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BeadCreator is a software package for beaders who want to design their own patterns either for personal or commercial use. I’ve been busy testing it out – see my review in this article below!

I create beading patterns on a regular basis for my Etsy shop and usually, I use BeadTool for my designs. Recently I’ve been on the hunt for other beading pattern software packages in the hope of finding one that does everything I need it to.

I came across BeadCreator and thought it looked really good. So, I decided to reach out to the team there and ask if I could test out the software for free in exchange for a review here on Craftaholique, and they kindly agreed!*

There are two versions of BeadCreator; Pro and Pro Plus. I was sent a link to download the Pro version (BeadCreator Pro 6), but I think when purchasing the software, it’s available as a hard copy on a disc.

Installing BeadCreator Pro 6

When using BeadCreator Pro 6 for the first time, I had to register my copy of the software by entering a serial number and a unique PC identifier code when prompted.

Along with the link to download BeadCreator, I was sent several training videos to watch. I found these very helpful; they explained everything that I had questions about, including installing the software!

The installation video is well worth watching before opening up BeadCreator, as it includes detailed instructions on how to register the software – an important step that if missed, will cause problems later down the line.

Once I’d registered my copy, I began to use it to its full potential.

Creating a pattern from an image with Bead Creator Pro 6

A nifty tool called “Bead Fairie” is the starting point for creating a beading pattern (top left icon with the wizard hat). From there, it’s possible to create a pattern from your own image, one of the stock library images or simply start from a blank canvas.

In the Pro version that I’ve tested, the stock library (called Old Masters) holds more than 2000 images from a number of famous paintings e.g. from the likes of Van Gogh, which you can use to make beading patterns. The image library needs to be downloaded, but I haven’t done this yet as from what I can gather, it takes time (and space on your PC) to do this.

Instead, I decided to use my own photo (of my dog!) to create a pattern for a beaded tapestry.

To do this, I simply opened my image when prompted and then I was able to set my parameters for the size of the pattern and choose a colour palette (I chose Delicas in size 11/0).

After selecting my requirements, I simply clicked on “apply” and “finish” and then my image was transformed into a beading pattern!

The “image to pattern” function is much the same as BeadTool on the surface of it. But there are some handy features that give BeadCreator an edge here. Firstly, there’s an option in the “Edit” menu to “Use Only XX Colors” – this is a tool to help reduce the number of colours used.

In case you’re wondering why you’d want to do that, here’s why: when I originally transferred my image, over 300 bead colours were picked up from the photo and so creating this tapestry would have cost well over $1000.

I know this because BeadCreator helpfully highlights how much the beads might cost when making the pattern. I reduced the number of colours down to just 58 and I was able to reduce the potential cost of beads without affecting the quality of the pattern too much.

See the green text at the bottom of the above screenshot? It’s a bit tiny, sorry! Anyway, this is telling me that by using 58 bead colours to make this tapestry, I’m looking at a potential cost of $305.50.

(Note – for every bead colour used, BeadCreator assumes that you’ll need to buy a tube of beads. Some colours picked up might mean that very few beads are needed for a particular colour. It’s worth going through and manually replacing those colours to one where you’ll definitely need to buy a whole tube!)

Creating a pattern from a blank canvas with BeadCreator Pro 6

There are several tools available to help with creating a pattern from scratch. To do this, I went back to the “Bead Fairie” icon and selected the option to start from a blank canvas. There, I was able to set the size I wanted, along with a colour palette just like before.

Under the “Edit” menu, there’s a tool called “Color Editor”, where I was able to select different outline and fill shapes and choose different bead colours to use – see the screenshot above. There is a line drawing tool too. The undo button comes in handy here – it reverses up to 99 steps just in case there are a lot of mistakes!

Creating multiple pattern formats and adding fringe

Multiple pattern formats and the option to add fringe are the features that I was particularly interested in, as currently, BeadTool doesn’t support these. To add a fringe to my design, I selected the “Fringe” button under “Pattern Format” in the top right of the screen. Then, I was able to add a fringe to the top (and the bottom if I wanted to). The fringe option has two types of formats available, brick stitch and loom stitch.

Under the “Edit” menu, there’s an option to select “Multiple Pattern Formats”. It’s possible to mix and match various pattern types within a design, using this tool. I think this is such a great feature. The only caveat is that you’ll need to work within the parameters that you set originally.

