Scrap Fabric Pillow

Inspiration can strike anywhere. I first saw this pillow in an Instagram photo. The pillow was in the background and very out of focus, but I was able to get the idea. It was a simple pillow with what looked like strips of different fabrics. And with my overflowing baskets of scrap fabric, I knew I could easily pull it off.

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I used canvas as the base fabric, cutting two 12×19-inch rectangles. And then, after selecting the fabrics I wanted to use, I cut 1×12-inch strips of those fabrics.

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I liked the idea of the pillow having an “imperfect” quality. (I mean, Anthropologie pulls it off all the time.) So I didn’t worry about unfinished edges with the strips of fabric. I simply stitched the stripes in place with my sewing machine.

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With the strips in place, I sewed the two rectangle pieces together with right sides together and a 1/2-inch seam allowance, leaving a couple inches open to stuff the pillow. Once the stuffing was in, I whipped stitched the pillow closed.

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So quick and easy! But of course, if you don’t have time to make it now, you can simply buy the finish project at my Etsy shop!

As the [Felt] Leaves Fall

Despite the fact that it’s snowing in Ohio, it’s still autumn in this part of the world! And why not celebrate it with this easy-to-make garland of felt leaves.

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I apologize for not taking more step-by-step photography, but I kind of whipped these together while watching a movie one night. But the process is simple. Cut out two pieces of felt into a leaf-shape. Feel free to go online and find a template to help. I stitched the veins into one piece of the leaf with embroidery floss.

I put a layer of batting between the two layers of felt and used thread to blanket stitch the pieces together.

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I strung my leaves onto a garland, but you could also use them individually as gift tags or ornaments.

Don’t have time to make this yourself. Then feel free to buy this garland at my Etsy shop!

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DIY Anthropolgie’s “Pomdelion Bouquet”

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If you are like me and treat the Anthropolgie’s website like Pinterest, then you too will notice that some of the expensive items they sell are actually really easy (and very cheap) projects you can make yourself. Take for example the store’s “Pomdelion Bouquet.” You can buy these yarn pom-pom flowers for $18 each or make as many as you want for less than $5.

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I’ve made these flowers before and explained how to make them in a pervious post (aren’t I so trendy.) But I will give Anthropolgie’s credit for using the golden-yellow colored yarn. Lucky for me, my roommate had some leftover yarn of the same color from a Harry Potter scarf she made months before.

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Once I made the pom-poms (again, see link posted above), I simply glued on a piece of green felt as the leaves and a piece of floral wire as the stem.

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With a cute vase from Ikea, these yarn dandelions were the perfect addition to my cubicle at work.

 

DIY Ombré Crate Bookshelf

Four crates, three pieces of wood, a handful of nails, a tube of liquid nails and vintage wheel casters: the ingredients I used for my first attempt at carpentry. I will tell you this, it was not easy, and I was quickly frustrated by the frequency of my mistakes. But the end product is something I will always treasure.

This is how I built a bookshelf out of wooden crates (along with the lessons I learned from doing it wrong).

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Lesson #1: It is stupid to paint the wood before you start building.

Just stupid. Before I even bought nails, I painted two of the wooden crates, which proved futile. I ended up having to sand and paint them again once the bookshelves were assembled.

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Lesson #2: Liquid Nails are great, but make sure you have several wood clamps if you decide to use it.

Being new to the world of power tools, I saw Liquid Nails as an easier option – compared to learning how to use the power drill my father gave me. And yes, Liquid Nails are super easy. Using a caulking gun, I evenly distributed the glue, leaving an inch margin around the edge.

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I had two clamps (see the picture below). The wooden clamp on the right worked great, distributing pressure relatively evenly. The problem is, I needed like four more. The metal clamp did not apply pressure evenly. It really wasn’t that helpful. The other issue I faced was separation on the back side of the crate.

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Lesson #3: Wood sizes are not the same as the advertised measurements.

To make the bookshelves more sturdy, I decided to use three planks of wood – one below, between and on top of the crates. To do this, I purchased one 10-foot long 1×10 wood board. When I went to the cutting station at Home Depot, I had him cut the board into three 3-foot long pieces. And because the width of the crates is 9 inches, I needed him to cut one inch off of the width of the boards. Sadly, the Home Depot employee said he cannot do such a shallow cut.

I felt defeated. I do not own a saw – of any sort. These planks were going to jet out a whole inch. The perfectionist inside of me was going crazy. The Home Depot employee must have seen my face. “Well,” he said, “you know wood is not the exact size we advertise. It’s a known thing”

I look him in the eyes. Obviously, I did not know that. Sure enough, we measure the wood, and it is exactly 9 inches in width. The wood turned out to be perfect.

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Lesson #4: Don’t be lazy. Use painter’s tape.

I love the look of natural wood, but I wanted these bookshelves to have a pop of color. So my goal was to paint only the interiors, leaving the edges and outsides raw wood. I started out being a little overly confident, thinking I could paint within the lines. But quickly, I made a few mistakes here and there. Luckily, sanding the wood once it drys can remove the paint, but I learned that painter’s tape is the easiest, time-saving solution.

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Lesson #5: Craft paint is not ideal for this type of project. 

