June 6, 2013

Make Your Own Canning Jar Cup with Straw

Aren’t these cutest things ever?

I love Ball canning jars and thought this was the best idea for summer.
This handy dandy portable cup with straw is perfect for car trips, parties, or just to use at home!
I have seen them many places…so this is a copy cat idea.
But here is my take on how to make them!

I made several and they were super easy, fast, and my kids love their new cups.

You will need:

canning jar and lid {blue Ball jars sold HERE if you can’t find them  locally}
3/8th drill bit….or a nail and a pair of needle nose pliers
1/4 inch rubber grommets {sold at hardware stores…or HERE}
*the inside of the grommet (or sometimes called a gasket) measures 1/4 inch

First you will need to drill a hole that is 1 cm wide on the top lid.
You can safely drill a hole by holding the lid tightly and letting it overhang halfway over a sturdy table or surface.a
Drill in desired spot.

If you don’t have a drill, you can use a hammer and nail to make the initial hole.
Then use your needle nose pliers to gently make a 1 cm opening.

Make sure the underside has all metal around the hole pressed flat.
You could also trim with small wire cutters.
It just needs to be flat!

Now insert your grommet.

It’s that simple!
It might take 5 minutes to put together.
*I wash the lids with soap and water, dry thoroughly, and haven’t put them in the dishwasher.

Enjoy your perfect portable summer cup!


February 25, 2013

Make Your Own Little Drawstring Gift Bags…{Great for Easter!}

I am joining the sweet Jen Rizzo for her 6 Days of Spring Linky Party.
I love this time of the year and what fun to share “springy” ideas!
Spring is upon us and I can’t wait for warmer weather, flowers, and Easter!
We usually celebrate Easter with simple little gifts, so yesterday I started making these darling little drawstring bags to hold goodies.
This project is perfect for using up scraps of fabric that you have collected.
Here is what you will need:
{Makes a 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 inch bag}
2 pieces of your choice in fabric, cut 6 1/2 inches wide by 9 3/4 inches long
18 inches of cotton string/cording
Safety pin
First, cut your fabric and then hem three sides using a 1/2 inch hem.
Now you will make the sleeve for the drawstring.
I love that the end project has finished edges inside and out :).
Iron down about 1/4 of an inch all the way across.
Now fold over one inch and press.
Repeat with the other piece of fabric and double check that they line up perfectly.
Stitch along the lower edge of the sleeve, back stitching at each end.
Place right side together and match the tops exactly.
Pin together if you like.
Sew around the inside of the finished edges…LEAVING at least a 1/4 inch from the top open {from the bottom sleeve seam}.
You will need some room for the cord to freely run through the top.
I back stitched 3 or four times at the top corner to give the bag some strength.
I hope this picture makes what I am talking about a little clearer.
 I stitched close to the edge of the hems all the way around and left about a 1/4 inch open at the top.
Make sure you reinforce with the back stitching!
Now turn your little bag right side out.
Give the corners a little push with a blunt edge and iron flat.
You are ready to insert the cotton string.
See how the top has a little extra room?
 The inside of the bag has nice finished edges.
 Attach the safety pin to the end of your string and start threading through the sleeve.
Thread through both sides until you have the ends of the string out one side of the bag.
Neatly tie a little knot at the end…leaving at least 2 1/2 inches out.
That’s it!
It took me around 15 minutes to make one, so this is a relatively fast project and so fun!

I made them in a couple of different patterns, and for those of you who would rather just purchase one all ready to go, I have a few in my SHOP…
just in time for Easter!

You can make them in all colors and they look darling stuffed with little gifts.
Because they are made so sturdy, the bags would make a great eyeglass case, pouch for nail polish and other things, or even to reuse for another gift!
Happy Spring!

January 28, 2012

Make Your Own Everyday Cloth Napkins

In an effort to save a little, I decided it was high time we had everyday cloth napkins.
In my Grandma’s day, it was all they used and I am not sure why I haven’t made the switch before now!
They are sturdy, practical, money saving, and charming.
They would also make a lovely gift!

