Mini Doll House

This weekend I was feeling very thankful for Calico Critters.  My girls actually played with them for hours.  They were having so much fun that I was hesitant to disrupt them for outside time in fear that I would break the magic get along spell.  The one thing my oldest really wanted though was more buildings.  Of course, anyone who’s bought these toys before knows that the critters are expensive enough but the buildings are definitely not something you buy on a whim because of a weekend worth of extensive play.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re gorgeous and well made, I love them.  But unless there’s a birthday around the corner my kids are going to have to make do.  So instead, we came up with this alternative using, as usual, things from the craft cupboard.  🙂

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This is a very simple design, you could go crazy and be elaborate if you like but I decided to keep it simple.  All my daughters requested was that the front be open so they could access it easily, sounds good to me.

For this craft you’ll need a bunch of craft popsicle sticks (I used two different sizes but you could do it with just the basic ones, the walls will just be a little shorter), a glue gun or some strong glue, some kind of wallpaper (I used wrapping paper because that’s what I had but you could use scrapbook paper or just leave them paperless if you like), paint (I used acrylic) a paintbrush or sponge, scissors and I think that’s about it…

So first you need to make these little squares out of the regular sticks.  I didn’t glue each stick together, just held them tight and glued the side sticks on to them.  These will be the floors and you’ll need 4 of them.

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Next I made these slightly bigger rectangles, the same way.  These will be the walls and the roof.  You’ll need 7 of them.

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For 4 of the wall slabs, I glued paper onto one side and painted the other side whiteDSC_3221

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Glue one of the outside walls to one of the floor pieces like so.  This is where hot glue is nice because it dries quickly so I really just needed to hold it there for a few seconds.

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For one of the wall pieces, I covered both sides with paper and then glued it in between the two bottom floor pieces.

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I then glued the other outside wall to the other side.

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To make the top floor, I took the two remaining floor pieces and stuck an extra stick in between them to make the floor a bit wider.  Then to secure it I glued another stick across the middle.  I then glued the whole slab to the top of the structure to act as the 2nd level floor.

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I glued three sticks to the back of the walls to make gluing the back walls on a bit easier.

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For the two back walls, I glued paper to one side and painted the other side white.  I then glued it to the back of the bottom floor.

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For the roof I glued paper to one side of each of the two pieces.

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I glued two sticks to the top of each end of the second floor to help keep the roof in place, and one stick on top of the roof.

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Let her dry and there she is!

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Braided Easter Basket Tutorial

My kids love Easter.  Let’s face it, they love any holiday that involves chocolate.  Since they demolished their baskets from last year by shoving everything they could find around the house inside and hauling them around, I need to start fresh.  And because I seem to love making more work for myself in the name of creating and saving money I decided to try and make them baskets using supplies I had on hand.  I actually used an old sheet and swaddle blanket but you could use old t-shirts or any kind of jersey/knit material.  You’ll also need a glue gun and as an option, some felt.

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I used two strands of white and one of pink.  I tore three strips about 2″ wide and as long as I could get them.  You can knot or pin them together and just start braiding a really long cord.

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When you run out of one of the strips, you can attach another by slitting a little hole into it and running the new strip through.  You can also use a bit of hot glue to tack it down if you like.  Then just continue braiding.

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Once you have a long cord, start rolling it into a flat disc, using a hot glue gun to attach it.  This will be the bottom of the basket and you can keep going until it is as wide as you like.

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Once it’s the size you want, angle the cord up onto the top of the outer round.  Start winding around and around to build the basket higher.  Be sure to glue it down securely as you go.

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When you’re on your last row, leave two unglued gaps, on opposite sides of the basket.  This is where the handles will go.

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You can trace out a piece of felt to cover the underside of the bottom if you like.  I did this just to keep it more secure.

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Braid another long cord to use for the handle.  Slip one end of the cord through the slot you made in the top row.  Pull it through and glue it secure to the backside of the handle.  Take a bit of extra fabric and wrap it around and glue for extra security and for a cleaner finish.  Do the same for the other end of the handle.

