Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Candy Corn Embroidered Napkin Rings

As excited as I get about Halloween, every year, without fail, it always seems to stake me by surprise, so I do a lot of last minute running around trying to pull things together. But this year is different! Finally having a dog to dress up put me in the spirit WAY early… or at least early for me.  Since my dog is Halloween ready I've turned my attention to the rest of our house. This sweet candy corn project was an easy, festive way to spruce up my table and incorporates one of my favorite  things to upcycle: scrap leather!
What you'll need:
-leather scraps
-embroidery thread

Step 1: Use the razor and ruler to cut your leather into strips that are an 1 1/2" wide. For the length, cut 6" long if you'd like the results to be circular, and 7" if you'd like them to be a little more rectangular.

Step 2: Draw a candy corn shape onto a small piece of paper.

Step 3: Use your awl to make small holes on the line all around the shape.

Step 4: Cut around the shape.

Step 5: Place it in the center of the leather strip and push through the holes again with the awl. This will make a impression on the leather below.

Step 6: Make 2 more candy corn impressions, 1 to the right of the center shape and 1 to left.

Step 7: Now go back over the holes one more time with the awl, making sure that it is piercing all the way through the leather. Placing the leather on a surface with some give will make this a bit easier, even an old magazine will work.

Step 8: Starting with the yellow thread, sew the wide bottom 1/3 the candy corn. You will be filling the shape by repeatedly stitching diagonally across.
\\\\You don't have to make it look perfect, in fact the more variety you give the more interesting the finished results will be!////

Step 9: Repeat step 8 on the other two candy corns.

Step 10: Stitch the next 1/3 in orange...

Step 11: …and finally stitch up the tip in white.

Step 12: Finish by overlapping the ends by 1/2" and stitching them together.

Happy Howl-oween!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer DIY: Tie Dye Tote

Of all summer DIYs I think that tie-dying is up there with friendship bracelets as the season's quintessential project. And I realized that it has been way, WAY too long since my daughter and I have done this! Obviously, we had to remedy this ASAP. Very easy and my dingy tote is way cuter for it!

*tote bag
*blue dye
*3 rubber bands
*small tub (to hold the dye)

Step 1:Prepare a small tub of the dye in advance according to the directions.

Step 2: Fold the right and left sides so that the meet in the center.

Step 3: Now fold the right and left sides back so they are touching.

Step 4: Beginning on the end away from the handles, fold the corner in so that it forms a triangle.

Step 5: Continue folding triangles all the way down the bag...

...until you have reached the the top of the bag.

Step 6: Secure the 2 corners with rubber bands so that the bag will remain in a triangular shape.

Step 7: Thouroghly saturate the tote.

Step 8: Now you're ready to dye it! Submerge the tote in the dye. You may want to do an experiment with your fabric ahead of time, as results vary from fabric to fabric, but I found that about 4 minutes was all I needed to get the results I wanted on an unbleached cotton tote.

Step 9: Squeeze off excess dye and then hang to dry. Once the tote is almost completely dry, rinse until the extra dye is gone and the water is running clear.
(*Note: To be on the safe side, you should wash it separately from the rest of you laundry in the future to make sure that no color runs off onto the other clothes.) 

So that's it... but like any good tie dye session our original plan to dye just a few things turned 
into my daughter and I making a mad dash around the house to find anything and everything 
we could possible submerge in the dye! As per usual, this was the best part:)

I was so happy with the breezy and relaxed results I ended up using on my 
vacation to San Juan, Puerto Rico last weekend! Couldn't have summed up 
my trip any better unless I had glued a bunch of tiny drink umbrellas to it.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Stay Golden: Gold Leaf Candle Holder

This summer I have made a new best friend and that friend is gold leafing. I'm TOTALLY kicking myself or not getting into this stuff sooner! I'm sure I've expressed this before, but seriously, everything is better with shiny gold. Having never met an old jar or bottle that I didn't want to rehabilitate in some way, gold leafing has turned out to be a game changer! With just some tape and a cheap gold leafing kit, the spaghetti sauce jar is now my new favorite votive holder. 
Materials Needed:
-clean jar
-gold leaf (I used the imatation stuff, but you can also buy 24K as well)
-gold leaf adhesive
-masking tape
-fine point sharpie

Prepare you Design
Step 1: Make a simple stencil for your pattern. My gold cross is 1/2" long and wide, giving me a total design area of  1 1/2" x 1 1/2"

Step 2: Lay you stencil on the jar and trace using a fine point sharpie, gel pen or china pencil.

