“Baked” Potato Microwave Bag

At the Christmas Eve Eve celebration we attended this bag was given as a hostess gift. I heard people raving about how well it works and it looks super easy to make. The potatoes made this way taste oven-baked, with the exception of not being crispy on the outside, and are so much faster to make with less energy consumption than the traditional way. We don’t use a microwave at our house so I won’t be sewing up one to make a tutorial myself, but I found one here.

Microwave Potato Bag

The tutorial calls for using batting, but the bag circulating at the party (and the ones others were speaking about that they had received and used) did not use any batting, just quilting fabric on the outside and flannel inside.

While looking for a tutorial to link to I did find some important advice on other sites. It is important to use only 100% cotton materials, NO polyester at all, or there is a risk of the bag catching fire in the microwave (not to mention potential unsavory synthetic off-gassing). Also regardless of the fabric size recommended in the tutorial, double check that the potato bag is small enough to clear the sides of your microwave by at least an inch.

IMG_8598

Close up of the instruction label pinned to the microwave potato bag.

Whether made for yourself or to give as a gift, this is one super quick and easy project that receives rave reviews… just thought I’d pass it on. 🙂

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toesjembellish clothes upcycling page,

Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Skip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do, Keeping It SimplePolly Want a

Crafter An original Belle,  I Should be Mopping the FloorThe Dedicated House 

A Round Tuit,  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 HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot GiraffeKammy’s Korner,

Home Stories A to Z,  Crafty Confessions, Homemade Tuesday,  Today’s Assignment,

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

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Naptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My HandsHello Weekend,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

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 ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sundayjembellish clothes upcycling page

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

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

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy Tots,

Whimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal