pleated bed skirt

Need a bed skirt?
Well we did.

It's pretty easy, it just takes time depending on the size of the bed.
And, here's how (with a few pictures).

What you'll need:
2 different fabrics, the sizes depend on the size of the bed.
If you need helping figuring it out, click here.
We have a queen, I bought 6 yds, 3 for the skirt & 3 for the middle. I did have a little extra.
Choose a fabric to match your bedding & choose muslin or something lightweight & inexpensive that will go in the middle.
matching thread

Step 1: Lay out & cut the fabric that will go in the middle.

Step 2: Measure the length of fabric you need to go to the floor. Cut out the pieces for the sides & end of the bed. Leave a few extra inches for the pleats & the corners.

Step 3: Hem & iron the bottom of each piece & the ends that will be at the head of the bed.

Step 4: Lay the end piece, measure to the middle & fold the pleat in & pin. You can do as many pleats as you want, I did one in the middle of each piece.
You may want to sew along the top of the pleat to hold it in place, so it doesn't spread (like mine did) when you attach it.Step 5: Lay the middle piece out & the end piece on top, right sides together. Pin.
Step 5: Sew, zigzag stitch. I did mine twice, because the fabric I used for the middle is a little stretchy. Leave a little extra room at the end where you'll be sewing the corners together.

Step 6: Attach the two others sides, repeating step 5.

Step 7: Sew the corners. Put it on the bed & marvel at your job well done.

Here's mine. I ironed it, but it still looks a little wrinkly because it's a bit tricky when you have a tiny ironing board. It's a bit wavy looking too, but I'm still happy with the way it turned out.


cheap, entertaining & so easy

If you have a toddler, or are going to babysit one, here is an idea that they will most likely find to be very entertaining.
It's so inexpensive & easy.

Here's all you need:

Some craft sticks-mini, medium or large sizes will work.
A washed & clean yogurt or sour cream type container with the lid. Cut a few little holes in the top of the lid with a pocket knife & your child can start putting the sticks through the holes.

It entertained my toddler for 30 minutes straight!
I've decided to put it away until we're at church or someplace that we need to be quiet, it's a great quiet "toy."



fireplace treatments

We live in an apartment that has a fireplace, but doesn't work & was just hazardous to our son.
Once he started crawling around we had to do something to keep him out of it.

We ended up coming up with something fun, but as I was searching I found some great decorative ideas. This one is hard to see, but I love the fireplace in the dinning room for one. Two, the long, smaller sized logs give it a different, creative look, rather than just normal logs.

Any decorative fillers, like candles or anything to give it different heights & dimensions would look great.
This one is just boring old logs, but everything else looks beautiful!
I love this one. My friend did this with her fireplace, and we almost did it to ours. This is an easy, inexpensive filler. And you really don't need to fill the logs all the way into the back of the fireplace. You could use something like a card board box and do shorter logs in the front.

I love what my friend did in their apartment. They painted the bricks around the fireplace white & have a flat screen TV on the wall above. The coolest part is the logs are actually a door to where they keep their electronics like dvd player & everything else.

Here's what we came up with for ours.
I have to say, the husband came up with the main idea, but after looking at several toys we combined all our ideas and threw it into one.

This is what it looked like from the back, what was inside the fireplace.

Ta da! Here is the front.
We decided that we wanted ours to be more of a kid-friendly toy, rather than just a decorative piece, since we're only in this apartment temporarily.
Balls go in & out through the tubes, there is a mirror behind the monkey's face, the monkey's belly & the alligator's mouth are a bean bag toss, with the extra blocks (you can get a pack of 50 at Walmart for $10.00!) they go in the square holes and fall out the door below & of course the blocks spin around.
Kids love it, and it's great for all different ages.

These are just a few fun ideas!


an easy dress or skirt

Love this dress.
Wanna know how to make your own?
Above is an infant dress.

Here's how.

