Wreath-a-palooza

It was a year ago last April that I closed on my house, but it was a year ago this Memorial Day weekend that I moved in! And what a glorious year it has been.

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I love living in a house that I’m proud to call home and I love my neighborhood (in other words, I love amusing myself by reading the ridiculous complaints the residents have on the neighborhood Facebook group). Woot woot.

I’m a little slow when it comes to decorating decisions, but things have been creep-creep-creeping along throughout the year. There are still a lot of blank walls to fill (but at least they’re not boring white walls!)… and I still have a number of small furniture pieces and throw rugs on my wish list. But in my defense, the list of accomplishments is long, too: I’ve built about a billion pieces of furniture, power washed the back porch, replaced my ancient hand-me-down Christmas tree, installed new hooks above the garage for my legendary Mickey Mouse wreath, conquered dry wall anchors and, a few weeks ago, even installed a new toilet fill valve all by myself. Bam.

But, back to the decorating (or lack thereof). One decorating decision that has been incredibly easy and fun is creating seasonal wreaths to hang on the front door. My front door faces the street and is in full view of anyone walking down the sidewalk, so I thought it would be fun to make it clear that someone lovely lives here! Wreaths are also non-commital (therefore non-scary) decor, so I had no problem jumping right in. 😉

wreath---spring

I looked at lots of ideas on Pinterest before making my first wreath, and decided I liked the look of a simple grapevine wreath the best. I liked it so much, in fact, that all of my wreaths have ended up being simple grapevine wreaths with similar one-sided layouts. What can I say, I’m a girl who knows what she likes!

Wreaths

If you’ve never made a wreath before, I’d recommend the grapevine wreath for a lot of reasons. One, it’s really inexpensive, so if you mess up, no big deal. The wreath forms I pick up at the craft store are usually in the $3-6 range. And two, they’re really easy to work with – you can wedge your flowers (or whatever) in between the branches and play around with the overall layout before gluing anything down. And when it does come time to glue (I use hot glue) – there’s a lot of twisty surface area for the glue to drip down and cling to.

Wreath-winter

You really don’t need many flowers for these projects – just two or three small bundles would be more than enough, or, in the case of my patriotic wreath, just one large, pre-mixed bunch.

wreath---patriotic

I made the pennants using fabric scraps!

The part that I find to be the most fun is looking for the accessories – aka, the little stuff-on-sticks (like that adorable scarecrow) that easily sticks down in between the branches to mix it up. Make sure to circle the entire craft store for these items – sometimes the best accessories aren’t necessarily found in the floral department. You never know where you’ll fine something that might work!

wreath---fall

I love that scarecrow so much!

I now have these four wreaths ready to go for upcoming fall/winter/spring/patriotic seasons, but I’m not going to stop there. I definitely need to add a Valentine’s Day wreath to the bunch, at the very least! And maybe a birthday wreath. But monthly wreaths would be pretty magical, too. ❤ ❤ ❤

Happy Wreath-ing!

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How to build a (magical) wreath

It’s Christmastime, which means I can’t talk about any of my sewing projects because they’re all a secret. But even though I have to keep my projects under wraps until the holidays are over, I still have a fun Christmas craft to share!

One of my favorite Christmas decorations to pull out of storage each year is the Mickey wreath I crafted over five years ago. Come December, I swear I have more interaction with my neighbors than I do all year long… all because they are asking about the wreath!

Mickey Mouse Wreath Tutorial on SewLindsaySew.com

Last year, I decided to replace the lights on the wreath with twinkle lights – turned out they were the “cool white” lights and are a little more blinding than I had anticipated. I’m pretty sure planes have thought about landing on my house. But I love the twinkle!

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Here’s a quick little guide for how to make your own Mickey wreath! Continue reading

DIY Halloween Costume: Remy from Ratatouille

October is a great month for lots of reasons, but one reason I really love October is that it’s Halloween costume season! I have great memories of flipping through the pattern catalogs in the fabric store and looking at all of the costume options throughout my youth. I don’t dress up every year, but I really enjoy pulling costume ideas together whenever I do.

