Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bonanza of Bat Crafts: Yarn-Wrapped Wreath


Craft two of many is complete! I wanted a little somethin' somethin' for my door this Halloween, so I whipped up this little wreath. Well... "Whipped up" implies that I made it really quickly, and that's not entirely accurate. You could definitely start and finish your wreath in an afternoon, but you'll need about 2 hours for all that yarn-wrapping.

Materials:

  • 12" foam wreath form
  • Marker
  • Yarn in color(s) of choice--I used Caron Simply Soft Party in Black Sparkle and Purple Sparkle
  • Hot glue gun and sticks
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle
  • Wide ribbon



Directions:

  1. Unless you're going with a single color of yarn, use a marker to divide your wreath into sections. I went with 6 sections, but you could do more or less. 
  2. This step is optional, but I would recommend that you wind a large bobbin of yarn for each section. I found working with a bobbin a lot easier than working with the entire ball of yarn. 
  3. Glue the end of the yarn to the back of the wreath, about 1.5 or 2 inches from the beginning of the section. Give it a minute to let it dry and cool.
  4. Holding the attached yarn steady, start wrapping the yarn around the wreath. Because the outer circumference of the wreath is larger than the inner circumference, you will have to do some overlapping of yarn on the inside of the wreath.
  5. When you come to the end of the section, cut the yarn, leaving a long tail. 
  6. Thread the tail through the needle, and then, on the back of the wreath, pass the needle under about an inch or so of wraps. 
  7. Cut yarn and apply hot glue over the end to hold it in place.
  8. Repeat steps 3 through 7 until you have completely covered the wreath form.
  9. Cut a piece of ribbon that is long enough to wrap around the wreath with about an inch of overlap. You can either bust out a tape measure and measure the wreath or just cut a piece that is way longer than what you need and trim it down as needed.
  10. Wrap the ribbon piece around the wreath in the desired location, and then glue it down. I glued the ribbon together, and then I also "sealed" the raw edge of the ribbon with glue. Let dry.
  11. Cut a really long piece of ribbon for the bow. 
  12. Thread the long piece of ribbon through the ribbon loop you just glued onto the wreath. 
  13. Tie into a bow, adjusting the loops to whatever size you find aesthetically pleasing.
  14. Trim the ends of the bow as desired.


Your wreath is now ready to hang!


Monday, September 14, 2015

Bonanza of Bat Crafts: Swatch Art



I saw these mini cut-out wooden palette thingies at JoAnn when they first put out their Halloween stuff, and I thought, "Those are cute... But what do I do with them?" I couldn't come up with anything, so I passed them by. And then a week or two passed, and I got an email from the Yarnspirations blog featuring this project.


I decided to go in a bit of a different direction with my swatch art, opting for a single shade of yarn and mostly eschewing traditional Halloween colors. I knew I wanted to put these in my bedroom near an infrared photograph of the Austin bat colony, so I decided to mirror the colors of the armchair and footstool on the other side of the room. Bats are on display in my home year-round (though, admittedly, not in quantity that I have out for Bat Month October), so these bad boys will enjoy a spot on my wall until I move out.

Materials:

  • Cut-out palette things from JoAnn (couldn't find them online...)
  • Bernat Satin in Fern
  • Size 9 needles
  • Black acrylic paint for front of palette (I used CraftSmart Satin from Michaels)
  • Rose gold acrylic paint for sides of palette (I used Hand Made Modern Metallic from Target)
  • Paint brushes
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Wall mounting kit


Directions:

  • Paint the palette however you would like. Since I was using two colors, I started with the sides (rose gold) and then did the fronts (black).
  • While the palettes are drying, knit your swatches. Cast on 35 sts.
  • Knit in stockinette until piece meaures about 9.25" across.
  • Bind off.
  • Weave in ends.
  • Hot glue fabric swatch to back of palette, stretching it slightly so that the fabric is taut.
  • Follow directions in wall mounting kit to attach hanger to back of palette.
  • Hang up and enjoy!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

October is coming...

bat appreciation

bat appreciation by happilyintended on Polyvore

If you've read this old post or ever spent any time with me ever, you know that I looooove bats. However, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Halloween. I scour the Halloween stuff in stores at this time of year, searching for things to add to my batty collection and getting annoyed with all the 'anti-bat propaganda.' I only buy things that portray bats as nice creatures, nothing that plays on their all-too-common association with fear. 

Even with my self-imposed limitations, I usually end spending more money that I really should on bat gear. Most years, I find tons of stuff and have to try really hard to practice self control. This year, however, I've been seeing lots of owls and cats but not a lot of bats. It seems that I have to get my fix somehow--I've lined up a whole bunch of bat-themed crafts to make over the coming weeks. If you've got a negative bat-titude, go ahead and drop it right now--it's about to get all kinds of batty up in here!