5 Little Monsters: 2017

5 Little Monsters Top Ten Posts from 2017

It is always fun to look back at the end of the year to see which posts were the most popular. I like to look back at  all of the things that I have made throughout the year and to see if my favorite projects were your favorites as well. For this post I am only counting projects that were published to my blog in 2017. If you saw my post from a couple of days ago, The Best of the Best crafts of 2017, where I got together with more than 30 craft bloggers to share our best posts of the year, than you already know my top post but I am going to count down anyway. So here goes, my top posts of the year are:

Best of the Best Crafts of 2017 - Top Posts from 30+ Craft Blogs

It's always fun to see my top posts of 2017, and I will be sharing the top 10 for my blog in a couple of days, but I thought it would also be fun to see the top post from a bunch of other awesome craft bloggers - a list of the very top post of 2017 from lots of craft bloggers... and I have that here for you today!! Over 30 of the The Best of the Best Crafts of 2017.

best of 2017 30

Feed the Hungry Christmas Stocking Service Project

Last year our family participated in Mormon.org's #LightTheWorld initiative and it was a lot of fun. One of the things we did last year was take hats to our local children's hospital. The kids really enjoyed it and as a result we were really excited to see that they were going to be doing it again this year.

Kid Friendly DIY Wooden Nativity

-Product for this post provided by Oriental Trading Company-

I found these cute little wooden nativities on Oriental Trading and I thought they would be really fun for kids to make. The sets of little peg dolls include Joseph, Mary, and the Baby Jesus. You can also get a stable to set behind them. I thought the kids would love painting and decorating them so I ordered a set with the stables. I also ordered some painting supplies and felt to use to decorate. They come in a set of 6 which happens to be perfect for my family. 

Gift Ideas to Encourage Creativity in Kids

-Product for this post provided by LEGO. All ideas and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links-

I have been meaning to get this post up for a while and now Christmas is just around the corner. The last couple of years as it gets close to Christmas and I am thinking about the gifts I want to get for my kids I have felt like it was really important to find some gifts that did 2 things, first, did not use technology. I don' t have a problem with technology in general and I think that there are some great things that use it and even fit my second requirement, however my kids can be a little addicted and if I let them they will sit and play video games or watch YouTube videos of other kids playing video games (something that I do not understand at all) for hours. I feel like for my family it is important to find ways to unplug. Second, I feel like it is really important for me to find gifts that encourage creativity in my kids. Whether that be toys, games, books, or art and craft supplies I feel like it is really important to encourage kids to be creative. I thought I would compile a list of gift ideas that I think fill both requirements.

Cricut Snowflake Welcome Banner

-I was provided with product and compensatoin for this post. All ideas and opinions are my own.-

With Christmas just around the corner it will soon be time to take down all of the Christmas decor and change it out for new things. I decided that I wanted something wintery to hang on my front door when Christmas comes down. Nothing says winter like snowflakes so I decided to make a snowflake welcome banner to hang on the door.

Crocheted Snowflakes

-This project sponsored by Darice-

I shared this project over on the Darice blog over a month ago but somehow in the holiday craziness I never got it up on my blog. Luckily it is a super quick Christmas project that you still have time to make. I love the look of crocheted snowflakes but I don't particularly like working with thread so I decided to make some out of yarn instead.

Silent Night Free Christmas Printable

Today I am participating in the Christmas Wonderful series on Design Dazzle. I made a free Christmas printable inspired by one of my favorite Christmas songs, Silent Night. The lyrics are on a blue watercolor background along with a star and a manger. It is available as an 8" x 10"  that you can print and frame. A quick and easy addition to your Christmas decor.

Gingerbread Man Ornament

-This post sponsored by Fairfield World-

Another new ornament that I made for Fairfield World this Christmas is this little Gingerbread Man Ornament. It is crocheted all in one piece, no sewing parts on at the end. A some decoration with felt, buttons, and stitching to complete him.

Button Christmas Tree Banner

-Product for this post provided by Oriental Trading Company-

My oldest daughter loves to help me make things and she was really excited to make this Button Christmas Tree Banner with me. It was easy enough that she could have done most of it by herself, maybe with a little help, or at least supervision, with the glue gun and iron. She loved picking out the buttons and laying them out to make the tree.