The great thing about living in Central Florida is there’s always a Halloween party in town, given the number of Halloween themed events in the surrounding theme parks. Over the years, I’ve had a bunch of magical Halloween costumes:  Wendy Darling from Peter Pan, Boo from Monsters, Inc, a Mouseketeer and Tinker Bell. But one of the most fun costumes I put together was Remy from the movie Ratatouille!

The Ratatouille costume was a lot of fun and incredibly simple to put together at the last minute. It also forced me to learn how to spell “Ratatouille” from all the Googling I did while putting the costume together. 😉

Here’s a breakdown of my quick and easy DIY Remy if you’re looking for a last-minute costume!Remy

What you need:

  • Gray clothing items of your choice
  • Pink shoes
  • Pink gloves
  • Pink craft foam cut into a teardrop shape + chef’s hat (I used hair clips to secure the ears to the hat)

Optional:

  • Eiffel Tower on a Stick – print on computer paper, glue to poster board and attach a ruler or wooden dowel to the back. Instant Eiffel Tower on a Stick! I have to say — this was the most fun part of the costume. It made a great photo prop.
  • Recipe cards with a recipe for Ratatouille printed on them — these were fun to hand out to anyone who recognized us.
  • Linguini: No, not the pasta, the gangly chef from the movie! Find a friend who is willing to complete your Pixar duo, throw in some red hairspray, a chef’s hat and chef’s jacket (we got ours from eBay) and you’ve got yourself a Linguini.
  • A replica of the cookbook, “Anyone Can Cook!” I recreated one using a paper mache book from Joann Fabrics, craft paint and some graphics I printed from the internet. The book/box was a great place to store the recipe cards.
Anyone Can Cook

The cookbook from the movie alongside my paper mache version!

So there you have it… DIY Remy and Linguini!

Remy & Linguine Ratatouille costumes

My Linguini looks a lot like Nick Lachey.

What’s on your costume agenda this year? I’d love to hear your quick and easy DIY ideas!

Fun Fact… today they were serving ratatouille in my company cafeteria. I wrote this blog post some time ago, but had scheduled it to post today. And then… ratatouille for lunch. I wish I had taken a photo. I can’t make this stuff up. It’s magic!

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Pencil Bunting 101

If you and I know each other in real life and you’ve worked on a crafty project, chances are I’ve hounded you to write a blurb for my blog. Sometimes I beg to no avail and just write a blog for you (ah-hem, Krafty Katie). But for the FIRST TIME EVER, one of my friends has actually given in to this peer pressure.

I’d like to think this is a form of “positive peer pressure” — you know, the kind you learn about in D.A.R.E. class… kind of like this:

Positive Peer Pressure

Anyway, remember my good friend Joe? I made him a Mickey Mouse “man bag” for his birthday. Joe is a fifth grade teacher and he’s been going crazy on the Pinterest for the past week or so, preparing ideas for his classroom. When he sent me a picture of pencil bunting he made for his classroom (you know how much I love bunting), I begged him to send me a write-up and photos!

Continue reading

The most magical workroom on earth!

An avid follower of the Disney Parks blog, I recently stumbled across this video in which a Cast Member from Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Creative Costuming shows viewers how to put together a quick no-sew pirate costume for Halloween. While the costume is nice, I’m more interested in the amazing workroom, located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Doesn’t it look amazing?

This is the first year in many that I will not be able to put together a new Halloween costume, which means I’ll be pulling a previous year’s costume from my closet!

Does anyone out there have an amazing Halloween costume in the works?

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I did not sew this wooden birdhouse but I’m writing about it anyway

Happy Father’s Day!

Here’s the sewing-related Father’s Day blurb: a free necktie tutorial at The Purl Bee!

Father's Day tie sewing tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of The Purl Bee

My dad rarely wears neckties in his profession – he’s a dentist and can most often be found wearing scrubs. However, I have some guy friends who often wear ties to work, so I have tucked this tutorial away for a future project!

