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Unleash the Fandoms! - Cutoff Crafts' Merch Drop

Here at Cutoff Crafts we have been hard at work getting the store in shipshape condition for the Summer Comic Con circuit. Part of the grand rework has included a brand new way to sort through the shop - by Fandoms! The new Fandom category makes it incredibly easy to quickly see related merch at a glance. Our current options are: Five Nights at Freddy’s, Harry Potter, Hello Kitty, One Piece, Pokémon, Sailor Moon, Star Wars, and Studio Ghibli.

Over in the Harry Potter category Cutoff Crafts now carries official Bitty Pop! figures made by Funko Pop! These teeny tiny mini figurines are a mystery pull in a blind bag. Our current batch of Harry Potter Bitty Pop! figures are a pre-order special. Each magical little one is just shy of 1 inch tall. Little Bitty Bellatrix Lestrange is tiny but fierce!

Amidst all the sweet metal enamel pins of the Pokémon section, we also have the limited edition Trick or Trade Booster Packs that were released only in 2022 and 2023. These are perfect if you missed out on your chance to catch them all. Each card pack comes with 3 Pokémon cards - there’s no worries of pulling a boring energy or trainer card in these packs, all 3 cards are guaranteed to be Pokémon. There’s a chance of getting a beautiful Holo/Foil TCG card, as well as a chance at drawing a Legendary, or even a Holo Legendary! MewTwo, Darkrai, and Spectrier all make their spoooky appearance. Personally I’m a huge fan of Murkrow.

The whole Sanrio crew is looking super adorable in their new keychain form! We really love mystery loot bags here and this is another wonderful set. There are twelve possible collectibles to help celebrate Hello Kitty’s 50th Anniversary! These are extremely well built keychains and a great way to show off your favorite Sanrio character.

Over the next couple of weeks, more and more of our merch will be available online. Be sure and check back regularly to join in the fun!

Legend of the Dogwood Tree - Make Your Own Flowers!

Branch of a Dogwood Tree - Photo: FloraQueen.com

The dogwood tree is a pretty amazing tree. The Cornus genus consists of 30-60 different species of dogwoods which grow all over the planet. Throughout history, humans have used dogwoods for a wide variety of things. Among the indigenous people of North America the bark of Cornus Florida, the flowering dogwood, was made into medicinal teas to treat fevers and malaria. The Kousa dogwood (Cornus Kousa) native to Asia produces an edible red fruit that is widely sought after among foragers. At a glance it might even be mistaken for the legendary Ope Ope fruit (One Piece). The wood of the dogwood is a dense hard wood and has long been used to make handles for spindles, chisels, and mallets. It is such a hard wood, however, that it dulls most saws and tools that try to work on it.

I moved houses quite a bit when I was growing up. Yet at every single house I have ever lived in, my parents would always plant the same kinds of trees. There would be at least a couple of maple trees, a redwood tree, several rhododendrons, and a dogwood. I always loved the dogwood trees because they absolutely explode in a riot of blooms every spring. Nothing will stop a dogwood from blooming.

When I was a kid I once read a story about the dogwood and why it grows positively everywhere. It was in a collection of “how and why” tales from Medieval Europe (unfortunately I can no longer recall the title of the book). Here is how the story went:

Legend of the Dogwood Tree

Dogwood Flower - Photo: Joey Williamson

The dogwood was a mighty tree as strong and straight as the oak. The wood was chosen to make Jesus' cross. The tree wept in despair at being used for such a purpose. Jesus was touched. After the Crucifixion, God promised that the tree would never again be used in such a fashion but would remind the world of Jesus' sacrifice each year. The tree grew small and its branches became twisty, no longer straight and powerful. Each flower was white, with four petals, each tip looked stabbed through and torn with a bloody nail. In the center of each flower was a golden crown of thorns. It would bloom every Easter until trees bloomed no more. In autumn, the leaves look drenched in blood before they fall to remind the world of the sacred blood shed.

Dogwood Leaves: Adrienne Legault

Crafting a Felt Dogwood Flower

With Easter right around the corner I thought I would share the tale. Today, I no longer have a dogwood tree outside the house. Spring will be here in a mere two days and I miss seeing the cascade of white blossoms dancing on the wind. So I figured, why not make at least one dogwood flower out of felt.

If you would like to join me, here is what you will need:

1 Piece of White Felt
1 Piece of Yellow Felt
1 Piece of Brown Felt
Red Marker
Black Marker
Hot Glue Gun

As this craft uses scissors and a hot glue gun, adult supervision is required.

