Monday, July 14, 2014

My Etsy Shop, Hutson Hollow Rugs

Picking a name for my shop was hard. Hutson Hollow Rugs, takes up most of the space allowed for your shop name on, Etsy. I wanted to use my last name and the word hollow since I work from my home, which sits in the woods. That left few spaces to describe my shop products.

I design and sell crochet rag rugs made from recycled fabric. Recently, I added crocheted rag baskets and hot pads. The process for making these are the same as that of rag rugs, with single crochet stitches for strength and resilience. So, I am going to leave the name of my shop as is. My niche market should appreciate other items that are rag crochet.

Some appealing aspects with rag crochet is that using upcycled fabrics is eco-friendly. Rag crochet or fabric crochet items are long lasting and tough. They often bring back nostalgic memories of grandma's house.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Easy fabric yarn from t-shirts

I must share this tutorial with you. It's not mine but I will give you the link to Callaloo Soup. Francine gives simple, easy to follow directions on making t-shirt strips. It is a fast method to make fabric yarn from t-shirts. Just follow the link below. Thank you, Francine!

Callaloo Soup

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Crochet a Round Rag Rug

Of all the rugs I have crocheted the one in the photo to the right, is one of my favorites. I made it for my niece. She machine washes it and hangs it over her deck railing to air dry. It lays just as flat today as it did when I gave it to her. I love crocheting rag rugs. Round ones are my favorite to do. The following instructions represent how I do rag rugs. Others may have a different technique. As long as the rug comes out, round and lays flat, it is right. 
Making the Strips and Tying Them Together 

Begin cutting at the top of your sheet. Cut down about 3 inches. Move the scissors over 1.75 inches to create strip width. Tear one side of the strip down the length of the sheet. Tear the next side down the sheet. This makes a strip 1.75 inches wide, the length of your sheet. Continue this process across the width of the sheet. Tip: This is a great way to vent your frustrations. Grab hold, let out a roar and tear it! I suggest doing this when no one else is at home:)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fabric Crochet

Recycling old clothes, fabric scraps, or gently worn bed sheets can result in a charming throw rug for your home or as a gift for someone else. Examples of fabric crocheted rugs in the United States date back to the1930s and 1800s. These rugs are durable and last for years. They can be machine washed and dried. I prefer laying them out flat and letting them air dry.


Crocheting from fabric is different from crocheting with yarn or thread. To keep from putting too much pressure on your wrist and fingers, you need to make loose stitches. I broke an acrylic crochet hook in two by applying too much pressure. It takes practice on getting the stitches loose enough for the fabric to move in and out of the loops smoothly. I developed calluses but as time went on the calluses went away and I crochet just about every day. I'm not trying to scare you away from trying fabric crochet. It is good to remember that forcing the stitches could result in a repetitive stress injury to your wrists and hands.

Prepare the fabric by cutting or tearing the cloth into 0.75-inch to 2-inch wide strips. Connect the strips by sewing the ends together or tying them together. To keep the strips from tangling, wrap them to form a ball. 

Keep the strips uniform for each rug you do. If the measurements are close to the same, the width difference shouldn’t matter much. On the other hand using a 0.75-inch width with a 1 1/2- inch to 2-inch width can make some of the rows look loose and weak in comparison to the other rows. 

A single stitch crochet is usually used to form fabric rugs that are round, rectangular and oval. 

The colors used is your preference and depends on how much fabric of the color you have. They can be floral or solids or mix of both, including stripes, polka dots, and plaids. The pattern will look different after the piece is crocheted. The multiple colors formed in the oval rug (above) was made from two twin size children's sheets, depicting animal characters. You wouldn't know that after the strips are crocheted. 

Rag rugs are great for adding color to a dark or plain area in a room. Place them in doorways or in front of a chair. You can even make a wall hanging as my sister did with the rug I made for her.

To complete a rag rug, it may take as many as three or four full-size bed sheets depending on the size. This is one reason for using old clothes and gently used linens. It would be cost prohibitive to use new fabric pieces. Look for fabric and sheets in yard sales and stores that take donated items to sell to make money for their programs, such as, Goodwill or the Salvation Army. You may find that your town has a local donation store that gives back to the community. Our town has a one called, Solve. I made some extra space on their shelves the day I went in looking for used sheets. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Holidays!

This is our Christmas tree, 2012! I'm excited because my husband paid $5 for it at a yard sale this summer. This is probably one of the prettiest trees we have owned. The branches are full and it stands six-feet tall. The photo doesn't do the tree justice. Since my blog deals with recycling and conserving our environment, I wanted to share this find with you.

The stand at the bottom of the tree was broke but my handy man hubby fixed it with E-6000 glue and a 35-year caulk. Actually, he fixed it too well. Originally, the tree came in sections. It now comes in one section and requires two people to carry it from storage.

