Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Making Christmas

Now that the packages are all sent and the presents shopping is done (mostly), for us these last few days before Christmas are all about keeping the kids busy, cleaning up the house, and planning meals.

Yesterday we did a fun craft from with some friends using the Yarn Wrapped Ornament tutorial from the Inspired Treehouse. We cut, taped, wrapped yarn, made a mess, and it was fun. Of course a box of donut holes made it a little extra fun too.

I love how they all turned out! Now tonight's job is to tackle the 5 pair of Christmas jammie pants I have waiting for me in my sewing closet. Wish me luck. Are you having fun making Christmas too?

Anthro Inspired Monogram Ornaments

I often browse the Anthropologie ads and think about how I could try to recreate some of their beautiful clothes and cute stuff. Last year there were some totally adorable ornaments on the back cover and I just had to make them. So this year I thought I'd show you how to make some too.
If you are heading to a Christmas party in the next couple of days they would make a fun little hostess gift to take along with you.

Last year I saw the cutest Ornaments in the Anthropologie Look Book. I don't live anywhere near a store so I thought it would be fun to try to recreate them as a Christmas craft with Jack and Luke, my 2 craft loving kids. Today I'm going to briefly show you how we made them. They just turned out way too cute not to share.  

We gathered up our supplies (Mini Pom Poms, floral wire, Baker's Twine, Yarn, and Tacky Glue) and set to work shaping our letters. To shape the letters we bent a wire into the letter and the used haanother wire or two to wrap around the first a bit to give it some dimension.  They ended up to be about 3 inches tall.  You can find a photo of the whole Anthropologie alphabet on Pinterest for reference.  Next we tied a small length of baker's twine a the top and set to work wrapping it with yarn. It gets a little tricky on the ends of the letter you have to get creative with how you wrap it to get the yarn to stay and not come unraveled right away. Next we glued on a bunch of super cute pom poms. 

Anthropologie has them for sale this year with a little different twist. LOVE!! They would make a fun gift for a special friend.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mini Tulip Tote Winner

Hello there! I'm just checking in to announce our Mini Tulip Tote Winner from the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day.
And the winner is LeeAnna Paylor!! I'm sending your pattern today!! Thank you to all who entered the giveaway.  If you aren't a winner the PDF Pattern is still available in the Etsy Shop along with 1 more sample bag that's still up for grabs.

Also I received a lovely email recently from Melinda Burch showing off this lovely Mini Tulip Tote she sewed. You can find her at Sew Good To Be Home on Facebook.

She got creative and figured out how to insert a zipper into the top. Way to go Melinda!

That's all for now. Back to Christmas shopping and prep. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Crafternoon: Felt Candy Cane Ornaments

Are you enjoying our Christmas Crafternoon posts? Join us all month as we share how to make our favorite handmade ornaments. They are all easy enough to make in an afternoon of crafting, a.k.a Christmas Crafternoon. Today we have candy canes.  Red and white striped candy canes always make me think about Christmas. We always hang candy canes on the Christmas tree, sometimes they are real and sometimes not. For the past several years we have had these lovely felt candy cane ornaments on the tree. My mom made them and I think they are just so cute. Do you know who's Christmas Tree they would look great on? YOURS! 

These are so quick, easy and inexpensive to make.

Materials Needed:

White Crafting felt (each 9x12 sheet will make 2 candy canes)
Red Pipe Cleaners (2 for each candy cane)
Coordinating 3/8 inch Ribbon
Low temp glue gun
Wire Cutters

Let's Get Started! 
Fold your sheet of felt in half, matching the short sides together. then cut along the folded edge to make two 9x6 inch pieces. Then, cut 1 inch off to make your piece 8x6. Next, using your wire cutters, cut 1 pipe cleaner to be the match the length of the long side of the rectangle. 

Run a bead of glue along the long edge and press the pipe cleaner on top of the 
glue to adhere it to the felt. Roll the felt tightly around the pipe cleaner. When you get to the end, run another bead of glue along the edge and then press against the felt to secure the edge and complete the roll.  

Put a dot of glue on the edge of the felt roll and press the end of a pipe cleaner into it. Wind the pipe cleaner snugly around the felt roll. Secure the end of the pipe cleaner to the edge of the felt roll with a dot of glue. 
Bend to make a Candy Cane shape and voila! You are done! Wasn't that so fast? 

Add a bow to finish it off, and then go make another one! These will look great on a tree - they don't even need a hanger, you just hook them on! 
Now, go make a few more! 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Crafternoon: Beaded Angel Ornament Video Tutorial

Hi there, this is Rachel from Beyond the Bead Jewelry. I am Sarah's sister and along with making jewelry with our mom, Nedra, I also sew for the Blue Susan Etsy shop. I am a new contributor to the Blue Susan Makes blog and am excited to bring you some fun tutorials during this holiday season!

In today's tutorial, you will learn how to make these beaded angel ornaments.

They are  fast to make and can easily be made in an afternoon. They make a lovely gift for family, friends, or neighbors.

