Holidays: August 2011 Archives
Going off to college is not just books and comforter sets, it is also doing a lot of grown up stuff that you previously shared responsibility with your whole family, but now doing it all on your own. This involves grocery shopping and general errands that can't be passed off to other family member that are in that neck of the woods. It is on you now. So you need a good bag that can keep up and be used for all your new trials and the Betty Shopper by Amy Butler is that bag. Available in 2 sizes with the smallest being pretty dang sizable, you can get all your groceries in one while saving plastic bags, or tote all your vintage scores from the local thrift stores or pack snacks for all your pals for the game or spirit rally. This bag can hold it all or can be modified for more specific needs. You can insulate it for cold foods or tailgating. You can make the handles longer or short to suit your size. Pockets can easily be added and it can be made from just about any material to fit your style. Try corduroy with bright piping for fall or a wool tweed with bold pattern handles. From quilting cotton to home dec to medium weight woven apparel, this bag is a must have for all semesters.
I made mine from 2 different prints, one a Free Spirit Print and the lining is Amy Butler. The Betty Shopper went together very easily and quickly for its size. My Betty is jazzed up a bit with some embroidery which you can customize for you or if giving a gift for your loved one. Try a monogram, favorite mascot or nickname. I am working on a second to give as a Christmas gift made from Dwell Studio and I will embroider it with a row of pies and cake along the top and fill it with a picnic blanket and linen napkins. This bag is great for any gift giver since it can be used for anything from yard sale booty to bake sale supplies.
So I was cruising the Martha Stewart Craft site a few weeks ago and stumbled upon this Lunch Bag Tutorial featuring oil cloth. I knew it would be perfect for our Dorm Days series and coupled with Anna Maria Horner's Laminated Cotton it could easily be adapted for a college student, middle or high school student. It is also a fun way to get motivated to start bringing your own lunch to the work place if you are rebudgeting or pack snacks for a mom on the go or for road trip snacks to reduced fighting. These bags are super easy and the impact is high. You could make a dozen in one day to give to friends and family for fast Christmas gifts or fill them with candles, lotions and homemade goods as teacher and caregiver presents.
My lunch bag was so fast and fun. I used Anna Maria Horner's laminated cotton for all exterior panels and followed the instructions here. If you are thinking to save time by skipping the topstitching, DON'T. It gives structure along with a finishing detail. You can finger press the seams before you topstitch to help keep the fold since you don't want to use pins. I also used a basting stitch as my topstitching because the longer stitch helped my machine run over the laminate easier. I also recommend making a cotton lining using the same directions as the exterior only with wrong sides together. By not attaching the lining to the top of the bag, it can be removed for washing. OR you could use Insul-Bright batting between the exterior and lining to turn your lunch bag into an insulated lunch bag, perfect for yogurts, meats and cheeses.
Don't forget to add a closure at the top. You can go with a clip like Martha or some Velcro like me. Grommets and a ribbon are also a pretty option along with buttons. Go crazy and have fun since these are so quick and simple and infinity useful!
Wonder what to bring someone when attending a housewarming party or visiting for dinner? Digging through lots of dinnerware to find something that you don't mind if it is not returned? Solve that problem by making a fabric plate or bowl.
For this project you will need decoupage material (I used modge podge), fabric, clear glass plates, a sponge brush and scissors.
I advise using a clear plate. This allows the fabric to show through the plate for everyone to see what fabric you utilized and design that you made. Start by cutting the fabric. For my eight inch plates, I used about an 1/8 yard of fabric. I cut the fabric into squares (or circles through a die-cut machine that my mom owns).
Cover the plate with decoupage. Put down a strip of fabric and then decoupage on top of that. Continue process until your plate is complete. You should have overhang. When your plate dries about 24 hours later, you will cut off those pieces with an old pair of scissors (do not use your fancy cutting scissors since the fabric will have decoupage glue on it).
I did some patterns on the plate - watermelon on one, jack-o-lantern on another for Halloween. I also took a piece of panel and used decoupage to showcase a kid dressed up for Halloween. This is a simple craft project and could be used for kids as well (Christmas plates, handprint on fabric and then decoupaged to plate for grandparents).
You cannot wash this! It must be wiped clean. If you put this in the dishwasher, not only will the plate be ruined but you might also be purchasing a new dishwasher which means less money for fabric and other crafty supplies.
Decoupage sticks to everything! Be careful not to decoupage on the rug or directly on your table. Even after 24 hours, the plates are sticking together. I will probably end up paint on top of the fabric to create a less sticky finish.
I am a big fan of Cricut and love all their cartridges! It is just too fun to watch my Cricut make perfect cuts without lifting a finger. I have made some other projects in the past with my Cricut: cutting fabric, making magnets and a Halloween banner. Today I wanted to do something for our Dorm Days series and so focused on cutting vinyl with my Cricut.
Cutting Vinyl with your Cricut is similar to cutting fabric, a little tricky at first but once you get your settings right- no problem. Also you need a fresh blade. I watched this video which was very informative (The video hostess is from the Netherlands so she says ven-al instead of vinyl). She offers some REALLY great tips for applying your vinyl letters and removing them as well. What I used was not Cricut vinyl but contact paper which is cheaper and easier to find than Cricut sticky back vinyl plus in some stores you can purchase it in funky patterns like Faux Bois or in your fave college colors. Vinyl is perfect for decorating dorms or apartments because it is easy to apply and easy to remove without wall damage. You can customize it to your taste or style by choosing the Cricut cartridges you like best. I wanted to incorporate the new funky, vintage inspired letters that are all the rage in home design these days. Instead of hunting and purchasing letters of various sizes, fonts, and colors then hauling them home and hanging them, I cut some from contact paper using my Cricut and different font cartridges. Each letter stands for a family member's name and our last name. It was so easy and a lot of fun to make, plus I get compliments whenever someone pops over for a play date or coffee.
