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These Free Pokemon Cross-Stitch Patterns Will Make You Want To Catch Them All

Cross-Stitch December 8, 2017

These Free Pokemon Cross-Stitch Patterns Will Make You Want To Catch Them All

I grew up in a community that was averse to trends. Whenever there was a new toy, like the tamagotchi, pogs, or pokemon, I knew better than to ask for one or play with them at friends’ houses (I did manage to scrape up enough money to buy an off-brand tamagotchi and a few pogs, however). We were forbidden to read books like Harry Potter, and we were never over at our friends’ houses alone, so there was not even a way to sneakily read these books or play with these toys.

Now that I’m an adult, of course, I’m experiencing a lot of things that people my age experienced in the 90’s. With the advent of Pokemon Go, I can finally discover this world, and part of the joy of experiencing this for the first time is that there is so much more available to me to show my love of Pokemon — plushies from Build-A-Bear, amigurumi patterns, and, I recently discovered, Pokemon cross stitch patterns.

While there is an option to scan in pictures and turn them into crochet patterns, I’ve had the best luck with the patterns I’ve found on DeviantArt — particularly from MakiBird-Stitching, who has several popular Pokemon cross stitch patterns available for free.

You can print them out in color or black-and-white and follow along with the key provided to make sure you’re using the right colors. The design is large enough to stand on its own (you could put the finished product in a frame or hoop to hang on the wall), but small enough that it isn’t intimidating to think about having to cross stitch.

This sort of project is perfect for someone on the go. It’s easy to stash in a bag and take with you on a road trip (especially during the holidays), or to work for something to do on your lunch break, or while you’re running errands. And if you have a cozy afternoon or long weekend at home, then you can enjoy turning these patterns into your own pokemon collection from the comfort of your armchair.

When cross stitching, the stitching itself is simple but it’s always important to have a planning stage prior to getting your needle and thread out. Make sure you have all the right colors and the materials (cross stitch fabric, a hoop, scissors, embroidery thread, the pattern), and that you follow along with the pattern exactly. You can highlight the stitches you’ve already done, if you like, or you can check them off.

After you’re done, you can choose whether you want to incorporate the piece into a larger project (as a badge, on a purse, as part of a book cover, etc.) or if you want to retain the piece as is and display it somewhere. Something like this would also make a great gift for fellow Pokemon fans of all ages, so you might want to make a few of these for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas.

If you’d like to peruse the Pokemon patterns available on DeviantArt, you can do so by visiting MakiBird Stitching’s page. Happy hunting!

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Make This Tree Of Life Pendant With Your Favorite Crystals

Beading December 8, 2017

Make This Tree Of Life Pendant With Your Favorite Crystals

I began collecting crystals in 2015 after learning about chakras and what happens when they become unaligned. I have a particularly difficult time keeping my heart chakra aligned, and therefore have collected several green crystals such as jade, ocean jasper, malachite, green aventurine, green calcite, unakite, and chrysocolla. I’ve incorporated some of these crystals into jewelry, such as rings and bracelets. What I haven’t done yet, however, is incorporate one of my larger stones into a pendant.

That’s where this Tree of Life pendant comes into play. I’ve been scouring the internet looking for easy beading tutorials and stumbled across this beauty. the Tree of Life is a powerful symbol representing the “as above, so below” idea that is part of many religions around the world. It connects the underworld to our world, and our world to the heavens. It’s a potent image, one that carries a lot of weight and at the same time, much comfort.

If you’re familiar with the Tree of Life and would like to incorporate this into your own wardrobe, you can follow along with the tutorial provided by the Beading Tutorials site. Of course, you’ll need to make sure you have the following materials first: Artistic Wire (22 gauge as well as 24 gauge), a 51x49mm hoop (cast metal), a pendant of your choice (make sure it fits inside the hoop!), and some wire cutters and pliers.

What’s nice about this tutorial is that it isn’t too difficult for a beginner or intermediate beader. With the hoop you don’t have to create your own and worry about how the pendant will fit or how it will look (too thick, too thin, not sturdy enough, too big to handle with the pliers). You can instead jump straight into securing your pendant inside the hoop and then wrapping each section of the wire until it resembles the Tree of Life.

