Free Crochet Pattern for Holiday Penguin

Crocheted Christemas Penguin

This cute little guy is named Howie the Holiday penguin and I think he’s the perfect little project to crochet for Christmas.  Whether it’s to go in a Christmas stocking, or put on display as a decoration in your home, this Christmas penguin is a fun project that is sure to put a smile on all who see him.

Crocheted Christemas Penguin

Free pattern for crocheted Christmas penguin

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Gifts to Make With Decoupage

One of my favorite craft techniques is decoupage.  The first Christmas ornament that I remember making as a child was with decoupage.  And that’s another reason why I love this craft so much.  The technique is ideal for kids and adults alike.

Decoupage Tray

Image courtesy of John Bonham2 via Flickr CC 2.0

To decoupage all you need to do is take a design and glue it in place on whatever object you’d like.  The versatility of decoupage has no limits.  You can choose whatever material and objects you’d like to use, as there is almost nothing that won’t work.

The flexibility and versatility of decoupage makes it the ideal DIY technique to use for turning your trash to treasures.  Find the perfect tray, table or dishes at a yard sale but they need a little TLC?  Decoupage to the rescue!  Need a beautiful, but inexpensive gift idea?  Decoupage to the rescue!

How to Decoupage

Decoupage Glasses

Image courtesy of John Bonham2 via Flickr CC 2.0

As I mentioned above, all you need for decoupaging is mod podge (my glue of choice) and paper or fabric.  Here are just a few ideas for material that you could use.

  • Scrapbook paper
  • Wall paper
  • Napkins
  • Newspapers
  • Photos
  • Magazines
  • Comics
  • Wrapping paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Fabric

Decoupage on Glass

Glass is one of the best materials to use when decoupaging.  Not just because paper and materials adhere so nicely to it, but because it’s perfect with other arts and craft techniques as well.  So you can layer, or combine, your decoupage with paint and other elements.

Decoupage Glasses-Bottle

Image courtesy of John Bonham2 via Flickr CC 2.0

Decoupage Blue Glasses-Bottle

Image courtesy of John Bonham2 via Flickr CC 2.0

Decoupage Floral Glasses

Image courtesy of John Bonham2 via Flickr CC 2.0

Decoupage Box

Image courtesy of acarinhas via Flickr CC 2.0

Decoupage With Napkins

Decoupage with napkins image courtesy of swamp dragon via Flickr CC 2.0
 

I hope that these examples inspire you to give decoupage a try.  Want an easy craft to make with the kids?  Create a decoupage Christmas tree ornament.  The kids will have fun picking out the perfect material to use for the craft and with a little mod podge and paintbrush, they’ll have fun making their very own keepsake.

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Free Crochet Patterns for Christmas

Crochet Christmas Tree Decoration

The leaves are falling and with every passing day I think more and more about Christmas and the holidays ahead. I love this time of year and in just a few weeks I’ll start decorating the house to make it warm and festive. That gives me plenty of time to make some new Christmas decorations to put on display around the house.

Free Crochet Patterns to Make for Christmas

Crochet Christmas Tree Decoration

Free pattern for Crochet Christmas Tree Decoration

Crochet Christmas Garland

Free pattern for Christmas garland with crochet berries and blooms.  I really like this pattern because you can vary the colors that you use, which makes it perfect for any holiday season.  Crochet one for Christmas and then make another one to celebrate the bright colors of spring and Easter.

Crochet Nativity Ornament

Free crochet pattern for nativity ornament

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Needle Felting Ideas and Techniques

Needle Felted Bear

If you’ve thought about branching out and trying some different crafts with yarn, then felting may be a great fit for you.  This is not the type of felting where you knit a bag and then throw it in the wash to felt it.  No, these techniques take raw fiber and felt it into beautiful shapes, creatures and designs.

Dry Felting vs Wet Felting

Dry felting is a technique also referred to as needle felting.  This is where you use needles to break down the fiber so that it sticks together.  You can use this technique to sculpt dolls, animals and other figures.  Or, it can also be used to create pictures and landscapes.

Wet felting is a technique where you wet the fibers and then massage them together and form them into different shapes and designs.  This technique can be used to make jewelry, accessories and clothing.

Needle Felted Ideas

You can sculpt some really cute animals and figurines using needle felting.  These are great gift ideas for the holidays and are perfect for teachers, friends and family members.  You can either create a pretty Christmas decoration, or how about an animal that looks like their favorite pet?  The design ideas are unlimited, but here are a few to get you started.

Needle Felted Cat

Image of needle felted cat courtesy of karen.tkr CC 2.0

Needle Felted Dolls

These needle felted dolls by YaxchiArt are definitely professional quality dolls, but hopefully they give you an idea of how creative you can get.  You may not be able to make dolls like this right off the bat, but give it time and you’ll be able to create intricate designs and figures.

Needle Felted Fawn

This needle felted fawn by TinyApartmentCrafts is such a cute gift idea.  It’s perfect to put on display, or it could also be used as a pin cushion.

Needle Felted Bear

A needle felted bear is a cute gift idea for a new baby, or for a baby’s first Christmas.  Image courtesy of Karen.tkr CC 2.0

Needle Felting Ideas

Image of adorable bird, flowers and nests by Karen via Flickr CC 2.0

Needle felting can also be done to create pretty accents and designs on fabric.  Here are a few ideas for designs that could be used on a decorative pillow or handbag.

