Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY Canvas Map

Create your own canvas map for you and your special someone or family to mark all of your travels.  I made the canvas map for my boyfriend who loves maps.  We marked the places that he has been with blue pins, the places I have been with red, and the places we have been together with purple pins. See what we did there?? Cute, huh? Anyway, the canvases are really cute once hanging on the wall. They won't be perfect, but they're still amazing and fun to share with guests.

What you need:

Mod Podge -- whatever finish you want.  Mine has a mix of matte and glossy just because that is what I had on hand. There are several different types of mod podge, even glitter!

Map -- I got mine from Office Depot, but you can find them at bookstores or other office supply stores. I chose one that had good color to it and didn't look like a kindergarten map.

Sponge brush -- You may end up using your fingers more, at least I did...

Map Pins -- You can choose whichever colors you want and there are tons of different pins available out there. I just got mine from the sewing department at Wal-Mart.

Canvas -- You want to make sure that your canvas is a tad bit smaller than your map so that it will fit right, mine was not perfect so I painted the inside borders of the the canvases so that all of the map would show. I wrapped the borders and mod podged them down.

The Process:

1. Lay out your canvas with your map on top of it. ** I rolled out my map and let it sit for a couple of days with the canvas holding down the edges and corners so that it wouldn't try to roll up on me when I was trying to work with it.

2. Cut your map where it needs to be cut in order to be wrapped and mod podged how you want it when it is finished.  Measure like 5 times, because you can only cut once...

3. Slap on a layer of mod podge to the canvas ***Work with one canvas at a time***

4. Lay out the map on the canvas and smooth from the middle out

5.  Layer mod podge on top of the map so that it is sandwiched between mod podge which makes it stick

6. Repeat 3-5 for how ever many canvases you have

7. Let the mod podge dry for about 2 days to make sure that it sets

8. Place your pins!!!

9. Share pictures of your project!


ashli brooke

DIY Christmas Ornament

Be A Fun Mum included a cute Christmas ornament on her blog a little while back.  It is super simple and is great for all ages.  I have included the instructions below.

ashli brooke

Digital State Prints

My 2 homes...Tennessee & Mississippi. I'm not sure which I love more, they are both fantastic! You can purchase these digitals prints plus many more from Molly.

ashli brooke

DIY Burlap Wreath for less than $5


Mallory over at Classy Clutter made the CUTEST Ruffle Burlap Fall Wreath! Not only did she make an adorable wreath, but she made it for less than $5!! We should all take note of this fabulous project.

I plan to try this over Thanksgiving Break.

ashli brooke

Daily Inspiration

DIY Glitter iPhone Charger

Photo: googleimages
What You'll Need:
  • Mod podge - clear works and looks the best
  • Glitter - Choose any size and color that you want. Be creative: mix and match!
  • Clear acrylic sealer - This will ensure that your masterpiece can last as long as possible! Can be aerosol or liquid...
  • Masking tape - Be sure to choose one that won't leave any sticky residue and tape over the metal plugs so you don't damage the charger. You can use butcher tape or frog tape or blue painter tape

  1. Start out by taping over all of the metal pieces so they don't get ruined aka the metal parts and the cord
  2. Paint over where you want to add glitter with your clear mod podge
  3. Before the base coat dries, add as much glitter as your heart desires!
  4. Once you have the glitter exactly how you want it, let it all completely dry
  5. To finish, apply a coat of the clear acrylic sealer to keep everything in place and to avoid a future mess!
  6. Lastly, remove all of the tape from the metal pieces and try it out to make sure it still works

ashli brooke

Christmas is Coming

23 DIY Gift Ideas

Tatertots and Jello compiled a nice list of 23 DIY Christmas gifts. I can't wait to make the dish gloves and recipe book. Wouldn't that just be adorable for some girl friends for Christmas.  The two projects possess all of the great qualities of wonderful gifts for college students: cheap, cute, and thoughtful.  We don't always get to cook for ourselves, but when we do, we definitely don't want to mess up our nail.

More DIY gift ideas to come.

ashli brooke

Thursday, October 25, 2012


As fall settles in, we all start thinking about all of the wonderful ways to decorate our doors for the holidays! I am so excited that I learned how to make beautiful wreaths inexpensively and quickly.  

Have you heard of Poly Deco Mesh yet? Well it is currently all the rage! It is fun and funky and is a great way to celebrate a new season, holiday, baby, or team. 

Poly Decorator art mesh (also known as Geo Mesh) is a mesh made out of vinyl that is durable and waterproof, perfect for outdoors but delicate enough for indoor use. The mesh material is not wired and will keep its full body forever! Poly Deco Mesh currently comes in two versions, foil and non foil. Foiled mesh simply has a foil thread woven into the mesh giving it sparkle.

