Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cuties Desktop Sorter

How to make this Cuties Desktop Sorter

This is how it will look when you are finished, this one is made my Kasey@ Life on the DIVIDE
I love cuties!  They are always so good, but some times you get that extra good box.  When you get that extra good box they are amazing.  That extra good box of amazing cuties is what keeps me buying them, over and over My house ends up with tons of empty cuties boxes because I never want to put the box in the recycle bin.  The box just looks so cute! Not to mention its way too sturdy to just toss out.  So I have been finding useful things to do with the empty cuties boxes for years now. Mostly I store half finished craft projects in them.  All the cuties boxes laying around with half finished projects in them is how I came up this great project!  A better solutions to reuse my cuties boxes. A cuties box desk shelf.

This is one of the things you can do with it. I am going to show you how you can make one for your self.

 




Step 1
Get the supplys
The best part of the project is you get to eat 3 boxes of cuties!

You need
3 empty boxes of Cuties,
scissors
wire cutters
14 Gage solid copper wire (you need 2 strips that are each 46 in long)



step2
Cut the wire
Cut the wire, in to two strips that are each 46in long.

Step 3
Cut the box!
You need to cut away the cuties logo on 1 side of two boxes.  Leaving one box alone.



Step 4
Now you have 2 boxes like this





Step 5
Thread the wire! 
When one side is threaded this is how it will look

In order to thread the wire.  Select the box that will be on the bottom.  Then thread the wire down one side, across the bottom and back up the other side.  When finished it should look like the photo above and below!


See how the long wire sticks out evenly on both sides?  Look below and make sure you make the wire look like that.




Step 7
Next step other side
See both sides should look the same


Step8
Stack the second box.
Make sure the second box you add is the one with the logo cut out.
Too add the the second box just line the wires up with the hols in the box. Then slide the box down



Step 9
The top box will be the one with both logos still on.

The 4 wires will still be sticking out the top.


Step 10
Finish the top

To finish the top off, fold the wire in, pinch the wire very tight, then cut away the excess with your wire cutters.



TA-DA! Your finished with my Cuties Desktop Sorter! You can use it for what ever you like.



Wanna see how I use mine?  Well I have mine full of random things that were just piled up on my sewing desk, homeless.  Well now they all have a home.


That was my grandmas sewing machine.


I tried to get you some great pictures

So what do you think?  I love it just like this.  With the Cuties Logo showing and all the little scuffs and scraps the box has accumulated. However if you like a more finished look that can be done too!  Maybe I will do that next week after I eat three more boxes.

I hope you will make one too!  If you do give it a try I would love to see a picture of how your cuties Desktop shelf turns out.  If you leave it like this or if you embellish it, what ever you choose, I would love to know. So if you send me a picture of how yours turns out then I will publish it on my blog for everyone to see.




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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How to refashion your skirt in to a High-Low hem skirt


Make a Hi-Low Skirt out of a circle skirt

(With pockets!)

                                

A circle skirt before and after, refashioned into a hi-low skirt
Before and After


I have this skits, nothing much is wrong with it but not much is right with it.  The main thing I love about it is that it fits!(I still have lots of baby extra baby weight)
Boring skirt I need to refashion.
  I wanted to make it into one of the new hi-low skirts.  I have never had one. so I was not sure how much I would like it.  I wanted the option to "de-refashion" it back to its original shape; (this term de-refashion was recently coined by over at cotton and curls used by )  When I red her article I thought I was the only one who did that!  

OK! Lets get started!  

Step 1
Acquire a skirt(circle skirt is what I used) to refashion.  Then lay it out flat as pictured below.




Step 2
Pinch a place in the middle, I just eyeballed it, you might want to measure. (you can also do this while wearing it or on a dress form)




Step3
Pull that pinched pice up toward teh waist band.



Step 4
PIN IT!




