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Christmas 2011

volume 2, no. 6

elf s r you ittle t f l cra erry as m t m is a Chr


dear friends,

craft yourself a merry little Christmas

Christmastime is the very best season for crafting, don’t you think? With all those gifts to wrap and give, trees to decorate, and stockings to stuff, you could whip yourself into a crafting frenzy! To get you started, we’ve packed this issue full of great little projects that will make this Christmas the craftiest ever. There are plenty of ideas from gifts to wreaths to stockings to countdowns to the big day. You’ll find just the inspiration to get you motivated. Grab your scissors and glue, thread your needle and get ready to craft yourself a merry little Christmas!

with love,

p.s. I’m very fortunate to have such a sweet & talented p. friend in Pam Keravuori. She designed the sampler (opposite) and hand-scripted project titles throughout this issue. How lovely indeed!


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38

50

103

92

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22

124


c

ontents

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14 .................... christmas brooches 22 ....................... a pom pom wreath 28 ..............................cute elf tags 32 ............................candy bouquets 38 ............................jewelbox decor 46 ...... kitschy christmas totems 50 ............................a feather tree 58 .................. embroidered sachets 64 ............... a folksy advent tree 72 ..............a woven cuff stocking 80 .................. easy bird ornaments 84 ............................ a gift garland

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88 ............... a Miniature christmas 92 .................a stitched gift book 96 ...................... Mistletoe sampler 98 ................... a north pole treat 104 ............... Leafy advent wreath 108 ..................... a starry garland 114 ...................... nutcracker suite 118 .................... a pretty stocking 124 ...............spicetin shadowboxes

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fri ends Mary Engelbreit

Heidi Grace Kress

Mary Engelbreit estimates that she has completed more than 5,000 illustrations since beginning her professional career. Her art springs from real life. And real life, she is quick to point out, just keeps happening. With the help of her staff, Mary goes to great lengths to make certain her artwork is reproduced as faithfully to her original work as possible.

Heidi Grace Kress is a playful artist who loves to create a variety of goods including original art, scrapbooking and paper crafting collections, gifts, and most recently children’s clothing. Heidi is thrilled to present her new company called Clever, which promotes and sells Heidi’s handmade goods. Her family—her husband, Ryan, and three charming muses, Reagan, Ireland, and Paisley—are her main sources of inspiration. While the family keeps her on her toes, the trade-off is an arsenal of unique concepts, funny stories, and great adventures that she loves to incorporate into her art. Heidi loves nothing more than to spend time with her family, and it is those times that feed her energy source and drive her zest for life, as well as nurture her creative spirit. They love to be together doing anything, from playing in bed on Saturday mornings, exploring at the nearby beach, or visiting local parks and trails. Heidi loves to create in all media, but her favorite is simply a blank piece of paper and a black drawing pen.

Today, Mary Engelbreit Studios and The Mary Engelbreit Online Store are headquartered in Mary’s hometown, St. Louis, Missouri. Thousands of national and international retailers sell Mary Engelbreit products. It’s an amazing degree of success for any company, but even more remarkable considering that it all began with a single-minded young girl who decided at age 11 that she was going to be an artist. And while Mary Engelbreit Studios has grown into a global licensing and retail business, that same girl still sits at its core, grown up now, but drawing her pictures with the same sense of wonder, imagination, and enthusiasm.


Katie Runnels

Matthew Mead

Katie’s interest and love of arts and crafts began with her mother’s example as a painter and creative homemaker. The various handicrafts of her mother, grandmothers and aunts, not always appreciated while growing up, are now some of her most beloved treasures. Katie works in several different media including paint, textiles, found-object sculpture, ceramics and collage, much the same as the women in her family before her. Katie received an MFA in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2004. That same year she co-created shopSCAD along with best friend and current director, Amy Zurcher, as a unique gallery/boutique venue exclusively for the art and design of SCAD students, faculty and alumni. Katie’s artwork has been exhibited in the U.S. and internationally, while her crafts and handiwork have appeared on design blogs and in magazines, most notably Better Homes and Gardens, Craft Stylish, Design*Sponge, Decor8, and Poppytalk. She now curates the blog and online shop The Constant Gatherer, where her design ideas, artwork, and inspirations are catalogued and periodically sold. She is currently concentrated on her most prized creation, a baby boy, due to her and husband, Jon, sometime in mid-December 2011. www.theconstantgatherer.blogspot.com

Matthew Mead is a stylist, writer, author, photographer, lifestyle editor, and noted style expert. The former style editor of Country Home Magazine and co-editor in chief of Flea Market Style Magazine (2010), Matthew is the official food photographer for the Associated Press and is a regular contributor to Better Homes and Gardens and Victoria Magazine. Matthew has also written eight books and produced countless magazine spreads and ad campaigns for noted companies such as Pottery Barn, Dove Chocolate, Target, and Stonewall Kitchen. Matthew is known for seasonal style— decorating beautiful spaces with vintage finds, nature’s offerings, and what is at hand; guiding others to entertain with ease in a stylish way; and inspiring home owners to create beautiful food and living spaces which they can proudly share with family and friends. Matthew started his own quarterly magazine HOLIDAY WITH MATTHEW MEAD, which you can order at his site www. holidaywithmatthewmead.com and a new product line of home goods and accessories at www.matthewmeadcollection.com


fri ends Koralee Teichroeb

Tracey Fisher

Creating has always been a part of Koralee Teichroeb’s life. As a young girl, she spent hours around her grandma’s kitchen table with her button jar and a pot of glue.

After a career in corporate and broadcast television, Tracey Fisher returned to the world of crafting, as she raised her two young girls. Armed with an inspirational “Betz White cupcake”, a whole world of crafting and blogs opened up to her. She took sewing classes and knitting classes and made little projects for family and friends. She knitted cupcake hats and viking helmets for teachers’ babies, made sock monkeys for friends and sewed up zippered pouches and purses for gifts.

Today, Koralee’s world is dusted with everything from glitter to cake sprinkles. You can usually find her in the kitchen with her camera, as her creative side has now found the JOY of baking. As an avid blogger, she loves to share her passion for creating through her lovely photography. Whether she is creating fairy cakes to eat or pretty boxes to put them in, it is all about sharing the JOY with those around her. Visit Koralee at her blog: www.bluebirdnotes.blogspot.com

These days, instead of her daughters following in her footsteps, she has found that it is she following theirs. With their Etsy shops, blogs and Tumblr accounts, she now finds both her teenage daughters are her creative mentors. With the help of her girls, Tracey has opened up an Etsy shop and started a blog, in their names, where she crafts to her heart’s content and writes up a storm about crafting, motherhood and her next chapter. You can read all about her adventures in crafting at www.helanaandali.blogspot.com


Catherine Thursby

Sally Keller

Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Catherine Thursby has always been influenced by the artful town in which she lives. Surrounded by artists, scholars, free spirits and a liberal household, it was no wonder that she grew up wanting to become involved in the arts in some capacity. Catherine studied fine arts and metalsmithing at Eastern Michigan University. It was then that she started making little art dolls on the side, which were sold in galleries across the country. After getting married and having 2 children, she limited her work to a couple of home shows and art fairs.

Sally is a fun loving homeschooling mom of 4 who likes to sing, play the guitar and the cello, and is completely addicted to her husband and anything fabric or paper!!

In the fall of 2004, Catherine followed a life long dream and open a shop called Red SHoes. Red SHoes is located in a small house right in downtown Ann Arbor. It features Catherine’s studio and artwork, vintage goods and a little bit of retail product. When she’s not busy running around chasing her teenage son, or her wild 8 year old daughter, she can be found working away in her studio, creating colorful things made from an active imagination, recycled materials, paper, paint, fabric and glue.

