Saturday, November 2, 2013

Tutorial Exchange ZIPPERS!

I won a $15 gift card to K & C Supplies on etsy to make a project and write up a tutorial using their products.  These are the items I picked- zippers and lobster clasps.  SOOOO EXCITED to make this one!  I love pouches.  Recently I learned how to make zipper pouches.  I like to line them so they're neat and tidy on the inside as well as the outside.  They're totally machine washable.  Names are always good to put on them too.  I also like to add a little clasp that can attach to bags, strollers, backpacks, whatever.  It's handy.  I'm making 7 for Christmas gifts.  Without further ado, here's my lined zipper bag with clasp and appliqu├ęd name.....

Materials List
For the names-
*cricut machine with SCAL2 and my computer
*chalkboard bold font on the computer
*cutting mats
*white paper
*steam a seam lite
*scraps of fabric
*pen to trace letters
*centering ruler- I like my 18" from Omnigrid
*iron & ironing board

For the pouches (finished size is about 9"x6") -
*fabric for outside- I cut mine 10"x7"
*same size fabric for the lining
*fabric for the little strap- 3"x7"
*iron on interfacing- I like Pellon 808
*iron & ironing board
*zipper- 9" (10" overall)
*swivel clasp
*washout tape or pins
*stitch witchery
*sewing supplies

The tutorial
How to cut out and apply the name

 First I designed the names on my computer using SCAL2.  I cut the names on my Cricut machine and scribbled on the front of them so that I would know which side to put down to trace.

I traced all the letters face down onto the back of the steam a seam.  Make sure you're tracing on the side that peels off, not the side with the adhesive and that you're tracing with the letters face DOWN so that when you iron them down, they're face up!

Iron the  steam a seam down (note, I ironed the fish fabric on the wrong side and had to redo it!)

Cut all the letters out.  I like to use cutterbee scissors to get into all the little corners and intricate areas.  Peel off the backing paper and lay them out how you want them to be.  For me, I put the letters 2" up from the bottom of the outer fabric.  They'll stick down and you can reposition them until you iron them down.  Then they're stuck so make sure you like where they are before ironing!

These are all the pouches I'm making for my nieces and nephews and my daughter for Christmas.  Figured I'd make good use of all the supplies!  :)

Stitch around the letters.  I use my sewing foot as the guide for distance.  Go slow.  I tend to do the "up/down" button for most of the letters.  Yes, it's time consuming but the finished product is worth it.  When you go all the way around the letter and get back to the starting point, cut the threads and pull the front threads to the back.  Tie a double knot so keep the threads from pulling.

Pouch Instructions
Cut 2 pieces of the outer fabric (denim in my case, scavenged from old jeans) and 2 pieces of the inner fabric (muslin scraps for all but Ally's pouch).

Iron the interfacing to the lining fabric.  This gives it some stability and keeps it from feeling flimsy.
I cut mine to the same size as the fabric I'm ironing it to, you can cut it a bit smaller but not too much smaller or it won't get sewn with the fabric.

These are all the pouches laid out with their coordinating zippers and lining fabrics all paired up.  They're ready to be sewn.

 Make the little clasp holder.  Take your strap material and fold it in half "hotdog" way.  Iron it down.  Open and fold in one side to the center.  Iron.  Iron the other side to the center also.  Fold it in on itself and iron well.  Stitch the strap closed.  You can do a zig zag (which I like) or just a straight stitch down both sides.  Add the clasp and fold the strap in half.

I'm going to use Piper's pouch for the rest of the tutorial.  Lay your front fabric out in front of you.

Place the clasp/strap 2" down and 1"-1.5" in from the edge.  I like it about 1" but that makes pinning it down a bit difficult.

Place the quilters tape along the side of one edge of the zipper.  I like my pouches to have the zipper pull at the same end as the beginning of the name.  Pull the backing off and press down along the top edge of the outer fabric.

