Monday, December 13, 2010

Soft "Rock" Guitar

Your little guitar hero will love this rockin' toy, sized just for little ones. It's light, flexible, and fully ready to rock. Now you can bang your head without leaving a bruise. You can find instructions on how to make my "Soft" Rock Guitar toy on

My son loves to kick out the jams!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

DIY Bauble Wreath

Originally I envisioned a wreath made of only recycled ornaments from thrift stores. Ultimately I knew that I didn't have the patience or skill to wire all of those delicate glass bulbs. For a mere $10 I was able to score some boxes of multi-colored glass ornaments and a simple faux fir wreath at the local thrift store. Then I used floral wire to attach the ornaments to the wreath. Don't look too closely or you'll see my mug in the balls.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's Hair! Sew It All Vol. 2

Still haven't found the perfect D.I.Y projects to make in time for the holidays? Well drop everything and run down to your local fabric store to pick up a copy of Sew It All Vol.2. CraftyBitch is featured in 2 projects that are quick and easy. Choose from 3 different headband projects or the felt tissue box cover (including a smaller portable pouch for your purse).
You can also purchase a copy online through the Quilt and Sew website by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Be "Cross" this Christmas

When making last-minute holiday gifts, the trick is to be quick, yet with a personal touch. Cross-stitch is such a fun way to make a customized pendant for your crafty friends. You can read the full tutorial on Craftzine.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

CraftyBitch is on the Bus!

CraftyBitch has joined forces with Erin Sutherland of Portland's newest dress shop, Lodekka! I'll be on board every Friday afternoon adding some TLC to the vintage threads and refashioning some vintage garments. Grab your bag of alterations and bring them down to the bus!
Photos courtesy of Jen Downer.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

There's a Little "Evel" in All of Us

Have a Happy Crafty Halloween! I have been dying to share the costume I created for my son this year. Sewing all the vinyl stars was totally worth it. My favorite features are the cape, the cuffs and the walking cane (he's a senior Evel). Hey, I figured he wouldn't dare wear a helmet so I had to accessorize somehow. Let's ride!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Costume Craft-Along Complete!

Looks like we made it - literally! We've completed the Costume Craft-Along for this Cupcake Fairy mashup. And the little fairy approved of the final look shown here.
For the wings, I wanted to utilize the silver cupcake papers (found at most grocery stores, craft stores, or baking supply shops). We cut each paper into 4 pieces, then loosely flattened them out. One at a time we glued the wedges onto a piece of cardboard that was cut into the shape of wings. I recommend starting from the outside edges and working your way in. This is a great craft to do with kids!
The wings are attached with 2 elastic loops that wrap around her shoulders. We also added a crease down the middle back simply by folding the cardboard to give it more flexibility.
The same cupcake paper technique was used to make the tiara. We started with a cardboard base which I attached to a store-bought headband and wrapped with satin ribbon and trimmed with brown rick-rack.
I love this mini felt appliqué we added to the tiara. It's the same design as the felt appliqué on the apron, just smaller and without the face details.

Here are all of the previous steps for reference:
* The Cupcake Fairy skirt
* The Cupcake Fairy apron with appliqué
* Whisk wand
And the fairy wings & tiara made with silver cupcake papers complete the look.

Hope you had fun crafting this Cupcake Fairy Costume with me this Halloween!
Send pics if your handmade creations too!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Costume Craft-Along: Cupcake Fairy Whisk Wand

Now we're really cookin'! Our Cupcake Fairy costume is sewn and now the final accessories are being crafted. The whisk wand is not only clever, but one of the easiest pieces to make. You probably already have an extra whisk in the back of your kitchen drawer. Otherwise they're cheap and easy to find at most grocery stores.

I started with a plastic tube (from a previously broken wand), wrapped sturdy masking tape around the whisk handle and tube to join them. Then I wrapped pink satin ribbon from the base of the whisk down to the bottom of the tube. Secure the end of the ribbon with a dab of glue or do a simple whipstitch to finish it. To top it off, I added a sparkly gem and ribbon. Now if this whisk wand could magically clean my kitchen I'd be set.

