Thursday, June 28, 2012

Crib Skirt Tutorial

Follow Me on Pinterest

Add a nice finishing touch to the crib 

A Facebook friend approached me a few weeks ago wondering if I could sew a crib skirt, and it's not an exaggeration to say that I was REALLY excited about the project! I've never sewn one before, but it seemed easy enough - basically five rectangles pieced together, right? In all reality, it was about that simple especially since it would have a straight side and no gathering. If you have have a few sewing projects under your belt already, you too could pump one of these out.

Supplies needed:
  • ~ 6 yds. fabric (I purchased a navy color polyester/cotton blend)
  • coordinating color fabric
Using the finished dimensions shown on crib skirts sold in stores (28" x 52" x 14"), I cut a total of 5 pieces of fabric:
  • (1) 29" x 53" - portion that sits on the crib base
  • (2) 31" x 54" - long side panels (I made this piece slightly longer for fudging later if needed. It's true, I do make mistakes ;P)
  • (2) 31" x 29" - short side panels
Assemble the Crib Skirt (I used a 1/2" seam allowance)
Fold panels in half width wise
  1. Side Panels
    1. Fold all (4) side panels in half lengthwise, so they are all 15.5" wide.
    2. Sew short sides (then press seam, clip corners and turn right side out, and press again)
      Sew short edges, clip & press
  2.  To attach side panels to the base piece:
    1. Lay base piece right side up
    2. Pin and sew panels to base
      Place side panels on top of the base piece. Match raw edges and pin.
    3. Finish raw edges
      Top stitch seam allowance to base
    4. Again using a straight stitch, sew around each of the (4) sides.If you're like me and don't yet have the luxury of owning a serger, I would recommend going back over the raw edge with an overlock stitch, zigzag stitch, or trimming edges with pinking shears to prevent the edges from fraying too much. If you have one, I'm jealous! :)
    5. Press the seams again with the seam allowance toward the base piece of the crib skirt.
    6. Top stitch base piece, catching the seam allowance. For this stitch I usually increase the stitch length to about 3. It's a nice finishing touch and makes it look a little more professional.
And that's it! Now you just wait for that sweet bundle of joy to arrive!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Customizable Camping Meal Planner

Follow Me on Pinterest

Make packing & preparing food a snap

Our little family of four will be making our first camping trip of the season next weekend (FINALLY!), so I have camping on the brain. Anyone who has camped, or organized a trip knows that a lot of pre-planning work goes into it. So much so, that by the time you actually get to the campground, you've definitely earned a vaca!

Before we go for a weekend trip, I always try to jot down some meals we might prepare. Then when I go to the grocery store, I grab all the necessary ingredients... well most of them anyway. Once we're at the campground, I usually realize that I forgot the teriyaki sauce for the chicken or butter for the campfire sandwiches.

But never again! I'm committed to having a good plan from now on and hopefully reducing my pre and during camping stress. I created this customizable weekend camping trip planner. It's PDF document with editable fields, so I can change up the food selection each trip if I'm feeling  a bit daring.

I know this will be a good tool for my quest in organizing, so I'm also making it available to anyone that also thinks they will benefit from it. Download here (under "file" select "download").

  • Top section - name the meal
  • Middle section - list all the ingredients that go into preparing the meals named above. This section is particularly helpful in both grocery shopping and packing the food up.
  • Bottom section - just the little things that help make our food yummy

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Organizing the Craft Room

Follow Me on Pinterest

Shower Organizer Relocation Program

I recently redecorated one of our bathrooms, and while I was at it, my husband put in a request for a new shower organizer. The one that was in there wasn't in terribly bad shape, so I felt terrible throwing it out. And since I'm all about finding new purposes for things, I held onto it. Inspiration hit yesterday. I noticed that the organizer would fit oh so perfectly onto the knob of the closet door. The shelves are great for holding rolls of ribbon, and I can hang my button, elastic, and other pouches on the hooks. SWEET! And maybe best off all, it doesn't require those annoying suction cups to hang - I hate those things. I can't ever get them to work properly, grrrr.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Neck Wrap/Scarf/Collar

Follow Me on Pinterest

Call it what you want – but basically it’s a neck accessory

As you saw in an earlier posting, I’m participating in a craft exchange. I wanted to make my giftee something unique and challenge myself with crafting something new. During a Pinterest session, I came across some darling crocheted neck warmers. I contemplated learning how to crochet again, but then reminded myself to FOCUS, you know how to sew SO do that! But what I took away were the basic ideas and dimensions.

