Christmas Spiders!

IMG_0671

I found this idea on the net last year. I thought it was such a cute story, and I had dozens of ideas for sparkly spiders. I decided to make it this years Christmas craft.  (I do something every year for co-workers and friends).

There are two basic parts to this project. The spiders, and the presentation cards.

First, let’s make some sparkly, pretty spiders. Size is your choice, I wanted them to fit my cards, but you can do bigger or smaller to suit your taste. The sizes listed are what worked best to fit on the standard card stock I printed the story on. I found some beautiful beads at the craft store, but you can find amazing ones online or in your unused jewelry box.

IMG_0639

You will need for each spider:
Large bead for bottom (22-24mm)
Flattened bead for middle (20mm)
Smaller bead for head (16mm)
Tube beads, seed beads, mixed beads for the legs (I used mixed glass beads)
Eye pin
Beading wire (20 gage gold) color to complement beads
Round tip pliers
Wire cutters

IMG_0653

I like the mixed bead boxes for this project. The assortment of beads and colors can do hundreds of combinations for the legs. It is also a good way to use up leftover beads.  *tip: I work with a  wash cloth nder my beads, it keeps them from rolling around, and fingertip moistener makes them easier to grab.

IMG_0655

Start with 4 pieces of beading wire 6 inches long. These will be the legs. Bend a small circle at the end, put beads on until you have 2 1/2″ filled, bend a loop in wire, this will be the center loop. Bead the reverse of what you did, to do the other leg and end with another circle.

Do four of these, repeating the same pattern for each leg.

IMG_0656

Take the headpin (with the eye on the end) and put on the largest bead, (mine kept sliding off the eye, so I added a smaller glass bead to make it stay).  Next, thread on two of the  leg wires, the middle flattened bead, the two remaining legs, then the  head bead. ( I also put a small glass bead here too).  Using the pliers, bend the remaining wire into another loop and wind around to snug up all the beads and legs. You want to stiffen up the body, so the legs don’t flop around too much. Clip off any remaining wire. I couldn’t decide if they should hang from the head (climbing up) or the bottom (climbing down) so I put eyes on both ends. You decide! (Mine just sat on branches and sparkled!)

IMG_0657

Bend the legs into a pleasing shape. I pulled the front legs above the head, next set facing forward. The back legs supporting the bottom, and slightly pulled back.

IMG_0658

To make the cards, you’ll need card stock, a computer and printer. I think the story is important for explaining why you need a spider in your Christmas tree. By printing the story inside, and attaching the spider outside, it made a nice presentation.

IMG_0649

Here’s my version of the Legend of the Christmas Spider:  (I edited the version on my cards to fit the font and card size)

The Legend of the Christmas Spider

Long, long ago in Germany. a mother was busily cleaning for Christmas,

so the spiders fled to the attic to escape the broom.

After the house became quiet, once the tree was decorated,

the spiders slowly crept downstairs for a peek.

Oh, what a beautiful Christmas Tree!

In their excitement, the spiders scurried up the trunk and out along

each branch. They were filled with happiness as they climbed all

over the glittering tree. As they climbed, the tree became

completely covered in their dusty gray webs.

When St. Nicolas arrived with gifts for the children,

he saw that the tree was covered with spider webs.

He smiled because he saw how happy the spiders were,

but he knew how heartbroken they would be to see the tree covered in webs.

So he turned the spiders and their webs into silver and gold.

The tree sparkled and shimmered and was even more

beautiful than before.

That’s where the tradition of tinsel first came from

and why every tree should have a

Christmas spider tucked among its branches.

IMG_0659

I printed this on the inside of plain white card stock. I left a space in the upper part of the story to punch a couple of holes, that I threaded 1/8″ ribbon through and tied a bow around the spider to attach to the card. You can modify the story, font and spacing to fit your particular project idea. You could also print it on plain paper. Everyone loved the story, and even my Bestie, who is terrified of spiders, loved hers too. A couple of friends told me they hung them from their rear view mirrors, because they were so pretty!

Enjoy!

Debbie

Advertisements

Summer cooling bandanas

Cooling bandanas are super easy to make. If you can sew a straight or almost straight line you can do it! It might be snowing outside today, but summer will be here soon enough and you want to be ready.

IMG_0007_2

Here’s all you’ll need:
Inexpensive bandanas
Thread to match or contrast  (I used white for contrast)
Water storing crystals  (in the garden center)
A sewing machine
Scissors
Measuring spoon

IMG_0624

I found my bandanas for a dollar each, and since you only need 1-1 1/2 tsp. crystals per bandana, these are super budget friendly. I’ve seen these sold at summer fairs for up to ten bucks each. But, on a hot day in August at the rib cook off, I almost paid it to cool off!

IMG_0001_2

Start by folding your bandana in half crosswise. Right sides facing each other. Mark a spot 6 inches back from each point. This is where you will make the casing for the crystals. I used a pin on each end to mark.

IMG_0005_2

You want to sew from the folded side down 1 1/2 inches from the edge, stop with your needle down in the fabric. Lift the pressure foot and turn the fabric to sew along the long side. Sew down to your second mark but don’t turn. You need to leave this open to put in the crystals. Remove from your machine, and clip your threads. You’ve just made a pocket (tube) to hold the “magic” crystals.

IMG_0002_2

Use a measuring spoon to scoop 1/4- 1/2 tsp. of crystals and pour into the opening you just created. Be sure to keep the crystals away from children and pets, they’re highly toxic! Shake them down to the end of the tube. I suggest you split up this tube into four sections so all the crystals don’t bunch into one clump. Sew a line across the pocket about 3-4 inches from the end to keep those crystals there. Repeat this 3 more times for a total of four pockets. They only need to be measured if your OCD is acting up, otherwise just eyeball it. When you close the final pocket, double stitch it, and continue down the long side and finish a double line at the other end.

IMG_0004_2

Now flip the bandana open, right sides out, crystal pockets inside, and stitch along the edge of the pockets over again. This puts a double layer of fabric over the crystals, and hides any boo boos.

IMG_0006_2

You can get fancy with your sewing machine and use a decorative top stitch.  I was working on quantity, so plain straight stitch for these.

IMG_0008_2

To use them, just soak in cold water 2-3 hours (try it overnight in the fridge). They can be stored wet in a ziplock bag, or let them dry out completely when not in use. Good to keep a couple in your vehicle or RV. Great for hiking, biking or anytime the heat is on!

Enjoy!
Debbie