Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sock Snowmen & Decorative Jars

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

"Sock Snowman"

Submitted by Melinda Thomas of CA

"I have been making these sock snowmen for years. They are fun and easy and can be simple or you can get as creative as you want. I have made them with my kids classes at school for parent Christmas gifts. Now that was an adventure! My kids and their friends have sat around the kitchen table and made them. I have seen some interesting creations over the years!!"

Coffee or tea

cotton batting/fiberfill
twine or yarn
strips of material
hot glue gun
paint pen, marker or eyebrow pencil
blush from your make-up drawer
nail polish

These snowmen are made from baby socks, size 3 months, or however big you want them. You first tea or coffee dye the sock. Depending on how grungy or dark you want the sock depends how dark you make your tea or coffee. Let the sock dry.

Cut the top of the sock off, where the sock would be folded over. Stuff the sock with cotton batting until the body is nice and fat. Tie the top closed with yarn or twine. Then take a piece of yarn and tie around where the neck should be and pull until you have a neck for your snowman.

The hat is made from the piece of the sock that you cut off. Tie some twine around one end to make a hat. Leave the twine long enough to make a hanger. Put the hat on the snowman and hot glue it to his head, just a couple dots will do. Tear a piece of fabric for his scarf and tie around his neck.

His face can be done with a paint pen, permanent marker or even an eyebrow pencil. His nose is just a dot of nail polish, his cheeks are done with a touch of blush and a Q-tip. Hot glue some buttons to his tummy. You now have a simple tree ornament.

You can get more elaborate and stitch the face on with embroidery thread. You can use small bells for the tummy instead of buttons. Use your imagination. You can also make large snowmen with big tube socks. Just put a jar lid in the bottom of the sock, then stuff it and proceed as with the small snowman. The jar lid enables it to stand. You can add arms of wire or twigs from the yard. Hats can be made from old sweaters or tops of old wool socks. Get creative and have fun with these.

Found this craft on:


Decorative Jars

You'll need a glass canning jar, fabric you find appealing, twine, a glue gun and something to put in your jar. I just threw this together from things around the house. I put pinto beans in mine. To cover the lid with fabric, place the fabric on the lid (while it's attached to the jar) and use a rubber band to secure it while you cut the right amount of length for twine. Then just trade one for another. You don't have to use twine, you can use ribbon, buttons, hemp cord...anything you find appealing-have fun with it!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Recycled Magazine Picture Frames

I've seen the following project in stores such as Romancing the Stone selling for 15-20 bucks, so I thought it couldn't be that hard to make. The following project comes from homemadesimple.com

Have fun!!

Recycled Magazine Picture Frames

Create a useful accent for your home décor and rid yourself of magazines at the same time! Many homes have boxes full of old magazines just collecting dust or waiting to be recycled. Pull those collections together to make colorful rolled magazine picture frames. You may have even seen rolled magazine accents being sold at specialty boutiques, but with these simple instructions you can create unique picture frames with your friends for less!

Getting Started
Invite your friends over for a full, fun day of crafting. Ask them to bring several old magazines and a shoebox lid to be the base of the picture frame. If any of your friends don’t have these items around their homes, just see if someone doesn’t mind bringing extras. Provide the rest of the supplies you need using this Rolled Magazine Frame Materials List.
Your finished picture frames will be colorful and impressive, but they can be a bit time-consuming. Even so, the process is relaxing and gives you lots of time to chat and catch up. You can also take in some favorite TV shows together or even rent a beloved movie to watch while you cut, roll and create your picture frames.

Rolled Magazine Picture Frame Instructions

Step 1: Cutting & Rolling
You’ll start out by cutting magazine pages into strips that are about 3 inches wide. They don’t have to be perfect, but try to keep them relatively straight. You’ll want to cut about 60 strips, depending on the size of your shoebox lid. You can even create a unified theme by only cutting out strips in certain colors, strips with white boarders, or multi-colored strips. Advertisements tend to work best because they often use vibrant, solid colors.

Once you have your strips, you can start the rolling process. Take one corner of each strip and roll as tightly as you can, at a diagonal, to create straw-like sticks. You can tighten your roll once it is created by twisting it in your hands. Right after you roll and twist, use a small amount of decoupage glue with a brush to tack down the ends and the corner of loose paper. Use your fingers to smooth out the edges and glue. Don’t use too much glue though, so your sticks remain somewhat flexible.

Step 2: Cutting Time
Once you have all of your sticks rolled, cut off the ends with a craft knife, to make sure they have even ends. You may need to use a little extra decoupage glue to make sure they stay rolled.

Use your pencil to trace a square onto the back of your shoebox lid that is approximately 1/4” smaller all the way around than the photo size you plan you plan to use. If you want you can also create two or more holes for photos by centering them and measuring an even distance between each window. Using your craft knife or a box cutter, very carefully cut the square out of the box lid.

Step 3: The Glue Process
Before gluing your sticks to the lid, cut out a few pages from a magazine to cover it. This helps make it easier to adhere the sticks to the lid. Using your brush, cover the lid on all sides with a thin layer of decoupage glue, and then cover with pieces of magazine pages cut to size. Try to make sure that you smooth out any bubbles or ridges so the sticks can lay flat on top.

Now you’re ready to start gluing your sticks onto your lid. Lay out some of the sticks on the lid to decide how you’d like to arrange them around the picture windows. You’ll need to use your scissors to cut some of the sticks to size so you can attach them around the holes.

Next, brush decoupage glue length-wise or side-to-side along the lid depending on your chosen arrangement. Attach your magazine sticks to the glue, placing them flush against each other, side-by-side. Be sure to not press too hard as you glue them down so they can retain their rounded shape. Simply hold together, gently pressing to make sure they stick. You’ll want to keep gluing and attaching your sticks until the whole lid is covered.

Step 4: Finish the Picture Frame
Once you finished gluing your sticks to the frame, take it to a well-ventilated area and spray with an even coat of polyurethane. This seals it and gives it a glossy shine. Make sure to follow any safety instructions listed on the bottle of polyurethane when using.

Once the picture frame is dry, use clear tape to secure the photo behind the window you cut out earlier. Tape down the top and bottom securely. Now your picture frame is ready to hang and display! It’s perfect for kid’s room, study, family room or home office décor.

After everyone has finished their crafting, round up what’s left of the magazines for recycling. Magazines can often be recycled in curbside bins or at local recycling centers. Some of your friends also may want to keep their leftovers so they can make more rolled magazine frames.

Personal Notes-
This was a very fun project, but very time consuming. I also put a piece of black cardstock behind the photo just like you would in a photo frame. For the whole project I used Modge-Podge. Also I didn't cut the "straws" until after I had rolled them up-it was easier to just rip a page out and roll it up, then cut it down to size. Great Project!!