There are tons of different things you can add to a wreath depending on the theme.  I enjoyed making this wreath.  It was SUPER simple and fun! I figured that this tutorial is just as good if not better than what I would do. I basically followed the tutorial exactly with the exception of adding a painted wood square in the middle that reads "Merry Christmas!".  I haven't taken a picture yet, but I wanted to go ahead and post so yall can get started on your own!

This website has amazing deals on supplies and will get the order to you within a couple days.  I ordered on Friday and by Monday the box was on my doorstep. :)

Happy Crafting!

Ashli Brooke

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Faux Leather Wallet Tutorial

My boyfriend only likes wallets that are only for cards. He also only uses wallets that are slim enough to fit inconspicuously in his front or back pocket. Last summer when I was in the Caribbean, I found the PERFECT wallet for him. He loves it! However, it is worn slap out.  We have searched high and low for a similar wallet and have yet to find one. SO...time to break out the sewing machine :)

I cut the leather...

1-------> 4.25"x6" 

Obviously, the largest piece is the back. The 4 smallest pieces are the top two dividers on each side and the 2 medium sized ones are the bottom pieces that show completely.

I lined them up using gift/credit/debit cards as guides.

Next, just sew and trim if necessary.


ashli brooke

Bow Pillow Tutorial

Two pillows in two days...I am doing pretty good! :)

This pillow is also a small and simple one.  I figured I would go a head and post a tutorial as I made this one, too.

-Typical sewing supplies
-2 pieces of main fabric (1 front and 1 back)
       -Fabric needs to be 1/2" longer than your pillow form on each side (mine is 12"x16")
-Fabric for bow
       -Fabric needs to be the same width as your main fabric and however thick you want your bow ends to be
-Scrap fabric to wrap around center of the bow...could also use button


  1. Fold the long edges of your bow fabric and iron
  2. Sew along the folds so that you have finished edges
  3. Center your bow fabric on the front fabric piece
  4. Sew along each edge to attach the bow fabric to the front fabric
  5. Gather bow material in middle to make the shape of the bow and hand stitch so that the shape holds
  6. Fabri-tac one end of the scrap material to the back of the bow's center
  7. Wrap around the center and then place glue on the wrong side of the fabric and press to the wrong side to create a clean fold that will hold
  8. Place another drop of glue on the back of the clean fold you just created and press it to the wrapped center to hold the fabric strip in place for good
  9. Now, place fabrics right side together and sew all the way around except for a gap in one side large enough to get the pillow through
  10. Turn right side out
  11. Stuff pillow case
  12. Stitch the gap closed
  13. Enjoy! :)
ashli brooke

Summer Sewing Projects

If you would like to see a tutorial for any of these projects, please comment and let me know.

ashli brooke

DIY Piping

Piping is super easy to make yourself! 
It may be the easiest thing to do yourself.

All you need is...

a sewing machine
matching or contrasting thread
fabric cut in strips of 2" and as long as you need your piping
some form of rope or line (singe ends with the lighter to prevent fray)
a zipper foot or a similar one will be very helpful
(you want to be able to sew as close to the line or rope as possible)

It's easy as..
1.  Fold your strips over the line
2. Sew along the line, but not on the line
3. Admire your beautiful piping!

This is the rope that I used for my Reverse Applique Pillow

ashli brooke

Freezer Paper Uses

Freezer paper is that amazing tool you never thought of for sewing, but you can find it in your grocery store with Ziploc bags and foil wrap. One side is paper and the other has a light coating of a plastic which melts like wax when you iron it.  

To adhere freezer paper to fabric, place the wax side down on the wrong side of the fabric, then use a medium iron to adhere it to the fabric.  

Buy good quality freezer paper - Reynolds.  It is way better and easier to use.  It is well worth it in the long run.

"Freezer paper is great for appliqué. There are several methods of freezer paper appliqué:
  • Draw your motif on the dull side, cut it out and iron it to the top of the appliqué piece. As you are appliquéing, you tuck the fabric under the appliqué piece, then peel off the freezer paper. You can usually reuse this piece several times.
  • You can also draw your motif on the dull side in reverse. Iron the freezer paper to the wrong side of the appliqué piece. You appliqué as above, but just before you get to the end, you remove the freezer paper with a pair of tweezers.
  • Or, you can iron the freezer paper to the wrong side of the appliqué piece then iron the fabric over the edges, giving you a crisp edge to appliqué. Remove the paper before doing so. 
Freezer paper can also be used for paper piecing. 
Freezer paper templates are great for hand sewing, too.  For example, you can use them to make Grandmothers Flower Garden blocks.  Print a sheet of hexagons on freezer paper, cut them apart and iron them to the wrong side of your appliqué piece.  Iron the edges over the freezer paper.  Now you will have a nice sharp edge for whip stitching.  For stability, leave the freezer paper in until you are done but be careful not to catch the thread in the paper.
Freezer paper can be run through your ink jet printer (not a laser printer!) if you would like to print several motifs at once. Set your printer to accept heavy paper, and feed the sheets one at a time.  To keep it from curling, you can cut it a day or two ahead of time and put it under something heavy to flatten it. If you are in a hurry, you can iron it flat (shiny side down) on a Teflon pressing sheet, or iron it to a piece of copy paper and put the combination through your printer. Ironing two pieces together may work, too.  It's best to pull them apart while they are warm.
Freezer paper can also help you to print on fabric. For example, if you would like to personalize your labels, you can iron your freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric, cut it to just shy of 8 ½" x 11" so stray threads don’t get caught in the printer, and print your labels on the fabric. The freezer paper gives the fabric just enough body to go through the printer as if it were a piece of paper. 
To make attaching your labels even easier, use basting spray to adhere the fabric to the shiny side of the freezer paper. When you pull them apart, the fabric will remain just slightly sticky which will help keep it in place when you sew.  You can also use the muslin/freezer paper combination to make a fabric foundation for foundation piecing, too."

