With the holidays right around the corner the Spoonflower crew is abuzz printing and shipping fabric for your last minute gifts. In their spare time, this creative bunch is crafting up a storm of handmade gifts for friends and family. Take a look!
This fall design students head back to campus and begin to dream up exciting ideas for class assignments and independent projects. Spoonflower is making it easier for up-and-coming designers to use custom digitally printed textiles through the Emerging Designer Grant.
Up next in our DIY weddings series, Spoonflower crew member Caitlin shares two simple tutorials using decals to add a special touch to your wedding day.
There are lots of ways to add a personal touch to your wedding. For my own wedding almost four years ago, I made many of the day's decorative elements, including fabric bunting which I turned into a quilt, and boutonnières made from ribbon and buttons. With Spoonflower decals, there are lots of fun and simple projects that you can create — using a custom design of your own or one from the Marketplace — to add a personal touch to your important day. Below are two simple tutorials to make table numbers (something I didn't DIY for my own wedding, but wish I had!) and cupcake toppers with decals.
- Spoonflower decals, printed with your own design or something from the Spoonflower Marketplace. I chose an awesome vintage floral by Melody Miller for my projects.
- Numbers printed out from a home printer.
- 6 ½" x 8 ½" chalkboards, available online and in craft stores.
- Scissors and pencil.
1. Choose a font and print out the necessary numbers for your tables. For my numbers, I used a font I downloaded from dafont.com, and sized the numbers to about 5 ½” tall, to fit comfortably onto the chalkboards.
2. Cut out each number and trace it onto the decal’s paper backing. Since you’ll be using numbers, be sure to reverse them when tracing so that when they’re cut out, they’re facing in the right direction.
3. Cut out each of the numbers and apply to your chalkboards. One of the great things about Spoonflower’s decal is that it’s repositionable, so you can move your numbers around and re-stick them until you have them in the spot you want.
1. Cut your decal into ½” strips. Cut each strip into a 3 ½” piece.
2. Wrap each strip around one end of a toothpick.
3. Trim the end of the decal. You could trim it at an angle or to a point, or cut a triangle out from the end.
4. Stick into your cupcakes (or slices of pie or donuts!).
Will you be using (or have you used) decals for any of your wedding projects? If so, please share your ideas in the comments below—I’d love to hear about them!
About Our Guest Blogger
When she’s not working behind the
scenes at Spoonflower, sourcing fabric, Caitlin can be found
quilting in her home studio or blogging over at Salty
Next up in our DIY weddings series, Spoonflower staffer Laurie shares an easy technique for creating unique, handmade wedding invitations using both Spoonflower decals and fabric.
In this DIY wedding tutorial, I’m going to show you have to make beautiful handmade wedding invitations using Spoonflower decals and fabrics.
- 1 sheet of 30×30” Spoonflower decal with your own custom invitation design
- 1-2 yards of Spoonflower printed fabric (upload your own design or choose a pattern from our marketplace)
- Coordinating ribbon and thread
- 20 Blank 5″x7” greeting cards (cut in half at the fold to make 40 5″x7” cards)
- Scissors and a sewing machine
Yields 40 invitations
Spring is in the air in North Carolina, and with warmer weather and blooming flowers comes the start of wedding season. To inspire blushing brides to be and other wedding enthusiasts we are switching our focus to fun DIY wedding projects! For the first entry in our month-long series, Spoonflower crew member Stephanie shares how she used baby succulents (and Spoonflower fabric) to serve double duty as both centerpieces and favors!
I tried to keep the DIY for my wedding manageable. Since I planned it in two months, I didn’t want to take on too many projects at once and have the wedding day come and have only a bunch of sad, partially completed projects to show for all my work. One of the reasons I like this project so much is that it served double duty! Table decorations by day, wedding favors by night.
- 3 different sizes of mason jars (8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz)
- succulent clippings
- succulent/cactus soil
- craft moss
- paper funnel
- succulent care sheets
The number of mason jars you need depends on how many tables you have, the size of the tables and how much space you want the decoration to take up. I had four 8-foot round tables and placed two 32 oz jars, three 16 oz jars and three 8 oz jars on each table. I bought my mason jars in bulk from Uline, but you could also find them in a grocery store if it is around canning season.
When I first started looking for succulents, I was afraid this project’s budget was going to go a little over! Fully grown succulents are a little expensive to fill so many jars, especially when some jars might need a few succulents, not just one. However, with a little luck and research, I came across the idea of using succulent clippings which are perfect for this project! I purchased my succulent clippings from the Etsy shop, Sanpedrocactus.
Once you have all your supplies, it’s time to start planting succulents! I found it easiest to create a paper funnel to fill all the mason jars with dirt. Another great tool to use is chopsticks. It’s practically impossible to arrange the succulents and moss how you want with your hand, so having some chopsticks available is a great help.
After planting the succulents, the jars look a little bare, but don’t fret! Once you add the moss, you expect a little gnome to walk out from under a leaf and the look is complete!
The one thing I was worried about was that I was giving away all these baby succulents and people wouldn’t know how to take care of them. Just one time of watering a succulent too much could kill it! Using some information that came with the succulent clippings I created a little fabric handout that people could take with them. Here is my design on Spoonflower, and a photo of the printed fabric:
I found some old, public domain illustrations of succulents online, created a grey border and chose some fancy fonts in Photoshop and I was done! I printed the instructions on Heavy Cotton Twill and pinked the edges so they wouldn’t fray. The final product comes out to a nice pile of helpful succulent tips that are around 4 in x 5 in. Even though the succulents were spread out on the tables, I kept the instructions on the guest book table with a sign telling everyone to take their favorite home with them.
