Jun 28, 2010

'Hoo Hoo' Has a New Duvet?

John's duvet is finished!!! So, for those of you on the edge of your seat, the owl fabric was used for the duvet. This was quite the project since I wasn't using any instructions and just kind of figured it out along the way. So, a project that I thought might take one night took several nights (and several curse words and more than once John was this close to getting a store-bought duvet). But here it is (Brad was so kind to hold it up for me!) and here is how I made it.

{Now, remember, I said I figured it out as I went, so these are the steps I would follow if I did this again. I am not doubting there are easier ways to make a duvet cover, but this worked for me!}

Supplies to make a twin duvet:
-I used 6.5 yards of the top material (cute owls!) and 6 yards of the brown backing material. Due to the way it is pieced together, you will have left over material. (Yeah for new pillows!)
-trim (optional!)
-velcro, thread, pins, scissors, etc

Steps to make a twin duvet:

1. Sewing Panels

The material I bought wasn't wide enough for the duvet so I had to sew panels together. For the brown material, it was about 44 inches wide so I had one piece that was 44 inches wide and 95 inches long. This would be my center panel.

I didn't want a seam right down the middle of the duvet, so I took a 2nd piece of the same dimensions as above and cut it in half lenght wise. Now I had two pieces that were 22 inches wide and 95 inches long.

Then I pinned the shorter pieces on either side of the center panel.

After sewing all the way down the length of the panels, now I had one wide piece of material without a seam down the middle!

{SIDENOTE} You can also use a flat bed sheet for the backing material which I believe is already wide enough. If I had to make a duvet cover again, I would use a sheet because then you don't have to piece anything together!

I repeated the process with the owl material. (Well, I lied. You should repeat the process with your top material. I cheated and only added a short panel to one side because I only needed a couple more inches since the owl material was much wider to begin with. But, this was cheating and I only did it because this part of the duvet won't be seen in the room so I cut corners! In case you were wondering, this is when I cursed for the first time during the project b/c I didn't line up the pattern correctly. UGH! So, be careful when you try to piece together patterned material!)

2. Hemming

Hem one end of your material. I turned under the ends about an inch and then turned that under again and sewed about a 1/2 inch hem. This is for the opening to insert/remove the comforter so you can wash the duvet cover.

3. Adding Trim

I decided to be fancy and add a braided cord trim. To do this, I laid the owl material face up on the floor. Then I took the old duvet cover and laid it on top, lining it up against the hemmed edge. I could now use the old cover as a pattern and just pin the trim around it. Be sure to pin the trim on the right side of the top material with the trim towards the center and the 'sewing edge' of the trim up against the edge of the material. You only need to put the trim on the sides and the bottom of the duvet cover. I didn't put it on the top where John's head would be...probably wouldn't be super comfy! Using the zipper foot for your machine (woohoo...first time to use my zipper foot!), sew the trim as close to the actual trim as possible.

(you can see the old duvet in this pic that I used as a guide!)

(now when you take away the old duvet, your trim is pinned to the exact measurements you need!)

4. Sewing the Top and Bottom Together

To sew the top and bottom pieces together, lay the backing material face up on the floor. Then lay the top material face down on top of the backing with hemmed edges lined up. At this point, right sides should be together. (I again used my old duvet cover as a guide to know how long the duvet should be.) Pin around the edges, making sure to leave a pretty big hole at the bottom to insert the comforter. Sew around the edge, remembering to leave that hole open at the bottom! After sewing, trim all excess material and trim corners.

5. Finishing up the Hole!

Almost done!!! Looking at the hole you left, it looks kind of sloppy IF you used trim. (If you didn't use trim, it probably looks pretty good!). I pinned the sewing edge of the trim to the wrong side of the top material and sewed it in place. Now it won't be sagging and ugly.

Then I added 4 sections of velcro along the edges for closure. Buttons would be super cute, but I don't know how to make button holes yet so I again cut corners and stuck with the tried and true velcro!

6. DONE!

If you made it this far, your duvet cover is done! Insert a plush comforter, close up the velcro, and then pat yourself on the back.

I can't wait to see it in John's new room. I am hoping we start get it set up in the next week or so!!

Jun 24, 2010

Welcome New Friends!

Welcome to lil Mop Top! Please take a peek around and hopefully you find something that you find interesting!

Here are some of my favorite creations and posts so you can see what I have been up to lately. Thanks for stopping by!

The Preppy Bib

Nursery Design

4th of July shirt

Teacher Themed Retirement Party

Jun 22, 2010

Nursery Walls are Up!!

We are making some progress in the nursery! I am so excited on how the room is turning out so far, so here is a sneak peak of what the final room will look like.

We started with this plain blue room. When we first moved into the house, we used it as my craft/computer room...

...and then it became the guest bedroom when John was born. Now it is making its third transformation into a nursery! Here are some pics of the room all cleared out and the baseboards and door trims off.

