I don’t consider myself much of a chef, but when the holidays roll around I’m suddenly inspired (most of the time by gazing at Pinterest boards!). And although most of my culinary creations come out less than Pinterest worthy, I never fail to impress my guests prior to serving time. That’s right–my time to shine is when I’m reaching for my super-cute handmade potholders. Even if my elaborately styled Thyme-Roasted Turkey with Béarnaise Butter turns out to be a dud, at least I’ll look fashionable when I set it on the table.
Are you stuck with the same boring potholders you bought just after college and use just as much for packing boxes as for baking cookies?
Well, I’ve got just the FREE PROJECT for you! Sweet Home Potholders from Sweet & Simple Patchwork Gifts by Hisako Arai and Yoko Sanjo
It’s that time of year when most of us could use a little extra help finding those special holiday gift ideas. Whether you’re a stumped daughter-in-law or thinking of what to give your best friend’s children, we have a treasure trove of DIY fun, fashionable, and yummy projects for just about everyone on your V.I.P. list. Click here and sign up for a chance to win the five books featured here:
HOMEMADE PRESERVES & JAMS by
Think hostess gift or holiday party favor: Luscious jams, juicy jellies, tangy curds, tropical marmalades, aromatic chutneys, crunchy pickles, intoxicating cordials.
Pretty much every fall – anticipating an absolutely freezing, terrifying long NYC winter – I pull out my favorite sweaters from the previous season and survey them with dismay and despair. Why is it that only my favorite sweaters are the ones that get stained, stretched and pill-y? And why is it that only the itchy, too-hot, boring ones stay perfect forever?
Here’s a BRILLIANT idea for how to recycle that favorite, super cozy, old sweater than just happens to have a hole in the elbow, or a stain across the chest… PILLOW COVERS! Take an old pillow and cut your sweater in a rectangle large enough to fit around the pillow (or two smaller squares/rectangles). Sew your new pillow cover around the old pillow OR use buttons to add a flap so you can remove & wash your sweater pillow cover.
Sweater Pillow by Jessica Lewis (Flickr: J*Lewis)
This project (photo by JessLewisPhotography.com) seems so easy and so great for getting cozy on the couch with your favorite craft project or book during the long, cold winter. I know exactly what sweater I’ll use and I’ll stop back in a few days and show you how mine turned out!
I got the idea from this overwhelmingly long list of recycled sweater craft ideas at Squidoo; I’m also interested in trying the felted sweater hearts, the chair cover and the super-easy mittens! So many great ideas!
If you try this – or any of the other – recycled sweater projects, please share your photos with us on Twitter or Facebook!
Is that a chill in the air, or am I just spooked that Halloween is right around the corner and I don’t have a costume ready yet?! If you’re like me, you spend about 11 months, 29 days, and 12 hours thinking about your costume, and one frantic hour actually making it. But don’t worry—these great DIY costumes for kids and adults will keep the holiday from becoming a nightmare!
Crazy Octopus Costume via SkinnyScoop.com
Speaking of nightmares, I’m pretty sure my washing machine houses a ghost that’ssimply ravenous for socks. As a result, I have about a dozen extra socks lying around that don’t have a partner. Here’s an adorable octopus costume that makes use of those—as well as all those extra buttons I may or may not have stored in a desk drawer somewhere! Easy Octopus Costume from Designing Mom Shinmin on MomIncDaily
Paper Doll Costumer from AmazingeZone.com via DIYnCrafts.com
Have some cardboard, tape, and markers lying around? Turn yourself or your kidinto a paper doll! My favorite part about this costume is that it’s essentially unfinished, so you can talk about your last-minute cleverness without shame. Simply Adorable Paper Doll Costume via DIYnCrafts.com
I tend to think all babies are so cute, they’re good enough to eat. So why not embracethat sentiment, and salute your gluten-free lifestyle in the meantime? It’s sushi time! Hint: To simplify this costume even more, just dress baby all in white. Attach an orange pillow to the back of baby’s shirt, and wrap a green ribbon around the center of the pillow and baby’s belly! Sushi Baby Costume from Carolyn Caffelle MarthaStewart.com And visit Carolyn’s Etsy store for a ton of other brilliant baby costumes.
Know how to crochet? Feeling a little more ambitious about this year’s costume? Check out these brilliant ideas for crocheted hats – They’re a no-brainer as a costume starter, or all on its own! Crocheted costumes, here we come! Crocheted Costume Hats designed by SeasonGirlStitches
Good luck with your own DIY Halloween costume and – by all means – feel free to share your own brilliant costume ideas, favorite past cotumes, or photos of this year’s masterpiece with us in the comments section!
With the weather changing, it’s time to clear out your closet and add in some lighter, airy, springtime garments. Our new book Bold & Beautiful Easy-Sew Clothes features stylish separates that are easy to sew and flatter every body type. The range of tunics, vests, dresses, jackets, and skirts are versatile, comfortable to wear, and contain a one-size-fits-all construction that’s a cinch to make up. The designs are filled with subtle interesting details, which are highlighted on the pattern pages of the book, from pleats to pockets and drawstrings, and author Habibe Acikgoz provides concise instructions to for how to add these details and get the right fit for your garments.
The 15 designs in the book contain step-by-step instructions, pattern pages for reference in the back of the book, plus a CD which contains all the patterns for you to print out in full size at home! A Pockets section provides clear directions for how to add a range of these practical design elements to your garments for added interest. The Easy-Sew Techniques are straightforward and easy to follow, so you can do everything from sew simple seams to add facings and finishings.
Check out a sampling of pages from this fantastic illustrated book below. I hope you like what you see and are inspired by the modern, swinging silhouettes that Habibe is known for.
Once in a while we come across a book so simple and extraordinary that we can't believe we survived without it. HOW TO HANG A PICTURE by Jay Sacher and Suzanne LaGasa is definitely one of those books. As such, we couldn't resist sitting down with Jay Sacher to find out what inspired him...