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A “Just Because” Apron

10 Jan

My family gives each other birthday gifts and thoughtful “just because” gifts but we don’t exchange Christmas gifts anymore.  It’s not a religious belief or anything of that nature. We just decided a few years ago that exchanging Christmas gifts for so many family members was too expensive and stressful on everyone.

You see, I have a family full of procrastinators. We all waited until the last minute to shop, and then had no idea what to buy each other in a frantic rush. One of us finally had the genius idea that we forego all the stressful shopping drama and only get together at Christmas for a good time.  We still buy Christmas presents for the all the children in our family but not a single adult receives a gift.  We think it’s the best way to spend Christmas because more money and energy are spent gifting the kids. Making Christmas special for the kids is really what’s most important to us.  Now we have a fun happy carefree Christmas… and the presents aren’t missed one bit.

We celebrated Christmas this year, at my middle sister’s Becky’s house (there are three of us sisters and I’m the oldest).  It was a fantastic pig out session full of turkey, loads of creamy carb loaded delights and most importantly…Becky’s famous cornbread dressing.

It also involved washing a million dishes afterwards. When my sister and I we cleaning up, my nieces and nephews teased me about wearing an apron. Let’s just say they didn’t think it was too hip.  The fashionista I try to be could have cared less because I love aprons.  Ever since starting to wear one a few months ago, I’ve been addicted.  Aprons are a necessity for me now because they keep my clothes spot free when cooking and cleaning.

Becky joked that if she ever wore an apron, it would have to be some sort of waterproof apron because she is really messy when it comes to spilling water liquids on herself.   Waterproof?!?  That got me thinking…

I instantly knew what she needed : an oilcloth apron.

And that’s how the the idea for a special just because gift for Becky was born!

I had been saving some oilcloth for months for a purse I envisioned in my mind and wanted to attempt to make.  Since I didn’t have the hardware needed to make the purse, I decided to sacrifice the oilcloth and make Becky her much needed waterproof apron.

And BAM, here it is!

By the way, if you haven’t heard of oilcloth before it’s a fabric material that is coated on one side to make it waterproof.  The coating is oil based, hence the name “oilcloth”.  I discovered it on a vacation in Mexico where it is commonly used for tablecloths.

Here are the instructions for making your very own waterproof apron. All that’s needed are basic sewing machine skills, hot glue, clear nail polish and ribbon (two sizes: wide and narrow).


  • 1 yard oilcloth
  • 7’5″ of  1.5″ width ribbon (for neck loop and waist ties)
  • 14′ of  3/8″ width ribbon (for exterior trim)
  • Clear nail polish

I started off drawing a pattern for the apron by hand.  This was probably my first ever free hand pattern and it couldn’t have been easier. An apron is basically a rectangle with concave cut outs at the top of each side. The concave cut makes the top of the apron narrower and frames the chest. My apron was approximately 27″ by 36″ (the wider section for the sides).  You can either attempt free handing or use another apron as a pattern.  (I’ll also try to figure out a way to create an apron pattern that can be download off our blog sometime in the future).

Cut the large width ribbon into the following lengths:  two 33″ pieces for waist ties and one 23″ piece for the neck loop.  I cut all the pieces with a straight edge except for one end of each waist tie which was given a slant cut shown below.  Those two slant ends will be the loose ends of the waist ties. The slant cut gives a more decorative edge and also helps with unraveling. (The straight edges will be sewn to the oilcloth which will also help against unraveling).

To further stop unraveling, I used a dab of nail polish on the ends of all the ribbon pieces, even the ones that will be sewn.  Clear polish works great but since I had a dark blue color that almost exactly matched the dark navy ribbon, I used it.

Sew the neck ribbon to both sides of the top of the apron using a 2/8″ seam.  This is necessary so that the 3/8″ decorative ribbon covers the stitching later.

After that sew each tie to the top of each side.

