A Kitchen Towel by any other name…

 

Think outside the box once in awhile…

 

I feel like I say that a lot on my blog, but I like to take ordinary every-day items and change them into something new.

I was in Tuesday Morning the other day and saw some cute kitchen towels for a good price. I thought I could use them or improve them even more with a little creativity.

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My first idea is my favorite…I took the black and white towels (3 in a pack for $6!!!) and made them into a pillowcase for my new bedding.

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This is a super easy sewing project that literally took about 20 minutes!  If you could sew a straight line and know how to use your button hole foot on your sewing machine, you could do this.

All I did was sew two towels together (right side facing) on three sides, leaving a short end open for the buttons. Turn your case right side out and sew button holes on the outside fabric and coordinating buttons on the inside fabric.

I even used some super-cute vintage buttons I picked up from an estate sale long ago.

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Seriously, how sweet are they? They are wooden with little arrows on them.

I inserted your standard pillow in it, buttoned it up, and it was finished!

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I really like the stripes and the flowers but it really needs some sort of pop of color now. Like maybe a green apple color? Hmmmm……a project for another day.


With the white towel, I stitched out a cute reminder that spring is only one month away. (Please Hurry Spring!)

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The hardest, most difficult project was a “bright” idea I got to try and make the orange towel into a handy-dandy make-up bag with some vintage linens added in. Honestly, it did not turn out like I wanted but, Hey! You learn by your mistakes…

It came out all lumpy and crooked and I almost broke my serger trying to sew it up all nice and neat.

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It’s still usable, just not what I had pictured in my mind.


I had some orange towel scraps left over so I thought I’d make a little travel soap carrier/loofah.

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Another easy thing to sew, and it could be embellished in many different ways. I think it would be really cute if it had a little rubber ducky embroidered on it or someone’s name or initials. Perhaps for a child? Hmmmm….another idea.

I hope I’ve given you some ideas. Now get your bad self sewing!

Peace,

Kathy

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Upcycled Sweater Bags

I recently came across my stash of felted wool sweaters that I’ve collected from my Goodwill excursions and didn’t realize how many I had!

Two garbage bags full that were just waiting to be put to a better use.

“What is felted wool?,” you ask?

Felted wool is wool that has been washed at a high heat with regular laundry detergent and a tennis ball for friction that makes the fibers shrink and become very tight. You can then use that wool for various upcycled projects like mittens, blankets, Christmas stockings, scarves. So many possibilities: if you are on Pinterest, just do a search and let the ideas and projects overwhelm you.

I thought it might be cute to make a little drawstring bag and after many (and I mean MANY) failed attempts, I came up with this…

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You will need:

Some felted sweaters

Fabric for the lining (I like cotton)

Ribbon for straps (I used twill tape)

Sewing machine, sewing notions, etc.

Your imagination and creativity

For Outside of Bag:

2 Pieces of felted sweater measuring 8 1/2 inches wide x 8 inches long. (Main Part of Bag)

1 Piece of felted sweater measuring 8 1/2 inches wide x 4 1/2 inches long. (Bottom of Bag)

For the Lining:

1 Piece of fabric measuring 8 1/2 inches wide x 19 1/2 inches long.

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Of note, if you want to put any embroidery, appliques, lace, trim, etc.-do it now before you start construction of the bag.

I choose a nautical theme for this one so I went to my files and embroidered an anchor originally found on Urban Threads.

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Placing right sides together, sew together one of the larger pieces with the smaller piece. For entire project, I use a 1/4 inch seam.

*** Iron your seems flat. Don’t skip this, it will help you in the long run. I know it’s weird to iron wool, (it might smell a little, too) but trust me…When you align your seams and try to fit the layers under your sewing machine’s presser foot, you’ll thank me. (Just try not to burn anything.)

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And then do the same with the back piece so you then have what looks like this:

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Fold this piece in half right sides facing, match up your seams and pin into place.

With the pinning in place, make a mark 1 inch down and again at 1 1/2 inches down on each side. ***This will mark an opening where your ribbon channel will be.***

For Tutorial purposes, (and because I couldn’t see my marks on my dark sweater…) I used pins…

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See those horizontal pins? That’s what I’m talking about!

Start at the top right corner and sew till your 1 inch mark. Backstitch for strength.

Skip the area between the horizontal pins and start again at the 1 1/2 inch point. Continue sewing the rest of that side. Backstitch for strength.

Follow the same directions for the opposite side, not forgetting to stop and start up again at the 1 1/2 and 1 inch marks.

Try your best to iron those seams open, but don’t stretch out your sweater because then it wont fit with the lining.  (I learned that the hard way.)

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Turn your bag right-side out and admire your work.

