Tuesday Tutorial: Simple Curtains

We recently moved and our new home as several of the high windows without blinds.  So at certain parts of the day, the sun comes shining in quite brightly! I LOVE the sunshine, don’t get me wrong, but when it is 5pm and you are trying to cook dinner, being blinded by the sun isn’t very helpful.

So off to JoAnn’s I went to find a solution.  Lucky for me, there was lots of home decor fabric in the clearance section one day and when I saw this fabric I thought it would look quite nice in my new kitchen.  There wasn’t much left on the bolt but thankfully there was just enough for what I needed (and for only a few dollars!!!).

So without further ado, here is a quick and simple curtain tutorial.

 

Tutorial: Simple Curtains

Mom's Busy Crafting - Simple Curtains Tutorial

Materials:

  • fabric (I used a little over a yard of home decor fabric, which is thicker so it would block more light)
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • curtain rod
First I began by opening my fabric up and cutting it in half to make two narrow panels.  I need width more that length.  I wanted the stripes to run vertically for these curtains so I had to fold it the opposite way that it came off the bolt.

Cut fabric in half to make the width double

Take one of the panels and cut it in half along the strip.  I didn’t want a seam right down the middle of my curtains so I did this so the seams would be on either side of the long panel.

Cut one panel in half

Pin the panels together and sew them together.  I then serged the raw edges to finish them (and keep them from unraveling).  This step isn’t necessary but does help them hold up better especially if you are planning to launder your curtains often.  (NOTE: If you don’t have a serger, you can use an overlock stitch on your machine.)

Pin smaller panels to either side of the long panel

I then top stitched each of the seams toward the center panel to flatten them down.  Here is a view from the back.

Back view of top stitching

I then serged all the edges all round the sides to keep the fabric from fraying and to allow me to only press the sides twice.  If you don’t have a serger then simply fold the sides in a 1/4″ and then turn them again and press so that the raw edge is completely hidden.  Press each side and the bottom.

Turn hem 1/4 inch along sides and bottom

Pin pressed hem into place and then sew around the sides and bottom.

Pin into place

Now to create the rod pocket.  Press the top 1/4″ down.  Then turn the fabric down again measuring it to make sure it will fit onto the curtain rod. I was using a narrow rod so I turned it down only 2″.  Sew the rod pocket along the bottom of the fold.

2" Rod pocket

Now my hubby had to help a bit.  The curtain was done so he needed to hang the curtain (first the rod had to be installed).

Hubby hanging curtain rod

See how the left side of the window the so bright, that is where the sun would come in.  This time of day (right about time to make dinner) the sun is like a spotlight on the stove!

Kitchen BEFORE -

Kitchen - before

Kitchen AFTER -

Mom's Busy Crafting - Simple Curtains Tutorial

 

So much better, the curtains were barely long enough to cover the window and a little bit of light still comes in but this is a HUGE improvement!!!  I was working with clearance fabric so for just a few dollars this was a perfect fix.

I LOVE the added bit of color the curtains add to the kitchen! While sitting in the family room today, I kept admiring how nice the kitchen looks now with the little bit of color above the window.

 

***To adapt this for any window you will just need to do a bit of math.  My window being one of the high decorative types was only about 2 feet high by about 6 feet wide.  To make this work for you, measure your window, then add an inch to the length for the bottom hem and about 4″ for the rod pocket depending on the size of your curtain rod.  For the width, you will need to add an inch on either side for the hem.  After that, it just depends on the width of your window, whether or not you want one panel or more, and how much you want it to bunch.  (I realize that isn’t very precise but all windows are different.)

Tuesday Tutorial {recipe}: Pumpkin Spice Waffles!

So the other night I had a hankering (yep, I said it) for something fallish for dinner.  Since the cupboard was getting pretty bare, the  best option for dinner was breakfast.  Waffles were sounding yummy but first I wanted to make sure the hubby was OK with pumpkin waffles.

Here is how the conversation went:

Me: “If I said pumpkin spice waffles, what would your reaction be?”

Hubby: “With maple bacon?”

Me: “Maple sausage and regular bacon.”

