Past Krafts with Kathy 2021

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September 2021 – Folded Fabric Stars

Yes Christmas is only 16 weeks away and if you plan on crafting for Christmas we all know from experience that is not much time.  My focus for Krafts with Kathy will be homemade Christmas ornaments for September thru December.  Change the fabric and you can make patriotic stars, change the fabric and you can make Halloween stars, and you get the picture.

 Materials Needed:

  • 3 strips of cotton fabric 2” x 7” (All the same or 3 different patterns)
  • 1 or 2 buttons (1/2” wide suggested) (2 hole preferred but 4 hole is ok)
  • 8” length of twine or embroidery floss
  • Hand sewing needle and thread
  • Optional: iron, glue

Instructions:

  1. Lay strip of fabric right side down, short end closest to you
  2. Fold up bottom right corner to the left side of strip and line up fabric edges, creating a triangle.  Make sure the bottom corner has a sharp point.
    • I pressed the fold and each successive fold as I prefer crisp lines but it isn’t required.
  3. Fold triangle up so that the sides align with the left edge of the strip
  4. Fold again, aligning side of triangle with the right edge of the strip.
  5. Continue folding the triangles until there is only a small flap of fabric left.
    • (Similar to how one would fold the American flag.)
  6. Fold the flap into the folded triangle like a tab of a box. 
  7. I pressed a little bit of the corner under (wrong sides together) before  tucking into the folded triangle and then pressed. A dab of glue at this point is optional.
  8. Repeat the above instructions for the other 2 strips of fabric.

Assembly:

  1. Place the 3 triangles in front of you with the short points of each triangle facing the middle and the long sides facing out.
    • There should be one triangle on the left, one on the right and the one in the middle should be on top with the short point facing the center of the 3 triangles.
  2. Place the top (middle) triangle on top of the left triangle with the short point facing down.
  3. Stack the right triangle on top aligning the short point of the top triangle with the side of triangle #2.
    • At this point your triangle should form a star shape.  You may need to fiddle with the placement of each of the triangles to get the shape that is most “star” like.
    • Option 1:  place a few hand stitches at strategic edges to keep the triangles in place
    • Option 2:  go straight to attaching buttons and skip the hand sewing. (This is what I did.)
  4. Decide if you want 2 buttons or just 1 on the front.
    • 1 button – using regular sewing thread thread a longer piece of thread on the needle.  Leaving a tail of 4”-5” inches, tie a knot in the double strand of thread.               
    • Push the needle from the back of the star to the front coming up in the hole of the button and then go down the other hole and come out on the back.  Do this 3 or 4 times and tie off the thread. Clip ends of thread.
    • 2 button – Glue second button on back hiding knot from the thread.
    • If you are particularly handy with hand sewing you can sew both buttons onto the star at the same time.  Remember to hide the ends of the thread when you tie off.
  5. Holding the twine bring it up under the top 2 triangles and tie a soft knot.
  6. Tie a knot near the end of the twine forming a hanging lop.
  7. A dab of glue will hold the twine in place if desired

Notes:

Decorative buttons can also be used in place of circular buttons.  Any size button is okay as long as you like the looks of the button on the star.

Make sure the fabric is tightly woven as fabric that unravels easily will do so leaving unsightly fringes or loose threads with all the folding.

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August 2021 – No Slam Doorstoppers

In the summer I usually have all my windows wide open.  It’s also usually windy where I live.  This combination makes for doors slamming closed during the night and waking everyone in the house.  By placing a No Slam Door Stop at the bottom of the door frame when the door does slam shut it hits the door stop before hitting the door frame…….and everyone stays asleep !

