Monthly Archives: September 2013

Car Seat Canopy and a great time saving tip!

Sharknado Canopy

Sharknado Canopy

I recently received a request for a car seat canopy for a baby carrier. I had never made one, but I did some looking around and figured I could probably handle it. It’s like a lightweight baby blanket with straps, right? Pretty much!

They wanted shark fabric. That was the tricky part. Ultimately I ended up looking online for the cutest shark fabrics I could find, and I sent them all to the customer for her to choose from. The print at your left (I call it Sharknado) is what she decided on. I went with a solid blue flannel for the back of the canopy so that it could in fact double as a lightweight blanket or play mat.

 

I found this fantastically easy tutorial at A Little Time, A Little Miracle – truly a great tutorial, AND I received the best sewing tip EVER while I was reading and sewing along! I didn’t follow the tutorial to the letter, I did end up doing my own thing on the straps, but it turned out quite lovely and I was very happy with the results.

My modified version —

  • 1 Yard top fabric
  • 1 Yard bottom fabric (something soft)
  • Coordinating Thread

Very simply – cut the fabric pieces to 33×42 (save the scrap strips – those will be your straps!). Place them right side facing and fold in half, and then in half again so the corners are all together. Use whatever you have on hand that is round to trace and cut the corners so they are rounded. The original post uses a plate, but as I was too lazy to go downstairs, I used the bottom of my trash can. 😀

Rounded Corners via Trash Can

Rounded Corners via Trash Can

Unfold and pin your heart out…

Pin Pin Pin

Pin Pin Pin

Now sew the two pieces together, all around the outside (I used about a 1/4″ allowance), and leave a gap about 4-5″ for turning.

Now here’s the super special sewing tip that I can’t thank A Little Time, A Little Miracle for — instead of clipping the corners as you normally would with your scissors, one annoying little cut at a time, USE YOUR PINKING SHEARS! I mean, DUH!

 

Pinking Shear Love

Pinking Shear Love

Turning right side out

Turning right side out

Turn your canopy right side out, flatten and press neatly, folding the gap edges under so that they seal nicely when you top stitch all the way around the outside. Do that next – top stitch alllll the way around.

Now for the straps, take your extra strip of top fabric and make two equal sized pieces – mine were 4×14″. Just like bias tape, fold the outsides (lengthwise) in toward the center (easier if you leave a gap in the very center) and press. Do the same to the two ends, folding them in about 1/2 and inch. Then fold in half lengthwise so there are no exposed edges – everything is folded in and you have a nice long strap that you can easily stitch lengthwise to close. Repeat for the second strap.

Sewing the strap Closed

Sewing the strap Closed

I followed the original tutorial to measure and place my straps 12″ from each side, 8″ apart from each other, and 17″ from the top of the canopy. To be clear, it took me a minute to figure out which was the top – it’s the shorter side of the canopy (the 33, not the 42).

I pinned the straps in place, and stitched a box at the center of each strap so that I really had two small straps on each side to tie together around the handle bar of the carrier.

Strap stitched in place

Strap pinned in place

IMG_5624 IMG_5621And that’s it. Unfortunately my baby carrier is shrink wrapped in the garage so I wasn’t able to model it for you, but it really is cute. I failed to take many pictures while doing this too, so please DO go over to A Little Time, A Little Miracle and follow their awesome tutorial!

 

 

 

 

 

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My New Obsession: WASHI

Washi Tape

Washi Tape

Washi Tape is my latest obsession. Tiny rolls of tape cuteness. My world has been washified.

It has been calling to me for a while, especially on my Pinterest feed, and I’m starting to see it everywhere! I finally jumped on the bandwagon after doing a little research, and thought I would share it with you. A little Washi 101 in light of the Back to School season. Maybe you can hop on the wagon too – Crafty Cuteness really doesn’t get any easier than this.

 

This adorable trend started in Japan — Washi is a natural paper and when combined with an acrylic glue, becomes a tape, just like masking tape. (Thank you, Wikipedia). Yes, masking tape – so it’s removable! And it isn’t your ordinary plain old dingy cream colored masking tape, it’s CUTE! You can find it in all colors and patterns, and you can do anything with it that your heart desires. There is no wrong way to washi!

