Category Archives: handmade gift

Introducing….the Crafty Little Club (+giveaway)!

I’ve hinted at it and now it’s time for the big reveal….. For the better part of this year I’ve been working on a passion project – the Crafty Little Club!

Science-themed craft subscription box

In the beginning…

I’d been wanting to start a crafty business for a long time but just couldn’t seem to come up with an idea that felt right. I worried that a business selling finished products would start to make my sewing hobby and joy feel like a chore, and I was also pretty sure that I wouldn’t have time to make much.

After I had my son early last year, I also fell into a bit of a creative slump. Those early months were a blur of wakings, feedings, and poops, then just as we started to feel like we were emerging from the fog we went and moved to a new state (Hi Oregon!)! We rented a house when we first got here but it just had a skinny little landing area at the top of the stairs as my crafting space. There was no door so I had to put things away when I wasn’t working on them. I may sound like a total slob, but having to put away my projects is such a damper on my progress, especially these days when I’m often just stealing 20 minutes here and there.

So there I was, over a year after my son was born, finally feeling like myself again, and missing my hobby. On a whim, I decided to go to the Sew Expo outside Seattle and boy was I glad that I did. I left feeling energized, inspired, and jazzed to make time for myself and my creative hobbies again. On the drive home at the end of the weekend, I floated an idea past my husband – what if instead of putting my time into making finished products to sell, I instead channeled my creative into making patterns?

As we talked, an idea started to form.

I had just signed myself up for a monthly embroidery club and I was loving it! I’d recently re-discovered embroidery and was finding myself surprised to enjoy my stitching time away from my machine. Not to mention the fun of getting a surprise craft in the mail every month. As we brainstormed, I thought about what interests me and I couldn’t help falling back to my nerdy roots – SCIENCE!

Science-themed craft subscription boxes

And so, the Crafty Little Club was born.

The Crafty Little Club is a science-themed crafting subscription box that will keep your hands busy and your heart happy, at any skill level. For just $25 per box (shipping included in the US), science and craft enthusiasts who join the club will receive a new box with a different theme every other month. Each box contains everything you need to create two embroidery or hand crafts including high quality materials and detailed instructions. The contents of each box are a surprise until they are mailed out, but receiving a crafty secret in the mail is half the fun! Subscribers receive 6 kits per year, but you can quit the club at any time.

The first kits mailed out on the first of this month and I thought it’d be fun to share a little reveal video to show folks what the first theme was and what they can expect with the kits:

It’s been such a wonderful experience to work on this project and see it through from idea to launch! In addition to the creative design aspects, which I knew I’d like, I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed some of the other things I needed to figure out: building a website, sourcing materials, budgeting….

It goes on and on. And to be honest, it will keep evolving and I will keep needing to figure things out. One of my favorite pieces of advice that I really took to heart, was from Chris Guillabeau’s book, Side Hustle¬†(not an affiliate link): don’t wait until it’s perfect, just start doing it and figure it out as you go. I have a tendency to try to plan every tiny detail out entirely, complete with backup plans, before I make a first move. But that’s a good way to make yourself feel overwhelmed and never actually start anything. The best way to get going is just to get going!

(Now if I can only figure out the best way to convey that the boxes AREN’T FOR KIDS!! Adults craft too, people!)

The Giveaway…

Well, if you’ve made it this far then you deserve to hear about that giveaway I promised ūüôā I’m giving away a free box (November’s “Virology” box) to someone in the US or Canada (sorry rest of the world….shipping….). Pop on over to Instagram and check out my giveaway post. Follow me @craftylittlesecret and tag two friends in the comments, and that’s it! Giveaway closes this Wednesday, November 21 at 16:00 PST. I’ll choose one winner at random and contact them by DM.

If you want to check out what other’s are doing, don’t forget to follow #craftylittleclub. I’m so excited for this experiment :).

