artscrap

Cozy Sweater Pillows

As you know, I like to re-invent things around my home, offering a fresh look to a room with little to no cost. Sometimes I tackle huge projects-like building a table, destroying a mirror, or making my own spinning composter.

However, some days I like to make a nice hot cup of Cinnamon Apple tea and stay indoors. This is one of those days.


I love pillows on my sofas, but hate paying $20 for something that cats will eventually destroy-or I’ll spill coffee on. What’s a girl to do?

Combine thrift store pillows with my ill-fitting and ugly sweaters. That’s what!

 


Here’s what you’ll need to make your own Cutesy Sweater Pillows:

Old Pillows or stuffing
Old Sweaters
Backing material-I used an old canvas laundry bag
Tape Measure
Scissors
Straight Pins
Thread and Bobbin to Match
Button covers (if desired)
Invisible Thread (not pictured here, due to its invisibility)
Sewing Machine

 


Start by measuring the width & height of the pillow. If you are using stuffing, determine how big you want the pillow.

 


Measure on the sweater the width & height of the pillow and add 3 inches for seam allowance.

 


For example, my pillow was 14″ x 14″. I cut out two 17″ squares of sweater material.

 


Fold the backing material in half, measure and cut out the same sized square as the sweater.

Sandwich the sweater material (right sides facing in) with the backing material. Pin all four layers of material together.

 


With a 1 1/2 seam, sew the four pieces of material together on 3 sides only-leaving one side open for the pillow (or stuffing).

Cut off the excess seam, snip the four corners and turn the material right side out.

 


Stuff the pillow inside of its new home-or add stuffing.

 


Using invisible thread and a stout needle, sew the opening closed.

 


If desired, make a button for the center of the pillow, following the instructions on the button maker box. Sew the button(s) on with more invisible thread, going all the way through the pillow and pulling the thread tight. This will make the button dimple into the pillow.

 


For ruffles on the pillow, cut 3-4″ wide strips from the sweater, making them 2″ longer than the squares of sweater material and backing.

Follow all of the above instructions, except instead of sewing all 4 pieces of material together at once:
Sew one side of the backing to the wrong side of the sweater material-leaving two separate pieces total.

 


Sew the edges of one side of the potential ruffle using a zig zag stitch.

 


Fold over 1/4″ of the unsewn side of the ruffle, pinning and evenly spacing each ruffle on the right side of the sweater material.
Sew the tops of the ruffles in place.

 


With right sides of the sweater facing in (backing material on the outside), sew the two separate pieces together on all 3 sides with the same 1 1/2 seam, leaving an opening for the pillow or stuffing.

Cut the excess seam off, snip the corners and turn the material right side out.

 


Slide the pillow inside of the material or use the stuffing to fill the pillow out. Use invisible thread once again to sew up the opening.

Throw them on your fancy pink couch, brew some more tea and take a nice nap.

 

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What do you Fall for?

Good morning! First things first, I must talk about the pink elephant in the white room. I have not been posting as frequently-as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Without going into too much detail, I’ve needed a little reprieve.
But, that reprieve has been had and now it’s time to get back to business. The crisp fall air is upon us and I feel invigorated to sew, cook, create, build and ramble on about the things of God that I’m learning.

Can you handle all the weirdness that is Rebekah? Please scroll down before you answer that.
Green Beans-Kayle & Rebekah
Probably not. But that’s why we have the buffer of the internet between my weirdness and your purity, dear reader.

Anywho, it’s fall time. A time of harvest, hot coffee and fun wintery-type projects. What are your favorite fall things to do?

 

Fall Lane
At the top of my fall list is leaf watching. I could stare at, walk through, collect and photograph the changing leaves from now until eternity. And since I’ve already cleared it with God that there will be seasons in heaven, this love affair will not end.

 

Scarf & mittens
Another one of my favorite things to prepare for the cold, fall weather is to make mittens out of old sweaters. I can never seem to find the cuteness factor when shopping for store-made mittens. Plus, store-bought are either too small, too scratchy or don’t match my winter coat. I came up with my own solution and made a pair of mittens and a matching scarf from two old sweaters.

Problem solved, mate.

 

Corn Maize
Like a child, I cannot get enough of a good Maize Maze. The swishing stalks against a pale blue sky takes me back home to Kansas, to wheat fields, to harvest festivals. Plus, a good Maize Maze is always accompanied by horsey rides, apple cider and other fall accoutrements.

What more could you ask for?

 

Pumpkin Patch
Maybe a pumpkin patch? Yes, please. Pumpkin patches are to fall as snow is to Christmas. The grocery store cardboard bins full of pumpkins should be shunned other than for last minute pumpkiny needs, such as decorating your porch when unannounced guests come to visit.

Otherwise, I implore you to drive at least 45 minutes to a pumpkin patch, labor over which has the perfect stem-to-body ratio and finally choose your pumpkin-already knowing which side you will be carving a face into.

Please, for all pumpkins everywhere, do the right thing.

 

Ginger Puff Cookies

Finally, nothing says fall like all things cinnamony, nutgmegy and spicey. I love to kick off fall by cooking a huge batch of Ginger Snap Cookies, sharing it with the neighbors and nibbling on a few of my own. This pictured version above is a skinny version I created, called “Ginger Puff Cookies“, for those of you watching the waistline.