Crocheted Unicorn Ornament

-Product and compensation provided by Fairfield World-

I just posted a couple of new ornaments on the Fairfield World site. One of them was this unicorn ornament. I have seen a ton of unicorn ornaments going around on Facebook that are made with glass balls and a clay horn. A couple months ago I shared a pattern for a Unicorn hat that was pretty popular. I thought I could use the same idea to make a crocheted version of the glass ornaments I had been seeing all over. This little ornament is the result of that idea.

Hot Cocoa Crocheted Mug Cozy

-Compensation for this post provided by Stephen's Gourmet Hot Cocoa as part of the Mom it Forward Influencer Network-

One of our family's favorite things as the weather starts to get cooler is a cup of hot chocolate. We especially love it around Christmas time. There is nothing better than going out to see Christmas light displays or playing in the snow and then warming up with a delicious cup of hot chocolate. Hot Cocoa also makes a great gift for neighbors, friends, or teachers. You can add in a mug or two and crochet some mug cozies to wrap around them.

Felt Gift Tags and Ornaments

-This post sponsored by Cricut. This post contains affiliate links-

My family does an ornament exchange every Christmas as part of our family Christmas party. We all draw names and we have to get an ornament for that person. Most people buy the ornaments they give but I like to make most of the ones my family brings. This year I had plans to crochet most of our ornaments, I had specific things picked out for each person. We held our family Christmas party on Thanksgiving after dinner this year and I don't know why but November seemed to fly by this year. Maybe it was because Thanksgiving was so early this year. All I know is I had great plans and then all of the sudden it was the week of Thanksgiving and I had no ornaments made. I decided that there was no way I had time to crochet a bunch of ornaments, I needed to find something quicker. When I need a quick project I usually turn to my Cricut and this time was no different.

I Believe Sign

-This post contains affiliate links-

It's the most wonderful time of the year - time for the annual 25 Days Of Christmas Movies Blog Hop! #ChristmasMoviesHop

We have 25 talented bloggers gathered together to share with you all the wonderful crafts and recipes you can make this Christmas season, based off of some of the most beloved holiday classic films. There are 25 films to be inspired by for your holiday season, and 25 talented bloggers to aid your inspiration! If you love Christmas movies, you have come to the right place!!

Let’s Meet The Hosts!

Megan ~ C’mon Get Crafty | Erlene~  My Pinterventures | Lindsay ~ seeLindsay
Stephanie ~ The Tip Toe Fairy | Rebecca ~ The Moments at Home | Michelle ~ Our Crafty Mom

Double Cluster Crocheted Hat

-Yarn for this project provided by Darice. This post contains affiliate links-

In my last post I shared how I used my Criut Maker and Cuttlebug to make embossed leather tags to put on crocheted hats, blankets, scarves, bags, etc. I had the idea for that project but I needed something to put the tags on so that I could see if it worked. I made a quick hat to try it out and now I am going to share the pattern for that too.

Embossed Leather Tags

-Product for this post provided by Cricut, this post contains affiliate links-

I have cut a lot of things with my Cricut but up until recently I hadn't tried leather. When I went to the Cricut Mountain Make-a-thon this summer and they talked about the Maker cutting leather and I started thinking about projects I could make. While there I also went to a class where we used the Cuttlebug and the person teaching the class mentioned that it would emboss other materials beyond paper and card stock, one of which was leather. I had never really used a Cuttlebug before and since I don't do a ton of paper crafting I hadn't ever really considered getting one. Then I had the idea for this project and decided I needed to get one.

Sedge Stitch Stocking

-This post Sponsored by Darice-

I love to try out new crochet stitches but I have also found that I have some favorites that I always come back to. One of those is the sedge stitch. I love the texture of it and although I think that the only thing I have shared on my blog, before today, that uses that stitch is a dishcloth pattern, I have used it for other projects too and I always love the look of it. I will have to share some of the other projects I have made with that stitch soon.

