Tuesday, July 10, 2012

$5 5-Minute Table/Chair Scarf

You’re going to love how simple it is to make your own table scarf. Adding a little bit of fabric can bring out texture and add dimension to your table-top display. Also, this simple scarf can double as a chair scarf! Just tie one around your kitchen chairs for a little dress-up. They would be perfect for a bridal or baby shower or even a wedding!

What you’ll need:
¼ yard decorator’s fabric
Matching thread
Sewing machine

1.   You'll start off by cutting the fabric in half, creating two long strips. I picked out this taffeta fabric that was half off at my local fabric store. It has a tendency to fray easily, so I included the instructions below to help alleviate that issue.


      2. Next, you are going to change the setting on your sewing machine to a small zig zag stitch where the points of the zig zag are close together (I’m such a novice at sewing I don’t even know the technical term for this!). Sew the zig zag around all sides of both pieces of fabric, as close to the edge as you can get. This will help all of the edges from fraying.

3   3.   Since you will still have some fraying, like the photo below, just take your scissors and trim all around the sides of both pieces of fabric, cutting close to the stitching you just made.

       4.   Take two of the short ends and put the right face of the fabric together. Change your machine back to a straight stitch and sew the right sides together with a ¼” seam.
            5.  If you are a little bit pickier than me, you can go ahead and press that seam with a steam iron. This might take you an extra few minutes, so it will be a “10-minute Scarf” instead!

Now go tie your scarf around a chair and be amazed what you can accomplish in 5 minutes. You’re good!

Faux Framed Mirror

When we moved into our new home a couple of months ago, I noticed a big dark spot under the edge of one of the bathroom mirrors (see photo below). It was pretty noticeable, but I knew there had to be a solution. After looking on the internet for some ideas, I found some tutorials where people had just added a frame of molding to the outside of their builders’ grade mirrors. The look was totally custom! With the help of our contractor, who was doing some other work in our home, we put this baby up in about 15 minutes flat! Better yet, the materials only ended up costing around $50.­­­­­­­

While I had my contractor help me with the cuts and adhering the mirror, I don’t see why anyone with a miter saw or miter box couldn’t do this project with a couple of people.

What you’ll need:
Enough molding to surround your bathroom mirror
Paint and/or glaze
Miter saw or miter box and hand saw
Silicone & silicone gun
Painter’s tape

        1.  Buy your molding. I discussed my mirror idea with my contractor, Kelly. He had never seen it done before but thought it sounded like a fun idea. He helped me measure how much molding I was going to need. I went to my local home improvement store and found some molding that you could buy by the piece instead of by the foot. What I found was white plastic “casing” that was a little over $11 per piece. 
        2.  Start painting! I decided on a creamy white paint that I already had at home. I only did one coat and then added some glaze afterward.

       3.  Here is a photo of the pieces after I put on the glaze (Mine was Van Dyke Brown from Sherwin Williams. To apply, just paint on a tiny amount with a sponge brush and then wipe off with a soft cloth.). I also ended up going back to the store and buying an additional piece of wood to add to the original. This made my frame extra wide but still looks like one piece. These pieces were $5 each.

       4.   Now you’re ready to cut your pieces. Remember – it is always better to cut them a hair too big and trim them down if needed. You’ll never be able to add back to the wood!  We measured the outside edge of the mirror to see how long the pieces needed to be and cut them down with the miter saw at a 45 degree angle. 

1     5.  Then we measured the inside edge of the large molding piece and cut the smaller board to fit the inside edge. Here are the boards after cutting:

       6.  Now adhere the boards to the mirror. I was planning to use Liquid Nails to adhere to the mirror, but since some of my boards were made of plastic, my contractor suggested we use silicone. Just the clear kind you would use to caulk a bathroom tub with. He said there was a good chance the Liquid Nails would melt through the plastic. I couldn’t argue with that – he really knows what he’s doing.

