Easy DIY Christmas Blocks Gift

‘Twas the week before Christmas and I was a tiny bit miffed

Trying to come up with a last minute gift!

Does this describe you?  Here’s a fun DIY that is simple and quick.

DIY Christmas blocks @4onemore.com

I love my little Christmas blocks.  I have some for during the rest of the year too that I can tuck on ledges or shelves with a few inspirational words to catch my eye during the day.

These are tiny blocks — like the kind you would find in a Jenga game.  But grouped together, they make a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer.

easy DIY Christmas blocks gift @4onemore.com

This is a great craft for kids to make for their teachers or grandparents!

{Affiliate links are included in this tutorial, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase.}

Here’s how to make these adorable Christmas blocks in no time at all.

easy DIY Christmas blocks gift @4onemore.com

Yes, these blocks are the size of Jenga blocks, but I wouldn’t recommend buying an official Jenga game, or you will have “Jenga” carved into your pieces.

Instead, you can buy a cheaper no-name brand of the same game here or here.  And if you shop with Amazon Prime, these can be on your door step in only two days!

With about 48 blocks in each game, you can make dozens of these gifts from one set.

easy DIY Christmas blocks gift @4onemore.com

Now paint your blocks.  This step is so relaxing!  Get the kids involved and start painting.  I just use Apple Barrel paints which cost about 50 cents each at Walmart.  Or if you’re in a pinch, you can get them here at a higher cost.

easy DIY Christmas blocks gift @4onemore.com

If you have some stamping supplies lying around, now’s the time to put them to good use.  Have you ever stamped or embossed on wood?  Why not?  It works just like it would on paper.

Use an embossing stamp pad to stamp your word onto the wood block.

Immediately cover the wet stamped mark with embossing powder.  Dump the excess powder off your wood block.

Using a heat tool, carefully set the embossing powder.

You’re done!  Wasn’t that easy?

easy DIY Christmas blocks gift @4onemore.com

This is a cost effective gift and one that you can make assembly-line-style to save time.

Even if you have to buy all the supplies for this project, each three-block set will only cost you about $3.22!  The price just goes down from there if you own any of the supplies already.

Happy crafting!  Check out my Pinterest DIY Gift Idea board for more projects.

 

 

 

furniture up cycle: TV cabinet into armoire

For many years we used a pine armoire to house our TV.

armoire upcycle @4onemore.com

When we upgraded to a larger flat screen TV that no longer fit in our armoire, I wanted to find a use for this piece of furniture.  I hate to throw things away if I don’t have to.

furniture up cycle TV cabinet to armoire @4onemore.com

Well, it was a good thing we held on to this armoire.  The room we decided to use for a bedroom for our daughter has no closets.  Enter the up cycled armoire.

furniture up cycle TV cabinet to armoire @4onemore.com

We loved it in raw pine back in the day, but it was due for a facelift.  So, painted in white and distressed, it matches her thrifted Jenny Lind bed frame.

furniture up cycle TV cabinet to armoire @4onemore.com

 

All it took to convert this piece into a useable closet for our daughter’s room was a clothing rod.  Hubby attached it with a block of scrap wood on each side of the rod for further durability.

furniture up cycle TV cabinet to armoire @4onemore.com

Since little girl’s dresses are so short, it is working just fine right now with extra room at the bottom for baskets of linens and such.

So if you’re looking for extra clothing storage (or crafting storage, toy storage, game storage, kitchen storage!), look no further than your local thrift store or yard sale and pick up one of these “old” armoires.  Sure, you might not put a TV in them anymore, but you might be able to pick one up for cheap and give it a new life.

furniture up cycle TV cabinet to armoire @4onemore.com

Great on the budget.  Super cute.  Love to prevent needless waste.  And create a personal piece that works for you.

What is your favorite TV cabinet up-cycle?

