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Father’s Day Card SVG Download

Father’s Day is Coming!

My dad loves his tools! Here is a Father’s Day Card I made with a border of tools for him. I have included the free cut file with it, including the sentiment separately in case you want to add it to your own creation.


Also, check out my new Father’s Day Card Template too!

Check it out HERE.

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A Baby Headband

Well, this project was a pretty simple one, but I thought I would put it up anyhow as it was a spin off project from my t-shirt yarn rug. When I made the t-shirt yarn (see my DIY t-shirt yarn post), I kept the elastic edges of the fitted sheets I cut apart. (And I made a wonderful crocheted rug for my daughter’s room with the yarn I made). I left a nice little ruffled edge along the side of the elastic and it seemed that it might come in handy, and it did.
Elastic from Jersey Fitted Sheet
The elastic edge of the fitted sheets was perfect for a headband, but it is a little thicker than some elastics I have used for headbands. So, I wanted a larger flower to add to it. I used a knitted flower I made using directions I found on Ninuska’s Blog. The flower came out very lovely, though I think I would use a lighter weight yarn to make the flower more delicate.
Knit Flower for Headband Accent

I measured my daughter’s head and cut the elastic to size. Next, I wove the band of elastic through the bottom of the flower. Finally, I sewed the ends of the elastic together and hid the seam in the flower. Here is the finished product:

Here it is again displayed on my daughter’s lovely little head. I think it turned out well. What do you think?
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DIY Bulletin Board and Household Command Center Makeover

We recently moved into a new house, and I am afraid my walls are mostly still blank. I have an area of our main floor that I have been using as a command center to gather odds and ends, pay the bills, stash the printer, etc. Someday, it will get a pretty little white desk, but unfortunately that is not in the budget yet.

What could I do to make the space more usable right now without spending money? It turns out I could do quite a lot. Well, technically, I did spend $1.50 on the frames, and a little bit at some point in time on the spray paint and a few other materials… but the point is, I didn’t go out and buy things I didn’t have already.

I had an old black framed bulletin board lying around, so I decided it needed a spray paint makeover! What doesn’t, right? Well, it turned out that I had paper and paint just the same teal color as a file holder I had on hand, so my colors were chosen.

Now, for the fun part!

I had already worked on some nice little chore charts with my Silhouette Cameo machine as you can see here if you like. I started by spraying my three thrift store frames white. After tweaking the text on my chore charts, I sketched the text on a plain piece of white cardstock. Then, I cut out the frames with a pattern I made. Basically, the pattern I came up with involved a shape (created from overlapping circles) that repeats across the area I wanted to have for a frame. It doesn’t look like much by itself, but trust me, when it is repeated, it looks awesome! Here is the shape I repeated to form the pattern:

Free SVG File Download

Here is the bulletin board I started with (well, almost… I forgot to take a true before picture, before the teal paint and application of the stencil):

 

Before the white paint (but after the teal – sorry!)

STEP 1: Paint the cork board part of the bulletin board the background color of your choice (teal!).

STEP 2: Make a stencil using copies of the shape given above (or another one, of course). Size the template according to the inner cork dimensions of your bulletin board.

STEP 3: Cut out your stencil from contact paper or vinyl (I used clear contact paper). You may need to use multiple strips to get the necessary width.

The Stencil is On

 

STEP 4: Apply your stencil. This is the hardest step. At first I tried to remove all the negative space (the diamond shape pieces) before applying it to the board, but since I was using clear contact paper, this proved very difficult. So, I applied it to the board and it was a lot easier to pick off all the diamonds. Be very careful applying the second strip. You want the stencil to align just right in the center where they come together, so BE CAREFUL! I had to trim a little bit with an exacto knife to make the stencil just right. It didn’t come out as perfect as I would have liked, but the result was still awesome!

 

 

STEP 5: Spray paint it white (or whatever color you like better)! Spray it from above just to make sure it doesn’t seep under the edge. Make sure you cover it well, then wait for it to dry.

STEP 6: Peel off the stencil and marvel at your handiwork!

 

All Done!

Doesn’t it look awesome? I framed the chore charts with a cutout frame using the same stencil and color. I hung them below and added a dry erase marker to check off my chores! Let me know if you have any questions. I am smiling at how nice it looks, and at how I conveniently chopped off the part of the picture that shows my messy folding table desk.

