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…

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…

Free Pattern Features: Halloween Pillows

Looking for ways to add some Halloween fun to your decor? On Craft Buds we’ve featured Halloween printables, fabric pumpkins, and owl smores. Lots of other crafty sites have been…

Jack-o’-Lantern Shirt Stencils

Looking to add some Halloween fun to your family’s wardrobe? Here’s a shirt idea for either you or your kids to make. It would also be a fun project for…

Simple Summer Headbands Tutorial

It’s been incredibly hot around here lately so between the heat and planting a garden I needed a way to keep my hair out of my face! To solve the problem I designed these two fun and functional adult-sized headbands. They’re a great way to use up scraps of fabrics that you love and didn’t want to throw away! I did a regular headband style that’s reversible and a 3 strand headband, both with elastic at the base.

Three strand headband materials list: three strips of fabric 1″ x 18″, two strips of fabric 1″ x 1 3/4″, one 3 1/2″ piece of 1/2″ elastic (elastic not pictured)

Reversible headband materials list: two strips of fabric 1″ x 18″, two strips of fabric 1″ x 1 3/4″, two rectangles of fabric 2″ x 18″. Fold the rectangles into quarters and cut off the corners (second photo below) to form the headband shape.

Prepping your fabric for either headband:

For either headband, you’ll make double fold bias tape out of the long 1″ strips and single fold bias tape out of the short 1″ strips. To do this, iron the strip in half. Then open it back up, fold both sides toward the center crease and iron again. You now have single fold bias tape. For the two long long strips, fold in half with the raw edges inside and iron one more time.

Sewing the three strand headband:

First, sew shut all 3 long strips of bias tape.

Then sew the three strips together at the ends.

Sewing the reversible headband:

With wrong sides together, line up the front and back and sew the strips of bias tape onto the sides.

Finishing both headbands:

Stitch the elastic strap to each side. Wrap your single fold bias tape around the seam where the elastic is sewn on. Fold under the raw edge, pin down and stitch along the top and bottom.

And here’s one last shot of the completed headbands!

Additional notes:

  • I based the size off of a storebought headband that fits me well. When you get to the elastic stage, you may want to safety pin it in place before sewing it down to make any adjustments necessary for a comfortable fit for you.
  • Rather than using homemade bias tape as directed, you could also use store bought.
  • These directions have you make 1/4″ bias tape. If you’ve never used bias tape before or if you find it’s tricky to work with you may want to make yours a bit wider. If you cut your strips to 1 1/2″ rather than 1″, your bias tape will be 3/8″ rather than 1/4″.

Fresh Picks for Wednesday, 6.8.11

Father’s Day is not far off, and we’ve already combed through some of the best free patterns for dads. But this summer is also filled with bright ideas for repurposing common objects, like a watermelon, old maps or boring curtains. Have fun looking through this week’s Fresh Picks!

Watermelon Shark @ Sun Scholars

Shark Attack! Hats off to this great summer snack idea at Sun Scholars, complete with a Jell-o ocean and Swedish Fish.

Gift Tags @ The Chocolate Room

To and From: These gift tags are made from brightly colored tissue paper, recycled maps, paper punches, a label maker and some creativity. Check out more of Shelley’s work at The Chocolate Room!

Painted Curtains

Painted Curtains: We love this tutorial for painted drapes, a knockoff of a West Elm Design. Check them out at PB&J Stories!

Paint Chips bunting

Upcycled Bunting: Lots of ides for repurposing paint chips at the Naughty Secretary Club, like this pretty bunting made from hues of red.

Made It

Made It: Have you heard of the handmade store Made It? It’s the Etsy of Australia, and The Crafty Mummy tells us how she uses her blog to promote Made It sellers!

Giveaways Roundup
If you haven’t stopped by, make sure you check out the Craft Buds Giveaway Roundup, with more than 40 current giveaways to enter! It’s updated each week, and you are always welcome to link up your craft supplies or handmade giveaways.

Free Pattern Features: Dads

With Father’s Day coming up on June 19 you’ve still got some time left to make a gift for that special guy or guys in your life. Here’s a few patterns for some inspiration!

First up, dress up the traditional gift of a tie by making one yourself with this pattern by Puking Pastilles.

Father's Day Tie by Puking Pastilles

If that special guy has a Kindle or e-book reader, make a custom cover to keep it safe and scratch free with this tutorial from Handmade Mommy.

E-book cover by Handmade Mommy

 
And lastly, Bandy Canyon shares this great pattern for a Driver’s Cap that would be perfect for summer when made from lightweight fabrics.
 

Driver's Cap by Bandy Canyon

Traffic Boost: Creating backlinks to your site

If you sell handmade goods or craft supplies on Etsy, why not list your site on the Everything Etsy Directory? A basic listing is free, and takes just a couple minutes to set up!

Whether you are shopping for children, jewelry, or edibles, it’s easy to browse shops and support handmade with the directory.

Backlinks

Besides the traffic you’ll get from being listed in a major handmade directory, your Etsy shop will benefit from having another quality backlink to your site. (In non-techy terms, this means that another craft-related site is linking to your Etsy shop, which helps move your site one notch closer to the top of search engines.)

Backlinks take time to build, but they are crucial in the promotion of your handmade business. Here are some tips on effective ways to build backlinks to your Etsy shop. (This also applies to handmade bloggers!)

  1. Start a blog about your handmade business, and link back to your shop as well as your other favorite Etsy stores.
  2. Open accounts with one or two social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr or Youtube), and use these sites to link back to new items in your store.
  3. Find some other handmade sellers to partner with and blog, Tweet or Facebook about their shops. Ask them to do the same for you.
  4. Ask if other handmade bloggers will add your Etsy shop to their blogroll (sidebar).
  5. Add your Etsy shop URL to your signature for posting on forums.
  6. List your website in relevant directories.

Intro To Link Building For Etsy Shop SEO from Everything Etsy on Vimeo.

Giveaway Winner!

Out of 59 comments, the winner of the Memory Miser giveaway is lucky #25, Niki. Congratulations Niki!

Fresh Picks for Wednesday, 6.1.11

It’s June, and we are more than ready for summer! Father’s Day is just around the corner, so those working on a handmade gift have a few more weeks to gather inspiration. We’re also excited by the kids crafts tutorial to keep young ones occupied during those lazy summer months!

But let’s not forget about some crafting that’s just for you. Enjoy this week’s Fresh Picks!

Mini Cards @ Humblechan

You’re Tweet: Chan shows off these cute felt-embellished mini cards at her blog, Humble Chan. Love them!

Sheep(ish) Yarn by Vickie Howell

Craft.Rock.Love: Knitting super star Vickie Howell talks about the retro inspiration for new line of yarn Sheep(ish), now on sale at JoAnn’s! [Video here] Craftypreneurs will also love to hear her business tips (like how she got her name on a fabulous product or has written so many books!) over at Diary of a Crafty Chica.


		
		Handmade Gift Exchange
			
			
		     
		
		Postage 101 @ Fabric Fascination
			
			
		

If you’ve checked out our article on Craft Swaps, you’ll be interested to know that sign ups for the Handmade Gift Exchange are currently going on at Craftaholics Anoynmous (through June 6). And before mailing out your package, you’ll want to read Postage 101 at Fabric Fascination. Thanks for the info, ladies!

Add watermark to photos

Look, Don’t Touch: Ever wondered how to get your blog name to show up on your photographs? Jenna at Sew Happy Geek shares some great tips this week on protecting your photos by adding a watermark.

Giveaways Roundup
Visit the Craft Buds Giveaway Roundup, with 30 current giveaways to enter! It’s updated each week, and you are always welcome to link up your craft supplies or handmade giveaways.

If you’d like to be considered for a future spotlight here at Craft Buds, we invite you to submit your project, business tips or craft tutorials here.

