Category Archives: DIYs

Upcycled Shirt Treat Bag

One more day until Boo At The Zoo and we realized we didn’t have treat bags for the twins. I have made myself so many of these upcycled t-shirt bags but have never made a tutorial for them. This is a super simple project that is great for kids who can handle scissors well. These little guys can stretch out and the handles are great for tying closed. They are strong, stretchy, and very portable. These bags are a great way to re-use that old Metallica T-Shirt from yesteryear… (Dad, I’m talking to you!) Here is a tutorial for turning that old favorite into a functional accessory! These are mini treat bags for pint-sized looters, but you could make them any size!

To begin you want to cut the sleeves and collar of the shirt. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If there is a little extra seam when you’re done just snip that off too. Next you’ll cut two notches in the very bottom of the shirt where the seam is. This creates a tube for closing.

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Photo: White Mage Knits

Upcycled bag, trick-or-treat, trick or treat, upcycled tshirt, halloween, treat bag, upcycled t-shirt,

Photo: White Mage Knits

Now, turn your shirt inside out. Take some string (I used cotton yarn for strength) and thread it through the tube with a safety pin, darning needle, or bobby pin. Go in one notch, all the way through, back in the second notch, and come out next to where you went in. Pull tight, tie a knot, then wrap both strings around to make a bulge at the bottom of the bag, tie a bunch of knots. This makes sure there is no hole and adds weight to the bottom of the bag so it isn’t so floppy. If you don’t like how this looks you can actually sew the bottom instead. You could even add a lining if you want. I made these purely for utility so behold my unruly bulge closure, beautiful right?

Note: If sewing I usually sew the shirt flat across the bottom using a zig-zag stitch.

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Photo: White Mage Knits

Finally, turn the bag right side out and give the bottom a good pull in all directions to get as much of the shirt out of the string bulge as you can. Give your straps a little tug to finish your edges (some roll, some don’t). Viola! Your very own upcycled shirt bag! Have you made a shirt bag? If so leave a photo in the comments! Happy Halloween my crafty friends!

House Cup Cozy

Recently I have been in a Potter mood. As the months get colder I tend to favor hot drinks. I knitted this cozy and wanted to share it with the world. This cozy pattern can be applied to any chart and adjusted to fit your needs. I used worsted and dk yarns. Ideally you want to use the same weight to avoid any pulling and bunching around the color areas.

Materials Needed:

  • Two “house-colored” yarns
  • Size 7 (4.5 mm) straight, double pointed, or circular knitting needles
  • Stitch markers
  • “Houses Chart”
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle

CO 32 stitches

R1-3 K1 P1 ribbing around

R4 (Working in sockenette stitch) K2, inc, knit to last 3, inc, K2

R5 Purl (or Knit if working in the round) across, placing marker for beginning and end of chart section

R6 K2, inc, knit to first marker, work chart, knit to last 3, inc, K2

R7-12 Work chart in sockenette stitch

Repeat rounds 4-12 until chart is complete, with a single additional round of main color

Finish off with 3 rows of K1 P1 ribbing and bind off

Seam together, weave in ends, and enjoy.

houseschart

TIP! When changing colors in knitting twist your two yarns over one another at the point of the color change, over one way then back on the next change. This will prevent gaps from forming resulting with holes in the finished project.

Easy Breezy Big Book of Boo-Boos

My two year old loves playing doctor. Doc McStuffins is her current favorite show. She has a Doc McStuffins set and would pretend that one of her travel-size coloring books is her big book of boo-boos. I decided to make her one and found Disney’s printable version here. I felt like it was too much ink with the notebook background so we went for a simpler solution.

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DIY Playdough Recipe

Marley and I made some play dough the other day and I thought I would share the recipe. I remember my parents making us homemade playdough as a kid but it was always so salty, smelled really funny, and wasn’t the same texture as actual playdough. This recipe turned out great and we will soon be making more colors!

You will need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • food coloring (optional)
  • vegetable glycerin (optional)

Instructions:

Put water on stove top to boil. Meanwhile, mix all dry ingredients and vegetable oil in a large mixing bowl. Add food coloring to water once boiling and pour about half of it into the bowl. Mix while adding small increments of the water until it becomes a combined, sticky dough. Add glycerin, mix, and allow to set to cool. The glycerin helps prevent sticky while adding some shine.

Once cooled knead the dough for at least 4-5 minutes. Do not skimp on this part as it is the most important part of the process! Just keep kneading until it is the right consistency. If you find the dough is still sticky you’ve added just a hair too much water. Add a tiny bit more flour and continue kneading. Once it is the perfect consistency it’s ready for play! Store in an air-tight container for up to six months. We store ours in a ziplock bag and keep it in the pantry. Be sure to rinse hands after play, as the flour can leave a dry texture behind. It is also a good idea to wash hands before play to prevent bacteria and dirt from getting into the playdough; just so it lasts longer. Enjoy!

