Reusable Gift Bags

stripe gift bag with tag

When we were kids my Grandmother always reused her gift wrap. She would patiently open each gift, gently removing the tape piece by piece. Then she would fold it up and store it away for the next year to reuse.

This made the gift opening process take forever, as opening gifts in this manner is very, very slow. It’s also nearly impossible when you have little children.

This year, I decided to go tiny with Christmas. Tiny decorations, and tiny gifts.

Then I decided that Thrifty was almost as good as Tiny, and I spent my day making a few Reusable Gift Bags for Tiny gifts.

They were very easy to make, and inexpensive.

The great thing, is that you can reuse them and they essentially become a practical part of the gift. Just think how much money you could save without buying ribbon, tape, paper, boxes and tissue each year!

polkadot bag

These bags are sewn from scraps of fabric, or fat quarters that I had lying around. I cut the fabric pieces 7″ wide by 18″ long.

 

With right sides of fabric together, sew a 1/4″ seam on each side.

Turn down the top edge of the bag 1/4″ and stitch (FIY the sewing foot is about 1/4″ wide, so you can line your fabric up with it).

Turn the new seam edge down further, to 1″. Sew again, on top of your first line of stitching. This way you have a nice neat seam, and you won’t have to measure or pin each time.

Leave about 1/2″ of a gap between the sewn edges for the ribbon to slip through the casing.

Use a safety pin, attach the pin to the end of a 1/4″ wide ribbon. Thread the ribbon through the casing, cut and tie ends together to keep it from slipping out.

gift bags with tags

I added some greenery and berries for a festive look. The burlap gift tags came from Target, and I hope to use them again too!

 


Felted Wool Ornaments

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

I am pleased to be on the Christmas at Home blog tour sponsored by Hometalk and Country Living! I am so glad you are here!

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I have been working on a couple of tiny Christmas projects. We are in the middle of moving and I don’t have much time or space for a lot of decorating this year.

So, I decided to go tiny.

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

You have probably seen the trendy HGTV show, Tiny Houses?

Just watching that show makes me claustrophobic. I like tiny decorations, I do not like tiny houses.

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

I started my project with some rather tiny balls of wool roving. The wool is thick, unprocessed yarn, perfect for felting.

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

The first step was to make the balls by twisting the yarn around my hand, then shaping it into a ball. I used several colors of roving for some of the balls and used just one color of roving for some of the others. I used red, green, grey and winter white yarns.

After I made the balls, I used a large sewing needle to secure the end of yarn inside each ball.

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

The last step was to put the balls of yarn into a single sock and secure the open end with a rubber band or twist tie. The sock needs to be stretched tightly over the yarns ball in order to felt properly.

The balls in their socks were then washed in hot water in the washing machine with a small amount of laundry detergent. The agitation of the machine helps in the felting process. When they were done, I put them in the clothes dryer on the hot setting.

The dry balls were removed from their socks and decorated with pearl head straight pins in different colors.
<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

I used different designs for the pins including a snowflake, a star, a tree and just some random designs.

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

 

<img src="mypicture.gif" alt="felted wool ornaments">  Read more : http://wwwhttp://designerssweetspot.com/2015/12/christmas-at-home-blog-hop.html

The glass bowl sits on our coffee table and allows the balls to be admired from all angles.

Who knows, maybe going tiny for Christmas will be the trend next year.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Knitted Afghan

 

 

I interrupt your nap time with a new project.

This homemade Knit Afghan is a popular fixture at our house. Our cat Pixel has decided it’s the perfect spot to snooze the day away.

It’s the perfect spot for me too. This blanket is so warm and cozy that I kept knitting and knitting, not just because it was fun, but because it was so nice to have on my lap.

This blanket started out as a project for my son’s bed. However, I like it so much I want to keep it on the couch in the living room instead. I was inspired by a similar project in a vintage knitting book. I can’t imagine knitting a blanket big enough to cover an entire bed, but that was the general idea. I am not that ambitious.

I do love how it turned out. The neutral color is great with any decor and this yarn was a dream to work with, so soft and easy to knit. The project, although large, went together quite fast, working with the larger yarn is very satisfying because you can really see the progress you are making.

