Creating Hope through Patterns

Recently, Kristy from Hopeful Threads sent us her A+ Art Portfolio pattern that she designed for Create H.O.P.E. Designs. At Hopeful Threads, Kristy organizes sew-a-longs to make items to be donated to those in need around the world. Some examples are diaper covers and cloth diapers, dolls, newborn gowns, activity totes for children and more! I first heard about Kristy’s site early this year when I participated in sewing pillowcase dresses for Dress a Girl Around the World. She became involved in Create H.O.P.E. earlier this year along with other pattern designers.


What is Create H.O.P.E. Designs?

H…Hearts United
O…Orphaned No More
P…Patterns With Purpose
E…Even the Least of These

Create H.O.P.E Designs is an organization that was started in September of 2011 by a group of women with a collective desire to make a difference with their talents. Our goal is to provide beautiful patterns or tutorials for a very affordable price and use the proceeds to help orphans internationally. You will find detailed instructions, professionally drafted pattern pieces and beautiful photography with each design offered.  We feel it a privilege to use our talents to bless the children of the world, we understand that it is OUR responsibility to make a difference.


How much do the patterns cost and where do the funds go?

All of the designs are down-loadable PDF files, ensuring that Create H.O.P.E will operate overhead-free.  100% of all funds generated will benefit designated foundations serving orphans and their communities. The patterns that you will find are very well done, we believe they are a great bargain at only $5.00 each.

Hug A Slug Pattern


What foundations are you currently supporting?

  • China Little Flower provides hospice for dying orphans, long term care for older, disabled orphans, care for children with complex medical needs and for children with special needs. In short, the provide love and dignity to the most fragile of orphans.  Beyond that they publish literature promoting respect for life, aiding women in crisis pregnancies, working with children who have lost parents due to AIDS, and providing medical care and surgeries to children in poor families.  They work alongside local staff, empowering and educating them with the hopes of spreading their mission throughout China.
  • One Heart Bulgaria is a non-denominational, non-profit organization dedicated to relieving the needs of orphans in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian government provides about $1 per child per day, not enough to meet the children’s needs. One Heart Bulgaria aims to dramatically improve the lives of Bulgarian orphans. They have achieved this many ways, they have created medical and life skills programs, projects, sponsorships, internships and training of orphanage staff.


How often are new patterns added to the shop?

There are currently 13 patterns in the shop and new patterns are added every four months.


My Project

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I made the A+ Art Porfolio as a Christmas gift for my son. I’ve been wanting to make him something like this for awhile now but didn’t want to go through the trouble of figuring out the measurements and making up a pattern. So I was really excited to review this pattern and for only $5.00 you too can own this pattern!

The pattern was straightforward and easy to follow. In fact, the instructions made such good sense that I felt comfortable modifying a few of the pocket sizes and making the overall dimensions a bit smaller to customize it as a travel version for my toddler. The original pattern has an exterior pocket for even more storage and I changed up how the interior pockets were divided a bit to fit his activity books, sheets of paper, and toddler-sized crayons and markers. I also decided to try out iron-on vinyl on all the fabric so the whole thing would be wipe-able. It made sewing a bit awkward but my machine got through it and I’m really happy with the final result! The instructions recommend all cotton or a combination of cotton and oilcoth/laminated cotton and that definitely would have been easier to sew. This thing will be great at church, in restaurants, and when we’re out traveling! Here’s how my version turned out:

So if you need some Christmas gift inspiration, head on over to the Create H.O.P.E. website to purchase their great patterns, support kids in need, and learn more about their mission!



Lifestyle Crafts: Cyber Monday Sale and Giveaway!

Lifestyle Crafts, maker of the Epic Letterpress and Die Cutter is having a great sale and you have all of today to take advantage (sale ends tonight)! One of their best selling products, the nesting dies will be 50% off. The nesting dies include up to 16 dies for one price so no wonder they’re so popular! Here’s just a few of the many shapes you can choose from.






This garland is just one of the many project ideas you can find on their site using the nesting dies. If you decide to order from Lifestyle, don’t forget to use our code CRAFTBUDS for a 20% discount!



In addition to the great sales, Lifestyle has been doing some amazing giveaways these past few weeks. They’ve already given away a Canon 60D camera and Jo tote, an $800 Dream Craft Workspace, and an iPad 2. From now until December 5 you can enter to win the Adobe Creative Suite and a Bamboo Create Tablet! All you need to do is follow them on Pinterest and leave a comment letting them know. Make sure to mention that Craft Buds sent you!

Thanksgiving Place Setting Printables

Is everyone getting ready for food and family? I know we are around here! To help dress up our Thanksgiving place settings I designed a few printables. There’s the menu:

Cards for labeling place settings or food items:

And napkin ring bands:


The food cards/place cards and napkin ring bands are PDFs and the menu is a word document with text boxes so you can type in your menu. The files can be downloaded through the links to Google Docs below:

Food/Place Cards —  Napkin Rings —  Menu

The menu will have to be downloaded to show correctly and depending on your setup, you may have to also download the Food/Place Cards and Napkin Rings. To do this, just go to File (in the upper left corner), then Download Original. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Free Pattern Features: Fall Printables

Ready for some fast, easy and free decorations for fall and Thanksgiving? I’ve put together this list of some of my favorite printables from around the web.

