30 Spring Wreaths to DIY

30 Spring Wreaths to DIY

Keep your front door in tune with the season by DIYing a beautiful, eco-friendly spring wreath! Whether you prefer to craft with upcycled or natural materials, you’re sure to find something that inspires you in this list of free patterns and tutorials, below:

1. Bicycle Wheel Wreath

If you had to do a little more maintenance than you anticipated when you brought the bikes out of storage, upcycle an old bicycle wheel into a front door wreath!

2. Bundt Pan Wreath

A bundt pan makes a super fun wreath, especially when painted in bright colors and patterns.

3. Burlap Wreath

Did you know that burlap is a natural fabric? It’s true! And when it’s blue, it’s also very spring-like!

4. Clothespins and Washi Tape

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#mycupofcocoa #whatmakesyouhappy #washitape #washitapewreath

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Repurpose your clothespins during the rainy spring season, and simply unclip them from the wreath form when it’s summertime and you’ve got lots of laundry to hang outside on the clothesline.

5. Butterfly Swarm

In this wreath, card stock butterflies swarm over a store-bought grapevine wreath form.

6. Crocheted Spring Wreath

You know it’s not one of my round-ups unless there’s something crocheted on the list!

7. Denim Wreath

Upcycle denim into roses to cover a wire or straw wreath form. To make it as spring-like as possible, go for the lightest washes of denim.

8. Embroidery Hoop and Chicken Wire Wreath

The prints and fabrics chosen for this tutorial make a fall wreath, but I have chickens and I garden and to me, chicken wire means SPRING!

9. Egg Carton Wreath

Cardboard egg cartons take paint like a dream. Take advantage of that fact by letting your little ones help you make a beautiful egg carton flower wreath!

10. Fairy Garden Wreath

You’ll have to consciously replace some of the suggested materials with more eco-friendly options, but fairy gardens are so popular that there are lots of tutorials (many of them right here on CAGW!) teaching you how to make fairy garden accessories from upcycled and natural materials.

11. Flower Pots and Paper Flowers

This is a wreath that doesn’t require a bunch of polyester ribbon or plastic flowers. Instead, you’ll need scrap wood, flower pots, and pretty paper!

12. Garden Hose Wreath

The tutorial calls for a brand-new garden hose (!!!), but you know that you or someone you know has an old garden hose for you to upcycle. With enough hose, you could make multiple wreaths!

13. Interchangeable Holiday Wreath

Keep your storage space clear by DIYing one single wreath that you can decorate interchangeable for each holiday and season.

14. No-Sew Fabric Wreath

This wreath can be made from any scrap fabric that you have on hand. Use all the colors and prints that scream “Spring!” to you!

15. Paper Dahlia Wreath

I wouldn’t put this wreath outside to get faded or wet, but if you have an indoor space that you’d like to make spring-like, this colorful paper dahlia is just the project for you!

16. Paper Wreath

I don’t love the look of most faux flowers, so I REALLY love the look of these DIY paper flowers.

17. Picture Wreath

I LOVE the idea of upcycling an old picture frame into a wreath!

18. Pom Pom Wreath

For this wreath, use pretty fabric and make pom poms to match.

19. Another Pom Pom Wreath

Can’t get enough of pom poms? Don’t bother using them only as embellishments; double down and make this wreath that’s entirely pom poms!

20. Printable Banner Wreath

Don’t want to design your own mini banner for the wreath’s centerpiece? There’s a free, downloadable printable banner included with this tutorial!

21. Pussy Willow Wreath

Use real pussy willows while they’re young and supple to create this show-stopping wreath.

22. Ribbon Wreath

You can’t get much simpler than this ribbon wreath. All you need for it are a wreath form, ribbon, and hot glue.

23. Ruffled Fabric Wreath

You guys! The fabric used for this wreath used to be a BED SKIRT!!!

24. Ruffled Muslin Wreath

Muslin is a wonderful fabric to create with, and the fabric flowers also used on this wreath make the whole piece look even softer and more inviting.

25. Rain Boot Vase

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If you stand still long enough in my house, chances are you’re going to get painted. At least that’s what my husband always says because I’m constantly painting something. . . . New paint color on the front door is just one of the things that I’ve painted in the house recently. Swipe right to see the new spring door hanger that is so fitting right now with all of the rainy weather that we’re having. I will have all of the details on the door and the new rain boot wreath over on my blog later today. #YellowDoor #FrontDoor #FrontDoorDecour #Sherwin-Williams #RainBootWreath #SpringWreath #FrontPorch #CurbAppeal #BHGCelebrate #BHGHome #MyCozyHome #Happy#DoYou #LoveToDecorate #BeYourself #CreateYourStyle

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It’s not exactly a wreath, but it will revamp your front door and get you in the spring spirit–while upcycling an old rain boot!

26. Tulips In Birch Vases

This unusual wreath style calls for making faux vases out of birch bark.

27. Upcycled Sweater Wreath

It’s too warm for that cardigan now, so upcycle it into a wreath covering! Any pastel color would look suitable spring-like.

28. Upcycled Magazine Flowers Wreath

The more colorful the magazines, the better!

29. Yarn-Wrapped Wreath

Wrapping a wreath in pretty yarn is a terrific way to hide an ugly or off-season wreath form.

30. Another Yarn-Wrapped Wreath with Felt Flowers

Use wool felt or upcycled plastic felt to make the eco-friendly faux flowers for this alternate version of a yarn-wrapped wreath.

Do you have a really awesome spring wreath idea to share? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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How To Refinish a Picnic Table with Paint

How To Refinish a Picnic Table with Paint

You’ve got to paint a few coats of sealant on your picnic table, anyway, if you want it to last outdoors–you might as well paint something interesting onto it first!

You can do this project on a picnic table of any age. If your picnic table is old and care-worn, replace any rotten wood and sand the other surfaces down to clean boards, first. If your picnic table is brand-new, you can paint right onto the unfinished wood.

