Wednesday, 29 December 2010

How to Make a Dog Coat

How to Make a Dog Coat
By Praline Ramirez

The manufacturing of a dog coat and other apparel has become the fastest growing industry for several years. With the continuous demand of dog apparels their prices are becoming expensive also. Even Gucci and Ralph Lauren are into designing dog clothing and accessories.

If you go to a local pet store, their prices for a simple dog outfit, small dog coat, and winter dog coat can be a little pricey considering the material used and the design. To save yourself some money, try making your own dog clothing. It is very simple and any dog lover could try making this project at home.

Here are the materials you will need to make dog clothing: Fabric, scissors, thread, small buttons, sewing machine, ruler, tape measure, pen or marker, pattern paper, and any accessories you can add. All these items are cheap. The trick to sewing fabulous dog clothing is how you make it.

• Measure your dog from his neck to the end of his tail. The fabric you will buy will depend upon the size of your dog and the weather. If it is a small dog then you can sew a small dog coat. If it is winter season then purchase a thicker fabric to create a winter dog coat.

• Create a design into the pattern paper using the measurement of your dog as your guide. Once you finished designing, cut the pattern paper.

• Pin the pattern paper into the fabric and use the pattern paper as your guide in cutting the fabric. Make sure that you have allotted at least ½ inches. Use these extra inches to sew all edges of the fabric to make sure that it does not ripped apart. It is important to do this instruction before continuing to sew the entire dog clothing.

• With the help of the pattern paper, mark the fabric where all seams match or where the collar should be attached or where you should place your buttons, and the like.

• Once you have done marking the fabric, sew the dog clothing together by following the pattern's instructions.

• After sewing the pieces of fabric together, attached the buttons on it. For small dog coat and winter dog coat use buttons that are big and sturdy.

• To make it more fashionable you could add up some accessories on the back part of the dog clothing.

These steps can be easily accomplished once you start putting them into action. When you are done with these steps you will realize just how easy it is to make your own dog coat.

Praline Ramirez is a writer for Little Pampered Pets, an online pet boutique. Visit us at

How To Make Candles From Home: Do You Want To Learn How To Make Candles At Home?

By Michael Jardim

Learning how to make candles from home how fun, I personally make my own candles from home and even do it as a full time business. That's why today I will be teaching you how to make your own unique candles from the comfort of your own home. The types of candles I will be teaching you to make today are called scented candles. The scented candles are very unique and one of the most popular candles to make, due to the fact that when they are lighten up they let of a wonderful smell and tend to give people a sense of peace and relaxation.

Before You Learn How To Make Candles From Home You Are Going To Need To Gather The Following Items:

1) Candle Wicks (Use pre-tabbed wicks that are 1 inch longer than the candles you will be making)

2) Two Cooking Pots (One large and one medium)

3) A Cookie Cutter

4) Color Dye (This is optional)

5) Scented Oil (Available at your local arts and craft shop)

6) A Block Of Wax (I recommend paraffin wax)

7) A Candy Thermometer

8) Scissors

9) A Few Sticks To Stir The Wax

10) Molds (You can use small shot glasses or drinking glasses as they make excellent molds)

OK I Have What I Need Now Please Teach Me How To Make Candles From Home!

Its time to start learning how to make candles from home, so you are firstly going to get your pre-tabbed candle wicks and place them in the center of your molds. Now take the large pot and place your cookie cuter inside and then fill the pot with about two inches of water. Set the stove to a temperature of medium to high, and place the pot on top of the stove. You are going to need to wait for a couple of minuets for the water in the pot to start boiling. Once the water in the pot is boiling place your medium pot into the large pot on top of the cookie cuter.

You are now going to place your block of wax into the medium pot, allow the wax to melt. After you see that the wax is well melted, set the stoves temperature down to medium to low and continue to stir the wax.

After the wax is well melted remove the pot from the stove and allow the wax to cool down. Using the candy thermometer check the temperature of the wax as it should be at a temperature of 200 degrees F. You are now going to add your scented oil to the wax and stir the wax well. If using dye then also place the desired amount to the wax and stir.

Now allow the wax to cool down to a temperature of about 175 degrees F. You are now going to get your molds and begin to pour the wax into the molds one by one, Take care to make sure that the candle wick stays scented at all times. After the molds are poured, they are going to need to stay to dry for about two to three hour's. If the candles are dry and contain sink holes then just refill them till the holes are full and even. You are now going to cut your candle wicks with a scissors so that there is about 5mm sticking out as this will be the flint of your candle.

