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Kaleidoscope of Krafts

For your reading convenients below you will find all the kaleidoscope of krafts published in 2017

January 2017

Hello to all readers, How wonderful to start off 2017, once again being able to share with you all an easy craft project or two. For quite some time now I have come across the terms "DIY" and "no sew" while scouring the Internet for interesting craft projects. I decided to have a closer look at what these terms were all about. as we all know only too well, there could be many ways to accomplish a specific task, so I was amazed bythe creative ideas people came up with in order to make a specific item without using traditional tools and techniques. So, for this month I am sharing different methods of making pillows, without needing a sewing machine or sewing skills. What I like about these pillow projects is the fact that one could change them quite easily, enabling you to vary your decor or to liven up a room for a new season or a special occasion without having to spend a lot of time, effort or money on acquiring new decorative items for your home. The first pillow could be described as a roll pillow since it has the basic shape of a log. It is often used for decorative purposes, for instance, to compliment standard pillows on a bed, or it could be used for comfort as a neck pillow. You will need: Two old bath towels (one towel might suffice if it's a really fluffy one) One cardboard paper towel tube Two rubber bands Two safety pins [optional] A rectangular piece of fabric large enough to cover your cardboard tube from side to side and all around; thinner, lightweight fabric works best Step 1: Place the towel on a flat surface with one of the short sides nearest you. Fold the left side over to meet the right side, so that you now have a long, skinny rectangle. Repeat with the second towel if used. Stack one towel on top of the other. Place the paper towel tube at one end and roll up as you would a rug. If preferred, use two safety pins to secure your roll. Set aside. Step 2: Place your fabric down with one of the shorter edges nearest you, and with the right, pretty side of the fabric facing up. If your fabric has raw edges, fold them in an inch or so at the top and bottom first. You could iron them in place, but this is not really necessary. Gently role your fabric up into a tube shape. Step 3: Next, gather each end of the fabric in the rubber bands. The more evenly spaced you can make your gathers, the better the end result will look. Step 4: Turn your fabric right side out so that the rubber bands are now on the inside of the fabric roll. Step 5: Carefully insert the towel roll into the cover, tucking the gathered fabric ends into the holes on each side of the cardboard tube. Step 6: Lastly, check the opening where you inserted your towel roll. Make sure the edges of your fabric are straight and overlap each other completely. Pull the fabric tight so the cover is snug and neat. The second project is called a wrapped pillow. This pillow could be made in any size, using fabric of any kind. Fabric that will not fray will be suitable, or consider square cloths you may already own or you could buy on-line or from thrift stores, e.g. bandannas, scarves, napkins, fat quarters, etc. You will need: A pillow form Fabric that, when folded over, will enclose entire pillow Safety pin Ribbon, button and thread (optional) Step 1: Position your fabric with its points at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock or in a diamond shape. Step 2: Fold in the two side points so they come together at the center. Step 3: Fold the bottom point up to the center to cover the points already folded. Step 4: Fold the last point down so it covers the previous folds. Secure with the safety pin. Step 5: Alternatively, fold over the sides and bottom point as described above and then attach the button by sewing through all three layers of fabric. Step 6: Attach a ribbon loop to the underside of the top flap to complete a removable pillowcase. Step 7: Decorate the front of your pillow if preferred. If you would really like to create a good effect, use two pieces of square fabric with the first being a cotton fabric and the second a lacy fabric. You could also use some rickrack or lace strips you can buy at the fabric store to decorate your pillowcase. Just place the rickrack or strips across the front of the pillow and tie in the back, pushing the points of the strips so they are hidden between the fabric layers at the back of the pillow. For the last project I am sharing for this month, you will need a square pillow form, a standard pillow case and two safety pins. Instead of creating pillow cases specifically for your square pillow forms, you could buy 3 or 4 standard pillowcases at a good price or use pillowcases you already have in a different room. Standard pillowcases come in many colors and motifs, providing a wider choice for matching with your existing decor. Simply tuck your square pillow form into your standard pillowcase and fold over the excess fabric towards the back of your pillow. Secure with a safety pin on each side and make sure the sides of your pillows are pulled into nice square corners and that their fronts are neat and smooth. When it is time for a change, your standard pillowcases will be ready to use on a bed again, or in another room. I hope the above will give you some ideas to work with for creating your own pillows and pillowcases. Sources: http://theredchairblog.blogspot.co.za/2009/09/easy-diy-no-sew-pillow-tutoria l.html http://www.marthastewart.com/272732/napkin-folded-pillowcases?&backto=true&b acktourl=/photogallery/easy-sewing-project

