How To: Craft English Christmas Crackers (American Version)

Cut your roll in lengths, then adhere to the long side of the gift wrap with the tape roller. Leave 1.5-2 inches in between segments.

Last month hubby and I headed to London for a week. I love that city, and it was my first time being there around the holiday season. I was entranced by  English Christmas Crackers (not the food, the party favors!) and even took a class at Handmade London on how to make them. Sadly, you cannot readily find the snaps that make them true “crackers” in the US. So I’ve swapped a few things out to make an American version to […]

Fall Serving Tray featuring Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Paints

Fall Serving Tray featuring Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Paints by Plaid

Last week I shared my review of the Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Paints from Plaid and you got a sneaky peek of a work in progress. But today you get the whole tutorial of how I transformed a “blah” glass serving dish into a lovely fall focal point! Can you believe that I found a plain chip/dip glass serving platter at an outlet for under $7.00?? And with a little Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Paint and silk screens, I transformed […]

Handbag Upcycle Featuring Scrapbooking Attitude by Avatrex

Handbag Upcycle tutoria featuring Scrapbooking Attitude

Yesterday I shared my review and video overview of Scrapbooking Attitude by Avatrex- that whole “printable film” thing is wicked cool! And if you remember, what I was most excited about was not its uses for paper, but for cool substrates like leather, wood, and craft foam.  As I was doing my swatch tests, I kind of fell in love with the idea of upcycling one of my older handbags- a boring little brown bag- into  something hip and high-end using […]

How-To: Craft a Hanging Scissors Organizer from Recycled Neckties

Make a Scissors Organizer from old neckties. Functional and thrifty!

    Hooray! Today we have a guest post from a lady I totally admire for her recycled crafting mission! Thank you Becky for being our guest today on CTD & sharing a totally practical and CUTE craft using recycled neckties. Take it away…  Hi there! My name is Becky Striepe, and I am a freelance writer and vegan crafter who’s life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! You can find my craft projects […]

How-To: Recycled Mint Tins with Washi Tape and Mod Podge

Recycle mint tins with washi tape and mod podge to make little sewing kits or earbud storage.

    I love a good upcycling craft, I love little storage containers, and I also love Washi Tape. This, my friends, is therefore my “Trifecta” of crafting- a project that recycles mint tins- like the ones for Altoids- into happy little storage tins- great for earbud storage! Disclosure: links below are affiliate links and I’ll receive a small commission if you make a purchase. Thank you for supporting CTD. To make them, you’ll need: Recycled mint tin (I used […]

Recycle Crafting: Runway Re-View Challenge

Taken with Lo-Mob app.

If you’ve been to CraftTestDummies even a handful of times, you know that I love to craft with found/recycled objects. (Or make “outsider art”- we don’t get hung up on semantics here.) I was invited to participate in a challenge for the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo– a “Runway Re-View”! Here were the challenge guidelines: Dress form was provided. 80% of the materials must be recycled. No more than $20 could be spent on the “new” materials. ….and really, that […]

How-To: Make a Recycled Pincushion from a Thread Spool

Recycled Spool Pincusion

I’ve you’ve visit CTD before, you know that I love recycling/”green” crafts. So when the lovely Lish sent me a bag of empty thread spools, my wheels got spinning. We’re not talking cool, vintage spools, either. We’re talking new, plastic spools. So it was an extra challenge to turn today’s trash into something worth keeping. I came up with this: Here’s a brief explanation on how I did it. First, I used an Elmer’s Painters marker to color the top […]

Allium Dried Flower “Fireworks” Patriotic Centerpiece


Need a quick patriotic centerpiece? I made one with dried flowers- alliums- in only 15 minutes! You can bring the look of fireworks to your Fourth of July party for pennies using SPRAY PAINT!   A few years ago, we planted some globe allium at our new house. It’s a member of the garlic family- actually, it reminds me of giant chives. These blooms are HUGE- they are at least 5 inches in diameter. And when the bloom fades, they […]

How-To: Recycled Fabric Flowers

  This post originally ran on last year- but I thought y’all might like it here, as well! Get your fabric scraps ready and craft it up! I love to be able to recycle- it means I can stretch my money and save more for my craft shopping! Well, this handy-dandy flower is made from recycled silk or taffeta (I got mine from a relative who sews prom gowns) but you could just as easily rip up an old […]

Five Eco-Friendly Craft Products and Companies You’ll Love


Happy Earth Day! As a craft product reviewer, there are certain issues I care about deeply. One of those is “green” crafting- craft projects, products, and companies that focus on eco-friendly, sustainable, and/or recycled components that make our world a healthier place to craft! Today I’m going to share five products/companies that offer GREAT products that you will want to include in your crafting. Here they are, in no particular order. You can also click the links to read the […]

How-To: Luggage Accessories Using Recycled Neckties

Back view. Does it need a monogram?

