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DIY

Crafts

Make Your Own Mushroom

August 19, 2013

I had a super cute yellow pot that I wanted to put on a shelf in the baby’s room but didn’t really want to have to maintain a living plant in it. So, I decided to make a little felt mushroom that could call it home. This process is pretty easy and could be used to make a mushroom for just about anything: an ornament, a toy, whatever you want.

The first thing you need to do is to cut out a rectangle to use at the mushroom stem. How long you cut it depends on how long and how big of a mushroom you want, so that’s really up to your discretion. Once you’ve cut the rectangle, fold the long edges together and start sewing them. I just used a basic stitch, but I’m sure there are ways to make it look neater/cuter if you’d like.

When you’re done, you should have a little felt tube.

Next, cut out a circle to use as the bottom of the mushroom cap. I left this plain, but if you wanted to you could paint or embroider the little “ribs” that mushrooms have onto it. Once you’ve cut the circle, fold it in half and cut out another concentric but smaller circle in the middle that’s just wide enough to fit your tubular base.

Insert the base into the hole and sew the two parts together.

The next step is to cut out another circle, about the same size or a little larger to use at the top of the mushroom cap. I chose orange for this, but you could use any color you’d like. Sew the top onto the bottom of the cap.

Now it’s time to get to stuffing. I crammed a small amount of polyfill into the mushroom to give it some lift, but other kinds of fill could work better depending on what you want to use the mushroom for when you’re done. Because I intended to use the mushroom in a pot, I also inserted a small piece of balsa wood into the stem to give it some structure.

At this point, what you choose to do will depend on why you’re making the shroom. If, like me, you’re using it as a decoration, you’ll want to get some floral foam, put that in the container and stick the mushroom into it. Felt, dried moss, or other materials can be used to cover the foam and make everything look seamless. If you’re making it into a standalone mushroom, you’ll want to cut one more piece of felt and sew it onto the bottom to keep the stuffing inside.

I also opted to add some spots to the top of my mushroom. I just used fabric paint to do this, but for most purposes, acrylic paint will work fine, too.

I paired my finished mushroom with a hedgehog pincushion I made a few years ago (sans pins, of course) to make a little diorama of sorts for the nursery shelf. The little shell was a gift from one of my husband’s students, who wanted to give the baby something. So sweet, so we had to put it in the nursery.

From start to finish, this probably only took about 25 minutes, so it’s a great way to knock out something cute in a very short amount of time!

 

Crafts

Making Your Own Skinny Jeans

August 9, 2013

Because I can’t see the point of spending a ton of money on clothes I’ll only wear for a few months, most of my maternity wear has come from the thrift store. Sometimes, however, it’s not quite what I was looking for right off the bat. I picked up a pair of cute, white maternity jeans for $4, but they were kind of wide legged which made them see a bit dated. So, I decided to experiment as I had seen lots posts online about people turning jeans into skinnies pretty easily.

It turns out that it is really an easy process. I just read several different tutorials on the process before starting to get an idea of what to do. It’s easy to find information on it, and step by step instructions if you’re not especially skilled at sewing.

I started by putting on the pants and pinning them to where I wanted them on my legs. Pretty easy and you can see how much extra fabric there is.

Then, I just sewed along this line on both legs. Really simple. I put the pants on to see how they fit, adjusted as necessary, and cut off the excess fabric.

They’re not perfect but they will work for a few months! Much better than paying full price for a brand new pair of skinnies!

Crafts

Bedskirt for a Box Springless Bed

February 22, 2012

We’re running a little low on space in our tiny apartment (hopefully we’ll finally find a house soon!) so no space can go to waste when it comes to storage. That means that under the bed is prime real estate, space which we’ve already filled to the brim with clothes, a shelf we don’t have room for but want to keep, and various paintings and drawings. All these things fit pretty neatly under the bed, but it’s still not the kind of storage situation that you want to look at everyday. Problem is, our bed doesn’t have a box spring because: A) it is very Swedish and doesn’t require one and B) we are very cheap and didn’t buy one, so putting up a bedskirt that looks halfway decent is a bit of challenge.

We used to have  a pretty standard bedskirt (also from Ikea) on our bed that you can see here, but it was much too long (see how it’s laying on the floor? Yuck) and pretty quickly got dusty, dirty, and gross past the point of no return. So, I trashed that one (trust me, it was time to put it to rest), and decided to make one that was actually tailored to our bed.

Mission one was finding some plain gray fabric, which, believe it or not, wasn’t easy. Joann, among their hundreds of selections, didn’t have a thing. I ended up driving out of my way to go to Hancock Fabrics which had a great color and it was on sale, too! I also picked up several yards of velcro (not the name brand kind, which is crazy expensive) to use to attach my bedskirt to the bed. Sound weird? Let me explain.

There’s a small (1 inch or so) space between the edge of the wood on the bed frame and the metal parts that hold the slats. Perfect for velcroing a bedskirt into place. This velcroed bedskirt won’ t require going over the slats, can be tailored to fit perfectly to the legs and space between the floor and the bed, and will show off the wood edge of the bed. A perfect solution!

I started by getting all my measurements in order, cutting the fabric, and doing one hell of a lot of pinning. Easy work, yes. Fun work, no. This took quite a bit of time and I was super glad when it was all done. You’ll notice that the velcro gets pinned to the pretty side of the fabric.

Next, I took the mattress off of the bed and pulled back the slats. Around the entire edge of the bed, I hot glued the “hook” side of the velcro strips.  I think eventually staples or another kind of adhesive might be in order for long-term durability, but for now, hot glue is fine. There was one hang up in that I didn’t realize the end of the bed had a bracket on it, but I simply loosened it and slid the bedskirt under.

Then, to the sewing machine! I sewed three individual pieces for the bed, one for each side and a short guy for the bottom. Really easy, as it was all straight lines.

I came back into the bedroom to find these shenanigans happening. Uncool, dudes!

After removing the cats from the top of the mattress, I got to work pairing up the velcro so the bed skirt could hang. Super easy to put on and to take off when it needs to be washed. I put the mattress back, and viola! It looks so much better than it did before.

The cat even came back to try out the bed, horizontally this time.

Crafts, Sewing

DIY Fall Felt Wreath

November 17, 2010

If you want a festive way to spice up your door without having to invest in a serious wreath (those things always cost way more than I expect them to) there’s a simple and easy way you can make one on your own using felt I whipped up this fall version in just a few hours!

Even if you’re kind of stinky at crafts you shouldn’t be too challenged by making one of these. You just need to make a leaf pattern, trace it onto a bunch of felt, cut it out, then glue the pieces to a foam wreath form, add a bow and voila! Instant (kinda) wreath! I chose fall colors, as it is currently fall, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use other colors as well.

It’s nothing fancy but it helps give a little something to an otherwise empty space. Plus, who doesn’t love fall colors?