Craft Tutorials and How Tos You Might Have Missed: Part 2

Best Yarn for Blankets

Hey guys! As you may remember, in part 1 of “Craft Tutorials and How Tos You Might Have Missed” we helped introduce you to some easy DIY craft ideas for the home. Well, good news-a similar list is back again! These free and simple crafting tips will help make your DIY adventures magical and are helpful to any and all skill-levels. Although you may think that you are doing crafting the easy way, these home craft tutorials will help you avoid common mistakes that every crafter makes.

Learn how to find multiple crafting uses with an old toothbrush with 17 Crafty Uses for an Old Toothbrush and discover which crafting materials are best for your specific project in Mod Podge vs. Glue. If you want to jazz up your wardrobe with tie-dyed t-shirts but don’t want to spend a lot of money then try this beginner-level craft technique Crumple Tie-Dye Technique.

Mod Podge vs. Glue

Any crafter loves a good DIY organizing project and with Pill Bottle Crafts: Reuse Pill Bottles with this Crafty Guide you can learn how to create DIY storage the affordable way! If knitting or crocheting is more your speed, find out what the best yarns are for that DIY afghan with Best Yarn for Blankets.

Pill Bottle Crafts

Even if you are an experienced crafter, having access to free crafting tutorials can never hurt! These simple craft how tos will teach you how to create unique, beautiful pieces for your home without the added stress and expense. Make crafting fun and relaxing again by using this helpful list as a crafting resource for you and your friends! The best way to learn about helpful crafting techniques is by sharing with those around us. So what are you waiting for? Start reading part 2 for priceless crafting insight!

Our Newest Craft Tutorials:

1. Mod Podge vs. Glue
2. Lessons Learned from My First Shibori Dyeing Experience
3. 17 Crafty Uses for an Old Toothbrush
4. Recycled Flower Pots: 29 Water Bottle Planters and More DIY Planter Pots
5. Crumple Tie-Dye Technique
6. Pill Bottle Crafts: Reuse Pill Bottles with this Crafty Guide
7. Best Yarn for Blankets
8. Upcycle Your Old Household Items into Crafts
9. What Is Shibori Tie Dye?
10. How to Choose the Best Craft Glue
11. What Are the Best Knitting Needles for Beginners?
12. How to Wash Craft Felt

Don’t forget to sign up for the FaveCrafts newsletter, Quick and Crafty, for daily crafts and tips delivered straight to your inbox.

“What is your best advice for new crafters?”

11 Beginner Tie Dye Tutorials and Tips

Learning how to tie dye is one of those useful life skills that often go underappreciated. I remember tie dying shirts at birthday parties when I was little and having a blast, so it’s my opinion that the world would be a little more cheerful if we all learned to tie dye. For one thing, there are so many tie dye tutorials out there, you can’t possibly run out of ideas. And not only can you have a lot of fun with it, it’s a great way to help your kids or grandkids create their own memories as they make amazing projects. Check out the lists below for tutorials and tips for making some truly wonderful tie dye projects today!

11 Beginner Tie Dye Tutorials and Tips

Tips to Get Started

  1. 100% cotton material is your best bet. For clothes, a basic 100% cotton T-shirt creates a perfect canvas that will hold dye the best.
  2. Experiment with different styles. From striped patterns to spirals, there are tons of tie dye patterns out there to choose from. If you do your research (by checking out the tutorials below!) you can choose the best pattern for what you want to accomplish. Don’t be afraid to branch out and choose something a little different!
  3. Combine colors for amazing effects. Pick colors that will blend well together, because the dyes that are next to each other will form new colors that you may not want! For instance, rather than sticking that pink right next to the green, consider placing it near your orange or yellow spots.
  4. Rinse under cold water before throwing your project in the washing machine! That will prevent dye from getting over your other garments. You will also need to wash the shirt (or whatever your project is!) by itself the first few times in the washing machine, again with cold water.

