Tools: December 2012 Archives
I am a big fan of pom pom trim! It is a fun way to add some whimsy to pillows, drapes or apparel. Pom-pom trim can be used to attach a pop of color or to add a finishing detail to a project. Pom-pom trim is available in many combinations of colors and sizes but I felt limited to prepared trim and wanted something fresh and outside-the-box. So I made my own pom pom trim to fit my design ideas. By creating your own pom pom trim you can choose your size, spacing, color and texture. The world of yarns is open to you. For my project, a man-sized sofa blanket, I wanted larger than the standard ½'' pom pom trim to fit my larger than standard blanket. I also wanted more of a strand look to my pom pom instead of the fuzz ball that comes on trim. The look I wanted was more of an organic, mellow, masculine blanket (well, as masculine as you can get with pom pom trim) so I pulled out my pom pom maker and set to work. I determined a 1 3/8'' pom pom was the perfect size for my blanket and after selecting my color (cream to offset my green double napped flannel) I made 4-5 pom poms to try out my spacing. Setting out the pom pom on my cutting board I was able to get a good idea on the spacing I preferred and went with a 3'' spacing.
To make a man-sized sofa blanket just like mine you will need:
2 yards of double napped flannel
1 skein of wool DK weight yarn
1 skein of matching embroidery floss
Begin by measuring the width of the ends of the flannel and dividing it into 3 (the spacing from above) to establish how many pom poms are needed and make that number for each end. My blanket was 45'' wide so I made 15 pom poms for each end. Next, finish the sides and ends of your blanket. I applied a rolled edge to the long sides and a double turned hem (first ½'' then 1'') to the end that will feature the pom pom trim. Then using an embroidery needle stitch into the fold of the hem about ¼'' from the edge. By inserting a needle under the loop that secures the pop pom you are able to stitch it directly to the end of the blanket. Pull the thread tight but not enough to pucker the fabric. Stitch back into the fabric close to where you came out (similar to a French knot) and then come back out 3'' further down and repeat until all your pom poms are attached. Knot your floss and clean up any messy pom poms. Repeat for the other end of your blanket.
This is a great way to add pom poms in any color, size, texture and spacing to any project. Creating your own pom pom trim can help you tie home décor projects together in a room to add consistency. Pom poms in one color but different sizes can also add visual interest and excitement to a design project. Try choosing one yarn color but different sizes pom poms for pillows, blankets and drapes in a room.
When you think about sewing or knitting organization fabric and yarn bins come to mind. This is some serious storage to consider. But when it comes to the little bits, sewing and knitting has it in equal ratio to the big bits. For every huge bin of interfacing and fabric you have, there is a tiny sewing foot, tapestry needle or bobbin that is also in need of organization. Mostly the problem of organizing these bits and bobbins is haphazardly thrown together or rounded up in cups, small bowls or in bags. But there is a better way. This tiny accessories need to be close at hand, and easily found. This means that they need small containers of their own. How, you may ask, do you have a container small enough to properly organize the bits without getting lost themselves? Well, I found the answer on a recent trip to Ikea.
Ikea offers these wonderful small containers, Bygel, that hang off a wall mounted bars. These containers are perfectly sized to fit sewing feet, needles, scissors and marking tools without taking up precious cutting space but they can be detached to be where you need them. Hanging your tiny parts is great because they are easy to find and easy to access. Plus, the bins come in cute colors to brighten your sewing/knitting space. These bins are just big enough to hold a collection of small tools but you can still see in and find what you need. The mouth is wide enough to reach in and the walls are tall enough to support scissors and marking tools so they don't fall out. The bottoms are flat so you can detach and park them next to your sewing machine or knitting chair if you will be using several tools for a project. When they are hanging on the wall all my small accessories are easily within reach.
If you don't have an Ikea around you can make a similar hanging station by using small, wide mouthed Mason jars, adjustable pipe fittings, a length of 1x6 pine board and some screws. Determine how many jars you need and the spacing you want between and then cut your board to accommodate your plans. Paint or stain your board as needed. Then screw each adjustable pipe fitting into the pine board, slide each Mason jar into the pipe fitting and then tighten your fitting. Now this set up is not detachable like the Ikea's Bygel but it will hold your tiny bits just as well and beautifully too.
I have seen these
great Woven Felt
Baskets all over the design scene lately. They are popping up in all the design
shows and stores. They are a great storage option for living rooms and kids
rooms. The look can easily be modified depending on the colors you use. You can
make one for a little boys room in blue
one for a girls room in cream
green, one for your room in a bold Fuchsia
and one for the living room in cashmere
tan to blend in. They are really a snap to make and lots of fun. The only
supplies you will need are a calculator, 72'' wide felt, a glue gun and some embellishments.
Each strip is woven of doubled felt to give strength to the basket.
To make your own, first you need to decide how big and what shape you want.
Square Basket (Width, Length and Height is X)
Length of each strip is the width of the bottom plus the height of the side (X+X).
Length of each ring is the width of the side times 4 plus 1 '' (4X+1)
Rectangle Basket (Width is X, Length is Y and Height is Z):
Strips A are the length of the bottom plus the height of the side (Y+Z)
Strips B are the width of the bottom plus the height of the side (X+Z)
Each ring is two times the width plus two times length plus 1 ''(2X+2Y+1)
The number of strips needed for the width is the number of inches (i.e. you want the bottom of your basket to be 15'' then you will need 15 one inch strips). The number of strips needed for the length is the same process. And it is also the same for determining the number of rings for your height.
Here is a great example, for a basket 15''w by 17''l by 12''h you will need to cut:
Strips A- 17, 29'' strips
Strips B- 15, 27'' strips
Rings- 12, 65'' strips
And you will need approx 2 yds of Rainbow Felt (remember each strip is doubled)
Once all your strips are cut you will need to assemble your rings. Glue one short end to the other end, overlapping one inch. Once all your rings are glued set them aside. Start weaving your bottom by laying out all your width strips parallel. Then weave in your first length strip using an over-under method. It helps to start at the center and mark your centers with pins or small chalk marks. Once you have all your length strips woven into your width strips, your bottom is complete and you can add your first ring.
Flip the strips that will go inside the ring toward the center of your basket and leave the rest lying out. Place the ring on top and then reverse your flip (flip all the inside strips to the outside and all the outside strips to the inside). Place another ring and do another flip. Repeat the ring and flip until you are out of rings. Glue and trim (if needed) your strips to the top ring, starting with the outside strips first and then doing the inside. Hold your strips in place until the glue is cool before moving on to the next strip. Finally add the trim around the top by cutting a 3'' wide piece of felt that is the same length as a ring. Start gluing it or hand sewing it in place. If gluing start with the outside first and then glue around the inside. Your basket is now basically done. You can finish it off with some embellishments as you see fit. I added a whipstitch around the bottom of my trim and added a few small pom-poms. Try adding rope handles or braided fabric handles. You can even try fusing some fabric onto your strips to add a print or extra "wow" factor to your basket. Vary the sizes and using them for anything around the house.
It will cost less than $13 to make a huge 15''by 17''by 12'' basket!
Here is a Target version for $25 15''by 15'' by 11'' for gray and cream
West Elm's large basket is $49 for 18'' by 14.5'' by 11 for gray only
Both start at twice the cost of our DIY version and by making your own you can choose your colors!