Sunday, July 26, 2015

Burlap Pocket Bulletin Board

I bought this burlap coffee sack at a little coffee shop a few months ago.

It was only $5.00.

I had no idea what I would do with it.....but the graphic look of the stencil was too cool to pass up.

I decided to update the message center in the kitchen with a pocket bulletin board.

The pockets on a board like this are a great way to have things right at hand without cluttering up your workspace or poking holes in photos or invitations.

Making the board is really simple.
Anyone who can use an iron and a glue gun can make one.

This message board started as the hard insert from an old frame.

An old corkboard insert would also work well with the added benefit of being able to pin into it.

The next step is to cut cardboard strips that are about 4 inches wide and run the exact width of the board.

You will be folding these pieces of cardboard into your "pockets" as a nice reinforcement.

The number of pockets and the depth of those pockets will be up to you.

In the case of the coffee bag,  I wanted to work with the printed words.  This meant that I ended up with 2 pretty deep pockets.

I was a bit frustrated that the words weren't printed straight....then I got over that and decided...."it is what it is!"

Ironing the pockets is super important.

Once the folds are in need to "unfold" and use the glue gun to attach the cardboard to the inside for stability.

 By the glue and burlap are a "bit tricky".

HMMMM.....I learned the hard way that the hot glue can seep through the burlap....ouch!

I figured out that using a popsicle stick to press down the glue was way smarter than using my bare fingers...."just sayin' "

The next step is to fold all the edges to the back.

Use the iron again to get a nice sharp edge.

Fold the corners in with a triangle to "miter" them.

Then more glue "gunning" to secure the edges.
The popsicle stick was important here too.

Cut a piece of butcher paper slightly smaller than the board and attach that to the back to cover the raw edges of the burlap on the back.

I used the glue gun for this too.

The Pocket Bulletin board leans up against the wall at the desk.
It hides the outlets in the back and "some" of the cords that are necessary for the work space.

The pockets are loaded with all those great looking invitations and photos.
I like to put the little items like coupons and gift cards in envelopes to consolidate them.

Since this is not a cork surface, I added a few butterfly clips to clip things along the edges.
The $5.00 coffee bag has become a great looking addition to the desk area.

Have A Great Day!
Link Parties
Burlap and Babies   Kammy's Korner   

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Patio Cushion Update with Easy Sewing Instructions

I posted about these cushions for the patio chairs when I made them 2 years ago.

I noticed last week how much the elements have taken a toll on them.


And to tell you the truth....I am kinda "over" the Greek Key design.

It was time for a refreshed look for these babies!

When I shop at the fabric store, there are always wonderful fabrics that "call" to me.  I see things that I just know will be perfect for some project.

This is a perfect example of that!

 Last Summer I found this fabric on the $5 a yard shelf.  I bought 2 yards. 

 I fell in love with the gray background and soft orange floral.

Two yards of fabric is a nice is almost always enough for most projects.  And.....$10 always seems like a reasonable expense.

In the case of the new covers for the was exactly the right amount.

Since the old cushion covers were made with the "pillow sham" technique, it was a simple matter of slipping them off and taking those nasties to the garbage can.

There is no need for a pattern when you do this....for heaven's is just a rectangle!
It does have to be the right just use the old cushion to guide you when you cut.

See how the fabric is wrapped around and folded to join in the center back of the cushion.

The cushion needs ties on the seat base and top. 

Cut a long strip of fabric about 2 inches wide.

Fold both sides in and press flat.

 Then fold it over to create a nice strong flat tie.

Stitch along both edges close to the edge.

Cut the long strip into 4 equal lengths that can be folded over.

You need 2 ties for the base of the cushion and 2 ties for the top.

Here is how the folded edges of the fabic come together in the center of the cushion.

The ties get pinned in place with the ends facing in and the folded edge along the edge so that your stitching will catch them.

I should have taken a picture of how you turn the fabric right sides together to actually do the sewing....but you probably figured that out all by your lonesome!

Stitch along each side straight through all the ties and folded "sham".

Turn the cover right side out and give it a good ironing to flatten out the seams and the corners.

Slide the old cushion into the new cover just like you would put a pillow in your bedsham!

These cushions aren't too thick so it is pretty easy.  If your cushions are thicker....just keep pushing!

Wow....what an improvement!
Up to date look.....

Similar replacement cushions would cost at least 3 times more and the options for patterns would be limited.


I love that I got exactly the look that I was after...
I love that I didn't throw away perfectly good cushions...
I love that I only spent $10!
I love that my fabric addiction paid off!

Have A Wonderful Day!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Use Your Printer to Create Custom Pillows

In this post I really will show you how to use your ink jet printer to make custom pillows. I will show you how to use muslin or canvas to make your own sheets of fabric to print on.  BUT....first I need to inject a public service announcement about the wonderfulness that can be found at your public library!
This is yet another reason to love your public library.

Did you know that you can check out digital versions of many popular magazines from your library?


Just hop on your library website and do a search for Zinio.  If your library supports Zinio then you can browse the collection of magazines just like magic.....a few seconds later you can read them on your phone, ipad or computer.  Follow this link to find out the specifics!

