Upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

How’s that for a title? ” Upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial” doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it? Nonetheless, it is an accurate description!

Recently, my friend Amos introduced me to this method of no-sew rag rug making that I am completely hooked on (get it? crochet? hook? funny). Today I want to share it with you!

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

All you need is a few t-shirts (depending on how big you want it), a pair of sharp scissors, and your fingers.

Start by cutting a slit up the side of your t-shirt (I went up about 2″, but make you can make the strips any width). Then start cutting (make sure you are only catching one side of the shirt), as evenly as you can. When you get back around to where you began, curve around and continue. You will have to snip off the outer corner.

When you get up near the armpits, slit the sleeves open at the inside seam, and lay them out flat. Continue to cut around, keeping it all one strip.

Don’t forget to trim off the outer corners here, like you did on the bottom.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Keep going around, until you can’t go anymore. I always cut the neckline out and save it in one piece for future upcycling projects.

Repeat for as many t-shirts as you want to use.

You will want to join the strips together (if you are using multiple t-shirts). Place one end on top of the other (both facing the same way). Don’t worry if they aren’t exactly the same width. This is a forgiving craft for sure.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Fold them both over about 2″ from the top. Make a snip in the center. Then place one on top of the other (going in opposite directions), aligning the holes. Take the end of the one on top, and put it through the holes from underneath.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Pull tight! Now you are ready to begin. Have you ever tied a necktie? It is going to be a slip knot like that.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Lay one end out like the above photo.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Flip the tail across over the loop.

 

Bring the tail around the back of the loop, then through the loop and down throught the knot.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Basically you are going to make loops go through loops. Take the loop you made, and make a loop with the long end. Now pull that new loop through the old one. You now have the begining of a chain…of loops.

How many times do you think I will write the word “loop” in this tutorial? Ha!

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

When your chain becomes long enough, you need to start your spiral.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Take the small tail (on the very end of that first loop) and weave it through the begining of your spiral, and knot, to hold it together.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Take your long end and put through a bump in the spiral before pulling through the loop. To keep it flat, I alternate between just putting it through the loop, and putting it through the bump then the loop.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Keep going around and around until you have the size you want! This one is trivet size, but my friend often makes them into rugs. I have the Trashion show coming up, so I used this techinique to make a hat to go with the outfit I made!

  upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag hat

Instead of alternating between “stitches”, in the places I wanted the hat to curve in, I just put the new loop through the bump and then the old loop, every time, and pulled them tighter.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag hat

I hope you try this out. Once you do, if you are anything like me, you won’t want to stop!

First Sweater

My Bee has been knitting up a storm lately! You can always find her with a project in her hands. Even in some of her classes! She loves it, and she is getting better with every item she knits. She finished her very first sweater this past weekend, for her sister.

First sweater knit by my teen

This sweater was made using the pattern Mud Season by The Brown Stitch. It knit up fairly quick, and you knit the whole thing at once! No piecing (a big plus).

First sweater knit by my teen

First sweater knit by my teen

It is a little large on my Falafel, because The Bee made her a woman’s small. She is nowhere near that size, but surprisingly the rest of it fits. Just really wide. She loves it, though. She said it was “slouchy and comfy”. Plus it is super soft. So there’s that.

First sweater knit by my teen

First sweater knit by my teen

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love the fact that my teen knits. It doesn’t make sense to my brain, and it amazes me that it does to hers.

Any knitters out there? Any favorite patterns to share?

Be Prepared: Paracord Bracelets

Hey everyone! Sorry it has been so long since I have posted. If you are anything like me, politics and policy are filling most of your thoughts. Creativity and time?  Well, they are elusive these days. I cannot help but want to make practical things to prepare for the worst (whatever that may be, to whatever degree). This is one of those projects I have always wanted to make, and has intimidated me to some extent. Knots have never been my forte. They require a lot of concentration on my part.  If I ever had a need for several feet of rope, conveniently located on my wrist, this would be it.  I decided to give it a go. In steps… paracord bracelets.

Be Prepared: Paracord Bracelets

I found a wonderful tutorial over on Instructables. And on the very first try, I managed to make one! These clips were already in my stash. The next ones I make will have side release buckles (as recommended).

Be Prepared: Paracord Bracelets

The knot used for this bracelet is called the “cobra stitch“. Once you get the hang of it, knotting becomes second nature.

Be Prepared: Paracord Bracelets

I did a few sizes for each of us. I still need to make one for Jim. My 8 inch wrist took 8 feet of paracord to make mine.

Be Prepared: Paracord Bracelets

It feels good to get my hands busy again. There are a few things I want to learn in steps to becomming more self- reliant in this tumultuous climate here in the US. This was a small one.

