The Craft Patch

The Craft Patch

The Craft Patch

Crafts, Home Decor, DIY's and Recipes

Monday, February 27, 2017

7UP Strawberry Pie and a Pi Day Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JustAdd7UP

I love any excuse to party, even if it's just a silly made up holiday. March 14th is also known as Pi Day. Get it? 3.14? Haha. A little nerdy math humor. But you know what, it's the perfect reason to make life a little more fun and throw a Pi Party!

Today I'm sharing a delicious Strawberry 7UP Pie recipe and a tutorial for how to create a tissue paper fringe pi pie topper. 


Doesn't the pie look so yummy? It's quick to make, but it tastes so fresh and sweet!


The secret ingredient of 7UP® adds a subtle citrus tang that takes this strawberry pie to the next level!


I found all of the ingredients needed for the pie and the craft supplies at Walmart. I bought a 12 pack of 7UP so that I could use some for the pie recipe and the rest to serve as drinks at our little shindig.

7UP Strawberry Pie

3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
10 oz. 7UP (almost one full can)
1 (3 ounce) box strawberry gelatin
1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed, sliced and drained
1 pie crust

Begin by baking the pie crust until golden brown.

Pour sugar, salt and cornstarch into a medium saucepan. Whisk together. Add 7UP, then turn on the heat and stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from stove and add gelatin. Whisk until the gelatin is dissolved, then cool the mixture completely.

When pie shell is cool, add cut strawberries, then pour the glaze over the top. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until pie is firm and chilled. Serve with whipped cream.


I'm in love with the idea of a Pi pie topper. I mean, even the name is fun to say! Pi pie topper.


To make your own, reverse image print a Pi symbol onto a piece of cardstock. Double check that you reverse it before printing!


Cut enough strips of tissue paper fringe to cover the Pi symbol.


Turn the cardstock over and cover the Pi symbol with glue.


Start at the bottom and layer the fringe over the entire design.


Then flip the cardstock back over and cut around the lines of the Pi symbol. This is why we flipped the design before printing. Then it's easy to cut from the back side!


The last step is to add toothpicks to the bottom so you can insert it into the pie.


Do you love to celebrate micro-occasions? What fun days do you celebrate?


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Felt Paper Doll Tutorial + Free Pattern

Oh boy have I got a load of crafty cuteness for you. Today I'm going to show you how to make a felt paper doll and I'm including a free printable pattern to make it even easier for you to make one for that special little princess in your life. Are you ready for adorable in epic proportions?!

A fun sewing project to make an adorable felt doll


It's so cute right? You want to make one right this minute, right? It's such a perfect handmade gift idea for little girls, right? ☺

To make a felt paper doll, you will need: (aff. links)

- Craft Felt: "skin" color, "hair" color and white
- Batting (just a little bit)
- Sewing Machine and Coordinating Thread
- Fabric Scraps
- Oil Pastels and a Q-tip
- Free Felt Doll Pattern (DOWNLOAD HERE and HERE)

Begin by printing the pattern, then cut out the body, hair and underwear pieces.

How to make a doll out of felt

Sew the hair and undies on to the body. Add eyes with a permanent marker or stitch them on with dark thread. My favorite method for making rosy cheeks on dolls is to fluff the end of a Q-tip, rub it on the red oil pastel chalk, then gently add a bit of color where the cheeks would be.

The best way to add rosy cheeks to a fabric, felt or yarn doll.

Sew the body onto a large uncut piece of felt. It makes sewing around the little details so much easier.  Another tip for sewing detailed shapes like this is to keep your needle in the fabric and lift up your sewing machine foot often. This helps you make tight turns and adjust your sewing lines around weird shapes. Make sure to leave one small hole for stuffing.

Felt paper doll tutorial

Next, press batting into all of the nooks and crannies. I've found that the end of a knitting needle works perfectly for this.

The easiest way to stuff a handmade doll

Sew the hole closed, then trim around the edges and your doll is done! I added little ribbon hair bows to my doll. You could make these interchangeable to match different outfits, but I hot glued mine on.

