I Got A Heat Press!!

Okay guys, I have big news! I got a heat press!!! I’m so excited! My mom and dad got it for me as a birthday/Christmas gift, and this has been such a game changer for me with shirt making! This is the one I got:

It came with attachments to also do hats, 2 sizes of plates, and 2 sizes of mugs. This thing is so awesome! Not only is it crazy faster than applying heat transfer vinyl with an iron, the quality of the finished product is miles better! What really surprised me though was the fact that you can re-press old projects that have maybe started to peel a bit and fix them! I’ve been playing with htv for about a year now, and I’ve loved working with it, but I’ve always been a little disappointed that it didn’t seem to hold up very well in the wash. Well this has been the answer to that for sure. My new projects as well as old ones that I repaired are now holding up perfectly in the washing machine! And I have LOVED being able to rescue some ragged favorites that seemed destined for the trash. I had just assumed that once an item had gone through the laundry there would be no way to make the htv stick. Not that every single project I did with an iron started to peel, but well, a good percentage of them eventually did. So if I’ve made you a gift with htv in the past and it’s starting to come off, bring it back and I’ll fix it right up!
My nephew Levi’s birthday party is this Saturday. He’s going to be four, and he looooves superheros, Batman especially. I made him this t-shirt, as well as a pillow with Superman fabric on one side and Batman fabric on the other. I also added his name to the pillow in htv. The Batman decal below is actually a 3D rubber applique that I found at Walmart for $3.97. The instructions included were for a household iron, but I took a chance and applied it with the heat press, and it turned out amazing!

Lily wanted a superhero shirt for her birthday to wear to Levi’s party. She originally wanted a Wonder Woman shirt, but then she saw a pink and black Batman shirt online and wanted it instead. So what’s a mama with a brand new heat press supposed to do besides make them both? The Batman shirt she saw had a matching bow, so I made one to match each shirt. I even used the heat press for the bows! I don’t know why the Wonder Woman set looks pink in the picture below, but as you can see in the shot with her wearing them they are red. Both shirts were the basic $2.97 boys tees from Walmart, and I had the ribbon and htv on hand, so this was a really inexpensive gift.

The gold HTV on this shirt was in an Expressions Vinyl grab bag that arrived on her birthday, and it was perfect for this project. I mentioned when I shared this picture on Instagram, isn’t it neat how God loves on us in little ways as well as big ways?
Sawyer wants a superhero shirt too, but he keeps going back and forth on what kind, so I will be making one or two for him as well. 
I plan on offering some items in my shop soon too.
Heat press for the win!
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Therapeutic Crafting

Life is best for me when I take time to make things. Sometimes when I get overwhelmed with kids and housework and errands and everything that goes with having a full, although beautiful life, I have to put myself in front of my sewing machine or turn on my glue gun or pull out my jewelry wire, or just create something that wasn’t there before. It doesn’t have to be anything big or elaborate, but just the process of making something appealing is balm to my soul. This past week or so has been full of tiny projects. Excuse some of the photos as cell phone pics not actually intended for the blog. 🙂

I’ve made up a few hair bows, like these Frozen themed ones. My friend Amy’s little girls were going to see Frozen on Ice that evening, and she called and asked if she could bring me some ribbon and have me come up with some quick bows to match their dresses.

