Spring is just around the corner - it's less than a month away. At least the official first day of spring, that is! When I think of spring I think of tilling up the garden, planting flowers, and smelling the earth! Finally! Well, speaking of flowers, I saw this pillow on Pinterest the other day.
It originated at this blog and she gives a nice little tutorial on how she made it. So, today I got out several fabrics from my remnant pile and put one together. This was so fun to make - just free-form stems and leaves - all one continuous line from one side of the pillow to the other. You just keep turning . . .
Plenty of overlapping makes it interesting!
Then just start rolling those fabric roses and use hot glue to adhere them to the top of the stems. Did you know that they make hot glue for fabrics? I think the difference is a slower drying time (so you can make adjustments) and more flexibility when dry (making the project a little softer to the touch).
I also added a few scrap booking "buttons" to the center of some of the flowers.
More flowers . . .
And more flowers . . .
And even more flowers . . .
And I'm done - 21 in all! I used green thread for the stem and leaf stitching - burlap, canvas, grosgrain ribbon, and twill for the flowers.
It's a very heavy pillow top loaded with texture - I love that!
All put together with an envelope closure in the back. I think this would be a perfect gift for a spring giveaway. It's full of flowers and spring colors.
And . . . once again, there will be a little extra surprise tucked into the prizewinner's package.
An appropriate time to pull a winner would be on the
FIRST DAY OF SPRING - MARCH 20TH!
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Today's Inspiration File photos come from Playing With Books, by Jason Thompson, a great book I've blogged about in the past.
I made this little note holder with instructions from this book. It sits on my kitchen counter and I still use it every day!
This book is filled with beautiful ways of manipulating books and book pages to create art and I've been flipping through it a lot lately. Old books are the best for these projects since they have such character. Speaking of old, there's a big day coming up for two of our book group members - a very momentous birthday to be celebrated for both. The invitations are in the mail, created with this Pretty Tufted Paris Chair from The Graphics Fairy! Kind of a grand, oldchair, I'd say! How appropriate!
It has a very complimentary quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson on the envelope inside another great Graphics Fairy frame. The "tag-style" invitation fits inside a long envelope made of the same brown card stock. I just made my own pattern for the envelope based on the size of the tag and printed the Emerson quote inside the Antique Printer Ornament (the frame).
So what better way to celebrate book lovers' birthdays than with some old books!?! Our table is going to have to reflect what "binds" this little group together.
So, here are some ideas from Playing With Books!
Along with these pretty napkin rings from a previous Inspiration Folder. Each one is a little work of art and so fun to look at. Kind of like each of these ladies we're celebrating. Each one is a work of art!!! I can tease both of them about beingold because I happen to be even older!
(By the way, what a great idea for another craft night - where each of us could make a set of napkin rings to go with any holiday or event. Everyone could bring a bag of trinkets, thrift store jewelry, beads, and ribbons.)
So, I have some decisions to make and some fun projects to try! And maybe even a craft night with some old friends in the near future!
When I was still in the classroom, I liked to make my room homey and fun! If I was going to spend the whole day there, then I wanted it to be a place that was welcoming and happy. One of the ways I brought comfort to my little corner of the room, was with a fun lamp for my desk. I got this lamp for $3.99 from the thrift store, spray painted it black, and bought a shade that was NOT made of that silky, fabric-like stuff. I wanted to be able to adhere some old book pages onto the shade, so it had to be kind of a papery shade that Mod-Podge would work on. I have these great old books that were my mom's when she was a girl. (I have a whole set and I've only sacrificed a few for craft projects.)
I found some great pages that would go with a school/kid theme and pieced them together like a patchwork quilt onto the shade. Then I "bound" the top and bottom edges with newspaper strips and Mod Podge. I love it that the shade is made of recycled materials - any book pages would do - just pick a theme and then check out the thrift stores for books that go along with that.
Then I found some little alphabet charms at Michaels and stitched them onto the edge of the shade with heavy quilting thread. I don't think there's any name for the stitch I used, but it's kind of like a version of the blanket stitch. The charms hang loosely enough to move around a bit - the kids used to love to play with them when they were up at the desk talking to me.
The shade is very durable! There's no evidence of any tearing or sagging - even with all the "attention" it got from curious students over the years.
On top of the newspaper binding at the top of the shade, I glued letter squares.
This would be a great lamp for a child's bedroom. You could find book pages or graphics from the Graphics Fairy to go along with any room in your house - from the kitchen to the bathroom!
So, now it sits in my sewing/craft room and is a fun reminder of those days spent with a roomful of 11 and 12 year olds. I loved teaching, and I loved my classroom. But this is a different season of my life. Now I love being home and waking up each morning wondering . . . what should I make today??
We have matching brown love seats in our family room, each one with matching brown pillows. This long room has windows at either end, but it still tends to have low light. So today, I tried to bring more light into the room by making pillow covers in off-white denim and then "embellishing" them using stencils, tape, and brown fabric paint. My inspiration came from these beautiful Horchow pillows - minus the high price!
I love all of these, but especially the number and "grain sack" pillows.
French Laundry Home Pillows - Horchow
$73 - $136
They also had a great monogram pillow and another number pillow.
French Laundry Home "Spring Garden" Pillows
$115 - $190
Then I walked past the entrance to Pottery Barn and saw this "U.S. Mail" bin and I thought, "That would be perfect on a pillow top"!
(I might have to try making a "bin" like that too!)
So. To begin.
I washed and dried the denim and then began tearing it into 22 in squares for the pillow tops. The number pillow was done with a freezer paper stencil. If you've never used freezer paper for stenciling you should give it a try. It's so easy and works beautifully! As a matter of fact, freezer paper stencils turn out a lot better than traditional stencils because the stencil is "tacked down" onto your fabric and won't move around while you're applying the paint. I've read that they can be used over and over too!
I think black might look more authentic as a french laundry fabric, but since the love seats are brown, I used a dark brown fabric paint. For the number pillow, I used this Vintage Typography from The Graphics Fairy.
After enlarging the typography graphic and tracing it onto freezer paper, I carefully cut it out and ironed it onto the center of the 22" square.
Then, applied paint using a stencil brush . . .
and pulled away the freezer paper! Works like a charm!
Next, I used a stencil I've used for some other projects - like the table runner shown here.
I bought this stencil about a year ago on Etsy. It's well-used!
Using the same brown fabric paint - this one was quick and easy!
Then, on to the monogram pillow top. Using painters' tape, I taped off some "grain sack" stripes - a wider one in the middle and two skinny ones on either side. Then using the stencil brush and the same fabric paint, I filled in the stripes between the tape strips.
For the monogram, lay a piece of tape horizontally across the center of the pillow so the monogram is level.
I used very inexpensive cardboard letter stencils . . .
. . . and placed my husband's initial along with mine on either side of the stripes.
For pillow #3, I used the design from the mail bin shown above, added some heavy duty upholstery strapping, and a button and loop.
And that's it!
Four new pillows, inspired by Horchow and Pottery Barn, for the price of some denim - a far cry from the $100 plus price tag!
Now, what's next?
This ottoman that sits in front of the love seats will be needing an update also. I posted about making this ottoman here it was also inspired by Horchow! The fabric was great when the love seats and pillows were solid brown. But, I think it would look great with a new off-white denim slipcover . . .