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Throwback Thursday: Millie Marotta Easter Eggs!

March 17, 2016, 10:00 am  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

The egg-decorating fun doesn’t have to end after the eggs are dyed. Last year, Martha Stewart Online asked Millie Marotta, illustrator of the book Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom: Color Me, Draw Me , to produce some Easter-themed line drawings for a fun egg decorating project! We’re sharing it with you again so you can take advantage of this free project as you decorate for Easter and Spring this year.

Sources
Durable decoupage finish, by Martha Stewart Crafts, in Matte, $10 for 8 oz.

how-to-illustrated-egg-654-d111784_vertMATERIALS
Detail scissors
Matte découpage finish and paintbrush
Dyed eggs
Fine-tipped markers
Coloring-book illustrations

STEPS
1. Download and print out Marotta’s coloring-book illustrations. Cut closely around shapes with detail scissors.

2. For each egg, brush back of drawing with a thin coat of découpage finish. Place illustration where desired on dyed egg; smooth down with your fingers.

3. Let dry 1 hour, then color in design with markers.

 
 
 
 
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Wedding Papercrafts – Free Project!

February 24, 2016, 11:00 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 
Invitation from Wedding Papercrafts

Click to enlarge

In celebration of the upcoming release of Wedding Papercrafts, we’re offering a free download of the Paper-Cut Garden Vine Invitation template from the book.

With just a craft knife, some sketch paper, and a backing cardstock in a color to match your scheme, you can create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind keepsake wedding invitation to impress your guests. If you don’t currently have a wedding to plan, consider making these invitations for an “It’s Finally Spring!” get-together.

Find the instructions and template for creating the invitation below, and pre-order your copy of Wedding Papercrafts at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or IndieBound.

 

 

 

Materials & Tools:

• Download: Paper Cut Invitation Template

• One sheet of regular copy paper

• One sheet of colored cardstock, at least 9 x 9 inches (22.8 x 22.8 cm)

• One sheet of white sketch paper

• Craft knife

• Metal ruler

• Cutting mat

• Craft glue

• Small, soft paintbrush

• Tape

Instructions:

Wedding Papercrafts Cover1. Copy the invitation design template onto regular copy paper. Cut the template outline from the copy paper and lay it over the white sketch paper. Use tape to affix the template to the sketch paper to keep it in place as you cut. Be sure to use a cutting mat to protect your work surface.

TIP: If you’ve never used a craft knife before, practice working with the template, cardstock, craft knife, and cutting mat first.

2. Cut along the lines of the design template, using firm pressure to ensure that the blade is slicing through both the thin copy paper and the slightly heavier sketch paper. Take your time and be sure to keep your fingers away from the blade. You can rotate the paper as you go to make cutting in different directions easier. As you move from piece to piece, position the blade below the surface of the two layers of paper on the last cut to “pop” out the paper pieces.

3. When you finish cutting the entire template, gently move your hand over the copy paper to feel the grooves made by the blade to make sure you haven’t missed any lines before removing the design template.

4. Lift the copy paper template from the sketch paper. If a few pieces of the cutout still remain, rescore the lines with your craft knife and gently pull the pieces out. Clean up any jagged or unclean lines with the blade of the craft knife.

5. Using a metal ruler to guide the craft knife, cut the colored cardstock backing 7¼ x 5 ¾ inches (18.4 x 14.6 cm).

6. Brush a thin layer of glue on the back of the paper cutting and affix it to the colored cardstock. Let the card dry, then place it beneath a stack of heavy books to ensure it lays flat.

 

 
 
 
 
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Holiday Gift Tags by Cynthia Schaffer

December 24, 2015, 10:20 am  Posted by Diana Ventimiglia
 

If you’re a last minute shopper like most people in my family, chances are you’re also in desperate need of a card or note to attach to that gift you just waited 45 minutes in line for. A quick, easy, and fun solution is a gift tag. With free-motion stitching goddess Cynthia Shaffer’s project below, you can easily make a pretty and festive gift tag to adorn all of those presents.

