Recycled Sweater Christmas Stocking

DSCN3830Recycled Sweater Christmas Stocking

When I see old sweaters at yard sales I have to buy them. The fact that yard sales in my area are often held when the temperature is over 100 means sweaters are practically given away. These sweaters are a cheap craft resource for holiday crafts. In my opinion, this Christmas stocking design looks much more upscale than the original sweater it came from. Can’t you just see a bunch of these hanging over a cabin fireplace, or down the rail of a pine garland clad staircase? Depending on the size of the sweater and the size of your stocking pattern, you should be able to get at least two stockings from each sweater. Three, if you open the sleeves and use the cuffs as the top edge.

Things You Will Need:

Adult-size sweater
Stocking pattern
Straight pins
Scissors
Sewing machine
Iron
Measuring tape
Rickrack
2-inch pompoms (two)
Hot glue gun

DSCN3812Turn an adult-size sweater wrong side out and lay it on your work surface. Align the bottom edges of the sweater. Place an existing Christmas stocking, or a paper stocking pattern on the sweater. Align the top edge of the stocking shape (pattern) with the bottom edges of the stocking. Pin the pattern through both layers of the sweater. Cut around the pattern. Note: The top of the stocking (bottom edge of the sweater) is not to be cut. It will be the finished edge for the the top opening of the stocking.

DSCN3820Remove the pattern. Pin the side and bottom edges of the sweater stocking shape together. Sew the pinned edges using a straight stitch and a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew around the edges once again using a zigzag stitch on the seam allowance. This will finish the raw edges and prevent the knitted stitches from unraveling. Turn the stocking right side out. Press the seams with a warm iron.

DSCN3828Lay the stocking flat on your work surface. Measure across the width of the stocking at its widest point. Double that and add 24 inches. Using your new measurement, cut a length of rickrack in a color that coordinates with your sweater.

Measure 1 inch down from the top edge of your stocking. Starting on the front seam of the stocking and 12 inches from one end of the rickrack, pin the rickrack around the stocking. The rickrack will meet again on the front seam of the stocking. Both ends of the rickrack will have approximately 12 inches extending. These tails will be ties. Top stitch the pinned rickrack around the stocking.

Tie the rickrack tails in a knot against the seam, then tie into a bow. Trim the tails to the desired length.

Burrow a hole on one side of a 2-inch diameter pompom. Apply hot glue in the hole. Place one end of the rickrack in the glue. Squeeze the edges of the pompom hole around the rickrack end. Repeat with the remaining pompom and and rickrack end.

Cut a 5-inch length of rickrack. Fold the rickrack in half, matching the two cut ends. Place the ends inside the stocking, against the back seam. Sew across the cut ends of the rickrack. This is your stocking’s hanger.

Other trims and tassels handmade with yarn can be substituted.

DSCN3830Enjoy!

Jean Seam Christmas Garland

Christmas Jean Seam GarlandJean Seam Christmas Garland

Another project after cleaning out a drawer.

I’ve used jean seams in a number of projects, I’ve even made seam garland for everyday decor, but my stash of jean seams and a jar of Christmas light bulbs had the wheels turning in my head for Christmas garland.

1-DChristmas Jean Seam GarlandThe garland itself is made just like the red and green construction paper chain garlands you made in elementary school. Each link was secured with hot glue.

1-DChristmas Jean Seam GarlandI attached jute to the bulbs and simply tied them to the chain links.

1-DChristmas Jean Seam GarlandEnjoy!

Snowman Jean Pockets

5-DSCF2296Snowman Jean Pockets

7-DSCF2303I seem to be seeing snowmen everywhere.

6-DSCF2298Since I’m nearing the end of my craft show crafting for this year I’ve been digging through boxes and drawers for quick inspiration. With one more show, I really don’t need to make a lot of anything. Actually my husband would say I don’t need to make anything else because our inventory is always overflowing. ;) That hasn’t stopped me from emptying a few drawers though…and that’s a good thing. Purging by way of projects makes me happy!

4-DSCF2279I found 13 jean pockets I had been holding on to. Normally I would wait until I had more to craft a project, but for now these were perfect.

3-DSCF2275Snowmen are so easy to paint.

I whipped these up while watching a movie. Hallmark has lots of Christmas movies.

