DIY-namite: let’s create

January 7, 2007

Reversible Sewing Machine Cover

Filed under: fabric — by marieann @ 8:58 pm

Sewing Machine Cover

I actually used a pattern for this originally but it’s so easy to make. (Thankfully I bought the pattern for $1 in a pattern clearance sale). I am not gonna lie, the bias tape is hard to sew on. Everything else is a breeze. This is great to make your machine look cute AND protect it. Please read all the directions first before you begin. It’s pretty intuitive once you understand where the project is going but some parts might be a bit difficult to get in isolation.

Fabric remnant (see below for dimensions)
One package of double-fold 1/4 bias tape
Batting remnant (see below for dimensions)

Measuring tape
Sewing machine

1. Measure your sewing machine. Don’t forget to measure the machine with a spool of thread on top if you don’t want to unthread the machine whenever you put it away. (However, this does make it look a little awkward so think about this first).

For example, my machine is 16 (width), 13 3/4 (height) and 6 3/4 (depth).

2. Cut two pieces of your main fabric that is a rectange ((width + 1) by (height +1)) inches for the front and back. (So for me that is rectange that is 17 inches by 14 3/4 inches).

3. Cut two more pieces this same size for the inside lining fabric. Also, cut two this size out of batting.

4. Cut one piece of your main fabric that is a rectangle (depth + 1) by (double the height + width + 1) inches. (So for me 7 3/4 by 44).

5. Cut one piece this same size for the inside lining fabric. Also, cut one this size out of batting.

6. Curve the corners of the front and back pieces. Be sure to pin all five layers (two lining pieces, two front pieces, and the batting) and cut them at once so they are the same. It makes a nice curve if you trace around a bowl.

6. Baste the batting pieces to the matching pieces of the lining fabric with a 1/4 inch seam. Baste just means sew so that they stick together but they don’t have to be that neat. Do this with all three pieces (the cover front, sides, and back).

7. Baste the front to the lining fabric (the batting is already sewn to the backing fabric) WRONG sides together. It is IMPERATIVE that you catch both layers and make this neat. (Do this with all three pieces).

8. Now, this is one of the hardest parts. You need to pin the front cover to the side piece WRONG SIDES together. The side piece has to curve around with the curve on the front piece. The best way to work this is to clip around the curve toward the basting stick and just work it around. You may have a bit of ruffle in the fabric but make that smooth so it looks like a gather stick.

9. Repeat with the back cover.

10. At this point you have a cover sewn together. Put it on your machine to test the size. If it’s too big this is the time to take it in. When you turn your cover inside out (to expose the lining fabric), the seams will be turned in. When it’s turned the right way, you will see the seams. That’s okay, we’re fixing that now.

11. Trim close to the seams. You don’t want very little fabric still attached outside of the basting seams.

12. Pin the bias tape around the seams and sew along the edge. This is the hardest part. Be sure to use a LOT of pins because you don’t want the bias tape to slip.

13. Turn under the ends of the bias tape to give you neat edges. Put this along the where the side fabric connects to the front and back to cover up all your seams. Also put the bias tape around the bottom too.

14. BAM! You’re done! And it’s double sided!


15. Note! If you don’t want this double-sided or don’t have the double-fold bias tape and are a cheapie, then just pin the front RIGHT sides together but otherwise follow all the same directions.

December 31, 2006

Beer Cap Earrings

Filed under: jewelry — by threadslinger @ 2:19 am

These were posted on an awesome craft blog I read Cut out and Keep so I decided to make them with my college sister who thought they were totally awesome.

Materials needed

2 beer caps (I picked matching ones but you don’t have to)
2 earring backs
2 metal jewlery pieces with a hook on the end (you could use metal wire here too)
Hammer and nail


Poke a hole in the beer cap by hammering a nail through it. Do it on the back side of the cap so that you don’t smash it in. Then place the metal through the hole, twist it around and loop through earing back. Then wear them to a Frat party (if you are Elaine) or to a bar (if you are me).

December 18, 2006

Holiday Goodies

Filed under: food,holiday — by threadslinger @ 1:39 am

Finished product
I decided to do one post featuring the recepies I included in my holiday baked goodies that I gave to my co-workers and a few select friends. Many of these recepies are passed down from my mother, grandmother and aunts and all of them are delicious.

Christmas Fudge
Christmas fudge
1 Cube butter
12 oz of chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 lb powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

First, melt butter and chocolate chips together in a microwave or double boiler. In medium bowl, beat eggs and stir in powdered sugar. Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Pour in 8×8 buttered pan. Let sit for about 4-5 hours and cuut into squares.

