Congratulate the Graduate With These Fun and Easy Crafts

graduation_crafts
Whether you’re planning a full-tilt party or will honor the graduate with a smaller-scaled bash, handcrafted decorations will add a special touch to this milestone celebration. The best part is, you won’t need an art or decorating degree to make these simple crafts.

Hat’s Off to the Graduate Mortarboard Banner

Things to you need:
6 x 6 or 8 x 8 cardboard squares
Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint (in school’s colors)
2″ Poly Foam Sponge Brush
Ribbon
Paper fasteners
Nail, awl, or other device for poking small holes through cardboard

Things to do:
1. Paint cardboard squares. While the squares are drying, make tassels by wrapping ribbon loosely around a book (or cardboard) to desired fullness. Remember when making your tassels, that you can control the size by the size of the object you use to wrap your ribbon or twine around and also how many times you wrap it around the object. Just keep in mind, if you are making smaller tassels, you will want to stick with a thinner ribbon or twine and larger tassels will require thicker ribbon or twine. When you have reached the desired fullness, cut your ribbon at the same end as the end that you started wrapping. Cut a piece of ribbon long enough to wrap around your bundle of ribbon. Slip the ribbon off the book and hold together so that it will not unravel. Wrap the length of ribbon around the “top” portion of your bundle of ribbon, leaving an inch at the top. Tie and knot, then take your scissors and cut the bottom looped ends of your tassel straight across. This will free them at the bottom nod and your tassel will be complete.
2. Punch two holes at the center of each cardboard square, and at opposite corners. To affix tassel, insert one tail of the ribbon into each hole at the center, and tie a knot on the reverse side of the cardboard.
3. Use paper fasteners to adjoin the corners of the cardboard squares. Drape across a doorway, or festoon the cake or gift table.

Handmade Diploma Decor

Things you need:
Ribbon
Paper towel tubes
Parchment colored construction paper
Aleene’s Craft & School Glue

If only the real thing was this easy to have in hand! To make this fun and decorative accent, simply glue parchment-colored construction paper to the outside of paper towel tubes and adorn with a coordinating ribbon. Viola!

While you’re in a crafty frame of mind, you’ll probably want to start planning your menu. What could be more fun than a mortarboard cake, or one dressed up with miniature graduate figurines? With a little creativity, you’ll plan a milestone celebration that your special graduate will remember forever.

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DIY Quick and Simple Wine Charms

wine_charmsWriting names on cups with a Sharpie may be an acceptable method for keeping track of drinks at a kid’s birthday party, but an adult gathering calls for a more refined solution. Wine charms serve as an elegant glass identifier, and will bring a touch of bling to any tabletop. These quick and simple wine charms also make fun and creative party favors, so your guests will always have a reminder of their wonderful evening.

Things you need:
Eye Pins
Bead Kit
Long-nose Pliers
1/2″ Dowel Rod (or similar round object)
Wire Cutter
Charms
Jump Rings

Things to do:
1. Wrap your wires individually around the dowel rod (or similar sized item) to create the loop which will fit around the stem of a wine glass. Take your long nose pliers and bend the end of the wire without a loop about 1/8″ to create a hook to fit through the eye, creating a latch so that your charms will stay in place.
2. Thread beads onto wire to create a pattern, adding the charm at the midpoint. You can also make fancier versions, by adding a second eye pin, creating a long dangling piece to your loop. Just simply slightly open the eye of your second eye pin, slip on a charm and close the loop back. You can then add your beads to the “stem” of the eye pin, cut about 1/4″ above the last bead and create loop to secure around your first eye pin.

To create a cohesive tabletop, add charms to water goblets and make matching napkin rings using longer lengths of heavier gauge jewelry wire.

In addition to dressing up your favorite vintage, wine charms also serve as make outstanding hostess gifts. To create, simply cut wire to a pleasing dangle length,” thread on beads and charms, and fasten with a hook and loop closure.
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For added fun, use personalized charms that suit your guests’ interests, such as:

Evening Bag Charms: Perfect for the shopaholic or purse addict
Football Charms: Ideal for the weekend warrior or armchair quarterback
Soccer Ball Charms: For the Soccer Mom”, of course!

You could also use personalized charms for special events, such as:

Pink Awareness Ribbon Charms: For specific charity events or in honor of someone special
Silver Double Heart Charms or Engagement Ring Charms: Mark your wine glass for your wedding reception or bridal shower
New Baby Charms: Welcome baby in style!