 

What you need:

  • Shipping tag, 2 3/8 x 4 ¾ inches (6 x 12 cm)
  • Scrap of red print fabric
  • Glue stick
  • Sewing machine with a free motion or quilting foot
  • Black thread
  • Acrylic paints in turquoise, orange and white
  • Small paintbrush
  • Black fine-tip permanent marker
  • One page of old book text
  • Black watercolor pencil
  • 10 inches (25.4 cm) of ½-inch (1.3 cm) wide black rayon ribbon

 

What you do:

1. Cut out random small shapes from the fabric and arrange them onto the tag.
KF6A7145

 

2. Glue the fabric shapes into place.

Tags-004

 

3. Free motion stitch around the fabric shapes and then onto the tag.

KF6A7149

 

4. Using the fine-tip marker doodle on the tag around the stitched shapes.
5. With turquoise paint fill in some of the stitched and doodled shapes.

KF6A7152

 

6. Cut out small shapes from the book text and glue them to the fabric.
7. Free motion stitch the book text into place.
8. Paint the tag with orange and turquoise paint and blend in a messy manner. Note: I wasn’t liking the way this tag was turning out so I simply covered up all my previous doodling with the paint!

KF6A7162

 

9. Using the watercolor pencil, doodle around the stitched scallops and blend a bit with water.

KF6A7163

 

10. Attached the black ribbon tie the tag onto a gift.

Tags-022

 

Cynthia Shaffer is a mixed media artist, creative sewer, and photographer. For more of Cynthia’s gorgeous work, check out her most recent Lark title, Simply Stitched Gifts, as well as any of her previously published Lark titles; Stash Happy Patchwork (Lark, 2011), Stash Happy Appliqué (Lark, 2012), co-author of Serge It (Lark 2014) author of Coastal Crafts (Lark, 2015).

 
 
 
 
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Two Prizes for Two Winners!

December 23, 2015, 14:22 pm  Posted by Lark
 

Our last giveaway of the year is a double-header! These are two separate giveaways, but your comment below will enter you into both! Just tell us what your crafting goals are for 2016 to enter. The contest is open to all residents of the US and Canada. Winners will be selected randomly on January 4, 2016. Good luck, and Happy Holidays from the Lark team!

Prize Pack 1

Yarn-032Chunky Knits: 31 Projects for You & Your Home Knit with Bulky Yarn
by Ashley Little

Dive needles-first into the cozy, lush, reach-out-and-touch-me world of chunky knits! Created by Ashley Little and a talented pool of designers, these 31 projects use one, two, and three+ skeins of chic bulky and super-bulky yarn. Featuring sumptuous cowls, lacy scarves, a draped waffle-weave throw, a cable-knit pillowcase, classic cream-toned cable mittens and a matching hat, plus clutches, jewelry, and other scene-stealing pieces, this on-trend collection is perfect for new knitters, as well as those looking for fresh inspiration.

One winner will receive:
One copy of Chunky Knits
Berroco Vintage Chunky yarn in Tide Pool
Set of 4 Blue Moon Button Art Corozo Intrigue Buttons (20 mm)
ChiaoGoo RED Lace Circular Needles in US 9 (5.50mm) with a 16″ cable

BONUS: Free Pattern! Download the Chunky Knits – Button-Up Slouchy Hat pattern here!

 

Prize Pack 2

Yarn-034Crochet Boutique: Hats: 25 Fresh Takes on Classic Crochet Hat Designs
by Rachael Oglesby

With their contemporary, fashion-forward spin on classic patterns, these 25 hats are sure to hook crocheters everywhere! Featuring popular author Rachael Oglesby’s signature style, the designs include an ombre-dipped beanie, a raffia boater hat, slouchy patterned stunners, and more. Some even have unisex appeal. In addition to crochet basics, Oglesby provides fun for intermediates, with dip-dyeing, cable work, multiple yarn colors, and wrapping. 

One winner will recieve:
one copy of Crochet Boutique: Hats
Madelinetosh  A.S.A.P. yarn in Edison Bulb
Boye crochet hook size Q (15.75 mm)

BONUS: Free Pattern! Download the Crochet Boutique Hats – Neon Pom pattern here!

 
 
 
 
39 Comments

FREE Pattern plus GIVEAWAY!

December 21, 2015, 11:27 am  Posted by Lark
 

One+oneToday we’re giving away our first of three prize packs!

One + one = just two skeins of yarn! That’s all it takes to create these gorgeously wearable accessories, created by bestselling knitwear author Iris Schreier and 15 featured designers. Ranging from the delectable Star Stitch Shoulder Wrap to a reversible Double Eyelet Lace Cowl in luxurious cashmere, to a lacy Vineyard Shawl with beaded pearls and sequins, this chic collection includes 29 projects in all.  Many of the garments can be worn in a variety of ways, and the patterns are perfect for beginner and intermediate knitters.

