Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter Suncatchers – Holiday Fun for the Whole Family

My favorite days in the winter are those when the sky is a clear, bright blue and the sun is shining. On those days the temperature isn’t much of a concern because it’s just so pretty out. But let’s face it. Sometimes, no matter how pretty the sky is, it’s just too cold to spend time outside. So bring the best of the outdoors, in!

Suncatchers can really make the indoors sparkle with that natural sunlight.  Plus, they are so versatile. My son and I paint them together and then attach them to holiday gifts. My son loves giving out these presents, bragging that he painted the attached suncatcher just for that person.  Some of our friends hang the suncatchers on their Christmas trees and then after the holidays put them up in bright windows so they can enjoy them all year long.

We don’t even carve out a ton of extra time to paint our suncatchers. It becomes part of our holiday preparations. We do have one special tradition though: when we know we are going to get snow, we pull out some special designs and paint them the night before so that they are ready to glitter against all of the pretty fresh snow.

What do you do with your suncatchers?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Crafty Stocking Stuffers

Thanks to our friends over at we discovered our favorite new website: Bugs and Fishes! The site is the brainchild of Laura “Lupin” Howard who confesses that she is obsessed with felt. We didn’t need to know much more to love her. But then we took a peak at some of her projects and all we could say was, WOW!

Laura has a creative vision and ideas that got the wheels turning for us. In fact, she published a wonderful article full of adorable projects that would be perfect as stocking stuffers. Check it out!

Do Laura’s projects give you ideas? Share them with us! Tis the season to be making gifts and with all the people on our list we need as many ideas as we can get!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And the Stockings were Hung by the Chimney with Care…

I don’t know about you, but it seems like every other year or so we  are adding stockings. Whether we’re replacing worn out ones or adding new members to the family doesn’t seem to matter. We just need more. Plus, my son loves to give his teachers gifts in a stocking as an extra touch so we’ve had to figure out quick and creative stocking making. Fortunately, we have some really talented designers on our team to help us with that!

Over the next three weeks we are going to share fun and different stocking ideas with you. Make them to decorate your hearth, or give them as gifts. Either way the process is fun and much like snowflakes, you can make each one unique.

This week we’re starting out simple with a basic mini stocking. This little guy is easy to make and perfect for gift cards, candy, dog or cat treats and other small gifts. Mix it up a bit by making it with different colors of felt, or add Stick-It Felt numbers letters or shapes for an extra touch.

Have fun and show us your cute little creations!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Reflections

Our Thanksgiving holiday was a wonderful time for us to spend with our families and think about all of the wonderful people and opportunities in our lives. It also reminded us what a pleasure it is for us to craft and to share our crafts with others.

Crafting is so much more than just creating decorations or gifts. It’s a time to be creative and bond with friends and family. And in one special case, it was a time to learn a new culture and share some of our own.

A few summers ago we sent Kelly’s suncatchers with the Monaghan Baptist Church on their mission trip to Jamaica. We paint suncatchers all the time. We get excited by the new designs and love to get creative with them. But even we weren’t prepared for the reaction we got. 

The people our friends at Monaghan Baptist visited had never seen anything like our suncatchers before. They took excitement to a new level. And we got to see a craft we do every day through fresh eyes.

The Monaghan Baptist was a success on many levels. We are so glad we got to be a part of it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Frame It Up for Thanksgiving

We’ve been trying to pull together some fun and quick ideas for your Thanksgiving dinner. This project is an old favorite – easy enough to do for everyone at your table and pretty enough to keep in your house all year long. 

You can get this project done in no time – you just need a frame, some jute or twine and our fall leaves assortment. If you want to change the look a little bit, you can use felt instead of jute for the background. If you stick with the jute, simply wrap it around the frame. Place and then glue your leaves and you’re done!

If you want to use this as a name plate on your table, simply print or write your guests’ names on cardstock and put it in place. Or, take your favorite Thanksgiving photo and proudly display it.

Happy Thanksgiving from New Image Group!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cute Critters

With their reputations for making a mess of the garbage, raccoons may not be the most welcome sight in your yard. But these guys will stay exactly where you put them. And maybe even get a little giggle out of you. They are easy to make and could even make for cute and unexpected little name holders at your Thanksgiving table. Click here for instructions.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Felt Crafts for Kids

With the weather turning colder and rain and snow moving in, you may be looking for things to keep the kids busy if they’re stuck in the house. Our friends at Better Homes and Gardens have just the thing with this selection of felt projects for kids of all ages. In fact, all of these projects would make great homemade holiday gifts.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gobble Gobble!