This was a very simple craft that takes roughly 15 minutes. I used felt, however fabric, construction paper, or tissue paper could be used. My felt sheets are the same size as a piece of paper and cost $0.33 each at the local craft store. They are made of recycled plastic which I love since it is a way to make something beautiful out of old pop bottles.

First, I took my white felt sheet and folded it in half, hamburger style. Then I cut it.

 Second, I took the two cut white piece and folded them in half, hamburger style. I then cut them. I cut them one at a time as felt can be tricky to cut cleanly. This left me with four cut quarters of white felt.

 Third, I took the white felt quarter and folded it in half lengthwise. I did not cut this in half. Instead, I drew half of an oval with a black marker to make my petal pattern. I cut along my line with the felt folded. I repeated this on each of the four quarters. It is okay if the ovals are not identical. I think it gives the final dogwood flower a bit of character.

 I laid out the four petals on the brown felt piece to see how the flower was turning out. Technically, these are modified leaves called “bracts” and not true petals. But I like to think of them as petals.

 Fourth, I turned to the yellow felt piece and folded a piece about an inch wide. I did not need a bunch, just a little strip of yellow to be my crown of flowers. Just like how the white part is actually leaves, the yellow cluster in the center of the dogwood is actually a spray of teeny tiny golden flowers.

 Fifth, I took the yellow strip and cut off thin chunks. My chunks were about 1/8th inch wide. I wanted eight small pieces of yellow felt. From the strip I was cutting, I also cut out a small circle to be my center. The circle was about the size of a nickel.

Sixth, I took the white “petals” off the layout and folded them in half lengthwise, again. With the black marker I drew a tiny half circle up at the tip. Then I cut that part off. This is the torn looking notch.

 Seventh, with a red marker I gently colored the cut notch.

 Eighth, I cracked out the hot glue gun and started going to town. Each of the white bracts was glued to the brown background. It is absolutely fine that they were overlapping each other, many dogwood flowers do the same. I glued the yellow circle to the center.

 Ninth, I got out the eight little yellow rays that I had cut and started gluing them around the center circle. I wanted them to be fairly evenly spaced, so I glued them in an X to start and then filled in the in between with more rays.

 Tenth, I signed the piece with the black marker and then took it around to show everyone how it had turned out!


Teddy Bear Washcloth DIY Craft How-To Instructions

Last year we had shared instructions on how to make a Washcloth Bunny with just a few simple materials. It's adorable ears and cute bunny nose were a big hit and we had several curious crafters seeking the 'how to' instructions (found here).

Now, it's time to share the instructions for another adorable washcloth animal. This time the instructions are for a cute little teddy bear! With only four items, this teddy bear can be made quickly without glue or tape! In fact, we actually sell the kits on our store so that you can get everything needed to make a Washcloth Teddy Bear! Grab one kit or buy multiple kits for the whole family.

These Washcloth Teddy Bears are fairly easy to make with a couple rolls, twists, folds, and squeezes. Instead of glue, the teddy bears use rubber bands to lock the shape in place. If a rubber band ever breaks simply replace it with another. Or, you can always tie a ribbon over the rubber band to add to its longevity. Either way, these washcloth teddy bears will be a big hit and well worth the make!

If you purchased the kit, you will already have the materials to make these Washcloth Teddy Bears. If not, you will need to find one square light-weight, preferably soft, washcloth and three small rubber bands. The type of rubber bands I use are the hair ties for kids (affiliate link). These rubber bands usually have a nice stretch and they are durable. However, any rubber bands on hand should work, just make sure they will fit the thickness of your washcloth. The thicker the washcloth the bigger the rubber bands will need to be.

Once you have gathered the materials, use the instructions below to create your very own washcloth teddy bear! At the end of the instructions there is a sheet you can download and print, this way you will always have the instructions on hand whenever you need them.




  1. Lay the washcloth on a flat surface, color side facing down

  2. Roll opposite sides towards the center to form two equal tubes

  3. Grab the center of the two tubes and twist so that half of the washcloth is facing backwards

  4. Fold down the top half leaving a small amount of the bottom half showing

  5. To make the head grab the folded towel 2/3 of the way up and wrap it with a rubber band 3 times. Take the corners and wrap them with a rubber band, to make the ears.

  6. Roll the arms open a little to get them along the side. The bear is now done!

You can purchase one of our Washcloth Teddy Bear Kits from our store here: Teddy Bear Washcloth DIY Craft Kit. They come with everything you need to make these adorable Teddy Bears in a beautiful sparkle bag.

