Monthly Archives: August 2012

Vintage Earring Magnets

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Have you checked out the crafting ideas on the Country Living web site? I want to try them ALL! But I started with an easy one . . . frig magnets made from vintage jewels. I don’t have the brooches they suggest, but I have LOTS of clip-on earrings. Simply remove the backings and glue on a magnet . . . easy peasy and SO pretty!  P.S. You can also click the blue dot on the CL home page to vote for the Reader’s Choice 2012 Blue Ribbon Blogger Award. It was really fun to check out all the finalists! ♥

Thimble Necklace

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I recently saw thimble necklaces posted by two creative bloggers on imacraftaholic and Dollar Store Crafts.  Since I have a small collection of thimbles from my grandma, I decided to use one for a necklace charm.

(1) Make a hole in the top of the thimble with a hammer and tiny nail.

(2) Poke a jewelry wire through the hole.

(3) Bend the end of the wire inside the thimble with jewelry pliers so it won’t come back out.

(4) Curve the other end of the wire through the opening on the charm bar and tighten with jewelry pliers. (See lost earring necklace  for another example, and click photo for a larger view.)

(5) Wear the thimble alone or with other charms. I love combining it with my scissors!

I hope you’ll get to use one of these ideas to make your own thimble necklace. Enjoy! ♥

Fall Wreath

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When I was making my class reunion garland, I kept the materials on the kitchen island so I could work on it in spare moments. Plus, I use the tall part of the island, and it’s relaxing to stand and craft since my “real” job involves working at the computer all day. So I’ve decided to keep a project going there all the time . . . well, except for when we’re having a houseful of guests for dinners or holidays. (I DO leave Dave room to eat lunch and read his mail, too! :)) My current “kitchen project” is a fall wreath made with strips of autumn-colored fabrics tied onto a wire clothes hanger bent into a circle. I made one for spring, too, so you can click here for details if you’d like to give it a try.  P.S. I’m including a photo of the vintage bow tie I’m going to use for a-la-mode. Isn’t it cute??? ♥

Upcycled Wire Tray

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Nothing is more relaxing than breakfast on the porch on a late summer morning. Of course, this requires a serving tray, such as this wire beauty I got for $24.99 at the local home goods store free from the garage! Yes, we have a floor fan in which the motor burned up after years of service, and I haven’t been able to throw it away.  I knew the front came off, so that’s the first piece I salvaged. I can use it to serve a meal, display fun items, or as a seasonal centerpiece with the addition of a liner cushion I made from a remnant and quilt batting.  Now, what to do with the rest of the fan . . .  P.S. If you haven’t made these cinnamon roll-ups yet, you must try them! Click here for the recipe! ♥

Lace Bracelet

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When I recently received a collection of laces as a gift from Josée of Cul de Sac, I immediately fell in love with the bright purple one and used it to a-la-mode a placemat tote. Then, while toying with the leftover bit the other day, I realized it was just the right length for a bracelet!

I had some fasteners left over from my button necklace, so I simply turned under the ends of the lace, hand-stitched with matching thread, and stitched on the fastener pieces.

Making the bracelet only took about 15 minutes, and I LOVE it! Now I can’t wait to go through the rest of my laces and make more! ♥

Colorful Fabric Memo Board

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Once one of my teen-age sons accompanied me to a teacher supply store. The next thing I knew, he was sitting on a bench outside. When I asked him why he left, he said, “Mom! It looks like a rainbow threw up in there!” So, if you’ve ever felt the same way, it’s probably best to move on to another blog now. :)

Today’s project is a fabric memo board . . . but for holding girly hair things, like:

Click here for a tutorial (starting with a cardboard box!) and here for a photo of the zebra-print version filled with flower hair clips and pins. I can’t wait to give this one to a special little girl for her birthday! ♥

Mint Tin Sewing Kit

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What’s that peeking out of my purse? My new on-the-go sewing kit! Recently a friend at church approached me (rather sheepishly) and said, “I heard you like to sew. I have this hole in my jacket pocket . . . ” Luckily I had one of those little hotel-freebie sewing kits in my bag, so we got him fixed up in no time. Then I ended up sewing on a button for someone on another outing, so I decided I’d be a bit more stylish for the next “emergency.”

(1) Find an empty mint tin.

(2) Do a rubbing on the top to make a template of the design.

(3) Use the template to cut out a piece of scrapbook paper or fabric, and then add a little a-la-mode. (I embroidered the outline of a first aid symbol in peach floss on scrapbook paper.)

(4) Glue on your new top, and fill the tin. Mine holds two of the freebies (which include needles, different colors of thread, a threader, safety pins, and extra buttons) and a pair of clippers to cut the thread (since I don’t have any scissors that small). Oh, and then I put in my little eyeglass-repair screwdriver and two band-aids. Did I forget anything???

If you’ve blogged about a repurposed mint tin, please send me a link in a comment and I’ll add it to this post. I have more tins waiting, so I welcome all your creative ideas! ♥

UPDATES: Josée at Cul de Sac sent this link to a “Wee Mouse Tin House” Etsy pattern . . . it’s so adorable!

