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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Take Along Race Track & Toy Car Holder

Wow! That's a lengthy name for this little toy, but I couldn't figure out what else to call it. This fold-up race track is perfect for traveling, waiting rooms, and church services. The outside has three pockets to carry toy cars in (Matchbox or Hot Wheel size) and when opened, it's just the right size to sit on a toddler or preschooler's lap. Here are the instructions, so you can make one, too.
(This tutorial is for personal and gifting use, please don't sell your finished products)

What you will need:
2 pieces of coordinating fabric: each 12 1/4" x 10 1/4" (One for the outside, one for the inside)
2 pieces of same outer fabric: each 8" x 4" (For car pockets)
2 pieces of another coordinating fabric: each 10" x 2 1/2" (For handles)
Small piece of black fabric for racetrack
Medium weight fusible interfacing: about 1/3 yard
Heat and Bond: Small amount: just enough to attach race track and details
A thin plastic three ring binder (or any thin plastic, you'll need two pieces, each 5.5"x4.5") Here's a picture of the one I cut up:
And thin, yellow grosgrain ribbon

The Steps:
Iron interfacing onto outer pieces of fabric: one 12 1/4" x 10 1/4" piece, one 8 1/4" x 4 1/4" pieces, and the 10"x2 1/2" handle pieces. Sew the 8 1/4" x 4 1/4" rectangles together with right sides facing. Leave a small opening to turn right side out. Press seams, remembering to fold in raw edges. Add this small rectangle to the large outer fabric rectangle, 1 1/2" from the top, bottom, and one side, using a top stitch on three sides. You should have one big pocket. Now, top stitch two lines 2 1/2" from edges and from each other to create 3 pockets. Next, you're going to create the handles. Take one handle piece (10"x2 1/2"), fold in half with right sides together and sew along the raw edge. Turn right side out and press. Repeat with other handle piece. Pin one handle to the large rectangle, 3" from the top and bottom. You can use a basting stitch to attach it, but I just sew right through the pins.

To make the race track: Cut either an "S" shape or a figure-8 from the black fabric for the race track. Apply Heat and Bond to back of race track and iron onto the right side of the 12 1/4" x 10 1/4" rectangle that will be on the inside when it's folded. This is the time to apply any details you might want, I cut little strips out of the scraps from the outer fabric and added them to the ends of the track to create start and finish lines. Top stitch along all edges of race track with a blanket stitch. Next, apply Heat & Bond to back of thin yellow grosgrain ribbon. Cut the ribbon into 1" pieces. Iron the ribbon pieces along center of track. Top stitch one line through all yellow ribbon dashes from one end of the race track to the other end.

Putting it all together:
Sew both long sides and one short side (the side that the handle piece is pinned to) of the two large rectangles (12 1/4" x 10 1/4) together, right sides facing. Turn right side out and press. Cut one side of 3 ring binder into two pieces, each 5 1/2" x 4 1/2". Put one plastic piece in the sewn rectangle, pushing it all the way to the sewn side. Top stitch a line right down the center of the rectangle, using the edge of the plastic piece as a guide. This keeps the two plastic pieces from sliding around. Insert the other plastic piece. Press the open end of rectangle, so that the raw edges are turned in. Pin other handle inside this end, 3" from the top and bottom. Top stitch this side closed, being sure to catch raw edges and the ends of the handle.

That's it! Your ready for a road trip with your little one and their new "Take along race track and toy car holder". :) If you can think of a catchier name for it, please leave a comment and be sure to leave a comment with a link to pictures of your finished projects! I love to see other people's creations and variations.
I'm linking to the Brassy Apple Crafty Summer Series, head over there to check out other great ideas for the car.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wristlet And Necklace

Just wanted to share this cute wristlet and necklace I made for our niece. I just love the way they both turned out! Here's the tutorial for the wristlet on Javajem Knits and the tutorial for the stamped washers on SugarDoodle.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

May Craft Challenge: Monogram

craft challenge
Well, I had every intention of getting a few cute monogram projects done this last month. Unfortunately, that didn't happen! I did get this one project done, (even though it's not my original idea), as an anniversary gift for my sister and brother in-law.

Thanks to this tutorial for help on how to make this. It was super easy, I can't wait to make more.

