Archive of ‘DIY & Crafting’ category

Make a Felt Heart Envelope

felt-valentine's-day-envelope-tutorial

I read something so inspiring yesterday on social media, a message urging people to consider Valentine’s Day as a way to spread love to people who might need it whether it’s a note, a flower or a kind word. It sounds simple, but it’s easy to get caught up in your own plans (or lack of plans) and forget that small gestures can mean so much to someone else! Today’s post is a craft tutorial that makes a perfect small gift for Valentine’s Day or any day.

After experimenting with a variety of fun ways to decorate envelopes, I made this handmade felt envelope craft to send to friends and my top blogging supporters to say Thank You. It was a little Valentine’s Day gift. Here’s how you can make your own, step by step.

Felt Handmade Envelope Coin Purse Tutorial

You’ll need: Two colors of felt, embroidery floss, scissors, needle, hot glue, buttons and thin elastic. Quick tip: instead of sewing you can use hot glue.

Step 1: Start with a diamond shape cut out of a piece of felt. The envelope can be made small or large depending on the size of your felt. The ones I made were the right size to hold a business card or some coins, and the flat edges of the diamond measured 5 1/2 inches long each.

Felt-Envelope-Tutorial-felt-size

Step 2: Fold the sides in and bottom up in preparation for sewing or gluing these edges together to form the envelope shape.

Felt-envelop-tutorial-step-1

Step 3: If sewing, pin the edge you’re not working on down to hold it until you make your way back to it. Optional: carefully trim down the pointy edge to make it flat, as in the photo below.

Felt-Envelope-Tutorial-Step-2

Step 4: Add a fastener. I did this two ways. One was to hot glue a piece of velcro. The other was to sew on a button to the envelope body and add a loop of elastic to the flap. The button looks nice, but the Velcro is easier. Take your pick.

Felt-Envelope-Tutorial-Step-3

Step 5: Hot glue on a felt heart to the top of the flap. You can experiment with using different colors of felt for different looks.

DIY felt heart envelope coin pursesAnd you’re done!  Share what you think of this tutorial in the comments and let me know if you have any questions!

Definitely check out more envelope decorating ideas, and follow along for more craft ideas on Pinterest.

DIY felt envelopes tutorial

Valentine Envelopes To Make This Year

Envelope-love-letters-DIYHomemade Happiness

They say happiness is homemade, and I am inclined to agree. Lately, I’ve been really into decorating envelopes. These were featured on Midwest Living along with more envelope decorating ideas, so you can see the full list there.

These can be used to hold homemade love notes or add an extra personal touch to your store bought cards (this card is simple and cute). You can use these techniques for any season, I just personalized these for Valentine’s Day. It’s coming up in less than a week! Don’t miss my cake banner tutorial for more Valentine’s craft inspiration.

Eco-friendly upcycled paper bag envelopes

To make this card, I unfolded a crumpled old envelope I didn’t need and then traced around it onto a grocery store paper bag like the one I used in the gift wrap tutorial. After cutting out the new envelope shape, fold the sides in, the bottom up and the top down and an envelope shape should appear! Glue the edges securely and it’s ready to decorate.

I used white acrylic paint and a brush to put a design on the front. White really pops against the unbleached paper, but you could also use a metallic sharpie or gel pen to make this job way easier. I would recommend this if you’re writing anything longer than someone’s name, since painting was a little tedious. Remember gel pens? They still sell them. I just discovered that now there’s Gelly Roll Glaze, which gives a raised design. I haven’t tried them but they look enticing.

Add a Valentine’s sticker or heart cutout to the back and you’re done!

DIY valentine's envelopesWatercolor resist envelopes

The second technique I’m sharing with you is so easy that it’s popular with kids but way more impressive looking than a children’s craft. It’s a classic watercolor resist! Use a white envelope that’s on the thicker side. You can buy watercolor paper envelopes, make your own out of cardstock following the steps above, or just pick a fairly thick commercial envelope. Using a sharp white crayon or waxy colored pencil, write the name and/or address. The hardest part of this whole process is not really knowing what you’re writing! An alternative is to use a metallic silver colored pencil.

Then do a water color wash over it with 1-3 colors that blend well together. As you can see in the photo below these envelopes are artsy without being overly feminine, which is nice if the object of your affection isn’t into hearts and lace.

DIY-watercolor-envelopesWhether you’re sending something to a special someone or every friend and loved one in your life, these card techniques add something extra. Let me know how you enjoyed these techniques and if you have any questions in the comment section below.

Products & Resources

Get started with some related tools referenced in this post:

Create your own valentine's day envelopes

3 Creative Valentine's Day Envelopes To Make/>

Valentine's Day Decor Ideas />

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String

Eco-friendly gift wrapEco-Friendly Wrapping Options

I love wrapping paper. Each year I love finding artistic paper options that aren’t typical Christmas designs (like the ones below!). But I definitely do not love throwing away the packaging after the gifts have been opened. For a few years now I’ve worked on my collection of pre-wrapped boxes that can be used year after year. There is a downside to those, and that’s storage space. This year, I experimented with the trend of minimalist, nature-inspired wrapping techniques. Here are my Eco-friendly gift wrap solutions to try.