Joy Sign- A Quick Christmas Craft

-This post contains affiliate links-

A couple months ago I participated in a Halloween themed round of Craft Lightning, where a bunch of bloggers get together to share quick craft projects that can be made in 15 minutes or less (drying time excluded). This week is the Holiday round and today I am sharing my project. Last time I made a quick little Halloween sign and I really like the way it looked sitting up on my mantel with my other Halloween decorations so I decided to use that as inspiration for this month's project. I used the same kind of small wooden canvas and cut out a Christmasy design with one short word, this time I chose the word Joy.

Thanksgiving Window Cling Decoration

-This post contains affiliate links-

For Halloween I decided to make cut out some window cling to put on our front door. My kids really liked it, especially my youngest daughter who helped me put it up. I finally took it down a couple days after Halloween but I really wanted to put up something new for Thanksgiving. One of my boys requested a turkey so that is what we did. I added some words and a pumpkin too. It is really hard to get decent pictures of the glass door because of the reflections, I think it looks better in person than I can capture but hopefully it gets the idea across.

Thankful and Blessed Wall Hanging

-Supplies for this project provided by Cricut and Oriental Trading Company. 
This post contains affiliate links-

I was playing around with my Cricut the other day and made a little wall hanging for Thanksgiving and I thought I would share it here as a quick project idea. One night last week I got the kids in bed and was waiting for my husband to get home from work. I probably should have been working on writing up blog posts or cleaning my house but it was one of those days that I just wanted to make something. Not necessarily work on a project that I needed to do for some reason, but just sit down and play around with my craft stuff, just to be creative for no other reason than because I like to. This little banner was the result of that late night crafting session.

Crocheted Christmas Elves

-This project sponsored by Fairfield World-

It is time to start thinking about Christmas crafting and this year I made these cute little crocheted Christmas Elves for Fairfield World. They both have little striped shirts and suspenders, pointy hats and pointy ears. The girl has a dress and braided hair too.

Knit Look Crochet Scarf

-This post sponsored by Darice-

I love the look of knitted items but I don't really love to knit. I taught myself and I am such a slow knitter, so as much as I like the look of knit I would rather crochet. This stitch is a perfect because it uses crochet to get a look similar to knit. And the best part is that it is just half double crochet.

Gratitude Journal

With Thanksgiving at the end of the month, November is a time when we often try to focus on being grateful for everything that we have. Whether it be in the form of a gratitude post every day of the month on Facebook, or a family activity where everyone writes down or says what they are thankful for, or whatever else you do to express gratitude throughout the month.

Thanksgiving Favor Bags

-Product for this post provided by Oriental Trading Company, post contains affliate links-

Sometimes with so many things to make at do for Christmas it seems like it can be kind of easy for Thanksgiving to get sort of forgotten about. I have lots of Christmas projects to share over the next couple of months so I wanted to make sure to take some time to share a few Thanksgiving projects over the next week or so.

Crocheted Unicorn Hat with Flowers

My middle daughter loves unicorns, she has for quite a while and I have done a few projects in the past that are unicorn themed for her. For Halloween she decided that she wanted to be a unicorn. I wanted to make her costume. I have seen hats and headbands and I decided that I wanted to go the hat route because I thought with a hat she would be able to use it throughout the rest of the winter as a winter hat, where a headband would would be good for Halloween but that is about it.

Crocheted Turkey Video

A couple of years ago I made a crocheted turkey for Fairfield World. Recently I have gotten a few questions about how to crochet the legs/feet of the turkey. I thought I would make a quick video to help clarify the written instructions. The video only shows how to make the legs, not whole turkey, since that seems to be the part that people are having a difficult time with.

Happy Halloween Window Cling

-Product for this post provided by Cricut, this post contains affiliate links.-

A while ago I recieved a box of Cricut products in the mail and one of the things that was in the box was a roll of window cling. I had never used it before and didn't really know what I would use it for. I thought about making some snowflakes to stick on my glass "screen" door in the winter but since it isn't winter yet I just set it aside and forgot about it. A few days ago I got another box of Cricut stuff in the mail, stuff that I had ordered for some future projects, and I was putting it all away. As I did I came across the roll of white window cling and I thought maybe it would be fun to try it. I don't know if any of you have this problem but whenever I am cleaning or organizing my craft supplies I tend to be very easily distracted by the stuff I find. I finished putting away the vinyl I had ordered and then I pulled out my computer, came up with a design, cut it out, and had my daughter help me stick it on our door. I probably should have been working on other things but it was a fun, quick project, and my 4 year old was pretty excited to show everyone the new Halloween decoration she put up when they came home.

