Tag Archives: fabric crafts

Getting Crafty with Pin Cushions

There’s a bee in my bonnet – Lori Holt’s Bee In My Bonnet blog. It’s spectacular. I often drool over her beautiful website with its plethora of quilts, her line of custom-designed fabrics and patterns, and adorable craft tutorials.

Pin Cushion Crafts - Finished Lawn Chair Pin Cushion

This lawn chair pin cushion tutorial is one of my favorites. It starts with a metal lawn chair candle holder sourced from the dollar store. Mine is a vibrant shade of teal. From there, you just need a few basic items from the craft store.

Not pictured - loose quilt batting (a.k.a. fluffy stuff).

Not pictured – loose quilt batting (a.k.a. the fluffy stuff).

I love this bright argyle print. It’s perfect for my tiny teal chair. To start, I measured the width and length of the chair. Stitching around three sides, I then turned it right-side-out and stuffed the ‘seat’ with batting. A quick stitch across the width of the cushion helped divide the seat from the back. The seat gets twice as much batting so the pins have something in which to rest. The back of the cushion gets a light stuffing and then the top is stitched shut.

Pin Cushion Crafts - Lawn Chair Pin Cushion - Overview

To keep the cushion in place, I opted to stitch a color-coordinated ribbon to the back of the cushion and tie it to the chair. It can be hot-glued into place, but I opted for a ribbon so I can use it as a candle holder or blog prop at any time.

Pin Cushion Crafts - Lawn Chair Pin Cushion Collage

The last small detail, and I do mean small, is the button tufting on the cushion. Using tiny white buttons from the craft department at Hobby Lobby, I used embroidery thread to attach them at intersecting lines on the argyle print. Pulling the buttons tightly and stitching them down at the back creates that cute tufted cushion detail. And you don’t have to worry about the stitching showing on the back because the metal covers it. Perfect!

Pin Cushion Crafts - Button Detail Close-Up

Okay, before I let you go I have to show you one more cute pin cushion idea I saw on Lori’s Instagram feed. She made a tiny travel-size pin cushion out of plastic Easter eggs. For real! They could not be cuter, so of course I had to try it. Tis the season, after all. Here’s how mine turned out.

Pin Cushion Crafts - Easter Egg Pin Cushion Collage

Those glittery Easter eggs are from WalMart. I love the colors and texture. The fabrics are remnants from my fabric basket. This one it just too easy. To make, cut a 4″ circle of a color-coordinated fabric for each egg. Stuff it with quilt batting and pin or tie it into a ball. Use a glue gun or quick-drying craft glue to glue it into the bottom of the egg and allow it to dry completely. Once dry, add pins and presto! A tiny portable pin cushion you can pop in your pocket.

Pin Cushion Crafts - Easter Egg Travel Sewing Kit

I went a step further and added a few safety pins and two needles pre-threaded with tan and black thread to convert it to a portable sewing kit. I can toss this little gem into my cosmetic bag for travel and never have to worry about losing a button again. Even better, these would make perfect gifts for a Ladies Only weekend. Thanks for the inspiration and tutorials, Lori!

Pin Cushion Crafts - Easter Egg Pin Cushions - Dozen

If you love to get crafty or just appreciate true creative genius, visit Lori Holt’s Bee In My Bonnet blog. The links to these tutorials are imbedded above, or can be found by clicking here:

Lawn Chair Pin Cushion Tutorial at Bee In My Bonnet Co.
Apron Water Bottle Cover – Bee In My Bonnet Blog
Easter Egg Pin Cushion – photo on Lori Holt’s Instagram feed

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Craft Projects, Things I Love

Friday Fun: The Sock Monkey Project

Who doesn’t love a sock monkey? They’re cute, they’re cuddly, and they’re colorful. When Mom & one of my four sisters were here last week, Big Sis threw down a crafting challenge. She brought a pattern for sock monkeys. She should really know better than to throw down a crafting challenge for several reasons:

1. I love a challenge.
2. I love all things crafty.
3. I love my grandchildren.
4. I love making things for my grandchildren.
5. We all inherited the ‘Artsy Fartsy’ gene from our mother.

