Teachers of Good Things Fabric Pumpkins

So clearly I’m making up for lost time with the posting tonight, but it’s about to get CA-RAZY up in here, so I’m doing it while I can. I mentioned a couple posts ago that we did another Walridge Baptist Church Teachers of Good Things Quarterly Craft Meeting. You know, the WBCToGTQCM for short. This month was so fun! We made fabric pumpkins, and they turned out SO CUTE!

We took our inspiration and general game plan from this post at Coastal Farmhouse, and if I can ever get my hands on some of that gorgeous snowy vintage chenille I’m going to make some just like hers!
Rachael and I hit Joann’s for supplies and went a little nuts (within the budget of course). I’m so pleased with the fabrics we ended up with! Rachael graciously took on the task of cutting all the circles out because, hello, have you met my scissor skills? She cut 2 sizes, 18 inches and 9 inches, which made roughly 12 and 6 inch pumpkins. The tutorial linked very helpfully gives you measurements for a lot more sizes. We also cut freehand leaves out of all the fabric.

This is more of a list tutorial than a photo tutorial, because I was so busy making pumpkins that I mostly got photos of finished items. But here are the basics:

Fabric circles in various sizes
Needles and thread
Deer corn
Stems/short sticks
Various embellishments like buttons and twine
Hot glue guns

Start by threading your needle, tying a large knot in the end, and sewing a loose running stitch all the away around your circle, about a half inch from the edge. Loosely gather the circle into a pouch, right side out.

Add between 1/2-1 cup of deer corn in the pouch, then fill the rest with Polyfil. Carefully pull the thread tight to close the circle at the top. Tie the thread off, then choose a stem.

Squirt a good glob of hot glue down into the top of the pumpkin, then push the stem in all the way to the bottom and twist. Hold it there for a second to let the glue set.

Add embellishments of your choice like fabric leaves, buttons, and twine.

About our supplies:

The deer corn came in a 40 pound bag from Walmart for something like $6. We had plenty left of course, but we also play cornhole at church camp every year, and the bags have to be repaired about once a year, so any excess will be used for that. Funny detail – the first bag we bought was actually half deer kibble, which we didn’t realize until we opened it up right before the event. Fortunately Walmart is about 5 minutes from the church. ๐Ÿ™‚

You will need lots of Polyfil for this project. If you’re doing this for a group, you will probably need more than a 3lb bag.

While we did have a few real pumpkin stems, most of our stems were just short sticks Rachael gathered from around her home, and I liked them even better than the real stems. Before using, you will want to bake any natural items like this in your oven for a couple of hours at 175 degrees or so, checking every 15 minutes to make sure they don’t catch fire. This will kill any little creepy crawlies that may be hiding in the bark. Another awesome (but more expensive) option is to use a small bundle of cinnamon sticks as a stem.

The twine was just basic $1.97 a spool stuff from Walmart. We bought a 1/2 inch wooden dowel at Hobby Lobby, and I wrapped it tightly with the twine, then coated it with fabric stiffener and let it dry for 24 hours. The dowel was 36″ long, and we cut it in small sections when it was dry, but we still ran out, so I would recommend making more than you think you’ll need.

We got our buttons in big bags at Hobby Lobby for $5.99 minus the coupon savings, and I couldn’t get enough of them! (Not an affiliate link)
This craft was a huge hit, and most ladies made more than one. My mom and my sister-in-law Leah, who is the pastor’s wife, were on vacation with my dad and my brother and nephew, so I made some for them too.
These were my Mom’s.
And these were Leah’s. When she got back from vacation, she made a couple as a thank you gift for the neighbor who got their mail while they were gone.
I made these for the sweet lady who did the cooking for the event and for a dear church sister who unfortunately lost her husband the morning of the event and of course was not able to attend.
I also made some for Lily’s teachers at school for Teacher Appreciation Week, and when I went for a parent teacher meeting this week with her main teacher she had them proudly displayed on her desk and told me how much she loved them!
This was a craft that was doable for everyone, and even Lily made a couple.

We all had a great time, and they were all so different, yet all so adorable! I just couldn’t quit with them. I think I made 15 in all. The five at the top were the ones I took home, and they make me smile every time I see them. 

