Bean Bag Numbers Tutorial

Still at Summer Camp…but I have an Idea Room Readers Tutorial for you today from Sarah at Create Studio. Sorry it is so late, but things at camp have been super busy, I just barely got some down time before I am off again.


I’ve never been too keen on math. Words I love, but numbers I loathe. (Although for some strange reason I’m drawn to Sudoku puzzles… try to figure that one out!) Anyway, I’m hoping my little Owen will have more of a love of numbers and math than his mommy, so we’re starting early by making numbers into toys!
You can see by the impatient little hands in this picture that these have already been a big hit. He didn’t want to wait for me to photograph his new toys!
I made these numbers using the technique I used to make my tummy time mat.

After washing them they get these really great frayed edges, then I stuffed them with rice. (So I guess technically these are more like ricebags than beanbags… ricebags sounds a little weird though!) Do you want a tutorial? Well alright!

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • 10 different scrap pieces of fabric
  • Rice
  • Funnel
  • Plastic Straw
  • Graph Paper
  • Sharp Scissors
First you’ll want to draw some numbers on your graph paper. I made sure that the width was at least 2 1/4 inches at all points of the number, the graph paper helped with that a bunch. Below are my numbers “4″ and “5″. If you would like to print this picture out on a full 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper you’ll see the scale I used. If you would like the other numbers, check out this post.
Next, cut out your numbers from the graph paper and pin them to your fabric. Be sure you have the wrong sides of the fabric together when you cut the numbers out. You won’t be flipping these inside out, so you’ll want the pretty side of the fabric to face out.
Stitch around the outside edges of each number, be sure to leave a 1/4 inch seam allowance and at least a 1 inch opening to put the rice in later.

Using some sharp scissors, cut the edges of the number. Be super careful not to cut your sewed edge or you’ll be going back to your sewing machine to fix it. Be patient with this step, it takes some time, but it’s worth it in the end!

When all of the edges have been clipped you’re ready for the fun part! Throw the numbers into your washer and dryer and the edges will fray beautifully! Your final step is to fill each number with rice using the funnel. I’ve found that a plastic straw works well to jam the rice down into the bottom of the numbers. Stitch the opening closed and you’re all done!


Thanks Sarah at Create Studio for sharing your great tutorial with us today! Go ahead and show her some comment love!

Fabric Flower Head Band

Swamped with mommy duties right now! But here is something I whipped up really fast a few weeks ago. I used the same concept that I did for the fabric flowers on my youngest daughter’s shirt. I just made some out of black and white polka dot material and hand-stitched them onto a black stretchy headband (Target). Super fast and super easy!

Snow Man Oven Mitt Tutorial

**For those of you who can’t find mini candy canes and want to make the heart suckers, my sister reminded me that some stores sell the mini starburst candy canes that come in a lot of colors. Those would be really cute as well!

Remember my oven mitt tutorial? Well, I have another oven mitt that you can make. But this one is a snowman! I know many of you, especially in the North East, are getting blasted with winter weather still. So why not make some cute oven mitts while you are trapped inside with nothing better to do. Then use them to pull some warm baked goods out of the hot oven.

These are made just like the my other oven mitts. I have provided you with a downloadable pattern here.

Cut 2 peices of your main fabric (mine was white with white polka-dots) using the whole outside line of the snowman pattern. Then cut two peices of Insul-Bright using the same pattern.

Then using the snowman pattern, trace the face with pencil lightly onto one of the peices of your main fabric. I hand embroidered the face using embroidery floss…black for the eyes and mouth and orange for his carrot nose.

When you have finished his face, trace the star buttons onto your coordinating fabric. Cut out the stars and then hand sew them onto your snowman.

Take your snowman and Insul-Bright and stack them on top of one another so that the bottom fabric’s right side is facing down. Then place the Insul-Bright layers in the middle and then top with the snowman with the right side facing up. Pin together all the layers and sew around the entire snowman with a 5/8 inch seam.

