I couldn’t resist the lure of designing another paper flower after I had so many requests for it. I hope you don’t mind too much. Thus, I present my two different designs for paper magnolias—one with 9 petals, and one with 12 petals. Like my peony, rose, carnation, and tulip, these petals are tracked from real magnolia petals. …
Spring is coming, and my tulips have already bloomed! No, not the real ones in my garden, but these pretty paper tulips I designed. Last week I asked my friends and readers which flower I should design next. I received nearly 20 enthusiastic suggestions! But the favorite flower idea with 284 votes is the TULIP! I’m not surprised — tulips are cheerful and it’s the perfect time for them. …
Spring will come even if I have to make all the flowers myself! I’m back today with my third flower: a rolled paper carnation! Several of you lovely crafters liked my rolled paper peony and rolled paper rose and requested I try a carnation and I thought it would be a fun challenge. And, indeed, it turned out to be fascinating to design! A carnation is a very full, ruffled, rounded flower, so I really had to pack the petals in there. And I made every petal in my pattern unique because I thought it would add to the wild, full look of a carnation….
The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and I am in a full-blown flower-making mood! This past weekend I made paper peonies, but the last two days I’ve been making paper roses. It’s such as easy thing to do just sitting here at my desk, twirling paper in between my work tasks. And I just love how pretty they look! I like these paper roses much better than silk roses. I experimented with markers and texturizing to create an even more realistic rose. So I am super excited to share my rolled paper rose tutorial with you today!…
I’ve been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather! Would you believe it was nearly 70 degrees here in Ann Arbor yesterday? Its only February! And it feels like spring, which makes me think of flowers. It’s way too early for real flowers, but I love papercrafting and I’ve learned how to make pretty rolled paper flowers. And unlike real flowers, these paper flowers will last much longer and require neither sun nor water. One of my favorite flowers is the peony, which grows on bushes in my front yard. The problem with peonies, however, is that they only last for about a week or so in June. Then they drop their petals in a gloriously messy explosion all over my lawn. So I set out to figure out how to make a rolled paper peony….
Do you ever get the blues? For the most part, I keep myself too busy to feel down. But today is one of those days. They happen, and the best thing to do is not feel bad about feeling bad (I’ll bet you know what I mean!) and just carry on as best you can. Today also happens to be the funeral of a friend, however. Today is a sad day. I just can’t work right now. I need to make something. It always helps me. So I’m making an DIY paper winged heart. Come along and make one with me, will you?…
Greg’s parents live in Colorado, a very long way from Michigan. We only get to drive out to visit his family once in a while, but we do love to exchange gifts. This year I made a DIY map pillow with our locations marked by red felt hearts on a map of the U.S. A simple embroidered line marks the route we drive to see them. The back of the pillow is a quilting cotton with an air mail pattern. I saw a pillow with a similar design a while back on Etsy (I can no longer remember who made it). So this isn’t my idea, but it’s well worth sharing! You could give this as a gift to a long distance loved one, faraway friends, or just mark the route of a special vacation you took. I think this state to state pillow turned out really cute and I’m going to show you how to make one, too!
DIY Map Pillow Materials
Here’s what you need to make your own DIY map pillow. Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.
- Off-white cotton canvas (aka “duck cloth”) — you need two pieces, each 15″ x 20″
- Decorative cotton (optional) — one pieces, 15″ x 20″
- Pillow stuffing (“fiber fill”) — 12 oz. bag
- Wax-free fabric tracing paper (I recommend a blue sheet)
- Black fabric pen
- Red felt
- Red embroidery floss
- White thread
- Pen or pencil
- Map template (get US map download here)
- DIY Fabric Tag (optional, see tutorial here)
DIY Map Pillow Step-by-Step Directions
Step 1: Print out the map you wish to use onto regular paper, center it on one piece of your canvas, and pin it in place.
Step 2: Slide a piece of fabric transfer paper between the paper and canvas (transfer side down). Begin tracing onto the canvas by pressing down with good pressure on the lines of the map. Move your tracing paper around as necessary until you’ve traced the full map onto your canvas.