Another idea is to print the instructions on a decal. I thought of this when I saw that my mother-in-law kept her succulent by a window in the kitchen with the succulent care sheet next to it. I thought it would be fun if she could have stuck the care sheet to the window above the succulent so she wouldn’t ever misplace it!
One of the best things about this project is after the wedding, you get to visit your friends and family and see the succulent they took home. It’s so great to see which one they picked and how much it’s grown.
About Our Guest Blogger
It’s all over now and thank goodness! I like Christmas and all but however lovely and joyous it is, it’s always a relief to me when it’s done. Now, there’s just the relaxing and reflecting part to revel in. My oldest daughter is off from school til the year turns and we can all hang out and make things because we want to and not just because we have a project with a deadline on our to-do list.
I think you all know at this point that Stephen and I decided to give only handmade gifts for Christmas this year. We did cave a bit towards the end and put store-bought candy and some other purchased odds and ends in the stockings. And after some skepticism, Stephen elected to include things made with a computer under the umbrella of handmade. (Which I’m glad about because I am the delighted owner of a fantastic new mix CD with some bands I’d never heard of before but now LOVE. Beirut, LCD Soundsystem, TV on the Radio…)
I’ve made the executive decision to always have handmade Christmases from now on and am even toying with the idea of making a personal policy of exclusively handmade gift-giving. Aside from the benefits I mentioned in this post, there was an additional perk I wasn’t expecting to have happen. I don’t know about the rest of you, but on Christmas mornings past, we’ve had bag after ridiculous bag of packaging scraps, plastic casings, and shredded wrapping paper to take out. A family of four–and this year, of five!–generates a lot of packaging waste. But this year? We had hardly any clean-up and only one not-quite-full bag of un-reusable wrapping paper to take out. All the love and none of the guilt! I love that.
In the interest of full disclosure here, I will mention one downside. If you’re the kind of guy person who likes to do the vast majority of your gift procurement on Christmas Eve, hand-making everything may not be for you. Because you probably can’t get it all done in one day. You know, I’m just sayin’.
I’ve been making holiday gifts by hand for a few years now, but this is the first year that I took the plunge and vowed to give only handmade gifts for the holidays. With Christmas so close, and the whole country, it seems, plunged into the final, wild throes of gift-procuring I’ve had several people ask me lately how it’s going with my gift-making. They ask me this with a strange look on their faces–I’d say equal parts sympathy and pity with perhaps a touch of surety that I’ve either given it up or am going completely insane with the effort. My answer? It’s going great!
I can’t tell y’all how liberating it is to walk into–or past!–any store lately and know that I don’t need to worry about one single thing inside. Nothing! But perhaps you already knew that. And then there’s the fact that I actually enjoy making things, so having an excuse to be at the sewing table as often as I’ve been lately is really nice.
I do have a wee bit of anxiety that the relatively humble gifts I’ve planned and made will disappoint those that I’ve made them for, especially the kids on my list. My oldest daughter, sophisticated 10-year old that she is, will be able to remember Christmases past to compare this one to, and I didn’t go out of my way to whip up over-the-top gifts to “make up” for them not being store-bought. But hopefully, the uniqueness factor will appeal to the older kids and, of course, the littler ones won’t be able to remember anything different if I start them young.
Other than that, it’s been about as low-stress as a Christmas can be. And on top of that tremendous benefit, all this creativity is just making me more inspired! I’ve got a number of projects in mind already to make for myself after I’m done making things for everyone else. Money-saving? Reduced stress? Creative inspiration? Why would I ever go back? I hope all your making is going just as well!
(The owl pillows in the photo above are from Amy Schimler’s free pattern here on the Robert Kaufman website. Amy’s blog is Red Fish Circle, and you can see some of the fabrics we printed for her recently here. Her Etsy shop, where you can buy some of her colorful fabrics for yourself, is here.)
Our local quilt shop regularly offers great sewing classes, some of which have nothing to do with quilting. Probably my favorite class was one taught by Karen West on how to make toothbrush rugs. Considering how little there is on-line about these rugs, let me explain here. A toothbrush rug is made with long strips of fabric kinda looped together with a tool made from an old toothbrush with its bristly head sawed off, a hole bored into one end, and the other end filed to a point. It looks like this. The looping technique reminds me a lot of crochet, though I haven’t crocheted anything since I was 5 and my mom taught me how to make a long chain. You can order rug patterns with instructions and toothbrush tools here. (Or perhaps a tutorial is in order here?)
I made the rug above from batiks and shot cottons. Robert Kaufman’s luminous chambray solids would work great, too, I bet. Ideally, you’ll use fabrics that are dyed on both sides because you do see both sides of the strips. (Did I mention that it’s reversible? Woo-hoo!) That said, these rugs use a LOT of fabric–around 8 yards or so for an oval measuring 2-1/2 by 3-1/2–so using fabric you have on hand that you otherwise can’t find a use for is a good idea, too. Stick with non-slippery fabrics of the same weight and yours should turn out great–heavy, hard-wearing, washable, and made up of the colors that you’ve handpicked for your room!