Category: Fabric crafts

Entering the world of Etsy

I’ve been on such a huge cross-stitching kick lately.  I tend to go through crafting phases, where I’ll be incredibly focused on doing one type of craft, and right now, I’m nose deep in DMC thread skeins and Aida cloth.

by alison.anne on Craftster
By alison.anne on Craftster.  This is me right now.

I’ve even jumped into the world of making my own cross-stitch patterns.  I’ve had some mixed results with that – some images just don’t translate well to a cross-stitch pattern.  But some stuff I made has come out really, really well.  And I thought to myself, “Why not put these out there for everyone?”  Why not, indeed?

So, I resurrected my Etsy shop for the umpty-millionth time.

I’ve sold a wide variety of things in my Etsy shop, under a wide variety of names. It used to be called Bee’s Crafts, then Dreaming Pixels Crafts, and now it’s The Crafty Nerd’s Closet.  I’ve sold punch embroidery pillows through there, and plain old boring pillows made with Sailor Moon fabric.  I’ve tried to sell Doctor Who scarves out of my shop, with no success.  I even tried selling the mess of scarves I’ve made through there – nobody seems to want homemade scarves, however.  But I think I’ve stumbled on something people will actually want to buy.

I think.

I’ve currently got a bunch of My Little Pony patterns up, and one lone Sailor Moon pattern.  I’ve got some scooters in there, too (I’m pretty sure my followers will recognize Mia and Scooterlou, haha), and a couple of little finished objects too.  So far I’ve sold one pattern.  I may have very excitedly started creating more patterns once that first one sold – someone actually wanted to make something with my Crescent Moon Wand themed pattern that I put together at 6 am one day before I went to work (and ended up getting in late because I was flailing about, trying to finish the pattern).

One of the awesome things – and potentially bad things – about Etsy: finding more things to make.  Sure, you can find all sorts of “vintage” things there, and handmade objects for your every need, but finding patterns, stuff to help you make things yourself, now that is what I’m excited about.  I may have found six or seven little cross-stitch patterns that I want to make that are all coffee themed.  At this point, I’ll likely end up covering every wall in cross-stitch projects.  And I have no problem with that whatsoever.

Oh, Etsy, I get the feeling this is going to turn into something resembling my relationship with Pinterest – I visit you for what I think will be two or three minutes, and then hours later I’ve found nine things I want to do and am still sitting in front of the computer in my Rainbow Dash bathrobe, needing to leave for work in ten minutes, heheh.

Go check out my shop – if you’re a fan of The Crafty Nerd on Facebook, you’ll find a code for 15% off any order.  (And if you’re not a fan on Facebook, well, what are you waiting for? 😛 )

I mean, come on, how can you say no to that face?
I mean, come on, how can you say no to that face?

10 Free Nerdy Cross-Stitch Patterns!

Well, it’s wintertime, and for a lot of people, that means some extra time to work on craft projects!  (Especially me, with the break between semesters.)  And there’s nothing better than finding free craft patterns to do – so I’ve got a collection of 10 awesome, nerdy, and free cross-stitch patterns!

Hunger Games Bookmark

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Baby Toothless

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Rarity

rarity

Mario Through the Ages

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Princess Peach

peach

Yoshi

yoshi

Jigglypuff

jigglypuff

Princess Serenity

PrincessSerenity

Z is for Zelda

Z_is_for_Zelda_Pattern

Rainbow Dash Heart

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I hope you found something here to keep you busy!  Also, I’m working on getting my stuff on Pinterest more, so for those of you who love pinning awesome things, here – have a Pinterest-friendly image to keep track of all these goodies with! (Featuring a finished Rainbow Dash heart pattern that I just finished stitching yesterday!)  And for more craft ideas, check out my board Crafts I Need To Do!

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What I’ve been up to these past few weeks

“Hey, Beth! You seem to have fallen of the face of the Earth entirely!  What the heck happened?”

Yes, I’m sure that’s exactly what you’re asking right now.  Yes.  So I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to, in glorious picture format!