For example, let’s say that you’re designing in peyote stitch and you have 40 rows set within your parameters. If you want to add 10 rows of brick stitch, you’ll need to reduce the number of rows of peyote to 30, so that you still have 40 rows total. You can do all of this within the “Multiple Pattern Formats” function as there are buttons to add, delete and edit parts. (Tip! Watch the training video about multiple pattern formats – it’s very helpful).

Publishing patterns with BeadCreator Pro 6

It’s fairly straightforward to publish a pattern in BeadCreator. There’s an option to export to a PDF and in the settings, you can add lots of information about the pattern.

You can even protect the pattern so that the end user can’t print, copy or edit it without a password, which is useful if you’re planning to send it to a potential customer for them to check out the pattern before they buy.

In terms of finished patterns in PDF format, they’re very detailed with pattern properties, a pattern preview, a bead index and a word chart included. I tested out a basic pattern and I couldn’t quite get the format exactly how I wanted it on the first try. I think I will have to have a play around with it to get all the different elements to fit as they should.

How much does BeadCreator cost (and is it worth the money)?

BeadCreator Pro 6 costs $149 and the Pro 6 Plus version costs $249. The increased cost of the Pro Plus version is down to the stock image library which includes a whopping 20,000 copyright free images to use for pattern designing. Apart from that, the standard Pro version does everything that the Pro Plus version does.

So, is this beading software worth the money? Well, in my view, the Pro version at $149 would be worth the money for a beader who needs to create and sell professional-looking patterns and would benefit from being able to mix up pattern formats, add fringe, change the saturation and hues of colours and protect their patterns.

The Pro Plus version is a bit of a jump in price and as a contemporary bead pattern designer myself, I personally don’t think I’d be able to make use of the extensive “Old Masters” image library, so for me, the upgrade wouldn’t be worth the extra cost.

Final thoughts…

BeadCreator is a comprehensive programme and it’s taken me a little while to get used to it (I’m still learning about many of its features!). With that said, I think it’s possible to create some fantastic patterns with this software, and if you have some time and are prepared to go through the training videos, you’ll find these to be a great help.

One thing I have noticed is that the customer support seems to be very good! I’ve had to email the team a few times and have always found their responses to be fast and helpful. I’m sure you’ll agree that customer service is an important point to consider if you’re going to be spending a decent chunk of cash on something.

Have you used BeadCreator already? What do you think about it?

*Disclosure: Thank you to BeadCreator for sending me this version of the software free of charge so that I could review it for this post! All opinions are my own.

**Image © Craftaholique – logo courtesy of BeadCreator.

The post BeadCreator Pro 6 Review – Bead Pattern Design Software appeared first on Craftaholique.

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Reversible mermaid sequin fabric seems to be everywhere at the moment.

I’ve seen this material on notebooks, mobile phone cases, cushion covers, pencil cases, keyrings and even made into bracelets!

I actually bought my daughter a reversible mermaid sequin notebook from Smiggle last year. She loves it, but at £13.50 a pop, I thought I’d have a go at making my own before buying her another one.

What do you think to my efforts?

Making this was easier than I thought! I’ve detailed a step by step tutorial below in case you’d like to make one too.

You’ll need the following materials:

Step 1: Measure/cut the reversible mermaid sequin fabric to size

Lay out your notebook on the back of the fabric so that the existing cover is open and flat. Use a pen to mark out a border around your notebook cover (approx. 1.5 to 2 inches). Cut around the area you’ve marked out with some scissors.

Note: be prepared for the mess! Little half cut sequins will go everywhere!

Step 2: Glue the fabric to the notebook

Spread a little glue all over the outer cover of the notebook then lay it over the fabric backing to stick it into place.

Then start with one side of the cover – fold the fabric over it and hold down for a few minutes. PVA glue is fine for sticking down this particular type of fabric onto card; it just takes longer to dry as opposed to if you were sticking paper to card.

Repeat on the other side of the cover, taking care to allow for a little room for the cover to open and close before you stick the side edge down.

When you get to the corners, you’ll need to cut a little square of fabric out, so that you can fold the adjacent edge over neatly, see pic above.

Tuck the fabric into the spine of the notebook, by slotting it under the bound pages at the top and bottom.

Let your new cover dry completely before attempting to pick up!

Step 3: Tidy up the insides of your cover

Hide those scraggy edges with either a piece of cardboard or felt. Simply cut out two rectangles to fit over the edges and glue them into place. I’ve used felt because I thought it looked nicer and also because it’s soft enough to tuck into the centre of the notebook.

