Saturday, January 28, 2012

Valentine's Day Love Notes Tutorial

Did you run out and get that mailbox? I hope so! :) When I saw them at Target for just $1.00 I couldn't resist putting this project into action. I've been seeing these images floating around the web:

And I've been wanting to do something similar for my son for Valentine's Day, but in reality these little love notes can be made for any occasion throughout the year.

If you're like me and you made a rather big boo boo with calculations then you should have a ton of leftover white felt. If not you can find 9x12 inch pieces of felt in any craft store, and even in the craft section of Walmart. They are really cheap (I think it cost me $0.39 a piece at Joann's) and they come in a rainbow of colors, so pick your favorites and let's get to work. :)

What you'll need:
  • felt, any color
  • fabric paint
  • scissors and/or pinking shears
  • needle, thread and/or sewing machine
  • embroidery thread and needle (optional)
  • glitter, ribbon, any other decorating elements
  • fabric glue (optional, if you don't want to stitch)
  • lots and lots of love ♥♥

I'll show you a couple different ways to make these little love notes. Keep in mind, I'll be keeping it simple for the tutorial but feel free to jazz up your love notes with glitter, ribbon, etc.

Note: If you're not using the same $1 Target mailbox as me, measure the interior of your mailbox to figure out the size your love notes need to be. For the Target mailbox a 3.5x5 inch love note is the perfect size, but you can always go smaller. For the sake of this tutorial I'll be using the 3.5x5 inch size, but substitute your preferred size if necessary.

The Postcard:
Measure and cut out two 3.5x5 inch rectangles in the felt color of choice.
On one of the rectangles put your postcard design, it can be whatever you want.
On the other rectangle draw a line down the middle (or glue a ribbon or whatever). On the left side write your message and on the right side put the mailing information along with a 'stamp' on the upper right corner.
Sew or glue the two rectangles wrong sides together.
And voila! Felt postcard :) I didn't give myself a good seam allowance on the postcard but if you do, then use pinking shears to decorate the edges.

The Letter
Cut out your two rectangles again. On one of the rectangles write your message. My embroidery is not the greatest but I think it looks like a child wrote it. At least that's one way of saying I can't write straight, haha! :) On the other rectangle write your address info and put a stamp. I used some fabric scraps, wrote the To/From with a Sharpie and then used fabric paint to draw the heart.
Sew/glue your two rectangles wrong sides together, trim with pinking shears (optional) and you got yourself a letter! I love the look of the fabric scrap for the address info, doesn't it look like a little label you'd put on a real letter? :)

The Envelope
I also wanted to include an envelope so you can put whatever you wanted in it. Just double your length to get one long rectangle (so now it's a 7x5 inch instead of 3.5x5 inch). I simply drew my template right next to each other twice on my felt, see the line down the middle?
On one side of the rectangle add a stamp and some address info. Then fold wrong side together and sew/glue each side. Trim with pinking shears if you want for a fun detail.
Now you can add a letter or a treat to the envelope for any occasion. I put the green fabric scrap in so you can get a visual. Just a reminder, if you choose to add a letter to the envelope make sure it's smaller than the original dimensions so it will fit.

And there you have it. A cute, easy and quick craft to use for Valentine's Day or any other day of the year. I plan on adding a few non-valentine notes throughout the year so keep a watch. :)

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Valentine's Teaser

I got another tutorial for you, coming up soon. And it involves ones of these:
You might want to run out and grab one before they are gone. I've seen bigger ones at Michael's but this little one came from Target, in their dollar section. Perfect size for little fingers. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hanging Wooden Letters Tutorial, Part 2

For the first part of the tutorial click here

Sorry for the delay but recovery took longer than normal when my son got sick too. Anyways, here's the second and final part of the tutorial for the hanging letters. Ok, so by now the glossy coat has completely dried on your letters. Now you need to attach your animals.

Figure out where you want to place your animal before applying the glue to the letter.
Only use a small amount glue to avoid having some spill out onto the letter once you press down.
After you have glued the animal, place the clamps on it and let dry overnight. Repeat for all letters and animals.
This part took me a couple of days since I didn't have enough clamps to do all 4 animals at once. Here's the result after a few days of waiting:

After all the animals have been placed onto your letters it's time to add the ribbon. Here is where you can be creative. For me personally, I wanted a simple ribbon loop with no frills (this is for a little boy after all). But you can add a bow or a simple knot at the top of the loop, where it would hang from the hook. It's completely up to you.

