Making all the things… Part Two.

Back again after an interlude of extreme involvement in the art of forging metal into pretty shiny things. I am not sure why I am utterly entranced by this process but it makes me feel as though I have come home. Perhaps it’s the fact that all the problems that arise are so easily fixed with a reapplication of heat or a polish here and there. Whatever the reason, I am basking in the sheer joy of turning sheet metal and wire into pendants and bracelets.

Of course, not every will want pendants or bracelets for the holidays so I am back with another handmade gift suggestion list. Last time we focused on college age people, so let’s look at tweens and teens this time around.

Easy Sharpie Tie Dye

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Image from DIYPROJECTSFORTEENS

I love the look of tie dye but I have always been intimidated by the actual process of it. After some savvy internet research I discovered a simple way to create tie dye decor.

For gift giving the possibilities are vast. You could purchase small canvas bags and create personalized tie dyed lunch bags for your kids. Go bigger and you’ve got overnight bags, beach bags, sport totes, etc.

You can certainly make gorgeous shirts for not a whole lot of money with this technique. Hanes has a crazy sale going on and their shirts are soft, durable, and come in light colors that would be easy to tie dye over. You could even check out their sweat pants sale and tie dye up some super comfy lounge wear for the cold holiday season.

Finally, make some small zippered coin purses/dice bags/make-up bags with tie dye decor for a cool stocking stuffer.

DIY Bleach Design

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Image from By Hand London

On the opposite end of the DIY shirt spectrum we have bleach. A good friend of mine taught me this technique and it’s fairly simple. You choose a stencil, leaf, shape, etc, that you like. Lay a dark shirt flat on cardboard and place the stencil on it where you want the negative of the shape to be on the shirt. Spray with a bleach spray and toss in the laundry to rinse. You may want to scrunch the fabric around the shape or stencil to get a more even look.

If you want to take this idea to the next level and add additional materials, like fabric paint, the folks over at By Hand London have posted a DIY Galaxy Shirt idea.

Once again, Hanes is a great resource for well made and comfortable shirts, this time in a variety of dark colors, to assist you in making your teen or tween (or anyone really) a well made hand decorated shirt worth wearing.

Duct tape is your new best friend

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Source: JoAnn Fabrics. 

You can do nearly anything with Duct Tape. As we are approaching Halloween I felt a DIY Halloween Candy Bag was a good image example for duct tape madness. Before you dive in I suggest a visit to diyready.com for their basic duct tape fabric tutorial video. You don’t have to master making sheets of duct tape to make a project, but you do if you want to make a duct tape project easy.

A few ideas for gifting with Duct Tape:

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Source: Duck Brand

Make a Duct Tape necklace as a cool stocking stuffer, or assemble the necessary parts for said necklace, slip them into a small gift box with several small rolls of colorful duct tape and printed out directions and gift your teen/tween with a duct tape necklace kit.

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Source: Duck Brand

You can go a little bigger and create this stunning Owl tote bag. (Remember, it’s a sew free project!)

If you are looking for a fun gift for your technology lover (That doesn’t cost a small fortune) try your hand at a DIY tablet cover.

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Source: The Craft Train

Does your tween or teen have a younger sibling? They can make these charming Duct Tape and sponge boats for the bathtub and gift them with something they made themselves, in addition to a great deal of bath-time fun.

I could do several months worth of blog posts on the power of duct tape. I strongly suggest you check out the Duct Brand websites craft section or just google “duct tape diy” and your browser will be filled with hundreds, if not thousands, of ideas ranging from fashion accessories to waterproof beach totes to wedding dresses.

Friendship Bracelets: Fun and Easy Accessories 

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Whether you are making them for your teen or giving your teen handmade gift ideas, the friendship bracelet is a time honored gift. Once again I’ll turn your attention to DIYReady.com. They have assembled 19 different styles of bracelet for your imagination to feast upon.

DIY Sites of Interest

The world of DIY is vast and there are so many people putting together lists of ideas for your holiday crafting. Here are a few of the sites I have found the most useful.

  • Boys often get the short end of the DIY stick. DIY Projects for Teens has a post devoted to them. From splash bomb trebuchets to skateboard shelves these project ideas are sure to delight your kiddo.
  • Moms and Crafters have a number of good DIY posts for both boys and girls, with one focusing on teens.
  • Craft Forest is filled to the brim with great DIY ideas, including the good old standby – the marshmallow shooter. However, they peg the meter of coolness with a DIY Lightsaber tutorial!

There’s more to come! Younger kiddos are next. I hope you enjoy some of these project ideas and have fun getting started on your handmade holiday!

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Making all the things…tangent

I intended to continue with my crafty holiday making madness here on the blog but then I fell into the world of silversmithing and all other things drifted away.

It’s true that I can blow my bezel seams over and over again on a high migraine day but for the most part silversmithing is a place where the problems I encounter have readily available fixes and the results of my labor are stunning.

I’m 5 weeks into my training and I am loving every intensive second of it. Now when I see jewelry I deconstruct it with my eyes. When I see stones I imagine how I would tackle them. I finally feel as though I can DO something with my life, even though I can’t do all the things I’ve previously trained for.

Here is a photographic journey through some of the steps in my last piece:

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Here we have a fine silver bezel soldered onto a sterling back plate. 
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Choppa choppa choppa, we have a crude silver setting.
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After adding a handmade bail and wire we have an unpolished setting fit for it’s stone.
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With this lovely device we fit the stone into the bezel. Think of endlessly rocking your cranky child back to sleep in the middle of the night. It’s a lot like that. 
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Abracadabra! We have a pendant! 

Here is my further assembly of silver and pearl earrings.

 

So this is what has been occupying all my time this past month! I will try to get to another set of make your own holiday gift ideas here soon!