Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks

I love giving a little something handmade with something store bought.  It makes it just a little more personal and special.  I don’t know how many coffee cup sleeves I’ve given along with a coffee shop gift card or travel cup.  So many, in fact, I think just about everyone I know has one and it’s time for something new.  These bookmarks can be made from fabric scraps, take no time at all and would be great paired with a book or bookstore gift card.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 1

I made about two dozen of these, just using pieces of fabric from my scrap box.  You need two 4” by 4” pieces of iron-on interfacing and three 4” by 4” squares of fabric.  Cut one of the interfacing squares in half diagonally and save one half for your next bookmark.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 2

Iron the triangle of interfacing onto the fabric you want for the corner.  Iron the square of interfacing onto the piece you want to face the front behind the corner.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 3

Fold the fabric with the triangle in half diagonally, where the interfacing edge is, and press.

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 4

Lay the square with interfacing on it face up.  Add the triangle on top in the upper right corner.

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Lay the other square on top, face down.  Pin.

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Stitch around the outer edge with a 1/4” seam allowance, leaving 1 – 1 1/2” open at the bottom.  Clip the corners.

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Turn right side out and press, turning in the opening.

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Stitch all the way around, close to the outer edge.

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Slide a gift card inside or slip it onto a book.  This would also make a great little gift all by itself!

Quick Fabric Corner Bookmarks - Crafty Staci 10

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Giveaway Day Winner

Congratulations to my Giveaway Day winner – Sandra!  Here’s her favorite holiday gift:

“This year I made quilted Christmas postcards instead of regular cards. The recipients were really thrilled with them. One niece wants to learn to make them as gifts next year. Love to share ideas with loving family.”

How much do we all wish we knew Sandra right now?  What a great Christmas card idea! 

Sandra’s prize of three Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve Kits is on its way to her today.

December 2014 Giveaway Day prize at Crafty Staci

My deepest thanks to everyone who entered!

December 2014 Giveaway Day

It’s that time of year again – Sew Mama Sew has organized their semi-annual Giveaway Day!  I don’t often participate in the December party because I’m so busy it’s difficult to come up with something good to give away, but this year I have the perfect thing.

December 2014 Giveaway Day at Crafty Staci

I’ve gathered up three of my most popular DIY Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve Kits and they can be yours!  They make great gifts for people who sew, or stitch them up yourself for those coffee lovers on your list.  When they’re finished, they look a little something like this:

Crafty Staci's DIY Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve Kits

One winner will receive all three kits shown in the photo.  This giveaway will be open until midnight PST on Friday, December 12, 2014.  At that point a winner will be drawn at random and notified via email.  If I’m unable to make contact with that winner by 6 pm PST on Sunday, December 14, 2014 a new winner will be drawn.  This contest is open to international entries.

Coffee Cup Sleeve Kits from Crafty Staci

To enter, just leave a comment here telling me about one of your favorite handmade gifts, given or received.  Be sure to visit Sew Mama Sew to enter all the other great giveaways starting today!

The Bouqs Review and Mason Jar Vase Cover

I received a bouquet free of charge for this review and this post contains affiliate links.  All opinions are my own.

As a DIY blogger, I get offers to review items often.  If I feel like it’s a product that’s relevant to what I do here sometimes I accept.  When I was contacted by The Bouqs recently, my first instinct was to say no.  I wasn’t sure if fresh flowers really fit in here, even though I love bouquets and the photos on their website were drool-worthy.  But then I realized I had a project I’d been wanting to make that would pair perfectly with a beautiful bunch of flowers!

The Bouqs and Fabric Mason Jar Vase Cover by Crafty Staci

Lets start with those flowers.  They offered a list of options I could choose from, and I went with a bouquet called Fortified.  I was very excited to see these in person, but I have to admit, when this box arrived in the condition it did I feared for the delicate cargo inside.

The Bouqs box - Crafty Staci

I’m pretty sure it was the bat in someone’s lunchtime baseball game.  I didn’t need to worry though, because when I opened it up I found these without a bit of damage.

The Bouqs first opened - Crafty Staci

The packaging inside kept the contents from feeling any of the roughness that the poor box had been through.  They were secure and well-wrapped.  They even had this goopy gel on the ends, which I can only assume kept them hydrated.  It did its job well.

