Friday, July 25, 2014

Monogrammed Tile Coaster

Do you remember going to summer camp or vacation bible school when you were a kid?
I do...and my favorite part was the fun crafts we'd do there!

So, needless to say...I was pretty happy to be a part of this latest Craft Lightning series..."Camp Crafts"!

When I think of the crafts I made as a kid in camp, I think of how the camp counselors did so well at planning the projects to not only encourage creativity but make it easy and practical for a large group of kids!

With that in mind, I decided to make a monogrammed coaster, made from simple and inexpensive bathroom tiles. (I have found TONS of these at yard sales for mere pennies for a load of them!)

Even if you have to purchase these at a hardware store, you can usually get the plain white one's fairly cheap.

I knew that the supplies needed to make this project would be readily available or easily obtainable and affordable for a large group.

Not only that, but it makes a nice gift for Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa.

Parent's and Grandparent's really treasure handmade gifts from their little ones!

This project can also be adjusted easily to make use of other items you might have on hand instead of the exact materials I used here. (See tips below near the end of this post)

For the background of the tile, I decided to use some old "ephemera" I have been collecting lately.

Since It was going to be a "monogrammed" tile, I thought an old dictionary page would be great!

I just happened to have a HUGE old dictionary laying around that I purchased last year for a song and a dance at a yard sale!

I remember Hubs being perplexed as to why I would want to have that monstrous book in our home, when I could use an online dictionary any time.

I explained to him that it would make great ephemera for altered art projects and he has been teasing me ever since about the word "ephemera"...he thinks it sounds funny and he always purposely mis-prounounces it when he says it!

Anyway...I am getting sidetracked here...

I decided to make the coaster for our home, so I purposely used a dictionary page from the "H" section and found the page with the word "Hall" on make the coaster extra special!
(How lucky for me that my Hubby gave me that last name...easy to find that one in a dictionary!)

I glued the page piece on the tile and then covered it with a layer of ModPodge and let it dry.

I used my Cricut Explore to cut out the Monogrammed Intial on black cardstock and then I glued the Capital Letter to the covered tile and then placed a heavy flat surfaced weight on it to make sure it dried perfectly flat.

(Did you "weight" is a very old school iron! Another one of my fab finds at a yard sale!)

Next I cut a piece of black felt to the size of the tile and glued it to the back side, to make the coaster scratch proof on furniture.

For a nice finishing touch I added some black satin poly ribbon around the edges.

After the front and back side were weighted and dried, I covered the entire front side with another coat of ModPodge.

(I put several coats of ModPodge on, but it's really a matter of preference, as one good thick coat is usually fine, just be sure to dry thoroughly between coats if you decide to do more than one.)

Here is a collage of the steps I took in making this project: (Click on the photo to make it larger)

Here are the supplies/tools used for this project:

Tools/Supplies List:

Cricut Explore
Laptop Computer
Cricut Design Space (online)
"H" Letter Diecut (Font: Winter Woodland )
Black Cardstock
Cricut Spatula Tool
Cricut Paper Trimmer
Cricut Ruler
Ceramic Tile, Off White, Square (4-1/4" x 4-1/4")
Ephemera Page (From Old Dictionary)
Aleene's Tacky Glue
Paint Brush, Regular
Paint Brush, Foam
Small plastic container (for mixing, thinning ModPodge as necessary)
Wax Paper
Heavy, smooth surfaced weight
Black Felt
Tailor's Chalk, Dritz, White
Ribbon, Satin (100% Polyester),Berwick/Offray, Black, 1/4"

Ideas for possible substitutions and tips for this project:

1) Instead of a tile, try using popsicle sticks glued together to form a square coaster or use old cd's to make round coasters.
2) Small pieces of scrap rubber or eraser pieces can be substituted for the felt as a scratch barrier on the bottom of the coaster
3) The Initial can be painted on, on hand cut from cardstock rather than use a die-cut machine
4) Have kids cut-up pictures and words from old magazines or books to ModPodge onto the coaster
5) Use scrapbooking paper, wrapping paper or tissue paper on the tile/coaster in place of the dictionary page
6) Have kids use things from nature, such as dried leaves or dried flower petals to decorate the coaster. (Be sure they are dried though, because fresh leaves or flowers won't work well with ModPodge!)
7) A handprint or fingerprint design from the child would be a nice gift for Parents or sure to have the child do the prints on paper first and then glue and ModPodge them to the coaster.