 

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How to Make a DIY Bed Buddy (a cozy microwave heating bag)

One of my favorite things when I am cold, achy, or sick is my bed buddy. My older sister got me one a while back and I love it. It even had a nice smell to it when heated, which sadly is now mostly faded. However, lately, whenever I warm it up and snuggle up, my husband somehow manages to get his hands on it and steal it away! So… I thought I would make him one (and perhaps a new one for myself soon too).

At first, I was planning to make it rather simple – sew 2 rectangles together, fill with rice and tada! However there are a few things that I considered:

 

  1.  It would be nice if the rice didn’t all fall to one side or the other and was more spaced out along the length of the bed buddy.
  2. Washing the bed buddy, or at least the outer layer, would come in very handy.
  3.  If I was going to make an outer layer anyhow, it would be nice to be able to use the inserts individually as hand-warmers if needed.

So, after much thought, I came up with this design. Basically, I mbean rice bags and long rectangle with handles and pockets for the rice bags to slip into. Velcro was considered to hold each bag in its pocket, but I didn’t like the idea of it scratching me, so I found another way! I was actually very pleased with how the design turned out and really love the way it looks (even despite my sloppy sewing skills!).
ade 6 small

I hope you like this tutorial. Please let me know if you have any questions and I would love to see what anyone else makes based on this – even if it puts mine to shame! 😉

 INSTRUCTIONS: 

 PART ONE: Making the “hand-warmer” inserts! 

1 2 3 making bean bag hand warmer inserts

This is the easy part. Basically, you are making 6 “bean” bags. Dimensions don’t really matter as long as you make them all the same size. I decided I wanted each one to be about 5″x7″, so I cut 12 rectangles measuring 6″x8″ to allow ample room for seams:

Finished Bean Bag Hand-Warmer Inserts Stacked Filling the Bean Bag Hand-Warmer Inserts With Rice and a Funnel

  1. Cut 12 rectangles from your cotton fabric of choice (I used a dinosaur print flannel).
  2. Place them right sides together in pairs (for 6 total pairs).
  3. Sew around the edges, leaving an opening large enough to turn them right side out again.
  4. Turn each bag right side out.
  5. Top stitch along the edges (I played with my decorative stitches) to give it a finished look. Remember NOT to stitch over the opening!
  6. Optional: Mix rice with some drops of essential oil to give it a nice smell.
  7. Fill with rice. I used a funnel (I don’t know if I could have filled them without it) and put about 1 cup of rice in each bag.
  8. Finish the top stitch over the opening to seal in the rice. As you can probably see in the pictures, I am no expert here. I learned that I don’t know the proper way to turn the corner when using a decorative top stitch, and I ended up with lots of little nests of thread on the corners. Thankfully, I have learned not to get to distraught and decided that it didn’t really matter. The item still works very well, and my husband didn’t seem to mind its imperfections!

 PART TWO: Making the bed buddy with pockets!


This part was much more challenging, but not that bad! And, as a caveat, it was by no means an exact science.

  1. First, I took my fabric and laid out my finished inserts on top. I was aiming for it to be slightly larger than all six of them laid out side by side. This put me at a little over 30 inches, plus extra for seam allowances. Since my fabric was a yard wide, I just used that.
  2. I then hemmed the fabric on each side with a basic straight stitch. I made extra wide hems since I had some extra fabric there. I suppose I could just as easily have trimmed off some of the extra – but where is the fun in that?
  3. I then laid my inserts along the center again and folded the sides over to get an idea of how much I needed to hem the long edges up. My idea (which worked better than I anticipated!) was to make little pockets for each bag and have them held in by overlapping fabric flaps. I wanted the edge of the overlap to be slightly off center, and to make sure the bottom layer didn’t fold up too high and prevent the inserts from sliding into position.

