Category Archives: Crafts

DIY Bird Feeders – How to Make a Bird Feeder

DIY Bird Feeders

There are tutorials available for all of these bird feeders.

With the weather cooling in many parts of the country (I’m still waiting here in Texas, but it will happen eventually.), it’s time to think about our feathered friends. Construct one of these DIY Bird Feeders and make it a little easier for birds to find nutrition.

I think all of the examples are elegant. These bird feeders will not only make the birds happy, you’ll enjoy them too. Who doesn’t like watching birds in their garden? I bet you also know someone who would appreciate one of these for their garden. Make one as a Christmas gift. That’s what I’m thinking of doing. I have wine bottles on hand, so I’m leaning toward that design. I also have terracotta pots that I could re-purpose. All of these great designs use recycled materials.

Here’s your key to the DIY Bird Feeders:

  1. DIY Bird Feeder using a Melamine Bowl and Plate
  2. DIY Wine Bottle Bird Feeders
  3. DIY Bird Feeder from a Flower Pot
  4. DIY Tea Cup Bird Feeder
  5. DIY Tea Cup Hanging Bird Feeder
  6. DIY Acorn Bird Feeder (There is a free tutorial, but you can also buy a kit.)

DIY Bird Feeders for the Kids

If you want a project you can work on with the kids, consider these two: (1) Bird Feeder Garland and (2) Bird Seed Feeders.

Pumpkin Knitting Patterns

pumpkin knitting patternAutumn is here. Finally! Fall is my favorite season. I love the crisp air, the autumn colors, wearing sweaters, replacing sandals with shoes and socks, sleeping with the windows cracked, hearty soups and stews, and pies – especially pumpkin pie.

Autumn is also the perfect season to knit, wear knits, and decorate with knits. Here are six pumpkin knitting patterns (four are free and the other two are priced under $5.00). There are other patterns “out there in cyberspace,” but I thought these were the best looking.

All knitted pumpkin patterns are on Ravelry (login user name and password required).

Here is a key:

  1. Autumn Pumpkin
  2. Great Pumpkin
  3. Mini Felted Pumpkin
  4. Tosca Pumpkin
  5. Halloween Pumpkins
  6. Fall Pumpkin

 

Pet Barrier – Make It Yourself

If you’re like me, you love pets, but you don’t like their hair and dirt all over the house. I wanted a solution! I looked at pet barriers in specialty pet catalogs; however, I didn’t find any tall enough to keep cats secluded to an area. Cats can climb or jump over almost anything.

Since I couldn’t find what I wanted, I started searching for materials that I could use to build my own pet barrier. I went to Home Depot and found everything I needed to build this 57.5″ tall x 135″ wide pet barrier.

pet barrier

If you want to build a pet barrier for your home, here is what you’ll need:
Trellis

  • Measuring tape – measure the area where you want to add your barrier. Remember, you’ll want the barrier to stand on its own; the total width of the pet barrier has to be larger than the width of the area you’re covering. You want a “folding screen.”
  • Trellises – these come in varying heights, widths, and patterns. Find what will work best for your project. I wanted something the cats could not climb through or jump over. I purchased 6 trellises that had legs.
  • Jigsaw – I used the Jigsaw to cut the legs off of each trellis. The blade has to be longer than the width of the leg.
  • Screwdriver – a power screwdriver is best. The job will be completed more efficiently with a power screwdriver.
  • Hinges – I used 3 hinges to attach one trellis to another. You want enough hinges to keep the pet barrier standing and make it easy to Hinge for Trellisfold. Also, you want hinges with at least 3 holes (for screws) on either side of the hinge. This will ensure that the hinges won’t pull away from the trellis.
  • Slideglides – I have wooden floors; therefore, I wanted something that would make it easy for me to adjust the pet barrier and protect my floor. After sawing the legs off each trellis, I added two slideglides to the bottom of each trellis panel.
  • Curtain hooks (used to hold back curtains) – I used these to hold the entire screen in place. Cats are smart. They quickly learned that they could push open the pet barrier with their noses or paws. I had to outsmart them and this solution worked. I attached the curtain hooks to wood molding. I could have attached them to the wall as well. If I had done that I would have used wallboard anchors.

slideglide

Once you have all of your materials and tools, you’re ready to build your pet barrier. It’s not complicated! The most important thing for you to do is make sure you attach the hinges as I’ve illustrated below. Don’t make the mistake of putting them all on the same side.

diagram

As I said earlier, I used 3 hinges to attach one trellis to another. I concentrated the hinges more toward the center rather than putting a hinge at the bottom, one in the center, and one on top. (You can kind of see this in the image at the top.) I used the measuring tape to distribute the hinges evenly across the entire pet barrier.

