Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nap Mat with Applique Name Tutorial

Here is my daughter's new nap mat for preschool. It was made from the Jenny Garland tutorial but I added, changed and swapped up a few things.

It makes a mat approx 20x50". Foam is removeable so you can wash it.

Supplies List:
1 2/3 yards of fabric for the front and back of the mat
2 yards of minky (or something else soft) fabric for attached blanket
Wide ribbon for handle (Jenny Garland used a longer elastic strap in her tutorial if you prefer that)
Two buttons (about 1” in diameter).
8 ounces of fiberfill to stuff pillow
All purpose thread
A piece of 1” thick foam cut to 20” width by 40” length. (I bought 2 - 22"x22"x1" pieces (Hobby Lobby) because it was cheaper than buying one large piece and there was less waste)
40” sew-on velcro

Fabric for Applique Letters
Silhouette Sd or other cutting machine is helpful but not necessary
Heat and Bond
Fabric Adhesive


Making the Blanket:
Cut two 36"x36" pieces from Minky. Sew right sides together, leaving opening to turn. Turn right side out and top stitch edges, close the opening as you top stitch.
(Before top stitch)

(After top stitch)

Making the Mat:
Cut two 22"x52" rectangles from your mat fabric to make the front and back.
Cut four 4"x6" rectangles for the button tabs.
Making your Button Tabs:
Using your 4"x6" rectangles place them right sides together with 1/4" seam allowance. Sew the two long sides and one short side. Turn right side out. Iron. Top stitch around the same three sides. Add your button hole to both.

Lay out one of your 22"x52" rectangles right side up. Pin the open side of the button tabs on the bottom of rectangle, make sure they are laying on top of the mat rectangle pointing toward the top. Sew to the mat 1/4" seam allowance.
(Sew the three sides)

(Turn right side out)

(Use zig zag to stitch edges)

(Add button hole)

Attaching the Blanket:
Lay out the 22"x52" rectangle that you haven't sewn anything on yet. Lay the blanket ontop (right sides together) line up edges leaving 4" gap on the bottom of the mat rectangle (this will position the blanket properly between the pillow and bottom of mat). Pin and stitch with 1/2" seam allowance. Fold the rest of blanket toward center of mat to keep it out of the way.

Putting it all together:
Leave the rectangle/blanket you just worked on right side up. Place the other rectangle right side down ontop of it. Pin the pieces together (make sure blanket and button tabs are tucked inside). Stitch top, bottom and the blanket edge ONLY. Leave the other side open for velcro and foam.

(After blanket & tabs were added and mat was turned right side out)

Making the Pillow:
Turn mat right side out. 10" down from the top of mat stitch a line across. This will make the pillow section. Stuff and stitch opening closed.

Attaching the Velcro:
You need to attach velro to each 22"x52" rectangle along the entire length below pillow, this will hold the foam in. Fold and Iron 1/2" of the unfinished edge before adding the velcro to it, this will keep frayed edges from showing.

(I double stitched my velcro to make sure both sides stayed flat)

Adding the outside stuff:
I suggest placing the foam in and rolling it up. Then mark where your buttons & handle need to go. Unfold and remove foam. Sew on the buttons and ribbon for handle (make sure to burn the ribbon edges with a lighter to keep them from fraying).

(I simply folded under the ribbon ends and sewed it to the mat)

(Buttons and Handle on the bottom of mat)

Ok you can choose to stop here or attempt adding a name. The easy way would have been just embroidering the mat fabric ahead of time....however I didn't have an embroidery machine and am too cheap to go pay for someone else too :)

Making the Letters:
Iron your fabric choice to Heat and Bond (this will make them stiff and easier to sew on). I also did this in order to use my silhouette cutter to cut the letters out.

I designed the name in Adobe Illusrator (but you could use whatever software you have). Placed my fabric in machine with it attached to my silhouette sticky mat. Set my speed to 1 and my pressure to 33.

This made it cut through my fabric but it didn't go through the heat and bond. I'm guessing the heat and bond I used was too thick, so you may want to use the thinnest they offer. I simply went back and hand cut it with scissors, no problem.

Now the letters are cut. I used some fabric adhesive and glued them onto the mat where I wanted them. Removed foam (again) and zig zag stitched the letter edges. Yes, this took time but since I didn't have an embroidery machine (Hope my husband is reading this) it was my only option ;)

Replace foam and you're done. Use "Fray Check" if you notice any fraying on the Applique letters.
(Heat and Bond on Fabric)

(Pinned letters, then glued and finished by stitching them)

(Used Fabri-Tac to glue them)

(zig zag stitched the edges)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DIY Fabric Hair Rollers

I have tried every hair curler you can imagine. Rag curls, headband curls, foam rollers, twist knots, just about any no heat overnight curls Pinterest has to offer. Rag curls just looked messy, headband worked alright as long as you didn't want the top half of your head curled, foam rollers make great curls but sleeping in them is a nightmare and twist knots just leave you with beach waves not curls.
(photos of my hair after sleeping in these rollers at bottom of post)

Well a few months ago I saw a tutorial for diy hair rollers (Craftster) and they reminded me of foam rollers but with no plastic they looked much more comfortable for sleeping in.