For those who have purchased the kit or for those who wish to print the instruction, click the image below and save the PDF to your computer. It's in gray-scale to save on color ink. Simply print and start crafting!


    Finding Treasures at the 25th Annual Gold Prospecting and Treasure Show

    The Northwest Gold Prospectors Association is holding their 25th Annual Gold Prospecting and Treasure Show this weekend, March 9th-10th, 2024. There is a $5 entry fee, kids 12 and under get in for free! It is hosted at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The first 100 paid admissions receive gold. I always love vending at the Treasure Show because of all the amazing equipment that is demonstrated live on the floor. There are dredges, sluices, metal detectors, people who walk you through how to pan for gold, minerals, crystals, awesome vendors, and more.

    License plates up here occasionally feature the reminder that Idaho is the Gem State, which is very, very true. We have 240 distinct minerals, 72 of which are semiprecious and precious gemstones. Rockhounds, people who hunt for neat mineral specimens in the wild, are thrilled by the relative abundance of beautiful stones. There are the famous Bruneau jaspers of Owyhee County, massive quartz clusters, gleaming star garnets, shimmering opals, rich beryl, and so many more.

    As the Northwest Gold Prospectors Association will proudly attest, Idaho has long been a source of silver and gold. Since the precious metals have been actively mined for so many years there are many, many mines that are no longer actively worked. The no longer functional mines often have old mine dumps where bulk materiel was discarded for not bearing precious metals. These become a treasure trove for the rockhound. Quartz veins are frequently worked to hunt for gold, the discard heap thus may contain gorgeous crystals that were simply overlooked. As always, obey state, federal, and local laws while rockhounding.

    The Fossil Bowl and Emerald Creek are within easy driving distance from Coeur d’Alene. Both sites are open to the public for digging for a small fee. Emerald Creek is a premiere source for star garnets. The whole process is heavily supervised and great for beginners seeking assistance. Emerald Creek runs about $15 per person and each person is limited to 2 pounds of garnet material per day. The Fossil Bowl is a short way south of Emerald Creek down in Clarkia. It is a Miocene Latah formation of sedimentary material dating back about 15 million years ago. The formation is extremely rich in leaf fossils. Digging at the Fossil Bowl costs $10 per day per person. Wherever a prospective rockhound goes to dig, it is always wise to make sure the location is open for the season, bring plenty of water, snacks, paper maps, tools, and bags to carry the day’s haul.

    Cutoff Crafts will be at the 25th Annual Gold Prospecting and Treasure Show this weekend, March 9th-10th, 2024. We will have a wide variety of treasures out. All sorts of crystals, fossils, crocheted toys, crystal dice, wooden puzzles, and more are sure to prove delightful. Ahsoka has been hard at work crocheting a veritable rainbow of nylon scrubbies. These little guys are reusable sponges handmade out of 100% nylon. They are perfect for cleaning just about everything.

    Michelle will have out a collection of minerals and crystals as well as fine silver jewelry. Expect to see quartz, gypsum, carnelian, labradorite, honey calcite, snowflake obsidian, and more.

    We will even have out our rare crystal dice. These dice are carved from actual amethyst. The numbers are engraved and painted with gold paint. Each set comes with seven gemstone dice (1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 2d10, 1d12, 1d20). They are hand polished and positively gorgeous. The dice come in their own custom case.

    If you are in the neighborhood, swing on by and say, “hi!” We are always happy to see everyone.

    The Scariest Special Order Crochet Project

    This is probably one of the scariest crochet requests I have ever received.
    A few weeks ago, I received the request to change a baby blanket into a stuffed animal. At first, I thought this would be a quilt into a teddy bear...seemed easy enough. Imagine my shock when I learned it was a knitted blanket, and they wanted it crocheted into an adorable pig. This means I would be taking a precious item, which a child has held onto since birth, completely destroying any reminisce of a blanket, and taking the now, ball of yarn, and crocheting it into an amigurumi toy. Let that sink in, I would have to destroy the blanket by unraveling the entire thing. There is no coming back from that.

    Well Loved Blanket

    Before I agreed to attempt this project, I clearly stated that this will be the end of the blanket. There will be no turning back. What once was will never be again. On top of that, we may not even get what we want out of it. The blanket had been repaired so many times that the yarn may not hold its shape or have the strength to be a stuffed animal. Until I began the process of metamorphoses, I wouldn't know.
    They agreed, I nervously agreed, and thus, the scary adventure began.


