Tag Archives: fabric

Who Can Take Tomorrow…Dip It In a Dream…

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…separate the sorrow, and collect up all the cream?

The Candy Man can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.

Welcome to Halloween 2014! A little background for those who are new to these here parts: We’re crazy. That should be enough of an intro. ;) No, really, though, we are. Or at least I am. Every year, we do a family theme for our Halloween costumes. For a little more info on that (and to see a list of what we’ve done), you can go to this post.

If you’ve browsed through my Halloween posts before, you might notice that there wasn’t one last year. And, well, that’s because last’s year’s theme was “Kids, pick something from the dress up closet, because I don’t have time for it this year.” So this year, we had to make up for it and plan ahead. The theme we picked? Willy Wonka! {Side note literary bonus…if you choose costumes from a book, you can read that book together as a family as part of your preparations. Booyah! Who needs school?! Just kidding. I do. I need my kids to go to school.}

So, without further ado, I give you six cast members from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Or as the 3 year old calls it, “Chocolate and the Charlie Factory.”

WillyWonka02

I also need to share one of my favorite pictures from the night that I caught while I was adjusting my camera settings. I mean, what was everyone doing? Really, I wish I knew what every single person in this picture was doing at this moment:
WillyWonka1

And now on to the individual costumes and a quick breakdown.

MrWonka

Let’s start with Mr. Wonka, himself. {Funny side note: Mr. LPMD is a high school teacher and he decided to wear his costume to school on Halloween. He had his pockets full of candy and while he was walking in the halls, if any student said, “Willy Wonka!” he threw a handful of candy at them and kept on walking. One student’s response was “Did that really just happen? That was epic.”} We knew from the start that finding a purple jacket was going to be our biggest hurdle. We looked and looked, but didn’t find one. Eventually I ran across a tan corduroy one and snatched it up. While debating how I should dye it (since it was dry clean only), I had a friend tell me she had painted costumes before and had good results, so I decided to try it out. I used acrylic paint and brushed it on with a paintbrush. It worked…okay. It was hard on the corduroy, because it didn’t always get down in the gaps, so it looked painted, but then when the fabric was moved, you could see the tan color showing up. It was also splotchy where I had to let it dry (so I could move it around to paint it more or so I could stop and take care of my family or whatnot) and then start up again. It also dried VERY stiff. I think if I have to do something like this again, I’ll try the dye and see how it goes.

His hat was a grey thrift store find and also got the paint treatment and a ribbon added around it. The bow tie came from some fabric in my stash and the vest was an amazingly awesome thrift store find. It started out as a woman’s 10P blouse, but the fabric was just too close of a match to pass up, so we decided to make it work for this 6 foot guy. I ended up just cutting the front panels off and safety pinning them onto his white shirt. Whew! His costume was a lot of work.

VerucaSalt

Veruca Salt. {This is literally the best picture of me we got. Boo.} This dress was another fortuitous thrift store find. I added the black buttons and the black ribbon waistband and that was it. Yes, I know Veruca’s dress had long sleeves, but this was good enough for me.

CharlieBucket

This here is Charlie Bucket and his valuable Golden Ticket. Super easy “costume.” Blue turtleneck. Grey corduroy pants. Golden ticket handmade by an 8 year old. We tried to convince him to be Augustus Gloop because people wouldn’t think he was dressed up, but he was bound and determined to be Charlie. Which, really, just made less work for me.

VioletB1 VioletB2

“Violet, you’re turning violet, Violet!” The Princess was Violet Beauregarde, partially on her way to becoming a giant blueberry. With gum. We found the blouse, pants and belt all at thrift stores. I changed the buttons out to look more like the movie and we stuffed her up with pillows. Also, I had no idea she was wearing those boots until I was going through the pictures after I had uploaded them. Se la vie.

MikeTV1

Well hello there, adorable Mike Teavee! This kid was so excited for his costume. Especially the toy gun and the cowboy hat. True story, I could not find a yellow button up shirt for this costume. I ended up buying a tan one at {you guessed it} a thrift store and dying it yellow. In fact, the number of things I had to change the color of for all of our costumes was kind of ridiculous. So I bought the shirt, dyed it yellow, and sewed on the fringe. That was a new experience. I’ve never sewed on fringe before, but it went swimmingly. All of the accessories we already had or bought for cheap.

Okay. This next one is just…kind of my favorite. I mean, not my favorite kid because I’m a mom and moms don’t have favorite kids, but his costume. Pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

OompaLoompa1 OompaLoompa2

Am I right?! Maybe I’m biased, but that there is one good looking Oompa Loompa {who also self identifies as a “Loompa Doompa”}. This kid is a singing and dancing maniac – anything for an audience. So when he found out he could be a character who sings and dances AND would get to spray his hair green, he was sold.

