Category Archives: Crafts

How to Sew a Pillow Cover

There are all kinds of tutorials available in multiple media on how to sew pillow covers.  I know I’m not re-inventing the wheel here but if this tutorial helps just one person I’ll be satisfied.  This is how I sew pillow covers.

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

Alternate title for this post:  That time I made a west elm knock off.

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

As I mentioned in my post about my fancy-pants new headboard, I ended up having enough leftover material to make a toss pillow.  And I just so happened to have an INNER 16″ x 26″ insert from IKEA that was desperate to be opened and swaddled in canvas.  What, too dramatic?

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

Recently I pinned this pillow from my beloved west elm with the caption “Probably pretty easy to diy this one!”…  I was right.

First off, when you make a pillow cover for an insert (not just plain stuffing), always measure your pillow seam to seam.  This pillow was not 16″ x 26″ as advertised, but actually 15″ x 25″.  I would have been super disappointed if I made my pillow cover based on incorrect measurements!

The type of cover I make is generally referred to as an envelope pillow sham or envelope closure.  This method calls for zero zippers, which means I don’t have to switch out feet on my sewing machine, which makes for a fast, easy process and a happy Jamie.  Basically, the back folds onto itself like an envelope.

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

The fabric for your front piece should be 1″ longer and wider than your pillow, so I went with 16″ x 26″ (remember my pillow was smaller than advertised – silly IKEA).

The back is made of two pieces, and one overlaps the other.  For this to work, they each need to be 1″ wider than your width (again 16″ in my case) half of the length of your front piece plus five inches.  Let me explain as it relates to my pillow.  My pillow was 25″ long and 15″ wide so my front piece was 26″ and 16″ wide.  26″ long divided in half is 13″.  Plus five inches is 18″.  So each of my back pieces were each 16″ wide and 18″ long.

Here’s a not at all to scale rendering of what I’m trying to say.

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

To hem the edges that make up the envelope fold, I use my tried and true method of using a hem ruler to measure a 1″ fold, iron, and fold it within itself to result in a 1/2″ fold.  Then one quick stitch down the center of each fold.

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

 

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

For my front, to recreate the look of this pillow, I used my Valspar Perfect Storm paint sample (also used on my headboard and some wall art) and a small watercolor brush.  I used a ruler for the middle row of dots to line everything up but after that I just free handed 16 rows on either side of the middle row.  It didn’t take long at all to dry, maybe 10 minutes after the last row was dotted, it was dried.

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

So I laid the back pieces on the front piece, right sides in, with my hems in the center, one overlapping the other.  I don’t think you’re allowed to put that many commas in a sentence but it just happened.

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

I sewed all the way around my fabric pieces, the stitch 3/4″ from the edge of the fabric.

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

Then I flipped the pillow cover right-sides out, stuffed my insert in there and it was done.

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

Cute, right?

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

easy diy envelope pillow cover / west elm inspired pillow

Please ‘scuse the bad lighting in the above pics…

Do you prefer envelope closures or zipper closures on your pillows?  Or do you prefer to buy pillows and not think twice about it?  Do tell…

DIY Glass Magnets

Recently, the fella and I spent an afternoon at Main Street Days in Grapevine, TX with a couple of our finest friends.  I do love a festival.

While we were there, we visited Vetro’s shop.  They’re a glass blowing studio based right there in Grapevine’s historic district.  They had some really cool stuff (we were particularly fascinated and creeped out by their seriously realistic glass eyeballs), but the fella and I only walked away with a couple of cool looking glass “shards”.  They were actually scraps / runoff from various blown glass projects the artists made.

They’re the perfect size for magnets!

diy glass magnet

To make your own magnets out of glass “shards” (not the sharp kind, please) or glass beads or glass somethings, all you need are magnets, your glass and E6000 glue.

diy glass magnet

Make sure you follow the E6000 instructions carefully.  They say to start with a rough surface, and the backs of my glass shards had tiny pockmarks in them, so that worked out well.

diy glass magnet

The glue comes out really fast when you first open the package (maybe because the contents have been under pressure? not sure).  Make sure your work surface is protected.  This stuff smells too, and the fuminess lingers, so if you’re sensitive to that, open a window and maybe wear a dust mask if that’s your thing.

The E6000 should sit for about a minute or so before you put your magnet on.  Once my magnets were in place, because I had so much excess from the glue coming out of the tube too quickly, they slid off center a few times.  I sat with them for about ten minutes to move them back into position when they slid too far, and after those first ten minutes the glue had hardened enough to where the magnets stayed put.

diy glass magnet

I let them cure for 24 hours and then they were ready to stick to the fridge!  If you know where my grocery list came from we can be friends, k?

diy glass magnet

Also, yes I positioned them in the above picture to look like two colorful dolphins giving kisses.  Don’t judge.