February 2017

I recently came across some macramé patterns I had compiled some time ago. I will be sharing two of them with you for this month's article and hope to share some more later in the year. For some background information on macramé and another project similar to those below, you can go to the April 2015 article where I shared the pattern for "the Twist and Turn Knotted Bracelet" at: April 2015 Craft Article Editor’s note: Press the letter H (for headings) until you come upon April, and you will find this information. As a quick reminder, you can use almost any type of material for your cords, including yarn, rope, leather, satin, twine, embroidery thread, and the list goes on. One material that has recently become quite popular to use is called t-shirt yarn. Basically, it is fabric that has been cut into long, thin strips that are rolled up into balls. I find fabric or t-shirt yarn quite pleasant to work with. It is fairly soft and stretchy, though it will stay in shape once knotted or braided into a bracelet or necklace. It can be washed and is normally available in many bright colors from craft or fabric stores. You might think that the square knot is the only knot used in macramé. Although it is used a lot, there are, in fact, many different types of knots and countless variations in how they are used. Apart from different knots, there are also many different ways to use braiding to create interesting designs. For the two projects below, you will need any type of cord, scissors, a clipboard or alternatively, some kind of tape or a safety pin to anchor your work to a stable surface. A tape measure is handy, but you could also just estimate the length of your cords. And Beads or buttons are optional. Tip: When trying to find cord to use, feel the texture of the cord, taking care to check its thickness, elasticity, its coarseness and pliability. We all have our personal preferences, but keep in mind that if you are a beginner, it might be best to work with cord that is not too thin or soft, but that will still hold the knots well. On the other hand, cord that feels stiff and rough to the touch might not be easy to work with. If you would like to use beads or buttons, make sure that they have holes large enough to fit over one or two of the cords you will be using. The texture of the cord is especially important if you will be wearing it as a bracelet or necklace. It should not scratch or irritate your skin in any way. Keep in mind that the directions below are simply guidelines to follow. You could vary the length and amount of cords used as well as change or mix different patterns and types of materials or knots to make bracelets, necklaces, belts, straps and more. 1 INTERLACED Braided BRACELET WITH 4 STRANDS You will need two cords, each at least 1 and a half m or 60 inches in length. Alternatively, spread your arms open and point each hand to the side. Cut two cords that will stretch from the fingertips of one hand to the other. Step 1: Take the cords and fold them in half. Slide a bead or button onto the cords until it is at the top center of your folded cords, or make an overhand knot at this point if not using a button or bead. Mentally number your cords from left to right as 1 to 4. Step 2: Take cord 4 and bring it to the left, over cord 3, then under cord 2 and over cord 1. Cord 4 will have moved from the very right to the very left of your work. Pull cord 4 a little upwards and push it out of the way or secure it on the left side of your work in some way. Step 3: Starting at the right again, repeat Step 2. Each time, your cord on the right will move over, under, over and then remain on the left-hand side of your work. Step 4: Repeat this pattern 8 times, or more from the right side only. Add some beads at regular intervals if preferred. Step 5: End with an overhand knot, then leave a space just large enough for your bead, button or starting knot to fit through, and end with a final overhand knot. Step 6: Add a bit of clear glue to the last knot and cut the ends off if necessary so they look neat and let them dangle. Tip: Keep your hands as near as possible to where your braid is forming. You will have much more control over what you are doing and it will be easier to keep track of your braiding. 2 Lovely Loopy Necklace This pattern uses the simple overhand knot we all know to create a delicate lace-like design. The overhand knot is made by forming a loop with one or more of your cords and then simply pulling the end of the cord through this loop. This design will let you add a charm or centerpiece since it is worked from the center towards the two ends of the project. You will need four cords, each at least 1 and a half m or 60 inches in length. Alternatively, spread your arms open and point each hand to the side. Cut two cords that will stretch from the fingertips of one hand to the other. Step 1: Take the cords and fold them in half. Slide a bead, charm or any type of centerpiece onto the cords until it is at the top center of your folded cords, or make an overhand knot at this point if not using charms or beads. Separate your cords into two groups with 4 cords on the left and 4 on the right. Step 2: Working with all 4 left-hand cords first, make an overhand knot an inch or so from the center bead, charm or knot. Pull the knot tight only once you feel its position is correct. Make sure to pull on all 4 cords to make your overhand knot neat and tight. Step 3: Next, make another overhand knot, but only using 2 cords this time, another inch or so from the previous overhand knot. Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the left half of your project, spacing your knots as evenly as possible, alternating between tying all four cords and then only two cords. Step 5: Starting from the center again, now working with the 4 cords on the right-hand side, repeat steps 2 and 3 with the four cords on the right. Step 6: Check the length of the bracelet or necklace and also that you have the same amount of knots on the left and right side of the center of the project. Step 7: Add some beads at regular intervals if preferred, attaching them to at least two cords at a time. Step 8: End with overhand knots on both sides. Holding them together, wrap a piece of cord around all 8 cords to cover both knots and secure with some clear glue. Alternatively, simply tie all the cords together, cutting the ends to look neat and let them dangle. Tip: Remember that using different colors can add a lot of interest to your knotted or braided articles. To help you keep track of colors, try making small knots or placing some elastic bands or sticky tape, at the bottom of your cords or wrap some of them with pipe cleaners before starting the project. Another idea would be to use different textures in the same project. For instance, you could use a white leather cord together with a blue satin cord. If you would like to learn more about macramé, go to: www.freemacramepatterns.com This site has a wealth of information with fairly good descriptions and directions for making all kinds of objects using macramé techniques. If you have any questions, ideas or crafting tips to share, you are always welcome to contact me at my address above. Until next time, happy crafting.