Keep following along with me on this Costume Craft-Along.
We've already constructed:
* The Cupcake Fairy skirt
* The Cupcake Fairy apron with appliqué
* Whisk wand

Next pieces include:
* Fairy wings & tiara made with silver cupcake papers

Stay tuned!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Costume Craft-Along: Cupcake Fairy Apron

The Cupcake Fairy Apron turned out as sweet as buttercream frosting. I used a pink plaid cotton fabric and cut 2 rectangles - 1 for the skirt and 1 for the bib. The skirt panel was gathered, then attached to the bib portion. Brown rick-rack was used to trim the edges, including the small pocket on the skirt. I made 1 long rectangular strap for the waist tie and two smaller ones for the shoulder straps, which cross in back. Don't bother with making button holes for the buttons on the bib, just sew through all layers and use a snap on the back of straps where they meet the waistband. Quick tip - be sure to measure the length of the apron skirt based on the length of the tulle skirt. You want to make sure that the tulle skirt rick-rack details are visible!
I wanted to drive home the "Cupcake Fairy" theme by adding this cute felt cupcake appliqué. I cut the 3 pieces (cupcake, frosting & cherry), then glued them to a white piece of felt. Next, I embroidered the stitching details and added the button eyes. Don't forget the sprinkles!

Keep following along with me on this Costume Craft-Along.
We've already constructed:
* The Cupcake Fairy skirt
* The Cupcake Fairy apron with appliqué

Next steps include:
* Whisk wand
* Fairy wings & tiara made with silver cupcake papers

We should be wrapping up this Craft-Along by the end of this week so that you have plenty of time before the holiday parties begin!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tissue Box Frame

Hello Fall! Hello wet, runny-noses! Hello cold and flu season! I found myself buying the 12-pack of tissues at the store yesterday and it's only October. Luckily there are a variety of bright, modern prints to choose from these days.

Used facial tissue is not something to craft with, but the colorful printed cardboard boxes lend themselves to a plethora of projects. Here I cut apart a small square box of tissues, using the top panel and one of the printed side panels. Don't forget to tear away the plastic sheet from the opening. My daughter lent her artistic abilities for a custom birthday card for her cousin. I finished the side edges of the top panel with my scalloping shears to make it more decorative. Sandwich the 2 panels together with glue and you've got a cool, recycled craft perfect for cards or photo frames!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Costume Craft-Along: Cupcake Fairy Skirt

Step 1 complete: A Cupcake Fairy skirt with layers of puffy tulle and rick-rack icing trim. If you're new to sewing with tulle I have some advice - this is not the time to try it, go straight to Target and buy a pre-made tutu. I layered in a few tones of pink tulle and it took me quite some time to complete this skirt. But I'm crazy about the oversized rick-rack trim and "twirl" factor.
I started by making a simple circle skirt out of a satin lining fabric. I based the size according to the final length of the skirt and my daughter's waist measurements. I used a total of 8 yards of tulle in 3 different shades and gathered them in rows from the hem up to the waistband. I cut strips of the tulle then folded them in half lengthwise to create a softer edge and add more volume.
As you can see, the skirt gets a bit puffy. For the waistband, I made a casing for the elastic and sewed to to the top edge of the skirt, hiding all of the frayed edges and tulle madness. The satin skirt lining was finished using a basic rolled hem. The oversized rick-rack was sewn directly to the edge of the top layer of tulle.

Keep following along with me on this Costume Craft-Along.
Next steps include:
* Cupcake Fairy apron with cupcake appliqué
* Whisk wand
* Fairy wings & tiara made with silver cupcake papers

Hope you're having as much fun as I am!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Back-To-Cool Labels - Part II

Remember last Fall's posting "Back-to-Cool" custom label project? Those work well with jackets and heavyweight outerwear. This follow-up project is primarily for those interior labels that can get scratchy or stiff. Plus - no computer software or printer required! Simply pick up some alphabet stamps at your local craft store and twill tape (I went with the 1/2" width). For the ink, try the VersaCraft stamp pad that is specifically for fabric. Don't forget to heat-set your labels before the first wash!
When you're ready to attach the labels to the garments, fold under the raw edges of the twill tape and do a simple whip-stitch on either end. When you're ready to pass on the outgrown garments, it's easy to remove the stitches.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Button Rings

What do you do with ever-increasing vintage button collection? Make jewelry like this gorgeous ring I made during a craft workshop at Collage here in Portland. Layering the buttons made the possibilities endless. Be sure you use the correct glue and let it set completely before you model your wares!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sweet Costume Craft-Along!

