Easy Throw

Happy Friday, lovelies! I hope you had a fantastic week.

You may have noticed I’ve been MIA here for a little while, and it’s not that I haven’t been sewing but rather I’m making gifts for people and, well, posting them on my blog would ruin the surprise so I’ve been holding off.

Today, though, I have a very quick and easy tutorial for you. Actually, a pretty great gift idea with just a very small time commitment.

As you know I’ve been de-stashing my sewing room for some time now. I am slowly (but surely!) making my way through many, many meters of fabric that have been sitting uncut for ages. For today’s tutorial I used a heavy, knit chevron print from the stash. I paired it with a bargain bin mustard colored fleece I found at our local Fabricville.

In my stash I had exactly 2 meters of the chevron fabric so it was pretty much fate when I came across exactly 2 meters of this fleece. You will see from the “tag”, I snagged the fleece for $7.50 which is a total steal!

My work colleague and I frequently get cold at the office so I made matching lap quilts. These are totally functional and definitely cute.

Here are the materials you will need for this project:

  • 1 meter of fabric for top of quilt
  • 1 meter of fabric for underside of quilt

Pretty simple, right?

To start I simply cut 1 meter each of the chevron and fleece. I took the chevron fabric and squared it up using a ruler and cutting wheel. Then I laid the fabric (right  side down) on the floor, taped it in place at the corners, and laid the fleece over top, with right side facing up. So now I have the fabric laid flat with wrong sides together.

I carefully trimmed the fleece so it rested 3″ inside the edge of the chevron. I wanted a nice, wide binding around the blanket. If you would prefer something more narrow, I would go with 2″.

I went along the edge of the blanket, folding the chevron over the raw edge of the fleece, then tucking the fold in a second time so no raw edges were exposed.

I used a zig zag stitch for the perimeter of the blanket. Annnnd done!

Because there is no batting in the middle of the two fabrics there’s no need to quilt it down or do anything fancy.

This is *literally* a project that can be done in 30 minutes.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Heather

DIY Reading Pillow

My child’s bedtime is precious. Once 7 o’clock hits, without a doubt, it’s been a long day for all of us. He’s tired, we’re tired, and he’s snuggly, which is not the case for the other 23 hours of the day.

Before his nightly bath we always read books as a way to help him wind down. Like most parents, I have a very favorite book to read before bedtime. “I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love” by Nancy Tillman is the kind of book that just resonates with me. We started reading that to him when he was just a few weeks old and he has read it just about daily ever since.

I love giving books as gifts for babies and kids. Today’s tutorial is for a reading pillow – a pillow you can keep on a rocking chair, in a playroom, on a child’s bed, you name it. It has a little pocket to hold that very special bedtime book, and it’s a gift that is really easy to personalize.

Materials needed for this tutorial:

  • Cotton fabric
  • 2 contrasting cotton fabrics
  • Applique paper (Heat’N Bond Lite)
  • Stuffing

I start by cutting two 17″ squares of fabric. Iron, if needed. Out of your first contrasting fabric cut a rectangle 17″ wide X 13″ long.

For the applique, you can really use any design. I typically applique the child’s name or an initial on the pillows pocket, but you can use any design you like.

I usually make a sheet of applique cotton (attach the Heat’N Bond Lite per instructions on the package). Cut out your design.

Take the first contrasting fabric and press with a hot iron. Lay the fabric out (17″ wide). Fold down the top of the fabric, about 1/2″; press. Fold down again the same amount, press. Using your sewing machine, sew along the folded section. Press.

Applique your design onto the pocket. A little tip: Don’t applique anything too close to the edge of the fabric or a corner. When the pillow is stuffed you want the design to be on the flattest part of the pillow, not on the curved edge.

Next you will lay out 1 of the 17″ squares flat, right side facing up. Lay the pocket you’ve just sewn on top of the fabric, lining up the bottom and side edges. Then lay the other 17″ square on top of the pocket, right side facing down.

Pinning along the edges, leave an opening at the top of the pillow about 4- 5 inches long. You will need to leave this opening so you can turn the pillowcase right side out and stuff the pillow.