March 2017

It would seem that those of us who like to craft are always looking for new ideas and inspiration. Access to computers, smart phones and the Internet have helped a lot to put us in touch with others who are eager to share their ideas, and knowledge to inspire us and help us along our crafting journey. However, the Internet is such a large space with so much information, it is often hard to sift through it all and find the useful things you are looking for.

So, for this month I thought I'd share a specific craft site with you all, explaining some of its features and how I use it, for those who might like to browse for new craft projects and ideas on their own. I also include two easy projects from the site as examples at the end of this article.

Keep in mind that you might have to do some things a little differently, depending on the device, platform and screen-reader you are using to access the Internet. I am just explaining the very basics of the site itself from the point of view of someone using a Windows operating system and an Internet browser on a PC or laptop.

Favecrafts, at: www.favecrafts.com
, is a site with a large amount of step by step tutorials, craft articles and ideas, free craft ebooks and more.

After typing in the above address, either type a word into the search box, or you could choose a category and find all the tutorials listed under e.g. knitting or green crafts.
The site is set up so that, on each page there are different sections, all defined by their own headings. The most important ones are the projects, or posts, listed under heading level 4. When you enter on a specific post, a new page will open. To go to the contents of the post, just press the shortcut key for heading level 1.
To read another post, just return to the list of projects. Below the list of posts on each page, you will also find some page numbers which will allow you to navigate to the next or previous pages using the tab key.
Some of the projects have step-by-step instructions right on the site itself, while, for others, you are directed to another blog or site.
You may register with the site for free, which will enable you to save all your favorite crafts in one place, add personal notes to crafts, comment on others' crafts and more. You could also sign up for e-mail newsletters from the site.
I end with two small projects from the abovementioned site, just to give you an idea of what to expect (see sources at the end of this article).

The first is a No Sew Tea Cup Pin Cushion by Olivia from Hopeful Honey. If you are making this gift for someone that rather drinks coffee, I am sure a special mug will be just as cute as a teacup.
Materials:
Teacup or coffee mug [use a cup left over from a set or look for interesting mugs at thrift stores]
10 inch x 10 inch [25cm x 25cm] piece of fabric Stuffing Rubber band or hair band

Instructions:
1. Gather all your supplies together before starting.
2. Lay your piece of fabric on a flat surface with the pretty side down.
3. Take a good handful of stuffing and place it in the center of the fabric.
4. Slowly and carefully take each corner of the fabric and bring it together, making sure that the stuffing is in the middle.
5. Taking the rubber/hair band in your hand, wrap it tightly around the top of the ball of stuffing. Check to make sure that no stuffing is showing before placing the rubber/hair band side down into your cup.

Secondly, I thought to share another simple yarn craft, described as a traditional craft from the Huichol Indians of Mexico.

God's Eyes are fun crafts and fairly easy for kids to make. You will only need two craft or popsicle sticks, glue, scissors and yarn in several colors.
Glue the craft sticks together at the center to make a cross or plus sign.
Take your first color of yarn and wrap it over and around one stick, then over and around the next stick and so on. Keep going around in a circle, adding layers of your yarn color. When you are satisfied with the size of your woven "eye," switch colors.
Simply cut the yarn off from the skein and tie a new color onto the old yarn with a tight knot. Keep wrapping.
Change colors once or twice more and tie a knot to finish.

