Projects

January 30, 2013

How to Make a Beautiful Cake

My website has moved. You can find the cake post you are looking for here.

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November 26, 2012

Scone Cozy

My website has moved. You can find the Scone Cozy post on my new website here

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August 15, 2012

Aprons From Vintage Sheets

My website has moved. You can find the apron post on  my new website here.

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August 14, 2012

Make Your Own Dishtowels

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July 31, 2012

How To Make A Cloud

The Farm Chicks website has moved. To find the "How To Make A Cloud" post, click here.

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April 10, 2012

Sixlets

 My website has moved. You can view the Sixlets post on my new website here.

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March 02, 2012

Flower Purse

My website has moved. You can view the Flower Purse post on my new website here.

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February 02, 2012

What Can You Do With...

... candy hearts???

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Skewer them:

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Top them:

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Hang them:

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Give them:

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January 31, 2012

Cookie Flags!

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A few months back, I was inspired by Herriot Grace's Cookie Flags and knew I'd like to make my own variation for Valentine's Day.

I started by making a batch of my favorite cookie dough for these sorts of things. (It's important to use a recipe that won't rise and become puffy).

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I rolled out the dough and cut out the flag shapes for the project. (Just freehand, with a small, sharp knife).

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I transferred the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet and inserted little wooden toothpicks for the flags (about 3/4" of the toothpick).

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I embellished some using some dough letter stamps and big heart sprinkles, just by pressing into the unbaked dough, and then baked them up.

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Then I decided it'd be fun to sugar glaze some of them and add a few sprinkle dots, for good measure.

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A soft pink sugar glaze is great too.

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I kept some unglazed, because sometimes simple is just enough.

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And then, well, it was really simple. I poked them into my little cakes.

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But they're just as fun to package up as treats for the ones you love. Or better yet, just gobble them up. Because Cookie Flags bring happiness to all.

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Cookie Flags Dough

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's (powdered) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream the butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla, beating until well combined. Beat in the flour, just until combined. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Flour your work surface and roll out your refrigerated dough to about 1/4" thickness. Using a sharp knife, cut out the shapes of your little flags. (As shown above). Once you've cut out all your flags, transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. (The best way to do this is with a spatula). Repeat with the remaining dough scraps, until all the dough is used up. Insert toothpicks into the flags as described above, and adorn, if desired, as described above.

Refrigerate the Cookie Flags, on the baking sheet, for 15 minutes. While the flags are being refrigerated, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake the Cookie Flags for 12-15 minutes. Cool on pan. Once completely cooled, the flags are ready to glaze or use as is.

Cookie Flags Glaze

  • Confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • Milk

Add milk, just a wee bit at a time, until the glaze reaches your desired consistency. Add a drop of food coloring, if you'd like. Mix together with a spoon, until thoroughly combined and then glaze to your little heart's content.

Sources:

Mini Bundt Cake Pan: Target

Letter Stamps: William Sonoma

Big Crunchy Heart Sprinkles: Wilton

Mixing Bowl: Fishs Eddy

January 22, 2012

Mini Box of Donuts

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I love each holiday, when the stores start stocking lots of different candies. Whenever I'm browsing the aisles, my mind is churning, thinking about what I can create. And more times than not, I dream in miniature. I'm not sure why, but mini is so darned cute, isn't it? This year, I dreamed up these teeny tiny donuts - perfect for Valentine treats.

To start, I whipped up a tiny bowl of icing. Just a wee bit of confectioner's (powdered sugar) and enough water to make it a nice consistency for dipping and glazing. And a bunch of Lifesavers candies.

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Oh, and some sprinkles too.

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All you need to do is dip the top of each Lifesaver into the icing and add a pinch of sprinkles.

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A little..

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..or a lot.

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You can use teeny tiny heart sprinkles too.

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I think the reds look like red velvet cake donuts. Let's pretend they are.

Oh! Look. Two lil' donuts sittin' in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G....

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hee hee.

Then we need to box them up. Just like a teeny tiny bakery would. What kind would you like? The little sprinkleys?

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Or the variety pack?

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Then we just slip on the little bakery box cover. And they're all ready for delivery. (Make sure the icing is completely dry before packaging).

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Note: These would make fun little birthday party favors or April Fools treats too!

