Round Up: Summer Crafts

Summer! I’m thinking of strawberries, popsicles, and dipping my toes in the lake. Also, making stuff. Here’s my summer craft round up from Pinterest.

1. Mini arrow embroidery kits from Miniature Rhino, available on etsy–these looks simple, plus they make great decor from the cottage or camp.

2. Vintage bikini rubber stamps from Talk to the Sun, available on etsy. Or it might be fun to carve your own summery stamps).

3. Graphic Box offers graphic files of these hand-drawn watercolor flowers, but I hope to get out the paint box and create originals, maybe with a little help from this A Piece of Rainbow DIY.

4. Is tree weaving on your summer To Do list, too? This image is from A I A Gart.

5. Time to build a tree house with step-by-step instructions from Apartment Therapy!

6. Jigsaw puzzles and paint-by-number kits are synonymous with rainy lake days. SF Girl By Bay posted this alpine scene from amy gieske art + photography. I’d love to paint a New Hampshire scene–maybe a customized paint-by-number landscape from Easy 123 Art?

7. How about fresh summer linens? The Purl Bee offers instructions for sewing pillowcases.

8. I have an old warped, wooden tennis racket that is just calling out for this treatment (yarn bomb instructions from Bloesem Kids).

 

 

Tried It: Friendship Bracelets!

My friendship-bracelet skills were a little atrophied after (at least) a couple decades of disuse . . . but in celebration of the soon-to-be-here slow, lazy days of summer, it was time to dust them off. I found a great tutorial (with photos) for the “summer camp chevron” bracelet at Honestly WTF.

Molly’s Sketchbook at purlbee.com also offers ideas for fun color combos (fluorescent) and monochrome (friendship bracelet meets mature, grown-up restraint!).

I’m sure there are ways to make clasps or ties for removable bracelets but that betrays the whole idea of the bracelet, which is that if you truly, deeply value your sisterhood then you tie the thing to your wrist until death do you part, or at least until it is a sorry string, bleached and frayed from sun and salt water.

DIY: Mini Carp Streamers for Japanese Children’s Day

May 5 is Japanese Children’s Day, a holiday during which Japanese families celebrate the health and well-being of their children. As part of the celebration, families fly carp wind socks, or koinobori, outside of their homes. Koi are a symbol of power, energy, and determination. This is my miniature version. Instead of fluttering in the wind, my koinobori display will sit on the kitchen table.

What you need:

scissors, glue stick, origami paper, googly eyes, wood stick, spools (or something to serve as a base for your koinobori pole)

IMG_4965

Step 1

With the white side of your paper facing up, fold lengthwise about 1/2″–this fold will serve as an inside fold to be used to glue your koinobori together. Now fold lengthwise again–about 1 1/4″ for larger fish; for smaller carp, about 1″. (Larger koinobori represent the parents in the family; the smaller koinobori represent the children, descending from oldest to youngest.)

Koinobori Step 1 by homemadecity.com    Koinobori Step 1 by homemadecity.com

Step 2

With paper folded, draw a pencil line at the edge of the fold. This will be a guide for trimming off excess paper. You should now have a rectangular sandwich with one 1/2″ inside fold.

Koinobori by homemadecity.com   Koinobori Step 3 by homemadecity.com

Step 3

Trim triangle shape from one end of your folded rectangle to make the carp’s tail; then trim your rectangle to a length that suits you. I made larger carp about 3 1/2″ long; for smaller carp, I trimmed them at 2 3/4″.

Koinobori Step 2 by homemadecity.com   Koinobori by homemadecity.com

 Step 4

At the center fold, cut a 1/2″ or 3/4″ incision (at the opposite end as the carp’s tail). This will be where you fit your carp streamer to the pole (your wooden stick).

Koinobori Step 3 by homemadecity.com

Step 5

Time to make the fish scales. Fold a piece of origami paper (you can use the leftover paper from the koinobori you’ve already made). Trace a a half circle (I used a small spool). Cut out your fish scale and use it to trace and make more fish scales. Glue one side of your scale and adhere to your koinobori. I used two fish scales per carp.

Apply the googly eye!

Koinobori Step 4 by homemadecity.com

Step 6

Apply glue stick around the incision at the center fold and along the inside fold. Position where you want the koi to go on the “pole.” Wrap the incision around the wood stick and press; then press together along the inside fold. One koinobori should be in place!

Koinobori by homemadecity.com

Once all of your koinobori have been glued in position, use modeling clay or a wooden spool to create a weighted base.

Coloring Books for Grown-Ups

When I was a kid, my mom bribed me with coloring books. I’d sit still in the rose-scented, plastic-wrapped parlors of old aunts–for a coloring book. I’d eat pan-fried chicken livers–for a coloring book. I’d get my long hair chopped into the dreaded pixie cut–for a coloring book.

Folk Art Coloring Book by Lisa Congdon

Between the lines. Outside the lines. Whatever. A fresh coloring page and crisp crayons from a 64-pack felt both orderly and filled with possibility. I still feel that way.

But who knew I was in the zeitgeist until I stumbled on this article in the New York Times: Grown-Ups Get Out Their Crayons!

(OK, maybe not a large, well-peopled zeitgeist, more like a mini-zeitgeist of like-minded colorers.)

I recently opted for the Folk Art coloring book by Lisa Congdon pictured above, but here are some other pages that might inspire.

Clockwise from top left:

Secret Japan by Zoe de Las Cases

Splendid Cities by Rosie Goodwin & Alice Chadwick

Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford

The Mindfulness Colouring Book by Emma Farrarons

A Coloring Book: Drawings by Andy Warhol

DIY: Brownstone Matchbox

Time for a new matchbox house! This one is a Brooklyn brownstone, pre-gentrification. Get out your fine-point Sharpies, because the free printable coloring page is here: Brownstone Matchbox by homemadecity.com. Note: I printed the page at 115% to fit the matchbox I had on hand. You may have to do the same. Happy Spring!