Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Twelve Crafts of Christmas Series: DIY Furry Fox Scarf

White Elephant/Dixie Swap/Dirty Santa MAGIC.  That's what this next project is.  I LOVE to bring something kooky and handmade to a Dixie Swap Gift Exchange and this year, I made a delightful Furry Fox Scarf.

You'll need some sewing skills for this one, but no pattern!  As these were gifts, I got enough fabric to make FOUR scarves.  One measures 12" by 72".  If you only want to make one, use a strip of 54" x 12" fabric.  It will be a little shorter, but same idea.

To make FOUR scarves, gather:

-2 yards of orange fabric.  I used a gorgeous home dec twill in a 54" width.  I would recommend a non stretch fabric with a little weight...also any design/pattern looks awesome: damask, dots, plaid, etc.  Just make it a foxy color.
-2 yards fluffy faux fur of your choice also in 54" width fabric (or close to it).  I went with a more expensive one because it was just TOO SOFT to pass up.  Remember that a scarf often covers delicate skin, so something that will not irritate is a must.
-Remnant of black cotton for the foxy feet
-Black embroidery thread
-Black buttons or beads for eyes

First, split your patterned fabric into four strips in equal widths.  You will have four 13.5" wide strips.  One at a time, fold your strip in half long ways and cut out a fox shape on the fold.  I would recommend the widest part of the fox (when folded) be 5.5" wide....when you unfold, that means thewidest part of the fox will be 11" wide.   Unfolded, he looks like this.  From left to right:  Head, Body, Tail.  Set aside your scraps as you will need them for the ears and legs.

Take your fancy fox shape and lay it on top of the wrong side of your fur.  Pin it down so it stays secure and cut your fur to the same shape.  Set aside.

Using your scrap pieces, cut a large piece of furry to cover the lower section of the tail.  I liked a slightly rounded shape on the top side.  Stitch along the curved edge.  The side and bottom will be stitched down later:

Appendage time!  First, cut the ears.  Cut two pieces of damask and two pieces of fur in this shape and set aside.

Now it's time to cut the legs.  Using your damask scraps only, you will need four strips of fabric about 8 inches long and 2 inches wide with one end slightly rounded.  Cut four strips of black remnant about 8 inches long and 2 inches wide with one end slightly rounded.  Cut four more strips of black remnant about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide with one en.  When finished, you should have three pieces of fabric for each foot that look like this:

YAY!  Everything is cut!  Now it's time for some sewing.

First, the feet because they're the most annoying.  I find that if I knock out the annoying parts first, I have more steam at the end of a project when everything starts coming together.

Take the small black strip of fabric and place on top of the damask strip so they match.  Then, flip the rounded edge of the short black strip toward the back of the damask strip so round edges are facing away from one another.  Pin to keep in place and straight stitch across.

Look weird?  It's okay.  Those black strips will now get flipped back in the right direction and you'll have a LOVELY seam where orange meets black.  With right sides together, stitch the multicolored leg piece to the black solid leg pieces leaving the tops open.  This picture shows one side of a stitched leg on the left and the other side of the stitched leg on the right.

Flip right side out and set aside.  Do the other three legs the exact same way.

Ear time!  Right sides together, stitch damask to fur leaving the straight side open.  Flip right side out and reveal the most adorable furry ears you ever did see.

The non gratifying portion of this project is over!  Cheer!  Grab a drink!  Throw a 5 second dance party!

Time to attach the ears.  Using only the damask piece of main body fabric, place your ears on the head, furry side up with the point facing the tail and the open end facing the nose.  Do a straight stitch across the bottom edge to keep in place.

Flip the ears back toward the nose and pin in place.  Stitch the ears down near the fold using a straight stitch.

Time for legs.  Pin your legs down onto the TOP of the damask like I've shown you here.  Line up the raw edges as the legs will get sewn in when you attach your furry.  You should pin them solid black side up so when you flip them out, the damask/black side is facing the top of the fox.

