sweatpants pillow cover tutorial-ish

I am really bad at tutorials.

Almost everything that I do creatively, I make up as I go along. And I mess up, and stop, and change, and undo, and redo, and make up some more, and usually end up with something slightly (or majorly) different than what I originally intended to do but like better.

That process makes it nearly impossible to take pictures of the process or to explain it all and type it all up into a pretty tutorial-style package.

Thus… my sweatpants pillow cover tutorial-ish… thing.

First, pull out those sweatpants that are too itchy/big/small or just plain uncomfortable. Sweatpants should not be uncomfortable. If you have some of those, go buy some new comfiest-ever sweatpants, bring your old sweatpants back to the computer with your favorite hot drink and some scissors and follow me:

Lay your sweats on the floor. Cut along the seams on the insides of the legs. If you are wondering which side of the seam to cut on, just do it by feel – whichever way the seam seems to lie naturally, leave it there. Make sense? If not just make sure you don’t cut through the seam – leave it on one side of the scissors as you cut!

Awesome :) But do both legs! And then cut straight up the front up to the waistband but not through it!

Then cut off the waist band – I cut right below the seam so that the waistband kept it’s shape, in case I ever wanted to use it for something.

If your sweats have an annoying something-or-other sewn/ironed/emblazoned onto the rear end… cut it out. I cut along the outside edge of the legs/hips, just before the seams. You can cut off less than I did, it really depends on the style of your sweats!

Now if you lay out all of your pieces you should have:
– a waistband
– the cut-out butt
– two legs, each cut open on the inside seam

The next part really depends on what kind of pillow you are trying to cover! I covered a square one, so I laid the pillow over one of the sweatpant legs, and cut the leg into pieces that were the same height as my pillow (not the same width! The fabric wasn’t wide enough for that with my pillow!)

Just cut the legs into several pieces as rectangular-ly as possible, then piece them together to fit around your pillow and sew with the right sides facing! (You can make the fuzzy part – inside – of your sweatpants the right side if you want!) Yes, I am assuming that you have basic sewing/stich witchery and tanagram skills. Unless your pieces happen to be the exact size and shape as each side of the pillow that you are covering, no it will not look perfect – but that wasn’t my goal. I wanted it to look cozy. The less perfect – the more seams – the better.

You can sew a patch or two on the front – to disguise old stains or rips or just to add something…

Yes, the pillow next to it is trying on a sweater so that I can figure out if I want to make a sweater pillow cover, too…

I wanted my pillow cover to be removable so I made sure that the fabric would overlap a bit after wrapped around the pillow, and made it into an envelope-style pillow cover. Again, I am not good at tutorials and did not make one for you BUT I would highly recommend this one!


sweater for my mug…

I recently cut up an old hand-me-down pair of sweatpants. They were from name-a-store-that-caters-mostly-to-teens and I don’t know whether it’s just the way they cut their sweats, or if they shrunk a little too much in the wash with their previous owner (but only in the butt region)… I know it is not because of my post-baby (and currently-holding-baby) body just doesn’t work with their style because they were given to me before I was pregnant with Eli and, gosh, those sweats were not even “hipsters” … they were like, below-the-hipsters. “Uncomfortable” doesn’t even do them justice. “Impossible to wear” would be more like it! Unless you have no butt.

And so they got cut up. And I’ll show you kind of how I cut them up in another post because they were used for something else as well. For now I’m just showing you what I did with one of the scraps of cut-up-sweats.

A sweater for my mug. That pretty red material is not my sweats… just some fabric I had laying around. You can see part of the sweats peeking out on the bottom rim.

There is how it is held on to the mug – a button and old pony-tail holder that broke last week thanks to my even-thicker-than-normal crazy pregnant hair. I usually have the gap positioned behind the handle of the mug… it is just turned to be able to show you how it works.

This is what I had originally intended it for, because I had used an old Starbucks sleeve as my template for cutting material, but I must have cut a little off because the mug sweater just slid right off this Starbucks mug. I could probably have put another button on to make it tighter… but I use my own mugs MUCH more often than I ever get coffee so it works out :)

Ahem… and also please note cute tiny thumb of toddler trying to steal my Starbucks cup… he likes to help mommy “make copfee”, and also likes to sit and pretend to drink “copfee” from my empty cups. Yes, we go on coffee dates together :)

Here is the reverse side of the mug sweater.

