Monthly Archives: November 2016

Sew a 15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RitzFilledNotHangry #CollectiveBias

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

My toddler son is a picky eater. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s the truth! That’s why when we are going out and about, I fill up my “mom bag” with tons of snack options for him. His go-to “meals” these days are peanut butter sandwich crackers, applesauce pouches, fruit snacks, and almonds. Thank goodness there is some protein in there, because meat is one of the toughest things to get him interested in!
I thought it would be cool to make him his own little placemat, so that whether we are at home just hanging out in the living room, he can have a cute place to enjoy his snacks (that’s not our leather sofa).
I’ve had this laminated cotton fabric designed for a while now, and I’m so happy I found the perfect little project for it! To make one 13″ x 17″ placemat, you’ll need:

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial


– 14″ x 18″ piece of laminated cotton fabric
– 14″ x 18″piece of quilt batting
– 14″ x 18″ piece of backing fabric (I used inexpensive white muslin)


15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

1. Layer your fabrics as follows: quilt batting on the bottom, laminated cotton fabric on top of that (facing right side UP), and backing fabric on top of that (facing right side down).

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

2. Sew around the perimeter of the stack of fabrics, about 1/2″ from the edge. Leave a 3″ section open on one short side for turning. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″. Use your scissors to trim the corners at an angle, which will make it easier to poke out the corners in the next step.

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

3. Turn the placemat right side out, using a pencil or a chopstick to poke out the corners. Take the placemat to your sewing machine and pin the 3″ opening closed. Sew where you’ve pinned about 1/8″ from the edge to close the hole.

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

4. Next, topstitch 1/4″ from the edge around the perimeter of your placemat. If the laminated fabric sticks under your sewing machine foot, you can place a piece of masking tape on the underside of your sewing foot to keep it moving smoothly.

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

5. When sewing with laminated cotton fabric, it’s still okay to iron it, but always use a pressing cloth (another piece of fabric) so it doesn’t melt under your iron!

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric and Cardboard Box Tray Tutorial

6. Inspired by Pinterest, I also made my son a little tray to use with it out of a cardboard box. To make this part, just cut the flaps off of a box, and then cut “tunnels” in the two wider sides. I also taped a smaller box to the side, to make a storage container for toys or other snacks. The placemat fits perfectly on top!

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric Sewing Tutorial

Ta da! This placemat is the perfect size for a toddler to enjoy their favorite snacks. We love RITZ Peanut Butter Filled Sandwich Crackers and the cheese ones come in a close second.

15-Minute Placemat with Laminated Fabric and Cardboard Box Tray Tutorial

My nearest Kroger store is one of my favorites to visit, because it has everything I need, but it’s also not huge, so I can get in and out quickly. When my son gets kind of hungry… I mean “hangry”… he’s far from my favorite shopping companion. But I do keep lots of snacks in my mom bag, and a pack of these crackers always put him in a better mood. I’m so glad that RITZ Filled Sandwich Crackers are now available at Kroger stores! I usually find them in the lunchbox section, nearby the applesauce pouches my son also loves.

I hope you have fun making this placemat, and good luck keeping your kids from getting too “hangry”!

‘Sew Place Like Home’ Gift Idea for Sewists

Are you looking for a gift for your best sewing friend? Something to warm her heart this holiday season?

I’m excited to share with you a brand new book filled with sewing-related stories, essays, tutorials, recipes and more! The e-book can be downloaded instantly to your Kindle, or a free Kindle reading app on your smartphone or computer.

Sew Place Like Home

Sew Place Like Home: A Collection of Essays and Projects for People Who Love to Sew is edited by my sewing friends Jessica Abbott and Melissa Mora, and includes contributions from Stacey Byrne, Elizabeth Evans and Liz Evans, Shannon Clarke, Deborah Moebes, Jenny Rushmore and me!

To give you a little taste of what’s inside, I’m sharing a free excerpt of one of my favorite essays from the book. As I grow into motherhood myself, I am drawn to Jess’s story about sewing for her daughter:

Sew Place Like Home eBook

Excerpt from “She’ll Thank Me For This Someday,” by Jessica Abbott

It’s 1a.m., and here I sit. In front of my sewing machine, trying to desperately finish up the dress needed for tomorrow’s big school recital. The quiet whir of the machine, the feel of the satin as it slips through my fingers, a silent house, it almost has a dream like quality as my eyes start to blur from sleepiness. I stopped saying ‘5 more minutes’ hours ago.

You see, the thing is, the dress is not desperately needed. Truth be told, I could have easily gone to our local department store and picked up something similar for under $30. It would have saved me hours of time, and probably sanity.

But I am a seamstress. Do I really need to say any more than that?

My love for sewing is in my bones. And the thought of my daughter up on that stage in anything other than a handmade dress keeps me up at night…sewing.

Tomorrow morning I might wake up bleary eyed, regretting my life decisions as I reach for my third cup of coffee. But for now, all I can think of is the joy I will feel as I watch my daughter up on that stage. Walking down the center aisle, knowing that she draped in love.


Sew Place Like Home Kindle

I can’t wait for you to read the rest of her story, and the other wonderful pieces in the Sew Place Like Home e-book! I’ve downloaded it to a Kindle app on my phone for late-night reading.

There is so much to be thankful for in this life, and I’m very proud to be this book because it shares some of life’s simply beautiful moments. Sewists will appreciate it the most, but it’s also great for those who love to bake, craft or create in their own ways. In addition to the essays, there are several holiday gift tutorials and recipes that are perfect for giving! I can’t wait to try the Quilt-As-You-Go Pot Holder project and the Spiced Hot Chocolate recipe mix.

