Crafts

Pressed Pansy Coaster

Colorful flowers floating between squares of glass make beautiful and useful coasters. Press the flowers yourself, or use prepressed blooms. Although we used pansies and violas, you can use any variety of pressed flowers or leaves you like; a collection of coasters is even more charming if each one is unique.

Tools and Materials
Glass squares (two for each coaster)
Pressed pansies, or other flowers or leaves
Tweezers
Non-water-based clear-drying craft glue
3 1/2-inch toothpick or small paintbrush
Binder clips
1/4-inch-wide silvered-copper-foil tape
Scissors
Pencil or ice pop stick

  1. Have a glazier cut 1/8-inch-thick glass into 3 1/2-inch squares, and sand the edges.
  2. Wipe the panes carefully with glass cleaner and a paper towel. Be careful not to smudge the glass or trap any dust between panes while you work.
  3. Handling the flowers carefully with tweezers, position them on one pane until you are satisfied with your arrangement. Using a tiny dab of glue on a toothpick or small paintbrush, adhere the flowers to the pane. Allow glue to dry before continuing.
  4. Carefully place a second pane on top, sandwiching the flowers between the two panes and aligning the edges exactly.
  5. To seal, hold the panes together with binder clips, moving the clips from one side to another as you tape. Place the end of the metal tape along an edge of the glass, and wrap the tape around the entire perimeter. Overlap the ends slightly, then snip the tape with scissors.
  6. For a tight seal, rub the tape thoroughly until the edge is smooth, using the side of a pencil or ice pop stick as a burnishing tool.
  7. If necessary, clean the coasters with a soft cloth or paper towels and glass cleaner. Do not submerge coasters in water; the tape does not produce a watertight seal.

Pencil Stamps

Instead of using your pencil eraser to make marks disappear, turn it into a stamp and make playful pictures appear on cards and wrapping paper.

Just press the eraser into an ink pad, and stamp polka dots onto paper. Or cut the eraser with a utility knife to create different looks: Half an eraser makes a half-moon, and a third creates a delicate crescent. We stamped colored kraft paper and blank card stock, and added stems to flowers with a green pencil.

Envelope Bunnies How-To

  1. Seal the flap of an envelope, and draw bunny ears on the sealed side, as shown below. You can draw your own or use our bunny ear template
  2. Cut along the line through both layers of the envelope. 
  3. Flip the envelope over; what was the side of the envelope becomes the bottom of your treat holder. 
  4. Cut pink construction paper to make eyes and insides of ears, and glue them on the front of the envelope. Use colored pencil for mouth; glue on a pom-pom nose. Fill with yummy Easter sweets.

Felt Leaf Pillow

  1. This project can be completed using a store-bought pillow cover, but a flat piece of fabric works best, as it fits easily into a sewing machine. After you embellish the fabric with leaf patterns, you can use it to make a pillow cover.

  2. Download a leaf template, resizing as desired, and print onto card stock. Cut out template. Lay template on a piece of felt; trace with a disappearing-ink pen. Cut out leaf with fabric shears. Using dotted lines on template as a guide, draw center vein and radiating veins on felt leaf with disappearing-ink pen.

  3. Position felt leaf as desired on fabric (we used linen), securing with straight pins. Using a sewing machine, stitch along marked center vein, working from bottom of stem to tip of leaf.

  4. Starting at 1 leaf point, stitch along radiating vein until you reach center vein. Then pivot fabric, and continue stitching from center vein to opposite leaf point (sewing a V across leaf). Repeat at remaining radiating veins.

  5. Add additional felt leaves as desired, following steps 1 through 3. Use the completed fabric as the front panel for a pillow cover.

Tack-Free Message Board

Display cards and photos without poking holes in them. The bulletin board pictured here requires a 32-by-24-inch piece of plywood, seven 24-inch lengths of 2/3-inch-wide screen molding, a ruler, pencil, hammer, nails, paint, and wood glue. Paint plywood and molding strips contrasting colors. Let dry; use glue and nails to fasten two strips to top and bottom edges of plywood. Before attaching remaining strips, measure and mark spacing, 1/8 inch less than height of item: 1 7/8 inches for business cards, 5 7/8 inches for standard 4-by-6-inch photos. To display, bow card a little to slip it between strips.

Reversible Purse

This simple reversible purse is a wonderful project for beginning and advanced sewers alike.

Tools and Materials Bag template

  • Heavy paper or cardstock
  • 1/2 yard of patterned fabric
  • 1/2 yard of solid fabric
  • Pencil
  • Fabric scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating machine-sewing thread
  • Iron
  • Needle and thread for basting stitch

Reversible Purse How-To

  1. Download, enlarge, and print template on heavy paper or card stock. Trace template twice on each fabric and cut out.
  2. Align and pin the two solid pieces together, right sides facing. Do the same with the two patterned pieces.
  3. Using 1/4-inch seam allowance, sew along the top of each handle and along the bottom curve of each pinned piece, leaving both sides of both handles open.
  4. Turn the solid piece right side out, and insert the solid piece into the inside-out patterned piece. Line up seams, raw edges, and handles.
  5. Pin the edges of the "neckline" of the bag and sew with a 1/4-inch seam.
  6. Going through the longer handle, turn the entire bag right side out (patterned fabric on the outside). Press all seams.
  7. Fold raw edges of "armholes" in 1/4 inch and press. Baste together. Topstitch 1/8 inch around bag handles to finish.