Parrot Clay Zoo Friend

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day


A perfect playmate for any “little pirate”, this colorful parrot is sure to stimulate the imagination! Made from clay, your child’s new feathered friend will bring a ton of fun along with it.



  • Polyform Sculpey Bake Shop Oven-Bake Clay: Black, Blue, Red, White, Yellow
  • Black chenille stems, two 12” lengths


  • Parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Oven thermometer
  • Oven

Basic Supplies

toothpick, scissors, ruler



3″ tall


Adults, help kids when baking clay in oven.


1. On clean work surface, remove clay from packages. To condition, roll clay separately in hands until soft, bending and rolling until pliable. If clay cracks, keep conditioning.

2. For parrot, roll large Red oval (body) and two large Red balls (wings). Form one end of body into tail. Shape other end of body to create head. Shape and press wings on sides of body.

3. For feathers, roll Yellow and Blue logs and press on wings. See photo. Slide toothpick downward along wing to create feather details.

4. Roll two White ovals (eyes) and press on sides of head. Roll two tiny Black balls (pupils) and press on eyes. Roll two tiny Black logs (beak) and press on front of head.

5. For legs, measure and cut two 6” lengths of black chenille stem; fold in half and twist together to create 3” legs. Cut small 3” black chenille stem lengths; twist around legs, forming claws. Insert chenille stem ends into bottom of body.

6. Position parrot on parchment-lined baking sheet. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake in oven. Let cool completely.

for Polyform Products (

Snowman Candle Jar

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day


Winter usually brings snow… and soon snowmen will pop up everywhere throughout the neighborhood! Paint this adorable Snowman Candle Jar centerpiece to decorate your table and celebrate the winter season!


  • Glass items: quart jar, flower pot votive candle holder
  • Wooden teardrop, medium
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paints: Black, Tangerine, Antique Rose, Antique White
  • Fabrics: green/tan checked, 1”x24”; green/tan/mauve checked, 6” circle
  • Black felt, 6-1⁄2” circle
  • Pine sprigs, 1”-2” long, six
  • Mauve beaded branches, 2” to 2-1⁄2” long, four
  • Mauve berry pick, 2” long
  • Jute twine, 22” length
  • Votive candle


  • All-purpose sealer
  • Black permanent marker
  • Liner brush
  • Adhesives: Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue, hot glue gun and sticks

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler, pencil, sponge, paintbrush, sandpaper, soft cloth, rubber band



Wash and dry jar. Use sponge to apply sealer to entire outside surface; let dry. Sponge paint jar rim Black and remaining areas Antique White. Basecoat nose Tangerine. Sand nose edges; wipe dust with soft cloth.


Print pattern; transfer face to jar and details to nose. Drybrush cheeks Antique Rose. Paint eyes, eyebrows, lines under eyes, and mouth Black. Use liner brush to add White highlight strokes to cheeks and to add highlight dots to eyes and cheeks. Use marker to trace nose details.


For base, turn jar upside down. Apply craft glue around jar bottom, 1” from edge. Center fabric circle over jar; position rubber band over circle to gather. Let dry, remove rubber band, and tie twine around fabric. Return jar to upright position.


For hat, apply craft glue around jar rim. Cut 1-1⁄2” circle from center of felt circle. Center circle over jar; position rubber band over circle to gather. Let dry, remove rubber band, and tie fabric strip around felt.


Use hot glue gun to glue pine sprigs, beaded branches, and berries to hat as desired. Insert votive candle into holder and place holder in jar.

by Linda Bauer

Sweet Valentine Treat Bags

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and giving something sweet to someone I love is my favorite way to celebrate!  It’s Jill Cornell here today with quick-and-easy treat bags to fill with goodies for someone special. (Complete supplies and instructions can be found in the February 2013 issue of Crafts ‘n things).

I simply took glassine bags (which are somewhat transparent) and filled them up with treats. Then I decorated each bag. Pebbles, Inc. has a beautiful Valentine-themed collection called “With Love.” For the first bag, I added a transparent doily from Maya Road and a punched paper border. I folded the bag over and then clipped a gift tag, punched heart, and masking tape sticker to the bag with a decorative clothespin.

For the second bag, I cut a paper doily (found at craft stores) in half and punched a heart border strip from patterned paper. The bag was folded over and then I added another gift tag, masking tape sticker, punched heart, and tied the gift tag with twine before adding the cute clothespin.

