How to Print and Use PDF Sewing Patterns

How to Print + Use PDF Sewing Patterns | Craft Buds

Sometimes, it’s the little sewing tips and tricks that really help to get us motivated to finish that next project! Today, I’m sharing with you a little tutorial on how I like to print and use PDF sewing patterns.

Unlike a paper sewing patterns, PDF patterns must be printed on your home computer and printer in order to use them. If you are not used to this, it may take a little trial and error to get started. I hope to save you a few steps by showing you the way I like to do it!

Print PDF Patterns Tutorial

Step 1: Download the PDF pattern. I’m using my Holly Jolly Stocking pattern as an example. Open the pattern file on your computer. Since it’s a PDF file, your computer will select a program to use to open it (such as Adobe Acrobat, pictured above).

Select “Print” then look around the pop-up menu until you find an option that says print “actual size” or something similar. You want to make sure you don’t shrink the pattern to fit on the paper. The screenshot above shows how I ticked the button that says “Actual Size.” Now I can select print!

Important: Many PDF patterns have a 1″ test square on the pattern (shown below on the upper left corner). Measure this box on the printout with a ruler to confirm it has printed the correct size.

How to Print and Use a PDF Pattern | Craft Buds

Step 2: Take your printed pages and look for the natural place where they overlap. Some people like to cut off the overlap, but I prefer to simply fold it back. In this stocking pattern, you can see how I fold along a thick line on the right side of sheet 1. Then I can place it on top of the corresponding line on sheet 2, and line up the stars (a mark intended to help place the pattern).

Not all PDF sewing patterns will have a distinguishing mark like this, but you can usually line them up from the point the pattern starts on one sheet and ends on another.

How to Print and Use a PDF Pattern | Craft Buds

Step 3: Continue to fold under the edges of the pattern, and tape the papers together in the order they belong. On the bottom row, you’ll fold under two edges of the paper. Don’t worry about the order border for now. I like to use washi tape, taping a few times inside the pattern, because it is quick, easy, and surprisingly durable!

How to Print and Use a PDF Pattern | Craft Buds

Step 4: Cut out the sewing pattern along the border. Place the pattern on your fabric, and trace directly around it with a rotary cutter and mat, or scissors. If using scissors, you’ll want to pin the pattern in place on the fabric.

Wasn’t that simple? I hope you enjoyed this easy tutorial on how to print and use a PDF sewing pattern. Read my handy tutorial on how to transfer a paper sewing pattern with freezer paper here!

And if you’d like to check out my Holly Jolly Stocking pattern for yourself, you can get it here.

Back-to-School Teacher Gift: Candy Caramel Apples

With summer coming to an end, kid-friendly recipes and activities help make going back to school more fun. These fall-inspired candy caramel apples are tasty, fun and easy to prepare—even with younger kids. Wrap a couple up in cellophane sheets with some ribbon for the perfect gift for teachers on the first day of school!

Caramel Apples Recipe: Back to School Gift: Craft Buds

What you’ll need:

– 6 small apples
– 1 bag soft caramels
– 2 tbsp. water
– 1 c. chopped nuts
– 1 bag M&Ms (or your favorite candy)
– 1 c. chocolate chips
– 6 wooden sticks
– 2 Hefty Foam Bowls
– 1 baking sheet
– Waxed Paper

The great part about this recipe is that you can easily change up the toppings. I’ve made this treat several times before with different candy combinations, including mini chocolate chips, sprinkles and coconut shavings. For this batch, we kept it simpler for the teachers with chocolate drizzle and nut-covered apples. (We topped the leftover apples with M&Ms for my family to enjoy!)


1. Wash apples and remove stems. Insert wooden sticks (wooden skewers, chopsticks, etc.) into the stem end. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Place apples on baking sheet and put in fridge.
2. Separate nuts, M&Ms and candy into separate foam bowls. Set aside.
3. Unwrap caramels and drop in microwave-safe bowl with water. Place in microwave for 2 minutes or until melted, stirring halfway.
4. Dip apples in caramel, letting the excess drip off. Chill in fridge for 5-10 minutes.
5. While you wait, microwave chocolate chips for 1-2 minutes or until melted.
6. Dunk the caramel-covered apples in desired topping and place back on baking sheet.
7. Use a spoon to drizzle melted chocolate on caramel apples.
8. Refrigerate until the caramel is set.

Guest post by Hefty. Photo: Joshua Resnick

Looking for more teacher gift ideas? Check out these Teacher Appreciation Pencil Pouches, cute Printables for Scissors as a gift, and the In Good Hands Printable!

Citrus and Mint Baby Quilt + Free Pattern


Citrus & Mint: Quick & Easy Baby Quilt + Free Pattern | Craft Buds

Do you love quick baby quilts? One of our most popular posts of all time on Craft Buds is my Quick Triangles Baby Quilt, and I was inspired by that project to design another free baby quilt pattern that’s great for beginners as well as experienced quilters looking for a weekend project!

