Patriotic T-Shirt

Do you remember the patriotic onesie that I made last year for my granddaughter? (free cut file here) I used that same file to make a Patriotic T-shirt for myself.

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I just had to enlarge the shapes for an adult t-shirt.

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I drew a box around them, grabbed the arrow in the bottom right corner of the box, and dragged to expand.

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Of course I had to use glitter heat transfer vinyl (my favorite) for my patriotic t-shirt. And since I only had white and red glitter HTV, I picked up a navy blue t-shirt from AC Moore.

Speaking of heat transfer vinyl, I literally just got an email from Happy Crafters informing me of a sale they are having on white and black heat transfer vinyl.

Essentials Sale

They are offering 10 sheets (12″x15″) of black or white heat transfer vinyl for $17.50 today through Thursday. No coupon necessary. It’s a good time to stock up! Click here for more details.

 

I thought it would be fun to include a video of the heat press process of making this T-shirt. I’m just starting to dive into the world of creating videos, so please forgive the “amateurness” of this video. I have a lot to learn!

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The exploding star at the bottom of the T-shirt was the result of a mistake. It was originally intended to go on the back of the T-shirt, but apparently the vinyl went askew in my Cameo when my head was turned. I just couldn’t bear to throw it away so it laid on my craft room floor for a day before I came up with the idea to apply it as it was. Right on the hem of the T-shirt.

(That star shape is from the Silhouette online store (design ID #6443) a rhinestone cut file that warns you not to change the size – but if you’re using glitter vinyl you can make it any size you want! I also used that file for this canvas wall art)

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It looks intentional, doesn’t it.

So there you have it. If you make a crafting mistake, just hold on to it for a day or two. You’ll figure out what to do with it!

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My “LOVE IT” Moment

The renovation of my powder room last summer was my all-time favorite home improvement success story. It was the first time that I completely gutted a room and totally remodeled it. By myself! Did I bite off more than I could chew???

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Oh, there were moments when I thought “what did I get myself into?”

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Like when I installed crown moulding for the first time.

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But that moment after I put in the finishing touches and then stood back and admired my new powder room was when it hit me. My “LOVE IT” moment.

You know what I’m talking about, right? You know when it happens. That feeling you get knowing you’ve finally created your dream space. Well, Build.com wants you to share that moment and get entered to win a $1,000 shopping spree!

Do you have a “Love it” moment?

Share a favorite DIY project on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #loveitmoment. Include before and after photos, as well as your “Love it” reaction for a chance to win $1000 shopping spree on Build.com!

For more inspiration and expertise, follow Build.com on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube. You’ll be sure to find future “Love it” projects!

My next big renovation project is probably going to be the full bathroom upstairs. Am I up for that challenge? Well, like I said last week, I have some studying to do. I’ll be visiting the Bathroom Learning Center at Build.com where they have inspiration, buying guides, and install guides. I’m inspired by this bathroom remodel.

my bathroom now

There is currently just an old, rusty, yucky shower stall in that bathroom. I’d like to replace it with a bathtub with a ceramic tile surround like in the video. And that means a wall demolition. And the plumbing? Yeah, I have no idea! I may have to call on the experts at Build.com for that part.

inspiration tub

Yes, now this is what I have in mind!

floor tile

With this gray ceramic floor tile.

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And a new vanity of course!

I encourage you to visit the Build.com Learning Center, check out their YouTube page, and even speak to an expert to help get you started on a project you may be too nervous to begin on your own or to help you finish a project you are currently working on.

My Dream Bathroom

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sterling for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I admit it. I daydream about my bathroom. Not the way it is now, of course. After all, there’s no bathtub in my bathroom. What???? Yep, no bathtub.  And I want one. The original owner of my house decided to forgo the bathtub and had a larger shower installed instead. Which is fine if you never take baths. I’d like to have the option.This may be a job beyond my DIY skills, but I plan on doing some research to find out! After all, I surprised myself when I remodeled my powder room all by myself.

So someday I will update the bathroom and have the shower removed and a tub/shower unit installed. And when I do, I want to have a shower door – not just a curtain. My shower stall has a shower door and I’ve gotten used to having one.

