Etched Beer Glasses | #lisagracemade

Standard

My goal was to hand make every Christmas gift I gave for Christmas 2013. It was crazy. I usually hand make a few gifts, but I have a lot of family and making all of the gifts was a little over ambitious, I will admit.

I wanted to make gifts that everyone would enjoy and appreciate, but I also knew I needed to keep it simple. As in, not make custom gifts for everyone. So for all the boys on my side of the family, I made these etched beer glasses. These were so easy and fun, directions are below.

Just for fun I cut out a small “beer bottle” shape out of cardboard and stuck in a little cash for “beer money.” Had I been in Iowa, I would have bought beer to go along with the gift-but I don’t think shipping beer across the country would have been successful.

20140109-203036.jpg

Supplies:

  • Beer Glasses (I found these on Amazon)
  • Contact Paper
  • Xacto Knife (I used a janky box cutter, can’t say I’d recommend)
  • Self healing cutting mat or something to protect your table top
  • Circular objects for tracing the circle
  • Etching Cream
  • Printer (with paper and ink, because I may or may not have bought some just so I could print out letters for this project)

Directions:

  1. Find a font you like and print out letters in a couple different sizes.  Choose which size works best for the glass you’re working with.
  2. Lay contact paper over printed letters and carefully cut out letter.  You’ll be sticking the actual letter on the glass, so be sure not to cut through the letter itself.
  3. Cut a square or rectangle of contact paper (this doesn’t have to be exact), then carefully trace a circle and cut it out.  So you’ll have a square with a hole in it, does that make sense?
  4. Peel off the back of the contact paper and stick on the glass.  I put the circle cut out on first and then lined up the letter inside.
  5. Spread a thick, even coat of etching cream inside the circle, being careful not to move the contact paper – be gentle!
  6. Leave cream on for 15 minutes, then rinse with cold water until all the cream is washed off.  This was a little weird at first, but just trust the running water.  The cream starts to “peel” off (for lack of a better word) after a little while.
  7. Peel off the contact paper and you’re finished!  I used my circle shape for several glasses, but after a few the stickiness started to wear off.

Happy crafting!

Advertisements

may i not fall…

Standard

I know what you’re thinking. I should probably become a photographer. Look at the depth, the adorable-ness, the artsy-fartsy angle, and the way the little birdie looks so gosh darn thin! I can’t explain it, really. I was just overcome by my own raw, unbridled talent all of a sudden and I snapped this breathtaking photo of this little bird. SO, throwing caution to the wind, I’m quitting my day job and launching my new photography business which specializes in Instragram iPhone 4 Photos of little adorable crafts.

Just an FYI for my true friends out there: this is the moment when you’re obligated to tell me that I should NOT audition for “America’s Next Best Photographer” because I’m just NOT that talented. And Simon will mock me to the end of the age if you don’t slap me in the face and warn me now of my misdirected pride.

ANYWAY, that little monologue was my way of proudly proclaiming that while I may not have a photography talent, I AM THE BEST AT MAKING ADORABLE LITTLE CRAFTS.

I mean, look at that bird. Isn’t he cute? Oh, you need more pictures? Here you go…

I’ve been learning all sorts of new crafty things lately. I’m working on my first from-a-pattern-dress, I taught myself how to needle felt (this little bird is needle felted), and I’m working on my crochet skills.

Indeed, I think it’s safe to say that I rock.

crafty christmas: herringbone cowl+how to block your knitwork

Standard

i found this lovely pattern on one of the best knitting blogs: the purl bee. if you knit, you probably need to make it your new year’s resolution to make absolutely everything on their blog. seriously.

as soon as i saw it, i knew i wanted to make it for my sister-in-law, valerie. it just reminded me of her.

seeing as i was going to have to learn a new stitch, and this scarf is HUGE, i got started in early november. i did not anticipate that it would take me forever to complete it. sheesh. consider yourself warned, this thing is huge, and harder to knit than most projects i’ve completed. it took me three weeks and i was knitting it every time my hands were free. by the time i was ready to cast-off, i actually forgot how to cast-off, ha.