Here is my traced map in the photo above. You can see a few spots where I got too much of the blue tracing material onto my canvas — if this happens to you, don’t worry. It washes right out.
Step 3: Trace over your lines with the black fabric marker. I went over mine twice to make sure they were dark and bold.
Step 4: Cut out small hearts from the red felt and place them where you want.
Step 5: Thread your needle with the embroidery floss, knot the end, and start sewing the perimeter of a heart with a running stitch. I recommend you start your stitches at the tip of the heart, then when you finish sewing the heart, you can go right into sewing the route. When you get to the end of the route, sew on the heart. Tip: If you drive like we do, look up the route so you sew it accurately. Alternately, you can get creative and sew the route in a curly-Q or curly-heart shape.
Step 6: When done, knot the thread on the back of your canvas and cut the excess thread.
Step 7 (Optional): If you are using a decorative piece of fabric other than your canvas, sew it to the other blank canvas piece. You want to sew all four sides, wrong sides together. From now one, treat these as one piece of fabric. (If you’re wondering why we do this, it’s because the decorative fabric is likely not as thick and sturdy as the canvas, so we’re adding the canvas to the back of it.)
Step 8: Place the top piece of canvas with your map on your back piece, this time right sides together. So your map side should be touching your decorative fabric side. Pin in place and sew 1/2″ from the edge starting in the lower corner and going clockwise around your pillow. Stop when you get 5″ from where you started.
Step 9: Clip all four corners diagonally as shown, being careful not to clip into the stitches you made in the previous step. This will help your corners look sharper when you turn it inside out in the next step. Note: The outer line of stitches you see in this photo here are the ones I made in step 7 to sew my decorative fabric onto my back piece of canvas. and thus it was okay to cut through those.
Step 10: Turn your pillow inside out through that 5 inch space you left. Poke each corner from the inside to get as sharp a corner as possible.
Step 11: Stuff your pillow through the open section. Be sure to get stuffing in the corners, too.
Step 12: Sew up your pillow with white thread. If you made a DIY fabric label, pin it in place in the open section and stitch it in as your close the pillow.
And you are done with your awesome DIY map pillow!
DIY Map Pillow Notes
You could use this technique to make world maps, state maps, and maps for other countries. Just look for the appropriate outline or template online and use that.
Another idea is to make a pillow that shows the places you’ve visited, or where your heart lives.
If you purchase your canvas and cotton at the fabric store as I did, you’ll probably just ask for half a yard of each and this will actually net you enough TWO pillows! There’s enough fiber fill for two pillows, too.
These pillows make great gifts and conversation pieces!
P.S. Check out my other fun DIY gift tutorials to help you make wonderful homemade and inexpensive gifts! I currently have tutorials on DIY teacup candles, DIY Sharpie mugs, DIY hand warmers, DIY “gold-dipped” crystal necklace, and DIY bath bombs!
Like this tutorial? Pin it!
I saw ‘Rogue One’ this weekend and LOVED it! I was particularly captivated by Jyn Erso’s crystal necklace, given to her by her mother with the reminder to “Trust the Force.” I’ll admit to being a bit of a Star Wars nerd and I think she received a Kyber crystal, which is a powerful, Force-attuned crystal used in both lightsabers and the Death Star. I believe Jyn Erso’s Kyber crystal is significant to the story, though I’m not yet sure how. What I know is that really want one of these crystal necklaces! So I went to a rock shop to find my own crystal and made a Kyber crystal necklace like Jyn Erso’s. You can make one, too!
Of course, you may not be at all interested in re-creating Jyn’s necklace, and that’s cool, too. This is actually a great tutorial on how to make a DIY “gold” dipped crystal pendant, as well as a tutorial on wire wrapping leather cord. You can use these techniques to make beautiful jewelry!
