How to Make Realistic Felt Leaf Silhouettes

How to Make Realistic Felt Leaf Silhouettes

felt leaves

If you’re in the mood to decorate your home for autumn, there’s no better inspiration than the real leaves right outside!

You can bring them inside and they’ll last for a while, preserve them and they’ll last for longer, or you can use them as templates to make these easy and beautiful felt leaf silhouettes that will last as long as you like.

Supplies

Leaves

My kids and I have used both completely fresh leaves and pressed leaves. It’s more difficult to trace an accurate outline of a leaf when it’s fresh, but it does turn the project into one that can be done in less than an hour, instead of one that requires cooling your heels for a few weeks while your leaves are in the leaf press.

Cardstock, Pencil, Scissors, Chalk.

You could trace your leaf directly onto the felt, but I like to trace my leaf onto card stock, cut it out, and then use that template on the felt. It’s an extra step, sure, but it’s much easier to make more leaves using a single card stock template than it is a slippery leaf.

Felt

You can go two ways with your felt choice, and both are eco-friendly. Wool felt is a natural material, and Eco-fi, the most readily available type of felt found in big-box craft stores, is a recycled material, made from post-consumer plastic bottles. I own and use both types, although I do prefer the weight of my wool felt for this particular project.

Embroidery floss and needle (optional)

Sometimes, I enjoy embroidering the veins on my leaves.

Instructions

1. Go out and collect some leaves! Although this makes an especially fun autumn project, you’ll likely want green leaves still on their trees. Give them a look over to make sure that they’re whole, but don’t freak out over small irregularities. One of the things that makes this particular leaf project so nice is that since you’re copying actual leaves, each leaf will be different. None of that militant uniformity that you get from artificial greenery!

2. Press the leaves, if you’re going that route. Even if you don’t put them in a leaf press, you might decide, midway through trying to trace your first curvy, fiddly leaf, that you want to press your leaves for just a couple of hours, at least. Leaves are NOT perfectly flat like paper.

3. Trace the leaf onto card stock and cut out. Felt can hold a lot of detail, so really dig in and try to include as many of the interesting edge details that you can. Cut out the cardstock template, and if you’re into it, now is a great time to stop, ID your leaf, and write its ID on the card stock. That way you’ll know if you’re making a felt red maple or silver maple leaf!

leaf traced onto felt

4. Trace the card stock leaf onto felt using chalk. I like using chalk because it shows up well on felt, can be brushed off or washed off with a little water, and is generally a LOT easier to find than the water-soluble marking pencil that I own but loathe because chalk works so much better.

leaf and cardstock on top of felt

5. Cut out the leaf silhouette from felt. You’ll want fabric scissors for this, and even tiny thread scissors, if you’ve got them. The smaller and sharper the scissors, the easier it will be to capture all the details.

holding cut out leaf

You can simply enjoy your felt leaf silhouettes as-is, or fancy them up with embroidery or fabric paint. You can string them into a garland, or tack them together to make a bunting. Add a loop and use them as name tags on gifts or as Christmas tree ornaments.

What will YOU do with your felt leaves?

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28 Eco-Friendly DIY Fall Wreaths To Make

28 Eco-Friendly DIY Fall Wreaths To Make

spring wreath upcycled to fall wreath

A fall wreath is a festive way to transition your home out of beachy, sunglasses mode and into warmth and coziness, sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes. Check out my list of ideas for fall wreaths that will make you glad that winter is coming!

1. Upcycled sheet music pennant-embellished wreathTransform any plain wreath into a fall-themed one with this easy add-on using old sheet music.

How to Make a Fall Wreath from an Old Wreath Form

2. Burlap and lace wreath. Burlap appears to be THE thing for making a wreath look autumn appropriate, as so many of these fall wreaths incorporate it. Here, it combines with lace and fabric accents.

3. Felt flower-embellished wreathI LOVE this method of making flowers–so simple, so easy to use with any non-fray fabric. You could even do this with cardboard or newspaper!

4. Fresh sage wreathTake advantage of harvesting lots of herbs when they’re fresh, and make a wreath that is both beautiful and useful.

5. Felt leaf wreathYou can cut the leaves for this wreath from either natural wool felt or Eco-fi recycled plastic felt.

6. Paint-edged pine cone wreathThis wreath would make a terrific kid craft, particularly for a club or Girl Scout troop. And it’s super pretty!

7. Wood and burlap wreathYou can saw the wood by hand from any piece of dried wood; I think it looks perfect completely natural, but at the same time I also want to see it with every piece sanded and stained!

8. Paper leavesYou can use any type of paper for this wreath, either choosing out autumn-themed colors or dyeing white paper with liquid watercolors or diluted paint.

9. Bohemian feather wreathYour kid always bringing home found feathers? This is a great way to display them!

10. Corn tassel wreathWho would have thought that the lowly corn tassel could make such a fluffy, fun wreath?

11. Fallen twig wreathGot any fallen branches in your yard? We just had hurricane remnants blow through, so you can be that WE do! You’ve got to pick up your yard, anyway, so you might as well grab the pruning shears and the hemp cord and make yourself this beautiful wreath!

12. Indian corn wreathPut your farmer’s market haul on display in a colorful way!

13. Popcorn kernel wreathWho says that popcorn is only a good decoration for the Christmas tree?

14. Pussy willow wreathSo many wreath tutorials call for fake flowers and greenery when it isn’t really necessary; this tutorial, however, calls for real pussy willow, and you’ll for sure be able to tell the difference.