Apply another strip of tape to the zipper again, peel the backing, press the lining fabric down with right side down.  This makes a "sandwich" with right sides together and the zipper in the middle.  Pull the zipper open part way so you can get this under your sewing machine foot.  There's no need to pin since the tape will hold it down.  This tape is GREAT!  It doesn't gum up the machine and no pins and it washes out!  As you get toward the zipper pull, put the needle down into the fabric, lift the foot and pull the zipper all the way closed.  This will allow you to sew the rest of the way and not run into the pull.

Iron both sides AWAY from the zipper.

Attach the other side in the same manner.  Make sure that the fabrics are both facing right sides together.

Top stitch to reinforce the seam and keep it from rolling.  It's easier if you start with the zipper open and do the same as before with putting the needle down, lifting the foot, and pulling the zipper.

Unzip the pouch about half way.  You can go more if you want to.  Just make sure it's open!  If you forget this step, you will have to unpick seams and unzip and then restitch.  No thanks!

Pin all the way around making sure to leave an opening of 3-4 inches so you can turn it right side out.  I put 2 pins side by side so I know where to stop.  When you fold the zipper, make sure the teeth of the zipper point toward the lining and not the outer fabric.  This SHOULD give you a nice finish on the zipper.

Sew around, using a 1/2" or so seam allowance.  Be careful when going over the zipper.  If you use a longer zipper, you don't have to worry about hitting the metal stop at the end.  I bent my needle on this one because I hit the stop.

 Clip the corners and turn the bag right side out.  You'll have to reach in and unzip the rest of the way to get it turned all the way.  Push out the corners using something pointy.  I have a chopstick I use just for this task.

Fold in and iron the opening you left for turning.  I usually iron some stitch witchery in the hole so that it's for sure closed.  Stitch close to the edge, closing the hole.

Shove the lining into the outside and sit back to admire your new pouch.  :)


A big HUGE thank you to K & C Supplies!  These zippers are great and the clasps are perfect! :)

I used this tutorial to get my zipper nice and tidy and not folded in on itself.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

DIY Treasure Chest

My cousins daughter recently turned 7.  She wanted a treasure chest.  I looked around the web and found some DIY kits.  Kits are so impersonal.  I decided I could do better and make it personalized for HER.  I started with a trunk from Joann's (found it cheaper at Hobby Lobby after it was bought, not worth returning for a few bucks) that I used a 50% off coupon on.  I got everything 50% or more off!  Yes, I'm a coupon gal.  Never, EVER pay full price for ANYTHING if you can avoid it.  This whole thing came in at well under $30.  Full price, would have been over $60!

I bought Glossy Accents to hold on gems and anything else she wants to add to it.  
This glue is my go to for anything not paper.  I love the stuff.  Seriously.

 Of course, if you're altering anything you need Mod Podge.  I got glossy because it's shiny and fun.

 Gotta have rhinestones of course!  The Glossy Accents is a fantastic glue for these!

Hearts are essential for any little girl!

Letters so she can put her name on it, or whatever else she wants to write.

 Gotta have foam brushes if you're using Mod Podge.

Glitter, the herpes of craft supplies, is essential as well.  
Pour some Mod Podge into a container, add glitter, mix, instant glitter paint!  
This little girl is a fan of blue so I got blue glitter.

Put it all in the box and wrap it up.

I forgot to put in a baby food jar to store the left over Mod Podge/glitter mixture and a few popsicle sticks to stir the mixture.  Her mom can get those and do that.

She LOVED it and is super excited to make her treasure chest.  :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Glitter Doc Martens

UPDATE!!!!!  DO NOT DO THIS!  My hard work was undone the VERY first time I wore these.  My students had a great time peeling the silver glitter off.  I've been working on getting it off the seams and everywhere else it won't easily come off.  I was quite upset about this since it took me FOREVER to get them done.  Currently, I'm trying to figure out how much silver glitter Angelus paint it'll take to redo them.  I loved the silver and will definitely be making them silver again, just no short cuts.  When I redo them, I'll share them here with my process and all.

