How To Make a Custom Fabric Storage Box

Do you want to hide some junk and need a pretty way to do it? These fabric boxes are the ticket! I live in an old house and nothing ever fits (or works) quite right so when I go to do a project I find that goods off the shelf never fit quite right. After spending hours online trying to find bins that would fit my shelves I decided it would be faster to just make them. Here is how I did it!

Items Needed: Cardboard Boxes, Fabric, Glue Gun, Tacky Spray, Handles of your own choosing, Scissors, Fabric Pen, Power drill
Fabric Tips: Be careful with patterns they are tough to match up and you will need extra fabric if the pattern is complicated. I can’t seem to get enough gingham in my life right now and as a bonus the straight lines make cutting easier! A second note is you may want to consider oilcloth or a fabric that can be wiped clean. I think I am going to cry when my little one puts his dirty spaghetti soaked hands all over these.

1.) Get some cardboard boxes, if you need a specific size you can’t find try www.boxjedi.com (see note in playroom reorg post).
2.) Get some fabric (this step is the most fun!) How much do you need? It depends on the size of the box. I used 4 yards and got 6 boxes out of it.
3.) Measure the short end of each box and cut a piece of fabric 3 inches longer and wider than the box. Iron flat (I know you want to skip this step but don’t you will regret it). Go outside with your tacky spray and spray each end then press the fabric onto each end covering the edges.

4.) Measure the length of each box and around each box. Add 2 inches to each measurement and cut a piece of fabric.

5.) Iron the fabric and sew a 1 inch seam on the ends that will meet the edge you already covered. The piece should be slightly slimmer than the box which is ok because the covered edges hang over just a bit. Cover the outside of the box with tacky spray and press the fabric on.

6.) Measure where you want the handles and use a fabric pen to mark the spot. Using a power drill carefully drill a small hole in each spot. I started with small holes and increased the size as needed. Attach your handles. Be creative use vintage knobs, grommets, or peruse your local hardware store for creative solutions. I wanted grommets but my box was too thick so I used finishing washers (which retail for about $.20 each….easy and cheap!). I hot glued them over the holes and used a safety-pin to thread some grosgrain ribbon through.

7.) Measure the inside including the ends and cut a piece of fabric 1 inch longer on each side. Sew a 1/2 inch seam on each end. Err on the shorter side for this piece of fabric. If it is a little small it will be ok but if it is too big it will look messy. Tacky spray this sucker onto the inside of the box and you are done! Now go hide your junk!

Playroom Reorg: Making The Most Of Awkward Shelf Space

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I turned a former library type room into a playroom and always struggled with making use out of the narrow shelf space. I decided to tackle this project early on as I find myself spending countless hours in the room. The shelfs were becoming a dumping ground for odds and ends that didn’t have a home…lotion bottles, laptop chargers, old yarn from a craft project long ago abandoned. So many miscellaneous items had taken up permanent residence in my cell…err I mean the playroom.

The project centered around these fabric boxes that I made myself because I couldn’t find anything just the right size. I wanted to maximize every square inch of space on the 4 larger shelves so I bought cardboard boxes from www.boxjedi.com . You can order any size box, with a lid without, various thicknesses, etc. This is not a commercial for boxjedi, any box will work but if you need a custom size boxjedi will make it. If you chose to go that route let me know because I ran into some snags that would be easily avoidable if I had a little guidance.

Stay tuned for a tutorial on the fabric boxes!

Leggings Test Kitchen

As promised I gave Ashley’s leggings a try on www.makeit-loveit.com . First I have to say that I LOVE this project, they really are easy! Thanks for not leading us astray Ashley! Being a complete novice in the sewing department I did run into a few snags so I made some notes  that might help those of you in the same boat.

Sewing Knit Fabric

Knits are tough to work with and my sewing machine needle (twin needle which I agree with Ashley is the bomb!) would jam the fabric all up in the machine. Two things helped this, first I slowed down the speed  to the lowest setting. Secondly, I used tissue paper under the fabric. I got this tip from my own mom and it works great. Once I worked this out I was off to the races!

Stretchy Thread

My first pair was cute but the thread didn’t have much give which was a problem, especially in the waist. I ordered some ‘Wooly Nylon’ and used this in my bobbin. That stuff is great!! Stretchy stretchy and easy to sew with, buy some…seriously it is worth it!

Cute Knit Fabric

As always, I wanted these to be as cute as possible and my local fabric store let me down big time in their selection of knit fabrics. I decided to order online and found that www.fabric.com had a pretty good selection. The ‘Laguna’ fabric was great quality…thick and easy to sew with just the right amount of stretch.

