“My Peeps” Shirt with Free Printables

The herald of spring and Easter has arrived in stores, the marshmallow peep! Now that it’s arrived I thought I would make a shirt for my son featuring the peeps.…

Swap With Us! Low Volume Plus Blocks

I thought it was time to host another craft swap! This time, we will be swapping low volume plus blocks. These quilt blocks are easy and relaxing to sew, especially…

Reusable Sandwich Bags

Get ready for a delightful summer picnic in the park with these reusable sandwich bags! Made from oilcloth, these bags are easy and fun to whip up in a variety…

All-In-One Picnic Blanket Tote

With summer just around the corner I’m getting ready to enjoy to family picnics and being outside again (finally!). I wanted to make a picnic blanket that was waterproof on one side…

Recipe: Chai Tea Mix

Years ago after getting addicted to chai tea mix from the store, I finally decided it was too expensive and began a search for the perfect recipe. This one tastes just like store bought and for the same price as what you’d pay for a pre-made package you get a huge amount of mix! It’s perfect to keep at the office or give as gifts in a dressed up jar.

Chai Tea Mix Recipe

The recipe makes about 7 cups of mix. Use 2 heaping tablespoons (or to taste) in a mug of hot water.

1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 cup French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea (regular or decaf)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

The last three ingredients (nutmeg, allspice and white pepper) give a nice kick to the flavor and makes it taste just like the chai tea mix I used to buy. For a milder tea, leave those ingredients out. Mix all ingredients by hand or in a blender. The texture is smoother if you use a blender. If you mix by hand the very last sip will have some spices that didn’t dissolve left in it. When I first made this I used my blender but eventually the fine dust it created killed the blender so now I just mix by hand and don’t drink the last sip! If you do choose to use a blender, first mix everything by hand then blend in small batches in the blender.

PS. I copied down this recipe years ago and just found the same one on AllRecipes so I don’t know who to credit for the original version, but thank you to whoever you are!

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How to Transfer a Sewing Pattern with Freezer Paper

How to Transfer a Sewing Pattern

The brown tissue paper that many patterns come printed on is not very durable. When you purchase any sewing pattern, it’s a good idea to transfer your pattern to paper before cutting, so you can create the pattern in multiple sizes if needed and make adjustments. I believe transferring a pattern to freezer paper offers some key advantages to other methods.

Inexpensive and found at many grocery stores, freezer paper is waxy on one side and can be ironed to fabric many times without losing this quality. It does not stick permanently to fabric and is very durable, making it an excellent medium for copying sewing patterns. Although there are many ways to use sewing patterns, I’m going to teach you my favorite way to transfer a sewing pattern, with freezer paper.

Recommended Supplies:

  • Sewing Pattern
  • Clear Ruler
  • Rotary Cutter and Mat or scissors
  • Pencil
  • Scotch Tape
  • Freezer Paper

Before you begin, read your sewing pattern to see if it is printed in the actual size, or if you’ll need to enlarge on a photocopier.

Freezer Paper Sewing Patterns

Roll out freezer paper to completely cover your printed sewing pattern. With the shiny side of the freezer paper facing down, use a pencil and ruler to trace the outline of your pattern on the freezer paper. Drawing on the matte side, you will be able to faintly see the pattern lines through the freezer paper, but you may want to hold it up to a window to get a clearer view.

Note: If you are using a “nested” sewing pattern with multiple sizes, make sure you find and follow the line that corresponds with your size.

Cut Pattern and Transfer Markings

Cut out all pattern pieces and label with your pattern’s name (mine is the Shearwater Kaftan) and the name of each piece (such as “top of sleeve”). This labeling will be helpful the next time you make the pattern. If the pattern has markings such as “cut on fold” or dots signifying how the garment should be sewn, make sure to mark these on each piece.

Tape Patterns Pieces Together and Iron to Fabric

Tape together pattern pieces that match up, such as the sleeve top and sleeve bottom, using the original pattern as a guide. Once your freezer paper pieces are ready, iron each piece on your fabric (shiny side down). Your pattern will tell you how to arrange the pieces on your fabric for the best fit. Press with iron for 10 to 15 seconds and remove.

The freezer paper pattern is now temporarily adhered to the fabric and you can now cut around the pattern without it shifting. With this technique, I don’t need to make any markings directly on the fabric. Make sure to align pieces on a fold if the pattern says (like the “placket piece” above). I like to use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut fabric quickly and accurately.

Shearwater Kaftan

The Shearwater Kaftan pattern by Make it Perfect has sleeves that can stay long or roll up.

This is my version of the Shearwater Kaftan by Make it Perfect. I made the shirt in an inexpensive fabric in order to test out the fit. This is called “making a muslin.” Because I didn’t want to spend a lot of time making a shirt I would not end up wearing, I used a fabric that would still be wearable, which makes this a “wearable muslin.”

From my wearable muslin, I chopped off about four inches from the shirt length and hemmed again. Because I noticed gaping in the back, below my neck, I also sewed a long vertical dart in the back to create a better fit. Since I created a freezer paper pattern, I can easily cut the same length off my pattern pieces and adjust the back width to change the fit for the next shirt I make (which will be in a more “breezy” fabric). This is one of the benefits to transferring your pattern!

Do you have any tips or tricks for transferring a sewing pattern? If freezer paper is not readily available where you live (I know it can be hard to come by in the U.K.), check out these online shops and buy the largest roll you can find. You can also use freezer paper to make custom painted tees and paper-pieced quilt blocks.