Nevermore Fall Raven Wreath Tutorial

Nevermore Fall Raven Wreath Tutorial @ 4onemore.com
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
Nevermore Fall Raven Wreath Tutuorial @4onemore.com
This fall raven wreath is simple to make and it uses mainly up cycled or found pieces.
Nevermore Fall Raven Wreath Tutuorial @4onemore.com
 What you’ll need:
Round frame without the glass
Orange spray paint
Branch
Glue gun
Fabric scrap for hanging
Raven (I found mine at the Dollarama) –> I did cut off its legs, so you might want a wire cutter for this part
Nevermore Fall Raven Wreath Tutuorial @4onemore.com
Simply spray your frame, glue on the branch, glue on the raven, attach the fabric scrap and you’re done!  See, it’s so easy.
Nevermore Fall Raven Wreath Tutuorial @4onemore.com

I have had several of these in my shop, and they always sell fast!

One satisfied customer wrote:

“This is by far my absolute favorite fall home decoration; it is displayed prominently in our family room. I love the modern, yet vintage feel it has… I get compliments on this all the time — I *love* it. Thank you!!”

Nevermore Fall Raven Wreath Tutuorial @4onemore.com
Nevermore Fall Raven Wreath Tutuorial @4onemore.com
 Nevermore Fall Raven Wreath Tutorial @ 4onemore.com
Nevermore Fall Raven Wreath Tutorial @ 4onemore.com
Have you ever made a wreath out of an up cycled frame?  What is your favorite fall door decoration?
Linking up here:
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Upcycle Baby Clothes into a Memory Blanket

Our daughter came home to us from Ethiopia wearing 12 month sized clothes even though she was 19 months old.  But once she settled in and learned to trust us and try new foods, she quickly filled out.  Many beautiful outfits have only fit her for a one-time-wear because of how fast she’s put on weight!

Upcycle Baby Clothes into a Memory Blanket @4onemore.com

What to do with all these memories — the outfit she came home in, the ruffly top she wore around the house the first week, the “cutest little sister” shirt that she wore in Ethiopia when she left the orphanage.

I am happy to be passing along many things from her stash of clothes, but a few of my favorite pieces will find their way into a Memory Blanket.

Upcycle Baby Clothes into a Memory Blanket @4onemore.com

Memory Blankets combine the best of everything — preserving sentimental pieces in a useful way.  Isn’t upcycling fun?

I made Memory Blankets for my boys.  I made them rather small — only a 3 x 3 blanket, which measure nearly 24 inches square.  But you can make this as big or as small as you’d like.

Upcycle baby clothes into a Memory Blanket @4onemore.com

 

I wrote a note for each boy and set it and the Memory Blanket in their Memory Bin.  Hopefully they will enjoy unpacking it again when they’re parents.

Here’s how do make this blanket.  Adjust the measurements to fit your preference.

Step One:  Figure out how many squares you need for your blanket and what the dimensions will be.  Cut a template out of a cereal box.

Step Two:  With your stack of outgrown baby clothes in front of you, use your template to cut the best parts from each outfit.  Include pockets and buttons for added fun.

Upcycle baby clothes into a memory blanket @4onemore.com

Step Three:  Sew your squares together in rows with a simple straight stitch.  Sew your rows together until your blanket front is complete.

Step Four:  Add a backing to your blanket.  Mine use simple white minky fabric.  Pin right sides together and sew all the way around, leaving a few inches to turn your blanket right side out.  Finish off with a stitch close to the edge of your finished piece.

That’s it!  Will you be making this?  This would make a great gift for a mom-to-be.  Just gift her a certificate for a lovingly handmade Memory Blanket.

DIY Map Art: Upcycle a Puzzle

This project combines a lot of things I love — maps, upcycling, paint, chevron, burlap, and bold color.

I turned a 50 cent yard sale puzzle from this…

map-puzzle-before

…into this!

DIY map art up cycled puzzle @4onemore.com

 

And you can do it too!  Yard sale season is here, and you’re bound to find some sorry little puzzles that just need a good upcycle.