We had grand plans to tackle this together – the three of us. But food, antiquing and Cocktail Week got in our way. You see, my big sister was just here for a long weekend. Mom came for 9 days. That meant Mom and I had more down time. So in the same way we tackled Cocktail Week research, we jumped on that sock monkey pattern – like it was our mission in life.

Quick fact about the females in my family – we’re addicted to Target. While there, we found a rack of cute socks in coordinating stripes, patterns and colors. Of course, we looked at each other and squealed “Sock Monkeys!”

Making these for Lilly & Jonah was, well… more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

The only thing cuter than sock monkeys? Sock monkeys in stylish outfits. Lilly Bug’s monkey has a lacy skirt with antique button detail; Jonah’s monkey has grey flannel shorts with a star button pocket. It’s what all the fashionable sock monkeys are wearing these days.

Feeling crafty yet? Here’s the link for the sock monkey pattern. It’s from CraftPassion.com. If you enjoying being creative, you’re going to love this website. Thanks for the pattern, Big Sis! And thanks to my Mom for helping sew them up. We had the best time bringing these little cuties to life.

The twins really want you to make sock monkeys. Like right now.

I can already tell I’m going to spend WAY too much time browsing CraftPassion’s fun projects this summer. Care to join me? Bring your socks!

12 Comments

Filed under Craft Projects, Family Stuff

Craft Tutorial: DIY Camera Strap Cover


A few days ago, I posted this photo of a camera strap cover I made for my DSLR camera. Several of you expressed an interest in learning how to make one. So, as promised, here is my attempt to post a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own basic camera strap cover. I’ll warn you: I have very little experience explaining this type of thing, so bear with me. I really hope this makes sense.

Supplies you will need:
Fabric, cut into two 5″ x 28″ strips
One piece of 2-sided fusible iron-on web measuring 4 1/2″ x 22″
A spool of thread in a color that matches your fabric
A handful of straight pins
An iron & ironing board, sewing machine and scissors

On an ironing board, lay out both strips of fabric and press them to remove all wrinkles. I chose this cute foodie fabric because I dream of becoming a better food photographer some day. Hey, you can’t stop a girl from dreaming.

Place one strip of fabric face down (good side down) and center the fusible web on top. Center the fusible web horizontally and vertically (it will not be as long as the fabric, which is fine). If you are using a 2-sided fusible web that has paper on one side, place it paper side up! You don’t want to melt this stuff onto your iron.

Press the fusible web to fuse it to the first strip of fabric. Once it has cooled, remove the paper backing.

You should have approximately 1/4″ of fabric showing at the top and bottom of your fabric strip. Fold that 1/4″ strip down over the fusible web, and press it so it lays flat. Be very careful not to touch your iron to the fusible web, or it may melt onto your iron. Do this on both the top and bottom edges.

Take your second (non-fused) strip of fabric and lay it out on your ironing board with the good side facing the board. Place your first strip of fabric (with the fusible web) on top of the second fabric strip, with the good side facing up. Center it vertically so that there is approximately 1/4″ or so sticking out on both the top and bottom edges, as shown in this next photo.

Using your iron to press the hem into place, fold the unfinished edge of the bottom piece under – aligning it with the hem of the top piece. Working horizontally from side to side, press the bottom 2″ of the fabric strips to fuse the two pieces of fabric together.

Now turn the unfinished edge under on the opposite side of the strip, working horizontally from side to side, and press it into place so that the edges on the other side are aligned. You’ll want to press this 1/4″ edge under all the way out to each end of the strip, even though the fusible web does not go out to each end. At this point, you’ll have one 5″ by 28″ band of fabric with pressed edges along the top and bottom, and unfinished edges at the ends. Once your fabric is pressed and fused, you’re ready to work on finishing those ends.

At this point, check both sides of your fabric strip. Does one side look better than the other? If it does, use that as your “finished” side and place that side face down on your ironing board. This is where I take a quick measurement for length. Place your actual camera strap next your fabric strip, centering it to determine how much extra length you have on each end. What you want is about 2″ of fabric past the end of your camera strap (you should be measuring from the edge of the woven strap, not the leather end). If you have more than 2″ of fabric past this point, just cut it so that the overage measures 2″.

To finish both ends, fold the unfinished edge in approximately 3/4″ and press, then turn it under again another 3/4″, and pin it in place.

Left photo: the first 3/4" fold; Right photo: the second 3/4" fold

On your sewing machine, set your stitch to a straight stitch (standard default setting on most machines). Using a 1/8″ seam allowance, stitch a rectangle to secure both folded ends of your fabric strip. That folded edge will be inside the camera strap cover so that only the stitching shows on the outside.

Moving back to your ironing board, fold your fabric strip in half length-wise so that your “good side” is now facing out on both sides of your 2 1/4″ strap cover, matching the edges as perfectly as possible. (Remember: your folded ends should be facing the inside of the strap cover now.) At this point, I like to actually lay my camera strap inside the folded cover to make sure I have enough room for my seam allowance. It should fit, but I like to have visual confirmation before I stitch it down. Once you’ve checked to make sure it fits, remove your camera strap, then press and pin the entire length of your camera strap cover.

Moving back to your sewing machine, stitch the entire length of your pinned seam using a 1/8″ seam allowance.

I like to sew the first 1/2″, then use my “reverse” stitching feature to back up over that first 1/2″, then move forward again – just to really secure the edge of the opening and make sure the seam doesn’t accidentally rip out when taking it off and on your camera strap. Better safe than sorry, I think. Once you’ve sewn the entire length of your pinned seam and you’ve secured both ends to keep them from ripping out, remove the pins and sew once more, right over the top of the same stitching you just did. Double-stitching the length of your strap cover will prevent it from ripping out or coming unsewn after multiple sessions of pulling it on and off your camera strap. Once it’s finished, it should look like this:

Congratulations! Your camera strap cover is now finished. If you’d like, throw it on the ironing board and give it one final press, then you’re ready to put it on your camera strap. The easiest way I’ve found to pull your camera strap through your new cover is to use a ruler with a hole in one end. Using a piece of twine or embroidery thread, tie your camera strap to the hole at the end of the ruler.

Feed the opposite end of the ruler into the camera strap cover, until it pops out the other end. Pulling gently on the ruler, thread the strap through the cover.

You may have to help it start through when the widest part of the strap starts to go into the cover. Sometimes the edges can get caught on the stitching. Pull the camera strap through the cover until each end is sticking out evenly.

If you want to make a 2-sided (reversible) camera strap cover using two coordinating fabrics, cut each fabric into a 3″ by 28″ strip and stitch the “right sides” together lengthwise. Press to flatten the center seam and use that new 5 1/2″ strip as the “outside” side of your camera strap cover. For the “inside” of the strap cover, use either of the two fabrics you chose, cut to the original 5″ by 28″ length. If you like to match fabric patterns, making a reversible cover can be a lot of fun. Here’s a sample of the covers I’ve made so far. Today’s tutorial version uses one fabric, but the other two are reversible. Now I can change my camera strap covers to suit my mood or my outfit. {Note: I’m totally joking here. I am neither high maintenance nor high fashion. Not even close!}

A quick note about 2-sided fusible web: if you’re unsure which type to buy, I’m including this photo of the package I purchased. It is 2-sided fusible web with a paper backing on one side, which makes it much easier to iron on. This package came in 9″ x 11″ sheets, which I cut in half. I used two 4 1/2″ x 11″ strips. Fabric and craft stores sell iron-on fusible web in many different forms and sizes. All you really need is one strip that is 4 1/2″ wide by 22″ long.

If you have any questions or need any steps clarified, please post a comment and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. Now hit the fabric store and start crafting. And send me a link to any photos you post of your new camera strap covers!

13 Comments

Filed under Craft Projects