Puffy Fabric Flowers

It probably goes without saying, but you know I’m going to say it anyway.  Weddings generally involve a lot of flowers.  Especially outdoor summer weddings.  We had flowers EVERYWHERE.  Real, fabric, burlap, whatever we could turn into a flower-ish shape, we did.  One of my favorites was the cute puffy fabric version we used on the sign I showed you last week.  Fortunately, with a few basic materials, they’re also a breeze to make.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 1

All you need is this pattern, some fabric, a little polyester stuffing and a big button.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 2

Cut out ten petals for each flower you intend to make.  Pin two petals with right sides of the fabric together.  Stitch around the curved edge, 1/4” from the raw edge, leaving the straight edge open.  Repeat for the other four petals.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 3

Turn the petals right side out and press.

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Add a small amount of stuffing to the inside of each petal.  You don’t want them stuffed tightly, just enough to give them a little fluff.

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Pinch a petal so the seams are touching each other at the bottom.  Using a needle and knotted thread, stitch through both seams. 

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Without knotting or cutting the thread, do the same with the next petal.  Repeat until all five petals are on the thread. 

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Stitch back through the first petal again, creating a loop.

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Pull the thread tightly to gather all the petals together.  Knot the thread, but don’t cut it.  Flatten all the raw edges together in the center and stitch through the center a few times to hold them in place.  You really just want to make sure they’ll be under your button.

Puffy Fabric Flowers - Crafty Staci 9

I really like the look of the split petal version.

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Stitch the button to the center.  You could also glue it, but I found stitching it through all the layers added to the dimension of the flower.

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Now you can sew or glue these to whatever needs a little puffy flower perk-up!

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Late Summer Preview

It’s August, and last time I really felt like life wasn’t made of pure chaos it was April.  I was absent from this space for much of July, but now I’ve caught my breath and I’m ready to dive back in.  To start out, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into what you can expect coming up.

First of all, the wedding was fantastic, and I have so much to share with you!  For the foreseeable future, we’re going to have Wedding Wednesdays.  I have some tutorials for things my husband and I made, and even one from the bride and groom. I also want to show you some amazing stuff, like the ring bearer box my son spent months crafting.  Don’t worry, I’ll try to slip some non-wedding projects in between those Wednesdays.

Here’s a sneak peek from their fantastic photographer, Heather Fitch.

Codi and John

I have a couple of sewing books I’ll be reviewing soon.  Super Stitches Sewing by Nicole Vasbinder and Basic Black by Sato Watanabe have been patiently sitting next to my computer.

Basic Black and Super Stitches Sewing

I also have some exciting news to share with West Coast vacationers from my friends at Undercover Tourist.  Especially timely, since I’ll be among you next month!  You can expect a new Disney craft to add to my collection soon.

Disney Crafts on Crafty Staci

All of my customizable items have been returned to my Etsy shop, including the pencil coffee sleeve that can have your favorite teacher’s name hand-embroidered on it.

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So, there’s a bit of what you can look forward to in the coming months.  I hope you’ll join me!

DIY Teacher Gifts

My baby is graduating from high school this year, so the days of apologizing to appreciating his teachers with a gift at the end of the year are pretty much over.  Actually, he’s one of those kids whose report cards always said “A pleasure to have in class”, so the gift was more about thanks for being on Team Where-Is-Tucker’s-Homework-This-Week.  If you have a teacher in your life that deserves a little something (don’t they all?), I have a few ideas for you.

DIY Teacher Gifts by Crafty Staci

I originally made this Money Gift Tea Bag as a birthday gift, but I think it would be great for a teacher with a gift card inside and maybe a few calming real tea bags thrown in with it.

Money Gift Tea Bag by Crafty Staci

What teacher doesn’t find him or herself carrying books?  This Ruffled Tote Bag is the perfect size for hauling homework to and from school.  If an actual grown-up book gets slipped in there once in a while, all the better.

Ruffled Tote Bag by Crafty Staci

I think there must be a lot of teachers out there with a Pencil Coffee Cup Sleeve.  Not only is it one of my most popular projects on this blog, but I’ve made dozens of them for my Etsy customers.  You can even buy an embroidery pattern for them from FindingPinsNeedles on Etsy and add the teacher’s name!

