Painted Mirrors

So we've all seen these great Malma mirrors at Ikea, right? 
They are super cheap and give you lots or room for customizing...which us crafters love!  I bought a bunch of these a while back and hung on to them knowing they would come in handy for later decorating projects. 

 Well, when we decorated our second bathroom I had it in my mind for some sort of leaf theme.  I didn't want a very floral look...and I had a hard time finding the right accessories.  So I took matters into my own hands and came up with a quick relief painting technique to use on 3 of the Malma mirrors that was perfect for the space.

A Special Thank you to Summer over at Sumo's Sweet Stuff
for featuring me on her Showcase Saturday!!

First you'll need to pick your color theme, and paint the background color(s) on the frame of the mirrors.  

Then you'll need to cut out your shapes.  I used some basic printer paper and cut out a couple different leaf shapes.  You may need to make new ones as you go because the paint will begin to deteriorate the paper.  If it is important that the shapes be identical, I would recommend cutting out extra at the beginning and replace as needed.  Or you could go so far as buying the customizable stencils and making a real stencil.

Once your base coat is dry, hold one cutout down and dry brush in a contrasting color around the edge.  You might want to practice before you go to the mirror to get the hang of how much paint to use and what technique works the best. 

I overlapped the cutouts and filled in as much of the frame as possible.  I also liked the look of some of the leaves being partially off the if they were all falling.

Of course this technique can be used on all sorts of projects...from scrapbook pages and card painting furniture and frames.  I hope you are inspired to paint something in your house!

Have fun with it! 
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Quilted Coasters

One of my very good friends just bought her first place and I've been working on some ideas for homemade house warming gift.  I have seen tons of these quilted coasters on Etsy, and I noticed it here on, so I though I'd give it a try.

A special thanks to Jill from Women Who Do It All
for featuring me in her post on Mother's Day Gift Ideas!!

First you need some coordinating fabric

Cut out a 10" x 4.5" piece for each coaster.  You'll also need a 4" square piece of batting for each coaster.

Fold each fabric strip in half and stitch down each of the sides with a 0.25" seam allowance. 

Turn the square right side out.

Place the batting square inside the fabric 'sleeve' and work with it until it's lined up all the way in the bottom without any wrinkles.

Turn down the open edge, making sure one side of the fabric covers the batting. 

Line up the open edges to get a perfect square and pin in place.  Since I was going to do a simple square pattern with my stitching I was able to work my closure into the pattern.  But I'm sure all you super creative crafters can come up with a ton of different quilting patterns for these coasters...the possibilities are endless!

And there you go...In less than 30 minutes you have found the time to make a homemade housewarming gift!  I can see many more of these little beauties in my future...

I will be submitting this to the CSI Projects Martha Stewart Challenge...


Placemat Clutch

So I have been on a creative bender lately...everything I see has to become a purse!  It's a ton of fun and I've got one more gem to share with you all.

A special THANK YOU to Jill at Women Who Do It All for featuring this idea in her Wednesday Project Spotlight!

I found some cheap ($1.99!) placemats at Bed Bath and Beyond this weekend and they just had to become clutches.  They are some sort of waterproof fabric...feels sort of like raffia, but more shinny.  Very flexible, but also very sturdy.  I was worried that the sewing machine couldn't handle it...but one quick test and I was off to the races. 

I began with the oblong shaped placemat because it was going to give me a bigger purse and I wanted a little more to work with.  It's going to be a very simple envelope clutch.

First, begin by cutting off about 3 inches of one of the rounded edges.  This is going to be the front of the bag.  My placemat didn't have a good or bad side, but if yours does make sure you know which is going to be the outside of the purse and keep track of that during this process.

Here's the cut placemat
(the edge is actually straight, but the placemat was not laying down properly in this picture):

Next sew a quick binding to the unfinished edge to clean it up and keep it from unraveling.  You can see in this picture that I cut my piece of fabric too short on the right side, but that will be covered up later.

For the closure on this purse I used magnets, and the only way to attach them is to sew them on with a small pocket of fabric.  I've shown it below using red fabric so it's easier to see.

First you need to fold up your placemat to find the right spot to sew the magnet.  A simple three way fold is how to get this envelope shape.  To sew the pocket for the magnet onto the purse move the alignment of your needle to the inside of the foot, and sew the magnet inside the fabric pocket as tightly as possible.  I took two passes around the magnet to make sure it's really secure.

