Saturday, November 30, 2013

DIY Photo Puzzle Wooden Cube with Modge Podge - Great Christmas Present!

I made this photo cube for my brother's family last year, as the homemade portion of their Christmas present. I sent a smaller version (a flatter, two-sided square) to my grandma, and when my mom saw it, she wanted one, too!



I have been wanting to try making this photo cube puzzle ever since I saw a kit on sale about 10 years ago. I had that instinctive reaction, "I can make that, I don't need a kit." Perhaps I wouldn't have waited 10 years if I had not had that thought. Last winter, I finally went to Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's and bought everything I thought I needed.

The key for me was that I bought a Fiskars square hole punch (at JoAnn's), then went over to the wood aisle  at Hobby Lobby, and found wood the same size as the punch. This made cutting out the pictures easy, fast, and neat. You can just stick to a paper cutter if you want to save a few bucks. Remember, craft stores usually have 40% off coupons so just print one off before you head over, and you won't spent much on the tools, like the hole punch.

Actual investment time in this project is probably about 45 minutes of shopping and 2-5 hours of cutting and gluing, but this is spread out over time as you need to wait for glue to dry. Just make sure you have some work space available to leave your project sitting out.




1. Buy a square hole punch (or use a paper cutter but that sounds tedious to me), a couple of sponge brushes, Modge Podge (it's magical glue!), and nine wooden cubes.

2. Print out your pictures large enough to cover the nine cubes.

3. Use your hole punch to carefully cut your image into nine squares. Since this is a hole punch, there will be some space between each image so use your judgement and keep the squares close together - and it will look fine.

4. Spread a THIN layer of Modge Podge on one square. Place your photo onto the first cube. Do this all the way through until you've completed a single image on nine cubes. Spread a thin layer of Modge Podge over each of these glued-on images. Walk away and give it five minutes to dry.





5. Carefully turn your cubes all one turn, the same direction. You want to be systematic so your images don't get "tangled," as you are working on multiple images on multiple sides of the cube. Follow step 4 again.

6. Do Step 5 on all but one side of the cube. This is the side the cube will sit on while you let it air dry over night. 

7. The next day, apply the last image on the last side of the cube. Let it air dry. 

8. Now, have fun and take a few days to apply additional coatings of Modge Podge over your picture. Careful not to overdue it or you will get bubbles in your pictures.

Friday, November 29, 2013

How to Make Nativity Costumes and Bible Costumes - Easy DIY

Every year, around Christmas time, I seem to find myself in need of some Bible costumes, whether to play the part of prophets from the scriptures, or to play the nativity scene. This year, I finally decided to make my own.


These Bible costumes were so easy to make, and I was so pleased with how they turned out. I made a few in my own size and tried them on to make sure these would work since it was such a boxy pattern. The costumes pictured above range in size from 3 - 10 years, at a guess, but I also made larger ones. Since the tunics tie with a sash in the middle, you can billow out the top above the sash if a child is too short for the costume.


Initially, I Googled to look for patterns and found several different DIY blog posts that sounded fabulous, but I wanted to sew the costumes, not glue them, and the directions to sew them were either too vague or too complicated for my skills and time constraints so hopefully this helps someone else in that in-between area that I found myself.
Originally I was going to cut the fabric out in the shape of a “T” and sew around it, but I was worried that the placement of the sleeves would look awkward so this is really just a simple box. In a few cases, I did make the sleeve area slightly wider when I cut the fabric, but I dropped that after a while and it seemed fine. Here’s a basic sketch of what I did, but I tried to explain it better below.



1. I doubled the fabric by folding it in half, then cut a rectangular piece of fabric approximately the length and width of the age of child I had in mind. You can lay a child’s dress out on the first piece of fabric to get an idea of the required length and width. I did this with the first piece.


Where possible, I like to cut the fabric so that the fold was on one side of the fabric, as this was just one more piece that didn’t need to be sewn.

2. Once I had a width of costume that I liked, I cut out a neck line. I was originally just cutting them out like below, but then I started folding the fabric vertically (so it would be down the long edge in the picture below), and cutting along the corner created by that fold, to get the same neck cut, but with slightly less effort. I made the mistake of cutting the first one too wide so I tried to make sure to accommodate head size after that, but not so much that the neck would cause the tunic to fall off the shoulders. (On the one I cut too wide, I made the neck into a v-shape by folding the fabric in the center and sewing a line onto the fold to keep it in place.)


3. I sewed along the long edge of each side of the fabric, leaving a 6-10 inch opening on each side for arms, and stopping about 6 inches early at the bottom to ensure that the fabric would not hamper walking. This did not matter as much on fabric that I left really wide like the one above, or really stretchy fabric but I cut some of my pieces in a much more narrow line. By the way, I found my favorite fabric was the stretch, thin, wrinkly fabric that reminded me of muslim.

4. I turned the completed tunic inside out, and voila, done! I cut strips of fabric to make belts for the tunics and just left the costume at that for the most part, but for a few of them, I also made a robe/vest. See step 5.

x


5. To make the vest/robe, I did the exact same thing as I did with the base layer, except that I made the vest/robe piece slightly more narrow – once again, eyeballing it, so if it’s wider or narrower, it’s not really a big deal. After I was done creating the second piece in the exact same style as the first, I cut the fabric down the center of the tunic. For a little embellishment, you can also take a contrasting piece of thread and sew all around the edges of the vest/robe. I did this with the sash that I cut out as well.

6. For the headpiece, just cut out a rectangle of fabric and a sash – no sewing required!