Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Do It Yourself Bench Pad

I made this easy peasy bench seat cover tonight. Little by little I'm trying to dress things up around the house. Guess how much it cost me? Hmm. It was under $20.00! I wanted something shaped similar to the bench pad I found below. The striped one below is a Home Depot bench pad and this mammer jammer goes for $44.98. Woah! It's cute and all but that's highway robbery! 
If you're like me and don't know how to use a sewing machine you can fudge it and not sew at all! I have hand sewn a few things before but still haven't tackled the machine. That is on my long term list of things I want to learn!

So to make your own bench pad you'll need:

Foam Padding
Electric Meat Knife
Liquid Stitch Glue
Large Safety Pins

Measure out your padding and draw the lines to cut using a marker and the T-square for accuracy.

Time to pull out the electric knife!

Be sure to use the meat blade because you'll need the two separate serrated blades working together to cut through the foam. I tried the bread knife and it didn't work.

I made a mess of my edge! Boo hoo!

Hold the foam tightly, from the end you start cutting from so that you have a nice, clean cut. For me, it was trial and error with a lot of error and a lot of going back and shaving off more foam so there was a smooth edge to work with.  

Here was the FAIL part of my project. My iron is officially a craft iron now and ruined from the last project I did. There is glue on the iron and I accidentally got it on the microfiber fabric when trying to smooth out the wrinkles. Lov-e-ly! It was smack dab in the middle of the fabric too. Fortunately I had enough fabric on either side of the mishap that I was still able to use it for my bench cover. RELIEF because it took a while to find this fabric! Oh yeah, this fabric came from the scrap pile in Old Time Pottery. They have pretty good prices on fabric. You have to weed through the piles though to find the good patterns but it's worth it! 

Liquid Stitch - I feel like I'm cheating with this stuff but until I learn the sewing machine this is what I've got!

Once the foam was cut to size, I more or less wrapped it like a present, gluing it down with Liquid Stitch.

I used safety pins to add extra support. I used six total, four for the length of the bench and one on each end for the flaps on the sides.

That's all it took. It was easy as pie and adds a some warmth to the bench in the foyer. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Getting Set Up To Sew

How have you been? What have you been up to? Hopefully you've been having some fun while the summer winds down. I just got back from a much needed break from work. I hadn't taken a vacation all year so I just spent a week with my parents and children at my parents' house and it was super nice to get away. 

It feels good to be home but it's always kinda sad to say goodbye to my mom and dad after a visit. They live 8 hours away so we don't get to see each other that much. Anyhow this time I inherited the piece of furniture below. It's bittersweet. It is a sewing machine that belonged to my grandmother who passed away nearly five years ago.  

I'm glad my parents offered me the sewing machine because I have been dying to learn to sew and it belonged to my Nana. I'm not sure how old it is but my Nana used it to make my mom and aunt's clothing when they were little! The machine is solid; I don't think they make em like this anymore! I would much rather have my Nana here to teach me to sew but it's something that is very special to me for sentimental reasons.   

The top of the table unfolds.

The sewing machine is attached and pops up.

Here it is popped up!

Here is a chair that I was given that was also my grandmother's. It's not exactly my taste but I am going to transform it to make it more my taste. I want to make it look more modern. I'll share once I have it complete.

I can't wait to start learning to sew. If anyone has any suggestions as far as lessons I'd love to hear. Has anyone been successful using YouTube or lessons online? OR did you take a class in a classroom setting? I'd love to hear any suggestions! Hope everyone is enjoying the end of summer!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ta-da! Look What I Found!

It's already Wednesday! I'm always stating the OBVIOUS! What have you been up to? Working on any home renovations or crafty delights? Excuse my nerdiness. I am psyched because I have been to the gym three times since Saturday and  feel sore but so GOOD. I'm doing a free 7 day trial but I'm ready to join. I used to go to the gym 4-6 times a week and just haven't found a way to fit it in since having kids. I can't seem to find the motivation on my own to work out so this has got to be a lifestyle change. Anyhow enough personal stuff but I'm excited! 

Does anybody else enjoy making TO DO lists? I get so much satisfaction of making a list and marking items off the list! My dad got me hooked on a Franklin Covey day planner when I was high school and I swear by it!

