Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holes in the knees?

The first thing that wears out is always the knees! 
I don't like the look of the iron on patches that go on the outside of the pants.....so, this is my solution.

Grab some scraps of fabric, fray block, and fabric glue.

Start by putting some Fray Block around the perimeter of the hole.  This will stop the hole from fraying any bigger.  Use a small amount and be careful because it is runny stuff.

Let the Fray Block dry.

Next, put some plastic up the pant leg to protect the leg from gluing to itself.

Cut a piece of fabric larger than the hole.  Use pinking shears if you have them because this will help prevent fraying.
Insert the fabric into the pant leg (on top of the plastic) and position it under the hole.
Working from the outside, lift the edge of the hole and put a thin line of fabric glue around the perimeter of the hole.  Let Dry.  That's it!

Sometimes I take it one step further and cut the pocket out leaving a good 5/8" around the perimeter so you will have something to glue your fabric to, and for that "frayed" look.  

Wash them, and your done.  It is like a new pair of jeans.  My daughter gets tons of compliments!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chore Sticks

My kids and I needed a way to keep track of their chores.  This is a simple solution.  

1- Print out a list of the chores on colored papers.  Make sure you leave space in between the lines because  
     the finished sticks are 3/4 inch wide.
2- Spray paint Jumbo Craft Sticks (found at any craft store).
3- Cut the papers so they are slightly smaller than the sticks.  You can do this with scissors or I used a 
    paper cuter to cut the chores into strips.  Then I only had to use scissors to cut the round edges.  If you 
    are careful you can stack the papers and cut four rounded edges at once.
4- Use Mod Podge to glue one chore to each stick.  When dry seal the top of the paper with Mod Podge.

I found some 1/2 cups made for locker organization that have magnets on the flat side.  Each week, I put the kids chores in their cups.  They actually ask me when I will give them new chore sticks.  We will see how long that lasts!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pirate Flag

This flag is serving a double purpose: a halloween decoration, and my sons pirate party.

I purchased two yards of black broadcloth and 1/2 yard of grey.

Fold the black fabric in half and sew the 2 raw cut edges together. Turn and iron flat.

I drew the skull and cross bones (using Disney's "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" as a reference).  Trace your design onto the paper side of Heat n Bond*** fitting the pieces to take up as little space as possible.  This will save you on heat n Bond and your grey fabric.

Iron onto the grey fabric following the directions that come with the Heat n Bond.
Cut out your design.
Remove the paper from the back.
Position the pieces onto your flag and iron.

***Heat n Bond is like a sheet of glue lightly attached to paper that is activated by heat from an iron.  You can purchase it at any fabric store.  There are other brands but I like the performance of this product especially when you are not sewing around the applique.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Witches Potion Books

I purchased books from a second hand store.  Look for books that have a fabric covering to the outside.
Take sandpaper and sand off the lettering on the spine.

If you can't get it all off try
         -painting the spine like I did with the black one
         -using twine or ribbon to cover it (purple)

Get creative.  Call your books Potions, Brews, Curses, Spells, Poisons, etc.

Decorate using different methods.

-I put stickers on the purple book to spell out Curses.  With silver paint I stippled over the top, let the
 paint dry, removed the stickers.

-Use stamps

-Draw your lettering or design with a glue pen (can be found in scrap booking supplies) and sprinkle
 glitter over the top of the glue.

-Take a pair of scissors and scrape the cover so it looks like fingernails clawing the book

Spooky Curtains

To make one curtain. . .
Buy 1 1/2 yards of the cheapest black woven fabric you can find.  I used a broadcloth.  

Rip off the selvages by snipping into the fabric 1/2 inch and tearing.
Snip every inch (or so) parallel to where the selvages were. Tear to the other end of the fabric leaving 2 inches at the end.
Don't worry about all of the threads- they add to the spook!

Turn the end over a half inch 2x to make a hem.  Sew.  This will prevent the fabric from tearing off into strips.

I purchased a 1/4 of a yard of black sparkle fabric and cut it into strips with a rotary blade at 3/4 of an inch.  I pinned the strips evenly across the curtain and hot glued them in place.  Mine has 9 sparkle strips.

