Bottle-cap magnets are a fun way to add a little personality to your fridge, and are a gift friends and family will love.
I follow Martha Stewart’s instructions, and have found that it’s a pretty easy process (although using clear casting resin for the 1st time was intimidating). I use a 1″ hole puncher and stamp out the circles, the glue them into the bottle caps with enormous amounts of ModPodge, let it dry thoroughly and then pour in a thick layer of clear casting resin. After the resin is totally dry, about 24 hours later, I glue on a super strong magnet on the back and, ta-da, bottle cap magnets.
What you’ll need:
- 1-inch circular craft punch
- Any interesting paper (I often use scrapbooking paper)
- Craft glue or ModPodge
- Bottle caps
- Clear casting resin
- Contact cement
- Small magnets (I recommend these by Rare Earth)
- Using the craft punch, cut out pictures. Using craft glue or ModPodge, attach one picture to the inside of each bottle cap. Let dry thoroughly.
- Cover a work surface to protect it from spills, and lay caps on top. Following manufacturer’s instructions for clear casting resin, fill each bottle cap to the rim. Let dry overnight.
- Using contact cement, attach magnets or thumbtacks to the backs of the bottle caps. Let dry overnight before using.
I found a tutorial for these tile coasters a year ago and have made them quite a few times since. They are so easy to make and inexpensive as well. Last year, I gave sets of 4 out as Christmas gifts, and my friends loved them!
Any scrapbook paper can be used. Ross and T.J.Maxx often have scrapbook paper (I got a book of over 100 sheets for less than $5 at Ross). Also, JoAnn’s frequently has coupons that can be used on any regular-priced item. Instead of scrapbook paper, you could save the Christmas cards you receive this year and make a set of holiday coasters for next year’s Christmas gifts.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Tiles from your local hardware store (4.25″ x 4.25″)
- Scrapbook paper (3.75″ x 3.75″)
- Felt or cork (4.25″ x 4.25″)
- Mod Podge
- Sponge brush
- Glue (i.e. Fabri-tac or other strong adhesive)
- Clear acrylic sealer
- Acrylic paint
- Small paint brush
- I followed the instructions from The Cottage Mama’s blog, but made two customizations:
- I extended the felt to cover the entire bottom of the tile (4.25″ x 4.25″). The Cottage Mama’s instructions had you cut the felt at 3.75″ x 3.75″.
- I also painted the edge of the coaster as I wanted to hide the rough edges. I used Martha Stewart’s metallic gold acrylic craft paint, and applied the paint at the very end (after Step #6 in the tutorial).
Wrap four of these coasters up with some beautiful ribbon and you’ve got a gorgeous handmade gift.
P.S. – If Christmas cards are piling up and you’re running out of ways to display them, these creative Christmas card projects on Better Homes and Gardens are easy-to-make and will put holiday greetings to good use.
A frequent sewer, I often have remnant fabric…1/2 yard of this, a yard of that. Not wanting it to go unused, I’m always glad when I find a way to create something with my remnants. I was especially happy to come across a tutorial for a tote bag that not only used what I had lying around, but was aesthetically pretty stylish with the panels.
I do recommend that you use a heavier, more durable fabric for the bottom panel such as a canvas. Also, if you don’t have a serger (I don’t have one), I do recommend using a French seam as it will give your tote bag a more professional look and completely hide all the raw edges.
- I followed the tutorial exactly, except as I don’t have a serger I used French seams. Directions for a French seam will have you sew a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance, and then trim the seam allowance to 1/8″ (3 mm). To save time, I just sewed a 1/8″ seam allowance. Also, steps #10, 11 & 12 are kinda tricky with the French seams, so I’ll walk you through those steps here.
- Remember with a French seam, you sew wrong sides together first and then right sides together. When you get to step #10 in the tutorial, you’ll be sewing the middle panel to the top panel, but you also be adding the straps. It’s important that you do not pin the straps between the fabric. Rather, you’ll want to pin the straps to the outside of the middle panel, onto the right side of the fabric as show below.
- Then pin the wrong sides of the middle panel and upper panel together. Sew together with a with a 1/8″ seam allowance, press open, then finish the French seam by folding the right sides together and sewing with a with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
- Press open, and voilà, the straps should be in the right place. 🙂
The finished tote bag measures, 15″ wide x 16″ tall. Should you want a smaller/larger, skinnier/wider or shorter/taller bag, simply adjust the pieces that you cut (perhaps cut the panels 18″ wide instead of the 16″ recommended if you want it to be wider).
As always, please let me know if you have questions.
I made these lovely lavender sachets earlier this year for my bridesmaids. Quick, easy and inexpensive to make, I think that they would also make a great gift for friends/family during this holiday season. You could stamp with holiday images of snowmen, snowflakes, Santa, Christmas trees in colors of red or green…use your imagination!
The instructions I followed are from PaintCutPaste.com, but I did make mine with one variation. As I didn’t have any rubber stamps on hand, and didn’t want to leave the house just to find a stamp, I made a simple heart shaped stamp from a potato. A potato stamp is easy to make and very inexpensive, and if you don’t know how to, I recommend watching the How to Make Potato Stamps video from Martha Stewart.