Sources:
www.favecrafts.com

www.favecrafts.com/Craft-Designers/Hopeful-Honey

www.favecrafts.com/tea cup pin cushion

www.favecrafts.com/yarn crafts

April 2017

For many of us the crafting process itself usually follows a certain pattern. We decide on a project, find and buy the supplies and then proceed with the actual creation of the object we have decided to make. However, words like "recycle", "upcycle", "repurpose", "refashion" etc. have become very popular, over the past years, especially where they relate to crafts and crafting of all kinds. Using what you already have or don't use, to make something new, not only can be of benefit to oneself, but is also the right thing to do in terms of saving our environment.

The projects we will be doing for this month fall into the category of repurposing. The first is not really a craft as such, but will let you create a useful item, which could be changed back to its original form.

Project 1: Shoulder Bag from a Scarf
For this project you will need:
1 large, square scarf made of a lightweight fabric

Directions:
Step 1: Place your scarf down on a flat surface, with the right side showing and one corner facing you.
Step 2: Starting at the point nearest you, fold over the scarf about halfway to the center of the square and tie in a knot.
Step 3: Do the same with the opposite corner of the scarf. You will now have something that looks like a skinny piece of fabric with two knots on the top and bottom edges
Step 4: Flip the scarf over so the knots are now on the inside.
Step 5: Bring the left and right corners together and tie them into a small, double knot to form the shoulder strap of your bag.
Step 6: Now, pick up your new bag and, like your scarf; it will fit perfectly with your outfit.
You could use a safety pin to hold it closed for some extra security, but it is great to just carry to the beach or when you need a bag on the fly.
When you no longer need your bag, simply untie the knots and you have a scarf again.

Project 2: Shoulder bag from a t-shirt
If you have a t-shirt that you no longer wear for some reason, use it to make a casual bag you can carry over your shoulder. This is a quick and easy project, especially to do with or for teens.

If you are not comfortable with doing the cutting yourself, consider asking someone to help with that specific step. I find that people are usually quite willing to help with cutting since it goes fairly quickly, especially in a project like this one, where total accuracy is not that important.

T-shirt fabric is also fairly easy to cut cleanly and for this project the neckline and shoulder seams of the t-shirt will serve as a rough guide for cutting the handles of the bag.

You have three options for the bottom of your bag. They are set out in Step 8.

For this project you will need:
1 t-shirt
Scissors

Directions:
Step 1: Set the t-shirt down on a flat surface.
Step 2: Cut off the bottom hem of the t-shirt to form a long, narrow strip of fabric. Set aside for later use in Step 8.
Step 3: Fold the T-shirt in half from left to right, so that the next two cuts will be symmetrical.
Step 4: Remove the collar by Cutting around the neckline in a nice deep semi-circle.
Step 5: Next up, cut the sleeves off, a little away from the shoulder seam, towards the collar.
Step 6: Open up your shirt again. It should now look like a neat tank-top!
Step 7: Turn the shirt inside-out.
Step 8: Choose one of the following options
A. Gather the base of the tank into a bunch and tie it with the hem strip that was cut in step 2. Make sure you tie it tight, preferably in a double knot.
B. Sew the bottom of the shirt closed using needle and thread or a sewing machine.
C. Turn the shirt right side out and cut the bottom into one inch strips that can be tied together.
Step 9: If you have used options A or B in the previous step, again turn this arrangement inside-out and you’ve got a great new handbag that is unique and trendy!

Project 3: Travel Pouch from a Washcloth
For this project you will need:
1 large washcloth
12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) of washable ribbon
Button (optional)
sewing machine or needle and thread (If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can sew this by hand with a needle and thread)

Step 1: Start by folding the bottom of the washcloth up so that it’s about an inch or two below the top of the washcloth.
Step 2: Sew up both outside edges of the washcloth to make a large “pouch”. Use any type of stitch you know. Don't worry if your stitches are not perfect. They will be hidden on the inside of your pouch. It will also help if you use thread that are the same color as your cloth.
Step 3 (optional): If preferred, sew one or two straight lines through both layers of the cloth up the middle of the pouch to create smaller pockets. To do this, make a fold where you'd like the stitches to go and pin the fabric in place. This will create a straight edge for you to sew along.
Step 4: Turn the cloth inside out so that your stitches are now on the inside.
Step 5: Sew the middle of the ribbon with the button (if used) to one edge of the washcloth, about halfway up.
Step 6: To use, fill the pockets with your toiletries, roll the washcloth up and tie the ribbon around the middle to hold it closed, and you’re good to go!

If you have similar projects or ideas to share, I am sure we'd all love to hear about them, so please e-mail me at my address above.

Until next month, happy crafting!

Sources:
https://kosoado.wordpress.com/tag/scarf/
http://alldaychic.com/no-sew-handbag-out-of-t-shirt/
http://www.practicallyfunctional.com/diy-washcloth-travel-kit/

May 2017

Hello again to all crafters. While browsing the Net recently, I came across a list of summer camp crafts for kids. Usually, these types of crafts need very little in terms of materials, are cheap, quick and easy to do and can be a lot of fun.

