October 20, 2014

10 Sites for Crafting Ideas and Inspiration

10 sites you should check out for craft projects, patterns, idea and inspiration.My name is Ellen and I am a Pinterest junkie. I could spend hours and hours scouring Pinterest for crafty ideas. The problem is, even if I am specifically searching for a little crafting inspiration, I end up spending way too much time looking at pictures of cute kittens or other cool, but "uncrafty" stuff.

On those days I am trying to avoid pin overload, I like to browse these sites for craft projects, patterns, ideas and most importantly, inspiration!

  1. Craftsy - Online classes, patterns, supplies, and projects. Everything you need to get crafting.
  2. craftgawker - All  crafts, all the time. This site has kids crafts, holiday projects, jewelry making, paper crafts, yarn crafts and so much more.
  3. Craft Gossip - Lots of projects listed by craft type and there's usually some fun giveaways, too.
  4. Fave Crafts and the Fave Crafts Blog - Great ideas on both, but I prefer the blog because there are less pop ups asking for my e-mail
  5. Find and Craft - Search by craft type, skill level, the time it takes to complete a project or be brave and see random projects.
  6. Fun Family Crafts - Lots of projects that can be made for kids or by kids.
  7. Free Needle - Sewing projects only, here, but there's 5000+ clever ones.
  8. All Free Knitting, All Free Crochet, All Free Sewing, All Free Paper Crafts - Each of these sites focuses on a specific craft type and has project ideas as well as free e-books, giveaways, etc.
  9. Totally Tutorials - This site has the best of the best. Only one or two new projects are added each day.
  10. Create Happy Crafts - I'm a little biased about this one because it's my site. I try to feature some of the coolest projects from around the web and only add a few new projects each week.
If your still looking for some crafty fun and ideas, I invite you to join the Create Happy Crafts Community on Google+ where you can interact with other crafters, share your latest projects, shop for handmade creations, watch craft tutorial videos and more!

October 17, 2014

Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #41

Before you add your links this week, make sure to check out my October Giveaway Page. My friend Vanessa, from Blue Copper Jewelry Designs, is offering one of her beautiful gemstone necklaces in the winner's color of choice. You don't want to miss your chance to get this great prize!

Now, onto my favorites from last week's link-up. I must have been in an Asian mood when I was picking items. I absolutely love the clever design of this Sushi Cowl by KnittyKittie. And I couldn't resist the the great colors and thoughtful craftsmanship of these Striped Hanji Paper Earrings by HanjiNaty.

Sushi Cowl by KnittyKittie
Sushi Cowl by KnittyKittie

Hanji Paper Earrings by HanjiNaty

Now, with fall in the air, let's share our nature and plant inspired items with a "Bountiful Botanicals" theme.

If you enjoy this link party invite shoppers and linkers by pinning it!

October 15, 2014

Tutorial: Accordion Fold Paper Pumpkin

Craft Tutorial: How to make an accordion fold paper pumpkin decoration for HalloweenIt's been awhile since I shared a paper craft, so I got out my paper trimmer, my Tombow and some Glu6 craft paste to create a mini, 3-D pumpkins.

These little pumpkins could easily add a little Halloween spirit to a desk or shelf. The finished pumpkin is about the size of a baseball.

Evenly scoring the paper, before cutting it, makes it easier to create the accordion fold rosettes that stack up to form the pumpkin.



Start by scoring the card stock at 1/2 inch intervals.
          2 - 1 x 11 1/2 inch strips
          4 - 1 1/4 x 6 1/2 inch strips
          2 - 1 1/2 x 7 inch strips
          1 - 2 x 12 inch strip

(The long edge of each rectangle should be perpendicular to the score lines.)
Accordion fold all the strips except the 2 x 12 inch one.
Next, you'll create the five layers of the pumpkin.

Apply a swipe of Tombow Xtreme Adhesive to one end of a 1-inch strip.
Press the two ends of the strip together, as shown, to create a ring.
Repeat with the other 1-inch strip.
Next you are going to attach two of the 1 1/4 inch strips together to form a ring.

Apply the Tombow Xtreme Adhesive to one end of the strip.
Attach it to another strip.
Apply Tombow Xtreme Adhesive to the other end of the strip.
Form a ring by attaching the other strip.
Repeat with the remaining 1 1/4 inch strips and the 1 1/2 inch strips. You should now have five zig-zagy rings.
Next, you'll create a rosette with each ring.

Press the top of the ring together.
Then press out the bottom of the ring.

My card stock was pretty stiff and kept popping back into a ring.
How to make an accordion fold paper rosette. To help the rosette retain its shape, lightly mist it with water then dry it with a hairdryer. It's unconventional, but easy.
How to make an accordion fold paper rosette Once dried, the rosettes hold their shape nicely.
Remember that 2-inch strip of paper?

