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Category Archives: Tutorials

Tutorial–Coasters

I had some extra fabric leftover from my monogram pillows and decided to make some coasters for our living room.  I am sure there are 101 ways to make coasters but here is my simple and fast way I did it.

Scrap fabric

Extra thick double sided interfacing

First I cut 8 squares approximately 5.5 x 5.5 to make 4 coasters.  Also cut 4 squares of interfacing 4 x 4.  You can make them any size but I liked the finished size this created.

    

Place wrong sides together and sew 3 of the 4 sides together.  Also sew the corners of the 4th side leaving enough room to stuff your interfacing into the pocket.

Turn right side out.  On the open 4th side fold over the seam and press.  I found this much easier to do now as opposed to after I put the interfacing into the pocket.

         

Stuff 1 interfacing square into each pocket and press.

Topstitch as close as you can get to the edge.  I mitered 2 of the coasters corners and played around a bit.  They don’t all have to match but this is where you can get creative and sew different designs like these.

I did this one in black thread so you could see it better.  Lines aren’t perfect but when there is a glass on top of it you can’t even tell.

Have fun making coasters to use up scraps or match pillows in your home.

RAD Mama

Tutorial–Monogramed Pillow

I have been a bit absent from my blog because I have been working on baby proofing our living room.  Since baby proofing doesn’t always have an end result of attractive, I thought I would add some personalized pillows to our fireplace.  Here is my tutorial for a monogramed pillow.

2 pillow forms of your desired size

fabric to cover the forms

contrasting fabric for monogram

pre-made piping (or you can make your own)

double sided web fusible tape

chalk or fabric marker

My pillow forms were 1x15x17 and I cut my fabric a half inch plus 5/8 seam allowance larger than the dimensions.  Cut four of these pieces.

Next I went to Google and searched “D letter” and found oodles of varying scripts of the letter D.  I chose the one I liked and printed it, cut it out and used it as a template.

Next trace your letter with chalk on your contrasting fabric.  A fabric marker will work as well but since my fabric was black my marker wouldn’t show up.  Now if you don’t want to deal with the remnant of the chalk dust you can flip your letter over and do the tracing on what would be the back side of your letter.

Cut this out and add some strips of the fusible web by following the package directions.  Try and add your web to the edges of your letter which help when you go to sew it down.  Measure equal distance from top and bottom and side to side for placement of your letter on one front piece of your pillow fabric.  Tack your letter down using the other side of the fusible webbing with your iron.

With a zig zag stitch all edges of your letter onto the pillow fabric.

Place right sides of your fabric (letter should be on the inside) together sandwiching the piping.  Make sure the pretty pipped edge you want to line the pillow is facing inside.  Using your zipper foot or piping foot sew up against the piping.  All raw edges together.  My pillows used about 3 1/2 yards of piping.

I chose to use strips of piping instead of keeping it a continuous piece since I got several pieces of mine on sale and didn’t have enough for a continuous piece.  If you chose this method make sure you extend your piece of pipping a bit longer than the edge of the fabric and when sewing your seams leave about an inch to place the next piece of piping over the piece just sewn like a plus sign.

Note–Now you could sew your piping onto one side of your fabric first but that is double work so I chose to do the fast method of sandwiching and sewing.

Pin if you wish.  Sew 3 1/2 sides together leaving (make sure you stop an inch from the edge to place the next piece of piping in the seam) a hole large enough to stuff your pillow into the casing.

Stuff your pillow into your casing and hand stitch the opening close using a blind stitch.  I chose to enclose my pillows so little hands didn’t explore and pull out the foam.  You can put a zipper in or leave an opening in the back.  More on these techniques later.

Done!  Easy!  These are going to work great as back cushions for our fireplace seating.

Now go and personalized some pillows to baby proof or update your home.

RAD Mama

Wreath Week–Day 5

Well its been a great week of wreaths and here is my final one.  I chose a cork wreath for the last day because I have been saving corks for 10 years and now have a reason to use them!  Now I didn’t personally drink all this wine but family and friends have also donated to my stash.  Here is my tutorial for a cork wreath.

1 straw wreath

100 or so corks

hot glue gun

glue

bow

wreath hanger

I used a ordinary wreath hanger and inserted this onto the wreath before I started glueing corks.  This wreath does get fairly heavy so I think this is the best way to hang the wreath.  Start glueing by adding a strip of glue to the back of each of your corks and go around in a circular pattern creating a base.

Once this has dried and you make sure none are going to fall off then you are ready to start glueing on the next layer in a hodge podge fashion.  Note: I did have a bit of trouble with the smooth corks from Yellowtail.They don’t take the hot glue well so I used a little gorilla glue and it worked fine.