She’s inspired by a sweet melody she can’t get out of her head; her husband; a blue, cloudless sky; the smell of lavender; a cottage-style kitchen table with white paint peeling off of it; the soft feel of cotton; a wraparound porch with a tin star on it; the cello; a rubber stamp; some red ink and a black journaling marker; buttons andlace; swirls; the sound of her children peeking into her room while she’s sleeping in the morning, then giggling and running away; a soft, worn, vintage quilt—and being made in the image of the Creator and creating all day long! To read more about her self-proclaimed crazy OUTLOUD life, check out her blog at: sallysangelworks.typepad.com


fri ends Jone Hallmark J Once upon a time, Jone Hallmark was a professional ballerina living in Switzerland. After a long search for what she really wanted to be when she grows up, Jone found that felt, wire, paper, glue and string make her very happy - the “simple things” in life. She loves Alice in Wonderland (oh yeah, and mushrooms) and dragonflies. She is drawn to anything with polkadots and looks forward to the next time she can head to the southwestern part of France for a workshop with the Pantry Violets. Jone lives in Santa Fe, NM, with her hubby of 25 years, their 16-year-old son, two cats (Pearl and Marble) and two dogs (Kipper and Jack) She spends every Wednesday morning stitching and drinking chai with friends in the garden at the Teahouse and once a month meets with her creative friends to make BIG messes on every possible flat surface. See what Jone is up to by visiting her blog, polkadotponies.blogspot.com

Molly Knox Molly Knox has always had Anthropologie taste on a Target budget. From an early age she found ways to use whatever she had around to create what she imagined. As a little girl, her parents often took her along on trips to antique stores, flea markets and garage sales, fostering a love of old things and inspiring her to create beautiful surroundings on a small budget. Today, she loves transforming not-so-pretty objects into something special and inspiring. She believes that there isn’t much a little paint, glitter, or fabric can’t fix. She prides herself on turning the simple into the sublime, and her family and friends often tell her she can make “something from nothing”. Molly is a 4th-generation Florida native, living in Tampa with her husband Doug, daughter Lilly and their West Highland Terrier Ellie Belle. She teaches pre-school part-time where she has a blast acting silly, teaching crafts, and watching her students grow. On her off days she is a stayat-home mom who loves playing, reading and crafting with Lilly and creating vintage-inspired crafts and décor. Molly finds that her day is not complete if she hasn’t created or dreamed of creating. You can read more about Molly on her blog lillycakes.blogspot.com

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cherie wilson

Jerusalem Greer

Cherie Wilson has had a heart for teaching art and being a Mama for as long as she can remember. For the last 10 years, she has been serving women locally and through her blog ministry with a unique voice for the healing power of HeARTart; helping others connect to their faith; and encouraging them to ponder and respond to their own lives moment by moment.

Jerusalem Greer comes from a long line of creative and resourceful women who always managed do a whole lot with just a little. She credits her mother for pulling up her carpet when she was little, so that she could glue-atwill without fear for her current successes in craftiness.

Cherie believes that, within each soul, there is an opportunity to experience an abundantly creative life, if we allow it. We do this by being authentic to ourselves and others; by being generous, intentional, and often lavishly random; and always open to life’s smallest most beautiful details. Cherie admits that her greatest creations she cannot take full credit for. Her 4 very capable and beautiful daughters, Katie, Cassie, Carly and Anna along with her generous husband, Mike, and their funny Standard Poodle, Trueman. You can visit Cherie at www.humblepiedesigns.blogspot.com

Jerusalem draws her inspiration from most things vintage, Nora Ephron movies, great books and the wide world of creative bloggers. Jerusalem has been married to her sweet man of 14 years, has 2 amazingly creative and very messy boys, 3 chickens, 1 dog, 1 hamster, 1 toad and 1 hedgehog. She is currently working on her first book, a collection of recipes, stories and crafts inspired by her faith. Jerusalem seeks to create art that is happy, authentic, nostalgic and most of all encouraging. You can find Jerusalem blogging most days at www. jollygoodegal.com


fri ends Hope Ellington

Pat Wehmeier

Hope Ellington is a mixed-media artist. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Apparel Merchandising. Recently, Hope spoke with her esteemed sewing professor Karla Kunoff and commented that she never used her degree. Professor Kunoff disagreed, for it was while studying at Indiana University that Hope developed her love for vintage textiles and sewing.

Pat Wehmeier has been a mixed-media artist since she was a child. She earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute and made quilts of various materials, including paper and canvas, for twenty five years. About twelve years ago, she rediscovered a passion for creating dollhouse miniatures.

Hope is married to Jeff and the mother of two children, Lindsey, 19, and Lincoln, 14. She is a hockey mom, avid gardener and intense lover of antiques. Hope loves restoring her 1850’s farmhouse filling it with period antiques and vintage collections. Some of Hope’s collections include white ironstone, McCoy flower pots, and anything related to Abraham Lincoln. You can find Hope mostly in her craft studio or around her small Bloomington Indiana farm tending the gardens and her newly created flock of chickens. To learn more about Hope please visit her blog Thoughts of Whimsy at www. vintage-whimsy.blogspot.com

Pat discovered that making dollhouse miniatures allows her to combine found materials, paint, clay, paper and fabric in creative and whimsical ways. She finds that people of all ages can relate to miniature works of art. In addition to making miniatures, Pat also collects vintage dollhouses, furniture and accessories from the 30s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s that she finds in her extensive travels. She’s always on the lookout for a hidden treasure. To share her love and knowledge of vintage dollhouse items with others, she recently started her own website: pmwminiatures.com. She sells at miniature shows and teaches classes in creating unique miniatures. She also rescues, repairs and transforms tiny furniture, bringing new life to otherwise abandoned pieces. Pat lives in a Tudor cottage outside of Chicago with her sweet (and patient) husband Bill, two creative teenage sons and and 13 14 dollhouses.

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Lynda Kanase It doesn’t hurt to have a day job as a graphic designer in the paper-crafting industry when one of your passions is crafting. And when she’s not designing or crafting, Lynda Kanase is often hunting at estate sales. She says it is a lot of fun to be able to combine her passions. Looking back, she’s crafted with upcycled objects for most of her life but never thought of it as a specific genre until now. Part of being a designer is to take certain items {photos, words, logos} and create a visually pleasing message {advertising, magazines, packaging}. In a similar way, Lynda’s crafting inspiration comes from finding vintage objects and creating something visually pleasing. She enjoys using a common object in an uncommon way to create something unexpected. And when she’s not designing or crafting or estate sale hunting, she can be found sharing her crafty ideas and vintage treasures on her blog, SomethingCreatedEveryday.blogspot.com

Rebecca Ringquist Rebecca Ringquist is a Brooklyn-based visual artist. Her drawings on paper and stitched drawings on fabric explore issues of identity through thinly veiled metaphors utilizing old fashioned imagery and double entendres. In 2005, Rebecca was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited at the Hyde Park Art Center, The California Polytechnic University, ARC Gallery, Fraction Workspace, Northern Illinois University, The Textile Art Center in Brooklyn, and is currently represented by the Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago. In 2010, Ringquist started Dropcloth Samplers, a handmade embroidery design business, after the success of selling her original prints at Squam Art Workshops. The samplers have been featured on numerous craft blogs in the last year and a half. Ringquist earned her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Fiber and Material Studies department where she subsequently taught for seven years. Next year she’ll be back at Squam, as well as teaching at a handful of other workshops around the country. Please visit her blog at www.drop-cloth.blogspot.com to learn more.


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inspired ideas Christmas 2011

volume 2, no. 6

Amy Powers ....................Magazine Creator Pam Keravuori ................Idea Generator Illustrator Calligrapher Word Smith Lorraine Rose .................Proofreader Cheerleader Validator Hope Wallace Karney......Great Pair of Eyes

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR & SUBMISSIONS: Email amy@inspireco.com or send correspondence to Amy Powers Inspired Ideas 5213 Tulip Leaf Court Centreville VA 20120 Š Copyright 2011 by Inspire Co. LLC All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission of copyright owner. All images contained within have been reproduced with the knowledge and prior consent of all the artists concerned and no responsibility is accepted by the publisher, Inspire Co., for any infringement of copyright or otherwise arising from the contents of this publication. Every effort has been made to ensure that the projects within this magazine are original.

Please respect the generosity of the artists contributing to this magazine. Do not reproduce projects featured here for resale. They are for personal use only. Enjoy!


you love to make things In fact, you are always making something. It’s what makes you happiest. You are most inspired by ideas that are fresh, approaches that are ingenious, & designs that are lovely. Welcome! You are home.

inspired ideas is your magazine.

{crafthappy}


Fa la la!

