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I'm getting into crafting. I can't draw to save my soul and I don't feel inspired to write very much anymore, but I really love making things, especially useful things. Right now I'm really into creating my own notebooks and planners. I can't stand trinkets that don't really serve a purpose, so I'm really into finding crafts that are useful or that help out around the house. What kind of craft tools are your must have? What projects are you starting, what projects are giving you fits? Feel free to ask for advice or leave tips for other folks getting their craft on. 

 

My project right now is a 2016 planner. I'm trying to figure out how to make the pages look colorful and designed without sacrificing functionality of the pages. And then it's on to figuring out how to bind it! I'm coveting the Cinch Bookbinding Tool but I can't really justify it when I'm just starting out. Anyone have any other ideas for how to get a nice wire-bound look?

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My main "crafty" thing is crocheting. I've been doing it since I was a teenager, I've made blankets, throws and toys for everybody I know.

When somebody has a baby I make a crib sized blanket and 2 smaller, infant seat sized ones. I have a few seta made but nobody I know is having a baby. For years my son has been trying to get me to sell them but I just haven't wanted to do that yet.

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How about making some to donate?  I'm sure that there are churches or organizations that provide assistance to single mom's (and mom's to be) who come from adverse situations that both need baby items and would appreciate the thought, time and care that someone - a total stranger - put in to the item.

 

But truth be told, a friend made me a baby blanket (don't know if it was knitted or crocheted) when I was pregnant.  It was so beautiful, I never took it out of the box she gave it to me in.  But her making it for me, and me knowing how incredibly busy her professional and personal life was, overwhelms me with appreciation to this day.

 

I'm self taught when it comes to knitting and crochet (and very poor at both).  Mostly I did it to try to get my right hand's fine motor skills to improve.  I'd love to be able to do amigurumi.

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Cool topic, BabyVegas! I'm a recovering craftaholic -- jewelry (love chainmaille!), cross-stitching, papercrafting. A few years ago, I bought an inexpensive punch for spiral binding and used it to make a couple of custom calendars for Christmas presents. I looked online but it seems to have been discontinued. if you want to look on eBay, it was this: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Carl-Brands-Ring-Ring-Binding-System-12/25134096

 

I think there are punches that have the right size and spaced holes, and the wire isn't too pricey, so you could rig a DYI setup to see if you like it enough to justify something costlier. For the calendars I made, I recycled wire from old calendars. It's easier to do with spiral binding -- just snip the bent end and twirl the spiral to remove it from the old piece, and twirl it to insert into the new one. Coil binding is a little different -- you'd need to open each ring with pliers, and then carefully close them on the new piece.

 

Good luck -- I find papercrafting highly addictive!

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I'm addicted to crocheting and knitting. The amount of yarn I have is ridiculous. I'm great at following a pattern, but I want to get good enough to create my own. I wish there was a bigger knit/crochet fandom for TV shows and movie knits and crochet creations. When I see something, I wish I knew enough to recreate. Maybe someday.

I make for my friends and their babies. Mainly blankets and hats but I also have created a beer koozie pattern which my friends can't get enough of.

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I do all kinds of crafts and always have. I come from a crafting family. I crochet, cross stitch, paint, and do jewelry (occasionally). I'm also a big DIYer with home decor. Last year I made a bunch of those crocheted animal hats for kids and gave them to the local animal rescue thrift store. This way I get to indulge in crochet and donate to a great cause too. I'm learning how to do Tunisian crochet as well. Right now I'm cross stitching and trying to finish this:

 

http://www.crossstitchworld.com/cross-stitch-detail.php?RecordID=023-0516

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^^^Wow!

 

Do you have any pictures of the animal hats?  They sound so cute!

 

 I don't have any of mine, but here's a link to the type. My brother and his three kids have informed me they're very popular. And so easy to do. If I was 87 rather than 47 I'd wear some myself, haha. I love them.

 

https://www.pinterest.com/oowpez/crochet-animal-hats/

Edited by bubbls
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After a few years, I've decided to crochet again.  Man, have yarn prices gone up!  Does anybody know of inexpensive places (online) that have good prices on yarn?  I checked out smileysyarn.com online and I didn't like their shipping policies.

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After a few years, I've decided to crochet again.  Man, have yarn prices gone up!  Does anybody know of inexpensive places (online) that have good prices on yarn?  I checked out smileysyarn.com online and I didn't like their shipping policies.

Maybe joann.com or michaels.com. I like yarn.com because they have a wide selection and always have something really good on sale. I buy a lot from them because of the sales and because they give good discounts when you buy a decent quantity of something, like for a sweater project.

