Tag Archive for 'craft'

Market Tote Bags, or as I call them Everyday Bags

I have a bit of a crafty post that I’ve been meaning to share for a while.

#AccidentalStillLife i hung these hooks in our foyer for key racks. Matt refuses to use them (but still looses his keys daily) and you can see, I use them for way more than keys. Oh, ya know, like hanging your fairy wings, constellation crown, and works o

Last fall I got a Stay Home Club bag at Renegade and immediately LOVED it. I had wanted one for a long time but had no idea how LARGE it was. I loved how big it was. I always carry large bags, big enough to fit sketchbooks in it.  I have to also thank my friend Courtney for the inspiration of carrying and using what I had previously dismissed as only a grocery-style-tote-bag, as regular everyday-type-bags. It can hold, not only my sketchbook, my wallet, sunglasses, tons of pens and various art sundries, BUT ALSO when I go to the grocery store, it can also hold a few items from there too, lol.

I love it so much, but using it every day I was so afraid I was going to ruin it, or get it dirty, since it’s mostly all white. Normally I don’t care about such things, but I LOVE this bag that much. I decided the size and shape was simple enough, and the handle was furniture webbing that I’ve bought and used for a bajillion other projects, I should be able to make another bag to switch it up. I went to the fabric store and found a perfect material for an alternate bag.

Immediately after I got my Stay Home Club bag I wanted more bags the exact same size. I've had the fabric for months but tonight I finally sewed it. It's not perfect, bot not too bad for a first attempt. I pretty much love it! I used the #craftygemini tot

You got it, black and off white stripes. But then, the fabric sat forever. Originally I was going to wing it and just sew without thinking too much, which is my usual approach to making things. I don’t follow patterns. But then my SIL had asked my mom to sew library book bags for my niece and nephew. My mom found this video pattern online, by the Crafty Gemini*. I still didn’t want to follow the pattern, but then after I saw how it worked I realized it was easy enough and would hold up better than I had planned. The thing that is great about this bag, even better than the original SHC bag is that it has a flexible base, so it holds it’s structure even better. After the first bag I sewed, I was obsessed and knew I wanted to make a ton more for friends for Christmas presents.   winter 2015-16 2bags

It was fun looking for patterns that suited each friend. At first I was just selecting from the canvas in the regular section, but then I wandered into the upholstery section at JoAnn’s and my world opened up! The fabric may seem expensive, but the amount I’m buying, along with coupons or sales is about the same as the regular canvas.

winter 2015-16 bags

I’ve made so many bags and still have more fabric to make more.

*The pattern I based my bags off was slightly different. It has a strap that is a bit more complex, but looks really nice with the fabric and a contrasting/corresponding colored ribbon, where I just simply bought cotton webbing straps. I made my strap longer, as well as the whole bag wider and longer, to suit my needs, easily.  Each bag is also double stitched for reinforcement and again on some of the bags where the handle is sewn into the opening of the bag.

Embroidery Hoop Knick Knack Shelf

knick knack mantle

I finally installed my knick knack shelf over the mantel in a proper way.

Back story: Shortly after we moved into our house in 2011 I put these shelves up over the mantel but Matt did not like how they were all just leaning there. He said if I wanted them up I need to attach them properly and it took me a couple years to finally get that done. Since I want to regularly rotate out our mantel, so the decor never gets stale, I just used LOTS of 3M velcro strips.

knick knack mantle 2014

There are two shelves that are deeper than the type case shelves so they are sitting on the mantel. The shelf on the bottom left is by my friend Ann of a A Beautiful Party and I bought it at a show but I think she needs to make and sell these online, they are so wonderful. Because that shelf is painted a very pale aqua or teal and a different color than the rest of the wooden shelves, and because I had an empty spot on the top right I had the idea of making my very own little knick knack shelf.

I first saw this shelf by etsy seller Senkki and thought it would be great to make a small, round knick knack shelf but from an embroidery hoop, to balance out my own shelf wall. Easy Peasy.

Embroidery Hoop Knick Knack Shelf supplies

A quick craft store run later and I was on my way. I just picked up an wooden embroidery hoop, and then went to the wood craft section and picked out some balsa wood that was the same thickness as the hoop’s depth. I grabbed a pencil, an X-acto pen knife, a glue gun (you could use wood glue if you want and have more time), and a cutting board.