I also think fall should be accompanied by homemade No Fuss, No Sugar Applesauce, Beautiful Banana Bread andEasy Chili.

What are your favorite fall things to create, bake, sew or enjoy? I’d love to know, dear readers-for you are my inspiration to keep writing and creating things!

 

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Ten (Plus) Easy Ways to save Money

I am frugal by nature-just ask my parents. I used to hide girl scout cookies under my bed, only allowing myself one delicious thin mint a night. That is-until the ants also found my stash and my parents put an end to my cookie hoarding ways.

That said, I love to save money. Here are ten (plus) easy ways that you can, too!

 

Chapstick
1) Biceps uses lip balm like nobody’s business. And to be fair-so do I. But, is it a crime to want supple, luscious lips void of cracks and flakiness. I contest that it is not!
However, the $3 a tube for Burt’s Bees was a crime. And I needed to solve it. With a few ingredients and within a few minutes time, I had made 40 tubes of Lip Balm that cost less than $.25 each.

 

Cleanser
2) I make all of the cleansers that I need to keep my home sparkling. They are cheap, easy to make and non-toxic. Everything from: all purpose & anti-bacterial cleaners, to furniture polish, toilet bowel cleaner, brass and stainless steel polisher, and cooking spray.

 

Potholes and Pantyhose
3) I also make most of my beauty products saving me hundreds of dollars a year. Check out this easy to make facial moisturizer, eye make-up remover, toothpaste and mouthwash.

 

Face Wash
4) Simply make your own face wash using ground oatmeal. I know what you might be thinking-how does oatmeal on my face actually work? The ground oats add moisture back into the skin (thus the reason you are supposed to bathe in it when you have a rash, poison ivy, etc) while the gentle oats exfoliate the skin and cleanse. Cheap. Simple. Love it and the smell of breakfast as you’re washing my face.

 

Laundry Soap
5) I make my own laundry soap once a month which lasts me for 48 stinky, big-boy loads. I save big-boy money doing this. The clothes smell great and it’s fun to grind up soap in my blender. Everybody wins.

I also make my own laundry softener and stain stick. Super easy, does the job and smells fantastic!

 

Mirror Art
6) Make your own art with whatever you have on hand. Get creative and dare to cut your knuckles making this Mirror Art. I’ve used scrap plywood, drywall, oops paint, repainted canvases, and many other odd things to decorate my walls. And-the best part is-if you screw up, you can just throw it away!

 

Potholes and Pantyhose
7) Learn how to do some basic sewing and start getting thrifty. I made this silky scarf shirt with a couple of scarves and two pieces of ribbon. The cost-$1. I’ve also made shirts and dresses from pillow cases, and cape shirts from lace tablecloths.

 

Thank You
8) Create your own cheap thank you notes by recycling old photos, postcards, pictures from magazines. Sew them onto card stock and offer your friends a one-of-a-kind letter in the mail.

 

Veggie Wash
9) The produce cleanser I was buying from the store cost about $3 a bottle. Forget that! I now make my very own produce cleanser at home for about $.10 a bottle. Those are savings you can keep!

 

Garden-Tomatoes
10) Keep your garden humming all year long with an inexpensive DIY spinning composter, rain barrels, critter deterrent and pest spray.

These are just a few ways that I’ve found to save money and replace store-bought items. What are some of your favorite ways to be frugal and keep your cold-hard cash where it belongs (in your wallet)?

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DIY Cement Garden “Hands”

At first, I was a scared little girl when it came to working with cement. It seemed so permanent and could be a colossal waste of time if I screwed it up. Which I do often. Then, I had an epiphany. Cement is no different than cookie dough-other than the whole edibility issue.

 

Planters and Cement Hand
So, I opened up the creative floodgates and made a cement hand (or two). This little hand will be perfect holding birdseed, or just adding a little pinache to my flower beds. And it cost almost nothing to make.

 

Ingredients-Cement Hand
Here’s all that you’ll need to make your very own cement hand:
Bucket and access to water
Rubber gloves
Sand/Topping mix
Hand shovel or garden trowel
Cooking oil and paintbrush

 

Water and Bucket-Cement Hand
Pour a cup or two of the Sand/Topping Mix into a bucket. Add a little water and begin to mix-just like cookie dough!

 

Mixing Thick Cement Hand
The cement needs to be the consistency of thick dough. Do a test by pushing a little to the side of the bucket-if it stays in place pretty well, it’s thick enough. If it slumps right back down, you’ll need to add a little more of the Sand/Topping Mix.

 

Oil and Rubber Glove-Cement Hand
Turn a rubber glove inside out and pour a tablespoon into it. Clamp the end of the glove and give it a good shake, until the whole glove is coated inside with oil.

 

Rubber Glove-Cement Hand
Fill the inside out rubber glove with cement, squeezing it to the tips of each finger.

 

Drying Rubber Glove-Cement Hand
Prop up the fingers into the desired shape and let dry overnight.

 

Removal Rubber Glove-Cement Hand
Once the cement hand is completely dry, remove the rubber glove carefully by cutting and removing sections a little at a time.

 

Planters and 2 Cement Hand Side
That’s it-you’re done! Easy as making cookies, wasn’t it?

 
Close Up Cement Hand
You now have a one of a kind art piece with which to decorate your garden, your fireplace mantle or even use it to hold your business cards at work.

Take that, normalcy!

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