Pin Cushion Cactus

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It has been way too long since I have made something for me.  So long, in fact, that I cannot remember what the last thing was. I have been looking for ideas for a super cute pin cushion now that I have started sewing again and when I came across some felt cacti, I knew I had a winner. Cacti and needles just go together perfectly, plus it is super cute and something you would not mind to keep out as decor.

Disclaimer: I apologize for not always putting my supplies in the photo but a lot of what I come up with are last minute light bulb moments. 🙂

You will need:

  • Green felt for cactus
  • Pink felt for flower
  • Glitter canvas for flower (I am obsessed with this stuff)
  • Mini yellow pom poms
  • Mini pearl beads (not pictured)
  • Embroidery floss or sewing machine
  • Fiberfill
  • Small clay pot
  • Styrofoam for inside pot (not pictured)
  • Rocks to cover styrofoam (not pictured)
  • Hot glue

p.s. Check out these amazing iridescent colored scissors! I have been looking for some fun, unique craft scissors, especially for all the craft photos I take and I could not resist these.

Cut out 6 pieces of green felt into oval like shapes but with a flat bottom.  The length could be as tall as you want it, just make sure the width is about as wide as your pot. Using your sewing machine or by hand, sew together two pieces at a time around the arc leaving the bottom flat side open. Repeat with the other 4 pieces to make 2 more pairs. Take all 3 pairs of sewn green felt, layer them on top of each other and sew them together with a line right down the middle. For thinner wool felt, I was able to use my machine, but for craft felt, I had to sew it by hand as it was too thick.

Using a chopstick or pencil, stuff your cactus sections with the fiberfill.  You should have 6 sections to stuff.  Make them nice and full to give your pins something to hold on to.

To make the flower, I used 3 different types of flower shapes to layer on to each other. (It is not necessary to have the hole in the light pink flower. I made it thinking I was going to do some things differently but ended up not needing it.) Hot glue them together and stick the little pom poms on top. Take your little pearl beads and glue them onto the spines of each section.  You could use the ball pins for this part of the decor as well, but I wanted mine to be a more permanent feature of the cactus.

For the pot, an old styrofoam ball happened to fit inside perfectly. I used some decorative rocks to cover the sides of the ball and hot glued them on: hot glue, rocks, let cool, shake off, repeat. This required quite a few layers to get the height and coverage I wanted.When you are satisfied with your rock coverage, add a generous amount of hot glue to the center of the styrofoam and put your cactus on top.  Hold it down for a few seconds in order to make sure it sticks. It was so easy, that I made a darker, circular shaped cacti for my mom as a thank you for re-teaching me how to sew. Instead of oval shaped felt, cut out circular ones with flat bottoms for this type of cactus.

Add your pins and you’re done!

Star Spangled Shaker Wands

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Part of the problem of being a crafter is that there is always another tool/toy that you want.  Have you seen those awesome clear plastic shaker pouches where you can add confetti and sequins inside?  Well, I love them. They are made using a fuse tool to melt the plastic together, which I don’t have but want one day. When I saw the Fourth of July Ribbon Wand from Sweet Rose Studio,  I knew that there had to be a way that I could make these with the supplies I had. And that’s when I thought, GLUE GUN!

For these star spangled wands you will need:

  1. To start with the shaker top of your wand, cut out a shape template. This star was 4 inches across. Insert it into the plastic sleeve.
  2. Heat up the glue gun and run the tip of the glue gun around your shape template slowly to melt the two plastic layers together. Make sure to do this on top of a heat proof surface. I used a silicone mat on top of my cutting mat.
  3. Fuse all the edges together leaving an opening big enough to put in the confetti and glitter stars.
  4. Cut out your star around the fused area leaving extra plastic around the open section.

Cut out some stars, a little larger than the confetti, out of the glitter canvas.  I cut enough to glue them back-to-back so that each side was a glitter side!

Remove your paper template from inside the plastic and insert your confetti and glitter stars, the best part! To seal it off, put your paper template on top of your heat mat with your shaker star on top.  You can see the template through the plastic and this will allow you to continue to fuse along the remaining edges with your glue gun. The lines were not as straight and thin as they would be with a fuse tool, but they did the job for this project.