She also dropped off a roll of this Christmas ribbon she found at the thrift store for 49¢, so I made this one too.
Her youngest daughter is turning three in a few days and will be celebrating with a Jake and the Neverland Pirates themed party, so I made this one for the birthday girl.
I made Lily this woven headband to match my niece’s Thanksgiving headband. Clearly this is one of the not-actually-taken-for-the-blog-pics. 
And I found this velvet ribbon in my stash, and I don’t think I’d ever laid eyes on it before. Sometimes people pass along to me random craft supplies they’re getting rid of. Like this one time my Aunt Tina gave me bags full of vintage lace and trim and ribbon and fabric remnants and it was basically the best thing ever. And I don’t think this ribbon came from her, but it found its way to me in much the same manner, and I kind of love it, so thank you to whoever gave it to me. I made this sweet bow that is going to look awesome with some little girl’s pretty velvet Christmas dress!
I made my niece this ginormous rosette headband using the remnants of the blanket I made her. It’s so soft!
My friend Rebecca asked me to make her daughter a leather and stamped copper cuff. She couldn’t decide which color she wanted so I made up an extra leather strap she can switch the plate out on if she likes.
I also made myself a new pincushion out of this sweet little vintage tart tin I found at a thrift store. I have some similar cupcake tins I plan on turning into pincushions too, so I will do a tutorial in the near future.
I’ve been playing with the Gift Box Punch Board my mom got me for my birthday, and I’ll do a tutorial on it coming up. So fun!
And I finally found the pinwheel attachments to use with the Pinwheel Punch Board, so that will be on the blog soon too!
My daughter Taylor has been feeling a bit crafty herself. She made this sweet paper banner that says ROACH FAMILY. And why yes, that is a sippy cup so fetchingly displayed on my mantle. Don’t be jealous.
She also made these awesome scrapbook paper snowflakes and decorated the wall at the stair landing. I love how unique and festive they all are!

What sort of crafts do you find relaxing and therapeutic?
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Thanksgiving Headband

Happy November! Can you even believe it’s almost Thanksgiving already? And that means it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to……Christmas. I don’t want to talk about it. I could not be more unprepared.

What I do have prepared though is a tutorial for a very cute headband for the toddler or baby girl in your life!

This one went to my gorgeous niece Adelaide, but I will probably make another one for Lily so they can match.

To make this easy headband, first you will need a leaf/petal shape in 3 graduating sizes cut from cardstock. I just free-handed a design for the first one, cut it out, then cut around it a bit bigger to get the middle size one, then cut around that one to get the biggest. Trust me, I am not what you would call skilled at drawing or cutting things out, so if I can do this, so can you. My smallest shape was about 1.5 inches high, and they went up from there.

Now you want to choose three colors of felt. For the turkey of course I went with yellow orange and brown, but this basic construction can be made with lots of different themes.
Decide what order you want your colors to be layered, and cut nine petals of the largest size from the back color, 9 of the medium size from the middle color, and 9 of the small size from the top color.
Stack them like this, gluing them together with hot glue. Repeat with the rest of the petals until you have 9 petal stacks.
Next, run a short line of glue down from the middle of the bottom part of the smallest petal to the bottom edge of the biggest petal like this.
Then pinch the bottom of the petal stack together and hold for a few seconds till the glue sets. Repeat for the other 9 petal stacks.
You will also need a scrap piece of felt cut 1 x 3 inches.
Now, run a line of glue on the lower half of the side of one of the petal stacks and glue another petal stack right beside it. 
Glue another one to the side of that one, so that you have three petal stacks glued side by side at the base. Repeat that with the rest of the petal stacks so that you have three sets of three side by side petals. Glue them to the scrap of felt, starting at the top and moving down, overlapping each one just a little and leaving a little bit of room at the bottom for the turkey.
Now for the actual turkey I used one of these fun little felt stickers that got in a 7 pack at Michael’s for $1.00.
Just glue it right to the bottom of the felt strip, overlapping the bottom layer of petals. I didn’t remove the white paper from the back of the turkey, because I didn’t want the adhesive exposed since it is not laying against a flat surface.
Look how cute already! Wouldn’t it also make a great embellishment for a gift bag or even a little Thanksgiving shirt?
Now cut a length of elastic appropriate to the size headband you want to make. This was a fold over elastic hair tie I got in a six pack at the Dollar Tree and just untied, thus the wrinkled end. Glue the elastic into a circle, overlapping the ends.
Glue your turkey embellishment to the headband and you’re all done!
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Sizzix Gift Bow Bigz L Die by Stampin’ Up

First of all, this is not a sponsored post. I purchased this die, and I just wanted to share how much I love it.

Back when I made the leather hair bows for Taylor’s 13th birthday party, I cut them all by hand. And it wasn’t hard, just time consuming. And there were some slight variations in each bow because scissors + my cutting by hand skills. At the time I looked for a Sizzix die to use, because I love my Sizzix Big Kick like a small child, but I couldn’t find one that I liked and that would cut leather.