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And that’s it!  Happy Easter!!

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Peg Bunnies!

I admit that I have a soft spot for bunnies.  I had two growing up and they were my favorite little pets for a long time.  My husband on the other fan, is no fan of having pet bunnies so I have to settle for making my own.  I mean, of course these are for my children… so here’s what I came up with and some basic directions for making your own!  They were super easy to do and would be a sweet addition to any Easter basket.  🙂

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Aren’t they cute??  I can’t give them to my kids for Easter because there’s no way they aren’t going to know I made them.  I do plan on giving them to them tonight and I already know what they’re going to do with them, their favorite Easter game: hiding things around the house for the other to find.  Normally they draw little paper eggs to hide, but I think these bunnies will be a fun addition.

Click for template

So the pegs I used are about 2.25″ tall.  I do realize that they come in all shapes and sizes so you may need to shrink or enlarge the template I’ve drawn for the hat.

The first thing I did was paint the bodies.  I only did one coat of paint and seeing them in the daytime I probably could have done another but I kind of like that weathered look.  You can then seal them with varnish.  I use the soy varnish pictured below.

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I then traced the little hat template onto coordinating felt and sewed each of the darts together using a whip stitch.  I also went around the perimeter of the hat with a blanket stitch.  Finally I sewed the ears onto the back of the hat, about halfway up the hat so they poke out the top.

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Then it’s just a matter of plunking the hat on the top of the head and gluing it down!  I use a glue gun because it seems to keep them more secure but you have to act really quickly before the glue dries.

I hope you enjoy making little bunnies for your little bunnies!  Happy Easter!!

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Honeybun Sweater Tutorial

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I’ve mentioned it before but my alter-ego is actually Honey Lime Designs.  Or at least, that’s one of them.  Since I don’t really have time for both blogs, I’m phasing out that one and have decided to start transferring some of the tutorials over here.  🙂  So up first, here’s a little sweater I’ve been knitting for my Honeybun dolls.

I have seen it fit similar sized dolls as well and for reference, my honeybuns are 8″ tall.  This sweater is very small, knits from the top down seamlessly using circular needles and the magic loop method.

yay!!

Yarn: Any medium weight yarn will do.

Supplies: 4mm circular needles, waste yarn, stitch markers, a small button and thread, a sewing needle and a yarn needle.

Abbreviations:

K-Knit

P-Purl

sm-Stitch Marker

kfab-knit into the front and back of the stitch

yo-yarn over

K2tog: knit two together

 

Instructions:

Cast on 28 stitches using a long tail cast on.

1) Knit, place markers as follows: k5, sm, k5, sm, k8, sm, k5, sm, k5.

2) K2, yo, K2tog, knit to end.

3) *Knit to one stitch before marker, kfab, sm, kfab*, repeat 3 more times, knit to end.

4) K2, Purl to last 2 stitches, K2

5-12) Repeat rows 3-4

13) K to first marker, slip next 15 stitches onto waste yarn, K to next marker, slip next 15 stitches onto waste yarn, K to end.

14) K2, Purl to last 2 stitches, K2

15)  Knit

16-17) Repeat rows 14-15

18-19) Knit

Cast Off.

Sleeves:

Rejoin sleeve yarn picking up 3 stitches to close the gap under the arm.  Slip on stitch maker to show the beginning of the round.  Using magic loop method or dpns, Purl one round and then cast off.  Repeat for other sleeve.

Attach buttons.

And there you have it, your own little honeybun sweater!!

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Peg Doll Travel House

Here’s a little tutorial for a travel toy I designed a couple of years ago.  The idea behind it was pretty simple, I wanted something small that I could keep in my purse for when my kidlets and I were in the car or at the grocery store or doctor’s office, or anywhere that their weak little attention spans could no longer handle.

Like a lot of people, I have a little crush on peg dolls.  I just love how little and solid they are.  So I decided to make a simple playhouse for them to play in and it really did amuse my kids for a decent chunk of time.

