Tag Archives: tutorials

How to: Yo-Yo Headband

10 Jun

Remember that headband I gave away for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway?  Well, here’s a story.  I was a little sad that I didn’t take process photos to share a how-to with you, but I rarely get motivated enough for a second version of the same project to write a real tutorial.  Someone must have been smiling on tutorial hounds though, because I packed up headband #1, got it ready to send and promptly misplaced it.  Knowing I needed to send ASAP to the winner, I quickly whipped up a duplicate and this time was able to take pictures to share the process with y’all.

You Will Need:
Scrap fabric in different patterns.
Needle and thread
1 piece of felt
1 plastic headband (you can get these at Target)
Hot glue gun and glue

Start by cutting out some circles from fabric.  A bunch of circles in all different sizes.  Use water bottles, candles, pots, yogurt cups, anything circular for your templates.  The yo-yos shrink down about 50% once you sew them so don’t be afraid to go bigger than you think.  For a headband you’ll need 7-12, but the more you make, the more choices you have with the design.

Make some yo-yos.  I was going to show you how to do that, too, but this tutorial is great and has much more awesome pictures than I could take. The yo-yo making is by far the most time-consuming step of the process and it doesn’t take very long, especially if you’re an experienced hand sewer.

I iron my yo-yos down before I start working with them.

Arrange the yo-yos. This is the fun part. Just start placing them until they look pretty.  Generally they should be in a semi-oval cluster.  Glue them together with hot glue. Just a dab in the corner that will be attached is perfect. Any more and you’ll end up with a gooey mess.


Place your glued-together cluster of yo-yos on a piece of felt. Outline the yo-yo cluster onto the felt and cut out the resulting shape. Cut a bit inside the outline so the felt doesn’t hang over the edge. Hot glue the bottom of the cluster of yo-yos to the felt.

Position the cluster onto your headband. I use a permanent marker to roughly mark the bottom and top of where the cluster will sit near the side of my head. Then, super glue between those two marks and carefully place your cluster onto the glue line.

Finished headband.

You can add buttons, ribbons, or pins to the centers of the yo-yos for additional flair, but I like it just as it is.

If you decide to make any yo-yo headbands, send me a link!



Modifying Journals

1 Jun

My latestest craft obsession seems to be modifying journals.  I originally bought two small black journals on clearance with the intent of making hollow books.  That didn’t happen, I do still have one left.  Instead…

To the left, a gift to a co-worker.  It has a lotus blossom with a dream charm.  The wheel of dharma and an endless knot, as well as two ravens in white.

To the right, for the Dia de los Muertos swap on Craftster.  My partner has received now, so it’s safe to post.  The journal is covered with a colorful bandana, then affixed with various day of the dead themed items.  A fuzzy cross, a hand pieced sugar skull, cross charms, flowers and butterflies.

Some detail shots below.

Thanks for looking 🙂


February Show and Tell

2 Mar

I got a lot more crafting done this month than I normally do, probably thanks to getting back into swapping.  So here’s the part of the month where I show you all the projects that I made (that I didn’t tear out or break in frustration of their being awful) and share the links for you to make your own.

Kitchen towels

These are just embellished Target towels made for a swap… nothing fancy. Just ribbon and bias tape. I might put up a tutorial later, but only if people are interested.

Leaf Cup Cuddler

Mine didn’t come out as even as it could have, but I always knit in a wonky gauge. This was also for a swap. I knit the whole thing during the Superbowl.

Dr. Seuss Pouch

Of course this is from Noodlehead… I love how her patterns turn out. For this one, I added a few bells to the keyring. I think it helps keep up the Dr. Seuss style.

Car Organizer

I made some adjustments from the original pattern. For one, I used webbing and a buckle for the attachment at the top. On the bottom, I sewed two loops and tied nylon cording to it. Since I couldn’t try the pattern out on my swap partner’s car before sending, I wanted it to be as adjustable as possible. I also sewed a backing onto the whole thing to make it a bit more sturdy.

Flannel Slippers

This pattern wins my personal gold star for the month. I’d tried making slippers before and let’s just say that it wasn’t a pretty picture. These were simple, fast, and turned out really nice. I was sad to send these out, but it helped that they were too small for my feet. I’ll definitely be using the pattern many more times.

Thanks to all those who put their patterns out there for us to use!


Round Bottom Bag Tutorial

16 Feb

We can’t all be winners.  But I love y’all, I really do, so I don’t want to send anyone home disappointed.  If you want a little love in your life and you don’t win our Valentine’s Day giveaway, you can still have a bag of your very own.  You just need to pony up for the supplies and get crafty.  To help you out, I’m posting the tutorial for the bag.

