Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Christmas

Merry Christmas from Red Circle Crafts
I'm taking a short break from blogging to properly enjoy the holidays. Which, I must say, have not been nearly so enjoyable (read: low-stress) in years. I've got a few surprises up my sleeve though, so I'll see you shortly before the new year, back right here.

If you're celebrating any holidays of light in the darkest time of the year, I wish you a very merry celebration, whatever that entails.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tiny Weaving Ornaments

Tiny Weaving Ornament | Red Circle Crafts

Every year I make a series of ornaments that I mostly give away to friends and family. This year I made many more than I needed (weaving is a little addicting) and I've put some of them up in my etsy shop for sale. I would order soon to be sure they arrive before Christmas.

Tiny Weaving Ornament | Red Circle Crafts

One of the things that I really enjoyed about making these weavings is how deceptively simple and rustic they are. They hang from twigs collected from my walks and include a piece of string to hang from a tree or the wall.

Tiny Weaving Ornament | Red Circle Crafts

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Felt Advent Calendar

Felt Advent Calendar | Red Circle Crafts

I've finally finished an advent calendar and just in time, too. I was sewing the hangers onto these ornaments last night. And finished photographing this today!

Felt Advent Calendar | Red Circle Crafts

I love advent calendars and have since I was little. But I wanted one that I could use year after year without needing to purchase or make anything every year.  I was inspired by this advent calendar from The Sugar House Shop (pattern available for purchase).

Felt Advent Calendar | Red Circle Crafts

The reindeer head is a silhouette I liked the look of, found through a google search and modified slightly to fit. After sewing the whole head and antlers on by hand, I sewed in small brown seed beads to use as hangers for the ornaments.

Felt Advent Calendar | Red Circle CraftsFelt Advent Calendar | Red Circle Crafts

The pockets are made from the same white felt as the background with numbers embroidered on to each pocket. I just took a water-dissolving pen and wrote numbers on each pocket space (before sewing it in place) and then embroidered (using a back stitch) the numbers.

Felt Advent Calendar | Red Circle Crafts

The tiny felt ornaments are entirely hand-drawn patterns made to fit in the tiny pockets.

Here's a list of plushies and felt ornaments that inspired these:

Bear & OwlVintage Glass Ornaments
Dala Horse
Rudolph & Santa
Yeti
Tree

I'm looking forward to putting up one ornament every day until Christmas, seeing the reindeer fill up with bright baubles.

Felt Advent Calendar | Red Circle Crafts

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Being Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving from Red Circle Crafts

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Most of all I'm happy to have put further roots down in Portland and feel like I have a great group of friends that I've grown closer to this past year.

J and I had the chance to do a huge amount of traveling this year. More than even we realized. So we're looking forward to a quiet holiday season here at home.

Hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving if you're celebrating today.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cloth Napkins Embroidery

Embroidered Napkins - Free Pattern | Red Circle Crafts

'Tis the season for making presents. I tried to get started early this year, because I always feel rushed the last few weeks before Christmas trying to get everything done. I'm not sure that I'll be successful at keeping myself from getting stressed out or just put more expectations on myself. Time will tell. If there's a secret to not getting stressed out at this time of year, I'm sure I haven't discovered it. Luckily I get to spend a lot of time with people I care about and eat lots of delicious food, so it totally balances out.

Embroidered Napkins - Free Pattern | Red Circle Crafts

I've been slowly working on these napkins for a few weeks now. I wanted the embroidery to be almost as pretty from the back as that front. You can't hide the back on napkins the way you can on some other things. Plus I was worried about them going through the wash with all my stitches in tact, but joy of joys, these napkins survived a trip through my washing machine without issue. So slow careful stitching was the name of the game with these. I think the extra care really paid off though.

Embroidered Napkins - Free Pattern | Red Circle Crafts

This is the basis for the pattern I used*. (Click on image to open and save.) I drew in crazy curved lines to fill in the heart instead of a more traditional satin stitch and I added initials to each of the hearts. I wish I'd made the letters slightly larger. I'm afraid there isn't enough negative space in the letters to really understand what you're looking at. But live and learn.

Embroidered Napkins - Free Pattern | Red Circle CraftsEmbroidered Napkins - Free Pattern | Red Circle CraftsEmbroidered Napkins - Free Pattern | Red Circle Crafts

I'm hoping the recipient of these enjoys them. I know she uses cloth napkins every day, and I love having monogrammed napkins so that they don't get mixed up between meals.

*I modified a free pattern from Flamingo Toes to make these.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Christmas Card Garland

Printable Christmas Card Garland | Red Circle Crafts

I wanted to do something a little different this year for a Christmas Card. And while this doesn't leave a lot of room to write a note, it does give the recipient a small bit of holiday cheer to hang where they please. J and I will write small notes on the holly leaves to personalize them.

I don't usually start my Christmas cards until after Thanksgiving. But I know some people like to get a head start on these things.

Printable Christmas Card Garland | Red Circle Crafts

They're really simple to make. I've made a Printable Download for you.