Now for the lining:

Fold your lining piece in half right sides together length-wise and sew together both sides leaving a 2 1/2 to 3 inch gap on one side. (this is where you will turn bag right-side out). Press open your seams. Clip the corners.

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Now it’s time to assemble lining and outside of bag. This is the part that makes me sweat. Handkerchief, please…

Place the outside bag into the lining, right sides facing. Line up your seams and edges…this is where the pressing of seams helps tremendously.

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See how the Outside of bag goes into Lining, right sides facing?

Pin and sew around the top, making sure you sew your seams flat along the way.

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Now for the magical part- pull the outside part out of the hole you left in your lining and poke out your corners with chopsticks or a pencil eraser or chicken bones. (Just kidding on that last one.)

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This kind of reminds me of the birthing process…anyone else feel that way?

Now you will have something that miraculously looks like this:

Never mind, I forgot to take a picture of this step, my bad.

Do not fear! What you have next are the two pieces, lining and outer bag, ready to fit together!

Press your lining piece and topstitch the seam that was left open. Just for posterity, I topstitch the other side too, so they match.

Place the lining into the bag!!! Very exciting feeling when this works!

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Press the opening seams so it looks nice and neat and crisp.

We are Almost Done!

Take a look at the sides of your bag…you should see an opening on each side where the ribbon will go through. We need to finish up by making that channel.

Mark on both sides where those opening are and sew a straight line across it all the way around.

Do the same for the bottom hole.

In my picture below, I used tape to guide me, since I am famous for sewing a crooked line.

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Using a safety pin, attach the pin to the end of your ribbon and push it through all the way around. When you have the ribbon at the length you want the handles to be, cut it and tie the two ends together.

Repeat this process on the other side so you now have two handles.

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And the end result is a very cute drawstring bag! I like to use mine for my Kindle but it could surely be used as a small purse.

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I have since made several and I’m going to list them soon in my etsy shop.

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This one is made from cashmere and lace!

 

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This one reminds us to “Live Simply”

 

I hope this inspires you to think outside the box and upcycle some sweaters!

Peace,

Kathy

Linking up this week to:

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Milk Bottle Tutorial

You know those really tasty Frappuccino’s from Starbucks?  Well, I think the bottles they come packaged in are adorable.

So I saved a few for a new project…

 

 

how to etch glass

I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time and have always been intimidated by the warnings on the sketching product.

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If you read closely, it says it causes severe burns, damage, and may be fatal!!!

Ok, I love to craft but I really don’t want to burn my skin or die in the process.

But….I did it anyway.  All I can say is: do use the proper precautions like rubber gloves and well-ventilated area. (I did it outside.)  I even wore eye goggles in case any cream might accidently spatter and burn my eyeball out.  Also, my mother told me too.

Also, KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN!!!! 

First step is to cut out a design.  I used my Cameo Silhouette to design a little something.  If you don’t have one, you can use a stencil.

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This is what I came up with.

I sent the design to the Cameo and it did a really great job cutting out all the little letters.  I was pleasantly surprised.

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I peeled away the vinyl I didn’t want and applied the design I did want to the glass using the transfer paper.

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Then peel away the transfer paper and

Vee-O-La!

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Now don clean gloves.

(Sorry, If you are a nurse, you will understand the humor in that one…don clean gloves.)

Slab on a thick layer of the etching cream.  (Be careful not to eat it, because that is very dangerous, and it will burn your esophagus)

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According to the Armour Etch website, you should wait 2-3 minutes and then wash it off with water.

Peel back your vinyl and

Vee-O-la!

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Cute, huh?

The only problem is, it is very subtle.  And if you put milk in it, you actually can’t see the etching at all.  Hmmmmm…….Bummer.

Iced Tea worked though…

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As did Lemonade….

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So I got an Idea

Just use the vinyl and the milk will show through.

Now I do know that the vinyl holds up pretty well on glass because long ago I put some little mustaches on some cute little glasses and they’ve been through the dishwasher plenty of times.

mustache milk

What do you think?

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And there was no danger of burning off body parts in the process.

But when I went to pair my milk bottles with my delicious chocolate cookies…

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…this is what I found!

Someone came along and ate my props!!!

(Well, two some ones whom I gave birth to.)

I just went with it.

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I will definitely try the etching again soon…and I will don clean gloves, a hazmat suit, and goggles.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, I really do appreciate it and hope it makes you laugh a little.

Peace,

Kathy

Linking up!

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Newest Antique Store Find

 

Confession…

When I say I go antiquing, I really think I’m kind of exaggerating.

I don’t really buy any antiques like furniture (unless it’s really cheap and antique furniture isn’t cheap), I don’t buy art or first edition books or turn of the century (20th century, or course) mementos.  I can’t afford that kind of stuff and I would be too nervous it would get destroyed in my house of two boys and their friends.  (Nerf War anyone?)

