Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

You know all those cute nurseries that have the child’s name on the wall?  I’ve seen so many versions of them – wall decals, frames, painted letters, you name it – and they’re all so sinkin’ cute!   We had already decided that we wanted to jump on the band wagon and have our guy’s name on the wall too… the problem was deciding how we wanted to do it.  So many options!

Well, I wanted to share what ended up being one of my favorite projects for our little boy’s room!  This turned out much better than I expected, and even J was super excited when he saw the finished product!

Its A-mazing. 🙂

I wanted to surprise J and do something very “guy-ish” with the letters (as in super hero – ish).  J would have been thrilled had I plastered the whole room with Marvel and DC characters, Star Wars stuff, etc.  But I’m determined to have a little bit of a baby/little boy look in the room for a while.  I mean, they grow up so fast – and I’m sure through Daddy’s influence he will become a Marvel, DC and StarWars fan in due time… but I didn’t want to leave J’s wishes completely out of the picture, so I figured the name would be the perfect way to add that bit of “guy-ness” I was after. 🙂

I found a bit of inspiration here and there, and finally settled on the paper mache/decoupage idea.  I bought cardboard letters from the craft store.  (I waited for them to go on sale and got them for $1 each – oh, yeah!)  Then, I started asking around about comic books.  Since I was going for the decoupage look, I didn’t want to spend tons on comic books that would get torn into strips. 🙂  At first I was having a hard time… until I posted my idea on Facebook, that is!  One of my friends (an actual, real person I know – not just a virtual acquaintance) found out what I was doing and he donated a hefty stack of comic books!  I was so shocked and so excited!  The picture below doesn’t have all the books in it. And the ones that are at the foreground are the. coolest. ever. I’m considering framing a few of the pages… we’ll see.

Honestly, the hardest part was deciding which pages to use!  It took me about two evenings to comb through the stack and set aside the ones.  Yes, I took my time. 🙂  I decided beforehand that I wanted each letter to be a specific character, and I chose J’s favorites (Captain America was my choice actually!): Batman, Superman, Capt. America, Thor, and Wolverine.

Instead of buying Mod Podge or any other kind of special glue, I decided to use an old stand-by which you may remember from your kindergarten days.  Good ol’ hot water and flour!  So easy and cheap!  (The only down side is you have to use it within two days or so because it starts to REEK!)

First, I covered the entire letter with random strips of the comic pages.  No rhyme or reason – just making sure the surface was covered.  I let them dry for a day or so.  If you don’t let the glue dry, then the whole projects gets all goopy and warped.

Next, I sorted through the pages that I had reserved and tore/arranged/rearranged the pieces until I had it the way I wanted.  I didn’t use glue at this point – just set the pieces on top of the letters to get a visual.  Oh, and that green paper – that is actually a gift bag.  I tore that into strips as well and integrated it as a way to tie in the letters with the rest of the room. Yeah, I’m a bit random.  I’ve learned to deal with it. 🙂

OK, so I didn’t take pictures of the in-between process… mostly because my hands were covered in gunk and I didn’t want to get my camera all sticky.  So, you’re going to have to use your imagination!

Next, I slathered the letters with the flour and water mixture again and stuck the final strips of paper on them.   I added a thin layer of the glue over the top of the whole letter, sort of as an extra precaution to make sure the paper stuck well.  I let it dry out completely after that.  As in for about a week.  Probably no necessary, but I had other things keeping me busy, so a week it was!  My final step was to spray it all over with a clear sealant to protect it from moisture (after all, I do live in Florida).

And yes, in the above picture, that is a bin lid.  😉 I figured I’d want be able to pick up the whole kit and caboodle and move it when necessary, and that’s hard to do when you just put down a table cloth or thin sheet of plastic.

Now, I just need to hang it up!  Cannot wait!  For now its waiting patiently on the book shelf while I touch up the crib.  Once the crib is in place, I’ll hang up the letters!

Below I added a pic of each letter in case you would like to see a close-up version. 🙂  Can you tell I’m a little bit proud of this project? HA!

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OK!  So, here we go!

With the roman shade all finished up, it was simply a matter of making some very simple curtain panels to dress it up a bit… and yes, in the end I decided to make a valance as well.  But both were so simple it only took about an hour and a half to make them start to finish.  I like the easy stuff!