Did anyone else hit up Main Street Days?  We had a particularly pleasant time in the Craft Beer Experience tent.  What crafts have you guys been doing lately?  Do tell…

DIY Bangle Bracelet Inspired by Kate Spade Saturday

When I buy scarves, I always keep the ring they come on…  The process happens something like this:  I get home (probably from Target) with my spoils, take the scarf off of the ring it hangs on, put the scarf on and cheese at myself in the mirror, put the ring around my wrist and think “I bet I could make a really cute bangle out of this scarf ringy-thingy”.  True story.  So I totally did that.

diy bangle bracelet inspired by kate spade saturday

My inspiration came from Kate Spade’s Saturday line.

diy bangle bracelet inspired by kate spade saturday

IMAGE SOURCE

This bracelet is the bees knees you guys.  I had to put my spin on it.

I grabbed a couple of coordinating fabrics from my stash.  The solid mint colored fabric is actually part of a twin sheet I bought at a local thrift store for 50 cents!  I bought an absurd amount of the flowery fabric at a last chance rate of about 70c per yard.  I’m not even a flowery fabric person, y’all.  It just spoke to me.

diy bangle bracelet inspired by kate spade saturday

I used part of the hem on the sheet to save myself a step.  That step was folding and ironing, which I did with the flowery fabric.

diy bangle bracelet inspired by kate spade saturday

Once I had ironed a nice crease into my flowery fabric, I sewed both pieces together, the flowers overlapping the solid mint.

diy bangle bracelet inspired by kate spade saturday

In case you’re wondering, my sewing machine is older than me (by about 20 years) and works like a velvety chocolate dream.  It’s a Singer 237 Fashion Mate, and along with sewing skills, its one of the best gifts my mother ever handed down to me.  It doesn’t do all the fun things that newer machines do (like fancy stitches and embroidery) but it’s utilitarian value can barely be measured.  I’ve made curtains, purses, shirts and several pillow cases with her in the few short years since my mother gave her to me, and I used it for countless other crafts growing up.

diy bangle bracelet inspired by kate spade saturday

diy bangle bracelet inspired by kate spade saturday

Moving on… Once the two strips were sewn together, I wrapped them around the ring, putting a dab of Alene’s fabric fusion on the inside of the ring with each wrap.

diy bangle bracelet inspired by kate spade saturday

There isn’t really a seamless way that I can find to seal it off, so I just wrapped and trimmed the end as cleanly as I could, put a healthy dab of fabric fusion on and clipped it with binder clip to make it stay put while it dried (about two hours).

diy bangle bracelet inspired by kate spade saturday

I love the way it turned out.  Hashtag arm party, y’all.

diy bangle bracelet inspired by kate spade saturday

I actually ordered a Kate Spade one as well, half because its so cute and half because there’s a good cause behind it.  You can read more about the cause on Saturday.com.  They didn’t sponsor this post, btw (calling Kate Spade, please sponsor my posts lol) they were just my inspiration and I thought the charitable aspect was worth mentioning.

Anyone else out there diying cute jewelry?  Do tell…

Hablas Español? Parlez-vous Français?

Baxter!  You know I don’t speak Spanish!

Actually, I do speak a small amount of Spanish and an even smaller amount of French but I think we all know what si and oui mean, no?

Here’s a cute little rustic sign I made for my Wall of Wanderlust.

diy rustic wood sign

When I made my mid century nightstands (more on that here), I used a wood scrap to color test my Danish Oil.  It sat in my scrap pile for months, until I got a wild hair to make it into a little sign.  One of those use what ya got projects, ya feel me?

diy rustic wood sign

The process here is pretty basic.  I used a sponge pouncer with white acrylic paint over a stencil to paint my letters on my scrap wood.

diy rustic wood sign

Here’s a fun little gif of the process.

diy rustic wood sign

To speed up the drying process since my stencils had to overlap, I used a hair dryer on the cool setting to dry each letter for about a minute.  As you can see in the gif, I used some washi tape to hold each letter steady while I dabbed my paint.

