The crafty thing I use the most…

Hi friends! This is not an exciting post BUT I bet it will be useful! A few weeks ago I went through my sewing box and organized it. It is an item I use a few times a week for mending the kids clothes, sewing on buttons and attaching scouting patches to vests. It is a workhorse. Nobody likes mending and it is a chore that we often put off until the offending piece of clothing needs to be worn (or 5 minutes before you have to leave for a Girl Scout meeting. On a side note I propose the first scouting badge our kids earn should be a sewing badge, anyone second this motion?) This is what is in my sewing box: (full supply list below the video!)

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It sits on a shelf in our living room where everyone can access it (don’t worry, no one will except you, I am pretty sure it would be a great place to stash some chocolate in fact!) In today’s video I will show you what’s in my box!

Supplies my kit:
Small spools of thread in a rainbow of colors
Needles (ditch the case they come in and put them in a small mint tin with a magnet.)
Ball end pins
Needle threaders
Thimble
Good small sharp embroidery scissors (ditch the cheap one that come in the kit)
Safety pins (only for when you absolutely do not have time to sew it-really, it takes 5 minutes to sew it so…)
Seam ripper (cuz we all make mistakes)

I restock my kit with needles and thread from small sewing kits I get as gifts or from hotels. You also might want to make a small kit for your car or office for the on the go emergencies. It is not hard to mend clothing and it will save you so much money.

Have this tool kit handy so everyone can access it. There is no reason your kid can’t sew up a rip in a stuffed animal or sew on a merit badge and they might even enjoy it! Til tomorrow, happy crafting!

Protect Your Investment! Sew Pretty Machine Covers!

Hi friends! Your craft machines cost a pretty penny but if you treat them right they should last for years to come. One of the best ways to protect them is to make a dust cover to keep them clean and protected from dust, glitter, flocking and embossing powders and to keep the casings from discoloring from light.

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I’ll show you how to make a simple machine dust cover that can be made for a die cutting machine, sewing machine, Minc, Laminator or whatever you have!

Video!

Supplies for a custom die cut machine cover:
fabric
sewing machine & thread (or hem tape, glue)
ruler
scissors and/or rotary cutter and mat
Lace or ribbon to embellish if desired.

Directions:
1. Measure machine you wish to cover.
2. Cut a piece of cloth large enough to cover the top, from and back of the machine plus 1″.
3. Cut 2 pieces of material 1″ larger than each end.
4. Sew together as directed in the video.
5. Hem the raw edges.
6. Embellish as desired.

Oh, one more thing! If you want to be inspired by more crafty YouTubers check out the links in the video description on YouTube and you can see a list of other crafters you might like! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

Easy No-Spill Candy Bag to Sew!

Here is a fun idea for trick-or-treating OR anyplace you need a no-spill bag for kids (like keeping Legos and crayons from spilling all over the car!)

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The design is simple and easy to sew by hand or machine and it can be made with a half yard or fabric or 2 fat quarters. Watch the video to see how!

Supplies:
1/2 yard of fabric OR 2 “Fat Quarters”
Needle and thread or sewing machine
Iron
Sewing Pins
Hook & Loop Tape (AKA Velcro)
Grosgrain ribbon
Felt (orange, green, black, white)
Glitter
Fabric Glue or Hot Glue and spray adhesive if using glitter

Thanks to Papermart for sponsoring this post! Thank you for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

Sew With Me! DIY Quilted Bag & Giveaway!

Hi Friends! I had this idea floating around in my head since I heard about a method of quilting called “quilt as you go” or Fun and Done”, Fun and done sounds like my speed, doesn’t it? Well my mom (who is a way better quilter/seamstress than me) explained the basic technique. I wanted to try it on a small project so I designed this cute reversible bag:

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I made the bag to fit my EasyLunchboxes, I love these bento style boxes for packing lunches for myself and my family, often I portion leftovers from supper right in them along with fruit and snacks so I have a bunch of premade lunches the next day for anyone who needs them. I made my bag big enough to hold 4 because I like to take my kids to the beach, park or pool for the day and it is the perfect size. You can see how I made these in this video:

Like I said in the video you can make your bag to fit whatever container you like. Here is my diagram to figure out how much fabric you will need.