So, I told you that I picked up a twin sheet from Wal Mart, right?  I also mentioned that those sheets are pretty thin, so if you’re planning to have only panels, you might want to double them or line them with something else… so the convenience and “cheapness” of using a sheet does have its cons.   However, for my purpose, it was perfect.

I cut the sheet exactly in half long ways.  That gave me two equally sized pieces of fabric.  (The window is not large, so it was plenty, but for a larger window you might need two sheets if you like to be able to pull them across and close them.)  I hemmed the cut side, and there I had two curtain panels!  I used the top part of the sheet that already has that nice, wide hem, as the casing for the curtain rod.

However, I didn’t want just plain blue, so I used some of the left over fabric from the shade, and added it to the bottom 12 inches or so of the panels I just made. I simply pinned the fabric across the bottom of the panels, folded and hemmed the edges of the fabric around the  existing hem on the panels, and sewed in place.

Ya think I should iron those babies?
I also added a solid stripe of green grossgrain ribbon to offset the two pieces of fabric.
Since I didn’t have green thread, I improvised, and used my glue gun again for the ribbon.  🙂 
I know, I know!  I’m not the most dedicated seamstress when it comes to things that don’t show.  Sorry!
I really like how the extra fabric at the bottom adds just a bit of weight so the panels hang a little nicer than they would have otherwise.
For the valance, I went as simple as I knew how.  No seamed corners, no fancy shape, no gathering or ruffles. This was a simple, flat valance.  (Heaven forbid I offend the poor boy once he gets to be 2 years old and he finds ruffles and ribbon are sissy!)
I decided how far down I wanted the valance to hang and added 4 inches allowance for the top casing, 2 inches for the bottom hem, and 1 inch for each side hem.  (I determined how wide to make the valance by measuring the already installed curtain rod) I pinned all the hems and the casing in place and sewed them all at the same time.

Then, just like I did with the panels, I glued a stripe of green grossgrain ribbon across the front (over the stitching).

How do you like all my floor shots?  Ha!  I don’t have a “craft area” really, so I just do things wherever I can find the space: kitchen table, coffee table, floor… wherever!!

I slid everything on to the curtain rods, and presto – all done!

Again, sorry for the bad pictures… I never realized how hard it would be to get a good picture of a window during the day with the sun blazing in… and in this picture, the pattern definitely looks like gingham or some kind of checked stuff… but its not! 🙂

Oh, by the way, I did install a double curtain rod (investment of about $3 at Walmart) so I could have the valance.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t have worked.

So, all in all, the whole curtain and shade project cost me roughly $25- $28, including that double curtain rod!   I’d say that’s pretty good considering the fact that buying a single panel can cost that much!

So, there you have it.  The easiest version of curtains and valance I can possibly think of!

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So, now that my little guy’s walls were all done, it was time to work on the windows.  Boy, oh, boy.  It took me forever to figure out what I wanted to do.  I mean, I had been thinking about it since before I started on the walls, and it still took another week or so of brainstorming, scrolling through Pinterest, and looking through websites and google images.  Yeah. I’m THAT indecisive.

I wanted something that wasn’t fussy, but I liked the idea of having a layer or two… or maybe some kind of textured fabric?

Finally I decided I wanted some type of roman shade and maybe contrasting panels

over that.  Why the double layer?  Well, I figured there will probably be times when I want that room dark during the day… so layers seemed the way to go.

I found a few tutorials on-line, but none that I particularly liked.  Although, I did get a few ideas that I thought might work if I modified them a bit.

I decided to work on the roman shade first.  I knew I wanted a pattern for the shade and a solid for the panels.   So, I went to the fabric store in search of inspiration.  Once again, I searched high and low for the colors I wanted and came up empty.  What’s going on?  Aren’t these colors pretty basic?  Not like they’re seasonal or anything, right?  Or am I wrong?

Well, finally, as I rummaged through the clearance rack, I found a bolt of blue and green material!  Yay!  I was a little skeptical of the pattern at first.  Definitely not little kiddie or cute, or anything like that.  But as I stood in line waiting my turn at the counter it sort of grew on me.  Besides, I didn’t seem to have any other options. 🙂

I bought enough of the fabric to make my roman shade and extra so I could add some to the panels or make a valance with what was left over.

