Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jigsaw Puzzle Pictures

Have you ever found a jigsaw puzzle you absolutely loved. You work for hours putting the puzzle together only to take it apart and put it back into the box. Why not glue the puzzle together and frame it to hang on the wall?

Find a jigsaw puzzle you would enjoy putting together and hanging on your wall as a framed picture. There are many puzzles to choose from at craft stores and department stores. Put your puzzle together on a piece of poster board. Once the puzzle is completed, begin to glue to together. Pour the glue on the middle of the puzzle and spread to cover the entire puzzle. Don't be stingy-use plenty of glue. Let the puzzle dry for at least one hour. Once the puzzle is dry, flip it over and repeat the gluing process for the other side. This will ensure your puzzle will be strong.

Measure the puzzle and purchase a frame to fit the puzzle. There are many inexpensive frames. I have found some great frames at the dollar stores in my area or check out garage sales. Before you put the puzzle into the frame, you can add embellishments. For instance, my aunt made a puzzle of toys and other items you would find in your attic. She put some crocheted trim into the frame before she added the puzzle. It gave a Victorian touch to the picture.

Once the puzzle is in the frame, you are ready to hang it on the wall and enjoy. These puzzles also make great, inexpensive gifts. You can also make children's puzzles and use them to decorate your child's bedroom.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Handmade Felt Christmas Stockings

I know it is only June and not many people are thinking about Christmas. There is one exception - crafters. If you like to create Christmas crafts to sell or give as gifts, June and July are the months you will have to get started.

One of my favorite Christmas crafts to create are felt stockings. I tried to make them without a kit, but I was not successful. You can buy kits at craft stores, some department stores, online craft catalogs and even on Ebay. The kits can range from $10.00-$20.00 depending on how much detail the stocking has. You can find some great deals if you buy them right after Christmas. When you buy a kit to make the stockings, just about everything you need is included - pre-printed felt pieces, embroidery floss, sequins and beads. The only other items you need are a great pair of scissors and polyester fiberfill.

One of the most important things to remember when completing one of the kits is to follow the directions carefully. Cut the floss into the lengths suggested in the directions to prevent the floss from getting tangled. Only cut the felt pieces as you need them. Cutting the pieces ahead of time can become confusing when you start to applique the stocking. To give the stocking a 3-D effect, certain areas are stuffed with polyester fiberfill. Don't over stuff the area - it could cause the stitches to pop.

The kits come in many different Christmas themes - religious, stockings for kids, and even pets. You can purchase kits for stockings that light up or play music. You can personalize the stocking if you wish. The kit comes with a sheet of the alphabet that you can copy onto tracing paper and use to embroider the name on the stocking. One caution - - you must really love to sew by hand because there is a lot of sewing.
If you would like to purchase a completed stocking, check out my Bonanzle widget. I have one for sale now and will be adding more as the summer goes on.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Granny Square Baby Afghan

When it comes to giving a gift for a baby shower, a hand crocheted afghan is always appreciated. The baby will receive a unique one of a kind gift that can become a family heirloom. I love to make granny squares with scrap yarn I have left over from other projects. I used a soft baby yarn to make the granny squares.

Once I completed the granny squares, I stitched seven together to make a row. I wanted to do something to give this afghan a different look, so I decided to crochet a strip of popcorn stitches in between the rows of granny squares. To do this I crocheted on row of single crochet along the side of the granny square row. At the end of the row I chained three and turned, skipped one single crochet and then worked double crochets to the end of the row. Next I turned and chained three, skipped one double crochet, double crochet in the next two double crochets. In the next double crochet I worked the popcorn stitch as follows - crochet four double crochets, remove the loop from the hook and insert the hook in the first double crochet and pull dropped loop through and chain one. The pattern I used was three double crochet and one popcorn stitch across, but you can vary the space between popcorn stitches as desired. After the popcorn row, I completed one more row of double crochet.

The border of the afghan is three rows of front post double crochet. To crochet this trim, work one row of double crochet making sure to crochet four double crochet in each corner of the afghan. Chain three and double crochet in the next two stitches. From the front, double crochet around the post of the next two double crochets. Continue with two double crochet, two front post double crochet to the end of the row. Repeat as many rows as you would like.

To finish off the afghan, I created a picot stitch around the border by chaining four, single crochet in the first chain, skin one stitch and slip stitch into the next stitch. Finish off.

I hope you find this a nice variation of the granny square afghan.

If you are interested in purchasing any of my handmade items, please check to widget on the left side of the post. Thanks.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Buying Yarn

Two of my favorite hobbies are knitting and crocheting. The best part is choosing a project and shopping for yarn. These days there are many different yarns to choose from - baby yarn, ribbon, eyelash, etc. Some of the speciality yarns can be expensive, so I usually use them to jazz up a plain garment or I make a smaller item like a scarf or mittens.

I bought a couple of skeins of Fancy Fur at the local dollar store. You never know what you can find there. I just used stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl one row) and created a cute scarf that could dress up any suit or coat.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Striped Scarfs

One of my favorite hobbies is crocheting. I find it to be very relaxing. I have been crocheting since I was a little girl.
The most exciting things about crocheting now is all of the new types of yarn available. One of my favorite to use is Strata by Red Heart.
When you follow the pattern, you automatically get stripes. Some of the stripes look like fair isle patterns.
I hope to post some of my other handmade items in the future. I also like to make cards and felt Christmas stockings embellished with sequins and beads.