Browsing Tag

craft

EDUCATION

Teaching emotions to young kids with a simple craft project

Posting on Facebook a photo of a simple craft project imagined by our son led to our discover of teru teru bozu. Teru teru bozu is a traditional Japanese dolls made of tissue paper or cloth hung in front of the window to prevent rain. These ghost-like dolls became popular in the Edo era. Children of that era hang them the day before important events or festivities. Continue Reading

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

Three DIY Toys that You Can Do with Your Kids

french postal truck toy

cupcake or ice cream truck
photo: cupcake or ice cream truck by Martine Camillieri

Crafting projects let you pass quality time with your kids. I wanted a project that I could do for my boy, who adore trucks. I found three project ideas fron France that repurpose things that you have at home.

french postal truck toy
photo: La Poste, French postal truck by Martine Camillieri

The first idea is from Martine Camillieri. This french woman has been transforming cleaning product containers into cars and trucks since 2007. Her upcycling creations appeared in a book and many exhibits over the years. Although she failed to provide tutorials to make your own, it seems that she affixed two caps to make wheels and used stickers and paint to decorate the vehicles. It is definitely a project that you can do with your kids.

diy pickup truck toy
photo: DIY pick-up truck toy by Martine Camillieri

The second idea is from a limited-print series called Bolides. I encourage you to explore your own boxy style. After a few trial and error, you could design your own templates. I would use mashi tape to create the various car or truck elements. Washi tapes come in a variety of colors and it is easy to reposition them. Cut a straw in two to support the wheels.

bolides

You could make your own paper tipi toy. Let your kids create their own patterns. Each tipi stands tall with 3 sticks.

make your own paper tipi toy
photo: Tipis by Morse

These are not toys that are designed to last. Nonetheless, they are fun to make. If you want to keep them longer, you could always tell your kids that they are making art pieces for their playroom.

ORGANIZING

Tea Towel Tote Bag Tutorial

DIY tea towel tote bag

DIY tea towel tote bag
photos: tote bags made with the tea towels from The Curiosity Shoppe at Target collection

It is a fast and easy sewing project that you can do for yourself or make a provision for your hostess or housewarming gift stash. You can use a brand new tea towel or go with a vintage tea towel that you like. The Curiosity Shoppe owners Lauren Smith & Derek Fagerstrom created this craft using the tea towels from their Shops at Target collection. Their repetitive pattern works well as a tote bag.

How to Make your own Tea Towel Tote Bag

Materials:

  • 1 tea towel
  • 1.5 yards of 1” cotton webbing
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

Instructions:

tea towel tote bag tutorial

  1. Fold tea towel in half, right sides together
  2. Using a half-inch seam allowance, stitch up the sides of the towel, back-stitching at the beginning and end of each seam. Turn bag right side out.
  3. Cut the webbing in half to make the 2 straps.
  4. Pin the ends of each strap 1” down from the top of the bag and 3” in from sides, making sure they’re not twisted.
  5. Attach the ends of each strap by stitching a square around the edges of the 1” tail of webbing, removing the pins as you go.

You are done! I fold my textile tote bag and carry it in my handbag. I bought mine on Etsy. I might start to make my own tote bag.

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Micheals Arrival to Quebec Starts with a Search for a Creative Ambassador

michaels quebec contest judges photo

michaels quebec contest judges photo
Ah no! Taken at a moment where I relaxed my smile. 

Today, I am happy to talk about the latest social media campaign where I am involved as a judge. Michaels, the North America’s largest specialty retailer of arts and craft, is finally opening stores in Quebec. Michaels does it large with the opening of 7 stores in fall 2012 — 6 in the greater Montreal area and 1 in Ottawa. It is a news that will put a smile to every creative girls in the city.

Michaels is committed to serve the French market the right way. For that reason, Michaels wants to hire a Creative Ambassador in Quebec. To find the ideal candidate, they launched the biggest social media creative hobby contest never launched in Quebec earlier this week.

And I am one of the judge! I share the judging duties with Ginette Lorrain, the host of La Bosse des Noces that aired at Canal-Vie, and Isabelle Quinn, the owner of Sweet Isabelle. You may recall Sweet Isabelle from my son’s first birthday party. Isabelle donated the animal lollipop cookies that I gave to the guests.

One afternoon in May, we filmed my first scripted video in a studio. I was a little bit intimidating to be filmed with a pro like Ginette who has 15 years of TV experience in front of the camera. But I think that I managed to deliver something good. This experience gave me a deeper appreciation of the work that actors and TV hosts do. I got to see what happens behind the scenes and watch the work of the filming crew. Making a video is a team effort; it requires more work that I imagined. You can watch it. Even if you might not understand the words — it is all in French — you will feel the fun concept behind it.

