Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mini Polaroid Magnets DIY

Tiny Polaroid Magnets | Red Circle Crafts

Now that Christmas is over I can start sharing some of the things I made for gifts! I found this tutorial for completely cute tiny polaroid magnets on Ambroisa Girl. It was one of the first projects I started on for Christmas this year. After pulling together as many photos of my sister and her family as I could find, I ended up with 31 images.

Tiny Polaroid Magnets | Red Circle Crafts

I used book board for the backing of my polaroids. Don't. It works yes, but the cost was many hours of unnecessary cutting. There were other options that would have worked just as well without being so difficult to cut up. And then I had to paint all the sides white on top of it.

Also the tutorial suggests using Paper Glaze. I used Mod Podge. It works fine. Though what I really wanted to use was some sort of resin to seal the top.

Tiny Polaroid Magnets | Red Circle Crafts

At first I tried using a roll of adhesive backed magnet tape. But I was impatient and started cutting it up before it had fully straightened flat. So I ended up with the magnets not sticking well and peeling off. I replaced them with a little hot glue and those tiny, super strong, round magnets that can be found at hardware stores. So much better!

Tiny Polaroid Magnets | Red Circle Crafts

So it's New Year's Eve tonight. I don't usually do much for this holiday. But if you're going out tonight, be safe and have fun. I hope 2014 is wonderful for all of us.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Class: Embroidering Wall Art on Jan 23rd

Red Circle Crafts classes are starting in January! Check out the Classes Page to see more information. You can register online and all supplies are included! Gift Certificates are available as well.

Embroidering Wall Art with Cate Anevski on January 23rd

Embroidering Wall Art Class with Cate AnevskiEmbroider your own wall art in an embroidery hoop. No experience necessary. You will learn two basic embroidery stitches and get a lot of hands on experience to start your own embroidery projects.

Using designs from Cate Anevski (http://cateanevski.com/), a local fiber artists and illustrator, you will finish a simple project that will be ready to hang on your wall.

This class will be held on January 23, 2014 from 1pm to 3pm.
All Red Circle Crafts Classes are located at 1720 NW Lovejoy Street, Suite 304, Portland, OR.

Price: $40
Materials Fee: $20
Total Cost: $60

Click Here to Register Online

Embroidery Class with Cate Anevski Jan 23rd

Monday, December 23, 2013

Last Minute Christmas Ornaments

Paper Ball Christmas Ornament | Red Circle Crafts

I know the last few days before Christmas tend to be a little crazy, especially if you make any portion of your gifts. I have been known to finish making a gift on Christmas Eve. This year, I'm not visiting family for Christmas, but staying in Portland. So I had to mail off the majority of my presents this year (done!). That leaves me time to make a few odds and ends to fill up my tree or deck my walls (no halls here exactly).

I found a really easy ornament tutorial from Maker Mama. Between my circle punch and glue gun, I knocked out several of these in half an hour.

Paper Ball Christmas Ornaments | Red Circle Crafts

Paper Ball Christmas Ornaments | Red Circle Crafts

I cut up an old calendar from a few years ago and a used blue file folder to make these. I love that cutting up a large image seems to tell a story, but only in bits and pieces. They look pretty awesome hanging on my tree too.

Paper Ball Christmas Ornaments | Red Circle Crafts

I've been posting my progress on other last minute crafting on Instagram.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Tree Hunting

Tree Hunting | Red Circle Crafts

A friend of mine recently explained to me the difference between cutting your own Christmas tree and hunting your own Christmas tree. Cutting your own Christmas tree is what we did last year when we went to Gresham and stopped at a farm just off a main road walked down neatly trimmed aisles of trees that looked pretty much the same until we picked the one we wanted. It was fast, it was not too expensive (though it can be) and the workers kept everyone moving quickly.