I also failed to get the stripes to line up, I actually just forgot to pay attention to that but next time I will try to get it right. These would be adorable with little buttons near the ankle or up by the waist. It’s a project worth trying!!

Robin’s Egg Blue’s

 

I just love Robin’s Egg blue so when my stepson found this egg on the ground in our backyard I didn’t freak out like I usually do when something from the outside comes in. First my heart broke a little for the Robin that lost it’s tiny unborn chickie. Then I thanked my lucky stars he didn’t bring this in last year when I just had my son. Hormones were raging and just the thought of a baby anything not making it would drive me to tears. Then it sat on our kitchen counter for about a week just in case it hatched. Every morning I half expected to wake up to hear chirping and I envisioned myself trying to find a bait shop for worms. I also wondered if Alicia Silverstone would swing by to help with the feedings. After some google research I am now 100% sure this thing is not only NOT going to hatch but will probably start smelling soon. I am sure I am just lucky he didn’t drag in one that already hatched like I did to my mom.

Spring Nursery Ideas

 

Spring and babies seem to go hand in hand so it is no surprise that lots of moms are hatching plans to decorate the nursery accordingly. Here are some tips to ensure your new life has a cheerful nest for romping!

Chose a spring color palette: Robin’s egg blue is great for boys and girls and Benjamin Moore has a beautiful version called Bird’s Egg. Martha Stewart paint chips are genius with tabs that flip down to reveal complementary colors. I chose Tidewater and Bone Folder and I swear I can smell fresh rain every time I walk into my son’s room.

Mix the Old and New: I used an antique dry sink as a changing table and a simple white crib from IKEA. To save money I purchased a glider on craigslist and had it re-upholstered in the softest indoor outdoor fabric I could find. After a year the chair still looks brand new!

 

Find Cheerful Airy Textiles: I had bumper pads and Window boxes made with fabric found at studiobontextiles.net (wired). Every time I see the little birds on the wire I smile. Chose something complementary for closet drapes and throw pillows. A soft rug is important, I recommend feeling before buying to ensure it will be soft when your little lamb starts crawling.

Form Needs Function To Survive: Take the doors off the closet so you have easy access. Hide a mini fridge for storing breast milk and snacks (mine is full of Easter candy) under a throw made from extra fabric. You will need a lamp and small table next to the glider for drinks, binkies and your cell phone.

Accessorize With Unique Finds: Antique baby rocking chairs, quilt racks for blankets and birds nests are cute ways to style the room. I collect vintage baby rattles and displayed them on a shelf with one of my favorite belly photos.

Don’t Forget Artwork: I am a photo freak so I waited to hang anything until I did a newborn shoot. There are thousands of brilliant artists on Etsy or DIY by framing fabric, words, vintage baby clothes, scrapbook paper or illustrations from children’s books. You can even purchase mismatched frames from a thrift store and paint them in a coordinating paint color (flip the ends over on the Martha Stewart paint chip).

Unless you are a Duggar, most people will not have many opportunities to decorate a nursery so have fun creating the ideal nest for your little Chickie.

 

 

 

Is my son vestiphobic?

If you feel like you are trying to lasso a baby horse at diaper changing time, you are not alone. It seems not everyone shares my love of fabric! Why is it that every time my 12 month old is faced with a textile he snarls at me? Stuffed animals are suspect, blankets are kicked off even if its freezing and I every time I try to change his diaper I feel like I am in a ring with a WWF fighter. Are girls like this? Most of us are always cold so I am assuming mommies of girls do not have this problem. He is a thoughtful young exhibitionist, trying to drag me into it by constant pulling on my shirt. Attention everyone…I am still nursing (Hopefully I have a little time before I am accused of the atrocities of Mayim Bialik). Maybe this is his way of telling the world that he thinks it is ok to breastfeed after the age of one. It would be easier to just get him a T-Shirt saying ‘I Love TATA’S’ but that would be in a jumble on the floor with the rest of his clothes.

DIY leggings for baby girl or boy

I stumbled upon a great little site www.makeit-loveit.com and found the cutest little legging sewing project for babies. I have the hardest time finding fitted leggins in nice fabric for my little man so I am going to make a few of these. I’ll post pictures soon! Thanks to Ashley for posting this project!

www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/09/super-simple-leggings-only-2-fabric-pieces.html

 

Make It And Love It


Gummie Bear Centerpiece

 

Have you ever really looked at the expression on a gummie bears face? It is actually quite evil! They are so good though. I have to admit, I am racist when it comes to gummie bears, I like the green ones the best. So when I made this centerpiece I made sure to put the green on the bottom to save them from dirty little hands.

