Tag Archives: tutorial

DIY Flower Crown – A video tutorial

Flower crowns are my thing. I love making them and I certainly love wearing them. After months of working with Meringue Studio Boudoir and having a couple of booths set up with the Anchorage Downtown Partnership, I’ve had lots of people ask me if I have a tutorial for my flower crowns.

DIY Fairy Flower Crown | A video tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

This is Week Two of the Halloween Blog Party with AK Shopgirl, Tessie Style and me. I’m happy to announce this week’s theme: Woodland Creatures.

Check all three of our sites this week for costume ideas, décor, music mixes and more.

My flower crowns are no trade secret (although you do have to have a florist business license to acquire the light green floral tape). I’ve been held up by simple technological difficulties (I don’t have a tripod that allows for bird’s eye view).

I asked my husband to figure it out. Five minutes and some duct tape later, he had rigged up a suitable bird’s eye camera. Thanks to The Alaska Life for the free selfie stick — I finally found a non-silly way to use it ;).

Whether you’re dressing up yourself or your little girl this Halloween, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a fresh flower crown to compliment your fairy costume.

DIY Fairy Flower Crown | A video tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Alaska Weddings: Charlee + Marc | Photo by Rhae Anne Photography
Photo by Rhae Anne Photography

DIY Fairy Flower Crown | A video tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Photo by Kerry Tasker
Photo by Kerry Tasker
DIY Fairy Flower Crown | A video tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com
Photo by Laura Stennett Photography

DIY Fresh Flower Crown

DIY Fairy Flower Crown | A video tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Materials:

Directions:

DIY Fairy Flower Crown | A video tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Measure your wire around your head and cut the wire with four inches extra length.

DIY Fairy Flower Crown | A video tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Tear off pieces of floral tape about six inches long. You’ll need several, but I usually tear off five at a time.

DIY Fairy Flower Crown | A video tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

In this time lapse video I show you how I construct a partial crown, which is worn off to the side. I usually start in the middle of the wire and work my way toward the edge. If you want a full flower crown, start about three inches from one end and work your way toward the other end.

DIY Fairy Flower Crown | A video tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Prepare your flowers and greens by leaving two inches of stem remaining. Trim away any excess leaves or buds.

DIY Fairy Flower Crown | A video tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Starting at the middle of the crown, lay a green against the wire and tightly wrap the tape around it, working your way down the stem. Add a new flower to the wire and position it to cover the first wrapped stem. Tightly wrap this stem with the floral tape.

Work your way down the wire, positioning the flowers and greens in a herringbone fashion. I usually wrap a green tilting toward the left, then a flower tilting toward the right, a flower tilting toward the left and a green tilting toward the right.

Use your best judgment to nestle greens and flowers together. Pay attention to the natural curve of each flower and place them so they are featured in a pleasing way.

When you have about three inches remaining on the wire, stop adding more flowers. Wrap the ends of the wire around each other so it fits your head well.

DIY Fairy Flower Crown | A video tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Store in the fridge whenever you’re not wearing it. It should last for a few days.

Here is a one-minute time lapse of my making a flower crown. Pretty neat! View the long version here.

DIY Fairy Flower Crown | A video tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Make a grocery store flower arrangement

Happy October! As I glance out the window at the trees half shed of their leaves and the drizzly, cold rain, I am eager for the festivities of fall.

In celebration of Halloween, my blogging friends Leslie Shroyer (a.k.a. AK Shopgirl) and Tess Weaver of Tessie Style and I are collaborating to present fresh, fun and accessible Halloween ideas and do-it-yourself tips. Each week during our Halloween Blog Party we will curate a collection of costumes, décor, crafts, and last-minute ideas focused on a weekly theme. Local traveling speakeasy, The Sawbuck, will contribute craft cocktail recipes, and DJ Spencer Lee will create a playlist to complete the party.

This week Leslie takes the reins with “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Where the Wild Things Are DIY costumes from akshopgirl.com

You just have to check out her darling DIY costumes for children and adults.

I thought I’d give a brief tutorial on how to arrange grocery store flowers for a “Where the Wild Things Are” theme party — or if you just want to spruce up your living room on the cheap.