A few tips:
More corn means a heavier pumpkin that is going to stay put, but if your fabric is light and thin (like the muslin one above), it may show through if you add too much. Also, if your pumpkin is heavy, you will need to leave it sitting on the table while you’re pulling the thread closed at the top so you don’t break the thread. If you are making your pumpkin from burlap, it helps to tie the end of the thread to the burlap before running your stitch so that it doesn’t just pull through. Also, burlap will tend to poke out around the stem if you stitch too close to the edge, so it’s best to make your stitching line about an inch from the edge and tuck the raw edges into the top of the pumpkin before inserting your stem.
This was such a great craft, easy and inexpensive, especially if you are doing it for a group. Of course if you are just making a few for yourself and don’t want to buy a 40 pound bag of corn, you can weight them with rice, dried beans, dried pasta, or poly pellets. Or you can leave them unweighted and just stuff them with Polyfil or scrap fabric. Rachael made a few from old sweaters as a test run that were unweighted and they turned out amazing!
Hopefully we will be in a new house next Thanksgiving, and I just want to make these and put them everywhere! And I love that they can be made to match or complement any color scheme. Make up a few for your holiday decor or to take as a thank you gift for your host on Thanksgiving – there’s still plenty of time!
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Vintage Tart Tin Pincushions

Guys, we’re getting ready to put our house on the market. This little home has been oh so good to us, but we’re bursting at the seams, so we’re working on saying goodbye. We’ve (well mostly I’ve, since Nick’s been working) been packing up a good 45ish% of our stuff, and we’ve been stacking it all up in the garage in anticipation of renting a storage unit here in a few weeks. People, we’ve got boxes for days. And the number of boxes that are labeled Craft Room (faith, guys, it’s called faith) is kind of embarrassing, in no small part because I’ve kept back the stuff I feel like I can’t live without for potentially the next few months, and there’s still enough stuff out there to build a pretty respectable igloo. You know, assuming igloos were made of boxes of fabric and happiness.

Once all this stuff is safely in storage, the carpet people are going to come and lay new carpet and we will be putting new flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms and basically making it seem like 13 years of kids and mechanic’s boots never happened. And after the floors and the painting and the cleaning and the threatening the kids with doom if they spill anything, we plan on listing this bad boy and continuing to pray that God will send just the right family (come quickly, Lord).

In the meantime, my crafting is going to have to be, of necessity, a bit more streamlined. So while I still have my sewing machine and enough fabric to take care of any Etsy orders I may get, all my friends and family are forbidden to have any babies until I’m reunited with my box(es) of minky and flannel. And it may be a bit before I get to show you some of the cool crafting tools I got for Christmas.

But if (when please, Lord) I get my craft room, I’m going to not only have access to all my stuff, but I’ve got all kinds of decorating plans to share! For right now though, I wanted to show you the darling little pincushions I made for Christmas.

Any time I come across little vintage tin/aluminum tart/cupcake tins I snatch them right up. I’ve got several different styles collected, but these just begged me to turn them into pincushions.

This is another not-really-a-tutorial tutorials for you. It’s really so simple that anyone at all can make them, but here are the steps.

  • Gather your glue gun (high temp is better, but be safe), tin, scrap of fabric, bit of Polyfil or other stuffing material, scissors, needle, thread, and something to trace a circle with. I used a salad plate that was about 7 1/4 inches in diameter. I would keep the circle between say 6.5 to 8 inches across.
  • Trace a circle right onto your fabric with ball point pen. It doesn’t have to be flawless, but recognizably round is preferable.
  • Cut out the circle. It doesn’t even matter if the pen marks show, because the edges of the circle will be hidden when the pincushion is done.
  • Thread your needle and run a loose basting stitch around the circle by hand.
  • Pull the ends of the thread to gather your circle into a pouch-like shape, with the wrong side of the fabric on the inside. 
  • Stuff your pouch with Polyfil/other filling material.
  • Pull the threads tight to close off the stuffed circle into a ball shape. It needs to be stuffed firmly, but not so full that you break your thread trying to close it up. I didn’t do that or anything. Ahem.
  • Carefully squirt hot glue onto the underside of your ball (where the gather is) and quickly press it into your tart tin. Keep in mind that you’re pressing hot glue onto a metal object that you’re holding, so you may want to hold the tin with a towel/hot pad to keep from getting burned.
  • Now fill your new pincushion with pretty pins and admire! 

Aren’t they lovely? I just love the pairing of the fresh new fabric with the worn patina of the metal! And aren’t those gold pins fun? These were so quick and easy, and the ladies who got them all loved them!

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Leather Cord Keepers

I love giving handmade gifts. And I’ve got oh, 47,000 ideas pinned and planned for gifts for the moms, daughters, sisters, and girlfriends in my life. But it’s become pretty dang hard to come up with handmade gifts for the guys in my life. That’s why I was so excited to come up with the idea for these handsome and useful cord keepers!

