May 26, 2010

I decided to start a new Flickr Photo Group. If you have photos of projects based on tutorials, patterns or ideas on this blog please feel free to upload join the group and share them with everyone else. From time to time I may feature what others have made.

Please make sure that in your photo description you link up to your blog if you have one, and if you posted about it, link to your post specifically.

Go here to join the Flickr Group. I'll have a button up for it soon: Maggie Muggins Designs In Action.
I have been a reader of Craftaholics Anonymous for some time now. A few weeks ago Linda invited her readers to submit their tutorials for Readers Tutorial Week. Last week as I prepared the Chalk Mat Tutorial I thought I'd email her and see if she had any slots left. Today you can see my tutorial over on her site. You can also see many other awesome tutorials that have been posted this week. I've added several things to my "Have to make this" file. Head on over and check out her site!


The Chalk Mat has also been featured on Mummy Crafts recently. Thanks!

May 25, 2010

Slowly, you are getting a tour of my house. Over the next little bit I'm going to show you my sons nursery. Today, as a sneak peak I'm going to show you a difficult are of his room. It was a design dilemma for quite some time. But I finally came up with a solution!

This is the area that had me frustrated for some time.

Shelving Solution Before

This area is so cute. But unfortunately, some idiot decided to put the heater in that spot. Not like anywhere else made more sense. Our next house will NOT have wall heaters. It really cuts down on your layout options. For example - wouldn't this be a great spot for a cute window seat, or a desk? But then the heater would, of course, be blocked. Of course, even putting a shelf in the area obstructed the heater. Really, I'm not opposed to blocking the heater off a little, but in a baby's room or kids room I'd rather be safe than sorry. Besides, I don't want to pay higher heating bills just because I put something in the way.

I considered building a bookshelf for the area but then one day as I walked around IKEA I got an idea. I bought two of these:

LACK Wall Shelf $29.99


Then I came home and asked my husband to help. He measured, marked, taped and cut. We used painter's tape on the outside of the boards along the line we were going to cut to prevent splinters from the saw. An idea I found on IKEA Hacker.

I love the look of floating shelves and how it looks like built-in shelves. Of course, it's not perfection, but it's a lot more shelving than we had, and I love it. That's all that really matters to me!

I happen to have a dilemma here too though. I feel like it still needs more of a window treatment than just the valance. I want it simple and not overbearing. I also need it to be black-out. Any suggestions?!

Shelving Solution

Shelving Solution

I'm linking this to Amanda's Decorating Dilemmas Party at Serenity Now. This is such a cool party.

Decorating Dilemmas
I got an old sewing table for my machines last year on Craigslist. We got it right before the baby was born. It took some time waiting for just the right style and size, but I finally found something I knew would work. You see, the machine was moving into my bedroom and I wanted something that would hide it nicely when it was not in use.

This cabinet/table cost me $30. I knew when I saw it that it was perfect, but it was also going to take a lot of work!

BEFORE
Sewing Table Repair

Somewhere I saw potential. When we got it home and started really inspecting it I got a little disappointed. I wasn't worried about the Laminate table top, I could deal with that. What had me was that the edging around part of the flip-top was gone. I knew I could try sanding but didn't know if it would work, or how long that would take. Thankfully, I remembered the edging that I learned about while researching cabinet refacing for my kitchen. I figured I'd give it a shot. It took two confused employees at Home Depot to figure out what I wanted, but they finally found it. Melamine Edging!

Sewing Table Repair

Sewing Table Repair

The edging was easy enough to apply. You heat it with an Iron. I actually did it by myself! It ended up being just a little too wide for the table, but once it had all cooled off I used a utility knife to trim the excess and then sanded the edges to smooth it a little. It ended up being perfect! I filled the holes with wood filler. (Of course, as I was applying the edging I dropped the table top on the concrete floor. One corner got pretty banged up and I had to fill that as well. It still shows a little, but I can live with it.)

Sewing Table Repair

You can see in the above picture some of the process of painting. I had my Dad bring me some Melamine Paint from Canada. Tinted in a darker color for a good base. Last time I painted Laminate I just used regular paint and the desk top bubbled up weird. This time I wasn't going to take that risk. My awesome husband took the entire thing apart and primed all of it with the Melamine paint (I was 9 months preggo at the time and not about to do it myself). Then he painted it all black. Months later I got back to it and sanded it, then painted again. Then I sanded it and touched up the few spots that needed. Then I coated it in Polyurethane twice.

The handles I spray painted in a black metallic paint. The inside plastic trays were brown, so I used a black plastic spray paint to paint them.

Then my husband put it all back together and moved it into our room! He rocks!

Altogether I used 4 paints and 1 finish. It took a long time to complete this, but I love it. It's a beautiful little cabinet and looks so good in my room. Now I just have to build a ledge to hold my new machine properly inside the table.


Sewing Table

Sewing Table

Sewing Table

Sewing Table

Sewing Table


I'm linking this up to the paint challenge at The CSI Project, Show us What You're Working With Wednesday at Me and My Bucket and Trash to Treasure Tuesday at ReInvented.






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May 24, 2010

You may remember the Chalk Mat I made for my nephew for Christmas. The idea originally came from my friend Kelsey, who made one for my son. She was going to do the tutorial for this, but gave me permission to do it instead. It has taken me quite some time to get to it, but I finally got the tutorial done!

