Pinterest Worthy Projects: Sewing on Snaps

Often the reason I stick to the same old techniques is fear of learning something new. Silly I know, but why learn a new skill when I have the old one down so well?! This week I broke the tradition and tried out sew on snaps. I’m still experimenting with the other pound on kind (not particularly successfully) but I totally mastered the sew on kind because it was ridiculously easy.

I was given this pack of snaps and they sat on my craft board for at least a couple of months before I decided to try them out. They are old, but they work fine and I prefer vintagy notions anyway.

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I haven’t gone out to buy new snaps, but I can’t imagine they are particularly expensive.

There are really only a few steps to sewing on snaps. Basically you unsnap the snap from the card, place one side on each side of what you want to use the snaps for, and then sew them down around the ringed edged. My outer rim had four holes to sew down and so, much like sewing on a button you just sew it down. I placed these on bibs, so I sewed them on before I sewed the bib together.

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Thats it. Its as easy as that! I am hopefully going to make a space page for the quiet book with stars and snaps next.

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This bib and others like it are also available in my Etsy Shop!

What have you been working on?

Baby Steps: Dinosaur Quiet Page

I really enjoy a good post series and My Thrifty Thursday posts have thus far been rather awesome and I have plans to continue that at least through March. In that spirit I want to start a new series. Baby Steps will be full of posts about things that I making for Carl or things that have been handmade for him or things I think would be neat to make for him in the future. I think that creating things for my new little human is a great way to inspire him to maybe be a creative and thoughtful human being. I want him to know that we all were very excited for his arrival and in that excitement we worked with our hands and with our gifts and talents to make special things for him. His Great grandmother has already made caps and a blanket for him (which I will feature later), I’ve made several little things that will pop up, and a friend made a lovely knitted blanket and gave it to me for Christmas.

One of the many things I have been working on lately are small projects for baby Carl. This weeks project was a dinosaur book page. This pattern I came up with mostly on my own. I only have a few other pages completed so right now it looks a little barren. Hopefully more will come soon.

Here are my pieces:

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This neat little page has tabby pieces of ribbon on the dinosour and soft flexible tree leaves. I can’t wait to add more dinosaur pages!

 

Blogging tips and tricks

I don’t pretend to be a blogging expert. That would be rather silly and pretentious of me. I make mistakes all the time. However this year I have found a routine that thus far seems to be working for me. I want to share with you some of the keys to this years success.

1. Always have posts written. Last year this was a vague sort of thought I had that I needed to have material always ready to be published. I rarely ever had much in the way of advance scheduling and I was rarely ever thinking past the next couple of posts. This year that all changed. I have posts scheduled for May right now and as of right now I have 10 posts scheduled and waiting to be posted. This takes a lot of pressure off of me to write every single day adn allows me to explore the blogs of other great writers as well as the freedom to not write at all if I don’t feel like it for a day or even a few days.

2. Schedule posts!

I can’t really emphasize this enough. I am currently using blank monthly calender to schedule posts and jot down ideas for posts. I have every post for February on that calender and I had at least a topic for each day figured out before the month started. The same goes for March. I even have some ideas written down for April and May. There is no rule saying I cannot be spontaneous and write what I feel like writing, but having post ideas write their helps me to publish every day which is my goal for this year.

3. Pick a slot of time during your day which is free from distractions that you can write. I write in the morning because that is my time and even after baby Carl is born I can probably find time in the wee hours when he is nursing or sleeping to write.

4. Stick with it. I’ll admit, I haven’t always been consistent with my writing habits but I feel so much happier when I am.

5. Pick topics that you can build off of. I have my Thrifty Thursday’s which I have been doing on and off for a while but this year I am modelling them after the Tightwad Gazette  and making them in a regular series. That has been fun and consistency in writing keeps readers interested.

What are your tips for keeping up with a blog in this busy space we call life?

Pinterest Worthy Projects: Nursery name letters

I’ve been working on mostly baby projects lately since young Carl will be here before I know it. One easy and fairly inexpensive project I undertook was to customize these plain wooden letters.

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I got my letters from Consumer Crafts when they had free shipping a few weeks ago. They are about 4″ tall and were $0.49 a piece.

Materials needed:

Wooden letters

Sand paper

paint

decorative paper

modge podge

sealent

paint brushes

After you have gathered your materials and purchased your letters the first thing you need to do is sand the letters down. I decided to paint and distress my letters prior to decoupaging them so I used two different colors of paint that match the theme of the nursery. We are using distressed blue over dark brown in our nursery so those are the colors I chose.  And on goes the first layer of paint!

