Wedding Coozies

I am at the time in my life where all my friends are getting married and making babies. I’m at the tail end of weddings and engagement parties for the year. For 3 different couples I made these ‘his’ and ‘hers’ and ‘hers’ cozies for the engagement parties or welcome dinners.

Supplies:

  1. Black Quilt Fabric
  2. White Quilt Fabric
  3. Satin Fabric (I bought searching through the remnant bin, 1/2 off!)
  4. Lace Ribbon
  5. White Elastic
  6. Flowers
  7. Typical sewing supplies

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First determine dimensions. I cut the back side of each out of white and black; rectangles of 4-1/2 by 9-1/2 inches. The bride front was two white rectangles at 2-3/4 by 9-1/2. Then a skirt was cut at 3 -1/2 by 11.  The groom front were two panels, 4-1/2 by 5 and 4-1/2 by 5-1/2.

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To make the groom front I pinned the two panels together as shown below with a piece of white fabric as the “undershirt” – do not sew.

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For the bride front I first gave the skirt a hem on three sides by folding the edge over twice and sewing. Then I pinned the skirt between the two white panels giving it ruffles and make sure to keep it at least a half inch from the edge. These were sewn together with a 1/4 inch seam.              wpid-20150803_211146.jpg

For each the bride and groom the front was sewn to the back, right sides together. Be sure to pin in the skirt as shown below so it does not get caught up in the hem, and sew with a 1/4 inch seam leaving a 2-inch gap on one short side to be able to reverse the coozie.

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After the coozie is reversed, put the two elastic bands folded in half into the open section and pin. Then give it a hem around all 4 side, reinforce the elastic bands with another pass over that section. For the groom sew down the front along where it should still be pinned, the groom was done with black thread, it was the only time I had to switch thread. The final move is to sew buttons on the opposite side of the elastic.

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The veil was made with one zig-zag seam with the top of the ribbon folded over by a half inch. Then an elastic band was inserted in the loop, and sewn closed. Flowers were sewn along the front of the band. I also put a matching flower on the groom’s coozie in the pocket area.

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Final products shown on a bottle before flowers were sewn on.

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Final products shown on cans.

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Two of three couples that were recipients shown below. They loved it and that was the real purpose of making these!

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Fabric Coasters

I’ve been wanting to make coasters for some time now since the wooden coasters I got in Ecuador are falling apart.  You may think: “Can’t you just sew two pieces of fabric together and call it a day?” Well, no because then you still have condensation seepage through the fabric or heat transfer from a hot cup. I can do better than that.

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First I started with some 4 by 4 squares I had left over from various quilts or other projects. I had a few other small scraps of fabric that I cut into 4 by 4 squares. The fabric color choice was to have a set of multi colored coasters to use while gaming; each person in our group has their own game colors they use everytime. The colors are typically red, yellow, orange, blue, green, purple, and black depending on the game. I didn’t have any black scraps ready so I used dark blue. My typical color is blue which is prevalent in every game, Kyle is always orange but will settle for yellow. The coasters will prevent our game pieces or cards from getting wet when we have drinks while we game! The owls are just cute extra fabric I wanted to use up.

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Next I needed some insulation. I used left over fabric batting. Remember – Never throw anything out! These were small and oddly shaped pieces that I was able to cut into 4 by 4 squares.

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Batting still doesn’t account for the condensation issue. I need plastic! I’ve made these before with painters plastic and I prefer to use that. However my stash was out and right now I’m not buying new supplies unless needed. Instead I can upcycle some plastic bags!

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I tried my rotary cutter first and it worked! Shown below are the bags cut into 4 by 4 inch squares.

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Time to make sandwiches! Put the two fabric squares right sides together. Then lay a plastic square, insulation square, then plastic square on top and pin.

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Next sew the square around leaving a gap along one edge for flipping. Then cut off the extra trimmings and thread.

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Next flip your squares so that the fabric is on the outside.

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Pin the mouth shut.

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Sew around the outside edge. (For a wedding present I made some for a friend and I added a 2-inch square seam and it really popped. I’ve also done some with a spiral square seam pattern and that also looks really good. I imagine you can do all sorts of seam patterns to add extra zest to the coasters and to make them lie flatter.)

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Finally a finished product! The coasters work on hot and cold beverages.

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Note: Since there is plastic inside, do not use these as mini oven mitts. They are machine washable, but I’d let them air dry.

Spicing Up Our Pillows

Our couch is old, it has old pillows. But until we buy a house we’re not going to replace it. While looking through the remnant section of Jo Anns, I found some upholstery fabric that i liked! And I decided that this is the time to spice up our old couch. I made two pillow covers out of the fabric.

First I measured the pillow, they are about 18 by 18, so i cut one 20×20 square, then two 20 x 15 rectangles.