At The Letter 4 is this whimsical tree illustration.

Love Fall Printable from The Letter 4


Pink Ink Doodle shares this fall subway art.

Fall Subway Art at Pink Ink Doodle


At The Creative Paige you can find this Fall is Here printable in vertical or horizontal formats.

Fall is Here from The Creative Paige


This printable from It’s a Crafty Life just made me smile!

Happy Fall Y'all from It's a Crafty Life


And lastly, Kind Over Matter has a huge list of all sorts of Thanksgiving printables. Enjoy!

Free Thanksgiving Printables at Kind Over Matter


If you’re feeling lucky, don’t forget to check out our weekly list of crafty and handmade giveaways!

Crafty Kitchen: Turkey Cookies

There are lots of turkey cookie recipes out there, but I wanted to come up with one that was easy and didn’t involve and baking so kids could easily be involved. To make these cute little guys, you’ll just need the following ingredients: Double Stuf Oreos, Nutter Butter cookies, candy corn, M&Ms, red jelly beans, white frosting, and a handful of chocolate chips (optional)

To get started, press 7 candy corns into the white filling around one side of an Oreo. Then pipe on white frosting on the Nutter Butter for the turkey face and a glob on the Oreo to attach the turkey body.

For the face, press 2 M&Ms in for the eyes, break a candy corn in half and press in with the pointy side up, then press in the red jelly belly below. Then place the Nutter Butter on top of the Oreo.

The turkeys have kind of a blank stare, so if you’d like you can melt a tablespoon of chocolate chips and use a toothpick to draw on the pupils of the eyes.

To finish them off, I piped on a tiny dot of white in each pupil (also optional). Now you have  more Thanksgiving turkeys to eat!

Additional notes: I used homemade buttercream frosting in a piping bag with a round tip, but you could use some of the ready to use frosting in a can or tube from the grocery store (the kind that comes with different tips like Betty Crocker decorating icing). Also, buttercream frosting can be frozen when wrapped tightly in plastic wrap so when you have some leftover, save it for projects like this!


Linked up to the Ladybird Ln Turkey Daze Showoff Party with lots of turkey inspired links!

The Happy Couple Blanket

Like many couples, I find that my husband and I never want the same amount of blankets. So, every night there’s always rolled up blankets in the middle of the bed because one person is too hot. I finally decided to do something about it since that extra blanket is taking up too much room! Enter the Happy Couple Blanket. It’s easy to make and as a bonus you can make two finished blankets to give one as a gift this Christmas!

To get started, choose a sheet and a blanket based on how hot or cold you need and purchase one of each in the size of your bed. I purchased a queen size flat sheet and queen size blanket. A few other options you could choose would be a flannel sheet, down blanket, lightweight blanket, comforter, quilt, or whatever would be the perfect temperature for each of you. In this post I’ll be referring to the sheet and the blanket since that’s what I used. I was able to find a sheet and blanket that matched exactly in color at WalMart. You’ll start with a sheet and a blanket that fit the size of the bed the final product will be used on (example: start with a queen sized sheet and a queen sized blanket for a queen sized bed).

1. First, cut both the sheet and blanket in half lengthwise. Then, with right sides (the top sides) together line up the cut edges of one sheet half and one blanket half and sew the edges together with a 3/8″ seam allowance (for a thicker blanket you may need a larger seam allowance).

2. Flip the blanket and sheet around so the wrong sides (bottom sides) are together. Sew along your center seam leaving a 5/8″ seam allowance to trap the seam you created in step 1.

3. Looking at the top of the blanket, fold the seam you created in step 2 to one side, then topstitch along the open edge. This will be much easier if you have the sheet side going under the arm of your sewing machine and the blanket side off to the side of the sewing machine. You now have a very sturdy seam and the blanket is finished! Repeat with the other blanket half and sheet half for a unique gift that lots of couples would enjoy.

Because it’s hard to see the whole project in the photos above, I’ve also created this illustration that matches the steps above. This process is known as a French seam.

And because this post needed a more interesting photo to wrap it up, my dear husband agreed to show off our before and after, infomercial style!


Edit: My sheet and blanket were the same color so it’s a little difficult to see the difference in the “after” photo, but the sheet side is on the left and the blanket side with the quilting lines is on the right. You can click on the photo for a larger view.

Epic Letterpress, It Kits + Giveaway!

Lifestyle Craft’s Epic is an extremely versatile crafting tool. It functions as a die cutter, embosser and a letterpress. For whatever purpose you use the Epic, there’s a wide variety of shapes and styles for holidays, occasion or every day use. Right now in the Lifestyle shop there are over 500 different items to use with the Epic!

Some of my favorite dies are the ones that fold up into boxes and treat bags like these Halloween cracker boxes featured on the Lifestyle Crafts L Blog.

Lifestyle Crafts has just released their new “It Kits”, including a Clip It Kit, Tag It Kit and an Edge It Kit. I was sent the Edge It Kit that includes 7 border dies perfect for making cards. Here’s the complete set of dies that are 6″ across and a variety of widths.


