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Protect Your Scrapbook From Damage With These Easy Tips

How to keep your scrapbook safe from damage blog header

Scrapbooking is usually a joyful and fun hobby that can really unleash your creativity. One can spend hours at a time putting together a scrapbook that is meant to share or just for personal enjoyment.

Unfortunately, devastation can strike at any moment. It can be heart-wrenching for any scrapbooker to find that their creation has been ruined for one reason or another.

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8 Steps To Stress Free Craft Time With Children

Stress free craft time with children

Craft time with your kids can be a simple and fun way to bond and explore creativity. Making crafts is an excellent learning tool for children, and can help them learn how to focus and see a project through to the end.

But what do you do when your kids aren’t being little angels? How can you make craft time with kids more peaceful?

The suggestions below will help you to fine tune your crafting time so that you’re pulling your hair out less and enjoying time with your kids more.

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Herring Bone Stitches For Beginners

Herring bone stitch blog header

This text comes from the book Art In Needlework by Lewis F. Day and Mary Buckle. The information has only been edited for clarity. I share this info so that it is more freely available to embroidery beginners!

Herring-bone is the name by which it is customary to distinguish a variety of stitches somewhat resembling the spine of a fish such as the herring. It would be simpler to describe them as “fish-bone;” but that term has been appropriated to describe a particular variety of it. One would have thought it more convenient to use fish for the generic term, and a particular fish for the specific. However, it saves confusion to use names as far as possible in their accepted sense.

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Five Pinterest Boards To Find Your Next DIY Project

Get tons of craft ideas by following just five Pinterest boards

Five Pinterest Boards To Find Your Next DIY Project

Do you have too much time on your hands? Get busy by following these five boards and get inspired to make new things.

We all go through seasons where we are too busy to do anything fun just for our own enjoyment. Once you pass through those seasons, though, do you ever find it hard to get back into your hobbies?

I definitely do! So I like to use Pinterest to keep me inspired. Once I have time to work one some crafts again, I have a place to look where I’ve saved the best of the best.

Whether you’re looking for DIY projects to sell, crafts for the home, small DIY projects or big ones, you’ll find something cool to do when you follow these boards.

Have fun and get creative!

Etsy board on Pinterest

This board is where I post anything and everything related to Etsy. My craft supplies, Etsy business tips, and cool Etsy products are all pinned here!

You can use this board to help collect the supplies you need, get ideas of what to make to sell on Etsy, and learn about running your Etsy business!

Felt stuffies board on Pinterest

Felt stuffies are my current craft obsession. I’m making so many for my son (and averaging one new one per night!) and I’m always looking for ideas of what to make next.

These can be as simple or as complicated as you want, and they are always super cute. If you don’t have a child, a lot of these can be used as cat toys, too!

Jewelry board on Pinterest

Do you make jewelry? Then following this board can help you get ideas of what your next design should be! I love looking at jewelry, even though I don’t really wear much. 

Follow this board to get ideas of what charms to buy and what jewelry is trending now.

Planner board on Pinterest

Bullet journals, Filofaxes, planners and their supplies are all featured here. Follow this board for ideas of what spreads to use next month, what supplies to pick up, or even printables that you can make to sell on Etsy!

Fiber arts board on Pinterest

Sewing, knitting, crochet, and every other kind of fiber art is featured on this board. 

You’ll find plenty of inspiration for your next embroidery project, sewing craft, or crochet idea!

What are your favorite Pinterest boards to follow?

Like I said, I love to use Pinterest to find cool things to try. So what boards do you follow when you’re looking for a project to keep you occupied?

Madi

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Silicone Molds for Outdoor Decor Crafts

DIY garden decor with silicone molds

It’s warming up, and that means it’s time to get outside! When you’re not mowing the lawn, grilling up some burgers, and sipping a cold one by the fire pit, you might look around and think that your yard could use an upgrade.

But what if the cookie cutter yard decor you find at a home improvement store just doesn’t cut it for you? What if you want to make something truly unique, by hand?