 Materials Needed:

  • Scrap of cotton fabric about 10” x 8”
  • Ribbon about 10” long   (I used 3/8” grosgrain)
  • Filler such as plastic pellets, large dried beans or plain popcorn kernels
  • Sewing machine and necessary notions

Instructions:

  1. Press fabric.
  2. Fold in half lengthwise with right sides facing each other. (short side now measures 4’)
  3. Place ends of ribbon even with edge of fabric with the ribbon tucked inside the fabric tube.   
  4. Center the ribbon so the 2 ends are evenly spaced from each outer edge of tube.
  5. Starting at the fold on the short side (where the ribbon is pinned in place) sew a ¼” seam across the bottom turning the corner and sew the entire length of the long side of the tube.
  6. Turn right side out and press. Ribbon hanging loop should be on the outside if it was done correctly.
  7. Fold under about ¾” of fabric with the raw edge inside the tube. Press.
  8. Fill 2/3 to 3/4 full with the filler previously chosen.  (I used plastic pellets)
  9. Pin the tube closed forcing all the filler to the bottom of the tube and sew the opening closed. You don’t want the machine needle to hit any of the filler!!!
  10. Remove pins and gently shake.
  11. Place on floor in corner of door frame (under the doorknob) and sleep thru the night with no worries of a slamming door.
  12. Hang on doorknob when not in use.

Notes:

I also made a square bag with no hanging loop.  It worked just as well but found I preferred the rectangular shape with the hanging loop.

See the doorstop in action below


July 2021 Independence Day Wreath  

Materials Needed:

  • Approximately 154 spring loaded clothes pins
  • Wire wreath form
  • Stars decorations (wood, foam, etc or other type)
  • Paint in red, blue and white  (I used spray paint)      
  • Twine or hanging loop
  • Hot glue gun
  • Protection for work surface from the spray paint

Instructions:

  1. Paint the clothespins-White 50, Blue  50, Red 50 plus a few extra of   each  to be safe.           
    • I painted the fronts only as the backs do not show.
    • I found it easiest to spray paint the clothes pins while on the cardboard packaging.
  2. You can either paint the clothespins first and then arrange on the ring OR arrange on the ring, count & mark the clothespins as to what color they should be and then paint.
  3. Divide the wreath form into 6 sections with 2 being reserved for solid blue and the other 4 sections being a combination of alternating red and white sections.
    • I ended up with 5 or 6 clothespins per color in each stripe
  4. Place the clothes pins on the inner 2 rings of the wreath with the first hole of the clothespin on the inner most ring and the hole closest to the spring centered on the second ring from the center.
  5. Continue placing clothespins around the wreath placing them together as close as you can until the entire wreath is covered.
  6. Repeat entire process placing the clothespins on the outer ring using the hole closest to the spring to grip the ring. 
    • The tip of the clothes pin should be slightly under the third ring.
    • You might have to add an additional clothespin to make the spacing right as the outer ring is slightly larger than the inner ring.
  7. In order to “stop the flop” of the clothespins on the outer ring
    • remove the inner ring and set aside.
    • run a thicker bead of hot glue between the wire and the clothespins.
    • replace the clothespins onto the top 2 wires of the wreath making sure to keep the colors in order.
  8. Glue several white stars onto the blue section.
  9. tie hanging loop to back of wreath and hang. It does get a little heavy!

June 2021 Garden Fairy Wands

Materials Needed:

  • 8/32” Threaded Rod          
  • 8/32” Hex Nuts 
  • Bracelet Beads*
  • Hack Saw (optional)
  • Cabinet Pulls*

Directions:

  1. Determine length of rod and cut if necessary with the hack saw.
  2. Thread a nut on the rod at least half way up the rod.
  3. Place beads on the rod in any pattern desired covering half or so of the rod.
  4. Thread the cabinet pull on top of the rod.
  5. Adjust beads so they are tight up against the cabinet pull and adjust the hex nut accordingly.
  6. Place in potted plant or outside in the garden.