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Instructions

Supplies Needed:

Template

-two small peg dolls (the ones used here are around 1.75 inches tall)

-fine felt tipped marker and beeswax/olive oil for dolls

-felt for the following (I use wool blend felt but you could use 100% wool or acrylic):

 main house colour

 windows

 door

 roof

 inside lining

 back pocket

-a 25″ piece of ribbon for tying

-snaps or Velcro

-pins/scissors/washable fabric marker

1. Print the attached pattern pieces. Trace and cut two copies of the main house piece and the side wall piece as well as one copy of the overlap piece out of your main colour. Trace and cut two copies of the roof out of your roof colour. Trace and cut two copies of the door out of your door colour. Trace and cut two copies of the window out of your window colour. Trace and cut one copy of the back pocket. You should have the following:

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2. Sew the two roof pieces onto the front and back of the house.

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3. Fold the back pocket over one third of the way up and sew to the back of the house as shown.

 

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4. With wrong sides together, sew one side piece to each side of the front piece as shown, try and keep your stitches as close to the edge as possible while still being secure.

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5. Sew the back piece to one of the side pieces as shown.

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7. Lay the house flat, wrong side down, and pin to the sheet of inside lining.

8. Fold the ribbon in half and tuck it into the exposed side of the house as shown, pin to secure.

9. Cut around the house, leaving some extra fabric so the next step is easier to do.

 

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10. Sew around the entire house, close to the edge, be sure to sew in some extra stitches when you go over the ribbon so it is nice and secure. Trim the lining even with the front side of the house.

 

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11. Sew one window on each side. Cut out an opening in each window.

12. Sew the two door pieces together around all four sides. Sew one side of the door to the front of the house. With a washable fabric marker, trace the door onto the main fabric and sew around the inside of the line as shown. Cut the opening for the door.

 

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13. Place two snap tops on the open side of the door and two snap backs on the overlap piece, making sure to line them up so they will snap together.

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14. Now that the house is finished, it’s time to design the people! I like to make a guy and a girl and to give them hair and a face with the fine tip marker. You could make sisters or brothers or whatever you like. I also coat mine in beeswax and olive oil to make them nice and smooth and water resistant. To make it, you simply melt a bit of beeswax and mix it with an equal part of olive oil. It will cool down and make a polish that you can then apply with a rag and rub off any excess with paper towel. You could also paint them with acrylic paints if you prefer and then coat them with varnish.

15. Once the people are dry you can tuck them in the little pocket and roll them up or you can snap the house together and play!

I hope you enjoy!

mmmmm Cupcakes.

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I love cake.  I’m trying really really hard to resist eating cake.  I’m not sure if creating cake art is a clever way of getting a cake fixation or if it’s just a way to torture myself.  Either way, I decided to design these cupcake cross-stitch patterns.  Could be I’m a masochist but mostly I think I just like cake.

These little cuties are small quick stitches.  They only measure about 2.5″ high.  I think they would be really cute in a nursery or even in a bakery or on little doll pillows.  My 7 year old wants me to give them to her and I keep asking her what she’s going to do with them and of course she doesn’t really have an answer, she just wants them.  So I’m thinking I’ll make pillows with them.

Whatever the case, if you like cupcakes and you like cross-stitching then I’m here to give you these little patterns to keep you busy for a few hours.

I did each of these on 16 count Aida cloth, in antique white.  They could easily be done bigger or smaller if you change the count, or you could do them 2 over 2 in linen.

They’re shown in 5″ frames and I suggest using a cloth that’s at least 10″x 10″ so that you have some excess material for framing or whatever you’d like to do with it.  I’ve attached a grid for each of them, starting with the one on the left.

The floss I used was DMC, 2 strands of each colour and for blends, one strand of each colour.  For Cupcake Two I used one strand of 801 floss to go around the thick bordered parts of the butterfly.  The greyed out square is the middle of the project so line that up with the middle of your fabric and go from there!

 

Cupcake Templates

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