Beading Tutorials has a few pictures to complement their written tutorial, but the pictures are high quality and illustrate just what’s needed for each of the most important steps. Ensuring you have the proper materials will also go a long way to prevent frustration. You can of course experiment with different sized hoops, different colors of wire (try copper with blue or green crystals, gold with purple or black crystals, and silver with orange or pink crystals), and a variety of chains to attach the pendant to, but it’s best to follow the tutorial as closely as possible the first time so that you can get comfortable with the techniques before adding on another challenge.

Once you make the first one, you will most likely want to make more — they make excellent presents for special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, and this jewelry isn’t necessarily feminine or masculine so can be presented to any gender. If you wrap the pendant and decide that you don’t want to incorporate it into a necklace, you can try it out as a bracelet, a keychain, or as a hair accessory.

If you’d like to read the whole tutorial, you can do so on the Beading Tutorials website. You can also find other jewelry tutorials, as well as a shop where you can purchase beads and other beading supplies.

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Embroider Your Own Tiny Objects Like This Cute Book

Embroidery December 8, 2017

I remember the first time I was blown away by embroidery. I was in the library looking for fairytale stories when I came across a book called The Starlight Princess & Other Princess Stories. I flipped through the pages and saw that every illustration had been crafted from embroidery. It was mesmerizing, enchanting even. I later purchased the book and have it in my collection to show to friends who are interested in the fibre arts as well as fairytales. It got me started on my embroidery journey, and though I am not an expert, it is a wonderful skill that allows me to explore my creative side and pair it with my love of stories.

A few weeks ago I discovered that Wild Olive had an embroidery pattern that would fit my skills as a beginner and allow me to showcase my love of stories — a little book! With just a few simple stitches, a tiny hoop, and minimal supplies, you can create the perfect present for the librophile in your life — your favorite librarian, teacher, sibling, grandparent, or child. You can also customize this little pattern using various colors and adding special little flourishes such as a ribbon bookmark.

To make the little book, you’ll need a small hoop, the free PDF pattern (you can download it from the Wild Olive site — she also has several other book patterns as well as a way to incorporate these into larger crafts), some embroidery fabric (I tend to use linen), a pair of fabric scissors, five colors of embroidery thread (one for the book, one for the pages, one for the eyes and mouth, and two for the designs. The original uses blue, white, green, red, and black, but you can go for varying shades, pastels, earth tones, etc.), an embroidery needle, and a pencil.

The pattern utilizes a simple stitch and some knots, so if you aren’t familiar with embroidery knots you may want to look up a stitch guide just to make sure you are making them correctly.¬†Once you have your materials, you’ll need to trace the pattern onto the fabric. I usually put the pattern and fabric against a window and trace that way, but if you have a drafting table with a light that’s the best option. You can also tape the fabric and paper against the window to keep both your hands free.

When the pattern is transferred, you can pick which colors you are using and start embroidering. You’ll want to start with the outline of the book, then the pages, then the decoration and finally, the face. If you want to add anything such as a bookmark, plan out where to put that in as well — probably before the front of the book is embroidered as you will want to arrange the bookmark.

Wild Olive has several other embroidery patterns as well, so if you enjoy this project you might want to bookmark the site and peruse the other patterns at your leisure. You can find the small book pattern here

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This Crochet Beanie Is Brimful With Cool (free pattern)

Crochet December 8, 2017

I remember when the beanie with a brim became popular. I wanted one so badly, but I wasn’t able to get one until college, and by then the fad had died down. Imagine my surprise and delight, then, when I discovered that these hats are making a comeback! I’ve spotted them in stores from Wal-Mart to REI, and I’m thrilled because now I can finally wear one and be in style. Of course, now that I’m able to knit and crochet, I’ve been scouring the internet for patterns and instead of purchasing one, I can crochet one in a few hours and customize it to my tastes.

Where I live we have a lot of cold weather, so a hat like this is perfect for stepping outside, whether it’s to run errands or go on a winter hike. The beanie part will keep your head warm, and the visor will help shield your eyes from the sun, which can be exceptionally bright in the wintertime, especially when it snows. Pair it with a cozy sweater, light jacket, or a scarf and you will be warm in any weather.

