Posts Tagged ‘diy’

DIY Polymer Clay Crochet Hook Handle

| Crafts & DIY, Crochet

DIY Crochet Hook Polymer Clay Handle Tutorial

DIY Crochet Hook Polymer Clay Handle Tutorial

DIY Polymer Clay Crochet Hook Handle

As you all know by now I really enjoy crocheting.  It’s what I do to relax.  A while ago, I tried my hand at amigurumi (the Japanese craft of crocheting small stuffed animals).  It took me a little less than an hour to decide that amigurumi wasn’t for me and then it took me a bit longer to realize why… it hurts my hands.

The little hooks that you use to crochet in this style are so tiny that you really have to get a good grip on them and I found my hands would cramp up. Let me tell you, there’s nothing to stop your crochet momentum like hand pain.

Crocheters often have to deal with hand pain, especially in the midst of big projects that require more intense periods of work. The same repetitive motion can be hard on your fingers, wrists, and hands, often leading to carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, holding small crochet hooks tighly can force your hand into uncomfortable positions that contribute to hand pain.

A few weeks ago, I randomly came across a photo of someone holding a hook covered in what I presumed was polymer clay and I had my “ah-ha” moment – that’s what I need to do for my hooks too.

I went to the store and bought a variety of Fimo packages in different colors along with a straight blade for cutting the clay. I rolled and twisted and rolled some more until I had some marbled designs that I was happy with, popped them in the oven and 15 minutes later I had beautiful and practical crochet hooks.

If you’re hands hurt from crocheting, I highly suggest this easy modification that will make a world of difference for your hands. Also, don’t forget to listen to your body, take breaks and move around – prevention is key to overcoming long term pain.

Material:

  • Polymer clay in various colors (Sculpy, Premo, Fimo, etc.) *if you just want the functionality without the hassle of mixing colors, you can make things easier by just using one color.
  • Straight blade or sharp knife
  • Cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Crochet hooks

Directions:

  1. Choose 3-5 colors of clay and knead the clay until it’s soft and then roll the clay into little logs (I made them about 2″ long).
  2. Take all the logs and twist them together. Roll on a smooth flat surface.
  3. Fold over and twist again. Roll on a smooth flat surface. Keep doing this until you’re happy with the design. *Be careful not to do it too many times or it will all just turn into one color – likely grey or brown.
  4. Roll the clay smooth and until it’s about the width of a pen and about 4″ long. If you find your piece of clay has gotten too long as you rolled it out just cut off any excess clay so that you have it the correct length.
  5. Gently take the end of your crochet hook and with a back and forth twisting motion push the hook into the clay. Be patient, it goes in pretty easily as long as it isn’t forced quickly. Keep going until you’re almost at the end of the clay log.
  6. Now roll the clay with the hook in it on the smooth surface and taper the end closest to the hook.  Feel free to trim a little from the end if it gets too close to the end.
  7. On the side furthest from the hook, gently tap against your hard surface until it’s flattened.
  8. Ad a small circular piece of white clay to the end. This is where you’ll write the hook size with a permanent market or use a stamp to mark the size.
  9. Place  the crochet hook and handle on a cookie sheet that has a layer of parchment paper on it.  Cook in the oven at 275 degrees F for 15 minutes (add a few minutes if it’s thicker than 1/4″).
  10. Take out of oven, allow to cool.

Also, if you’re new to crocheting and would like to take your crocheting to the next level check out some of my easy crochet patterns: Easy Striped Baby Hat Crochet Pattern, Moss Stitch Beanie Hat Crochet Pattern, the Boyfriend Scarf Crochet Pattern and Simple Shells Light Warp Crochet Pattern

Tutorial on how to make polymer clay grips for your crochet hooks.

Tutorial on how to make polymer clay grips for your crochet hooks.

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Monster and Ghost Spray Away

| Kids Fun, Printables

Stay away monster and ghost spray

Stay away monster and ghost spray

Monster and Ghost Spray Away – At some point, most parents hear their children say “I’m scared to go to sleep because there’s a monster under my bed.”  I know we went through that almost 2 years ago when we moved into our new house.  Noelle was petrified that there was a monster in her closet.  We tried everything we could think of but nothing diminished her fear.  Then after doing a bit of research online I heard about “monster spray”.  I quickly jimmied up a spray water bottle with a cute label and gave it to Noelle to keep the monsters away.  That was all it took, after that she wasn’t afraid of monsters any more!

Now I can help pass along this parenting gem by giving you this printable label.  Simply print the file out on a piece of paper, trim to the appropriate size and stick to a spray bottle.  Just use a regular water bottle with a spray nozzle.  If you can, add some sort of scent to the water so that your child believes the spray has magical monster and ghost repelling qualities (lemon, orange, vanilla or essential oils would all work well). Sweet dreams!

Download Monster and Ghost Spray Away file here.

Looking for more great kids stuff: Jellyfish Friendship Bracelets10-minute superhero costumeblank faces colour pageDIY I spy gamegood karma cardsfamily movie night tickets3-minute bubble maker

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~ Jamey

Ghost and monster spray away printable label

Ghost and monster spray away printable label

7 Comments

Crochet Infinity Scarf

| Crafts & DIY, Crochet

Infinity scarf

Easy Crochet Infinity Scarf

Today it’s 28 degrees Celsius in Victoria, BC (it’s typically about 18-20 degrees in September here) – not the sort of day to be thinking about a cozy cowl but let’s be honest, fall is right around the corner.