Thanksgiving is just over a week away. While you’re pulling out all of your recipe cards and making shopping lists, the kids may be itching to do something, too. How about making a fun decoration for the front door?

This project was born out of necessity. My son gets so excited about Halloween every year that by the time we’re thinking about Thanksgiving, all of the best decorations are long gone. So we improvised. We found a plain, pre-made, wooden leaf wreath in the clearance section of a local store.

Then we went through our stash of felt and pulled out our favorite Fall colors and got to work. It’s important to note that for this project we used EZ Felt. Our wreath wasn’t big enough to support all of our turkey feathers. The stiffness of EZ felt meant that our turkey feathers would stay at attention, even if they didn’t have part of the wreath right behind them.

We wanted the colors of our turkeys to really pop, so on some of the feathers we laid Soft Felt over the EZ Felt. This also added dimension to our turkeys.

How did we make the turkeys? Easy. We drew the number 8 on our felt pieces in different sizes until we found the size we really liked. Then we cut out three turkey bodies. For the feathers we drew parentheses ( ), closing the tops so that we had a point and then cut them out. If you look closely at our project you’ll notice that while the feathers all look similar, none of them are the exact same size. Much like you’d find on an actual bird.

We used craft glue to put it all together and gave the turkeys some personality with google-eyes. Finally, we cut a square of felt that was just big enough to cover the area where we attached the turkey feathers and glued it to the back.

Once all of the glue was dry we broke out the hot glue gun and put a healthy amount on the backs of our turkeys and placed them on our wreath. We laid it flat to dry and cure overnight. The next day it was ready to go on our front door.

My son loved doing this project. With the exception of hot gluing the turkeys to the wreaths he was involved every step of the way and loves telling people which turkey is supposed to be him. (It’s the one on the left.) With the exception of letting the hot glue cure overnight, we were able to complete this project in one evening, after dinner. So even if you pull this together at the last minute, you can still have it ready for Thanksgiving Day.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Quick & Easy Halloween Decor

We've been thinking about Halloween all summer and are super excited that we can finally start to trot out spooky decorations without getting funny looks.

Naturally, every year we make more and better Halloween decorations than in years past. This year is no exception, but we've added a rule to our creepy fun: recycle as much as possible as we decorate.

There must be something in the air because Jennifer Perkins from Naughty Secretary Club and I Love to Create gave a set of canisters new life when she decorated them for Halloween.

Jennifer uses both felt and yarn on her canisters, which gives a nice dimension. However, if you don't have any yarn, you can use felt for the entire project. Plus, if you have some Quick Stick felt handy you can make this project that much faster.

Now go scare up some supplies and get crafting!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Designer Craft Tip: Making Shapes

You can do tons of really cool stuff with felt, including cutting it into really cool shapes. But what do you do when want a great shape, but you’re not so hot at drawing free-hand? Use cookie cutters! With all the shapes and sizes out there, it will be easy for the kids to find something they love. Let them trace their favorite cookie cutters with chalk; the chalk is easily washed off so the cutters will be ready for you next baking project. Older children can cut out their own shapes, but smaller kids may need a hand with the scissors. Once you have your new shapes cut out, the possibilities are endless. Glue the shapes to cardboard or construction paper to make pictures and cards or decorate each one, then get out a hole punch and some ribbon for instant tags and ornaments. Let your imagination run wild!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Warming Up to the Books

Across the country students are now about two weeks into the school year. That means they should have all of their text books. But are they all covered? If you’ve run out of paper bags to do the job, consider felt! Felt book covers are easy to make and highly customizable – you can even add a holder for pens and pencils or a small notepad.

The crafty sewers at Disney Family Fun show you how easy this "book blanket" project is.

Looking for even more inspiration? Check out how we dolled up a spiral bound book using 9" x 12" felt and a few fun embellishments.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

National Sewing Month

September is National Sewing Month! Whether you use a machine, or stitch by hand, this month is for you.  Did you know? Sewing is one of the oldest arts – scientists believe cavemen sewed in the Paleolithic era, using bone for needles and animal hair for thread. The sewing machine wasn’t invented until the early 1800s and computerized sewing machines weren’t readily available until the late 1970s.

Today people can buy patterns to load into their sewing machines and complete their projects in a fraction of the time. Of course, hand stitching will never go out style. Fixing a button, a quick hem, even a larger project like making a piece of clothing can all be hand sewn for that extra personal touch.

Do you have any special projects underway? Are you looking for some sewing inspiration? Here are a few of our favorite stitched projects:

Children's Play Apron Plush Pumpkins
Fairy Costume Witch's Boot

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to School Crafts

No matter what part of the country you live in, we’re in that final countdown to the first day of school. How does a busy parent keep the kids busy and get them ready for school at the same time? Crafting, of course!

