Foldover Cross-Body Bag

I am so happy with this cross-body bag I made! If you’ve got a keen eye, you’ll see I’ve once again used the MCM atomic prints created by Joe of Ambient Wares – you can download it for free >here< and see the adorable MCM plant stands they made with it! They even have hairpin legs!

Printing on Fabric with a laser printer!

I printed their designs on fabric using a black & white laser printer.

So what you do is tear off a piece of freezer paper and with your iron set to highest setting (which unless you have a commercial/professional iron is nothing) and the steam off, press the shiny side of your freezer paper to your fabric.

Once it’s attached, trim your fabric/paper sandwich to either letter (8.5″ x 11″) or legal sized (8.5″ x 14″). I used legal for the bag. Go over all the edges again with your iron making sure it’s firmly attached together all the way around. Be especially certain at the edge that will feed into the printer.

Use a sticky lint roller to make sure there are no loose threads or lint on the side you are printing. Set your printer to print best quality and using your bypass tray, print your design on the fabric. The freezer paper backing should just peel away.

I did some test pieces and washed them to test if the design would be colorfast. I discovered as long as you go over the design with a hot iron first to set it, on my fabric the design stayed through washing.

Making the cross body bag.

This is just an overview, I want to tweak the pattern and test it a bit more before I do a full tutorial, but I purchased 1/2 meter each of my 3 different fabric choices.

I had already drafted my pattern the night before, so I pinned everything out and cut my pieces.

With no clear right or wrong side, I kept questioning if I had it right. I expected the pieces to look more like the pieces of a puzzle when they were side by side.

I interfaced the exterior fabrics and pocket linings with fusible interfacing. There was a time I would have had black interfacing for my dark fabric, this time I had only white and it worked out fine.

I attached my accent piece to the top of each plain piece to make the front and back of the bag.

Then I marked out the zipper placement on the pocket lining.

Here is the lining turned to the inside of the bag.

How it looks on the outside. More lighting would have been nice!

Zipper placement!

Pin the bag at the corners and seams, right sides together. Don’t sew the notch between the pins.

Press everything open.

Shift the fabric around, seams together and sew across the notch to shape the bottom of the bag.

Here I’m inserting the zipper and interior pocket.

You sew it into a pocket after inserting the zipper. Once I had the zipper in, I sewed the lining together in the same way as the exterior, but with an opening left in the side for turning.

The strap is adjustable so you can use it as a regular purse but I prefer the convenience of a cross-body bag. I love this sparkly webbing.

Here you can see how the exterior pocket is under the flap. I love how nicely the lines & dots atomic pattern and the lining fabric play together.

The buckle is rather cool, even if the quality was somewhat disappointing.

I’m so happy with the way this cross-body bag came together! I can’t wait to share the pattern and a full tutorial with you!

Atomic Style Planters for Fellow MCM Geeks

For the MCM geeks - Atomic Style Planters!

I’m just going to say it – I’m a complete geek for all things MCM, especially the Atomic style patterns of the day. Fortunately for me, so are Joe and Angie of Ambient Wares and Joe created two amazing patterns you can download for free >here<!

I have so many ideas for these patterns, but the first thing I did with them was make some darling planters for my growing collection of succulents.

Clay pots with an amazing Atomic graphic

Initially, I painted two pots white and another two turquoise. I decoupaged Joe’s pattern to the rims of my pots. Unfortunately, when I sprayed them with sealer, the color of the clay bled through the white paint, making it appear dirty next to the bright white patterned rims. So I masked off the decorative rim and hit them all with the spray paint – Rustoleum Chalked in Serenity Blue – which turned out to be a perfect MCM color.

Planting a Dish Garden with Succulents

Choose a pleasing arrangement for your plants

Once everything was dry and sealed time for the fun! The thriller, filler, spiller rule applies to dish gardens as well as outdoor planters. I created a pleasing arrangement, then I used my favorite planting trick.

Place empty pots in planter as space holders

Gently remove the plants from their pots and then place the empty pots as space holders.

add soile and tamp down

Add soil and tamp in place around the empty pots.

Remove the pot leaving a planting hole

Take out one of the pots and there’s your planting space.

pop a plant in

Pop a plant in and move to the next ‘space’.

Continue until it's all planted

Here you can see the finished arrangement with a few more plants added in.

Small planter

One of the smaller pots, still using the formula of thriller, filler, spiller. I love the way this little pot came together with the delicate blue trailer, the fuzzy leaves of the filler and the spiky dark green height behind.

Another small planter

Here is another small pot. Check out Jaws in there!

Some of my collection

This little table used to be my play table as a kid. Now it sits beside my desk under a window.

the smaller pots in my wicker shelf

This little wicker thrift store shelf hangs above.

with the mini turtle

It’s also home to my mini turtle topiary.

All together now

these little pots make me happy

These little pots with their ‘Atomic’ patterned rims make me happy.



Finally, Creative Space for Me!

Finding creative space in a tiny house is hard! I transformed my closet into a functional craft space just for me.

I’ve been desperately needing a creative space for myself, but with 3 adult sized people in less than 1,000 square feet where to find it?

In my closet!

Walk in closets are nice, unless you’re crying for space to fit everyone in a tiny house. So Friday, I pulled everything out of my closet.

Here’s the left side before.

The middle before. FYI that stack of vinyl floor tiles is the worst flooring ever.

Closet right side – before. I painted it white 18 years ago and hadn’t touched it since. Gross.

Believe me or not, but this closet was a bathroom. Tub, toilet and sink, it was the only bathroom in the house. You could rest your head on the sink while sitting on the toilet, which overflowed if you tried to flush while the washing machine was draining. Fun times!