Luckily, we don't have to attend summer camp to enjoy these types of crafts as adults, on our own or with children or grandchildren. Apart from bringing back a few good memories for some of us, doing these crafts might also present an opportunity to pass on some of our favorite, more traditional crafts to a new generation.

I shared making a coaster from icecream or popsicle sticks in June 2015. The craft for this month starts with the same coaster, but this time it is used as a base for another project, a popsicle stick treasure box.

So, we will start off by creating our base, using the directions I had shared previously.
You will need:
Ice cream sticks - colored or plain (can be bought from most craft and stationery stores)
Craft glue
One piece of cardboard, construction paper or felt, about 4 inches or 10 cm square (optional)
Embellishments (optional)

Note: The felt or paper square mentioned above is optional. The craft can be done without having the felt or paper square base, but using a base not only looks better and is more durable, but it also serves as a guide when placing down your ice cream sticks, especially if you are doing the craft for the first time.

If you do not use a base, you will have to keep your first layer of ice cream sticks in place with one hand while placing down and gluing the second layer. I have found that this can be quite difficult to do, since the first layer of ice cream sticks tend to shift around a lot until the second layer is glued into place, hence the suggestion of using a base to start off with.

The straight edges of the base provides a defined area for you to work within, ensuring that your first layer of sticks are placed straight and can be glued into place before starting the second layer.

Step 1: I usually ask for assistance with cutting a true square from construction paper, cardboard or felt. You could use an existing coaster or any flat object that is around 4 inches (10 cm) square as a template or base.

Step 2: This is quite a messy craft, so place your square on a sheet of newspaper, foil, wax paper, or something similar to enable you to clean up easily after your project has been completed.

Step 3: Starting from the left, glue ice cream sticks vertically in a row next to each other onto your square so it is covered as far as possible. Ice cream sticks come in various sizes, so you might need more or less sticks to cover your square. It is fine if the sticks are slightly longer than your square at the top and bottom. If you find the sticks are too short, you might have to cut your square a little smaller.

Step 4: Check that all your ice cream sticks are lying straight and as close to each other as possible. You might sometimes still be able to make an adjustment here and there before the glue has set. If you are happy, wait a few minutes for the first layer to dry.

Step 5: Starting from the top, glue on the second layer of sticks but this time, placing them in a horizontal position, from top to bottom, so they cover the layer of sticks that was created in Step 3. It is likely that you will use the same amount of sticks for the two layers, so if you used 10 sticks to cover your square from left to right, the same amount will cover the square from top to bottom.

Step 6: Repeat Step 4, adjusting if possible and wait for the glue to dry properly.

Once your two-layered base has been created, it is time to make the sides of your treasure box. To do this, you will be adding your popsicle sticks in a flat position, in layers, two at a time.

Step 7: Glue down two popsicle sticks for the first layer, one at the top and one at the bottom of your square base, followed by the next layer of sticks, placed on the left and right sides of the square.

Step 8: Continue in this way, adding to the height of the project, making sure that your sides are as straight as possible.

Step 9: When your treasure box reaches the height you would prefer, put a heavy object, like a book, on top of your box to help it settle into place.
Let it dry like this for a day or two.

Step 10: To make a lid for your box, follow the same directions as for the base mentioned above. Glue a wooden bead or large button onto the lid if preferred.

Step 11: Lastly, add embellishments of any kind to decorate your treasure box. You could also paint your box if you did not use colored popsicle sticks, or add a layer of craft varnish or clear nail polish for extra durability and a nice shine.

Until next time, best wishes and happy crafting!

June 2017

Hello again to all crafters,
Building on the theme for last month, I again share a craft that may be classified by some as a camp craft. However, this little project can be done at any time by anyone, for fun outdoors or indoors on a rainy afternoon.

It is a simple yarn craft that involves two people and a little teamwork. It is one of the easiest ways to create friendship bracelets, necklaces or key chains using only some leftover yarn.

