Oldies But Goodies link party at Crafty State of Mind

oldies but goodies blog posts

Last week I added my DIY Ring Holder post to Crafty State of Mind’s “Oldies but Goodies” link party.  This is such a neat idea for a link up because it gives you an opportunity to dust off some older posts and introduce them to a new audience. I’m sure almost everyone has an old post that they love that they’d like to bring to the attention of new (and existing) readers. I certainly did!
Jen, from Crafty State of Mind, picks a few posts from the previous week’s link up  and features the on the current link party… and my post was chosen!!! I was so excited and surprised to hear that she picked mine among so many outstanding submissions.  Hop on over to her blog to check out all the great submissions and to add your own post to the link up!
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Learning to knit and purl

So I recently was taught how to knit by a friend. I learned how to cast on and do the simple knit and purl stitches. Fortunately, I know how to crochet, so I caught on fairly quickly. I’m starting to really master it now, and have decided it’s time to tackle a “real” project instead of continuing to make blobs (i.e. never ending rows of stitches).

So, for my first project I am making….(drumroll, please!)…this nifty bolero:

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I found this free pattern on Pinterest (where else?!).  And I’m pretty excited to try it out.

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Wish me luck!! I’ll post about my progress semi regularly (hopefully I will have positive progress to share), so stay tuned!

Are you a knitter? If so, what are you working on right now? If not, would you like to be? Or are you crafty in some other way? I’d love to hear all about it!!

DIY: Ring Holder tutorial

Back in November/December, I was trolling pinterest (because I do that, you know), and stumbled across a pin of a ring holder made from a picture frame.  It was so clever and so cute- I knew I could reproduce it.  Armed with just a picture in my mind, I decided to collect some supplies and make two for Christmas presents. The gift recipients really loved them and some of my friends commented that they thought they were cute, so I thought I’d share them with you guys and also provide a bit of a tutorial 🙂

Here are the finished products- I think they turned out really cute.

Ring Holder #1- 2×2 square

Ring Holder #2- 2×3 rectangle

First, you need to get some small frames, no larger than wallet sized (2×3).  The square frame is a 2×2 (I loved the beading design of the frame), and the rectangle frameis a standard wallet frame (2×3).  I got my frames at Hobby Lobby because they have a HUGE selection, and they have good sales- but it doesn’t really matter where you get your frame.

Take the glass out of the frame- you don’t need it anymore.  Save it for a future project, or just toss it.

Next, you need scrapbook paper for the background. I had some scraps lying around that I knew I wanted to use, so this wasn’t an issue for me. Maybe you have some, too- you just need a square/rectangle/circle the size of your frame opening. If not, a quick trip to the scrapbook store (wait.. is there such a thing as a quick trip??) will do the trick.  I just used the frame backing to trace on my scrapbook paper, but you could also measure instead (I know… what is measuring???).

Paper cut to fit the frame

Once you have your paper cut out, you need some cardboard. I actually used an empty tissue box, but it probably would have been better to use something thicker. Then I wouldn’t have had to make so many layers.  Cut your cardboard to be the same size as your paper and glue them together.  I did the tissue box printed side in, so that if you turn over the paper, you just see brown cardboard.  If you are using a thin type of cardboard, you’ll probably have to do 6 or so layers.  The goal is to get the paper thick enough that when you put it in the frame, there is little to no “wiggle”- it doesn’t slide forward in the frame, or back.  You want a snug fit.

The snazzy cardboard I used

Now you need to punch a hole in your paper/cardboard so you can insert the hook.  Fortunately, my mom got me a cropadile tool many years ago, so I used that.  And it made this SO easy.  It’s basically a very sofisticated hole punch.  You’ll want to punch the hole near the top of your paper/cardboard so that there is maximum space for the ring to hang inside the frame.  You might want to assemble the frame first, and then mark a spot with a pencil before punching the hole.  That way you know you get it in the right spot.

This contraption is the cropaile

Finally, you need hooks. This was trickier. The picture I saw on pinterest had a needle stuck in the center and the ring(s) just rested on the needle. But I didn’t like that. It seemed too flimsy, too cheap. So I knew I wanted some type of pretty hook. This was a pain and a half! I went to Home Depot because they have all those bins of screws and nails and bolts… and they even have hooks. But all the hooks were ugly. Either plastic covered (tacky!) or just a simple, boring metal. The latter would have worked, but I knew I wanted something more decorative. I finally stumbled across an already assembled key hook plaque. It was just a slab of wood with five hooks in it. And the hooks were the perfect size, and just decorative enough to be what I wanted. So I bought it, figuring those hooks have to be removable somehow. If I hadn’t been so impatient to start making these, I probably would have tried a few other stores (Lowes, Ace, maybe even Michaels) to see what they had for hooks. But I didn’t want to drive around, and I do love these hooks.

Anyway- my hooks had a post the hooks screwed onto.  So I stuck the post through my newly created hole, added a metal washer to the front (to help eliminate any gap between the hook and paper), and then screwed the hook on.  Then I put the whole thing in the frame, put the frame backing on, and stood it up.  And viola!  You now have a very pretty ring holder.  Perfect for a dresser or the bathroom, or wherever!

The finished Ring Holder!

So, what do you think?  Pretty cool and not too difficult, right?  I’m sure you know someone in your life who could benefit from one of these.  So next time you are trying to figure out what to get for someone, why not attempt making one of these?  Or, if you’re not sure you have the craftiness inside you, leave me a comment, and I’ll make one for you. Happy crafting!