Supplies & Tools

Either way, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Water-based outdoor primer. 
  • Water-based outdoor paint. Avoid oil-based paint, which generally has more VOCs than water-based paint, and requires paint thinner to clean up. You can use any water-based outdoor paint, and look for the smaller, approximately 200 mL “sample” containers to avoid waste. For this project, I bought 200 ml containers of Dutch Boy Maxbond Exterior in satin. There’s just enough paint to refinish my two picnic tables, one old and one new, and freshen up the work on the deck chairs that I refinished here on CAGW four years ago.
  • Paintbrushes. I used large paintbrushes for the primer and the sealant, and a selection of small artist’s brushes to paint the colorful details onto my picnic table.
  • Measuring and marking tools. These might include a pencil, meter sticks or rulers, and masking tape.
  • Polyurethane sealant. Buy water-based polyurethane sealant to make this project more eco-friendly. I used to be reluctant to use polyurethane sealant altogether because of its environmental footprint, but watching my deck furniture rot and need to be replaced after just a couple of seasons of Midwestern weather taught me that it’s better to do what it takes to make things last. If you know of a better alternative, do me a favor and let me know in the Comments below!

Directions

1. Prime the picnic table.

You only need to prime the area that you’ll be working on, as you can otherwise seal the bare wood of the underside of the picnic table and benches. I used white primer, but I’d actually recommend avoiding white unless you really want that specific color in the background of your design, or you plan to completely cover the white with another color. Even after several coats of sealant, white quickly looks dirty, and that happens all the more quickly outside. If I had this project to do again, I’d have instead started with a slate grey or blue for the picnic table’s top.

2. Sketch out the design.

You can draw your design with a pencil directly onto the primed surface of the picnic table. I wanted this picnic table to have a chessboard, tic tac toe board, and colorful board game path painted onto it, so I first sketched them all in with pencil.

For the chessboard, I used two-meter sticks to measure out a 16×16″ square, centered between the two picnic benches, and then I divided the square into an 8×8″ array.

For the board game path, I used masking tape to lay a curving path around the perimeter of the picnic table. Masking tape can even be used to make smooth curves if you tear off and layer short pieces.

I traced the path in pencil, tore off all of the tape, and then divided the path into 2″ steps.

I also used masking tape to lay out the tic tac toe board, then traced around it in pencil and tore off the tape.

3. Paint the picnic table.

This part of the process takes the longest, because you must wait for a color to dry before you can begin painting an adjacent color, and each color might require 2-3 coats before it looks saturated.

After the entire picnic table is painted, you can paint on the polyurethane sealant. This also takes a while, since there are several coats to add, and it can take up to a week for the last coat of sealant to fully cure for use.

But the time-intensive process is well worth it when you see the beautiful result!

The well-sealed surface of our picnic table ensures that we can use it as-is for all of our other outdoor projects and fun, but there’s nothing like sitting down to a quick game of tic tac toe using twigs and leaves while we’re waiting for one last person to finish getting ready before we all hop in the car, or grabbing the bag of mismatched chess pieces for one game of chess that turns into eight games on a lovely spring evening.

That’s a lot of multi-purpose fun from just a few colors of paint!

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13 DIY Ways to Display Patches

13 DIY Ways to Display Patches

If you’ve got a fun collection of patches, you don’t have to a) hide it away in a drawer, or b) pay a professional framer to display it for you.

Instead, check out these DIY version for patch displays. With this many ideas, there’s sure to be something here to inspire you!

1. Backpack

If the patches are ones that you’d be proud to display while out and about, why not make a special backpack especially for them? This DIY backpack is made to display a kid’s Junior Ranger badges and patches while the kid explores–and earns another badge!

Of course, you don’t have to sew a special backpack; you can sew patches onto any backpack that you already own. Be wary if you want to iron on your patches, though, as some backpacks are made of a polyester fabric that doesn’t take well to ironing.

2. Cloth Book

Let’s say that you want to keep your patches organized, and you want to be able to look at them, but they don’t need to be mounted to your wall. How about making a cloth book to display them?

Velcro and felt would make them repositionable, and sewing them on would let you keep them forever in place, perhaps adding embroidered embellishments or captions or even photographs.

3. Felt Banner

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SO! I have no idea if this is a thing or not but after making pin display flags, I thought it might be cool to have somewhere to display patches. Many of the businesses I have bought pins from, also do patches and while I’d love to buy them, I don’t have a denim jacket or bag or whatever to iron them on to. That’s when I came up with the idea of displaying them on flags too, but these are made of denim rather than cotton, to imitate that look of a denim jacket or jeans etc. These two are just ideas, one even features a pocket, but I haven’t attempted to put designs on them yet. The great thing is you can also display pins too. Anyway, I don’t really know if there is even a need for these things but let me know what you guys think or any other ideas you may have! Sorry for the quality, it’s so dull in the house today. (Patch and pin companies are tagged in the pictures.) #closetgeeksite #pins #patches #pindisplay #patchdisplay #etsyseller #etsystore #handmade #etsyshop

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This is very similar to a SWAPS banner that I made for my Girl Scouts, but here the patches are very carefully ironed onto the felt. If you don’t want to iron your patches, here’s how to sew them on. This is a great display for a children’s area because it’s a soft display and keeps the kid’s evidence of all their hard work accessible.

4. Flag with Fussy Cut Wooden Hanger

I love that the wooden hanger for this patch display is cut to fit the theme of the patches. You’ll need a jigsaw or Dremel to handle this project, but it’ll be worth it!

5. Framed Cork Board

Did you know that you can paint cork board to give it a completely different, non-cork look? Try it sometime! Without a glass front to the frame, this display is as quick and simple as it gets.

6. Model Hide Rack Display

A kid could probably make this display, intended to resemble a hide rack, almost independently. It’s a good way to practice those fine motor skills with hole punching and knot tying!

7. Poncho

A poncho is one of the easiest projects to sew, and because it’s usually made of wool felt or a similarly warm and sturdy fabric, it’s a suitable surface to sew patches onto for display. Just make sure you use a heavyweight needle and thread–I’d recommend tools that are used for sewing denim, to be safe.