Many thanks to my Crafty Friends Carolina from 30 Minute Crafts and Angie from The Country Chic Cottage for once again hosting an awesome Craft Lightning Event!

Be sure to check out their blogs to see more fun Camp Crafts this week!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Disney Princess Belle Dress for American Girl Doll

As much as I fretted over the last princess doll dress I made (see post)...I decided to make at least two more, because I promised my Granddaughters J and B that I would! is the second one...which I made for J's Birthday!

She had specifically asked for a Princess Belle dress and I was worried because me and delicate fabrics do NOT get along well!

I wanted to make it as authentic as possible though and make sure it had that magical look of a princess!

So I did my best to work with the satin, organza and tulle and tried not to cuss too much!

It would all be worth it in the see the smile on J's face!

For this dress I used the Simplicity 5705 pattern.

I made a couple of changes in the embellishments on the dress, mainly because I could not find some of the notions called for on the pattern.

 I was not able to locate the 1/4" covered buttons, that were supposed to go on each side of the 1/2" center button on the shoulder drape, so instead just used the one 1/2" button.

The pattern called for 1/2" buttons on the skirt also, but I chose to use
 small satin roses in the draping on the skirt, rather than the covered buttons. 
I just felt that the roses fit the "Belle" story and looked very "Princess" like!

Another minor change I made, was the trim on the bottom of the dress.

The pattern showed a Disney print themed ribbon for trim and years ago when this pattern first came out, a lot of fabric stores carried a whole line of this ribbon, but alas...when I went to look for it this time, it was no longer in stock anywhere, so I just purchased some coordinating solid satin ribbon.

The draped piece around the skirt was especially tedious to sew...because it is such small scale and 
is sewn using such delicate materials!

I think the draping should have laid a bit flatter and closer to the skirt, but this was as close as I could 
come to make it to look like the photo on the front of the pattern.

I used baroque satin on the dress and bodice and organza on the shoulder and skirt draping.
That may explain why the draping did not lay so flat...the organza was very stiff and had very little "give".

I took some photos of the dress on my "model" American Girl Doll before we left to visit our Grandaughter in Oklahoma.

On the way there, we stopped in Dallas to visit my Mom and Sister and we went to the American Girl Store there... 

and picked out a special Birthday present for our sweet Princess "J"!

I think she was very pleased!

She wasted no time in changing the doll's clothes into her new Princess Belle dress from Gramma!

Then she posed proudly with her Mommy and Daddy and her new doll!

There is nothing better for a Grandma than to see that kind of happiness in their Granchild's face!

Here is a collage of some of the steps involved in sewing this pattern....

Here is a photo of the tools and supplies used to complete the project:

Tools/Supplies List:

Singer Superb 2010 Sewing Machine
Pattern, Simplicity 5705
Baroque Sating Fabric (Yellow)
Mirror Organza (Yellow)
Tulle (Lt. Yellow) (for petticoat underneath skirt)
Broadcloth (Yellow)(for bodice lining)
Thread, Polyester,Yellow, Gutermann (807)
Thread, Polyester, Yellow, Coats & Clark Dual Duty (7330)
Elastic, 1/8"
Ribbon, Satin/Polyester, Yellow, 5/8", Berwick Offray
Cover Button Kit, 1/2", Dritz
Velcro, 5/8" (Cut down to size required on pattern)
Bobbin Winder, Wrights Side Winder
Straight Pins
Measuring Tape
Safety Pins
Scissors, Large, Fiskars
Scissors, Small, Fiskars
Point Turner/Seam Creaser, Dritz
Mini Satin/Polyester Roses, Yellow, Offray (8 ea.)
Marker, Air Eraseable, Violet
Dress Marking Pencil, Blue
Wooden Chopstick, Smooth, Pointed (to help turn and smooth points)
Seam Ripper
Seam Allowance Ruler
Iron, Sunbeam (Not shown in photo)
Press Cloth

