Monday, December 17, 2012

How to make adorable hair clips

Sometimes I get into patterns of obsessive glue gunning.  I also happen to be lucky enough to have three beautiful nieces that like hair accessories, or what we called "hair pretties" when they were younger.  This is a tutorial on how to make adorable hair clips for girls (or grownups!).

1.  Materials:  I started with tulle, white felt, scissors, needle and thread, glue gun, lace, feathers, clips, and ribbon flowers I had previously made on a loom.

 2.  Measure out the felt so that it is about twice the width and a touch longer than the length of the clip you will use.
 3.  Cut different pieces of  your materials and start to layer and glue (or sew them) on.  Experiment with fabrics and lace and ribbon and feathers and see what works best for you.  I have a hard time with feathers and glue guns--usually I do some basting stitches and a touch of glue if the feathers are big.  These babies are small so I just glued them.
 This is what it looked like before I put the ribbon flower on.
 Affixed the ribbon flower...
 3.  Glue on the clips to the backs of the felt.  Let dry.  They should be ready to wear in about 5-10 minutes.
 The final product:
 I also made some tulle and bead ones as well.  I cut the tulle in different size circles and then sewed them together and affixed beads to the middle.
 Here are the beads:
 I sewed the beads through some felt on the back so that there was an anchor for the clip.
 Next I made another circle the same size in the felt to cover the stitch marks and glued. 

 Then I glued the clips on to the felt.
 The finished product:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Very easy soap making

Soap making is new to me.  As in, I've been doing it since Saturday and it is only Tuesday.  I have to say I've totally fallen in love with it.  It's EASY and the product is beautiful and you can create something useful in very little time.  This is very very easy soap making because you will be buying pounds of glycerin that you break up and melt and make fabulous. 

I bought two different kinds of glycerin.  One was the "olive oil" clear variety in the picture below.  And the other was the white version that was "goat milk."  I found mine at Michaels.  They sell different pound sizes of glycerin.  I stuck with the two pounders because they were easy to cut, but you can buy 5 and 10 pound blocks as well.  I also bought a number of other scents and soap colorings.  That big bag of lavender has been sitting in my closet for three years and I finally had a chance to use it!  You will also need some plastic tupperware to melt the soap in the microwave in, as well as plastic utensils for stirring.  The essential oils go a LONG way in terms of scenting the soap, so use them sparingly.  I also used tons of stuff from my garden and pantry--cinnamon, mint leaves, poppy seeds, rosemary leaves, etc.  For the soap forms, I experimented with cream cheese containers, plastic cups, candy molds, and different size ice cube trays.  The ice cube trays were by far the easiest!  And this is all about easy soap making, not rip your hair out soap making.


The soap you buy will probably come with instructions, but microwave test all of your soaps in small increments (5-10 seconds at a time so you don't light your house on fire).  I used about 8-12 cubes at one time.  Each cube appears to be approximately one ounce, but it may depend on what type of glycerin you buy.

Heat the soap until it is melted.  Mix in with whatever ingredients you want to use.  Seriously, get creative!  And then pour into the mold that you want.  Pop the molds into the freezer for at least 20 minutes.  Take the molds out of the freezer and pop your soap out of the molds.  I would recommend only using plastic molds.  Make sure the molds you are using can withstand some heat otherwise they will melt all over your freezer.  I left the soaps out for two days for them to "harden" but they are ready to be used right away.  Here are some of my creations:

Top is a satsuma with poppy seeds, bottom is mint with mint plants from my garden.

 Top is crazy electric blue again with satsuma, and bottom is BEAUTIFUL lavender soap.  I have to say the lavender turned out super fancy and great smelling.
Top left going clockwise is rosemary, then cinnamon, then satsuma, then mint.  These were also ice cube tray molds!

Made these this morning---they look tasty!  Don't eat the soap!

The finished products so far.
What they look like bagged.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Re-post: How to make shiny Christmas Ornaments!

This is a re-post from winter 2009.  I've made these every year since then, either for my own tree or for gifts for people.  After making about 40000000 of these, I've stopped doing step 2 during step 2 and left it until the end.  You want to do step 2 if the ornament is going to have a top and bottom.  If it's just random patterns, then you don't need to put the ribbon in until the end.  Here's the tutorial on making sequined Christmas Ornaments:

Merry Crafting!

1. Supplies you will need: Foam balls, ribbon, pins (get shorter ones depending on the size of the foam), and lots and lots of sequins!!!!! You will need more pins that you initially think. One ornament I made had about 180 pins in it!
2. Pin the ribbon into the ball.3. Pin the sequins in any shape and direction you want around the ball.
Here are some pictures of my finished products. It takes awhile to do one ornament, but it's a good activity for a rainy day or while watching tv! Try it! It would make a great holiday present too.