My Wedding Dress

My husband and I were married in 1991.  After the wedding, my dress went into a box.  It moved with us a few times, but I didn’t really give it much thought until I had a daughter.  I pulled it out once when she was little and let her try it on, then back in the box it went until she announced her engagement.  Neither of us had any plans for her to wear it, in fact I’ll skip posting the photo of her when she tried it on here so she won’t kill me.  I wanted her to have the dress that reflected her, not me.  However, it occurred to me that it would never have another good reason to leave that box if we didn’t find something to do with it.

My daughter and I started with the veil.  She wanted to wear it, but she wasn’t excited about the giant 90’s white satin bow and wanted just the long layer on the bottom.   

My Wedding Dress 1991 - Crafty Staci

That was an easy fix.  I put a rubber band around the bottom layer just below the bow, cut it off and sewed it onto a comb.

Codi's Veil hanging - Crafty Staci

Codi's Veil - Crafty Staci

She wore the bow and remaining short layer to her bachelorette party.  To be funny, of course.

Codi's Bachelorette Party - Crafty Staci

Then there was the dress.  We had corseting added to the dress she picked out, so we needed a cord to lace it up with.  We decided I would make the cord from some of the satin from the skirt of my dress.  That meant cutting it up.

I started out by cutting away the underskirt.  Then I stared at it for a minute or two.  I had no qualms about it, right up until that moment.  Making that first cut was weird.

Wedding Dress First Cut - Crafty Staci

So, this.

Cut dress - Crafty Staci

And then it passed.  Any anxiety I had about it just disappeared, knowing it would be a part of my daughter’s special day in a way that honored the past and left a clear path to the future.

I cut several strips to make the LONG cord we needed for lacing up the dress.

Strips for lacing cord - Crafty Staci

I was a little worried about the two whites matching, but it was perfect. 

Lacing up Codi's dress - Crafty Staci

I used another bit of it to make the pillow that went inside the beautiful ring bearer box my son made.

Pillow inside ring bearer box - Crafty Staci

That left a whole lot of long, lacey skirt.  We eventually decided it would make the perfect table cloth for the bride and groom’s sweetheart table at the reception.

Sweetheart Table - Crafty Staci

By the end of the night it has fallen victim to lemonade, tea and frosting.  And it was glorious.

Drinking Jars on Sweetheart Table - Crafty Staci

I have some of the dress left, which I put away for another project in the future.  I couldn’t be happier we were able to use it for my daughter’s wedding.  So much better than another 24 years in a box!

And with that, we can say goodbye to Wedding Wednesdays.  I hope you all enjoyed reading about our adventures as much as I liked sharing it with you!

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DIY Glowing Mickey Ears

If you’ve ever been to a theme park you know the souvenirs can get a little pricey, especially when you have little ones who seem to want just about everything that’s placed at their eye level.  As a Disney fan myself, sometimes even I have a hard time deciding where to spend my budgeted dollars, and I’ve been a grown-up for quite some time now.  I’m here today to share my most recent project for Undercover Tourist, and it’s one that will help you leave some of that cash in your pocket.

DIY Glowing Mickey Ears - Crafty Staci

Disney is never more fun than it is at night, when everything lights up and magnifies its usual magic.  Whether you want to bring that experience home or get a head start for your next trip, check out my tutorial on Undercover Tourist to make your own glowing Mickey ears for under $3 with only three supplies and a glue gun!

DIY Glowing Mickey Ears by Crafty Staci for Undercover Tourist

Friday Favorites–Stuffed

I don’t know if I’m just noticing them right now, or if there really is an unusual number of stuffed creatures being sewn out there.  I was even in the fabric store the other day when I woman came in with a stuffed bear she had made that was so cute everyone stopped what they were doing to admire it.  So, whether it’s my imagination or everyone else’s, we’re talking stuffed today.

Stuffed - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites 

This Stuffed Fox from Stitched by Crystal looks like it would be pretty easy to make, especially since it’s made from fleece.  I love that he’s wearing a little scarf.

