Archive for category: Boy Type Crafts

It’s that time of year-Photo Albums as Christmas Gifts

I love making digital scrapbooks. By scanning in an old photo, I can fix any scratches or flaws with one of my editing programs. I also don’t have to give up that ‘one copy’ of my favorite photo. And lastly, I can make several copies for each family member with a click of a button.

I made an album for Biceps’ Grandma and Grandpa two Christmases ago. Grandpa especially loved seeing himself as a young whipper snapper next to his purty car…

…and seeing pictures of his favorite horse. Grandpa had a myriad of stories about good ‘ol Charlie.
And just so you know, Charlie could do no wrong.

The youngest heard from the oldest the stories that make up our family.

When I become a Grandma someday, I can tell stories of the homesteads that are no longer remaining. The albums will have the visual to give my kids and their kids-roots to farming, to Iowa, to a different life.

They’ll hear from me what I heard from Bicep’s grandparents. Stories about horrific spring tornadoes and God’s provision afterwards.

Stories about the untimely death of this man, Grandpa’s son, who was killed by a drunk driver in the 70’s.

And stories about how Grandpa and Grandma visited the man in the hospital who killed their son and prayed for him. They were able to lead that man to the Lord.

These stories should be shared-generation after generation. They should be memorized, written down and never forgotten. I mean, if you don’t know where you came from-how do you know where you’re going?

If you’re looking for that perfect gift, may I recommend a digital photo album? Or if that’s too much work, may I suggest a roll of 100 dollar bills? I didn’t have a roll of 100 dollar bills, so I went the photo album root.

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Sassy Military Up-Cycle Shirt

A few too many plain t-shirts are junking up my closet. When wearing a plain tee-I feel as if I am blending into the crowd. Today was the day to ‘Sassify’ one of my old boring t-shirts. I spent less than an hour of my day and used scraps of materials, turning this ‘yawner’ into a ‘take notice’.

This t-shirt is a nod to my Dad and the military blood that is running through my veins.
Having a father that is a Retired Lieutenant Colonel and a West Point Graduate influences much of my daily life-and now my clothing apparently…
I added little button details on the front and the back, just for a little more sass.

Here’s what you’ll need to ‘Sassify’ your own plain t-shirt:
Scraps of material (I would recommend using felt in a bold color)
Heat n Bond
Tape measure
Seam Ripper
Iron & Ironing board

Using your scraps of material, pick out your style for your new shirt.
I decided on a simple stripe and used sparkly red felt (so that I wouldn’t have to seam the ends) on a deep purple shirt. But I say, ‘Get crazy!’ Make different colors of flowers, a bird, a cactus…whatever the heck comes to mind.

Apply your Heat n Bond according to the package directions. Iron that sucker in place and let cool.

After adding my stripe to the front of the shirt, I decided the tiny pocket needed a little something too. I added this geometric shape using the same Heat n Bond technique.

Lastly, I added a swatch that rests on the small of my back. I used Heat n Bond once again to attach it to the shirt. Next, I added buttons to give it that ‘military look’.

Here is a close up on the buttons that I added to the front of the shirt.
Snazzy and so easy.

Once more, here is the final product that set me back less than $1. And below is the back of the shirt.

I am so happy that this little ditty has a new life. It was headed for the garage sale pile, and now it’s my sassy go-to shirt when needed.
My Dad would be so proud.

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Marbles and Copper Wind Chime

Nothing is more pleasant on a windy fall day than enjoying the melodies of wind chimes as you cuddle the one you love. However, most wind chimes are rather pricey and I can’t justify paying for noise-when I can make it myself.

With a little creativity and a few leftover bits, I invented my own rendition for under $5.
And it is music to my frugal ears.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your very own wind chime:
4’ + feet of copper tubing (found in the plumbing dept. in home improvement stores. I had a scrap laying around.)
Kitchen twine or any thin waxed rope
Drill with drill bit comparable to the size of rope you use
Thin, bendable wire (I used 20 Gauge, galvanized)
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Marbles or a replacement striker (a small piece of solid wood, etc)
Paint Can Lid
Spray Paint of your desired color
Skill saw with metal cutting blade
‘S’ hook for hanging the wind chime

Evenly spray your paint can lid in your desired color. Let it dry and do some other stuff to keep busy.

I divided my 4’ of copper tubing into 5 segments; 4”, 6”, 8”, 10” and 12”.
Using the skill saw with a metal blade, cut the desired lengths from the copper tubing.