This giveaway includes one copy of One + One Wraps, Cowls, & Capelets by Iris Schreier plus two skeins of luxurious TSCArtyarns Zara Hand-Dyed Yarn in the same colors as featured in the Old and New Shawl pattern that everyone can download for free right here! To enter, please comment below and tell us about your most recent crafting project! This contest is only available to residents in the US & Canada. The winner will be chosen at random from the comments below and will be notified on January 4th, 2016.

Happy Monday!

 

 
 
 
 
91 Comments

Lark Crafts DIY: Latvian Easter eggs

April 03, 2015, 15:00 pm  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

My favorite Easter activity is coloring eggs. My father’s side of the family is Latvian, and every year I make traditional Latvian Easter eggs with my sister, great aunt, and grandmother. This year, I had a special kitchen buddy—Ernie. My sister’s 9-month-old Australian Shepherd is, like most dogs, very interested in any and all food prep, but Ernie seemed particularly fascinated by the Latvian Easter egg preparations.


ERNIE 2

 

Latvian Easter eggs are colored using dyes derived from all-natural materials—we color ours usingonion skins. It’s a really popular Latvian Easter egg-coloring method. The onion skins give the eggs a really beautiful earthy, rusty-red color and dried spices, herbs, leaves and/or flowers, wrapped or pressed around the egg and covered and held in place by the onion skins before boiling,  can result in really interesting shapes and patterns. You can also scratch the eggs after dying to create intricate designs.

 

What you’ll need:

Onion Skins

Nylon Stocking, Cheesecloth or, in a pinch, paper towels

Vinegar

Rubber bands (if using cheesecloth or paper towels)

Scissors

 

Optional:

Sharp tool for etching

Leaves, flowers, or other natural materials to create extra patterns on the egg

Vegetable oil or butter

 

First, collect a good amount of yellow onion skins. We bought a whole bag from the local grocery store, but some stores actually sell bags of just the skins.

 

Onion Skins

 

If you’d like to experiment with creating patterns using leaves and flowers on the egg, wrap them around the eggs first. (My sister and I dripped a little hot wax onto the egg to help keep the flowers and leaves in place before wrapping with the onion skins.)

 

Flower on Egg

 

Next, wrap the entire egg in onion skins (you can wet them first to make it easier to wrap them around each egg), then wrap each egg tightly with cheese cloth or paper towel and wrap each with a few rubber bands to keep everything in place while boiling. You can also use nylon stockings to create little bags for each covered egg. Simply cut pieces of the stocking big enough to cover each egg, place the egg in the stocking, pull the fabric tight around the egg to keep the onion in place and tie the stocking off at both ends.

 

Wrap onion skins around the egg

 

Place the eggs in a pot, add cold water and a little vinegar, and bring to a boil. Cook the eggs for 10-15 minutes. You’ll notice that the water will turn a red/orange color as the dye from the onion skins is extracted.

 

When the eggs are done, let them steep in the water for a few more minutes, then remove them from the water and let them cool. Use scissors to remove the rubber bands and the cheesecloth/paper towel/stocking and onion skins to reveal the color and patterns created by any plants. Peeling back the fabric and onions to reveal the color and patterns is the best part of the process. Use a sharp tool to scratch patterns into the egg if you like, then rub the eggs with vegetable oil or butter to give them a nice shine.

 

Dyed Eggs

 

Our eggs ended up with a lighter color (we could have used more onion skinsto make them darker) and a few of the leaves and flowers we added made interesting designs. We started to add a few etchings to the eggs with the point of some small scissors as well.

 

Ernie approved. Happy Easter!

 

Ernie with Eggs

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
34 Comments

Lark Crafts DIY: Easter egg dying

April 02, 2015, 14:00 pm  Posted by Deborah Stack
 

Dying Easter eggs is a favorite tradition for many families, and one of my favorite techniques is one I was taught in college. My friends and I had a lot of fun experimenting in our kitchen with “tie-dyed” eggs.

 

Martha Stewart provides a great tutorial here teaching readers how to dye eggs using old silk ties. All you need to do is pick up some patterned ties (of 100% silk) from your local thrift shop, and soon enough you’ll have striped, spotted, and paisley eggs!

 

Take a look at some inspirational photos below:

 

egg1

These awesome eggs were made by the folks at Dabbled.org. Follow this link for their tutorial.

 

silk_egg2

This beautiful egg was posted on Econesting.com. Learn more here.

