Category Archives: Tutorials

2016 Monthly Planner – Free Printable & DIY

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

Last January my Mom was complaining that all of the planners that were organized the way she wanted weren’t aesthetically pleasing. I believe she called them boring. So I made a plan to put together one to her specifications that wasn’t boring. And even though I worked on it a little all year, the final push to have it done didn’t quite make the January 1st deadline. But I’m thinking that even if you don’t start this on January 1st, you might enjoy using it for the rest of the year.

Doing the planning to make all the pages turn out in the right order was really complicated. Putting this together into a booklet is really easy.

Each month has a double page calendar, a water color image with a quote by an awesome lady and room for notes. Check out the printables below for a good look at the quotes and my water color paintings.

Download Cover Here

Download Inside Pages Here

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

When you print the Inside Pages on legal paper and use the following settings:

  • Page Scaling: None
  • Choose Paper Source By PDF Size
  • Print Double-Sided, Flip on Short Side

It’s only 12 sheets (24 pages) long, so by all means take it to a copy center if you’d like. But it should work just fine on a home printer too.

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

Materials Needed:

File Folders
Ruler
Pencil
Push Pin
Needle & Thread (I like button thread for binding)
Craft Knife (Option 2 Only)
Spray Adhesive (Option 2 Only)

Ok, now you need to make a choice.

Option 1 – Print and Go

You can cut all the pages in half and spiral bind them (just flip one half onto the other as if you were closing a book or folding the pages in half with the Gloria Steinem Quote facing up of the whole stack of pages). I recommend using some press board, card stock or other heavy weight material as covers. Decorate as you choose or with the cover pages I’ve made. (Most copy centers will do all of this except the decorating for you.)

Option 2 – Soft-Cover DIY

This option includes a very simple binding stitch (not at all complicated, I promise) and a soft cover.

Print out the Cover on a sheet of legal paper. (I used 32lb paper for this and the inside printed on 24lb, but the difference is pretty negligible.)

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

Take all of the pages in order, with the cover on the bottom (blank side face up) and the Gloria Steinem Quote on top. Now fold each page in half, long-wise (hamburger style), keeping them all in order. Stack them in the same order inside of each other, now the cover should be on the outside and Gloria Steinem Quote is one of the middle pages.

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

We need 5 holes in exactly (or as close as you can manage) the same place on the fold of each page. Take a beat up file folder and measure out 5 holes on the crease. Mine are located 1.25″, 1.5″, 1.5″, 1.5″, and 1.5″ (from the edge and then each other). Take the whole stack of pages and place the file folder inside them with the folds lined up and whichever edge you measured from flush with the paper. Paperclip it all in place.

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

Take the some scrap cardboard, a cutting mat, or some other surface you don’t mind poking some holes in and the pushpin. Making sure to keep everything aligned, press the pushpin through each hole mark you made on the file folder and all the way through all the pages behind it.

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

Remove the file folder and gather your needle and thread. Start inside the booklet at the middle hole (1) and go down through all the pages, leaving a tail inside. Come up through hole 2 and down through the far left hole (3). Back up through the previous hole (4) and down again through the middle hole (5). And up through hole 6 and down through the far right hole (7). Then back up through the previous hole (8). You should have the beginning and the end of the thread both inside the booklet near each other. Make sure all of your thread is pulled taut and then tie a knot and trim the thread. See the photos for more clarification. It’s not a complicated process, but it’s easier to show than to tell.

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

Option 3 – Hard Cover DIY

This option is just like Option 2, but with the added step of a hard(er) cover. I think file folders make great notebook covers. Find a file folder that isn’t too beat up and is pretty clean inside.

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

Lay it open flat, outside face-up. Put the cover print out, with a crease mark from folding, but opened up on the file folder with the creases lined up. Mark the edges of the cover with a pencil.

In a well-ventilated area spray the spray adhesive so that it entirely covers the area you marked. The edges are really important to get.