I now invite you to come over to my site MAKE CANDLES FROM HOME where we will be going in to much more detail on how to make your own candles, as this article was just a summery on this topic, so I hope to see you there take care and good luck.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Christmas Wreath Steering Wheel Cover

Christmas Wreath Steering Wheel Cover
Decorate your steering wheel with yule tide and knitting. With this free knitting pattern you can make yourself a wonderfully looking wreath steering wheel cover. This makes for a great holiday gift.

2 skeins Caron Fling in Aloe
Size 13 knitting needles
Tapestry Needle

Finished Size
Depends on steering wheel size.

CO = Cast on
K = Knit
BO = Bind off

First measure the circumference of your steering wheel. That is how long you’ll knit your cover. Mine was 46” around, so I knit my piece until it was 46” long. The width of mine was about 4½“ wide with a CO of 8 stitches. I would suggest making a 2 – 3“ swatch to check that the 8 stitch width is enough to wrap around your steering wheel. The width really stretches so as long as you don’t knit extremely tight, 8 stitches should be plenty.

CO 8 stitches (add or decrease CO stitches as needed)

Knit all rows until your piece is the length of your steering wheel.

BO very loosely.

Finished piece is not sewn on, but merely attached to the steering wheel with a length of yarn and using it to wrap the finished piece around your steering wheel. Cut a length of your Caron Fling about 2-3 yards in length and wind it into a little ball so it will be easier to wind around your steering wheel. Wind a second ball for the second wrap.

Now just lay your finished piece onto the steering wheel with both ends at the bottom and the middle will be lying loosely at the top of your wheel. Starting at one end begin wrapping the width of the piece around the wheel and at the same time use your length of yarn to attach/wrap the piece to the wheel all around. Leave a long tail so that once you go all the way around you can tie these 2 end yarn pieces together.

TIP: You may find it easier to temporarly attach your piece to the steering wheel first with short loops of a contrasting bulky yarn that you can cut away as you reach them.

Keep wrapping the piece to your wheel in this manner until you reach the other end of your piece. Overlap one end of your piece over the beginning end and tie the 2 yarn ends together tightly.

That was your first wrap and the piece should now be nicely attached to your steering wheel. Now using the second long length of Caron Fling wrap your steering wheel again paying close attention to wrapping in between the other wrap and closing up any areas that aren’t wrapped around the wheel. Again tie the 2 yarn ends together tightly. Cut any yarn tails. Because you have used the Caron Fling to wrap the piece and attach it to the steering wheel the wrap doesn’t show. Cover should be very snuggly attached to the steering wheel.

All you do now is just attach your bow, also tying it onto the wheel with the Caron Fling. I took 2 lengths of the Caron Fling and put each through the loops of my bow and tied the bow to the steering wheel at the back. You can find the FREE bow pattern I used for mine at this link… If you prefer just tie a satin ribbon in the same manner to the top of your steering wheel.

When the Christmas season is over and you want to remove your cover, just run your fingers over the wheel and you should easily be able to feel where it’s wrapped with the yarn strand. Cut that strand and unwrap your wheel. Remember there will be 2 strands wrapped around that you’ll have to remove.

This way you can save it to use again next year!

Free pattern from

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

How to Make a Coat Hanger Christmas Tree

How to Make a Coat Hanger Christmas TreeBy A. Labedzki

Some of the most fascinating crafts can often be technically 'best out of waste' and a coat hanger Christmas tree is just one of them. This small tree can be your ideal Christmas decoration without giving a hint of what it is made of. It is a rather simple design, where only the construction of the frame requires some trick and the rest follows. Therefore, once the frame is done, small kids under adult supervision or grown up kids can complete the remaining portion. This style of tree also allows a lot of room for experimentation in terms of colors and decoration.

