Too Many Irons in the Fire

Tales of a crafty, working mom of four.

Embellishments for Decorative Dish Cloths 03/22/2009

Filed under: Fiber & Crafts,Household — TypeAMom @ 4:19 pm
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This tutorial will show you how to dress up a plain white flour sack dish cloth. I picked up four cloths at Deal’s scoring each two pack for only a dollar. For the embellishments I used fabric paint and fabric from Hobby Lobby. The fabric cost a few dollars because I didn’t need very much of it and the fabric paint was just a dollar each. I am using orange and blue paint and the paint is a matte finish as I didn’t think shiny would be the best in the kitchen.

I am using fabric in cordinating colors – one striped and one polka dotted. This will give me to sets of cordinating (but not matchy matchy) towels to give as gifts.

First you need to measure and cut your fabric. To figure out how long I needed the fabric to be I ironed then layed out the towels to find the length. Add 1/2 inch to this measurement for folding over the raw edges of your contrasting fabric. After you know how long your fabric stripe is going to be you need to figure out how wide. I made mine 4 inches wide when finished so do make it the same measure 4 1/2 inches so that you have enough fabric to fold over the raw edges.

Fold under raw edges and iron

Fold under raw edges and iron

When sewing, your iron is your best friend.

Once you have cut out your fabric, iron under the raw edges on the long sides – 1/4 inch on each side.

When you have finished that, fold under and iron the raw edges from the short sides.

Raw edges turned under and ironed

Raw edges turned under and ironed

Layout your flour sack towel and lay your stripe out on it. Get it positioned where you want it to be then pin it to the towel. Top stitch the fabric to the towel. I did horizontal stitching only and did not go vertically up the sides. When you are done, trim your threads and repeat with the next towel.

Pin fabric stripe to towel

Pin fabric stripe to towel

Top stitch the fabric to the towel

Top stitch the fabric to the towel

Finished sewing

Finished sewing

These towels are 100% prettier with the fabric added but I wanted a little more interest. I am using matte fabric paint – blue and orange for these – to stamp birds just above the added fabric. To make the stampsĀ  I used the printables from Craft Magazine and two sponges. I traced the pattern of one of the birds onto a sponge and then used an Exacto knife to cut it out. I squirted some paint onto a paper plate, dipped the sponge stamp into it and then placed it onto the towel.

Sponge bird stamp

Sponge bird stamp

Sponge stamps in two sizes

Sponge stamps in two sizes

Make sure you cover the surface under your towel where you will be painting. I used wax paper for easy cleanup.

Stamping imperfections can be corrected with a paint brush

Stamping imperfections can be corrected with a paint brush

Sometimes the sponge leaves the paint with gaps or holes on the impression so I just used a paint brush to smooth out bumps, globs, and imprefections.

Finished embellished kitchen dishcloth

Finished embellished kitchen dishcloth

When you have added all the painted details you want to your towel, allow to dry as the paint instructions indicate. When it has cured you will have a unique and impressive gift for family and friends, or you can keep them for your own kitchen!

If you are feeling extra crafty, you can use any extra or left over paint to stamp paper to make cordinating custom gift wrap!

Stamps on paper for custom gift wrap

Stamps on paper for custom gift wrap

Wrapped gifts

Wrapped gifts

Happy crafting!

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Frugal Friday – Books for a few bucks! 02/06/2009

Filed under: Household,tips — TypeAMom @ 9:31 am
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I am a book junkie and it is an expensive habit so I tend to chose wisely and pick only books that will be the most beneficial for the household as a permanent addition to our library. A few times a year tho I splurge on a whole box of books but the reason I can do this with a clear conscious is that I manage to get them for the cost of only one or two books at a large retail bookseller.

BookCloseouts.com has overstock, scratch and dent, and publisher returns for pennies on the dollar of retail book stores. I have never gotten a book in bad condition from them (I have been buying books from them for years) and am more than happy with their prices. This is also a great way to grab books for your homeschooling library.

For the next few days they are having a 50% all crafts and hobbies titles. I picked up 13 books for under $40 to add to my crafting library. You can save even more with coupon codes! I found that both of these worked:

Save $10 off any order of $65 or more:
Code: DealGuild-10
Password: bookcloseouts.com

Save $5 off any order of $35 or more:
Code: magic
Password: bookcloseouts.com

If you use the following link to head over to BookCloseouts.com I would appreciate it. It is my affiliate link and I earn 20% in store credit from all purchases people make from this referrer.

BookCloseouts 50% off sale

BookCloseouts Crafts & Hobbies Sales Page

Check out what others are doing for Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood.

 

You might want to read… 01/24/2009

Filed under: Household,Misc,tips — TypeAMom @ 1:35 pm
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Links of the WeekHere are a few of my favorite posts this week, just in case you missed them:

The Thr33 Lies from the Modesty Writers Guild Blog – A great post (ignore the lack of capitalization and other things of that sort that make the eyes scream). This post talks about the three lies that one needs to overcome in this world for a full life. I loved it so much I printed it and put it in my project book so I see it every day.

The Tiffin Lunchbox at Stephmodo – Stephmodo discovered the two tiered Tiffin lunchbox at World Market for a measly $8. It is gorgeous, original, practical and reminds me of the little lunch pails on Little House on the Prairie all shiny and modernized. Fantastic!

DIY Yourself Washing Detergent Saves You Cash – Lifehacker posted an article on making homemade laundry soap. Directing readers over to TipNut for the recipes – not only is there the liquid recipes, but also the powder recipes. Ten of them to be exact! Just in time to make a batch.

My Ecologically Correct Move (Boing Boing) – If you are in California (only locations so far) the service RentAGreenBox.com will deliver recycled plastic moving containers for you to pack and move the next time you relocate then pick them up when you are done. We are still finding boxes of stuff around from our last move, how nice it would have been to help the purge if I HAD to unpack it to give back the containers AND didn’t end up trying to find someone who needed the crummy cardboard boxes so I didn’t have to toss them in a landfill.

How to Make a Super-Simple Recycled Quilt – This post at Craft Stylist shows you how to upcycle old blankets and sheets from the thiftstore (or from around the house) to whip out a warm and easy quilt in no time flat. I think this would be a great way to make blankets for kids beds in trendy themes that they seem to outgrow too fast. The character themed designs seem to cost a fortune and they get tired of them quickly. Using this technique you could repurpose decorated sheets for a warm coverlet that would dress up their room.