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my favourite tutorials of 2011

I’ve seen several people doing year-end wrap up posts today with their Top [instert number here] Projects/Blog Posts/Reminiscences of 2011, and I thought I’d finish out the year in style by copycatting them. I hear cats are popular on teh internets these days.

I was going to choose my five favourite posts, but I just couldn’t narrow it down enough. And then I got to thinking, who says we have to use numbers like five and ten all the time? Where did that come from? What about the other numbers, like 4, and 6, and 9? I bet they feel left out and neglected. It’s numerical favouritism! And maybe that kind of thing was ok in 2011, but it’s practically a new year now, baby, and in 2012 numerical favouritism simply will not stand.

So here are my personally chosen top seven blog tutorials from 2011, counting backwards.

7. paper plants – This is one of those projects that turned out much better than I anticipated, which is always delightful. Also, it works out as some extra office foliage that doubles as a place to hide jelly beans, which is pretty much what everyone needs.


6. iconocraft/display stand/needle felted critters – What I love about this post isn’t actually the tutorial, which is for a cardboard display stand. That’s cool and all, but what makes the post awesome is seeing all the needle felted creatures made by first-time needle felters at my craft fair table. It’s amazing the creativity and skill demonstrated by people who had never attempted to needle felt ever before. (For actual needle felting tutorials, two of my favourites are bird ornaments and bacon.)


5.  7 craftsy things to do with Magic cards – This post is really 7 posts in one, and how can you not love something that full of craftsy, geeky goodness? Creating the post utterly consumed most of a weekend, after I so foolishly thought I could get it all written up in a mere few hours. Oh, the charming naïveté of 2011! That innocence may be gone, but these 7 (yes, seven) Magic card craft ideas linger.


4. microwavable wheat bag monsters – This one’s a favourite in part due to the number of people who told me they used this tutorial to make Christmas presents, which is straight up awesome. (And you can see some of those crafters’ own results in the new Crafters’ Gallery.) I also think this tutorial is begging to be used to make full-sized monster throw pillows… things to look forward to in 2012…


3. dressmaking without a pattern – I love this post because it encapsulates the heart, soul and fiber weave of my current wardrobe, and my attitude towards sewing. Just make it up as you go, baby!


2. plush baby Myr – Cuteness is my great love and weakness, and this post captures that pretty well. Also, it’s an MtG plush, which there really ought to be more of in the world. And I love plushies, but I feel like there’s often a perceived barrier to making them, where they seem hugely complicated and difficult to make, which isn’t always true. I like to post tutorials that help break down that myth, & I think this is one such tutorial.


1. page corner bookmarks – This post has gone absolutely nuts this year, getting pinned and repinned all over Pinterest and receiving visits and comments out the wazoo. Whatever you decide a wazoo is for you personally, attention to this post was out of it. But the reason it’s on my favourite posts list isn’t because of the attention per say, but because of how and where it’s been used. The number of individuals who’ve made monster bookmarks (and shared photos of them) has been remarkable, but I’ve been especially touched by the fact that entire classrooms of elementary students have done this project. Seeing all those kids’ take on the project has been amazing, and I love all the add-ons of hats, ears, antennae, monocles, paws, claws and more that those kids have come up with.


And here’s one bonus listing, which isn’t a tutorial, but is two different bonus posts here on this blog:

1+. Perilous Myr plushie; the original and the new & improved – For me, these posts symbolize my 2011 crafts learning curve. The Perilous Myr started out as a project I wasn’t sure I could do, wasn’t sure would work out. And it let to further plushie projects and commissions that continued to test my skills and require me to learn new things, try new techniques. If, in January of 2011, someone had shown my pictures of all the things I would make over the course of the year, I’d probably have had trouble believing them. Because in January I wasn’t capable of making those things. But now, in December, I am. And just imagine what new things will be learned by next December!

Now that I’ve gotten that schmaltzy bout of positivity and meaningfulness out of the way, let’s all go crack open the champagne and don our silly hats. Happy New Year, everyone!

Leave a comment


  1. alessia

     /  January 2, 2012

    I actually discovered your blog with the page corner bookmarks (and I made plenty of them, having a lot of fun!!) and every friday (or saturday- because of the jet lag) I check your crafting ideas! they are all very nice! :)

    Happy new year from Italy!!!

  2. I’ve used lots of your craft ideas for my Christmas presents this year. :) I never knew I was into this sort of thing before I found your blog. Keep up the awesome work!

    • admin

       /  January 7, 2012

      Woot! Safaia, that is super exciting to hear! Glad we’re converting you into a crafter. ;)

  3. Jenn

     /  January 5, 2012

    what is one things you would like to learn to do this year? if you can’t pick one, perhaps any number of things you would like to learn to do. :)

    • admin

       /  January 7, 2012

      Hmm, good question! I’ve been wanting to experiment with making molds from rubber and silicon, to use for making sculptures or bouncy toys or candles or who knows what else. So that’s one thing. I’d also like to get a better handle on using my cuttlebug for embossing purposes.

      What about you?

  4. Jenn

     /  January 12, 2012

    ooo! making molds sounds really cool! i’d really love to learn how to DIY screen print. i found a pretty cool tutorial and i’m just waiting until it’s warm outside because i don’t want to make a mess of my house (it uses mod podge). other than that, i just really want to refine my current crocheting and sewing skills. :) good luck in your crafty travels!

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