There is no real method for this just glue to create a 3D look.  You will need to test where you want the piece to go and then glue in the appropriate place.  This layer will not need glue across the whole cork.  Make sure you pieces are glued on well and add a bow if you like.

I really like the natural cork wreath.  I leave mine up year round and just change out the bow (made from my ribbon stash) for the seasons.

Well I have enjoyed wreath week and I hope you have too.  Please leave a comment and if you have a wreath you would like me to feature just contact me.

Have a great weekend.

RAD Mama

Wreath Week–Day 4–Rub-A-Dub-Dub

I really love homes with color on the walls.  I am always trying to find ways to add color because my hubs isn’t thrilled with painting.  So I thought I could add some color with a wreath on the bathroom door.  You might think this is an odd place for a wreath but I got to thinking after a party how many people asked me where our bathroom was.  I think people were just being polite to ask because our house is not big and actually all on one level.  So instead of giving weird directions of go straight then slightly right and it on your left, I could say just look for the bathroom wreath.  So really it’s more of a sign and just fun to have a wreath on your bathroom door!  Here is the tutorial.

1 pool noodle–same kind I used in this wreath

18 small loofas (2 for $1 at Target or Dollar Store)

wood letters

paint

rubber duckie

thick floral wire–same wire I used in this wreath

small sponge brush (circular for dots)

Again I used a pool noodle for the wreath.  So bend it into any shape you want.  I chose a somewhat oval shape.

Next I painted my letters B-A-T-H a light blue color. Now here is where your wreath might differ.  I cut 17 five inch strips of my floral wire and wrapped it through the loofa string and then poked it into the noodle.  This isn’t the sturdiest way to attach the loofas.  If I were to do this again I would cut the wire long enough to wrap it around my noodle and tie in the back.  Also only use 17 because you are going to take one a part and hang the finished wreath with it.

Just play with the placement until you are happy with the result.

Next cut strips of your wire and attach your letters to the wreath.  You can use the loofas to cover up the wire.

Now I am the queen of rigging things up so to hang this wreath I totally did that.  I took a part one of the loofas and wrapped it through the wreath and over the back of the door to my two towel hooks in the back.

Now I realized that not everyone has this set up so I think a Command Adhesive Hook or a regular ole’ wreath hanger will work.    My rubber duckie is just sitting on top of the loofas but you could also wire this guy in there too.

I hung my wreath with solid blue letters and then decided to add the polka dots on the letter while it was hanging up.  Just use a small circular sponge to make the dots.  You could do this step when painting your letters.

It adds a punch of color for our bathroom.  The baby loves looking at all the colors while bathing.

Have fun with your wreaths.

RAD Mama

Wreath Week–Day 3–Guest Blogger

Today I am super excited because my dear friend Crista Taylor is guest blogging for wreath week.  She has made a beautiful burlap rosette wreath.  Although Crista doesn’t have her own blog you can follow her boards on Pinterest.  Follow Me on Pinterest

Here is her tutorial.

Just like RADMama….I never read directions so I want to begin by first saying I put this wreath together using several different ideas on Pinterest.  Literally, this is combining about 5 different things I found on different sites.  Also, I must give my disclaimer—-I am not the most crafty Mom on the block, just depends on the day.  Hence why I have a board on Pinterest titled “Just in case I’m feeling crafty….”.   So here it goes…

My inspiration for this wreath was definitely burlap.  Recently, I’ve been obsessed with any color burlap and found a local store that carries wired burlap ribbon at a reasonable price that is perfect for anything!   It’s called Home Accents.  Everything for this project was purchased there.  I wanted something for my front door and kept seeing burlap rosettes in all colors on Pinterest so here is my take…..I hope you like it!  This project was very inexpensive to make and I have a ton of burlap ribbon leftover to use.

Supplies:

18” wicker wreath

Red burlap 1.5”

Green burlap 2.5”

Cream burlap 2.5”

One piece felt scrap $0.25

Fishing line

Glue gun

       

Fold burlap and roll until you reach the rosette size you prefer…I had 18” wreath so I used about 1 yard.  Now I rolled then folded then rolled…once you begin to play around with it you will get the hang of it and actually begin to make it look like a rose.  The burlap I used was very stiff which actually worked perfect for making rosettes.

After making a rosette, I hot glued the end to side to finish the rosette.  Then I traced the back of the rosette to felt, cut, and hot glued it to back of rosette.  This makes it easier to attach on to your wreath.  I wanted to make four so I alternated cream and red burlap.