15. Acorn wreathThis is the perfect natural wreath! Use a cardboard or straw wreath base, and when the season is over, simply toss the wreath into a likely spot in your yard for the squirrels to find.

Nature Crafts for Autumn

16. Candy corn wreathI love the subtle reference to Halloween candy that this wreath makes. Keep it classy with plain colors, or make it more whimsical by using prints in the correct colors.

17. Miniature pumpkin wreathYes, this tutorial uses REAL miniature pumpkins to make a wreath. Get ready to do a lot of wire wrapping!

18. Ribbon wreathDo you find it impossible to throw away ribbon scraps, just in case you find a use for them? You’ll be thrilled to use up your ribbon scraps with this ribbon wreath!

19. Scrap fabric wreathThis particular wreath is made using strips of a drop cloth, so it’s a lovely neutral color, but I don’t mind if you want to go wild with your fabric stash!

20. Scarecrow wreathUpcycld outgrown children’s jeans into this scarecrow wreath that’s a non-scary way to transition into Halloween.

21. Upcycled book page wreathThis wreath is made from rosettes formed from old book pages. It’s surprisingly easy to make, because you can freehand all of the rosettes.

22. Copper pipe wreathIt’s very likely that somewhere nearby–perhaps in your garage, or perhaps in a neighbor’s garage–there are some copper pipe scraps that nobody wants. And copper pipe is the PERFECT color for autumn! I don’t love faux flowers, so personally, I’d embellish this wreath with fall leaves dipped in beeswax, but hey–you do you.

23. Cinnamon stick wreathThis wreath is going to smell amazing!

24. Burlap bubble wreathThis wreath has a different look than the other fabric wreaths on this list–the way that the burlap is tied makes it super cute and puffy!

25. Pine cone wreathI don’t love the idea of using a styrofoam wreath form, but perhaps you have an old one that you can upcycle, or a pool noodle to repurpose.

26. Pompom wreathSince you choose the yarn, you can choose any color scheme you’d like for this pompom wreath.

27. Twig and fabric rosette wreathThe wreath almost looks like a sun, with the twigs as the sun’s rays and yellow rosettes. It’s lovely as is, but you can get a completely different effect by changing out the color of fabric.

28. Yarn-wrapped wreathThis is a GREAT project to use up any yarn scraps that you have in suitable autumn colors.

Have any other great tips for DIY, eco-friendly fall wreaths? Tell me about them in the Comments below!

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How to Sew a Fibonacci Quilt

How to Sew a Fibonacci Quilt

Fibonacci quilt

Quiltmaking is surprisingly mathematical. If you love to sew quilts, then whether you realize it or not, your geometry and trigonometry skills are probably on point!

Why not celebrate how mathematically beautiful a well-made quilt is by making a quilt out of one of the most beautiful mathematical sequences that we know so far.

Let’s sew a Fibonacci quilt!

The Fibonacci sequence, named after the guy who first noticed it, is a series of numbers created by adding up the two previous numbers in the sequence. You’re given 0 and 1, so add them together and the next number is also 1. 1 and 1 make 2, but then 2 and 1 make 3. 3 and 2 make 5, 5 and 3 make 8, and you can just keep going, ad infinitum.

To make the Fibonacci squares, use each of the Fibonacci numbers as the length of the sides of a square–leave out 0, because that doesn’t make a square, of course. Piece them together in a spiral, much like a log cabin quilt block, and you’ll have a Fibonacci rectangle that looks like this:

Fibonacci Squares image CC BY-SA 4.0

Now, pretend that each of these squares is the finished measurement of a quilt block–wouldn’t that make an absolutely beautiful quilt?

We’re going to go up one more number in the sequence, all the way to 34, because that’s the last number in the sequence that you can make from one continual piece of yardage. Here, then, will be the finished measurements of the quilt pieces that you’ll need:

  • 1″
  • 1″
  • 2″
  • 3″
  • 5″
  • 8″
  • 13″
  • 21″
  • 34″

I used a quarter-inch seam allowance on all of the pieces, so add a half-inch to each of these measurements when you cut your quilt pieces.

You will also need the following:

  • one 34″x55″ piece of backing fabric. I backed this quilt with nothing but another piece of quilting cotton, and I am in love with how light it is. Not every quilt has to be warm enough for winter–some quilts are destined for summertime naps on the couch!
  • double-fold bias tape. You can make your own double-fold bias tape, but I buy mine from Laceking on Etsy.
  • cutting and sewing supplies.

1. Pre-wash, measure, and cut fabric pieces. Don’t forget to add 1/2″ seam allowance to each measurement!

2. Piece the quilt. This Fibonacci quilt is easy to piece–just follow the above diagram, adding each piece in numerical order of its measurement. Be very strict about your 1/4″ seams, and iron after every seam. I like to use a walking foot when I sew quilts, so if you’re struggling to feed your fabric evenly, that might be worth checking out.

Fibonacci quilt

3. Put the front of the quilt with the back, wrong sides together. Pin it as much as you can stand to!

Fibonacci quilt

4. Sew double-fold bias tape all the way around the quilt. Miter the corners as you go to save time–I really like the first method shown in this video.

Fibonacci quilt on sewing machine

When you’re finished, you’ll have a lovely, light summer quilt that’s both aesthetically and mathematically beautiful:

Fibonacci quilt hanging on fence

Interested in more cool math activities? Check out my list of even MORE fun Fibonacci sequence stuff!

Or maybe you’re just into modern quilt patterns? I’ve got you covered on that, too–check out this round-up of ten more modern quilt patterns that you can sew!

Now get back to your sewing machine and get going!