Step 5
Now you need to pin the rest of the front of the skirt up to the waist band. You will want to pull up a portion that works best for you.(Pin up till about your hips) 





ALL pinned up.... coming along quite well!(better than I expected). My skirt had a liner that showed I just hacked it off. Refashioning means just going with it ya know.


How to refashion a long skirt into a short in the front and long in the back skirt

Step 6
Sew the top! Remove the pins!
You have options here.  If you want the option to be able to remove the stitches later(like I did) then go with a simple stitch.  If you want this to be a premanet refashion  then you can get more fancy wiht top stitching and all that.

TA-DAAAAAAAAAA

Skirt refashioned shorter in the front, with pockets
                    This is actually another photo,  it just looks very similar,hum.  Remind me to talk to my photographer/ boyfriend about mixing things up.
DIY refashion skirt from circle skirt to Hi-low skirt


Look kids, it has pockets! Freaking POCKETS! What more can you ask for? An easy fast refashion with pockets, ahhh I am so happy.  I will be wearing this out tomorrow!


Well friends I hope this tutorial was easy for you to follow. I certainly hope you will try this one, because it is awesome!  I hope you will give it a try, adding your own special touch.  Please send me a photo of you upcycled skirts, it seriously makes my whole day. I typed this at 4:35 AM, so let me apologize for anything that may be confusing. If anything is unclear,  please send me a message and hopefully I can clearafie it for you.








Sunday, March 25, 2012

How to Felt Wool Sweaters

Tutorial on felting wool

How to make wool sweaters into felt, so you can make other crafts "like a bow"

Exhibit A

DIY Felting wool

  I have a great new tutorial all ready and I am so excited to share it with you.  This tutorial is all about how to make bows from felted wool.  Sounds freaking cool right?...Okay, well it is cool...so there!

 I spent a long time working on it, in hoped that it would turn out great. So I did all these little time consuming extras. I am talking about things like fancy picture effects, with clever little captions. See exhibit A.  (one of the lovely pictures that I spent so much time on).

 When I was all finished with my beautifully executed tutorial, about making bows with felted wool.  I excitedly rushed off to go publish my newest tutorial.  Feeling that when I pushed the publish button that I was going to be propelled into the next level of craft blogs.  After all I would be helping crafters world wide with my "bow".  Sounds ridicules now...looking back on the whole thing.

 Well just as I was about to push publish and help change the world. I was hit by a harsh realization.  I froze and my mouth fell open and I felt devastated inside. I had just realized. …"what if you don’t know how to felt wool"?

 I had just spent hours and hours of my time on a tutorial about using felted wool, with out including any directions on  how to felt wool.   My previously happy visions of you reading my tutorial with such enthusiasm, that you immediately set out making a  bunch of bows...CRUSHED.  Replaced by New visions.  Visions of you reading my tutorial with just as much enthusiasm, wanting to make just as many bows. Only you need to learn how to felt wool.  You look around my new little blog and can't find any thing on felting.  So off you go, over to a more established blog. One that will have provided easy felting directions!  Now you are gone and…never ever coming back.  I felt sad. I wanted to cry.


 But instead I pulled my self together.  I took a Valium and a few deep breaths and started out ready to fix the sad situation.  So that is how I created this post.

 

How to Felt Wool, In Case you Want to Make a Wool Bow 

Wool I felted this week

Before you can get to the fun of felting, you need to know a few things. 

First the basics  

There are a few different methods too felt wool, I am going to tell you about the method that I like, and use most often.  This method is called washing machine felting.  Felting can be a lot of fun.  You put something old into the washing machine and it comes out a new fabric just waiting to be refashioned. Once the fabric is felted it is very easy to work with.  Everything that you felt will turn out a little different, so its always a surprise.  You can have two sweaters that are both made out of 100% wool. After you felt them they will each look a little different, but still awesome.

 

 Next some tips 

Q: What can be felted?  
A: All animal fibers except silk can be felted.  AS far as mixes some will give you a very beautiful result.(My favorite mix to work with is 70% wool, 20% angora, 10% nylon!  I LOVE when I find this mix)  Myself I would not buy something for felting that is less than 70% wool.

