Why You Need to Learn to Sew

Quilted Hexagon Table Runner

You may have noticed that I love to sew. I have dozens of sewing projects in my blog repertoire, sewing is one of my favorite things to do. Here’s why:

Finished fabric stack

 

  1. Believe it or not, I can sew just about anything cheaper than I can buy it. The only exception is with specialty items like winter coats or sequined evening gowns. Most of us already own a coat and few of us actually wear evening gowns. I suspect most people today would like to learn to sew to save a few bucks here and there, alter the clothes they already own or just for their own knowledge. At any rate, learning to sew will save you MONEY.

Kids Travel Pillow

2.  I can sew faster than I can order things online and have them sent through the mail. You would be amazed at how quickly you can make things at home that cost a considerable amount of money to buy in a retail store. I often go shopping and come home with nothing except photos in my phone of things I want to make, or ideas for those I can make cheaper than I can actually buy them.

Cutting out the tree appliqué

3.  I can whip up gifts at a moments notice. This is a huge benefit of sewing. Once you have a stash of fabric and supplies built up, there is no stress in putting together a last minute gift that is unique and special because you made it just for them.

designerssweetspot.com

4. I can sew my own clothes or make clothes for others. Let’s face it, it’s really hard to find things that fit, that in your price range and look really great. It takes time and a bit of patience to sew your own clothes, but it is well worth it. You will be able to make better fitting, longer lasting garments than you can buy in the store.

DIY: How to Hem Jeans

5. You can alter or repair the clothes you already own. Even if you have no time or desire to sew your own clothes, by learning to sew you can repair the ones you already have. If you pay someone else to hem slacks or skirts, shorten sleeves, repair worn spots, or replace zippers it is far cheaper to learn to do this yourself. You can even get paid by your friends to do it for them! Plus, it’s fun!

designerssweetspot.com

6. You can sew fun projects for your home decor. Let’s say for example, you see a cute pillow that you love in the store. Small decorative pillows run anywhere from $13.00 on up. You can make one your self for less money that you will like better! Not to mention, it’s easy to cover an old pillow with a new cover that you can make yourself for free!

I can even leap over my sewing machine in a single bound. Well, not really.

But, you know what I mean? Sewing and making my own stuff is part of my Homemade Super Thrifty existence, without it life would be very dull indeed. And expensive!

I am hoping that you love to sew too. But, perhaps you never had an opportunity to learn?

Here’s your chance! I am starting a new sewing series call SEW FIRE. I chose this name because I am passionate about sewing and can teach you to sew IN A FLASH. When I went to Googled this title, I discovered an article about a tragic fire in New York’s garment district  in 1911. Hundreds of young women lost their lives trying to escape from a building where they were seamstresses. This really touched me, and I decided that SEW FIRE was also a way to recognize the garment workers who sew for pennies in deplorable conditions even today. I have been inside similar buildings in the garment district of NYC, and let me tell you, they aren’t pretty. I fact, many of them are downright scary. I can’t imagine being trapped in one by a fire. If you would like to read more about this tragic fire, click here.

This Sew Fire series is for those of you who have never sewn a stitch in your life, don’t know how to turn on a sewing machine, or even thread it. This series is sewing from the VERY, VERY BEGINNING.

You are going to love it! I am doing weekly videos on Facebook Live and posting additional tutorials here on the blog and my You Tube Channel.

Here’s the introduction teaser video:

Join me on FB live Monday and Wednesday mornings, 10:00am CST for the Sew Fire series!

I am really excited about this, and I have much more in store for you here on the blog including some free printables that I am working on!

You won’t want to miss out! Sign up for my weekly newsletter in the side bar for all the updates!

Guest Room Update

Guest room before painting with white walls and brown floor tile

We spent our recent vacation Florida at my sons house at the beach. It was loads of fun, but it’s hard for me to just be on vacation without a project. As much as I love relaxing, there is something so satisfying in tackling something new and finishing it. My son requested that e help him renovate his spare bedroom. We were happy to comply.

The guest room was small, only 10′ x 10′. The stark white color was dingy, and not very inviting. It also made the old floor tile look worse than ever. Most of the time, I love white rooms, however this one just didn’t have any pizazz.

The room had a few built ins, which was definitely a plus. It also had multiple wires and pipes here and there. These comber some elements are not moveable, we just had to find a way to minimalize their presence.

The bad thing was that there was only one window in the room, and no heat to speak of. It is Florida, so that’s not so terribly bad. After all, how cold can it be?

