DIY Jane Austen Quote Shadow Box

Me again, with another Christmas gift idea!! I have a dear friend that loves all things Jane Austen and Regency — the books, the movies, the clothing, the dancing…and I’m right there with her. We joke that we were born in the wrong era. We would have been so good at wearing the beautiful gowns, dancing the night away at balls, dodging unwanted marriage proposals…

In fact, here’s a picture of me and Ryan all dressed up in our costumes for a Regency Ball.

Regency Pic

Ok, sorry, back on topic. So here’s a fun gift idea for the Jane Austen/Regency fan in your life. I made my friend a Jane Austen quote shadow box, it was very simple and she LOVED it!!

Materials:
Shadow box – I found mine at Michael’s
Scrapbook paper – I used parchment paper and a handwriting print
Photo corners – Again from Michael’s
Embellishments – I used an antique key, ribbon, a brooch (from Michael’s not a true antique), and antique button

How-to:
1. Choose a favorite Jane Austen quote, here are some good ones:

There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.
–Emma

To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.
Pride and Prejudice

Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.
–Northanger Abbey

It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.
-Sense & Sensibility

I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.
–Pride & Prejudice

I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control.
–Emma
(I can totally hear Gwenyth Paltrow saying this in Emma)

A girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then. It is something to think of.
-Pride & Prejudice

Every moment has its pleasures and its hope.
–Mansfield Park

There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison.
–Persuasion

Ok, there are a TON of great quotes you could use depending on the person you are giving the gift to. Just google it! 😉

2. Type up your quote using a cool script font. I actually found a font called Jane Austen, can you believe it? You can download it for free here: http://www.dafont.com/search.php?q=jane+austen

3. Depending on the size of your shadow box, cut out the scrapbook paper you used for your background, then cut out the quote to layer on top of it. You want to be able to see a good amount of the background paper, so size your quote accordingly. I used double sided tape to put the two pieces of paper together.

4. Now is the fun part, embellishments! This is where your creativity can really soar. I just put together vintage or antique looking knick-knacks that I thought would look good together. I used a brooch (not actually an antique) from Michael’s, tied some ribbon to an antique key, and found a cool old button I thought would look good too. I played around with the arrangement until I found one I liked, then I carefully hot glued everything together and added the cool photo corners.

WARNING: Be careful wielding that hot glue gun, those things are brutal. We are talking permanent scars, physical and emotional.

5. Stand back and admire your creativity!

And just like that, you checked someone off your Christmas list with something unique and special.

Jane Austen

–h

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DIY Elsa Inspired Cape

Ok, so I promise that not all of my posts are going to involve Elsa and Disney’s Frozen. Seriously, I promise. But right now, it seems like it is unavoidable. Like I mentioned in a previous post, my niece loves to sing, dance to, and act out the entire scene that corresponds to Let it Go. It’s really quite cute and pretty darn impressive. When I was watching her go through the motions, it became clear, she absolutely NEEDS an Elsa cape.

DIY Elsa Inspired Cape

Materials:

Blue snowflake material (I used some from Joann’s)
Matching Thread
Assorted trims

How to:

