7 DIY Tips: Crochet Snowflake Ornaments

If you make crochet decorations for your home, it is worth to know these 7 tips of how to achieve good result when stiffening your crochet ornaments.

My crocheted white snowflake ornaments are fixed with small magnets on our Magnet Frame for Art, while BIG DARK BLUE SNOWFLAKES are attached to the wall. These dark crochet snowflakes catch the attention, and also accent the decoration of white snowflakes on the dark magnet frame. The biggest DARK SNOWFLAKE is 26 cm in diameter, while the smallest WHITE SNOWFLAKE (on the very left down corner of the frame) is 8 cm in diameter.

As these snowflakes are made to be put on the flat surface, they are 2 dimensional. But it is also possible to use the same patterns for making 3 dimensional snowflakes for hanging them. If you are want to know how – see this tutorial about making 3D Crochet Snowflakes that make excellent gifts and ornaments.

TIPS OF HOW TO STIFFEN 2 DIMENSIONAL CROCHET ORNAMENTS:

TIP 1: Draw a graph that includes the most important beams of your snowflake. You can draw it either directly on the carton box or on the separate sheet that you attach to the box (picture 1).
My snowflakes have 6 symmetric beams with small decorations between them, so my graph has 12 regular beams. I have also marked the circles as reference points for fixing all meaningful points of snowflake at correct distance from the center.

TIP 2: Wrap the carton box in the plastic (picture 1).
If you plan to use the same plastic wrap layer for drying several snowflakes one after another – check after taking off snowflake, if the surface of plastic is clean enough to pin the next snowflake on it. If it is not – you risk to end up with next dry snowflakes containing excess dry glue from previous snowflakes. If you see that dried glue residue is kind of big – put another layer on plastic on top of this layer.

TIP 3: There are several methods to stiffen ornaments. I have been using fabric stiffener or mix of white glue with water 1:1 (this option certainly is much cheaper and achieves the same result as store bought stiffener).
If you apply this mix on your COLORFUL ornaments, you will see that glue mix makes your ornaments look white (picture 1). Do not worry – when glue dries, it becomes transparent (picture 2).

TIP 4: If you work with WHITE or LIGHT COLOR Snowflake Ornaments – make sure you use steel pins that have no rust and would not get rusty. Not paying attention to this detail might cost you getting a snowflake that has rusty spots on it. (Nobody likes yellow snow, right?…).

TIP 5: If you are stiffening BIG ORNAMENTS then you need a big surface to do it. Carton box is good. When putting several ornaments on it at the same time – it turns out that there are only 3 sides of the box (picture 3) that can be used (so that no ornament would be underneath the box, while pinning the next ornament on the top side).

For making 3D crochet ornaments – see this post about making 3D CROCHET ORNAMENTS where you can find more useful tips for creating unique gifts and decoration items.

TIP 6: The thicker the yarn of your ornaments, the more glue you will need for stiffening them, and the longer time to dry is necessary. These ornaments (pictures 4-6) were left to dry overnight, while the smallest white snowflakes needed only 5 hours to dry.

TIP 7: Stiffened crochet ornaments, even those that are attached to flat surface might change their shape with time – depending on the temperature and humidity of the air. You can always correct their shape by twisting them with your hands into desired shape. If you want to store 2 dimensional ornaments – make sure they are laying flat in covered box and have plastic between them.

The most wonderful thing about crocheted ornaments is that the possibilities are endless – one can create new shapes and images that fit own mood and design wishes.

If you like to make STATEMENT DECORATIONS for your home – you might also find inspiring this tutorial about making UNIQUE CROCHET ORNAMENT LAMPSHADE.

And if you enjoy crocheting BIG THINGS, then there is a tutorial for making GIANT CROCHET GARLAND WITH CRYSTALS that attracts attention from your visitors and creates rainbow reflections when sun shines through your window.

Are there some more tips on this subject that you can add? If so – please, leave a comment! Need a help with working on your crochet project – do let me know!

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Recycle DIY: Giant Crochet Garland Decoration

Do you want some inspiration for making a STATEMENT DECORATION PIECE for winter season at your home? If you are curious, then read on!

I love GIANT DECORATIONS and I love crystals. I enjoy crocheting with HUGE hook and BIG yarn – it goes SO FAST! Even better when doing it with RECYCLED materials which means LOW COSTS or NO COSTS.

And once the crystals are hanging in the window – sun rays shining through them make wonderful rainbow spots on walls, floor and ceiling that cheer up anybody who sees them. Having a GIANT DECORATION in the right place – one can be sure to have made a statement. (We get comments on our garland from every visitor.)
I made our giant garland last year for Christmas time. I thought that during the year I would take the crystals off to use for some other decoration project. Luckily, that was not necessary and crystals remained attached to garland. This year I was very happy to get my garland darling up again. This time on other window – by our dining table, and next to our huge Advent calendar that contains our photos of the nicest memories of year 2011.

MATERIALS NEEDED TO MAKE GIANT CROCHET GARLAND:

A. Old t-shirts or any other jersey type of fabric that you don’t need anymore. It even can be synthetic – for garland that suits very well. (I used white color T-shirt yarn to achieve snowflake look). Or you can also use any white color yarn scraps left over from other projects – they can be of different texture, shade etc. Just put them together to create a thick yarn.
B. Crochet hook – the thicker the yarn, the bigger crochet hook is needed. (My crochet hook was size 9mm, but it was not big enough for my yarn, so I had to crochet loosely.)
It is a BIG PLEASURE to crochet with huge hook and yarn – it goes so FAST! :-)
C. Crystals (real or fake) from old chandelier or Christmas decorations, or jewelry that nobody wears.
D. Thread and needle to attach the crystals to garland.
E. Pins or strings to fix the garland to the wall or curtain rod.

STEPS OF CREATING GIANT CROCHET SNOWFLAKE GARLAND:

Step 1: Make yarn from the t-shirt or jersey fabric. Or – put together those scrap yarns that you have chosen.
There are many places on Internet that show how to make yarn from t-shirt. There is a good tutorial on Craft Passion.
Step 2: Choose crochet edge pattern that you like. (I took mine from some 30 years old crochet magazine where it was described as decorative edge for curtains.)
If necessary – adjust the pattern to your wishes – the length and how you want it to look. (In my pattern

I changed some details to make the lace look more like a row of snowflake halves, and added additional chain stitches between the main motives to increase the length of whole garland.
Step 3: Crochet the garland.
Step 4: Sew  or tie the crystals to the garland.
Step 5: Use pins or strings to hang up the garland in the chosen place.

Ta Daa – garland is ready! :-)

If you like to make statement decorations for your home – you might also find inspiring this tutorial about making Unique Lampshade.
And if you enjoy crocheting snowflakes, then there is a tutorial for making 3 Dimensional Snowflakes that attract a lot of attention and make WONDERFUL GIFTS even for the most spoiled family members or friends who already have nearly everything.

What are your favorite decoration items for your home?

Posted in Crochet, Decorate, Recycle & Repurpose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Make 3D Crochet Snowflake Ornament: DIY Tutorial

You can make an EXCELLENT GIFT and IMPRESSIVE DECORATION with these crocheted 3 dimensional snowflake ornaments, embellished with pearls and crystals. The receiver usually is very impressed by the beauty of such individually made gift- the delicate work, three dimensions, shining pearls and crystals. People look at them as if they were magical winter butterflies.
If you like to crochet, then making these ornaments is a very enjoyable, even meditative process that results in One Of A Kind Masterpiece.
I have given these snowflakes gifts to my family and friends, and I have always received only the nicest feedback. I have learned that such present is great for those people for whom one simply can not find the right gift or who already have nearly everything imaginable…

SEE FEW MORE INSPIRING IDEAS:

Before you start doing your 3D crochet snowflake, you can find some more inspiration when seeing CONTRASTING SNOWFLAKES with more tips on stiffening crochet ornaments.

If you would like to see another idea for crocheting a special item – check out this tutorial for making Unique Lamp Shade which might inspire you for new creations.

If you enjoy crocheting and would like to make a statement decoration for your home – see this GIANT GARLAND WITH CRYSTALS – new ideas for home decoration.

MATERIALS NEEDED TO MAKE THIS 3D SNOWFLAKE:

A. White Yarn and appropriate size Crochet Hook. The more delicate the yarn, the more delicate the snowflake will be. (The thread I used was very thin, so I doubled it, and crocheted with hook UK size 4.)
B. White Glue (to make stiffener with water 1:1) and Brush.
C. Silver Thread for embellishment.
D. Pearls and Crystals to decorate.
E. Carton Box, Stainless Pins, Carton Box, Plastic Wrap.

Below you can see the detailed tutorial for my crochet pattern and the description of snowflake’s stiffening and assembling process.

Abbreviation: ch= chain stitch, sl st= slip stitch, sc= single crochet, dc= double crochet, hdc= half double crochet, tc= treble crochet, tc2tog= treble crochet two stitches together, p=picot, st= stitch, lp= loop.

CROCHET PATTERN FOR SNOWFLAKE:

Row 1: cs 4, sl st 1 in first cs (picture 1).
Row 2: cs 1, *sc 1 in 1st row loop, p 1*, repeat *…* 5 times, sl st in this row’s first cs (picture 2).
Row 3: cs 8, skip 2nd row’s 1st sc and picot, then dc 1 in the 2nd sc of 2nd row, *cs 5, skip last row’s picot, then dc 1 in next sc of previous row*. Repeat *…* 4 times, cs 5, sl st in the 3rd cs of the loop at the beginning of this row (picture 3).

Row 4: cs 3, tc 1 in the same st where row 3 ended, *cs 1, dc 1 in the 1st loop of the 3rd row, hdc 1 in the same loop, sc 1 in the same loop, hdc 1 in the same loop, dc 1 in the same loop, cs 1, tc2tog in the dc of the 3rd row*. Repeat *…* 4 times, cs 1, dc 1 in the last loop of the 3rd row, hdc 1 in the same loop, sc 1 in the same loop, hdc 1 in the same loop, dc 1 in the same loop, cs 1, then sl st in the 3rd cs of the beginning of row 4 (picture 4).

Row 5: cs 3, tc 1 in the same st where row 4 ended, *cs 4, sl st in the last tc of this row, cs 7, sl st in the 4th cs from hook, cs 3, sl st in the same tc as before, cs 4, sl st in the same tc as before, cs 5, skip dc and hdc or previous row, then sc 1 in the 1st sc of row 4, then cs 4, sl st in the last sc, sc 1 in the same sc of previous row where last sc was crocheted, cs 5, skip the 4th row´s next hdc and dc, then tc2tog 1 in the tc2tog of row 4*. Repeat *…* 4 times, then cs 5, skip dc and hdc or previous row, then sc 1 in the sc of row 4, then cs 4, sl st in the last sc, sc 1 in the same sc of previous row where last sc was crocheted, cs 5, then sl st in the top of the first tc of this row. Pull thread through the last loop and cut it off (picture 5). Snowflake is finished!

To make 3D snowflake you need to crochet 3 snowflakes of the same pattern.

You can either use the snowflake pattern I have provided above or choose the snowflake pattern that you like. There are many websites and blogs that provide patterns for crocheted snowflakes. For example, Snowcatcher’s pattern directory offers a wonderful choice of beautiful snowflakes.

STEPS OF HOW TO MAKE 3D CROCHET SNOWFLAKE:

STEP 1: Crochet 3 identical snowflakes.

STEP 2: Make mix of white glue and water 1:1 to stiffen the snowflakes. Put your snowflakes on the plastic and apply the mix of glue so that the whole snowflake on both sides would soak through with it (picture 6).

STEP 3: Take carton box (I used big shoe box) and wrap it in plastic. Then fix with pins 1 snowflake flat in the bottom on the box. Make sure you fix it in its correct, regular shape. (If necessary you can sketch the graph of regular spider net with 6 beams – on the box below the plastic, so you can see where exactly each part of the snowflake needs to be pinned to get its regular shape.)

The other 2 snowflakes – each of them you will need to fix over the edge of the box where they need to be folded at 90 degree angle. You need to fold them at the line which you choose to be the central line for 3d snowflake. Both snowflakes need to be folded on the same line (picture 7). Make sure to fix them in the regular shape. If necessary use the graph on the box. Let dry overnight.

STEP 4: Remove dry snowflakes from the box. Now you have 1 flat snowflake which is completed and 2 snowflakes that are folded at 90 degree angle. These two snowflakes need to be bent more: to 60 degree angle. Gently press them with your fingers until they remain in 60 degree angle.
You can see on the picture 8 that one snowflake is flat; snowflake on the left side is still at its original 90 degree angle; while snowflake on the right is bent to 60 degree angle as it should be. You need both of them to be at 60 degree angle.

STEP 5: This step you can do or skip – as you prefer. I like to embellish all 3 snowflakes around their outer edge with silver thread that adds additional sparkle and looks very delicate and beautiful on the 3D snowflake. It shines nicely when the finished snowflake is hung up and turns.
To do it, I thread the needle with silver thread and wrap it around the outer edge of each snowflake.

STEP 6: Join all 3 snowflakes together. The flat snowflake is the central snowflake. Take the 1st folded snowflake and fix it with the thread (I use the silver thread) at the both ends of its folding line to the flat snowflake at the line which is the same as the folding line on the folded snowflake. Take the other folded snowflake and attach it to the other side of the flat snowflake at both ends of the folding line.

STEP 7: This step you can do or skip (if you are happy with the shape of your 3d snowflake, where all its edges are 60 degrees away from each other). To ensure that snowflake really keeps all of its 60 degree angles and also to decorate it more – I like to add 6 pearls – 1 pearl in the middle of each of 60 degree angles (picture 9).
To do it, I thread the needle with elastic thread or with very strong thread, and pierce it horizontally through the middle line of the snowflake, adding each pearl in its folded angle. When I have added the last pearl in its place, I join the ends of the thread together so that all 6 pearls would hold in a nice circle right in the middle of the snowflake (picture 9).

STEP 8: Attach (silver) thread as loop on the top of the snowflake to be able to hang it. And other thread at the bottom of snowflake (picture 10). You can decorate this down thread with different pearls and crystals – it will look like an icicle and will be beautiful on the hanging snowflake (see the picture above with 3 snowflakes).

Enjoy the result of your work – for decorating or for giving it as a gift! :-)

If you enjoyed this tutorial – you might also find inspiring this tutorial about making Unique Lampshade. And if you enjoy crocheting lace, then there is another idea for using it for a different kind of lampshade.

Let me know if you have any questions about this tutorial!

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Advent Calendar for Two Adults

I have NEVER EVER had an Advent Calendar. Really, never. Not even one. I grew up in  the country where (until I was 9) it was prohibited to celebrate Christmas. Somehow, our family celebrated anyway, but in secret. Without gifts. Politicians wanted us to exchange gifts during the New Year celebration.

When country regained independence we could again celebrate Christmas. And we did. Like our ancestors used to do it – celebrating Solar Solstice when the Sun would make the days grow longer again.
That meant, we, kids, would dress up in whatever costumes one could master at home. Then we would gather, agree what folk songs we would sing (teach each other very fast), and decide which one of us would carry The Basket. We would then go around the village and ring the door bells. When the door was opened, we would enter and sing those folk songs. People would sing along. We were also dragging a big piece of wood with us, that we would roll around the home of hosts to take away from them all the bad luck they could have had there. And then we would be given treats. Some of people whom we had visited dressed up as well and joined us. Our crowd kept growing from home to home. And so we would go on, searching for next victims hosts to torture (so they would feed us) entertain and bring joy to. Late in the night, we would burn that big piece of wood so that all the bad luck and evil would be gone for good, then we shared the content of the Big Basket among ourselves and went home. Happy, satisfied and thinking how much fun it had been.

