Posts Tagged ‘craft’

Printable Secret Decoder Wheel

| Kids Fun, Printables

Use this FREE DIY printable decoder wheel to send & receive secret messages without anyone being the wiser. A great resource for teachers and homeschoolers for spelling practice, math, writing activities, word work, etc. Also makes a wonderful addition to spy theme parties.

Printable secret decoder wheel.

Printable Secret Decoder Wheel – Attention all secret agents! Your secret decoder wheel has arrived and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to send and receive secret messages to your friends without anyone being the wiser. No one will be able to decode your messages unless they have the secret key.

This is a super fun play activity for kids but also a useful resource for teachers, homeschoolers and parents. The secret decoder wheels could easily be used for math skills, spelling practice, writing activities, word work and more. They are also great for secret agent spy birthday theme parties or a secret treasure hunt. Think of all the possibilities!

Printable Secret Decoder Wheel Instructions

HOW TO MAKE THE DECODER WHEEL:

  1. Cut out the circles below and stack in order from the number 1 wheel on the bottom, then number 2 wheel and finally number 3 wheel on the top.
  2. Attach the three discs by carefully poking a round brad fastener (or thumb tack with an eraser behind) through the middle of all three wheels.

HOW TO USE DECODER WHEEL:

  1. Pick a letter on the outer wheel and a number in the inner circle – this is your key (ex. M21). Turn the inner wheel so that the number (21 in our example) lines up with the out wheel letter (M in our example). On our wheel 21 also corresponds with R in the shaded section. Don’t move the wheels now, keep them in place.
  2. First, write your message. No numbers (write them out), and no punctuation.
  3. For each letter of your message, find that character on the outer wheel, and write down the letter that is exactly beneath it on the inner wheel until your message is complete.
  4. To read the encrypted message get the key from the message sender and align the wheel – keep the wheel in this position. For each letter of your message, find that character on the inner wheel, and write down the letter that is exactly above it on the outer wheel.

Secret decoder wheel printable.

Download your printable secret decoder wheel with instructions here.

Looking for more crafty stuff for kids: Mandala Coloring PageRainbow Loom Perler Bead BraceletsBlank Faces Coloring PageJellyfish Friendship Bracelets10-Minute Superhero CostumePrintable Robot Coloring Page Family Movie Night Tickets

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Crochet iPhone Case – Quick and Easy Pattern

| Crafts & DIY

Quick and easy iPhone case.

Quick and easy iPhone case.

Crochet iPhone Case – Lately I’ve been feeling a burning desire to start crocheting again (I think it was around Christmas the last time I picked up a hook).  At this time of year it’s not like we need scarves, cowls or beanies so I wasn’t sure what I should make but then I saw some really cute iPhone cases on Pinterest and thought that would be a great project to get me back in the crocheting game again. I looked at a few patterns and in the end just sort of came up with my own design.  It’s ridiculously easy and quick – it took me about an hour and I’m a pretty slow crocheter. Even beginners can handle this fun project.

Materials:

  • Thick yarn (I used Bernat Roving) in 1 or 2 colours
  • Crochet hook 1 size smaller than recommended on yarn packaging (I used 5.5mm or US 9)
  • Button of your choice
  • Thread
  • Darning needle
  • Sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Your phone (to make sure the fit is what you want)

This case will have a more structured feel and appearance if you keep the tension on this firm and tight and consistent throughout the project.

sl st = slip stitch

sc = single crochet

ch = chain

Click here if you have any trouble knowing or remembering which stitches these are.

Keep in mind I’m a novice pattern maker so I hope this all makes sense.

Instructions:

  1. Make a slip knot and then chain 6 to 8 chain stitches (ch) together. Remember to keep the tension pretty tight.  Basically you want to have the chain be the same width of your phone when the chain is stretched firmly.  If you want the case to have a snug fit, (ch) 6 but if you want it a little more loose and roomy then (ch) 7 or 8 stitches. 
  2. Round 2. Not turning your work, (sc) in the second chain from the end (the same end you’re hook is) and continue this in every stitch back across the entire row. 2 (sc) in the last stitch.
  3. Round 3. With your work still facing you, turn around the corner so that you’re now working into your original chain and still working right to left, 2 (sc) in first stitch then (sc) the rest of the stitches in the row except 2(sc) in the last stitch. Repeat this for as many rows you need until you have you have achieved the correct width to fit the bottom of you phone (probably about 3-5 rows total depending on how snug or roomy you want your cover).  Keep your phone handy to test and make sure the fit is good.
  4. Round 4, 5 or 6 onward. 1 (sc) in each stitch for each row until you’re near the top of your phone.
  5. Second last row. Here you can either keep your yarn colour the same or add your second colour. Starting at one side of the case, do one more row of (sc) and then at the end of that row change to 1 (sl st) in each stitch.  When you reach the exact middle of your case, (ch) 30 stitches so that you have a long chain and then do 1 (sl st) in the stitch that your chain originated in so that the chain becomes a loop that will go over the button.  Then carry on around the rest of the row until you’re back where you started. Fasten off and weave in any loose ends with your darning needle.
  6. Put your phone in the case and pull the chained loop over.  Mark where the end of your loop falls, centred on the case, and then stitch your button on in that exact spot.