Chemistry Oven Mitts

They’re baaaaaaaaaaaaaack! And only 5 years after I originally hinted they may be available in my Etsy shop ūüėÄ

Robot Lab oven Mitts from Crafty Little Secret

Oh my dear friends, I have been gone for so long and I have so much to tell you! But much of it will have to wait because [Spoiler Alert] one of the reasons I’ve been gone so long is that I was busy birthing and raising a child. And boy oh boy, turns out that takes a chunk out of your free time.

I’ve also been busy working on a passion project and I’m just about to burst with excitement because I’m very near official Launch with a capital “L”. So stay tuned for more on that soon!

And, oh yeah. In the past 16 months I’ve also moved. Twice! One of those times was across state lines and the other was into my very own house. [Another Spoiler Alert]¬† Buying, moving into, and making a home out of a house also takes a big bite out of your free time. Who knew?

Science and Chemistry Oven Mitts by Crafty Little Secret

Babies, new businesses, big moves. It all adds up to me being terribly neglectful to this here poor blog. But I’ve got some fun projects that I managed to work on during all the Busy of the past 2 years that I’m dying to share with you and I’m scheming on a way to make some more time for myself to actually manage that.

So until then, I leave you with this PSA to let you know that you can, finally, have your very own pair of sciency oven mitts. Ta-ta for now, but hopefully not for long!

 

Willy the Wily….WOLF!!

****UPDATE**** I’ve received several requests to share the pattern since it seems to be no longer available on Ravelry. Unfortunately, the pattern is not mine to share. I’d recommend trying to contact the designer directly through Ravelry if you’d like the pattern.


Crafty Little Secret - Willy the Wily Wolf sweater - www.craftylittlesecret.com
It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to knit my nephew a sweater for Christmas. He’ll be 2 in February so this year I wanted to make him something that he would think was fun. I somehow got it into my head that I wanted to make him a little grey wolf sweater, and the closest thing I could find that was close to what I was imagining was the Willy the Wily Fox knitting pattern. Turns out it’s pretty easy to convert a fox into a wolf.

I really wanted a soft, washable wool that would be nice and warm and feel soft on his skin, but I also wanted flecks of different shades of grey in the yarn. That, apparently, is a tall order. The pattern called for super bulky weight yarn but I just couldn’t find anything I liked in that weight. Why do they make so many scratchy yarns??? I ended up buying something lighter and doubling up the strands as I knit it. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down what yarn I bought so I can’t share that with you. Just trust me that it’s¬†soooooooooooooooooooft.

And expensive. This might be the last year Ben gets a sweater. The little dude grows so fast that I’m sure it won’t fit him next year and I wasn’t that happy with the fit from the pictures my brother sent me. (The hood seems small and tight around his face, though now that I look back at some of the photos of the pattern on Ravelry, I think I should have expected that) It’s a lot of money to spend on something that he’s not really old enough to appreciate and won’t last very long.

Willy the Wily Wolf Sweater - Crafty Little Secret  - www.craftylittlesecret.com

I’m also not sure that I really love knitting sweaters. I don’t know what it is, but I’m truly terrible at assembling them. This sweater looked, ooooooooh about a million times better before I assembled it and picked up the stitches to add the dark trim. I even went through the effort of carefully blocking each piece. I might be a scarf/hat/mitten kinda girl. Hey, kids need mittens too, right? Maybe we’ll be scaling down next year.

Crafty Little Secret - Willy the Wily Wolf Sweater - www.craftylittlesecret.comThe pattern came together pretty well, though it’s a little light on the definitions and instructions. For instance, sometimes the pattern will just jump from Row 17 to like, row 38 or something. That tripped me up and I thought rows were missing until I realized that meant I was just supposed keep knitting as before for those missing rows. But really, how hard would it be to add an extra line that said “18-37: Knit all even rows, purl all odd rows” or whatever? Just to avoid confusion for dummies like me. The pattern did include instructions for picking up stitches and sewing up seams.

