Free Snowflake Design Christmas Cookie Project

December 18, 2013, 08:00 am  Posted by Linda

When I smell the spicy aroma of freshly baked gingerbread, I get a warm, holiday happiness feeling. These cookie rounds, decorated with glittering snowflakes, make pretty tree ornaments or festive party treats. Since each  snowflake is unique, it’s a perfect design for freehand drawing. Imagine the visual impact of a platter full (or tree full) of snowflake cookies, each with a different lacy design.



If you go the white flooded cookie route, why not try making the snowflake design in a color like blue, or silver—or a bold pink, even? This cookie design and 60+ others can be found in Bridget Edward‘s Decorating Cookies. The yummy recipe and how-to instructions can be found here.

So is it a delicious cookie or a pretty ornament? You decide.


Free Embroidered Holiday Card Project

December 05, 2013, 07:55 am  Posted by Linda

The holiday season is now in full swing; there are gifts to be made and greeting cards to be sent. In this world of mass-produced and yes, electronic holiday cards, wouldn’t it be nice to slow down and create a card for those you care for? If a picture says a 1000 words, then a handmade card says ten times that. While making a beautiful, heartfelt card is a labor of love, it doesn’t have to be all that laborious.

Geninne Zlatkis, author of Making an Impression, shows you how to create a stamped, tranquil town under a night sky full of embroidered stars—she even supplies you with a template. The beauty of this card is that once you create the stamp of the town, (made with simple, straight lines), then you can easily stamp up multiples for your family and friends. The limitless options of embroidery floss available—including metallic and glow-in-the-dark fibers—makes it easy to personalize each card. You’ll find the instructions here.


Free Fast ‘N Easy Halloween Project

October 21, 2013, 08:00 am  Posted by Linda

I love Halloween, and I love Halloween decoration ideas—especially if they’re simple and clever. Susan Wasinger, author of Artful Halloween, hits both of those nails directly on the head. For example, her Black Doily Spider Web project is one of those “Now why didn’t I think of that?!” ideas. Armed with doilies, readily (and inexpensively) available at yard sales, and a can of black spray paint,  you’re all set to adorn your dining table—or with the addition of a bit of string, your curtains—with delicate doily webs.

If you have a get-together planned, these webs are sure to impress. Click here for the project instructions.

Oh, and look closely–see those cute little spiders? They’re also in Artful Halloween–so much scary cuteness in one book!






Easy to Make Glassine Poppies

May 21, 2013, 08:00 am  Posted by Linda

Enlist the kids’ help to make a bouquet of cheery poppies to grace the summer picnic table. This is an inexpensive project that besides a pair of scissors, requires only paper, glue, floral wire and tape, and correction liquid. This is a great project to do with children as the glassine blossoms require creasing, which can be accomplished through shaping by hand (crumpling in the fist). Older children can further assist by applying correction fluid to the fringe of the flower center.

This flower design is one of 25 varieties you’ll find in Paper Blooms, by accomplished paper artist, Jeffery Rudell. Click here for the instructions.


Free Divinity Sundaes Recipe

January 14, 2013, 05:00 am  Posted by Linda

Chocolate, sugar, and caramel, who doesn’t love sweets?!  Whether they’re crunchy, chewy, or melt-in-your-mouth, sweets are awesome. Which is why they make terrific gifts—and Valentine’s Day is just a mere month away. What’s your favorite treat, or your sweetheart’s? Chocolate and nuts, chocolate with fruit, plain old milk chocolate? Butter crisps? Toffee? Marshmallow crème puffs? Can’t pick just one? That’s why Sweet Confections has 40 tasty recipes to keep your sweet tooth happy. Here’s a sampling of the options!


Left to Right:

Top row: Honeycomb Candy, Divinity Sundaes, Mixed-Nut Dark Chocolate Truffles

Center row: Fruit Jam Jellies, Vanilla Cheesecake Fudge, Toffee

Bottom row: Caramel Pinwheels, Pina Colada Truffles, Orange Walnut Chocolate Nougat


And because we want your sweet tooth to be happy, we’re giving away the Divinity Sundaes recipe (see center of top row for pic). Enjoy!

