Monday, December 31, 2012

Portable Duct Tape Crochet Hook Case

Most of the time whenever I travel I crochet in the car. (If I’m not driving of course!)  Sometimes I like to bring a few extra hooks but unfortunately the car always seems to eat my hooks.  So to keep from losing them to the hungry car, I made this simple crochet hook case where I can stow my stuff!

You will need: 

Sheet of all purpose computer paper cut to 7” x 8”

Duct tape in desired color

20 inches of ¼” wide ribbon

3” x 6” piece of felt in color to match duct tape


Tacky glue

Plastic cutting board with measurements

Scissors, regular and sharp pointed ones

Disappearing marker

1.     Cut 8 pieces of duct tape 8 ¼” each.  It is easy to apply them to the cutting board and use the measurements marked on it.

2.     Starting at the top edge apply a piece of duct tape onto and across the 7” x 8” piece of computer paper.  Continue applying duct tape overlapping slightly until you have covered the entire piece of paper.  (4 pieces of duct tape)  Turn over and repeat on the opposite side with the other 4 pieces of duct tape.

3.     You will have duct tape on both sides.  Trim any overlapping duct tape with scissors.  Fold in half, creasing with your finger.

4.     Measure halfway down the folded outside edge (3 ½”) and make a mark.  Cut a 10-inch piece of ribbon and tack with a dab of glue.  Cut a piece of duct tape approximately 1’ x 2” and center over the ribbon and adhere to cover.  Repeat on the back side.  (Ribbon tie closures)  At this point you have a folder with ribbon ties attached.  

5.     To add the felt hook holder cut  a piece of matching felt 3” x 6”. Working horizontally and using the disappearing marker mark two parallel lines 1” from the end.  Measure 5 inches down from these lines and mark two more parallel lines.  Use the sharp pointed scissors and your lines as a guide to cut slits in the felt.  Make sure the slits are parallel.  This will be where you slip in your hooks. 

6.     Open the pocket and place the prepared felt piece in the center. Cut two side pieces of duct tape 6 ½” x 1” and two bottom pieces 3” x 1.”  Attach side pieces over the felt and on the sides of the folder.  Repeat with the top pieces to fasten the felt to the folder.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday earrings

If you want to deck yourself as well as the halls with a pair of holiday pierced earrings making them is easier than you may think.  If you have allergies to certain metals and just can’t wear the baubles that you can buy at the discount stores it’s easy to make them with surgical steel wires or even Sterling silver.  If you can work a pair of needle nosed pliers you are all set.

You will need:

Needle nosed pliers, two pairs

Jewelry findings available in craft stores--

Jump rings

Fishhook ear wires, surgical steel or sterling silver (sterling is not as expensive as you may think)

Tiny ornaments for decorating miniature trees.

 You can buy all sorts of little ornaments, snowmen, bells, etc. Since most of the time there are multiple ornaments in a package you will have more than enough for several pairs. Look in the area for decorating miniature trees.  You will be surprised at all of the choices and ideas. When shopping for mini ornaments, make certain that they have an attached loop at the top where you can add the findings. Most are plastic so they end up being very lightweight.

1  Using two pairs of pliers, one for each hand, grab onto the jump ring and open by a twisting motion rather than pulling wide. 

2.     Slip the jump ring onto the top loop of your ornament.  Using the twisting motion in the opposite direction, close the jump ring. Make sure that the ends meet.

3.     Open another jump ring like you did before and loop onto the jump ring that you just attached to the ornament.  Add the fish hook ear wire to the same jump ring.  Make sure the ear wire is facing the right direction.  Twist the jump ring together to close.  Make sure the ends meet.

That’s it!  Now wasn’t that easy?  Quick and easy and you can enjoy them all the way to the New Year and beyond.

Warning:  These are so easy to make and so inexpensive that you may not be able to stop making them.  J

A wonderful way to give them as a gift is on a Christmas card made for adding photos.  Simply poke a hole through the card and tape a small rectangle of paper on the back to hold them in place. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Peacock feather butterfly ornament

Feathers are everywhere this year. You can make this quick and easy ornament in a flash to hang on your tree or anywhere this Christmas. If you are really into bling you can even attach it to a barrette or pin it to your lapel.  

You will need:

Tiny clothespin (available in craft stores)

Four peacock feathers

5 inches of 22 gauge wire

Wire cutters



White colored pencil to mark on dark felt

Tacky craft glue

Scrap of red sparkle felt

Small two hole button

  1. Trim peacock feathers to a desirable size with scissors. Arrange the feathers in the butterfly shape. (See photo) Mark and cut two pieces of felt ¼” x 1 3/4”.

  1. Working on the backside attach the feathers one at a time with some tacky glue. Let dry and add one of the felt pieces with some more glue to cover the feathers. (Back side) Turn over.

  1. Cut a piece of wire 5 inches. Bend in the middle and use the pencil to curl both ends. (Antenna made) Add some tacky glue to the top of the pin and attach the antenna. Let dry. Add some more tacky glue down the length of the clothespin and attach the other piece of cut felt.

