Occasionally I like to immerse myself into creative fashion projects. My style is fairly classic, so I love to accessorize with unique items. Sewing your own purses allows you to show off your creativity and personalize your outfits with a one-of-a-kind accessory. Another benefit is you get to add some sewing skills under your belt. And perhaps the best part of all– they’re cheap to make!
Read along to find out how I made these purses and the great bloggers whose tutorials I referenced. Continue reading →
I made these felt & fabric gift card holders last year for Christmas & am creating them again this year. In fact, I’m going to create a surplus so it will save me some work next year. Gift cards can feel impersonal, so these holders add a homemade touch and make the gift more special.
My sewing skills are pretty limited, so I love that this project is very basic. You use minimal fabric (=minimal measuring) & scraps are perfect for the lining.
If you have some budding crafters at home, this would be a great project for them. You can use this project to teach them how to use scraps, coordinate colors/prints and basic sewing techniques.
This year, I’m making mine with seasonal fabric & colors, but last year I used standard prints so the holders could be re-used after Christmas. My sister loved hers because it was crafted just for her (purple felt with black & white zebra print fabric) and she used it well after redeeming the gift card. These holders would be perfect for storing gum, business cards, money, keys, etc.
Sewing covers and shams for pillows has become a favorite past-time and since my sewing skills are uber-basic, this pattern is perfect. Pillow covers are a simple yet effective way to change your decor and colors in the room.
I like using bed pillows in the living room because they’re more comfy and are usually cheaper than buying a pillow form. Because I’d only found information for square pillow sizes, I created this tutorial for any rectangular pillow. (I’ve also included the directions for sewing a square cover.)
The great thing about this pattern is that it allows you to use only one piece of fabric. There’s also less sewing involved. And the best part? Stuffing the actual pillow into the sham is so much easier and no slip stitch is needed afterwards. Learn how after the jump.
People who accomplish large tasks know it’s best to tackle them one step at a time. I’ve been learning to embrace this philosophy as I redecorate my living room.
My new decor scheme is neutral with bits of color. The main colors are black and white, with some gray, silver, and teal/turquoise. I’m really digging the simplicity of this scheme and it helps create the mood I wanted: spacious, clean, serene, and modern.
Here’s a before & after shot of my home office:
And this is the before & after of my art workspace:
Because I work and paint from home, my redecorating plan also entails these workspaces. Along the way, I’ve tried different approaches to fit these spaces into my living room. Here are some tips I’ve found work best, especially in a small home.
I love going to the fabric store, even when I don’t need any fabric. I love perusing all the different patterns and touching the fabrics. Last week, I had a motive to go: to create new wall decor.
I’ve contemplated how to decorate the space around my television for some time now. I googled articles and found a great way to have the TV blend into the room was to create a gallery wall behind it (Houzz.com has a great article with images here). I just wasn’t entirely sold on the idea of finding many things to frame. Sure, I have lots of paintings to choose from in my inventory, but most don’t match with the room’s color scheme. So I set out to find a great pattern/print I could instead use for wall decor.
Most of the fabric in turquoise and aquas was too bright for my liking & nothing grabbed me like it should. I’ve learned it’s best to spend money on things that really wow you, be it clothing or decor.
I spotted this fabric a while ago at Joann’s & love the classic, modern pattern. The print wowed me, but I wasn’t entirely sold with it being black and white. And then I had one of the creative epiphanies I love: customize the fabric with markers.
I was inspired to sew a yoga mat bag from this post over at Bored and Crafty. I actually sewed it a couple of weeks ago, but had to wait til after my honey’s birthday to blog it, in the 10% chance he’d actually come here and see it. We both like to do yoga occasionally; I’ve done it off and on since I was a teenager. At the time, I was looking for some stress relief. One of friends bought me this book for my birthday and it sparked my love for yoga.
Enter cheesy anecdote: when I first got to know my honey, I learned he liked yoga. I took it as a sign; while it’s become much more mainstream in our society, yoga still isn’t for most men. I’m not sure why they don’t dig it (too feminine?), but he loves it and embraces its holistic benefits also. Knowing what I know of him now, it makes more sense. He’s a bit of a free spirit, which is another reason we mesh well.
The finished product, in all its hard-earned glory:
I get so tickled when I discover something new, such as a different use for something or a new craft/art technique. This time, I stopped into Hobby Lobby & discovered a new (=new to me) fabric, unbleached Osnaburg:
I’ve checked out utility fabrics before, because I’m drawn to the earthiness of cloths like burlap & linen. I was so pleased to find that this was made of cotton. My mother raised me to choose as many clothes as possible in natural fabrics & I apply this philosophy to fabric accessories also. I bought a few yards of it (it’s cheap too!) & used some of it in the picket fence pillow I recently sewed:
Considering how I was “coincidentally” drawn to this natural-looking fabric, I decided to update the decorating style in my living room to a beachy/mod look. I constantly seek natural accessories in fashion & decorating, like items made of wood, stones, glass, metal, & shells. So why fight it? It’s what I love. I’m not into the country or shabby chic look, but I think this fabric would work nicely for these decorating styles also.
I have some more decorating plans for it, but you’ll just have to check back for those.
I don’t know whom to credit for this idea, but this may be the simplest DIY project I’ve done so far! Instead of purchasing a dry erase board, you can make one with a frame, in which you write on the glass with a dry erase marker. If you like jotting down reminders or to-do lists, this is a great way to practice green living and save money. You will need:
A picture frame (with glass)
Background material: fabric or paper
Iron (if using fabric)
Dry erase marker
Foamboard or cardboard
Craft glue or fabric glue
Dry erase marker
Measure & cut a piece of foamboard or cardboard to the size of your frame.
Measure & cut your background material (fabric, paper, etc.) to the board, adding an inch to each side.
(If using fabric, iron this before glueing.) Cover the board with your fabric/paper and glue on the backside, along the edges.
Insert the covered board into frame.
Display your board!
Choose background material that is light enough that the dry erase marker will stand out. For this reason, I chose a solid piece of fabric and not a print.
To make this a greener project, use paper or fabric scraps and a frame that’s in your craft/decorating stash.
One part of my redecorating venture has been selecting a new color scheme for my bedroom. In the past, I’ve decorated with browns and wanted to continue with a neutral theme, so I decided upon a muted olive-green/sage tone. I bought draperies in this color and made some pillows to match… but I noticed I kept drifting toward a brighter olive and lime green. I truly do love saturated color in just about everything: my clothing, my hair color, my art, and my home. So why fight it?
My goal in selecting the neutral green was to have a relaxing bedroom. I strongly believe in using the bedroom only for bedroom/relaxing activities. I’m challenged with insomnia at times, so I usually have a nighttime ritual to bring me into a relaxed state.
Even though I won’t be fighting my love for strong color, I will need to ensure the room is still relaxing. So far, I figure I can do this in a semi-Asian style, which I’ve always loved. One of my goals is to create a small meditation area; another goal is to make the bedroom comfortable for reading.
I picked up some new fabric yesterday that I’d been eyeing for a while now plus found some gauze in chartreuse for $3/yard, score! I’ve learned when it comes to fabric and clothes, it’s best to buy pieces you really dig. I will be making curtains with the printed fabric and possibly additional curtains with the gauze. If I don’t use it in the bedroom, the gauze will also match in the living room. The third fabric will be sewn onto the top and bottom of the curtains. The upholstery fabric on the far left is for a meditation pillow/floor cushion and is very soft. I may also use it to create a new headboard.
There is something very exciting for me about new fabric!