Here’s what you’ll need to make linen lavender sachets:
- Linen fabric
- EITHER rubber stamp(s) and ink pad(s) in color(s) of your choice OR potato stamp(s) and fabric paint(s) in color(s) of your choice if using a potato
- Sewing machine
- As mentioned, the instructions I followed are on PaintCutPaste.com, but used a potato stamp instead of a rubber stamp. If using a potato stamp, do allow the paint to dry before sewing. Please do let me know if you have questions.
I have quite a few old, half burned candles packed away in a closet, with little intention of using again. I knew that there had to be a way to get new life out of the candles, but what? And how easy would it be to do? I’ve never melted wax before!
Turns out it’s super easy to melt down an old candle. Simply put the candle(s) in a pot, turn the burner on medium and the wax will melt. I would recommend buying an old pot from Goodwill/Salvation Army because you will ruin the pot.
For the containers, I found inspiration online – use old tea cups from Goodwill or Salvation Army. I decided to expand the idea and use old Mason jars too.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Tea cups and/or Mason jars
- Candle wicks
- Wick stablizers
- Candle scent (optional)
- Hot glue gun
- Pencils or kabab sticks
- Clean the tea cups and jars thoroughly and dry completely.
- Place candles in the pot and put the pot on a stove with the burner on medium. If candle is already in a glass container, simply place the glass container into a pot of water on your stove burner. Water should reach no more than halfway up the glass sides. Heat the glass container in the water over a medium flame until the was is pourable.
- While you are waiting for wax to melt, cut candle wicks. The candle wick should be 1-2″ longer than the depth of the cup/jar. Attach one end of the wick to a wick stabilizer (I didn’t use them, but wish I had).
- Place your wick in the center of your cup/jar and glue the base down with a dab of hot glue. Let dry.
- When wax has melted, pour into the cup/jar. You can gently adjust the wick to make sure it is straight after you poor the wax in. You may need to hold the wick in place with pencils or with kabob sticks.
- Let sit until the wax is cool and solid.
- Trim wick down to 1/4″.
I have a few final FYI’s:
- Be cognizant of what colors you are melting together.
- Wax is very hard to clean up from counters. In order to help with cleanup, cover your work space in newspaper. wish I had done that.
- Wax’s flash point is 300 degrees F, don’t let it’s temperature exceed 250 degrees.
Over the past year, I’ve been into making aprons. I’ve not bought a pattern; through trial and error, I’ve figured out how to do it. The inspiration for my aprons mostly comes from the adorable ones on Anthropologie. The apron I’ll show you how to make today is fairly easy, but does require a some knowledge of sewing as it does involve ruffles. You should be able to finish it within 4 hours, a great weekend project!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1/2 yard of the apron fabric (43″ wide) – I love using feedsack fabric from the early 1900′s and for cheaper fabric go to Goodwill and buy old curtains or other interior fabrics
- 1/2 yard of accent fabric (43″ wide)
- Sewing machine
- Double fold bias tape (optional)
- Cut the fabric you will be using for the apron. I made a pattern out of wrapping paper. As it’s a half circle, it’s easy to do. It should be 16″ from the top to the bottom of the curve. The width should be 30″. The easiest way to make the pattern is to fold the paper in half, mark 16″ along the fold, mark 15″ from the fold and draw an arch connecting the two marks. Adjust measurements to body type.
- Cut the accent fabric. I cut four 4″ wide strips.
- You’ll sew the waistband/ties onto the apron first. Take two of the 4″ wide strips and connect so that you have one strip that is about 90″ long. Fold edges in and iron.
- With right sides of both fabrics together, sew the waistband/tie onto the top of the apron.
- Fold fabric over the seam and match edges of the waistband/tie. I basted the waistband/tie before going back over with a permanent stitch. Get creative on the stitch! I choose to use an accent color (black) and a zigzag stitch.
- Now for the ruffle! Take two of your 4″ wide strips and sew together to make another 90″ strip. Hem one edge by turning the fabric under 1/4″ and another 1/4″. You can use a color of thread different than the fabric if you wish (I used the same color as the fabric).
- To create ruffle, you’ll need to gather the fabric. My recommendation is to sew a long straight stitch (the highest stitch length on your machine). Hold onto the end of one thread and gently pull the fabric away. This should start to gather the fabric. Keep pulling the fabric until you have “shrunk” it to fit the bottom of the apron. Be sure to make the ruffle even throughout. Pin the ruffle to the bottom of the apron (right sides together).
- When stitching the ruffle down, I find it best to make a temporary stitch with a long straight stitch 1st and in a different thread color (easier to see). I’ve found that I usually have to take out stitches and resew. Ruffles can be tricky. Once I’m happy, I’ll go back over with a permanent stitch.
- I recommend making a top stitch to help keep the ruffle in place.
- The final step is aesthetic and where you can get creative. I like putting pockets on the aprons I make, but the finishing touch is all you! If making a pocket similar to the one I did, it’s a 4″x6″ rectangle, with the bottom edges rounded. Turn the edges under and sew onto the apron. I add a bow which I make out of double fold bias tape.
Please do let me know if you have questions on any of the above steps. If you want an actual pattern, the most similar is McCall M5284.