Monthly Archives: February 2011

Wednesday February 2, 2011

 
(I just realize my picture days Day three, please ignore that… this is day 4 )

Maybe you’ve been enjoying the projects I’ve come up with so far but your thinking, “These are fun April, but I don’t sew.  At all.  Not even on accident”.  So if sewing sounds as foreign to you, as training for a marathon sounds to me… this is the project for you.

Here is the list of supplies you will need:

1.  An assortment of clay pots
2.  Card stock
3.  An Exacto Knife (or razor blade)
4.  White craft paint and a wet rag
5.  Blue painters tape (extra wide)
6.  One spray can of Chalk Board paint

The day I made these pots my sister-in-law Jessica, came over the help and keep me company.  I had all the supplies lined up and everything planned out in my head.  I won’t bore you, or confuse you with the details of how badly my plan turned you to be… 

Let’s just say the first one turned out like this~

It was a good thing Jessica was there because in no time flat she had come up with a much better way to make the flower pots.

Here’s what she came up with~


Start by tracing your shapes onto the card stock.  Ovals, rectangles, circles… what ever you like.  Keep in mind that the shape needs to fit onto whatever size pot you are working with.


Jessica was also my hand model for the day, because she has lovely hands that are so much more pleasant to look than my bony, claw hands.


Then we cut the shape out of the card stock with the Exacto Knife.


This is what our stencils looked like.


Next we white washed the pots.  I took a little bit of white craft paint, squeezed it in a bowl, and watered it down until it was easy to spread on the pot.


I dipped my wet rag in the paint and wiped it onto the pot.  I had to move quickly and keep smoothing it out to get the finish I wanted.  While the pots dried we went back to our stencils. (my bony talons made it into a few of the pictures)


We placed strips of the blue tape over the stencil and then cut the shape out of the tape using the Exacto Knife.


It looks like this.


Carefully and slowly I pulled the tape back and centered the shape onto the pot.

We taped all around the front of the pot to protect the rest of it from the spray paint.  I used my finger nails to really press down the edges of the tape so the edges of the chalk board would be nice and crisp.


After we prepped all the pots we sprayed the shapes with the chalk board paint.  I found it was best to do 2 or 3 light coats of paint.  I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture of the spray paint I used but it’s Rust-oleum  brand and I got it at Home Depot for $4.95.


We waited for the paint to dry and then peeled off the tape.


Pot them with your favorite spring flowers and write a little Valentine’s message on the chalk board.

I must confess I really love the way these turned out!  Not only would they make great Valentine’s Day gifts but they would be perfect for Mother’s Day too. 

Other variations I thought of:
~ instead of white washing them you could wash them with turquoise, green, or gray paint.
~ getting 3 or 5 of the small pots, planting herbs in them and writing the name of the herbs on the chalk  board.  Wouldn’t you just love to have a set of those sitting in your kitchen window?!  In fact I think I’m going to have to do that for myself

Thanks again for sticking with me!
~April

Tuesday February 1, 2011

 

 
These Valentine’s Day coin purses make a great little gift.  Not only because they are darling all by themselves, but you can also fill them will all kinds of fun treats.

I know what you’re thinking…

Your saying, “April, that has a zipper on it.  Zippers and me… we don’t get along.”

I hear ya.  Let me just say this… I have never installed a zipper on any garment without adult supervision; but this zipper I can do!  Trust me; it’ll be okay


I started with a heart shape (cut out of a brown paper bag).  You can make it any size but my heart pattern is 5-1/4 inch from dip to tip, and 7 inches at the widest point.  If you don’t feel comfortable making your own heart you can message me your address and I will send you a copy of the one I used.

You will need medium weight fusible interfacing, a 1/4 of a yard of material for the lining, and a 1/4 of a yard of material for the outside of the purse, and a 4 inch zipper.  Cut two hearts from the interfacing, the lining, and the outer material.


Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of both the lining hearts.

I should mention, that if you want to add any embellishments to the outside of the coin purse, you should do it before you start adding the zipper.


Lay your outer heart right side up.  Place the zipper right side down on top of the right edge of the heart.


Then place your lining heart right side down, on top of the outer heart and the zipper.  The zipper should be sandwiched in between the two hearts, and the hearts should be right sides together.  As you can tell from the picture I lined the end of my zipper up with the point of the heart.


Put the zipper foot onto your machine and sew along the edge of the heart, butting the foot right up against the zipper.


This is a little trick I learned.  Instead of trying to navigate around the zipper head, stop about an inch or two away from the zipper head and backstitch.  Remove the purse out from under the presser foot and pull the zipper down.  Start sewing right were you left off making sure to backstitch again.


Your zipper and material should look like this:

Now it’s time to do the other side.

Lay the other outer heart onto the other side of the zipper, it will be resting on top of the other outer heart.


Flip the heart over and put the lining heart on the other side of the zipper.  Once again your should have your hearts lined up with the zipper edge sandwiched in the middle.  Carefully carry to the sewing machine and sew down the other side.


Your purse should look like this when you are finished with this step.

Leave the zipper pulled half way down (believe me you don’t want to skip this step) and pin the two outer hearts and the two lining hearts right sides together.  When you sew around the lining hearts, leave a 1.5 inch gap so that you can turn your purse inside out.


Switch back to your regular sewing foot, and stitch around the outer hearts and the lining hearts, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.   Make sure you really butt your stitching right up to the beginning and the end of the zipper.


Trim the seam allowances on the lining, so that it fits nicely into the outer heart once you have turned it.


Clip the edges of the hearts, otherwise it will look puckered and warped.  Turn the purse inside out through the gap in the lining.


Once you have your coin purse turned inside out, whipstitch the hole in the lining closed.  Smooth out the edges and iron flat.


All finished!  That wasn’t so bad was it?


Fill it with all kinds of goodies and give to someone you love (or keep it for yourself).

I know I’ve said this before, but… if you have any questions about this tutorial please feel free to send me a message.  I would be more than happy to clarify anything that seems confusing.  I try to be very thorough with my instructions but it is easy to overlook something.

Thanks for stopping by and happy sewing!

~April