Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIY University Graduation Giveaway

In a way I feel like I am writing a commencement speech, which made me reminisce to my own graduation day where I was filled with relief (fiiiiiiinally it's over!!) hope, and anxious to being new adventures.  New adventures still lay ahead I hope that the DIY University: School of Crafting Misfits series not only taught you a few new tricks + tools but fostered a bit of creativity and curiosity in your soul. Often times in the thick of life, diaper changes, work, and priorities we abandon our maker/doer/creative instincts. We forget how fun it is to play with glue, power tools, and glitter. This series was designed with the idea that we will empower you & inspire you to join the movement to create change. Many of the tutorials shared transformed 'trash' into treasure while others taught basic skills that can be used to create in endless ways.

Creating change can be interpreted differently- whether you'll begin revolutionizing your views on consumption, reuse, and recycling or more subtly tap into the place where you can find contentment by creating something with your hands. Embrace the fact that there will be set backs, mistakes, and sometimes an awful lot of seam ripping- these experiences help build the stories you'll share along with the gifts you give. Today let's celebrate the unknown, a stark white canvas of possibilities and on this day of 'commencement' I give you gallons of neon paint but no paint brushes.

The winner of the Graduation Giveaway will receive an insta-craft room... you provide the room.

Prize pack from Pellon Products
Tulip One Step Tie Dye Kit 
Honey Meadow Designs Kraft Tags 
Embroidery Hoop & Thread 
Knitting Loom
Homespun Yarn
Dylon Dye
Jewelry findings 
Dritz Sewing Notions
Guided Products Create Change Notebook
and a copy of 
 Sewing for Boys by Karen LaPage & Shelly Figureoa

plus, yes there's more...

3 Pack Bundle: Your Choice of 3 Patterns from The Sewing Loft
TrashN2Tees Monster Truck Applique PDF Pattern
Goodship Dress Pattern from OneGirlCircus
Embroidery Patterns PDF with Stitch Guide from April Heather Art

a Rafflecopter giveaway

14 Creative Ways to Reuse and Recycle Plastic Easter Eggs

A few years ago I crafted up a fancy diddy that included 10 Ways to Reuse Your Easter Eggs, this year I figured it was time to revisit that post & up the ante. Today I'm sharing some truly unique ideas for fun and creative ways you can upcycle all of those vibrant egglings. I can't even image the insane number of plastic eggs that enter our waste stream (anyone have some figures?) Join the movement to change the way we consume and create today with these DIY ideas.

1. Host a tea party! Creativity in Progress blog shares this sweet tutorial that'll transform your egg-dom into a princess's kingdom.
2. Try a Dinosaur Excavation hunt eggs for a fun project and you can reuse your coffee for this project too!
 3. Give those little bitty small parts to board games (like Monopoly pieces: shoe, horse, etc.) a new egg home. Keeps them from getting lost. 
4. Pack around thread and a needle in one for a travel sewing kit.

5. Build your own zoo. Spoonful shows us how with DIY deets to make oinkers, dogs, skunks and more. 
6. Noise makers/Rattles- Fill w/ beans, rice, or sand and glue or tape the egg shut. Or both.
7. Stuff with potpourri and use as an air freshener. Either puncture holes in eggs or use eggs that already have small holes. 
8. Try felted Easter eggs.
9. Bake cupcakes... er make cupcakes rather complete with frosting! Another creative tutorial from Creativity in Progress.
10. Store craft beads snaps, buttons, or ribbon. Keep organized by color.
11. Keep necklaces from getting tangled by placing one in an egg. Great for travel! 
12. Donate to organization that hosts community hunts.

13. Make tulips! Use scissors + pipe cleaner for instant garden.
14. Learn! Here are 7 learning activities that use plastic eggs!

Do you have a clever way you like to reuse your plastic eggs? Share your projects and ideas using hashtag #createchange & I'll reshare. @TrashN2Tees on Twitter and Instagram 

Ps. While you're here- Check out the DIY University Graduation Giveaway for a chance to win over $125 in prizes!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DIYU: Transfer Photo or Drawing to Embroidery Pattern

Hello Everyone! I am so happy to be back at DIY University. I am learning so much! Thank you Jenelle for having me. Its been a blast! If you missed my last post, you can read it here: Learn Basic Embroidery Stitches. Today I am going to share with you how to take a drawing and transfer it to fabric in preparation for embroidering. You could do this with your own drawing, or a child’s (how cute would that be?!)

Let’s get started! Here’s my process for getting a drawing ready. (If you are not into drawing your own design that’s totally cool because there’s tons of great PDF designs you can purchase on line-usually under $10.00-and print them at home-super simple!)