Okay, enough mommy gushing and on to the costume. I made the pants and suspenders from some white fleece. And by “I,” I mean I made the pants and my mother made the suspenders and attached them to the pants. I was running out of time here, folks. Yet again, I could not find a brown turtleneck. How easy should that have been? Nope, not easy. I mean, I could have ordered one from Amazon for like $13, but this is a costume. I actually had a friend call from a thrift store and tell me she found a white one, so I told her to get it for me and then I dyed it brown. I really liked that it was ribbed, because it made painting the white stripes on pretty easy. I had planned to do his cuffs (and some socks) as well, but never got around to it. So you can just ignore the bare ankles and Lightning McQueen shoes for now.

And there you have it. Halloween 2014 in the bag. Do you do costume themes with family or friends for Halloween? Tell me some of the fun things you’ve done in the comments!

Girl On Fire T-Shirts

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Oy. Let’s just start off by acknowledging the fact that I am no good at this blogging thing. For a while there in the last couple of months, I considered just quitting altogether, but I’ve decided to buck up and continue to post stuff every now and then. So you’re stuck with me.

Today’s post is brought to you by this lovely pin. In our church, every summer we have what we call “Girls Camp” for our “Young Women” ages 12-18. Oh how I love Girls Camp! This year, I am lucky enough to be in charge of camp for the small group of  young women in our congregation (ward). The theme the girls decided on was “Girl on Fire” from The Hunger Games. (We’re emphasizing being on fire with the spirit rather than kids being forced to kill each other, by the way.)

In my search for ideas, I came across a great blog post from Better Than We Deserve from when they did the same theme. One of my favorite things they did was their bleached out t-shirts:

 

After showing them to the girls, they decided they wanted to do the same thing, so I ordered a bunch of black t-shirts and when they came, I set about to do a test one, with all of the bleaching-a-design-on-a-t-shirt knowledge I had gleaned from the internets.

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That was my SECOND try. (I didn’t even bother with pictures from the first one.) Not exactly what I was going for. So let’s just recap my failures here for moment, shall we.

Attempt numero uno: I used my trusty Silhouette Portrait to cut the stencils out of heavy card stock, and then used a spray adhesive to stick it onto the shirt and sprayed with a 50/50ish bleach/water solution. So much bleeding, you couldn’t even tell what the symbol was. At this point, I was kind of freaking out because we were supposed to do the shirts the next night, so I made a mad dash to Facebook (of course) and pleaded for all craft experts everywhere to help me.

Attempt numero dos: With some advice from friends, including the queen of freezer paper bleaching herself, I set out with confidence to try again. This time I cut some stencils out of freezer paper, ironed it onto the shirt, and sprayed straight bleach onto the shirt. Still bled like crazy (see above), but at least you could tell what the shape was, right? But the places where the bleach looks the strongest – yeah, there’s not supposed to be any bleach there.

We did something else with the girls that night and saved the shirts for later.

Attempt numero tres: I just didn’t get it, I seemed to be doing the same thing as I watched work in soooooo many videos and tutorials, and yet, crisp lines were out of my reach. But fear not, success is on the horizon. For my third attempt, I cut stencils out of transparencies, so the bleach couldn’t soak through the paper (even though it shouldn’t have with the freezer paper). I also found a spray bottle that had a more “misty” spray than the one I had been using. I used an only slightly diluted bleach solution, probably 2 or 3 parts bleach to 1 part water (I didn’t measure, just eyeballed it). I decided to forgo the spray adhesive and see what happened. And it worked!

Key things: Use a piece of cardboard in between layers of your shirt so the bleach doesn’t soak through to the other side. Make sure your spray is as misty as possible and DON’T OVERDO IT. I think this was one of my main problems the first couple of tries – I just sprayed waaaaay too much and soaked the shirt, so easy does it. You’ll start to see the bleach working in about 30 seconds or so. When your bleaching looks like you want it to, rinse that baby out right away and then wash it (on its own or with other things you’ve bleached), then dry it in the dryer and voila! Loveliness.

So last night, we finally had the girls do their shirts and I just love them. When I first started testing the bleach, I was disappointed that it didn’t make the shirts go white, like in the inspiration pictures. But, with the reddish/orangish/brownish hue that it DID turn, the shirts go well with the theme of being on fire, so I’ve changed my tune.

Here are a couple of the girls’ shirts:

GirlOnFireShirt1

 

I especially love how this one looks like it has smoldering embers across the bottom:

GirlOnFireShirt2

Here’s an up close view of the great logo one of our girls designed for us, combining the Young Women’s torch with the symbol of the mocking jay from the books:

GirlOnFireShirt3

 

I love that each of the girls have a unique shirt of their own design, but that there is also a unity between them through the colors and the stencils. We had a lot of fun making them!

We have some other fun things planned for camp, so once it’s over and done with, maybe I’ll share a post about what we did. If you’re lucky.