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How To Make Fabric Decoupaged Blocks

How To Make Fabric Decoupaged Blocks

fabric blocks

Don’t let outgrown building blocks languish unloved in a back closet when there are so many beautiful ways to upcycle them!

I’ve been in the process of slowly upcycling my kids’ old building blocks for years (I promise, there will still be more building blocks in the world when/if I have grandchildren!), and one of my favorite ways to upcycle building blocks is to turn them into holiday decorations using simple decoupage techniques.

I’ve already shown you how easy it is to decoupage blocks with paper, but you’ll be pretty excited to know that decoupaging blocks with fabric is EVEN easier! Fabric is sturdier than paper, which means that you need fewer layers of Mod Podge to seal it, and the surface is so much more forgiving than paper, so you’ll find that every Mod Podge layer looks nice and smooth, in stark contrast to all the fussing that one tends to have to do with paper decoupage.

For paper or fabric decoupage, the supplies are nearly identical. Here’s what you need:

Supplies

  • Outgrown building blocks. I love the look of plain cubes, but you can decoupage any block shape.
  • Fabric, pencil, and scissors. You’ll be fussy cutting your fabric to size, then trimming, if necessary.
  • Mod Podge and a foam paintbrush. Foam paintbrushes aren’t as eco-friendly as natural hair brushes, but they apply the glue smoothly, and if you wash them well after each use they’ll last forever.

blocks, scissors, and fabric

Directions

  1. Prepare your fabric. If it’s new fabric, there’s no need to wash and dry it just for this project, but you should iron out any creases.
  2. Measure and cut the fabric. I like to fussy cut the fabric pieces for my decoupaged fabric blocks, so I use the block itself as my template, tracing around each side on the reverse of the fabric piece. You can do this with a pencil or piece of chalk, and if you cut INSIDE the lines that you drew, the piece will match the side of the block more closely.
  3. Glue the fabric to the block. Working on one side at a time, paint a layer of Mod Podge onto the block, carefully smooth the fabric piece onto that side, and then paint another thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the fabric. Let it dry completely before you glue another side–this isn’t a hands-on time-consuming project, but it DOES take up a lot of resting time!

You might think that these cute blocks are only for decorating–and yes, they DO make super cute decorations!–but once they’re sealed with Mod Podge, a kid can play with them just as they do any other blocks. I wouldn’t let a kid who’s still mouthing things have them, but any other kids would probably love having some fun, festive holiday elements added to their open-ended block play.

Upcycled Building Block Projects

Do you have even more blocks that you’re ready to upcycle? Here are just a few of my favorite ways to upcycle building blocks!

DIY puzzles

1. DIY puzzle blocks. Older kids will enjoy the challenge of using their building blocks in this completely new way.

2. Artist Trading Blocks. Create, share, and collect these blocks with other artists.

3. Candle holder. These candle holders work best with big, chunky alphabet blocks.

4. Art dice. Amp up your creativity with this fun, open-ended art game!art dice

5. Snowman blocks. Here’s another simple holiday decoration.

6. Building block tabletop. This method to make a tabletop out of upcycled building blocks is brilliant, and it’s on my to-do list, for sure.

7. Alphabet block coat rackHere’s another fun piece of furniture that you can make from unneeded alphabet blocks.

8. Photo holderYou always need more room for photos, and here’s an easy way to make a photo holder out of old building blocks.

9. MirrorThis would be a cute way to decorate a children’s bathroom mirror.

10. Translucent color blocksUpcycle Keva or Kapla blocks into these beautiful science and sensory manipulatives.

11. Photo puzzle blocksThese aren’t just for kids–they make a great coffee table or desktop toy, so they’re a great gift to make for grandparents.

12. Countdown calendarA countdown calendar is sooooo much easier than an Advent calendar!

13. Block signageThese blocks would make a great holiday message, either out of the way on the mantle, or on the coffee table for kids to rearrange at will–it’s not hard to put them back in order!

14. Chalkboard blocksSometimes a set of building blocks just needs a new coat of paint to make them brand-new. If you use chalkboard paint, then the fun never has to end!

15. Baby shower craftI LOVE this idea! At one of my baby showers, guests decorated onesies, but how much fun could it have also been for guests to embellish baby’s future toys! This project would work best with clean, unfinished wooden blocks that haven’t been loved a lot in their previous life. They’ll be loved a lot in their next one!

What are YOUR favorite ways to upcycle old toys? Tell me about them in the Comments below!

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How to Upcycle a Crystal Head Vodka Bottle Into a Sugar Skull Candle Holder

How to Upcycle a Crystal Head Vodka Bottle Into a Sugar Skull Candle Holder

skull head candle holder

Y’all, I drank some vodka so that my kids and I could make this project. Friends, I am always working for YOU!

It’s October. You need a sugar skull candle holder.

There are skull-shaped vodka bottles for sale in liquor stores.

Let’s play!

Supplies

To make your own sugar skull candle holder, you will need:

  • Skull-shaped glass bottle. I’m using empty Crystal Head vodka bottles (hiccup!), but there are other skull-shaped glass bottles around.
  • Rust-Oleum Paint+Primer spray paint, heirloom white. I don’t love spray paint, obviously, because it’s not eco-friendly, BUT this exact color in this exact brand is the perfect bone color.
  • Paint pens. We used both Sharpie and Beric paint pens. I, personally, preferred the narrower tips of the Beric pens, but both brands show up well and don’t flake off or smear.

spray painting skull bottles

Directions

  1. Clean and paint the skull-shaped glass bottle. There’s a neat trick that you can do to paint a bottle: stick a pole in the ground, upend the bottle over the pole, and get the whole bottle, top, and bottom, in one go! I, however, didn’t feel like digging around for a pole, so I just turned the bottles upside-down after they dried and sprayed on another coat. No big deal.
  2. Decorate the bottles with paint pens. Have a lot of fun with this! Draw patterns and designs or focus on one big concept; either way its going to look absolutely awesome.

decorating skull bottle heads

This is a great project for a kid to do if they can treat paint pens respectfully. Teach them all about the Day of the Dead, let them look at lots and lots of images of real sugar skulls, and then let them be as creative as they like.

