How to Recover a Butterfly Chair

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you have a butterfly chair that is sun-faded or has hideous fabric on it? I bet you thought it was a lost cause, right? Nope! With a sewing machine, some new fabric and a little spare time you can recover that ugly butterfly chair and have a new one. Okay, so I didn’t recover it with green fabric in honor of St. Patrick, but what could be greener than a good old upcycling project! Believe it or not, this was a much easier project than I had anticipated, so don’t get scared by the curves. You can “sew” do this! ;-)

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

I stumbled upon this chair at Goodwill for $9.99. Normally I wouldn’t spend this much for a sun-faded chair, but because I was working on the school library makeover project — and we needed more comfortable seating — I bought it.  After all, we would have had to pay at least double for another comfy chair.

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Luckily, I had some soft leftover fleece fabric that I could use to recover the chair. I wish I had measured how much I used, I think it was a little less than 2 yards.

Materials:

  • 2 yards of fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Old butterfly chair + old cover

Instructions:

1. Remove the old cover from the butterfly chair frame. Lay it on top of your fabric (both right sides up.) [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day Garden Flag from a Placemat

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I love making unique garden flags. My go-to material for these outdoor accessories are Dollar Tree placemats! You read that right. $1 fabric placemats! But, if you don’t live near a Dollar Tree and you have old placemats, you could upcycle them into a Valentine’s Day garden flag!

A few years ago, I made this Let it Snow flag:

Although it doesn’t seam to convince Mother Nature to bring us some white powder, it has held up nicely in the cold and rain. I’ve since set out to create a garden flag for each season. I have a Fall themed flag and a Summer flag. So, why not a Valentine’s Day flag?!

Start by collecting some supplies. Feel free to substitute what you have on hand.

Materials:

  • Dollar Store placemat
  • Ruler
  • Soap sliver (pencil or disappearing fabric marker)
  • Letter stencils (I chose a set by Martha Stewart Plaid)
  • Round paint brush
  • Tulip Fabric paint (white and black)
  • Tulip glitter fabric paint
  • Tulip glitter transfer sheets
  • Fabric scraps (red, pink and white)
  • Polyester stuffing
  • Scrap fabric, towel or rag (for ironing the glitter iron-ons)
  • White thread
  • Scissors

Begin by ironing the fabric you will be using (including the placemat). Use caution when ironing the placemat, the DollarTree ones I bought are polyester and needed a cooler iron. [Read more...]

How to Sew a Custom Canvas Tote

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Pretty Handy readers it’s Jaime again from That’s My Letter here today to share useful sewing project.  How to sew a custom canvas tote complete with painted monogram:

canvas tote

This tote makes a great everyday bag or purse, just big enough for all the important stuff but not too bulky.  The finished size is 16″w x 9″h x 8″ square at the base, and the handles extend about 6″ in height.

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The tote is fully lined and includes an interior zippered pocket.  The zipper is easy as pie I promise!  I’ll show you how down below.

You can add any monogram or name to personalize the tote.  Then you’ll be making canvas totes as gifts for all your friends.

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The square base makes for a nice wide tote and the canvas is super durable:

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Materials:

  • drop cloth canvas (1 yard)
  • blue canvas (1/2 yard outdoor patio fabric Sunbrella or the like)
  • lining (1 yard)
  • medium weight fusible interfacing (1 yard)
  • firm interfacing – 9″ x 9″
  • 1 1/2″w cotton webbing (1 yard)
  • 9″ zipper
  • lightbox
  • small paintbrush
  • acrylic paint
  • sewing machine, thread to match, iron, seam ripper

Materials Cut List:

Base:

  • 1 – blue canvas 9″ x 9″
  • 1 – lining 9″ x 9″
  • 1 – drop cloth canvas 9″ x 9″
  • 1 – firm interfacing 9″ x 9″

Body:

  • 2 – drop cloth canvas 10″h x 17″l
  • 2 – med. fusible interfacing 10″ x 17″
  • 2 – lining 10″ x 17″
  • 2 – blue canvas 4″h x 17″w

Handles: 2 – 1 1/2″w cotton webbing @ 17″l

Instructions:

canvas tote fabric cuts

Step 1: Cut materials (see cut list above).

canvas tote base

Step 2: Prepare base.  Sandwich drop cloth, firm interfacing then blue canvas. [Read more...]

Cute Reversible Reusable Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl

Reversible Reusable Tote Bag Sewing Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Reversible Reusable Tote Bag Sewing Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Today I have one of my closest friends and blogging buddies here. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, she’s the amazing, the incredible and the always vivacious Sandra from SawdustGirl.com. And she’s going to give you a tutorial for sewing those cute reversible and reusable tote bags!