  1. When all the glue has dried, add a dab of tacky glue to the top of the pin and add a small button. Let dry.

  1. You may clip the butterfly with the clothespin to lapels and other surfaces, but to put it on the tree hang it with an ornament hanger from the antenna so it dangles freely.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dimensional duct tape Christmas ball ornament

It’s no secret I love to create with recycled materials, and the cardboard tubes from the inside of a toilet tissue roll are an ideal starting point.  Add some Christmas duct tape to quickly and easily create a unique Christmas ball ornament for the tree.  Using just one roll of duct tape and some recycled toilet tissue tubes you can make enough ornaments to fill an entire tree!
You will need:

Cardboard tube from the inside of a toilet tissue roll

Christmas duct tape (available at craft and discount dept. stores)



1/8” hole punch

Large eye darning needle

Gold cord

Coordinating color pony bead for each ball

Pencil or marker

1.     Wrap a length of duct tape around the cardboard tube meeting at the other end.  Wrap another length beside the first length.  You will have a small piece of tube uncovered.  Cut this off and discard.

2.     Measure and mark ¾” of an inch on the tube and cut across to make a ring.  It is perfectly fine to flatten slightly while you cut.  Cut two more ¾” inch rings. 

3.     Using three of the rings, open them to their original round shape and punch a hole in each ring with the 1/8” hole punch.

4.     Cut a 10” inch length of thin gold cord and thread a pony bead onto it.  Insert both ends of the cord through the large eye of a darning needle.  (See photo)

5.     Carefully insert each ring inside each other lining up the holes you made with the hole punch.  It is ok if it is not perfectly round at this point.  You can readjust the shape after you have added the cord.

6.     Use the threaded needle to pull through the holes on all the rings till the pony bead reaches the top.  Remove the needle and tie a knot with the cord ends for hanging. 

7.     Adjust the shape of the ball and hang on the tree.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Quick and easy gift card holder ornament

The best value for gift-giving these days seems to be a simple gift card. It allows the recipient to go to a store they like and choose an item they actually want and can use.  As an added bonus most of the times after the holidays are over, many of the same items purchased a week previously are marked down.  The main drawback is the impersonal nature of the gift card itself. This easy to make gift card holder is also an ornament. This project is easy so why not make few with your children?  You can even put a small Holiday wish note in the pocket instead of a gift card if desired. And it's a super teacher's gift too!

You will need:

Felt in desired color, embossed felt is a nice touch.

Card stock, in white or a coordinated color

9 inches of thin gold cord

Tacky glue ( I recommend tacky glue since it has a thicker consistency and does not bleed through the felt)



Small jingle bell or button for closure

Decorative buttons, felt or foam shapes or miniature trinkets (This is the area to personalize for the recipient.)

1.     Cut the card stock into a 6-inch by 8-inch rectangle.

2.     Fold the cardstock in half meeting end to end.

3.     Rotate and fold in half again. (See photo)

Turn and fold again

4.     Open the folded piece of cardstock.  Fold up the lower right hand corner using the fold line as a guide. (See photo)  Refold the card.  You have formed a little pocket.  Put a dab of glue at the lower corner to secure the pocket.

5.     Cut a piece of felt for the cover 6-inches by 4-inches.

6.     Cut two pieces of gold cord, 5 inch for the hanging cord and 4 inch for the closure.

7.     Turn the folded cardstock over and put a dab of glue on the back center fold.  Make sure the pocket opening is facing up on the left side. Make a loop with the 5-inch gold cord and glue to the top.

8.     Continuing on the back of the card, measure two inches down from the left side, make a loop with the 4-inch gold cord and attach. This will be the closure loop. Check to make sure the pocket is positioned correctly.

9.     Spread a generous amount of tacky glue onto the entire back and attach the felt.  Let dry.

10. Glue a button or small jingle bell onto the front of the card holder to correspond with the gold closure cord and let dry. 

11. Decorate the front of the holder.  Using the tacky glue, attach buttons, felt or foam shapes or any miniature trinkets as desired.  

Friday, November 30, 2012

Easy 30-minute rectangular Christmas wreath

Sometimes it’s good to be square…or even rectangular.  Different is good and easy is even better.  This wreath whips up in minutes and looks wonderful.  You only need a few supplies and in no time you will have Christmas wreath to be proud of.

You will need:

An 11 x 14 inch wooden frame without the glass (this is your wreath base)

Two six-foot non-wired garlands (there are a wide assortment of garlands available at craft stores and most are 50% off!)

20-gauge wire

Wire cutters

Wired ribbon or ready-made bow

1.     Starting at the upper left hand corner, attach one end of one of the garlands to the frame with an 8-inch piece of 20-gauge wire.  Twist to secure.  Begin to tightly wrap the garland around the frame stopping at the next corner.  Use another piece of wire to secure the garland to that corner twisting to the back.

2.     Continue wrapping till you reach the next corner and with another piece of wire secure to the frame tightly twisting the wire to the back.  (Half the wreath is covered)

3.     Attach the second garland with another piece of wire where you ended the first garland.  Wrap the garland as before, stopping at the next corner to secure with another piece of wire.

4.     Continue wrapping the garland until you reach the starting point and attach with a piece of wire twisting to the back.  (You should have the entire wreath covered)   Add a loop of twisted wire to the center back for hanging.

5.     Make a bow with some 2 inch wide wired ribbon (Instructions for making bows are upcoming in subsequent posts but there are very good instructions for making bows on the website Bowdabra or you can purchase a ready made bow and attach it with some wire to the side of your wreath.

Note:  You can change the size and even the shapes of the frames.  A good place to get inexpensive frames is at a thrift store.