Saturday, November 26, 2011

Burlap Tassels

I've always been fascinated by tassels.  You can adorn just about anything with them.  You could hang them on your Christmas tree as an ornament, you could hang them off knobs on a hutch, you can hang one off the top off an apothecary jar....the possibilities are endless!

There are so many different elements that can be used when making tassels.  For this one I used: a wood knob (that is meant to be used for a pull cord on shades) but you could use wood beads.

I spray painted mine with silver paint.  The key is you want a LARGE hole at the bottom and a smaller hole at the top, which is why a pull cord knob worked great for this.  But you could stack 2 beads on top of each other and get creative with the sizes and shapes of your wood beads.
I used the leftover burlap fibers from my Flat Burlap Fringe project last week.

DMC embroidery threads are perfect to use with tassels.  I added a few strands of tiny silver beads I strung, just to give it some texture and shine.

Just wrap your fibers around cardboard as a guide, then simply slip a ribbon through the top of your cardboard between the fibers, tie a tight knot and then clip the fibers along the bottom of the cardboard.  Then you feed your ribbon up through the large hole of your bead.  This is the basics of making tassels, I'll probably do a more detailed version in the near future.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Boot Socks From Old Sweater

I'm really not a fan of winter!  I'm a born and raised California girl and I LOVE the warm weather of summer.  I mentally work to keep my spirits up during the cold dreary days of winter.  So this year I'm trying to do better by looking for the small things I DO like about winter and I was just telling a friend the other day that the best part of winter is getting to wear all my cute boots!  But this year there is another bonus....Boot Socks!  All the cute boot socks that have recently popped up everywhere are another thing I'm loving about winter.  I've seen them on Pinterest, I've seen DIY tutorials in many blogs, and planned on making a few pairs when I found time.  But yesterday I saw the cutest DIY pair on  Check hers out.  So I went digging through old sweaters that I never wear and found a white cashmere sweater that would work perfect, so I thought.....

My sweaters sleeves were too tight to fit up over my calf ( never thought I had big calves, but I'm sure I'll obsess over them now)  Because I wanted to make these boot socks SOOOO bad, I came up with a new plan on how to make them with this particular sweater....I made one leg out of the front of the sweater and the other leg out of the back of the sweater.  Here's how I did it (in case you have big calves too)

I cut the (dumb stupid sleeves that wouldn't fit over my not too big calves)off and I cut the turtleneck part off and then I separated the front from the back along the side seams and shoulder seams so I could use the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater as the ribbing to be the top of my boot socks.
I then pinned them around my legs with the bottom of the sweater up.  (see my calves aren't huge...are they?)  Leave the pins in and GENTLY slide them off your leg.

Lay them out flat and fix any pins that may have come loose.

Trim the excess fabric, cutting approx 1/4"-3/8" from your pins.  This will be your seam allowance.

Line up the still pinned leg on top of the other sweater piece and use this as your pattern to cut the 2nd boot sock. 
Pin both boot socks right sides together, I pinned an inch or so away from the where I was gonna stitch because my serger foot is wide and I cant sew over pins with it.  Serge starting at the top of your boot sock so you keep the tops lined up.  If you don't have an over lock machine, You can use a wide zig zag stitch.  Whenever you sew on stretch fabrics you either want to use a serger/over lock machine or a zig zag stitch, otherwise your stitches will pop when you go to stretch these over your leg.  DON'T cut the thread tail at the top of your socks.

Thread a VERY large needle with your serger thread tail and thread it back down the over lock stitches, this gives you a nice string free finish and helps keep the seam strong at the top of your boot socks.
I then serged along the bottom edge of these just to keep the knit from unravelling over time (sorry, I forgot to take a picture of that step)
Turn right side out and make SMALL vertical slits to thread your ribbon through.  I made my slits a little too big on the first sock and had to go back and hand stitch them up a little, so start small 3/8" or so and then you can always go bigger.
Another key note- make sure you plan out an even amount of slits or your ribbon will end wrong.  I had 10 slits in my boot socks approx 1 1/8" apart. (you'll understand what I'm talking about when you get to this step)
Weave the ribbon in and out of the holes and tie your bow.  I think next time I will leave the ribbon tails longer.
Hope you love Boot Socks as much as I do and I hope they help to make your winter a little brighter too!  Now go dig through your old sweaters!! Pin It

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tip Me Tuesday Link Party

Tip Junkie handmade projectsDon't ya just love learning new things?!  I don't think I correctly linked back to the Link Party yesterday, so today I try again!  Trial and error....sometimes it's the best and most frustrating way to learn anything. Pin It

Monday, November 21, 2011

My First Time Joining A Link Party-CraftOManiac

With my Google Blogger for Dummies out, I'm learning to Link to my first Link Party.  I sure hope I'm doing it right, I don't want to break the rules of Link Party Etiquette.  So here goes....if all goes well CraftOManiacs Link Party should show up below.

Now I'm off to go check out all the links from other bloggers.  There's so much talent and inspiration at these Link Parties!! Pin It

Friday, November 18, 2011

Flat Burlap Fringe

I recently made a few things out of burlap and was thinking to myself "what can I do with all the scraps?"  I hate to see scraps of fabrics I love go to waste!  Sometimes it takes me days, weeks, or even months to come up with something to do with leftover scraps, but not this time.  I knew right away I wanted to make some flat burlap fringe to adorn things.
Here's a Pendant lamp shade I covered in burlap and decided to add this flat burlap fringe was perfect to cover my stitching.
I glued ribbon down the middle of the fringe to finish it off.
I cut strips about 50" long x 2" wide....I just followed the grain of the burlap to cut them straight.  I did 3 strips per finished fringe, but you could do more layers to make it fuller.

Stack the 3 strips on top of eachother, lining them up as perfectly as possible and pin them together every 6" or so.

Stitch 2 row of stitching down the center long ways.  I stitched mine 7/8" from one side and then turned the burlap around and stitched 7/8" from the other edge.  This gave me 1/4" in between the two rows.

This part was very messy and I suggest doing it outside.  Just start pulling and removing the woven fibers of from the long edge.  Remove all the fibers up to your stitching line, then remove the fibers from the 2nd and 3rd layers.  When you're finished with one long edge, do the same for the other long edge.
There ya go!!  Flat Burlap Fringe to adorn all kinds of projects!  I could so see this down the edge of some Burlap curtain panels or adorning a cute bolster pillow!  I glued ribbon down the center of mine to hide the stitching, but I think it could be left just in the raw and look very natural.
Don't throw out all the long fibers you removed from the burlap strips.....I have an upcoming project for those too!  I guess I'm in a "waste nothing" kind of mood!
Here's a stocking I decided to try it on too....the possibilities are endless! Pin It

Monday, November 14, 2011

Baseball Toothfairy Pillow

This is a great handmade gift for any little slugger on your Christmas list! 
This Baseball Toothfairy Pillow has been a "hit" with every little boy I've made one for.  It also lends a much needed hand to the more stealth mode trying to swap out a tooth for money under a sleeping childs pillow.  It's fairly simple to make and requires minimal materials.
What you'll need:
  • 1/2 yd of white fabric-not to thin, you dont want the the red stitching to show through to the front.
  • 1 Skein of Red embroidery floss- DMC 321
  • Polyfil Stuffing
  • 8"x8" white posterboard
  • Pocket & tooth pattern

You'll cut out 2 circles 9 1/4" diam., 1 pocket piece, and 1 boxing strip 29"x2 1/2".

Press down 1/2" hem at top of pocket, topstitch.  Then press 1/4" under on sides of pocket.

Pin pocket to front of pillow and topstitch close to side hems.  The next step is to topstitch along the pocket stitching line that is marked on the pocket pattern piece.  I don't draw it,  I simply mark the line placement with a pin on both sides of the pocket like shown above and start stitching at one pin and stitch across to the other pin.
Cut a 36" long piece of Red embroidery thread, (I used 6 ply) knot the end and begin to stitch "V's" beginning right next to the pocket. 

Continue to embroider the "v's" along the side of the pocket.  When you get to the top of the pocket where there is no more pocket to guide your stitches, I make a visual line with pins and pull them out as I stitch up to them.  Stitch all the way into to the end and knot thread on back about 1/8-1/4" from top edge of pillow.
Embroider the "v" stitching on the other side of the pocket using pins to mark the way.

Pin boxing strip to right side of pillow clipping the into seam allowance about every 3/4 of an inch.  Stitch all around pillow  1/2" from the edge.  Starting and stopping about 2" from the beginning and end of boxing strip.
Pin the ends together and stitch with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Then finish stiching this area to the face of the pillow.

Pin, clip and stitch the back pillow piece to the boxing strip leaving about 4-5" open to turn and stuff.  Turn right side out and stuff as full or as light as you like.

Turn down 1/2" on remaining boxing edge and pin.

Hand stitch closed.

Trace the tooth pattern on a piece of posterboard and cut out.  Write this little toothfairy poem on the top portion of the tooth and nestle it in the pocket.

If you want to personalize this pillow, you could always embroider your little guys name across the top of the pocket before you attach the pocket to the pillow.  Also, if embroidering just isn't your thing, you could use paint pens instead for the red stitching.
Pocket and Tooth Pattern:

Pocket and Tooth Pattern Pin It