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Howdy Handy friends! I’m Sandra of Sawdust Girl – formerly Sawdust and Paper Scraps. I had grand plans for my Tres’ Fugal gift post for Brittany…but I’m currently building a kitchen and it’s kicking my pants! So, I’m recycling an oldie. I try to reduce, reuse and recycle anyway so this tutorial for reusable, reversible, ruffled totes is fitting. Don’t ya’ think? I like to use my totes as grocery bags and have given a pair of these as gifts along with a few reusable produce bags found at the dollar store.

Reversible Reusable Tote Bag Sewing Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

I used an old sheet and a set of pillowcases to make mine but for a gift item, I’d use new fabric. If you look for sheets on clearance you can get a LOT of fabric for just a few dollars.

Reversible Reusable Tote Bag Sewing Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

This is a really easy pattern that I made from looking at a canvas tote. (It fits perfectly on a standard pillowcase)

*Seam allowance? I run the fabric along the right side of the foot. I think it’s a waste to take a wide allowance and then trim!

Instructions: [Read more...]

Laundry Fun Gift Basket + How to Sew a Basket Liner

DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe | Pretty Handy Girl

Laundry Fun Gift Basket | Pretty Handy Girl

Today I have a bit of an unconventional gift idea. But, frankly it is a gift that is sure to bring some fun and enjoyment to anyone who is tasked with the domestic chore of doing laundry. I think this Laundry Fun Gift Basket would be a wonderful gift for a new homeowner. Or a college student who finally moved out of the dorm into their own apartment. Heck, even Grandma would surely love this gift.

If you don’t have anyone on your list that would enjoy a laundry themed gift basket, I’ll show you how to sew a custom liner for an oval basket! You can use the same instructions to sew a liner for almost any shaped container and turn it into a beautiful gift basket with your own theme.

Laundry Fun Gift Basket | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Laundry Fun Gift Basket | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional: Pin on flower

Ideas to put into the Gift Basket:

  • Lavendar scented clothes pins
  • Bottle filled with DIY liquid laundry detergent
  • Dryer balls (Check out these West Elm Hedgehog Dryer Balls)
  • Lavendar dryer bags from Trader Joes
  • Fels Naptha Soap (available at any supermarket in the laundry aisle)
  • Linen scented hand soap from Trader Joes
  • Fresh towels
  • Bar soap
  • “Laundry Loads & Loads of Fun” Artwork

Directions for sewing a basket liner:  [Read more...]

Homemade Tea Bags by Songbird

Make the perfect gift for a tea lover: heart shaped tea bags. Tutorial from  http://www.songbirdblog.com

Oooo, you are going to be so excited! I have a very special lady visiting today, she traveled all the way from the Netherlands to share her Très Frugal DIY gift idea with you.

Please welcome the very sweet and very savvy Marianne!

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Hello sweet friends. This is Marianne aka Songbird and I am so happy to be here again. I am thrilled and honored that Brittany asked me to be part of this awesome DIY gift ideas party. Today I want to share a quick and easy homemade gift that will warm the heart of any receiver for sure.

Who doesn’t love a nice cup of freshly brewed tea?

And how much better will that tea taste if it is made with a homemade tea bag?

Exactly!

You only need a few supplies, a bit of time and some patience.

Make tea bags using coffee filters and a few other supplies. Tutorial for homemade tea bags from http://www.songbirdblog.com

You will need:

♥ loose tea leaves
(make sure there are no ‘big’ pieces in there or it will be harder to fill the bags)

♥ coffee filters

♥ thread

♥ a template like a cookie cutter

♥ optional: washi tape for the labels

♥ sewing machine [Read more...]

DIY Fabric Coasters

DIY Fabric Coasters

DIY Fabric Coasters

Hi everyone! I’m more than excited to be here at Pretty Handy Girl with Brittany and to be joining the amazing team of contributors. Are you enjoying the fabulous Très Frugal DIY gift ideas so far?

I’m Jessica and I blog at Decor Adventures, a place for you to find furniture makeovers, home improvement projects, craft and lots more DIY and home decor inspiration. Not to mention how to survive decorating a 113 year old house.

I’m really looking forward to sharing my ideas for how you can make your home a beautiful and meaningful place too. Today I’m going to start with an easy and super cheap fabric project, DIY fabric coasters. I love sewing and find it to be a relaxing yet productive activity. When I’m done making something like a table runner or reupholstering an ottoman I always try to think of what I can do with the leftover fabric. These small coasters were just the solution. Plus they make a great gift idea and tis the season for giving something specially made by you. Your family will love them, I promise. Here is how to make DIY fabric coasters.

Supplies:

  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Scissors or cutting mat and rotary cutter
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Pencil or disapearing ink sewing marker
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Batting for in between is optional, but I did use it

Instructions: [Read more...]