Crafty Little Secret - Willy the Wily Wolf Sweater - www.craftylittlesecret.comI used the buttons that I bought in Portland just over a year ago. I think they look cute on a little boy’s sweater and I’m not sure what else I would have used them for.

So there you have it. Willy the Wily Wolf. Cute sweater for a cute kid and would definitely be a great pattern a little more adept at assembly than I.

DIY Grill Apron: Tutorial

Crafty Little Secret Tutorial: DIY Grill Apron - www.craftylittlesecret.comWow. Kudos to all you out there who post detailed tutorials regularly. I always forget how long I take to edit all the photos and get the posts up! This one has been in the making for a month….which I guess isn’t so bad.

What you’ll need for this project…..
– 1 yard of fun fabric (quilting cotton)***
– 1 yard of backing fabric (like a duck or light denim weight)
– 16/100 denim needle
– matching thread
– chalk
– ruler/measuring tape
– scissors

**** You could actually get away with less depending on which way the pattern runs, but for most patterned quilting cottons, you’ll need the full yard.

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comCut the following pattern pieces:

A (Apron) – 20″x36″
– Cut one of fashion fabric, cut one of backing fabric

P (Pocket) – 14″ x 9″
– Cut one of fashion fabric, cut one of backing fabric (or two backing fabrics if you want a solid pocket)

W (Waist Tie) – 36″ x 3.5″
РCut two of backing OR fashion fabric

N (Neck Tie) – 24″ x 3.5″
– Cut one of backing OR fashionfabric

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comUsing chalk, make a tick mark on the apron pattern pieces 15″ down from the corner on the long side, and 6″ from the corner on the short side. Draw a line connecting the two pieces and cut the corners off.

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.com

To make the waist and neck ties, fold and iron fabric as when making bias tape.¬†Fold the tape in half lengthwise and sew it up as close as you can to the open edge (I kept my seam allowance about 1/8″).

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comCrafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comThis is where it’s very important to have that 16/100 denim needle. Once you start sewing through multiple layers of the heavy duck (or similar weight) fabric, needle shards go flyin’ if you’re not using the right size.

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comTo finish the ties I just double overed the ends a couple times and sewed through the bulk of it….carefully. Watch for breaking needles and take it slow. No one likes a needle shard in their eyeball.

[ASIDE: The alternative method for making the waist ties is to fold the fabric in half lengthwise with right sides together, sew all the way up the open edge then turn the tie inside out. I find this technique annoying enough on lighter weight fabrics that I didn’t even entertain the though on these heavy ones. But if you opted for a quilting cotton for your ties, it could be an option if you don’t like the futzing with folding and ironing.]

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comAttach the ties by sewing them into the side seams (I attached them at the point where the angled front of the apron meets the straight sides). Since the ties are so long I found it helpful to keep them contained by pinning them into a coil to keep myself from sewing them into the seams at wonky places.

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comTo attach the apron front to the apron backing, place right sides together and sew with a 5/8″ seam allowance. Sew all five bottom edges together (I went back and forth over the spot where the waist tie joined to add a little extra strength) but¬†leave the top open. This allows you to turn the apron right-side-out again. Which you should do now.¬†Flatten the apron and adjust the seams so that the corners are nice and neat (you can use a pencil to help turn them) then iron all the seams so they’re nice and crisp.

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.com

Sew the neck tie the same as the waist ties, but leave the ends open and unfinished. Fold the top edges of the apron pieces toward the inside about a half inch.

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comPin the neck tie in place with about an inch of each end tucked between the apron layers. Top stitch the neck closed and all the way around the apron with a 1/4-1/8″ seam allowance. The top stitch adds a little extra strength and gives a nice finished look to the apron.

You can stop here now if you want to….but we’re having so much fun! Let’s keep going and add some pockets.

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comWith right sides facing, sew the two pocket pieces together with a 5/8″ seam allowance and leaving a 6″ opening at the bottom.

