January 2015Occasionally Crafty: January 2015

Thursday, January 29

Flash Freezing: Stop throwing away your money!

While I don't profess to be the best as saving money, I do know that the easiest place to save money is with food! I'm hoping throughout the year to share a few tips that have helped me!
Today I'm talking about flash freezing! Basically it's a way to save those vegetables from ending up in the garbage, along with the money you spent on them.
Have you ever bought too many onions? Do you manage to use all of the green onions that come in one package? Maybe you do bountiful baskets, or garden and end up with more than can be eaten before it goes bad. Then it's time to chop and freeze!
The point of this not to teach you to chop up veggies, or even how to stick them in a bag and freeze them, but if you want them to be usable once you need them again, flash freezing is your new friend!
My photos are with green peppers so you can see the process clearly :)
First: Chop your veggies and spread them out on a cutting board or cookie sheet. This will allow each piece to freeze individually. If you throw them all into a bag at this point, the moisture/juices from your food will freeze together, creating one big clump!

Second: Place in your freezer

Third: After a few hours your food will be frozen into individual pieces.

Last: Place in freezer bags and pull what you need out of it, instead of one big frozen clump of peppers!

There are so many ways to utilize this skill to help save a few pennies here and there. I freeze peppers, onions, meat, bananas, the possibilities are endless! Now go look at your produce and see what you can save from the trash can!

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Monday, January 26

Valentine's Day Decor: Heart Skewers

It's taken me awhile to feel like pulling out my Valentine's Day decor.  And, truthfully, there's not a lot of it.  I enjoy putting up a few things here and there, but I have to say Valentine's Day is not my favorite holiday!
Anyone else with me on that?
Still, I happen to love these heart skewers I made.  They are so easy that I'm not even writing a tutorial about them!
Buy some wooden hearts and skinny dowels at the craft store.  Paint your hearts the color(s) you want.  Lightly distress if desired.  Put a big dollop of hot glue on the back of the heart, then press the dowel in.  Let dry.   Voila!
I put mine in a white pitcher vase filled with dry beans so the skewers will stay in place.
There you go- a quick and easy Valentine's day decoration!

 I may be linking this up at some of these parties: come party with me!
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Thursday, January 22

Glass Etched Soap Bottles

You may have heard us refer to the original Occasionally Crafty girl, our mom! She was always working on something as we were growing up. I don't think Valerie or I took full advantage of everything that was available to us as kids, but as you can see we both craft a lot now! 
So it shouldn't surprise you that when we get together with our Mom we usually end up crafting! While Valerie was in Chicago visiting our Dad, my Mom and brother came to visit us. When we were shopping some after Christmas sales, we came across these glass bottles with metal pour spouts. She mentioned that they'd be great for dish soap and we both thought of how we could decorate them!

Before she went home we got to work designing our bottles! I used a circle background image to create the effect of bubbles for my bottle.

Use the vinyl as a stencil and paint the open spots with glass etching cream. Be generous, but cautious because anywhere the cream touches it will etch! Wait 5 minutes, rinse off the cream and then peel off the vinyl! Voila!

Here's how it looks with soap!

My mom has a lot of apples and cherries in her kitchen, so we did a mix of vinyl and glass etching!

I love simple crafts that bring a little personality to your every day living! I smile (just a little more) every time I do dishes!

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Wednesday, January 21

Sticker Class Valentines or Friend's Valentine's Day Gift for Kids {Free Printable}

It's a Valentine's Day Blog Hop!  I'm joining with the most creative bloggers on the internet to bring you tons of great ideas for Valentine's Day!

I put together a cute Sticker Valentine to give to your kids or for your kids to give out in class.  
I saw these cute sticker packs at Target and I knew they would be perfect to give out for Valentine's Day.  

I made up a printable card for you to use when giving out stickers like this.  Simply add a glue dot to the white space in the center or other adhesive, add your sticker square,  and you've got a perfect Valentine.