Be Prepared: Paracord Bracelets

Power to the creative!

2016 Best Nine

I feel like 2016 has been a year full of celebrity loses, and upset. Now more than ever, we need to celebrate the positive. Over on Instagram people are posting their “2016 Best Nine”, so I thought it would be fun to do that here. Only, I couldn’t just pick 9 things that I made, to highlight, so…..

Here are my 2016 Best Nine, TWICE.

*Click on the links to be taken to the original posts*

Top Left, Top Middle, Top Right

Middle Left, Middle Middle, Middle Right

Bottom Left, Bottom Middle, Bottom Right

Top Left, Top Middle, Top Right

Middle Left, Middle Middle, Middle Right

Bottom Left, Bottom Middle, Bottom Right

I wish you all the best this upcoming year! I know I will strive to be full of the kindness I want to see in this world.

What are YOUR best 9?

Paper napkin fairy

I found this gem of a craft on Pinterest (can you tell what I have been doing with my time?) and just had to give it a try. I mean what’s not to like about a paper napkin fairy??!

Paper napkin fairy

One of the best things about this project is that I had all the components on hand, already, and you only need 4 things to make this: Wire, Glue/water solution, paper napkins, thread/string. PERFECT.

Of course, mine looks very little like theirs. One major difference is I used brown compostable napkins. The downside to that is they almost dissolved when I put the watered-down glue on. Whoops! Next time I need to use actual bad-for-the-environment paper napkins. I am sure there are plenty of those out there, waiting to be made into fairies. Just think how sweet this would be in all different colors!

Paper napkin fairy

The other major difference is, the original ones are ballerinas. I added wings, which was easy to do. After the fairy was all made and dressed, I just took the same thread that I used to make her waistband, and wound it around the back to secure the wings. You can see it looks almost like a harness, or a criss-cross top.

Paper napkin fairy

Lastly, I made her little crown out of a wire beaded garland I had (from this post). I love how this came out.

Paper napkin fairy

My girls think she needs a face, but I like her as is. She is completely posable, and I left the thread in the back so she can be strung up. I think this would make a lovely gift or even a gift topper.

I do plan to make lots more of these. It was super fun to create, and now that I did one, I can refine my methods down to what works.

How is YOUR holiday creating coming along?

 

More Sharpie Mugs

Remember the Sharpie Mugs class I taught? Well, this week I made MORE shaprie mugs to gift this holiday season!

I went over to my beloved Sharpie Mugs Pinterest board, and got some ideas for designs.

Soot Sprites (for you Miyazaki fans out there).

You know I love a good feather.

 I love this guy. He looks a little stressed, though, don’t ya think?

And a Geeky Mathy one for my friend Amy (I hope she isn’t reading this). It says “I 8 sum pie…and it was delicious). heh.

If you want to buy the sharpie pens I used, (and support this blog by using my affiliate link) click over here

What are you making for the holidays this year??

Salt Dough gifts

Falafel and I made up a few batches of salt dough (we use a GF recipe), sat down, and created up a storm. I had a few ideas I wanted to try out this year.  Salt dough is the perfect thing to experiment with, since it only has three (relatively inexpensive) ingredients, and one is water. The first that I made is:

Salt dough mini dishes

Salt dough mini dishes

I LOVE how these came out. Although I will say that I probably should have baked them a bit longer. I left them in the oven for three hours instead of 2, but the centers are still a tiny bit soft. They probably could have gone for another hour.

Salt dough mini dishes

I used the pinch pot method, and then flattened them out a bit. They each measure about 2-3″ in diameter.

  Salt dough mini dishes

After I baked and cooled them, I used acrylic paints to decorate them. Then sealed each with Polycrylic.

Salt dough mini dishes

I found some design ideas on Pinterest. And then set to work.

Salt dough mini dishes

I adore them. I hope they actually hold up! They look like they would be perfect for holding small jewlery or coins.

The next one I made is:

Salt dough heart wall hanging

This one was simple. I took a butter knife, and cut out a rustic-looking heart. It is a larger one (about 8-10 inches). I punched two holes using a pencil top. Then baked, cooled, painted it, and sealed it.

Salt dough heart wall hanging

To make the hanger, I wound wire around a pencil, then pulled it off and attached the ends, by twisting, to each hole.

The last one I did is:

Salt dough Feather ornaments

Again, I took my trusty butter knife and cut out rough shapes of feathers. I textured the tops with the same knife. Punched holes using the top of a pencil.

Salt dough Feather ornaments

Baked, cooled, painted, and then sealed.