I bought a vintage sheet at Goodwill….the colors are so cheery and Spring like!
It was also made really well.
When looking for fabric for cloth napkins, you need to keep in mind that they will be heavily used.
Cotton fabrics are a great choice as they wash easily and are soft and absorbent.
My sheet was fairly thick and washed well.
I don’t believe I will iron the napkins unless we have company:).
I cut 8 napkins to a generous 21″ x21″, so that the final result is 20″x20″.
Make sure that you cut a perfect square.
I used my cutting mat and rotary cutter to measure perfectly.
I also made a few in a darker color for those meals that may possibly stain:).
The fabric is from my stash and I thought this was a perfect way to use up old material!
I found a great tutorial on mitered edges from Amy at Homestead Revival.
Hemming in this way gives your napkins a really finished look.

Use your iron to press the hem first…this really helps!

First, you will need to fold down the corners.
Measure 1.5 inches from the tip of the corner down each edge.
Fold down on these marks to make a triangle.
Press each corner down.

Snip off about a 1/2 inch of the triangle.

Press down each side about a half inch.

Fold over a second time…about a half inch…and press.

Repeat on all four sides. You may have to adjust things a bit to make everything fit perfectly.
The two hems should meet nicely in the middle like this…

Now, pin everything in place and stitch around the inside seam first.

This is what it will look like on the finished side.

I like to stitch a second seam along the outside edge to secure the corners down.
You could also make a small hem along the mitered seam instead.

And that’s it!

Everyday napkins are so economical and a really fast project.
I am hoping to make a few just for special occasions, too.
To care for your napkins, just spray with a stain remover after a meal…if you have stains.
I just wash and dry mine, fold them, and place them in a nice wire basket that sits near the table.
Ironing is really optional if you use the right fabric.

Enjoy your day!


August 15, 2010

Make a Canning Jar Soap Dispenser

I fell in love with this idea the minute I saw it… 

Canning jar soap dispensers are a fun and easy gift or useful item to make!
I have used our pump everyday for over a year now and it has held up beautifully.
That is saying a lot when you have four kids and a farmer husband.

I picked up the jar for 50 cents and a lid for $2 at a tag sale…so the whole project was really economical.

If you are interested in purchasing the antique zinc lids and blue Ball canning jars, Ebay or Craigslist are a great place to search.
I typed in “zinc canning jar lids” on Ebay and there were so many available for a reasonable price!
The same was true when I searched under “blue Ball canning jars.”
 I loved that there were so many different sized blue jars! 
Tags sales are also a good avenue.
If you find it too pricey to get your hands on zinc lids, ANY canning jar lid will do!! 
The lids and rings, as well as the plastic lids are great!

The pump is from a bottle of Suave lotion. It was the perfect zinc color.
You can also buy pumps from a craft supply store or online HERE.
I like to use what I have on hand, so the pump from the Suave lotion is perfect:).
To clean the pump out, just put it in a jar of warm soapy water and pump away until it is clean.



To make the soap/lotion dispenser:
 Measure the width of the top portion of your pump… the part with the spring in it.
Mine measured 1.5cm wide.

Mark the center of your lid {on the top} with a small dot.

 The inside of the lid has a ceramic underside. You will need to remove it.

To do this, place the lid right side up with the ceramic side down on a hard surface.
Using a nail, or thin screw driver, tap a hole through the top….right on your mark.
This way, the ceramic is face down and will not shatter in your face:).


After you make the hole, this is what the underside will look like…

To remove the ceramic cap, I try to just tap it really hard right side up.
Most of the time, it will just fall out. If it won’t budge, use protective gloves and remove it manually.
Be careful! You are dealing with sharp objects:).

Next, you will want to make a mark on the underside to use as a guide for your hole to put the pump in.
I {roughly} measure 1.5 cm in an “X” pattern to give me my dimensions.

Using needle nose pliers, slowly start to peel back the zinc. It is a light metal and easily bendable.
Remember, you are not going for perfection….just a hole big enough to fit the pump in.
It doesn’t need to be perfectly round!
It is better to be on the snug side, as a hole too big will make the pump tend to be a bit floppy.
So, err on the side of being too small, test your pump as you go.
It is so easy to make the hole a little bigger!

 When the hole is sufficient to hold the pump, crimp the remaining tin back flat with your pliers so there are no sharp edges.
At this point, you have the option of sealing your lid with a clear polyurethane so that it won’t corrode. 
{Thanks Jody for the tip!!}
Make sure it is completely dry before inserting the pump:).