Stitch along the edge, using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Turn the pillowcase right side out. Stuff the pillow, starting with each of the corners. I find filling the corners before you fill the rest of the pillow saves time in the long run.

Once it’s stuffed, add a bit of extra stuffing inside the open edge. Pin. Stitch by hand.

Once you’ve finished stitching, put a sweet book in the pillow and it’s ready to gift!

This is another one I did a few months back.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! This pillow takes about an hour to make and it’s a very sweet gift for your favorite bookworm!

Heather

DIY Cloth Napkins

For years I have wanted to have the kind of house where guests walk in and see a beautiful dining table, all dressed with coordinating plates, cutlery, placemats and napkins. A design that looks stylish yet functional.

Our dining table often looks like a storage facility, housing books, toys, notepads, laptops and receipts.

I’ve decided we will never be people who always have their table “dressed”, and that’s okay, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could quickly set up your table for company and have it look put together? That was my mission over the last 12 months. But could I find placemats, napkins and napkin rings that I liked? Not a chance.

On a recent trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond I found placemats and napkin rings that I quite like, but the thought of spending a lot of money on cloth napkins just didn’t thrill me. We have 9 settings in our house so with most store-bought napkins ranging from $4- $12, I decided I should DIY it.

I looked up standard napkin sizes and it looks like anywhere from 12″ to 16″ is where I wanted to be.

I went to Fabricville and found some cute, summery fabric on clearance. I chose this fabric because it’s the same on both sides. As much as I love working with cotton, printed cotton always has a “wrong” side and it usually isn’t very pretty. This fabric almost feels a bit gauzy, and it has a little bit of stretch to it.

I came home and put this fabric through the washer (hot water) and dryer. If these are going to shrink, I want them to shrink now. And I figure cloth napkins are something I will probably need to wash in hot water because of the potential for stains, mostly from tacos.

I decided to go for 14″ napkins, so I started out by pressing my uncut fabric with the iron to get out any wrinkles. Because this fabric is striped, I needed to cut fairly straight along the stripes. I used my rotary cutter and cutting mat for this, but you can use scissors and a tape measure/ruler as well.

If you’re using scissors, an easy way to do this is to cut out a piece of cardboard in the proper dimension, and lay the cardboard on top of your fabric. Outline it with a pen or a Sharpie. Do that for each napkin, then remove the cardboard and simply cut out.

I wanted a nice, crisp sewn edge for these napkins so I actually cut 16″X16″ squares to account for a 1″ seam allowance.

Once cut, I folded in the edge 1″ all the way around, pinning as I went. I pressed the crease with a hot iron and let the fabric cool.

Once cooled, I took out the pins and tucked in the seam allowance so no raw edge was exposed. I pinned in place.

As this fabric does have stretch, I was sure not to stretch as I pinned. Doing so would leave the edges of the napkin “wavy” and that’s not the look I was going for.

I used a straight stitch and stitched near the crease, all the way around. Clipped the threads and pressed, once again, with a hot iron. I used the steam setting this time to try to get the edges nice and crisp.

Overall these turned out to be as easy as I expected, and probably even cuter!

Here they are against two different mats, with different rings. Quite easy to dress up or down. Even better, I’m sure, folded up in a picnic basket.

My personal favorite…………

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! The napkins, as I mentioned, were made from fabric on clearance, so I was able to do all 9 for $13. Quite a steal, if you ask me. Easy, affordable napkins that you can make for every season or occasion.

Thanks for following along today!

Heather

DIY Inexpensive Summer Wreath

If you are currently in Newfoundland you may hate me a bit for posting this “summer wreath” as summer is totally MIA in these parts. Some of our beautiful province got snow last night. Before you feel the need to check your calendar, lovelies, it’s June 26th.

Last night I decided to make a wreath for our front door. I have wreaths on many doors in our house, and I change them out pretty frequently, so now I have a new one in the rotation. The wreath we had up was red and gold and simply looked too Christmasey.