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comTo help get nice crisp corners on the pockets, or any time you’re sewing right angles, it helps to trim some of the seam allowance off the corner. But be careful not to snip your stitches!

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comFold the edges of the opening that you left inward and iron in place.

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comTop-stitch a decorative border along the top edge of the pocket piece. Again, this is just adding another of those little finishing touches that will help make your apron look a little more pro.

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.com[ASIDE: This was a great project to practice my print matching skills. When I was cutting the pattern pieces I realized I didn’t want to cover this awesome print with a big solid colored pocket and it would look odd if the pocket print didn’t line up perfectly with the apron print underneath. So I took care to cut the pocket piece so that the prints on the two pieces would align.]

Center the pocket piece in the apron about 8″ from the bottom of the apron, or at whatever height feels comfortable for you. Top stitch around the bottom and two side edges leaving the top of the pocket open.

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.com

The final step is to divide the pocket into small sub-pockets if you want. I found it easiest to draw a chalk line first as a guide to follow since my stitching has a tendency to get pretty wonky if I don’t have an edge to use as a guide.

Crafty Little Secret - DIY Apron Tutorial - www.craftylittlesecret.comAnd……………..done!!!

 

Summer Night Lights Geranium Dress

Geranium numero deux.

Crafty Little Secret - Summer Night Lights, Geranium Dress - craftylittlesecret.comThis one is a surprise gift for a friend’s little girl. I’ll be visiting next month and staying with them for a few days so I thought it would be a nice way to say ‘Thanks’. I went pretty simple on this one: simple neckline, no sleeves. Though I did add some piping to give a little separation to the bodice.¬†

Crafty Little Secret - Summer Night Lights, Geranium Dress - craftylittlesecret.comI actually made the piping myself and it was my first time doing so! I figured it would be too much of a pain in the butt to find matching piping so I just went ahead and cut about an inch and a half off the bottom of some leftover fabric and sewed up my own. It did end up getting a little wrinkled and bunched up in spots, I think either because I didn’t stitch tightly enough against the piping innards or because I improvised the innards (some of it was actually piping cord and some of it was just some elastic cord I had lying around that was about the same diameter). I probably should have exercised a little patience and watched a tutorial or two, but all in all I think it turned out pretty well.

Crafty Little Secret - Summer Night Lights, Geranium Dress - craftylittlesecret.comI was taking forever trying to decide which fabric to buy (seriously consider this Fantasy Forest print from Michael Miller) and when I showed my husband the options he was like, “Pfft. No contest.” So I went with this Summer Night Lights print by Michael Miller. The fabric was a double-edged panel which was great because I only had to buy 1 yard of fabric total to sew this dress up in size 2T.

Crafty Little Secret - Summer Night Lights, Geranium Dress - craftylittlesecret.comAs with the last time I made the Geranium dress, since this was for a gift I wanted to finish it nicely. I also wanted to keep it a nice, cool summer dress and didn’t want to line it. Instead, I opted to finish the seam allowances with ribbon, a first for me!Crafty Little Secret - Summer Night Lights, Geranium Dress - craftylittlesecret.comI’ve always admired how lovely finished seams look on other people’s projects and I gotta tell ya, I think it’s looking pretty slick here too. Maybe I’ll start finishing more of my projects this way.

Crafty Little Secret - Summer Night Lights, Geranium Dress - craftylittlesecret.comI opted to use pink buttons on the back closure because I thought it would nicely highlight the pink flowers in the bottom border print. Originally I wanted the buttons to be little pink flowers but they were all sold out of the ones I wanted at the fabric store and I’m far too impatient to look elsewhere!