    Going through the process of rescuing the well loved blanket fell into 3 steps.
    1. the whole thing would have to be undone. Meaning, that the blanket would have to become, once again, a skein of yarn.
    2. I would have to create a pattern to make a large stuffed animal out of a well-used and thin strand of yarn (thin means thousands of stitches)
    3. I would have to crochet the ball of yarn into the desired animal.
    This process seems easy enough, but talk about moments of anxiety. If, for any reason, something went wrong, such as the yarn is simply too worn and won't hold its shape, the customer loses their child's favorite item. There is no way for me to return the yarn to its previous state.

    The blanket as ball of yarn

    Thankfully, the customer was willing to carefully unweave the blanket and spin it into a ball. I gave them a few simple instructions, and the customer did a fantastic job getting the blanket to look like a cats favorite toy. A few days later, I was handed a ball of yarn. At this moment, the clock was ticking, and the child was waiting for their comfort toy.
    While I was waiting for the ball of yarn, I created a pattern for their desired animal, a pig. This was certainly a fun challenge. I have made larger items, but my expertise tend to run in the miniatures. Funny enough, I still made the pattern too small and had to readjust on the fly.

    Miniature turtle

    Taking great care, I began crocheting the toy. I had to continue checking the strength of the yarn (some strands were weaker than others), I had to make sure I had enough yarn for the size of the animal, and I had to make sure the pattern worked. This yarn could not survive much more unraveling, so each stitch was permanent. Eventually, after sewing several pieces together, the little pig took shape.

    There were a couple of scary moments where the yarn was too weak to do anything. One tug caused it to snap and I would have to go through the yarn ball looking for stronger strands. But, even with all of the scary moments, I finished the project. Below is the finished amigurumi pig. I do believe it turned out adorable, and I hope the child loves the pig.

    The Pig is done!

    A comfort blanket is now a comfort toy <3

    Spokane's Lunar New Year - Fireworks, Dances, and More!

    Spokane’s Lunar New Year Business Expo returns to Spokane, February 24, 2024! This wonderful Lunar New Year festival is brought to everyone by Spokane’s United We Stand, a local organization founded in 2020. Spokane’s very first Lunar New Year Celebration was in 1888, only 15 years after Spokane was founded! Back then, the little settlement was known as Spokan Falls. It ran continuously all the way to 1933. Sadly, the festival languished and eventually was extinguished due to a terrible combination of the The Great Depression and strict immigration practices. 2022 saw the return of Spokane’s Lunar New Year Celebration after an 89 year hiatus! 

    The Expo is a fantastic way to experience, enjoy, and learn about all kinds of different cultures and is 100% free for all ages! There will be Lion Dancers, Dragon Dancers, fireworks, and a Third Prince done with authentic costumes provided by the Taiwanese Embassy. The New Year is a time of hope, prosperity, and generosity for many Asian cultures. Over $20,000 in gift cards to local businesses will be given out in 5,000 red envelopes at the Celebration.

    In the spirit of celebrating and respecting Spokane's Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AAHPI) communities, Cutoff Crafts will also be handing out Red Envelopes (hong bao/lai-see) to the first 100 customers who spend $20 or more on our wonderful merchandise. Each Red Envelope wishes the person luck for the new year and includes a real coin from many countries including: China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, and more!

    The very first hong bao, it is said, was eight coins that were gifted to a child while the evil monster Sui was terrorizing the land. The child played with the coins all day, wrapping them and rewrapping them in lucky red paper. Finally the child fell asleep. When Sui crept in during the night to try and harm the child, the coins shone so brightly that they drove Sui away.

    Ever since, money wrapped in red envelopes has been seen as lucky to a wide range of Asian and Pacific cultures. 

    2024 marks the return in the Eastern Zodiac to the Year of The Dragon. Cutoff Crafts has prepared $5 and $15 goodie bags stuffed full of loot. The $5 goodie bags contain candy, stickers, a popit, glow in the dark stars, a polished stone, and a small animal figurine.The $15 mystery bags contain a metal enamel dragon pin, stickers, and some even have gift certificates for Cutoff Crafts!

    We will also have a variety of dragon themed merch including micro building block kits!

    The Spokane Lunar New Year Celebration promises to be full of family fun. The first 500 attendees will receive swag bags. There will be a petting zoo, 100+ vendors, a Cultural Fashion Show, photo op spots, traditional dances and more. It is entirely free. The doors open at 1:00 p.m. and the fireworks start at 7:00 p.m.

    Swing by the Spokane Convention Center today, February 24th, 2024, and join in the fun!