Jul 29, 2011

The Five Strand Braided Bracelet

Here's something you might not know about me:

I love the look of a big chunky bracelet.
I know, wild, right?  The only thing is, I don't wear them very often because I find most uncomfortable.  Either they're too tight and clingy, or heavy and distracting, or I feel like they make my hand look...weird.  

While chatting with a friend the other evening, I noticed she was wearing a large yet stunning bracelet.  Throughout the evening my eyes kept wandering back to her beautifully adorned wrist and it hit me - what if I made a big chunky bracelet that was comfortable?  It would have to be light weight, noise free, soft, and not too constricting to my apparently claustrophobic wrists.  And so, with a plan in my head and an old thrift store t-shirt, I came up with the Five Strand Braided Bracelet.
Gracious, I am SO not a hand model!

So, I know the whole, five strand braid sounds a little intimidating, but it's really not too scary.  With a quick little lesson and a moment or two of practice, you'll have it down, no reason to worry!

For my bracelet I cut 15 strips from a thrift store t-shirt.  Each strip measured about 10 inches long, and approximately 1/2 inch wide.

Break the 15 strips into 5 groups of 3.  These groups create the five strands for your braid.

As a variation, you could just cut 5 strips, about an inch wide.  I did the groups of three to give my bracelet more texture and a little variation.

Layer your five groups of braid strands together.  Don't stack them directly on top of each other, but kind of fan them out.  To hold the strands in place I used a small chip clip, but pins would work too.

With a straight seam, sew your strands together making sure that you catch each strand so they're all secure.

So, here's the five strand braiding lesson, ready?  There is one main thing you need to know about five strand braiding, the position numbers always stay the same.  So, when strand number 5 goes over strand number 4, strand number 4 is now in position 5, so it has become strand 5.  The pattern is simple once you get the hang of it, it just takes a round or two of practice.  

Here's the pattern:

Step 1: Strand 5 goes over strand 4 and under strand 3.  

Step 2: Strand 1 goes under strand 2 and over strand three.

Remember that each of your newly placed strands are numbered by their new position, not by their old number.

Continue by repeating steps 1 and 2 until your braid is complete.

Once you reach the end of your braid, either pin it or clip it and sew the strands in place again.

Once all your strands are nice and secure, bring each end of the braid together to form a circle and sew it in place.  Trim the loose ends.

Turn the bracelet so the seam is on the inside and slip it on.  Because of the soft stretchy t-shirt fabric this bracelet is incredibly comfortable, easy to put on or take off, and it looks great too! 

 I'm so excited about my newest accessory!  I plan on making a rainbow of colors to mix and match.  These would make fantastic gifts for friends, and are just the right size to slip into a stocking come Christmas time. 

Thanks for stopping by today, have a great weekend!

Be blessed,

I'm Linking Up!

Jul 26, 2011

Buttons & Lace Hair Barrette

Hello again!  Welcome to I Can't Stop Crafting!  
The other day, while perusing Pinterest I came across this surprisingly sophisticated hair accessory.

Who knew buttons could look so chic?  

It looked so simple, I figured I'd try making my own.

Here's what you'll need:

A scrap of felt, preferrably close in color to the buttons you'll be using
A handful of buttons
A hair barrette
A hot glue gun
And, optional, some scraps of lace

Start by cutting two small ovals of felt.  The first oval needs to be big enough to cover the top of your barrette, the second oval will be trimmed to fit later.

Take one of the felt ovals and cut lace to fit over top, letting the lace hang over the edge of the felt.  Hot glue the lace in place.

Don't mind my sloppy gluing, it'll all get covered with buttons yet!

Lay the buttons you've chosen out on the felt and lace, playing around with your arrangement until you're please with the look.  Glue each button in place.

Now, grab that second oval of felt and the barrette.  Cut your oval down so that it fits under the top bar of the barrette, and glue it in place.

Squeeze a strip of glue along the top of the barrette and around the surface of the circle of felt already attached to the barrette.  Press your button-covered felt onto the barrette.

The two layers of felt sandwich the barrette in place for added stability.

Let the glue dry completely, then try on your new hair accessory!

It turns out that the hardest part of this project was taking pictures of my own head.
Taking pictures of your head is optional.

See you again soon!

Be blessed,

I'm Linking Up!

