Monday, October 31, 2016

Scrap Basket Halloween Pumpkins

Happy Halloween! My treat for you on this spookiest of days is a super-simple pumpkin decorating project. I used a few buttons and  scraps of ribbon and rickrack to make two happy little Halloween pumpkins. Like Linus in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," I prefer not to "kill" my pumpkins. This minimally invasive method just inflicts a few pinpricks. The instructions are self-explanatory: assemble your materials, as in the photo at right, and fasten them to each pumpkin with straight pins to make eyes and a mouth. I tied a bow on the orange pumpkin, because I thought its curvy stem looked like a ponytail. The white pumpkin got a cool ribbon-wrapped hairstyle.

As an extra treat, I'm also sharing a list of my favorite scary movies:

Dracula (1931)
Frankenstein (1931)
The Wolfman (1941)
The Body Snatcher (1945)
Thing from Another World (1951)
 Them (1954)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Tarantula (1955)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
The Blob (1958)
Earth vs. the Spider (1958)
The Fly (1958)
The Screaming Skull (1958)
The Mummy (1959)
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
The Tingler (1959)
The Killer Shrews (1959)
Psycho (1960)
Thirteen Ghosts (1960)

The Day of the Triffids (1962)

As you can see, I prefer my horror classic and/or campy. If all goes well, I'll be watching at least of few of these tonight while I stitch and snack on Halloween candy.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Itsy-Bitsy Spider Necklace

I used to love coming up with crazy Halloween costumes every year--for myself, when I was younger, and later for my two daughters. These days, my costume consists of a black shirt with a ghost applique that I pull out of the closet once a year. But even though I don't dress up for my second-favorite holiday anymore, I still like to have some fun with Halloween accessories. This year, I came up with a simple, spooky spider necklace.

I got the idea for this project when I found these little metal spider charms at my local Michael's store. Spiders need webs to hang from, so I put some crochet thread that I had on hand to work. It's Aunt Lydia's silver metallic crochet, so it has a little sparkle.

To make the necklace, use a size 4 steel crochet hook and chain about 40 stitches. Attach one of the spiders by drawing the thread through the loop on the charm with the crochet hook, then complete the stitch to hold the charm in place. Continue working in chain stitch, adding a spider charm every 40 stitches or so until the strand reaches the length you want. Join the end chain to the beginning chain with a slip stitch and fasten it off. You can wear your necklace in a single strand or double as shown in the photo below. 

An extra treat . . .

If you're looking for another adorable Halloween accessory, how about a pair of candy corn hair clips? Click here to go to the original post, which appeared on my blog last October.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sneak Peek at "Craft Ideas" Holiday Issue

I know Halloween hasn't even arrived yet, but crafters always have to be at least one holiday ahead. The Holiday issue of Craft Ideas magazine will be available on your newsstand in just a few days--yay!--so you'll be able to get lots of Christmas craft inspiration soon. Until then, here's a peek at my projects that you'll find inside: Cross-Stitch Felt Gift Envelopes (top right) and a Crocheted Mistletoe Garland, that can also be worn as a scarf (bottom). There are dozens of other festive projects to stitch and craft too. Click here to see a video preview of the issue on the Craft Ideas YouTube channel.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Black Cat Cross-Stitch Kit

Everyone likes Halloween treats! This black cat cross-stitch kit is a perfect gift for stitchers who are searching for a seasonably scary project. A black gossamer bag holds everything you need--chart, fabric, embroidery floss, and needles--to stitch up a spooky little black cat like this one:

If you're like me, you probably never throw a gift box or bag away, so chances are you have a gossamer bag on hand. (Mine is black, about 4 inches square, and once held a bracelet, I think.) If not, you can find one at a craft store. When you have your bag, click  here to download and print the Black Cat Cross-Stitch Kit Printable. Cut out the chart and place it in the bag along with a small piece of Aida fabric, a skein of black embroidery floss, and an embroidery needle or two attached to a scrap of black felt.

Next, cut the tag from the printable sheet and punch a hole in the top left corner. Fasten the tag to one of the ties on the gossamer bag, tie the bag closed, and kit is complete. Happy Halloween stitching!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Elf Clothesline Garland in American Patchwork and Quilting

My Elf Clothesline Garland is featured in the December 2016 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine! See my project, as well as other featured projects from the issue here:

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mini Halloween Pillows

October has arrived, so it's time to scare up some Halloween decorations. How about a pair of frighteningly cute mini pillows? They're simple to sew from fun green and orange print fabrics, felt and rickrack.

My pillows are about 6 1/2" by 4 1/2", but you can make yours any size you like. First, cut two rectangles with rounded corners from cotton print fabric, adding 1/4" seam allowance to all edges. Now comes the fun part--creating the "Boo" and "Eek" lettering. To make the templates, choose a nice fat typeface in your word-processing software (I used Garamond bold). Remember--the fancier the font, the trickier the cutting will be. Adjust the size of the typeface so each word fits within the pillow front with at least an inch of space all around. Print the word out and pin it to a piece of black felt. Use sharp small scissors to cut the letters from the felt. Center a word on each pillow front, pin in place, and whipstitch with black thread. 

Now, let's give some attention to the pillow backs. Cut a rectangle of green or orange felt and pin it, centered, to the pillow back. Sew it in place along the side and bottom edges to create a pocket to hold small treats or a gift card.

To assemble the pillow, press the edges of the pillow front and back 1/4" to the wrong side. Pin the front and back together with wrong sides facing, sandwiching a length of wide black rickrack between the pieces. Sew the pillow together with running stitch and matching sewing thread. Leave an opening and stuff the pillow with fiberfill before you complete the stitching.

I added ribbons to my "Boo" and "Eek" pillows so I can use them as ornaments. To give your kids a Halloween morning surprise, tuck treats in the pockets and hang the pillows on your little goblins' bedroom doorknobs.