To make your own beanie with a brim, you’ll need the following supplies: one skein of yarn (the pattern suggests using Red Heart “Soft Yarn” but you can use any 4-weight yarn), a size “H” crochet hook, scissors, a tapestry needle, stitch markers, and either heavy interfacing or plastic for the brim. If you decide to forego those, the brim will be floppy. You will also want to check your gauge to ensure that the hat will be the right fit. A row of sixteen single crochet stitches should equal four inches. The only stitches needed are chain (ch), slip stitch (sl st), single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), and double crochet (dc). Remember to use stitch markers and to ensure that you are crocheting on the correct side, whether it’s “Right Side” (RS) or “Wrong Side” (WS).

This pattern is marked “Easy” which means it’s perfect for beginners and intermediate crocheters. It doesn’t take very long (a few hours at most) and would make a great present for family members and friends, especially those who love winter activities like sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding. It’s a snug fit which means it won’t get lost easily, and unique enough that they won’t lose it in a jumble of snow-ridden clothes. You can also customize it by adding buttons to the sides of the brim, or a ribbon or strip of leather where brim meets beanie, or you can use variegated yarn to make it multicolored. You can also make a scarf, boot cuffs, or fingerless gloves to make a matching set.

Does this sound like the perfect hat for you or someone you know? If you’d like to make one or more of these stylish beanies, you can find the free pattern over at RedHeart.com. If you download the free pattern (which comes with a few pictures along with the written instructions), you will receive a 15% off coupon on your next online purchase — just remember to write down the code they provide.

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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For This Ice Cream Snuggle Sack (free pattern)

Crafts December 8, 2017

I’m lactose intolerant, so I don’t typically eat ice cream. That does not stop me, however, from enjoying all the adorable ice cream paraphernalia that abounds in the crafting community. Recently I was looking for a blanket pattern and stumbled across the cutest blanket ever — the ice cream snuggle sack from Bernat. Bonus, it was a free pattern so I downloaded it and looked it over.

While it is rated an “Intermediate pattern”, the only stitches you need to know are chain (ch), double crochet (dc), double crochet front post (dcfp), half double crochet (hdc), single crochet (sc), and slip stitch (sl st), which means that the stitches should be accessible to any level of crocheter. I think the reason it is labeled “Intermediate” is because it is such a huge project, and there are some tricky sections when switching colors for the ice creams.

That being said, if you are a beginner looking for a new challenge, you might find this one enjoyable, and the payoff is at the end you have a snuggly, cozy ice cream blanket that everybody will be screaming about. You can make it whatever colors you want, whether you prefer a sugar cone, waffle cone, or dipped cone; whether you like strawberry and vanilla, chocolate and butter pecan, or mint chocolate chip. Get creative about which flavors and toppings you love and add them to show off your preferences. You can even put a cherry on top. You can also add accessories to make it more “3-D”, such as buttons, lace, rickrack, ribbon, or beads.

The original pattern says it fits children 4-8, but it would also make a great lap blanket if you wanted to go that route. It would make a perfect gift for the ice cream and dessert lovers in your life, whether that’s a sibling, cousin, parent, or child. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it for yourself.

Take make one ice cream snuggle sack, you’ll need 16 skeins of yarn — 4 for the cone, and 6 each for the scoops. The pattern recommends using Bernat’s Baby Blanket yarn, along with a size “L” crochet hook and 3 stitch markers. You’ll also need a good pair of scissors and tapestry needle weave in the ends.

Be sure and read through the pattern beforehand — when I make the mistake of glancing over it and thinking that I’ve got everything in order, that’s when I mess up. I now tend to read the pattern fully first, then make note of whatever stitches I need to brush up on, go watch a few videos, and then gather the materials I’ll need for the project. That way I don’t get aggravated, and slowing down means I’ll make fewer mistakes.

Do you want more ice cream in your life without the brain freeze? Want to make someone’s naptime a bit sweeter? Then the Ice Cream Snuggle Sack might be just the thing. You can find the free pattern, along with some photos, on Bernat’s website. There are lots of free patterns there to inspire you and I recommend bookmarking the site or signing up for their newsletter if you want easy access to their library.

