Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chalk Mat Fun

I have had a batch of chalk cloth in my cabinet for months!!!!! I have had an idea in my head for as long too, but have been too nervous to actually commit to cutting and sewing up the chalk cloth, in case I did something and screwed up the fabric.

But after searching different chalk cloth items, inserting a strong needle into my machine, and bringing out my awesome pinking shears, here's the final product...........

On the go chalk mat!

Here's how I made mine :) Adapt as you see fit. 

1- Cut 2 pieces of fabric & interfacing to be 13.5" wide and 10" long. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabrics.
2- Cut 1 piece of chalk cloth to be 11" wide and 8.5" long. Use pinking shears and trim around each edge to make the zig zag pattern.
3- Take the chalk cloth and pin it to the right side of one piece of fabric. Be careful, because the chalk cloth will leave the pin hole marks. (See step 4 before stitching!)
4- Before you stitch all the way around the chalk cloth, you will need to take a 2" piece of elastic (3/4 width) and fold it in half, then tuck it into the left side of the chalk cloth (between the chalk cloth and fabric), about half way between the top and bottom to hold the piece of chalk in the mat. I used a 1/4 seam allowance for my stitching.

5- Now take the two pieces of fabric and place them right sides together and pin in place. Take a large elastic band and slide it between the fabric so that only a little bit of the edge is visible. Stitch along the edges, leaving about a 4" opening in the top. Use a 1/2 SA.
6- Snip corners when finished sewing, turn right side out, tuck in the exposed opening and iron flat. Then top stitch around the length of the mat to hide the opening as well as secure the elastic band in place for frequent use. (Iron only on the side of fabric that does not have chalk cloth on it!)

Decorate with a special note, add a piece of chalk, roll it up and give to someone sweet to play with!

I see a lot of these being made in my future for Christmas stocking stuffers!!!!! Might even make these for my next craft fair.

By the way, I bought the chalk cloth from The Fabric Farm and you can pick up a chalk marker on Etsy by searching "Chalk Pen" in supplies.

I purchased 1/2 yard of chalk fabric and it made 8 chalk mats.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Budget Book

I've got a coupon organizer, got my coupon sites I visit all the time, got my shopping list and notebook, and now we've moved into the "cash only" system. (No worries, we don't actually have a lot of cash, this is just to keep me focused on my grocery priority and to avoid Target as much. So you won't be able to steal a lot of money from me if you take my envelopes.)

Well, of course, I wanted one of these nifty little budget books for our cash so I didn't actually have to use plain white envelopes.  Blah! But since I shouldn't be spending any $$$ on one, I found a plastic one in my stash of stuff, and did some serious Googling to find someone online who would show me how they are decorated with fabric. Hence how I came upon the tutorial.

Here's my finished product! (Don't look too closely, it's my first and the stitching isn't too terribly straight. Thank God for brown on brown!)

This little goober was not as easy as it seemed. I've been wanting to figure this one out for a while, but never had the initiative. Figured it was glued on or something. Never dawned on me that the fabric really was stitched on. Thank heavens I had a heavy duty needle, a lot of desire, and an willing to forgive the crooked stitching. Another plus to the project.... the portfolio was only $1 and the fabric was in my scrap stack.

Some other cool links for making coupon organizers, clutches, etc.