Just imagine the possibilities – – you can decorate with it, put it on anything to spruce it up or make it unique. It’s great for scrap-booking, card making, decorating presents or gift bags, and you can even WRITE on it. Sweet!

Washi Love

Washi Love

I’m seeing a lot of your normal everyday companies jumping in on this cute trend too (like the duck tape trend, but that stuff is just too sticky and tough!). I found some washi at my local craft store made by their store brand, and

Cute tape - not washi

Cute tape – but not washi

SMASH has some cute rolls to use for their books that you can get at TARGET. But cute tape in general is everywhere, even if it isn’t washi… I found these cute packing tapes at Target too! They aren’t washi so they aren’t as removable, but if you’re careful you can use them for many different applications.

The best resource for washi is definitely the good old internet. There are a TON of Etsy shops selling this stuff, a lot of websites that cater to crafters, and of course there is Amazon, too. Some of my favorite sites are Wishy Washi, Cute Tape, and the Etsy shops Pretty Tape and Mind The Wrap.

There are even ways to make your own washi (oh yes!) that I haven’t tried yet, but you know I am always up for a challenge.

Gift Wrapping

Gift Wrapping

Packaging

Packaging

Want some ideas? Well, for starters, I use it in my packaging — when I send an order out I include my business card and a little note and seal it up in a small glassine envelope with a piece of washi. I sometimes use it when I wrap gifts or send snail mail too – a little strip here or there to give it some pizazz!

 

If you’re looking for a way to use it RIGHT NOW, well I have just the thing. All the kiddos are heading back to school, and in my opinion a lot of the supplies out there are kind of tacky. So why not buy plain old generic ones and make them unique and fun with washi?!

Plain old generic school supplies

Plain old generic school supplies

Super Cool Washified Supplies

Super cool washified supplies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kids will have fun with this too, because they can pick out their own washi and decorate their folders, binders, notebooks, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, etc., however they want!

IMG_5491

Funky Washi

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Cute & Sweet Washi

Even a lunchbox can be decorated with washi! You could put a piece or two on the inside and write a little love note to your kiddo every day. It peels right off!

Lunch Box Washi

Lunch Box Washi

I had some washi left, and I found this cute little pail in the dollar bin at Target. I thought, why not washi?

Pail full of Washi

Pail full of Washi

So there you have it. All about washi and some easy ways to use it. There are a bazillion more, of course. Like I said, there is no wrong way to washi.

Hope you’ve been inspired and will go out and washify your world! 🙂

 

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Another Challenge

IMG_5464

Day 1. Inspire

So, I’ve tried this a few times now and have yet to be successful. Have you heard of those photo-a-day challenges? I’ve seen them on Instagram, and have tried (very unsuccessfully, by the way) to follow along and participate, but I usually poop out around day 5. NOT THIS TIME! I’m going to do it!

The picture to the left is my day 1 photo for the word Inspire. I am inspired by color, design and FABRIC. Get me in a fabric store and my mind explodes with inspiration — so many ideas! I always buy more than I went there for, and unfortunately have a lot that I haven’t even touched yet. But they are waiting for me patiently, and will one day become something super cute.

Anyway, back to the challenge. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me fill you in, and maybe you can join me!

The idea is this: At the beginning of the month, someone posts a list of words, one for each day of the month. You are then to take a fabulous picture within Instagram that can be associated with that word. You tag the photo with the specified hashtag so others can follow along and see your pictures, and you would also use that tag to find other people who are playing along. Fun, right? Well, I think so. Told you I was a nerd.

One of my favorite blogs, The Idea Room does this every month (if you haven’t checked out her blog, DO IT! It’s so great!), and she herself admits she doesn’t do very well at sticking with the challenge. I think September is a good month for us all to try something new, or finish something that we’ve started. So let’s get a move on and have some fun!

If you want to play along this month, here is the challenge — she has better directions of course, but be sure to add the hashtag #theidearoom to your pictures! You can search on Instagram for the hashtag and you’ll find the challenge there as well. Oh and by the way, if you’re not already following me on Instagram, you can do that while you’re there too. I’ll follow you back!

Day 1 is almost over, but don’t fret! You can start anytime, and can certainly play catch up. No one is going to boo or hiss, I promise. 🙂

HAVE FUN!

 

 

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