Nick listens to audio books all the time, and he spends all day with a set of headphones in his ears. But when he does take them off, they tend to get tangled up or caught on one thing or another, so this was the perfect gift for him. I also wanted something to round out the gift we sent my brother-in-law Scott, who does a lot of traveling, and I though these would work well for corralling various phone and Ipad chargers. These are the ones I sent him.

These are crazy simple to make, and you just need a scrap of leather, a ball hitch fastener (or a snap), and a 1/8 and 1/4 hole punch (or a snap setter).

I’ve had this gorgeous, worn leather for ages, and I loved it, but it was too small for most projects. So I was thrilled to be able to turn it into something both lovely and functional.

First cut your leather to 1 by 4 inches. You can round your corners if you like. Then add your fastener. If you use a ball hitch fastener, you can find instructions on my Embossed Leather Cuff tutorial here. If you use a snap, follow the instructions on your snap package.

And you’re done! Easiest tutorial ever! I love them, and I hope the guys loved them too. I have a shameful assortment of leather remnants, and I can’t wait to make up some more. I think I will be adding a few to my shop as soon as I have the chance.

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I-Spy Bags

Some of the simple gifts I made this year were I-Spy Bags for some of the littles in my family and church. A few years ago I made some of these for Lily and her cousins Mason and Max, and they were a huge hit among the recipients.

A few weeks ago I happened across one at the thrift store made of fleece. Rather badly made, actually. The window was reeeeeaaaallly crooked, and the seams were super wonky. Not judging – my first sewing efforts weren’t any better, and it was functional at least. Functional, but not very pretty. But it was only a dollar, and I knew I could use the filling, so I snatched it up. The last ones I made were from corduroy, and I finished off all the seams and made them look really nice. But I really liked the idea of using a non-fraying fabric to make these a quick project, and I knew that they would look great in felt too.

I chose patterns that were a bit I-Spyish themselves, which stretches the entertainment value of these.

Since I did these as gifts rather than as an actual blog project, I didn’t take step by step photos. So this isn’t really a tutorial per se, but it’s a very simple project. Here are the basic steps:

  • Cut two pieces of felt to the same dimensions. I just cut mine into squares the size of the width of the piece of felt, but you can really do any shape/size you want. 
  • Fold one piece in half and cut out the inside of the shape, leaving at least an inch border all around. This is your front piece.
  • Cut a piece of clear vinyl the same shape as your opening, but about an inch bigger on all sides. I got my vinyl at Walmart, but you can also reuse a piece from the sorts of bags that sheet sets come in. The thicker the vinyl the better, but really any thickness is fine just so long as it’s actually vinyl/plastic and not say, a Ziploc bag. 
  • Sew the vinyl over the opening of the front piece with the vinyl against the wrong side of the felt. It’s okay to pin the vinyl to the felt to keep it in place, but ONLY if you keep your pins at the edge of the vinyl. If you put pin holes in your window, you will be able to see them, and it could eventually cause a tear in the window. Plus if you’re anything like me, it will bug you forever and you’ll never be quite happy with the finished project. Ahem. 
  • If you don’t want to risk getting the pin holes too close, you can hold the felt and vinyl together with wonder clips while you sew them. I actually just bought these (not an affiliate link) with an Amazon gift card I got for Christmas, and I love them! Way cheaper than Clover Wonder Clips, and they worked awesome holding slippery chiffon in place on some curtains I recently hemmed for a lady at church. 
  •  Also, vinyl tends to stick to your presser foot, so you can either switch to a Teflon foot or walking foot for this step, or you can stick a piece of scotch tape to the bottom of your presser foot to help it slide.
  • Clip the edges of your vinyl 1/4 inch from your seam.
  • Place your front and back pieces wrong sides together and sew with a 1/4 inch seam all the way around, leaving 2-3 inches open for filling.
  • Fill your bag about 2/3 full with the filling of your choice. I always use poly pellets just because they won’t mold or decay if they happen to get wet. When I gave Max his, he was Sawyer’s age, and he promptly chucked it into the lobster tank at Red Lobster. We pulled it out and rinsed it out very well, then laid it out to dry and it was good as new by the next day. But if you don’t want to use poly pellets, you can use rice, beans, lentils, corn, or even pony beads. 
  • Add your treasures. These can be anything tiny like buttons, Barbie shoes, dollhouse miniatures, coins, mini seashells, toy soldiers, etc. I made one for Lily, and hers included mostly girly/princessy stuff, like Barbie high heels, tiny dishes, mini baby blocks, etc. I made one each for Sawyer, my nephews Lawrence and Levi, and my friend Melissa’s little boy Jackson. Theirs had things like buttons, miniature animals, a tiny pirate sword, small wood cuts shaped like mustaches and cameras, toy coins, and skull beads to name a few. If you’re making several, you might want to hit up the baby shower section at Dollar Tree or Hobby Lobby for cupcake toppers like mini teddy bears, baby figurines, and pacifiers. Or you can find an assortment of trinkets on Etsy. 
  • Sew your opening shut. Either go slowly to make sure your filling is not getting under your needle or move it all to the opposite side of the bag from the opening and pin the bag shut to keep it out of the way. All done!
Jackson was a fan of his. ๐Ÿ™‚
These are a super quick sew, and they’re great for keeping little ones quiet in church. 
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Pinwheel Punch Board