If you want to seal your sugar skull candle holder with a clear sealant, you can, but in this case, I don’t really think it’s necessary. I also didn’t want to make my own sugar skull candle holder shiny.

The Crystal Head vodka bottle fits a standard-sized taper candle, and I’d recommend cutting a cardboard circle out of recycled food packaging to fit around the candle so that you’re not in any danger of wax dripping onto your beautiful creation.

finished skull head bottle candle holder

P.S. Want to make a REAL sugar skull? Check out my walk-through here!

P.P.S. Want to make even more types of sugar skulls? Check out some of my other favorite sugar skull projects!

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Four Dozen Eco-Friendly Felt Crafts

Four Dozen Eco-Friendly Felt Crafts

Felt is SO much fun to craft with, and felt crafts are even better when you realize how eco-friendly they can be!

Prefer crafting with natural materials? Wool felt is for you.

Prefer crafting with recycled materials? You’ll love Eco-fi felt, made from recycled plastic bottles!

Whichever kind of felt you prefer, you can settle happily into any of the felt crafts below, knowing that whatever you make, it will be a great choice for the environment:

1. Realistic felt leaf silhouettesYou use real leaves as the templates for these felt leaves, so each one is unique and realistic.

2. Felt piggy bank coin purseThis little piggy is adorable and will keep your change safe.

3. Felt party hatsDon’t waste your money on buying party hats every year–these are cute, easy to make, and will last forever.

4. Felt woodland creature masksIf you’re already freaking out about Halloween costumes, these adorable felt woodland creature masks may just save your month!

This cute little no-sew felt owl is a perfect way to take a break from the summer swelter.

5. No-sew owlThis is a great craft for a kid to make independently–working with felt is great for kids!

6. Plantable felt garden boxSo, this is the cutest craft EVER. If you have a kid who loves play food, that kid is going to LOVE this play garden.

7. Felt play foodI’m 42 years old, and I would still play with felt food–it’s THAT fun.

8. Travel tic-tac-toeHere’s an easy-to-make, easy-to-play travel game!

9. Baby capeOne 9” x 12” piece of felt is the perfect size for a cape for a baby. It’s an easy Halloween costume!

10. Felt sugar skull sachetsI am a firm believer that skulls are a year-round decorating element. Whether you, too, have skulls all over, or if you reserve them for Halloween, you’re going to think that these felt sugar skulls are super cool!

11. Fabric heartsI love mixing felt with other fabrics, and here it goes especially well with cotton prints to make beautiful valentine hearts.

12. Sheep mobileThese bouncy felt sheep will send your baby right to sleep!

13. First sewing project for a kidFelt is PERFECT for a first sewing project for a kid! It’s a real fabric, and therefore not babyish, but it doesn’t fray and is very forgiving. Show kids how to cut out simple shapes and how to thread a needle with embroidery floss, and then stand back and watch them create!

Crafts for Kids: Kid-Friendly Sewing Projects

14. Coffee sleeveYou don’t need to take and waste a cardboard sleeve when your DIY version is this cozy.

15. Felt acorn coasterCool weather is no reason for warm drinks to leave rings on your coffee table!

16. Felt gingerbread manThese little gingerbread men make cute ornaments or gift tags.

17. Felt koozieA felt koozie is easy enough for a kid to make with white glue and a few simple stitches, but you could also make these amazingly elaborate, with lots of details and embroidery. It’s the perfect all-level project!

Handmade Father's Day Gifts

18. Felt mailbox play setDoes your kid LOVE checking the mail? Make them a homemade felt mailbox!

19. Felt succulentsYou can’t kill them.

20. Garland necklaceYou get to whip out your jewelry making skills for this project!

21. CrownAre birthday crowns a thing where you live? They’re not a thing where I live, but I did them anyway when my kids were wee. Felt is a great material to use since it’s so easy to sew, and you can add whatever embellishments you like.

22. Felt heart bookmarkThis corner-style bookmark is the cleverest, and the design meshes perfectly with its function.

23. Felt lollipopMy kid had a candy-themed birthday party once, and these would have made great party favors.

24. Felt storage boxesWith all of the colors that felt comes in, you can have an endless variety of boxes to store all your odds and ends.

25. Car air freshenerFair warning: I have only tried this with wool felt, and so I don’t know how long the scent would last with recycled plastic felt. But this is also a terrific way to get some scent into your car, and especially without resorting to store-bought artificial scents!

Best of Crafting Green

26. Christmas pudding ornamentSo you can have a very British Christmas!

27. Felt peonyAfter you read through this entire round-up, you should be able to make an entire garden of felt flowers!

28. Ice cream broochApparently felt is THE fabric to have when making novelty accessories.

29.  Reusable party streamersThese streamers sew up quickly from even the smallest felt scraps, and you can reuse them year after year.

30. Felt leaf garlandUse these instead of store-bought faux greenery.

31. Felt wedding bouquetI LOVE this idea. I’d love to still have my own wedding bouquet, as fresh as when I walked down the aisle with it!

