I LOVE fonts! Fonts can change the whole meaning and feeling of a design. There are many sites where you can download either purchased or free for personal use fonts. I have purchased many font packages from FontBundles.net. A popular site for free fonts is Dafont.com. In the video below I’ll show you how to download and install a font file from Dafont. (Please be mindful of licensing as it applies to each file you may download.) *This post is not endorsed or sponsored by FontBundles.net, Dafont, iOS, or AllFonts.*
One of my favorite things about crafting is the wonderful community. The crafting world is so varied. There are pour artists, tailors, quilters, paper crafters, and so many others. No two makers are the same. No two pieces of work are the same. Yet, we all have something in common. We all use crafting as a way to express, learn, heal, and create.
I’ve had the privilege of interviewing and talking with a few makers who inspire and motivate me. Aside from getting wonderful tips from Kimberly at Sweet Red Poppy (see my post), I’ve also spoken with Holli Mostella, Vanessa Brady, and Jessie Katz-Greenberg, the content director for crafts and home at Jumprope Videos. Today I got to speak to Megan Meketa from Lovebird Heartworks. These are all ladies that I’ve admired for their work, but never imagined speaking with them on a one-to-one level. It’s been so real and so inspiring to connect with such talented ladies. They have been so kind and I’ve gained much insight into the world of crafting and creating.
But this is not just for me. The reason I’m reaching out to these makers and crafters is to help all of us. Think about it: how likely are you to personally reach out to YOUR favorite YouTuber to ask her about her creative journey? You know you’ve always wanted to ask Holli, Kim, or Megan what advice they would give you as a maker. Well guess what? I’m here to ask for all of us. I’ve got a great lineup of interviews coming your way. So come hang out with us in my Facebook Group, EJ’s Crafting Fun, where you’ll be able to view our live interviews. Believe me, you don’t want to miss any of our guests.
Isn’t is amazing and heartwarming to see so many people answering the call to make face masks? Whether you are making for your family, your friends, your neighbors, or for frontline and essential workers, your contributions are greatly appreciated.
For some of us, this call to action was the perfect opportunity to bring out our sewing machines from storage and get back to a much loved craft. For others, it was the beginning of a new hobby. With so many of us sewing now, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about maintaining our sewing machines. After all, it would be difficult to find an open sewing machine repair shop during these times.
I recently asked Kimberly Coffin from Sweet Red Poppy for advice on keeping our machines going. She offered the following tips.
Clean Your Machine
It seems obvious, but it’s something we can forget about in the excitement of creating. Dust, thread, and fabric particles can build up. It’s important to take time to use the little brush that comes with most sewing machines to gently remove debris. Pay special attention to the bobbin case and throat plate areas. Not all machines are the same, but most are similar to each other. So consult your owner’s manual for specifics on cleaning your particular sewing machine. You can also find videos showing how to clean your machine by searching “sewing machine cleaning” on You Tube.
Oil Your Machine
Much like a car, your machine consists of moving parts that need to be lubricated. Oiling your machine improves its overall performance and longevity. Be sure to only use oil that is specifically designed for sewing machines. Many machines come with a small bottle of oil you can use. How often you oil our machine will depend on how much you use it. If you only use your machine a couple of times a month, oiling it once every 3 months should be enough. Using your machine once or twice a week would call for a monthly lubrication. But if you are using your machine every single day, it’s best to oil it once a week. Again, you can consult your sewing machine manual or search You Tube for help. Here is a video demonstrating how to oil a sewing machine.
Change Your Needle
There are different needles for different textures of fabric. You should use the needle that corresponds to the fabric you are sewing. Regardless of the type of material, though, all needles will begin to dull over time. So it is necessary to change your needle regularly to maintain quality stitching. The general recommendation is to change your needle after every 3 full bobbins that you use. However, if you are sewing heavy fabrics like leather, denim, or thick fleece, your needle will dull quicker. In that case you will want to change your needle after each project.
A sewing machine in an investment in your creativity. Protect and grow that investment by performing proper and regular maintenance. Treat your Baby Lock, Kenmore, Pfaff, Janome, Brother, Singer, or whatever brand of machine you have right, and she’ll be good to you for a long time to come.
How’s everyone doing? Everything seems to have changed so quickly and so suddenly. We are all adjusting in different ways to being at home. For some of us, the transition is easier than for others. I think our kids are being affected as well. The hard part is that they can’t always articulate to us what exactly they are feeling. They miss their friends, their teachers, and their routine. Parents are trying to get the hang of balancing being at home, working, and being homeschool teachers. Teachers are learning how to use online learning resources. Many are doing this while also teaching their own children.