Stuffed Fox from Stitched by Crystal

My son would have loved this Pillow Fight Shield from Busily Spinning Momma.  I’m sure he and his sister would have put its ability to the test.

Me and my Scottish roots think I need this DIY Nessie from We Lived Happily Ever After.

Nessie Pattern by We Lived Happily Ever After

This stuffed ambulance from Ric Rac would be adorable anyway, but the personalized windshield makes it even better.

Personalized Ambulance by Ric Rac

I think this is the third sock-based project I’ve featured from Craft Passion, but this little dragon was just too cute to leave out.

Sock Dragon by Craft Passion

A Stuffed Snail isn’t something you see every day, but Cook Clean Craft made him seem more sweet than slimy.

Stuffed Snail by Cook Clean Craft

This Boom Box Pillow from I’m Feelin’ Crafty actually plays music!

Boombox by I'm Feelin' Crafty

This Stuffed Giraffe pattern from DIYFluffies on Etsy reminds me of one my daughter had when she was little.

Giraffe Plush Toy by DIYFluffies on Etsy

What do you do with a bunch of colorful, orphaned socks?  Make this Mismatched Sock Snake from Grosgrain.

Mismatched Sock Snake by Grosgrain

This Flying Squirrel from Wild Olive looks like a perfect balance between cuteness and mischief.

Flying Squirrel by Wild Olive

Wedding Guest Book Quilt

Remember when guest books at weddings used to be simple things?  There was a book and a pen with a feather on it.  Or not.  But it wasn’t complicated.  These days, there’s a little pressure to have something unique and creative for guests to sign when they arrive.  We went through LOTS of different ideas before finally landing on the one that appeared at my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding.

Guest book table with quilt sign - Crafty Staci

We cut 9” squares from home décor fabric (so it would be a little sturdier than quilting cotton) and provided fine-tip permanent markers for guests to write with.  Guests got pretty creative with it, with a few following the chevron pattern with their writing.  It gave them plenty of space to leave advice, notes and good wishes.  The plan was to sew the squares together after the wedding to make a quilt.

Guest book pens - Crafty Staci

We happened to find a quilt in the perfect colors to use as the table cover – no I didn’t make it.  Because we wanted to save it from any stray ink, and to give guests a hard, flat surface to write on, my husband cut a piece of wood to lay across the front.

Guest book quilt - Crafty Staci

Rather than stack the squares up somewhere, we wanted to display them during the event, so we hung jute cord behind the table and decorated some clothespins with washi tape.

Hanging quilt squares - Crafty Staci

We had the escort cards for seating right next to the guest book table to make it easier for guests and my lovely nieces and my nephew’s girlfriend who served as our guest book attendants.

Escort cards - Crafty Staci

We didn’t really have a plan for what we were going to do with gifts until a couple of days before the wedding.  It turns out a picnic table works beautifully to display the gifts at different heights.

Gift table - Crafty Staci

Back to the guest book table – my big project was the sign.  I cross stitched the words onto burlap in an embroidery hoop using this free software.  Then I added a layer of batting behind the burlap and stitched together some felt squares and cut it to fit the embroidery hoop.  I glued that to cover the back, since it could be seen from some angles.  I added a few twisted rosettes, which I learned how to make here, and found a picture frame easel to hold it.

Please Sign Our Guest Quilt Cross Stitch - Crafty Staci

You might be wondering at this point how that quilt is coming along.  Well, the mistake we made was not letting guests know that they needed to stay away from the edge of the fabric while they were writing on it.  After the wedding we realized that much of the writing would be hidden, even with the tiniest of seam allowances.  All was not lost though, as I just finished putting all the squares into a memory book where the bride and groom can still read them and remember everyone who shared their amazing day.

My thanks to Heather Fitch Photography for allowing me to share some of her photos here!

