As we keep in mind our consumption and impact on the world around us, one of my personal focuses has been fashion. Fast fashion is a huge environmental drain, as well as a source of many unethical work practices. While I always advocate for second-hand clothing, I understand that sometimes we want something for our wardrobe that you just can seem to locate. Etsy also has great handmade and second-hand options, but for new purchases, I found this great list of brands working on both improving the ethics and sustainability of the clothing supply chain.
Do you struggle with creative endeavors? I think we all do. As creatives, we set such high expectation for ourselves, and for the right reasons. Lately, I have changed my focus from visual creative projects to more written ones. Worry not! I have some new projects in the works and will soon make an appearance. Hears to keeping the faith, and knowing that creativity doesn’t exist on a schedule.
Locally, the public library in Middleton, WI has an awesome upcoming event; A Craft Swap. You can bring your unused materials and trade for items will actually use! What a great way to reduce waste and make sure that your items find a good home. Does your local community center or library do something similar?
Have you seen Target.com DIY crafts section? Of course they link directly to product that you can purchase through Target.com, but there are a few great ideas, and some of the materials you probably already have hanging around. We’re talking egg decorating, centerpieces, even candy jewelry!
I’m always on the lookout for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. Currently we’re in a bit of a bind on our recycling (most of what we recycle ends up in the garbage, regardless of our good intentions), so I’ve definitely been more mindful of reducing my consumption and attempting to reuse what I already have. So when I found this great dog toy DIY, I had to share.
Are you looking for a kickstart to your crafts? Are you looking to expand out of your usual craft without a large investment? Have you considered a subcription box? Here are 5 boxes I recommend, but there are plenty of others.
A great box for an artist (or someone who aspires to be one). A box is delivered monthly featuring a different artist that highlights their time period, 8-11 trial/full sized art supplies, a suggested project and a detailed pamphlet introducing a new art medium.
Knit Crate is a monthly yarn subscription for knitting and crochet. They partner with different designers and fiber artists to deliver curated project kits complete with inspiring premium yarns and patterns.
If you haven’t heard, much of the Midwest is trapped inside due to the effects of a polar vortex. Temperatures here in Wisconsin are in the double digit negatives – without windchill. Gang, that’s cold enough to turn boiling water into snow nearly instantly.
Since Winter (the dog) shockingly has decided that -20ºF might be too cold to play outside, we have hunkered down. I’ve spent the day tidying, which is usually the worst thing to do, but I feel pretty good about it. Even on a day as ‘miserable’ as today, I’m feeling pretty happy. And it might just be because yesterday I made over a dozen pieces of jewelry, and I’m still feeling a crafter’s high.
Apparently I’m not alone: According to astudypublished in the Journal of Positive Psychology, 658 students at Otago University in New Zealand, participated in arts and crafts. They journaled their emotions after partaking in creative endeavors and overwhelmingly felt calmer, happier, and more energetic the next day. The craft didn’t matter – writing, coloring, designing, knitting; all reported crafts netted an improvement of mood. That’s not the only study…there are dozens that detail how crafts can improve mood and treat anxiety, and even further promote MORE creativity!
Have a leather good that fell apart? Bought scraps online for another project? This is a great quick project that is fast and easy (but doesn’t look like it).
Cutting tool (I’m using a rotary cutter here, but you could use an Exacto or similar blade)
Leather Hole Punch (these often come in rivet sets). I’m just using a hole punch from Martha Stewart Crafts
Rubber Mallet (do not use a standard hammer – you’ll damage your tools and the noise will be awful while you do)
Chalk marker or similar to mark on the leather without being permanent
Since I wanted to use this envelope to hold cards, I used one to start my template. However, if you wanted this for something else like a phone, the same basic idea applies. Draw lines giving yourself about 1/4 inch extra space.
Mark the halfway point of each side of your rectangle. Next mark another mark about 3.5 inches from the original rectangle on all sides.
Cut diagonally from the vertical middle mark to the horizontal mark.
You’ll want to end up with a shape like below. Don’t forget to cut out the notches like in the photo – it’ll make the folding both neater and easier.
Using the leather hole punch, punch a hole in each corner.
Make sure to line the holes up by folding the corners into the middle. Start by folding in the right side, left side, then the bottom up.
Line up the rivet snaps and hammer them together using your mallet.
I’m showing an inset to help remind you how the rivet snaps come together – the female snap part pairs with the exterior tab, and you use the tool with the narrow point to hammer into the flat slide of the base.
The two male parts of the snap pair together (the longer goes on the bottom). Use the tool with with the concave point to hammer into the convex part of the base.
That’s it! Once you have the rivet hammering down, you can translate it to lots of other scrap goods – like cord wraps and key chains!
Do you have a kid’s watercolor palette, some paper and a small frame around? Then you have all you need for this super fast and easy decor item!
I used water color paper since it holds the paint without warping. The trick is keeping your brush mostly dry and using quick little strokes to paint the kiss shape. Since lipstick kisses are usually a little smudged, you don’t have to worry about being perfect!