craft, family, make something

Mason Jars For Everything

The little one keeps his art supplies in our large laundry room – it’s one of the great features of our 80’s contemporary – right off the kitchen. We can store stuff for projects there and easily move between the kitchen island to work and the laundry room to store, and it keeps the mess of out of sight when not in use. He also continues to think my art supplies are his art supplies. Q man is a creative being and loves to color, paint, draw, create and I never want to squash that spirit! But the mess he creates can sometimes send me over the edge. 
Most recently I was having a moment of complete OCD when the year old was digging through a bin we have for his art supplies. It’s deep and messy and crayons were flying everywhere! That’s when I had an epiphany! Mason jar storage. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. And it means I can watch him mess up, I mean use, my art supplies and I’ll know when to get more. 

Several years ago I purchased more than a lifetime supply of mason jars to use as props for a pre-school function. I’ve managed to give away quite a few but have one or two cases left. I use them for everything! I mean, I did grow up in the South and all…Seriously, though, I use them as decoration and storage.
The caddy was on sale at Michael’s and I snagged it for about 6 bucks. Had the mason jars. Happy with my quick fix, just hoping it stays that way!

craft, quilt, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

New Ironing Board (kinda)

About a year ago I replaced my ironing board. I wanted one that was wider and had a place to rest my iron. I searched a bit and found one. Unfortunately, I didn’t read the fine print about this particular ironing board – maybe I didn’t read at all?  – it was made from an eco-friendly material.

Now I’m all for eco-friendly products. Really, I am. However, after a year of heavy use the ironing board started to warp and it was wreaking havoc on my work. I’m definitely one to stress the importance of pressing your work and mine looked like I didn’t even own an iron! Not good.

warped

I was frustrated and feeling lazy. I didn’t really want to buy a new ironing board since mine was, theoretically, new and as much as I love Amazon Prime I didn’t want to wait a day OR go to Target to get one because I’d walk out with an entirely new wardrobe, home accessories and decor, and a crate full of paper products. I was, however, up for making my own. I mean, if I can’t buy what I want I should make it, right? Exactly! Besides, a bigger board would definitely come in handy. Go big or go home.

I looked around my sewing room and found batting, fabric, and some Insul Fleece that C&T sent me. The factor limiting me the most in this build was the size of the Insul Fleece. It’s 27″ x 45″. I can get more but then I’d have another delay, so that was out. Keeping that in mind, I headed to my local home improvement store and bought a board.  I found a 2′ x 4′ piece of composite lumber that would be perfect. I knew I’d have to piece the Insul Fleece, but for a whopping $4.32 I knew I could boost the crafty and make it work.

So I loaded up the car and headed home.

materials

I grabbed my staple gun and some staples and got to work. I wrapped a double layer batting around the board first, making sure to pull it taut and miter the corners.

wrapped

If you pull the corner of the batting into a triangle over the corner of the wood you can miter the pieces when you staple up the sides.

back stapled

stapled

I cut the Insul Fleece into 2 pieces by cutting 3″ off the width, making the first piece 24″ x 45″. I wrapped the Insul Fleece over the batting and tacked it down. I did the same thing with the smaller 3″ x 45″ piece at the end. I tugged a little on all sides and managed to make it fit (forgetting to take photos, too).

Once I had the batting and Insul Fleece stapled onto my board I covered it with some Moda Ash. I contemplated a more exciting fabric but I had enough of this on hand, it matches my decor and it’s easy to see stains and messes (not that that EVER happens) and I don’t have to worry about ruining a favorite piece of fabric.

voila

This picture doesn’t quite do it justice, and sorry for the VERY messy, thread covered design wall, but this board is incredible! It’s super wide and the Insul Fleece is my new favorite thing EVER! It works so well for an ironing board. I hate to say it but I was kind of amazed in the most wonderful way. Yay for perfect piecing and pressing and inexpensive, creative solutions.

 

craft, holiday

Handprint Christmas Tree Skirt

under the tree

I was so excited when this bundle of awesomeness arrived from Michael Miller Fabrics a few weeks ago, and couldn’t wait to get started on my tree skirt.

fabric is here

What you’ll need:

9 fat quarters
4 – 1/2 yard pieces for yo-yo’s and handprint borders
buttons – approximately 80
1/2 yard solid fabric
1/2 yard for binding
1 2/3 yard for back plus an 11″ x 60″ strip of fabric
3/4 yard of ric-rac or ribbon (cut into 9″ pieces)
acrylic paint to match
something round to cut yo-yo’s
marking pen
tape measure
basic sewing supplies – sewing machine, scissors, thread, pin

I started by making my yo-yo’s. Trace circles on your fabric and cut them out. I used a 4 1/2″diameter circle for my yo-yo’s, and you’ll need to make 80.  I have a set of templates from Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circles that made it very easy to trace, but any round object you have in your house will work. The number of yo-yo’s you need may change slightly if you use smaller or larger circles for your yo-yo’s.

circles 2

buttons and yoyos

Make your yo-yo’s, then sew a button in the middle. Any buttons that were too small were layered with another button. Put your yo-yo’s in a bag until the tree skirt is made.

yoyos

Determine fabric placement for the top of your tree skirt. I put the fat quarters on my floor and played with them until I was happy with how they looked. Once you know where you want your fabrics, cut the center block 18 1/2″ square. Sew three rows of three fat quarters, then sew the rows together. The two outer rows won’t match corners with your center block. That’s okay.