Hubby: “Sounds good”

 

So off I went in search of a Pinterest recipe for Pumpkin Spice waffles.  I soon realized that I either didn’t have some necessary ingredients OR the recipes were just pumpkin with no spice :(  But instead of getting defeated, I just decided to take one that was the closest to the ingredients I had on hand and “tweak” it a bit.

Here is what I came up with!

Pumpkin Spice Waffles 

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/3 cups of pancake mix
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Mix the wet ingredients together.  In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  I put about 3/4 of a cup of the batter in my waffle iron for each waffle and total ended up with about 7 waffles.  My boys gobbled them up and my hubby said the spices were just right: not too strong but enough to taste.  I will definitely be making these a bunch more this fall!

More waffles please!

 

Tuesday Tutorial: Halloween Candy Tote Bag

Do you have those lovely plastic pumpkins that you can get for a $1 at Halloween for your kiddos to collect your their candy in?  I sure do!  Can I just say that I am not a fan of storing those all year long to be used for just a couple hours ONE day a year.

So here is the solution – adorable candy tote bags that are reversible too!!!  Want to make one (or four, like me)?  Well, here’s how…

Mom's Busy Crafting - Halloween Candy Tote Bag Tutorial

Halloween Candy Tote Bags

Halloween Candy Tote Bag

Materials:

Materials

1/3 yard of main fabric

1/3 yard of lining fabric

1/6 yard for straps (I used a remnant I found!)NOTE: I bought a yard of each fabric and this made a total of 6 bags!

 

Cut fabric (from selvage to selvage) into 12″ panels.

Cut fabric in 12" sections

Turn fabric and cut width of each panel to 22″ (pretty much just trim the selvage ends off).

Cut to 22" wide

Open up the fabric and cut along the folded edge – you should now have TWO panels that are 12″ x 22″.

Cut the long panel in half

Fold the right sides together and sew up the sides.  (Sorry for the change in fabric!)
Sew up the sides
Now repeat these steps with the fabric for the lining.
This little guy wanted in on all the picture taking!

Cutie break

 

Turn ONE of the fabrics right side out and place it INSIDE the bag that is inside out.  Turn right sides out

bag inside lining

 

Now let’s make the straps. Cut your strap fabric into 5″ strips (again, selvage to selvage).  Then cut those long pieces in half.  You will now have your two straps.  Press each strap in half.

Fold strap

Open the strap back up and fold the edges into the center and press into place.

Fold sides in

Fold along the center line again and press well.  Strap is almost done!

Fold along center

Sew BOTH sides of the strap (the open side and the fold).

sew strap

Time to pin the straps to the bag and finish it up! I pinned my straps 2″ in from the sides leaving a 3″ space in the center of the straps.

Pin straps

Now sew the bag around the top leaving a 2″-3″ hole for turning.

Sew bag and lining together

Turn fabrics right side out and put lining into the bag.

Turn the bag right side out

Top stitch around the top of the bag making sure to close the hole where you turned the bag.

Top Stitch to finish bag

And there you have it.  Candy collectors that are MUCH smaller to store (and much cuter too, if I do say so myself!).  I can’t wait for the boys to see them (I finished them at 11:30pm so they are sleeping).  Since they chose the fabrics I know they will be very excited to see them complete.

Halloween Candy Tote Bags

 

”Tip

Tuesday Tutorial: Ribbon Organizer

 I have a confession to make… I LOVE to organize!  While my craft room, home, or life might not always reflect this love, it is still there.  Pinterest has only helped my obsession with all the eye candy to pin away!  My Queen of Organization board is proof that I will one day have a place for everything and everything in its place.

One particular day I found a pin that would join my two addictions: organization and ribbon!  If you haven’t seen it, my ribbon collection is a bit over the top.  Mind you I don’t have any girls in my home – and yet with the addition of bow making to my long list of craft projects I enjoy – yet I now have BINS or ribbon.  But all that ribbon goodness is way to pretty to be stuffed in a bin.  That is where THIS wonderful project came in!  At about $10 each for materials these aren’t the cheapest solution for me (since I still need like 4 more! Yes, I am well aware that I have a problem), but they are so lovely on the wall.

Mom's Busy Crafting: Ribbon Organizer

Ribbon Organizer

Ribbon Organizer: purchase materials

Begin by taking your adorable assistants to your local hardware store to purchase your materials.

