This is one I’ve wanted to do for a long time! It’s a great way to use earrings that you only have one of. Plus, it’s super quick and they turn out really pretty!
Charms (I used earrings that I only had one of)
Liquid Stitch (optional)
Match a charm to a ribbon. I held my chosen charm up to each ribbon until I found a pair that looked good together.
Measure and cut the ribbon to the desired length. I made mine about an inch longer on either side of a book – I just used whichever book was closest. The great thing about these is that its easy to make many at once – so you can make a bunch in different lengths if you want.
Choose the clamp closure size that best matches your ribbon. My clamp closures came in a pack of three different sizes, which was great. Use the needle-nose pliers to close the clamp closure around one end of the ribbon (preferably whichever end is less neat).
Use a jump ring to attach the charm of your choice to the clasp closure.
If desired, use a fray protector to finish the other end. I left mine as-is.
Ta-da! Now go read a book and use your ribbon bookmark to mark your place!
In honor of children’s book week, I’ve got a craft based on Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick’s I Spy books. The craft itself isn’t unique (I’ve seen in everywhere on Pinterest), but I thought it’d be fun to try making one of my own!
Clear bottle or jar with lid or cap
Assorted miniature items
You will want to clean out your bottle or jar a couple days ahead of time to give it a chance to dry. I recommend plastic since the toy is for children and plastic is more durable. However, glass does look prettier, so it’s really up to you. I used a Pepsi bottle because it was clear and didn’t have extra indentations on it.
There are a lot of great ways to find miniature items. Keep in mind you want them to fit through the neck of the bottle! I found alphabet beads and pony beads at the craft store, which is where I got fun shapes/items like a turtle, dog, cat, fish, etc. I also had pieces from disassembled jewelry I found at a rummage sale (that’s where the peppers came from), as well as some fun shaped buttons. You could also use objects like pencil toppers.
Choose everything you are going to put in the bottle (sans rice) and lay it out nicely. Take a picture. If you are giving this to a child who can’t read, they will want a picture of items they can find in the bottle. If the child can read you can reference the picture to type up a list of what is in the bottle.
Stick a funnel in the top of your bottle. If you don’t have a funnel, you can cut the lid off of a soda bottle and use that. I taped mine on so I didn’t have to hold it.
Pour a little bit of rice (3/4-1 inch) into the bottle.
Add a couple of trinkets/miniatures.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the bottle is filled, doing your best to space the miniatures throughout the bottle.
Place the cap on the bottle and try shaking it to see if you can uncover any items. If this is difficult, pour out a little rice to allow the objects to move more freely. Repeat until the bottle is fun to play with.
I highly suggest gluing the cap on. Because mine was going to a house with toddlers, I wanted to ensure that the cap couldn’t come off and the choking hazards (the miniatures) would not become available.
Print out your picture of the items, or list of the items, and include it with the I Spy bottle.
Older children may want to find specific items in the jar (find all the letters in their name, find the alphabet in order, find the orange dog, etc.), and younger children may just want to shake it to see what they uncover. Either way it should be a good boredom buster. It’s also a fun activity to match with the I Spy books. I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t like reading them! (My favorite was I Spy School Days [affiliate link])
Have you made an I Spy bottle? How did it go? What kind of objects did you use?
In honor of children’s book week, I’ve got a craft based on Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It was one of my favorites growing up and now my nephews love it too.
10 mm ceramic red beads
10 mm green beads
.5 mm elastic thread
Yellow puff paint
Black puff paint
Super glue (optional)
Making the Caterpillar’s Head
(I would suggest making two or three, then choosing the best one for your bracelet. These are hard because they’re so small! It’s also useful to keep tissues or paper towels on hand, so you can wipe the puff paint off if you make a mistake.)
Use yellow puff paint to add two large eyes to a ceramic red bead.
Use black puff paint to add a pupil to each eye. I found this easier when the yellow was still wet.
Use black puff paint to add antennae.
Place bead hole-down so it doesn’t roll. Let dry.
Making the Bracelet
Determine how big you want your bracelet to be. I used the size chart here.
Measure a length of your elastic that is twice as long as the desired bracelet, plus a few inches. So if you want to make a toddler bracelet that’s 5 inches around, measure 13 inches. ((5*2)+3=13) Cut the elastic at this length.
String one green bead on to the elastic and slide it so it is exactly in the middle. You can do this by holding both ends of the elastic together.
Now, string the next green bead through both ends of the elastic. Repeat for all green beads, until you reach the desired length. Don’t forget to save a spot for the red bead!
When the head bead is dry, string it on both strings of the elastic as well.
String one end of the elastic back through the original bead.
Tie both ends of the elastic together, two or three times.
I don’t trust elastic to hold, so I always add a dab of super glue to the knot.
Trim the ends of the elastic.
Voila! Now you have an adorable Hungry Caterpillar bracelet!
I do want to note that the beads can be a choking hazard, so be careful who you give these to.
