Crafty Kitchen: Oreo Spiders

I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with Halloween related goodies like our Owl S’mores and now these spiders! These are an easy treat to make. For ingredients you’ll…

Fabric Pumpkins Tutorial

Looking for an easy DIY pumpkin? Look no further! Here’s a cute way to make them out of fabric. You could even have an older child make or help make…

Free Pattern Features: Halloween Pillows

Looking for ways to add some Halloween fun to your decor? On Craft Buds we’ve featured Halloween printables, fabric pumpkins, and owl smores. Lots of other crafty sites have been…

Jack-o’-Lantern Shirt Stencils

Looking to add some Halloween fun to your family’s wardrobe? Here’s a shirt idea for either you or your kids to make. It would also be a fun project for…

Tutorial: Custom Tees

I was checking out the Crap I’ve Made blog a couple days ago and saw this great paint product. Tulip’s Soft Velveteen Fabric Paint. After drying you steam it with an iron and it changes texture to a flexible soft raised almost rubbery feel. Despite being the coldest day in ages, my toddler and I braved the weather to go get some of this paint. It was even on sale at JoAnn’s so it was meant to be.

I decided to do an Elmo shirt but just think of all the letter stencils, t-shirts, tote bags, household items, monogrammed pillows, aprons, and who knows what else you could use this on! Char at Crap I’ve Made used it to make letters on a Valentine’s Day bunting (check out the blog link above, she has a lot of great projects and tutorials!).

The shirt I’m using is from Wal-Mart’s Garanimals line. For $3.50 they have solid color boys or girls shirts (the girl shirts are cuter than the boys, as usual) up to size 5T. I found the Soft Velveteen paint in 3 of the colors I needed, red, black and white. They didn’t have orange or yellow to mix with the red so I ended up getting just a matte finish orange.

I started by making a stencil. I then made 4 copies of it and cut out the openings for each of my 4 paint colors. I used card stock paper for my stencil. It worked okay for one use but it did start to curl a tiny bit after the second coat of paint. Freezer paper would have been a better choice.

I pre-washed the t-shirt and I put cardboard inside underneath the areas I was painting. I chose to do a bigger Elmo on the chest and a little one on the wrist so the wearer could see it.
I used Duct tape repositionable Easy-Stick tape to hold my stencil in place. This was especially essential for the extra mouth piece that wasn’t connected to the main stencil. Just make sure to get the adhesive around your stencil so the paint doesn’t bleed underneath too much. You could also use spray glue. Then I used a sponge brush to put on 2 coats of paint in each color.
I ended up doing the red, orange and white with the stencil and just used a small brush to paint in the black. The paint bled a tiny bit under my stencils so I wanted to cover those imperfections accurately when I outlined the whole image in black.
And here’s what I had after all the paint had dried for 4 hours (as the paint label recommends):
Now for the magic. After painting the image was slightly textured from the way I used the sponge brush, but it was still flat. Then I heated up my iron on the steam setting and held it about 1/2″ above the fabric while it was steaming (you have to have steam, just heat won’t work). Then the paint puffed up and turned into a whole new texture! I tried to get before and after shots but it’s still hard to see. The photo was taken when the paint was still hot and a little wavy. It smoothed out after it cooled.
And here’s the final shirt modeled by the lucky (thrilled…) recipient! Other than the drying time in between the different colors of paint this was a pretty fast project.
PS. If you need help finding a kid’s character image try out these websites and the coloring pages:

These two sites have both printable coloring pages and coloring related games such as mazes, paper dolls, bookmarks, mobiles and more:

Just coloring pages (check both PBS links for your favorite show because they each feature different shows):

Tutorial: Cutesy folding changing pad with vinyl on both sides

I’m Lindsay, and I blog over at Lindsay Sews and Craft Buds. I’m so excited that Melissa has asked me to share this tutorial for readers of The Polkadot Chair. I hope it gets you all in the mood for a little travel and exploring (even if you have little ones in tow)!

Psssst. Craft Buds is a brand-new collaboration with my friend and fellow craft devotee, Mary, where we hope to bridge the gap between crafting for pleasure and the business of handmade. (To celebrate the launch, we’re offering a little fabric giveaway. More details on that in a minute!)

Over MLK weekend, I flew to Minneapolis to visit Katie, my BFF from college. Katie is basically a rockstar of a mom. Not only does she have two kids in diapers, but she was getting ready to take them on a 9-hour flight across the Pacific. How does she do it?