Sources:

  • Lifesavers Candies in Valentines colors: Target (These come in bags of individually wrapped candies).
  • Sprinkles: Bake It Pretty
  • Match box favor boxes: Martha Stewart Crafts
  • Tiny pink bowl and little metal spoon: Fishs Eddy

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Alternate Sources: Websites such as Etsy and Oriental Trading Company offer selections of blank match boxes as well.

Back-up Plan: Little treat bags would work great for packaging too.

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Click here for more Valentines ideas, Farm Chicks Style! xo

January 19, 2012

Tiny Cookbooks

My boys enjoy baking and have a selection of favorite recipes they like to whip up. I decided to make them tiny cookbooks containing their favorites all in one place, that are easily grab-able when they want to attack the kitchen. They also make great little gifts for friends or for your child heading off to college. (And they're great for dads too!)

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These little books have an oilcloth cover.  Here are the supplies you'll need:

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  • Oilcloth (or laminated cotton)
  • Copy Paper
  • Fabric Pinking Shears
  • Scissors or Paper Cutter
  • Two-Hole Punch or Heavy Duty Stapler
  • Ribbon

To begin, make a template out of paper.

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Trace the template onto your oilcloth, about 1/4" wider than the template, all around.

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Cut the oilcloth using your pinking shears.

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Take several pieces of paper (I used 3 per cookbook, as when the stack is folded, it makes six double-sided pages.) and trace the template onto it. Cut out the stack all together using a paper cutter or scissors. Fold the stack in half, in the center.

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Place the paper inside the oilcloth cover.  Make sure the paper crease is pressed up against the center crease of the oilcloth and that the oilcloth cover is slightly bigger than the paper. If you need to, you can cut the paper down a bit more.

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Fold the oilcloth cover over the paper, crease, and hole punch. (If you don't have a two hole punch, a heavy duty stapler can be used).

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Tie off with ribbons of your choice. (Skip this step if you've stapled your little cookbook).

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And then, add a little label.

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Sources:

Oilcloth: Cath Kidston and Oilcloth International (via ebay)

Ribbon: Michael's

January 11, 2012

Sprinkle Toppers

Aren't big sprinkles adorable? The only problem is they're so hard to find. And then they're CRUNCHY, which isn't very enjoyable when you're taking a bite of a soft, fluffy cupcake, right? So, I've taken to making them myself. You can make different shapes, but today I really want to show you hearts. (Another phase of mine... Note the My Favorite Find logo, and this year's FC Show poster... :)) Love love love. It's what it's all about! hee hee

So anyway, they're really simple. Simply take a handful of candy melts in your desired color and heat for about 30(+/-) seconds in the microwave to melt:

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Stir the melts until all smooth. Transfer mixture into the corner of a large ziploc bag and cut the tip off:

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Line a tray with wax paper. Carefully squeeze out heart shapes, one side at a time. Squeeze briefly from the top, angling the heart side to the center, then pulling the shape, without squeezing any more out. Sort of just dragging what you've already squeezed:

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Ohhh. So cute! And SOFT, so they won't break your teeth. Hooray!

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Make as many as you like. zip. zap. zoom. And you're done! Then, top your favorite treats. Like cookies, sundaes, or cupcakes.

Just one.

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Or lots. Why not? We're equal opportunity sprinklers!

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.... and with a few sprinkles, she'll change the world.

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December 02, 2011

Adding Christmas To The Cupboards

One way to add Christmas cheer (or any season for that matter) to your kitchen is to add wrapping paper to the cupboards.

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You can line the back of the cupboards, inside the doors if they're glass, or line the inset panels on the front of your doors.

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Simply cut the paper to fit the spaces you'll be covering and attach with removable double sided tape. It's quick, simple, and darling!

You can find this project and many more, as well as decorating ideas, recipes, and Christmas cheer in my book, The Farm Chicks Christmas.

Images by John Granen.

December 01, 2011

The Perfect Little Bench

I always find it interesting to watch the trends that come and go in the world of antiques. I remember when trunks were popular. Now they're not. But these old pieces shouldn't be overlooked. In fact, they are so useful for turning into entryway or mudroom benches. (And they have storage space!)

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I bought this old trunk/box from my friend, Hollie, at her antiques show.