Step 3: Repeat until you have the desired amount of designs drawn on to the jar. It's worth keeping in mind that the more designs you have, the more time you'll need to finish the project. If patience isn't your thing, you may want to go with a less-is-more approach or simply enlarge your stencil a bit.

Step 4: Now that your designs are drawn onto the jar you will need to block off the area around your design with masking tape. Lay the tape around the sides of your designs, just outside of the tracing.
**(It makes it go a little quicker to cut your tape into a number of small pieces in advance so you can just grab them as you go.)

Step 5: When you've finished take a moment to firmly press down all of the pieces of tape.

Gold Leafing
Step 1: Paint inside all of the design areas with your jar of adhesive. Let dry until tacky.

Step 2: Get out a sheet of gold leaf and lay across as many of the designs as you can. You'll continue adding sheets until all design areas are covered. The gold leaf is pretty forgiving so if there are any edges or crevices left uncovered, just add a little bit to those areas.

Step 3: Rub over all of the gold leaf areas firmly, but gently with a soft cloth.

Step 4: Moment of truth... remove the tape! If you find any extra bits stuck in places where they shouldn't be,  just remove them.

**(Also, be sure to save all of those extra pieces of leafing that came off when the tape. 
You can use those on your next project!)**

Step 5: Paint over all of the designs with the jar of sealant. This will protect your design from knicks as well as tarnish.

The beautiful results are great to use as a vase, or you could add a bit of sand 
or rice to lay a votive onto. Hope you'll have just as much fun with this as I did!

<<<I must give credit where credit is due: my inspiration to jump into gold  leafing came from NC artist  (and my childhood friend), Sullivan Anlyan. She's an incredibly prolific artist whose work often pairs nature/animals against a guilded background. I'm a little obsessed (especially with beauties like this). Thanks for inspo, Sully, and please keep up the shiny, good work!!>>>

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vintage Tie Sunglass Case

It took its sweet time getting here, but summer is here, friends! After this painfully drawn out winter I think we're all deserving of a little extra basking, so of course we'll be need our sunglasses and a great case to put them in.

 I have to this easy project felt a bit like a celebration to me:
#1) Because my sunglasses from last summer somehow made it to this summer, for probably the first time ever.
#2) Because the colorful/slightly over the top results are reminiscent of something my way-too-fabulous Memaw (grandma for those of you who don't speak southern) would use back in the 80's. I think it's the gold trim. It's kind of impossible to go wrong with gold.
-tie (no skinny ones)
-4 1/2"length of trim or ribbon

Step 1: Lay the tie out flat (with its backside facing up) and set your sunglasses on top just beneath where the lining becomes visible.

Step 2: Fold the tie over so that it's completely covering the sunglasses.

Step 3: Cut off the extra length of tie, straight across 1" above the sunglasses.

Step 4: On the end that you just cut, pull back the outer fabric about an 1 1/2",  exposing the material inside. (Snip through any stitches that prevent you from being able to do this.)

 Step 5: Cut away 1" of the material inside.

Step 6: Fold the outer material inward so that you have a smooth finished edge.

Step 7: Stich straight across.

Step 8: Again, fold the end of the tie toward the point. Pin down just beneath where the lining starts to show.

Step 9: Now you need to run a few stitches to attach it. Start on the top right corner of the edge you stitched in step 7 and sew down about 1/2". When you've finished repeat on the left side.
 **It's VERY important you push away the areas not being attached, or you'll sew the pouch shut.**

When you've finished step 9, it will look like this:

Step 10: Finish by sewing the trim to the right and left sides, 2" down from the pouch's opening. 

 //\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\///\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\ //\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\Happy summer!!//\\//\\//\\\///\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\//\\//\\//\\/\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\

 //\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\///\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\ //\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\///\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\ //\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\///\\//\\//\\//\\//\\\//\\//\\//\\/ //\\//\\//\\//\\\

*double stick tape (or pins)
*sewing machine (or needle and thread)