Right sides together, lay the damask body over the furry body and pin the bejesus out of it.

Now around the outer edge through all the layers leaving a three inch gap on one side of the main body for turning.  Turn right side out and feel very accomplished!

Now it's time for the face.  Using your beads or buttons, attach those puppies to the face.  Then using several straight stitches, make a nose.  AH!  He's so handsome!

Finally, stitch up the opening on his side by hand and then gift him to someone who is awesome.  I can't wait to make a few more!

A special thanks to my lovely model!  She wears him well!

Next up on the Twelve Crafts of Christmas....Glass Etching with the Stars!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Twelve Crafts of Christmas Series: DIY Holiday Pomander Centerpiece

Twelve Crafts of Christmas continue!

How about a little centerpiece for all of your holiday celebrations?  What if that centerpiece also smelled like heaven?

I made orange pomanders once at a Christmas Workshop as a kid.  I think I didn't appreciate how incredible they are until recently.  And really, they smell amazing.  Not only that, but the bright orange of the rind coupled with those darling little star clove studs is incredibly festive.

My centerpiece above requires the following:
-pillar candle
-magnolia leaves
-one containers of cloves (about $5 of cloves....wow, right?  You'll need two containers if you want to really cover your orange or if you want to do more than 6)
-6 oranges (you can also use tangerines or clementines)
-ribbon (no more than .75" thick)
-jingle bells! (available at your local craft store)

The pomanders work best if you pierce the skin with a toothpick before shoving the clove down in.  It keeps the pretty shape of the clove from breaking and leaving dust all over your orange.  Some experimentation taught me that!

For a festive look, pick 3 oranges to tie ribbon around.  The ribbon I had on hand was quite thick, so I could only go around the orange on one side.  But it was so pretty, I had to use it.

I did three of the oranges with ribbon tied around and then three straight lines of cloves from bottom to top on either side of the orange.  The other three oranges in the centerpiece, I experimented.  If you need inspiration, check out this Pinterest search.

It really is such a lovely and easy craft that will leave you feeling full of holiday joy.  Go forth and pomander!

Come back tomorrow....I'll show you how to pattern and sew your own Furry Fox Scarf!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Twelve Crafts of Christmas Series: Holiday Photo Booth

So we've covered awesome coworker gifts, festive and sparkly ornaments, holiday decor, and a holiday round of Light Tour Bingo.

Next up, how about a fun activity for your holiday party?  Using a small part of my house, I created my very own Holiday Photo Booth for festive photo fun!

Awesome, right?

I used a grey blanket (although a sheet would probably be better), snow ground covering, loose faux snow for tossing, my sweet burlap tomato trees, paper snowflakes, an inexpensive lighting kit, tripod, camera, and a hysterical group of friends.

We had SO MUCH FUN taking silly pictures and showcasing our terrible dixie swap gifts.  This is what it looked like before editing!

Notice all the things that will be edited OUT.  Also, I have my lighting kit set up on either side of the photo booth.

To make the trees, go here.
To make the best looking snowflakes ever, go here.
To make okay looking snowflakes faster than the best looking ones and learn a little italian, go here.
The light kit I use is here.
To edit you photos, I highly recommend Pic Monkey.  It's the bomb dot com.

The result?  These awesome images and a LOT of laughs.

Use your best director skills and encourage Muppet faces, open hands after throwing snow, and silliness in general.  I have the merriest bunch of friends known to man.

For tomorrow's Twelve Crafts of Christmas installment, I shall share my adventures making Christmas Pomanders!  The smell like heaven and look oh so festive.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Twelve Crafts of Christmas Series: DIY Burlap Tomato Cage Christmas Trees

The crafting continues!  For today's Twelve Crafts of Christmas, I've made these very fun and festive Burlap Tomato Cage Trees.  Best thing about these little guys?  Total cost is around $5 for each.

Super cute, right?