Then my friend Shawna started selling Stampin’ Up products, and they had the perfect die! This is a Stampin’ Up exclusive, so you can only get it through a demonstrator. And I don’t get anything for referring you, but if you’re looking for a demonstrator, I would highly recommend Shawna. She’s kind of awesome. 🙂 You can shop with her here.

You’ll have to excuse these pictures because some of them were quick cellphone shots before heading out the door with a birthday gift. I have found that if you fold a standard piece of craft felt in half it will fit over the die perfectly and make exactly enough pieces for one regular bow and one double bow. I actually cut out a longer center strip from the felt remnant for the double bow just because the strip cut by the die is not long enough to wrap around all the layers. Of course if you are working with paper or cardstock it will be plenty long enough.

These were for the daughter of one of Nick’s friends.

The other little flowers and bows were pre-made embellishments I got on clearance at Michael’s and stuck on lined clips. Easy peasy!

These are so fun!

I added this one to a headband for my precious new niece Adelaide. Since I have no tiny baby girls in my house anymore, my lampshade got to be my model. Um, I need to dust.

This one is for my friend Amy’s little girl Abi. 
I recently got to pass down to her a little pillowcase dress I made for Lily when she was itty bitty, and this bow matches it. Gratuitous (old) pictures of baby Lily that sort of show off the dress:

I’m dying a little from the cuteness. Those eyes! And those cheeks! Nom, nom, nom…

This one I added to a headband for big, grown up, already has a second loose tooth (sob!) Lily.

Oh my goodness, those giant Disney princess eyes…
You can of course use this die for paper gift bows too. I also made one from some yummy green leather, but Taylor confiscated it before I could snap a pic. 🙂 I can see a lot more of these in my future!

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Boutique Bows

As a mom to two girls, I love me some bows! And I love making bows for them. And I’ve made some big crazy complicated ones, but my go to favorite is the basic boutique bow. Now there are tutorials all over Pinterest for how to make these, so I certainly can’t claim this is an original design, but I thought I’d share some tips that I use.

First of all, ribbon. You can use all kinds of ribbon for these, but it’s hard to beat grosgrain. Satin will work, but unless the bows are on the small side, they won’t hold their shape very well. Organza can be a little thin and tends to be hard to seal neatly. And wired will bend into a wonky shape at the first bump.

These are the basic supplies you will need:

Ribbon
Needle and thread
Lighter for sealing
Center Embellishments
Metal Super Clip
Lined Clips
Not shown:scissors, glue gun, ruler

The metal super clips come in a 6 pack. I got mine at Sally Beauty Supply for under $4. (Not an affiliate link) These are the key to making this an easy process.

First cut your ribbon. The narrower the ribbon, the smaller you’re going to want to make your bow. I’ve found that good lengths are as follows:

1.5 inch ribbon – 24 inches
7/8 or 1 inch ribbon – 18 inches
5/8 inch ribbon – 12 inches

You’re going to start by folding your ribbon in a squashed down zigzag pattern and centering it in the clip like this:

Then take your needle and thread and run a long basting stitch from bottom to top.

Remove the clip and pull the thread tight, gathering the ribbon in the center. Wrap the thread around the gathered center 5 or 6 times and tie off in the back.

I like to feed the needle through the tightened thread around the center when tying my knot to make it secure.

Take a minute to straighten out your loops and tails.

Hot glue a gem, button, or other embellishment to the center.

Grab a lined clip. I took the opportunity to make up a few.

Add your glue right to the top of the clip and stick your bow on.

These small ones are great in pairs for pigtails.

If you want, you can notch the tails. Just fold the ends of the ribbon in half and cut a slant starting at the side with the edges and leading up toward the fold.

Be sure to seal your new edges.

The bigger ribbon is a little harder to work with as the zigzag will be taller than your clip, but it’s still manageable.

The biggest thing is to just make sure you don’t sew the top of your clip to the ribbon.