During my research I found out about Sterling shower doors with ComforTrack technology. I have learned that Sterling shower doors:

  • Have a flexible track, which is comfortable and easy to clean.
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  • They are great for bathing kids, washing dogs, lolling in the bath with your feet up, etc. (All the stuff you can’t do with a hard shower track.)
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  • They are even made with ComforTrack technology and are available for BOTH bath doors and shower doors. Yay!
So tell me, what is the bathroom of your dreams like? Or are you lucky enough to already have it?And P.S.: Are you a “shower” or “bath” person?

Visit Sponsors Site

Quick and Easy Patriotic Wreath

I promise, this is probably one of the quickest, easiest, least expensive tutorials on making a patriotic wreath that you’ll  ever see ; )

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You only need three things to make it:

  1. wreath form
  2. straight pins
  3. bandanas (2)

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Okay, four if you count both bandanas!

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STEP ONE

Open up the fold bandana and pin to the back of the wreath form, pleating the fabric as you go.

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STEP TWO

Pull the “tail” of the bandana through the wreath, wrap around and secure with more straight pins (see above).

patriotic-wreath

STEP THREE

Trim the excess bandana. Repeat with remaining bandana until entire wreath is covered.

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I intentionally placed the piece of bandana fabric that has the stars on one section of the wreath to mimic the look of the American flag.

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I made the bow by scrunching up the second bandana, tied it in a tight knot, and then trimmed the ends. Of course I just pinned it on to the wreath ; )

I told you it was quick and easy!

Are you hosting on the 4th of July this year? I am and I can’t wait!

Need more Fourth of July DIY ideas? Here’s my red, white, and blue garland,  my patriotic bunting, and my favorite: Star Canvas.

How To Sew in a Zipper

Today’s post is for all of you who want to learn how to sew in zipper. I think this way is good for beginners. In fact, it’s how I first learned how to sew in a zipper about 100 years ago ; )

Let’s make a zippered pillow cover. It’s an easy-sew project with most of the focus of the tutorial on the zipper part.

learn how to sew a zippered pillow cover

Throughout this tutorial, you’ll see two different fabrics. That’s because I made four pillows: 2 of each fabric.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Supplies you will need:

  1. fabric
  2. scissors or rotary cutter/cutting mat
  3. zipper
  4. pillow form
  5. sewing machine
  6. thread
  7. tape: masking, painter’s, or Scotch
  8. seam ripper

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step One: Cut fabric

You will need a front and back cut 1″ bigger than pillow.
For example: my pillow is 12″ x 16″ so I cut two fabric pieces that measure 13″ x 17″

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step Two: Lay front and back pillow pieces right sides together and mark ends of zipper as shown above and below.

How to Sew in a Zipper

You can use a marking pencil but a regular pencil or pen works, too ; )  Once the pillow is finished, you won’t see those lines. Your mark should be where the zipper starts and stops. See photo above.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step 3: Now take that marked piece over to the sewing machine and sew a regular-length stitch to the first mark and then back stitch. Then, without removing the fabric, change the stitch length to the longest possible basting stitch and sew to the next mark. Now switch back to the regular-length stitch, take a few stitches and then back-stitch over those, then finish sewing to the edge.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step 4: Move over to the ironing board and iron that seam open.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step 5: Lay zipper right side down on opened up seam. Line up teeth of the zipper with the seams and tape into place with masking or painter’s tape. Masking tape or Scotch tape would be better choices, but I didn’t have any and used painter’s tape instead.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step 6: Here we go! Time to sew in that zipper! Attach the zipper foot and start sewing above and below the zipper pull and to the right of ridge next to the teeth of the zipper.

How to Sew in a Zipper

We’ll get the zipper pull section of the zipper in a later step.

How to Sew in a Zipper

When you reach the end stop of the zipper, stop with the needle in, turn, stitch across the bottom of the zipper just above the zipper stop and then stop and pivot again, then sew up the other side.

