Category Archives: Projects

DIY at Home

How to make a Hanging Hand Towel

Ok! I promised to post a how-to blog on a Hanging Hand towel – so here it is! This will be a long post. Just a warning. I’ve includd a ton of pictures to help explain what I’m trying to.

First things first – here is the supplies you’ll need:
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A sewing machine, pins, good fabric scissors, washcloths or a hand towel, and other fabric that you want to use for the top, a button and a needle and thread to attach it.

The setting on your sewing machine should be a straight line, and close seams. Mines set on “1.5” and I’m not sure how else to explain that It makes the needle go down in the fabric more often in an inch. I’m not that professional.

Fabric:
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You’ll also need something to use to make a pattern. I used an old calendar page. Just something that is thick enough to hold up, but thin enough to cut around.

Here’s how I made it:
I folded the calendar in half, longways. If you have small kids… hotdog style fold.
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Then I drew a curve that I liked. My pattern is about 6” wide and 9” long. That ended up being a great size to work with.

Next, if you are going to use a hand towel, then go a head and cut it in half. I’m going to bounce around with the fabrics/towels I use, but eventually I’ll keep it all the same. I’m in the process of making several of these at once. I used what I had handy for pictures.

So – cut your hand towel in half. If you want – you can use a washcloth – you don’t have to cut it.
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Next, you want to fold up one end of your towel. Basically, you’re just bunching up one side so that it looks better when its done, but the neater you do this – the easier it makes it later on when you’re sewing it several times. *If you are using a washcloth, it’s lining should be a little different on two ends. Use the biggest hemmed end for your top.

First I fold it in half longwise, the cut end up. Then I pull it apart and push it down. Make sure you have the same amount on either side of extra otherwise it’ll look funny.
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Then pin that down.
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Next, fold up one end, just like you did the middle, and pin it.
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Do the same to the opposite side.
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Then, before you go any farther, measure on your pattern and make sure it’s the right size. It should be about a quarter of an inch away from either side.
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Next – sew it. I sew it about a quarter of an inch away from the edge (the cut edge).
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Make sure when you are sewing this, that your folds underneath are being sewn flat.
Just help guide them in. You may have to ‘push’ the fabric through on some parts where your folds are. Once you get it halfway through, you can pull it from the back.

If you are using a washcloth, sew just under the hem. photo

Now you should have this:
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Go ahead and take your pins out. If it doesn’t feel real secure, that’s okay. You need it to hold for just a little while. You’ll sew it up again.

Ok, next grab your pattern and cut out the fabric you want for the top.
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I cut generously around the pattern.
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Then be SURE to flip the “right sides” together. Meaning, the side you want to see on the outside when you are done, needs to be facing the inside.
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And pin it up.
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Ok! Sewing time again. I try and give myself as much room as possible, but we cut it generously, so you’ll have a little room to wiggle with.

It doesn’t really matter which side you start with. Your choice.
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I try and keep it the same all the way around. If you start generous, keep it generous. Your machine should have a little place to measure. I’m keeping mine at this point:
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Now – depending on the fabric/thread you have, this part can be easy or hard. First, when you do your very first seam, be sure to backstitch (sew forward and backward). I do this a couple of times, and I only make this seam about a quarter of an inch or less long. Also, keep the fabric taut as you sew around. This will make sure that your string doesn’t make your fabric bunch up.
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Keep your pin cushion handy too. You can take out your pins after you’ve sewn past them, to be sure you don’t bloody up your hanging towel.
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Again, I keep my fabric tight the entire time.
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Once you make your turn, you may be off a little. Like mine, I’m not at the same point on my measure as I was when I started. Just slowly make it match up again further down. The little handle part doesn’t matter as much as the base.

Once you get to the end, backstitch again a couple of times to make sure that it doesn’t come undone.

Then check your entire piece. If there are any parts that have too much excess fabric, cut it off. Don’t cut too close, or your seam may bust open later.
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Then turn your handle part right-side out and grab your towel. You should have this:
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Next, tuck in the bottom part of your handle.
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Then stick your towel into the handle. Make it to where the edges of the towel meet the entire handle.
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My towel went in this far:
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Pin it.
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Make sure nothing is going weird on the back.
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Sew time again!

Make sure right before you run it through, that you pull your towel to the edge.
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Wherever you start, that’s where you should end. If you start with a quarter inch on one side of your sewing foot, then end there. This part matters. Check the bottom as you sew. It doesn’t have to be as perfect.

You’ll also want to backstitch a small piece at the beginning and end of this as well. Just helps it make it more secure.

Start:
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End:
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Now you have this:
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Ok – this part is optional. If you want to add a little ribbon or something, now you do it. I chose one that was small, but matched perfectly.
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This part is sorta tricky, especially depending on the size of your ribbon.

Line up where you sew, with your already sewn line. Then just sew it. Try and keep it all together.
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This would have looked better if I had a darker thread.
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It is not that hard to keep in on the right line, especially since you are following a previous seam.

Now, flip it over to seal off the ribbon on the back. I fold my ribbon once on itself, then lay it down on the edge.
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Then I stitch and backstitch. Again, this wouldn’t look so loud if I used a darker thread.
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Now its button hole time! This was my first time doing a button hole. If you know of a better way to do this – BY ALL MEANS – do it that way.

First – pick yourself out a gnarly button.
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Grab a sharpie, and lay the button in the place you want the hole, on the BACKSIDE.
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Put a sharpie dot right above the button and right below.
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It should bleed through the fabric just a little. Just enough to where you will see it.
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Then I sew an eye shape from one dot to another.
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Next, change your sewing machine setting to where it sews a zig-zag instead of straight line. Sew over your straight seam at least twice. I increased my zig zag seam after my initial sewing. Just to make it bigger. And tougher.
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Then, cut out the center and make sure the button will fit through it. If it’s snug, that’s perfect. If it falls through, sew it up some. If it won’t fit, cut more.
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Then sew on your button. Measure using your button hole. If you need it to be longer, then keep the button lower.
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Do one last test.
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And done!
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Let me know if you have any issues! Facebook me pictures of yours!

Look at me…

Two days in a row. I’m on a roll.

Today isn’t so much about Lucy as it is… homemaking. I have some plans, like I had said in a previous post – I wanted to take one project a month and do it. Well.. Financially, that may or may not happen.

I’m subbing, but I’m subbing for goals. I’m paying for a trip that’ll cost me about 300 in October and another in November/December that’ll cost me.. well.. more than that. So house stuff is kind of on hold. Except for one thing… PLANNING.

Boy to I love to plan. You may be thinking that I’m joking.. but I’m not. I like to draft ideas.. and make notes.. and look and research. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m planning the plans. You get it.

I have one secret trick that I created myself. I’m sure someone else has done this before, but I haven’t researched that.

I have several magazine subscriptions. I got them on sale. Like, Better Homes and Gardens I got 2 years for like 9.99. And I got Woman’s day 1 year for 3.99. Anyway – instead of me keeping stacks of magazines each month- I just read them, tear out the stuff I like, and toss the rest. Then, I take the stuff that I tore out, and tape it into my home inspiration book (which is just a small notebook I got at dirt cheap for like .35 cents).

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See? Fun huh? It has stuff from gardening tips, to what plants work best where, to color combinations that are good, to how to reupholster a stool, and even fashion ideas and how to put on make up. Anything I find someone helpful.

I’m really into gardening and planting, and I’m trying to be better at it. It’s not easy though.

Anyway, I’m going to start by photoshopping my design ideas to this picture:
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This is my fireplace. And I wanna see what it would look like if I changed some things about it – like painted it, and painted the walls and stuff. I’ll use photoshop to edit all that to kind of get an idea. And then I’ll go from there. I’ll post my findings!

Ok! See – I told you I’d make time. And I bet you didn’t believe me.

I probably won’t blog tomorrow – because I’m subbing! I’m subbing at the school I just quit working for. I’m excited, but also not.. because of the reason I quit. I’m gonna miss my sweetie, but she gets to spend the day with Mamie, so she’ll be fine. Having these one day a week subbing days is nice. Gives me a little time to make a little money, and also makes me remember why I quit in the first place. It reinforces my decision.

And one thing about lucy – I’m hoping to catch her on video doing her carry-crawl. When she wants to take something with her (and she’s not really walking just yet) she holds it in her hand, and crawls using it to hold her up. Its really funny. And also smart.