Get the book

Disclaimer: Affiliate ads are included in this post, but all opinions are my own. Happy reading!

Free Christmas Printable: Rustic Holiday Gifts Tags

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareTheHoliday #CollectiveBias

Free Printable: Rustic Christmas Gift Tags | Craft Buds

Christmas is just around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited to spend it creating new family traditions and and sharing the season with loved ones. Today I’m going to share a super-quick tutorial showing how to make a rustic gift tag for your edible gifts. There’s even a free printable you can download!

Free Printable: Rustic Christmas Gift Tags | Craft Buds

You know when you’re in a mood to eat Christmas cookies, but you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen? Or perhaps you’re looking for a quick holiday gift for that special teacher, neighbor, friend, or service provider. I recently decorated some store-bought brownie bites with white icing (the tube kind with a star tip from the cake mix aisle) and sprinkles. They were so tasty and quick to put together.

Free Printable: Rustic Christmas Gift Tags | Craft Buds

Toss those cookies (no, not that kind of “toss”) into the ultra-convenient Rubbermaid TakeAlongs, and it’s an instant, thoughtful gift. And you won’t even have to break a sweat.

Rubbermaid TakeAlongs + Free Holiday Gift Tag Printable | Craft Buds

The next time you are at Walmart, look for the green and red Rubbermaid TakeAlongs for a perfect, no-fuss gift. Fill them with trail mix, cookies, candy, or other treats. The endcap display includes lots of sizes and shapes (squares, rectangles and bowls), and they are easy to use, with no spills! If you are lucky, you might even find the limited-edition holiday prints. Since I am making cookies to freeze, I was glad to know they are freezer safe!

Making the Rustic Holiday Gift Tags

Free Printable: Rustic Christmas Gift Tags | Craft Buds

1) To make the holiday gift tags, use scissors to trim one side of a paper grocery bag to the same size as your printer paper (8 1/2″ x 11″). Insert the new “paper” into your laser or inkjet printer.

Free Printable: Rustic Christmas Gift Tags | Craft Buds

2) Download the free Printable Gift Tags here! Print a test sheet on regular copy paper, and when you are ready, print out the sheet of four gift tags on your paper-bag paper.

Free Printable: Rustic Christmas Gift Tags | Craft Buds

3) Cut out a gift tag and poke a hole into the top and loop through a piece of ribbon or twine. Tie a piece of festive, wire ribbon around your Rubbermaid TakeAlongs container, and tie on the tag. Slip in a candy cane, and you’re done!

I’m planning to take some sweet treats to my son’s teachers this Christmas. I know this free printable gift tag will come in handy! For more great holiday inspiration, click here!

DIY Catnip Mouse: Free Cat Toy Pattern

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ToPetsWithLove #CollectiveBias

DIY Catnip Mouse, Free Sewing Pattern | Craft Buds

Does your furry friend need a little extra love? Today I’m excited to share a free cat you pattern inspired by my two cats, Murph and Chloe. Their favorite toy is a catnip mouse. However, the ones we buy from the pet store are a little too realistic (think HUGE, brown RAT) and sometimes they even cause me to do a double-take. Even if you are a beginning sewist, you can make this with materials you probably already have around the house!

DIY Catnip Mouse, Free Sewing Pattern | Craft Buds


  • Old t-shirt or small scrap of knit (stretchy) fabric
    • Cut two ovals 2″ x 4″
  • Contrasting color fabric for ears
    • Cut two ears, each about the size of a dime
  • Embroidery floss in a contrasting color
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Fiber filling
  • 12-inch strip of ribbon
  • Catnip


1) Stitch a face onto one oval as pictured, with contrasting embroidery floss. Add eyes, a nose and whiskers. Use a single strand of thread and a hand-sewing needle to stitch one ear to the mouse.

2) Tie 3 knots into the ribbon tail at regular intervals. Zig-zag stitch one end to bottom of the mouse (the oval without the face) with your sewing machine or hand stitch if preferred.

3) Place the mouse top over the mouse bottom and stitch using a sewing machine or hand sewing needle about 1/4″ from the perimeter. Leave a 1″-opening near the tail for stuffing.

4) Use scissors to make small snips 1/4″ from each other around the perimeter of the mouse toy, making sure not to snip into the stitches.


5) Fill the mouse with a small handful of stuffing.

6) Sprinkle catnip into the opening.

7) Stitch the mouse closed using your sewing machine or a hand sewing needle. Alternately, you can leave it open if you want to refill it often.

DIY Catnip Mouse Free Cat Toy Pattern | Craft Buds

Tip: If you’d like, you can tie a mouse to a dowel rod and ribbon to make a magic cat wand toy!

DIY Catnip Mouse Free Cat Toy Pattern | Craft Buds

My cat Murph loved the catnip mouse toy on its own, but Chloe definitely preferred the wand. It was really fun and easy to sew up these cat toys, and I’m happy that I got to use up so many fabric scraps that I just had laying around!

DIY Catnip Mouse Free Cat Toy Pattern | Craft Buds

My cats love crunchy Friskies Party Mix when we sprinkle some on top of their dry food. Fancy Feast Purely is something I can feel proud to feed our cats, because it has real protein and no by-products or fillers. And, the little size makes them great stocking stuffers!

DIY Catnip Toy

For the holidays, I’m planning to treat the cats to some more handmade toys and some of their favorite treats that I picked up at Kroger on a grocery run. It’s a great one-stop shop for pet food, treats and toys!

Visit Purina for more inspiration on how to treat your furry friends for the holidays!

Spread holiday love to your furry friends with the help of Purina! Now through the end of November, take advantage of great savings on your favorite Purina pet products available at Kroger with this link, while supplies last.

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