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Living a simple, creative life at a small 1950's motor inn in Bryson City. A Lifestyle Blog.
For previous tutorial roundups click here!
I saw these white lace shorts on Honestly WTF and loved them so much but wanted to make more of an everyday pair. To make mine I took a pair of white jean shorts I bought for our beach trip ($19 from Target) and some plain white crochet lace trim:
Ever break a glass or dish you love? Happens here all the time…..and I can never bring myself to throw the pieces away. I always have big plans to one day make a big mosaic wall or table…..but in the meantime I’ve decided to use the pieces for some smaller projects. This jar holds every single piece of porcelain from a Tiffany vase I broke a few years ago:
We are spending time with my husband’s family this week at the beach. I wanted to make everyone something special so I made these extra large personalized beach tote bags.
They are perfect for carrying all of our beach toys, towels and sunscreen down to the beach.
It’s easy to keep everyone’s things straight and they all look pretty cute together on the sand:
I bought the large totes at Marshall’s. You can find blank ones many place on the internet and other suppliers. I used two methods for these bags to give you a few options!
The first method I used is the freezer paper method. Freezer paper is typically used by butchers to wrap meat because it has a waxy finish on the inside and regular white paper on the outside. It can be used as a fabric stencil because when the paper is heated the waxy side adheres to the fabric but doesn’t leave any residue on it when removed.
You can purchase freezer paper at most large superstores. I know for sure that Wal-Mart carries it as well as Dharma Trading.
First, use an exacto knife and cut out the monogram letters into the freezer paper:
After the letters are cut out place the freezer paper stencil face down on the fabric, waxy side down.
Iron the paper (cotton setting) so that it seals to the fabric.
If your paper rips at all or if you “overcut” any of your letters just use some scotch tape to fix it so ink doesn’t flow through those areas:
Take a paint brush and fabric paint…..
…..and begin dabbing it onto the stencil.
I usually do about 2 or 3 coats:
Once the paint has dried thoroughly.
The second method I used was a “one-time” paper screen print. For a one-time paper screen print you need a stretched screen. It can be a silk screen or even just a large embroidery hoop with panty hose stretched tightly. (I recommend investing in an actual screen, you can use it over and over again….the paper part of this method is what is considered “one-time.”
I used my Silhouette to cut out these initials. Or you can just use an Exacto knife.
I used just regular 8.5″ x 11″ copy paper to cut out the letters:
Place the paper onto the bag:
Carefully place the screen on top of the paper:
Put a small amount of screen printing ink or fabric paint on your screen and use a squeegee to pull the ink across the image (or I’ve used a credit card as well if you don’t have an actual squeegee). Use enough pressure so the ink goes through the screen. You can touch up any light areas with a small fabric paint brush.
Lift up the screen (the paper will stick to the screen) and you’ll have your finished monogram. Iron to set the paint/ink:
A few of the finished bags! They were filled with snacks, magazines, beach toys etc to greet everyone at the house when they showed up!
I made one special one for Boo using some of the artwork from our Spring nautical line:
I’m attacking my fabric stash….and making apron skirts! I have so many novelty prints that look fun mismatched:
Here are just a few combinations I’ve made recently:
Here are the basic measurements I use for skirts (click image to download a PDF version):
To make your skirt the directions are pretty straight forward:
Step 1: Cut 2 main skirt pieces and 2 waistband pieces using the measurements in the chart.
Step 2: Cut one apron piece using the measurements in the chart.
Step 3: Place your two waistband pieces together so that the right sides are facing each other and sew up the sides as shown using a 1/4″ seam. Finish your edges with a zig zag stitch or an overlock machine.
Step 4: Place your two main skirt pieces together so that the right sides are facing each other and sew up the sides as shown using a 1/4″ seam. Finish your edges with a zig zag stitch or an overlock machine.
Step 5 & 6: Take your apron piece and fold one side 1/4″ and then again 1/2″. Press with an iron. Repeat for the opposite side and bottom of apron piece.
Step 7 & 8: Stitch the sides and bottom of the apron with a 3/8″ seam.
Step 9: Turn your main skirt piece right side out and place the apron piece on top so that it is centered in the middle.
Step 10: Place the main skirt piece up inside the waistband piece so that the right sides are together (your waistband piece will actually be upside down).
Step 11: Stitch all the way around the top of the waistband piece attaching all three pieces (main skirt piece, apron and waistband piece. Finish your edges with a zig zag stitch or an overlock machine.
Step 12: Flip the waistband piece back up and iron the seam flat (so that the inside of the seam is pointed upward onto the waistband).
Step 13 & 14: Fold the hem of your skirt up a 1/2″ and press with an iron. Fold the hem over 1″ and press with an iron.
Step 15: Fold your waistband down 1/2″ and press with an iron.
Step 16: Fold your waistband down enough to accommodate the elastic width (allow about and 1/4″ on each side). Press with an iron.