Embroidery Hoop Knick Knack Shelf

I just eyeballed where I’d like a shelf to go and marked it with a pencil. Since the balsa wood is so thin and soft I was able to just cut it with the pen knife, no power tools necessary! Dabbing a bit of hot glue on each end, I then put it into the hoop and let the glue cool while I worked on the next piece.

Embroidery Hoop Knick Knack Shelf

The whole thing took less than a half an hour.

embroidery hoop Knick Knack Shelf up

Also, since the wood is so light I was able to put it up with more 3m strips, tada! I think the next size larger embroidery hoop might look better, filling the space, so I might try that next. You may want to stain or paint your embroidery hoop shelf. I’d recommend doing that before beginning.

Other Crafty DIYs and Tutorials by Robayre

Na-Da Farm Event and a giveaway

NaDa Farm

If you are local, I’d like to invite to the Na-Da Farm sale. There will be plenty of booths with vintage treasures, flea market finds, creative handmade products and yummy baked goods. Of course I will be there with my own booth too, so I thought I’d invite you out to this fun event.


It’s a super fun event. The first time I went I was amazed that this sale was so beautifully assembled with treasures in every nook and cranny on a farm, in a barn in the middle of the countryside. Naturally, I wanted to be part of the event myself and now I am returning as a vendor for the second year. It will be a memorable occasion and I guarantee you will want to come back again year after year.

It’s on Friday May 17th (5-8 p.m.) and Saturday May 18th (9-3 p.m.) and costs $5 at the door (part of that will go to a local charity). It’s between DeKalb and Rochelle/Rockford in Edmond, off of Rt. 38.

5.21 booth

I’ll be located outside of the barn on the grass. Above is a photo of my booth from last year.

I’ll be right next to friend Ann from A Beautiful Party  who, I’m sure, will be selling her party in a jar pieces, as well as many more awesome items, ahem, house shaped shadow boxes (which I will be trying to snap my own up immediately). Enter Ann’s giveaway here.

And another friend Courtney from Larking will be there selling her book inspired pieces. She will actually be located inside the barn. I have yet to encourage her to create me a Peter Pan inspired piece, (not so subtle) hint, hint, hint, Courtney ;) Enter Courtney’s giveaway here.


Now, if you’ve read this far I’d like to offer those attending the sale a chance at winning a single piece of jewelry from my booth. You can pick the piece out, at your own choosing, at the event. ALSO, Anne Marie of Na-Da Farm has been so kind to also offer 2 free tickets into the event to this winner, as well as a voucher for 2 free cupcakes! Just leave a comment below letting me know you will be attending. Leave a comment on/before Wednesday 15th, and on Thursday morning I will use a random number generator to pick the lucky winner and contact them via email, so don’t forget to leave that info.

Good luck and hope to see ya there!


12 hour Craft Extravaganza and Fall Leaf Garland

This weekend was the 12 Hour Craft Extravaganza that my sister’s church organizes. It was my second year attending. Some may think “12 hours of crafting!? How can you stand to sit and craft for that long” but really, it goes by soooo fast. Both years I have brought so much stuff, thinking I’d accomplish so much, and in the end realize you would need several more 12 hours to finish it all.
I’ve been working on this origami project where I will need about 150 origami lilies. I worked on it for 2 hours that day and I think I only finished about 10 lilies. I timed myself and if I’m focused and work straight through it takes between 6 to 7 minutes to fold one lily, not including curling the leaves. This means there was a lot of breaks and chatting while working. I had gone in thinking I might be able to finish all of the pieces, yeah right.
photo.JPG Paper flag bunting tutorial
Next I worked on some bunting. I had been wanting to make some washi tape bunting for a while, so I did that. It wasn’t as quick and easy as I had imagined. I also made some of my regular itty bitty bunting for my etsy orders.

This happened today

My big project were these leaves above. They were inspired by a post on Alisa Burke’s blog where she painted right on leaves and made a garland. I can not remember the original source, maybe craft magazine or craft gawker? There was the Martha Stewart DIY about dipping leaves in wax to prolong their colors. It makes me think of ironing leaves in wax paper during elementary school, but with dipping you get the beautiful and dimensional leaves alone, not stuck together, hidden between papers.