Now, insert the pump. It should be nice and snug and the top will cover the hole nicely.

Now to glue it in place.
I use my good old hot glue gun.
There are probably other great alternatives out there, but so far hot glue has held up wonderfully!
I tried Gorilla Glue once and it was a mistake for this project. So, if you are wanting to try something other than hot glue, just look for a waterproof product that dries quickly and doesn’t expand.

Making sure the pump is firmly in place, first glue right along the base of the pump to the underside of the lid.

Next, add a little more glue to the pump… adhering a little more to the underside.
You want it to have a good base to hold it securely in place.

Let it dry thoroughly.
Last, you will need to trim off a small amount from the straw portion of the pump.
Insert it into the jar and estimate about how much needs to come off.
I like the bottom of the straw to be about 1/4 of an inch from the base of the jar.
Measure your straw and then measure the height of the jar to the rim.
This will help you determine where to cut.
I cut off about 1/2 inch of the Suave Lotion pump and had a quart sized jar.

Screw on the lid and whalaa!
You are finished….now wasn’t that easy?

The dispensers are great gifts for birthdays, Christmas, hostess gifts, or just to use in your own home!
They pair really well with handmade dish towels:).
Any canning jar will do.
I personally have a clear jar as well as the antique blue version and both look beautiful!
Here is another example from Heather Bullard….

You can fill your jar with soap {or lotion}. I use mine in the bathroom and by the kitchen sink. I really like a clear soap. Costco’s environmentally safe dish soap is wonderful and the scent is delicious!

The soap lasts forever and you have to fill it up so infrequently. 
With four kids and a farm we do a lot of hand washing around here:). 

Have a great day!


June 2, 2010

A Simple Changing Pad: My Favorite Baby Gift

When our youngest was born, I was blessed to receive a perfect changing pad from a dear friend.




 She is so talented and I have absolutely LOVED this gift. I loved it so much, I have given one as a new baby gift to many friends and family members. It is completely simple to make and quick to put together. Everyone has really enjoyed and USED the changing pads throughout the course of diapering. It is great for a quick trip into the store or doctors office, and has pockets for wipes, diapers, and a bottle.


Here is how you can make one, too.
1/2 yard of chenille
1 yard coordinating cotton fabric
1 yard ribbon
Fray Check

Cut chenille to 22″x18″. 

Cut coordinating top fabric to the same size.
To make the pocket: cut out a 9″ x 17″ piece of the coordinating fabric.


You will be placing the pocket on the lower left hand side, so hem the top and right sides of the pocket.
Attach to the top and secure with pins.


Stitch along the right hand edge, right over the exposed hem. 
Now here is the tricky part. Make a light mark with a fabric pencil 4 1/2 inches from the right side in. You need to do this at the top and bottom of the pocket. This is going to be a smaller pocket for a sippy cup or bottle.  Sew a straight line, using your marks as a guide. Backstitch at the top for extra strength.

Place ribbon on the left hand side, half way down the pocket. This is about 4 1/2 ” up from the left bottom corner. Stitch in place. Seal the ends with a little Fray Check. This makes it so the ribbon won’t unravel in the wash.

Pin right sides together, making sure that the loose ends of the ribbon are not going to be attached where they shouldn’t.

Carefully sew around the edges. This can be a little tricky because the chenille tends to stretch. I like to pick a spot in the middle of a side, and sew one direction. Go back to the center and sew the opposite direction on the same side. 

This seems to create and even amount of tension.
Leave a three inch gap somewhere to turn it inside out.

Turn right side out. You will still have a little gap. I will show you what to do with this next. Make sure to use a small blunt object to poke the corners out flat. 

Iron out. PLEASE NOTE…my ribbon is in the WRONG spot! Can you believe that? I had to go back and attach it 4 1/2″ up from the bottom left corner. Pretend that is what you see:).

Pin the gap closed, matching edges. Sew a 1/4 ” top stitch around the entire edge of the changing pad.  Easy as pie!

You are finished!

One side is soft and warm to lay baby down.

The other side ready to fill with necessities.

 To secure, fold half way down, roll up, and tie with a bow. The pad fits nicely into a purse. Best of all, if it gets dirty just throw it into the wash and dry it on low heat.