Shopping in someone else's sewing room...

I am at my parents house this weekend and I just had to share the awesomeness that his my mom's craft/sewing room.  She wouldn't let me take pictures of the desks (yes that's plural...she has 2 huge craft tables set up at all times, and a built in corner desk for my dad's computer...awesome!) because they are cluttered with all the current works in progress, but I was able to take pictures of her 4 HUGE built in cabinets full of fabric.  Are you ready to be jealous?  Here you go...

 I told you it was awesome!

 And all those lower cabinets are stuffed full of wrapping supplies, pillow forms, and all the notions you could ever need. 
I told you, sheer awesomeness!

How about one last up close view to really get the detail of how many yards of fabric are housed in these cabinets...

My mom has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has taught me everything I know.  I am no where near as talented as she is, but maybe some day I will be.  For the longest time she was a quilter, and that's really how the fabric collection began.  She also made tons of clothes for herself, and my sister and I growing up.  Now my daughter is reaping all the benefits of a lifetime of sewing practice!

So today I went through ALL THE FABRIC and took some small pieces for the projects I will be making soon.  Don't you just love 'shopping' in someone else's sewing room?  So much fun...and FREE! :)
So here is what I am taking home today...

Be on the look out for some fun tutorials featuring fabric from today's scavenge!

And don't worry, I have already asked her to write some guest posts so we can all be inspired by her awesome creativity!

Custom Table Covers with Coordinated Runners

This is the 5th posting for my series on how to make your own
custom party decorations
based on what I made for my daughters first birthday.

I hoping these posts will inspire you to
make some one of a kind decorations for your next party!

Once I realized that the guest list for my daughter’s birthday was rapidly approaching 30 people, I knew I would be using an assortment of folding tables and chairs to have enough seating.

But I hated the idea of mismatched tables clashing with all my great party decorations!

So I came up with an inexpensive and quick solution to add some custom table covers with coordinating runners to cover all our tables while fitting in with the overall theme.

First you will need a variety of basic plastic table covers that coordinate with your theme.

I found these table covers at Party City for only $1.69 for the solid colors and $3.69 for the floral cover. You can also find some solid color covers at Wal-Mart for $1.50 each, or at the dollar store if you’re lucky.

Using one of the solid covers for the base layer, lay it over the table and cut off any access so that the cover fits over the specified table with about 6”-8” overhang on all sides.

Using some packing tape secure all sides of the cover to the bottom of the table.

Depending on the legs of your table you might have to get creative with your “hospital corners” to get the look you want.

Using a coordinating table cover cut a 12”-18” strip to fit the length of the table, plus the 6”-8” overhang I mentioned above.

Finally, secure the table runner to the bottom of the table and you're all done. 

(My next post will be on how to make these super cute centerpieces so stay tuned)

Finding the time to add these table covers is an easy and inexpensive way to add coordinated decorations to your party, while hiding mismatch furniture.

$5 Dollar Store Challenge @ Living with Lindsay

Update: I'm going to submit this project for the CSI Project Dollar Store craft challenge...wish me luck!


I have accepted the challenge from Living with Lindsay…create a spring home decor item with $5 or less worth of items from a dollar store. You were allowed to add your own glue, paper, paint, ribbon and fabric if you already own them. Then post a tutorial on how someone else can recreate your super cheap project and wait for the judging to begin. That’s it...sounds simple, right?

First of all, I have a confession…I spent way more than $5 in my quest for the perfect project for this challenge. I hadn’t been to the dollar store in FOREVER so I was completely unprepared for what I found. There are some really cool things in a dollar store! So as soon as I walked in the ideas started flowing…and I started buying. I probably tossed around, and/or started, half a dozen different ideas for my project. But as I started to reevaluate the items I had, and coming up with some color schemes I was able to decide what I wanted to enter into the $5 Dollar Store challenge…

A clock.

Yup, as simple as that sounds, that was my big idea. I chose to do a clock because I knew I was lucky to have found a working analog clock that could be disassembled to fit a new clock face for only $1. The clock kits at Michaels and Hobby lobby are around $5 or $6, so I had to use it in some way for this challenge.

Once I knew I was going to make a clock…I needed to find a thin and strong item of some kind to be the new clock face. I ended up with a bright green chipboard sign from the Dollar Store that would fit the clock mechanism and allow me to go ahead with my idea. As you can see, it was not very pretty and not at all fitting with the modern look I wanted (it's the one in the top left, I didn't end up using the blue sign).

(Sorry some of the pictures are so office/craft room has terrible lighting and any pictures I take after the sun goes down turn out dark)

I began by cutting off the detail edge of the sign to make it a smooth rectangle. Then after a quick sand it was ready to paint. Since I’m really liking grey and pink lately, I was drawn to a night scene with a tree and some early spring buds…dramatic and whimsical at the same time. Using some simple toll paints I covered the tacky green with a grey base coat. Then I just added a simple round gradation effect to create a foggy moon in the upper right hand corner where I was going to install the clock.