Alisa’s leaves on the left, Martha’s leaves on the right.

The leaves have been falling and I remembered these crafts that I had pinned…

so I gathered as many different colored and shaped leaves as I could find.

A fellow crafter at the event told me about a tool she had and then ran home real quick to bring it back to me. It’s called the Micrfluer and allows you to press and dry leaves in the microwave in about 45 seconds. Not only is it speedy, but it also retains the color much more than pressing the leaves in a book. In the picture above you can see the two green leaves. The one on the left is pressed and dry, while the one on the right is still curled and wet. As it turns out my sister also has one of these tools so she lent it to me.

A couple cool things about the Microfluer: Once you have the tool that is all you need. You don’t need to keep buying replaceable parts that get used up with every pressing. Also, after you dry the leaves they remain fairly  flexible, unlike leaves dried in a book which become brittle and crumble apart. The woman who lent me the contraption even had some leaves she said were 8-10 years old and are still perfectly fine!


Next I painted bold patterns on my leaves with inexpensive acrylic craft paint. If you didn’t want to press or dry your leaves you could just paint right on newly fallen leaves like Alisa did.


Then because I’m a craft addict, I just happen to already have a little crock pot devoted to wax, so I just warmed it up and started dipping. I was worried that the paint might come off, but it didn’t. The leaves kind of regained some curl when I pulled them from the wax. I just let the wax drip off and then set it on a plastic sheet when it was mostly cooled and pressed it between pages in a book, and they flattened again quickly.

With the dried leaves, the paint and then wax, I think these leaves will be safe and protected for a long time. As long as I am careful to store them safely each year I should be able use them again and again as a fall decoration.

10.23. leaf garland close up

Originally I wanted to tie the stems with a string, like in the Martha Stewart diy, but hang them across, in a garland like the Alisa Burke post. When I went to attach the string to the first leaf I quickly realized it wasn’t going to work when the leaves would keep turning every which way, not laying flat or parallel to wall, AND THEN while trying to straighten the string on the stem so it would lay properly the stem broke right off. When I returned home I punched two holes in each leaf and fed a string in and out to create the banner as you can see above.

While I was working I thought this would be a great project for my sister in law and 2 year old nephew to do together. He could paint on the leaves and then she could hang them as a fall decoration. He could just paint randomly, as two year olds do, and that would be beautiful. Each year he could do more and have his name and age painted on the backs of the leaves so the garland grows over time.  I also had the idea of either masking letters on each leave while he paints over it then revealing a word or phrase when you peel away the letters and string the leaves together.

We got to play with our crafts, enjoy great conversation and were treated with delicious meals.  It was a great second 12 Hour Craft Extravaganza and time flew by.

Renegade 2012

9.10 renegade

This last weekend was the 10th annual Renegade craft fair in Chicago. I think my sister and I went to their second year and have gone to every one after that. We’ve seen it all, from rain, crazy winds, to intense heat, but I think I can safely say the weather this weekend was PERFECT. There were clear skies, and it was in the comfortable 70s.

Now, onto my loot.

1. My favorite piece I purchased has to be this terrarium necklace by Heron & Lamb.
2. Floppy disc notebook, and slide notebooks (I’ve purchased these before in previous years) by Reuse First
3. Vintage cancellation stamp pinback buttons by Letter Writing Alliance
4. White, black and yellow disc rings by Cat Eats Coyote Jewelry
5. Peanut knife necklace (I’ve been wanting one of these forever) by Little Pancakes
6. Roundy pinback button by Laura Berger
7. Lasercut globe keychain (which I think I will turn into a necklace) by Neogranny
8. Playing card notebooks by Kelso Doesn’t Dance
9. Porcelain envelope by Red Raven
10. Molar town stickers by Skelecore
11. Vintage flashcards and photobooth friend card by The Found

Here’s an instagram of my terrarium necklace. It isn’t a real terrarium and just contains hobby moss, but it’s still beautiful.  The comments on instagram reminded me of when I was a freshman in college I bought some miniature bottles from American Science Surplus and I had an aquarium that was being taken over by snails. I had the brilliant idea to fill a little bottle with aquarium water and a tiny baby snail and wear the bottle on a necklace. By the time I got to school the snail seemed to have died from the heat of my body, and by the time I got home for the day the water was murky and gross. I had unintentionally cooked that little guy :(

DIY Paper Clay Bead Necklaces

display necklaces
Hello friends, I started a little craft project recently and made these colorful, chunky beaded necklaces. They were really fun, easy and inexpensive to make, so I thought I’d share a little tutorial on how you can make your own paper clay bead necklaces. If you do end up making some, I’d love to see how they come out.