Now take your coordinating fabric and fold it in half. Place the fold on one line going across your snowman pattern for the finger pocket. Trace around the pattern onto your material and then cut your coordinating fabric.

Repeat for the other finger (thumb) pocket. Cut 1 peice of batting for each pocket. Place your folded pockets so that (including the coordinating fabric with the batting inside) and pin onto the back of your snowman. Do this for the top and bottom pockets.

Sew around each pocket, using a 5/8 inch seam allowance.

Now take your bias tape and sew it onto the edge all around the snowman.

**Tip–I used to be scared of bias tape. I was always missing it on the backside until I figured out a little trick that works for me. I do not pin the tape down except for the very first section. I sew the very beginning and then just hold the bias tape in my right hand and use my left hand to hold the oven mitt. I just place the bias tape on the mitt as I go and just work slowly and hold it in place by making sure it is folded evenly on the top and bottom as I work. I slowly feed it through my hand and work my way around the oven mitt. Go slowly and it should go on much smoother for you!

That’s it! If you don’t want to make this into an oven mitt, it can be used to place hot dishes on so you don’t ruin your counter or kitchen table. Isn’t he so cute? White may not have been the best idea. I have already had to wash them twice since making them.

Does that cake look yummy? It is one of my husband’s favorite. We call it Sandy’s Cake. I don’t even know who Sandy is…but it sure is good. Here is the recipe or click here for a printable version.

2 squares margarine
1 cup sugar
2 bananas
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. soda
1 dash salt
3 cups flour
1 pint sour cream (2 cups)

Blend margarine, sugar, bananas, eggs and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients. In another bowl make the filling.

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips

Layer batter and filling twice in a 9X13 dish. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Heart Felt Pillow

I have been floored at how many of you have made your own amazing versions of the heart felt wreaths! It has been fun to visit all of the links you have shared with me! Thank You!

I had some felt that I needed to find a purpose for from my Studio 5 appearance. So I decided to make a pillow using the same technique with the folded circles. (Sorry about the bad picture, it is the best I could do…we need some sunshine around these parts).

It took about the same amount of time as the wreath. I did not need as many circles and instead of using a 3 inch circle, I used one that was 2.25 inches.

My pillow insert measured 12 x 16 inches. So I cut 2 peices of fabric for the pillow cover measuring 14 x 18 inches.

I then took one peice of fabric and drew a heart that would be the outline for shaping my heart. Then I simply sewed each circle onto the pillow. One. At. A. Time! I know what you are all thinking! That I am crazy. But it was really relaxing and it was a good excuse for me to sit down and watch movies. I don’t sit down and veg much so it was kind of nice. Plus…the weather here has been cold and dreary.

Then, when you finish, place the right sides of your fabric together and sew a 5/8 inch seam around the edge and leave an opening on one whole side. Turn inside out, insert pillow and then hand sew along the edge. (Or you can make the back into 2 overlapping peices so that the cover can be removed).

I really like how it has turned out. My kids, however, thought it was a waste of a pillow. Apparently the felt ruffles are not comfortable to lay on! Sweet music to my ears. The pillow might actually stay on the couch!!

PeachyCheap Winner and Fabric Flowers

Are you ready to see who won our PeachyCheap giveaway?? According to Random.Org, commentor #176 is the lucky gal!

Ginny said… I love Peachy Cheap. I just got an awesome 7 Gypsies stamp set from them. I checked ebay to compare prices & peachy cheap was a way better deal! Not sure what else they can carry, they pretty much cover everything I love. Maybe more page kits? I love alphabet assortments & rhinestone assortments as well.

Congratulations Ginny! Send my your address information via email! Thanks Brooke and PeachyCheap for the great giveaway! And remember to check their site daily for great deals on Scrapbooking supplies.

Now…I have been busy with a few little projects. Here is one I did for my baby. I just LOVE this girl!

I have been wanting to make some fun fabric flowers to help dress up some plain t-shirts and make them a little more fun and girlish. It has been so cold, grey and dreary here, I wanted to add a some “spring” to her wardrobe.

