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Bluprint Articles
May 24, 2020
John Levisay, CEO, Bluprint (Craftsy)
If you're ready to stitch your way onto the hand embroidery bandwagon, these projects are calling your name.
Sew
Pattern grading is an easy way to replicate a pattern to scale, saving you from having to draft the whole thing. It can be your go-to if you need to size an entire pattern up a smidge. (Though you shouldn't try to go more than two sizes up or down, as that would disrupt the balance of the pattern.) There are a couple different ways to pattern grade, but let's focus on two of the most common methods.
Pauline Alice
With all those branches, leaves and bark, painting a robust pine tree can be a fun experience to dive into. Whether you're painting one from your own backyard or painting a Christmas tree to get in the holiday spirit, the whole process is simple to follow and a blast to explore.
Paul Heaston
With its bright color and tart taste, rhubarb is a must-grow veggie for your spring garden. While you may not want to munch on the raw stalks — they're fairly sour — rhubarb becomes sweeter (and recipe-ready) when cooked. And because it's so versatile, you can incorporate it into a variety of dishes to satisfy your exact craving.
Ashley Rodriguez
Fact: sewing your quilt (or a smaller project, like pillow tops and table runners) by hand provides a soft finish that really can’t be achieved by machines. Not to mention there isn't anything that beats the zen of sewing something with needle and thread. If you're interested in trying the craft, these tips — along with the right supplies — can help you get started.
Sherri McConnell
Bold, funky colors and a modern, geometric design makes pure magic on your walls. This easy washi tape accent creates a cool focal point you can customize to suit any space.
Sew
For kids who want to sew — but may not be ready for a sharp needle or complex sewing machine — this personalized piece of wall decor is a great starter project. Not only will they be proud to gift it or hang it in their room, but working the stitches helps them practice an even, repeating pattern that builds fine motor skills. It's a win all around!
Sherri Sylvester
Brioche knitting is unlike any other technique in the knitting world, so you have to go into it with the right tools — and that includes yarn. Because the secret to a good brioche project is a yarn that complements those beautiful, squishy stitches. So before you pick up your needles and start, look for these key characteristics in your yarn.
Ashley Little
Grab those plain T-shirts lying around the house and give 'em a cute upgrade. These butterflies as super easy to make, so the kids can get in on the fun, too!
Generally speaking, we've never really met a popsicle we didn’t like. But yogurt varieties are extra special because they make the popsicle a viable snack option from morning to night.
Whether it's the Fourth of July, Memorial Day or just a hunting or summer camp-themed party, camouflage fondant makes your desserts look incredibly cool. The best part? It's so easy, your little cake decorators can get in on the fun.
Felicity and Krystle
S'mores are a classic campfire treat, but those flavors you know and love can taste just as satisfying sans-campfire! These three frozen snacks are perfect for a hot summer's day, and you only need a few quick recipes to pull 'em all together.
Kris Galicia Brown
Sew
Clothing and accessories are an awesome way for kids — and everyone, really — to express their creativity. But instead of buying new stuff, help your little fashionistas upgrade what they've got with some cool DIY felt patches. They're easy to make and look great ironed on everything from backpacks to jean jackets.
Sherri Sylvester
Pizza's a win no matter what, but when you want to up the fun factor, turn your food into a friend! All you have to do is shape your dough and arrange your toppings to make these cute critter faces.
Sew
Given all the uncertainty swirling about COVID-19, there's a lot of desire to help. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say staying home, washing your hands and practicing social distancing are some of the best things to do at this time, they're also encouraging everyone wear a cloth face cover when out in public.
Next time you're craving a good ole s'more, ditch the graham crackers and use freshly-baked snickerdoodle cookies instead. Not only do they provide an extra burst of flavor, but they serve as a sturdy base for an ooey-gooey treat the whole fam can love.
Kris Galicia Brown
Tie-dye is back in a big way, whether you're creating fun patterns on a scarf or baking a batch of cupcakes. Get in on the trend with this radical cake design that's surprisingly easy to pull off.
Erin Gardner
Spoiler: you don't need a big yard to grow your dream garden. With some strategic planning, you can create a green oasis no matter how small your space.