Sleeping kitty = such cute
Sleeping kitty = such cute

Taking pictures of sleeping cats!  Because kitties are cute, and I now have one living with me.  His name is Steve.  He likes to watch Battlestar Galactica, enjoys kicking the carpets in the bathroom around, and his favorite pony is Pinkie Pie.

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WE ARE IN THE FUTURE

Playing with my new smartwatch.  Bryan says it’s a fad, they won’t last, but honestly?  I love it.  I partially justified the purchase by saying that it’s research for when I re-write an old NaNoWriMo novel for this year’s NaNoWriMo.  Since it’s set in the future, I gave the characters wrist communicators, and, well, HERE IT IS ON MY WRIST RIGHT NOW.  Granted, it needs a cellphone to work with, but we’re getting closer!

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Getting a jump start on Christmas crafting!

Punch embroidering, because I haven’t done it in years.  I’m making a couple of Christmas stockings, and then I might see if anyone wants to commission me for anything, because gosh do I enjoy doing this and I forgot how fun it is.  Plus, it’s getting harder and harder to find punch embroidery stuff (apparently the place I shop from online is now the ONLY online store selling punch embroidery supplies!), and I may as well do it while I can, right?

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I love Digital Libraries.

Doing homework.  And yes, my most recent bit of homework involved reviewing an online digital archive of comic book art.  Have I mentioned how much I love library and information science?  Because I do.  I really do. 😀  My next bit of homework, for Representation & Organization, involves writing a script of how a typical grocery shopping trip goes, and then comparing it with the actual process of shopping in order to spark discussion about mental models and how they match up to the actual process or task that one is trying to complete.

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On the banks of Racquette River, with its banks of blue, stands our honored Potsdam College, stirring sight to view…

Drinking lots of coffee and feeling rather homesick.  This is the time of year I really miss Potsdam – even though the stupid lack of sunlight and the near-constant dreary grayness made my seasonal affective disorder crap way worse than it needed to be… I miss the trees changing color, the nights getting downright chilly, and the hint of winter in the air, even in September…

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Yes, this is pretty much a tiny Chun-Li.

Getting minis ready for painting!  It’s been entirely too humid out to prime minis, but that doesn’t stop me from scraping off the extra plastic bits and filing the rough spots down so I can prime and paint when the weather is good.

And that’s what I’ve been up to, in illustrated form!  Now that I’ve settled in for the semester, posts will occur more regularly, and I do have some exciting things in the works!  Have an idea for a topic you want to see on the site?  Leave a comment on this post, and chances are, I’ll cover it. 🙂  I’m always looking for new crafty and nerdy things to talk about.

Things I Want to Make (when I finally get my craft room back)

Four more days until I move!  Oh, you have no idea how happy this makes me.  Not only will I not be limited to wearing whatever clothes I didn’t shove into vacuum sealed bags and toss into the treacherous cave that is the storage unit, I will also have access to ALL my crafting stuff.  Not just one crochet hook and a blanket that’s too warm to sit under while I crochet it.  And there are a number of things I want to be making…

Crocheted Toothless

Amigurumi Toothless – yes, I want to make another one of these little guys.  The one in the picture here, I ended up giving away to a friend – and they’re so quick to make, too, so why not make another one?  (or six, or eleven, why not a whole tiny Toothless army?)

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The Modern Poncho – It’s no surprise that I have a fondness addiction to making shawls and ponchos.  And I think this one would look very lovely in a nice warm shade of brown or combo of browns and reds.  It’s a good thing I’m moving closer to my favorite yarn shop…

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I’d really like to finish the third Fourth Doctor scarf I’m working on – I’ve got less than a third of the scarf to go, and I was hoping it’d be done in time for GenCon this year, but no luck.  Plus, the only part of my Fourth Doctor costume I can locate at the moment is the coat… so unless I can magically find all the other parts in the week before GenCon as I unpack, no Fourth Doctor for me this year… :/

scooter

Crocheted Scooter – In seafoam, naturally.  Or I could make four of them – red, blue, seafoam, and red/cream, one for me and each of my housemates…  And having at least one of these would be pretty cool, considering the theme for the living room in the new place is going to be scooters…


(nsfw, language!)
And finally, last but definitely not least, the first project I’m probably going to work on as soon as the dust settles and I can find my various costume pieces is the Cupcakes Pinkie Pie costume (the video above is the least violent reference I could find to it, hahah).  I’m not going to lie – I’m afraid it won’t be done in time for GenCon, but Ross says he’ll help me out, and this is the only costume I’m really working on, so here’s hoping I can pull it off…

I’m going to be busy after I unpack, haha.