    So… I ended up with the bottom layer folding up about 5 inches (remember, my rice bag inserts are about 7 inches tall) and the top flap coming down about 4 inches too. This creates a 2 inch overlap to secure the inserts. In my final product, the inserts do go in and out, but I may decrease the overlap on future versions as it is a little challenging to take them in and out.
  4. Once you have the fabric lined up, fold over the raw edges along the sides (the total width should be the 7 inches for the inserts along the back + 5 inches for the bottom flap layer + 4 inches for the top flap layer + seam allowance for the hems). Now, hem the raw edges close to the fold and your width should be right about 16 inches total.
  5. If you like, at this point, you can top stitch along the hems you just made.
  6. Before we get to carried away, we need to make fabric loops to hold the handles in place.
    Take a somewhat long scrap of fabric, fold it in half lengthwise, and sew along the edge. Reverse it and you should have a nice fabric tube. Cut it into four equal pieces and iron them flat if you like.
  7. Fold your cover lengthwise such that you have an overlap above where the rice inserts will go. If you want to make this part in the same way I did, you will have the bottom layer coming up 5 inches over top of the inserts, and the top layer over that coming up 4 inches from the edge.
  8. Pin the cover in place.
    Then, fold each of the four handle holders you made in half and pin two on each short end of your cover. You want to position them so that they are between the layers of the cover and stick out enough to thread your nylon handle string through the hole.
  9. Sew the ends of the cover together, ensuring that you also sew the handle loop holders in place as well. You can also top stitch with your decorative stitch over the ends as well to add style and stability.
  10. You are almost done! Right now, you should have a long cover that overlaps on one side to make one giant (and very long and skinny) pocket. The last step is to simply sew dividing lines to make a spot for each of your inserts. Measure, divide that number into six, and mark these spots along the length of your cover. Sew a simple line across the cover in each spot.
  11. Trim all your edges and threads.
  12. String your handle through the loops and tie it off. I used a candle to melt the ends and the knots together so they don’t have even a chance of coming undone!
  13. Insert your rice bean bag hand warmers into the pockets.

Congratulations! You are done. Warm up your new bed buddy in the microwave and enjoy!  Mine takes about 3 – 3.5 minutes to get warm. Try warming yours for a couple minutes and then add 30 second increments until it is just right. Don’t heat it too hot or you can burn yourself!

Have fun making a nice warm bed buddy this winter! Let me know if you do, I would love to see how yours turned out!
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Creating A Chore Chart on the Silhouette Cameo

UPDATE: I modified my chart slightly and changed the border to match my bulletin board makeover project. I think the end result turned out very nicely – check it out here!

Having seen a number of chore charts and schedules on Pinterest, I decided that I could probably benefit from one myself. It is so hard for me to motivate myself to do the chores around the house, but I LOVE checking off my accomplishments. Enter the Chore Chart:

 

I decided on chores for each day, separated into morning and afternoon chores, a chore for each weekday, and a rotating set of chores for Saturdays. The project took a little longer than I expected, mostly because it took a while to get the pen set up correctly.
INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. Create the text (your list of chores) in a file (like notepad).
    2. Open Silhouette Studio and choose a border or outline shape of your choice (this is really optional if you would rather just stick with your original paper size).
    3. Pick a thin font (it will draw the outline, and a thin font will make it look more like one line), and enter in your text. You can arrange it however you like on the page within your border.
    4. If you have a pen holder for your Silhouette, it will probably go more smoothly than it did for me, but it can be done without one! If you do NOT have a pen holder, you can try what I did. I wrapped the pens I wanted to use with some painters tape.The trick is to get it just the right width, so it may take a little bit of fiddling. If it is the right width, the pen will be able to fit in the holder, but not move up and down when you start drawing with it. Also, be sure that it is positioned with the tip just slightly above the surface (I have read that a popsicle stick is handy for this, but I didn’t have one handy). If, like me, your pen is initially too low, you may get a streak across the page as you can see in the upper left corner of my project. When this happened, I paused the machine, lifted the pen up a bit, and started it going again. I also got some skipping, which I think was due to the pen then being too high – so your results may vary.
    5. Now, once your pen is ready and in place, you need to prep your file for drawing:

      • Select the text that you want to be written out in the color of pen you have loaded in your machine. Make sure that this is marked as “Cut” in the “Cut Style” options dialogue.
      • Select the text and frame that should NOT be drawn, and mark it as “No Cut”.
      • This will ensure that only the text you want will be drawn
      • Load your mat, select “Pen”, and hit “Cut”
  1. Once it finishes, DO NOT unload the cutting mat. Go back to the “Cut Style” options and switch what you just drew to “No Cut” and what you want to draw next to “Cut”. Change out your pen and “Cut” the next set.
  2. Still making sure you DO NOT unload the cutting mat, swap your blade into the machine. Set everything to “No Cut” except your outline and then hit “Cut”.
  3. Congratulations, your Chore Chart is complete!
I was going to frame mine and hang it where I would see it every day… but I didn’t have a frame handy. So, instead, I slipped it into a plastic sleeve and hung it up on my refrigerator. It is still just as usable with a dry erase marker, just a little less pretty!
If you have a similar system, or make a chore chart, what chores do you have on your schedule?

 

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Experimenting with my new Silhouette Cameo!