Sew
Truth: there's nothing fun about having your skirt cling to your body. Not only can it feel uncomfortable, but it also prevents the skirt from hanging as intended. But with a simple handmade slip you designed yourself, you can rock any skirt with style — meaning this old classic just became a wardrobe must-have once more.
Christine Haynes
Getting your hands dirty — and fully coated in sugar and flour — is the best way to get better at cake decorating. But there are some lessons you really don’t need to learn the hard way. Professional decorators spilled the secrets they wish they’d known from the get-go — steal 'em and you'll start making cakes like a total pro in no time.
Kristin Doherty
Sew
Whether you're lounging on the weekend or working from home, there's nothing better than a great-fitting pair of yoga pants (aka leggings) to make your day-to-day more comfy. Here's what you need to know to sew a pair — or five.
Christine Haynes
Professionally-made cookies always seem to look smooth, seamless and gorgeous. But there's no magic involved, and you can totally make equally flawless cookies in your own kitchen. All you need are a few basic tips to help you perfect basic cookie decorating techniques and you'll be well on your way.
While there are hundreds of quilting gadgets on the market these days, when you're new to the craft it's best to start with the basics. So skip the fancy-pants gizmos — for now — and stock up on these important quilting tools that'll help make your first quilt a success.
Sherri McConnell
Sew
You love browsing, buying and using sewing patterns. And while making patterns may seem like a job for the pros, there's actually one pattern any home sewer can — and definitely should —make. It’s called a sloper, and it's basically a generic pattern based on your measurements without any wiggle room, seam allowances or style. It's the building block of all patterns, helping you to not only sew clothes, but design them.
Beginner
Sew
Truth: a shower curtain can make or break your bathroom. If you're revamping your space (or moving into a new place altogether), this simple DIY can save you hours of searching for that perfect patterned curtain. And there's no need to install grommets or special hardware — this curtain can be made using only your sewing machine.
Beth Galvin
If you wanna grow your own veggies but tend to be, err, super impatient, there's good news: you don't have to wait all summer to score homegrown greens. These fast-growing vegetables can be harvested in less than two months, so you'll have fresh grub in no time.
Melissa Willis
Crusty French bread. Sandwich loaves. Ciabatta. Homemade bread is truly an art form, but without preservatives, it's tricky to keep it from going stale. The good news is there are different storage tricks you can try to stretch the lifespan of your loaf. Put these into practice and you'll be able to carb-load for longer.
Jessie Oleson Moore
For a treat that has all the crunch and flavor of a cookie but feels a little more fancy, look no further than madeleines. These pretty shell-shaped desserts are a classic French pastry and are easy to customize, letting you create a wide variety of delicious flavors. Serve 'em at your next bridal shower, Mother's Day brunch or fun family event and you'll be sure to wow the crowd.
Nicole Weston
Bananas foster is a classic New Orleans dessert, but you don't have to visit Louisiana to indulge in its sweet flavor. You can make it right in your kitchen without any fancy equipment — just grab your trusty skillet and those extra-ripe bananas, and you're on your way to a tasty, retro-fabulous dessert.
Nicole Weston
Béchamel sauce is one of the five mother sauces, and therefore a staple of French cuisine. You can often find it in chicken and fish dishes, or incorporated into lasagna or other baked pasta meals. And despite how fancy-schmancy it sounds, you don't need any crazy ingredients or tools to make it.
Karly Campbell
With its own set of special stitches, unique charts and working method (each row is worked twice), brioche is the rebel of the knitting world. So for a first-timer, the technique may seem tricky — after all, you have to throw out some of your typical knitting know-how to create the gorgeous texture. But if you keep these beginner-friendly tips in mind, your first attempt at brioche knitting will feel like a breeze.
Ashley Little
Bakers, put down your piping bags! There are ways to decorate with royal icing that don't require you to break out the piping tips, and they still result in a totally gorgeous sugar cookie. Whether you dip, spread, brush, splatter or drizzle, these techniques are all fun ways to achieve a batch of totally stunning treats.
Erin Gardner
If you've seen a brioche knit, you won't forget it. The technique uses its own special set of stitches to create a to-die-for texture that's unlike any other. So if you're looking to learn more about brioche knitting — and need more reasons to give it a try — here are five to get you started.