I love Doc Martens.  I have multiple pairs.  This is my very first pair of 1540 8 eye boots in SUPER soft black leather.  I can't remember when I bought them but they're probably at least 15 years old.  They've been used to hike in, build houses in, lay tile in, walk thru mud in.  Suffice to say, they've been thru Hell and back.  I think they've held up pretty well actually.  Anyway, I've always wanted a pair of silver sparkly shoes.  I've looked all over the internet for years trying to get up the guts to just do it.  I found the occassion, Spirit Week.  I'm a teacher and I dress up for Spirit Week with me kids.  There, I said it.  It's out there.  :)  Anyway, I needed some super hero boots to go with my Mad Chemist cape and skirt I made.  So.... I made my boots sparkly.  I don't think they'll be limited to the costume tho.  With a pair of jeans, perfect for school!  I LOVE silver sparkle!

Anyway, this is how I glittered my black 1540 Doc Martens.  First, remove the laces and clean them well.  I've read that acetone should be used to get EVERYTHING off and down to bare leather.  I couldn't be bothered to get acetone.  So, I scrubbed mine down with water and a green sponge scrubby and let them dry.  This is what they looked like after drying.

Then I taped off my soles.  I wanted to keep them black.  I used little pieces of tape to get all the curves.  Take the time to put the tape on well, it's worth it!

 All taped up and ready.  I flipped the Doc Marten tag to the inside and taped it down so it didn't get glitter all over it.  I'm thinking I might just take the tag off and sew a silver ribbon there instead.

I grabbed a baby food jar that was kicking around and filled it most of the way with glossy Mod Podge.  Then I added in LOTS of the Martha Stewart ultra fine silver glitter.  I stirred it with a popsicle stick.  I added pretty much a 50/50 mix of glitter and Mod Podge.  I painted it on with a sponge brush.  A note on glitter- my shoes are REALLY flexible still and the glitter doesn't seem to want to flake off.  I think it's because it's ultra fine.  The larger the pieces, the more likely it is to fall off.

This is after 1 coat.  There was still quite a bit of black showing thru.  I chose not to glitter the tongue, once they're laced up, you don't see it much anyway.

This is after 3 coats.  I ended up doing 4.  3 probably would have been fine.

I pulled off the tape using an exacto to carefully cut the Mod Podge loose from the tape at the edges so it didn't pull the glitter off.  I topped it with 2 coats of just clear glossy Mod Podge and added my laces back in.  Done.  :)

Outside in the sun these shoes REALLY sparkle!  Can't wait for Spirit Week!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


The Feelin Crafty blog is doing a fabric giveaway!  Head on over and checkout her cute quilt square and the giveaway.  :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Ally's Story Blocks

Ally's 2nd birthday is coming up FAST.  I have no clue what to get a 2 year old.  She has everything.  Seriously, a play room full of toys, closet full of clothes, bin full of shoes, people who love and adore her.  What the hell do I get for her?

I was playing on searching for birthday present ideas on Pinterest and came across these great story blocks.  I figured they were easy enough to make that I could do them during nap times.  I already had blocks (from another project that I found on Pinterest and didn't do), I have a crap tonne of stickers (hardly ever scrapbook anymore so I have LOTS of those laying around to be used), I have Mod Podge (in several formulations), I have scrapbook paper (again, I hardly ever scrap anymore so I have lots of that too), I just bought a pack of new foam brushes (used a coupon, of course), and I have several cans of spray acrylic to coat it all with.  I was good to go.  So, I made Ally a box of Story Blocks for her birthday.  The idea behind them is that you roll 1 or more (I made 9 because that many fit in the box) and then you make up a story with whatever is facing up.  Gets the creative juices flowing and there are LOTS and LOTS of different stories you can make up with 54 different images!  Yes, I teach math.  No, I didn't figure out the permutations.

I found an old cigar box that I scored for free many many years ago.  Can't have my kid walking around with cigar brands right?  So, I covered all the logos and stuff up with paper and words.  The inside got some teal mermaid paper that I've been saving for who knows how long.  The bottom got a nice velvet liner to make it all pretty.

Hope she likes them and doesn't decide to throw them at the cats or thru a window.  :)