32. Guinea pig ornamentEverybody should want an ornament that celebrates their own favorite piggy.

33. Pinwheel broochHere’s a silly and sweet accessory for your next date night!

34. Felt bowThese are easy to make as multiples. Party favors, anyone?

35. Felt eucalyptusHere’s another one to add to your felt garden!

36. Rainbow heart bannerI love how colorful this is!

37. Peacock fascinatorNeed another lighthearted accessory? Check out this adorable peacock fascinator!

38. Felt baby shoesYour baby will be the most stylish–and the comfiest–in these homemade baby shoes.

39. Felt hot air balloon mobileOnce you learn how to make a mobile, tons of creative options are open to you!

40. Felt flowers mobileIf your baby doesn’t want a mobile of hot air balloons or sheep, then how about flowers?

41. Felt scraps garlandHere’s another easy streamer to make from all your littlest felt scraps.

42. Christmas pillowOne thing to know about felt is that it doesn’t always wash well, so I’d make sure that this pillow was mainly decorative.

43. Felt doughnutIt’s all hand-sewn, so anyone can do it–the more sprinkles, the better!

44. Felt mitten patternTwenty-four of these mittens lined up in a row would make a super sweet Advent calendar.

45. Felt playsetKids love felt boards for all the ways that they support imaginary play. Here’s how to make a felt playset with all of YOUR kid’s favorite things!

46. Felt corsageIt’s cheaper and more meaningful than even fresh flowers.

47. Felt dove ornamentThis link takes you right to the pdf template, so making this dove couldn’t be easier!

48. Felt tissue holdersThese are perfect for carrying around just a few tissues in your bag.

Do you have a favorite felt craft? Share it with me in the Comments below!

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Three Dozen Free Knit Hat Patterns

Three Dozen Free Knit Hat Patterns

Knitting season is upon us! I can tell, because as I sit here at my writing desk, I’m wearing wool socks, sweatpants, and a fleece hoodie with a giant unicorn head for a hood (it’s for sure my best thrift shop score EVER!), and I’m still freezing. When I go outside later, I will absolutely pull a knit hat on under my giant unicorn head, because in the fall and winter, you can never have too many knit hats.

A knit hat is a great knitting project, whether you’re a beginning knitter or a seasoned professional because there is a knit hat pattern to suit everybody. Don’t have a ton of time? Use chunky yarn! Have ages and ages to knit in? Allow yourself to make the most beautiful, elaborately detailed hat ever! Want to use up a bunch of scraps? Make the most colorful hat on the planet! Knitting for the pickiest person you’ve ever met? There’s a yarn color and weight and fiber for everyone!

So whatever type of project you’re looking for, check out the list below of my favorite FREE knit hat patterns online. You’re going to find something that you’ll love!

1. Classic knit hat Think of a knit hat. Got it? Okay, you’re thinking of this very hat! It’s a classic for a reason, simple in looks, easy to make, and lovely in any color.

2. Easy pom-pom hat on Ravelr If you love knitting (or you’re just learning to love it!), then you need to sign up for a Ravelry account. You’ll find loads of knitting projects and advice on Ravelry, and plenty of well-vetted patterns that are absolutely free–like this one!

3. Easy knit toque Here’s a simple pom-pom hat that’s knit with chunky yarn so it’s quick to make and comfy to wear.

4. Anthropologie-inspired knit hat I have absolutely no problem with seeing something that I like in a store and then heading straight home to DIY it. Here’s a great DIY version of an expensive store-bought knit hat.

5. Stripey knit slouchy beanie This is a cute style that will also stand up to lots of wear and tear and activity.

6. Beanie with a pom-pom This knit beanie is very similar to the one just above, but this one has a POM-POM!!!

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When your oldest friend asks for a Seahawks hat, you oblige even though they cheer for the wrong Birds (FLY EAGLES FLY!!) Crochet Winter Hat Pattern” free on www.knitted-patterns.com. Colors: Lion Brand Hometown USA “Fort Worth Blue” and Caron Simply Soft “Neon Green.” Maybe this will make the end of football season bearable for her 😉. . … #yarnspirations #lionbrandyarn #lionbrandhometownUSA #seattleseahawks #crochethat #crochetersofinstagram #crochetgirlgang #crochetlove #crochetersofig #likecrochet #crochetmagazine #lovecrochet #crochetaddict #crocheting #lovecrochetcom #insidecrochet #crochetgirlgang #crochetfans #happilyhooked #handmade #lovecrochet #knittedpatternsdotcom #yarnstagram #freepattern

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7. Despicable Me Edith hat Have a kiddo who loves Despicable Me and would love to dress just like one of those cute little cartoon kids? It’s now possible!

8. Seed stitch knit hat pattern Not all knit hats are knit with the easiest, most basic stitches. Here’s one that will stand out from the crowd thanks to the seed stitch.

9. Snowy Day hat This hat could not look warmer or more snuggly–it’ll FEEL warm, too, thanks to two strands of yarn knit together throughout the entire hat.

10. Audrey hat for beginners The pattern for this hat was designed with beginners in mind and has helpful written tips just for newbie knitters.

11. Effortless beanie Here’s another free hat pattern just for knitters. The pattern, itself, is free, but if you need even more hand-holding, you can actually buy a kit with all the supplies needed to make this hat right from the pattern page.

12. Baby earphones hat This free hat is sized for 12 months, with other sizes for sale.

13. Braided hat Even those of us with buzzcuts can have long braids for winter!

14. Matching hearts hat The heart earflaps are too cute, and you can even knit them separately to embellish an entire line of matching winter gear.