8. Poster Board and Hot Glue

I can’t imagine a simpler solution than a poster board backing, a store-bought frame (pro tip: I get all of my frames from thrift stores and just refinish them if I don’t like them), and hot glue to mount the patches.

If the patch has a plastic backing that’s intended to make it iron-on, the hot glue should easily peel away from it later. If it doesn’t have a plastic, iron-on backing, gently iron a piece of freezer paper to the back of the patch and use that as your attachment point for the hot glue.

9. Quilt

I actually have one of these in progress (shh! Don’t tell my girls!). A patch quilt is especially good for a kid to take to camp, if you’ve made it from her old Scout patches, or to keep in your RV if you’ve made it from travel souvenirs. The patches add a lot of heft, so the quilt is warm and sturdy and travels well, although it’s heavy.

10. Shadow Box and Pins

A shadow box is plenty roomy enough to display patches, even if you insert an extra padded backing so that you can easily pin your patches for display. Look for stainless steel pins, as thin as you can find.

11. Tote Bag

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This is the flip side of my patch bag, filled with plenty more amazing patches from some fabulous designers {swipe to see what this bag looked like a couple of years ago} ✨🌈❤🌈✨ #patches #patchbag #patchgame #embroideredpatch #onrshop @onrshop #emilycoxhead @emilycoxhead #thehappynewspaper @thehappynewspaper #pilfered @pilfered #punkypins @punkypins #finestimaginary @finestimaginary #katieabey #nutmegandarlo @nutmegandarlo #luckydipclub @luckydipclub #aliciasouza @aliciasouzauk #jadeboylan @jade_boylan #andsmilestudio @andsmilestudio #sararrocha @sararrochaillustration #zabbyallen @zabbyallen #sostrenegrene @sostrenegrene #petrabose @petraboase #tonibee @tonibeehq #handm @hm #extremelargeness @extremelargeness #vintagelittlefairy

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If you like to sew but still want to keep your display simple, this might be the easiest option: a simple canvas tote bag! Sew each patch on by machine or by hand and move on with your life!

12. Velcro Display

Some patches come with a Velcro backing, and for the ones that don’t, just add a small strip of Velcro, yourself. This DIY Velcro display frame uses a special display fabric, but you know what? Regular old felt also works with Velcro!

13. Vest

How to Copy an Existing Piece of Clothing

This vest is the same concept as the backpack, above, and is also meant to be worn to show off your patches. I made a vest for each of my kids to display their Junior Ranger badges and patches. They’re pretty well full now!

Do you have a special way that you’ve displayed a fun collection? I’d love to hear about it in the Comments below!

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The content for this post was sourced from www.craftingagreenworld.com

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30 Stash-Busting, Scrappy Ribbon Crafts

30 Stash-Busting, Scrappy Ribbon Crafts

Life is too short to guiltily hoard a drawer full of ribbon bits and bobs and scraps and ends (*awkwardly raises hand*). I know you probably acquired all of that gorgeous ribbon to use in projects especially meant for it, but with a little inspiration–which I’m about to provide!–you can find lots of beautiful, useful ways to use up those ribbon scraps…

…and leave room in that drawer for more craft supplies that you can guiltily hoard.

Check out the tutorials below and let me know which is your favorite!

1. Bead and ribbon dragonflyChoose a high-quality ribbon and use your beaded dragonfly as a hair ornament the next time you dress fancy.

2. Cardigan sweater remakeDo you have enough ribbon to line two halves of a sweater? If so, welcome to your brand-new cardigan!

sweater to cardigan

3. ChandelierI love how kid-friendly and open-ended this project is. And as the post shows, it’s perfect for collaborating within a group.

4. Christmas tree ornamentIf you’ve got lots of green ribbon scraps in your stash, this is a fun and easy ornament to make.

5. Curly ribbon hair bowsA bin of ribbon scraps is a bin of future hair bows! I LOVE the method used here to make the ribbons stay tightly curled.

6. EmbroideryYou guys, you can EMBROIDER with skinny ribbons! Here are tons of tricks and tutes for embroidering with ribbons.

7. Flat bow for scrapbooking and card makingI’m already a fan of handmade cards, so I’m really into the idea of using itsy bitsy ribbon scraps to make bows that will lie flat and not increase my postage.

8. Gift-wrapping bowsIf you’ve got some wired ribbon taking up your stash, you can transform it into a stash of gift-wrapping bows, instead.

9. LanyardA lanyard is a great choice for a kid who needs to keep track of a bus pass, school ID, or library card. And a homemade lanyard is a lot more fun than the one leftover from your last comic-con.

10. No-sew ribbon headband holderJust because you have a lot of ribbons in your stash doesn’t mean that you need to sew. This handy headband holder is a no-sew project; all you need is hot glue!

11. Pandora ribbon braceletThis bracelet uses lots of fancy ribbon scraps and one chunky Pandora bead to tie it together.

12. Ponytail ribbon streamersTrust me that these are, indeed, a thing. As cute as they are, how could they not be?

13. Rag ribbon garlandThis project is similar to the ribbon banner, below, but it’s designed for a smaller space, such as a mantle piece or dining table.

14. Ribbon and button bookmarksHere’s an easy way to upcycle both ribbon scraps AND stash buttons!

15. Ribbon banner. Okay, this might use up all the rest of your ribbon stash. If you need more material to pad it out, you can tear some stash fabric into strips to embellish it, as well.

16. Ribbon bow tieThis scrappy ribbon bow tie looks just like a fabric bow tie–but it’s a RIBBON!

17. Ribbon buntingUse bits of ribbon as the pennants on a twine bunting. This bunting would look super cute on a cake or cupcake, or in a potted plant that you’re giving as a gift.

18. Ribbon-embellished Christmas treesThese ribbons aren’t wrapped around the cardboard cones; instead, you’ll glue loops of ribbons to the cone, making your Christmas tree super fluffy. You could even add ornaments!