Half Snowballs: Quick Baby Quilt Tutorial + Free Pattern

The colors of this quilt were inspired by a design seeds color palette my friends picked for their little girl’s nursery. I really loved the citrus and mint colors paired with a soft cream, but you can make this quilt in a variety of colors and it would look beautiful! If you have trouble picking a color palette for your quilt, try choosing two or three colors that work well together and pairing it with a neutral like white or grey. (One of my favorite go-to color combos is yellow, aqua and grey.)

Half Snowballs: Quick Baby Quilt Tutorial + Free Pattern

The block we’ll be sewing is called a half snowball quilt block. A full snowball quilt block uses the same technique, but with all four corners getting the triangle. This half snowball tutorial will show you how to make this block, which you can use in all kinds of projects! I hope you enjoy this free quilt pattern.

Finished quilt 36 1/2″  x 42 1/2″


– 9 to 12 fat eighths (each makes 3 blocks), fat quarters (each makes 6 blocks) or large scraps of colored fabric in three color groups (like yellow, orange, and mint green)

– 1/2 yard of cream or white fabric for the small diamonds

– 1/3 yard of binding fabric

– Crib size batting

– 1 1/2 yards backing fabric


– Cut 42 squares of colored fabric 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″

– Cut 84 squares of cream fabric 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″

– Cut 4 strips 2 1/2″ x 44″ (width of fabric) for binding


Half Snowball Quilt Block Tutorial


1. Fold each 2 1/2″ square in half diagonally to make a crease, and press with your fingernail. With the right sides of fabric together, place a cream square on two opposite corners of a larger square as pictured. The crease should not touch the corners of the large square.

Half Snowball Quilt Block Tutorial

2. Stitch along the creased lines.

Half Snowball Quilt Block Tutorial

3. Use a rotary cutter and ruler to trim off the outside corners 1/4″ outside of your stitch line.

Half Snowball Quilt Block Tutorial

4. Press the seams toward the center of the colored block.

Half Snowball Quilt Block Tutorial

5. Tip: You can use chain stitching to speed up the process! Add one corner square to each of the colored squares without cutting your thread. Trim, press, and repeat with the opposite corner of each block.

Half Snowball Quilt Block Tutorial

6. Arrange the blocks in 6 columns and 7 rows until you get a color placement you like. I use my portable design board to make this process easier! Tip: Once you get your final arrangement, take a picture with your phone. Nothing fancy! Here’s mine that I took with my feet in the bottom. :) You’ll want to refer to this while sewing, so the blocks don’t get mixed up.

7. Join the blocks in each row with a 1/4″ seam, making sure the cream triangle seams are aligned.

8. Press the vertical seams of each row in an alternating fashion to make nested seams. To do this, take row one and press all the vertical seams to the right. In row two, press to the left… row three, press to the right… and so on. This will reduce bulk when joining together the rows, allowing the blocks to fit together snugly! I typically press all my seams open, but this type of quilt block, I really think it works better to use the nesting technique.

Once you join the rows, press the long seams between each row OPEN (as pictured above) to avoid too much bulk in the centers.

Half Snowballs: Quick Baby Quilt Tutorial + Free Pattern

9. Baste the quilt top, batting and backing and quilt as desired. I chose a wide meandering free-motion quilting pattern, stitching through the diamonds and other seams to reinforce them.

Half Snowballs: Quick Baby Quilt Tutorial + Free Pattern

This is a really quick and easy baby quilt pattern that you can whip up over the weekend! Break it up over 4 days if you’d like so you can spend time cutting squares, sewing the blocks, joining the blocks and rows, and quilting the top!

Half Snowballs: Quick Baby Quilt Tutorial + Free Pattern

I quilted my project on the Baby Lock Tiara II with Madeira Thread and Quilter’s Dream batting. This was my first time using this brand of batting, and I’d have to say I’m in love! The quilt held up great and did not wrinkle during my photo shoot, and it has a really nice weight to it that I think will withstand many years of baby and toddler love!

Half Snowballs: Quick Baby Quilt Tutorial + Free Pattern

I took these photos at our local agricultural park (the same place I photographed my recent Tennessee quilt), and I was giddy that the horses were out. Of course, I was little nervous they would take too much interest in the quilt! Aside from choosing the fabrics, I really think my favorite part of quilting is taking the perfect photo of the finished product, and it helps to have really cute models.

I really hope you give this easy baby quilt pattern a try! If you make something from any of our sewing and quilting tutorials, we’d love for you to leave a comment. Happy quilting!

