January 29, 2013

Embroidered Folk-Art Bird

I finally buckled down and tackled a project that has been on my "to-do" list for ages: this rustic, Embroidered Folk-Art Bird. I was first inspired by a something I saw tagged on Craftgawker, and after a quick trip to Prints Charming I was completely sold on idea of an embroidered hanging. So, I grabbed some supplies I had in my craft stash and got to work!

1. I used 5 different floss colors on this project, along with a "natural" colored piece of craft felt. I also used a small embroidery hoop (sorry about the obnoxious color!) and a tapestry needle. For my pattern, I sketched the design on a piece of paper using a permanent marker. The marker was a conscious choice: the thick ink line would keep me from getting the design too intricate, which I was worried I couldn't embroider since this craft is very new to me!
2. To get my patter on the felt, I taped the pattern to my window and held the felt against it... thanks to the sun it works just as well as my light box (and isn't as much hassle to get out of storage). Then I used a fabric marking pen (the ink dissolves when you wet it) and traced the design. Then I popped the felt into the hoop and started embroidering. 
3. As I mentioned, I'm very new to embroidering, but I think the stitch I used is called Split Stitch
4. And after what seemed like a very short time, I was finished with the embroidery- so I used a wet towel to dab the fabric ink away.

As you can see, the back side of the project isn't very pretty, but that part is no longer visible! Once the embroidery was done, I flipped the design over, folded the remaining felt in front of the design, and used my sewing machine to sew around the design.

I left a bit of the design un-sewn so I could flip everything right side out and stuff if full of fiber fill.

Once I was finished stuffing I whip-stitched the opening closed and my Embroidered Folk-Art Bird was finished.

 Here's a close-up of the stitching - fun, right?

Craft felt (I used a single piece of 9"x11"
Embroidery floss (I used 5 different colors)
Tapestry needle
Design template (I used a marker and printer paper)
Fabric pen that dissolves in water
Sewing machine (optional)
Embroidery hoop

January 23, 2013

Glitter and Wire Decoration (LOVE)

With Valentine's day on the horizon, I had the urge to make a simple decoration for the romantic holiday! As you may have noticed, I prefer to make projects using materials I have in my craft stash, and this Glitter and Wire Decoration (LOVE) is no exception!

1. This simple project requires just three supplies: silver floral wire, glue (my preference is Tacky) and red glitter (I like the chunky stuff they sell in the kids aisle of the craft store for this project).
2. Using my fingers and a pair of needle nosed pliers (these are truly optional), I bent the wire to spell the word "LOVE." I didn't use a template for this part of the project, rather just my imagination (I pretended I was writing the word, and just bent/finagled the wire as necessary). 
3. Once the wire was manipulated to my liking, I squeezed glue along the bottom half of the word. I then used my finger (again, cheap and easy folks!) to smear the glue in the crevices. I didn't want my decoration to be overly gaudy, so I was judicious with the glue.
4. Once I was satisfied that there was enough glue on the wire, it was time for the best part: GLITTER! I sprinkled glitter on the glue area, making sure not to leave a bald spot!

And after everything dried for a few minutes, my decoration was complete.

I decided to use from translucent thread to hang my word (I just tied the thread to the loop on the 'L' and the loop on the 'E')...

But it looks just as good resting against a jar of flowers! This is such a simple project, my mind is brimming with the possibilities of what else can be done with wire and glitter!

Silver floral wire
Needle nosed pliers (optional)
Translucent thread (optional)

January 21, 2013

Kitschy Dog Pillow

Before I get into this tutorial, I wanted to apologize for being MIA for the past few weeks. The holidays took over my life, but I'm happy to share that I'm finally back on track and can't wait to share all sorts of projects! And while I realize the holidays are long gone, I hope you'll indulge me as I share a project I made as a holiday gift...

One of my favorite things about the holidays is making gifts for family and friends. A good friend of mine has a fabulous apartment and is devoted to his french bulldog, so I whipped up this Kitschy Dog Pillow to add to his couch for the holidays.

1. The supplies were really simple: some cotton fabric (white for the front, and red/white stripes for the back of the pillow), green acrylic paint, and red rhinestones.
2. After a quick google search I found a french bulldog silhouette online, so I printed it off and taped it to my light box.
3. Then I placed the white fabric on top of the image, flipped on the light box, and traced the silhouette with a pencil.
4. Once the I had the outline traced onto the fabric, it was ready to paint! To keep the fabric taught as I painted, I taped it to a cereal box- can you tell I'm a fan of raiding the recycling bin for my projects?

Once I had painted the silhouette and let it dry, I sewed the pillow. I simply sewed the wrong sides of the pillow together, and sewed almost all the way around the edge, leaving an opening so I could stuff it later. Then I flipped the project right side out.

But before I could stuff the pillow, I wanted to add a bit of bling... so I grabbed the rhinestones, and using tacky glue and some toothpicks, I glued a "collar" of red rhinestones around the neck of the silhouette.

Once the glue had dried, I filled the pillow with fiberfill and whipped stitched the opening closed... and my friend's gift was complete.

I must admit, my friend loved this very personalized gift. This would make a great gift for any gift lover- the option of personalizing it based on the animal breed makes it a thoughtful present!

Kitschy Dog Pillow SUPPLY LIST
Cotton fabric (white and "holiday"- I chose a simple red and white stripe)
Acrylic paint
Animal silhouette