And that’s it! It’s easy to transform a very plain notebook into something much more beautiful without spending a fortune. Take a look at it below, with the sequins reversed the other way – it’s so pretty!

Why not make one of these as a gift for someone? The one I’ve made is going to be my daughter’s new handwriting practice book. I thought it might encourage her to spend a little more time on what would be an otherwise tedious task!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you did, please take a moment to share this post online!

Before you go, why not check out some of my other craft tutorials below:

*Affiliate links to Etsy are included in this post. This means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you or any of the designers above. I only ever recommend products that I truly love and any commissions help me to keep this site up and running. Thank you for using my links if you’re able to.

**All images © Craftaholique.

The post Reversible Mermaid Sequin Fabric Notebook Tutorial appeared first on Craftaholique.

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How will you be spoiling the ladies that you love this Mother’s Day?

If you’re stuck for ideas, I’ve collated some of my faves in this Mother’s Day Etsy Gift Guide below. Each gift featured here has been thoughtfully-handmade, meaning that they are completely unique and special – just like those mothers in your life!

Take a look at them below…

Handstamped Mothers Rings from Designs by Kara Marie

Image courtesy of Designs by Kara Marie

Handmade Small Leather Wallet by Kles Design

Image courtesy of Kles Design

Hug Box by Hope The Black Dog

Image courtesy of Hope The Black Dog

Family Tree Picture Gift by Cher Bear’s Gifts

Image courtesy of Cher Bear’s Gifts

You Are So Loved Pink Watercolour Print (Instant Download) by Casa Confetti 

Image courtesy of Casa Confetti

Mom Calligraphy Heart Shaped Ring Dish by Susan Gordon Pottery

Image courtesy of Susan Gordon Pottery

Felted wool slippers by Zaves Felt

Image courtesy of Zaves Felt

Bath Bomb Gift Box by Soul and Soap

Image courtesy of Soul and Soap

I love how original these gifts are. You just wouldn’t be able to find them in the usual high street shops! I’ve actually got a set of stacking rings with my husband, daughter and dog’s name on – I bought them from Etsy around 3 years ago now and I get so many comments on them, even now.

I hope this post has inspired you if you’re looking for unique Mother’s Day gift ideas. Thank you to each of the Etsy sellers above for allowing me to use their images to feature them in this post. Do head on over to their Etsy shops as they have many more unique handmade goodies for you check out!

Before you go, why not check some of my other posts?

*Affiliate links to Etsy are included in this post. This means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you or any of the designers above. I only ever recommend products that I truly love and any commissions help me to keep this site up and running. Thank you for using my links if you’re able to.

**Images used with permission from individual Etsy Sellers. Please do not copy or reproduce.

The post Handmade Showcase: Unique Mother’s Day Gift Ideas appeared first on Craftaholique.

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During the last week or so, as well as starting to work on a new crochet blanket pattern from The Hat and I Crochet, I’ve also been fairly busy working on a new peyote pattern to add to my own Etsy shop!

Take a look at “Zig Zag Jazz”. This is a flat odd count peyote stitch pattern, featuring some brilliant bold metallics and soft pastel shades too. I’ve used a range of Miyuki Delicas in size 11/0 – the exact colours can be found in my pattern.

The “Zig Zag Jazz” peyote stitch pattern

As I mentioned before, the technique used for this pattern is flat odd count peyote stitch. It’s very straightforward – if you’re a beginner, check out my free tutorial which explains step by step what you’ll need to do.

If you’re keen to get going, please visit my Etsy shop to get the pattern!  The cost is £4.99 + VAT (where applicable). All earnings from my patterns go towards supporting my family and keeping this blog going!

This peyote pattern comes with instructions on how to make the bracelet in three different sizes – 6 inches, 7 inches and 8 inches.

After purchasing it, you can download a PDF file which includes:

  • Bead legend with colours and bead types used.
  • Bead chart (visual pattern).
  • Word chart (row by row).
  • Instructions on making different sizes.
  • Photo of the finished bracelet to use as a guide.

Materials aren’t included! The pattern is standalone, so you will need to source your own beads and other bits and bobs to make your bracelet. Take a look at my affiliate links below to Etsy for inspiration:

To make this bracelet as shown in my photos, you’ll need:

Finally…

I hope you like my latest peyote stitch beading pattern. Let me know what you think about it in the comments section below!