You will need:
Yarn (one or more colors of any texture, weight or thickness)
Scissors

Instructions:
Step 1: First, choose three colors of yarn.
Step 2: Cut the yarn strands to the same length. A general rule of thumb is to start with yarn three times as long as you want your finished necklace or bracelet to be. Remember, once it’s done you can always go shorter, but you can’t go longer!
Step 3: Now this is where you will need the help of a friend. Each of you take an end of the yarn trio. Back up until the yarn is taut.
Step 4: Now start twisting, each of you in the opposite direction of the other (one twists to their right, the other to their left). Keep twisting until the whole piece is so twisted, it'll start bunching up if you don't stop.
Step 5: Keeping hold of the ends, start walking toward each other. Grab the length of yarn at more or less the midpoint and hand your end to your friend.
Step 6: Pull taut and then let go of your end of the yarn. The yarn will start to twist around itself, creating a lovely braided cord. Let it twist all the way up.
Step 7: Smooth out the yarn twist a little if necessary.
Step 8: Tie off the loose ends and then tie around your neck or arm.
Step 9: If it’s too long, tie a knot at the place you want it to end, then cut above that knot.

Apart from creating simple bracelets or necklaces, twisted strands can be used as hair ties, for yarn art, to embellish gifts, belts, key chains, ties for knitted items and more.

Until next time, best wishes and happy crafting!

Sources:
http://www.skiptomylou.org/twisted-yarn-jewlery-craft-camp/
http://bugaboominimrme.blogspot.co.za/2011/03/take-11-twisty-hair-ties.html

July 2017

Hello again to all crafters.
We are doing another kid's craft for this month, but as is often the case, by varying the materials used, you can make this craft as simple or as complicated as you'd like.

When I first came across this craft I had no idea what it was all about. Typing the term "dream catcher" into Google provided me with lots of interesting information, though. According to www.TinyFry.com, "Dream catchers, which were created by an indigenous group of people living in North America called the Ojibwa, generally consist of a hoop with net or a web inside and hanging feathers and beads. The idea is that a dream catcher is hung above someone's bed while they sleep, and during the night bad dreams get trapped in the web, so they're unable to reach the dreamer. When the sun rises the next day, those bad dreams disappear. Good dreams, on the other hand, pass through the dream catcher and slide down the feathers to the sleeping person.

Traditionally, they were used only by children, as adults were encouraged to receive, embrace and interpret all of their dreams, good and bad, and learn from them." Taking a more active approach, it seems that a child could also be encouraged to blow the bad dream into the dream catcher.

Dream catchers can be made of many different materials including paper, metal, wood, various types of craft and recycled materials etc. The dream catcher craft I share here is great to do with children at home or in a group setting. It uses a paper plate for the frame of the dream catcher and is also fairly inexpensive and easy to make.
For an even easier idea to make a small dream catcher from a pipe cleaner, be sure to check out the second source at the end of this article.

You will need:
Paper Plate (white or colored)
Yarn or string (one or more colors)
Feathers (found or bought from a craft store)
Beads (make sure the beads have holes large enough to go over your yarn)
Scissors
Hole Punch
Optional: Stickers or Markers

Instructions:
1. Cut out the center of the paper plate, leaving a rim of about two inches, to create a round frame for your dream catcher. Try to use the plate indent as a guide when cutting, but Feel free to ask for help with this step if you find it difficult to cut out the center evenly.
2. Punch holes around the inside edge of the frame that are about one and a half inches apart.
3. Cut a piece of yarn about 50 cm or 20 inches long. Tie one end of the yarn to any one of the holes on the rim of the paper plate.
Roll a piece of tape around the other end of the yarn, like an aglet on a shoelace. This helps with sliding on the beads.
4. Start weaving a web with the yarn at the center of your dream catcher, using the punched holes, adding beads as you go. Try to go diagonally across with each step. You'll soon start to see the webbing form.
To add the beads, simply slip them onto the yarn at regular intervals and continue with the next hole, tying knots if needed, to secure the beads in place.
Make sure to loop through each of the punched holes and that you have covered the entire center area of the dream catcher with yarn.
5. Once all of the holes are threaded with the yarn, tie a last knot to secure the yarn to the frame and cut excess yarn if needed.
6. Now, punch 3 more holes, an inch or so apart, at the bottom of the plate.
7. Cut 3 pieces of yarn, about 6 inches or 15 cm long or cut the pieces to different lengths if preferred.
8. Tie the three pieces of yarn to the 3 punched holes at the bottom of the dream catcher.
9. Choose some beads to thread onto each of the 3 yarn pieces and then tie one feather to the end of each hanging yarn piece.
10. Decorate the dream catcher with markers or stickers if preferred.
11. Lastly, Punch one more hole at the top of your paper plate dream catcher and tie a piece of yarn to it to hang it above a child's bed or wherever sweet dreams are welcome.

For more ways to make dream catchers, see the last source mentioned below.
Happy crafting - until next month.