Grandmas Sugar Cookies
Sugar cookies
4 C Flour
2 t baking soda
2 t cream of tartar
1 t salt
1 C shortenings
1 C butter
1/2 C Sugar
1 1/2 C powdered Sugar
2 eggs
3 t vanilla

Blend together shortening, butter, sugar and powdered sugar. Then add in eggs and vanilla. Then mix in flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Bake at 350 for 10 min.

*This recepie is really big so to switch things up I made some of the cookies “stained glass cookies” which involves cutting a hole in the middle of a regular sugar cookie and placing crushed candies in the middle. When you bake it the candy will melt creating a stained glass effect. These are tricky because you have to let the cookies cool so the candy will harden but you don’t want it to cool too long or it will stick to the pan.

Peppermint Meltaways
Peppermint cookies
Cookie ingredients
1/2 C powdered dugar
1 C butter
1/2 t peppermint extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 C cornstarch

Glaze ingredients
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 T butter
1-2 T milk
1/4 t peppermint exctract
2 to 3 drops red food coloring
Starlight candy, crushed, if desired

For cookies in large mixing bowl combine sugar, butter and extract. Beat at medium speed until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour and cornstarch. Beat until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Bake at 350 for 10-12 min

For glaze in a small bowl combine powdered sugar, butter and peppermint extract. Graduall add enough milk for desired glazing consistency. Stir in food coloring as desired. Drizzle over cookies and immediately sprinkle with crushed candy if desired.

Snowball Cookies
Snowball cookies
2 C flour
2 C chopped pecans
1/4 C sugar
1 C butter
1 t vanilla
Powdered Sugar

In bowl combine all ingredients except powdered sugar. Beat at low speed until well mixed. Then shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, place on cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Bake for 18 to 25 min at 325. Take out of oven, cool 5 min and roll in powdered sugar while still warm.

December 17, 2006

Melekelikimaka Ornaments

Filed under: holiday,paper — by marieann @ 4:29 am


I made these little ornaments to tuck into my Christmas cards. There was an accident in the middle of the night with water (when you have a small studio, your “eating table” is a few inches from your bed) and I lost all but these three! Also, I never had time to write out cards. But if I had, I would have put these babies in there. They aren’t that hard to make but I think it’s a cute idea because you can mail them regularly in a flat envelope. Take an afternoon to make these and send your friends/family something they’ll keep on their tree to think of you.

Paper — computer paper and cardstock

Hole punch


1. Pick a design for your ornaments. Print copies of that design onto computer paper.
2. Trim around the edges (but not right up to the edge, leave some elbow room).
3. Color your ornaments with markers. I suggest you invite your bf to help and put on Home Alone for best results.
4. When it’s all colored, glue it to the cardstock.
5. Trim closely around the ornament so you cut thru both the cardstock and the top colored image.
6. Use a holepunch to make a hole near the top. Thread ribbon thru the hole, a bead on the ribbon, and tie together.
7. Mail to your friends/family!


December 6, 2006

Cranberry Bread

Filed under: food — by marieann @ 10:21 pm

Cranberry Bread

I can’t even tell you how amazing this bread is. The cranberries cook up and give you this burst of wonderful flavor. The top is crunchy and sweet. This bread would make a great Christmas gift to a neighbor. You can also make them as muffins and freeze em. Pop em out in the morning and you’re ready for a wonderfully fresh tasting muffin by lunch.

1/4 c. butter, melted
1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1 c. cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a pan. You can also make them as muffins but honestly they don’t taste as good that way. Not as moist.
2. Mix everything together! You can either chop up the cranberries but that takes forever and it not as fun as smashing them between your fingers. They make a nice pop.
3. Pour into pan. This is important!!! Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, this makes the bread have a great crunchy top.
4. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.
5. Eat warm!

Lighted Popourri Jars

Filed under: holiday — by threadslinger @ 4:34 am

popourri jar
Now, before you get all “omg is this a country kitchen craft website? why don’t you just write instructions for how to make wooden dolls with no faces” I believe using popourri (and even a doilie) can be hip and these lighted popourri jars are a great holiday decoration or even a gift. Plus, very easy to make and inexpensive.


1 quart jar (like ones used for jam or applesauce)
1 strand 20 white lights
Bag of popurri
A doilie

Step one:
Make sure jar is clean and dry. Then place lights into jar.

Step two:
Fill jar with popurri as much as you can making sure that it goes in all the cracks.

Step 4:
Place doilie on top of jar and then secure with a rubber band.

Step 5:
Cover up rubberband with ribbon. I looped mine around a few times and then tied with a bow. Now you are finished and you can use it as a holiday decoration or give it away as a nice Christmas gift.

**I have been crafting and baking like crazy so expect a few posts for me about good holiday things to bake and create in the next few weeks.