Do you have any tips for designing with bleach? Share with us in the comments!

 

DIY Ruffle Skirt Tutorial…Yay or Nay

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Okay, you’re going to have to comment on this one. Yes you. You who always reads my blog without ever commenting. I see you there trying to hide behind your screen.

Last week Mr.LessPinningMoreDoing and I were asked to perform a mambo for a fundraiser thing at our church. For the occasion, I made this skirt, along with multiple unfortunate facial expressions.

RuffleSkirtCollage

The ruffle skirt is made from 2 thrift store tablecloths, a scarf and an old stretchy t-shirt. {I blame my mother, the queen of costumes.} Since I was kind of making it in a hurry, I did not take any pictures during the process. Well, that and the fact that I just made it up as I went.

Your commenting assignment is this: Would you or would you not like me to post a tutorial for creating one? This would require making another in order to take pictures, so if nobody is interested, then I won’t bother. {Because what would I ever do with two?!} But if ya’ll are, I’m happy to do it.

Ready. Set. Vote.

The Closet Door Makeover You’ve All Been Waiting For

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Remember back in the day when I redid my bedroom while my husband was out of town? Remember how my after shots were sans closet doors? Well not anymore, my lovely reader – I finally finished them! (Yes, as in, just last night. I don’t work well not under pressure, mkay?)

I give you…the makeover that took our boring bifold closet doors from

 Drab to Maybe-Not-Quite-Fab-But-Certainly-Better-Than-Before….I-Think

Just to refresh your memory, here’s a little peek at the before so you know what I was facing. (Once again, sorry for the bad lighting. As a side note, I actually figured out why I was having such bad lighting problems with my camera – the white balance had been set to fluorescent and left there. Oy vey!)

I knew I needed to do something about those doors, but I couldn’t buy new ones, so I figured I’d just paint them. In the middle of the week when I was eyeball deep in the room makeover, I asked some friends if they thought I should paint them blue to blend in with the wall they were on or grey like the accent wall to stand out more. As we were debating back and forth between those options, I found this:

And my life was forever changed. I looked at these doors and thought…I can do that! Well, not *exactly* that, but something like that!

Now, as much as I would love to, I had no intention of actually splitting the doors apart to rid them of their bifold-ness, because that would take more work than I was willing to do. But, if I could just eliminate the slats on top and repaint the doors and change out the handles and add some cute fabric, they just might look better. Plus, those are all things I can do. By myself. Booyah.

And so it began. To my delight, I was able to just pull the slats right out. We discovered this by accident when I asked Mr Crazy Lady how he though I should eliminate them and he jokingly said “Just break them,” and proceeded to punch a slat with the intent of breaking it. Instead, it bent a little and then came right out. Awesome sauce.

Next up was removing the hinges and the handles so I could paint.

I used some of the removed slats to lift the doors up off of the plastic to keep them from sticking once they were painted. I also had to do a great deal of wiping down first to get rid of dust and debris. Man, those things were dirty! Once again, the removed slats came in handy, as I wrapped my damp cloth around the end of one in order to get between the slats all cleaned up. Painting time! I think I used about 6 cans of Rustoleum spray paint. I probably should have used 7, but it was good enough for who it’s for.

I put the hinges back on those suckers and was ready to take them back inside. Once they were rehung, and had handles, it was time to add the curtains that I had so painstakingly made.

Cute handles, eh? I considered getting more crystally ones like in my inspiration photo, but alas, the husbandman was against it.

Now, let me tell you about the curtains. My original thought was that I have this really pretty silver-grey fabric that I got on clearance years ago that I love but have never had a real use for. But then I decided it would look better if the curtains in the closet doors matched the curtain at the window. The curtain at the window I had gotten on clearance at Walmart. But not the Walmart in my town – no, no, it had to be the Walmart in one town over. There had been two on clearance. I had considered buying both even though I knew I really only needed one. So I bought one. Of course, all of this was before I knew I was going to go all crazy on the closet doors. Grrrrrr. Luckily (after a power outage that had Walmart closed on my first trip) the second curtain was still there, patiently waiting for me. Booyah! Took it home. Cut it up. Made little curtains. Ka. Zam.

That’s when the trouble started. I had found some “cafe rods” that should have been perfect for these doors. But they weren’t. See, I decided not to cover up the hole from the removed slats because I figured the curtains would hide them. Unfortunately the cafe rods had little hook-things that had to be hammered into the sides. It’s hard to hammer a little nail into an empty abyss of a hole. After much hammering and denting of my new nicely painted door, I got one rod up. To my dismay, there was about a 1/2 inch gap at the top because of the space the hook needed. This was NOT going to work. I abandoned those rods and went in search of a spring tension rod that would fit in a 12.25 inch space. Have you ever done that? It’s not an easy task! I did eventually find some online, where I ended up paying twice what I paid for the curtain fabric. Dumb rods. But they finally came yesterday and it took me all of 15 minutes to put up all 4 curtains!