Jyn Erso’s Kyber Crystal Necklace Materials
First, you need a crystal (or two). You can’t go mining in Ilum’s Crystal Cave for your crystal, so instead you’ll want to look in a local rock shop for a clear quartz crystal. If you can’t fine one locally, there are plenty online. Look for one between 1-2 inches long, or whatever you think you’ll enjoy wearing. Try not to go much bigger than two inches long because the crystal will be rather heavy for the technique I’ll be showing you. Here are the other things you need (links below are Amazon affiliate links for your convenience):
- E6000 Craft Adhesive (Clear) — be sure to get clear (I accidentally got black — it works, but clear looks better)
- Brass or gold jump rings (6mm) (2)
- Brass or gold wire (26 gauge)
- Brass or gold hook & eye clasps (2)
- Black leather cord (2mm, at least 1 yard long)
- Needle nose pliers
- Side cutters
- Gold metallic acrylic paint
- Tape and scissors
I experimented with different sized crystals. The small ones here are about 1 inch long. The large one is a little over two inches. The big one is rather large, but it looks more like Jyn’s crystal. I was able to purchase the small crystals at my local rock shop for 30 cents a piece, while the large one was $5.
Jyn Erso’s Kyber Crystal Necklace Step-by-Step Tutorial
Step 1: Wash your crystal and locate the end at which you want to hang it. This is usually the flat end, so the pointy end hangs down. Dab the flat end with the E6000 adhesive. Place the jump ring in the adhesive, positioned properly.
Step 2: This is the hard part. You must wait 24 hours for the adhesive to cure. Do not say to yourself, “Oh, this looks like it’s set already. Let’s just paint it right now.” Your adhesive won’t set properly if you do this. (Yes, I tried it! This is why you have me to make the mistakes first!) You may want to put a piece of tape over your jump ring to hold it in place. While the adhesive is drying, you can work on the necklace.
Step 3: Put the leather cord around your neck and allow it to hang where you’d like your crystal to hang. Jyn’s necklace looks fairly long — I’d say at least 18-20 inches long. Determine your length, then add an extra five inches to it.
Step 4: If you look at Jyn’s necklace, you’ll see there’s a part that hangs down from the main necklace. We’ll make this part first. Fold your leather cord in half to find the center and pinch it together tightly. Now cut off a 6 inch piece of brass wire and place the tail end of it in the fold of your leather.
Step 5: Holding the leather and brass wire well between two fingers, begin wrapping the wire tightly around the leather cord about 1/2 from the end, moving toward the pinched end.
Step 6: When you get about seven wraps in, push the end of the brass wire back into the wrapped section and pull down. Use your needle nose pliers if necessary to pull it all the way through. This essentially knots your wire in place.
Step 7: Trim the ends of the brass wire closely with your end cutters.
Step 8: About two inches from the end, do another wire wrap. This time you’ll also want to do some extra wraps around each individual cord — I found this helped the necklace look more like Jyn’s and also stabilizes the wire.
Step 9: Put the leather cord back around your neck (with the ends of the cord touching behind your neck) to check it’s length again. You want it to be just one inch longer than desired. Trim if desired, but make sure you have an even amount of cord on both sides.
Step 10: Attach each clasp part to the two ends of your cord using the same wire wrapping method we used earlier. This time, you’ll put the leather cord through the hole of the clasp first, then wrap the wire around the leather to secure it. Be sure to trim the wire ends when you’re done.
Step 11: Once the adhesive is cured, dip the top of the crystal into your gold paint so it goes in far enough to cover the jump ring, the entire flat end, and a little extra. If your crystal is small enough, you can just dip it in the bottle. If it’s too big to fit, pour some into the cap or a little bowl. Allow 1-2 hours for the paint to dry, depending on how much paint ended up on your crystal.
Step 12: Once your paint is dry, attach a jump ring or another connector to your crystal and attach it to the bottom of your cord!
Jyn Erso’s Kyber Crystal Necklace Notes
I think this is a great beginner project to jewelry making. And the results are amazing! This turned out to be a really stunning necklace. And it would make a great gift!