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I simply topped it with a standard pillow covered in my favorite vintage Christmas pillowcase and it was instantly transformed into a little bench.

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I can easily change the pillowcase to fit the season.

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Have a large trunk? Use two pillows or several toss pillows. It's as easy as that!

I found the trunk here.

My floor tile is from Daltile.

My beadboard wall tile, tile base trim, and tile cap is all from Dirk Elliot Tile.

I purchased my wallpaper from Wallflowers in Spokane. I'm sorry, I can't remember the brand.

October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Treatstands

A fun, quick, and easy way to display your seasonal treats is on stands. I happen to own LOTS of cakestands, but thought it would be fun to make some specific to the season. With pumpkins and paper plates.

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I've found an abundance of little pumpkins left in the field from the pickers, who accidentally broke off their stems. Once the stems are gone, they're not really desirable to most people buying pumpkins, so there they sit - all broken hearted. In an attempt to rescue these orphaned pumpkins, I've discovered they're great for stacking on each other for decoration and for these cute little stands.

Step 1.) Start with a mini pumpkin. If your pumpkin has a stem, cut it or break it off:

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Step 2.) Hot glue a paper plate atop the pumpkin. I've used a small salad-sized plate here, as the pumpkin is small:

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This pumpkin is slightly larger, so I've used a dinner-sized plate here:

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Step 3.) Fill plate with treats:

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or stack the stands two high for double the treats - double the fun:

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And there you have it. Changing the world - one pumpkin at a time. :)

August 19, 2011

Camp Tray

Re-purposing old objects into darling little trays is fun! My friend, Teri, and I found these old trail markers one summer and knew they'd be perfect for just that.

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To make your own, search for any thick old wooden signs or boards that fit your style. Then choose sturdy handles - new or old, either will do - and screws for affixing them to your wooden sign/board.

Here's what to do:

1. Thoroughly clean the sign with a scrub brush and warm sudsy water.

2. Let dry. Sand any rough spots if necessary.

3. Place the handles on the sign, marking the holes for the screws with a pencil. Remove the handles and drill-start the holes for the screws.

4. Reposition the handles and screw them on.

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Images: John Granen, from my book: The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen. To purchase, click here.

P.S. If you already have a copy of the book, I'd love it if you could provide a review here.

 

August 17, 2011

Pantry Jar Labels

Crafting material scraps such as wallpaper and fabric and be put to good use, while creating something useful for your home.

Labels! (This project is from my first book, The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen).

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These labels are perfect for use around the home as they are wipeable, which makes them easy to clean. (Kitchens can be a messy place!)

1. Cut wallpaper or fabric into label shapes; I used rectangular on my jars shown here. To add a little charm, cut with pinking shears.

2. Cut two pieces of clear Con-Tact paper for each label, making them 1 inch larger in each direction. Sandwich each fabric/wallpaper label between the Con-Tact paper cut-outs; press together to seal. Trim the Con-Tact paper so that it makes a 1/4-inch border all around the fabric/wallpaper.

3. Use a Sharpie pen to write the name of whatever you are storing on each label. Affix the labels to jars or other storage containers with double-stick tape.

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Sources:

Jars: Martha Stewart for Macy's.

Image: John Granen, from my book: The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen. To purchase, click here.

P.S. If you already have a copy of the book, I'd love it if you could provide a review here.

 

August 15, 2011

Food Covers

The Farm Chicks Website has moved. You can find the post you're looking for here.

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July 06, 2011

Cotton Candy Balloons!

Every year, I love creating a fun photo opportunity for visitors at the entrance of The Farm Chicks Show. This year, I constructed a big bunch of cotton candy balloons.

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For me, cotton candy is fun. And happy. And wouldn't this be fun to make for a photo op (or decoration) at your next party?

To construct:

  1. Hot glue paper cones to bags of cotton candy.
  2. Affix long strings to the cones.
  3. Hot glue bags together to create a huge bunch of "balloons".
  4. Hang bunch from ceiling with several pieces of clear heavy duty fishing line.
  5. Once hung, tie all the loose strings (hanging from the bottom of the cones) together to create a knot, just as a balloon peddler would.

