DIY Doll Swing

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For all of her willingness to play along with her older brother in his games of police and fire rescues, Zoe is also beginning to really delve into her role as Mama to her baby doll. It is such a joy to see her imagination and ability to enter into pretend play of her own develop. And as you know… I love a good excuse to make toys for my kids.

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I got my inspiration for this doll swing from the book Creative Play for Your Toddler. (http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Play-Your-Toddler-Expertise/dp/1856752860/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419010634&sr=8-1&keywords=creative+play+for+your+toddler)If you are a long tie follower of Folk Haven you may remember seeing it before in this post.

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While I followed the project in the book as a basic guideline I didn’t use their measurements. It all began with this shirt that was gifted to me for fabric after it had worn out. (Thanks, Jacki!) IMG_3704

I took the front side of it, removed the buttons, and used the hem and button panel. I then hemmed the left side. Basically it is a rectangle 9″ (with a 1″ hem on each side) by 17″ (not hemmed although to original shirt hem is there), or get the book and use theirs.

IMG_3706The book’s directions ask you to glue the cloth to the stick (or dowel rod but I use what I had on hand, or rather, in the yard). I did that for the first stick, but didn’t like how that worked as much as just sewing a sleeve to slide the stick in… probably if I were using a dowel rod it would have glued on more nicely.

IMG_3707I sewed a sleeve for the other end and for the stick that goes in the middle  of the cloth to separate the seat from the back.

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IMG_3715Then using a craft knife I scored around the ends of the sticks at the top and the bottom of the cloth to keep the string from slipping off.IMG_3716A couple of eye hooks into the edge of the patio ceiling and the swing was ready to hang with a couple of lengths of yarn.

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The only thing I think I will change, is I will add a bit of a baby safety belt. Eli pushes a bit enthusiastically, which can send the baby flying… something Zoe finds MOST distressing (as any good mama would). ūüėČ

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IMG_3729And I really love that this project didn’t cost me a dime!

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Pinterest Challenge: Homemade Paint

I recently saw this on Facebook, and later found it on Pinterest. Perhaps you’ve seen it too.

I love the idea of being able to inexpensively supply my kids with art supplies, and my son loves to mix, cook and experiment so this was an activity that HAD to happen.

We mixed up a full batch, waiting to mix in the food colors until we had divided it into four different containers.

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We found that the paint was super gritty, and additional stirring didn’t seem to help.

 

I took the kids outside to paint on some cardboard…

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And a tree…

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and my sensory-seeking son couldn’t resist the urge to go all out with the body paint.

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And while it was good, messy, non-toxic fun, the paint really didn’t adhere very well to much of anything, remaining grainy and pasty.

 

After giving the kids a good bath I began to wonder if perhaps cooking the paint might make it smoother. After all, play dough has a quite a bit of salt in it but isn’t gritty.

So back to the kitchen for a quick half-batch to test out my theory…

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I found that when cooking it the ratio of water to the other ingredients goes way up. Sorry, I didn’t measure;¬†I just kept adding water as the mixture kept clumping and coming together like play dough.

It felt like the salt was dissolving but I had a lumpy mess, so I put it in the Magic Bullet with some additional water.

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The result? A nice smooth white paint base.

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Mix in the colors…

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and give it a try on Eli’s easel paper.

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Two thumbs up!

Next time I will use more food colors for darker paints. I learned long ago when working in a preschool to mix dish soap in with kids paint. It helps any accidents to wash out of clothing better.

So while I really like the idea of using old ketchup bottles to store this paint, the original post won’t give you a paint worth storing. With added water, cooking and blending though you can get a paint that will save you money on your kids’ art supplies.

 

E is for Elephant

Elephant SoftieI’ve not been doing a whole lot of sewing or crafting as of late, but as I have been waiting for this baby to come I realized I wanted Eli to have something new and Mama-made to hold onto when I go to the hospital. Due to the flu season being what it is this year they are limiting all visitors to the maternity floor to spouses and the baby’s grandparents only, and certainly no children under 16 years of age allowed! This is going to be a bit hard on Eli (and me as well, if I’m honest) even though I know he will be well taken care of while I am absent.

