Tutorial: Wax Paper Flower Lanterns

I’m working on a much larger post, but for now… a wax paper lantern with dried flowers tutorial! These are so pretty!

Have you ever ironed dried flowers between wax paper? It’s one of those kid projects everyone should try. It comes out so well, and it gets you used to holding an iron without freaking out. You know, in case your parents want you to do a mountain of ironing later.

A few added recommendations – if you’re worried about wax on your iron, put a thin cloth between the iron and the wax paper. It will still work just as well. Also, I’d recommend those little LED candles for this. If you’re using real candles, make sure you put them in a votive. Wax paper burns extremely well.

What are you waiting for? Go try out that tutorial!


Button and Beads Hemp Bracelets

I haven’t woven hemp bracelets since I was a kid, but this quick and easy tutorial is an awesome summer project which takes less than an hour!

Her blog is full of great stuff you can make in an hour or less, too, so make sure to look around!

If you’ve tried this before and have any helpful comments, suggestions or tips, or if you have a question, let us know about it in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

– The Needle Snitch


How to Make Flower and Bee Earrings

Just look at those beauties. You wanna make ’em, you know you do. I’m selling a pair in my Etsy shop right now, but I wanted to give you the insider information on how to make them yourself. It’s very easy, and a good start for a beginner to wireworking.

It’s a cute little flower with a bee and some swirly stamens. What’s better than foliage and insects dangling from your earlobes?

I could have worded that better. Anyway, here’s your supply list:



Don’t get scared because of the safety glasses, we won’t be pulling out the chainsaw or anything. It’s just a precaution for cutting wire.

As you can see, I already made the first earring, and I’ve got the remaining materials set out. Two head pins, two eye pins, one silver bee, four crystal beads, one lucite flower, one silver bead cap, one silver spacer bead, and one silver earring hook. Fancy.


First, thread one of the blue crystal beads onto a head pin, followed by a bee. Then make a closed loop  at the far end of the pin and set aside.

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Thread another blue crystal bead onto a head pin. Use your chain nose pliers to make a  tight curl in the pin, like a J shape. This shape should hold the bead in place.


With the widest end of your wire looping pliers, make another  curve going the opposite way, turning your J into an S. Make a closed loop and set this one aside too.


My favorite part is coming up. Thread a crystal onto an eye pin, and let it rest all the way at the end. Then make a spiral on the other side with your wire looping pliers and chain nose pliers. You can play with this spiral to make it fall exactly where you want later, but you can’t go wrong with a little extra swirl. Then use the chain nose pliers to make a bend in the metal. This will both help the spiral stand out, and prevent the bead from sliding down too far.


Here are all three completed stamens. See what I mean about that curly wire? It’s fabulous!


Okay, calm down Snitch. Don’t scare away the visitors.

Now just open up the loop of your final eye pin with chain nose pliers, and slip all three stamens on. Close the loop with the chain nose pliers, and make sure it’s tight. You want your stamens to dangle and move freely, but not fall out.


Thread the lucite flower bead, silver bead cap, crystal bead, and silver spacer bead onto the eye pin. Let gravity pull them all the way to the bottom, to cover up the connection between the stamens and the loop of the eye pin.


Make your final closed loop with wire looping pliers, wrap the extra wire around the base with the chain nose pliers, and trim off the excess with the flush wire cutters. This is the part you need the safety glasses for – flying metal is nothing you want near your eye.

Now, simply use the chain nose pliers to open the loop on your ear wires and thread that puppy through the closed loop you just made. Close the ear wire loop back up, and you have an earring!


Naturally, you have to go back up to the top to finish the second earring, unless you’re the type who likes to walk around with just one.


And there you have it! Here’s that list of supplies again, because the top is a long way up:



So there you have it, ladies and gentledudes! Flower earrings which will make you the envy of all the gardeners!

(Disclaimer: The Snitch is not responsible for any high-speed hummingbird chases which result from wearing these earrings.)

Do you have another beginner wire wrapping tutorial you’d like me to try? Any thoughts or stories about hummingbird chases? Let me know in the comments!

alphabet stones

Educational Letter and Number Magnets

alphabet stones

Ah, the ever popular letter and number fridge magnets. Now there’s a tutorial to help you make them in a cool new way, tested right here at the Needle’s Niche!