If you, or someone you know, live in Quebec and you enjoy creating art and craft projects, I invite you to film your own video and enter the contest. The first prize is a 1-year job contract at Michaels! You have until July 16th, 2012 to submit your entry. Spread the word! It is a awesome job opportunity for a creative person.

For more details, visit À la recherche de l’ambassadeur créatif de Micheals au Québec contest page.

ENTERTAINING EVERYDAY entertaining

Three Creative Uses of Washi Masking Tapes

washi tapes on flower vases

washi tape loot bags

Keeping a reserve of washi tapes can be a time-saver when you have to create last-minute party decorations. Washi tapes immediately transformed a basic bags or bottles into something with personality. I compiled a lit of amazing projects made by crafters and small shop owners on the blogosphere.

Loot Bags

If you are looking for a simple project, you can’t beat the kids loot bags made by Omiyage, a Canadian store. Their kids collection is composed of a range of animal and transportation themes. Recycle their loot bag idea for any occasion. You could even use it to gift wrap a present in a hurry.

The second project is by cu·te·ta·pe (pronounce: koo-teh-tah-pee), who also sells washi tapes online and other party/craft supplies.

washi paper bags

The creator of cu·te·ta·pe transformed the simple white lunch bag into a remarkable party favor bags with striped paper straws, washi tape and matchin twines.  You can write the recipient names on the tape. I love it! cu·te·ta·pe sells all the materials online except for the bags.

Playtime

washi doll house

I salute this first project from Japan. They used washi tapes to decorate a doll house. What a simple way to really put your stamp on the design scheme! See more stunning pictures about mt factory tour, a Japanese washi masking tape maker at Poppytalk.

washi drawing board

You can also apply washi tapes on a foam board to create your own city block mat or on a thick drawing paper to fuel your kids imagination. Even though my son is a little bit young for those activities, I love this idea so much that I bought the transport theme tapes from Omiyage. I imagine the hours of pleasure that he will have playing together or with his buddies.

Home Accents

washi tapes on flower vases

You can tailor plain bottles, jars or flower vases to your party theme or home decor by applying washi tapes around the containers. Look at how beautiful is this project by Leslie Shewring of A Creative Mint for decor8.

SOURCING:
+ Take A Ride Washi Tape Set $15 CAD for 3 rolls at Omiyage
+ Washi masking tapes from $3.50 USD a roll to $30 for a pack at cu·te·ta·pe
+ washi doll house photo: Ros Lee of Polkaros for Poppytalk

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Bubble Valentine Printable from Armelle

armelle valentine bubbles printable diy

armelle valentine bubbles printable diy

If your little ones have had their fill of frosty outdoor fun, here’s a fun Valentine’s Day project to keep them busy for an hour or two, and get them excited for the next holiday in the calendar.

armelle valentine printable bubbles bag diy

Caroline of Armelle: The Blog wanted to create a candy-free Valentine her son could give his classmates. She paired small, inexpensive containers of bubbles – usually found in the wedding section of craft stores – with a free printable card and coordinating stickers for a fresh and fun alternative to standard Valentines.

Get the full DIY and free printables on her blog.

SOURCING:
+ Free Bubble Valentine Printable via Armelle: The Blog
+ Wedding Bubble Bottles, $4.95 USD, Amazon.com

HOME + GARDEN PAPER goods

Wonderful Washi Tape

washi tape diy vase makeover

washi tape chiclectic pattern colour

Have you fallen for washi tape yet? Crafters and DIYers have found so many creative uses for this Japanese tape made from handmade paper.

Available in a variety of colours, patterns and prints, washi tape can transform gift wrapping, paper crafts, wedding and party accessories, and even simple decor items.

Apartment Therapy posted a fun collection of ideas for decorating with washi tape, including everything from DIY wall art, to an easy vase makeover featured on A Creative Mint.

How About Orange posted two fun vases in her signature colour – the variations are amazing, inspiring and – best of all – temporary, so you can change things up to suit your style or the season. This is a fun option for winter months, when you may not be able to find your favourite blooms.

washi tape diy vase makeover

Because of its new found popularity, you don’t need to take a trip to Japan to pick up a few rolls. Major craft stores and art supply stores have made washi tape a regular part of their rotation.

Online paper shop Omiyage has an amazing selection (plus other fun Japanese paper supplies) and Etsy is loaded with cool patterns and colours.

Are you addicted to using washi tape in your crafts or DIY projects too? Tell us how you’ve put it to use!

SOURCING:

+ 5 Ideas for Decorating with Washi Tape on Apartment Therapy
+ Vase Makeover on A Creative Mint
+ DIY Decorating wit Masking Tape on How About Orange
+ Washi Tape on Omiyage
+ Washi Tape Photo: Chiclectic

ORGANIZING

Get Organized: Jewelry Organizing Ideas and DIYs

jewelry diy cake stand tennis racket organization

jewelry shadow box rake organization

It’s funny how spending more time inside during winter months can fill you with the urge to purge, clean and organize. Of course, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by a growing list of projects and to-dos, and even easier to sweep that list under the rug (that so badly needs airing out).

