Tutorial: Handmade felt cactus party favor with cards & box

Whenever there is a special event in your life, it’s natural to want to celebrate it with the people who matter the most to you. And this is why we have party favors, to thank the people who celebrated with you and to give them something to remember the day by. As there are so […]

Five DIY cactus party favors: free templates and printables!

There are so many reasons to celebrate life’s milestones with the people that we love the most. And this is why party favors are so important, to help remember those important moments spent with important people. Today I’m sharing a special project that I participated in with other four Italian creative bloggers as part of […]

Foolproof Basil Pesto Recipe and 15 Ways to Use it!

I live in southern Italy, aka the capital of Basil-land. Nearly every home has at least one basil plant and those plants can easily grow into thick masses of fragrant green leaves. I am no exception to the rule. Every year I have two or three pots with forests of basil and over the years […]

How to grow basil year after year (without spending!)

I live in Italy, and everyone knows how much Italians love their basil. Even in the families with the worse black thumb imaginable, there is at least one pot of basil sitting on a balcony or windowsill. It gets thrown on top of plates of steaming spaghetti, made into pesto (see my three pesto recipes […]

Use up Leftover Easter Chocolate: Chocolate Banana Bread

As you know, Easter was this past weekend. And, if you have kids (or perhaps even if you don’t), you probably have ridiculous amounts of chocolate sitting around in your kitchen. And dining room. And living room. Hopefully not in your bathroom. And if you’re in the northern hemisphere, it will start getting pretty warm […]

Super Bib Pattern Pack – testers’ versions!

Last week I released my latest sewing pattern, the Super Bib Pack, which has all sorts of styles, sizes, variations and sewing options, meaning that there are dozens of ways to personalize your bibs and burp cloths! Just to give you an idea of some possibilities, let me show you some examples of what my […]

Newborn and toddler bib pattern with pocket and other variations

Do you have a young child? Sick of him or her making a mess everywhere? Sick of going out just to realize that your shirt is all dirty? Yeah, I hear your pain. I went through that, too. Or perhaps a good friend or loved relative is having a baby and you just don’t know […]

Free bib and burp cloth pattern (with/without bias tape)

Welcome back to the bias tape series here on Cucicucicoo! I took a little break from bias tutorials and projects to work on some other things, and I never ended up publishing a tutorial to practice binding with bias tape! (You can find my lesson on how to bind edges with double fold bias tape […]

New pattern! Field of Flowers costume for kids & adults

I’m super excited to announce that my first costume pattern is ready for the world! Come meet the Field of Flowers costume for both kids AND adults! Back in 2008, when my daughter was two years old, my husband had the idea to dress her up for Carnival as a bunch of flowers or some […]

How to grow an avocado plant from a pit

My kids and I love growing plants from seeds we’ve collected and cuttings. And every so often we try to grown some plant or other from our vegetables. But alas, this usually fails. My pineapple plant rotted away before it became anything, carrots never sprouted and I’ve thrown out loads of avocado pits that just […]

Free Pattern! Valentine’s Day bag tutorial

The day that some people absolutely love and others absolutely despise is coming up. Yep. I’m talking about Valentine’s Day! I’ve always fallen into the second category because I am ideologically against the consumerism of this day and I don’t like the idea of being told when I need to celebrate my love for the […]

Gigantic Stuffed Dinosaur Pattern – Pintastic!

Last week I unveiled my latest project, “Pintastic!” In this series I test out cool-looking tutorials found on Pinterest and give a Pass or Fail verdict. The first project that I just had to try out was this fantastic, yet simple, huge dinosaur softie pattern by We Lived Happily Ever After, which I saved on […]

Pintastic! Tested Pinterest tutorials for no-fail DIY

I love Pinterest. Seriously, I could spend hours and hours on it every day. So many amazing ideas, techniques, inspiration and help for DIY and life in general. But sometimes there is a slight problem with Pinterest: Some of those absolutely fantastic ideas are not so easy to actually re-create yourself. I’m willing to bet […]

Last minute gift: pancake mix in a jar (with label!)

I was born and raised in the United States, but have been living in Italy for the past 15 years, where I started my own family. Having a bi-cultural family is really enriching because you get twice as many traditions for holidays, traditions, languages and… food! While my American friends and family always say how […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

Free Pattern! Pencil-shaped pencil case tutorial

Well, it’s fall again. Back to school. Back to work. Back to the gazillion activities each family member has. To celebrate this exciting time of year of beginnings, I’ve decided to offer my readers another FREE sewing pattern! Hooray! And even better, it’s part of my Learn to Machine Sew series, as the practice tutorial […]

Sewing concave and convex curves together

Summer’s over and it’s back to school time, which means it’s also back to sewing school time! (Did you know that I have a FREE beginner’s sewing course?) Last week I mentioned that I have a new free pattern for a pencil-shaped pencil case to share with you (update: here’s the info on the pencil […]

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 […]

Healthy Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe

There’s no denying it: summer is suddenly here! Our family is doing everything we can to stay cool. The kids have started using the bathtub as a swimming pool, our ice cream machine* is back in business, we’ve been making all sorts of homemade popsicles, and we’ve been doing everything else that I’ve written about […]

Health update and how the menstrual cup helped

This was the view outside the balcony where I spent four nights a couple of weeks ago. Pretty, right? The bay of Naples, Mount Vesuvius, the classic Mediterranean pine tree. Except I didn’t really get to enjoy it very much because I spent most of the time laying in my hospital bed. Yep. You may […]

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: 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 […]

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 […]

Make homemade nettle powder from your weeds

For the first time in my life, I am on a diet. When I was little, I was super thin, and as a young adult, I could eat anything and never gain weight. But not all of my pregnancy weight went away on its own, and I am now 8.5 kg (18 lbs) heavier than […]

Perfectly Imperfect: a fabric doll pattern review

Finally I’m ready to show off my Perfectly Imperfect cloth dolls. I’d been working on these dolls and posting in-progress pictures on Instagram for months. My original plan was to make a bunch for Christmas presents and the kids’ various charity Christmas markets and giveaways. My original plan failed and I only managed to get […]

How to make homemade garlic powder

I’m not always a big fan of cooking, at least not the regular day-to-day cooking necessary for survival. I like to cook special things when I actually want to, not just because my stomach’s growling. And when I do cook, I usually can’t get too elaborate, otherwise the other people in our home won’t eat […]

Lemon salt recipe from salt preserved lemons

I’ve been experimenting with the radiators and food processors in my kitchen again these days. Yes, because once again, it’s lemon season in southern Italy. This means that I’ve been making my beloved salt-preserved lemons again. We love using these salty, tangy lemon peels on pretty much everything. In the past, I’ve always reused the […]

Tepore knit wrist warmers

My friend Maria of Maria Modeo Handmade in Italy is an amazing knitter, designer and teacher. She’s helped me numerous times with my knitting issues and is incredibly knowledgeable about all things yarn-related. I already posted last year about her bandana-style neckwarmer pattern, and will post in the springtime about a summer sweater I sewed […]

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