DIY Carpet Powder

Last year at Crafty Feast, I picked up the most amazing handmade carpet powder. It was lavender scented and even had pieces of dried lavender bud mixed in. It came in a 16 ounce jar which [unfortunately] only lasted me one application.

I may have ignored the “sprinkle lightly” instructions… {I have 3 dogs!}

Being frugal [and stocked with essential oils] I was determined to make my own.

I was quite surprised at how simple it was to make. Let me follow that with: I am not a professional carpet-powder-connoisseur. I am just a frugal gal who was in desperate need of help alleviating the affects of three dogs on rugs – and I think I found a pretty good solution!

carpet-powder

What you need

  • Glass jars with lids
  • Baking soda (1 pound will fill a 16-ounce jar)
  • Essential Oils (my favorite odor-busting combination is Young Living’s Thieves [10 drops] + Purification [20 drops])
  • Mixer or whisk 
  • Mixing bowl

To start, I gathered two 16-ounce jars. After realizing how easy this was to make, I would’ve made more if I had more jars available!

One of my jars was leftover from the carpet freshener I purchased at Crafty Feast. The other jar was a salsa jar that I cleaned and thoroughly air-dried. I found that running the jar through my dishwasher loosened the label enough for me to peel off, but if you do not have a dishwasher, you could soak the jar in hot, soapy water and use some lemon essential oil to remove it.jars

The purchased powder came with a super cute lid for sprinkling, but I have seen some at Hobby Lobby and also here on Amazon. Alternately, you could drill holes into the lid you have or just plan to sprinkle with the lid off.

lids

One two-pound box of baking soda will fill two 16-ounce jars. Any brand of baking soda is fine!

baking-soda

Gather your supplies. While I used my electric mixer, you could easily mix this with a whisk. The substance is light so you don’t need much power.

Some essential oils (mostly citrus-based) can break down plastic so I avoid using plastic kitchenware when mixing recipes with essential oils just in case. I found this metal mixing bowl at Target, but a glass bowl would also be fine.

supplies

You can either measure out two cups of baking soda or pour the baking soda into your jar until it fills the top then dump into your mixing bowl. The latter is probably best – I  found that when I measured out exactly two cups I ended up with a little spilling over my jar.

powder

The best recipe I have found incorporates 10 drops of Thieves Essential Oil and 20 drops of Purification Essential Oil. These are definitely two of my favorite, most used oils (second to lavender!). The fragrance of the Thieves oil reminds me of Christmas so the scent is really comforting. The Purification oil is great for cleansing the air and alleviating odors (also makes a great spray for your car).

Note: I use Young Living essential oils. I have a membership with them and have been very pleased with the quality. I have not tried this recipe with other brands of EO’s, but use whatever suits you best!

pet-oils

The Thieves + Purification combination is a heavy hitter for odors. It is a great combo if you have pets. Another combination I tried for a fresher scent was Grapefruit and Citrus Fresh (Orange could be a good substitute) – 7-8 drops of each oil.

citrus-oils

Whatever combination you choose, sprinkle the drops directly onto the baking soda dumped into your mixing bowl. Try to sprinkle them evenly – I found that the oils clump a bit in the baking soda so spreading them around is best.

oils-in-powder

Now mix it up! Again, you really don’t need much power since this is a light mixture. If you are using an electric mixer, use the lowest speed. You could also use a whisk.

If you do not have a funnel in your kitchen (I did not), grab a clean piece of paper and twist for a make-shift funnel. Use the funnel to help pour the mixture into your jar. This can still get quite messy so placing a tea towel under your jar might be a good idea 😉

funnel

You  will want to let your mixture sit for at least 30 minutes for the oils to mingle with the baking soda. I let mine sit for a few days before use. Since these are so easy to make, it’s worth whipping up several at a time so they are ready for use when you need them. This would also make a great housewarming gift.