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inspired ideas


sEASON You’ve all seen it. Maybe just once a year. It comes out for parties and at gatherings with family and friends. It’s the holiday sweater. This brooch is a salute to your Aunt Edna’s sweater and everything special about the holidays…but reduced in size and statement. You could go to the extreme and use a medley of holiday baubles and fabrics, but I went with a more conservative approach. Whatever your take is on the holiday sweater, make sure you make a few…to wear with your coat, your scarf, or…as a gift topper for Aunt Edna!

{ by Tracey Fisher } { Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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inspired ideas


Supplies

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

Linen

Felted wool/sweater

Brooch backing/pin

Embellishments such as a holiday figurine, felt balls, acorn caps, buttons, jingle bells

Paint

Glitter

Fabric glue

Needle and thread

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Assembly Cut the linen and felt as follows: 1. One strip of linen, 2.5 to 3” wide and 17” long 2. One piece of felt or felted wool sweater, 3 to 3.5” wide and 8 to 10” long 3. Two pieces of felt or wool scraps for leaves, 1.5 by 3” long 4. One circular piece of felt, 1.5 to 2” wide

Steps to complete your brooch: 1. Begin by sewing a running stitch about ¼” in from one long edge of your linen fabric strip and cinching it into a flower shape. 2. Fold the felt or felted wool piece in half lengthwise and press or pin. Cut slits into the folded edge approximately ¼” to ½” wide, making sure not to cut right through to the other side (see photo and template (found in appendix)). 3. As with the linen strip, while the felt is still folded, sew a running stitch opposite the folded side and cinch felt into a flower shape. 4. To make the leaves, fold two felt or thin wool pieces 1.5 by 3” long and press. Use the template (appendix) and cut out the two leaf shapes (see photo).

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{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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5. Assemble these layers and sew/glue in place. 6. Now you can add embellishments: buttons at the base of the leaves, glittered jingle bells, embroidered buttons and your central holiday motif. On my brooch, I used a painted deer. I found dipping the figure in paint gave it a smooth finish. I also glittered acorn caps and glued those to felt balls. Once you are happy with the placement of your embellishments, you can glue the pieces in place. 7. The final step is to add a circular 1.5 to 2� felt piece, fitted with brooch hardware or pin, to the back of the brooch and sew or stitch in place. 8. Now you can attach your brooch as a gift topper, to a purse, to a sweater or to a coat‌ and wear with holiday pride!

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inspired ideas


{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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holiday welcome

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comfort &

joy

Woolly bits and bobs have always made me happy. So when I discovered these sweet balls of fluff, otherwise known as pompoms, I was in heaven! Making these cute little things is highly addictive, and I am not the only one in my home with a pompom obsession. My girls have jumped on the bandwagon as well…which is a good thing, as this wreath requires at least 58 of these happy little fluff balls!

{ by Koralee Teichroeb }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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lovely ya I highly recommend you make this wreath in colours that you adore. I made a tri-coloured wreath, but a uni-colour or multi-coloured one would be just as fun. Whatever you decide, this wreath will fill your home with smiles because that is what pompoms do best!

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inspired ideas


Materials •

14” straw wreath

3” wide fabric strip, long enough to wrap your wreath

Yarn in the colours you adore (I used cream, steel blue, chartreuse)

Pompom maker (very inexpensive, found at any craft store)

White coffee filters (approx. 56 to 60 in 8-12 cup size)

3 tea bags and boiling water in a medium-size bowl

Crystal glitter and glue

Pretty brooch

Straight pins

Glue gun

1. Make your pompoms. I used 2 sizes, making 1” and 2” pompoms (using the medium & large size rings from the pompom maker kit). Remember to leave long enough strings on each pompom so you can tie them onto your wreath (hot glue is an alternative way to attach them as well). You will need approximately 18 of 2” cream 16 of 1” cream 6 of 2” blue 9 of 1” blue 2 of 2” chartreuse 3 of 1” chartreuse

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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2. Wrap your straw wreath with the fabric strip, and tie or glue to secure. 3. Attach your pompoms, starting on one side and working around the wreath. Tie or glue pompoms close together as you go, making sure sizes and colours are used randomly throughout. 4. Tea dye your coffee filters: In a bowl, steep 3 tea bags in 2-3 cups of boiling water. Take a coffee filter and scrunch it up to make a flower. While holding onto the stem part, dip the flower top into the tea bath. 5. After you dip the filter flowers, lay them on a cookie sheet to dry overnight. They need to be dried completely before you can attach them to your wreath.

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6. Once the tea dyed flowers are dried, you can start attaching them around the wreath with pins or hot glue to make a ruffle edge. I found pins worked very well. Make sure you overlap the flowers for a full look. 7. After the ruffle is on, you can add some glitter to the tip of your ruffle by applying a small amount of glue to the edges, followed by the glitter. I found crystal clear glitter added just enough sparkle without being overpowering. You could also add the glitter onto each flower before attaching them to the wreath. 8. For the finishing touch, I added a vintage brooch attached to a yarn bow, but you could embellish anyway your heart desires.

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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print it!

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you Mary

AZelfZtagsZB Being the generous holiday gift-giver that I know you are, keeping track of what goes to whom can be complicated! Make it easier on yourself by using these little gift tags I designed. Print ‘em out (from the following page), cut ‘em out, glitter ‘em up, or leave them plain-- they’ll get the job done, I promise. And don’t forget to have yourself a merry little Christmas!

{ by Mary Engelbreit }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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WE’RE LOOKING FOR

inspired ideas We’re always looking for great, inspired ideas to feature in our magazine, and we welcome your submissions. We’re really interested in projects that have a fresh approach. We want to stretch your imagination and inspiration more than ever by showing super innovative projects. We’re especially interested in projects that are not yet published, even on your own blog, i.e., something folks haven’t seen before. Whether it’s a new take on an old craft, materials used in ingenious ways, or just something so sweet and wonderful that everyone will want to make it...

send us your idea! We’re currently searching for Spring crafting ideas. Send your project pitch to amy@inspireco.com by December 15. Make your pitch as complete as possible. Include details so we can really “see” your project. Photos are important. Presentation matters. If your project is still in the “idea phase”, send us an inspiration board showing materials, colors, designs, and anything else you think will sell us on your idea.

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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sweet gift

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p r s i iTS b RIghT

I think candy makes a perfect present, much better than a bouquet of flowers which will fade in a matter of days. So let’s make a bouquet of candy... good for days and days of sugary delight! Who wouldn’t want a colorful sweet gift like that? (I won’t tell your dentist if you won’t tell mine!) To make an even easier version of this candy bouquet, use lollipops! The stick on the end replaces the floral picks. And can you think of a sweeter present?

{ by Amy Powers }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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Materials

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2” Styrofoam ball

Colorful candy pieces

Small flower pot

Wooden floral picks (found in floral supply section of your craft store)

Hot glue gun and glue stick

Note: The quantity of candy you need depends on the size of the candy. The candy I used is approximately 1/2” in diameter and I used 240 pieces to make the bouquet.

inspired ideas


1. Place the Styrofoam ball in the small flower pot and mark where they meet, either with a pen or by pressing styrofoam into the pot to make an indentation. 2. Bundle candy together in groups of three. Hold the ends of the wrappers together with the wire end of a floral pick in one hand and wrap the loose wire tightly around the bundle. If the bundle is wrapped too loosely, it will sag and wiggle free. You don’t want that! 3. Continue making these little bundles until you can hardly stand it. Try not to eat more candy than you wrap. 4. Starting at the top of the ball, insert the picks about 1” into the Styrofoam ball. If you work in sections, you’ll find it easier to manage. 5. Cover the ball to the line where the flower pot and ball meet. 6. Once you’ve covered the ball completely, inspect the bouquet for loose candy, obvious holes, and even distribution of candy. 7. Run a generous bead of hot glue around the perimeter of the flower pot and around the perimeter of the styrofoam ball (being careful not to glue the candy). Place the ball on the flower pot and hold in place until the glue sets. If the candy bouquet seems a bit top heavy, you can fill the pot with something heavy like glass marbles before you secure with glue. If hot glue isn’t working, try a stronger craft glue (but not a toxic brand).

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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This is a great way to present a loved-one’s favorite candy. They are sure to smile when they see a whole bouquet of their favorite treats!