Don't forget to check out all the other great monogram projects at Blue Eyed Blessings! Thanks, Heidi, for hosting this fun challenge!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thanks For "Sticking" With Us: End of the Year Volunteer Gift

This is a little "Thank You" gift that I put together for MOPS childcare workers at the end of the year. I had quite a few workers to get gifts for and a small budget. So, I put a Post-it notepad, pen, bubble gum, and bubble gum lollipop in a bag together with a note that said "Thanks for Sticking With Us!"

Oversized Owl Bag Tutorial

Here are the instructions for making an owl bag, like the one from this gift set.
This tutorial is for personal and gifting use, please don't sell any that you make.
What you will need (I made this bag extra big, so adjust the fabric amounts according to the size you want to make):
  • 5/8 yard heavy weight fabric for outside of bag (I used canvas)
  • 5/8 yard fabric for lining
  • 1/4 yard fabric for owl's body
  • Coordinating scraps for owl details (eyes, beak, wings)
  • 1 1/4 yard Ribbon
  • Magnetic snap
  • Heat and Bond

Start by Creating a pattern. I simply drew the outline of an owl on brown craft paper. My pattern was approximately 15" wide by 22" tall (at the top points). Use your pattern to cut out two owl shapes from the lining fabric and one owl shape from the outer fabric. Next, you'll cut the pattern apart along the straight line across the owl's body. Use this to cut one top piece from the outer fabric and one bottom piece from the coordinating outer fabric. Next, cut the wings, eyes, and beak from the pattern paper. Use these to cut out the details from coordinating scraps. For the gusset (sides of the bag): Cut a 3 1/2" wide piece of fabric the length of the outer edge of the owl, starting from one top corner down around the bottom and back up to the top. I'm not sure how to better explain this step, but I took a piece of ribbon and laid it out around the large owl shape to get the length. You'll need one of these gusset pieces from the outer fabric and one from the lining fabric.

For the strap: cut a 5"x42" piece of outer fabric.

Attach heat and bond to back of wing pieces. Iron wing pieces onto owl body piece. Stitch around the edge. I used a simple straight stitch so that the edges will fray a bit and give a fun look. Sew top and bottom pieces together along straight edge (right sides together).Press seam open. Add the eyes and beak in the same manner as the wings. Sew the outer gusset piece to the front owl piece, right sides together. Once that is sewn, sew the gusset to the back outer piece in the same manner (right sides together). This step is much easier if you pin your fabric well. Turn the bag right-side-out: You're bag is taking shape! Next, sew the lining pieces to the gusset the same way you sewed the outside together, except REMEMBER TO LEAVE A HOLE at the bottom, to turn the bag right-side-out once the lining is sewn into the outer piece. Attach magnetic snaps to the center of the lining, 1 1/2" from top of lining. This is very easy, just follow the directions on the package.

Put the outside piece (right-side-out) inside the lining (inside-out). Sew the outside and the lining together all around the opening of the bag. Pull bag out through the hole in the bottom of the lining. Top stitch the hole in the lining closed, remembering to tuck in the raw edges. It helps to press it before sewing. Top stitch around bag opening. (This is where I forgot to keep taking pictures, sorry!)

Good work- You're almost done!

Make the strap: fold the 5"x42" piece of fabric in half length-wise. Fold in raw edges and press. Sew all 3 open edges closed. Sew ribbon to center of strap piece. Fold ends of strap under twice and center on the gusset, one side at a time and attach to bag, sewing in a rectangle, then an "x" in the rectangle. It's a good idea to either use a triple stitch, or go over this a few times to ensure that it's attached properly. I just realized this picture is sideways...sorry.

That's it! You're done!

If you make one, I would love to see a picture.

An Owl Gift.... Plus links for other owl crafts and ideas.

My sweet friend just graduated with her teaching degree. She loves owls, so I decided to make a set of owl-y things for her and for her new classroom. Here's what I came up with:

An over-sized shoulder bag. Here's the tutorial to make your own.
A zippered pencil bag. The owl applique for this came off some very ugly pink/white polka dot fleece from JoAnn's. I bought just enough of the fleece to get a few owls and then cut them out of the ugly fabric.
I wish this picture would have been better.... This is a little felt owl key chain.
Pencil topper, thanks to this idea, and an owl notepad from Target $1 bin.

Owl sunglasses case, thanks to this tutorial.
Wooden sign decorated with modge podge and fabric.
When planning this gift, I searched all over the web for ideas. Unfortunately, with the new baby, I wasn't able to make as many things as I had wanted to. Here's some more great owl projects: