Zippers Are a Snap!

Photo courtesy of K and C Supplies, my current favorite zipper supplier on Etsy!

 

So many people I know think that sewing zippers is a dreaded task…I admit it, I used to be one of them!  But, I’m here to tell you, that beast of a zipper CAN actually be tamed, and you can come out of it looking like a zipper pro!

How, you ask?  With the help of a very good teacher, who, by the way, is NOT me.  Nope.  I learned how to conquer the zipper from a tutorial I found on one of my favorite sewing blogs, Sew Mama Sew.  I found this great post titled Zippered and Slip Pocket Tutorial (they shared it from another blog, Creative Little Daisy), and I  just knew that my zipper fearing days were over!

I don’t want to just copy the whole tutorial over here, ‘casue I didn’t ask permission, and I try to be careful about not stealing other people’s ideas, but here are a few pictures and the link to the tutorial so you can see for yourself: 

Zippered and Slip Pocket Tutorial

   

Go ahead, give it a try!  You will be so proud of yourself!

BTW…just wanted to add a personal note here.  In the tutorial where the instructor uses fusible tape, she also suggests that glue stick works, too.  She’s right, and it’s my prefered way of tacking things in place.  I’ve even used glue stick in other projects where a good but temporary bond is needed.  And, personal preference here…I like Staples brand glue sticks best.  But that’s just me.

Anyway, happy zipper sewing!  You can do it!  And if you try it, take a picture and share it with us on my Facebook page, won’t you?  Then we can all be proud of each other together! 🙂

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Playing Card Notebook DIY Project

 

 

I’ve been taking a bit of a break from sewing this week, and been experimenting with a different type of hand-me-down medium….game cards!

I was wracking my brains trying to think of things around the house that I could play will, mutilate, and re-purpose, and the idea came to me to make pocket-sized notebooks with game card covers.  We just happened to have an old, spare deck of Uno® laying around, so I decided to try using those.  After a few different attempts that I was less than happy with, I finally settled on the method that I’m going to share today.

This notebook is made with a glued edge binding, and it’s very likely that you’ll have all the materials you need right on hand.  Here’s a list:

old deck of cards

plain white paper

ruler with 16th inch marks

straight edge

craft knife or rotary cutter

cutting surface

rubber cement

binder clips or clothes pins

thick colored paper

 

The first step is to carefully, precisely measure the length and width of your playing card.  Mine measured 2 3/16 by 3 7/16 inches.  Being as precise as you can will help your notebook pages be just the right size without edges protruding in an unsightly manner (of course, careful cutting helps, too!).

 

 

Next, taking about 10 sheets of white paper at a time, carefully stack them with edges even, and cut strips as wide as your height measurement.  I like to keep the piles of 10 separated from each other so that I can more easily count out how many pages I’m putting into each notebook.

 

Repeat the last step, but this time take the strips you just made and cut them into page size pieces the size of your width measurement.

 

Now the fun part!  Take your deck of cards and choose which one you want as the cover to your notebook and another to be the back cover, then sandwich a stack of paper between the two.  I like to use 40 pieces for each notebook.  I recommend anywhere from 20 to 50 pages.

 

Now, take your notebook stack and gently tap the sides to get them even, and do the same to the top edge taking care to get this edge as absolutely even and smooth as possible.  You’ll be applying the glue to this edge and you want to ensure that each page has an equal chance to get all glued up!

 

At this point, take a couple of binder clips and clip your notebook together on either side and rather close to the top edge.  I also like to take a larger binder clip and attach it to the bottom edge to act as a stand for my notebook during this next stage.

 

O.K., time for the glue!…I love rubber cement, ever since elementary school.  There’s just something so cool about glue that rolls up and rubs away.  Anyway…back to the notebook making!  Paste a good layer of rubber cement along that top edge of your notebook.  Go ahead and slather it on thick, just avoid excessive dripping.  Be sure not to miss any spots.  I also recommend that you brush a little over the edges on the sides a bit.

 

Now you wait.  Once that layer of glue looks like it’s dried, apply another one.  You need to repeat this step multiple times.  I’ve found that about five layers works pretty good, but you’ll know that you’ve got enough on when the glue starts to build up when it’s dry instead of soaking in.

Once the gluing process is finished, take the strip of colored paper and cut a piece that is between 3/4 and 1 inch wide and only a little longer than the top edge of your pad.

 

Position the top edge of the pad in the center of the colored strip and bend the edges down onto the pad to form a binding strip that attaches to the front, top, and back of the tablet.

 

Put a layer of glue on the colored strip, then attach it to the notepad, holding edges down securely for about 20 seconds to allow a bond to form.  Be sure the edges of the strip stay glued securely.  Apply more glue if necessary.

 

Once the strip is attached, use your craft knife to trim the extra strip from the edges of the notebook.

 

To ensure a good bond, press the notebook under something heavy and let the glue cure completely.

 

Now that everything is good and set, you’ve got yourself a handy little pocket-sized notepad.  They make great gifts and are sure to be a fun conversation starter!  Just be sure that you don’t use cards from your kids’ favorite card game…they get a little cranky about that! 🙂

 

Have fun!

Blessings,

m

Quick and Easy Tissue Pouch

 

A friend of mine once said to me, “I didn’t know I needed a tissue pouch until I saw yours!”  This easy little project is a great addition to a hand-made gift and is perfect for a small project for those first learning to sew.  It’s small enough that it can be made from scraps of another project, so it’s easy to make it a coordinating accessory.

For this project you will need two pieces of cloth, an inner piece and an outer piece.  I like to make my outer piece from a solid color and my inner piece from a coordinating pattern.

All seams in this pattern are sewn at 1/4″.

Cut your rectangular pieces:

– inner piece 6″x7 1/2″

– outer piece 6″x6 1/4″

Place and stitch the shorter edge of the outer piece on top of the matching edge of the inner piece with right sides facing.

Now shift the inner piece down a bit so the opposite edges match up and stitch in place.

Once you’ve stitched those two edges, flip the entire piece inside out.  On the side with the outer piece showing, you’ll have a nice, finished edge made from your inner fabric, like this:

Next, with your outer piece on top, fold down the top finished edge 1 1/2 ” and pin in place.

Then, fold up the bottom finished edge 1 1/2″ and pin that in place.  And, yes, the two edges should overlap each other.

After you’ve got both edges pinned in place, stitch both short sides closed.

Almost finished!  Now, to give the inside a nice, finished look, go back and do a zigzag stitch right over the edge.  I like to do a broad, close stitch.

Turn the whole thing right side out making sure to push the corners out completely.  Fill your pouch with a package of purse-sized tissues and you’re finished!

    

Feel free to make these and give them away, or even sell them.  These little pouches are so easy and so much fun to make, who wouldn’t want to share?