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the joys of doing it yourself

This holiday season I have been busy with Do-It-Yourself projects (or DIY for the totally hip and crafty folks).

I wanted to share some of the cool things I’ve been working on this holiday season.  I’ve broken the projects down into 3 levels of difficulty:

  1. Easy, requires very little concentration – You can work on these projects while drinking a couple glasses of wine as your iPod blasts your favorite tunes.
  2. Easy, requires some concentration – You can accomplish this project while enjoying 1 glass of wine, however loud-ish music might throw off your concentration.
  3. Hard – Don’t drink and craft.  Music is optional, might want to listen to smart music like classical music.

So here are the fun projects I have been throwing myself into lately:

  • Level 1- The DIY Dog Toy.  You can probably even drink a martini and manage to successfully make these guys.

diydogtoys

These are simply scraps of material braided with cotton batting used for quilting.  Just cut 2 strips of batting + 1 strip of brightly colored fabric (2” wide x 28”-30” long) then braid.  That’s it!  These are puppy tested and approved!

  • Level 1 – Adorable Hair Ties.  These are so easy, I’m embarrassed that I even gave them as gifts this holiday season.

diyhairties1 diyhairties2

These are great for girls because boys don’t usually wear them.  They’re great for runners, too (girl runners).  If you can tie a knot, you can make these.  If you can’t tie a knot, I’m sorry.  To make these adorable hair ties, cut 8.5”-9.5” lengths of fold over elastic and tie in a knot.  Congratulations, you’re done.

What’s fold over elastic, you ask?  It’s the cool patterned elastic used to make hair ties.  I found a great wholesale place on-line that sells most elastic for approx. $1.00/yard (some are a few cents more, some less).  You can make around 4 hair ties with 1 yard.  My new go to place for hair tie supplies:  My Sunshine Shoppe.  If you like this kind of stuff, you must check it out!

  • Level 2 – Headbands.  I wrote about my headband adventures here and demonstrated how easy they are to make.  I’ll be honest, they are a little harder than braiding or tying knots.  They include a teeny tiny bit of sewing…which is why they are in the Level 2 category.

diyheadbandfinishedside Instructions for these easy headbands can be found here.

  • Level 3 – Funky, Awesome, Sweet Pencil Case (or to put it more generically, zippered pouch).  I found this idea on Pinterest and bought a bunch of candy, ate it, then made these cute ‘zippered pouches’:

diyskittlesbag diymms

Here are the instructions for making these tasty pencil cases!  Now this project requires zipper installation so if you’re like me and don’t have much zipper experience, don’t get discouraged.  Who am I kidding…you’ll be discouraged but don’t stop trying.  You’ll get it!

  • Level 3 – Tool Roll.  What’s a tool roll, right?  It’s this:

diyrolluptool

It’s something for artsy people to use to organize their artsy tools, like paint brushes and such.  You place said tools in the Tool Roll, roll it up, tie it then consider yourself organized!  This is for my mom for her belated Christmas gift.  Surprise, Mom!!!  This is a level 3 but could almost go to Level 4.  It requires an immense amount of concentration and direction following…neither of which are my strong points.  So this gift took a little longer than usual…thank goodness for seam rippers!

I found the instructions in a book by Lotta Jansdotter called, “Simple Sewing.”  When it comes to me and a sewing machine, there is nothing simple about sewing.  Despite the misleading title, it’s a great book!

So these are the projects that have kept me busy ‘doing-it-myself’ this past month.  Working on projects for others brings me joy (when I’m not cussing at the sewing machine) so I hope the recipients experience a little joy and happiness when they open their awesome ‘DIY’ gifts!

Merry Christmas!

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