Gift wrapBrown paper Packages, twine and greenery

They look elegant and well-designed, but these packages are covered with things you probably already have in the kitchen! All you need is brown paper, twine and greenery sprigs and you’re golden!

eco-friendly-gift-wrap-with-sprig-of-greenery“But where do you get these sprigs, Abbie?” You may be asking. Mine are taken floral arrangements. Greenery usually lasts longer than the blooms themselves, so you can  re-purpose it on your gifts. If you have a real Christmas tree you could also take a piece off of that in a place that’s not very noticeable…just throwing out ideas here!

eco-friendly gift wrappingFor the paper, I used a brown grocery bag, but you could also try newspaper or the beige paper than comes in shipping boxes. Eco-friendly twine and re-purposed ribbon tied them off. There’s something very personal about the appearance of these packages, don’t you think, like they’re designed with the recipient in mind.

Plaid and greenery: eco-friendly gift wrappingAnother option I discovered this year for re-usable gift wrap is a reusable shopping tote. They’re no more expensive than paper gift bags, and the recipient can use it again and again. I found a Minnesota-themed tote at Trader Joe’s this year and it was perfect for large gifts.

Want even more ideas? Another blogger has some for you – I especially like her idea of using last year’s Christmas cards to make tags!

What are you wrapping your gifts with this year?

eco-friendly-gift-wrapping

A Mermaid Moment

handmade-mermaid-shellsHappy Halloween! Did you dress up (or dress the kids up) this year? After a lot of work, I finally realized my dream of becoming a mermaid! Despite the amount of effort it took to create, this is actually one of the more fun craft projects I’ve completed lately. Mermaids are mystical, mysterious and really fun to portray at a party. In the end, this costume and I mermaid for each other (I just HAD to use that line and I’m not sorry about it.)

Making the Mermaid Shell Top

mermaid-halloween-diyThe most important part of a mermaid costume: the shell top! This was easily the most enjoyable part of the project. I searched until I found a purple bra, but a nude one would do just as well. In the end I covered so much of it over that it hardly mattered what color I chose. The shells are real (get natural cooking shells), painted with acrylic paint and sprinkled with glitter. I’m sure E6000 adhesive provides a stronger bond, but I used hot glue and hand stitches to put the top together. I wore the top to two parties and didn’t have a problem. I circled the shells with lace trim, added plastic pearl strands and a starfish brooch I purchased at a fundraiser this summer. I haven’t found any inexpensive starfish pins since, but if I do I’ll update this post with a link.

Making the Mermaid Skirt

mermaid-halloween-diy-costumeOne of the things I’m most proud of about this costume is that I was able to upcycle some items I already had on hand to make it! I’m not personally comfortable creating a lot of waste with my costumes. The base of this skirt is actually a navy pencil skirt from my closet. I simply covered it with 5/8 yard of sequin material with hand sewn stitches. This was way easier for me than sewing a skirt from scratch. An added plus is that the skirt underneath provides a lining for the see-through sequin fabric. The fin part of the skirt is a child’s skirt sewed to the bottom of the sequin portion. You could gather and sew your own fin fabric, but the skirt came with built in elastic that made walking a little easier.

Making a mermaid hair clip

mermaid-halloween-hair-ornamentMermaids can be any color scheme. At one party I attended this weekend I met a beautiful mermaid with a handmade costume of her own in aqua and teal (even her hair). I wanted my costume to be very recognizable, so I went with coloring inspired by the iconic Little Mermaid Ariel: purple shells, green scale skirt, red hair and a little nod to her dinglehopper fork. This hair clip is made of 4 oval pieces of felt. The fork is a miniature plastic hors d’oeurve fork from a party store.

This whole project was super fun to create and I’m thrilled to share it with you all! Feel free to contact me with any questions about how this was made in the comments.

mermaid-costume-diy

The Creative Magic of Die Cuts & MN Blog Con Preview

die cut storage ideasThanks to Hefty for sponsoring today’s post.

About a year ago, I got access to a die cut machine. It’s a tool that uses molds to cut paper shapes out, and these shapes are perfect for uses in children’s crafts, card making and scrapbooking. And for about a year, I’ve been storing these little cutouts so they are ready for the occasions to use them.

On Saturday, I’m presenting at the Minnesota Blogger Conference and I’m totally using these cutouts in my workshop. Everyone who attends my session is going to get one of these to use in a creative exercise. I’m so excited to meet some other local bloggers and share ideas with them on my topic, Getting Unstuck: Using Writer’s Block to Your Creative Advantage!

In the meantime, I found a great solution for storing these little cutouts. Because once you have over 100 of these paper shapes, you start looking for die cut storage ideas beyond stuffing them in a box, which is how mine were for a while! I picked up a box of Hefty® Slider Bags at Walmart so I can easily sort and transport them. And since the brand is a sponsor for this post, I’m sharing a special offer for savings on slider bags.

Die cut storage Check out more clever ideas for crafts and recipes as well as household hacks.

And if you’re going to the Blogger Conference, make sure to say hi!

die cut storage solutionsOne thing I noticed while shopping is that they’re actually less expensive than Ziploc, plus you get the strength of the MaxLock® track design. These are not flimsy bags. They feel sturdy and could handle storage for crafts a lot heavier than my die-cuts. That’s just what I happened to have an urgent need for this week, since the blog conference is coming up fast!

Happy crafting! If you have a storage hack to share this fall, leave it in the comments.

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