For the tree and buds I used a Cricut expressions machine and cut out a tree silhouette and some simple flowers using solid colored cardstock. I thought about painting the tree instead, but I like the subtle 3-D effect of using the paper. To attach the tree and flowers I just used a regular glue stick.

Next was the all important decision of adding the clock and whether or not it would have numbers. I knew that the round area for the moon would work as a clock face…but I went back and forth on whether or not to add any numbers. After cutting out some simple 1/4” roman numerals I asked for the Hubs’ opinion and he like the numbers. So with the help of my trusty glue stick I added them to the clock. You'll want to use the minute hand from the clock parts to make sure they are spaced correctly.

Next I created the hole for the clock with the thickest nail I could find and cleaned up the back to make sure the clock mechanism would fit right up against the back of the plaque.  
(Note: if your plaque is wood you will have to use a drill to make the hole.)

I kept the clock arms silver, but you could just as easily paint the hands black to match the tree, or pink to match the flowers.

Now just a quick spray with some clear coat (with out the clock installed) and the project is all finished!

That is not the clock mechinishm sticking out on the right side of the clock, that's the roll of duct tape I used to lift it up off the table for the picture.  I made sure to install the clock far enough in from the side to completely hide the back piece of the clock.

That is about as easy and cheap (only $2 plus paint and paper) as they come. You can use this technique to make a clock for every season and just swap out the parts to update the look.

I knew from the beginning that this clock would have to stand up on a shelf because of the clock mechanism sticking out from the back, but that’s why I chose a very vertical design. I have some picture shelves in my hall way and our new spring clock has already found a perfect home!

I hope this tutorial has inspired you to rethink those boring round symmetrical clocks in your house and find the time to make your own custom clock!
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High Chair Slip Cover

This is the 4th posting for my series on how to make your own custom party decorations
based on what I made for my daughters first birthday.

I’m hoping these posts will inspire you to make some one of a kind decorations for your next party!

Since I knew my daughter would be in her high chair for the cake eating/smashing part of her first birthday party I came up with the simple solutions for making a slip cover for the back of her highchair to add a nice background for all the pictures we were sure to take.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to make a simple slip cover for your high chair. (Sorry there aren’t more pictures. I’ll try to make another slip cover this weekend and update the tutorial)

Original High chair:

The Birthday Girl in her slip-covered high chair:

You’ll want to start by making a simple pattern for the size of the back of your high chair.

I used a pillow case to make the pattern since it was the exact width of our high chair and easy to slip on and maneuver.
It’s actually a very good idea to use a pillow case for the slip cover for this very reason.
Once you line up your fabric, simply pin around the edge of the chair back to get the curve, and along the sides if needed, to get a good pattern.  Dont worry too much about the fit, this doesn't need to be a tailored project.  You just want to to slide over the back of the chair and reach all the way down to where the tray attaches.
If you aren’t using the pillow case for the slip cover, lay your pattern on your fabric to cut out the shape of the high chair. Remember, you will need to add seam allownce and cut two pieces using this pattern.

Once the pieces are cut out, pin the right sides together and do a simple running stitch to sew it together.

Finally, hem the bottom edge.

And there you go! You have a unique custom high chair back cover for your next photo opportunity!

Unfortunately Meredith didn’t really enjoy her cupcake as much as we had hoped…

maybe next year! :)

Check out the great links up at:

Custom Cupcake Stand Shelf Liner

This is the third posting for my series on how to make your own
custom party decorations
based on what I made for my daughters first birthday.

I hope these posts will inspire you to make some one of a kind decorations for your next party!

This post is for a very simple project that can have a large visual impact… adding liners to the shelves of a plain white cupcake stand.

Once I decided to have cupcakes instead of a cake for my daughter’s birthday I thought having a multi tiered stand to display them on would give great vertical visual impact, as well as save some valuable counter space for the buffet set up.
I did lots of research on what types of cupcake stands are out there, and decided to get this stand from Wilton that has solid shelves as opposed to the open wire ‘stem’ look of most cupcake trees.

I really like the cupcake stand, and am already coming up with other uses for it! The only downside is that it’s plain and white and slightly…BORING!

So I came up with a quick fix for adding some temporary detail to the stand that can be reinvented for every party you host.

To make the shelf liners, separate the layers and trace each one onto a piece of scrapbook paper.

Once that is traced, mark the exact center of the circle and flip over the shelf to trace the center circle.
Now its time to cut out the shelf liner. Cut out the outer circle first. Since the shelves are sloped slightly downward, it is beneficial to cut directly into each of the circles to allow them to form a very slight cone shape. This also makes it easier to cut out the inner circle.

Once the circle is cut out you can attach it to the cup cake stand with some double sided tape.

Now you’ve got one more idea for how to make custom party decorations without breaking the bank…or the clock!

I love it!

