Friday, December 31, 2010

Braided Rug

please click here for kits available to make this rag rug

1 honey bun of your choice (featured is "sweet" by urban chiks) and
4 yards of white fabric

cut your 4 yards of white fabric to 1 1/2 inch widths (yup ALL of it)

once it's all cut up get three strips of fabric and sew them stacked on top of each other (i wanted the middle of my rug to be all white)
safety pin your three sewn strips anywhere you can be comfy (you are going to be there for a while! i did mine attached to my runner on my dining room table) this is the start of your braid.
start braiding your white fabric
****you need to make sure your braiding is SUPER LOOSE. do not make your braids tight at all. if they are tight they will make your rag rug curl up when you try to sew it together.******
once you get close to the end of your braid you are going to fold over the end of your strip and snip with your scissors a slit.
like so, and then you will do the same to the next strip that will be the following strip to lengthen your braid (do this to each of the three strips)

you will take the next strip and place it on top of the braided strip
grab the end of your new strip (the end without the slit) and pull through both slits (from behind)
this will adjoin your strips and you will be able to continue your braid
this is what it should look like, now keep braiding.

once you get close to the end of your braid you are going to do the same as you did before and make a slit at the ends of your braided strips and at the beginning of your next strips this time wanted to add color so i took one strip of the honey bun and two of the white strips i cut out.

it should now look like this. this will be what you do through out the whole process of braiding your rug. one color in the middle and two whites on the outside.
as you continue to braid your braid will get too long so unhook your safety pin and re-pin it closer to your end.
this is how it should look as you continue to braid. make sure your fabric "folds" with the right side out and continue to braid it loosely
once you have completely braided ALL your strips together. you are going to sew you braid "shut" this tail will be tucked at the very end and you wont see it.
now that you have a whole mess of a braid going on...we are off to hand sew it together.
get some sturdy thread (i recommend one you use for upholstery) and a needle and you are going to start off by coiling your start of the long braid (the whites)
start by hand stitching your coil center like so. (start in the very center of your coil first and work your way out)
make sure once you get your center started and your coil on a flat surface. this will ensure that your rug lays flat with each coil.
also make sure you do not overlay the braids at all. they need to be laying flat and to be sewn side by side to each other.
you are going to continue to hand stitch your braids together, do this for the whole rug. what you are sewing is your back, when you are done, the stitches should be fairly hidden from the top. (the other side)
when you get to your end, make sure you tuck and stitch the end of your braid so that the tail is on the bottom of your rug and hidden when you turn it over. (snip the extra part of your tail if you like)
****to make your rug a little sturdier, i recommend adding a felt backing to your rug.
first start off with placing your rug on top of your large piece of felt, (you can buy it at walmart for pretty cheap off the bolt you will need aprox 1 1/2 yards (just in case so you can piece a little if needed)) and cutting out the same size as your finished rug.
next hand sew around your rug on top of the felt.
and then at random places adhere your rug in the middle (and all over) by doing big stitches through your coils.
look what you made! isn't it pretty? and it will look so great ANYWHERE! (make some smaller circles to make bar stool seat covers!)

1 rag rug with width of 32 inches
if you'd like to purchase a kit to make this rag rug please visit this site
to clean your rag rug properly we advise you to wash your rug and lay flat to air dry
instructions by vanessa from V and Co.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas finger Puppets


As you know, I have a hard time sitting still and watching tv or a movie without keeping my hands busy. Drives my family crazy sometimes. So, the other night, while the family was watching Shrek 4 (which we loved), I whipped up these little guys.


And since Christmas is all about giving, I thought I would share the patterns with you.


These would be fun little gift for the little kids in your life. Or to go along with some of your favorite Christmas books or movies.


They are pretty quick to make and all you need are a few scraps of felt, hot glue and google eyes, and you are on your way.


*Click here for the free download.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Felt Toy Truck

Remember how book giving is on the Christmas-gift-list this year?  
(Check out my girl book/gift idea here.)

Well, my little boy will get a personalized little gift with his new books too.

We checked out The Three Little Rigs (by David Gordon) from the library a few weeks ago....
He ab-so-lute-ly fell in love with the book.  And loved reciting parts of it as I read it to him.  We returned the book to the library so that other kids could borrow the book.....and he was crushed.

So I hurried over to and ordered it for Christmas.
(And I think paid $0.24 because it was used but in 'like new' condition.  Plus shipping.  Great deal.)

