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…

Fabric Corner Bookmarks

Some friends living in South Korea tipped me off to a trend they’ve seen in stores: the corner bookmark. These slide-on bookmarks can be made from fabric or paper, and…

Fabric Pumpkins Tutorial

Looking for an easy DIY pumpkin? Look no further! Here’s a cute way to make them out of fabric. You could even have an older child make or help make…

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:…

Broken Herringbone Quilt

My younger sister and her husband are expecting their first baby next month and it’s a girl! For their baby shower, I made them a quilt with matching pillow and…

The Creative Process: Q&A with Stoney Creek + Giveaway

When it comes to everyday life, what does it look like to take that jump from crafter to entrepreneur?

I am so happy to share this Q&A with Beth Shepherd, the creative mind behind Stoney Creek Shops! Besides antiquing and mastering shabby chic decor, Beth also dabbles in handmade rustic wood items like her awesome berry baskets, which are fabric-lined and perfect for storing sewing notions, beauty supplies, and more!

Beth, how did you get the idea for Stoney Creek and what kinds of crafts do you do?

The idea for Stoney Creek Mercantile was pretty simple one. We live in Stoney Creek Township (Indiana) and the Mercantiles of yesteryear sold or bartered for a variety of goods. We thought it had a nice ring to it and having the title of a Mercantile allowed us to not be tied down to one particular product or art form. We make handmade sewn goods, handmade rustic wood items, homemade baked goods, catering and we also collect vintage items and architectural salvage to sell.

Shabby Quilt Berry Baskets

Describe what you do to create and promote your work on a typical day.

The process of creating is definitely what I enjoy the most! I have a routine of finding my favorite spot with a cup of coffee and my sketchbook, when it’s time to start brainstorming a new project. Then once I have settled on an idea I usually run it past my husband and my partner (aka Grandma, aka my mom). My mom is a significant player in the process of establishing our business! The actual development of our handmade products happens in our “shop” which is actually a “shed” behind the house. It’s probably a bigger space than what you’re envisioning right now. Our homemade baked goods are made by my husband in an industrial kitchen in a nearby town.

Storage Solutions - Wooden Key Hook

What is the most time-consuming part of running the business?

Promoting is probably what I enjoy the least, but I don’t mind it as much as I thought I was going to. Promoting is actually what I have spent the most time on. You really have to put a lot of energy into promoting, if you don’t have the funds to pay someone to do it for you. So, I have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a blog and a Flickr account. Then  I plan to spend some time looking for any sites that will allow me to list my business for free or at a relatively low cost. I have also paid to advertise on Facebook. Since our main outlet for our goods is an Etsy shop, at least one item is relisted daily on Etsy.

Upcycled vintage berry basket with vintage quilt liner

What are some of the rewarding and challenging aspects of running a crafts business?

The most rewarding aspect of running your own business for me, is being able to have an outlet for my creativity. Then right under creativity is the spectacular feeling of the possibility of this business being a real success someday! We aren’t there yet though. On average it takes 1 year for an Etsy shop to get established and have return customers. The most challenging aspect is balancing my time between work and family, as I have a little one at home with me through the day. I try to make it a priority to put quality time with her before getting work done and in the evenings when the husband is home, and quality time with him is also very important. Being a stay-at-home mom is no joke! Add trying to get a small business off the ground on top of that and you have quite the challenge in front you.

Giveaway!

Beth is hosting a berry basket giveaway on her blog, and you can enter now through Sunday, July 3. Go here to enter!

A Winner and Fresh Picks for Wednesday, 6.22.11

Out of 233 comments, the winner of the Fabric Seeds giveaway is #7 Pat V. , who said:

My favorite thing on Fabric Seeds?  Wow, hard to choose.  The first thing I saw was the Love Letters BOM, just GORGEOUS!  And then there’s Lost and Found, I definitely need some of that.  AND there are Julie Herman patterns!  Oh man, this is a dangerous website to send me to.  I’m lovin’ it, tho…

Congrats Pat! If you didn’t win this time,  why not head over to the giveaway roundup and see what else is going on! Or, you could stop by Fabric Seeds and buy yourself a little treat.

Without futher ado, here are this week’s Fresh Picks!

How to Baste your Quilts!!

Stick it to Me: Baste your quilts like a pro with this course at Chasing Cottons.

Birds of a Feather: Elsie shares a unique twist on wedding attire with her DIY feather boutonnieres at A Beautiful Mess.



Vintage Vogue: Kelly at Blue Bird Sews shares photos and memories of this Vogue pattern children’s busy book.

