Vintage Sewing Wreath

Y’all should know that I love making wreaths.

Plus I also enjoy sewing AND yard sale shopping for cool vintage finds.

This wreath is a happy marriage of all those things put together!

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I took a wide burlap ribbon and threaded it onto a wire wreath frame.

(Please don’t ask me to do a tutorial on it, for me it’s just trial and error. Can’t say I make the greatest ones anyway…)

Then I added a touch of red burlap ribbon for a little color.

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Next came the fun part for me. I added things like old button cards, thimbles, and sewing charms from a clearance item at Michael’s.

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Also, some wooden spools of thread, both empty and full.

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Most of these things came from yard sale box lots, even the cool stand that I have this displayed on.

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I have no idea what this is officially called, but it is a ruler on a tripod stand with an arm that tilts forward with hem lengths displayed on it. It is perfect for setting my wreath on.

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This was a creative way to use up and display some of those vintage sewing notions I’d accumulated.

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All in all, this is different than any other wreath I’ve ever made, but I personally love it!

Vintage Feed Sack Corkboard

Just because I haven’t posted any tutorials on here in what seems like forever doesn’t mean I haven’t made anything lately. On the contrary, my friends, I’ve been crafting a plenty.

(When don’t I? Ummm… pretty much never.)

Here’s a little something I’ve been trying out with those vintage feed sacks I bought back in the summer.

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Cork boards covered with the front image of a vintage feed sack.

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I chose ones that still had a decent color to them. Lots of older ones have their image faded on the front, or even lots of pulls in the burlap.

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I’m still kicking myself for not buying one that had an awesomely bright image of a Holstein with one of the brand names. It was much more than I paid for these, but it could have been made into something really, really cool. There are quite a few farmers and former farmers in our families that would have loved it.

Anyway, using some bags that I DO have, I covered some plain Jane cork boards. You can probably surmise how I made these. Basically you cut out the image (give yourself a lot of margin on the sides to start with) and center it over the front of a board. Then, flipping it over, use a staple gun to tack it tightly around the back frame. Seriously–you need to be pretty liberal with the staples and pull the burlap tight as you go. This process took longer than I would have thought and I did end up yanking out some staples and redoing some.

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Once things were nice and taut, I used these decorative furniture nails to embellish the edges. Mine are maybe an inch from the edge, so I just pushed them firmly into the cork, not the wooden frame. I think they give it a much more finished look.

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Next I would like to try making some on just a plain canvas for a wall art option.

Here’s a little peek at a stool I had recovered this summer from the same batch of feed sacks. We are enjoying it, plus one with a different design in my house right now.

My one caution for anyone that would like to try making something with these is to wash them well beforehand. I had line dried mine for something like a week, even letting them get rained on once or twice. That way a lot of the musty dusty stuff can get washed off of there before handling them too much.

Overall, I think these would make a great gift or act as a unique piece of functional decor in your home.

Crocheted Rag Rug Tutorial

As promised in the previous post, I am now putting on my tutorial for making crocheted rag rugs.

I have been enjoying making these and using up some of my fabric stash in the process!

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This particular one may be my most favorite yet–a cheery red, white, and blue.

The tutorial I am going to explain is for a rectangular shaped rug with stripes of color.

To make these, all you need is the following: scissors, a variety of cotton or cotton/poly fabrics, a large crochet hook, and a basic knowledge of crochet.

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Before you can crochet anything, you need to tear your fabric into strips. I make snips at one end, probably @1 1/2″ apart, then tear down the length of the strip. (A bonus: This is very stress relieving. I LOVE to hear that Rrrripping sound as I tear them!!) I personally don’t do the prep work for all the fabrics at once, just pretty much as I go to do each row.

Make a slit at either end of each strip. This is essential when you go to connect two together.

Make a slip knot with the first color you want to use. Using your large hook, chain a number of stitches together. However many you make depends on how long you want your rug to end up being, so this is up to you.

At the end of the first row, connect a new row of fabrics on.

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Take the new strip and slide one end of it through the slit of the “old” strip, just up about an inch or so.

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Then pull the tail end of the new strip through that slit of the piece that is sticking up through. I hope to heavens that makes sense. Hopefully you can tell what I’m talking about by my pictures of it.

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Just so you know, I did a basic single crochet stitch throughout this rug. Remember to chain two at the end of each row, then flip over to start at the right side beginning with the second set of loops.