Go through the following instructions to erect your Christmas tree:

• Material Requirements:
- Coat hangers, preferably with rotational hooks:
- Three in number, if made of metal
- Six in number, if made of plastic
- Twist ties, craft wire, electrical tape, or strings
- Glue
- A pair of scissors
- Garlands in sparkling green color or as per choice
- Electrical lights
- Ornaments, stars, cones, ribbons, etc.
- Toys or other decorations

• Construction: The frame intended here will look like a tripod stand. Remember, a hanger resembles a triangle with two equal sides and the hook is located at the angle formed by these sides.
- Step 1. If you have taken plastic hangers, make three pairs. Superimpose two hangers and tie or tape them to add strength. If you have metal hangers, skip this step.
- Step 2. Position a hanger, or a pair, in such a way, that one of the equal sides is towards the floor and the other one vertical.
- Step 3. Hold two of them similarly, joining firmly their vertical sides together at a small angle. Recall what any two sides of a tripod appear like. The alignment of the hooks will take care of itself. Rotational hooks are helpful in case any adjustment is needed here.
- Step 4. Join the third hanger towards the 'larger' angle formed by the two hangers in Step 3. For better balancing, all the three 'legs' should have equal angles between them.
- Step 5. Place the structure upright.
- Step 6. Stick one end of the garland of your choice to the top of the frame.
- Step 7. Wrap it around and continue until the lowest point.

• Decoration:
- Step 1. Use standalone or string of Christmas lights around the tree in linear or hanging fashion.
- Step 2. Adorn your tree with twisted ribbon, ornaments, cones, candies, and other decorative items.

Annette Labedzki received her BFA at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. She has more than 25 years experience. She is the founder and developer of an online art gallery featuring original art from all over the world. It is a great site for art collectors to buy original art. Is is also a venue for artists to display and sell their art. Artists can join for free and their image upload is unlimited. Please visit the website at

Decorative Christmas Candle Holders

Decorative Christmas Candle HoldersBeautiful and functional candleholders made from flour and salt dough. Cheap and easy to make and look rather effective.

You will need...
4oz (100g) Plain Flour
3oz (75g) Salt
Hot Water
Spray varnish or clear lacquer

Begin by dissolving the salt in a small amount of hot water. Add the flour and mix to form dough. Add cold water if necessary but don't make the dough too sticky.

Now you're ready to model your candleholders. It's helpful if you have a candle handy to gage the size of the candleholder needed.

You need to start off with a base. Roll out some of the dough with a rolling pin. Use a cutter or a glass to cut out a circle from the dough. This is the base of the candleholder.

Roll two long sausages that are long enough to reach around the edge of the base. Twist the sausages together to create a nice rope effect. Fix the twisted strip around the base with a little cold water for glue. Add decorations to your candle stick base...

Holly is attractive and gives the candleholder a festive flavour. Roll out an amount of dough with a rolling pin and using a knife cut out a prickly holly leaf. Use the knife to press on some leaf veins. With a dab of water, stick the leaf draping over the twist edging. Roll three small balls of dough for berries and stick them at the base of the leaf.

Rose Candleholder...
Cut two leaves, press in some leaf veins and stick the leaves on the twisted edge so that they over hang. Roll six small balls of dough and squash them to make circles. Pinch the bottom of one of the petals so that it almost folds in half. Wrap another petal around the first pinching the bottom and gently moulding the petal so that it curves out. Add the other petals in this way, pinching the bottom. Allow each petal to slightly overlap the previous one. With a dab of water stick the rose between the leaves on the candleholder.

Mousie Brown wasn't keen on tall candlesticks but he loved our cute little candleholders. To make a mouse roll out a long, thin sausage of dough, make it taper at one end. Stick this to the edging of the candleholder so that it curls like a mouse's tail. Roll a small mouse sized ball of dough, pinch out a pointed nose. Stick the mouse body to the candleholder on top of the wide part of the mouse's tail. Roll two small balls and squash them flat. Pinch the bottom of each ear slightly to give the ear some shape, and stick them to the mouse's head. Roll two tiny balls for his eyes.

Feeling confident? Try making a fancy, more traditional looking candleholder. Roll out some dough and cut out a larger base than before. Create a wavy edge tot he base - Put two fingers on the far edge of the base a fingers width apart. With the other hand, drag your index finger towards you between the two fingers of the other hand, making the dough ruckel up. Do this around the edge of the base but leaving a space with no shaping.

Roll out a chunky sausage and make a dough nut shape to hold the candle. Stick the doughnut on to the middle of the shaped base. Roll out another chunky sausage to make a handle. Stick one end to the doughnut shape (at the point where there is no shaping in the base) and curl it round so that it almost forms an 'S' shape, stick the other end on the base.

Once you have moulded your candleholders put them in the oven on a low heat for two hours. The are in the oven to dry out, not to bake so keep the heat low.

