Category Archives: Sewing

Valentine Chair Backer

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  Ours was full of fun and family… and bronchitis.  I’ve been down for nearly 3 weeks with the stuff.  Yesterday was the first day I felt like myself again, so I put away all the Christmas stuff and got out a few Valentines Day decorations.  I don’t decorate for every holiday, but there is something about Valentines Day that I like.  I’ve always left little notes and treats for the kids on Valentines Day–probably because my mom did the same for us kids when we were young.  A couple of years ago, Pottery Barn had these way cute chair backers, which are perfect for leaving little notes and treats for the kids.

They are also $20 each.  Yikes!  I knew that was going to happen.  They didn’t look really hard to make, though, so when I came across a tutorial for something similar, I made my own.

The tutorial is over at Our Scoop, and I highly suggest you check it out!  It is a great tutorial and super clear and easy to follow.  I made one for each of the kids and one for Mr. Type2Fun and myself.  It cost WAY less than the $100 it would have cost us to buy five of them at Pottery Barn.

There are two different styles–one with ruffles {perfect for girly girls} and one without.  I used embroidery floss to embroider their names on the front of the pouches.  They just attach to the chair backs with straps that button to the back of the pouch.

We’ve had them for about two years now, and the kids love opening them up on Valentines morning.  I leave them up for a few weeks before the big day, and the kids can put whatever they’d like into their sibling’s {and parent’s} pouches.  No peeking until Valentines Day!

The pouches are nice and deep and hold quite a few notes and treats.  Then the kids all get to open their pouches at breakfast on Valentines Day.  I like that it encourages them to think of their siblings, and they usually end up writing heartfelt notes that I couldn’t drag out of them any other time.  Sometimes, they even use their own money to buy each other treats.  It’s astounding, and it wouldn’t happen any other time of the year, but you know what?  I’ll take it! :-D


I’m linking up to these parties this week.

Quick and Easy Bed Skirt {From a Sheet!}

Bug has been needing a bed skirt for her bed for a very long time.  I had searched high and low for a white bed skirt with a long enough drop to hide all the stuff under her bed, but could only find bed skirts with a 14-15″ drop, and they were upwards of $30 to boot!  Bug’s bed needed a bed skirt with a 22″ drop, and since I couldn’t find one, I decided to make my own.

I started with a plain white flat sheet.  Bug’s bed is a full size, and the way her footboard sits, I knew that a bedskirt at the bottom of the bed would never show.  I decided to just make two skirts for either side of the bed.  I knew I wanted lots of fullness, so I chose a king sized sheet.  I just so happened to find a repackaged one for $13.31.  So I snatched it up, took it home, and gave it a washing on my machines hottest cycle.

Once it was washed and dried, I cut the top and bottom seams off of the sheet.  Keep the top part.  I used mine for another portion of the skirt.

Then I laid the sheet out on my dining room floor and folded it in half so the newly cut edges were together.  I pressed the crease to make a cut line and cut the sheet in half.  I did the same thing again with each half, until I was left with four equal pieces of fabric.  If you don’t need a 22″ drop, I suggest cutting your pieces about 4″ longer than your drop measurement.  You are going to want a little extra fabric later on.

Once I had four equal pieces, I sewed two together to make one long strip for one side, then I did the same thing for the other two pieces.  I was left with two VERY long pieces.  I serged all my seams, and then I serged the top and bottom of the pieces, as well.  Once my pieces were all finished, I gave them a good iron, and I hemmed the bottoms of both skirts.  Then I used my gathering foot to gather the top edge of each piece.  If you don’t have a gathering foot, just set your machine to your longest stitch length and gather by hand.

Remember the top piece from my king sheet?  Well, I used this to enclose my gathered edge.  I cut the stitching off the bottom and pressed the bottom and top under about 1/2″.  Then I cut it to the length of my box spring, adding an inch on each side, and folded each end in about 3/8″ and pressed it.  I didn’t actually have enough fabric left to make a topper for both sides, but I had another sheet I was using for pillows, so I used the top of that sheet for the topper of my other skirt.  If you don’t need a 22″ drop, you should have enough fabric leftover from your sheet to cut yourself another length of fabric about 6″ wide for the topper for the other side.

Once I had my topper ready, I opened it up and laid my gathered skirt inside.

With the gathered skirt sandwiched between the topper, I pinned it in place and top-stitched at the bottom and sides, enclosing the raw edge of my gathered skirt completely.

Once both pieces were top-stitched, I gave everything another good ironing.

To attach the skirt, I used these twist pins.  I picked them up at JoAnn’s, and they work so well.  I always get frustrated with bed skirts and the way they seem to shift when you make the bed… or climb in bed… or look at the bed sideways.   ;-)

I just twisted these pins in every couple of inches to keep the skirt in place, and that was it.  They held the skirt in the whole time I made Bug’s bed, and they haven’t budged.

It really was a simple project and only took a few hours.  For under $14, I got a custom skirt that fits my daughter’s bed perfectly.  I have a few more projects to finish for Bug’s room, and then I can check this room off the list.  Woo Hoo!

Outdoor Pillows {On the Cheap}

I’m sure you’ve noticed the super cute outdoor pillow on my lounge.  Let me tell you, not only are these pillows super cute, they are also super cheap.  I was shopping for outdoor pillows and could not believe how expensive they were.  I couldn’t fathom spending that kind of money on outdoor pillows, especially since there was a 65% chance they’d end up in the pool at some point, so I made my own.

I headed down to JoAnn’s and picked from their large selection of outdoor fabric, which happened to be on sale.  Score!  I really probably only used 1/2 a yard for two pillows, but I bought several yards to make other outdoor accessories.  Now you can only spot clean this fabric, because it has a special coating that makes it stain and fade resistant.  There was no need to make removable cover, so I didn’t need to buy zippers or velcro.

I wanted my pillows to be a little more substantial than just some fabric and fiberfill.  So to give these pillows some weight, I took some old towels (one per pillow) and folded it to the approximate size I wanted.  Then I measured my pillow and added 2″ all the way around.  For example, since my towel measured 15″ long and 10″ wide, I cut the fabric 19″ long x 14″ wide.  This accounts for the seam allowance and any fiberfill you might add to “poof” out the pillows.

After my pillow pieces were cut, I pinned everything right sides together and stitched up the four sides, leaving a pretty big opening to turn it right side out.  Then I serged all the edges, although you could just clip the seams and corners, and turned it right side out.  I put my folded towel inside and filled any gaps with fiberfill, making the pillow as fluffy as I wanted.

After the pillow looked the way I wanted it to, I pinned the opening and whip-stitched it closed.  I had to play with the towel and fiberfill a bit to get it to look the way I like pillows to look, but that was really the toughest part of this project.  The fabric was $9.99/yard, and I used about 1/4 yard per pillow.  I had the old towels and fiberfill.  These pillows basically cost me $2.50 a piece, which is a far cry from the $20 ones I was looking at.  The project was SO easy and SO cheap, I almost feel like it wasn’t a real project.

Simple and cheap, but they add a lot to the space.  Go ahead!  Grab some old towels and make a few yourself.