19. Ribbon wand. Wow your favorite little ones with their very own magical, flowing ribbon wand.

DIY Ribbon Wand

20. Ribbon roseI’m sure you’ve seen these around. Make some of your own!

21. Ric-rac and ribbon-embellished shirtI love how nice the ric-rac and ribbon look embellishing this child’s shirt–and there’s no sewing needed!

22. Spiky ribbon bowThere’s also no sewing required for this cute bow, made from trimmed and stacked ribbons.

23. Ribbon-wrapped clothes hangerHere’s an easy way to fancy up your boring hangers.

DIY Ribbon Hangers

24. Tassel keychainUsing ribbons will make this key chain stand up to wear a lot better than if it was made with a yarn tassel.

25. Wall hangingThis project is similar to the ribbon chandelier, above, but I like it even better because you can use a found branch as the base. Don’t forget to bake your branch in the oven for a little bit first to make sure that you don’t get a lovely larval surprise a few months later!

26. WindsockThe windsock in this tutorial is Independence Day-themed, but of course, any color and style of ribbon would work–the more chaotic, the better!

27. Woven ribbon and bead braceletTweens and teens, especially, would have a lot of fun making themselves bracelets from your ribbon and bead stash using this tutorial.

28. Woven ribbon heartThis little ribbon heart would be perfect on a hair clip, or you can starch the heck out of it and turn it into a pendant.

29. Woven shamrockI NEVER have anything green for St. Patrick’s Day, ugh. Next time I’ve got some green ribbon in my stash, I’m going to make myself one of these woven shamrocks and make sure that I’m all set for next year.

30. WreathInstead of using a Styrofoam wreath form, look for one made of cardboard or straw.

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How To Sew a Patch

How To Sew a Patch

I am REALLY good at sewing on patches, and this ability is endlessly useful. It opens up a whole new world of DIY, both for adding awesome band patches to all of your awesome stuff (or awesome Girl Scout badges to your awesome Girl Scout’s awesome vest), and for, you know, actually covering up holes in your beat-up but still awesome clothes.

Yes, many patches these days are iron-on, but iron-on patches are the pits. It takes longer to iron them than it does to sew them, and that’s even assuming that they’ll stay on, which they will not, or that your iron won’t get too hot and melt them into the fabric, because that will totally happen, too. And if you wash your fabric, just assume that at some point, sooner rather than later, the iron-on patches will fall off in the wash.

You can even sew on iron-on patches. Sewn-on, they’ll be sturdier than ironed patches and never fall off, and you won’t have to worry about whatever that iron-on plastic mess is off-gassing into your house and killing your birds.

Tools & Supplies

If you’ve got a sewing machine, I urge you to give sewing on a patch a try. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sewing machine and thread. You can sew on a patch by hand, but it’s more physically challenging. Definitely use a thimble!
  • Glue stick. This is my secret trick for perfect patch placement.

Directions

1. Repair Broken Mends

If you’re using your patch to cover a hole or tear, repair the mend first. This is the most important thing to remember: a patch does not cover a hole; a patch covers a mend!

2. Choose matching thread

The bobbin thread should match the fabric that you’re patching, and the top thread should match the patch. If your patch is multi-colored or otherwise hard to match, use clear thread for the top. If you don’t want to use clear thread because it’s plastic, just choose the color of cotton thread that matches your patch the closest.

3. Glue the patch down.

Here’s my best and most secret trick for perfect patch placement: before you sew it, stick it down with a glue stick!

Because the patch plus the fabric below it is so thick, it’s really going to want to shift while you sew it, and that thickness also makes it impossible to pin. Temporarily sticking the patch down with a glue stick will allow you to keep its exact positioning while you sew it into place.

4. Sew the patch down.

Set your sewing machine to its longest stitch length, and sew around the patch. Don’t forget to back-stitch at both beginning and end! Some people are really fond of sewing patches with a zig-zag stitch, and while you need a good satin stitch to sew down a homemade patch, you really don’t need it for a finished patch. Additionally, a zig-zag stitch increases the profile of the thread and can make it more noticeable. Trust me: a nice, long straight stitch is all you need.

As you can see in my top photo, you can even overlap patches when you sew them–try doing that with an iron-on! You can also sew a patch onto any fabric, whereas you’d have to be veeery careful trying to iron a patch onto fleece or felt.

Now, go get all those band patches back on your denim jacket where they belong!

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30 Handmade Plant Markers

30 Handmade Plant Markers

If you do not use plant markers, you will regret it.

Yes, I know you’re SOOOOO excited to plant that watermelon seed that you don’t think you’ll ever forget exactly where and what it is. But you will. I give you until mid-June before you’re looking at it and thinking to yourself, “Squash? Gourd? Watermelon? Bindweed?!?”

There are enough surprises in gardening. The location of your plants shouldn’t be one of them.

Instead of dealing with an entire summer full of surprises, just make some of these awesome plant markers. You’ll know where everything is, and your garden will be even more chock-full of character than it already is. Check out the tutorials below and get inspired!

1. Butter knife and Scrabble tile plant markerThe butter knife part of this plant marker worked a peach, but the Scrabble tiles needed to be replaced this year. Fortunately, they’re just wood, so I tossed them into the mulch pile, but I bet that a good coat of clear sealant would allow them to stand up better to the weather.

2. Decoupaged metal spoonsWhen you run out of Scrabble tiles, turn to pretty paper and thrifted spoons and make a whole other set of plant markers.

3. Paint stirrer plant markersLiberating paint stirrers from the hardware store for this project is NOT upcycling (and don’t take those paint chips, either!), but after you’ve used a paint stirrer for its designated purpose, it’s actually perfectly set up for this project, complete with the background color!

4. Plastic animalsI love the idea of upcycling my kids’ old plastic animals into plant markers. It makes me feel like less of a hoarder for not wanting to give them away yet!

