Saturday, April 28, 2012

DIY Easy Headband Storage

Hello again!  

As I have had three craft fair booths every Saturday for the last three weekends, I am a little pooped!  Boy, oh, boy!  Crafting CAN get busy!  Anyways, because of that, I figured that I would add on to a previous post, and post a tutorial on Easy Headband Storage!  I made mine to match the ones in my previous post, so that they can all sit prettily together in my craft room!
What you'll need:

A ribbon of your choosing.  I chose a black and white ribbon reminiscent of the old french style.  I like to call it my marie antoinette ribbon!  It is an inch wide, which is just perfect for my flowers.  It also matched my reupholstered sewing table stool, and the memo board I made to match.  You will need to make sure your ribbon is wide enough for the clip to get a grip on, and that you buy enough for the lengths you want.  I bought two spools to start, and have since bought 4 more (though I have them on two walls now).  Also, a hardier ribbon, perhaps of cotton or a blend, is much better than those beautiful sheer ribbons.  Clips will tend to pull on the sheer ones and leave unsightly marks.

Earring hoops.  These can be found at any hobby shop (I use Hobby Lobby), in the jewelry making section.  You can get any shape you like; I personally love the teardrop shape.  You will need to purchase enough for the amount of ribbons you want to make, one per ribbon.

Sewing machine, matching thread, scissors, nails and a hammer.  If you would like, there is minimal sewing, so you can hand sew them.  I personally find it much easier to use my machine. 

Now you are ready to start!

Cut the ribbon to your desired lengths.  This is one of the more important parts.  You will want to hold your ribbon up in the spot you would like to hang it, and determine the length you want.  Allow approximately an extra inch on each end, and an extra half inch for each headband loop, so an extra two inches total, plus whatever you will add on for the headbands.

Place the ribbon through the earring hoop:  sew.  This step takes careful hands!  Simply pull your ribbon through your hoop.  Then, to create a nice, clean edge, fold the very end over on itself, and tuck it against the backside of the ribbon.  Your earring hoop should now be securely through the ribbon.  Simply run this through the machine, a single straight stitch (making sure that you also stitch through the folded under piece).  The only difficulty with this step is getting the folded under portion to stay folded under as you run it through the machine.  I also found that it runs through the machine easier if you turn the hoop to the side while you sew, with the straight edge running parallel to the sewing foot.

Make your Loop.  This is the part that you can play around with, staggering them to make them hang well on your wall.  Simply decide where you would like your first loop, and fold your ribbon over.

Now, simply sew a straight stitch across the loop.  I did mine a good half inch in, but I found that it did not hold the headbands in as tightly as they needed.  I would suggest stitching only a quarter of an inch in, which will give you a tighter loop.

Simply continue folding and stitching your loops.  Given that I was doing a few strands of these, I chose to stagger my loops, so that headbands would not hit each other, and I would be able to put the strands closer together.

Hem the bottom edge.  This is not a necessary step, but I find it makes it just a little nicer.  Simply do the same thing as you did at the top, without the earring hoop.  Just fold the bottom edge in on itself, and fold it over once more.  Run a straight stitch across it, and voila!  You are done!

You are almost done!

Hammer the nail in, hang your earring, and you are done!  If you are hanging more than one, I thought it worthwhile to use a level.  Simply use your level against the wall, mark your distances, and hammer the nails in!  I left a four inch space between each of ours, to allow for bigger headbands and flowers, but it is completely up to you!  Best of luck!  Let me know how it goes, and feel free to ask any questions you may have!

Yours in Beauty and Love,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

DIY Easy and Elegant Baby Rattle Decoration

Hello again!  I have been bustling around the last few months preparing for the three craft fairs I have done the last three weeks... it does not leave much time for crafting.  However, with the exciting news of my friend's pregnancy, I have started looking for innovative and exciting ways to decorate for the baby shower I am throwing!  We will be using this design as our door decoration for the shower, and then putting it on her nursery door afterwards.  I saw something similar on Pinterest, and decided to give it a try.

When I decided to make it myself, I figured it ought to match both the Nursery and the Shower.  The baby shower colors are Lavender and Pearl, so I went to Hobby Lobby, and found my supplies.

Materials Needed:

Styrofoam Balls.  This will depend on the size you would like to make.  I chose a 6" and a 4" ball.