A couple months ago I heard that We R Memory Keepers was coming out with a new punch board: The Pinwheel Punch Board! I was so excited that I immediately emailed them to ask if they might be willing to send me one to review here on the blog. The very sweet lady who responded to me told me that they didn’t currently have a budget for reviews on that product, but she would be happy to send me one to try anyway! I was so excited!

I got busy playing with it right away, but I wanted to wait until I could get a hold of a set of the pinwheel attachments before I told you all about it here. Unfortunately, once the punch boards hit the craft stores, the attachment sets were sold out everywhere I went. I finally found some in stock last time I went to Hobby Lobby, so I’m ready to show you how it works!

First of all, you can make pinwheels in many different sizes, using paper from 3 to 12 inches square. Today I’m going to show you one using 6×6 paper, which makes a pinwheel the same size you would normally find at the store. Of course you might ask, why not just go get one at the store for $1? Well, because those shiny numbers at the store can’t complete with the gorgeous papers combinations you can come up with on your own! I chose these two sheets in fun fall colors. Here they are front and back.

First of all, raise the arm on the punch board.

Now slide the corner of your paper under the red button, square it up and punch.

Now punch the other four corners. Repeat for the other paper. The side of the papers that is facing up when you punch it will be the side that shows in the center of your pinwheel.

Back side of bird paper.

Now line your first paper up with the corresponding mark on the left side of the punch board.

Bring the arm down so that it pokes a hole through the center of your paper and anchors it in place.

Insert the included blade tool in the track, with the blade to the left of the track like so.

Slide it down the track, cutting the paper until the track ends.

Without lifting the arm, turn the paper 90 degrees and repeat. On half of the turns the corner will not line up exactly with the measurement mark – that’s okay. Just make sure that the notch in the paper sits over the blade track. Repeat on the other two corners.

Back view so you can see the cuts better.

Now raise the arm and remove your first piece of paper. Repeat with the other paper, but this time you will be working on the right side of the punch board.

Now, lay your papers face down, one on top of the other at a 90ยฐ angle, like this. The paper you slit using the right side of the punch board (here the floral/purple sheet) will go on the bottom.

Make sure the holes in the centers line up.
Now, take one of the skinny sections of the bottom sheet and weave it up through the slit in the top paper just above it. Continue the maneuver, working clockwise, all the way around the pinwheel.

Now you want to add the whole thing to your attachment assembly. The attachments come with enough sets to make 10 pinwheels. At $4.99 a pack (Hobby Lobby), that puts your pinwheels at 49ยข each, if you have your paper on hand. That’s already cheaper than the store, but if you use a lovely 40% off coupon like I did, then you get 10 pinwheels for $2.99, an even better deal! It’s hard to beat a 29ยข toy!

The attachments have three parts, and they assemble like this:

Once you have the head seated on the straw and the spindle attached to that, slide your papers onto the spindle, still face down.

Now, take one of your hole-punched sections from the top sheet (here the yellow paper), pull it forward, and thread it onto the spindle.

Now take the skinny section from the bottom paper directly to the right of the section you just pulled forward and do the same thing. Repeat all the way around, moving clockwise and alternating between the front paper and the back.

Once all the hole punched sections are threaded onto the spindle, press on the end cap.

You’re all done!

Look at it spin!

Here’s what it looks like on the back. If you’d like your pattern to show on the blades instead of the center, just make sure the pattern is face down when you punch your paper.

Of course you can also just do this with one paper, which will make a 4 blade pinwheel, also adorable. If you do so, you need to work on the left side of the punch board when using the blade.

This punch board has been so much fun! Best of all, the attachments are reusable, so if say, your two year old crumples up beyond repair the pinwheel you made him, you can pull the assembly apart and make a new one! You can also use just about any paper straw out there, which really opens up your color/design options – although those 15 inch gray and white striped ones in the kit are super awesome!