Tree Hunting | Red Circle Crafts

This year we drove out to NW Skyline Blvd and stopped at farm shrouded in fog with acres of trees to choose from spread across rolling hills. They had a fire and hot chocolate and seemed happy to let us linger. The trees were still in rows (I can see why that's practical), but they were funny-looking and interesting and came in all shapes and sizes. We really had to hunt to find the right one for us, which happened to be funny-looking, but we like it all the same.

Our Tree |Red Circle Crafts

We tromped through snow and mud to find exactly the right one for us. The farm's dog kept us company for awhile and we chose the one that was definitely in the muddiest spot. Of course we did. We almost felt bad getting back into our car all muddy.

Christmas Decorations | Red Circle Crafts

Christmas Decorations | Red Circle Crafts

Once we got back I pulled out all of my Christmas decorations and went to work making our apartment merry. Most of our decorations are handmade, by us or bought from an artisan. And it feels nice to add something to that every year, even if I doubt these snowflakes will be used again next year.


Christmas Decorations | Red Circle Crafts

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wreath Tutorial Round Up

Next to the Christmas Tree, Wreaths are by far my favorite holiday decoration. They can be simple or complicated, natural or not, and a wide variety of colors and styles. I tend to be drawn to the ones made from natural materials and in traditional Christmas colors. But these tutorials could easily be adapted to suit your own style.

Moss & PomPom Wreath Tutorial from The Paper MamaThis simply-made wreath from The Paper Mama is made very inexpensively. I love the little deer and the white pompoms. It's terribly cute.

Chandelier Wreath Tutorial from Creative BugCreative Bug posted the tutorial for this amazing hanging wreath. It would look beautiful hanging over a table if, like me, you don't have a chandelier.

Paper Mistletoe Wreath from Sweet Paul MagazineSweet Paul Magazine's Winter 2011 issue has a series of different wreaths (starts page 118) with tutorials for each of them (page 124). I especially love this paper mistletoe one.

Natural Wreath Tutorial from Fellow FellowThis tutorial from Fellow Fellow is excellent because of how versatile it is. It gives helpful instructions for picking plants that will last through the season and a method that will work for a wide variety of materials to achieve a similar look.

All photos in this post belong to the linked sites.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Felt Christmas Ornaments

Felt Christmas Ornament | Red Circle Crafts

Purl Bee published a tutorial last Christmas for a trio of felt ornaments. I loved them, especially in the bright colors they used. I decided to try my hand at this one. It was harder to wrap my head around than it was to actually  make it. It looks great especially swirling, hanging on a tree. I went for more classic Christmas colors because I just didn't think I was up for rocking neon Christmas decor.

If you're looking for something to make a whole bunch of in an afternoon, this is your project. It was super easy and very quick.

Felt Christmas Ornament | Red Circle Crafts

Monday, December 16, 2013

Class: Mandala Painting on January 18th

Red Circle Crafts classes are starting in January! Check out the Classes Page to see more information. You can register online and all supplies are included! Gift Certificates are available as well.

Paint a Record Mandala with Christine Claringbold on January 18th

Mandala Painting Class | Red Circle Crafts

Design and paint your own original mandala on a vinyl record! Primed 12" records, acrylic paints and other supplies will be provided. We will use basic shapes to create radial patterns which we will fill in with colorful paint. This is a fun, meditative and relaxing activity; no experience required. When you are finished, you will have a beautiful and very special piece of art to hang on your wall.

This class will be held on January 18, 2014 from 1pm to 3pm.
All Red Circle Crafts Classes are located at 1720 NW Lovejoy Street, Suite 304, Portland, OR.

Price: $40
Materials Fee: $15
Total Cost: $55

Click Here to Register Online

This class is taught by local mandala artist Christine Claringbold of Eye Pop Art. Christine has been painting mandalas on vinyl records since 1997. Please visit her Etsy shop at http://eyepopart.etsy.com to see more examples of mandala art, home decor, jewelry and accessories that Christine creates from recycled records.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Portland Art & Craft Fairs 2013

Portland Holiday Craft Fairs | Red Circle Crafts

I went to an excellent art and craft fair last weekend, but I just stumbled upon it. Realizing that I've been missing one of my favorite parts of the season, I've done my homework and found some events I definitely don't want to miss this weekend. Sadly, I probably can't go to them all.

