Valentine Wreath

I can’t believe it’s time to pull out Valentine decorations (in my case, decoration) again.  I made this wreath last year and it seems like I just barely took it down.
Either way, I’m happy to put it up again, I love looking at the bright pink and red flowers for a few weeks.
You can find my tutorial for the fabric flower Valentine wreath here.  Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day?

Gathered Pillow Tutorial

Ladies, I got news for ya.  I don’t think ruffles are going away any time soon.  At least not in my house they’re not :).  I love the feminity that a simple ruffle or gather can bring to any project.  And trust me, living with three boys, I need all the feminity that I can get!  I smile everytime I look at my new pillow.  I take that back — I don’t smile when I’m watching it be jumped on and thrown around by my boys.  Definitely not a smile in that case.  Good thing this pillow can be washed.  On that note…
Let’s get started…
For Pillow Front:
     printed fabric: 2 – 4″x9″ pieces
                           2 – 4″x15″ pieces
     plain fabric (will be ruffled middle section): 1- 9″x18″ piece
For Pillow Back:
     printed fabric: 2 – 12″x15″ pieces
14″ pillow form

*All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise noted.*
1. Using a gathering or basting stitch (longest stitch length on your machine), stitch along each entire 18″ edge on plain fabric.  Do not backstitch at beginning or end of stitching.
2. Pulling on TOP THREAD ONLY,  gather one 18″ side of plain fabric until it is 9″ long.  Pin gathered edge to right side of 4″x9″ piece, along 9″ edge.

3. Gather opposite side of plain fabric, and pin gathered edge to right side of the other 4″x9″ piece, along 9″ edge.

Tip:  Before adjusting the gathers, I like to loosely pin my gathered piece to the printed fabric, and then do the final adjustment to ensure the gathers are evenly spaced.  Instead of tying the threads off, I wrap the loose thread ends around the end pin several times to temporarily secure them.  That way they can be easily undone and re-adjusted if needed :).

4. Following gathered stitch line, stitch ruffled fabric to printed fabric pieces.

5. Turn all right sides outward.

6. Press seams toward printed fabric.  This is the beginning of your pillow front.

7. Right sides together, pin 15″ edge of one 4″x15″ piece to one long edge of pillow front.
8. Right sides together, pin 15″ edge of second 4″x15″ piece to other long edge of pillow front.
9. Stitch pieces together along pinned edges.
10. Press seams toward outer edges of pillow front.

11. Lightly press gathered piece to slightly flatten ruffled area.
12. To form back of pillow, press 12″ edge of one 12″x15″ piece 1″ toward wrong side.  Turn another 1″ toward wrong side and press.
13. Stitch close to folded edge.
14. Repeat steps 12-13 with second 12″x15″ piece.
15. Right sides together, pin one pillow back piece to pillow front, matching raw edges.
16. Position second pillow back piece over pillow front and already-pinned back piece.  Pin in place.
17. Stitch around ENTIRE pillow edges.  Stitch around entire pillow again for stability.
18. Clip four corners of pillow.
19. Turn pillow right side out.  Poke corners with a dull pencil if needed.
20. Slide pillow form through opening in back of pillow cover.
Get a good book and curl up in your favorite chair with your new pillow!

I’ll be linking to a few of these linky parties!

Tutorial: Non-committal Curtains from Bed Sheets.

This tutorial will guide you through the steps to make non-commital curtains from bed sheets.  The button holes at the top allow you to change the look of the curtains by simply changing what hangs the curtains on the curtain rod.  You can move the curtains from room to room without having to make whole new curtains.

queen size flat bed sheet
*Ensure the width and length of your flat sheet will be large enough to cover your window.  I like my sheet to have about 1.5-2 times the width of the window.  For this tutorial, I used a flat sheet for an extra deep bed, which was 84″ — the perfect length to cover many windows!

ribbon, rope, or other material to attach the curtains to the rod — have a look around your house and get creative!

1.  Cut sheet in half lengthwise.  The original top, bottom hem (unless you choose to make shorter curtains), and outer finished edges of the sheets will remain in tact, leaving only a couple of seams to finish yourself.