Starting small is the key to tackling all the cluttered nooks and crannies of your home – like your gorgeous collection of baubles, sitting not-so-pretty in a tangled pile on your dresser, or scattered in bedroom and bathroom drawers.

We’ve rounded up a few DIY ideas to get your accessories organized – all artful displays designed to help you appreciate the little, sparkly things in life.

In A Shadow Box

Hanging your jewelry in a hinged shadow-box presents your pretties as a collection, but keeps them accessible. Choose a bold colour of solid fabric as a background so your favourite pieces really pop.

On A Rake

We love finding new uses for old things – and this rusty rake turned jewelry hanger is the perfect pairing of rustic and chic. Try this for other accessories too, like small handbags and hats.

Two Ways to Serve

jewelry diy cake stand tennis racket organization

Also in the new uses for old things category: two clever ways to serve up your jewelry collection. DIY cake stands can do double-duty as a catch-all for necklaces and bracelets. Hang earrings from the edge of the upper plate to keep them in pairs.

The strings on an out-of-use tennis racket are ideal to hang long necklaces (just thread the clasp through) and keep earrings in pairs. Mount the racket it on the wall for an one-of-a-kind and ever-evolving art piece.

Trays Tranformed

jewelry organizer typeset tray diy

Next time you wander past a sad-looking typeset tray that’s been kicked to the curb, take it home to transform it. The multi-sized compartments work wonders for various jewelry types, from cuffs to long earrings. Elbow grease, glue and a little painted Blogger and crafter Tonya Staab turned this tray around with a little elbow grease, glue and paint.

jewelry organizer diy cutlery tray

Standard wooden cutlery trays can also work wonders for jewelry. Dress one up with paint, pegs and pretty paper – as Jen from Homemade by Jen did – to make it work for your collection.

How do you store your accessories? Are they organized and on display, or a tangled web waiting to be sorted?

SOURCING:
+ Jewelry Shadow Box, Better Homes & Gardens
+ Jewelry Hanger Made from an Old Rake, Country Living
+ Jewelry/Cake Stand DIY from Sarah Ortega
+ Tennis Racket Jewelry Holder via Craft Gossip
+ DIY Typeset Jewelry Tray from Tonya Staab
+ DIY Cutlery/Jewelry Tray from Homemade by Jen

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

DIY Christmas Wreaths

DIY flowery wreath

yarn wreath

It is hard to beat the unique character of handmade Christmas wreaths. It is fun to see how people are still able to reinvent a Holiday decoration that have been around for ages. Have a look at three DIY wreaths that are beautifully rustic.

First, here an cosy idea from The Farm Chicks‘ Serena Thompson. It is one of the projects from her Christmas book, The Farm Chicks Christmas. This is a simple project that you can make a Saturday afternoon with your kids. And it might be a way for you to use leftover yarns.

recycled newspaper Laurel Leaf Wreath

Renate created a beautiful laurel leaf wreaths out of overdyed newspapers for the Rit blog. Visitors could read partial news or ads while they are waiting at the door.

DIY flowery wreath

Finally, have a look at the stylish silver and cream flowery wreath that I saw at Style at Home.

SOURCING:
+ For Americans: The Farm Chicks Christmas book $18.45 USD at Amazon.com
+ For Canadians: The Farm Chicks Christmas book $21.28 CAD at Amazon.ca
+ Eco Laurel Leaf Wreath at The Rit Blog – via Li’l Magoolie
+ DIY Flowery Wreath at Style at Home

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

DIY Grocery Store Toys by Ikat Bag

blue fabric candy shop by ikat bag

cardboard suitcases

LiEr of Ikat Bag is a crafter with an impressive portfolio. This mom of three girls puts her imagination and talent to good use by creating for them awesome role playing games. I am still in awe with her clever airport customs game idea that I spotted earlier today on Ohdeedoh. You have to admire the details of her cardboard suitcases.

cardboard grocery shop toy

Going back to the grocery stores, you can use two of her designs to make your own. First, have a look at her cardboard grocery store. It took her 3 to 4 hours to make it. She made a series of shelves, including a lower cabinet with drawers that goes inside the shop. I love, love it!

blue fabric candy shop by ikat bag

For the ones who like to sew, do not miss her blue fabric candy shop. You could make a few modifications to turn it into a take-out restaurant.

I bookmarked Ikat Bag since I am sure that I will share with you more of her playful creations.

SOURCING:
cardboard luggage and airport customs game by Ikat Bag
+ cardboard grocery shop
+ little blue house (candy shop)