Though these are stressful and uncertain times, we can try to relieve some of the stress creatively. Personally, I love to step away from things and work on a sewing or embroidery project. Sometimes I like to design a new cut file. My own kids love using their creativity as a stress reliever, too. They like to build things with boxes. My 10-year-old loves to draw and to create projects inside of Cricut Design Space. My middle child will often pick up a book and then use her dolls to act out the story. My 6-year-old son loves to build with blocks and loves to pretend that he is “Super Mario.” Whatever it may be, creativity comes in various forms. Letting that creativity flow can be a great way to re-collect our thoughts, refresh us for the next task, and to motivate our children.
Here I have collected different kids crafts and creative projects from around the internet and from Pinterest. I hope some of these help brighten the day for you and your precious little ones.
Now, go do something FUN!
Older kids love making things with paper. Believe me. I’ve seen plenty of paper footballs, paper airplanes, paper fans, and who know what else being passed around the classroom. Here’s a fun site with lots of easy origami crafts.
How about a lava lamp, a tape canvas, or some monster gloves? This site offers 29 fun crafts to do with kids.
Vanessa over at Tried and True Blog has great ideas for crafting with kids. From rockets to journals to finger puppets, there’s enough to fill a few weeks with amazing craft ideas to make with your kids.
*This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on the links, you will be taken to other websites. If you make a purchase through the link, it costs you nothing extra but earns me a small commission *
Warmer weather, bluer skies, birds chirping… Spring is definitely in the air. We may not be able to venture far these days, but we can certainly enjoy nature’s beauty from our own backyards. Even if we’re stuck inside for now, we can create our own spring inside our homes. I’m hoping to add a spring wreath in the next few weeks. But I started with a simple and colorful felt banner that I can hang in my studio to help brighten things up.
MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
- Sheet of stiff felt
- 3 different colors of HTV
- Cricut or other cutting machine
- Easy Press, heat press, or home iron
- Small wooden dowel
- Craft string
- Open the project in Cricut Design Space (link here).
- Select “customize” to make changes to the size of the project.
- Select “make it” and follow the prompts to cut the pieces to your project.
- Remember to mirror the design pieces that will be cut from HTV (iron-on).
- Place your HTV shiny side down on your mat.
- Once cut, arrange the HTV design onto your felt banner piece.
- Press using temperature and time settings for your HTV. You can also use the Cricut Interactive Heat Guide to determine the time and temperature to use.
- Insert wooden dowel through the slits at the top of the banner.
- Attach string to the dowel and hang.
Now, go make something CUTE!
**This post contains affiliate link. By clicking on the links you will be taken to outside sites. If you purchase through the links, I earn a small commission.**
Have you had a chance to work with Cricut Infusible Ink yet? The ink fuses with the material and becomes one. It’s seamless and there are a variety of colors and patterns available. A lot of people are intimidated by it. But don’t worry. It’s easier than you may think to use.
One of the the requirements of Infusible Ink is that it won’t work on cotton, or natural fibers. The recommendation is to use a material with a high polyester count. Cricut does have adult and youth shirts, bags, and baby bodysuits made specifically for use with Infusible Ink. But if you don’t have any polyester shirts and you don’t have any Infusible Ink shirts on hand, I’ve got a great hack for you. Follow along with me in the video tutorial below to learn a little trick I learned.
Growing up, I was not at all a girly-girl. I loved rough-housing with the boys, playing tackle football, climbing on top of the roof of the house and jumping off, etc. I taught my baby brother how to play basketball with the fellas. If I tried carrying a purse, I would inevitably lose it the first time I took it out of the house. I imagined myself being a “Boy Mom”. Imagine my surprise when I had my first child and she was a girl. Don’t get me wrong; I was super happy and excited for this amazing blessing. But I wasn’t into “girl” things. Then my second baby was born and she was a girl, too. Suddenly, I found myself doing all the cute things I never enjoyed as a child. I’m talking Hello Kitty bedroom sets; sewing lace onto socks so that my baby girls’ dresses would look perfect; cornrows with beads for that extra special look. And I love it!
Well, 10 years into my life as a “glitter and dirt” mom, I’m still at it. We’re planning a Spa Day party for the girls. I wanted a quick, inexpensive way to personalize some of the goodie bags. Check out how I used cardstock, my home printer, my Cricut, and my mini Xyron to make sticker name tags for the party bags.
