Reusable Swiffer Duster Cloths Tutorial

swiffer duster cloths

I hate to say it, but I LOVE cleaning products. Not cleaning, just the products. Even more, I love DISPOSABLE cleaning products. I hate that they’re full of chemicals and are wasteful and expensive, but I love the convienience. Somehow having the latest cleaning gadget helps to motivate me to clean. It makes it more fun. Not that it’s fun to begin with. I’ve wanted to make some changes to my habits when it comes to cleaning for a while now. Enter today’s project, DIY reusable duster cloths!

One of my favorite cleaning products is the Swiffer duster. They’re so handy and work so well. If only it weren’t for the disposable duster cloths they use (and use, and use). I’ve been wanting to make a reusable Swiffer duster cloth for a long time but hadn’t gotten around to it. I guess I was saving it for Go Green Month. I love the reusable flannel duster cloth. It can be washed over and over again, and really does a great job dusting. I HAD to share the tutorial so you can all make your own!

reusable swiffer duster cloths

Description:
This tutorial will guide you through the steps to make your own reuseable Swiffer duster cloth. The best part is that the more it’s used and washed, the better it will work! From start to finish, you should have your new duster made within 30 minutes! If your duster handle is different than the one I have, just adjust your own stitch lines to match up with your handle!

Swiffer Duster Reusable Cloths Tutorial

 

How To Make Reusable Duster Cloths

Materials:
(affiliate links below)
Update: You can now download a free pattern HERE rather than measure and mark your own pieces as instructed in the tutorial. Please note that the markings are for a handle similar to the one pictured in this tutorial.

4 7″x7″ pieces flannel – this solid flannel would be perfect and is super affordable
4 4″x7″ pieces flannel (can be coordinating color)
Duster handle
Thread

Note: I found that flannel works best at dusting. I also tried using microfiber (you can get microfiber cloths at the dollar store for a couple of bucks), but personally didn’t like it as much as flannel. It didn’t seem to hold as much dust, and made a HUGE mess as I was cutting it up. Polar fleece may also be a good alternative, but I would still prefer flannel, in my very humble opinion :).

reusable swiffer duster clothsreusable swiffer duster cloths

Directions: 1. Place two pieces of 4″x7″ flannel on two pieces of 7″x7″ flannel, centering smaller pieces on top. Repeat with remaining flannel squares.reusable swiffer duster cloths 2. Join small and large pieces together by stitching down center of all four layers of fabric as pictured. Stack the two sets of flannel on top of each other, with the small pieces on the top and bottom. reusable swiffer duster cloths3. Next, make the casing for the Swiffer duster handle. Fold the small pieces of fabric to one side, align the base of the prongs at the edge of the fabric, and center the prongs over the middle seam where the small and large pieces were joined together. reusable swiffer duster cloths4. Trace close to side edge of prong all the way to the edge of fabric, leaving spaces where the curved areas of the prongs are. It is better to leave a little extra space where the curved areas are than to leave too little space. Fold small piece of fabric to opposite side and trace prongs again the same way. reusable swiffer duster clothsreusable swiffer duster clothsreusable swiffer duster cloths5. Fold top and bottom small pieces to one side and stitch along traced lines, through all four layers of flannel. reusable swiffer duster cloths 6. Fold top and bottom small pieces to opposite side and stitch along traced lines, through all four layers of flannel. reusable swiffer duster cloths 7. Open up top and bottom small pieces at middle seams and lay flat. Slide Swiffer duster handle into the casing you have sewn, in between the 4 large pieces of flannel. Curved areas on prongs should slide into the spaces you left when you stitched the casing in step 6 and hold the handle in place. reusable swiffer duster clothsreusable swiffer duster cloths 8. Beginning with top layer of large flannel piece, trim approximately 1″ of fabric from edge on both sides. reusable swiffer duster cloths 9. Continue trimming each layer approximately 1″ shorter than the layer beneath it. reusable swiffer duster cloths 10. Turn duster cloth over and repeat steps 8-9 with opposite side. reusable swiffer duster cloths 11. Beginning with narrowest layer, clip edges of flannel at 1/2″ intervals along length of duster. reusable swiffer duster cloths 12. Repeat with the next flannel layer beneath. reusable swiffer duster cloths 13. Continue clipping edges of all layers on each side of duster cloth. reusable swiffer duster cloths 14. Ruffle up all clipped edges, and this is what you will have: reusable swiffer duster cloths 15. Throw your new reusable Swiffer duster cloth in the washer and dryer to let the edges fray. You may need to clip some loose or dangling strands of thread. reusable swiffer duster cloths 16. Let your kids, husband, and even you (ya, you) fight over who gets to do the dusting! Want proof that your new reusable Swiffer duster cloth works? Here ya go. reusable swiffer duster cloths

Tutorial: Fabric Flower Valentine Wreath.