By the time I was walking out of the fabric store, I knew what I would do for the panels:  $5 navy blue flat sheet from Wally World!  Perfect!  So, I stopped there on my way home.  Normally, I wouldn’t go with cheapo sheets for a dark curtain, because they’re thin and don’t look all that great.  I mean, you sort of get what you pay for, you know.  But since the panels are really just for looks except for when I will pull them over the lowered roman shade, they don’t have to be all that thick.

Alright, so all that to lead up to my very, very simple version/adaptation of a Roman Shade:

Our house has some fairly nice, sturdy shades on the windows, so I left them up.  Basically, my idea was to make a flat panel that fit exactly inside the window, on top of the existing shade.  Then, at specific intervals, the fabric would be attached to one of the slats, causing my fabric shade to go up and down along with the original blinds.  Does that make sense?

First, I measured, cut, and hemmed my fabric to the dimensions of the window, adding about 4 extra inches at the bottom.

I basically ended up a rectangular baby-doll blanket looking piece of fabric.  (The picture above is before I hemmed everything, but you can sort of see the points where it is attached to the blind behind it.)  I used paper clips to attach it to the blinds.  I tried a few different variations of intervals, but in the end I decided on the following:  I clipped it to the very top slat, counted down five, attached it again, counted down six from there, attached again, counted down 7, etc. until I reached the bottom of the window.

It is important to increase the length of each section.  Otherwise, when you pull up your shade, you’ll end up with all the folds in one spot, all piled atop each other.  Also, be sure you increase by the same amount each time, or the folds will not be equal in size.  (For example, I increased each section by one slat.)

Once all the clips were in place, I pulled the shade up and down a few times to make sure my idea actually worked.  🙂

My fabric is pretty stiff, so it didn’t fold perfectly right away, but I left it pulled up for a few hours and then tried again.  By then the material was “used to” folding at certain spots, so it worked nicely.

Next, I took the fabric off the window, but was carefull to leave the paperclips in place on the fabric.  That way I knew exactly where the fabric was supposed to attach to the blind.

Using some 1/8 inch elastic I had, I made little loops and sewed them on to the back of the panel, exactly where the paper clips were.  Before cutting it, I took the elastic over to the window and measured a piece that would fit snugly around a single slat leaving a little extra length at the end so it could be sewn onto the fabric.

Using that first piece, I simply cut the rest of the elastic into 9 more pieces of the same length.

I attached the loops of elastic with a zig-sag stitch, going over the elastic about three times to make sure it was good and secure.

I didn’t mind that it showed on the front because the pattern hides it so well.  Besides, the panels would cover the sides of the shade anyway.  If you wanted to keep the stitching from showing on the front, I would suggest sewing the loops on by hand.  Might take a little more time, but definitely not hard to do.

Once those were sewn on, I attached the whole thing to the blind and plugged in my glue gun.  Since the blinds are all metal and plastic, I knew I could put a few dabs of glue here and there without causing any permanent damage.  I glued the top hem of the fabric to the top of the blind so that it would hold its shape instead of sagging in the middle.

The strings that move the slats will pull on the fabric some, but as long as you don’t get glue on them there shouldn’t be any complications.

Next, I moved to the first slat that had elastic loops attached, and put a dab of glue in the center of the slat, adhering the material at that one point.  I did the same with each slat that had an elastic loop.  Adding that little dab of glue helps to keep the middle of the fabric straight across when you pull it up instead of sagging and making a droopy fold.

At the very end, I folded the fabric under the bottom piece of the blind, and glued it all the way across.

Ta-da!  All done!

As you can see, even though this is a thick material, you can still see some sunlight filtering through.  I don’t mind it, but it would be easy to add a lining with a dark cotton material if it becomes a problem.

I hope I didn’t make this sound more complicated than it really is.

Whatever the case, this was really the easiest way I could think of to make a roman shade that actually goes up and down instead of being rolled or tied up.

Next, I’ll show you how I made the panels!

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OK, so last post I told you about my adventure putting up fabric wallpaper. Looking back, I still can’t believe that I actually had the guts to try it!  But I’m glad I did!