Here is what Reynolds has to say about using Freezer paper in quilting: "To use Reynolds® Freezer Paper in quilting, trace quilting design onto dull side of freezer paper, cut it out and iron shiny side onto the fabric. Cut out the fabric around the design, allowing 1/4" seam allowance. Fold the fabric seam allowance under the freezer paper and stitch the applique onto the background fabric. Pull out the freezer paper through a small area left unstitched.
Save your money for quilt fabric! Here are great tips for using everyday items in original ways to save time and money in quilting.

Get crafting!

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial
Add caption

ashli brooke

Reverse Applique Pillow Tutorial

This summer, my sewing goal is to make 6 pillows for my bed in my new apartment and maybe a couple for the couch. Yesterday, I completed pillow #1! Yay!!! I went to √Hancock Fabrics in Paducah, Kentucky at the beginning of the summer and bought the fabrics I wanted to use for my pillows.  

I have never made a pillow before and was a little nervous to start out which is probably why I have waited so long to make the first.  However, as I created this pillow I created a tutorial to share with you so that you can create your very own. Don't be intimidated, it is not hard.  :)

Materials Needed:

  • Main Fabric ( I used 1/2 yard of Michael Miller Mini Mike Dot n Square)
    • Front Fabric
      • Enough material to cover your pillow form and add 1" to your length and 1" to your width (mine was 12"x16" so I cut my front fabric to be 13"x17")
    • Back Fabric
      • You will need two pieces for the back, since we are making an envelope style pillow
        • TOP Back Fabric: 13"x 12"
        • BOTTOM Back Fabric: 13"x12"
  • Enough piping or fringe or whatever else you want around the edge of your pillow
  • Applique
  • Matching or contrasting thread and bobbin
  • Sewing machine (I love my Brother LB-6800PRW!)
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat
  • Exacto knife
  • Fray Check
  • Iron and Ironing board
  • Pins
**You may or may not actually use all of the supplies above based on your preferences**

Now, let's get down to business...

  1. Press your fabrics
  2. Cut your fabrics to match the dimensions listed above
  3. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the applique fabric following instructions that were with the interfacing
  4. Use the freezer paper to draw or trace your design for the applique 
  5. Use the exacto knife to cut out the design
  6. Iron the main piece of freezer paper to your Front Fabric with the waxy/shiny side against the right side of your fabric so that your fabric shows through the cutout how your want it on your pillow
  7. Use the exacto knife to cut out the piece of fabric showing through the cutout in the freezer paper (you could save this and use it on another project if you take your time and cut it perfectly)
  8. Fray check the edges of the cutout on the Front Fabric
  9. Pin the applique fabric to the back of the Front Fabric with the applique showing through the cutout Front Fabric as you want it to look once finished
  10. Sew around the edges of your cutout to hold the applique in place (I used 1/8")
  11. Trim the extra fabric with interfacing if you would like to (good for thin fabric so it doesn't show as much)
  12. Iron finished Front Fabric  
  13. Layout your 3 pieces of fabric
  14. On the 2 Back Fabric pieces, fold the 12" edge down 1" and iron, then sew along bottom of fold
  15. Layout the 3 pieces of fabric wrongside up
  16. Now, you want to overlap the 2 Back Fabric pieces so that once overlapped, combined the length is the same as the Front Fabric
  17. Pin the piping or whatever you chose to the right side of the Front Fabric
  18. Pin the Front Fabric and Back Fabric right sides together
  19. Sew around your pillowcase **make sure you sew on the side of the piping that is closest to the unfinished edge so that it will show once complete**
  20. Turn your pillowcase right side out 
  21. At this point, I made the bows and stitched the tail on the kite then sewed on the bows
  22. Insert pillow form
  23. ENJOY!!!!!!

I would LOVE to see your pillow if you make one! Please comment if you may use this tutorial.
ashli brooke

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