Print this on heavy card stock.
Cut out each piece carefully. (I left a little white, but it's up to you!)
Use approximately 36" of string or bakers twine.
Tape (with tiny pieces of scotch tape) the string to the back of each letter.
Carefully fold up and put in an envelope to mail!

Printable Christmas Card Garland | Red Circle Crafts

Don't forget to make one for yourself to keep.

Printable Christmas Card Garland | Red Circle Crafts

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Napkin Ring Tutorials

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving has always been setting the table. Growing up it was one of the few times that we brought out the fine china and I was tasked with making place settings and decorating the table. While it might have been an excuse to keep me busy and out of the kitchen, it was also something that I loved.

If you're planning to bring out the china and cloth napkins for the upcoming holidays, here are some lovely napkin ring tutorials for you.

Popsicle Stick Napkin Rings from Ruffled
These colorful napkin rings from Ruffled are made from popsicle sticks. You could decorate them to match any color scheme.

Faux Ceramic Napkin Rings from Almost Makes Perfect
Almost Makes Perfect has an easy tutorial for these Faux Ceramic Napkin Rings. They're made from oven-bake clay with a glaze painted on top to give them a professional ceramic look.

Fresh Flower Napkin Rings from Paper & Stitch
These Fresh Flower Napkin Rings from Paper & Stitch
look pretty spring-like, but with the right flowers and leaves, they could be entirely autumnal. I love the fact that they use natural materials.

Cranberry Wreaths from Say Yes
Fresh cranberries make a beautiful place setting, as Say Yes shows in this tutorial, but would also be lovely as a napkin ring. While it was originally intended for a Christmas DIY, cranberries scream Thanksgiving to me, maybe without the bit of pine though.

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

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Upcylcing Book Crafts

As it starts to cool off outside, I'm thinking about being a homebody; curling up with some tea and a book. In honor of these autumn days (and lack of sunlight), here are some crafts to make out of discarded old books. I like to use the weird books you can find at the thrift store for these kinds of crafts. Cheap and probably if it's ended up at the thrift store no one wants them for the quality writing anyway.

Book Clutch DIY Tutorial from See Kate Sew
These cute clutches from See Kate Sew use the outside from a hardbound book with all the pages cut out and any kind of fabric you can imagine. Kind of makes me wish I'd thought of using this for a Librarian Halloween costume, last month.

Origami Christmas Ornaments | Red Circle Crafts
If you buy a whole book for just the cover (to turn into a clutch of course) save the pages and make some origami out of them. I made some really fun origami ornaments for Christmas a few years ago. They were great pops of interest on our Christmas tree.

Invisible Book Ends DIY from A Beautiful Mess
A Beautiful Mess has a great tutorial for Invisible Bookends
using complete hardbound books. The perfect disguise! I've also seen something similar with L-brackets to make a vertical bookshelf.

Hollowed Book Tutorial from Salt Tree
This Hollowed Book Tutorial for an e-reader from Salt Tree is brilliant and easy to follow. J made one of these a few years ago and definitely could have used some of the hints included in this tutorial to take it from serviceable to stylish.

All of the photos in this post belong to their respective and linked sites, except the origami ornament which belongs to me.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Vampire Pumpkins | Red Circle Crafts

Wishing you all the Halloween puns you can find and cavity inducing sweetness you want for this ghostly holiday.

I had planned to show off my Halloween costume here today, but, while it is finished, I haven't put it all on yet. Stay tuned to my instagram to see photos this weekend!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pumpkin Carving Ideas

I'm having a pumpkin carving party tonight. I suspect we'll get a whole bunch of crazy pumpkins. Last year we had multiple sugar skulls. I'm interested to see what people come up with this year.

In case you need a little help deciding what to carve on your pumpkin this year. Here are some suggestions with instructions and stencils too.

Anatomy Pumpkins from Brit + Co

These anatomy pumpkins from Brit + Co are sufficiently creepy. I love the lungs, but it looks like pretty finicky cutting work; I wonder if my skills are up to it. Also you can find a round up of great stencils from Brit + Co here.

Frankenstein's Monster Pumpkin from Better Homes and Gardens

I love the creepy cuteness of this Frankenstein's Monster Pumpkin from Better Homes and Gardens. It would make me happier if they realized this isn't actually Frankenstein, but the monster Frankenstein made, but you can't have it all. Click through the slideshow for lots more stencils of ideas ranging from simple to complex.

Cross Stitch Pumpkins from Design*Sponge

Design*Sponge has a tutorial for Cross Stitch Pumpkins! Aren't these amazing? I'm pretty much in love with them.

Still looking for some more ideas? I've got a bunch more pinned on my Halloween Pinterest Board.

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Smashing the Patriarchy Screen Printing

Smashing the Patriarchy Screen Printed Tees | Red Circle Crafts

I spent some time this weekend at the coast with some dear friends. Who are all more dear for jumping at the chance to model some t-shirts for me. Apparently they would all like t-shirts of their own now. I may have created a monster.

