Felt flowers and free patterns

Two weeks ago, I was asked to lead a middle school girls craft event. 

We needed something we could complete rather quickly and with various skill levels, so I settled on making felt flowers.  Felt is one of my favorite fabrics because it is so easy to work with so it was perfect for our event.  

Here are a few of the mock up flowers I made to demonstrate for the event

First up the pom pom flower

This flower is so easy to make!
You just take a long strip of felt and cut it (mine is 2" wide)

Next, pretend you are in Kindergarten and you are cutting grass out of construction paper.

Start at one end and glue on the uncut grass end and start rolling

That's it
pom pom flower


Yesterday I shared with you how to make your own adjustable ring base.
I made those with this project in mind.

There are tons of tutorials out there
including this one from when I made my awesome bloom belttm

you pretty much just cut circles and glue them.

Cute right?!

Next up, the felt peony flower

I use this template found here 

The hardest part is cutting out the pattern

Once you have that, you just have to decide what color felt you want to use and cut the flower out

Didn't this middle schooler pick out super cute colors?

Best part about this project is that I also got to teach life lesson 1054, which is,
 how to sew on a button

Our final flower was this spiral rose from will you? to I do!

Isn't it lovely?  And so easy!
Click the link above for the printable pattern
This one we made into a pony tail holder

The possibilities are endless with these flowers.  
What would you make them into?


making your own adjustable ring base tutorial

 Two weeks ago, Snowmaggedon hit.  It looked like this at my house.

Thousands of people were without power, thankfully we had power, but we were without internet/cable/phone for several days.

Once the snow/ice started to melt, we finally braved the nearest town center and looked like this.

What can I say, we were totally feeling cabin fever.

I had been asked to lead a middle school girls youth group event that Sunday and while I thought I had a week to prepare and get supplies, it ended up snowing and leaving me housebound for the whole week.

Part of our event was going to include making felt flowers to put on rings like this one.

However, I ended up not being able to make it to the store to pick up ring bases, so I made (*) some of my own.

When we finally did make it out to the store, we didn't make it far and ended up at our local Ace Hardware.
Did you know they carried wire you can use to make jewelry with?

I settled on this 20 gauge steel wire that was $5.99 for 175 feet.

Before our internet went out, I stumbled upon this tutorial.  However, by the time I needed the tutorial I couldn't access it so I was left trying to remember the steps.  You can refer to this great tutorial here or follow along with me right here.

1. cut your wire about 8 inches long and start bending one end
2. continue to bend your wire making a tight spiral
3. once your spiral is finished, crimp the end
4. hold the spiral in place while you bend the wire around the back side of something round (I used a lipstick tube)
5. once your wire is all the way around, bend the wire back 
6. wrap the wire back around your round something
7. pull your wire around and make the ring round shaping before you cut
8. cut the wire just slightly over where it meets the spiral
9. bend the end over your spiral and crimp into place making sure you don't have any sharp ends
10. enjoy!

*Guess who was better at making rings than I was?
Yep, my handy husband.

So he made a bunch for me

You could wear the ring the way that it is, or you can glue something on to the spiral like this felt rose.

Remember how my handy husband isn't just handy, he's also freakishly good at math?
Well, I had him do the math and find out how much each ring costs to make.
You need 8" of wire for each ring, and there is 175 feet of wire, so each ring ends up costing you about
(wait for it)
2 cents

Not too shabby!


Sometimes...random thoughts with Rachel

Sometimes we pull kids teeth out with floss and the quick slam of a door

Sometimes I make a list and add items after I've done them just to cross them off
Sometimes I leave the list out so my husband can find it

Sometimes I sing the wrong words to songs

Sometimes I wish I had pre-schoolers again
For 10 years I had toddlers/pre-schoolers.  I miss play dates, and zoo trips and bounce houses.

Sometimes I quote movie lines
Talladega Nights

Sometimes its nice that my kids don't start school until 9:30
We get to read and play games in the mornings together

Sometimes I get more zits now than I did when I was a teenager

Sometimes I get a craving for chocolate and chips while I watch The Biggest Loser
sometimes I eat  them while I watch too

Sometimes I sing songs out loud to my kids then realize the words are really inappropriate

Sometimes I dig box tops and soup labels out of the garbage can

Sometimes I take the coupon inserts out of the newspaper at the library

Sometimes I dig through the trash to get those store coupons that people throw away

Sometimes I run out of things to blog about.