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Crochet Your Own Zoo With These Animal Scarves

Crochet December 8, 2017

When I was very small, about three or four years old, my dream was to own a zoo when I grew up. Now, over twenty years later, I still love animals, but my zoo consists of a 3-year-old sheltie and the wildlife I spot around our house — deer, antelope, elk, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, and dozens of birds. That being said, I enjoy having more animals around, and when I found these animal scarves I got excited about bringing another animal into the family, even if it was just a crocheted version!

There are of course dozens of animal scarf patterns for sale — dogs, cats, elephants, lions, bears, etc., but I’ve found quite a few adorable free crochet patterns as well for animals as domesticated as sheep and as fantastical as dragons. If you’re looking for a cute gift for a kid or another animal lover, these would make excellent holiday or birthday presents.

If you or the recipient of your gift loves springtime, woolly lambs, and soft pastels, you might want to make the Sheep Scarf from Michelle Taylor. With a “G” size crochet hook, two off-white yarn colors, eyes (buttons will do), scissors, and a tapestry needle, you can crochet up this simple pattern in no time. The only stitches you’ll need to know are the single crochet (sc), front post double crochet (fpdc), back post double crochet (bpdc), and chain (ch) stitches.

Or, if you know someone who adores reptiles, you might want to present them with a gator scarf (this also works if they are Florida football fans). A “K” size crochet hook is needed here, along with knowledge of the following stitches: chain (ch), single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), double chain (DC), triple chain (TC), and back loop only (blo).

Of course, a mischievous family member or friend might enjoy a foxy scarf from Monica Gallardo. It’s a hat and scarf combination and available as a free pattern on Ravelry. With a size “H” crochet hook and some simple stitches such as single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), single crochet 2 together (sc2tog), increase, and front post double crochet (fpdc), you’ll be wrapping this scarf around them in no time.

For the couch potatoes, the sloth scarf from Knot Bad Ami is the most adorable little companion on the planet. You can use either an “M” or “N” crochet hook and if you know these stitches, you can work this little guy up in a flash: magic ring, back loop only (blo), front loop only (flo), chain (ch) and single crochet (sc). Pick 3 colors of yarn and settle down in your favorite comfy chair to bring this baby animal to life.

If your tastes run more toward fantasy, you can always make the Dragon Scarf from Six Little Mice. Using only single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), triple crochet (tc), and increase and decrease stitches, two crochet hooks (sizes “F” and “G”) and some patience, this dragon will protect your hoards of craft supplies as well as your neck from the cold.

There’s nothing stopping you from making them all, of course, and adding them to your scarf collection. Most of them will work well as beginner projects, although a few of them are listed as intermediate. If you’re ready to get started, you can choose the lamb, gator, fox, sloth, or dragon to get started on your way to becoming the next Dr. Dolittle.

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This Woodsy Hooded Cape (free pattern)

Crochet December 8, 2017

What is it about capes that makes everything feel more mysterious and magical? I’ve always loved capes, ever since I was a tiny kid growing up in the wild woods of Tennessee. As I grew up I wondered why more people didn’t take advantage of these cozy better-than-coats options. A friend of mine made me a new cape a few years ago, a dark green, floor-length version that made me feel like royalty. But of course, I can’t wear it as part of my normal, everyday wear (although I’m considering it). Looking for alternatives, I spotted this crocheted hooded cape from Linda Kaye Smith on Ravelry and fell in love. It’s perfect for those chilly morning or evening strolls, or to keep warm in the office, or to lounge around at home.

However and whenever you choose to wear it, it can be modified pretty easily. If you want ruffles, they’re an option, but if not, they aren’t an integral part of the pattern so you can add something else, like fringe. To make the hooded cape, you’ll need 14 skeins of chunky yarn (recommended: Wool-Ease Chunky #5), a size “K” crochet hook, scissors, and a tapestry needle. Make sure you check your gauge beforehand, as this is something you’ll wear and want to fit you snugly. Crochet 9 double crochet stitches in 5 rows. The size should be 4 inches.

Once you’ve checked the gauge, you can begin the pattern. There are only two stitches used in the entire pattern: chain (ch) and double crochet (dc). While that might seem easy, there are some things that make this less of a beginner pattern and more of an intermediate pattern, although an advanced beginner should have no trouble assembling this project. The cape and hood are made separately and then stitched together, so there is some sewing required. After you join the cape and the hood, you will need to decide whether or not you want ruffles. If you decide to forego the ruffles, you will not need as much yarn, unless you’re adding something else like fringe.

