Tag Archives: recycling

iPod cozies

Cute Animal iPod Cozy Tutorial

I have been having so much fun making iPod cozies this past week.  It all started when I saw a photo of a monster iPod cozy as I was researching ideas for my children’s sewing classes (I already have 17 students signed up for the first class- eek!)  A few hours later I was down in the sewing studio surrounded by felted sweater scraps and sketching up some new critter ideas when the two ideas collided and animal iPod cozies were born!

They are such a fun project, and so perfect for holiday gift giving, that I thought I would share a tutorial so you can make some too!  (or, if you’d rather just adopt one, there is a growing zoo of iPod animals available in my shop!)

Animal iPod Cozy Tutorial


You will need a felted sweater (or larger sized scraps), wool felt (I use an acrylic/wool blend felt from this shop), and embroidery floss

Step 1: Cut the basic cozy pieces

From the felted sweater you will need one 4 x 5.5 inch piece for the back, one 4 x 4 inch piece for the front, and one 4 x 2.5 inch piece for the head

Step 2: Cut ears, eyes, noses and tails

From the felt, cut the necessary facial features for whatever animal you would like to make.  For this elephant I cut two eyes, a trunk, two ears, and a tail.  You could draw these on paper first, or do what I do and eyeball it.  If you are using a really thick felted sweater you could also use the sweater felt for tails or ears.  Because I wanted to use the sweater felt but didn’t feel it was sturdy enough, I also cut a second set of ears from the wool felt which I sewed together in the next step.

Step 3: Sew on your facial features and tails

Use embroidery floss to anchor the eyes and create eyeballs.  Attach your other facial features to the head, and your tail to the back.  I prefer to attach all of my facial features by hand-sewing, as I think the stitches are less noticeable, but you could also use the machine if you prefer. I used the machine to stitch together the two ear layers and to attach the tail.

Step 4: Pin it together

Place the back of the cozy right side up.

If you have ears, place them also right side up, lining up the bottoms with the edges of the cozy.  In this case I also put them about 1/4 inch down from the top so they wouldn’t get caught in the stitching!

Place the head piece right side down on top.

Place the top piece right side down, overlapping the head piece.

Pin well.

Step 4: Sew and clip corners.

Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew all the way around the cozy.  Clip off the corners close to the stitching.

Step 5: Turn right-side out and do a happy dance – you’re done!


Enjoy!  If you make your own cozy I’d love to see it!  Please feel free to share links to your pictures in the comments.

Monkeying Around

A customer recently asked me to make her a sweater friend that looked like a sock monkey.  Having never made a sock monkey or a sweater monkey before, I did a little experimenting and this was the result!

I must admit that I am more than just a little in love with this guy!  I think I see more monkey making in my future!

Here is his sister, made as a 40th birthday present out of a sweater the recipient wore in college – how awesome is that?

She will be off to her new home soon!

And this little guy will soon be up for adoption in the shop!

I love how custom orders allow me to try new things, and I often am introduced to great ideas I might not have thought of myself!

If you were going to design your own sweater friend, what animal would it be?


Something for Me!

I had a big job to do on Friday that I have been putting off for awhile.  In order to make it easier, I promised myself a reward at the end of the task.  I decided that once it was done I would take the time to sew something for myself.

Several hours later, the work was finished and I was ready to sew!  I really didn’t know what I wanted to make until I was trying to shut my wallet away and couldn’t get it to close.

I played with it for a bit trying to figure out what was going on – it isn’t like there was a lot of money in there!

And then I found the culprit – I had stashed some of my beautiful new business cards in one of the pockets so I would have them to hand out as the opportunity arose.

Obviously, if I wanted my wallet to close, that wasn’t going to work.  And so I knew what I needed to make – I needed a business card holder!

And if I was going to make a business card holder, wouldn’t it be nice if it reflected the items I actually make for my shop?

A few hours of hand-sewing later (I must pause here and say what a luxury it is to take time to sew by hand now and again) and my new holder was finished!

It’s made out of a felted wool sweater, with some wool fabric scraps I had purchased from Quilting Acres several months ago. 

The tree is perfect for Artisan in the Woods, and the cards sit snugly inside, until they find their new homes!

I am in love with my Moo cards – aren’t they pretty?

I found inspiration for my card holder here.

Do you ever promise yourself a reward when you have a hard job to do?

A Handmade Holiday

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I have enjoyed a wonderful (snowy!) holiday with family and friends (and our celebrating isn’t done yet!)  One of my favourite things about Christmas is making handmade gifts.  And although I didn’t make quite as many gifts as I usually do, a few handmade things made their way under the tree.