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inspired ideas


itty bitty

Grab an assortment of miniatures and small bits to create tiny worlds atop spools and small pedestals.

{

Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

}

{ by Amy Powers }

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e deck th s hall

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inspired ideas


Every Christmas I like to try at least one holiday scheme based on vibrant unexpected color. This year our morning room mantel is the focal point for a magical gem-inspired scenario with fresh hues and not even a speck of evergreen in sight. Holiday decorating is part of my life all year long...so when it comes to engaging Christmas at home, I like to explore something new and different. This year I found colorful, luminous faux gems that add shimmer in both daylight and candle light.

{ by Matthew Mead }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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inspired ideas


Gem Wreath •

9-inch styrofoam wreath form

2 yards 1-inch ribbon

Glue gun

60-70 faux gems

1. Wrap ribbon around wreath form and glue tightly in place. 2. Glue gems to the wreath form in random order. 3. Hang from a ribbon.

Gem Sphere •

4-inch Styrofoam ball

1 sheet of tissue paper

Mod Podge

Paint brush

Glue gun

Colored gems

1. Apply Mod Podge to Styrofoam ball with a paint brush. Allow to dry. 2. Hot glue gems to ball in a random color pattern. 3. Perch atop vase or colorful candlestick.

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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inspired ideas


Gem Pinwheels •

Foil wrapping paper (1 yard will easily make 4 small pinwheels)

Ruler

Double-sided tape

Glue gun

Gems (1 per pinwheel)

Scissors

1. Cut two pieces of paper 6” x 7 1/8”. 2. Accordion-fold the 6-inch length at 1/2” intervals on both pieces. 3. Trim each end of accordionfolded paper to a point. 4. Fold to create a half-circle and tape the two ends together where they meet. Do this for both pieces. 5. Tape together the two halves to create a circle. 6. Glue a gem in the middle of each pinwheel.

Ornament Pyramids •

Cake stand or compote

Multi-colored ornaments

Zots (glue dots)

1. Stack garland and ornaments in vessel, using Zots to adhere ornaments together for stability.

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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inspired ideas


Pennant Banner •

6 sheets of card stock

1 yard foil gift wrap

2-inch paper punch

Quick-set glue

3-inch circle template

String

Small round paper punch

1. Cut two graduated sizes of pennant templates. You will need ten of each size. 2. Glue smaller pennants to the center of larger pennants using a quick-set glue. 3. With the small punch, punch a hole on each corner. 4. Attach to string to hang. 5. Punch out ten 2-inch circles in desired color and glue between each pennant.

Scalloped Border

1. Cut 3-inch circles in desired colors. 2. Cut each circle in half. 3. Cut 1/2-inch strip in same color paper and glue half-circles to paper with quick-set glue. Hang pennant on mantle with push pins. Hold scalloped border in place with double-stick tape.

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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vintage love

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inspired ideas


jolly I can’t help but pick up colorful, kitschy ornaments at the Goodwill and garage sales, ones that don’t necessarily end up on the tree. I thought a good way to display these offbeat treasures would be in small decorative stacks reminiscent of totems or prize trophies. Once you begin thinking about creating one, your eye will start picking out all kinds of whatnots to incorporate!

{ by Katie Runnels }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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vintage treasures

Materials •

Sturdy wood base

Various ornaments, beads, figurines, etc

Quick-dry glue or hot glue

Pliers

16-gauge wire

Drill with 1/16” bit

Mod-Podge or Matte Medium

Chip brush

Optional: Sandpaper and varnish

1. Gather your ornaments, beads, and figurines. Some examples pictured here include spun cotton and plastic birds and bells, satin and foam ball ornaments, wooden child’s blocks and beads, spools of thread, Putz houses, moss balls, and decorative nests.

These totems are an original way to preserve and display favorite or treasured heirloom pieces. The only limitation is that the items used have to be made of a material that can be pierced with an awl or drilled through ... this means no glass ornaments unless you are savvy with breakable materials. I found that wood, plastic, spun cotton, and foam ornaments work best.

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2. Choose a sturdy base that will ground your stack of ornaments. Mine are all made from wood, although many other materials such as plaster or clay could be used. Pictured here are pre-made wood plaques found at hobby supply stores, bass wood blocks found at woodworking supply shops (or a lumber yard), vintage wooden spools and children’s blocks. These are best placed near the base of your totem to ensure your decorations are perched on a sturdy base.

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3. I chose to glue vintage giftwrap, sheet music, and storybook pages to the premade wood plaques and blocks. I also like to sand them a bit when dry to soften the edges, and a clear varnish could be added, if desired. Cut a length of wire that is a few inches more than the height you intend for your totem to give yourself some flexibility. 4. Drill a hole (approximately half the height of your base) into the center of your base. Add a dab of glue to the hole and insert the wire into the base, and allow to dry. 5. Begin stacking your items. Once you are happy with your design and order of objects, place a dab of glue between each item, as needed.

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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you can make it!

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Christmas

tREe

This faux-feather tree is constructed the same way traditional feather trees are, except, instead of using pricey goose biots (goose feathers that are trimmed from the short side of a goose wing quill), it is made with a fringy yarn called “Boa” by Barnat. You could try other fun yarns for different effects and, once you’ve perfected the craft, perhaps even make a traditional goose feather tree! These instructions are for a 12” tree, but you can alter them to make a larger model.

{ by Amy Powers }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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Materials

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13 feet of 16-gauge galvanized utility wire (hardware store)

Wire cutters

Scissors

White floral tape

Pencil

26-gauge floral wire

Red holly-berry stamen

White crepe streamer

White Bernat “Boa” yarn (or color of your choice)

Base for finished tree (I used a gelatin mold which I drilled out to accommodate the trunk, but you could also use a spool or a wooden block with a drilled hole in the center)

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1.

Cut a 12” length of 16-gauge utility wire for the trunk of the tree.

2.

Cut three 10.5” lengths of utility wire for the top level of branches. To form the branch, measure 2” from the end of the wire and make a 90-degree bend, creating an “L” shape. The 2” length of the wire will be the branch, while the 8.5” length will form the trunk.

3.

Next, cut four 9.5” lengths of utility wire for the next level of branches. Measure 3” from the end of the wire and make a 90-degree bend, just as you did with the 3 branches in the top level.

4.

Finally, cut five 10” lengths of utility wire for the bottom level of branches. Measure 5.5” from the end of the wire and make a 90-degree bend.

5.

Cut 7 red berry stamen pairs in half.

If you have trouble finding holly-berry stamens like these, search your craft store’s selection of garlands and floral picks for similar berries.

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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6.

Using the wire stem, twist a red berry on the end of each branch and to the top of the 12” unbent length (the trunk).

7.

Starting at the base of the berry, stretch and wind the floral tape to cover each wire branch, continuing down the entire length of each wire.

8.

Cut thirty 1.5” strips of floral tape and set aside.

9.

Measure down 3.5” from the top of the main trunk wire (the 12” unbent wire) and mark with a pencil. We are going to “feather” the trunk down to this point. Secure the end of the yarn with a strip of floral tape at the berry so that the yarn is exposed at the tip.

10.

Now slowly twist the yarn onto the wire making sure that the “fringe” of the yarn always faces toward the berry. Try to twist the wire evenly and avoid overlapping. Continue to the pencil mark 3.5” down from the top. Cut the yarn and use a strip of floral tape to secure the end.

11.

Continue feathering the branches the same way. You’ll only “feather” the branch part of the bent wires (2” for the 3 top level branches, 3” for the 4 second level branches, and 5.5” for the 5 bottom level branches). Use the strips of floral tape at the beginning and end of each feathering to secure yarn.

12.

Starting with the 3 top-level branches, let’s begin putting your tree together. Align the bottoms of these branches with the bottom of the main trunk wire. These branches should line up with the base of the feathered top of the tree. Fan out the 3 branches evenly. Wrap the 26-gauge floral wire around the bundle of 4 wires (3 branch wires plus 1 main trunk wire) from the bend all the way down the trunk.

13.

Wrap the trunk with floral tape and then wrap white paper streamer to cover the trunk all the way to the end.

14.

Continue putting the tree together by adding the 3” branches, wrapping the trunk in wire, then floral tape and crepe paper streamer.