A few years back I was at an Old Navy store and they had some necklaces that caught my eye. They were bright and colorful, big, plastic, chunky beads and I was tempted to buy one, but something stopped me. I can’t remember if it was because they were all monochromatic color schemes, or all the beads were the same shape, or what, but I thought to myself “I could make a necklace like that for myself, but even more AWESOME.” I envisioned a statement piece of jewelry, with a variety of big chunky beads in different color schemes, that were candy like. Occasionally I would remember the necklace idea and would check out the craft stores for some big, colorful beads, but every time, there were no BIG beads, let alone any with a variety of BRIGHT colors and shapes. The closest I could find were some wood beads for little kids to learn to count on and string for fine motor skills. Fast forward to earlier this year and I remembered some paper clay I bought from my expedition into scary doll making and decided to take a crack at making my own necklace.
Alyssa and Dacia
Here are the necklaces I made being modeled on my lovely sister in law, Dacia on the right, and her lovely sister Alyssa on the left, to show how long I chose to make my necklaces.

Paper Clay
Mark Making Tools for clay (pencil, mesh, string)
Acrylic Paint
Paint Brush
Colored Pencils (optional)
Cardboard Box
Florist Wire
Drill or needle/thin knitting needle
Clear Glaze Spray
Jewelry making supplies as needed for your taste
The idea to use Paper Clay came to me because it is easily malleable, light and air dries. You can buy it fairly inexpensively at craft stores for around $9 for a pack. Just make sure that you keep it sealed after you open it. However, even if it does dry out, just put it in a ziplock bag with a little bit of water and kneed it back into shape.

I wanted to make my beads big and chunky so I just rolled them out to size. Some beads I rolled out to be round, some beads were more cylindrical, some were more flat. I used various items, such as a pencil and some old pottery tools, as well as mesh, to give my beads unique texture. Be creative! You can do whatever comes to mind. The instructions said to let the paper clay dry for 24 to 48 hours. Since my beads were rather thick I actually waited 4 days. The clay goes from being light gray to almost white when dry. Don’t worry about the beads being perfect, you can sand and file them once they are dry.
Once my beads were dry I used my dad’s drill press to drill the bead holes. If you don’t have access to that, you could use a handheld drill, a dremel, or even poke a hole while the bead is still drying. If you decide to poke a hole through, I’d recommend letting the bead dry for a few hours first so that you don’t misshape the piece while pushing a needle through it. You need to think a little ahead at this point, when choosing a drill bit, or needle size. Think about how you want to thread your beads. At first I was thinking I would simply string them on a ribbon so I chose a fairly thick drill bit. After everything was said and done, I actually changed my mind and decided to use eye pins to give each bead a more finished look. My holes were then a bit too large for the eye pins so I had to widen the end ring a touch.
DSC_0939 DSC_0941

Here’s a little trick I learned taking metal and jewelry classes – when you drill a hole you’ll often get a bit of a rough edge on the back. Take a larger drill bit than the one are using and gently twist the tip into the hole as shown above. It will smooth away that edge and finish the piece.
From here I sanded my beads to give them a more smooth surface. I also used the sand paper to give some flat edges, and a file to groove edges on others for added texture and character.
When painting the beads I used a tool I had on hand to hold the bead so that I could paint the whole bead evenly. You could also use a pin/needle or thin knitting needle, etc. The paper clay is a very dry, porous clay and will take whatever you put on it very easily. Paint them solid or patterned. You could use acrylic paint, or let the translucent quality of watercolor work in your favor. Draw on the beads with colored pencils, sharpies, etc. You could even leave them plain for all white beads. The possibilities are endless.