Fleece Ice Scraper Mitt

We have had a serious lack of winter weather this year.  My husband and I were at the beach last week, and it was mostly sunny and in the mid to high 50s.  What?  I shouldn’t be complaining, but this is January in Oregon and it just isn’t right.  I don’t really like to be cold, but I do like to look at it through the windows of my nice, warm house.  I probably won’t even get to use my toasty new ice scrapper mitt this year.

Fleece Ice Scraper Mitt by Crafty Staci

Enough of my whining.  I’m sure there are many of you out there who can use one of these this year and they’re easy to make, so let’s get started.  You’ll need some fleece, an ice scraper (I bought mine at the dollar store), this pattern and some heavy craft floss.

Ice Scraper Mitt supplies - Crafty Staci

Cut two on the fold, as indicated on the top of the pattern.

Pattern pieces for ice scraper mitt - Crafty Staci

Fold each piece with the right sides together and stitch 1/4” from the bottom edge.

Bottom seam on ice scraper mitt - Crafty Staci

Turn right side out and roll the seam between your fingers to flatten it out.  Top stitch 1/4” from the seam.

Topstitching on ice scraper mitt - Crafty Staci

Pin the two pieces together with the outsides facing each other – in my case that’s Woody and Buzz.  Make sure you use lots of pins to keep all four layers together.  My stitching didn’t catch one layer on my first try, and removing stitches from fleece is no fun at all.  Stitch down both sides, leaving the top folds and the bottom seam open.

Side seams stitched on ice scraper mitt - Crafty Staci

Turn right side out.  Clip the seam at each bottom corner so it pokes out less. 

Ice scraper mitt turned right side out - Crafty Staci

Insert the handle of your ice scraper into the hole at the top.  You can use it this way, if you don’t mind having to put it together every time you want to use it. 

Ice scraper mitt - Crafty Staci

I wanted the mitt and scraper attached to each other.  Mark the spot on the scraper where it’s inserted into the mitt as far as it will go.  The shape of your scraper will be a factor in where your holes will have to go.  Try to find flat spots that are about 1/4 – 1/2” from the top edge of the mitt.  Drill holes.

Drilling holes for ice scraper mitt - Crafty Staci

Insert the scraper back into the mitt and sew through the holes using heavy craft floss, catching both sides of the mitt each time.  A large needle is helpful here.

Stitching scraper to mitt - Crafty Staci

Knot the thread under the fleece.  The nice thing about these large stitches is that if the plastic scraper happens to break, you can just clip them and install a new one.

Stitches attaching mitt and scraper - Crafty Staci

Now you can just reach inside, grab the handle and rid your window of all that ice while your hand stays warm and dry.

Ice scraper handle inside mitt - Crafty Staci

If you’re concerned at about this fitting large hands, I had my son try it on and he has some GIANT paws.  He had no trouble getting it on, and his hand fit completely inside.

Ice Scraper Mitt fits guy hands too - Crafty Staci

Bring on the cold!

Friday Favorites – Winter

I don’t think winter gets its due.  It gets all lumped in with Christmas, when really it’s only just getting started by the time the holidays are over.  If we’re going to get freezing weather where I live it’s much more likely to happen in January than before.  Dashing through the snow doesn’t involve reindeer or Santa.  So, I’m here to give winter the moment in the spotlight that it deserves.

Winter Crafts - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I don’t know if I’m brave enough to let anyone actually use this Indoor Snowball Fight from Sew Can Do inside the house, but it’s so cute and fun I think I could be won over.

Indoor Snowball Fight Set from Sew Can Do

You could certainly use this Reading and Knitting Pillow from Sew Happy Geek any time of the year, but am I the only one that gets more reading and hand-crafts done when it’s too cold to go outside?

Reading and Knitting Pillow from Sew Happy Geek

Evenings find me under a blanket this time of year.  If I had this Family Blanket from Rae Gun Ramblings I could let someone under there with me.