Salt dough Feather ornaments

Add a thin ribbon, or ornament hook, and you have got yourself a great little gift, or gift topper.

Woot Woot! Salt dough to the rescue once again. It just wouldn’t feel like Christmas without whipping up a batch or two of these.

Sharpie Mugs

Recently, I taught a Sharpie Mugs class at our library. I brought the Bee along so she could particpate, as well as help me. We had a blast! It was such a fun activity for adults and teens alike.

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

AND they would make great gifts!

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

This one was mine. I took my inspiration from Pinterest, and married two ideas: this one and this one.

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

Really that was the most time consuming part about this project; finding ideas. For the class, I pulled all sorts of interesting design books (the 20 Ways to Draw books- like this one, this one, and this one– are fabulous), and even Henna books, so that people could clarify their vision and get inspiration. I’d say everyone researched ideas for a good 30 minutes. Then I encouraged them all to draw it out on a plain ol piece of paper before attempting to do it on the mugs.

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

I did this one too. Inspired by this pin.

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

This was done by my Bee. She impressed me with her original design. This was one side.

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

And this was the other. It is so happy. I love it.

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

Any mistakes that were made, we just dabbed a little hand sanitizer on a cotton swab and it worked like a charm. There is conflicting info out there about how to set the paint, though. The library sent instructions to bake them, but when I got home and did that, the fumes were so toxic, I had to stop it halfway through (even with all the windows open, and a fan running). I went onto the Sharpie website, and there is no mention of heat setting the oil based paint. So, if we did it again, I would skip that part and see how they held up after washing.

Have you made these? What method did you use?


 This post contains affilaite links, and by using them to purchase items, you support this blog (and my sewing/creating habit). THANK YOU.

Transform a journal into a locking diary

Our tween has one request for her upcoming birthday: a locking diary. So this week my husband and I perused the stores looking for one. We found a few, but nothing we fell in love with. We then decided to look in the “adult” section of the store where the prettier journals are, and found a beautiful one, only it didn’t have a lock. Jim turned to me and said “you could totally make this into a locking diary“. And you know what? I did! Smart Man. And what’s more, I came up with a tutorial for how to transform a journal into a locking diary, so you can make one, too.

transform a journal into a locking diary

This is a super quick project (the longest part is waiting for the glue to dry- literally).

First, gather a few supplies:

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

  • strong glue (I used E6000 and went outside to use it with gloves on)
  • journal
  • lock and key (I wish we would have seen this one first!)
  • d-ring hangers (we used these)
  • *optional* small buttons or gems (these look fun) to cover the holes

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

Line up the d-ring so that the ring is hanging off the edge of the book (the hinge should allow the ring to swing down against the pages). Glue in place. Because some of the glue was coming through the hole, I also stuck the button on at the same time. Allow it to dry.

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

Flip it over and repeat, making sure to line it up with the one on the front.

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

When it is completely dry, you are done! Seriously, the most simple project ever.

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

It is now ready for someone to write down all the secrets of their heart.

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

Put the lock on, and don’t forget where you put the key! If your lock comes with an extra key, you may want to hold on to it, just in case your child loses things, like mine does.

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

I am considering making a necklace for our girl to wear hers on.

Who will YOU make one for?

*This post contains affiliate links. if you click on my link and purchase the product, I can earn a few pennies toward my ever-growing crafting habit. No pressure, though.

Attempted Beaded Wire Ornament

And just like that, we are on to Christmas (and tons of Birthdays around here). So I did what I normally do this time of year…peruse my Pinterest feed, looking for new ideas to try out. I happened upon this pretty craft by Everyday Art and decided to give it a whirl. I titled this post “Attempted Beaded Wire Ornament” because I will admit I struggled a bit with this one. It is deceptively difficult.

Beaded wire Ornaments

I used to be a floral designer for many years, so I happened to have spools of wire in my stash, and The Bee has an extensive bead collection that she generously let me raid. The only thing I actually had to purchase was a pack of balloons. My kind of craft. We were off to a good start.

Beaded Wire Ornament

My Falafel joined me and made a few of her own, but she also had a little trouble. I know there must be a trick to it, but we didn’t figure it out.

Beaded Wire Ornament

The most difficlut thing was keeping the wire from unraveling. On the second one I made, I began twisting it on top, everytime I went around with the wire. It held a little better, but still not perfect.

Beaded Wire Ornament

I hesitate to call this a “fail” because they are still nice to look at, and we always learn something. Quirky is good. I call that a success!

Beaded Wire Ornament

I love to try out new projects this time of year, even if they don’t turn out the way they are supposed to.

What have YOU made today?