Fun Summer Crafts
Turn paper doilies into drink umbrellas
To re-create these adorable accents by blogger Olivia Kanaley (afieldjournal.blogspot.com), first cut a two-inch-diameter circle out of card stock.
Then, using a glue stick, paste the circle to the solid center of a four-inch doily (for similar, $3.39 for 12; www.sugarcraft.com). Cut the doily from one edge to the center and bend it into a cone, with the card stock circle on the underside; secure the cut ends with a glue stick. Hot-glue a wooden skewer (75 cents for 100; amazon.com) to the umbrella’s underside, then hot-glue a 1/4-inch button plug (15 cents each; widgetco.com) on top.
Sew an Oil Cloth Clutch
Stitch up a spiffy clutch—for less than $8—with these step-by-step instructions and print-out template.
Step One: Print two copies of our template and cut out. Leave one template intact; cut the other along the dotted line to create a total of three patterns.
Step Two: Use the resulting patterns to cut three shapes from half a yard of oilcloth ($8.99 per yard; fabricdepot.com). Place the largest oilcloth shape on a table, right side up. Twist a hair elastic into a figure eight, with the bottom loop larger than the top. Center and tape the elastic atop the oilcloth. Baste in place a quarter inch from the edge; remove tape.
Step Three: Align the two smaller oilcloth shapes atop the larger one , right sides facing down; tape in place. Stitch around the outer edge, leaving a quarter-inch seam; remove tape as you go.
Step Four: Use scissors to make small slices about every inch along the bag’s seam allowance to allow for easy turning.
Step Five: Turn bag right side out. Topstitch along the flap’s edge, then finish by hand-stitching a button onto the bag (as shown in photo).
Colorful straws take on a supporting role for cocktails with a few strips of bright duct tape.
Step One: Using sharp scissors, cut 15 straws of the same color to a length of 5 1/2 inches. Repeat with 15 straws in a second color. Next, create a "loom" by drawing a 5 1/2-inch square on a piece of cardboard.
Step Two: Beginning with straws of one color, squeeze an end between your thumb and index finger; run the straw between your thumb and finger to flatten. Tape the straw's ends flat along opposite sides of the cardboard square. Continue flattening and taping straws down, side by side, until the square is filled. Depending on the width of your straws, you'll need 13 to 15.
Step Three: Weave the other color straws, one at a time, in and out through the taped-down straws. Push the straws tightly together as you go, to form a checkerboard pattern.
Step Four: Cut four 7-inch-long strips from a roll of duct tape in a coordinating color ($9.26 for 2"W x 180'L roll; amazon.com). Place 1 strip atop each side of the square so that 1 1/2 inches of the tape rests on the straws. Using an X-Acto knife, cut all the way through the tape and the straws on each side to create a clean square that measures approximately 4 1/2 inches. Discard the cardboard loom.
Step Five: Finish off the coaster's edges by cutting four 1-inch-wide strips of duct tape. Fold 1 strip over each edge to create a 1/2-inch border, trimming as needed, for extra polish.
Playful Lifesaver Napkin Rings
Turn curtain rings into entertaining lifesavers.
One of our favorite bloggers, Cathe Holden of JustSomethingIMade.com, came up with this cool way to create nautical napkin rings from white wooden drapery rings ($7.97 for seven 1 3/8-inch rings; homedepot.com for stores). Simply unscrew the eye screws attached to the rings and lightly sand the painted wood to achieve a distressed finish. Then use a red or blue Sharpie marker to draw four equally spaced stripes around each ring (as shown). Let dry for five minutes. With a set of alphabet stamps and a black ink pad ($6.49 for typewriter alphabet stamp set; $3.99 for pad; joann.com), stamp the phrase of your choice onto each ring. Wait another five minutes, then coat the rings with a clear acrylic spray (Krylon Make It Last Clear Sealer, $3.99; joann.com). Let dry for 20 minutes before sliding onto napkins.
Record Player Lamp
Teach an old gramophone a brand-new tune.
To assemble this flared fixture, you’ll need a swag lamp kit ($16.95; leevalley.com), three S hooks at least two inches long ($12.18 for six; Amazon.com), and a vintage gramophone horn. (We found this painted horn at an antiques shop. You can nab similar ones on eBay for around $30 each.) Use a scratch awl and a hammer to make three equidistant pilot holes about one inch in from the narrow end of the horn. Then, using the appropriate bit, drill into those holes. Assemble the lamp kit following package instructions, and connect the kit’s chain to the horn with S hooks before hanging.