Baby Travel Tip: Katie says she packages separate Ziploc bags with everything she will need to feed her little ones, including food, a spoon and a wet wipe. That way, she can reach down with one hand and just get everything she needs, instead of digging in the carry-on. Dirty spoons and wipes just go back in the baggie, to be cleaned up later. Or better yet, use a plastic spoon!

Snack time supplies in individual bags makes traveling with tots more manageable. Reach down and grab with your free hand, and you've got everything you need!


Tutorial: Double-sided Vinyl Changing Mat

Katie wanted a vinyl changing mat that wasn’t so bulky in her purse. A frequent traveler, she also wanted something that she could pull out in a public restroom and not worry about getting the fabric dirty on the back side, like most cute changing pads are prone to.

This is what we came up with!

 

Want to make your own?

Supplies:

  • 1/2 yard patterned quilting fabric
  • 1/2 yard coordinating solid fabric
  • 1 yard 12-gauge vinyl from the craft store, or 1 heavy-duty shower curtain liner (clear). (When buying vinyl, measure the length of the roll to make sure two changing mats will fit. We bought 1.6 yards for two changing pads.)
  • Heavy-duty sewing needle
  • Coordinating thread
  • Velcro strip
  • 1 pack (3 yards) double fold quilt binding

Finished project size: Approximately 24″ x 16″ inches unfolded, 9.5″ x 7″ folded

Step 1:

We traced the shape of her existing diaper mat and borrowed the fold lines, making a paper bag pattern. (If you don’t have a model to copy, draw a rectangle that’s 2 feet long and use a dinner plate to trace rounded corners.)

Step 2:

Cut the oval shape once each from print and solid fabrics. Cut two ovals from vinyl, to make front and back panels. Use scraps of all materials to fashion a rounded handle, about 5 inches by 3 inches.

Step 3:

Play with your paper pattern, spacing the fold lines the way you want. You will later stitch along these lines on solid (light blue) layer to make the mat easier to fold. With your pattern piece taller than it is long:

  1. Fold top edge 2/3 down
  2. Fold bottom to overlap top
  3. Fold left edge 2/3 over
  4. Fold right piece to overlaps left

 

Step 4: Layer one piece of solid fabric and one piece of vinyl. This will show on the outside of your folded mat (our outside is light blue). Lay the paper pattern on top of fabric/vinyl sandwich, and repeat the same fold lines. Mark fold lines with masking tape and stitch fabric and vinyl together along those lines.

Step 5: Layer your materials in this order, to make a “materials sandwich”:

  • Bottom: vinyl stitched to solid fabric, with fabric facing up
  • Middle: patterned fabric (design face up)
  • Top: other piece of vinyl

Step 6: With your materials sandwich, practice using the fold lines you sewed earlier and determine where you want your outer velcro to go. Stitch velcro to vinyl/solid fabric layer only. Velcro will be positioned on the center square (see photo, above) of the solid side of your changing mat. The other velcro piece will attach to the flap, which is cut out but not yet sewn.

Step 7: With one side of velcro now attached, sew binding all the way around the quilt sandwich, to create this:

Tip: I used paperclips to hold the layers together while I attached the binding. This is a great way to keep everything smooth when your fingers can’t get that close. Two large paperclips seem to be the perfect tools for dragging along an inch at a time to smooth the binding and secure the layers.

Image credit: http://moores-sew.blogspot.com

Step 8: Now, it’s time for the flap. Attach velcro a half-inch from the long, straight edge of one vinyl flap piece. Assemple flap into the same type of materials sandwich you created earlier (see step 5) and secure edges with paperclips while you attach binding.

Step 9: Place the flap into position on the changing mat, close enough to the edge so that flap binding actually overlaps mat binding. Make sure velcro strips align, and sew flap to changing mat.

You’re done! Fold up and stow away in your purse or diaper bag for a lightweight, totally portable changing mat that you won’t mind getting dirty.

Thanks Melissa for letting me share this tutorial! Don’t forget to enter the Sherbet Pips giveaway at Craft Buds!

Tutorial: Totes Big and Small

It seems like I’m always leaving the house with something…dinner for a friend, toys for my toddler, extra pair of shoes or who knows what. I usually grab a Bath and Body Works bag or a plastic mega-store bag but in the interest of looking less “mom-frump” (my term for how I often feel these days) I thought a nice set of tote bags would help me look a bit more pulled together. Here’s the first tutorial in the series on some different tote styles. Later I’ll do a second one on a version with a pocket and different handle straps.

