Friday, September 11, 2009

Craft Tutorials: Simple, Scrappy, and Quirky

Crafty Tutorials. Whenever I ask individuals what they want in a post, the loudest answer is always: MORE TUTORIALS. I spent some time scouring through some of the tutorials I've filed away and think this assortment of old and new items are perfect to share this week. Most are simple items, many use scraps and small bits of this or that. Cleaning your workroom? These might inspire you to use some of what you have. Need a quick pick-me-up craft that doesn't take much time? You'll find that here too. There is even something for after your project is finished.

Read through and tell me which are your favorites?

I remember making Paper Mache Bowls in school. With all the cuts in funding, I'm not sure that this type project is being taught anymore, but Jamie Ervin wrote a thorough tutorial at Crafting A Green World. These can decorated with paints, with words/images from magazines, with scrap fabric,wallpaper or wrapping paper. Anything to coordinate them to a decor or holiday.

Browsing through Zakka Life, I found this old -but still charming- project for making a Japanese Crest Felt Coaster.

Erin at Patchwork Underground found a great way to turn several scraps into a sexy leather halter top. Concerned because she's using animal skin? While Erin eats vegan, she explains:

Anyway, it’s for these reasons that I never buy new leather. I usually get it second hand. Politics aside, it is a superior material in a lot of ways and I figure it’s better not to waste it once its already been created. (Yes – people do see me wearing it and no - they don’t know that it’s recycled and, yes, this theoretically does encourage other people in their consumption of meat/leather products. No comment. Don’t really know what to do about it.)

My one request: Please, if you’re going to use this pattern, DON’T use brand new leather that you bought anonymously from the store. Find it, recycle it, hunt it and tan it yourself -whatever. Just be connected to and ok with where it came from. Or, heck, use the fake stuff. =)

Is it a wrap? A skirt? A cowl? This pattern can be worn several different ways-which makes it not only gorgeous, but one of those very versatile pieces. Uma Joy knit Myriad and shares the pattern with us. How many ways can you imagine wearing it?

At Leethal Quick Knits, Leethal is offering monthly quick knit kits to make quick and small objects. What can you make with her small quantities of yarn? While she will include a pattern suggestion, one of the obvious items to make are some of these little knit bracelets. I bet even I could knit a couple of these up in an evening (knits-slower-than-molasses-in-winter should be knitting name!) Then spend another evening adding pretty details with contrasting yarns. I see a quick car project here!

While we're on knitting, Lee Meredith created this funky thing - a fingerless glove-scarf-fingerless glove combo that is adorable and just quirky enough to appeal to those among us who are "hard-to-please"/individualistic in our fashion choices. Or just plain practical (I lost 2 pairs of fingerless gloves last year - but I bet if they were attached to a scarf I wouldn't!). Knitty liked it enough to publish it! Do you think Entwined is charming or just too strange for words?

VenusZine has directions for a Key Hole Necklace. As Justina Blakeney explains:
If you're anything like me, your jewelry box consists of single earrings, broken necklaces, and beads from bracelets past. With a new season in full swing, it’s time to resurrect those stray pieces into a sexy necklace that'll cost you a just a couple of dollars and about 20 minutes to make.

At I Love To Create, Allee Marderosian created custom lunchbags- using fabric dyes, paints, and gems. These are sturdy enough for a child to take to school, and pretty enough to grace a work desk.

If you make any of these fun crafty projects, you just may wish to share them on your own blog. To help you out with this, Alexa at Swell Designer wrote 3 Crafty Photography Tips. My favorite tip:
If you are taking your photo in poor lighting, you are setting yourself for a bad photo from the get go. Go next to a window with light streaming in or set up the photo next to a lamp (or two). Even though it's not "professional" studio lighting, it creates a much warmer glow. Now, here's the kicker...DON'T USE THE FLASH. People are soooooo addicted to flash and in certain circumstances it is neccessary, but if you have sufficient lighting, then most times you can get a good photo just from the light you are using and it's much crisper and more vibrant an image.
Hat Tip to Crafty Pod's Diane Gilliland for pointing some of these finds out to me.

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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