Next hot glue the thin ribbon to the entire perimeter of the apron.  I used a piece of paper underneath to protect my table from hot glue.

Glue flush to the oilcloth edge making sure to cover all stitch marks. Use only trace amounts of hot glue so that it doesn’t ooze under or through the ribbon (Only a tiny bit of hot glue is necessary).  I cut the ribbon at the corners to give it clean lines.

Once the entire perimeter has been covered with the trim ribbon the apron is complete.

That’s it.  Very simple and took about 45 minutes to make.

Now go make yourself one or give it as a gift just because. :)


Reversible Reusable Fabric Wine Bags

9 Jan

Over the holidays, we were lucky to have some of our projects featured one of our favorite blogs, PB&J Stories.  If you missed our projects on PB&J Stories, here’s your second chance!  These DIY gift bags are easy to make and have lots of great uses:

Gift bags for wine bottles can be expensive so I started making my own.  I discovered that it was easy and after the wine is gone, the bags can be repurposed for other things.  I use one of my favorite wine bags as a cover for my flat iron when traveling. It keeps the hot iron from burning the contents of my luggage when packing in a hurry.

Making your own is not only easy but it’s a great way to use up scrap fabric.  This tutorial will illustrate how to make a completely reversible wine bag…

when flipped inside out, it has a completely different look.

Start with two pieces of fabric: one 15″x18″ and the other 15″x14″.  I will refer to these two pieces as the long piece and the short piece.

I chose a piece of coffee bag for the short piece and a red printed canvas for the long piece.

Fold both pieces in half on the 15″ side (with the good sides facing inside).

Sew each piece on two sides creating a pocket.

Then flip only the short piece, right side out.

Stuff the short piece inside the long piece until the raw edges meet up.

Sew the raw edges together only 2/3 of the way around the circle.

Now flip the burlap bag right side out, using the hole (the 1/3 portion of the circle that wasn’t sewn together).

Then insert the long piece inside the short piece.

Blind stitch by hand the small remaining hole.

Now you have one wine bag holder with two different looks!

(If desired, a tie can be made by using a fabric strip 4.5″x 15″.  Sew two sides of the fabric with the good sides facing in.  Then flip inside out and hand sew remaining end closed.)

- Angie

Handmade Christmas :: Ruffled Tree Skirt

8 Dec

Hello friends!

I’ve been sitting on this project since the beginning of November.  Procrastinating because I knew it would be a beast.  Not expensive, just time consuming.

I kept putting it off.  Tree came up, I used my old tree skirt.  And ugh…hated it.

So Sunday was cold and rainy.  A perfect day to tackle it.

Using white lightweight denim I bought at Joann’s moving sale last year for $2.99 year less 50% (dirt cheap, I bought every yard I could find), I made a 5×5 square:

Folded into quarters, then a triangle:

And cut, with my little helper beside me:

Cut a slit on one side and you get this:

Then, ripped 5 yards of white broadcloth purchased at Hobby Lobby for $2.99/yard less 40%:

Using my favorite cheetah print, ripped half yard of 2inch stripes, and lots of hot glue..made pleats:

and pleats:

And 2 hours and 74 glue sticks later, I ended up with this:

I am in love.  My daughter wanted to sleep on it.

It is fabulous.

The little touch of leopard is perfect.

And I could not be happier.

And with that, this is my last holiday project of the year.  YAY!

Happy Thursday!



Handmade Christmas {fabric garland}

29 Nov

This year might be my most favorite as far as decorations in my home.

Up until a year ago, I’ll admit, I really didn’t decorate for Christmas in a way that matched my personality.

I decorated by following, looking at what others were doing, thinking that was ‘me.’

It’s not.

Alot of decor decisions I make are out of the box…but I like that about me.

This year I completely revamped my tree.  I have boxes of unused ornaments in the garage.  A sea of red bows that need a new home.

My tree is mainly white with various shades of green, mercury glass ornaments, and a touch of leopard.