My son requested a shade of blue for this painting project, we headed to the local Lowes for inspiration. We don’t have a Lowes in our area so it was lots of fun to see what sort of things that they carried.

 

We ended up with this Slate Blue by Sherwin Williams. This Ovation product has the primer already in it, so it’s a one coat coverage product. This is a deeper color than you might expect to use in a small room. The darker shade makes a small room feel bigger, the walls visually recede and the room seems to expand. We left the white trim to keep the room balanced and give it lots of contrast.

As soon as we started rolling the paint on, I loved it! I was amazed at how welcoming and large the small room felt.

We left the recessed panel white as a focal point for the room. I also thought it would be a perfect spot for storing things above the bed since our son didn’t have a head board, and there wasn’t room for side tables because the room was so small.

By the way, remember those old pipes? They are still there, you just can’t see them because the dark color makes them disappear into the wall. You can barely make the out on the right hand of the photo.

With a few accessories, the room was ready to go! I love the beige and brown tones with this blue!

We had to leave before we got all the furniture into the room. My son moved in all his things after we left, but it was short lived because the temperatures dropped and he was sleeping in a 35 degree space without heat. Needless to say, he moved back into another room, so this room remains empty at least until summer.

Isn’t that sad?

 

How to Use a Professional Paint Sprayer

paint sprayer

This post is sponsored by Homeright for which I was compensated to write. Any opinions given are completely my own.

I am completely in favor of technology. The faster I can do something, the better. That goes for everything in my life including painting. More speed gives me more time for important things like cuddling with our kitty, feeding my children or taking a nap on the couch. I am sure you understand the need for speed!

finished pallet planter

I recently used Homeright’s Finish Max Pro Fine Finish Sprayer to complete my Pallet Planter and Privacy Screen. This type of rough wood is a bear to paint with a brush. I wasn’t even going to attempt it, because I know it would have taken FOREVER to paint.

white pallet planter

The Homeright paint sprayer made short work of it this large project. Spraying the paint into all the crevices on this piece saved me a ton of time. I used an exterior latex paint for this project to protect the wood from the elements.

white pallet planter with flowers

I love how it turned out. You can read the DIY tutorial here for this project.

visccosity test

This deck railing is another project that I used the sprayer on. All those slats were too close together to use a paint brush. The sprayer worked great on them.

visccosity test-5

Just don’t forget to screw the paint cup on to the sprayer VERY SECURELY.

I was not so careful and I had a bit of an accident. Whoops!

The best thing about this product is that you can use it over and over again. Can you imagine how many little cans of spray paint this would take if you had to buy them individually? A crazy amount!

visccosity test-3

The Finish Max Pro Fine Finish Sprayer works great with latex paint, provided that the paint passes the viscosity test. I didn’t know this, but every brand of paint is a little different. Some are thicker than others, so you have to repeat the test each time you use a different brand of paint to get the right proportions. If the paint is too thick it will clog the sprayer and won’t spray efficiently.

This little blue cup that comes with the sprayer has a hole in the bottom, as the paint runs through it, you time how long it takes to empty. If the paint is too thick and runs too slow, you will need to add water. For my projects, I used 3 paint to one part water.

white pallet planter with flowers

I gave this piece two coats of paint. I did not use a primer because I liked the rustic look of the wood showing through the paint. Time to find another project to paint!

 

Thanks to Homeright for sponsoring this post!

 

DIY Cake Stands

 

2 stands

This is a sponsored post. Any opinions given are completely my own. This post was sponsored by Gorilla Glue. See disclosure page for additional information.

blue plates

 

I make weekly trips to the local thrift store. One day in particular is especially fruitful for my visits, since they put out new stock for the weekend. Friday is the day to shop for thrift. I found these lovely plates on my most recent excersion. I put them together with some other thrift store junk to make these DIY Cake Stands.

I spent a lot of time deliberating colorful plates at the store. I found that I was drawn to the blue combinations the most. They key to success in this project is to choose 2-3 plates of the same color combination for each cake stand. I love that the patterns are all different, they work together because they are in the same color family. I did sneak in a couple of white plates, they are in the middle layer of the cake stand or have decorations and are not so obvious.

footed glass bowls

The other secret ingredient is several small footed glass bowls in different shapes and sizes. I also used a candle stick and a shot glass as well but those are only for the smaller top layers. Using the wider, lower footed bowl for the heavier bottom plate adds stability, a medium size and height bowl works well for the middle plate, then the short shot glass or candle stick support the smaller top plate.