Upcycle: Shirt to Purse

I love all the details you find in clothes: the little buttons, pleats and seams. I wanted to come up with a way to use those details to give some thrifted shirts new life. So I designed two purse patterns that use those fun details to their advantage.

In this tutorial, I’ll be featuring the instructions and pattern for the pink shirt and the tote bag. You can find the instructions and pattern for the brown/green shirt over at my other blog, Bugglebee Handmade.

The shirt I’m using in my pattern is a petite XL. Depending on the shirt you’re using, you may need to scale down the pattern a bit.

Materials:

  1. One long-sleeved shirt
  2. 1/2 yard fusible fleece
  3. 1/2 yard fabric for lining (I used a heavier weight home dec fabric)
  4. 82″ canvas strap

First you’ll cut out all the pieces. The following two photos show all the pieces together and also where each piece came from. The numbers correspond to the list below.

  1. Using the free PDF pattern from Google Docs here, cut two each from the shirt (top and bottom of the back side of shirt), fusible web, and lining fabric for the main body of the tote. The pattern is 2 pages. You’ll want to print both pages out, line up the dots and tape them together. In your browser the PDF preview may show the pages are cropped. If you are having problems printing the whole pattern through Google Docs, use your mouse to click on File (left side of screen), then choose “download original.” Open the downloaded document and try printing again.
  2. but once you download it, it  will show correctly.
  3. Cut one 9 3/8″ x 4″ rectangle from the shirt, fusible web, and lining fabric for the tote bottom.
  4. Cut two 13.5″ x 4″ rectangles from the shirt and fusible web, and four from the lining fabric for the sides. I cut the shirt fabric horizontally from the front of the shirt with the button 1/3 of the way in. This piece will become a pocket.
  5. Cut off the bottom 8.5″ sleeves including the cuff. Use the slit in the cuff and cut it open into a rectangle and remove any buttons. Mine is 10.5″ wide but it will vary by shirt. Also cut a 8.75″x10.5″ rectangle from the liner fabric.

Now that you’ve got all your pieces ready, let’s prep the outer pocket. For the front pocket, fold over the top 1/4″ of the liner fabric and iron it down.  then with wrong sides together, stitch the tops together. Then, flip the fabric so right sides are together. Line up the bottom of the two fabrics and stitch them together. Then turn it right side out.

Next, you’ll stitch together the strips for the sides and bottom of the tote. Line up the strips from the shirt face side down (side, bottom, side). Place the liner strips on top of the two side strips (these will line the side pockets seen in the photos at the bottom of the post) and sew them all together with right sides together.

Then with right sides together, sew the side/bottom strip to one of the main body pieces. I found it easier to line up the center and sew from the center out to the top. Then I went back and did the other side. Then sew on the other main body piece (not pictured) and turn it right side out.

Stitch the pocket on along the bottom seam. The pocket will still have raw edges.

Iron the fusible fleece to the liner strips for the sides and to the main body pieces. Line up the side strips (side, bottom, side) and sew them together. Then sew that strip to the main body pieces using the same method as the exterior. Trim off any excess material around the seam allowance.

Now nestle the liner inside the exterior of the bag. Fold the tops inside 1″ and stitch around the top with a 1/8″ seam allowance.

You’re almost done and just need to add the strap! Make sure the strap isn’t twisted and overlap the edges by 1/8″. Zig zag stitch back and forth over the strap until the raw edges are secured. The strap will now be one big loop.

Line up strap with the raw edges of the front pocket. Start by pinning down the zig zagged seam on your strap to the bottom of the bag. Then pin down the sides. Stitch along both sides of each canvas strap and make an X at the top of each strap. (Before I stitched down the straps, my husband pointed out that the front pocket didn’t stand out so I went back and added the pink strip to the top.)

And you’ve made a shirt into a tote! I really like the pleats from the sleeve on the front pocket and the side pockets from the front of the shirt. The side pockets are mostly just for show. In my pattern they’re too narrow to fit much. If you want them to be more functional make the side/bottom strips wider.

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