2. Turn raw edge toward wrong side of sheet and press.  You should be turning the edge the same width as the outer finished edge.

3. Turn pressed edge again and press.  Stitch close to edge along entire length of folded edge.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with other half of sheet.
5. Using a dissapearing ink pen or pins, mark approximately 1″ from top side edge of each panel.

6. Fold panels in half lengthwise and mark the top middle.

7. For each panel, fold the middle and side markings together to again find the middle between the two.  Repeat with middle and other side marking.  You should now have 5 evenly spaced marks on each panel.

8. Stitch buttonholes at each of the marks, 1/2″ from top edge, and approximately 1″ long.  I always do a practice buttonhole first on some scrap fabric to ensure that my placement will be correct.  Buttonholes are not fun to unpick :).

9. Unpick the center fabric of each buttonhole.  If you would like to make your curtains shorter than the sheet length, now is the time to cut and hem them to your desired length.  You can also add pennies or drapery weights to the hem if needed.  My sheet was quite heavy so I chose to leave the curtains without weights.

10. Now it’s time to get creative…

Grab some rope if you’ve got a little Buckaroo like I do…

Or ribbon if you’ve got a princess in the house…

Or anything else you find that can hang on a curtain rod. 
Have a son that loves rock climbing?  Use some large carabiners!

…Tie or attach whatever you’re using to each buttonhole, leaving enough space to slide the loop or object around the curtain rod.

11. Hang your new non-commital curtains on a rod and change up the tops in a few months when you get bored of them!

Linked to:

Tutorial: Homemade Laundry Detergent

laundry detergent recipeI have tried a few different recipes I found online for homemade laundry detergent, and ultimately decided to make my own powdered recipe that works best for me.  Most ingredients online are similiar, so feel free to adjust quantities to suit your own needs and preferences.

If you’re looking for more reusable DIY product ideas, be sure to try our reusable duster cloths tutorial and reusable sweeper pad tutorial! And in extreme situations, our post about 5 different face mask patterns to use during shortages might come in handy.

This tutorial will guide you through the steps to make your own homemade powdered laundry detergent recipe.

1 bar Fels-Naptha bar soap
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup Baking Soda
*All of these items are found in the laundry isle next to the laundry detergents.  If you live in Utah — I had best luck at Winco for all the supplies, I was not able to find the Fels-Naptha soap or washing soda at the Walmart or Target in my area, but you may have better luck.
*If you try this recipe and like it, you can double or even triple the ingredients the next time you make it to get a larger batch.

laundry detergent recipe

1. Grate the Fels-Naptha bar soap finely.  I grated mine first using a hand grater, then put it in the Magic Bullet to finish it off.  A food processer works great too.  Coarsely grated, this equals about 2 cups.  Finely grated measures less, of course.

2. Add 1 cup Borax.

3. Add 1 cup washing soda.

4. Add 1/4 cup baking soda.

5. Find a helper and stir well (that is banana on his nose, if you are wondering — no need to be grossed out).


6. You should have a nice powdered mixture that looks like this:

7. Place in an airtight container.  Use 2 tablespoons per regular load of laundry.

Here’s a label you can use for your container.  Click on the image below, then right click to save it.  I recommend opening it in Word or Publisher and printing it from there.  That way you can resize it to fit your own container.

Reusable Swiffer Sweeper Pad Tutorial

reusable swiffer sweeper pad

Like I said earlier, I LOVE cleaning products, but have been trying to be a little GREENER when it comes to some of my favorites. I think my favorite cleaning product ever is the Swiffer Sweeper. I just hate buying the refill cloths for the sweeper all the time, and really wanted something I could wash and use over and over again, like the reusable Swiffer duster that I made. The tricky part was figuring out what would “grab” the crumbs and clean the floor the best. Leave it to a sock to save the day! Using a chenile sock and an old t-shirt, you can have your new (and your last!) Swiffer sweeper cloth in less than 30 minutes!

[Read more…]