Friday, November 23, 2007

Paper Bag Brag Books

You Will Need:
  • 3 paper bags (per book)
  • Hole Punch
  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Ribbon bits
  • Adhesive (glue stick, glue dots, tape runner, etc.)
  • Embellishments (buttons, brads, rub-ons, stamps)
  • Ink Pads (optional

Making the Books:

  • Fold your paper bags in half
  • Punch 4-5 holes along the crease of one folded bag, then use that one to mark and punch holes on the remaining 2 bags.
  • Using a stamp pad or other inking device, ink the edges of your bags, front and back.
  • Now get creative! Treat each side of your folded bags like a mini scrapbook page and paper, stamp and embellish to your heart's delight!
  • Make large tags out of your left over odds and ends to stick into the 3 open bag ends in your book. Don't forget to put lots of ribbon on the ends to make it easier to pull them back out!
  • To Finish, use your ribbon bits to tie your "pages" together into a cute little brag book that is ready for pictures, quotes, or whatever your heart desires!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hung by the chimney with care.....

OK Divas, our next project is Christmas Stockings! I looked on Pottery
and I found some super cute stockings that we can copy (don't worry, we can make four stockings for less than the price of one of theirs). I love the "Classic Ticking Stripe Stocking," so that's the one that I am going to do.

What you will need to make 4 identical stockings:
(approximate prices are included-everything purchased at Wal-Mart)
  • 1 yard ticking $4.40 (WalMart only has red stripes, JoAnns has more options but it's more expensive. Ticking is the best kind of fabric because it's kind of stiff.
  • 1/2 yard red velvet $2.50 (This will be MORE than enough, so if you want to use some of mine, feel free. It matches the red on the WalMart fabric, but you might want to get your own if you choose other fabric to make sure that they match).
  • 2 packs of Wrights brand Maxi Piping $2.80. The Scarlet color (#303076) matches well
  • Thread to match $1.50 (red or white whichever you like best. Coats & Clark is a great brand)
  • 1 yard really thin batting- Warm and Natural or Warm and White are a great thickness. $2.50.
  • 1 yard generic fabric for lining $2.00 or more (use white, red, or more ticking if you want)
  • 1 package white or cream DMC embroidery floss (the stuff you would use to cross-stitch) $.35
Other Option: Channel-Quilted Stocking

There is a kind of fabric you can buy that is already quilted in straight lines and it already has batting in it. I don't know the price or what color choices you would have, but buying this kind of fabric could simplify the project a bit. If you do get quilted fabric, don't buy lining fabric, or batting. This might end up saving you a little money.

Pattern and Stocking Size:
The pattern and instructions I found were at
You can make the stocking whatever size you want by copying the pattern into a Word processing document and adjusting all three pieces until you get the right size.
The stocking we will be making is about 15 inches tall and about 9 inches wide(at the widest spot). I will provide patterns that are this size.

Cutting Your Fabric/ Getting Ready
  • Fold ticking in half, wrong side together. Pin pattern in place (making sure it is in line with the stripes on the fabric) and cut through both layers. Repeat 3 more times.
  • Repeat process for lining, batting, and stocking cuff.
  • Using the velvet, cut 4 rectangles approx 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and 4 inches long to use for the strap to hang stockings by.

Sewing the Stocking

  • Stitch lining pieces together following shape of stocking and set aside
  • Match up one piece of ticking with one piece of batting (ticking right side up)
  • Pin piping through both pieces along contour of stocking. Make sure the loose ends of the piping face out towards the edges of the stocking, with "pipe" on the inside (see photo)
  • Using a zipper foot on your machine, stitch through piping, ticking and batting, following and stitching over the stitch visible on the piping.
  • Place 2nd piece of ticking face down on top of the stitched piece, follow with 2nd piece of batting, and pin all pieces together (see photo)
  • Turn pinned stocking over (you should see your first stitch on the bottom piece of batting) and stitch over your first stitch, following it exactly.
  • Turn right side out

