Tag Archives: tutorial

Pine Needle Basket Tutorial


Finally, another guest post! This tutorial is courtesy of the best grandmother on the planet, Sharon Woods. She splits her time between our homeland of Washington, and California. She made these in Hemet, CA. I apologize for the weird coloration issues in some of the pictures, saving them did something wonky. But you should still be able to get the idea.

What you need:

1. Long pine needles green or brown gathered or purchased, Douglas or Ponderosa pine is good.

2. A ball of thin twine or heavy crochet thread.

3. Scissors.

4. Masking tape.

5. Darning needle.

6. A piece of plastic soda straw about 1.5” long.

7. A thin piece of wood that is round and about 3” diameter. Craft stores have them.

8. 3/32” drill bit to make holes in the wood round.

Gather pine needles and wash them with a little dish soap and a few drops of bleach and rinse them. Spread out to dry then store in a cool dry place. Soak the pine needles for an hour before beginning a basket.

Drill holes in wood approx. ½ an inch a part. Check to see if your needle with the twine or crochet thread can pass thru the holes before starting your basket.  With twine I use a single strand. With the crochet thread I fold it in half and use it doubled. Remove the sheaths that hold the pine needles together. Fill your piece of soda straw with pine needles, this is your gauge. Thread the needle with a piece of twine about a yard long. Tie one end around the bundle of needles you have sticking out the end of the straw. Pass the needle with thread through a hole in the wood and then wrap it around the pine needles and back through. Move soda straw to the left as you sew the needles to the edge of the wood.

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Dog Treat Pouch


So our foster pup who will probably never leave us, has to go to dog school if he gets to be part of Team Fontaine. Doogie has been with us since Christmas. He has some dog on dog aggression issues, and fear of basically everything (loud noises, men, the wind) but if you’ve ever trained a dog you know that for most dogs, food is better than gold. Doogie would commit murder for some hot dog (even a Turkey dog). Though this upcoming week is his last week of this particular class, training is an ongoing thing so I decided to make him a cute treat pouch! Mostly because if I don’t have pockets it’s really tough to have that ziplock bag in one hand and ready to go when he’s doing the right thing.

Things you will need:

4 rectangles of fabric (two cotton or some other cute print, the other two vinyl or similar for the interior)

Ribbon, basting tape, or fabric that has been folded into something suitable for your drawstring

Basic sewing stuff: machine, thread, seam ripper

Ready? Bring on the bacon.

What kind of tasty treats might be in here...

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Basic 5×7 Handmade Envelopes: Tutorial


Since I just took some senior pictures for my sister I wanted to send a few 5x7s to our family with our Christmas cards this year. Unfortunately (or fortunately, since it gave me a craft project to work on?) the cards I already had were smaller than 5×7, so the pictures wouldn’t fit in the envelopes that came with them. I decided to make some.

I spent some time looking around for a pattern or a template online, but I didn’t have much luck finding ones I liked that were the right size. I decided to just do what seemed logical to me in the scheme of envelopes.

First, I found some cardstock I had around (standard 8×11 paper size). I realized later I probably had some colored construction paper somewhere, but the white made the stamps show up better anyways. The first one wasn’t as awesome as it could have been, mostly because I was using it for trial and error. Turns out I wish I had more stamps! If we’d had some potatoes I might have tried to make one.

Let's mail some holiday cheer, yo.

Supplies you will need: scissors, heavyweight paper of some sort, your choice of decorating supplies, a pen or pencil, and glue or tape. And postage, if you ever want your mail to get delivered.

Alternatively, you could use two thinner papers (wrapping paper and regular weight, for example) and glue the two pieces together to make a regular weight envelope. I wanted these to be heavier, to protect the pictures from our trusty postal service’s ungentle hands.

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Wedding Garters


With less than a month until the wedding, I finally finished the wedding garters for my bestie. Hopefully she really likes them!

Their theme is sort of tying the knot/celtic knots/handfasting, so I tried to incorporate that with my choice of charm. This will be another “sort of tutorial”.

Celtic knot charms and light blue satin (which hopefully won't show through her dress!)

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Crochet Hook Roll & Shadow Box


Since graduation on the 6th (huzzah!) I’ve been working on setting up my new office craft room. One large haul from Ikea later, I’m still trying to get everything organized and force myself to get rid of some things. It’s awesome to have places for things though! Even just halfway done the new setup is pretty awesome.

This morning I got rid of a whole box of stuff, and finally went through the box of wedding paraphanelia – it’s been almost a year, I figured I should sift through it and at least downsize it. Months and months ago I got a set of 4 picture frames which are actually deep enough to be shadow boxes for $4 at Goodwill. I might paint them, but I might not- in the meantime, one of them is large enough to accommodate my headpiece from the wedding! It has gotten a bit banged up, to my dismay, so I was thrilled to find a safe place for it to go.

My veil and fascinator (which I wish I could wear in regular life).

That’s not really a craft since all I did was put it in a frame, but I am jazzed that it’s safe now! I might find some colored backdrop to put behind it. But I might be lazy and leave it as is.

Anyways, In the spirit of getting organized, I decided to make a roll for all of my crochet hooks, so they’re not scattered all around and next time I’m in the mood for a crochet project, I can have everything with me all neat and tidy like.


Upcycling clothes into something new.

I used an old pair of jeans that had some thigh holes going on, and a skirt I got at the swap-o-rama several months back because I loved the print. So this project was nearly free! That always puts me in a good mood. I hesitate to call this a tutorial, because I’m not sure I did the best photo/explanation job, but maybe between this and other images it will help someone figure out how to make their own. I did not use a pattern, simply looked for examples of what I was thinking of in my head and got started.

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Swap-O-Rama-Rama: Part 1- Tie Dye and Silk Screens


Yesterday I went to the Swap-O-Rama-Rama, which I originally heard about in this Meetup group called the Chicago Rebel Craft League (which you can check out here, if you’re interested: http://www.meetup.com/chicagorebelcraftleague/). I’m so glad I heard about it, because it was great!


There were a lot of different stations: tie dye, silk screen, sewing, upcyle tshirt projects, handbags, knitting and crochet, embroidery, button making, and jewelry.

Everyone brings a bag of clothing they don’t want/use anymore, and the volunteers sort out the pieces on tables, which other people can then look through. I got a couple of shirts that I ended up putting silk screen designs on, and some shirt I would like to alter for myself later, plus some pieces that I really liked the print of and will deconstruct into fabric for other projects.

There’s going to be a part 2 post (tomorrow? Maybe) because I did several crafts and I might as well spread out the projects a little. Today, we’ll talk about silk screening and tie dye, with quite a few pictures.

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