 

egg3

We love these gorgeous eggs dyed by Our Best Bites! Check out their tutorial here.

 

Here are the results of my silk-tie egg-dying experiment. Our eggs weren’t perfect, but we had a lot of fun making them!

 

463413_10150788488811800_1308367164_o (4)

 

 

474950_10150788488256800_1062052335_o (4)

 

 

459982_10150788491371800_1762132371_o (5)

 
 
 
 
97 Comments
 

Hi guys! I’m Bridget from the blog, Bake at 350, and my latest book is called Decorating Cookies Party.

In the book, you’ll find several cut-out cookie recipes and a foolproof recipe for royal icing, perfect for decorating. We walk through cookie decorating techniques and step-by-step photo tutorials for over 50 cookies in ten themes.

Valentines_cookies1

 

Here’s where even more fun comes in…use the cookies in the book as a jumping off point for your own ideas.

 

Valentines_cook3

 

In the book, there is a set of cookies for a Book Club Party. One of the cookies is a wine bottle because, um, you can’t have book club without wine. It’s a scientific fact.

 

Valentines_cook4

 

So, I used that idea to decorate some wine bottle cookies for Valentine’s Day. Same tutorial, same recipes, same techniques…switch out the colors and a few details, and you have cookies for another occasion altogether.

 

These cookies are super simple to decorate. Don’t worry about piping the wine labels with icing…all of the writing is done with a food coloring pen. Add your own wine varietal and vintage year. (I used this year and our wedding year.)

 

Valentines_cook+pen

 

[Note: always be sure the icing is completely dry before using a food coloring pen, allowing at least 6-8 hours of drying time.]

 

I’d love to see where the cookies in Decorating Cookies Party take your imagination. No doubt, the results will be delicious!

 

—–

Bridget Edwards is a highly visible baking expert who blogs at bake350.blogspot.com—named one of the top five baking blogs by Better Homes and Gardens in 2014—and tweets at @bakeat350tweets. She was one of 15 food bloggers selected to participate in a bake-off fundraiser with TLC’s Cake Boss and Kelly Ripa, has participated in themed blog challenges, and develops recipes for brands such as Imperial Sugar and Land O’ Lakes. Bridget’s recipes have appeared on DailyBuzz Food and her cookies have been featured on marthastewart.com, the hugely popular Pioneer Woman blog, the Today show blog, bonappetitit.com, Cake Spy, and and in Woman’s World magazine. Bridget lives near Houston, TX with her husband, son, and two kitties.

 
 
 
 
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Artful Christmas CoverThe elegant yet easy-to-make projects featured in Susan Wasinger’s Artful Christmas are all beautiful, but my favorite project from the book has to be the Pressed Clay Wreath (pictured below).

 

I was really surprised to see how such an ornate and elegant wreath could be made using widely available materials and in just 4 simple steps. Easy to make, yet sophisticated and beautiful, the projects included in Artful Christmas are perfect for those of us who are usually scrambling to pull everything together during the busy holiday season.

 

I’m currently in the midst of an apartment move, and with the usual hustle and bustle that inevitably accompanies the holidays, plus a new apartment full of unpacked boxes on my hands, I won’t be able to spend a lot of time and energy on decorations for the holidays. With this in mind, I definitely plan on scratching my creative itch and making a few of these projects to decorate my new place this Christmas.

 

Check out the Pressed Clay Wreath project from the book below and consider making your own to display as a table centerpiece or decorative wreath.

 

Pressed Clay Wreath - Artful Christmas (4)

 
 
 
 
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Paper Monsters and Curious Creatures

August 12, 2014, 14:16 pm  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

I couldn’t wait to try my hand at a few of the projects in our new August title: Paper Monsters and Curious Creatures: 30 Projects to Copy, Cut, and Fold by Hiroshi Hayakawa.

 

The book contains an array of delightfully cute and spooky paper monsters and creatures that would make a perfect craft project for Halloween. I really enjoyed making the Baby Alien, Black Cat, and Trash Can Robot projects (picture below!) and look forward to making more to use as table decorations for Halloween parties this fall.

 

The project instructions and templates for the Baby Alien, Black Cat, and Trash Can Robot projects, plus a few others, are available on our FREE STUFF page. Try some out and share a picture of your projects with us in the comments section!

 


Get your copy of Paper Monsters and Curious Creatures today by ordering here, and get a jump start on your holiday decorating!