Vintage AND practical–what’s not to love? The summer bolster is one of my favorite projects from Maya Donenfeld‘s Reinvention. It transforms your winter down comforter into a lovely storage pillow that can be showcased year-round. Maya suggests using a larger piece of an antique textile such as a bed sheet, coverlet, or tablecloth. Perfect for refashioning that heirloom that has been hiding away in the closet. Click on the above picture for instructions and be sure to read her heartwarming story at the end. Thanks, Maya!
Here’s a fun, quick craft the whole family can help create! This sparkly wand, featured in Marie LeBaron‘s Make and Takes for Kids: 50 Crafts Throughout the Year, would be perfect for little ones to wave at this week’s patriotic parades, backyard barbecues, and firework displays. Click on the picture for instructions. Happy 4th, everyone!
Normally, you wouldn’t be seeing an announcement about a book that is not yet on store shelves. But, like many of you, we love to watch Glee. After this week’s episode, Prom-asaurus, we just had to post a free pattern for you. You see, one of the main characters, Brittany, totally rocked a mini top hat with her prom dress. Well – we just happen to have a mini top hat pattern in an upcoming book, Sewn Hats! And, it’s one of the hats that has gotten a ton of comments any time it has been out and about – I just know it is going to be one of the favorites.
So, for all of you Gleeks who want to recreate a little piece of their favorite show, here’s a link to our version of an embellished mini top hat. Click here for the free pattern!
Look out for more great hats designed by celebrated fabric designers, pattern designers, and bloggers in August, when Sewn Hats hits bookshelves! (Although, you can pre-order now!)
Today, Handmadeology‘s Timothy Adam offers a couple more tips on how to improve your selling experience on Etsy. Leave us a comment on this post and one lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive a copy of Tim’s new book How to Make Money Using Etsy.
There is a new Etsy app that just came on the scene called the Shop Marketing Helper that will help Etsy sellers save time by scheduling all their social media marketing efforts. I have been scheduling the social media promotion of the Handmadeology Etsy shop and our traffic and sales have doubled and beyond!
25 strong backlinks to your Etsy shop in 3 mins or less!
Now your Etsy business can have a social media presence even when you can’t be there!
Tim Adam of Handmadeology.com, author of How to Make Money Using Etsy: A Guide to the Online Marketplace for Crafts and Handmade Products, has graciously offert to share some wonderful tutorials and tips with our Wiley Craft readers.
As a creative business owner there is no doubt you want your Facebook Fan Page to draw fans in and keep them there. You also want your images to match your brand and at the same time be crisp and clear. The deadline is fast approaching and all Facebook Fan Pages will make the switch over to the new timeline.
Here are some examples from the handmade/design world…enjoy!
1. On the Handmadeology fan page we are featuring new fans each week. You can get your Etsy items featured by clicking the cover photo, liking and sharing the photo, and leaving your Etsy shop link. This helps stimulate fan interaction and greatly increases our reach on Facebook.
2. A little biased here as this is my wife’s fan page! You can see she integrates her logo along with her slogan and samples of her work.
3. Great design here. Shows off designs and lets the fan know what their shop is selling.
4. Eye-catching for sure! A close-up shot piques the interest and makes me want to find out more.
5. Love this product display!
6. No text, but simple eye-catching photos!
7. Adding a photo from your last craft show is a great way to show your fans what is happening offline.
8. Get seasonal with your cover photo.
9. Great mix of photos and info.
When you are designing your timeline cover, profile pic, and even your custom app pics, it can be a pain and time-consuming. With this Photoshop template you can drag your images and test them out in Photoshop first.
Fan Page Timeline Photoshop Template FREE Download:
With this template you can design your timeline before you upload them to Facebook…saving tons of time!
I have one final project to offer up in honor of Halloween. If you happen to have some blank CDs, some leftover Halloween scapbook paper, and some spider rings, you can whip up a take-home favor guaranteed to amuze. Intrigued? Click here for the instructions BHG Halloween Favor Project.
In honor of the upcoming Day of the Dead holiday, I’d like to offer up a free project. With a little creativity and a bit of clay, you can whip up a calavera, a small skeleton figurine, often depicted enjoying the best life has to offer. Calaveras are often playful or whimsical, rather than scary or ominous. To take a crack at making your own, download this free Calavera project from our book, Day of the Dead Crafts.