DIY All Natural Deodorant

We all know coconut oil is useful for many things. One of the most popular uses in our home is making deodorant with it. Here is a video of the process. The recipe is as follows:

  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 4/5 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 10-13 drops essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree oil

Melt the coconut oil in the microwave or stovetop then pour into a mixing bowl. Add powder ingredients and mix well. Add other oils, mix, transfer to jar or dish with a lid (I use a heart jewelry dish), and toss in the freezer for an hour or so. Allow to set overnight before use.

Application: This is a firm mix (unless really warm), scrape finger across to get a dime-sized amount. Hold to arm pit for a moment to allow to melt a little then rub in. This does not clog your pores, you WILL sweat. It just kills the odor-causing bacteria that thrives in sweaty areas. If being very active or changing clothes through the day, may need to re-apply.

Made a couple sets of these felt rice hand-warmers to give out this Christmas. Just cut some rectangles, embroidered initials on the bottom, and sewed them up with a blanket stitch, stuffing with rice.

New nook!

My boyfriend got me a nook for Christmas and I LOVE it! I wanted to read on my tablet but was unable to read for longer than 20 minutes without getting a headache. With my nook 1st gen I can read for hours and be fine, just like reading a normal book. I absolutely love the e-ink screen, even without it being lit up. I honestly would not trade this classic nook for a nook glowlight or nook color. I made a cute DIY case for it, have it loaded with books, and am now completely prepared for this long winter break from school! My favorite part about it is that I can borrow  books from the library and read them without ever having to go there which will come in handy when I am 9 months pregnant or there is a bunch of snow outside. By far the best Christmas gift I have received, ever!

We always end up breaking down and giving each other our gifts early… We suck at Christmas! Here are a few photos of my DIY nook cover:

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DIY Stitch Markers

The first place I saw these was on the video 5 Gifts to make for knitters by Josephine Animates. I thought it was a GENIUS idea and finally made some of my own. I decided to make a tutorial to share with fellow fiber-loving friends. You can make these for knitting or crochet. I ended up making more because I thought they were so cute!

 
What you will need:
  • Jewelry wire (I used a soft gauge, but any would work as long as it held shape once doubled)
  • Beads
  • Tweezers, pliers, hemostats, or whatever rounded bending tool you have laying around.
  • A large knitting needle or something the same diameter you want to make the markers.
Snip off about 12 cm of wire and bend a small loop at the end (this will be the bottom). String your beads onto the wire. Proceed to wrap the wire around your large knitting needle (I used a size 11 here). I only wrapped mine twice, I recommend wrapping at least two times unless using a hard gauge that will for sure hold it’s shape.

Now if you are making a knitting marker you will wrap the wire around the part closest to the bead. As shown in the left photo. If you are making a crochet marker snip the wire off and sand the point down as shown in the right photo.

Now just slide it off and viola! You have yourself a cute little stitch marker. Make some for yourself. Then make some for your friends. Thank make some more and smile at how absolutely adorable they all look together!

I would also like to share a photo of the cute amigurumi bunny I knitted for my daughter over the weekend. I got the pattern from Joan of Dark’s book Knits for Nerds. I am currently knitting myself a pair of gloves from the same book. I can’t wait for her next book!

DIY Knitting Needles

I needed a set of double pointed needles to make amigurumi for my daughter and didn’t have the money to buy a set. I was eager to begin her bunny from Joan of Dark’s Knits for Nerds so I decided to make my own. Here is a tutorial that will work for both DPNs and straight needles.

What you will need:
Knitting gauge
Sandpaper
Wooden dowel correct diameter for needle size needed (hence the guage)
Pencil sharpener
Small saw
Nail buffer (optional)

Chances are you have most of these items at home already. Go to your local hardware or crafts store and find your dowel (I also plan to do some with plain sticks in the future). One dowel should get you five needles. Measure total length and divide it by five. Measure and mark your cut lines. Use your saw to cut the sections. Use the pencil sharpener to create tapered ends on all of the sticks. Take them outside and sand down any imperfections. Remember, you don’t want your yarn snagging! I used an electric nail buffer with the soft cotton tip after sanding to make my needles super smooth.

image Voila! Your needles are ready for knitting! This method works for straight needles as well. Simply add beads, bands, strings, buttons, or wire to the end to hold your stitches on the needle. You could even use tacks; be creative! Leave a comment with pictures of your homemade knitting needles!

Hot oil treatment diy

The summer heat had my hair feeling dry and I was beginning to get some dandruff so I decided a hot oil treatment was in order. Instead of spending money to buy some at the store I made some myself. Note THIS IS HOT. Do not burn yourself! I winged it when it came to ingredients. Here is my recipe:
-4 tbsp coconut oil
-1.5 tbsp olive oil
-4 drops tea tree oil (one per tbsp coconut oil)
-10 drops vitamin E oil
Melt coconut oil in bowl or mug in boiling water. Stir in liquid oils once melted. Mix well and wet hair (damp not soaked). Apply to hair from roots to tips, rub into scalp, and be sure to use full amount on hair. NOTE: The amounts listed is for long hair. For short I recommend cutting it by half.
Enjoy your shiny, soft, revitalized hair! (^.^)v