Below you can find some more Cricut+Vinyl (contact paper) wall décor ideas for your Dorm or home. Have fun!
Even though we're just almost through "Back To School" it's not too early to think about Halloween! These little ghosties are a cinch to make. All you need is cheese cloth and heavy starch, balloons and cups, felt, glue and string.
1. 1. Blow the balloons up about 3- 4'' in diameter; place each in a tall cup.
2. 2. Take an 8-9'' square of cheese cloth, spray heavy starch and drape it over the balloon-cup structure. Just keep spraying heavy starch till it is fully saturated and form your ghost, pull some threads to make it a little tattered and wait for it to dry. (about an hour or so)
3. 3. Before popping the balloon out from underneath your ghost, glue little felt eyes to give it some life (or lack thereof right? It's a ghost)
4. 4. Attach thread, fishing line, twine, whathaveyou, and hang them up over a hallway, chandelier, or goodie table!
Embroidery hoops are not just for embroidery anymore! They are a fast, inexpensive, easy and cool way to hang your favorite fabrics or festive appliqués on the wall. Instead of using Halloween-printed fabrics, I used fabrics from the Kona Elegance collection. The tonal jacquard flourish design is perfect for a touch of sophistication! We have a variety of silhouette templates to use with 12'' Embroidery Hoops or you could even draw your own!
Before cutting out my fabric shapes, I applied Pellon Wonder Under. This made it so much easier to cut out my shapes, and applying them to the background fabric was a breeze. Wonder Under is absolutely true to its name- this stuff is awesome for crafts and appliqué. Just iron, cut, peal, and iron again. Boom. No sewing involved (unless you really want to). More detailed instruction come with the packaging. For the owl frame- I made the branch by cutting a 3'' wide strip of brown cotton print fabric, twisted it, and hand-sewed it to the motif to create a little dimension and texture.
Halloween crafts can be so fun for kids and fun for decorating. They can be as easy as starched cheese cloth or even bundling/draping some festive fabric like this glitter tulle over a table or banister.
Everyone has one these days but if you are anything like me more often than not you don't have a pocket to spare for your MP3 player. Some of my lady clothes just don't offer the pocket space I need to take my tunes with me and some don't offer pockets at all. I tried keeping mine in my bra for a while but then the hot weather hit and that just didn't work out any more. So I vowed for Back to School I would design a great arm band for my MP3 player that I could wear with any outfit to anywhere. I use it walking with my stroller, going to the grocery store, gardening, cleaning, etc. The great thing about my MP3 Go Band is that many activities that previously were 'no-no's for my MP3 player in the pocket (it would fall out) are now back on!
To create your own takes a little bit of time, a little bit of fabric and Velcro but leads to much freedom. These are great for college kids who need an MP3 player to catch up on lectures, language lessons or just music to listen to while they trek from one end of campus to the other. As a mom, I love it as a companion for long walks, household chores and a break while running errands. But really these are great gifts for anyone in the family. You can download your own MP3 Go Band pattern below by clicking on the picture.
You can find your materials here:
Here is a great, quick Halloween mask pattern for our readers to get in the spirit of All Hallow's Eve before the rush really hits. Your kids are probably already planning their costumes and perhaps can't even decide what they will be. With the ease of this pattern, you can create several masks for them to 'try on' an idea to help the decision making go faster so you can order your patterns and fabric to get started!
Materials for 1 black cat mask:
1 piece of black eco-felt
Eye Mask pattern from Prudent Baby (reduced to fit your child's face. I reduced mine 20% to 6 in. wide)
1 spool of coordinating thread
Ear Pattern (See PDF download below)
After you have cut out your pattern piece, lay your quilting cotton face down and place your felt on top. Cut out 1 of the mask pattern piece and two ear pieces. Cut out two 4 in. by 12 in. from quilting cotton for mask ties.
Pin your mask pieces together and using a medium zig zag stitch, sew around the bottom of the mask, leaving the sides and top open. Set mask aside.
Assemble your ear by pinning them together and zig zagging around the ears. Place your ear between your mask layers (on above each eye) and pin in place. Repeat for 2nd ear. Zig zag across the top of your mask, set aside.
With right sides together, fold your ties in half lengthwise and sew a ½ in. seam across one short side and down the long side. Repeat for other tie. Trim your corners, turn and press. Insert your ties on either side of the mask in the side openings, pin in place. Zig zag your mask sides.
Trace a spool of thread onto your mask for eye holes. You can gently hold your mask on your child's face to mark the eye hole placement. Choose a spool big enough to accommodate your eyes and you know it will be big enough for your child. Cut out each eye hole, pin around the hole and zig zag around each eye hole. Trim any loose threads as needed.
You can add embroidery details or contrasting thread to highlight your ears. With the quilting cotton lining, you know these masks will be comfy enough for hours of play, giving you much needed quality sewing machine time.