15.

Complete your tree by adding the 5.5” final level of branches, again wrapping the trunk from the branches down in wire, floral tape, and, finally, streamer.

16.

Put the trunk through a hole in your chosen base. Check that the tree is standing up straight in the base. You may need to use glue to secure.

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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I made this much larger version (36� tall) in the same way, except that I wrapped the trunk in yarn instead of crepe paper. This is a great size for displaying vintage ornaments!

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put it r togethe

M Making aking tthese hese tinyy w world orld p pedestals edestals iiss aass eeasy asy aass gluing a top to a base. Pocketwatch dials, wooden disks, and game tokens make great tops. And cabinet knobs with a flat bottom, like this porcelain one, make perfect bases.

{ by Amy Powers }

(See more of this project from Amy in Matthew Mead’s Holiday Magazine!)

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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whip it up!

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glad tidIngs Part of my creative journey is to explore different senses while discovering new projects. This project is perfect for tickling your sense of smell with those fantastic scents of the holidays. You can create fun hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, little gifts for that hard-to-buy-for person. Or you can just make a bunch for your own linen drawer‌ who doesn’t want their linens to reflect the smells ofthe season? Create one of these mini sachets to spice up your holidays!

{ by Sally Keller }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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Supplies Spices •

Whole cloves

Whole allspice

Fresh Clementine oranges

Black peppercorn

Cinnamon (optional)

Crafting supplies

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Christmas fabric (scraps)

Neutral colored fabric

Embroidery thread, hoop & needle

Poly-fil

Button embellishments (optional)

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Steps 1. Slice oranges and place them on a baking sheet on foil. Bake them in an oven at 200 degrees all day! Get ready for your house to smell like Christmas!! 2. Put dried oranges into food processor just to chop them into smaller chunks. Try not to reduce to powder! 3. Cut neutral and Christmas fabrics into 3.5”x5” rectangles. With a pencil, write a holiday word (or any word you want!) onto the neutral fabric. 4. Take your embroidery hoop, thread and needle, and backstitch on the written word. If using 6-ply embroidery thread, use three or four strands...your preference. I used four strands for my pink “joy” and I used Perle cotton size 8 for my red “joy”. Add your button embellishments. Make sure not to put your buttons too close to the edge.

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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5. Sew the neutral fabric and the Christmas fabric right sides together, leaving a 1.5� opening at the bottom for turning. Trim corners, turn right side out and iron! (Be careful of those buttons when ironing!) 6. Fill the little pillow with a little bit of poly-fil. Add your spices when your pillow is half full of stuffing. Use about two little oranges and just a little bit of the other spices. You can sprinkle the cinnamon onto the dried oranges before you put them in there. Finish stuffing the pillow with poly-fil. There will be little lumps from the spices, but try to keep them inside the stuffing, not on the front. 7. Whipstitch the bottom of the sachet to finish! Enjoy the aroma for a long time!

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To keep your sachets smelling wonderful, place them out in the sun to warm them. This brings out the natural oils of the spices, which makes them smell stronger! Yum! Microwaves work, too, but make sure not to overcook your pillow. And don’t use metallic buttons if you intend to microwave your sachet!

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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work of art

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mErRY&

bright Where most people see piles of scrap wood and metal they think junk, I think potential! I love to come up with creative ways to turn trash into fun, imaginative projects. Pieces with worn edges and natural patina really add an artful element to the finished pieces, plus it’s a great way to recycle, and I’m all about that! This tree was inspired by the siding taken off my house this summer when it was being painted. I hated seeing all of that wood heading to the dumpster, so my mind started thinking about ways to use it! I added numbers and letters from my collection of old bingo balls, license plates, and vintage ephemera to turn it into a modern folk art advent tree.

{ by Catherine Thursby }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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Materials

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4 flat pieces of wood in staggering sizes (trim to desired length)

1 large long piece of wood to attach them to, as a trunk

1 square flat piece of wood for the base

Large trim nails

Small tiny nails

Various acrylic paints in bright colors

24 wooden clothes pins

Metal flashing (available in rolls at the hardware store)

Sandpaper

Glue gun

Scissors

Paintbrushes

Tape measure

Various numbers from old liscense plates, vintage bingo games, etc.

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Directions 1. Cut 4 flat boards to desired lengths. Paint each board in different desired shades. 2. Nail the 4 boards in staggering lengths to the long trunk piece of wood with large nails. 3. Measure the center of the square base to find the accurate middle. 4. Turn the base over and nail the long piece of wood to the top of the base from the underside. 5. Cut 4 strips of sheet metal to match the length of each board, cutting a scalloped edge on each piece. 6. Sand the metal to give it a rough surface (be careful, this metal is sharp).

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7. Turn the metal pieces over and, using a nail, lightly hammer on the back side to make a dimpled effect on the metal, being careful not to drive the nail all the way through. 8. Nail each scalloped strip into place, slightly overlapping the top edge of each board, with small trim nails. 9. Paint the clothespins in desired colors, painting on small dots, and let dry, then lightly sand for a weathered look. Glue clothespins in place, making sure they are in a matching pattern on each side of the trunk. 10. If necessary, touch up the paint on each board, being careful around the clothespins. Add dots, stripes, or other decorations as desired. 11. Cut numbers out of your found materials and glue them onto each clothespin. 12. Add a metal star on top and stand back and admire your work! Attach small gifts as needed. 13. Due to the recycled nature of this product, no two trees will be exactly alike. Because of the sharp nature of the metal, exercise care when using.

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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Gay Apparel

Create your very own top hat fascinator to wear to your holiday parties! This one is decorated with a fabulous and whimsical assortment of miniatures. Add an elastic headband and wear it jauntily to the side. You’ll be the envy of everyone! And it’s an instant icebreaker.

{ by Amy Powers } { Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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love

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it!

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c h i e m h t n ey y b

When I first envisioned making the stocking with a woven cuff, I was so excited to be able to use so many items that I had on hand. A lot of the fabrics I used were really just scraps. With the popularity in green crafts these days, I was thrilled to be able to create something adorable while being green at the same time. I hope your created stocking will become a family heirloom to be lovingly cherished for years to come.

{ by Hope Ellington }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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Materials • • • • • • • • • •

Strips of your favorite fabric, about 1” x 24” long Thread Quick-Dry Tacky Glue Clothespins Favorite fabric for actual stocking body Heavy cardboard, approximately 16” x 20” Baker’s twine or other heavy string Strong tape Wrapping paper or other large paper for stocking pattern Felted balls, about 20mm (purchased on Etsy)

Instructions To create your very own loom, find a sheet of heavy cardboard and some baker’s twine or other heavy string. If your weaving is very tight, you won’t even see the string when you are done. Cut slits into the cardboard about one inch apart and one inch deep on the two opposing 16” sides. Wrap the baker’s twine continuously around the loom from front to back, finishing with a piece of strong tape to secure the twine. When you have strung your loom, cut strips of fabric into pieces about 1” x 24” long. I like to use a variety of fabrics such as vintage chenille, velvet, metallic, muslin, tulle, really just about anything. These strips of fabric will create the cuff of your woven stocking. It is important to have a considerable pile of strips so you can weave your cuff very tightly. To begin the weaving process, choose a strip of fabric and weave it over, then under, and over and under the baker’s twine. Keep adding more fabric strips in this over and under method, back and forth across your loom. As you weave, begin to start scrunching your strips together by squeezing them closer together.

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This process is actually very simple. Many of you probably made one of these homemade looms at Girl Scout Camp or church camp. When you weave your cuff tightly, the strips will mesh together forming your cuff. I like to tie my strips together because I think it makes the cuff look like it has fabric rosebuds. I trim the knot very closely and it really does resemble a rosebud. As you add and scrunch more strips, try to do this in a very even manner so your weaving will be straight. If you scrunch too tightly, your weaving will begin to look like an hourglass, wide at the top and bottom and narrower through the middle. This is okay, but an expert weaver would have a more even rectangle. I am by no means an expert weaver. myself Look how pretty the metallic fabric looks. Doesn’t it give a nice sparkle? Keep on weaving until you get to the top of your loom. We are almost ready to cut the woven cuff off of the loom. When you reach the top of you loom, give it a really good scrunching, even scrunching from the middle down. You want the weaving to be really tight. Now turn the loom over. Snip the twine in the middle portion of the loom on the back side. Take the weaving off the loom and tie those loose strings together individually. This will keep your woven cuff together. Once you have tied all your strings together, your cuff is finished. Measure the length of your cuff to determine the width of your stocking. My cuff is about 16 inches long, so my stocking will be about 8 inches wide.