A couple of years ago Michael’s had these beautiful wooden wreaths on sale for $4.99 each. I think regular price was around $20 at the time. I stocked up! I bought 8 of them. This one was a bit of an ulgy duckling wreath, with an irregular shape, so it ended up not being used. Until now, that is.

Last week at Michael’s I went to the clearance section where they have all of their florals at a pretty substantial discount. I think it was 60% off. I picked up a couple of large flowers, some greenery (not from the clearance section) and a few “filler” flowers and buds.

The materials you will need for this tutorial are:

  • Wreath
  • Flowers
  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Wire cutter (maybe!)

To start I removed all of the stems from the flowers and buds. Most just pull off quite easily but some do require wire cutters.

When pulling the flower off the stem, do so very gently so you don’t separate the individual petals. If you can’t pull it off cleanly like in this photo (with some stem attached), opt for wire cutters.

I had a vision of having the dangling greenery coming from the top of the wreath, so I started there. Most times I lay out all flowers on the wreath before I start gluing, but in this case there weren’t a lot of options for the hanging greenery so I went for it.

Though it needed to be secured to the wreath, I wanted the greenery to sway a little in the wind so I weaved the stem back through some of the wooden frame and glued that in place. Then glued just 3 of the long strands down along the side of the wreath, allowing the rest to have lots of movement.

Next I pulled the leaves off of the flower stems and glued them along the top. I knew I was going to place my flowers at the top of the wreath and I do find having some leaves there can set a nice little backdrop for the flowers.

So you’re gluing the stems in place but trying not to glue the actual leaves too much because you do want them to look a little natural, not plastered in place.

From there I began adding flowers, and kept adding flowers and buds until I was happy with the result. I didn’t use all of the materials in the end.

As you’re adding, hang the wreath up a time or two to ensure things are hanging properly and not “sagging” away from the wreath. Taking opportunities to step back along the way to ensure you’re on the right path will give you a better shot at being pleased with your final product.

I wouldn’t dare hang this on my front door last night because, well, it’s so cold and rainy I didn’t want to OPEN the door.

This is a really simple tutorial that can be made pretty inexpensively, but it really does give your front door a quick facelift.

Thanks for checking out my post today.

Heather

DIY Seashell Photo Frame

My husband makes fun of me (playfully, of course) for collecting seashells and rocks from pretty much anywhere we visit. I bring them home thinking, “I will do something crafty with them some day!” and sometimes I actually do….

Well recently we took our first family vacation to Florida and we were able to collect a bunch of beautiful shells from a day spent at the beach.

For Father’s Day I decided to put those shells to use.

Materials needed for this project:

  • Wooden frame
  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Shells (cleaned)
  • Photo

I picked up a sweet little 4X6 frame from Michael’s. I cleaned the frame to make sure it was free of dust and debris, so the hot glue would stick properly.

Heated up my glue gun and got started right away. This project took 15 minutes in total.

I laid out shells on the frame to see where I felt each one should go. Then I kept adding shells until I was satisfied with the result. I found it helpful to lay out the larger shells first and then fill in empty spaces with small shells.

On our trip we kept taking note of how many shells had little round holes in them, so I knew I wanted to use a few of those for sure.

To glue, I simply filled the underside of each shell with hot glue, and placed on the frame. Work quickly, though, as hot glue does tend to dry/harden faster than regular glue.

The frame came with the writing on it, however (if you’re really adventurous) you could totally wood burn some text into it as well.

I stuck a cute picture (of him with the baby) from our trip into the frame, and it made a perfect Father’s Day gift.

This would be an excellent gift for a birthday or Christmas as well.

Thanks for checking out my post.

Heather

Rainy Day Kids Craft

Finding a way to enjoy a rainy day is good for the soul, and we’ve been having LOTS of rainy days here in St. John’s lately. As parents we struggle sometimes to entertain kids when the weather prevents us from getting outside.

Today’s post is a craft idea that is perfect for kids, say, ages 3+, but also totally fun for adults!