Feed the needle under the clip at the top like so:

I love how this one made a flower in the center!

Don’t you love this red, black, and white dot ribbon? Very Minnie-esqe!

These are quick to make up, and easy to match to an existing outfit!

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Mother’s Day Gifts

I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day! Mine was spent at church with lots of moms that I love, including of course my own!

I made 6 Mother’s Day gifts this year – for my mom, Nick’s stepmom and grandmother, my sisters-in-law Rachael and Leah, and my good friend Melissa. I have something for my sister-in-law Kristin too, but she’s in Texas, so I have to ship it to her.

For my mom, my mother-in-law, and Nick’s grandmother I tried my hand at painted Mason Jar vases. I just primed them, painted them with acrylic paints, sealed with a matte sealer, then added polka dot accents with metallic Sharpies. And I didn’t get a good picture after this, but I also added twine around the neck of the gold and copper accented ones, and a silver ribbon around the neck of the silver accented one. We didn’t get a chance to see Nick’s grandmother yesterday, but she doesn’t have a computer, so I don’t think I’m spoiling anything for her by posting here.

I got my SIL Rachael a set of Babyville pliers and snaps a few months ago as a baby/Mother’s Day gift and gave them to her early so that she could make some stuff for her baby girl before she had her. But I didn’t want her to be empty handed today, so I gave her some remnants of vintage lace.

I made Leah an infinity scarf from this cool knit and lace fabric I got at Hobby Lobby.

And I gave Melissa one of the boxy makeup bags like I made for my daughter’s crafty birthday sleepover. Inside (not pictured) I put a leather bow hair clip and a satin rosette necklace.

I’m so grateful for all the sweet moms in my life!

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Simple Sewing Trim Headbands

Our resident princess did not always sport the pixie cut she has today. This cheesetastic picture is what her hair looked like a couple of months ago:

Then one day, for no apparent reason, she decided to cut her own hair. So she did. Badly. Horribly. Traumatically. It was crazy. There were sections that were less than an inch long. Daddy was not a happy camper. Mommy wasn’t either, but eh, kids do these things.

Fortunately my MIL Brenda is an awesome stylist. So I made a late night phone call begging for help, and she agreed to swing by the next day and rescue the hack job. When she got here, she was a little taken aback at the damage. I believe her exact words were “Well, I can see why you couldn’t really describe it to me on the phone.”

See for yourself:

Yes, these were taken before Brenda cut any. Yeah, pretty bad. But she saved the day, just like I knew she would! (Ignore my door that needs to be painted.)

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To be honest, we would have never had the nerve to get her hair all cut off if we’d had a choice about it, but Nick and I ended up loving it! And even Lily likes it except for the fact that pigtails aren’t super doable. But even those can be managed if we really try (see here).

Anyway, right after she got her hair cut, my SIL Leah bought her this sweet little daisy headband. It was an adult size, so it fit her more like a garland, which was perfect, because anything tight just bunches up her hair and looks weird, and this looked sweet and bohemian and artless.

Not long after I headed to Walmart and grabbed 1/2 yard each of several different trims from the sewing department to make her some more.

You can really use all kinds of different trims, but these are the five I chose:

I started by measuring the trim around Lily’s head the way I wanted the headband to fit, then trimming it a couple of inches short. Then I cut a piece of fold over elastic a couple of inches long. Um, don’t cut off the end of your thumb.



Glue the end of your trim to the very end of your FOE.

Then you can either take ribbon (as I did on this one) or two more pieces of FOE and wrap it around the joint of the trim and the FOE. Glue it in place.

Do the same thing on the other end.

I got my white 5/8 inch FOE at Elastic By The Yard (not an affiliate link), which has great prices. But if you don’t need a lot, you can’t go wrong at the Dollar Tree. They always have these FOE hair ties in 6 packs of various colors for $1. If you untie them, you get about a half yard of 3/4 inch FOE out of each tie, give or take an inch or two.

This guy kept interrupting my crafting to point at my camera and say “Pit-chure, Mom! Pit-chure!” Look at that face. Be still my heart! I’m loving his ham phase.