How to Sew in a Zipper

 

Step 7: Remove the tape and use the seam ripper to remove the long, basting stitch. Open zipper and move the zipper pull to a different location.

learn how to sew a zippered pillow cover

Step 7: Sew where stitches are missing from previous zipper pull location. See photo above. Sew square around top of zipper just as you did for the bottom of the zipper.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step 8: Open zipper and sew the three remaining seams using a half inch seam allowance.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step 9: Turn pillow cover right side out, insert pillow form and celebrate! You just made a zippered pillow cover! Remember to remove the little basting threads leftover from the seam ripper before you take pictures ; )

How to Sew in a Zipper

My new, striped pillows add much needed color to the lounge chairs on my deck. All of the brown needed broken up with some bright colors and a pattern!

 

So. What do you think? Will you give it a try? I’d love to hear from you if you do try it. If you have any questions or need more guidance, let me know! I’ll be happy to help you.

How to use a Heat Press

Now that I’ve had my heat press for almost six months I thought I’d write to tell you what I think about it. I’ll also share some tips I picked up along the way and also give you my opinion on the whole heat press versus iron decision. So if you are on the fence and trying to decide whether you should spend the $ and get a heat press or just want to learn how to use a heat press, read on!

heat press

 

This is my heat press. It’s the Fancierstudio Industrial-Quality Digital 15-by-15-Inch Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press.  (affiliate link)

First of all: it’s heavy, so you will need a fairly strong and sturdy spot for your heat press. You’ll also need to be able to open it and get at the sides easily.

heat press how to

 

Mine is sitting on the end of the farmhouse table in my craft room for now. I have plans in the works to build a small stand specifically for it with storage for heat transfer vinyl. (Of course I’ll share those plans with you!)

I think the easiest way to show you how to use this heat press is to actually use it! Follow along as I make a birthday shirt for my grandson.

how-to-use-heat-press

First I measure how big to make the design for the shirt. I decided 12″ long by about 6″ high would be good so I draw a 12″x 6″ rectangle in Silhouette Studio. Inside that rectangle, I type “Jordan” in the Brannbol Fet font. (for the swoosh at the end, I type a zero)  I also type a “7” for Jordan’s age for the back of the shirt.

IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to reverse the images before cutting!!!

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Next, I turn on the heat press and set the temperature and timer recommended by the HTV manufacturer. In this case: 305 degrees for 15 seconds.

TIP: place the shirt in the heat press for a few seconds to 1. get out the wrinkles and 2. to remove any moisture in the fabric

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Now I place the design on the shirt and place the shirt on the bottom plate.

TIP: I make sure the neck hole, side seams, and sleeve seams are off the plate (if possible) to ensure the best adhesion.

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Before closing down the top plate, I place the teflon sheet (provided with the heat press) on top of the shirt.

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Now I can close the top plate. Pushing down on the handle locks it firmly. Once the timer goes off, I remove the shirt . . .

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. . . . and peel off the plastic backing. It lifts right off with no effort.

TIP: turn shirt inside out and press for a few seconds to ensure a long-lasting adhesion.

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Now. As for the iron vs. heat press decision? For me, it was easy. I love to create one-of-kind pieces for my family and hope to someday sell items. The creations that I made with an iron that were worn more than a few times had the peeling up problem. The time-savings was important to me too. There’s a lot of time and pressure involved with using an iron. But if you only make a few items a year, and you can get good adhesion with your iron, then an iron is probably good enough for you. But if you make several items a year, including larger-than-your-iron designs, have problems with peeling HTV, or plan to sell your items, then a heat press is probably a wise investment for you.

If you are in the market for a heat press or are thinking about it, I suggest that you look at Amazon’s large selection. That is where mine came from. If you’re a Prime member, you will save a ton with the free shipping.

 

Please feel free to Pin this post for future reference!

 

Furnishing a Small Deck

The 20-year-old, rusty, metal outdoor furniture on my deck has finally been replaced. It was about time!
Furnishing a Small Deck

Who knew furnishing a small deck would be so difficult. I think we made it difficult ourselves, because we wanted the best of both worlds: the world of dining and the world of relaxing. That’s hard to do on an 8′ x 10′ deck!