Tie Dye Tutorials to Try

  1.  Bullseye Tie Dye Technique

    • This technique is a tried-and-true tie dye method that yields beautiful results. The bullseye is like the poster child of the tie dye world: you’ll definitely want to try this tie dye tutorial out!Bullseye Tie Dye Technique
  2.  Crumple Tie Dye Technique

    • You’ll fall in love with simple yet spunky tie dye pattern that will wow everyone who sees it. This is another classic tie dye design that you’ll likely recognize. Add it to your list to make!Crumple Tie Dye Technique
  3.  Swirl Tie Dye Technique

    • I have a confession to make – I know you shouldn’t play favorites, but this is my favorite one! I remember using this technique when I was little to create an awesome T-shirt. This is a great one to choose if you’re having a hard time deciding where to start.Swirl Tie Dye Technique
  4.  Sunburst Tie Dye Technique

    • Pictured is just one of the many ways you can use this cheerful tie dye pattern to create your own masterpiece. This one is extra fun, because you can make many small sunbursts or one giant one for a pop of color!Sunburst Tie Dye Technique
  5.  Heart Tie Dye Technique

    • Similar to the bullseye, this beautiful tie dye pattern is right up your alley if you’re looking for a gift for your daughter or granddaughter, or an activity you can do with them. It’s sure to yield awe-inspiring results!Heart Tie Dye Technique
  6.  Batik Tie Dye Technique

    • This tie dye pattern is not only incredibly lovely, it’s a fun alternative to more classic tie dye designs. Get your crafting cap on, because this fun tutorial is totally worth your time!Batik Tie Dye Technique
  7.  Abstract Drip Dye Tee

    • For something a littler different, this abstract drip technique will yield a playful result that will wow everyone who sees it. You’ll definitely have fun with this twist on traditional tie dye.Abstract Drip Dye Tee

Want more great ideas? Be sure to check out 100+ Tie Dye Patterns and Techniques.

What’s the coolest tie dye project you’ve made?

Sewing Dresses & Apparel Tips from Suzannah: National Sewing Month 2013

It’s Day Seven of National Sewing Month! Too see the daily blog posts, projects of the day, and more National Sewing Month details, click here.

National Sewing Month 2013

Today we welcome guest blogger, Suzannah from Adventures in Dressmaking who is sharing tips on her specialty: dressmaking/apparel sewing!

For a couple years now I’ve had a feature on my blog called”Sewing Circle.” It started when a reader sent me a question about how to choose patterns to go with a few fabrics she’d collected. It’s sometimes hard to imagine how you can make a sewing pattern on your own, so we had fun talking about styles she was interested and how she could make them out of her fabrics. I posted about it on my blog and the series was born. Since then I’ve gotten a lot of questions from readers about how to copy a dress they’ve seen in a magazine or even a store window, and a lot of general questions from sewing beginners.

I thought I’d summarize a few of my favorite sewing techniques and tips based on some top Sewing Circle questions I’ve received.

How to Cut Out the Right Pattern Size

Using patterns can be confusing, but before you even cut them out, you have to choose the right size — which can be even trickier! I can lend some insight into how to choose the right size and cut out the right fit.

  • Sewing patterns use standard body measurements developed by the US Department of Standards during WWII. These are fairly outdated now, so many of us feel may need to cut out a size 3-5 sizes bigger than our current ready-to-wear dress size!
  • But, most people don’t have the exact bust, waist, and hip measurements of any particular size. When cutting out a dress or top, the bust measurement is probably most important. Use the size that matches your bust measurement, and taper at the waist (angle in or out when cutting after measuring) to fit. On a dress with a gathered skirt, for example, the hip measurement doesn’t matter at all, and even for the A-line skirts, it’s not as important as waist and bust, so you may be able to ignore that number and cut out the right size for your bust and waist. For pants or skirts, use the pattern that matches your hip measurement and make the waist fit. Or, if the numbers are pretty close, I usually use the average size. If your bust is an 8, your waist a 12, and your hips a 10, for example, use the size 10 pattern as a base.
  • Unfortunately, modern sewing patterns are not designed to fit as snugly as some of us might like for tailored garments. You may find you cut out what is supposed to be the right size in something, only to be swimming in it once you put it together. There are a couple possible reasons for this: 1) most sewing patterns are not high fashion and are not often made for trendy juniors’ sizes and snug fits. 2) most patterns are intended for a 5/8” seam allowance, and if you use a 1/2″ or smaller, it actually makes a big difference in fit.
  • Also note: patterns will usually tell you the “finished garment” measurements as well as the bust, waist, etc. to use when picking out your size. If your bust is 36″, the dress’s bust may be 38″ or 39″ to allow for movement and wearing ease. If you see these measurements and want something snugger, check the finished garment measurements for the smaller size down — maybe you should cut out that one.
  • If you want to test out a pattern, make a “muslin” out of whatever cheap fabric you can find — an old sheet, a thrift store find, or a fabric that you got on sale would be great! This way you can test out the pattern without spending too much time or expensive fabric. You don’t have to finish the edges of the muslin or add fastenings or anything.

