DIY Card and Phone Case

One of my favorite things about finally having (a very small amount of) free time these days is spontaneous DIY projects. I think I was sitting down to write a thank you note for someone, which was something that was actually on my to-do list, when I noticed that I had a little left over suede from a recent project. Naturally, loving the excuse to procrastinate, I started working on something new. The piece I had was a large rectangle, so I rounded off one of the shorter ends, folded it in thirds, stitched up the two sides, flipped it inside out and called it a day. Then I think I got back to that thank you note. Yay for productivity!

Post thank you note, I realized the flap wasn’t wanting to stay closed much so I cut two slits where the flap overlapped with the inside of the pouch, threaded a few thin pieces of suede through the two holes, and the end. I carry a pretty big bag so this little ‘wallet’ is just the right size to hold my important cards, ID and phone, which is really nice when I want to go somewhere and not worry about my large bag getting in the way. I just snatch this up and party on.

Doesn’t get much easier than that.

wallet1 wallet2

Now I just need to mail that thank you note. Life, why you so hard sometimes?

DIY Canvas Triangle Bag

Happy Wednesday lovey dovies.

As I mentioned a couple days ago, my life just finally calmed down a bit after being pretty nutso there for a while, so needless to say, it has been quite some time since I was able to get any fun projects done. I figured for getting back into it, I may want to do something small and simple – not put too much stress on the situation.

I also mentioned earlier this week that I am trying to be a bit healthier (physically, mentally, etc.), and with that, I have started taking lunch and snacks into work (sorry Chiptole, I ❤ Teriyaki, Havana, and others). But in doing so, I wasn’t overly excited by any of the typical lunch bags you see out there. So in an effort to create something a bit more unique yet simple, I figured I’d start with a $1.50 canvas bag. To spruce it up a bit I pulled out my painters tape and some black fabric paint I had left over from a school project.

2013-04-27_1367033631

And a few minutes later, boom! Triangle bag. I am kinda in love with it. It is so easy, very graphic and was SO cheap that even if something spills in it or a handle breaks or any other traumatic event occurs, it can be redone in just minutes.

IMG_0562 (2)

What are your favorite quick DIYs? I am feeling really addicted to the instant gratification they provide; in fact, right after I made this bag I  quickly started a second project that was just about on par with the simplicity of this one and will be on the blog later this week.

Screenprinting, an illustrated guide

Are you:

A. the super procrastinating family disappointment who STILL has not sent out your 2012 Holiday Cards? Maybe not even the ones for 2011? Well, you will soon be the family disappointment no more! Be the talk of the town with your very cute and crafty (but late) seasons greetings – just follow the tutorial below!

B. the ultra go-getter that likes to have all your responsibilities completed AT LEAST 11 months ahead of schedule? Well, then this super awesome and artsy project is for you! Just scroll below to find out more!

C. just a really nice person who happens to be reading this blog? Gee, thanks. It is a pleasure to have you. Look around and be sure to let me know if you have any questions.

Also, A’s, don’t feel too bad about your procrastination.. Life just happens sometimes. For instance, this blog was originally planned to be posted before Christmas, and therefore a bit more relevant. It was also supposed to be with photos, but I unfortunately forgot to pack the supplies on our holiday trip north. So naturally, it has become either a post for the fashionably late or for the overly planned. And an illustrated one at that. Points for uniqueness? Whatever, stop judging me. Here’s a resolution for you, you punk, “be more compassionate and understanding in 2013,” or maybe just “pick on someone my own size.”

TUTORIAL TIME! Let’s make some screen-printed Holiday Cards! Or whatever cards! Or pillows! Title

A FEW DISCLAIMERS AND SUPER EXCITING NOTES

*I will be using handkerchiefs as example for a printing material in these instructions, but keep in mind you can screen-print on basically anything flat, for any reason. What fun?!  Just be sure you have the appropriate ink for the application – paper, fabric, etc. *

* There are a lot of kits out there and they are all different. This is the process I have used in the past for the kit that I own. While the basic steps should be the same, be sure to read through any instructions you receive with any kit or screen/fluids you purchase.*

* About the Photographic Emulsion Method –There are several other screen-printing methods, but the photographic emulsion method provides the most exact image and offers the widest range of possibilities. If you are wanting a result with any fine-line drawings or text/lettering, this is the best method to use.*

