebees are the perfect touch. This would make any summer party one to remember, don’t you think?
I haven’t done paper mache since I was a kid, and it was good, goopy fun. Have you ever attempted a homemade piñata?
Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? See them all, and more from Marianne, right here.
I feel like this post should have a #ThrowbackThursday hashtag, because today we are taking something straight out of the ’80′s and making it oh-so-modern. That’s right y’all, we are making Shrinky Dinks. Ditch your memories of pre-fab cartoon characters and check out these modern designs made with blank Shrinky Dink sheets and permanent markers. Karen Kavett, one of my HGTV Handmade collaborators (and graphic design genius!), is along for the ride. Watch the video to see what we came up with:
While the necklaces Karen and I made are SO super cute, I really loved the charms I made out of my kid’s drawings (seems I can’t resist a gift made by my kids!). What a fun Mother’s Day gift that would be, am I right? What would you doodle on a Shrinky Dink?
Get loads more Mother’s Day gift ideas right over here. And make sure to check out all of the great DIYs on the HGTV Handmade YouTube channel.
When I moved into my first apartment too many years ago to admit, my stepfather gifted me with a toolbox full of all his “doubles.” Later when my brother moved to a tropical island, he handed down his steel toolbox to me and I was thrilled. I truly love my trusty tool kit and even love sorting through it to find just the right instrument for a given job. My toolbox and the tools in it are feeling their (20+ years) age, however. So I’m daydreaming about replacing everything with tools that help me make the fixes around my home and are beautiful to boot.
Not only are these tools functional, but they’re even gorgeous enough to display — maybe on a magnetic strip? I love how self-referential the wood handles are and the care that was clearly taken in designing and crafting them. But tell me: am I alone in my handylady desires? Or are you a fixer with an enviable tool set, too?
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but macrame is back in a big way. To bring this craft out of the 70′s and into the 21st Century (not to mention close out National Craft Month), we’re using a chic neon and metallic color palette and two clean and simple knots. Watch the video to learn how (and see me do a little disco!):
It’s the perfect size for a small vase or planter–I filled mine with cheery yellow flowers, but it would be a great way to show off succulents or air plants as well.
Catch up on all of our National Craft Month projects–these easy felt bowls, festive pom-pom banners, and this gorgeous herringbone tray and box. Check in next week for another great how-to!
Brought to you by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, where ideas and inspiration come together.
Wow, that was some kind of crazy winter, right?! For those of you still suffering through the winter that just won’t die — my humblest apologies — but for those of us in warmer climes: Yay, spring’s here! And, for me, the arrival of spring means it’s time to head outside, scissors in hand, to find any early bloomers that I can bring inside to brighten things up.
First to flower in my backyard is hellebore (a.k.a. lenten rose). Their heavy, droopy blooms on short stems are best displayed in a vase with a small opening. Here, I have them in what looks like an expensive Wedgwood vase but it’s actually an old Avon bottle that I found at an estate sale for the irresistible price of … wait for it … 10 cents!:
Joining the hellebore in their winter-banishing crusade are tiny, delicate crocus placed in an antique salt shaker:
The cardinals that have reigned unchallenged in my backyard this winter have been joined by a variety of other birds, including robins. I love the idea of using bird’s nests as a spring decoration but would never want to deprive some poor bird of their handmade home so I simply DIY-ed my own bird’s nest complete with tiny robin’s eggs. You can make one too while watching your favorite show. Get crafting with my step-by-step instructions>>
You can make your nest any size you like — even big enough to act as an Easter basket:
This is also the perfect time of year to force a branch to bloom indoors. Good candidates for this include fothergilla, witch hazel, Bradford pear, cherry, quince, redbud, lilac and my favorite: forsythia. Here’s what the forsythia branches in my backyard looked like when I cut them; the buds were just beginning to swell:
And here they are just 1 week later, adding a happy shot of color to my living room:
Are you as ready for warmer weather as I am? How will you spring-up your rooms?
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.
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?
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:
* 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:
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:
*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:
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>>
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:
*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: *This fabric is HGTV Home’s “Jigsaw” in turquoise — available at your local JoAnn store.
Or use them to top another gift:*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>>