Family Blanket from Rae Gun Ramblings

Has your family been struck down by The Bug yet?  My husband and I were both knocked flat by it before Thanksgiving and we’re still waiting for the cough to completely disappear.  I’m thinking these Homemade Vaporizing Shower Cubes from Smart School House would still be a good idea, even months later.

Homemade Vaporizing Shower Cubes from Smart Schoolhouse

This Get Well Soon Tissue Box Cover from So Sew Easy would be a great gift to take to a sick friend.  There’s a little pocket on the side to add some tea and cough drops. 

Tissue Box Cover from So Sew Easy

I love soup in the winter.  And I love pickles.  I’m intrigued by this Dill Pickle Soup from Noble Pig.  I’m going to have to make a small batch and try it out.

Dill Pickle Soup from Noble Pig

I feel about hot apple cider the way some people feel about coffee.  I love the smell, but the taste – nope.  However, this Apple Cider Hot Toddy from Cookie and Kate has me wanting to give it another chance.

Apple Cider Hot Toddy from Cookie and Kate

When I was a kid one of my cousins got married in the winter and the girls had faux fur muffs instead of bouquets.  I thought it was so pretty.  Apparently it’s a trend that has returned and Etsy seller sewudesigns has many to choose from.

Faux Fur Muff from sewudesigns on Etsy

Nothing is worse than trying to keep warm in January with a bitter chill blowing under your door.  Well, nothing except flattened Mickey.  This Wonderful World Draft Stopper from caitlinsdad on Instructables definitely requires a good sense of humor.

Wonderful World Draft Stopper from caitlinsdad on Instructables

One of my favorite things about winter is boots, but you can get tired of looking at the same pairs over and over all season.  Dress them up with these DIY Faux Fur Boot Sweaters from The Renegade Seamstress on eHow.

DIY Faux Fur Boot Sweaters from The Renegade Seamstress on eHow

Wedding Drink Stand and Flavored Syrups

I didn’t know there was a term for it until we got into the process of planning one, but my daughter and son-in-law had a dry wedding.  For those who haven’t heard that before, it just means we didn’t serve alcohol.  We still wanted the beverages to be fun and not boring though.  We decided on lemonade, iced tea and water, but with lots of options to mix in to take it up a notch.

Wedding Drink Stand and Flavored Syrups - Crafty Staci

It all started with the mason jar-style drink dispensers.  Codi fell in love with them early in the planning process, so everything was planned around them.  My husband built the stand from the same rustic cedar as the cupcake stands I showed you last week.  He planned it at the perfect height for the drinking jars to fit underneath the spouts.  I added the “Drink” with my new wood burning tool (which I LOVE).  Then I made paper signs with my Silhouette to hang above so guests could be sure what was in each jar.

Wedding Drink Stand Signs - Crafty Staci

We made sure there was plenty of fresh strawberries, blueberries, lemons and limes for those who wanted to drop a few into their glass.

Blueberries for Wedding Drinks - Crafty Staci

I also made a sign for guests who might not be sure what a normal syrup to liquid ratio would be.  We had to do a little taste testing first.

Instructions to make drinks - Crafty Staci

The big factor in making the drinks unique and customizable was the syrups.  I bought some of them, and made others.  I found chalkboard tape at the craft store, and instead of writing on it with chalk, which could easily rub off with so many people and all that liquid, I cut out vinyl letters and stuck them on.  It kept all the different bottles looking uniform.  I already had an old Coke crate that was perfect for holding them.

  Wedding Drink Syrups - Crafty Staci

With the giant mint patch out front, I had to make the mint syrup myself.  Nothing else made sense.  Codi also wanted lavender syrup, so we went with homemade on that one too.  I kinda thought she was crazy until I tried lemonade with lavender.  It was delicious! 

Mint Syrup

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves

Boil water and sugar until the sugar dissolves.  Pour over the mint.  Cover.  Let sit for 30 minutes, or until cooled to room temperature.  Strain.  Add food coloring if you’d like a brighter green.