SUPPLIES

Printing Screen (for the purposes of this tutorial the front is the recessed side and back is the flat side – see image in [poorly] illustrated guide below)

Sensitizer Fluid

Photo Emulsion Fluid

Your design, printed or drawn on transparency/acetate sheet

Ink

Squeegee

Clear tape or clear glass/Pexiglas

A bat cave or equally dark space away from heat

Office Light or equivalent light source, preferably aluminum plated

Detail Paintbrush

Screen Filler

Printing Materials

Cardboard

Scrap Paper

PROCESS

1. Create or select your design for your wedding invitation, thank you note, tea towel, etc. and print it in black and white on a transparency or acetate sheet. If you are a super fancy artist-type, you can also draw your artwork with a black ink pen. Just be sure that your image is opaque and has very high contrast. Ultimately this design will be transferred to your print screen and the opaque areas will be where the ink is able to pass-through.

Panasonic PDF File2. Prepping your screen.

  •  Take your water resistant masking tape and tape over the edges of the screen where it meets the wood frame, this will keep the emulsion fluid from getting in the cracks between the screen and frame.Tape off edges
  • Take your sensitizer and photo emulsion fluid and follow the specific instructions on the containers to mix. The directions for my kit were to simply empty the sensitizer fluid fully into the emulsion fluid, but depending on the manufacturer, this mix may be slightly different so be sure to check your bottles. Any sensitized emulsion fluid that you don’t end up using can be saved. Store the excess in the refrigerator, it should last about four weeks.Blog Post Sensitized Emulsion Fluid
  • Pour a line of your sensitized emulsion fluid on one end of your screen. Using the squeegee, spread as evenly and thinly as you can. Reapply where necessary to achieve a continuous and even coating. Repeat on the other side of the screen. Clear away any spills.Emulsion Fluid
  • Place a thumbtack in each corner of the back side of the screen. Lay down some old newspaper in your bat cave/dark room and place the screen horizontal, bottom side down with thumbtacks supporting as feet. Ensure this area is AWAY FROM HEAT OR LIGHT. Allow the screen to completely dry and keep in the dark room, AWAY FROM HEAT OR LIGHT until you are ready to create your image on the screen. To help decrease the time needed for the screen to dry you can use a fan, but to be safe I simply left mine in my dark room overnight. Front and Back

Thumbtacksdark room3. Setup your light source. While your light setup doesn’t have to be in a dark room, KEEP YOUR SCREEN IN THE DARK ROOM AWAY FROM LIGHT AND HEAT WHILE PREPPING YOUR LIGHT. There is a lot of information out there on the right light source and exposure time. I will admit, I followed them kind of loosely but I still got a great result. I am going to share with you what worked for me, but if you are at all concerned about your setup, take some time to do some extra research on your lighting. I used a 150-Watt, Clear Incandescent Bulb in a clip on aluminum office light. It is highly recommended that you use a light with an aluminum pie plate reflector. My screen was 12” x 18” so I placed my light at 15” away from my screen. If you have a smaller screen, place your light a couple inches closer and the reverse for a larger screen.

4. Prepping artwork on your screen. Using clear tape, attach the edges of your transparency/acetate image to your screen with the artwork aligned just as you would like to have them appear on your printed area. I used tape and had no trouble, but if you happen to have a large enough piece of clear glass or Plexiglas, this is actually a preferred method to hold you image in place on your screen. Once everything is appropriately placed and laying flat against the fabric, you are ready to expose the screen using your light source.adding artwork

5. Exposure. Exposure time can be especially important and specific. Always look to any instructions you received with your screen/fluids first. Again, this is the timing I used, but with this being the most sensitive step in the process, I would highly encourage double checking this for your screen and your setup. For me, I had a 12” x 18” screen with my 150-Watt light setup at 15” above my image so I exposed my image to the light for one hour and 15 minutes. This amount of time was what my instruction booklet directed me to do and it worked perfectly. I am not sure what would happened if you had it exposed too long, but if you don’t have it exposed for long enough you will not have a crisp image and you may lose a lot of emulsion fluid in your rinsing step that you didn’t intend to.

