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National Craft Month 2018 is here! Every year, we celebrate the craftiest month of the year by releasing a new craft project each day in March. These crafts cover a wide range of hobbies, from crochet and knitting to recycled crafts, paper crafts, and more!
Visit our hub page on FaveCrafts.com to get a sneak preview of all the beautiful projects we’re featuring this year! Bookmark this National Craft Month page to make sure you don’t miss each new project!
Today, our friends at Therm O Web have a darling new bobbin necklace tutorial they’re sharing:
This darling bobbin necklace is such an easy jewelry making project, and you can customize the different bobbins with various threads and fabric scraps to create unique designs each time. The star charm is an elegant finishing touch. Long necklaces make beautiful accessories for so many outfits, and this is a particularly crafty one!
Check back tomorrow to see our next project, an Interwoven Cabled Chic Shawl crochet pattern from Red Heart:
This gorgeous shawl features stacked double crochet stitches and an amazing cable border. Cables aren’t just for knitting! The height of this shawl makes it ideal for wrapping so many ways for a cozy yet chic accessory.
Get a sneak peek of so many more projects to come!
Plus, we’re giving away a grand prize giveaway! The National Craft Month Extravagant Grand Prize Giveaway lasts throughout the entire month of March, and there are so many ways to win! Enter to win on the giveaway page, and you can get BONUS giveaways by commenting on the different craft projects! Make sure you use the hashtag #NationalCraftMonth2018 to qualify for the bonus entry.
Every year we adore seeing new craft trends at the Creativation show. It’s wonderful to get an insider’s look at what new projects and motifs are up and coming! We love sharing what’s new with our readers. Here are some of the popular trending crafts from Creativation 2018.
Birds of Paradise, especially Toucans
Toucans and other tropical birds were everywhere at Creativation this year! There was a cute toucan make and take, and I saw toucan paper, fabric, and other crafts with toucans at the show.
It’s true: pom poms are here to stay. There was plenty of pom pom rick rack, ribbon, and other pom pom details on knit and crocheted projects. The Craft Yarn Council made pom poms at their booth this year, too.
Craft trends are always fantastic to keep in mind when searching for a thrilling new project to make. Here you can get a head start on some of the hottest crafts for 2018! Resources like Pinterest, Google, The Columbian, and other sites have posted top searches from 2017 to predict 2018’s trends. Check out some of our favorite predictions below!
Craft Trends 2018
These stunning beauties can take a formal outfit to the next level. Perfect for winter weddings and dressy dinners.
Here at Prime Publishing, we love it when we get to try new projects with some of the brands we work with! Last week, our friends from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L came by our Northbrook, IL office to teach us how to make a darling birthday card.
Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L likes to promote “wearing adhesive on the outside”, which is showcased beautifully in this birthday card with the photo corners! Several of our editors signed up to make this fun card.
Editors hard at work putting together their cards!
Media Director Beth Pingry showed us how to use their E-Z Runner® Grand to adhere the layers of paper. We also used 3D foam adhesive between some layers to give the card more dimension.
Did you know it’s easier to place all the photo corners on the card before pressing it down? For some reason I thought positioning the paper first would be better, but not so! It’s much easier to get the photo corners in place before pressing it down.
Margie and Beth trimmed the photo corners down ahead of time for us, which made them easier to work with! They come packaged on a larger sheet.
Aren’t those foil shapes darling? Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L sells foil that works with their adhesive shapes for an easy and pretty embellishment.