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Keep on doing this process until your rug is the size you would like. Weave in any ends, step back, and enjoy your handiwork!

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**I will warn you now that this uses up a HECK of a lot of fabric, likely more than you’d guess. I didn’t mind because I had a ton, most of it acquired through yard sales or thrift shops. To me it was a great way to use some up. If you are buying for the purpose of making these, I would recommend buying old sheets and things like that at yard sales. They are easy to work with plus you get a lot of yardage at once for cheap.

**Also, another little tip: If your fabric is a heavier weight, you need to cut your strips thinner than I showed. (Otherwise it is a bugger to crochet with.) For my denim one I did strips about half the width of these I just pictured.

I hope this made sense and if you have any questions, feel free to ask away!

Easy & Pretty Teacher Appreciation Gifts

You may or may not be aware of this, but Teacher Appreciation Day is tomorrow, May 5th!

I happen to be highly thankful for my kids’ teachers and all they do on a daily basis. Therefore, I want to let them know what they mean to our family by at least giving them a little something.

As I am also in charge of our school’s PTO, I came up with this handy little idea for all the staff in our school this year:

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Packs of flower seeds displayed on various flower and leaf shapes I made from printed cardstock.

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I attached each one to a bamboo skewer to act as a stem.

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The skewers are inserted into foam blocks I placed at the bottom of several baskets. Colored mesh was bunched up to cover up the foam. I attempted to place the flowers at different heights to create some semblance of a flower arrangement.

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I then made a sign that reads “Thank you for helping our students grow.”

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Hopefully they like it.

Many thanks to all of the teachers out there!

Canvas & Doily Art

Hey all.

I have a quick, easy, and eye-catching little project to share for the week.

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All you need is a basic white canvas, old doilies or lace, and a can of spray paint.

I did not document the process portion of these with pictures, but it’s fairly easy to explain.

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If you want one of the colors in your artwork to be white, just let your canvas alone as a base.

However, if you want a different color as a base color, paint over the entire canvas with that hue and allow to dry.

Then you can lay out old lace doilies in a design that appeals to you and make sure they are lying flat on the canvas ( no curled edges).

Take a can of spray paint in a contrasting color (in this case, navy blue) and spray on a nice layer of paint.

If you need to, allow that to dry without removing doilies and spray on another layer to get a saturated color.

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Once everything is dry, pull off the doilies and admire your new artwork!

As you can see, I made a couple of these and placed them above the headboard of my bed. Actually, I may make another just because I think a trio would look better.

This is a semi-cheap project to make because plain white canvases can be purchased relatively inexpensively at Wal Mart or a craft store. Old doilies or lace can be scooped up at thrift shops or even yard sales. They can also be reused for this type of project.

Laying a piece of old lace over the entire canvas makes for a neat look too.

I used spray paint because it goes in all those little holes better than a brush-on paint ever would.

Love my new wall art!

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Thanks for stopping by,

Rachel

Easy DIY Earring Holder

Hey everyone! I realized that it has been awhile since I put any crafty ideas on here.

(By the way, how do you like the new look on my blog? It was past time to freshen it up a bit and I found that this theme suited me.)

Anyway, today’s project is one that has actually been made and in use for many years at my house already.

It’s not really a new or novel idea, but one that I think looks nice and keeps my dangly earrings semi-organized.

I was on a purging/organizing spree the last two weeks and cleaned up my jewelry area, so I figured I would share my earring organizer and display.

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There really isn’t much of a tutorial for it. Basically I had been given an antique wooden picture frame minus any glass. All I did was clean it up and cut a rectangle of window screen out that more than covered the front open area. Then I proceeded to use a heavy duty staple gun to attach the screen to the back part, stretching it out as I went so it was taut.

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One could also use chicken wire, lace, or anything else with holes that you could hang earring hooks onto.

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I enjoy seeing some of my favorite pairs hanging up in rows. I used to make a lot of jewelry, so probably over half of these are ones I’ve put together at one point or another. All of my post-style earrings are kept in little pinch pots that my kids have made in art class at school.

Anyway, that’s really all I have for you today. Nothing earth shattering or new, but something that does work well for me.

Happy March to everyone. I am more than ready for Spring to arrive!!

Creative Ways to Display Christmas Cards

So I have to confess that I literally just put up the Christmas cards we’ve gotten so far late this week. Honestly, with Thanksgiving kind of late this year, we hadn’t gotten that many cards until this past week/week and a half. I also confess that I did nothing creative as far as displaying them. So, if you sent me a card, it is currently scotch-taped to my wall. It’s a chalkboard wall, so I guess that makes it slightly more creative? Maybe?