Cutie Mark T-shirts: make your own!

Have you ever wanted your own t-shirt with your favorite My Little Pony’s cutie mark on it?  (Or a t-shirt with a simple cartoon symbol, like Super Mario’s 1-Up mushroom or other relatively low-detail images)  Well, here’s a tutorial for you – and all you need to know how to do is operate an iron!

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Materials needed:

  • A printout of the cutie mark (or image) you want to use
  • A pen or marker
  • Fabric in each color used in the cutie mark
  • Heat ‘n Bond
  • A pair of scissors
  • A t-shirt
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Step one: time to put those scissors to work.

The first thing you’ll want to do is cut out pieces of fabric a little larger than each different area of color in your image.  I ended up with four pieces of fabric – blue, red, yellow, and white.  While you’re working with the scissors, you’ll also want to cut apart your image – I cut mine into different sections based on the colors in Rainbow Dash’s cutie mark, and ended up with a cloud and three little lightning bolts. You’ll also want to get out your Heat ‘n Bond, too – and cut out pieces that are slightly smaller than the pieces of fabric you’re using.

Step 2: Get out the iron!
Step two: Get out the iron!

Next, it’s time for the iron.  Lay out your piece of fabric, then lay the Heat ‘n Bond, paper side up, onto your fabric and follow the instructions on the package to iron your Heat ‘n Bond to your fabric.

Step four: tracing our pieces!
Step three: tracing our pieces!

The next thing we’ll do is get out our marker and trace our cutie mark pieces onto the Heat ‘n Bond paper.

Step four: cutting out the fabric shapes.
Step four: cutting out the fabric shapes.

The next step has us cutting out the fabric shapes.  It’s also not a bad idea to re-assemble the shape to make sure everything fits together – if not, you can trim things a little bit to make them fit.

Step five: lay out your design, and iron away!
Step five: lay out your design, and iron away!

This is where the fun stuff happens.  Peel off the paper backing from your pieces of cutie mark, and lay out the pieces on your t-shirt where you want them to end up when you’re finished.  Iron them onto your t-shirt according to the directions on the Heat ‘n Bond package – you may want to pay special attention to pointy ends that might come up if not properly adhered to your shirt.

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Step six: wear your t-shirt!

Once your shirt’s cooled off a bit, and you’re sure everything’s securely ironed onto your t-shirt, now you can wear it!

This is a pretty fun way to make a unique looking t-shirt – I’ve worn my Pinkie Pie t-shirt to conventions and received lots of compliments on it, and some people even thought it was screen printed – when I told them I did it with fabric and Heat ‘n Bond, they were amazed!  And as I said earlier, you can do this with any sort of simple graphic that doesn’t have a lot of detail to it.  If you follow these steps to make a t-shirt, show me the results!

Edit 10/30/14: Thelma followed my tutorial to make a Rainbow Dash shirt for her daughter (and she also made some very cute wings and ears, too)!  I’ve got her pictures below – the shirt turned out awesome, I love it! 🙂

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Beth’s Random Craft Picks – 5/7/14

It’s been a while since I’ve done a craft roundup, and I’ve missed scouring the internet for cool craft project inspiration!  So, without further ado, here are five awesome craft projects to add to your to-do list!

Minecraft Creeper Afghan

Photo of an afghan made to look like a Creeper from Minecraft.
*hissssss-BOOM*

For those of you who love Minecraft (much like myself), or know someone who does, here’s a treat for you!  This Creeper afghan looks pretty simple to put together, and would look cool in a geeky guest room or would make a great gift for someone who’s super obsessed with Minecraft!  You can find the pattern here.

Charmander Amigurumi Plush

So adorable!
So adorable!