Tutorials & Tips Tuesdays
Your Whims Wednesday

Jul 24, 2011

Simple Girl's Summer Top

I'm baaack!  Phew!  After a much needed break I am back and ready to get down to business!

I had this breezy summer top in my closet that just wasn't getting worn.  I liked it, I really did, but as soon as I moved it started riding up, and I was constantly tugging at it.  So not cool.  
Can you guess what I was thinking?  Refashion!

Goodbye unworn blouse, hello cute summery top for Addie!

I started by turning my shirt upside down and cutting the length I'd need to fit Addie.  

I then turned it inside out, used one of her tank tops as a guide line to show me about how wide it needed to be, and pinned where the seam would be.  

I sewed the seam and cut the excess.  

I sewed first then cut to keep the smocking from letting go.  I wasn't sure if it would start to unravel, so I played it safe and stitched first.

To make the straps I cut two long pieces of fabric left over from the blouse, about 3 inches wide.  I folded each piece in half, right sides together, and sewed along the long edge, creating a fabric tube.

 Using a craft dowel I turned each of the fabric tubes right side out and ironed them flat.

  Then I folded and ironed them again, and stitched along the open edge.  I did this to give the straps a little extra structure, and because I thought they were looking a little too thick for what I had in mind.

By now Miss Addie was up from her nap and playing in the sandbox, so I called her in to try it on and see where the straps needed to be placed. 

 I trimmed them to the correct length and sewed them in place.

Hem it up and you're done like dinner!

And, I had enough of the fabric with smocking left over to make a little matching dress for Addie's baby doll.  She loved it!

Thanks for coming by, I'm sure glad you did!

Be blessed,

Jul 17, 2011


Hello, I Can't Stop Crafting readers!

What. A. Week.  We are in full blown recovery mode here after a busy week of swimming lessons and a lot of out and about.  I hardly had time to sit!

With all the coming and going and running around, I have not had one moment to get a project done, so I've got absolutely nothing to share with you all today.  Sorry :(

I think I'm going to extend my little blog vacation an extra week to help my poor, poor house recover and to get a few projects done to share with you.  

Thanks for your patience and understanding,

Be blessed,

Jul 11, 2011

I Have A Problem

As the title of this post states, I have a problem.

Boden and Addie never did this, and now Judson's got me stumped.

Can anyone tell me, what is the attraction here?

Does anyone have a great trick to curb his appetite?

It seems every time I turn around he's found something new to try and I've gotta say, it grosses me out!

Hopefully it's just a phase.

Oh, by the way, I won't be around here too much this week.  Bo and Addie are starting swimming lessons and I'm anticipating a mighty busy stretch of days!  I'll hopefully get to pop in, but we'll see how much crafty time I can squeeze in!  Have a wonderful week!

Be blessed,

Jul 8, 2011

Cheap Bookshelf Re-Do

Looking for a quick makeover for an ugly bookshelf?  Read on!

I bought this bookshelf when I first moved out of my parents house and into my very first tiny apartment about 8 years ago.  It was cheap, so it fit my budget perfectly.  Made of a whole bunch of particle board and veneer, I'm surprised this little shelf is still standing.  I've been eyeing it for awhile now, knowing I could make it a little less ugly, and a little more me.  So, with a sander, a paintbrush and some leftover paint in hand, I tackled this refinishing project in just a couple of hours.

I started by removing the oh-so-sturdy cardboard backing and the two inner shelves, then I got to sanding.  I didn't have to sand much at all, since the finish on my bookshelf was so thin.

Next I thoroughly wiped my shelf down and applied a coat of primer.  Since I was working outside and there was a gentle breeze blowing, there was hardly any drying time, score!

With a fine grit sand paper, I gently sanded my shelf, dusted it off and applied two coats of Beauti-Tone's Verone, a light taupe-y grey color I had leftover from a previous painting project.

While the shelf was drying I spray painted the cardboard backing with Pistachio from Krylon, left over from my Beer Bucket project a couple of weeks ago.

 Once the cardboard backing was dried I used a sponge brush to paint little pink and white butterfly-ish and flower-ish details.  You know, very abstract.  Basically, I wanted it to be girly, but I didn't want to spend a ton of time stenciling or detail painting or anything that involved major effort on my part.

Once everything was nice and dry I did a quick once-over with a spray on clear coat.

I reassembled and that was that!