Finally, I punched a heart border strip, added another transparent doily, and the gift tag with punched heart and masking tape sticker. I added a ribbon bow to the top of the tag and clipped it to the bag with a clothespin.

And now I have beautifully decorated bags to share with someone special!

Jill Cornell from Blessed Scrapper (

Capture Life’s Moments Stamped Card

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day


Explore new techniques when you stamp, color, and embellish this winter beauty.


  • 7 Gypsies Conservatory Mesa Fauna Patterned Paper
  • Pink Paislee Fancy Filigree Patterned Paper
  • Papertrey Ink: Cream Cardstock, Cream Ribbon, and Twine
  • Vintage Sheet Music Paper and Doily
  • Scrap of Black Cardstock
  • Blank Kraft Card Base, 5″x7″
  • Maya Road Chipboard Snowflake Set
  • Advantus Tim Holtz Idea-ology Word Bands
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Adhesive Pearls


  • Spellbinders Grand Calibur Die-Cutting System and Shapeabilities Snowflake Pendant Die S4-286
  • Impression Obsession Sled Wood Stamp H1796
  • Sakura: Koi Watercolor Paints, Small Round Brushes
  • Blue Acrylic Paint
  • Tsukineko Jet Black StazOn Ink Pad
  • Stampin’ Up! White Craft Ink Pad
  • Sparkling Crystal Glitter
  • Iridescent Spray Mist
  • Sewing Machine and Cream Thread
  • Distressing Tool
  • Helmar ScrapDots Adhesive
  • Aleene’s Tacky Craft Glue
  • Glue Stick

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler, paper towel, hair dryer, foam tape (optional)



Stamp image on cream cardstock with black StazOn ink.


Use Sakura Koi Watercolor Paints and the small round paintbrushes to paint the image. Let dry.


Spray doily with iridescent spray; add blue watercolor paint to wet doily. Let dry or dry with a hairdryer.


Trim image and distress edges if desired.


Cut patterned papers to size and mat. (4-7/8”x6-7/8” and 4-3/4”x6-3/4”)


Add doily to the matted papers so the bottom and sides touch the bottom and sides of the smallest piece of patterned paper.


Measure your stamped image and trim a piece of black cardstock slightly larger. Add to your card, lining it up so the top and sides have the same amount of space.


Use the glue stick to adhere the vintage sheet music paper to a piece of cream cardstock. Let dry. Use the Snowflake Pendant from Spellbinders to cut out a vintage sheet music snowflake.


Brush the snowflake with watered down Tacky Glue and sprinkle with crystal glitter. Let dry.


Press the chipboard snowflakes into the White ink pad to coat them with ink. Let dry and brush with Tacky Glue and sprinkle with crystal glitter. Let dry and spritz with Iridescent Spray.


Use your finger to spread a thickish layer of blue acrylic paint over the Metal Word Bands and let sit for a few moments. Make sure the paint sinks into the grooves of each letter. Wipe excess away paint. Let dry. When dry, buff the rest of the paint with a paper towel to remove it from the band.


When the sheet music snowflake is dry, layer it over the top of the doily; center it if desired, or place it to the left as shown.


Add the trimmed, distressed image to the top of the black cardstock at an angle to let the cardstock show through a little.


Wrap a piece of cream grosgrain ribbon around the panel, if desired.


Add some straight stitching with a sewing machine if desired. If not, make sure you have plenty of adhesive to keep your panel together.


Use the twine to tie the Word Band to the panel; a little strip of Foam Tape will elevate it a little, but this is optional.


Add the panel to the Kraft Card Base and stitch around the edge to secure in place.


To attach the glittered snowflakes, place a dollop of Helmar ScrapDots on the back of each one and press into position on the card. If the glue comes out the center of the snowflake, cover with an adhesive pearl.


Add some clear glitter to the roof and other areas of the stamped image for a complete winter look; set your card aside to dry.

by Catherine Scanlon for My Creative Classroom (

Polar Bear Slippers

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day


Perfect for those chilly nights, these soft and furry polar bear slippers are a fun way to keep your feet cozy and warm this winter.


  • White (adult size) slippers
  • White polar fleece, 1/4 yard
  • Blue/white check ribbon, 1-3/8”, one yard
  • Two-hole buttons: black, 1-1/8”, two, 3/8”, four; white, 7/8”, four; blue, 5/8”, four
  • Silver jingle bells, 3/4”, two


  • Sewing needle & white thread
  • Polyester stuffing
  • Safety pins, two
  • Circle cutters or circle templates (optional)

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler


(Note: All sewing is done by hand. For child-size slippers, reduce circle sizes.)

