LulaBelle Handicrafts

the place for crafty inspiration

Christmas Card Holder Tutorial

I love Christmas cards! One reason I like sending them out is to get some back in return that I can then decorate with. It’s very common to see folks’ Christmas cards taped around a doorway. I’ve strung ribbon in the past and clipped my cards to it with clothespins to make a card garland. This year I decided that I wanted to make a more substantial card holder. Here’s what I came up with. It can even double as a wreath… Happy Christmas crafting!

Christmas Card Holder Tutorial | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Supplies:

  • Round, Wooden, Wreath Form (I used an 18 in. 3 Ring Circles one)
  • Craft Paint (I used Martha Stewart Pearl Acrylic Craft Paint in Holly Berry)
  • Paintbrush
  • Wooden Clothespins (I used 15)
  • Assorted Cardstock (I got a Christmas pack from Michaels)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Paper Trimmer, Rotary Cutter, or Scissors
  • Mod Podge
  • Another Paint Brush (I have a small one that I use exclusively for Mod Podge)
  • Amazing Goop or Hot Glue Gun
  • 12 in. of Thin Cording (I used silver)

Christmas Card Holder Tutorial | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Step One:

Paint your wooden wreath form with craft paint. I chose to use Martha Stewart’s Pearl Holly Berry because it coordinated well with my cardstock. It might be my new favorite shade of red. It’s got lots of pink tones in it. Beautiful! I gave my wreath form two coats.

Christmas Card Holder Tutorial | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Step Two:

If room permits in your craft room (it does not in mine!), start your clothespins while the paint dries. Measure the width of your clothespins. Using a ruler and pencil, mark up strips on the reverse side of your cardstock.

Christmas Card Holder Tutorial | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Cut your strips of paper with whatever cutting tool you prefer. I’m not steady enough with a pair of scissors and I didn’t want to haul out a cutting mat to use my rotary cutter, so I opted for my paper trimmer.

Christmas Card Holder Tutorial | LulaBelle Handicrafts

After cutting your cardstock strips, mark off the length of your clothespins on them.

Christmas Card Holder Tutorial | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Cut the strips into smaller pieces that should perfectly cover one side of your clothespins.

Step Three:

Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to one side of your clothespin, and adhere one of your small strips of cardstock to it. Do this until all of your clothespins are covered with cardstock.

Christmas Card Holder Tutorial | LulaBelle Handicrafts

For a couple of reasons, I chose to apply a layer of Mod Podge over the cardstock. First, I like the look of shiny things. Second, I knew that the top coat of Mod Podge would seal the cardstock. You can certainly omit this step if you prefer.

Step Four:

Once both your paint and Mod Podge have dried, glue your clothespins to the wreath form. I laid all of my clothespins out before I began gluing so that I could decide on a pattern and check the spacing. I’m not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of crafter.

Christmas Card Holder Tutorial | LulaBelle Handicrafts

I know that lots of you love your glue guns. I certainly have a good relationship with mine. I chose not to use it for this project because I wanted to make sure that my adhesive was strong and permanent. That’s why I used Amazing Goop, but a glue gun would be fine, too. Make sure that you glue the clothespins to the wreath form with the clip opening facing outward. If you glue them in the other direction, your cards will hang in the center of your wreath instead of framing it. Let your adhesive dry/cure the appropriate amount of time.

Step Five:

Fold your cording in half. Because I used a 3 Ring Circles wreath form, I had holes pre-drilled in it. I threaded the two ends of the cording through one of the holes and pulled them through the looped end of the cording until it was taut against the wreath form. If your wreath form doesn’t have a hole, you can use the same technique I did around the entire width of the wreath form. Then tie the ends of the cording in a square knot, and snip off the excess cording.

Christmas Card Holder Tutorial | LulaBelle Handicrafts

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Fun Fur Skinny Scarf Pattern for the Martha Stewart Knit and Weave Loom

For the longest time, I’ve been curious how Fun Fur would work on a knitting loom. I’ve been skeptical that a yarn that thin is really bulky enough to turn out good on a loom.

Over the summer, I found some Fun Fur on clearance at the craft store and decided that it was time to experiment. You should always err on the side of caution when buying yarn, meaning that you should buy more, not less, than you think you’ll need to finish a product, especially when the yarn is on clearance. Pay close attention to the dye lot. Not buying the same dye lot can sometimes have disastrous effects on your project, and it’s always hard to find the right one after the fact. I bought all 3 balls of Indigo with the same dye lot that were in the clearance bin just in case.

