Sewing a Minky Blanket

When making a blanket, my favorite material to use, hands down, is Minky. It’s soft and velvety, but it’s not the easiest material to handle when sewing. But you can do it if you try….just need a little patience.

What you need:

  • 2 yards of minky material and 2 yards of any material (another minky, cotton, flannel, etc.)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Pins…..lots of pins
  • Patience

I picked a grey minky material and a simple cotton. Lay the right side of the material facing each other. (FYI….I went to a local business for the embroidered monogram on the cotton material. This is purely option, but perfect when making a personalized gift.)

IMG_2614Once the material is lined up, next is to pin, pin, pin, pin, pin and lots more pinning. The minky material likes to move and slip out of alignment. I pin everywhere (even in the middle on the blanket) to keep it straight. This process can be tedious but will be worth it when it you are sewing the blanket.

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Time to sew! I used my standard needle and all purpose thread. Sew all around with an 1/2 inch seam and leave a small opening…..roughly 2-3 inch. Remove all the pins and I double check to ensure no pins are left behind. Inside out the blanket through the small opening and push open the seams at each corner. Hand stitch the small opening closed. Done!!

IMG_2616Till we meet again,

Anne of Annie’s Bug Blog

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Paint and Stain Furniture

I love, love to paint. I am definitely not a artist by any mean but I can follow lines  and use painter’s tape. For Christmas, my mother bought me a old vanity from Craigslist that I have been dying to get my hands on. I wanted to put the piece in my Master Bedroom. The painting and staining may be a process but it is easy steps to get to a completed project.

First, take off the hardware and wipe the whole piece clean. I wanted to stain the top part dark so I used General Finishes Gel Stain in Java. (This is my absolute favorite stain because of it’s color and easy use. I definitely recommend this stain.) Java Gel

Use a sander to sand off the existing finish and expose the natural wood so the stain soaks up nicely but wipe down the piece again to clean off the debris from sanding (there is usually lots of dust). Stain the piece with as many coats of stain to get to the desired color you are looking for.

After staining, apply painter’s tape to protect the stained sections and start painting with chalk paint. With chalk paint, you will not need to prep/sand the area. Chalk paint is great way to paint wood without all the extra time for prep work. After the couple coats of  chalk paint has dried, apply a coat of clear wax and wipe off with a rag. I wanted to highlight the decorative pieces so I then lightly applied a dark wax on top of the clear wax to bring attention to the detail.

Partial wax

With sanding and wait time for paint, the piece takes longer then the day but each step is relatively simple. Have an old furniture piece or don’t like the look of a piece, try painting with chalk paint. There are many chalk brands and even more color options. Give it a try…you may amaze yourself. Happy Painting!

COmpleted vanity

Till we meet again,

Anne from Annie’s Bug Blog

Sewing a Stuffed Kitty from Etsy

One of my first sewing projects was a stuffed kitten that I found at an Etsy shop, CreateJoyMakeStuff. (Click on the name to direct you to the shop and the kitten plans). I picked this plan out of the other sewing plans on Etsy because I liked it’s simple “Engineering Plans” (and was at a great price point). Each step of the plan is accompanied by a picture to give you an idea of what it should look like each step of the way. It’s hard to mess up with that. It holds your hand throughout the project.

Pick out some soft fabric of your choice and a bag of filler to stuff the pet. I picked out a purple polka dots flannel (super cuddly), a grey minky for the inner ears and a cotton simple pattern for the belly. The learning curve is very short and everything you need to know are in those detailed directions!

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This project is a great beginner project and takes an afternoon to finish!

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Side note…I add a small cotton ball of lavender oil and included it with the kitty’s stuffing….just to give a calm, pretty scent.

These days, you can teach yourself to do anything on Pinterest and Youtube. Don’t know how to sew? There are millions of tutorials on Youtube to teach you how. You could have a wealth of knowledge in the sewing world  or  you can have zip, nada, zero… you can find a tutorial to suit your experience level.

If you are a new at sewing or if you are experienced, this will be a cute little gift that any girl would enjoy!

