This reversible heart-shaped Valentine’s Day bag is perfect for little girls to carry all their valentines, candy or other treasures in! FREE sewing pattern and tutorial by Cucicucicoo Patterns!

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 […]

This mega-sized stuffed dinosaur tutorial is perfect for creating a cool gift for your favorite dino lover! A Pintastic! free pattern review, bringing you the best of Pinterest!

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 […]

Need a last minute gift? Give the gift of tasty breakfast! This pancake mix in a jar is for four batches of 12 pancakes and there are even printable adhesive or cut-out labels! www.cucicucicoo.com

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 […]

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, […]

FREE sewing pattern! Get ready for school with this fully lined pencil-shaped pencil case tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com

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 (or an enclosed circle) is easy once you know a little trick. Learn how with a free pattern for a curvy potholder! Part of the Learn to Machine Sew course on www.cucicucicoo.com!

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 […]

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 […]

The Perfectly Imperfect Play Doll: a fabric doll pattern review by www.cucicucicoo.com

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: prepare tasty lemon-flavored salt from the salt left over from preserved lemons! Perfect for flavoring your favorite dishes! www.cucicucicoo.com

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: a simple pattern with simple thumb openings, worked in the round on double pointed needles. A review by www.cucicucicoo.com

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: a Cucicucicoo Learn to Machine Sew tutorial | www.cucicucicoo.com

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 no-sew DIY flower brooches from rolled felt and crocheted yarn | www.cucicucicoo.com

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 […]

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 […]

Never use a plastic bag for your fruit and veggies again! Here's how to sew reusable produce bags in two different ways! www.cucicucicoo.com

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 […]

Jumping with Jurassic Joy! Upcycled Glovosaurs. Glove animal tutorial (dinosaur softies) by Sweater Doll for www.cucicucicoo.com

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 for women PDF sewing pattern by Cucicucicoo Patterns | www.cucicucicoo.com

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 […]

DIY tutorial: How to sew a clutch bag from repurposed jeans. A tutorial by Le Pecionate for www.cucicucicoo.com

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 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 […]

DIY Chain necklaces for spring. Two different techniques make two totally different-looking chain accessories, one with crochet and the other with embroidery floss, but both perfect for gift giving! www.cucicucicoo.com

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 […]

Learn to Machine Sew practice tutorial: How to sew an easy zippered pouch for storing pencils, crochet hooks, makeup or whatever else! You can also change the dimensions and make an easy zippered pillow cover! www.cucicucicoo.com

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 crochet necklace pattern by www.cucicucicoo.com

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 Baskets

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 […]

Knit capelet (with short rows) and knit bandana scarf "Mani in Alto" | www.cucicucicoo.com

Knit capelet and bandana neckwarmer

Well, another edition of the biggest Italian handmade arts fair, Abilmente, has come and gone. Alas, I was unable to make it to Vicenza, in northern Italy, for this edition but I figured that perhaps it was about time to show you my project from Abilmente in Rome last November. I’d signed up for a […]

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, […]

Travel Baby Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial (with PUL or oilcloth): a DIY project by www.cucicucicoo.com!

Baby Changing Mat Tutorial (PUL or Oilcloth)

Earlier this week I published a nice, long post for my Learn to Machine Sew series all about PUL fabric: how to prepare it and tips for sewing it without going totally bonkers! So now that you know everything there is to know about PUL (well, more or less….), let’s sew something useful with it: […]

Free Pattern! Introducing the Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag. Upcycle an umbrella or use lightweight fabric to sew a beautifully-finished shopper that can be stuffed in a hidden attached drawstring pouch! #carryeverywhereshoppingbag | www.cucicucicoo.com

Free Pattern: Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag

Big news, guys! My pattern shop, Cucicucicoo Patterns, is just about ready to officially open! I’m just waiting on a few tax-related bureaucratic things before I can put items up for sale, but my first three PDF sewing patterns are ready! To celebrate, I’m sharing a FREE professional-quality sewing pattern with you: the Carry Everywhere […]

How to sew bathroom rugs from upcycled towels and sheets! Fast, easy and ecofriendly! | www.cucicucicoo.com

Sew a bathroom rug… from towels and sheets!

I just love making my own bathroom rugs! They’re small so they’re generally fast to make and I just love the feeling of a squishy bathmat under my feet when I get out of the shower! So we have quite the collection of bathroom mats that I’ve made over the years. Ages ago I showed […]