Be sure to label your jars – particularly if you are making multiple scent combinations so you will know which to grab depending on your needs. You can use washi tape across the top of the jar or on the side of your jar if you don’t have a label-maker (that’s on my wish list!). Alternately, you could use these chalkboard mason jar lid labels.

citrus-powder

I’m a heavy sprinkler so one jar typically lasts me one area rug. Depending on the odor you’re dealing with, you could very likely stretch it further. Since I know how easy it is to whip up, I’m less concerned with stretching it 😉

Once you sprinkle on your carpet, let it sit for at least 30 minutes. I usually let it sit for a few hours or even overnight before vacuuming up.

pet-powder

And you’re done! Can you believe how easy that was?!

Turn this recipe into a room air freshener/odor absorber by cutting in half for an 8-ounce jar (like these) or quartering for a 4-ounce jar (like these). Just leave the lid off or add one of these pretty lids.

Flying Geese Pin Cushion

I’m really loving paper piecing! If you haven’t tried it out yet, you totally should. It’s much easier than you think (I was overthinking it until our quilt guild president de-mystified the process during a demo at a recent meeting. Here’s a tutorial with some great pictures).

After playing around with paper piecing with the basic diamond template Amber shared with us at the meeting, I started searching the internet for more templates to play with.

It didn’t take long to find a flying geese pattern that I loved! I followed these instructions and shrunk the pattern by 33% when I printed. It’s the perfect size for a pin cushion which is great because this month our quilt guild hosted a pin cushion swap!

pin cushion 2

My partner loves batik prints so it was a chance for me to work with a fabric that I don’t normally use. I found some fat quarters at JoAnn’s and used green for the geese and purple for the background pieces. I used a fun blue print for the bottom of the cushion.

I used some scrap batting to line against the goose block. Rather than quilt the geese (I really couldn’t figure out how to do that without ruining the design), I added a border and then stitched around the border with some fun blue thread I picked up at an estate sale.

I stitched the batting to the flying geese block then set it right-sides-facing on top of the bottom piece and then squared them up (cutting the edges) so they were the same size. Then I stitched all around the sandwich – leaving a few inches open at the bottom for flipping.

pin cushion 6

the underside of the pretty blue stitches against the batting

Then I clipped the corners so they would be pointy when flipped (watch out for your stitch line so you don’t accidentally cut into it!).

pin cushion 7

I flipped the cushion so that right sides were now facing out and hand stitched the closing using a blind stitch {here is a tutorial with great pictures}.

pin cushion 5

Some people hate sewing by hand, but I love the control it gives you. I certainly wouldn’t want to do an entire quilt by hand {I absolutely do not have that kind of patience}, but I will say that taking the time to blind stitch is totally worth it! It’s great for closing an infinity scarf or the interior of a bag and leads to a much cleaner finish.

pin cushion 4

I happen to have a giant bag of plain ol’ stuffing {I think I had visions of making throw pillows or maybe some fun softies/stuffed animals…} so I used that to fill the cushion. Lately I’ve noticed that my pins seem to be getting dull. Next time I may try stuffing a pin cushion with steel wool to keep my pins sharp {idea here}.

pin cushion 1

After some advice from my quilt guild buddies at our last sew-in, I pressed my seams to the side rather than open when I pieced the four little goose blocks together to make the full circle of geese. This really helped seal the center of the block and align the pieces perfectly {I’m quite proud of that center intersection!}. Here’s a good run-down of pressing your seams open vs. pressing them to the side if you’re interested 😉

pin cushion 2

I hope my partner likes her new pin cushion! 🙂

{PS: If you’re anywhere near Columbia, SC and enjoy sewing of any sort-and-kind, you should check out the Palmetto Modern Quilt Guild! You can follow the page on Facebook to see when the next meeting will be. The guild hosts monthly sew-ins which are super fun – I love being able to pick the brains of fellow [far more experienced] sewists!}

DIY Beach Blanket

I know I’m wayyy late (like, a full month), but I couldn’t resist sharing a picture of my oh-so-festive Independence Day brunch at Eggs Up Grill!

july 4th

The Fruited Plain Ultimate French Toast {y’all know my sweet tooth…it was worth every calorie!}

Don’t worry – I suffered through a very humid run before consuming these tasty, festive treats 😉

Onward! To the beach quilt!