MATERIALS & SUPPLIES
* Home printer or pens and markers
* Small paper sacks
* Xyron sticker maker
* Scissors or cutting machine
1. Print your designs on your cardstock. You could even draw them if you’d like.
2. Cut out your designs using your cutting machine or scissors.
3. Run your designs through your Xyron machine.
4. Rub and peel backing from your new stickers.
5. Arrange your stickers and you are done!
NOW, GO MAKE SOMETHING CUTE!
Check out my fellow craft bloggers below for more fun projects.
Yesterday, as I worked in my crafting studio, my kids rushed to the front door. They excitedly jumped up and down and clapped and giggled. It took me a couple of seconds to realize what was exciting them. They’d heard the music from the ice cream truck coming down the street and were happy. Ahhh. To be a kid again. When something so simple as the sound of the ice cream truck brings you joy. That made me think about how the season is finally changing, which I am looking forward to.
It also inspired me to look for a simple, but of course cute, project to make. Sometimes I get so caught up in creating something “new” that I forget that reinventing the wheel isn’t necessary. As I scrolled through Cricut Design Space for a project, I came across this super cute banner project. I think it caught my attention because of my kids’ earlier excitement. If you’ve never used a ready-to-make project from Cricut Design Space, this one is a perfect start. Plus, if you like it, Jen Goode has a whole coordinating set of projects to match.
Here is the video tutorial for the banner. Now, GO MAKE SOMETHING CUTE!
March is Crafting Month and I am thrilled to be participating in an amazing event called CRAFTWEEK. It’s a full week of fun tutorials and giveaways sponsored and hosting by some incredible makers and companies. Each day features a different genre of crafting. You’ll find genre specific crafts and tutorials from different crafty bloggers.
Today’s theme is “General Craft” meaning you’ll find all sorts of cool crafts!
Darice has all sorts of crafting supplies available. My favorites are their embossing folders which I’ve used in my Cuddlebug, Big Shot, and Texture Boutique. For today I created this really cute yet simple card to let all you makers, crafters, and bloggers know “I SEE YOU!”
MATERIALS & SUPPLIES
* Pre-folded blank card 4.25″ x 5.5″
* Cardstock cut to 3.75″ x 5″
* Darice embossing folder
* Embossing machine
* Craft Glue
* Double sided tape
* Double sided foam dimensionals
* Cardstock for sentiment (optional)
1. Using your embossing folder and embossing machine, emboss your 3.75″ x 5″ piece of cardstock.
2. Cut and/or stamp your sentiment from your extra cardstock. I used a sentiment created by Alina Armstrong from Might E Made It.
3. If needed, layer and assemble your sentiment. I used craft glue to attach my sentiment to its shadow layer.
4. Use double sided tape to adhere your embossed sheet to the front of your folded card.
5. Use foam dimensionals to attach your sentiment to your card.
6. Add any other details and you are done!
Now, GO MAKE SOMETHING CUTE, SIS!
CHECK OUT THESE AWESOME BLOGS!
You can download the design here.
Materials and Supplies
*Baby body suit
*Maggie Rose Design Co. svg file
*HTV (iron on) in 2 different colors
*Cricut or other electronic cutting machine
*Cricut Light Grip mat
*Cricut or other weeding tools
*Cricut Easy Press, home iron, or heat press
*Teflon sheet or parchment paper
1. Download your svg to your device and then upload into Cricut Design Space.
2. Insert the image into your canvas.
3. Size the image to size you need. Generally, for a baby shirt, I size to about 4″.
4. Ungroup your image.
5. Select the text that you want to be the first color and attach it.
6. Select the remaining text and attach it .
7. Select “Make It” to send it to your mats.
8. Mirror each mat.
9. Select the material you are using (iron-on), load your mat, and cut.
10. Repeat for the second color.
11. Weed your design.
12. Use the Cricut Interactive Heat Guide to select the temperature and time needed to press your design.
13. Remember to preheat your garment to remove moisture and wrinkles.
14. If needed, use a lint roller to remove debris from your garment.
15. When heat press is ready, apply your design, following the instructions for your heat press and /or htv.
16. If you are doing 2 different colors (2 layers), do not heat your 1st layer for the full time.
17. Position your 2nd layer of htv and place your parchment paper or teflon sheet over the full design and press for the full amount of time.
18. Remove your carrier sheets (pay attention to whether your htv is a hot, warm, or cool peel). cover again with your parchment paper, and press again.
19. AND YOU ARE DONE!
I hope this was a helpful tutorial. Be on the lookout for the video tutorial coming to my YouTube channel in the next week.
Now, GO MAKE SOMETHING CUTE!