My daughter wants to give these to her friends at school and church.  They are also perfect to use for class Valentines.  The stickers were $3.50 for 28 sets.  Not a shabby deal!

You can download a printable PDF version (4 to a page) by clicking here.

Now, check out what all my creative friends made by hopping through the linky below!  Enjoy!

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Monday, January 19

How to Make a Dr. Seuss- Inspired Loopy Bow

It's Craft Lightning Week!  This week I'm part of a fun group of bloggers who have all come up with awesome 15 minute or less Dr. Seuss- inspired crafts!
I realized that it's been a long time since I've made something for my daughter- so my project is this beautiful Dr.Seuss-inspired Loopy Bow!
Dr. Seuss Inspired Loopy Bow Tutorial
I love the red, white,  and teal used most often in Dr. Seuss decor, but I want my daughter to be able to wear the bow for more than one day!  So I used the Seussian colors to make this fun loopy bow!
I bet you can't believe that this only takes 15 minutes to make- but it really does!  This might be one of the easiest bows I've made with such a huge impact.
You'll need the following:
  • 6 1 yard lengths of coordinating ribbon
    •  I used 3/8 for all but one of my ribbons, but you can use any mix of 3/8 and 1/4, grosgrain, satin, or sheer, patterned or plain.  Whatever you want is great!
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors
  • 2 felt circles (about 1 1/2 inch in diameter)
  • Alligator clip
  • Hot Glue Gun
*Note- if you are cutting your ribbon from a spool, you'll need to add in a few extra minutes for cutting!
Let's get to it!
Dr. Seuss Inspired Loopy Bow Tutorial
(In pictured order:)
1.  Cut your ribbon into 4 inch lengths.  You can cut several ribbons at a time to save time (2-3 minutes) Sort the ribbon into piles if desired.  You really don't have to go in order- it will look cute no matter what.  (1 minute)
*  (Not Pictured)  Pick up your needle and thread.  Make sure you have a nice big knot at the end so it won't pull through your ribbon!
2.  Begin making your loops by softly folding each ribbon piece in half (no creases!) , then  pushing your needle up through both ends. 
3.  Continue doing this with each piece of ribbon.  You can keep all the loops on your needle if desired, but it's fine if they go down onto the thread.  (6-7 minutes)
4.  Once you've got all your ribbon on the needle and thread, pull the needle through all the ribbon loops as you push them onto the thread.  Set your needle to the side.  All your ribbon should move from the needle (as pictured) onto the thread. 
5.  Take both ends of your thread and tightly tie them in the center of your bow.  Do this 3-4 times so it won't come out. (1 minute)
Your front should look like this.
Dr. Seuss Inspired Loopy Bow Tutorial

Your back has all the ends and needs to be covered.  
Dr. Seuss Inspired Loopy Bow Tutorial

6.  Cover one felt circle with hot glue and place it in the center back of your bow, covering the cut ends.  
Dr. Seuss Inspired Loopy Bow Tutorial

7.  Attach the alligator clip between the felt circles by placing a thin line of glue down the other felt circle, then placing the top of the alligator clip over it.  (The felt circle should be between the alligator clip.
Dr. Seuss Inspired Loopy Bow Tutorial
8.  Now cover the top of the felt circle with hot glue and attach it to the bow directly over the first felt circle.  You should only see the bottom of the alligator clip, and should be able to open and close it.  (Steps 6-8 takes 2-3 minutes)
Dr. Seuss Inspired Loopy Bow Tutorial
And now you have an adorable bow!  
Dr. Seuss Inspired Loopy Bow Tutorial
I'm thrilled because we'll be able to use this for Valentine's Day as well!
Dr. Seuss Inspired Loopy Bow Tutorial
Now, go check out the rest of the Craft Lightning posts by clicking on the button below!  Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

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Thursday, January 15

Sister's Challenge: Fabric Wrapped Canvas with Wax Paper Transfer!

