- Arts and Design
Free Craft Ideas To Get You Started
Getting Started with Beads and Findings
Ever catch a glimpse of a beautiful bracelet, earrings or necklace and compliment on it only to find out they made it themselves? People can make amazingly gorgeous jewelry with just a bit of beads and wire. Guess what, you can too! Here's how to get started.
It's fairly easy, and common, to get into a crafting mood head to your local bead store and spend gobs of money only to get home and not know what to do with what you purchased. Instead of going to the bead store and buying everything that looks good, kinda like a kid in a candy store, consider going with a project in mind. A bracelet for example, is a good beginner beading project to start with.
Make a list of what you'll need. This may require a bit of research. For example a power bracelet is a great place to start. Power bracelet supplies include:
* Elastic Cord
* Beads Of Your Choice
* One Bead With Three Holes
It is important to make sure the cord fits through the holed in your bead. Finishing the bracelet, making sure the beads don't fall off the moment you slip it onto your wrist, is the final step. With a three holed bead the process involves pushing the cord through both sides of the three holed bead and up through the top. The final step is to tie an overhand knot, trim the ends and voila!
Other project options are wire jewelry, hemp jewelry and earrings of all shapes and sizes. Once you have a project decided upon and a list of supplies, then it's time to head out to the local bead store. Now some project supplies, like the three holed bead, can be difficult to find. There are many online options to locate those hard to find supplies or if your determined to make your project and are willing to compromise on some of the supplies then variations can generally be suggested and purchased at your local bead store.
For example, using the power bracelet supply list if the three holed bead is unavailable a two holed bead can be supplemented using an alternative tying method. It's done by looping one of the cord ends through the end bead and then pulling it up and through another bead before making a knot. It leaves the string exposed so choosing a string that matches your beads is recommended.
Once you get started creating beaded jewelry it's hard to stop. There are so many beautiful projects to create and a seemingly endless supply of stunning beads. Start small, plan your projects well and be willing to ask questions and make adjustments as you go. Enjoy!
Free Kids Craft Ideas
Teaching Kids to Crochet and/or Knit
Looking for a craft to teach your children? A craft which will result in quality, usable and functioning products? A craft which will teach them focus, goal setting and accomplishment as well as design planning and follow through? Sounds like a tall order, right? Nope, the answer is as simple as teaching them to crochet or knit.
Crocheting is a great place to start, particularly for younger children, because it uses a single needle. Children as young as four can be taught to crochet. Required supplies include:
o Size J hook
o Favorite color worsted weight yarn.
o Beginner pattern.
Hooks come in a variety of materials from metal to plastic. Lighter weight hooks are often easier for small hands to use effectively. It's easier to teach a child to crochet if you're sitting side by side so a couch is ideal, just make sure the television is off or they won't be paying attention. It is important to note whether your child is left handed or right handed as the pattern directions will vary.
Beginner patterns are usually blankets or placemats. Remember to start small, be prepared for frustration in the beginning and set a mental time limit or create a goal - for example, let's start with a 4X4 square so they feel like they've accomplished something when they finish.
Before beginning any project it's important to master a few knots, practice them, and make your yarn skein into a yarn ball.
Like crochet, knitting is a great way to teach children focus, give them a sense of accomplishment, and is a great way for children to keep busy as an alternative to a television, computer or video game.
o Size ten knitting needles
o Yarn, preferably wool
o A knitting pattern or project
Easy knitting patterns include a scarf, a potholder, or a hat. Begin like crocheting with your child sitting next to you somewhere comfortable. Sometimes it helps to have your child sitting in your lap so they can emulate your hand motions.
Like crochet needles it helps small hands if the needles are larger and if they are lightweight. Additionally, choose needles which have rounded tips rather than sharp pointed tips.
Patience is required when teaching knitting or crocheting. Knots can be difficult for small hands to master. If you become frustrated they will too. Knitting and crocheting are a fantastic way to bond with your child and to teach them the joy of crafting, the joy of creating something with their own two hands.
Turning Thrift Store Finds Into New Treasures
Thrift stores are an excellent way to add flair to a home or a wardrobe without spending a ton of money. To find treasures, thrift store shoppers can benefit from a few tips and tricks.
Keep a list of what you need. It's easy to get lost in a thrift store and come home with a whole lot of nothing or way too much. Keeping a list of items you need or would like to have is a sure way to stay on top of your budget and to make sure to not end up with a storage place that resembles a thrift shop of your own.
When searching for clothing items be sure to have a tape measure with you and to know your measurements. Many times sizes and tags are missing from items and it's easier to measure than to have to return something.
Many furniture items in thrift stores have been repainted many times or are in need of a good coat of varnish to brighten bare wood. Remember that furniture can often be spiffed up with a little sanding and a coat of paint. Additionally, there are many non-toxic paint strippers on the market to help you bring an old furniture item back to its original and quite likely beautiful, state.
Let your crafty side show. A plain wooden table can be turned into a work of art with a paintbrush, paint, and a handmade stencil. A simple black dress can become glamorous with a string of pearls sewn into the collar. A patio table can be transformed from dull to dramatic with a bit of broken tile and some mortar and a couch can become uniquely yours with a few hand made pillows or a slipcover. Letting your crafty side out can literally transform a thrift shop find into something fabulous.