If you are going to add the ruffles, they are made with slip stitches (sl st), single crochet (sc), chain (ch) and double crochet (dc). Fringe doesn’t require any knowledge of crochet stitching but it might be a little more time consuming. You could forego any sort of decoration and have a plain hooded cape.

Fastening the cape can be done in a variety of ways, including a belt, or a frog, or a toggle, buttons, or even a chain. Experiment with different fasteners and see which one suits the cape best. It might depend on the color or sizing as well, so if you have a few options, try each of them and see which one feels more natural. I myself prefer toggles.

Do you need a cape to swish around as you walk through the woods, neighborhood, or local grocery store? You can find the free pattern from Linda Kaye Smith on Ravelry. There are a few photos as well so you can get a visual before you begin. There are also several sizes available.

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Use This Tiny Felt Home To House A Few Of Your Favorite Things

Crafts December 8, 2017

I’ve been interested in felt for a long time, but never tried working with it until very recently, when I found this incredibly adorable tiny felt house pattern from Delilah Iris Designs. It was small enough that I didn’t feel intimidated, and cheap enough that I felt I could afford to make mistakes without feeling too badly about it. While I already had notions such as lace, thread, and buttons, I did purchase several pieces of felt for about two or three dollars. Ten pieces of felt will allow you to make several of these tiny houses, which means this craft is thrifty, and if people like your work, you can sell the houses (as long as you credit the designer) and make a nice profit.

Though the original intention for the tiny felt home was to house the felt dolls from Delilah Iris Design’s line (a for purchase pattern available on her site), I found a variety of uses for it, including as a storage area for tea, business cards or recipe cards, and sewing notions. Of course, if you’d like to house little creatures but don’t want to buy the felt doll pattern, you can also use it as a home for Calico Critters and other 3-4″ toys.

To make your own tiny felt home, you’ll need the following materials: felt (2-3 pieces, which can be different colors if you want or simply one color), scissors, an embroidery needle, embroidery thread, lace, and a button. You can also add foam cutouts, ribbon, beads, and Sculpey clay to make your house unique.

I used felt in three different colors — one color for the back of the house, the front, and the door, one color for the sides and bottom of the house, and one for the roof. I cut out an oval shape for the window in the door, and added lace above it. I also included a button doorknob with a ribbon loop to keep it closed.

You will need to know the blind stitch, the running stitch, and the blanket stitch to sew the house together. I learned the blanket stitch to do this project, but the other two I was already familiar with. You’ll want to refresh your memory (or get some practice with any new stitches) before beginning because there are some fiddly bits, such as when you are joining the front of the house (the smallest piece) to the sides and the roof.

Cutting out the pattern doesn’t take very long at all, but depending on how fast a sewer you are, putting the house together can take anywhere between a few hours to an afternoon. I did cheat a little and sewed some of it using my sewing machine, but I wouldn’t recommend it as the felt can stretch and then the pattern pieces won’t match. Despite the few little mistakes I made during the first house, this has quickly become a new favorite craft of mine. I made a second house yesterday and used netting and ricrac to spruce it up.

If you’d like to make your own tiny felt house, you can find the free pattern at Delilah Iris Designs

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Make A New Friend With This Free Narwhal Plush Pattern

Crafts December 8, 2017

Lately I’ve been amassing a bunch of free patterns for plushies (or stuffies, as the Canadians say). While I’ve not gone beyond dolls quite yet, I’ve found some easy, beginner plushie patterns that I’d like to use to make gifts for friends and their kids (and who am I kidding — myself as well. I adore plushies). There is one particular pattern maker that I adore because of their simple designs, excellent written tutorials (with several pictures to illustrate), and adorable creations. Choly Knight (or Sew Desu Ne? on DeviantArt) has several free patterns for plushies that include projects for the beginner who has never made a plushie before to those advanced enough to try something a little more ambitious.