Remember that time I made my first quilt? Oh yes, me too. I love it so much…in all it’s flawed beginner glory. I love it so much that I make the Hubs lay it across our comforter every morning so I can see it when I get home! (I know, I’m a nerd.)

Anyhow – as soon as my Mom saw it she was all “Ohh..you should make me one to take to the beach.” After giving her the side-eye and replying that I don’t make things to go in or on the sand, I revisited her request (I mean…the woman stayed with my dogs for TWO AND A HALF weeks OVER CHRISTMAS. She’s a saint. I owed her).

I was planning to visit her this summer so we could walk go shell hunting at the beach. As my trip approached, the idea of a beach quilt floated in and out of my mind (mostly out)…until I ran across this Picnic Blanket Tutorial on Pinterest.

At first, I had planned to buy some terry cloth, but I was running low on time (and if I had to go to JoAnn’s in search of terry cloth, I’d most certainly lose a solid 4 hours after getting “lost” in all the other great fabric and craft supplies I so desperately need). In addition, I’ve been on a mission to purge my fabric stash (after realizing it was suffocating my creative process/sewing room/space to create, I purged and then offered free bags of fabric to my friends on Facebook. I highly recommend offering your Facebook friends things you want to get rid of. They jumped right on it! By passing my stash onto friends, I didn’t have to live in fear that my fabulous fabric might not make it to the sales floor of the local thrift store). On that note, I decided that I shouldn’t buy any new fabric for this project. In my Mom’s original request she said “you could use big pieces for my quilt so it wouldn’t take as long” (she’s thoughtful in her requests, right?!). Since I’d be raiding my stash for this one, her “easy solution” was great inspiration.

Step 1 – Find a large piece of fabric (or piece together scraps) that represents the size and shape you desire for your blanket. This will serve as your template for the quilt.

I had one beautiful curtain panel in my stash that had previously adorned the one window in my tiny dining room until the pattern had become too aesthetically busy. I knew it would be the right size for this – larger than a regular beach towel, but smaller than a traditional quilt. After cutting off all of the finished edges of the curtain, I laid it out flat to use as a template.

The unused curtain edges made a great doggy bowtie…

My helper, Twitch, snoozing on the job (like usual) while wearing the fancy new bow tie I made him ;)

My helper, Twitch, snoozing on the job (like usual) while wearing the fancy new bow tie I made him 😉

Step 2 – Find some batting.

There are lots of options here – you don’t have to use traditional batting. You could use an old fleece blanket, towels, flannel, etc.

Last year (while on the high from beginning my first quilt) I found a large white polyester-blend blanket at a thrift store. I bought it thinking it would make great batting (after some bleaching of course). The material wasn’t up to my standard of soft-n-cuddly so I knew I wouldn’t necessarily want to use it for a traditional blanket. It worked out perfect as batting for the beach quilt!

Step 3 – Cut your batting to match the size and shape of your “template” fabric.

Using the curtain piece as a template, I cut the batting to be the same size and set aside.

If you are using scraps of material for the batting, just sew the pieces together and trim as necessary until you have a piece that fits your original “template” (made in Step 1).

Step 4 – Gather fabric for your “top piece” (this will be the fancy side of your quilt that you will most likely use as the “top” so be creative with your selection).

For my quilt, I raided my fabric stash and stuck with large pieces of home decor / upholstery weight fabric for durability. I recommend using canvas, home decor fabric or upholstery weight fabric – something sturdy and durable.

