Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fanged Necklace

Fanged Necklace | Red Circle Crafts

I'm feeling the Halloween spirit already. It happens early and lasts late in my home. Well, at least for me. J probably gets tired of it, but is kind enough not to say so.

This is quite easy to make and makes me giggle every time I see it.


White Shrink Film
Hole Punch
Two Jump Rings
A necklace

Click on the image below and right click to save the template.

Vampire Fangs Template

Print it out and use it to trace onto the shrink film. I used a pencil to trace so it wouldn't bake onto the film. (Template should print so it's approximately 4" wide and bake down to approximately 2" wide.)

Cut out your design and punch a hole in the top of each incisor. Bake following the directions on your package of shrink film.

Attach the jump rings and put on a necklace.

If this tickles you, you may also enjoy the They Might Be Giants song on loop in my head right now: I've Got a Fang.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tentacle Wall Art

Clay Tentacle Wall Art | Red Circle Crafts

Yes, that is exactly what it looks like. A clay tentacle I made and attached to a piece of wood so it can hang on the wall in faux-taxidermy style.

Clay Tentacle Wall Art | Red Circle Crafts Clay Tentacle Wall Art | Red Circle Crafts

Made from oven-bake clay, a clay extruder, and a weird piece of wood I found at SCRAP.

(This post contains Amazon affiliate links to the products that I used to make this.)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tea Time Tutorials

Now that it's fall, I'm starting to think about typical fall things. Jumping in piles of leaves, pumpkins, tea. I always forget that I like fall, until it's here and making me happy with all it's fall things.

With fall upon us, it's time to start crafting all those things that will keep us warm through the winter. In this case, all the tea things.

DIY Tea Cups from Small for BigThere are tons of tutorials out there for drawing on tea cups or mugs with porcelain paint pens, but these are the clear winners for me. I love the faces and the feet! Tutorial is from Small for Big.


DIY Handmade Tea Bag Holders from Handmade CharlotteOnce you have your tea cups all set, these are to keep your tea bags strings from falling into your tea. Handmade Charlotte has a detailed tutorial for making wee birds and mushrooms out of clay.


DIY: Tea Storage Jars from Wit & WhistleAs someone who dreams of a beautifully organized tea drawer, these chalkboard paint jars from Wit & Whistle really appeal to me.


Teapot Cosy Tutorial from Spoonful of SugarWhen I was thinking about what to write about today, I actually thought I would write a whole post about tea cozies, however I was soon overwhelmed by all of the tea cozies I don't like and the lack of interesting tutorials for the ones I do. This tutorial from A Spoonful of Sugar does an admirable job detailing the process and makes a surprisingly modern-looking tea cozy.


Tea Towel Tutorial | Red Circle CraftsLastly, this is the tutorial I made for my very cheerful tea towels. While most people don't clean their tea service with linen towels anymore, I think it certainly makes tea time more festive to serve tea from one.


All images in this post belong to their respective, linked sites.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's Fall!

Fall in Portland | Red Circle Crafts

Today's the first day of fall. Anyone else think that the autumn equinox is late this year? Wasn't it on September 20th last year? In any case, I think I'm ready for fall to be here now. It's trying; I can see that it is. A few leaves have started changing, winter squash and a plethora of autumn flowers that I don't know the names of are at the Farmer's Market and I'm getting ready for my semi-annual trip to Tahoe.

I'm still going to take advantage of this sunshine and these practically perfect days for as long as they last though.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Halloween Costumes!

Am I too early? I feel like I should hold off from talking about Halloween until October. But really, if you're planning to make your Halloween costume, it's time to start it now. So consider this your early warning (if the Halloween candy at the grocery store isn't enough) that it's time to start thinking about costumes.

I really love Halloween and I love seeing people who put together crazy, awesome costumes. Some of the best ones I've ever seen were made with cardboard. Mine are usually sewn together. Although I still haven't decided what it's going to be this year. We'll see.

Here are few interesting ones floating about the internet if you're looking for some inspiration and maybe a how-to or three.

BurdaStyle Woodland Costume PatternsIf you're planning on sewing a costume, and especially if you already have an idea of what you're looking for, BurdaStyle has a wide range of basic costume patterns for beginner sewers. They're all available for download and can be printed on your home printer.


Free Red Riding Hood Cape Pattern from Fleece FunThis cape from Fleece Fun is gorgeous with the full hood. It would be great for any number of costumes: Rennaisance Maiden, Vampire, Snow White, or Red Riding Hood. It would change completely with different fabric, color, etc.