**NOTES**

  1. The threaded rod and hex nuts were easy to find at my local hardware store.  The rod was $2.59 for a 3’ length while the hex nuts were $1.50 or so for a package of 20.
  2. I could not find the beads with a large center hole at any of the major craft stores in my area and was forced to buy them on Amazon. They ranged in price from $10 for 50 to $20 for 100.
  3. The beads are sometimes called European bracelet beads or glass bracelet beads.  The beads have a silver liner inside the hole of the bead.
  4. The cabinet or drawer pulls MUST be the kind that you screw onto the rod.  The pull itself only has a threaded hole in it. Those pulls that already have the screw attached won’t work.
  5. Do not make your wand too tall as it could become top heavy.  Leave enough unused rod to stick into the dirt to support the beaded portion.

May 2021 – Glass Garden Mushrooms


April 2021 – Gemstone Suncatchers

Materials:

  • CLEAR liquid glue
  • gem stones (flat on the bottom) (found in floral dept)
  • 2 identical soft plastic lids (4 ½ inches in diameter works well )
  • plastic straw and scissors
  • table protection
  • paper plates (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Protect the work surface with plastic tablecloth, place mat, etc.
  2. Arrange gemstones in lid.
  3. Place other lid next to lid with gemstones
  4. Cut straw into a 2-3 inch piece
  5. Place lid on paper plate
  6. Pour glue in empty lid.
  7. Enough to cover the bottom and touch the sides of the lid but not too much as you place the gemstones in the lid the gemstones will disperse some of the glue.
  8. If the glue overflows the edge of the lid you will have a mess but it just means you had too much glue the first time.
  9. Set plate aside for 5-7 days for the glue to dry
  10. Peel away lid & gently remove straw piece from the sun catcher
  11. Throw away straw piece
  12. If back of sun catcher is still tacky to the touch lay the sun catcher upside down on a flat surface for a day or two to finish drying.
  13. Thread ribbon or cord through the hole made by the straw and hang in a window.

Notes:

You don’t need a large bottle of glue but it MUST be “clear” glue. I raided my friend’s recycle bin for the plastic lids. They have to be soft or bendable or else you will have problems removing the sun catcher. They came from sour cream, yogurt, and butter tubs. Any size lid will work but the larger the lid the heavier the final product will be. Using 1 lid for the “dry” arrangement and the other lid for the glue and final placement works really well as once the gemstones hit the glue they pretty much are where they are. If you prefer not using the straw to make a hole in the sun catcher you can glue a ribbon or cord on the back of the sun catcher using E6000 glue.


March 2021-Crystal Easter Eggs

Confession time: I started out to make crystallized Styrofoam Easter eggs but didn’t read the directions carefully and it didn’t work.  Totally my fault.  I quickly substituted pipe cleaners for the Styrofoam eggs and made crystallized egg shapes.

Materials:

  • Wide mouth quart canning jar   (or other wide mouth container)
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Borax laundry detergent (powder)
  • Food coloring
  • Hot but not boiling water
  • Pencil, chop stick, etc.  (lies across the top of the jar)
  • Sewing thread   (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Bend the pipe cleaners into an egg shape leaving a tail to attach to the pencil.
  2. You can tie a length of sewing thread to the pipe cleaner creation and then tie it to the pencil if you wish.           
  3. You can use more than 1 pipe cleaner to create your shape but keep in mind that the shape must be able to fit inside the jar without touching the sides.
  4. Measure 1 cup Borax and add to jar.
  5. Heat the water to just before boiling and carefully pour into jar and stir well. 
    1. You can add more Borax if desired.  Stop when it no longer dissolves into the water.
  6. Add lots of food coloring and stir well.  (finished product comes out very pale)
  7. Place pipe cleaner shape into jar and tie to pencil which is resting across the top of the jar. Make sure the form does not touch the sides or bottom of the jar.
  8. Place jar is an area out of the way and let sit for 24 hours.
  9. Remove form from the jar and remove from the pencil and let dry. 
  10. Pour liquid from jar down the kitchen drain and flush with hot water.
  11. Make sure to wipe down the sink so the food coloring does not stain the surface.
  12. Scrape out the borax and throw in the garbage. 
  13. Wash jars and put back where they were stored.  There is no need to throw them away.

If you want to try and make crystallized Styrofoam eggs the process is the basically the same.