So happy you stopped by for a visit!
Let me know what you think of my project by leaving me a comment below!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Scrap Fabric Frame

I just recently finished my first "Rag Quilt" and had lot's of leftover fabric scraps from that project and since I hate to throw any thing away...I decided to come up with a way to use them and here is the result!

I made the quilt for my sweet Momma for Mother's Day and figured what could be better than a matching framed picture to go with her quilt!

I decided to use a photo I found in a box of old photos that my Sister recently sent to me.

We had to move my precious Mother into an assisted living facility recently and a lot of her "things" couldn't go with her and my Sweet Sister knew that I would love having some of Mom's old photos and I'm thankful she sent them to has brought back such great memories and this is one of my favorites!

It is a throwback photo from 1975 of my Grandma Walker (Maternal), Me and my Mom!

I cherish this photo so much and of course didn't want to give up my recently acquired only copy, so I scanned it and had a copy made at my local Walgreens.

NOTE: Just a tip here for those who don't do a lot of scanning...most commercial scanners that are built-in with your printers will default scan to a low to medium resolution (75 - 300 dpi), so if you are wanting to get a good quality print to have printed out, it's wise to choose "custom" scan from your scanner/printer software and scan the photo at a little higher resolution, because it will turn out better.

I originally scanned this at 300 dpi and tried printing it out on my Lexmark Inkjet printer and it turned out decent but because the photo was from the 70's and not the greatest quality to begin with, that print-out showed lines and some decreased clarity. 

When I went back in and scanned it at 600 dpi and printed it out, it was a lot better, so that is the one I used when ordering the final print from Walgreens and it came out really nice and I was also able to order another larger 5x7 print without sacrificing the clarity and quality of the photo.

I added a bit of family memorabilia to the photo above, and it is fitting for this group photo of me, Grandma & Mom.

My Grandma Walker had this family sign hangin' in her kitchen/dining room for as long as I could remember and it was something us kids LOVED to play with!

It was a family "Dog House" wooden sign that had 7 wooden doggies hanging on it with the names of my Grandparents and all their children on it.

Whenever someone was in "trouble" they were put into the dog house, by removing the doggie from it's hook and placing it in the dog house portion.

We had so much fun when visiting Grandma, by putting our own parent's into the "Dog House" and laughing about it!

That is such a treasured memory for me and when my Grandmother passed away, my Mother got this treasure and it hung in her kitchen until a few years ago when I asked her if she minded if I had it.

She knew how much it meant to me and lovingly handed it over to me!

I am happy to be showcasing my scrap frame in another "Craft Lightning" series hosted by Angie at the Country Chic Cottage and Carolina from 30 minute crafts.

I just love this ongoing quick crafts series and for this one there was no particular theme, so it fit right in with my scrap fabric frame idea as it is real quick to make and can be finished in no time at all with a little patience for drying time for the Mod Podge finish!

One tip make the craft quicker (if you are in a hurry)...use larger fabric scraps than I did.

I didn't think it through and used pretty small scraps which made it a little more time consuming than I originally planned, but it still turned out nice and will match my Mom's quilt, so I am happy with it!

