DIY Potato-Stamped Print Fabric Pillow

One of the most fun crafts I’ve done involves a potato. It’s a really simple craft that can either be used to replicate trends at a fraction of the cost, or easily create your own unique pattern. You can alter this tutorial to make patterns on tapestries, tea towels, linens, and more, and you can make it as simple or as complex as your pattern-loving heart desires.

You’ll need a pillow form, a rectangle of fabric (size dependent upon your pillow), large potato, a knife, fabric paint, a foam paint brush, a sewing machine, and some basic sewing skills. Alternatively, you could use an pre-fabricated pillowcase.

Cut your potato in half and draw a design in pencil or marker. The design could be anything from a dinosaur to a flower; an anchor to a peace sign. In the spirit of Curious Disposition and our logo, I chose a light bulb.

Use a foam brush to evenly spread some paint onto your new stamp and start stampin’. I chose to do mine in a diagonal-line pattern. It wasn’t perfect, but I wasn’t going for perfect.

I got a smaller paintbrush and some gold paint and added some details to some of the light bulbs. Wait for your fabric to dry completely. Since I live in a house with a cat and a dog, I hung mine up for 45 minutes or so.

After your fabric is done drying, hem the two short sides. Just fold under twice and sew with a straight line. I needed, you’ll need to cut your fabric to the correct size. My pillow form was a 15″ square, so I needed my fabric to be 17″ x 37″. (The way I got those measurements: 15″ plus 2″ for seam allowance = 17″; 15″ x 2 = 30″ plus 5″ for an overlap plus 2″ seam allowance = 37″.)

Fold into thirds, and then overlap the two a little bit more, as much as you can to make a square. Sew down the sides, leaving a 1″ seam allowance.

Turn right side out and put your pillow inside its new case.

And you’re done! The next time I do this, I think I’ll make a wall hanging with crescent moon shapes, or maybe unique (and inexpensive) gift wrapping using brown paper bags.

DIY Denim Pouf

Old jeans are pretty much the perfect reusable material when you feel like upcycling something for basically no cost. I had a few pairs of jeans sitting in my drawers that were either falling apart or no longer fit and I thought I could recycle them into this chic pouf.

You’ll need lots of denim in contrasting blues. I used three pairs of jeans and an old denim jacket.

First, I cut my jeans into four 5″ x 18″ strips, placed them right sides together and sewed, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Then I did the same thing to six 4.5″ x 9″ strips.

I was going for an abstract-looking pattern, so I sewed my two rectangles together right sides together with the four-strip rectangle perpendicular to the six-strip rectangle.

I cut the strip rectangle into a 17″ circle. This circle will be the top of your pouf.

Then, I cut more strips of jeans, this time there were nine of them and they were 15″ x 8″.

I sewed all of the 15″ x 8″ strips into a long rectangle similar to the first step of rectangular strips. Then I sewed the first and last 15″ x 8″ strips right sides together to form a large tube. Remember to use a one inch seam allowance. I pinned that onto the top of the pouf, right sides together. This will be the sides of your pouf.

During this time, I also made a 17″ circle for the bottom of the pouf out of random denim scraps from a jean jacket.

After you’ve sewn the top pouf circle to the striped sides, get your scissors and clip the seam allowance perpendicular to the seam, but don’t cut too close. This will allow for a more professional-looking appearance when the pouf is turned right side out.

Grab the 17″ bottom circle of your pouf and pin it, right sides together, to the sides of the pouf. Sew, leaving a 1″ seam allowance, as well as a 5″ opening so you can turn the pouf right side out.

Turn it right side out and start stuffing with some poly-fil. I used some old pillows to truly make this upcycle-friendly.

Pin the 5″ opening you had left before, and sew it closed using a ladder stitch.

Optionally, you could add a button to the top, but you would need to add it before you stitch your opening closed. I found an extra-large button wandering around in my craft bin and I thought it would be the perfect final touch for the pouf. I just threaded a needle with some thick thread (think embroidery thread) and pulled it down through all of the stuffing so I knew it would stay in place.

I just love the way it turned out. The contrasting hues of denim blue are great.


DIY Crocheted Clutch

This project is a great way to practice new crocheting techniques. While teaching you how to make this clutch, you’ll learn how to crochet the bobble stitch, how to attach a zipper to your crochet work and how to sew a lining into your crochet work. Note: This project is for advanced crocheters and beginner crocheters with a lot of patience.
First let’s gather the materials and supplies. You’ll need your color choice of yarn, an embroidery/tapestry needle, a zipper, a crochet hook (I used a size G), scissors, a sewing machine, your choice of lining fabric and your color choice of thread. I also used a cutting mat and a rotary cutter, but those are optional.

Using your embroidery needle and yarn, sew along the side of a zipper using the blanket stitch. Try and make sure the stitches evenly spaced.

Do this to both sides of the zipper. Knot your ends. It’s okay to leave them long because they’ll be covered by the fabric lining later.