Description:
This tutorial will guide you through the steps to make a Fabric Flower Valentine Wreath.  Beginner sewing skills are required, and anyone from a new crafter to a “Martha” will enjoy this project.

Materials Needed:
Sewing machine and thread
Glue gun and 8-12 glue sticks
1 yd 45″ wide red broadcloth
1 yd 45″ wide pink broadcloth
Heart shaped floral foam
2 yd 1-2″ wide ribbon

Fabric to Cut:
Red broadcloth: cut 25-30 2″x30″ strips
Pink broadcloth: cut 25-30 2″x30″ strips
Note: the longer the strips are cut, the larger the flowers will be.  The larger the flowers are, the less you will need to cover your entire wreath, so adjust your strips accordingly.  The wreath pictured used strips varying from 15-22″ in length.

Directions:

Make Fabric Roses
1. Fold each fabric strip in half lengthwise and press.


2. Using a basting stitch, stitch 1/4″ from raw edge along entire length of each fabric strip.  Leave threads long on each end and do not backstitch.

3. Gently pulling on TOP threads only, gather strips slightly.  Tie off threads at each end to secure gathers.
4. Using glue gun, fold one end of each strip 1/4″ toward rest of strip and glue.  Place thin line of glue along basted stitch line and wrap strip around itself, a few inches at a time.
5. Continue placing glue and wrapping strip around until rose is complete.
Attach Roses to Foam Heart
6. Beginning of front face of heart, glue roses to wreath one at a time, alternating pink and red colors.
7. Glue roses to outside edge of wreath, alternating pink and red colors.  As you place the roses, be sure to tuck them into place to cover any voids where the heart foam is visible between the roses.
8. Glue roses to inside edge of wreath, alternating pink and red colors.  Again, be sure to tuck the roses into place to cover any voids.
Attach Ribbon
9. Cut ribbon into two 1 yd lengths.  Glue one end of each piece to back of wreath, slightly angling towards the midline of heart.  Let glue set firmly.
10. Tie two ribbons together into a bow at desired length.  Cut off excess ribbon ends.  Using a match or lighter, quickly sweep ends of ribbon near (not through or you may start a fire!) flame to seal fibers and prevent fraying.
Have a Wonderful Valentine’s Day!
11. You are done!  Great job!

Conversions: Bed Sheets to Fabric Yardage.


Two days ago I had a conversation with my sister Audy (she’s kinda popular around this blog lately, isn’t she?) about using sheets for sewing projects.  She is making an owl toddler sleeping bag for a church activity, and told me she thought it was going to cost her about $150 to make.  Crazy!  I reminded her of all the cute things she could make for $150 and all the new Amy Butler fabric she could buy, and suggested that she use flannel sheets and cotton sheets instead of fabric by the bolt.  Then of course we had a long discussion about how many sheets she would need, their sizes, etc.  I was thinking about how it can be so annoying trying to figure out the conversion from fabric on the bolt to sheets.  Wouldn’t it be nice to just have a chart to refer to instead of using those precious, and in my case, oh-so-few brain cells each and every time?  Yes, it would, so I made a chart.

(click to enlarge)
As I was making the chart, I kept thinking of more information that could be helpful, so I ended up including all of it.  For example, with 45″ fabric you can often get two “lengths” out of the width.  If there was under 10″ of extra fabric on the edges (96″ wide fabric would have 6″ of extra fabric since 45″ x 2 lengths = 90″), I didn’t worry about it.  In cases where there was more than 10″ (you can only get one 60″ width out of a king sheet which is 102″ wide so there is 42″ extra fabric), I also included the conversion of actual square inches.  That conversion would be helpful if you were making a project with many small pieces, such as a quilt top.  Yikes, I hope this chart isn’t more confusing than helpful.  The extra conversions come into play mainly for the larger sized sheets.
*Another thing that’s important to keep in mind is that these measurements are assuming you are using sheets that are either plain colored or that are multi-directional.  If you are using printed sheets for your project that have a one-way design, you may not be able to turn your pattern pieces sideways to get the most out of the fabric.  Make sense?
I hope this chart can be useful to some of you, I just learned that thanks to the Swine Flu Audy won’t be needing it anymore.  Did you know that to test you for the Swine Flu they put a stick up your nose into your brain?  Okay, so it doesn’t actually go up to your brain but Audy said it feels like it does.  The doctor actually asked her not to punch him just before he did it.  Feel better soon Audy!