Sad is the day when your children start to have special requests for Halloween costumes. More than likely they're the predictable princess or fireman. This year I decided to do a costume mash-up of the two things my daughter likes best: fairies and cupcakes. She was thrilled with the idea and I get to get my craft on.

What better way to share my process by inviting all of my craft followers in a Craft-Along! I'll be posting steps to this unique costume in various entries as I go along. Many of the supplies you should be able to pick up at second hand or dollar stores as well as some basic supplies at your local fabric store.

Think whisk wands, layered tulle, rick-rack and lots of foil baking cups. Hope you'll craft along with me and please send me your pics to post at the end of the project.

Steps include:
* Cupcake Fairy skirt
* Cupcake Fairy apron with cupcake appliqué
* Whisk wand
* Fairy wings & tiara made with silver cupcake papers

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Skirt Transformation

Ever have those garments that you never wear, yet you can't part with the fabric? Well, this not-so-flattering on the hips mini skirt was one of those items in the back of my closet. Rather than tossing it into the giveaway bag, I decided that this playful stretch-knit piece would make a great maxi sundress for my 3-yr-old daughter.

I constructed the top bodice out of the waistband panel and used some elastic smocking along the back to make it fit without having to add a closure. Next, I gathered the skirt fabric and re-attached it to the new bodice. Even though this was a mini skirt on me, I wanted to add some more length to the hem to give the dress some more weight and added contrast. I found a black stretch-knit fabric remnant which did the trick.

I love the final flower detail in which I used some additional skirt remnants, gathered and shaped to make a floral broche. The raw edges mirror the raw edge seam used to attach the bottom of the skirt panel. Inside the flower I added a black vintage button to add some sparkle and hide those inner seams.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Northern Exposure

CB and the Family have made the big move from San Francisco to Portland! So much creative energy and inspiration that I'm trying to take it all in. I still don't own a hooded jacket (maybe next craft project?), but I did get myself a spunky little blue bike. The kids are experiencing this season they call "Summer" and I'm always looking for excuses to make sundresses and skirts. Looking for local stitch-n-bitch groups to invade so give me a holler if want to craft with me!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Roll with it, Baby!

Are you super crafty? Want a chance to showcase your woodworking or car-crafting skills? You don't even have to live in San Francisco to participate! PLUS - if you mention "CraftyBitch" on your registration, I'll even include a pic of your entry on my blog. We're also accepting donations for the Silent Art Auction. Now for the details:

The Hell's Belles Car Club of San Francisco is hosting its
5th Annual Pinewood Derby & Art Auction
on Saturday, September 25, 2010.

Held at the fabulous new 941Geary Gallery
(just around the corner from the Shooting Gallery & White Walls Gallery) SF,
it's a benefit for the Bay Area Women's & Children's Center in the Tenderloin, SF.
Music courtesy of DJs Bardot & Michael Charming!


Here's how to join the fun:
- Get a Derby kit and create your own race car to race on a track in the gallery against other participants!
- Get Derby kit and create your own art car masterpiece to display in the gallery!
- Donate a piece of car culture-themed art to be a part of the silent auction for charity!
- OR just come and check out the fun! Free to spectators!!

Here's an amazing pinstriped handbag auctioned off in previous years.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sundress to Toddler Skirt

This Winter weather has been brutal and I've all but given up on the idea of wearing my sundresses anytime soon. I was inspired by the jersey skirt project as seen on the Ruffles and Stuff craft blog. The perfect solution to cleaning out my closet and making a more stylish, comfortable skirt for my daughter.
What I love about this transformation is that I was able to keep the patch pockets intact and there was plenty of leftover fabric to make the waistband.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Vintage Pattern Party Dress

I love to collect vintage patterns, especially girl's party dresses. This was the perfect combo for my daughter's third birthday. The piping defined the seam lines and it tied with a bow in the back.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Princess Party without all the Poof

I fought it and fought it and fought it - my daughter finally took interest in everything Disney, especially the Princesses. For her 3rd birthday, she wanted a Princess Party. My challenge was to not be the wicked witch but somehow meet her in the middle. We came up with a "Royal Tea Party" theme which included crowns, tea, cupcakes and I made her a dress that passed the "twirl test".
Instead of goodie-bags, I made a custom felt crown for each child. In addition, I had a bowl of jewels that were backed with Velcro so that they could customize their crown. The crowns were fastened with a ribbon so that each guest could size them as needed.