Gather the following:

-Tomato Cages.  Mine were 33" Galvanized and from Lowe's
-1.5 yards of burlap per tree.  Use any color!
-Floral Wire
-Wire Clippers

Cut your burlap into even strips.  I chose do to 10" wide strips.  Taking small pieces of wire, weave in and out of the top of the burlap to create a little pleated effect.  Wrap around the tomato cage about 9" from the bottom.

Continue around the tomato cage until the first strip of burlap is attached.

Do your next tier a little further up the cage in the same manner.  I did four tiers to cover the tree.

To create the top, use a smaller piece of burlap and gather around the top.  In the center of the strip, wrap wire around to collect at the top.

Add some pretty ribbon and you're set.

They're so cute when placed in a charming arrangement.

I added some lights and used them in my Festive Holiday Photo Booth, which will be tomorrow's craft.  Check back to get some good ideas of an excellent party addition.  Merry Merry, ya'll!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Twelve Crafts of Christmas Series: Holiday Light Tour Bingo Cards

The Twelve Crafts of Christmas Series continues! (Click Here to start at the beginning)  And this one is something FUN to do with your friends and family.

Ever been on a holiday light tour?  Every year on Christmas Eve or close to Christmas Eve, my family would pile in the car and drive around our town looking at the festive lights and sights.  As I am hosting Christmas this year, I thought we'd kick it up a notch.  We've rented a limo to go on an awesome holiday light tour and this one will be complete with a BINGO GAME!

I have done these in the past for the Royal Wedding and also the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in London.  It is always a huge hit.  The Christmas Light Tour Bingo Cards (see the 6 graphics below), include any kind of light and/or decoration you can think of.  Oh Joy!  Oh Rapture!  Oh Holy Night!

In the past, I have previewed one card and asked you, dear readers, to like my current FB page or whatever I'm promoting at the time.  But it's Christmas, and really, you should just be able to swipe these bad boys.  So please, download away.  If you are blogging or sharing, please give Another Crafty Day a little shout out and we'll be square.  You could also follow me on Pinterest or pin something from my blog.  It makes my heart happy when that occurs!

These are jpegs and should be perfect for printing.  I plan to use cardstock.  Enjoy and check back tomorrow for the next installment of my Twelve Crafts of Christmas....Burlap Tomato Cage Christmas Trees!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Twelve Crafts of Christmas Series: Scrabble Tile Ornaments

For the THIRD Craft of Christmas, I am going to give to thee....Cute Scrabble Tile Ornaments!

You've seen the Glitter Woodland Critter Ornament and the DIY Dry Erase Frame.  Here is another great gift idea or festive addition to your tree.  Scrabble Tile crafts pop up on Pinterest all the time.  So for sweet, simple and (ahem) inexpensive gifts for coworkers, I thought it was a perfect solution.

Ahhh!  So cute.

Gather the following:

-Scrabble Tiles (available on Etsy or Ebay in bulk for not a lot.  Just buy a lot and see what other awesome things you can make)
-Scrapbook paper
-Soldered rings or jump rings (available with jewelry making supplies)
-Vintage brass holiday charms (totally optional)

First order of business, create a list of holiday words.  I used the following:

To assemble, cut strips of scrapbook paper in a .75" width.  That was the width of my scrabble tiles.  Obviously the length of the words will vary, so you can cut each strip down to size depending on the word.

If you want to do the charms on the bottom, you will need two jump rings.  If you don't, you only the need the jumpring at the top.  Start with a dollop of hot glue and place the first jumpring half off the top of your scrapbook strip.  Working quickly, place the tile over top.

Glue the rest of the tiles to the strip.  Line up the tiles all the way down.  If you're doing the charm on the bottom, repeat the same technique as above for the bottom tile.  Use a headpin, bead, and vintage charm to accomplish the look I have.  To finish, larks head knot some ribbon around the top loop and hang on the tree.

Great gifts.  Easy peasy.  Twelve Crafts of Christmas success!