Lavender Syrup

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lavender buds

Simmer all ingredients until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes.  Strain.  Add food coloring if you’d like a lavender tint, as it comes out more of a light green.

I especially liked how this looked at the end of the dessert buffet.  Another thing I’m already looking for my next excuse to use!

Wedding Dessert and Drink Buffet - Crafty Staci

My thanks to Heather Fitch Photography for allowing me to share some of her photos here!

Friday Favorites–Stuff for New Sewing Machine Owners

A few months ago, I replaced one of my sewing machines with a new one.  My husband and I talked about giving the older machine to our daughter for Christmas, but before we made a decision she threw out some hints that she would LOVE to have it.  Done.  Then shortly before Christmas a friend called to get my help picking out a machine for his wife for Christmas.  Since that makes two people close to me who are new sewing machine owners, and I know there are more of you out there, I’m here to share a few ideas to help you break that baby in.

Stuff for New Sewing Machine Owners - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

She’s all new and shiny.  As much as you love your new machine, you can’t use it all the time, and you don’t want it getting all dusty.  Make this easy Reversible Sewing Machine Cover from Stay-At-Home Artist one of your first projects.

Reversible Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial from Stay at Home Artist

There are a few things you need to have easily accessible while you’re sewing, like scissors, a seam gauge or the dreaded seam ripper.  Keep it all at hand with this Mini Keeper from Susie’s Sunroom.

Mini Keeper from Susie's Sunroom

This pincushion cube from Riley Blake Designs is an adorable addition to your sewing table.

The Cube Pincushion from Riley Blake Designs

Speaking of sewing tables, you can make your own with these plans from Ana White.  This one is great for smaller spaces because it folds down.

Sewing Table From Ana White

Another cute way to keep your tools organized is this little trailer from Moda Bake Shop.

Sewing Trailer from Moda Bake Shop

Loose threads end up everywhere when I sew.  This Thread Roller from Sewlicious Home Décor would be a good tool to keep nearby. 

DIY Thread Roller from Sewlicious Home Decor

If you’re new to sewing, this Tailor’s Ham from Serger Pepper might look like a foreign object.  These are actually very helpful, especially if you’re trying to iron something with curves that can’t lay flat on your ironing board.

Tailors Ham from Serger Pepper

Knowing the basic stitches is an important part of the sewing journey, and Feather’s Flight has this handy graphic to help you remember what’s what.

Basic Sewing Machine Stitches from Feather's Flights

Even if you’re not new to sewing, you probably want to start out with a simple project so you can get to know your new machine.  This Envelope Pillow from Craftaholics Anonymous is just the ticket.

Envelope Pillow from Craftaholics Anonymous

If you’re ready to show the world how much you heart your new sewing machine, grab yourself one of these Sewing Machine Keychains from Grommt on Etsy.

Sewing Machine Keychain from Grommt on Etsy

Rustic Cedar Wedding Cupcake Stands

I had put Wedding Wednesdays on hiatus for the busy holiday season, but since we’re starting out a typically mild January, I’d like to finish out the series.  I have a few more DIYs and amazing builds by my husband that just can’t go unblogged.  I’ll be wrapping it up at the end of the month, but for now, lets talk cupcakes.

Rustic Cedar Cupcake Stand on Crafty Staci

The bride and groom decided they wanted mini cupcakes rather than a traditional cake.  It ended up fitting in well with the dessert buffet and the gluten-free requirement.  They chose three flavors, but the biggest issue was what to serve them on.  We considered round wood cuts, but my husband happened to find some rough cedar that made perfect stands, and took him little time to make.

He went with three stands – one three tier and two double tier.  He cut the bottom piece for each 30 by 12”, the next piece 22 by 12” and the top for the tallest stand 14 by 12”. 

Cutting boards for cupcake stand on Crafty Staci

He used giant nails to create the layers.  These things were 12 inches long and 3/8” diameter.  They almost looked cartoonish.