It’s no secret- I love recycle/”green” crafts. There’s something about taking something that is headed for the garbage or donation bin and then transforming it into a new, useful or beautiful object. Today’s tutorial is both useful AND  beautiful- we’re going to make luggage handle cozies and tags from old neckties- the wilder the print, the better! With these colorful accessories, you’ll never wonder, “Is that my luggage?” ever again!  Let’s get to it! To make one set (a handle […]

Video Review: (Guitar) Pick Punch

Pick Punch

Today’s review is a fun one for me- I’m reviewing the Pick Punch that my dear, sweet son bought me for Christmas last year. I geeked out when I saw it in a catalog because it’s a great way to reuse old bank cards, gift cards etc. And you all know that I love “green” crafts! For those of you who don’t know me in “real life,” I’ve played guitar since I was 14, and spent 15 years as a […]

Washi Tape Dispenser Ideas

washi tape

By now, you know that I have an obsession with Washi Tapes and Paper Tapes. I’ve accumulated quite a few rolls….and now the question is “How do I store all this decorative tape!?” I’ve installed a paper towel dispenser right above my desk that is serving nicely. But of course, it will only hold so many rolls at a time. And I have OH SO MANY rolls!!! Well, a few months ago, I saw this post on Paperama on making […]

“100 Days” Craft Idea


So, this is new to me: my kids celebrate the first 100 days of school. (We didn’t do this back in the day.) As a result, my first grader was required to bring in 100 items- anything, really- and display them for the class. The purpose is counting, I suppose. But I saw this as a crafter-tunity to use up some beads AND get my daughter making art! Since I recently thinned out my beading stash (yes, I am a […]

How-To: Carve Erasers Into Stamps

carve an eraser into a rubber stamp

Every now and then I get an idea and can’t wait to try it on my own. Lately artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer has been talking about her new obsession- stamp carving- and it gave me an idea for some erasers that I’d bought at the Dollar Store: (Don’t tell my daughter- they were supposed to be treats for her! ) I cracked open my Speedball Linocutting supplies and just kinda went to town. I doodled on the erasers, planning to […]

How to Make A Chronicle Quilt {Recycle Craft}


Chronicle Quilts are so named because they were made by sewing strips of fabric on newspaper- like the Chronicle- to make warm, inexpensive quilts during the Depression. In the time when the motto was “Use it up, wear it out: Just make do, or do without.” ….this quilt can help you “use it up”- all those scraps from your stash AND empty your recycle bin of newspapers. Plus, since it’s sew-and-flip technique, there is no fussy measuring or seam-matching- just […]

Upcycle Craft: Halloween Witch Shoes


Last week I played with the new Martha Stewart Paints line, and got really excited- maybe over-enthusiastic- with the glitter paint and Tintable Fabric Medium. The result? Some rockin’ witchy shoes to round out my Halloween costume. Here’s how I did it. First, I mixed the Tintable Fabric Medium with Sugar Cube Glitter Paint by Martha Stewart (available at Michael’s) in a 2-to-1 ratio. I painted the sides of the shoes with this color, then painted the tops and heels […]

Upcycling Project Featuring Martha Stewart Paints by Plaid Crafts


Wow! What a week! This weekend I got my Martha Stewart Paints by Plaid (available exclusively at Michael’s, by the way) and I got to business testing them out. By now, I hope you’ve read my overview of the Martha Stewart Paints as well as the review of tools and accessories that I received. Now it’s time for the fun part- making something! I can’t tell you how I agonized over which to make- some fun witch shoes for Halloween […]

Recycle Craft: Suitcase Shrines

partyresinwax 046

This is the most amazing idea ever, and I can say that because it isn’t MINE.  Let this sink in a minute: Decoupaged Suitcase Shrines. Yeah. My friend E is a Roller Derby gal and is also the league historian- and she chose to commemorate the 5th anniversary by making a traveling exhibit out of discarded suitcases.What makes the idea brilliant is that she can set up the suitcases  and literally pack the shirts, skates,and other 3-D memorabilia in them- […]

Recycle Craft: Fabric Flowers from Dress Maker’s Scraps


Here’s a tutorial I wrote from as part of their design team- but since it’s Earth month, I thought I’d share it here as part of my #GoGreen theme. Most of the materials can be found on I love to be able to recycle- it means I can stretch my money and save more for my craft shopping! Well, this handy-dandy flower is made from recycled silk or taffeta (I got mine from a relative who sews prom […]