Materials needed for this project:

  • A white (or light colored) cotton pillowcase
  • A permanent black Sharpie
  • A pack of Crayola crayons
  • Wax paper
  • An iron & ironing board
  • A piece of cardboard that fits inside your pillowcase
  • A coloring book/sheet (optional)

To start, put the piece of cardboard in the pillowcase. If you don’t do this, your Sharpie will leak through to the other side. The cardboard also makes the coloring a little easier.

You can either trace or freehand a design. Trace/draw with your Sharpie. It may be best to have an adult do this part.

Once the design is drawn, it’s coloring time!

Once the design is colored, heat up your iron using the Cotton setting. No steam. Remove the cardboard from inside the pillowcase. Take your wax paper and place the waxy side on the design. You will iron on the non-wax side which will cause the wax to melt onto your design, sealing in the crayon.

If you aren’t sure which side of the paper is wax, scratch each side with your fingernail a little. The wax side will turn white.

These pillowcases can be washed and the crayon will fade a bit over time but generally it does hold up quite well!

I have made these for friends over the years as gifts, particularly one friend who moved away from home for university. I put it in her suitcase before she left, and when she arrived in her dorm room she was delighted to have a little something from home.

Happy crafting!

Heather

Brag Post – My Incredible Mama

My mom taught me to sew when I was just 4 years old, as incredible as that is to believe. I started with hair scrunchies and pillows for my Barbies, and eventually moved on to quilts and clothing. I like to think I inherited her creativity, and it’s a HUGE part of who we both are.

In retirement she is finding lots of ways to keep herself busy, but one of her current projects I thought was worth sharing today.

I have a young niece who adores Barbies and my mom simply loves making clothes to fit her Barbies, just like she did for me when I was a kid. She comes up with her own designs and embellishments and creates stunning little pieces.

She recently opened an Etsy shop of her own and her shop name is “DreamingAboutCrafts”, not surprisingly.

If you’re looking for a cute birthday gift for a Barbie loving child in your life, check out her store for sure. She’s always whipping up new outfits and they are made with the utmost quality and care.

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DreamingAboutCrafts?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Happy Thursday!

Heather

Wood Burned Gift Tags

Anybody who knows me IRL knows I will never say no to learning a new craft. If I hear about it, I must try it!

Last year I came across a tutorial online for wood burning. A lot of the images I was finding online were very elaborate. I always like to start small, though.

A very special person in my life was getting married and two very important people would be missing from her big day – her grandparents, who she adored more than anything.

I started to think about how I could do something special for her to take with her on her wedding day that would be a little reminder of them. As they are also my grandparents I went digging through my box of cards (yes, I keep cards……) and found cards signed by each of them.

Fondly remembering my grandfather, his signature saying came into mind. With that, a wood burning idea popped into my head. I could transfer their signatures onto a wooden disc. Drill a hole and run a ribbon through it to make a gift tag sort of thing.

I found cards with each of their signatures, and thankfully my grandfather had written his famous words “God bless” next to his name.

I ran out and bought a wood burning tool at Michaels. While I was there I picked up a pack of their small wooden discs and a few other small wooden things to practice on. I was convinced I could do this.

This is the tool I purchased:

Once I got home I fired up the tool and started to practice. It was a LOT harder than I thought.

Within a couple of days, though, with the use of carbon paper (for tracing their signatures) I was able to get the disc done. I gave it to her the night before her wedding. She wore it on the handle of her bouquet. As I watched her walk down the aisle in her beautiful dress, knowing that she had this little thing with her brought tears to my eyes. They would have loved to see her marry her sweetheart. They will be forever missed.

For this project you will need the following materials:

  • Any raw wood (not painted or stained)
  • Wood burning tool
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Stamp (optional)
  • Ink pad (optional)

You can either write or trace something onto the wood, or you can totally cheat like I do and take a rubber stamp, dip it in ink, transfer to the wood, and start burning over the ink lines.

So this image above is simply stamped with plain black ink. I let my tool heat up for about 10 minutes before attempting to use it. It is EXTREMELY hot. I put a silicone mat underneath it to protect my counter top.

Once your tool is heated up and your image is prepared, you can start burning. The trick is to resist the urge to press the tip of the tool into the wood. Lightly and very slowly glide the tip of the tool over the ink lines.