Nom nom nom…


thanks to Shannon Y for being recipe consultant!


Pretty Stamped Stone Gift

December 18, 2012, 08:00 am  Posted by Linda

Old St. Nick will be making his rounds a week from now. With Christmas just a scant seven days away, it’s time to get serious about those last minute gifts. This time of the year you have little time and maybe even littler cash. What you need is something quick, inexpensive, and beautiful. Check, check, and check—we’ve got you covered.

Ready? This will be easy. In a nutshell, here’s what you do: 1. find a smooth, pretty stone (free), 2. carve a simple stamp from rubber (can even be a white rubber eraser—cheap), 3. stamp your carved image onto your rock, and 4. add little dots of color, if you want to. Presto, done! What you now have is a lovely piece of art to give (or perhaps keep). Uses? Create several and line them up down a tabletop for a stunning centerpiece, or personalize each with a name and use as a place card and a party favor. Nestle one in a potted plant container, or use it as a paperweight. Arrange a few on a windowsill, or sprinkle them in a flower garden, make a larger version to serve as a pretty doorstop…and so on.



Click here for the complete how-to instructions and the plant templates. These and 48 additional signature motifs by Geninne D. Zlatkis can be found in Making an Impression: Designing & Creating Artful Stamps. Geninne is an illustrator and blogger living in Mexico. Her illustrated prints and licensed designs have been available through Urban Outfitters and are featured on an organic fabric line with Cloud 9 Fabrics and a pocket planner from Galison.


Easy Paper Marigolds

December 17, 2012, 11:52 am  Posted by Linda

Looking for a family craft activity? Get the kids busy cutting out paper circles to create a bouquet of these cheery paper marigolds. Whether you display them in a vase or in a terracotta pot, they’ll brighten any room or outdoor gathering. These flowers are just one of 25 pretty floral varieties found in Jeffery Rudell’s Paper Blooms: 25 Extraordinary Flowers to Make for Weddings, Celebrations & More (publishing in April, 2013 but available now for pre-order). You can find the how-to instructions here.


Free Soft Toy Puppy Project

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

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.


Free Pressed Leaf Pendant Project

November 08, 2012, 08:00 am  Posted by Linda

While it’s still a tad early for thoughts of Christmas (you wouldn’t know it from the Christmas tree displays in retail stores though), chances are that once you see how easy it is to make this pendant, you’ll want to whip out a few extras for holiday gifts—maybe even make some nice matching earrings, too. I tell you this now so that you can gather up a nice supply of leaves (or press some petite flowers) while the getting is still good. Time it right and you can opt for fall foliage in yellows, reds, or oranges. For you crafters in the warmer climes, you can even cash in on the last of the late blooms.

This pretty little pendant is one of the 40+ super-duper easy projects featured in Mod Podge Rocks! by Amy Anderson. This piece was designed by one of the book’s guest contributors, Candie Cooper (author of Metalworking 101 for Beaders, Necklaceology, and Felted Jewelry). To make it you’ll use the amazing Dimensional Magic Mod Podge which protects embellishments while adding a nifty three-dimensional effect. After you experience DMMP once, you’ll want to squeeze it onto any flat surface. Yeah, really, it’s that cool.

Click here for project instructions.




Make a Glow-in-the-Dark Treat Bucket

October 22, 2012, 08:00 am  Posted by Linda

Do you have a youngster with visions of sugary sweets dancing in their heads? The big night is scarcely a week away. Have you been toiling over a witch, pirate, super hero, or princess costume? Well don’t forget the accessories! While princesses need their wands, devils their pitchforks, a pointy hat for witches, and swords for pirates, they all have one common need—a container for their treats. And since the little hobgoblins are running around at night, how about a candy holder that glows in the dark? This ingenious project scores points for both its usefulness and safety, and just requires paint, stencils, and a bucket.

You can get mega-clever and customize the design to match your child’s costume by making your own stencil or using masking tape. Flowers for the princess or ballerina, flames for a fireman or devil, and skulls for pretty much anything spooky. Here’s the basic how-to instructions: Treat Bucket.

This project is a treat from the recently released Artful Halloween: 31 Frightfully Elegant Projects, by the scarily talented Susan Wasinger.