I like seeing the softies that other people make in magazines at the book store. They are so ugly-cute and fun. It’s a no-pressure project because as long as it holds together you really can’t go wrong.

crocheting an elephant ear

I started off by crocheting a pair of ears. They came out slightly differently shaped but once sewn onto the head I found they were just fine.

Elephant softie side view

The body and trunk are made with a remnant from a man’s shirt that had been used previously in a quilting project. The arms and legs were from an old felted wool sweater.¬†I embroidered an “E”, added a braided tail and finished the critter off with a couple of button eyes.

Eli hugging his elephant

Simple, quick and definitely huggable.

Beaded Christmas Tree Ornaments Tutorial

These Christmas tree ornaments are quick to make and require just  a few materials. It is a project that could be easily done by older children as well.

You will need:

glass beads (one brand calls them “glass E beads” and another “seed beads 6/0”, I just bought the larger of the two sizes offered at Michael’s)

needle nose pliers

wire (20 gauge)

Step 1:

Cut off a length of wire that will be a bit longer than you need to make the coil of your finished Christmas tree plus a few twists at the beginning and the end.

Step 2:

Using the needle nose pliers make a little curlicue that will be both the decoration at the top of the tree and the hanger attachment.

Step 3:

Begin stringing the beads along the wire. You could do it in a repeating pattern of colors or randomly as I did.

Step 4:

You are now ready to begin coiling your tree shape when you have about 2/3 of the wire filled.

Just begin to twist it with your fingers in gradually larger circles. You don’t need to fiddle with it a lot at this point; just determine how much larger you are going to want to make your tree. You will adjust the coils to be more aesthetically pleasing at the end.

Step 5:

Once you’ve reached your ornaments desired size cut off the extra wire, leaving just a bit to bend into a curlicue to hold the beads on the wire.

Step 6:

Now begin adjusting your coils. Are you aiming for the perfect shape or a touch of whimsy?

Step 7:

Repeat the process to make as many trees in as many color combinations as you would like.

Step 8:

Add the style hanger of your choice. I chose to use candle wick yarn for a simple hanger as I felt my usual beaded hanger would detract from the tree ornament itself.

Step 9:

Hang up your ornaments! You may find that any photo sessions you may wish to have with your new ornaments are more easily had without inquisitive 2 year olds in the room.

Sticks are always fascinating of course.

“Boingy, boingy!”

It might get a bit misshapen but the ornament does hold up fairly well to toddler abuse.

I was featured!!

Domesblissity

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Christmas Craft Linky Party, Tea Rose Home,

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, My 1929 Charmer Blog,

jembellish clothes upcycling page, Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head Please, Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities , The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s Korner, Home Stories A to Z,  Crafty Confessions,

Homemade Tuesday, Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination Tuesday, Take-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin, Heart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable,  Lil’ Luna, Someday Crafts, Whimsy

Wednesday, Whatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, 

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama, 

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

Personalized Knee Patches

Jeans with broken snap replaced with a button.

You may remember these jeans from last January when I posted this tutorial about how to replace a broken snap with a button. (That repair job is still holding quite well, by the way.)

Well these jeans have seen heavy usage over the months. Because they were so long on him initially they fit perfectly now that we no longer cuff them up. Unfortunately the knees were giving out. I could tell at the last washing that with one more wear we’d have some impressive holes unless I acted right away.

I rather like these patches… and more importantly so does Eli. If your kid is going to wear patched clothing, the repair might as well add a fun element, right?

Here are a couple of close up shots of Eli’s new knee-art.

Eli’s not big on greetings. He needs to warm up before talking to people. Perhaps his jeans can go beyond the call of just providing for his warmth, protection and modesty and take on a bit of the pressure of social greeting expectations as well. Most likely though they’ll just give his knees a new degree of cuteness.

I didn’t think to photograph the making of the knee patches because I wasn’t thinking about blogging or tutorials when I made them… I just wanted to save a favorite pair of jeans. But after they were done I thought they’d be fun to share. If you are currently pitching worn jeans or buying those stiff iron on patches you might be interested in this sloppily sketched¬†carefully hand-drawn tutorial.