Some years passed and God was again legal in my country, so was Christian Christmas tradition. The traditions of our ancestors remained alive as well. Somehow, both of those contradictory traditions managed to coexist peacefully, for good.

However, I think I learned about the existence of Advent Calendar only after I was 20. Still, I never had one.
This year I have spent a lot of inspiring time craft-surfing Internet where I have seen many wonderful ideas about Advent Calendars. It finally occurred to me that this is The Year When There Finally Gonna Be Advent Calendar in my home.
Among all the great online inspirations these three blogs inspired me to have Advent Calendar with photos: deliacreates.blogspot.com and Mike from bluevelvetchair.blogspot.com. Seeing Nina´s post about her cards on her blog blog.stylizimo.com gave me some ideas that I could decorate my photos with embroidering.
This is the result of those combined inspirations:

Here is what I did to create the Advent Calendar that you can see on the above pictures.

I took the huge golden frame that we had. I used golden acrylic paint to draw the numbers on the envelopes. Then I dug out the wooden pegs, as well as pieces of brown and cream lace ribbons from my thrift store visits. I selected the best moments that were captured on our photos from year 2011, and got them printed out. Finally, I used a big marker to write on almost every photo a note, then roughly embroidered pictures with golden thread.

When my husband came home, he helped me to put up three lines of ropes inside the frame. Then we fixed the envelopes with pegs on the ropes, and wrapped a garland of Christmas lights around it.
This calendar hangs right next to our dining table, so we can enjoy those wonderful moments of 2011 every morning and evening. This year I am the one who knows the contents of envelopes, while my husband discovers them one per day. And I am as surprised as he is when he takes out the photo of the day, because I have already forgotten what I had put in. It has been such a rich and adventurous year, full of many discoveries, lessons and blessings. And next year I will put our Advent Calendar up timely :-)

What are your Christmas stories?

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Knitted Wrist Warmers: DIY Tutorial

My sister asked me: “Could you knit for me those “pipes for hands” that you gave me last year, please?” Those were green, this season she wanted to have white ones to match her new hat.  I clarified if she meant wrist warmers, which she did, just could not remember how they were called. What choice does a big sister have after such request? Right, she knits pipes for hands. If you also want to knit some pipes for hands, here is a tutorial of how I made these.
I used 5 needles of size 3mm, 1 cable needle, 1 ball of yarn, crochet hook of size 3.
I knitted cable pattern on needles 2&3, while for needles 1&4 I used simple combination of Knit 1 & Purl 2 (picture 3). The only detail – instead of Knit on Needles 1 & 4, I knit through the back loop which made the knit look nicer. However, that is the matter of taste. My cable pattern was rather loose to create relaxed texture. I made cable knitting only in every 21st row. For comparison with more dense cable knit you can see picture 18 where blue wrist warmers have cable knit done in every 12th row.

Detailed tutorial of how to knit these wrist warmers is below pictures.

PATTERN FOR CABLE KNITTED WRIST WARMERS knitted in circle, SIZE S\M:

Abbreviation for knitting: K= Knit, P= Purl, Ktbl= Knit Through Back Loop.
Crochet terms used as in U.S.

CAST ON 46 STITCHES on 4 needles put together, (it gives enough yarn at the beginning row to accommodate the size of hand) and distribute them on 4 knitting needles as follows: Needle 1 gets 13 stitches, Needle 2 with 10 stitches, Needle 3 with 10 stitches, Needle 4 with 13 stitches. Start knitting with Needle 1 by using Needle 5.

ROWS 1-5; 7-26; 28-47; 48-57; 60-68; 70-78:
Needle 1: P 1, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2.
Needles 2 & 3: K 10.
Needle 4: P 2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P 1.

ROW 6, 27, 48, 69:
Needle 1: P 1, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2.

Needle 2: Slip next 5 stitches to cable needle & hold this needle in BACK (picture 4), Knit 5 (picture 5), then Knit 5 from cable needle (picture 6). When cable pattern knitting on Needle 2 is completed it looks as on picture 7.

Needle 3: Slip next 5 stitches to cable needle & hold this needle in FRONT, Knit 5 (picture 8), then Knit 5 from cable needle. When cable pattern knitting on Needle 3 is completed it looks as on picture 9.

Needle 4: P 2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P 1.

ROW 58 for RIGHT hand:
Needle 1: P 1, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2.
Needles 2 & 3: K 10.
Needle 4: P 2, Ktbl 1, P 1, bind off next 6 stitches, P 1, Ktbl 1, P 1.

ROW 58 for LEFT hand:
Needle 1: P 1, Ktbl 1, P 1, bind off next 6 stitches (picture 10), P 1, Ktbl 1, P2.
Needles 2 & 3: K 10.
Needle 4: P 2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P 1.

ROW 59 for RIGHT hand:
Needle 1: P 1, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2.
Needles 2 & 3: K 10.
Needle 4: P 2, Ktbl 1, P 1, Cast on 6 stitches, P 1, Ktbl 1, P 1.

ROW 59 for LEFT hand:
Needle 1: P 1, Ktbl 1, P 1, Cast on 6 stitches (pictures 11 & 12), P 1, Ktbl 1, P2.
Needles 2 & 3: K 10.
Needle 4: P 2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P2, Ktbl 1, P 1.

