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?

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

Easy Round Cushion Covers - Crafty Staci 9

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Friday Favorites–Gifts to Make for Makers

Do you have someone in your life who’s creative – besides yourself, of course?  Do you ever want to give them a handmade gift, but don’t want it to be something they could just make for themselves?  Give them something they can use while they’re being creative!  I’m here today with some ideas for people who sew, scrapbook, knit and crochet.  Don’t be afraid to craft for a crafter!

Gifts to Make for Makers - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

No seamstress goes without somewhere to put her pins.  Make her this cute Mini Cupcake Pincushion Ring from Obsessively Stitching with an equally tiny number of supplies.

Mini Cupcake Pincushion Ring from Obsessively Stitching

I love the fact that this Pincushion and Thread Catcher from Sew Mama Sew could be used by the sewing machine or draped over a couch arm.

Pincushion and Thread Catcher from Sew Mama Sew

I have two sewing machines, and neither of them has anything prettier than their plastic travel cases to cover them.  Any sewing machine driver would appreciate this Sewing Machine Cozy from Notes from the Patch.

Sewing Machine Cozy from Notes from the Patch

I love the colorful look of displayed thread spools.  Why not go all the way and make them into art, like this project from Grey Luster Girl.

Framed Thread Holder from Grey Luster Girl

I only recently remembered how handy pattern weights can be.  Remind someone in your life remember with this tutorial from Tea Rose Home.

Pattern Weights from Tea Rose Home

This Needle Book from Domestic Doozie would be helpful for someone who sews, an embroiderer or a cross-stitcher.

Needle Book from Domestic Doozie

The Stir is calling this a growth chart, but wouldn’t this make a great craft studio decoration?

DIY Growth Chart from The Stir

Thistlewood Farms used this Pegboard Box for gift wrapping supplies, but I think this could be a great organizer for a scrapbooking fan.

Peg Board Box from Thistlewood Farms

This Crochet Hook Holder from Future Girl is not only functional, but would be cute hanging in a craft room.

Crochet Hook Holder from Future Girl

With a little wood skill, this Bamboo Yarn Bowl from Instructables user dtextor would be a great gift for a knitter or crochetist.

Bamboo Yarn Bowl from dtextor on Instructables

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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How I Prepared for my First Craft Show in 12 Days

I’ve had a goal for the last couple of years to participate in a local craft show.  I really wanted to interact with people, get some feedback on the products I sell and meet other vendors.  With all the wedding chaos, I didn’t think it would happen this year.  But I found myself with extra time, and used much of it to increase my inventory level.  I felt like I had plenty of product to fill a booth, but had missed the application dates for some of the shows already.

I decided since I had inventory, but no plan, I would just apply to two shows.  They happened to be two very popular shows, so I didn’t think I had any hope of getting in.  At first, I was right.  I received my rejectograms, but one said I had been added to the wait list.  Not knowing where I was on that list, or whether everyone was added to it, I let the whole idea go. 

Twelve days before the Siren Nation show, I received an email letting me know a space had opened up and asking if I was interested in it.  I waited for my husband to come home and talk me out of the craziness of accepting, but instead he said he thought I should go for it.  With not even two weeks to prepare, I jumped in.  Today I’d like to share a few of the tips that helped me make it in time!

How I Prepared for my First Craft Show in 12 Days - Crafty Staci

1.  Order a credit card device (Square, PayPal, Etsy, etc.) the moment you apply for your first show.  They’re free, and if you get accepted you’re going to need one.  I actually ordered a Square and PayPal and brought them both, in case I had trouble getting one of them to work.

Crafty Staci Booth at Siren Nation 2

2.  Make sure you already have enough stock on hand, or at least enough you can fill any holes in your inventory in the time remaining until the show.

Crafty Staci Booth at Siren Nation 1

3.  Enlist help.  Whether it’s assigning the kids to make dinner a couple of times, asking your significant other to run some of your errands, or getting someone to help at the show, don’t be afraid to ask for some assistance.