I took everything off the walls, all the shelving and the closet rods. Then I patched holes and painted it all white.

Because there is a bedroom on the other side of the right hand wall, I used that wall for hanging clothing. The person who lives in that bedroom is a very light sleeper.

It’s a double rod but I really don’t have a lot of clothing. I used a thrift store basket for all of my flip-flops and sandals. The sky-scraper heels to the donation bin.

So the right side is all closety business and does its job. Big boring yawn! The fun stuff is on the other side.

Creativity to the left!

Ta-da! Pure creative space! No more hunting all over the place to find my supplies. No more taking over the kitchen table for crafts and having to clean up before finishing.

I am so happy I could sing and dance! But not really, because I don’t know how to do either.

Nearly all my crafting supplies fit on these two shelves. I can’t believe how much the tidier the rest of the house is now that all of this is gathered up in one place!

The top shelf is all about sewing and fabric.

The bottom shelf holds my crafting stuff.

And some topiary supplies!

Tucked into the corner, photo props and my rolls of chicken wire. I almost threw out the little accordion file until I realized it was perfect for patterns.

A thrift store lazy-susan is going to be so handy when I’m making topiaries! And it’s bright, thanks to the two LED floodlights on the shelf above.

Brushes, sculpting tools, and Sharpies all have a home.

Acrylic craft paint and some hand tools for cutting and shaping wire.

The work bench is a 16″ wide pine shelf that I stained at the same time as I was working on my ‘pegboard’. I love that pegboard! I can see everything I use the most often right there. You can see how I made it here – DIY Pegboard for Craft Room Storage. Other than the materials for the pegboard and the lights, I used supplies I already had on hand. I shopped my house for bins. So all told I spent $150-$200. Not too shabby.

So what do you think? Would you sacrifice closet space to gain creative space?




DIY Pegboard for Craft Room Storage

Make this unique industrial style pegboard!

Pegboards are amazing for small spaces but I’ve just never liked the look of them. It’s all those holes, they make me think of dust and wonder if there spiders hiding in them. So when I was looking for a different storage solution for my craft supplies – like that damn rotary cutter I can never find – I had to get creative.

DIY Pegboard Materials & Equipment:

  • Wood for backing. I used two 12″ x 4′ pine shelves but you could easily use reclaimed wood instead.
  • Hardware cloth with 1/2″ x 1/2″ openings. Do not buy the prepackaged rolls. They are rolled too tightly and impossible to work with. Have it cut to length at the Hardware Store.
  • Washers & bolts for spacers.
  • Screws long enough to go through spacers into wood.
  • Clamp or two.
  • Long straight edge.
  • Drill.

Making the Pegboard:

I stained and sealed both shelf boards before starting. I thought about using a tea stain for a rustic look, but decided I wanted a deeper color. Once dry, I used two mending straps in the back to join the two shelves. I could have used pieces of wood instead, but it was cold and windy outside and I didn’t want to drag my saw out of the shed.

Eye Bolt and Hook to hang Hardware Cloth Pegboard

I started by drilling pilot holes in the top edge of my wood backing and then screwing in the eye bolts. We won’t even discuss those extra holes for the hooks in my recently patched, freshly painted wall.

Clamp the mesh to your work surface at each end with the curl facing up.

I only had one clamp, so I used a case of pop to weight the other end to keep the mesh from curling back up.

Using your long straight edge, start folding the cloth. I did my long edges first, it helps to straighten the mesh. Work your way up and down the fold line, gradually folding it inwards.

When you’ve completed the fold, crimp it tightly with pliers.

Repeat for all four sides then flip it over so the curl faces down, otherwise your mesh will sit right on the backing and leave no space between the mesh and backing for hooks.

Fasten the mesh, top and bottom every 12″ or so. Mark your screw placement, but only drill one pilot hole at a time. The openings in the mesh won’t always be where you expect them.

My first time staining and sealing wood – can you tell?

For each screw, it’s washer, mesh, washer, nut or spacer, washer, and then finally into the wood. Leave some play until all the screws are in.

That’s it!

Mount it on the wall and start hanging up your tools and supplies.

I just bend pieces of wire into hooks but you could buy S-hooks also.

A word about cost:

Unless you are using salvaged wood as your backing, and maybe not even then, just buying a piece of pegboard is cheaper. With the two pine shelves for backing (2@$18.49 ea – $36.98), stain ($8.99), and sealer ($6.99), plus the roll of hardware cloth ($1.99/foot), screws and washers the final cost was $100 – $120.

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Make a Pretty Dish Soap Dispenser

This dish soap dispenser was an easy little craft for a Sunday afternoon. I’ve never had it together enough to put my soap away when I’m done with it. Plus, my guys are ‘wash your hands in the kitchen sink with dish soap’ guys. Seriously, it drives me nuts! They act like it’s the only sink in the house!

Even for myself I’ve sometimes wished for a soap dispenser at the kitchen sink. Maybe something a little prettier than the dish detergent bottle too. I was talking about it the other night, and my youngest pointed out the empty body wash bottled kicking around in the bathroom.

It’s almost exactly the same size as the dish soap bottle.

So I grabbed another piece of fabric from my stash and cut it into squares (one of these days I’m going to get some left-handed pinking shears) and started decoupaging.

I started from the bottom, clipping the fabric to fit around the curves.

I used white glue mixed 1:1 with water, and just kept working my way up to the top of the bottle.

Dish Soap Dispenser

After masking off the threads for the lid, I gave it all three good coats of acrylic sealer. I also painted the pump gold.

No more Sunlight bottle on the counter!

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