  1. Create your pattern. I decided to do a “half-circle” shaped cape to give the cape some good swirl and swish. Perfect for dancing in! Create a pattern for yourself out of wrapping paper or tissue paper. Appropriately for this time of year, I used Christmas paper.
    You are aiming for ¼ of a circle for your pattern (that will fold out to half of a circle). The radius of that circle should be the length of cape you wanted. For my 4 ½ year old niece, that length was 38″. You will do a much smaller 1/4 circle at the top for the head and shoulders. The following graphic should help illustrate what you are going for…
    Cape1
  2. Lay out your pattern on your fabric on the fold. Pin and cut out.
    IMG_4342
    Here is the shape you are going for.
    Cape2
  3. Next, I decided she needed a stand collar. I measured the opening of the cape and drafted a simple pattern (see below). I’m sure there is a right way to do this, but I just measured the opening at the top of the cape and decided about how tall I wanted the collar, and I drew a slightly curved shape within those dimensions. My dimensions were 13″ x 4″.
    Collar pattern
  4. Right sides of collar together, sew the top and two sides. Trim seams, clip corners, turn out, and press. Pin the collar to the cape, right sides together. Sew the seam. Trim seams, press and then top stitch. This helps the collar stand up.
    Stand Collar
  5. Next I hemmed the front edges of the cape.
  6. Now is the fun part, trim!!I promised my niece that we would work on her cape together so I pulled out all the lace, ribbon, trims, buttons, etc. that I could find and I let her pick out how she wanted to embellish her cape. Uh, a bit of a mistake. She ended up choosing red rickrack and black sequins… With some coaxing I talked her into some silver ribbon and white lace, but she insisted on the pink ribbon for the tie. Not exactly Elsa, but you can’t blame a girl for loving pink. You can, of course, use your own judgment on how to embellish.I started with lace along the bottom of the cape and added some silver ribbon about 1/2″ above the lace.
  7. I then attached the pink ribbon around the neck. Along with some sparkly buttons just for fun.
    Elsa Cape

And there you have it, an Elsa inspired cape!

–h

P.S. Can’t get enough of Elsa? Check out this simple Frozen inspired t-shirt!

Tutu Tuesday: Part I Tulle Circle Skirt

Confession: With the new baby at home, I’ve become a Dutch Bros junkie. Seriously, it’s getting bad. Last Tuesday, I drove up and everyone was wearing a tutu and a tiara. I’ll admit I was just a little jealous!! So I told the girl getting my coffee that I loved her look, and she replied…We’ve established it as Tutu Tuesday.

Um, every girl needs a Tutu Tuesday, don’t you think? So here’s a DIY Tulle Skirt for you…

Tulle Circle Skirt

I found a ton of great tutorials on Pinterest, check-out my Crafty Ideas board for several good ones. If you run into questions during my tutorial, those might fill in any gaps. 🙂

Materials:

  • 6 yards (at least) of Tulle – I used green because I was Disneybounding Mike Wazowski for Halloween.
  • Appx 1 yard of matching Lining Fabric
  • Elastic the size of your waist plus 1 inch – You want this to fit snugly, but not too tight (we don’t want a tulle skirt muffin top, yikes!)

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How-to:
1. Determine the length of your skirt. Measure from your waist down to where you want the skirt to end. I went down to my knee.

2. Determine your waist radius. Measure around your waist, divide that by 3.14, then divide that by 2. That gives you your waist radius.

3. You are basically going to cut out a number of tulle “doughnuts” out of squares of tulle. So add the waist radius to the skirt length and multiply by 2. That will be the length you cut your fabric. You also want the width of the tulle to be at least equal to that same measurement. So cut several of these pieces. I would do at least 4. Do the same for your lining fabric (just 1).

Here’s what we are going for:

FAbric

4. Now fold each piece in half lengthwise. You should have a square piece of fabric with 2 folded sides.

Fabric2

5. Now take your waist measurement and skirt length to create your pattern.

Skirt pattern

Tip: Create a pattern out of tissue paper or wrapping paper. You’ll thank me for this step because tulle can be challenging to work with.

If you think about it, here are the tulle doughnuts you are cutting out so make sure your folds are the right places…

Skirt graphic

6. Pin your pattern to your first piece of tulle, and cut out. Repeat 4+ times and 1 time for your lining fabric.

7. Hem your lining fabric.

8. Take your tulle and lining circles and layer them on top of each other. Pin and baste around the waist line.

9. Take the ends of your elastic and overlap ½” and sew together (remember this is an important stitch that will have pressure one it).

10. Pin your skirt to the elastic. Zig-zag stitch around. Done!

Tulle Circle Skirt

Again, this was for a Halloween costume, I’m excited to make one in black or red for the holidays.

Happy Tutu Tuesday!! Also, anyone also in the mood for a doughnut or some coffee now?

