Category Archives: Crafts

8 Craft Ideas for Gifts and Christmas Decorations

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8 Craft Ideas for Gifts and Christmas Decorations

When our five children were small and we were barely getting by on Greg’s teaching salary, the best Christmas gift ideas were things we could make ourselves. Life has changed, and I don’t often give handmade gifts anymore, but here are some beauties I’d like to make some day.

  1. Handmade Christmas cards. These can be a family project.
  2. I made these beaded candy cane ornaments with my kids when they were small. We made lots and gave many as gifts and used the rest on our Christmas tree. For extra sparkle, be sure to use red translucent and crystal clear beads rather than opaque red and white.
  3. Many of my neighbors lost trees during two horrendous storms this past summer. If I had known about this rustic Christmas tree project, I would have offered to haul away some of their branches.
  4. I’ve been wanting to make pillowcases this way. I’ve seen them done up in Christmas fabrics, juvenile fabrics, and designer fabrics. Gorgeous!
  5. Remember latch hook rugs? You can use the same technique to make rag rugs. The author used cut-up bed sheets and tied the strips to the canvas, but if you have a latch hook (you might be able to find one at a thrift shop), you could do it a lot faster.
  6. Crafty people, do you have more buttons than you know what to do with? (Did you inherit your Grandma’s prized button box?) Make a button garland.
  7. If you like to embroider, you can make a lovely snowflake/floral mandala.
  8. I find it hard to part with fabric scraps. I believe in my heart I’ll use them someday in projects like this English-paper-pieced bookmark.

Christmas balls

Now it’s your turn. Are you making Christmas gifts this year? Or have you in the past? What was a successful craft project? Share in the comments below.

Steam Pumpkins!

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Have you carved your pumpkin yet? Thank you to Donna at My OBT for these fabulous examples.

My OBT

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Guest Post: In Gourd We Trust by Donna from My OBT

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Have you carved your pumpkin yet? Here is some great inspiration from My OBT. Thank you, Donna!

My OBT

pump 0 Materials: buttons, glue, patience

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Creative Juice #95

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Creative Juice #95

Twelve articles to tickle your fancy.

Video of the Week #138: Extreme Crocheter Suffers for her Art

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Video of the Week #138: Extreme Crocheter Suffers for her Art

Creative Juice #69

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Creative Juice #69

A dozen after-turkey articles to motivate you to create during this holiday weekend. (By the way, I’m thankful for all the people who read Creative Juice.)

  1. The Other Art Fair.
  2. What if life really is just the dress rehearsal? I never thought of eternity in quite this way before.
  3. Can you determine whether a poem was written by a human or a computer? (I missed two out of three.)
  4. Rituals and memories.
  5. Why a painting by Manet shocked his contemporary audience.
  6. Need some inexpensive gift ideas? Be sure to watch the video of the grown-up fidget spinner.
  7. Here’s an alternative advent calendar you create yourself.
  8. Christmas decorations you can make yourself with paper.
  9. Beautiful quilting. Be sure to click on each image for the enlargement.
  10. Why it’s good to try your hand at different arts.
  11. Marvelous photographs by Cig Harvey.
  12. Psychologist Dean Simonton writes: “On average, creative geniuses aren’t qualitatively better in their fields than their peers, they simply produce a greater volume of work which gives them more variation and a higher chance of originality.” Author Thomas Oppong says, “If you want to be prolific, stop judging yourself.” (I don’t totally believe that—you have to judge yourself somewhat if you want to put out excellent work. But this article gives creatives much to think about.)

 

Creative Juice #67

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Creative Juice #67

A lot of incredible photography this week. And some other stuff. Enjoy!

  1. Sunset in.
  2. Unfortunately, most of the things I make are like something I’ve seen. How do we acquire the courage to experiment with an original design?
  3. I <heart> NY!
  4. This would be a fun art project to do with kids.
  5. Three friends travel through Europe, following Van Gogh’s footsteps to gain insight into his art.
  6. “Illustwriter” Hallie Bateman talks about inspiration.
  7. Gorgeous quilts!
  8. Amazing photographs of birds.
  9. Just 30 seconds of Christmas decorations at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
  10. Liquid rugs.
  11. How does this happen? People in art museums blending in with the artwork
  12. Dizzying photographs of a Chinese library.