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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Now you are ready to make your paper pattern. Draw and cut out your stocking (you may use the pattern found in the appendix). I used a handdyed velvet for my stocking, but any fabric of your liking will do. Get out your sewing machine and thread it up. My velvet is wrinkled from the dying process which, I think, gives it an aged look. Stitch your stocking pieces wrong sides together, making sure you follow all your basic sewing instructions, like back stitching, seam allowances, and snipping your rounded areas. Turn your stocking out to the right side. You can either hand-stitch your woven cuff to the stocking or glue it with a strong glue. I chose the glue method, which worked beautifully. I like to use The Ultimate! glue. It says that it is a super glue, and I couldn’t agree more! Once you have glued on the cuff, use clothespins to keep the cuff held down. Allow to dry. While your stocking is drying, begin making your holly leaves. For this process, I used 2 types of heavy green fabric, one a vintage piece of upholstery fabric and the other my hand-dyed green velvet. I like to use 2 different fabrics so the leaves look more realistic. I spread The Ultimate! on half of the fabric, and then folded it over. I like to do this so my leaves are really sturdy, and then you can bend them to make them look a little more realistic. Let this dry for a while. Trace your leaves onto the reinforced fabric and cut them out. Then glue the leaves and the pink felted balls on the cuff to resemble holly and... Viola! Your stocking is complete and ready for Santa to fill!

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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pretty

I llove tto make k extra t h holly llll lleaves ((like lik tthose li lik h d decorating ti my woven stocking) to top a package or make a special holiday pin‌ after all, isn’t this all about the wonderfulness of gift giving?

{ by Hope Ellington }

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tiny

You can find tiny pocketwatch cases like this one (only 1� wide) on etsy. Make a miniature collage with a tiny person...make one for each person in your family! The tiny figures are model railroad figures, available at hobby shops.

{ by Amy Powers }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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lovely

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joy bird ornaments Once you see how little you will need to make these ornaments and how quickly they take shape, you will be on your way to making a treeful!

{ by Katie Runnels }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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Materials •

Assorted pipe-cleaner stems

Quick-dry glue or hot glue

Metal snips or heavyduty scissors

Various miniature embellishments (birds, ornaments, millinery)

New or vintage millinery greens (holly, velvet leaves, metallic)

Small twigs

Floral wire (if necessary to drill or poke under embellishment to attach)

Paper and rubber stamps, optional

I’ve used regular-length pipe cleaners for these, but you could shorten them or twist more together to vary the sizes. Attach the twig by separating two twisted stems and sliding it through or by using a small length of stem wrapped to hold it in place on each side. The shapes of the ornaments are never-ending too! I hope you enjoy!

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count down

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oh, what fun!

I have always loved to sew! Well...at least my version of sewing that is. I do admire those whose gift to sew intricate patterns comes so naturally but I am not so lucky. So this project is great because the sewing is so super simple that just about anyone can do it. In fact, this would be an excellent project to do with kids. It’s also a fast project! First, you don’t have to prewash your fabric, and second i think it adds an extra handmade feel to leave the edges raw and the threads dangling. It is easy to start and finish in just one night.

{ by Heidi Grace Kress }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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1. First...and this is the best part...go shopping! Decide who this little gift garland will be for: a friend, a child, a love...yourself? I know I wouldn’t mind a gift garland full of chocolates! Once you have decided on a recipient, find and choose personal, charming, and cute little trinkets that will fit into the tiny stitched bags.

4. Embellish! This is where you can get super crafty! Use ribbon leftovers, flowers, buttons, and trims to add extra cuteness. I like the idea of a common element, so I stenciled numbers onto little cut out circles and added them to each little sack to display 24 days till Christmas!

2. Now, either pick out a color combination and head off to your favorite fabric shop and purchase just about 1/4 yard of a mix match of fabrics, or go through your stash of existing fabrics and gather up scraps and snippets to use.

5. Finally, day by day...enjoy opening the presents and counting down to the big day!

3. Lay out all of your goodies and start cutting out squares of fabrics a front and back) that the goodies will fit into. Be sure to leave plenty of room at the top of squares to fold over in different fun ways. Use a simple straight stitch to sew up the sides and bottom of the sacks.

Littlee C Christmas hristmas } { Craft Yourself a Merry Littl

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little wonder

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li t t le

Christmas What could be sweeter than Christmas in miniature? A whimsical Christmas scene inspired by Mary Englebreit, of course! Polka dots and happy flowers on a little shelf got the idea rolling for me. The shelf was a lucky find at an outlet store—originally designed to hold Mary Englebreit products in a retail store. I could immediately see its potential as two small rooms and I set to work.

{ by Pat Wehmeier }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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The red bedroom set (detail, left) was a garage sale find, enhanced with button trees at the footboard. The beds were a bit too long for the depth of the shelf, so I sawed them apart in the middle, removed some wood and reassembled to fit. The beds were dressed in Mary Englebreit fabric “sheets” and covered with blankets made of flannel. The flannel was attached to heavy duty household foil with spray adhesive to allow it to drape properly and hold its folds. It was then glued to the bed so it didn’t “flip up” as many dollhouse bedspreads do! The bedskirt was ruffled using a miniature pleater, sprayed with fabric stiffener and glued to the sides of the bed. A small scrap of plaid fabric was frayed to become a comfy throw. A scrapbook border sticker filled in as the “wallpaper border” in the bedroom. Tiny pictures from a Mary Englebreit magazine were placed in frames from the craft store scrapbook department and transformed into pictures for the wall. The two tiny bears were small Christmas ornaments with their hanging strings removed. The white shelves were purchased from a dollhouse store. They were made from bits of scrap wood—one was a scalloped molding—and painted with tiny strawberries (artist unknown). A teensy dinosaur was once an inexpensive charm with the ring removed and a button clock face counts the hours ‘til Christmas morning.

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

In the living room (detail shown above), the 3/4” scale red plastic wing chair once graced my childhood dollhouse. It was made by Marx in the 60’s. The dresser from the bedroom set became a server in the living room! A playing card substituted for an oriental rug and the presents were bits of wood wrapped in paper and tied with tiny bows handmade on a miniature bow maker. The teensy train and sled were found at at craft store. The fireplace was a garage sale find as well. It is not a fabulous piece, but much enhanced by the details surrounding it. A teensy cross-stitch (artist unknown) adds elegance to the mantle along with two mice who used to be tiny ornaments for a small tree. Originally pink, I painted the flowers on the purchased poinsettia red to better match the decor. The Christmas tree and other small bears were purchased at a craft store. Gingerbread men buttons become tiny cookies on a plate. Keep your eyes open for imaginative miniature finds all year long—check out vintage and new earrings, small ornaments for every season, buttons and beads, charms, scrapbook enhancements and other found objects that can become mini treasures in a roombox or dollhouse of your own!

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with love

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a gift of the

In recent years, at the start of December, I have picked a specific scripture or word to meditate on throughout the month for each of my four daughters. It has been very rewarding to myself, not only as a mom but as an artist, to create something specific, to focus intent, and bless each child. The best part is seeing them find this carefully tucked in their stockings in a truly joyful and empowering moment on Christmas morning and knowing that it was lovingly created for them...a gift of the heart, you might say.

{ by Cherie Wilson } { Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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mystwisted ch My twisted stitch, used to stitch my heart design and page border, is a simple two-part stitch. Anyone can do this! First, stitch your backstitch design with 3 strands of embroidery thread just as you normally would. Next, choose another eye pleasing color in one strand of thread (embroidery or other) and, starting at the bottom of your design, come in next to the bottom of a backstitch. Now just loop the thread over and under each backstitch, looping through until you reach the end, without putting the needle through the fabric again until you finish. In other words, you will put the needle through the fabric only twice, once at the beginning and once at the end, finishing on the underside, and knot.