Light Setup

6. Rinse the screen. Using lukewarm water (not HOT, or COLD) apply a somewhat forceful stream or spray of water to both sides of your screen. I used the hose attached to my sink, but if you don’t have a hose attachment the pressure of the faucet should be sufficient. You should start to see that the opaque design of your image beginning to appear as unwanted emulsion washes away. Once your image appears crisply on the screen and the water seems to be running clear with no remaining emulsion fluid, lay your screen horizontally and let dry completely.Rinsing

7. Corrections. If any emulsion was washed away where it was not meant to, you can use a small paintbrush and the screen filler fluid, that most kits come with, to correct and fill these “open” areas. If you add any screen filler, let it dry completely before proceeding.Corrections

8. Printing! This is actually the easiest part, all the hard work is done – way to go YOU!

  • I planned to make 100-150 prints with my last screen-printing venture, so I first cleared my workspace of clutter and any animals/people that could have disturbed my creative process or the drying of my printed materials (in this example, handkerchiefs.) On my work table I laid a large piece of cardboard for my base which I then topped with a sheet of scrap paper. I then took my first handkerchief and placed it on my setup. Because I wanted my image to show up right in the center of my handkerchief, I marked on the piece of cardboard where center was so I knew where to place the two points of the square handkerchief and put a pencil mark on my screen so I could be sure to line it up each time.
  • Placing the bottom edge of the screen on the base of the cardboard, I held the screen at about a 60 degree angle from my body. Using my other hand I used a palette knife to grab some ink and spread it at the top of the screen. Using the squeegee I then, with very little pressure as to not have the ink pass through the screen, spread a even amount of ink on the screen, enough to cover my image.
  • Lining up the screen with my marks on the cardboard, I gently placed my screen on top of my first handkerchief. Then, taking my squeegee in both hands, holding it at about a 45 degree angle from the screen, I applied even and steady pressure as I pulled the squeegee towards me. Because I had a very thin text, I found that running the squeegee over the screen a second time, while it worked occasionally to make a darker image, mostly just got off ever-so-slightly, creating a blurry product. Now you can lift your screen and check out your end result! It did take me one or two tries before I got the process down perfectly. A smarter person than I would have started with paper, practicing there before jumping to my fabric, but eh whatevs. I replaced or flipped the paper underneath my handkerchiefs every other go and usually could go two or three handkerchiefs before reapplying the ink as I would start with a pretty generous amount.PrintingBlog Post Final

Other fun facts –

** If you have several different inks/colors you can do multiple layers on your prints, just be sure the surface is dry before every new application.

** As long as you have photo emulsion remover, you can clean and re-use the screen as many times as you would like.

And with that, YOU DID IT! Look at you, you superstar.

I understand this a bit wordy, but there is still a lot I probably forgot to mention– if you have any questions just leave a comment and I will absolutely do my best to answer, or when appropriate, update the post.

a little less PURPLE, a little more DESK

So, my computer was all like “Yo, Ryann, I am feeling like I am really ready to commit and settle down in one location, the life of a drifting laptop is getting a bit old.”

To which I naturally responded, “I hear ya, let me see what I can do, because I’m just that nice.”

I had thought of making a pipe shelving unit/desk, a la, The Brick House, but let’s be honest, I was too lazy. Instead we went with a much more simple DIY:

IKEA VIKA ALEX storage unit, white $50

IKEA LAGAN kitchen countertop 1″ x 25″ x 49″, beech $39

IKEA EKBY VIKTOR shelf 29″, white $6 (2)

IKEA EKBY STODIS shelf brackets, black $.50 (4)

Home Depot heavy-duty shelving brackets in white, $9 ea (2)

Screws, long and short

Screwdriver

Total Cost: $121

The challenge was the limited amount of space for the “office” in our apartment. In our previous place we had a whole second bedroom, but even there we never had a proper setup. With my classes I have been very excited to have my own space, a devoted area to do homework, and a much better spot to focus on my work rather than the couch or in the bed.

We needed something small for the very awkward, approximately 4′ deep space off the bedroom by the closet. Here is a before photo (please note again the purple):

First I painted over that yucky purple, which was the last of it – paint me a happy lady.