Materials:

  • Drill with 3/8″ drill bit
  • Wood rosettes: 3 3/4″ x 3 3/4″
  • Wood glue
  • Wood board: 2″ x 24″ x 1/2″
  • Wood board: 4-1/4″ x 24″ x 1/2″
  • Wood dowel rod: 23-1/4″ x 3/8″ – I bought one that was 36″ and had my hubby cut it down to size
  • hanging hardware (I used 3 per organizer)
  • 12 4D finishing nails, 1 1/4″
  • Paint – I used some leftover paint from when we painted the hall bathroom

I bought double of everything since I wanted to make two.

Ribbon Organizer : drill hole for dowel

Drill the holes about 1/4″ in and 3/4″ down.  After completing this I found that the ribbon fit a bit too tight so I would probably adjust the drill holes for the next set I make. Add wood glue to the hole and let it dry.  While at the hardware store I made sure to check with my hubby to see if we had wood glue and didn’t need to pick any up.  He assured me we did.  I found the bottle lovingly placed on my craft room desk the next morning, only to discover when I went to use it that the cap was completely clogged with dry glue.  In an effort to open the bottle, it broke right off.  However, the glue was still useable!  YAY

wood glue fail

Apply the glue to the bottom sides of the rosettes.  Then place the bottom board on the rosette and secure with the finishing nails.

Ribbon Organizer: glue the bottom

Ribbon Organizer: glue the bottom

Ribbon Organizer: nail the bottom to secure

Next, you will apply the back brace.  Line the back board up with the top of the rosette and glue and nail into place just like you did the bottom board.

Ribbon Organizer: nail back brace

Ribbon Organizer: add back brace

Then line up those ribbons!  This was just a test shot to make sure that the ribbons fit.  Like I said, they are a bit snug so next time I will move the dowel a bit.

Ribbon Organizer

Paint it!  My Facebook fans helped me decide on the color.  Overwhelmingly, it was decided that a cheerful yellow would be just perfect!

Ribbon Organizer: ready for paint

Here you go!  This is what they look like up on the wall.  (This is at the old house.  They are up at my new house but you will have to wait to see them when I reveal my crafting space!  First I have to get a few more things in their place and add a few more finishing touches.)

Mom's Busy Crafting: Ribbon Organizer

 Happy Organizing!

Tuesday Tutorial: Magnetic Board with Vinyl

Before I was blessed to be a stay at home mama, I was a 6th grade teacher.  Let me just say that if Pinterest had been around when I was teaching, my classroom would have ROCKED!  Not that it wasn’t pretty darn cute or very organized (because it totally was) but there are just so many great ideas to steal emm, copy on there.

Well my dear friend (and practically family) Stacy asked me to help her get ready for the upcoming school year with some Pinterest inspired projects.  She got on Pinterest over the summer and started pinning away.  After texting me several times to ask for help on certain projects she finally just created an entire board called “Things Allison Can Help Me Make : )“.  LOVE IT!  I always feel so honored and special when people ask me to help them and I just love doing it.  So after several conversations via text message on what supplies to bring and what I already had on hand, our crafting day was set.

One of the classroom items Stacy wanted to make for her class was a Where Am I? board.  Using that same type of style we also made a magnetic board for her students to use as the take Accelerated Reader tests (online reading comprehension tests that are done once a book is completed).  Below are the finished projects.  Since I still don’t have a cable for my camera, I can’t show you the step by step pictures I took of the project. I know that you guys are really smart though so this tutorial is a breeze ;)

 

Magnetic Board Tutorial

Supplies:

  • cookie sheets (Dollar Store $1 for 2)
  • spray paint
  • Cricut or similar vinyl cutting machine
  • vinyl
Begin by spray painting the cookie sheets in the desired color.  After it has dried completely, apply the vinyl you cut to the cookie sheet where you want it.
Mom's Busy Crafting: Where Are You? Board
(note: originally the words were all going to be on the cookie sheet like bathroom in the picture above but after I put the vinyl on I realized it wasn’t going to fit that way.  So that is when I turned the other words.  I went back and took bathroom off, recut it and applied it so the words were all going the same direction.)