3 cake stands

I used Gorilla Super Glue for this project. Honestly, I wasn’t sure that this project would work very well even with the glue. Remember when Super Glue wasn’t all that Super? Well, those days are gone! I hadn’t used Gorilla Glue before and I was rather sceptical about it. However, I now realize that I under estimated the power of the glue. Lesson learned, never underestimate a Gorilla!

inverted plates with glass bowls and glue

Drip the glue around each edge of the supporting glass, then adhere to the bottom of the plates. I let them dry 15-20 minutes before inverting.

orange butterfly stand

I decided to make the pieces easy to store, so I only glued two pieces together at a time. This allows me to mix and match them and change the look and height as needed for different occasions. In this photo, the bottom plate is not glued to the footed bowl you see in the middle. You can put them together temporarily with pieces of floral adhesive or Command Strips, I have done both in the past and they work very well for a temporary hold.

Finished cake stands

Finished cake stand

The little nests hold candies that resemble eggs, the butterflies add color and a touch of Spring. You can never have too much Spring!

DIYCakestandpin

I am so pleased with how this project turned out. I spent just a couple of dollars on each Cake stand. These 5 cake stands will hold jewelry and treats at an upcoming dinner party. I think they would be amazing for a brunch display, wedding, bridal shower or baby shower. I may even give them away so that I can have fun making more!

The ladies are going to love them!

 

Thank you to Gorilla Glue for sponsoring this post!

Agate Inspired Easter Eggs

eggs on spoons

These Agate Inspired Easter Eggs were an accidental creation. I was completely out of Easter Egg ideas for this year. I thought about spray paint (toxic). I thought about Unicorn Spit (water soluble but still toxic). I thought about fancy stripes and chalk paint (who wants to work that hard?). I even thought about not making eggs at all. What fun would that be?

12643019_10153138236666887_4012189226311436270_n-2

None of these above preliminary ideas sounded unique enough or even worthy of blogging about. I feel that I struggle with lame Easter posts, I am not much of an egg artisan. However, I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to be part of Hometalk’s DIY My Spring Blog Hop! Hometalk is one of my favorite sites EVER and you won’t want to miss all these fabulous spring ideas!

colored eggs in a carton

We began by hard boiling some eggs. We made a batch of homemade egg dye with food color, water and vinegar. We started to play with them. MAGIC HAPPENED.

The eggs became beautiful.

Want to know the secret?

eggs in silver Easter basket

Ingredients:

4 eggs

8 cups hot water

6 tsp. vinegar

2 drops food color in each color: blue, green, red and yellow

white egg on a spoon

 

Directions:

Cook eggs by placing them in a pot of cold water, we used about 6 cups. Water should completely cover the eggs. Bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes. Drain hot water, fill pot with cold tap water. Let eggs rest for 15 minutes until they feel cooled, then drain.

Boil 2 cups water until hot. In a separate medium size bowl combine 6 tsp. vinegar and 2 drops of each food color red, yellow, blue and green.  It will look greenish and gross. Don’t worry, you are on the right track!

Add the boiling water to the dye. Stir until combined. Place eggs in the greenish water for 2-3 minutes until they are greenish brown in color. Remove and let dry briefly.

dripping food color

Pick up a nearly dry egg in one hand and a bottle of food color in the other. The egg should still be a bit wet in order for this effect to work. Drizzle straight food color unto the top of the egg.

dripping food color on egg

As the dye colors the egg and rolls down the side, add another squirt or two. YES, THIS IS MESSY. You will get dye on your fingers, hands and counter top. This is fun! Enjoy making a mess with your kids!

blue food color on the egg

blue green egg when wet

Set the egg down to dry, we used a cardboard egg carton to hold the eggs while they were drying. If you want more layers of color repeat the process with more food color. You can also add more depth of color to previously dyed eggs with this method. Some of the eggs we created using white eggs to start, a couple of them we used eggs that had been already colored using the traditional food color method (for example the pink egg became the deep red color after adding more layers of color to it).

eggs on spoons2

I love how they turned out. They remind me of my grandfathers agate rock collection. His rocks were full of rich earth tones. Grandpa would have approved! Hence the name, Agate Inspired Easter Eggs. Sometimes, some of the best things happen merely by accident! Want to see more egg ideas? Here are my posts from last year and the year before.

Happy Creating! Be sure to visit some of the other bloggers posts in this awesome lineup!

12643019_10153138236666887_4012189226311436270_n-2