A Steno Pad for My Thoughts
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Posts filed under 'step-by-step'
My most favorite birthday card ever, it’s a fake cake slice, small gift box and well wisher all rolled into one. The top part of the cake opens up to small box underneath.
I bought it from FrivolousWhimsy’s Etsy shop, and there are more here. I also made a fake wooden candle for the tops out of a wooden dowel.
You can sharpen the tip in a pencil sharpener and then put a small hole in the tip, I used an ice pick.
And then I glued in a bit of string and put a spot of hot glue on it so it looked wax covered.
Painted the stick and the candle was done!
We also had a few caramels leftover from the batch I made a back in March the refrigerator, and they were still delicious. So I’m going to make another batch so I can save them in the fridge and have a sweet treat to give away in the cake slice box along with our new Homemade gift tags. They’ll flip. I’m set.
July 16th, 2009
This summer, I have been so into neck stuff for accessories–bandanas, neck ties and the like. I thought I was going to get into headbands but I need not look any younger so bandanas tied around the neck it became. And then what followed was cooling neck ties. This is the kind of thing my mom owns. And I scoffed at initially, my how the tides turn. It’s like imagining the return of twisty beads. I’m going to make it happen. But these have smaller ties and look more like a boy scout tie or an ascot that it amuses me. The cooling neck ties, made for both young and old around these parts.
The trouble is they are just so darn quick and easy to make that the level of satisfaction on this project is really high, so you ride the wave and hate to fall so you just keep making more. So far I’ve made five. I imagined making one for all my family but stopped. My sister would make fun of me and my brother would never wear it and my mom, well, she already has one. My dad doesn’t count. He’d wear, eat or say anything.
To make these satisfying suckers for an adult, I cut a 4″ band of fabric about 31″ long and fold in half. Leave a 9″ opening in the middle to make three 3″ pockets for the water absorbing crystals. (Thanks for helping me find them!)
After you sew up the ends, turn it rightside out and sew up the three pockets. The pockets help it fold around your neck nicer. They soak up crazy amounts of water and can dry out again. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of crystals to each pocket, see photo below for visual representation, and sew up the opening.
This is how big one single crystal gets when soaked for a couple hours.
Crazy right? Soak your neck tie for a couple hours and enjoy! I have used them in the Savannah heat and we like it and helps us and since we love neck accessories we love how we look. Take that.
Edit to add: Here is a sewing diagram to detail how to sew up the neck coolers. Hope this helps!
July 6th, 2009
My nephew will be turning 7 next week. You may recall he has become quite the avid book creator and loves to draw anything. He has the patience and interest to sit and draw for hours and recreates most everything he sees. It’s amazing. He declared that he might just become an illustrator one day. Well. Say no more! With that nugget of knowledge I set off to make him some easy books made with some faux cloth bookbinding tape.
He will be getting a stack of these with the Illustrators 50 by The Society of Illustrators book and the 1971 edition of Childcraft’s How We Get Things I found at Goodwill. He will flip looking at all of the illustrations in both and I can just imagine him trying to draw his own versions of them. Oh I can’t wait. In the meantime, make your own easy books! Step-by-step directions below the cut.
Step 1. You will need some tagboard, or heavy card stock, for the cover and paper for the interior pages. I used scrap paper for both and made books that measured 5 3/4″ x 4.5″ when completed. I used 5 sheets, per book, of white scrap paper for pages that I cut to 8.5″ x 5 3/8″ so when folded it would be 4.25″ wide. The size is not terribly important, don’t stress yourself. You just want the cover to be slightly larger than the size of the pages. TIP: To get really clean cuts, use a guillotine style paper cutter. If you have one that doesn’t have a moveable fence, like mine, tape down a piece of scrap board so you get consistent cuts for the pages and covers every time.
Step 2. Fold both your cover and pages in half place the pages into the cover, lining up the fold lines. Using your sewing machine, sew along the creased pages to attach the pages to the cover. Hold on to your strings tightly when you begin to stitch and I keep long threads on both ends when I cut it off of the machine so I can knot the two ends together. This just ensures the ends won’t come undone. Sewing paper will dull your sewing needle so I keep a special paper needle on-hand. If you don’t have one yet, just remember to replace your needle before you sew fabric again. TIP: If you don’t have a sewing machine you can simply staple the pages together along the center crease. If you don’t have a long reach stapler, go to your local copy shop and use theirs for free.