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For this project you will need:

  • 1/2 to 3/4 yard of fabric for the inside of the bag (I used a polished cotton)
  • Fabric scraps cut into 10″ long strips
  • Batting (or you can use light colored fleece)
  • Basting spray or sewing pins
  • Sewing machine and thread (plus basic sewing supplies)
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Scissors
  • Iron and ironing board

Tips for making your bag:

  1. Choose washable fabrics, I went with a polished cotton for the inside so I could spot clean it as needed but the bag can also be tossed in the wash if it gets really dirty.
  2. Be aggressive when sewing down into the corners or you will need to go in later and hand stitch them up. I showed you the first corner where I was too shy getting in there, the other ones stitched up fine but you have to be brave and get right in there!
  3. Because I designed this bag while I made it there were things I would do differently next time, one being I would sew the sides all the way to the end (top) of the bag so that when I folded down the top to bind the top of the bag it would have been more even and I would not have needed the trim I added at the end.
  4. Press. Press. Press. It’s a drag but pressing the fabric down after you add a new strip really helps and saves aggravation when you sew.
  5. Hey, I’m a beginner, if you have a better way by all means do it your way (and tell us about it in the comments below!)

Do you want your very own set of 4 lunch boxes and cooler bag? Well, of course you can buy them directly from EasyLunchboxes they even offer free and reduced shipping through their Amazon store (they are the #1 best-selling lunchbox on Amazon BTW) for US and Canadian residents OR you can win them! To win you need to have a peek here in their shop, then come back here and leave a comment telling me something you like about their products. My favorite thing is that I can wash them in the dishwasher, I can’t stand a sink full of hand washable plastic containers. These truly are my favorites and I use them every day. I bet if you try them you will like them too! I will pick a winner at random on March 17th 2015. This giveaway is open to US residents only.Good luck in the giveaway, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Here Kitty, Kitty….

Hi friends! As you may know we recently adopted a couple of cats from the animal shelter. I thought it would be nice to make a fun toy for them with some new ribbon from Offray.com! They will soon be releasing a new line of photo ribbon and they sent me the new aquarium print and I thought it would be purrrrfect for a cat toy!

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The coolest thing about this toy is that is jingles, crinkles and contains catnip!  I was able to make the crinkle by using a bit of Mylar survival blanket that you can pick up at Wal-Mart for $1. I will have enough material from that blanket to make tons of pet and baby toys! Just make sure to NEVER leave a pet or baby around the plain Mylar material because it is a suffocation risk. Once you sew a small amount inside a toy it is fine but a big sheet of it is like a big plastic bag. Safety first!

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Supplies:

  • Cloth (scraps are great)
  • Mylar survival blanket (or recycle some Mylar from food packaging)
  • Ribbon: 5/8″ Orange Grosgrain and 2 1/4″ Aquarium Printed Satin
  • Fabric shears
  • Catnip and a cat jingle bell
  • Sewing machine or a needle and thread.
  • Fabric glue (I like Jewel It) and Fray Check
  • Google eye
  • Iron for pressing
  • Sewing pins

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Cut two pieces of fabric 5″ square (or whatever size you wish) and press. Cut a piece of Mylar 1/2″ smaller so it will fit the toy after it is sewn.

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Place the fabric right sides together. Cut a 6″ piece of grosgrain and thread it though the cat bell.

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Place the bell in-between the fabric and let the ribbon ends stick out so that when you sew the toy together the ribbon will be secured. (I did it backwards the first time and had to rip the stitches out in that corner and turn it around LOL!) Sew 3 sides shut so you have a pouch.

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Slide the Mylar square in the pouch and pour in some catnip.

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Cut an 8″ long piece of the photo print ribbon, fold it in half and place the ends in the pouch and pin it in place. The fold in the raw edges and sew the pouch shut.

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I thought it would be cute to add a folded ribbon fish to this project. I fount the tutorial here. Make sure you use Fray-Check on and cut areas of ribbon.  Grosgrain is pretty fray resistant but this is a cat toy after all. Glue the ribbon fish to the toy and glue on a googly eye. I used Jewel It glue because it is really good at securing plastic to cloth.

