Freezer paper stenciling is so much fun, but tracing designs can be a drag. However it's easy and quick when you learn how to print on freezer paper! There’s even a special trick to print with a laser printer instead of an inkjet, or on A4 paper! Find out how on www.cucicucicoo.com!

How to print on freezer paper with a laser or inkjet printer

Are you freezer paper addicted? Yeah, I am too. I use freezer paper ALL the time to stencil on clothing, costumes and all other fabric items. It’s a really simple way to paint designs onto fabric, even if you are far from being an artist. I really love how perfectly crisp and clean the lines […]

Make sewing appliqué as easy as can be with your home printer! Learn how to print on Heat N Bond to transfer applique designs quickly without any annoying tracing! www.cucicucicoo.com

How to print on Heat N Bond for fast and easy appliqué!

I love embellishing clothing and other fabric items. And one of the ways I love the most is with appliqué. I’ve written a lot about how to machine appliqué, including a trick to appliqué perfectly on stretchy fabric. I sometimes freehand draw my designs, but usually I either copy them from images found on Google […]

A fantastically fun and easy game for kids to practice reading without it feeling like work! Five levels of vocabulary to get your child to immediately recognize sight words! Try not to get the rotten banana! (in English or Italian)

Rotten Banana: a fun early reading game

My little boy just turned six and is in first grade this year, which means that he’s learning to read and write. While my daughter had no problems learning written Italian in school and didn’t really need any outside help to pick up written English on her own, it hasn’t been quite as easy for […]

Learn how to make homemade pick up sticks (Mikado) from skewers, with a DIY pouch to hold them. Printable playing instructions included! A perfect gift for kids and adults! Tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com

Make homemade pick up sticks (with carry bag)

Toys are too complicated these days. I sometimes hear parents saying that their kids get bored if their toys don’t make sounds or light up, or aren’t animated or interactive games. And of course all these electronic toys and games cost more and break really easily. I sometimes feel like an old fogey, but seriously, […]

10 reasons why you should make your own costume instead of buying one: lessons learned from my mother. www.cucicucicoo.com

10 Reasons to make your own costume

The one question that I get asked in every interview I’ve ever had is what or who my creative inspirations are. I usually give a different answer every time because I am inspired by so many people, places and things. But my first creatively inspirational input was without question my mother. (Hi, Mom!) As a […]

Make your own easy woven paper baskets from repurposed cereal boxes with this easy tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com. So fun and colorful!

DIY woven paper baskets from cereal boxes

Oh, how I love cereal boxes. I love their stability, yet ease of cutting. I love their bright colors. I love their cost… nothing! I rarely throw cereal boxes into the recycling. I use them to back small pattern pieces to make them more rigid and to make them last longer (and I suggest that […]

Upcycle your glass bottles to create cool home décor! These DIY wine bottle vases are easy to make with glue and twine and are a great house warming gift! Tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

DIY wine bottle vases with colored twine

I love having a drop or two of wine, a beer or perhaps a nice cocktail while preparing dinner. Heck, who doesn’t? Sometimes the bottles have such a nice shape that it seems such a shame to just throw them out in the recycling. Or perhaps you drank a bottle of champagne to celebrate a […]

Got some old tees? Turn them into these super easy no-sew t-shirt bracelets! The tutorial shows you how to in less than two minutes! www.cucicucicoo.com

Easy no-sew T-shirt bracelets tutorial

In the years that I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve collaborated with lots of other blogs and websites. And today I’m so pleased to announce that I’m starting a new collaboration with the Italian handmade learning website Make It Land! I will contribute an eco-friendly refashioning tutorial every month for my special column of sorts […]

Wine bottle crafts: Make upcycled vases with craft materials you already have! 2 great ideas with paint and glue! A DIY tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com #winebottlecrafts

Wine bottle crafts: 2 upcycled vases with materials you already have

Mother’s Day is creeping up and will be here before you know it. Have you started preparing gifts for the most important women in your life? Most mothers (at least the ones I know) are happiest to receive something small, but from the heart, and what could be more from the heart than personalized homemade […]

Bring a bit of color and happiness to Spring with a scrap fabric butterfly! Decorate your home or make a pin, headband or mobile with this stash-busting tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: DIY scrap fabric butterfly (free pattern)

Spring is here! My favorite season of all, the advent of Spring makes me so happy. I love blooming trees, the scent of flowers and cut grass, the birds singing outside my windows, the warm sun…. So today I’m proposing a stash-busting and scrap-busting project for spring: fabric butterflies! I’m not the only fan of […]

Transform that T-shirt you never wear into something useful! This no-sew tutorial shows how to make a bag from a T shirt. Great upcycling craft for kids! www.cucicucicoo.com

Make a bag from a T shirt: No-Sew Tutorial!