15. Child’s earflap hat Earflap hats are the warmest, and the little ties mean that you can actually keep this hat ON a kid’s head.

16. Child’s crown I don’t know how warm this will actually keep a child, but it is ADORABLE.

17. Knight’s helmet This WILL keep a head–and face!–quite warm.

18. Creepy critters chullo I LOVE the critters knitted into this super-warm hat!

19. Owl knit hat pattern Like the idea of animals on your head, but you’re NOT into the idea of creepy animals? I think this owl knit hat is going to be just the thing for you.

20. Cupcake hat Your little cupcake needs a cupcake hat!

21. Ombre pom-pom beanie With just three colors of yarn, this beanie hat pattern has the cleverest way to make an ombre effect.

22. Sock monkey hat You need a hat that looks like a sock monkey, and that’s all that I’m going to say about it.

23. Simple texture slouch hat Yarn companies can be a great resource for free knitting patterns, such as this version of a knitted slouch hat.

24. Mummy hat Here’s another yarn company offering–this one a hat that will keep your face and head warm, and make you look quite a lot like a mummy.

25. Chunky knit hat And another yarn company, wanting to show you how to make a chunky knit hat that’s very snuggly and knits up quickly.

26. Daffodil hat This little hat would be so cute on a kid in early spring!

27. Transformers toque This hat is more than meets the eye. It is not, however, a robot in disguise.

28. Four-row repeat hat Here’s an easy technique for making a hat that looks more complicated than it is!

29. Brain hat Why yes, this IS a free pattern to knit a hat that looks like a brain. You guys, I want this hat sooo badly!

30. Snowfall hat If you want something Christmasy but a little more elegant, check out this snowfall hat.

31. Rudolph hat Knit hats are the clothing of Christmas–get a little more festive with a Rudolph hat!

32. Santa hat If someone is going to be Rudolph, then someone else has to be Santa Claus!

33. Belle wig Maybe you can only get your loved one to wear a hat outside in the cold if that hat happens to look exactly like Belle’s wig from the Beauty and the Beast animated film. That’s cool because this knit hat does that!

34. Knitted wig This wig isn’t nearly as elaborate as the Belle wig, above, but it’s still a fun way to keep your heard warm with a faux hair look.

35. Elvis wig Or, you know, you could just knit yourself an Elvis wig.

36. Spock ears hat Or maybe you can only get them to wear a hat if the hat looks like Spock’s ears. Whatever works!

Do you have any favorite free knit hat patterns? Share them with me in the Comments below!

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21 Free Leggings Patterns and Tutorials

21 Free Leggings Patterns and Tutorials

mermaid leggings

If you’ve been suspecting that you can make leggings that are just as good as the ones you can buy in stores, then you are RIGHT! Leggings are super easy to sew, very forgiving for the beginner, and best yet, when you’re in charge of making them, you get to choose your favorite prints and patterns, and you get to make sure that the fit and length are exactly what you want.

For instance, those mermaid leggings in that photo above? I sewed them in exactly the holographic blue mermaid scale print that my mermaid-obsessed kid has been dreaming of, and I went up a full size in the length, so that unlike every other pair of leggings that I’ve ever tried to buy her in a store, they actually fit both her waist AND her legs–yay!

And of COURSE, I sewed her American Girl doll a matching pair of mermaid leggings from the scrap fabric.

Making a kid’s dream come true isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Interested in making some dreams of your own come true, or maybe you just want another pair of comfy pants? No problem! Check out my list of FREE leggings patterns and tutorials below, and soon you and your ball-point sewing needle will be cranking out some new favorites.

space leggings

1. Peg Legs by Patterns for PiratesI seriously cannot believe that this pattern is free. It is the BEST leggings pattern, and you can also get free add-ons to it to make it even fancier. It also comes in a huge variety of sizes–my 12-year-old is just barely too small for the smallest size, but my 14-year-old (near the bottom of the sizes) and I (near the top) both love the leggings that I made from this pattern.

2. Easy 18-inch doll leggingsThis is THEE pattern that I use to make American Girl doll leggings. Every time I sew a pair of leggings, I use the scraps to sew a pair for my kid’s dolls. She loves them, and *I* love using up every last bit of fabric!

3. Adult sweater to child leggingsThese kid leggings aren’t stretchy, but they are SO warm and toasty, and the wilder the sweater, the more the kid will love them.

4. Draft your own leggings patternIf you want a real, made-from-scratch DIY experience, why not draft your own pattern? Leggings are so forgiving that this is a great beginner’s project.

5. No-sew braided leggingsYou do have to start with a complete pair of leggings for this project, but it would be a great way to jazz up a boring pair of leggings rather than buying a brand-new pair.

6. Free children’s leggings patternSo many tutorials tell you to make leggings by tracing a pair of leggings that you already own, and honestly, I’m pretty over that. That’s a fine novice trick, but after a while, you really just want a well-drafted pattern with a decent range of sizes. So hallelujah, here’s just that!

7. Knit shirt to child leggingsHonestly, if I had another kid, all I’d do is upcycle old adult shirts into clothes for that kid. Any comfy long-sleeved shirt made of T-shirt fabric can be used to make a comfy pair of leggings for a kid.

8. No-hem bow cuff for leggingsUse this cute finishing technique with any leggings pattern.

9. Skirt + leggingsThis pattern is a great idea for kids who want to wear a pair of leggings under their skirt, anyway. Hint: it makes the monkey bars so much easier!

10. Knee patches for leggingsYou can save yourself a lot of trouble by simply putting knee patches on your kids’ leggings as you sew them.