Mom's Busy Crafting: Teaching Tool

From there you can drill small holes in the top or corners of the cookie sheet to thread ribbon or wire through as a hanger or you can display your new magnetic board using a decorative plate stand.  There are SO many uses for these boards that go beyond the classroom:
  • Chore charts
  • Menu board
  • Calendar
  • and more…

To dress it up even more you can add ribbon to divide each section of your board or even put decorative scrapbook paper over the spray painted cookie sheet to make it even more adorable. Just use Mod Podge to stick the paper on and as a sealer over the top so your paper doesn’t get all scratched up.

What kind of magnetic board will you make???

 

Tuesday Tutorial: Crib Bumper Redo

Crib bedding is ridiculously expensive!  Having 4 boys myself and wanting them to each have a unique nursery meant spending quite a bit of money on crib bedding sets.  Oh now I wish I knew then what I know now!  A friend contacted me and asked me if I could make a bumper.  She had an old bumper from her daughter that she was no longer using and wanted to see if I could use that instead of having me buy the bumper pads you would usually use to make your own bumper.  Can I just say, I wish I had a sewing machine when I was pregnant with my second child!?!?  I wouldn’t have had to BUY all new bedding!  Instead I could have done what I created here – a slipcover for the old bumper to give it a completely different look.

Crib Bumper Redo

Slip on like a pillowcase

Materials -

  • 2 1/2 yrds of fabric for bumper
  • 1/2 yd of fabric for ties
  • coordinating thread
After washing and ironing the fabric I cut it in half lengthwise (along the fold) so I now had two 3 yard long panels that were each 22 inches wide.

Sew panels togetherNext I sewed the panels together along the side that is 22 inches to make a long 5 yard piece of fabric.  Then fold right sides together lengthwise and sew the LONG side together (I also serged the seam to give it finished look). Turn the fabric so that the right side is out and grab your existing bumper.  Cut the ties of the bumper (you will make new ones).  Now slip the tube of fabric over the bumper like you are putting on a pillowcase.  If the fit isn’t snug – like mine wasn’t – take the seam in a bit and then try it again.  Be sure to line up the seam along the bottom with the bottom of the bumper pad.

Line up center to seam

Once the bumper is completely covered, line up the center seam of the cover (where you sewed it together to make the long panel) and the center seam of the bumper itself.  Stitch in the ditch to secure the fabric into place.  You will do the same at each of the other  seams to create the 6 panels around the bumper.

Fold ends under and pin

At the ends, tuck the raw edges under and pin into place.  Don’t sew yet since you will want to insert the ties into the folds before closing the seam.  Now it’s time to create the ties.

Cut ties in 2" strips

Cut 2 inch strips along the side that was 18 inches.  Press sides into the middle (like you are making bias tape) and then fold and line up the edges. I needed 14 ties total.

sew ties

Sew up the sides, making sure to tuck the ends in before sewing so you have a finished edge.  The ties will then be folded and half and sew into each of the seams on the bumper as well as the ends.

Finished bumper

There you have it!  A quick and easy way to redo your old crib bumper to get ready for a new little one.  This would also be a great way to customize a nursery for a friend.  I so badly want to redo an entire crib set for someone now, complete with new comforter cover, dust ruffle and bumper!

Tuesday Tutorial: Bow Board

There is nothing I love more than organization.  So it will come to no shock to you that I LOVE giving little girls bow boards for baby shower and birthday gifts.  If I had a little girl, this would definitely be one of the first items I would make her.  First of all, who wouldn’t want to organize their hairbows to make them easier to grab as you are furiously running out the door late once again for wherever you are headed that day. And second, bows are either 1. time consuming to make yourself or 2. quite expensive to purchase, so who wouldn’t want to have a place to proudly show them off!

After 4 boys of my own and 3 nephews, I am finally going to have a niece!  This is one happy auntie!  So of course, what is a crafty Auntie going to do…  pin EVERYTHING girly on Pinterest so I can create adorable things for her.  {There could be a VERY good reason that God hasn’t given me a girl! LOL We would be broke!}

Since I was creating this bow board for her I decided I would type up a quick tutorial for you as well.  These are seriously easy to make and take you just a few minutes.   No craftiness required here folks!  So if you need a quick and simple, yet fabulous and homemade present for a little girl…  you have come to just the right place!