more FREE projects! Hand dyed coffee filter wreath tutorial

In keeping with the word of the week (FREE!)
 I wanted to show you how to make your own coffee filter wreath
Mine was free but you might have to pay minimally for the supplies if you don't have them on hand

Don't forget to check out my other free projects that I posted about this week
awesome bloom belt (still have to trademark that!)
and now 
Hand Dyed Coffee Filter Wreath

O.k. moving on

My super awesome (not really my cousin) cousin Erica (who is friends in real life with Emily...(you know, THE Emily) at Jones Design Company) picked up these grapevine wreaths for free and passed them on to me.  
I have like 8 more, so stay tuned!
also, please disregard the straw wreath on the right, that one was a quarter at a garage sale but was used for a different top secret (not really) project that you will see another time.

Now that we have the introductions down, lets move on.

While we are talking about Emily (oh, we stopped talking about her?  hmmm...guess I was still thinking about how I want to be best friends with her and possibly stalk her at Target), she posted a beautiful wreath project way back in September that has had me drooling since.

autumn flower wreath
see totally drool worthy?

I had some coffee filters that I got for (you guessed it) FREE from Grandma and dyed them.
You can read about how to do that here.

I used a stapler and piled 5 coffee filters together and stapled them twice in the center.

Take the first layer and pull it up twisting it in the center.

Keep pulling up layer after layer and twisting them until you have this beautiful flower

Glue your flowers around your wreath and it looks like this.

I hung mine in my den bringing my wreath total to four in a 9x10 room.  
I think I might have a problem.  Is there such a thing as wreath intervention?

Free, my favorite word.

What's your's?


Another FREE project! Flower belt tutorial and the difference between an estate sale and a garage sale

Yesterday I showed you my boot socks that I made for free, 
today, I am keeping with the theme (FREE-my favorite word!) 
and I am going to show you a belt that I made.

Even though garage sale season is over 
(you didn't know there was a season?  It's like hunting season, or crabbing season, you know, garage sale season.  Usually from May-September, no license needed!)
my heart started racing when I saw an estate sale sign a few weeks ago.

What's the difference between an estate sale and a garage sale you ask?

An estate sale is usually being held after a person dies.  
Not always but usually. 
 If it's run by a company (and there are several companies out there)I don't typically enjoy them because the prices are set so high so the company can receive their commission. 
It's so much more fun when it's run by the family because the grieving family is usually on site to answer any and all questions and you find out about the history of the items you are interested in.  
Also (the best part), they want to get rid of the stuff so it's super cheap.
An estate sale is usually a whole house full of items for sale, and it isn't just limited to a garage.  

A garage sale is just that, a sale in the garage (or front yard/driveway) and is mostly held so the family can purge off their belongings and not end up on an episode of hoarders.

O.k., back to my story.  So my hearts racing as I saw the signs directing me to the estate sale.  I was even more excited when I saw that it was an old house (you know, those houses that are completely built around by new cookie cutter houses but where the owner won't sell their property).
Old house=cool old stuff

After perusing through the garage I headed inside and found out that this lady had some cool old clothes.  The family told me to fill a bag for $2 so I stuffed that bad boy full!  One of the items I picked up was this belt.

My husband thinks it's a garter belt for a fat person, but I'm pretty sure it's not. 
 And while the bag of clothing was $2, I consider this belt free because you should see how much stuff I stuffed in the bag, so to make me feel good about myself, we are calling this belt free.

When I saw it I immediately thought of those belts that the Pleated Poppy makes,

Image of bloom belt - 88
 or that I am Momma-Hear Me Roar put a tutorial out there for.

autumn bloom belt

the awesome free bloom belt 
(pretty sure I should trademark this one!)

So with that inspiration, I got started.

I cut out lots of circles (freehand) out of fabric that I got in a free box last summer at a garage sale.
See how much fun free is?!

then I folded the circle in half and put hot glue in the middle (by the fold)

Then I folded it in half again and added another drop of glue

I used one of my circles as a base and started gluing the folded circles around the base

I filled in the center with more folded circles

I made three flowers.  Two larger ones, and a smaller flower.

I took some felt scraps that I had in my stash and cut it into a crazy rectangelish shape.

Then I glued the flowers on and cut around the felt so you just saw flower, not felt.

I added a pin

And covered the pin with another piece of scrap felt...you know, to make it pretty and hold it in place

Then I pinned the flowers into place on the belt

Now stand awkwardly in front of your fireplace modeling your awesome free bloom flower belt

That's it!  

Don't you just love FREE!

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