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Quick Crafts

Friday, October 15, 2010

With most of my larger projects on hold due to various logistical reasons, I turned to some instant-gratification craftery this week.

First, I made a deliciously orange, red, & yellow-y wreath for our front door:

I'm not much of a silk flower wiz, so I usually buy pre-made wreaths at JoAnn's. Over the weekend they were running all kinds of Columbus Day sales, though, so all the good stuff was cleaned out by the time I got there. The best I could find was a sparse little thing which, even at half off, was $20. So instead, I found this plain twig wreath ($3), a silk swag garland thingy ($9 at 60% off) and some yellow ribbon ($3).

Attach the garland to the wreath with floral wire, tie a bow, and BAM! El cheap-o wreath-o!

I really like the way it looks on our blue door, too.

Next, I *finally* got around to making some Epbot thank you cards using Kaaren's fabulous hand-carved 'bot stamp:

It turns out I'm not much of a stamp wiz, either; after less than a dozen cards I was covered in teal and orange ink. Heh. It was fun digging through my craft stash to find the bits and pieces to make the cards, though; the only thing I had to buy were the metal "Thank You" stickers. (Which I just found online for a lot less, dang it. Too bad shipping is another $6.)

Oh, and here's a quick tip to turn any grommet into a flat, paper grommet: use snips to cut vertical slices all the way around the back tube, and then bend the tabs flat after you've inserted the grommet through your paper, like so:

As an added bonus, it kind of looks like a little gear from the backside.

Oh, and if you ever want to adhere a mesh ribbon to paper, I have two words for you: spray adhesive. Everything else leaks through and makes a big ol' mess. (I only had to try three other glues before figuring that out.)

So, what crafts do you guys turn to for instant gratification?

Posted by Jen at 11:55 PM Labels:


  1. Love the wreath! For my quick crafts, I'm all about beads. Usually I can whip up a pair of earrings to match any outfit in 5-10 minutes. Add another 20 and I've got a bracelet and necklace.

  2. Have I mentioned that your blog makes me smile? Totally does. Love the crafts.

  3. Or there's this nifty glue tool. No goop EVER! (Other companies make them, too. Love them for card making!)

    I love making my own jewelry! I do stuff with beads a lot, so I can make something in a few minutes (or take longer if I want). I'm also making bracelets for my mom to wear with her med-alert tags. :) (Those chains are so boring and tacky!)

    I'm also starting to do things with polymer clay--mostly beads and things like that right now, but maybe I'll do some miniatures or sculpture after I've done more practicing!

  4. Cute! I once made 12 wreaths (one for each month/season) for my mom and mother-in-law for Christmas. I made my mom a few extras, too. I had already made myself over a dozen and decided it would make a good set of presents. It did! :)

  5. Whooo! First comment!

    I am all about the instant gratification, but the crafts I've chosen are all fairly labour intensive (jewellery and knitting) so I would have to say my favourite quick craft to do is photography! I like to wander around at this cool abandoned CAF base and take pictures of all the wonderful wildlife that has reclaimed it!

  6. I wish I had some instant gratification crafts! Trying to catch up with what I have already, and what _needs_ to be done, takes up all my time. I used to paint those cheapo wooden boxes and line them with felt to make jewelry boxes, but I've already given one to everyone I know! (:

  7. Lately I've gotten back into friendship bracelets but with a twist...I decided to make small key-chains for all of my co-workers for the holidays. They take about an hour each to make, the string is about 33 cents a spool and they're easy to travel with and pick up/put down. I recently brought my sewing machine to my apartment from my parent's house so I'm slowly getting back into doing little sewing projects from pillows out of old t-shirts to making fabric cases for the small tissue packs people put in their purses and cars.

  8. So crafty! Knitting, paper folding, and candy wreaths during the holiday season.
    And cooking, though I suppose that's not really a crafty craft. It does result in instant yummification though!

  9. I crochet, its soothing and ive done it since i was like 12. I once made a set of Fantasy themed curtains for a roommates childs play room which was suprisingly fun and satisfying. But lately? I dont even know if most people would count this but I do, I make 3d rendered art with my free copy of Daz Studio

  10. I made this Halloween wreath recently with my daughters and we love it! It took about 15 minutes, tops and should last for years!

  11. You should pick up a Crop-A-Dile for crafting! Seriously, it's amazing and you can put eyelets (grommets?) through anything!!!

  12. Love your card! You need to get your hands on a fabulous tool called a Cropodile! It is an all-in-one tool that punches in your choice of hole sizes then sets different sized eyelets and grommets. It splits the back like you did and smooths it out with one hand movement!It would attach your ribbon without adhesive too.

