Friday, October 24, 2014

DIY Shaving Kit/Travel Bag

Search Pinterest or the list of blogs that I follow, and one can find a myriad of cute and practical gifts to make for a baby, child, or woman. But, finding a DIY gift to make for a MAN is a whole different ballgame! Many of the searches lead to “Dad-themed” gifts and that wasn’t going to work for my boyfriend’s birthday.

I already knew that I’d be making a stamped keychain….a project I’ve done before…only this time I ordered a blank with bat cutout from Etsy (BroBlanks) and stamped it.


But, I wanted to make him something else too…something uniquely his and useful. The Cottage Momma to the rescue! She posted the awesome idea of sewing a Dopp Kit! This was perfect since we are doing the long-distance relationship thing and he is always traveling back-and-forth to see me…..and most men use a shaving kit of some kind anyway.

When I am doing a new project, I like a lot of photos in a tutorial. Momtastic has a tutorial for basically the same bag, but it is a little bit bigger and she used two different fabrics…easier to see the steps. Between the two tutorials, you should be set!

Having never put in a zipper before and being a little unsure of the measurements, I decided to do a practice run. For the practice bag, I chose a pretty fabric from Hobby Lobby and used it for both the outside and the inner lining. It turned out to be quite simple and really cute. (So cute, that my friend nabbed it for herself after I showed it to her!)


I’m glad I did the practice run. While the original bag is great, it is a little smaller than what I wanted for M’s gift. I simply added a couple of inches and it was just right. I also decided that I might prefer the inside to have French Seams. I played with the plam and then finally found that Lou Anne over at Lizze Tish had the same idea! She offers another easy to follow tutorial on how to make the French Seams. I will warn you….this took longer and definitely required a bit more fiddling with the fabric layers. Worth it though if you like that super finished look on the inside!

I wanted the bag for M to be masculine, yet personalized and fun! Since my boyfriend is a big Batman fan, I found a fun Batman flannel for the inner lining (to make him smile when he opens it) and a black & white pinstripe suit fabric for the outside (reminded me of a gangster movie!).


Using my embroidery machine, I put his initials on one outside piece of the bag (opposite the handle) prior to attaching the zipper. Now it was definitely personalized!


When it was completed, I sewed one of my little labels inside (thought he’d get a kick out of that).

I added a small tube of shaving cream from Bath & Body Works and put it in a fun gift bag with mustaches on it….couldn’t resist when I saw the gift bag! It’s far from perfect, but it turned out nicely and he seemed to really like it!
This is a great bag to make for yourself or as a gift.

Hope you have fun making one…or more since the holidays are coming!

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Easy DIY Mini Display Case

SW Mini Display Case
My son has a love of all things Star Wars… does my boyfriend! He asked me a couple of months ago if he could “pass down” a few of his Star Wars collectibles to my son. Needless to say, my son was thrilled!

As we were going through the boxes of Star Wars items, I stumbled upon the coolest collection of tiny metal Star Wars characters!  My boyfriend told me that they were originally something he collected as a cereal box giveaway…how fun is that?  I knew these nine tiny characters needed a special display case and I had seen just the thing on Pinterest!  The original pin is for use with Lego MiniFigs, but it was also perfect for these little figures.

The tutorial is easy to follow and includes plenty of pictures.  All you need is a deep frame….think shadow box.  Michael’s Craft Store just so happened to have all of their shadow boxes for 50% off that week…yay!  I purchased the smallest one they had and used the weekly coupon for the black foam board.  I also picked-up a new craft knife….you want to be sure the one you use is very sharp in order to make smooth cuts on the foam board.  SW Display Case Supplies
I found cutting the foam board using my fabric cutting guide and mat to be the best way to ensure straight cuts and keep things neat.  The tutorial on Instructables is great, so there is no need to repeat it here.  Just follow this link:

I will admit that I had to do this twice.  The first time, I hurried through the cutting process for where the slats fit together.  That was a BIG mistake and it made for very crooked rows.  I re-did the foam board structure taking my time on ensuring straight cuts and measuring exactly…..much better!!  (You can kind of see in the photo below…it was taken with the crooked assembly in place.)SW Display 1
Once I had assembled the nice display structure inside my frame, I needed a way to keep the figures from falling over.  I looked around my craft room and saw a sheet of the little foam sticky circles from my scrapbooking supplies.  I cut one in half….it was perfect!

SW Display 2SW Display 3

Once they were all in place, I simply put the back on the frame again.SW Display 4
Aren’t they cute?  I just love these little ones!
SW Display 5
The little display case fits perfectly on the wall between the two new floating shelves we added.  (I really like the LACK floating shelves from IKEA. They come in several lengths and colors, are easy to install, and are inexpensive!) SW Display 6
Next trip to IKEA, I plan to pick-up one of the frames mentioned in the original tutorial and make a larger display case to hold all of the MicroMachines (lined up along the front of the shelf).  Easy to create and it looks so much neater. 

“May the force be with you”!

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's been almost a full year since I posted to this blog.....and I've missed it!

Life changes and my work schedule became such that I just didn't feel that I could spend the time needed to consistently write.  And, truth be told, I haven't been all that "crafty" this past year....again just did not have a lot of time.

Fast-forward to today and I really don't have any more time than I did last year, but we have adjusted a little more to the schedule and I have come to realize that I NEED an outlet of my own.  DIY and crafting is that outlet and this little blog is a part of that.  Blogging and following other's blogs is like having a community of people with similar interests that you are constantly having a conversation with!  How fun is that?

So....I'm back.  We shall see how this goes.  I can't promise that I'll post every week, but I WILL post.

Hope to see you around here!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall 2014 Burlap Bubble Wreath and Porch Decor

We finally had 70 degree temperatures in Texas this past weekend! The cooler temperatures and all of the Fall postings I’ve been seeing on Pinterest got me inspired to get my Fall decorations up…I know, I was behind, but I’m caught-up now!

First thing I wanted to do was get my Summer flip-flop wreath off the door and replace it. I have an old Fall wreath but I’ve never been very happy with it and I really like the popular burlap bubble wreaths that seem to be everywhere. So, after reading through several tutorials (check out this simple one from Craftaholics Anonymous) and looking at tons of photos on Pinterest, I set off to make my own!

My local Michael’s store had the burlap spools and the Fall ribbon on sale this week for 50% off…hard to beat that price. The sparkly floral pick was 30% off there and I pulled the two sunflowers from my leftover supply stockpile at home. I used all but about 1.5 feet of the orange ribbon for an 18” wreath frame.

Even after reading several tutorials, I still was unsure how to “weave” the burlap through the frame. My advice: just do it! Once I made the first “bubble”, it all came together and was quick. Just play with the spacing and adjust to your liking. It turned out to be super easy and just what my front door needed!

This is after one full roll of the 20 ft burlap on an 18” wreath frame

You may want more or less burlap depending on how full you want your wreath. I used both 20 ft rolls and the 12 ft chevron ribbon for mine. I simply wove the orange ribbon in just where I wanted the spot of color to appear and added the tie to hang it.

A few potted mums, a couple of pumpkins, and a corn stalk….Fall has arrived on our front porch!

Happy Fall Y’all!

This post is linked to:
 My Repurposed Life