I guess Valerie and I both felt like wrapping things in fabric, rather than sewing with it. I am terrible with a sewing machine so I had to think out of the box when Valerie chose fabric for our Sister's Challenge this month.
Our bedroom is rather bland, and sometimes I feel like maybe if I decorate it, I'll spend more time in it. Maybe?
Well I decided to use our bedspread as inspiration for a fabric wrapped canvas scene on the wall. Our bedspread has so many rich colors in it that it was hard picking just the right fabrics to go with it!
Once I had my canvases and fabrics picked out...
...I had to try a new thing I'd heard about. You can print right onto wax paper and transfer the image to fabric or wood! What a great way to personalize your design!
Here's what you need:
Spray your printer paper with adhesive spray, then spread the wax paper neatly over it. By adhering the wax paper to printer paper, it will feed more easily through your printer.

Trim the edges so your paper is the right size and ready to feed through the printer. Like I said I chose to print sheet music. Make sure your image is REVERSED so it will end up facing the right way on your fabric.

Be ready to work quickly before the ink dries. Print your image and then place it immediately on your fabric. I used a credit card to carefully press it down without letting the whole image slip around. You can also lightly moisten your fabric to help it come it clearer. Too much water will make the image blot and run.

I put music on two of my fabric canvases, and the other two I left as they were.

I used my staple gun to staple the fabric around the canvases, and nailed some picture hooks on the back for hanging. Then I just had to do a little measuring and eyeballing to put it on the wall just right! 

Here's a view with the bedspread too.

I love how it turned out. It adds a little more flavor and personality to our room!

What unique things have you used fabric for?
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Wednesday, January 14

Sister's Challenge: Fabric Wrapped Kitchen Utensils-- and a LEGO giveaway!

Welcome to another Sisters' Challenge!  Keep reading after our project for a fun giveaway!
This month I challenged Laura and myself to use fabric in a project.  The catch was, there was no (or very minimal) sewing allowed!

I came up with a great scrap-buster that makes a great gift for a new bride as well: Fabric-Wrapped Kitchen Utensils!

I chose these fun, brightly-colored rubber spatulas from Walmart.  You could also use wooden spoons or other similar utensils.

Utensils of choice
Fabric scraps and scissors
Mod Podge

This is such an easy gift to make! 

  •  First, determine how long you want your scraps to be (or how much of the handle you want to cover).  Mine are about four inches long.  Trim your scraps to fit your utensil handles.  Make sure you have nice even edges with no stray strings.
  • Apply a coat of Mod-Podge to the utensil.  Since mine are flat, I just did one side first.
  • Use your finger to smooth one edge of your fabric on top of your Mod-Podge.  Then carefully wrap your fabric tightly around the handle to the other side.  
  • Place a nice thick coat of Mod-Podge on top of your fabric where the ends will overlap.  Again, use your fingers to pull your fabric tight, then smooth down onto the glue. 
  • Once your fabric is the way you want it, cover the whole fabric piece with a thick coat of Mod-Podge, paying careful attention to the top and bottom.  This will help seal it against water when washing. (It goes without saying that these are hand-wash only, right? )
  • Let your utensils dry completely.  The fabric handles should be stiff to the touch.

Just for fun, I used my precision engraver to engrave some words onto some of the spatulas.  I think it's kind of cute.

Now I have a few sets just waiting to be given away!  Or maybe I'll keep some for myself!  (I have found you can never have enough rubber spatulas!)

Now for the giveaway:  I'm teaming up with some Arizona bloggers to celebrate the new year with one of the hottest toys of 2015.  You can't find this anywhere for an acceptable price- trust me, we've looked!  
That's right- we have a LEGO Elsa's Ice Castle and we are giving it to one of you!

Simply enter via Rafflecopter below.  I am so jealous that you all have a chance to win this- my daughter would pretty much do anything for this set!  Spread the word and good luck!  (And don't forget to come back tomorrow to see what project Laura made using fabric!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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