ROW 79Needle 1: Bind off all 13 stitches.
Needles 2 & 3: Bind off all 10 and 10 stitches.
Needle 4: Bind off all 13 stitches, then use the loop from binding off the last stitch as beginning loop to start crocheting the edge (picture 13).

CROCHET ROW 1 (pictures 14 & 15): chain stitch 3, then double crochet in the same place where the first chain stitch began. *Skip next 3 stitches, then double crochet 2 times in the 4th stitch, chain stitch 2, double crochet two times in the next stitch*. Repeat 7 times from * till *. Then double crochet 2 times in the stitch right at the end of the row, chain stitch 2, slip stitch in the 3rd chain stitch of the beginning of the row.

 

CROCHET ROW 1 (pictures 14 & 15): chain stitch 3, then double crochet in the same place where the first chain stitch began. *Skip next 3 stitches, then double crochet 2 times in the 4th stitch, chain stitch 2, double crochet two times in the next stitch*. Repeat 7 times from * till *. Then double crochet 2 times in the stitch right at the end of the row, chain stitch 2, slip stitch in the 3rd chain stitch of the beginning of the row.

CROCHET ROW 2 (pictures 16 & 17): chain stitch 3, then double crochet in the same loop of previous row´s loop that was formed by 2 chain stitches, where 2nd row´s 3 chain stitches began. *Double crochet 2 times in the next loop formed by previous row´s 2 chain stitches, chain stitch 2, double crochet 2 times in the same loop*. Repeat 7 times from * till *. Then double crochet 2 times in the loop at the end of Row 1 – the same loop where first double crochet of Row 2 was done, then chain stitch 2 and slip stitch in the 3rd chain stitch of the beginning of Row 2. Pull yarn once again through the last loop, cut the yarn and finish the wrist warmer by hiding the ends of yarns on both sides of wrist warmer.
CONGRATULATIONS – THIS WRIST WARMER IS COMPLETED!

Let me know if you have any questions about this tutorial!

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How To Make Magnet Frame for Art: DIY Tutorial

Magnet frame for art has a look of canvas frame and makes it very easy to change art on it in few minutes.

When designing own home one CAN choose the FRAME and THE CONTENT of what to put into it! I love variety. I love to change the looks of the walls that surround me. And I like BIG things. My collection of drawings (most of them 100x70cm) keeps growing. And I like changing the pictures to be fast and easy, without effort of putting up/taking off the heavy picture frames (that also require a storage space when they are not on the wall).
SOLUTION?! Make a wooden frame that looks like canvas (see picture 5 on tutorial below), cover it with magnet paint. Then use small, strong and cute magnets to attach paper and fabric art.

You can see here, how this FRAME GETS A NEW LOOK for Christmas season when it has WINTER DECOR.

 

MATERIALS NEEDED TO MAKE MAGNET FRAME FOR ART:

A. Magnet paint, brush and painting roll (picture 1).
B. Strong and cute magnets (we used disc magnets, diameter & height 5 mm, strength of 900g). We bought them online from www.supermagnete.ch
C. Wooden board in the size of desired frame (as most of my art is 100×70 cm big, I wanted to have frame that is at least 8cm bigger on each side from the painting, so my board is 116x86cm and 0.5 cm thick).
D. Wooden borders (4 pieces) to create the effect of canvas, 2 of them fitting the length of the board, 2 of them fitting the width of the board. (So, 2 of mine are 116 cm long, 2 others are 86 cm long, all are 4.6 cm wide and 1.8 cm thick).
E. Hooks for hanging picture frame (amount depends on how you prefer to hang it – I used 2 hooks) and wire (picture 4).
F. Saw, glue for wood, and soft padding circles to protect the wall.

Description of how to make magnet frame for easy-to-change-art is below pictures.

Tutorial of how to make Magnet Frame for Art with style.STEPS OF WHAT WE DID TO MAKE MAGNET FRAME FOR ART:

1. He cut off triangles at 45 degree angle from both sides of edges of wooden borders, so that when putting together every two borders they would form a 90 degrees angle fitting edges of main wooden board (picture 2)

2. He glued each border to the edge of wooden board (picture 3), fixing them with screw clamps until glue dried.

3. Then board and its borders got covered with magnet paint (picture 5). We needed at least 5 coats of magnet paint, to be sure that magnets would hold the heavy paper on the board. After each layer of paint dried, we tested the strength of how well magnets held the heavy paper to the board. Our wish was to have black frame (it fits the style of our living room), so we were done with painting as soon as the last layer of magnet paint had dried. But if we would have liked to have our art frame in other color – we would at first need to make magnet paint layers even stronger, and would paint the board with at least two more layers.

4. He inserted hooks for hanging the picture and connected them with wire. Then he glued protective padding circle on each corner of frame´s other side to protect the wall against scratches (picture 4).

Magnet frame for art has a look of canvas frame and makes it very easy to change art on it in few minutes.

5. We placed the painting on the frame and attached it with our super magnets at regular distances. I wanted to create a look as if the painting was nailed to the frame. For the painting you see on the pictures (size 100×70 cm) we needed 40 magnets, so that they would hold the hard paper close to the frame and it would look as part of canvas frame (pictures 5-7).
One can also play with arranging the magnets otherwise – arrange many of them in some place, and use fewer in some other place, or incorporate them inside the painting.