Engagement Silhouette

New Silhouette Cameo = Excitement

I can’t stop feeling thrilled about my new silhouette cameo, which I was really blessed to receive as a Christmas bonus from my work – LTIIT. And… working on my new craft table was awesome!

First Project

After opening up and marveling at how light it was compared to my ecraft, I knew exactly what I wanted to try cutting out first. Awhile ago, I had made a file from one of our engagement photos that I was really excited about. It is an image of us standing together and it made a great silhouette.

Unfortunately, the ecraft could not cut this image out no matter what I tried. It would always mess up either my husband’s pants, or my nose and face. I think that due to the no mat cutting approach of the ecraft, it would always slip a little. Or, maybe my machine is just out of alignment. At any rate – the cameo got it on the first pass! Here is a picture of the finished cut:

Feel free to download the SVG for this file below.
 

Sketching with my Silhouette Cameo

My next thought was about sketches. Now, while the ecraft has a pen and theoretically can cut and draw an image simultaneously, the results are always less than stellar. The pen usually skips or doesn’t write, and the cut is not lined up properly. So, though I don’t yet have the cameo’s sketch pens, I decided to try a makeshift option. I wrapped a pen in some cardstock, stuck it in the cameo, and tada! Here is what I got:

 

So, how did I do it?

Well, for both images, I played around in both gimp and inkscape – both free programs you can download online! For the engagement silhouette, I simply picked a photo that I thought would make a good silhouetted and played with it in gimp. I changed the brightness and contrast dramatically.  Turned the image to grayscale. Simplified it quite a bit and then pulled it into inkscape and hit “Object to Path”. Once I had a path, I simplified it further in inkscape and played a little with the nodes until I was satisfied. Since I don’t have the designer edition of the cameo software, I saved it as a dxf file for import into the cameo studio, and cut it out!

Making the Sketch File

The sketch was a bit more complicated. I started by following directions from this blog post that I pinned. The best thing I learned from that post was about the Eggbott Extension for Inkscape which allows you to fill a path with a hatch. This looks like a sketch and gives you a bunch of open paths – exactly what you want for a cameo sketch file.
 
However, I wasn’t satisfied with the very straight looking results in the post. I explored further and found the path effects editor already in Inkscape! Once you have a bunch of open paths, click one of them and go to Path -> Path Effect Editor. In the drop down, select “Sketch” and hit add. Then play around with the options until you get something you like. Once I had done this and liked my result, I then selected each part one at a time and hit “Object to Path” once more. The results of the Path Effect Editor aren’t turned into paths automatically, so I think this step is necessary. Now, you have a nice sketch! Save as a dxf file, and import it into your cameo software (this took more than a few seconds on my computer – it was a big file!).
Let me know if you have any questions!
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DIY Giant 8′ x 4′ Craft Table for under $90




My project is finally complete! It started as an idea while I was browsing the local thrift store. I had found, much to my husband’s dismay, a set of very awesome looking white cabinets for a total of about $20. Hmmm…those would make an awesome place to store my craft supplies and make a giant craft table too. So, with some moving help from my husband, I became the proud owner of 4 matching white cabinets. There were two with drawers, and two with doors.

It took a little TLC as these cabinets looked like they had been sitting out in a garage or some such place for quite some time, but nothing a little scrubbing and elbow grease couldn’t handle.

I then began to plan out the top. After measuring, I discovered that having two cabinets on each end got me almost exactly to 48″ – the same as the width of a standard melamine board.






Next, I was off to the lumber store:


 – 4′ x 8′ sheet of 3/4″ melamine board ($40)
 – 25′ of iron on melamine edging ($8)
 – Delivery ($20 – no truck, boo hoo…)


 – And, for good measure, 2 rolls of non-slip shelf liner ($2)

TOTAL COST: $90

Now, for the construction:

  1. Place all the cabinets in the desired spot – 2 on each end in my case. Basically, you just need to be sure that the top is well supported. My cabinets were the perfect width when placed two on each end, so it worked out very nicely.
  2. Place something in the center for a little added support (if needed) – I used a couple wooden shelves I had laying around, with a few boards on top to even out the height. I may have been able to do without this, but I wanted to be sure that the top could support my weightier hobbies like sewing!
  3. Now, because I wanted the top to be removable, I had to devise a way to prevent shifting without using screws or nails. So, I used some of the foam like shelf liner. Cut the shelf liner to fit on top of the cabinets and hot glue it on. I also placed some between the boards in the center to keep them in place as well.
  4. Put the top on! Not a hard step if you have some extra hands. Just make sure you get the top centered on your supports!
  5. Iron on the edging. The edging came with directions, so just follow those. I also used a rubber stamp roller to ensure that it was well adhered.
  6. Trim the edging down to size. My edging was 7/8″, so I had to cut a bit off with an exacto knife. This proved a little tricky, so be careful. I think I took a little more of the melamine top off in places, but since it wasn’t perfect to start, I wasn’t too upset. I will probably work on touching up the edge when I get a chance.
  7. Admire the finished table and start crafting!