Use a pencil to draw 6 circles with 1 1/2 inch diameter and cut them out.

Punch a hole at the center of five of the circles.
Apply craft paste to one side of the un-punched circle. This is the bottom of the pumpkin.
Slide a small rosette to the end of your dowel or skewer and center the circle on the bottom.
Then you can set it on your work surface while you add the remaining pieces.
Apply glue to both sides of a circle.
Slide it down the dowel.
Add one of the medium size rosettes.
Continue layering a glue covered circle, the large rosette, a glue covered circle, a medium rosette, a glue covered circle, the small rosette and finally a circle with glue on one side only.

Press everything together and let the glue dry.

Snip off the dowel about 1/2 inch above the top of the pumpkin to form the stem.
If you want, you can also make a leaf or two with a scrap of green paper to top off your pumpkin or even add a strand of green curling ribbon to make a vine. Happy Harvest

Craft Tutorial: How to make an accordion fold paper pumpkin decoration for Halloween

October 13, 2014

Crochet 101: Easy Washcloth Pattern

Easy Crochet Washcloth Pattern: Learn four basic crochet stitches and create a cotton washcloth. This is a great project for beginners.I have been crocheting for as long as I can remember. After you get the hang of it, crocheting is almost meditative.

As a beginner, you may not feel the zen quite yet. Let me help you with an easy pattern that can help you practice some basic stitches while creating a very usable finished product.

If you need a stitch refresher as you work the pattern:

Crochet 101: Slip Knot and Chain
Crochet 101: Single Crochet
Crochet 101: Double Crochet
Crochet 101: Half Double Crochet



One skein of yarn is enough to make two washcloths.

Here are all of the abbreviations from the previous lessons and a couple new ones:

ch - chain
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
hdc - half double crochet
st - stitch
WS - the wrong side of your piece
RS - the right side of your piece

Ch 26

Row 1 (WS): Sc in second ch from hook, sc in each ch across. (There should be 25 sc this row.) Turn your work over.

Crochet Tip: Crochet patterns customarily tell you to turn your work over at the end of each row and then chain a certain number of stitches at the beginning of the next row. In practice, it's easier to make the chain stitches, then turn the piece over.

Row 2 (RS): Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn (Again, there should be 25 stitches in this row and all of the rows for the rest of the pattern.)

Row 3: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), skip first st, dc in next st and each st across, turn.

Crochet Tip: Whenever the beginning chain in a row "counts as a certain stitch" you will leave the first stitch in the row empty unless the pattern says otherwise.

Row 4: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), skip first st, dc in next st and each st across, turn.

Crochet Tip: When you get to the last stitch of Row 4, you will actually work a double crochet into the top of the ch 3 from the previous row. Remember, that ch 3 counts as a double crochet.

Row 5: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.

Crochet Tip: Notice, the ch 1 at the beginning of the row does NOT count as the first stitch, so you don't skip the first stitch like you did in the previous two rows.

Row 6: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.

Row 7: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), skip first st, dc in next st and each st across, turn.

Row 8: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), skip first st, dc in next st and each st across, turn.

Row 9: Ch 2 (counts as first hdc), skip first st, hdc in next st and each st across, turn.

Row 10: Ch 2 (counts as first hdc), skip first st, hdc in next st and each st across, turn.

Row 11: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), skip first st, dc in next st and each st across, turn.

Row 12: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), skip first st, dc in next st and each st across, turn.

Row 13: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.

Row 14: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.

Row 15: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), skip first st, dc in next st and each st across, turn.

Row 16: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), skip first st, dc in next st and each st across, turn.

Row 17: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.

Row 18: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Finish off by cutting the yarn about 8 inches from your stitch, bring the yarn over your hook and pull the entire piece of yarn through the loop.

Weaving in the ends

How to weave in the yarn tails when you finish a crochet project. Once you have finished your washcloth you'll notice you still have two yarn tails hanging out. One is at the beginning of your first chain and one is at the end. It is important to weave in your yarn ends so your work does not unravel.

Crochet Tip: If you trim the ends of your yarn close to where they are knotted, the knot will eventually loosen and your work will unravel :(
I like to use a plastic yarn needle to weave in the ends, but if you don't have one, it's fine to use your crochet hook to weave the yarn through, instead.
Insert the needle down into the first stitch and pull the yarn through.
Insert the needle up through the next stitch and pull the yarn through.

Continue pulling the yarn down through one stitch then up through the next for at least a couple inches. When I am finishing a small piece like this washcloth, I will often weave the yarn end across the entire row.

Finally use a scissors to trim off the unwoven end.

Your washcloth is ready to scrub, scour and clean.

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