I simply took 5 different colored polka-dot materials and cut from each a strip that measured 2 inches in width and 12 inches in length. Then I simply folded the strip in half lengthwise and ironed it flat.

Then I sewed down the side with the raw edges a 5/8 inch seam (which was right on the edge of the foot pedal). Then I simply pulled one of the strings on each end to gather the material into a ruffle.

Then I rolled the ruffle up into a circle making sure that all the ends are even.

Take a needle and thread and sew the bunched ends together.

Now turn the flower over and use your needle and thread to sew it together from top to bottom. Be sure to capture any loose ends.

Then I simply figured out where I wanted to place each flower on the shirt. Once you have decided, sew each flower onto the shirt by hand.

I made this shirt for my little girl while she was napping. When she woke up I dressed her in it. She was so cute and said “so kwoot! I jes wub it!” No kidding! She kept fingering the flowers and giggling. Oh no! I think we are in trouble!

**After your shirt comes out of the dryer, the flowers may be a bit deformed. I simply sprayed each flower with a water bottle and quickly reshaped them and let the flowers dry before folding and putting the shirt in my daughters drawer. The flowers went right back into a nice shape!

Snow Man Tutorial

I made these cheery snowmen for Christmas gifts a few years ago and thought it would be fun to show you how to make some for yourself. I have also provided a free downloadable pattern here. You should be able to print it onto an 8.5 x 11 inch paper.

Simply take some white fleece or felt and cut out 2 of peices using the pattern provided.

Trace the face (eyes and X’s for the mouth) onto the front of your felt very lightly with a pencil. Then using all 6 strands of black embroidery floss, hand-stitch the eyes and X’s.

When you are finished, take your two peices of fabric and pin them so that the right sides are together. Start at the bottom and sew around the entire snowman except for a small opening along the bottom.

Turn the snowman inside out and fill him with stuffing. Do not fill him all the way full. Leave about 1.5 – 2 inches of room in the bottom.

Now take some beans, rice or split peas (not popular for eating at our house), and fill the bottom of your snowman. This will keep the snowman weighted down so he will stand upright.

Take a needle and thread and sew the bottom of the snowman together. I pulled all the ends into the center and sewed them together to seal up the hole. Tie off the ends of your thread. Your snowman should stand up on his own.

To make the hat, I took an old sweater that was in my pile for Goodwill and cut about 8 inches of the sleeve off.

I put the sweater on the snowman’s head and turned up the finished edge to make the brim of the hat. You might need to whipstitch around the base of the hat to keep it secured with needle and thread.

Then I took some material (the same material I will use later for the scarf or twine) and tied the top of the sweater off to make the top of the hat. You will have about 2-3 inches of sweater sticking up at the top. Then I simply took my scissors and cut the sleeve into strips down to the tied off portion. This allows the hat to have a fringed look on top.

Then I just cut a long strip (about 20 inches x 1 inch wide) of material to make the snowman a scarf. Simply tie your material around the bottom of your snowman to complete the scarf. Take a red crayon and add some color to your snowman’s cheeks.

For the nose, I have cut wood with my jigsaw and then painted it orange. You can also cut out a peice of cardboard and then glue some orange scrapbook paper to it to create the carrot nose. Glue the nose onto the snowman with E6000 glue. And that’s it!

You can make a family of snow people by changing the width and height of the pattern so they are different shapes and sizes. This project could also be done without a sewing machine for you non-sewers by simply handstitching everything.

Add a Ruffle to a Sweatshirt

My daughter had a pink sweatshirt that was fairly boring. It seems that ruffles are all the rage right now. I had some left-over felt from my earlier Valentine’s Day Topiary and thought it would be fun to add some ruffles to her sweatshirt and prettify (my new word creation) it up a bit.

So easy! All I did was cut a 30 inch (length) by 1 inch (width) strip of pink felt. I sewed along one edge in a straight line down the entire length of felt. Then I took one of the strands of thread and gently pulled it and gathered it into a ruffle. Just gather it as ruffley (another word creation) as you would like. Lay your ruffle along the edge of the zipper and pin in place. Sew in place along the same line that you previously sewed to make your ruffle. Repeat process for the other side! That’s it! Super simple!

