Friday, August 22, 2014

Free Pattern Friday

College kids are on the way back to school too! I ran across this adorable cloche hat pattern by Hopefully Honey a couple weeks ago and just loved it. I decided to make one for myself and share the pattern link with all of you. I think this would make a wonderful gift for someone going away or currently enrolled in college.

The pattern calls for a bulky yarn (5) and here I thought I had some yarn in my stash that would work so well! The blue hat is made with Lion Brand Homespun Anniversary Edition yarn in Lagoon. I love the colors, but the funky texture of the yarn made it so hard to work with on this project. The hat is a bit floppy (hence the wobbly looking hat in the picture), but when I have it on looks just fine. This one is all mine for the upcoming winter. After all that work I can't part with it. 

So I made another one. This gorgeous lavender colored hat. And I love it too. The yarn was a super bulky (6) sized yarn so it is nice and stiff following the directions, although I did leave a row or two out as it was getting too long with the thicker yarn. It will be so very warm! This was made with Lion Brand Hometown USA in Seattle Sea Mist. 

I used a different flower pattern to embellish the purple hat. The original flower is lovely, but I love this free flower pattern from A Morning Cup of Jo. I'll use any excuse to make one. Since I really can't wear two hats at once, this one is up for grabs in my Etsy shop. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Simple Crafts - Chalkboard Jar

We've been canning more and were gifted a few boxes full of pint and quart mason jars a couple months ago. Most of them are perfectly fine for our canning adventures but we have run across a few that have become chipped. Instead of throwing them out, I'm going to use them for some craft projects and tutorials. In order to keep all your pretty, personalized pencils together I've made up another simple craft - a chalkboard pencil holder.
Copyright Jennifer Chittum

You will need:
  • a clean, empty glass jar
  • chalkboard paint
  • a screw on band for the jar
  • ribbon (optional)
  • paint brush
Copyright Jennifer Chittum
I love chalkboard paint. It is so cool! We hand dipped wine glasses for our wedding and I loved they way it turned out, so I knew I would be using it again. You do not need the Ball brand paint, as it is actually probably a little more expensive. We picked this one up on clearance, so it was already in my paint stash.   You can pick up chalkboard paint at pretty much an craft store, home improvement store, or just about any place else that sells paint.

Copyright Jennifer Chittum
Start with a clean jar, and brush paint over the entire jar. Be sure to let it dry completely between coats. It doesn't take long for the paint to dry. The first time I just covered the jar in paint. I did two more coats after that, one with all the brush strokes going up and down, and one with all the brush strokes going side to side. This evens out your brush strokes. You don't need to paint all the way to the top, in fact I suggest only doing it once if you are going to, as the rim is going to rub it right off anyway.

Copyright Jennifer Chittum
After your jar is completely coated in paint and dry, screw the rim onto the top. If your jar is chipped like mine was, you may want to glue it on so no one can get hurt. We had picked up a white rim some place, but the silver most jars come with will look just as good. You can always use an acrylic paint on the rim if you'd like a different color.  Add a bit of festive ribbon around the top and you are done! Besides a fun pencil holder, this will make a cute vase, candy holder, etc for a teacher, or a fun catch all for your kitchen. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Simple Crafts - Personalized Pencils

Copyright Jenny Lou Creations 2014

I stumbled upon these adorable personalized pencils the other day and knew I had to make some for my craft table! This simple craft will be a great way for your kiddo to keep track of his or her pencils at school too. Grab a pack of plain yellow pencils, or any pencils you want to cover up, some glue or modge podge, a brush and some scissors.

Copyright Jenny Lou Creations 2014

The first thing you've got to do is head over to The Girl Creative and print out the template for the pencils. The author, Jackie (a guest blogger I believe), designed these too cute covers just for back to school. Be sure to take a look around the blog for some other fun ideas and recipes.

Cut out your pencil covers using scissors or a craft knife. Hold one of the covers to one of your pencils to check the fit and trim the end to fit.

Copyright Jenny Lou Creations 2014

I used modge podge to attach my covers, but white glue or tacky glue should work too. Brush the back of one of the covers with your glue and then line up the edge with a pencil. This part is a little tricky...roll the pencil just a bit and make sure the edge of the paper is stuck down and straight. Finish rolling your pencil bit by bit, running a clean finger along the pencil as you go.

