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Frame within a frame - after

Thrift store frames

I absolutely adore this “bird cage” illustration by Emma SanCartier. And I wanted to make this small piece of art stand out. I could have mounted it in an up-sized frame with generous matting. I decided to make a frame-within-a-frame instead, mostly because I already had all the supplies on hand. The frames were thrift store finds, and the fabric was a scrap I picked up from Fabmo. To buy your own “bird cage” print or any of Emma’s other gorgeous prints, go to her Etsy shop. Read more »

Blue and white tablecloth

I own blue and white dishes. Normally this isn’t a problem—until I try to find a cute tablecloth that looks good with my dishes. Apparently, blue as a kitchen or dining color has been out for several seasons. The market is flooded with red, green, and aqua. Instead of waiting for blue to come back in, I took matters into my own hands. First I checked the standard tablecloth size for my 36- x 60-inch table. Turns out, a 60- x 84-inch cloth fits tables 36 x 60 to 48 x 72. Then I found this lovely blue indoor/outdoor fabric at Fabric.com. At 56 inches wide, I figured it would work fine because my table was on the smaller end of that range. After that, hemming the fabric and adding pom-pom trim was a cinch. Final dimensions (pom-pom to pom-pom): 57 x 81 inches. Read more »

DIY yo-yo headbands brooches hairpins

These yo-yo headbands, brooches, and hairpins were the sixth and final camp craft I had planned. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for them at girls camp last June, so we’re saving the supplies for next year. In these samples, I hand-stitched them to a stretchy headband, pin backs, and a bobby pin. The brooches look great pinned on a scarf or hat, and the headbands are cute alone or in multiples.

Yo-yo headband

After you make a few yo-yos, I’m sure you won’t want to limit yourself to just these accessories. Try sewing them onto a tote bag, purse, hat, belt, scarf, or shoes. Or a sweater, t-shirt, tank top, or socks. Or sew them onto pillows, pillow cases, towels, quilts—you get the idea. I just made small yo-yos for these projects, but you can make them any size you want. Have fun!

Yo-yo headbands

Special thanks to all my friends who spent hours cutting circles with me. We had fun chatting and working together. Don’t worry, ladies, our work will pay off next year!

UPDATE 7/2011: I just added the photos above from this year’s girl’s camp. The yo-yos were a success. For an alternate craft using most of the same supplies, check out our fabric flower headbands.

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DIY fleece alphabet pillows

Fleece pillows at camp

Alphabet pillows at camp

I anticipated that this these pillows might not be as well-liked as the other camp crafts because hand stitching is rather time consuming. Surprisingly, these fleece alphabet pillows were very popular at girls camp.

I got the idea from a book titled 101 Crafts Under $10 from the editors at Butterick. Their craft is called “Felt name pillows.” The Butterick editors ironed the rest of the name in smaller letters onto the pillow, which I loved but decided was too difficult for camp purposes. We used fleece instead of felt because it’s softer and cheaper.

The hardest part (for me) was drawing and cutting out each letter of the alphabet in cardboard for the girls to trace onto the fleece, but you won’t have to make the whole alphabet.

Mostly everyone made a pillow out of their first initial, but I thought it would be cute to make “X” and “O” (kiss and hug) pillows. I used red embroidery floss on the “X” and charcoal floss on the “O” so they coordinate. Read more »

DIY tulle pendant light

Gudrun Sjödén catalog

Inspired by Jonas Bohlin's tulle lamp, seen here in Gudrun Sjödén's catalog

Ever since I spotted Swedish designer Jonas Bohlin’s tulle lamp in Gudrun Sjödén’s catalog last year, I’ve been dying to make my own. I finally did it! I started with Ikea’s Melodi pendant lamp, then added tulle. Never having attempted anything like this before, I guessed four yards of tulle would be plenty. Boy, was I wrong. It actually took 10 yards. No worries, though. At $1 a yard at Walmart, the tulle is quite affordable. This lamp reminds me of a ballerina’s tutu. Imagine a pink one hanging in your little girl’s room. Or a black one in your modern bedroom. Jonas Bohlin’s lamp = $524. My lamp = $25. Woot. Read more »

Patchwork pin board - after

Salvaged bulletin board - before

Pottery Barn Style Tiles

Compare to Pottery Barn Teen's fabulous but expensive Style Tiles

Whenever I speak to my dad on the phone, he always asks, “Miss me?” This past month I’ve been getting concerned emails, so apparently some of you missed me—or at least my weekly blog posts. I’ve missed you too. I think I just needed a break. But I’m happy to say I’m back. I’ll be posting every week again. And sending long overdue responses to your emails and comments (my apologies!). This pin board project started with a friend’s broken, holey bulletin board and some free fabric samples. I just added copious amounts of hot glue and some white paint. It reminds me of Pottery Barn Teen’s Style Tiles—which are $340. Mine only cost me about $7. Read more »

DIY tank top headband

Tank top headband - before

Remember my tank top totes from a few weeks ago? Well, I just had to share this tip. The piece I cut off the bottom of the one of the tank tops made a perfect—and super comfortable—headband. My friend Rhean did a beautiful job modeling it for me. So, save your scraps. Mine is about four inches wide, but nearly any width works. Skinnier = headband; wider = head wrap. They’re ideal for pulling your hair back to wash your face or apply make-up too. Read more »

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