Here’s a cute little Charmander amigurumi plush that looks like it would crochet up pretty quickly – I love his happy little smile!  I might add this little guy to my to-do pile, myself…  The pattern for Charmander is on Ravelry, right here.

Nintendo Controller Purse

Nothing says awesome like a Nintendo controller purse.

Next up is a Nintendo controller purse!  I’ve never seen anything like it – and it looks like it’d be fun to put together, too.  You could probably up the size of the pattern and make a large book tote, too.  Find the pattern here!

Nintendo Controller Wallet

This is a perfect way to breathe some new life into a dead Nintendo controller...
This is a perfect way to breathe some new life into a dead Nintendo controller…

And how about a wallet to go with the purse?  This looks like the best use ever for a dead NES controller – and could be a fun afternoon project for a rainy day.  The tutorial for making a controller-wallet of your own is here.

Fifteen Doctor Who Cross-stitch Projects!

*vworp vworp*
*vworp vworp*

This isn’t just one project, but a list of fifteen!  Find some inspiration for your next cross-stitch project here.

Hope this gives you guys some inspiration for your own craft projects, or gives you some cool ideas of things to try!  😀

Sub-zero temperatures: perfect time for crafts.

Well, I went on vacation to Florida for a week – which was a welcome respite from the crazy end-of-semester busy-ness.  However, I came back to probably the coldest weather I’ve experienced in a decade!  (And brought a cold home with me, to boot.)  It was pretty, that’s for sure, but not the type of weather I enjoy…

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Look at those pretty frosted branches!

What’s a snowed-in nerd to do?

Well, lots of things, actually.  I may have spent the day listening to NPR on the radio, since the internet was out most of the day.  And believe me, a snow day is the worst time to have the internet die on you.  Thank goodness for the radio – I listened to classical music while working on some craft projects!

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Scooter cross-stitch and the world’s first glimpse of my Doctor Who Season 18 scarf, take two!

This winter break has been lovely for working on projects – I’ve got a shawl in progress that I started on the way to Florida, I’ve got a counted cross-stitch project I started just after Christmas, and I’ve got my new Doctor Who scarf to boot!  So while the snow blew around outside and the temperatures plummeted, I stayed warm on the couch and worked on nerdy crafts.  (It was pretty much all I had the energy to do, anyway. Stupid chest cold.)

I also took some time to clean out my closet a little bit, and may have dug up some My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic goodies I might give away in a contest during this week… so stay tuned, pony fans!  I promise I’ll start blogging more regularly, too.

Embarking on a new cosplay project!

Or, as I’ve been titling this project in my head, “How To Turn Yourself Into A Dragon”.

Toothless is best dragon.
Toothless is best dragon.

Yes, I’m going to try to put together a Toothless costume for the 2014 convention season.  I may even start as early as tomorrow.  And it’ll be my first time assembling a costume this complicated, especially without any sort of pattern!  I’m excited.  And kinda nervous.

I’m no stranger to the world of do-it-yourself cosplay.  While I don’t exactly have the skills for super frilly over-the-top costumes, I know where my strengths lie, and I work with that to make costumes that will look good, even being simple.  Like my Pinkie Pie costume, or my Fourth Doctor costume.  And I have done work without patterns before – Pinkie Pie’s skirt was done completely freehand.  I’ve also done three sailor fukus with no pattern (yes, not only did I dress as Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter, but I also dressed as my own fan character, embarrassing as it is to admit), and an entire Princess Peach costume as well – with varying levels of success.  I know what I’m about to enter into – this isn’t unfamiliar territory.

cute_black_dragon_hoodie_by_calgarycosplay-d31u6dkAnd I do have some visuals to work off of.  I’ve seen this around the internet in a number of places – this is one of them, as well as on DeviantArt – and while I’d love to buy one, I can’t really justify spending $300+ on a sweatshirt.  (And having made a Toothless plush myself, I know that a fair bit of work went into it, I’m quite sure, but is it really $300 worth of work?)  I’d much rather make one myself, too.  I had a blast making Toothless, and I’d love to do something similar, something on a slightly bigger scale, something fun.  And not to mention pretty darn recognizable, especially for the summer conventions, with How To Train Your Dragon 2 coming out in June.

