Tuesday, June 29, 2010

getting crafty.

I had some technical difficulties last week, so here's last Thursday's post, this time with photos. Thanks for your patience!


I can't sew.

Or draw a straight line (even with a ruler).

My stick figures come out crooked, and even my third grade nativity scene, hand sculpted in art class, came out looking like a pack of manatees.

But I love to create.

Unfortunately, I've discovered a sad pattern lately.

These days, I only create in front of the computer.

I work on blog redesigns, make posters and brochures, create logos.

But I don't get down and work with my hands.

So about two weeks ago, a friend and I went to the local First Friday art festival, and I walked away inspired. I took a trip to Michaels and JoAnn's, and I embarked on two really, really, really easy projects. Projects that were fun and simple and (almost) stitch-free and were completed in a rainy Saturday afternoon (perfect for an impatient, results-oriented person like myself).

Project #1: The magnet.
Our refrigerator held the occasional weekly menu or wedding invitation, but was mostly covered in expired take-out coupons.

Until my crafty Saturday.

Armed with scrapbook paper, a stack of magazines, 3" x 5" cards, laminate paper, scissors, glue sticks, and magnet tape, I made my very own inspiring magnets that now happily adorn my refrigerator. Here's the final product (including some magnets I used to "label" what's on our fridge):

And here's a quick how-to:

- Cut fun sayings out of magazines (or use stickers or quotes you've typed and printed off the computer. I wanted no computer time, so I opted for magazines)
- Decide the shape and size of your magnet. Cut the scrapbook paper and paste it to a 3" x 5" card. (You don't have to use a 3" x 5" card, but I think it makes the magnet more heavy-duty.)
- Trim the 3" x 5" card, then decorate the scrapbook paper with your quotes or magazine design.
- Cover the entire piece with laminate (or clear contact paper) front and back.
- Add a strip or two of magnet tape.
- Voila! You'll have a masterpiece!

I finished a ton of these in one afternoon. So easy, and you're probably thinking: Why do I want magnets covering my fridge? Well. Maybe you don't. But I'm really, really happy with our very happy looking refrigerator.

Project #2: The braided bracelet.
I found these at my favorite store, Textures Handmade. (If you're in Tallahassee, you. must. go.) The only problem (and please don't hate me, but it's true): They didn't fit my wrists. At all. I was so bummed. I'd seen them online and had gone in with every intention of purchasing one or two for my summer wardrobe. But there was no way I was going to spend $6 a pop on something that didn't fit. So I took a closer look and headed across the street to JoAnn's. Surely I could try to make these myself.

I bought a stack of quilt quarters, got out my sewing kit from high school graduation, and got to work. Here's the final product (slightly more "rustic" looking than the in-store version, but I like their "summer camp vibe):

And here's the how-to:

- Cut strips of fabric about 18" long. You'll probably want three strips for one bracelet (four, if you know how to do some kind of fancy braid with four strands. I don't.). I left my strips frayed (which, like I said, resulted in kind of a rustic look). You could, I'm assuming, hem the edges of each strip or use pinking shears to eliminate the frayed edges.
- Safety pin the three strips to each other, then to a sturdy surface (like maybe your couch. Which is what I did).
- Begin braiding until you reach the bottom.
- Unsafety pin the top end of the bracelet.
- Wrap around your wrist to determine the correct length. Trim if needed.
- Sew the two ends of the braid together. You could probably do this really easily with a sewing machine, but when I sat down to my borrowed one, I couldn't remember how to thread the needle. So I whipped out a needle and thread and handstitched the ugliest stitches just to get the ends together and to slide it out my wrist. The good news is, if you're like me and made a bracelet out of dark colors, the stitches can't be seen at all!
- The store bought version covered the two ends with a piece of sturdy fabric in a coordinating color. Guess what? The Annie-version doesn't have that feature, and I think it turned out just fine.

So there you have it. Two easy, (almost) stitch-free crafts. My other favorite rainy day craft idea? Print off some Mary Engelbreit coloring sheets, turn on a movie, and color! I don't know why grown-ups don't color more often...


Maggie said...

I adore your bracelets! Of course, I just ordered a fabric-braided bracelet from etsy. Sigh... reminds me of my rumination on OIY, or "Order it Yourself." These are fabulous.

La Bella Donna said...

Um, I love the bracelets! I've been sewing all summer and have lots of scraps so this will be perfect to use some scraps and make something that coordinates with what I already made. This is great- thanks for sharing.