Swimsuit Redo: Christie added a little flair to her beach gear. Check it out at A Lemon Squeezy Home!

Skillshare @ CraftyPod

Community Crafter: Skillshare is a website that networks people with crafty skills and classes with those who’d love to learn. Read more about teaching a crafting course in your community at CraftyPod. Thanks Sister Diane!

Giveaway from Kalla’s Creations

Do you love the look of custom embroidered kids clothes and baby gifts, but lack the machinery? We recently met Michaella of Kalla’s Creations, whose Etsy shop is filled with cute custom items for kids!

This is what Michaella had to say about starting her handmade business:

I am so blessed & fortunate to be a very BUSY stay at home mom. My husband is a full-time student. That is why I took up sewing to help with some of our income & to hopefully support my new crafting & sewing addiction.


I had no idea that I would fall in love with it! My mom bought me my first sewing machine just after Christmas last year. I have to admit the only reason why I even tried sewing was out of guilt (I couldn’t just leave the machine up in the closet without at least using it).

I quickly decided I needed an embroidery machine & the rest is history. I’m always looking for some fun new projects to try out. I always enjoy making something for my children & nieces & nephews.

Thanks Michaella! We love your personalized shirts and burp cloths.


Michaella is generously giving one lucky Craft Buds reader an applique shirt of their choice!

Enter to win:

1. Visit Kalla’s Creations on Etsy and tell us the name of your favorite item in her shop.

2. If you follow the Craft Buds blog, leave us another comment for a bonus entry.

Giveaway open in the U.S. and Canada. One winner will be announced on Friday, June 24 at 8pm (EST). Thanks Michaella!

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 of fun, summery prints.


Finding your oilcloth

Oilcloth is also called woven PUL fabric (polyurethane laminated fabric). Though it looks like a thick vinyl, you’ll notice that the back side of oilcloth fabric is woven rather than having the smooth feel of the front.

My local quilt shop sells large bolts of oilcloth for around $9 per yard, and I’ve also purchased it from Oilcloth Addict on Etsy. Fabric designers have really jumped on board with the oilcloth trend, so you’ll find laminated fabrics from Anna Maria Horner (including the new LouLouThi collection) as well as designer prints by Amy Butler, Jennifer Paganelli and others, though the prices are higher. If you shop online for project materials, just make sure you don’t order flannel-backed fabric, which is harder to clean.

For this tutorial, you can make 6 sandwich bags from a half-yard of oilcloth, making your cost as low as 75 cents per bag. Just think of how much money you could save on plastic baggies over time! Once sewn, these durable snack bags are easy to rinse out in the sink and air dry.

Oilcloth Sandwich Bags Tutorial

Finished size: 6.5″ x 7″ folded

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 yard of oilcloth (makes 6 bags) or a fat quarter (makes 3 bags)
  • Velcro, .75″ wide
  • White or coordinating thread
  • Glue stick
  • Ruler and scissors or rotary cutter
  • Sewing Machine with zig-zag and blanket stitches

Steps:

1. Each bag is made from a cut of oilcloth that is 16.25 inches x 7 inches. Using your rotary cutter and ruler, measure and cut your six pieces as shown in the diagram. The scraps can be saved for decoration or a 5-inch wide snack bag.

This is what your bag will look like unfolded, along with measurements.


2. Take your oilcloth rectangle, and place it in front of you with the pattern facing down. Fold up the bottom 6.5″ and crease with your fingers. (When folded, the bag is 9.5″ tall, including the opened flap, which is 3″.) Now, fold down the top flap like an envelope and crease.


3. Cut a 3-inch strip of velcro, and separate the fuzzy and scratchy sides. Lightly apply glue stick to adhere each velcro strip in place.

  • Attach the rough velcro .5″ down from what is now the top of the flap (attach to WRONG side of oilcloth).
  • Attach the fuzzy velcro strip 1.75″ from top of opened pocket (RIGHT side of oilcloth) with glue stick. (Refer to above diagrams above for velcro placement.)


4. Open up the folded flap and straight stitch both velcro strips on with your sewing machine, turning at the corners and sewing all the way around. Since the velcro may slip, hold with your fingers and tackle the patterned side of the oilcloth first.


5. To add a monogram, simply create a large letter in a Word document, choose your font, and print. (For the “S” and “J,” I used Arial Black, size 320, and applied an outline to the font to waste less ink.) Place your printout on top of oilcloth and cut through both layers using sharp scissors. Use a craft knife if you have a letter with small circles.