Bow Board Tutorial

Bow Board Tutorial

Bow Board Supplies

Materials Needed:

  • Canvas {pictured is a 16×20, but you can use any size you want}
  • fabric – I used a fat quarter that was $1.99 at JoAnn’s.  In the past I have always bought a 1/2 yard of fabric but this was a cheaper option AND I found just the color I was needing.
  • 1-1 1/2 inch spool of grosgrain ribbon
  • Staple gun

Bow Board: center canvas on the back of fabric

Iron the fabric to get out any creases from being folded or on the bolt.  Place fabric face down on a hard surface and then center the canvas on top. Using the fat quarter was PERFECT for my 16×20 canvas but if you are using a 1/2 yard of fabric off the bolt you will need to trim it down adding about 2 inches on each side of the canvas.

Bow Board: stapling the fabric on

Start at one end and staple the edge of the fabric down.  Next go to the opposite end and pull the fabric tight and staple in place.  Then staple the other sides the same way.  You want the fabric tight so that it doesn’t droop when it is hanging on the wall.

Bow Board: folding the corners

Here is a close up of how I make the corners look neat.  First fold the edge straight down.  Next bring the side (the left in the picture above) over to the right (making it even to the edge of the canvas).  Finally pull the bottom up and staple it into place.  It should look like the picture below when you are done.

Bow Board: corners done

Bow Board: Measuring the ribbon spacing

The next step is to measure the spacing for your ribbons that the bows will hang on.  My marks {for 7 vertical ribbons} were each 2 1/2 inches apart starting at 1 1/2 inches from the edge.  Mark both the top and the bottom to make sure your ribbons hang straight.

Bow Board: Marking where to put the ribbons

 Above are what my marks look like.  Just some small pencil marks will work.

Bow Board: Attaching the ribbon

Now you will attach the ribbons.  Center it on your mark and staple it down.  Pull the ribbon very tight across the front and then staple it on the opposite end.  Continue that all the way across until all your ribbons are stapled in place.  At this point I typically also weave a ribbon across the top just to add an extra little accent.

Bow Board: ribbons attached

Now fill it up with BOWS and hang it on the wall!

Bow Board Tutorial

Tutorial Tuesday: Cutting and Applying Vinyl

So last week I showed you how I made custom shirts with iron-on vinyl.  Vinyl seems to be one of those crafting products I have gotten lots of questions about.  So that is why this month I am featuring tutorials ALL about vinyl!

This week we turn to indoor vinyl which can be slapped on anything inside that is standing still long enough!  It is great for a quick and easy addition to any decor and can be put on walls, glass, wood, anything.  And an added bonus – its removable!  So it is perfect for children’s bedrooms since you might not want it up there for more than a couple years.

My first project with indoor vinyl was to cut a verse for the narrow wall above my kitchen cabinets.  I cut the vinyl and my wonderful husband put it up (he used a level and everything!) for me.  The constant reminder to continually offer PRAISE is necessary when the chaos gets to be too much around here.

kitchen verse

Here is another place in our home where wall vinyl hangs out.  This is right by our front door.

family verse

 Tutorial

Cutting and Applying Indoor Vinyl to the Wall

materials

Materials:

  • Cricut or Sillouette machine
  • cutting mat
  • indoor vinyl
  • transfer tape
  • Gypsy (optional but very helpful since you can SEE what you are designing)
Here is my design that I plan to put on the wall.  I saw this pin on Pinterest and knew it was just perfect for our laundry room .  After camping last weekend I KNOW this is a true statement!
If you don’t have a Circut but love the saying, you can download it from Tattered and Inked as a free printable if you want one of your very own! She even has it available in a few colors so you can pick one that is perfect for your home!

design

Put the blade depth on 3 and the pressure setting on medium.  You want to cut through the vinyl but not through the backing that it is on.  Blade depth - 3

pressure setting- medium

Vinyl after cutting

This might be very difficult to see but this is the vinyl after it is cut.  You can faintly see the lines where the machine created the design.