I like this method because it doesn’t cost anything when I just use left-over scraps of cloth, is a double layer allowing me to use cute cloth that wouldn’t be strong enough to do a patch job on it’s own, and the patches are really soft, unlike the iron on patches used during my childhood (I saw they still sell those things in the fabric store).

Step 1

Cut out two pieces of fabric large enough to cover the hole or weak spot in the knee adding and extra 1/4″ all the way around.

Step 2

Place the fabric right sides together and sew around leaving a gap in the sewing on one side through which you will turn it right side out. When done snip off the corners to reduce bulk.

Step 3

Turn right side out. The strange looking pen marks to the left symbolize the gap where you didn’t sew.

Step 4

Tuck the raw edges of the fabric into the gap, pin and then top stitch all the way around the patch.

Step 5

Hand sew the patch onto the pants using a blind stitch. Be careful not to sew the front of the jeans to the back of the jeans as you do this. This is a good task to do while relaxing in front of the TV at night.

Embellishments

You probably want to do any embellishing at the end of step 4 and before the patch is sewn onto the jeans. I didn’t with these… the idea presented itself after I had completed the repair job. It really wasn’t difficult to do even though I had already sewn on the patches. You can embroider, add an applique or a store-bought embroidered patch (you know, the decorative kind), or you could stencil on a design with fabric paint and freezer paper. Or, if you chose to use some really cute cloth you could just leave well enough alone.

So, go forth and save some holey jeans! (You know there are at least a couple of pair in the bottom of your kid’s drawer.)

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, My 1929 Charmer Blog,

jembellish clothes upcycling page, Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head Please, Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities , The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s Korner, Home Stories A to Z, Tell Me Tuesday, Crafty Confessions,

Homemade Tuesday, Tuesday To Do, Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination Tuesday, Take-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin, Heart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable,  Lil’ Luna, Someday Crafts, Whimsy

Wednesday, Whatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, 

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

Reversible Bubble Pants

I’ve been doing so much sewing lately to get ready for the little girl we expect next March. ¬† Since a second, very in depth ultrasound (thanks to my “advanced maternal age”, such a lovely phrase, don’t yo think? no? me neither) confirmed that indeed she is a she, I’ve begun sewing girly stuff! (Thankfully all of the important stuff they were looking at in the ultrasound seem just fine!) She does seem to be a modest one though and really made the doctor work to determine her gender, first crossing her legs and later by covering her privates with her hand. But back to the sewing…

I posted that I’d be focusing on cloth diaper accommodating pants, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. These first couple I’m going to show you I just love. They are Reversible Bubble Pants from the book Growing Up Sew Liberated.¬†(This is the same book that gave me the pattern for the baby nightgowns.)If these won’t cover a fluffy bottom and still leave room for mobility I don’t know what would!

On the left are the 6 – 12 month side, 0 – 6 months on the right. Right now they seem huge, but babies grow so quickly. I plan to make at least one more pair in the 12 – 18 month size, and then may make second pairs in each size as well after that.

Both pairs of pants ¬†were made from cast-off knit clothing. This pair is in especially pre-loved fabric. I had a wonderful art teacher in high school who made a big difference in my life. My senior year she had a shirt that was made from fabric almost identical to the outer fabric on this pair of pants. A couple of years after graduation I found a dress in a thrift store that reminded me of her and I couldn’t help buying it. I’ve never been one to wear dresses often, but on the fairly rare occasions that I did this was my go to dress for about 6 years after that. When I pulled it out of my closet a week ago I could see it was really hopelessly out of date in style (I’ve worn it perhaps twice in the past 10 years) and had picked up a stain or two along the way. I just had never gotten rid of it due to the sentimental nature of the dress. Cutting it up to make pants for my baby though was easy! I can’t wait to see my daughter in this fabric, and have some more left over that will doubtless become other things for her to wear. (The lining fabric was from a t-shirt. I couldn’t avoid a bit of the printing on the front of the shirt which you may notice at the top of the waist band in the photo. It won’t be visible when worn though, and although these are reversible pants with all seams hidden between the two layers, I’d always want the special fabric on the outside anyway!)