Of course you can certainly make pinwheels without the attachments – they just won’t spin. But they do make gorgeous decorations! You can anchor the center with a fun decorative brad. I can see some little stationary ones attached to paper flags to make up an awesome baby shower banner, and what fun props they would make for a photo shoot! Or you could even attach them right to a memo board with a colorful push pin! Oh, and what about gift toppers? And cards? The possibilities are endless!

We R Memory Keepers provided me with a Pinwheel Punch Board to try, but they did not compensate me for my review (or even ask for it), and all opinions are my own.

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Coiled Wire Bracelets

A few days ago my mom and I did some craft shopping in preparation for the upcoming Ladies Craft Day at our church. One of the Tuesday Mornings in our city is right beside one of the Jo-Anns. Well, like 3 doors down in the same shopping center, but anyway. And yes, we have multiple Jo-Anns and Tuesday Mornings here, plus a Michael’s, an A.C. Moore, and two Hobby Lobby’s. Knoxville rocks the craft stores, y’all. Anyway, I always hit Tuesday Morning before Jo-Ann, because they have an awesome craft section, and I just might find what I’m looking for way cheaper.

That day we found 10 mini glue guns with 10 glue sticks each included for $2.99 a piece, which was terrific. And I wasn’t even there to shop for myself, but I happened to see this funny looking little thing called The Coiling Gizmo. It was also $2.99, so I grabbed one. This has turned out to be the coolest little tool! And the good news is, even if you can’t find one at Tuesday Morning, you can still get one for under $10. (Not an affiliate link)

They have a couple more incarnations too that are a little fancier, and I’ve got my eye on the Professional Deluxe version, maybe for Christmas. (Not an affiliate link)

What this nifty little tool does is make it quick and easy to get professional looking wire coiling that you can use as is or coil further to create various jewelry components.

Here’s how it works:

First, you want to choose which rod you’re going to coil your wire on. You get two, one thicker, one thinner. I like the smaller one better for most applications because it gives you a more flexible coil. Also, I mounted my bracket on a piece of 2 x 4 for stability, but you can clamp it to the edge of your table with a c-clamp if you have one handy.

Here I’m going to show you how to make a coiled bracelet with a double coiled accent. For the double coiled piece, I used 9 feet of 26 gauge wire, and for the rest of the bracelet I used about 7 feet of 18 gauge wire. The 18 gauge wire comes in many colors in 3 yard coils at Walmart for $1.

First of all, you will take your 26 gauge wire and secure it to the rod by wrapping the end around the curved section of the rod.

Next you want to insert your rod through the proper holes in the bracket. As you can see, the larger rod goes through the top holes, and the smaller rod goes through the bottom holes.

Now, start winding the handle of the rod, whichever way is more comfortable to you, making sure you don’t pull loose where you wrapped the end of your wire.

Guide the wire by holding it lightly as in your other hand as you wind. It’s best to make sure it’s not scraping across the edge of the bracket as you wind, as this may scrape some of the color off some tinted wires.

Keep winding, making sure your wire coil is neat and even. You may occasionally need to stop to push the rod in toward the bracket if your coil is a little loose or spread out. If your wire starts wrapping on top of itself, just reverse a little and recoil.

When you get toward the end of the wire, you will probably have filled the rod up so far that the end comes out of the second hole. At that point, you can either stop wrapping and trim the excess wire from the end, or just finish wrapping it by hand, which is easy enough with this gauge of wire. When the first end is finished, gently pull the beginning end loose from where it was secured to the handle. You can either trim it where the coil starts, or move the whole coil down the wire a little to give you room to wrap this end by hand. Remove the finished coil.

Now, take that finished coil and string it onto your 18 gauge wire.

 At this point you will need to know how big you want your bracelet to be. When your 26 gauge coil is coiled the second time, it will be about 2 1/2 inches long if you coiled the entire wire piece and didn’t trim it. So you will need to subtract 2 1/2 inches from what you want your finished length to be, then divide that difference by two to see how long your bracelet needs to be on either side of the double coil. This bracelet is meant to just slip over your hand, so it will need to be big enough for that. My bracelet actually ended up a little bigger than I wanted, but it was 9.5 inches, so 9.5 – 2.5 = 7 รท 2 = 3.5 inches on either side of the double coil. Of course if you want yours smaller, adjust accordingly. Once you know how long each side section of your bracelet needs to be, secure your 18 gauge wire to the rod and wrap it until it reaches that length.

At that point, you need to slide your 26 gauge coil up to the point where it touches the rod.

Holding it firmly in place on the other end of the 26 gauge coil, continue wrapping, coiling the 26 gauge coil again.

When you have completed this double coil, continue wrapping the 28 gauge wire until the entire length reaches the planned size of the finished bracelet.