Secondly, I put together the storage unit. I am really happy with it and seems very sturdy. I also like that it is finished on the back, so there isn’t a bad angle for it to be seen from.

From here Alex and I went on a super duper fun wild goose chase – turns out Alex and I haven’t really ever bought any wood or been to a lumber yard — it also turns out a 1″ x 2′ x 4′ piece of wood isn’t something too easy to come by, at least in the South Bay. Everything is planks or thin pressed wood sheets. Maybe this is something most people know, but we didn’t and it was slightly embarrassing asking some workers who clearly thought this was common knowledge, that no, they didn’t have anything like that. So since we had already bought and put together the storage unit and had our plan, we didn’t want to back out and still wanted to find a way to make this work. As you can see from the supplies list above, we did find a solution, and while the dimensions were not perfect, I actually love it more than I thought. The IKEA countertop is great, it has a nice thickness and seems like good quality wood. I lightly sanded the countertop, cleaned it off with Murphy’s Soap and gave it some Teak Oil love and it came out looking perdy.

Once we had everything we needed, the rest was very easy. We put the storage unit up against the wall, marked the height and screwed in the heavy-duty L-brackets. Once the brackets were in the wall, we balanced the countertop on them and the storage unit, ensured that the placement was straight, and used small screws to attach the brackets to the countertop from underneath.

After then hanging a couple shelves, our make-shift office was turning out to be a nice little computer nook. It isn’t fully styled yet, but I am loving it so far. So is my computer. And Jenny. She is very pleased to be my fuzzy foot rest under this nice desk-cave we have seemingly built for her.

All we need now is to be on the lookout for a sweet office chair.

Waterproofing

Alright people, look alive — this one is exciting.

My Problem:  No dining room.  No outdoor furniture.  Small outdoor “patio.”  Left over dining table and chairs from previous apartment, which was much bigger (but also less glamourous – and if you know me, I basically ooze glamour.)

My Solution:  Waterproof that shiz!

Well if there ever was going to be a simple tutorial this is it…

SUPPLIES – Murphy’s Soap, Wilco’s Teak Oil, sandpaper, paper towels, rags, Waterproofing Finish, and item to be waterproofed

Step (1) sand any trouble spots–  I started with a cheap, plain wooden IKEA table that had been bumped and bruised a bit over the years, so I only sanded those  spots that needed a little love.  ONLY SAND IN THE DIRECTION OF THE GRAIN.  YES, I AM YELLING, and NO, I WONT STOP UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND THE SEVERITY OF THIS STATEMENT.

Step (2) clean —  I used Murphy’s Oil Soap, because it is the best, but feel free to use a lesser soap if you like being less awesome.  Try to get any little wood dust from the sanding and make it a fresh base for our next steps.

Step (3) rub oil all over it —  I used Wilco’s Teak Oil, which you need to be very careful with, but looks super duper beautiful.  Basic rule is to obviously follow the directions on whatever oil treatment you use, but here I simply took a rag covered in the oil and rubbed it on pretty generously.  Allow for this to sit for about ten minutes then rub off any access.  Depending on how much came off, consider doing a second coat.  The chairs only really wanted to drink up one coat and the table was a bit more thirsty and took two.  Generally, when you rub off the excess, if you have a lot come off, you were probably generous enough with the first coat and don’t need a second.  Naturally, the reverse is true, if you don’t have much rub off go ahead and do a second coat and repeat until your furniture appears to not be soaking up much more.

Step (4) waterproof — once your furniture feels dry and your excess oil has been rubbed off, use a waterproofing sealant to lock in all that hard work and beauty.  Be careful when purchasing a waterproofing finish, as most are tinted, for the look I wanted I selected a transparent solution because I wanted the color of the table to remain unchanged.  I used Behr’s transparent waterproof stain.  Mostly because I haven’t had horrible luck with Behr and it was the smallest available can.  It worked great and am very happy with how it turned out.

Unfortunately I didn’t take before pictures, mostly because I thought it would look the same, but afterwords I was kicking myself because the oil step really made the table shine and just look yummy.

Here are some after photos – yay!  Now come over, we will eat dinner, outside, whilst watching the sun set over the ocean!  Sorry to be such a snooty-puss about my view, but I still can’t get over it.  Too bad that Jenny’s legs are too short for her to see the view, she has no idea why we moved into this little box.