I also recommend sticking with similar weight fabric (i.e. I wouldn’t recommend using lightweight cotton and upholstery together as it will cause one area to be heavier than the other. Additionally, the lightweight cotton wouldn’t be able to withstand the same wear-and-tear that the upholstery which may alter the look of your quilt in the future).

Step 5 – Piece together your quilt top.

Once you have gathered a stack of prints you like, start cutting the pieces to straighten the edges (basically: you want to turn your pieces into rectangles of sorts – all straight edges. Differing width and heights are fine for now – just focus on straight edges).

Now place your scraps on your template and arrange until you get the look you desire. Overlap them slightly (by about an inch) to ensure that your piece will be large enough to cover your template.

Starting with rows that use more than one piece of fabric to cover the quilt horizontally, sew the pieces together along the vertical seams so that they construct one long horizontal “row” that matches the width of your template. Trim the pieces so that the row is the same height across all pieces horizontally (making one long rectangle). Be sure to press the interior seams open and flat.

Once you have all multi-scrap rows constructed (you should have several rectangular rows now), lay them across your template in the order you want them to appear.

Step 6 – Begin sewing the rows together to build the top of your quilt.

I free-styled this (aka: made it up as I went along) so I don’t have great instructions. I used my basic quilting knowledge (piecing, pressing seams, squaring up, etc). If you have never pieced together a quilt top before, have no fear! You can do this with two giant pieces of fabric that are the same size and skip steps 4-6.

Starting from the top, take the second row and flip it up so that its’ right side is facing the right side of the first row. Align the pieces along the bottom horizontal edge and pin. Stitch along the bottom horizontal edge. Press the seams.

Now align the third row (right sides facing) to the bottom edge of the second row and stitch. Press the seams. Repeat until you have your entire top piece stitched together.

Step 7 – Make a quilt sandwich.

Layer the fabric flat (make sure there are no substantial wrinkles on any of the layers as you place them on top of one another):

1) Bottom layer: Quilt back [made in Step 1] facing right side up

2) Middle layer: Quilt top [made in Steps 4-6] facing right side down (so that your bottom and top pieces have the right sides facing each other).

3) Top layer: Batting [made in Step 3]

Step 8 – Pin the layers together.

Using a bundle of large safety pins, carefully pin the layers together. Since you are only going to be sewing around the edge of the quilt, you only need to pin around the edges.

Step 9 – Square up the top piece of your quilt.

Cut the edges of the quilt so that all three layers match along all edges.

Step 10 – Sew the layers together to hold in place.

Before you start sewing the layers together, make two marks along the bottom edge of your quilt (about 10-12 inches apart). This will be the opening that you use to flip your quilt – do not sew this area together in this step. If you are using extra fluffy batting or layers, you may need a slightly larger opening.

Starting at the left mark, begin sewing around the quilt until you reach the right mark (again: do not sew between these marks – this is the opening you will use to flip your quilt).

The seam allowance is not strict, but I recommend something larger (1 inch) to ensure that you are sewing through all 3 layers.

Step 11 – Flip your quilt inside-out so that the right sides are facing out.

Before flipping, trim the corners of your quilt (cut diagonally across each corner – be sure not to cut into your stitching).

Using the opening you left in Step 10, reach inside your quilt (between the top and bottom quilt pieces) and begin pulling the right sides out to “flip” it.

Step 12 – Sew around all edges of the quilt.

Once you have the right sides out (with the bottom and top quilt pieces in place and the fleece inside), tuck the edges of the opening under and pin. Starting with the opening, sew all the way around the edges of the quilt. I recommend a 0.5 inch seam (this seam needs to be slightly smaller than the seam you chose in Step 10 so that when you sew across the opening, you are able to sew all 3 layers to keep it securely closed).

Step 13 – Take your quilt out to play!

Congratulations! You just finished a fabulous beach blanket / picnic quilt / whatever-kind-of-blanket-you-want-it-to-be! I’d love to see your creations – tag me on Instagram when you share: @jordslice11.