Crafty Little Secret - Summer Night Lights, Geranium Dress - craftylittlesecret.com

Fabric:¬†Michael Miller’s Wee Wander Summer Night Lights, Double Border Twilight
S
ource: Fabric.com
Yardage: 1 yard
Pattern: Made By Rae, Geranium Dress

Hot Air Balloon Themed Baby Shower Gifts

For someone who doesn’t have kids I sure spend a lot of time sewing for ’em! I actually really enjoy it. The projects are so small they are easy to finish before I got bored. Most of my friends who’ve had kids live back home in Canada so I usually just make my felt embroidered onesies that are easy to mail back home. But now some of my city friends are pregnant and I’ve gone a little crazy sewing up a hot air balloon themed baby shower gift! Hot air balloon DIY baby shower gift The hot air balloons are a totally random theme and I hadn’t meant to go crazy with them, but I just kept sewing! See, it started with the quilt. I was hunting around for a cute gender neutral fabric bundle and fell in love with the¬†Blown Away¬†collection by Josephine Kimberling. blown away fabric bundle I thought the hot air balloon print was the cutest and used that as the backing for the quilt I made, then had a bunch left over. So then I made a onesie to match. And then I thought how perfectly the green matched some left over flannel from my Halloween costume¬†and decided to make some burp cloths. hot air balloon baby onesieTo make the hot air balloon applique I used the same technique I used when I made plaid elbow patches for my husband’s sweater. It looked a little plain so I embroidered some happy puffy clouds around the balloon to add a some interest. hot air balloon baby onesie detailThe burp cloths are just ~18″x25″ pieces of flannel with a strip of the balloon fabric sewn across the end for some detail. From what I’ve read, people seem to like flannel for burp cloths because it stays in place and is more absorbent than something like quilting cotton. hot air balloon DIY burp cloth I caught myself getting a bit carried away with these. As I was thinking about making some binding to go all the way around the cloth I remembered; I am sewing something whose sole purpose is to be¬†barfed on. So I reined it in a little and contented myself instead with a nice neat double turned hem all the way around. Hot air balloon baby quilt frontIn my humble opinion, the quilt is the star of this baby bundle! It is my second quilt but my first was a t-shirt quilt. Sewing quilts with actual quilting fabric is soooooo much easier than with knits! I knew I didn’t want a pattern that was too finnicky so I chose this pattern¬†from Two Little Banshees¬†and it came together in two days – one day to cut and sew and one day to bind and quilt! To do the binding I pieced together leftover bits from the quilt front and followed this tutorial for making an invisible joint and mitered corners. It was a really helpful video! hot air balloon baby quilt detail I opted for super simple quilting and only had to unpick one extremely wonky row of stitches that was over two inches off from one side of the quilt to the other! I think you can see the quilting better on the back; hot air balloon baby quilt backI hope my friends like hot air balloons!!!!!!!!!

Upcycled Whale Plushie

I made a whale!

I’m not really sure why. Or what I’m going to do with it. But you can make one too! I followed this fabulous tutorial from Valaan Villapaita. It’s a Finnish blog and when I first saw this whale plushie popping up all over Pinterest the tutorial wasn’t in English (though the pictures are detailed enough that it doesn’t really matter), but now the author has translated it. Pictures and instructions – how could I¬†not¬†sew the whale?!

Jean whale

Jeans whale plushie

jean whale plushie

Ben’s Birthday Sweater!

My adorable little nephew had his first birthday this weekend and while I didn’t get his present mailed in time, I at least¬†finished it in time for his birthday!

Paton's Hooded Cardigan knitting patternI really wanted to make him a little hoodie so I chose the free Paton’s Hooded Cardigan pattern in size 12-18 mo. (fingers crossed that it fits him!). Clearly, however, ¬†this sweater does not have a hood. I ran out of yarn.

Paton's Hooded Cardigan knitting pattern size 12-18 moI was commissioned to make a sweater for my nephew by a friend of my brother’s who brought some amazing lamb’s wool back from Australia, so I only had a finite amount of yarn. It was hard to guess how much I’d need since I was altering the suggested color blocking and I think I made the arms too long. Oh well, it’s still pretty darn cute without the hood too.

