Saturday, June 23, 2012

Easy Patriotic Pillows - A Tutorial

I made this really cool Stars and Stripes Bunting the other day out of burlap:

(You can find the tutorial for it here)

After I made it, the wheels in my head started turning and an idea began to form. The pillow covers I made for the pillows that hang out on our gliders outside had gotten all faded from the sun, so it was time to make new ones. I wanted to replicate the Stars and Stripes look, and I wanted to keep the project on the cheap. The answer was ...........  canvas drop cloths!

Here is what the finished pillows look like:

I am so happy with how they turned out!  Let's get to the tutorial.

You only need a few things to make this project. You will need some pillow inserts, whatever size you like (mine were 14 X 14.) You will need some canvas drop cloths:

I got mine at Lowes, and they were on sale for around $4 each for the 4 X 5 size. I think I got four pillows out of two of these. They come in all different sizes, so you could buy a bigger size if unsure (and trust me, after making these, you will want to make more in different designs, so buy extra!!)

Then you will need spray paint. Here is what I used:

I got mine at Wal-mart for around $3.47 a can. The colors are True Blue and Banner Red. While I was at Wal-mart, I picked up some Con-tact Paper for $5.48 a roll:

It is in the kitchen area with all the other shelf liners. I don't have any of that vinyl stuff you can order on-line, but if you have that you could use it instead. This roll of contact paper will last me a long time.

You need to wash your canvas drop cloths and then give them a good ironing. I read somewhere that you should bleach the drop cloths, so I did.

Start by cutting out your canvas drop cloth to the size you will need. I make my pillows envelope- back style, so I cut my front piece 1 inch larger than my pillow form, and the back piece 1 inch wider and 4 inches longer than my pillow form. So for my 14 x 14 pillow, my front piece was 15 x 15 and my back piece was 15 x 18. You then cut the back piece into two equal pieces along the width (each piece is now 15 x 9). At the spot where I cut it, I folded the edge over 1/4 of an inch, ironed it well, and then stitched it. Set aside the back pieces for now.

Now it's time to paint! First, either free hand draw a star on the white side of the contact paper or do like I did and Google "star stencil" and print out a star shape and trace it onto the contact paper, then cut it out. I used one big star and 3 little stars, but you can do yours however you like.

* Here's a neat tip for you - to easily get the paper piece off the back side of the contact paper, GENTLY score it with your seam ripper. Ask me how I know to do it gently so that you don't make holes in your stars and have to cut out some more!!!

Apply the stars to your front piece and spray paint away. The spray paint I used said it dries in 10 minutes or less and they weren't kidding!

For the stripes, I just cut out two pieces of contact paper. No, they're not perfectly straight, but that's okay with me!

Then spray this piece with your red paint and let it dry. Once your front pieces are dry, peel off your stars and stripes.

Now it's time to sew the pillow. Put the front piece down with the pretty side facing you. Then put your two back pieces on top of that, pretty sides down. Make sure the hemmed pieces are in the middle of the pillow.

 Pin it, and sew all the way around with 1/4 inch seam. Trim the excess from the corners and then turn it right side out through the opening and you are done!

Our gliders have a matching table and chairs, and I noticed that the chair cushions are faded, so I'm thinking I will use the canvas drop cloth I have left and re-cover those cushions too!

The possibilites truly are endless for this project. Here are just a few other ideas:

  • Use other designs to make "every day" pillow covers (flowers, your initials, your house number)
  • Make different seasonal pillow covers that you can display all through the year (Valentines, Christmas, Easter etc.)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you make some pillows, please send me a link, I would love to see them!

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Oh Baby

Here are some baby things I made for the granddaughter of a friend of mine:

Flannel Receiving Blanket

Crochet Edged Blanket, Diaper burp cloths, onesies, soft block toy

Up close of the Soft Block Toy. It is so cute and so easy to make. Tutorial for it can be found here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thank You for the Award but...

I have decided that from now on, my blog will be an Award Free Blog.

Much as I appreciate being singled out, there are just so many wonderful blogs out there that I think we are ALL winners!

Thank you for your understanding  :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Birthday Shirt and Patriotic Wreath

We are going to our great-nephew's birthday party tomorrow, he turns 2 already. Seems like only yesterday I made all of his baby gifts - he was the first one I made things for when I got into sewing :)
I saw this great tutorial for an Elmo shirt, and since Kael absolutely ADORES Elmo, I knew it would be perfect for him.

This is the front of the shirt. I had a hard time finding a solid red shirt with no design or writing on the front, so I had to settle for this one with the pocket.  Here is the back:

I used my letter and number stencils and some scrap black fabric to make the "I'm 2" on the back.

When I was making Elmo's face, I sewed each piece on individually. I started with the white for his eyes, then did the orange nose, and finally the black eyes and mouth. I did a tight zig zag stitch around each one (hard to see in the picture). I adhered them with Heat n Bond, but I always like to sew them on too so they will make it through the laundry okay. I did the same thing on the back. I can't wait to see him wearing it tomorrow!

I decided to make a new Fourth of July wreath this year, as the one I made last year was just too small for our front door. Once I saw Courtney's Rag Wreath over at A Diamond in the Stuff, I knew that was what I wanted to make.

The best part of this project is that it was absolutely free!  I had a wreath form in my stash that I had already (mine was made out of pipe insulation too!) and my SIL gifted me with a bunch of fabric recently, so the fabric was free too! The ribbon came off of last year's wreath.

I cut my fabric into strips that were 2 X 12. The pipe insulation is kind of thick, so that's why I made my strips a little longer.  This is an easy project, it just takes awhile to cut all the strips and then tie them onto the wreath.

Thanks to Kirstin and Courtney for their tutorials!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Stencils for Applique

I have been making lots of appliqued onesies, and I wanted to share with you what I have been making. I love to make the onesies with the initials of the baby, or the tie onesie, but I wanted to do something different. While strolling through the aisles at Jo-Anns one day, I came across some stencils and a light bulb went off in my head.... why not use the stencils for my onesies?  Here are a few I have made:

You can see the duck and car stencils I used behind the onesies in this picture!

And for a sweet newborn named Abbigail, I made this:

I found the stencils in the craft paint aisle... one of the packages had 48 stencils in it for around $4.99. Not a bad price (and with a 40% coupon, even better!)  They also come in different sizes too ... the ones I got are about 4 1/2 inch ones, but they come bigger and smaller than that.

They also had packages of alphabet stencils:

I really love this "A" that I made for Abbigail embellished with a little silk rosette that I stitched on.

These are sew easy to do.... just iron some Heat n Bond or Wonder Under to the wrong side of your fabric. Then trace the stencil onto the paper backing, cut out the shape, iron it to the item and then zig zag stitch around it (don't forget to put your freezer paper underneath when you sew - check out my previous post about that here.)

No need to limit yourself to baby items either - you can use this for your toddler or children items too. I also like that they included so many different shapes in the stencil pack - snowman, cats and dogs, nautical items, a birthday cake (which I will be using to embellish a birthday shirt for a soon to be 5 year old!), boy and girl silhouettes, hearts.. the list goes on and on!  So much fun, and so much easier than trying to find shapes on the internet, print them out to the correct size, etc. etc.!

I sure hope you give this a try.  :)

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