DIY map art @4onemore.com

 

Gather your supplies.  Here’s what you will need:

DIY map art up cycled puzzle @4onemore.com

 

Step 1:  Paint over your entire puzzle with spray paint with primer for excellent coverage.  It took 3-4 thin coats for the black words on my puzzle to get covered completely.  I used a spray paint with built-in primer.

map puzzle step 1

map puzzle 2

map puzzle 3

Step 2:  Prep your backing.  I used a $2 frame from a flea market.  It had backing, but no glass.  You could also use scrap wood, or the hard cardboard insert from a cast-off frame.  Anything will do, as long as it’s large enough for your puzzle.  You can always “pretty it up” a bit.
If your background piece needs some added charm, you can paint a simple design on it with acrylic paint, as I did.  First, I used spray adhesive to attach my burlap to the frame backing.  Once it was dry, I used this free template to make my own chevron stencil.
DIY map puzzle @4onemore.com
DIY map puzzle @4onemore.com
Step 3:  Paint your frame (if you’re using one).  I also used primer & spray paint for this.  It was an easy, quick way to add a great pop of color to the piece.  Consider coordinating or contrasting your frame color & puzzle color.
map puzzle 6
Step 4:  Adhere the puzzle pieces to your backing.
map puzzle 7
Set your puzzle pieces out on the backing to line them up the way you want them.  Start gluing with the center piece to keep your whole map lined up correctly.
map puzzle 8
And you’re done!  This has been a great piece to add some fun color to my house.
DIY map art @4onemore.com
DIY map art @4onemore.com
DIY map art @4onemore.com
My Price Breakdown:
{Total Cost:  less than $10}
Frame $2.00
Wooden puzzle $.50
Spray paint, preferably with primer $3.47
Burlap (optional) $2.98/yard
Acrylic Paint  $.56
And you’ve probably noticed that I still have the empty puzzle board left.
map puzzle 12
You can actually make a second DIY art piece out of that!  What would you do?
DIY map art @4onemore.com

 

Make a Memory Jar for Mom

{This post originally appeared on 4onemore.weebly.com on May 4, 2014}

Mother’s Day is almost here!  If you’re like me, you struggle with what to buy the mom in your life that adequately communicates how special she is to you.  And what do you buy for her without cluttering up her house with more trinkets?

Several years ago, I stumbled on an idea that I found in a magazine.  This was before Pinterest, and before Ann mentioned a similar idea on her blog.  My sister and I got to work.  My husband and his siblings made one for my mother-in-law as well.  
make a memory jar for mom 4onemore.com
It is so easy, but so full of love!  If you don’t have much time, this is still very doable.  Best of all, I can’t tell you how many times my mom has mentioned that this is one of her most favorite gifts.
What could be this great?  A memory jar!
make a memory jar for mom 4onemore.com
The concept is simple.  Write down on slips of paper any wonderful memories from childhood, family traditions, funny stories, things you love about your mom.  One memory per slip.  Have all your siblings do the same.  Then, gather them into a pretty jar and present it to mom on Mother’s Day.  The idea is that every day, mom will pull a slip out of the jar and read a memory.  We tried to put enough in for one year of memories without repeating!

How wonderful it is to honor our Mom in this way.  I hope that when my children are out of the nest they will make a memory jar for me!
make a memory jar for mom 4onemore.com

DIY Spring Floral Pillow

I’m interrupting my recap of our adoption trip to Ethiopia {you can start with Day 1 here} to bring you a fun sewing project to span that confused season called spring.  Today is the first day of spring, but here in the Poconos of PA we have more snow!  Go figure.

DIY Spring Floral Pillow using an up cycled sweater l 4onemore.com

This project is great for up cycling one of those tired sweaters you have in your closet that you’ve worn all season and are planning to put in the “donate” pile anyway.


