9.24.2011

Copper Coated Pumpkins

Fall has finally arrived and I could not be more excited! I love all things fall - the cool weather, scarves, jackets, falling leaves, and of course, pumpkin pie! This year I wanted to do something different with my pumpkins. I was making my usual rounds at Michaels when I came across Martha Stewart’s paint section. As soon as I found this copper paint I knew what I wanted to do! 

*I applied 3 coats, allowing about 20 minutes for drying between each coat. 

There will be more fall inspired projects to come! 
*ATH*

Felt Laptop Cases

This summer, my sisters and I decided that we wanted to break away from the typical laptop case - we wanted to make our own! First, we had to think of a material that would be durable enough to hold the weight of a computer and also have enough cushion to protect it. Felt immediately came to mind. Without deciding much else, we set out to gather what we needed. This is what we ended up with:
Materials
  • Grey felt
  • Plaid fabric to line inside of case
  • Leather (Small rectangles from Michaels)
  • Snaps
  • Grommets (Optional)
  • Shoulder strap (Optional)

I have to admit that we literally made this project up as we went along and I have no detailed instructions for how to make these cases! We did not use any pattern and all of ours are slightly different. To give you some idea of how we constructed each case, refer to the photos above. (Left to right)
Image 1: Felt
Image 2: Plaid fabric
Image 3: Two layers of felt (for strength), and one layer of the plaid liner. 
Image 4: We cut the inside layer felt and plaid liner slightly smaller than the outermost layer of felt. We then folded the outer layer of felt over top of the other layers and sewed  it down, creating a finished looking trim.
Image 5: Next we all sewed on the leather strap and an extra flap of felt to tuck into the top of the case. This provides extra support for the lap top, so that the leather strap isn’t the only thing holding the computer in. 
*(Not pictured above) Before folding the case in half and sewing up the sides, we hand stitched the decorative leather pieces onto the case. 
Image 6: Lastly, we hammered on the snaps!
Case 1: For a 13 in. Macbook / Case 2: For a 15 in. HP / Case 3: For an ipad 2

I know these instructions are pretty vague, but I would encourage you to still give it a try! I have learned almost everything I know about sewing by trial and error. It is fun to let creativity take control and to not always follow a plan. Be brave and experiment!
*ATH*

9.22.2011

Old Jacket. New Life.

Thrift store shopping might not be your favorite thing in the world to do, but maybe I can change your mind. Maybe? Fall is on it’s way and I am so excited for the changing leaves and cooler weather, but cooler weather means jackets! I absolutely love jackets, but simply cannot afford to spend $50, $60, $70 + for one. So, my solution is thrift stores! Now, just to warn you, patience is required when it comes to this type of shopping. It can be very hit or miss. Luckily, I have been “hitting” more than “missing” lately! 

 


This first jacket is one that I found for a whopping $8.00! It is a Banana Republic jacket in perfect condition. Although I loved it the way it was, I decided to give it a little more style by simply switching out the buttons! I replaced the one large button in the middle and then added three smaller buttons to each sleeve. (The sleeve buttons are not functional, they are just there for looks.) Total cost of this jacket $12! Now, that’s a bargain!


This second jacket, I also found at a thrift store. I love the singed in waist and the pleating on the back. I didn’t have to make any changes to this one! Grand total: $7.00!
I hope this was a little bit of an inspiration to get out there and try thrift store shopping! Good luck!
*ATH*

9.21.2011

Reusable Produce Bags



Making environmentally friendly and sustainable decisions is very important to me. It has become pretty popular to do our shopping with reusable bags, but most people are probably still putting their fruits and vegetables in plastic bags. I decided that I wanted to have another option, so I whipped up these little cloth bags! I wanted them to have an imperfect, homemade look, so I chose not to use any measurements. They have been perfect for shopping at our local farmer’s market and have definitely prevented us from using plastic! 
*ATH*

Extreme Makeover Doghouse Edition

Meet Olive. She is our 2 year old Olde English Bulldog. 


When it comes to dogs (especially spoiled ones!) things can get expensive, so I am always on the lookout for sales - or better yet - things that are FREE! Some neighbors of ours were moving out, and in the process a “trash” pile began to grow outside of their home. It was my lucky day when I spotted a plastic two-piece dog house. Yes, it was ugly, but it was the right size and in perfect condition! (Minus the cobwebs and dirt.) I immediately had a vision for what it could be, so I went to work! I bought plastic primer spray paint and two colors of regular spray paint. (One for the roof and one for the base.) I absolutely love how it turned out, but most of all, I love the price! The grand total was about $18 worth of spray paint! 


*P.S. I would highly recommend purchasing a spray paint trigger handle! (They range from $3 - $6) I learned my lesson from not using one and experienced a good couple of weeks with numbness in my two fingers! NOT fun!


 


I hope this gives you some inspiration to see the potential in all things. Almost anything can be made beautiful with some tlc. 
*ATH*


Name Banner

This is one of my favorite projects that I have done so far. My best friend had a beautiful baby girl this summer and I wanted to give her something personal for her nursery. I asked her to send me the color scheme that she was using and then picked my fabrics from there. I wanted the banner to be somewhat sturdy, not just flimsy fabric, so I chose to back each letter with white felt. (I bought the pre-cut rectangles of felt from Michaels, which, as a bonus, also determined the size of each rectangle for me!) This is a project that anyone with a sewing machine could do, and it would look adorable in any nursery or child’s room!
Materials:
  • Fabric
  • Felt
  • Pom Pom Fringe
  • Ribbon
  • Thread

Instructions:
  1. Using a stencil or free hand, cut out each felt letter. 
  2. Hand stitch each letter onto the desired piece of fabric. (I made my stitches large, because I liked the look it gave.) 
[Steps 3-4 below]





Give this banner a try! It is simple to make and is a great personal touch to a child's room!
*ATH*

9.20.2011

Wooden Chalkboard

I completed this project earlier this spring, but thought it was too cute not to share! Plus, it was SO simple to make! It has been a great addition to my kitchen - perfect for grocery lists or reminders for the day!  


Materials: 
  • Piece of wood (Any shape or size)
  • Blue Painter’s Tape
  • Chalkboard spray paint (Your preference of color - I like black)
  • Hot glue gun / Hot glue
  • String / Ribbon for hanging
  • Chalk for writing
Instructions:
  1. Take the piece of wood and tape all the way around the edges, preventing an inch or two from being painted. 
  2. I chose to use an exacto knife to clean up the inside rim of the tape. 
  3. Spray the wood in long, even strokes with the chalkboard paint. Allowing approximately  20 minutes between coats, repeat this step 2 or 3 times. 
  4. After allowing the wood to fully dry, carefully peel off the tape.
  5. Using the hot glue gun, attach some string or ribbon to the back for hanging.
*ATH*