Since this was so last minute, I was not able to find any 4th of July themed ribbon. Using the same confetti, I glued red, white and blue stars to the white ribbon. Figure out how full you want your ribbon wands to be and how long to cut them. I used 5 red and 3 white ribbons about 16 inches long. Take your wood dowel and glue gun the ribbons all around the top.Wrap your thin rope to cover the edges of the ribbon around the top of the dowel and secure with hot glue. Add a generous amount of hot glue to the wrapped rope, wait a few seconds for it to cool a bit, and then attach your shaker star.You are ready for your 4th of July parade!


Shell Necklace and the Heart of Te Fiti 

If you caught my last #FridayIntroductions on Instagram, you know that Moana is THE movie in our house right now. Our little girl told us that she is going to ask for the Heart of Te Fiti for Christmas. Of course, she doesn’t know that Christmas is a whole 7 months away, but her innocence is so endearing.  She was so patient, I wanted to surprise her!  Not just with the shell necklace, but one that opened to hold the Heart of Te Fiti wherever she went!

There are 3 parts to this tutorial. Although it is not one of my easiest DIYs, it is definitely doable if you customize how detailed you want it to be.

Here is how you can make your own shell necklace and Heart of Te Fiti gem.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using the links below.

Tutorials 1 & 2
Moana’s Necklace – Abalone Shell & Pearl Cording

You will need:

  • 1 sheet of stiff light blue felt for shell base
  • 1 sheet of light blue craft felt
  • 1 sheet of grey felt
  • Adhesive velcro for fabric
  • Shell template – download HERE
  • Brown cording
  • Pearl beads
  • Small silver jump ring (not pictured)
  • Embroidery thread (optional)
  • Sequins & seed beads (optional)
  • Hot glue

Tutorial 1
Moana’s Necklace – Abalone Shell

Cut out your pieces of felt according to the instructions on the template. Make sure to cut the notch at the top of the grey felt and base felt pieces. In order to give the shell it’s 3D shape, cross over the two notched pieces on your base felt and glue together depending on how deep you want your shell to be. Repeat with your grey felt pieces.

Depending on how detailed you would like to get, you can decorate your shell in a variety of ways. On the bottom portion, I used sequins to mimic the waves of color in an abalone shell, but you could also embroider, glue on other felt pieces, or even use fabric marker.

For the top portion of the shell, I embroidered the wave and tribal signs from the necklace in the movie. Take your decorated pieces and glue them on top of the light blue base. Repeat with the back portions.  Make sure to mirror the grey felt on the back to the front so that the two pieces will fit together seamlessly.

To attach the shell to the necklace, thread a piece of cording about 4 inches long through the silver ring. knot on top and at the bottom. Cut a thin rectangular piece of the stiff felt. This will be used to secure the cording to the shell.

Place the cording on the back of the decorated shell piece with the silver loop peeking out the top. Glue the strip of felt across the cording, in the middle of the two knots. Glue together the front and back of the shell at the top, only about an inch wide so that the shell will open. Cut some velcro pieces and attach along the bottom and sides so that it will secure the gem inside.

Tutorial 2
Moana’s Necklace – Pearl Cording

String your pearl beads on the cording and knot before and after each bead to hold them in place. Moana’s necklace has a lot of detail and I decided that it would be easier to add them after the pearl base was completed. Take another piece of cording and tie your loops onto your base in the same pattern as Moana’s necklace above. Lastly, knot cording to each of the larger loops and cut close to the knot.

You can now attach your shell. I used cording to tie a loop from the jewelry hoop to the necklace but you could open the hoop up and attach it that way. Your necklace is done! Time to start the gem!

Tutorial 3
The Heart of Te Fiti

You will need:

  • A tool with a pointed tip to engrave the details (I used a chopstick and a meat thermometer!)

Knead your clay until it softens and create a small dish like shape to hold a couple drops of your green dye. Mix in. Wear gloves as the dye seeps out through the sides as you are mixing it together.