Today I made up a few using some scrap fabric. This is one of those crafts that is perfect for using up pieces of fabric that you can't find a use for, or extra buttons, all those bobbins full of different colored thread that you no longer have use for.

Begin by cutting your fabric into 4"x 9" strips. How many you'll need will depending on length and thickness of hair, but I made 28 just to be sure I'd have enough for me and my daughter. (Ignore my homely cutting mat, it has seen better days)

Fold in half (right sides facing together. Sew 4" down the long side

Take the short end that you began your first stitch on, fold it together like this and sew closed.

Here is what you should have, one short side stitched closed. Then sewn 4" down on the long side. The other half should be untouched.

Turn the fabric right side out. (I suggest sewing your button on now before stuffing, however you can just add it later too)

Stuff the 4" that you have sewn.

Sew the stuffed part closed.

Where you just sewed the stuffing you'll want a bunch in the hair roller (not sure why but all other tutorials showed this ;) ). You can either sew closed, then add a running stitch and pull the thread to bunch it together OR you can be lazy like I was scrunch the fabric together while sewing the stuffing closed. Works either way.

Now we need to sew the other end closed. Fold the short end edge down, then overlap both sides making sure all the unfinished edges are folded in. The goal is simply to get the fabric into a rectangle shape, doesn't have to be perfect.

This is the short end overlapping each other and all unfinished edges tucked in ready to be sewn.

Sew around all the edges.

Add a button hole

Cut opening in button hole.

The button stitched on the opposite end.


Ok now the photos that no woman likes to post online.......those sexy hair in rollers photos:

All I did was put a little mousse in slightly damp hair, slept in overnight. And I never woke up once because of the rollers, very comfortable. All of them stayed in too, nobody jumped ship with all my rolling around.

I pulled them out and ran my hands through hair just to blend it. Very satisfied with the curls. But next time I will probably either turn the curlers sideways or make them looser around my crown because I had a slight crinkle on the top of my head from the rollers :/ More of a user error than anything to do with the rollers.

Hair stayed curled most of the day but it would have done better with a bit of hairspray.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bake Sale Recipes

Today I'm sharing a few recipes that we used at the National Lemonade and Bake Sale Day.

Gooey Bars- Used this recipe for a few years and it's always a hit especially for anyone with a sweet tooth.

1 Package (18.25 oz) white cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup veg oil
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine cake mix, eggs and oil. With floured hands press two-thirds of mixture into a greased 13x9" pan. In microwave safe bowl mix milk, chocolate chips and butter. Microwave uncovered on high for 45 seconds, stir, continue microwaving/stirring until melted and smooth. Pour over crust.
Drop teaspoonfuls of remaining cake mixture on top. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned, cool before cutting. Makes about 3 dozen.

Rainbow Pinwheel Cookies - These were a pinterest find. Mine didn't turn out as well as the inspiration photo, they seemed to stick to everything and flattened out easily. This was probably because my kitchen was 100 degrees....but maybe try refrigerating your dough before trying to make the cookies.

1 17.5-oz. bag Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, mixed according to package directions
(or your favorite sugar cookie dough recipe)
Liquid food coloring, as desired (McCormick Neon shades work well)
Rainbow sprinkles, if desired

Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide dough evenly into five bowls, and color each with a different color liquid food coloring. Roll each color of dough into grape-sized balls. Combine a ball of each color and quickly roll into a larger ball. It will look like a little beach ball. Then roll that ball between your hands and the counter until you have a cylinder about 12 inches long. Starting from one end, roll the dough into a coil, twisting the cylinder as you go. Roll edges of the cookie in sprinkles. Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes, or until done.
Yields: approximately 3 dozen cookies

Check out the original source here:

Rice Krispies on a Stick - Kids love them and they're easy....enough said

Premade Rice Krispies (cuz I'm lazy like that :) )
Almond Bark (Vanilla flavored candy coating, or use chocolate)
Lollipop sticks

Melt Almond Bark over low heat until smooth. Place Krispies on Lollipop sticks, dip in the coating and sprinkle immediately before it re-hardens. I colored my Almond Bark using food coloring  just to change it up a bit, the possibilites are endless.

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