Homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe (finocchietto digestif)

End your meal with delicious Italian finocchetto digestif! This homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe will make your stomach and your mouth happy! Great gift!

End your meal with delicious Italian finocchetto digestif! This homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe will make your stomach and your mouth happy! Great gift!

As my readers know, I was born and raised in the United States, but moved to Italy years ago and married into a Neapolitan family. Which means that I’ve learned a lot of my husband’s family’s culinary recipes and secrets, lucky me! It would be really hard to choose one favorite hand-me-down recipe, but the wild fennel liqueur recipe definitely ranks way up there!

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One of the culinary treats that is most famous from the area where we live is limoncello, a lemon liqueur, but what many people not from this area don’t realize is that there is a plethora of different types of liquers that you can find, and most families have their own traditional versions to make them at home. And my absolute favorite of these is finocchietto, wild fennel liqueur.

End your meal with delicious Italian finocchetto digestif! This homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe will make your stomach and your mouth happy! Great gift!

Wild fennel grows all over the place in certain areas near us, such as in the Cilento, where we go on vacation frequently. Here is a random finocchietto plant growing on the side of a country road in Pollica, in the heart of the Cilento. They have strong woody stalks with umbrella-shaped groups of yellow flowers, sort of similar to the Queen Anne’s Lace flower.

If you get them at the right time, they also have tender wispy greens that are absolutely delicious with fish and vegetables. The greens and the flowers have a wonderful anise-like taste that I love, but another great thing about them is their digestive properties. Whenever I have problems digesting something, I make myself an infusion of fennel seeds, and it always does the trick.

So a classic in Italian homes is to take the bottle of finocchietto liqueur out after a big meal and have a little glass of it to help digestion.

End your meal with delicious Italian finocchetto digestif! This homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe will make your stomach and your mouth happy! Great gift!

In June and July, these “umbrellas” look like little hard seeds, though I suppose they’re actually flower buds. Most people pick these seed umbrellas to make their finocchietto fennel liqueur.

End your meal with delicious Italian finocchetto digestif! This homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe will make your stomach and your mouth happy! Great gift!

But I prefer to pick the flowers themselves (which are also delicious for seasoning and garnishing food) in August/September to make my finocchietto. I’ve always gotten a lot of compliments on how it comes out, so perhaps there is indeed something special about the flavor of the flowers as opposed to the seeds.

This obviously comes out the best when using just-picked flowers or seeds, but if that’s not possible for you, you can always use store-bought dried fennel seeds. I usually pick a ton of flowers in the summer and make a bunch at a time because I like to bring it when we are guests for dinner or for a night away. A bottle of finocchietto is always well-received, so it’s a really great gift!

So what do you say? Do you want to know my beloved wild fennel liqueur recipe? Let’s get started!

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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!

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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!

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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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Refashion Tutorial: Make a T-shirt Infinity Scarf

Make a cool and snuggly accessory from your family’s old T-shirts, even if they’re ripped or stained! This tutorial shows how to cut up shirts and piece them together to create a colorful and unique infinity scarf! #sewingtutorial #infinityscarf #refashion

Make a cool and snuggly accessory from your family’s old T-shirts, even if they’re ripped or stained! This tutorial shows how to cut up shirts and piece them together to create a colorful and unique infinity scarf! www.cucicucicoo.com

Some people are obsessed with clothes and have overflowing closets. Other people obsessively buy shoes and have dozens and dozens of them. I, myself, have a thing for neckwear.

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Except for the hottest, most humid summer months, when I can’t bear to have anything on my skin, I love the feeling of having something around my neck. I have tons of necklaces (some of which you can see on my DIY driftwood necklace hanger) and tons more scarves.

About a year and a half ago I got hit by the infinity scarf bug. I have no idea just how many I’ve sewn, but I have more than I can possibly keep track of and have given many more away as gifts.

Make a cool and snuggly accessory from your family’s old T-shirts, even if they’re ripped or stained! This tutorial shows how to cut up shirts and piece them together to create a colorful and unique infinity scarf! www.cucicucicoo.com

See? Here I am in May 2015 (May 30 from my Me Made May 2015 challenge, to be precise) with a series of light springtime infinity scarves that I’d made that day. (I was also about two months in out of the 18 months or so it took to grow out my short pixie haircut!)

Make a cool and snuggly accessory from your family’s old T-shirts, even if they’re ripped or stained! This tutorial shows how to cut up shirts and piece them together to create a colorful and unique infinity scarf! www.cucicucicoo.com

I had some strips of fabric left over from these pant-to-skirt refashions that I did for my daughter, so those became scarves with one printed side and one solid side, an effect that looks wonderful when they get looped around the neck. (Find out how to sew infinity scarves with one or more colors here.)

Make a cool and snuggly accessory from your family’s old T-shirts, even if they’re ripped or stained! This tutorial shows how to cut up shirts and piece them together to create a colorful and unique infinity scarf! www.cucicucicoo.com

But the infinity scarf that I got (and continue to get) the most compliments on was this Spanish-style one with red pompom trim. I cut up the entire shirt, right up to the neck and including the sleeves, and pieced the pieces together along with the trim to make a loop that was wide enough to fit over my head twice. You can see the bit of lace under the neck tie incorporated in the scarf in the bottom picture above.