Gel on flower stems - Crafty Staci

I was prepared to be critical of these roses because I wanted to make sure this was an impartial review and not pull any punches.  But these roses were (and still are) GORGEOUS.  Everyone who has seen them so far has commented on how beautiful they are.  I would order them again in a heartbeat, with my own money, which I did for my grandmother’s birthday.  If I had one complaint about the roses, it would be that they arrived a day early and had it been for a special event that could have been disappointing.  However, they did deliver Grandma’s sunflowers on her birthday as I requested and sent my confirmation the moment she received them. 

I’ve had these roses for eight days now, they’ve opened perfectly, and not a single petal has dropped.  I haven’t changed the water or clipped the stems since the day they arrived.  The Bouqs will get my business again.

Roses from The Bouqs - Crafty Staci

How about that container?  I was trying to think of a way I could use fabric to change up a vase for different seasons, so I came up with this cover that slips over a 1/2 gallon mason jar.  And it’s reversible!

Fabric Mason Jar Vase Cover by Crafty Staci

To make this you’ll need two rectangles of fabric that are 17 by 12” (I used a fall fabric for Thanksgiving and a snowflake for Christmas) and two strips that are 1 1/2” wide by 42” (or the width of the fabric). 

Fabric to cut - Crafty Staci

Fold the two long edges into the middle on one of the strips.  I recommend a bias tape tool for this.

Making bias tape - Crafty Staci

Unfold the short ends and fold each to the inside 1/4”, then refold.  Fold the entire length in half with the raw edges to the inside and press.  Stitch close to the folded edges.  Fold the tie you’ve made in half and stitch close to the fold to hold.  Repeat to make the second tie.

Ties - Crafty Staci

Bundle up most of the tie and secure it with a pin or tying.  This will keep it from accidentally getting sewn into the wrong seam.  Place the tie fold you stitched even with the 12” edge of the fabric rectangle, 2” from the top.  Make sure your pin head is on the outside.

Pinning the tie - Crafty Staci

Fold the rectangle in half, lining up the 12” edges.  Stitch 1/4” from the edge, backstitching over the tie.  Repeat for second rectangle.

First seam - Crafty Staci

Press the seam open and center it in the back.  Stitch across the bottom, leaving 2” open on one of the rectangles.

Second seam - Crafty Staci

Flatten the corners with the bottom seam centered, as shown.  Stitch across the corner 1 1/2” from the tip.  Trim off the corner.

Boxing the corners - Crafty Staci

Turn one right side out and stuff it inside the other.  Match the seams and edges.  Pin in place.

Upper edge - Crafty Staci

Stitch all the way around the edge.  Turn right side out through the opening at the bottom.  Hand stitch the opening closed.

Turned right side out - Crafty Staci

Push one side back into the other and press the fold at the top.  Stitch close to the fold.

Topstitching - Crafty Staci

Slide a half-gallon mason jar inside and tie the top to use as a vase.

Fabric Mason Jar Vase Cover on jar - Crafty Staci

Or you can use it as a gift bag for a quart-size mason jar full of goodies!

Fabric Gift Bag for Quart Mason Jar - Crafty Staci

Mine is sitting on my table, holding my fiery flowers from The Bouqs!

Beautiful bouquet from The Bouqs - Crafty Staci

Disney Movie Quote Ornaments

I’m just popping in today to tell you about the holiday ornaments I’m sharing over at Undercover Tourist today.

Disney Movie Quote Ornaments - Crafty Staci

Each of the ornaments features a quote from a Disney movie.  They can be printed out on your home printer, and are sewn with straight lines, so they’re really easy.

Disney Movie Ornaments - Crafty Staci

Hop on over to the Undercover Tourist blog for all the details!

Disney Movie Quote Ornaments by Crafty Staci

Felt Camera Ornament

Business in the front:  today is the last day of the Holiday Sale in my Etsy shop – free shipping on any order over $10 within the U.S.!  Enter coupon code JOLLY2014 at checkout.  International customers receive a $4 discount on your order with code WORLD2014. 

And party in the…Christmas tree.  I was playing with some felt recently, and thinking about all the camera fans I’ve met through my shop.  I know I like to have some ornaments on our tree that reflect the interests of the people in my house.  I’ve noticed a couple of camera ornaments in stores, but nothing all that cute, so I thought I’d see if I could come up with something better. 