You will likely have to take it off the rod before this is done, turn it around and feed it onto the rod backwards, and wrap the rest by hand. This is one reason I want the Professional Deluxe model – longer rods.

When your length is complete, trim your excess wire and make sure the ends of all your coils are safely curved in. Now, grab another piece of wire, preferably 18 gauge of bigger. Mine was 18 gauge and came on a good size coil for $2 from Walmart ages ago. Color doesn’t matter too much here as it won’t really show. Cut a piece several inches longer than your bracelet and string your bracelet on it.

Now put a closed loop in one end, using either round nose pliers or a one step looper. You can actually put the loop on first and then run the wire through the bracelet if you want.

Feed the other end of your wire (the silver wire here) through the loop you just created and pull it tight.

Now use your one step looper or round nose pliers to create a loop on that end that hooks through the first loop. If you’re using pliers, you’ll need to trim it to just enough to make the loop first. If you’re using the one step looper, it will trim it as it forms the loop.

All done! This project can be done in well under 30 minutes, but it looks like something that took hours!

Here are some simple earrings I made for Taylor using a basic coiled length for each one. Easy!

I already have a jewelry board on Pinterest, but I added one just for Coiling Gizmo ideas if you want to check it out and see some other projects here.

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WRMK Envelope Punch Board

Today I want to talk about one of my favorite craft tools: The We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board.

I got this punch board back in June, but it had been on my wish list since last summer. It has been so much fun! We used 3 of these at the Teachers of Good Things Craft Day last weekend, and several ladies mentioned that they had plans to get one for themselves. In fact, my mom has plans to pick one up at the first opportunity.

While the Envelope Punch Board may look complicated, it’s actually super easy to use, and I wanted to do a quick tutorial. First of all, the measurements you need for just about any size envelope are printed right on the board. It also comes with a sticker with the metric version of the measurements so you can adhere that on top of the standard measurements if you prefer.

It tells you the correct paper size for the card you’re using, and it gives you a measurement mark to place the edge of your paper on for scoring. You can make envelopes from paper sized up to 11.5 x 11.5 inches. These for are for 4.5 x 6 inch cards, and I just squared off some 8.5 x 11 scrapbook paper for this size.

For the Craft Day, as well as for some note card sets I’ve made as gifts, I used 6 x 6 paper to make envelopes for 3 x 4 cards.

Today I’m going to make a 3 x 4 envelope using this sweet 6 x 6 paper I picked up at Tuesday Morning. 
To make this size, you will take your 6 x 6 sheet and line it up at the 2 5/8 mark.

Once it’s lined up, push down on the button at the top to punch your first notch. It’s important to note and remember that this is the only time during this process that you will line your paper up with this mark.

Then take the handy score tool included with the punch board and score the paper down the score track.

Now this part is important. Turn your paper COUNTER clockwise, so that the notch you just punched is on the left.

Now, you want to align the line that you just scored with the little guide arm that leads off the bottom left of the punch button. If you try to line the paper back up with the 2 5/8 mark again, your notches will be off and your envelope won’t fold correctly. I bumped the contrast on this photo way up so you can see the score line a little better.
Now punch and score just like you did on the first side, then turn counter clockwise again. Repeat until all 4 sides are notched. It will look like this when you’re done. I’ve folded up the sides a bit here so you can see all the score lines. Each score line should meet another at the inside point of a notch.
Now you want to round your corners. To do this, just insert each corner into the space at the top of the punch button and punch.
Next fold in the sides of your envelope.
Line the lower edges of your side flaps with the adhesive of your choice. Elmer’s Glue-All works great here, but I prefer and generally use a glue or tape runner like this one. 
Fold up your bottom flap and press where it meets the side flaps to seal the adhesive, then fold down your top flap and press flat. 
Isn’t it so cute?! I love the “just stay little” sentiment  near the point of the closing flap. Perfect for a baby girl gift! If you’re adding a card for giving, you can go ahead and do that and seal the envelope with your glue runner. If this is for giving someone to use later, you can include a sticker for them to seal it closed when they’re ready.
These little envelopes are so easy to embellish too. For this one I just added a scalloped circle and a little bow, both secured with the glue runner. My SIL Leah’s sister Deborah made one like this at the craft day and I loved it!

For this one I just added ribbon, sealed into the bottom flap and wrapped around the front.

Then I just folded a little ribbon rosette to accent it.