Tip: I repackaged my bags of cotton candy using clear bags, rather than the clown themed bags they came in. (It just fit better with what I had in my mind).

Special thanks to the wonderful Samantha Cabrera for these images from the show.

July 01, 2011

An Ordinary Can

You've got lots of cans passing through your house everyday, right? Did you know you can re-purpose them into many different nifty things? Here's one very simple idea.

Start with a can.

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Spray it with an adhesive spray and cover with the fabric of your choice. Wrap the rim with seam binding and hot glue into place.

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Fill it with supplies like fabrics...

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...or pens

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or buttons, stamps, patches, ribbons, whatever you'd like.

Or make a bunch and fill them all.

Notes: The vintage can shown here was shown only for an example, as this project was done a few years ago and I didn't have a before shot. :) I prefer to use new cans that I'd be recycling anyway. (Old cans are so pretty!)

This can was spray painted so the bottom teeny tiny rim didn't distract from the project, however, it's completely unnecessary.

 

May 17, 2011

Pitchfork Banner

I love to greet guests who are coming to our home. To make them feel welcome. What could be better than a pitchfork banner?

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Here's what you'll need: 2 pitchforks or shovels or large dowels, fabric, iron-on papers, self-adhesive velcro tabs or a glue gun.

Step 1: Select fabric for banner and cut to desired size. Hem all edges, if desired.

Step 2: Print greeting of your choice onto iron-on paper, using a large font. (I like to use the Arial Black font as the thickness of the letters are suitable for this project). Carefully cut out letters and iron onto the fabric, following iron-on manufacturer's instructions. Tip: if you set your printer to landscape (rather than portrait), you will generally get at least two letters per page.

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Step 3: Place pitchforks in the ground and attach the banner using the velcro tabs or hot glue. (If you don't mind marks on the pitchforks once you're done, the hot glue is a quick and easy option, as it will peel away from the fabric and handles of the pitchfork with a little pressure.)

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And just like that, you're set to welcome your guests to your next party or gathering.

January 07, 2011

Treat Bags!

My website has moved. You can find the Treat Bags! post here.

December 13, 2010

Woodsycake

The Farm Chicks Website has moved. You can find all of my sweets recipes here.

September 13, 2010

Cake (and Cupcake!) Flags, Part 2

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Cake Flags!

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March 26, 2010

Easter Platters

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March 25, 2010

Easter Place Settings

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January 18, 2010

Table Covering

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December 19, 2009

Christmas Star Cookie Wreath/Centerpiece

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November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Garland

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November 18, 2009

Recipe Box Re-do

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November 06, 2009

Covered Button Cuteness

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October 15, 2009

Button Love

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July 29, 2009

Menu Board

Every week, I make a menu for the upcoming week's meals.  I make my grocery list based on those meals and then post what the choices are for the week.  It's a great way to stay on budget and be organized at the same time.  I've always used a chalkboard to post the menu for my family, but thought it would be really fun to make a board using the vintage plaster pin letters I found recently at an estate sale, rather than writing it out each week.  And, a bonus is that I moved the chalkboard to the front porch for messages and greetings.  I love how tidy the new menu board looks.

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To make it, I purchased a new cork board and a tiny can of spray paint.  I also went to my fabric stash and selected a fabric that I liked for this project.

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I spray painted the frame (covering the inner corkboard with newspaper first).  After the paint dried, I cut the fabric about 1/4" bigger than the cork, all around, and pushed it under the painted frame.  I used my stovetop scraper to push the fabric under the frame, but a thin, dull knife would work well too.  I made sure all edges were snugly tucked under the frame.

And now, we're all set!

June 17, 2009

Curtain Crush

I love simple curtains and I have to admit, even after all these years, I still have a crush on them.  And here's the good part:  I made them out of vintage sheets.  It's true.

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I LOVE good cotton sheets (vintage) that have that sturdy, yet soft feel.  And whenever I find them at estate sales, I buy them because they're good for so many projects.  For my home and style, the twin sized sheets are the perfect length for my windows.  And exactly right for my sliding glass doors too.  I use them in my kitchen, living room, and master bedroom.

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To make, I just sew ribbon tabs to the top of the sheets, and hang.  Whenever they need to be cleaned, I can just throw them in the washer, and they're as good as new.  And since they're white, the best way to perk them up if they're a bit yellow-ish when I purchase them, is to give them a quick soak in Rit Color Remover.  It turns them perfectly crispy white.