 

In other news, last week, about a couple weeks in, at 3 AM in the morning Alex and I were woken up by what sounded like raccoons fighting.  We run to the door, look outside, and there, in the pond right outside our door, were three soaking wet real-life RACCOONS…. FIGHTING.  It was pretty fascinating, but very loud so Alex told them to “get outtahar!”

In other, other news, I have primed the bedroom and living room and bought my paint.  Only took me about a month to prime, at this rate all the projects I have planned for the place will take me approximately seven years.  I suppose that highlights one pro about the apartment being barely bigger than 500 sq ft… at least there is only potential for about 500 sq ft of projects.

More photos and posts to come, lovelies.

FEELING TUFT-Y

Tutorial time you sexy minxes!

I recently spent months looking through local Craigslist ads for a couch, and after checking out a couple, we finally found a really nice, black, leather sofa with a chaise.  When we got it there were a couple of buttons missing off the tufts, which I assumed would be an easy item to repair.  This was a fair assumption (go me!):

Replacing buttons on tufted furniture/adding tufts to furniture cushions

Materials:

Long embroidary neeedle

Buttons

Back buttons

An episode of Mad Men

Directions:

1.  Start your episode of Mad Men.

2.  Measure out 9 forearm lengths of your thread.  Line up the two ends of the thread and the fold in the end of the thread.   This should make a length with four strings of thread.  Thread the needle with the four strings.  Loop it through and tie the eight strings together at the end.  This eight strings will allow for a tight hold between the top button and bottom button.

3.  Pull the thread so that the needle is near the tied end of your thread.  Hook the button at the opposite end of the thread.  Pull your needle through the cushion from the top of the cushion to the back, being careful to try to keep perpendicular to the cushion to make for a straight line for the thread.

4.  Once pulled through tightly attach the back button.  Cut the thread near the needle and take the two sections of four strings.  Loop one over and through the other to make a simple knot.  Pull as tightly as you can and repeat.  Loop one set of the strings around the back button five times and repeat the knot process.

5.  From there you can trim the excess length in the strings and boom, your tufted.

If you are adding tufts where it was previously tuft-less, you have a ton of options – tufting patterns are pretty much endless.  And by endless I mean there are, like, at least three options:

Simply mark the underside of your cushion with a fabric pencil where you would like the tufts to go and follow the steps above.  If you are reupholstering a piece entirely, the fabric component complicates things a bit and it might be a little while before I climb that mountain.. sorry if I am disappointing anyone that was looking for that level of tuft-y magic..

In other news.. HOLY GLEE FINALE, Batman!  Way to totally make my little heart smile and reaffirm my love for Finn.  (In a strictly show/character sort of way.  No offense Mr. Hudson, but my husband is way hotter and 18 is a little young for me.)

DUVET-it-YOURSELF

Welcome back Duvet lovers!

I hope you have prepared yourself for some excitement, because here it comes:

DIY LINEN DUVET COVER

Materials – For a Queen Size Duvet Cover

Approximately 5 1/2 yards fabric for top

Approximately 5 1/2 yards fabric for underside – or you could simply do all one fabric, 11 yards

Two spools of thread – one matching each fabric

Pins

One of those cute tomato pin cushions, or  some other equally adorable pin cushion

About 10 Buttons (or Snaps/Ribbon to close duvet opening)

Seam Ripper

Fabric Scissors/Rotary Cutter and Cutting Board

Tape Measure/Yard Stick

Sewing Machine

Ironing Board

Iron

Buttonhole Sewing Machine Foot

Sewing Needle

A glass/bottle of wine

A free evening or three

1.  Determine how much fabric you will need

First, measure the length and width of your duvet insert, or if you have a duvet cover that you know fits your duvet well, sometimes it’s easier to measure this rather than the fluffy duvet insert.  Mine is for a queen size bed and measures 90″ x 90″.