Plastic Dowels.  I found these in the cake decorating aisle.  You will want to have hollow plastic dowels, as they are both lightweight and easy to position in the styrofoam.  I did not do anything in addition to my plastic dowels, as the slightly pearlescent color was perfect, but you could, at this point, paint them.  You could also use wood dowels, with a little altering (You would have to carve out a little space for them into the styrofoam, though make sure to make it smaller than the actual dowel so that there would be pressure on the dowel to keep the styrofoam on once you put it into the ball:  this is not necessary with the hollow plastic dowels).

Scissors and Ribbon.  Pick a ribbon that matches your flowers or your theme that you are going with, or any other color that you prefer.  I picked a sweet lavender satin ribbon that was 1.5" wide, and two sheer ribbons, one in lavender and one in ivory, both 3/4" wide.

Flowers.  Choose faux flower bunches in your choice of color.  I chose petite tea roses in a sweet lavender. Each flower 'bouquet' that I bought had nine flowers on it.  I needed approximately 150 flowers to cover both balls (100 for the larger ball and 50 for the shorter ball), so I bought enough 'bouquets' to cover that.  I also used two slightly different flower bunches, to give a little bit of a variegated effect.  My flowers were all approximately an inch in diameter.  You can choose any size flower you would like, but keep your flower size in mind as you choose your brad size (next).

Brads.  I chose to use mini heart brads with little pearls at their center.  They were on the very small size, as brads go, but they were perfect for my mini tea roses.  Keep in mind, if you choose a large flower, you will want a larger brad.  I went through five and a half boxes of 25 brads for the whole project.

Pull your flower 'heads' off of the 'bouquets'.  In preparation, remove the flower buds and heads from off of their bouquets.  I have never seen flowers sold apart from the bouquet, but if you do find them, you can skip this step.

Make a starting point.  Now we are ready to get started!  Simply take your dowel firmly in hand, and stick it into the styrofoam ball.  Do your best to go straight in, and do not wiggle the dowel around as you do so. This will ensure that the styrofoam has a strong hold on the dowel, and that the ends will not fall off.  It is up to you how far you would like to stick the dowel in.  I went in about 2", and have had no problems with that.  Now, remove your dowel the same way you stuck it in.  You should see a clear ring where your dowel went in.  You will leave this space uncovered with flowers, and reattach your dowel there once you have covered the ball.

Disassemble the flower.  Next, we simply disassemble the flower heads.  You will want to do this one at a time, as you go, so that you do not get petal bunches mixed up.  It is generally rather simple:  flip the flower over and pull the plastic backing off of the 'stem'.  Then, remove the flower petals from the stem by sliding them off the back.  Keep them in the order they were on the stem, for best effect.  Do not rip the off of the stem or cut them: this is an exercise in finesse, though you will find it pretty easy for the most part.  You are trying to replicate the exact same look, while only changing the center.

Poke your flower into the styrofoam.  Now it gets both easy and tedious :-).  Take a brad, and stick the metal prongs through the hole left by the 'stem'.  Then, without messing with the prongs at all (in fact, sometimes I straighten them even further), poke them straight down into the styrofoam.

Rinse and Repeat.  Simply continue the last two steps until your ball is covered.  A few tips:  If your brad does not stay in (this will happen once in a while), simply pull it straight out and move it over slightly.  Also check your brad prongs;  if they are not straight and smooth, they will create a bigger hole than necessary, and will fall out easier.  Remember to leave a hole for your dowel (as pictured below):  I had my flower petals mostly covering the hole so that when I inserted my dowel, it would cover the base.

Once I had gotten a fair bit covered, I decided to reattach my dowel and use it to hold the ball.  This made it easier to attach my flowers as I went on.  (When doing this for the second ball, remove the first ball so as not to ruin it while you work on the second.)

When you have completed your first ball, repeat the last few steps for the second ball.  Then, simply attach both flower covered balls, position them as close or far apart as you would like to make it look like a rattle, and you are done with the hard part!

Attach your ribbons in a sweet bow.  As long as you can tie a bow, you are safe!  You have a few options here:  write on the bow, tie it with all three ribbons, etc.  I simply tied the two sheer ribbons to the dowel, and then tied the bow on top of them, but you could also have a three layer bow!  The possibilities are endless, and it is all up to your own preference!

Congratulations!  You are finished!  I added a fourth, very thin, line of ribbon that I used to hang the rattle from my door.

Now you have a personalized bit of elegant door decor for a nursery, a shower, or just for fun!  Please let me know if anything was unclear or if there is anything I can do to improve this tutorial!  Thanks for reading!

Yours in Beauty and Love,