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)

patriotic-wreath

Okay, four if you count both bandanas!

patriotic-wreath

STEP ONE

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

patriotic-wreath

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.

patriotic-wreath

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.

easy-to-make-patriotic-wreth

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!!!

how-to-use-heat-press

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.

how-to-use-heat-press

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!

 

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.

IKEA-MALMA-Mirror-Hack

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

IKEA-MALMA-Mirror-Hack

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

IKEA-MALMA-Mirror-Hack

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!)

washi-taped-mirror

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 /

 

Faux Etched Glass

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

The original plan was to show you how to make pretty, etched glass, but I had to switch things up a little and show you how to make pretty, faux etched glass.

faux etched glass

There’s a very good reason for this switch: I bought the wrong etching cream! I thought I was buying regular etching cream. What I got instead was an etching effects paint!

Imagine my surprise after applying the “etching cream”, waiting 30 minutes, and then rinsing off said “etching cream”, when I looked at my perfectly smooth, non-etched glass!  What the what?!?! What did I do wrong?!?

It was then that I decided I needed to take a look at the instructions on the bottle of the “etching cream”. Maybe I missed a step?? Or the “etching cream” was expired and no good??

And there it was. As plain as the nose on my face. frost effects paint!

I was just a wee bit embarrassed.  After all, I stood there like a fool wearing safety glasses and rubber gloves, waiting 30 minutes for this caustic, acid-containing, harmless, water-based “paint” to etch my glass! ;

Anyway, let’s get to the part where I show you how I faux etched glass.

First, you need to find glass objects to etch. I had two dollar store vases hiding in the cabinet under the kitchen sink for who-knows-how-long. And I also had a set of glasses that I’ve been meaning to etch for the longest time.

faux etched glass Now you need your glass vases, drinking glasses, whatever you want to faux etch, to be clean. I  mean really clean. Especially if they’ve been hiding out under your kitchen sink ; )

My glasses and vases were dirty, dusty and grimy so when I put them in the dishwasher with the spaghetti sauce-covered dishes, I used a Finish® Quantum Max™ tablet in the detergent compartment to make sure they came out clean and shiny so that the paint would adhere.

faux glass etching

Now THAT does not look anything like the grimy vase that went into the dishwasher with a bunch of spaghetti sauce covered plates. Finish® Quantum Max™ didn’t leave residue, film or water spots on the glasses or vases. They’re  crystal clear, shiny, and ready to faux etch!

Finish

You can find the Finish® Quantum Max™ at Target. Use Target’s Cartwheel App and Save 5% on NEW! Max in ONE & Quantum Max Small Size from March 29 through April 25.

Now you need a stencil. I made butterfly stencils by cutting butterfly shapes out of adhesive shelf lining paper using my electronic cutting machine.

faux etched glass

Don’t worry if you don’t have one of those machines because you could also use a paper punch. All of the craft stores sell many different shapes of paper punches that would work great.

faux etched glass

Apply the stencils to the glass or vase.

faux etched glass

Cover the bare spots with painter’s tape and then pounce on a very light amount of the faux etching paint. At first I used a sponge-tipped “brush”, but I found that I got better results with a make-up sponge.

faux etched glass

I thought it would be fun to try faux etching in reverse. Instead of the stencil of the butterfly, I put the butterflies on the vase in a random pattern and then painted over the entire vase with the paint.

faux etched glass

I really like how it turned out and thought that this would be a good idea for glass votives. How pretty that would look with candle light glowing though the butterfly shapes.

*Tip: remove the stencil while the paint is still wet, otherwise the paint may peel off when you remove the stencil.

faux etched glass

The glass tumblers turn out so pretty! I love how they look with my floral-patterned dinnerware.

faux etched glass

I couldn’t wait to show off my pretty, “new” old glasses on the Easter table. faux etched glass

I also discovered that you can mix in colored paint with the faux etching paint. Just remember to only add a drop or two and mix it well.

According to the instructions on the faux etching paint, the painted glassware can be washed in the dishwasher after 21 days. Good to know!

Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win glass prizes that include a gift card to purchase Finish® at Target!

Finish #ShineAndProtect Giveaway!

