Tag Archives: craft

UPCYCLE: Heart Lace Cardigan

Cardi-a-holic. Yep, that would be an accurate term to describe myself. Nothing beats throwing on a comfy cardigan, fluffy scarf, and a pair of jeans. But who said that cardigans have to be frumpy? Be-dazzle (without the fake bling) an old cardigan with a little bit of delicate lace and you will have a whole new sweater in a breeze.

I found this charming maroon cardigan at my local thrift store. To make matters even better, it only cost a couple of dollars. Maroon is definitely one of my favourite colours, so I couldn’t pass it by. But I didn’t want just another cardigan to fill up my closet–I wanted a cardigan that was special. So I took on the “mullet mentality” (all business in the front but a party in the back, anyone?) and added a little something special.

I was inspired by a DIY tutorial by Kinsey on Sincerely Kinsey for this project. When I began the refashion, I totally intended on following Kinsey’s instructions completely. But in the end, I strayed a bit and did what worked best for me. Her tutorial is a fantastic step-by-step process, though, and I strongly suggest referencing it if you intend on taking on this project.

I won’t go into too much detail about using thrifted materials, but when possible, do your best to do this. It makes this project way more cost efficient and sustainable.

  • an old or thrifted cardigan
  • a large piece of lace (could be from a thrifted table cloth, curtain, or simply a found scrap)
  • scissors
  • a fairly large piece of cardboard
  • pen
  • sewing machine
  • needle
  • thread (in an appropriate colour to match either your lace or your sweater colour)
  • pins

My cardigan came from my local thrift store and the lace was an old curtain that my mom has saved for the past 10 years.

ONE: Gather your materials. Lay your cardigan out flat so the back is facing up. Lay your piece of cardboard on the cardigan and draw a heart that is appropriately sized to fill most of the back of the cardigan. When you are content with the size of your heart, cut it out.

TWO: Lay the cardboard heart on the lace fabric. Trace around the cardboard heart onto the lace. Cut out the lace heart. Lay it on the back of the cardigan to ensure it is the right size. When you are happy with it, pin the lace heart into place on the back of the cardigan. Once it is pinned, carefully try on the cardigan and look in the mirror to ensure that the heart is centered and in the perfect place relative to the way the cardigan sits on your body.

THREE: When you are happy with the placement, very loosly (and in large stitches) hand sew the heart into place. This ensures that the lace heart stays in place when you run it through the sewing machine. The next part allows you a few options: Using your sewing machine, you can either sew a seam very close to the edge of the lace or you can sew the seam half an inch in and then hand-sew the edges after tucking them under. I personally did the second option, making the lace heart appear a little bit neater. Whichever way you choose to do it, sew the heart on and then cut out the very loose hand stitches that you did earlier.

FOUR: This is where my version and Kinsey’s version differ. If you would like the back to be open through the lace, you can turn your cardigan inside out and cut away the cardigan within the seam of heart. However, on my version, I decided to leave the cardigan underneath the lace heart. The choice is yours–after all, both versions look adorable.

There you have it. It’s easy to do and can definitely be unique-ified and customized. Be creative with the shape of your lace (flowers anyone!?) or the colour and/or pattern of your cardigan. Whether you want to spice up one of your old cardigans or remake a thrifted one, this project is easy, fun, and creatively fulfilling.

There you have it, team. Stay posted for a very special Sustainable Living post coming your way. Happy Tuesday!

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DIY: Recycled Candle Holders

When the day is cold and the mood is lazy, something about candles just helps to warm the soul. But who says that your candles have to lack style? I completed this DIY project a few months ago, but I finally decided to post it in celebration of my appreciation for candles on this cold and lazy Saturday…

My Mom is a candle enthusiast. I like to think that my love of candles comes from her. I light candles whenever I can…in the bath, on my desk (I choose to believe that lit candles help you get those gruelling essays done in a more efficient manner), when company comes over–and the list goes on. They create such a wonderful warmth and ambiance!

I came across this DIY project while scanning the web. It was inspired by a post on Fellow Fellow (the original post can be found by CLICKING HERE) that used old glass jars. Instead of using up all of my Mama’s jam jars, I took a trip to my local thrift store instead. The glass pieces I picked out had unique shapes and were the perfect size for a little tea-light candle. The best part is that they were only $0.50 each!

While at the thrift store, I also scanned the clothing section. I won’t go into too much detail about thrifting fabrics (you can expect a post exclusively about that soon), but I will just say that by doing this you can find some awesome cost-efficient fabrics. “Grandma Shirts” (as I prefer to call them) often possess delicate floral prints and fun bright colours. I scanned through the racks and came across a few shirts that I knew would be perfect for this project. If you decide to thrift old fabrics for this project, look for light fabrics that aren’t too thick.