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Once the first color is on well you can add color number 2.

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I really like this blue!

Once I got all of that on I took the sandpaper and lightly distressed the letters which is completely unnecessary.

Next you will need to pick your decorative paper or fabric. I used maps from an old atlas. I picked different maps for different places I wanted Carl to visit that start with the letters of his name, like Russia for “R” and Africa for “A”.

When your are ready to decoupage put a thin layer of modge podge on the right side of the letter or the side that will be facing up and place it face down on the paper or fabric then flip it over and smooth out all air pockets and bubbles.

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After I did this for each letter I place a book on top of it to help it dry flat and without air pockets. When they were dry I used an exacto knife to cut away all the excess paper. Then I used Modge Podge on the top and then a sealent. I haven’t yet decided how to mount them, but I really love the way they turned out.

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What baby projects have you undertaken?

Baby Steps: Baseball Quiet book Page

I really enjoy a good post series and My Thrifty Thursday posts have thus far been rather awesome and I have plans to continue that at least through March. In that spirit I want to start a new series. Baby Steps will be full of posts about things that I making for Carl or things that have been handmade for him or things I think would be neat to make for him in the future. I think that creating things for my new little human is a great way to inspire him to maybe be a creative and thoughtful human being. I want him to know that we all were very excited for his arrival and in that excitement we worked with our hands and with our gifts and talents to make special things for him. His Great grandmother has already made caps and a blanket for him (which I will feature later), I’ve made several little things that will pop up, and a friend made a lovely knitted blanket and gave it to me for Christmas.

One of the many things I have been working on lately are small projects for baby Carl. This weeks project was my first quiet book page. I did not make the pattern and there is a neat tutorial to be found  here as well as the pattern.In that spirit here are the pictures of my first Quiet book page. I don’t have any other pages completed so right now it looks a little barren. Hopefully more will come soon.

Here are my pieces:

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I highly recommend the quiet book tutorials on the website and if you need more inspiration there are a ton of ideas floating around Pinterest.

Here is my first finished page!

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Pinterest Worthy Projects: How to stitch on Burlap

This week I got a rather massive custom order for a baby mobile (more on that later) and 4 pieces of embroidery on burlap. Now I have stitched on burlap before but not quite like this. I really put some thought into how I wanted to go about this effort and I wanted to share with you all what I ended up coming up with.

What you will need:

Burlap

Embroidery floss or yarn

a large needle

chalk

Masking tape

Febreeze (optional)

Dryer Sheets (optional)

There were some definite hits and misses with this project. When I first started it earlier this week I decided to try and wash the burlap thinking that might soften it and help with the unfortunate smell. That was a bust, or rather a Pinterest worthy fail. It frayed to the point that I couldn’t use it. So then it was back to the drawing board. Rather than washing I decided to iron and febreeze which softened it just a bit and got rid of some of the smell. That would be my recommended first step if you are not going to attempt to wash it or like me, attempted to wash it with poor results.

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Next, I cut the burlap into approximate 12″ x 13″ squares. I wanted plenty of room to work with. I promised that the finished design could be framed in an 8″ x 10″ so I aimed for a stitched design about 4″ x 6″. They turned out a little bigger than that but in the end I think it will work out fine. You will need to adjust your pieces as necessary.

To prevent the edges from fraying I taped them with masking tape, much like you might do with regular cross stitch fabric when working with it. You could also run a zig zag stitch along the edges instead if the tape seems irritating. Now you are ready to draw your design on!

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I put some rather careful thought into how I was going to go about drawing the design outline down. You can barely see the one I have drawn on there. I didn’t need the details put in. I could easily add them, but I did need some sort of basic outline. Burlap is too unruly to free hand stitch.A pencil, which I might normally  use will not show up on burlap so I ended up using chalk. This turned out to be rather ingenious. Don’t worry about making the lines thick. If you need to at the end you can rub the chalk off or use a spot cleaner to gently wipe it away.

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Once you finish getting your design situated, its time to stitch. I will say that you want to use a large needle and either a full piece of embroidery floss or yarn to stitch on your design. Otherwise the possibilities are endless. I wouldn’t plan on anything really intricate on plain old cheap burlap. If you want to do pretty little designs invest in a tighter weave.

Here are my results thus far!

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What do you think?

Anyone else had success with stitching on burlap? I’d love to hear what you all did with your projects.