November 30, 2006

Santa bags

Filed under: holiday — by threadslinger @ 4:12 am

Finished santa bag

I know seeing Santa in the title of the post may alarm you as per my previous vow to celebrate fall. It is after all still November. I am writing this post so you all can get ahead on Christmas gift ideas. Plus, Thanksgiving is over so there are technically no more fall holidays to prepare for. Over Thanksgiving weekend my mom and I made these Santa bags and plan on putting our holiday goodies in them. Its a nice alternative to the traditional tin people give away cookies in, plus they are really cute.

Materials Needed

-Red, gray,black felt (I bought red glitter felt because I like the bling, but regualr felt is fine)
-1 inch ribbon (ribbed or plain is fine)
– White furry fabric
-Acrylic glue
-Sewing machine or extreme patience/perfect hand sewing

Santa bag materials

Step 1:
Cut all your felt pieces.

First, cut out two equal rectular sizes of the red felt (just use your best judgement for measurement, mine is like 12 inches tall, 7 wide) Then cut one red felt piece that is as long as the two sides plus the bottom of the rectangle (and about 3′ wide). This will be sewn to the other to the other and act as your sides and bottom.

Cut a black piece of felt as wide as rectangle pieces (Santa’s belt)

Lastly, cut a belt buckle out of gray felt.

Step 3: Glue “belt pieces” onto the front of bag.

Step 4: Sew buttons onto felt (either 2 or 3 depending how big they are) above belt as if they are buttons on Santa’s shirt.

Step 5: Sew bag togehter. Starting on the sides sew longer piece of felt to the front of the bag. Sew so that there is an edge on the bag (ie just sew the pieces together on the outside of the felt).

Step 6: After sewing both rectangle pieces to the longer piece it should be like a box without a top. Now sew handles to the bag. On the pieces of rectangles spaced about 3 inches apart sew ribbon onto each side.

Step 7: For final touch glue white fluff around the top of the bag and it is finished! Now bake lots of goodies to fill your cute bag with.

November 27, 2006

All-Purpose Fabric Hat

Filed under: fabric,holiday — by marieann @ 2:27 pm

Waldo Hat Instructions

I made this hat for Sean for his Halloween Waldo costume. Everybody at the party recognized him and yelled “I found you!” This was really basic and easy. I think this would work great using fleece to make a warm winter hat. I have to apologize for the quality of these pictures. I had low batteries in my camera and so I was having a hard time shooting because there wasn’t enough juice to focus.

Fabric; you need less than 1/4 yard

Scissors — both fabric and paper scissors
Sewing machine

First, making the pomp pomp.
1. Draw and then cut out two equally sized circles from the cardboard with a donut-hole center cutout. The pomp pomp turns out to be about the same size as the circle so keep that in mind when drawing it out.

Waldo Hat Instructions

2. Hold the two circles against each other.

Waldo Hat Instructions

3. Wrap strips of fabric (or yarn) around the donuts, thru the hole, until the entire center hole if filled. I torn strips of fabric about 1/2 thick to use for this. Fabric doesn’t make as nice of a poof but I didn’t want to use any yarn. The more fabric/yarn you put the poofy-er it will be. So you can double up if you want it to be really full looking.

Waldo Hat Instructions

Waldo Hat Instructions

4. When the entire cardboard thing is full, then put your scissors between the cardboard pieces and cut around the outside of the circle until the edges are all disconnected. But be careful! Keep the cardboards squeezed together and hold on to your fabric or else it will fall off the model.

Waldo Hat Instructions

5. Put a string/fabric strip between the two cardboard pieces to tie the strings together.

Waldo Hat Instructions

6. Peel the cardboard forms off either side of the knot you just made, and wallaa! You have the pomp pomp finished

Waldo Hat Instructions

Second, make the body of the hat.

1. Measure around the head of the person who’s going to wear your hat, where you want the hat to sit. If you want it to go around the ears, be sure to take that into account. Add 1/2 inch for the seams. Cut a piece of fabric (I chose white fabric) that is this measurement long by 12 inches tall. This is your hat “body” piece.

2. Cut a second piece of that fabric (or a different color, I chose red) that is 4.5 inches wide and your measured length long. This is your brim piece.

3. Turn over, iron, and hem the long edge of one of the brim piece 1/4 inch.

4. Sew the short ends of the body piece together with a 1/4 inch seam so that you made a tube 12 inches tall. Turn this right side out and try this on your/your model’s head. If your hat is too big, then you can just sew again with a bigger seem (like 1/2 inch). Keep trying on until it fits perfectly. When it’s the correct size, turn it wrong-side out again.

5. Pin the RIGHT side of the brim piece to the WRONG side of the body piece. Be sure to line up the ends of the brim piece so that seam will line up with the body seam you’ve already made.