Berry Peach Cobbler in the Slow Cooker

We know that the Crock-Pot is an essential appliance for many home cooks looking to make soups, roasts, dips, and appetizers. But have you ever tried making desserts in the slow cooker? I’m excited to share my first ever recipe on Craft Buds (see Mary’s great recipe posts here!), and of course it would have to be a dessert!

Crockpot Recipe: Easy Berry Peach Cobbler Recipe in the Slow Cooker

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 1/2 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes

Fits well in a 6-quart oval slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Peach Berry Crisp Recipe

This won’t be the last time I whip up this easy Berry Peach Apple Crisp in the slow cooker! I love this recipe because it’s adaptable to whatever fruits are in season (or whatever you happen to have in your kitchen). Swap the peaches out entirely in place of apples, or sub in some strawberries for blueberries! Fresh or frozen fruit works great with this recipe, but I’ll give amount for fresh fruit.

Crockpot Recipe for Peach Berry Crisp

The easy dessert recipe serves about 6 to 8. Don’t worry about “slicing” it or trying to make it look pretty. The more syrupy the bottom layer, the better it tastes!

Crockpot Peach Berry Cobbler Recipe



Bottom Layer:

1 cup fresh blueberries *
8 peaches or apples *
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup white sugar

* Note: May substitute fresh or frozen strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, for blueberries. I used 5 fresh peaches and 3 apples, but you can sub any fresh fruits you’d like, or about 16 oz. of frozen fruit.

Crumble Topping:

1 stick melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup oats (old fashioned)
3/4 cup flour


1. Sliced and core the peaches/apples. Rinse the berries. Toss them in the bottom of your slow cooker!

2. Stir in the cinnamon and white sugar, tossing it with your fruit.

3. In a separate bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, oats and flour for the crumble topping. Crumble the mixture evenly over top of your fruit.

4. Cover the slow cooker and cook the peach berry crisp on high for 3 1/2 hours. If you don’t have that long, you could get away with as little as 2 hours, but I like the way the fruit melds together with the longer cook time.

5. Serving suggestion: We love it warm with a scoop of whipped topping or vanilla bean ice cream!

Berry Peach Crisp in the Slow Cooker


Have you ever tried a Crock-Pot dessert recipe?

How to Add Pockets to Any Skirt! Tutorial and Free Pattern


Adding Pockets to ANY Skirt! Tutorial + Free Pattern

Welcome to Craft Buds any new readers following along with the Skirting the Issue! If you haven’t heard, it’s a month long event over at Simple Simon & Co. and we’re happy to be a part of it!

Today we’ll show you how to add pockets to an existing pencil, slim, or A-line skirt pattern with a free pocket pattern. In my example below, I’m using Simplicity 9825 for the skirt (it’s now out of print, but still sometimes available on Ebay or Etsy). Once you’ve cut out all of your skirt pieces following your pattern directions, add the pockets to the front piece of the skirt, then finish the skirt using the directions that came with your pattern.

To make the pocket, first print out my pattern here. I’ve included 4 pocket sizes in the pattern. In this example I used the second largest size that is a solid black line. Then follow the instructions below (click on the image to see it larger).


1. Cut out 2 mirror image sets of the pocket, 1 from the outer fabric and 1 from a lining fabric.

2. Line up the pieces with right sides facing out and apply bias tape to the inner and outer curves to enclose the raw edges. Sew along the open edge of the bias tape. Optionally, also sew along the outer edge of the top curve so you’ll have 2 lines of stitching that will match the bottom curve after step 3.

3. Place the pocket pieces on the front piece of the skirt, lining the pocket up with the top and side edges before you assemble the skirt. Sew them down along the outside of the outer curve. Depending on the angle of your skirt, you may have to trim off a bit of pocket top or side edge. The side and top of the pocket will later be encased in the waistband and side of the skirt as you can see in the photo below.

Adding Pockets to ANY Skirt! Tutorial + Free Pattern


Additional Information:

Fabrics were purchased from including Kaufman 21 wale corduroy in citrus and Anna Maria Horner LouLouThi Summer Totem Tart in quilting cotton. The bias tape (ordered from is Wrights extra wide double fold bias tape in Mediterranean Blue. The shirt is a modified Sewaholic Renfrew and I’m mostly sure that the shirt fabric is JoAnn Fabrics interlock knit in royal. Original inspiration for the skirt came from It looks like the skirt is no longer on that site, but you can still see a pin of it here. Thanks to my friend and fabulous photographer Jayne (check her out if you’re in the Indianapolis area) for letting me take photos of her modeling the outfit!


Adding Pockets to ANY Skirt! Tutorial + Free Pattern


Make a Skirt for Charity, Win a Prize!

This post is part of the Skirting the Issue blog hop, hosted by Simple Simon and Co. We are so thrilled to be a part of this annual event, which encourages readers to sew and donate simple skirts to girls in foster care, to help them feel beautiful. Oh yeah, there are prizes, too!