For decorations, I cut triangles from craft paper, trimmed the top edge with scallop scissors, punched 2 holes and then threaded the ribbon through. No sewing needed! The princess element was the crown & Snow White images stamped on various triangles.
The adults munched on tea cakes and scones displayed on a custom tiered dessert stand. Tea and juice boxes were served as beverages and everyone had a royal time!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DIY Tiered Dessert Stand

Throwing a tea party means having adequate serving supplies to display those dainty bits of food. Knowing that I would probably not host another tea party until my daughter's next princess party, I opted to make my own. I collected 3 glass plates and 2 glass candleholders from the local thrift store. In under $10 I found just the right pieces.
In order to frill it up, I used paper doilies on the backs of each plate as stencils. Use small bits of double-stick tape to hold the doilies in place. A large cardboard box makes an excellent contained area for spray painting. Lightly spray around the open areas of the doily being careful not to over-saturate the paint or it will run. When the paint dries, stack up the plates and candle holders. I used a heavy-duty double-stick padded tape between the layers so that nothing toppled when the guests pulled treats from the stand.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Photo Valentine Envelope

Photo mailers are functional, yet so dull, especially when sending pics for a special occasion. In an effort to create a protective barrier that also looks great, I came up with this simple & quick solution. I am a sucker for thicker-weight scrapbooking paper. The only problem is, I don't scrapbook so I'm stuck with large pads of beautiful paper.
To mail 5x7" pics, I used 12x12" sheets. Place the photos in the middle of the sheet and fold around all 4 sides. Don't get too technical, just eyeball it.
Next, cut the sides as shown using the fold lines as a guide. Fold the sides in first, then the top and bottom tabs. Punch holes in the top and bottom tabs, thread ribbon through and tie. You can add a custom tag to the thread as well. I used the paper scraps and cut the edges with decorative shears. Now you're ready to put the finished piece in a mailing envelope and send!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Love is in the Hair

I wanted to come up with a way to create a Valentine accessory that wasn't your typical brooch, bracelet or earring. I started with a red headband and added the pink rick-rack for the foundation. Next I designed the bird silhouette and wing pieces and cut them out of wool felt. I love the idea of incorporating the heart shape between the two open wings. I joined both sides with the pink contrasting embroidery floss. Once the bird was slightly stuffed and ready to attach to the base, I decided it needed more texture and another element to frame it. I cut some additional felt in feather-like shapes and also attached it with the pink floss.
Download the pattern to make your own Lovebird Headband!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Get Your Heart On...

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I can already feel my sweet tooth calling. I wanted to find a craft that was cheap, unique, fun and something my preschooler could help out with. recently featured an article on molded crayon hearts and immediately I knew this was the very project I was looking for. 
One rainy Saturday we took a trip to S.C.R.A.P. and loaded up a bag full of broken, misfit crayons. The challenging part was stripping all of the paper off the crayons. I still have multi-colored remnants beneath my nails. Target was selling the mini heart silicone muffin pans (which get pretty wrecked after this craft,  I must say). We spent quite some time sorting the crayon bits by color, then chopping them into pea-size bits and filling the muffin pan. It took 15 minutes per batch at an oven temp of 275°F. DON'T try to transport the pan before the melted crayon is set. I spent another afternoon tediously scraping dripped red crayon off the linoleum floor. Oops!
The colored cardstock paper was also found at S.C.R.A.P. ($3.00 for the bag 'o crayons and a thick stack of cardstock!). I designed the type and graphics in Illustrator and then ran the cards through my home printer. Note the "I'm a crayon!" detail. Didn't want her classmates to think they were getting a swirly, tasty treat and take a little bite. The bottom edge was cut with scallop-edge scissors for the finishing touch.