You can scale the size up or down for whatever purpose you have in mind. I make two sizes generally. One is a small tote the same size as one of the paper Bath and Body Works bags you get at their stores. It’s great for a few toys, extra shoes, or even wrapping up a gift. The larger size is great for grocerices, farmer’s markets, extra toddler clothes/toys when going out for the day, as a beach bag, for a change of clothes for the gym or whatever else you can think of. It’s about the same size as a paper grocery bag.

For this pattern you’ll need an outer fabric and a liner fabric. I like at least one of the fabrics to be a heavier weight to help the bag hold it’s shape a little better. All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise noted.

1. Small size: Cut 15″ squares from both your outer and liner fabrics with the center fold of the fabric at the bottom of the square. (If you do it this way, you’ll be cutting through two layers of fabric and if you were to open it up, you would have a rectangle of 15″ x 30″.) At each of the bottom corners cut a rectangle 2 1/2″ tall by 3″ wide. If the fabric you’re using doesn’t allow you to have the center fold at the bottom you’ll cut two rectangles from both fabrics 15″ wide by 15 1/2″ tall, and your corners will be 3″ square.
Large size: Cut 20″ squares from both your outer and liner fabrics with the center fold of the fabric at the bottom of the square. (If you do it this way, you’ll be cutting through two layers of fabric and if you were to open it up, you would have a rectangle of 20″ x 40″.) At each of the bottom corners cut a rectangle 3″ tall by 3 1/2″ wide. If the fabric you’re using doesn’t allow you to have the center fold at the bottom you’ll cut two rectangles 20″ wide by 20 1/2″ tall, and your corners will be 3 1/2″ square.

2. For the outer fabric, put right sides together then stitch up the sides. Repeat with the liner fabric.

3. If you have a raw edge rather than a fold at the bottom, stitch that together.

4. Create the bottom of the bag by stitching the corners. See below for photo detail. You’ll stitch all 4 corners (the 2 for the outer fabric and the 2 for the liner).

5. Your outer fabric and liner should now look like this and you can iron the seams flat.

6. Now flip the outer fabric right side out, then nestle the liner inside.

7. Now pin along the bottom of the bag on the front and back, but not the sides. Stitch along the edge with a 1/8″ or 3/16″ seam allowance.

8. Fold the raw edges of the top of your bag in 1/2″ and pin. Also, tuck the straps about 1″ down in between the two fabrics and pin in place. I used these cotton straps from JoAnns but you could also make them out of a coordinating fabric. For the small bag each strap is 14″. For the large bag I wanted something I could carry by hand or over my shoulder so it’s 26″.

9. Now stitch around the top. Leave a 1/8″ seam allowance at the top and then sew a second seam 3/4″ down from the top. Then go back and put an X over each strap. Or if you don’t want to have to go back and do the Xs later, see the diagram below for the exact steps I followed.

 

10. Optional: If you want your tote to have a boxy shape, pin the 4 sides going straight up from each corner then stitch 1/8″ in from the edge like you did in step 9 around the top.

And now your project is complete!

 

Tutorial: Sink Skirt

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This project starts with a little story. Five years ago my husband and I bought an old historic home. It was built somewhere in the mid- to late-1800s. The house had been empty for a couple years and raccoons used it for part of that time. We had this little gross closet (see left photo above) that I wouldn’t store anything in so my dad suggested we turn it into a bathroom.
I’ll spare you the drama of putting in the bathroom, but we ended up with the little beauty in the above right photo! You can see that the pipes under the sink are still visible. That brings us to this project. A sink skirt was the perfect solution to hide those pipes and add some extra character.
MEASURING:
Width: I started by measuring around the top of the sink. I then added 1″ to that measurement so I could hem the sides. I decided to use 5 box pleats around the top. For each pleat I added an extra 4″ (you’ll loose 2″ for each side pleat). This bathroom is 3 feet x 5 feet so that sink is super small. For a larger sink you may want more pleats.
Height: Measured the height I wanted the skirt from the rim of the sink to below the pipes. Added an additional 4″ for hemming.
SEWING:
After cutting out my fabric I hemmed the left and right sides. Then in the center I pinned down a box pleat. Each pleat is 2″ wide with 1″ pleats so the folds will almost touch in the back. From there I pinned each of the two side pleats. Then I sewed a seam across the top to hold them all in place. I then folded the top back 1″ twice for the hem. The extra wide and sturdy hem will be where you later place your velcro.
I did the same process for the bottom except for making the pleats larger to the point that they overlapped each other.