Making and attaching the cuff and loop

  • If you will be hand-stitching names on your cuff, now is the time to pencil on your lettering using a light table or window to trace the name onto one piece of velvet cuff.
  • Sew a small hem along the bottom of both pieces of cuff. (make SURE it is the bottom!)
  • Securely pin both pieces, right sides and hems together, and stitch together on both sides that touch the hemmed side.
  • Pull cuff over stocking (hem down) until top of cuff matches up with top of stocking and pin.
  • For the loop, take one velvet rectangle, fold in half long ways with right sides together and stitch along long end. Turn inside out
  • Fold sewn rectangle in half and pin to cuff and stocking where you would like it to be attached.
  • Stitch cuff and loop to stocking along the top. If desired, use a long basting stitch.

Attaching the Lining

  • Leave lining wrong side out and pull over stocking, cuff and loop. Pin along the top.
  • Stitch lining to stocking along top (similar to when attaching cuff and loop)
  • Pick open stitching on lining along flat foot section, and pull stocking through opening.
  • Now that the lining is right side out, stitch opening in lining foot closed, and insert into stocking.
  • To finish, stitch a line around the top of the stocking about 1/2 inch from the top to secure lining and keep cuff from rolling down into the stocking. Hand stitch name onto stocking cuff if desired and you're done!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hooter Hiders

You Will Need:

  • 1 1/2 yards of fabric (if you want a different fabric on each side of your HH, then buy 3/4 yard of each fabric)
  • 2 D-rings for the strap (they should be at least 1" to 1 1/2" wide for a good, sturdy strap width)
  • Approx. 10 inches of boning for the stiff section between the straps that lets you keep an eye on your baby. (boning should span the space on your chest between your bra straps)
  • Thread to match your fabric(s)
  • An iron & ironing board

Making the Main Section:

  • Cut your fabric(s) into a 35"x25" rectangle. (Rectangle size can be adjusted for taller/shorter, larger/smaller mommies).
  • Place the right sides together and stitch all 4 sides together, leaving a 5 inch section open.
  • Through the opening, pull the fabric right sides out, and press.
  • Center the boning at the top of the fabric and mark where the casing will start and end.
  • Through the opening, insert boning and center between marks.
  • Stitch casing around boning.
  • Stitch opening shut.

Making the Strap:

  • For strap, cut a length of fabric approx 50" long, and between 3 to 4 inches wide (depending on the width of your rings).
  • Fold in half with wrong side of fabric out and stitch the long side and one short side together.
  • Turn inside out and press.
  • Cut a 4" length off one end (to hold the rings)
  • Trim long strap piece to desired length, and tuck and close any open ends on both strap pieces.

Putting it all together:

  • Insert short strap piece through both rings.
  • At one end of boning casing, fold 4" strap section over the top of the fabric so the ends are even on either side, and rings have plenty of room to move at top of fabric.
  • Making sure they are even, stitch strap ends to main body of fabric.
  • Pull one ring down to front of fabric so it rests on top of stitching just made, and stitch another line above it, creating a small casing (this will prevent the rings slipping through each other as you try to work the strap).
  • At the other end of boning casing, position one end of long strap piece even with the strap piece just finished and then stitch to fabric.
  • To complete the ensemble, weave loose end of long strap through both rings, and then back up through one and TA-DA! You're done!

Extra Tips:

  • It may be worth spending a little more money ($1 or $2) to buy a fabric that has been slightly coated to resist moisture and stains. I prefer a fabric that is just the tiniest bit stiff for better ventilation, but some women prefer softer, lighter fabrics.
  • The boning that seems to work best is RIGILENE. It goes for about $2.99/yd but you will need less than 1/3 yard for one HH so it works out to be a little less than a dollar.
  • Another boning tip. Hot gluing the ends of your boning and/or sewing the casing slightly longer than the boning will prevent the plastic strips inside the boning from poking through the fabric over time.
  • Large, plastic "o" rings are cheaper and just as cute to use for the strap. Plus, using these rings eliminates the need to sew a casing on the short strap to separate the rings.
  • To help your HH maintain its shape over time and washing, continue the bottom stitch line of your boning casing around the entire perimeter of the fabric, creating a sort of 1/2 inch "hem" (It's best to do this before sewing on any strap pieces!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Marble Magnets