Ok.. off to make some progress!

Busy Bee

Ok! I promised to show you Lucy’s quiet book. So… Here it is!

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And these pages aren’t really in the order they are. This is just random. These pages are just single pages.

From Top left to bottom right – A weave it section – where she can fold the felt over and under. Second is a fish bowl with buttons for bubbles, then a frog who is sewed on, but with enough room to hop from lily pad to lily pad, and a little owl on a branch with a bow she can tie!
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Next up: A spot with a pen and paper, then a mail box for her to mail the letter. Also a matching buttons page, where she can pick out the ones that match, or don’t. And the last one is a counting one. One black button, two yellow buttons, you get it.
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Here is a stop light and a city. There is a church, and a pond, a couple of trees, and a hospital and police station.
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Here is a little person with a closet. The clothes go in the closet.
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Here is one where she can do the buttons and the buckle. The owls are just cute.
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And finally, the alphabet!
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They are velcro. Except they don’t stick to the sticky velcro, so I’ve got to redo this page.

While I was taking pictures of it, Lucy got involved in it.
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I’ve also made some cute hair clips and pins.
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I chose different backs for each of them.
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And Lucy has been doing good. Except for her longing desire to go outside.
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And she also has a longing desire to play with the cat.
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Let’s Play Catch-Up

Well.. Every time I get on a blogging roll, I seem to get caught up with everyday life and whatnot. Here is what you’ve missed.

Saturday we went to the river and played. Lucy Loved it.
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I mean… This kid loves water.

And she likes playing with napkins at restaurants.
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And she loves Mom.
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Ha! Freshly Awake face.
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And – since I’ve been gone, I did a little room re-do. And I LOVE it!

Don’t judge me. But I’m going to show you the before picture.

Extra Bedroom – BEFORE
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Here is the closet – BEFORE.
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This was when I was going through all my craft stuff. I have… a lot of craft stuff.

Anyway – this room just didn’t seem to connect. So I found a SUPER cute comforter at Dirt Cheap – for $20. So I bought it and it totally brought this room together.

Extra Bedroom – AFTER
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Closet – AFTER
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Here is all my craft stuff. All right here. YESSS! I managed to cram it all into this spot.
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I also bought this from dirt cheap. Wall stickers that match the comforter almost perfectly! They were like $4.
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A close up of my new (lovely) bedding
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And While I’m at it – look at the difference cleaning can do!

Hallway – BEFORE
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Hallway – AFTER
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Kitchen – BEFORE
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Kitchen – AFTER
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So… What do you think? Like my stuff? Also – chime in –

Is this a tooth?
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Project: Kitchen Pie Safe

I finally got a project 100% complete! Yay!

Here was my goal: To make my pie safe look more like it was finished, with a slight sprucing’ up.

Final glance: I think I pulled it off. But you be the judge!

Total time: 20 minutes. Probably 40 if you include shopping for the fabric/searching for the tools.

Total price: $3.32 plus tax.

Here is what I started with:
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Junky. Mostly just needed to be cleaned out and around. It had stuff that shouldn’t have been in there, that was in there for ages. Just cleaning it out made it look so much better.

See:
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I wanted to take and put something in the open “window” spots. I had originally wanted to do lace, but given that none of the fabric stores I went to had lace, I opted for regular fabric. I bought three different prints. I like prints and I figured that would be the best way to be catchy, but not flashy.

There is a difference.

So here is what I bought:
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The blue didn’t match the walls, and we already had some red stuff in the kitchen, so Wes and I agreed – Red print was the best choice.

We really like the print.
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So I cut my fabric to make sure I’d have enough. (I did measure before I went shopping too). Then I got everything lined up and ready:
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And then the fun part came!
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I didn’t have much working space, but I made do.
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I did have one issue where half of the staple would go in the wood, and the other part would go close, but would just pop off a piece of wood. This happened like 6 times. Then I FINALLY got the hang of it.

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I followed through to the bottom. Then I cut off the extra parts.
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And yes. I just let it flap. I couldn’t cut off too much, or you would see through it, because I didn’t put a staple every 2 inches.

It isn’t 100% perfect – but I think it turned out GRAND.
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What do you think?