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.