Pencil Coffee Cup Sleeve by Crafty Staci

I’ve noticed lots of teachers brown bag it when it comes to lunch.  A Snap Lunch Bag would be a great gift to brighten up their midday break.

Snap Lunch Bag by Crafty Staci

Even if a teacher doesn’t bring an entire lunch, there’s probably a snack on the desk most days.  Make her a Reusable Snack Bag and she won’t have to explain why she can’t share her fishy crackers with the rest of the class.

Reusable Snack Bag by Crafty Staci

If you’d prefer something with a little more flexibility for multiple uses, try this Lined Zippered Bag.  A teacher could put just about anything in here, except for an unruly student.  Or parent.

Lined Zippered Bag by Crafty Staci

The options for colors for this Floral Infinity Scarf are as endless as the bolts of knit fabric in your favorite fabric store.  School colors?  Her favorites?  Your kid’s favorites?  Something to match whatever they’re painting next week so it will go with her outfit?

Floral Infinity Scarf

I didn’t notice until I was done here that all of these projects involve sewing.  Time to break out the machine!

DIY Graduation Gifts

We have a ton of nieces and nephews.  Eleven have already graduated from high school, but if I’m counting correctly there are about 16 left who haven’t.  Since we’ve never been good about remembering all those birthdays I put in extra effort for their graduation gifts.  Don’t get me wrong – they all get cash, but I try to be creative about the way they receive it.  It snuck up on me last year, so our poor nephew only got a card with a check in it.  I think he got over it.

I have this year’s gift almost ready, which I’m show you on Wednesday.   In the meantime, here’s a few ideas I’ve used in the past:

Fabric Fortune Cookies

I made these Fabric Fortune Cookies back when that new blog smell hadn’t worn off yet.  Fortunately, the little takeout boxes I used for this are still out there. 

Fabric Fortune Cookies - Crafty Staci

Fabric Fortune Teller

This Fabric Fortune Teller was so fun to make.  It was actually the card for my son’s 8th grade graduation gift, but you could certainly slip some cash inside instead.  I’d recommend pinning it so it doesn’t fall out.

Fabric Fortune Teller - Crafty Staci

Graduation Gift Check Holder

Ok, I’ll admit this Graduation Gift Check Holder was a little odd.  It looked great closed, but it was a little tricky to figure out how you were supposed to get to the check.  I guess you could consider it a test of whether they’ve actually learned enough to escape high school.

Grad Cap Check Holder - Crafty Staci

Graduation Cap Cash Box

This Graduation Cap Cash Box is one of my favorites so far.  When my nephew grabbed the tassel and pulled, the tissue tore away and the cash came out in a long ribbon, just like I intended.  And I exhaled.

Grad Cap Cash Box - Crafty Staci

Map Memory Box

I made this Map Memory Box for my daughter when she was headed off to college.  The hearts on the top represent home and school, making it perfect for a graduate off to a new adventure.

Map Memory Box by Crafty Staci

So, I’m curious…do you give graduates money or a gift?

Coffee Sleeve of the Month–A Year in Review

It occurred to me that some of you haven’t been with me for an entire year yet, and may have missed out on some of the fun (for me anyway) that was the Coffee Cup Sleeve of the Month series.  Not to mention, I just wanted to see them all gathered up in one place, one last time.

Coffee Sleeve of the Month - A Year in Review

It all started with a Father’s Day Fish for the angler dads out there.

Fish Coffee Sleeve - Crafty Staci 1

Since I was planning a month ahead, that was followed by the Pinwheel, made in patriotic red, white and blue for Independence Day.

Pinwheel Coffee Cup Sleeve - Crafty Staci 13

July brought what started out as Sunglasses, but using the same pattern I made the retro 3D Glasses too.

Sunglasses Coffee Sleeve - Crafty Staci 1

As fall approached, I started thinking about new school clothes, which led to the New Jeans sleeve.

New Jeans Coffee Sleeve - Crafty Staci 11

The Halloween Bat was one of the first sleeve patterns I sketched.

Coffee Sleeve of the Month Halloween Bat - Crafty Staci 1

This little Fox was so much fun to make.

Fox Coffee Cup Sleeve - Crafty Staci 11

This calm Christmas Tree was perfect for the hectic season.

Christmas Tree Coffee Sleeve - Crafty Staci 11

The Pennant Banner was nice with the winter theme, but a change of fabric and this would work for any season.