Enjoy sharing these charming crafts with family and friends, and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Photo Credits: Wendy’s Wine Charms and Unknown

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Dress Up Warm Weather Clothing with a Colorful Safety Pin Bracelet

Looking for a fun, funky way to accentuate your warm weather wardrobe? This simple to make bracelet adds flair to any ensemble on the cheap. The perfect finishing touch for bare arms and exposed wrists, they can be easily modified to adorn ankles so you can step into summer in style. Made mostly out of safety pins, it proves to be a very economical gift idea. No doubt it even makes a wonderful gift and party favors for young girls. Young ladies can sport this sparkling bracelet on special occasions and kids can make it as a gift for their mothers and sisters.

Things you need:
50-100 Safety Pins
Beads
Glue Gun with Glue Sticks
Stretchy Elastic Cord
Charms (optional)

Things to do:
1. Slide beads onto open safety pin, be sure that you leave enough room so the safety pins can close. Then seal the pin closed with a dab of hot glue. Be careful to not let glue drip or cover the top hole. Repeat this step until you have enough pins to make a complete bracelet.
2. After you have enough beaded pins to encircle your wrist or ankle, slide the pins onto two lengths of stretchy elastic cord (measuring your wrist or ankle first then adding a little extra to your measurement to take the safety pins into consideration) by threading the elastic through the top and bottom holes, and then tie the elastic to secure.

If the young ones are making these bracelets or you wish to speed up the process, just simply use bigger safety pins and bigger beads. If you are looking for a more sophisticated look, try using all silver or gold beads, depending on the color of the safety pins you are using.

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Not So Wishy-Washy Wish Hemp Bracelet

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A wish bracelet is a simple but cute bracelet that is meant to encourage following your dreams. The idea of a wish bracelet is that when you get one you sit somewhere quiet and hold the bracelet in your hand and focus on your wish. Think of your wish for a few seconds without anything else interrupting your thoughts. Then tie the bracelet securely to your wrist. Make you never take your bracelet off. When you play with your bracelet, or someone comments on it, think about your wish again. After a while your bracelet will fall off on it’s own, hopefully before long your wish will come true.

Things you need:
Hemp Twine Crafting Cord
Beads

Things to do:
1. Cut three 10″ lengths of hemp crafting cord and knot together on one end.
2. Braid the three strands together to the mid-point, or wherever you want to add your first bead.
Keep in mind your beads colors as you place them on your wish bracelet.

White beads: purification, cleanliness, spirituality, revelation
Black beads: earth, stability, death, concealment, self-control
Gray beads: sorrow, security, maturity, compliance, isolation, detachment
Brown beads: earth, order, convention, wholesomeness, orderliness
Orange beads: vitality, endurance, healing, power, self-esteem, creativity
Gold beads: wealth, prosperity, wisdom, optimism, health, success
Yellow beads: wisdom, joy, happiness, intellectual energy, concentration
Green beads: life, nature, fertility, healing, well being, money, growth
Blue beads: youth, spirituality, truth, peace, communication
Purple beads: royalty, magic, mystery, fantasy, imagination, psychic power
Red beads: sex, action, passion, lust, energy, confidence, courage, vitality
Pink beads: love, beauty, acceptance, protection, self-worth, calm

3. Slide one bead onto every other strand you pick up (totaling up to seven beads), then continue braiding the rest of the length and finish with a knot.

Before tying the wish hemp bracelet onto your wrist or ankle, make a wish. According to legend, your wish will come true whenever the bracelet falls off. With so many colorful beads to choose from, you’ll soon have a bracelet to match every outfit! Make these fun bracelets for personal adornments, or share them with family and friends.

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Simple Centerpieces for Memorial Day that Won’t Soon Be Forgotten

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With Memorial Day right around the corner, it’s never too soon to start planning the festivities. Whether you’ll be hosting a backyard bash or enjoying a cozy barbecue for two, adding a few special touches to your tabletop will help make the celebration even more memorable. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating festively patriotic centerpieces. Set the tone with these simple centerpieces:

Romantic Rendezvous Centerpieces
Dining after sundown? Cast a romantic glow with a dramatic Memorial Day candle tablescape. To make, simply group chunky red, white, and blue tapers atop an Oval Glass Mirror, and accentuate with red, white and blue marbles, painted wood stars, or any other patriotic embellishments.

memorial_day_centerpieces3Afternoon Dining Centerpieces
If you have a stash of miniature American flags on hand, it’s a breeze to make a Memorial Day centerpiece that’s loaded with visual interest. To make, simply stand the flags in clear glass jars with red, white, and blue sand.