 

Ten years ago I found an unfinished sweater when cleaning out a closet and thought, "What the hell, why don't I just..." and got addicted to knitting all over again.  Since then I've cranked out some truly awful sweaters and a couple of good ones, a few pairs of socks, a whole lot of scarves I never wear but enjoyed the hell out of knitting, and am currently trying to make at least one good beaded lace shawl because that shit is magic.

 

I'm self-taught and have done virtually all my knitting alone. Give me a good audiobook and a comfortable chair and I can amuse myself for hours.

Edited by CoderLady
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I'm self-taught and have done virtually all my knitting alone. Give me a good audiobook and a comfortable chair and I can amuse myself for hours.

 

I taught myself crocheting by checking out numerous books from the library.  Thank you for all your good leads on places to buy yarn.

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I've crocheted baby blankets for Project Linus for babies in ICU and bears for police and fire fighters to give to children. I also heard the hospital wants caps for infants but I don't know much about this and am just getting back to crocheting after a 6 year hiatus.

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I've crocheted baby blankets for Project Linus for babies in ICU and bears for police and fire fighters to give to children. I also heard the hospital wants caps for infants but I don't know much about this and am just getting back to crocheting after a 6 year hiatus.

I make baby blankets for the local women's shelter and our county hospital has a Project Linus type of program that I make blankets for as well.

I'm making a full sized blanket for my granddaughter. I worked on it for a few months then had to put it aside for a while, I needed a break from it. About a month ago I pulled it out because I want to finish it to give it to her for Xmas. I needed more yarn but cant find 2 of the 5 colors I'm using. I'm so frustrated. I originally got the yarn from JoAnn's, they don't have it there anymore. I've been to every store and website I can think of but I can't find those damn colors.

I'm doing the blanket in a basic zigzag pattern, I made one of her many blankets in that pattern and its her favorite thing in the world, she hasn't slept without it since she was born. I'm using 5 colors, light pink, darker pink, light purple, dark purple and teal. More grown up versions of her baby blanket. She helped pick the colors, I figured those colors would go with any way she decorates her room as she grows up.

She's thrilled that she'll have a big kid blanket that's just like her baby blanket.

I don't know what I'm going to do if I can't find the right yarn. I found a few that match pretty close but it will bother me forever if its not right.

Any suggestions?

Edited by Maharincess

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I don't know what I'm going to do if I can't find the right yarn. I found a few that match pretty close but it will bother me forever if its not right.

Any suggestions?

 

Have you tried the Ravelry forums? It's a large community -- there's probably someone there with those yarns in their stash or who knows where to get some.

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I haven't tried it, I've never heard of it. I'm going to go check now, I still have the labels from the yarn. I have a box full of old labels with the project they're from written on it.

Thanks!!

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Hello. I'm new here and just found this site. I used to do tons of crafts several years ago. I loved counted cross-stitch, needlepoint, working with silk flowers, decoupage  and painting terracotta pots. I think I'd like to knit more, but I am terrible at it!

 

Anyway, I stopped doing everything for about 10+ years and now that I'm semi-retired, I'm picking crafting back up. Right now, I'm doing needlepoint. I guess that's really an outdated hobby, because there just aren't a lot of kit out there, or if they are, they are horribly expensive. I found a site for free coloring pages and printed some that I transferred onto needlepoint canvas, so I am working on some Christmas pieces. It's just for fun and just for me.

 

I also made a couple of simple jewelry pieces for Halloween. I also make small fleece blankets to use for cat adoptions at one of the local animal shelters. However, I seem to have exhausted all of the available small prints that aren't specifically designed for baby blankets. My local Joann doesn't carry many seasonal prints.

 

Happy Crafting!

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Welcome grisgris!

I tried counted cross stitch so many times, I would always miscount on one square and that would mess the whole damn thing up. Cross stitch is beautiful, I wish I could get the hang of it.

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Cross-stitching is the one craft that I can actually do well (I'm not very good at other crafts).  I haven't done it in a while, because as I 'advance in age', my eyes don't want to cooperate like they used to.  Instead of looking at the pattern and then at the cloth so I can do the stitch, I find myself looking at the pattern from under my glasses or taking them off and then putting them back on to stitch.  I would just keep the glasses off, but I cross-stitch as I watch TV, so the glasses need to be on sometimes.  I've tried a magnifier, but those tend to make me woozy as I look back and forth.  I do want to get back into the cross-stitch habit, though--even if I work a lot slower than I used to!  I recently looked through my craft stuff and I have books and books of patterns that I've never done as well as two (not one, but two!) kits for Christmas tree skirts in cross-stitch.  I think one is an old-fashioned Christmas scene with Santa and the other one is made of up toys or something.  Maybe if I start now I can get one done by Christmas 2016!  

