PINTEREST PROJECT: DIY LAUNDRY DETERGENT

This year I, like many others, am looking to trim my budget on household supplies. After seeing people all over Pinterest making their own laundry detergent, I decided to try it out. I did some research and went with the formula by Abby at Sew Much Ado. I went with a solid soap rather a liquid purely because it is less messy and faster to make. Since I always dissolve the soap in my washer first before I put clothes in, I don’t see why I should bother making the liquid version.

 

 

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ANTIQUED BURLAP LETTER “E” SIGN

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My friend Angie is having a baby shower for her little newborn Emerson in a few weeks and among several other things, I decided that I wanted to make her a sign for the baby’s room.

 

Remember these Burlap Monogram Signs I have been making?

 

              
 

Well, they have been a big hit! I have made (and sold) several already. {the tutorial HERE}

 

But…I wanted to do a little something different this time.

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Reversible Car Seat Strap Covers

So my niece Ava is now almost 4 months old and spends a lot of time in her car seat going here and there with her 3 older siblings. The car seat strap covers my sister was using were getting pretty nasty so it was requested that I make some new ones.

 

I first saw this tutorial on reversible strap covers from Alisa at the Sweet Life. But I decided to change the sizes a bit so the finished size is about 6″ long. They might be a tad long for newborns but they fit Ava’s car seat great!

 

I used pink polka-dots on one side and pink fuzzy fabric on the other. They were really quick to make and came out super cute. Ava loved them! Well, I think she did…she drooled all over them. And because they are reversible you can just flip them over and extend the life between washes.

 

Here is my tutorial…

 

Materials (for one pair)

  • Two 7″ x 7″ pieces of patterned cotton fabric
  • Two 7″ x 7″ pieces of soft and fuzzy fabric or another cotton pattern
  • Two 7″ x 7″ pieces of batting (I like low-loft polyester because it doesn’t stretch like cotton batting)
  • Two sets of 3″ velcro strips

 

Put the patterned cotton down first and match the right sides of the patterned cotton and the soft fabric together. Then put the batting on top. I like to sew with my batting on top because it stretches more and it gets caught in the presser feet if it is on the bottom.
Sew the edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance and leave a 2-3″ opening for turning.
Cut the corners and trim up the edges. Then turn right side in and iron flat.
I like to use sided steam a seam tape to iron in between the gap where I turned the fabric in. Then you can stitch it closed by hand.
Sew a 1/4″ seam around the edges. Watch your stitch length. You want to make sure it isn’t too small when you are sewing through all these layers.
Sew on the velcro on opposite sides of cover. One on the soft side and one on the patterned side. You can add a longer strip of velcro if you want…on second though, a 5″ would probably hold the edges a little more securely than my 3″ strip. I will try a longer strip next time.
Here you can see the velcro on each side. If you have a specific direction to your pattern, you need to pay attention to which way you sew on the velcro.
Fold it up and hook the velcro and you see how they work!
Now attach to the car seat! While Ava was sleeping she told me she wanted the polka-dot side showing!

 

Then later when she was up I thought I would take a pic of the other side of the straps. Isn’t she cute?!?

 

And of course I have to throw in a pic of her big sister Hannah…who was wearing the most adorable outfit! She loves pink…can you tell?
Man, I love those kids! Until later, happy sewing!

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Burlap Monogram Sign

ANNOUNCEMENT – To purchase one of these signs, visit my Etsy store: Bayou City Burlap!

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My friends Dan and Amber are getting married next weekend on a boat and I can’t go…I am so bummed.

 

Well, I am really only partially bummed because I am going to Seattle for the Issaquah Salmon Festival with my family so I am pretty excited about that. Anyway, I wanted to make them a nice wedding gift and since I have been eyeing those painted monogram signs, I thought I would give one a try. But I wanted to use burlap because it rocks and would give the gift a cool yet fancy look.

 

I decided to make it 24″ square so I got some 24″ basic stretcher bars from the art supply store. They are about $1.50 each and easy to assemble. Or you can repurpose an old wooden frame if you have one.