Styrofoam floats and needs to be weighted down which is where I made my mistake.  Place the egg shape in the borax water in the jar.  Take a much smaller jar filled with marbles, or some kind of weights and place inside the wide mouth jar to keep the Styrofoam egg below the surface of water.  Be careful not to put so much water in the jar that when you push down on the egg the liquid flows out over the top of the jar.  Follow the rest of the directions and GOOD LUCK!   PS The original directions stated a wide mouth quart canning jar and a jelly jar.

NOTE-after dumping out the colored water you will have a hard deposit of Borax in the bottom of the jar.  I filled the jar with boiling water and let it soak for a few minutes.  I scraped the Borax out and threw away the lumps.  Wash the jars thoroughly and reuse when needed.

February 2021-Valentine Jigsaw Puzzle Heart

Materials Needed:

  • Jigsaw puzzle pieces
  • Paint: red & white
  • Scrap of cardstock or cardboard
  • Pencil
  • scissors
  • Dixie cup or plate
  • Foam paint brush
  • Scrap of ribbon
  • Glue (liquid)
  • Drop cloth/table protection
  • (optional: tiny paint brush)

Instructions:

  1. Cut out a heart shape from the cardstock.  It is your choice to use either a solid heart or one with the center cut out leaving just a frame.
  2. Cut the ribbon to length and glue both ends to the top of the heart creating a hanger. 
  3. Let dry.
  4. Spread your table protection out on the table.
  5. Pour some paint in the Dixie cup or on the paper plate.
  6. Separate the puzzle pieces into 3 groups, turning them upside down with the cardboard side up
  7. Using the foam brush paint the puzzle pieces from one pile red. 
  8. Set aside to dry.
  9. Repeat steps 7 & 8 painting the next pile white.
  10. Add red paint to the white paint cup mixing well to make pink.
  11. Paint the puzzle pieces pink
  12. Let dry.
  13. Alternating colors spread glue on the back of a puzzle piece and place on the outer edge of the heart. 
  14. Outline the heart making sure to keep  the point at the bottom and the indent at the top of the heart.
  15. Repeat layering puzzle pieces of different colors around the edge of the heart overlapping the pieces on each layer.
  16. Lay flat to dry.
  17. Hang and enjoy.

January 2021- Coffee mug bird feeder

Materials Needed:

  • Coffee mug with handle
  • Bird seed
  • Twig or small branch
  • Suet cake  (store bought)
  • Masking tape   (optional)
  • Microwave or stove top and pot
  • Refrigerator
  • Carabineer or twine
  • Tree with low hanging branch

Instructions:

  1. Wash coffee mug
  2. Cut twig to length so it sticks out from the mug about 3 inches or so
    1. Twig needs to be sturdy enough for the bird to rest on it
  3. Place twig in mug touching the side of the mug and opposite from the handle
  4. Tape twig in place
  5. Fill mug half full with bird seed
  6. Melt suet cake in microwave or stove top
    1. I used 50% power for 2 minutes, stirred and did another 1 minute 30 at 50% power
  7. Carefully pour into mug filling mug to within ½-1 inch from the top of the mug
  8. Stir melted suet into the bird seed
    1. Make sure the twig stays in place next to the side of the mug
  9. Place in refrigerator to harden
    1. May take about 1 hour
  10. Stir once or twice to make sure the bird seed does not settle to the bottom of the mug.
  11. Hang mug from a low hanging branch with either the carabineer or some twine.
  12. Go inside and wait for the birds to find their new treat.
  13. Refill with suet/bird seed when empty.

NOTES:

The suet I purchased already had some birdseed mixed into it which I didn’t realize at the time. It did not produce as much liquid as I thought it would.  I filled 1 mug and poured the remaining liquid into a 2nd mug which already had some bird seed in the bottom of it.  It was a little difficult to stir the melted suet into the existing seed as it definitely needed more liquid.  Both mugs turned out okay in the end.  You might want to consider skipping the additional bird seed and just place the melted suet in the mug of your choosing. 

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