Crocheted Owl Keychain

-This project sponsored by Darice-

Last year around Christmas time I made some owl ornaments and I loved the way they turned out. I ended up making quite a few of them to give away and to sell. They were cute and colorful and fun. I thought it might be neat to alter that pattern slightly to make a smaller owl that could be made into a keychain.

Half Square Triangles with the Cricut Maker

-This post sponsored by Cricut. This post contains affiliate links-

When I am coming up with a design for a quilt one of my go-to's is half-square triangles. I love that there are so many designs that can be made with half square triangles. By just changing the placement you can totally change the look of the quilt. Usually I cut squares, draw a line in the center,  sew 1/4" from each side, then cut down the middle along the line to get two half-square triangles. I decided to try using my Cricut Maker to cut out the triangle to see if I could make the process go a little quicker.

Candy Corn Bunting

A couple of years ago I was a contributor for Craftaholics Anonymous. Each month I would share a new project over there and then a few weeks later I would usually share the project here too. This project is one that I did there and then never shared over here. I think I just got busy and then Halloween passed and there was really no point in sharing it after Halloween so at that point I just figured I would save it and share it later. I like Halloween but I am definitely more of a cutesy Halloween person, not so much a fan of the gross, gory, scary stuff, and since there isn't really anything gory or gross about candy corn I decided to make a little bunting of candy corn. The triangle bunting shape was perfect for candy corn and although I am not a fan of eating them, I thought they would make a cute decoration. (the ghost pattern can be found here)

Trio of Trick or Treat Bags

-Product for this post provided by Oriental Trading Company-

I have been making Trick or Treat bags for my kids and I had planned to share them over the course of a few days last week, but then life happened and I didn't get them up so I thought I would would just share them all together today. All three of these bags were made using canvas bags from Oriental Trading Company and designs that I cut out on my Cricut and ironed on. Two of them were made with basic black iron on and one was made with glitter iron on.

Crocheted Cauldron BOO Kit

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS Incorporated. All opinions are mine alone. #BOOItForward #CollectiveBias

Have you ever BOO'd your neighbors or friends? Last year I put together a BOO kit in a crocheted Jack O Lantern basket and I really loved the way it turned out so this year I thought I would do something similar but with a different crocheted container. I decided it would be fun to make a cauldron shaped basket to fill with candy and other fun things. BOOing is a fun way to get ready for Halloween. It is always fun to surprise someone with candy, a neighbor, a friend, a co-worker, family member (I chose to BOO a family member), or anyone else you can think of that could use a surprise treat. Deliver it to them secretly and challenge them to do the same for someone else.

Halloween Treat Bags and Printable Tags

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackItAndPackIt #SeasonalSolutions #CollectiveBias

Do you ever need to have snacks for a Halloween party? Maybe a classroom party for your preschool or elementary age kid, or just a party with friends. Today I am sharing a cute and easy way to dress up your snacks for a party. 

Crocheted Baby Doll Set

-Project Sponsored by Fairfield World-

I have been wanting to make a baby doll and doll set that included a moses basket style bed for a while, with 3 little girls in our house dolls are pretty popular around here. I recently got around to making the doll as well as a bed, blanket, and pillow set. I think it would make a really fun Christmas gift for a little girl, or a gift for an older sibling getting a new baby brother or sister.

Trick or Treat BOO! Bag

-Product for this post provided by Oriental Trading Company-

A couple weeks ago I was challenged to make a Halloween project that took no more than 15 minutes. I made a simple little sign that said BOO! on it. I painted the wooden sign and cut the design from vinyl with my Cricut. As I was cutting out the sign I thought that I could easily adapt the design to make a trick or treat bag. It was a simple way to repurpose the design I created for one project to make another.