 First I do a little internet search for photos. I wanted to draw a poodle but needed a reference for her position (and my own little poodle wasn’t going to model for me).
 I found one I liked! Isn’t she cute?!

next I just do some quick sketches to capture her gesture–I stay loose here

When I come up with one I like I continue to fine tune using my light box. Don’t have a light box? You could use a sunny window as well-just tape your images to the window. (I wasn’t happy with her mouth-I decided I wanted a more serene look on her face.)

When I’m all ready with a final sketch I get my fabric ironed (a sturdy cotton will do)

then I lay it over my sketch on my light box. (again you could use a sunny window, just tape your fabric in all four corners so that it lays smooth)

I knew I wanted to frame her in a wooden embroidery hoop so I just laid that on top to make sure she was the right size. (If your design is not the finished size you would like it to be, just use your copier-or local copy shop-to shrink or enlarge it. Then you are ready to go!) 
Next I use my transfer pen to transfer my design to the fabric. (If you’ve purchased a PDF pattern online this is a super duper easy way to transfer the design to fabric.)

then I just trace the design onto the fabric-ohmygoodness, isn’t she cute?!
now just pop that sucker in your embroidery hoop and start stitching!
hmmmm, I wonder where I get my inspiration?
Here is a quick guide to the stitches I used for miss priss (these are the stitches I use most often in all my embroidery patterns)

Here she is all finished! They are out for a nice walk on a spring day.
So what do you think? Are you ready to tackle this DIY? Have any questions? Feel free to ask away in the comments-I’m happy to help!

If you want to stitch up this pattern visit my etsy shop! 
Connect with me! I love to share my process on Instagram. Give me a holler on Facebook, or tweet me! And if your as addicted as I am, then let’s PIN together!
 I document my creative life and learning on my blog too-come by and visit me sometime!

 Thanks Heather! I'm so glad you're as excited about creating change & DIYU series that you've joined us for a follow up post. I'm happy to have you here for a second round of embroidery how tos. How sweet is that little pooch of yours!? Hmm, wonder where you're finding the inspiration.
As March is coming to a close (already!?!), we're rounding up this DIY University series this week with a supplies jackpot giveaway right here on the blog. Enter for your chance to win a slew of goodies that will help you take the skills you learned here and put them to use! Come back tomorrow for all the details! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

DIYU: How To Make Dangle Earrings from Soda Can

Hi, I'm Claire and I make simple, everyday jewelry out of copper. You can find my work, and my blog showing work in progress, on my website - I also keep a blog called Create>Pixelate where I explain some of the technical side of selling and marketing online.

I'm so excited to be here at DIY University because (as you may have guessed) I love helping people to learn new things and sharing my knowledge.

In this post I'm going to teach you how to make a really simple pair of earrings, made from a recycled can.

You will need:

  • Empty drinks can
  • Metal shears (scissors will do but metal shears are much easier)
  • Metal hole punch (1/16" or smaller)
  • Pliers
  • Sharpie
  • 2 Jumprings
  • 2 Earwires
You can find all the tools and the earring components online, from sites such as Fusion Beads. You should  also be able to find the components (and maybe some of the tools) in a local bead shop.

Cut off the top and bottom of the can, so you are left with a nice sheet of metal.

Use the Sharpie to mark out the shapes you want for your earrings. I've used 2 different sizes of triangle for a very simple design but you can use any shape that you can successfully cut out! Think about the design already printed on the can, you might want to use specific areas for your shapes.

Cut your shapes out of the metal sheet. If they have any sharp corners, snip off the tips so they aren't pointy enough to stab you.

Clean the pen marks off the metal with some nail polish remover. Or use the Sharpie to colour in the pieces completely... or to draw patterns or designs on it. Get as creative as you like!

Use the metal hole punch to punch holes in your shapes where you want them to be connected together. I punched the top and bottom of the small triangle and the top of the big triangle.

Use the pliers to hold the jumpring while you push the other side away with your finger (if the jumpring is tough, you may need 2 pairs of pliers for this). Slide the jumpring through the holes you punched to connect the pieces together.

Do the same with the bottom of the earwires and connect them to the metal pieces... and that's it! You probably have lots more metal left just from 1 can so have fun trying other shapes and ideas!

As you can all imagine, I am tickled to pieces to have Claire joining us and sharing this creative reuse for soda cans! This is actually something I've been wanting to try since I saw it similarly done with antique tin cans in a boutique of Santa Fe. I love that she encourages us to get creative by even coloring in the metal with sharpie markers- you can seal with a spray or mod podge to keep from smearing off! 

Connect with Claire: 

Monday, March 25, 2013

DIYU: How to Spin Yarn

Today is a treat! I'm so happy to welcome Paty from Paty's Loveys to our final week of the DIY University series. Be sure to check out the amazing tutorials teaching you how to stencil, embroider, sew on paper, and even arrange flowers- and the best sites to learn new craft skills (plus so much more!) Despite the fact that I can't knit up a stitch and very rarely crochet I'm often drooling over her amazing scrappy yarn. I really enjoyed seeing how the fibers are spun and am so grateful to learn this amazing process. I hope you are too.

