Crochet Reusable Water Balloons – Summer Fun with No Mess!

Have summer water battles without having to pick up bits of broken latex with these awesome homemade crochet reusable water balloons! Fun to use in the yard or at a pool or lake, and perfect at a summer birthday party as a game, gift or party favor!
Have summer water battles without having to pick up bits of broken latex with these awesome homemade crochet reusable water balloons! Fun to use in the yard or at a pool or lake, and perfect at a summer birthday party as a game, gift or party favor!

Earlier this year, I saw the coolest thing on Pinterest. I wanted so badly to try it out. I was so curious and I knew my kids would love it. Because who in the world wouldn’t want to try their hand at DIY crochet reusable water balloons?!

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Only thing was, it was the very beginning of January, and was probably the coldest day of the year. We were doing everything possible to stay warm.

Have summer water battles without having to pick up bits of broken latex with these awesome homemade crochet reusable water balloons! Fun to use in the yard or at a pool or lake, and perfect at a summer birthday party as a game, gift or party favor!

Flash forward six or seven months to the summer. One of the absolute worst Italy has seen in a long time. Months straight of heat and humidity with virtually no rain. So, we were doing the exact opposite, doing everything possible to stay cool.

At this point, crochet water balloons were sounding even more amazing.

Have summer water battles without having to pick up bits of broken latex with these awesome homemade crochet reusable water balloons! Fun to use in the yard or at a pool or lake, and perfect at a summer birthday party as a game, gift or party favor!

Because everyone loves a good water balloon fight, right? But nobody likes having to go around picking up all the bits of rubber from the broken balloons. And think of all that non-recyclable waste! It drives me nuts!

Have summer water battles without having to pick up bits of broken latex with these awesome homemade crochet reusable water balloons! Fun to use in the yard or at a pool or lake, and perfect at a summer birthday party as a game, gift or party favor!

That’s the genius in this crochet water balloon design by Left in Knots! They avoid all that! You don’t actually fill them up as you would with a classic balloon. You just put them all in a bucket of water and the yarn fibers soak up the water. Throw them at your opponents, then pop them back in the water when they need another soak, and throw them again!

You use the same balloons over and over again, so no waste and no broken pieces of latex to clean up!

Have summer water battles without having to pick up bits of broken latex with these awesome homemade crochet reusable water balloons! Fun to use in the yard or at a pool or lake, and perfect at a summer birthday party as a game, gift or party favor!

When you’re done, just give the balloons a rinse off and air dry them. You can also machine wash and dry them! They flatten out nicely so they don’t take up too much storage space, either.

Let me tell you a little more about my experience making these crochet reusable water balloons.

Read moreCrochet Reusable Water Balloons – Summer Fun with No Mess!

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!

Gemini free knit tee pattern review (reversible top)

ADORO questo schema gratis per una maglietta estiva ai ferri! La Gemini ha una scollatura con motivo traforato che si può indossare davanti o dietro! Bellissima e versatile!
LOVE this free knit tee pattern! Gemini top with a lace neck edge that can be worn facing front or back! Lovely and versatile!

I am a sewing addict, but I always have at least one knitting or crochet project in the works. I find it a fantastic way to relax and also to bring along with me to work on when I’m not home.

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Last summer’s project was Gemini, a free knit tee pattern by Jane Richmond.

LOVE this free knit tee pattern! Gemini top with a lace neck edge that can be worn facing front or back! Lovely and versatile!

This gorgeous summer top is worked top down in one piece (as much as I love sewing, I hate sewing together knit pieces!). It features lovely lace work on three sides of the neckline. The top can be worn with the lace facing front or back, giving it two very different looks, hence then name “Gemini.” (Which is incidentally also my sign!)

This is a deceptively easy project and, as it is worked in the round and the whole body is just a simple stockinette stitch, it was pretty fast to work up. It’s super comfortable and, even though it is a free pattern, the instructions were perfect and very clear.

Let me tell you a little more about this free knit tee pattern!

Read moreGemini free knit tee pattern review (reversible top)

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!

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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!

How to make a 30 second infinity scarf and headband!

Be fashionable and warm in the blink of an eye with a pair of scissors and a T-shirt! You can make a matching infinity scarf and headband set in less than 30 seconds with just 4 cuts! Super easy no-sew tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com
Look great and stay warm in the blink of an eye with a pair of scissors and a T-shirt! You can make a matching infinity scarf and headband set in less than 30 seconds with just 4 cuts! Super easy no-sew tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

I am a total infinity scarf junkie.

I am also a junkie of upcycling old T-shirts.

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And, even if I know perfectly well how to sew, I also love super quick projects that require no sewing.

Look great and stay warm in the blink of an eye with a pair of scissors and a T-shirt! You can make a matching infinity scarf and headband set in less than 30 seconds with just 4 cuts! Super easy no-sew tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

Last year I published a great tutorial on making infinity scarves from T-shirts by sewing together strips of the cut shirts. But sometimes it’s nice to just keep things simple. Which is why today I’m sharing a way to create a matching infinity scarf and headband set in little more than a blink of the eye. Without sewing!

Look great and stay warm in the blink of an eye with a pair of scissors and a T-shirt! You can make a matching infinity scarf and headband set in less than 30 seconds with just 4 cuts! Super easy no-sew tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

That’s right! All you need for this project is a T-shirt and a pair of scissors!

Are you ready? Let’s make a 30 second infinity scarf and headband set!

Read moreHow to make a 30 second infinity scarf and headband!

Free Pattern! Valentine’s Day bag tutorial

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!
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!

The day that some people absolutely love and others absolutely despise is coming up.

Yep. I’m talking about Valentine’s Day!

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!

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 people in my life. As far as I’m concerned, we should recognize how important our loved ones are to us each and every day!

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However, as I get older, some of my ideological beliefs soften and I start to appreciate the simple pleasures in life, such as giving someone a little something to remind him how much we care. It doesn’t have to be much, as long as it comes from the heart.

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!

And that’s why I’ve decided, for the first time in years, to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I explained to my children how the kids in the United States give out valentines to other kids (this doesn’t happen in Italy), and decided to make some homemade valentines and a little pouch to carry them in.

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!

And thus was born my reversible heart-shaped Valentine’s Day bag! Reversible because, well, how much more fun is it when you can flip a bag inside-out to get a whole “new” bag?!

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!

This little pouch is perfect for little girls to hold their valentines in, but can also be used for candies, small toys or any other treasure! And it only takes about 30 minutes to sew up! Yah!

Do you know someone who loves hearts and pink and all things lovey? Well then, let’s get going with my Valentine’s Day bag tutorial and FREE pattern!

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