This is super easy and kids love it. Buy a HUGE bag of gummie bears, you can get them at most party stores or Dylan’s Candy Bar which I recommend because you can buy specific (and really pretty) colors. Wash your hands and dig in, separating the entire bag by color. Put them in a glass pitcher starting with your favorite color, then second favorite and so on. Proudly display it on the table and continue to eat them in the weeks following.

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Roman Shade Supplies On The Cheap

 

I have posted a more recent Roman Shade Tutorial here . Unfortunately for us Debby at www.make-roman-shades.com has retired so you can no longer get patterns off her site. My new tutorial will take you through the steps!!

Making Roman Shades is a marathon not a sprint. The first thing you need is determination. Do not underestimate the power of perseverance when it comes to a project like this. It also helps to have a looming deadline. Nothing gets a house project done like knowing you have 30 people coming over for a party. Yes, I put myself in that predicament and still shake my head at the thought. But hey, they are done and I have a pretty picture to prove it!

I highly recommend planning ahead and gathering all of your supplies before you start. If you are like me you will be making these at midnight and there is nothing worse than having a late night burst of energy and then realizing you don’t have the extra tube of velcro glue you meant to buy.

I spent some time figuring out the absolute cheapest way to make these babies and this is what I found.

Where To Splurge

Aesthetics count and there are certain things I will splurge on. I would not go through the hassle of making these shades if they weren’t going to look awesome and be exactly what I want.

  • Patterns: You need one. If you screw up it shows and… well…you want these to look good right?  You can get one for $2.99 at www.make-roman-shades.com  . If you spend $25 on supplies they will give you the pattern for free. You may not need to spend $25 on supplies though, keep reading!
  • Decorative Fabric: I splurged a little on the fabric and bought an adorable little green pattern from www.spoonflower.com which is my favorite fabric site. Check it out, you can create your own fabric!  Make SURE you order a swatch first though, the color on the screen is quite a bit different from what you actually get. You can also get remnants from fabric stores or home upholstery stores. Here are some of my favorite fabric sites…
  1. www.fabricworm.com
  2. www.spoonflower.com/welcome
  3. www.calicocorners.com/
  4. www.studiobon.net/

Supplies To Buy In Bulk

Do every window in your house or split the cost with fellow roman shade making friends!

  • Lining Fabric: I have found deals on ebay (if you buy in bulk) for as little as $2.50 a yard.
  • Roman Shade Tape: Try ebay or amazon and buy a bunch of this stuff! I have used different brands and haven’t found much of a difference.
  • Roman Shade Cord: You can get it for $.18 a YARD at  www.make-roman-shades.com/, I recommend purchasing it with your pattern. It is twice the cost at other places
  • Velcro: $.09 an inch at  www.make-roman-shades.com/, that is a good price and you can combine shipping this way. I have also seen it on ebay as low as $.99 for 5 yards!

What To Purchase From The Hardware Store

This is where you will really save!

  • Mounting Boards (also called dustboards)- Buy some pine and cut them yourself or have a friend with a saw do it
  • Ribs- Use markers, you know those things that snowplowers put in the driveway to make sure they don’t drive on the yard. Just cover them with masking tape if they are orange so the color doesn’t show through. I did not do that and wish I would have.
  • Weight rod- 3/8 all thread rod found in the plumbing department

Other Things You Need

You may have some of this stuff but if not, order it with the pattern to save on shipping.

  • Vecro Glue $2
  • Roman Shade Pulley $3
  • Roman Shade Cordlock $4
  • Fabric Marking Pen $2
  • Cord Condenser $1
  • Self-Drilling Screws 4/$1
  • Thread $2 (I use invisible which is a little more $ and tough to work with but looks pretty darn professional!)
Follow this list and you will have it made in the roman shade!!

 

 

 

Party Favors That Are Great For All Ages

 

I made these party favors for my sons 1st birthday. They are perfect because everyone loves animal crackers no matter what their age! It is easy peasy too which made it a no brainer. Here is how to do it…

  1. Buy some clear plastic boxes, I used 3 inch cubes. You can get them online and at some craft stores that have a large variety of party favor items
  2. Buy some cute tags and a bunch of ribbon to match the theme of the party
  3. Fill the boxes with animal crackers, gummie bears or whatever snack goes with your party
  4. Tie the box with a ribbon and tag

Viola!! Instant adorable party favors!!

These ‘Thank Ewe’ tags were made by Georgina of GeorginaKay on Etsy.