December 13 - 14th ADX's Gifted (I missed this last year. So definitely going this year.)

December 14th Hip Happening Bazaar

December 14 - 15th Crafty Wonderland (Can't wait!)

December 14th Opening of The Big 400 at People's Art of Portland

December 15th The Crafty Underdog

December 15th Geek the Halls


If you miss these this weekend, the Saturday Market has its Festival of the Last Minute December 18 - 24th.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wrapping Naturally

I love dressing up packages with pretty things, especially this time of year there so many wonderful baubles to attach to gifts. But in the same way that I hate extra packaging from stores, I have some internal conflicts about adding too much packaging to presents.

I try to reuse as much as I can: ribbons, boxes, bags, tissue paper, even wrapping paper sometimes. This year, I bought some rolls of kraft paper for gift wrapping. It's inexpensive, doesn't have dyes or bleach in it, and can be recycled (unlike the beautiful metalic wrapping papers).

So I love finding clever ways to use natural materials to make a package pretty, upcycle what might otherwise be trash into something pretty, or make the packaging part of the gift, something the receiver will use after they unwrap it.

Here are some of the tutorials I've come across. I hope they make your gift wrapping beautiful!

Bow Made From A Magazine from How About Orange Newspaper Gift Bags from How About Orange
How About Orange
has two tutorials that I've used this year. The bow took me a few tries to figure out how not to make it all wonky, but looks absolutely stunning made out of interesting pages from a magazine. You could also make it out of whatever scraps of paper you have lying around. The gift bag made from a newspaper is super simple to make and I love they way they look. If you don't have grommets, think about adding the ribbon to the inside of the bag instead!

Fabric Gift Wrap from Chewing the Cud
Chewing the Cud has several great tutorials on gift wrapping with fabric. I love the fabric she uses, but it would be a great way to use fabric you already have too, especially on a gift for a sewer. This tutorial seems really versatile and could be easily used for a number of different shaped packages.

Rosemary Wreaths DIY from Spoon Fork Bacon
Spoon Fork Bacon has a tutorial on making these little Rosemary Wreaths to use as place cards. I immediately saw that these would make beautiful gift toppers too. I plan on making a few of these from extra bits from my Christmas Tree. Though if I had rosemary bush nearby, I would already have made a bunch of these.

Christmas Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial from Fellow Fellow
These adorable gift toppers from Fellow Fellow are a beautiful example of something that is made from natural materials (sticks!) and something that is part of the gift. With a small piece of string these could easily be turned into ornaments and hung from the tree after unwrapping.

All photos in this post belong to their respective sites (click on the photos or follow the links below).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Glitter Holiday Cards Tutorial

Glitter Holiday Card Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

These cards are super simple to make and amazing. Plus you get to play with glitter. It is one of my favorite parts of holiday crafting. Although J complains about glitter being EVERYWHERE even after I clean up.

Glitter Holiday Card Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts


X-acto blade and cutting mat (or thick cardboard)
Sponge (Cut up into as many pieces as colors of paint)
Acrylic paint & plastic tray
A2 Cards (5.5" x 4.5")
Printable Template


Print out the template onto cardstock and using the X-acto blade and cutting mat or piece of thick cardboard, carefully cut out each silhouette. Leave the outline of each  template intact.

Glitter Holiday Card Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Next prepare your painting supplies. First, I laid paper bags across my work surface to keep paint off my table and collect the excess glitter. Then I poured a little paint into my tray and cut my sponge into three pieces (one for each color of paint I planned to use: red, green, and white).

Choose one color of paint per template. If you want to use one template in several colors, I would suggest printing and cutting that template for as many colors as you want to use.