Here are a few fun crafts that may just get the kids excited about hitting the books again this fall.

School Bus Frame
Pencil Toppers

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Getting Creative with Shapes

Someone once told me that drawing is simple – you just put shapes together to create a bigger picture. We could argue that crafting follows the same tenant. And this adorable little guy proves it! He’s made from Lara’s pieces – small beads, spools and a goose egg. Connect it all with pipe cleaners and voila, you’re spending the rest of the summer with a fun new friend. Click here for full instructions.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Special Back-to-School Project for Mom

It seems like we’ve all experienced a very hot summer this year. If you have kids, that means they’ve probably spent more time inside than usual, slowly taking over areas that were once tidy: the coffee table, kitchen table, the bonus room where you craft…

Good news! Relief is in sight! By September 6th,  most kids will be back in school!

So, what’s a mom to do once the kids are gone for eight hours a day? Reclaim the house! After taking those areas back from the clutter, spruce them up with these fun topiary projects from Patti Gorman.

Add a small punch of color to a room with a Felt Tabletop Topiary, or make a statement with a Felt Wall Topiary. Both projects can be easily tailored to your taste and d├ęcor by using different colors and by creating them at a size that’s perfect for your space. Best of all? Once you complete these projects, they’ll look great all year long with no pruning!

Click here for complete instructions and the pattern to make the Tabletop Topiary.

Click here for complete instructions and the pattern to make the Wall Topiary.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Getting Ready for School

If you have little ones in elementary school, their art teacher may ask you send a smock in for art day. Instead of sending in a ratty old shirt, why don’t you whip together one of these adorable aprons designed by our own Patti Gorman? Get your kiddo in on the project by letting them choose the colors and patterns and making the designs for the pockets. Best of all, these aprons are reversible, so you can get doubly creative with the embellishments.

Once done, your kids will probably want to wear their apron all the time! Can you blame them?

Click here for complete instructions.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Designer Craft Tip

Blending Colors on Unfinished Wood

Last week we told you about using acrylic paint on wood. This week, we’re taking our painting tips one step further – blending! You may remember this relaxing “At the Beach” project we featured back in May. As you can see, the colors blend subtlety into each other. There are several ways to achieve this look.

Drew, the designer who created this project, simply used a tissue to blot the colors where they came together.

Another way to blend your colors is to take the colors you want to blend and put them side by side on a paper plate, or other surface that you can use as a palette. Once you have the paints side by side, take a flat paint brush and brush it back and forth between the two colors, mixing them together. You will still have each individual color to see on either side, so you can blend as much or as little as you like, using the originals as your guide.

Finally, you can use sanding to blend your colors. That’s right, sanding. If you are using the stain from our Kelly’s line or even acrylic paint, you can still use this technique. Simply let your paint thoroughly dry and then lightly rub a fine grit sandpaper over your wood surface. You’ll see the lines between your colors begin to soften and you’ll also smooth out your surface for the next step in your project.

Try each method and show us your results!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Designer Craft Tip

Tips For Painting Unfinished Wood Crafts

There are many different types of paint you can use to paint on unfinished wood. Although you can use that leftover latex paint you painted the walls with, latex paint isn't guaranteed to hold up under duress.

Acrylic paint is the best choice for unfinished wood crafts. Craft stores like Michael's, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart, or Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts carry several inexpensive brands of acrylic paint in a tremendous range of colors. Depending on the color of the paint, it will cover better and take fewer coats if you basecoat the wood first with a primer. Let dry, and then paint. After the paint is dry, you should coat your painted surface with an acrylic sealer unless you are using a gloss paint, which has a sealer built in.

Happy crafting!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fun with Felt

Even though it's summer and temperatures are soaring across the country, there are still plenty of fun crafts you can do with felt. Don't believe me? Then take it from my friends over at FaveCrafts. Their every expanding list of things to do with felt is amazing and will get your creative juices flowing. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Designer Craft Tip

Designer Susan Philpott loves experimenting with her craft supplies. Here is a little something she figured out after painting a few suncatchers.

Craft Tip for Different Ways to Use Suncatcher Stain

Did you know Suncatcher stain can be used on other surfaces than our Kelly's Suncatchers?  Suncatcher stain can be used on clear acrylic rhinestones or  beads in a variety of craft projects.

Stay tuned for to this blog for craft projects like making jewelry or rhinestones using suncatchers stain! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Girl Scouts Get Crafty with Kelly's Suncatchers

Recently a Hobby Town USA store in Cumming, Georgia, hosted a local Girl Scout Troop for a day of crafting. What did the girls do? They painted suncatchers, of course! Here's Keith Pruitt's article about the event from Hobby Merchandiser magazine.

