Tag Archives: GrahamCrafter

Project #17: DIY Workout Headband



Another running project! If you’re not much on exercise, it’s cool… I’ll be posting some Halloween projects over the next couple of weeks.  That snazzy green headband I’m wearing is the latest thing I’ve made and it was SUPER easy.  I help plan a 5K run every summer; last year, one of the race directors made these headbands to give to our runners. I reverse engineered that one so I could add a few more to my collection.  Oh, P.S. – you might be asking yourself, “Did Dana put makeup on at 9:00 at night just to take that picture?” You bet I did.

As always, let’s start with materials.  This one is pretty simple… you need spandex fabric (usually sold in the fabric store as “Swim/Dance” or “Performance.”  A cut of 6″ will make you probably 4 headbands.  You’ll also need good scissors (seriously, they need to be good, sharp scissors), a tape measure, and a sewing machine and thread.  You could do this by hand, but a machine will be WAY easier.


Cut the fabric into  strips that are 3″ wide by 18″ long.  The 18″ length makes a nice snug headband. If you have a giant noggin, you might want to add an inch.  The edges of the fabric are going to roll up – that’s OK.  The weave of spandex/performance fabric is such that the edges won’t fray.  I should warn you that as we get into the sewing instructions, there are a lot of  “turn it right side out” or “fold toward the inside” directions.  I hope they’re not too hard to follow, but rely on the pictures if you have to.

Image  Image

With the right sides together (the sides without the rolled edges), sew a seam on the short end, to make the headband shape.  I used a half-inch seam allowance,  then trimmed a little of the extra fabric away.


Turn the headband right side out and fold in both sides at the seam, toward the inside.  Put a couple pins in to keep the folds in place.  I know you’re probably thinking, “Oh blah I don’t need pins.”  Seriously, just use them.   Spandex is tricky.  This is the fabric that brought the world wedgies, so let’s not pretend it’s easy to tame.


With the pins holding the folds in place, top stitch on either side of the seam.  This will give the headband a nice shape and help keep it in place on your head.  I used white thread so it showed in the photos, but you can use thread closer to the color of your fabric if you want.


Trim away the threads and you’re done!  Here is what it will look like in a drawer or basket, or on your floor:


Here is a close-up of this thing on my head. Wish I’d brushed my hair.  Or made an attempt at editing that fluorescent spot on my forehead.


Happy Crafting! Happy Running!


Project Idea – A New Twist!


Greetings, baseball fans! The Tigers are not doing so well in Game 1 right now, so I’m working off a little anger by posting a project that makes me so happy! You may have seen Project #10 a few weeks ago.  Well, my friend Nicole and her adorable little boy have made one of their own! This is the first time someone has shared a GrahamCrafter project with me and it’s very exciting! More exciting than, say, this Tigers game.


I love how they used three different papers.  She also used wooden letters (painted black and with lots of GLITTER!) which give some extra dimension.


He looks so proud of his project! Happy Crafting! Thanks for sharing, Nicole!


Project #11: Glitter Pumpkins


I’m back from Buffalo and to make up for last week, you get a bonus this week… TWO projects! An easy one today, and a lovely-but-more-complicated one tomorrow.  So today’s lunchtime blog is to give you a quick tutorial on how to make cute glitter pumpkins without the mess.  A lot of the instructions I’ve seen call for glue and actual glitter… and while it’s a well-known fact here at Graham Crafter that I LOVE GLITTER, it’s a freaking mess when you’re working with 3D objects.  Instead, I use glitter paint and you get all the sparkle/shine with a fraction of the mess.  I tried to go for a nice Halloween-ish look for the photo.  Eh, they can’t all be winners.

Let’s start at the beginning with supplies.  You’ll need a craft foam pumpkin (often on sale at Michaels, I also found some small ones at the Dollar Tree), craft acrylic paint, glitter acrylic paint, a cheapo foam brush, and – if you like – something small for decoration.  I used spider stickers from Jolee’s Botique (also on sale at Michaels.)