 

So, here’s your supply list:  {measurements are for a 16″ square pillow}

Cotton fabric 37.5 x 15.75 inches

Upcycled sweater or jersey knit top cut into 3.5 inch strips {roughly 120 inches total length}

16″ pillow form


 

DIY spring floral pillow 4onemore.com

Step 1:  Make your envelope pillow cover

I had a cute cotton quilting fabric in my stash with little grey, yellow, and white geometric designs that I knew would help my grey floral front to pop.  So, I cut that fabric out into a  37.5 x 15.75 inch rectangle, then folded the short edges over and ironed them.  This will make a neat edge at the pillow opening.  You can also straight stitch the folds you make.

DIY spring pillow cover 4onemore.com

I made the mistake of sewing my pillow cover together at this point, which caused more difficulty than necessary when sewing on the big bloom.  I would recommend finding the center of your pillow cover and moving on to Step 2.

Step 2:  Cut your strips

I used an up cycled wool sweater that had been felted.  It was lightweight, which made it easier to manipulate and sew on than a thick chunky sweater.  You could also up cycle an old jersey knit top or skirt.  Check your local thrift store for some fun options.

DIY spring floral pillow l 4onemore.com

I kept cutting strips out of the grey sweater until I had about 120 inches worth of them.  They measured about 3 1/2 inches thick.

Next you will want to run a long stitch to gather the strips.  Make sure you leave several inches of thread at each end, then stitch about 1/8 inch from the edge of the fabric.  Don’t backstitch.  You will use these threads to gather the fabric so it puckers.  Don’t worry if it’s not perfect — this  pillow is great at hiding imperfections!

DIY spring pillow 4onemore.com

Step 3:  Trace a circle

Now on the center of the front of your pillow, with right side facing up, trace a circle onto your fabric.  This will help you line up your fabric strips in the next step.

DIY spring pillow tutorial 4onemore.com

Step 4:  Start sewing the sweater strips

Here’s where things can get a little crazy, but just tackle it little by little.  Starting with the circle you just drew onto your fabric, line up the first sweater strip so the edges cover the markings.

spring pillow DIY @ 4onemore.com

Start sewing the strip on near the top where you did the gathering stitch.  Again, don’t worry if it’s not perfect because your other strips will eventually cover these strips.

spring pillow DIY 4onemore.com

Keep sewing the strips onto the pillow, gradually moving the design in toward the center.  Just make sure each time you add a new layer of strips, they are covering the stitching done on the previous layer.  Overlap the short edges of the strips.  Nothing too perfect here.

DIY floral pillow cover 4onemore.com

Eventually, you will not see your pillow fabric anymore in the center.  That means you’re almost done.  It will look something like this.

floral pillow cover DIY @ 4onemore.com

Step 5:  Finish the bloom 

Did you make it this far?  Seriously, the hardest parts are over.  Cut a circle with a 3 inch diameter out of your sweater or jersey knit fabric.  Spiral cut it like this.

DIY floral pillow @ 4onemore.com

Now, fashion a loosely rolled flower and tack into the center by hand stitching.

Step 6:  Sew your pillow cover together

Yes!  With your beautiful bloom inside, and right sides facing together (and making sure your pillow form will fit inside), sew the top and bottom of your cover together.  This is an envelope style opening in the back, so some of the back fabric will naturally overlap.

pillow cover DIY 4onemore.com

Turn right side out, pop that pillow form in, and admire your bloom!  This is such a fun pillow for spring.

DIY floral spring pillow @ 4onemore.com

DIY spring floral pillow 4onemore.com

Have you ever made a pillow like this?  Will you be trying one this spring?

Oh, and if you’d like this pillow without all the work, it’s for sale in my shop.  All proceeds go to help us finish our Ethiopian adoption!

 

 

 

 

Beginner’s Guide to Felting Wool Sweaters for Crafting

By far, one of my favorite things to up-cycle for crafting purposes are wool sweaters!  It’s nearly addicting.  And you can find them for only a few dollars at your local thrift store.