–h

P.S. Part II continues here

DIY Bottle Cap Pin Cushion

This is a fun, simple DIY project that anyone who can operate a glue gun can do. I mean glue guns do get pretty hot, so proceed with caution.

Several years ago when my sister had her first baby, we threw a different kind of baby shower. It was a quilting bee shower. Each guest worked on a square to be included in the final quilt for the baby. To go along with the quilting theme, I wanted to come up with a unique favor for the guests. So….I decided to make bottle cap pin cushions for everyone using mixed and matched fabric from the quilt. A useful and fun reminder of the shower!

bottle-cap pin cushions

Materials/Tools:

  • Coordinating Fabric
  • Batting
  • Bottle Cap (a Diet Pepsi bottle cap would be a good choice)
  • Hot glue/glue gun
  • Sewing machine (you barely barely sew, so don’t worry)

How To:

  1. Cut two circles out of the fabric 3.5” in diameter. Just use a cup to trace out the circles. I did two different coordinating fabrics.
    pin cushion
  2. On the circle you want for the top of the pin cushion, do a gathering stitch around the outside. Gather into a little ball with a small opening.
    pincushion5
  3. Stuff batting into the little pocket. Stuff it full. Finish gathering, clip thread. You now have a fabric ball.
  4. Wrap the other circle around the bottle cap, hot gluing it in place. I ended up tucking the fabric in four places.
    pincushion6
  5. Put a big dab of hot glue in the bottom of the bottle cap, and stick the fabric ball in, sewed side down. Tad-ah, finished!
    pincushion7

Now how’s that for a simple DIY? You can even up the ante on this. I added elastic to one and made it into a ring for when I need a hands-free pin cushion.

pincushion1

Or, I also did several of these on a bigger scale using old (cleaned out) olive cans. So this is my everyday pin cushion following the exact same steps as above (plus batting wrapped around the outside of the can).

pincushion2

Everyone needs a fun customized pin cushion, so I’m challenging you to find a can, bottle cap, and some fun fabric and make your own! I’d love to see pics if you are up for it!

–h

Pinterest Ready Bottle Cap Pin Cushion

Reupholstery Part II: Deconstruction

So, I know this seems like a big daunting project. You might have a piece (or pieces) of furniture you have been wanting to reupholster for years. You can do this. Seriously, you can. There is actually very little sewing involved and you get to use a Staple Gun, so that’s something. Don’t worry about all the steps, just methodically go through one step at a time and you can do it!

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Once again, I’m no expert, and truly there are TONS of great tutorials out there on the right way to upholster/reupholster furniture. I would recommend reading a few of them and even watching some YouTube videos before you start. My purpose, and what I want to leave you with, is  to show you that if I can do this project, so can you!

So, we’ve gathered out tools and materials, given ourselves a little pep talk, and it’s time to get underway. Yay!

1.  Take pictures of your chair. Every angle you can think of. Pay special attention to different seams, and connection points. When you go to reassemble your chair, you will find yourself asking, now how did “they” do that again? If you document it well, this current piece of furniture is the best tutorial you could ask for.

IMG_2129  IMG_2123   IMG_2134

2. As you take pictures of your chair, conduct a careful inspection and figure out what the last piece on was. Depending on your chair, it could be mesh on the underside, it could be the skirt (which was how mine was), or it could be the back panel. Whatever the last piece on was, will be the first piece off.

IMG_2118   IMG_2125

3. Deep breath, it’s go time! Figure out how to remove that piece that you determined was the last one on. It might be stapled or “they” might have used a metal piece called Pli-Grip (see pic below). For staples, I mostly used the flathead screwdriver and sometimes the mallet and/or pliers to get these out. I kept a small Tupperware container next to me to put all the removed staples in. If they used Pli-Grip, use your screwdriver to pry it away from the chair and then screwdriver/pliers to remove the tacks or staples used to keep the Pli-Grip in place.