  13. I'm a knitter and crocheter, so I love to do easy little projects that use up my leftover yarn. One of the most satisfying is making crocheted flowers. They take five minutes to make, and can be used as really nifty brooches for coats and hats.

    I recently made a blue and orange flower pin inspired by Epbot, and I wish my camera cord wasn't missing or I'd send a picture!

  14. Lately, I've been making my son postcards.

    He's a 14 year old ballet dancer, and we've sent him to UNCSA for their excellent high school dance program. *sniff* I miss him, so I do my best to send a little bit of me each week.

  15. First and foremost you have the coolest door! that blue is totally tardis blue.
    I have really crafty goals that wait forever: a quilt I want to make, scrapbooks that need finishing, journals that need attention mine and one for my daughter so one day when she's older and can read and write she knows what her childhood was like. But right now I have to find a cute way to make her a tonberry costume for halloween (she's already been a moogle and a jedi) she's two so it totally fits.
    And thanks for the smiles today was a hard day of battling the wills of that same little girl. :)

  16. Wow, your wreath is gorgeous, why spend $20 when you can make something as lovely as that for $15? Plus you have the little glow of having done it yourself.

    I'm another beader. I'm just starting to get into bead weaving, it takes a while to complete a project, but there is so much potential to make amazing things. For a bit of quick crafty gratification, though, for me nothing goes past making simple bracelets on stretchy beading thread. I usually make a few simple ones in colours that go well together, so I can wear different combos as the mood takes me.

  17. My quick craft is gluebooking. I have a bunch of random things I clipped from magazines and elsewhere, and sometimes I just sit around and cut and paste. It's very relaxing and takes almost no time.

  18. I, too, made my own fall wreath with stuff from JoAnne Fabrics, all at 40-60% off. I cut up a garland of fall leaves and stuck them into the wreath in addition to wiring on a different garland with pinecones.

    I also made my own head flower-wreath to go with my Renaissance costume this year.

  19. I have 2-3 bead necklace patterns that I can whip up in an evening, so those or earrings are my quick crafts. For a quicker artistic endeavor, though, I arrange flowers.

    I love how you used the swag to decorate the wreath! Thank you for sharing such a great idea!

  20. I've only done a few of these, but I really enjoy making dresser trays. Get a pretty tabletop picture frame, and put some pretty scrapbook paper in it. I found some that looks like pressed flowers. Pry off the easel on the back and put felt on the back/now the bottom to protect the surface of your dresser and you're done! I put pretty perfume bottles on mine.

    My other instant craftication is using my cricut machine. Cutting out all the details and gluing them together to make scrapbooking embellishments, card-making or just because. Maybe you should license your Epbot to Cricut?

  21. Such a cute wreath, and I love that your door is bright blue!

    My quick craft is cards. It a great way to get my scrapbooking fix in just a little bit of time, since I don't always have time to do scrapbook layouts with 2 little kids!

    BTW, love this blog. Always makes me smile!

  22. Love the wreath against that blue door-- and love that the door is blue to begin with! =)
    I think I'd have to go with cards for my favorite quick craft. (thank you Californiutahan for that glue link!) I recently made a clock- not super fancy or anything but was so fun and fast to make.
    Love this post! =)

  23. For the quick crafts I either turn to a Photoshop project, making cards, or a combo of the two. I found a great template for making square envelopes. If you make the envelope, use a ribbon somewhere on the card, and pretty paper then people think you are a crafting genius even though it only uses skills you aquired at age 4.

  24. Love the wreath and thank-you cards! A lot of my instant-gratification craft projects these days are digital; I like to design iPhone wallpapers and desktop backgrounds. When I'm in the mood for a more tangible (and really easy) project, I like customizing/punk rock-ifying old t-shirts by way of some well-placed cuts with a fabric scissors.

  25. mine is crocheting or photography

    btw, I LOVE your blue door!!

  26. I have no quick crafts, only projects I think will be quick which then take four hours because I'm such a perfectionist.

    Also this might be totally geeky but when I first saw your little final note in italics I thought it said 'craftification' which it obviously doesn't... but I kinda love the word 'craftification' to describe gratification from crafts!
    I love your blog, btw!!

  27. Not very crafty, but weeding through my basket of clothing that needs mended always does it for me. I would otherwise say getting my son's pictures scrapbooked, but that always takes some doing with a busy kiddo running around the room.

  28. I like your blue door. Mine is a hideous dark green. :(

    Instant gratification craft? Making necklaces from beads and metal or glass pendants.
    I also draw anime/cartoon characters when I have the time to sit down for more than 20 minutes.

    - Gyp

    p.s. - I have flattened pennies that are just sitting around. Do you want them?

  29. Lovely wreath. I have wreaths for Summer, Fall and Winter that I made. Quick gratification, indeed.

    As to crafts, what don't I do? I quilt, knit, crochet, do beading, jewelry making, block printing, painting, drawing, photography, sewing and probaly a number of other things I cannot at the moment recall. My default these days is to draw using a digital tablet or pencil in a sketch book, or knit.

    But I do find that my "crafting" since owning a house has been mostly home improvement projects. This winter is rewiring the basement and sealing the concrete, redoing the kitchen tile, retiling the kitchen backsplash and counter, and building a rolling butcher block table.

    And I own more tools than I own craft supplies...unless you count the tubs of fabric.

  30. I love your blog, it's so cool. So one of the big craftyness things that I do is make stuff out of duct tape. I made wallets for the guys (I even hand painted them), I've made purses, I've even made a box for my uncle with the logo for his art studio on it. To keep the box straight, I used chop sticks, and the paper things on unused qtips. I've had people ask me where I got the instructions for them, but I don't.

  31. Do you have an eyelet setter? It's a lovely pointy ended little tool you put on the back of your grommet and then pound with a hammer. It makes those grommets nice and flat on the back. Some will even do the split thing you've got going on. Sewing grommets will split like that all on their own without the snips but the ones you buy at paper crafting stores tend to just roll flat.

    Anyway, ask at your local paper crafting store. They'll be able to steer you toward what you need.

    I do adore your Epbot stamp. He's so cute!

  32. hmmm what you need is xyron sticker maker for the mesh. It s a scrapbooker thing. And scrapbooking is my vice or the cricut is my vice a die cutting machiene. So is knitting, reading, beading. Love the wreath and your blog.

  33. My 'craftification' (TY CocoRay!) is also card making. I put the kidlets to work making serendipity squares and use those in the cards, too.

    I'm intrigued by turning friendship bracelet techniques to key fobs and would love Kayla to explain that.

  34. Love craftiness - it's a good little break from mommying. Sometimes though, its more fun to combine them. My favorite crafts are the ones for my kids - currently in progress is a felt board to have weekly letter/number sessions - like preschool, but without the cost/commute/other kids germs :D It's important to actually LIKE the crafting when its for someone else, though, because most of the time no one else is as impressed as you are.

    LOVE the stamped cards - too cute!
    Things Mamas Do

  35. Love, love, love the wreath! I've been searching for something like that for over a month now. I'm a bit challenged when it comes to crafts though, I need detailed instructions!

  36. Two words: t-shirt surgery. I go to town on unwanted tees with scissors & they come out looking pretty cool. One day I started with a tee & turned it into a swanky top for our homecoming party in about 3 hours. The irony is that I was supposed to be doing art major-y stuff. Ce'st la vie

  37. All of my crafts are insanely time-consuming, hence the stringing out of some projects over the course of a decade. (Okay, the ADD might come into play here...)*

    But mostly I just want to say that I think "grommet" is going to be my new fake swear for when I want to melt down in front of the Offspring.

    *Okay, not entirely true. I love giftwrapping for a quicky craft fix. Today I made "ribbon" for my niece's gift by taping fall leaves end to end.

  38. I made a wreath too - out of candy corn! :)


  39. Instant craft for me is usually origami of some sort - I like making fast, pretty boxes to store small things in. My desk is covered in old magazine pages containing paperclips, rubber bands, etc.!

    A friend of mine who scrapbooked used what she called "snot dots" - little glue dots that will hold anything anywhere. Those might be helpful (and a touch easier to aim!) for your ribbony things. She also had a beautiful grommet/eyelet set that made those nice split ends with one whack of a hammer - tiny little grommets in every color! Everywhere! So much fun!

    Kayla, I'd be quite interested in an explanation of the friendship key fobs too!

  40. I love making soap you just melt and mix the colors and scent into molds. I love finding the shaped silicone ice cube trays or even using the plastic covering from the kids dollar store toys!

  41. i have no talents, but i get instant gratification reading both your blogs.

  42. My craft of choice is duct tape. Just today I made an adorable little 2-D jack-o-lantern dude with cut out facial features and a little pocket in the back so you can change out the color for his face to make it look like there's either light inside or not. He's on my bulletin board by my dorm right now. :)
    Hmm... for some reason the little captcha thing isn't coming up.

  43. I usually turn to my crocheting for instant gratification - lace works up much faster than you'd expect, and I can make a simple amigurumi in less than a day.

    And cooking and baking. I made tea-cookies from scratch today, and they were fantastic. Plus it warms up the house!

  44. Couple of words:
    Cropodile, or Eyelet Setter for the eyelets.

    Glue Dots, or the seriously sticky double-sided tape with the red plastic backing for adhering ribbon.

    The scrapbook aisle is your friend.


