Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tutorial: Big Blocks

We go through quite a bit of soy milk over here, resulting in the accumulation of many half-gallon cartons.  And I am not one to let so many cartons go to waste!  Yes, I could just throw them in the recycling bin, but where is the fun in that?  Instead, I turned them into jumbo building blocks for Buddy to play with... which literally IS fun!

Start by slicing the tops off of the cartons with a box cutter.

Then I lined them all up in the bathtub and filled them with hot water and a splash of bleach, just to make sure they were all nice and clean and wouldn't start smelling later on.

After an hour or two, dump them all out and let them air dry overnight.  They need to be very dry!  Then slide two cartons together, one inside the other, to make a block.

The last step is to cover the blocks with contact paper.  This holds them together and makes them look like actual blocks instead of milk cartons.  I used wood-grain contact paper, but you can use whatever color or design you want!  I found that it was easiest to cover the ends of the blocks first but cutting out a square a few inches larger than the carton.  After centering the contact paper on the bottom of the carton, cut slits to the corners and fold up.

Then cut a piece of contact paper to wrap around the middle of your block.

And voila!  A big block!

Now comes the fun part... building big towers!

Can you guess what Buddy's favorite part is?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pinterest Project: String-Wrapped Eggs

This week's Pinterest Project was spring themed!  It was much needed since the snow and the cold seem to be lingering this year.  We followed Alissa's tutorial for making string-wrapped eggs from her blog "Crafty Endeavor."  You can check out the tutorial here.

Basically, we dipped embroidery floss in a mixture of liquid starch and flour and then wrapped the floss around small balloons.  When the floss dried we popped the balloons to create these awesome eggs!

They look great grouped together, but they also make a festive garland.  I used some more sheer ribbon and simply strung it through the tops of the eggs.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

You're Standing on My Scarf...

My sister is a huge Doctor Who fan, so I wanted to make her something "Whovian" for her birthday.  During the Doctor's 4th incarnation (played by Tom Baker) he wears an absurdly long scarf, which I decided to replicate.

Thankfully, all of the information I needed could be found on!  To begin with, the site lists specific yarn colors by brand that match the colors of the original scarf.  I had to special order some of the yarn since some of the colors were very specific and I couldn't find them in stores!  Then the site has several different knitting patterns for various yarn weights and scarf variations to reflect the changes made to the scarf over the course of the television seasons.  Apparently the actual scarf used on the show got stretched out over time so they periodically removed sections to make it shorter.  I used the Orginal Worsted Weight pattern... which also happened to be the longest.  It ended  up being nearly 10 feet long!

It took months and months to knit, but the end result was pretty fantastic!

The only place I could get a full-length photo of it was on the stairs!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Not All Who Wander Are Lost, Part 3

This month there was only one block to piece for the "Not All Who Wander Are Lost" block-of-the-month quilt, but it was a little bigger than the others!  Here we have the great hall of Khazad Dûm from the Fellowship's journey through the Mines of Moria.

"Halls of Khazad Dûm"  designed by Soma Acharya

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pinterest Project: Twine-Wrapped Bottles

This week's Pinterest Project was a recycling project!  We used glass jars and wrapped them up in twine and yarn to create attractive vases.  There are TONS of Pinterest pins out there about wrapping bottles in twine, so we just had to try it!

I had some sparkling grape juice bottles and an old soy sauce jar sitting in my recycling bin so I used those.

I found it easiest to start wrapping the yarn at the top of the bottle, securing the first few wraps with hot glue.  I then spread some white glue over the bottle as I wrapped down and secured the end with hot glue at the bottom.  Then we used scraps of lace and ribbon to add a little extra texture and color.  They turned out very nice!