You could use this pattern for any phone or tablet, just increase the amount of stitches at the beginning to accommodate for the extra width. These would make great gifts too.

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Pickle Jar Remix – DIY Frosted Glass Vase

| Crafts & DIY, For the Home

Pickle Jar Remix - Frosted Glass Jar

Pickle Jar Remix – Frosted Glass Jar

Pickle Jar Remix – DIY Frosted Glass Vase – Pretty much every time I throw at jar into the recycling bin I feel a little bit guilty because I keep thinking I should do something with that jar.  I wish I could say I’m uber excited to save the environment or something altruistic like that but it’s a little more simplistic than that… I just like to create things.  A couple of weeks ago I found some frosted glass paint.  I didn’t have anything in mind when I picked it up but thought it may come in handy some day.  Well, that someday was yesterday when I went to toss a pickle jar into the recycling bin. I was holding the jar in my hand thinking about what a beautiful size and shape it was when I realized it would make a sweet little vase if done up nicely.  So I tracked down some white paint, the frosted glass paint, some thin tape (washi tape in this instance) and a smallish pouncer. This was a really quick project about 20 minutes all in, not including the drying time.

One last thing before I get to this DIY tutorial.  I LOVE PEONIES! We used to have huge bushes of them where I grew up in Ontario and I loved picking them for my mom when I was a little girl.  I had grown a bunch at our old house that we moved from last year.  Just this Spring I planted a number of peony tubers but then about a month or so after I planted them, my husband had a guy come over to weed all our gardens and didn’t tell me.  The guy he hired “weeded” all of my peonies.  What kind of gardener doesn’t know the weeds from the plants… deep breath.

Anyway, after that incident I’ve been in peony withdrawal so I went back to our old house and with the tenants permission (friends of ours actually) I picked a few peonies for the lovely bouquet in this photo… ah, all better now. Look at how gorgeous those flowers are!

Materials:

  • Glass paint – Americana Frosted Gloss Enamels – Frosted glass paint in white (from Michaels)
  • Craft paint – Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint in Wedding Cake (from Michaels)
  • Small to medium size pouncer
  • Tape (I used thin washi tape)

Instructions:

  1. Soak jar in warm water to get the label off the jar and then wash it to make sure there is no paper or sticker residue left on the glass.  Dry glass thoroughly.
  2. Place your tape into the position being careful to make straight, consistently spaced lines.
  3. Using your pouncer, gently sponge on your solid colour paint (white in my case) in between the tape.  Carefully go around the outside until all the space is filled in. Allow to dry for an hour or two, then remove the tape.
  4. Now, using your frosted glass paint, dab on using your pouncer starting at the bottom and move to the top until the entire jar is covered.  I found that if I went over it again (about 5 minutes later) with a sparse second coat it had a better “frosted” appearance. Allow to dry completely.
  5. Fill jar/vase with water and beautiful flowers.
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Love Stencilled Pillow – Free “Love & Life” Template

| Crafts & DIY, For the Home

Love Stencilled Pillow

Love Stencilled Pillow – a quick and easy way to breathe new life into a plain pillow.

Love Stencilled Pillow – Free “Love & Life” Template – I’ve been on the search for the perfect pillows for our living room for over a year now.  As you can see, it’s a very monochromatic room (which I like in this instance) but it really needed a pop of colour.  I picked the blue colour from a painting that’s on the wall over the piano on the opposite side of the room.  I love the blue vase on the coffee table but I’ve have had so much trouble finding pillows with a similar blue.  I was open to anything really but I had no luck.  Finally, over the weekend, I found these simple pillows for only $9 each.  I brought them home and threw them on the couch – perfect.  Well, perfect except that they were kind of boring.  I was thinking about adding lace or ribbon but that’s not really our style. Finally, I came to the conclusion that a simple word stencilled in white would work beautifully (and if Michael didn’t like them I would just flip them over).

I picked up some fabric paint, created a template for the words ‘LOVE” and ‘LIFE” in Adobe Illustrator and got down to business.  I’m pretty happy with the final result… and it seems I don’t need to turn over the pillows. ;)

Material:

  • Pillow
  • Acrylic craft or fabric paint (I used Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Craft Paint in Wedding Cake White)
  • Vinyl (approx 12″ x 12″ for both words) with a sticky/adhesive backing (use whatever extra scraps you have – I used chalkboard vinyl because I have extra)
  • Cutting machine or xacto knife (and some patience)
  • ‘LOVE’ and ‘LIFE’ template – download svg file, ai8 file or pdf here
  • Pouncer (small-medium size)

 Instructions:

  1. Download the printable template (above).
  2. Cut out your letters using a cutting machine or by hand with an xacto knife so that you have just the negative of the word (see photos in second row down).
  3. Place the vinyl template carefully over the pillow so that it’s centred and exactly where you want it – smooth the vinyl down so that there are no places where the paint can get under the edges.
  4. Pour out a bit of your paint and dab some paint on the pounce, whiping off any excess. Gently dab the pouncer on the pillow in the letter space.  You want it covered well, but also not too caked on. Complete all the letters this way. Set aside and allow paint to dry completely.
  5. Gently peel off the vinyl.  Once the paint has air dried for 24 hours, go over the letters with an iron to set the paint permanently (put a thin towel over the pillow to cover the painted letters while you iron).
  6. Place the pillow into position, stand back and admire.

 

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