1. For each muzzle, cut 6” polar fleece circle. Sew basting stitch around circle, close to edge; pull stitches to gather. Stuff circle; pull thread ends tightly to form ball around stuffing and knot to secure. Sew large black button to smooth side of muzzle. Make two muzzles; with gathered sides down, sew to front of slippers, near toe.

2. For each ear, cut 3” polar fleece circle; cut in half. Place halves together with right sides together and sew running stitch close to rounded edges to join them, leaving straight edges open. Turn right side out, stuff, and whipstitch straight edge closed. Make four ears; sew to slippers above muzzles at sides.

3. For eyes, sew white, blue, and small black buttons on top of each other above muzzles.

4. Cut ribbon in half and tie bows. Sew jingle bell to center of each. Use safety pins to attach bows to slippers under muzzles. (Note: Remove bows before washing.)

by Mary Ayres

Cards for Boys and Men

Welcome to the Crafts ‘n things Blog. This is my first post of the New Year! I know many of us who are card makers want to try to send more cards this year, and for many of us, making cards for boys and men is one of our hardest tasks.

I want to share with you some tips for making cards for the men in your life!

When designing for guys, I still like to make cards that are visually interesting. I do not think that I need to make plain cards just because the cards are “for the boys.” I want to create cards with layers, embellishments, and trims, the same way I do for the feminine-themed cards that I make.

My first step in creating cards for the guys is to find (or create) a sketch or a layout on which to base the card. Then, I will choose the color scheme. I stick to neutrals and rich, bold tones. I use the colors found in a gentleman’s library or sports club.

If the sketch calls for flowers or ribbon, I will instead reach for gears, buttons, and twine. Metal items also work well for masculine-themed cards. I try to avoid frilly items such as flowers, lace, beads, and other “glitz.”

I stick to masculine images such as sports, boats, vintage cars, and other rustic items. For younger boys I find animals, cute monsters, and circus images work well.

Once you get the hang of crafting for men and boys, it becomes easy. Keep a supply of metal embellishments, buttons, twine, natural fibers and ribbons on hand. Look for rich colors and textures when shopping for paper and cardstock. You will soon have a stack of manly cards in your card stash!

Gloria Stengel from Scraps of Life (

Love Pillow

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day


‘Tis the season… for love! Stitch this elegant pillow to create a romantic atmosphere in your home this Valentine’s Day.


  • 14-count white Aida, 12″x10″
  • White satin or fabric of choice (pillow backing), 12″x10″
  • Anchor 6-Strand Embroidery Floss
  • Gathered white lace of choice, 1-1/2” wide, 1-1/2 yards


  • Embroidery needle
  • Fiberfill (for pillow stuffing)
  • Sewing machine and white thread

Stitch Type

  • Backstitch: 1 strand
  • Cross-stitch: 2 strands

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler, straight pins


Size/Stitch Count

Approx finished size: 8-5/8” w x 6-3/4” h; stitch count 120 w x 95 h


1. Print pattern and key.

2. Stitch design centered on fabric.

3. Backstitch design as shown using 1 strand Gray, Med (Anchor 400) embroidery floss.

4. To create pillow, cut 12”x10” pillow backing; zigzag stitch around edges to prevent raveling. Position pillow backing on work surface and secure lace with pins around outside edges, matching selvages. (Note: Lace should be laying inward, against pillow backing.) Baste lace to pillow backing; remove pins. Place cross-stitched pillow front on pillow backing with right sides together, matching selvages. Secure with pins. Stitch pillow together using 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving 4″ opening for turning. Trim seams and clip corners; turn pillow right side out. Stuff pillow with fiberfill. Hand sew opening closed.

by Pamela Kellogg

Stamped Fern Frame

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day


Why spend a small fortune shopping for a similar frame in catalogs or boutiques when it’s so easy to make in the comfort of your own home? 


  • Heart frame with large surface area
  • STAEDTLER FIMO Soft Oven Bake Clay, White, two packages


  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paints: Eucalyptus, Moss Green
  • Lowe-Cornell Flat Glaze Paintbrush, Series 798, 1”
  • Delta Ceramcoat Clear Glaze
  • Delta Ceramcoat Matter Interior Spray Varnish
  • Fern rubber stamp
  • Clay-dedicated pasta machine or acrylic brayer
  • Oven and parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Textured fabric scrap (optional)
  • Delta Sobo Glue

Basic Supplies

paper towels, craft knife



Apply thin layer of glue to front of frame; let dry.