Repeat the process for the top flap of the purse.  Make sure you sew the magnets on the same side of the placemat (the 'wrong' side if you have one).  Trust me, this will guarantee that one magnet is inside the purse, and the other is on the underside of the flap.

One more step and you're all done!  Fold your placemat in thirds to get the shape you like. You want the flap to come about half way down the purse where the magnets are lined up.

Once you have it lined up (and double checked that the magnets are on the inside of the purse) you can do a quick stitch up each side and you're all done! 
(I know it's impossible to see the stitching below, but believe me it's sewn and it was as fast as it sounds!)

I decided that I wasn't going to turn my seams inside because my placemats had great finished edges and looked good as is.

I did add a little cuteness with a quick felt flower.  It also served a double purpose to cover up the stitching from the magnet under the flap.

I did a similar process with a pink circular placemat and this is what I got:

I did do the side seems on the inside for this one and it turned out just as nice.  I really like how the two circle patterns are coming together right at the closure.  Not on purpose, but a great surprise!  A little more complicated closure...but I had this fun black button and I love pink and black.

To do the button closure just mark a rectangle on the top flap that will be big enough to go over the button, but not so big that it won't be secure.  Once it's marked, stitch around it about 4 times.  Using an exacto knife, cut out the piece in the middle and sew the button onto the front of the bag.  I might add some flowers to this one also, but I'm not sure yet.  Either way, I love it!

Both of these purse were completed in one evening after my daughter went to bed, so there is no excuse not to find the time to make yourself one! Enjoy!

No Sew Bamboo Clutch

It's about time I did a non birthday themed post!  I loved sharing all the tips for decorating your house for a party, but now it's time for a fun DIY craft project

First, here's a special thanks to
Michelle @ Someday Crafts for
featuring me in her
Whatever Goes Wednesday
Link up Party!!

And to *Remodelaholic
for the Guest Highlight!

I've seen a few fun ideas online for making clutch purses out of placemats and I wanted to get in on the action.  I ended up finding two of these bamboo woven placemats and I thought they would make very unique purses.
(ignore the fabric swatches...that idea did not work out!)

The placemats were originally woven together with a plastic string, so the first step was taking the string out without getting the bamboo pieces completely out of order.  I found the end of the string, cut off the knot, and slowly removed the string.  I starting moving the pieces around to create the handles and getting the right size for a clutch purse. 
(You might want to decide on the size before the placemat is unwoven)
Here is the placemat in the final size and arrangement for my purse.

Next I used the plastic sting to re-weave the bamboo pieces into my new shape.  I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to secure them at this point so I took lots of care to not weave through the openings for the handles.  If you are going to follow the rest of my steps you won't need to worry about that and you can find the quickest way to put the placemat back together.

Once the pieces are woven tightly back together you will need to cover the entire inside of the purse with duct tape.  I bought a black roll from Michael's for about $5, and they had tons of other fun colors.
I would recommend adding at least two layers around the handles because this part will get the most wear and tear.

Once the pieces are locked into place you can remove the plastic string.  Next I cut out a piece of cardboard for the bottom of the purse.  Once the bamboo pieces are duct taped together you can pick it up like a purse and see what size to make the bottom.  My purse seemed to naturally fall into a shape with 5 rows of bamboo as the bottom, so I just went with that.  After it's measured and cut, cover the cardboard with duct tape to help it blend in and to reinforce it.

Use a few pieces of tape to secure the cardboard insert to the purse.

Next you'll need to make two pieces of overlapping tape to form the sides of the purse.  Lay five 4" pieces of tape in a row with about 1/4" overlapping to form a 'sheet' of tape.  Then lay one 7" piece of tape over the top of all of those pieces with about 1/4" overhanging on one side.  Fold this flap over and that will be the top of the sides of the purse.  Cut the bottom two corners about one inch in from the corner at a diagonal to help you get smooth corners (not in the picture, I learned this step the hard way!).

Staring with one of the long sides, install the side piece by pressing the tape firmly to the duct taped side of the purse.  Work your way down the side, and secure the bottom piece of the side.  Finally work your way back up the other side to finish securing the side of the purse.

Follow the same steps for the other side and you should end up with a purse like this:


I would recommend creasing the duct tape sides into the inside so when you pick up the purse they don't stick out.

I'm sure this technique can be used with all sorts of woven placemats to create some very fun combinations. 

What a quick fun project for a truly unique DIY clutch!

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