It’s by no means my most impressive arrangement, but it only takes a few minutes to put together and I feel as though I’ve accomplished something by doing it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

How to arrange grocery store flowers | learn how to make flowers from the grocery store look like a professional arrangement. Tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

The safflowers, $8 at Fred Meyer, remind me of the character Max’s crown as he parades through the forest with the wild things. The vase, a Mason jar painted like mercury glass, was just $4.50 at JoAnn Fabrics. The mixed bouquet was $5 and the baby’s breath was $1.60 a stem at Alaska Wholesale Flower Market.

First, fill your vase with water and stir in the flower food packet. The packet came with the flowers, so you might as well use it, but it’s of course optional.

How to arrange grocery store flowers | learn how to make flowers from the grocery store look like a professional arrangement. Tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Next, trim the baby’s breath so about three inches of the blooms stick out of the vase. This acts as the framework and velcro for the arrangement. Without it the other flowers would flop around. Baby’s breath keeps it all in place.

How to arrange grocery store flowers | learn how to make flowers from the grocery store look like a professional arrangement. Tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Start cutting away the safflowers and placing the short stems around the lip of the vase. Try and get the leaves to curl around the lip. This gives the arrangement more continuity.

A good tip for trimming stems is to bring the vase to the edge of the table and line the stem up to the vase. Determine what height you prefer and cut the stem at an angle so it draws up water more easily, thus prolonging its vase life.

How to arrange grocery store flowers | learn how to make flowers from the grocery store look like a professional arrangement. Tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Start filling out the arrangement with the remaining flowers. Stagger the heights of the yellow flowers and have them point in different directions if you’re going to have the arrangement be a centerpiece. That way it’s lovely from all angles.

A rule of thumb is to use an odd number of focal blooms. It’s more pleasing to the eye, I suppose.

Add other flowers here and there, filling in any gaps in the baby’s breath, until you like what you see.

How to arrange grocery store flowers | learn how to make flowers from the grocery store look like a professional arrangement. Tutorial from alaskaknitnat.com

Now place your arrangement in a calming spot and revel in the fact that you just did something nice for yourself.

Check back all month for more Halloween crafts and tutorials. Take a peek at what akshopgirl is up to this week so you can have your own wild rumpus.

Oilcloth Coin Purse — A free tutorial

Every time I travel to Mexico I can’t resist buying a meter or two of brightly colored oilcloth. You see it everywhere down there, mostly as cheerful tablecloths. I use it for just about everything. I cover cans with it, I reupholstered my dining chairs and I love to use it for coin purses.

Oilcloth Coin Purse | An easy tutorial from Alaskaknitnat.com

I have a simple pattern for my coin purses. You could use any fabric you like, but since the oilcloth is so thick I don’t have to use any stabilizer. That cuts down on project time, which is good because I have a really short attention span for sewing.

Oilcloth Coin Purse | An easy tutorial from Alaskaknitnat.com

Oilcloth coin purse: a free tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat

Oilcloth Coin Purse | An easy tutorial from Alaskaknitnat.com

Materials:

  • 2, 6×8-inch pieces of oilcloth
  • one long, nylon zipper (9 inches or longer makes it easier)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine with a zipper foot
  • chopstick (optional)

Continue reading Oilcloth Coin Purse — A free tutorial

8 Simple Steps to Long-lasting Grocery Store Flowers

Yesterday was my birthday and I’m fortunate to have friends and family who know me well enough to buy me flowers on my special day. Fresh flowers add so much cheer to my home, but this simple luxury isn’t something I can always afford. That’s why I like to make my fresh flowers last as long as possible before having to toss them.

Here are some simple ways you can make your grocery store flowers liven up your home for several days.

8 Simple Steps to Long-lasting Grocery Store Flowers | from Alaska Knit Nat

1. Buy fresh flowers

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the less time the flowers have been in the grocery store, the longer you can enjoy them in your home before they wilt. Look for blooms that haven’t yet fully opened. If you’re buying lilies or daffodils, select a bouquet where only a couple have opened and several are still closed up. This will ensure you will have blooms for days to come. If purchasing roses, avoid the romantically opened blooms. Those will only go bad quickly. Here’s a rose tip: gently squeeze the base of the bloom. It should feel sort of firm like a golf ball. If it’s squishy, then that rose is on its way out.

Continue reading 8 Simple Steps to Long-lasting Grocery Store Flowers

Tokyo Tie Bag — Free Pattern and Tutorial

A few years ago I went sewing machine crazy and sewed a couple dozen Tokyo tie bags. I was inspired by a pattern on Darling Petunia’s blog. I never got around to posting my own pattern because I was too caught up in sewing them. My pattern, which I tweaked slightly from Darling Petunia’s, sadly sat in my craft pile for a few years until someone from Mexico emailed me last month and asked if she could buy one. I sewed it, shipped it and was reminded how easy and fun it was to make.

So here I am, three years later, ready to offer a full tutorial and pattern for the Tokyo tie bag. I hope you enjoy making them as much as I do!

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

Tokyo Tie Bag

An easy sewing project that can be completed in an hour

Materials:

3/4 yard each of lining and outer fabric (100% cotton is recommended)

fabric scissors

rotary cutter and board (optional)

Tokyo tie bag pattern 1 & Tokyo tie bag pattern 2 printed at 100% to match the indicated dimensions, cut out and taped together

 

Directions:

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project. Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

1. Iron your fabric and cut out two pieces of the pattern from the lining and outer fabrics. If your fabric is directional (meaning it looks different upside down) be sure you cut your pattern so the bottom of the pattern is on the same edge for both pieces. You should have four pieces.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

2. With right sides together, sew each edge of the lining with a  3/8 inch seam allowance. Repeat for outer fabric.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

3. Iron open the seams.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

4. Turn your lining right side out and slip it inside the outer fabric.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

5. Make sure the seams from the outer and lining fabrics match up in the middle and pin all around the top edge and handles.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

6. Sew all around the top edge, along the handles and back down again. Your seam should end at the same place you began as you’ll be sewing in a giant loop.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

7. Trim the corners of the handles so there is less bulk.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

8. Cut notches at the center curves so the seam will be more smooth when turned right-side out.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

9. Turn the bag right-side out and use a chopstick to push out the handles. Stuff the lining down into the outer fabric. It should now look somewhat like a bag but with the bottom unfinished. Iron the whole bag flat.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

10. Lay the bag flat so the side seams are now in the middle. Make sure these seams line up on the bottom and then iron the bag flat.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

11. Using a rotary blade, cut the bottom edges of the bag so it’s all even. Sometimes things just aren’t lined up well and a good fresh cut will make it turn out better. This step is optional.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

12. With the bag right-side out pin along the bottom edge, starting at the center seams so they line up on both sides. Sew along the edge with the shortest seam allowance possible.

13. Trim closely along this seam and turn inside out.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

14. Pin the now sewn shut bottom edge again and sew a new seam with 1/4-inch seam allowance. You have now created a French seam. Hurrah!

15. Turn your bag right-side out and iron one more time.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project. Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project. Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

16. Join the two handles by tying a square knot.

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.
17. Admire your work. You’re a super sewer!

Tokyo Tie Bag -- Free pattern and tutorial from Alaska Knit Nat. Great beginner project.

Guest Post: Fan and Feather Lovey — Free Pattern

Today I have the honor of hosting a pattern by the ever-so-lovely Annie Ciszak Pazar, owner of Anchorage’s Bella Boutique and author of the crafty blog Annie’s Arts and Follies.

I’ve always admired this lady for her unique jewelry and undying motivation for knitting big ol’ scarves and cowls.

Recently a mutual friend of ours had a baby — today actually! I felt like there was no better day to showcase the stunning blanket Annie made for her new little girl. So I’ll hand it over to Annie:

I have a blanket on my bed which I affectionately call Lovey. Lovey was a gift from my grandmother at my mother’s baby shower for me, 30-some years ago. Lovey is still around. And on my bed. Needless to say I have a very tolerant husband and perhaps some slight attachment issues. So when it comes time to make special soft and cuddly things for my friend’s little ones, I choose the Lovey pattern – also known as Fan and Feather for those in the biz.

