The Friday Five: 5 steps to a no-sew wreath

This week’s Friday Five is both a list AND a tutorial wrapped up into one post! Wahoo!

When I was little, I remember my beloved Aunt Corlyne (who was always bursting with enthusiasm about the latest and greatest craft trends) bringing over bags of supplies to make these easy fabric wreaths. This no-sew craft gives everybody an excuse to shop in the fabric aisle, regardless of whether they know how to sew or not. It is a fun project for kids who are old enough to be trusted with a pointy pencil, although grown-ups may have to take care of the pinking shears portion.

1. Gather: You’ll need…

  • A few yards of fabric in coordinating colors
  • A styrofoam wreath (usually available in the floral section of craft stores)
  • Pinking shears (a.k.a zig-zag scissors)
  • A pointy object such as a screwdriver, skewer, pencil, etc.

2. Cut: Use the pinking shears to cut out a pile of fabric squares. The exact size doesn’t matter and the shape can be rough, but the size should be approximately 3×3 inches.

Fabric Squares

I used a bunch of Valentine fabric leftover from a quilt my mom made me in college!

3. Stab: Wrap a fabric square around the pointy object, then stab the whole contraption anywhere on the styrofoam wreath. When you pull the pointy object out, the fabric should stay wedged in the styrofoam.

Pointy Object

Wrap the fabric around the object right-side-up.

4. Fill: Continue with step #3, filling in the entire front side of the wreath. You’ll probably find yourself having to revert back to step #2 and cut out more squares as the project progresses. It only took me one viewing of Eat, Pray, Love and one episode of How I Met Your Mother to complete my heart wreath from start to finish!

Keep going until the entire wreath looks like this!

5. Hang: Now that your wreath is complete, hang it from a nail or use thumbtacks to secure a ribbon on the back!

Heart Wreath

The Friday 5: Five sewing goals for the new year

2011 Sewing

1) Create something wearable. No more fears about making items that are poorly fitted! I will make it happen this year.

2) Adequately prepare for next year’s holiday season and make as many Christmas gifts as possible. This year I didn’t get to sew a single gift. I know… excuses, excuses… but really, working two jobs and being new to sewing didn’t blend well when it came to Christmas gifts.

3) As much as possible, use fabric/notions that I already have on hand and avoid those tempting trips to the fabric store! Those trips add up, and plus, sometimes I think I get more creative when I’m forced to do amazing things with what I have on hand.

4) Create and sell some items in my etsy shop (that is currently collecting virtual dust).

5) Blog more often, including more completed projects and maybe even some of my own tutorials!

What are your goals for 2011?

Disney VoluntEARS Create a “Beary” Christmas for Children in Need

I love this article! Yet another way to put creative sewing skills (and fabric scraps) to good use for the community around the holidays.

Disney VoluntEARS Create a “Beary” Christmas for Children in Need

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Dec. 17, 2010 – A teddy bear is special gift. In an instant, it can become a child’s best friend. Partnering with the Salvation Army of Central Florida, Disney VoluntEARS dressed more than 2,000 bears during this year’s Dress-A-Bear program.

Walt Disney World cast members have been participating in the Dress-A-Bear program for the past 14 years.  Janice Jones, Walt Disney World Costumer and Workroom Manager, has coordinated Creative Costuming’s Dress-A-Bear efforts since the program’s beginning.

“It’s a creative outlet for cast members and it provides something special for children,” said Jones.

Many of the bears receive one-of-a-kind outfits, handmade with great care by cast members on their own personal time. Using scraps of fabric and creativity, VoluntEARS craft cuddly ensembles from firemen to princesses. Buzz Lightyear, Rapunzel and the Mad Hatter were fashionable this year.  All of these efforts are done in hopes of connecting with a child in need.

“To be able to share our talents with children, and to make one of kind unique clothes, is a labor of love,” said Elizabeth Lau, Creative Costuming Workroom Manager.

The special bears, along with 393 filled stockings, will be distributed by the Salvation Army of Central Florida to local children who are in need of holiday gifts.


Craft for a Cause

It’s no secret that I dislike the holidays. The rampant commercialism and focus on all things selfish are enough to drive me bonkers year after year. On the flip side, my passionate dislike of the most-wonderful-time-of-the-year is enough to drive my holiday-loving friends equally bonkers, so I do my best to keep my opinions at bay and find ways to channel my feelings somewhere useful. This is usually where distracting crafts come into play.

I recently heard about an organization called Project Linus through a JoAnn Fabrics Facebook post about “Craft for a Cause,” a campaign that draws attention to charities that benefit from – you guessed it – crafts! What a cool concept to stumble upon just when the holiday craziness is about to take over my life.

Being a huge fan of my own blankie, I was immediately captivated by the Project Linus mission statement“To provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer ‘blanketeers.'”

The organization accepts all sorts of donations and even devotes a section of their site to patterns and resources for sewers, knitters, crocheters and non-sewers (no-sew fleece blankets, anyone?).

I started thinking about sewing for charities. After a little research, here’s a small sampling of many inspirational organizations seeking crafters:

  • ConKerr Cancer – A Case for Smiles: Follow a simple pattern to create fun pillowcases for children’s hospital rooms. Fun and cheery fabrics unite!
  • The Preemie Project: Create handmade items for premature babies in hospitals who are too small for standard size clothing. Most notable on the site are the fleece “blanket sleepers,” which are  sent home with preemie parents in an effort to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Drawstring bags for troops: Create simple drawstring bags for soldiers to carry their toiletries and small personal belongings, or share with children.

Pretty amazing! I can’t wait to try some of the projects listed above.

What other crafty, charitable opportunities are out there?