Did you know quartz crystals are believed to be a “power stone.” Some believe that quartz enhances thoughts, amplifies energy, and can energize you. This makes it a perfect stand-in for a “Kyber” crystal!
Quartz can be super clear or have veils, bubbles, inclusions, and various colors. In Star Wars lore, the Kyber crystal is described similarly. The Kyber crystal’s combination of transparency and opacity was known by Jedi as “the water of the kyber” (see Kyber Crystal | Wookiieepedia).
P.S. Check out my other fun DIY gift tutorials to help you make wonderful homemade and inexpensive gifts! I currently have tutorials on DIY teacup candles, DIY Sharpie mugs, DIY hand warmers, and DIY bath bombs!
Like this tutorial? Pin it!
The other day I read this quote: “The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of your time because when you give your time you are giving a portion of your life you can never get back.” This underscores why I love making and gifting handmade gifts! It’s a way of telling someone that I love them so much I want to spend time making them a gift. So it’s pretty natural to want to put a personal tag on it that says, “I made this for you!” (some people call these “brag tags”). But how do you do this? DIY fabric labels to the rescue!
There are a few different ways to create DIY fabric labels:
- Design a pattern, upload it to Spoonflower, and order fabric with it (this will make WAY more tags than I need however, plus I have to wait for it to arrive)
- Print a reverse image to heat transfer paper and iron it on (I don’t happen to have any heat transfer paper right now)
- Soak material in a special solution (Bubble Jet Set), iron on to a piece of wax paper, then print directly on the fabric (I don’t have the ingredients for the Bubble Jet Set)
- Stamp ink onto twill tape (I don’t have stamps nor ink pads)
- Print directly on a 1″ twill tape ribbon with an inkjet printer (I have twill tape and an inkjet — ding ding ding, we have a winner!)
Materials for DIY Fabric Labels on Twill Tape
Here’s what you’ll need to print directly on twill tape:
- 1″ wide twill tape (100% cotton) — I usually get mine at Joanns
- Card stock (office supply store)
- Masking tape (office supply store)
- An inkjet printer (laser printers will not work for this)
- Fray-block (or clear nail polish in a pinch)
- DIY fabric label template (print this first) and DIY fabric label fillable template (fill in and print this on your twill tape)
DIY Fabric Labels Step-by-Step Tutorial
Step 1: Print out the DIY fabric label template onto a piece of card stock.
Step 2: Cut out your twill tape to 8″ long strips. (If your twill tape is wrinkled, iron it first.)
Step 3: Tape your twill tape to the template. Be sure to tape both the top and the bottom. You can also tape once in the middle for added stability while printing, but it’s not always necessary.
Step 4: Enter your label information using the fillable fabric label template.
Step 5: Put your taped twill template into your printer (manual feed, if you have one) and print your label!
Step 6: Remove the twill strips from the paper and cut to size.
Step 7: Iron to heat set the ink.
Step 8: Put Fray-block (or clear nail polish) along the ends of your twill tape to keep it from fraying.
Step 9: Attach it to your homemade project!
DIY Fabric Label Notes
Resist the temptation to tape the long sides of the twill tape strips — your printer won’t like the long tape edges.
Make sure the tape is pressed down well on the paper before printing. Any edges sticking up can cause jams.
If you have printer jams, try printing on just one twill strip at a time. Or try shorter strips.
If you have issues with uneven printing on your twill strips, try shorter strips so it is less likely to move around while printing.
Pin this tutorial for later:
In my continuing series on simple DIY christmas gifts, we come to a simple project with big heart — the DIY hand warmers. These little sachets of love can be warmed up and put in pockets to keep your hands warm on chilly days. The DIY hand warmers are stuffed with rice and lavender, so you can re-use them over and over… and smell good doing it.