I did some research before-hand and I knew that the linen fabric that JoAnn’s carries is 54″ wide and cheaper, cotton/quilting fabric can be closer to 40-44″.  I knew that I wanted to do use two different fabrics, linen on top, some boring cotton on the underside – because I am THAT cheap, but if you can swing the price for full linen, please do it and I will congratulate you, jealously.  Please note that while I really think linen is the best bedding choice, you obviously don’t have to use linen.  The reason I love it — aside from its organic look and the fact that it almost looks cozier when not ironed or tucked in all fancy — is that it seriously gets softer every time you wash it.  Because I used linen fabric I know that I will be able to keep this for a very, very long time and that it should only look nicer with age.

So knowing the width of the fabrics and the size of the duvet cover I wanted, I did some simple calculations.  I also know that at the fabric store, fabric is purchased by the yard which is 3 feet or 36″ – I am sorry for this much detail, I am sure plenty of you know some of this stuff already, but just in case someone out there lives under a rock (with an internet connection?) and doesn’t know these things, I am adding all the detail I can.

Since the width of the fabric wasn’t enough for the whole width of the duvet (and JoAnn’s doesn’t have such girthy fabric) I knew I was going to have to do a couple of pieces.  No offense meant to anyone that disagrees with me – but one seam down the middle would be totally UGH-LY.  Actually offense meant, it seriously would be weird and yucky and you should be embarrassed if you disagree.  Anyway, to eliminate unnecessary sewing, I figured I would do one piece down the middle that was the width of the fabric and then two smaller pieces on the side with the difference to make the full width of the duvet.

Here is a little visual for my calculations – obviously not to scale:
Now that you have calculated what you need, head to JoAnns or your fabric store of choice and get going!

2.  Sewing the top and bottom of the duvet cover

Before I start sewing anything I always wash and dry my fabric to do a pre-shrinking and I highly recommend doing this, especially for such a big project.  It would be a sad day if you spent all the time sewing and making your beautiful duvet cover only to throw it in the wash to have it shrink.  After the wash, iron out your fabric, measure and cut your pieces.

** Because I got solid fabric, my fabric didn’t have a wrong side or a right side, so to keep my head straight as I sewed the pieces together I used a white fabric pencil to mark the “wrong sides”

I sewed my pieces together using a two/double seam process (I believe this is something called “French Seams,” but I choose to call them “Freedom Seams”).  What this does is eliminates all raw, cut edges, so you don’t get those wild individual threads popping out anywhere.  You definitely don’t have to do this as it does take about twice the time, but if you want a more finished product I would recommend it.

Starting with the top of the duvet, I took piece B and laid it out, then pinned A and C to either side along the length with wrong sides facing.  I sewed these three pieces together at a 1/4″ seam with B, the wide piece in the middle and A and C, the smaller pieces on the sides.  A-B-C, as in the calculation illustration above.  Once that first seam was completed, I cut away the excess fabric along the seam like so:

Now I folded A and C in along the seams to have the right sides facing and ironed along the seam.  Pin the right sides together along the seam after ironing and sew over both lengths.  Once this is complete, the right side of the piece will have two normal looking seams and the underside will have a nice closed seam that simply needs to be ironed to the side.

Repeat this same process for the bottom side of your duvet cover.

Now you have two giant squares! Yay!

3.  Sewing the top and bottom of your duvet cover together

Lay out the bottom of your duvet cover with the right side down.  Place the top of the duvet cover on top of your bottom piece with the right side up, in other words, so that both wrong sides (with all the seams) are together.  Pin the right and left sides together and sew using 1/4″ seam.  Now flip the cover inside out and repeat the double seam process along the two sides.

What I did next was iron (again, I know, sorry.. so much ironing, we are ironing champions) and then looked closely at which end was more aligned and determined that to be the top.  You obviously don’t have to do this if you are the perfect fabric cutter or sewer, but for me no matter how precise I try to be I always have one side that is a little crooked or squiggly or taking the bus to crazy town.  Because we fold over some fabric to hide our buttons and button holes we can also hide any perfections here, so leave the reject side for the bottom.

Repeat the same process you did with the sides to the top – pin and sew the wrong sides together, trim excess fabric from seam, flip, iron, sew again, iron (for the 7000th time).

Hooray, what progress!  Almost have a full duvet cover up in here!  Now we just need to…

4.  Close this bi-atch up

Along the last, unfinished side of your duvet cover, fold the fabric in (towards wrong side) 1/4″ all along the edge.  You know what’s next, folks.. IRON.  Make a second fold, another 1/4″ in along the edge, iron and pin that down.  Sew to complete a nice hemmed edge along the bottom.