FINISHING:
After I had the skirt finished, I used sticky velcro squares and attached one side to my sink and one side to my sink skirt. The ones on the sink stuck really well but the ones on the fabric lost their hold when the unheated bathroom reached arctic temperatures. After that I handstitched the squares to the fabric but the stickyness made it nearly impossible to push the needle through and now my finger is full of holes. You can benefit from my suffering: I would recommend sticky velcro for the sink and nonsticky velcro stitched to the fabric. I used 5 squares, but again, it’s a really small sink so you may need more. Now it’s ready to be attached and you’re all done!

Machine sewing for beginners: Projects and tutorials

>My first big sewing project was this dress. I got frustrated when I sewed one of the sleeves inside out, couldn’t figure out the neckline, and put down the project for months before returning to it.

People often tell me they’d like to learn how to sew, but don’t really know where to start. I usually recommend that they get acquainted with their sewing machine by trying out a project with straight lines, like a pillow case, curtains or a simple skirt. Small, simple projects are rewarding because you can easily finish them up in an hour. Some of them even make great gifts!

Here’s a list of some machine sewing projects for beginners.

Easy: Sew straight lines and learn to finish edges.

  1. 5-Minute Tank Top Tote: Sew one straight line, and you’ve made a purse. 
  2. Bandana Table Runner: This is a 15-minute sewing project. Just sew a few straight lines, and you’ll feel like Martha Stewart.
  3. Pocket Tissue Cover: Master this, and you can move on to pillows. Make up a bunch in different colors and give out as stocking stuffers.
  4. Envelope Pillow Cover: Great beginner project, and it’s a video tutorial. This is like the pocket tissue cover, but all grown up.
  5. Fabric gift/favor bags: Use up fabric scraps and make a gift wrap your friends won’s want to throw away.
  6.  

     

      Medium-Easy Sewing Projects:  Explore your machine and add zippers, elastic and fusible interfacing.

      1. Eye Pillow: Learn to sew on a curve while using a simple pattern.
      2. Easy Fabric Cuff: This project will let you explore those fancy stitches your machine has.
      3. T-shirt Pillowcase: This project will teach you how to insert a zipper, and you can recycle a favorite t-shirt in the process.
      4. Coffee Cup Sleeve: This project will introduce you to fusible interfacing (which makes fabric sturdier), so grab your iron.You can substitute for fusible fleece.
      5. 10-Minute Fabric Headband: Great tutorial, and a fun way to use scrap fabrics. You’ll need elastic for this one.

       

          Getting harder: Draw a simple pattern and learn about bags.

          1. Six Gore Skirt: Once you take your measurements, use a paper grocery bag to draw out your pattern. This is a challenging project for beginners, but not too difficult.
          2. Lined Cell Phone Cozy: Get out your interfacing and some fabric scraps. Once you’ve mastered this project, you’ll be ready to try a lined purse or tote.  
          3. Yoga Mat Bag: Ommmmm. A bit challenging for the beginner, but you’ll feel proud after the bag is complete.
          4. Tiny Tote Bag with Pocket: Learn to add a strap and pocket to your purses.

          If you have suggestions for the list or know of a great tutorial for beginners, please leave me a comment!

              Tutorial: Embroidered Wildlife Onesies

              >This project is much more simple than it looks. To make the embroidered onesies, visit your local Goodwill and pick up some gently used, colorful kids clothes in a solid color. Wash and press.

              Here are the materials you’ll need:

              • Onesie
              • Sewing machine
              • Thread
              • Computer, Internet & Printer
              • Scrap fabric 
              • Sewing pins
              • Embroidery Floss
              • Buttons
              • Heat’N Bond (optional)

              1. Using a Google Images search, find some wildlife clipart (try searching for “seahorse silhouette,” for example) and print.

              2. Using sewing pins, attach clipart printout to a piece of fabric that will become your applique. Clip fabric scrap to the clipart, and cut around the image with sharp scissors. Remove paper and pins.
              3. Using a zigzag stitch, sew applique to onesie. If design is intricate, you may wish to apply iron-on adhesive such as Heat’N Bond to keep it in place before sewing. (I didn’t use fabric adhesive for any of the designs here, but the horse probably would have benefited from it.)
              4. Using embroidery floss, go over the outline using a simple running stitch.
              5. Use thread and buttons to embellish. 

               Voila! What a great way to use up scrap fabric and save a onesie that’s seen better days.

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