I roughly used this tutorial, and I would definitely recommend it :)

Things I did differently:
– I skipped the quilt batting. Since I was using sweatpants material, I didn’t need any extra heat-absorption :)
– I did not pin anything. ‘Cause I’m lazy  gutsy like that. (Ha.)
– I used a combo of fusible webbing stuff (the kind you use an iron for) and hand-sewing instead of using my machine… because machines frustrate me…

board game art

We were very lucky to find a house that had a beautifully finished basement… and now that our second baby boy is just three months away from arriving (ummm… hmmm…), we are in the process of cleaning up his room and also cleaning up the basement as another play area for big brother Eli on those Eli-wants-to-show-off-how-loud-he-can-be days. And also just because it would be nice to move some of the toys downstairs so that mommy can ignore the mess easier feel less cluttered and toy-claustrophobic upstairs.

If I am going to make the basement into another play area for Eli, I might as well make it so that I like being down there, too, right? And so the board game art…

This monstrous cribbage board was a Christmas present from Chris’ parents a few years ago, and I finally realized that it was very easy to hang, and we just so happened to have two nails in the wall downstairs that were the exact distance apart as the cribbage board was wide.

A while back I made these oversized scrabble letters … okay, I lied – I started making these oversized scrabble letters, but really, how you see them in the picture is exactly how they stayed until, oh, Monday. You see, I messed up, one of the letters got a little messy, and then I got busy with the online art class I was taking and those scrabble letters just sat there on my desk, making me feel guilty every time I passed them. But I just didn’t feel like finishing them. And so I didn’t. Until I realized that they would fit much better downstairs instead of in my nook, and then I got excited again.

Sometimes you just have to let the art sit. Slow cook. If I’m not excited about it, if it isn’t speaking to me anymore… doesn’t that take away some of the point?

Anyway… here they are now…

They’re imperfect. I went over the black paint (on the two letters I had painted) with brown, then did the other two letters in just brown, and the letter O is slightly lighter than the rest but, I don’t care! I like them that way. I just need my awesome husband to help me hang them :)

And the last, most recent piece… the one that I am totally unsure about but it’s hanging out on the basement wall for now anyway, is this one.

Yes, those are real mini playing cards. You see, Eli got ahold of these one day a long while back and bent a few and ate the box and so we just let him keep them. They’ve been hanging out in the drawer of our TV stand for months, if not a year already, which was okay because it is at Eli’s level and only Eli-safe things can go in there anyway. But, whenever Eli’s friend comes over, he goes straight to that drawer and next thing I know I am cleaning up little playing cards that have been scattered all over the living room. And my belly won’t let me bend over comfortably anymore… I have purposely changed some things recently just so I don’t have to bend over. And so one of those things was to get rid of those cards. And they were just about to go in the garbage can when I realized hey… those could be art. Why not?

So they got stuck to an extra 12 x 12 canvas I had lying around. ModPodged. And I am still playing with the idea of spreading some Gesso down in the middle and painting some words over that but for now it just is as it is…

Have you ever seen those crafty people who take board games and frame them without glass, and then attach all the game pieces to the underside of the game and hang it??? Really neat… but I don’t have the energy to go search out a frame that exactly matches the size and shape of Monopoly or Pictionary, nor do I have the funds to have them custom-made… but I’m kind of liking this home-made stuff anyway :)


DIY shape drop box {and other unusual uses for usual things}

You know those toys that have the different shaped blocks, and holes in a container that your toddler is supposed to push the blocks through? Circle block in the circle hole, square in the square, etc.?

Eli has a couple of toys like that, but they frustrate him greatly. Why should one block fit and the other not?

I decided maybe we started too complex and so today, finally, I thought of a solution.

I took an old, sturdy cardboard box with a flip-top lid and cut some holes in it with a box cutter…

The holes are big enough that, even if Eli doesn’t feel like matching his toys’ shapes with the shapes of the holes, most of his small toys can fit wherever he feels like putting them through. We’ll work on shape-matching later. For now I’m hoping he’ll start to make the connection on his own, without getting frustrated.

I really want to take some paper or paint to the box to make it look more fun :)

(please excuse the dark phone-camera picture…)

Yesterday as I was straightening up my desk, I noticed a pattern in myself of using things in my home for uses other than what they were purposed for, and laughed. Just thought I’d share some of them :)

Small vases for storing beads I love these vases, but Eli kept finding them in our bedroom and trying to throw them. They are now safely on the hutch of my desk with a new use that I actually like better than holding flowers…

Napkin holder for holding envelopes and stamps We had registered for this napkin holder and matching paper towel holder for our wedding, but we never used the napkin holder because we never buy napkins. It was just taking up space on the counter for 3+ years… now it has a pretty use  and my envelopes aren’t taking over the junk drawer.

