Firsts: How-To Napkin Pillow Cases

So to say that I had a difficult time with this undertaking, is an UNDERSTATEMENT. While the project itself it not at all difficult, my wonderful sewing machine and I were getting into several throw-downs last night… Good thing I have a “Heavy Duty” Singer… not sure that a “Light Duty” would have made it out alive!

Regardless! Here is the step-by-step process, and how simple it is to change out your throw pillows! (And CHEAP!)

1) Start by purchasing cloth napkins. I bought mine at Target, and they were $8.00 for a 4-pack.

Napkins from Target - $8

2) You are going to use 3 napkins. 1 napkin stays normal size, cut the other 2 napkins about 2/3 size. I measured the full length of the napkin (18 inches) and then started cutting at 12 inches. Make sure your sewing machine is all set up and ready to go!

The sewing machine of DOOM!!

3) Lay the napkins with the patterned sides facing each other. I put the largest piece on the bottom, and then lined up my 2/3 pieces on top.

Put the seamed sides on the inside, that way you don't have to sew an extra seam later!

4) Pin all around the edges. You don’t have to leave a corner open, because by cutting the two 2/3 sized pieces, you are creating a pocket opening in the back (just like a slip cover… wowza!)

make sure your pins are facing the right direction!

5) Then sew! Sew around all edges of the pillow case. Make sure you stop and close your thread around each corner. Depending on the fabric of your cloth napkins, some turn easier than others…

6) When you are done sewing, here comes the fun part… turn your pillow case inside out!

Ready for a pillow!

Not the intended pillow, but it works for the sake of the example 🙂

back of pillow

And, Voila!!

Once I figured out what was happening with my sewing machine… this project is a piece of cake! A great way to add a pop of color to your living room, without shelling out $20+ on new throw pillows! I’m making lots of slip covers, because my design personality likes to change things up often 🙂

Final product with both of my new pillow case slip covers:

If at FIRST you don’t succeed, attempt sewing projects, like Jenna.

Firsts: Christmas Gift Ideas

This is always a challenge for me… I hate giving meaningless Christmas gifts. I hate giving meaningless gifts, in general! Unless the person is going to L-O-V-E it, or it is something useful, what’s the point?! Well, that’s what I always say, anyway… My mom taught me early on that gift cards are unacceptable presents. She always made sure that every item she gave us was thoughtful and was something we REALLY wanted (even if she did give me a Ding King Car Dent Repair Kit one year….).

So here are my tips for choosing Christmas gifts…

  • Make a list (there I go again with the lists!) of all the NECESSARY people to purchase presents for. To me this includes immediate family, significant others, and significant others families. Besties can also be included, but only if you can’t make them a more personal gift first.
  • Next to each person’s name, write a few adjectives for that person, or something that interests them… If you can’t do that, then you probably shouldn’t be spending money on them!…
  • Then…. BE CREATIVE!!!

I teach Theatre, and included is theatrical design (of everything). And one of the first steps in the design process is RESEARCH. I always, always, always do my research. Whether it is to compare prices or to get inspiration, I find it almost impossible to come up with gift ideas without doing my research first.

Great links:

The Crafting Chicks — I will seriously visit this website about 10 times a day. They are geniuses!

I may or may not be making one of these this year...!

Martha Stewart — she’s good at this…. duh.

… Or just use your own brain! Think about what you KNOW about each person you are giving a gift to.

Last year I made a Mix CD for every person in my family. Each CD was “Winter” themed, but only included songs by artists that that person liked. Total cost: about $50 for 4 people. I spent $$ on the blank CD’s, purchasing songs on iTunes, and card stock to design special CD covers. Super easy, but unique to each person!

I can’t give away my ideas before Christmas, but never fear, I will include all of my hand crafted gifts come December 26th!

If at FIRST you don’t succeed, use your creative brain like Jenna.

Firsts: Cloth Napkin Pillow Covers

This is my latest crafting project… using cloth napkins to create pillow cases!

I have some awesome custom throw pillows on my couch. Picked out the fabric in a giant warehouse, had them made, and they matched a chair that I had recovered. Very cute. Until Domino the Great Dane took over and chewed a hole in every corner of the pillows (please see below):

My 1-year old Great Dane baby...

Pictures of the destroyed pillows, not included. BUT – it inspired me to find an inexpensive and easy way to change the pillows, without having to go out and buy brand new ones! I am going to start this project tonight.. and will hopefully finish in the A.M. to post the results!

THANK YOU to for giving me yet another delightful crafting idea 🙂

The Crafting Chicks – Easy Decorative Pillow Slipcovers

If at FIRST you don’t succeed – be crafty, like Jenna.