You can custom-make patterns for your size, by measuring the pattern pieces as you cut.

  • The first thing you should do when cutting out a new pattern (when you don’t know how tightly or loosely it will fit) is measure the pieces and how large it will be when you sew them together. To do this, you need to lay them out taking into account the seam allowances (if you use 5/8″, overlap them 1 1/4″ at each seam) and measure across the bust and waist.
  • Try on the garment before you assemble to fashion fabric to the lining–it’s way easier to take in seams before you have two layers and a join at the top edge, for example. Pin the bodice closed where the zipper will be and look in the mirror. Use pins and a fabric marker if you like to pinch in where it’s too big or mark where it’s too small.
  • If all that fails and the garment is still too big, take it in some at the sides as well as the back—you don’t want your side seams to be so far off your sides. It’ll look kind of funky if anyone sees, and it may pull weirdly at the waist since the bodice is curved for the smallest part. You don’t have to take the bodice all the way apart, just 3-4″ or so on each side at the top, then go in and take it in.

It may sound like a lot, but once you get started with a muslin or simple pattern to start with, you’ll get more comfortable tailoring clothes for your shape and style!

Good Fabrics for Beginning Sewers

Some fabrics are better than others if you’re just getting comfortable with making your own clothes.

First, almost all clothing patterns will tell you on the back what the recommended fabrics are, although they’re not always helpful. Always read the back of the pattern if you’re concerned, and look at those types of fabrics while you’re in the fabric store.

The biggest differences in fabric are in weight — you can’t make a heavy coat out of a sheer chiffon. So think about fabrics in terms of the garment you’d make out of them, and stick to that. Some fabrics, like “shirtings,” are great for blouses and tops, but not great for pants or shorts. A nice linen with an embroidered pattern is good for a skirt or maybe a dress, but too heavy for a shirt. And, of course, a knit fabric is best for patterns that are meant for knits (they will tell you on the pattern). And alternatively, don’t make a pattern that’s meant for a woven fabric out of a stretchy one. It won’t work.

Generally, the fabrics that are best for apparel are in the front of the fabric store. They are often seasonal colors or named for the types of things they’re best for (“suitings,” “bottomweights,”…). You can take the recommendations of the store displays!

Quilting fabrics, often near the back of the store, come in super cute prints but are not meant for clothing. They can work for clothing, with a lining or appropriate finishing, but they are best for quilts or shower curtains or little home dec projects. I know, some of the prints are sooooo cute, but it is hard to make them durable and wearable. I don’t use them for clothing myself, although some people I know do.

The other very important thing to consider are the accessory fabrics that you’ll need to use: linings and interfacings. A very lightweight but crisp cotton is lovely for a lining, but poly/nylon linings are cheap and easy to find. I use lightweight fusible interfacing on pieces of the garment that need reinforcing. Don’t skip the lining and interfacing! As for my personal preference, I like natural fibers better than nylon, polyester, acrylic, fleece, etc. any day. I do use artificial fibers for many linings, and for some silk tops. But I love a good cotton dress!

How to Combine Patterns to Make Your Own Styles

Now that you’ve got the basics of cutting out your pattern and choosing the fabric, get creative! Some of my favorite dresses feature two different fabrics, one for the bodice and one for the skirt.

The basic idea is, combine two patterns of the same 1) size and 2) fit/shape. So, if your waist is 28″, you could combine the bodice for ANY dress that hits at the natural waistline and has a finished waist measurement of 28″ with ANY skirt pattern that also has a waist of 28″! Or, as I do, you don’t have to use a pattern for the skirt if you pleat or gather it into the waist. Or add a waistband — making sure you make the bodice above it shorter to accommodate it.  The tricky part comes when you use a skirt or bodice that has a scooped front, and you may need to adjust the skirt or bodice to match the skirt or bodice you’re pairing it with.