READY TO BEAD? CLICK HERE TO GET MY “ZIG ZAG JAZZ” BRACELET PATTERN NOW!

Are you a peyote addict like me? You might also like some of my other beadwork patterns:

*Affiliate links are included in this post to Etsy. This means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you. I only ever recommend products that I think are great and any commissions help me to keep this site up and running. Thank you for using my links if you’re able to.

*Images © Craftaholique.

The post Zig Zag Jazz – New Peyote Stitch Bracelet Pattern appeared first on Craftaholique.

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One of my goals for 2018 is to improve my crochet skills. I can create a basic hat and a granny square or two, but that’s about all at the moment. The only way to get better at something is to practice more, so that’s what I intend to do!

With this in mind, I started looking for good crochet patterns on Pinterest but couldn’t find any that inspired me to pick up my crochet hook. So I then turned to Etsy, where I came across possibly the most adorable crochet patterns I’ve ever seen, from Etsy seller, The Hat & I Crochet.

The talent behind The Hat & I Crochet is Marken, from Colorado in the United States. Having tried plenty of crafts in her time, it was crochet that Marken was drawn to. Once Marken’s daughter was born, she began to create cute, colourful crochet hats for her and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, Marken has a thriving Etsy business, selling her unique and fun crochet patterns. I’ve rounded up some of my faves below…

Crayon Box Blanket Crochet Pattern

Image courtesy of The Hat & I Crochet

The Crayon Box Blanket pattern is the one that first caught my eye and it’s one that I’ve now purchased myself! I figured a blanket is one of the easier types of crochet projects to start with if I’m looking to better my skills. I’m planning to make this for my daughter in similar colours and I know she will absolutely love the finished item. The colours are so pretty and just check out that lacey edge of the border!

In terms of the pattern itself, I can say that it’s very clear and there are detailed images for the tricky bits (which may not be all that tricky for some of you)! In addition, the pattern explains the materials and quantities needed and gives guidance on sizing for if making a smaller blanket.

I will post my progress on the blog once I get going with it. Watch this space!

Owl Obsession Afghan Crochet Pattern

Image courtesy of The Hat & I Crochet

I love the clever detail of this colourful owl afghan blanket. I’m sure this pattern is way beyond my crochet capabilities at the moment, but I hope one day that I’ll be able to make it (even just making the owls would be pretty cool).

Lucky Dragon Hood & Cowl Crochet Pattern

Image courtesy of The Hat & I Crochet

What kid wouldn’t love this hooded cowl? In fact, what adult wouldn’t?! This pattern includes three sizes; toddler, child and adult, so you can make it for all the members of the family and possibly a lot of your friends too.

Owl Always Love You Crochet Pattern

Image courtesy of The Hat & I Crochet

You know those cute owls I mentioned earlier? Well, there is a pattern to just make some of these as a standalone project (they are a slightly different design to those cute owls on the afghan blanket pattern).

Busy Bees Crochet Pattern

Image courtesy of The Hat & I Crochet

You can make a hive of busy bees with this fun amigurumi pattern! Use for home decor, gifts for kids, ornaments and more!

Tutti Frutti Crochet Hat Pattern

Image courtesy of The Hat & I Crochet

This hat! It’s vibrancy just sings to me! The pattern includes instructions for 5 different sizes; 0-6 months, 6-12 months, toddler, child and adult.

Cat Lover Afghan Blanket Pattern

Image courtesy of The Hat & I Crochet

My sister is a cat lover and I think she would love this blanket. I’m wondering if I could make it as a Christmas present for her. There’s a lot of time between now and then, so possibly – but maybe I should see how the Crayon Box Blanket goes first! Check out the pattern here.

With All My Heart Afghan Blanket Crochet Pattern

Image courtesy of The Hat & I Crochet

I love how intricately linked the hearts are in this afghan blanket pattern! This would make a lovely gift for a young lady’s bed or for a baby’s crib. The pattern includes different sizes, so you can adjust accordingly.

There are even more patterns to choose from!

These are just a small selection of the patterns available over at The Hat & I Crochet. At the time of writing this post, there are 192 patterns in stock! What’s more, there are some great discounts available if you happen to be buying multiple patterns.

For example, you can get 10% off your order if you spend more than $15 and as much as 20% off your order if you spend over $50. Check out the coupon codes at the top of each pattern for more details.