Needle felting with beads

Image of needle felting with beads courtesy of frykitty via CC 2.0

Needle Felted Tree

Needle felted tree on fabric created by Nico Nelson Image available via CC 2.0

Now that you have some ideas, here are some of my favorite resources for needle felting.  I hope you enjoy creating some fun and creative designs.

Photo Guide to FeltingPhoto Guide to Felting

Little Felted AnimalsLittle Felted Animals

Simply NeedlefeltSimply Needlefelt

Felted Wool PetsFelted Wool Pet

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Crochet Patterns for Thanksgiving

Tom Turkey Crochet Pattern

Thanksgiving is coming, the chill is in the air.  Soon the turkey will be in the oven and the house will be filled with the smells of the day.  Whether you’re having a big family gathering, or dinner with a few friends, enjoy all that the holiday has to offer and celebrate good food, good friends and a festive atmosphere.

To me, decorating the house for Thanksgiving is such a fun part of the holiday.  From deciding what type of table setting to arrange, to making a pretty wreath for the door, there are so many ways to decorate for Thanksgiving.  Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving themed crafts and decorations to make for the holiday.

Crochet Patterns for Thanksgiving Decorations

Tom Turkey Crochet Pattern

Isn’t this turkey adorable?  Grab the Pattern for Tom the Turkey

Thanksgiving-Christmas Holiday Bags

Do you like to have a bag for every season?  This crocheted bag gives you the ability to decorate it for the holiday you choose.  Check out the pattern and crochet a Thanksgiving bag or Christmas bag.  You could also use the pattern for the turkey to create a stuffed turkey decoration.  Lots of versatility with this pattern.

Crocheted Thanksgiving Turkey

Dress-up your table with this adorable Thanksgiving turkey.  Thanksgiving turkey pattern

More Thanksgiving Crochet Patterns:

Crochet Pattern: Baby Cocoon and Hat SetCrochet Pattern: Baby Cocoon and Hat Set

Pattern for Crocheted Thanksgiving HatsPattern for Crocheted Thanksgiving Hats

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DIY Fall Wreath Ideas

Halloween Wreath

There’s nothing quite like a pretty wreath on a front door to welcome visitors and celebrate the season.  One of the reasons why I like wreaths so much is because they are great craft project for anyone to make.  It doesn’t matter how talented or experienced you are at doing crafts.  You can keep your wreath as simple as you’d like, or get carried away and adorn it with anything you can think of.  This makes it a fun project for kids too.

Another reason why I enjoy wreaths so much is because these decorations are ideal for any climate or location.  It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment or house.  Everyone has a door, so a wreath always has a place to call home.  But let’s say that you don’t have the ideal door for hanging a wreath, you can also put these creations in a window, or hang it on the wall.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas for making your own holiday wreath.

Halloween Wreath

Image courtesy of Shards of Blue CC 2.0

This yarn wreath was created for Halloween, but the technique is one that you can use for any holiday.  All you have to do is choose yarn that goes with the holiday you’d like to celebrate and and then choose appliques and accessories that go with it.

How to Make a Yarn Wreath

  1. Start with a Styrofoam, foam, or wicker wreath.
  2. Wrap yarn around the wreath, taking your time to place the yarn close together with no holes showing.
  3. When the entire wreath is covered with yarn, cut the yarn and glue the end using a hot glue gun.
  4. Start adding accents, appliques and decorations to the wreath to create any style, or holiday theme that you’d like.

Another strategy with wreaths is to have a “base” wreath that you use for a couple of holidays and simply change out the accent pieces that go on top.  The Halloween wreath above is a good example of that.  You could create a yarn wreath in a fall colored yarn that will look good for months.  For Halloween you can add white yarn to create a cob-web look and then add Halloween appliques like the ones I highlighted in my post about about Free Halloween Crochet Patterns  Add a ghost, felt flowers, felt bat and you’ve made a spooktacular Halloween wreath.
Layered Felt Designs

Image courtesy of roland CC 2.0

When it’s time to switch to a Thanksgiving theme, simply remove the Halloween items and swap them out for some fall leaves, pilgrims or turkey. The felt designs above are the perfect color combination for a fall wreath.  Here’s how to make these easy accent pieces.

  1. Choose several different colors of felt.
  2. Cut out any shape you’d like.  Use the same shape for each color.  You can either make them all the same size, or make each layer slightly smaller than the one beneath it.
  3. Using a needle, thread yarn through the center of each piece of felt, layering one piece of felt on top of the other.  You can tie knots on the ends of the yarn to make it look like the center of a flower.  You can also leave the tail coming out the back side of the “flower” if you’d like to attach them to the wreath using the yarn.

Just remember that if you are going to swap out the appliques and details on top, you want to use velcro or something that allows you to change the accent pieces without ruining the wreath below.  You can always use glue if you want, you’ll just have to be careful removing the old accessories and the new ones will have to go in the same spot so that it covers up the old glue.  Or, wrap a few more strands of yarn around the wreath to cover up the old spots and blend with the existing wreath.

Here are some Thanksgiving accents and appliques ideas to add to your wreath.



Pattern for Fall Crochet AppliquesPattern for Fall Crochet Appliques

Pattern for Crochet Maple LeavesPattern for Crochet Maple Leaves

Pattern for Crochet Oak LeavesPattern for Crochet Oak Leaves

Free Pattern- Crochet Flower & LeavesFree- Crochet Flower-Leaves

From Halloween to Thanksgiving, fall wreaths are full of color and fun.  I hope you enjoy making a DIY Fall Wreath to brighten-up your home, or to make as a gift.

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