Light Up Crafts

I may or may not have a stockpile of string lights and other battery operated light options sitting in my stash waiting for the perfect project. (Spoiler: I do.)

I think summer nights are the best time to have fun illuminations. Whether it’s just for me or I have guests. So here are some of the projects I’m eying trying to decide which one to jump on first.

Light Up Marquee Star Sign from Burlap & DenimI love DIY marquee signs. I usually see arrows or letters, so this Light Up Star Tutorial from Burlap & Denim is great.

DIY Lighted Paper Pennant Garland from Once WedOnce Wed has a great tutorial for a lighted Paper Pennant Garland. While they use it for wedding decor, I just want to hang it in my living room.

Paper Lanterns from The House That Lars BuiltI think these beautiful paper lanterns from The House That Lars Built would be great attached to fairy lights. Although they are certainly lovely as they are.

DIY Neon Cactus Light from Shrimp Salad CircusI saved the best for last here. This Neon Cactus Light from Shrimp Salad Circus is amazing. I have some purple neon electroluminescent wire that is just begging to be turned into something. I think I have finally found its calling.

All photos in this post belong to their respective, linked sites.

Modern Macrame Tutorials

When macrame brought only images of strange looking owls and plant hangers in oranges and browns, I thought I didn’t like macrame, that there was nothing new that could be done with it. The recent resurgence of macrame has certainly surprised me. But the attractive bright colors or minimalist white wall-hangings and the lack of owls make it much more palatable. It turns out that I actually like the fact that so much of macrame is useful and with an updated aesthetic, beautiful too.

Interested in (re)learning macrame? Here are some lovely tutorials to get you started.

Macrame Yarn Garland DIY from A Beautiful MessA Beautiful Mess has several macrame tutorials, but I like this bright colored garland the best. It looks not too complicated and adds some serious fun.

Macrame Wall Hanging Tutorial from Miss Amy PhippsI have a secret minimalist that lives in my heart and wants to have light, airy, simple, but truly complex art on my walls, like this wall hanging (tutorial from Miss Amy Phipps).

Macrame Lawn Chair Tutorial from Duece Cities Hen HouseThese macrame lawn chairs from Duece Cities Hen House are my favorite type of DIY. It gives new life to an old object with color, cheer, and beauty. If I had some old run down metal lawn chairs, I’m pretty sure I would be running out to buy the prettiest paracord right this second.

Macrame Balloons from You Are My FaveWhile you could make a macrame plant hanger, you could also hang all number of other things, like balloons. This tutorial for Macrame balloons from You Are My Fave is certainly whimsical, but exactly the kind of party decoration that accidentally becomes a year round decoration.

All of the photos in this post belong to their respective and linked sites.

Pinwheel Decorations

Pinwheels | Red Circle Crafts

I finally changed the decoration on my front door. It’s been the same wreath since last fall and it was time for something bright and summery.

Pinwheels are easy to make and fun to look at. I attached these in disarray just using masking tape. Hopefully they’ll stay up!

Pinwheels | Red Circle Crafts

You can make a pinwheel out of any paper you have, or print out this printable I made and follow the instructions on the print out.

Materials:

Square Paper (or printable)
Metal Brad
Scissors
Craft Knife
Cutting Mat
Hole Punch

Pinwheels | Red Circle Crafts

Instructions:

Cut down your paper to a square.
Cut along the diagonals, leave a few inches in the center uncut (less if you have a very small pinwheel, more if you have a bigger one).
Hole punch every other corner.
Cut a small X at the very center of the paper.
Bend the hole punched corners in to the center.Put the brad through all four punched holes and the X in the center.
Secure the brad in the back.

Pinwheels | Red Circle Crafts

Happy Summer

Summer Crafts | Red Circle Crafts

Someone I admire recently told me that they feel more patriotic than ever since the Supreme Court passed Marriage Equality. And I definitely agree with that. Though I’m still not inclined to cover everything in the US flag like I see all the craft blogs doing this time of year.

Fourth of July is really about the kick off of summer for me. I LOVE summer. Not only is my birthday this month, but J’s birthday is next month. We’ll hopefully get a few trips out to the coast and a friend has promised to show me some excellent swimming holes not too far away.