      

I also had green burlap so I played around with it and decided to make leaves!  In order to make the burlap leaf I simply cut two diagonal cuts on about a 4 to 5 inch piece.  Then folded the ends backwards and hot glued…this as you see when attached to the rosette looks just like a leaf!  Of course, after this I was feeling really crafty.

      

Now I had to figure out how to place the rosettes on my wicker wreath.  I am sure if you wanted to use a Styrofoam wreath this would be so much easier to place but I love the natural look of wicker so it was harder to attach the rosettes.  I didn’t use hot glue, way too messy…so I got some good ol’ fishing line of the hubs and it worked perfectly!  Literally I roped/tied the rosettes on the wicker wreath.  Then I thought this fishing line will come in handy for making wreaths….it’s invisible and holds a lot of weight!  Now for the finished product.

You could simply hang it as is, but I took some leftover green burlap tied to the top and voila!  My rosette wicker wreath….it might be a bit plain, but I love it!  Once you get started you will be able to create something that you love too.

Thank you to RADMama for allowing me to be a guest on wreath week!   Also, I must pay special thanks to my two precious assistants during this project…they are my true inspiration!

    

Thanks Crista for this beautiful burlap rosette wreath tutorial.  Aren’t her two assistants precious!  Crista is a working mother of these two and still has time to craft!  Bravo to her and we look forward to more of her creative tutorials.

Enjoy!

RAD Mama

Wreath Week–Day 2

My second wreath for the week is actually letters I made for my daughter’s baptism.  This is seriously easy.  I had this idea of doing my daughter’s initials to help jazz up a blank wall in our kitchen (where everyone stands when you host a party!).  These are made of a pool noodle and some paper from the weekly ads!  Check out the tutorial below and get to crafting.

1 pool noodle

paper

silver duct tape

1 roll silver flowery design duct tape

1 roll of pink design duct tape

scissors

scotch tape

coordinating flowers

a few inches of silver ribbon

I played with the noodle a bit to see about where I needed to cut.  Mine was a D so I shaped the curved part of the D and then used a serrated knife to cut the noodle.

Shape the noodle and duct tape it together at the joints.  You might need an extra set of hands to help hold the shape you need.

Wrap the letter with you favorite decorative duct tape.  I chose a silver with a floral pattern.

Next I wanted to do the first and middle initial but smaller than the noodle.  I had tons of weekly ads that I had collected for some project and now it was time to see what I could do with it.  The L was really easy.  I just rolled up several stacks of paper and put a little scotch tape on the edges to hold them together.  The B took some shaping but it came together.

Then wrap with your choice of duct tape and attach at the joints to construct the letters you need.  I will say the curved letters are a bit more difficult but just keep working with it until you get the shape you desire.

I was really happy with how the letters turned out but thought they really needed something else.  So I clipped a few artificial flowers from the dollar store and poked them into the noodle.  I added a few loops of silver ribbon I had in my stash and thought they looked even better.

Have fun with your wreaths!  They don’t all have to be circular and formal.

RAD Mama

It’s Wreath Week!

I love wreaths but I feel like they are a staple for the holidays.  I usually have one up for Christmas but that is about it so I decided to compose a whole week of wreaths for all kinds of occasions.  My first inspiration is from Pinterest.  You may have seen this patriotic wreath that has been all over Pinterest.  I decided to do my own version of it since it’s Memorial Day and we were having people over to celebrate.  Here is how it turned out.

So a confession, I rarely read directions.  That means putting together toys, how to fix my blender, how to use any electronic, etc, I don’t read any of them.  No difference here on a tutorial for a patriotic wreath.  I saw the picture, scrolled down the directions and was off to Hobby Lobby.  I really like this project because it doesn’t have to be perfect to turn out.

Now my wreath calls for more than double the felt and I decided to use blue felt with glitter on it along with a pool noodle as the wreath.  Here are all the supplies I used:

4 sheets glitter blue felt (HL)

13 sheets red felt (HL)

13 sheets white felt (HL)

duct tape (junk draw)

1 pool noodle (Dollar Stor)

felt stars–pre-cut (JoAnn’s)

2 1/2 boxes size 20- 1 1/4 straight pins (Sew-ology, half off at HL)

scotch tape

22 gauge floral wire (JoAnn’s or any craft store you have a coupon for)

Rotary blade and mat (my craft room)

Wreath hanger (craft closet)

Connect the ends of the noodle and duct tape.  May need an extra set of hands to help but sometimes my hubs rolls his eyes at my craft projects (I can even see him thinking “Is this really going to work?”) so I found cutting a couple strips of duct tape first helps.  Make sure you tape the noodle up good because the duct tape can tend to slip and trust me after all the time you spend pinning all the 2.2 squares of felt you might go mad if this thing comes a part.