Red, White, and Blue Carnation Centerpieces
If colored carnations aren’t available, create your own floral masterpieces by spraying garden cut blooms with colored floral spray.

Repurposed Christmas Centerpieces
For a stunning focal point, layer red, white, and blue glass ornaments in an oversized clear glass bowl, and add a meandering strand of battery-powered teeny white lights.

Deliciously Sweet Centerpieces
This sweet showpiece serves double-duty. To make, simply layer red, white, and blue candies in tall, clear glass vessels.

memorial_day_centerpieces2Enlightening Centerpieces
Upcycled tin can luminaries add instant sparkle to any tabletop. To create, paint salvaged tin cans with red, white, and blue Apple Barrel acrylic paint and allow to thoroughly dry. Fill cans with water and freeze. Then, put on safety goggles and use a hammer and nail to punch a star pattern through the tin, and light with a votive candle. Photo Credit: Crafts for All Seasons

While you’re enjoying the company of family and friends this Memorial Day, be sure to pay homage to those who have lost their lives in service of our nation. Enjoy creating new, lasting memories with these special and simple centerpieces for Memorial Day.

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Protect High Tech Devices with Low Tech, Easy to Make Pouches

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Customizing your cell phone with ringtones and wallpaper adds a unique touch, but why not take your high-tech style to the next level with a one-of-a-kind cell phone pouch? This simple to sew pouch is a fun project for tech-savvy crafters of all ages. If you can operate a cell phone, you’ll be able to whip up one of these cute cases in no time. You also make these cute little pouches for other devices such as ipods!

Things you need:
Felt Squares (colors of your choice)
Scissors
Needle, pins, and coordinating thread
Pencil or Chalk
Velcro
Embellishments such as rhinestones, charms, buttons, or beads
Crafter’s Pick Fabric Glue

Things to do:
1. Lay fabric wrong side up. Use chalk or pencil to trace an outline of your phone, then double the length (also add a little extra for a flap) and double the width. Add an extra inch to the side and top to allow for seams. (Remember, this pouch isn’t designed for a snug fit, so extra leeway is fine.)
2. Cut fabric and place phone in the center of the felt. Bring the front flap up so that it covers most of your phone, then pin the sides in place. Take your phone out of the pouch and straighten the pins up, then slip you phone back in to make sure it fits nicely. Be careful to not scratch your phone with the pins.
3. Take your phone out and cut any excess felt at the edges. Stitch wrong sides together, leaving the top open.
4. Turn pouch right side out and use fabric glue (or sew) to attach two small pieces of Velcro to the flap and front end of your newly designed phone case.
5. Finally, use fabric glue to affix embellishments, such as rhinestones, glass beads, charms, or buttons to add a little personality to your new case!

You can use this same concept with other fabrics. With so many beautiful fabrics to choose from, you’ll want to make a cell phone pouch to coordinate with every outfit and special occasion. Flex your creative muscles to see what other techie pouch ideas you can come up with.

Photo Credit: Mon Ami Designs

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Decorating Clay Pots

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Photo Credits: The Robin’s Nest

Don’t let your flower garden go to pot by settling for drab, unadorned terracotta planters! With so many fun and creative ideas to spice them up, you’ll never have to lay eyes on dreary, rough textured pots again. Here are a few decorating tips that will give these old stand-bys a fresh status in your home or garden:

Decoupage Pots
Greeting cards, empty seed packets, wrapping paper, wall paper, and pages from gardening magazines are all fun decoupage medium choices. To make, cut or tear out the images you want to use and adhere to the pot with Outdoor Mod Podge.

Embellished Pots
Create a salvaged treasure masterpiece using shells, bottle caps, marbles, buttons, checkers, rocks, acorn caps, pennies, or rhinestones. To make, paint the pot with 2-3 coats of Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint, thoroughly drying between each coat. Next, use a glue gun to affix embellishments. For added interest and dimension, overlap pieces slightly or arrange in intriguing patterns.

Wrapped Pots
Natural elements, such as tree bark and raffia, add rustic charm to terracotta pots, and look especially striking when paired with lush tropical foliage or delicate blossoms. To make these nature-inspired wrapped pots, use a glue gun and generous amounts of glue, overlapping pieces as you wrap. (Tip: Flexible bark, such as birch, works best.)