Desk calendar as a wall calendar Those small calendars that I used to keep on the fridge never have enough space for me to write :) This one was in the dollar section at Target. 


a little bit of Christmas

Oh, my Friday Sneak Peek Friends… I still can not find my camera’s battery charger! Bare with me and those ugly pictures, please… I used my phone. My dying, hard-to-find-good-lighting-for-picture-taking phone.

We don’t have any store-bought Christmas ornaments. I’m not a huge fan of them. I used to love decorating the tree when we were little… but I honestly do not think that we had any two ornaments that were the same (or at least not very many of them). Each one, to me, seemed special. I’m not certain whether each of them had a story, but I know that a lot of them did. And so, I do not buy ornaments for the sake of buying ornaments. That’s just me :)

Last year these snowflakes were the only things that were on our tree… besides candy canes. They are just toilet paper tubes cut into 1-in rings, squished, hot-glued together, painted and glittered.

This year I made these ornaments, using the tutorial from Creature Comforts Blog.

And then these pinecones, painted with white, that I found on the walk Eli and I took the other day…

We have a dozen or less of each kind of ornament on our tree… but I don’t care, because my favorite part is the lights anyway :)

I also made a mini chalkboard in a frame the other day, as a white elephant gift. The glass in the frame was broken, so I took it out, cut a piece of cardboard to fit, and painted it with chalkboard paint. Somehow I forgot to take a picture of the front of it… but I DO have a picture of the back, where I made a spot for a piece of chalk :)

My own chalkboard signs have been changed…

I am trying to create a gallery wall over here… I want to change the pictures out of those frames (I do love them, but they are the only pictures I have ever had hung on that wall… and I get kinda shy about being in all three of them, even if two of them are from our wedding day…)

And as if that isn’t enough, I’ve also enlisted my husband’s help in transforming our entryway closet into a nook. Oh, he is so good to me. And patient. I’ll post more about that some other time :)


more brown paper packages {tied up with string… kind of}

I think I am having way too much fun making these gift packages.

I haven’t even made the gifts to be packaged, yet! (But I DO know what those gifts will be… good enough for now!)

This box is kinda (umm, very) plain on the outside, still…

But the inside is coming along okay. Yes, I used that Irish Blessing that I wrote on my other smaller box. The inside lid had all of the information about Diaper Genie Refills… so I painted over it in white (though some still peeks through), glued some green paper in and… it looks a little better.

After I turned this box inside out, I realized it had a bunch of ugly spots on the brown side… so it is covered with a Max & Erma’s takeout bag.

Ugh, blurry pictures… my hands are so cold, they won’t stay steady!

(yes, that used to be a kleenex box… I made a lid for it)


brown paper packages

I can’t think of any better package for a homemade gift, than a homemade box…

No, I didn’t handmake a box from scratch… I used pre-existing ones, pulled them apart and turned them inside out…

… and decorated

I still have some pretty-ing up to do on them, though. I want to add buttons, lace, more paper…
… but I told myself I’d post more “in-progress” stuff because, well, that is the art of it, isn’t it?
That first box held a pair of cute baby socks that were given to me as a shower gift. Can you tell what this next box used to be?
Oatmeal Squares :) (One of Eli’s favorites)
I glued green tissue paper to the inside back of the box, so that you didn’t see the quaker oats guy peering out at you through the heart-shaped hole in the front :) (There was that handy heart on the front of the Oatmeal Squares box, which was very convenient for cutting out a heart-shaped hole)
(I traced the heart-shaped hole on the box onto a piece of red paper and cut that heart out as well, then took a piece of a plastic baggy and hot-glued it to the back side of the paper, then hot-glued the red paper onto the box)
I’ll post finished gift box pictures soon :) Linking up with Jennifer today!

funky drawers, re-purposed!

Our bathroom was the next thing to get hit by my newfound crazy we-can-change-the-home-so-we-actually-love-being-here bug.

Recently I read Nester‘s post on using drawers as decoration. (I love Nester’s blog. Please go visit!) As soon as I read that post, I immediately started looking at all of the drawers in our house, trying to figure out which one I could hang on the wall, and for what. But most of our drawers are rather large… not to mention most of them are full and serving their purpose as, well, drawers.