A couple of years ago, I bought a white Christmas tree. My husband prefers a green tree. He was excited when he spotted this tree. I did an eye-roll as he crammed it into the back of our van. In other words, he was going to have a green tree this year.

Thanks for letting me share our yard sale find with you and Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Grungy Hang Tags

Grungy tags fit any occasion through out the year. Hang them on dolls and doll furniture or use as bowl fillers during Halloween. Add them to the Christmas tree to blend in with the other ornaments or use them as gift tags. Typically dipped in a coffee-and-vanilla extract blend, grungy hang tags emit a light aroma reminiscent of homemade fudge cooking on the stove and cookies baking in the oven. Cinnamon can be sprinkled over hang tags before they dry or added directly to the coffee-and-vanilla mix. Use tea in place of coffee for a lighter stain.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Build a Garden Gate

Wood gates add country charm to yards and gardens. Colorful flowers standing in front of a wood gate or fence makes a lovely combination. In winter, gates break the monotony of snow-covered ground. This gate has stood in my small flower garden for over 10 years now. 

Materials and tools 
1 x 4 lumber, 8-feet long
Saw horses
Work Table
Two 36" steel stakes
Tape measure
  1. Cut nine, 42-inch boards and two, 39-inch boards.
  2. Measure down from the top of each 42-inch board, 6-1/2 inches. Mark the spot by drawing a straight line across each board. Turn the boards and repeat this process at the opposite ends.
  3. Lay two 42-inch boards on the worktable vertically. Lay them about 39 inches apart with the marked lines facing up.
  4. Place a 39-inch board across the two boards horizontally. Align the bottom edge of the board with the marked lines. Make the ends flush with the long edge of the vertical board. Nail the boards together.
  5. Repeat this process at the opposite ends of the vertical boards. The vertical boards will extend 3 1/2-inches above and below the two horizontal boards.
  6. Align six of the remaining 42-inch boards along the horizontal boards at 2-inch intervals. Nail in place at both ends.
  7. Lay the remaining board between the two horizontal boards diagonally. Nail the board to each of the vertical boards.  
  8. Hammer the steel stakes into the ground. Leave about 2 feet above the ground.
  9. Stand the gate in front of the stakes. Use guide wire to secure the gate to the stakes. 

Make a Back Yard Bird Bath

Birds are fun to watch when they are bathing in the back yard birdbath. They love to flutter their wings splashing a flurry of water. Sometimes they just sit on the rim dipping their beaks for a drink of water. Birdbaths differ in size and materials: stone, concrete, ceramic, galvanized metal, fiberglass, or Terracotta. Birdbaths can be an extravagant fountain or an ordinary earthen bowl filled with water. this bird bath is made from concrete.

Wire mesh
Large trash can lid
Vegetable oil
Hoe for mixing
Concrete mix (two, 90-pound bags)

Choose an area easily seen from a favorite window or sliding glass door. Place the bath near bushes and trees, giving the birds a safe place to fly to quickly.

Lay a large trash can lid on the bath site. Use yard paint to spray around the perimeter of the lid, marking the area to dig.

Dig out a circle about six inches deep and two or three inches larger than the lid.

Save any sod to cover bare areas around the edge of the birdbath.

Place a two-inch layer of gravel in the bottom of the circle.

Cut a piece wire mesh the size of the inside circle, and place it on top the gravel.

Spread some vegetable oil over the outside surface of the lid and its rim. This keeps the concrete from adhering to the trash can lid.

Mix the concrete according to package directions.

Pour the concrete into the circle up to the circle’s rim.

Press the lid, upside down, into the concrete. Use enough pressure to push the concrete outwardly toward the edges to form the rim.

Leave the lid in place. Allow the concrete to dry and remove the lid.

Scrub and rinse the inside of the concrete to remove any residue from the bath.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Primitive Wooden Box Project

Primitive Recipe Box
Recipe Box
Many people enjoy collecting older items to use in their home decor. It is difficult to find an affordable, authentic piece from the colonial period to fit into a decorating scheme. Early colonists made many of their items from wood including kitchen utensils, scoops, spoon stirrers, mallets and other small wooden items called, Treenware. An alternative to purchasing a distressed piece is a do-it-yourself project. You can distress anything made from wood such as tables, chairs, chests, recipe boxes, and trays.
Necessary Items

Wooden box
Fine to course sandpaper
Flat black acrylic paint or color of choice
Soap and water clean-up
1. Wipe finished or unfinished box clean using a clean, soft cloth.

2. Sand the box lightly with fine-grit sandpaper.

3. Paint the whole box and allow drying time. Acrylic paint dries within a few hours.

4. Apply a second coat of paint. Allow to dry overnight.

5. Follow the grain of the wood and sand the edges down to the wood.

6. Pick random areas on the box and sand these to the wood. This gives the box a rubbed appearance. 
7. Wipe the wood clean with a soft cloth to remove sawdust.

