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?

Jesus Tree for Advent

What a wonderful time of the year to focus our hearts on God’s story — more specifically the upper story.  We live in the lower story and easily get distracted by the tinsel and bright lights.

Jesus Tree advent @4onemore.com 

But since Christ came that first Christmas, we know God will keep His promises and Christ will come again.  And during this season of Advent, of celebrating His birth, we look with anticipation to Christmas Future.

jesus tree for advent @4onemore.com

A helpful practice for the whole family during this special season is to focus on the significance of the names of Jesus.

Did you know that in the Old and New Testaments, it is possible to find over 100 names and titles for Christ?

jesus tree for advent @4onemore.com

Using a Jesus Tree can be a helpful visual for everyone in the family.

This is an easy DIY project that can be started at any time leading up to Christmas day.  No need to run to the store, just use what you have on hand.  Let the kids help.

jesus tree for advent @4onemore.com

First, gather branches from the yard and put them in a recycled jar.

Find some extra Christmas ornaments or make your own from paper.

Jesus Tree advent @4onemore.com 

Add one name and the Scripture reference to each ornament.  If you learn about one each day until Christmas, you will need 24.  You could do more or less, and don’t worry about starting too late!  Just do something.

I used this Names of Jesus unit study to create my ornaments.

Jesus Tree advent @4onemore.com 

Each day we hang one new ornament on the tree.

We keep it simple by reading the Scripture and discussing one new name each day.

Jesus Tree advent @4onemore.com 

The Jesus Tree has been a useful tool to help our family to focus on Christ during the Advent season.

What do you do in your house during Advent?

 

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

 

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.

thrifted frame LEGO storage solution

{This post originally appeared on 4onemore.weebly.com and continues to be very popular on Pinterest!}

If you have boys, you probably have Lego.  And Lego comes into the house by the hundreds, it seems, so good storage is a must.  We have 4 boys under 10, so you can imagine the amount of Lego we have accumulated through the years.

minifigs

I spent some time looking for great storage solutions, and came across this idea quite a bit:  Framed Minifigure Storage & Display.  Here’s a Pinterest experiment that was a success, not a fail!

 thrifted frame LEGO storage l 4onemore.com

Honestly, the mini figures are so fun to look at, why not display them prominently in your boys’ room, instead of hiding them away?  I’m still looking for great ideas for the thousand other bricks we own, but the mini figure problem is solved for now.

I found the best source for this idea here.  I modified it a bit by using thrifted frames and keeping the glass in them.  Ours aren’t perfect, but my boys think they are!

Check your local thrift store for some great frame options in large sizes!  It will only set you back a few dollars.  We bought the bricks (2 x 2) at a Lego store.  For 100 bricks in the 2×2 size (that gave each boy 25 bricks for his display), we spent about $10.  So, project total cost with thrifted frames was no more than $20 for all 4 displays.

thrifted frame LEGO storage l 4onemore.com

Each boy picked the paint color for his frame.  We just inserted scrapbook paper, card stock, or nothing (!) into the frame for the background.  Then, I spaced out the 2 x 2 blocks and glued them on the glass with E6000 glue, (affiliate link) which is pretty much amazing stuff.

thrifted frame LEGO storage l 4onemore.com

thrifted frame LEGO storage l 4onemore.com

 

thrifted frame LEGO storage l 4onemore.com

Where previously we had some vintage world maps framed on the wall (because I LOVE that kind of stuff!), my boys were ready for something that looked like their tastes.  And now it’s fun to put the minifigs away at night 🙂

thrifted frame LEGO storage l 4onemore.com

thrifted frame LEGO storage l 4onemore.com

thrifted frame LEGO storage l 4onemore.com

Have you found any great ideas for Lego storage?

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!

DIY Yo Yo Wreath

Several months ago I was thrilled to find a big bag of vintage yo-yo’s at a thrift store!  I didn’t really know what I would do with them, but I scooped them up anyway.  
Their vintage character can never be fully reproduced.  Lovely.
I could have made a pillow top or small blanket.  Maybe that will come, but it sounded like too much work at the moment.   For easy vintage charm that just required a few simple steps, I made Yo-Yo Wreaths!  And you can too!  Even if you don’t find vintage yo-yo’s at your thrift store, they’re easy to make.  Keep reading…
But before I show you how I made these simple wreaths, take a look at the finished product to get your inspiration flowing.
Super simple steps:Make your yo-yo’s
Prepare your wreath base
Glue yo-yo’s to wreath base
Add buttons (optional)
Hang & enjoy!
No vintage yo-yo’s?  No problem.  Follow this great tutorial to make your own.  Best of all, you can up cycle fabric and clothing just like our great-grandma’s would have to make these original yo-yo’s.  No sense in spending money on this project if you don’t have to!  No sewing machine required, either.  Yo-yo’s are hand-stitched, and easy enough for your kids to try this summer while fighting boredom 🙂  I also like to take projects like this to work on during long car trips.
Wreath bases can be whatever you want.  For one, I used a regular grapevine wreath.  For another, I used a cheap frame from the thrift store that I painted first.  This gray wreath was simply spray painted.  Then, I wrapped some fabric and lace scraps on one section to add interest and to give the yo-yo’s a flatter base to be glued onto.
Finally, I raided my button stash and added some right in the center of the yo-yo.  They look a little more like flowers now.
Will you be trying your hand at making some yo-yo’s?
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