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Gift-Wrap Tutorials

December 14, 2012, 11:15 am  Posted by Lark
 

Wrapped presents exude an air of mystery, beauty, and anticipation, don’t they? There’s just something exciting about not knowing what’s hidden within the pretty wrapping, even if the gift is shaped like a bowling ball, feels like a bowling ball, and rolls around heavily like a bowling ball—part of the gift is the act of unwrapping it—you won’t know for sure until it’s uncovered.

On the flipside of that coin, there’s something so satisfying and delightful about being the wrapper, the gift-giver who pretties up the gift.

From burlap bows to woven yarn to paper stars, we’re big fans of creatively wrapped gifts, and this roundup of gift-wrap tutorials is a charming collection of inspiration.

Thanks to the creative folks mentioned below who so artfully share and illustrate their techniques!

 

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Recycled Origami Bows from Magazine Pages

Made by Jessica from How About Orange

Using the tutorial from Let’s Create

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burlap and canvas gift bows

Burlap and Canvas Gift Bows

Designed by Carrie of The Rowdy Stroudys

Featured on For the Love

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woven yarn gift topper Lion Brand

Woven Wonder Gift Topper from Lion Brand

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red and green paper starburst gift toppers

Starburst Ornaments

Designed by Paula of Frog Prince Paperie

Featured on Design Dazzle

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red felt flower gift topper

Felt Flower Gift Topper

Designed by Bethany of Rinse. Repeat.

Featured on Jessica’s Living the Swell Life

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circular paper flower gift toppers

Paper Flowers from Whimsical World of Laura Bird

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yellow, pink, and blue woven paper gift ribbon

Woven Paper Gift Topper by Mini-eco

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A Geek’s Needlearts Etsy Wish List

December 13, 2012, 15:51 pm  Posted by Lark
 

I’m a geeky kid at heart. I grew up on Star Wars and Super Mario. I love Star Trek. I can’t get enough of Doctor Who. I still watch cartoons (admit it, you do, too). Adventure Time is awesome!

To celebrate my geek life, I surround myself with geeky things. My walls are covered in movie inspired art, my shelves filled with action figures. And I especially love handmade geek art, so also scattered around are handmade Super Mario cross stitches, and needle felted aliens. But, since I don’t have enough space for all the geeky things I want to buy or make, I put together wish lists of pieces I want to add to my collection. I’m sharing one such wish list below, so have a peek at all the geeky needlearts goodies I found on Etsy that I simply covet. And maybe this will inspire ideas for what you could get the geek in yourself!

Geeky Neeleart WishlistFrom left to right: Nyan Cat Rainbow Scarf by ZukkaBlu; Doctor Who Tardis Cross Stitch by WistfulBird; Fancy Totoro with Mustache Felt Plushie by Mielamiela; Rainbow Dash Hoop by TimeTravelersWares; Star Trek Cup Cozy by WolfandSquid; Needle Felted R2D2 by TheLazyKitten; PAC-MAN Ready Screen Cross Stitch by GeekArray; Doctor Who Knit Scarf by HandmadeByAnnSwaim; Super Mario Bros. Piranha Plant with Pipe Pot by CrazyCraftLadies; Marvel Avengers Skirt by Roobys; Jake the Plush Dog Loaf by Cornstarch; PAC-MAN Ghost Hat by ZukkaBlu; Hobbes the Tiger Amigurumi Doll by LottiesCreations; Chewbacca Stuffed Plush Animal by Windsday; Tauntaun Plush by MisfitMenagerie; Despicable Me Minions Amigurumi by JNArts; Batman Messenger Bag by MaeGouMichDesigns

 
 
 
 
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Cathe Holden's Blooming Flowers Bracelet in the book Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!

Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! Make Stylish Shrink Plastic Jewelry has been among best-selling books in crafts and jewelry for a few months now, and for good reason: The book is packed with 30 bright, fun projects that get the creative juices flowing, along with plenty of clear and easy-to-follow instructions from best-selling author Kathy Sheldon.

We’re pleased to present Cathe Holden’s Blooming Flowers Bracelet project as a PDF: download it by clicking here. (Please be sure to visit designer’s Cathe Holden’s blog Just Something I Made, too!) This project demonstrates yet another aspect of shrink plastic’s creative versatility: how to form the plastic while it’s still hot from the oven into different shapes and dimensions.