Button Throw Pillow Tutorial

button front throw pillow tutorialToday I’m sharing this button throw pillow tutorial! I’ll guide you through making a button-up throw pillow cover that will fit on a 14″ pillow form.
Materials Needed:
1/2 yard home decor fabric
1/2 yard co-ordinating home decor fabric
3 buttons
fusible interfacing scraps (2 pieces approximately 1″x15″)
14″x14″ pillowform
Cut:
main fabric: one 15″x 9″ piece and one 15″x14″ piece
co-ordinating fabric: one 15″x15″ piece
Directions:
1. Iron fusible interfacing to wrong side of front panels on middle side edge, where buttons and button-holes will be placed.
2. With each front panel, fold and press interfaced edge toward the wrong side 1.5″. Fold and press another 1.5″.
3. With each front panel, topstitch close to folded edge, which will be almost 1.5″ from the edge of fabric. You will eventually place your buttons and buttonholes along these folded edges.
4. Mark placement for your buttons and buttonholes at 4″, 7.5″, and 11″ from the top of each panel on your folded edges. These marks should be 0.75″ from the edge, which will be in the middle of the edge and the topstitching you completed in step 3 (topstitching not pictured below).
5. Using the buttonhole stitch on your machine (if you’re lucky :)), stitch three buttonholes on the left front panel, centered on the marks you made in step 4. I recommend doing a test buttonhole on scrap fabric to see exactly how long it will be so you know exactly where to start the buttonhole on your fabric to have it centered on your mark. Using a seam ripper, open the buttonholes and ensure that your buttons fit through.
6. Using a needle and thread, sew your 3 buttons onto the right front panel on the marks you made in step 4.
7. Attach the front left and right panels together by fastening the buttons. Baste the two panels and the top and bottom where they overlap.
8. Right sides together, pin front panel to the back panel of co-ordinating fabric. Sew around the entire edge using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
9. Trim the corners as pictured.
10. Unfasten your buttons (can be a bit tricky from the wrong side) and turn the pillow cover right side out.
11. Slide the pillow form into the pillow cover and refasten the buttons. Admire your new throw pillow!

Ottoman Slipcover Tutorial.

ottoman slipcover tutorial

Description:

As promised when I posted the before and after, here is a tutorial for a simple and contemporary ottoman slipcover.  No pleats, ruffles, or tassels!  It is an easy project to complete and can give new life to an old piece of furniture.

Materials:
2-4 yards of pre-washed home decor fabric, depending on the size of your ottoman
thread
measuring tape
Pieces to Cut:
1. Measure the length and width of the top of the ottoman.  Add 1″ to each measurement to allow for 1/2″ seam allowance and cut out of fabric.  For example, my ottoman was 26″ wide and 42″ long, so I cut my top piece 27″x43″.  If the ottoman is rounded at the corners instead of square as pictured, use a bowl or lid as a guide to cut the corners into a rounded edge.
2. Measure the length and height of the ottoman sides.  Add 1″ to the length measurement to allow for 1/2″ seam allowance and 3″ to the height to allow for a hem, and cut out of fabric.  If you have a square ottoman you will have 4 equal pieces, if your ottoman is a rectangle as pictured, you will have 2 pieces of 2 different sizes.
Directions:
1. Right sides together, pin two side pieces together along their sides.  If your ottoman is rectangular, make sure to pin one shorter piece with one longer piece, rather than matching up the two equal pieces.  Stitch two pieces together using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  You will continue to use a 1/2″ seam allowance for the entire project.  If your ottoman is rounded at the top corners as mentioned above, gradually sew from your 1/2″ seam allowance up to a 1″ seam allowance on one end on the last 2-3″ of the seam.  Press seam open and topstitch 1/4″ along each side of pressed seam.
2. Pin and sew remaining two side pieces together as you did with the first two.
Note: If you sewed the wider seam allowance on one end for a curved top ottoman, make sure to lay the pieces out on the ottoman so that the wider seam allowance ends will all be at the top of the ottoman and not near the hem.  This will save you the hassle of seam ripping when you get to step 3 :).
3. You will now have two long pieces for the ottoman sides.  Matching up short and long sides again, pin and sew the two pieces right sides together, press seams open, and topstitch 1/4″ along each side of seams.  You will now have one long tube of fabric that will be your slipcover sides.
4. Pin slipcover side piece to slipcover top piece, matching up side piece seams with top piece corners.  Stitch two pieces together.  Press seam open and then toward top piece.  Topstitch on top piece, 1/4″ from the seam.
5. Fit your slipcover over the ottoman to ensure the fit is proper.  If you measured correctly, you should have room for a 3″ hem.  If you need to make any adjustments to the hem length, now is the time.
6. Fold bottom edge of slipcover 1″ toward wrong side of fabric and press.  Fold your pressed edge 2″ more toward wrong side of fabric and press.  Stitch close to inner folded edge to form your hem.  Stitch again 1/4″ down from the first hem line.
7. Admire your new ottoman slipcover!