after i figured out how to cast-off [which is a little funky with this pattern anyway], i tried it on, and it was too small. and i was all, “whhhaaaaatttt?!? this thing did not just take me three weeks to knit only be too small.” i followed the pattern exactly, so it was a little frustrating.

it was at this point that i remembered the most magical thing you can do to you knitting: blocking. i had never blocked anything before, but i had heard that this extra step can make all your knits look uniform and perfect and it can help shape your work as well. and since i needed all of those things for this piece, i decided to go for it.

i googled how to block knitwork and most websites instructed the following:

  1. dampen the work with cold water
  2. lay out on a towel
  3. use t-pins to shape the work
  4. let dry completely
once it’s completely dry, the knitwork keeps the shape you want it to. 
in true lisagrace style though, i came up with my own way of blocking. : ) mostly because i really needed this scarf to be stretched out. because this was an infinity scarf, i hung it [dampened] on the rod i have over our washer and dryer. i safety-pinned the sides together so that it wouldn’t curl as much and i stuck my rolling pin through the bottom to make it nice and stretched. 
it worked like a charm! as soon as it dried completely, which took about 24 hours, it looked great and was stretched out perfectly! 

so there you have it! and if you’re wondering if all of this was worth it, i would like to officially reassure you that it absolutely was. i loved giving this to my sister-in-law! and i loved the learning process, too!

disclaimer about this herringbone stitch: this stitch is way easier to do in the round. i think it’s possible to do on straight knitting, but i don’t know how.

crafty christmas: cable knit scarf

Standard

i was knitting the cabled infinity scarf i showed you yesterday over thanksgiving break while we were in ames. my mom saw it and was all like, “i want one!” at this point in my life, i do whatever my mom wants me to. and i didn’t have a gift idea for my mom yet so it worked out well.

after we got back to iowa city, i went to the yarn shop and looked around for white yarn. there was nothing good. i found this absolutely beautiful mirasol yarn that was a merino, alpaca and silk blend. as i worked with it, it would change from light gray to bluish silver to silvery gray. i fell in love with it and bought four skeins.

i used the same basic pattern, but cabled 6 stitches instead of 8.

you’ll need:
us size 15 needles
thicker yarn for size 13-15 needles
bigger cabling needle
tapestry needle for weaving in ends

pattern

beginning:
cast on 24 stitches
r1 [back]: slip first stitch*, p6, k2, p6, k2, p6, p*
[*on every row, you’ll always slip the first stitch and purl the last one]
r2 [front]: slip first stitch, k6, p2, k6, p2, k6, p
r3: slip first stitch, p6, k2, p6, k2, p6, p
r4: slip first stitch, cf6, p2, cf6, p2, cf6, p

main pattern:
r5 [back]: slip first stitch*, p6, k2, p6, k2, p6, p*
[*on every row, you’ll always slip the first stitch and purl the last one]
r6 [front]: slip first stitch, k6, p2, k6, p2, k6, p
r7: slip first stitch, p6, k2, p6, k2, p6, p
r8: slip first stitch, k6, p2, k6, p2, k6, p
r9: slip first stitch, p6, k2, p6, k2, p6, p
r10: slip first stitch, k6, p2, k6, p2, k6, p
r11: slip first stitch, p6, k2, p6, k2, p6, p
r12: slip first stitch, cf6, p2, cf6, p2, cf6, p

repeat the main pattern until you’ve reached your desired length. when you’re getting ready to cast off, stop after row 8, and then cast off.

happy knitting!

crafty christmas: cabled infinity scarf

Standard

inspired by this pattern, i decided to knit this for my mother-in-law. i saw this beautiful green yarn in my favorite little yarn shop and knew it was the perfect color. it was yarn for size 8 needles, so i held two strands together and knitted on size 15 needles. i basically changed the original pattern completely, simplifying it and making it more of an infinity scarf than a cowl.

this is one of my first attempts at writing out a knitting pattern, so please let me know if you have any questions!