 

Then I laid out burlap and cut it about 3 inches larger than the frame on each side. I used blue painter’s tape to mark the inside of the frames, where the words would be. Next time I will also put the tape on the outside of the frame because it would have been much easier when it came to wrapping the burlap around the frame.

 

 

Next, I used my cricut to cut some contact paper for a stencil.

 

 

I used 3 different colors for this…dark brown, gold, and black. Also, I like using makeup sponge applicators for stencils because they are cheap and I can just throw them away after and not worry about washing a bunch of brushes.

 

 

**Helpful hint – when you are doing stencils, make sure you dab the paint on directly from the top…don’t brush side to side. Otherwise you might get it under your stencil. And even though contact paper is sticky, it is possible to mess up the stencil!

 

So I started dabbing.

 

 

The first layer I put on was the dark brown with a little bit of gold mixed in. The second layer I put on was half black and brown. The third layer was half brown half gold. I like doing the layers because it makes it look a little dimensional. When you are doing stencils on burlap it is important to put something under the burlap otherwise your table will get full of paint! And you don’t want to dab a too much of paint on the burlap at once or it will look weird and thick.

 

 

Now the first stencil comes off…how pretty!

 

 

Then I cut out the other stencil and started dabbing.

 

 

Oooooh looking nice!

 

Next I cut natural colored muslin and batting the same size as the burlap.

 

 

I wrapped the muslin and batting together around the frame tight and stapled it (sorry I forgot to take a pic of this part!). Then I wraped the burlap on top and staple it. I decided to wrap them separately to ensure they were all pulled tight enough and there weren’t any wrinkles.

 

 

Lastly, I tucked in the edges and added a hanger and a little note. Though the note turned out to be upside down…whoops!

 

 

And the final product hanging up…

 

Here’s a close up of the lettering:

 

 

This project was super easy and I think it came out amazing! I can’t wait to make another one.

 

**UPDATE*** – I’ve made a bunch more burlap monogram signs! You can check them out HERE, HERE, and HERE!

 

Until later, happy crafting!

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Aromatherapy Heat Pack Tutorial

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I have been thinking about making aromatherapy heat packs for a while and when I needed a gift for my friend Kelly’s birthday last week I thought I would give it a try. Turns out these are super simple!
I made them in two sizes – large (23″ x 6″) and small (12″ x 6″). The large one is big enough to fit around your neck and the small one is nice and compact to hit a little spot.
Basically you make an inner pouch to hold the rice and then you make a pillowcase for it. All seam allowances are 1/4 inch unless specified.
First, the inner pouch…
For this part I used unbleached muslin but you can really use any cotton fabric….but don’t splurge on a print because you won’t see it!
  • For the LARGE – 1 piece of muslin 6.5″ x 40″
    • or if you don’t have a piece that big, use 2 pieces that are 6.5″ x 20.5″ and sew them together at one of the narrow ends to get one big 40″ piece)
  • For the SMALL – 1 piece of muslin 6.5″ x 20″
Note: all the examples will be for the larger size but the smaller one is made the exact same way.
First, fold the narrow sides together.

Then sew up the LONG sides. DON’T stitch up the 4th side!

I use a serger first and then stitch up the seams with my sewing machine. I think this reinforces the edges a little better. If you don’t have a serger, you can add a zig zag around the edges if you like. A little extra stitching to prevent a rice catastrophe never hurt anyone. :)