My name’s Lisa and I’m a T-shirt hoarder. Seriously, I have a problem. Come to my home, and you’ll find numerous containers full of t-shirts. I love them because they’re so easy to embellish or repurpose into other clothing and objects. But another wonderful thing about t-shirts is that the jersey fabric doesn’t fray and […]

Make adorable DIY paper poinsettias for the holiday season from upcycled egg cartons and fruit nets! Even kids can make these with a little help! Full photo tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

DIY Paper Poinsettias from Upcycled Egg Cartons

When my daughter’s teacher invited me to come into the class to make crafts with the kids that could be sold at the school’s charity Christmas market (a couple of years ago I did the same thing with these yarn Hopi Eye ornaments), I was thrilled to find out that this year’s theme was “recycling”—my […]

DIY Tutorial: Crochet carry bags for kids from upcycled fruit nets. A quick gift in under an hour, perfect for collecting treasures at the beach or in the woods! www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: Crochet Carry Bags from Fruit Nets

It all started with this. My son found some fruit nets in my collection of recycling-for-crafting and decided to use one to hang up his toys. Total genius right? And so, I came up with these: Oh yes! I took those fruit and onion nets and crocheted around their edges, creating a comfy shoulder strap […]

How to make personalized DIY flower pots from tin cans | Cri Erre Handmade for www.cucicucicoo.com

DIY Flower pots from tin cans

A wonderful thing about summer is being able to spend time gardening gorgeous flowers, delicious veggies and flavorful herbs. Well, at least you can if you have a garden! For those of us who live in an apartment, a few pots on the balcony and in the home have to suffice. Today’s guest poster for […]

DIY tutorial: How to make Flower Fairies from upcycled egg cartons | a Mammabook tutorial for www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: upcycle egg cartons into Flower Fairies

For our third guest post in the Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series, I’m thrilled to have Silvia from Mammabook! I’ve known this Italian mom living in Germany for years now, and it’s amazing how close you can feel to a person without ever having seen her before! I love her creative drive, always creating […]

How to felt wool sweaters in the washing machine: make your own boiled wool for crafting or sewing from old sweaters, cardigans, jumpers, blankets or any other thrifted wool items! www.cucicucicoo.com

How to felt wool sweaters in the washing machine

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to pack away all those warm woolies and bring out light hot-weather clothing. So what do you do with those sweaters with little moth holes or stains, or with the ones that are stretched out or a bit shrunken? Put them in a big pile and get […]

18 Mother's Day DIY gift ideas with upcycled materials: make a gift for little to nothing by repurposing materials! | www.cucicucicoo.com

18 Mother’s Day DIY gift ideas with upcycling

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and, if you’re anything like I am, you want to make something for your mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, best friend who is also a mother, etc, but you haven’t even started yet and you probably don’t want to have to pay very much, either. Well, don’t fear, because today […]

Primule 10

Upcycle yogurt cups: Primrose flowers

Here we are for the second guest post for my Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series! Last time we had a refashion, and this time an upcycle with my friend Silvia Brentegani from Tocco di Lìllà! I’ve known Silvia in the blog world for years, but we’ve never met in person, although, strangely enough, she […]

Tutorial: Make easy recycled crowns for kids with foil wrapping paper and cardboard | www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: Make Easy Recycled Crowns for Kids

Happy Easter Monday! Hope you had a lovely day yesterday! And if you have children, I’m sure you now have insane amounts of candy and chocolate in your home. Here in Italy there’s no Easter Bunny, but kids get these huge chocolate eggs with a little gift inside. The eggs are wrapped in big squares […]

DIY felt bowtie pasta tutorial... with a printable box!

