Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Too Pretty To Toss - Repurpose Christmas Cards and Ribbon

Repurposed Christmas Cards and Ribbon
for Treat Bags
For about the last 5 years, I've made Christmas treat bags for the employees of my husband's small company.  They are filled with homemade cookies, breads and sweets.
I keep most of the Christmas cards that we receive and also pretty ribbon used on gifts from relatives and friends.
To put a dent in my hoard of cards and ribbons, I used #6 brown kraft paper bags and decorated them with the fronts of the Christmas cards and used the ribbon to tie them up.
Here's pictures of a finished bag, a bag waiting for treats and  the card waiting to be repurposed and the sentiments from the inside of the card.   You can use these as gift tags, or use make your own cards.  The fronts of cards can be repurposed into new cards or gift tags. 



Monday, February 29, 2016

Upholstery Fabric Swatch and Doily Zip Bag, Cosmetic Bag

I've been wanting to make one of these after seeing them on Pinterest.  No tutorials were found but it did not look too difficult.

I dove into my stash of upholstery samples and found a neutral plush/velvet like swatch.  Removed the casing at the top where it used to hang on a rod and removed the plastic label sewn on one corner on the back.  I had to rub the fabric with my finger to push back the fibers where the thread was sewn for casing to hide the needle holes.

The doily I chose was close in diameter to the zipper length - 9 inches. 

So, first I cut out the fabric pieces for the outside (velvet) fabric and also the lining fabric which was a cotton.  I did not use any type of batting since the velvet piece gave it a nice weight.  Then I cut the doily - not quite evenly but it really didn't matter that much.

Sewed the doily to each exterior piece of fabric. I used a free darning foot that I purchased on line but could not quite get the hang of using it, so I used my zipper foot on the doily.

Then  I proceeded to assemble the bag based on tutorials on the web for making a zip pouch.

The above is the result.  One thing I did learn is that it is better to sew the doily on to the fabric piece first and then cut out the pieces - way easier and probably more accurate when trying to line up edges.  The edges of the doily do not really line up but they are separated by the zipper so it's not too noticeable?

Well, not too bad for my first attempt.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Button Wreath Christmas Ornaments

Soo Many Buttons . .  . . .
So besides crochet doilies, I have an addiction to buttons and
knew that one of these days I would have to do something with them besides making button bracelets - I tend to favorite darker, metallic buttons to make the bracelets.  So what to do with the other buttons that are gathering dust in my black hole of craft supplies?  Wreath ornaments, of course!  There are dozens of tutorials to make these on Pinterest - each with a little different approach.  I decided to take the low budget approach - use what you have in the craft stash.
So to begin,  I used a cardboard from an old gift box - a bit thicker
and heavier than a shirt box, traced the outline from a vintage mold and cut the shape out using kitchen shears and sharp pointy shears for the interior circle.  Then I wrapped the shape with scraps of white bias tape for one, and blanket binding for the other - using a hot glue gun just at the beginning and ending of each fabric piece.  I used some gold cording - again scraps for  the hanger and ribbon. Don't forget to add the hanger before you start gluing the buttons on.
I used a variety of  buttons in shades of white and some clear in  different sizes to make the wreaths. I started with the exterior edges - alternating smaller and larger buttons and also at the interior opening.  I had to reposition some of the buttons to make them fit better.  Then I filled in the spaces in between the outer and inner circles.  And the adding another layer of buttons to hide any gaps. 
Added a simple bow at the top.  These will be samples for the Women of St. Joseph's craft group.  Hope they will like them and make more for their annual craft show in November.
They donate all the proceeds to charity. 
I am going to do a heart shaped design next and will post it if it turns out as pretty as these. 
Button Wreath Ornaments

Back of wreath - cardboard wrapped with satin blanket binding
that was torn into strips

Cardboard circles cut from heavy gift box

Vintage dessert mold used as template for wreath

Monday, January 4, 2016

Crochet Doilies - Re-loved, Repurposed

Crochet Doilies - Re-loved, Repurposed
    I used to have quite an aversion for these doilies.  When I was young, we had a plethora of these that covered every furniture surface in our house.  And, I was responsible for dusting, so you can imagine what a chore it was to remove these and anything on top of it, dust, and then return everything to their original positions.  Yuck!
   Fast forward several decades, and now I have an obsession with these.  Back then I did not appreciate the patience and skill it took to make these.  Now I wonder about the women that made these, and I think about my mom.  It was her way of adding some decoration to our modest home without spending a lot of money. 
As my collection of these doilies threatened to overtake not one but two dressers, I decided it was time to create something with them.  Hence the above bags.
   After looking at Pinterest, Etsy and Ebay and finding beautiful bags, I got inspired to make a few just to see if I could.  Voila!
   I used a store bought pattern from Joann's, upholstery samples from my fabric stash, buttons from my button stash, scraps of lace to create one of a kind bags.
   Not hard to do but a bit tedious as I had to hand stitch some of the pieces in place to anchor them.  Also, I'm a bit of a stickler for colors, textures, etc.   Assembling the right combinations that satisfied me took the longest time.
No tutorial but perhaps some inspiration to jump in and do it in 2016.  No fear.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.