Fan and Feather Baby Blanket | Free Pattern

The first blanket I made was for my friend Jeni when she was expecting her second little one, Robert, as she and I have known each other for 97% of our lives – so it was only fitting she have a Lovey too.

Fan and Feather Baby Blanket | Free Pattern

(Left: my Lovey in 2011. Right: Robert’s Lovey)

  • Using a US6 (4mm) needle cast on a multiple of 18 stitches + whatever you want for a border, but at least 1 stitch on either end (I add 10 – 5 on each side).
  • Knit 10 rows
  • Assuming 5 stitches at each end, work the following 4 rows until you reach desired length:
  • Row 1: knit
  • Row 2: purl
  • Row 3: k5, * k2 tog 3 times, (k1, yo) 6 times, k2 tog 3 times * repeat from * to * until last stitch, k5
  • Row 4: knit
  • When you have reached desired length, knit 10 rows to finish border. Weave in ends.

Fan and Feather Baby Blanket | Free Pattern

This latest blanket is for a local fab lady who keeps me in popsicles all summer on her funky custom PopCycle bike complete with cooler sidecar. I worked on this one from Alaska to New York and back again, and find it only appropriate that it already be travelling as the parents to be met while exploring the world in another country.

This is a super easy and rather fast pattern which looks more complicated than it is. In a bout of bravery I entered one in the Alaska State Fair 2 years ago and brought home a green ribbon and honorable mention in the baby blanket category. But what it really comes down to, is my hope that the kiddos for whom I make these little Lovey’s, love them as much as I love mine (or maybe a little less – there’s that attachment thing…).

Want to see more of Annie’s work? Check out her Etsy store!

 

Thrift Store Skirt Refashion — Free Tutorial

Floral prints are all the rage these days and I’m always finding skirts at the thrift store that have pretty patterns, but they are just too long for my stumpy legs.

You’ve probably come across these types of skirts — they are from the ’90s, ankle-length and look as though a church lady might wear them.

If you have basic sewing skills it’s pretty simple to shorten a skirt to a more youthful length. It only took me 45 minutes and I went from bake sale mom to hipster mom for $2.50. You can too!

Thrift Store Skirt Refashion -- go from bake sale mom to hipster mom in less than an hour!

Materials:

One thrift store skirt in your size

Ruler

Straight pins

Chalk or pencil

Fabric scissors

Sewing machine

Iron

Thrift Store Skirt Refashion -- go from bake sale mom to hipster mom in less than an hour!

Step 1: Iron your skirt if it needs it.

Step 2: Determine how much length you’d like to cut off. I wanted the skirt to fall just above my knees, which was about 10.5 inches from the original hem. I subtracted 1.5 inches to account for the new hem. For me, 9 inches was how much I needed to remove.

Thrift Store Skirt Refashion -- go from bake sale mom to hipster mom in less than an hour!

Step 3: If your skirt has buttons down the front, unbutton it and lay it flat, wrong side up. With a ruler and chalk or pencil go along the bottom of the skirt and mark 9 inches all around. I didn’t do this accurately at all and it still worked out fine. My skirt had a slight arc to it so I eyeballed it here and there.

Step 4: Cut along the measurement lines you made.

Thrift Store Skirt Refashion -- go from bake sale mom to hipster mom in less than an hour!

Step 5: With your iron, turn under 1/2 inch from the edge all across the skirt.

Thrift Store Skirt Refashion -- go from bake sale mom to hipster mom in less than an hour!

Step 6: Turn under 1 inch all around and iron down, pinning as you go. *NOTE* if your skirt buttons in the front, make sure your ends match in the front. Mine were really off so I had to re-iron and eyeball it till it worked. Doesn’t need to be perfect, especially if it’s a flowing skirt. No one will notice if the back is slightly shorter than the front.

Thrift Store Skirt Refashion -- go from bake sale mom to hipster mom in less than an hour!

Step 7: Sew a seam along the hem 3/4 inches from the folded edge, backstitching at the beginning and end.

Step 8: Trim all threads and run an iron along the hem one last time.

Step 9: Put on your skirt and admire your crafty awesomeness.

Thrift Store Skirt Refashion -- go from bake sale mom to hipster mom in less than an hour!