Copyright Jenny Lou Creations 2014

A few tips...I used modge podge and it dried fairly fast. Be sure to do one at a time. I used two pieces of paper for my workspace. One for applying the glue and one for rolling. Make sure you hands are clean and free of dry glue when you roll and don't rub too much. You probably want to start with un-sharpened pencils to make it easier to cut the strips for a nice even end. The only made in the USA pencils at the store were pre-sharpened, so that is what I went with. I'd also suggest looking for pencils with flat edges like the ones pictured.

Copyright Jenny Lou Creations 2014

Aren't they super cute? I'll be sharing more fun projects I find, including a very special teacher vase/container soon. Don't forget to leave a thank you on the original blog post for The Girl Creative! I'll be adding some ready to ship items to my shop today and tomorrow, including Back to School Owls so be sure to visit!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Homework Station Inspiration

Since it is back to school season, I've been seeing lots of homework stations pop on pinterest. I'm gradually working on my craft area, so I'm always looking for fun looking, organizational ideas. I thought I'd share a few of my favorite homework stations from around the web for inspiration!

Dual Homework Station
Photo from Better Homes and Gardens
The colors in this one caught my eye. I love the light blue and white combo and I'm thinking I might incorporate it into my own space. I especially love that they re-used an old book shelf to create a dual work station. It gives your kids a bit of privacy to keep them on task and their own spaces to stash books, papers and other homework goodies. The baskets on the side are perfect for items the kiddos might be sharing. The best part though is that it takes up a small amount of space. Check out the info for this one over at Better Homes and Gardens.

Rolling Homework Station

Photo from
The globe caught my eye on this one. A second look revealed it was made out of an old library cart. I love themeing for the use of the cart is delightful. The two lower shelfs are individual spaces for each child and the top space is shared stuff. This one moves. They can spread out their workspace in a convinent location that day and move it back to the storage place when finished. And since the cart is made out of metal it is magnetic! Note the little reading timer. Great idea! Check out the details over at 4 Men 1 Lady.

Portable Station
Photo from The House of Smiths
This miniature homework station is awesome! The creator has so many things fit onto this little tray and even a bit of inspiration! I'm loving the chalkboard top containers. I'll be using that one for sure. The size of this one is the best feature by far. It all fits neatly onto a tray you can tuck away when not in use. The blogger that made this one was actually participating in a mystery challenge. She got a box full of mystery items including Krylon paint and was challenged to make something useful and pretty for her home.  There are detailed instructions over at The House of Smiths if you'd like to re-create some or all of this one. 

Seat Sacks Station
Photo from Scissors and Spatulas
Black and white is something else I really like. (Note the bit of blue thrown in...see a theme?) These homework seat sacks and are marvelous idea. I love how they use a typically un-used space to keep all the papers and art books contained when not in use. The blogger gives you a rundown of how she came up with them and at one point she was selling them as well for the non-crafty folks out there. It looks like it may have been a while since the last update so I'm not sure if that is still the case or not. Visit Scissors and Spatulas for more information.  

I hope you picked up some fun, inspiring ideas for your kids'  homework station, art desk or your own craft space!

Monday, August 4, 2014

August Amigurumi of the Month

I'm sharing some big news today! In order to bring you some handmade happiness all year, Jenny Lou Creations is going to have start having a monthly theme. August is launching this fun, new adventure with Back to School. I've got lots of fun stuff planned for the blog including, fun & free patterns from around the web, new products only available in my etsy shop, and a limited release pattern from me tied into the monthly theme. You may have seen a glimpse of my Back To School Owl over on my facebook page. The pattern will be available this Thursday, August 7th in my shops and be sure to grab it quick as it will be going away at the end of the month to make way for the September release. This is a great surprise for kids going back to school, plus it will make great teacher and grad gifts later in the year! For my non-crochet customers I'll also be adding a very limited number of finished owls to my Etsy shop for the month of August.

Copyright Jennifer Chittum 2014

Not only will there be a limited release pattern each month, but I'll be doing a giveaway tied to the amigurumi of the month too! Head over to my facebook page right now to enter to win the pattern for free OR this cute finished owl. (Finished item shipped to US addresses only please.) Be sure to share the giveaway post on facebook to earn an extra entry! Giveaway ends at midnight central time August 6th and winner will be announced with the release on Thursday morning.