For this one I trimmed off a couple of petals on the daisies on the ends to make it fit better in the elastic.

Little Miss was S-I-C-K today, so the best I could get was this brave little smile, but she did say that the “rainbow sparkly pink one” is her favorite and she is going to wear it forever and never take it off. Mission accomplished.

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Easy Lined Hair Clips

It’s been a busy weekend! My SIL Rachael had her precious baby girl Adelaide Kinsley (don’t you just love the name?) on Thursday. And we’ve had my sweet nephew Max staying with us this weekend as well. So that’s been awesome, but not exactly conducive to crafting and blogging. But I do have a project for you, although it’s a quick one!

Today I’m going to show you how to create a very inexpensive and very effective non-slip grip for your hair clips, as well as a pair of cute lined clips to put it in!
First we will start with the lining. You’re going to need three things for this:
A sheet of craft felt (preferably white)
A roll of non-slip shelf lining from the dollar store
A hot glue gun
Now this shelf liner comes in all kinds of colors, but I usually just use white since it will go with most hair bows (not that you’re really going to see it, but still). Basically you’re gluing the shelf liner to the felt. I set my glue gun on the high temp setting because it gives me a little more time to work with the glue. Just swirl it across the first couple of inches all the way across the top of your felt. I like to then “spread” the lines of glue across the area I’m working with using the side of the glue gun nozzle area. Then lay the shelf liner down on top of it. Even using high temp glue you’re going to want to work quickly.

Now be VERY CAREFUL not to burn yourself here, but give it just a couple of seconds to cool a bit and quickly but lightly pat down the area of the liner that you just laid down to make sure you get a good bond. Your hand will come away looking like this, but it peels off easily. If you have a silicone spatula/spreader, you could also use that to do the patting down.

Just keep doing that all the way down to the bottom of the felt.

Trim off your excess shelf liner, and you have a sheet of non-slip grip big enough to do a ton of hair clips.

Now for lining the clips. I use these clips on all my hair bows. I get them at Sally’s Beauty Supply for a little under $6 for a box of 100 clips. If you don’t have the club card they’re a little more. But the club card is totally worth it. It’s $5 a year, and when you sign up (at least if you do it in an actual store), they give you a $5 coupon good off your next visit, so it’s basically free. I’m not affiliated with Sally’s, but I do really like them.

Anyway, you’re going to need two of these clips, and 3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon. You can use ribbon that’s not grosgrain, but it won’t look quite as nice. Cut your ribbon into 4 1/2 inch strips, one for each clip. Don’t forget to seal the ends with a lighter, Fray Check, or a hot knife/wood burning tool. Please excuse these pictures. They were taken with my phone between corralling two 4 year olds and a 2 year old, so not my best photographic effort. Sorry – it was that or no pictures at all.

Once your ribbon is cut and sealed, you will line the clip. A lot of people line from the inside out, but I like to start on the back. Glue one end of the ribbon to the back of the clip a little above where the prongs start. Ignore the ice cream embellishments in the next few shots. I decided halfway through to use some different ones.

Then turn your clip over and run hot glue almost to the other end of the ribbon. You want to make sure you have room left to grab the end without getting burned.

Wrap the glue covered ribbon around to the front of the clip, making sure to push it into the hinged area with your finger. Again, careful not to burn yourself!

Open up the clip. At this point you can either add glue to the very end of the ribbon, or add the glue to the inside of the clip where the ribbon will be folded onto it.

Carefully fold the ribbon down, making sure all the glue is covered so that you don’t glue your clip closed! If any has oozed out, wipe it away before closing the clip.

Now, cut a piece of your nonslip grip about an inch long and 3/8 of an inch wide. Hold it by the edge so that the felt is facing up. Cover the felt surface with glue. Make sure to cover it all, but it doesn’t need to be a thick layer.

Open your clip, and glue the felt to the inside top, against the ribbon.

Close the clip to get a good bond.

Now for your embellishments. I picked these up on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $1.19 a pack, but you can add anything you like here, a flower, a bow, a fancy button, whatever you have on hand. Decide which end you want the embellishment on and add hot glue.