I used Zinio to check out the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living. ( can read the newest issues of magazines)
I read an article, "Picture This", about using digital photographs in interesting ways.

 Oh, that is another cool thing about reading an can take screen shots of the stuff you want to save!

 The ideas in the article were an inspiration for a couple of pillows I wanted to make.

I knew there were some different specialty printer papers in the cupboard.....hmmm....actually I have a LOT of different papers...

some for t-shirts
some plastic decal sheets
some post-it paper

then....aha....some canvas print "paper"!

First I made a pillow from a fun vintage print I found on the internet!
It was a simple matter of printing it out and appliquing it to a square of canvas for the front of the pillow.

 Then I used this pillow sham technique to make a simple slip on pillow.

 I needed to find a personal graduation gift for a favorite young woman. 
A pillow with a quote from Dr. Seuss was the perfect solution.

I used the digital scrapbooking program called My Memories Suite to design the image I wanted to print.

I used pink thread for the applique stitch on the edge.

The whole process took about an hour! 

The result was kind of special....for a very special person!

I still had some ideas for making more pillows....but I had used up the "store bought"canvas.  I guess I could buy some more.  You can purchase ink jet canvas at a cost of about $1.70 a sheet!   But you know me....I am always looking for a thriftier way to "DO STUFF".

 One of the staples in the "fabric stash" is plain canvas....which is about $5 a yard!
Here is how to make your own Inkjet Canvas!

Start by cutting an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of canvas.

Then cut an 8 1/2 x  12 piece of regular old freezer paper.

The freezer paper has a "plastic side" and a "paper side",

Put the canvas on the "plastic side" and use your iron to melt the two sides together.

 The extra inch on the top gets folded down over the top edge of the canvas.

This smooth edge lets the printer "accept" the cloth and run smoothly during the printing process.

I used the My Memories Suite to design an image from our Asian trip.

Then into the printer went the freezer paper backed canvas.

It is important to tell the printer that the paper is thick.
For my printer that means using the "Glossy Photo" option.

 I always have a hard time waiting for the project to print....

Patience is NOT one of my strong suits!


The canvas texture give the photo a really nice look.

The freezer paper pulls easily off the canvas.

Now you have a piece of fabric with the printed image on it.

Now it is just a matter of getting down to business and creating the pillow.
It will be a lasting reminder of our trip....and it won't be necessary to sit at the computer to look at the picture!

Hmmmm.....what else could I make?
Check out these ideas from the Martha Stewart Living Website. 

This pillow with a collage look would be fun to try!

The little thumb tacks and magnets are made with bottle caps....Mr. S will just have to drink a beer or two or three so that I have the necessary supplies!

I am off to look through more photos!
Have A Wonderful Day!

Link Parties

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How to Hand Tie A Daisy Bouquet

There really is something so cheerful about any kind of Daisy!

Making a hand tied bouquet of flowers is a great thing to know how to do.  But before I show the way to do this....let me tell you some "stuff" about one of my favorite flower.

The origin of the word Daisy is the Anglo Saxon “daes eage” which literally mean “day’s eye”. It was called this because daisies open at dawn as the day just starts to begin.

The "ditch daisies" or English Daisies grow in great abundance in the Sweetwater gardens. I guess you could call them weeds....but they look so wonderful in the early Summer garden.

How fun to have flowers that the little ones can pick without getting scolded....even though we always have to remind them....."Please don't EAT the daisies!"

The picture on the left is the Mom of the little guy on the right!

 When these "weeds" are done blooming, I rip the whole plants out.  Not to fear, they reseed themselves and there will be new plants in the place of the old ones next year.

Now the "nicer" Shasta Daisies are starting to bloom.  I really recommend this kind of daisy for any garden.  Once they are established, they are easy to propagate and move to various sunny spots in your garden.

These Daisies make wonderful cut flowers for the house.

Cutting them often has the added benefit of keeping the plants blooming longer.  If you cut the flower at a juncture of the leaves, a new flower will grow from there.

I like to use these strong stemmed beauties in mixed arrangements, but also like the look of a simple hand tied bouquet standing in a simple glass vase.

Start by cutting a good number of flowers with nice long stems.

 Strip off all of the leaves except a few very close to the flowers.

Pick up each flower and "pinch" them together overlapping the stems in an "X" and tucking the flowers up close to one another. You will end up using a little of a twisting motion to get the flowers to bunch nicely.

Tie a bit of raffia loosely around your stems very close to the flower heads.  This allows you to keep pulling and shifting the flowers into a nice round shape for your bouquet.
Once you are happy with the shape of the bouquet, add more raffia to secure the bouquet.  Cut the stems off at a height that will let the stems sit flat on the bottom of the vase.  This lets the stems draw in water and will keep your bouquet fresh longer.
Put the bouquet in the vase and do a little bit more adjusting to make each flower show off it's best face!  A few strands of raffia add some additional "style"!

You can use this hand tying technique for any kind of flower that has a strong stem.  I can't wait until the Zinnias are blooming enough to use.  The challenge of arranging Sunflowers is simpler if you use an adaptation of this technique. Here is a post about how to do this....

Have a "Blooming" great day!
Link Parties
The Dedicated House  

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