The Envelope Punch Board retails for $19.95, but both Hobby Lobby and Joann carry them, and there’s always a coupon for at least 40% at both. And of course you can get them on Amazon, which is where I got mine, and they’re forever going on sale there. In fact, they’re $12.75 on there right now.
Besides envelopes, you can also make gift boxes and 3d envelopes with this punch board, as well as darling little paper bows and lovely little treat boxes. For more ideas for the Envelope Punch Board as well as other WRMK punch boards, check out my Pinterest Board, Punch Board Projects.

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Presser Foot Series: Walking Foot

Hello all! It’s time for another installment of our Presser Foot Series! Today we’re talking about the Walking Foot. The walking foot looks a bit more complicated than most presser feet, but it couldn’t be simpler to use.

This is not a snap on foot. If your machine has a snap on adapter, you will need to unscrew it to install the walking foot.

There is an arm that raises, and you will want to fit the bracket at the end of it onto the bar you see protruding to the right of your needle.

And of course you will need to attach the side bracket around the main post and secure it with the screw that was securing your snap on adapter.

The way a walking foot works is pretty simple. Basically the arm at the top operates the levers inside the casing and they move these little white plastic grips that fit inside the grooves in the front of the foot. 

This gives you a set of feed dogs on top that move at the same speed as the ones on the bottom, and together they all work together to move your two (or more) layers of fabric under the needle at the same speed without shifting.

This foot is AMAZING for sewing multiple layers, like you would do for quilting straight lines or making faux chenille. It’s also amazing for sewing with slippery fabrics like minky.

For Christmas I made my month old nephew Lawrence a cuddle blanket from flannel and dot minky. I wish I could show you a better picture of it, but all those photos are on a hard drive that’s out of reach for the moment, so you’ll have to settle for this cell phone pic of Nick holding him wrapped in it just after the New Year.

Now he’s almost 8 months old, and it’s become the blankie, much to my delight. It was such a simple project that it doesn’t really call for a tutorial, but I’ll give you a basic point by point:

  • Wash and dry both fabrics to prevent uneven shrinking after sewing.
  • Cut both fabrics to the same size. Honestly I didn’t measure, I just squared the edges of one fabric and cut the other to match, but I believe it was approximately 45″ (width of the bolt) by 54″ (yard and 1/2).
  • Place fabrics right side together and pin.
  • *Optional* Round your corners by using a plate as a template and cutting around it with scissors or a rotary cutter.
  • Sew almost all the way around, leaving approximately 3-4 inches open on one side for turning.
  • Clip your corners and turn your blanket right side out.
  • Make sure your corners (if you have them) are well turned.
  • Tuck in the seam allowance on the opening you left and pin closed.
  • Topstich around the entire blanket, closing your opening.
  • Done!

At the beginning of May we had another sweet little addition to the family, this one born to Nick’s sister Rachael, who just so happens to be married to my brother Cary. ๐Ÿ™‚ Precious Adelaide joined us after a longish line of grandsons, and I was tickled uh, pink to get a girl to sew for! Not that boys aren’t fun too, but hello ruffles and bows!

Anyway, I finally got a chance to make a blanket for her too. These are the fabrics I went with.

I made this blanket at night after the kids were in bed, and I had to deliver it the next day, so I didn’t have a chance to take it outside and hang it up for pictures, but I was able to snap a few inside.

It’s not perfect, but it’s very soft and cuddly, and the minky was SO much easier to sew using the walking foot!

Cuddle fabrics are generally on the pricey side, so I snap them up when I find them in the remnant bins, which is where I scored the sweet pink and white polka dot I used here. It was a serious win to find a remnant this large, and I had so much fun picking out a coordinating flannel, because I knew right away what I wanted to do with it.

A few weeks ago I found a yard and 1/2 of this fluffy orange Ultra Cuddle, and I paired it with this fun robot flannel. I made a blanket for Sawyer from them, and now he has to have his “Wo-bot” before he goes to bed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Again, sorry for the night time kitchen photography.

I also made one for Taylor back at Christmas from orange and white chevron flannel backed with aqua cuddle fleece, but right now she’s wrapped up in it asleep. ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess I’d better go back through my remnant bag to find something to make one for Lily too!

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Embossed Leather Cuffs

You guys, I can’t get enough of this embossing powder stuff! I’m embossing everything in sight! So naturally, when my bag of leather remnants caught my eye, I knew I just had to give it a try. Thus came about these awesome leather cuffs!

These are so crazy simple. First grab a leather remnant and cut it to your desired cuff shape/size.

 I shaped mine using my trusty Westcott aluminum ruler. This is not an affiliate link – I just wanted to point out how handy this thing is. I use it when cutting and sealing ribbon with my wood burning tool, and the rounded end works great for things like shaping the ends of this cuff. An easy way to mark leather for cutting without leaving ink or pencil markings is to trace around your pattern shape onto the leather with the point of a seam ripper.