When they come out of the oven, leave them for a couple of days to dry out completely. Then paint, spray varnish, and insert a candle.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Homemade Christmas Dough Decorations - A Christmas Ornament Craft For Kids

Homemade Christmas Dough Decorations - A Christmas Ornament Craft For KidsAre you looking for easy, fun crafts to keep your kids occupied? With this article I will share with you how to make homemade Christmas decorations using dough, a great inexpensive craft you and your kids can do during the holiday season.

I will also show you a place where you can find other cool things to keep kids of all ages crafty and engaged during the holidays along with more ideas for Christmas ornament crafts for kids.

You'll find that the time spent creating your unique holiday creations will be well spent and something to be admired.

To make these homemade Christmas decorations you will need:

4 cups of white flour
1/2 cup of salt
1 cup of water
Food coloring (optional)
Cookie cutters (optional)
1/4 cup ground cinnamon or a few drops of mint extract (optional)

For decorating your ornaments you will need:

Ribbon, pipe cleaners or fishing line Acrylic brushes and paints Glitter, Stickers, Felt pens, Stamps, Etc. Non toxic paint sealer

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add the couple drops of food coloring to the water.

Add water to the dry ingredients.

You may want to mix up a few batches of different colored dough, or you can omit the food coloring and just decorate your ornaments later with acrylic paints. If you choose to add cinnamon to your dry mixture, then this will just make your ornaments smell wonderful!

If your dough mixture feels too sticky, just add a little bit more flour. Knead the dough until it is smooth and stiff. Use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough to about a eighth of an inch but no more than half an inch, otherwise they will be heavy if you plan on hanging them on your tree.

Once the texture is nice and smooth, use your cookie cutters to cut out different shapes. You can also shape the dough into a design of your own, making them cool 3D decorations.

Here is how to make a candy cane decoration my kids like to make:

We mix up 2 batches of dough, one is red and one is plain. They flatten out the dough and cut out two long strips from each batch then intertwine the two strips to create candy cane decorations. To the plain batch we add a few drops of mint just to make them fragrant.

Depending on how big your decorations are, you can use a pen or straw to make a small hole at the top of each of your creations. Then place them on a baking sheet, and bake them in the oven at a low setting (150-200) degrees for about an hour.

After your decorations have baked, remove them from the oven. Once they have cooled completely, the fun part begins!

Pull out the stickers, felt markers, paints, glitter, dried flowers and anything else you can think of, and start decorating. Get those creative juices flowing!

When you are all finished decorating, let the paint dry for a few hours, then seal them with a coat of clear non toxic sealant.

When your ornaments have dried, string a ribbon, pipe cleaner or fishing line through the top and tie a knot. You can also use metal ornament hangers if you have extras.

Hang your new homemade Christmas decorations from the Christmas tree, wreath, swag or anyplace you like!

Christine Willson loves sharing neat ideas with parents who want to have really cool crafts for kids to do all year long.

Have You Ever Tried A Home-Made Christmas?

Christmas is so commercialized now that it takes a sacrifice on the parts of many parents and others as well. So what can we do about it?

The financial analysts are all saying that retail shopping is down for this time of year - but where does the money come from?

Don't we all ask that question of ourselves and others at some point during this high-spending season?

Some of the costs include the "turkey", stuffing, and meal and meal preparation. Then there are the countless gifts - if you buy gifts too far ahead of time you can be sure that the receiver of that gift you selected already has that particular item. So, now you're stuck!

My grandchildren always tell me that Mom and Dad won't give them money - or enough money (whichever applies). So, in this time when finances are tough, I have implemented a Home-Made Christmas.

My children and grandchildren think it is an awesome idea!

What it amounts to is that everything must be home-made by the giver. It costs less, takes more thought, and usually all your love is poured into this home-made gift!

I am fortunate though - I am able to home-sew my Christmas gifts at any given time and I have lots of choices for gift ideas.

I can home-sew a Trapunto Purse for the stylish person on my list, an exercise mat for the person wanting to get into shape, a country rabbit for the toddler in the crowd, or even Seminole patchwork towels works. All of the above are inexpensive and when you get creative, you can really make someone's face light up!

There is a Fish Tote Bag for the typical beach-goer; alphabet blocks for the baby; a jewellery sack for the traveler; trust me when I say the most popular of them all for the small girls is a doll bassinet.

There is so much to choose from - sure it's time consuming, but trust me, it's worth the time it takes. If you home-sew these items creatively, no one else will ever have the same item. This might even lead to bigger and better things for you as a home-sewer.