Now you begin what is called “weeding”, where you pull off the unwanted parts of the vinyl leaving only the design on the backing. Start in one corner and peel it back making sure that the vinyl doesn’t stick to what you have designed.  That could result in loosing some of your design since it is very difficult to peel them apart once they get stuck together.   Beginning the weeding process

weeding

Once you get the main vinyl weeded out, you will go back and pull all the vinyl you don’t want from the centers of the O’s or the E’s until just the design is left.

weeding inside design

design ready for transfer tape

Now that all the weeding is done, it’s time to apply the transfer tape. Think of vinyl as a really large sticker.  Right now it is sticking to the backing but that is the side you need to put on the wall for it to adhere.  Transfer tape will transfer the vinyl off the backing and onto the wall (or whatever you are applying it to) by sticking over the top of the vinyl.

This is my transfer tape.  You can buy it in sheets just like the vinyl (6×12, 12×12, or 12×24) or you can purchase a 100 yd. roll of it.  Since I knew I would be using it a LOT, I bought the roll.  I have had this about 2 years and there is still TONS left on the roll!  (side note: if you are careful with your transfer tape, you can reuse it for a few more applications.  Just move from project to project or stick it onto the empty backing from a design and save it for the next project!).

roll of transfer tape

transfer tape applied

rub design onto transfer tape

Using your finger or even an old gift card, rub the design so that it sticks to the transfer tape and pulls away easily from the backing.

Peeling back the backing

Slowly peel the backing paper off the transfer tape making sure the design is sticking to the transfer tape.  If it doesn’t, just lay the backing back down and rub over the design again until it sticks to the transfer tape.

Before applying the design to your wall, give it a quick wipe down to make sure all dust and dirt are off the surface.  This will make the vinyl adhere better (just give it some time to dry!).

position on wall

Now place the design on the wall where you want your design.  This is very forgiving so if you don’t like the look where it is or put it up crooked you can remove it and reapply it at this point.

Rub design onto wall

Rub the design firmly so that it transfers onto the wall. If your walls are textured like mine this might take a bit more work.

Peel off transfer tape

Slowly peel the transfer tape off the wall making sure the design stays on the wall.  In the picture above you can see the e didn’t get stuck all the way down.  I just rubbed on it to make it stick and then it was fine.  Many of my letters remained stuck to my transfer tape I I repeatedly had to lay the transfer tape back over those letters and apply pressure to them to get them to stick to the wall.  Just take your time and it will be fine!

Finished vinyl

So here is the finished project!  I am thinking I will maybe put some memorable “messy and dirty” pictures of my boys above and below the quote to make it even cuter! Plus I want to cut the boys initals to hang above their hooks (their dumping ground for bags and backpacks as we come in from the garage).

There you have it!  See it wasn’t too difficult at all!  Start to finish this only took me about 20 minutes.  I am hoping to redo the boys rooms here soon (minor redos, nothing huge) and I am searching for just the right things to cut in vinyl for decorations on their walls.  Check back for those posts in the future.

What are you going to make first with your indoor vinyl???

Tuesday Tutorial: Iron-on Vinyl

My obsession with iron-on vinyl started when I needed sibling shirts for my boys.  I searched all over and couldn’t find what I wanted.  So once I saw that my favorite vinyl supplier, Expressions Vinyl, was carrying iron-on vinyl  I decided to give it a try!  {NOTE: they call it T-shirt vinyl}To be honest, I was VERY nervous the first time I cut the iron-on vinyl, but the Expression Vinyl website has a great video tutorial that make it almost impossible to mess up.

Iron-On Vinyl Tutorial

Supplies needed:

  • iron-on vinyl {See all the colors and sizes available here}
  • Cricut machine or Silouette
  • a plain t-shirt
  • an iron
  • multi-use paper sheets – a must if you are layering your vinyl creations!

 

Start by washing your t-shirt if possible.  Don’t use fabric softener!  I don’t always do this step but when I am making shirts for my boys I do just to make sure the vinyl adheres well.  You can cut the vinyl while the shirts are washing so you are ready to put it on once they are dry.

To cut the vinyl, begin by designing what you want to make.  I have a Gypsy that I hook up to my Cricut and it makes designing ANYTHING on my Cricut SO much easier!!!

If I am layering my design I make sure that I put my shadow and the layer on separate “pages” in my design file.

Once your design is complete and you are ready to cut there is one VERY IMPORTANT step left!  YOU  NEED TO FLIP THE IMAGE SO IT IS BACKWARDS! The reason for this is you are going to cut the design from the back of the vinyl.  The iron-on vinyl comes already adhered to the “transfer tape” that you iron directly on.