Before I get into the mechanics of how to make a DIY hand warmer, I want to discuss material choice, method, and safety. Reusable hand warmers get warm by placing them in a microwave for about 30 seconds to one minute. This means that whatever you make your hand warmer out of must be safe for the microwave. This is VERY important. The Internet still remembers the time that Martha Stewart put up a hand warmer tutorial online which called for pie weights. Alas, when crafters tried it, some of their hand warmers caught on fire! So my DIY hand warmers tutorial calls for 100% natural ingredients that will not catch on fire, smolder, or melt if put in the microwave for a minute. This is also why my DIY hand warmers are sewn — any adhesive that will keep fibers together is likely to be toxic when heated in a microwave.
DIY Hand Warmers Materials
Some of the materials below are Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.
- 100% Wool Felt or cotton flannel *
- Cotton embroidery floss or cotton crochet thread
- White rice (uncooked, not instant) or flaxseed
- Lavender (optional)
- Needle with a large eye (big enough to thread the embroidery floss)
- Pins (optional)
- Pinking shears (optional)
* Other options include: 100% wool or boiled wool, an old 100% wool sweater you’ve washed until it felted, 100% cotton or linen (but you’ll need to cut the edges with pinking shears to keep it from fraying),
Avoid: Any non-natural fiber, such as fleece — these synthetics will MELT!
Should you use rice or flaxseed? Here’s the deal — both will work, but flaxseed will work longer. Rice will eventually dehydrate, whereas flaxseed (which has oil in it) will continue to work. That said, most of us have rice, not flaxseed. I chose to use rice for this reason, plus I like the smell better. It’s a good idea to put a moist paper towel or even just a mug of water in the microwave when you heat up a rice-based hand warmer as that will help the dry rice.
DIY Hand Warmers Step-by-Step Tutorial
Step 1: Pour your rice/flaxseed in a bowl and mix it with dried lavender, if you choose to use it. You won’t need much — about 1/4 cup per hand warmer. Microwave it for a minute to kill any living organisms that could be lurking in there and potentially foul up your pretty hand warmer.
Step 2: Cut out the shape you desire from your material. You need two shapes that match — a front and a back. I made a heart, and a winged heart, but you could also make rectangles, squares, circles, and even hand shapes. (Note: The wings in my heat are sandwiched between the front and back heart, and are just one layer.) Pin together.
Step 3: Cut off a piece of floss about one yard long and thread your needle with it (single thread, not double thread). Tie a knot in the end.
Step 4: Put the two pieces of material together, insides in. Begin by stitching in one corner, about 1/4 inch in. Stitch through just one piece of material initially, from back to front, so your knot is on the inside.
Step 5: Continue stitching around the perimeter of your material, stopping when you get an inch from the place you began. I used two different stitches on mine — the white heart has a blanket stitch and the red winged heart is a running stitch. Remove your pins.
Step 6: Fill the inside of the pouch you’ve made with your rice/flaxseed/lavender mixture. You may find it easier to create a small paper funnel.
Step 7: Once filled, continue stitching until the hand warmer is closed. Double knot at the end.
Step 8: To use, place in microwave for 30 seconds to one minute (be sure the pins are removed first). Be careful when picking it up, as it will be quite warm.
DIY Hand Warmers Tips
If you’re not sure if your fabric is 100% natural fibers, try a burn test.
Keep your stitches no more than 1/4″ apart to keep rice/flax/lavender from spilling out.
It took me about 15-20 minutes to stitch each hand warmer.
You can also machine stitch these if you prefer. Just be sure to use cotton or linen thread, not synthetic (which is what most thread is). I just liked the hand stitched look and it really didn’t take all that long to do.
Do not heat longer than 1 minute, or you will burn the rice/flax. And your hand warmer will smell liked it’s been burned — no fun!
You can put these in your boots to keep your toes warm, too!
I hear barley is another option for filling these hand warmers, but I haven’t personally tried it.
P.S. Check out my other fun DIY gift tutorials to help you make wonderful homemade and inexpensive gifts for the holidays this year! I currently have tutorials on DIY teacup candles, DIY candy cane spoons for coffee/hot cocoa, DIY Sharpie mugs, and DIY bath bombs! Coming soon: beeswax ornaments!
Like this tutorial? Pin it!