Edited by BooksRule

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Thanks for the welcome, Maharincess!

 

My eyes don't cooperate for counted cross-stitch any more either! I used to love to make cross-stitch Christmas ornaments. I have a ton of them, but I know longer put up a big Christmas tree, so they've been boxed up for years.

 

LOL! I also do my needlework while I watch TV. That's why I like needlepoint. It's more forgiving if you mess up and much easier to rip out stitches.

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How did I not know this forum existed.    Good grief.

 

Very avid quilter here.    My fabric stash is taking over my residence.   I mean that literally as in I either have to reduce the stash or move to a bigger place.   Bigger place is winning out.

 

I make quilts for friends, family, charitable organizations, and for sale.   I prefer simple traditional patterns like log cabin/courthouse steps, and recently did a King Size Bargello quilt in blues and tans for a friend's beach house.   I love the interplay of fabrics, picking colors, choosing how to set a pattern.    It's very relaxing after the day job (lawyer).

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I have a bag of fabric cut in uniform rectangles from my (now deceased) grandmother that I keep telling my self I will make into a quilt as she intended.  I don't have a sewing machine but as long as I'm in no rush, it can be done by hand, right?  Should I just get "Quilting for Dummies" and see where that takes me?

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If you are in no hurry, then yes, you can do it by hand.   Honestly, you can just google "rectangle quilt patterns" and see how many easy ones comes up.  It's all in how you arrange the fabrics.

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I made quilts for my kids by hand. I made the squares out of their baby and kid clothes. It took forever to make them but it was so worth it. They love them, they both have them hanging up at their homes. My daughter used hers for years then decided to hang hers like my son did.

I have big bags of the grandkids baby clothes cut into squares, my daughter is going to help me make theirs.

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Difficult?   No.   If you can sew a straight line, you can quilt.   

 

Expensive.   Well .........   Not to get started.   You can start with a couple yards of fabric, a pair of scissors, some thread and a needle.   After that, well, there are all these cools tools.   And fabric.   Quilting stencils.  And fabric.  Lots of thread colors.  And fabric.   A rotary cutter and mat.  And fabric.  Well you get the idea.

 

Someday, I want a big quilting sewing machine.   I love my little Singer but when I had to hand quilt a king size quilt, I decided that machine quilting might not be a bad thing to be able to do occassionally.

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Someday, I want a big quilting sewing machine.   I love my little Singer but when I had to hand quilt a king size quilt, I decided that machine quilting might not be a bad thing to be able to do occassionally.

 

How long did that take you?

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I machined pieced the top so Labor Day weekend to put it together.   The quilting itself only took about 2 weeks because I used a large pattern and batting that lets you quilt up to 12 inches between designs.   So it was not THAT bad.  

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My dad's mom quilted, and we have several of her finished ones. Each time one of her children or grandchildren married, she'd give them a quilt. When I was 6, Granny died, and a few months later, we were all at Granddad's house and my aunt opened up my grandmother's quilt chest -- she already had enough pieced quilt tops for the rest of us grandkids. Since I was the oldest unmarried grandchild (and the first born after an 18-year gap), I got to pick first. I remember how much pressure I felt, even at that age. My sister and I neither ever married, and we still have our quilt tops in storage. I suppose we should get them out and have them finished so we can use them.

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My project right now is a 2016 planner. I'm trying to figure out how to make the pages look colorful and designed without sacrificing functionality of the pages. And then it's on to figuring out how to bind it! I'm coveting the Cinch Bookbinding Tool but I can't really justify it when I'm just starting out. Anyone have any other ideas for how to get a nice wire-bound look?

If you're still looking for this: The college library where I work still has one. It's left over from the days when the person in charge of putting readings on reserve wasn't a professional and didn't know about copyright and lawsuits etc.

Anyway, if you are in a library or any public place where you see custom made, spiral-bound instruction manuals, or catalogs, etc., you might ask if they have the machine that is used to punch the holes and insert the spiral binding onsite, and whether you can come in and use it some time.

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Thank you for the links DeLurker.

I've been so bored lately, I'm seriously going to go crazy if I don't find something to occupy my time. I have nothing but time on my hands and it gets really boring, there's only so much TV I can watch and so many books I can read before I start getting cabin fever.

Thanks again!

