The Sleeve Weave

Coming to you live (or at least something akin to it) from finals week! Still got things to do, but last night I found the time to fit in one quick refashioning project.

A few years ago, as happens to so many girls, my younger brother got taller than me. It was an irritating process–at first, “Look, Bex, my feet fit perfectly in your shoes!” Later, “I’ll have to go put my shoes on to get the mail…Becky’s shoes are too small for my feet anymore.” Yes, brother, I get it. You are bigger than me. I don’t care. Please stop trying to make me care. Eventually, he did. And eventually…I started getting his hand-me-downs–wahoo!

I’ve been recycling his regular t-shirts for a couple years now and only in the last few months have I branched out to polos and other fabrics and cuts. Last night, I decided to do something with an old one of those great cotton baseball shirts–you know, the kind with where the sleeves and the body are contrasting colors. I’d show you a “before and after”, but because I wasn’t particularly optimistic about this project, I didn’t take a “before” picture. I’ll just let you use your imagination and tell you that it was a masculine cut that was a just little too large on me and not too flattering.

I decided to use a cool technique which I found the instructions for here (the directions are in the pictures under the large primary picture at left). With said instructions, I created this.

Sleeve WeaveDoesn’t that sleeve look awesome? Doing this definitely made the sleeves more fitting and feminine. And if you’ve looked at the instructions already, you know the best part–it’s no-sew! Hard to believe, huh? Let me know if you try it and can’t get the hang of it. I’ll make an actual tutorial of my own. (Sometimes it helps to just see or hear things in a different way, I know.

I called this post “The Sleeve Weave,” obviously, because the sleeves are woven, but you can use this technique to achieve other effects in other places. You can expect to see more from me in the future, tweaking this technique.


Making Books Come Alive

I finally did something today that I’ve wanted to do ever since I saw one man’s brilliant work a little over a year ago. Thomas Allen is an artist that creates amazing work out of books.

Clearly, this man is rather brilliant. I will include the link to his site, but with the warning that a fair amount of his content is for mature audiences only. A lot of it is more than a little risque. Even his website header. I try to run a clean, family-friendly site–so you’ve been warned. thomasallenonline

I created my own book art out of a copy of Rudyard Kipling’s Captain Courageous, printed in 1963. (It was originally published as a serial in McClures in 1897.)See what I did with it!

Pretty neat, huh?

CraftConniption Conversations: Caleb’s Costumes

Caleb Boswell is a very creative fellow–he’s a communication design major at Kutztown University, studying graphics and advertising, but he’s also pretty crafty in his spare time, too. Listen to this short interview podcast with him about his costumes and creative process.

Photos courtesy of Caleb Boswell.

DIY: Global Organization

What do you get when you combine two instant hot chocolate boxes, an artificial sweetener (yes, I know they cause cancer) box, clear postal tape and a 1970s pocket atlas? Your very own global organization…or atlas-decorated desk organizer. I’m so clever.

Here’s how to make your own:


1. Gather 2-4 boxes. I would recommend using boxes of the same size for the bulk of the organizer but maybe adding a smaller one for little stuff.


2. Cut off the tabs if you want it to be completely open. Leave them on if you want to be able to close your little shelves, just know that it will be more complicated to cover them.



3. Remove some pages from an atlas.Lesson Learned: Little atlases are adorable and more manageable–BUT, larger atlas pages will look better, having less seams.



4. (Optional) “Age” your pages in strong coffee or tea ( I did not do that for this project.) and allow them to dry.




5. Attach boxes of the same size. I used postal tape, but you can use own favorite adhesive. Then proceed to wrap them with your atlas pages. If you have large maps, it will be a lot like wrapping a present. If you have small maps, it will still be a lot like wrapping a present, just like that time you forgot you were out of wrapping paper and had to piece some together out of old wrapping paper scraps.


6. When all your units are wrapped, it’s time to seal the paper. I initially planned to use Modge Podge, but the texture of the atlas paper and the Modge Podge didn’t get along, so I turned to my second favorite adhesive/sealer. Clear postal tape. Cover the whole thing, as neatly as you can, in strips. Add any smaller boxes to your main unit, attaching it and sealing it at the same time.


You can sit the organizer on its side like little shelves or you can sit it upright like a miniature book/paper rack with a pencil cup.













Congratulations. You are now slightly more organized. You also appear scholarly.





Time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: ♦  Very easy project.

Cost: ♦  $0-3

First Video Tutorial

You might have seen my post a little while ago about making a laurel wreath headband out of a soda can. (See the post for pictures.) You might also have noticed that I didn’t post a tutorial. Well, I’m correcting that issue now with a video tutorial–check it out!

Laurel Wreaths for Peons

There’s a girl in one of my classes that frequently wears this beautiful metal laurel wreath headband. Every time I see it, I’m sure there’s a way I could make it, but I never do. Today I did. Out of a 30 cent headband, gold paint and a soda can. Yup. A soda can. So I–a veritable nobody, a plebeian, a peon–can wear laurels. Et tu, friends. You can too.

(I think it looks nice with hair both up and down.)

I didn’t make a tutorial as I went along, because I was too excited to stop and take pictures. If anyone’s interested, I’d be happy to post a tutorial–just let me know!


Love, Practically

So I finally got around to making this really project that I saw on Craft a few weeks ago. I love to read and write so I love crafts involving books; I was so excited when I saw this Sincerely, Kinsey tutorial for making a jewelry box out of a book. I made mine out of–are you ready for this–The Book of Love, which I found at a thrift store. It’s just a big old book of short stories, poetry, essays and letters about love.


My process was slightly different from the one in the tutorial, but the end product is virtually the same. The embellishment suggested in the tutorial was gluing flowers to the cover. I added gold leaf paint to the edges instead and stamped one of my favorite love poems into the inside cover instead.


While I was at it, I made a little jewelry box of the same theme out of a little chocolate box I got for Valentine’s Day this year.

Using a few pages that I cut out of “The Book of Love,” I decoupaged the little box with love poems. On the top part, I added some disorderly stamping (in agreement with the poem, “Delight in Disorder”).

So after this weekend, now I have very literary places to lovingly place my jewelry for safekeeping!

Also, prepare yourself for more crafts using book pages coming up!