Paper Crafting: Altered Art DIY Journal Cover

We love personalized journals. There’s something so appealing in making the outside of your journal as special as the inside. This is an easy paper craft tutorial that shows you some fun paper crafting techniques to help you customize any journal. Why not turn the “Plain Jane” journal into a completely unique craft project that showcases your creativity? This is also a great craft idea for kids because it shows you how to alter the basic journal without spending big bucks. It’s the perfect back to school craft!

Paper Crafting: Altered Art DIY Journal Cover

Once you have written, sketched, embellished, and painted all the pages in your beloved art journal, it’s now time to alter the cover to make it your own. Give your journal a beautifully textured and layered cover using sheets of fabric, interfacing, paper, and metal — it’s quick and easy to put together. Your coffee table will thank you for it!

Paper Crafting: Altered Art DIY Journal Cover



  • Fusible stiff interfacing
  • Cotton fabric
  • Felt
  • Handmade paper (it’s softer and more malleable)
  • Heavy craft foil
  • Embossing folder and machine
  • Alcohol inks and applicator
  • Tacky glue
  • Sanding block
  • Chisel-tip marker
  • Iron
  • Journal

Paper Crafting: Altered Art DIY Journal Cover

1.   Emboss the craft foil and trim it to the desired size. Rub a base coat of a light-colored alcohol ink over the top, then blend additional colors on top, using a pouncing motion with the applicator.

2.  Gently sand the inked foil to expose some of the silver on the raised areas. This technique distresses the surface but it also enhances the embossed pattern. Ink the edges with a marker and set aside.

Paper Crafting: Altered Art DIY Journal Cover

3.  Iron the fabric to the fusible side of the stiff interfacing and trim to a size that’s slightly smaller than your journal cover.

4.  Trim the felt and handmade paper to desired sizes and play with the arrangement of the layers until you like the result. Glue each layer down in sequence, then glue the embossed foil panel on top.

5.  Add whatever sentiments or additional embellishments you like.

Paper Crafting: Altered Art DIY Journal Cover


DIY Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

I am one of the lucky few who get to say that I have lived on campus, in a dorm room, with the same girl for all of college. Anyone will tell you not to live with your best friend starting out; I’m just lucky enough that my roommate turned into my best friend. Out of all the crazy stories these past three years, I never regretted a single thing. The only thing I wished could have happened was a decorated dorm room. I got the basics that every college kid needed, overstuffed the car, and went my merry way to school. None of it matched. Even now, as I start my last semester, I still have the same black-and-blue bedspread, gray sheets, and a desk organizer. Besides all the little office stuff, there are no decorations that I take with me. The main reason, I buy my own supplies for college, so I didn’t want to spend money on things I didn’t need when I could have been saving it for things I did need.

What I didn’t realize is that I could have utilized my sewing machine or crafted some incredible dorm room decor so that I didn’t feel like I was staying at a hotel for nine months at a time. You have to make your new dorm room a home, otherwise you will feel so out of place (take it from this wise old senior). But if you or your parents are trying not to break the bank, you need to try these super cute dorm room decorating ideas for girls. They are mostly sewing patterns, but you can get some inspiration for sprucing up your organizers and office space.

Dorm Room Ideas

You’ll appreciate having a comfortable room to come back to after a long day of classes (or a long night of socializing). It will make you a lot less homesick when you personalize your dorm room and have cute homemade pillows to cuddle up to. Homemade picture frames will hold your memories for a lifetime. These easy sewing patterns for bedspreads and ruffled pillows are going to become your favorite patterns to make and will decorate your home-room and your dorm-room with double sets of them. By making your dorm decor yourself, you’re going to love how your unique personality shine through and how much money you will be saving.


DIY Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

Handy Dandy Organizer

Antropologie Knock Off Comforter

Ruffly Pillow Cover

Gathered Throw Pillow

Big and Bright Flower Pillow

Rose Pillow

Elegant Swag (Trendy Curtains)

Personalized DIY Desk Accessories

Bedside Hanging Storage Pockets

Storage Drawers Makeover

Fancy Storage Containers

What is/was your theme or color scheme for your dorm room?