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I do paper crafting and am just beginning to make cards. I find it relaxing and the more detailed the better. I like doing projects to give away because let's face it-who is going to want my scrapbooks when I die?! I used to needlepoint and (counted) cross-stitch but quit when I worked in my mother's shop and had to teach. I still have books and even some canvases and supplies left from my late mom. I've thought about donating the books to the library but they are old and I'm not sure they would want them.

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I do paper crafting and am just beginning to make cards. I find it relaxing and the more detailed the better. I like doing projects to give away because let's face it-who is going to want my scrapbooks when I die?! I used to needlepoint and (counted) cross-stitch but quit when I worked in my mother's shop and had to teach. I still have books and even some canvases and supplies left from my late mom. I've thought about donating the books to the library but they are old and I'm not sure they would want them.

If your library has a used book sale, donate them to that. If they don't want them, they'll throw them out or put them in recycling, but if they do and the books sell, the library has more money. If they are in good shape, someone may want them.

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If your library has a used book sale, donate them to that. If they don't want them, they'll throw them out or put them in recycling, but if they do and the books sell, the library has more money. If they are in good shape, someone may want them.

Edited by Riley

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Because I'm such a dork and can't figure out how to use things...(see my "reply" above)

I'm not sure I want to donate them to the library because if they aren't used, I don't want them thrown out either.  I'll figure something out.  There are needlepoint books and cross stitch books.  I've considered the local community college but I'm not sure they would want them either.

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You could also put the books up on Freecycle, I'm sure somebody out there would love to have them. I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff on Freecycle.

Edited because pot and put are not the same thing.

Edited by Maharincess

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Is there a Half Price Books near you? I have bought lots of craft books there. They have a web store, too, but I'm not sure how that works. Our local library also has a used bookstore.

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Yes. I called them and they told me to bring them in. I've sold (and bought) books there. I love that store.

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I am an experienced knitter and crocheter who is just learning how to sew on a sewing machine! (I can handsew.)

 

 

I went to my first class last Wednesday and found a used full-size Brother machine (http://smile.amazon.com/Brother-Everyday-stitches-including-Buttonhole/dp/B000EOX28E/) on Amazon for $45. I hope it works! (I know it's not as good as a real machine, but I wanted to figure out what I needed versus what I wanted at a low price point before investing in a Viking or something.)

Edited by Kate the Great

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I've been crocheting since I was a teenager but I've never tried knitting.

Maharincess, in my experience, having started with crochet and moved on to (about 90%) knitting: knitting has more of a learning curve in the way you hold the needles, but once you develop that muscle memory, it's much faster than crochet. The one thing you can't do is knit very small circumferences in the round without the use of doublepoint needles or a method called "Magic Loop," so in that way it's not as versatile as crochet.

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So choosing to go with a distressed/rustic look as a style choice is really helpful if you accidentally mess up the paint. "No, no. It's supposed to be chipped!" ?

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17 minutes ago, Trini said:

So choosing to go with a distressed/rustic look as a style choice is really helpful if you accidentally mess up the paint. "No, no. It's supposed to be chipped!" ?

Just tell people it's a piece from the Fixer Upper lady's Magnolia collection!

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OK, this place looks pretty dead but I am going to try anyway: I have a question about ModPodge Dimensional Magic. I would like to use this on the top of a tin (an Altoids-like tin) but do not want it to drip down the sides as it dries. Does anyone know how I could effectively limit it to just the top? Can I use painter's tape sticking up higher than the the edge to serve as a "fence" of sorts? Or would it peel the ModPodge back off when I remove it? 

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@TattleTeeny -- I've not used that particular product, but their web site says it won't run or sag. If you feel more secure putting up a fence, you might try waxed paper. You should be able to fold it to make it stiff enough and then tape it to the tin with the painter's tape. The ModPodge shouldn't stick to it -- I used to use waxed paper as an artist's palette when using ModPodge or acrylic paint.

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Thank you! I am planning to make some super-cool (I hope) reusable gift-card tins, custom crafted to the personalities of the recipients! Dimensional Magic makes like a shiny-smooth top coat over textured things. So, if I were to, say, apply fabric to the tin, I could make it gleamy and hard, or if I were to cover the bottom interior of the tin with multicolored seed beads, and then use the DM on top, they would look beady but feel smooth with a glassy "aura" on top! Wish me luck!

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28 minutes ago, TattleTeeny said:

Wish me luck!

Good luck! And let us know how it goes -- it might be a good sustitute for epoxy resin, which I've always wanted to try but not enough to make the time/cost investment.

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I've used it on smaller things and it's great. The only problem is tiny bubbles--oh, and tiny bottles too! At least if I try this seed bead thing, a bubble would likely go unnoticed.

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