Sources:
http://www.dream-catchers.org/make-a-dream-catcher-for-kids/
http://www.easy-crafts-for-kids.com/native-american-crafts-for-kids.html
http://www.tinyfry.com/make-dream-catcher-kids/

August 2017

Welcome once again to Kaleidoscope of Crafts for August. This month's craft should appeal to readers who live where the climate is currently getting warmer, but even if you are reading this during the autumn or winter months of the year, I am sure that most backyard birds will appreciate the birdseed wreath treat I share below any time of the year.

You will need:
Large bowl
Measuring spoons
Measuring cups
9 inch Bundt or ring pan
2 packets gelatin
1 cup warm water
6 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 and a half cups flour
8 cups wild birdseed
Fresh or frozen cranberries
Cooking spray
Ribbon or rope

What to do:
1. Mix 2 packets of unflavored gelatin with 1 cup of warm water in a large bowl.
2. Add in 6 tbsp of light corn syrup and 1 1/2 cups of flour. Mix until smooth.
3. Slowly add 8 cups of birdseed, stirring as you go. Note, it might take a while to get all the bird seed coated. Keep at it!
4. Lightly coat the inside of the Bundt pan with cooking spray.
5. Add a few fresh or frozen cranberries to the pan.
6. Spoon the birdseed mixture into the Bundt pan, pressing down firmly.
7. Let the wreath dry for 24 hours.
8. Carefully remove the wreath from the Bundt pan and loop ribbon or rope through to hang it in the garden.

Happy crafting, until next month.

Source:
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/craft-ideas/a43030/how-to-make-birdseed-wreath/

September 2017

Hello again to all crafters. Firstly, thank you to those who have written to say that they are enjoying the craft articles. Your input and kind comments are much appreciated.

Since it seems to be such a versatile craft item, I am sharing another yarn craft for children for this month.
You will only need scissors, some scrap yarn and a metal or plastic fork for this craft.
This craft should be suitable for children from around four years but as you will see from some of the uses I mention below, anyone could make and use these fun fork flowers in various ways.
Step 1: Cut a piece of yarn around 20 inches or 50 cm in length for the stem of your flower.
Step 2: Hold the fork with the prongs pointing towards the ceiling and the underside of the fork facing away from you. Lay the stem strand in the center of the fork, making ends even, so that one end hangs at the back and the other at the front of your fork. The stem strand will not be used until the end of the project, so simply leave it hanging for now.
Step 3: Take the yarn you will be using for your flower and lay it in the first groove of the fork from front to back, leaving about an inch down the front. The long end that is now laying down the back of the first groove will be your weaving strand.
Step 4: While holding the short piece of the yarn against the fork with your thumb, take your weaving strand around the side to the front of the first prong of the fork. Weave it in and out around each prong, moving to the right.
Step 5: At end of first row of weaving, continue by bringing yarn back to front but around last prong instead of first.
Step 6: Continue to weave until almost reaching the top of the prongs of the fork.
Step 7: Cut your weaving strand about an inch away from the top of this last row.
Step 8: Now, bring the stem strand that is hanging at the back of the fork to the front, enclosing your woven loops along their center.
Step 9: Lightly tie the two stem strands, that are now at the front of your fork, together. You will notice the woven strands begin to scrunch down at the center of the fork. Do not make a knot yet.
Step 10: Slowly slide your flower off the fork, while gently pulling the two stem strands taut.
Step 11: Once the flower is completely off the fork, pull stem strands tight to secure your woven creation. Tie once more to knot securely.
Step 12: Gently shape “petals” to cover stem portion that has been tied around flower, and to also “puff” the flower out. Trim stem and loose ends if necessary.

The following are just some ideas for using your fork flower creations:
* Add a safety pin and give to someone as gift / brooch
*Make stems extra long and use fork flower as bow on a present or tie flowers together to use as ribbon to decorate a gift
*glue flowers onto a card or box or tie onto a gift bag
*tie one or many flowers around your wrist as a bracelet or make longer for a necklace
*make many flowers in different colors and present a Bouquet to mom or grandma

making fork flowers can also be great as an activity at a birthday party or as a Sunday school or classroom art project. If you can knit or crochet, these fork flowers can be used to decorate children's hats and scarves and could even be used as buttons by attaching a flower to one side of an item and a yarn loop to the other.
You could knit or crochet a simple headband, then weave the flowers onto it, or think up a few more uses of your own and have lots of fun.

Source:
http://www.crochetgarden.com/crochetblog/?p=74

October 2017

Hello to all and welcome to another Kaleidoscope of crafts. I hope you will try out the craft I share for this month, even, or especially, if you have not joined us before.

One of the reasons I love to craft is the fact that one can use something you already have, something so ordinary, you hardly think of the item as you go about your daily life. Clothes hangers, or coat hangers, as they are also called, have been around for a long time. They are usually made of wood, metal or plastic and they come in many sizes and colors. It turns out they are not only indispensable for hanging our clothes, but they make an excellent item to use in a simple craft project.