Look…you still have an open side!
Measure out the rice in a large bowl.
  • For the LARGE pack you need 3.5 lbs of white rice (not instant!).
  • For the SMALL pack you only need 1.5 lbs.
  • Add the essential oil of your choice. I used Eucalyptus. For the large pack I used about 25 drops and for the small one I used 12. But use your own judgement depending on how strong of a scent you want and which oil you are using. I bought my oil at Hobby Lobby in the candle/soap making section, but anywhere that has candle/soap stuff would probably carry a few scents at least.
Drop the oil on the rice and mix with either a spoon or gloves. You are not supposed to get this on your skin! And it burns when you even get traces of it in your eyes…ask me how I know.
Then add the rice to the open end of the muslin bag. If you have a funnel, save yourself the headache of little rice grains everywhere and use it. Otherwise you can make one out of cardstock…I did.
Then sew up your pouch!
Now, for the outer case…
If you already know how to make a pillowcase using the “tube method” then you know the next few steps. If not, I will walk you through it.
  • For the LARGE – one 14″ x 21″ piece of fabric for the main part and one 8″ x 14″ piece for the edge
  • For the SMALL – one 14″ x 11″ piece of fabric for the main part and one 6″ x 14″ piece for the edge

FYI – I am using the paisley fabric for the main part and the orange fabric for the edge.

What the fabric looks like if you are making the LARGE size
What the fabric looks like if you are making the SMALL size

First, place the edge piece right side up and match up the 14″ sides of the fabric, right sides together.

Then from the bottom (C), roll up the main piece (B) about halfway up towards the top (A).
Now, take the bottom of the edge piece (C) and fold it up to meet the top (A). Make sure B is in the middle of the roll, otherwise you might sew through it.
Now sew up the A,C side. DO NOT SEW THROUGH THE B SIDE or it won’t work!!!

Once the A,C seam is sewn, turn it inside out.

And you will get this…

Notice now how you have no seams for the edge of the case and it is nice on both sides of the main fabric! If you have made pillowcases and haven’t done it like this you have been missing out!

Iron out the edge piece on both sides and put a 1/4″ seam thorough it (on the edge side, not the main side). This just helps hold it in place.

Now lay your case right side up with your edge to the left. Fold the bottom side to the top.
Pin and sew.
 Turn the case inside out and iron.
Insert the rice pouch.

And DONE!

Here are the two different sizes:

And that’s all there is to it. Like I said, these are really simple to whip up and would be great gifts! I read somewhere that you can also freeze them and use them as cold packs, but I haven’t tried it yet. Let me know if any of you have.

Until later, happy sewing!

 

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Today’s Creative Blog
 
 

Melted Ribbon Flower Tutorial

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Last month when I made Alexis her bulletin board, I said I would post about making melted ribbon flowers. So since I had some time (finally), I thought I would do that now!

First of all, I should say this flower project was inspired my my sister’s friend Carrie. Carrie made some out of ribbon and some from satin and gave them to my sister for Hannah to use as hair bows.
They looked easy to make so I gave it a whirl. First I tried fabric…satin, organza, and who knows what else… But it proved difficult and after a couple of hours burning my fingers and lighting the fabric on fire, I did come out with a few decent flowers. I wasn’t really interested in pursuing this craft further though because it was kind of a pain.

But then Alexis wanted some aqua-colored gross-grain ribbon on the edges of her bulletin board. Because of the pretty floral patterned fabric we used, I thought her board could use a pretty flower on one of the edges. So I experimented with the ribbon to make the flowers.

This time the result was much better!
Here’s how I did it:
First, decide how big of a diameter you want the flower to be and cut strips a little more than half that length. My flower was about 5 inches, so I cut the strips 3 inches each. You will lose about 1/2 inch from each petal to attach them together. Cut the number of petals based on how full you want your flower. I think I used around 15-16 petals.
Then trim the edges to look petal shaped. Don’t worry about making them perfectly rounded, you won’t notice that once you melt the edges.
Now, use a tea light and first run the edges near the flame to smooth them out. You won’t even be able to tell where you cut them after you do this. And please be careful as to not burn your fingers!

Then lightly wave the center of the ribbon over the flame until it begins to melt a little and curl. It is better to start higher then move a little lower…you don’t want to melt the whole thing into a clump…you just want to get some bends in the ribbon. I would suggest experimenting with this part on some extra ribbon as to not ruin the specific pieces you cut out. This gross-grain ribbon worked so much better than the organza fabric I tried previously. You really have to leave it on the flame a wile before you will set it on fire. I didn’t try with satin ribon though, so I can’t tell you of those results.