Finally…

Thanks to Marken for letting me feature her Etsy shop and use her images for this post. Her shop is well worth checking out, so if you have a minute, do head on over to Etsy to browse her store.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Before you go, take a look at some of my other posts that may interest you:

*Affiliate links to Etsy are included in this post. This means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you or any of the designers above. I only ever recommend products that I truly love and any commissions help me to keep this site up and running. Thank you for using my links if you’re able to.

**The images in this post have been used with permission from The Hat & I Crochet. Please do not copy or reproduce.

The post Etsy Seller Special Feature: The Hat & I Crochet appeared first on Craftaholique.

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Out of all the emails that I receive to my Craftaholique email address, I’d have to say my favourite ones are notifications from Etsy to say that someone has bought one of my beading patterns!

Over the last year, I’ve been ramping up my Etsy business and it’s really starting to make a difference to the level of income I earn every month. In fact, without it, I’d be a bit lost now, to be honest!

I’m actually making good money from doing something that I’m really passionate about – and the best part is that it’s mostly passive.

I spend time creating a pattern before uploading it up to my Etsy shop and then I can sell it as a digital download time and time again, without having to do anything further. I do get quite a few enquiries, so I sometimes have to respond to emails, but that’s about all.

Here are some stats of my Etsy income over the last year in case you’re interested!

As you can see, I had a great month in September! Sales have declined a little in the last quarter of the year, but I haven’t been adding as many patterns as I’d like to my shop. Surprisingly though, January is set to be a good month!

Reflecting on my shop’s progress over the last year has got me to thinking that there really are so many opportunities on Etsy for anyone with some design skills to make passive income. The platform is ideal for crafters who are used to making their own patterns – and especially good for graphic designers too.

Take a look below at some of the ways it’s possible to earn income passively with Etsy through digital products.

1. Patterns

I’ve already mentioned beading patterns, but you can also sell crochet, sewing and knitting patterns very successfully on Etsy. You can create patterns using tools like PhotoShop or Adobe Illustrator, but there are also specific software packages available that make life a lot easier.

For creating my beading patterns, I use BeadTool 4 currently. In terms of software for creating knitting, sewing or crochet patterns, I may research and review some packages thoroughly for a future post, so watch this space!

2. Printables and templates

So many people love printables! From fancy text quotes and digital cards, through to planning charts and to-do lists, if you’re good at graphic design and have software like Adobe Illustrator, this is a market you can tap into. Once created, they can be downloaded time and time again from Etsy as a digital file, earning you passive income in the process.

You can even use Microsoft Excel and Word to create downloadable templates e.g. Resume templates and sample budget spreadsheets. Take a look at some of these downloadable printables and templates on Etsy for inspiration.



3. Blog and social media headers

If you know how to create backgrounds and profile headers for blogs (e.g. that are built on WordPress and Blogger),  you can sell them as premade designs for bloggers to download and use. If you want to earn even more money in this area, you can offer custom design services for bloggers who would like a more tailored design for their blogs. Obviously, bespoke design work wouldn’t class as passive income, but would be a nice earner for you!

In addition, you could charge for creating social media headers for Facebook and Twitter in much the same way. Check out similar digital products on Etsy here.

4. Photo art

Fancy yourself as the next David Bailey? If you’re creative with a camera, why not consider selling your photos as art on Etsy? You could offer printed versions, but if you’re interested in passive income, simply offer digital downloads instead. For examples on Etsy, click here.

IMPORTANT: MAKE YOUR OWN DIGITAL PRODUCTS ORIGINAL!

Do feel free to browse Etsy to see the type of shops on there that are selling digital products already and hopefully you’ll get some good inspiration for what sort of products you might be able to create yourself.

But, don’t attempt to copy what another Etsy shop is already doing. The chances are that you’d fail because you’d be a fledgeling shop doing what successful shops are already doing really well – plus, it’s just not right to try to copy someone who has worked really hard to get to where they’re at.

Figure out what you can create that’s unique compared to other Etsy shops and go from there. Bringing something different to the marketplace will most certainly work in your favour!

Finally…

I hope this post has inspired you to work on creating a passive income stream through digital products on Etsy. If you have any questions about setting up an Etsy shop, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will do my best to help you!

Before you go, these other posts I’ve written may interest you:

*Affiliate links to Etsy are included in this post. This means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you or any of the designers above. I only ever recommend products that I truly love and any commissions help me to keep this site up and running. Thank you for using my links if you’re able to.

**All images © Craftaholique.

The post How to Earn Passive Income on Etsy appeared first on Craftaholique.