What I do is look for are things that catch my eye and intrigue me, things that could be made into something else.

I have an affinity for linens from the 1940’s and 1950’s.  I buy handkerchiefs, tablecloths, aprons and pillowcases.

I love to make Pillowcase Dresses with those beautiful, hand embroidered pillowcases from days gone by…to think some mother or grandmother actually painstakingly sewed and embroidered pillowcases for her loved ones…how could that go to waste?

 

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I love to look at all the detail and workwomanship that went into these pillowcases.

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One time I found an entire box of sugar sacks! 

So far, I’ve only made a pillow out of one, but I have plans for more!

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I even fashioned a Christmas-themed apron from one of them.

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I guess my point is (besides the one on my head), is that I like to make old things new again.

For Example

 

This metal thing/shovel

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What was it used for, I wonder…of course a shovel of some sort, but for what?  Ice? Grains? Shit?  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)

 

After a good cleaning with bleach, (in case it was used for you-know-what), I put it to another use.

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I took down the Chicken Head and put up a Shovel-Shelf.

Shovel-Shelf, Shovel-Shelf, Shovel-Shelf

(Try saying that three times, really fast)

Your doing it, aren’t ya?

Now Go Out There And Find Something Old to Make Into Something New

And if needed, use bleach to put your mind at rest.

 

Peace to You,

K

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Happy Memorial Day!

 

Let’s give thanks to all those who served our country and remember them on this special day.

 

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Let’s Welcome Summer!!!

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Let’s Create Something!!!

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Here is a little project I recently completed that I’m proud of…

upcycled windows

I had 4 old windows that I picked up off the curb that I’ve been meaning to use in some projects….

They’ve been waiting patiently in the garage for years to be put to good use….

My husband screwed them into place (thanks, Babe!) and we found an empty spot in the backyard.

I made a simple little banner and planted some flowers inside.  It looks like my own little greenhouse.

This whole project cost about $10!!!  The windows were free, (garbage collector that I am), the planters I found at Goodwill for .50 cents each, the fabric used was scraps, so the flowers were the most expensive piece.

 

I hope everyone has a beautiful Memorial Day filled with good memories and laughter.

 

Peace,

K

Linking up!  Please visit these great blogs!

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A Little Whimsy

Chicken Little

Another favorite antique store of mine is closing (insert sad face), so I stopped by and found this…

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So funny, right?  From the good ‘ol days when Halloween masks weren’t gory.  I had to buy it, I had a vision.

You know those cute farm animal heads that are popping up all over blogs?

pig-head_2          deer head

cow head

(I found these images on Google….)

I thought I’d give it a try.

I had an old tennis racket holder that I thought would make a cute background and painted it red, red, red.

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Attaching the mask took some creativity…

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It’s funny in my kitchen, adding a little humor.

But I also thought of another display I could do using a ladder I found at the curb that I attached a wire basket to and use in the summer for flowers.

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If nothing else, even if I only keep it for a little while, it cracks me up.  And I could use a little humor lately.

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P.S.  We actually do have a real antelope head in our house…my father brought it back from North Dakota for my boys.  It hangs in their room and they always proudly show their friends…

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                               We are an Interesting bunch, I think…

Peace,

K

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Sugar Sack Pillow Cover

This past summer I came across some interesting finds at a couple estate sales and antique shops.

It was hard to get to junking shopping with the kids home from school on summer vacation, because, let’s be honest, they don’t really want to go to these places.  They would rather be swimming, goofing around with their friends, or playing video games.

But sometimes I dragged them along and they always ended up having a very fun, if not interesting, time.

See, mom does know best Kids!

Here are some unique things I grabbed up…

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An old, old suitcase…

A Fabuuuuulous Grain sack…

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Some very cool, old milk tags…

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A rugged, wooden frame…Elvis picture to be removed…

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And an ENTIRE BOX of these…

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I tell you, my body was tingling when my good friend Noreen showed me the box.

The guy sold me the box of 45 sacks for $40!!!!! Most were in mint condition, too.  Can I get a “Whoop, Whoop”?

Oh my!  Now I have to think of some projects to use them.

OKAY….Thought of one…

PILLOW!

I had a 16”X16” pillow form on hand and decided it needed a cover.

I cut the front and back sides 17”x17” and inserted a zipper on the bottom using this easy tutorial from Design Sponge.  (By the way, Design Sponge is a fantastic site if you haven’t been there already.  Just sayin’).

In progress…

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Here’s how the sweetie sugar sack pillow cover turned out…

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What do you think?

I think a messenger bag or tote bag or some kind of bag is next!

Peace,

K

Hoping to link to www.theshabbynest.com and www.thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com

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