  45. Knitting--but not so much instant gratification (although hats don't take too long), however I do love to sit down with my socks and do a few rows. Also cross stitch. I have a closet full of craft projects and not enought time to do them.
    Those double sticky dots are totally the way to go. You can even get a dispenser to make them easy to use.
    Love your blog! and your craftiness! And my new word is cratification!

  46. i keep a grapevine wreath on my front door february through thanksgiving. i change the flowers to match holidays or the seasons on my whim. i keep a large container of fabric flowers in the garage and mix and match as i please. it is simple and strangely gratifying.

  47. I'm not much for instant gratification; i get way too anal about my handwork/fiber art/whatever. I am a pretty serious beadweaver, tho. I tried knitting once, but i do better with handwork where i'm *supposed* to pull the string super tight. And i love doing modular origami.

    As an additional note: I don't know about your handmade stamp, but with the regular commercial ones, you can usually ink them with plain ol' magic markers. No muss, no fuss.

  48. My instant gratification craft is baking. Cake, pie, anything sweet. Fortunately I can send these things to my spouse's office so we don't have to eat all of them. I really need to work on learning decorating skills though - my cakes are always very plain. (My fancy pie crusts though!) I dumped all my ability points in tasting/flavor and neglected to level up on the decoration side.

  49. I tend to lean towards sculpting or fiddling with fabrics for instant gratification. But that always leads to larger projects!

    I've also taken to adding to and painting little zipper-pull Munny's, they're so cute and ready be painted, I find the small scale work to be a fun challenge :)

  50. For instant crafty gratification, I turn to cards too. I've lately become addicted to Copic markers to color in stamped images for my cards. Too fun!

  51. If i don't have time for a big project i'll make some birthday cards or string a bracelet - they are both fast, easy, cheap and useful.

  52. Cute! Your post reminded me of my sisters attempt at crafting her own fall wreath:


    Her's didn't hold up to the Minnesota rainy fall weather.

  53. Love the wreath, and ADORE the door! I just discovered this website and spent a good 2 hours on it last night. You're a girl right after my own heart! I am such a fan! I met you in Dallas at the Cake Wrecks signing last year (though I'm sure that trip is one you'd rather forget.) I hope you and John can make it back soon maybe for an EPBOT event. :) (Crosses fingers!!!)

  54. My crafty tendencies send me flying all over the place. I make jewelry, emboss cards, and recenty have been making/modifying a bunch of different things to use w/ my steampunk costume! I can't walk into craft stores too often because I get inspired to do too many different things and usually end up spending WAY too much money! Oh how lovely it would be to have endless supply of cash and time! haha

  55. Love, love, love the blue door! Lovely!

    I recently became obsessed with beading (mostly necklaces, so far, but widening my skill set). I also cross-stitch and sew. Mad skill I see in the future: cake decorating. Ha!

  56. I love doing crochet (check out our crochet blog!) spray painting anything really (even things that move aren't safe), and especially lately the modge podge super easy tile coasters. They're so quick and cheap that everyone is getting them from me for Christmas. I completely heart the blue door with the fall colors. How fun is that?!

  57. JEN!
    I need to know what brand and colour your front door is!! I've been looking for a shade similar to that for MONTHS!!

  58. I am all about the needlefelting for instant gratification. I mean, check out the owls!

  59. Jen and John,

    Just watched a DVR'd episode of the ABC show Castle (Mondays at 10pm) called Punked and it has steam punk through much of it.

    Did you see it?

    Season 3 episode 4

    Jeanine in Orlando

  60. Instead of using grommets, you can use scrapbooking eyelets. You don't have to snip the back and stuff. They'll look exactly the same n the back, and you can find them in all sorts of colors. Scrapbboking brads can be fun too!

    An example of eyelets: http://www.eyeletoutlet.com/round-eyelets.html

    How to use 'em: http://www.scrapbooking101.net/articles/insertingeyelets.html

    Brads: http://www.eyeletoutlet.com/holiday-brads.html

    To the left of the site there, there's a toolbar with a bunch of different categories.

  61. Awesome wreath Jen!

    My go-to craft is stamping. Love getting inky as often as possible! You can see my latest effort here but be warned I have a bit of a dark side! LOL!

    I've also just started to learn how to crochet Amigurumi style - I got an awesome book which has little vampire and skeleton toy instructions in it!


  62. You haven't mentioned it yet, so here's a link to a Glue Advice site (I lurve teh interanets): www.thistothat.com.

    I've found it generally realiable over the years.

    BTW - My husband is the one who turned me on to your site - "OMG Kir, there's this Other You on the intranet. Only. Yanno. Funnier :-)"

    Love the crafts and the geektastery.


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