The idea is to choose some type of material to cover a hanger or two, thus making it pretty and personal to give as a gift. Covering a hanger will also make it less slippery, so clothes are less likely to fall off these hangers and they are less likely to get tangled with clothes and other hangers in one's cupboard.

For this project, yarn has been used, but you could also try cord, fabric strips or even colored tape as a covering medium.

For each hanger, you will need:
1 plastic coat hanger or two wire coat hangers that match in shape and size exactly
Roll of masking or scotch tape
Two colors of heavy rug yarn
A little glue or a piece of double sided tape
Scissors

Directions:
Step 1: If you are making your hanger from wire coat hangers, you will need to start by taping the two matching hangers together. Be sure that the shape and size of the wire hangers match exactly, otherwise you’ll have problems covering them with the yarn. Secure the two hangers together by wrapping small lengths of tape around them at several different spots. The tape will be covered by the yarn, so don't worry too much about how neat it may look at this point. If you are using a plastic coat hanger, you’ll simply use one hanger “as-is.”

Step 2: Apply a little glue or wind a piece of double sided tape around the first inch or two of the hook of the hanger. Holding the two colors of rug yarn together, wrap the yarn around the tip of the hook to start off your project.

Step 3: Position the coat hanger on your lap, wedged between your knees, with the hook pointing towards your feet and one ball of yarn, placed on each side of the coat hanger.

Step 4: Pick up one ball and loop the yarn around the hook of the coat hanger. Then, pull the ball of yarn through the loop you made, forming a knot around the hanger. Basically, you are making a half hitch knot with the first ball of yarn. Repeat this four more times with the one color. Then, pick up the other ball of yarn and repeat, making the loop and the knot in the opposite direction. Again, repeat four more times. You will now have a stripe of one color of yarn, with the knotted edge facing towards one side of the hanger, and a second stripe of the other color of yarn, with the knotted edge facing the other side of the hanger.

Step 5: Repeat this process, making five knots per color, until you get to the bottom of the hooked part of the hanger. Continue the process down one side, around the bottom, and up the other side of the hanger until you reach the bottom of the hooked part again.

Step 6: When the hanger is completely covered, wrap the loose ends of yarn around the base of the hook in either direction, knotting it securely in the front. You can then cut the ends of the yarn and tie a bow. Or, make a pom-pom out of the same yarn and tie it to the hanger.

I hope you will give this craft a try . Make a few covered hangers for yourself, do this craft with a loved-one or Make them to give as gifts.

Sources:
https://craftbits.com/project/yarn-covered-coat-hangers/
http://nestfullofnew.com/make-macrame-hangers/

November 2017

Editor’s Note: This month I am taking over, as Lindy and her family are in the process of moving. We here at The Blind Perspective wish them all safe travels, and happy unpacking!

Here is a great craft project with a dual purpose; recycling and organizing. Don’t throw that coffee can away, or any can of comparable size. This project will put your coffee can to good use especially during birthday’s and holiday times.

Project: Card Carousel
Materials:
Coffee can
Tape; duct, electrical, or masking
Paper; shelving, contact, or construction
Scissors
Sticky/Tacky Craft Glue
Yarn, a good size ball of any color

Directions:
Step 1: Thoroughly clean an empty coffee can with warm soapy water, and dry.
Step 2: Using a can opener remove the bottom, making it “open” from end to end.
Step 3: Cover any sharp edges with tape. Seek sighted assistance if unable to do this on your own.
Step 4: If using contact/shelving paper (which I prefer), cut a piece long enough to cover around the entire outside of the can.
Step 5: Peel the paper, place the can in the middle of the paper, near one of the short edges, then roll the can to the other end; covering the entire outside.
For construction paper: cover the can with sticky craft glue and use the same process as above to cover the outside of the can.
Step 6: Using scissors, cut any paper that may extend over the top and bottom edges of the can.
Step 7: Tightly wrap the yarn through and around the coffee can, tying a knot to secure yarn to the can.
Step 8: Continue tightly wrapping the yarn through and around the can until it is covered with vertical “lines” of yarn. Be sure to keep the lines close to one another.
Step 9: When completely covered, cut the yarn and securely tie it to a piece of yarn inside the can.

You have just created your card carousel. So, during the holiday season, or your birthday, when you receive many greeting cards, this will come in handy. Just take your card, slide half of the card through and behind one of the yarn lines, and pull until the fold of the card is behind the yarn.

You can display your carousel on a coffee table (no pun intended) or as a centerpiece!

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THE END