Then I realized that there are these small (unused) drawers in a vanity we have… but they are kinda funkily shaped because the vanity is curved.

And then suddenly one day when I hadn’t realized that not only was the toilet paper roll empty but it had been the last one left in the bathroom, I had this strange urge to store all of our toilet paper in an easy-to-reach (even if you are already on the toilet) location instead of in our linen closet… like maybe on the wall?

Oooh, those funky drawers!

It fits in an awkward space above our toilet. Yup, I think I love it :)

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the empty spaces that the drawers left!

P.S. I can’t believe I actually put pictures of our bathroom on here! HA!

a failed attempt…

I made a candle holder this week. (It was one of the things in my post of ideas that I wanted to try). Thing is… see that picture up there? I am literally holding it together with my fingers. And here’s why: hot glue. Hot glue melts, people. Blah.

Hot glue also does not like to stick to glass candle holders. So, before I discovered (ummm, remembered) that hot glue will not stay solid when warmed, to fix the hotglue + glass = no-can-do problem, I wrapped white tissue paper around the candle holder (one layer) and hot glued the edges together, overlapping where they met – kind of making a tissue paper sleeve for my candle holder. Then I hot glued the twigs onto the tissue paper. The above picture is what it looked like on one side. Here is what it looked like on the other side:

I purposely left space there, because I thought it looked pretty.

The problem? Whenever the candle inside is lit for more than, oh, 3 minutes, the hot glue holding everything together gets soft, then melts, and then the tissue paper unwraps itself. Blah.

Anyone have any ideas on how to make it stay???

At least my second time making birdseed biscuits worked just as well as the first time! This time they are favors for my friend’s bridal shower, with orange, red, and brown ribbons.

It is Friday. And my world (or is it me?) is starting to relax a little. I hope you do, too.

Linking up with Jennifer this morning (click on her name to see some more bloggers’ art today!)

37 weeks (full term) :)

Sooo today baby is full term!  That is just crazy! At our appointment last Wednesday the doctor said that she didn’t think he would come until at least 38 weeks, though. We’ll see. If you want to stay in there ’til 40 weeks, baby, it’s okay…

Chris and I used most of our Target gift cards to order some of the things off of our Target registry the other day – the thermometer, a set of crib sheets and a diaper caddy… and yesterday we went to BuyBuyBaby to use Bed Bath and Beyond coupons (’cause they are linked to BuyBuyBaby) to buy a couple more things that were on either our Target or BabiesRUs registries. We got the Boon Frog Pod, and 2 Ultimate Crib Sheets, and a big box baby wipes. Yeah… we went to a totally different store than either of the ones we registered at… but the coupons were nice to use :)

Chris also put one more coat of paint on the top of the tree, moved the glider into the baby’s room, and moved all of the painting supplies out. I cleaned the car seat and put the cover back on, hung the paintings, found a bag to be designated as the hospital bag (though it is not packed yet… how are you supposed to pack your toothpaste and deodorant and PJ’s when you might still need them at home for a few weeks??), and am gathering the last of the things to be washed. The room is basically ready, besides the last book sling to be sewn. I just can’t get myself to do it. Both sewing machines are on the floor and are heavy and the bobbin in my new-er machine needs wound and who knows if I remember how to work it and… I’ll get to it. I must. Because there are empty curtain rod brackets waiting on the wall to hold the book sling and my baby’s books, which are now on the floor.

I have gathered recipes for meals I can freeze. So far I have 3 mini loaves of pumkin bread, 2 quart-size baggies of navy bean soup, and a quart-sized bag of homemade potstickers in the freezer. The rest of our potato-leek soup will be going in a freezer bag (or two) today. I have enough banana’s to make several mini loaves of bread and some scones, and a mango for mango bread :) (I’ll let you know how that works out later)… and plans for a bunch of other things to go in the freezer. The plan is to have the last week of November and most of  December taken care of…

I did a craft completely non-baby related, though :) I’ve been saving toilet paper tubes for who knows how long (and gotten quite a few funny looks from people using my bathroom when they open up the cabinet below the sink to an avalanche of brown paper tubes…).

I am making snowflake ornaments… because our tree last year, although very pretty and wonderful-smelling, only had lights on it last year and ONE ornament… and looked kinda naked… and I already have white acrylic paint from the paintings for baby’s room, so all I needed to buy was a glue gun ($5) and glitter (4 tubes for $2) and my tree will be decorated for a total of $7 this year! :)