We just took the piece that would be at the bottom of the mirror and ran a long bead of silicone across the bottom, then dotting some silicone every 6 inches. We put the sides on next and the top piece on last. Then we went ahead and added the smaller pieces.

1    7.  You’ll want to tape the corners with painter’s tape to secure them. Also tape the top piece up really good and leave the tape on overnight.

1     8.  You can go ahead and seal up the gaps in the corners (if there are any) and touch them up. This makes it look really professional!
      9.  Take off the tape pieces the next day and you’re all done!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vintage Book Page Garland

This is probably one of the easiest crafts you’ll ever make! It just takes a little time to prep and string the items, but other than that no creative genius is necessary.

What you’ll need:
100 vintage book pages
50 white coffee filters
50 natural coffee filters
2 yards dark brown ribbon
2 yards light brown ribbon
½ yard cream tulle
½ yard light brown tulle
Tapestry needle
1 yard natural postal string or crochet thread

If you would like to substitute any of the above items with items you already have in your craft stash, feel free. The more eclectic, the better!

  1. You’ll start off by prepping all of your materials. Take your book pages and fold them into quarters. That just means fold them in half and then fold them in half again. It looks best if they are not folded perfectly
  2. Crumple a coffee filter into a ball to give it some texture. Flatten it out slightly, fold in half, then fold again. I like to fold it one more time when I’m stringing the filters onto the garland. Repeat with all of the coffee filters.
  3.  For the ribbon, all you need to do is cut it into strips with the ends at an angle. Each piece should be 4” – 5” long.
  4. With the tulle, you will want to end up with 2” – 3” pieces. Really it doesn’t matter if some pieces are bigger than others. I like to fold my tulle several times in the same direction and cut long strips. Then I cut those strips into squares.
  5.  Thread the needle with the same string and knot the end, leaving about 8" of string. Starting with a book page, thread it on. Then a white coffee filter and the dark brown ribbon, followed by the cream tulle. When you put on the ribbon, fold it in half and thread through toward the ends. This way, the loop part will be bigger. Add another book page, then a natural coffee filter, a light brown ribbon and the brown tulle. Repeat until you have used up all of your materials.

     When I hung mine, I just tied the loose ends of the string to some ribbons I had on a frame. You can also tie it to the back of a chair or across a window or mantle.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ruffled Kitchen Towel

My family just made a big move from Virginia to Utah. Back to what I know and where I grew up. It’s definitely refreshing. But moving to a new home can be stressful; boxes to unpack, a yard to care for (a totally new concept for us), an unfamiliar neighborhood to come to know. It takes awhile to get into your normal groove and feel comfortable. And let’s be honest – I am hoping that in two years I’ll all of my pictures hung on the wall!

But one thing is for sure--clearing out all of your stuff and starting anew allows you to look at things from a different perspective and make a few changes by way of d├ęcor. Adding a pop of color here and there can go a long way in brightening up your room. And why not create a pop of color that’s not only attractive to look at but also has a function? Here we go with the Ruffled Kitchen Towel.

And as a side note, not all of my articles are going to involve sewing or any other complicated skills. I’m more of a simplified glue gun type of girl. I wanted to keep these “Small and Simple” tutorials just as they suggest – small and simple.

What you’ll need:
White kitchen towel
6 fabric strips -  3” x 2x width of towel
Sewing machine with white thread
Needle ­­­­­­­­­

       1.  You’ll want to start off by clean finishing all of the edges of your fabric strips. If you have a serger, go ahead and use that for this step. I don’t have a serger, so I just did a zig zag stitch as close to the edge of the fabric as I could make it.

2   2. Once you have done the clean finish on all of the edges, go ahead and fold over one of the long sides of each strip and stitch a straight stitch. This will be the bottom edge of the ruffle and will show, so you want it to look nicely finished. You can stitch the short sides of each strip as well.
3   3. Now for the ruffles! There are lots of different ways to create a ruffle. I recently discovered that you can just gather and sew the strip into a ruffle as you sew it onto the towel. So simple!