DIY Kids Cloth Napkins Tutorial

kids cloth napkins

kids cloth napkins

Hello Pretty Handy Girl readers, contributor Jaime back again to share an earth-friendly, fun and very useful tutorial as we begin to think about back to school!

Let’s make personalized cloth napkins for kids, I promise they will be the talk of the lunch table at school this year!kids cloth napkins1

I was sending my kids to school nearly every day with a large paper towel to place on the lunch table, gosh knows I don’t want my kids eating directly off the school lunch table!  Then it occurred to me that using all those paper towels was extremely wasteful.

The solution: make them personalized cloth napkins which can be washed and reused AND makes for most stylish lunch spot at the table! [Read more...]

Easy DIY Patriotic Star Pillows

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easy_sew_star-pillows
As Independence Day nears, why not dress up your home with these easy to sew star pillows?

Materials:

  • White felt
  • Blue fabric
  • Red Fabric
  • Blue thread
  • Red Thread
  • Square Pillow Form
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Pins

Instructions:

Start by printing out a large star onto a piece of paper (you can use the Zapf Dingbats font or google “star” to get your image.)

Lay the print out on top of the white felt and cut out the star shape slightly larger than the image. [Read more...]

Made in USA Star Shirts using Silhouette Interfacing

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Around Memorial Day and the Fourth of July I love to make t-shirts for the boys showing our patriotic spirit. Last year the boys and I made these spray dyed star shirts: [Read more...]

How to Make Thumbprint Design Envelope Pillows {Great Gift Idea}

contact paper silhouete on fabric

Thumbprint seahorse pillow1

Hello, Pretty Handy Girl readers! It’s Cristina from Remodelando la Casa once again happy to share an easy and fun project where kids are more than welcome to give a helping “thumb” :)

Thumbprint starfish pillow2 with tag

Envelope pillows are the easiest pillow covers I’ve sewn and let me tell you, my sewing skills are not that good.  A fabric rectangle is folded to create an “envelope”, four simple straight  lines to sew and your cover is done! No zippers, no Velcro, the envelope holds the pillow really well. [Read more...]

How to Recover Outdoor Pillows and a Mini Patio Makeover #LowesCreator

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When Lowe’s challenged me to give an outdoor spot a mini-makeover, I knew exactly where to turn my attention.

Our small paver patio is where we sit on warm spring days to eat lunch, take a break or sip wine after dark. The winter months wreak havoc on the furniture and the pillows I neglected to bring inside.

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Cleaning the furniture was as easy as a quick sponging with a Mr. Clean magic eraser.

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Then I hosed them down and was done in less than 10 minutes. The pillows weren’t as easily cleaned. I tried to wash them, but they were still a little dingy. So, I headed to Lowe’s to look for new ones.

As I entered Lowe’s with my complimentary gift card in hand, I found myself wandering down the curtain aisle again. (Do you gravitate to this aisle too? With all those colors, patterns, and textures it’s hard for me to stay focused on my shopping list.) [Read more...]

Recovering This End Up Style Kindergarten Chairs

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How-to-recover-this-end-up-chairs

As a parent of two elementary school students, I always ask my kids’ teachers if they need anything for their room. Usually the answer is markers, wipes, or snacks. But, my kindergartner’s teacher knows about my secret identity after having taught my older son for a year. So, she didn’t hesitate to ask me if I could possibly recover a few really sad looking chairs that had seen their fair share of kindergarten butts. ;-)

old_school_chair

These poor chairs were still very study, but the fabric was nubby, pilled and stained. I love a good challenge, so I took all three of the chairs home over the Christmas break.

The first task involved removing the seats. Before I touched the seats, I flipped over the chairs and marked the front side of the chair so they would fit together perfectly when I put them back together. [Read more...]

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

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I’ve made some progress this weekend on the desk for our kitchen. This was the keystone in the decision making process for the color of our cabinets. I wanted to see what the color would look like in the kitchen, on a real piece of furniture before spending big bucks on cabinets. I’m happy to say that after trying a few different colors, I’m in love with Copen Blue by Sherwin Williams. I think the skies might have just cleared and I heard the distant chorus of angels singing “Hallelujah!” Yes, it was that big of a moment!

You can see this beautiful blue in The DIY Show Off’s Beach Eclectic Cottage Room that she designed for Shaw with Cassity from Remodelaholic.

This week will be a busy one, I have several projects to start; several to finish; need to pull a permit and I REALLY need to order a refrigerator. If you have one you absolutely love, I’m open to your suggestions. Currently we have a 18 year old side by side. I’m thinking a 25 cu ft or larger french door fridge might be better suited to a growing family of boys.

But, I’m sure you aren’t here to listen to me ramble. So, instead I have a tutorial for making a bench cushion with piping.