I’m particularly fond of the Narwhal Plush, which is rated 2/10 for beginners who have little to no experience constructing stuffed animals. It’s one of the easiest to make and will not take more than a few hours. If you like you can leave the horn off the Narwhal and make it a whale, or you can make it and then make it a buddy with Choly Knight’s free dolphin plushie pattern.

If you’re going to make your own unicorn of the sea, you’ll need the following materials: fabric in two colors (the pattern suggests using slightly stretchy fabrics like fleece or minky, as felt and cotton will not stretch and will make the wrong shape), felt for the eyes, fusible web, sewing notions (scissors, thread, needle, seam ripper, pins, etc.), and a sewing machine. You’ll also need to be familiar with the gathering stitch, the ladder stitch, basting, and sewing darts. If you’re unfamiliar with the ladder stitch, it’s the stitch used by employees at Build-A-Bear to sew up the back of their plushies. Once the string is pulled tight, the seam is pulled close and the thread disappears.

The free PDF comes with the pattern (the pieces appear on the last two pages), so I would suggest either printing the pattern pieces out or putting the whole thing in a sewing notebook for reference and later uses. The trickiest parts according to the tutorial are placing the fins and sewing the smaller pieces together. As long as you take things one step a a time and go as slowly as you need to in order to avoid rushing, you will be able to craft an adorable little pocket friend for yourself and your nearest and dearest.

Do you hear the call of the sea? Do you delight in whimsical creations? Then this little narwhal might be the perfect companion for you. You can try out different fabrics and even add buttons, ribbon, and lace to make it a little more fancy (you can use buttons for eyes which will cut down on the assembly time, and you can add a little lace or ribbon bow to the narwhal to make it feel extra special).

If you’d like to make your own pocket narwhal, you can find the free PDF pattern and photo tutorial on Choly Knight’s website, Sew Desu Ne? Be sure to check out her other free patterns as well as her Etsy shop.

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Make These Printable Pets!

Crafts November 17, 2017

Printable Pets

I have followed the evolution of printables for several years now. I signed up for Anne Vanture’s paper dollhouse minis ages ago because they were so detailed, adorable, and easy to make (if you want free printables for a range of dollhouse sizes, I highly recommend signing up for her monthly newsletter), and then it seemed as if the whole craft world imploded with ideas for printables.

Not all printables are created equal, however, and what you want to look for are high-quality, simple prints that can be printed on good quality paper. You may also want a specific kind of printable, so looking through Pinterest or other craft-heavy sites is a good idea.

Recently I was browsing through just such a website and I came across these absolutely adorable guinea pig printables. I’ve never had a guinea pig — I grew up with rabbits, cats, and dogs. But I had several friends who grew up taking care of their own guinea pigs and I’ve always thought them quite delightful. They’re like miniature pigs with their grunts and squeals, they’re soft, and they have quirky personalities. When you’re living in an apartment, however, or you have an older animal or one that wouldn’t get along particularly well with a guinea, you’ve got to resort to other measures — like printing out a few of these!

This is a great craft for older kids, as it does require some dexterity to fold and cut and tape these little guys together. But as long as you have patience and a good pair of scissors, you should be just fine. The first thing you’ll want to do for this project is make sure that you have good, strong paper, such as card stock. Print out the template using this paper and the guinea pigs will be sturdy enough to last quite a long time as long as they’re not handled too roughly.

You can of course experiment with the paper strength as well as color — if you want to make a rainbow family of guineas, go right ahead. The original post shows a photo of one of the guinea pigs that was printed with an earth tone paper, giving the little family a bit of diversity in coloring. This is a great way to use up ends of paper reams (some scrapbook paper is cardstock, but a floral family with regular scrapbook paper would also be cute).

Carefully cut and fold the template together. You can add mod podge over it if you want it to be even more sturdy. Once you’ve cut and folded all the templates, you can put them together for a family photo shoot. The more, the merrier.

These would make a fun craft for middle-school kids on a rainy day, or for someone who loves paper crafts. The guinea pig family can be arranged on a shelf, in a cardboard box “cage”, or in an old goldfish tank. However you decide to display them, and whatever you use them for, they will be cute and cuddly forever. And you don’t even have to worry about feeding them or changing their bedding!

If you want to make your own family of guinea pigs, you can find the template with photos and instructions on The Craft Train.

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