2 contrasting fabrics.  A fat quarter of each works great.
About 16″ of 1″ – 2″ ribbon
Matching thread
Yarn, cording or thinner ribbon (about 36″)
Some math skillz (these can be acquired later, trust me)

Start by cutting a circle from the fabric you’ll use for your exterior and one from the lining fabric. I used a blank CD case. If you use the same thing, you can use my measurements and skip all the math bits.

Now for math!
Draw two chords (as marked in the picture above).
Make sure they’re an even number length (such as 4″) so it’s easy to find the center.
Mark the center and draw lines at a right angle from the chords through the circle. It’s most accurate to do this with a protractor, but you can eyeball it.
Where the lines intersect is the center of the circle. Draw a line through that and measure it. That’s your diameter.
Now multiply the diameter by pi (3.14). You have your circumference!

Why do you want all this? It’s so you know how much wide you’ll want the sides of the bag to be. I rounded the circumference up. Meaning, if you’re using the CD case, your circumference is about 17.25″.

Cut a trapezoid out of each of your fabrics. The bottom should be your circumference plus around an inch. I made my top about 2 inches thinner (one inch off each side) than the base.

I made my sides 10″ tall.

Cut two pieces of your wide ribbon so it’s about an inch shorter than 1/2 of the top of the trapezoid. Sound confusing? If you’re using about the same measurements as me, the two pieces will be about 7″ each.

Now start sewing!

Sew your exterior into a loop by sewing the slanted 10″ sides together. Do the same for the lining, but leave a space in the middle so you can turn in out when you’re done. I forgot the first time and just took a seam ripper to it. No biggie.

Pin your ribbon about 2″ down on each side. If necessary, fold over the ends so they don’t fray and sew in place before attaching to the bag. Sew the edges in place, leaving an opening on each short end.

With a long stitch, sew a gathering stitch around the bottom (wider end) of the exterior fabric loop. Gathering up the threads, pin it right sides together to the exterior fabric circle until it lines up.

(this is the lining… I didn’t take a picture of the exterior)

Sew the loop and the circle together. Repeat this process for the lining loop and circle.

Now you have two bags… mostly. Put the exterior bag, turned right side out into the inside out lining bag, matching seams. Right sides will be together.

(sorry for the blur)

Sew around the top of the bag. Flip through the hole in the lining (if you didn’t make it, now’s the time for your seam ripper). Edge stitch around the top of the bag to make it lay nice.

Starting on the left side, pull half of the length of your thin ribbon, yarn or cording through the casing to the right, then back to the left and tie. With the other half, start on the right side, pull the ribbon through the casing to the left, then back to the right and tie. This is my absolute favorite drawstring technique.


Enjoy your bag!

If you end up making this, please send pictures.  And let me know if anything is confusing.  I’ll try to clear it up.


Swap Swap Swapity Swap

2 Feb

Back in the day, I  loved participating in craft swaps. I always used Craftster because that’s pretty much the place to be for creative people that love to give great items and know what they want in return.

Then, life happened.  My swap history on Craftster tells the story:
5/07 Awesome swapper!  Positive feedback.
6/07 Sent late with good communication. Positive feedback.
11/07 Did not send out claim.  Angel requested.  Negative feedback.
Negative feedback means you’re on the “no-fly” list of swappers.  I was done.  I wasn’t being very reliable in any other part of my life at the time and, well, swapping wasn’t the first thing I rushed to save when I was going under.

Fast forward three years (that’s now!) and I received a notice from some Craftster mods saying that 1)I got another negative for going about changing my user name wrong…oops and 2)They were holding a “second chance” swap so users with negatives could have a chance to redeem themselves.  After asking myself repeatedly if I was really sure I wanted to delve into swapping again, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity.  I just sent out package #1 today.

Oh, I am so glad I didn’t just leave Craftster Swapland for good!  I forgot what I really like about swapping… it jump starts my creativity big time.  In this particular swap, paid members posted a wishlist and the penitents chose a few items to send them from that list.  The majority of my items were from ideas, patterns or recipes I’d created myself.  For someone who normally follows directions, at least nominally, that’s a pretty big accomplishment  It also gives me some great projects to share with you this month!

This is what you have to look forward to.  Links will be added as the patterns become available.

Round Bottom Drawstring Bag

Spiced Grapefruit Marmalade

Clay Impression Pendants

She also received a pair of Thai Wrap Pants mostly based on this pattern, but she’s smaller than me so I looked ridiculous trying to model them. There will be a pair for myself in the future.