Before we get started I wanted to let you in on a little secret: The bench cushion and side table fabrics you see below are actually shower curtains!

You read that right. Shower curtains are not only inexpensive, but they are durable and can stand up to moisture. This makes them perfect for outdoor use. I bought both of these at Target for under $20 each!

[Read more...]

Round Up of DIY Gift Ideas

It’s the homestretch before Christmas. With less than a week away, those procrastinators amongst us (ahem, me) need to get crackin’.

These were a few of my favorites from the DIY Gift Idea link party.

DIY Instagram Necklace by Mod Podge Rocks

DIY Photo Ornaments by Making Lemonade Blog

DIY Pocket Hand Warmers by Practically Functional

DIY Map Coasters by The Country Chic Cottage

3 Ingredient Lemon Salt Scrub by Eclectically Vintage 

You’re So Hot! DIY Potholder by Flamingo Toes

Christmas Light Canvas by Ask Anna Moseley

DIY Wine Gift Basket by Bonfires and Wine

Chalk Painted Thrift Store Bucket to Gift Basket by Thrift Diving

I hope you have some more inspirations for those last minute gift idea! Good luck.

 

Tea Towel Calendar

trimmed_tea_towel

2013 is right around the corner! Do you have your new calendar? I bet several people on your gift list don’t either. That’s why I think these tea towel calendars from Spoonflower would make a great gift.

Have you heard of Spoonflower? It is a custom fabric printing company that allows you to upload your own fabric patterns to print. But, you can also browse other designers’ fabrics and purchase yardage too. A month ago I happened to be browsing their website when I stumbled across these award winning tea towel calendar designs. They were absolutely adorable and I knew they’d make great gifts for a few young nieces I know. I ordered a few fat quarters (one calendar fits on one fat quarter of fabric) and anxiously awaited their arrival. (If you want to make your own calendar, order ASAP as their guaranteed delivery date for the holidays is December 17th.)

The material comes with unfinished edges, so they need a little sewing magic, but it won’t take more than 15 minutes if you pre-cut everything and have your sewing machine pre-threaded. [Read more...]

Drawstring Gift Bag Tutorial

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Welcome back to another 15 Minute DIY Gift Ideas! We’re on Day 3 and the gifts just keep comin’!

Sometimes the perfect present isn’t actually the gift itself. It’s how the gift is packaged. These quick and easy drawstring bags can be made to any size you want and can be filled with sweets, coffee or simply used instead of gift wrap. Best of all, the bag can be used long after the gift has been opened (and consumed!) [Read more...]

Summer Garden Flag from a Dollar Store Placemat

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I have to admit, I’m a little addicted to making garden flags out of fabric placemats from the Dollar Store (The Dollar Tree to be exact.)

If you missed my previous flags, this was our winter flag:

And our Valentine’s Day flag (that I’m embarrassed to say hung until this week.):

But, I finally caught up to the correct season. As I like to say, better late than never, a cheery neon garden flag! [Read more...]

Sewing a Dog Safety Reflective Bandana

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I realized recently that I haven’t given any updates on our adoption of Pretty Handy Dog (aka Buddy.) I’m happy to say that Buddy has been with us for a year and a half now, and he has adjusted to living with us (crazy boys and all) just fine. After the first year, he began to truly show us his personality. He can be goofy and wrestle and run around like a maniac once in a while. But, normally, this is how he rolls:

He rolls into a tight ball and snores like a sailor! He’s also what you call a velcro dog and doesn’t let me out of his sight. We’ve heard from sitters that after I leave, Buddy will pace and cry by the door. When the sitter asks the kids if Buddy needs to go to out they answer, “No, he’s just crying because he wants Mommy.” Ahh, another Momma’s Boy ;-).

With the weather being in the 100′s here in NC, I’ve resorted to walking Buddy at night. Actually, I’m normally a night walker. On these nighttime excursions, I wear a reflector vest for myself, but I always worried that cars have a hard time seeing my mostly black dog. So, I thought it would be a good idea to make him his own dog safety clothing. A reflective bandana seemed like the perfect idea. [Read more...]

No Sew Patio Tablecloth with Umbrella Hole

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This is one of the easiest tutorials I’ve every written. As a bonus, it is a no sew table cloth perfect for updating your outdoor table that has an umbrella.

While shopping at Target I stumbled across beautiful green link patterned table cloths. But, the sizes wouldn’t fit our square patio table. I was hanging my head in clear disappointment when I walked through the bath aisle and spotted the same pattern on a shower curtain! After using a shower curtain for a tablecloth on our screen porch, I knew this would be a great option for the patio table. I grabbed the shower curtain, did a fist pump, and sprinted to the register. As I neared the cashier, I wondered if I would finally beat the impossible game of “Can you buy less than $100 at Target?” (coming to a store near you.) [Read more...]