Before the big day, I even home-sew my own Christmas ornaments - they are really easy to do. All you need are scraps of fabric and lots of imagination!

So, in this case, my only expense left is the meal - I will have to purchase a turkey and the meal part, but think of all the money you can save by making your Christmas a Home-made holiday.

There is nothing comparable to the pride on a child's face as when you open their gift (and even if it's not perfectly made or whatever, you know the amount of love that went into it).

So, let's un-commercialize Christmas and save tons of money (for some of us at least)!

The other advantage to this concept is that everyone is not tied to their electronic equipment and they think to themselves - "I can do something, can't I?" They might have to think about it for a while, but usually come up with something that is well thought-out and planned out even better.

This gift that they come up took more effort than shopping on the internet (no effort involved in that is there?), walking through the stores at Christmas, fighting the crowds, and picking the first thing that looks suitable!

Most people would agree that a home-made or home-sewn Christmas means more to them than a commercialized Christmas and I have to agree!

Don't look at the flaws; look at the effort and love that went into that gift, even if you aren't sure about it. And while you're at it, look at their faces as they present that special gift to you - remember it came from their hearts!

Think about it and try it just once - you might really like it!

There is lots of good information at

When you sign up for a membership or just for the blog posts, you receive a report on sewing machines. This is a great thing to have, both now and in the future.

When you get stuck or frustrated, leave a comment in the comment box, and it will be answered within 24 hours.

Perfect Valentines :: Tea Cosy Folk :: Santas Postbag::Halloween Mania ::Zafyna

Christmas Tree Lavender Bags

Christmas Tree Lavender Bags
Lavender bag are so lovely to receive as gifts, because they smell wonderful and they have be hung on a door handle to fragrance a room, or kept in a shoe cupboard to combat odours or hung in a wardrobe to keep clothes smelling fresh. Christmas tree lavender bags are especially nice at Christmas because they look festive in a triangular tree shape. Christmas tree lavender bags are also great to make for Christmas bazaars because they are quick and easy to make and can be made with odds an ends, so they are really thrifty.

To make a Christmas Tree Lavender bag you will need...

Scraps of fabric,
Ribbon, braid or cord to make hanging loops,
Small amount of toy stuffing,
Dries lavender flower heads or alternatively any dried herbs or a bottle of scented essence,
Buttons, beads, bells and an assortment of exciting things to decorate your tree,
A Christmas tree pattern which you can print out here.

Cut out the paper pattern and cut out two tree shapes from fabric for each bag. You could use matching fabric or two different patterned fabrics. When you cut out the fabric cut about half a centimetre bigger then the pattern, this will give you a seam allowance.

Pin the tree pieces of fabric together with the right sides facing. Cut a length of ribbon to make a hanging loop. Fold the ribbon in half and sandwich the loop between the fabrics so that the main part of the loop is on the inside and a small position of ribbon with the raw edges is sticking out the tip of the Christmas tree.

Starting in the middle of one of the long edges of the tree, sew all around the edge of the Christmas tree leaving an opening of about 1.5 cm for stuffing.

Turn the tree right sides out and press flat with a hot iron.

Now its time to add the lavender or herbs to the bag push a few into the hole and then lightly stuff the Christmas tree so that it is pleasantly plump.

With an invisible sewing stitch, sew up the hole.

All that is left now is to decorate your tree with buttons, bows, beads and things. Simply sew them into place.

Beautiful Christmas tree lavender bags that everyone will adore.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Art of Crochet by Teresa: Crochet SnowFlake

Written Instructions Crochet SnowFlake #6

How to Make Doily Christmas Tree

How to Make Doily Christmas TreeA doily Christmas tree is an aristocratic decoration that intensifies any small corner of home during the season, as well as the winter holidays. A delightful addition on a fireplace mantle or windowsill, Doily Christmas tree is a beautiful homemade craft that makes for an ideal Christmas gift. Indulging in Christmas craft activity is a fun way to count down the days until the festival. Here is an easy guide to help you design a Christmas tree from doilies.

