Monday, August 29, 2016

Easy Footstool Makeover

Have you ever had a project that you keep putting off? For one reason or another, you can't find the time to tackle it or you have other projects you'd rather work on. I have had many, but this little footstool wins the prize. I've been procrastinating about giving it a makeover if for years. Now that I've finally finished, I can only ask myself--Why did I wait so long?

I bought the footstool at a local discount store ages ago. It was perfect for stashing sewing supplies, and it was small enough to tuck under a chair. It wasn't this sad looking when it was new, but with each passing month, it became more obvious that it needed help. Luckily, it only needed a face-lift--not major surgery.

I didn't spend a penny on the makeover materials. I just chose a paint color (from the many cans stored in the basement) and a coordinating fabric (from my extensive stash) and got to work. First, I removed the padded lid and hardware and gave the wooden base a light sanding. One coat of primer and three coats of pale gray eggshell paint gave the stool a fresh new look.

When it came to re-covering the lid, I at first thought about removing the original fabric. I quickly talked myself out of that idea, which would undoubtedly involved a lot of time and frustration. Instead, I just measured my fabric so it wrapped around the lid with plenty of overlap, and then used a heavy-duty stapler to fasten the fabric edges on the lid's underside. I stapled a piece of gray felt onto underside of the lid to conceal the raw fabric edges. For the final step, I re-attached the hinges. Ta-da! The project that I had put off for years took me only a few hours to complete--and isn't it adorable? Make me think I should start tackling some of my other "procrastination projects."

Monday, August 22, 2016

Seaside Stars & Stripes Cross-Stitch Picture

If you follow my blog, you know I'm a bit obsessed with cross-stitch. I've shared a few simple projects over the past two-plus years. (You can visit the "Free Cross-Stitch Charts" tab above to see the patterns that are available.) I hope some stitchers have found them and enjoyed them. I also hope I've also inspired a few crafters to give cross-stitch a try.

This week I'm celebrating the (almost) end of summer with my Seaside Stars & Stripes Cross-Stitch picture, which was featured in the Summer 2015 issue of Craft Ideas magazine. The stars are white starfish floating in a blue tide. The stripes are made up of red crabs, fish, and lobsters, and white shells and sand dollars. I admit--it's a big project, but it may not be as difficult as it looks. Once you master each little motif, you just stitch the same design again and again.

If you'd like to cross-stitch your own sea-themed stars and stripes, click here to go to the chart and instructions on the Craft Ideas website. If you'd rather start with a simpler project, try the Cross-Stitch Lobster Ornament that I posted earlier this summer.

Happy stitching--whichever design you choose!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pom-Pom Flip-Flops & Necklace

I've gone a little pom-pom crazy since I bought a pom-pom maker a few months ago. I love making pom-poms in different colors and finding new ways to incorporate them into my crafting. I had a bunch of red pom-poms left over from another project, so I used them to add some fun to summertime accessories.

Even though back-to-school shopping is in full swing, I have no intention of giving up my flip-flops any time soon. But I do think pom-poms gave my red-and-white pair an extra touch of cuteness. I used red worsted-weight yarn and a 1 5/8-inch pom-pom maker to create the pom-poms shown here. (Visit my Pink Pom-Pom Garland post to learn how to use a pom-pom maker.) After I trimmed and fluffed the pom-poms, I just tied them onto the flip-flop straps. And yes, they do tickle!

As you can see, the necklace is also a super-easy project. I just tied five pom-poms, evenly spaced, to the links of a silver chain I had in my jewelry-making supplies. A clasp finished it off, and now my pom-pom necklace is ready for a summer party.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Tricks, Treats and More in the Fall issue of "Craft Ideas"

I know, I know . . . it's only August. Too early to start thinking about Halloween, right? Not if you're a crafter. If you want to make your own Fall and Halloween decor, it's time to start stitching, painting, and gluing. Good news--the Fall issue of Craft Ideas magazine is coming to newsstands on August 23, and it's filled projects for fall, Halloween, back-to-school, and Thanksgiving.

One of those projects is my Trick-or-Treat Mouse. The cute little rodent is hand-stitched from wool-blend felt and wears a purple cape, green mask, and a tiny trick-or-treat bag. Click here to see a sneak peek of more projects from the issue!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hand-Sewn Felt Seashells

When I was a young girl, I was fascinated with seashells, even though I lived far from the ocean in Northeastern Pennsylvania. A friend of my grandparents, whom my siblings and I knew as Uncle Bozo, would bring me a few shells for my collection whenever he visited. I even had a little guidebook that contained illustrations of hundreds of different seashells that could be found all over the world.

I'm not sure what happened to my original seashell collection, but over the years I have gathered many shells during my own visits to East Coast beaches. I keep them in jars and baskets around the house because I'm still fascinated by their shapes and textures.

I tried to celebrate--not duplicate--the beauty of seashells with a collection of felt shells that appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Craft Ideas magazine. I used felt and embroidery floss to create replicas of a scallop shell, oyster shell, sand dollar, and starfish. (I think the scallop shell is my favorite.)

If you'd like to try to sew your own seashell--or the whole collection, click here to go to the instructions and patterns on the Craft Ideas website.