Now let’s do some crafting!

  • Glass jars or thrifted pieces (pictured above)
  • Thin, recycled fabric of choice (whether it be thrifted or scraps)
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • Water
  • Cup or plastic container
  • Old paintbrush
  • Tea-light candle

ONE: Start by preparing your materials. Wash out your jars or thrifted glassware with warm water and soap. Dry the glass really well. Measure the approximate height of your jars/glass so you know how long to cut your fabric strips. After laying your fabric out flat, cut strips about 1″ wide and the appropriate height for your glass. Mix about one part white glue with two parts water in your cup or container. The mixture should be fairly watery.

TWO: Dip a fabric strip into the glue-water mixture so that it is covered with glue. Ring out all of the excess glue by squeezing the fabric strip between your fingers. Lay the strip vertically on the inside of the jar so the pattern of the fabric faces out. Using the paintbrush, push out any air bubbles that are trapped between the glass and the fabric. Repeat until the entire surface is covered.

THREE: Double-check that all of the air bubbles are out of the fabric. Allow the glue to dry over a couple of days. The thicker your fabric, the longer it will take to dry. Ensure that the glue is completely dried before you use the candle holder.

FOUR: If desired, add any additional details to your candle holder, such as a ribbon bow tied around the outside. Pop in your tealights and you have a completely customized (and recycled!) candle holder!

There you have it, bloggers–a completely adorable way to upcycle some old candle holders, jars, or other glassware! I would just like to conclude with a couple of thoughts. First of all, be logical when lighting your candles. If the tea-light candles are too close to the edge, consider using a battery operated candle instead. Secondly, if you didn’t check out the Fellow Fellow post that was linked above, you should consider clicking over that way! She has some adorable examples and the photos are stunning. It may inspire a little more creativity in you when you take on this project. And finally, these make awesome gifts! Do a few at a time. They are great to have on hand or to show someone a little appreciation and love. With that said, I’m off to conclude my lazy Saturday with a few candles, my knitting, and good a movie (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, anyone?)

As always, my friends, many blessings on your crafting endeavours. Check back for more posts coming your way. I hope you are inspired to find your smile today!

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Knitting 101: Double-Wrap Infinite Scarf

It’s almost the end of February. The sun may be staying out longer but the crisp air sure seems to be getting cooler with each passing day. Although we winter-haters can’t change the work of the weather clouds, we can make our bitter cold days a little bit cozier with a little handmade loving.

My friends will be the first to tell you that I have a scarf addiction. Not a day goes by without (what I like to call) a “fluffy” scarf wrapped around my neck. It could be a comfort thing, but the coziness of scarves help me get through these cold winter days (along with a few cups of tea, of course). Fun colours help make my day, and outfit, a little brighter.

This pattern is an adaption of a pattern on the back of a wool label. It is extremely easy if you know how do both knits and purls. I personally like really thick scarves so I opted to use a nice thick wool. One brand that has proven to be a wonderful brand for thick scarves is LOOPS & THREADS CHARISMA. You will most likely find it at any Michael’s Craft Store. It can prove to be a little bit expensive but if you are an avid flyer-browser you will quite often come across it on sale every now and then. If you can’t justify the price, check out some other brands too. Just look at the thickness and softness of the strand. I have used BERNAT ROVING and LOOPS & THREADS COUNTRY LOOM for other knitting projects in the past and they work pretty well too.

Another important thing to consider when making a thick and fluffy scarf is needle size. In my opinion, bigger is better. But remember that if you are going to use big needles, you need to have a thick wool.

 Alright. All of that is said and done–so let’s get to the goods!

MATERIALS

  • 2 balls of a thick wool, in any desired colour (the scarf in the picture is Copper)
  • A pair of 10mm straight knitting needles

PROCESS

Cast on 26 stitches. Starting with the first row, continuously repeat this pattern:

Row 1: Knit 2, Purl 2 (should end on a K2)

Row 2: P2, K2 (should end on a P2)

Row 3: Knit

Row 4: Purl

Continue this pattern through both balls of wool. When you have either reached your desired length or you are fairly close to the end of your second ball, finish the scarf on Row 2 before you cast the scarf off your needles. The scarf will be fairly long because it is designed to be a double-wrapped scarf. Finish the scarf by sewing the two ends together with the excess string of the wool. Sew in all loose ends (such as where the two balls were joined). Voila–you have a cozy new (and extremely easy to make) infinite scarf!