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For the two rectangles, I did a double fold under for the hem on one 20-inch edge. I then overlapped those edges and put them right side in against the 20-inch square.

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I was able to sew one continuous seam around the outside edge of the square. Then I snipped the corners flat and flipped it right side out using the overlapped fabric gap.

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Finally I put the old pillows into the new cases and they look so good! It definitely brightens up the room. I don’t care that they do not match my couch mainly because nothing in my living room matches and secondly because nothing could match these old couches at this point.

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More Babies!

I’m at the age where all of my friends are making BABIES!!!! I made another quilt and a second set of hats.

The design is unisex because it was still too early to know the sex, but I have too many project to wait. I’ve had these two color schemes sitting around for just the right project and I think it fits the couple’s style very well. I didn’t except to use the color schemes together but there is no clashing as each is on a different side of the quit.

To finish the quilts I used the tying method with matching colors on the plain pattern side.  I hid the stitches on the gold side that they wouldn’t clash.

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As always Blue was a good boy to model the hats. (He got a treat afterwards.) The first was orange/blue reverse and it was sent along with the quilt. I used the ‘S’ size so the baby will have to wait until next summer to use it. If he/she is anything like the parents the hat will be welcomed for sun protection.

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The second hat is below. I sent this to another friend whose child is under one just because I hadn’t sent her anything in a while. I love to do nice things for people unexpectantly.

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Please ignore my messy sewing room.

Reusable “Paper” Towels

Paper towels are wasteful. They’re made of paper, not entirely absorbent and you seem to always have them on your shopping list. In an effort to be more green I’ve made reusable “paper” towels from older towels that were past their prime. I’ve been using them in the kitchen for a week now and it makes me feel much better. The main concern from the boyfriend was that we could no longer use a paper towel to grease our cast iron pan and that the towels would leave lint. However, I’ve been using these towels to grease the pan and since they’re older they have virtually no fuzz to leave behind.

You may be thinking, what’s the difference between these and normal kitchen towels? Well these are on the counter and easy to grab just one, they are intended for messes and other things you would use a paper towel for instead of a kitchen towel, and they are smaller – intended to be used once.

Supplies:

  • two old towels
  • a few fabric squares or fabric left overs
  • typical sewing supplies

Step 1: Cut off the edges of the towel.

Step 2: Cut the towel into roughly 10-12 inch squares. They absolutely do not have to be uniform.

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Step 3: Using the scraps or fabric squares, cut 2-1/2 inch wide strips.

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Step 4: Iron the strips in half.

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Step 5: Fold in both edges of the strip so that you are folding each half in half, right sides out. Iron.

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You will need a lot of strips of fabric.

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Step 6: Sew the strips around the edge of the towels, folding corners when needed and adding new strips when you run out.

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Here is a nice pile of finished towels. I originally was going to attach snaps to each towel so that you can roll the towels onto a paper towel holder and pull off a single sheet as you need it. My super smart boyfriend pointed out that the snaps might scratch our pots. I was head strong and started to sew on a few snaps. I then realized how tedious snaps could be and how many I’d need to create a whole roll. So I then pretended like his concerns were valid so that I wouldn’t have to sew on snaps. To be fair, the snaps were metal and I’m sure would have messed up a few pans (if used on pans.)

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I then rolled up the towels and stuck them on our paper towel roll, the towels stay just fine.

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Another view of the roll.

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We pile the “paper” towels in the corner of the kitchen as we use them along with our hand towels and other kitchen fabric to be washed when we do laundry. The impact for using reusable towels is minimal on our lives. Having an easy to “tear off” paper towel substitute definitely makes the difference over using the typical kitchen towel for ease in the kitchen.

Indoor Plant Makeover

This shelf offends me. It’s my succulent shelf. Until yesterday it looked like a clutter shelf where I just put things that didn’t match. In reality it was a great window to place a shelf under so that my indoor plants could see the sun. It was about time I did something about this shelf so that I don’t look like a crazy hoarder lady with knick knacks everywhere. Also, why is there a broken bulb in that pot? (Sorry for the poor quality photo, the sun didn’t want to cooperate with my lighting choices.)

An aside: Indoor plants not only make the room more green and vibrant but provide oxygen. Succulents are great because if you forget about them for a while, they will still be ok.

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The supplies:

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The basic idea was to cover the outside of the pots with leftover burlap that I had lying around from another project and a strip of ribbon. I choose natural colored ribbons to keep a low key look. Super glue was the adhesive of choice and worked really well with the burlap.  I was going for a uniform minimalist look and I think I got it. The white pot was left alone to provide a little contrast.

The finished product is below. I replanted the other pot with some flowers. Will update once they grow.