If you plan on following my example, I cut my ribbon into 10 inch long pieces. Then I placed a small dot of glue on the back of the letter at the widest part.
Don't put them too close together, it will help balance the letter if the ribbon ends are a bit away from each other. Let the glue set for the required time before hanging. Repeat for each letter.

Hang in the nursery, or wherever, and enjoy.
Just don't hang too low, or else little babies will grab at it and pull down. Case in point, my taller than average 2 year old! :)

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hanging Wooden Letters Tutorial, Part 1

I've always loved the look of having my son's name somewhere in his nursery, you see it all over home decor magazines and catalogs. I've been wanting to do this hanging letter project since my son was born but never got around to it. Plus, I was never able to find the perfect letters for his name or find all the letters in the same font. A few months back I found the perfect letters and bonus, I was able to find ALL the letters I needed. So needless to say I snatched them up and hoarded stored them away until recently when I found the time to paint. So here's a little tutorial on how I did this project:

Gather all your supplies:
  • Wooden/MDF letters (mine were $1.99 each at Michaels)
  • Craft acrylic paint (I bought Apple Barrel in Gloss, $1.29 each at Michaels)
  • Wooden animals ($0.59 each at Michaels)
  • Brushes, newspaper, etc.
Not pictured, but still needed:
  • Ribbon
  • Clear gloss spray paint
  • Gorilla glue or some other glue or epoxy
  • Clamps
  • Fine grain sandpaper (use the one that specifically mentions it's for in between paint coats)
  • Wax paper (I placed a sheet of wax paper underneath my painted letters to prevent the newspaper from getting stuck in the paint)

Just a quick note: My son's nursery is a jungle theme, but you can add any shapes you want to your letters. The instructions are the same regardless of whether you add flowers or lions. You can also choose to not add any other elements and simply paint the letters and add ribbon. It's completely up to you.
Paint your letters in whatever color(s) you choose. If you got MDF letters (like mine) or a darker wood then you may want to prime it first to prevent adding extra steps. Acrylic paint dries really fast so you'll be able to get a few coats done in under an hour. Don't forget to paint the sides!

After you paint a few coats, let dry completely before you use a fine grain sandpaper. Lightly sand each letter until smooth. Don't forget to sand the sides too. After you sand, paint one more coat (or in my case, two) to get the color you want. Let dry completely.
To get the polka dots, I used the tip of an unused pencil eraser, dipped it into my second paint color, and wiped off the excess before putting it on the letter. I didn't use a pattern, just placed my dots sporadically. Don't forget to place dots on the edges of the letter, edges need love too. :) And don't worry about getting the perfect dot the first time around. I placed all my dots on the letter first then went back a second time and filled in where needed.
I did polka dots for all the letters and this was my end result. But you can do other designs as well, experiment and see what you come up with. Let your polka dots dry completely overnight before going on to the next step.
After letting the letters dry overnight take them outside or to a well ventilated room and spray with a coat or two of clear glaze. Give them another night to dry completely before moving to the next step.

Unfortunately, this is where I must leave you. In the midst of this project I got sick and I've been holed up in my bedroom for the last few days. Give me another day or two and I will return with the second part of this tutorial. I hope you like the tutorial thus far, next up is adding the animals and ribbon. :)

edit// Here's the link to part 2

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas Gifts

I was sewing up until the very last minute and by that I mean I crawled into bed at 2:30 am Christmas morning. But I got everything done and wrapped and mailed out on time. Best part is that everyone liked their gifts. :)

My sister got a spa set made from a set of towels. The largest towel is a wrap, the wash cloth is a little pouch and the hand towel is a toothbrush and face wash travel case.

Both my nephews both I-Spy bags, monogrammed with their initials. They have slightly different things inside each bag, so I took a picture of the toys inside and then made a list as well. I got them laminated at Office Depot for under $2, perfect for rowdy little boys.

Alex got the road map quilt that I mentioned in this post. The back is made up of various scraps I had in my stash except for two fabrics, which I got just enough for this project. The binding is a green polka dot I found at Walmart, gotta love that store!
I used an invisible nylon thread and quilted along the train tracks and the road that goes down the center. Originally I was going to use matching thread but I decided to use invisible thread instead, I'm so glad I did. It came out great.
The tag didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. I printed it out on the printable fabric that is supposedly washable (and it won't run) but God had other plans for me. I love this little tag but I'm thinking I may end up taking it off and embroidering a tag instead. I'd probably use the green polka dots for the new tag, but that project will be for another day. I want to embroider a tag for his first birthday quilt too, so this tag will be sticking around for a while until I can muster up the energy to do both.