My lovely assistant - Crafty Staci

4.  Make a list of the things you need to accomplish before the show.  It’s much less stressful for me to take a few minutes to write down my tasks and work from that list than to find myself bouncing from one thing to the next, trying to remember what I might be leaving out. 

Crafty Staci Booth at Siren Nation 7

5.  If you have the space, set up a table with the area you’ll have available marked off.  Since this was my first show, I didn’t have a plan in place so I found it easier to have it there where I could fill it and tweak it as I went.  This is my table in my studio, with blue tape on the right to mark my area.

Crafty Staci Booth at Siren Nation 3

6.  Use as many items you already own as possible for your display.  I used mason jars for my business cards and pens, and repurposed a small clipboard to hold my mailing list sign-up sheet.

Crafty Staci Booth at Siren Nation 4

7.  Make a list of items you think you might need at the show.  I felt better taking everything I could possibly need and maybe not having to use it.  This is what I brought for our indoor setting.  I would add to it for an outdoor show.

Craft Show Checklist - Crafty Staci

8.  Take photos of your booth set-up with your phone so it’s easy to replicate once you arrive.  I had planned for a 30” deep table, but once we arrived we found it was deeper, so we had to adjust.  It was helpful to be able to look at how it was laid out and home to decide where we could make changes.

Crafty Staci Booth at Siren Nation 5

9.  Which leads me to my next tip – be flexible.  If you find something isn’t working don’t be afraid to change it.  We found that customers weren’t really seeing the coffee sleeves in the crate, so we spread them on the table later in the day.  Also, I hadn’t planned to display a wrist strap on a camera, but since we had extra space I added it and it really helped to show customers how it works.

Crafty Staci Booth at Siren Nation 6

10.  After the show is over, write down what worked and what didn’t for next time.  I’d also recommend sending a thank you to the organizers.  The organizers at Siren Nation never stopped to take a breath while I was there!

I won’t say everything went perfectly, but considering the short time I had to get ready, I was pretty happy with the way everything turned out.  Do you craft sale veterans out there have any advice to add?

Friday Favorites–Gifts to Make for Families

I’ve been following the annual Sew Mama Sew Handmade Holidays series for years now.  I’ve had my projects featured and I’ve donated one of the prizes in the form of a gift certificate to my Etsy shop.  But this year I am actually one of the curators!  My selections are things you can make for those times you need to give a gift a whole family can use.  After sending the projects for Sew Mama Sew to feature, I found myself with lots of great ones still left in my file, so we’re going to have a little crossover episode today.  Check out these fabulous projects you can make to give a family, then click on over to Sew Mama Sew for more!

Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites - Gifts to Make for Families

One of our favorite activities to do as a family is play games.  I’ve never heard of this one, but I’m intrigued.  We might need to try out this DIY Koob game from Let’s Get Together.

DIY Koob Game from Lets Get Together

What better gift for a whole family than a big Striped Stash Buster Blanket, like this one from Simply Collectible, that everyone can cuddle under together?

Striped Stash Buster Blanket from Simply Collectible Crochet

Make everyone in the family their own personalized ornament, with these Felt Monogram Ornaments from Say Yes.  These would also make cute gift toppers.

Felt Monogram Ornaments from Say Yes

Bread mixes make great family gifts, and I love that Wicked Good Kitchen went with the slightly less common Homemade Cornbread Mix, complete with a gluten-free option.

Homemade Cornbread Mix from Wicked Good Kitchen

Get the whole family in on the fun (or their photos at least) with this Go Fish Game on Infarrantly Creative.

This refurbished picture frame from Goodwillionaire would be a great place to display family photos and art.

Photo Frame from Goodwillionaire

You could make one of these Dress Up Activity Magnets from Minted Strawberry for every member of the family.

Dress-up Activity Magnets from Minted Strawberry

Everyone needs a place to set their drink, and if you’re making these Reversible Drink Coasters from The Stitching Scientist you could use different fabrics for each member of the family.