Then I painted the sides white, since there was a bit of finish overlapping onto them.  After doing the top side, I taped down the rest of the sides to make my lines more crisp.  I don’t have the steadiest of hands, guys.

diy rustic wood sign

diy rustic wood sign

Since the sides were bare, dry wood, they only took a few minutes to dry.  I flipped the board over and attached a sawtooth hanger (after measuring and marking the center of my board).

diy rustic wood sign

diy rustic wood sign

Then a quick tap-tap with my hammer and a nail on my wall and boom, this guy was right at home on a wall with French and Spanish postcards and maps and stuff.

diy rustic wood sign

I may decide to seal it at some point with polycrylic or something similar, but I kind of like the matte look it has.

Not bad for a little hour-long “I’m bored” project on a Sunday morning, oui?

Anyone else making multilingual wall art?  Por favor dime…

DIY Lotion Bars

Call it hippie-ism, call it The Pinterest Effect – call it whatever you want – but in recent years I’ve taken a bit of an interest in natural remedies.  It started with a quest to alleviate my severe allergies, chronic sinus infections (thank you North Texas) and tinnitus (thank you rock music), but it has now spilled over to my beauty routine, too!

diy lotion bars

These lotion bars smell light and fresh, are easy to make, and are a natural way to moisturize your skin without exposing yourself to the chemicals found in many store-bought lotions.

Supplies

  • Beeswax
  • Coconut oil
  • Essential oils (I used Orange, Jasmine and Sweet Basil but you can choose whichever scents you like)
  • Glass bowl / measuring cup or double boiler
  • Metal spoon
  • Silicone mold, muffin tin or soap mold

The silicone mold I chose to use was one that was intended to make heart-shaped ice cubes.  I bought it at IKEA a couple of years ago for a whopping $1.  I used about 1/2 cup of beeswax and 1/2 cup of coconut oil and it filled this little 12 heart tray.  If you want to make more or less, you can.  Just make sure you use equal parts beeswax to coconut oil.

diy lotion bars - three ingredients!

Start by mixing your essential oil blend in a small glass or coated ceramic container.  This isn’t just to let the scents marry, but helps ensure that your fragrance is even and retains its potency.  If you put the essential oils in later, you risk your mixture hardening too fast, which means you’ll have to re-melt it and potentially lose some of the scent to evaporation.

diy lotion bars - three ingredients!

For these lotion bars, I used 72 drops of orange essential oil (“EO”), 12 drops of sweet basil and 10 drops of jasmine.  The scent is so fresh and spring-y!

Once you’ve mixed your EOs, it’s time to melt your beeswax.  You can do this in a double boiler or in a microwave with a glass bowl – I used the latter for convenience.  Take caution when you do this, because some beeswax can spark in the microwave.  I used Country Lane White Beeswax (purchased at Hobby Lobby) and it didn’t spark.  It took about four and a half minutes for my 1/2 cup of beeswax to melt down.

Once the beeswax is liquefied, carefully (its super hot) remove your bowl from the heat source and add in the 1/2 cup of coconut oil.  This will melt very quickly because of the heat from the beeswax.

diy lotion bars - three ingredients!

Pour your EO mixture in and stir well for about thirty seconds to evenly distribute the scent.  Don’t stir too long – once this stuff starts to cool it hardens pretty quickly!

Carefully (use your oven mitts) pour your mixture into your silicone mold.  As you can see my pour was a bit messy.  It would probably be easier to pour cleanly with a microwave safe glass measuring cup, so if you have one, swap it out for the glass bowl I normally use.

diy lotion bars - three ingredients!

You can either leave them on the counter to harden, or set them in your fridge to speed the process up.  These smell so fantastic that I opt to leave them out.

Here it is after about 30 minutes:

diy lotion bars - three ingredients!

And an hour and a half after I poured them into the mold, they were solid enough for me to pop them out!

diy lotion bars - three ingredients!

To use:  rub your lotion bar between your palms for a few seconds to warm it up and melt it a bit and then smooth over arms, legs, hands; anywhere that needs moisturizing!

diy lotion bars - three ingredients!

Big Bonuses

  • Easy to use:  I used to use coconut oil by itself to moisturize.  It was messy and took a while to soak in, and I still felt a little greasy.  These lotion bars are simple to use without dripping and slipping everywhere!
  • Gentle:  I have super sensitive skin – especially on my legs just after shaving.  I have yet to experience irritation after using these little gems.
  • Customize-able:  There are so many great EOs out there, so it’s really easy to make a scent that is uniquely you!  There are also tons of different molds so you can personalize the shapes!
  • Easy to make: The whole process took me about two hours and an hour and a half of that was spent watching Arrested Development while I waited for them to harden.
  • Great for gifts:  You could give these by themselves or even pair them with my sugar scrub recipe to give the gift of baby soft skin – your friends will love you!

What natural remedies do you guys use?  Do you have a favorite combination of EOs?  Do tell…