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!



Felt Flower Gift Card Holder

Felt Flower Gift Card Sleeve

It’s hard to beat the practicality of giving a gift card. But you don’t have to wrap them in generic envelopes from the store. Dress up plain gift cards with these quick and easy felt flower gift card holders!

You’ll need:

  • Felt scraps (various colors)
  • Die cutter (I used the Accuquilt GO! Baby and Rose of Sharon die) -or- printed shapes and scissors
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Pinking Shears
  • Glue gun and buttons (optional)

Felt Flowers

Die-cut flower shapes from scrap felt in various colors. Pair large blooms with smaller blooms, centers and leaves and set aside. If you are not using a die cutter, you can print off shapes from the Internet, trace around cookie cutters, or use this method to cut flower petals from felt without a template.

Use pinking shears to cut a rectangle of felt approximately 8″ x 3″. (Photo shows felt folded in half.)

Gift card sleeve tutorial

Unfold felt and center flower across the top half of felt rectangle. Stitch in place just through the center, catching all layers of flower. I stitched a preset star shape using my sewing machine, but you could also hand sew. Stitch on leaves to embellish.

Stitch felt flower and leaves

Fold gift card sleeve in half, leaving the back of sleeve about 1/4″ longer than the front. Align pinked edges and stitch 1/4″ from right edge, top to bottom. Repeat on left edge.

Stitch around gift card sleeve

Trim thread tails. Hot-glue a button to the flower center (covering stitches) if desired.

Felt gift card holder

Fill and place gift card envelopes on the tree or inside stockings. Use as package embellishments or just tuck them inside holiday cards for a fun surprise.

Felt flower gift card sleeves

Stitch up a bunch in different colors to use for holidays, birthdays, showers, teacher gifts, thank you gifts and more!

Felt flower gift card holders

If you use this or any of our tutorials, we’d love to see your projects. Leave us a comment or add a photo of your photo to the Craft Buds Flickr pool.
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Book Review: Desire to Inspire

Part inspiring stories, part creative workbook for your soul, the book Desire to Inspire is a new release from F+W Media.

Subtitled Using Creative Passion to Transform the World, the book’s mission is to help artist’s realize that their creativity is for a purpose. But the reader must first realize how to harness the creativity inside of them, which they can tap into by following along with the many exercises in this book, meant to get at the root of one’s creative soul.

Author Christine Mason Miller and 19 additional contributors (among them are artists, authors, personal coaches, a documentary film maker, a yoga teacher, and the founder or a creative scholarship program) pepper the book with their personal stories. Instead of being broken up by contributor, the book  contains ten chapters that range from foundational topics to more in-depth looks at the purpose of creative beings.

Each chapter contains exercises to help the reader identify with her own talents, dreams and challenges. In chapter two, readers are asked to list personal values as they relate to friends and family, money, health, physical surroundings, career, etc. After narrowing down the list to her core values, the reader is then asked some probing questions like, “What values am I most likely to sell out on?” and “In what areas of my life to I feel I am living in greatest alignment with my values?”

And that’s just one of the many exercises in the book. Deeper into the chapters, creative individuals are encouraged to seek a mentor, develop a mission statement and ultimately turn their own art into a tool that can change the world for good.

Chapter 8, “Finding the Way Through” is a favorite of mine because it talks the reader through dealing with the trials that can come with pursuing a creative career. The women featured in this book have heard “no,” faced illness and personal distress and more while pursuing their dreams. The book is incredibly “real” and relateable in this way.

All in all, this book is a like a hug from a friend. But even better is the friend that challenges you to become more, because they know the potential you have as a creative person. “Far too often, we don’t give ourselves enough credit. We’re stronger, wiser and more beautiful than we realize,” says contributor and artist Christine Castro Hughes.

The softcover book reads like a magazine or an artist’s journal, and it has enough elements of order and creative chaos to engage both right- and left-brained individuals.

Conclusion: Desire to Inspire conveys that creativity is a gift that is meant to be used for a greater purpose. If you could change the world using your creative talents, what would you do?

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!

Deck the Halls: Fresh Picks for 11.27.11 + Winner

Out of 67 comments, the winner of the handmade earrings giveaway, chosen by, is #6 Sally Ness: “I’m a big fan of all three pairs on the orange, yellow, green trio! Quite tasteful, Linds.”

I’m so excited for Sally to win these earrings, as she was the very first person to buy a pair from my new Esty storefront. Huge thanks to everyone who entered and gave feedback on your favorites! The 40% off code CRAFTBUDS is still good through the end of the day today.

Without further ado, here are some fresh picks for the week, to get you in the mood for holiday decorating! These cute Christmas crafts make great holiday decorations for the home.

Felt Hot Cocoa Ornament

Mug Shot: I bet you haven’t seen many Christmas ornament crafts cuter than this Cup o’ Cocoa with tiny felt marshmallows. Get the cute-torial for this Felt Hot Cocoa Ornament at Flamingo Toes.

Noel Letters Sign

Merry Mantle: Get the instructions on how to make this Pottery Barn knock-off Noel mantel sign at Sew Dang Cute Crafts.

Clay Stamped Ornaments

Stamp of Approval: They’re earthy and they’re easy. Loving the Stamped Clay Christmas Ornaments tutorial from Allison at Little Lovelies.

Milk Carton Sun Wreath Tutorial

Here Comes the Sun: Reuse a few empty milk cartons to make this unexpectedly stunning holiday wreath! This holiday DIY tutorial is courtesy of Michele, written as a guest post on

Echinops and Aster

Holiday How-To: Jenelle is whipping up some awesome holiday decorating tutorials, like a cutie-pie mushroom ornament and holiday snowflake table runner. The instructions are clear as day, and sewists will especially love the projects at Echinops & Aster.

101 Handmade Holiday Tutorials

101 Roundup: Don’t miss the round-up of holiday decor tutorials over at Everything Etsy, with everything from wreaths to garland and pillows to snow globes. Who doesn’t love free Christmas crafts?

Next week, we’ll take a look at some handmade gifts that you still have time to whip up. Yes, there is still time.

Thanks for checking out this week’s Fresh Picks!
Weekly Giveaways Linky
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Giveaway! The Cutest Handmade Earrings

This giveaway is near and dear to my heart, because one Craft Buds reader is going to win some hand-picked goodies from my shop, Lindsay Sews!

Assorted Button Earrings

Enter to win:

A Pair of Hedgehog bobby pins

Hedgehog Bobby Pins

Handmade Owl Card – Blank

Handmade Owl Card

Assorted Fabric Button Earrings – You tell me what you like, and I’ll surprise you with three pairs!

That’s a $34 value, all handmade with love! Giveaway open worldwide through Nov. 27.

To enter: This giveaway is now closed.

  1. “Heart” your favorite item at Lindsay Sews on Etsy and leave a comment here letting me know you did. If you don’t have an Etsy account, just leave a comment here with your favorite item! (one entry)
  2. Share this giveaway with someone and leave a comment. Twitter, Facebook, blog, your friend, your mom, your pet. (one entry) Here’s a suggested tweet you can copy and paste:

I hope I win! Cute handmade #giveaway @CraftBuds and 40% off #etsy sale!


Also, I’ve decided to forgo Black Friday shopping this year, but I’m still offering you a great deal . . . Get 40% off everything in your cart with the coupon code CRAFTBUDS through November 27. Perfect for stocking stuffers or just to treat yourself. Look around the shop.

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