Tutorial: Handmade felt cactus party favor with cards & box

Celebrate your important milestones with these handmade felt cactus party favors with an incorporated box and free printable thank you cards! Adorable and easy to make with very basic skills!

Celebrate your important milestones with these handmade felt cactus party favors with an incorporated box and free printable thank you cards! Adorable and easy to make with very basic skills!

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.

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As there are so many events to celebrate, the four other bloggers with whom I worked on the “Fioriscono le Idee” initiative (which you can read more about here, as well as download the free template for this project) and I decided to propose projects to make DIY cactus party favors, each from a different material in order to create a different effect. And I chose to create a handmade felt cactus party favor, felt being one of the most versatile and easy fabrics to work with.

Celebrate your important milestones with these handmade felt cactus party favors with an incorporated box and free printable thank you cards! Adorable and easy to make with very basic skills!

All of the projects are created from one common template for a pot-shaped base which opens up to hold sugar-coated almonds, which are used in Italian party favors. However you can just as well put any other candy, card or trinket inside, too!

Celebrate your important milestones with these handmade felt cactus party favors with an incorporated box and free printable thank you cards! Adorable and easy to make with very basic skills!

And there’s more! Each of our downloadable templates has thank you notes to use as a seat card and as a little tag to attach to the favor. Print them all out for a varied, yet coordinated, look that will add color to your celebration! My downloadable also includes an English version of my smaller tag!

Celebrate your important milestones with these handmade felt cactus party favors with an incorporated box and free printable thank you cards! Adorable and easy to make with very basic skills!

You can read all about the initiative in our joint blog post on the blog Kreattiva, where we talk about the reasons why we made these decisions and why each chosen material is interesting in a different way.

Celebrate your important milestones with these handmade felt cactus party favors with an incorporated box and free printable thank you cards! Adorable and easy to make with very basic skills!

So, do you have an important event to celebrate soon? Everyone loves cacti, and felt makes them soft instead of prickly, so everyone can enjoy them. Keep on reading to find out how to make a handmade felt cactus party favor for all your friends and family at your party!

Read moreTutorial: Handmade felt cactus party favor with cards & box

Five DIY cactus party favors: free templates and printables!

Five fantastic tutorials for DIY cactus party favors with five different materials! Free downloadable templates and printable thank you cards for celebrating all your important milestones with those you love!

Five fantastic tutorials for DIY cactus party favors with five different materials! Free downloadable templates and printable thank you cards for celebrating all your important milestones with those you love!

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 a larger initiative, “Fioriscono le idee,” ideas that bloom or flower. This is a time of year that there are a lot of events to celebrate, such as weddings, graduations, births, and so on, and so the groups participating in this project are sharing handmade party favor tutorials with a common theme.

My group loves succulents, which can also be considered a symbol of life, so we decided to share five variations of DIY cactus party favors, each of which is made with a different material.

Five fantastic tutorials for DIY cactus party favors with five different materials! Free downloadable templates and printable thank you cards for celebrating all your important milestones with those you love!

Each of us chose a different material to use with a common template in the shape of a pot, which is also a little container to put sugar covered almonds (traditionally a must in Italian celebrations) or other surprises inside. You can read more about why we chose cacti and how we chose our materials here on Kreattiva, where you can also find the rest of the creative projects taking part in this initiative.

In addition to that common template, each of us created another template for her own cactus-shaped project, and we each have a thank you note in two formats: small to attach to the favor itself, and larger to use as a place card at the table. Each of these cards has a different message and picture, so it would be super cute to download them all to use for your party!

Five fantastic tutorials for DIY cactus party favors with five different materials! Free downloadable templates and printable thank you cards for celebrating all your important milestones with those you love!

With my love for sewing and fabric, I chose to use felt, one of the easiest and most versatile fabrics to work with. I decided to play with the softness of the fabric and the prickliness of the cactus, and I created soft spines with pinking shears! (In case you are not a sewing pro, those are zig zag scissors for use with fabric!) The colorful flower on top also adds a lovely happy touch!

5 tutorial fantastici per fare una tua bomboniera cactus handmade con materiali diversi! Template e biglietti scaricabili per festeggiare tutti i tuoi eventi più importanti!

You can download the free PDF file with the template for the pot container, felt cactus and flower, and thank you notes in both English and Italian here on my Free Downloads page! Update: Read the full tutorial for my DIY felt cactus party favor here!