Materials required:

1. Five small doilies - 5"-6" at the most
2. Green ribbon
3. Empty chips packet
4. Kitchen roll
5. Plaster of Paris
6. Fabric stiffener
7. Craft glue
8. Fabricated star
9. Glitter (optional)

Steps to make Christmas doily trees:

• Select five doilies: Stretch five different sized doilies to enlarge them to different sizes. Place them in the ascending order of size.
• Flatten the kitchen roll: Apply glue all over the roll and paste green ribbon on it.
• Crush chips bag: Crush the bag a little bit with the tube upright. Hold it in position with one hand.
• Dilute the plaster of Paris (PoP): Pour some PoP between the outside of the kitchen roll and the chips packet. As it starts to set, pour some more plaster of Paris, until it reaches up to the brim of the chips packet.
• Apply fabric stiffener to doily: Dip the largest doily into the fabric stiffener and coat the entire surface in the solution.
• Sticking doily to roll: Slide the largest doily all the way to the bottom of the roll, so that its base is even with that of the roll.
• Working with other doilies: Repeat the above step with the remaining doilies, leaving a few inches of space between each one on the roll. The last doily should sit just below the tip of the roll.
• Patterning of doilies: Arrange doilies in the shape of a Christmas tree. The doilies towards the base should resemble the flat appearance of the lower branches of a Christmas tree. Accordingly, the top doilies should be more peaked.
• Reshaping doilies: As the doilies dry, the tree may begin to hand down too much. Reshape the doilies at frequent intervals, until they have dried completely.
• Ornamentation: Put some fabricated ornaments and sparkle on the tree and at its base. Stick a big star at its top.

Annette Labedzki received her BFA at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. She has more than 25 years experience. She is the founder and developer of an online art gallery featuring original art from all over the world. It is a great site for art collectors to buy original art. Is is also a venue for artists to display and sell their art. Artists can join for free and their image upload is unlimited. Please visit the website at

Christmas Card Ball Decoration

Christmas Card Ball DecorationHome-made card balls are attractive and so simple to make. They can be made to any size. Small ones for the Christmas tree or Large ones to decorate a room, they make great alternative to balloons. You can imagine thrifty Victorians making these card balls to decorate their house at Christmas time.

To begin with you will need a triangle and a circle card board template. You can make these from an old cereal box. The triangle needs to be an equilateral triangle.

You will need cardboard, a pair of compass and a ruler to make your triangle. First draw a straight horizontal line to form the base of the triangle. Open the compass so that the point and the pencil ate the same distance apart as the length of the ruled line. Then with the pint of the ruler on one end of the ruled line, lightly draw a curve with the compass. The do the same thing with the point of the compass on the other end of the ruled line. Where the two curves cross is the to point of the triangle. Rule lines from this point to the base of the triangle. Cut the triangle out and place to one side.

To make the circle template, use the compass to draw a circle a few millimetres larger than the than the triangle.

Now using thin coloured card or old Christmas cards, you need to draw and cut out 20 circles using your template so that they are all the same size. You could use the same coloured card, and then paint the ball once it is complete. You could make a photo ball using photos of all the family stuck to pieces of cardboard.

Christmas Card Ball DecorationsThe circles now need to be folded into shape ready for construction. Lay a card circle face up on the table. Place your triangle template on top and hold it down firmly whilst you fold up the sides of your circle around the triangle template, to form a triangle inside the circle. It's a bit like wrapping up presents.Christmas Card Ball Decorations Unwrap the triangle, and move on to the next circle. All 20 circles need triangle folds fling inside them.

To construct the ball...
To attach the folded card circles together simply lift the circle sides on two pieces so that it stands up and forms a ridge, the folded triangle side butt up to one another. The ridge is where you staple to join the two triangles. Apply more staples for larger balls if you wish to. Staples are also easily removed if you make a mistake.

Join five triangles together so that it forms a dome shape. Make two more domes, each with five triangles joined together. Then join the 3 domes together.

You may find yourself getting lost at this stage, and you will probably be thinking that it will never work. But it does, just carry on and follow these rules.

Check around your ball. Each triangle has to be part of a dome where five triangles meet. Add the remaining triangles to the places on your ball where there are too few triangles. Eventually you will have used up all of the triangles and your ball will be complete.

Tuck some ribbon for hanging between two joining triangles at the point you would like to be the top of the ball.

Finishing touches...
You could splatter your ball with coloured paint to create a funky design.

You could apply glue to all the stapled ridges and sprinkle on some glitter to really jazz it up.

You could staple tinsel along the ridges of a large ball.

You could make a Christmas room decoration centrepiece mobile. Small card balls suspended at varying lengths from one large card ball, with a cut out of Santa hanging from the centre.

