…and a link, and that means I really have to post here more. Anyway, start drawing like me here.

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While searching for inspiration at the hobbyshop recently, I found an enormous bag of those little wooden popsicle sticks, a staple of kindergarten art projects everywhere. Yes, yes—jewelry from popsicle sticks is a project practically begging to be ridiculed on the internet, but I think these necklaces came out looking cool. And the supplies were cheap, assuming you already have access to a Dremel.

You need:

On the back of your popsicle sticks, mark lines 6mm (0.25 inch) from each end.

Set your Dremel to 25, put on your safety goggles, and clamp down one of the sticks. Using a 1.2mm bit, drill two holes next to each other along each marked line. Repeat until every stick but one has two holes at each end. Save one stick and only drill one hole at each end—this is the bottom of your ladder.

Arrange your “ladder rungs” in the order you want them to hang on the necklace.

Using the pliers, thread 10mm jump rings through the bottom holes of one stick and the top holes of the next rung on the ladder, and close. The bottom rung will be the popsicle stick with only two holes, and the first rung will have two empty holes at the top of the ladder.

Attach one end of each chain length to the top of your ladder with 5mm jump rings.

Attach the other two 5mm jump rings to the opposite ends of the chains. Now all that’s left is to add the clasp!

Your necklace should now look like the image below. Cute, right? You’ve transformed a günstig craft supply into a modern statement necklace!

If you liked this tutorial, please comment below, and pass it on (with credit)!

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Recycle an extra sweater into a pair of folksy mittens. In a half hour you’ll have a holiday gift for someone.

You need:

  1. A sweater, any knit will do
  2. Paper & pencil
  3. Scissors & pins
  4. Lightweight yarn and a large needle

Trace your hand on the paper, adding a little extra space around your thumb and along your wrist. Cut out.

You’ll want the cuffs of your sweater or the bottom hem for the openings of your mittens. So decide which part of your sweater you prefer to use, flip inside-out, lay flat and pin pattern through both layers.

Sew about 1/2″ around the pattern with a zig-zag stitch. Remember to leave the cuff open! Note: The reason I don’t cut out the pieces first is to make it easier to handle and forgiving of alignment mistakes, but if you’re a sewing pro do this step however you like.

Trim around stitching and remove pins. Flip your mitten right-side out and do a little shaping to make it look right.

At this point, you have a mitten. You can make a second one and call it a day. But I find that mittens in this style tend to kind of look like you’re wearing socks on your hands. Decorative blanket stitch to the rescue!

Blanket stitch around the edges of your mitten with a contrasting yarn. Repeat all steps for second mitten. You’re done!

We did this project at a Craft Night at Etsy Labs Berlin recently. A few photos on Flickr here.

Dieses Tutorial ist in Deutsch verfügbar Etsy.de

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I first came up with this design in late 2007 for Etsy, where I’ve worked for a buncha years. I was working on press kits and wanted to envelopes to be reusable in some way. We recently revisited the concept again here at Etsy Labs in Berlin (where rolls of Tyvek are much easier to get a hold of) and this time I decided to write up the tutorial so everyone could make envelope totebags, too. If you can’t find a big piece of Tyvek, I’d be interested in hearing your modifications (especially if someone can come up with a version using those free Tyvek envelope from the US Post Office!) Anyway, here it is.

You’ll need:

  • sheet of Tyvek, at least 90cm x 50cm (or make homemade Tyvek with plastic bags)
  • sewing machine and ideally a serger
  • white thread
  • clear plastic packing tape or any wide tape that tears easily by hand
  • baker’s twine, packing twine, sturdy string, etc
  • OR wide decorative tape that is not so sticky that it tears the Tyvek when removed. Test on a bit of Tyvek first!

Optional:

  • Screen printing or gocco supplies (or some other permanent way to decorate your tote)

Measure one 90cm x 36cm rectangle and two long 7cm x 90cm strips of Tyvek and cut.

Fold the 7cm strips lengthwise and surge the long edge closed. These will be the straps of your bag. If you don’t have a serger you can use your sewing machine’s zig zag stitch, but a serger makes this project really simple and if you plan on making a lot of these you will definitely want to borrow one.

If you’re printing a design on your tote, measure 5-7m from the top of the larger rectangle and print just below it. This is now the “right” side of your Tyvek.


With the right side of the Tyvel facing up, sew or serge one end of a strap about 5cm in from edge. Attach the other end of the same strap about 5cm before you reach the other side. (See the second picture below.) Repeat on the bottom of your large rectangle with the second strap.

Now, fold 3cm over to wrong side and straight stitch along top edge and just above seam to secure straps. Repeat on opposite end of your rectangle.

With right sides out, fold rectangle in half so that the strap ends meet. Measure 5cm from the fold and then fold back on both sides, so that your tote-to-be looks like the diagram below. Now serge along sides A and B. You should have a rectangular pocket (see photos).

Tuck the straps inside the pocket. This is your envelope. Fill it up with whatever you want to send. Now to close it! You want to seal your envelope in a way that will allow someone to open it without destroying the tote.

Fold over the top of your envelope like the picture below. Cut a length of twine slightly wider than the envelope and secure with a few pieces of tape. You want the twine to be as close to the folded-over “opening” of your tote as possible.

Now press clear tape overtop the twine, adhering it to the Tyvek and sealing your envelope at the same time.

Trim the twine and tape to the width of your envelope but leave about 3cm of twine at one end. Notch the tape where it meets the twine. The idea is, you pull the twine and tear open the tape to get the envelope open. We put stickers instructing as much on ours. (It’s important to let your mail recipient know that their package is also a totebag!)

Method two is much easier but only works with tape that doesn’t rip your Tyvek apart.  Simply fold over the top like before, but now tape it closed with pretty tape. The recipient just pulls off the tape carefully themselves. Easy! Again, remember to add a message on the outside of your envelope explaining how to open it.

Now send all kinds of gifts in packaging that’s fully recyclable!


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Ridiculously easy way to make quick t-shirts for a little bean. Note: All seams are 1/4″ and sewn with a zig-zag stitch for stretchiness.

Trace a shirt that fits your child, add a 1/4″ seam allowance around everything, and cut the pieces as shown.

With right sides facing in, sew the top.

Open and sew sleeves (see below).

Fold together (still with right sides facing in) and sew along sides and underneath sleeves. Leave neckline, cuffs and bottom hem raw.

That’s it! Sorry this tutorial is a slightly hard to follow, it was a rush job. Please let me know if you are actually able to make a shirt using these directions!

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