Dress Up Your Glasses

I finally had to give in to the reading glasses.  I suppose I really should be calling them the crafting-sewing-knitting-computer-reading glasses. I even splurged on the pretty ones.  But I wanted to dress them up a little and also be able to take them on and off without losing them. 

A pretty beaded necklace for my glasses was the natural choice.  My favorite, colorful, glass beads practically jumped out of my bead box.  I could almost hear them saying, “pick us”! 

If you are new to bead stringing, I found this instructional video Beading Basicsby Karla Schafer to be very clear. Follow her basic instructions but replace the toggle with the eyeglass chain findings and also extend the overall length to about 28”.

This fun and fast project makes a great gift.  But be sure to make yourself one as well.  


Make Gift Tags with Shrinky Dinks

These gift tags were so much fun to make.  I like to use personal and interesting gift tags.  I usually design gift tags on the computer and print on card stock or photo paper.  But my printer isn't working and I've been too busy crafting to fix it.  So... Shrinky Dinks to the rescue.  I cut letter size Shrink Dinks into thirds, used Sharpies to draw the names and designs and baked them for three minutes at 300〫- done!


Make Reusable Fabric Gift Bags

I just got my Christmas wrapping done in record time!  

I must admit that although I’m working on it, I do not have the best “green” practices.  But a few years ago I got thumped with a vision of waste that made me want to change my ways.  There in the school hallway was a veritable mountain of boxes filled with gift-wrap; the fundraiser of choice for schools all over the country. Suddenly, all I could see was a heap of future trash. 

I am definitely a fan of gifts of all sorts enclosed in enticing and attractive wrapping, just waiting for the recipient to undo it and discover what treasures lie within.  But the idea of the money, time and energy spent (albeit for a good cause) on wrapping paper, that is doomed from the start to be trash, jolted me into a project.

I got started at the fabric store where the adorable Christmas prints were just coming in.  Bonus!  They were on sale.  I picked up a yard or two in an assortment of prints and got started on cloth bags in a variety of sizes with drawstring tops.  

• Cut a rectangle twice as long as the intended size
• Fold it over
• Stitch up the sides
• Fold over the top edge creating a casing for a drawstring
• Feed a ribbon or cord through the casing

You really don’t need to do much, if any, planning since all shapes and sizes of rectangles will be useful.

Although it really isn’t critical to the overall presentation, you can take as much or as little care with the details of the casing and ribbon.  A larger coordinating ribbon makes for a very pretty package however a simple cord will get the job done too.

In the end you have saved some trees, had some fun and the “wrapping” can be part of the gift as well.  OR, as my family will tell you… I just gather up all the wrapping bags and use them again next year. 

Polymer Clay Snowman

Polymer Clay is so much fun!  Nicole makes the cutest things using Fimo and Sculpey.  This little snowman has hung on my tree for years.  His scarf is a little delicate but I wrap him up carefully with some tissues and cotton and he has stood the test of time.  A fun winter project that requires just a few supplies and a lot of imagination.


Visions of Sugar Plums - Make a Christmas Pillowcase.

“The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.”  Make a Christmas Pillowcase to make the wait for Santa a little more jolly.   There are so many adorable cotton Christmas prints it is hard to decide what to use.  I made pillowcases for the six cousins all in different prints, but each of them have the same Santa print hem.

Use a pillowcase you have on hand as a guide to determine the size. 
I used a generous 5” hem. (doubled over – so you need 11” for both sides and a seam allowance.)
Ribbon, rickrack, lace or other trims will make your pillowcase even more festive. 
Embroidery would be a fun way to personalize it even more.

A fun and easy project for the special child in your life! 
Merry Christmas!


Fleece Jewelry

I love working with fleece.  I’ve been making fleece blankets, fleece scarves and I’m working on an idea for a fleece jacket.  I had some leftover pieces of red fleece and I was fooling around with the sewing machine and look what I came up with!  A fleece brooch!  This one is perfect for the Christmas season but will work year round as well.  I found this vintage button in my Grandmother’s button box and I love the way it finishes my brooch.

• Stack two 4” squares of fleece.
• Use a straight stitch to sew a spiral beginning at the center.  Toward the outer edge, leave enough fleece unstitched so you can trim it into a circle and create a fringe. I like my spiral to be uneven and a bit wiggly. 
• Trim your piece into a circle.
• Fringe the edges.
• Sew a special button in the center.
• Attach a pin back. (A safety pin will work too)
• Fluff the fringed edges

Tips, Tricks and Variations
• Use heavy thread, like hand quilting thread, for a stronger looking stitch.
• Position the pinback at the top rather than in the center.  (In the center position it will likely flop over.)
• Accent your brooch with a colorful print yoyo instead of a button.
• Instead of a pin, sew it to a headband or a purse.


Make a Serving Tray from a Picture Frame

Make a decorative serving tray from a thrift shop picture frame and a pair of drawer or cabinet pulls.


  • Picture frame with glass
  • 2 Handles – Drawer or cabinet pulls
  • Piece of wallpaper, wrapping paper or fabric to fit tray
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam core board
  • Glazier points
  • Knobs for feet (optional)
  • Strong glue (for feet) I prefer Aquarium glue
  • Spray primer (if needed)
  • Paint for frame (if needed)
Get Started:

  • Remove backings and glass from frame.   Find center on each short side of frame and mark spots for drilling holes for handles.  (Handles may be positioned on top or on sides of frame.)  Drill holes. 
  • Clean frame thoroughly.  If necessary or desired, paint the frame. I like to start with spray primer then spray or brush on paint in your choice of color. After paint has dried, attach handles.
  • Using the glass as a template, position, mark the edges and cut the paper/fabric to size.  Mark and cut the foam core board the same size.  Brush Mod Podge onto back of paper/fabric and adhere to foam core board.
  • Now comes the fun part.  Place glass into frame, then foam core board with paper.  If necessary, add another piece of foam core board to fill up frame.  Secure all around inside edges with glazier points.  Now flip over and admire!
  • To finish up, glue “feet” on bottom of frame at each corner using a strong glue. 

Tips, Tricks and Variations:
  • I like to cover entire bottom of tray by gluing on a stiff piece of canvas.  Cut notches at corners for feet.
  • Vary your look with feet made of marbles, river rocks, twigs with bark or corks.
  • Vary your tray top with print fabric, wrapping paper or a wonderful collage of ephemera.
  • If you are not so swift with power tools, omit the handles.  Just embellish with “feet”.
  • You can try finishing your frame with antiquing glaze, milk paint wash, crackle glaze or metallic spray paint.
  • A small picture frame makes an adorable vanity tray.

I love my tray so much I keep it out on display when not in use!


An Easy Craft for Kids

Need an easy craft for kids?  Your kids can make blue mummies or make robots out of supplies you probably have on hand. This was so much fun and even my youngest crafters were feeling creative and successful.  Best of all… no mess! 

You need:
• Juice boxes and water bottles
• Blue painter’s tape
• Mailing labels
• Toothpics
• Markers

1. Drink the juice or water. 
2. Clean the container. 
3. Wrap the container with Blue Tape.
4. Draw eyes and other decorations on the mailing labels and stick them on.
5.  Make arms, antennae, etc with toothpicks.

Have fun!