I am happy to report that this knitting experiment was a success. Here’s the pattern for the skinny scarf that I’m making using it. Yes, I meant to type “making.” Skip to the end of the post for an explanation!

Supplies:

Step One:

Assemble a rectangular loom with the following pieces: 2 36-hole straight pieces and 2 10-hole u-shaped pieces. I used 4 large, green pegs to hold the pieces together.

Step Two:

Place 16 large pegs on one of the 36-hole straight pieces, leaving one hole between each. I used the pink pegs for this to eliminate any confusion for me about which pegs I should be knitting on.

Step Three:

With the knitting tool that comes with the kit, cast on to all the working pegs using the single knitting technique. Refer to page 5 of the instruction book that comes with the kit if you need a refresher on how to do this.

Step Four:

Knit stitch back and forth across your working pegs until the scarf reaches your desired length. You can find the directions on page 6 of the instruction book. I’m using two balls for my scarf, but 3 would be great if you like a longer scarf for wrapping around your neck a couple of times.

Fun Fur Skinny Scarf Loom Pattern | LulaBelle Handicrafts

If this is your first time knitting a project with more than 1 ball of yarn, make sure that you read the instructions for creating a color change for a flat piece on page 7 of the book. Although you’re not changing colors, the technique is the same.

Definitely leave a longer tail than you think you’ll need. Fun Fur has a tendency to shrivel up. I tie the two ends of yarn together in a double, square knot before weaving the ends into my knitting. Sometimes I even put a dab of clear glue on the knot. The last thing you want happening to a knitting project is it coming unraveled. I speak from experience. I almost cried.

Step Five:

When your scarf is the perfect length, bind off the loom. The directions for binding off a flat piece are on page 8 of the book. In case you’re wondering how skinny it is, my scarf measures about 3 in. wide. I estimate that it will end up about 85 in. long.

Fun Fur Skinny Scarf Loom Pattern | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Have you ever gotten stuck in a knitting project? I’ve been working on this scarf for so long that I don’t even remember when I started it! I actually began writing this post a month ago in the hopes that it would motivate me to finish the scarf. Don’t be scared. This scarf is not at all hard to make, especially if you’re familiar with the Martha Stewart Knit and Weave Loom. I’ve just been a busy bee the last few months. I usually knit while I watch tv, and I’m way behind on most of my shows. This probably explains why scarf is still on the loom.

Happy loom knitting!

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DIY Easy, Stretchy, Beaded Bracelets

A girl can never have too many bracelets. I love them, especially pretty, beaded ones that look great stacked. I’m usually surprised by the price of them in boutiques and at craft shows. Rarely do I buy these kinds of bracelets anymore because making them is easier than you might think. Plus they don’t take a lot of beads, so bracelets are a great way to use up some of your leftovers or highlight a few high-dollar beads.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Supplies:

  • Beads
  • .5 mm Clear, Stretchy Elastic
  • 2 mm Crimp Beads
  • Scissors
  • Crimper or Pliers
  • Scotch Tape (optional)

Supplies for Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Step One:

Cut a piece of clear elastic long enough to fit around your wrist plus about 2 in. I like to cut the elastic bigger than I need so that it’s easier to work with once all the beads are strung.

Step Two:

String your beads. This is the longest part of the process for me. I often start off with one pattern and tweak it to make the proper length to fit my wrist. Spacer beads are your friend. If you need to add just a little more length, pop a couple of them onto the end of the elastic. I know that I’m done stringing when I can wrap the beads around my wrist and the ends meet.

Step Three:

Put 1 or 2 crimp beads on one end of your elastic. You can use only 1, and your bracelet will be fine. I like to use 2 just in case when I’m really fond of the beads or they are heavy. Then thread the other end of the elastic through the crimp beads, and pull the elastic taut. 

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Step Four:

Use your crimper or pliers to close the crimp beads. If you’ve never done this before, you smash the bead with the crimper or pliers. Then turn it 90 degrees, and smash it again.

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To make it a little easier, I tape one end of the elastic down with scotch tape and hold the other end in my non-crimping hand. This allows me to keep the elastic taut and beads on the elastic.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Step Five:

Thread the elastic through the first couple of beads on each side, and cut off the excess. Your bracelet is now ready to be shown off to the world!

I love layering these with other bracelets. Rarely do I wear just one.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

That look is a little extreme. Really I just wanted to show off some of the cool beads I’ve acquired the past few months. This is how I usually wear the bracelets.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

I also like to gift them. Three bracelets in coordinating colors make for a lovely gift.

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Easy, Stretchy Beaded Bracelets | LulaBelle Handicrafts

Happy bracelet making!

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