When your really good at making card balls, substitute staples for glue and make a little gift box for sweets, earrings and other trinkets.

These card balls are brilliant fun. Everyone will be amazed at the cleverness of it. Best of all, it's re-cycling at it festive, using old Christmas cards, used cereal boxes, last years odds and ends of gift wrap, tinsel and glitter. 

Perfect Valentines :: Tea Cosy Folk :: Santas Postbag::Halloween Mania ::Zafyna

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A Puff Fabric Christmas Tree

A Puff Fabric Christmas TreeFancy an unusual Christmas tree for a change? This Christmas tree is made from fabric and with a dab of essential oils on the branches, it's sure to enhance your environment visually and smellily.

To make a fabric Christmas tree you will need...

A plastic fizzy pop bottle, a four inch plastic plant pot, 450g of all purpose decorators interior filler, approximately 32cm of wooden doweling (about pencil thickness), tin foil, paint, assorted fabrics, a Christmas bauble as a tree topper, stuffing and binding an beads to decorate.

Begin by pushing some tin foil into the bottom of the plat pot to cover the holes.

Mix up the interior filler to a thick mixture and put I inside the plant pot. Push the doweling into the mixture in the centre of the pot of filler.

Cut the plastic bottle around the top where the thickness of the plastic changes. Keep the neck part of the bottle and discard the rest. Turn the neck of the bottle upside-down and thread it down over the doweling and push it into the filler a little way to fix it into place.

The bottle top and the doweling should be self-supporting with the thickness of the mixture holding them up, but criss-cross some selotape over the top of the plant pot to keep the dowel upright. Leave it over night too completely dry out.

Paint the plant pot, dowel, plastic bottle, and the exposed filler. I used a metallic bronze coloured paint. You may need to apply a few coats of paint to get a good finish. Leave to dry.

Glue some bronze coloured bindind around the top of the plant pot.

Making the branches of the Christmas tree...

Cut out six circles with radiuses of 14.5cm, 11cm, 8cm, 6cm, 5cm and 3cm. A free printable patters n the circles can be printed out here...

Fold each cloth circle in half and in half again and snip the corner to create a small hole (about the size of the doweling) in the centre of the fabric.

Begin with the largest circle. Sew a line of running stitches around the edge of the fabric. Thread the fabric circle over the doweling and draw up the stitches slightly. Lightly stuff the circle and draw up the stitches a little more until the edge of the fabrics is roughly 4cm away from the doweling. Finnish off.

Work the 11cm radius circle next in the same way, but this time draw the fabric up so that it is only 3cms away from the dowel, making sure that this 'branch' conceals the stuffing from the previous branch.

Continue in this way until all the circles have been added to the Christmas tree.

With PVA glue, stick the Christmas tree bauble to the top of the doweling to create a Christmas tree topper. Decorate the branches with beads, small bells, stings of pearls and anything to hand - a couple of little stitches should hold each decoration in place.

Finish off by dabbing a few drops of essential oils to the Christmas tree branch to create a pleasant aroma.

Christmas Crafts - Christmas Door Knob Decorations

Christmas Crafts - Christmas Door knob DecorationsYou can create your own Christmas doorknob hanger to place on any door in the house. Just by using your imagination you can make great holiday decorations for your home, plus it's fun for the whole family to create wonderful Christmas crafts that will last a lifetime. Below are several easy craft ideas for Christmas doorknob hangers.

Simple Holiday Doorknob Hanger: By using a 4" to 6" piece of plywood and dressing it up with Christmas décor, you will have a Christmas doorknob hanger in no time. All you need is a piece of plywood, Christmas colored markers, a holiday stencil, red or green chenille stems, ribbon, glue gun and of course your own imagination. Try a gingerbread man stencil and add the words "Bite Me" to the plywood. Use one of the chenille stems to hang your doorknob hanger around the doorknob once you have finished decorating it.

Christmas Crafts Doorknob Wreath: Just by purchasing a small grapevine wreath that a doorknob will go through and a few other items you can have a really unique doorknob hanger. Use a glue gun and glue little holiday bows, bells, green garland and holiday picks on the grapevine wreath and slip on the doorknob of your choice. Make one or several and get the family involved in this fun and easy project.