Toddler Owl Costume Tutorial from Mom Inc DailyYes, this is a toddler Owl costume, but it has a tutorial with tons of photos and I'm considering adapting it for myself. It's fairly straight-forward, but I love the unfinished, visible seams. That's not something I've seen on any other owl tutorials, but it helps give the impression of feathers without too much actual detail.


Kidnapped Mermaid Costume from ModMischief on InstructablesThis Kidnapped Mermaid costume is much more building and much less sewing (although it still has some). Frankly it's brilliant. I love optical illusion costumes and this one is really pretty practical as far as these things go. I remember a WWI Fighter Pilot costume that was too big to fit through a door.


Butterfly Costume from the Carboard CollectiveIf you're looking for an entirely non-sewing option, cardboard is really the way to go. It's easy to come by and can be used in sooo many different ways. This headpiece is for a butterfly costume. There is a family of insect costumes not to mention a dozen other ideas, with some tutorials thrown in at the Cardboard Collective.


All of the photos in this post belong to their respective, linked sites.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tassel Necklace

First a reminder! Tonight is craft night. If you are in Portland and available, I hope you'll come. We're making stamps, but you can bring your own project if you'd prefer.

Tassel Necklace | Red Circle Crafts

I cannot even believe the number of projects I can't show you right now. I've started Christmas/Birthday present making already. I'm so used to posting photos of everything as I make it at least on Instagram. But there are too many eyes watching.

This tassel necklace was a simple little thing I whipped up after seeing this tutorial from Alice & Lois. It really is as easy to make as the tutorial claims.

Tassel Necklace | Red Circle Crafts

I love the way theirs looks laying down, but I was less happy with it when hanging, like you would wear it, so I opted to put all three tassels on one larger jump ring so they would all hang from one focal point.

P.S. I think I should use this photo to jump start my hand modeling career.

Some things I wish I'd done differently:

You may have noticed how much shorter my tassels are than the tutorials. Which was not actually on purpose. Trying to cut them all the same length just about killed me. In the end, I took them all in hand and cut them at the same time with my nice, sharp scissors. By that point even was much shorter than anticipated. I'm not unhappy with it. And honestly, I could just remake them if I decide I do want longer tassels. NEXT TIME (because tassels are really too much fun to not have a next time) I'll cut them at the same time, maybe even using tape to get a super even cut.

If you're thinking, oh jewelry, I don't make jewelry, like I often do, keep in mind that this is about the simplest jewelry making thing, opening and closing one jump ring. I do own two pairs of jewelry pliers to do this, but you don't strictly need them. Any needle-nosed pliers will work, combined with something to hold the other side of the jump ring steady. Be creative! I'm sure you've got something that will work.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Forest For The Trees Portland Murals

Blaine Fontana at NE 18th & Alberta
One of my favorite things about Portland is all of the art in public spaces. I'm still not sure what to make of the weird solar powered lamps in Old Town, but the rest, especially the unauthorized art still thrills me.

Forest For The Trees recently completed their 2014 murals and they are amazing! I've only seen a few in person (so far), but I can't wait to check them all out. A few of my favorite local artists participated too. It's a real joy to be walking along and find myself in front of a new mural. Although I think I may plan a trip along their map to see some that would normally be out of my way.

Gage Hamilton on NW Couch & ParkAll photos in this post are my own. Click on the images for links to the artists. Hold your cursor over the photo for the locations of their murals.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Back To School Tutorial Round Up

It's September and even if I'm not going back to school, there are tons of awesome back-to-school tutorials showing up across the internet right now. Too many not to want to start making some for myself. I still need pencil cases and notebooks, OK?


Take Flight Knapsack from See Kate Sew via Birch FabricsI love this adorable little backpack from See Kate Sew via Birch Fabrics blog. It's a fairly simple concept and would be pretty easy to size for an adult, if, you know, you wanted one of these for yourself. Like I do.


DIY Belt + Board from PoppytalkI don't currently have a bulletin board, which is a little crazy. I think I always had one, until a few years ago when I chose not to include it in a move across the country. This tutorial for a small one from Poppytalk might be a good, moving-friendly alternative for the large piece that took up so much of my work area wall.


Block Zip Pouch Tutorial from Minki KimMinki Kim has this lovely tutorial for these squared zip pencil pouches. The pattern is exactly what you'd expect, but I love the way she pairs neutral linen with cute fabrics and her other designs are as inspiring. You could even do something that looks color blocked with this pattern. Modern and sweet all at once.


DIY Pencils from Merry ThoughtI had no idea you could make pencils! I love finding tutorials for things that I didn't even know you could get handmade. The tutorial for these pencils looks fairly simple, with lovely results.


DIY Mini Pocket Notebook Journal From A Cereal Box from Creme De La CraftIt doesn't get any better for me than upcycling office school supplies. These pretty notebooks are made from cereal boxes. I'm so on this.