Brad so kindly repainted it to a different shade of blue to match the bedding. Then he and my dad started working on creating a board and batten on the walls. Unfortunately they didn't get everything finished and Brad spent many nights finishing up all the wood work. Thankfully John is such a great helper!

After a couple coats of paint, the walls look awesome! They turned out to be less board and batten and more paneling, but that was actually what I wanted originally so I am really really happy with how it turned out!

We still have to paint the doors and do a little touch ups where the painters tape didn't quite hold up. I am so lucky that Brad worked so hard in that room just for me! (and Matthew, although he probably doesn't have a preference to how his room looks!) What do you guys think so far?!

Jun 18, 2010

Baby Onesies

Baby Matthew will be here before I know it! So I found a bunch of John's plain onesies and invited my sisters and mom over for a night of crafting. (yes, we have matching TEAM CRAFT shirts! and yes, the pic is super dark...I apologzie!)

It was really fun (even though we missed mom being there!) and we made about 6 or 7 onesies for the baby. A couple still need to be sewn (the wonder under was giving us some trouble so I actually have to sew now!!), but here are a couple favorites.

I used a tie freezer paper stencil from Presser Foot and it is Brad's favorite onesie. It is precious! I tried to make suspenders like I saw somewhere in the blog world, but mine didn't turn out quite as cute. But, oh well!

My sister painted on the anchor since the baby's room will have a nautical theme. I think it turned out so sweet! I used a stamp to create the safety pin onesie. Kind of plain, but I am sure the baby won't notice!

I used a freezer paper stencil from Aly&Ash for the guitars. Then I just wrote in 'Mom Rocks'. This might be my favorite one...even if the writing is a little light!

Now we just need the baby to get here so we can try out our creations!

Jun 16, 2010

Painting with Golf Balls

I had heard about an arts and crafts activity where you dip marbles into paint and then roll them around on paper. But then I saw this post (via One Pretty Thing which I LOVE!)where someone commented about using golf balls instead of marbles. So I decided to try it out today with John John. He really seemed to like the activity and it kept him entertained for about 20 - 30 minutes which is a long time for an 18 month old kiddo! We did end the actvity with a bath since John decided he also wanted to paint his arms, but that is ok!

Here is how it went for us...

We started with our paint and golf balls. I put an old sheet on the tile floor just to make clean up easier and I am very glad I did! I would have been mopping up quite a bit of paint!

I tried to use a big tupperware box first in case John was wild with his rolling of the golf balls. But the balls kept rolling in the grooves on the side so it wasn't working out well. We switched to a pan which worked much better!

John first used the golf balls like stamps with the paint.

He would put each golf ball back in a pile of paint and then put them back in the pan. So cute! I threw in a little mini-lesson of colors while he did it!

It took some 'progression' for him to roll the balls. I had to put the balls on one side of the pan and then ask him to roll the balls to me. Then he would manually roll the balls back and forth. Then he was able to lift one side of the pan to roll the balls and I would have to tilt it for him to get the balls back to him again. He finally figured out how to lift the ends of the pan to make the balls roll back and forth all by himself! Yay for John John!

And here is the final result! We ended up with three pretty art pieces!

I have a felling these will be turned into Father's Day cards for this weekend just like our last arts and crafts project. So, Dad, act surprised when you see your card on Sunday! :)

Jun 13, 2010

Teacher Themed Retirement Party!

My MIL, Diana, retired after teaching for 40 years!! Yes, FORTY years! So, my sister-in-law and I (and the hubbies!) threw a retirement party for her this weekend. It turned out great and so I had to share!

First I searched online for retirement parties. Let me tell you that there isn't much to be found in terms of retirement parties! So, I found a cute baby shower and graduation party that had a school theme and used those for inspirations.

I made this invitation using Photoshop Elements. I am still learning how to use the program, but thought the invites turned out cute! I then printed them at Walmart as just regular old photos and mailed them off. It was much cheaper than ordering fancy invitations!

I also made coordinating decorations such as the napkin rings, bottle labels, and cupcake toppers:

My SIL, Kristin, helped me get crafty with all the decorations. Even John helped me make the tastiest peanut butter rice kripie treats. (I got the recipe at Big Mama, but just don't feel like searching her blog for the exact post. If you find it, they are AMAZING!)

For the main food table, we tried to think of types of food that would be served in a cafeteria. So, we went with chicken fingers, pizza, corn, mashed potatoes, rolls, etc. It was super yummy! We used some old math textbooks I had to decorate along with the traditonal red apples and teacher-y pencils!

Yummy cupcakes and a cute carved watermelon fruit bowl was in a seperate room.

For favors, we had the typical high school snacks- nutty bars, starcrunch, cookies, rice krispie treats, and oatmeal creme pies.

Last, but not least, we had our drink station with personalized water bottles, sodas, and 'adult' beverages.

Hopefully Diana had a great time with all of her friends! I know she is ready for her exciting new life as being a retired lady!