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A Felt Christmas

We want to wish you a Merry Felt-mas!  While much of our Christmas decor was Star Wars themed the other side of the house was all about felt Christmas.  I fell in love with some small felt Christmas birds a couple of years ago and the felt just grew from there.  Now we have even more felt birds, banners, trees, wreaths, table runners…  The felt list goes on and on.  You name it and we have felt Christmas’d it.  So to finish out this year’s Christmas posts and give you a final tour we welcome you to our felt Christmas.

Felt Christmas Decorations

In keeping with the felt Christmas theme we try to keep everything simple, cozy, and shades of red, green, and white.  The mantel features enough stockings for our family of six, a simple cut fabric banner, felt wreath, and some little felt animals.  We have a few Christmas pillows, that while not felt, have a warm crewel embroidered snowflake and birds.  Oddly, enough I don’t really even like birds that much IRL.  Apparently, I just like the felt ones.

Felt Christmas Mantel

In case you need some of your own felt Christmas birds I found these adorable ones on Amazon. (Affiliate links to follow)

Felt Christmas Birds

Since this is our main living room we put the live Christmas tree in there.  You will notice that the wreath is hung with the same ribbon on the tree.  I try to be all uniform and snazzy like that.  I have finally managed to replace 95% of my plastic ornaments with glass ones.  If you look closely you can see some mercury glass ornaments with everyone’s initials.  That was a splurge (even when they were on sale) from Anthropologie last year.  To add some pops we have started collecting white ceramic and glass ornaments.  Nothing really pops like white on a dark green tree.  Adam and I spent a lot of time carefully placing and re-placing each other’s ornaments.  Until we gave up on either of us getting them exactly like we wanted them.  Compromise is the soul of Christmas right?

Mercury glass letter Christmas ornaments

We add LOTs of lights (Cause why not make it glow like a thousand suns?!), crystals, but also some pretty cardboard stars to keep it glimmery but in keeping with the rustic felt Christmas theme.

Red, white, and gold Christmas tree in a felt Christmas living room.

The TV stand features a cut snowflake runner in… you got it… red felt.  With a matching tree like the one on the mantel and, of course, more felt animals.

Finally the bookcase showcases my true obsession with felt animals.  In case the fox and squirrel vignette wasn’t enough we also have a quartet of birds in felt camping and snow gear.  Don’t worry there are also Christmas books for the kids on the bookcase and a nice wooden ‘JOY’ sign to break up all the felt goodness.

Felt Christmas Animal Vignette

So if you are feeling our felt (and even if you aren’t) we just want you to know we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year… felt Christmas style!


Adam & Brianna

Felt Christmas Birds

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Spooky Spider From Gloves

Stuffed Halloween spider made from gloves

Hello and Happy October Craft Thyme readers!

My name is Laura, and I blog at The Experimental Home, where I share my everyday creative experiments. I “met” Brianna back in August, when she was my package pal. We hit it off, and decided to pull the ol’ switcharoo on you today, I hope you don’t mind.

Now that it is actually October, I am getting excited for Halloween. It is such a fun holiday, and it is so much fun to
make silly and spooky decorations. Yeah, for me, silly and spooky go together. I am the kind of girl that laughs at horror
films (to the point that my husband won’t go to a scary movie with me). Speaking of silly and spooky, check out this spider I am going to show you how to make today… can you believe I made it out of a pair of gloves?

pair of gloves spider

I picked up a pair of basic black stretchy gloves in the dollar section of my local Michaels. Clearly I didn’t go to the
craft store to find gloves, but I can’t resist browsing the deals in the dollar section. I looked at the 8 fingers and immediately thought spider… I know, I am weird like that. I took them home and experimented until I came up with the perfect pair of gloves spider.

black gloves

The first thing to do to transform these gloves into a spider is to give them a little structure. I used pipe cleaners so
the spider’s legs would be bendable and shapeable. I folded a pipe cleaner in half and bent down the tips to keep them from poking through the fingertips of the gloves.

pipe cleaner for spider

I stuck the two ends of the pipe cleaner in two adjacent fingers. Since there are eight fingers, I needed a total of four
pipecleaners, plus one for the thumbs. For the thumbs, I just bent down the tips and stuck it in one thumb for the time being.