11. Another free leggings pattern. And here’s another free adult leggings pattern! It’s an embarrassment of riches!

12. Another free kids’ leggings patternI really like the flounced capri option with these leggings.

13. Leggings to shortsRefashioning holey leggings into shorts is super easy, and you always need another pair of shorts!

14. Add ruffles to leggingsThese ruffles would be super cute attached to capri leggings.

15. Size medium leggings patternFree patterns for adult leggings are hard to come by. If you’re a size medium, then you’re in luck!

16. Painted patterns on leggingsHere’s another fun way to embellish a boring pair of leggings.

17. Baby leggings patternIf anyone deserves to be comfy, it’s a BABY!

18. Stretch lace leggingsUse any of the listed leggings patterns with stretch lace, and make yourself a super cute base layer.

19. Anything But Basic leggings patternHere’s another free pattern for adults, and it comes in a range of sizes, too. Yay!

20. Yoga pants to leggingsIf you’ve got yoga pants but you’d rather have leggings, here’s how to make the change.

21. Leggings with ruffled flowersWhen you sew your own leggings, it’s simple to add high-fashion embellishments–like these ruffled flowers!

Do YOU have a favorite way to sew or embellish leggings? Share them with me in the comments below!

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32 Eco-Friendly Halloween Crafts

32 Eco-Friendly Halloween Crafts

Halloween is the BEST holiday, but don’t get tricked into thinking that you’ve got to throw down the bucks in order to celebrate it in style. The truth is that too many store-bought Halloween decorations and accessories are made with unsustainable materials and practices, shipped long distances, and include too much packaging–and I’m not even going to get started on what they’ll do when they inevitably end up clogging the waste stream.

These eco-friendly Halloween crafts, however, have NONE of that nonsense. You’ll love how awesome and unique your Halloween decorations are, and the environment will thank you for not adding one more sweatshopped plastic piece of junk to the landfill in November.

Check out this list of my own favorite eco-friendly Halloween crafts, and get inspired!

1. Upcycled sugar skull candle holderI used empty Crystal Head vodka bottles (hiccup!) for this project, but your thrift store or local Freecycle might have other options for skull-shaped glass bottles.

2.Bleeding candlesThis is a great way to liven up and get some more use out of partially-burned white candles. For an even easier method, use red crayons to make the blood drips.

3. DIY candy holdersParty favors are easy to pass out when they’re popped safely into these DIY candy holders, decorated to look like funny monsters.

Upcycled Halloween Crafts
4. Jack-o-Lantern string artDon’t let string art be a forgotten hobby–it’s super fun!

5. Monster headbandMaybe you’re more into a low-key Halloween costume, and I get that. In such cases, might I recommend the simple, upcycled monster headband?

DIY Monster Headband

6. Flashlight projectorMake trick-or-treating even spookier with these DIY filters to make Halloween-themed flashlight projections.

7. Ghost tasselsThis is a terrific way to use up stash yarn, and bonus–you’ll learn how to make tassels!

8. Milk jug skullsThese skulls are a LOT of work, but they look amazing, AND they’re made from plastic milk jugs!

9. Recycled jar mummyLooking for some Halloween decorations that are a tad spooky but won’t scare the snot out of your kids? It’s the recycled jar mummy to the rescue! For even more fun, turn it into a candle holder!

10. Halloween cootie catchersNeed a quick craft for a children’s Halloween party? Try making Halloween cootie catchers!

11. Mason jar luminaryYou can also use spaghetti or jelly jars for this craft.

12. Magazine collage Jack-o-LanternThis is a great way to use up those catalogs that you’re somehow still getting in the mail, grr.

13. DIY chalkboard maskNot sure what you want to be for Halloween? Be something different every time with this handmade chalkboard mask!

DIY Halloween Decorations: Chalkboard Mask

14. Halloween-themed pallets. There are SO many ways to decorate pallets for Halloween.

15. Scrap yarn pumpkinsOrange scrap yarn can be hard to find a use for… unless it’s Halloween!

16. Upcycled thrift store Halloween figuresHit up your local thrift store for tacky figurines, and transform them into the stuff of nightmares.

17. FrankenbottleIt’s a chilly, rainy, miserable day outside today. Wouldn’t it be nice to stay snuggled up inside, raid the recycling bin, and make some fun Halloween decorations?

Halloween Crafts from Recycled Materials: DIY Halloween Decorations: Frankenstein Bottle

18. Faux taxidermyMy kids have grown out of playing with their billions of plastic toy animals, but they still don’t want them gone. I wonder if they’d mind if I turned them into taxidermy?

19. Spaghetti wormsRemember that old game where you’re blindfolded and have to reach into a bowl of worms? Yeah, there’s a whole new generation that needs to be freaked out by that one…

20. Pillowcase ghost dressWhite pillowcases are a dime a dozen (literally!) at many thrift shops, and they’re perfect for making pillowcase dresses embellished to look like ghosties.

21. Upcycled tin lanternsJust as fun to carve as pumpkins, and yet way less messy, these tin can lanterns are a great way to light the path for trick-or-treaters.

DIY Halloween Decorations: Boo Lanterns

22. Cereal box tombstoneUpcycle a cereal box into a creepy tombstone.

23. Head in a jarThis is my favorite kind of Halloween craft because when you’re done, all you have to do is pour out the water, toss the photo (or save it until next year), and put your big jar back into service!

24. Book page and bat Halloween buntingI LOVE to craft with old book pages, and their black-and-white beauty is especially suited to Halloween crafting.

25. Porch scarecrowKick your Halloween decorations old-school with your very own porch scarecrow. For bonus points, stuff it with fallen leaves from your yard!