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This is my first post of the year – so Happy New Year! I hope you had a good one!

I’ve had a few weeks away from crafting and blogging as I’ve been on holiday with my family. The break has given me time to think about what I want to achieve in 2018.

Now I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions, since I hardly ever keep them – especially ones like losing weight and going to the gym more often! But I really would like to improve my skills in various areas this year – and I’ve already taken steps to do so!

Here’s what I’d like to achieve:

Take my beading skills to the next level

I love beading as you’ll probably know, especially peyote stitch projects. This year, I’d like to do some more advanced beading, by challenging myself to take on projects that involve a few different stitches together and also learning how to shape beadwork and create 3D beaded designs.

Learn crochet (properly)

I’m also a big fan of crochet and I love watching other crafters work their magic with a little yarn. I can do crochet and have made a few things before, like hats and gloves, but I can never seem to get the tension right! And I don’t think I’ve made something where I haven’t made at least one very noticeable mistake. So I’d like to get better at this craft too.

Design WordPress websites for businesses

My blog is built on WordPress and I love working with it. I’ve taught myself a lot of pretty cool technical things over the years and I’m fairly good with it overall. This year, I’d like to add WordPress web design to my freelancing services (I currently write, blog and manage social media for businesses).

With that said, I’ve recently enrolled in a fantastic course from Udemy (an online learning platform) which teaches WordPress from the ground up and explains how to offer WordPress web design as a service to others. It has a whopping 92 tasks (video lectures etc.) to work through and I’m only on number 9! But already, I know this course is going to help me out so much.

If you fancy learning the nitty gritty about WordPress, check out the course here. I enrolled when it was on sale at just £10.99 (regular price £150) – so it was well worth it! What’s more, 3,600+ students from all over the world, including myself now, highly recommend it. I would have happily paid the full price, now that I know what the course involves.

This is the first time I’ve used Udemy for online learning and I’m very impressed! There are so many courses to browse and take part in – including business, design, marketing, photography, drawing and even dog training! Browse categories via the home page here.

Work smarter in relation to my freelancing business

My freelancing business is going well, but I’d like to do even better this year and bring home a bit more bacon.

In order to improve on my business, I need to work on being more proactive in looking for new clients and more confident when it comes to charging my worth. It’s always hard asking for a pay rise from existing clients, but I actually already did this before Christmas, so at least I’m kind of on track with this one!

Finally…

I also want to keep on blogging and building up my Etsy business too! These are my priorities for the year ahead and as long as I keep reflecting on my progress, hopefully I will have achieved some of these goals by the end of 2018.

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Please share them with me in the comments below!

*Affiliate links are included in this post to Etsy. This means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you. I only ever recommend products that I think are great and any commissions help me to keep this site up and running. Thank you for using my links if you’re able to.

The post 4 (Crafty and Non-Crafty) Skills I Want to Improve on in 2018 appeared first on Craftaholique.

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I was hoping to get another craft tutorial post published today, but time has got the better of me this week! I’m going away shortly for the Christmas break with my family and what with packing and getting loose ends tied up with work; I’ve had to give crafting a miss.

But don’t worry, because I’m not going to leave you high and dry! I’ve rounded up some of my favourite Christmas and winter crafts in this post from other bloggers. Do check them out below if you can spare some creative time for yourself before Christmas.

DIY Christmas Embroidery Hoop Wreath

Image courtesy of Lydi Out Loud

Make a Christmas wreath with a difference! It’s amazing what you can do with an embroidery hoop, some wooden coasters, a glue gun and some seasonal foliage! Check out this great tutorial over at Lydi Out Loud.

DIY Beaded Mittens

Image courtesy of The House That Lars Built

A winter craft for bead lovers everywhere – and wouldn’t these make a fabulous Christmas present for someone? Find out how to make these beautiful beaded mittens over at The House That Lars Built!

Small World Inspired Christmas Garland

Image courtesy of A Peace of Creativity

I just had to include this Christmas craft because it’s inspired by an attraction at Disney, “It’s a Small World” – and it just so happens that I’m going to Disney for my holiday in just a few days time! I must look out for it!

This pretty garland is made with white tinsel, glass baubles and lighting – check out this excellent tutorial over at A Peace of Creativity.

Victorian Storefront Gingerbread House

Image courtesy of Vintage Kitty

Love baking? Why not take the gingerbread house to a whole new level! Over at Vintage Kitty, you’ll find a free template plus recipe and instructions for a beautiful, quaint-looking gingerbread toy store.