Painted Pots
The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating painted pot works of art. Paint pots with 2-3 coats of Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint, and then add stripes, stencil designs, or whatever else you can think up. To provide hands-on fun for pint-sized gardeners, paint pots with chalkboard paint and then let the budding Picassos add their own chalk drawn masterpieces.

With a little time and creativity, you’ll soon have a stash of terracotta pots well worthy of the most beautiful blossoms and lush foliage. Even with no green thumb in sight, it’s easy and affordable to have a beautiful flower garden.

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Fun in the Sun Beaded Toe Ring and Sunglass Chain

beaded_toe_ringsDon’t let rainy spring days dampen your creativity! If thunderstorms are whisking you indoors, why not make the most of your inside time with a few fun and simple craft projects? Our funky beaded toe ring and sunglass chain are sure to raise your spirits, giving you a sneak preview of the fun-in-the-sun that’s just around the corner.

Beaded Toe Rings
Paired with the perfect pedicure, these funky toe beads will have you sandal-ready in a flash!

Things you need:
Bead Kit
Large Accent Bead (optional)
Stretchy Cord
E6000 Glue
Toothpick

Things to do:
1. Thread seed beads onto a piece of elastic until you have a large enough piece to fit snugly around the top segment of your toe.
2. Slide on the larger bead and tie off with a square knot.
3. Dab glue on the knot, and then use the toothpick to tuck the knot inside the larger bead. For a sassy touch, add a few dangle beads or charms.

beaded_fun_in_sun
Dazzling Sunglass Chain
Keep your shades at the ready with this cheery sunglass chain.

Things you need:
Bead Kit
2 eyeglass connectors
Needle Nose Pliers
Wire Cutter or Fingernail Clipper

Things to do:
1. Cut wire to a handy length for dangling sunglasses, making sure it’s long enough to put them on/take them off easily.
2. Use needle nose pliers to secure eyeglass holder to one end and string beads in pattern of your choice; finish off with the remaining eyeglass holder and use a wire cutter or fingernail clipper to snip off sharp tips.

With so many colorful beads to choose from, accessorizing your summer wardrobe will be a breeze! Enjoy flaunting your feet and stowing your shades in style this summer.

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Paper Pinwheels – Breezy Centerpieces for any Occasion

paper_pinwheels
As refreshing as they are appealing, paper centerpieces bring a whimsical touch to any affair. Paper centerpieces and decorations can be whipped up in no time, and are guaranteed to be as easy on the eyes as they are on your pocketbook.

Things you need:
12″ x 12″ sheets of coordinating scrapbook paper or wallpaper remnants
Floral Tape
Hole Punch
Scissors
Scallop edge scissors
Dowel Rods
Wooden Ruler
Spray Adhesive
Pencil
Decorative Push Pins (with a head larger in diameter than your hole punch)

Things to do:
1. Choose two different colors or patterns of paper for a more dimensional pinwheel. The size of the paper does not really matter, as long as your paper is a perfect square in shape. Use spray adhesive to affix the wrong sides of the two sheets of coordinating scrapbook paper or wall paper remnants together; allow to dry thoroughly.
2. Cover the dowel with florist’s tape, overlapping the edges as you wrap.
3. Place the ruler diagonally at a corner and lightly draw a line measuring 5 1/2″ in length toward the center; repeat on remaining three corners.
4. Use scallop edge scissors to cut on the drawn lines and to trim all paper edges.
5. Punch a hole in the center of the paper, and at the point of every pinwheel tip.
6. Create the pinwheel by aligning holes, bringing tips toward the center without creasing or folding.
7. Slip a decorative pushpin into the hole and press into the dowel to secure.
8. Add finishing details, such as glitter, charms, ribbons, or other embellishments, and allow to dry thoroughly before displaying.

Bundle several paper windmills together to form a decorative bouquet for centerpieces, use to line walkways, or make a few miniature paper windmills to use as cake decorations or buffet table accessories. Perfect for the young, and the young at heart, paper windmills give even the most formal of occasions a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Photo Credit: Unknown

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Incredible Edible Candy Centerpieces with Styrofoam Balls

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Candy centerpieces crafted from blue or pink taffy make adorable baby shower hostess gifts, while using Starlight Mints will add a festive touch to holiday tabletops. Use your imagination, and your taste buds, to come up with your own tasty creation. Use this creative styrofoam ball craft in your own home, or present them as treasured gifts. With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day fast approaching, now is the time to get started on your handmade masterpieces. Learn how to make your own centerpieces at All You.

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