Black Beaded Bracelet Beauty

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Today I’d like to feature ANOTHER amazing blogger who had a giveaway . . . Evgenia of Being Zhenya. Yes, I was the winner of one of her three handmade beaded bracelets! (I got the skinny one!)  The other two winners were Brande of Victory Vintage Style and Beth of The Renegade Seamstress. We’re SO lucky!

When you visit Being Zhenya, you’ll read about “Fashion, Beauty, DIY, Thrifting, and so much more!”  Thank you, Evgenia! ♥

Another 5-Minute Craft Room Idea

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AFTER!

BEFORE . . .

When I ran across a paper towel holder I no longer use, I immediately thought of the rolls of ribbon I recently bought at Michaels (three for a dollar!) to make some more fabric memo boards. They’re a perfect fit! Here are a few other craft and sewing room ideas:

  • For pretty tape dispensers, click here.
  • For a pattern weight jar, storage bin labels, and needle book, click here.
  • For no-tangle bobbins, click here.
  • For easy-access thread storage, click here.
  • For neat and pretty embroidery floss storage, click here.
  • For a pretty ironing board, click here.
  • For a way to store and display your fabric flowers, click here and here.
  • For a portable way to store your colored pencils (or knitting needles or crochet hooks), click here and here.  Happy weekend! ♥

UPDATE: Emily at Two Purple Couches just sent me a tip that this and lots of other great storage tips are included in the September HGTV magazine! I did a little sleuthing and found a link here. Enjoy!

What can you make with a polo shirt?

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This is my third “What Can You Make With A . . .?” blog post, so maybe I’ve inadvertently started a new series! :) The first remake was a flannel shirt and the second was a lace tank. This time, my sweet husband Dave donated an old polo shirt that he no longer loves, and as usual, I went a little crazy with it! I’ve already blogged about the scrabble tile pillows, which required four 8-inch squares from the front and back. Here’s what I did with the rest of the shirt:

(1) The sleeves are now fabric bins for my embroidery floss. After cutting them off the shirt, I simply evened up the sides and bottom, stitched, and made triangle corners at the bottom so they will stand up. (If you’re not sure how to do these corners, you can read about them on this tote or bracelet purse tutorial.) I previously had my floss in a large, pretty bowl, but I’ve been wanting to use the bowl elsewhere so this worked out perfectly!

(2) The ribbed collar and top-stitched hem are now a scissors pocket necklace to wear when I’m sewing or crafting, since I move from the sewing room to the dining table to the kitchen island and my scissors are always in the wrong place. (Does anyone else do that???) First, I cut the collar into thirds and used the parts with the finished ends for the bag and the other part for a flower. Then I used red buttons for the flower center and to attach the shirt-hem strap on both sides of the stitched-and-turned bag. I love it!

(3) Two random remnants are now a coffee cup cozy to take when I meet my friends for coffee or lunch. I used the cafe’s cardboard version as a pattern, cutting the fabric big enough to allow for seams, padded it with some soft quilt batting, and sewed in a red hairband at one end. After turning and pressing, I top-stitched in red and added a vintage red button. I can’t wait to try it out!

(4) One more random remnant became this pyramid bag I’ve been wanting to try from Craftser. The tutorial says it takes fifteen minutes. It does, and it’s super-cute, too!

Someday I’ll embroider over the frayed spots on the placket and pocket and reuse them along with the other small scraps I have left. When I do, I’ll be sure to share. ♥

Scrabble Tile Pillows

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When I saw some scrabble tile pillows in a photo on Get In My Home, I knew I just had to try making some! Here’s how:

(1) Find some khaki colored fabric. (Lucky me, my husband had just handed me an old polo shirt in just this color that he no longer wanted!) Cut out two squares for each letter of the word you want to make. I started with 8-inch squares because I just wanted to make some small pillows to put on a shelf, but you could go much larger or smaller.

(2) Go to Fuzzimo, scroll down to where it says “Download Wooden Scrabble Letter Tiles Image,” and download the photo.

(3) Go to PicMonkey and use their tools to crop and enlarge the desired tiles.

(4) Print the tiles, cut out the letters and numbers, and tape them onto a piece of black felt.

(5) Cut out the letters and numbers, pin them on the pillow fronts, and glue or sew them into place. (I machine-sewed mine using the zig-zag stitch.)

(6) Sew each pillow front to a pillow back, right sides together, leaving an opening at the bottom for stuffing.

(7) Trim the seams, turn, and stuff, then pin and handstitch the opening. ♥

More Mini-Notebooks!

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I’ve gifted my first set of mini-notebooks one by one, so it was time to make more.  If you haven’t tried this craft yet, you must give it a go!  Why?

  • They’re quick and easy, and it’s so much fun to mix and match scrapbook papers for the covers, spines, and labels.
  • A notebook costs less than $1 to make and less than $2 to mail, so by adding a handwritten message on the first page, it makes the perfect economical yet pretty and useful greeting card/gift combination.