Furnishing a Small Deck

And the choices . . . wow! And sticker shock!!! If you haven’t shopped for outdoor furniture for a while, let me be the first to warn you: it ain’t cheap! So shop around, keep an open mind, and look for sales. Also look for deep discounts on the last sets left at this time of year. After all, it IS almost the middle of June and the stores have to make room for Halloween and Christmas stuff you know ; )

We were able to get the best of both worlds (the lounging and the dining),  but it meant that all of the clutter on the deck had to go. Including the grill.

small deck decor

We moved the gas grill off the deck and onto two large cement pavers that are we placed just outside of the deck.

outdoor-decor

We also moved my Junky Deck Decor to the garden area surrounding the deck.

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I love how the chippy, old ladders look in their new spaces.

Furnishing a Small Deck

I’m not a gardener, so I have no idea what those flowers are, but don’t they look lovely on that old ladder?

small deck decor

And here’s the “dining” side of my little deck.

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Once the flowers in the deck rail pots get going, they provide such a pretty bit of privacy to our deck. And  the hummingbirds love it, too.

Is your outdoor space ready for summer? I’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment below!

Backyard Beach Party with S’mores

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LetsMakeSmores #CollectiveBias #sponsored

backyard-smores-party Who doesn’t love the beach, camp fires and S’mores!

I know those are three of my favorite things about summer. And I brought them all together to celebrate the beginning of the summer season with a backyard beach party for my family complete with a S’mores Bar and a camp fire all set up and ready to go to make our favorite summer treat: S’mores!

backyard beach party with smores

It’s the details that can make a family get-together or party special and memorable. And the good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to include those special and unique details.

backyard beach party with smores

For my beach-inspired S’mores Bar, I bought a few inexpensive sand toys and used them to hold and display the S’mores ingredients. I even dug out and cleaned off a few sand toys that we already had. I love how the Honey Maid Graham Crackers look in the sand shovel!

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Did you know that Honey Maid also makes square Graham Crackers just for S’more-making???

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How cool is that! And they’re only available at Walmart.

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Check out the sand bucket full of Kraft’s Jet Puffed Marshmallows. Sweet!

Backyard Beach Party with S'mores

The cute, little, colorful tin sand pails ($1 each) are displaying the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars, crushed graham crackers and Hershey’s Heath English Toffee Bits.

backyard-smores-party

I found the $1 plastic tablecloth and matching dessert plates at my local party store and I scored the fish lights at my neighborhood yard sale for a dollar! They make a pretty and colorful backdrop for the S’mores bar along with a couple of boogie boards and beach balls. A straw mat, tiki torch, and two beach chairs – all things that we already own – complete this colorful beach S’mores bar.

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It was a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to create a memorable, fun, and tasty dessert party that everyone enjoyed.

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Try adding a sprinkle of Hershey’s Heath English Toffee Bits to add another flavor layer to your next S’more.
3-29-11-060_wm StackerMallows!

And for the “I don’t like toasted marshmallow” fans in the crowd, how about melting the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars and then dipping the Kraft’s Jet Puffed Marshmallow in the melted chocolate and then roll the chocolate covered marshmallow into the crushed Honey Maid Graham Cracker Squares.  Yum!!!!

hershey-bar

Remember, that you don’t need to have a campfire to make s’mores. S’mores can be made indoors too! Follow the microwave instructions on the back of the Jet-Puffed StackerMallows bag for how to make S’mores in seconds! Make any day a S’mores day!

I have also heard the S’mores made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are to die for. I’m going to have to try one. What about you? How do you make S’mores? Do you have a favorite way of making and serving up these favorite summertime treats?

IKEA MALMA Mirror Hack

After successfully talking Dan into a road trip to IKEA, ; ) I came home with three MALMA frames (along with a bunch of other goodies from their “Market”). If you’re not familiar with MALMA mirrors, here’s a photo:

MALMA Mirror Hack

Simple, black, square, framed mirrors. And they’re only $1.99.

