Category Archives: Crafting Adventures

Making and Remaking

Tiny Stuffies | Red Circle Crafts

I’ve got tiny things on the brain lately. These tiny stuffies came out of some strange need to miniaturize everything. Usually I only show here what I consider the final version of something. But I thought it might be interesting to see what it looks like when I’m making and remaking things trying to get it just right.

Tiny Stuffies | Red Circle CraftsTiny Stuffies | Red Circle Crafts

The sharks are actually a mini version of a larger plush toy I make for Karen’s Monsters. But I wanted to see what it would look like tiny. Despite the fact that I’ve made hundreds (or thousands) of these, the blue one didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but he has his own appeal. There’s something about the wabisabi that makes him loveable.

Shark1Tiny Stuffies | Red Circle Crafts

In this case, while I used the exact same pattern to make these, I think they look remarkably different. Just a few tweaks makes something that meets my weird standards of what it’s supposed to look like. My own vision of what it should look like sometimes gets in the way of what’s best though.

Tiny Stuffies | Red Circle Crafts

The blue-tailed mermaid was my first try. And while I think the green-tailed lady is better constructed, the first is actually the running favorite around here. I think I have a lesson to learn somewhere about not needing to be perfect and letting good enough be good enough.

Tiny Stuffies | Red Circle Crafts

Also how much fun are these wave props I made for the mermaids? And I definitely missed an opportunity to pose the shark monsters among them, with just the back fin showing.

My only requirement to make the ladies was that they had to be under 2-inches in any direction. I don’t know that I’ve ever made a plush toy this small before. It meant editing out a lot of details and trying to get just the pieces that would make it obvious what it was. Felt typically doesn’t show tiny details well (see almost invisible scales on the tails), so I didn’t want to depend on lots of subtly. Bright lips, shell bra, cascading hair, and tail. Boom. Mermaid.

Tiny Stuffies | Red Circle Crafts

Tiny Weaving Ornaments

Tiny Weaving Ornament | Red Circle Crafts

Every year I make a series of ornaments that I mostly give away to friends and family. This year I made many more than I needed (weaving is a little addicting) and I’ve put some of them up in my etsy shop for sale. I would order soon to be sure they arrive before Christmas.

Tiny Weaving Ornament | Red Circle Crafts

One of the things that I really enjoyed about making these weavings is how deceptively simple and rustic they are. They hang from twigs collected from my walks and include a piece of string to hang from a tree or the wall.

Tiny Weaving Ornament | Red Circle Crafts

Felt Advent Calendar

Felt Advent Calendar | Red Circle Crafts

I’ve finally finished an advent calendar and just in time, too. I was sewing the hangers onto these ornaments last night. And finished photographing this today!

Felt Advent Calendar | Red Circle Crafts

I love advent calendars and have since I was little. But I wanted one that I could use year after year without needing to purchase or make anything every year.  I was inspired by this advent calendar from The Sugar House Shop (pattern available for purchase).

Felt Advent Calendar | Red Circle Crafts

The reindeer head is a silhouette I liked the look of, found through a google search and modified slightly to fit. After sewing the whole head and antlers on by hand, I sewed in small brown seed beads to use as hangers for the ornaments.

Felt Advent Calendar | Red Circle CraftsFelt Advent Calendar | Red Circle Crafts

The pockets are made from the same white felt as the background with numbers embroidered on to each pocket. I just took a water-dissolving pen and wrote numbers on each pocket space (before sewing it in place) and then embroidered (using a back stitch) the numbers.

Felt Advent Calendar | Red Circle Crafts

The tiny felt ornaments are entirely hand-drawn patterns made to fit in the tiny pockets.

Here’s a list of plushies and felt ornaments that inspired these:

Bear & Owl
Vintage Glass Ornaments
Dala Horse
Rudolph & Santa
Yeti
Tree

I’m looking forward to putting up one ornament every day until Christmas, seeing the reindeer fill up with bright baubles.

Felt Advent Calendar | Red Circle Crafts

Cloth Napkins Embroidery

Embroidered Napkins - Free Pattern | Red Circle Crafts

‘Tis the season for making presents. I tried to get started early this year, because I always feel rushed the last few weeks before Christmas trying to get everything done. I’m not sure that I’ll be successful at keeping myself from getting stressed out or just put more expectations on myself. Time will tell. If there’s a secret to not getting stressed out at this time of year, I’m sure I haven’t discovered it. Luckily I get to spend a lot of time with people I care about and eat lots of delicious food, so it totally balances out.

Embroidered Napkins - Free Pattern | Red Circle Crafts

I’ve been slowly working on these napkins for a few weeks now. I wanted the embroidery to be almost as pretty from the back as that front. You can’t hide the back on napkins the way you can on some other things. Plus I was worried about them going through the wash with all my stitches in tact, but joy of joys, these napkins survived a trip through my washing machine without issue. So slow careful stitching was the name of the game with these. I think the extra care really paid off though.