6.  Apply monogram to outside of bag with a glue stick (use sparingly). Zig-zag stitch the letter applique to what will become the outside of your bag, to either the front or the back. The applique will slide out of place on the patterned side, so stitch this piece first and hold it in place while sewing. I added long strips of oilcloth as accents.

7. Refold the sandwich bag using the creases from earlier (top flap remains open for now), and hold in place with a paper clip on the fold.


8. With the monogram and velcro now attached, it’s time to turn your oilcloth into a sandwich pouch. Set your sewing machine to a wide blanket stitch and test out on a scrap piece of fabric or paper. (If you need a guide, aim for stitches that are about 1/4″ long and 3/8″ apart. I used my sewing machine’s widest stitch.)

Begin to blanket stitch the bag together, starting where the wrong sides meet on the right side. You’ll want to stitch so close to the edge that your stitches actually fall off the side of the bag and wrap around  the raw edges. If your stitches catch on the oilcloth, adjust your needle position a bit to the right. Continue the blanket stitch around all four sides of the bag, including the opened flap. (For the flap, you’ll be sewing through a single layer of oilcloth, so this is merely decorative).


Note: If you are planning to spend all day in the sun with your picnic fare, keep your sandwich bags in the shade to avoid emitting any non-safe chemicals into your food. As a general rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t want to heat it up in a microwave, don’t let it bake in the sun. This sandwich sized bag fits pretty large slices of bread, though you can make reusable snack bags that are slightly smaller or larger, depending on your needs.

Is oilcloth food-safe?
There is a lot of discussion about oilcloth and food, and you can find more resources and a lengthy discussion on the topic at CraftStylish and Mothering. One alternative is to cover regular fabric in layers of natural beeswax. Another idea is to line fabric with thick, resealable Ziploc bags.


If you’ve enjoyed this sandwich pouch tutorial, why not whip up some bags as gifts? They are great for lunches at school, work or a summertime picnic at the park. If you make some of these reusable snack bags, please let us know with a comment. You are also welcome to add your project photos to the Craft Buds Flickr group!

#1 Dad Project and Stencil

Father’s Day is almost here but you’ve still got time to put together a customized gift for those special guys your life! I designed this No. 1 Dad stencil that I incorporated into a painting that I worked on with my toddler. It could also be used on a baseball cap or a messenger bag with fabric paints. To get the stencil, just click the link to view the PDF. If you have trouble printing it, choose the File menu in the upper left and then choose “Download original”.

I used a Silhouette SD (that I recently won, woohoo!!) to cut out the stencil out of cardstock paper. In my stencil PDF I’ve included both the more detailed image I used and a more simplified image that would be easier to cut by hand with an xacto knife. 

To make this project, start with a piece of canvas and paint the background a solid color. I used a neutral taupe color and acrylic paint.

Next, coat the back of your stencils in rubber cement and allow them to dry before positioning on your canvas.

Then paint in your image one color at a time, allowing it to dry between coats of paint.

My lettering got a little messy so after it dried I went back with a tiny brush to touch it all up.

Then I put a variety of paint colors in a pyrex dish, gave my toddler a paintbrush and let him create his masterpiece! I used a piece of paper to cover over my image while he painted to make sure it would stay readable.

The canvas is ready to go as is, or you can put it in a frame and it’s ready to give to Dad!

Jelly Roll Giveaway from Fabric Seeds

Back in April we did an interview on starting a craft business with Sarah of Fabric Seeds, an online fabric store. Well lucky for all you readers, Sarah has generously decided to giveaway a jelly roll of Farmyard by Sentimental Studios for Moda in honor of the start of farmer’s market season! (A jelly roll is a 42 piece bundle of 2.5″ x 44″ strips.)

Sarah has also given us the coupon code farmmarket good through June 21 for 15% off your total purchase at her shop!

To enter (required), just leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite item from the Fabric Seeds store! For additional entries you can do any or all of the following and leave a separate comment on this post for each that you do:

  1. Become a Google Friend Connect follower of the Fabric Seeds blog
  2. Become a Google Friend Connect, e-mail, or RSS follower of Craft Buds
  3. “Like” Craft Buds on Facebook

The contest is open until June 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm EST and is open to the US and Canada. At the close of the giveaway, one winner will be chosen by Random.org and notified by e-mail.


Giveaways Roundup

If you haven’t stopped by, make sure you check out the Craft Buds Giveaway Roundup, with lots of current giveaways to enter! It’s updated each week, and you are always welcome to link up your craft supplies or handmade giveaways.

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