Some tips for spray adhesive:

  • Shake the can really well before you begin.
  • Spray on something you don’t mind getting sticky, and then move off of it to align so you don’t risk getting errant spray adhesive on the wrong bits.
  • Let the item being sprayed sit for a minute after spraying before attaching for best adherence.
  • Line up one edge of the non-sticky piece and slowly lay it down smoothing it out as you go. Use a credit card or similar item to press out any possible air bubbles.

To attach the cover so it will bend well, I folded the file folder like a tent and started at the fold on one side and pressed the cover in place and then the other side. I made sure I could fold it completely in half and pressed it down and then opened it back up and pressed out air bubbles starting from just shy of the fold on each side.

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

After you have the cover attached to the file folder, take a metal straight edge and craft knife and trim the excess file folder.

Now you have a thicker cover for your planner. See Option 2 for binding steps.

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

I’m surprised how much I like mine with a soft cover. I’m excited to start using it.

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

2016 Printable Planner DIY | Red Circle Crafts

Christmas Card Garland

Printable Christmas Card Garland | Red Circle Crafts

I wanted to do something a little different this year for a Christmas Card. And while this doesn’t leave a lot of room to write a note, it does give the recipient a small bit of holiday cheer to hang where they please. J and I will write small notes on the holly leaves to personalize them.

I don’t usually start my Christmas cards until after Thanksgiving. But I know some people like to get a head start on these things.

Printable Christmas Card Garland | Red Circle Crafts

They’re really simple to make. I’ve made a Printable Download for you.

Print this on heavy card stock.
Cut out each piece carefully. (I left a little white, but it’s up to you!)
Use approximately 36″ of string or bakers twine.
Tape (with tiny pieces of scotch tape) the string to the back of each letter.
Carefully fold up and put in an envelope to mail!

Printable Christmas Card Garland | Red Circle Crafts

Don’t forget to make one for yourself to keep.

Printable Christmas Card Garland | Red Circle Crafts

 

Tutorial: Felt Flower Cord Minder

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

I’m in love with this little flower cord minder. It’s a little wabisabi and a lot adorable, not to mention super easy to make.

I’ve included instructions to make this no-sew too, so if you don’t like to sew, you can still make it!

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

Materials:

1 Sheet of Felt
Scissors
A Fork
Yarn
Velcro (Self-Adhesive for no-sew)
Pattern
Sewing Machine (Optional)
Needle & Coordinating Thread OR Hot Glue Gun

Instructions:

Step 1

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

Cut out one of each pattern piece from the felt.

Step 2

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

Attach one of each piece of velcro (hooks and loops) to either end of the felt strap piece. I used a sewing machine to quickly and securely attach it, but it can be done with a needle and thread too. You can see that I cut down each piece of velcro to better fit on my strap.

If you’re making this without sewing, use adhesive backed velcro.

Step 3

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

To make a pom pom: pull a piece of yarn or string (string is better and won’t break on you as you pull it taught to tie later) through the middle of the tines of your  fork. Then wrap some yarn around the fork until it’s fairly full. Take the string you laid through the middle and wrap it a few times around the bulk of the yarn and tie it as tight as you can. Cut all of the loops through.

Note: As I was trimming my pom pom, the string tie broke and I had to start over. So the rest of my pom pom photos look different, but I used the same method with different yarn and a piece of string instead of yarn to tie it all together.

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

To shape this, find the knot and move all the yarn away from it, so it sits flat on your work surface. Then take a sharp pair of scissors and trim the rest of the pom pom around it until it looks somewhat spherical. For this particular pom pom, I wanted it to look  less like a sphere and more like the tuft at the center of a flower. So I left some long pieces and a few different layers. Giving it some wabisabi will make it seem more natural (as natural as a felt and yarn flower can be, I guess).

Step 4

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

Attaching it all together.