Instead of felt you could use knit, flannel or an old t-shirt. I was also toying with the idea to cut smaller strips and roll the strips into rose buds and sew some flowers on the sweatshirt as well. I still may get around to doing that! The possibilities are endless. I might even make some of my own clothes a bit more rufflified!

**Update 2/4/2011–After almost one year and countless washes…this ruffle still looks great. It has gotten a couple of “balled up spots” but they just pick right off!!

Ice/Snow Scraper Hand Mitt Tutorial

I really do appreciate all your kind comments. They are what inspire me to keep this going! So THANK YOU! I do try to answer them all and your emails too! Thanks for all your great support. It means a lot! And now as promised…

I realize that not all of you are living with frigid temperatures, snow and ice right now, but we are. Believe it or not, I really do love snow and snow storms! I just don’t like when I have to scrape it or ice off the car in the frigid outdoor air temperatures. And since I am not very good about using gloves, I decided to make my ice scraper a little more frozen-finger friendly. So, I made a hand mitt for my scraper to keep my hand nice and toasty while de-icing my windshield.

Here is a tutorial and a free downloadable pattern!

You will need 2 coordinating fabrics, quilt batting, and an icescraper. (I used a small one, but this should work for the longer handled scrapers with the ice scraper and the brushes too).

I made mine so that there are two different material patterns on each side. I took two coordinating fabrics and cut 2 pattern peices out of each peice of fabric. Click here to download the pattern. You should have a total of four peices (2 of each type of fabric). Then cut out 2 peices of thin quilt batting using the same pattern.

*Take one peice of fabric and one peice of batting. Place the material with the right side down on your table and put the layer of batting on top.

Fold down the middle rounded edge about a 1/4 of an inch and pin. This will not go all the way across the rounded edge (see picture). Sew right along the folded edge and then set aside.

Take the other peice of material (with the same pattern) and fold the edge of the rounded end of the material (so that the wrong sides of the fabric are touching) and sew it as you did the previous peice of material.

Take your two peices of sewn material and pin them together so that the right sides of the material are together and your batting layer is on top. Sew around the entire edge with a 5/8″ seam. However, be sure to leave an opening large enough for you to be able to turn the material inside out.

Turn inside out through the hole you have left in the bottom of the U*. After the material is turned inside out, tuck in the open unsewn edges, pin and then sew the opening shut. You can either do this by hand or just with your sewing machine.

Now repeat the above instructions (from * to *) for your other two peices of coordinating fabric and batting.

When both are finished, pin them together. Now sew around your pinned peices using a 5/8″ seam in a U shape. DO NOT SEW ALONG THE FLAT EDGES. THIS IS THE OPENING FOR YOU HAND. Remember to leave an opening large enough to fit the handle of your icescraper between the two peices along the rounded bottom of the U shape.

Turn inside out and you should be all finished! Insert your icescraper handle.

Not only will this keep your fingers toasty warm while de-icing your windows, you will look fashionable doing it :D!

**Ice Scraper purchased at Wal-Mart. Material purchased at Hobby Lobby.

Oven Hand Mitt Tutorial

Doesn’t the onset of cooler fall weather make you want to bake something yummy? I have been doing a little baking which inspired me to finally make a cute oven hand mitt I had seen recently in a store. I came up with a tutorial so that you can make one too! I love how easy they are to use. Plus, they are a lot more functional than those big, thick akward oven mitts.

I have provided you with a free downloadable pattern, click here to print it (select the large size; it should fill a 8.5 x 11 in. paper). After you have it printed you will be able to use the patterns to cut out your material and get started.

You will cut 2 large ovals in your fabric choice A (use 100% cotton fabric). Then using the same pattern you will cut out 2 patterns of your Insul-Bright (found at most fabric stores), and 1 pattern of quilt batting (also use 100% cotton batting).