5. Wine bottle corksYou’re drinking wine for a good cause when you upcycle the corks into these plant markers. Pro tip: you can wood burn onto a cork, and it’ll last longer than even an oil marker.

6. Wooden plant flagsIf you want to put a little more work into your plant markers but still use entirely natural and/or upcycled materials, check out these wooden plant flags. They look great and require nothing but wood scraps, raffia, and markers.

7. Wire-wrapped found object plant markersThese are a lot of fun, especially if you’re a jeweler or scrapbooker. Epoxy glue and lots of teeny-tiny found object embellishments make each plant marker a unique work of art!

Wire Hanger and Found Object Plant Markers

8. Beaded garden markersIf it’s mostly piles of beads that you have in your stash, try making these beaded plant markers, instead.

9. Flattened and stamped spoonsThese spoons end up looking delicate, but there’s a lot of fun hammering that goes into making them. It’s a good way to get out your aggression!

10. Mason jar lid plant markers. When Mason jar lids get dings or dents they’re no longer suitable for canning, but there are still a ton of useful ways to upcycle them, including these lovely plant markers.

11. Peeled stick garden markersThis tutorial also shows you how to paint your peeled stick garden marker to look like a gnome, because you KNOW you need that!

12. Plant saucer and copper wireOld terra cotta plant saucers and copper wire from the hardware store make surprisingly sophisticated plant markers.

13. Plant flagThese cute and upcycled plant flags aren’t suitable for outdoor garden markers, but they’re perfect for including with a gifted plant, or even for an indoor potted plant.

DIY Mother's Day Gift Ideas

14. Clothespin plant markers. I love the idea of clothespins, but washi tape is NOT going to hold up. Instead, I think that you should wood burn them!

15. Painted shoe stretchersThis is proof that you can figure out a great way to upcycle anything–including vintage wooden shoe stretchers!

16. Placemat garden flagUpcycle a placemat into a flag that marks off a certain part of your garden.

17. Stamped polymer clayThese markers won’t weather, but they’re on the delicate side, so best suited for potted plants. They work with any kind of polymer clay, so save up the scraps from your other polymer clay projects and use them up for this.

18. Wine bottle capsules. This is such a smart idea. Those wine bottle capsules are hard to upcycle!

19. Painted stonesThis is a terrifically kid-friendly plant marker. Small kids can do all the background painting for you, and big kids can do everything from the decoration to figuring out how to spell the Latin name for the sunflower!

20. Painted stone on a stick Worried that your painted stone will get lost at ground level? Give it a little elevation!

21. Wooden spoonsHit up any yard sale or thrift shop for bunches of wooden spoons that would be perfect for this project.

22. Stamped can lidWhile you’re thrifting wooden spoons, also grab a handful of forks. They’re exactly what you need to mount these upcycled can lid plant markers.

23. Etched aluminum cansThese aren’t as sturdy as the stamped can lids, but they’re easier to etch and you can make them quite decorative.

24. Wired aluminum can flagsI really like the look of these plant flags, also made from aluminum cans.

25. Fence stake plant markersYou can upcycle just about anything into a plant marker if you’ve got a moveable alphabet to play with. These fence stake plant markers are perfect for marking out a larger area of plantings.

I made this DIY garden sign for a friend, and it was so much fun that I made another one. And another!

26. Bottle cap garden artSometimes you don’t need to know the names of what you planted, just that there are plants there. In that case, don’t bother with labels, and instead make some art!

27. Broken terra cotta pot markersI think that these look super-duper cute, like little flowerpots partially buried in the garden. I have a couple of pots on which the bottoms are broken off, and I like to place those completely around a little plant for a similar adorably organized look.

28. Fabric flagsThis would be an easy way to color code your garden–one fabric pattern for herbs, one for veggies, one for flowers, etc.

29. Stamped metal washersI really like the low profile of these handy labels. After all, why detract anything from the beautiful visual of your flowers in bloom?

30. Stepping stonesWouldn’t it be cute to have a garden path that also marked out where the plants were?

Do you have a tried-and-true way to make plant markers? Share it with me in the Comments below!

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50 Eco-Friendly Easter Crafts

50 Eco-Friendly Easter Crafts

Wood Burned and Stained Easter Eggs

Yes, you CAN have an eco-friendly Easter! This springtime holiday is perfect for nature crafting, and an Easter basket is a terrific spot to put a few special homemade gifts. Easter eggs are so easy to make eco-friendly, and some wholesome treats are a terrific way to counter that morning candy-fest.

Ready to be inspired? Check out these eco-friendly Easter crafts below, and then add some new memories to your Easter celebration:

1. Upcycled Easter wreathWhen you’re shredding old book pages or newspaper to make your own grass for Easter baskets, set some aside to make this upcycled wreath, perfect for welcoming guests to Sunday brunch.

Eco-Friendly Easter Crafts

2. crocheted Easter basketA crocheted Easter basket is the perfect place to put lots of homemade-with-love Easter gifts!

3. fabric Easter basketMost of the Easter baskets marketed to children in stores are plastic, which is just… no. Thrift a nice woven or wicker one, or make these sweet sewn fabric Easter baskets.

4. pom-pom bunny. Here’s a versatile craft that will work with any yarn. Cotton and wool are the most eco-friendly, but hey, if acrylic is what you’ve got, then it works fine, too.

5. pom-pom bunny garlandOnce you’ve got the pom-pom technique down, you can also make this sweet pom-pom bunny garland.

6. vegan Easter cupcakesSkip the eggs and milk and butter and still make a batch of decadent Easter cupcakes.

These Easter cupcakes are so cute and so delicious - no one will guess that they're totally vegan!

7. dimensional Easter egg ornamentYou can use up lots of little scraps of paper for these Easter egg ornaments; the result is an Easter decoration worth saving, but also easily recyclable.

8. felt Easter eggsThese are sturdy enough to hide for an egg hunt and yes, they do have a pocket for a treat!