Halloween Crafts from Recycled Materials: DIY Halloween Decorations: Drunken Farmer

26.Dryer lint funeral mossThis is so weird and gross, but dryer lint DOES make great moss for decorating fake tombstones, so there you go…

27. Scrapbook paper pumpkin garlandHave too much stash scrapbook paper? Give it a new life in this fun and festive pumpkin garland.

28. Upcycled Halloween village luminariesPut all of your old spaghetti jars into service to make this spookily beautiful Halloween village.

29. Paper luminary coversYou can turn any tealight into a Halloween luminary just be adding a perforated paper cover.

30. Decoupaged Halloween blocksRemember how much I love to decoupage blocks? Here’s a great method for adding some Halloween theming to them.

31. Spinning cardboard ghosts.  Use cardstock to make this easy and fun Halloween spinning ghost, then hang it up in a drafty corner.

32. Witch’s broomAren’t you happy that you haven’t cut your grass all summer?

Do YOU have a favorite eco-friendly Halloween craft? Share it with me in the Comments below!

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

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13 Ways to Upcycle Eyeglass Cases

13 Ways to Upcycle Eyeglass Cases

It’s easy to donate your old eyeglasses, but what about the cases?

The donation facility likely doesn’t want them. You got a new one with your new eyeglasses, so YOU don’t need them. They’re probably not recyclable and probably made of plastic, so your choices are to toss your old eyeglass case into the waste stream or to upcycle it into something new.

I think you know which of those choices *I* think you should pick!

To make it easier on you, check out this list of awesome ways to upcycle eyeglass cases. Find a project to excite and inspire you, and you’ll be happy to keep your eyeglass case out of the waste stream and make a new, useful second life for it:

sunglasses and case

How will you reuse your eyeglasses case? Kamil Kaczor / Flickr (Creative Commons)

1. Travel sewing kitAn old eyeglass case makes for a super handy travel sewing kit. Keep one in every car, the bag you carry around each day, and the guest bathroom, and you’ll never be unprepared for a sewing emergency. A good travel sewing kit should have a couple of needles, both black and white thread, a couple of buttons, and thread scissors.

2. Travel first aid kitEyeglass cases are great for these types of kits because they’re just the right size. You’ll have no problem fitting some band-aids, antibacterial wipes, tweezers, and a couple of Tylenol and allergy pills into this take-anywhere travel first-aid kit.

3. ClutchFor those times when all you need to carry is your ID, a credit card, and maybe some chapstick, check out this beautifully upcycled eyeglass case clutch. It’s the perfect size to fit easily on one hand, and if you embellish the snot out of it, nobody would even guess that it used to hold your sunglasses!

4. Animal clutchYou’ll need a hard-shell eyeglass case for this project, but when you’re done, you’ll have a great, kid-friendly holder for all sorts of kid treasures.

 

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Eyeglass case animal clutch diy on the new Make Your Mark on YouTube! #cutest #lastminutegift #kidspurse

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5. Embellish it! Of course, you don’t need a billion eyeglass cases. But perhaps you DO need a couple–one plain one for everyday, and one very, very beautiful one for special occasions. Consider blinging a plain eyeglass case and turning it into the one that you use for special times. It’s nice to have something that doesn’t look like it’s a dime a dozen, and if you know that you’ve got it on hand, then it’s easy to remember to say no to the free eyeglasses case that comes with your next pair of glasses.

6. Jewelry holderAn eyeglass case is a great choice to carry your jewelry when you travel.

8. iPod storageYou’d have to have some pretty big glasses in order to fit one of those fancy-schmancy iPods, but my iPod nano and earbuds would fit perfectly into this made-over iPod storage case.

 

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Cute way to reuse your eyeglass cases and contact cases. #organization #reuse #eyeglasscase #eyeglasscases #contacts #diy

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8. Manicure kitDo you spend time waiting in the car? Sometimes I feel like I spend MOST of my time waiting in the car! With this DIY manicure kit upcycled from an eyeglass case, you can use that wait time to pretty up your fingernails. There’s plenty of room to hold your favorite nail polish, clear coat, nail trimmers, and a nail file. Add a dotting tool or some glitter polish, and you can use those spare minutes to turn your basic manicure into something fun and fancy!

9. Snack holderDon’t you hate it when your snack bar gets mashed inside your backpack? I have eaten more flat Lara Bars than I can name, and I promise you that they do not taste as good when they’re squished! Save yourself the misery and store your snacks in a hard-shell eyeglass case. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, decoupage old snack bar wrappers onto the outside of the case so that you always know where your nummies are!

10. Mini tool kitThe case used in this project is a zippered sunglasses case. The attached hanging loop lets you add on even more important tools!

11. Altered artTurn your eyeglass case into a piece of art! Here’s another piece of altered eyeglass case art, complete with tutorial. The sky is the limit with these–turn them into shadow boxes, dream catchers, miniature altars, or treasure boxes.

12. Altered eyeglass case boxDid you know that even the packaging that a pair of eyeglasses comes in has its own packaging? Grr! Here’s a fun idea for upcycling the box that a pair of eyeglasses in their case comes in.

13. Train set in an eyeglass caseThis is more inspiration piece than project tutorial, but it’s detailed enough that it should give you a clear idea about how to go about transforming your eyeglass case into an adorable teeny train set. If you’re feeling even more motivated, there’s an intricately-detailed eyeglass case train diorama here. Who knew that this was a thing?!?

Do you have an awesome way to re-use your eyeglass cases? Tell me all about it in the Comments below!

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