I absolutely adore it.

And then there’s the mantle.  I’ve stared at it for 2 weeks, wondering what I should do to blend it with the rest of my home.

I collect nutcrackers…The Wizard of Oz and the characters from the Nutcracker ballet.  They fit nicely across my mantle but not for much longer.

As my daughter and I were getting ready for her Nutcracker rehearsal, I had the idea to make a vintage garland from some of my favorite pieces of fabric.  I grabbed the fabric and scissors and out the door we went.

And the project began as I watched her practice Sunday evening…

Tearing strips of fabric, leaving the frayed edges in place, tying on a string of twine…

I could not be more in love with this garland…

Adding small white lights (battery powered, no strings!)

Finally hanging 2 winter white velour stocking purchased from Pottery Barn two years ago.  I need 2 more because for some reason, I bought 2 white and 2 red.  I don’t know why I did that.  (Need 2 gorgeous cream and red velour stockings?  They are for sale for a very cheap price.)

My Dorothy and Lion…

I am working on one more handmade Christmas this week.  I’ve stared down the pile of fabric for over 2 weeks now.  Hopefully it won’t be as tedious as I think it will be, ha!

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Do you have any handmade Christmas projects you want to share?  Send them to us!




Check out these fun blogs for amazing inspiration!

Between Naps on the PorchDIY ShowoffDomestically SpeakingFinding FabulousFunky Junk InteriorsHouse of HepworthsMiss Mustard SeedMy Backyard EdenPerfectly ImperfectPrimitive & ProperRemodelaholicSAS InteriorsShabby NestWhipperberryToday’s Creative BlogThe Thrifty HomeSavvy Southern StyleSome Day CraftsEisy MorganGreen Door Designs,  At Home with KHome Stories A2Z

Thank Full {free printable}

14 Nov

This week I’m getting ready for my parents and niece to arrive in Texas from New York. I was born in New York but raised in Texas.  After my dad retired from the Air Force, they moved back my freshman year of college.

I stayed in Texas…you could blame this guy I met at a club, who I eventually married.  :)

And we’ve always had this long distance type of family relationship.

I don’t recommend it.

I miss them terribly.  Miss my sisters.  Miss my nieces and nephew.  Miss all of my family.

But this is the path given to me, and I will be thankful.

When we do get together, it is fast and furious.  Trying to fit so many things in 7 days.  But I am thankful for that time.

While I was putting together my fairy tale pumpkins this week…and trying not to decorate for Christmas before we sat down for Thanksgiving, my thoughts kept circling around everything I am thankful for.

My list could go on for days…my husband, my children, my home, my Bella, my 1999 Ford Expedition that has barely 100,000 miles on it and its still going strong.  I’m thankful for friends who want to be in my life and want me in theirs.

Thank. Full.

Thank. Full.

I am thankfully full of blessings.  I am content.  I am full.

And these words whispered to my heart:

“From the fullness of His grace, we have received one blessing after another.”  John 1:16

“The mouth speaks out of the fullness of the heart.”  Matthew 12:34

This sweet pillow now rests on my bench:

I know someone is thinking I missed spelled thankful.

I did…intentionally.

Thank Full.  I am intentionally full of thanks.

I have the free template for you.  I’ll show you how I created my pillow tomorrow using simple materials.

Download it HERE so you’ll be ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

Thank full for this time.  Thank full for this season.  Thank full for so many things.

Thank full for you reading my words.





She Made It {Thursday}

3 Nov

I’m loving featuring projects again!

I know it’s November 3rd but I am so ready for Christmas.

Heather at Whipperberry made a Candy Corn Wreath…and now followed the same idea to make this:

whipperberry candycanewreath

I love it.

Vintage. Modern. Christmas-y without feeling too overdone.

Here’s the Candy Cane Wreath tutorial.  Enjoy!

Do you want us to feature one of your projects?  Link up below!