Painted Pumpkin with Crocheted Flowers

-This post sponsored by Darice-

I recently shared another post on the Darice blog, Live Craft Love, this time a quick fall project. All you need is a wooded pumkin cutout, some paint, and some crocheted flowers in fall colors. The flowers add a fun decorative touch to a simple wooden shape.

Crocheted Storage Basket

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MoreHuggiesMoreSavings #CollectiveBias

Crocheted storage basket for diapers

Over the past 10 years I don't think there has ever been a time when we haven't had at least one kid in diapers. At times we had two in diapers at the same time. Over the years we have found a few things that have worked well for us. One of the things that I feel has been helpful is having a place to keep a few diapers in parts of the house that we spend a lot of time, like having a basket for diapers in the living room or downstairs in the family room. That way if we are all downstairs and need to change a diaper I don't have to go upstairs to the baby's bedroom to get a diaper. I used to have a small storage ottoman that I kept full of diapers and wipes in my living room but after going through 6 kids it finally broke and I haven't had anything to keep diapers in out there. I have missed having them so accessible so I decided to make something I could keep a few diapers and a pack of wipes in. I decided to crochet a little storage basket that I could keep on the bottom shelf of my end table, the perfect size for holding diapers and wipes.

Quilted Hexagon Potholder

When you buy a Cricut Maker there are 50 free projects available in design space. They include everything from sewing and fabric projects to paper, vinyl and leather projects. Today I am joining 49 other bloggers to show you what these 50 projects look like and how they worked for us. I was really excited about the ability to cut fabric on the Maker so I chose to make one of the sewing projects, the Quilted Hexagon Potholder.

Crocheted Pumpkin with Bulky Yarn

One of my very first patterns on my blog was a little crocheted pumpkin pattern. I made it in 2 different sizes but niether one was very big. The biggest reason for the small size was the fact that to give the pumpkin the bumps I stitched through the center with yarn on a yarn needle. Because of that I was limited to the height of the yarn needle. Since then I discovered long needles, the ones I used for this project were upholstery needles, and realized that by using them I would be able to make a much larger pumpkin. My small pumpkins have been pretty popular so I was excited to try a larger size.

Project Bag with the Cricut Easy Press

-This post sponsored by Cricut, contains affiliate links-

A couple months ago I had the opportunity to try out the new Cricut Easy Press at the Cricut Mountain Make-A-Thon event they held in Salt Lake where the Easy Press and the Maker were announced. Last week I got one in the mail and was able to try it out again. I made a bag to take with me to the Cricut event, I felt like I had to bring something made with a Cricut to a Cricut event, and I have been meaning to share the project and Design Space file but I hadn't gotten around to it yet. I decided to make another bag with the same design using the Easy Press. As I was creating the design I wanted something that kind of represented me as a crafter, the word Create, along with shapes representing different crafts I enjoy- yarn, a paintbrush, a needle and thread, and scissors.

Leather Bracelet with Crocheted Edging

-This post sponsored by Darice-

Earlier this month I made some bracelets to share on the Darice blog, Live Craft Love. I saw these leather bracelets that they had that had pre-punched holes along the long sides. I thought they would be perfect for crocheting into so I ordered some to try out. 

Crocheted Jar Covers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SKSHarvest #SeasonalSolutions #CollectiveBias

crocheted jar covers

It is canning season so jars are everywhere right now. I don't can but I do enjoy crafting with jars. There are so many ways you can use jars besides canning; as storage and organization, as decor, centerpieces, and so many more. You can paint them, fill them, or make a crochet cover to put on them which is what I decided to do.

Princess Craft Party

-This post sponsored by Oriental Trading Company. This post contains affiliate links.-

One of my girls recently had a birthday and my mom invited her to have a sleepover party with her girl cousins. My grandma happened to be visiting and we thought it would be a good way for all of the little girls to spend some time with their great grandma. I wanted to come up with something that the girls could do that would be fun for all of them and since my daughter loves making things I thought a little craft party would be fun. I decided to go with a princess theme and found some little projects that I thought would be good for a group of girls ranging in age from 3-13 to make. 