Paton's Hooded Cardigan no hoodI carried the stripe along the chest and back but didn’t include it in the sleeves. I’d never knit this pattern before (and this is only my second sweater) so I wasn’t totally sure about the construction and how it would all come together. I figured if I did the stripe on the sleeves and it didn’t match up it would make the whole sweater look wonky so it was better to just leave it off.

Baby cardigan knitting patternI used Moda Vera Pure Wool 8 ply, the blue is colorway 47 and the teal is colorway 37. Do you think I would keep track of how much yarn I actually¬†did¬†use in case someone wanted to replicate this? No, of course not. I definitely don’t knit as much as I sew so remembering what details I should be tracking is a bit of a learning experience for me.

The collar was relatively easy to add, which was nice because I’d never made an alteration like that to a knitting pattern before (wipes brow with sigh of relief). I just followed the pattern and cast off the neckline as detailed in the pattern. Instead of adding a hood though, I counted the number of stitches around the neckline (I think I had 62), then I made a K1, P1 [repeat] rib that was 6 rows long and sewed it on.Paton's Hooded Cardigan baby knitting patternIn addition to the collar alteration, another first for me with this project was blocking! I wrapped a bulletin board in a towel to use as my base then spritzed the sweater with a bit of cool water and pinned it in place on the board. I probably should have blocked each piece individually before assembling the sweater, but I didn’t think of it then. So instead I blocked in two stages; the body of the sweater first, then the arms in a second step. The blocking definitely helped keep the collar from folding over and corrected some wonkiness along the button placket.

[ASIDE: All this knitting talk reminds me – you can find me on Ravelry as CraftyLilSecret].

Happy birthday Ben! Sorry your present is late, but something tells me you won’t hold it against me…..

Tutorial: DIY Baked Clay “Person Planter”!

Sculpey Clay People PlanterIt’s a much needed rainy day today in San Francisco and it gave me a hankerin’ for a rainy day craft. I’ve propagating some of my succulents and am in need of somewhere to put them so I’ve been imagining all varieties of little clay pots that I could make with the clay leftover from my garden markers. Of course, when I finally decided on a design I also decided it would be absolutely perfect for a little flowering cactus I have that didn’t need a pot!

Cactus FlowerOh well, no worries. I’ll just make some mini pots for my propagated succulents later…

The design for this adorable little person planter is based off one that I saw on Etsy but I didn’t pin it straight away or favorite the shop, and try as I might I can’t find it again! Sorry!

So instead, here is a little tutorial on how I put mine together.

For materials, all you need is an adorable little cactus or succulent in a plastic pot, some Sculpey clay (or other baking clay brand) and a butter knife you don’t mind mucking up a bit.

My cactus was bound in the soil well enough that I was able to gently tug on it and pull the soil out of the pot without making too much mess.

cactus red flowerThen I could use the pot to cut a circle out of some clay that I had rolled to about 1/8″ thickness.

DIY Sculpey clay person planterIt takes a little working the clay in your hands to get it soft enough to roll out. I found it easiest to work little 1-2″ balls of clay at a time then amalgamate them when I’d warmed each up.

DIY backed clay person planterThis circle that you’ve cut out will form the base of your pot and the surrounded ring can be combined back with the rest of your clay.

I next rolled out a ball of Sculpy that was….oh….I’d say a little smaller than a tennis ball, to a 1/8-1/4″ thickness. You really can’t go thinner than that or the clay won’t have enough strength to hold it’s shape. Even at the thickness I used, it was pretty delicate and warped a little with the cooking (but the plastic pot still fit in easily at the end).

Roll this piece out to be a long oval shape because it will be trimmed down to a rectangle to form the sides of your pot.

DIY backed clay person planterOf course you could easily figure out the circumference of your circle, and thus the length of rectangle needed, with a little math. But who wants to do math??? Instead, you can make a little tick mark on the mouth of your pot. Lay the pot on the clay and gently roll it around until you reach the tick again, marking your start and end points. The distance between the points should be the length of rectangle you need!