Anyhow, I thought it would be fun to share some ways others have displayed their cards. (And if you haven’t yet, never fear, no judgement here!)

First off, a cool bicycle rim from Organized Clutter. (Lots of other super cute Christmas ideas on here too!)

Who would’ve thought an old bed spring could be used for this? A novel idea from Sugar Bee Crafts.

An easy little idea from Thyme is Honey. Kind of like my taping cards to the wall, just much cuter.

DIY Christmas & Holiday Card Display

An adorable display utilizing chicken wire–from Lolly Jane.

A pretty use for an old shutter, from A Diamond in the Stuff.

This one is simple, but I absolutely love it above the bench. Check it out, along with some other beautiful ideas, at The Painted Parsonage.

25 Ways to Display Christmas Cards

We don’t have an open stairwell in our house, but if we did, I would be tempted to display my cards in this way. (From Martha Stewart.)

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Love this cute idea using a wire tomato cage–from Family Fun’s website. My kids would really like attaching cards to this.

Bring an element of the outdoors inside with this branch tree. Hang cards on the branches using a bit of twine. (Source: Shutterfly)

There’s tons of other ideas out there, but these are a few that really caught my eye. Who knows, maybe I’ll try one of them next year??

Merry Christmas everyone!

Handmade Christmas 2014: Personalized Initial Pendants

As of this moment, nearly a week before Thanksgiving, I am proud to say I am well over halfway done my Christmas gift shopping.

I also have a lot of gifts made and at least most of the way ready to go. What a good feeling!

Today’s handmade gift idea is one I just did for my 3 nieces as well as my daughter. All are between the ages of 6 and 9.

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Each pendant has their first initial, along with a little charm that contains a pearl and their birthstone.

Though I have a lot of experience making jewelry, this is one style I have not done yet, so I have a learning curve to go through.

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For starters, I picked up a package of these pendant backs and clear fronts at Michael’s.

I typed out each girl’s initial in a couple different fonts, using a fairly large font size. I had to experiment with several before getting one that I thought looked just right for the round pendants they were to go on.

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I then cut out a margin around each letter and glued the flat side of the clear topper, pressing it down onto the paper so the letter was centered. I used a clear tacky glue that’s supposed to be multi-surface, but I’m not sure what the best kind would be. It looks a little foggy while still wet (like pictured above), but clears up once dry. After it feels pretty dry, trim the paper to the edge of the circle so nothing is sticking out. Then use the same glue to bond the back and front together.

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I added a jumpring to the top of the pendant, then strung it on a necklace cord.

I also beaded a crystal with each girl’s birthstone color along with a faux pearl onto a headpin. Then I used pliers to make a little loop to attach it to the cord or the jumpring as well. One could also do this onto a necklace chain of whatever quality you choose.

Overall I liked how these turned out and would love to experiment more with this style of jewelry.

Made with love and hopefully a hit at Christmas!

Handmade Christmas 2014: Glittered Lightbulb Ornaments

Well, here I go again with the colored glitter. Lots of it.

This time around I used up some old style light bulbs that we had kicking around in the garage and gave them a completely new look.

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Add some twine and a little charm and the result is a pretty, repurposed Christmas ornament.

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As you can see, I did them in a variety of brilliant colors.

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The process for these is fairly straightforward and you don’t need a ton of supplies either.

To make one of these pretties, first dig up an old style light bulb, either one that burnt out or one you don’t plan on using.

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I used a sponge brush to apply a thin layer of Mod Podge over the entire surface of the bulb.

While it was still wet, I held it over a plain piece of paper and shook glitter over the whole thing. It takes a LOT of glitter to cover one of these. After a minute or so, shake off the excess onto the paper, then funnel it back into the glitter container. I allowed my bulb to completely dry on a piece of paper towel while I glittered others.

To finish, cut maybe 12″ of twine or jute, tie a loop in the middle (to hang ornament), and wrap around the top of the bulb. Hot glue a thin layer as you go. As I did this, I placed a charm so it kind of hung down the front a little.

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I had bought a pack of charms that look like old keys, but you could use whatever.

Overall a semi-quick and simple little project. Very easy to make a bunch at a time as well, which you know I love!

Not sure which one is my favorite yet, but I think they turned out kind of adorable.