25th Hour To Do List

In the spirit of my blog's theme:

Finding the time to do the projects we love

Here are the projects I would love to work on...if today had 25 hours in it!

I have two plain white bookcases that could use some major TLC...especially since my plan is for them to serve as a quick, cheap, 'DIY' buffet in the dinning room until we buy a real one!  And this wallpaper would go perfectly with the amazing Pier 1 table/chairs I scored off Craig's List last month!

Since none of our 'kids' rooms in the new house have ceiling light fixtures {WHAT?!?!  That's right, no light or fan wiring in the ceiling...I couldn't believe it!} I have been thinking that some sort of painted chandelier swag lights might be needed because the small desk lamps are not cutting it.  And a little bling is always nice for little girls!

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Brownies in a waffle maker!  WHAAAAAT?!?!  I am so dying to try this (and all the "cookie in a waffle maker" ideas I have seen), but we need to eat all the Christmas treats first before I make more!  I wonder what else you can cook super fast in a waffle maker? :)

So that's my 25th Hour To Do List for this weekend...so many projects so little time!

Car Seat Slip Cover

We all have them...car seats.  And if you're like me, you are using an infant car seat that was bought for an older child and the pattern is getting a little old. 

And if you are also like me the thought of tearing apart the padding and making a completely new one is a little daunting.  So why not just make a slip cover that goes over the existing fabric padding and gives the car seat a new look?  Brilliant!

Here are the steps you need for a quick slip cover to put over you existing car seat padding for a quick new look!

Car Seat Padding
coordinating fabric/thread
basic sewing supplies (scissors, pins, etc.)

First you'll need to take off you car seat padding and make a pattern.  My car seat padding was two large pieces sewn together at the seat.  I simply laid the cover down as flat as possible to trace each piece onto a big piece of muslin.  (You can always trace the pieces right onto your fabric and skip the step of making a pattern.  But I like the idea of having a pattern available to make other slip covers later on.)

Next, cut out your pieces with as much seam allowance as you can spare.  I added at least 4" all the way my pieces. 

Do a quick basting stitch where the two pieces meet.

Lay the pattern in the car seat and center.

TIP:  I learned while making this slip cover that the best option was to have elastic only on the top and bottom of the slip cover, and not on the sides where the handle moves up and down.  As little bulk as possible will make moving the handle easier.

Using a marking pencil and straight pins, work your way around the car seat marking off where the slip cover should be and where the elastic should be sewn in.  Make sure that the elastic is going to go low enough behind the car seat that it will hold in place.

TIP:  It's also helpful to put something heavy in the car seat while you're marking it to make sure you keep it centered and don't lift the fabric up. 

Trim the excess fabric based on your markings.

If using muslin: lay pattern on fabric and cut out both pieces.

Double check the pattern in the car seat, and pin all seams and elastic casings.

Sew hems on sides and elastic casings on top and bottom.

Attach elastic.

Once the hems and elastic are all in place put the slip cover on the car seat and mark the shoulder and seat belt openings.

Using the button feature on your machine, sew button holes for all strap openings.  Make sure to go slowly to get a really solid hem.

Trim any excess fabric from strap openings.

Finally, install the slip cover in your car seat.

I hope this project helps those of you that are bored with your car seats and only have time for a quick slip cover! 

DIY Jewelry Holder

I know there are a TON of tutorials out there on how to make your own jewelry holders, but I have something new to add to the mix that I thought I'd share with the world.  
Here is a quick tutorial on how to make a jewelry holder that allows you to hold way more earrings and necklaces than any other holder I've seen.

Supplies you'll need:
picture frame (mine is 8 x 10)
1 sheet of plastic canvas
thin dowel (I used one that was 1/8")
wooden beads that will fit on your dowel
hot glue gun
hand held drill
First you'll need to cut your plastic canvas to fit in the back of your frame.  This is super easy since the grid pattern guarantees you'll have a perfectly straight cut. 
Using the plastic canvas is my way of creating a jewelry holder that allows you to hold way more earrings than the holders with the horizontal wires.  Plus, you can arrange your earrings in any possible pattern to fit the various sizes and shapes of earrings you have.  Perfect!
Once the canvas is cut, use the hot glue to secure it in the back of the frame.  I glued mine in multiple times to make sure the hold was secure enough to support a lot of earrings.

You can stop here with your jewelry holder if you only want to store earrings, but keep going for my solutions to storing necklaces and/or bracelets.
Next, you'll need to mark out the placement of the necklace holders on the bottom on the front of the frame.  The number of holes will depend on the size of your frame and how close together you want them to be based on your jewelry.  (For example, if you are going to store bangles you might want the hangers spaced a little further apart)
Once the spots are marked you'll want to slowly drill into the frame on each mark, but do not drill all the way through.
Next, cut your dowel into 1 1/2" pieces to go into each hole.  Use the glue gun to securely attach one piece of the dowel in each hole. 
Attach the wooden beads to the end of each dowel using the hot glue.
Finally, paint your necklace pegs to match your frame, or in another fun contrasting color to finish the project.
That's all there is to it!  A large capacity jewelry holder made from supplies you probably already have in your craft stash!
I hope you can find the time to make one

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Custom Curtain from a Flat Sheet

Today I'd like to show you all how to make simple custom curtains from flat sheets.  I have to tell you, I love re-purposing flat sheets into all sorts of projects.  When you do the math, it can be one of the least expensive ways to buy fabric.  And with so many options out there you can always find just the right color and/or pattern for the project.

This curtain is for my daughter's room, so I'm using very bright colors.  The green solid sheet is from Wal-Mart, and the pink striped sheet is from Goodwill.  They aren't very heavy (probably only 250 tc), but since this project isn't going to be touched a lot they will work perfectly.
First things first, measure your window. 
Remember: "Measure twice, cut once"! 
Since this curtain is designed to hang flat over the window I cut my fabric to be the exact width of the window plus 1" for seam allowance.  The length is up to you.  I didn't need this curtain to do much since we have blinds behind it to block light so I cut the fabric to be about 3/4 of the height of the window. 
For the main curtain I cut two huge squares to match my windows' measurements, one from each sheet.  Then I sewed them together like huge throw pillow, turned it right side out and closed up the gap. 
Super simple, right?
Next is the ties.  Since I knew that the striped fabric would be facing out I cut the ties out of the contrasting green fabric.  They were 2' wide and super long...about 24" longer than the curtain.  This was on purpose so I could trim them later if need be.
To get two bows on the final curtain you will need 4 ties, which means 8 strips of fabric.
Sew them together in pairs and turn right side out.  You'll want to iron them flat so they lay flat on the curtain.
Now it's time to assemble the curtain.  My goal was to have about a 4" strip of the green fabric showing at the top of the curtain, and the ties coming out of that.  So I laid the curtain on the floor and folded down the top about 4". 
I tucked all 4 of the ties under the fold and pinned everything in place.  This will mean that two of the ties will loop up over the curtain rod and come back down the back side of the curtain to create the ties.  If you don't like this look you can attach the back pair of ties to the back of the curtain when you sew them on. 
Once I had all the pins in place I ran one long straight seam across the entire width of the curtain, making sure to catch all 4 of the ties.
And that's pretty much it.  The loop at the top of the curtain that allows the green fabric to show also created the pocket I needed to hang up the curtain. 
Once the curtain is hung up you simply gather the fabric and use the ties to tie the curtain to the right length.  Of course, you can let out the ties at any time to fully cover the window, or raise them up to let in more light. 

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