IMG_2126   IMG_2128

4. As you remove each piece, take a Sharpie and label the crap out of it. I wrote what the piece was, right, left, top, bottom, etc. Again, the better you document now the easier it is going to be to reassemble it correctly later. IMG_2176   IMG_2171

5. Continue taking pieces off and labeling and taking pics. I also kept a list of the order I removed things, because again, the order you remove things, informs how you put it back together just in reverse. Keep everything, any little cardboard strips, piping, etc. Again, all important. Have I said that too many times?? 🙂

You will literally remove a kajillion staples. Yes, a kajillion. It may seem like the process will never end. But don’t worry, when you feel like you could build your house with number of staples you have removed, you are almost there. 🙂

–h

Monster’s Inc. Boo Halloween Costume – Part III

The long-awaited and much-anticipated final post on Kyrie’s Halloween costume is in!! I know, pins and needles, right?

Teeth, check.
Hood, check.
Now onto the body!

Ok, so I really had to think through the design and construction of this costume. One sleepless night, and I had a plan! It would have been easier if I didn’t want to finish the inside, but I want Kyrie to be comfortable so it just took a little extra brain power to get it right. One thing to note, you don’t actually need three pieces for the body, I was going to put a zipper in the back and after I cut out my pieces I remembered that the hood is attached to the back, so the closure will need to be at the side-seams. Typical me. Oh-well, live and learn. 🙂

Back:
So, I started by just closing that center back seam. You can baste the batting and exterior (purple) fabric together. Then, right purple sides together, sew, trim, press. Then separately (because I want a finished interior) sew the right sides of the exterior (gray) fabric together.

Then right side purple to right side gray, sew one side seam starting 1/2″ from the top (don’t forget the arm hole). This seam will be a finished edge with Velcro to attached the front to the back. Trim, clip curves, turn out and top stitch. Leave the other side unfinished at this point.

IMG_3899     IMG_3901    IMG_3902

Front:
Next, I did the Velcro edge of the front of the costume. Same process. Baste batting to purple fabric. Right sides of purple to right side of gray sew one side seam (the one that meets up with the back of the costume). Again, make sure to do the arm hole. I added an extra half-inch to the “depth” location of the arm hole to allow for the overlap of the Velcro. It’s kinda hard to explain, hopefully this picture helps. Trim, clip curves.

IMG_3906

Now for the top edge of the front of the costume. Don’t forget to insert the teeth between the gray and purple fabric. Then then sew along the top edge of the costume, ending about ¾ of an inch from the unfinished side. Trim, Press. Turn out and top stitch both side and top seams. Next top stitch a channel (3/4”)  into the top front of the costume for another piece of boning. Slip the boning in.

IMG_3909

Next, I connected the front of the costume to the back. This is just a little tricky with finishing and the arm holes. Baste purple fabric to the batting. Purple side to purple side, stitch the side seam before and after the arm holes. Do the same with just the gray fabric. You will now have finished edges other than the arm holes. You can press the seam allowance on the arm holes, clipping curves, and then top stitch the purple to the gray giving you a finished arm hole.

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Next, I top stitched four rows into the body of the costume. I just took the length and divided out four equal sections (taking into account the seam allowance for the bottom). I measured carefully and marked my lines with pins and stitched.

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At this point I sewed on the Velcro to the front and back Velcro edges. Be sure to do the back side of one and front side of the other. I did the back-side of the front and the front-side of the back. Now how’s that for a sentence. 🙂

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Almost finished!! Next attach the  bottom. First baste together your layers. I just did purple, one layer of batting, and then gray. This is one seam I didn’t worry about finishing on the inside, it’s just too difficult to get to by hand, and really doesn’t matter. So right side of the costume to right side of the bottom piece, stitch.

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This can be a little difficult because you are sewing a circle to a rectangle, but take your time, it is possible. Remember that the Velcro edges will need to overlap as well. Trim edge, clip curves, and turn out.

Confession: I ended up sewing this piece and ripping it out four times. Yes, four. It seems like when I’m almost done with a project, I do something to make life more difficult. First time, the piece was a little too big. Second time, still too big. Third time, I sewed wrong side to right side. Fourth time – success! Seriously, it doesn’t matter the project, something always gets me. 🙂 My message to you, measure carefully!