And, of course, you want to combine patterns of the same fit/shape. What I mean by that is: you can’t combine an empire waist bodice with a skirt that’s meant to hit at the natural waist, obviously (you’d get a weird baby-doll, and unless that’s the look you’re going for, it’s not going to work!). You can’t combine the bodice for a loose, flowy, knit dress with a pencil skirt dress pattern. So look at the finished garment measurements on the pattern package to guide you (if it has anything for the waist or wherever you’re combining) and just use common sense, and you’ll be fine. Here I combined a spaghetti strap fitted bodice with a pencil skirt (and added my own ruffle!) and got…

Sometimes with sleeves or even the waist, there’s a difference of 1/2″ or so, and you can normally stretch or pleat a little to make it fit (as long as you match your center front, back, and sides) or, try on the lining or unfinished bodice and see which pattern you want to cater to — if the armhole is too tight but the sleeve fits fine, cut the armhole a little deeper in the armpit, for example. If the waist is too big on the dress but fine on the skirt, take in the side seam on the dress a little.

These are some of my fave tips on making your own clothes and dresses! Check out my blog, Adventures in Dressmaking, for more of my fave ideas and projects for clothes, home, crafts, food, and more!


Have you ever started to make a dress for someone else and then decided to keep it for yourself?



Sick of Boring Cards? Try This Cool Technique!


This tutorial is brought to you by Latrice Murphy from Any Occasion.

Today I have something really fun for you to try. Have you heard of molding paste? This stuff is used mostly on canvases by artists, but as a crafter, I’ve found that it’s amazing for scrapbooking and cards. With so many choices out there for masks or stencils, I’m sure you’ll find some you love to play with.

I created a bold card for you using a chevron mask. My pictures tutorial shows a second style that is larger and has a zig zag pattern. I wanted you to see the difference in the two.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • White cardstock
  • Distress Ink
  • Gemstones
  • Patterned
  • Modeling paste
  • Stencil
  • Adhesive
  • Paint spreader

First create your card from cardstock and layer bright white on top, leaving 1/8” all around.

Trim a second piece of white cardstock down to 3-¾” x 5” and tape down using washi tape or other easily removable tape.

Next, tape your mask or stencil down where you would like it.

Using a pain spatula spread your modeling paste evenly and removed the stencil.

After it has dried for about two hours, you can ink with a sponge and mist randomly with spray mists.

Lastly adhere your banner sentiment and gemstones.


Tip: This is an easy process, but drying time is long. Do a bunch at a time to have on hand when you need a quick card.

Visit my designer profile on FaveCrafts for a link to my blog, where you can see what I created with the above pieces.


Sewing Nightmares: Try Some Tips to Conquer Your Sewing Fears

Sewing NightmareAllFreeSewing asked you on Facebook what your biggest sewing nightmares were, and the answers were horrifying. What was really astounding was that most of you had actually realized your sewing nightmares. Reports of electricity outages, ill-fitted wedding attire, and even fingers caught in the sewing machine made us cringe. We thought we’d offer up some tips to prepare you for future nightmares. Hopefully you’ll never have to use them, but just in case…




Sewing with Children

Sewing With Children

This tip from one of our designers most likely resonates with a lot of you. Whether you were the victim of your sewing machine or have feared it for most of your life, here’s a tip. Prevent any damage inflicted by the dreadful sewing machine onto your children.

Threading Your Machine

Terrible Threading

Who among us doesn’t loathe threading? If you like it then you should volunteer your services to other sewists out there. Try out this sewing tip to tackle those threads. This is a great tip for beginner sewers.

Loss of Electricity

You’re not going to like this answer; but when you loose electricity and you’ve got a deadline to meet, it’s time to hit the fabric old-school style. Grab a thimble because hand sewing is your best bet for sewing success. Luckily, we have some much loved hand sewing advice for you.

Hanging Fabric Baskets or PocketsInaccessibility to Sewing Supplies

Some of our sewers are at this very moment unable to access their sewing supplies. This could be because of a move or because of no room. We feel for you. Put these organizational tips to use when you do get that fabric out of your storage unit. Hang in there!

Barbie Ball GownMaking Doll’s Clothes

Grandmas out there, the only true way you won’t have to do this tedious sewing project is by hiding your sewing abilities from your grandchildren. However, if you are stuck in a bind and need to make the apple of your eye some itsy-bitsy clothing, we have some doll’s clothes on our site.

Adding a Zipper to a Project

We were surprised to see that some of you feared adding a zipper to a project. Admittedly, a lot of us used to fear that too, but thanks to some crafty advice that fear is conquered. Check out these tutorials that tackle the toothy zipper once and for all.