Till we meet again,

Anne from Annie’s Bug Blog

 

How to get pallets for FREE!

Rule #1….do not purchase pallets. Most companies view pallets as trash and scrap. The wood is poor quality but there is endless possibilities of using/chopping up these bad boys to make them beautiful. Recycle, Recycle! Create, Create!

Where to look? Local Lumber yards and other local small businesses. Many businesses use them to deliver and transfer goods. Local Constructions sites are good places too. It never hurts to call or stop by the business to check if they are willing to let YOU haul off the scrap for them. Everyone wins.

One of my favorite places to get free pallets is the local lumber/hardware store, Hall Brother’s Lumber, http://www.hallbroslumber.com.

You never know unless you just ask!

 

Anne from Annie’s Bug Blog

 

 

How to Make a Wooden Sign with Stencils

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Making a stenciled wood sign is one of my favorite crafts. It’s a great way to decorate a space or to give as a gift. I have a Cricut Machine which allows me to create and upload my own images but stencils can also be purchased through many retail stores, such as Michael, Joann’s, Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, etc. I will show you how easy it is to make!!

What you need:

  • wood board (this is cheapy wood from Lowe’s. Pallet wood is another great option)
  • Stencil
  • Paint or stain for the wood board, option if you want to leave the wood as is
  • Acrylic paint for the stencil (I used the cheapy stuff from Wal-Mart)
  • paint brush and sponge/small precision brush

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Instructions:

Paint or stain the board and sand any rough edges for a clean, fresh look.

After the paint or stain is dry,  lay the stencil flat on the board. When using a cricut vinyl stencil, the stencil is sticky and clings to the board to lessen the chance of the paint bleeding or the stencil moving. If you are using a store bought plastic stencil, tape the stencil to the board so it doesn’t move on you.

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Use a brush or small precision brush to dab with a thin layer acrylic paint (lots of color choices out there and in small, cheap bottles).

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After drying, remove the stencil and you are done!!!

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Option, add brad nails or backs of the wood if you want to hang the sign. Another option, seal with a thin layer of a polyurethane if it will be for outside use.

Contact me if you are needing specific stencils. I can upload and/or create mine with my Cricut Machine with ease!

 

Anne from Annie’s Bug Blog

Wreath/Weclome Post

One of my favorite recent projects has been a wreath post that I turned into a welcome post. I was inspired to do this project from what I saw at a  BIG local craft fair. This is a fairly simple project (majority of the materials bought at Lowe’s) and cost a grand total of $15-$20.

I bought a wooden porch post from Lowe’s for around $10. The post was fairly long but I trimmed off the bottom to the make it into a height of my liking.  No measuring but just eye balled. Next is the base of the post…I did this twice because my first base was too small and the post would have blown over or easily knocked over. CRASH! The correct measurement of the top part of base is a 6 in square and the bottom part of base is 10 in square.

After attaching the base with 4 in nails and screw driver (and I always add some wood glue for extra strength), it’s time to spray paint! I used a high gloss black for this one and gave it a couple of coats. Once dried, I attached a small hook from Lowe’s with two small nails and a screw driver.

Now to add the sign or wreath.. I have both on in this pic.Top Black post

I used a rectangle chalk board sign with a burlap string from Wal-Mart.  I spray painted it with white so it will be a bright contrast against the black of the post. Next is my favorite part….I made a vinyl stencil of the “Welcome” text with my Cricut machine (one of my most favorite items I own). After painting “Welcome” with black acrylic paint, I applied a coat of a clear sealer to give this sign a little protection since it will be outside. I super glued a little bedazzle with some left over metal flowers found on Amazon.com (always keep your left over crafting scraps…never know when they will be handy!). My mother in law also added a cute little wreath around it which I think it gives an even more character/cuteness.

This is a fun craft to try. It’s easy, cheap and fairly quick. Letting the spray paint dry and cutting the base was the longest part. I really encourage a beginner and moderate to do this! You can really do it!

Till we meet again,

Anne from Annie’s Bug Blog

Black Post