Jan 13

DIY : Handmade Packaging

You don’t have to go out and buy fancy packaging materials.. just be a little creative!

Here is our packaging for our Oceanscape Rings (This adorable Sailboat one is off to Washington state today :)

photo-10photo-12 photo-11

Materials: Cardboard, twine, and paint.  Eco-friendly and recyclable, too!

Jan 13

DIY : Wine Label Removal



A bottle of your favorite wine that you don’t want to forget? A bottle from a special occasion? Or plans to reuse that beautiful bottle for something else?

Whatever your reason is…here is one method to removing the label from a wine bottle:

1. Select bottle.

2. Fill bottle with HOT water.

3. With a straight edge razor, gently loosen the edges of the label.

4. Continue to use the razor to lift the label off.  Be sure to go evenly, vertically along the bottle.

5. Press the labels to a blank sheet of paper (the back is still sticky) and place under something heavy to keep it flat.



  • If you don’t need to keep the labels, you can run the label directly under hot water to help the process move faster.
  • Fill bottle and sink with water and soak. This should loosen the label off completely.

Now what?

  • Make a book of all your favorite wines.
  • List the date and occasion.
  • Frame a really beautiful label in a fun vintage frame.
  • Add to a scrapbook.


Jan 13

DIY Canvas Prints: HUGE Impact, low cost

Love this DIY idea by TrendyThrifting! I never knew Staples did those prints.. must try in “free” time!

Aug 12

DIY : fabric tags

Ravel is getting ready for 3 big sales this September and 2 in October! Here are handmade fabric tags we make for the Cumberland Clutches



1. Muslin, or any fabric of your choice
2. Rubber, linoleum, or wood block to carve stamp
3. Fabric paint
4. Brush or sponge
5. Custom design
6. Carving tools

1. Print design or draw directly onto block (remember design on block should be reversed!)

2. Carve design using small chisels and knives. If necessary, mount carving to a block for strength.

3. Cut fabric squares to the size you need. Leave room on the sides to fold in.

4. Apply paint to the stamp with a brush or sponge.

5. Stamp!

6. Fold like so…



7. Sew into seam. Here’s our tags in our clutches:


Good luck and share your own tag designs!

Apr 12

DIY Project : Crochet Doily

My desire to knit and crochet has been a continuing self-taught series of small projects over the past year or so.  My first attempt at a doily began with this pattern (see reference below).  I have found crocheting to be much easier to pick up than knitting!  So, if knitting isn’t for you… don’t be discouraged!  The two are similar in the results but much different in how the tools are worked.  I found that teaching yourself the stitches can be pretty confusing from a book, so I recommend the following video tutorials instead:

One and Two

Doily Pattern:

Ch 7. Join with sl st to form ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 4 (counts as first treble), work 19 more tr in ring. Join to top of ch-4 with sl st.

Rnd 2: Ch 8 (counts as first double treble and ch 3), work dtr in next tr. Work Ch 3 and dtr in each tr around, ending ch 3. Join with sl st in fifth ch of ch-8.

Rnd 3: Ch 4, dtr in next dtr. *Ch 6, work another dtr in the same place as the last one, retaining the last two loops on hook; work another dtr in next dtr, retaining last loop (three loops on hook); yo and draw through all loops*. Repeat from * to * around, ending with ch 6. Join to top of ch-4.

Rnd 4: Ch 1, work 4 sc over first ch-6 arch. * Ch 5, sc in next ch-6 arch *. Repeat from * to * around, ending ch 5, tr in fourth ch of beginning arch, where 4 sc were worked.

Crocheting School: A Complete Course. Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.: New York, 2001. Page 97.

Mar 12

Eco Adhesives

Looking for some environmentally friendly adhesives?  Here are some options:

1. Ecoglue : Site.

2. Ecopoxy : Site.

3. Flour paste : Flour + Water

4. Animal glue : Video.

5. Casein : Skim Milk + Vinegar + Heat, Filter

6. Starch : Cornstarch + Salt + Water

Examples of Bioadhesives found in nature:

Spider Webs


Mar 12

A Quick Guide to Natural Finishes

Not only should we be concerned about what materials we chose for a project, but also what processes we use to complete one. In woodworking, finishes are a very important component in a design, but many contain ingredients that cause very serious health concerns. Here are some alternatives to those nasty finishes that contain synthetics, VOCs, and toxic air pollutants:

1. Linseed Oil, derived from the seeds of a flax plant

Can be wiped, brushed, or sprayed. Sand between coats. Apply 2-3 coats, allowing to dry overnight between each.

2. Tung Oil, derived from the nuts of a tung tree

Wipe or brush on. Sand between coats. Apply 5-7 coats, allowing to dry 2-3 days between each.

3. Shellac, derived from the secretion of the lac bug

Wipe or brush on. Apply 1 or more coats, dries in 30 minutes.

4. Waxes, i.e. Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, etc.


A very insightful link.

And another one.