And the job was done! Changing the picture now takes me only 2 minutes! I just love it…
We play with the looks of our room simply by changing the art or decoration on this magnet frame or around it. As in this example for Winter Ornament Display.

Let me know if you have any questions about this tutorial! What do you think about this way of displaying art? Any suggestions for making the best use of it?

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How To Make Coffee Table Ottoman: DIY Tutorial

REAL COMFORT be it! It means: WE NEED MORE THAN A COFFEE TABLE and we want to use RECYCLED, REPURPOSED and CHEAP MATERIALS. We need a coffee table with sturdy surface, but SOFT enough to serve us as ottoman TO REST our feet while reading, handcrafting or watching a movie. It needs to be BIG enough to accommodate not only 2-3 pairs of feet, but also a tray with drinks and snacks. We want it to be MOBILE so we can push it aside when freeing up space in the room for yoga workout. We want it to SERVE US as table, when we sit on the floor around it and enjoy indian style meal. And once there is a bigger party – we want it to be a BIG BENCH for up to four guests. And we love VARIETY, so we want it to be EASY to change the covers of our multifunctional furniture Darling whenever we feel like having a fresh look.

MATERIALS NEEDED TO MAKE COFFEE TABLE OTTOMAN (picture 1):

A. Four feet – (we used cheap Ikea candle holders bought on sale few months ago).
B. Wheels (make sure they can hold the weight you plan to place on ottoman).
C. Wooden board in the size of ottoman surface (we got ours in hardware store).
D. Soft foam cushions for the surface area (we used sofa cushions from thrift store).
E. Batting fabric. Length and width that covers= the top of ottoman + 2 x side of it + 5 cm (2″). In our case the shape of ottoman was square, and the length and width of batting fabric was 80+2×16+5=117 cm (46″)
F. Fabric for surface that needs to cover the batting fabric, foam cushion and be attached with staples to the wooden board with wheels. The length and width of this fabric is 5 cm (4″) bigger than of batting fabric.
G. Staple gun and staples.
H. Drill and screws (to attach the feet and wheels).
I. Velcro tape with length of 4 edges of top, and fabric for making the changeable cover.

Step by step description of how to make mobile Coffee Table Ottoman is below pictures.

STEPS OF WHAT WE DID TO MAKE MOBILE COFFEE TABLE OTTOMAN:

1. We He drilled the holes in feet (picture 2), and attached the wheels with screws to the feet (picture 3).

2. I marked the places on the board where I wanted feet to be, so it would look good. He drilled the holes in the opposite side of feet from wheels, and also on the bottom of the board (making sure that drill did not reach the surface of the board). He fixed the feet with screws to the board. The basis of the ottoman was done (picture 4).

3. We wanted to have quite a big surface for ottoman table (80×80 cm). The width of our cushions was not enough. We had to join two cushions, but needed to cut one of them, so that together they would form the square. To be able to make a nice and straight cut, he used the straps to attach the cushions to the board, put the painter´s tape on the cushion that was over the edge of the board to mark the straight line for cutting, and then cut the straight line with the saw (pictures 5, 6 & 7).

4. I used 3 wide fabric straps from old bed sheet to fix both cushions together. And one more fabric strap I put across those three straps, right on the joining line, so that this line would not be noticeable on the finished furniture (picture 8).

5. It was time to fix the cushion to the board. I put the top fabric on the floor, then put the batting fabric on it, then cushion on top of them. And finally – I put the board upside down (picture 9). Everything needed to be centered.

6. Then I folded 2.5 cm (0.5″) of the white fabric so it would cover the edges of batting fabric (in picture it is pinky). Then I attached both fabrics with staple gun to the board (picture 10). And our new Coffee Table Ottoman Darling was completed (picture 11). But it was bare. It wanted needed to be given some nice outfit.

 7. To be able to change the covers in easy way, I stapled the sticky part of velcro tape near the edges of the bottom of our new Darling. The other part of velcro tape, the soft part, I sewed near the inner edges of the cover (picture 12). Now it is very easy to put on and take off the cover. When cover is put on- it is well fixed to the ottoman (picture 13).
Making the cover depends on the type of cover one wants to have. Therefore, these tutorials will be explained separately.

It is time to enjoy a cup of hot tea, freshly baked cinnamon buns, and watch a nice movie (picture 14).

If you want to get one more inspiration for making COFFEE TABLE – check out this tutorial about making yourself LACE PAINTED COFFEE TABLE from recycled materials.

Let me know if you have any questions about this tutorial!
What is your furniture darling that serves you well while “…staying at home for REAL COMFORT”?

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How To Make Unique Lampshade: DIY Tutorial

bohemian crochet lampshade tutorialWould you believe that this lampshade is made of UPCYCLED, LEFT OVER and REPURPOSED MATERIALSbead garlands that had been used for Christmas tree decorations, left over golden thread from gift wrapping in previous years and yarn scraps in different colors.

There was no plan of how to make this lampshade. I only wanted to play with colors, shiny materials and be free when allowing my imagination to fly. It took me some time to realize that what limited me during my play was the thought at the back of my head: “But what will people think about this craziness I am creating here? They will think I have lost any sense of taste or reality…” Those thoughts drained my joy and tied my hands. Soon I figured out it was a wrong attitude and very limiting frame towards my creation process and mood. I decided to stretch my comfort zone and stop caring about the possible opinions of others. So and what if I would be seen as a weirdo who creates shiny rubbish?