Oh Amy!

19 Sep

Oh Amy!

I am inherently a bold colored modern minimalist…yet somehow Amy Butler brings out the rare to be seen frilly, pastel loving girly side of me.

Look at this necklace!. Pretty pretty!

And…another great idea to use leftover scrap fabric.

Amy includes yet another free pattern here!

Amy Butler Bloom Quilt

9 Sep

Amy Butler Bloom Quilt

I just happened to stumble upon this free quilt pattern from Amy Butler.  Isn’t it heavenly!  Girly and gorgeous!

I need to make this for my niece.

Might just need to make one for myself too!

To get the free pattern, click here.

To get more Amy Butler free patterns, click here.


DIY :: Kate Spade Art

14 Jun

DIY :: Kate Spade Art

We are still in the process of redesigning Sweet P’s room.  It has taken much longer than I would like but sometimes that’s what happens.

And I have a hard time just buying things to fill wall space that really don’t make sense…or that we just buy to ‘buy’…ya know what I mean?

So…we changed her bedding to a fluffy white down converter and pale pink sheets…painted an old desk a vintage blue and one of my favorite shutters hot pink to hang over the desk.

We love that side of the room.

The other side…not so much.

I want to remove her bookcase on top of her dresser but my husband is completely against it.  Honestly, the bookcase collects junk…and dust…and junk.  And I’m tired of looking at it…and so is my Sweet P.

Sooo…we have an idea of what we ‘plan’ to do with the other wall.  I still need some type of solution for all of her books that she loves so much but in the meantime, this was the inspiration for a great little art project that I loved painting!

kate spade amerstand artwork painting

You see that ampersand on the wall?  The Kate Spade ampersand is not sold in stores and from what I’ve read, the painting was painted in the store specifically for the store…not for resale.

I loved it so much, I did a little research…and here’s the tutorial.  So fun and easy…and my Sweet P is beside herself with excitement!

And interestingly enough, Sweet P’s walls were already the same color of Kate Spade’s shop…great minds like alike!

I found an ampersand image online…enlarged it on the screen:

Traced the image on an 8×11 piece of paper:

There she is:

Then using good ol’ grade school pencil transfer, colored the back with pencil:

Flipped it right side up, measured the placement on the canvas (from Hobby Lobby), and taped it in place, then penciled over the original outline using light pressure….

and you know your a mom when you are caught using a yellow ducky pencil…

And you can see the pencil transfer is working!  It is super easy and fast…

Using berry pink craft paint and a paintbrush:

Begin painting around the ampersand:

And the finished art…I love the variation of the berry pink, very watercolor like…and it is the perfect addition to the vintage blue walls.


Do you love?  I love.

More to come soon on Sweet P’s room…

Happy painting, friends!

Check out these fun blogs for amazing inspiration!

Between Naps on the PorchDIY ShowoffDomestically SpeakingFinding FabulousFunky Junk InteriorsHouse of HepworthsMiss Mustard SeedMy Backyard EdenPerfectly Imperfect,Primitive & ProperRemodelaholicSAS InteriorsShabby NestWhipperberry, Today’s Creative Blog, The Thrifty HomeSavvy Southern StyleSome Day CraftsEisy MorganGreen Door Designs,  At Home with K



World’s Simplest…

6 Jun

Super easy.  Virtually free.  Encourages visual stimulation, fine motor skills, and critical thinking.

Did I mention virtually free?

Take clothespins from the Dollar Store, paint chips, and a glue stick…and you have a craft that keeps children entertained for quite a while.

paint chip crafts kids fine motor skills visual stimulation

Have your older child help with cutting and gluing…and you’ll be surprised how much fun your children have together, no matter the age, matching the colored clothespins to the colored paint chip.

You’ll need to get 2 paint chips each…one to cut and one to keep.

Cut a strip the width of the clothespin.

Glue to the top of pin.

And that’s it.