So, how the heck am I going to approach this?  How am I going to start?

Determined dragon is determined.
Determined dragon is determined.

With determination, that’s how!  Heh. I figure I’ll start with stuff I’ve already got – I’ll be using the pattern from the Toothless plush for inspiration on how to construct the head and tail.  I’ll also take advantage of ready-made stuff – such as a pre-made sweatshirt and pair of sweatpants.  And the pictures posted of the sweatshirt give me quite a few ideas of how to construct things.  From there, I can construct Toothless’s little… head tentacles?  Not-quite-horns?  You guys know what I mean.  Anyhow.  I can construct a way to add those to a sweatshirt hood, and then add hand covers and wings and a tail.  (And maybe foot covers, for the sweatpants, if I can swing it.)  The most laborious part will likely be the scales – I have no idea how I’m doing those yet, but those aren’t my main concern anyway.  Those’ll likely be the last things I put on.

But yes.  I am going to make a Toothless costume.  And it will either be epic, or be an epic failure.  I’m leaning more towards epic, myself.  And of course, as I build the costume, I’ll keep everyone updated.  I know I have a lot of fellow Toothless fans who read the blog, and I want to share the process with you guys!

So, stay tuned – Project How To Make Yourself Into A Dragon will start soon.

 

 

Beth’s Craft Picks of the Week – 6/7/13

I usually try to do these on Mondays, but better late than never, right? 😀

Anyhow!  Here’s this week’s crafty picks – since I’ve gotten into playing some delightfully old video games this week, like Super Mario RPG (my favorite!), this week is going to be retro game themed!

Bitter Luigi Cross-Stitch Pattern

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Ahh, Mario, always getting the girl… no wonder Luigi’s a little cranky here.  Cross-stitch pattern found here, at Spritestitch.  And there are tons more patterns there for your enjoyment!

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Beth’s Craft Picks of the Week! – 5/13

Hello all!  I’ve got another fresh batch of awesome craft projects for everyone!  This week I’ll be focusing on cross-stitch projects I’ve found around the internet recently, so hopefully everyone’s got some Aida cloth and an embroidery hoop handy!

Wreck-It Ralph Bad Guy Affirmation

WreckItRalphAffirmation

I featured this pattern a few weeks ago over at Geek Crafts, and figured it was definitely worth a mention here!  I do love Wreck-It Ralph, after all, and I plan on making this pattern myself, framing it, and hanging it in my living room.

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Beth’s Craft Picks of the Week! – 4/15/13

Hello all!  I hope your Monday went well – mine was a bit of a mixed bag.  Ah well.  I’ve got a fresh batch of crafty picks for everyone this week!

Case of the Mondays Cross-Stitch Kit

hatemondaysSpeaking of Mondays… this would be a hilarious addition to anyone’s cubicle, haha.  It’s in a handy dandy kit, put together by Purple Hippo Stitches, and also part of their Tax Day Sale!  I’m half done with my own set, and plan on sticking mine in my cube once it’s done.  It’s really simple, and an easy intro to cross-stitching if you’ve never done it before.

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Beth’s Craft Picks of the Week! – 4/8/13

I’m going to try something new for the next few weeks here, and see how everyone likes it – I’m going to do a nerdy craft roundup, of four of the most interesting nerdy crafts I’ve found out on the internet!  Here’s hoping it brightens everyone’s Monday, and gives everyone some inspiration for some cool craft projects to make.

Books and Tardises bookmark cross-stitch pattern

il_570xN.256727710This looks like a fun project for cross-stitchers, and would also be a great gift for any Doctor Who fan!  It would also be a great weekend project, for when you’ve got some episodes of Doctor Who to catch up on.  You can find it at The Crafty Companion on Etsy.

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How to Make Your Own Dragon

2013-03-24 22.09.21I’ve noticed that people keep coming to my site to look at all the various Toothless plush that I’ve made (well, the one plush, and the one crocheted Toothless) – and I just now realized I don’t have any links to where I got the patterns or inspiration for these awesome dragons!  So,  this post is dedicated entirely to where to find out How to Make Your Own Dragon.