9. Mason jar Easter basketsI love this idea for dividing treats bought in bulk among multiple kids.

10. washcloth bunny and chickHere’s an adorable way to sneak something practical into a kid’s Easter basket.

11. chalkboard Easter eggsI LOVE these Easter eggs! Add chalkboard paint to unfinished wooden eggs and you’ve got an Easter egg that you can decorate over and over again.

Chalkboard Easter Egg

12. felt bunny and chick Easter basketsThese baskets are perfect for someone who likes a little hand-sewing, although you could glue the embellishments on and they’d still look absolutely adorable.

13. kidney bean bunny wreathThis tutorial does use Styrofoam, but it’s Styrofoam that’s upcycled from packaging waste. If you don’t have any on hand, use newspaper instead.

14. potato stamped Easter eggsPotato stamps are a fun and easy way to create a wide variety of Easter eggs. Even kids can safely carve a potato stamp, and it’s a great way to experiment with patterns and colors.

15. tin can bunny plantersInstead of craft foam, cut apart a soda can and cut the aluminum into the shape that you need. Sand the edges or wrap them in duct tape to make sure they aren’t sharp.

16. candle jar miniature Easter basketVotive and jar candle containers often have the perfect Easter basket shape–just cover them in festive decorated paper and fill with tiny treats!

17. clay Easter egg garlandThis is such a simple decoration, in which even the clay is homemade.

18. felt bunny treat bagThere’s an eco-friendly type of felt for every type of crafter, so felt projects are always a great choice.

19. felt carrot pencil holderThis bunny-themed pencil holder makes sitting through a long church service or Easter lunch much more festive and entertaining for a kid. Just don’t forget the blank paper!

20. wood carrots for the yardSome woodworking skills are required for this project, but the materials are all reclaimed fence posts and pallet wood.

21. Woodburned and watercolor-stained Easter eggsWant to get away from plastic Easter eggs but you don’t want to lose those beautiful, vibrant colors? THIS is the tutorial for you!

Wood Burned and Stained Easter Eggs

22. decoupaged Easter eggsHere’s a great way to re-use the tissue paper that often comes in packaging and presents. I like that you can use real or faux eggs with this method.

23. Easter bunny stuffieIf you’re trying to avoid a lot of store-bought Easter basket fillers, then homemade toys and stuffies are for sure the way to go!

24. sock bunnyA sock bunny is even easier than a sock monkey.

25. tissue paper decoupaged Easter eggsThis is a more kid-friendly tissue paper decoupage method, specifically geared towards those scrips and scraps of vibrant craft tissue paper that you might find yourself with if you do a lot of art with kids.

26. cascaronesThese traditional eggs are all-natural, and they’re FUN!

How to Make Cascarones for Easter

27. embroidered eggs. You have to have some time on your hands to make these embroidered Easter eggs, but they’re worth it.

28. toilet paper tube miniature Easter basketThese little baskets are perfect for holding just a few treats. If you’re hosting an Easter party, children could even decorate them themselves.

29. toilet paper tube bunnyKids love making holiday crafts, so you know that they’ll love making these Easter bunnies out of toilet paper tubes.

30. tree branch Easter bunnyTurn a fallen branch into this adorably rustic Easter bunny. I love that you can make any size you like, all based just on the size of the branch.

31. natural Easter egg dyesIf you don’t use artificial food dyes, there’s no need to buy them just to decorate Easter eggs. There are so many beautiful, natural options!

32. “Bunny Crossing” signThis particular project upcycles fence pickets, but you could also reclaim pallet boards–either option is free and eco-friendly.

33. chick Mason jar vaseUpcycle an old Mason jar of spaghetti jar into a sweet chick that matches all the daffodils you can fill it with.

34. cement Easter eggsHere’s an Easter egg that you don’t have to worry about a little one breaking. I love that you can still paint and embellish these–they’d be perfect for an egg hunt!

35. egg carton bunniesThese also hold treats, so you can replace some of your Easter eggs with them.

36. papier mache Easter eggsThese papier mache Easter eggs are a full replacement for plastic Easter eggs, since they open for a treat. And just like plastic Easter eggs, they’ll also last forever, but unlike plastic eggs, these babies are just upcycled paper, glue, and paint.

Eco-Friendly Easter Crafts

37. cereal box and fabric buntingCheck out how beautiful this bunting is! Cereal boxes may have gaudy colors and marketing messages on the front, but on the inside, they’re perfectly blank canvases for your creativity.

38. reclaimed wood Easter bunnyI love that you can upcycle whatever you have on hand into this stand-up Easter bunny that’s perfect for a porch.

39. reclaimed wood Easter eggWhile you’re at it, why not make some matching Easter eggs?

40. yarn-wrapped chickWrapping yarn is a good fine motor activity to strengthen little hands, and it’s WAY less messy than paint.

41. toilet paper tube Easter bunny. This cute Easter bunny is easy to make completely from upcycled materials. Use it as a candy holder or simply as a fun decoration.

Easter Bunny Candy Holder from a Toilet Paper Roll

42. button Easter eggI bet that you can wrangle up enough buttons from your stash to make this button Easter egg.

43. felted wool Easter eggsIf you craft with wool, you’ll love these fuzzy Easter eggs that you can create from wool roving.

44. grapevine bunny wreathThe tutorial calls for faux vines, but I’m already knocking back the regular invasion of non-native plants on my property this spring. Wouldn’t it be fun to put those invasive vines to work here?

45. wood bead bunniesThese little bunnies look great when made with unpainted wood beads, but I think they’d look just as cute with any round beads that you have on hand.

46. embroidery hoop Easter eggsI love this idea for Easter decorations, because you can easily take the fabric out of the embroidery hoops and store them between holidays–and then your embroidery hoops are ready for embroidering again!

47. bunny ear hoodieThis project doesn’t take a ton of sewing skills, but it LOOKS like it does. All you have to do is cut the ears off of a stuffed bunny and stitch them to your hoodie’s hood, and boom–you’re a bunny!

48. crochet Easter bunny garlandI love the look of this Easter bunny garland, but you can also crochet the bunnies as singles.