And here is the rear view… Yep, plenty of room for a well padded little tookis!

Thanks for reading!

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, My 1929 Charmer Blog,

jembellish clothes upcycling page

Monday:

Get Outta My Head Please, Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds, C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities , The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Tasteful Tuesday, Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s Korner, The Kurtz Corner, I’m Topsy Turvy, Tip Junkie,

Raising 4 Princesses, The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin,

Jembellish Clothes Upcycling Project, Tuesday Baby Link Up

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable, Someday Crafts, Lil’ Luna,

Whimsy Wednesday, Whatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, Threading My Way,

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Release Me Creations, Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama, 2805,

Just Winging It

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

E is for Eli!

Due to Eli’s recent growth spurt most of his Mama-mades have been packed away or soon will be. Of course this would be when Eli decides that Mama-made clothing is the BEST.THING.EVER. As in “Don’t even think I will get dressed for pre-school without having a meltdown if there isn’t a handmade shirt to wear today!” Luckily on that morning I was able to dig out one last candidate from the shirt drawer that still fit… but barely.

So between the many pairs of baby pants, nightgowns, fitted cloth diapers and diaper covers on my baby-prep sewing list it has been imperative that I sew a few new items for Eli as well.

Here is his latest shirt.

E is for Eli Shirt

I got the idea a long time ago from Dana’s Sprinkle Shirt, which she published way back in 2008. I’ve loved this idea for a long time and it was one of the first kids’ clothing tutorials I ever pinned. Now that Eli is getting really enthused about letter learning it was the perfect time to give it a go!

The shirt itself is part of my ongoing process of learning to sew from patterns. This pattern is a simple t-shirt pattern from Kwik Sew’s Sewing for Toddlers by Kerstin Martensson that Kelly at ReStitch Me recommended to me a while back. The photos are very dated (1980’s) but the clothing is so basic it still works with more modern fabric and embellishment choices. Eli is already using the largest size in the book though so I will soon be looking for a new t-shirt pattern. If anyone can recommend a particular Ottobre edition for a very basic gender neutral t-shirt pattern I’d be most interested.

I don’t know why I find it so challenging to use patterns, but I do. It seems that I had to rip out and redo almost every part of this shirt at least once. So many stupid mistakes were made, and perhaps part of that can be blamed on pregnancy brain. (Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.) I couldn’t very well just give up and trash the project though because Eli had watched me embroider the E with much delight and was following the construction of the shirt with focused attention. I actually cut the tan pieces so short as a mistake and then didn’t have enough fabric left in that repurposed t-shirt to fix my mistake. Color blocking seems to be in these days though, so we’ll just pretend I did it on purpose!

I also used the making of this shirt as the occasion to finally try out the twin needle I bought, oh, probably about a year ago. I found it such an intimidating idea, but everyone else that has used one and blogged about it always seems to say that is is actually rather simple to use and quite satisfying as well. Now that I’ve finally taken the plunge I’d have to say that I agree.

Wearing his E shirt and playing with his train. Please excuse the bed head. ūüôā

Since I’ve made this shirt Eli wears it almost constantly. The first time I put it on him he immediately wrapped his arms around my neck in a big hug and then spent the rest of the evening periodically giving my arm little love pats. It requires prolonged negotiations to get it off of him to be able to wash it. He also tells anyone who comments on his big E shirt “Mama made it!” Nope, it just doesn’t get much better than that! I need to make a few more shirts and pronto though so that he isn’t always wearing the same soon-to-be grungy shirt!

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, My 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday, jembellish clothes upcycling page, A Round Tuit

Monday:

Get Outta My Head Please, Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds, C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities , The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With K, Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s Korner, The Kurtz Corner, I’m Topsy Turvy, Tip Junkie,

Raising 4 Princesses, The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable, The Shady Porch, Lil’ Luna,

Someday Crafts, Passionately Artistic, Whatever Wednesday, Trendy Tots,

Whimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, Threading My Way,

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Release Me Creations, Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama, 2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

Baby Nightgown

As much as I was going to hold off on sewing for a little girl until we received confirmation at the 20 week ultrasound, I just couldn’t resist. I remember when Eli was an infant we couldn’t have enough of these baby nightgowns. They make those middle of the night diaper changes go so much more smoothly as you just have to hoist them up, and don’t have to completely undress the little one. I recycled fabric for this nightgown from an adult night shirt and the ribbing from an old tank top, so other than the elastic at the bottom it was pretty much cost free.