For a little inspiration, here is the Beach Quilt I made for my Mom (she loved it by the way!):

blanket back

This is the quilt BACK – the curtain I used as a template for the rest of the quilt. {Oh, and Mr. Twitch posing alongside with his matching bowtie}

blanket front

This is the quilt TOP {And the Hubs who had way too much fun helping with these photos!} 😉

It’s hard to believe I had scraps that large in my stash. It sure felt good to use them up – this is a great scrap buster and easy gift!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and are inspired to make something pretty for yourself! I’d love to see what you make – if you blog it, link your post in the comments and tag me on Instagram with your photos: @jordslice11.

{UPDATE: See my beautiful Mom enjoying the beach quilt here.}

DIY Beard Oil & Shaving Cream

We celebrated the Hubs’ 27th birthday on February 5th. I love celebrating the Hubs – for obvious reasons [he’s awesome] and also because I always try to DIY most of his birthday presents which can be a fun challenge.

It’s not super easy to find DIY gifts for men that aren’t centered around beer (since he doesn’t drink that rules out about half of the DIY ideas online).

Well, this year I had some great ideas!

The Hubs has been growing a pretty nice beard which he has lovingly been maintaining because I told him I liked it 🙂

I have also recently purchased a Young Living Essential Oils Premium Starter kit that came with a set of everyday oils. I’ll admit that I primarily ordered my kit so that I could use the oils to make lotions, lip balm and shaving cream {and it was the biggest bang for my buck in terms of ordering a variety of oils}. There are tons of other benefits of having these oils, but that was my primary motivation 😉

And while I do love my diffuser (Stress Away + Lavender is my absolute favorite combination so far), the oils have proven very handy with my DIY projects.

{As a side note – by ordering the kit, I’ve become a “member” with Young Living. If you are interested in essential oils, I’d be happy to chat about them and share what I know [which isn’t too much]. If you want to place an order, I’d be so grateful if you used my member number: 2434224 :)}

Ok, back to those manly DIY gifts…


DIY

Beard Oil

Inspired by the Art of Manliness DIY Beard Oil post

Materials / Ingredients

Directions

  1. If you are using it, place the mini-funnel atop the glass jar and fill about half the jar with your carrier oil of choice (Almond oil).
  2. Add your essential oils. I used 4 drops of the tea tree oil, 2 drops of the peppermint oil and 1 drop of Frankincense.
  3. Close the jar and flip a few times to mix. Take a sniff and adjust the scent as necessary. If the scent is too strong, add more almond oil to dilute.
  4. Optional label: Add washi tape to the outside of the bottle and stamp or write (with permanent marker) “beard oil” for your label. You could get fancy if you have a label maker, but I’m a frugal DIY’er.
beard oils

Beard oil combination: Peppermint, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree), and Frankincense essential oils.

Shaving Cream

Original recipe from One Good Thing by Jillee

Materials / Ingredients

  • Glass container(s) – I used three 4 oz. mason jars, but you could use 1 bigger jar if you prefer.
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup raw shea butter (I ordered mine from Amazon)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (you could substitute other carrier oils like Almond or Jojoba)
  • 10 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • washi tape – optional label

Directions

  1. Add water to a sauce pan (so it is between 1/3 and half full) and bring water to a low boil over medium heat.
  2. Add coconut oil and shea butter to the glass measuring cup. Create a makeshift double boiler by placing the glass measuring cup into the sauce pan. Stir occasionally until both materials are completely melted.
  3. Carefully remove glass measuring cup from sauce pan (using an oven mit). Add olive oil and essential oils and stir to mix.
  4. You can either refrigerate until the mixture becomes solid or cover and leave on your counter overnight.
  5. If you’ve refrigerated the mixture, remove once it is solid and let it sit at room temperature for about half an hour.
  6. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and add baking soda. Whip mixture for about 3 minutes until it is smooth and fluffy.
  7. Transfer fluffy mixture to your jar(s) and store at room temperature.
  8. Optional label: Add washi tape to the top of the jar and write “Shaving Cream”. The jar I ordered came with labels so you could use those or add a fabric swatch to the top – there are all kinds of options with mason jars.

