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Antsy to get crafting without stepping foot in an art supply store? These genius ideas make use of things you already have around the house.

Check out this great DIY project -- one of our favorites from the brand new May 2011 issue of Country Living!

free crafts

How to spice up wooden nesting dolls
Make matryoshka dolls do more than sit pretty by turning a pair into fetching salt and pepper
shakers. With a pushpin, pierce four to six small pilot holes in the top of each doll (from $8.95
for three; arussiansouvenirshop.com). Then, using a 1/16-inch bit, carefully drill through each pilot hole. Fill the bottom half of one doll with salt, the other with pepper. Tightly twist on each
top-and set about dolling up your dining table.


Put tea towels to work as a market tote.
Adapted from Clare Youngs's The Perfect Handmade Bag ($19.95;
Cico), this cute carryall requires little more than a pair of small wooden spatulas and two tea towels ($15 each; motherlindas.com).

Step One: Cut six strips of fabric from one towel. Two, measuring 3¾"W x 14¼"L each, will serve as the decorative horizontal bands at the top of the tote and should incorporate the towel's graphics (as shown, left). The other four, measuring 3½"W x 8"L, will form tabs for the bag's handles.Turn under the long sides of each strip and press a ¼" hem.

Step Two: To make a tab,topstitch one of the long sides of a 3½"W x 8"L strip near the edge. Then fold it in half so that the short sides meet, and topstitch the other, now folded, long side, sewing through both layers of fabric. Repeat with the other 3½"W x 8"L strips.

Step Three: Lay the second towel on a flat surface, right side up. Align the long side of one decorative 3¾"W x 14¼"L strip horizontally with a short end of the towel (as shown). Topstitch in place. Repeat on other short end.

Step Four: Flip the towel right side down. To determine where to place the tabs, center a spatula atop one of the towel's shorter ends, and use straight pins to mark the spatula's width. Place a tab at each pinned point, slightly over-lapping the tabs with the top of the towel. Make sure that each tab's closed side lines up with the pins and that the open sides face each other. Remove the pins, then topstitch both tabs in place. Repeat on the towel's other short end.

Step Five: Fold the towel in half, wrong sides together. Pin, then stitch the sides closed using a 3/8" seam; backstitch at the tops for reinforcement. Insert spatulas into the tabs, then hand-sew closed to secure spatulas.


Read the whole article for more practically free crafts at Country Living.

And for more Country Living on Shelterpop, check out:
Garage to Garden Shed
Country Living Celebrates What's Country Now



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