I like the look of the diagonal ruffle, so I just made sure to pin 4 pins to hold my fabric strip in place so I could sew the ruffle that way. Just work one ruffle at a time, overlapping the ruffles by about ¼”so you don’t see the towel underneath.

4    4.Once your ruffles are all sewn on, you’re ready to embellish. I had an extra large vintage button that happened to match some of my fabric. I just took the last ruffle and hand sewed it into a circle, then sewed the button on top.­­­­­

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT: Jenni B Faux Dessert Recipes NOW Available!

Yes, that's right! Haven't you always wanted to know how to make the best desserts you'll never get the chance to eat? Now is your chance!

As of last weekend, the Jenni B Originals unique and formerly "secret" faux cupcake and cake recipes are available! This recipe packet includes the following dessert recipes: Faux Tartlet Ornaments (the recipe that got me onto the Martha Stewart Show!), Chocolate Truffle Ornaments, Beautiful Faux Cupcakes, Cake and/or Petit Fours, Iced Sugar Cookies, Ice Cream Sundaes, and Caramel Apples with Nuts or Chocolate Swirls.

Just imagine what kinds of decor items you'll be whipping up!

If you know me, you know that I've been hush-hush about all of these recipes ever since I developed them. But after many, many requests, I've decided to offer them for sale! You can check out the packet here in my Etsy shop.

Also, check out some of my new soldered charms and Halloween items! Let me know if you're interested and I'll hook you up!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hello, All You People Out There!

It has been three months since my last post. Eek! I guess you could say I took the summer off. It has just been so busy.

Last month my hubby and I moved from Virginia to Utah for a few months and then we're back off to Virginia at the end of the year. If you have ever seen my studio at its worst, you'll know that I had a big job ahead of me when I set out to pack it up. I think that took at least two of the months of my summer blogging break. Okay, maybe not that long. But it was certainly a task!

I am definitely happy to be in Utah for a bit. I have a nice space to create in while I am here and I am soo excited to be getting ready for the holidays. There are lots of interesting items waiting to be made. Halloween decor is well under way! I've made lots of spooky bottle brush trees and wreaths and need to take photos to post here on my blog. I don't even know where my camera is! Don't you love the disarray of moving?

And here's some sad news - Snow Days is off! :) There just wasn't enough support to get it off its feet but it's definitely still a possibility for a coming year. The idea is just too much fun to let go. Cross your fingers for next year, people!

Here's another day to creating! Oooh, have you ever been to a store called the Paper Source? They also have an online shop you need to check out. I just love their motto: "Do something creative every day."

Monday, June 8, 2009

UtahSnowDays.com is Up and Running!

Finally! I have to give a shout out thank-you to Shar from Bags That Fit because she motivated me to get the Utah Snow Days website up and running in a timely manner. It's now much better than the "Coming Soon" page!

So, all you gals (and fellas), go to UtahSnowDays.com to take a look and tell me what you think! I have to toot my own horn just a bit here because I did all of the designing and building ON MY OWN! I am proud of myself for making myself learn how to make a web page that actually works. Oh - and look at the little icon on the left side of the URL while you are on the page. I figured out how to do that little baby too!OK, you'll notice that all of the pages aren't totally done because I still have a few things to figure out and more commitments to get for the participating stores, but those will come soon.

Snow Days is getting closer and we're getting excited!

Let me know if you have any questions about this thing, please!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Something Pretty

For a long time I've just been wanting to create something "pretty". Perhaps the warm and bright weather is inspiring me to create something light and cheery!

On a recent trip through the Carolinas and on through Georgia, I picked up some fun mixed media materials including these antique bottles. Many of them came from Savannah. I then added bits and pieces like vintage lace, jewelry baubles, millinery and ribbons. Now a couple are for sell in my shop! The rest, plus many more, were sent to my accounts in Utah. Let me know if you'd like specifics on where they are located!

Click on an image if you'd like to see a close-up!