Free sewing pattern and tutorial for a felt dolly

To make clothes for your cute little doll, line the back side of a scrap of fabric with Heat N Bond. Trace the dress pattern onto the paper backing and cut it out. Then peel back the paper and iron the dress to a piece of felt.

Use Heat'N Bond to attach fabric to felt

I chose to top stitch around my outfits. It's not necessary, but it sure makes the clothes cuter. Also, the more details you add (pockets, collars, trim, buttons, etc.) the cuter your clothes will turn out. Once all of the sewing is done, trim off the excess felt around the edges.

Felt paper doll clothes patterns and tutorial using felt and fabric

Velcro is also optional, but it does help the clothes stick to the doll better. I attached my Velcro with hot glue so the stitches wouldn't show through to the other side.

Free sewing pattern and tutorial to make felt paper doll clothes.

And there you have it. Now you know exactly how to make a cute little felt doll. This was seriously one of the most fun crafts I've made in a long time. There's so much room for creative expression. I loved digging through my notions to find cute little doodads to use. I think you're going to love this project! It was so, so fun.

Free pattern to make a felt paper doll on your sewing machine.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

DIY Marble Subway Tile Backsplash: Tips, Tricks and What NOT To Do

A few weekends ago, we installed our kitchen backsplash ourselves. Neither of us have done any tiling work before, so we were a little nervous about it. After completing our first tiling job, I've got a lot of tips, tricks and answered questions to share with you. I think you'll find this useful if you're considering DIY-ing your own backsplash. It's kind of a long post, but that's because it's packed with helpful information!

Marble tile installation DIY

Prep Work

The first step is prepping your walls. This is probably the single most important thing you can do to ensure that your tile goes on smoothly with no funky corners sticking up. This step took us a long, long time because when we removed our old backsplash, the walls got torn up. We had to replace drywall and do a lot of patching and sanding.

We also installed metal floating shelf brackets before tiling. We wanted them to be screwed into the studs, so it made sense to do this before tile got in the way.

How to add floating shelves over tile backsplash

You will also need to install outlet extenders on all switches and plugs that will be within the backsplash area. Since the tile is thick, you don't want your outlets to look sunken into the wall. The outlet extenders bring switches and plugs out to the correct depth so they'll look right once the tile is surrounding them.

This is one of those places where we made a mistake learned something. See how the outlet extender has a face plate around it?

how to install outlet extenders for adding a backsplash to your kitchen

Yeah, don't think you can just tile over that bump without it showing. We ended up cutting off all the the parts of the plate that were flat with the wall. We tried tiling over one and it made the tile look horrible and uneven. So either buy a different style of outlet extender, or do the same as us and cut pieces off to make it work.

The next tricky part of the backsplash prep work was how to tile around our window trim. Since part of our window trim sticks out, we would have had to cut a very small piece out of our tile to make it fit. I didn't imagine that going well, so we used our handy oscillating tool to cut into the back of the wood trim the same thickness as the tile.

How to tile around window trim

Then the tile just slid right behind the molding. This worked perfectly and I would definitely recommend this method for tiling around window trim.

How to add tile around a window

The best way to tile around a window

Okay, now on to the actual tiling process.

Here are all of our best tips, tricks and mistakes to avoid when installing a backsplash, specifically a marble subway tile backsplash.

1. Marble darkens considerably when wet. I'll admit, I completely freaked out. It was so gray and not the light, pretty backsplash I had envisioned. You can see in the photo below how the water was seeping into the tile and darkening it:

How to DIY a tile backsplash


Here's another photo that shows a dry tile leaning up against all the dark tile. See that huge color difference? Don't freak out! It goes away once the tile dries, which took two days for us.

marble tile discoloration when wet

2. Use mortar/thinset that's similar in color to your tile. We used this dark gray mortar and although it was fine, it would have been easier if it had more closely matched our tile. The little bits that squirt out between the tile wipe off even after they're dry, but just in case you miss any, it's better if it matches more closely.

choosing thinset for your tiling project

3. Start in the least conspicuous spot in the room. We did the opposite. We started right at our feature wall area and since this was our first time tiling, we definitely got better as we went along. I wish we would have started on the wall behind the oven and waited until we got the hang of tiling before doing the more visible area.

4. This is a big job and it takes longer than I would have guessed. It took two adults working non-stop for about 25 hours to install the tile and grout it. And that doesn't include the prep before hand. That's just actual tiling time. This photo shows how far we got on the first day after 8 hours of labor:

Kitchen backsplash tile DIY

If we were to do it again, I bet we could shave some time off since we know what we're doing now.

5. Work in small sections. Don't smear thinset all over the place and then try to race the clock. Just do a small section so you don't feel that panicky time crunch feeling.


6. I was overwhelmed with the options in the tile aisle. There are so many choices to make and products to choose from! After tons of research, these are the products we used:

Marble backsplash tile mortar, grout and sealer

A. 511 Impregnator Sealer. This serves two purposes. We applied a coat to the tile before grouting to act as a grout release and prevent any discoloring from the grout. Then we applied another coat at the very end of the project to seal the tile and grout and protect from stains. There are a lot of different sealers out there, but after doing an insane amount of research, I chose this one to use with marble. So far it seems to be doing its job and I'm happy with my choice.

B. Marble Subway Tile. I looked online and at several local stores before settling on this tile from Lowes. It's the standard 3x6 subway tile and was $5.98/sqft. which was the best price I could find. I am glad I bought it from a local store because it really helped my confidence to see it in person and I ended up with several extra boxes that I can now easily return.

C. Mapei Porcelain Tile Mortar Polymer Enriched Thin-Set Mortar. It worked great, I just wish I had bought a lighter color.

D. Polyblend Tile Caulk in Platinum. It matched the grout perfectly. I am so glad I found this product and didn't use regular white caulk. We used it around the window, between the tile and the cabinets and along the seam between tile and countertop. To get perfect grout lines, use painters tape on either side of the space you want to fill with caulk. Squirt the caulk in, smooth it out with your finger, then peel the tape away while the caulk is still wet. You'll get crisp lines every time!

E. Polyblend Non-Sanded Grout in Plantinum. We did 1/16th inch spaces between tiles (the smallest sized spacers they sell) so we chose non-sanded grout. We also wanted non-sanded grout because it doesn't scratch the tile and since marble is so soft, it was definitley the right choice for us. If you are installing floor tile or if your grout lines are larger than 1/8th inch, you'll need to use sanded grout.

F. Marble pencil tile. We also bought this at Lowes. It was kind of expensive... $6 per piece! But it finished off our edges so nicely that it was worth it to me to spend the extra money. Sometimes the wins are in the details. We used it here:


and here:

How to create a clean border for your kitchen backsplash

Those were our only two open edges.
7. Pencil Tile Installation. We found it was much easier to install the pencil tile first, let it dry, then install the subway tile next to it. You want the edge to be perfectly straight, so we made pencil marks on the wall with our level, then added painters tape, then used the tape as our guide. Don't forget to add spacers between the bottom pencil tile and the countertop and between each pencil tile going up.

Obviously we've still got work to do painting cabinets and window trim and adding crown molding. That's what the unfinished space above our tile feature wall is for. The molding is ordered and on its way so hopefully we can finish that up soon.

Tips for DIY subway tile kitchen backsplash

8. Grout. I'm really happy with the grout color. After looking at a lot of different photos online, I decided that a light gray grout looked best with marble tile. White was too harsh and anything darker made it look too busy and kind of dirty (just my personal opinion). I would definitely pick the same grout color again. I was amazed at how much better the tile looked once it was grouted. The grout went a long way to hide any imperfections or slightly chipped tile edges. The only tip I'd give with grout is to look over your work from every possible angle. It's really easy to miss spots and you don't want any "holes" in your grout job.