My wreath is 16 inches from top to bottom.  Now you are ready to start cutting the massive amount of felt in 2×2 squares.


Since I couldn’t remember all the inspiration instructions I just started pinning my squares on.  I folded on a diagonal and then again to form a triangle.

Obviously due to the massive amount of felt I used I pinned them really close together.  Pin the entire blue section first which spanned about 6 inches and each red and white section was 3 inches respectively.

Pin away!

Luckily it’s a mindless task, because it does take awhile!

The wreath is almost complete!

Ok so we need some stars.  I found some pre-cute red, white and blue stars in the dollar section of JoAnn’s.  I snagged a couple of packs and just used 3 white stars.  To make the stars 3D I wrapped the wire around two of my fingers and then pulled off and reshaped from an oval to more circular shape.  I went back to see what the inspiration blogger used and it was a crayon but I like the no so perfect look and frankly no one can see the wire.  I also just scotch tapped the wire to the back of each of the stars.  Poke the wire into the noodle and you are done.

Now to hang on the door to welcome our guests!  I just used a wreath hanger that I had in the closet.

Some photos from our party.

She had fun playing in the bucket and is even learning to stand up on her own!

Stay tuned all week for other great wreaths!

Happy Memorial Day!

RAD Mama

RePurposed Layette

Before I had my daughter I knew snaps on any nightgown was not going to be good.  I am sure in haze of not sleeping I would become very frustrated at changing a diaper so I registered for the elastic bottom layettes.  It turns out I didn’t really use these much either because at first they were so big on my daughter and then she would have one leg hanging out or get tangled around in it.  So I thought since the top of the layette still fit her that it would be a good time to repurpose.  Here is the how-to using the measurements I used.  You should measure your child for a proper fit.

You will need:

1 layette (the top still needs to fit the child)

20 inches of Rick rack (10 for each arm hole)

14 inches of 1/4 inch elastic, cut in half

36 x 8 inches contrasting fabric–I used a pale pink broadcloth

54 x 2.5 inches tulle

Layette

Ok so I began with this layette that I think my daughter wore a handful of times.  I first put the layette on her and measured where her diaper line hit on the layette and marked it with a erasable marking pen.  I did the same markings on the arms where I want to cut them off.  Keep these extra pieces if you want the complete outfit.

Cut at your markings and you should have 4 separate pieces.

Ok you are ready to sew and make a super cute dress for your darling little one.  This layette was made of 100% cotton so try not to pull too much when you sew.

Measure your rick rack around the arm hole and cut.  Be sure to leave a little extra so you can fold down your end.  I even sergered the ends or use zigzag stich.  Rick rack will fray bad.  I think maybe some no fray solution might help but not sure how that works when washed.

Pin your rick rack to the right side of the gown matching the edge of the cut armhole to the lowest edge of the rick rack.  Make sure to fold your end over to meet underneath the arm hole.  Sew.  Flip your rick rack under and top stitch.  UPDATE: After I was done with the garment I decided to go back and add a second line of top stitch to hold the rick rack down.

Serge the long end of the contrasting fabric.  If you don’t have a serger then you can just zigzag but not necessary.  Next sew the short edges of your contrasting fabric together to make a continuous piece of fabric for the skirt.

Iron the seam down.

Next is gathering the tulle.  I wasn’t sure if this was going to work and I don’t think I will be signing up to gather a lot of tulle for dance costumes in the future but here is how I did it.  Tulle can get stuck in your needle and make a mess so I put a piece of white tissue paper on top and bottom of the tulle and sewed using the longest stitch on my machine.  Be sure to leave yourself a tail of thread to pull.  Then pull the tissue off the tulle.  This is a tedious process so if you find an easier way please let me know!

Gather your tulle by pulling one of the strings. Next sew your tulle onto the right side of the skirt.  Turn under, press and top stitch.  I didn’t have a problem top stitching with the tulle in my machine.

           

Next you will need to turn the top of the layette inside out and shove the skirt (tulle end toward the neck) into the layette so the raw edges meet.  Right sides will be together.  Sew those two together.

Press and you have a super cute re-purposed layette!  Now your cute baby will need some leg warmers that were once the sleeves. Fold down the raw edge for the 1/4 inch elastic.  I measured my baby and 7 inches worked for her legs.  Check your sweet nugget for an accurate fit depending on how high you want them to come up on the leg.  Thread the elastic, sew the ends together and close opening of the leg warmer.  Done!

But wait we still have the bottom half of the layette.  Let’s make a diaper cover.

Use the elastic as the waist.  Cut some leg holes.  Just eyeball this.