Jingle Bell Doorknob Hanger: A 2 ½" or 3" gold bell is the heart of this doorknob decoration. You will also need a Christmas greenery pick (one with greenery and gold accents), 1 1/4" wide Christmas ribbon, a 12" length of rope that is ½" or less in thickness, green floral wire and a hot glue gun. Make a bow that has 8 loops; each loop needs to be approximately 3 ¼" long. Thread the bell onto the rope. Using lots of hot glue, glue the ends of the rope together to form a circle. Make sure the hot glued end is close to the bell. Feed a length of floral wire thru the bell loop and attach the bow to the rope and bell with the floral wire. Hot glue the Christmas pick to the center of the bow. If needed, also use the wire to keep the Christmas pick attached.

Pine Cone Doorknob Hanger: Use a pine cone to create an elegant doorknob hanger. Quickly paint craft glue onto a large pine cone, being sure to cover each pine petal. Shake glitter over the entire pine cone and let dry. Place 5 drops of essential oil onto the pine cone. Place a hole for a ribbon to fit through the top of the pine cone and put pretty holiday ribbon though it. Now tie the ribbon around the door knob to create your pine cone doorknob hanger.

Recycled Christmas Card Hanger: Use skinny Christmas ribbons in varied lengths and in colors of green, red and white. Simply cut out different pictures from old Christmas cards, such as Santa, Christmas tree, stockings etc. Small jingle bells and small candy canes are great for this project too. Using hot glue or white fabric glue, attach the cutout to the end of one of the skinny Christmas ribbons. If you want to add small jingle bells and candy canes, you will also glue them onto the ribbon. Once all is dry, tie the ribbons around a door knob into pretty bows.

Santa Door Knob Décor: For this project you will need a wooden cutout of Santa or of one of his reindeer or elves that can be found at craft stores. Using ceramic paint, paint Santa and once dried, punch a hole at the top of his head and stick a piece of holiday ribbon through the hole and tie it up around a doorknob into a pretty bow. Hot glue little bells onto the ribbon if desired. These cute little hangers look good on any door and are so easy to create.

Find free Christmas crafts to make including Christmas decorations, ornaments, angels, santas, snowmen, kids crafts, outdoor yard decorations, quilt patterns and more.

Monday, 22 November 2010

10 Knitted Christmas Present Ideas

10 Knitted Christmas Present Ideas
By Robert Berry-Smith

If you'd prefer to send more personal Christmas presents to your loved ones this year, why not consider knitting them something special? Here are 10 knitted present ideas that your family and friends are sure to love.

1. It's Christmas and so where better to begin than with a Christmas jumper? Often derided, but now back in fashion through some ironic twist, why not have fun making something suitably festive for a loved one.

2. It's not just the run up to Christmas that's likely to involve cold weather. January, February and even March all see temperatures plummeting and it's vital that we all wrap up warm. Why not knit your loved ones a scarf each, incorporating different colours dependent on the recipient's taste and age?

3. Another great winter warmer is a wooly hat and this is a great one to knit, particularly for younger relatives. Keeping children warm during the festive season and beyond is always important.

4. One item of clothing that has come back into fashion has been the cardigan, so why not find a knitting pattern that suits the person you're making it for. Older friends and relatives may require a different style to younger people, but there's plenty of options for you to choose from.

5. It can be difficult knowing what to buy Children these days, which is why knitted items are a great choice. For babies and very young children, one simple but popular option could be to make them a blanket.

6. Another option for little ones this Christmas could be toys. However, rather than going out and buying your nephew or granddaughter a new cuddly toy, why not knit them one? From plush bears to cuddly elephants, there are plenty of patterns to suit your tastes and skills.

7. Knitting isn't just for little ones and the elderly, you may want to knit a bag that is suitable for relatives of all ages. They're relatively easy to do with a knitting pattern and what women doesn't want another bag?

8. To stop Jack Frost from getting at your families toes, why not make a cosy pair of socks that will keep their feet warm on cold evenings?

9. As well as their feet, they'll also need to keep their hands nice and toasty when out and about this winter. A colourful pair of gloves, or mittens for youngsters, could make for the perfect present.

10. As vintage items are now popular among younger generations, one of the simplest yet most enduringly beloved items is a tea cosy. It could make the perfect gift for the right family member.

With many Knitting patterns available, you are bound to find something you'd like to knit for someone in your family. There are several family websites that can provide you with knitting patterns, healthy family recipes gardening tips and much more.

Why not visit, the online home of family magazine Candis. There you'll find a range of knitting patterns, as well as information to help you find a cheap family holiday and cheap family travel insurance.