9. Tile Layout Planning. Plan out how you're going to lay out your tile, where you're going to start, and what the other end will look like when you get there. You don't want a bunch of skinny weird pieces in the corner. We decided that our feature wall was the most important spot visually, so we started with full tiles there and lucky for us, the corner worked out well. One tip for tiling in a corner is to "wrap" the design around the corner. This is our corner:

Subway tile backsplash on an inside corner

See how we used a short piece on the left side, then a longer piece next to it on the right side so that visually the design wraps around? That was a trick I picked up somewhere and I think it made a huge difference.

The other choice we had to make was the spacing vertically. We chose to have a small piece tucked up under the cabinets. You can see it in the picture of the corner above. We thought it would be less noticeable than a small piece near the countertop. That worked well for us. You really can't see that small row of tile under the cabinets unless you bend down and look.

Cost Breakdown

Tile (40 sqft) $240       
Pencil Tile Trim (7 pieces) $42
Grout $14
Sealer $16
Thinset $14
Caulk $8
Spacers $6
Outlet Extenders $7
TOTAL: $347

We borrowed the tile saw, trowels, and sponges and other tile tools from a friend, so that saved us a ton of money! 

Summary

The backsplash was a bit of a splurge, for sure. We could have used plain white subway tile and saved about a $100. But my heart was set on marble and it was WORTH. EVERY. PENNY. I am so thrilled with how it turned out. It takes our kitchen to the next level, for sure. And although there was a learning curve and it was a time-intensive project, we would definitely DIY it again some day. You totally can't tell that two crazy kids just kept Googling things to figure out how to make it happen. 😉

Marble subway tile is the perfect updated traditional kitchen backsplash

I'm writing up a separate post all about how we built and installed our floating shelves over the backsplash. I'll link to it here when it's up!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Learn To Knit: Happy Hands Fingerless Mitts Free Pattern

Today I'm sharing an absolute favorite beginning knitting pattern. I am going to teach you how to make a pair of fingerless mitts. I've made several pairs now and I adore them! I wear them when I'm typing, when I'm playing the piano, when I'm texting on my phone. They keep my hands warm while keeping my fingers free. I think you need a pair. Seriously. They are just the best!

I made a colorful striped version for my tween daughter:

How to make fingerless mitts. Beginner's pattern

A luxurious lavender merino wool pair for myself:

Free knitting pattern

And a teal wool pair for my sister:

Knit gloves free pattern

Let's start by talking about yarn choice. Use my affiliate links below to see what the yarn labels look like so you can find what you want in the yarn aisle. Don't use junky yarn for these gloves! If the yarn is scratchy (I'm looking at you, Red Heart!), it will bother the delicate skin on your wrists. If the yarn is cheap, it will pill and look icky over time. Sometimes it's worth splurging on good yarn. Just do it. YOLO.

The pair I made for myself was by far the highest quality yarn. I used Cascade 220 Merino Yarn in Lavender Heather. It's soft, the gloves have held up perfectly and the color variation is stunning.

The blue gloves are made from Paton's Classic Wool that I bought at Joann, but I couldn't find it on their website, so HERE is the link on Amazon. They were not quite as soft as the Cascade yarn, but more easily available and still pretty nice. The plus for this yarn was the pretty sheen.

The Lion Brand Self-Striping Yarn turned out really cute, but the gloves are pilling a bit since my daughter has used them so much.

Okay, let's walk through each step of the project. I will include a printable PDF of the pattern at the end of the post, so feel free to scroll down if you want to skip the tutorial section.

Cast on 34 stitches and divide evenly onto three DPN’s. Join to work in the round. (33 stitches)

Work in broken rib stitch to create the bottom cuff. I knit approximately 24 rounds for the striped gloves to make extra long cuffs, but you could do fewer and still make a nice sized cuff.

A pretty alternative to k2p2 ribbing

Switch to a knitting stitch for about 1.5 inches or about 10 rounds.

