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Posted by on Feb 28, 2012 | 0 comments

DIY Dollhouse Miniatures: Rag Rug and Patchwork Blanket

DIY Dollhouse Miniatures: Rag Rug and Patchwork Blanket

I recently wrote about the miniature macramé plant hanger I made for my daughter’s dollhouse, after stumbling upon the astonishing world of dollhouse miniatures. That same weekend, I made a rag rug from a few old cotton shirts and a patchwork blanket for the bed. What I love about these projects is that they’re practice for the life-size version of a craft — the lost art of macramé, the frontier rag rug, and the patchwork blanket. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at macramé and have plans to weave a rag rug with old clothes or sweaters for our house. The Rag Rug Here’s how I fashioned a miniature rag rug in an hour and change. I cut up a couple of my daughters’ old shirts and followed instructions from the site Wee Folk Arts. I tacked three long pieces together with embroidery floss. Then, I braided the pieces as tightly as I could. I wound the braided piece into a tight circle, sewing the sides together with...

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Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 | 0 comments

Field Trip: American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

Field Trip: American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

If you’re the slightest bit into DIY, upcycling, and wacky art of any kind or you have kids, you’ll love the American Visionary Art Museum near the waterfront in Baltimore. The museum features self-taught, outsider artists who make art for the love of art. It’s an easy 1-hour drive from DC and well worth the admission charge. I swear, after visiting this museum, I’m never throwing away anything that could be made into a mosaic or sculpture of some sort! After exiting I-95 to Key Highway, after about .5 mile, the first thing you see when you approach the museum, is the glittering exterior, like a brilliant, giant disco ball. (Thank you to George Krauss for letting us use this photo.) I can’t begin to describe each of the exhibitions, permanent and temporary. I encourage you to go and see for yourself. Some of the pieces I marveled at were: The giant bra ball (like a rubberband ball but made from bras and probably 4 feet in diameter) The...

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Posted by on Feb 21, 2012 | 1 comment

Presidents Day-Inspired Freezer Paper Stencil T-Shirts

Presidents Day-Inspired Freezer Paper Stencil T-Shirts

Last week I was looking for ideas for Presidents Day activities and I found this site describing how to make Abe Lincoln and George Washington freezer paper stencils. I’ve been wanting to make freezer paper stencils for a while now, so this was a great time to try. Although Abe looks pretty awesome, it was probably out my range for a first-time stencil. So I stuck with a design a little simpler, a little more modern, a little more Del Ray: Obama, of course! Here are the supplies used: A white t-shirt, blue and red fabric paint, sponge brushes and freezer paper. I purchased everything but the freezer paper at Michael’s. The freezer paper came from Hancock Fabrics (at the Route 1 location, it’s way in the back near the quilting supplies). You can actually print directly on the matte finish side of the freezer paper. I already printed the logo on a piece of plain paper so I just traced it onto the freezer paper and cut it...

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Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 | 0 comments

Decor for the Outdoors: Tin Can Wind Chimes

Decor for the Outdoors: Tin Can Wind Chimes

Tin can wind chimes are a great way to upcycle tin cans and enliven your backyard in the winter with a pop of color and a gentle “tink” when the wind blows. Here’s how you can make a set for yourself: 1. Collect your supplies. Large, medium, and small tin cans. Take the paper off the tin cans and wash them. A file tool for smoothing any sharp edges on the cans. Paint brushes and outdoor paint. (AC Moore or Michaels) Small wooden beads (optional).  (AC Moore or Michaels) Garden twine. Hammer and nail. 2. Put holes in the bottoms of the cans with the hammer and nail. You can do this after you paint the cans if you wish. 3. Paint the cans with either outdoor paint like we did, or else acrylic in which case you’ll need to spray a sealant over the paint before you hang the chimes outside. 4. This is the tricky part. Starting with the largest can, thread the twine through the hole...

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Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 | 2 comments

One-Hour Project: Child-Sized Blanket Roll

One-Hour Project: Child-Sized Blanket Roll

I have fond memories from childhood lying on the living room floor watching movies while snuggled up in my 1970s vintage Scooby Doo sleeping bag. And ever since my oldest son Jack started asking for a family movie night, I’ve been thinking about sleeping bags. Jack has a sleeping bag, but little Calvin doesn’t, so this was the perfect time to make one. I looked online for instructions, materials, and was a little dismayed by the cost and the complexity of a true sleeping bag. Calvin doesn’t really like to get under blankets (at age 3 he is totally fine keeping himself warm in the fetal position with his stuffed animals around him), so I decided I would go super basic and make a blanket roll using supplies on hand. In a couple more years, he’ll get the deluxe model with the zipper, built-in pillow, and who knows what other accoutrements. The blanket roll is really easy. All you need is a sewing machine, 2 pieces of fabric, quilt batting,...

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