The other creative bloggers in my group are really talented and full of great ideas, so let me show you what they created… and what you can create too with their tutorials!

Read moreFive DIY cactus party favors: free templates and printables!

DIY books and notepads: Reuse leftover notebook paper

Rimangono sempre delle pagine nei quaderni alla fine dell’anno scolastico, quindi usale per creare dei libretti e quadernetti fai da te da riempire con disegni, racconti o segreti! Bastano 5 minuti ed è GRATIS!

There are always some leftover pages at the end of kids’ notebooks at the end of the school year. Rip them out and use them to make your own fun DIY books and notepads to fill with drawings, stories, or secret diary! It only takes about 5 minutes!

What is it that’s so appealing about a nice, new and never-before-touched blank book or notebook?

I suppose it’s the anticipation and excitement about all the things that it can become. You can write a book in it. Draw pictures. Study plants or animals or anything else that you love and keep your notes in it. Glue magazine cuttings in it. Write a secret diary. There are no limits to your imagination and creativity!

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My kids love blank books, too. We have piles of illustrated books, their own made-up school books for their toys, and tomes of secret writings that I’ve been warned to never look in. Even before they knew how to write, they just loved filling up those blank pages with drawings and stickers. Something about the fact that the books had covers made them feel so much more real to them.

There are always some leftover pages at the end of kids’ notebooks at the end of the school year. Rip them out and use them to make your own fun DIY books and notepads to fill with drawings, stories, or secret diary! It only takes about 5 minutes!

It’s now the end of May and school will be out soon. And, as always, the kids will come home on the last day of school with a bunch of half-used notebooks. Like this one above. “Read and complete.” Apparently Sofia never did get around to completing this assignment before the end of the year.

Normally I just rip out the used pages and give the kids the notebooks with the few remaining pages to draw and write in. But by the time summer vacation comes around, they usually are sick of using those same notebooks that they’ve been using all year round. They don’t want to see the same old covers that remind them of sitting at a desk for hours on end.

There are always some leftover pages at the end of kids’ notebooks at the end of the school year. Rip them out and use them to make your own fun DIY books and notepads to fill with drawings, stories, or secret diary! It only takes about 5 minutes!

But if I give them that very notebook paper in a different form, it’s a totally different story. A mini notebook with a pretty colorful cover?! Yes, please! I want to write a story in it!

There are always some leftover pages at the end of kids’ notebooks at the end of the school year. Rip them out and use them to make your own fun DIY books and notepads to fill with drawings, stories, or secret diary! It only takes about 5 minutes!

A clean cover and blank pages? Yes! I want a book to draw and write about dinosaurs in!

All of a sudden, after a tiring year of studying and writing, they want to study and write again! All because of a new packaging of their usual school materials! And what’s best is that you’re using paper you already have, so it’s free, and it takes less than 5 minutes to make one!

So, what do you say? Want to reuse leftover notebook paper to make “brand new” blank books and notepads? Let’s get started!

Read moreDIY books and notepads: Reuse leftover notebook paper

Super quick upcycled DIY tulle flowers

Non sai cosa fare con il packaging delle bomboniere? Ecco come riciclare il tulle dei confetti per creare dei bellissimi fiori fai da te per abbellire casa!

Use up scraps of tulle or upcycle party favor packaging to decorate your home. These DIY tulle flowers are super quick and easy to make and look great!

I love flowers. Heck, who doesn’t? I think pretty much every lady does.

I love how they smell. I love the colors. I love the beauty and joy a vase of fresh cut flowers gives a home.

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What I don’t love is when they start to wilt. And turn brown. And I feel guilty having cut them (or knowing that someone cut them for me).

The obvious solution are fake flowers, but I am quite frankly turned off by the thought of plastic or silk flowers made by overworked Chinese factory workers, both for ethical and environmental reasons. So my eco-friendly solution that makes me and my ideals happy are homemade flowers made from repurposed materials!

Use up scraps of tulle or upcycle party favor packaging to decorate your home. These DIY tulle flowers are super quick and easy to make and look great!

Italians love party favors. Or rather, as I call them, “event favors.” Little sacks or boxes of Jordan almonds (sugar-coated almonds) are given away along with a silver, ceramic or other type of trinket at weddings, baptisms, first communions, births, graduations, 18th birthday parties, and so on.