Here's What You Need To Make One

Tools Needed: Flat-Nose Pliers, Round-Nose Pliers, Hook-Nose Pliers, Wire Cutters

For the Angel: (All of these items are available at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn, or
  • 1 Large bead for the Angel body - 1 to 1 1/2 inch tall works well
  • 1 Large, 2 inch wide Wing spacer bead
  • 1 large crystal or pearl for the head (mine is 1/2 inch wide)
  • 1 large Spacer bead for the crown/halo
  • 1 - 3 inch head pin. 
Here is our Video Tutorial
Thanks for watching! If you want to see some of our angel ornaments for inspiration, hop on over to our Beyond the Bead Jewelry Etsy Shop and take a look. 

If the video is not working for some reason, here is a quick picture collage of the step by step to give you an idea of what to do. It is way easier to understand from the video, however. 

Happy Making! 

Giveaway Day!!!

Hello everyone! Today is Giveaway Day! Not just here on our blog but on lots of others too.  SewMamaSew is hosting this fun event where everyone with a shop or a blog can link up an item that they would like to giveaway. Which means there are A LOT of other things you can win around blogland.  The giveaways are open for one full week so you can take your time browsing around and getting to know other fun blogs too. Want to see what we're giving away today??  The Mini Tulip tote PDF Pattern!

This stylish little tote is the size of a small handbag. It is perfect for when you just want to carry the essentials.  It has a wide base so it stands up by itself. The top opens up wide and stays closed snugly with 2 magnetic snaps. There are 2 pockets on the inside to organize your small items. It's quite roomy despite it's small size. The handles are sized to hang on your forearm, but you can lengthen them if you’d like. My favorite thing about the tulip tote is the ruching on the sides. I just love the texture it creates.

This pattern features 18 pages of instructions with step by step photos, as well as 2 pattern sheets with printing instructions. Finished Dimensions are 7” tall X 14'' wide X 4'' deep with 16’’ handles. For more details about this pattern, check out my full Mini Tulip Tote post.

Want to win the Pattern?  Just leave a comment telling me your favorite thing to do with your free time.  I'd love it if you'd follow me or "Like" me on Facebook too, but it's not required to enter. Make sure your email address is linked in your profile or leave it in the comment so I can find you. U.S. only. 

If you are new to Blue Susan Makes, Welcome to our little corner of the sewing world!  You'll find me sewing handmade gifts, stuff for my kids and home, and lots of handbags. I'd love it if you'd check out my Blue Susan Etsy Shop and our sister shop, Beyond the Bead Jewelry. Let's keep in touch!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Crafternoon: Tuck-In Gift Pockets Tutorial

It's that time of year - the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is in full swing and we are loving every minute of it. It's about this time in the holiday season that I start thinking about teacher gifts. What can we make that the kids can help with? What will teachers appreciate? This year I have decided on a simple gift that the kids can do almost independently: Tuck-in gift pockets filled with cookies.

All you need is some square card stock, coordinating buttons or ribbon, a glue stick, a hot glue gun, a ruler, and a pen. For this pocket I used an 8x8 piece of Christmas card stock that I bought in a pack from Hobby Lobby. I like using matte finish card stock - glittery, glossy, and foiled paper tends to tear on the edge when you fold it. If you don't have square card stock on hand, you can always cut down 8.5x11 paper to be an 8.5 inch square. 

Your finished pocket, made with 8x8 inch paper measures 5 1/2 inches tall by 4 3/4 inches wide. Take your piece of paper, colored side up, and fold in half to make a triangle. 

Mark a dot, 3 1/4 inches down from either side of the point. Match the right folded point to the dot on the left side of the right angle point as shown in picture 3. The tip of the point should not come to the edge of the paper - it should be about 1/8 on an inch away from the edge. Crease the fold.  Repeat for the opposite side as shown in picture 4. 

Pull the flap down and crease the edge. Using your glue stick, secure the flap to hold it all in place. 

Embellish with a button or bow - you may need to use a hot glue gun for this step. 

Have your kids help you whip up a batch of their favorite cookies.  I used this Chewy Ginger Cookies with Sweet Orange Glaze recipe from It's delicious. Mine turned out a little flat at first, so I added an extra cup of self rising flour and they turned out great! This medium size pocket will hold two 3 inch cookies. I put them in a cellophane bag with a little ribbon to tie it off. 

Have your kids write a little note on the back for their teacher. 

These pockets are so fun - the possibilities are endless. You can use double sided card stock in all sorts of sizes. 12 inch paper makes a large pocket that is 8 1/2 inches tall by 7 inches wide - it makes a big pocket that fits extra large cookies, or a mini loaf of bread, or a scarf, etc. 6 inch paper makes a 4 1/4 inch tall by 3 1/2 inch wide pocket. It's a cute little pocket - perfect for holding a gift card or some cash. Don't have time to make them? You can by an assorted 3 pack in my Etsy shop. There are lots of different ones for sale, so take a look! 

Happy making!