Condition clay on work surface until pliable. Roll clay to 1⁄8” thickness. Cover front of frame with clay, piecing as needed. Use craft knife to trim excess clay around frame edges and use fingers to smooth edges. If desired, cover clay with fabric scrap and use brayer to imprint texture.


Follow manufacturer’s instructions to stamp fern into clay. (Note: Apply enough pressure to stamp to leave a distinct impression.) Bake clay on parchment-lined baking sheet at 265° for 30 minutes. Let cool. (Note: Weight frame while cooling to keep it flat if necessary.)


Mix equal parts of each paint color with glaze. Randomly paint frame with both glaze mixtures, allowing glaze to settle into stamped impressions. Immediately wipe frame with paper towel until desired look is achieved; let dry. Apply two coats of varnish to frame.


  • Can’t locate a heart frame? Cut a frame front from foam board or wood, then adhere to the front of an old picture frame.

by Sandy Laipply 

Photo Memorabilia Box

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day


Remember when . . . ? You certainly do, and probably have a photo, ticket stub, or newspaper clipping in a drawer or shoe box to prove it! Store your special memories in a safe place, personalized on the outside to reflect what’s within.


  • Acid-free photo storage box, any size
  • Photographs or color photocopies
  • Cardstock, any color
  • Assorted stickers of choice
  • Ribbon, 1⁄8” wide, 2 yards


  • Acid-free glue stick

Basic Supplies

scissors, paper trimmer



Cut out photos, cropping as desired. Mat on cardstock.


Arrange photos on lid and sides of box. When pleased with arrangement, adhere to box. Add stickers as desired.


Wrap ribbon around lid sides, tying bow at front; spot glue to secure.

by Christine Walters

French-Inspired Burlap Wine Bag

I love all things French. The motifs and especially the phrases such as J’adore (I love you), Bonjour (Hello), Je t’aime (I love you ‘also’) and Merci (thank you). French phrases bring a certain elegance to handmade creations such as these handmade burlap wine bags. By using approximately 1/2 yard or less of burlap material, you can whip up your own French-themed wine bag in one evening.

First, create your own bag by cutting one 7”x15” strip of burlap fabric using a rotary cutter and self-healing mat.

Fuse some webbing to an 10” square of black wool or acrylic felt with an iron and ironing surface. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the exact directions for this.

Next, use your Sizzix Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine, cutting pads, and Serif Essentials Bigz Dies to cut out the letters for “Merci” or other desired sentiment. Make sure you die cut paper side up so that the letters will have the appropriate orientation when fused to the bag front.

Peel the paper backing from the letters and fuse them to the front of the bag.

Thread the sewing machine with black thread and stitch the letters in place on the bag front with a straight stitch.

Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sewing machine and thread, sew the seams right sides out down the sides of the bag and the top of the bag.

Turn the bag right sides out and use a glue such as Fabric Fusion to adhere the measuring tape around the bag about 4” down from the top,

To embellish the bag, I used hand dyed muslin, dyed with various colors of Rit Dye to create handmade flowers. I rolled and twist the strips in a spiral, gluing in place with the fabric glue as I went along.

I embellished each handmade flower with various flower centers created from sequins, rhinestones, beads, etc.

Use the fabric fusion to adhere the handmade flowers to the burlap bag as shown. Let glue set before further handling.

To add the drawstring, thread a tapestry needle with thin, delicate organza or muslin fabric strips (I used one of the dyed muslin strips I created with Rit Dye.) Thread the ribbon from front to back, leaving about 4” of the ribbon hanging. Continue, going all the way around the bag until you reach the front again. Trim off excess ribbon, leaving 4” hanging so that you can tie the ends of the ribbon into a bow.

I finished off my burlap wine bag by adding a distressed, stamped wooden tag embellishment. Paint the tag black, then wax the surface and paint it antique white. Sand the surface to reveal an aged surface and stamp with a solvent ink and an image of your choice. I used a bird but a fleur de lis or a French postage stamp from my collection would have worked well, too.

I can’t think of a friend or family member who doesn’t adore getting my cousin’s homemade wine as a gift. What a great way to say thank you for so many wonderful ways my friends have helped me with over the past year.

Live Life Creatively,

Melony Bradley (