49. eco-friendly Easter grassPlastic Easter grass is the WORST. Don’t submit to it, especially not when there are so many eco-friendly options that are even more beautiful.

50. eggshell votive candlesThese candles are so versatile–you can dye the eggshells or leave them plain, or even peel off the eggshell for an egg-shaped candle.

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Turn An Old Blender Into A Planter

Turn An Old Blender Into A Planter

Yes, that’s a super-expensive Vitamix blender pitcher that finally cracked (it’s too embarrassing to tell you why, but I assure you it was because of Reasons).

No, I could not stand to simply toss it away, even after it spit something like a half-gallon of hot tomato soup onto the counter before I figured out it was broken.

Instead, I did what I do with every single even vaguely container-shaped piece of junk that needs a second life around here–I turned it into a planter!

The process is so easy that yes, you, too, should be turning every single even vaguely container-shaped piece of junk into a planter. Think about how much sturdier your piece of junk is than a chippy terra cotta pot, and how much more eco-friendly than a brand-new plastic pot.

And think about how roomy that beautiful broken blender pitcher is. So much space for strawberries!

Tools and Supplies

Here’s what you need to plant strawberries or anything else that delights you, in your own broken blender pitcher:

  • old jar lid (optional: see Step #1 to see if you’ll need one)
  • gravel
  • potting mix
  • plant

Directions

1. Prepare the blender to be water-tight.

Blender pitchers have their blade attachment at the bottom. Generally, this won’t be a problem, and in fact, it’s even easier to turn your blender pitcher into a planter if you keep the blades installed.

However, this is my super-expensive Vitamix blender pitcher that we’re talking about here. I saved up a LONG time to buy that baby, and I sure ain’t dropping a ton more money for another entire brand-new pitcher! Instead, my partner removed the blade attachment from this broken pitcher and installed it in the new pitcher that I bought to replace it. It was still pricey as heck, but way less expensive than buying the complete replacement pitcher with the blades included.

So if you, too, have removed the blade attachment from your blender pitcher, making the pitcher water-tight again is as easy as scavenging an old jar lid that is larger than the hole but smaller than the bottom of your blender. Set the lid over the hole and you’re done. If you want to be perfectly safe, use epoxy glue to adhere the lid in place, but since the next step is going to be filling something like half this pitcher with rocks, all that weight will also keep the lid in place.

2. Add a layer of rocks.

This depends on the plant, of course, but it’s likely that your blender pitcher is far deeper than necessary. Instead of wasting a LOT of potting soil in that space, fill up what you don’t need with rocks.

Some really cute options would be river rocks, broken pottery pieces, shells, even aquarium gravel if you’ve got it, but I am flat out of cute rocks and such and so honestly, I just scooped up some of the gravel off of my driveway.

Whatever. Pretend like it was a thoughtful aesthetic choice.

3. And then you plant!

I’m so in love with the transparency of this planter. Look at what pretty layers the rocks and potting soil make–even prettier if you add that aquarium gravel or shells or pottery shards! I’m also loving the fact that it’s got a handle, making it easy for me to move around; add just the right bracket, and you could also hang it or mount it somewhere fun.

Want to know what else you can upcycle into a planter? Check out these other vaguely container-shaped pieces of junk that I’ve used!

  • Chair planterThis is a great choice for one of those outdoor chairs that probably wasn’t meant to live outdoors and now it’s falling apart.
  • Shower caddy planterI love these because they’re easy to attach to a fence railing!
  • Broken coffee mug planterA broken coffee mug planter is the perfect container to pop an herb in and set in a sunny kitchen window.
  • Metal tin planterThis is probably the easiest piece of junk to upcycle into a planter, simply because this is probably the piece of junk that you have the most of.
  • Mesh produce bag planterHere’s another great planter to try, since those mesh produce bags otherwise go straight into the trash.
  • Milk carton planterMilk cartons make insanely awesome planters, because they’re designed to be both light and water-tight.
  • Wine bottle planterA wine bottle planter takes more work to make, but that self-watering business is LEGIT.
  • Mason jar planterFun fact: instead of using my real Mason jars, which I use for canning, I really like to upcycle those spaghetti sauce jars that are embossed to look like Mason jars.

Do you have a favorite piece of junk that makes a GREAT planter? Tell me about it in the Comments below!

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18 DIY Tutus For Babies To Adults

18 DIY Tutus For Babies To Adults

A DIY tutu is one of the easiest ways to make an outfit look fancy. You can glam up everything from a superhero costume to your wedding dress, all with just a couple of seams and a billion yards of tulle!

Tulle, unfortunately, is not an eco-friendly fabric, but there are eco-friendly ways to source it. Instead of buying tulle new, ask around to see if someone in your community has a stash that you can bust, or thrift your way into your own stash–check out the housewares and the formals sections of thrift stores, because curtains and prom/bridesmaid dresses often have lots of tulle that you can repurpose.

And don’t forget all of the trash that you can upcycle. Gardeners can hook you up with their unused bird netting, or you can save up mesh produce bags and piece them together.

Another option is to skip the tulle altogether. Below, you’ll find tutorials that specifically use natural fabrics, or you can creatively substitute silk, cheesecloth, or other fun, natural fabrics for the tulle called for in other tutorials.

1. No-sew tied tutuThis is the easiest tutu to make, requiring just cutting and knot-tying. Take care not to tie the knots too tightly around the elastic, however, or you’ll pre-stretch it so that it no longer fits your desired waist measurement.

2. Tied tutu with a ribbon waistbandI like this alternate version of a tied tutu, which uses a ribbon waistband instead of the usual elastic. It’s simple to get a snug fit without measuring, and the bow adds a pretty embellishment.

3. Cotton tied tutuHere’s that natural fabric tutu that I was telling you about! Don’t be afraid to leave the edges raw; that little bit of raveling adds to the shabby chic look.