If you are finding it’s not burning dark enough, you can always go over it again.

Try not to leave the tool in any one place too long as you will scorch your wood and likely leave a bit of a hole in the surface.

This is after the burning is complete. Looks a bit boring to me….


I just made some tiny dots around the perimeter (the tool doesn’t have to burn these for very long as they are tiny), and strung a ribbon through the hole. Gift tag complete!

You can literally burn anything onto these tags, this is just a simple example of what you can do. I would encourage you to practice on a scrap piece of wood for awhile until you get the hang of it.

I’ve seen some pretty cool wood burning on wooden spoons and cutting boards, which makes a fantastic bridal shower gift!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this simple tutorial.

Heather

DIY Monster Stuffies

Happy Monday! I’m back from vacation now and so excited to get crafting again. While I was away I scored some pretty new things from Hobby Lobby and I can’t wait to share them with you.

For today, though, I’m going to share with you the final project from my son’s 1st birthday party.

Since I’m “that mom” I couldn’t just do loot bags for the kids. No, I needed to make something for each little kid. It had to be adorable, relevant, and one-of-a-kind.

I searched high and low for the perfect monster stuffy pattern and came across this free set from It’s Always Autumn, found here: https://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/stl-felt-monsters-to-make-with-your-kids-plus-free-mix-n-mat.html

I used these patterns for the bodies of the monsters and some of the accessories, but I did spice things up with my own monster mouths and eyes.

Here are the materials needed for this project:

  • Fabric for the monster bodies (I used fleece)
  • Fabric for the accessories (I used scraps of felt, cotton, etc)
  • Heat’N Bond Lite
  • Stuffing (I used Loops and Threads brand which you can get at Michael’s)

To start I printed a couple of copies of these patterns, as I was making about 30 of them and knew the pattern pieces would get worn out after awhile.

I had some help from a very dear friend during the cutting out phase. (Thanks again, Janet!) First I made sheets of fabric with applique paper attached to the back. Attach the Heat’N Bond Lite to the fabric using the directions on the package, and always remember to turn the steam setting OFF on your iron.

From those sheets we cut out bodies, eyes, mouths, accessories. Then I laid them all out so I could plan out each monster separately.

I appliqued the eyes, mouths and accessories in place. Then I sewed the bodies together per the instructions on the pattern pieces.

As much fun as it was putting the eyes, mouths and accessories on the front, I added hearts to the butts of some of the monsters. No idea why, just seemed cute at the time.

Next I turned them right side out, stuffed, and my amazing mama hand stitched them closed.

These don’t take a long time to make individually, probably about 20-30 minutes. Multiply by 30………I never want to see another monster pattern again.

Just kidding. They were so darn cute, and they were totally worth the effort.

Once they were all made I placed them in a basket with an Adopt-A-Monster sign. The kiddies got to choose which monster they took home, and lots of moms messaged me afterwards to tell me how much their kid loved their toy.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial!

Heather

Pride Inspired Polymer Clay Earrings

So since writing my post last week about the DIY Polymer Clay Rose Earrings I have starting making LGBT Pride Inspired earrings, and they are probably one of my favorite projects yet!

In recent weeks a school in Lewisport, Newfoundland & Labrador has made headlines after the mayor of the small town declined a request to paint a rainbow crosswalk near the school. Disappointed in the decision, I started wondering how I could show support for these students and the LGTBQ community as a whole. From this curiosity these little earrings were born!

The pride flag colors (top to bottom) are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. I decided the petals should be in order, starting with the centre of the rose.

These are made exactly the same way as the original rose earrings found here: https://makelifecrafty.com/diy-polymer-clay-rose-earrings/

I’ve had some interest from followers who want to purchase a pair, so I have created an Etsy listing. A portion of the profit from each pair will be donated to a related charity TBD.

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/614104739/handmade-pride-inspired-polymer-clay?ref=shop_home_active_1

These earrings are super fun to wear and can generate a lot of important conversation, so I’m extremely proud to share them with you.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.

Happy Monday!

Heather