Rose Bowl Flea Market Inspiration

Back in high school I ran laps around the Rose Bowl every morning for track practice, so heading there for the flea market is a trip down nostalgia lane in more ways then one. The second Sunday of every month the best vendors take over the fields to haggle and deal over priceless heirlooms and worthless crap.  My visit last weekend reminded me why it deserves its reputation as one of the world’s best flea markets.  A sampling after the jump…



Baby Food Jar Projects: Homemade Butter

Making your own butter may seem like a crazy thing to do, but it’s actually quite easy, very delicious, and a good way to use cream that might otherwise go bad. I made mine with sea salt and packaged it in a baby food jar; I would bring this to a dinner party as an alternative to a bottle of wine.

Learn how to make butter after the jump…


DIY Hooded Baby Towel Part 2

I gave Jacinda’s hooded towel how-to a try this weekend.  This one is a gift for a BOY and my first boy project!  It was easy-peasy and I took some different photos of the DIY that might be helpful if you try your own.  And if you do, don’t forget to send it to us or post it in our new Flickr group.

Check it out and find out where I got the awesome chevron fabric after the jump…

1.  I pre-washed, ironed and cut my accent strip of fabric as per Jacinda’s instructions.  Then I cut my hand towel (bought on sale at Target):

2.  I pinned my strip of accent fabric evenly one inch from the bottom of the towel:

and sewed it in place with a straight stitch:

3. Then I folded the towel in half lengthwise with the strip inside, sewed the right side, then the left side, and then flipped it inside out to get this:

4. Then I inverted the left corner into the right corner to get my cute little hood:

5. I folded my big towel in half lengthwise and put a pin to mark the center, then I opened the hood up and lined up the center seam with my pin.  Then I pinned the back edge of the hood to the towel like so:

Then I sewed that in place with a straight stitch.

6. Then I rolled the top piece of the hood back over the seam I just made and sewed it in place so all the edges were trapped inside and all you could see is soft cuddly goodness.  This is what it looked like from the front:

and from the back:

All done!  I can’t wait to give it to Miles for his birthday this weekend!  Sorry if I ruined the surprise Christine…

With the gray towel and the chevron accent fabric, there is something sort of Shark-like about this, no?

Prudent Price:

-One scrap Paula Prass Summer Soiree in Yellow $0 (a whole yard is $8.95 here)

-One gray bath towel $4.99 (on sale in Target store)

-One gray hand towel $2.99 (on sale in Target store)

Total: $7.98


DIY Easy Curtains & Closet Inspiration

The last time that I had sewn “home-decor” was in 7th grade Home-Ec. It was a shiny hot-pink heart-shaped pillow with lace trim. It turned out “wicked awesome” and made it’s home on my water bed throughout high-school until my water bed was popped by a dangl-y iridescent feather earring. Soooo, that’s how long it’s been.

Inspired by Jaime’s beautiful curtains but not quite ready to take on the living room, I decided to start with the closet. Yes, we have windows in our closet. Windows, just letting all my frocks bathe in that hot Texas sun. Weird, right?

And now, every time I open the closet, I smile at the pretty bit of happy birdie fabric looking down at me. Decorating a space that hardly anyone will see is such a fun project. It’s truly a little something just for you.

Here are a few pieces of inspiration for decorating a hidden space.

and more here

and more here

and more here

and a DIY for those easy-peasy curtains after the jump…

Measure you window, rounding up 1/4″ for flat panels that fit inside the window frame, or more if you would like them to gather & hang below the window base. The second option is a bit more error-proof for a first project, but the first option looks sharper.

Add 6″ to your horizontal measurement and 7″ to your vertical measurement

Cut a square piece of fabric to this measurement. This is tricky, and much easier with a cutting mat, clear ruler and rotary cutter but any right-angle tool will help immensely.

On both the left and right side of your square, with back side of fabric up, fold over 1 1/2″, pin through back, iron seam, fold over 1 1/2″ again, pin and iron seam again.

Using a medium length straight stitch, sew along the length of the seam, 1/4″ from the inside fold. repeat on other side.

Now for the bottom: with back side of fabric up, fold over 1 1/2″, pin through back, iron seam, fold over 1 1/2″ again, pin and iron seam again.

And for the top: with back side of fabric up, fold over 2″, pin through back, iron seam, fold over 2″ again, pin and iron seam again.

Once again, using a medium length straight stitch, sew along the top length of the seam, 1/4″ from the inside fold. repeat on the bottom.

Iron curtain and hang using a tension rod. So easy!