For a fastener I used a ball hitch fastener. These were by Spare Parts, but I know that at least at one time Tim Holtz offered them too.

You just unscrew the bottom like this.

Mark where you want your fastener to be.

Then punch a 1/8″ hole for the post to go through. I used a Crop-A-Dile that I got from the same girl who had the embossing materials.

 Insert the post and screw the bottom back on.

 On the opposite end, punch a 3/8″ hole for the ball to slip through, then use an Exacto knife or other sharp blade to cut a small slit on either side of the hole. Don’t cut them too big or your fastener won’t stay put.

Next stamp with pigment ink directly onto the leather.

Quickly cover the stamped area with embossing powder. Here I went with metallic gold.
Shake off the excess and funnel it back into the bottle.

Now fire up your heat gun and watch the magic happen!

 Bright and shiny now!

I just love it!

I liked it so much that I cut out the piece I tested this project on and made a key ring out of it!

I also had some gold leather that I tried it on, and the results were fabulous!

A couple of tips though: First of all, that lovely gold cuff will not be the most durable. The leather will last just fine, but because of the smooth surface, the embossing powder may scratch off. I tried sealing it with clear nail polish, but it just caused the embossing powder to bleed. You may have better luck with another type of sealer.
The best leather for this is going to be a very smooth suede, or a very soft, pliable kid or calfskin leather. These will provide a surface smooth enough to not distort your embossed image while porous enough to give the embossing powder something to bond to. Rough suedes will be too fibrous for the stamp to transfer cleanly too, and it will be nearly impossible to shake all the excess embossing powder off without also removing some from the stamped area.

Posting around here will be a little sparse for the next few days. We’ve got church camp coming up, so I’m going to be buried making corn bags for the cornhole tournament, as well as doing some summer sewing for Lily and editing a couple of photo shoots.

Have a great weekend!

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Embossed Mini Canvas Magnets

We’re going to take a break from the Presser Foot Series because I’ve not had a chance to do some of the projects I need to do to show you how some of the feet work, but we will pick it back up in the near future.

But I do have a project for you all, and I looooove this one! Okay, you guys – embossing powder. I had never used it, although it always looked interesting to me. But I’m not much of a scrapbooker, and I’m more of a use-what-you’ve-got occasional card maker, so I never really had a good reason to justify buying the supplies.


an old friend asked me to make some cute travel pillow cases for her girls, and when I went to her house to drop them off she was doing a major pare down on her scrapbooking supplies. And right there in the middle of it all was a heat gun and several jars of embossing powder! So I came home with a new toy, and ever since then it’s been EMBOSS ALL THE THINGS!

Well, I had these little canvases left over from Taylor’s birthday party. And Hobby Lobby had a bunch more in black on crazy low clearance, so I grabbed a few packs. Last night I sat down with my embossing powders, heat gun, embossing pen, stamps, and pigment ink pads and made these awesome little canvas magnets!

Oh my goodness, SO CUTE! I love them! Taylor did some too. The one that says love is hers.

These are super easy. Just load up the stamp of your choice with pigment ink. It does need to be pigment ink, because otherwise it will dry before you can get the embossing powder to stick. I didn’t know that beforehand, but fortunately I had several pads on hand already. It doesn’t matter what color ink they are, because your embossing powder will cover them, unless you use clear powder, in which case you will want to use ink in the color you want the end result to be. That sentence felt awkward, but you get what I mean.

Anyway, stamp your design onto the canvas. If your canvas is stretched over a frame (some of mine were and some were just wrapped around a little board), you may want to rub the canvas from behind to make sure the stamp design fully transfers.

Once your design is on the canvas, lay the canvas on a sheet of paper, then sprinkle on your embossing powder, making sure to cover the whole design. Then shake the excess off onto the paper, and use the paper to funnel the excess back into the jar to use next time. You can gently tap the canvas on the table if there are clumps, and you can brush off any extra that didn’t fall off with a small paintbrush. It will also help the powder to only stick to the ink if you rub your canvas ahead of time with a dryer sheet.

Now comes the magic. Turn your heat gun on and aim it at your design, a few inches away. Pretty soon you’ll see the embossing powder start to melt, and when you do, start moving the gun over the whole design. You just want to leave it on there long enough to melt the powder. So much fun!

Look how shiny it turned!

You can even go back and add a second layer of embossing just so long as you’re careful not to burn the design.

Just stick a magnet or two on the back using E6000 or even your glue gun and you’re done!

I love these so much!

Next time I have any sort of crafty get together we are definitely doing these. Happy embossing!

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