Reversible Drink Coasters from The Stitching Scientist

I know ours isn’t the only family with a plan for when the walkers try to take over, so this Zombie Apocalypse Kit from Comic Con Family is a great idea.  I’d add a few items from this list of Useful Stocking Stuffers to Help Survive the End of the World from DoDo.

If the family you make these English Toffee Bites from Shugary Sweets for doesn’t like them, go ahead and send them my way.

English Toffee from Shugary Sweets

For more family gift ideas, come see me over at Sew Mama Sew!

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Siren Nation and Disney Coffee Sleeves

I was a vendor at my first craft show in about 20 years last Sunday.  It was called Siren Nation, and was held at McMenamin’s Kennedy School in Portland.  For those of you from the area, you know the look that the McMenamin brothers are famous for, and this was no exception.  They are masters at making quirky and weird seem like the natural order of things.  We were at a table just inside one of the doors, and spent the day chatting with customers and vendors, while beating the sales goal I had set for myself.  I had a few friends and family members come to visit (thank you all!) and my daughter stuck with me all day. 

Codi and Staci at Siren Nation

Remember how I promised a DIY Coffee Cup Sleeve Kit to anyone who visited me and told me they read my blog?  One of my first customers took me up on it!  I was so excited I failed to make a note of her name, but she was here visiting from Pennsylvania (I think?) and decided to come by.  It made my whole day!

Look for a recap of my booth setup and some tips for getting ready for a show in a hurry coming soon.  I’ll also be sharing my tutorial for the cute vendor aprons my daughter and I wore.

Vendor Apron by Crafty Staci

In other news, it’s time for a new Disney project at Undercover Tourist!  I wrapped up a whole series on coffee cup sleeves last year, and made no promise you’d never see new ones from me again.  Turns out, I hadn’t covered my Disneyland obsession yet, so I made these before our trip in September.

Mickey and Minnie Coffee Cup Sleeves - Crafty Staci

To get the pattern and instructions, just visit me at Undercover Tourist.  These would make a great stocking stuffer for the Disney fan in your life!

My last bit of business involves Wedding Wednesdays.  I have a few more things I’d like to show you, but I’ve decided to suspend that series until after the holidays.  There’s just too much going on.  Look for the last few installments in February.

Join me this Friday for some make-able holiday gifts for the family – both here and on Sew Mama Sew’s Handmade Holidays!

Siren Nation, Feather Your Nest and Craft Warehouse

At the beginning of this year I made a goal for myself to get involved in some in-person craft events.  Don’t get me wrong – I love my online work.  It has given me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, and I’m thankful for that.  But it’s just me, sometimes in my pajamas, and I felt like that could be better balanced with some real-world interactions.  And real clothes.

One of the ways I planned on achieving my goal was to do a local craft show or two.  I participated in a few back when my kids were small, but the game has changed a lot since then, and I wasn’t sure where to start.  I decided I would apply to my two dream shows, and make a point to visit as many of the others as I could so I could plan for next year.  I sent in applications to Crafty Wonderland and Siren Nation, both in Portland, and received the “thanks for applying, but…” emails from both.  No surprise – they’re both popular, juried shows and I didn’t really expect to be accepted on my first try.  Imagine my surprise when I got the email last week letting me know that Siren Nation had a cancellation and asking if I would be interested in the spot!

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If you’re going to be in the Portland area next Sunday, November 2, 2014, I’d love for you to come visit me at McMenamin’s Kennedy School.    There will be many tables filled with handcrafted items by female artists, including me and my lovely daughter.  It opens at 10 am, and there’s no charge to get in.  In fact, if you come to my table and tell me you read this on my blog, I’ll give you one of my new DIY Coffee Cup Sleeve Kits for FREE!  Meeting someone in person who reads my blog would be the best of both worlds colliding and would make my day.  Also, look for a future post titled How to Prep for a Craft Show in 12 Days Without Losing Your Mind.  Hopefully I’ll be qualified to write it by then.