Here are my pretty little copper tube segments. They remind me of churches and pipe organ and fancy lacy socks…but I digress.

Measure 1” down from the top of each segment, marking it with a sharpie.

Using your drill with the bit the same size as your rope; drill all the way through your copper tubing.

Lightly sand any burs from the drilling and cutting process off of the copper. Be careful-copper scratches easily.

The circumference of my paint can lid was 15”.
I divided the circumference equally among the five segments of my copper tubing.
For example, my circumference was 15” and I had five segments. This means that I could equally space each tube three inches from each other.
I wanted the rope that held each piece of copper tubing to be attached to the paint can lid 2” apart. This left 1” to space between the next copper tubing. Are you confused yet? Sorry…
Next, drill a hole in the center of the paint can lid. That’ll give your tired brain a bit of a rest.

Thread only the smallest piece of copper tubing. Then thread this piece to the paint can lid, allowing it to hang about 3” from the lid.
Continue this pattern, using the next longest piece of copper tubing.

This is what the top of your paint can will look like once you have threaded each piece. I used electrical tape to tape down the ends of my kitchen twine.

This is the bottom view of how the copper tubing has been threaded together. By threading it this way, it prevents the tubes from being tangled up with one another in the case of high winds.
And if you live anywhere close to the Dust Bowl area, you know what I mean.

Encase your marbles (if you haven’t lost them, haha…) with your 20 gauge wire, leaving a loop on the top and on the bottom. I used a larger marble to be the striker and the smaller marble to hang on the very end of the striking rope to weigh it down.

Thread the larger marble through the paint can lid, leaving a 6” excess on the top side of the paint can lid in order to tie it onto the ‘S’ hook. Make sure that the larger marble will strike your copper tubing. Mine rests at about 5” down from the paint can lid. Tie the smaller marble to the larger marble. My smaller marble rests at about 17” from the paint can lid.

Tie the excess 6” of rope onto your ‘S’ hook and find a super duper spot and hang that sucker up.
Then, sit back and enjoy the melodious sounds of your brand new, frugally made but gorgeous wind chime while snuggling your favorite pal or cat or dog or stuffed dolphin…
Hey, I don’t judge. Well, maybe a little.

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Recycled Sweater Mittens

I love wintery mittens and needed a pair to accompany the Sweater Scarf I had recently created.
Using the sweater scraps leftover from the scarf, I was able to make two adorable, matching mittens.

I lined my mittens with a darker sweater material, leaving the vibrant lime green material on the outside for prime cuteness.

Here’s the two pieces together in action. I can’t wait for the weather to turn colder so that I may sport these around town.

This is what you’ll need for you very own pair o’ mittens:
Two old sweaters
Seam Ripper (for mistakes…which I typically make)
Straight pins
Tape measure
Thread and Bobbin to match
Sewing Machine

I am sure there is a more technical way to create mittens, but I had a pair of stripy mittens that fit my hands well.
Using the stripy mitten as a template, I lined it up on the body of the sweater. I wanted the ribbing of the bottom of the sweater to be the opening of my mitten (where it would hit my wrists).
With the fabric doubled and with right sides out, I pinned the stripy mitten to the sweater fabric.

I cut around the stripy mitten, leaving a 1/4” seam allowance, creating two pieces of material with the fabric right side out.

Using the recently cut out pieces from the lime green sweater, I pinned one to the wrong side of the lime green sweater, with the fabric doubled.
I cut out two more lime green pieces, creating four pieces altogether.
I then cut out two darker green sweater pieces, with right sides out, but allowing for a 1/4” seam allowance around the entirety of the mitten.
I turned the darker green sweater inside out and cut out two more mittens.

I now had eight total pieces; four darker green and four lime green.
When viewing the pieces going in the same direction, you should now have two of each color with right sides out and two with wrong sides out.

Sew together two matching pieces with the thumbs facing the same direction and with the material wrong side out. You should end up with four total mittens.
Turn the set right side out that will be the outside of your mittens.

Insert the inside of your mitten into the outside of your mitten.

Fold over and sew the extra 1/4” of the inside of your mitten onto the bottom of the outside of your mitten.

I harvested embellishments from the original sweater and hand sewed them to the front of my cutesy little gloves. Which then reminded me of a whale…which then made me take this photograph…which you are now forced to endure.

Here’s a look at the entire ensemble which has made me happier than a hot pig in a cold mud bath.
Weird analogy, I know. But that’s just me-weird.

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