We’re only going to be working on one side now, so pick a side, any side! 
Using a size G crochet hook, single crochet across the first row, chain one and turn your work.

Now we’re going to learn the bobble stitch. It’s quite obvious that I had already crocheted a few rows before taking pictures, but the concept is the same. After you’ve turned your work, single crochet in the first stitch.

1. Yarn over, insert your hook in the stitch, yarn over, draw up a loop.
2. Yarn over, draw through first two loops on the hook. You should have two loops on your hook now.
3. Yarn over, insert your hook in the stitch, yarn over, draw up a loop.
4. Yarn over, draw through first two loops on the hook. You should have three loops on your hook now.
5. Yarn over, insert your hook in the stitch, yarn over, draw up a loop.
6. Yarn over, draw through first two loops on the hook. You should have four loops on your hook now.

7. Yarn over, insert your hook in the stitch, yarn over, draw up a loop.
8. Yarn over, draw through first two loops on the hook. You should have five loops on your hook now.
9. Yarn over, draw through all five loops on hook.
10. Single crochet in the next stitch.

So on this row, you’ll single crochet, bobble crochet, single crochet, bobble crochet, etc.

The bobble stitch will always be done on the back of your work. So this means that you’ll have to alternate every row with a row of single crochet. So after you just finished these 10 steps on a whole row, you’ll have to single crochet across the entire row. The bobble stitches may look longer than the single crochet stitches, but you still only need to single crochet into them once.

Below is one finished side of:
Row 1: SC in each stitch, chain one, turn.
Row 2: SC in first stitch, bobble in next stitch, repeat until end. Chain one, turn.
Row 3: SC in each stitch, chain one, turn.
Row 4: SC in first stitch, bobble in next stitch, repeat until end. Chain one, turn.
When you’re finished, tie off your work.

Starting from one side to the other, single crochet across the three sides.

Now do the same exact thing to the other side.

Now place the right (bobble) sides together and single crochet around the edges. Make sure your zipper is open before you do so, because now you’re going to turn the clutch inside-out.

Set your crochet work aside and grab your lining fabric. Since my clutch is 7.5″ x 5.25″, I cut out a piece of fabric that was 9″ x 12″. The extra inches are for seam allowance. Mine was quite large, and you could definitely go smaller if you wanted to. Fold the fabric in half so it’s 9″ x 6″.

Sew up the sides allowing enough seam allowance. Mine was .75″ on each side.

Fold over the top as much as you need. You can check by placing it in the clutch and folding over accordingly. Now you don’t have to do this part, but I did: sew across to make a hem.

You’ll need to pin the lining to the clutch and thread a needle. The length of thread will need to be about three times the circumference of your clutch. This is the tricky part. We’re going to use the term “vertical bars” to reference the orange yarn that’s sewn into the zipper.  to attach the lining to the clutch. Start on one seam/side of the bag and work your way around.
You’ll need to knot your thread below the top of the lining and then ladder stitch the lining followed by making a stitch behind the vertical bar. Repeat the ladder stitch all the way around. This way the thread will be mostly hidden and completely hidden from the outside of the clutch. Knot your ends when you’re done, and use a small crochet hook to pull the the thread between the lining and the crochet to hide.

Perfect to use for small things or a smaller number of items, like a phone and some cash or small sewing supplies.

You could make similar clutches using different stitches. A single crochet would look nice.

Spring Cleaning Playlist: A Curation of Peppy Songs for Cleaning

It’s about that time of year again. It’s spring, which means it’s time to empty your closets, donate a bunch of your old stuff to charity, scrub your baseboards, put your winter clothing into storage, and vacuum all of the nooks and crannies of your home you neglected all winter.

If you’re like me, you definitely put all of these chores on the back burner until the last possible minute. Something that always gets me in the mood to do mass amounts of laundry or scrub the stove is upbeat, positive music.

Here’s a list of jams that will get you pumped up to clean and declutter this season:

  1. Furr – Blitzen Trapper
  2. Naive – The Kooks
  3. Same Jeans – The View
  4. Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
  5. Hong Kong Garden – Siouxsie and the Banshees
  6. Cold Cold Man – Saint Motel
  7. Chugjug – Family of the Year
  8. The Walker – Fitz and the Tantrums
  9. A Summer Song – Chad & Jeremy
  10. Walking on a Dream – Empire of the Sun
  11. Ghostwriter – RJD2
  12. Oxford Comma – Vampire Weekend
  13. Frankly, Mr. Shankly – The Smiths
  14. Cutie Pie – Nathan Fox
  15. The Impression That I Get – The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  16. Sound System – Operation Ivy
  17. Three Little Birds – Bob Marley & The Wailers
  18. Dance Yrself Clean – LCD Soundsystem
  19. Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine
  20. The World Is New – Save Ferris

If you have a Spotify account, you can listen to the playlist here:

What songs do you play while spring cleaning? Let us know in the comments.

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