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Valentine’s Day had me focusing on hearts, so naturally that lead to the Heart and Arrow sleeve.

Heart and Arrow Coffee Sleeve - Crafty Staci 13

The Rainbow sleeve was a bit of a bumpy road, but worth it in the end.

Rainbow Mug Mat and Coffee Sleeve - Crafty Staci

I had actually made a slightly different version of the Class of ‘14 sleeve a year ago, but had to hold onto the pattern until just the right time to share it this year.

Class of 14 Coffee Sleeve

Of course my final sleeve, or Bride and Groom pair of sleeves in this case, was a set I’ve been wanting to make since my daughter got engaged a year ago.

Bride and Groom Coffee Cup Sleeves - Crafty Staci 18

That’s what my last year has looked like.  These were fun for me and I looked forward to the next one every month.  I hope you’ve enjoyed them, and maybe added one or two of them to your own collection!

Friday Favorites–Crafty Staci

First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Usually when my blog anniversary rolls around, I dedicate a set of Friday Favorites to the top ten most popular projects I’ve written about since the beginning.  I planned to do that again this year, until I looked it up and realized it hadn’t changed much since last year.  That’s not very interesting, so I’m going to change it up.  Here’s a glimpse into the stats behind my little space:

I’ve written 156 Tutorials

I couldn’t believe that number until I actually counted.  Here’s hoping I have another 156 in me!  The top four are:

Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve  Robin Hood Hat  Creamer Bottle Snowmen  Ninja Monkey Sling Bag

I’ve shared 39 Recipes

This is kind of a weird one for me.  I don’t consider this a cooking blog, but sometimes I make food I want to share.  The favorite four:

Microwave Caramels  Spiced Chai and Salted Caramel Cocoa Mixes  Caramel No Bake Cookies  Breakfast in a Jar

I’ve curated 161 Friday Favorites

Since I’ve tried to keep these to about ten per week, we’re talking 1610 projects I’ve featured here!  The top four are:

Friday Favorites - Fat Quarter Projects - Crafty Staci  Friday Favorites - T-Shirt Refashions - Crafty Staci  Friday Favorites - 10 DIY Gifts for Guys - Crafty Staci  Friday Favorites - 10 Projects for the Car - Crafty Staci

Just for fun, these are all the topics I’ve covered so far as Friday Favorites:

Friday Favorites Topics - Crafty Staci

Believe it or not, I have many more filed away for the future – and I’m always open to any topics you might want to see.

Last chance to enter my 4th Anniversary Giveaway!  Entries will be accepted until midnight tomorrow, so make sure to get yours in.  I’ll announce the winner on Monday!

Coffee Sleeve of the Month–Pennant Banner

Is it snowing where you are?  We have nothing but fog here, not even our usual December rain.  There’s even talk of a sparse ski season on Mt. Hood this year.  I’m not a skier, but I’m so ready for some of that cold white stuff.  Bring it on, Old Man Winter.

Because I’m in such a snowy mood, I decided this month’s coffee cup sleeve would have a bit of a chill to it.  Once I was done, I realized this one would be perfect for so many other uses.  Make it in school colors to show your spirit at the game or in wedding colors for the bride to get her caffeine fix.  Some pink and red would be cute for Valentine’s Day, or some florals or pastels to celebrate the beginning of spring.  But, for now, the focus is on January’s snowflakes.

Coffee Sleeve of the Month - Pennant Banner - Crafty Staci 1

To make this sleeve, you’ll need:

  • cotton fabric
  • InsulBrite batting
  • iron-on interfacing
  • 3” of elastic cord
  • 12” of 1/2” bias tape
  • button (5/8 – 1”)
  • this pattern

Coffee Sleeve of the Month - Pennant Banner - Crafty Staci 2

Iron the interfacing onto side one of the coffee sleeve.

Fold the small flag pieces in half with right sides together.  If you look at the pattern piece, the dotted lines should be together.  Sew where the dotted lines are shown.

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Trim the corners and seam and turn right side out.  The seam should be centered at the back.  Press.

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Fold the bias tape in half and press.  Beginning 1 1/2” from the end, slip the top of the flags inside the fold and stitch the length of the tape.

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Pin the banner onto side one of the coffee cup sleeve, 1” from the top and with the flags about 1 1/4” from each end.  Stitch the bias tape from one edge of the sleeve to the other.