All of the photos in this post belong to their respective and linked sites.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tutorial: Stamp Making With Wine Corks

Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

If you're interested in this tutorial, I hope you'll join me at the September Craft Night. It's free and we'll be making these! More information about craft night here.

No preamble today. Too excited. Let's just get right to making stuff.


Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Wine Corks (of any shapes and sizes)
Xacto Knife
Small Saw (optional and not pictured)
Cutting Mat (optional)
Foam Craft Sheet (any color)
Small hole punch (optional)


Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Step One
My corks are a little rounded on the edge, and I wanted to try splitting some in half to get a different size surface for the stamps. So I took a small saw (it's the saw attachment that fits in an Xacto knife) and trimmed all the edges where I planned to glue the stamps to get a flat surface. You can probably cut them with an Xacto knife too with a little more patience or be happy with your corks as they are.


Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Step Two
I took my corks and drew an outline of the space available for a stamp onto the foam so I would size everything correctly. And then I drew with my sharpie right on the craft foam within those spaces. It's a little messy because I adjusted my lines a bit. Keep in mind that sheets of foam don't cut exactly like paper. It's better to keep your shapes a little loose and not be worried about small details. I put dots where I knew I planned to take my smallest hole punch to make eyes. The cat's nose and mouth are a bit presumptuous, but I figured I could try and if they don't show up when I stamp, so be it.

A word on making letters or anything that has a right from a left. Stamps need to be mirror-images of the final glued on stamp. BUT I'm going to glue the side I'm drawing on to the cork anyway (I'm a neat freak who doesn't want people to see my messy sharpy lines) so the direction I draw on the foam is going to be as it prints.


Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Step Three
Cut out your drawings. It's easier said than done, certainly. I cut everything that I could with scissors and then went in with the Xacto knife in a few places to do some clean up. The hardest part are always the curves, but I just whittle away at whatever corners show up until it's as rounded as it can be. Like I said, loose lines are best. Details are hard.

Then I went in with my tiny hole punch and made some holes for eyes and the like. If you have any fancy hole punches, you can use them to help you make negative space too.


Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Step Four
Take the tiny bits of foam you just cut out and glue them onto the foam. If you have anything that needs to be a certain direction (e.g. letters) make sure you glue the side you drew on to the cork.

I just used a glue stick and that worked fine. I understand that acetone-based glues eat away at foam, so it's best to stay away from E6000 and the like.


Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Step Five
Stamping time! My poor neglected stamp pad came out from hiding and got some use.

Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts Wine Cork Stamps Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Friday, September 5, 2014

Oregon Coast Adventuring

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle CraftsPeople have started to talk wistfully of fall already. Which is OK. I like fall. But the weather certainly hasn't got the message yet. In the spirit of the summer still clinging to the Pacific Northwest, J and I ventured out to the coast recently and got our toes sandy and our ankles wet.

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

We started in Astoria and made a day of it. A very long day of it.

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

We stopped at what has become our ice cream shop in Gearhart, which is cute if a wee bit pretentious.

Our favorite beach was probably at Ecola State Park and we loved the town of Manzanita. It was kind of our first time there. I know we've driven past it before, but never stopped.

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

We turned off a little before Tillamook to come back to Portland. We didn't get home until we were both very tired. So much beach hiking and driving wears a person out.

Oregon Coast Adventures | Red Circle Crafts

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Woodland Clay Pins

Woodland Clay Pins | Red Circle Crafts

I love making things with clay, although I often feel a little out of my depth, like the idea in my head is not what comes out in the end. Regardless softening and shaping the clay is very cathartic.

I immediately fell in love with these pins from Oh Happy Day. While I didn't print out her template, I followed her tutorial pretty carefully.

Woodland Clay Pins | Red Circle Crafts

The differences: I used oven-bake clay instead of air dry. It's just what I had on hand. And I drew the shapes with a toothpick on the clay and then cut them out instead of using the templates. The free-hand look is really what I was going for. I especially love the askance ear on the fox. I also just smoothed down the edges with my fingers before baking instead of sanding the edges. Sanding would have given me a more polished look, but then I would have had to clean up the powdered clay I sanded off.

Woodland Clay Pins | Red Circle Crafts Woodland Clay Pins | Red Circle Crafts

This was a really fun project. I love the way the faces came out on each of them. Although I did get frustrated with the bear's features when they weren't turning out right. In the end, that one was J's favorite and he's generally my litmus test for things, so I must have done OK.

Woodland Clay Pins | Red Circle Crafts

I can't wait for jacket weather so I can wear these guys! They're a little on the heavy side and need to be pinned into a thicker material than the little summer tops I've been wearing.