More Tees, Pretty Please! DIY T Shirts for the Family

More Tees Please! DIY T Shirts for the Family

Get ready for summer fun by stocking your drawers with a seasonal essential: t shirts! T shirts are lightweight, so they will keep you cool during outdoor activities. Plus, any color or design looks great with a pair of jeans. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a graphic tee that reflects your personality. Instead, you can jazz up a plain tee for your toddler, teen, spouse, or yourself. Check out these fun DIY t shirts and take the indecision out of packing for your summer getaway.

T Shirt Patterns for Kids

Painted Tee Shirt Dress   I Heart Tie Dye Tee   Bass Boy Tee

Painted Tee Shirt Dress –The best part about this easy sewing craft is that your little girl can decorate it however she wants.

I Heart Tie Dye Tee –Spend some quality time with your little princess and make this pink tie dye tee together.

Bass Boy Tee – You don’t have to empty your wallet to make sure your little rock star is ready for the concert! This playful tee shirt design includes a guitar.


DIY T Shirts for Teens

Dashing Doodle Tee Shirt   Houndstooth Tees   Romantic Twilight Tees

Dashing Doodle Tee Shirt – This tee shirt is a unique way to spread the love, whether it’s at a graduation party, birthday celebration, or holiday. Ask your friends and loved ones to write messages and draw pictures on this tee shirt and send it off with your high school grad when she goes to college.

Houndstooth Tees – For an edgy tee shirt design, look no further than this project. Great for girls and guys, this tee shirt craft features a red gradient.

Romantic Twilight Tees – This set of tee shirt designs will please any vampire fan in your family. Featuring clever sayings like “Love Bites,” these DIY tee shirts also have eye-catching graphics.


T Shirt Ideas for Him

Impatient Plaid Tee   Captain America Tie Dye Tee   Home Team Custom Tees

Impatient Plaid Tee – From a distance, this DIY t shirt almost looks like the real deal, but it’s actually a tie dye tee that’s perfect for lounging by the pool.

Captain America Tie Dye Tee – Those Marvel movies aren’t going away any time soon! Learn how to tie dye a shirt that looks like Cap’s patriotic shield. Your hero will love it.

Home Team Custom Tees – Check out this video tutorial to find out how to make a tee shirt that represents your guy’s favorite sports team. A handmade tee shirt makes a great birthday gift or Father’s Day present.


T Shirt Craft Ideas for You

Striped Crochet Tee   Dog Lady Graphic Tee   Pretty Petal Tee Shirt

Striped Crochet Tee – Designed with intermediate crocheters in mind, this shirt crochet pattern calls for lightweight yarn. The spunky stripes evoke the nautical trend that is so popular every summer.

Dog Lady Graphic Tee – Dare to be bold in this cute shirt. With the help of a printable stencil, this DIY tee shirt craft is easier than it looks.

Pretty Petal Tee Shirt – Feminine and floral, this gorgeous tee shirt pattern will liven up your summer wardrobe.


What do you like to make with your old t shirts?





Recipe For Success: DIY Ideas for Back to School

This post is brought to you by Mary Egan for

Though it hardly seems possibly, the summer is already swiftly coming to a close. Soon the kids will be out of the house and back in the classroom. Of course they’ll need a few things before they return to school and to their studies. From backpacks to after school snacks, these back to school crafts will help you send your child back to the playground with the coolest, craftiest accessories.

Backpack Patterns

The most essential back to school item your child will need is a backpack. Instead of buying a pricey backpack from a big box store, why not make a backpack for your little scholar? CraftFoxes offers up 10 easy and unique backpack patterns that you can make on your own. There is a drawstring backpack if you’re looking for something on the easy side, a backpack made from an old Oxford shirt, and even a backpack created from an old, beloved stuffed animal. These ideas are all simple and easy to make, but are sure to be a unique accessory for your son or daughter to tote around the schoolyard.

