Category Archives: Crafts

How-To: Mason Jar Coin Bank

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I have several coin collectors tucked around my bookshelves, closets, dressers, etc. They take many forms including jars, tins, ceramic pots, jugs and various other vessels. Most of them are completely no-frills. About twice a year as they fill up I go through and empty them into my bank account where the funds hopefully purchase something fun like concert tickets, yarn or fabric splurges, a day trip out of town, etc. Other times the money goes towards something completely boring but necessary like bills. I have had a lot of loose change coming my way lately so I decided to take an empty mason jar I had sitting with my craft supplies and turn it into another little coin bank.

I decided on a nautical theme including a piece of my Anchors Away fabric from Dear Stella (one of my favorite fabric manufacturers at the moment). I have always loved anchors; I remember doodling them on my notebooks when I was little. Do you remember when we used to have those denim binders and drew all over them? They were “the” thing after Trapper Keepers went out of style. But back to the project…

Supplies you will need:
– Mason jar and rim, lid not needed
– Two scraps of fabric approximately 7″ x 7″
– Cardstock
– Double-sided tape or a glue stick is helpful!
– Scissors
– Ruler
– Pencil/Pen
– Any embellishments you would like (ribbon, cord, lace, etc). I chose cording to go with my nautical theme.

Step One: Trace the rim onto your card stock and cut it out – make sure it fits inside the rim before proceeding further. I cut two pieces and fastened them together with a little glue around the edge (no glue in the middle because we’ll be cutting the center). The double layer will make your top more durable. I used some scraps of card stock leftover from another sewing pattern that I made. I keep scraps in the back of my file for projects like this.

Step Two: With your ruler measure to find the center of the circle. I drew a line across the diameter and another line perpendicular. Then, using the center point and your diameter line as a guide draw a line 1.5″ across the center of the circle. I measured an old-school silver dollar at 1.25″. That was the largest coin in my nearest canister and I wanted to make sure there would be enough room to accommodate it. You can use a craft blade (or scissors if you feel confident) to cut a narrow opening in the center of your card stock – 1.5″ long as per your guide and just wide enough for a couple of coins to fit through at once.

Step Three: Cut your fabric squares to desired size (I think mine were around 7″ x 7″). You can put them on top of the jar with the rim to measure and see if the fabric is the size you want it to be. Fold your fabric in half with wrong side out, then fold it in half again to make a square. You will see your center point at one of the corners you just made. Make a tiny snip to mark your center. Unfold fabric so it is just folded in half. Now that your center point is identified and your center line is marked by the fold, it is easy to cut out your hole while fabric is folded. Hole should be just shy of the size of your card stock’s opening. My card stock’s opening was about 2mm larger than my fabric’s.

Step Four (optional): This step was very theme-specific. I took my navy cord and created a coil for the bottom of the jar. This would help to soften the sound as coins were deposited, and also protect the glass. I decided to sew rather than glue the coil. It takes more time, but it’s cleaner and more durable. Once finished, my coil was added to the bottom of the jar.

Step Five: Layer your card stock between your top and bottom fabrics, aligning the coin slot. I put a tiny bit of glue stick on each side of the card stock during this process. This wasn’t to permanently glue the pieces of fabric and paper together, just to help keep them secure during the top assembly. Once your lid layers are sandwiched, stick them in your rim (this ensures that the layers aligned as the pieces of card stock will guide your sandwich to the center). Place the entire piece on top of the jar, screw on the lid.

Step Six (optional): I tied around the lid a cord with a cute little knot. I took a match to seal the ends of my cord to prevent fraying and add some nice texture. Depending on your fabrics, you could use ribbon, a lacy bow, some twine, glue on buttons and gems or even leave the rim unadorned.

That’s it! Now you are ready to fill your stylish new bank. What are you going to splurge on once you’ve saved up some dough?

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Personalized Handmade Sled Ornaments

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My older two siblings and myself received these great sled ornaments in 1982 and they are hung on my parents’ tree every year.

I always felt bad that my younger sister didn’t have one (she wasn’t born yet in 1982). I decided to make some this year for all of the additions to our family post-1982 (sister, sister-in-law, niece).

These ornaments turned out to be far more work and time-consuming than expected. It probably didn’t help that I made seven of them (four were gifts for a friend).

First I had to cut all of the wood pieces. Next I painted them. Before I could assemble them I used an awl to create holes at the top which was rather difficult to do without splitting the wood.

The next step was to add all of the lettering (alphabet macaroni, a puddle of glue and some tweezers came into play here). While I was at it, I replaced all letters that had broken or fallen off of mine & my siblings’ ornaments. Finally, gold thread was strung through the holes to hang from the tree.

Handmade Button Wreath Ornaments – Modern & Vintage

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I love buttons. Vintage, modern – it doesn’t matter. Last year I bought some buttons at the craft store and made little wreath ornaments for my family. These are cute resin 4-hole buttons of various colors, sizes and textures; easy to string!

This year I went through my stash of vintage buttons from the ’40s-’70s and made a new style of wreath ornament. The way the shank buttons hang give a great look and shape to the wreaths.

What I’m listening to as I write this post: Charlie Brown Christmas Special

Handmade Bat Napkin Rings

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Halloween is just around the corner and I decided to create a little decoration for my mom. I love bats and wrote a pattern to create a no-sew napkin ring all with one piece of fabric. Awesome. Check out the little winged creatures:

What I’m listening to as I write this post: The news on TV (so sad, they are talking about Steve Jobs)