This past week I started a new crochet infinity scarf project.  I made the pattern for this crochet scarf based on a baby blanket I made last year that I absolutely loved.  Crochet scarf patterns are so easy and this one has a really nice rhythm to it once things get moving along.

If you want to learn how to crochet a scarf, this a great beginner project. It’s easy to learn and fun to make. It’s almost as easy as learning how to wear an infinity scarf. They’re such great pieces because you can throw them on and they go with everything.

This crochet infinity scarf uses bulky yarn. And you can make it as long as you can single crochet and double crochet. A crochet cowl is perfect for fall and winter because they’re warm and easy to cuddle up in. And because this infinity scarf crochet pattern calls for 100% acrylic yarn, it’s super soft too.

I love how simplistic this crochet cowl pattern is and I know you will too. Crochet cowls make great gifts and this one works up so fast you can make them in bulk.

Crochet Infinity Scarf Pattern

Materials:

  • 1.5 Skeins of Yarn (155 yards) – Bulky – I used Loops & Threads – Country Loom – Ocean Tide
  • Crochet Hook – US K10.5/6.50mm
  • Embroidery needle
  • Scissors

Crochet Stitches Used in this Pattern:

Ch = chain, sl st = slip stitch, sc = single crochet, dc = double crochet (U.S.)

Directions:

  1. Counting in 3’s, ch as many stitches as it takes to make a chain 60″ long (this pattern calls for original chain to be any multiple of 3 so just count “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3…” as you make the chain and make sure that your last chain lands on chain number 3).  Check that the chain hasn’t twisted and join to the first stitch with a sl st so that it now forms a ring.
  2. Round 2: dc in every chain until you’ve completed the round and join to the first dc with a sl st.
  3. Round 3: ch 3 and then sc between the 3rd and 4th dc, ch 3 and then sc in between the 6th and 7th dc.  You want to keep repeating this pattern every 3 double crochets until you’ve completed the round. Join with a sl st.
  4. Round 4: dc 3 into the chain you made in the previous round and then dc 3 into the next chain and continue in this manner until you’ve completed the round.  Join with a sl st.
  5. Repeat the pattern from Round 3 & 4 until the scarf is the desired width.
  6. Bind off and weave in the ends.

Looking for more great crochet patterns: Color Block Crochet Tote BagSimple Shells Light Weight WrapButton Up Squares Cowl Neck WarmerEasy Breezy Buttoned CowlBig Chunky ScarfWinter Wonderland ScarfHooded Crochet Scarf,Geometric Crochet Basket

Whip up this beautiful and easy to crochet infinity scarf in a day or two. This crocheted infinity scarf is a great pattern for beginners too.
56 Comments

Sisal Rope Bird Feeder

| Crafts & DIY, Kids Fun

Quick and easy sisal rope bird feeder.

A quick and easy bird feeder made from a tin can and sisal rope.

Sisal Rope Bird Feeder – Our time at the beach this summer finally came to an end this past weekend.  Sadly we packed up and went back home but not before I had a chance to make this cute little bird feeder.  Over the past number of weeks I’ve seen an incredible array of wildlife and lots of beautiful birds including hummingbirds, sandpipers, hawks, owls, grey herons and the most awe-inspiring bald eagles (see below for some of the bird photos I took this summer). One day we even witnessed an eagle scream down from the sky, dive into the water after a seagull that was floating in the ocean, grasp the seagull in his talons and fly away with the it – this was only about 75 feet away from us.  The size and power of these birds is something you really have to see to believe.

Obviously this sweet little bird feeder isn’t meant for the eagles but there really is a huge variety of birds that live near the beach that would love this feeder.  This is a simple project that kids could easily help make. It only took about 20 minutes to make the entire thing.

Materials:

  • Clean tin can – keep the lid (I used a large tomato can)
  • Sisal rope
  • Piece of metal for post (sorry, I don’t even know what I used, it was just a scrap I found in the garage)
  • Glue gun and glue

Instructions:

  1. Take the tin can lid and bend it in half. 
  2. Take the metal for the post and glue it down so that there is enough room for the birds to perch while they eat.
  3. Insert your can lid so that it fits nicely over the metal piece you just glued in and is just inside the opening of the can and glue into place making sure there are no openings for the seed to fall through.
  4. Find the top middle of the can and glue a long piece of sisal rope (about 2.5 ft) from top to bottom of the can so that you have 1 ft on either side of the can hanging off (you’ll tie this together at the end) – this will be the part that hangs from the hook or tree.
  5. Now, starting at the top of the can, slowly glue down the sisal rope from one end to the other by going around the can in a circular motion until you reach the bottom of the can. Cut the rope and glue in ends.
  6. Cut a piece of rope the exact size of the front of the can and glue on around the top/front edge to help give a nicer finished look to the feeder.
  7. Tie the two 1 foot piece ends that are still hanging to the sides together in a knot.
  8. Fill with bird seed and hang from a hook or tree.
Birds on southern Vancouver Island.

Birds on southern Vancouver Island – photos by Jamey Ekins.

 

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