Once the fabric was up, it was time to add the ribbon.  Suddenly it hit me: how would I put it on?  Starch might not work because it was a thick, grossgrain ribbon.  Staples would look tacky.  Some kind of tape?  No… might mess up the wall since I was planning to leave it up for quite a while. I was overlooking the crafter’s go-to glue: silicone!  A hot glue gun!  Now, I’m not sure what happens when you put hot glue directly on a wall, and didn’t want to destroy anything.  So, I decided I would pretty much layer the ribbon on top of the fabric so the glue would actually be on the fabric and not the wall.

So, I dove right in thinking it would be the easiest thing ever.  Well, it WAS easy, but it was also very easy to end up with a very wavy “line”.  You’d be surprised how wavy the selvaged edge of a piece of fabric can be. And when you smooth it on the wall with starch it just magnifies said waviness.

You can’t trust it!  I thought I could make the ribbon straight just eyeballing it, but once I stepped back I realize just how wrong I was!  I ended up pulling off the first few feet and starting over.  This time, however, I did what I should have done to start with:  I measured up from the baseboard, and marked the wall at regular intervals (again, with a pencil so it would easily wipe off later) so I could make sure I was glueing in a straight line.

After that it was pretty easy!  It maybe took 20 minutes to do the whole room, and it really made a huge difference in the overall look.  You can still see a tiny bit of unevenness in the picture above, but I’m fine with it.  🙂

I am pretty pleased with the end result!  (Please disregard the mess in this next picture… I had to move piles around as I went, and this picture happens to include the changing table that is covered in both baby and crafting paraphanelia.)

If you’re thinking about using this fabric option in your home, let me strongly encourage you to use something to finish off that top edge of fabric. Definitely gives it a more polished (and straight) look.  You could use ribbon like I did, or if you don’t mind putting holes in your wall, you could use a thin strip of wood.  In a girl’s room you might be able to use lace or other fancy/frilly trim.  I’m sure there are other options as well, you’d just need to think it through a little.

Next project: window treatments!

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Well, I decided I would start with the first project of the room… the walls! 

And I’ll warn you – this is a rather long post.  Sorry!

As you remember, we live in a rental home.  That means paint isn’t an option.  Well, ok, if we really begged we could probably do it, but then we would have to paint it all white again if/when we leave.  I knew if I painted I would want navy blue and there is no way I was going to put us through the torture of painting white over navy blue!  No way!   So… I began to explore my options. Here was what I had to work with:

What to do, what to do?  Wallpaper was out of the question.  First of all, I’ve never used the stuff.  Secondly, I’ve heard so many horror stories it was enough to scare me away. Also, it just sounds so incredibly messy and difficult to get to look right, and we would have to take it down eventually too.  I HAVE done that before.  Not fun.

I thought about doing a knock-off of the Ikea fabric wall panels – you know, those long panels of fabric hung from the ceiling.  They can be used for so many things… but unless you get really good quality fabric, I figured it probably wouldn’t hang quite right and I was not about to blow my budget on this!

And then – then!  The idea began to take form.  Somewhere, at some point in my life, I remembered learning that fabric will stick to the wall with starch.  Hmmm… well, definitely worth a try!  So, I pulled out a large swatch of dark material with a bright pattern that I had in my stash.  I picked a dark color that had not yet been washed because I wanted to see if the color would seep through to the wall after a while.

Oh, and by the way, I looked it up on Pinterest, and sure enough, there is a tutorial out there!!  Ah, Pinterest!  She’s a beauty!  Or the devil.  One of the two.

I put it up, and waited for about 2 weeks.  Then I pulled it off (came off soooo easy, by the way!) and guess what?  No shadow, no faint color transfer – nothing!  Yay!  That is when I allowed myself to start dreaming of the possibilities.  Would it be worth it?  How much material would I need?  What would I like for it to look like?  I knew the colors I wanted.  We already had the bedding.  Which, by the way, I love!!

  Pinned Image

In the end this is what I did:

I measured the wall space of the room, and calculated in a about an extra 6 inches. (Just in case!)  I didn’t want to cover the entire wall, just the bottom couple feet or so – whatever the width of the fabric might be.  Then I took a deep breath and went to the fabric store.  I figured if I could find some inexpensive material, this just might be what I wanted to do.  Wonder of wonders, I found some navy blue material for under $4 per yard, and I had four handy-dandy %40 off coupons, which made everything even better. 🙂   I decided I would get some bright green ribbon to set off the blue fabric from the white wall.  If you’ve had any experience with fabric, you know that (especially the cheaper stuff) isn’t exactly perfectly straight.  I knew that I would need some kind of buffer to make the edge of fabric straight. Plus, I like the look of a thin line of contrasting color on a wall.