Make sure to check out this owl backpack pattern, which is for sale at the CraftFoxes website through The Sewing Loft. This backpack is the perfect little bag for your child to carry supplies to a kindergarten class, or even to their grandma’s house.

DIY Chocolate Chalkboards

Chalkboards are something that every student will encounter when they go back to school, but they won’t always be able to eat them! These chocolate chalkboards would be a great treat to send your child back to school with. They can pass them out to their friends, or to the whole class. Simply melt some chocolate CandiQuik, smooth it out on a sheet of parchment paper, and let it set. Once it’s ready, cut the chocolate into rectangles and spread some powdered sugar on the chocolate to give it that chalky look. For the borders, simply use some thin breadsticks or even graham crackers.

Crafts for Teens

Looking for some fun back to school crafts for teenagers? We love this glammed-up calculator by Avalon Potter for I Love to Create. She used a glue runner and tiny crystals to create her design. Isn’t math class more fun with a custom calculator? Pencils wrapped in washi tape, DIY iPhone covers, homemade pencil pouches and custom book covers (think old maps or favorite album covers) also make great back to school crafts for teens.

Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars

Once your kids are back in the groove of their school days, they’re going to need something tasty to snack on during lunch or when they get home. Homemade granola bars are infinitely customizable, so you can add anything you’d like to this recipe. But this recipe in particular mentions mixing chocolate with almonds and coconut for a tasty combination. Simply mix up all the ingredients, spread the mixture over a sheet pan covered in wax paper, and then refrigerate for one hour before cutting it into easy to eat bars. Store in the refrigerator until your kids are ready to snack!

What are your favorite back to school crafts for kids and teens?

Trendy Quilted Gifts for Tech Geeks

Although there are quilt designs called Grandma’s Garden Flowers and Log Cabin Blocks, quilting is anything but outdated. Actually, I’ve found that quilting and technology go hand in hand. Not only is there a diverse collection of free quilt patterns and quilting tutorials on sites like FaveQuilts, there is also a growing interest in small handmade gift patterns for tech accessories.

You can choose to create a graduation gift for a college student with a laptop, a birthday gift for a dad that likes to read his Kindle on the train, or a quilted Christmas present for a photographer who wants a DIY camera strap. You are guaranteed to find a fantastic free quilted gift pattern for every tech geek on your list.


 Camera Accessory Quilt Gift

Digital Camera Case

Whether they are a photographer for National Geographic or a new parent who loves snapping pictures of their baby, anyone with a camera will love a personalized camera strap. I’ve noticed that avid photographers always need to keep their cameras close to them; which is why a Quilted Camera Strap Cover is such a fashionable idea for anyone in need of a DIY camera strap. Need a quilted gift design for someone who goes on a lot of fun family trips? This Digital Camera Case is an easy quilted gift pattern that does an excellent job of protecting a camera on the go. For an even quicker pattern for a personalized camera case, check out a contemporary Quilted Camera Case that would be a perfect quilted gift for a teenager.



Laptop and iPad Case Quilt Gifts

Vintage-looking Laptop Case

Nowadays, every college and high school student has a laptop. Any young adult is sure to appreciate your talent when you make them a cool laptop or iPad case quilt gift. Your daughter or granddaughter will be the chicest girl on campus when you quilt her this Vintage-Looking Laptop Case to carry her computer between lecture halls. For college-aged guys, check out an ironic pattern for a Retro iPad Case DIY that actually looks like a vintage transistor radio. Last but not least, make a DIY laptop case for dear old dad or a beloved husband with this Manly Man Laptop Case.



eReader Cover Quilt Gifts

Love of Literature Tablet Cover

One of the greatest features about gadgets like ereaders is that they help save trees by putting news articles and books online. I especially love this idea for the Love of Literature Tablet Cover because it protects a tablet  but also flaunts an appliqued vintage typewriter. You can also protect your electronic reader by making this Mexican-themed scrap quilt design for a Dia de los Muertos Kindle Sleeve. For an even quicker tutorial on constructing a Kindle or eReader cover, check out this pattern for a  Last Minute Gift Kindle Cover.


