Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pinecone Christmas Tree

Make a pine cone Christmas tree for your nature table. It's fast, easy, and fun.
First: cut two circles of felt and then glue or sew them together. This will be the base of your tree. It will keep the pine cone from falling over and act as a tree skirt.Embroider, bead, or glue the embellishments you plan to use for the skirt on now. I used some gold cording.
Glue the pine cone onto the felt using a generous amount of glue. I used a high temp glue gun for this part.Start glueing on the ornaments. Use seeds, beads, flowers, charms, sequins.. Basically what ever you can find, and don't forget the star.

Complete your Pine cone tree by adding the garland. This can be anything you can dream up. A broken chain of a necklace, tinsel, beads, ribbon, etc. I used embroidery floss. Then there you have it. A little Christmas tree for your nature table; just in time for the holiday season. Have fun!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hats and Mittens

Here is a fun project that makes a perfect gift. It adds an extra imprint of thoughtfulness because it is made by you and is still easy on the wallet. Go through your closets in search of sweaters that you no longer wear or stop at a thrift store and pick some out to fit the personalities of the people that you will be making them for. I will be making hats and mittens for a family of four this Christmas for only $15.
Turn the sweater inside out and use an old hat for a pattern. Line it up in the bottom edge of the sweater. Make sure that the back and front of the sweater are even before you cut or one side might end up being shorter than the other.
Leave at least half an inch extra when you cut around the pattern, this will be your seam allowance. Then pin the two halves together.
Use a tight zig-zag stitch to sew the two halves together. I used black thread so it would be visible in the photo. You might want to color coordinate the thread with your fabric. The knitted sweater was so loose that it kept sucking down into the machine no matter what setting it was on. To cheat I backed the fabric with tissue paper while sewing. It came right off and left no evidence once I was done. Tissue paper is a great cheat to have on hand when you have misbehaving fabric. Once sewn trim the excess fabric, turn inside right and you are done with the hat. You are half way there! Now we can move on the the mittens. Trace around your hand on a piece of paper leaving about a half of an inch extra for seam allowance. Cut the pattern out and then lay it on the inside out sleeves of the sweater. Note how I placed the pattern up a little away from the wrist of the sleeve. This will make a great cuff for your mitten and keep your wrists warm; just make sure that it is the same height on the second mitten. Cut, Sew (with zig-zag stitch like the hat), trim, turn inside right, and you are done. Fast, easy, and inexpensive gifts that are sure to be cherished because YOU made them. Have fun!