© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish
For this challenge we were to make something for someone we love. I went super literal and made some homemade valentines. I had a lot of fun, it was fast, AND it was a stash buster, so three wins right there.
First I started with a box of craft paper cards.
I also had some fabric. (Pictured here is Kaffee Fassett, I don’t know the name of the print.) I cut out some hearts and used a couple of different techniques to put them down. One is a no-sew, I just used a tiny amount of gel glue to hold it down.
One of them I sewed almost all the way around, stuffed it with a tiny amount of batting, and then closed it off.
The third I just drew a heart in pencil and then I sewed around the heart on the card. I went around 3 times to give it a little bit more dimension.
I love that one of the biggest things printed on the outside is “reusable box”.
I am not sure where they are going with that. Aren’t all boxes reusable?
I like to do a little decorating for Valentine’s Day around my house. I don’t go over the top with it, mainly a few red touches here and there. Valentine’s Day is still mid-winter here in Minnesota, so I also like it to have a bit of a cozy winter vibe. This year I decided I wanted to make some knit hearts. The thing is, I am swamped with knitting right now (three projects on the needles) and the thought of knitting up a bunch of hearts was too much. Then I remembered I had some old sweaters that weren’t worth donating in red and a taupey grey that would be perfect to turn into hearts. Not only were they perfect, but they made this into a super easy and quick project.
Originally, I was going to turn these into a bunting to hang over the fireplace, which I still think would have been cute, but I came up with a different place for them. I have a pig planter in my foyer that I fill with different things seasonally. It was sitting empty after Christmas and these hearts were just the thing.
You could use them as bunting, a bowl filler, fill them with lavender as a gift, make a giant one from the body of a sweater as a throw pillow. So many options.
1. Turn the sweater inside out and lay out so you have two layers on top of each other, both sides of a sleeve or the front and back of the sweater. Place the heart template on top and trace around it with the marker.
If you are using a cabled or striped sweater, think about where you want those cables or stripes to be on the heart when placing the template. You can also play with which direction they go.
2. Pin the two layers together. Use the sewing machine and matching thread, sew the layers together on the marker line you drew. Leave about an inch open for turning and stuffing. I backstitched for strength at the points.
Yes, you could do this step by hand. Just make sure to use small, close stitches so the cut knit doesn’t fray and come apart.
3. Cut around the stitched heart leaving about a 1/4″ seam allowance. I left a little more at the opening incase of fraying.
Turn right side out through the hole. Stuff. I found it helped to get a good amount of stuffing into the round tops of the hearts to give them a good shape. Hand stitch the opening shut.
4. On the plain hearts, I did some simple embroidery with a large tapestry needle and embroidery thread. It was pretty easy to do on the finished hearts because I wasn’t doing anything too elaborate.
I didn’t do it beforehand because I didn’t want to play with the cut out hearts too much and risk them fraying a lot.
If you have a kid, in elementary school, Valentines Day is a super big deal. Even if it is not your personal favorite holiday, you cannot let it slide by. Our assignment, (yes, an assignment) was to make a box for the class cards to go in AND to have the kid sign their name to twenty-three valentines.
The cards were nearly our undoing. We approached them in our card making fashion, but hot on the heels of Christmas AND Birthday Thank You notes, we were a little bit done with the concept of cards.
A sparkling jewel box was a whole different matter.
We made our box with a kit. Inside included loads of jewels, a legend that tells you which jewel is which number and the box.
In general, the process is to familiarize the workers with the chart and then begin sticking jewels on. This was really the perfect project for us right this minute. (My daughter is 5.2 years old.) In the past when we have attempted a jewel-by-number project, the allure of the sparkles takes over, we forgo any real pattern and just bedazzle to our heart’s desire. But here, we were methodical and laid the jewels just where the box designer had intended.
Some of them have started to let go, but not many, and they gave us enough to work with. So far we have been able to replace any that have fallen off.
I would recommend this kit to anyone in the market for kid projects.
We had fun and the box itself held up well.
I love having candles around my house, especially this time of year when it is still cold and dark. Lit candles (whether they be a real flame or a battery operated candle) can enhance the feeling or coziness, or what the Danish call “hygge,” in your home. If you are like me and like to change your candles up for different holidays and seasons, you know it can get expensive. My trick is to take simple plain candle holders and dress them up temporarily. For Valentine’s Day this year, I used wax paper and ribbon.
Double-sided tape holds the wax paper and ribbons on the candle holders. The wax paper softens the candlelight making the glass look etched without committing to anything permanently. Decorative paper punches cut out shapes for the light to shine through. I found the ribbon in the dollar section of Target, four different kinds on a roll for just $1. I really like the crisp look of these red and white ribbons.
plain glass candle holders or jars (ones with straight sides are easiest to cover)
exacto knife or rotary cutter
decorative paper punches
2. Use a paper punch to stamp out shapes if you wish.
I have to warn you, not all punches are created equal. This snowflake punch cut through cleanly with nice detail, but the heart punch struggled at the bottom point. I had to clean them up with an exacto knife.
As well as the Valentine’s Day candles, I did some with snowflakes for winter.
So simple, but I think striking when lit. When I am ready to change my candles up for spring, the tape and wax paper are easily taken off.