The free quilted gift patterns for new technologies don’t stop there. Check out 23 Geeky Gifts for Nerds for even dorkier gift ideas!


Tell us, what kind of handmade quilt gift will you make YOUR tech geek?



Valentine’s Crafts for Kids PLUS Heartfelt Craft Ideas for Teenagers

Red Valentine RosesWhile any day is as good as the next when it comes to showing your love, the Hallmark holiday of Valentine’s Day has designated February 14th as the most passionate 24 hours of the year. Use your words to express your love the other 364 days, but to make this day special, show you care with homemade gifts. To make a handcrafted present for Grandma that means a lot and really shows the extent of your Rose Wreathappreciation, it’s going to take a bit of work. So, it’s time to start crafting for the day of love, and AllFreeKidsCrafts has heaps of heartfelt ideas. These Valentine’s crafts can be worked on throughout the course of a month, which means they will be completed just in time, and those ever-moving kids don’t have to finish them all in one sitting.

One thing that I really love about Valentine’s Day in my family is that my mom always made the day about family love, not only romantic love. She’d set up a treasure hunt for us every year, and at the end of the hunt we would find a present that showed us how much she cared. Make this true for your family too by crafting lovely gifts together for those about whom you care. Your kids will feel a definite sense of pride as they hand their dad a darling gift made with little hands of love.

Photo Crafts for Valentine’s Day

Alphabet Photography Collage

Little is more meaningful than capturing a special moment and framing it. You’re telling the recipient that they mean a lot to you, and that the event in the picture is something to be remembered. Giving pictures, though, can be boring if they’re not housed with care. Use one of these creative photo crafts to show Grandpa just how much that fishing trip meant or to remind your sister about that awesome day at the park. I’ve been very into the photos of everyday items creating words. Spell out “I Love You” or “You Rock,” and your dad will be amazed. Check out what I’m talking about with the Alphabet Photography Collage. It’s really fun for kids to wander around with a camera and see what shapes and letters they can find.

Other Photo Crafts for Valentine’s Day:

Clever Magazine Picture Frame
Dazzling White Button Frame
Father’s Day Photo Box perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Frugal Ombre Frame Teens!

Valentine’s Day Crafts with Yarn

Finger Knitted Throw Pillow

Impress each member of your family and your best friends with a hand-sewn, finger knitted, or crocheted gift that they’ll love. These are the perfect crafts for older children or the little, expert sewists to make for Mom. Since so many mini crafters have picked up on finger knitting, my top pick for a Valentine’s Day gift is the Finger Knitted Throw Pillow. It’s really useful and very sophisticated-looking, but can be crafted by a child in elementary school. Grandma would love having a pillow on her couch made by you!

Other Valentine’s Day Crafts with Yarn or String:

Easily Embroider Styrofoam
Spider-Man Throw Pillow
Red Valentine Roses Teens!

Cozy Valentine’s Day Crafts

Comfy No-Sew Valentine Pillow

Cupid’s Day is the perfect day for cuddling, so give your favorite snuggle buddies warm presents. Pick out a really fun fabric for a No-Sew Fleece Blanket for your big sister. She’ll love the cozy gesture, and may just let you sleepover in her room. Mom would also adore a comfy gift that encourages her to relax. Then you can sit right next to her, watch a movie, and eat hot popcorn in the coziest of ways. The Comfy No-Sew Valentine Pillow uses the same technique as the blanket, and it will remind the recipients that you love them every time they rest their heads.

More Heartfelt Craft Ideas for Teenagers

Glass Vial Necklace

Teens, get crafting! Below are some more great ideas for everyone you love.

Rose Wreath perfect for the family
52 Reasons I Love You Dad and Grandpa
Scrabble Crossword Grandma’s favorite
Glass Vial Necklace give it to Mom
Pretty Poppies Pin great for friends


Bonus: Make the Drawsome Dry Erase Framed Gallery as a Valentine’s Day gift for the kids. Your craft becomes an amazingly fun art project for the children.

Who do you and the kids give Valentine’s Day presents to?