gloves and pipe cleaners

Time to stuff. Get out a bag of fiberfill and stuff those gloves. I found it was easier to stuff each finger individually
before stuffing the palm. Stuff all the fingers first, then the palm and thumb of the glove with the pipe cleaner hanging
out – get it good and stuffed. Don’t stuff the palm or thumb of the other glove yet.

stuffed gloves

Finally, stick the loose pipe cleaner end in the other thumb, and fill the thumb with stuffing. Now you are all set to transform your gloves into a spider. Put the stuffed glove inside the empty one folding the cuff of the empty one under as you go.

Look, you have a spider!

pair of gloves spider

Spend a little time (or way to long if you want) bending and sculpting the legs to make your little spider look just right.
Then seal up the “seam”. I just squirted in a little fabric glue, but you could also use white or hot glue, or simply stitch
him shut. For a little extra fun, I glued on eight googly eyes. I actually took a minute to search  spider eyes on google images to learn about spider-eye arrangements… yikes, that’s a creepy bunch of images. Happy Halloween!

Good thing my pair of gloves spider is just as silly as he is spooky.

pair of gloves spider

Here is a fun spider factoid, the pincher things in front of spider’s mouth (made by the thumbs of my gloves) are called chelicerae. The final segment of the chelicerae are the spider’s fangs. Google image that if you dare.

So, if you have a few minutes and a pair of gloves, make your self a little spider and show off your new spider knowledge.
Better yet, help a kid in your life make a pair of gloves spider and learn all about spiders together.

A big thank you to Brianna for swapping blogs with me today. I can’t wait to see all the fun Halloween projects she has
in store for us!

Don’t forget to stop by The Experimental Home to say hi and check out all my everyday experiments.


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Gold Foil, The Right Way to Gold Leaf Fabric

Fabric with washable gold foil or leaf added

There are plenty of metallic fabric paints on the market, and while they excel at adding shimmer they don’t have that rich metallic leaf look that is so popular on various commercial t-shirts.  It took a little bit of research but I finally figured out how they get gold leaf on fabric and keep it washable.  Allow me to introduce you to Gold Foiling Fabric.

Fabric with washable gold foil or leaf added
Adding bling to your napkins


Supplies to gold leaf or gold foil fabric

Fabric -This fabric had been ombre dyed using this tutorial

Transfer Adhesive* (Full disclosure about this affiliate link: I wasn’t thrilled with the Martha Stewart Transfer Glue I used here.  I might try a different brand.  The important point is that is is tacky when set and stays adhered through gentle washing. Maybe it was user error…)

Metallic Foil Sheets* (These are different than gold leaf. They are thicker and have a backing to the metallic portion)

Sponge applicator

Step 1:  It’s Sticky

Transfer glue on fabric

I wanted a random/worn pattern to my finished foil look so I put the glue at random and used varying thicknesses of glue.  You can get a smoother finish by putting a nice, thick, even application of glue.  You can even use a stencil and apply glue in a pattern.  The important part is to get enough on that the glue quits soaking into the fabric and leaves an even coat on the top layer.

The directions will tell you how long to let the glue set.  My suggestion is to lightly test with your finger.  The glue should stick to your finger but not leave the fabric when set.

Step 2:  Burnish and Repeat

Placing gold foil on fabric

Alright, I know this probably makes sense to everyone else, but put the shiny side up…  You are gluing the backing to the fabric. That was one of my duh moments.  To get a really good bond press the sheet into the glue.  Then burnish the top of the foil with a precision instrument paint brush handle.  Mostly because that was what I had laying around.

Slowly peel the foil from the fabric.  The plastic sheet should peel off and the gold leaf effect remain.  Leaving you with some nice shimmer like this.

Ombre fabric with gold leaf edging turned into a napkin

These final napkins where used in my Summer Pink Lemonade Table Setting seen here.


I already mentioned one important point.  Shiny-side up.  When done I let mine sit for 24 hours to fully cure.

I did hand wash them and the gold stayed put.  I believe it would hold up through a gentle cycle as well.  I just wouldn’t put these napkins up to a BBQ or Crab leg challenge.  But for a special occasion they work great.