If you are doing the no sew option: Time to use the hot glue gun. Take a dab of hot glue and attach the big flower piece to the end of the strap on the side without the velcro (hook side should be under the flower), the smaller flower on top of that, and the pom pom on top of that. Use the following photos as a guide.

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

If you are sewing it all together (my preferred method because I think it’s a little more durable), lay the smaller flower on top of the bigger one, and bring the needle through both with the knot on the back of the big flower.

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

You can see in the photo that the thread is still attached to the flower pieces, now bring the needle through the knot in the pom pom and then back down through all the layers of felt.

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

Then add the strap it all. I put the hook side of the velcro under the flower, facing away from it.

And sew back up through the whole thing a few times.

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

Then tie a knot, hiding it between to the layers of flower petals.

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

It’ll look like this when you’re done.

There are two ways you can secure your cords (I’m using mine for my earbud headphones).

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

Wrap the strap around the coiled cords and bring the two pieces of velcro together.

OR

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

Wrap the strap around the cord tightly and secure the hooks side of velcro to the felt wherever it meets. If you have only a few cords, this method will probably hold them more securely.

Flower Felt Cord Minder | Red Circle Crafts

Pinwheel Decorations

Pinwheels | Red Circle Crafts

I finally changed the decoration on my front door. It’s been the same wreath since last fall and it was time for something bright and summery.

Pinwheels are easy to make and fun to look at. I attached these in disarray just using masking tape. Hopefully they’ll stay up!

Pinwheels | Red Circle Crafts

You can make a pinwheel out of any paper you have, or print out this printable I made and follow the instructions on the print out.

Materials:

Square Paper (or printable)
Metal Brad
Scissors
Craft Knife
Cutting Mat
Hole Punch

Pinwheels | Red Circle Crafts

Instructions:

Cut down your paper to a square.
Cut along the diagonals, leave a few inches in the center uncut (less if you have a very small pinwheel, more if you have a bigger one).
Hole punch every other corner.
Cut a small X at the very center of the paper.
Bend the hole punched corners in to the center.Put the brad through all four punched holes and the X in the center.
Secure the brad in the back.

Pinwheels | Red Circle Crafts

DIY Hanging Planter

Hanging Upcycled Planter | Red Circle Crafts

I bought another plant that I’m going to kill. An impulse buy, I decided to trust the person at the grocery store that “sure, this plant will be fine in filtered light.” I’m fairly certain that people don’t believe me when I tell them that I have no direct sunlight in my apartment. Yes, I live in a cave. Or at least cave-like.

I finally looked up the plant I bought on reverse image search. It definitely prefers sun. It’s a Kalanchoe Paddle Plant. And it’s adorable. I totally fell for it’s pretty face.

The moral of this story is that I am not allowed to impulse buy plants. I only trust people at nurseries. And I need to remember to find plants for my environment; I’m not able to change my environment to suit a plant’s needs.

Hanging Upcycled Planter | Red Circle Crafts

A botanist friend has beautiful orchids that he grows in his garage with grow lights, climate control, the whole she-bang. He tells me that the hardest part about growing plants is figuring out what they need and then providing it for them. As soon as you try to fit a plant that’s not suited to your environment into your life, it’s destined to fail.

Even though I’m destined to fail, I’ve moved the plant to the brightest spot in the apartment and hope to put off the inevitable. I even made a hanging planter for it.

Hanging Upcycled Planter | Red Circle Crafts

Materials:
Clean & Empty Can (large enough to fit your plant and then some)
Clean & Empty Plastic Container (small enough to fit inside the can)
Craft Knife
Spray Paint
Hole Punch
String
Small ring (key rings work great)

Put your plastic container inside the can and mark where to cut. Use the craft knife (or scissors if it’s soft enough plastic) to cut the top off your plastic container. You want the plastic container to sit just under the lip of the can when it’s cut.

Turn your plastic container upside down and put in drainage holes. I put one in each of the petals of the bottom of the soda bottle. Make little Xs with your craft knife and then gently fold up a triangle for each X.