Give it a good sniff. Thrift store items tend to get a bit on the musty side. It isn't a bad thing, it's a fact of life and most often that musty smell can be aired out or the item can simply be washed and good as new. However, occasionally there are items for which no amount of air or fabric freshener can help. Avoid bringing those home and your friends and family will thank you.
Think outside the box. Sometimes an old book is just that...an old book. And sometimes, with a little ingenuity an old book is a shelf. Amazing and functional items can be created out of what others would consider junk. An old book can be fastened to a steel elbow and attached to a wall to become a bookshelf. An old end table can become part of a bedside stand and a small bistro table can become a desk. Beauties, and function, are in the eye of the beholder.
Whether you're seeking furniture, decorative items, clothing or even appliances, thrift store shopping can turn up fabulous finds. It takes a keen eye, a focused mind, and the willingness to see a diamond in the rough.
Great Craft Ideas
Easy Soap Making Tips
Making soap can be a very worthy hobby. Not only is it a fun way to spend your time, unwind and tap into your creative side, it creates a very usable product you and your family can enjoy. Many people start soap making as a hobby and branch off into their own business.
Here's how to get started.
Soap making can be approached one of two ways. The simple strategy is to use natural soap or unscented soap, melt it down, add your unique ingredients, and make it your own. The supplies necessary for this straightforward method include:
o Colorless bars of natural or fragrance free soap
o Essential oils of your choice - these will scent your soap. Choose scents wisely. Lavender is a calming scent, citrus or mint invigorates.
o Food coloring
o Vitamin E oil
o Soap molds
o Double Boiler
o Wax or parchment paper
Grate soap in a blender and melt it in a double boiler. Add oils and coloring to suit your preference. You can add glitter, toys, or other items to soap to make it fun. Add water until the soap becomes thin enough to pour into a mold. Let molds sit for about 48 hours and then release onto wax paper.
To really create soap from scratch, it's a bit more involved but still just as fun. Here are the supplies you'll need:
* 1 oz. coloring dye
* 1 lb. coconut oil
* 1 lb. olive oil
* 3 lbs. lard
* 11.2 oz. of lye
* 1.5 oz. fragrance
* 32 oz. water
* Rubber gloves
* A stainless steel pot
* 1 plastic container
* Protective goggles and an apron
In your large plastic container add your lye to water in a three to one ration. One part lye and three parts water. Mix in an open area with proper ventilation and make sure you're wearing goggles. The mixture will get hot. Let it cool before proceeding to the next step.
Place lard and oils into the metal pot. Warm it on your stove top over low heat until fat melts. Keep track of the temperature until it reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Add they lye to the melted oils very slowly to combine. Continue stirring. Mixture will change consistency. Add your dye and fragrance. Pour into your molds and let sit for 24 hours. Pop the soap from the molds and you have soap. Congratulations!
Making soap is a fun and rewarding hobby. Once you establish a routine and perfect your recipe you can branch out and try different fragrances, textures, colors, shapes and so on. The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity and soap.
Great Craft Links
- Easy Craft Ideas For Kids
Need to keep the kids entertained during the holidays or need some rainy day activities for your kids? Then the easy craft ideas here are just the thing!
- Easy Crafts for Seniors
Whatever our age making and creating crafts can be a great way to relax, keep learning and even make money. These easy crafts for Seniors will keep you occupied for ages!
Scrapbooking Ideas for You
Taking Your Scrapbooking to a Higher Level
Are you getting bored with the beginner tactics you learned as a scrapbooker just starting out? Are all of your scrapbooks starting to look the same? If so, it may be time that you began implementing advanced techniques to take your scrapbooks to a higher level.
If you're beginning to lose inspiration for your scrapbooks, take a look at the following advanced techniques and see if it opens the door to more scrapbooking fulfillment for you:
Matchbook scrapbooks - You can show off small photos in a scrapbooking format that look like a tiny matchbook! For instance, many parents take a picture of their child's first day of school each year.
You can use a cover that resembles a tiny matchbook that opens up and displays the child's school picture for that year. Plus, you might want to include some special memories about that school year.
Use up those leftover scraps - You can create a mosaic border for your scrapbooking pages. If you have some leftover scraps that you don't know what to do with, just cut them up into little pieces and create a mosaic piece to add to the scrapbooking page.
Place them on a background page that's a contrasting color to the colors you plan to use for your mosaic so that you can give the illusion of grout that would be seen in a ceramic mosaic pattern.
Add some silhouettes - Silhouette cropping your photos gives your scrapbook page a new dimension that will make the page pop. By cutting close to the subject lines, you can make the picture seem real to those browsing through the pages.
Add decorative cuts - Want to make your cuts more interesting and less plain Jane? Use decorative scrapbooking scissors. You can cut different shapes into your project with triangles, corkscrew and art deco patterns.
Design your own background - If you can't find the background paper you want, then try designing your own unique pattern! Take a piece of background paper and sponge paint it with the color and shapes that you want. You can even finger-paint it if you want - get creative.
Scrapbooking can be fun for the beginners as well as the more advanced memory-keeper. Create your own projects and come up with new ideas for your scrapbooking hobby to share with others. Bring your scrapbooking creative juices to the surface and let them flow.