Fold the paper over the page about 4 inches
Draw your heart.
Take the paper away from the book, and fold the part with the heart on it in half down the middle.
This will allow you to cut both lobes of the heart at one time, and it will be symmetrical.
Unfold the heart, and open it up. This is the template for the bookmark.
Lay the template down on the back side of the naugahyde. Trace around it with a pen.
Then cut the shape out. (note that I left about 1/8 inch seam allowance along the bottom edge.)
Fold the heart in half, right sides facing OUT, and sew the open side shut. Be careful to line them up neatly. I did this without using any tissue paper, but if yours is sticky in your machine, feel free to slip in some tissue to sew it with and then tear it away.
And Voila! you have a sweet heart bookmark.
It is kind of a surprise, because it does not show very much from the outside when the book is closed.
This was a super easy, super quick project. You could knock these out for gifts or for teachers.
Red glitter is appropriate for all occasions. (At least all the occasions that we celebrate in our house!)
Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is a month away. Here’s a few of our projects with a little heart to get you in the mood…
1. Simple Pop-Up Valentine 2. Knit Heart Garland 3. Burlap and Button Heart 4. Knit Heart Washcloths
5. Sweetheart Mittens 6. Potted Hearts 7. Handmade Valentines
8. Burlap Coffee Sleeves 9. Needle Felted Hearts 10. Filled Chocolate Hearts 11. Rosebud Fairy Lights
12. Conversation Heart Handwarmers 13. Pom-pom and Hearts Garland 14. Knit Pocket Robot 15. Hanging Heart Wreath
Oh my, it’s the last Iron Craft challenge of 2013 and it’s during one of the busiest times of year. Luckily, the challenge was to make something that could be done in an hour or less. You know what the time restraint really stumped me. I really wanted to knit something and had time to while driving back and forth to Michigan, but that would have taken much longer than an hour. Finally, I hit on an idea while thinking of winter/Valentine’s decorations I wanted to have up after the Christmas ones came down.
You may recognize the wreath from my Christmas mantle, since it is bright red (like so many of my Christmas decorations) it was easy to turn it into a simple Valentine’s Day wreath. I didn’t want anything too country looking or too over the top hearts and flowers. I also wanted the hearts to have some dimension to them, not just flat paper or tin. I think I came up with a something that fit the bill.
A note about my wreath: I got this straw wreath years ago at Ikea and I’m pretty sure they don’t have them anymore, but you could use any wreath to make this. I think it would be pretty with a natural straw wreath and red hearts or a twig wreath would be pretty too.
1. Use the exacto knife to shape your styrofoam into a heart. I did the whole ball at once and then cut it in half to make two hearts, but you could cut it in half first. You want the front of the heart to be rounded and the back will be flat. I did the rough shaping with the knife and then just used my fingers to refine the shaping and smooth things a bit.
2. Cover the front of the hearts with mod podge or glue. Cover with glitter. Let dry.
3. Cut two lengths of thread about twice the length you want the hearts to hang inside the wreath. Tie a knot at the bottom of each one. The knot needs to be quite large to not just pull all the way through the styrofoam. Using the needle, pull the threads through the hearts start at the bottom point. You may have to try a few times to get it to come out in the center.
I put a dab of glue where the thread come through to help it keep from pulling through.
I’m thinking I need one more heart though I haven’t decided if it should be glitter, rhinestone of metal yet. What do you think?
I got some coffee bags. And I have been on a roll. First I made Christmas Stockings. For this challenge, I have made some coffee cup sleeves.
Note: this burlap is a MESS. I am not kidding. Get your other fabric out of the way. Clear your cutting and sewing space.
Use the coffee sleeves as a template. Open one up and pin it to your fabric.
(If you have a fabric with a pattern or a “right side up” it is important to note that the sleeve has a slight curve. It should be cut out like a “frown”. That will make the pattern go in the right direction. )
Cut the piece out.
Then zig zag around the edges to give them some strength and longevity.
Place the double sided iron on down on the red burlap. Iron one side down. Cut out hearts.
(See the mess in this picture. It sticks to everything. Fair warning.)
Peal the paper off, and place them on the sleeves. (Again here, the sleeves need to be in the “frown” position, and then place the heart, and it will be right side up.)
Iron the heart down. Then, zig zag round the heard (in red).
Do you still have time for Hand Made Valentines? You Bet! You still have time to make them AND mail them if you want!!
I sat down with my artist and we made ours this weekend. We had to make enough for ALL of the little people who go to preschool (30). And then we had to make the rest for the other important people in our life (that’s 10 more).
Here is how we did it.
Other possible supplies:
On some I glued a playing card. We broke the lei (beforehand, I admit) and on some I glued a flower.
In the middle of each doily was an embossed rose bud. She wanted the little rose to be featured. So she cut all the “lace” off, and just left “the flower in the circle” I took the lace part, and laid it down on a bunch of other cards.
The trick is to put down the biggest and the flattest thing first, then build from there.
I will tell you, this is the most fun I’ve had with the kid in a while. She did her own thing. She cracked me up, and charmed me. She was wearing a white “fur” bolero jacket, and a ballet leotard for this project. (She took off the fur for fear of messing it up.) “More is more” and “glitter is better,” these are words to live by. Let’s all be clear on that.