Though the small bottles of paint were nice to test paint colors, they definitely did not provide enough paint for the entire project. I had to go back to the store to buy several more bottles, proving to be less cost-efficent than if I bought a small can of paint from Home Depot.

I decided to use two different color to create an ombré effect (because Pinterest tells me it’s so trendy). I was hesitate about it at first, but the two colors I chose ended up being a perfect combination.

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Lesson #6: It’s important to buy the right size screws.

Though I did not make this mistake, I recognized that this is an important thing to consider. In my case, I did not need the screw to connect with the second piece of wood. I just needed to attach the wheel casters. With a 1 inch-thick piece of wood, I used 3/4 inch-long screws.

I found my wheel casters at construction warehouse sale – 4 wheels for $5. They were rusty and had flattened sides. (I liked how it provided some character.) But you can purchase brand new wheels at Home Depot for around $5 each.

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Securing the wheels in place, I made sure to measure off their placements first. (No one wants an uneven bookshelf.) I used a 1 inch margin from the edge.

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Finally, after a weekend and a few weeknights, the bookshelves came together to be the perfect addition to my apartment’s living room. And with my college days behind me, I’m sure it won’t be long until they are full of all the books I am reading “for fun!”

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My heart’s on a string

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If you have been reading this blog from the beginning, you’ll notice that I have made this garland before (See the first one and a Valentine’s Day version). After living in my house for several months, I just couldn’t get over how plain our mantel looked. I wanted to bring it to life, so naturally, I thought to make this.

IMG_1996I used felt, polyester fill and some embroidery floss. I cut out the hearts by hand and then sewn two pieces together, leaving a hole to stuff it with filling. Once it had some shape, I sewed the hole closed. With six hearts made, I took the embroidery floss and stringed the hearts together.

IMG_2022Once it was complete, I tied the garland to nails on our mantel. The project took me less than an hour to make. (I actually made it impulsively when a friend called one afternoon and told me she was running an hour late.)

 

 

A Stately Touch

IMG_2138As a gift for a friend who lives abroad, I made her some customized tea towels that would help remind her of home. The project is simple and cheap to make. I purchased the towels at Target for less than $3, and I used scrap fabric and Heat n’ Bond adhesive to make the appliqué.

IMG_2135To use the Heat n’ Bond, I traced my chosen state (Georgia) off my iPad. I then traced the reverse image on the back side of the Heat n’ Bond paper. Using an iron, I attached the paper and then cut out the shape. I then ironed on the fabric to the towel and used my sewing machine to secure it in place.

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And then, because it is so darn trendy, I added a small heart. (Don’t we always say, the home is where the heart is?) I also made a towel for the country she currently lives in.

Voila – a simple, easy gift for a new home.

 

 

 

All is Well

Somedays, you have to let yourself improv with your creativity. I found this yellow chevron-print fabric in the scrap section of the fabric store, and I decided it needed to be a background for something. Yellow is not my go-to color, but occasionally, I try to bring some bright colors into my life. To compliment it, I went to the default: felt.

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I knew I wanted to use the phrase, but the idea for the flowers just came to me. I played around with cutting out different sizes and using different colors, but I think I was smart to keep it simple and use two different flowers.

Once the felt was sewn on, I mounted the fabric to a flat canvas. Using clear packaging tape, I wrapped the fabric around the board and taped it down on the back.

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A World View

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Another quilt, another day. My mother purchased this fabric for me months ago, asking me to make a quilt for her. At the time, we just had heard the news of our my coming nephew, and I was all into quilt making! Little did I know it would take me forever to finish it (mainly because my crafting leave-of-absence over the summer.)

I started with the fabric. The map piece was a yard, so I purchased a coordinating yard of fabric for the back. Basting it together with a layer of batting, I purchased a ton of black embroidery floss for the next step: quilting.

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I traced each contient. Europe would have killed me if I traced each country. And I will tell you this, the process takes a long time (as hand-sewing does), but I think it is totally worth it.

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I did not hide the knots on the back, My initial thought was the quilt would be cute hung on the wall, so hiding the knots wouldn’t matter. By now I wish I took the extra time and did it anyways.

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Once I finished quilting, I cut down the border to prepare for the binding. I only wanted an 1/2 inch edge.

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For the binding, I cut 2-inch wide strips. See how I finish quilts here.

A Felt Christmas

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Merry Christmas Eve!! My parents gave me an old Christmas tree they had to use in my house in Birmingham, but when school let out, I brought it home to decorate my wing of the house (aka the basement).

So with a blank slate, I naturally pulled out some felt.

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I freehanded each piece. I wish I could give you a template, but the project began on a whim, thinking I could use them as gift tags. Quickly, one or two ordaments turned into twenty.

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To add additional decorations to the tree, I created a very simple paper garland to wrap the tree in. I purchased some Christmas scrapbooking paper and used a punch to make all of the circles.

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Using a sewing machine creates a very easy process. Simply slipping each circle under the sewing foot as the machine feeds it through. Once you get the rhythm, you’ll have 6-feet of garland before you know it.

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The final step (and the best step) is taking everything you have made and adding it to the tree.

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And there you have it. A tree so simple, you could create it the day before!

From my family to yours – I wish you a very crafty Christmas!!