Braided Bracelets

12 Jul


1. Multicolored Yarn

2. Initial Beads with a hole big enough for the yarn to go through (also works with other beads)

IMG_31653. Masking Tape

4. Scissors

5. Twisty-ties



1. Cut three equal pieces of yarn about 24 inches.

2. Tie the three pieces together at one end leaving about an inch above the knot.

3. Tape the string above the knot onto a sturdy surface (make sure surface is safe for tape) so the string will stay in place while you are braiding it.

bracelet4. Begin braiding, keeping your fingers close to the braid so it stays tight.

5. Keep braiding until the braid goes almost all the way around your wrist once.

6. Tie a knot close to the braid, so that it won’t come undone. Make it as tight as possible.

7. Get a twisty-tie and cut off excess plastic so it is just a wire. (Wire must be thin and bendy in order to get through the bead.)

8. Wrap the wire around one piece of the loose string (Kind of like a needle) and use wire to pull string through bead.

9. Do the same with the other two pieces of loose string.

10. Make another knot close to the bead with the loose string so the bead doesn’t move.

Bracelet with multiple letters

Bracelet with multiple letters

11. You can make bracelets with multiple letters. The more letters you have, the less you have to braid. You can make spaces between words by adding a knot between the beads or a heart or plain bead. 

12. Keep braiding until braid is the same length as the first one. 

13. Tie knot close to end of braid so it does not come undone. 

14. Place the two knots next to each other and cut off the loose ends so that they are the same length (a 1/2 inch to an inch).

15. Tie bracelet on wrist!

Sand Art Minis

7 Jul


Sand ArtWhen I saw these little glass bottles at the Dollar Tree, I knew I had to use them for sand art. They were eight for a dollar. That’s only twelve and a half cents each! My friends and I had a great time making these. You don’t need many supplies and they are easy to make.


2014-07-07 09.34.071. 8 mini bottles from Dollar Tree.

2. Colored sand from any sand art kit or fine glitter. We used both.

3. Wire for making the designs in the sand.

4. Crystal lacquer or good glue for sealing the bottles.

5. A funnel from a sand art kit or a small piece of paper rolled into a funnel shape.



Give the bottle a more old fashioned look by cutting a small piece of cork and inserting a metal eye pin in the top.



1. Dump out original contents of bottle.

2. Place funnel in mouth of bottle.

2. Pour a small amount of sand or glitter in.

3. Repeat with a different color.

4. If you would like a design, use wire to poke down in the side of the bottle to create an indention in the sand.

5. Repeat steps 2 -4 until you have the layered look you want.

Tip: pack the sand as tightly as possible or it will shift when the bottle moves. 2014-07-07 09.57.30

6. Place cap or cork on the bottle and secure with glaze or glue. You can also try putting some glaze or glue over very top layer of sand.

Enjoy looking at your sand art, or use some of the bottles to make jewelry!



Scrapbook Paper Fortune Teller

6 May

paper fortune teller

Here’s an easy way to give new life to an old old craft. We discovered that scrapbook paper is the perfect shape to use to make paper fortune tellers.

The good news is that the thinner, less expensive, sheets work better than the heavy card stock sheets!

The Boy ProblemWe got this idea because the main character of my mom’s new book, THE BOY PROBLEM, creates a special fortune teller to try to help her find a boy friend. So we were thinking about different ways to make them.

There are four main steps to creating a fortune teller.

Four main steps to creating a fortune teller.

Four main steps to creating a fortune teller.

You can see them here.  And you can find detailed instructions for folding a fortune teller out of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper HERE.

We even discovered that you could make a VERY LARGE fortune teller by taping four pieces of scrapbook paper together before you begin, like the big one pictured above. Here it is opened up. It is neat how each square is a different page. My friend A.M. made this one. fortune teller2

We used rubber stamps on some of them instead of words. Those turned out cute too. If you have scrapbook paper lying around, try making a fortune teller. It can be in the traditional style, OR you can do some different with it, like Tabbi does in THE BOY PROBLEM.

My Latest Project: Pet Portraits

20 Dec

It has been a long time since we’ve posted on Crafty Crafts! We’ve been busy crafting, and doing other craft-related things and will post more soon! One thing I have been busy working on is creating pet portraits. I have started creating them for other people too, and have just launched a blog for that. Check it out HERE to see more portraits like the one below. If you are interested in having your pet’s portrait drawn, contact me using the contact form on the Crafty Crafts Pets site! Right now, you can have a digital drawing of your pet for just five dollars.

simmons 1 watermark copy

Fun Fur Spiders!

18 Oct



With all of the beautiful pipe cleaners and fun fur available today, it’s easy to make cute spiders for your pumpkin patch (or anywhere)!


Materials for each spider:

4 pipe cleaners

1 pom pom

2 wiggly eyes

Fun Fur

Hot Glue



1. Cross the four pipe cleaners over each other like the spokes of a wheel and twist at the center to keep them together.








