Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ruffled Note Pad Holders

I got this idea from my good friend, Emily. She had made something similar for a couple of friends for their birthday gifts. As soon as I saw what she had made, I knew it would make a cute teacher gift.

Mind you, this is only my second sewing project, so it didn't turn out perfectly. Actually, I'm starting to think that sewing may not be for me, because I am too much of a perfectionist. It is really difficult to get hand sewn (or even machine sewn) projects to look unflawed. But, I'm not giving up just yet. Maybe sewing will actually be a good thing for me, forcing me to "let the small things go."

Here is the original inspiration. (This is where Emily got the idea.) You can purchase the tutorial, but I was able to figure out how to make it by just looking at the pictures.

As a new sewer, here are some things I learned along the way...

  • Measure twice, cut once. 
  • Unless you use a really heavy duty fabric, you need to use a stabilizer in between the layers. 
  • Sewing on a button isn't as easy as it looks. I had to look up directions. LOL
  • I can't sew in a straight line. And, curved corners are REALLY hard to make look perfect. 
  • Having an iron handy makes hemming a lot easier. 
  • Thinking backwards is tricky. Once I sewed all the pieces together and turned the holder right-side out, the front was on backwards. I had to rip out the seems and start over. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Easy "Dish Towel" Child's Apron

I haven't posted anything in a while because my family moved into a new place. I am excited to finally have a space for my crafting! I had bought the materials for this project a while ago, but with the move and getting sick I hadn't had time to work on it. Once I finally sat down to work on it, it took less than an hour to complete (and most of that time was spent setting up my sewing machine and remembering how to thread the needle!).


  • one 18"x24" dish towel. (I bought mine from Target on clearance.)
  • at least 1 yard of ribbon
  • sewing machine, with coordinating or matching thread (Or, you can hand sew)
  • scissors
  • match or lighter (to melt ends of ribbon to prevent fraying)

This project is so easy that you could even do it without sewing and just using a little Witchery Stitchery.

Lay out your towel (wrong side up) and your ribbon. Fold over your towel on the upper corners, measuring 4 inches in and 9 inches down and pin in place. Thread your ribbon through the folded portions, leaving about 18 inches of ribbon for a neck hole. 

For a slightly more finished look (which doesn't really matter because this is the back of the apron), trim any excess fabric and tuck the unfinished edges under the ribbon. Once it is sewn, it will look clean and neat.

Sew along each edge of the fabric and ribbon so the ribbon is secured in place. For added support, sew an X on the upper part of the fabric/ribbon wear the apron will be pulled over the child's head. 

Trim the ends of your ribbon and melt with the heat of a lighter or match. This will prevent any fraying. If you want to get extra fancy, you can sew on pockets or personalize your apron. Since the fabric I chose has words, I just wanted to keep it simple. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wedding Invitations

I felt honored when my sister asked me to hand make all up the invitations for her May wedding. She obviously had a huge amount of faith in my abilities and I didn't want to let her down. This is what I came up with...

Picture taken with my flash on. The cards are actually ivory with light pink accents. The font is charcoal gray. 

Taken with my flash off. The cards look darker than what they actually are. I just couldn't seem to win with my camera!

The wedding information is print on the inside of the invitation. 
And, here's the cool thing about hand making your own wedding invitations: They only cost about a dollar per invitation! It can't get better than that!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fleece Pom-Pom Hat

I received a sewing machine for Christmas, and I went to the fabric store with every intention to get fabric for a project that actually required me to use my new machine. But, I had seen this project in my "Crafty Momma" book and found the perfect fabric for it. So, I decided to make a Pom-Pom Hat for my friend's new baby and one for her older daughter. 

Start with a 15"x22" piece of fleece. The fleece should be stretchy along the 22" side. Lay the fleece flat on your work surface. Fold the bottom unfinished edge of the fabric up 1.5" and then again to make a finished looking band for the hat. Pin it in place. Now fold the fleece in half to make a 15"x11" piece that is 2 layers think. This is where you would measure your child's head or use a hat to fit and trim off the excess fabric. Make sure to add .5" or 1" to your measurement for the seam. 