If you’re planning to hang this, take your hole punch and punch three roughly even-spaced holes just under the rim of the can. It takes a bit of elbow grease, but is definitely doable.

Paint your can in a well ventilated area. I like to invert it on top of another can or something thin, but taller than it so that edges don’t get stuck to anything while it’s drying. Just make sure it’s stable! I usually spray in one area and then move it to a more protected area with a fan on it to dry. And it’s awful to tip over a freshly painted can.

I used chalkboard paint*, but any paint will do!

My can took two coats of paint and then I let it dry overnight even after it was dry to the touch.

Re-pot your plant into the plastic container.

Hanging Upcycled Planter | Red Circle Crafts

Figure out where you want your plant to hang and how long the string needs to be. Cut a little more than double that length in string three times. Take one piece of string, fold it in half and tie the folded part to the ring. Do the same thing with each piece of string. You’ll have three knots in a row on the ring with the ends of the strings all hanging down to the same height. Now use the measurement of how long your plant will hang down and mark with a felt pen on all the strings. Tie each pair of strings to a hole on the can. Use the mark on each string as the point to make the knot so you get three even strings.

Hang up your can by the ring then place your newly potted plant into the can.

Hanging Upcycled Planter | Red Circle Crafts

Tips for hanging:

I used cup hooks*, but I only have small plants hanging from them. And I made sure they’re screwed directly into wood. If you aren’t going to put a hook into a stud, make sure you anchor it. If you weigh the new potted plant, can, etc, someone at a hardware store can direct you to what you’ll need to safely hang it.

Hanging Upcycled Planter | Red Circle Crafts

I’m still looking for full-shade, small house plants that won’t kill my cat. Recommendations are totally welcome.

PS That kitty planter DIY is here.

*These are amazon affiliate links. I make a few cents if you purchase these items through my links.

Masking Watercolors Tutorial

Watercolor Masking Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

April is National Letter Writing Month according to the USPS. So this seems like a good time to make some stationary. This is a super easy project to make your own cards and get to play with watercolors.

Materials:

Wax Resist Sticks*
Watercolor Paints
Large Square Paintbrush
Watercolor Paper
Palette (or something to use as a palette)
Jar or Cup for Water

Watercolor Masking Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

I had hoped that I could use a white colored pencil to make a more fine line on my cards, but they didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. I ended up going out and buying the wax resist sticks from my local art supply store as well as some masking fluid (see after the tutorial for a comparison of all three of these products).

Step One

Draw out your design. I taped up a design I liked to the window and a piece of watercolor paper on top of it and then traced out the design I wanted. You can also try drawing freehand. If you draw freehand, keep in mind that it’s hard to see the wax on the white paper, so a loose, messy design is probably going to work out best.

Note: If you want to make folded note cards, score and fold the paper now so you place your design in the right place.

Watercolor Masking Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Step Two

Paint! Use a large paint brush and not too much water. More saturation of color works better for this project, so bright or darker colors and the minimum amount of water to flow across the page.

Try moving around in an circular motion to create a shape on the page, or a series of swipes all in the same direction. Allow the colors to mix on the paper instead of on the palette. If you’ve never painted a watercolor wash before, I recommend checking out this tutorial for the process.

Watercolor Masking Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Step Three

Let the paint dry almost all the way and then very very carefully using a paper towel, tissue, or q-tip dab the paint from the waxed areas. It will bead up a bit on the wax, which looks pretty cool, but it will stand out more if you clean it off. Dabbing at the paper is counter-productive, but the paint on the paper will dry faster, so just a wait a few moments.

Watercolor Masking Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Different Masking Options:

I first tried using a white colored pencil I already had at home. But it turned out like this:

Watercolor Masking Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

You can almost see where it says Happy Birthday, right? I think maybe that particular colored pencil didn’t have enough wax to it. Not all pencils are created equal, I think. But I got so fed up that I went looking for something that I knew would work.