Kelly’s Crafts offers several lines of craft projects that provide inspiration, creative fun and a bit of education while entertaining kids of all ages. One of its lines is Suncatchers. These are a type of stained glass window decoration made to “catch the sun” and allow the sunlight to bring out the brilliance of the colors and shapes. Kelly’s Crafts’ Suncatcher Kits are made of clear plastic and include brushes and transparent liquid stains that allow kids and adults to create beautiful craft art pieces to hang in their windows.

Recently the HobbyTown USA store in Cumming, Georgia, hosted a craft workshop for the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Troop 10881, in which the girls painted Kelly’s Crafts Suncatchers. With the wide variety of Suncatchers available, each girl had the opportunity to paint several different ones. They were able to choose from animals, cartoon characters, fairies, sea creatures, pirate paraphernalia and 3-D butterflies.

Girl Scouts is an organization that enables girls and young women to exercise their talents, gain new skills in leadership and practical applications and have fun during the process. There are several types of projects that Girl Scouts perform, including outdoor activities like canoeing and horseback riding, as well as various forms of arts and crafts. Kelly’s Crafts Suncatchers were a natural fit for their arts and crafts endeavors.

On a sunny spring afternoon, Troop 10881 arrived at Hobbytown USA ready to have some fun and promptly went to work. As the girls began to paint the Suncatchers, their conversation varied from an obstacle course the girls had recently completed to “World Thinking Day,” a festival about globalization and world cultures. They also discussed the Suncatchers, deciding which colors to use on the different designs and what they wanted to do with them after they had finished. They considered donating them to the pediatric wing at the local hospital or perhaps to the convalescent home to brighten up the rooms of the elderly patients living there.

Kelly’s Crafts Suncatcher Kits each include multiple containers of paint in various colors, allowing mixing and matching of colors on the various pieces. These kits, many containing multiple Suncatchers, make a workshop like this simple, inexpensive and easy to perform in any hobby shop. The Suncatcher Kits also make an excellent choice of afternoon or evening activity for any family at home. Obviously, the young ladies of Troop 10881 had a blast painting the Kelly’s Crafts Suncatchers, and it was great fun watching them.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8th!

It seems like Mother's Day snuck up this year, doesn’t it? Don’t worry! We have great project ideas to let Mom know that she’s #1 in your heart and mind.

Gift Card Holder
Sometimes the best gift is a gift card to one of Mom’s favorite shops or salons. A great way to give the card a little extra pizzazz is to create a personalized gift card holder just for Mom. She can use it past Mother’s Day to hold other cards, or maybe slip a little picture in behind the gift card, giving Mom an extra reason to keep this lovely little holder close.

Felt Clutch
This darling bag is easy to make and a great gift! Make it out of Mom’s favorite colors, or to coordinate with a special outfit. Mom will love carrying it around and bragging that it was made with love.

Felt Family Tree
If your mom is anything like mine, she loves bragging about her family. Create this tree with favorite family photos and give Mom another opportunity to show off.

Beaded Bracelets
These bracelets are fun and easy to make. Paint messages like “I Love Mom” on the beads or just go simple and paint them in her favorite colors. Either way, Mom will love this gift from the heart, that even small crafters can help make.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Image Produces Felt From 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers

Do you recycle your plastic water and soda bottles? If you don’t, you should! Recycling those bottles gives them a second, environmentally friendly life in tons of products including building materials, school supplies, lawn furniture and felt!

New Image felt is produced from recycling plastic bottles. Here’s how:

  • Plastic bottles are collected and brought to recycling plants

  • The bottles are crushed and then broken into chipped plastic bits

  • The bits are sorted to filter out dirt and other impurities (Ever shove a food wrapper in an empty plastic bottle?)

  • The chipped bits are melted into liquid form and then spun into fiber filaments

  • These filaments become the base of the polyester felt we produce
New Image prevents more than one million pounds of waste from entering our landfills every year. In fact, our manufacturing process recycles so effectively that we have virtually eliminated all waste.

Looking for more reasons to recycle? Check this out:
  • Every ton of plastic that is recycled saves 3.8 barrels of oil and 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space

  • In 2007 the U.S. recycled enough plastic to heat over 2.1 million homes

  • Using recycled plastics reduces greenhouse gas emissions
New Image is proud to create products that are made of 100% post-consumer recycled fibers. We are committed to continuing this practice and constantly looking for more and better ways to create environmentally friendly products.

This symbol lets you know that you are crafting with sustainable, earth-friendly products.

Do you have ideas for more ways that we can use recycled products? Let us know what they are!