Felt Camera Ornaments - Crafty Staci

These take a little time with all that stitching, but they aren’t particularly difficult.  In fact, if you don’t mind losing the look of the stitching, you can simply glue everything together!   

To make one of these, you’ll need this pattern, felt in black, white, grey and your choice of color, a button no larger than 1/2”, ten inches of 1/4” wide ribbon and embroidery floss. 

Felt Camera Ornament ingredients - Crafty Staci

Cut two of the camera body pieces, two of the flash (one is shown in the photo below, but you need two) and one of each remaining piece.

Felt Camera Ornament Pieces - Crafty Staci

Stitch the top and bottom pieces (green, in my case) to the top and bottom edge of a body piece.  Stitch only along the inner edge of each, as shown.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 1 - Crafty Staci

Sew the button on with the smallest circle underneath on the left.  Sew the viewfinder on the right.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 2 - Crafty Staci

Sew the white paisley-shaped reflection onto the black circle.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 3 - Crafty Staci

Stitch the black circle onto the grey circle.  While I used white thread for most of the stitching, I did this in black to make the reflection stand out.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 4 - Crafty Staci

Stitch the lens onto the body with a straight or blanket stitch.  I did one of each and I actually like the plainer straight stitch better.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 5 - Crafty Staci

Sew an asterisk shape onto one of the flash pieces.  You might want to draw it onto the felt first.  I didn’t, and it turned out a little wonky.  Stitch the two flash pieces together with white thread.  Make sure the knots are either in between or near the bottom edge.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 6 - Crafty Staci

Pin the ribbon near the edge of the back body, 1” down on each side.  Pin the flash next to the ribbon on the left, 1/4” down.

Felt Camera Ornament  Step 7 - Crafty Staci

Pin the camera on top.

Felt Camera Ornament Step 8 - Crafty Staci

Stitch all the way around the outside edge through all layers.  Make sure to hide your knots between the layers and stitch through the ribbon and flash as you go.

Felt Camera Ornament in Green - Crafty Staci

These would make a great gift for the shutterbug in your life – maybe that’s you!

How to Make Felt Camera Ornaments by Crafty Staci

Black Friday Weekend Sale Preview

Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow?  We’re going to celebrate twice.  I’m cooking dinner for my boys on Thursday, then my daughter and son-in-law are joining us for leftovers and some Christmas decorating on Friday.  I’m not sure I warned them about the decorating part, so that might be a little surprise.  They can work on assembling the Lego Christmas village.  That’s less like work and more like play.

After everyone has spent the day with family and friends on Thursday comes Black Friday and the official start of the shopping season.  Like every year, I’m having a four-day long sale in my Etsy shop.  What’s different about this year is that I’m including my custom items!  Here’s the deal:

Black Friday Weekend Sale - Crafty Staci

Shop Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday with FREE SHIPPING on any order over $10 within the United States using the code JOLLY2014 at checkout.  I haven’t forgotten my international customers, so use the code WORLD2014 for $4 off any order over $10.

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That means you sewists out there, or those of you encouraging others to sew, can get two of my new Coffee Cup Sleeve Sewing Kits for $10 shipped!

Make Your Own Coffee Cup Sleeve Kit - Crafty Staci

The coupon codes will be active at midnight on Thursday through Monday.  Have a great Thanksgiving and happy shopping!

Book Review: Handmade Bags in Natural Fabrics

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.

If you’re in the market for a unique gift for a friend who sews, or you’re looking for something a little different to try yourself, I have the book for you. 

Handmade Bags in Natural Fabrics - Book Review by Crafty Staci 1

Handmade Bags in Natural Fabrics by Emiko Takahashi might look a little ordinary at first glance.  It’s filled with 25 basic handbag designs, with variations to bring the impressive total to 60 different options.  The colors used throughout the book are fairly neutral, and the many of the shapes we’ve seen before.  Why is this book so unusual then?  All of the bags are meant to be sewn completely by hand.

Knowing that really changes the way you look at this book.  I’ve been doing a lot of hand embroidery recently, but I’m so tied to my sewing machines that I forget it’s possible to construct something without touching a machine at all.  Somehow, a simple bag is a little more beautiful when you know it was made entirely, and literally, by hand.

The projects are divided into three categories,  and the first is shopping bags.  My favorite here is the Checkout Basket Bag.  What a smart idea!

