Do you have knitters in your family? I do. I am one. Though not a very good one.
In any case, knitting needles are a remarkably easy thing to make (according to Martha Stewart) and they make a great little gift.
You can get doweling of several different thicknesses at any hardware or craft store.
Saw the dowel to the desired length (my dowels were all 36″, so I cut most of my needles to 12″ lengths, though I did make a set of four 9″ double-ended needles). Use a pencil sharpener to create a point.
Sand the dowels down to create a smooth surface that won’t catch on the yarn. Make sure as well to dull the points a bit. It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. You can rub the needles with a bit of warm beeswax, just to protect them and let the wool slide a bit easier.
Then all you have to do is use a glue gun to put colourful buttons at the ends.
And there you have it. Tie them with some pretty ribbon and give them all away!
I went to high school with a lovely girl named Paola. While we generally pronounced it the boring North American way (“Pollah”), we would occasionally say it correctly (“Powla”) or even go crazy and hyper-phoeneticize it (“Payola”).
In grades nine and ten she and I used to colour pretty much everything we owned. We used a lot of Crayola products, especially the stamp-y markers. She had way more artistic skill in her little finger than I could ever hope to have.
We’ve since lost touch. I think she’s a nurse or some form of medical practitioner now, and I wish her all the best. But this little project made me think of her.
I was on MarthaStewart.com the other day, looking for ideas for re-purposing objects into practical items, and also for Christmas gift ideas that could be made on a budget (stay tuned for those DIYs).
In passing I found this little project (just skip the ad and you can see it), and I thought it might be fun and easy to do. It not being Valentine’s Day, I probably wouldn’t make any hearts, but a rainbow of circles might be nice in the kitchen window. And if that worked, I thought I could make some more for my nephew and goddaughter in Sweden as a ‘just-because’ kind of present that would fit easily in the mail.
For this you will need wax crayons, a pencil sharpener, waxed paper, kraft or brown paper, an iron (and ironing board), scissors, and a needle and thread. Maybe a stencil or cookie cutters as well.
Using the pencil sharpener, make some shavings of the crayons of your choice.
Lay a sheet of kraft paper on your ironing board. This is the crucial step or you end up with melted wax all over your ironing board.
Put a sheet of waxed paper on top of that and fold it in half.
On one half of the waxed paper, sprinkle the shavings of your choice, evenly but thinly across the area you want covered.
Refold the sheet and fold up the other three sides as well to hold in the shavings. This is a pretty important step, so don’t forget it.
Place another sheet of kraft paper over top to protect your iron.
With your iron on medium, make a few passes over the paper pile, checking each time, until you are satisfied with the melty results.
Remove the shavings sheet from the pile and allow to cool. Repeat. Experiment with the width of the shavings, the density on the page, and the colours you mix together.
Draw or trace, using a stencil or cookie cutters, the shape you wish to create, and cut it out. I chose circles for me, then an astronomy theme for Arun and a garden theme for Maya.
I noticed the sheets were starting to curl (and I was losing the light) so I put the cut-out pieces under some heavy books overnight.
Thread a needle with the desired colour of thread and carefully poke it through the top of your shape. Tie a loop for easy hanging.