I fell in love with this t-shirt on The Homesteady. The catch phrase "Smashing the patriarchy is my cardio" might be my new favorite thing.

The Homesteady has a lovely printable that I used to cut a stencil and then screen print with. I remembered half way through drawing the stencil that screen printing requires the image to be mirrored and then had to start over. At least I realized it before I started printing, right?

Smashing the Patriarchy Screen Printed Tees | Red Circle Crafts Smashing the Patriarchy Screen Printed Tees | Red Circle Crafts

I love how these turned out!

I may be recreating the stencil and printing another round soon if the comments over the weekend are to be trusted.

Smashing the Patriarchy Screen Printed Tees | Red Circle Crafts Smashing the Patriarchy Screen Printed Tees | Red Circle Crafts

You can find a similar shirt available for sale in my Society6 shop.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Halloween Decor Ideas

It's time to start decorating for Halloween. I'm fond of the creepy cute or elegantly spooky look and tend to stay away from actually terrifying. And I love handmade decorations. Here's a round up of some great ones if you're looking to add some Halloween fun to your home.

Halloween Scrappy Bunting | Red Circle Crafts
Remember this Scrappy Halloween Banner I made last year? It's still super cute.

DIY Halloween Transfer Wood Plaques from The House That Lars Built
Natural looking objects make great decor and the imperfections in the wood slices add to the general spookiness in these Wood Plaques from The House That Lars Built. Maybe I'm just a sucker for skulls and old fashion scientific drawings.

Witches Broom Treat Bags from Two Crafting Sisters
It's certainly more work, but I think parties for adults should have more goodie bags. Like these adorable and cleverly designed witch broom treat bags from Two Crafting Sisters.

Mrs. & Mr. Skull Cameo Free Printables from Persia Lou
Seriously the skulls do me in every time. I love these Skull Cameos from Persia Lou. Part free printable part DIY project and they look perfect.

All the photos in this post belong to their respective and linked sites, except the first one which is mine.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Adventurer's Banner

Felt Banner | Red Circle Crafts

I love this felt banner tutorial from Davina Drummond on Breathe Happiness. Her banner with the same phrase: "Make More Adventures" made me really happy. So I've recreated it. Since I have so many felt sheets already cut down to 8.5" x 11", I fit mine to this.

Download a PDF of the phrase here.

The font is free font Sketchy.

Felt Banner | Red Circle Crafts

I did a few things differently than she did because I'd rather sew everything together than not. Follow her tutorial for a no sew version of this one.

Print out the letters on card stock and cut them out. I chose to leave the inside of letters like O and D, because I like that look.

Felt Banner | Red Circle Crafts

Trace them onto a piece of felt. You can see that it doesn't actually take up that much room if you draw them close together. Then cut them out carefully. If you're going to use bondaweb or wonder under, iron it onto the felt before drawing the letters. Trace the letters directly onto it and then cut out.

Cut down the sheet of felt that will be the background. Make sure that there will be enough room at the top to fold over and slide a dowel through and that your triangle isn't too steep of a point to fit all the letters.

Felt Banner | Red Circle Crafts

I knew I wanted to hand sew all of the my felt letters on, but I was worried about them moving around as I sewed. So I took a glue stick and carefully glued everything in place. Then I took a warm iron (not too hot if you're using polyester felt like I am) and pressed all of the letters in place. It's not a long term solution, but it worked.

I sewed down all of the letters with a small whip stitch in a thread that matches my letters.

Felt Banner | Red Circle Crafts

Then using the dowel, I measured how far I needed to fold over the top to hang it and took it for a quick pass on the sewing machine.

Slide the dowel back in, add a string to hang it and it's all set!

Felt Banner | Red Circle Crafts

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Halloween Costume DIYs

So it's October 1st. I'm sure you also have this marked on your calendar as the day you have to start making your Halloween costume. But in case you don't, you might, maybe, want to start thinking about it. Unless you aren't into it, then you can just look at the people being silly. But here are some great costume DIY ideas.

Strawberry Halloween Costume from Studio DIY

Studio DIY has a ton of awesome, well put together, and yet easy to do Halloween Costume DIYs. I'm beginning to think they're as crazy about Halloween as I am. The one pictured is of course a strawberry.

Robot Costume from Paging Fun Mums

This robot costume from Paging Fun Mums is amazing! Maybe the best I've seen since my friend built one in a scene shop with working lights and a ledge to hold his drink. He didn't really think about getting through doors though and had to go sideways. In any case, this one may be for a child, but would be super amazing on an adult too.

Deer Halloween Costume from Flattery

I know everyone always wants to do current events, movies, or pop star Halloween costumes, but I love it when people dress up as animals. This deer costume tutorial from Flattery is super sweet and really well done. I want to make myself one of those antler headbands.

Where's Waldo Halloween Costume from Say Yes

Yes, this is a family costume, but any of those one their own would be amazing too. No crazy construction either. The post from Say Yes on this Where's Waldo costumes has some good ideas on how to put it together and where they sourced their clothes from.

All of these photos belong to their respective, linked sites.