Here’s what some of our editors had to say:
“I was amazed how quick and easy the project was! When I saw what we would be making, I thought it looked so beautiful and complex that it would take at least an hour – but the whole project only took 30 minutes! The photo corners are so fun to work with, and I love the vintage touch that they gave to the final card.”- Chelsea Scarnegie, AllFreeHolidayCrafts.com Editor
“I’ve done a decent amount of scrapbooking, and these were my favorite photo corners. I loved how the back portion extended out an extra long distance, providing more stability for the paper. And the ability to make cards that were three-dimensional was so much fun—it was like something out of the pretty card section at a store.” – Jessica Thelander, 103 Recipe Cookbooks Editor
“I really enjoyed using the products from Scrapbook Adhesives to create a beautiful birthday card. Specifically, the photo corners we used made the design pop and provided a fun retro vibe. I also loved using different layering techniques and adhesives to add dimension to the card. I haven’t decided who will be the lucky recipient of the card, but I’m sure he or she will be very impressed!” – Kathryn Abrams, AllFreeKnitting.com Editor
“I really enjoyed how easy making this particular card was! You could easily make a lot for say, Christmas, in no time at all. I thought the creative possibilities with the photo corners (especially when they showed us the other colors they came in) were amazing!” – Jamie Garcia, RecipeLion.com Editor
“I really liked the card that we made. It was easy to construct, and the finished product was lovely. I was also impressed by how many different ways you can use the photo corners. I never would have guessed how versatile they are!” – Kristin Anderson, TheWineBuyingGuide.com Editor
“I really enjoyed the make and take with 3L! The photo corners were easy to use and added a lot of character. I especially liked the foil accent – it was so simple but added sparkle without creating a mess like glitter sometimes does. I’m going to give this card to my mom for her birthday!” Natalie Taylor, AllFreeCasseroleRecipes.com Editor
Cheryl from Simply Shoeboxes is guest posting with us today to share how you can make a difference this holiday season with Operation Christmas Child.
In 1993 Samaritan’s Purse was asked if they could provide shoeboxes* with gifts and necessities to the children of war torn Bosnia. Across the Southeastern United States they collected 28,000 shoebox gifts. Since that time Operation Christmas Child (OCC) has grown to have collections not only in the U.S., but also in Canada, the U.K., Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Spain, New Zealand and Japan. They have delivered over 146 million shoeboxes in 160 countries. Each shoebox is packed by an individual, family or group hosting a packing party.
We sent two shoeboxes in 1993, one from each of my young daughters; and since that first year it has become a yearly event in our family. We are so hooked on shoebox packing that my daughter, Sarah, and I write a blog dedicated to our journey called Simply Shoeboxes. We like to include handcrafted items in our boxes which make them more personal. Since I love crafting and I love kids, it is a perfect match of two passions. I wanted to share with FaveCrafts readers how you, too, can use your love of crafting to help kids in crisis around the world.
OCC Shoeboxes Delivered by Wagon in Madagascar
OCC collects shoeboxes each year the week before Thanksgiving. This year’s goal is 9.5 million shoeboxes for the US and 12 million worldwide. Many boxes arrive at the processing center with few items inside or items that are not allowed and need removed (candy, toothpaste, breakables, war related, liquids). This leaves gaps in the boxes which volunteers fill with items donated for this purpose. These extra gifts are called “fillers.” This is where crafters can step in and help fill that need.
There are six ways to donate crafts to the Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing efforts. The following is based on donations in the US. If you are in another country check with your country’s guidelines as they may differ in some ways.
Teddy Bear Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child
Six Ways to Donate Your Handcrafts to Kids in Need Around the World thru OCC
Pack a Shoebox
You can pack your own shoebox gift and include your handcrafted items. Choose an average sized shoebox and include such things as toys, hygiene items, clothes and school supplies (many children around the world can’t go to school because the parents can’t afford school supplies). Hobby Lobby stores and local churches often have the OCC shoeboxes available for free. You can find out all the information on the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox website. Find a local drop off location open during national collection week thru the OCC link above–there are over 5000 nationwide.
Find a Shoebox Packer
If you don’t want to pack a shoebox, find someone who does pack and offer to donate handcrafted items to their packing effort. Any packer would be thrilled for donations. We have two ladies from opposite ends of the country who send us items to help us pack more boxes and we greatly appreciate it. If you don’t know anyone personally who packs, call local churches or stop by our Simply Shoeboxes Facebook page and leave a comment that you are looking for a local person to donate to. Or if you would like to ship your handcrafted items to someone who packs, we can also help you find someone thru our page.
OCC Packing Party for Kids
Find a Packing Party
Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing parties are held around the country. Some are for packing a few dozen up to one in PA that packs over 25,000. This year we are hosting two for the kids at church–one for 100 shoeboxes and the other for 200. You can imagine the number of items needed for these. As mentioned above, check with local churches or our Facebook page to find one near you or to ship your items to.
Drop Off at a Collection Center
The week before Thanksgiving each year there are thousands of OCC collection centers at which to drop off your shoeboxes. They also take boxes of filler items. Pack your handcrafted items in a box (NOT a shoebox) and mark “fillers” on the outside and drop them off. You can find a location near you thru this link: Operation Christmas Child shoebox drop off location (these are only listed during the late fall).