Stepping on Needles

Ouch. Nothing hurts more than the startling rediscovery of a long lost needle…in your foot. Try out this sewing tip for preventing needle injuries and keep you and your family happy.

Some of you were afraid of losing inspiration for your sewing projects. We can easily help you there; if you visit our site you’ll never be at a loss for projects ideas. Remember to check out our tips and tricks section on AllFreeSewing for sewing safety advice. Also see our Facebook page to find our post about Sewing Nightmares and see specific stories from your fellow sewers.

What’s the best sewing advice you’ve ever received?

July FaveCrafts Radio: We Answer Your Questions!

You read that right, our panel of expert crafters will be answering your questions live! We’ve decided to put a little spin on this month’s show and let you guys take the reins. We’ve asked some of our favorite and super knowledgeable craft bloggers to join us and answer your questions about everything crafty.


Haley Pierson-Cox from The Zen of Making,Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess, and Jenny Barnett-Rohrs from Craft Test Dummies will be making up our panel of crafty experts and trust us, these ladies know craft. You can call in and ask them any crafty question that’s been on your mind. Having a touch time figuring out which glue to use for which project? Need advice on binding off? Keep dropping stitches? We can help you out!

So write down your toughest no-body-has-been-able-to-answer-me questions and join us! Call your questions in on Tuesday, July 10th at 11 am EST and we’ll be right there to answer them. Besides getting all your tough questions answered, who doesn’t want to hang out and talk craft for a while? Don’t miss out on the fun!

Who do you usually ask for crafting tips and advice?

FaveCrafts 365 Prepping The Gourds

Gourd art is very popular and so much fun especially if you plant and harvest your very own gourds! This video gives some gourd gardening tips and explains the process of prepping the gourd before you creative with it.

Meet Designer Berta  Gilholm and read about how she’s involved with gourd art and craft.

You’ll love this Natural Gourd Bird.

And if you don’t have a green thumb you might have a crocheter’s thumb so check out these crocheted gourds.

And check out the Arnold Grummer Projects (That family can grow gourds!)

Flo’s Crazy Quilts

Seed Paper Gift Set

Flying Girl Collage

FaveCrafts 365 Plaster Master

Plaster is a very versatile medium for artists and crafters. This video shares some coloring tips you might not know! This is a fast and easy way to add color, so check it out!

Spooky Kooky Scene

Sculpted Heart that is so artistic

Roses! Roses! Roses!

For plaster supplies you can visit and find some great deals on plaster, molds, and more! Or just click HERE!

FaveCrafts 365 Glitter B-Gone!

Everyone seems to love glitter and I know glitter loves me! When I craft with glitter I think I get more on me than the project at hand! Sparkling like a diamond has it’s time and place, but sometimes you just want that excess glitter to be gone.

This video gives you some easy tips on glitter clean-up!

Some shimmering and glittery projects on

15 Cool Projects that Shimmer and Shine! Click HERE.

Check out Art Glitter for some fabulous glitter. Click HERE.

Need glitter? You have to visit for the best prices and selection. Click HERE.

Glitter Flowers bloom! Click HERE.

Glitter Overload will keep you smiling! Click HERE.

FaveCrafts 365 Keeping It Real

This video does come with a warning:

  • Before you click clear room of any children or other people with delicate sensibilities
  • Video may hurt eyes and cause headaches.

There is a reason people wear make-up and brush their hair before taping videos, but sometimes you just got to keep it real. This morning I decided to not take the time for make-up and dressing for taping, but just do a quick FaveCrafts 365 before starting my day creating in the studio. Nice clothes are for my writing and video working days, but when I craft I like to be comfortable and I need clothes that can be washed and washed and washed.

How do you look when crafting? One of my favorite designers, Dee Gruenig always looks picture perfect (see her video below!) and she’s working with ink!!!  I’ve watched her demonstrate so many times over the years and never does she get any ink even on her fingers. I am not that lucky! I’m sure it’s her years of experience and professionalism and she is a joy to create with, but most of us look a little more like me in the video.

I hope you enjoyed my little Keeping It Real insight!

Some of Dee’s amazing designs:

Blooming Spring Flowers Card

Vertical Butterfly Card

Marvy Uchida Dee Demo Video