Painting & Decoupage on Glass

Besides sewing, I love to paint. Although my hands don't work as well as they used to, I can still manage simple designs. But I wanted to be able to decorate my jars beyond those simple designs, so I set about looking for a decoupage medium that would withstand washing. I purchased Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Durable Gloss Finish decoupage medium, grabbed a cup from my cupboard, and set about decorating a mug for testing. The label on the decoupage medium claims that once completely cured, the finish is top-rack dishwasher safe. I don't have a dishwasher, but I've hand washed this mug a couple of times...looks good to me!

I tried it out on an old jelly jar, and a wooden box I had. I think those came out pretty cute. The dots on both the mug, and the jar were added with an acrylic paint pen.

I had a few pieces of heavy scrapbooking paper that I used for parts of these...the rest is done with wrapping paper. The Dollar Tree is a great place to get wrapping paper, and if you're willing to spend a little more, American Greetings makes a reversible wrapping paper. The wrapping paper is thinner, and can be a little more challenging to work with, but I was able to cut all of those flowers out of a small piece of the wrapping paper.

If you'd like to just paint your jars, any acrylic paint will do. Painting on glass is not the easiest thing to do, but if you stick to simple designs it goes much easier. Also, keep a wet paper towel, and a wet q-tip handy to "erase" your mistakes. To make your paint permanent, let the paint dry for 24 hours or so, bake your piece in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Let the piece cool in the oven. Don't bake your decoupaged pieces -- if you're mixing paint with decoupage either bake before decoupaging, or put a final coat of decoupage medium on the piece after painting.  

Easy DIY Gift Idea -- Fleece Slouch Hat

While getting ready for a couple of craft shows, I got it in my head that I needed another hat option besides The Mimi Hat. I at first thought I would make a simple beret, but after searching through my massive pattern collection, and several on line tutorials, I still hadn't found just what I was looking for. Then I remembered some little crocheted hats that my mother used to whip up for me in the 60's and 70's. I loved those hats...I could tuck all my hair underneath and go.
So I turned my thoughts to those old slouch hats, and reminded myself "don't make this harder than it has to be!" Well...I love the way they turned out. I even added some embroidery to a few of them -- because this hat is not lined, you can add your embroidery design either before or after constructing the hat.
I made my hats in fleece, but there are other fabric options that would work just as well. Sweatshirt fleece, sweater knit, stretchy velour, double knit, or just about any fabric that has a little bit of stretch to it so that the band has a little give. I would just make sure to cut the band on the direction of the fabric that has some stretch. If you're using a fabric that doesn't have any stretch, then try cutting the band on the bias. 
I made 2 is pleated, and the other is gathered. Neither is easier or quicker than the other -- either can be made in about an hour. I've created a tutorial with instructions for cutting the circle and the band, and I've included sizing for kids as well as adults. The tutorial includes full instructions, and pictures, with some tips for beginners. The tutorial is available now in my Craftsy Pattern Store, and in my Etsy store.

Easy DIY Gift Idea -- Fleece Ear Warmers

These Fleece Ear Warmers are so quick, and easy to make that you'll be tempted to make one for everyone on your Christmas list. I've just posted the pattern in my Craftsy store, and in my Etsy store.

There are 2 options for constructing these depending on whether you're using fleece, or some other fabric with a little bit of stretch (such as velour, sweatshirt fleece, sweater knit, or double knit) that might ravel  or curl.

To make them truly "one size fits all", I used an elastic pony tail band to secure the 2 narrow ends.

I'm also in the process of creating a pattern for a Slouch Beret -- another quick, and easy project. This one can be pleated, or choose your style, or make both!
So...the next time you're at the fabric store, check the remnant bin for some fleece, and get busy on those gifts!


Easy DIY Gift Idea -- Embroidered Fleece Scarf

I won't say that these are quick to make, but they're certainly easy. In fact, you don't need to sew a stitch to make any of these scarves.

How much fabric you buy will depend upon the width of the scarf you want to make, and if you want to hand tie fringe on the bottom hems. For a simple 9" wide scarf that's about 56" long, 1/4 yard of fabric will do. Most fleece off the bolt is 58" wide, but if you're not adding fringe, you'll want to cut off the selvedge edges. Click on "read more" to continue.