Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Handmade Christmas: Ruffle & Ribbon Tote Bag Tutorial

Finally I'm getting back to the Handmade Christmas tutorials!  Today I'm going to show you how to make this adorable tote bag!  

This is a fantastic Christmas gift because seriously...who couldn't use a cute tote bag?  Now that the girls are 20 months old, we're past the point of needing a huge diaper bag, so this tote was perfect for our recent travels.  When we'd stop to eat, I'd just stick in a couple diapers, wipes, bibs, cups and a changing pad and we'd be all set!  It has a small interior pocket to hold loose items and the bag itself is not too big and not too small.  Want to make it?  Let's get started!  (Warning: this post is picture heavy but I always figure it's better to have too many than too few!  As always, if you aren't sure about how I did something, just shoot me an email!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Ironing Board Cover! (Sort of a tutorial :) )

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving!  We had a great time visiting with family, but after over 14 hours in the car, we were all glad to get home.  We had two wild girls dancing and whooping around the house when we got 12:30 AM!  It was crazy.  They quickly realized how tired they were and hit the hay :)

Now that we're trying to get back into the swing of things, I'm working on Christmas gifts and simultaneously being more and more disgusted by my old ironing board cover.  It's the one that came on it and it's cute enough, but it's stained, cut (by my scissors...whoops) and has interfacing stuck to it in various places.  I decided it was time for a new one, and whipped one up!

It was pretty simple.  First I just laid out my fabric (an old tablecloth...yay for upcycling!) and then turned my ironing board upside-down on the wrong side of the fabric.

Then I took my fabric pen and traced around the outside edge, leaving about 3" between my line and the edge of the board.  This was no scientific measurement - I just took the amount of the original cover that was wrapped around the bottom (about 2" on my board) and then added about an inch to make a casing for my drawstring.  It's a little hard to see, but you can see my purple fabric pen line in this picture.

I cut the whole thing out, folded around the perimeter 1/2" and ironed down, then another 1/2" and ironed down, then stitched close to the edge.  When I got to the corners and the top curve, I had to pleat them a bit, but once you insert your drawstring or your elastic, no one will be able to tell, as you can see in the picture below!

My original cover had a drawstring so I just recycled that and pulled it through with a safety pin.  You could also insert elastic into your casing and use that...just measure the perimeter of your board and then cut that much elastic.  Insert the elastic and test fit it onto your board.  Figure out how tight to pull it, then pin the elastic at that point and stitch it together and close up your casing.  And you have a pretty new ironing board cover!  

Now that my family is healthy and we are back from our Thanksgiving trip, I will get back on track with the Handmade Christmas tutorials this week.  I have a cute tote bag to share with you, so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US.  I'm very thankful that except for a cold or flu once in awhile, my family is healthy!  I serve a risen Savior who loves me!  I have beautiful children and a husband I love dearly and who love me back!  We are blessed indeed!  I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Back to health and a finished quilt

Just wanted to check in and let everyone know that our household is full of healthy people once again!  Wow, that was one terrible flu!  I'm so glad it came last week and not this week!  We have lots to do to get ready for Thanksgiving.  We'll be seeing my husband's side of the family, including a new nephew we haven't met yet!  Very excited about that!

After finally recovering from the flu, I managed to finish the t-shirt quilt I was making for my friend!  It turned out so cute!

Sorry for the terrible's amazingly hard to get a picture of a big blanket!  LOL.

Anyway, I'm happy with it and so was my friend, which is the most important thing.  She's moving to Michigan, so I backed it with some super snuggly fleece.  I also used the fleece to bind it, which was interesting.  I used this tutorial from Prudent Baby.  It was a fabulous tute and the easiest method for binding a quilt I've ever used.  The fleece made it a little tricky just because of the thickness.  If you use this method with fleece, I would recommend cutting the binding just a bit wider to help with the bulk.  It was hard to catch the back of the binding in the right spots.  It's a little wonky looking, but I'm probably the only one who will notice :) 

It was so cozy to work with, I might need one for soon as I recover from making this one!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oh, flu season!

It is here with a vengeance.  Our family was hit hard this week, starting with one twin, then the other, then passing on to my husband and me.  I'll spare the gory details, but I was the last to get it and the last to get better.  I'm finally starting to feel a bit better now, but I'm afraid I haven't done any sewing at all this week!  Unfortunately that means the next Handmade Christmas tutorial will be delayed.  I have a super cute tote bag tute planned, and hopefully I can get it posted before Thanksgiving next week.

