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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How to Sew an Infinity Scarf in one or two fabrics

I get sort of obsessive every so often with certain projects of mine, and just can’t stop making them. And this is definitely one of those situations, because ever since May 30, 2015, when I made three springtime infinity scarves from refashioned clothes as part of my Me-Made-May challenge, I haven’t been able to stop […]

Three DIY flower brooches – no sew!

Have you gotten stung by the homemade flower brooch bug? I certainly have! I love making fabric flowers because a) they’re easy and usually fast to make, and b) they’re so versatile! You can sew them directly to clothing as an embellishment, make hair accessories from them, attach them to gift packages, or stick a […]

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 […]

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 sew reusable produce bags

I hate plastic bags. I really do. I hate the smell of them, how hard they are to open up the first time you use them, how easily they rip. I hate knowing what they’re made of and how long it takes for them to decompose. I hate how quickly they accumulate and I hate […]

Glove animal tutorial: Upcycled Glovosaurs

Today I’m so happy to back with my Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewing series with the one and only Allison from Sweater Doll! Allison is a US expat, like me, living in Australia and creates the best fabric dolls and softies ever. Seriously, next time you’re considering buying a Barbie or other doll, check out […]

Evening Primrose Pajama Pants Pattern (for women)

I am thrilled to present to you my very first multi-size clothing sewing pattern: the Evening Primrose Pajama Pants for women! Yah! I’m so thrilled, that I’m offering a discount on all of my patterns! (But more about that in a moment…!) (update 05/02/16: this pattern was originally called “Oenothera Biennis Pajama Pants,” which is […]

How to sew a clutch bag from repurposed jeans

Today’s guest for the Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series is the lovely Laura from Le Pecionate! I love the tireless spirit and sense of humor with with she approaches her projects, which, as the name in Roman dialect (from pecione, meaning “bungler”) says, don’t always come out perfectly. But in this age of Pinterest […]

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 […]

DIY Chain necklaces for spring

There are a lot of really cool ideas floating around the web for jewelry made with chains. Last year I made two  necklaces with nice bright spring colors both made of chains, but in completely different ways. With Mother’s Day coming up, these would make wonderful gifts for your favorite Mamma in your life! Let […]

Practice tutorial: How to sew a zippered pouch

A few days ago I published the latest lesson for the Learn to Machine Sew series on how to sew a simple exposed zipper. A lot of people are afraid of sewing zippers, but they’re actually really easy to insert once you know how to do it properly! Nobody likes to waste a zipper, so […]

Ball & Chain: a free crochet necklace pattern

Last fall I posted this picture on Instagram. What was it? My very first crochet pattern, which I’m now ready to share with you! Here it is: the Ball & Chain crochet necklace pattern! (Suggested musical accompaniment: They Might Be Giants’ song “Lucky Ball and Chain”) I’m a beginner crocheter and knitter, so it’s a […]

Crochet T Shirt Yarn Baskets: Four Styles

So, what do you do when you’ve accumulated way too many old, ugly, worn-out, stained or otherwise ruined t-shirts and other jersey clothing items? Easy! You cut them up into strips and wind up your lovely new balls of t shirt yarn! (Read how in this post from nearly five years ago!) There are all […]

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