OCC Shoeboxes Stacked to Donate
Drop off at an OCC Processing Center
Each year thousands of volunteers check each shoebox to be sure there are no items on the “do not send” list. Operation Christmas Child has processing centers open for several weeks after collection week in Baltimore, MD, Charlotte, NC, Boone, NC, Atlanta, GA, Dallas, TX, Minneapolis, MN, Denver, CO and Orange County, CA. Fillers can be packed in boxes marked “fillers” and dropped off at one of these. You can contact Operation Christmas Child to find out the location and hours of operation, or call (828) 262-1980.
Guidelines for Craft Donations as Fillers for OCC Shoeboxes
Operation Christmas Child divides the shoeboxes into six groups: 2 to 4 year old girls, 2 to 4 year old boys, 5 to 9 year old girls, 5 to 9 year old boys, 10 to 14 year old girls, and 10 to 14 year old boys. Any item appropriate for a child in any of these groups can be donated. Including but not limited to:
Remember it needs to be small enough to fit in an average sized shoebox with other gifts. I advise people to use the size of a quart mayonnaise jar as a guide. If the item when folded, rolled or ready for packing is not much larger than that it should fit fine.
Crafters have the opportunity to craft what they choose and to craft as much as they would like. There are groups who knit hundreds of sweaters yearly, a retired gentleman who makes hundreds of wooden cars, a 100 year old gal who sews dresses and thousands of crafters across the globe crafting all kinds handcrafts for shoeboxes. It is also a great opportunity to gets kids crafting for kids.
Shoebox Crafting Communities
So if you love crafting and are looking for an outlet for your crafts that can make a difference in the life a child, look into donating thru Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. And if you like communities, here are some Facebook pages for OCC shoebox packers and crafters:
Carpenter Mission Zambia Shoebox Distribution 2016
Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Distributions
OCC works with local churches and other agencies within the receiving countries to distribute the shoeboxes. If you would like to learn more about the distributions or see more images, we have three guest posts on our blog from ladies who have been involved in distributions. You can find them here: Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Distribution Stories.
Thank you to Jennifer Carpenter for this image of the Zambia OCC shoebox distribution and the smiling girl at the top. All other shoebox distribution images courtesy of Operation Christmas Child.
Questions about Operation Christmas Child
If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them; and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll do my best to find it. You can reach me at thesimplyblogs @ gmail[dot]com.
Samaritan Purse Gift Catalog
Samaritan’s Purse is much larger than Operation Christmas Child. They are an international relief agency that helps after natural disasters here in the US and around the globe. They also have dozens of other relief efforts helping children, women, families and communities with medical, farming, schooling, clean water and much more. Check out their Christmas Catalog for a quick overview of the types of things they do.
Life Saver Snowman Set
Share Your Craft Images
And finally, if you craft items to donate thru Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes I’d love to see them. Stop by our Simply Shoeboxes Facebook page and post them.
*Please note: Operation Christmas Child and packers around the world write shoe boxes as one word: shoeboxes. For consistency, this article includes that spelling.
So you’ve just learned to crochet or knit. That’s fantastic! Great beginner patterns include knit or crocheted dishcloths and scarves. Once you’ve mastered some of these basic patterns, it’s time to graduate to afghans!
7 Absurdly Easy Afghans for Beginners
Beginner Knit Afghan Patterns
Homespun Country Cousins Knit Baby Blanket, by the designers from Lion Brand Yarn
Okay, so I recently unearthed the Homespun Country Cousins Knit Baby Blanket pattern on FaveCrafts and I love it so much! It is probably the easiest knit afghan pattern we have. Whip up squares of garter stitch and seam the squares together with a contrasting yarn for that country look. You can make this blanket bigger by just working up more squares, too!
Chunky Funky One Day Blanket, by Lynn Spencer from nourishandnestle.com
This Chunky Funky One Day Blanket features a basic stockinette stitch. Beginner knitters should be reasonably comfortable with this stitch because this pattern features oversized needles and yarn to complete it. The results are so worth it!
Easy Chunky Knit Blanket, by the designers of Bernat Yarns
This pattern will make you pay attention, but it’s still so easy for beginners! Get the effect of those unique textured bars with this Easy Chunky Knit Blanket pattern. It looks great with a variegated yarn or a solid! A solid will help draw attention to the texture even more.
Under 6 Hours Crochet Throw Pattern, by the designers of Lion Brand Yarn
This fast pattern is wildly easy. The Under 6 Hours Crochet Throw Pattern features the V stitch—one of my favorite beginner stitches ever!—and you hold three strands of yarn together so it works up ultra quickly.