We’re so excited about the recent release of our first two books from the editors of Do It Yourself magazine! Do It Yourself: Kitchens gives you all kinds of ideas for bringing new style to an outdated kitchen, whether your budget is $1,000 or $10,000. Do It Yourself: 100+ Paint Projects features — you guessed it! — more than 100 cool projects to do with paint, from accenting walls and floors to making your own wall art to sprucing up a thrift store furniture find.
For this project, you’ll need semigloss paints, stencils, stencil adhesive, a stencil brush, and paper towels. Creative positioning of stencils is what makes this design one-of-a-kind. Notice how the cherry blossoms seem to grow right up the back of the hutch and over the doors.
1. Base-coat the hutch with semigloss paint and let it dry.
2. Spray a thin coat of stencil adhesive on the back of the stencil, as shown here, and position the stencil on the hutch.
3. Lightly dip a stencil brush into paint, dab off the excess on a paper towel, and brush in the open areas of the stencil using a pouncing motion. Work from the inside of the stencil toward the outside, making sure the stencil is stuck down tightly so the paint won’t bleed under. It’s best to apply the paint in two or three thin layers rather than one thicker one, but there’s no need to allow the paint to dry completely between coats.
4. Carefully remove the stencil and reposition it, or choose another of the stencils in the set, and continue stenciling until you have a grouping of motifs that you like. Remember, you can use a stencil upside down, backward, or any way that suits your design.
Whether you love the look of appliqué but are new to the process or you’re a veteran appliquér who wants to broaden your repertoire of techniques, check out a copy of our newly released Appliqué Class. Created in conjuction with the editors of American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine, it offers a primer on all methods of appliqué, instructions showing how to adapt patterns to your favorite method, and 20 projects to give your new skills a try.
I recently completed my first appliqué project with the assistance of upcoming author Joanna Figueroa and I’m so glad I gave it a try. To see just how simple it can be, check out this video tutorial from my friends at American Patchwork & Quilting. They are a source of both inspiration and instruction and I sincerely hope their tutorial will encourage you to dive in and give it a try.
Should you need further encouragement, why don’t you leave us a comment on this post? On Friday, I’ll pick one lucky commentor to receive a collection of appliqué tools to get you started.
For many knitters, spring means that it’s time to put away the bulky sweater projects and break out smaller ones, like socks. To knit socks, you usually use double-pointed needles, or dpns—straight needles that are tapered at both ends. If you’ve been wanting to give dpns a try but have been feeling a little intimidated, look no further. In this tutorial from our upcoming book Teach Yourself VISUALLY Circular Knitting, sock-knitting superstar Melissa Morgan-Oakes takes the fear out of working with a set of four dpns.
Cast the desired number of stitches onto one of your double-pointed needles.
Starting with the first cast-on stitch (the slipknot), slip about one-third of the stitches onto an empty dpn as if to purl. This is needle 1.
Slip the center third of the stitches onto another empty needle, needle 2. Needle 3 retains the last third of the stitches. One empty needle (needle 4) remains.
Adjust your cast-on edge so that it is not twisted around the needles. Make sure that the bottom edge of the cast-on runs smoothly from needle to needle without looping over the needles.
Flip the work over so that needle 3 (with the yarn tail and working yarn) is on the right and needle 1 (with the first cast-on stitch) is on the left. Bring the free ends of needles 1 and 3 together to form a triangle. Lift the work in your left hand with needle 1 on top of needle 3. This may feel fiddly at first, but you will get used to it.
Position the working yarn so that it runs up from the last cast-on stitch to the outside of this triangle. The working yarn should not pass through the center of the triangle.
Begin to work in the round by inserting the tip of the empty needle (needle 4) into the first cast-on stitch on needle 1. Knit this stitch. Be sure to pull this first stitch very tightly, as it will join your work.
Continue knitting across needle 1. When you have knit all of the stitches on this needle, rotate your work and begin knitting the stitches of needle 2 using the newly emptied needle.
When you reach the end of needle 2, rotate your work again and use the empty needle to knit the stitches on needle 3.
When you reach the end of needle 3, you have knit one complete round. Note the presence of your yarn tail, which indicates where your new round begins. Because it gets harder to see this tail as you knit more rounds, you can use a stitch marker to indicate the end of your round.
Recheck that your work is not twisted–the cast-on runs smoothly along the bottom edge of your work and does not loop over the needles at any point. Then continue to knit in a spiraling path around your work.