Friday, August 8, 2014

Unique and Easy Fall Craft Projects

Step by step directions for how to make a "jeans and t-shirt quilt" or a fall foliage-inspired dripped sphere candle.

Jeans and T-Shirt Quilt & Dripped Sphere Candle

The colors that occur in nature during the fall season are pretty. It's natural to want to bring them indoors for a fresh splash of color. Making autumn crafts in charming fall colors, like a dripped candle done in fall foliage's prettiest colors, or a cozy jeans and t-shirt quilt, is also a fun and easy way to embrace the season as cooler weather sets in.

Jeans and t-shirt unlined quilt
(54"x72" finished size)
 
Skill level - beginner to intermediate sewer

A jeans and t-shirt quilt can be made from old jeans and t-shirts as a way to recycle them - or you could buy new fabric, preshrink, and cut it into squares. It is a great fall craft project because it is immediately useful. It is perfect for chilly autumn nights and is easy for new sewing machine operators to craft. (1/2" seam allowance)

Craft Supplies needed:
  • 108 - 7" squares of denim
  • 108 - 7" squares of colorful t-shirt (soft knit) fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Steps:
  • Cut 7"squares of denim and t-shirt fabric.
Mix the colors up a little bit. This kind of quilt will usually look best the more the colors vary.
Note for when you start sewing - all seams will show on the denim side.

Steps
  1. First make "rectangles".
  2. Place one square of denim face down on your work table.
  3. Place one square of denim face up.
  4. Focus on lining up one edge for now.
  5. The wrong side of the denim and the t-shirt fabric will be against one another.
  6. Put the next different colored square of t-shirt fabric face down on the first piece of t-shirt fabric.
  7. Now place the last piece of denim face up on top of the whole pile - still keeping that edge lined up straight.
  8. Sew a straight along the one edge you kept lined up straight - making sure to back-tack both ends.
  9. Repeat that step 53 more times until you have used all 108 pairs of denim and knit fabric. (I know it sounds like a lot but it gets easier and faster after the first two or three.)  
  10. When you have all of the rectangles together open them so you can see the t-shirt fabric and mix up the colors some more.
  11. Make the rectangles into squares and then long strips.
  12. Take two opened rectangles, place t-shirt fabric to t-shirt fabric and line up the next long edge. Sew on the denim with a straight stitch. Keep seams open to reduce bulk. Keep attaching rectangles until you have 9 squares across.  
  13. Make 5 more of these until you run out of rectangles.
  14. Sew your six strips together. T-shirt fabric to shirt fabric and sew on the denim side.
  15. You should get 9 squares wide and 12 squares long.
  16. Sew all the way around the outside to finish the outer edge.
  17. Wash the quilt to fray the edges of the denim. It should look frayed with splashes of color that go around each square.
Dripped Candle  
Beginner level - super easy if you buy the sphere candle instead of making it yourself.
 
Dripped candles are nice-looking easy to make candles that look like they came from an expensive boutique. Making them in fall colors is an easy fall craft you can be proud to display or give as gifts.

Craft Supplies needed:
  • 3 white sphere candles (you could just do one but all I found came in 3-packs.)
  • 3 tapered candles in bright fall colors
  • Newspaper - or something that won't get ruined when wax drips on it.
Steps:
  1. Set the white sphere candles on the newspaper with the wicks straight up.
  2. Light the darkest tapered candle
  3. Hold the flame a few inches directly above the sphere candle and let the colored wax drip over it and roll down the side. (It will drip faster if you tip it so the flame goes up the side of the candle.)
  4. Keep drizzling until you have streaks that run about every half inch.
  5. Get the next colored taper and start the process over.
  6. Some of the streaks will fill the empty spots and some will cross over the first lines of colored wax.
  7. Take the last colored taper and repeat the process one last time.
  8. If you aren't going to be burning the candles you could drape some silk fall foliage around them to make an elegant centerpiece. They do, however, look really nice on their own.
Sources:
  • Basic Candle Making: All the Skills and Tools you Need to Get Started by Stackpole Books
  • Personal experience

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