One of my fabulous sisters has tested out this tutorial from Bubbly Nature Creations, and she wanted to share her results:

photo (1)

20 dollars, 153 magnets. Brilliant, right?

She said she used Mod Podge for the whole project, and it worked great. Go check out the original tutorial, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

– The Needle Snitch


How to Coffee Dye White Feathers

Of course you’ve asked yourself before, “How do I coffee dye all these white feathers?” Naturally. Wait, you didn’t? Oh. We did, when we had several packets of perfectly white feathers which suddenly needed to be a pleasant cream color. We also had coffee. Go figure.

This is more effective than I expected, and as you’ll see in a minute, very simple. Let’s dive in!



Start with white feathers and brewed coffee. We brewed ours at double strength for extra dye power, and poured the super-strong coffee into a wide baking dish to give us plenty of room. Make sure to let the coffee cool before you begin – there’s a bit of mixing involved, so unless you use a tool to mix them around you’ll want it to be a nice cool temperature.

Now add the feathers. At first, I was very carefully adding them one at a time, but I soon learned it was time-consuming and didn’t make much of a difference for the end product. So – dump ’em in!20150516_194534

(With apologies for the blurry hand – we got really excited for no reason during this photo.)

It was during this process that I realized something I should have known: feathers float.

“But Snitch,” you say, “certainly you knew this beforehand. After all, how many feathers have you seen floating on the water? It’s obvious!”

Well yes, smarty pants. But do I meditate every morning on the floaty properties of feathers? I do not.

Anyway, now it’s time to stir them up a bit with your fingers. I didn’t use a utensil because I found I wasn’t afforded the flexibility I needed to make sure the whole feather was submerged, without bubbles and dry spots which would mar the dye job. The whole thing starts to look a little gross, but I’m adding an image so you know what to expect.



Also, this is about the time I realized we needed something under our giant coffee dish, so I slipped a cookie sheet underneath to protect the table against spills.

After the stirring is complete, we let ours soak for 20 minutes. Now, you can soak it for longer, but there’s not much of a difference in the results. You’ll see what I mean later in the post.

Hmmm. *hits the fast forward button.*

Alright, your 20 minutes are up, and now it’s time to take the gross-looking things which once called themselves feathers out and rinse them.20150516_200546

Yep, still gross.

Run the water over them gently, but don’t worry about breaking or separating the barbs too much, because you’re about to put these bad boys in the clothes dryer.

Yep, you heard me. The clothes dryer. This is where that laundry bag I told you about comes in handy. Note this is a micro mesh bag. Some lingerie bags have big holes in the mesh, and I’m not sure exactly what the end result would look like in one of those. I’m sure it wouldn’t be pretty.


Pop the whole mass of them into the laundry bag, zip it up, and toss it in the dryer. Don’t worry about heat, birds are okay with it and so are you. It didn’t take them long to dry, maybe ten minutes. I didn’t count because I was busy with another batch of feathers (we needed a lot), but you get the idea.

Anyway, after it was done, they came out pretty nice. Not what I would have expected from a pile of feathers which looked like a hairball. They’re nice and fluffy, and possibly even better looking than they were when I bought them. So that’s pretty nice.

The color is a very light golden tan, almost off-white. 20150516_221406

This color was perfect for the project we had in mind, but I wanted to get a better idea of exactly how the feathers would take the dye if I left some in for a while.

I let a batch sit in the coffee for about 40 minutes, then I had a third batch sit in the coffee overnight. In the image below, the 20 minute soak is on the far left, 40 minute soak in the middle, and overnight soak is on the far right.


As you can see, the difference isn’t enormous until you let it sit overnight. The color of the darkest feathers is almost gold, with a lot of yellow in it. It wasn’t right for our project, but it’s definitely a pretty color.

Just fyi: The laundry bag we used turned a splotchy brownish color, which worried me at first, but I tossed it into the washing machine with some white towels to see what it would do. It came out looking good as new, and the white towels around it weren’t affected by the coffee dye. Score.

If you don’t want to scroll up, here’s those supply links again:


If you’ve tried this before and have any helpful comments, suggestions or tips, or if you have a question, let us know about it in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

– The Needle Snitch