Easy Rustic Christmas Pillowcases (with Freezer Paper)

Image courtesy of The Crafting Nook

Yes, you read that correctly… you can use freezer paper to make the reindeer design on these super cute pillowcases! Find out how in this great tutorial from The Crafting Nook.

Ice Lanterns

I came across some ice lanterns (or candles) that can be put outside in your front porch or alongside your path to light the way for your Christmas guests! If the weather is really cold where you live, these ice lanterns could last for a few days. Learn how to make them over at Practically Functional.

Holiday Throw Free Knitting Pattern

Keep yourself cosy this Christmas with this fun holiday throw – there’s a free knitting pattern and instructions for it over at Gina Michele. Because super large knitting needles are involved, this throw works up quite quickly too.

I hope you enjoy checking out these great Christmas / Winter craft tutorials from talented bloggers around the web! Huge thanks to the bloggers that have let me use their image to feature them.

Before you go, you might also like to check out some of my Christmas inspired tutorials too – here’s a list in case you missed them.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m going on holiday for the Christmas break, so this is the last post from me during 2017! I’ll be back with more crafty blog posts early January though.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

*All images used with permission from the individual bloggers featured above.

The post Blog Love: Christmas / Winter Crafts Edition appeared first on Craftaholique.

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In this tutorial, find out how to make some pretty star shaped earrings out of Miyuki Delicas!

In the steps below, I’ll be covering how to do the beadweaving technique “Brick Stitch”, including how to decrease and increase rows in order to form a star shape. Included in this post is a free pattern to guide you.

Once you’ve made your star shapes, you can easily turn them into earrings, either studs or dangly ones!

You’ll need the following materials if you want to follow along:

Before I go into the step by step instructions for this tutorial, take a look at this bead chart above, as this is the pattern that you’ll need to follow when you’re making your own earrings. Allocate whatever colours you’re using to A and B in the pattern.

In this particular pattern, it’s easiest to start from the 3rd row up from the bottom, so the row with 3 x A beads and 1 x B.  I’ll explain why imminently!

Step 1: Start with a row of ladder stitch

Pick up two beads to begin with (working from the 3rd row up from the bottom in the bead chart). Take your needle and thread back through the first bead and then through the second bead, so that the beads sit side by side, as shown in the above photo.

Keep picking up beads for the rest of the row, working in a sort of figure of 8 shape with your needle and thread to make the beads sit side by side. It will look like a little ladder of beads by the time you get to the end of the row, hence the name ladder stitch!

The reason we’re starting with this row is so that the beads above it will have a good base to be stitched to when we move onto brick stitch in the next step.

Step 2: Decreasing brick stitch

To begin a new row (and every time you begin a new row in brick stitch), pick up two beads in colours according to the pattern, so gold and red in my case.

The beads need to indent slightly for this row, so you’ll need to work in a decreasing stitch. To do this, pass the needle and thread under the second “bridge” of thread away from the last bead, as shown above.

When you’ve done that, pass your needle back up through the red bead only. This will allow your beads to sit nicely on top of the row of ladder stitch that you did before.

Continue following the pattern, picking up one bead at a time, until you reach the end of the row. Pass your needle and thread under the next “bridge” along from now on. When you do the next row, you’ll need to decrease again, so just follow the steps above.

Step 3: Increasing brick stitch

On your fourth row, you’ll need to increase the number of beads during the row to form the star shape. Pick up two beads to start the new row, just like before. But instead of going under the second “bridge” from the last bead, go under the first “bridge” instead. See the above pic as an example. Then go back up through the red bead.

When you get to the end of this row, you’ll need to increase by a bead there also. To do this, pick up the last bead in the row and go down through the gold bead directly under where this one will sit (see pic above).

Then, pass your needle and thread through the red bead right next to that one and back up into the top row. Your thread should be exiting at this point in the third bead away from the gold bead that you just threaded on.

You’ll need to get back to that top gold bead on the end, so weave your thread down into the red bead on the left and then up through that original gold bead. See photos below.

Follow the steps above to increase your beads again for the next row. But this time, leave your thread exiting out of the third bead away from the end as this is where you’ll need to be to create the “pointy” bit of the star shape!

Step 4: Create the pointy bits!

With your thread exiting out of the third gold bead along the last row (or the third gold bead from the end), pick up two beads for the next row. As you’re decreasing the shape, skip the first “bridge” of thread and go under the second “bridge”. Go back up the last gold bead so your thread is coming out of the top of it.