You can find a complete tutorial here. I can’t wait to start giving these away, too! ♥

That Nellie is So Craftie! :)

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When I began blogging, I didn’t know about GIVE-AWAYS! What fun! And I was recently the lucky recipient of an adorable fabric bag, bookmark, and set of  vintage photo notecards handmade by Kim from Craftie Nellie. Thank you, Kim! ♥  P.S. Click here for Kim’s Etsy shop!

Embroidered Classroom Poster

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One of my teacher friends posted this adorable chart-paper poster from the First Grader At Last! blog on Pinterest. I wanted to make one for a teacher in my family, but instead of recopying it on paper I decided to embroider the whole thing! Crazy, I know! :) But here are the steps:

  • Find some fabric that looks like notebook paper, cut out a rectangle, and embroider the red line and “holes.”
  • Print the sayings lightly in pencil on the lines.
  • Embroider, using a different color of floss for each line.
  • Cut out a piece of quilt batting and back fabric, stack and pin (with right sides together), and stitch the sides and bottom.
  • Trim the seams, turn, press, and top stitch the edges.
  • Sew a strip of 2-inch seam facing to the top (right sides together), fold it back to make a dowel rod casing for hanging, and handstitch it down.

Here’s my colorful version, taped (a bit wonkily!) to a wall for a photo shoot before heading to a new kindergarten classroom. Happy school year! ♥

 

“Notepaper” Coasters

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I’ve loved notebooks ever since I was a little girl . . . maybe that’s why I decided to be an elementary teacher and writer when I grew up! Anyway, awhile back I started on a B-I-G embroidery project (post to come!) and I wanted it to be on fabric that looks like notebook paper. I found a lightweight knit in white with black stripes . . . perfect! The other day I noticed the remnants and decided I should turn them into something, too. So I cut them into twelve squares, embroidered a red stripe on half of them (my other road trip embroidery project), stitched them right sides together with a square of quilt batting added to the stack, trimmed, turned, top-stitched, and had a set of six cute coasters in no time at all. I think they’ll make a perfect gift for a teacher or writer . . . and I know lots of those! ♥

Class Reunion Garland

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In my spare moments this week, I’ve been standing at the kitchen island turning the scrapbook paper circles I cut out on our recent road trip into garland for my class reunion this weekend. The first string I made was plain blue and gold, but I decided to have fun with this one and add some designs. Oh, and I also found some pretty blue and gold fabrics for the tables. It seems like only yesterday that we were wearing these colors for our high school activities! But I love “now” WAY more, don’t you? ♥

Music Pillow

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One of my recent road trip embroidery projects is now paired with a fun music print to make a pillow! The credit for this idea goes to Darilyn at TheHighNoteDotNet who graciously shared this lovely quote by author Bertold Auerbach. And, if embroidery isn’t your medium of choice, she will email you an iron-on transfer to use on a pillow, T-shirt, or other fabric craft . . . how sweet is that!!!  P.S. The red one is from my flower pillow collection, and here’s a link to another music pillow from my very first month of blogging! ♥

Finally . . . a Guy Gift!

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 Zipper Pull

Have I ever mentioned that we have LOTS of guys in our family? As in a blended family of seven sons and no daughters??? I love to make things for our beautiful daughters-in-law and grandbabies, but I haven’t ventured far into homemade-for-men land. So, when I saw a tutorial for a zippered toiletry bag on The Purl Bee, I decided to give it a try. The first challenge was fabric. I wanted to use oilcloth to make the bag easy to clean, but all I could find was gingham, fruit, vegetables, animal prints, and floral designs. Then I stumbled on this fun plaid online at Mendel’s, and it just happens to be the colors for the University of Kansas, the birthday guy’s favorite college basketball team . . . how lucky was that? The bag was easy and fun to sew, and I have plenty of fabric left (and plenty of KU fans left!), so I’m sure I’ll be making more.   8-7-12 UPDATE: Today I added a little guy a-la-mode . . . a zipper pull made from a Jayhawk keychain. ♥

Road Trip Projects

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We spent fifteen hours in the car this weekend for a fun trip to see family. In my project bag I brought along . . .

(1) blue and gold scrapbook paper to cut into circles for garland for my class reunion next weekend,

(2) fabric and buttons to make flowers, and

(3) two embroidery projects to finish (posts to come!).

I also received these adorable earrings as a surprise gift from our hostess! They’re created by a nonprofit called Unboxed Art . . . please check out their website when you get a chance, and have a lovely week! ♥

 

 

Embroidered Pillowcases

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Here are my latest pillowcases, embroidered with a simple graphic and floral design. I do love to embroider . . . it’s relaxing, portable, and the perfect way to add a bit of a-la-mode to sewing and crafting projects. I learned my first stitches from my grandma when I was ten years old . . . I hope I get to pass them on to my granddaughters someday! ♥