Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Tree Ribbon Ornaments

Two posts within days of each other! That's what long weekends full of holiday spirit do to me... I probably won't make a habit out of this.

Anyway, today's project was far easier (read: quicker) than the tie project. Originally I pinned this project on my 'Christmas Things to Try' board on Pinterest from but when I went back to make the ornaments, the link (nor a search) yielded any results. To make simple Christmas Trees that you can hang on your tree or really anywhere to decorate, follow these instructions!

Cut your ribbon to a 24" length. I scoured the dollar store (are you seeing a shopping theme yet?) for the colors I wanted and ended up with 1" width rolls of grosgrain and shear. This example uses grosgrain, but I've used shear ribbon equally well (see the green tree in the finished product picture).

Next I threaded a needle (I don't think the type of thread or color matters but it easier to use a color and something thicker), threaded a bead and tied a square knot around it. Then I cut off about 15" of the thread from the spool.

Insert the needle through the center of the ribbon (width wise) about 2" from one end and thread another bead.

Fold the ribbon back on itself, making the fold at a little shorter than 2" from the bead and insert the needle through the part of the ribbon that lands at the top hole of the bead. Continue folding the ribbon back on itself a little shorter each time and alternating with beads.

After four folds on either side, end by threading one last bead on the top. Immediately insert the needle from the ribbon side of the bead back through to the top again.

After leaving an appropriate sized loop for the hanger, tie off the thread in a square knot under the bead (between the top bead and the ribbon).

Almost done! The last step is to use a match or lighter to melt the cut edges of the ribbon (no matter whether you use shear or grosgrain) so that they won't fray.

That's it! Now mass produce to your heart's content... also great for homemade gifts.

Here is the original from

Hope you have lots of fun making these!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Man's Tie to Cell Phone/Card Wristlet

I have to admit... blogging about projects is new to me! In fact, craft projects themselves are new to me. Sometime around late summer I began to try my hand at DIY -- I think this correlates to my enrollment in Pinterest. So forgive me if my projects show my rookie status!

I saw a great upcycle (<--- I've even internalized the Pinterest lingo) on (but sadly I can't find this project anymore) and pinned it on my 'Things I Might Try' board. This little tie turned wristlet germinated in the back of my mind until I saw a neat Christmas tie in the dollar store one day and decided that THIS would be one of my next experiments. That's a good word for it.

When I went back to the source of the pin, I realized that the wristlet did not have any instructions. This made me even more enticed by the challenge and I vowed to photograph my attempt in case I wanted to publish my way of executing this garment transformation for the benefit (hopefully!) of all of you.

So I started with a tie. (I can honestly say that for my next one, I'll be more choosy... The tie I used narrowed too quickly which made the card pocket a little strange. You'll see.) My tie cost $1.08 and came with a Christmas carol playing device (white circular thing in picture below). Due to the lasting craftsmanship of these products, the jingle lasted about three times, so I got rid of it before I got too deep into the project. 

First I measured from the fat end of the tie. I simulated the sizing I'd need using my cell phone and a credit card. It helped me to use stickers to determine where the snaps would be. (I had stars on hand.)

The length from the fat end of the tie to my cut ended up being about 12 inches.

Next I got a ring from a spare key chain I had (this ended up being from a "Team Bride" keychain I got as a freebie when one of my girlfriends dragged me to a bridal show last year...)  This I used to simulate the wrist strap. From the skinny end of the tie, this was about 13.75 inches total. 

I also used the ring to simulate the piece to attach the wrist strap to the pouch. 

This measured about 2.5 inches (I cut this from the skinny end after I cut the wrist strap)

After making the cuts, I sewed the long sides of each piece with a straight stitch to give the strap the same detail as the sewed pouch will have. I didn't sew the point of the skinny end. I don't think I had a real reason for skipping that part but you can look at the pictures further along and see if you want to do it after all.

Now onto the pouch. I pinned the card holder portion in place and started at the bottom right corner with a straight stitch to add the detail.  I sewed across the bottom and then up the left side (which attached the skinniest part of this piece making the card holder) and all the way up to the point of the fat end. I stopped here for now because I needed the wrist strap to be done before sewing down the right side. (see how the top of the holder is a little skinny?)

Skipping back to the wrist strap... I tucked the unfinished/cut end of the tie into the pointy end so that I wouldn't have to sew a nice end. 

Then I positioned the ring in place at the tucked end and sewed across the short distance to secure the ring in that spot. I say that casually, but it actually took me about 4 tries to get this right. Not that I think this step is hard, but my brain was having a hard time translating my vision to my hands :-)

To complete the wrist strap, I looped the smallest piece around the other side of the loop and pinned it into the card holder flap on the pouch. I picked up the straight stitch from the apex of the fat end of the tie and continued down the right side, ensuring the card holder was formed and the wrist strap was secure in that seam. At the end of this step, my needle was back at the bottom right corner of the pouch where I started.

Almost done! I picked up some no-sew snaps in the sewing section of Walmart (~$1.50 for a pack of ten snap sets) and positioned them where my handy star stickers were. After hammering away, I ended up with a holiday-themed wristlet that held my essentials!

Here is the finished product that I just couldn't wait to use -- even though it was still 10 days before Thanksgiving. Nothing like my newfound crafting enthusiasm to put me in the holiday spirit!

I can easily see myself creating these for other seasons... Or even just make a year-round model like my inspiration from the website. 

Good luck to all of you and Happy Holidays!