I turned my seams under and sewed the leg holes and the crotch.  Now you could use elastic thread and maybe even put snaps on it but no one else was going to see the diaper cover under her dress so I thought this worked for me and we had to get to a volleyball tournament!

Get lots of ooohhh and ahhh from everyone around.  My volleyball team played this weekend so the leg warmers came in handy in the cold convention center!

Enjoy making a new outfit out of something used!

RAD Mama

Re-Purpose Wedding Sweater

I had this sweater in the closet and hadn’t worn it in over a year, prior to being pregnant.  My new rule is longer than a year (not including bun in the oven time) and it needs to go or be repurposed.

old sweater from closet

Well I saw icandyhomemade had a repurposed sweater with her cute circle skirt and I thought this one from my closet would go with my new skirt.  So I used this idea and made a nice top even though it was 85 degrees in March!  I didn’t follow her directions exactly because “winging it” is more fun and my sweater was a bit different.

First step, I measured to find the center of the sweater.  Now this sweater has ribs so it made it easy to follow along in a straight line while cutting.

Next be brave and cut!  I know this is scary but you will be better on the other side.

Now I finished the edges with some pink bias tape.  I pinned the bias tape to the wrong side (raw edge folded over) and sewed on the right side of my sweater.  The ribs on the sweater helped sew a straight line.

Easy right!  I also added a hook and eye to the top because I prefer that look.

I would love to see your re-purposed clothes.  Feel free to leave a link.

Happy Sewing,

RAD Mama

Tutorial–Wedding Circle Skirt

My first tutorial!

Hubs, baby and I are attending a wedding and I need an outfit and of course nothing in my closet will work in its current state!  So I saw this circle skirt tutorial on icandyhandmade and MADE.  Now I couldn’t get any cute striped knit locally or online in time for me to construct an outfit while taking care of a baby. I decided to keep it simple with some navy knit that was on sale at JoAnn’s but after I started it was too simple so I added a color block.  Here is my tutorial for the wedding circle skirt.

What you will need:

Approximately 1 1/2 yards of main color knit (May be able to get away with less.  Just take pattern pieces with you to the store and lay them out on the cutting table to measure)

1/4 yard of alternate color knit

rotary cutter or scissors and mat

tape measure

freezer paper or wrapping paper*

pencil

*I had a picture framed and it came wrapped in this thick brown paper.  Worked great for pattern pieces but you could use several pieces of freezer paper taped together or the opposite side of some cheap wrapping paper.

I followed the tutorial listed above for cutting out the pattern piece and produced this.

Circle Skirt Pattern Piece

Next I placed the pattern piece on my fabric and cut it out.  I bought 2 yards of the navy knit not really knowing how much I would need.  I am taller than the average person (6’1) and I figured I could make something for my daughter if I had scraps (which I did).    

Next I decided that I needed some sort of other color so I picked up some green knit for a nice contrast.  Now I experimented with this shape and ended up choosing a V shape.  Here is the pattern piece for the V.  I was going for a V with the alternating color.  The skinny part of the V should be on the fold of the fabric.  Also you may have to adjust the size of V to fit your skirt.  I am 6’1 so your skirt will be smaller if you are shorter, therefore your V will be smaller.

If you decide to fold over the edges about 1/4 inch, cut a small slit in the V .

Small slit in V

Iron down the sides for a cleaner look if you choose.  Knit won’t fray but I thought it would look better and I could cover up any cutting imperfections.  Pin V onto 1 piece of the main color of the skirt.  I took my time during this step and played with the location.  I wanted the edges of the V to match up with the edges of the skirt.

Time to sew!  Sew the alternating color to just 1 piece of the skirt.  This will be the front of your skirt.  Sew as close to the edges of the V as you can.  Then put right sides together and sew/serge your side seams.  Again knit won’t fray so serging is not necessary.

Next you need to make your waist band.  

Sew side seams together.  Fold in half, iron the seam if you would like and pin right sides  of the skirt and waistband together matching fray edges or waistband and skirt.  You should have 3 layers (2 from the waistband and 1 from the skirt).  I followed the direction for the waistband from the tutorial but it was still too big for me.  I added some 2″ elastic in the waist band.  Just wrap the elastic around your waist and cut off the amount that fits your waist if you need the waistband to be tighter.  Initially I thought this was too much fabric but after I put the 2″elastic to cinch in the waist the skirt looked much better on.  I didn’t hem my skirt.


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I was very happy with how it turned out and it was super comfy.  Paired with a white tank top (from the closet), an up-cycled sweater, and a homemade necklace.  Tutorial for the re-puposed sweater and baby outfit out soon.