At first I had no intention of doing anything with the three mirrors other than just hanging them in a row on one of the many blank wall areas in my home. That is until I spotted this glass jar:

MALMA Mirror Hack

Normally I wouldn’t have even noticed that jar of washi tape but I’m in the middle of rearranging my craft room/office and the jar was sitting on the desk, begging to be used. It’s been a while since I’ve used washi tape, so I thought why not?

IKEA-MALMA-Mirror-Hack

At first I laid some wide washi tape diagonally across the frame, but decided I didn’t like how that looked.

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I decided to go simple with striped washi tape. Just four strips of washi tape along each side of the frame.

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Simply wrap the ends around to the back of the frames.

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I used an iPhone level app to get it straight on the wall (I used Command Strips to adhere the mirrors to the wall).

IKEA-MALMA-Mirror-Hack

The end result: another bare wall has some interest and it only cost $6.00! The best part: when I get tired of that washi tape, I’ll just peel it off.

MALMA MIRROR HACK

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Click on the photos below for more washi tape ideas:

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WASHI TAPED BASKET

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WASHI TAPED BICYCLE (my favorite!)

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DOOR MIRROR – CHEAP TO CHIC

Picnic Basket Makeover

“A-tisket a-tasket
A green and yellow basket
I wrote a letter to my love
And on the way I dropped it,
I dropped it,
I dropped it,
And on the way I dropped it.
A little boy he picked it up and put it in his pocket.”

That rhyme has been playing over and over in my mind ever since I made over an old picnic basket that I found.

picnic basket makeover

Dan and I went to visit a few antique stores in a neighboring town and I found this cute, old picnic basket that has seen better days.

picnic basket makeover

Since I’ve been wanting to decoupage something for the longest time, I thought this basket would be my guinea pig!

picnic basket makeover

I picked up a pack of 3-ply napkins in a pretty, floral print. I couldn’t help myself and bought the matching kitchen towel, too ; )

picnic basket makeover

 

The hardest part of this whole project was separating the three plys of the paper napkins ; )

picnic basket makeover

First I brushed on a layer of Mod Podge onto a section of the basket.

picnic basket makeover

To apply the napkin? I just laid it down and press it onto the basket with my fingers.

picnic basket makeover

Then I brushed on more Mod Podge right on top of the napkin layer.

picnic basket makeover

The white Mod Podge dries clear. I love how you can still see the texture of the weave of the basket.

picnic basket makeover

I waited until the next day to make sure the Mod Podge was completely dry and then I sanded the edges to remove the excess napkin edges. I also lightly sanded the entire basket.

picnic basket makeover

I didn’t decoupage the rim of basket, the edge of the lid and handles. I wanted to paint them white for some contrast. So I covered the decoupaged surface of the basket with painter’s tape, then used white spray paint to paint the rim, handles and lid edges.

picnic basket makeover

Here it is, all done . . . .

picnic basket makeover

. . . and ready for it’s first picnic! I love how this pretty, little basket fits nicely on the back of my bike! (Can you believe that’s the same washi tape on my bike fenders??? It is!!!) That washi tape has almost two years and a few hundred miles on it!

picnic basket makeover

I also bought the large doily/table cloth at the antique store. I love how the flowers and colors coordinate with my updated basket.

picnic basket makeover

This picnic spot is along one of our favorite bike trails that runs along the Susquehanna River in Marietta, Pennsylvania.

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I link to these great parties:

Monday FundayInspire Me Monday / Inspiration Monday  / Project Inspired  / Something to Talk AboutCreative Spark / The Scoop / Tutorials & Tips / Hit Me With Your Best Shot/ One Project at a Time / Show & Share / Whimsy Wednesday /  Wow Us Wednesdays / This Is How We Roll / Weekend Retreat / Creativity UnleashedThe Creative CircleFreedom Fridays / Feathered Nest Friday / Link Party Palooza / Foodie Friends FridayThe Party Bunch / Furniture Feature Friday / Party Junk / Think Pink Sunday / Finding The Pretty & Delicious / Making Monday  /  That DIY Party /