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Trim the ends of the bias tape even with the edges of the sleeve.  Tie the ends of the elastic cord together with a piece of thread.  Center on the right side with the loop facing in.  Add your tag on the left if you use them.

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Carefully lay side two over the top of that with the right side down.  Finish with the InsulBrite on top and pin in place.  Stitch 1/4” from the edge, leaving 2” open at the bottom for turning.

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Clip the corners and turn right side out.  Press, turning in opening.  Topstitch close to the edge all the way around.

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Stitch a button onto the point where the elastic reaches comfortably with the ends of the sleeve together.

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This does not make me want it to snow any less.

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I’m even all ready with my toasty drink!

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Money Gift Tea Bag

My daughter had a birthday last week.  She and her fiancé were having their engagement photos taken last weekend, so I knew she was planning to buy some new clothes.  I decided to give her cash toward them, but I couldn’t just hand it over or stick it into a card.  She’s a tea fanatic, so I made a fabric tea bag as a money holder.

Money Gift Tea Bag 1 - Crafty Staci

Here’s the best part of the story.  She’s a girl after my own heart and loves Fiesta dishes so I was going to buy her a mug to put the money tea bag in.  The only one I could find in the store I was at was $26 and not a tea cup but a latte mug.  Luckily, I walked around a corner and found this instead.

Money Gift Tea Bag 2 - Crafty Staci

Do you see that tag?  Only $10.20 for the set at 80% off!  All because the bowl is missing.  And it just happens to be her favorite Fiesta color.  Score.

Anyway, back to the tea bag.  To make one, you’ll need a piece of thin fabric, like muslin.  I used a dotted linen.  Cut a strip 8” by 4 1/2”.

Money Gift Tea Bag 3 - Crafty Staci

Fold it in half with the right sides together and stitch 1/4” from the long edge.

Money Gift Tea Bag 4 - Crafty Staci

Turn right side out.  Press with the seam centered in the back.

Money Gift Tea Bag 5 - Crafty Staci

Fold in half the other direction with the seam facing up.  Stitch across 1/8” from the fold.

Money Gift Tea Bag 6 - Crafty Staci

Fold each side back up 1/2” from the stitched fold.  Stitch across 1/8” from each new fold.

Money Gift Tea Bag 7 - Crafty Staci

Fold money up and slip inside each side.

Money Gift Tea Bag 8 - Crafty Staci

Bring all the raw edges together at the top and zigzag across.

Money Gift Tea Bag 9 - Crafty Staci

Make a tag using cardstock.  Cut a 10” piece of string.  Fold the top of the tea bag over 1/2”.  Stitch through all the layers and tie a knot.  I thought I was going to staple it, but it was too thick.  Fortunately, my stapler survived.  Barely.

Cut the string to your desired length and staple on the tag.

Money Gift Tea Bag 10 - Crafty Staci

If you’re not a Fiesta person, you could also find a pretty teacup at a thrift store.  Just make sure the recipient knows there’s money inside the tea bag.  I’d hate to find out what brewed cash tastes like.

Money Gift Tea Bag 11 - Crafty Staci

Coffee Sleeve of the Month–New Jeans

When I was working on the most recent entry into my Coffee Sleeve series, I was thinking about school.  With my youngest starting his senior year of high school next month, I’m finding myself focused on this being my last year to help anyone get ready.  Of course, one of the biggest tasks to tackle is back-to-school clothes, with new jeans on the top of the laundry pile.

New Jeans Coffee Sleeve - Crafty Staci 0

In order for you to fully understand what I’m about to tell you, I need to show you my fabric shelf.

New Jeans Coffee Sleeve - Crafty Staci 1

It’s not as full as it could be, and definitely not as full as it used to be, but I have a little bit of everything in there.  Except, apparently, denim.  I’ve always had a bit of denim when I needed it, but I took every single thing off those shelves and there was not a scrap of denim to be found.  That’s like having a kitchen with no knives in it.  I even asked my son if he had any outgrown jeans I could have, but no luck.  I actually had to go to the fabric store specifically to buy a piece of denim for this project.  I’m still shaking my head.