Continue to add dye until you get the desired shade of green. Roll it into a ball and then shape the semi pointed ends on top and bottom. Make sure it will fit in your shell necklace. Using your tools, recreate the design on the stone from the movie.  You can smooth over any rough spots by rubbing them gently with your fingertips. I wish ours glowed in the dark a little more, but mixing it with the transparent clay dulled it out a bit. Like I said above, skip the transparent. The package should give you baking instructions but I did mine at 275 degrees for 30 minutes.

Let it cool, pop it into the abalone shell and…

surprise your own little Moana!

GUEST PEACE: Felt Flamingo Purse

Kelly is a mother to two beautiful girls and a self-proclaimed “maker of beautiful messes.” She has been crafting in one form or another for most of her life and gets the most joy out of watching that same creative spirit growing in her girls. She loves unicorns, cake, peonies and anything that glitters. Her trusty hot glue gun never leaves her side.

In my house, there is a lot of pretend play and dress up happening constantly. My oldest daughter is 6 and quite the “girly-girl.” I swear, I have no idea where she gets this from. No seriously, it wasn’t me. I wear only flip flops, have a handful of dresses shoved in the back of my closet and have been using the same purse for the last 3 years. My daughter however…she’s obsessed with dresses, purses, shoes, and even makeup! She has an entire dress-up wardrobe bursting with princess dresses, purses, shoes, wands, tiara’s, you name it. Nothing makes her happier than to put on a fancy dress with accessories and prance about the house, showing off to anyone who will pay attention.

Her current obsession is with purses. Which she will carefully pack with chapstick, bracelets, toys and anything else that will fit, before we leave the house. She will then last a total of 5 minutes carrying her purse around before getting tired of it and wanting someone else to hold it for her. So now purses have been limited to dress-up play at home only.

This project was inspired by my little girly-girl, who clearly is in need of yet another purse. It’s perfect for playtime and gives me all those summertime feels!

You will need:

If you can trace, cut and weld a hot glue gun, this project will be easy as pie!

Start by printing out and preparing your templates.

On your premium pink felt you’ll be cutting out two of the Body Templates and Feather Templates. The number of Feather Templates will depend on how long you need the purse to be as this acts as the strap. I used 10 for mine.

On your black felt you’ll be cutting out the Black Beak Template.

On your white felt you’ll be cutting out the White Beak Template.

On your pink glitter felt you’ll be cutting out two of the Wing Templates, the Head Template and the Neck Template.

Once you have all of your pieces cut out, you are ready to begin assembly!

Begin by taking your Head piece and hot gluing the Black Beak portion on top, lining up the edges.

Next, hot glue the White Beak portion onto the Head, making sure it butts right up against the Black Beak and lines up on the edges.

Look at that fabulous Flamingo head you just made! That Flamingo needs a neck, so go ahead and grab your Neck piece and hot glue it down onto the back of the Head.

Now we’re going to jump over to the body, which will be just as fabulous! So set the head and neck piece aside for just a minute. We’ll come back to it later.

Take your two Body pieces and line them up together but don’t hot glue them just yet! First, you want to line up your Wings on either side of the body, so that the tail feather portion meets up just beyond the end of the body. Make sure they are even on both sides of the Body before gluing down. I also drew some designs onto my Wings to give them more character, so go crazy and be creative with it.

Keeping those two Body pieces together and lined up, grab your Head and Neck piece and glue down the other end of the Neck in between the two Body pieces. Starting from the Neck, glue just the very bottom of the Body pieces together, all the way to where the tail feathers on the Wings meet up. This is where you could also sew if you preferred, but I’m a fan of how fast and easy the hot glue is and I think it holds just as well.

You’re going to leave the top open, so you can place all the goodies in there, but feel free to add a button, snap or zipper if you’re super talented!

For this next part, you’ll need your little model, to determine how long to make the strap. Start off with at least 6 feathers and glue them together, flipping every other feather over so you have a staggered pattern. Add as many more feathers as you need for the desired length.

You’re going to glue one end of the strap to the head of the Flamingo and the other end to the body. You might need your little model again to make sure everything lays nicely. Or that could just be me obsessively checking and getting eye rolls from my daughter. Just go with it!

And you’re done! Can you believe how fast and easy that was?

To see more fun and colorful crafts, follow Kelly on Instagram @rosyposycrafts!