Using the Epic

The Epic is very easy to use. From bottom to top, just stack up the cutting board, the die, your paper, and the cutting mat. Then use the handle to run that through the Epic and your paper is die cut!

Sometimes I’ve had a little trouble with my paper shifting as I’ve run it through so I’ve just used a post-it note to help hold it in place.

After running the sandwich of cutting board, die, paper, and cutting mat through the Epic, just peel your paper carefully away from the die. You can see that there’s white spongy areas in the die that press out any closed areas so you don’t have to spend any time pulling out all those little pieces. The little pieces just stick to the cutting mat (right side of the photo below) and are easily brushed off.

My Project

With the It Kit, I decided to make a paper wreath. I cut forty 4 1/4″ squares and used the border dies to cut one side of each square. Below is a sample of the six dies I used. After all my squares had a border, I folded them into cones and used a hot glue gun to secure the cone.

Next I hot glued an outer ring of cones to a cardboard circle. The circle has an 8″ diameter and a 3″ hole in the center. Then I glued on an inner ring of cones and smashed down the point of each cone so it stood up more.

Once all the cones were glued on, I glued an orange ribbon around the center of the wreath and it was ready to hang!


You can find more great information on the L Blog including demos and tutorials and see a variety of completed projects. And if you’re in the market to buy any Lifestyle Crafts products, check out our button on the sidebar for a code for 20% off your order!


Lifestyle has generously given us an Epic Combo Kit (a $170 value) to give away to one of our lucky readers! The combo kit comes with everything you need to get started die cutting and embossing.

To enter: This giveaway is now closed.

  1. Just leave us a comment telling us what you would use the Epic for.
  2. For a bonus entry, leave one comment letting us know if you’re a follower of Craft Buds through Google Friend Connect, RSS feed or e-mail.

Contest is open to US residents only through Tuesday, November 8 at midnight EST. The winner will be chosen by and announced the next day.

Bonus Giveaway! Lifestyle Crafts is currently hosting a giveaway on their site for an incredible Canon 60D camera and aqua Jo Totes bag. Just create an account to enter through midnight on Monday, November 7.

Last Minute Halloween Costume Inspiration

If you waited until today to start working on Halloween costumes, you’re in luck! There are some great resources out there with inspiration and instruction for easy costumes.

Disney Family Fun has a huge list of costumes and accessories with easy to follow instructions for many of the ideas.

Martha Stewart has over 50 Halloween Costumes and instructions (some are more time intensive than others).










Doggie Stylish has a list of ideas for your dog.








And for more ideas, a search on Google image search or Pinterest brings up tutorials for individual costumes on many craft and sewing blogs.


Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Crafty Kitchen: Oreo Spiders

I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with Halloween related goodies like our Owl S’mores and now these spiders!

These are an easy treat to make. For ingredients you’ll need: Twizzlers Pull and Peel licorice, M&Ms, Double Stuf Oreos, and chocolate candy melts or 1 cup chocolate chips + 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening, sprinkles (optional)

First, peel apart your Twizzlers and cut the strings in half or in thirds (I wanted short legs so they’d be easier to stack on a plate, so I did thirds). Then, open up your Oreos and gently press four pieces of licorice into the white filling.

Melt your chocolate candy melts or your chocolate chips + vegetable shortening (1 cup chips and 1 Tbsp. shortening). You can find tips on melting chocolate chips for dipping here. Then use a spoon to flip and cover both sides of the Oreo top with chocolate.

Then use the spoon to remove the cookie from the chocolate, tap off any excess chocolate, and slide the chocolate covered cookie on top of your Oreo bottom with the legs. While the chocolate is wet, press two M&Ms in for eyes and if you choose to use sprinkles, sprinkle them on top. Dip a toothpick into the melted bowl of chocolate and use it to form the center of the eyes.

Depending on how much chocolate you use, you can get around 20 spiders from 1 cup chocolate chips and if you divide the licorice into thirds, you can get 6 sets of legs from each piece of pre-separated licorice. You can also offset the top Oreo a bit so it looks like your spider has a friendly white smile like the center one below.

Pin It

Free Pattern Features: Candy Corn

Lots of tutorials have been popping up lately for all things candy corn including accessories, decorations, clothing, and lots and lots of recipes! Here are some of my candy corn finds:

The Purl Bee shares a pattern for these cute treat bags.

Candy Corn Treat Bags at the Purl Bee


You can find the tutorial for this hat, dress and treat bag at So You Think You’re Crafty.

Candy Corn Costume at So You Think You're Crafty


At Ideas Materialized, you can find the pattern to knit these candy corn hats.

Knit Candy Corn Hat at Ideas Materialized


At Tatertots and Jello is the tutorial for Candy Corn Bunting.

Candy Corn Bunting at Tatertots and Jello


And I couldn’t help but include one recipe! The recipe for these Candy Corn Macarons is at Barbara Bakes.

Candy Corn Macarons at Barbara Bakes


Don’t forget to check out our Giveaways Roundup and enter one of the many current giveaways listed!


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