From here on out, you’re basically just painting the pumpkin.  By the way, the lady who cut my hair when I was little was named Pumpkin.  Well, that wasn’t her actual name, but the ladies at Fantastic Sam’s used to get nicknames, and hers was Pumpkin.  25 years later, and I still refer to her as Pumpkin.  What a nickname.  Anyway, start with your solid color of craft acrylic.  You may want to go with a metallic or pearl finish paint… whatever you’d like is fine.  Depending on the thickness of your paint, you may have to do a “sponge dab” technique instead of brush strokes.  I tried to give you photos that demonstrate what can happen with brush strokes… it works, but you’ll need lots of coats.  The dabbing technique will cut down on the number of coats necessary for good color coverage.


Once the solid color is dry, add your glitter paint.  This will require several coats, depending on your sparkle preference.  I love me some glitter, so I used a LOT of coats in a couple different colors of glitter (a yellowy-green and a kelly-ish green.)  Let the coats of glitter dry somewhat in between… as long as it’s not sticky to the touch, you can keep adding.

When you’re done glittering… but who are we kidding? I’ll never REALLY be done glittering… you can add a little decoration if you want.  I liked these 3D spiders.

For fun, I attempted a “creepy” photo with my app.  Again, they can’t all be winners.  But this project is easy and cheap and very non-messy.  Probably kid-friendly, too, so long as they don’t paint your walls with purple glitter or something.  Unless you live in Studio 54 – then maybe that would be welcomed.

Happy Crafting!

Project #1 – Ribbon Pillow


Well, here it is… the Graham Crafter Blog.  Sometimes I make things, and sometimes people like them.  This is the place where I’ll show you how to make them, too.  The first project is a relatively easy pillow.  I took my inspiration from a ridiculously overpriced version at Pier One.  And if you know me, I won’t buy it if I can make it.  And, my couch came from Ikea, so I felt like the pillow should not be the most expensive thing in the living room.  This project does require that you know how to sew, but it’s all straight line sewing – no need to read a pattern!

To start, choose your materials: 5 or 6 spools of ribbon in different colors.  You can be creative with the width and texture, but you probably don’t want to go less than 1/2″ wide.  Cut the ribbon into 19″ strips.  You’ll also need two pieces of fabric, cut 18″ square.  I chose an upholstery fabric because it’s a heavier – nice for a throw pillow.  Unless you want just a pillowcase and not an actual pillow, you will also need stuffing (available at pretty much any craft store).  Finally, you’ll need thread and fusible “stitch witchery” (also available at pretty much any craft store, or even grocery superstores that have craft sections).  “Stitch witchery” is also known as “that crap you use with the iron when you don’t want to actually hem your pants.”  Oh, and you should probably use a sewing machine, but if you’re brave enough to hand sew – go for it!


To start, cut a piece of stitch witchery the same length as your first ribbon.  Place it at the bottom edge of the ribbon and iron it to the top of a fabric square.  Follow the directions on the stitch witchery package to determine the temperature of the iron.  You’ll want to start at the top and work your way down.  Keep adding ribbons in this manner until you reach the bottom.  If you’re anything like me, the ribbon ironing will take a week, because you only do like 3 at a time before you get bored.

Note to Self: paint your nails next time you have to take pictures of your hand for the Graham Crafter Blog.

Eventually, you’ll have all the ribbons ironed down and your entire square filled.

Now, cut the edges so the ribbon is more even.  This will make for easier sewing and right-side-outing later.

Next, put the other fabric square on top of your ribbon piece.  Layer them right sides facing each other.   This  matters later when you turn it right-side out (your seams will be hidden on the inside).  Pin the pieces together (I know, I know… the pinning part sucks.  But it makes for better sewing).  Sew around the edges with about a 5/8″ seam allowance (but it’s just a pillow, so the seam allowance is negotiable). Don’t forget to leave yourself a small opening (about 3 inches) to add the stuffing later!

Yep, that’s the sewing machine Santa brought me when I was 13.  Because what 13-year-old girl doesn’t want a sewing machine? If I were 13 now, I would want the Justin Bieber singing toothbrush.  Actually, I’m 31 and I still want that toothbrush.

When you’re done sewing, turn the thing right-side-out (using your little opening), and start stuffing.  You might need to use a knitting needle or butter knife to square out the corners.  Speaking of 13-year-old me, stuffing is a skill that would have come in handy back then.  But enough about that… keep stuffing until your pillow is as soft and/or firm as you’d like it.

When fully stuffed, fold in the edges of your little opening and sew it closed.  Cut your threads and you’re done!

Woo hoo! You made something! Put it on your couch and show it off proudly to all who visit.