That’s where silicone molds can come in! I sell quite a few silicone mold that can be useful outside, so let’s take a quick look at all of the possibilities.

DIY Address Numbers

Everyone needs to display their address in a way that the mailman can’t mistake your house for a neighbors. So why not use these address number molds to make your address out of cement?

Mix up some cement and you’ll have blocking numbers that you can place on a porch, embed into your lawn, or place in your garden!

DIY Geometric Planter

Take these simple shapes and turn them into beautiful, decorative planters that can form a million different patterns!

I offer triangle silicone molds and diamond shaped silicone molds, and both work great for holding mint, catnip, lettuces, and other plants that like to grow in containers. They have a great industrial chic feel to them!

DIY Flower Pots

Coming in different shapes and sizes, making your own flower pots from cement or resin is fun and fulfilling, and even better it gives you unique garden decor that no one can ever match!

These are the perfect sizes for growing annual flowers that don’t mind being in small spaces.

DIY Yin Yang Garden Containers

Are you looking for peace and balance in your garden? Do you like the Eastern aesthetic? This silicone mold is perfect for you. It will allow you to make a yin yang flower pot with cement and will look beautiful out in your garden.

DIY Succulent Planters

Don’t you just love succulents? They’re super popular now, and they’re so cute! Even if you live in an environment where you can’t grow them in the ground and keep them outside year round, they can benefit from being outside during the summer.

So pick up some of these succulent planter molds and you’ll have beautiful containers for your little pieces of the desert! They’re perfect for setting out on a deck’s railing or on a patio table.

DIY Outdoors Decor

Hopefully, you’ve found something in this post that will make your yard as lovely and welcoming as inside your home! You can use these molds to make so many different things, and there are ways to use them that I didn’t even mention.

Enjoy the warmer months ahead!

Madi

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Learn How To Use Embroidery Punch Pens: Make Cute Rug-Like Crafts As Gifts

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Embroidery is a fun and fulfilling craft, great for quiet times of reflection or to keep your hands busy while watching TV. Holding those tiny needles, though, can be a pain.

My hands have been painful since I was a teen, so sometimes I just can’t do traditional embroidery. To keep busy even when my hands hurt, I like to do punch pen embroidery!

Punch pen embroidery creates a different kind of look (the finished product looks a bit like a plush rug or carpet), but that makes them even more unique and interesting. This is a very old craft, too, and it’s seeing a revival in recent years.

About embroidery punch pens

So what is punch pen embroidery? It’s a form of embroidery that involves punching thread, yarn or ribbon through a fabric and creating a loop pattern. That looping pattern makes the pattern look like a plush rug that you’d just like to snuggle up on.

There are some claims about where punch pen embroidery originates from: Some thing ancient Egyptians started it with hollow bird bones, while others think it originated in Russia, Germany or England.

This craft can be used to create and decorate wall art, ornaments, pillows, and other decor and crafts. It’s often referred to as “painting with thread”.

Embroidery Punch Needle Supplies

What do you need to get started with punch needle embroidery? Only a few affordable supplies!

  • An embroidery hoop. Make sure you get one that has a tightening mechanism on it. You want your fabric to stay put while you’re doing punch embroidery.
  • A punch pen. I sell one on my Etsy shop, but these can be found on Amazon and in stores like Michael’s.
  • Thread. I like to use embroidery floss, but I use regular sewing thread sometimes too!
  • A pattern. You can make your own pattern and draw it directly onto the fabric, or you can buy and print a pattern. You can trace the pattern onto fabric with a light box or a sunny window.
  • Fabric. You’re supposed to use weaver’s cloth, but all you really need is a fabric with a tight and slightly stretchy weave. You’ll have to experiment to see if the loop will stay put in whatever fabric you use.
  • Small scissors to cut the thread.

How to use embroidery punch pens

Before I get into the written instructions, here are 2 videos that will help you a lot!

Pick a design

You can really go wild here. While it’s best to start with a small design for your first few attempts, you can get pretty elaborate.

