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Archive for 'Playthings'

Sew What You Love: Free Pattern and Book Giveaway

 Sew What You Love, reviewed in the upcoming Winter 2012 issue of Living Crafts, offers many easy sewing projects.

Just like her fabric designs, Tanya’s sewing projects offer a vintage-modern aesthetic charm.   The fabric used for the purse on the cover, was also used for our crocheted edge tablescapes by Linda Permann, in the Fall 2010 issue of Living Crafts.  While many of the projects in this book are easy for beginners, there are plenty for inspiration and more challenging items for the intermediate or advanced sewer.  Although hard to choose from the 30 projects, the Apple Pie Ottoman, the Ruffle-Mania Skirt and the baby toys are among our favorites.

This Travel Checkers Project is easy to make from your scraps, and practical to take with you and the kids when travelling.  The generous folks at Potter Craft  have not only offered to send one lucky winner a copy of Sew What You Love, but have also made the pattern for this project, right out of the new book, available to Living Crafts readers here: Travel Checkers Project.



Potter Craft is giving away one copy of Sew What You Love by Tanya Whelan to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post by Thursday 12 Midnight Pacific time – January 12th.



Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 9, 2012 11:50 AM | 397 Comments

Wooden Tops

by Fiona Duthie

These wooden tops are easy to make and fun to use! Make them with your children by putting them together but letting the kids do the coloring and painting (or help them complete the entire process). Over the years, my children have spent hours and hours with these toys, making up games with the tops as characters and seeing how long they can keep them spinning.

Wooden Tops


  • 2.5″ wooden wheel
  • wooden dowel 3/8″ wide x 3″ long
  • wood glue
  • optional: watercolor paints, pencil crayons

You can use any size of wooden wheel for these tops. Adjust the dowel size to the hole in the wheel – it should be a tight fit.

Wooden wheels are available through many crafts stores and online at specialty woodworking shops such as:

Cut 3/8″ dowel into 3″ lengths. Sharpen one end with a pencil sharpener. The tip should be a little flat at the end – not completely pointed as for a pencil. Lightly sand the flat end of the dowel to smooth the cut edge. Push the dowel through the hole in the wheel. The closer the wheel is to the point, the more evenly it will spin; the further away, the more wildly.  If your dowel is a tight fit, you can test it in different spots to get the spin you would like. Once you have the placement, remove the wheel, apply a small amount of wood glue inside the wheel hole, and push the dowel through to that placement point. Wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth and leave to dry for an hour. If desired, paint the surface with watercolor paints or color with pencil crayons. Let the spinning begin!

Wooden Tops

Wooden Tops

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 14, 2010 08:08 AM | 4 Comments

Knitted Doll Blanket

by Fiona Duthie  - photos by Nicole Spring

Easy knitting and luxurious yarns make this an excellent last minute project.  Knit in simple garter and stocking stitch, or use a mohair yarn and knit in garter stitch alone.  This is a blanket that will make any doll cozy and comfortable, the doll’s caregiver feel nurturing and nurtured through the tactile warmth, and the maker happy to knit with such lovely materials!

Dolls Blanket


  • 1 skein Noro Kochoran yarn, Colorway No.53
  • size 8 (5mm) straight needles
  • yarn needle for sewing in ends

Finished size: 15″ (38cm) x 18″ (46cm)


Cast on 58 stitches.

Knit 8 rows garter stitch (knit every row).

Row 9: Knit

Row 10: K4, P50, K4

Repeat rows 9 and 10 until piece measures 16″ from the cast on edge.

Knit 8 rows garter stitch.

Cast off and sew in yarn ends.

Dolls Blankey

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 12, 2010 08:08 AM | 12 Comments


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