Stenciled Address Sign and Front Door Update

-Products for this project provided by DecoArt. This post contains affiliate links-

There is not much time left before the weather starts to cool and summer is over. Fall is my favorite time of year so I am not sad about that, but I had an outdoor project that I had been wanting to do for a while and I wanted to make sure I got it done before it started getting to cold. We have lived in our house for over 7 years and when we first bought the house we said that one of the first things we wanted to do was paint the doors. They were a kind of sagey green color and they weren't very well painted because you could see a brighter teal color coming through in some areas. I didn't love the color and we figured painting them would be an easy fix and a lot less expensive than replacing the doors.

BOO! Sign

This week I am joining with a whole bunch of other bloggers to share some quick and easy, 15 minute or less, Halloween projects that you can make with a Cricut. And you may want to stick around to the end of this post because along with lots of fun Halloween ideas there is a giveaway too, and it's a good one.

Yarn Pooling Made Easy Blog Tour

-I was provided with a copy of the book to review. This post contains affiliate links-

Have you ever tried planned pooling? If you don't know what planned pooling is it is a techinque that uses variegated yarn to create an argyle pattern. Variegated yarns can be pretty to look at but sometimes when you actually try to crochet with them it doesn't turn out so nice. Pooling is something that happens with variegated yarn as you crochet, the colors pool as you work. Planned pooling is a way to make the pooling work in a way that creates a design element rather than just random clumps of color. It was really popular all over the online crochet world last year. It seemed like every crochet facebook group had post after post of people trying to get their yarn to pool correctly or showing what they had made. It can be a tricky technique to master because you have to figure out the right number of stitches to make it work and have your tension just right. Marly Bird has several YouTube videos and blog posts to help you understand exactly how planned pooling works and to make it easier to figure out. Once you know how it works it is a lot less intimidating to try. Now she also has a new book, Yarn Pooling Made Easy, that features several projects made using the planned pooling technique and I am participating, along with several other crochet bloggers, in a blog tour to share this book and give you a chance to win a copy of your own (keep reading for giveaway info).

Felt Flowers with the Cricut Maker

-This post sponsored by Cricut. This post contains affiliate links.-

A little over a month ago I had the awesome opportunity to attend the Cricut Mountain Make-a-Thon, held here in Salt Lake, where they unveiled the new Cricut Maker. That week we attended classes where we were shown the new machine and the things that it could do as well as having the opportunity to try it out and make some projects of our own. I was really excited to see the new blades, the rotary blade and the knife blade (the knife blade will not be available for another month or so). The tiny little rotary blade cut through fabric so smoothly and perfectly. I immediately started thinking about all of the things I could cut more easily with that little blade. A couple of weeks ago a new Maker showed up on my doorstep and I couldn't wait to use it.

Cricut 101: Frequently Asked Questions and a Giveaway

-This post and giveaway sponsored by Cricut. This post contains affiliate links-

Over the first half of this year I posted my answers to some of the most frequently asked Cricut questions. While answering those questions I also shared lots of different projects I made with my Cricut. Before I got my Cricut I thought it sounded really cool and would be neat to have but I wasn't sure I would use it enough to justify the expense. I have had a Cricut now for over a year and I love it. It is great when I need a quick project, I use it for kids crafts, t-shirts, baby gifts, home decor, cards, and so much more. I have the Cricut Explore Air 2 in mint and if you keep reading to the end of this post I am giving one away along with a bundle of supplies (giveaway ends 9/1/17). I also recently got the new Cricut Maker and it is also amazing, I used it a couple nights ago to cut fabric for a whole quilt top and it was great. Even though the Maker is the newest machine there is still a ton you can do with the Explore family of machines and Cricut has said that with the release of the new machine they are not doing away with the Explore machines, they are still part of their current lineup of machines. There is so much you can do with either machine so be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post. But first, here are my answers to the most frequently asked questions about Cricut machines:

Crocheted Flower Wreath

-This project sponsored by Darice-

Crocheted flowers are really quick to make and can be used for so many different things. You can use them as embellishments on other crochet projects like hats and blankets, you can turn them into hair clips, magnets, pins, etc. There are also lots of different ways to make them, rolled, 5 petal, 6 petal, rounded petals, pointy petals, two layers of petals, the list goes on and on. I thought it would be kind of fun to make a wreath out of crocheted flowers and to use several different styles of flowers to make the wreath.