Chalk Mat

The original was made with cotton. It's great, but not as easy to keep clean because of the chalk dust. So I changed it up a little and used Laminated Cotton. It's just a quick wipe on all surfaces and it's clean!

CHALK MAT WITH STORAGE POCKET TUTORIAL

Supply List:
NOTES:
1. I don't like to have a bunch of scrap fabric, so when I purchase I like to figure out the least waste. That's why I've listed the amount you need to purchase for 6 Mats.
2. I purchased Michael Miller Laminated Cotton at a local shop; you can find it all over online if you can't get it locally. It is very easy to sew as well, light weight and the foot doesn't stick on it. The Coated Twill I used in this tutorial was really difficult to sew with, the foot kept sticking to the plastic coating (I used tissue to help) and it is a bulkier fabric. You can also make your own Laminated Cotton with Heat'n Bond Iron On Flexible Vinyl although I've never done that.
3. I prefer to use Fusible Fleece because it just irons on to the fabric and you don't have to stabilize it with basting stitches or pins!
4. You can use the scraps of laminated cotton to make your own bias tape if you prefer.
5. Clear light-weight vinyl shower curtains from the Dollar Store make for cheap vinyl!

* Links to products are for you to be able to see the product, not in any way a recommendation that you purchase that item.

Directions:


Cut:
1 piece 10"x13.5" Chalk Cloth
Chalk Mat

2 pieces 12"x20" Laminated Cotton (or fabric of choice)
Chalk Mat

1 piece 12"x20" Fusible Fleece
Chalk Mat

1 piece 5"x12" Clear Vinyl
Chalk Mat

1 piece 12" Bias Tape
Chalk Mat

1 piece 12" Elastic
Chalk Mat

1 piece about 5"x1" of Tissue (I just use old gift wrap tissue!)

Sew:

1. If you are using Cotton Batting pin it to secure it or baste it in place. Otherwise, put the Fusible Fleece fusible side (fusible side has the bumpy dots) to wrong side of one piece of Laminated Cotton. With Laminated Cotton on the bottom, cover the Fleece with a dish towel or some extra fabric and Iron on a Medium Heat to fuse the fleece to the Laminated Cotton. (If you're worried start at a lower heat and slowly increase it.) Press down section by section, don't swipe the Iron across the fabric as you would for a shirt - it might stretch the fleece, or make it fold and iron on weird.

*I forgot to photograph this step. Sorry.

2. Pin the Bias Tape over one of the long edges of the vinyl. Sew in place with a zigzag stitch. If you use a slightly larger bias tape you can use a straight stitch if you prefer.

Here I actually made my own Bias Tape using left-over scrap fabric and sewed it on with a straight stitch.

Chalk Mat

Chalk Mat

Chalk Mat

3. Pin the Vinyl to the right side and right edge of the Laminated Cotton with Fusible Fleece. Mark the center of the edge. Place the Tissue Paper over that line and straight stitch down the center line. Tear away the Tissue Paper. *The paper makes it much easier to sew on the Vinyl because the foot will stick to the Vinyl. The stitches will look a lot better this way, trust me!

Chalk Mat

Chalk Mat

Chalk Mat

Chalk Mat

4. Align the Chalk Cloth on the same piece the Vinyl is on; 1 inch from the left and 1 inch from the bottom. Sew a zigzag stitch over the perimeter of the Chalk Cloth. *To prevent the chalk cloth from stretching, sew across the top then down one side. Then starting in the corner you began, sew down the side and across the bottom. This way you are sewing all seams in the same direction and if any stretching occurs it's all

Chalk Mat

Chalk Mat

5. Fold the elastic in half and pin the raw edges to the Mat in the center on the left edge. Point the elastic towards the Chalk Cloth, not outwards, or else the elastic will end up on the inside of the Mat. Baste to the edge if needed.

Chalk Mat

6. Pin the right side of the second piece of Laminated Cotton to the right side of the piece with the Chalk, Vinyl and Elastic on it. Sew a 1/2" seam around the outside leaving a hole about the size of your fist to turn it right-side-out. Serge the edge or zigzag stitch it to prevent fraying (this also helps in case the stitching comes loose, then there's another line of stitching to prevent your kids fingers from popping in there and ripping it right open)!

Chalk Mat

Chalk Mat

7. Trim the corners off so that once right-side-out they will lay flat.

Chalk Mat

8. Pull the fabric out through the hole turning it right side out. Flatten the edges out nicely. I roll the edge between my fingers to get it flatten nicely. Fix the corners so that they are square. I use a pin on the tricky ones, popping it in, catching the threads and pulling it out gently. Pin where necessary to stabilize. Fold under the edge of the hole to line up with the seam and pin it closed.

Chalk Mat

Chalk Mat

Chalk Mat

See what a difference that makes?
Chalk Mat

Chalk Mat

9. Top Stitch 1/4" from the edge around the entire Mat.

Chalk Mat

10. Put Chalk in 1 section and a Sponge in the other. Roll the Mat up, and wrap the elastic around it. You're done! Enjoy!

Chalk Mat

Chalk Mat

Draw on it with the chalk and wet the sponge to wipe it clean. If you're out and about and don't have a wet sponge, wet wipes work great. I've used this often!

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