The almonds are 99% of the time wrapped in little circles of tulle which are color-coded according to the type of event. Students who graduate from university use red packaging so, seeing as my husband is a university professor, we tend to accumulate small pieces of red tulle. And last year was the year of first communions in my daughter’s class, so she came home from school with her classmates’ favors for the entire month of May. I held on to all these bits of colored goodness, knowing that inspiration would eventually strike.

Use up scraps of tulle or upcycle party favor packaging to decorate your home. These DIY tulle flowers are super quick and easy to make and look great!

And then it came to me: flowers! The circular shape make them perfect for making incredibly quick and easily customizable flowers to decorate the home. But even if you don’t have a collection of tulle circles from “event favors”, you can very easily use scraps of tulle you have left over from making reusable produce bags or no-sew tutus!

So what do you say? Are you ready to make your own DIY tulle flowers from your fabric scraps? Then let’s get started!

Read moreSuper quick upcycled DIY tulle flowers

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

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!

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!

Are you freezer paper addicted? Yeah, I am too.

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!

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 come out with this technique. If you have never tried it, check out this tutorial on how to freezer paper stencil designs on fabric. You’ll see– it’s super addictive!

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And now freezer paper stenciling has gotten even easier, thanks to something that I’ve recently discovered:

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!

Printable freezer paper sheets*! This means that you don’t even have to trace onto the paper, because you can now use your home printer to print onto it! Absolutely perfect!

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!

These sheets* are the same freezer paper you’ve always used, with a paper side on the top and a shiny side on the bottom. However, they are conveniently US Letter sized so that you can just pop them right into your ink jet printer to transfer your favorite designs, all ready for cutting out and applying!

How do they work? And what if you have a laser printer that you use with A4 size paper? No problem! Keep on reading to find out how to print on freezer paper with a laser printer with whatever size paper you want!

Read moreHow to print on freezer paper with a laser or inkjet printer

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

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

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

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 Images or I draw them digitally in Illustrator. So how do I get those images onto my fabric?

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Excellent question! The answer is: Heat’n Bond Lite!

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

There are a lot of brands of sewable fusible adhesive for appliqué work, but I’ve been using only Heat’n Bond for years because it is excellent quality. I buy a 5 1/4 yard roll* and it lasts for a long time. But there’s another type: Heat’n Bond Lite in letter-size sheets* that you can print directly onto!

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

The sheets are just like the normal Heat’n Bond, with a paper side on the top and a “sticky” side on the bottom.

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

I’ve been working on a new project, some appliqué packs with designs that I’ve drawn myself. This “POW!” one is part of my Comic Book appliqué pack (still to be released) and the parts can be easily printed on one sheet of printable Heat n Bond.

Want to find out  how to print on Heat n Bond to make all your appliqué work an absolute breeze? Let me show you how, as well as some great troubleshooting tricks!

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

Rotten Banana: a fun early reading game

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)

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)

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 my son.

So while he’s out of school for Christmas vacation, I decided that he could use some reading practice.

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)

My mother was a reading specialist in an elementary school for many years. This means that she worked with hundreds of children to whom reading didn’t come easily. She developed all sorts of techniques and fun methods to get kids to love reading, but one of the all-time favorites was an early reading game called “Rotten Banana.” It’s a really simple game to get children to recognize what are called “sight words,” which are the words that they should learn to instantly recognize without having to spell them out.

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When my mother retired, her Rotten Banana game continued to get used with her grandchildren, and ended up living at our home so that my bilingual kids could get some English reading practice while living in a non-English-speaking country.

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)

But before I started using the English Rotten Banana game that my mother made, I wanted my son to get a firm grasp on reading Italian, which is much more simple because it’s a very phonetic language in which most words are pronounced exactly as they are written, unlike the much more phonetically complicated English language. And so I decided to make my own Italian version of my mother’s Rotten Banana game for him to practice with, which I translated as “Banana Marcia.”

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)

And, just like my mother did, I also made rotten pears, apples and oranges to give a little variety as the child progresses from one level to the next. Something about all that colored fruit is so appealing!

Is there a child in your life who could use an early reading game to begin a lifetime of happy reading? Then continue reading for the downloadable template and word list and to find out how to play!

Read moreRotten Banana: a fun early reading game

Make homemade pick up sticks (with carry bag)

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

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

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.