As much as I'm on a computer between work and home, I found a very simple website that is a quick and easy TO DO list generator.  is a great tool and you can log in from any computer. After signing up you create a user name and password and can start making to your own TO DO lists right away! Once you complete a task you simply click the bullet and it gets marked out. You can make several TO DO lists too so you're not limited to one or two.

I made a general TO DO list BELOW for your viewing pleasure! ha ha! I don't know if anyone else enjoys making lists but I couldn't live without them. 

Now, I don't have one of those new-fangled computer phones but I believe this is also an application you can download to an iPhone. I love it!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Make A One Of A Kind T-Shirt

How is everyone doing? I hope good! Okey-dokey after a long and busy weekend I'm finally able to sit down to post. I'm working on some new home decor and organizational things but after two FAIL projects this week, I took some time out today to put a smile on a little guy's face. 

To catch you up on the electronic part of the blog, I've been busy even though you haven't seen a post in over a week. ;) I've been doing some behind the scenes things like DECLUTTERING! Similar to so many things in my life, I junked up my site and HAD to spend some time cleaning up the mess. It's a learning curve and I'm trying NOT to do too many things at the same time! It's hard though!

For one thing, I have been trying to add a signature to my posts and haven't figured it out yet. GRR! I tried about 5 times via and it keeps coming out pixilated. I give up for the time being. I'll figure it out eventually.

So are you ready to see exactly how I put a smile on my kiddo's face??? Well I took him to see the movie smurfs for one thing but I surprised him this morning with the shirt he is wearing! It's a one and only Tow Mater t-shirt. No one else has one exactly like it so he thought it was pretty special. You wanna know how I made that happen??? Tee Hee! The secret is... drum roll please... IRON-ONS!

Iron-Ons are AWESOME! They are such a fun way to make a one of a kind t-shirt! Super cheap and very easy! 

What you need:

  • a high res picture that you print to a printer - it's okay to do this as long as you aren't selling them for profit. as long as you do this for personal use, you're okay.
  • cotton t-shirt (light colored works best! and you can get them for cheap at craft stores... A.C. Moore currently has them on sale four for $10.00.
  • iron emptied of any water
  • cardboard
  • iron-on transfer paper to run through your printer
So here was the process and, by the way, I have taught myself some new things electronically to include more detail. I hope it helps!

This is the picture I saw first, which made me want to do a t-shirt for my son. I couldn't decide how to crop it so I continued looking for a MATER picture, and the instructions follow!

I simply googled tow mater. In doing so I clicked Images and Large both circled in red below. 

Several images of Mater came up, as you can see, and I chose the one below. I clicked on the image and saved it to my desktop. I named the file something I would recognize and I flipped the image. VERY IMPORTANT! Note: if there is ANY text in your image, you need to flip the image before printing so that it reads correctly when it prints.

Next I set up the image to print. See below for the settings I chose. I chose Full page so it was a good size on the t-shirt. I didn't want a small block of an image and I thought I might cut Mater out somewhat but had not decided yet.

Below is the package of transfer paper I used. Notice the bottom reads "Oops proof" with some of the letters backwards, as to remind us that we need to reverse the text as I noted above. They do have a return policy with Hanes t-shirts if you purchase them from a craft store and make a mistake, which is good to know! 
My photo is printed BELOW. 
I put the paper image on the t-shirt and played around with the placement.
I cropped the image with scissors, cutting out the top portion of the picture so that Mater's head was at the very top of the image.

Once I decided where I wanted to put Mr. Tow Mater, I ironed the t-shirt.
Be sure to empty ALL water from iron and set it on DRY to do the Iron-on.
Follow the directions on the transfer paper packaging. I put a good sized piece of cardboard inside the t-shirt so the image doesn't adhere to the back side of the shirt too.
I laid the image on the t-shirt, image side down, where I wanted it, and went to town ironing. 
I ironed with good pressure back and forth, up and down, all over the image for 180 seconds. 
After I was finished ironing, I let it cool before peeling the paper away.
The peeling part was fun! Just be sure to do it carefully.
I cautiously used both hands but had to use one hand to take the pictures! :) 
I see a Mater! WOOHOOO!
We now have a Mater and one excited boy! 
I washed the shirt before he wore it anywhere and it looks superb!