Here is a collage showing the steps used to complete this project:

Here are the tools and supplies used:

Supplies/Tools Used for this Project:

Plaid Rectangle Wooden Frame - 4-1/8" x 6-1/8" 
Fabric Scraps, Assorted
Favorite Photo
Aleene's Tacky Glue
Mod Podge
Foam Paint Brush
X-acto Knife (not shown in photo above)
Black Gel Ink Pen
Marking Chalk 
Felt (for frame backing)
Cardboard (for backing insert)
Lexmark 4975 Printer, Scanner, Copier

Thanks for stopping by today and if you get a chance, stop by Angie and Carolina's blogs to see some more awesome 15 minute crafts! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Square Dance Rag Quilt

I've always wondered how to make a "Rag Quilt" and recently I signed-up to be a "Pattern Tester" for this adorable pattern from Bobbie @ I am Only One Woman  and just fell in love with it!

I was a bit nervous as I had never made a rag quilt and had only recently began my foray into quilting, but I decided to dive right in and give it a try!

Here is the result and I must say I was pleased with the outcome given the fact it was my first rag quilt!

The finished size is 44" x 44" and you can purchase the pattern in Bobbie's Etsy Shop: "A Vision to Remember" here.

If you aren't a sewer or just don't have the time to make one yourself, you are in luck because Bobbie also sells some of her beautiful quilts in her Etsy Store and even takes custom orders!

Here are some more photos of my rag quilt and a collage showing some of the steps involved in making this quilt.

Even though the size of this quilt is closer to a baby or child size quilt, I made it for my sweet Momma for Mother's Day! 

She is very tiny and her legs and feet always get cold when she is sitting on the couch or in her chair watching TV, so I thought it was the perfect size for that and the comfy flannel backing will keep those feet nice and toasty!

I'm hoping when she gets it (I sent it all the way to Texas) someone can take a photo of her with the quilt and I can update my post with her beautiful smile!

Supplies/Tools Used for this project:

Various Poly/Cotton Blend Fabrics from JoAnn's (Tutti Fruiti Collection)
Flannel Fabric (For Backing) from JoAnn's (Cozy Flannel Solid, Claret Red, 100% Cotton)
Mettler Metrosene Polyester Thread, #703 Eggshell
Fiskars Rotary Cutter 
Fiskars Micro-Tip Scissors No. 5
Fiskars Spring Assist Micro-Tip Scissors, No. 5
Olfa Cutting Mat, 24" x 36"
Fiskars Cutting Mat, 24" x 18"
Easy Rule II, EZ Quilting by Simplicity, 24" x 6" Acrylic Quilting Ruler
Fiskars, 18" x 2" Acrylic Quilting Ruler
Janome 4120 QDC Sewing Machine
Brother CS-6000i Sewing Machine
Quilting Foot (For Janome Machine & Brother Machine)
Straight Pins, Quilting

Thank-you for stopping by for a visit.
Hope you'll come back soon to see what craft project I am working on next!

This project/post is linked-up to the following sites/link-up parties:

Skip To My Lou Inspired Us Thursdays: Sew Needle Stitch Hook, a link party of fiber arts. | The Inspired Wren

Friday, March 21, 2014

Desk Organizer for Teacher

I am really loving the Craft Lightning  Series sponsored by my favorite bloggers, Angie at Country Chic Cottage and Carolina at 30 minute crafts and this current version, Teacher Appreciation, is no exception!

I am always trying to do 10 things at once and am never very successful in getting things done, so finding a craft I can do in 15 minutes or less fits right in with my daily madness!

As my previous visitors and followers already know, I babysit two of my Grandchildren on a regular basis and one of them is in school and she LOVES to make things for her teachers, so I decided to be sure and make a teacher gift every year for her to give to her current teacher.

Last year, I made this personalized coffee container for her Kindergarten teacher and it was a hit not only with Little B and her teacher, but with the entire class!

I don't know if this project will be quite as popular as that one, but since I've been on a "recycle/upcycle" trend lately, I decided to continue with that theme and try to re-use something in a creative way.

I had seen a very cute idea on either Pinterest or Stumble Upon recently and wanted to re-create it but wasn't sure if that exact item (A jewelry holder) would fit for B's teacher, since I do not know a whole lot about her and what she might like, so I decided to down-size it and make it for use on a teacher's desk.