See the button on the right where my stylus is (above)

If you don’t have a Gypsy, you push this button to reverse the image.

To put the iron-on vinyl on your mat be sure to place the shiny side DOWN onto the mat.  Remember you are cutting the design from the back of the vinyl.

See how you can see what was cut through the clear “transfer tape” once it is cut.

That is why you put that side down and flip the image.

 

Load the mat into the Cricut and start cutting. Make sure to change your cut settings on your Cricut before cutting.

Cut settings:

  • blade depth: 2 (The Expression Vinyl site says 3, but I always put mine on 2)
  • pressure: medium
  • speed: high
 Once the cutting is done, it is time to weed the unnecessary vinyl away from the design.  The iron-on vinyl is VERY easy to weed if it has been cut on the correct settings. Be sure to heat up your iron before you weed so it is ready once you have finished weeding.

Place your shirt on a hard surface (not an ironing board but maybe a table with a towel on it).  Heat up the area on the shirt where you are going to adhere the vinyl.  Place your cut vinyl where you want it (it will stick to the shirt since the “transfer tape” that it comes on it sticky.  Put your iron over part of the design and press down firmly for 15 seconds.

Move the iron to another part of the design and continue ironing your design 15 seconds at a time until you have ironed all the vinyl down.

Once it is cooled for a few seconds, pull up the clear sheet that the vinyl was on.  If any part of the design isn’t ironed on well, just put the clear sheet (or a multi-use paper sheet) back over the design and iron it again.

At this point, if you are layering your iron-on vinyl then place your layer where you want it and iron again like before {When layering designs you NEED the multi-use paper sheets so that your don’t accidentally iron directly on the previous vinyl.}

I “try” to line up the layers so that I can just place one right on the other, but that doesn’t always work out. If it doesn’t line up right that just means that I have to cut each individual letter  apart and place it where I need it.

There you have it!  Now you know how to make your very own t-shirts!  You don’t have to use iron on vinyl on shirts only!  I have put it on my boys baseball bags (so I know whose is whose).  The possibilities are endless: backpacks, lunchboxes, fabric bins, fabric banners, tote bags, aprons!

What are you going to make first with iron-on vinyl???

Tutorial Tuesday: Pillowcase Dress with Coordinating Panel

Alright, so last week I posted my version of a pillowcase dress tutorial and I got feedback from a couple friends.  They have tested out the tutorial and gave their approvals (and made some pretty adorable dresses!).

Now, I usually get a bit fancier when I make my dresses by adding a coordinating panel of fabric on the bottom.  It just adds a bit more to the dress to make it POP a bit more!  And I LOVE me some cute coordinating fabrics!!!

Using the chart I posted about in last week’s post, shorten the length of the main panel by at least 3 inches (the larger the dress size, the larger you want your panel to be.  For this dress, I was making a 4t dress so my panel was 8″ long {I look about 7″ off the main panel measurement}.

Pin the right sides together along the bottom and sew pieces together.

Press the seam down toward the bottom of the dress.

Top stitch the pressed seam down for a more finished look.  {I am a BIG fan in top stitching!  In the end, it makes the dress lay nicer and when it is washed you won’t have to iron the seam down again}.

 Line up the seams and fold right sides together.  You are pretty much going to follow the simple version tutorial. Sew up side seam, mark and cut arm holes, add bias tape, and create the casing on the top for the tie.

For this tutorial, I also wanted to show you a quick way to hem a pillowcase dress if you aren’t wanting to press the hem.  Just use bias tape (the REALLY wide hem tape looks great!) and sew it on as described in last week’s post.

Now that the hem is finished, here is another way to create a tie instead of using ribbon or bias tape.  You can make your own with a 4 inch panel of fabric (cut selvage to selvage).  Sew the pieces right sides together, leaving about a 3 inch section for turning your tie, and angle the ends of the tie (if you want!).

Turn the tie right side out, press, and top stitch all the way around closing the hole.  Thread through the casing and tie a pretty bow!

Here is the completed dress.  Now go sew up some precious dresses!  You could even sew on coordinating ribbon to the bottom instead of fabric like I did here.  If you want to see another example, you can check here!