Saturday, August 28, 2010

Idea Thief: Swaddle Blanket

Hi There,

I have been thinking about doing this project for a while. I was going to just recreate some Velcro contraption much like a swaddle blanket I already have. (I might still do this) But this tutorial is awesome! Swaddle blankets are anywhere from 20 to 35 dollars at the store, but receiving blankets? 4 for $10 to $15...and with this tutorial that is two swaddle blankets.

Check out Shannon Makes Stuff for the Swaddle Blanket Tutorial.






Thursday, August 26, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Charging Station

Howdy,

Today's DIY project is super simple, but it does the trick. We had out of control wires for charging our cell phones, MP3 players, Video and Point and Shoot Cameras. I thought about buying a charging station, but they run about 30 bucks and that's only with 3 or 4 stations (we needed much more)..buying one seems like a huge waste of money.

Supplies:



Canvas Box (4.99 at Target) A drink tray would also work!
Extension Cord (I had one sitting around but you can get them for pretty cheap)
Cord Straps (1$ at the Dollar Store)
Piece of Foam (I used air conditioner foam that was on clearance for 1$)

Instructions:

Step One: Plug in the cords

Take your extension cord and plug in all the various cords. Use your cord strap to bundle them together.

Step Two: Thread Cord Bundle



Take your cord bundle and thread it through the opening. I used the handle as my opening, but it might be more neat to create a hole in the back. I would use something like a drill bit to create the hole.

Step Three: Create Holes in Foam

Cut your foam to a size to fit in box. Using scissors, poke a hole through the foam for each charger cord. Thread charger cords through the hole.

Step Four: Place Foam in Box & Enjoy

Wedge your foam into the box and enjoy!









Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gone Junkin': Reuse, Recycle, & Rugs

Hi There,

Still unpacking the house. It seems like it never ends. My first project for this house is curtains. I currently have sheets or random fabric from my collection nailed up. I'll have some projects to post once I start down this road. I'm using some actual curtains (cheap ones from target), but as I usually do, I'm going make some curtains out of various more unusual textiles. More to come on that in the future. (Hopefully not too far into the future. I'd like to reclaim some sheets!)

Until then (or rather until I unpack the craft room and sewing machine!), I am researching ideas for various projects. I went around the house with a notebook and started to write down problems that I saw and now I'm researching and brainstorming solutions. (Curtains is probably 1# on that list!)

One problem...rugs. I used to live in a house that only had two rooms with hard floors (the kitchen & bathroom). Now I live in a house that has hardwood floors in the bedroom. Our bedroom is rather large, however, have you looked at the costs of rugs lately?!?!? It's out of control! (Along with the price of curtains!) The nature of the floors beg for rugs.

I've been researching solutions to this rug problem. I did find a solution to our bath mat issue with this little video at HGTV.com. I love it because a) it's cheap b) it's easy c) and it's green! I am definitely going to use the idea with my bathroom rugs. However, I'm playing with the idea of going bigger. What if I made an area rug out of re purposed t-shirts and fabric? The idea is pretty exciting to me. The video says that a typical bath rug takes about 2 hours to make. So if you beef up the size, the time still seems manageable. The issues I see are a) find this grid stuff in a large enough size b) working with such a big piece of rug (pretty awkward). I have no issues with finding the material. I am a bit of a t-shirt horder. And fabric horder. And I have no issues going and buying some second hand t-shirts too.

Hmmm. More research to be done!

Oh. And if you haven't already, Become a fan on facebook!! :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Idea Thief: Circle Table Runner

Hi There,

Long time no talk...I have been quite busy with moving, but I thought I would tide you over while I am unpacking.

This is a super fun Quilt Circle Table Runner I found at Moda Bake Shop.






Monday, August 2, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Baby Mei Tai Carrier

Hi Everyone!

My project this week was a Mei Tai. I needed a baby carrier that wasn't going to be as hot as the Moby wrap I have. I love the Moby wrap I have, but it's like strapping an oven to me! I'm going to baseball games this week and to Target Field in two weeks to see the Twins play and a hot carrier really wasn't an option. I asked around and everyone says a Mei Tai is the way to go.

I used several tutorials to create my Mei Tai. I would create my own tutorial, but to be honest, it's been done a 100 times and there are some fantastic resources already out there.

So, I'm posting about what modifications I made to the various tutorials. I used Kimber's Ball Baby Overall Mei Tai pattern for the most part. I then took some advice from various other tutorials to make my modifications. After all is said and done, I would recommend this tutorial from Still Learning Life. It seems to have all the modifications I ended up making in the end. (I of course found this after I did mine...I plan on using it for my next one)



The front of my Mei Tai


Reverse side of my Mei Tai





First, I used this tutorial for the cut pattern. I used a heavy duty canvas for the carrier. This is important because you don't want the fabric to rip while you have your baby in it. However, I used such a heavy duty canvas that I ended up breaking my sewing machine! So, if I make another it will definitely be with a bit lighter weight canvas. Also, since I used such a heavy weight canvas fabric, I'm going to have issues tying the fabric. Therefore, I'm going to install buckles instead. (I plan on picking those up here in the next few days)

The total cost of my Mei Tai = 0$ !

I used fabric I already had sitting around the house (hense the overly heavy weight canvas..it was what I had!). However, you only use about 2 yards of fabric, so you are spending about 16$ to 20$ if you get nice heavy fabric. The entire project took me two evenings (and that is with a baby needing to eat every 2 hours!)

I did make one change to this tutorial's cutting suggestions. I did a slight curve to the top of the body.

I used this tutorial for the suggestion on the top straps. I added polar fleece to the top straps for a bit of cushion. (I had batting, but not enough..either would work). I did sew the straps right side-to-right side and then turned the straps through the opening as suggested in the first tutorial. I added a stitch down the portion of the strap with the padding to avoid shifting as suggested in this tutorial.



I made my Mei Tai reversable so each body piece had different cotton fabric added. This is one body with it's added fabric.



Here is my strap with it's added cushion.

After cutting the fabric, sewing the top and bottom straps, sewing the fun cotton fabric onto the canvas body pieces, I had to make some decisions on how to do the body. Some tutorials have you sewing the two body pieces right side-to-right side and leaving a little opening and turning the entire body (including straps) through a hole in the bottom. That would definately give you a nice finished look. However, I don't know how you wouldn't sew the straps to the body (they are so long and thick!). So, I decided to follow some tutorial's advice (can't remember which one) and mark where your straps would be, then sew right side-to-right side except where you will be adding the straps, then turn the entire body through a strap opening. I then slipped the straps in their respective openings to attach them.

So, you have your body turned, straps slipped into their holes, you now just need to attach the straps. You must do a X-square over the straps to make them strong (this is the part that broke my sewing machine!)...take it easy if you have lots of fabric layers! I triple stitched my straps to make sure they are secure. Then I top stitched the entire thing. Now, I think I'm going to add buckles to the straps.

Whew...that was lots of text with not so many pictures! It sounds complicated, but with a good tutorial with pictures it's not hard at all.

Now, I plan on doing this project again but I'm going to use this tutorial so I get a little bit different carrier. I then can see which design I like the most. I think this tutorial is my favorite out of the bunch, but isn't the traditional design and I wanted to try the traditional design first.





Another teaser!

Here's another teaser for my DIY Wednesday post...Can you figure out the project yet?



Be sure to check out the DIY Wednesday post tomorrow!


Guess What I'm Making....

Hi There!

I did another post-baby project (out of necessity). Here's a little teaser for my DIY Wednesday post to come!

What Am I Making?!?