What you'll need:
-fabric for the desired size-you'll need double for the width at the chest (look at pattern).
-elastic thread -matching thread -buttons, ribbon or any kind of embellishment you want

Step 1: Measure your fabric, double width & desired length. Cut. *If you are making a long dress or skirt, you can just measure the chest x2 & the length just for the chest (so it will be like a tube top) and add the long dress or skirt part later on.

Step 2: Wind your bobbin, by hand, with the elastic thread.

Step 3: Load bobbin & use normal, matching thread on top.

Step 4: Set your stitch to a wide straight stitch. The wider the stitch, the more it will shrink.

Step 5: Start sewing straight stitch, about 1 1/2'' from the top, with the fabric right side up. Leave at least 2'' of thread at beginning & end. Back stitch at beginning & end.

Step 6: Repeat step 5 as many times as you want, about a 1/2'' below the first & in between each row. The dress above, has ten rows.

Step 7: Either at the end of each row, or at the end of sewing all the rows pull the ends tight to make the elastic shrink. You can also try steaming it with the iron.

Step 8: If you just did the chest part, now you can sew on the bottom part of your dress or skirt.

Step 9: Hem the bottom & top.

Step 10: Wrap it around you & make sure it fits.

Step 11: Bring together & sew seam up the back. If you want, you can leave a little slit in the back, for fun.

Step 12: Add straps, if it's a dress & any embellishments.
You did it!


Jell-o Pops mmmmm...

I don't know about you, but when a hot, humid day comes around I am not always prepared. Today we hit the high 80's (I know, I'm a baby) with about 100% humidity, with nothing but ice cubes on hand, so here is what I did:

Pulled out a French Vanilla (any flavor will work) instant pudding (1 pkg)
Mixed it with 2 cups of cold milk
Mixed it around for a minute
Poured it into some plastic (paper works better) cups
Stuck in some plastic spoons (popsicle sticks work better)
Froze them for three-long-hot-hours.
And mmmm.
They sure are yummy. Enjoy!


everyone could use some free paint

Today Glidden is just giving away free paint. Go here, click on the link a little ways down. Go to their website, choose your color & they ship it right to you for free!

I chose Tropical Blue...to paint a chair & a big canvas for our room.

Stay tuned.

how do I cover up these ugly old pillows? or make new ones altogether!

It's so easy!
If you have an ugly old pillow, just need a change or want to make a new one altogether, you're in the right place.
I'll show you how to sew it to make it look just like those darn cute ones you've been so tempted to buy.

Read through the instructions before you start your project!
What you'll need:
2 different types of fabric-or just one, whatever you decide, you'll need to measure your pillow to determine how much fabric you'll need.
matching thread
a button, ribbon or both

Step 1: Cut out your fabric, according to the size you need to fit around your pillow (give an extra inch and a half to two inches around the edges). Cut it so it would wrap around your pillow the long way, so it would look like a long rectangle (look at the image below). If you are doing it so that on the front of your pillow you want half of each of the different fabrics showing (like mine), plan for that and cut accordingly.

Step 2: Take your main color fabric (or which ever fabric you want to be on the top of the front of the pillow) and hem the edge that you will attach to the main fabric. The one that would be right between both, on the image below. Sew straight stitch.

Step 3: Take some matching ribbon, about 3'' (or fabric, but you'll have to sew it tiny, like a short piece of ribbon) and if it's big, fold in half, so it's about the size of 1/4 inch, sew w/matching thread, so it holds together.

Step 4: This step is only if you are doing the button. This step will be tricky to explain (I wish I had pictures!). You are going to take that little piece of ribbon and sew it on the wrong side of the fabric you just hemmed, you're going to make a loop though (practice before you sew), small enough to hid behind your button, to look like it's looped over your button. If that sounded way confusing, enlarge my last picture and look closely.

Step 5: Lay out both fabrics like so:
Step 6: Lay both fabric so wrong sides are facing out and sew the accent fabric piece to the main piece, right on top, like the above picture. Zigzag stitch. With the button loop facing out, on the right side.

Step 7: Fold your material in half (like it would be if it were wrapped around the pillow), with the wrong sides of the fabric facing out.