Anyway, on to the project.  To make this one, you’ll need this pattern, DENIM, cotton fabric for the back, InsulBrite, a button and a 3” piece of elastic cord.  This will also have a look much closer to a pair of jeans if you use some gold thread made for matching denim stitching.  It’s great for hemming too.  I’d also recommend using a denim needle in your sewing machine.  You need the larger hole for the gold thread to flow through smoothly.

Cut the sleeve from the denim, then flip the pattern over to cut the back from the cotton.  Cut a piece of InsulBrite.  Cut the pocket on the fold.

New Jeans Coffee Sleeve - Crafty Staci 2

Fold the pocket right sides together and stitch 1/4” from the edge, leaving about an inch open for turning.  You can use regular sewing thread for this part.  Tie or stitch the ends of the elastic together.

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

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Thread your machine with the gold thread and add some decorative stitching to the pocket.

New Jeans Coffee Sleeve - Crafty Staci 5

Center the pocket on the denim sleeve.  It should be about 1/2” from the top and bottom.  Pin in place, adding a tag under the edge if you’d like.  Stitch around close to the edge, then again about 1/8” away, leaving the top of the pocket open.

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Layer the pieces with the denim sleeve face up and the elastic centered on the right.

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Lay the cotton piece over that, right side down, then the InsulBrite on top of that.  Pin in place.  Stitch around 1/4” from the edge, leaving 2” open at the bottom for turning.

New Jeans Coffee Sleeve - Crafty Staci 8

Clip the corners, turn right side out and press.  Stitch all the way around with the gold thread, close to the edge.  I added an extra row of stitching at each end to give it the look of seams.

New Jeans Coffee Sleeve - Crafty Staci 9

Sew the button on where the elastic reaches and centered.

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Slip onto a cup and you’ll be the most stylish parent at the bus stop.

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Or, maybe you’re looking for a bribe, err, gift for your kid’s new teacher.  Ta-da!  Coffee gift card fits perfectly.

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Previous coffee sleeves, in case jeans aren’t your thing:

Father's Day Fish Coffee Sleeve  Pinwheel Coffee Cup Sleeve

Sunglasses Coffee Sleeve  Pencil Drink Sleeve and Paper Mat

Love Note Coffee Cup Sleeve  Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve

What is a Fat Quarter and What Can I Make With It?

I noticed there are lots of bloggers offering fat quarters for Giveaway Day this week, including me.  If you’re a newer sewer (say that ten times, fast), you might not be familiar with the term or what they’re good for.  Welcome to Fat Quarters 101.

Giveaway Day 2013 - Crafty Staci 3

Fabric is sold on bolts, folded in half with the selvage edges together.  Cotton fabric, of the type usually used by quilters and crafters, once measured 45 inches from selvage to selvage, but the size has magically shrunk while the price tag grows.  Most fabrics are now about 42 inches wide.

A yard of fabric is 36 inches, just like a yard of anything else.  That means if you buy an entire yard of fabric, unfold it and spread it out, it will measure 36 inches by 42 inches.  If you request a quarter of a yard at the cutting counter, you’ll receive a piece of fabric as shown below.

Ordinary Quarter Yard of Fabric - Crafty Staci

A fat quarter is the same number of square inches in size, but is cut differently, as shown here.

Fat Quarter of Fabric - Crafty Staci

If you get the same number of square inches of fabric, why would you care which way it’s cut?  Let’s say you want to make a bag.  The pattern instructs you to cut a rectangle that’s 12 by 20 inches.  You’d have to buy more fabric cut the regular way just to fit your pattern.  There’s less waste with a fat quarter, and they’re sometimes less expensive than buying cut yardage.

Now that you know what a fat quarter is, what can you make with them?  Quilters love these because they’re better suited for squares and other shapes, but they don’t have to be limited to quilting.  You can find gazillions of projects out there that are meant for fat quarters.  Here’s a few of my own projects that are perfectly suited to these cuts.

Squares and Stripes Mug Mat     Disney-Inspired Luggage Tags     Ruffled Oven Mitts     Fabric Daffodils     Fat Quarter Half Apron     Pencil Drink Sleeve and Paper Mat     Flowered Flip Flop Covers     Ruffled Flip Flop Covers     Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve     Quick and Easy Fabric Coaster     Take Out Wristlet     Oval Mug Mat     Reusable Snack Bags     Patriotic Fabric Pinwheels    

Now that you know what a fat quarter is, what are you going to make?