 VARIATIONS

Single-Wrapped Infinite: If you can’t handle being tangled in a double-wrapped infinite scarf, try adding more initial stitches to make the scarf wider. Add stitches in increments of 4 (such as 30, 34, 38, 42, 46, 50…etc.). If you use 50 initial stitches, it will most likely take the same amount of wool. Then just follow the pattern as stated above. Make it long enough so it wraps around your neck once.

Regular Scarf: If you hate infinite scarves and/or would rather have a regular scarf, this pattern can be adapted to do that. Just follow the pattern as instructed but don’t sew the two ends together at the end. Instead, just leave them as sharp edges or sew in strands of extra wool to the ends and tie. Be creative to determine different ways in which it can be “finished” to give it a unique quality.

There you have it. Even if you despise these cold winter days, this scarf will hopefully make your days a little more bearable. Now I’m off to have my cup of tea…

Happy Knitting!

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DIY: Customized Mittens

The temperature is below freezing and the snow has come, but I have not let that deter me from crafting. Instead, I combined the best of both worlds and came up with a DIY to keep your paws warm.

This DIY project requires a little hand-sewing and a little bit of time, but otherwise it is easy, fun, and can be customized in a variety of ways!

  • old or thrifted pair of mittens
  • fabric scraps (stretchy fabric works the best)
  • needle
  • thread
  • pins
  • scissors
  • pen
  • cue-card

STEP ONE:

Decide which shapes you would like to use to customize your mittens. Cut the desired shapes out of the cue-card.

Place the cut-out shapes on your mittens to ensure that they are an appropriate size. Make any adjustments that are necessary before continuing. I made these mittens for a friend and she asked that one mitten have these specific initials on them, and the other have a heart. You can choose whichever shapes you would like…be creative!

STEP TWO:

Using your pen, trace your cutout shapes on the back of your fabric scrap. I found that stretchy fabric works the best because it has a little bit of give and doesn’t fray around the edges. Cut out your shapes.

TIP: If you decide to use a stiff fabric, after cutting out your shapes, apply a coat of clear nail polish to the edges of your shape. This will prevent the edges from fraying.

STEP THREE:

Put your mittens on. Place your cut-out shapes on the mittens and pin into place. By putting your hand in the mitten, it allows you to line the fabric scrap up with how the mittens will be when worn. Do this for both mittens.

STEP FOUR:

Crumple up a scrap paper or an old newspaper. Place the crumpled piece into the mitten while you sew. Sew on the fabric shape and secure appropriately when finished. Remove the pins. Try on your mitten to ensure that it is lined up properly. Repeat all of the steps for the second mitten.

STEP FIVE:

Enjoy your new and completely customized mittens! Guaranteed you will never find someone with the same pair (always a great benefit to DIYing and upcycling)!

So whether you love or hate the snow, these mittens are sure to keep you cozy and fashionable over the next few wintery months! Many blessings and thanks for reading. Happy crafting!

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DIY: Painted Ceramics

Alright crafters, here is another extremely easy project for you to take on: Painted Ceramics!

As per usual, I hit up my local thrift shop to find some old ceramics. Using recycled goods does its part to help our environment and is often much easier on the wallet (to read more about this, CLICK HERE). For this particular project, I picked up a very simple square plate, a one cup teapot-cup combo (pictured above in the second image), and a mug with saucer. I’m an avid tea drinker so these were the perfect ceramic pieces to use.

You will need a ceramic paint for this project. I came across Martha Stewart’s Multi-Surface Craft Paint, which I have found to be an awesome product. The paint comes in five different finishes: pearl, glitter, glossy, satin, and metallic. It can be used both on indoor and outdoor surfaces. You can get it from any craft store.

MATERIALS (image ONE):

  • ceramic objects (mugs, plates, teapots, etc.)
  • Martha Stewart’s Multi-Surface Craft Paint (I used a satin finish in the black)
  • Paint brushes
  • Stencils or drawings to reference
  • Oven

STEPS:

ONE: See materials list. Be sure to wash and dry all of the ceramic objects before you begin the project.

TWO/THREE: I decided to free-hand paint by referencing a pattern I had found online. Apply your image on your ceramic piece. Allow it to dry and apply a second coat if needed. Once covered, allow the ceramic piece to dry overnight.

FOUR: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Place the painted ceramic objects on the center rack. “Cure” (bake) the objects for 1-2 hours. Remove with oven mitts and allow the objects to cool for a few hours. Once they are cooled, wash the objects. You now have your upcycled ceramics!

Creating these ceramics is extremely easy and they make excellent gifts. Experiment with the different colours and finishes. I also purchased a light blue colour in the pearl finish of the paint, so by mixing it with the satin black I was able to create a metallic silver.

Happy tea-time and of course, Happy Crafting!

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