Well, that’s about it! I wish you success in your effort to build a pet barrier. It’s worth the time, money, and effort – your house will be cleaner and that will give you more time to yourself.

My kitties have a kitty door to the backyard and they run in and out of their special area all day long. I’ve heard no complaints.

curtain-hook

Honey Bear Bottle Crafts – Recycling Craft

After you look at these clever honey bear bottle crafts, you’ll never throw out a honey bear bottle again. The thought of plastic in landfills and floating in our waterways gives me the shivers, that’s why I really like these recycling crafts projects.

honey bear bottle crafts - recycling crafts

I think these are all beary good ideas!

  1. Honey Bear Bottle Bubble Favors - what a great party giveaway.
  2. Gold Leaf Honey Bear Bottles – these are pretty enough to keep for yourself, but wouldn’t they make a nice gift?
  3. Honey Bear Bottle Lamp – it gives off soothing light, perfect for a baby’s room.
  4. Honey Bear Candy Favors – another great party giveaway
  5. Honey Bear Get Well Kit – yes, this isn’t a recycled bear, but I thought it was a good use of a new one. If someone gave this gift to me, I’d perk right up!
  6. Honey Bear Bottle Opener – use the honey bear as a mold to create something practical. Maybe you can use this idea and mold bears for some other purpose. Garden bears?

Jester Hat Pattern – Knit, Crochet, or Sew a Jester Hat

April Fool’s Day is just around the corner. It’s not really a day one thinks to celebrate in any particular way, other than playing a few minor jokes on friends and family. Why not make it more celebratory? There’s a jester hat pattern below ready for you to knit, crochet, or sew for yourself or someone else. Have a little fun, why don’t you?

jester hat pattern

Here is a guide to the FREE patterns above:

  1. Jingle Jester Baby Hat (knitting)
  2. Silly Court Jester/Elf Hat (crochet) – Ravelry link
  3. Fleece Jester Hat (sewing)
  4. B14-28 Hat (knitting) – Ravelry link
  5. Jester Hat (sewing)
  6. Jester Hat (crochet) – Ravelry link

Need a few harmless practical jokes to play? Here’s a few I’ve culled from the WWW.

  • Add a few drops of green or red food coloring to a carton of milk.
  • Superglue a few coins to the sidewalk or any spot that has a lot of people walking around.
  • Go into your spouse’s closet and steal one of each of their shoes. Watch them frantically try to find a match.
  • Balance a small disposable cup of water on the top of a partially open door and then wait for the splash.
  • Purchase some realistic-looking insects and place the creepy crawlers in ice cubes, socks, shoes, food, etc.

The point is to have fun without being mean or doing harm. Use your imagination!

Summer Crochet Patterns for Women

Well, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to crochet for summer. Here are six summer crochet patterns I like. I’m a big fan of Linda Permann’s designs; three of the patterns below were designed by her. I hope there is a pattern here that you like.

Summer Crochet Patterns

I’ve listed links below to the crochet patterns.

28-9 Cotton Smile Vest

Chanson En Crochet

Orchid Lace Top

Pretty Petals Top by Linda Permann

Traveling Tank by Linda Permann

Gidget Tee by Linda Permann

I’m eager to crochet something in red, and I really like the Gidget Tee. I’ll have to think about what colors to choose for that pattern. What do you plan to crochet before summer arrives?

Upcycle a Canvas Tote and Tablecloth into a Pillow

Why don’t you upcycle a canvas tote (or two) into a pillow? If you’re like me, you have a few canvas totes tucked away in a closet or drawer. If you don’t have a tote to upcycle, upcycle a tablecloth that has a pattern you like. I’ve re-purposed a tote and tablecloth for this pillow project.

Upcycle a canvas tote

Since the canvas tote was picked up in Amsterdam, the front of this pillow is a bit risqué; however, the other side is very tame. Each side of the pillow has its own personality!

My pillow form was 18×18 inches wide. After cutting the tote, I was left with a 14×14 inches wide image; therefore, I had to widen the sides to match the width of the pillow (plus 1-inch extra for 1/2-inch seams). I followed a great tutorial for adding sides to a square and mitering corners (picture-frame style). All corners of the pillow match – a miracle! The tutorial is very helpful!

Upcycle a tablecloth

I recycled a tablecloth to make the back of the pillow.

I love this tablecloth fabric, and its colors match those on the other side. Normally, I would have sewn a zipper into the bottom seam, but I did not have a zipper on hand that was the right color or length, so I sewed up the seam by hand. Here is an easy to follow tutorial for adding a zipper to a pillow cover. Zippered covers make cleaning so much easier.

My next project is to sew a smaller pillow with more of the recycled tablecloth material and red corduroy fabric. I’ll also add piping. I’ll let you know when that’s done.

If you recycle a canvas tote into a pillow, share a link in the comments section. I’d love to see what you’ve done.