Posts Tagged ‘1-day-projects’


I think I’ve blown through my potholder enthusiasm, but at least have finished about 10. Here’s the latest. Isn’t the main fabric pretty? It’s printed in Japan, and if I remember right, by a company named Pretty Poodle. Or else that is the design name, which makes no sense since it’s flowers, but coming from Japan maybe it makes perfect sense?


I designed the cupcake myself. Cupcakes are such a popular motif right now, I thought a potholder would be good. Not wanting to search online for a pattern, and then wait for shipment, I sketched up what I would have bought if I would have found it. A happy cupcake. I should have used a darker pink for the frosting; using extra-strong colors is always key to these designs.

And you can never go wrong with birds. Always cheerful, and fit in anywhere.


I found binding material that was just the right color. How lucky did I get?


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This is such an easy project, and quick, too! Who doesn’t like to hide a cheezy romance book beneath a pretty-but-obscuring cover?


Step 1. Cut out your focus fabric. The dimensions to use for a standard trade paperback are 8″ x 10-1/2″. Or measure your book if it is one of those large-sized paperback, or your scriptures, or what have you, and add 1″ to the dimensions in both directions, and you can sew with a half-inch seam allowance. There’s less math involved if you just use a half-inch allowance.

Disregard what appears to be the measurements in this photo, because I started cutting larger as time went on (it turns out the jacket does not fit well if it’s large; the fit becomes sloppy). I added the red square to emphasize which section will be the front part of the cover, and you will want to make sure your design is centered correctly.


Step 2. Cut out another piece of focus fabric the same size as the first. Then cut it in half so you have two sections 5-1/4″ x 8″, and then fold these each in half so they are 2-1/8″ x 8″. These will become the flaps that hold in the book, so press with an iron to get a nice crease.

Step 3. Cut another piece of fabric 8″ x 10-1/2″, and this will be the inside part that you don’t see when the jacket is in use.

Step 4. Assemble the inside piece of fabric and the fabric flaps as in the picture. Note that what you see now is what you will see in the finished jacket.


Step 5. A ribbon bookmark is optional. Lay it down now if you want to use one. Having a long bookmark is better than having one that is too short.


Step 6. Place the cover fabric face down over all the rest. If yours has an obvious front and back, make sure you have not inverted the fabric so the design appears upside down on the finished cover.


Step 7. If you are a pinner, insert your pins now. I really only needed a pin to make sure the bookmark didn’t slip around. Sew around with 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving a 3 or 4-inch opening at the bottom as shown.


Step 8. Clip the corners as shown above, being careful NOT to clip the sewing thread. Turn the cover inside out, and it will appear as below.


Step 9. You can top-stitch the opening closed close to the edge, or you can whip-stitch it closed so the binding is invisible.

Step 10. One final good pressing with a hot iron, and you are done!


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I was with a friend at a book store, and she grabbed a book cover they had for sale. The book cover was made of vinyl, and had a BIG logo of the book store name. This wouldn’t necessarily be bad, but the name of the store was The Book Worm and who wants to carry around a big logo of a worm? So I told her, “Don’t buy that! I’ll make you one!” and whew, she put it back down.

And I came home and measured a standard paperback book and whipped out a cover. It was so cinchy. This is a 10-minute project, even with cutting and ironing!



I love the red inside, but I thought it might glare on the eye when one is reading, so I substituted the cover fabric. It is. So. Pretty.

I was so pleased, this one immediately followed.



I am so going to whip up a bunch of these to give out next year at Christmas. The fabric takes slightly over half a fat quarter, and you could piece it together from scraps. Even the ribbon bookmark is scrap length.

If you can’t find a tutorial for these one the web (and I am sure there are loads) I’ll put up a tutorial for you.

**Also, the background fabric is my ironing board cover. I love it! The fabric is from Tanya Whelan’s Delilah line.

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Sorry this is such a lousy photo, my flash must be going bad. This is the better of two shots.


The fabric is Winter Elegance by Sentimental Studios for Michael Miller. This is touted as a ten-minute table runner, and it really is–except for the ironing. Maybe a fifteen minute table runner, after hand sewing the buttons.

10-12 inches of “theme” print, width of fabric
18 inches of a coordinating print, width of fabric.

The directions to make this are found here, http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/FL_ST_Construction_2009_105.pdf

This would make a quick gift for someone who has everything!

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You’d think I would have thought to take photos of the “before” version, but I didn’t. I had painted this dresser about 15 years ago, using first a dark blue all over, and then a cream enamel over that that I sanded to distress it here and there and let the blue show through. I was not happy with the final result, but didn’t know what to do to fix it.

In the meantime, this thing called the internet came along, and with it exposure to tons of crafty and decorating ideas straight out of the heads of Other People. I know! It was like a miracle had occurred. And so I read decorating blogs, and found out about Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, the revolutionary shabby chic paint. Well, maybe no real revolutions were started over it, but if we lived anywhere near Lilliput it may have been a possibility.

On to the Photos!

The top coat is Annie Sloan’s Paris Gray. It is very flat, almost a cement color

I painted the outside of the dresser, and all the drawer fronts.

I had a helper do the distressing, sanding off patches here and there to reveal the white or blue paint beneath the gray.

The paint sands off very easily, and I should say that even though the price of the paint is a little high, one of the liter cans is enough to paint all the shabby chic furniture in a small living room or bedroom.

After sanding comes the waxing. Annie Sloan has a clear wax for finishing, and a darker clear wax to give paint an aged patina. I used the dark wax. Here is a compare photo of a waxed and an unwaxed drawer. Sorry about the flash glare.

Here is the completed dresser, sans pulls.

The dark wax definitely “warms” the gray. And darkens it quite a lot. It is recommended you wax first with the clear wax, and then the dark wax, and then wipe off the dark wax to end up with a lighter finish. I didn’t know to buy the clear wax, but will pick some up. I can’t wait to do that, and get this thing buffed up!

I should also say, this was a very plain dresser to begin with. I bought those wood scrollworks separately and glued them on to three drawers to dress it up a little.

This could be posted in my 1-day-projects. Painting is very easy, and it dries quickly. I was afraid to wax by brush because I was afraid of ruining a brush, but in the end I couldn’t wipe with a rag deeply enough into the scroll work and sacrificed a brush. But the wax did wash right out with soap and warm water, so whew! In the end, you will use more wax than you do paint.

Overall, I am very pleased!

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I saw an etsy seller selling these Japanese-style “grandma bag” is what she called them. I thought, “Ah, I have some bamboo handles,” (from a purse that didn’t work out so well) “and the perfect fabric for that!” My sister gave me another stack of fabric fat quarters this summer, so lots of divers fabric for me to put to good use!

Isn’t the fabric pretty? The print design is large, so not really a good quilt fabric. But perfect for a purse.

I had to figure out how to make the pattern for myself. I did not make up a tutorial because I didn’t know if the design concept was sound, but it worked great! Under an hour to put together, and almost no hand-sewing except for two tacks at either side beneath the handles.

Finding a fabric that is just perfect for a design is sometimes tough, and this print is just right for bamboo handles. The part that looks like a design detail at the top is really just the lining fabric peeking high. I think it works just like that though.

Yay, something worked start-to-finish just like I imagined it would. (**Not a bag for beginners, you better have a few purses under your belt or you might be disappointed). Come on, summer!

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This was actually about a half-hour project, start to finish. I used this pattern, except sized down to fit my daughter.

I did also make the same apron but sized for me, except I didn’t have enough fabric to make the fully wrap-around apron strings, which this pattern really needs. And I didn’t take a photo. It’s a very simple and straight-forward project and would make a great quick gift!

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