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Some crafting tips for on-the-fly projects:

  • Always keep hot glue around, you should have a variety of adhesives on hand. I have Elmer’s glue, gorilla wood glue, super glue, glue stick, hot glue and goop.
  • Never ever throw away ribbons unless they’re beyond repair. Remember that basket of soaps you got? Save the ribbon. Those flowers he bought you last week? Usually good quality ribbon. I keep mine in the stein you see and it looks like a decoration accent for my sewing room.
  • While we’re on the subject, never throw out anything. Jeans can provide backing to fabrics, plus you can reuse the zipper. Metal hangers also can provide stiffening and are easy to bend. Old frames can be repainted and reused. Cardboard is always handy: I used it above to place the hot glue gun down, my craft table was currently occupied with another project.
  • Stay organized! Keep like items together so when you’re ready to create you don’t have to go far for inspiration.
  • Buy on sale. What is hot right now? Burlap and mason jars, old spoons, unique paper, small trinkets. When you see something on sale that you know you will use in the future, but it. My typical sale buys are yarn, ribbons, fabric remnants and unique items.

And don’t worry about the gnomes, it was about time they went back outside! They’re shown here in my beet pots.

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Kubb Set: A Fun New Lawn Game DIY

Kubb is a fun game we just learned from a friend. After watching a Youtube rules overview and constructing a very basic set for ourselves we were hooked. Kubb is similar to horseshoes, corn hole, ladder golf and many other popular lawn games. It involves throwing wood at other wood with the intention to knock the larger wood down. Kubb is described on Wikipedia and a great explanation is on Youtube.

My boyfriend’s Dad and Uncle had birthdays this past weekend and we wanted to share our new love of Kubb with them by making two full sets. Both sets were delivered on Sunday and his Uncle is already hooked. The set we made ourselves was made with 12 inch Kubbs, 12 inch throwing batons and a firewood log as our king. Hereafter I will refer to them as kubbs/skulls, femurs and the king. After many rounds playing the game we determined that our skulls/kubbs were likely too tall. In addition the original set was made with a camp saw because the 4by4 would not fit under the smaller circular saw we had.

Kubb Supplies

  • 10 kubbs, five on each side
  • 6 femurs
  • 1 king

Craft Supplies

  • 2 lengths of 4 by 4
  • 2 lengths of 1- 1/4 inch circular dowels
  • saw
  • thin cardboard
  • acrylic paint
  • sponge paint brushes (various sizes)
  • clear poly finish

Step 1. Cut the 4by4s into ten 10-inch lengths using a hand saw or circular saw. Cut the 12 inch long king from the 4by4. Cut six 18-inch lengths of the dowel. We were able to achieve the desired flatness with our new hand saw.

Step 2. Sand the wood. My boyfriend used an electric sander, but regular sand paper and elbow grease will do fine. Make sure to wipe the wood down after sanding, so the saw dust doesn’t mix in with the paint.

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3. Make your stencils. I used the cardboard rectangle that is placed into quilt squares at jo-anns. Remember never throw anything away! I cut into the stencil from the outside, so I used masking tape to cover any unwanted cuts in the stencil.

4. Paint. I used a 3-hole puncher to keep the wood at an angle. This way I could paint the top of all 4 sides of the 4by4 without smudging any paint.

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For the first set I did the five kubbs of the Tapped logo on the front and back, which is a bar he owns. Then five Virginia Tech kubbs, which is his alma matter. The logos are on front and back only.

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On the two remaining sides of the kubbs I alternated randomly between three skull shapes I made. I’ve named them metal skull, punk skull, and voodoo skull.

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Here are the kubbs with a finished paint job.

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For the second set I did five George Mason kubbs, his alma matter.

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The other five kubbs had a blue single blade battle ax on the front and a double blade battle ax on the back. Blue is his favorite color. I learned that with small lines in my stencils it was better to sponge on the paint instead of typical brush strokes which I had been doing for the other stencils. The paint still bleeds a bit, but I think it adds to the roughness of the Viking look.

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For the King pieces I used 4 different colors and 4 different style crowns. Purple and red in the left image and you can see the blue and green in the upper portion of the right image.

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Step 5. Using a larger sponge brush apply the poly finish. We only used poly over the painted images. The kubb sets will get banged up quickly so I didn’t really see the need in a full poly job. If we made kubb sets for sale, we would definitely poly the whole thing. Full disclosure, we were in a rush to have these finished.

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Below are all the kubbs drying in the utility room. The poly we used is in front. Side note – The femurs do not need additional work after they’re cut. We briefly considered painting an actual femur bone on the femur pieces, but if you look at our original set you can see how dirty and banged up those pieces can get in a matter of only four  weeks. The paint would likely have come off very quickly even with a poly coat.

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The guys love their sets. This was a really great gift idea.