I hope everyone is staying healthy out there! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Handmade Christmas: Poufy Flower Hair Clip Tutorial

Let's keep going with our handmade Christmas!  This sweet little clip is a great stocking stuffer for the little girls in your life...or for the not-so-little girls! 

It only takes a few things to make and is super easy!  See how to make them after the jump!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Busy, busy

It seems like that rush to the end of the year is really upon us.  I'm trying to keep things slow, but the weeks just fill up and fly by!

I worked on hemming a bunch of pants this weekend.  Not the most exciting work, but it helps pay the bills :)  My big project right now is a t-shirt quilt I'm making for a friend who is moving away.  She wants to remember her years at her job here so I'm taking t-shirts (she was a sports nurse at a local school) and turning them into a quilt.

I'm not going to do a tutorial per se on this project.  It's time consuming and labor intensive enough without adding photos and instructions for a tute!  I'll share some of my tips in another post, though.  For now, the top is done and it needs batting, backing, binding and quilting.  No big deal, right?  Hahahaha!  

I do take custom orders for the quilts if anyone is interested.  You send me your t-shirts and any special instructions and I'll get it done!  Pricing varies depending on size, but most run in the $175 - $200 range.  Contact me for more specifics!  

I should have another handmade Christmas tute for you sometime this week! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Handmade Christmas: Snowman Ornament Tutorial

I promised tutorials for a handmade Christmas and here is the first one!  Today we'll be making these adorable snowman ornaments!  

They are super easy and you can get the kids involved!  These make a great gift for grandparents, especially with the handmade touches brought by the littles in your family.  Or keep them and decorate your own tree! 

To make a snowman ornament, you will need:

Wood craft circles (available at any craft store)
Craft wire (Also available at the craft store.  You can get it on a spool or in a package.  Mine is 26 gauge)
Assorted buttons (at least 3 for each snowman)
Hot glue gun
White paint (I used the cheapy kids stuff)
Small paintbrush (Again, I used the cheapy kids one :))
Black permanent marker and/or other embellishments

You can ignore the hammer and nail in this photo.  Inspiration struck while I was working and I changed horses mid-stream.

Okay, let's get working.  First, lay out 3 circles on your work surface.  I like to use a big, medium and small circle for each snowman, but you can choose the sizes you like!  Find something to protect your work surface (oh look, a political ad!  Perfect!).  Put some paint in a little container (I chopped off the bottom of a foam cup) and paint the front surface of your circles.  You can choose to paint the front and back or just the front.  I did the front and the side edge of the circles, but left the back plain.  This is a great time to get the kids involved and let them do the painting!

Let the paint dry thoroughly.  Once Santa's little helpers are down for a nap or at school, get your hot glue gun heated up.  Place a small bead of hot glue on the top front of your largest circle.  

Place the bottom of the medium sized circle onto the hot glue, attaching the two circles together.

Repeat with the next circle, placing glue on the top front of the medium circle, then placing the bottom of the smallest circle onto the middle one.

Next, take your buttons and decide where you want them.  Place a small bead of hot glue onto the back of each button and glue into place.  You can see I really took the time to line mine up here, LOL.

And then make faces!  Here's another chance to get the kids involved!  You can be as creative as you want!  I just used a black Sharpie to make these.

Now we need a way to hang our snowmen!  Take your craft wire and cut a piece long enough to make it roughly to the middle of your snowman and still hang over a tree branch.  Also grab a with just two holes works best here, but whatever you have on hand will do.

Thread the wire front to back through the button holes and twist the end to secure.

Fold the wire up to keep any sharp ends trapped behind the button.

Place a bead of hot glue on the back of the button, right over the wire, and stick it to the back of your snowman, somewhere near the middle.

And there you have it!  A super adorable snowman ornament ready for the holidays!

Now go hang them up!'s November 2 and our Christmas tree will not be up for at least a month, so I had to improvise.  If it snows, this is not my fault :)

I hope you will make some of these fun and easy ornaments for you and your loved ones!  The possibilities are rather endless here!  Let the kids pick the button colors.  Add a scarf or a hat made from fabric scraps.  Make a whole snowman family that represents the members of your family!  Let the kids gather twigs and glue them on for arms.  Cut the end off one of those orange colored toothpicks and glue it on for a "carrot" nose.  Let the kids draw the faces on the snowmen.  There are tons of fun ways to make this ornament your very own.  Have fun creating!