This lampshade is my story of playing freely and being detached from the outcome and evaluations. Making this lampshade was The Journey of Pure Egoistic PLEASURE and FUN.

I enjoyed tearing off the fabric from the thrift store lampshade. I had lots of fun when playing with gold bead garlands that I was wrapping around the lamp´s carcass. And it certainly was such a pleasure and meditation to crochet all those different motives of flower shapes that would fill the panes of lampshade.

crochet unique lampshade tutorial diy

STEPS OF HOW I MADE THIS LAMPSHADE:

1. I tore off fabric and ribbons from lampshade, cleaned it from glue residue (picture 1).

2. I wrapped gold beaded garlands around the carcass. (I chose gold color because the foot was with some golden parts.) My garlands from thrift store were of different length and shade. For crazy lampshade such variety of golden color was fine. At first I needed to be sure I had enough of garlands, so after wrapping each piece, I fixed it temporarily with elastic ribbon (picture 2)

3. When I was satisfied with the result, I fixed every ending of garlands with golden thread and needle, so that garlands would hold in the right place (picture 3). In fact, such golden carcass lampshade looked very good (picture 4). And I left it in this condition for few months, while I was figuring out: IF I would like to add anything else, and if so – then what would it be.

4. After some time I felt that I wanted to have one very colorfulpiece of decor in our living room. Also: I was very much into crocheting different colorful elements. So, I indulged into crocheting 24 pieces, each one different, planning to use 3 elements per pane. As the lamp´s foot was green and golden (and I just loved the gold beads on the lampshade), I decided to use green, blue, violet and purple colors, and of course – even more gold.  For the first three or four crochet elements I was following crochet patterns, but then I added more fun to creation process by letting myself create freely whatever form was coming.

bohemian lampshade diy before after

5. Previously, for my family and friends I had made crocheted and embellished 3D snowflakes that I had stiffened. I knew I would apply the same technique for this lampshade to make stiff all my crocheted work stiff, so it would hold the shape. To do it, I took some old canvas and carton boxes from shoes, and wrapped them in plastic. Then I created mix of white glue with water 1:1 and applied it to each element (picture 5). I fixed each element with pins, so it would have the shape I wished to achieve (picture 6). I let them to dry overnight.

lampshade tutorial diy upcycle crochet6. When crocheted flowers were dry, I created 8 columns each with 3 elements. The biggest element was at the bottom and the smallest was on the top, so they would fit the panes that were bigger at the bottom. I paid attention to the color combination of elements within the pane and considered how they fit with the colors of neighboring pane. When I was satisfied with the result, I fixed each element inside the pane by stitching it with gold thread (picture 7).

7. Some pains had gaps between elements or edges of carcass, so I filled them up by adding some additional strings of thread (picture 8).

8. My lamp originally had a cable that was golden color which was perfect. But it´s switch was ugly white, so I painted it golden with acrylic paint.

9. And finally, I changed the white light bulb to the biggest golden light bulb I could find in the store.

10. The lamp was ready, I was happy and satisfied with having enjoyed the whole creative process and going with its flow. The final step turned out to be the chance to OBSERVE MY ATTITUDE towards feedback about the lamp that I keep getting from our visitors when they notice the lamp in the corner of the room. It´s an interesting and ongoing process :-)

There are more lampshade tutorials to get more inspiration: HOW TO MAKE LACE LAMPSHADE and BOHEMIAN LAMPSHADE MAKING TUTORIAL – check out this darling that looks like a big shiny HOT AIR BALLOON!

And I have put together some DIY TIPS FOR STIFFENING CROCHET ORNAMENTS which might be very helpful when creating more decorations for your home and gifts. Some of the pictures can inspire you for new creations.

But if you are into making STATEMENT DECORATION and like to use RECYCLED MATERIALS pieces for your home – take a look at this GIANT CROCHET GARLAND TUTORIAL.

Let me know if you have any questions about this tutorial. If you have your story about letting your creativity flow – please, share it!

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Crafts room: DIY Inspiration board on doors

The skeleton in my crafts´closet is certainly having lots of fun while dancing. It seldom gets disturbed by my rare attacks of rearranging order chaos that surrounds it. I have a small working room which also serves as a guest room. Well, that means: in the corner of my small working room there is a simple single bed for guests. When we have no guests, the bed is covered with stack of fabrics, yarn, books and other inspiring and (un)necessary materials that I am using for projects that I currently work on (have been working on, or will work on in the future unclearly named: “soon“). In fact, all those materials should be stored in the closet standing in front of the bed. But then, I can not see all those wonderful materials that (can) serve me as inspiration. And even when they are piled up on the bed – it´s not enough place to display my necessary inspiration sources. That´s how the doors of my crafting supplies´closet got remodeled into Inspiration Pinboard.

SHORT HISTORY OF CUPBOARD: It is IKEA closet that my husband´s flat mate gave him in his previous life as a bachelor. It used to be black (the closet, and well, maybe that past life too?), and had that plastic, kind-of-shutter-looking covers on the doors. Black color did not fit into my nice working room – I was setting it up for lady-kind-of-crafting activities. So, the closet got painted white. But those black plastic relief parts from doors would not hold the paint properly. And they got torn down and thrown away. Underneath was the sight you can see on the picture 1. Perfect for creatting something that would hold my pins! :-) Below I have described the steps of how to make such inspiration board.