8. Apply a water based acrylic or polyurethane sealer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How to Make Metal Leaves from a Coffee Can

Refashion metal from a coffee can to create decorative trinkets. Hang them from neck chains and bracelets or use them to embellish crafts. Cut the shapes using scissors that cut metal. Mine are inexpensive scissors used by emergency medical technicians. Secondly, all you need is a simple candle flame to darken the metal.


1) Cut through the rim of the can. This is the hardest part to cut. The single layer beyond the rim cuts     much easier.
2) Cut several squares sized to how large you want the leaf.
3) Draw the outline of a tear shaped leaf on the square, using a marker, or cut the leaf freehand. 
4) Cut out the leaf following the contours of the outline with the utility-scissors.
5) Tap a hole into the top of the leaf using a finishing nail and hammer.
6) Turn the leaf over and tap the nail through the opening a second time.
7) Flatten any rough edges with pliers or place a nail head over the spot and tap the bottom of the nail     to flatten jagged edges.

8) Set up the water and lit candle.
9) Hold the metal leaf over the candle flame using the needle nose pliers. Move the leaf around the         flame discoloring the whole leaf. Soot will build up over the leaf as it heats in the flame.
10) Once the metal darkens immerse the leaf into the water.
11) Wipe off any remaining soot. Repeat this process if the leaf needs more discoloration.

Gather these things:
Utility scissors
Coffee can
Needle nose pliers
Finishing nail
Cup of water

How to Dress Up Christmas Ornament Wire Hooks and Jingle Bells

Flimsy over-sized ornament hooks take away from the beauty of smaller ornaments. Wrapping the wire into the shape of a spring gives the hook an aesthetic appeal and shortens the wire length to match the size of the ornament. Use jewelry wire to create a wire ribbon and run it through a jingle bell.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Water Fairy

Here, is a picture of a water fairy bathing in a stream at night. It does not resemble the inspiration for the piece at all. How it started, and the way it ended are markedly different. Before marriage and children, I dabbled in sketching and oil painting but never developed any natural ability that I might have. Last year, I decided to start painting again. Folk art and fairies are favorites of mine so I thought this might be a good place to start painting again. 

This spooky fairy is painted in acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is different from using oil paints. With oils, an artist has more time to correct mistakes or make changes before the paint dries. With acrylic paint, the artist must work faster and learn to paint layer on layer.

This enchantress comes out at night and bathes by the glow of a moonstone. Initially, the painting had pink colors and a lunar moth looking down on the fairy from a tree branch. I did not like it and removed both. I like the way her hair floats on the water and how her hair falls down her face, across her nose and mouth, as if she just came up from beneath the water. 

Noses are not easy to for me. I was concentrating so much on the nose I forgot that I was using paper and not canvas. Before I knew it, I had peeled the paper off. Determined not to lose the whole painting, I made the hair longer around the nose and mouth. The darker paint helps conceal my mistake. The mistake also introduced an ominous presence to the picture. If you look at the face from the side of the painting, the face looks like a skull. My grand-daughter will not let me hang it up when she is here. She isn't old enough to appreciate a night-time fairy yet. Ironically, she loves her Monster dolls. LOL

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rustic Bookshelves

My mom made the shelves shown in this photo. She used bricks to support the boards.

This project doesn't require a hammer or nails to create this easy rustic looking bookshelf.


1) Select the type of board you prefer for your shelves (pine, oak,..). 

2) Cut to length.

3) Paint or stain the wood to your preference of color. 

4) Allow the wood to dry.

5) Stack four to five bricks on opposite ends, estimating where the board will lay on the bricks. You can make adjustments as you go. 

6) Repeat for the second tier.

Note: Use concrete blocks as an alternative to the bricks if you prefer.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Few Words on Primitive Decorating

Primitive decor conforms to basic, straightforward style. Pieces are usually made from basic materials without fancy design. Primitive decorating is diverse and blends with rustic, country, or cottage trends. Primitive art and style includes cultural preferences, such as, Black folk art, Americana, and Colonial.

Craft persons create new pieces of work resembling original designs and employ techniques to obtain an aged appearance. Methods involve staining and sanding, burning, scratching, and denting pieces. Earth colors typically used in aging items are acrylic flat paint, dark wood stains, coffee and tea. These colors include flat finishes in black, dark blue, sage, mustard yellow, antique white, burgundy and brown. Stone, clay, wood, cloth, and paper are most often used in primitive crafts.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recycled Cutting Board

Old cutting board up-cycled.
 Recycle old cutting boards for wall decorations or turn them into game boards. Sit them on your counter to use as a hot pad or glue wood ball knobs on the bottom to make a wooden trivet. You can pick up used cutting boards for under a dollar in yard sales or check out the local $1 Shop.