DIY Coffee Cup Sleeve Kits from Crafty Staci

That’s not my only venture into the real world that’s coming up though.  Before my daughter’s wedding, she noticed a new quilt shop, Feather Your Nest, that had opened up across the street from the cupcake shop.  I paid them a visit, and walked out with an armload of cute fabrics and a promise to contact the owners after the wedding to discuss teaching a class.   After sitting down recently with the very sweet mother-daughter team, I have two classes scheduled in their shop for next month.  If you’ll be anywhere near Gresham, Oregon on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 7 pm or Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 10:30 am, come join me and learn how to make my favorite thing – a coffee cup sleeve!  For only $15 you’ll receive all the materials you need, a pattern to take home and personal instruction from me.  To sign up or get more info, contact Kris or Abbi at feathered.nest97030@gmail.com.

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My participation on the Craft Warehouse Design Team is online, but it feels a little closer to live to me because I am always in their store.  They don’t all stop and wave and shout my name when I walk in the door, but I’m working on it.  Last week it was my turn to work on a project for them, so if you want to know a little more about me, you can see my designer profile on their blog here.  The important part is the project though, and this time I got to make a cute Chatterbox reversible apron using some prints from Windham Fabrics Oh Clementine line by Allison Harris for Cluck Cluck Sew.

Apron for Craft Warehouse - Crafty Staci

I had a seriously hard time choosing a favorite side.

Chatterbox Apron for Craft Warehouse - Crafty Staci

Visit me over at the Craft Warehouse blog to see how it came together!

So, for once, I can actually cross a New Year’s resolution off as achieved.  I’m getting out into the real world as a teacher and a vendor.  And it only took me until October!

Friday Favorites–Halloween Costumes

We moved our family out to the country about 11 years ago.  Before that, we lived in a neighborhood in the suburbs with lots of other families with small children.  We probably had quite a few trick-or-treaters stop at our house, but I wouldn’t know because we were out with our own little ones on Halloween.  I haven’t got to hand out candy since somewhere in the early 90’s.

This year, I’m hanging out with my daughter while her husband goes on a civilian ride-along with mine.  Lots of trouble happens when Halloween is on a Friday night, so it’s all hands on deck at the police department.  The good news for me is that my daughter lives in an apartment complex with a jillion kids.  At least, that’s how it feels when you drive through the parking lot.  I get to hand out candy and admire all the spooky-cuteness.  I can’t wait!

Halloween Costumes - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

This Book Fairy Costume from Lilliedale would be the perfect thing for my book-loving daughter.  Although I doubt she could bring herself to do this kind of damage to any book.  They’re like puppies to her.

Book Fairy Costume by Lilliedale

We aren’t dressing up, but if we were, this Wonder Woman Costume from The Sewing Loft is what I would go with, hands down.

Make Your Own Wonder Woman Costume by The Sewing Loft

If you happen to be using my Robin Hood Hat pattern this year, you might be on the lookout for some green tights.  Dye your own with this tutorial from If You Give a Girl a Needle.

Dying Tights by If You Give a Girl a Needle

If you’re looking for something quick, easy and completely adorable, check out this Flower Pot Costume from Dukes and Duchesses.

Flower Pot Costume by Dukes and Duchesses

This little Wolf Costume from Make It and Love It has rascal written all over it.

Wolf Costume by Make It and Love It

I love the idea of using capes to create different costumes, like these from Simple Simon and Company.

Easy Cape Costumes by Simple Simon and Co

As the proud owner of a Maleficent t-shirt (bought years before the movie) I’ve gotta love a girl who thinks outside of the Disney princess box, like the wearer of this Evil Queen Costume from Northstory.

Evil Queen Costume by Northstory

Babies in costumes – it doesn’t get better than that.  This little Pineapple from Lines Across makes me smile.

Pineapple Onesie Costume by Lines Across

Sometimes you need a costume you can whip up quickly.  As long as you’ve got a yellow hat, the rest of this Last Minute Minion Costume from Make and Takes is a piece of cake.