Q: The first time I felt what should I use?
A: Starting with 100% wool is a good idea because it works the best with the least amount of work.  However the felting process is easy and you can't mess it up(well you would really have to try to mess it up) so feel free to start with what ever item you want.  

Q: Wow Kasey, how did you learn this?
A: I first learned it on acceded when I washed my first angora sweater on hot. 

Q: I need some patterns to use my felted wool on.
A: I own a great book that has directions and patterns to make all types of things with felted sweaters.  The book is called Sweater Surgery by Stephanie Girard. I recommend this book to anyone who need some more idea, or patterns.

*Side note, things can be felted other than wool (like 100% angora).  I am less familiar with other fibers.  So this article is about wool felting, but that is not all that can be felted. If you have questions about other fibers I might be able to help 

If you have any more questions please ask me because I obsessively check for questions from you.
 

Okay then, let’s get started!


Step 1

Get the wool sweater that you want to felt.  

(or what ever wool item you have selected, I am going with a sweater) I got my sweater at the local thrift store. 
Before
After



Step 2

Protect your washing machine.


Put the sweater into a pillowcase. Then twist the open end of the pillow case shut.  Secure the twisted end shut with a rubber-band.(I like the hair kind).


During the felting process a lot of fibers come off the item you are felting . They will get everywhere and make a huge mess of wool fuzz balls.  You will be cleaning out your washing machine and your laundry room for weeks. Not to mention possibly ruin your washing machine for good. So don't let the fuzziness take over! Don't skip step 2.  It is a simple step that will make the whole process a much happier one


Put the sweater into a pillow case and secure the open end with a rubber band.






Step 3 

Load the washing machine

 
Place the items(a bunch of sweaters individuality warped in pillow cases) in the washing machine. Also put a pair of jeans that will not fade into the washing machine. Agitation helps the felting process.  So adding a pair or two of jeans into the load will create more agitation. More agitation creates better felting. :)


(this step is optional but I like to do it) Add about a tablespoon of little Arm &Hammer Baking Soda,  Along with a tablespoon or two of your favorite laundry detergent.  A little soap goes a long way when working with wool.



 Step 4

Start the washer


Make sure that you use the correct settings, the names of the settings will vary depending on your machine. The settings you want are...

  • The hottest wash cycle, this starts the felting process
  • The cold rinse cycle, the cold water stops the felting process
  • The strongest agitation, agitation helps the felting, remember that is why we added the jeans
  • The longest wash cycle, This give you time to get your item fully felted





Step 5
The wash cycle  

If you just put the sweater in the washing machine on hot, then leave the washer do its thing.  Your felting project will turn out just fine.  If you are not working with 100% wool you might end up having to do the whole process again  in order to get your sweater all the way felted.

                However if you can't just let the washing machine do it's thing.  If you need to have more  control then here are a few more tips for feeling like your in charge!

Tips for people who need more control


While the wash cycle is going keep an eye on things. I do this by leaving the top open, preventing the cycle from finishing with out my permission. (Not all washing machines work this way)  Sometimes you might think that your sweater is not felted enough.  So you can  turn the dial back and let it  agitate longer, or vice versa


Step 6
FINISHING UP…

Yeah the fun part! 



Before felting


When the wash cycle is finished pull the sweaters out of the pillow cases.  Then you can either hang them to dry or put them in the dryer(this will felt them even more and I almost always put them in the dryer) If you feel you want more felting when the sweater is dry you can repeat the whole process.  An item that is less than 100% wool will often need more than one cycle of felting.

If you just put the sweater in the washing machine on hot, then leave the washer do its thing.  Your felting project will turn out just fine.  You might end up having to do this again (especially if your not using 100% wool).  







Look at this wool skirt I felted






Yeah you are all finished! Hope you enjoyed to tutorial. Let me know if you try it how it turns out.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask me.