April 26, 2011

Easter eggs

I realize Easter is over, but maybe this is something you can file away for next year.

This year we tried something new when dyeing our Easter eggs. Here's some of the best eggs. . .

My initial plan was to use all-natural dyes. A few days before Easter, my son and I boiled freezer-burnt cranberries and orange peels to make red and orange/yellow dye. I bought grape juice for purple dye. We saved our old coffee for brown dye. Our results were less than stunning since I didn't realize until egg-dyeing time that the eggs should soak in the dye overnight. So we resorted to the 99 cent Paas dyeing kit. We made our own "stickers" using small craft punches, decorative scissors, blue painter's tape and wax paper.

You can get really small punches from Michael's for $1 and those seemed to work the best. (I'm definitely going to buy some more for next year.) If you don't have punches or decorative scissors, you can use regular scissors to cut your own shapes (like my red/orange "confetti" egg in the first picture). If you don't have painter's tape, you can punch the shapes out of regular paper to make a stencil. Just color over the stencil with a white crayon before dyeing (like my husband's paw print blue egg). To make your "stickers" just put some pieces of painter's tape on a piece of waxed paper and cut your shapes (using punches) and strips (using decorative scissors). Peeling the shapes off the wax paper was a little problematic on some of the pieces. Here's a batch of eggs all stickered-up and waiting to be dyed.

Cheap family Easter fun!

April 20, 2011

spring skirt

I am not above using a bed sheet as clothing. Sometimes the results can be kind of cute. I found this fun twin-size sheet at Goodwill and loved the applique detail at the top of the sheet. I thought it would look nice as the hem of a skirt. Too dark picture of skirt. . .

Too bright picture of skirt. . .

I really need to figure out how to take good photos.

I wanted my skirt about 24 inches long, so I cut a piece of sheet 48 inches and sewed it into a tube with right sides together. I then folded the sheet so the skirt had two layers (instant lining). I sewed a casing around the top and used 2 inch wide elastic. Only the inside layer needed hemming since everything else had a finished edge. I like the results and will be on the lookout for more cute sheets to turn into skirts. My only problem is I cut the elastic too short so the waistband is a little snug.

Asking your husband to help with the "photo shoot" will get you "artistic" pictures like this.

Almost 7 years of marriage and he still makes me laugh. (And he's not the least bit embarrassed that his wife is wearing a bed sheet.)

thrifted sheet: $2.99

elastic: $1.19

total: $4.18

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

April 10, 2011

another bunny

I don't make a lot of stuffed toys, but when I do, one of my favorite patterns is the Martha Stewart menswear bunny. There are some complaints in the comments that the bunny is too plain and the arms are too long and skinny but I think that's part of the charm. It can be a little tedious turning and stuffing the arms but the results are so, so cute--
I made this bunny from a very soft khaki men's dress shirt (99 cents at Goodwill). The inside of the ears are leftover scraps from another men's dress shirt after I made these shorts and these bibs. I did make a few alterations/additions to the pattern. I fused strips of interfacing to the wrong side of the ears before sewing them together so they aren't so floppy.
I also sew my arm pieces to the body rather than sewing and stuffing the arms and handstitching them to the bunny. I hope my bunnies end up being well-loved by the recipient, but I don't think my handstitching would hold up very well to a young child. This bunny will be a gift for my friend who is expecting a boy in June, but these would also make adorable (and very inexpensive) Easter gifts.
(I spent 99 cents on the shirt I used for the fabric and still had enough of the shirt left to make a pair of shorts for my son, two baby bibs, plus I still have leftover scraps. I spent $2.47 on a bag of polyfil and only had to use a small amount of the bag.)

April 1, 2011

Easter cards

Good thing Easter is late this year--I'll actually get cards made and sent off to the relatives! For this year's cards I used the Day 27 Sunday Sketch at 365 Cards.

I found some cute clearance paper at Hobby Lobby, and even though I don't need any more paper I couldn't resist. (The green background paper is Penny Lane and the bunny paper is the Paper Studio.) I didn't follow the sketch exactly, but I was definitely inspired by it.

The sentiment stamp is one I picked up at Michaels a few years back. I cut the bunny paper into strips and wrapped a strip around the card so it also shows on the inside.

Thanks for looking!