Anyway, exciting, it’s really starting to look like a little Boo monster, almost done!!

Monster's Inc Boo Halloween Costume

Next, I attached the hood to the back of the costume. Sew right sides of the purple side only together, you want to leave the gray out so that you can hand finish that edge. Trim and press the seam. Wait to finish the interior.

IMG_4067

Now we need the finishing touches. Boo’s monster has googly eyes and mop like hair. Styrofoam balls, pipe stem cleaners, floral wire, and some cording accomplished that. The Styrofoam balls I picked were too big, like really too big, so I had to go back and buy smaller, lighter ones.

Finally, hand tack the hood lining along the center back seam and hand sew the seam between the of the hood and the gray back lining.

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Voila, we have a sweet little Boo! It’s far from perfect, but it was sewed with love (and actual blood and tears – see Part II).

Happy Halloween! In case you missed them, here are Part I and Part II.

–h

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Nailed it! Monster’s Inc. Boo Halloween Cotume — Part II

Ok, so I have to thank my brother-in-law for this blog title and no, I’m NOT trying to brag.

So… I was working hard to finish the Boo costume in time for Halloween when tragedy struck! I went to sit in the folding chair I had next to my work table, sorta missed it, it folded, and I fell through it pinching my upper arm and ripping off my entire ring-finger nail (like down to underneath the skin).

Yah, gross.

1 quick trip to the ER to “fix” my nail and back to work. That’s what we call sacrifice and commitment to a project, right?? And, like my bro-in-law said, I am “nailing” this costume!! Seriously, I think these things only happen to me.

Ready to start sewing? Cutting out is my least favorite part of a project, so that’s done. Yay!!

Teeth:
Yes, oddly, I did the teeth first because they will be sewn into the body and the hood. So I just drew myself a simple pattern and cut 20 or so teeth pieces out of some white canvas I had lying around (you could use any white fabric that has some stiffness to it – you don’t want your monster teeth to be wimpy). Right sides together, sew the top and sides. Clip curves, turn out, press. I then top stitched each tooth to finish them off.

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Hood:
Next, I worked on the hood. I added just one thickness of batting to the hood. Layer purple fabric and batting together (baste if you would like) and sew right sides together down the center back. Trim, clip curves, press.

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Then separately, sew the right sides of the gray fabric together down the center back. Trim, clip curves, press.

Then place right sides together of the purple and gray adding the teeth in between (you could baste the teeth to the gray fabric ahead of time) and sew together. Trim, press the teeth down.

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Top stitch along the front edge of the hood. Then, about 3/4 inch from the edge of the top of the hood, top stitch across the face of the hood a channel where you can insert boning to give the hood structure. Slip boning in.

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Set aside. Finishing the hood will be the final step.

Note: In order to get the teeth to stay down like I wanted, I put binding clips on the hood to reinforce good behavior. 🙂

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We’ll finish Boo in Part III. Until then, happy creating!

–h

Reupholstery Part I: Materials

Ok, so I read a lot of blogs and watched a lot of how-to videos before I got started on my upholstery project. One of the things that felt a little overwhelming was all the different tools/materials you need to get started. Many of which I had never heard of and/or didn’t want to afford.

Well, there is a difference between what you could use vs. what you actually need. You don’t need a pneumatic staple gun, for instance, it’s great if you have one, but an electric one will do just fine.

So here’s what I found I actually needed:

Upholstery2

  • Electric Staple Gun and Staples (I used 1/2″ staples)
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Thimble
  • Gloves
  • Curved Needle (not pictured above)

I also found a fantastic book that was my constant companion throughout the entire process. Spruce by Amanda Brown. Not only was this book very helpful and it covers a wide range of different pieces of furniture, but it is also a beautiful book! Highly recommend it!

Upholstery3

 

And finally, my materials. I found a great neutral gray upholstery fabric at Joann’s and Ryan suggested we use white piping (which I made myself, and I’ll explain in a future post).

Upholstery1

So gather your materials, and we’ll cover deconstruction next time.

–h