P1010172  P1010183
After each bead was decorated, I put them in this make-shift box as seen above. I cut slits in the side of the cardboard and fed the wire through so all the beads would be evenly spaced. Then I sprayed the beads with the clear glaze spray. I used Krylon, triple-thick crystal clear glaze and I can’t recommend this stuff enough. No matter how thick I sprayed it on, it would dry clear and fairly quickly, in 10-20 minutes. Make sure you do this outdoors or a place with plenty of air circulation and ventilation because the spray’s fumes are very strong. After I sprayed the beads I had to rotate them and spray them again, doing this about 4 or 5 times to get an even, high gloss.

Once the beads are sealed with the spray they are good to go. You can assemble them however you like. Put them on a ribbon, a wire, or chain. Add different beads you have purchased. Have them close to the neck or hang low. Use your creativity. I’ve been wearing my necklaces now for a few weeks and they have held up against the test of Robyn Demolition, where in a I destroy most things I come in contact with. These were fun to make and I hope to see how you apply your own creativity to this project!

check out other diy/tutorials on Inspiration Junkie

I made some crocheted beads

I made some crocheted beads :)
This was one of those things that popped into my head while I was at work and then I just wanted to go home and work on it. I simply googled crochet beads tutorial and found this video. When I made my own, as usual – I rarely actually follow patterns, I used embroidery floss and a random small crochet hook. Also, instead of stuffing mine with fluff, I used a hard bead inside. Once I was 3/4 through I put the bead in and finished crocheting the rest with the bead inside. I’m guessing this is also how people do those crochet and lace covered river stones.

Kid Made Modern – Charley Harper Birds

8.5.12 Kid Made Modern
Yesterday we were at Target and I was looking for wrapping paper when I happened down an office supply isle. This isle also happens to house the Kid Made Modern line and the Charley Harper Wooden Bird Kit caught my eye. It’s a kids craft, but I thought it might be a fun mindless craft, and I contemplated turning it into a mobile. Ya know, birds on a mobile, make sense, right?

Last night while Matt and a few friends played cards downstairs, I watched some bad 70s horror movie on Netflix and painted birds.  They came out great, and I put them on the top shelf of our TV stand (the TV hangs above with only about an 8 inch clearance). Matt really likes them there so I won’t be turning it into a mobile just yet.

Some late night crafting with #kidmademodern and #charleyharper
Kid Made Modern is a line of products for children carried at Target, based on the book Kid Made Modern by Todd Oldham. I’ve loved Todd Oldham ever since I first saw him on House of Style. He seems to have such a kind spirit and an approachable, everyday-man way about him. Also, he’s a designer, but really more of a renaissance man, doing everything from designing clothes, building furniture, publishing books and hosting TV shows. There was a great interview with him recently on Grace Bonney’s newish podcast After the Jump.

The birds are actually Charley Harper designs. Charley Harper was an American artist and  illustrator. His work is visually graphic and design stylized, but most often centered around nature.

If you are interested in this kit let me share a few tidbits of wisdom. The kits can be purchased at Target for around $13. If I were to do it again, I’d start by lightly sanding the edges of the birds, fronts and back, because the pieces are die cut from sheets of wood that you pop out. While the edges weren’t really bad, it would have just given the final pieces a more finished look. The instructions are very minimal. Basically it’s just a very rough, heavily designed, poster-like color chart, and the colors aren’t very accurate to the paints that were supplied. I ended up referencing the box cover more often than the instructions. Some of the paints are transparent and show the linework underneath, but most of the paints are pretty opaque. I just painted right over the linework and when I was done went back over the lines with a Micron. I used a Micron rather than a fine tip Sharpie just because Sharpies can sometimes get a pearlescent look to them, and I wanted a flat black. The color chart indicated a black paint, but my paints did not contain any black. I took that to mean I should use the dark gray, as seen on the wood duck. My white paint was already dried up when I opened the package, fortunately I had some white acrylic paint on hand and used that instead. After I was done with a few birds I realized they would look more finished if I wrapped the colors around the edges, so I went back and did that, this is where the sanding would have been helpful. I also painted the backs all solid black (once again with my own paint I had on hand).

I wanted my birds to look like the box, but if you get this for kids I would suggest a more loose interpretation and let them go wild painting.


After just being introduced to CraftGawker recently, it got me thinking of the tutorials I’ve had on Inspiration Junkie. I don’t have tons of tutorials, but will regularly share the finished projects I’ve made after following other people’s tutorials with recommendations and links. I do however have a small collection of original tutorials I’ve posted over the 6 years I’ve been blogging here. I wanted to create a post I could link to on the sidebar that would allow readers easy access to all of my tutorials. I’d love to post more new tutorials and I will update this post and link to it again whenever I do so.

embroidery hoop Knick Knack Shelf up

Embroidery Hoop Knick Knack Shelf


Make your own Rorschach inspired T-shirt

6.17.13 flowers5

A quick, cheap and easy floral necklace, that may or may not be health beneficial.

3.28.13 photobooth prints

Enlarged Photobooth Strip Poster (blueprint or engineering print)

I made myself a necklace/art display and shared a DIY

display necklaces
DIY Paper Clay, chunky and colorful, bead necklaces.

In this post you can learn how to make your own chalkboard paint using acrylic paint and gesso!

Here is a post about making your own candy buttons/dots.

Learn how to make a simple paper garland in this post.

I posted here about making altered art shoes. I love these shoes and still wear them regularly to this day.

Make these tiny paper buntings in a snap with this simple tutorial.

And then there is this easy No Sew Fabric Bunting  Tutorial here.

This post shows you how to make adorable little matchbook scrap pads.

The Sale

5.21 booth 5.21 booth inside
This past weekend was the Na-Da Farm Barn Sale, my first official solo booth. Going into it, I was getting more and more nervous and stressed. Last minute, my sister-in-law was sick and couldn’t make it, but fortunately Matt was able to come in her place. During set up, I started getting so overwhelmed that if my sister and Matt hadn’t been there I might have just laid down in the grass and started crying. Emotional much? Instead I had to keep chugging along. The tent I was supposed to borrow didn’t work out, so I bought a new one. The buckets of sand we brought to anchor the tent down were worthless and the high winds across the farm fields caused, not only my tent to try and take flight, but also all my products inside. Fortunately Anne Marie’s son brought by two large cinder blocks to keep me anchored. My weather fears going into the sale were mostly rain related. The plan for my framed pieces had to be altered, and instead of each piece standing up on display they had to lay flat on the shelves. Believe it or not, by the end of the first day we all had wind burn and chapped lips.

But it was only a rough start, I promise. The rest of the sale was great. This sale was unlike any sale I’ve done before. Get this: both days before the show began there was a long line of people waiting to get in and get first dibs on everything as soon as the gates opened. I know… what?! What a difference a well promoted show makes!
Nada farm
This show was so refreshing. A beautiful property, elegant booths, and kind customers. The back of my booth was facing the entrance and the back wall of my booth had my yoyo quilt hanging from it. There was a pretty steady stream of people approaching from behind marveling at the quilt and a few people explained to us that it was the first thing people see when they were coming in. Lots of people had questions about it, what is it, did you make it, how did you make it, etc., etc. It’s a yoyo quilt. Yes, I made it, starting when I was 15 years old, and my mother is a quilter and provided lots of the scrap fabric for me. And finally, you sew a seam around a circle of fabric, pull the thread tight, then squash the fabric flat, then sew the individual pieces together, much like my framed pieces inside the booth.

Dacia at the na-da farm barn sale

It was a great show! Not only did I recover the cost of the booth, but the cost of the new vendor tent AND MORE! Last year when we went to the sale, I felt like there were a lot more handmade items. This year, I think I was one of only a couple of booths that were entirely handmade and not vintage or repurposed/revamped vintage. Still, I did really well. The jewelry, art reproduction/prints, and paper products were very popular.

Lots of baby birds being saved this weekend. First Matt freed one from our window well and then there was this one at Na-Da Farm.

I was able to snap a few instagram pictures, but because I was manning my booth, I didn’t have many opportunities to take pictures of the rest of the event. Fortunately, there is a lovely slideshow here at the Na-Da Farm blog. It was a great show and I’ll hopefully start listing the remaining product on etsy soon.