Step 8: Sew the top together with a zigzag stitch.

Step 9: Turn it right side out.

Step 10: Sew on your button by hand, through the loop hole.

Step 11: Hem the sides that are still open.

Step 12: Sew one side shut, straight stitch.

Step 13: Squish the old pillow in side of it, so both sides would still be open. If it isn't as firm and full as you want it to be, just add some extra stuffing.

Step 14: If you have a zipper foot, put it on now. If not, you can still do it, it's just a bit tricky.
Sew the last side shut and voila!!!
You did it.

Now you can do it again, do two if you'd like.



Calico Corners

If you haven't been there you HAVE TO check it out.

Today was the first day I entered Calico Corners Fabric & Upholstery Store and it was my heaven on earth. I didn't want to leave.They do have some fabric that are quite pricey, but you can occasionally find good deals. BUT the best part is all of their displays and ideas are so inspiring and stylish.
You won't be sorry. Find a location near you!

here's how you make a car seat cover...

For all of you that have been asking, here's how you make those darn cute car seat covers that are starting to become so popular.
It makes for a great baby gift!

This first one I made (the first pic) was my VERY FIRST sewing project ever.
The second, I did a few more fun tricks, but they both turned out pretty cute.What you'll need:
2 yards of fabric-any kind will work, using two different ones are fun, think of the season though, if the baby will be born at the beginning of summer you don't want double flannel, or something too hot.
thread-doesn't have to blend in, coordinating with the pattern can be fun and look cute.
1 pkg sewable velcro-white will mostly match the best, unless you're using a really dark pattern.
buttons, ribbon, tulle or whatever kind of embellishment you want
The dimensions are:
41'' x 35''
Handle dimensions are:
9'' x 2 1/2''
(you will be making two handles)
The handles will be 7 1/2'' apart from each other
and they will be about 12 1/2'' from the outsides of the blanket.
The best way to place the handles on the car seat is to pin them on to the blanket and hang them on the car seat handle bar, so you can have the blanket/cover to hang in the right position.

Step 1: Cut the fabric.
Then fold in half and cut corners off (start with 7'' on a diagonal and if you need more cut more), so they won't be dragging on the ground. It will be in the shape of an octagon, but longer in height than in width...if that makes sense.

Step 2: Place both pieces of fabric the wrong side out (pin it if that helps, I never pin), on top of each other. Sew around (straight or zig zag stitch), leaving one small (about 7'') opening to be able to turn inside out.

Step 3: Flip inside out, iron, and then sew around again with straight stitch or any fun, decorative stitch around (the pic below, I used a flower stitch, with pink thread on yellow fabric, so cute!), stitch opening close. Voila! The main blanket/cover part is complete.

Step 4: Making the handles. Cut fabric (dimensions above), sew the same as you did with the whole blanket. Sewing inside out, flip, iron and then sew edges and opening close. Make sure both handles are the same size as each other.

Step 5: Cut velcro to the size you need, testing it as it hangs on the car seat helps, you'll need about an inch & a half, more if you think it needs more.

Step 6: Place them on the handles, but make sure you test it, like wrap it in a circle as it would be around the handle bars, so that you are putting them on the right sides! You'll need the fuzzy side of the velcro on one side of the strap and the pokey side of the velcro on the other side of the strap, so when you wrap it into a circle it will connect.

Step 7: After you sew the velcro on, it's time for the embellishment!
Pick whatever you want, ribbon, bows, buttons, whatever you come up with, make it, buy it whatever, just have it ready. You can use a tiny bit of glue (hot glue) you can put a dab on to hold it in place, or you can just sew it on. It can be tricky because you don't want the thread to show, so you have to sew it on by hand, hiding the tread.
If you used some kind of fabric or ribbon (the pic below I used fabric cut out as flower pedals & ribbon) that is fraying. You can use fray check or modge podge, dab it on the fraying edges and let it dry.

Step 8: Sew the straps on the right side of the blanket/cover and you did it!