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Materials •

3 pieces of neutral cotton muslin, cut 5 ½” to 12” each

3 solid colored cotton broadcloth, cut 5 ½” to 12” each

5 colors of embroidery thread (mine are 3716, 309, 703, 519, and 726)

Assorted ribbons, bits and baubles from your “stash”!

First, with a soft pencil, draw a heart image and your cover idea on white copy paper, sized to fit one muslin piece when folded in half (5 ½” x 6”). With a mechanical pencil (it stays sharp), trace the image onto the right front of the muslin cover. At this point, it really helps to make a prototype book out of scrap paper, writing out what you decide to stitch on the fabric. It also helped me to not have to continually stop and think about which side to stitch. I penciled my “wish” words in my own handwriting on each page. Do this, for no matter whether you like your writing or not, they will love it! Now for the fun part...get stitching. After all the embroidery is done, it’s time to assemble the book. I left my book edges raw but needed to cover the backside of embroidery work, so I stitched the first and second page together by hand, again using my “twisted stitch”. Then I decided to machinestitch the remaining pairs. You could handstitch or machine-stitch them all, as you like. After connecting these, I ended up with 6 pages in all. I chose to stitch embroidery thread down the center of the book, tying it off in three places. You could also machinestitch down the center of the book, if you wish to bind it this way instead. How fun this has been! Off to stitch 3 more! Not only is this a simple no-fuss project, it also brings so much meaning to the giver and to the receiver!

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

reader special

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R E L P SAM Inspired by my collection of vintage postcards, as well as the New York City Public Library’s own catalog of postcards, I designed this sampler with romance on my mind. Mistletoe is printed on white cotton with a green halo. I stitched my example with a green and red palette for Christmas, but I think it would be equally fabulous in all pink. There’s no one way to finish this design; make up your own stitches or use a handful of traditional stitches to finish this one in time for the holidays. If you can chain stitch, back stitch, and french knot, or if you can make up your stitches as you go along, you can complete this sampler. Put your own spin on it, and please do share your results on the Sampler Flickr page. It so much fun to see what everybody’s up to. You can purchase your very own sampler (or sampler kit!) at the Dropcloth Shop, (find us at dropcloth on etsy).

{ by Rebecca Ringquist }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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yum!

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chEer At our house, one of the best parts of the winter holidays is all the hot chocolate we drink. My mother makes an amazing mix from scratch, and we have been known to go through gallons of it in just a few short weeks. I also love the peppermint mochas that seem to pop up at every coffee stand during December and January. So I wanted to create a fun, all-age friendly dessert that played off both these ideas and would transport everyone, when they took a bite, straight to the North Pole, with visions of candy canes dancing in their heads.

{ by Jerusalem Greer }

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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The Cake

The Ice Cream

I have had cakes before that were cooked in cups, but there never seems to be enough room to add anything, like icing, ice cream, or toppings, without creating a complete mess with the first bite. So I set out to find a way to cook a cupcake in a mug-like shape, but without the mess.

I love peppermint ice cream, and it is so easy to make in small or large batches.

My solution? Paper party cups, the perfect baking cup! To bake, simply mix together your favorite chocolate-cake mix and then scoop ⅓ cup of the cake batter into each paper cup*. Place all cups on a single cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, checking the cake cups after 15 minutes. (Baking time may vary a little according to your oven and cup variables.) Take out of the oven and let cups of cake cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. *I greased half of my cups with Bakers’ Ease spray, and it seemed to help the cakes come out a little easier, but the cakes baked in the ungreased cups also came out fine and in one piece. If you are concerned about the high temperatures of baking releasing unknown toxins from the paper cups, line the cups with parchment paper first.

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To make a large batch, grind 3 cups of soft peppermints unwrapped, in your food processor. Next, add 1 ¾ quart of vanilla ice cream. Mix in food processor or with hand or kitchen stand mixer till well blended. Place mixed ice cream back in freezer for 30 minutes. To make a small batch (enough for 4 mugs of cake), place a handful of peppermints (about 10) in the middle of a kitchen towel. Fold the towel over and then crush the peppermints, using a hammer or rolling pin. Dump crushed peppermints into a mixing bowl that holds 6 scoops of vanilla ice cream, using a bartenders muddler or a pestle to mix the peppermints into the ice cream. Once mixed, place back in freezer for about 20 minutes.

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{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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The Assembly Once the ice cream has hardened back up and the cakes are cooled, you can begin your assembly. Pop your cakes out of your paper cups and place them in hot chocolate mugs. Next, place one scoop of your peppermint ice cream on top of the cake. Garnish with whipped cream, a dash of powdered chocolate and a peppermint on top. Serve on a cute little saucer with a festive party spoon, and you have a hot chocolateinspired treat that everyone will love, even Old Saint Nick!

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new n traditio a

Celebrate the year’s most momentous occassions, like a trip to Paris, with a tiny world depiction. Make it a yearly tradition and soon you’ll have a lovely collection that is like a miniature walk down memory lane.

{ by Amy Powers } (See more of this project from Amy in Matthew Mead’s Holiday Magazine!)

{ Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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family fun

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It seems like we all love using the same things to craft a little magic in our lives. This little wreath puts together embroidery, felt and an endless button collection to create a new tradition for the holidays. Advent calenders have always been magical and full of surprises for me in the month leading up to Christmas. You can work on this one snuggled in front of the fire or the television, experimenting with leaves of different sizes and stitching the numbers with different color threads. Hunting for the little goodies to fill the leaves is fun, too, and sometimes challenging. Have fun, play with the possibilities and make the magic for the holidays.

{ by Jone Hallmark }

Craft r af a f t Your Y Yo Yourself o ur u r se s e lf lf a M Merry e r ry er ry L Little i t ttll e Ch it C Christmas h ri r i stm s t ma st mas } { CCr

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Here are some examples of tiny surprises to fill the leaves.

Create your very own top hat fascinator to wear to your holiday parties! This one is decorated with a fabulous and whimsical assortment of miniatures. Add an elastic headband and wear it jauntily to the side. You’ll be the envy of everyone! And it’s an instant icebreaker.

{ by Amy Powers } Craft r aft aff t Y Yo Yourself ou urrse r se s e lf lf a M Merry e r ry er ry L Little i t tl it t l e Ch C Christmas h rrii sstt m maa s } { CCr

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festoon

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I have always loved the whimsy and fun that a garland adds to holiday dĂŠcor. Whether you string this fun ornament on your holiday tree or display it from your mantel, I hope it brings joy to you and your family and friends. Feel free to make this your own, adding different types of embellishments or gobs more ribbon for whimsical fun.

{ by Hope Ellington }

Craft r aff t Yo Your Yourself urse ur s lf a M se Merry err ryy L Little i ttl it t l e Ch tl C Christmas h ri rist stt ma stm mas } { Cr

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Materials •

Felted balls, about 20mm (I used 6 pink balls, purchased on Etsy)

Mercury glass beads (I used 36 beads from broken vintage strands)

Hannah silk ribbon or seam binding

Heavy-duty cotton kitchen string

Celluclay Paper Mache (available at Michaels or Dick Blick)

Water

Star cookie cutter

Parchment paper

Hair pins

Paints

Large needle

Clear glitter

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1. In a large mixing bowl, break up the Celluclay Paper Mache. I purchase a large bag of this product at Michaels. Add water until you make a thick, pliable paste, mixing it with your hands. It feels something like dryer lint before it is wet and then feels pretty heavy before it dries out again. 2. The color will darken up once the water is mixed in. When you get it to the desired consistency, it will form into a ball similar to cookie dough. 3. On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, press the mixture into your cookie cutter at least 他 full. I like to keep a small bowl of water handy so I can smooth out the top layer of the paper mache. Gently remove the wet star shape from the cookie cutter, smoothing any irregularities with a finger dipped in water. 4. I like to use hairpins for my ornament hangers. You can clip them shorter, or not, depending on how big your ornament is. Those little grooves in the hairpins are great for adding strength. They really grab into the paper mache and form a strong bond for hanging. 5. After I clip off the hairpins, I poke them into the wet paper mache. Add two, at opposite points, if you are making a garland. If you are making an ornament, just add one for hanging. 6. When you have made your desired number of stars (I made 5 for my garland), you are ready to pop them into a very low-temperature oven. I put mine on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 200 degrees and baked them all day. They are paper, so you really need a low temperature. When they are completely dry, they will come off the parchment paper very easily. 7. When the stars are completely dry, you can begin the painting.

