Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A little something for your bling...

Not sure why, but I feel like I need something nice and beautiful to put my nice and beautiful things in. I'm pretty sure my husband thinks I'm crazy. I have a wood jewelry box that I really like, but it's gotten a little cramped -- and a lot disorganized -- with earrings and necklaces and bracelets all over each other. I had to untangle everything each time I wanted to wear some jewelry. That, and for some reason, it's starting to tarnish my jewelry...

So I found an easy solution that is not only cute but makes it so much easier to pick out what I want to wear. Love it!

There are so many tutorials for this kind of stuff online, but here's two ways that I found. One is just for earrings (cheaper version), the other is for earrings and necklaces.

Let's start with version one: It's definitely the cheaper route to go, and you can hang it on your wall. And while you can't put your necklaces with it, I found a super cheap solution for that (stay tuned for that tutorial!).

Version two was just so clever, I had to try it! Plus maybe you can swing it to do it for cheap...

We'll start with the basic version today.

Here's what you'll need:
*a frame, of any size you want
*hot glue gun
*staple gun (optional)
*fiberglass screen
(Sorry, you don't need pushpins for this version, that's for version two, so ignore that in the picture...)

So I picked up my frame from the thrift store, a nice big 11 x 14, for less than a dollar. I used some fabric I already had on hand, and I bought the fiberglass screen at Home Depot (it was against the back wall behind the windows department) for a few bucks. And there's a ton, so split it with some friends, make a whole bunch for Christmas gifts, something...

First off, ditch the glass in your frame (you can save it as replacement glass or donate it). Then I painted my frame because I wasn't crazy about the color.

I didn't even sand it, just used some acrylic paint in my favorite color, Burnt Umber. Then covered it with a spray sealant.

Next, cut out your screen a little bigger than your frame. Then using the staple gun (or hot glue gun if you don't have that), you'll tack it down as far forward as you can from the backside of the frame (you're basically replacing the glass with the screen).

Make sure you pull it really tight as you do it. I started with one side, stapled it down, and then I pulled it tight as I did the other side and continued to pull tight and tacked it down well everywhere.

Then trim the screen, leaving just a little past where you stapled or glued it down.

Then trim your material a little bigger than the frame. Use your staple gun/hot glue gun to attach the fabric to the very outside/top of the frame from the back side (so there's a little space between the screen and the fabric). Again, make sure you're pulling it tight. You will also need to make sure you can trim the fabric around the hanging bracket so you can still hang it.

And that's it! How easy is that! Of course, this is only good for wire earrings, not for posts. That's mostly what I have, though, so it's been awesome!

I move the little plastic backs up right next to the loop in the wire earring hook and then you just slide the wire through one of the holes in the screen. Now your earrings are easily found, out calling for you to wear them.

Now I just need to get my necklace hanger done so my necklaces won't be all over each other...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


So I got back from vacation almost a month ago, and I'm still having a hard time getting into the swing of everything! I finally catch up on my house so I think I can focus on other things and my house falls apart, the kids' schedule is still a little uncertain, and I suddenly have a bazillion things that need to get done in just a few weeks! Phew...

So I've got this wonderful little bag pattern that I'm hoping to get up in my Etsy shop in the next few weeks. My testers have given me great feedback and I'm almost ready to put it up.

It's a pretty basic bag, but so cute! It will be great for beginners, and you'll learn how to do a zipper, a pocket and really nice looking corners. I designed it to be a church bag, perfectly sized to hold a set of scriptures, but it makes a great little tote, too. That's where I keep my current crochet projects and all my hooks (although that will change soon -- come back for a crochet buddy tutorial!).

If you're interested, I'll put up a coupon code when I get it in my shop and give you a discount! But for today, I'll share a little snipit about how to do the zipper. I've seen this method used in several patterns, but unless you get lots of pictures and really break it down, it can be really confusing. Hope this helps with your next project!

This method is for a zipper on a pocket when you have two pieces of material.

So here's the back of my bag lining, and I've marked a box right in the middle that's 3/8-inch tall and about 6 inches long. I'm going to sew right on top of these lines, and I want my zipper to be a little bigger than this box. This box will become a hole that I will lay over the top of my zipper and sew in place, so make sure you've made it small enough to have fabric to sew onto the zipper. See how the zipper compares to the box?

So now you'll flip back to the front of your lining; you'll pin your pocket in place with right sides together. (I made sure to sew my zipper about an inch down from the top of the pocket so you'll have room to stitch up your pocket later). Also, make sure those pins are well out of the way of your box.

Flip your pieces back over so you're looking at the back again, and sew right over the box you drew, making sure to sew well over your beginning place and you back stitch on the short sides.

Now grab your scissors -- you're going to cut a slit right along the middle of this box, stopping about 1/2 inch from the sides. Then from there, you'll cut diagonally to each corner, so you'll have a little triangle at the end. Try and get as close as possible in those corners as you can without snipping the stitching.

Now you can take out your pins, and from the back side, you'll reach through the hole and grab your pocket and pull it to the back side. Then press it nice and flat.

As you can see, my corner bunched a little bit but I was able to press them mostly flat. The closer you can get to those corners when you cut your hole, the flatter it will lay. Now here's the hole for your zipper! While looking at the front, you'll lay your zipper underneath, pin in place and sew.

I like to make sure the head of the zipper is nice and snug against one side, and then just make sure it's centered as you pin the rest of it.

That's the quick and simple version of what I've got in my pattern, but it should help you place your next zipper! Happy sewing!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A personal side note...

Yep, I've been MIA for weeks. I have a good excuse, I promise...

I've been on vacation for almost a month, and part of it was spent with my hubby in Hawaii. As much as I'm obsessed with crafts, I just couldn't think about that while laughing with my family on the back porch, enjoying some cool mountain air with my incredible in-laws, or swimming with my sweetheart in blue ocean water. Wonderful, awesome trip.

But I'm back in full craft mode with a bazillion projects on my mind, like Halloween costumes (yes, I've actually been thinking about this since June -- you need to think about that this soon when you're making three of them and you have to have them be awesome like I do), jewelry organizers and yarn goods.

Promise I'll be back soon with some really fun projects!