Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Crafty Side: Victorian Dress Ironing Board Cover


The inspiration: I found this perfect gown at the following website: The name of the dress: "Peach Victorian Bustle Ball Gown with Pearl Flowers". This dress was voted "2009 USA Best Ball Gown in the World" - 2nd Place Winner. It was the perfect gown for the Craft Room: Victorian and Peach.

My version: Keep in mind this was for an Ironing Board "Cover"...not a dress. And, it was made from a Thrift Store dress and hat...

I don't like the look of an ironing board standing in the corner. In the craft room, I wanted something creative to hide the board. Let's face it, we're talking about a "craft" room...So, this is the place to be crafty! To fit in with the decor of the room, I wanted something Victorian-esque with a peach color scheme.

I used a 1" x 4" board, cut slightly larger than the base of the legs. I drilled 4 holes in the board: 2 for the hook to hang on the wall, and 2 for hooks inside the "bag" to accomodate the leg of the board.

I covered the board with a natural cotton muslin fabric. I then measured the length of the ironing board, and cut a piece of the muslin fabric, as well as a satiny liner fabric. I sewed the 2 pieces of fabric together, trimmed my corners and turned inside-out. I then hot-glued it to the edges of the board. Thus, creating a 3-sided "bag" to cover the ironing board.

Now to creating the dress...I went to the local Goodwill store, and found the perfect dress, AND a hat! I bought them both for less than $10. The dress was originally some sort of party dress, with long sleeves that were puffed at the top, and tapered to fit at the wrist. The dress was knee-length, with 3 rows of ruffles at the bottom.

I had some 3" sheer, off-white lace, in my stash. Perfect! I also had some small seed pearls that have pieces of flexible wire attached. I think they use these in floral creations. I don't know why I had them...

I used large T-head pins to attach the dress to the top of the board, pinning it to the bag, I had previously made. Then, I created a wide waist band for the dress, and just slipped it over the skirt. I tucked a small pleat along the middle of the dress, and waist band. It was held in place with just a couple of whip-stitches. I then tucked seed pearls along the pleat, to look like small pearl buttons. Next, I brought the middle of the ruffled skirt to just below the waist band. I was going for a "bustled" look. I tucked pieces of the 3" lace in between the ruffles, to add some fullness, and detail. Finally, I made small armbands trimmed with lace. I was able to "poof" the sleeves through the bands, for an old-timey looking sleeve. The bottom of the "bag" serves as the skirt.

I then glued lace to the hat. And, finally, I created a small sheer-ribbon bow, with coordinating tiny silk flowers that was pinned to the hat.

Voila! A faux Victorian dress that hides my ironing board. I love this project! I'm very happy with the results.

Till Next Time...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Crafty Side: Diaper Cakes and Baby Things

Good Morning! I thought I'd post the few diaper cakes I've made. I love, love, love doing these for family and friends! The type of cake that I make is called "boutique". I like the simple look of the swirled diapers. And, it is much easier, and quicker, than rolling each diaper. I also opt for a more traditional type decor, than functional. This is simply a personal preference. I like the more elegant, simple look of the cake. Here is a brief tutorial, followed by pics of my creations:

I use 1 Box (96) of Pampers Swaddlers size 1 diapers. I like a very plain, white, cake to work with. Most disposable diapers have designs of different types on them. The Pampers have a very pastel border around the waistband, that is hidden in the center of the layers. There is also a small, faint, yellow line running through the diaper. It is so small and pale, that I haven't had any trouble with it detracting from my overall designs.

Your cake will need a base to sit on. I use "foamboard", from my local Hobby store. It comes in 3'x2' sheets. It cuts easily, and can be stapled, glued, or taped.

In order to make a circle of diapers, you have to have something to hold them, while getting the spacing correct. I use an empty 12-pack soda box. Simply cut the sides, lengthwise. You will only need 2 of the 4 pieces of cardboard.

Helpful Hint: Although, I haven't done it on my previous cakes, I would highly suggest cutting the sides of the box, almost in half lengthwise, again. Here is the reason: The sides of the box, as originally cut, are almost the same height as the diapers. You will be packing the diapers in very tightly, and will need to tie them with some type of ribbon, or my preference clear fishing line, after you have placed all the diapers. If the cardboard circle is as tall as the diapers, you really have to work at getting that ribbon/fishing line inside the box and around the diapers. MUCH easier to have about half of the diaper exposed!

Staple one end of the boxes together. Then determine how big you want your bottom layer of diapers to be. Staple the other ends of the box, after this determination has been made. Now, you've got a cardboard circle.

Place this cardboard circle on the foamboard that will be used for your base. Determine how big you want the base to be in relation to the cardboard circle. Cut using an exacto or razor knife. As you can see from my cakes, I have used both circle and square bases. I have also completely covered the bases, or pleated around the edge of the base with ribbon. The choice is yours, and the possibilities are endless!