Now, the non-sewing related Father’s Day craft that I’ve been waiting to share. My dad really enjoys birdhouses, bird feeders and pretty much any other device that attracts birds into the yard. He spends summer nights sitting on the back porch with a glass of red wine, looking over his land and watching the birds take advantage of the whimsical sanctuary he’s created in the yard.

In recent years, I’ve taken to painting a new birdhouse each year for Father’s Day. One more thing I should mention is that my dad dreams of driving the monorail at Walt Disney World when he retires from dentistry. So, I present to you… the Father’s Day 2011 birdhouse inspired by the oh-so-magical highway in the sky:

Walt Disney World Monorail Birdhouse

Like the backdrop? It's a Disney Snuggie. 😉

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! You can bet that the next time you hear birds chirping, they are surely saying “Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas!”

Making the cut!

Living in a warm climate, I planned to wear a dress for my special birthday dinner outing last week. But the evening of my birthday was cold and rainy – boo! I decided to wear a dress I bought a few years ago in St. Augustine – a convertible dress by Elan-USA that can be twisted and tied in lots of different ways. The plan was to fashion a dress with sleeves to keep warm.

Elan-USA convertible dress

But as soon as I put the dress on, I was reminded why I rarely wear it: it’s too long. Being five feet small, the dress is almost ankle length on me, which makes it feel a little too formal. But the dress itself is made out of a jersey-knit material and is supposed to be a semi-casual dress. I would never actually wear it for a formal occasion.

I picked up the hem of the dress to examine it, wondering if I could attempt to hem it myself, and was shocked to see that the dress had no hem at all! It looked like freshly cut, jersey knit fabric. How come I had never noticed that before?

With only 30 minutes to spare before my birthday dinner, I pinned the heck out of the non-hemmed-dress and grabbed my rotary cutter. There was a moment of hesitation where the rotary cutter just hovered about the fabric while I panicked. What if I ruined it? But if I wanted to wear the dress to dinner, there wasn’t time to think about negative consequences…

So I cut. And cut. And cut. Then, the moment of truth: Dress + Lindsay + Mirror.

It… was… PERFECT! I think I’ll be wearing it more often now that it’s the proper length. And now I have a long, thick remnant of fabric leftover that I can use as an extra sash for the dress.

I wouldn’t have had the confidence to make the cut without my newfound interest in sewing. I never would have looked at the hem of the dress in the first place!

Have you ever made a last minute alteration?

The Friday Five: 5 steps to a no-sew wreath

This week’s Friday Five is both a list AND a tutorial wrapped up into one post! Wahoo!

When I was little, I remember my beloved Aunt Corlyne (who was always bursting with enthusiasm about the latest and greatest craft trends) bringing over bags of supplies to make these easy fabric wreaths. This no-sew craft gives everybody an excuse to shop in the fabric aisle, regardless of whether they know how to sew or not. It is a fun project for kids who are old enough to be trusted with a pointy pencil, although grown-ups may have to take care of the pinking shears portion.

1. Gather: You’ll need…

  • A few yards of fabric in coordinating colors
  • A styrofoam wreath (usually available in the floral section of craft stores)
  • Pinking shears (a.k.a zig-zag scissors)
  • A pointy object such as a screwdriver, skewer, pencil, etc.

2. Cut: Use the pinking shears to cut out a pile of fabric squares. The exact size doesn’t matter and the shape can be rough, but the size should be approximately 3×3 inches.

Fabric Squares

I used a bunch of Valentine fabric leftover from a quilt my mom made me in college!

3. Stab: Wrap a fabric square around the pointy object, then stab the whole contraption anywhere on the styrofoam wreath. When you pull the pointy object out, the fabric should stay wedged in the styrofoam.

Pointy Object

Wrap the fabric around the object right-side-up.

4. Fill: Continue with step #3, filling in the entire front side of the wreath. You’ll probably find yourself having to revert back to step #2 and cut out more squares as the project progresses. It only took me one viewing of Eat, Pray, Love and one episode of How I Met Your Mother to complete my heart wreath from start to finish!

Keep going until the entire wreath looks like this!

5. Hang: Now that your wreath is complete, hang it from a nail or use thumbtacks to secure a ribbon on the back!

Heart Wreath