 

That was it. Pretty easy. The hardest part was the edging, which as you can see I didn’t get perfect. Also, the melamine board arrived at my door a bit chipped around the edges… so I will probably be working to fix that soon too if I can.
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How To Make T-Shirt Yarn from Jersey Sheets

Save Money! Make your own T-Shirt Yarn!

Browsing Pinterest, I saw an awesome pattern for a rug made of T-Shirt Yarn. Now, I had to make the rug (of course!), but didn’t want to buy the yarn. So, off to the thrift store for some T-Shirts, right!? That’s what I thought anyhow, but once at the thrift store, my friend checked out the used bed sheets section and found twin size jersey sheets. Brilliant! Instead of cutting up a ton of shirts and trying to get them all to match, a sheet or two is much simpler.

DIY T-shirt Yarn From Jersey Sheets

I bought five sheets which went very nicely together and spent less than $10! These five sheets made more than enough yarn for the rug that I made – check it out here.

Now, I had 5 sheets to turn into yarn. A green sheet and two each of purple and pink. Making the yarn turned out to be a fairly time consuming project, but also a pretty simple one.

I was tickled pink that I had gotten my supplies for under $10 and was equally pleased with the colors. It was time to start crocheting and get this done before baby arrived.

How To Make T-Shirt Yarn From Jersey Sheets

Making T-shirt Yarn from Jersey Sheets Isn’t hard.

  1. Buy Jersey Sheets

    First, you need to buy some jersey sheets. I would recommend checking in thrift stores. I was fortunate to find three bright colors that went together well. I used five sheets in total to make a crocheted rug. My rug was about 3 feet in diameter and I had some yarn left over.

  2. Trim Edges of Sheets


    Cut off any seams or elastic. For a fitted sheet, cut the elastic from the bottom edge, it is not critical that this be done perfectly. I happen to think that this elastic would make very cute headbands, but that is for another post!

    Update: I made a headband! Check it out. 

    Once you have removed the elastic, cut the corner seams off, and you will have what looks like a rectangle with squares cut into the corners. The key here is that it should now lay flat.  Diagram of Sheet with Corners cut out

  3. Cut Your Sheet into Strips

    Now, you are ready to cut the sheet into one long continuous strip. First look at the grain of the sheet. You want to be sure to cut ACROSS THE GRAIN so that the yarn will curl on itself correctly.

    Starting at the top, cut across the sheet – you want strips that are at least 1.5 inches wide. You can cut thicker strips if you want a thicker yarn, just be consistent.

    Continue to cut across the sheet, but DON’T cut all the the way to the end. Stop cutting about 2 inches from the end and turn the sheet around. Start a new cut about an inch and a half down from the last cut and again cut almost all the way to the other side.  

    I tried to make a diagram of what it looks like. It ends up zig-zagging through the sheet, and can be a bit tricky where the sheet goes from smaller to bigger width (where you removed the corner seams from if it was a fitted sheet). I marked in purple a bit you may want to cut off, but if you don’t make the widths of your strips quite even, you should be able to use the whole sheet. You will get corners on the ends, you can round these out if you like, just be careful not to let the cut get too close to the edge ( I goofed a couple of times and had to rejoin the yarn).

    Continue cutting in this way. Around the top, it won’t be quite perfect due to the seams you cut out, but it won’t matter too much in the finished yarn.

  4. Ball Your Yarn

    After you have a number of strips cut, you can start to ball your yarn. Take the start of your continuous strip and gently pull it. It should curl in on itself and stretch out a bit. I found this part REALLY FUN (don’t know why…)! After pulling it, you can start to wind the ball. 

    Keep cutting, pulling and winding until your sheet is gone! Then, you have a fabulous ball of T-shirt yarn. Each sheet I had made a ball approximately 9-10 inches in diameter. That is a lot of yarn!

    Have fun making awesome crafts from your T-shirt yarn!

EDIT: Several people have asked me what size hook I used. I used a hook very similar to this Aluminum 10 mm Crochet Hook
and it worked well for me.