I wrapped the rectangle around the base of the pot, gently rubbing the seam where they join together being careful not to distort the shape or thin the clay.

DIY backed clay person planterNow you should have a cup shape. I had some ragged looking edges on the upper rim of the pot that I wanted to smooth out.

Smoothing Sculpey clay

Can you see? The left side has been smoothed and the right side is the original rough edge. Also, you can see the potting soil that I kept rolling into my clay because I didn’t clean my work surface well enough!

To smooth these edges out just gently rub your finger along the rim with very little pressure. Run your finger over the edge a few times and the heat from your finger should smooth out the edge. Use this technique to cover up the seam where the two short edges of the rectangle joined. Again, be careful to not push too hard and distort the shape or thin the clay.

Next, I rolled out a couple little logs of clay and cut them to size to form the arms of the person planter.

DIY backed clay people planterBaked clay plant pot tutorialGently press the arms onto the sides of the pot, supporting the back as you do so. I really rubbed the shoulders and made sure that they were well attached to the pot.

DIY Sculpey clay plant potAs you can see in the picture above, that distorted the upper rim of the planter a bit so, again, I just gently rubbed it with my finger to smooth it out.

I used the same technique to make a pair of legs that I attached to the pot and even added some cute little feet at the end. I¬†very carefully transferred the whole thing to a Pyrex baking dish and put it in the oven for 20 minutes. The Sculpey clay packaging suggested 15 minutes in a 275 F oven per 1/4″ thickness, but you should definitely check the directions for your clay before proceeding. The Sculpey packaging also warned not to microwave or over bake the clay. I have no idea what dire consequences you’d experience if you attempted either of these things.

Sculpey clay person planterOnce the clay cooled, I plopped my cactus in and I think the end result is pretty darn cute! As I mentioned previously, I did get a little warpage as my clay heated but the baked clay products don’t dry rock hard like kiln-fired clay and my cactus was in a thin plastic pot so I was still able to fit the cactus in no problemo!

DIY Clay person planterAnd there you have it, a DIY baked clay “Person Planter”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handmade Holiday: Part 2

Whooops! Looks like I got so wrapped up in the holidays I forgot to post anything here. Sorry about that!

Now that Christmas is over and presents have been exchanged I can share a couple of the things I’ve been working on over the last few weeks. As I mentioned previously, this was my first year doing an entirely handmade Christmas and even without a job to get in the way of my sewing it was still a ton of work!

Inspired by a Christmas pj post over at Did You Make That? I decided to make four people on my Christmas shopping list a pair of pajama pants in fun flannel prints using this free Simplicity pattern.

Free pajama pattern

Free pj sewing patternYou may recognize the fabric on the top of the pile from my Portland fabric shopping trip. The center two flannels were rescued from the remnant pile at Discount Fabrics in San Francisco and I found the goldfish flannel at Britex. The pattern was a breeze to sew, especially when making four in a row!

As per her request, I made my mom a set of plain navy oval-shaped placemats to match the double-sided napkins I made her earlier this year, but didn’t take a picture because, well, they’re just plain navy oval-shaped placemats.

I think my favorite thing that I sewed this year was the pair of oven mitts I made for my brother. I had found this fantastic science-themed fabric by Rebekah Ginda for Birch Organics from Fabricworm a while ago and knew I wanted to make something for the kitchen, I just wasn’t sure what.

Rebekah Ginda for Birch Organics, Robot

DIY Oven Mitts

Chemistry oven mitts

Science kitchen accessoriesI’m so pleased with how they turned out I think I’m going to use the extra fabric to make some more pairs for my Etsy shop!

The only project I didn’t finish was a cardigan for my nephew using some lovely Australian wool, but I should get that finished up and mailed off in the next week or so.

Phew! Finally done with the Christmas post! Next up…….2014 ReSEWlutions!!