Had I been better prepared this year, I would’ve made the Hubs a new toiletry bag (like this one or this one) to store the two.

What are some gifts you’ve made for the men in your life? Share your experiences and ideas in the comments! {And help me be better prepared for next year!}

Save this DIY for later:   

DIY Bridal Tea Party

I hinted to you in my #reslicedHappyMail post that I am planning my Bestie a Bridal Tea Party and today I want to tell you all about it the preparations I’ve made so far. I DIY’d a lot of stuff for it so far and I’m excited to share those with you.


blog pic
I’ve been best friends with the bride since middle school and when she asked me to be her Maid of Honor, I was over the moon! {Remember how cute the card was that she sent to me last August?!} In lieu of a traditional Bachelorette party, Caroline requested that we have a tea party with all her favorite gals. You see, the reason Caroline & I have stayed Bestie for so very long is because we’re both 85-years-old at heart. So the minute she released me from planning anything involving penis straws was just further confirmation that she’ll be the one in the rocker beside me on the front porch of our nursing home gossiping about all the old guys one day. We had originally planned to have the Bridal Tea at a tea room a few towns away, but that fell through. Caroline almost gave up on the tea party idea until I persuaded her to let me attempt to throw one myself. With help from another of Caroline’s wonderful Bridesmaids, we came up with an alternate plan that worked out perfect. There’s a lovely [locally-owned!] bakery in Irmo (our hometown) that offered to let us use their space in the afternoon to throw our own tea party. I could spend all day telling you how delicious the chocolate chip cookies are at Blue Flour Bakery, but you should probably just go buy some of your own {oh.my.word. – so good!} Ok, back to the DIY portion of this post… To start, I searched for a site where I could design and print my own invitations (I was short on time and was worried I wouldn’t get printed invitations as quick as I needed them). I stumbled upon Greetings Island (browse their Bridal Shower invitations here) and loved their templates and how easy it was to customize. Once you design your invitation, you have a few options for exporting. I chose to save mine to a PDF file with four on a page. I knew I wanted to mount mine on scrapbook paper so I opted to have them a little smaller than usual.

invitations

The final invitations

I actually had tea party themed scrapbook paper already that I use to mount my jewelry (makes for a great necklace or earring holder when gifting, displaying or shipping) so I didn’t have to buy any (yay!). To make the scrapbook paper “frames” around the invitations, I traced around my invitation and added an inch to each side. I didn’t love how the pointed corners looked so I grabbed the paper coffee cup I was drinking from and used the bottom to trace a rounded edge for the corners. From there, I traced the template on the back side of the scrapbook paper so the lines wouldn’t be visible on the front when cut. Then I glued the invitations to the middle of the scrapbook paper. And voila! Handmade [nearly free] invitations. With some inspiration from The Postman’s Knock, I knew I wanted to attempt making my own envelopes. What better way to practice than with 11 invitations?! This also allowed me flexibility in sizing of the invitations (since I’d be customizing the envelopes to fit). To make my template, I deconstructed the envelope that Caroline’s wedding invitation came in – like this:

envelope

To customize the envelope template to fit my invitations, I cut off the left and right triangle flaps and sliced a bit off each side of the main piece until it was sized to fit. I reattached the side flaps though they proved to not be as necessary (since I switched to a square template and just used the top and bottom points as reference. That might be a bit confusing so if you are interested in making your own, I highly recommend following The Postman’s Knock instructions. I used a copy of our local Skirt! magazine for the envelopes.

skirt mag

This is the November issue – isn’t the cover lovely?! I also used the December issue (not pictured).