 

 

The problem was, the kitty thought this blanket was pretty nice too. Have you ever tried to knit with a 10 lb. ball of fur on your lap? It’s easier said than done. Yarn makes for a very interesting plaything, especially when it is constantly moving about. I have the scratches on my thighs to prove it.

This project is super easy, a brainless thing to do while you are watching the TV and cuddling with your cat.

Here’s how to make one:

You will need:

36″ circular needle, size 15

12 Skeins Lion Brand Wool Ease Yarn, #123 Oatmeal

 

directions:

Cast on 113 stitches.

Knit 72 rows.

Cast off, weave in ends.

Using the leftover yarn (I had about 1/2 a skein left), cut 72 pieces of fringe 8″ long. Sew into short ends of blanket, folding the yarn in half, fringe will be 4″ long when finished. Trim ends if needed.

Finished size is 70″ x 90″, without fringe.

 

 

Be prepared to share your blanket with your furry critters.

They have claws you know.

 

Reed Stool Update

stool before

I found this little Reed Stool in the trash.  Some poor soul didn’t appreciate it’s fine charm and worn patina.

I loved it right away. Oddly enough, the home that threw it away was having a garage sale. I thought the things they were selling were not even worthy of being in the trash, yet they threw away this adorable stool.

I will never understand some people.

stool legs

The stool must have been stored in the basement. It had a bit of green mold on the legs when I brought it home. I scrubbed the legs with warm water and ammonia, then left it out in the sun for a couple of days to dry.

The finish on the legs was refreshed with a bit of Ebony Minwax gel stain. They are now as good as new.

paint hodgepodge

The top of the stool needed a bit of help too. I debated for quite a while as to whether or not I even wanted to cover the faded colors that the stool had. I am just not a big fan of orange, so I opted to paint it.

I pulled out some leftover paints from my stash of products. I used Yesteryear and White Chalky Finish paint by Americana Decor, and a bit of Folk Art Acrylic paint.

painting stripes

The painting part was easy. I love to use recycled containers for pallets, here I used a plastic jar lid for mixing paint and water until it was a smooth but watery consistency. I wanted the paint to soak into the reed material instead of sitting on top of it, I love the rough texture and didn’t want to cover it 100 percent.

The watered down paint allows the water to soak into the natural fiber and still leaves enough of the color without making it look painted.

I followed the design that was originally on the stool as I painted, it wasn’t hard to do with a small brush.

 

grey and red stripes

 

The next stripe was in the grey Yesteryear paint (it’s the shade on the left). I mixed the Chalky Finish paint with a bit of water before applying it as before. The darker shade in the middle was made by adding a bit of black acrylic to the light grey for a tonal effect.

The stool didn’t take long to dry. I debated about sealing the top of the paint somehow, but decided to leave it for now. Down the road I may try a spray matt polyurethane if it begins to look worn.

These are my happy colors! I am such a sucker for anything red or grey!

finished stool

I now have a comfy place to put my feet up while knitting. This is my happy place!

Our kitty loves to sit on the stool and play with my yarn while I knit. I love that! I tried to get her to hold still for a picture, but she would not comply. Darn critter!

I have lots of big news in store for you all, can’t reveal it yet but there are some great things to come that you won’t want to miss!

Did I tell you I was voted out of the So You Think Your Crafty Competition?  It was a lot of fun, I am grateful for the opportunity to be in the competition and to have competed for 3 weeks! This project apparently didn’t go over so well! I liked it, to bad! Time to move on!

Have a wonderful day!

 

 

So You Think Your Crafty Week 3 and a Giveaway

 

 

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Here we are on Week 3 of the 8 Week So You Think Your Crafty Challenge! I am still part of the challenge, but this is bound to be the toughest week yet!

This week’s theme is “Paint”.

I love painting, but will I make the cut?

You decide! You can vote for your favorite project over at So You Think Your Crafty.

Voting will remain open until Wednesday evening at 6 pm MT.

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Last week’s winning project was Virginia with her tiny little Peg Doll Craft. Isn’t it cute? The complete tutorial is on the So You Think Your Crafty website today.

Congrats Virginia!

Here’s our giveaway link for this week! You can win a $25.00 Home Depot gift card!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f4c4f74567/