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8. If the paint is a little too bright for your liking, I have the neatest trick to fix that. When my paint is dry, and it is time to glitter the stars, I make my glue bath using a 50/50 glue-water ratio and then add a drop or two of brown paint. It dulls the bright paint colors and makes them look a little more vintage-y. I have done this so often and for so long that my glitter has accumulated little brown specks. It just adds to the vintage yumminess.

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9. Glue and glitter all surfaces of your stars. Don’t forget the backside. It needs a nice coating of glitter as well. 10. When the glue has dried, you are ready to string your garland. Using your heavy string and large needle, begin stringing sections of vintage mercury glass beads (or any beads you choose) and felted balls. Using the hairpin hooks, tie the sections of garland to each end of your stars. Tie on your Hannah silk ribbon or seam binding at various spots to give a whimsical look to your garland.

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If you are lucky enough to have an extra star, make an ornament or a gift tag by attaching a piece of metal wire and stringing on some mercury glass beads.

extra helping

{ by Hope Ellington }

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so sweet

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SugAR Plum

One of my favorite Christmas memories is dancing in the “Nutcracker Suite” as a child. It was such a magical experience that made a lasting impression on me. To this day I am inspired by the beautiful sets, costumes and music of the ballet. I especially love Act II when Clara and the prince are entertained in “The Land of Sweets”. I am still in awe of the Sugar Plum Fairy, just as I was as a little girl. Her grace and beauty, her pink satin shoes and layers and layers of tulle...she is a true confection come to life. It was this sweetness of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her dance that I wanted to capture in this holiday shadow box. The shadow box itself is made from a cracker box I rescued from my recycling pile. Once transformed, the box can be used to display any magical Christmas scene that inspires you. I think they are great sitting on a shelf or hung up by ribbons. Whatever you choose to do with your shadow box, it will surely add a bit of whimsy and nostalgia to your home at Christmas time.

{ by Molly Knox }

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Materials •

Empty cracker box (Cheez-Its, Triscuits, etc.)

Decorative papers (scrapbook paper, wallpaper, gift wrap, vintage sheet music)

Mod podge

Paint brush

Glue stick

Hot glue

Craft knife

Vintage paper doll

Glitter

Embellishments (crepe paper, chipboard stars, faux candy, tulle, velvet ribbon, seam binding)

1. Deconstruct the cracker box to make it a flat surface, keeping the tabs and sides intact. 2. Draw a scalloped design on the front of the box. This will become the frame. 3. Use a craft knife to cut out the center of the scalloped “frame”. 4. Cut down the center of each of the sides of the box. 5. Cut the top and bottom flaps of the box so that each flap extends just 1 inch from the box. 6. Glue decorative paper onto the back side of the box. 7. Use hot glue to reconstruct the box, overlapping the top, bottom and side tabs. 8. Decorate the box! You can use a vintage paper doll or a vintage image of a ballerina for the Sugar Plum Fairy. Embellish her with layers of crepe paper ruffles (or use tulle), small millinery flowers, a gold crown and glitter.

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child with a s a e m Photo of lum Fairy! P r a g u S e th

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try this!

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A BIT OF

mAGIC This is a really simple sewing technique that only looks complex. The magic is that if you can sew a straight line, then you can sew this project. There is also a little bit of magic in this technique because it doesn’t look special until the very last step.

{ by Lynda Kanase }

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Materials

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Stocking pattern (print the pattern, being sure to measure your final printout so that one grid square is 1 1/8” wide, then poke small holes indicated by the pink dots where the grid lines meet on the pattern)

100% Cotton fabric–One yard each of six solid colors.

100% Cotton fabric–One yard of a coordinating print for the back and cuff

Thread to match the main solid fabric color on the front

Dressmakers chalk

Small sharp scissors

Ruler or straight edge

Access to a sewing machine, washing machine and dryer

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Step 1: Cutting the pattern Stack five layers of solid fabric and one layer of the print fabric on top, then lay the stocking and cuff patterns face DOWN, and cut out (these will be the back of the stocking and the cuff front). Next, stack six layers of the solid color fabrics and cut out the stocking and cuff patterns face UP (these will be the stocking front and cuff back). It is best to have a strong contrasting color as the bottom layer. Cut one hanging loop. The next two steps will be working with the stocking FRONT only. Step 2: Marking the fabric With the pattern still pinned to the stocking front, use the dressmakers chalk to mark the fabric through each hole where the grid lines meet. Remove the pattern and, using the chalk and a straight edge connect the dots to draw a 1 1/8” grid. Topstitch along all drawn grid lines. With the chalk and the straight edge, draw diagonal lines inside each stitched square until you have an “X” inside each grid square. (See Photo 2) Step 3: Cutting the fabric Starting from the center of each square and working out towards the corners of the stitched grid lines, cut along the angled chalk lines through all five layers of fabric EXCEPT THE BOTTOM LAYER, stopping at each corner of the stitched grid lines. I recommend doing this very slowly, with very sharp scissors and cutting only one layer of fabric at a time.

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2

4a

4b

Step 4: Sewing the stocking •

Cuffs: Topstitch 1/2” along the long bottom edge of both cuffs.

Hanging loop: Fold the hanging loop in half lengthwise. Sew a 1/4” seam along the long edge of the hanging loop and turn right side out. Fold the loop in half and pin it to the top of the wrong side of the stocking front facing downwards.

Stocking front: Sew the top right side of the front cuff to the top wrong side of the stocking front making sure to include the hanging loop near the outer edge of the stocking {see photos 4a and 4b}.

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4c

Stocking back: Sew the top right side of the back cuff to the top wrong side of the stocking back.

Front and back: open flat and trim cuff seam to 1/4” {see photo 4c}. Keeping the front and back of the stocking and cuff flat, pin wrong sides together. Sew a 1/2” seam around the entire edge of the stocking and cuff. The cuff should be able to fold over the stocking with the hanging loop on the outside.

Magic Step: Machine wash your finished piece and dry it in a HOT dryer. When it is completely dry it will have bloomed like magic!

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resourc

e

These delightful houses were made from a kit from Snowy Lane Crafts (snowylanecrafts.com). Pom-poms make fabulous bushes. Add paper awnings, shutters, and sidewalks. And don’t forget to give it a dusting of glitter. Just brush on a generous coat of thick glue (I use Aileen’s Tacky Glue) and sprinkle on clear glitter.

{ by Amy Powers } { Craft Yourself a Merry Little Christmas }

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upcycle

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Vint Vintage Vi int n ag agee sp spice picce ti ttins inss m make ak ke wo wonderful onder nd deerrfu full ca ccases ssees for shadowboxes! Use an awl to start a hole in the middle then carefully use metal cutting shears to cut the opening (Wear gloves to protect your hands). Cover the cut edges using foil tape and decorate with a frame made from stamped metal wire or festive buillion wire. In the Tone’s Spices shadowbox, bottom right, I used the foil frame from an old photograph. Carve a base for your scene from a styrofoam ball and then smoosh it to make it flat on the sides. Cover with a coat of glitter to make a lovely snowy mound. Or, if you’d rather have a grassy mound, cut a square of grass mat made for model railroad scenery and glue onto the smooshed styrofoam ball. Have fun filling your shadowbox with miniatures including tiny bottle brush trees, ornaments or model railroad figures. You could even create a little scene of model railroad figures to recreate your own family in miniature.

{ by Amy Powers }

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‘Tis the Season Corsage Patterns appendix

Page 14 (enlarge by 100%)

The Giving Wreath Patterns Page 104 (enlarge (enlarge b byy 1 100%) 00%)

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A Bit of Magic Stocking Patterns Page 118

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no MATTER how lONg THE wINtER,

ri is sure to follow.

look for the spring issue of inspired ideas in February 2012

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Christmas 2011 Inspired Ideas magazine  

Craft yourself a merry little Christmas...this issue is full of great little crafting projects to get you in the Christmas spirit!

Christmas 2011 Inspired Ideas magazine  

Craft yourself a merry little Christmas...this issue is full of great little crafting projects to get you in the Christmas spirit!

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