Custom Party Garland

This is the second posting for my series on how to make your own
custom party decorations
based on what I made for my daughters first birthday.

I hope these posts will inspire you to make some one of a kind decorations for your next party!

Here are the simple steps for how to make your own
unique party garland.


Once you see how easy this is, you will be recreating this project in an infinite number of ways to decorate all your parties!

Here is the list of all the supplies you’ll need:

Paper that matches your theme
Glue stick
Scissors (or Cricut Machine)
Exacto knife (optional)

{A note on the Ribbon:
I love the $0.50 spools of 1/8” and 1/4" wide ribbon from Michael’s because it’s cheap and comes in great colors. You might as well buy a bunch of these because they can be used in so many ways!}

Next you will need to cut out the shapes that will form the garlands.

I used my mom’s Cricut Expression machine, which allowed me to get very precise cutouts in very little time. But you can achieve similar results with a pair of scissors and a steady hand.

Since the garland will be two sided you will need to cut out twice as many shapes.

Once you have your shapes cut out you’ll need to cut the ribbon to the right lengths for each area you will be hanging the garland.

It does not need to be exact, and I would even recommend adding a foot or so onto each length so you can have some wiggle room once it’s time to hang.

Here are the simple steps to building the garland:

Starting from one end lay the ribbon across one of the shapes

Note: I have the flower right side up so it will show up against my white table top. You’ll want to make sure to glue the ribbon on the back side.

Cover back of shape and ribbon with glue

Align matching shape and apply pressure

Once the two shapes are glued together, you might want to place each of these under something a little heavy to make sure the glue bonds.

Continue this process for the length of ribbon.

As for the spacing for the shapes…
I was not too worried about the spacing being exact, but if you do want it to be precise I would recommend marking the spacing on the ribbon before you start adding the shapes so you can guarantee they are uniform.

Once you have the garlands made, and the glue is all dried you can hang them up around your house/event and rake in the compliments!

{Tip for hanging directly onto the wall:
Since the garland will be very light weight I would recommend using straight pins out of your sewing kit to hang directly into the drywall. The holes will be very tiny, and you can even paint the ball on the end to match your ribbon!}

Isn’t it amazing how something so simple can add such an impact to a space?

I love it!

Fancy Party Cupcakes

My daughter just had her 1st birthday on February 28th…


…and I came up with some great ways to make custom decorations for the party.

I'm going to do a series of posts on the projects I made along with tutorials so you can use the ideas to make your own
custom party decorations.

The first project I'm going to show you is how to make your own custom cupcake toppers.

Unfortunately I don't have a lot of pictures for this post, but I will recreate the toppers and make sure to add the pictures later.

Since I had a simple flower and striped theme I decided to make pink flower cupcake toppers set on top of green and purple icing.

The toppers can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator until it's time to put them on the cupcakes.

To make the toppers start by melting some white chocolate bark coating in 30 second intervals in the microwave.

(Tip on how much chocolate bark to use:
I melted 5 squares from the chocolate bark package and got over 100 flowers. So remember that the chocolate goes really far when you are piping out small shapes)

Make sure to stir the chocolate for about one minute after each 30 second interval because the chocolate will continue to melt after you remove it from the microwave and you don't want to put in back in too soon and burn the chocolate.

(Tip on the chocolate:
I used the chocolate bark instead of white chocolate chips because it's cheaper and will taste the same since such a small amount is being eaten at once)

Once the chocolate is evenly melted scoop it into a large zip top freezer bag.

Very carefully cut off a tiny piece of one of the corners of the bag.

Tear off a sheet of wax paper to fit one of your cookie sheets. This is where you will pipe the chocolate to make your shapes.

If you are doing a more complicated design you may want to create a pattern to trace for your design. If so, just slide this pattern under the wax paper before you begin piping.

I started with a pattern, but ended up doing most of my flowers by hand once I got the hang of it.

Once the chocolate is cool enough to handle (which should only be a few moments) and your wax paper is laid out you are ready to pipe. Don't worry if your first few aren't perfect, piping chocolate out of a bag is not the easiest thing to master!

But have no fear!
After a little practice you'll be piping out all sorts of great cupcake toppers to make your party one of a kind!

Once your toppers are finished place them in the refrigerator to harden before stacking carefully in a Tupperware until it's time to place on the cupcakes.

To make the icing match your theme just add some food coloring to white vanilla icing until you get the desired color.

Ice the cupcakes and have fun adding your custom cupcake toppers for all your guests to enjoy!
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Lists, Lists Everywhere!!!

I have begun the massive project of sorting through all
my ideas, fabrics, supplies, and over all craftiness to get
this blog up and running...and boy what a project it has become. 

I have over 100 ideas so far on one massive list...

How am I going to do them all...and post about them?!?!

But I guess that's the point of this whole project, right? 
Finding the time for all the things you want to do,
while not ignoring all the things you have to do....
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