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I sometimes feel like an old fogey, but seriously, do children really need all those bells and whistles? Sometimes it’s the simplest of things that make people happy, and the same goes for the classic games that kids have been playing for generations.

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

A pack of 41 colored wooden sticks, for example. No electronic parts, no plastic. Just simple wood. And happy bright colors. If just contemplating them doesn’t intrigue a kid, this definitely will:

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 a big colored mess?! Yes, please! What fun it is to bundle them up and watch them fall all over the place, like a big moving rainbow!

I think that this is one reason why pick up sticks have been a cherished game for such a long time. They’re aethetically pleasing, but also such a simple game that requires concentration and small motor agility.

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

There are lots of variations on this game, but what I propose here is Mikado, the classic pick up sticks version. They’re really simple to make with very basic materials, and are a wonderul gift for kids and adults alike when you sew a little pouch for them and include playing instructions!

And I know that you probably don’t have time to create an instruction sheet, so I’ve made one for you that you can download and print out! You’re welcome!

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

I actually researched Mikado quite a while to find the “official” rules, colors, stripe scheme and point system, but it turns out that there are loads of different versions. I made up my own colors and stripes (I also made a set without stripes which looks more like the plastic game I had when I was little), as well as my own point system based on what I found most often. Feel free to vary any of these as you please.

So, what do you say? Are you ready to have some good old-fashioned fun? Let’s get right to work on our homemade pick up sticks!

Read moreMake homemade pick up sticks (with carry bag)

Easy no-sew T-shirt bracelets tutorial

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

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

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 called “Refashion Cafè” and, seeing as the website is only in Italian, I will publish the tutorial in English here on Cucicucicoo for everyone to enjoy!

I decided to start off with a very simple refashion that anybody can do, even if she doesn’t know how to sew, crochet or do any other sort of handmade crafting: no-sew T-shirt bracelets!

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

The idea is pretty similar to the no-sew t-shirt sleeve necklace tutorial that I published a few years ago, except it uses a different part of the t-shirt and I’ve figured out a better way to bind all the strips together.

These bracelets are ridiculously easy to make and it’ll take you about two minutes to make one, but they’re still really cute, especially when you make them colorful and with matching necklaces! I love wearing these in the summer because they’re light and don’t stick to my skin like most other accessories.

They’re also a great gift and, because you just use old t-shirts and they’re so fast to make, you can whip some up for all of your friends!

Want to find out how? Then keep on reading for the t-shirt bracelets tutorial!

Read moreEasy no-sew T-shirt bracelets tutorial

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

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

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 gifts? And since all moms want to protect their children and grandchildren, even better is an eco-friendly gift that won’t have an impact on the environment.

I like wine and beer and basically anything alcoholic, and when I come across a cool bottle, I always make sure to save it for my DIY projects. Today I’m going to show you two really easy wine bottle crafts, making vases with customized words and designs for your favorite mothers and friends! You can even involve small children in decorating the bottles and, what’s best of all, if you’re a crafty person, you probably already have all the materials you need for both of these projects!

 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

The first version of this project is a chalkboard vase, which is super fun to decorate with personalized or seasonal messages. Give kids one of these bottles and some colored chalk, and they are in heaven!

 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

The second upcycled bottle vase is decorated with a glue gun and spray paint, for drawings and messages that will never risk being accidentally erased.

Both of these wine bottle crafts are really easy and very quick for a great last-minute DIY Mother’s Day gift. Now let me show you how to make them!

Read moreWine bottle crafts: 2 upcycled vases with materials you already have

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

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

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

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 frequently it’s nice and stretchy, meaning you can cut it and stretch it out to get all sorts of cool effects, often without even sewing.

This past summer I was brainstorming different ways to reuse the classic tee for the “Reborn T-shirts” stand at the Kreativ fair, and I couldn’t leave out the ever-beloved t-shirt bag. There are so many ways to make a bag from a t shirt, but I wanted to propose something that ANYBODY can do, even without any sewing knowledge.

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

And just to prove my point, I also did this project with my 9-year-old daughter’s class while making upcycled crafts to sell at the school’s annual charity Christmas market. All the kids brought in at least one t-shirt and turned them into bags. And they LOVED it! They were so bummed out when we ran out of shirts to make bags from! (We also made these egg carton poinsettia ornaments, which are another eco-friendly and kid-friendly craft.)