TIPS FOR FINDING YOUR SWEATER & FELTING THE WOOL

You want 100% wool sweaters.  Unless you have some you can pick from your drawer, you will want to head to your local thrift store.  The thrift store is a treasure trove of cheap crafting goodness!  Check out the men’s section first — and go for the biggest sweaters you can find.  Because when the felting process is complete, your sweater will be a smaller version of your original.  So, start big.

Machine wash your sweater in hot water with detergent on the cycle with the most agitation.  Then, toss it in the dryer on the hottest temperature setting.  When you’re done, you will have some dreamy felted wool to work with.  The beauty of the felting process is that the fibers are now so tight, that you can cut the wool and not worry about any fraying.  This makes it a breeze for crafting, because it requires minimal sewing.

how to felt wool sweaters  l 4onemore.com

4 EASY FELTED WOOL PROJECTS

I want to share 4 easy DIY projects that can be made with only one or two sweaters.  Below is a diagram showing what part of the sweater each project came from.

felted wool sweater projects l 4onemore.com

PILLOWS

felted wool pillow l 4onemore.com

Felted wool pillows are easy to make.  Just cut, sew the whole thing except for a little spot for stuffing.  Stuff the pillow and finish sewing shut.  The side seams on this pillow were already the side seams of the sweater, so I cheated on the sewing!  The ribbing and cables on your sweater add interest and texture.  You can even use some leftover scraps to make coordinating felt flowers.  I glued mine on with E6000 glue.  Or you can tack them on with needle and thread.

argyle felted wool sweater pillow l 4onemore.com sweater pillow l 4onemore.com

COFFEE COZIES

These super easy coffee cozies require no sewing (unless you want to tack on some decorative buttons).  Just cut a section from the sleeve of your sweater.  Remember, the felting process makes your wool free from fraying — yay!  So, just slip on the arm piece to fit your coffee cup however you like, and you’re done!

coffee cozies l 4onemore.com

STARS

These stars are fun to make, and look nice by the half-dozen… nestled together in a wooden bowl, or tucked in a basket.

felted wool star l 4onemore.com

Just cut a star template out of cardboard, cut 2 star pieces from your sweater (you can use the upper arm of the sweater for this… cut the arm open at the seam, and you will be amazed how much wool is available).  No need to sew right sides together on any of these felt projects.  Just sew all the way around your star, leaving a little spot for stuffing.  Stuff, sew shut, then add your raffia and jingle bell.  Sweet!

CANDLE COZIES

These cozies are made like the coffee cozies.  Just use a section of the sweater arm.  No sewing required.  Slip it on a glass votive candle holder, fold up the cuff, and that’s it.

candle cozies l 4onemore.com

So, there you have it… 4 easy DIY crafts from 1 wool sweater.  Get to it!  Which one will you try?  Have any other great felted wool ideas?  I’d love to hear them.  And check out my Pinterest Board for more felted wool DIY’s.

DIY Button Craft Kit for Kids

button craft kit
Do you have some kids on your gift list that just don’t need another toy?  Or maybe there will be some littles at your Thanksgiving get-together that need something to keep them busy while the grown-ups tend to the turkey.  Whatever the case, I have a super simple DIY button craft kit to show you!
It provides hours of creative fun.  How do I know?  It’s been kid-tested at my house four times over.
First, start with this great little board book called Blue’s Buttons.  (affiliate link)I bought this one used since it’s not in print anymore.
Then dump out that button jar, or buy a stash on amazon (affiliate link again!).  Grab some paper and white school glue, and you’re all set!  It really is that simple.
The book is fun to read and provides the inspiration.  But once kids get the hang of it, the sky’s the limit to the creative button masterpieces they will make.
And if you’d rather not hunt down the supplies yourself, check out my etsy shop for this craft kit!
Disclaimer:  Please use care in letting children play or craft with buttons.  

wicker pedestal plate DIY

Check out my summer DIY over at STC.  Cheap supplies, easy steps — anyone can make these!  But if you’d rather not get your hands dirty, pop on over to my etsy shop and buy them.  Every dollar goes to purchase our plane tickets to bring little miss home… hopefully this year!