Last Minute Minion Costume by Make and Takes

Not to leave out the traditional Halloween fare, I love these DIY Skeleton Gloves from Eat Sleep Make.

DIY Skeleton Gloves by Eat Sleep Make

DIY Superhero Shirts and Robes for the Bridal Party

My daughter’s wedding, like most these days I’d guess, was influenced by Pinterest.  We had a secret board where the bride, the maid of honor and I could keep track of every relevant wedding idea we came across.  We tried to be pretty selective, and cleaned it out once in a while, so it stayed manageable and ended up being an excellent tool in the planning process.  In fact, she made it public after the wedding was over, so if you’d like to see what we were working with you’ll find it here.  We didn’t use every idea on it, but I’m not sure how we would have managed without it.

Looking back at it, the photo I’m going to talk about today isn’t even on that board.  But if you do a quick search, you’ll see pictures similar to this one our boys posed for.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 1

The bride and groom are both big superhero fans.  In fact, this is their car, which my daughter has been driving for about 4 years.  The Batman symbol on the hood was not part of the getaway car décor.

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The bride’s dad is a police lieutenant and the groom just graduated from the fire academy so as we talked about the superhero photo we realized it made complete sense to include those real heroes’ symbols among the imaginary.  However, that meant we wouldn’t be buying the shirts already made.  They went on my to-do list. 

Since I was making them anyway, I thought maybe if we used all white the boys could just leave them on, hoping they would be covered by their vests.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 3

It worked in the photos, but in person you can see a little color peeking out over the top of those vests.  I’m still glad we use white though, because I love how it made the symbols stand out.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 4

So, what about the girls?  I had already planned to make robes for each of them to wear while they were getting their hair and makeup done, so I decided I’d make them match the boys, in the girliest way possible.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 5

I made the robes using Simplicity 1720, the view in the upper left corner. 

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I added loops to the sides because I knew we’d find the belts everywhere later if they weren’t attached to the robes.  When I was finished sewing them I decided they needed a little something, so I sewed lace to the bottom hem.  You might recognize the fabric from the rug I showed you last month that I made for the wedding bathroom.  It was a great way to use up those scraps!

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 6

To make the iron-ons for both the robes and the t-shirts, I ordered these printable sheets.

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If you follow the directions exactly, these work beautifully.  They survived washing just fine, and the colors were very vibrant, perfect for the comic book look we were going for.

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This was definitely one of the more offbeat projects I did for the wedding, and one of the most fun!

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

Sewing Room Postcard Collage

Almost three years ago (which I only know because I looked it up) I bought some really cute postcards from an artist named Kathy Jeffords with an Etsy shop called The Dreamy Giraffe.  I fell in love with her style and chose the postcards so I’d have several of the prints.  After they arrived, I didn’t know what to do with them and I put them somewhere for safekeeping.  I’d come across them once in a while, marvel at how adorable they are, and put them back.  I finally decided enough is enough – these need to be displayed.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 1

I started this project with an ordinary 12 x 12” frame.  I wanted to use a button print fabric as the background but didn’t want it to be too thin or floppy, so I ironed a piece of heavy craft interfacing onto the back. 

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 2

By cutting the interfacing to fit the frame, it also gave me a good outline for cutting the fabric.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 3

To hold the postcards in place I used some stick-on glue dots on the back.  I only used one dot on each card – just enough they wouldn’t slip around.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 4

I thought something with a little dimension would be fun in the middle, so I cut wool circles to match the fabric and added a little craft floss stitching to the center to make them look like buttons. 

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I attached those with glue dots as well.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 6

After that it was just a matter of putting it into the frame.  I love how it turned out, and I’m happy I can actually look at these prints every day.  Every day I decide a different girl is my favorite!

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 1

I don’t think The Dreamy Giraffe has the postcard sets in stock any more, but the crafty girls are still available as prints.  I could find a place in my house for just about everything in her shop!