Monday, April 23, 2012

DIY Reversible Tote Bag

Lately my sister's been on a sewing kick (she just purchased fabric to make pillow covers for my downstairs living room) but it all started with the reversible tote bag she made me for Christmas.

Mine was her first – the prototype, if you will – and since then I think she's pumped out about 10 more of these fun, handy totes. I'm not a sewer (although Mom did make me take Home Ec. in junior high) but I think these reversible bags are fairly quick to fact, I believe the most time-consuming part is choosing the cute fabric and buttons!

I'm not sure which pattern she uses to make her reversible totes but patterns abound online (I think this DIY reversible tote tutorial is a great how-to).

Happy sewing!

*Photos by Sarah B. Danks*

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lazy Susan as Spice Organizer in Small Kitchen Cabinet

Lately I've been on a kick to ensure everything in the house is organized. Everything sitting out is in its place; I've purged storage areas and re-organized everything in them; I've even cleaned closets and hung my clothes by color.

It was only a matter of time before I started on the kitchen cabinets. I've never really cared what the insides of cabinets looked like; after all, I'm really the only one who ever sees them. Well, enter Pinterest and all the cool people on it and their great ideas for organizing everything.

While originally the idea came from Martha Stewart, I ran across it as a Pin from this Pinner. It's not a big deal, but I thought it was a pretty neat idea – and easy to implement, too: using a lazy susan in a cabinet to organize spices. I don't have a lot of counter space – or cabinet space, for that matter – so having a cute spice rack sitting out on the counter was out of the question.

All my spices reside in one small cabinet and unless they were often-used (ergo in the front and easily reachable), they were hard to get to or see. This organizational tactic was the perfect solution for me – especially since I don't have a lot of space to work with:

And, the only things I needed to fulfill this little Pinterest project were a lazy susan (I got mine for a great price at The Container Store) and time. Oh, and the will to clean out that cabinet :)

It wasn't horrendous, but it wasn't great, either. Frankly, I'd really like to be able to fit two lazy susans in there, but it just won't happen. It's still not perfect, but it's a lot better organized than it was!

Now all I have to do is organize all the rest of the cabinets...

*Photos by Sarah B. Danks*

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Shag Pillow Hack

{By Christine}

I found this great shag pillow on Pinterest. Ahhh Pinterest. So many creative ideas, so little time to make them, because I have spent all of my time pinning.

I did manage to get to this project at least. That’s something, right?

The tutorial is from one of my favorite blogs, V and Co. Vanessa has great ideas!

What I especially liked about this project was that I didn’t have to buy any fabric! Instead of purchasing cotton and jersey as Vanessa did, I used old t-shirts, the ones my girls have outgrown or that have little holes in them, for the shag, and an old pillowcase for the body of the pillow.

One t-shirt is not enough fabric to cover this entire pillow with shag. I ended up using four, all in different shades of pink. Pinkish? I like the pillow even more with several colors. An added bonus!

Begin by cutting the tops and side seams off of the t-shirts.

Then cut 11/2 inch x 4 inch strips from the t-shirt fabric.

From the pillowcase cut through both layers of fabric to get two 11x15 inch rectangles. 

Mark guidelines every ¾ inch on one of the pillow rectangles.

Following guidelines, begin to sew t-shirt strips onto top layer only of pillow. Be sure to leave ¼ inch at the top and bottom of each row to allow space for the seam of your pillow!

 Because I was using four different colors, I had to determine ahead of time how many strips of each color I was going to add per row. My math was not very good. I ran out of one color and had too much of another. Oh well. I’m the only one who would notice. Hopefully if you decide to make this pillow and use several colors you will have better luck with your math.

Continue to add t-shirt strips until you have each row filled, about 15 strips per row.

As you add the strips, bunch them, roll them, and twist them, to give your shag pillow a less uniformed, shaggier look. This will be good!

Once all of the t-shirt strips are sewn onto the pillow top, pin the top, shaggy layer, to the bottom layer of the pillow, right sides facing.

Sew around the pillow leaving a 5 inch opening on one side. Be careful that you do not sew any of the strips into the seam of the pillow.

Turn the pillow right side out and stuff with fluff. I just like to say stuff with fluff.

Hand stitch the pillow closed.

Voila! A fabulous, fun shag pillow! 

A shag pillow that was confiscated by my youngest daughter!

That, my friends is my first Pintrest hack! It shall not be the last! (maniacal  laugh, maniacal laugh!) Sorry! I got a little caught up in craziness of actually completing a craft I pinned on Pinterest.

~ Christine

*All photography – minus V& Co image – by Christine Van Tassel*