If you look closely, you can see that the rubber stoppers are sticking out on the bottom. When I originally sewed the curtains, I was planning on using the first rods, which would have fit perfectly into the slim casing. However, these new rods were a bit thicker and were a tight squeeze. The rubber stoppers didn’t stand a chance. (The reason this wasn’t a problem on top is because I just left the original casing from the curtain as I bought it, which was much wider.)

Maybe someday we will actually put some nice moulding around the doors, but all in all, I’d say it’s not too shabby. Certainly much better than before, don’t you think?

DIY Crafty-looking Fabric Boxes

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I have this thing for those cutesy canvas and/or other fabric storage organizer container things. If you knew me in real life, you’d probably be surprised to hear this because I ain’t exactly the queen of organization. I’m not even a princess. Heck, I’m more like the fourteenth assistant kitchen maid. Anyway, I love to look at pretty organizational bins at stores and imagine them beautifying my own castle…well scullery, I guess, if I’m just a kitchen maid. BUT, I never buy them. Because seriously, they cost a ridiculous amount for what they are. Boxes. Or wires. Covered in fabric. Not really worth it to this kitchen maid.

In addition to my cute canvas bin fascination, I have a red bookshelf in my home (yes it’s red on purpose) on which rests many books and four boring boxes – 2 black, 2 white – with “stuff” in them. I bought the boxes from IKEA for a different purpose and when that purpose had ended, they came to rest on the bookshelf. Now, what I really wanted was cute fabric-y boxes to match the aqua/red theme in that room. Couldn’t find anything I loved enough to spend money on. Pinterest to the rescue! (Of course.) There are a myriad of simple tutorials for covering an ordinary box to pretty it up. I happened to mostly use this one. Here’s the pin.

THE RESULTS

New and Improved “Cute” Boxes

Sorry, no before pictures – I didn’t think to take them until it was too late. As far as covering the boxes, I didn’t have any spray adhesive on hand, so I used Mod Podge. Just spread it on w/a standard cheapo sponge brush. Worked like a charm.

WHAT I LEARNED

*All of these people who say that 1 yard of fabric covered 2 diaper boxes must either 1-buy very small boxes of diapers, 2-have had much wider fabric than me or 3-be lying. Since I can’t imagine why someone would lie about such a thing, and since I can’t imagine why someone who has a child that poops and pees regularly would make a habit of buying small boxes of diapers instead of big ones, I’m going to go with numero 2. The boxes I covered were probably about half the size of your standard bigger box of diapers, so I figured a yard would cover 2 no problem. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. They were about 5 inches too short! I decided to go ahead and slice those babies down the center to cover 2 boxes anyway and figure out what to do about the 1-2 inches exposed at the tops later.

*That huge run-on rambling up there just means that I learned you should measure before you buy fabric and assume it will work. Which goes against my nature, so I’ll just warn ya’ll about the perils of not measuring and go on with my standard mode of operation.

*I ought to have covered the black boxes w/the more blue fabric instead of the white-heavy one. Didn’t think that one through before charging ahead and now my daisies are a bit muted.

*Knitted stretch fabric isn’t the easiest thing to work with when you’re ironing and using Mod Podge and want straight lines. Now, in my defense, I hadn’t planned on using that fabric, but after the too short fiasco, it was the only white fabric I had on hand and I wanted to add a white band to the top (no, I did not line the whole thing, just the tops) and I certainly wasn’t heading back to the store for more. In the end, it worked out, but other choices would have been better.

—Side note on this one. I just realized that the tutorial I’m linking to doesn’t give instructions for just a top faux-liner and I can’t remember the one that did, so I’ll give the quickest rundown I can here.

First, measure the length all of the way around the top of the box. Add 4 or so inches. This is your length. Then decide how tall you want your “liner” to be and times that by 4. This is your width. Cut a piece of fabric to those measurements.

Iron it.

Fold it in half longways.

Iron it so there’s a crease in the center. Open it.

Fold one edge down to the crease.

Iron it.

Fold the other edge to the crease.

Iron it.

Now fold it in half again along that original crease.

Guess what you do next? That’s right. Iron it.

Viola. Now you basically have a really big binding. Glue it to your box. I glued the inside first and then went around and glued the outside. Your inside corners might be a little bunchy:

Inside Corner

It’s okay. Well, unless you’re OCD. Which, if you’re reading this post, it’s probably not such a good fit anyway. When you come back around to where you started, fold your end under an inch or 2 before gluing it down. Like so:

Where the “Lining” Ends

That’s it!

THE VERDICT

Well, I think they’re pretty cute, anyway. Certainly not professional, but good enough for who they’re for. :)