Country Fair Inspiration… & a simple kid-friendly DIY!

On Saturday, Clare and I ventured out in the chilly 55 degree weather (we’re soft, we’re Californians) to check out a local country fair. We had an amazing time! Here are some photos of our little adventure, I think they are fun inspiration for a Festive Fall Party. A country spin on the hot circus theme. Crunchy green apples with caramel dipping sauce, old-time crafts like making corn-husk dolls, a donation-only bake sale (huh?), balloon animals and delicious home-made fudge. Clare especially enjoyed getting her face painted although she looks a little uncertain in the photo and doing a tile-craft courtesy of the local Home Depot. Small town community goodness at it’s best!

This kid friendly craft is so easy! Check out the DIY after the jump…

what you need:
• Markers – they used BIC Mark-It markers (I totally want a set)
• Gloss finished white (or light colored) tiles
• Polyurethane Spray

1. Let your child decorate the front of a clean, dry tile with the markers.
2. Spray Polyurethane the tile in a protected, well-ventilated area
3. Let dry briefly

If you wish to use the tiles in a place where they would get wet, as coasters etc, I would suggest a more permanent varnish but as a quick craft at a party, this would do the trick!


DIY Washable Pom Pom Pillow!

I love pom poms so much; they’re just cheerful! I had some leftover from the pom pom curtains so I decided to make a pillow for Scarlet’s rocking chair. This adorable pink matryoshka fabric paired with yellow pom poms matches the color scheme of her room. The key to this baby-friendly pillow is that I need to be able to clean anything Scarlet touches, so I made a pillow cover for an insert that’s been collecting dust in the closet rather then a straight up pillow.

Get the DIY Pom Pom Pillow Tutorial after the jump…

How to Sew a Pom Pom Pillow

1. Prewash, iron and cut your fabric. My pillow is 12″X16″ and I wanted a 1/2″ seam allowance on each side, so I cut the front piece 13″X17″:

Because I am making a pillow cover rather then a whole pillow I cut two pieces for the back, so I can create an opening to take the insert in and out. For my size pillow that means two 11″ X 13″ pieces of fabric.

2. Hem the edges of the two back pieces that will be visible by folding them under 1/2″ on the 11″ (shorter) sides, ironing and straight stitching in coordinating thread:

At this point I realized that I’d cut my back pieces of fabric with the pattern facing perpendicular to the front. That won’t look nice so I have to repeat the whole process with the pattern facing the right way. So pay attention to which direction your pattern is on each side.

3. Lay your front piece right side up and pin your pom pom trim on top of it, edge of trim to edge of fabric, all the way around. The pom poms should be on the INSIDE.
Right way:

Wrong way (I did this project the wrong way so many times, enjoy learning from my mistakes):

4. Sew the pom pom trim in place with a basting stitch (a straight stitch that is longer so not as tight), which keeps it together and makes it easier to sew the final pillow:

You might be tempted to skip this step and just pin and sew the whole pillow together at once, but with the pom pom trim I really recommend doing this first to get the best results, because later you can follow your basting line to ensure your pom poms are even on the final pillow.

5. Now it’s time to pin the two back pieces to the front, right sides facing, with the pom poms inside and sew in place. The hem that is going to show will be on the bottom piece. So pin that one first, then pin the other one next, overlapping the first. Follow the basting line that you made with a straight stitch. At the corners remember to leave your needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot, pivot the fabric, return the presser foot and sew to make a nice corner. I folded over the back piece to make an even nicer pocket. That’s a lie, I accidentally sewed one side like that and wanted to axe-chop my sewing machine but it ended up being fixable by folding it all over:

8. Snip each corner so they look sharp when you turn your pillow cover right side out:

9. Turn your pillow cover inside out and rejoice because after all that it looks awesome!

Marvel at your mad skillz that you got the pattern on the back to line up correctly:

10. Realize that the pillow insert you have is not 12″X16″ but actually 12″X21″. Wonder how you can possibly be a person who writes DIYs. Call Grandma and beg her to babysit so you can go to JoAnne’s and buy a pillow insert (and more pom poms).

11. Get the pillow insert, put your pillow in it, give it to a little girl, see her smile, resolve to make pillow cover for original 12″X21″ pillow insert still collecting dust in closet.

Prudent Price:
1/2 yard Japanese printed canvas from Hart’s fabric: $9
12″X16″ down pillow insert from West Elm: $12
1 yard Pom Pom trim from JoAnne Fabric: $2.99
Total: $24