This little activity is especially helpful when I cooking dinner…or on Pinterest.  Ha!  Just kidding about the Pinterest part!

Happy Monday, friends!

Check out these fun blogs for amazing inspiration!

Between Naps on the PorchDIY ShowoffDomestically SpeakingFinding FabulousFunky Junk InteriorsHouse of HepworthsMiss Mustard SeedMy Backyard EdenPerfectly ImperfectPrimitive & ProperRemodelaholicSAS InteriorsShabby NestWhipperberryToday’s Creative BlogThe Thrifty HomeSavvy Southern StyleSome Day CraftsEisy MorganGreen Door Designs,  At Home with K

DIY :: Get Mossy

27 Jan

DIY :: Get Mossy

Remember these moss inspired wreaths?  I loved the freshness of the green moss and haven’t stopped thinking about incorporating some into my home.

This was the inspiration especially since I just so happened to have an antique bread bowl sitting in my closet:

A trip to Hobby Lobby for:

Reindeer Moss

reindeer moss hobby lobby

2 packages of foam balls:

foam balls hobby lobby floral

My hot glue gun:

hot glue gun

The help of a sweet 8 year old and off we went…

moss ball


Ahhh…much better…

I used to different shades of green for added depth:

antique bread bowl moss ball

Now the bread bowl sits in my kitchen…and the moss is fresh and vibrant…just what we needed to brighten up our mornings.

And for less than $10 thanks to Hobby Lobby’s fabulous 50% sale.

And I think a few bags of moss were mailed to Angie…can’t wait to see what she makes!

Happy Almost-Friday, friends!  Go say HI to our friend Jane at Finding Fabulous and Wendy at The Shabby Nest…you can find our Mossy tutorial over there too!


DIY: Making Wrapping Paper from Grocery Bags

21 Dec

DIY: Making Wrapping Paper from Grocery Bags

I take reusable fabric shopping bags when grocery shopping but somehow quite a few paper bags still magically turn up at my house.  We try to recycle and repurpose as many things as possible so when staring at some paper grocery bags in my cabinet the other day thought hmmmm….wrapping paper!

If you want some earth friendly paper…or perhaps don’t have time to run to the store, here is a great way to make your own wrapping paper.

Paper grocery bags left plain and tied with raffia ribbon would make a natural and pretty look for wrapping paper.

I decided to jazz mine up with a little paint!

Here’s what you need.

Paper grocery bag, scissors or tool that cuts paper, tape or glue, paint and paint brushes.  I used leftover sample of house paint. Yes, house paint!  I used an old sample of paint I was planning to use on the exterior of my house. Any paint that adheres to paper will work.  You can use any type of paint brush but I wanted to use a sponge brush for a blotchy effect.

It’s okay if the bag is a little beat up. It just adds to the rustic look.

Cut along one side of the bag.

Cut the bottom out.

Cutting it this way maximizes the coverage area of the paper bag.  Now you have one long flat piece of wrapping paper.

If there are handles on the bag, remove them.

Cut out a piece of wrapping paper to fit your gift.

Now wrap gift.  I glued shut with a glue stick but tape can also be used.

Time to paint!

I don’t own a cutting machine like a Cricut or Silhouette so I made my own stencils.  I printed out shapes I liked on standard white printing paper and then cut them out with an exacto knife.

Lay stencil directly on package.  Paper bags are so thick, the paint will not soak through it.

I love how the sponge paint brush left this blotchy effect. It can be painted thicker if you prefer a solid look.

I also made some wrapping paper with stripes using painter’s tape. To do this, you must paint the wrapping paper before wrapping the gift.  However, making stripes takes more time and more paint. If you want to make some quickly, just use stencil.  I actually was more pleased with the stencil look anyway!

It is possible to use the same stencil over and over.  Just make sure the paint is dry before you switch colors.

Polish off with ribbon!

This would even be a fun project for children to do with crayons.

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