Intrigued? Then you’ll want to visit these earlier blog posts and peruse an assortment of project images from the book, as well as grab up these four downloadable projects:

 

Please join us by “Liking” the Lark Jewelry & Beading Facebook page right now for images of exciting contemporary jewelry and beadwork, giveaways of books and jewelry, and of course plenty more free projects from fantastic designers!

 
 
 
 
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Green Wrapping…with Furoshiki!

December 11, 2012, 14:21 pm  Posted by Lark
 

Furoshiki – a traditional type of fabric wrapping from Japan – is one of my favorite craft trends in recent years. The perfect substitute for the plastic bag and a great use for stash fabric, furoshiki can also be used for wrapping gifts, like this sweet project from Stash Happy: Applique by Cynthia Shaffer.

Getting started is easy. Simply create a wrapping cloth as simple – fabric yardage with raw edges – or as fancy – bound edges, appliqued shapes, fabric paint – as you like. Then use it to wrap and tie around your gift. Whether you’re wrapping a simple box, a bottle of wine, or a bowling ball, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite links to furoshiki tutorials online.

Here’s a great basic box construction from the Etsy blog.

Why not personalize your cloth with some fabric paint? Try this fun tutorial from WhimseyBox.com.

Need to wrap an odd-shaped gift? Check out a cool graphic and instructions from Instructables.com.

Giving the gift of fine drink? I love this quick tutorial (from DIYDelRay.com) for wrapping a set of four bottles, among other items.

Need a little quick something for yourself? Whip up this Instant Bag at TinyShiny.com or purchase a pattern for a quick Azuma bag at BurdaStyle.com.

Got a little one? Whip up this easy peasy Furoshiki Hobo Lunchbag from SewingNotions.com.

How about a whole blog with lots of ideas for wrapping, toting, and traveling furoshiki-style? Join the Furoshiki Club!

And if all else fails, visit the best – we think – online source for furoshiki: Furoshiki.com! Make yourself a bird wrap, a gold fish wrap, the rabbit wrap, or countless others.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Holiday Wreath Tutorial Roundup

December 11, 2012, 09:30 am  Posted by Lark
 

An age-old sign of welcome, many homes display a wreath during the holidays. A wreath hung on the front door has come to symbolize the hospitality that will be found within. Originally wreaths were made from evergreen branches that along with the circular shape, symbolize eternal life. Changing times and clever crafters have expanded on the materials that wreaths are now made with. Click on the links to go to the tutorials.

Above: The Food Network

 

FOOD—We’re a nation of foodies so it makes perfect sense to extend that love to wreaths.

left: Dana Made It     middle: Gwynn Wasson Designs     right: The Food Network

More wreaths after the jump.

Continue reading...
 
 
 
 
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50% Off Holiday Sale on Hundreds of Lark Books

December 10, 2012, 08:25 am  Posted by Lark
 

Lark Books 50% Off Sale on BN.com

 

The Lark Books 50% Off Sale has ended:
We hope it artfully contributed to your holiday gift-giving plans this year!

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Happy Holidays, creative friends

We’re diving into the holidays with a 50% Off Sale on hundreds of Lark books (yes, hundreds), and we’re excited to share them with you.

As you know, we’re big fans of making and giving handmade gifts, and we’re also big fans of the art of giving books as gifts. (We’re editors and designers, after all—what self-respecting English major doesn’t love giving and receiving books?)

With that in mind, we’re celebrating the holidays with a 50% Off Sale featuring books to give as gifts, books to inspire your creativity, and books to inspire your loved ones’ creativity. It’s one of those win-win-win situations, really.

 

  • Point your special so-and-so toward the titles you’ve been hoping for all year—you’ll both be so pleased to know they’ve found the perfect gift for you.

 

  • Are you (or do you love) a teacher? Stock the classroom shelves with gallery inspiration across a wide spectrum of media: ceramics, jewelry, book art, art quilts, collage, and more.

 

  • Interested in that place where art and craft extend beyond traditional boundaries? Investigate the titles in our PUSH series: PUSH Jewelry, PUSH Stitchery, and PUSH Paper.