All in all, I spent roughly $20 for both material and  4 spools of ribbon.  My next stop was Walmart to pick up a little paint roller and a jug of liquid starch.  That trip was about $7 I think?  I don’t exactly remember, but it wasn’t much.

OK, so my supplies were as follows: material, starch, measuring cup, plastic container, paint roller, screwdriver (for wall sockets), straight pins, stapler, sponge (in case I didn’t like the roller) and a towel.

Before I started, I measured and marked the wall where the top edge of fabric would reach.  I used pencil so I could wipe it off with water later if it showed.  I also put down some plastic and kept the towel nearby to catch drips.

I used a half-and-half mixture of water and starch. More or less would probably work, but that is what I decided on. Not sure if a more concentrated solution would work better or not.  I mixed the solution in a plastic container with a lid (in case I ran out of time before running out of starch), and used a small paint roller to get the wall damp.  Just enough to get the fabric to cling a bit. I didn’t cut my fabric, I just unrolled the length as I went.

(Yes, this was our “guest room” from before… I didn’t bother to take everything down before starting on the walls.)

I started at the corner behind the door since that is the least noticeable spot.  I smoothed the fabric out with my hands to make it stick as much as possible, and then used sewing pins to secure the top edge of the fabric.  Then, I went over all of it with the roller, this time making sure the fabric was soaked through, smoothing and adjusting as I went.  It took a little time to get the hang of it, and figure out the best way to do it, but in the end, I was slapping that fabric up like a pro!  Ha!

Once the fabric was up there the way I wanted, I used a few staples here and there across the top to make sure it would stay.  Not taking any chances!  Holes made with staples are tiny, and easy to fill up, so its no different than driving a nail in the wall to hang a picture, right? 🙂

I went back over the wet fabric with a towel, soaking up any extra moisture that I was afraid might hurt the wall itself.  Then, I turned on the ceiling fan and brought in another oscillating fan just for good measure.  🙂   With the fans going, it only took about two hours or so for the walls to dry, but I left them going all night just in case.  Again, not taking any chances! 

When I went in to check, I noticed quite a few “bubbles” and sections that didn’t stick… I gave in to just a moment of panic, but then took control again. 🙂  I just went over those areas with more starch and let it dry again – magic!  It worked!  Everything was stuck, and staying stuck!!  I let it dry for a few days, giving it the chance to fall off and make me look like a fool.  Honestly, I half expected this whole thing to be a failed enterprise.  But I was wrong!  Oh, so happily wrong! 

(Sorry I don’t have a picture of this phase.  I really didn’t take nearly as many pics as I should have.) A few days later I decided it was time to move to the next phase: the ribbon.

That part was easier, although keeping it straight was a bit of a challenge at first.  I’ll leave that part for my next post.

I learned a few things as I worked on this particular adventure and thought I would share them in case one of you happens to be just crazy enough to try it too!

1 – Always wash your fabric first.  And dry it.  That way if the color bleeds a lot, you avoid getting it on your wall.  Also, hopefully once you run it through the dryer, you won’t have to worry about the shrinking/stretching effect when it  gets wet.

2 – When you first begin, or when coming to a door frame or window you’ll wonder if you should try to cut the fabric perfectly straight to match the corner, or if you should fold it over.  I tried both.  The first time I cut the fabric… it didn’t come out the greatest, but if you’re good at cutting in a straight line, I’d say this is the best option.  If you’re like me, folding the fabric under itself is much more effective.  The only challenge is then you have a bout and inch of double thickness of fabric to stick to the wall.  Just depends on what option you think would be easiest for you.

3 – When cutting around a window… I decided to cut the fabric straight down right at the edge of the window.  That way I didn’t have to worry about cutting out a perfect square to match the window.  When I filled in the space below the window, I simply overlapped the fabric a little and starched away.  Since my fabric is a solid color you really cannot see the “seam”.  Plus, I knew I would be hanging long curtains and they would hang over that spot – effectively covering any visible lines.

4 – Keep a towel nearby.  You’ll definitely need it for all the extra moisture and drips and dribbles.   You’ll want to check periodically while its drying because the liquid will naturally seep down the material and puddle at the baseboard just a bit.  Don’t want that to sit there for  too long!

5 – Use pins to hold the fabric in place.  Later you can add staples if you need them.  Don’t start with the staples because if you need to re-adjust then you have to mess with taking out the staples.  Headache waiting to happen, people!  Oh, and just a regular stapler will work.  You don’t need a staple gun. As long as you can open it flat and you apply steady pressure, it will be fine.

6 – When applying the starch with a roller, roll upwards.  That will keep the liquid from dripping so much.  You could use a large sponge instead of a roller if you happen to have one on hand.  Whatever works best for you!

7 – Take off all the wall socket covers first – before you start with the starch.  Try to keep the sockets from getting wet, but get the rest of the material around it wet.  Once it dries, it will be stiff and really easy to cut around the socket.  I used a craft knife and it was super easy. Once the sockets covers are back on,  it will look great, so don’t worry about cutting it straight. 🙂

8 – DON’T PANIC!  Bubbles or loose fabric can be fixed with an extra coat of starch and a little extra smoothing.  And the good thing with this is, if it doesn’t work out at all, just pull it off the wall.  Then you can either start over or toss it – no real harm done other than losing some time and effort.  No biggie, right?  🙂  We all have so much time on our hands!

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So, what can you do with an old knit sweater?  As it turns out, quite a few things… this particular project is a hat!

Now, if this post is rather confusing, please let me know.  I have had so many interruptions, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you!  It has honestly taken me a whole week to write this because I would start and five minutes later something would come up… sigh… but here it is, complete with pictures that refuse to cooperate.  There are at least two that I need to turn, and several others that I wanted to crop, but I guess this will have to do for now.  I must have offended my computer somehow for it to be this upset at me! Oh, and also, these pictures were taken at night, so yes, they look bad.  Oh, well!  =)

As I mentioned before, I got to go on my dream trip last month.  I knew I would definitely need (ok – want) a hat or two.  Ireland is notorious for cool, damp, windy days.  At the time I didn’t own a single hat… quite to my sadness.  I love hats, but since I live in Florida, wearing a hat other than a cap or sun hat is just not practical.  I’m not really a cap kind of girl unless I’m on a hike or something.  What I really wanted was one of those slouchy beret hats… I’m not sure what they’re actually called, but I’ve seen them all over the place.  I found several I liked, but they were all too expensive in my opinion.  I’m not about to spend $20 on a hat that will only be used a few times. 

So, an idea formed in the back of my head. At first I thought I was crazy. =) Then that changed to I didn’t know if it would work, but I sure wanted to give it a try! 

I made a trip to my local Goodwill and picked out three sweaters.  All three are different colors, patterns and knits – I wanted a variety since I wasn’t sure what kind would work the best.  In these pictures, I used the most open knit sweater I picked.

First, I dug out the biggest bowl I could find in my kitchen.  Then, I used my measuring tape to measure my head right around where I wanted the finished hat to sit. 

I smoothed out the sweater, and cut off the bottom “hem”, making sure it was about 1/2 inch wider than the hem and set it aside.

Next, I cut the side seams.  Starting from the bottom, I cut all the way up to the arm hole along the side seam on each side. 

 I spread out the back section of the sweater and placed the big bowl upside down on top of it.  I cut around the bowl, but I wanted to make this hat plenty “floppy”, so I left an extra inch and a half around the entire circumference.  I also cut the “front” part of the circle slightly closer to the bowl than the “back” of the circle.   I now had a large slightly oval piece of knit material.

Next, I set my sewing machine to the longest straight stitch that I could (like a basting stitch).   Staying about 1 inch away from the edge, I sewed a single line around the edge of the circle, making sure to stop the stitching before the two ends overlapped. 

 I removed the piece from my machine and then pulled the threads I had just sewn in order to gather the material.  I now had a shower cap looking thing.

In order to make the hat the right size, I used my measuring tape to make sure that the circumference of the gathered edge I just made was equal to the measurement I took of my head at the beginning.  A pull here, a tug there, and it all worked out!  Once I was satisfied with the size, I tied the threads to secure.  Then I sewed around the edge of the circle again, this time with a smaller stitch and made sure the beginning and ending stitches overlapped. 