Step 17 & 18: Stitch the bottom fold of the waistband with a 1/8″ seam all the way around but leaving an inch opening to insert your elastic through.
Step 19: Top stitch the seam connecting the waistband and the main skirt piece.
Step 20: Stitch all the way around the hem of the skirt using a 1/8″ seam.
Step 25 & 26: Using a safety pin, insert the elastic up into the 1″ gap in the waistband and work it all the way around until it comes out the other side.
Step 27: Stitch the elastic closed.
Step 28: Stitch the 1″ gap closed.
A finished apron skirt! You can also leave the apron off for an easy basic skirt.
We recently bought a new iPad 2 for work and I was floored at the prices of covers…..I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that much. My husband’s friend Walker jokes that his composition notebook is his “low-tech iPad” because it is exactly the same size…..so it gave me an idea. I would make a cover for our new iPad out of one of the old composition notebooks I had sitting around. Turns out it was pretty easy using the box my iPad came in, some hair elastics and a notebook with the pages removed.
Here is how I made an easy, inexpensive iPad cover:
Photo 1 & 2: I took a razor blade and cut out the pages…..this composition book was on its last leg so they basically fell out.
Photo 3 & 4: I removed the plastic insert from the box that the iPad came in and marked the height of the notebook for reference on the side.
Photo 5: I continued my height measurement all the way around the insert.
Photo 6 & 7: Using a razor blade I carefully cut out the top of the plastic insert.
Photo 8: I cut off one side of the remaining plastic.
Photo 9: I cut out the 2 corners on the plastic.
Photo 10: I scored the outside of the three edges using the height measurement that was marked (make sure not to cut all the way through).
Photo 11: I carefully turned the edges under at the scored line and trimmed the pieces so they wouldn’t overlap.
Photo 12: I place the plastic piece on the edge of the notebook and to make it fit perfectly I had to carefully rework one of the edges to the curve was a little bigger. (Note: the plastic is the exact size of the iPad so you have to make it about 5mm bigger this way so that it sits around the iPad edge).
Photo 13, 14, 15 & 16: I took 2 black elastic hair bands and sewed each onto one corner at two points using needle and thread. Make sure to sew through the elastic to keep the band in place and you’ll have to stretch the band enough so it is pretty taught over the edge as shown in photo 16.
Photo 17: I cut off the excess hair band once it was attached securely.
Photo 18 & 19: Using a black elastic headband I sewed one end near the inside of the spine and the other end opposite to it (you’ll have to stretch it tightly so it will keep the iPad in place when you insert it).
Photo 20: Lastly, I cut off the excess band.
An iPad cover for $2.99. Can’t beat that.
I’m slowly updating some older Lil Blue Boo patterns to make them easier to download. This is an updated version of the Stuffed Frog Prince Toy Pattern with both the frog toy/beanbag and frog prince crown pattern combined into one PDF. The very first frog I made was a VERY OBESE frog….but we still have him and he makes a great doorstop.
So many options….here’s just a few:
When I first found a used lazy susan at the thrift store, I envisioned making it into a piece of “spin-able” art….but the first one was way to large and heavy to hang safely onto the wall (so it was turned into the wine-barrel lazy susan). I bought a slightly smaller 18″ lazy susan, and made this fun piece of Sticks-inspired art. On the Lil Blue Boo Facebook page I asked people to fill in the blank “I am____” and got some great words and phrases to use (Boo’s contribution was “Iron Man”):
The lazy susan was painted to be a fun piece of wall art that Boo can turn every day and pick her mood:
Today I will be……awesome.
This was a fairly simple project that took about 3 hours in total. The carving was easier than I thought it would be with my new rotary tool and accessory kit:
I also had my expert painter Boo as my helper. The key to painting with a 4-year-old is letting them paint freely and then just fix any large mistakes after the fact….when they aren’t looking.
Here’s how the art piece was made:
Photos 1, 2 & 3: I used a pencil to sketch my design out.
Photo 4: With a rotary tool, I started carving. I found that it is easiest to carve a faint line to serve as a guide and then carve deeper on your second pass.
Photos 5, 6 and 7: I carved all the designs out. They don’t have to be perfect…..I like slightly imperfect!
Photo 8: I used a block sander to clean up any rough edges.
Photos 11 & 12: I blocked in the main colors using basic acrylic craft paint. I like to paint “imperfectly” for character. I let Boo paint the black and white border.
Photo 13: After all the colors were blocked in, I let the piece dry.
Photo 14: I used gloss varnish…..
Photo 15: …..and painted a light coat over the whole piece to protect the colors from the glazing step.
Photo 16: I carved out excess paint from the designs.
Photo 17 & 18: I made a glaze of black liquid acrylic and added some water. I worked it into the designs, quickly wiping off the excess with a damp cloth.
The finished painted piece!
Using my Silhouette machine, I cut out the words “Today I will be” and applied the quote to the wall above where the lazy susan would hang:
Some heavy hanging hardware was used to attach the lazy susan to the wall:
Today I will be……on cloud 9.