And to accompany his new little truck book, a plush little friend........

 **I'm sure there are plenty of girl truck lovers out there this would be just as cute for your little girl.

And you know, there were plenty of other books that I couldn't help but plop into the Amazon shopping cart.  Trucks seem to be one of his little boy passions lately.

The soft truck was created with headlight eyes and a front grill smile.

What a great new buddy to read his books with.

Sometimes a little homemade gift is a perfect match for new books.

. . . . . . . . . . . 

Would you like to make your own felt truck?

You'll need to start by drawing out a basic side shape for your truck.  Cut it out of paper and use it as a pattern to cut out 2 pieces of felt in whatever color you'd like.  (I used all straight edges and and used a ruler to help me keep the edges even and precise.)  Then, cut out a long strip that's as wide as you'd like the width of the truck to be and long enough to go all the way down and around the center of the truck shape.
(My paper pattern piece for the truck side pieces measured about 6.5 inches tall and 10.5 inches wide.  The center strip measured about 6 inches wide and 34 inches long.  That may help if you're trying to make one in a similar size.)

Then, lay your strip down under your machine needle, several inches from the end.   Then, place the bottom edge of the truck under the needle as well and line it up with the edge of the long strip.  Begin sewing along the bottom of the truck, starting your stitch about in the middle of the bottom of the truck.  (Use 1/4 inch seam allowance.)

**Keep in mind that you will always keep the long strip straight up and down under the needls and won't ever curve it or turn it as you're sewing.  You will only be manipulating the truck piece and will move it as you go.  But keep that bottom strip lined up, while using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
When you get to the first corner, stop a 1/4 inch from the bottom edge then pull your truck shape, pivoting the fabric around the needle.......

........and keep pulling it and arranging it until that next edge is lined up with the bottom strip.  It is essential that you stopped 1/4 inch from the edge in the last step, before you turned your truck shape, so that the fabric will line up in this step.

Use a pin (or something small) to help that corner lay flat before continuing to sew.

Then continue to sew around the next corner the same way as the first.  

Then when you get to a corner that is inverted like this one.......

......pass the bottom edge a 1/4 inch......

........then start pulling the top fabric over and down so that it will line up with the strip below, that is still lined up straight up and down.

Here it is all lined up on the right edge with a bit of manipulated fabric above.

Continue around the rest of the corners the same way.  Then stop about a 1/2 inch from where you started with the other end and leave your tail of fabric.  Here's what it should look like.

Then flip your truckover with the sewn edge facing down, and place your second truck shape on top.  Pin the bottom edge where you'll be starting your next seam, making sure to match up this side directly opposite the other side.  If you don't match this side up just how the other side is, your truck will turn out all funky and twisted.

Sew all the way around the other edge the same way, making sure to place the strip side on the bottom and only move the side truck shape as you sew all the way around again.  Leave the bottom open in the same way.

On each side of the truck, the corners that are inverted will pull funny after turning it right side out without clipping it first.  So clip right in the corners, making sure to not clip through the seam.

Then turn your truck right side out, poke out the corners and stuff with batting.  If you're truck is lumpy, move the batting around and shove more in there to even it out.

Then tuck the raw ends towards the inside and hand-stitch it closed.  
(Need help with hand-stitching?  Click here.)

Next, the tires.  

I made big front tires and small back tires......more like a semi truck with a flat bed.
So I found circle cups in my house to create 2 large front tires and 4 smaller back tires.  I sewed all the way around the circles, except for an opening along one side.  Then I turned them right side out...........

.......and shoved them with batting.

Then I hand-stitched the opening closed.
(Need help with hand-stitching?  Click here.)

Then I created smaller circles in a grey color and cut out little half circles all the way around each circle.  
I was trying to create a hub cab look.

Then I used a needle and tread to secure each tire to the sides of the truck.  I then hot glued the hub caps to the tire but hand-stitching would work well too.

Finally, I created eyes, eyebrows, and a curved grill shape for the mouth......all with felt.  I used glue and hand-stitching to attach the pieces to the front of the truck.  (I didn't actually hand-stitch all the pieces....but it's up to you.)

I also created front windshields out of rectangle pieces of felt and then a side smoke stick thing-y for the side.  What's that thing called?  Anyone?

Make sure to personalize your truck and make it look like one in a book or just how your little guy (or even girl) would like it.

And that's it.

All ready to be loved on and squished.........while reading the new books.