 
Then just add your embellishment! If you’re gluing these to a big bow, like a boutique bow, then you’re going to want to add glue all the way across the top of the clip before attaching.

The nonslip grip is super cheap to make, and it holds great, even in soft, slippery newborn hair. And it’s easy to add to any clip, even those you already have!

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Crafty Birthday Party: The Activities

Fair warning, this post is going to be LONG. I planned a ton of activities for this party. And we got to almost all of them. We had planned to do Sharpie tie dyed shirts, but about half the girls forgot to bring a shirt to dye. We were also going to do nail polish pendants, but we really just ran out of time and energy.
We had the party at our church’s family life center, which was such a blessing and terrific for the space and amenities, but it’s not my favorite place to shoot pictures, so excuse the industrial background.
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We started out just letting the girls mingle and have fun. They picked out their party favors and chowed down on the food. A few of them had to come late, so we waited on the crafts until they were all there. My mom did such a great job with the food and decorations.
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I made this cupcake banner courtesy of inspiration found here.
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Gratuitous shot of my awesome nephew LB.

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              Taylor                                    Lily
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Sawyer

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After the food and presents the girls dove into Taylor’s monstrous collection of nail polish for mani-pedis. A couple of months ago I found a bunch of pedicure flip flops for like 40 cents a pair so I stocked up for the party.
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After the nail polish, the girls did chocolate facials. These were SO simple, just coconut oil and cocoa powder. They all said it made their skin super soft, and of course it smelled amazing! I had enough left to package some up to send it home as parting gifts the next day.
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While the chocolate facials were setting, I had them making lip balm.
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Then I let them dive into my bag of leather remnants, and they cut out leather earrings.
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Next they made Shrinky Dinks. This was maybe my favorite activity of the night just because of how entranced they all were by the process. Most of them had never seen them before, and they couldn’t get enough of them! Did you know that you can buy a 50 pack of the sheets for $22.00? Such a better deal than paying $6 for 10 sheets at the craft store!
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Then they painted little canvases mounted on magnets.
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Next up were bottle cap pins. Images purchased here, here, and here.
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Doesn’t that little hipster squirrel just slay you? That whole sheet of images was awesomesauce!
Next (yes, there was more!) I let them dig through my bag of satin remnants to make singed satin flower hair clips.
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The last activity of the night was the photo shoot. They were looking a little tired by this point.
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All of these accessories were found at the Dollar Tree, and we had enough scarves and sunglasses to send one of each home with each girl.
DSC_0561So this is what I look like at 5:30 in the morning after hosting a bunch of newly minted teenage girls! Keepin’ it real, folks.
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After that I put them all to bed and popped Frozen in the DVD player. The next morning I fed them fruit, pop tarts, granola bars, cereal, and milk. All in all I think it was a huge success!

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Crafty Birthday Party: Leather Bows

Next I made leather hair bows. I used the free gift bow template from How About Orange with a small modification. Because I was working with leather instead of paper, I had to lengthen the center strip by about 50% so that it would fit around the rest of the bow. I also printed the template out a little smaller to get a smaller overall bow. I think I used the 4×6 size when printing from Picasa.

I just cut out the pattern pieces and traced around them directly onto the back side of my leather using a ball point pen.

Then I cut out the pieces, being careful to cut just inside the pen line.

I just used my glue gun on the high temp setting, and it seems to be holding up great, especially on the suede ones. I first folded in the ends of the long, main bow piece and glued them to the center.

Then I glued that piece to the shorter back piece with the side with the glued ends facing the back piece.

Before I glued the center piece on, I glued the back piece to a French clip. I found it easiest to first open the French clip and remove the curved tension piece in the center of the clip.


Then I wrapped the center piece around the rest of the bow and the open french clip.

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Then I just reattached the tension piece and closed up the clip. This was SUCH an easy project, and 20 of them came together very quickly. They were a huge hit, and they have such a simple, elegant look. My sisters-in-law loved them just as much as the girls!
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Tomorrow we’ll talk a little about the makeup bags!

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