Wrap/scarf/collar Supplies:
  • ¼ yd of 44/45” fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • Velcro (or another kind of closure)
Whatcha gotta do:
  1. With right sides together, fold the piece of fabric lengthwise so it is now 22” long.
  2. Sew along the (3) raw edges with ½” seam allowance, making sure to leave at least 2” unsewn so you can turn fabric right-side out.
  3. Clip corners and press seam (makes for less bulky corners and crisp seam appearance).
  4. Turn fabric right-side out and press seam again.
  5. Top stitch. I lengthen the stitch a bit and sew about 1/8” from the edge.This will also close the 2" opening you left for turning the fabric out.
 Steps 4 and 5 are a little extra work but I really think it makes the piece look professional.

Play with the scarf on your neck to decide how you want it to lay. I overlapped it so that it closed closer to my neck while the bottom half fanned out. While looking in the mirror, I place pins where the Velcro should be placed. I used sticky sided Velcro, but I added a pump of hot glue just to make sure it isn’t going anywhere!

YoYo Flower Supplies:
  • (2) swatches of fabric
    • 5.5” circle
    • 4.5” circle
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Button

There is a super simple and great tutorial on how to make these here. I layered two of the YoYos, because I thought it made it a little more fantastic. Rather than sew a button into the center as was done in the tutorial, I again referred to my hot glue gun – squeezed a bit in the opening of the top flower and fit the button in.

Glue gun encounter #3 – I wanted the flower to be removable, so when/if I make more down the road “in my spare time” and I mix and match. So I bought some pin backs like this, and glued the flower to it… And then the flower to the neck wrap/scarf/collar, or whatever you want to call it… Cute?!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Handmade Gift Exchange

Follow Me on Pinterest

UPDATE June 23, 2012:

I was super excited to see a package from Janelle come in the mail yesterday. Like a kid I immediately ripped it open to reveal a fun and colorful necklace with matching set of earrings made from BUTTONS! I'm a fan of all things funky and original, so of course I love it. Thanks for the great gift Janelle!

I just finished the final touches to the neck-wrap for my giftee. One of her favorite colors is deep turquoise, so I hope at the very least she likes the fabric selection! The flower is on a pin so if she's not in a flower kind of mood, it can be removed.

All in all this was a really fun exchange to participate in, and look forward to doing it in the fall again!

Tuesday June 12, 2012:

I signed up for the USA Gift Exchange Summer 2012. I'm making a crafty gift for Janelle, who has a great blog, and then I will receive a gift in the mail from a different anonymous person. I'm excited for both! The event closes the end of June, so in the next few weeks, I'll have at least two cool new items to share with you. Did I mention that I can't wait?!

How fun would this be on a smaller, maybe local scale? But one where we could actually get together for the exchange! I'll put that on my "when I have a moment" list...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Easy Tags Made from Scrapbooking Supplies

Follow Me on Pinterest

Make your own gift or, in my case, garment tags

I'm ramping up for a craft show and the first part of the production has consisted of making tags for my wares. To say I'm a detail oriented person is an understatement.

I'm not a scrapbooker, so I didn't have much of the supplies on hand. To make these tags, I went out and purchased:
  • Scrapbook Paper in 3 different colors (red, pearl silver and pearl white)
  • Silver foil labels (I used 1.5" squares)
  • Glue stick
  • 1/2" double sided mounting tape
  • Ribbon (I used 1/8" wide cut into 4" strips)
  • Paper hole punch
Putting the tag together
  1. I printed an image with information on TNT onto the silver label but if you are making a gift tag maybe print something appropriate for the occasion (tree for Christmas, Balloons for birthday, fireworks for 4th of July, etc). 
  2. Cut a 1.75" square cut from the white paper and apply the silver label.
  3. Cut a 3" x 2.25" rectangle from red paper. Round the corner if you like.
  4. Cut 2" square from silver paper and then glue to red rectangle.
  5. Apply 3/4" piece of mounting tape to silver square.
  6. Then place label square made in step 2 on top by removing the top paper piece from mounting tape to expose the other sticky side
  7. Punch hole on top
  8. Add ribbon and knot (for a gift tag, punch 2 holes to tie a bow instead)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Baby Jar Match Stick Container

Follow Me on Pinterest

How about a camping tip?