(Click Here to see the original project that I used for inspiration)

So, I made this desk organizer (paper clip, brad, rubber-band holder).

I tried to think of what little items a teacher would use that would need to be organized for quick use on her desk and I came up with paper clips, rubber bands, brads and push-pins.
(I forgot to take any photos of the organizer with push-pins in it...oops! But you get the idea!)

I used 3 empty plastic soda bottles (12-20 oz.) for this organizer, but you could make yours bigger and/or smaller depending on your taste and what bottles you have on hand.

One of the great things about this project is you can almost make it from stuff just around your house and in your craft stash, especially if you have a hubby with a garage or shop!

Oddly enough, my husband has a garage stock full of hardware and tools, but since he wasn't home at the time I started my project, I couldn't find some of the hardware I needed, so I did run to the corner hardware store real quick and pick-up the threaded rod, washers and nuts, though I'm pretty sure he had most of that hidden somewhere in the dark corners of his man cave!

When he got home, I had him do the drilling for me, even though I attempted it with my 25+ year old dremel too, but it finally gave up the ghost, just as I was drilling my first hole, so I had him finish the others for me, as I was not sure I wouldn't drill my finger trying to wrestle with the bigger drill!

(Note: Be sure to wear safety gear, ie: googles and leather gloves when drilling or cutting...I forgot the gloves in my pics, but I did wear safety glasses!)

I noticed that most plastic bottles have a built-in line around them right about where you want to cut, but if you prefer a deeper dish/bowl, then just mark the bottle with tape and then cut it with the utility knife.

I sanded the edges of the plastic after I cut just to smooth them out a bit.
I decided to add some washi tape to the edges also, mostly for color and decoration, but this is not necessary if you sand them smooth or unless you just want to dress them up a bit!

(NOTE about the washi tape...some brands/types don't want to stick as well on plastic...especially when you are wrapping it around contours and curves! In this case, you may need to use a little elmers glue or mod podge to seal the edges. I did not do you might be able to see in a few of the pics...but I will probably go back and do this before I have little B give this to her teacher.)

After attaching all the pieces using the washers and nuts I decided to add an embellishment to the top, to make it look a little prettier!

I used a plain white bead and inserted a straight pin with a colored ball tip and glued them together with E6000.

When it dried, I just snipped off the excess pin and glued the embelli to the top of the threaded rod.

This project was so easy and inexpensive...and it turned out pretty cute for a recycled project!

Hope you like it and might want to try making one of your own or for your favorite teacher!

Here is a photo of the tools and supplies used for this project:

Supplies/Tools List:

3 Empty Plastic Soda Bottles (12 oz., 16.9 oz. & 20 oz.)
Painters Tape, Blue, Scotch 3M
Utility Knife, Husky
Threaded Rod, 1/4" (approx. 6")
Hex Nuts, 1/4"
Flat Washers, 3/16"
Scotch Expressions Tape, 3/4", Dark Pink (Fuschia), Matte Finish
Washi Tape, We-R-Memory Keepers, 1 cm., Green/White design
Washi Tape, We-R-Memory Keepers, 1 cm., Blue flower design
Sand Paper, Med-Fine Grit
Adhesive, Industrial Strength, E6000
Side Cutter/Wire Cutter - (Not shown - Used to trim off excess straight pin)

I would like to send out a special thank-you to my daughter Beth, (who is a photographer) for helping me with some of the photos (you will be able to tell which one's are hers! She's a pro...I am NOT! LOL!)
If you get a chance, check out her photography site, she is very talented and I'm so proud of her!

Also, a big thank-you to Angie and Carolina for once again allowing me to be part of this awesome blog series.

It's always so much fun and so much inspiration to be shared!

Be sure to check out all the great Teacher Appreciation projects in this Craft Lightning Series.
Angie and Carolina will be posting round-ups of all the projects each day!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!