Finally, I glued the curtain periodically onto a branch from a tree.

To hang it up, tie one piece of ribbon onto each end of the branch.  

I love to use a sewing needles to hang things.  They are strong, leave a small hole when they need to be removed, and are hard to see if you leave it in the wall when not in use.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Tree

Halloween Tree

This spooky tree is one of my favorite Halloween decorations.  I love how the purple lights fill the room and how it looks from the outside

Side view

It is a dead dwarf peach tree that we cut down.  The first thing we did was to cut off some of the branches so it would fit through the front door.  This also allows the tree to go up against a wall so it doesn't take up the entire room.  The width of the tree is about 3x the depth.

Put the dead tree in a Christmas tree stand.  
I covered the stand with a yard of black fabric, then a string of lights, followed by 2 yards of grey cheesecloth type fabric.

I tied strips of black tulle.

I picked up some large and small clear glass and orange flocked ornaments after Christmas for 90% off.
The small clear glass ornaments are filled with purple foil shreds found in the gift wrap section of the dollar store.

Fill the large with spiders and webs.

Shop for anything that you think would add to your tree.  These are some examples of what I used.

 Bats                                                 Crows

                                                 Skulls                             Styrofoam Manacles & Chains

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

$ Back?

Money Back for Shopping

I NEVER buy anything online without checking to see if the web site is on ebates.  Ebates gets a referral commission from the stores when you make a purchase. Instead of keeping all that money they give some of it back to you!

1- register with ebates by clicking on this link

2- Whenever you shop online, check to see if the site is on ebates.  Click on the store you want to shop and that is it!  You will automatically get a check in the mail.  No forms to fill out!

We bought our washer and dryer at HomeDepot.com for the same price as it was in the store.  Because I went through ebates, I automatically got a check for $180.00.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Clean Out Your Closet

This is one of my favorite tips for deciding which clothes you should get rid of.  Every year at the same time turn every hanger the wrong way (with the hanger hook facing you) on the bar in your closet.  When you wear something hang it up the normal way (with the hook away from you).  This allows you to see what you have worn or not.  After a designated amount of time, anything on a hanger still facing the wrong way is what should go.  If you don't wear it, donated to someone who will.

They say most people wear 20% of there closet 80% of the time.  I find that I wear a larger portion of my closet because I can instantly see what I have not worn.  Why have them if you don't wear them?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I had something very specific in mind when trying to find pillows for my zebra chairs.  Because of the unique size I knew I was going to have to make them.  I found a pillow for $7.00 at Ross that was the right color.  I essentially just cut the pillow in half, sewed the open ends shut creating 2 pillows, then re-stuffed.

Misc Projects

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For the Home


Flower Bouquet Shirt

I absolutely love this shirt by Disney at Ruffles and Stuff. 

Here are a few hints:
Before you sew on the flowers pin them on and make sure they are where you want them.  I switched the flowers up a bit on mine bc it just looked better.  Plus you don't want a flower right on your...you know!

Travel Souvenirs

 When we travel I always want a souvenir but I don't want something that will clutter up my house.
That is why this is under "organize".  I came up with this solution using pictures in the 1/2 bath downstairs.  We will display 1 picture from each trip we take that really captures where we were.

I could have built this a frame at a time but I was afraid it wouldn't look as intentional as I wanted it to.
After a few trips to the thrift store to collect all of the frames, I painted them all with the same spray paint.  

Trace all of your frames on paper and mark where the nail should go with a dot on the paper.  Label the paper and back of the frame so you know which frame goes with which paper.

Cut the traced frames out and tape the papers up on the wall until you get them where you want them.  Pay attention to anything that may hit the frames like a doorknob.

Put a nail through the mark you made for the nail on the paper.  Remove the paper and hang the frame.

Use a combination of black and white & colored photos for interest.  Fill any picture-less frame with patterned paper or images.  I used vintage suitcases in 50% transparency so they wouldn't draw too much attention away from the trip pictures.

(I have this thing against pictures of people in the bathroom- I feel like "someone's watching you"!  But if their back is turned I am OK with it.)
On the other wall I hung this shadow box.  We will fill it with small things we pick up when we travel.  i.e. a shell or a little bottle of sand from the beach.