Red Crochet Afghan, by the designers of Bernat
The name says it all. This Red Crochet Afghan just has a few pattern steps that repeat. The combinations of chain stitches, single, and double crochets give this pattern a lovely texture.
Stashbuster Granny Stripe Afghan, by Amy Ramnarine from thestitchinmommy.com
Master the basic granny stitch, which is essentially clusters of double crochet, and you can complete this Stashbuster Granny Stripe Afghan pattern. Some very easy color changing along with a fundamental stitch are all you need to know.
Colourful Granny Rainbow Crochet Baby Blanket, by Kirsten Ballering from haakmaarraak.nl
This Colourful Granny Rainbow Crochet Baby Blanket may look complicated, but it’s much easier than you think. Beginners who’ve mastered the granny square can pull off this pattern with just a bit of basic color changing and joins.
Rainbow Loom is such a great idea for kids who love to go outside the box with their crafting. It’s so crazy to even think how we are now able to create cute little Rainbow Loom animals out of something as simple as rubber bands, and oh boy is this craft idea addictive. I currently have several different Rainbow Loom animals decorating my keys and random places around my house. I love learning new patterns, especially when they’re as cute as the Rainbow Loom Elephant Charm. This Rainbow Loom pattern was even easier for me to conquer because there was an amazing video that took me step by step through the process.
The great thing about Rainbow Loom is that it can definitely keep kids entertained for hours. I mean it’s almost impossible to get bored over these neat design ideas. My little niece is actually the one who showed me how to make my first Rainbow Loom animal. We both decided that the Slithering Rainbow Loom Snakes pattern was the way to go because it’s a little easier on beginners. We had a lot of fun working on this little project together. So if you’re looking for some bonding time ideas with your kids, this activity is definitely a great idea. They will love being able to teach their parents what they learned how to do.
Fun Rainbow Loom Animal Patterns
You can never go wrong with adorable Rainbow Loom animals. These amazing tutorials are great for guiding your kids through the process slowly so they don’t get frustrated over this activity. Pretty soon your house will be filled with tons of these rubber band animals.
These Rainbow Loom videos just made creating cute little charms a lot easier! You’ll find that it’s hard to keep your kids from making tons of rubber band animals after they get a hold of these fun Rainbow Loom designs.
Rainbow Loom Jellyfish Charm
The great thing about this Rainbow Loom Jellyfish Charm is that it’s one of the easier animal charm patterns. So if you come across this post and your kids are just beginning to master the art of the Rainbow Loom, then this is one of the first animal charms that they should tackle.
Rainbow Loom: JELLYFISH Charm: How to Design / Tutorial (DIY Mommy) - YouTube
Rainbow Loom 3D “Piggy Bank” Charm
The first thing that popped into my head when I saw this Piggy Bank charm was the little pig from Toy Story. I love pigs, so of course when I saw it I was very excited to share the idea with my niece. Her Piggy Bank Charm count is at 5 and growing.
Hey guys! As you may remember, in part 1 of “Craft Tutorials and How Tos You Might Have Missed” we helped introduce you to some easy DIY craft ideas for the home. Well, good news-a similar list is back again! These free and simple crafting tips will help make your DIY adventures magical and are helpful to any and all skill-levels. Although you may think that you are doing crafting the easy way, these home craft tutorials will help you avoid common mistakes that every crafter makes.
Even if you are an experienced crafter, having access to free crafting tutorials can never hurt! These simple craft how tos will teach you how to create unique, beautiful pieces for your home without the added stress and expense. Make crafting fun and relaxing again by using this helpful list as a crafting resource for you and your friends! The best way to learn about helpful crafting techniques is by sharing with those around us. So what are you waiting for? Start reading part 2 for priceless crafting insight!
Every year we attend Creativation, the Craft and Hobby Association’s annual trade show. We network, learn about the latest trends, and afterwards we put on our favorite crafts from Creativation contest. Our bloggers make innovative projects using the new products they received at our annual networking event for a chance to win a cash prize!
This year, we selected 20 finalists based on certain criteria. Ingenuity while using the sponsor product, well-written instructions, and high quality photos were among the qualifiers. And it was so challenging to narrow down the entries, but we’re confident you’ll enjoy the projects you see in this list of finalists.
Be sure to scroll down to see the three winners from our Best Blogger Contest 2017!