Fabulous Key Fobs

key-fobsDesigner: Lori Hellander

Keep your keys on a short leash with colorful monkey’s fist knot fobs made from paracord.


Materials:

  • 2 yards of paracord in desired color
  • 16-millimeter glass marble
  • 114“-diameter split key ring
  • Embroidery floss in color to match paracord
  • Sewing needle

  1. Following knot-tying instructions, below, make a monkey’s fist knot around the marble using paracord. Leave an 8″-long tail at the beginning and end. Wrap each side of knot three times.
  2. Bring beginning and end tail together, and tie an overhand knot around the key ring about 2″ from the monkey’s fist knot.
  3. Cut the excess paracord from the tails, close to the overhand knot. Using a lighter, carefully melt the ends of the paracord to secure the knot and prevent unraveling.

How to Make a Monkey’s Fist Knot:

1. With tail in palm of hand, wrap rope up and over fingers three times.
monkey-knot-d1

2. Tuck working end outside the loops at back of hand, pulling end to palm side through middle fingers as shown.
monkey-knot-d2

3. Wrap working end around both back and palm loops two times.
monkey-knot-d3

 

4. On third pass, wrap working end around palm loops only and exit through the center to side with tail.
monkey-knot-d4

 

5. Bring working end through hole below center loops, and wrap up and over loops three times, securing the core. Exit working yarn through the center to side with tail.
monkey-fist-d5

 

6. Insert core (such as a marble or tennis ball) into center of knot. Adjust loops on each side of knot to tighten the knot around the core.

 

monkey-knot-d6

monkey-knot-d7

Bejeweled Wine Bottle Stopper

wine-stopper

Designer: Katie Leporte

These bejeweled wine bottle stoppers make the perfect hostess gift and are easy to produce in multiples.


Materials:

  • Basic casting resin supplies (see Tips for Using Epoxy Resin“)
  • Small silicone molds (such as Mod Podge Mod Molds: Gems)
  • Colorant: green and blue (such as Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments and Transfer Dyes) (optional)
  • Stir stick (optional)
  • Items to submerge in resin (such as glitter, large iridescent sequins, metal findings)
  • Wine bottle corks
  • Industrial-strength glue (such as Super Glue)

Note: Always work with resin in a well-ventilated area.


Assemble the Wine Stoppers:

1. Follow the “Tips for Using Epoxy Resin” instructions, to prepare the resin mixture.

2. Pour resin mixture into desired silicone molds. If color is desired, add a drop of pigment or dye into resin and swirl with a stir stick. Stir glitter into wet resin or submerge cut up sequins or metal findings (see “Tips for Using Epoxy Resin”). Allow to harden for up to 72 hours to ensure a strong bond.

3. Release the hardened resin shapes from the silicone mold by gently pushing the pieces from the back of the mold.

4. Glue resin shapes to tops of wine bottle corks; let dry.

Flowerpot Fancies

flowerpot-fanciesDesigner: Sheila Sinclair Snyder

Spruce up a potted plant with a colorful wrap made from a salvaged sweater.


Materials:

  • Sweater (felted or unfelted)
  • Ribbing from coordinating sweater or cording

 

Assemble the Wrap:

1. Cut two 11″ squares from a sweater, matching any patterns as you choose. If you are not using a felted sweater, when cutting the squares, be sure what will be at the top edge of the finished bag is at the ribbing (bottom hem) of the sweater so this edge does not need to be finished.

2. With right sides together, use 1/2″ seam to sew side and bottom edges, rounding the bottom corners as you sew.

3. To make a tie from cording, weave 35″ of cording through the knit of the sweater about 212” from top of bag; begin and end in center of one side of bag. To make a tie from ribbing, cut a 1×20″ or larger piece of ribbing; hand-sew center of ribbing in place in back center of bag about 212” from top of bag.

Sweater Coffee Cozy

warmth-at-handDesigner: Lisa Bee-Wilson

Keep your coffee—and your fingertips—nice and warm with a cozy for your cup.


Materials:

  • Sweater sleeve
  • Needle: embroidery
  • Embroidery floss
  • Scraps of felt or felted wool (optional)
  • Snowflake pattern

1. Turn sleeve wrong side out. Cut long edges of the sleeve as necessary to make two pieces with parallel edges (Diagram 1). (We cut ours so it was 5″ wide.) Measuring from the cuff end of the sleeve, cut sleeve so it is about 16″ long. Machine-sew the long edges and the noncuff end closed using a 14” seam (Diagram 2). Turn right side out. Hand- or machine-sew cuff end closed; we covered the cuff end with a strip of felted wool and hand-stitched it in place using embroidery floss (Diagram 3).

diagram1

diagram2

diagram3

2. Wrap the sleeve around a nonhandled mug to determine how tightly you want to wrap the mug cozy; start wrapping the sewn end of the sleeve around the mug (Diagram 4), then overlap the sleeve on top of itself to make the cozy (Diagram 5). Pin the overlap to secure it, then slide off the mug.

diagram4

diagram5
3. Using embroidery floss and a whipstitch, hand-stitch over the top and bottom edges of the overlapped area on the sleeve to secure. (Diagram 6).

diagram6

4. If desired, fuse or sew an embellishment on the mug cozy. (Find the snowflake pattern we used under “Materials”.)

 

Clay Gift Tag Accents

IMG_8263_edit.jpg

Add a special touch to store-bought gift tags! These cute clay shapes are so easy and fun to make.


Materials:

img_8252_edit


Assemble the Clay Shapes:

1. Roll the oven-bake clay to approximately 1/4″ thickness.

img_8253_edit

 

2. Cut out your shapes using the metal cutters.

img_8254_edit

3. Referring to the photo at the top of the blog, cut out clay embellishments using a knife. We added frosting stripes and buttons to the gingerbread man; a cuff, heel, and toe to the stocking; a scarf to the snowman; and ornaments and a star to the tree.

 

4. Bake at 275 °F  for 30 minutes.


Assemble the Gift Tags:

1. Using crafts glue, attach the shapes to a gift tag.

2. Use baker’s twice to tie the gift tag to your present.