Embroidered Napkins - Free Pattern | Red Circle Crafts

This is the basis for the pattern I used*. (Click on image to open and save.) I drew in crazy curved lines to fill in the heart instead of a more traditional satin stitch and I added initials to each of the hearts. I wish I’d made the letters slightly larger. I’m afraid there isn’t enough negative space in the letters to really understand what you’re looking at. But live and learn.

Embroidered Napkins - Free Pattern | Red Circle CraftsEmbroidered Napkins - Free Pattern | Red Circle CraftsEmbroidered Napkins - Free Pattern | Red Circle Crafts

I’m hoping the recipient of these enjoys them. I know she uses cloth napkins every day, and I love having monogrammed napkins so that they don’t get mixed up between meals.

*I modified a free pattern from Flamingo Toes to make these.

 

Smashing the Patriarchy Screen Printing

Smashing the Patriarchy Screen Printed Tees | Red Circle Crafts

I spent some time this weekend at the coast with some dear friends. Who are all more dear for jumping at the chance to model some t-shirts for me. Apparently they would all like t-shirts of their own now. I may have created a monster.

I fell in love with this t-shirt on The Homesteady. The catch phrase “Smashing the patriarchy is my cardio” might be my new favorite thing.

The Homesteady has a lovely printable that I used to cut a stencil and then screen print with. I remembered half way through drawing the stencil that screen printing requires the image to be mirrored and then had to start over. At least I realized it before I started printing, right?

Smashing the Patriarchy Screen Printed Tees | Red Circle Crafts Smashing the Patriarchy Screen Printed Tees | Red Circle Crafts

I love how these turned out!

I may be recreating the stencil and printing another round soon if the comments over the weekend are to be trusted.

Smashing the Patriarchy Screen Printed Tees | Red Circle Crafts Smashing the Patriarchy Screen Printed Tees | Red Circle Crafts

Adventurer’s Banner

Felt Banner | Red Circle Crafts

I love this felt banner tutorial from Davina Drummond on Breathe Happiness. Her banner with the same phrase: “Make More Adventures” made me really happy. So I’ve recreated it. Since I have so many felt sheets already cut down to 8.5″ x 11″, I fit mine to this.

Download a PDF of the phrase here.

The font is free font Sketchy.

Felt Banner | Red Circle Crafts

I did a few things differently than she did because I’d rather sew everything together than not. Follow her tutorial for a no sew version of this one.

Print out the letters on card stock and cut them out. I chose to leave the inside of letters like O and D, because I like that look.

Felt Banner | Red Circle Crafts

Trace them onto a piece of felt. You can see that it doesn’t actually take up that much room if you draw them close together. Then cut them out carefully. If you’re going to use bondaweb or wonder under, iron it onto the felt before drawing the letters. Trace the letters directly onto it and then cut out.

Cut down the sheet of felt that will be the background. Make sure that there will be enough room at the top to fold over and slide a dowel through and that your triangle isn’t too steep of a point to fit all the letters.

Felt Banner | Red Circle Crafts

I knew I wanted to hand sew all of the my felt letters on, but I was worried about them moving around as I sewed. So I took a glue stick and carefully glued everything in place. Then I took a warm iron (not too hot if you’re using polyester felt like I am) and pressed all of the letters in place. It’s not a long term solution, but it worked.

I sewed down all of the letters with a small whip stitch in a thread that matches my letters.

Felt Banner | Red Circle Crafts

Then using the dowel, I measured how far I needed to fold over the top to hang it and took it for a quick pass on the sewing machine.

Slide the dowel back in, add a string to hang it and it’s all set!

Felt Banner | Red Circle Crafts

Block Printed Minimalist Backpack

Minimalist Backpack | Red Circle Crafts

I love cute little backpacks. I’ve got the start of a complicated one sketched out. But the adjustable straps, big zippers, many pockets, and all that goes into an adorable backpack has kept me from making myself one. So, when I saw this adorable back to school tutorial, designed for an adult too, on Design*Sponge, I knew I needed to make it.

Minimalist Backpack | Red Circle Crafts

It’s really just the kick I need to start block printing too. I finally found a brayer* at my local SCRAP and have read a bunch about technique, tips, and spent hours looking at other people’s beautiful prints.

This is my first attempt at block printing. I LOVED it. I think I love it as much as if it had turned out perfect. I’m a big perfectionist, but this looks so wonderful with all of it’s imperfections (including dropping an inked stamp onto the fabric).

Minimalist Backpack | Red Circle Crafts

Some of the ways I didn’t follow the tutorial (because I can never follow along exactly like they tell me to):

  • I didn’t have any rope or enough grommets, so I sewed in nylon webbing at the step when you should add grommets.
  • I put in french seams so that my inner seams would be finished (it did make the fold-over flap more difficult to hem).

Wow. I guess I really liked this tutorial. I didn’t make too many changes I think it would still be absolutely lovely if I had followed along exactly.

Minimalist Backpack | Red Circle Crafts

*I used an Amazon Affiliate link, in case you want to know what a brayer is, and I make a few cents if you choose to buy one through this link.