Growing Up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee

The pattern is the Baby Sleep Sack from the book Growing Up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee. There are so many projects in this book that I want to¬†make, and I know I’ll be making more of these baby nightgowns!

Have you made anything from this book? If so I’d love to hear about it in the comment section. Any links to relevant posts you’ve written are encouraged.

DIY Leather Journal Cover

My husband and I recently celebrated our 8th anniversary. If you want a refresher on why I have every reason to celebrate this relationship feel free to visit my gushing Father’s Day post. The thing is though, in the gift-giving department my husband makes life fairly difficult. At least he was kind enough to specifically tell me what he wanted for Father’s Day this year, but generally he is hard to get for as he is quite the minimalist, non-materialistic type. He gets more excited about not spending money than about buying something for himself! But lucky for me, he tends to always appreciate a handmade gift.

My husband is a writer, both by profession and in his free time. He isn’t currently in need of a new journal, but he is constantly jotting down ideas, so his current one will have to fill up eventually. When it does, he’ll be ready!

This gift also fits the glorious “no money was spent” criteria for my husband’s optimal enjoyment. Well, almost. I think the blank book ran $1.50 at Michael’s.

The leather came from this jacket that a neighbor no longer wanted. With all of the advertisement embroidery on the back (and front as well) it wasn’t a good candidate for thrift store donation. It worked great for this project though, and I get excited thinking about how many baby shoes I can get out of it as well!

So here is the journal that is really about the last sort of cover most people would think of gifting their husband! I cut the piece of leather from the jacket sleeve.

To create the extra length to wrap around the journal, I cut an additional piece and attached it with a zigzag stitch. I flipped it to create a contrast of textures.

I cut a thin strip of leather and attached it to the inner side, cut a small slit near the edge of the flap and threaded the strap through. The leather strip should be long enough to wrap around the book twice and have a little extra tail besides.

Now to make the inside panels to hold the cover onto the book. I had a bit of this fabric left over from a previous project. It had originally been one of his favorite shirts from Urban Outfitters in Chicago. A lot of good times were had wearing that shirt! I cut two rectangles to fit the inside of the journal cover, turned in the edges and stitched them down.

I figure I’d attach the fabric to the leather with elastic to grip the book. ¬†Here is where I made a series of¬†incredibly stupid¬† educational mistakes which I will spare you. Let’s just say the gift wasn’t ready for our anniversary celebration which took place a few days after the actual anniversary. Now on to the steps that were actually helpful and don’t require repeated use of a seam ripper.

I slightly melted the edges of my elastic strips to prevent fraying. It gave me another chance to put these really cool matches I got in my Christmas stocking last year to use.

I then sewed a short piece to each corner of both panels of fabric.

The inner fabric panels were then sewn to the inside of the journal cover.

The smooth side of the leather wouldn’t advance through the machine, so I put a piece of paper underneath.

When finished I flipped it over and tore away the paper.

At this point I put the journal into the cover so I could figure how much of the elastic to fold under for a good fit. You’ve probably noticed I haven’t given any measurements. It all depends on the journal. Other journals from Michael’s that I have aren’t even the same size as this one so the measurements would most likely not apply to the next attempt. Actually I did almost no measuring but cut most of the pieces just by using the journal as a guide.

I underexposed this photo hoping you can see the black elastic against the black leather. I couldn’t pin the elastic to the leather before sewing without leaving holes in the leather. Instead I folded under the elastic to the previously determined place and secured it with a couple of drops of glue. I then put a book on each fabric panel to hold everything in place until the glue dried. This held the elastic in place long enough for me to sew it down, again using a piece of paper underneath to be able to slide the leather through the machine.