Use an eyelet puncher to punch through the layers of your felt. You will want to punch about a quarter inch from the edge of the fabric and about a half inch apart. Using a long piece of felt, about half an inch think, wipe stitch along the edge of the fabric, knotting the fleece at each end.

Cut the remaining fabric at the top about 1/2 inch apart. 

Gather the fringed top with another long piece of fleece and double know it to hold it all together. The seam of the hat will be in the back. 
I made a smaller version for the baby, with the stripes going the other way. So cute!

I had enough fabric left over to make a coordinating Tag Blanket for the baby.  I love these blankets because they are soft, warm and babies love playing with the tags during belly time. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

30 Page Theme Scrapbook Album in a Day!

People tend to think that scrapbooking is a hobby that has to take lots of time and money. That doesn't have to be the case. I made a 30-page Baby Boy album for a friend in just one day (about 8 hours) and I only used about $30 in Creative Memories materials to create the pages for the album. You can do it too, using power layouts. 
The consumable materials I used: Baby Boy Arrival ($9), Baby Boy First Year ($9), Milestone Quick Kit ($13) and a variety of coordinating cardstock (80 cents/sheet). (I used about 12 sheets of cardstock.) I also used a few letter stickers, but very few. 

Step 1: Find a large area that you can use to spread out your page layouts. I like to use my king-sized bed, but you can use a table or even the floor. 

Step 2: Using post it notes, title each spread with what will go on that page. (Coming Home, First Bath, etc.) If you have your pictures, this would be when you would decide which pictures you want to use and which you want to toss. Sort your pictures onto the page. I pick the color of my background paper based on the colors in my pictures. In this case, I didn't have the pictures since it was a gift. So, I just grabbed random pieces of paper. 

Step 3: Cut apart your stickers from the whole sheet. Sort your stickers, putting them on the page you want to use them on. Remember, you aren't sticking anything down, yet, so you can change your mind later. Also, sort your photo mats and journaling boxes. (CM mats are precut to fit a 4x6 photo, so no cropping is required!)

This is what your layouts should look like...just materials thrown together. Stack everything on top of each other in the order that the pages will go in your book. Now when you sit down to scrapbook everything you need for that page will be right in front of you (background paper, stickers, photo mats, journaling mats, title stickers and pictures if you have them.) All you will have to do now is decide where you want things to go on the page. 

Basic tools I used: 12-inch trimmer, personal trimmer (for photos), scissors, tape runner, corner rounder and shape punchers if you'd like to use them. I also used some letter stamps and brown stamping ink. 

Once you start scrapbooking, you may decide to not use some of the materials you originally assigned to that page. That's okay! Everything may not fit, or you may find that you need another piece of cardstock. It's much easier to just grab a piece of cardstock you need than having to search for ALL the materials you need for a page every time you start a new page. I used to scrapbook like that (before I learned about power layouts) and it would take me 1-2 HOURS to complete ONE spread. Never again!

Below are the finished pages. Now my friend just has to add her pictures and do some journaling.

Cereal Box Gift Bag

I cringe every time I break a box down and put it in the recycling bin. "There has to be something I can do with it," I think to myself. Well, now there is! At my house, we go through (on average) 2 boxes of cereal a week. That's 104 boxes of cereal a year. That's not even counting the dozens of shipping boxes we get rid of from internet purchases. So, the next time you toss a cereal box, or any box for that matter, I challenge you to think of a way to reuse it! Here is one idea I recently shared with my MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) group: use an empty cereal box to make a gift bag.

Start by tearing off the top flaps of your cereal box, so you have an opening on the top. 

Wrap the cereal box, just as you would a gift box, but tuck in and tape down the extra paper in the inside of the top opening. You can use decorative gift wrap, newspaper, or for a more "recycled" look, you can skip the wrapping all together and just display the cereal logo. Using a hole puncher, punch two holes about 4-5 inches apart on each side of the box. Cut 2 lengths of ribbon (any kind will do), one for each handle. Thread the ends of the ribbon into each hole and tie them together on the other side. (This will prevent the handles from slipping through the holes and you dropping your gift!) 

This is what your bag should look like after it is wrapped and the handles are attached. 

Add some tissue paper and a decorative charm to one of the handles (I used to snowflake ornament that matched the paper perfectly), and you are done!