Nails for cupcake stand on Crafty Staci

He marked a spot at the midpoint front to back and about 2” from the end on each side.  Then he stacked the boards, making sure the top was centered over the bottom and drilled a hole, using a bit just slightly smaller than the nail, stopping about 2/3 of the way through the bottom layer.  He repeated the process for the top step on the tallest stand.

Drilling holes for nails for cupcake stand on Crafty Staci

He centered the holes in the top tier over an opening on his table saw and hammered the nails in.

Hammering in nails on cupcake stand on Crafty Staci

He then lifted it over the bottom layer, inserting the nails into the holes.  He hammered them in, making sure it was level and the nails were fully in the bottom layer without poking all the way through.

Adding top layer of cupcake stand on Crafty Staci

He was finished with all three stands in under half an hour.  At that point in the process, time was getting short and anything that could be finished that quickly and come out looking so amazing was a win.

Finished cupcake stands on Crafty Staci

These stands were absolutely perfect for the mini cupcakes.  They fit in well with the country décor and were even the right size.  I haven’t had the heart to get rid of them yet.  I might go buy myself some cupcakes just so I can use them again.

Rustic Cedar Cupcake Stand Tutorial on Crafty Staci

Book Review: Cupcake Envy

I’m here today to a book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.  They have provided me with the book in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own.

I think the title of the book I’m reviewing today, Cupcake Envy, must be a play on words.  Before I opened it I thought it meant everyone would be envious of the cute cupcakes the reader would make from it.  After reading, I realized it actually seemed to mean that ordinary cupcakes would envy the amazing mini cakes found within the pages.  This book is eye candy, pure and simple, but doesn’t stop there.

Cupcake Envy - Book Review by Crafty Staci

The author, Amy Eilert, refers to these treats as cakelets.  They’re more than a cupcake but smaller than a regular cake.  She starts off the book with the charming story of how her business came to be, followed by a chapter laying out the pans, tools and ingredients you’ll want to consider using.  I thought the Tricks of the Trade section was nice for those of us who are novice cake decorators.  Who knew vodka was a handy decorating tool?

Cupcake Envy Book Review by Crafty Staci

There are basic recipes included for cake, icing and frosting, and then comes the fun part – decorating.  It starts off with some lovely, girl options.  My favorite was Playing Dress Up.  Each project has a difficulty rating in the upper right corner, and this one is Easy/Intermediate.

Playing Dress up from Cupcake Envy Book Review by Crafty Staci

The next chapter is all about edibles, like this sweet Cup ‘O Joe.  Wouldn’t this be perfect for Mother’s Day?

Cup O Joe from Cupcake Envy Book Review by Crafty Staci

A bag full of groceries?!?  I never would have guessed that would make such an adorable cake theme!

At the Market from Cupcake Envy Book Review by Crafty Staci

If you’re planning a baby shower this year, there’s an entire chapter that’s sure to impress friends and family.  If making desserts for a whole party is too intimidating, one sweet cakelet just for her is sure to be appreciated by a new mom.

The guys weren’t left out here, with a chapter to themselves, right down to the manly intro.

Macho Men Chapter from Cupcake Envy Book Review by Crafty Staci

This garden cakelet is one of my favorites, but how could anyone bring themselves to actually EAT this?  It’s just too pretty.

How Does Your Garden Grow from Cupcake Envy Book Review by Crafty Staci

I have to admit, they lost me a little in the Offbeat and Edgy chapter, but I’m probably not the target audience there.

There’s a handy section just following that though, full of ideas to use if you don’t have fondant available.  I realized as I reached the end that it has those ever-useful flip-outs on the front and back to use to hold your place.

Cupcake Envy Book Review from Crafty Staci

For me, getting fancy with my cake decorations means adding sprinkles on top of the frosting which, in truth, is probably to hide the crumbs.  I’ve never even touched fondant.  However, after drooling over Cupcake Envy, I’m inspired.  I really want to give these little cakelets a try!