Fourtunes in felt

The other day I was helping a friend design hair flowers for her bridal party. We had a ton of supplies: silk flowers, faux pearls, hot glue guns, felt, on and on. As we finished up the hair flowers, we tossed around other ideas for her wedding and she pulled up pictures, from hairstyles to table decorations. One thing that particularly stood out for her was a picture of fortune cookies made out of paper. Of course we had to try them!

…and of course they didn’t quite work. I mean, they were all right, but we only had notebook paper on hand, which was not the right texture or stiffness at all. Our attempts all ended up looking very pointy and weren’t really what we were looking for. I proceed to play around with some other materials and discovered that you can make really cute fortune cookies out of felt!

Not only are they adorable, they’re so easy! My friend and I are going to have a bit of a fortune party later and make a ton of these in varying sizes in purple and white (her wedding colors) to scatter on the reception tables. But first I thought I’d take the time to type a tutorial for anyone else interested.

Materials: felt, scissors, needle and thread or hot glue, slip of paper

Procedure:

1. Cut a circle out of felt. The circle I cut was about 2.25 inches in diameter. If you want a larger cookie, cut a larger circle. You can also go smaller, but not much or the felt won’t fold properly. I’d say 1.75 inches is about the smallest you can go. However, if you have a different weight of felt, it’ll make a difference. Don’t be afraid to play around with size!

Just to give an idea of size. That’s a 2.25″ diameter felt circle.

Just to give an idea of size. That’s a 2.25″ diameter felt circle.

2. Fold the circle in half and make a small stitch through both layersOr put a dab of hot glue near the edge and then fold it in half.  If you’re using hot glue, wait for it to cool completely before moving on to the next step.

The red dash illustrates where the stitch or glue should be.

The red dash illustrates where the stitch or glue should be.

3. Now this is the tricky part. You want to turn your half circle inside out. Because of the stitch/glue, it won’t flip all the way around and you’ll have a fortune cookie shape. If you’re anything like me, it will look all weird and misshapen at first. I recommend using a capped pen or a chopstick or something else pointed to help shape the cookie.

And here's how it should look after it's been prodded into shape!

And here’s how it should look after it’s been prodded into shape!

4. Now you want to insert your fortune!Gently pry the cookie apart just a little bit and slip it in. You can either have the fortune sticking out a bit or have it all the way in. For the red fortune cookie with the heart fortune, I actually cut the paper slip short and used a dab of white glue to secure it.

The cookie can be pried open and the message slipped in. Then just pinch the edges shut!

The cookie can be pried open and the message slipped in. Then just pinch the edges shut!

And that’s how you make a felt fortune cookie! They are are quick, easy, reusable and loads of fun. So far I’ve just used them as little decorations around the house, but here are some other ideas:

1. Make a small pair of cookies and attach them to chains to make earrings. Or use a larger one as a necklace charm!

2. Use as place settings: write names on the slips of paper and leave them sticking out. Put one on each plate!

3. Write a short note instead of a fortune and give to a friend as an unexpected thank-you or other token of friendship.

I’m so excited to hear what uses you come up with for felt fortune cookies! Happy crafting!

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Are you adding sin to that?

It’s another baking day here on Frankly Cassidy!

When I was preparing this treat, a personal apple pie, my dad walked in just as I took this photograph.Image

He didn’t understand why I’d be photographing simple cut apples, but when I explained it was just the first step for a blog post, he exclaimed, “OH! I guess you’ll be adding sin to it, then?” And indeed I was. If you consider sin to be sugar and spice and everything nice!

My dad is constantly watching what he eats, so my baking is “dangerous.” He affectionately calls me the Death Merchant, because my baked goods are deadly to his waistline. So it was really with him in mind that I set out to bake a single serving apple pie, using just one apple!

I didn’t really measure for this; I just cut up one apple and tossed in sugar, cinnamon, flour, and a dash of nutmeg in what looked to be a good ratio. I also eye-balled the crust, based on all the other crusts I’ve made.Image

So I added the fillers, rolled out the crust, and spooned the filling onto it.

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I folded the crust over, sealed the edges, sliced a few vents in the top, and popped it into my toaster oven. Then I turned up the heat, wiped up my anticipatory drool, and waited.

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After about 25 minutes, the crust was lightly browned and flaky, and I could hear the soft sizzle of the filling inside. The pie was done! I slid it onto a fancy plate, dusted it with sugar, and sliced the pie in half. It was beautiful!

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And then I sat down and ate it all. It was sinfully delicious 🙂

Making Carved Stamps

carved stamps

From top to bottom: wine cork, packing foam, apple, eraser

Today’s post is kind of like a tutorial, but open ended. I guess it’s a tutorial in customized stamping. I was recently inspired by an excellent book Printing by Hand by Lena Corwin. It’s full of great projects, tutorials, and inspiration. I checked it out of the library (shout out to public libraries, btw!) and devoured it.

While I loved the projects, I did not have many of the supplies on hand, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to purchases the basics. I’ve found this happens to me pretty frequently as a crafter. Often, plowing into a project without the proper equipment is a recipe for disaster, but I find if you give yourself time to experiment and let yourself be inspired, rather than giving up because of lack of supplies, you can wind up with truly great results.

So without further ado, I present some stamping hacks I’ve tried. I’ll explain how I got my results and what I used, but use it as a guide and inspiration, rather than an exact tutorial.

Materials:

  • Wine cork, stiff foam from packaging, apple, eraser
  • Acrylic paint
  • Various papers and fabric
  • Pencil
  • X-acto and kitchen knives

General Process

  • Pick a material from which to carve your stamp. It should be firm, but cuttable. The first five items in my material list are what I tried.
  • Decide on a design and draw it onto the surface of your stamp material – Keep it simple! Geometric shapes are excellent.

    carved stamps

    My design here was too detailed to really carve with an X-acto knife. I ended up only carving one flower, and the edges were botched. Live and learn, eh?

  • CAREFULLY carve out the negative space around your design using your knife. It helps to carve out little chunks at a time, rather than big sections.

    carved stamps

    As I carved, I discarded pieces off to the right. Slowly, a raindrop emerged!

  • You want to carve deep enough that the design area is raised, but not so deep that the design is unstable. I find around ¼- ½ of an inch to be a good depth.

    carved stamps

    As you can see, the carved part protrudes about 1/2 inch. This is necessary so the paint doesn’t interfere with the stamped image. If the paint oozes onto the background, you probably won’t get a clean stamped image.

  • Now the fun part: Actually stamping! Squeeze a dab of acrylic paint out and spread it around (I use an old plastic yogurt lid). Then, dip your stamp into it. If the paint seems really think on your stamp, press the stamp on a clean part of the plastic a few times. Different materials will require different amounts of paint, so try it a few times.

    carved stamps

    The paint should be spread out. And you can see around the edges where I wiped paint off particularly gloopy stamps.

  • Press your paint-coated stamp onto your material! It could be paper, fabric, ceramic, whatever! I tried my stamps on printer paper, newsprint, fabric, cardboard, and card-stock. Play around to get a feel for your materials.

    carved stamps

    Here are four of the surfaces I tried. I found the eraser worked better on the more textured surfaces and the foam did better on smooth. I think I might stamp a whole sheet of newspaper to use as gift wrap…

And now, just keep going! Try new combinations of materials! Be sure to write down anything you really like so you can reproduce it.

Finally, you can apply whatever personal technique you’ve found to specific projects, such as:

  • Stationary
  • Wrapping paper
  • Clothing
  • Wallpaper
  • Journal cover

Happy Stamping!