Craft Buds 2011 Year in Review + Link Party

On March 13, 2011, Mary and I started Craft Buds as a place to share craft tutorials and handmade business and blogging tips. Little did we know that we’d get to share our craftiness with more than 178,000 craft lovers from 176 countries over the course of that year!
Craft Buds About Us
We are so appreciative for each and every one of you that read this blog, take the time to leave a comment or pin a project for later. So with another year on our heels, let us say, thank you! There’d be no Craft Buds without you.

Here’s a little recap of the Craft Buds tutorials you visited the most this year:

2011 Craft Buds Tutorials

On the handmade business front, Mary and I were fortunate to report on the latest in craft at the CHA trade show in Chicago, host the first-ever Craft Book Month in September, and chat with some awesome crafty entrepreneurs to learn what it takes to launch a handmade business.

Here’s a look at the most-visited business and blogging tips here at Craft Buds this year!

1. Top 12 Resources for Running a Crafty Business
2. Free Pattern Feature
3. Q&A with Sarai Mitnick
4. Flickr for Crafters: Tips & Creative Photo Tools
5. Craft Book Month
6. Hosting a Successful Giveaway on Your Blog


2012 New Year’s Goals

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What would you like to learn how to do (or do better) in 2012? At Craft Buds, we are excited to share tutorials and tips in 2012, including some more sewing basics. We’ll host another charm squares swap and are brainstorming ways to make the Craft Buds blog even more interactive. Perhaps a weekly link party, if there’s interest?

We invite you to link up your 2011 recap and/or 2012 goals here, whether they are craft-related, family, work or personal goals. If you don’t have a blog, we’d love to hear your goals for the new year in the comments!

Also in the comments, please let us know if you’d be interested in a Fresh Picks link party for handmade projects. We love seeing what you are working on, and would love to highlight more of our readers’ crafts, so tell us if you think you’d participate!

Last-Minute Holiday Crafts: Fresh Picks for 12.22.11

You probably have all of your holiday cleaning, cooking, packing and wrapping done. Right?

Well, since we are being honest, here are some last-minute crafts I wish I had attempted earlier in the month. Luckily, these are so simple to whip up, you can really craft a last-minute gift with these free tutorials. Enjoy!

Sewn Paper Candy Pouch

Sugary Sweet: Set the table with a little surprise for each guest. Annie at Peppermint Plum shares how to make these  super-easy candy pouches from recycled kraft paper (or paper grocery sacks).

Upcycled Burlap Ornaments

Wrap it Up: Kristen at A Simply Klassic Home shows how to make dollar-store ornaments rustic and chic with a simple burlap covering and ribbon. So fresh! You could also use this method to wrap odd-shaped gifts, like a bottle of wine.

Holiday Treat Bag Topper Printables

What a treat! These free holiday treat bag topper printables from Angela at Anything but Perfect are too cute and make a quick gift for kids and party guests.

Merry Trees: Dress your table or mantle with these easy Christmas trees made from old catalogs and magazines. No scissors or glue required! Get the how-to from Heather at Our Life in a Click.

Chocolate Party Spoons

Spooning: Make a truly last-minute gift with this idea for chocolate party spoons. Paired with an envelope of hot cocoa, these spoons would make a festive gift for neighbors, friends or family! Get the how-to at Delicious Delicious Delicious.


Happy holidays to you, our wonderful readers.

It’s been a fantastic 2011, and we cannot wait to ring in the new year with you!

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Christmas Cookie Favorites

Every holiday season I pull out my stash of recipes that for some reason, I only use at Christmas time. I think it makes these cookies feel extra special. What about you; do you have any holiday favorites? If so, leave a comment and link to the recipe if it’s available! Here’s three of our family favorites.

Old Fashioned Molasses Sugar Cookies

  • 3/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon each cloves, salt, ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Granulated sugar for rolling the cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gently melt margarine or butter in saucepan or microwave. Allow to cool, then add sugar, molasses, and egg and beat well. Mix together spices, flour and baking soda then add to first mixture. Mix well and chill thoroughly. Form into 1″ balls then roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased or nonstick cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart and bake for 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies. Makes about 4 dozen.


Peppermint Double Chocolate Chip

  • 3/4 cups margarine
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 Tablespoons peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together margarine and brown sugar until thoroughly combined. Next mix in egg, then the peppermint extract, salt and baking soda. Add cocoa and flour and mix. Lastly stir or mix in the chocolate chips. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet several inches apart and bake for 8 to 10 minutes (exactly 9 minutes in my oven if that helps!) for soft chewy cookies, a couple minutes more for crispy. Makes approx. 24 cookies.


Cannon Balls

(also knows as Snowballs, Wedding Cookies, and probably lots of other names!)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (other substitutions can be peanuts, Heath bar bits, peppermint chips, or whatever you like!)
  • Powdered sugar for rolling the cookies

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and flour and mix well. Lastly, mix in the nuts. Roll dough into 1″ balls and place on greased or nonstick cookie sheet. The cookies will not spread much so they can be placed fairly close together. Bake for 45 minutes for a flaky cookie, or slightly less for a chewy center. When cookies are removed from oven, begin rolling them in powdered sugar while still hot. After the cookies have cooled a couple minutes roll them in powdered sugar again.
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Winners + Holiday Fabric Sales

Handmade Ornament Inspiration

Congrats to our Giveaway Day winners!

#403 Fenna from Alberta, Canada

One-Yard Wonders book

#307 Deanna, also from Alberta Canada!

Modern Fabric Studio gift certificate

#1084 Mary Cortez from San Angelo, Texas

Prize TBD

#617 Dorian from far northern California

Prize TBD


If you did not win this time, you could always console yourself with some fabric therapy. Might I recommend Crafty Girls Workshop or Modern Fabric Studio? Both are having killer sales right now!

Use the coupon code CRAFTBUDS for an extra 10% off your purchase at either shop.

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