The size of the magazine is perfect for envelope-making because it is longer than a traditional magazine and the cover illustration is always beautiful. In fact, I was able to use a good bit of the magazine because the content (even the advertisements) is so lovely – it’s a very well-designed magazine. For pages that were too thin to stand alone as an envelope, I just glued two together to double it and then cut my template. If you look close at the cover picture above, you can see my envelope template outlined in pencil.

kroush

This is the front of the skirt magazine transformed into an envelope.

kroush back

I always love the quotes on the front cover of skirt magazine. I had to cut and reattach it so that the recipient could read it (without turning it upside down), but I love how it fit perfectly on the back of the envelope.

sarah key

The girl is actually holding a stalk of celery in her mouth which worked perfect as a placeholder for the address 🙂

skey back

And since weddings are all about “cooking the perfect mix”, I thought this quote was a good one for the back of the envelope 🙂

szimbardi

rlewis

This was actually an advertisement for a local cosmetics shop. The address covers the shop name.

kdixon

jcrew

This might be one of my favorites – isn’t the girl so cute?!

I love how each one turned out differently. I had a blast deciding who would get each one and how I’d display the address within the design. I can’t wait to make more envelopes to use for #reslicedHappyMail – speaking of, have you nominated someone yet?! If not, read all about it here & follow the link to the form. In addition to the invitation and envelope DIY, I also found a lovely [free printable] tea package. I struggled with customizing these, but the team at Botanical Paperworks was amazing and responded quickly over email to help me out. Each package says “T&C – the perfect blend” and “thank you” on the flip side. They printed in 3 different colors – one of which was coral which is the color of our bridesmaids’ dresses! Perfect.

tea satchets

I absolutely love how these turned out! The perfect favor for a tea party.

I had originally planned to make my own tea bags by purchasing loose leaf tea in the bride’s favorite flavor (berry) and sewing them by hand – like these. However, I decided to save myself the extra effort so I could use that time and energy elsewhere 🙂 Instead I used Tazo Passion herbal tea which was perfect – berry flavored and it said “passion” on the paper label which seemed appropriate 😉 To fit the tea bags into the packets, just remove them from their original paper wrapping (or purchase tea bags that aren’t individually wrapped). Have you planned a Bridal shower before? I had a ton of fun planning this one and I’d love hear about your DIY shower experiences – share them in the comments below!

{UPDATE: Read all about how the party went and pictures from the event in this post.}

Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop – recap

I sure hope you enjoyed last week’s Blog Hop as much as I did! I am so full of handmade gift ideas – my creative brain can hardly process it all!

To save you some searching later, I’ve gathered direct links to all the posts from the Blog Hop below. To save yourself even more time, go ahead and pin the image below to your favorite “gift ideas” board on Pinterest for future reference!



HH Blog Hop 1

I’m so honored to have all of the talented bloggers below participate in the Blog Hop with me! These ladies keep my creativity alive and inspire me constantly through their friendships with me (and blog posts!).

I hope you’ll take some time to read through their posts and explore their blogs!

The links below will take you to each blogger’s post for the Blog Hop. As you saw on the introduction post, each of us have different skills and interest areas so you can bet the variety of tutorials will keep you inspired (and very busy!).

If you’re local, follow Columbia’s Etsy Market Team on Facebook to stay in the loop with upcoming events where you can find local, handmade businesses and all things crafty in Columbia.

What are your favorite handmade gifts to give or receive? I’d love for you to share a link to your favorites in the comments below!

Happy [Handmade] Holidays!

Thrifted Thursday: Sailor Skirt

A few weeks ago I hit the jackpot while thrifting. I found this super 80s (though I have no idea which decade it’s actually from) sailor dress that was in perfect condition and just screamed “take me home tonight!” So I did.

It's like I'm a life-size version of how my Mom dressed me at age 4.

It’s like I’m a life-size version of how my Mom dressed me at age 4.

I know what you’re thinking: “Jordan, why on earth would you even consider refashioning this dress? It’s like 11 shades of all things perfect!”

