Monday, June 30, 2014

Red, White & Blue Ribbon Wreath

I never throw ribbons away. I rescue them from the trash at holidays and birthday parties and store them by color until the right project comes along. My stash of red, white, and blue ribbons supplied all the materials I needed to make this simple, all-American wreath. I didn't even buy a wreath frame; I just shaped a wire clothes hanger into a circle.

I cut the ribbons into 6" lengths, cutting on an angle so the edges didn't fray. Anything in the color scheme was fair game, so I used solids, stripes, polka dots, and any other style of ribbon I had on hand. To decorate the wreath, I tied the ribbons onto the wire frame, creating an even mix of colors. My ribbon collection covered the wreath quite fully, but there's always room for more. I think I'll be adding to it throughout the summer.

The wreath gives a splash of patriotic color to a door or porch, but it can also be used to decorate a Fourth of July party table.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Felt Pillow Band

When warm weather comes, it's time to change your home's wardrobe. If you have a stash of summer accessories, bring them out of storage. If you prefer to take a more frugal approach, spruce up the things you already have.

A flowered band made from felt gives a boring brown pillow a whole new look. I chose a pallet of pink and green that looks summery but still works with the brown. 

To make the band, I cut two panels of pink felt slightly longer than the pillow. I used bright green and pink embroidery floss to sew on ribbon, felt leaves onto one of the panels. When the leaf design was finished, I sewed the front panel to the plain back panel, right sides facing, along the short edges. 

To complete the look, I turned the band to the right side and slipped it over the pillow. I can change it back into a plain brown pillow when summer's over or make a band for autumn in an different color scheme.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Stamped Summer Card

This summery stamped card is a great way to use up scraps of card stock. It uses just one rubber stamp (a flower design by Inkadinkado®, but any small, square stamp will work), a mix of bright papers, and blue, red, and purple inks.

 The process couldn't be easier. Just stamp a bunch of flowers on paper scraps, experimenting with different combinations of paper and ink colors. Choose your favorites and cut them out, using the frame of the design as a guide. Arrange the flowered "tiles" on the front of a blank card, spacing them evenly and creating a balance of colors. Use clear double-stick tape to fasten the tiles to the card.

Send the finished card to a friend to brighten her day. It's much prettier than a text message or an email. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Silver Lining Sun Catcher

April showers bring May flowers, but we also need rain in June if we want our gardens to grow. This cute raindrop suncatcher is easy to make from plastic crystals, white felt, and metallic fabric--because every cloud should have a silver lining. Follow the instructions below, or click here to download a printable pattern sheet.

First, draw a simple cloud shape on paper and use it as a pattern to cut a cloud from the white and silver fabrics. Stitched the pieces together--wrong sides facing--with a running stitch worked in silver embroidery floss. Stuff the cloud with polyester fiberfill before sewing the pieces together completely. To give the cloud some texture, make a few large stitches through all the layers, tie the loose thread ends in a knot, and trim.

For the raindrops, thread silver floss through plastic drop-shaped crystals and tie them to the bottom of the cloud so they hang at different heights. Add ribbon hanging loop and display the suncatcher in window to welcome the sun or invite a rain shower.

Tip: If your silver fabric tends to fray, apply Fray Check™ or another liquid fabric sealant to the edges, following manufacturer's directions. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Graduation Gift Tassel

Graduation season is here again, which means it's time to shower the graduates in our lives with good wishes and presents. To keep your gift in the graduation theme, trim it with a tassel that doubles as a gift tag.

Choose yarn in the graduate's school colors and wrap it around a 12"-tall book 20 times or so. Slip a length of gold cord under the loops on one end of the book and tie it in a tight knot. Use a sharp scissors to cut through the loops on the other end of the book to create the tassel. Wrap another piece of gold cord around the tassel, about an inch from the tied end. Tie the ends of the cord together, trim, and tuck them inside the tassel.

 To make the tag, use your computer or rubber stamps to print the year and "To/From" within a circle on white paper. Cut the circles out and glue them back to back with glue stick. Edge the circle with a gold metallic pen, punch a hole, and tie it to the tassel with more gold cord. Trim the cut ends of the tassel even.

The finished tassel adds pomp to a gift box or bag. If you're giving a monetary gift, tie a tassel on the envelope to make it special.