Skirting the Issue 2015

Monetize Your Craft Blog with Affiliate Ads

Make Money Blogging with Affiliate Ads

One of the biggest questions I hear from craft bloggers is, “How do I monetize my blog?” For those who want to make money blogging, selling ad space through an ad network like Google Ads or BlogHer is one of the more popular ways to earn income via your blog. Ad networks like Google pay a set amount based on pageviews (the number of visitors to your blog) and click-throughs (the reader clicks a banner). Of course, you can also work out deals where you sell sidebar advertising (on a monthly or yearly basis) to relevant sites, but joining an ad network is a relatively low maintenance way to start earning passive income on your blog.

And then, there are affiliate ads. When you join an affiliate ad network like ShareASale or Commission Junction, you are eligible to earn a percentage of the sales that generated through your blog. For instance, if someone clicks on an affiliate ad link on your blog and spends $100 on fabric, you might earn $10 (on a 10% affiliate agreement).

NOTE: Always remember to post a disclosure when displaying affiliate ads or links (see the bottom of this post for an example), or you could end up in trouble with the FTC.

Top Affiliate Ads for Craft Bloggers

Craftsy Logo


A number of bloggers have found the Craftsy affiliate program to be very generous in payouts. Craftsy recently revamped their affiliate program, and they no longer award $2 per new Craftsy registration (even if that person doesn’t make a purchase). Their current program rewards sales (not just leads), and you can still earn big!

  • 75% commission on first-time course purchases from new customers (30-day cookie / 7 days from click)
  • 15% commission on existing customer course purchases (7-days from click)
  • 10% commission on supplies purchases (30-days from click for new customers, 7-days for existing)
  • $15 for referring a friend who is accepted into the affiliate progra

If you see the word “cookie,” this means you have that many days from the time someone new to Craftsy clicks through your affiliate ad to Craftsy to buy a class or product, and you’ll get paid.


Join the Craftsy affiliate program here!



C&T Publishing

One key to a successful affiliate relationship is to promote products that you love and believe in. As a C&T Publishing author, I’ve just joined the new affiliate program to promote the publisher’s books and sewing products. Not only can I earn 15% income from blog readers that buy my book, but I can earn the same commission when a reader makes any purchase at C&T. They also have great sales and free e-books for affiliate bloggers to review. Win-win!

  • 15% commission on all sales with a generous 120-day cookie
  • Access to review copies and new product releases to feature on your blog


Join the C&T Affiliate program here!


Some other favorites:


  • Commission rate 7%
  • Cookie: 45 days
  • Average Sale: $106
  • Product datafeed with thousands of products updated daily
  • $10 affiliate referrals: Invite your website-owning and blogging friends to join ModCloth’s affiliate program and earn $10 for each friend who’s approved

  • Monthly newsletter with updates on promotion, contests, and sales opportunities



Join the ModCloth Affiliate program here!



• Earn 12% base commission and 15% on orders $100+
• 45-day cookie
• $10 affiliate referrals: Invite your website-owning and blogging friends to join Cricut’s affiliate program and earn $10 for each friend who’s approved.


Join the Cricut Affiliate program here!


Shutterfly Affiliate Program

Shutterfly, Inc.

  • Commission levels starting at 10% for content based websites*
  • Average order size up to $200+
  • Cross-brand tracking cookie across all websites
  • Timely updates to keep you informed about current promotions and brand-specific offers


Join the Shuttterfly affiliate program here.

The Land of Nod, design for kids and people that used to be kids

The Land of Nod

  • 7% Affiliate Commission for Content sites and 3% Affiliate Commission for Loyalty sites (Transaction category will be selected by merchant after careful review of website)
  • 30-Day Cookie
  • Auto-confirm for all non furniture orders
  • $170 Average Order with sales up to $3000
  • Ongoing and Holiday Promotions for your site

Join The Land of Nod affiliate program here.

Zulily Affiliate sign-up


  • Amazing deals from high-quality brands at up to 70% off
  • Commission rates up to 10%
  • Cookie days – 7 day duration
  • Average Order Value – $50
  • Fully-categorized product datafeed with over 12,000 products
  • Past sale featured brands include: TOMS, Melissa & Doug, Jelly The Pug, American Girl, Vera Bradley, Disney, Cole Haan, Gymboree, Serena & Lily, Jessica Simpson, Steve Madden, Honest Company, Little Giraffe, Ergo Baby, Graco, Adidas, Lucy, Cuisinart, Le Creuset and dozens more.

Join the Zulily affiliate program here.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate ads and Craft Buds will be compensated if you sign-up to be an affiliate or make a purchase through any of these links.

We hope you do sign up and please let us know if you have any more questions about monetizing your craft blog! If you have experience with affiliate ads, what are your favorite brands to promote?

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