You will need:

  • Jumbo Gems (clear) (they measure about 1 1/4" diameter)
  • .75 inch (19mm) circle magnets (these are cheapest at Walmart
    $5.99 for 50 magnets)
  • 1 1/4 inch circle punch (no punch? tracing a rock and cutting by hand is tedious but cheap!)
  • Xyron Maching (mod podge or tacky glue works too)
  • hot glue gun
  • Cute scrapbooking paper, catalog clippings, newspaper,
  • anything!

Making the Magnets:

  1. Use circle punch to create as many circles as you will make magnets for.
  2. Xyron Users: feed circles into machine FACE DOWN so decorative side of paper will be sticky. Adhere to flat side of gem.
  3. Glue Users: Place a dime-size dab of glue in center of paper circle. Place on flat side of gem and then smooth outward. For extra hold and a smoother look, brush entire bottom of gem with glue after paper has been adhered and let dry.
  4. Hot glue magnets to bottom of gem and Voila! You're done!

Extra tips:

  • Play with different sized gems, and mix and match for cute sets of magnets.
  • Print or stamp letters onto your paper for a more personalized touch
  • The black and white magnets pictured here were cut from an old scrapbooking catalog. Don't be afraid to use whatever you have around!

Girlie Hair Clips

You will need:

  • Salon Clips (Metal single prong clips)

  • 3/8" grosgrain ribbon (the more colors, the better!)

  • Terrifically Tacky Tape by Art Accentz

  • Hot Glue Gun

  • Silk Flowers (we recommend cheap roses or daises with petals removed completely from the stems and centers or packaged petals in the scrapbooking isles)

  • Decorative brads or buttons

  • Silk, Sheer, or Embroidered Ribbon for embellishment

Making the Clips:

  1. Cut your grosgrain ribbon into 4 1/2 inch strips (for covering clips)

  2. Cut Terrifically Tacky Tape using same measurements.

  3. Adhere tape to ribbon (keeping it centered) and remove red backing from tape.

  4. Place one end of ribbon inside clip near the spring and press sticky side to the inside of the top prong. Continue pressing ribbon along top of clip, inside back of clip and onto the bottom. (If all you want are cute, ribbon-covered clips, your work is done!)

  5. For flower clips, choose your petals (making sure all plastic spacers, centers and stems have been removed)

  6. Insert and open decorative brad, then glue to ribbon covered clip. I like to put a piece of Tacky Tape across the open brad prongs before gluing for extra stickiness.

Extra Tips:

  • You CAN skip the tacky tape and just use hot glue, but the tape does make the job quicker and cleaner.

  • For adding decorative ribbon behind flowers with brad centers, simply arrange your ribbon, use some sort of piercing tool to put a small hole through the center of your arrangement, then insert brad (with flower already in place) and open on other side of ribbon. You can then use small dabs of hot glue to keep ribbon in just the right place behind the petals.

  • Buttons make cute centers too, either hot glue them to flowers, and then glue the flowers to the clips, or use thread or floral wire to place them.

  • For non-slip clips, purchase non-slip drawer liners at the dollar store and hot glue one small strip to the inside of your top prong.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Diva Days

Today the four of us decided to get together on a whim and whip up some totally awesome hair clips for our girls. It was more of a Mommy Play Date than anything else, and we had so much fun we decided to do it every other week for as long as we all live within driving distance of each other. For future reference and friend-sharing we also decided to immortalize our projects on this blog (along with anything else that suits our fancy) in order to pass on the fun. Coming soon we will have pics and instructions for making todays killer clips!