Step 3. Cut the fabric for your faux book cloth tape. Quilting cotton weight fabric works best. You will need a piece that is 3″ wide by 1″ longer than the height of your book.
Step 4. On the backside of the fabric, draw three lines along the long edge, using a ruler and pencil, that are .5″ from the bottom, 1.5″ from the bottom and 2.5″ from the bottom. These will be your guides for the next two steps. If you are using a light colored fabric, draw these lines lightly.
Step 5. Place the fabric piece on your work table. Using Scotch brand 3/4″ permanent double sided tape, pull off a piece of tape that is longer than your fabric piece. (It’s important to use 3/4″ tape since it’s the perfect size for this project.) Line up this piece of tape underneath the top line you made, .5″ from the top edge of the fabric. You want the tape to extend beyond the edge of the fabric so it stays stuck down to your work surface. It will make it easier to handle.
Step 6. Fold down the top edge of the fabric onto the double stick tape. It will fold nicely along the straight line edge of the tape. Repeat for the bottom line you made, place double stick tape and fold up bottom edge of fabric. Next, you will want to place another piece of double stick tape over the folded edge of fabric you just made, right on top of the first piece of tape you put down. Note: There will be no adhesive at the very center line of the tape, which works out perfectly and allows for the book to open and close easily without bunching up along the seam.
Step 7. Place your sewn or stapled book onto the middle of your faux book tape, using the pencil line you drew as your guide.
Step 8. Fold over your faux cloth book tape and press down on both sides firmly to attach it to your book front. Trim the ends that hang over the edge of the book with sharp scissors. Finish off the edges of the cut fabric with a FrayCheck or small amount of white glue so the cut ends won’t fray over time.
Here they all are! For my nephew, I put them all in box with a blank sticker on top so he could label his book box. This box fit the books I made perfectly.
I think I need to make some for me now, too.
April 17th, 2009
A long time ago, I had picked up a half finished quilt top at an antique mall and it was in pretty bad shape. I love the colors and fabrics and ultimately ending up cutting it into strips and making streamers from it. I posted about this project years back on our old blog, which is now long gone, and for awhile after that I used them on my bed, and then I pulled them out as decorations for our mantle. I love them as the party streamers and love more you can reuse them year to year and they don’t get ripped, broken or tossed out.
Most recently, they became yet a new decoration in the form of a simple, graphic and, yet, comfortable feeling wreath.
I simply wrapped the streamers around a wreath form that I picked up at our local craft store and simply secured the end with one straight pin.
The nice thing is the wreaths are made with a stryofoam base so after the season passes, I can pull off the streamers without any harm and use them again on the bed or as party decorations. For the one on our door, I hung feather I had picked up on a walk in the center. Bring on spring.
March 10th, 2009
I made this for St. Patrick’s Day which is a very big deal in Savannah. I am not so sure we’ll be going on out this day, way too much drinking + large crowds freaks me out, but I’ll be sporting it either way.
I made it with two wooden shamrock craft shapes that I painted green and then cut out a green fabric print for the leaves and glued it on. Then, I drilled a small hole in the top of the leaves and glued in a piece of green twine in the top of each. It’s just one continuous piece so I just twist the two shamrock ends around each other to wear around my neck.
The twine I saved from a package that arrived from Japan, it’s great and holds it shape well so it works well with this set up. I hope a little luck comes our way next week after this insane week we’ve had! Thanks for all the kind comments on Chenchay. I think she’s giving us two weak thumbs up, so we’re thrilled.
March 6th, 2009
Last minute gift idea that actually seemed really simple but after making four crazy messed up ones, I scraped the insulated batting idea and went to wool felt instead. It made the entire process come together in seconds.
This one I made with an embroidered initial ribbon I bought here awhile back.
And this one I made with a section of the Tiny Tots + Dots Twill Tape.
I opted for velcro so it fit onto several different size cups. Our two favorite cups, even though I am a tea drinker rather than coffee, is this cup and this cup. Both are ceramic versions of paper cups so they’re hot. Real hot.
I uploaded a pattern here. Click on “download the large size” and print it out. The sleeve pattern didn’t fit on one page so I had to break up the sleeve into two pieces on the pattern. So just cut out the paper pattern pieces and tape them together then cut out two pieces from wool felt. The pattern indicates where to sew on your velcro pieces. Place on top of each other and topstitch 1/8″ from edge and you’re done!
December 24th, 2008