2. Allow one end of  Fun Fur to drop down below the middle, then start weaving the yarn in and out of the pipe cleaner “legs.”

3. When you think the body is the right size, cut yarn, and tie end to loose end at bottom of spider. Trim extra yarn.

4. Have an adult help you hot glue a pompom to the front of the spider for a head.

5. Add (at least) two wiggly eyes.



*If you would like a spider to be more puffy in the middle, glue an extra pompom to center of pipe cleaners before wrapping with yarn. Wrap yarn around it a few times before weaving through the legs. We did this for the orange spider.

*Add a piece of fishing line and let your spider dangle!


This craft was inspired by a craft my mom made in girl scouts. This spider used to have a paper head. It doesn’t look so good anymore!




Hanging Vases

2 Sep

IMG_20130902_142521Usually, we make up our own crafts, but we got this idea from Pretty Handy Girl.

It is a fun craft and these will make great presents. You can get the directions HERE.

We decided to make these because we had a lot of bottles like this:


The bottles were cute so we wanted to use them. One thing we did differently was that we used colored wire, and glass beads.


*The worst thing about this craft was removing the labels from the bottles. We finally used cooking oil to loosen the glue, then washed with hot water and cleaned with Windex.

What’s better than a gnome?

17 Aug


We thought these gnomes would look better in bright colors and we were right! 


  • Garden Gnome (We got ours at Dollar General.)
  • Spray Paint


  • Use spray paint with adult supervision.
  • Follow instructions on paint can. We put newspaper under the gnomes before we started. We applied several coats.


 Here’s what they looked like before.

They were so cute that we couldn’t resist taking them downtown.

Traffic Gnome

Traffic Gnome

What a view.

What a view.

hillcrest 334

hillcrest 337

We had so much fun with the photo shoot, that we took one of the gnomes with us to New Mexico.

We had so much fun with the photo shoot, that we took one of the gnomes with us to New Mexico.

Greeting the mountain lion.

Greeting the mountain lion.

Chillaxing on the airplane.

Chillaxing on the airplane.

So much FUN!!!

So much FUN!!!

This was an easy, fun craft. Coming up on crafty crafts: a craft that does not involve paint!

Tuesday To Do Party

Fun with Ring Blanks

13 Jul

summer 2013 015

Keeping ring blanks around makes it easy to create cute rings in a hurry. My friend MC and I made these last time she came to visit. We used stickers, buttons, scrabble tiles, and resin flowers to create these rings. 

Supplies needed:

1. Ring Blanks (We ordered fancy ones, and plain ones, from Etsy.)

2. Buttons (flat beads work too, like the large white flower above.)

3. Scrabble Tiles

4.Resin flowers (we ordered these from Etsy)

5. Stickers with resin-like coating (We found these at Big Lots and knew they’d be great for rings. They fit perfectly on the Scrabble tiles and buttons.)

6. Good Glue.



1. Create a base for your ring by gluing  a larger button or Scrabble tile to a ring blank using a strong glue like Crafter’s Pick THE ULTIMATE.

2. Select a flower, sticker, or smaller button to glue to the base.

3. Allow glue to dry before wearing. 


Super Easy to Make!!!!!  summer 2013 007

Spray-Paint Face Lift

14 May

Spray paint is a fun way to make old things look new! Here is a ceramic swan we bought for twenty five cents at a thrift shop.

hillcrest 315

I added a coat of spray paint, a gemstone eye, and a touch of nail polish for the bill. Now it looks perfect in my bathroom. And it’s a great place to store cotton balls.

SCBWI NE 2013 040


Once we got started, we found other objects to transform with spray paint too. We’ll post some of those later!

Materials Needed:

0ld objects

spray paint

nail polish




1. Clean object before painting. Allow to dry.

2. Add coat of spray paint following directions on can.

3. When paint is dry, add details. I used nail polish to paint the bill, and I glued a plastic gemstone on for the eye.

This is a fast and easy craft. An adult should help with spray painting. We used the back of my old science project board to  protect other surfaces from paint. This worked great!



Cards from Covers

14 Feb





It is hard for us to throw away old books, but sometimes they just aren’t useful anymore. 😦 When books have canvas-like covers, we’ve started saving the covers for other projects before throwing the rest of the book away. Here is a Valentine’s Day card we made from a book cover this year.

This was super-easy to make. All you need is hot glue and cool stuff to glue to the cover. Notice we cut some hearts out of book pages to go with the theme. Here is another cover we made into a get well card. We love the way the texture on this book cover looked!



This is a craft we plan to do again, so expect to see more examples of book cover cards here soon! So far, everyone we’ve sent a book cover card to has loved them. Your friends and family will too!


To see this Valentine’s Day craft we posted last year click HERE.

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