This bracelet is inspired by the one mentioned in Tin Star and The Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castelluci. It is present in both books and somewhat plays a part, but I don’t want to give away much more than that. 🙂
Cut a length of chain using your wire cutters. You can either measure by wrapping around your wrist (if it’s for you), or use a ruler to measure a standard size. (I used this pin as reference.)
2. If your charm is set up with a hole perpendicular to the charm, you can just slide it on the chain. If the hole is flat with the charm, you will want to use a jump ring to attach it. (Jump ring directions are in the next step.)
3. If your lobster clasp comes with an eyelet, open a jump ring with the needlenose pliers, slide the eyelet on, and then attach the jump ring (with eyelet) to the last link of your chain. Close with the needlenose pliers. If your lobster clasp does not have an eyelet, just attach the jump ring.
4. Use the same method to attach a jump ring and lobster clasp to the other end of the chain.
5. That’s it! Now you have your very own gold Earth bracelet.
I hope you enjoy! I love jewelry making, especially since it’s often so simple!
I haven’t been doing very much of it lately (no need for scarves in Phoenix), but I enjoy crocheting. Here are five great crochet books. If you’re an expert or have never crocheted before, you’ll like at least one of these.
(Pictures are affiliate links to Amazon)
Awesome Crochet Books
The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Crochet by Nancy Queen and Mary Ellen O’Connell
While my grandmother originally taught me to crochet, I forgot much of what she taught me, so this book is really what got me into the craft. They have great directions and projects for learning almost every stitch. I still keep it as a reference, and I’ve loved everything I’ve made from the book so far.
Crochet by DK
This is a beautiful book. Even non-crocheters have enjoyed browsing through it (I keep it as a coffee table book). There are so many projects in here that I’m looking forward to completing. It is also more or less an encyclopedia for everything crochet, so that’s awesome. Tasty Crochet by Rose Langlitz
This book has a ton of really cute foods you can make, from pop-tarts to ice cream cones to bacon. I made a bunch of them for my nephews’ kitchen set. The instructions are easy to follow. And did mention the food turns out really cute?
A couple of things I’ve made from this book!
A couple of foods I’ve made from this book. 🙂
100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Leslie Stanfield
It’s fun to make these flowers because they’re pretty quick and turn out quite beautiful. You can use these as appliques or in other applications. (There are 60 crochet patterns and 40 knit.)
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi by June Gilbank
This is also a great crochet reference book. It goes through how to make many different 3-D shapes, and how to use that to create any amigurumi of your choice. It also goes through many different options like how to do fur/hair, how to do eyes, etc.
Crochet Books I Want to Read
Super-Super Cute Crochet by Brigitte Read
I own this book but haven’t made anything from it yet. Every thing in this book is as described – super, super cute. Crobots by Nelly Pailloux
These crochet robots also look super cute and super creative. Supersize Crochet by Sarah Shrimpton
I haven’t yet ventured into the chunky crochet realm, but book looks like it would be a great way to get into it. Yummi ‘Gurumi by Christen Haden and Mariarosa Sala
Crocheting treats? Count me in! This book sounds like Tasty Crochet, but perhaps with slightly yummier options? Twinkie Chan’s Crocheted Abode A La Mode by Twinkie Chan
While not always practical, everything Twinkie Chan makes is adorable. This book focuses on crocheted foods to use around your house!
I’m currently in the process of moving, so creating bookmarks for myself is only a dream at this point. So I thought I’d share bookmarks from throughout the web that you can just print! I discovered all of these via Pinterest, so I’m sharing the pins below. Please do not pin them from my page – click on the link and pin them from Pinterest or the original site!
Which one is your favorite? Hopefully I’ll be able to feature some DIY bookmarks once I get settled into my new place. 🙂
As I mentioned in last week’s post, for Christmas one year I crocheted a stuffed animal for each of my nephews. With each stuffed animal I also included the associated book. For my two-year-old nephew, I crocheted Lowly Worm! He was one of my favorite character’s from Richard Scarry’s books. (Fun fact: Patrick Pig is the first book I remember reading by myself.)
I used the pattern found here. It takes a G crochet hook and worsted weight yarn in black, white, red, green, blue, and brown. I didn’t make the hat for him, but the pattern does include instructions for one. This project is crocheted in the round and I think he turned out super cute!
Do you have a favorite crocheted book character? I’d love to learn about them!
Last year for Christmas I crocheted a book character for each of my nephews. I then gave them the character and the corresponding book. Below are pictures of the Very Hungry Caterpillar I crocheted, based on the one from Eric Carle’s book of the same name. I got the pattern for free on Ravely here.
To make this caterpillar you will need worsted wight yarn in green, yellow, red, and brown. I think all of my colors are Red Heart, but the green has lost its wrapper, so I’m not quite sure. 🙂 You’ll also need stuffing and a size F crochet needle. As well as scissors and a tapestry needle, of course.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments! I hope you enjoy seeing bookish crafts. 🙂