 

 

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Star Wars tutorial round up!

I love Star Wars! And their is a lot of Star Wars excitement these days with the release of the seventh movie trailer. In honor of that I have gathered some of the most interesting Star Wars DIY’s that can be found on the interwebs.

DIY Star Wars Hair Clips or Shoe Toppers by Crafty Staci

1. These adorable clips have a great free tutorial. They can be attached to anything.

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2. I can’t have a list of awesome Star Wars projects without including this awesome terrarium idea from my own blog.

 Hand Cut LP Death Star Clock

3. I’ve been doing a ton of things with records this past year so I thought this was especially neat. There isn’t a tutorial but a link to an Etsy vendor. Support Small businesses!

Star Wars inspired Quiet Book (PATTERN)

4. With Baby Carl on the way soon I have been researching and looking into neat little things that I can make for him to pass on to his babies. Yeah, I am sentimental. However this Star Wars quiet book is by far the neatest thing ever. You can purchase the pattern here.

Good thing that a picture is worth a thousand words because for this shot . . . there are no words ;-)

5. I am not particularly talented with Origami, but this is pretty stinkin neat!

R2D2 -For Andrew - may never make this, but I have it if I ever want to!

6. I love to cross stitch and really this is self explanatory.

I made a Chewbacca softie using this image and faux fur to go along with a halloween costume. The faux fur made the small arms and legs I was working with a real challenge to turn out. But in the end he looked good, everyone recognized him because of his bandolier.

7. Chewy is my favorite character. This plush looks simple and neat.

8. And following the Chewy theme is this neat, but simple stocking.  There are no instructions but it would be fairly simple to reproduce.

 

Merry Sithmas! Homemade Star Wars lawn ornaments

9. This is officially the neatest lawn decor I have ever seen! Here is how it was made.

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10. While the Christmas season is swiftly coming to a close these Star Wars inspired snowflakes are a neat idea for any time of year.

Scrap Stash Musings: Scrappy Frame Craft Display

Hello all!

I am trying to get back into the swing of Scrap Stash Musings posts because they are some of my favorites! Today’s scrappy post is a redesigning of a plain picture frame into something awesome!

To make this you will need a plane wooden frame (sorry no before pics)

A basket o scraps

some hot glue

some rick rack and ribbon

push pins

What I did when making mine was cut or tear the fabric into strips. The strips do not have to be all the same size, but it helps if they are longer. You could use all one type of fabric or just extra scraps like I did. Once I had a pretty good pile of strips I started at a corner, attached the strip with glue in the back and started wrapping it around the frame. Then you just repeat until you are finished with the whole frame. You can then add the rows of rick rack and ribbon. I did this with push pins and hot glue but there isn’t one right way.

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My frame is a display for selling my wares at craft shows. I am not entirely done with it as I would like to have it stand on its own,but from now I really like it.  I may also add a fabric backing. You could use this frame for displaying pictures, or hanging notes or whatever you like now that it has been prettified. Let your imagination run wild.

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Here is a shot of how it looks with my whole display.

 

Pinterest Worthy Projects: DIY Distressed Mug Tree

When I moved I had very little idea of what to unpack or work on first, except that I knew I needed a coffee station. I only have one counter in my kitchen but it was perfect for this purpose. Thus was born the idea that I wanted a mug tree. I got this plain thing from Consumer Craft  because it was on Clearance. I wasn’t actually sure what to do with it at the time.

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You will need:
A wooden mug tree
Two colors of contrasting paint
Sponge brush
Sandpaper (fine and coarse)
Steel wool, grade 0 or 1
Sealant

Optional
Printed images
Modge podge

It was just simple unfinished wood. I decided to paint and distress it as sort of a trial run for the other pieces of furniture I want to repaint. I decided to go with brown and turquoise.
After much research and trial and error I painted the base coat (Brown) twice and the top coat (turquoise) twice. I let it sit and completely dry for 24 hours.

After it was dry and no longer tacky to the touch I started the distressing process. I started with 80grain sandpaper. I used this lightly until the brown started to show. I was going for lightly distressed. Then I broke out some finer sandpaper until I got a little bit of smooth texture. Finally I used coarse steel wool. I cleaned up the mug tree and sprayed it with a sealant, but I wasn’t quite finished. I have these cute mushroom canisters so that is sort of my kitchen theme.

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I printed some pictures of mushrooms off of the Internet and carefully cut them out then modge podged them to the base. After that dried I added a final coat of sealant! And done!

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