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The next topic is everyday bags, with a selection of simple bags that could be used in a million different ways.

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The last group is fashion bags.  There are some nice shapes in this section.  And a hand-sewn zipper!

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Following the projects, the book covers the construction techniques, equipment and materials used to make these bags.  Everything is explained in such a way that I wouldn’t be afraid to give this book to even the most novice sewist, with the recommendation that she read through the whole book before starting on her first project.

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The instructions for each project seem very thorough.  There are plenty of illustrations, which is a huge plus for me in both sewing and recipe books.  Apparently I’m more of a show, don’t tell kind of person.

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As I mentioned, I’ve been embroidering like crazy, so I really appreciate that the book doesn’t just say “put this sort of stitch here.”   There are diagrams showing what each stitch looks like and how it’s made so that even someone nervously clutching her first skein of floss knows what to do with it.

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Many of the bags are constructed using basic shapes, but there is a pattern sheet in the back of the book for the more oddly shaped.

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Without a doubt, this is my favorite book I’ve reviewed for Tuttle Publishing so far.  There isn’t a single bag shown that I wouldn’t consider making, and I’m completely in love with the idea of sewing it with nothing but a needle and thread.  Maybe some pretty bag fabric will find its way into my Christmas stocking!

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Easy Round Cushion Covers

I intended to share this with you on Monday, but I got knocked flat by a nasty bug that my husband tried REALLY hard not to share with me.  I’m finally vertical again, but the sooner this cough goes away the better.  Enough of my sickly whining, I want to show you a quick way to cover round chair cushions.

With the holidays upon us, doesn’t it seem like you’re always looking for an extra chair for company?  You can easily recover round patio chair cushions to fit in better with your indoor Thanksgiving or Christmas décor!

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 1

To create your pattern, measure the diameter of your cushion, add the height, then add 1”.  Cut a piece of string 3 or 4 inches longer than the number you just came up with.  Tie one end of the string around a pencil.  I found it helpful to use a pencil with a cushion on it so the string wouldn’t slide around.  Tie a knot in the other end at the distance from the pencil that matches your number.  Fold a large piece of paper in quarters.  Stick a pin through the knot on the string into the tip of the folds.

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 2

Draw a curved line with the pencil by stretching the string as far as it will go.  Cut along that line.

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 3

Unfold your pattern and pin it to the fabric.  I was making two, so I doubled my fabric to cut them both at once.

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 4

Sew a buttonhole starting 1 1/8” from the edge.  Fold the fabric in 1” and stitch near the edge.  I didn’t fold the edge under because it will be on the inside, but if you’re worried about it fraying you can fold the edge under 1/4” before stitching.  Tie a knot in a piece of cord and attach a safety pin.  Feed it through the buttonhole, around the circle through the casing and back out the buttonhole.

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 5

I cut a smaller circle and laid it in the center so none of the bare cushion would show.  You don’t necessarily need to do this, especially if your cover is temporary.  Lay the cushion in the center of the cover.

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 6

Pull the cord to gather, then tie a bow.  You can either tuck the extra cord inside or cut it off.  I’d recommend tucking it so it can be reused.

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 7

Wouldn’t it be cute to make these with holiday fabrics?

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 8

This set lives on my daughter’s apartment deck now – maybe she needs Christmas chairs! Smile

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 9

DIY Coffee Cup Sleeve Sewing Kits

I’m excited to announce I’ve added a new item to my Etsy shop – DIY Coffee Cup Sleeve Sewing Kits!

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Everything you’ll need to make your own reversible coffee cup sleeve is included, except a sewing machine and some thread.  Even the sewing machine is optional, as these could be sewn by hand.  I’ve even included a blank tag, which can be personalized with a fine tip permanent marker!

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I just listed these, so there are lots of fabric options to choose from.  At only $5 each, they’ll make great stocking stuffers or small gifts.

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To celebrate this fun new addition to my shop, when you buy two kits you’ll get a third FREE!  Just add three kits to your cart, click “Apply Shop Coupon Code” and enter the code BTGOKITS and click “Apply.”  It will deduct $6 from your order – $5 for the kit and $1 for shipping.  The code is good through Sunday, November 16, 2014.

These have already hit the Kits and Tutorials page in Gift Ideas on Etsy, so don’t wait – they might not last long!

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