Make a cool and snuggly accessory from your family’s old T-shirts, even if they’re ripped or stained! This tutorial shows how to cut up shirts and piece them together to create a colorful and unique infinity scarf! www.cucicucicoo.com

A lot of people asked me how I made the scarf and I got more than one request for a tutorial. So now that I’ve explained how to sew knit fabric without any overstretching, bunching, snapped threads or holes, I thought that it was about time to finally explain how to make these!

I’ve given instructions on two styles of T-shirt infinity scarf. The first is a pretty simple two-color version that only takes about 15 minutes to make. The second is a more complex version of the first, using pieces from any number of shirt. You can get really creative and use up fabric scraps, or even salvage usuable parts of stained and/or ripped t-shirts.

These scarves are wonderful gifts, too, so raid your closet for shirts you don’t use anymore and sew up a colorful and unique T-shirt infinity scarf for everyone you know this holiday season! Let’s get started!

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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!

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Pencil shaped pencil case tutorial and FREE pattern

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

Well, it’s fall again. Back to work. Back to the gazillion activities each family member has. Back to school. Which means that it’s time for a brand new back to school project, but one that you’ll want even if you’re not a student: a pencil …

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Sewing concave and convex curves together

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 (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!

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 case pattern!), but first I want to explain an important technique that you need to know to sew it. I’m talking about sewing concave and convex curves.

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Don’t confuse this with simply sewing curved seams, which I explained how to do in this other Learn to Machine Sew lesson on turning and topstitching. What I’m talking about now is piecing together different shaped curves to create one flat piece of fabric. This technique is often used in garment sewing (such as attaching the arms to the armscye or creating princess seams) and in patchwork, but is seen in many other sort of projects, too.

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!

I will show you how to sew a circle enclosed inside another shape, as seen to the left above, and a convex curve (curving outward) to a concave curve (curving inward), seen to the right. A good example of this second style is my Hands Free Asymmetrical Bag. And because I hate wasting practice pieces, you can then sew these pieces together for a funky patchwork-style potholder.

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!

It can be a little tricky to figure out the exact shapes for this type of piecing, so I’ve created a free pattern for you to print out and get working on right away!

Want to get started? Keep on reading to find out how to sew different shaped curves together!

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DIY wine bottle vases with colored twine

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

Sometimes the bottles of our drinks have such a nice shape that it seems such a shame to just throw them out in the recycling. Other times I like to hold on to the bottle that we drank on a special occasion, just as a …

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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!

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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!

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How to Sew an Infinity Scarf in one or two fabrics

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

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 making them!

Seriously, I love infinity scarves (which are also sometimes called “circle scarves”). They can really make an outfit and can have totally different feels depending on which fabric is used in what size. They can be casual or relatively fancy, for warm weather or freezing cold weather. Fuzzy, silky, smooth. With embellishments sewn into them. From brand new fabric yardage or upcycled fabrics. You can really go wild with your creativity!

How to sew an infinity scarf in one or two fabrics: a Cucicucicoo Learn to Machine Sew tutorial | www.cucicucicoo.com

And these make such great gifts! Here is my friend Laura from Le Pecionate when we met up at the Abilmente creative fair in Rome, wearing an infinity scarf that I sewed her. (Isn’t she adorable?) Infinity scarves are very in right now, you can make them to suit the recipient’s needs and tastes, and they’re relatively fast to sew. I’ve been giving different versions of these for months, and have gotten nothing but rave reviews.

I actually meant to create this tutorial months ago, but I first wanted to publish a sewing lesson on how to sew the ladder stitch by hand. If using a single fabric, all you need to do is sew two seams with the sewing machine, then close up an opening by hand, so I decided to include this project in my Learn to Machine Sew series, even though it is not entirely machine sewn. I’m sure you’ll forgive me!

Let’s get started!

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DIY Paper Poinsettias from Upcycled Egg Cartons

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

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 …

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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!

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How to sew reusable produce bags

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

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

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 stories of sea creatures and birds eating them. Have you seen this video showing a seagull swallowing a plastic bag over 5 minutes that never seem to end? You should. It’s pretty horrifying.

I started making reusable produce bags years ago (you can see my first ones here) and I love them! Not only do they help me avoid using plastic bags for my fruits and veggies, I can also store my produce in the fridge inside the bags, because the fabric allows them to breathe. Over time, I’ve given them away as gifts and tried out different fabrics and sewing methods. And today, as the tutorial going along with the buttonhole lesson in my Learn to Machine Sew course for beginners, I’ll teach you how to make two types of reusable produce bags with drawstring closures!

But even if you’re not interested in making produce bags, I still suggest you try out this technique, because it’s always useful to know how to make a drawstring bag! And just to prove it, I’ll show you at the end of this post how to make some other cool drawstring bags for other uses using the same slightly modified techniques!

There are lots of ways to make drawstring bags, and these are only two of them. Because chiffon-like fabrics fray like crazy, I’ve designed these bags to have all edges enclosed inside the casing or french seams. Don’t worry, it’s actually really easy! Let’s get started!

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Glove animal tutorial: Upcycled Glovosaurs

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

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 …

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Evening Primrose Pajama Pants Pattern (for women)

Evening Primrose pajama pants for women PDF sewing pattern by Cucicucicoo Patterns | www.cucicucicoo.com

I am thrilled to present to you my very first multi-size clothing sewing pattern: the Evening Primrose Pajama Pants pattern for women! Yah! I really love this pattern! (update 05/02/16: this pattern was originally called “Oenothera Biennis Pajama Pants,” which is why you might see …

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