It took a bit of practice to do a good application of glue and foil.  If it is your first time I would suggest buying an extra sheet or two of foil to practice with.  The napkins were completed after many trial runs that took to realize how to apply the glue and that burnishing helped.

Finally save your foil sheets if they have any left.  The little flecks make for an interesting effect when pressed into glue

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How to Ombre Dye Fabric

Ombre dyed napkin in peach and pink

I seriously doubt I am the First Hundreth blogger to give a tutorial on how to ombre dye fabric.  However, I am very particular about getting smooth even transition from color to color and this tutorial shows you how to achieve a better finish.  I used to dye costumes in college to match a certain director’s choices (I worked in a semi-pro costume shop as a stitcher) and I learned a lot about fabric and how it holds color. On to the directions for how to have a smooth ombre dye:

Ombre dyed napkin in peach and pink
See the smooth transition from pink to white…. Oh that is sooo nice.


Supplies to ombre dye napkins

Dye (I tried Dylon Dye* for the first time in this post.  Rit Dye* works fine too)

Multiple large pans for dyeing

Water (very hot if you can’t heat it)

Salt or other chemicals to set the dye

Fabric (Cotton, Silk, and Rayon work best with most dyes.  Specialty dyes, temperatures or agents may be required for other fabrics.  Don’t be obstinate, read the directions)


Old Towel or piece of fabric


I can’t emphasize enough that the fabric be pre-washed.  Even if it ‘claims’ to be ready to dye.  During that pre-wash detergent that is used must be thoroughly rinsed out.   UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES use fabric softener in the pre-wash.

Step 1 Bathing the Dye or Preparing the Dye Bath :)

Preparing a dye bath with Dylon dye.
I’ll admit, I’m a little kid inside. I love to watch the dye swirl around.

Follow or Discard the directions on your dye.  While this may seem counter-intuitive what I mean is ask yourself a question.  Do I want the color of my fabric to come out even and exactly like the dye packet?  If yes, then follow the dye manufacturers guidelines.  If you are going to mix colors and experiment then go for it!  I added a ton of extra water and a little orange to get a pastel-peachy dye.  Totally not kosher according to the package.

Important: prepare the dye for the darkest color you want to achieve.

Step 2: How the Hell Do I Know How Dark It is?

Dye test strips
The more dye you mix the better you are at gauging how much you need. I thoroughly ‘fubar’ed my first bath up because Dylon dye is waaaay darker than Rit. Wasted a ton of dye which makes me angry. It isn’t exactly cheap.

Here is one of the MOST important steps in dyeing.  Test Strips.  I don’t care if you are peeling a string out of a hem. Get a thread to test with at least.  Because the chances the color is going to be right on first dye dip are slim.  You’ll need to adjust color or time in the bath.  And maybe even more important RINSE AND DRY THE TEST FABRIC.  I rinse under cold water and iron mine because I am impatient.  See how the middle sample is so much darker?  That is still wet, while the one on the right is partially dried by the iron.

Note: the old towel is used because a little dye comes off while ironing.

Step 3: Dilution

Watering down the original dye to make three colors

Once you have gotten the dye to your liking take some of it and add it to a bowl and dilute it in half. Basically add the same amount of water as you did prepared dye.  Then take the diluted solution and add it to a third bowl and dilute it in half again.  I like to test my dye and make sure the three colors are different enough to be noticeable.  Sometimes this requires adding a little dye or water to make three distinct colors.

Once you have them to your liking take your fabric and dip it in the lightest color as high as you want your ombre to go.  Finally set a timer and move it around a little (up and down) every few minutes. This will make the dye line more subtle.  My first dip was 15 min and I moved it around a little every 5.  I don’t pre-wet my fabric as I like the dye to wick up the fabric slightly during an ombre process.

Step 4: Dying for Dyeing

Three stages of ombre dyeing

Here is the boring part.  You have to do the same process as step three for all three solutions.  Next you dip in the medium strength solution about halfway up the dye part.  Wiggling it in and out of the dye line to make the edge more gradual.  Finally, you hit the tips with the darkest.  As you can see I did multiples at a time; moving one from one bath to the next in rotation.  It is really tempting to put a bunch of fabric in each pot to speed up the process…  Resist.  I repeat: Resist.