Free pattern for knitted gloves

This is what knitting in the round on double pointed needles looks like:

Knitting in the round on double pointed needles

Make an increase for the thumb gusset section.

How to Knit Gloves

Thread a scrap of contrasting yarn through the needle, then use it to slip the 11 stitches within the “triangle” of the gusset onto the yarn. Cast on 4 stitches, then join and knit around the main part of the glove, leaving the 11 stitches on the scrap yarn alone.

Free Knitting pattern

Round 12 and 13 decrease just a bit right above the thumb hole. Then you knit 5 rounds. Switch to the broken rib stitch for 12-14 rounds. Bind off using a stretchy bind off method.

Using waste yarn in knitting patterns

Now it's time to go back and finish up the thumb. Divide the 11 stitches from the scrap yarn onto two DPN’s. 

How to knit fingerless mitts

Using a third DPN, pick up four stitches from the open edge of the work.

Knitting Gloves Techniques

Knit around in the broken rib stitch for about 6 rows. Bind off. Check for any holes along the thumb area and use the cast-on tails to “sew” them closed.

Self-striping yarn adds a pop of fun to these cute knitted gloves.

Learn to make these beautiful gloves with this free pattern and tutorial.

Free knitting pattern and tutorial

Free knitting pattern for beginners


Materials Needed

- Worsted Weight Yarn
        - Lion Brand Self-Striping Yarn in Tutti Frutti
        - Paton's Classic Wool Worsted
        - Cascade 220 100% Merino Wool in Lavender Heather
- Size 7 double pointed needles (DPN's)\
- Scrap yarn in a contrasting color
- Large Eye Needle

Stitch Abbreviations

Broken Rib Stitch: Knit all even rows. K2 P1 odd rows

m1r: Make a right side increase by picking up the bar between stitches from back to front, then knit into the front of the picked up stitch.

m1l: Make a left side increase by picking up the bar between stitches from front to back, then knit into the back of the picked up stitch.

sl: Slip a stitch from left needle to right needle without knitting it.

psso: Pass the SL over a worked stitch off of the right needle.

k2tog: Knit two stitches together

Cuff

Cast on 34 stitches and divide evenly onto three DPN’s. Join to work in the round. (33 stitches)

Work in broken rib stitch to create the bottom cuff. I knit approximately 24 rounds for the striped gloves to make extra long cuffs, but you could do fewer and still make a nice sized cuff.

Switch to a knitting stitch for about 1.5 inches or about 10 rounds.

Thumb Gusset

Rnd 1: M1R, K1, M1L, knit around

All Even Rows: knit around

Rnd 3: M1R K3, M1L, knit around

Rnd 5: M1R, K5, M1L, knit around

Rnd 7: M1R, K7, M1L, knit around

Rnd 9: M1R, K9, M1L, knit around

Rnd 11: Thread a scrap of contrastingyarn through the needle, then use it to slip the 11 stitches within the “triangle” of the gusset onto the yarn. Cast on 4 stitches, then join and knit around the main part of the glove, leaving the 11 stitches on the scrap yarn alone.

Top Section

Rnd 12: Knit around until you reach the last 6 stitches. Then sl1, k1, psso, k3 k2tog (you will need to move a stitch over from the right-hand needle).

Rnd 13: Knit around until you reach the last 5 stitches. Then sl1, k1, psso, k2, k2tog (you will need to move a stitch over from the right-hand needle).

Knit 5 rounds.

Switch to the broken rib stitch for 12-14 rounds. Bind off using a stretchy bind off method.

Now it's time to go back and finish up the thumb. Divide the 11 stitches from the scrap yarn onto two DPN’s. Using a third DPN, pick up four stitches from the open edge of the work.

Knit around in the broken rib stitch for about 6 rows. Bind off. Check for any holes along the thumb area and use the cast-on tails to “sew” them closed.

Weave in ends. Repeat the pattern exactly to make the second glove.


Download the free PDF printer-friendly version of the pattern HERE.