Button Bauble Bracelet

If you happen to be an unabashed button freak–like me–then, you, my darling, are about to be very happy. Perhaps even squealing with delight will be in order. Wanna play with all those buttons–you know you have a stash–and have a pretty little bracelet when you’re finished?

I thought so.

First, choose your color pallet. Mine will be pinks, purples and black…because I barely know any other colors exist.  Ask my kids.   :}

I’m using a few newer buttons and a ton of vintage ones because they are gorgeous and they’ve been cooped up long enough. It’s time they went out on the town.

All you need for this lovely project is:

A piece of 1/4 inch elastic–the size of your wrist + 3/4 inches

Some thread– I used embroidery floss because it was the perfect color and, well, I liked it.

Buttons–a little pile of them

First sew your elastic together–

by machine or by hand…either way.

Now the fun part–start sewing on those buttons. Any order. Stacked or alone. Be sure to let them overlap just the tiniest bit so that the elastic stays hidden when you wear it.

Knot each button separately so that if you ever have to replace one–it will be easy.  Keep going around the elastic until the last button meets the first.

Now then, don’t you just have the most adorable bracelet on earth? And just imagine the possibilities–a new bracelet for every outfit…quick and easy Christmas presents…thank you gifts…kids party favors…you get the picture.

And the best part is–quite likely, you didn’t spend one thin dime.

Wait–I think I hear squealing.

And rightly so.

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Gathering Color

The incredible colors of Autumn are all around us now…at last…at last.

I’ve been working on a few new colors of my own these days. Fascinating to think that all those little specks have a story of their own.

Taking bags to make…more bags does seem like a funny thing to do–if you think hard about it.

So I don’t.

It just feels good to take something that filled a purpose…

and give it another one. Only this time, it’s purpose will be much less fleeting–and be useful for years to come. And if it turns out beautiful and fun as well–that’s a big plus.

New, fun colors coming up in the shop–very soon!

Seed Paper Tutorial

I first heard of seed paper–or hand made paper that has real flower seeds embedded in the pulp itself and is actually plantable–about a year ago while browsing through a stationary catalog.  It was the coolest idea I’d ever seen–and so incredibly spring-y!

Well, who knew that you could make this funky stuff all by yourself? And dang we had a good time! These would be just perfect to include with a birthday or Christmas card–don’t you think?

First Step:

Making the Screen Frame

Here’s what you’ll need for the screen frame:

6-12 wide craft sticks–think tongue depressors

Craft glue

1 or 2 pieces of mesh or screen about 6″x6″

electrical tape

Glue four sticks together–like this.

Lay the screen over the sticks and glue in place.

Now glue two more sticks–one on the top and one on the bottom. Cut two more sticks and glue in place like this.

I rested a glass bowl over the frames to hold everything in place until the glue dried.

Your frame should look pretty much like this.

Now wrap the whole frame with electrical tape, making sure to cover all the exposed wood.

Second Step:

Making the paper pulp

Here’s what you’ll need to make the pulp:

4-6 pieces of used white computer paper, construction paper, art paper,  newspaper or junk mail

small flower seeds

water

hemp twine (optional)

ground cinnamon (optional)

dried petals (optional)

Tear the paper up into 1-2 inch pieces…

and put it in the blender. Pour in enough warm water to cover the paper.

Blend until paper turns to pulp. It looks like white oatmeal.

If you want to add cut up pieces of hemp twine–now’s the time. Whirl it up.

Have your seeds ready–but don’t add them yet. Do not put your seeds in the blender. I probably didn’t need to say that–but you never know. Ok, now fill a 9×13 glass Pyrex dish half full with warm water. Spoon enough pulp into the water to make it like a thin soup.

Now add about a couple teaspoons of the seeds. Add the crushed, dried flower petals and a sprinkle or two cinnamon–if you want.

Stir it all together.

Step #3

Making the seed paper

Dip your screen into the pulp solution. Move it around like you are panning for gold or something, until there is enough on the screen to cover it.

Push pulp from the edges of the frame onto the screen with a spoon or table knife.

Kinda like this…

Carefully tip the frame over–pulp side down…

onto a towel.

With another towel, press down on the screen to sponge out the excess water.

Press for about 1 minute.

Now gently lift off the frame. If you have to coax the paper off the frame just go slowly–nudging with a table knife if you need to.

Let your paper rest on the towel until it’s dry enough to move. Transfer to a pan and allow to dry all the way–overnight is best. If you’re in a hurry you can use a blow dryer set on low.

Once it’s completely dry, tear it carefully in half.

 


Poke or punch a hole in the top somewhere–more in the middle than mine is–and loop twine through the hole–to use as a bookmark.

Once you are finished with it you can tear it into pieces and plant it in loose, moist soil–about 1/4 to 1/2 in deep.

Now then…don’t you feel clever?

:]

 

 

Oh, do come enter our EASY “Melissa & Doug Summer Toys” $75 giveaway! We need 200 entries by June 3rd 2011. Please, please–spread the word!

 

 

Grocery Bag “Yarn”

When people see the handbags some of us carry around they never believe that we’ve made them from regular grocery bags.

I bet I’ve been asked about 65,000 times in the last few years–“How can you possibly crochet with a grocery bag?”

Consequently, this story has been told quite a bit, but never here on the blog. So, for those of you who’d like to know—this is how you do it.

Take one innocent looking grocery–the thin, noisy kind–and smooth it out flat.

Fold it in half lengthwise and smooth out again.

Fold in half again, and smooth out.

Cut off the bottom seam, and the handles at the top.

Fold in half again.

Cut the strip into 1 inch  pieces…

until you’ve cut the whole strip.

Open up the loops…

Remember making rubberband chains when you were a kid?

Well, it’s like that.

Pull one loop through the other until…

they knot together. Do this over and over and over until you’re sitting in a big pile of grocery bag yarn. Stuff it all into a bag and then–when you’re in the mood you can crochet with it–

-pretty much like yarn. No kidding.

It’s a great way to recycle those silly bags and make our own teeny tiny dent in the local land fill.

And now you know the true secret of the universe. But don’t tell anyone…or do.

Either way.

heh heh

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