Because I am sure you aren’t yet sick of folding or ironing, let’s do it one more time!  This time fold up the fabric 1 and 1/2″ all along the edge and then get your iron on.  OK, seriously, I think ironing is done now, if you would like to go destroy your iron in some field somewhere, a la the copier in “Office Space,” go right ahead, I’m not stopping you.

I decided to use buttons on my duvet cover because it was what I was the most familiar with.  That being said, there really are a few options here:

– Buttons

– Sew on snaps

– Ribbon (tie your duvet closed)

– Zipper

– Velcro (I don’t know if anyone actually has done this but I suppose that it would work)

I would say that the first three are the most common.  Zippers can be really annoying to try to fix/replace if they break, and it’s generally expensive to purchase a real long zipper.  Obviously the bigger the opening in your cover the easier it will be to put on or remove.

Moving right along – I am going to walk you through buttons.

For a queen size duvet, or our 90″ X 90″ example, I recommend using about 10 buttons, but you can do as many or as few as your heart desires.  I find that about an 8″ space between buttons does the job nicely.  Along the top piece of your duvet, on the folded under inch and a half, use a fabric pencil to mark where you want to place your buttons.  You don’t have to do this for the whole bottom, but because I had 10 buttons and I was doing 8″ spacing, this was exactly enough to go the whole length.  If you want a smaller space, simply flip the duvet inside out and sew along the edge on the portion you would like to close.

Once you have marked where you will place your buttons, do the same on the bottom of the duvet.  This will mark where your buttonholes will go.  Once you have an X or a dot where your buttonholes will be, take a button, place it on the mark so that it is right in the middle of the button and mark the width of the button – this will be your start and stop guidelines for the buttonhole.  Repeat on all the buttonholes.

If you know how to sew buttons or buttonholes, you can skip this next part, but if not here we go:

          4.a. Buttonholes

This tutorial will be for a newer sewing machine and a buttonhole foot.  This makes the process very, very easy.

First, switch out your sewing machine foot for the buttonhole foot – each sewing machine is different, check your manual for instructions.

Place one of the buttons into the back of the buttonhole foot.  This will tell your machine how long to make your buttonhole.

Always practice a buttonhole on a scrap piece of fabric before trying it for realsies.

I also cut a small rectangle of iron-on (grr sorry, need that dumb iron again) interfacing on the underside of the fabric where each button will go.  This will help strengthen the buttonhole.

Taking your duvet cover, place the folded edge of your fabric under the presser foot of your sewing machine.  Note: If you don’t want your buttons to be visible, only sew your buttonhole through the one layer of fabric, not through the two layers created by the fold.  Line up the bottom line of one of your buttonhole markers with the line on your buttonhole sewing machine foot. Turn on your machine and program the setting for buttonholes (again, different on every machine, see your manual).  Now sew, the machine will do the rest.  Once the needle has gone up, zig zagged back, created a parallel line and zig zagged back, ultimately returning to its starting point, raise the needle, trim your thread and grab your seam ripper.  Between the two parallel rows, insert your seam ripper, and cut the length of the buttonhole.  Boom, buttonhole complete.  Repeat for remaining buttonholes.

          4.b. Buttons

I recommend doing the buttonholes before the buttons, if you skipped ahead because you felt like doing buttons first, go back – you cheater!  The reason I start with the buttonholes is because the buttons are easier to move.  Once you have made a buttonhole it is pretty permanent.  As I add the buttons, I first line up either side of the fabric to make sure my markings are still aligned.  If they aren’t, I will adjust the button to align with the buttonhole.

Thread a needle with about 2.5 feet of thread.  Tie the two ends of the thread together.

On the mark where your button should go, use two pins and insert them as X, like so:

Holding the button on top of the pins, bring your needle through the underside of the fabric through one of the holes.  I had buttons with four holes and chose to do two parallel rows of stitches but you can also chose to do an X or other pattern depending on the number of holes in your buttons.  Bring the needle from the top through the second hole and the fabric.  Do about four or five loops.  Repeat on the second row of holes.

