Handmade Holiday: Valentine’s Edition

My son made me a proud, crafting momma this weekend. He handed me his class list for the Valentine Party on Tuesday and said, “Mom, I think we should make our cards this year instead of buying them. They’re more special when we make them.” I couldn’t agree more.

 We got our inspiration from the Disney Family Fun site.

My daughter wanted to do flowers, of course.

My son chose a cell phone with lollipops for the antennae.

I think he had ulterior motives to his choice though. Almost the entire time we were working on them, he tried to persuade me that he needed one. He lost this round. In defeat, he and his sister made paper phones and iPods (he wants one of those too). Then they spent the rest of the afternoon playing pretend Angry Birds on their pretend BlackBerries, and loaded up their pretend iPods with pretend music.

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Indygo Junction Aprons

Before the holidays, I ordered several apron patterns from Indygo Junction.  I used the patterns to make Christmas gifts and of course, I had to make a few for myself.

First I made the Bon Appetit pattern.  It was very easy to use and resulted in a very flattering apron.  My only complaint is that the ruffle was too long and had to be cut after sewing it to the apron.  It was a little confusing to understand the instructions. and I’m not sure the reasoning behind the excess in the pattern, but I just made the ruffle a few inches shorter after the first apron. Several of these went out as gifts and were very well recieved.

Bon Appetit Apron

Bon Appetit Apron made with Cherry Fabric by Robert Kaufmann and Just Dreamy by My Mind's Eye Fabric by Riley Blake

Orange Bon Appetit Apron

Bon Appetit Apron made with Orange fabric by Kaufmann I believe and denim.

I also made the Afternoon Tea apron, and this one went together very easily.  My only suggestion is to try on the apron and adjust the placement of the back as needed before you sew it all together.  I had to take off several inches so it fit properly. I didn’t use this one for gifts since they needed to be fitted and I wasn’t sure of everyone’s size. But, I made one for myself and this is one of my favorite aprons.

Afternoon Tea Apron

Afternoon Tea Apron made with Cherry Fabric by Robert Kaufmann and Just Dreamy by My Mind's Eye Fabric by Riley Blake

Finally, I made my grandmother the Mock Smock.  She loves smocks.  In fact, I’ve rarely seen her without one on, so I thought she would like a nice one made with designer fabric.  The Mock Smock pattern was a little different then the ones she normally wears with the square shape to everything, but I liked the variation as it was pictured. However, I am not a fan of the Mock Smock pattern.  I found the squareness of the arms and neckline very hard to work with.   And the instructions provided were not much help.

My first smock was a disaster. First I tried using the cut pattern pieces for the neck and armholes, but I couldn’t get the corners sharp and pretty. Then I took that off and tried rounding all the corners and using bias trim, but that didn’t turn out too well either. And for some reason, the neckline didn’t match up.

Mock Smock

Mock Smock Disaster

So, I went back and made a few adjustments to the pattern.  I rounded the sleeves and neckline. 

Mock Smock Neckline

I also rounded the pockets and added a pleat to them.  And I finished the pockets, arm holes and neckline with coordinating bias trim. 

Mock Smock Pockets

I think this one turned out much better!  And Gram loves her new smock.  But she says it will be her special occasion smock, as it is much too pretty to wear everyday.

Mock Smock

Mock Smock made with Birds of Paradise fabric by Free Spirit.

Handmade Coasters

I always have a hard time starting new things, hence the delay in starting this blog up.  Even though I’ve kept two blogs successfully and consistently updated for over 3 years now, this particular blog is new and therefore, I am having the problem of getting started.  I think it is especially hard because there are so many things rumbling around in my brain right now. 

Since it is the holiday season, I will start with this craft project I just finished up that would make a great gift.  

Handmade Tile Coasters

What you will need:

  • 4 4-inch by 4-inch ceramic or glass tiles (I found my tiles in the clearance section of the home improvement store for $1.00 each)
  • ruler
  • cutting mat
  • rotary cutter
  • PVA glue (I like this one from Annie Howe’s.)
  • clear varnish
  • 4 photos that can be cropped square or some pretty paper (Annie Howe’s has a wonderful paper selection too.)
  • rubber bumpons
  • Coaster backside

    The black things are the bumpons in case your were wondering.

Directions:

  1. Cut you photo into a 4 x 4 square.
  2. Spread a thin layer of PVA glue on the back of the photo or the surface of the tile (whichever you prefer, although I find it easier if I spread the glue on the tile.)
  3. Place the photo or paper on your tile and smooth out any bubbles.   Be careful not to get glue on the paper.  I like to use a bone burnishing tool and a damp rag for this job.
  4. Let dry at least 24 hours.
  5. Once the glue is dry, check to make sure the corners of the photo are stuck down.  They might need a little glue at the corners.  You can apply a few drops with a toothpick if needed.
  6. Apply varnish over the photo following manufacturer’s instructions.  (I recommend at least 3 coats of a good polyurethane so your coaster can withstand hot cups of tea.)
  7. Once varnish is dry, apply bumpons to the underside of the tile.  This will help the coasters stay in place and protect the table they are sitting on.  You can also glue a square of felt on the bottom of the tile if you can’t find any bumpons.
  8. Allow 7 days for the varnish to completely cure before heavy use.
  9. Now you have some wonderful, custom coasters to keep for yourself or hand out as gifts this season.

Photo Tile Coasters