When you are done rinse them well under cold water BEFORE washing.  Extra dye will stain the white or light portion of the fabric no matter what.  Rinsing keeps this to a minimum.

Finally wash and dry your items as suggested by the dye manufacturer and fabric type.

Pink ombre dyed napkin
I folded the fabric in half and did both ends at once to get this ombre look on both sides of the napkin.  Also didn’t iron it… In case you were admiring the wrinkles.


As usual gloves are useful for not dyeing your hands… And as usual I did not have any and ended the day with nice pink fingers.

Fabric with washable gold foil or leaf addedWhile these napkins look pretty good, I took them one step further by adding gold foil (a kind of fabric friendly gold leaf) to the edges.  Tutorial for gold foiling fabric will be up 8/8.  Here is a preview.


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Sea Shells & Lemonade = Table Decor?

Sea shell inspired table decor.

I initially had the idea for this table setting from some sea shells I found when scrounging through my mess of a basement.   I had saved a small bag of pink scallop shells and thought they would make a good basis to start my summer decor.  Though I live  in the mountains my second love is the beach.  I wish I was a lake girl, since so many lakes are so much closer, but the mud, the dark water, the…  Nope it is sand and surf for me.  However, any good mountaineer knows overdoing the surf theme just seems out of place.  So here is my hybrid of pink, salmon, & gold.  Call it pink sand, shore, and lemonade inspiration.

Table decor inspired by pink sea shells
I’m so good at naming tablescapes… #sarcasm. Please suggest better names in the comments! Please!

The table setting is anchored by a diy ribbon chandelier (tutorial here) above and gold tulle net runner below.  The gold accents unify the various shades of pink that run from rose to salmon.  Shoo… okay I can say I used my art degree today to critique my design.  Now on the the fun stuff!


I knew I wanted some fun pink desserts and, thank the grocery gods, I walked by a display for Pillsbury pink-lemonade cupcakes.

Table setting inspired by pink seashells
Read below to learn more about my awesome baking skills.

Yes I can bake…  But can I decorate a cake?  Oh hell no.  It is a crafting skill that is just beyond me.  Knowing this, I often take the easy way out with mixes, pre-made icing, and sugar sprinkles.  As far as I can tell sugar sprinkles cover a multitude of sins.  Plus who could walk away from a thing of icing labeled ‘Pink Lemonade”.  And I swear I am not getting paid by Pillsbury to say all this awesome stuff.  Though, if they would like to, feel free to give me a ring.

Pink and Gold table decor
I like to call this the sugar, sugar, sugar portion of the table

Oh my!  I almost forgot mixed berry sangria!  Perhaps I should preface this with my Facebook status:pink-fb-statusNot to be a braggart but I make multiple awesome sangrias.  Citrus, berry, peach, etc… One for every season.  The recipe for this mixed berry and lemonade one will be up Thursday!

Salmon and Pink place settings
Gold Finger! A tutorial for creating your own gold sea shells and sand dollars from paper clay is in the works.

One of the things I enjoyed most about creating this display was learning to gold foil fabric (tutorial coming).  I thought the ombre dyed napkins (another upcoming tutorial) really set of each place setting because of the gold edging.  I’ll leave you with one more picture and a list of craft tutorials and how-tos required to recreate this summer table decor.

Sea shell inspired table decor.


I would love to have a better name and ideas on what you like or would improve.  Every table display is a learning experience so please leave comments.  Other than the cupcakes… Those mo-fo’s were delicious!


How to Dye Sand

Permanent Sea Glass Finish

Modern Ribbon Chandelier (yes it is supposed to look like that)

Mixed Berry Sangria

Ombre Dyed Napkins

Gold Foiling Fabric August 8, 2013

Mold Making from Polymer Clay (Gold Seashells and Sand Dollars) I have photos and how tos but I am not sure how many people like to sculpt and make molds…  I may or may not post a tutorial.

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See more great crafts and decor at these link parties: Our Home Away From Home, Today’s Creative Blog, Daisy Cottage Designs, Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths, Live Laugh Rowe, The Crafty Blog Stalker