You’ll find that the beads won’t sit very well. All you need to do is pass your needle and thread down through the first of the new beads and then back up into the last bead. Think ladder stitch again, where you’re working in a figure of 8 with the thread.

Your thread will still be exiting out of one of the gold beads at the top. For the last bead, which will create the point, pick up one bead and go down through the other gold bead.

Weave your thread down to the other end of the star shape, making sure that your thread exits out of the third bead away from the end. Repeat the process there to create the other point of your star!

Finally…

Repeat all the steps to make another star shape. You can then create stud earrings with them by dabbing a little glue onto an ear post and sticking them on. Make sure to let the glue dry properly (at least one hour) before you wear them.

Alternatively, attach jump rings to the top pointy beads and then connect earwires to them to make a pair of dangly earrings!

I hope you liked this tutorial and that I’ve explained increasing and decreasing brick stitch well enough! I’m hoping to do some video tutorials next year, which may be easier to follow, so watch this space!

If you liked this post, please take a moment to share this online with your social media followers. Thank you!

Before you go, you might like to check out some of my other beadwork tutorials below:

*Affiliate links to Etsy are contained in this post. This means that I will receive a small commission should you decide to purchase anything through one of my links, at no cost to you. I only ever recommend products that I think are great and any commissions received help me to keep this site up and running! Thanks for using my links if you are able to!

**All images © Craftaholique.

The post How to Make Brick Stitch Star Earrings appeared first on Craftaholique.

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I have a fun tutorial for you today on how to make your own Christmas crackers using the Silhouette Cameo!

The great thing about making your own crackers for your Christmas table decor is that you can fill them with really unique token gifts as well as funny jokes that your dinner guests will love (let’s face it; shop-bought crackers can be a bit lame).

You’ll need the following materials if you’d like to make these:

Step 1: Use wrapping paper to create a design for your Christmas crackers

Cut out enough Christmas wrapping paper to stick to one piece of A4 card. The wrapping paper you choose will be the basis for the cracker design, so make sure it’s nice and festive! Cover all of the card with the glue so that the wrapping paper sticks down everywhere. Trim the edges with scissors when you’re done, so that there is no wrapping paper overlapping the card.

Step 2: Load the card into the Silhouette Cameo

Line up the card in the top corner of the Silhouette cutting mat. The cutting mat is sticky, so the card will stick into place. Then load the cutting mat with the card on top into the Silhouette Cameo. Open up the Silhouette Cameo Studio software onto your PC or Mac and then open this cutting file that I’ve designed. Hopefully, your screen should look something like the above screenshot at this point!

Within the design, you’ll see two cracker shapes with black lines and red lines. The black lines will be perforated and the red lines scored.

Access the “SEND” menu, click on the “Action by” line and make sure your settings are like those in the screenshot, with the boxes selected next to the red and black squares. The click the blue “SEND” button at the bottom.

Step 3: Weed off excess around the cracker shapes

When the cracker shapes have been cut, you can then weed away the excess around the edge and the little diamond shapes in between the crackers. See photos above. You can use a craft knife or Silhouette weeding tool for this.

Once you’ve weeded away the excess, remove the main cracker shapes from the cutting mat. The easiest way to do this is to turn the mat over and peel the mat away from the shapes. Take care around the small dotted lines near those diamond shapes as they are very delicate!

Step 4: Fold your crackers!

Make sure all the wrapping paper edges are stuck down before you begin folding. Then fold the dotted lines first, at both ends of the cracker, to create the concertina effect. Then fold the cracker along the score lines afterwards.

Glue the edges together on the folded tabs and stick! You may want to glue cracker snaps into place at this point too, so that the cracker “pops” open when pulled.

When the cracker is dry, you’ll be able to pull on the handles to open up the middle and slot in a little gift or joke. To finish, tie a little ribbon around the handles to pull the cracker closed and to make them look pretty!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial – let me know if you decide to make some!

Before you go, why not check out some of my other Christmas crafts below:

*Affiliate links to Etsy, Hobbycraft and Amazon are included in this post. This means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you. Craftaholique is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.co.uk and www.amazon.com. I only ever recommend products that I think are great and any commissions help me to keep this site up and running. Thank you for using my links if you’re able to.

**All images © Craftaholique.

The post How to Make Christmas Crackers appeared first on Craftaholique.

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