you’ll need:
us size 15 needles
thicker yarn for size 13-15 needles [or you can hold two strands together like i did]
bigger cabling needle
tapestry needle for weaving in ends and kitchener stitch

cabled infinity scarf pattern

beginning:
cast on 30 stitches
r1 [back]: slip first stitch*, p8, k2, p8, k2, p8, p*
[*on every row, you’ll always slip the first stitch and purl the last one]
r2 [front]: slip first stitch, k8, p2, k8, p2, k8, p
r3: slip first stitch, p8, k2, p8, k2, p8, p
r4: slip first stitch, cf8, p2, cf8, p2, cf8, p

main pattern:
r5 [back]: slip first stitch*, p8, k2, p8, k2, p8, p*
[*on every row, you’ll always slip the first stitch and purl the last one]
r6 [front]: slip first stitch, k8, p2, k8, p2, k8, p
r7: slip first stitch, p8, k2, p8, k2, p8, p
r8: slip first stitch, k8, p2, k8, p2, k8, p
r9: slip first stitch, p8, k2, p8, k2, p8, p
r10: slip first stitch, k8, p2, k8, p2, k8, p
r11: slip first stitch, p8, k2, p8, k2, p8, p
r12: slip first stitch, cf8, p2, cf8, p2, cf8, p

repeat the main pattern until you’ve reached your desired length. when you’re getting ready to cast off, stop after row 8, and then cast off.

use the kitchener stitch [there are great tutorials on youtube, here’s one that i’ve used] to graft your work into an infinity scarf and give to someone you love, or keep your beautiful scarf for yourself!

happy knitting!

crafty christmas: reduce paper waste and reuse paper bags

Standard

i usually do a little shopping the day after christmas and get all the wrapping paper i’m going to need for the next year. but after having the same couple rolls of wrapping paper for three years, i realized my wrapping paper needs weren’t as great as i thought. so i thought about it, and decided to use up the last bit of my wrapping paper and then stick to the three r’s principle.

the stronger force behind this post though is that i live in iowa city now and the entire city will judge me if i don’t reduce, reuse and recycle. just call me a people pleaser.

i think i should thank pinterest as another contributor to this idea, because i saw so many classy pins of kraft paper wrapped presents.

combining the powers of the three r’s and pinterest, i believe that i made the ideas i saw even better by making this little project free and eco-friendly. [on a braggy side-note: my friend kaylee and i were just talking how we are the best at making ideas we find on pinterest even better]

i started asking for paper bags instead of plastic at the grocery store [who has too many plastic bags? i do!] in early november. i folded the bottom up and stored them flat. when i started wrapping presents i simply cut the paper bags like this:

are you wondering about the print that is usually on the outside of grocery bags? well, i’ve never seen one with print on the inside! flip that sucker over and you’ve got yourself some free kraft paper.

i doodled the names with a sharpie and used my gray industrial thread again. the cute bags in the first photo are also reused from home-ec workshop where i get my yarn.

speaking of yarn, stay tuned for pictures and patterns of my christmas knitting projects!

happy krafting! [pun absolutely intended]

crafty christmas: show off your christmas cards

Standard

i know i’m not the first person ever to do this, but it is darn cute so i thought i’d share.

do you have a bunch of christmas cards sitting in a pile? i did until a few days ago. we got back from seattle and opened the majority of said cards, and i put them in a pile with the rest of the mail.

i LOVE getting christmas letters and cards. when i was a young girl i would sit and read every single christmas letter that my parents got. i didn’t know half the people, but i read them anyway. i actually think my first sure sign of adulthood was when i received my first christmas letter addressed to me at my own house.

and while i cherish these letters, they still end up sitting in a pile for a long time. and as my fridge is rather crowded, i can’t put them there either.

SO, staple gun in hand, and armed with gagillion feet of gray industrial thread, i fashioned for myself a “picturesline” [as opposed to a clothesline] in my kitchen. i used the same clothespins that i hang my clothes with in the summer, so this little project was completely free, just the way i like it.

plus, this project gives me:

a lovely way to show off my friends
a classy look
a little bit more happiness and love in my kitchen

i’m satisfied!