And honestly, it doesn't have to be limited to sheets.  I've found darling blankets that I've turned into curtains for the boys rooms too.  And colorful, patterned sheets are great as well.  But best of all, they're so easy and inexpensive too.

May 06, 2009

Pocket Journals

One of the boys has a habit of writing on his hands, which I really don't like.  But I understand that his mind is constantly whirring away, and he wants to doodle and write random things.  So, I came up with an idea for tiny pocket journals that he could keep in his pocket - available whenever he'd like.

To make the journals, I drew out a small rectangle (3"x7.5").  I cut a small stack of printer paper into that shape, as well as a heavier scrapbook paper in the same size for the cover.  I stitched a straight line down the middle and folded it in half.
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When his brother's saw the journals, they wanted some too.  Now they're all sporting pocket journals and are as happy as can be.

 

April 22, 2009

Embellished Tank

I buy a lot of vintage linens and really love retro prints.  I love the big flowery prints because they're perfect for making plain tank tops look cute.

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Start with a plain tank top, fusible iron-on web, and your choice of
fabric for embellishing.

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Directions:

1.)  Cut out fabric and fusible web for embellishing.

2.)  Fuse onto tank following instructions provided with the fusible web.

You're done!

April 16, 2009

Quilted Babydoll Smock

Recently, I was inspired by a $900 Tsumori Chisato dress, and figured I could create my own version for much less.

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A recent find of a huge bag of antique quilt and floursack squares at one of my favorite thrift shops worked perfectly for this project.

Supplies:

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  • Target Cotton Tank Top - $6
  • Men's XL or XXL Fruit-of-the-Loom Cotton T-Shirt - $5
  • Thrift Store Quilt Squares, Floursack - $1

Directions:

  1. Pre-wash and dry tank and t-shirt
  2. Cut tank top straight across just under chest.
  3. Cut t-shirt straight across just under arms.
  4. Gather t-shirt on raw edge to fit tank top.
  5. Pin tank top and gathered t-shirt, right sides together and stitch.
  6. Affix quilt squares and floursack materials using a decorative top stitch or hand-embroidery stitch.

Total Cost: $12

Style Tip:  This smock can be worn alone as a cute little summer dress or over your favorite pair of slim-fit jeans or leggings.

January 28, 2009

Happy Little Spice Drawer

I talked about my spice drawer not long ago, and how much I love putting all my pantry and baking supplies in pretty containers.  Of course, I also want the containers to be practical. I love the little baking powder containers, as they have great lids and a metal lip inside for scraping off each teaspoonful.  So, each time I buy one at the store, I save it for my spices that get a lot of use, like baking soda and salt.

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To make them cute, I just cover them with my favorite polka dot wrapping paper and clear Con-Tact paper.  Simply measure out the wrapping paper to cover the canister and cut out.  Do the same with the Con-Tact paper, cutting it just a little bit wider to overlap the paper and hold it in place.

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When baking, if the canister gets messy, you can simply wipe it off with a warm soapy cloth and it looks like new again.

I also add a colorful label to the top, cut to fit just inside the recessed circle, and attach with double-stick tape.

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November 13, 2008

Make Do

We've been working on some new projects for Country Living.  A new section they're doing each month is Make Dos.  Lots of little recycling, earth-friendly projects.  Our first project is in the December issue:

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November 10, 2008

Magnetic Knife Rack

Finding a cute way to store your knives can be tricky.  This is the perfect
solution.  I started out with a magnetic knife rack from Ikea and covered
it in a cute calico fabric.  Now, the rack is just as darling as the knives!

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1.) Iron fabric, and lay out wrong side up. 

2.) Place knife rack face down on fabric.

3.) Cut fabric all around rack, about 3/4 of an inch larger than
rack, or wide enough to be able to pull fabric over the inside lip of the rack.

4.) Pull fabric over the inside lip of the rack, glueing into place
as you go.

5.) Mount according to package instructions.

Materials needed:

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Ikea
(Asker) magnetic knife rack

Material of your choice

Hot glue gun

Sources:

The knives were purchased at William Sonoma and TJ Maxx



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