Ashley Little
If you love the idea of a bananas foster but don't want to risk singeing your brows with a flambé, this recipe is just what you need. It has all the classic flavors, but instead of flambéing you heat the alcohol with butter at the beginning of the recipe. That way you still get a rich caramel flavor in your finished dessert — without any flames needed.
Jessie Oleson Moore
The cake decorating world is full of fancy piping tips, clever cutters and specialty tools you can use to create amazing effects. But that doesn't mean you have to buy out the store to get started. Start with these basic cake decorating tools that can help you nail a flawless fondant or buttercream surface. Once you've mastered using them, the rest is just... icing.
Wendy McGowan
Pumpkin purée is a staple of fall baking and the key to many delicious pumpkin treats. While opting for the canned variety can speed up your baking process, making your own purée from an actual pumpkin can further boost that pumpkin flavor and give you leftover seeds to roast. Here's how to DIY the stuff from scratch; then it's time to start baking!
Nicole Weston
There's nothing better than a home-cooked dinner, especially one that doesn't require much work on your part. That's the beauty of the slow cooker — all you need is a little prep time and these delicious recipes to get a soul-soothing meal on the table with a minimal amount of effort.
If you want your stranded colorwork to be as close to perfect as possible, you have to know how to navigate jogless knitting in the round.
Ashley Little
This hot chocolate is set apart from your run-of-the-mill mix thanks to one key ingredient: pumpkin pie spice. The iconic blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg gives your drink a burst of fall flavor — so sip on a cup while digging into a hearty slice of pie.
Nicole Weston
From seamless hats to fingerless gloves, knitting in the round opens you up to a world full of double-pointed and circular needles. But the technique can get tricky, especially if you're a beginner. Here are a few tips for avoiding common in-the-round frustrations so you don't have to rip out your project.
Ashley Little
If you know the basics of needle felting, you can create almost anything — including your fur baby. This fiber craft can be used to make 3D and 2D works of art, and when worked onto a piece of fabric (like in this portrait), it's a lot like painting. But instead of a brush and paints, you use a barbed needle and wool. This must-make is a great gift for animal lovers or those who may have lost a beloved pet, not to mention it's a fun way to capture your own furry friend's likeness.
Candice LaSalle
When you add caramel and a pinch of sea salt to spiced apple cider, you know you're doing fall right. This cozy drink is perfect for both the morning and evening, especially when sipped alongside a tasty pumpkin treat.
Nicole Weston
Maple syrup and fall go hand-in-hand, especially when spooned generously into a warm rooibos tea latte. Make this recipe at home and it'll taste like you're sipping autumn in a cup all season.
Nicole Weston
Instead of paper place cards at your wedding, picture greeting your guests with something a little sweeter — like mini tiered cakes made from sugar cookies. On top of being elegant, these goodies are simple to make en masse, so they're perfect for your big day or bridal shower.
Felicity and Krystle
Saying "thank you" to essential workers — the nurses, doctors, grocery store employees and more — with a card you decorated yourself is a fun, creative way to personally express gratitude. Print out the PDF for an easy-start project (you'll get both a coloring page and a foldable card) or follow the hand lettering tips below to create your own from scratch.
All-purpose flour may be your go-to when baking, but sometimes it's another type of flour's time to shine. Like pastry flour, for instance: if a lighter, more tender pastry is what you're after, here's why you should keep a sack of this low-protein flour in your pantry.
Nicole Weston
With one easy method, you can give your sugar cookies that smooth, unblemished look you see in bakeries. The secret is flooding, and it's all about mastering your royal icing. Here's how to get yours onto a cookie in a sleek, flawless style.
Felicity and Krystle
Even if you don't drink Earl Grey — or any other kind of tea — these adorable teapot cookies are perfect for baby and bridal showers, Mother's Day, or just a run-of-the-mill Saturday afternoon. They'll be just as fun to make as they are to eat!
Felicity and Krystle
Don't toss those over-ripe bananas; use 'em for these tasty recipes instead! Whether you're looking for something sweet or savory, satisfying your banana cravings has never been easier.
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