Insert book and there you have it… a handmade leather journal cover!

Thanks for stopping by!

Karen

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, My 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday, jembellish clothes upcycling page

Monday:

Get Outta My Head Please, Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds, Etcetorize, C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising, Sarahndipities ,

Everything Under the Moon, The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With K, Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s Korner, The Kurtz Corner, I’m Topsy Turvy, Tip Junkie,

Raising 4 Princesses, The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable, The Shady Porch, Lil’ Luna,

Someday Crafts, Passionately Artistic, Whatever Wednesday, Trendy Tots,

Whimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, kojodesigns,

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Release Me Creations, Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama, 2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

Easiest No-Sew Bibs

If you want to make adorable bibs for your little nosher here is a great tutorial I found at Sewingdork.blogspot.com. I mean look at ’em, what’s not to love?!

Unfortunately, I’m a slacker when it comes to sewing what is destined to be blackberry, sunflower seed butter and tomato sauce besmirched. ¬†While I might let Eli eat in store- bought clothing when we are out of clean bibs, if he is wearing a mama-made item that day, at meal time he will suddenly find himself playing for the skins team.

This has been happening fairly frequently as with only 3 people in our household, he runs out of bibs between loads of laundry being washed.

Enter the t-shirt bonanza of 2010.

A ¬†local t-shirt printing company advertised on Freecycle that they had a misprint order of 3 boxes of t-shirts to give away. I was just beginning to sew with knit material so I claimed one of the boxes. Oh my goodness, but I found myself awash in black t-shirts as the box contains I-don’t-know-how-many shirts… 50? 70? I don’t want to take them out of their tightly packed state just to count them and then not be able to store them again as neatly afterwards. All I know is that the box was quite heavy! Seriously, if you live locally (Orange County, CA) ¬†and would like to share in the bonanza please contact me. If I were to endeavor to use all this fabric Eli would be quickly labeled “Goth” even at the tender age of 2.

Since I don’t use the front decal part of the shirt when harvesting fabric, using it for a bib makes perfect sense.

So here’s my tutorial for other people with an abundance of old t-shirts itching for a new purpose. As an added benefit you’ll find your dresser drawers easier to close! (Tell me I’m not the only lazy bum unmotivated person when it comes to articles of clothing destined for destruction.)

1. Cut a rectangle out of an existing unloved t-shirt long enough to cover the belly and a bit of the lap of your future fastidious diner. Include the neck band. Make as many as necessary to cover all meals between loads of laundry. (Save the rest of the fabric from the shirts for other projects. (Time investment: approximately 45 seconds. Use the rest of naptime to sew that pair of Treasure Pocket Pants or the Charlie Tunic you’ve been itching to make.)

2. Soil.

3. Wash.

4. Repeat.

Now if you want both sewing time dedicated to clothing you’ll be proud to see your little one wearing in public, and cute bibs as well (I admit, my bibs are way down there down there at the ugly end of the attractiveness spectrum), here are some wonderful bibs I found on Etsy:

Baby Bibs, Set of 2, Organic, Circa 52 Woodland Friends and Cotton Fleece

from Sir Bubbadoo. Really hard to beat a woodland theme if your shooting for cuteness.

Gender Neutral Baby Bib - Lime Green Giraffes and Chenille

from The Posh Pea Boutique. We like just about anything giraffe around here!

organic baby bib (white elephant)

From Down Home Amy. Love the quilting and the whimsical elephant!

So if you also find yourself short on bibs, go forth and cut, sew or buy!

Thanks for the visit!

Karen

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Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, My 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday

Monday:

Get Outta My Head Please, Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds, Etcetorize, C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising, Sarahndipities ,

Everything Under the Moon, The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With K, Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s Korner, The Kurtz Corner, I’m Topsy Turvy, Tip Junkie, the space between,

Raising 4 Princesses, The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable, The Shady Porch, Lil’ Luna,

Someday Crafts, Passionately Artistic, Whatever Wednesday, Trendy Tots, Whimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Saved by Love Creations, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, kojodesigns,

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Release Me Creations, Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama, 2805, Jembellish

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

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