Camping season is in full swing. As I searched through the camping containers to see what we have and what we still need, I found a plastic baggie of match sticks - some still placed neatly in the little box and others lying loose in the bottom. I thought there has to be a better way of storing these little puppies, and the first thing that came to mind was BABY FOOD JARS! I've been saving them knowing that they certainly would come in handy some day.



Add a crafty element

I decoupaged some wrapping paper to the lid. Cut a  circle about 1/2" larger than the lid. So that the edges lay smoothly around the side, clip the paper little less than 1/2" every 1/4 to 1/2 inches around.

Add matchbook striking surface

My matches came in a box similar to this. Opened it up by pulling the glued flap back and lay it flat. Then traced the top of the baby food jar lid and cut it out. The circle nests perfectly when place in the lid. In case that gets worn, I inserted another into the bottom of the jar for replacement.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Personalized Soap Dispensers

Follow Me on Pinterest

Good, clean gift idea!

Some people you can't thank enough, but this is a good start!
So you need a gift – maybe it’s Mothers Day, Teacher Appreciation, Christmas, a birthday, or house warming. You want it to be unique, personal and yet not break the bank. Oh and you only have a ½ hour to spare! What to do, oh what to do?!

How about a personalized soap dispenser! 

Here are the supplies you’ll want to round up:

  • Soft soap bottle – I had at least a dozen soft soap dispensers on hand (a nice product giveaway at work), but at the store they are probably just $1.
  • Transparency sheet & Printer, OR access to a copy shop to print transparency for you (more about this below).  1 sheet will make 8 labels.
  • Free template to print on transparency
  • Goo Gone to remove label. Please learn from my mistake and use a very soft paper towel or rag. I used one that was kind of rough and it scratch the bottle badly. Thankfully, I had a stash on hand that I could dig another one out of.
  • Pencil and permanent market (not required)
About the transparency
I had a couple laser transparency sheets on hand from college, I think, and still have them because I am a crafting hoarder (first step is admitting it, right?). If you don’t have any transparencies on hand you have a couple options:
  • Buy a pack. I did some searching for you and found that while they are not expensive when you break down the cost per sheet, they are costly when you consider that you have to buy a whole pack of them, 50 sheets for about $30-$50.Yikes! If you found them in a smaller quantity, please leave a comment on where!
  • Take your print to a FedEx, Office Max, Staples, or Office Depot and have them print it on transparency.  I don’t think that would cost more than a couple bucks.
Project Assembly
  1. Print Label. If you’re not going to a print shop, you can print the label on an inkjet or laser printer. Ideally a laser would be best, but I have an inkjet. After I printed it, I let it set for 24 hours so it got good and dry. I then did a test on just one bottle following the subsequent steps, let it sit for another 24 hours, checked it, looked good, then did the rest!
  2. Personalize Label. Add name and simple illustration. In the open area you or your child can draw using a pencil and then trace it with a black permanent marker. I have Adobe Illustrator, so I was able to open the .pdf template and do a little more customization.
  3. Cut the squares. Make sure to cut INSIDE the black guide lines of each label so the edges don’t show in the soap – they’re just meant to be a guide.
  4. Open the soap bottle.
  5. Roll the square so that you can fit it into the tube.
  6. Guide square into place using the straw portion of the pump.
  7. Screw the top back on.
  8. Add embellishments. I just added a ribbon to dress it up.

We gave 2 dispensers to the grandmas and kindergarten teacher. One grandma said they were almost too cute to use and the teacher was delighted. The gifts didn’t cost a whole lot, so it really is the thought that counts!