Lay your template onto the card, using your sponge and only a little bit of paint at a time, sponge the paint onto the card. Be careful to keep the paint inside or on the template. You can see where I went outside my template and got some extra paint on the Santa pictured below. Beware that you'll be able to use your template many more times if you only keep a small amount of paint on the sponge and instead add more paint to it as needed.

Once your image is painted, remove the template and pour glitter over it. Be sure to cover the entire image and shake off excess glitter. Allow to dry.

Glitter Holiday Card Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

You can see that I also painted on a few 5x7 kraft postcards. I'm not sure what the mail will do to the glitter on naked postcards, but we'll see!

Glitter Holiday Card Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

I love the white on white on white look of this, subtle and magical.

If you make these, please send me pictures! Feel free to post a link to them in the comments or send me an email.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Class: Crocheted Bracelet on January 11th

Red Circle Crafts classes are starting in January! Check out the Classes Page to see more information. You can register online and all supplies are included!

Make Your Own Crotcheted Bracelet with Sharon Hansen on January 11th

Crocheted Bead Wrap Bracelet Class | Red Circle Crafts

Learn how to create your own crotchet and beaded jewelry with Sharon Hansen.

In this class you will learn the basics for crotcheting your own jewelry and make a bracelet. No prior jewelry-making or crotchet experience is necessary. All supplies will be provided.

This class will be held on January 11, 2014 from 1pm to 3pm.
All Red Circle Crafts Classes are located at 322 NW Sixth Ave, Portland, OR.

Price: $40
Materials Fee: $25
Total Cost: $65

Click Here to Register Online

More from Sharon Hansen can be found at www.knot-cha-cha.com

Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy St. Nicholas Day

Presents in Shoes from Decor8My family has a number of oddities that I thought were normal growing up. The combination of German and Hawaiian traditions while living in California made me stick out a little amongst my friends. Looking back, I think there's an equal chance that I could have been horrified or proud by being seen as so different. Luckily I was proud and happily explained another of my family's strange ways to my friends.

One of my favorite family traditions is St. Nicholas Day. Apparently it was traditional for St. Nicholas to leave presents in your shoes on December 6th. I'm not sure why we didn't do the shoes thing, but there was always an unwrapped present waiting on our chair (tucked under the table) before dinner. I wasn't allowed to touch my chair until we all sat down to dinner together, no matter how much I tried to peak. It was never the present that I was so excited for. I remember it being slippers more than one year, actually. But it was always a treat to know I was I getting one present almost a month early. I had one special day that none of the rest of my friends had.

My mom did a great job of making the whole Christmas Season magical and I try to recreate that now that I live in another state. It is absolutely not the same buying yourself a St. Nicholas Day present though.

Photo Credit: Decor8

Thursday, December 5, 2013

4 Holiday Decor Tutorials

I love Christmas crafts. It might be the excuse to play with glitter, but making bright, cheerful holiday decorations makes me happy. Here are four different tutorials I found for your own holiday crafting.

Gold Leaf Pine Cone Garland from The Sweetest Occasion I love using pine cones as decorations. Adding screw eye hooks to them so you can hang them is just brilliant. You can find the whole tutorial at The Sweetest Occasion.

Mini Wreath from Odessa May SocietyOdessa May Society has a short and simple tutorial to make these sweet little wreaths. These are not just for wrapping! I think they'd be awesome hung on the wall, as a base for a pillar candle, or at each place setting.

DIY Christmas Cake Topper from Sweet ToothI want the whole cake, for sure. But the cake topper is lovely all on it's own. While the tutorial uses a silhouette printer, I don't think it'd be too difficult to cut out with a craft knife. Maybe if I make the topper, the cake and decorations will magically appear too! Tutorial courtesy of Sweet Tooth.

Kid Crafted Christmas Trees from Lessons Learnt JournalThese trees are wonderful! I love that they're an easy project to do with kids, but I'm considering making them myself. I love watercolors. Project includes printable for the trees from Lessons Learnt Journal.