2-DSCF2273The handles are strips of ripped fabric that I threaded through little holes. The holes were made using my Crop-A-Dile, but you could use scissors or a fat nail.

1-DSCF2270They looked a bit plain until I added a few bits of pine greenery and a candy cane.

5-DSCF2296I think they would be awesome as a small gift or favor bag.

They would also look cute hanging on a tree.

Enjoy!

Snowman Spoon Ornaments

6-DSCF2250Snowman Spoon Ornaments

My craft show this past weekend was a huge success. It was so good that I was really surprised I still had so much stuff to pack up. Since I only have one more show planned before Christmas you would think I don’t need to make anything new. Uh…you would be wrong. I can’t help it. Creating things makes me happy and content. :)

So, since my youngest comes home from school next week (and he’s bringing a friend), I need to get the house clean and organized. What to do?…What to do?…What to do? No problem. I’ll craft quick and simple projects in between the mundane chores of cleaning.

1-DSCF2226These spoons were my first inspiration. They said “snowmen” to me. And who’s to argue with the voices in my head?! I only had seven, but I reasoned clearing out even a small space in my stash was worth the effort.

2-DSCF2230I cleaned them up and based the bowl of the spoon using a beige paint.

3-DSCF2235After applying a little bit of blush (cheeks) with my finger…,

4-DSCF2242…the rest of the face was painted using a toothpick. Easy peasy!

5-DSCF2248A scrap of my T-shirt yarn was wrapped and glued around the base of the handle for the hat.

6-DSCF2250They still looked a bit plain, so wrapped a mini garland around the length of the handle.

It took a little bit of time, but I was able to drill a hole in the end of each handle for a wire hanger.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Candle Holder

1-100_1705Pumpkin Candle Holder

Since my kids are older, I find that my holiday decorating has evolved from the plastic manufactured holiday decorations, to decorations that are mainly handmade and carry a theme with their color and presentation. There are no more plastic clings in the windows that have been stuck on with spit. I still like whimsical decorations, but they are sprinkled among more sophisticated items that say “adults live here and they still like to have fun.”

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the crispness to the air, the leaves crunching under my feet and the warm glow of a fireplace or candles. The house I live in does not have a fireplace, so candles it is. I made a fall candle holder using a pumpkin as the base. It looks great as a table centerpiece, but would also be pretty on a fireplace mantle or side table.

The instructions for this candle holder can be altered to fit any size pumpkin by adjusting the size of the candle used.

Materials Needed:

Pumpkin-mine was about the size of a basketball
Serrated knife or pumpkin carving tools
Pillar candle-Mine was 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall
Marking pen
Spoon or scoop of some sort
Object to use as a pedestal
Fall floral decorations
Hot glue gun-optional

Carefully cut around the stem of your pumpkin and remove it. This cut does not need to be a perfect circle, but it does need to be smaller than the diameter of your candle.

Stand the pillar candle over the hole and trace around it with a marking pen. If the top of the pumpkin is not level, tip the candle to a level position before tracing around it. Cut around the traced line, keeping the cuts straight up and down. You do want to be fairly precise with this cut. The candle will fit inside this hole snuggly to prevent a lot of air flow. The less air in the pumpkin, the longer it will last.

Dilemma: To clean out the guts or not to clean out the guts. I decided to clean and cut away the guts directly below the hole I had carved, but I left the rest inside. The guts inside are not going to show anyway. The spot below the hole needed the space for a pedestal to place the candle on. I figured the candle would begin to sink after a few days if it didn’t have a stable surface to rest on.

Scavenge for a plastic or glass object that will fit inside the hole of the pumpkin to create a pedestal for your candle. It needs to sit flat on the bottom of the pumpkin and the top of it needs to sit below the cutout opening. I used a glass bud vase. Place your pillar candle inside the hole and resting securely on the pedestal.

2-100_1705-001Decorate around the base of the candle. Place a fall floral candle ring around the candle, wind a short section of a fall garland around the candle, or hot glue a variety of silk fall leaves, flowers and berries around the candle. The first two ideas are much more frugal. The pumpkin will eventually decay and you can recycle decorations for a new candle holder.

There are a couple of safety tips I feel I should mention. One, do not leave your candle burning in an unoccupied room and two, place your pumpkin on a plate or flower pot saucer to prevent any seepage from destroying your table’s surface.

1-100_1705Enjoy!