I know we’re all tired of this heat here in Portland, but there’s been a lot of negativity about summer lately. So to combat that, my favorite things about the summer are (in no particular order):

Sunshine
Thunderstorms
All the fruit and berries
Swimming (or playing in water really)
Hiking and other outdoor activities
Bonfires (or you know fire pits)
Ridiculous cocktails (in a pineapple or buddah glass all the better)
Sundresses
Seeing other people’s tattoos

Plus lots of other things, really. Loving summer is not just for kids on summer vacation. But even I’m wilting in this Portland heatwave. Can we go back to a mix of sunshine and rain showers now?

Here are some summer crafting ideas to help you woo your inner summer child. (We all loved summer break as kids, right?)

City Gym Shorts | Purl BeeI recently made myself a pair of these super easy city gym shorts. The pattern and tutorial are over at Purl Bee. Mine are here.

Farmer's Market Bag | PoppytalkI love this bag from Oh Joy! on Poppytalk. I’ve been meaning to make myself some smaller vegetable bags to segregate my vegetables from the Farmer’s Market.

Homemade Horchata | Say YesHorchata (recipe from Say Yes) is one of my favorite summer drinks. We especially love to eat Mexican food in the summer. But it’s nice to have something other than water to drink on hot days at home.

DIY Fruit Coasters | Design is YayThese fruit inspired coasters from Design is Yay are all things kitschy and good in my book. Bright colors, fruity design, and can hold a cold drink, what more can you ask for from summer crafting?

I hope you get a nice long weekend to ring in the summer over this 4th of July.

All the photos in this post belong to their respective and linked sites, except the bubbles, which belong to me.

Upcycled Cat Scratcher

Upcycled Cat Scratcher | Red Circle Crafts

After my garage sale not too long ago, I was left with some fairly large pieces of cardboard from the boxes I broke down to make signs. It seemed like the perfect time to make a cat scratcher for Fezzik.

I had a carpet cat tree that I’d re-carpeted after Schroedinger destroyed it with his wicked ways. But after Schroedinger died last summer, Fezzik still wasn’t interested in the cat tree. While Fezzik has pretty much taken over all of Schroedy’s old spots in the apartment, that cat tree was the last hold out. I finally threw out the cat tree, but I want something for Fezzik to scratch at that isn’t my floor or furniture.

Upcycled Cat Scratcher | Red Circle Crafts

The recycled cardboard cat scratcher from Design*Sponge seems like the ideal! Easy to make with free materials. Frankly it’s hard to want to make something for the purpose of having it destroyed. But thus is life with cats!

Upcycled Cat Scratcher | Red Circle Crafts

The project is absurdly simple, but it took forever. My first attempt, I just started rolling up the cardboard strips, only to realize that if I wanted it to roll evenly I needed to essentially score each bend.

Upcycled Cat Scratcher | Red Circle Crafts

So each strip was bent at every single corrugation and then I taped the whole string of them together end to end to make one long strip.

Upcycled Cat Scratcher | Red Circle Crafts

Once I finally started rolling it all up, it was truly simple. I decided that I don’t need anything super fancy. So I just wrapped the outside in duck tape and called it good. Although I like the look of the decorated one on Design*Sponge.

Upcycled Cat Scratcher | Red Circle Crafts

I haven’t decided if I want to douse it in catnip or not. I think it depends whether Fezzik is at all interested in it as is.

Street Art in NYC Part 2

New York City View | Red Circle Crafts

I’m back from New York. I keep having to remind J that we left New York for a reason and how much we love Portland. There were so many good things about being back there, but ultimately it’s too manic for me. Too much of everything, even all the things I love.

NYC Street Art | Red Circle Crafts

Apparently I spoke too soon about the lack of temporary (also illegal) street art in New York City. I was just hanging out in the wrong places. A trip down to Lower East Side and East Village produced far more than I could capture (at least that my friends were willing to wait for me to photograph).

NYC Street Art | Red Circle Crafts

It’s different than the street art I see here in Portland though, which is not surprising. Here I see lots of hand-drawn stickers, paper put up with wheat paste, and spray painted stenciled images (like this one).

NYC Street Art | Red Circle Crafts

NYC Street Art | Red Circle Crafts NYC Street Art | Red Circle Crafts NYC Street Art | Red Circle Crafts NYC Street Art | Red Circle Crafts

Ok. Back to crafty posts again. If this is the sort of thing you’re interested in though, I regularly post the street art I see in Portland on my instagram.

Street Art in NYC

I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for art in my wanderings around the city. While there’s less illegal street art (not including tagging) there are more murals than I remember. I like the trend, but there’s something about the temporary nature of street art that seems raw and real that I miss.

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