I have a very good friend who has been wanting a Gryffindor scarf for a very long time.  This is only the 3rd thing I have ever knit, and the first time I have ever done the seed stitch, so, although it took a few visits from my mother-in-law for help, I am quite proud of the finished project!  And I now know how to knit! (well, scarves anyway!)  The pattern I used can be found here.

Then came this angry little fellow.

If you love Angry Birds, tutorials for the whole collection can be found here.  I have never played the game and am still tempted to make them all, just because they are so much fun!   

My sister-in-law asked for a quilted case for her hair dryer.  This is what I cae up with:



The button almost didn’t make it on, because my sewing machine was convinced that there was no such thing as a button bigger than an inch!  But I persevered and am glad that I did, a smaller button just wouldn’t have had the same impact.

Before Christmas my sister-in-law and I visited a craft show together.  We spent a long time looking at some fabulous mittens made out of old sweaters.  After she decided not to buy herself some, I knew what I had to make her for Christmas!  I found this excellent pattern on Etsy, and made two pairs, one for her and one for my mother-in-law.



This was my first experience at felting sweaters, and I must admit that I think I am hooked!  The mittens are lined with polar fleece, so they are extra warm!  And I couldn’t resist these little gingham buttons:


For my mother-in-law, I used a Cashmere sweater for both the outside and the lining. 




A fancy button finishes them off nicely.

The last gift was a scarf made out of a very soft and lacy sweater, based on s0mething I found in this book.  I really love the way it ruffles along the yarn – and it looks much better on a person than it does on my deck post!



I didn’t quite get to everything on my “to make for Christmas list.”  Next year I definitely need to start in September!  And I still have a few things to whip up before the last family gathering on Jan. 1.  (I always make Pjs for my nephews and I have another little something I want to try out – I’ll post pictures if it works!) 

I also received some really wonderful handmade gifts.  My husband surprised me with a Kayak he restored and a paddle he made himself!  This was completely unexpected (I never would have dreamed of getting a kayak for Christmas!)  My mother-in-law also made me a beautiful quilted and embroidered wall-hanging for my sewing room.  And beyond the gifts I feel blessed to have been able to spend time with family and friends over the holidays – it’s been a wonderful Christmas!

Did you give or receive any handmade gifts this year?


How to Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Envelopes

With Christmas on its way, and inspired by Joy to the Earth, I thought it might be a good time to share a tutorial for making earth-friendly envelopes.


I have created my own envelopes out of old calendar pages since a friend first sent me a letter in one when I was away at university (thank you Laurie!)  Many years later (never mind how many!), I still have that original envelope and continue to use it as a pattern when making my own.  I have also found an easy way to make these envelopes in any size, without a pattern,  to suit perfectly a handmade card or letter.  I often use old calendar pages, but have also made them from magazine pages, old maps, and engineering drawings my hubby brings home from the office.  You could also use old sheet music or pages from books headed to the recycle bin.



You will need: paper (see above for ideas), a marker or pen, scissors, and a glue stick (or tape, although I personally prefer glue.)


Two Ways to Make a Pattern

If you aren’t lucky enough to have a friend send you an eco-envelope that you can take apart and use as a pattern, there are two ways to make your own.

1. Use an existing envelope

Find an envelope in your stash or recycle bin that is the right size and carefully open it up.  You now have an envelope pattern!  (as a side note, some envelopes are designed in such a way that they won’t fit on smaller papers, such as a magazine page.  If this is the case with yours, try option 2.)

2.  Create one from scratch (it’s easier than it sounds!)

  • Place your card or letter on the piece of paper you want to to turn into an envelope.


  • Fold up the bottom to cover the card.


  • Fold in the sides (leave a bit of wiggle room


  • Unfold the sides and fold down the top


  • Unfold the paper.  You will notice that the folds have created rectangles in each corner.  Cut out these rectangles.




  • For a neater looking envelope, round the edges.


Create Your Envelopes

Trace your pattern onto the back of the paper you want to use and cut it out.  You might want to think about the design and where it will be on the envelope when you do this.  For this paper, I wanted the candles to be upright on the front.


Put glue on the sides of the envelope.


Fold up the bottom and stick it to the glue.  (If you don’t have glue, you could also tape your envelope together.)

DSC06229 (1)

That’s it!  You’re now ready to mail!


Mailing Tips

Since the envelope flaps are not self-sticking, you can close them with tape, stickers, or with a glue stick.

Use labels for the addresses.  I have a number of blank ones I use for this purpose, but I have also used a piece of scrap paper glued or taped to the front.

Happy mailing!

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