 

  • Know a beginning crafter interested in expanding their creative horizons? Consider the gift of education and inspiration: Lark publishes books geared toward the beginner and the enthusiast, no matter what creative outlet you pursue.

 

Learn more about some of the categories of Lark titles on sale:

Books for Quilters and Sewers

Needlecraft Gallery Books

Books for the Eco-Minded

Books for Collage Lovers

Bookbinding & Journaling Books

Knitting, Crocheting, and Felting Love

Plush Toy Books

Titles for a Sweet Tooth

Jewelry & Beading Books

 

Wishing you and yours a splendid and creative holiday season!

 
 
 
 
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Free Project Friday: Felt Bouquet

December 07, 2012, 11:17 am  Posted by Lark
 

When it comes to Christmas decor, I tend to drift toward the subtle side of things: fun pops of red, turquoise, and green, minus the glitter (no fun, I know!). And if I can spend a little felt stash at the same time, all the better! This Penny Rug Bouquet, by Lisa Jordan and featured in Stash Happy: Felt, belongs right in the mix at my house this season…. and maybe yours too?!?

Download the free projects instructions here: Penny Rug Bouquet

Need more fabulous uses for your stash? Now through December 11, the whole Stash Happy series is on sale for 50% off at BN.com. Click the covers below for more details!

Stash Happy: Patchwork 

 
 
 
 
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Fleece Hat Friends giveaway (and fleece, too!)

December 05, 2012, 16:22 pm  Posted by needlearts
 

We already saw that Fleece Hat Friends is the go-to book for adorable fleece projects for Halloween (check out the Feeling Batty hat and this adorable Dinosaur Bag). But the fleece fun goes far beyond one holiday. There’s all sorts of hats perfect from the gift-giving season  straight through to spring (spoiler alert: there’s a cute bunny!).

Since it’s the season of giving, we’re doing a giveaway of this warm fuzzy book–whether you want to sew the owl on the cover or the puppy hat at right. But that’s not all–we’re also including a bundle of fleece (yards of it!) to get you started.

To enter for a chance to win a bundle of fleece and a copy of Fleece Hat Friends, simply leave a comment (any comment is fine) on this post by 9 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, December 12th. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced by Friday, December 14th. Click here for the official rules. The winner is Sarah!

 

Fleece Hat Friends

 
 
 
 
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Free quilt project from Quilt It with Love!

December 04, 2012, 11:45 am  Posted by Lark
 

When I started working on Quilt It with Love, I had some understanding of what Project Linus did as an organization. Now, with a child of my own, I can only imagine the impact they’ve had on countless families over the years.

And you can help! Get involved by donating quilts, time, your energy, and more. Just visit Project Linus online to get started.

To celebrate this amazing organization, we’re sharing a free quilt project from Quilt It with Love, by Project Linus Vice-President and President Mary Balagna and Carol Babbitt! Channer’s Checkers is one part quilt, one part fun game board. Download it here: Channer’s Checkers

 

 
 
 
 
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Free Soft Toy Puppy Project

December 04, 2012, 08:00 am  Posted by Lark
 

What child wouldn’t love to see this little guy peaking out from beneath the tree on Christmas morning? Heck, maybe you’d like him for your own! The pup pictured is made from wool suiting, which makes him especially durable and endearing and his plump legs are jointed, thanks to buttons that allow for his limbs to pivot. These add to Bobi’s charm and character, but also make him inappropriate for children under three years of age. His spots and inner ears and legs are made from fabrics different than that of the main body and don’t require much yardage, allowing for fun fabric selection opportunities, so dig deep in your stash.

 

There are many ways you can customize your pooch, like recycling fabric from a favorite old shirt or by using a plain, sturdy fabric like denim for the main body and turning Bobi into an autograph hound. The suiting material suggested makes a great blank canvas for touches of embroidery or even a rhinestone collar—so get creative and pimp that pup! Click here for the pattern and instructions.

Bobi Dog was designed by Maria Madeira, one of the 10 soft doll designers featured in We Make Dolls!: Top Dollmakers Share Their Secrets & Patterns, by Jenny Doh.