Now that you have your base completed, put your cardboard circle on the base. Place your diapers in the circle, with the waistband toward the center. After you've filled the circle with diapers, work on spacing each one around the outside edge in a consistent lap. When you've got the perfect "swirl", tie a ribbon (or clear fishing line) tightly around the outside edge. Now simply cut away the carboard circle. But, save it!! You will be using it for the next layer.

For the top layer simply make a smaller circle with the cardboard. Place it on top of the first layer, to make sure and get the correct size. You will want approximately a 2" smaller diameter circle from the bottom layer. Staple the box, and place your diapers. This top layer is a little more difficult to work with, simply because of the smaller space. But, it's just a matter of getting the outside edge to look consistent with the first layer. Tie the diapers, again, with ribbon or fishing line. And cut away the box...that's it, you're done!

Now for the fun part...decorating! You will need a topper large enough to cover the center core of the top layer. For my safari-themed cake, I simply cut a small circle from my foam board and covered with the same material as the base. For my pastel blue and pink cakes, I used tulle, underneath the topper. To top off the cakes, use your imagination. I have used the small picture frame (with the new baby's initials), or a left-over shower invitation (Pastel Blue Boy's cake), and also a spruced up Christmas ornament (Pastel Pink Girl's cake).

At the bottom of the page is a hot pink/zebra square diaper cake. This is not one of my fave's; but, the mom-to-be was using that color scheme for everything, and doesn't really care for "traditional" themes. So, I had to be a little creative, and think outside the box. She loved the cake! And, that's all that matters!

I have also included pictures of the baby sock rose bouquet that I did for a centerpiece. This was for the same shower as the Pastel Blue Boy's cake. I honestly can't remember the exact instructions for making the baby sock roses. But, I got the information from the internet.

And here are the pictures:

Safari Themed Diaper Cake: This is my most current creation, made just a couple of weeks ago.

Pastel Blue Boy's Cake: This is the very first cake I ever made. I think it turned out so pretty! And the baby sock rose bouquet really complimented the cake.

Baby Girl Pastel Pink Diaper Cake:

Hot Pink & Zebra Diaper Cake:

I really wish I had taken more pictures of the first diaper cakes. Live and Learn! I hope you enjoyed seeing my cakes. I am really wanting to do a little cowboy diaper cake. I wish I knew some soon-to-be Mommy, having a little boy! Till next time...

My Crafty Side: Texas Flags

Texas My Texas

After gathering all the pictures of the different Texas Flags, I've made, it hit me that I might be a little obsessed with the whole idea. Geeze, I didn't realize how many things I've done, with the whole flag theme. Now, I am not going to say I'll never make another Texas Flag project...but, seriously, get a new gig lady!

Here they are, in all their glory:

I wanted to do something rustic and Texas for our family playhouse a.k.a. "The Barn". We had quite a bit of unused 1" x 4" boards left from doing the walls. I don't like to throw things away...I can always find a use for them. So, I came up with this idea to create a Texas flag for our gameroom.

I have since made 3 flags, and have been asked to create several more for friends. The last one I donated to our local VFD auction, and it surprisingly brought in over $200! I am thrilled that someone would actually pay money for my flag, and that it raised some much-needed funds for our small Volunteer Fire Dept.

Here are the step-by-step pictures of the auction flag:

Here's a little rug I crocheted for the Bunkhouse in the Barn. I bought 2 yds each of bargain fabric, in red, off white, and blue. Then I tore the fabric into 1" wide strips. I tied the strips together, end-to-end, and created a ball of fabric "thread" similar to a ball of yarn. I used a very large crochet hook, and started making rectangles. I honestly did this all by look, and no specific instructions. This picture doesn't look very square...but it is, I promise! :)

Also for the bunkhouse, I created a rustic tin flag, out of some left-over material we had from the ceilings in our barn:

And lastly, I created a Texas Sized shower curtain for our rustic bathroom. The ceiling in the room is 10' tall. The shower is 6' wide. I cut out the star from the top section, and then stitch-witched the white material to the back of the opening. I then frayed the edges of the blue fabric opening, and also the edges of the two bottom panels (red and white). I used very cheap rope from the local hardware store for the tie-backs. For curtain rods, I have begun using 1/2" metal conduit from the hardware store. It is extremely sturdy (no sagging from heavy material), comes in 10' lengths and can be cut easily with a metal saw blade. It is also very cheap. I needed 3 rods for this bathroom project: 1 for the top blue panel, 1 for the 2 bottom panels, and 1 for the clear shower curtain inside the 2 bottom panels. In order to make the the clear shower liner, I bought clear plastic tablecloth material from walmart. The plastic was 42" wide, so I used 2 panels 72" long. I then used small metal curtain rings that clipped to the top of the plastic panels. The small rings simply slide onto the metal conduit curtain rod.

Okay, I think that's it for my Texas Flag creations! Well, until I can come up with something else...haha

Till Next Time...