Do you need one or two extra shopping bags, but don’t want to buy one? Or maybe you have a special t-shirt that brings back dear memories that you can’t bear to get rid of, even if it doesn’t fit you anymore? Or you want a fun activity to do with your kids? Then grab your scissors, and let’s get to work!

Read moreMake a bag from a T shirt: No-Sew Tutorial!

Tutorial: Crochet Carry Bags from Fruit Nets

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

Inspiration for crocheted carry bags from upcycled fruit nets. www.cucicucicoo.com

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:

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

Oh yes! I took those fruit and onion nets and crocheted around their edges, creating a comfy shoulder strap and… voilà: kid’s carry bags!

These are seriously so awesome. They take about one hour to make, are cost free to make (unless you count random yarn you already have hanging around) and are a perfect gift for kids. Over the past six months or so I’ve given away loads of them, usually with some candy or other goody inside (because you can’t give a kid an empty bag, right?!). They fit comfortably over a child’s shoulder and are wonderful for collecting treasures at the beach, in the woods or in the yard because sand and dirt just fall right through the netting, leaving just the things that count most! And you don’t have to be a crochet expert to make them. All you need to know is single crochet, double crochet, chain and slip stitch. Want to find out how to make these sweet crochet carry bags? Then read on!

Read moreTutorial: Crochet Carry Bags from Fruit Nets

DIY Flower pots from tin cans

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

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 the Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series is Cristina from Cri Erre Handmade. Cristina is an expert gardener, but also a lover of upcycling and organic foods. Today she will show us how to make a personalized flower pot from a simple tin can and a few other materials!

Cri Erre Handmade on Cucicucicoo's Eco Crafters and Sewers

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Tutorial: upcycle egg cartons into Flower Fairies

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

DIY tutorial: How to make Flower Fairies from upcycled egg cartons | a Mammabook tutorial for www.cucicucicoo.comFor 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 new things in her very own personal style. Feeling passionate about upcycling, she’s organized two editions of the Creative Recycling for Kids initiative (and I participated in both 2014 and 2013 with guest posts). She has a unique and whimsical drawing and painting style, which you can see in her Etsy shop, which features intricately painted rocks, which she turns into brooches, toys, magnets and more.

Silvia has created a tutorial for an incredible transformation of egg cartons, so let me show her in!


I’m so glad to have the chance today to write for a blog which I truly adore, and that I’ve been reading for such a long time; thank you, Lisa! I am also really happy because I’ve been invited to present a tutorial about creative recycling, and that’s definitely one of my favourite artistic topics.

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

There are a lot of recyclable materials out there, but egg carton boxes are for me among the most beautiful and flexible. Today I prepared for you an easy DIY to create decorative flower fairies, perfect for every season – wouldn’t they be cute also in red and white hanging from a Christmas tree?!

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

To make these fairies you’ll need wooden beads about one and half centimetres in diameter, beads about half a centimetre in diameter, string or twine, and, of course, egg carton boxes. Please place on your work space also watercolours and acrylics colours, a thin brush and a thicker one, scissors in various sizes, and a hot glue gun.

Read moreTutorial: upcycle egg cartons into Flower Fairies

How to felt wool sweaters in the washing machine

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: make your own boiled wool for crafting or sewing from old sweaters, cardigans, jumpers, blankets or any other thrifted wool items! www.cucicucicoo.com

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 ready to make some awesome crafting/sewing material because they’re perfect for machine felting!

Say what? Felted or boiled wool is super easy to make and can be used for a gazillion crafts and sewing purposes! It’s all natural and, by upcycling unwanted garments, you avoid wasting fabric and spending money on new supplies!

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

Everybody’s accidentally shrunk a wool garment at some point, so don’t deny that you have. Boiled wool is basically wool that’s been shrunk til it can be shrunk no more. This process changes the fabric completely, giving it totally new properties. Felted wool is super thick and warm, so it’s great for cold-weather clothing. It doesn’t fray, so it’s fantastic for crafting with or creating embellishments with unfinished edges. It’s also waterproof, so a fantastic natural resource for those who want to avoid synthetic waterproof materials in cloth diapers or menstrual pads. And some people simply prefer its thick and rough texture to that of regular knit wool.

So today’s Learn to Machine Sew lesson is not actually about machine sewing, but about creating an excellent fabric to sew with! If you want to learn more about how to felt wool sweaters in the washing machine and how you can use this fantastic material, just read on!

Read moreHow to felt wool sweaters in the washing machine