You can either purchase and print a design, or make your own drawn directly onto the fabric. Either way, you’ll want to get your fabric ready. Cut the fabric so that there’s 4 inches of border around the pattern. This is the fabric that the hoop will hold onto.

Then you can use a fabric pen to draw your pattern into the center of the fabric.

Choose your embroidery hoop

A hoop that has a locking mechanism is a must. You want that fabric in there super tight.

Center the fabric over the inner embroidery hoop (that’s the smaller one). You want the locking mechanism facing up.

Then you press the larger hoop over the top. Make sure the pattern is on very tight. You want it to feel and sound like a drum.

Thread your punch needle

Most punch needles come with a handy dandy threader with a huge eye. You can put your thread through that to easily thread the pen’s needle. There will be a tiny loop at the bottom of the threader, which is what holds the thread without it slipping.

A punch needle has a hollow shaft where the thread is, and a depth gauge.

Slide the thread through the eye of the needle and down into the hollow shaft. Pushing it through the other side, you have completed threading your needle!

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Start punching

Holding the needle as if it were a pen or pencil, you want the bevel side of the needle facing the direction you are punching.

It’s easiest if the thread rests over your finger, but make sure it can move freely or you’ll just unravel your art as you work.

You also want to work on the side that will be the back of your art.

Finish punching your pattern

Punch directly through the fabric, then pull the needle towards you. As you pull it out, the needle should always be touching the fabric.

Each time you push through, you want to push to the same depth so each loop is the same size. Move the needle over a few stitches to make the next punch.

The needle separates the threads in your fabric, and when you pull it back that hole closes to keep the loop firmly in the fabric. The thread isn’t locked, though, so be kind of delicate with it.

It’s easiest to complete the outline if your pattern before filling in the rest. Then you can finish by stitching the background elements, if you have any.

Finish your craft

Complete your craft by pulling the needle out of the fabric, leabing 1/2 inch of thread. Remove the embroidery hoop, and voila! You have a beautiful punch pen embroidery that will make a great gift.

Questions about punch needle embroidery

Do you need a specific kind of fabric for needle punching?

Nope! While it is recommended to use weaver’s cloth for beginners, if you’re willing to experiment you can use any fabric. Just make sure you’re using a hoop and have the correct tension.

What thread do I use for punch needle embroidery?

Embroidery floss is a great way to start, since there are so many different colors and you can choose how many threads you want to use.

How many strands of thread you use depends on your design. Starting with three is a good way to experiment with the thickness you prefer. Some people use all 6 strands.

What should I do if my loops keep unraveling?

You might be pulling your needle too far out of the fabric! Remember, your thread isn’t being locked into place like it is with traditional embroidery.

Can I machine wash my needle punch project?

Probably not. Again, nothing is locking your thread into place, so your project is going to be delicate. Hand washing is best if you must wash it.

If you need to machine wash, definitely use a delicate cycle.

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Which is the good side?

Some people like the back of their projects more, so this is really up for your interpretation. Traditionally, though, the back side is the side without loops.

Do I knot the thread? If not, how do I keep it from unraveling?

You don’t have to use knots. Technically, the stitches should be close enough to prevent your art from unraveling too easily.

Why should I take up needle punch embroidery?

Lots of reasons!

  • It’s cheap
  • It doesn’t take up a lot of space
  • The learning curve is small
  • The finished pieces are unique and interesting gifts
  • It’s easy to do punch pen embroidery while spending time with family or watching TV
  • It’s a unique craft that you don’t see very often

What have you made with your embroidery punch pen?

Using a punch pen is a lot of fun and can make so many cute crafts. Everyone that receives one will be blown away by the unique rug-like look and they’ll be interested in how you did it!

So if you want an affordable craft, this is the perfect one to pick up.

I hope I answered some of your questions about punch pen embroidery and encouraged you to pick it up! If you do want to start with this craft project, I sell an embroidery punch pen on Etsy.

I also sell other sewing and embroidery supplies on Etsy.

Lastly, if you want more craft how-tos and updates, subscribe to my blog’s RSS feed via Feedly or another feed reader!

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