Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kids Craft: Woven Newspaper Basket

Yesterday, we made this fun kids craft from FamilyFun. The directions are on the Family Fun post, but I'll give you a little play-by-play for fun!

Paper Towel Roll
Big Rubber Band
Scotch Tape

Gather your supplies.

Cut the newspaper into strips. Basically, I unfolded a double fold page and cut it into 4 equal strips.

Fold into strips. We folded in half, and then folded the two sides toward the center. Our strips were pretty wide. The wider the strips and fewer folds, the less sturdy the basket. If we were to fold this same size strip into skinnier folds, it would make the basket more sturdy.

Cross two strips into the shape of a plus sign and tape together.  

Add two strips between the cross pieces.

Add two more strips between the remaining cross pieces, as evenly as possible.

Center the asterisk-shaped strips over the paper towel roll. 

Fold the strips down and rubber band them to hold them in place.

Take some other strips and weave them in and out, around the base of the basket, working your way up. 

Fold the tops of the basket inward, and tape them down. 

We also cut a circle of cardboard, using the paper towel roll as a template, and placed it in the bottom of our basket, to give it extra strength. 

I then let Mr. Man go crazy with some paint markers! 

He's THRILLED with his finished product!

This was actually really easy to make and MIGHT have inspired me to make some other cool stuff from newspapers!

If you want to make an awesome grown-up version, check out this post

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Honey Do

Make your own chalkboard paint!?!?

Umm, yes please! Thank you, Martha Stewart!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Crochet Gladiator Sandals Pattern

Well, I said I'd tell you how I made them. Here's my attempt!

I realized, as I was putting these together, that it is EXTREMELY difficult to explain what I did. Please forgive me if this makes no sense!

For the sole of these particular shoes, I used 3-ply jute, which can usually be found in the jewelry section of craft stores. Using this for the sole makes them durable and able to be worn outside. My daughter currently wears a toddler size 6 shoe, so this sole size should fit.

Using a J hook, ch 8.
Turn. Sc in 2nd ch from hook and across. 3 sc in 1st ch sp.
Sc 6. 4 sc in next.
Sc 5. 2 sc in next 3.
Sc 6. 2 hdc in next 3. Hdc in next.
Sc 7. Hdc in next. 2 hdc in next. Hdc in next.
2 Hdc in next. Sc 7.
2 Hdc in next 4. Hdc in next.
Sc in next. Sl st in next. Join with an invisible join, weaving in ends.

Make two soles.

If you'd prefer to make a sole in a different size, use any crochet shoe pattern, like my cowboy boots pattern, found here. I want to note that jute is not the easiest thing with which to crochet. You have to use a large hook, and it can be a little hard on the hands. If you aren't concerned about outdoor durability, make the soles from yarn, but remember they are slippery!

This is where it is difficult for me to explain.

Using a very long length of yarn, I drew it through the sole of the shoe at the place where I thought the center of the toe piece should be joined. (Remember to do this on the opposite side for the other sole.) You then tie a somewhat loose double knot to serve as your first ch. Using BOTH strands of yarn, crochet a chain. I used an H hook and made my chain 10 ch long.

I left the long tails and then moved on to the next piece.

As you can see, I used the same method for each of the cross straps. For my cross straps, ch 5, ch 1 in the 3rd ch sp in toe piece, ch 7. Join into opposite side of sole. When I joined it into the opposite side of the sole, I just drew one length of my yarn through the bottom and pulled it back up. I tied it off several times and wove the ends into the straps. I then trimmed the yarn. 

Finally, I made a long ch, using the same method of double-stranded yarn, starting in the last cross piece, 2nd ch sp. Mine was about 14 ch long. I turned at the end and sl st into the 4th ch from the end. I tied the yarn around the ending loop a few times, wove in the ends, and trimmed the excess yarn. 

This is what the bottom looks like. There is very little purple yarn peeking through, and as you pull it tighter, it will show even less. 

This is a close-up of the loop at the end of the heel strap. 

Finally, using needle and thread, I sewed a button in the appropriate size for the loop on my heel strap, to the opposite side of the heel strap. 

And then I made the other shoe!

Little lady VERY UNWILLINGLY tried these shoes on for me! You don't get to see the rest of her because she was throwing an absolute FIT! ;) 

Cute, huh!?!?

If you were able to decode and understand my method, you could EASILY make these shoes in any size. Like I said, you can use any sole pattern out there to make the crochet shoe in the size of your choosing. I just always wanted to work with jute, so I gave it a go! 

As always, feel free to use my pattern for personal use, but please don't use it for items you sell!

I've got another pair of crochet sandals in the works now, so be on the lookout!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Disney Collection: In Action

Well, we're home from vacation! Here are some pictures of the Disney Collection, in action, at Downtown Disney, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and the Magic Kingdom! Enjoy!

(Such a lady.)

(He got lots of compliments on his Spider-Mickey shirt. The Disney workers were really impressed!)

We had a blast on vacation. We skimped on pictures quite a bit on the last day, though! ;) 

I'll start adding Disney items to my Etsy shop soon!