4. Ribbon tutuYou can use that same tied tutu technique with a variety of materials. Here, it’s a ribbon tutu, but there are so many other creative materials that it’s possible to use!

5. Lined tulle skirtConsider this lined tulle skirt the grown-up version of a tutu. It’s just as flowy, but not fluffy.

6. Tutu skirtHere’s another version of the lined tulle skirt. I love how sophisticated it looks!

7. Unlined tulle skirtThis skirt is similar to the previous two but is deliberately single-layered and unlined. It’s meant to be worn over a pencil skirt that you already own, but I think it could look really interesting over leggings, as well.

8. Cotton and tulle skirtIf you don’t already own something to wear an unlined tulle skirt over, you can sew a skirt and tulle overskirt all together as one piece.

9. How to cut and hem a tulle skirtIf you want to make any of those lined tulle skirts, you’ll likely want a finish that’s a little more sophisticated than just chopping off the bottom. Here’s how to neatly cut and hem a tulle skirt.

10. Filled tutuThese tutus are super fun, and look like they were a lot harder to make than they really are. The secret is folding the tulle in half and sewing the raw ends to the waistband; leave an opening, fill it with pompoms, faux flower petals, or felt confetti for a magical look!

11. Tulle circle skirtGoing to the extra effort to cut your tulle to make a circle skirt, rather than just gathering it, means that the waist will be more trim and therefore the fluff will look even fluffier!

12. Tutu with a covered waistbandCovering the waistband makes the tutu look more professional, but otherwise, the construction remains simple.

13. Boa tutuThis more adult version of the tutu can still be made from upcycled materials–only this time, you’re thrifting for boas, not prom dresses.

14. BustleHere’s another adult version of a tutu, this one using all tulle instead of boas.

15. tulle bowIf you’ve got a little extra tulle leftover, here’s a nice embellishment that you can make. Add it to the tutu, or glue it to a hair clip.

16. Tulle headbandHere’s another accessory that would look super cute with a tutu–a tulle headband!

17. Tutu chandelierIf it holds still long enough, put a tutu on it!

18. Tutu Easter basketWicker baskets are a dime a dozen (literally!) at many thrift stores; add a tutu, and you can turn a boring, thrifted wicker basket into an adorable fancy Easter basket.

Do you know of a terrific tutu tutorial that I haven’t mentioned? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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How To Sew a Nine-Patch Quilt for an American Girl Doll

How To Sew a Nine-Patch Quilt for an American Girl Doll

A nine-patch quilt is the easiest type of quilt to sew, although I might be biased since as a child I first learned how to sew by back-stitching, under my grandmother’s supervision, nine-patch quilt blocks of my very own.

A nine-patch quilt block is made from nine pieces in two different fabrics. The pieces are all square and are sewn together in alternating fabrics in three rows of three. This pattern works well with both a dedicated color scheme and layout or a seemingly random mishmash of color and contrast, which is another reason why it’s such a favorite with sewers of all ages and levels–and their recipients!

Just as the nine-patch quilt is the easiest type of quilt to sew, I find a doll quilt to be the easiest size of quilt to make. There’s nothing like a tiny quilt to give one instant gratification! An American Girl doll quilt, in particular, is a great size to start with–at just 12″ x 18″, you can make the whole thing in a single afternoon.

Here’s what you’ll need!

Supplies

  • Fabric and cutting supplies
  • Sewing machine and matching thread
  • Double-fold bias tape
  • 12″ x 18″ fleece piece

Directions

1. Measure and cut the fabric pieces

The most important thing that you can do to make a beautiful quilt is to cut the pieces completely accurately. Each piece in this quilt is a perfect square, 2.5″ x 2.5″. Each nine-patch quilt block uses two different fabrics and a total of nine pieces–four of one fabric and five of the other. You will need six total nine-patch quilt blocks for this quilt.

The nine-patch quilt lends itself to an easy hack if you’d like to make two at a time–for two children, say, or two dolls. All you have to do is cut nine of each fabric piece, and then you’ll easily have two complementary, but NOT identical, nine-patch quilt blocks in the making:

2. Piece each nine-patch quilt block

Have your iron at hand, because you always want to iron every seam flat. To sew a complete nine-patch quilt block, first sew the three separate rows of three pieces–

–ironing each seam flat as you go, and then sew the three rows together to complete the block:

Repeat for each additional nine-patch quilt block until you have six completed blocks.

3. Piece the quilt

Arrange and rearrange all of the nine-patch quilt blocks until you’re happy with the look of the quilt as a whole.

Use exactly the same method to piece the full quilt as you did to piece the individual blocks. First piece the quilt blocks together into rows, then piece the rows together until the quilt is complete.

4. Back the quilt with fleece

Because this is a doll quilt you get to skip some of the more fiddly steps involved in making a full-sized quilt. You don’t have to sandwich batting between the front and back of your quilt, unless you really, really, really want to, and you won’t actually have to quilt or tie this quilt–unless you really, really, really want to!

A neat trick to give a doll quilt a thicker, fluffier feel without bothering with batting is to back it with fleece, instead. If you simply must have three layers to your quilt, you can always use a double layer of fleece, but I promise that the quilt top plus one layer of fleece gives this doll quilt an authentic heft and feel.

5. Bind the quilt

Binding a full-sized quilt can also be time-consuming, so you’re lucking out again with this doll-sized quilt. I use a lot of different methods to bind quilts (one of my all-time favorites is back-to-front blanket binding), but my go-to method for a quick-and-easy doll quilt is to use double-fold bias tape. Bias tape can be store-bought (although you should look for bias tape made from natural fabrics, not polyester–blech!) or handmade nearly as easily, and 10mm double-fold bias tape is absolutely perfect for this project.

Your completed nine-patch quilt is the perfect size and scale for an American Girl doll to snuggle up under. Size up the quilt blocks to 4.5″ to make a matching quilt for that doll’s favorite person, or size the blocks down to 1.5″ to make a Barbie doll-sized quilt.

P.S. Inspired to make even more quilts? Check out my other quilt tutorials!

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