**Edit–After using my hot pads several times now, I have noticed that I am beginning to feel some heat through the hot pad. I think it would be better to add two layers of Insul-Bright instead of the one layer I had first suggested. The pattern you download will say cut 1 of the Insul-bright, but you should cut 2 to provide extra heat protection!

Place one of the fabric pieces right side down on the table. Then place 2 layers of the Insul-Bright on the fabric. Next lay down the batting layer and finally top with the other piece of fabric.

Pin together all the different layers. Sew around the entire thing using a 1/8 inch seam. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your sewing.

Next, you will need to cut out 4 half-circle pieces of your fabric B. Iron the flat edge down 1/4 inch. Cut out 2 half-circles of the quilt batting and place them on the fabric. The fabric should be facing right side down like the picture. Be sure to place the batting up under the folded edge so that it does not show through the material.

Now add the other piece of fabric with the right side facing up and pin together. You will repeat this process with the other 2 pieces of fabric and the other piece of batting. These will be the finger and thumb pockets for your oven mitt.

Now sew along the top flat edge of each pocket.

Take your coordinating ribbon (or ric-rac) and sew it onto the top flat edge of the pocket. I used a thread that matched my ribbon and sewed it right onto the edge on both sides of the ribbon. Do this for both pockets.

Now pin your pockets onto the top of the larger oval shape you have already sewn. **Make sure that the layer of Insul-Bright is under the batting so that it will be the first to contact the hot items. This will ensure proper insulation from burns. You can tell by looking for the silvery material as opposed to the batting.

Now sew around the entire oven mitt.

Take your bias tape and also sew it around the entire mitt. I sewed close to the edge but was extra careful to not miss the tape on the other side.

And there you have it! Easy huh? I have found these are much easier to work with when pulling things out of a hot oven. They would make a perfect gift for the baker in your life this holiday season.

**The fabric was purchased at Hobby Lobby. It is labeled as 2008 Brother Sister Design Studio B24-R-P07.

Fabric Pumpkins

I love to decorate for fall and one of my favorite items to pull out every year are my Fabric Pumpkins.  Want to know how you can make a pumpkin too?


I saw a tutorial to make these on another blog last year and absolutely fell in love with them, but the link for Holly’s tutorial is no longer working. I have had a few people ask how to make these so here is my version of her original tutorial as I remember it.

I went to JoAnn’s and looked through the Red Tag and Home Decor fabrics and found a lot of cute fabrics in autumn colors. I bought about a 1/4 yard of each. You don’t need much.

Then I just experimented. For taller pumpkins I cut 2 peices of material that measured 12 x 14 inches, with the 14 inch length being the height. For the smaller, wider pumkins I used the same 12 x 14 rectangles but made the 12 inch side the height. Does that make sense. I even added a third size of 11 x 13. It is really up to you.

Then with what ever length you want at the top, fold each peice of material in half with the right sides together (or the side you want showing on the outside). Then sew a crescent shape on the folded edge like the picture. Do this for both peices of material.

Cut off the excess material near your seam.

Now take some coordinating material (I used material that I had made other pumpkins with) and make a stem. I did not sew this as a perfect square, since stems are sometimes curved. Mine measured roughly 2 1/2 w x 4 inches.

Turn your stem inside out and stuff with batting.

Take one of your pumpkin panels and lay it flat with the right side facing up and your sewn crescent up top. Pin your stuffed stem at the top middle with a little stem material poking above the pumpkin material like in the picture above.

Now sew around the entire pumpkin rounding the corners and leaving an opening along the bottom so you can turn it inside out and fill with batting. Trim your corners.

Turn inside out and fill with batting. Hand sew the bottom opening together.

**If your pumpkin has a difficult time standing up on its own, you may need to sew a small bean bag and place it in the bottom of your pumpkin before hand sewing it closed.

Now all you need to do is add a ribbon. I simply took a length of material and sewed the edges and made matching and coordinating ribbons. Or use some store bought ribbon.

Don’t they make you happy? I love FALL!

**update–one of my readers, Deanna, alerted me to the fact that Holly had recently reposted her tutorial which you can see here


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