DIY felt bowtie pasta tutorial…WITH BOX!

A couple of months ago, I wrote on my Facebook page that I was working on a project that just made me laugh… over and over again, the whole time I was making it. I’m certainly not the first person to make felt bowtie pasta (farfalle, in Italian), but throw in an authentic-looking pasta box, […]

Three DIY street toys from repurposed materials for kids who love cars! Toy streets, street signs and a stoplight | www.cucicucicoo.com

Three DIY street toys for kids who love cars!

Both of my kids love playing with cars, but my little guy in particular goes nuts with his toy cars. Seriously, there is really something in some boys’ DNA that draws them to cars because I am sure that none of us has conditioned him to this preference. It was Nicky’s birthday last week, a […]

Tutorial: How to remove fabric from umbrellas | www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: How to remove fabric from umbrellas

Welcome to the fall! Now that we’re starting up with rainy season, I’m starting to see a lot of this. And this. It drives me nuts. As you can see, I live in an area where people have no scruples whatsoever about dumping their trash all over the place and it takes many months (years?) […]

How to make easy letter magnets with kids

Tutorial: How to make easy letter magnets with kids

My kids, like pretty much every other kid I know, just love drawing and coloring. We just got back the other day from a fantastic visit with family and friends in the United States. Before we left, a friend of mine requested some of my children’s artwork to hang on her refrigerator as a gift. […]

One-minute tutorial: How to make an upcycled yarn holder

One-minute tutorial: How to make an upcycled yarn holder

When I joined Pinterest a couple of years ago, one of my first pins was this ArtBin Yarn Drum yarn holder. Not because I had any intention of buying it, but because I had a freebie bag that I knew would be perfect to make one from. Ok, sure, the original ArtBin version has some […]

Quick DIY Father's day gift: a jar of hearts (or hugs, kisses, love) for special Daddies

Jar of Hearts for special Daddies: DIY Father’s Day gift

This year we nearly missed Father’s Day (March 19th in Italy) completely. It had sort of slipped my mind to make something with the kids for my husband until that very morning, so I quickly racked my brain for a DIY gift idea that we could make in a very short time after school. Then […]

Tutorial: How to make your own Play Doh picture mats

Tutorial: How to make your own Play Doh picture mats

Remember how my kids had the chicken pox last October, one right after another? Having them home for such a long time without being able to go out got old pretty quickly. Thank goodness for homemade Play Doh! To pizzazz up the usual Play Doh experience, I decided to make some picture mats for the […]

How to make a picture frame and burlap earring display

Picture frame and burlap earring display

Whew, what a start to 2014 I’ve had! We’ve had a bit of complications in my husband’s family, forcing me to take a little break from the blog and all my projects. But today I want to share a new upcycling tutorial that is great for those of you who love earrings as much as […]

Happy holidays Minions

Happy Holidays from Cucicucicoo (and the Minions!!)

My kids and their cousin are totally obsessed with Minions. We let our kids (and guests) draw on the walls. The natural result? Lots of pictures of Minions on our walls. (Some of which resemble my little guy when he’s angry, according to the writing, although apparently the author changed his mind and crossed it […]

This adorable holiday craft is easy and fun for kids, and a great gift for them to give to loved ones! www.cucicucicoo.com

Pine Cone Christmas Trees: a tutorial for kids

A couple of weeks ago I published a tutorial for a children’s activity, making woven Hopi Eye Christmas ornaments, for the advent calendar countdown at the blog Creare per r’ESISTERE (in Italian, while the English version can be found here on cucicucicoo.com). Elisabetta asked me to contribute a second tutorial, so I proposed this project […]

Label your presents with names with these adorable recycled gift tags. They're super easy and free to make from old greeting cards and scraps of ribbon! A beginner’s upcycling tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: Make recycled gift tags from old cards

Welcome to the first installment of my Eco Gift Wrapping Guide! In my introduction to this series I mentioned my thrifty mother and how she would get the most out of any wrapping paper or materials that came her way. But her wrapped packages didn’t look as if they were from reused materials; they were […]

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