While the petal is warm, you can shape it a bit. But be careful not to pull the ribbon, otherwise, you will get holes in your ribbon like this and you will have to start over!
Once you have all your petals melted, take out your thread and needle (yes, I am going to make you do some very basic sewing!). Put a knot in one end of the string and run the needle through each petal, about 1/4 inch from the edge.

Then pull the strings and gather the petals together.
Arrange the petals as you wish and then put a few stitches in the center from the back to the front of the flower, then tie off and cut the string. This sewing just gives it some extra stability. You can skip the sewing option and glue all the petals together, but I personally think it is stronger and looks more natural this way.
You can attach whatever backing you wish…a hair clip or a broach pin, depending on what you are going to be using it for. I only had these metal clips so that is what I used…otherwise I prefer alligator clips when putting then in little kid hair. I just put a piece of ribbon over the top and hot glued it from the back.
The last step is to add whatever beads you want. Here I went with 7 pearls because it was kind of a big flower.
I also made some smaller flowers, but I cut the petals in the shape of an 8. It works well if you are only going to use a few petals. I think this flower ended up being around 2 inches.
And there you go, easy melted flowers!
You can see from the (horrible!) picture below that I added the large flower to the top left corner strip of ribbon and three of the smaller flowers to the bottom right ribbon. One good thing about using hair clips is that she can take them off the ribons and use them in her hair!
I also had the idea to make the flowers into bulletin board pins, except I ran into the issue of thumbtacks not being long enough and I didn’t want to use the plastic top push pins because it would look weird…so I will have to work on that for another time.
Until later, happy crafting!

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Bulletin Board Makeover

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A few months ago, my friend Jennifer asked me to cover their sad, boring bulletin board when they moved in their new house. What I think I struggled with the most was deciding on what fabric to put on it since it was going in her living room and I didn’t want her husband to have to stare at something too girly. A 100% flower pattern was definitely out!

So after trying out nearly every piece of fabric I have, this is what I came up with…

I used dark brown canvas and accented the top and bottom with a band of brown and white floral fabric. Just in case you were wondering, the floral fabric isn’t actually attached to the brown canvas, it is just kind of sitting on top. I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out, considering this was my first bulletin board makeover! Jennifer and her husband James were as well!

This week as I was finally getting to decorating my kitchen (which has been in the constant state of remodel since last summer…), I decided I wanted a bulletin board to put my recipes on, rather than just have them lying around covered in egg and other miscellaneous goop.

So this was the spot in the Kitchen that I wanted to put the bulletin board…

It was so plain and boring…it definitely needed some jazzing up.
When I was at the thrift store last week I picked up a 18″ x 26″ bulletin board for $2.99! It was in pretty good condition and even had a solid wood frame. And it fit perfectly in this space! Sweet.
Covering the Bulletin Board
(I apoligize in advance for my shoddy pictures or lack of pictures!)

Materials needed for this project: Fabric (duh!), batting (either cotton or polyester will work), and a staple gun. I had some polyester batting scraps that I used here but I used cotton batting scraps for Jennifer’s board. For the fabric, I used a home-dec weight printed linen. I love the feel of the heavier fabrics on a project like this, but you can use plain quilter’s cotton too. Just DON’T SKIP the batting! The batting makes this project! :)