Last Minute Easter Baskets

Every year I do this. Wait until the last minute to get the grandbabies’ Easter Baskets made and filled. I swore this year would be different. Of course it isn’t ; ). However, it’s an improvement from last year when we were “googling” candy stores the day before Easter! It’s only Thursday and my last minute Easter baskets are decorated and almost filled.

last minute easter baskets

I picked up the “baskets” in the dollar section at Target. I thought the burlap bag would be perfect for my 6-year old grandson. Not frilly, pastel, or girly and can hold stuff. Perfect!

last-minute-Easter-Baskets-3

Kids just love seeing their names on their things. I made a stencil with my Cameo and a stencil blank to spell out his name.

last-minute-Easter-Baskets

Using a stencil brush, I pounced on his favorite color and then simply outlined the letters with a Sharpie. Quick and easy!

last-minute-Easter-Baskets

It was a little too plain for my taste so large ric rac was hot-glued onto the top and bottom to give it a finished look.

last-minute-Easter-Baskets

My granddaughter’s “basket” also came from the dollar section at Target.

last-minute-Easter-Baskets

I personalized her basket with her monogram that I made, again using my Silhouette Cameo. I cut the monogram out of pink heat transfer vinyl. I was afraid that the pink monogram would look lost against the multi-colored chevron fabric so I created an offset in Silhouette Studio and cut the background monogram out of a darker vinyl. I used my heat press to attach the vinyl.

last-minute-Easter-Baskets

Pretty cute for $3!

Overall, I like how the baskets turned out. They were super easy and quick to make.

Are your baskets ready or are you a procrastinator like me? ; )

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase using one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As always, I only recommend products that I use and love.

Easy To Make Butterfly Wreath

Who else is decorating for Spring? I think we’re all ready to stow away the winter decor and get on with Spring! One quick way to welcome Spring is to hang an easy-to-make, new wreath. What says Spring more than a butterfly wreath!

butterfly-wreath

As I was walking into Target the other day, the dollar section called my name. Does it call your name, too? I mean it’s right there. You HAVE to stop and look, right?

butterfly-wreath

Two cute, little, white grapevine wreaths were yelling my name and said “hey! We’d make cute wreaths to hang on the doors of that armoire that you just built for your granddaughter!”

butterfly-wreath

All I did to decorate them was cut out a bunch of small butterflies with my Silhouette Cameo. I cut them in three different sizes and then adhered them to the wreath using craft tape. Hot glue would work, too.

butterfly-wreath
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I have round up 18 more SUPER EASY Spring & Summer wreaths that I found on HomeTalk to give you lots of wreath-making ideas. Click on the photo below to get a close up of each wreath and see the instructions on how to make your favorites.

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 Flip flops! I love that idea – PERFECT for a summer home. What other unusual items have you used to make a wreath? I’d love to hear!

Easy Happy Easter Art

When I was in HomeGoods the other day, I spotted a Happy Easter sign that I thought was so unique. It was made with twigs and rope on a piece of wood. I thought, pfft, I can make that! Take a look at my easy Happy Easter art.

easy easter art

I didn’t check the price on the sign that I saw, but it wasn’t as cheap as free!

easy easter art

The piece of wood came from my scrap pile. I used paint chips and rope that I already had for the flowers. And small broken tree limbs laying on the ground are free for the taking.

easy easter art

The petals of the flowers were made by attaching the ends of a short length of rope with hot glue. I cut the paint chips into small rectangle and clipped the corners.

easy easter art

Next, I hot glued the paint chips to the back of the rope petals.

Easter-Art-4

I used five petals for each flower.

easy easter art

Using my chop saw, I cut the tree limbs into 2-1/2 lengths to form the letters. I used twigs with curves for the P’s and the S.

easy easter art

The edges of the board were covered with more of the rope using hot glue.

easy easter art

The final step was to use a blow dryer to get rid of the glue globs. Now my Easter Mantle is done and I’m happy to say that it didn’t cost a cent!

Spring Decorating

The calendar says Spring! But the weatherman says otherwise : ( However, that did not stop me from starting to add a few Spring and Easter touches around the house starting with the faux mantle.

spring decorating
Not a lot yet, but it’s a start. I was short on time so I ran down to the basement quick and grabbed whatever Easter decorations I could find. I still need “something” on the wall behind the shelf. I have something in mind – but I have to make it first ; )

spring decorating

My local grocery store had these pretty, pink, miniature carnations on sale and I just couldn’t resist. I put them in these cute, little bottles that I frosted by adding a few drops of pink craft paint to some Martha Stewart Frost Effect paint.

spring decorating

The frosted bottles pair up nicely with the glittery Easter bunny that I found at HomeGoods a few years ago.

easter-banner

The bunny banner took all of about 30 minutes to make.

easter-banner

To make it, I created pennant shapes in Silhouette® Studio and cut them out of pink, patterned card stock. I used a floral card stock for the bunnies.

easter-banner

After all of the shapes were cut, I glued the bunnies onto the pennant pieces and strung them together with ribbon.

easter-banner

After they were glued together, I decided that the bunnies needed a little definition. I rubbed some gray chalk around the edges. This would have been easier to do before the bunnies were glued onto the pennants, duh!

easter-banner

If you’re in need of a pennant shape, just click on Version 3 orVersion 2 to download the file. (For personal use only)

Have you started decorating for Spring or Easter yet?

Happy First Day of Spring!