All photos belong to their respective, linked sites.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Origami Christmas Ornaments

Origami Christmas Ornaments | Red Circle Crafts

Modular origami is a type of origami that uses more than one folded piece of paper to build a complex shape. Usually you fold many squares the exact same way and then tuck them into each other to build a larger piece. I took two different shapes and made them out of pages from a book.

(Sacrilege you say? Well maybe, but this was actually a recycling project as the pages were leftover from a different project that used only a book cover. Also the book was bought from the goodwill after someone had already loved it. No new books were harmed in the making of these ornaments.)

The Eight-Pointed Star

Origami Christmas Ornaments | Red Circle Crafts

I used these instructions, in Norwegian, from Home by Linn. I promise the pictures are worth a thousand words in English. Although google translate is pretty amazing (there's a button at the bottom of the page that will enable google translate). Before I tightened all the pieces, I slipped a piece of ribbon through. Although I have to admit it took me several tries to get all the pieces to lock into place.

The Octahedron

Origami Christmas Ornaments | Red Circle Crafts

Maybe it's an eight thing? I just liked the look of this one. Totally coincidental that it has eight sides. The instructions are from this origami site. You can find tons of other modular origami instructions there if you'd like to try something else. To attach the ribbon, I opened up one little flap on the top and bottom, one at a time, and fed the ribbon through octahedron. There are two knots, one at the bottom and one inside just below the top, although I think only one is really necessary.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Classes Start in January!

I am so excited to announce that the first classes are available for registration. Check out the Classes Page to see more information about all upcoming classes. You can register online and all supplies are included!

Build a Terrarium with Jason Watkins on January 2nd

Terrarium Building Class | Red Circle Crafts

Build a miniature terrarium in a glass container with local terrarium artist Jason Watkins.

A variety of plants, containers, and special additions will be available for you to pick and choose. Learn the elements of design and biology to create the perfect terrarium for you.

Class will take place on Thursday, January 2nd from 6pm to 8pm.
All Red Circle Crafts classes are located at 322 NW Sixth Ave in Portland, OR.

Price: $40
Materials Fee: $25
Total Cost: $65

Click Here to Register Online

Terrarium Building Class | Red Circle Crafts

More from Jason Watkins can be found at his etsy store, JPants 4 Sale.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Handmade Christmas Stockings

J & I gifted each other our Christmas stockings many years ago. So mine is purple velvet and his is this floppy hand-sewn red/red and white stars deal. They are both ridiculous and wonderful in their own ways. I've thought about replacing them with something new that matches and is better made. But I love them still, so at least one more Christmas of them.

But maybe you want to make yourself a new set of stockings? Here are a few tutorials to get you started.

Classic Cuffed Stocking from Positively SplendidPositively Splendid has a full tutorial and free printable pattern of these simple, straight-forward stockings. You could add lots of details or amazing fabric to really make these your own.


Woodland Animal Burlap Stockings from Martha StewartI got lost in the maze that is Martha Stewart's website looking at all of the options for stockings, not to mention holiday decor. Martha Stewart has tons of great ideas and beautifully styled photos, but the tutorials always seem to be missing all of the little details. So it's pretty much trial and error working with her patterns. But these look really straight-forward and easy to make. So if you're up for the adventure, they could be so cute!


Quilted Stocking from The Purl BeeThe Purl Bee is the opposite of Martha Stewart. They're tutorials are super long and detailed with tons of good pictures showing all the tricky parts. Which is good because this is a pretty intricate tutorial.


An Etsy Treasury of Christmas StockingsLast, but not least, I put together a treasury on Etsy of a whole slew of stockings I found. The top half are all patterns for sale (mostly instant downloads) and the bottom half are all stockings for purchase. I love those elf boot ones with the curly toes and I'm super impressed by the appliqued ones. Beautiful work all around!

All of the photos included in this post belong to their respective websites, except the screenshot of the etsy treasury, those images belong to the individual artists listed.