I was asked to make a tutorial on how to use handspun remainder. I will explain as best as I can. First when I spin singles, I always leave a few inches unspun on both ends , beginning and end.

Here on the bobbin on the far right you can see some remainder. You can see I have transfered on the bobbin on the left as I went to free my bobbins.

This is how both ends look.

You spin as you normally would to this.

Since the rest is already spun I set my wheel to only take up so no more spin goes into it or at least as little as possible. This is now my whole bobbin.

I wanted to n-ply so only kept enough for 1 bobbin. If you want to do regular 2 and 3 ply then you'd accumulate 2 or 3 bobbins worth. You can see the final result, a scrappy n-ply.

Hope I was of some help. Feel free to contact me for questions.

Connect with Paty 

I hope you're enjoying the DIYU: School for Crafting Misfits series, if you'd like to learn something new that hasn't been covered please do not hesitate to leave a little note or drop an email anytime to contact (at!) trashn2tees dot com. I encourage you to check out the amazing collection of DIY skills we've covered so far and continue to join us all month long. You can find them all on the blog side bar: Archives/March 2013 (Can you believe March is almost over?!!?!) Did I mention we're celebrating university graduation with a great supplies giveaway? More details on that later this week.

Friday, March 22, 2013

DIYU: How To Stenciled Door Mat Tutorial

Welcome to today's DIYU lesson on stenciling a door mat. Wipe your feet on the way in and take a seat. Before we begin, I think introductions are in order: Hi, everyone, my name is Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl). 
Yup that's me, and that's my drill which might as well be a prosthetic arm because I always have it with me. I write a blog filled with DIY tutorials for building things (like my son's closet turned into a reading nook,)  
or fixing things (like replacing an old almond colored outlet,)
or crafting things like a book page medallion wreath.
Anything I improve, fix, design or create I'll show you how I did it. I believe that you are all handy people, but sometimes need a little step-by-step tutorial to give you the confidence to complete your own DIY project. Take out your notebooks and — wait a minute, do college students even use pencils anymore? Ahem, take out your iPad or tablet and tap out notes on learning how to stencil a doorway mat. I picked up this plain Jane door mat a while ago at a thrift store. I knew I had to upcycle this sad rug and using a stencil was an easy and inexpensive option.   Materials:
  1. Door Mat
  2. Primer
  3. ScotchBlue painter's tape
  4. Ruler
  5. Pencil
  6. Paint brush
  7. Small paint roller and tray
  8. Latex paint (Yellow, Dark Aqua & Light Blue)
  9. Hair dryer (optional)
  10. Stencil
  11. Wet rag

Step 1: Tape off the edges of the door mat. For a better masking job, lay the painter's tape upside down and then slip it under the edge of the trim. Then wrap the tape up, over and on top of the trim, this protects the undersides as well as the top and sides of the trim. Step 2: Prime the mat. Use a paint brush to get into the grooves in the mat. Step 3: Use more painter's tape to tape off inside the trim edges. Step 4: Roll yellow paint inside the tape lines. Step 5: Using a ruler and pencil, mark the center of the mat. Center your stencil pattern on this mark. Step 6: Lightly tape the edges of your stencil to keep it in place. Roll the dark aqua color over the stencil. Step 7: Lift up the stencil and wait for the paint to dry. To speed the drying process, use a hair dryer.  
Step 8: Line up the repeat pattern. On the Royal Design Stencils, there are small dotted lines that help assist you in lining up the stencil. Repeat steps 6 - 8 until the stencil design covers the mat. Step 9: Once the paint has thoroughly dried, tape off a thin border edge just outside the stencil painted area. Step 10: Use a brush to paint the light blue color into the masked border. Less paint is better here. More paint = more paint seepage under the tape. Step 11: Remove all the painter's tape and wipe up any boo-boos with a wet rag. Touch up any areas that need a fix. Set your mat by your entryway and enjoy a cheery welcome!  
This was truly an easy project. The hardest part was waiting for the paint to dry. And, I really like how the paint didn't go into the grooves on my mat and left a chevron pattern. There's the bell. Have a great weekend and come back for more DIYU: School for Crafting Misfits courses from TrashN2Tees next
Yesssss! Someone said it was supposed to Spring, I'm not feeling it yet here in PA but I think this DIY mat Brittany shared with us today might be just the key to welcoming it on in. Thanks for joining us! Think of all the great ways you could decorate your own welcome mat... would yours say "Go Away!" or feature a collage of cats (are you a cat lady too?) I can't wait to find out what you're mat will look like or say- share with me in the comments below.


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