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You can hang the toy for a doorknob or fling it across the floor at your cat. Don’t act like you want them to play with it of they will instantly distrust the toy, and you for giving it to them and then they will go back to playing with a q-tip (don’t ask me how I know.) Ungrateful cats.

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Keep your eye out in stores for the brand new line of photo-realistic ribbon from Offray. You can find the Grosgrain ribbon I used currently on the Offray website and you can use my coupon code FRUGAL15 to save 15% on your order through 12/31/14. I hope this inspires you to make some toys for your furry friends, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Have a seat!

Hello friends! After filming my Mardens haul video yesterday I had a bit of a panic because I had two fabric projects looming in my future so I thought “Hey, I’ll replace the cover on my butterfly chair now because that will be a quick and easy project.” You can probably guess where this is going huh? You’ve probably even uttered those words at the start of a project. But it never goes as quickly or easily as expected. How hard can it be, it is basically a pillow case with flaps on the back to hook it to the chair. Or so I thought.  I decided in preparation for my jacket lining project I would use a seam ripper to take the cover apart and remove the cushion inside than trace the old fabric on to the new fabric. Well, there were more pieces to that sucker than I imagined, the seams would not come apart and I ended up just tearing the rip in the back (that is why I am recovering it BTW) to remove not one rectangle cushion but two asymmetrical cushions and I immediately forgot what way they went in as soon as they came out! Crapola, I have no clue how to even begin this project and I am beginning to doubt the 3 yards of fabric will be sufficient to finish it (I was too cheap to shell out the extra $3.99 for another yard.) I took a deep breath and pondered my lot. I grabbed some paper, a measuring tape and figured out a way to make the cover from scratch with re-enforced pockets to hold the cushion on the frame. I laid the old cover on my material a couple of times to make sure I could fit my pieces before I cut and I sewed that sucker good! What do you think?

chair

This is my favorite spot to crochet. I like to sit criss-cross applesauce in this chair and crochet while watching TV. I’m happy to report that it works just fine! The kids have been in it a lot today but they have been warned not to jump on it for I will tolerate no shenanigans that cause another rip in the back. I am not sewing another one! I think that I will keep my eyes peeled (at Mardens of course) for a 40″ zipper so I can undo the top seam and insert a zipper so the cover and be washed but that can be done anytime. I am happy with it. My husband thinks the fabric looks like lawn furniture. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time we had lawn furniture in the living room!😀 I see what he means though. So, what are you making this weekend? I hope it goes as smooth as you hoped for. Til next time happy crafting!

Knit MacGyver Style!

I will be sure to keep my chewing gum, paper clips and duct-tape in this MacGyver style purse…wait, you probably have no idea what I am talking about do you? OK, This purse started out as a scarf until I had about a foot knit and I realized that I dropped the wrong stitch in the 3rd row of the drop stitch pattern and my lovey scarf was unraveling. Well, I did what any crafty ninja would and I snipped the dropped stitch and wove one end around a secure stitch and tied it off. I could not be a proper scarf now because there was a visual mistake on one side so I folded it in half (so the mistake was on the inside, stitched up the sides, crocheted on a handle and turned it into a purse!

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Here is a tutorial on knitting the drop stitch stripe pattern, let me recommend you knit with your full faculties when doing this because if you get distracted you will end up with a MacGyver purse too!

Knitted purses can be tricky, unless they are tightly knit or made of wool and felted they are likely to be holy in a bad way. So if you don’t want to leave a trail of loose change, paper clips and gum wrappers behind you you will need to know how to line it and that can be done with non fraying, cheap craft store felt! So grab 29 cents before it falls out of your holy purse, buy a sheet of felt and learn to line that bad boy!

Now that was easy! Purses are a great way to try out a new stitch pattern or relieve the boredom that scarf knitting can cause, if you get tired making a scarf just fold it in half and make a purse! Problem solved.

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Oh, and in case you have no idea who MacGyver is was very resourceful secret agent from the 80’s TV show of the same name. He could build a bomb from a bottle-cap, hairpin and a piece of dental floss and he always saved the day just in the nick of time.  The show is on Hulu if interested;)

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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