Countdown to Christmas

Technically doesn’t start until a week from Friday, but that means you’ve still got just enough time to make an advent calendar. This one only took me parts of two days last week. And then waiting for the numbers to be delivered.

I started by figuring out the placement of the pockets, which are 4 inches by 4 inches, and then I created strips for each line. I folded the top edge down half an inch and stitched it with a zig-zag stitch. Next I centered the strips on the green felt and stitched along the bottom of each row before flipping the whole thing over and drawing the Christmas tree outline with a Sharpie. Then I cut the tree out to make it easier to fit through the sewing machine to sew the side of the pockets.

I sewed the lines in between and on the ends of the strips that ended inside the tree outline. I left the ones that go over the edge free until after attaching the tree to the background fabric.

Next I sewed the trunk of the tree to the background, so it would be behind the bottom of the tree.

After pinning the outside pockets out of the way, I sewed the entire outline of the tree down. Everything is sewed with a zig-zag stitch to flatten the edges.

I sewed the remaining pocket edges down and added a star for the top.

I finished the whole project off with a backing (of purple muslin because it was the only plain woven fabric I had that was large enough to cover the whole back) and a wooden dowel for hanging that was slightly too short.

I added a screw to each side, which worked out well anyway for attaching the string to hang it. I had ordered stick-on felt numbers, so all that was left was to stick them on when they arrived. Now we just have to figure out a way to hang it for December 1.


Find me on Instagram, Etsy, and Twitter.

Advertisements

Little Butterfly

My grandmother loves purple and butterflies. And I am not very good about thinking up things to give people for their birthdays. Enter this little guy:

A quick, simple little needle-felted butterfly. I used a butterfly-shaped cookie cutter and some plain white wool to create a base, then covered it with a thin layer of the light purple. I tried to make the dots as symmetrical as I could, and also attempted to match them on the top and bottom of each side. Then I wrapped the center in the dark blue to create a body and attached two small strips at the top for antennae.

It made a nice little butterfly to put in the envelope along with her birthday card for a quick birthday present.

Quick DIY: Mini Heart Pillows

One would think it would be impossible to forget a holiday that is advertised everywhere for the month and a half leading up to it, but one would be wrong. That is how I found myself desperately making four Valentine’s at 8:00pm Thursday night. At first I attempted to knit some little heart pillows. I found the perfect tutorial and had set about on the knitting, when I looked at the clock, realized it was 9:00pm now, and saw that I was only about a quarter of the way through Valentine #1.

Change of plans, and quick. I don’t have much in the way of craft supplies just lying around. Sure, I could draw up some cards in no time, but these are for little people who are pre-reading and would really rather have something tangible. So I dug through my meager closet stash and found a piece of purple, a piece of yellow, and a large piece of green felt in my “leftovers” basket.

With just the felt, a pair of scissors, some embroidery thread, and a minuscule amount of supplemental yarn to add to the padding, I managed to whip up some cute little love pillows.

Mini Heart Pillow DIY

Materials

  • Colored Craft Felt
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Stuffing (can use fiber fill, left-over fabric/yarn, basically whatever you have on hand to fill the pillow with)

Instructions

  1. Cut two matching heart shapes from the felt. This can either be done with a template you create on paper or, my favorite method, by folding the felt in half while cutting to keep the hearts as close to each other in shape as possible.
  2. Using all six strands of embroidery thread (to make it stand out; use less if you want a more subtle effect), back-stitch the name of the recipient or your desired message onto one of the felt hearts. This tutorial from wikiHow can help if you have never done a back-stitch before. Note- I don’t knot my thread, i just leave a bit hanging at the beginning of my work on the wrong side of the fabric.
  3. Holding both hearts wrong sides together, take all six strands of thread and a running stitch around the edges to hold the pieces together. Be sure to stuff it as you go so you aren’t trying to push a whole pillow’s-worth of stuffing through a tiny hole at the end.
  4. Bring the end of your thread through the middle of the pillow, putting the needle in between the felt pieces at the edge and taking it out the same way at the opposite edge and cut the thread close to the pillow.

And that is it. You have a nice little gift to show your love and appreciation of a loved one in a very short amount of time. I think each of these took me around ten minutes from start to finish. It may take you more or less time depending on how proficient you are at sewing and embroidery, of course.

What kinds of gifts did you give for Valentine’s day?

DIY Friday: Halloween T-shirt

One of the little ones I watch is at the age where he is really starting to get into holidays and recognize their signs. This leads to a lot of, “I know why they have pumpkins/ghosts/skeletons. It’s almost Halloween!” every time we are out. Not just once a trip either, but every window or yard we pass that is decorated.

All this talk of pumpkins and Halloween gave me an idea:

Halloween T-shirts for both boys. And they were so fast to create, I thought I would share step-by-step instructions. Click here to download a PDF complete with templates to cut out the felt pieces.

All you need is a plain, dark t-shirt, some craft felt, embroidery thread, scissors, and a needle. If you know how to do a basic running stitch, you are good to go. If you don’t know, here is a good tutorial.

Let me know in the comments if there are any issues with the file. Also, leave a link in the comments below if you make one of these or tweet me pictures @caseykayb. I’d love to see your version.

P.S.: I’m thinking of starting a weekly series of posting either my own DIY tutorials or links to some I’ve found that I’ve done. If you have any suggestions of things I should check out, let me know!