MATERIALS THAT WERE USED (picture 2):
A. Foam board.
B. Spray glue.
C. Fabric (I used the curtain that I had bought in thrift store).
D. Scissors (to cut the fabric), Pins for whatever feels like being pinned on the surface.

STEPS OF HOW THIS INSPIRATION BOARD WAS MADE:

1. Foam board was cut in four rectangular pieces to fit the four empty places on the doors (picture 1).

2. Then fabric was cut in four rectangular pieces that were about 5-10 cm bigger than cut foam boards. It was needed to be able to glue the fabric on the foam boards, so that the edges of fabric would be below the surface (picture 2).

3. Glue was sprayed on the foam boards – the top surface, sides and about 5 cm edge of the other side of board. Then boards got covered with fabric, making sure that fabric was flat and even (picture 2). Unnecessary fabric got cut off.

4. The surface of closet´s doors was slightly sprayed with glue. We wanted to have option to be able to take these boards out whenever we would feel like changing the fabric. The boards were cut so precisely that foam boards, when covered with fabric, were holding inside the doors without any glue. Still, we put on bits of glue, just to be sure that skeleton´s dancing would not make those boards to fall out later. Then boards got inserted into doors (picture 3).
And here it was – self made Inspiration board. All so ready for my inspirational pinning activities.
Well, who knew that in such a near future I would be pinning actively like crazy on my many more boards in Pinterest… However, I also happily keep using my inspiration board of skeleton´s dancing room – my crafts´ closet.

Are you using Pinterest to pin? How has it influenced your use of other inspiration boards in your interior?

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Lace Lampshade DIY Tutorial

Like Mr. Williams I too can´t stand a naked light bulb. I want to dress it up in a lampshade that gives the light I prefer, that looks good and fits nicely in the overall atmosphere of my place. My obsession with making my own lampshades started three years ago. I and my (then) husband-to-be could not find lampshades that would appeal to us aesthetically and budget-wise. After struggling with continuos search I finally dared to say think: “We need to make our own lamps”. I did not know how to make my own lampshade. But I was curious and brave crazy enough to start doing them (make/fail/do anyway) and figuring out all how-tos along the way. My husband has been supportive in this journey and does not object too loud the constantly growing stack of my flea market finds that are intended to be transformed into new lamps.
The lampshade you see below is for our dining area. I made it one and a half years ago. I wanted to have a lampshade with lace, get enough light through it, be easy to clean, and achieve the look that feels fresh. In my humble proud opinion, I got what I aimed for.

MATERIALS I USED (picture 1):

*Circles for lampshade´s form, and structure to hang the lampshade.
* Paper for lampshade´s side (mine is glossy (easier to clean), with perforated holes for nicer light).
* Scissors, Needle, Thread. To cut and stitch the paper, to attach it to circles.
* Lace for as many rows as necessary. I had 2 rows of self crocheted lace, so I used yarn, hook and patterns.
* White glue to make the mixture with water 1:1 for strengthening the lace.
* Plastic Wrap and Painter´s Tape to protect the lampshade when applying mixture to the lace.
* Brush. To apply the mixture on the lace.
STEPS OF HOW I MADE THE LACE LAMPSHADE
:
1. I wrapped the paper around one circle to measure the necessary length & marked it, then chose the width of the lampshade. I cut out the paper rectangular that would form the sides of lampshade.
2. Then I stitched (instead of stitching or sewing – one can also glue) the paper to lampshade´s circles, and sewed together paper´s edges on the side of lampshade (pictures 2&3). I prefer sewing as then I can be sure that my lampshade will hold together for a very long time.
3. I crocheted two different lace pieces after completing step 1 and step 2 as then I had a better idea of what kind of lace would look better for this lampshade.
4. I sewed by hand the lace on the lampshade and joined it together to form the circle. (picture 4).
5. Then I treated the lace with textile strengthener (mixing white glue with water 1:1).  Before applying the mixture I put on protection plastic on the sides of lampshade (picture 5), in case if mixture might drip on the lampshade. (I had a lot of drops flying around and hitting the lampshade and floor. Good that I had put newspaper on the floor.) I made sure that lace was treated well with the mixture, but also that it was not soaking wet with it, so the holes in the lace were without glue (otherwise the excess mixture after hardening would become transparent,  but still – visible, which I wanted to avoid).
6. I hung the lamp on balcony to dry. Then I formed still wet lace into the shape I wanted it to be. During drying process, time to time I checked if the lace was in the shape I wished it to be and corrected it when necessary.
7. When both rows of lace were dry, I removed the protection plastic and asked my husband to hang up the lampshade to enjoy the result :-)
8. Time by time (for me – usually once in several months) the lace slightly gets out of the shape due to temperature and air humidity changes. In such case I reshape it back with dry hands in the correct shape.
9. Tips about the choice of light bulb. As the sides of lampshade are (somewhat) transparent – big light bulb looks much better than small size light bulb when the light is on (see the picture of lampshade on the very top of this post – where the light is on).
In the beginning I had the usual, transparent light bulb and because of perforated holes it created the light play on walls and ceiling. It looked nice aesthetically, but it disturbed my eyes, so I changed to the milky light bulb, and now we enjoy beautifully even light.

I wish you to have fun while creating and to be inspired no matter what project your hands and head are currently busy with! :) I look forward to your comments about this post!

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