Adding about 2 inches to the length of my head measurement, I cut the hem piece to size.

I pinned the two pieces together using lots and lots of pins!  (Remember to pin the right sides together (the patterned sides of the material should be touching) or you’ll end up with an inside out hat!)  The pinning process took a little time.  I picked where the “back” of the hat was going to be, and started pinning there, going all the way around the hat and overlapping the two ends of the hem at the back.   I played around with it a few times until I liked it. 

I sewed the hem piece onto the round part of the hat.  The first time I used a basting stitch so it would be easy to rip out if I needed too.  Once I knew it was going to fit, I went ahead and sewed over the basting stitch with a tighter stitch. In the picture below, I am trying to show you were I sewed that last seam… its nearly invisible… my thum is pointing at it. =) 

And now the final project, complete with one of the fabric flowers I made. =)

I just realized that I don’t have any pictures of the lining I made to cover the raw edges I cut… I used ribbon for one of the hats, and used binding for the other two.  Both methods worked very well.  I will have to take a picture and add it later.  For now I just feel like I need to get this posted before my computer decides to delete it all!!!

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I’ve wanted to try making these for ages!  Ok, well, not actually ages… more like six months?   Anyway, you get my drift, right?  I’m so excited that I finally gave them a try and everything worked beautifully on the first try.  The second try went well too!

First, I picked out a silky/synthetic fabric.  I don’t think this will work well with cotton and cotton blends, but I think I’ll give it a try sometime and report back just because I’m curious!  I had a gold satin (which honestly, I thought the fabric itself was ugly, but in the end I liked the flower – who’da thought!) and a dark plumb polyester-type stuff.

I used all sorts of things to draw circles on the fabric.  You can make as many or as few circles as you like.  The circles will form the petals.  So, you want them to gradually get smaller as they form the center of the flower.  I use a half pint canning jar (that was my largest circle), some spools of thread, a bottle cap… whatever was on hand that worked. 

I didn’t have enough of different sizes (I wanted at least 7 layers of petals for this one- the more petals you make, the more realistic the effect), so I traced a few of the shapes twice and then cut out the second one slightly smaller than the circle I traced.   Does that make sense?

Next, I cut slits in each of the circles, cutting about 1/3 of the way into the circle toward the middle.  On some I made four slits, on others I did five.  I think having a combination of four and five makes the flowers look a little more natural and less structured.

Once I had all my circles ready, I marched over to the kitchen and lit a votive candle.  I decided to do this particular part of the project over the stove.  Just in case I messed up and dropped a piece or something.  I didn’t feel like explaining to our landlord that I singed his carpet while making flowers. =)

This next part takes a little patience and if you are particualrly afraid of fire, you may want to use tweazers to hold the petals… my fingers got a little too close a few times when I was working with the smaller pieces. 

Hold the petals close to the flame, but far enough away that it doesn’t actually catch fire. 

Above and slightly to the side worked the best for me.  You want the edge of your petal to sort of melt and curl.  You may want to experiment with a few scraps before working with your actual petals.

Once you have all the petals curled up and pretty looking, stack them smallest to largest and set aside.  Thread a needle and knot the end of the thread.  If you would like to use beads or a cute button in the center of your flower, now is the time to get those out as well.  Pick up your little stack of petals, and pushing the needle through from the back, make your first stitch to hold them together. 

If you plan to use beads, you don’t have to worry about being too neat.  However, if you don’t have any little doo-dads to cover up the stitches, try to make a pattern so it looks nice. 

Once the flower petals are stitched together, and you have attached your beads or buttons, pull the thread to the back of the flower again, make a knot, and cut the thread.

I placed three silver wire beads on both of my flowers… but I think I might switch out the beads in one of them for a pearl.  Hmmm…

Thats it – the flower is complete!  Depending what you want to use these on, you may want to hot glue a small piece of felt to the back to make them a little more sturdy.   I attached one of the blossoms to a hair clip.  Depending on what your clip is like, you may need to use thread, hot glue, or a combination of both.  For this particular clip, I used both. 

Once you attach these lovelies to a clip you can use them on lots of things!  Hats, bags, hairdos… I’ve even seen a few people wear them as pins on a cute top… I personally can’t pull off that look, but on some girls they look really cute!

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