The key to crafting your own chalk: Plaster of Paris ($3.33 for four and a half pounds; dickblick.com) and a plastic candle mold (ice cream cone mold, $6.99 each; spiritcrafts.net)
Step One: In a disposable bowl, mix three tablespoons of tempera paint ($3.61 for 8 ounces; dickblick.com) with one cup of cold water. Slowly add one and a half cups plaster of Paris and stir until the lumps dissolve (the mixture should have the consistency of extra-thick yogurt).
Step Two: Pour the mixture into each half of the mold. Gently tap to release air bubbles, then let the halves sit for two minutes before carefully closing them together to create one unit; tape shut.
Step Three: Let the mold sit for 24 hours, then open and carefully remove the ice-cream cone. Allow chalk to dry for another 24 to 48 hours before using. Repeat as desired.
Retool a $2 Tin
To make this handsome holder, Brenda Ponnay (secret-agent-josephine.com) repurposed a common metal container ($8 for six; artfire.com).
Step One: Undo the clasps holding the tin’s lid to its base, using pliers if needed.
Step Two: Center a metal eye strap ($5.25 for four; amazon.com) atop the lid; then use a pen to make marks inside each of the strap’s holes, where the screws will go. With a large nail and a hammer, gently tap holes into the lid at the marked spots, making the holes large enough to fit screws (ours measured 1/4 inch).
Step Three: Coat the outside of the base and the lid with glossy red spray paint (Krylon Cherry Red spray paint, $6.17 for 12-ounce can; dickblick.com). Let dry for one hour, then repeat with a second coat; let dry. step four Replace the eye strap on top of the tin’s lid and screw into place using flat-tipped sheet metal screws and a screwdriver. Secure with nuts inside the lid, then reattach it to the base.
Crafter Kirsten Fields assembled this irresistible papier-mâché hive for only $10—bees included!
Step One: Inflate a 24-inch- wide balloon ($1.35; balloonsfast.com); set it atop a large bucket so that the balloon’s narrow end rests just inside the bucket.
Step Two: Cut newspaper into 3"L x 1"W strips (you’ll need about 200 strips total). In a bowl, mix equal parts school glue and water. Working one strip at a time, dip paper into the mixture and immediately place on the balloon. Once the strips are dry to the touch (about an hour), turn the balloon upside down and cover its narrow end—stopping a few inches from the top to leave a four-inch-wide opening (where you’ll later insert candy). Allow to dry completely, about six hours. Repeat with two more layers on both ends, allowing six hours of drying time between each layer.
Step Three: Use a pin to pop the balloon, then tip the hive over to empty. Set the hive back in the bucket and fill with candy.
Step Four: Create a hanger for the hive by making two small holes at the narrow end with an X-Acto knife, on opposite sides near the opening. Cut a four- foot-long piece of twine; thread one end through both holes and tie off near the top of the hive, leaving enough twine for hanging.
Step Five: Close the open end using six-inch-long strips of papier-mâché, applying a total of three layers and allowing for drying time between each.
Step Six: Cut honey-colored crepe paper streamers ($3.69 for 500 feet; dickblick.com) into three-inch-long strips. Glide a glue stick along each strip; then, starting at the bottom of the hive, affix in a horizontal pattern until the hive is covered.
(See next slide for how to make the bees.)
Step One: Hot-glue a one-inch black pom-pom to a two-inch yellow pom-pom.
Step Two: Cut 2 two-inch-long pieces of black pipe cleaner, then wrap each around the yellow pom-pom, leaving about a half-inch between the pipe cleaners. Hot-glue ends in place. Finally, fold a piece of vellum paper in half and cut out a one-and-a- half-inch wing shape (as shown). Unfold and attach the creased center to the bee’s body, just above the stripe nearest to its head, with hot glue. Repeat to make additional bees, then hot-glue them onto the piñata.
Sew your own patch of lavender-filled pouches, using old fabric scraps and buttons, with this project from designer Rebecca Thoms Hanley (bananasaurusrex.com).
Step One: Download templates for the strawberry and its leaves here, then cut out. Place the strawberry pattern (right) on top of a fabric scrap at least 8"L x 5"W. Pin in place, then follow the pattern to cut out the fabric. Fold the fabric, wrong side facing out, into a cone shape; stitch as shown.
Step Two: Turn the cone right side out and sew a running stitch along the top edge.
Step Three: Fill the cone with 1⁄2 cup dried lavender ($2.99 for four ounces; amazon.com). Pull the running stitch taut, tie a knot,and hand-stitch the cone closed.
Step Four: Pin the pattern for the leaves onto a fabric scrap at least 21⁄2"L x 21⁄2"W, then cut out. Repeat once more. Overlap the leaves as shown, top with a small button, and stitch in place atop the cone.