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Random Project Roundup – 3/24/13

Well, the weekend’s almost over, and I did tell myself I’d be writing a blog post this weekend – since nothing exceedingly nerdy happened this week, I’m going to do a roundup of the projects I’ve been working on recently!  I’ve got three that I’ve been working on over the past week, and here they are.

The Schweet Cowl

2013-03-24 22.03.45This shawl earned its name from the little colored speckles in the yarn – it bears a bit of a resemblance to Vanellope Von Schweets’ hair!  I started working on this on the flight to San Francisco a few weeks ago, and have been working on it in classes since I got home.  It’s getting pretty long – once it’s finished, I’ll sew it up, and then it loops double for wearing.  (It’s the Holy Cannoli pattern, on Ravelry.)

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Quick afternoon project: No-sew fleece blanket!

I will admit – one of my favorite simple crafts to do that involves very little effort is making no-sew fleece blankets.  Just about anyone can do them, even kids, and you can make them any size, with any fun fleece you can find, and they don’t take terribly long at all to make.  You can get no-sew fleece blanket kits at Jo-Ann Fabrics (or probably many other places, I’ve only seen them at Jo-Ann’s) – or you can make something a little more personal and do it all yourself!  If you take the do-it-yourself route, you can even pick the size of your blanket, and make it as big or as small as you want.  I’m sure there are already lots of no-sew fleece blanket tutorials out there, but maybe someone out there will find this helpful, and I’m hoping you’ll all enjoy my tutorial!

As you might remember from my Startitis post, I have some My Little Pony fleece that’s been waiting for this project.  My blanket is going to be big enough to cover the bed in my craft room/home office – this way, I can wrap myself in pony goodness if I need to, and I can use it to cover the bed as well!  That’s my main reason for doing this – considering nerdy comforters are nearly impossible to find, I may as well make my own.  I should have bought that Sailor Moon comforter off eBay ages ago when I saw it for $40…

What you’ll need

  • two pieces of fleece, as much as you’ll need for the desired size of your blanket (I purchased two yards of each)
  • scissors, sharp ones preferably
  • pins – these are optional, but they’ll help keep the two layers of your blanket together
All trimmed and ready to cut.
All trimmed and ready to cut.

Anyhow!  Step one is to cut your blanket down to the size you need.  I tend to wing it with stuff like this, instead of measuring it, but the standard size for a twin sized blanket is 66 in by 90 in (and I found this information here, for those curious!).  I picked up two yards of each of my fleeces, so I only needed to trim the edge of the pony fleece so the two pieces of fabric are roughly the same size.

Step 2

Step two is optional – while fleece tends to stick to itself pretty well, you might want to pin the two layers of fleece together just for an extra bit of security – this will make sure the two pieces don’t shift while you’re flipping it around as you cut and knot the blanket.  Don’t pin too closely to the edge – you want to leave enough room to cut the fringe around the edges! 🙂

Step 3.1

Step three: cut the fringe!  This is where the sharp scissors will come in especially handy.  You’ll want to make your fringes 5 inches long, and about an inch and a half wide – this way you’ll have enough fabric to tie in knots and have a fringe that’s not too stubby or too long.  However, also keep in mind that fringe-making is not an exact science – they won’t all be perfect, and that’s alright.  It won’t be noticeable when you’re all done!

When you get to the corners, just cut the corners right out – it’ll leave you with a couple of nice 5-inch squares of fabric.  (Which you could maybe use to make a matching pillow!)  If your scissors are really sharp, you might be able to cut through multiple layers at once – that’s what I did in order to cut doww on my cutting time, haha.

Step 4

Step four is the long part.  Now you have to knot all these fringes.  This is where you might want to put on a good tv show or movie and zone out while you knot away – my show of choice was Lost.  The total time it took me to knot this thing was about an hour – it may take more if you’re working on a larger blanket.

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And now we’re done!  This took a total of maybe an hour and a half to two hours from start to finish – it’s a perfect project for a lazy Sunday afternoon, or for a quick gift for someone!  And if you can find the right fabric, it can be delightfully nerdy as well.