Now bring the needle from the underside of the fabric through to the other side, but not through the button.  You will have to put your needle almost parallel to the button to sneak it through.  Once you have pulled your thread through, remove the pins and circle the button about five times.  Make another circle around the button with your thread but this time pull the needle through the loop you create to make a knot around the button.  Under the button, bring the needle back through the fabric again to the underside.  Thread the needle through the loops of thread from the button and tie a knot, repeat once more.  Cut the thread near the needle and double knot the two pieces of thread.  This should create a really strong button.  That sucka isn’t going anywhere.

Repeat for the remaining buttons.

5. Take that beautiful new duvet cover and shove that duvet insert in there! 

6.  Grab your dog/man/woman/she-man/child/bottle of wine/Twighlight life-size cutout and have a total snuggle-fest on your new, awesome, homemade DUVET COVER!

Move over Martha Stewart, we have some crafty-ass mother truckers up in this business.

HAPPY TUESDAY!

Hey, hey, suspense seekers!

Duvet cover is DONE!  Pop the champagne, throw a party, kiss your lover!

Here are some teaser photos while I complete the tutorial write up- sorry for the bad lighting and the camera hog, Jenny thinks she belongs in Hollywood.

Check back soon, soon, soon… for the step by step details.

Happy Tuesday!

Until next time sexy people.

BED-SPIRATION

Hello there friends!

I am very proud to announce that DIY PROJECT ONE is in full swing!  Get ready for some serious homemade linen duvet cover action real soon!

While I complete the actual doing-it-myself process, let me briefly explain what brought on this little project:

When we got married, we naturally did the whole registry thing, absorbed a lot of hand-me-downs, and bought a couple miscellaneous things for the place, one of them being a duvet cover.  It really is a very pretty duvet cover and has served us well, but it was very cheap and I am having a heck of a time keeping the white parts white.  Basically, my current duvet cover is a great friend that I just don’t like that way.

After about a year I began searching and searching for the perfect duvet cover.  Throughout this search I was able to identify what it was I wanted, but unfortunately also came to realize there is no way we could afford it.

Now, I know there are affordable options out there, even attractive, affordable options, but I just can’t get the look of my expensive dream bedding out of my head.    

If anyone is curious as to what I currently have or are looking for a truly affordable and attractive option, see what I mean by going to http://www.urbanoutfitters.com right now and check their shiz out.  I mean it, click the link and browse your little heart out.  Their bedding has very simple construction, is generally pretty cute, and you can’t really argue with the $60-100 average cost.

Here is a great example – and yes that says $40!  I would actually buy this as a backup if my current one hadn’t already accepted the job.

So the dream duvet….. sigh.   Here is a little of my bed-spiration:

1. From www.desiretoinspire.net, love the grey with the white and whatever is going on with those leathery things.  2. Not the color I am thinking but love how it is working here, from www.indoors.es. 3. Lovely grey linen from Cisco Home, www.ciscohome.net.

Apartment Therepy did a wonderful little post on the top ten sources for linen bedding a while back, http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/best-linen-bedding-43411.  While the post was great it only made me realize further that there was no way we were going to break that much bank for a duvet cover.  (The top ten sources have prices ranging from $250-$500+ for a queen duvet cover)  I also looked closely at http://www.restorationhardware.com as they were having a sale on their linen duvets and I briefly considered trying to convince Alex that $200 was reasonable, but based on how the conversation went in my head, I never even brought it up.  Side note: this act of thinking through conversations prior to having them with my husband, has probably already saved my marriage like 47 times – and we have only been married for a year and a half.

Long story short, this is where the plotting began.  I thought about what I wanted, about the perfect color, the desired simplicity, and ultimately decided this is something I could do myself.  And great news folks – I can already tell this is going to be wildly successful.  In summary, I say ‘suck-it!’ fancy-linen-duvet-cover-making-companies, I’ll make my own — and you should too!  Actually, fancy-linen-duvet-cover-making-companies, no hard feelings, because one day maybe I will be rich enough to let you make my duvet covers and you really do have some lovely things, but until then, sorry you don’t get the Moore’s business.

So check back soon for the Duvet-it-Yourself tutorial, because it is going to be a riot!  Jenny is so excited that she is about to pee herself.  That, or she wants a cookie, who can tell, really?

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.