Well, friends – here’s my defense:

1. Long dresses are a short girl’s worst nightmare (is it possible for my legs to look shorter?! Oh yes, it is.)

2. My sister’s birthday was fast approaching and I had not even started on that bag I’d promised her (new designs are fun to dream up in your head, but extremely intimidating to actually start so I’d caved to the intimidation…for now). I knew I wanted to make her something special. She loves sailing so obviously she loves anything nautical and THIS was IT.

In addition, my sister had recently started a new job (being that myself, my sister and both our Hubs started new jobs this year, we’ve declared 2014 “The Year of the Slices” – which includes spouses 😉 ). She was transitioning from the classroom to take on the role of a “Reading Coach” at the same school where she’d been planting her roots for the last 5 years. Since she’d be out of the classroom and in meetings a lot more often she’d already started the hunt for more “grown-up” clothes. So I thought: “I can help with this!”

My definition of “grown-up” clothes is a little skewed. Rather than being defined by suits of any kind [I. will. not!] I believe in cardigans. Lots of cardigans! And this was about to be a “just-add-cardigan” outfit!

While trying on this beauty, I realized the back zipper stopped just above the skirt. Meaning: I could easily chop off the bottom and preserve the top without struggling around removing a zipper. Win!

One last chance to truly appreciate this beauty..from the poof sleeves to the square collar with bow embellishment, it's just too stellar.

One last chance to truly appreciate this beauty..from the poof sleeves to the square collar with bow embellishment, it’s just so stellar.

Like any thrifted outfit, I started by washing (because duh) and drying – a recommendation for all fabric you work with. Whether you are chopping cloth off the bolt or refashioning, always wash and dry so that you don’t end up with an outfit for a toddler after it’s first wash.

I used some washi tape to secure the sides of the dress to the door I’d hung it on. It’d probably be better to cut on a flat surface, but I like to bend the rules for my convenience.

Since I’d decided this would make a super easy (did I mention my sister’s birthday was fast approaching?!) elastic waist skirt that would be a perfect gift for my sister, I started by cutting the skirt off just below the gathered top/waist of the original dress.

taped edge

Snip snip!

This pretty much ends my photographed steps – I’m not so great at documenting my visual progress. However, I loosely followed a tutorial I found a while ago that worked for me – it’s this one from Extra Petite.

I adapted this tutorial a little: I omitted the pockets because my sister always complains they make her hips look too big. If you love pockets and have little hips like myself, include them – they’re fun! I also decreased the width a bit because the first skirt I made following the tutorial was a bit too full for me.

Once I had inserted the elastic waist band, I had my husband stretch the skirt to it’s full capacity. Then I went around it and vertically pinned a few places about 6 inches apart. I used those places to stitch vertical lines so that the skirt wouldn’t bunch unevenly at the waist. Bonus: you can’t see the stitches because of how they fall between the bunching.

pinned elastic

Here you can see the pins – they are a bit closer (maybe 3 inches) once the elastic is “un-stretched”

And – tada! – the final product of this simple skirt:

skirt

Makes for a pretty cute skirt, right?!

While it is cute on my door and all, it’s way cuter on my sister!

Excuse the wrinkles (though you probably didn't even notice because of all the cuteness!), I made her try it on as soon as she opened the present!

Excuse the wrinkles (though you probably didn’t even notice because of all the cuteness!), I made her try it on as soon as she opened the present!

Seriously! How cute are these two?!

Seriously! How cute are these two?!

TIP: I have several skirt tutorials pinned on my Seamstress Dreams Pinterest board where I collect all the clothing tutorials I’ll probably never try, but dream about conquering one day. I usually read several tutorials before starting a project like this and combine little pieces from each until I get what I want.

I hope you enjoyed this #ThriftedThursday post!

PS: I’m still working on finishing up the matching top. Keep an eye out for that one – coming soon!

{Catch up on all the Thrifted Thursday posts here.}