**DIY TIP – When doing this project, you have to be careful of the bulletin board you use…not all are created equally. Because you will be stapling the fabric to the back of the frame/and or the board, you cannot use one that has a plastic frame and cardboard on the back. Most of the bulletin boards you find at Walmart are made from these materials because they cost less to make and are therefore cheaper. Check other stores like Target or Office Depot for a better quality board…or see if you can get one from a thrift store like I did.
One issue I had was the location where I wanted to put it. Because I didn’t want to stick nails in the side of my cabinet, I knew I needed to use heavy duty double stick mounting tape. BUT the back of the board was a weird plywoodish back that I knew the tape wouldn’t stick to (plus it was about 1/4″ lower than the frame).
My solution was to attach 2 strips of wood across the back. These were actually strips of  lattice I had left over from another project. I just stapled them onto the frame on the left and right side. Because bulletin board won’t be weight bearing, these staples were plenty strong enough! If I wanted to reinforce them more, I could have used some glue under the wood in addition to stapling it.
With that problem out the way, now we are ready to cover it!
Start with the right side of the fabric (the pretty side) down on the table, lay the batting on top, then lay the cork side of the bulletin board on top of the batting.
First, cut your fabric and batting to fit your bulletin board, leaving about 3-4 inches all the way around. You don’t have to worry about being precise here…just make sure you have enough fabric to wrap around and grab. Again, my frame was 18″ x 26″, so my fabric and batting ended up being about 24″ x 32″ each.
The easy part first – securing the left and right sides of fabric on the bulletin board.
Make sure your fabric is placed exactly where you want it, fold over the left edge and staple it down along the left side of the bulletin board frame (sorry I don’t have a pic of this!). If you have a patterned fabric like I do, make sure it is lined up with the edge of the frame. My staple gun is not the strongest so some of my staples didn’t go in all the way so I took a hammer and tapped them in. If you end up with crooked staples it’s ok, I promise! Staple the fabric to the entire left side of the frame.
Now do the right side. Fold the right side of the fabric over the frame. This time you want to pull the fabric until it is tight…but also make sure your pattern is still aligned. Once it is in the correct place, staple the fabric onto the right side of the entire frame.
So at this point both left and right sides of the fabric should be stapled to the frame of the bulletin board, and the fabric should be tight. If any parts are loose, remove the staples, pull it tighter and re-staple. Sorry again I don’t have a pic of this step…dang it!
Ready to move on??
Ok, now we are going to fold each corner and staple it down. But before you do, you need to reduce some of the batting bulk on the corners by cutting them like so:
Now that the corners are cut, let’s start at the right bottom. The fabric is already folded over and stapled like this:
Fold the bottom corner of the fabric up into a tight triangle.
Then fold that triangle up. Make sure to keep it tight, but pay attention if you have a patterned fabric!

Now staple along the frame. Again, I prefer stapling along the frame because it holds the fabric tighter. You want to make sure you have a firm grip on the fabric and that you are pulling tight while paying attention to the pattern on your fabric.

So once you have finished a whole corner, you can staple the bottom side a little bit. This is what it should look like so far:
So neat and pretty! :) Now do the left corner fold the same way.
Rotate the board 180 degrees so the top is now on the bottom and repeat with the right corner and then left corner. Remember to keep it tight!
Note – when folding the corners, you have to fold them in the EXACT same way every time. When you are done, the folded edges should be on the top and bottom sides and the neat edges should be on the left and right sides.
Here is what my bulletin board looked like:
So pretty! And I love the shape that the batting gives it.
You can stop here if you want but because my bulletin board pattern was busy and the adjacent wall I was putting it on was busy, I felt like the two were fighting each other, so I had to do something!
My solution was to add decorative corners.
Adding decorative corners
I took 4 strips of fabric that were 3.5″ x 11″. With each strip folded the side of the fabric back, I sewed a 1/2″ seam on each side. You can also use iron on no sew tape to do this. This is what each strip (now 2.5″ x 11″) looks like from the back.
Starting on one corner I laid out the strip diagonally and measured where I wanted it…about 5″ from the bottom on each side.
Then I carefully turned it over (here is an excellent time to recheck your measurements), then I stapled it down on each side.
Now repeat for the other 3 sides. Once I finished all 4 corners I added my double sided tape along the wood strips.

Then I put it up on my wall…the decorative corners made a big difference!



Viola…a pretty new board! Here’s a little before and after:

And now it’s in use :)

Until later, happy crafting!

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