Watercolor Masking Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

My local art store had this Art Masking Fluid and these Wax Resist Sticks. You can see above how the wax resist sticks did. They don’t have the same level of detail that the colored pencil might have, but I really like the messy look they provided.

The Masking Fluid* though is hands down my favorite. I could lightly draw (or use graphite transfer paper) a design on to the paper and as long as I cover up all of my pencil marks with the masking fluid I was able to erase my marks after the paint was dry and the masking fluid had been removed. I’m really excited to try out ALL of the projects with this masking fluid now.

Watercolor Masking Tutorial | Red Circle Crafts

Keep in mind that how well it works is mostly dependent on your painting or calligraphy skills. (The instructions on the bottle specified that it could be used like ink for a calligraphy pen.) I am not at all skilled with a calligraphy pen, but I’m not too bad with a paintbrush. So I painted this penguin with a paintbrush in the masking fluid and I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.

*These links are Amazon Affiliate Links. I make a few pennies off of these if you order from my links.

Gift Toppers: Twig Trees

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Before I jump into this tutorial, a quick reminder that TONIGHT is craft night at Behind the Museum Cafe at 6pm in downtown Portland. More info and to RSVP here.

This is Part Three of three of my Gift Toppers Series. Part One. Part Two.

Aren’t these twig trees adorable? We’ve had some serious wind here in Portland lately and it’s knocked a lot of branches down. I’m doing my part to collect them and put them to use. These are pretty easy to make and if you aren’t making a million they won’t take up too much time either.

I made a million because I’m using them to wrap gifts at the Holiday Market this weekend. Someone was asking me if you need to purchase the gifts at the market to get them wrapped. Nope. If you want amazing gift toppers on ALL your presents, bring them with you and I’ll wrap them all (prices will vary depending on the size of your items).

Ok. On to the tutorial.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

What you’ll need:

Sticks of various sizes, vaguely straight (I like the thicker ones the best, but even the skinny ones work.)
Yarn in colors of your choice
Clippers (You could also use a saw)
Hot Glue Gun

Step One

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

To make your trees, you’ll need to cut down the sticks. I made this up as I went along. For each tree, I used 2 4-inch, 1 2.5-inch, and 1 nub. Nub is the technical term (not really) for the scraps I had left over from cutting down larger pieces.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

The 4-inch pieces are the sides, the 2.5-inch piece is the bottom, and the nub is the base of the tree.

Before you start gluing, pick out which pieces you want to glue together for this tree. I tried to pick pieces that were similar thickness.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Glue the top together first, holding it for a moment to set. I found it useful to glue it with the pieces lined up for how they would meet the bottom piece, otherwise I tended to glue them at the wrong angle. It’s also helpful, especially on thick twigs to trim a little at an angle with your clippers so they’ll meet together with two flat pieces.

Now take a dab of hot glue to the bottom piece in both of the places where it will connect to the sides of the tree. Hold it in place for a few moments while it sets.

Lastly, dab a bit of glue on the nub and glue it to the middle of the bottom piece.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Step Two

Take some of the yarn and use it to decoratively wrap the trees. I tried two ways, and definitely liked the second way better.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

With a dab of hot glue on one end of a piece of yarn, attach it inside the corner you’re wrapping. Wind it around each twig separately and then around the whole corner several times. Finish up with another dab of glue to hold it all in place. Repeat for each corner.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Starting at the bottom, with a dab of glue at the end of the yarn, wrap the yarn vertically around the tree. Putting a dab of glue at the top helps to hold the yarn in place as you wrap. End with a dab at the end of the yarn again. You can also wrap the top corner like the first way on top of the yarn. Although I found it expedient to start at the top and end at the top then continue wrapping around if I wanted to go that route.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts

Step Three

Add to presents! You don’t need to wrap trees. I think they look pretty amazing just plain too.

Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts Twig Tree Gift Toppers Tutorial | Red Cirlce Crafts