To make the bottom of your tree skirt, start by trimming the selvedge off one side of the 1 2/3 yard piece. Sew the 11″ strip to the 1 2/3 yard piece to make a 60″ x approximately 56″ square (can vary depending on WOF).

Place the bottom of the tree skirt to the floor with the right side DOWN. Use some masking tape to secure it, then place the top of the tree skirt over the bottom piece with the right side UP.

top and bottom

Find the center of the center block, and mark it. Once you have the center, measure 4 1/2″ from it in each direction, working your way around and making a circle. I used chalk, but a pencil works better.

middle

Measure 26″ from the center in every direction to make your outer circle.

outer circle

Once you have your circles measured, pin, pin, pin! It is important to pin like crazy so you don’t get any wave in the top or bottom pieces. Once you’ve pinned the circle, draw straight lines from the inner circle to the outer circle to make your opening. I played with it until I found angles and opening sizes that I liked. You can also grab an old tree skirt and use it as your pattern. Baste the pieces together with a scant 1/4″ seam.

baste

Once you’ve basted the top and bottom together, cut off the excess fabric.

cut

cut 2

I chose to attach my pieces with bias binding, but you can finish it any way you’d like: sew the pieces together, serge the edges, add a ruffle, add decorative trim – the possibilities are endless.

bind

Attach the binding, or finish the edges however you’d like, then sew on the yo-yo’s. Be sure to pull out any basting stitches that peek out.

tack it

Cut 6″ x 7″ rectangles from the solid fabric and cut 2″ strips of fabric to border the handprint blocks. Sew the border print to the solid block, then iron the border piece in half to the wrong side. I didn’t want a huge border, and if you iron the fabric back it’s easier to attach to the tree skirt.

squares2

Use ric rac or ribbon to secure the tree skirt together while it’s under your tree. I tacked a piece of ric rac three inches, and about halfway down, on each side of the tree skirt. Ideally you’d attach the ric rac before you bind or finish the edges, but I forgot, and since this is used once a year I decided it’s alright. I stitched in the ditch to make my error less noticeable.

ricrac1

Sew the blocks you’ll use for the handprints to the tree skirt.  I tacked them down in each corner and the middle of each side so I can re-position the blocks as the years pass. Once they are in place, put acrylic paint on little hands and make your mark. If your kids are really small, it may be easier (better, less messy) to work with paint before putting the handprint blocks on the tree skirt. You can leave some of the blocks blank and add a handprint each year. You could also add photos, or generally embellish however you’d like. Just have fun!

voila 2

Merry Christmas, y’all!

 

craft, holiday

DIY Glitter Christmas Trees

I didn’t decorate the house as much as I wanted last year. Once again, I blame the renovation, but now that’s over so I can go wild. Okay, just a little.

I wanted to make some more decorations but didn’t want to break the bank. Solution? Glittered Christmas Trees. I bought a few styrofoam cones, glitter, and spray glue at my local craft shop.

IMG_2246.JPG

I sprayed the cones with spray glue, and poured glitter over the cones. I found it helpful to spray the glue on one side of my craft area, and glitter on the other. I applied glitter over a plastic plate so I could re-use the excess. If you spray glue over the plate the glue will stick and you can’t re-use it.

I chose to keep my tree decorations simple. The balls on top were in a set of holiday balls at the local craft store. They have a wire on the bottom so I could stick my ribbon through the wire then insert the pieces into the top.

I put my trees on a plate and decorated the base with cedar, white pine, and fir springs.

IMG_2269.JPG

craft

Spray Paint, part 2

I’m currently spray painting everything I can get my hands on. Take these Ball jars. Not one single thing is wrong with them when they are used for preserving food, used as cups, holding spices, you name it. But spray painted* to hold pet medicines, and keep the ugly, plastic medicine bottles off my counter? Well, that’s when they really start to rock!

And I needed some more blue in my kitchen because as far as I’m concerned, there’s never enough blue. Anywhere. Ever. And yes, I know this is turquoise but it’s in the blue family so I consider my statement to be correct. 😉

IMG_2039web

*Krylon SprayMaster paint plus primer in Sea Glass