Waldo Hat Instructions

6. Sew around the edge (1/4 seam) but don’t so it shut. Don’t sew all the way around so that you connect the loose edges. Remember, your brim isn’t a full circle yet.

Waldo Hat Instructions

7. Now you need to sew the brim into a complete circle. Pin the edges of the band together and sew that part shut.

Waldo Hat Instructions

8. Finish the seam now so that the brim is fully connected to the body. Turn the hat inside out and iron the brim up against the hat. You might want to put a couple of small stitches in the brim so that it’s sure to keep standing up.

9. You need to try on the hat and see how “tall” you want it. That is, how much do you want the hat to stick up from your head? Trim any extra fabric.

10. Next, thread a needle and sew around the top of the hat by hand with a running stitch. When you’re finished pull the thread tight and this will gather the center together.

11. Sew the pomp pomp into the top of the hat. I put a little bit of a glue gun glue there too so that I was sure that it was held on tight.

12. Be Waldo or just warm in a fleecy winter hat.

November 20, 2006

Pumpkin cookies

Filed under: food — by threadslinger @ 3:50 am

My mother taught me to be a firm believer in celebrating fall despite the fact that after October 31 it seems that stores are overwhelmed with Christmas. I decided I needed to celebrate fall by making fall-ish cookies. After looking for awhile, I found a recepie for Pumpkin cookies. These are great if you like pumpkin and rather unusal (but delicious) tasting cookies.

1 cup Shortening
3/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Cooked, strained Pumpkin(or canned)
1 Egg
2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Molasses
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Cup chocolate chips or rolled oats

Preparation Directions:

Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 375.

Step 2: Cream shortening and sugar. (Tip: for softer cookies use brown sugar)

Step 3: Mix in pumpkin ,egg, and molasses. It will be like a goopy mess at this point but have faith, it gets better.

Step 4: Stir in dry ingredients, spices and chocolate chips or rolled oats. You can choose which you prefer, but it is nice to have something because I think it makes them taste more like cookies and less like scones.

Step 5: Drop by the spoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet. A little tip here, you can use an ice cream scoop to make it so that all your cookies are the same size. Plus, if you have the kind with the “scoop blade” (my made up word for that thingy that makes the ice cream come out) then your fingers don’t have to get all doughy.

Step 6: Bake 10 to 12 minutes, depending on your oven. And then, embrace and enjoy fall!

November 17, 2006

Marie’s To Do List

Filed under: to-dos — by marieann @ 2:58 pm

Of course, as the law school grind revs up a couple of steps, I can’t stop thinking of creative things.

Here’s what’s next on my crafting To Dos: Either use these as your own inspiration or come back over the next few weeks since you know that there are new things to enjoy!

  • Sewing machine cover: my machine sits on our desk next to the computer when I’m not using it. It’s not an eye sore (mine’s sexy) but I don’t want it to get dusty when it’s not in use.
  • Advent calendar: Caro and I have been tossing around ideas on how to make one for this season. I want to use felt, want it to be reusable in years to come, and want a place to keep a piece of chocolate in each pocket. Other than that? It’s still a work in progress.
  • Skinny dresser refurnish: I picked up this great dresser from the street and I’ve been painting it over. So far I’ve painted the base coat, it’s a rich chocolately color. Dots and stripes to come!
  • Pin cushion: My mom had a fabric cat cushion; craftsters have cupcakes and hedgehogs. I don’t know what mine will be but it is gonna be something cuter than a plastic box.
  • Finish Mario quilt: It’s all pieced together, I just have to find the perfect back fabric, bind it, and tie it to finish.
  • Top secret: Christmas present for my mom. I would post about this, but I think my mom reads the blog. I wouldn’t want to spoil here.
  • McCalls’ pattern vest: I got this great pattern to make vests. I loved vests when I was young and now they are back in the indie crowd. Yay!
  • Sean and I’s stenciled t-shirts: I am a stencil maniac. I have two designs in progress and then next up is, “think aloha” and “bring back naptime.”
  • Fabric holiday boxes: I have a pattern for these too. They use fabric and stiffener along with ribbon. I’ll use them to package presents.
  • Plunger cozy: Plungers are so ugly! Our toilet is moody so we have one in the bathroom but I hate showing it off. I don’t know what I want to put on it, but maybe I’ll crochet something to make it cooler.
  • Homemade rubber stamps: Caro’s local art store sells the supplies. I can’t wait to try it out since I love carving.
  • Cool appliques: I have this idea about taking appliques, such a granny-style of crafting, and make it cool with modern designs. I have no idea what I want to put those appliques on though.

What’s on your creative plate?

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