Giant DIY Satin Flowers


Remember this post where I showed you how to make adorable satin flowers?   Well, I love those little flowers so much because they can add cute touches to anything from hair, to clothing, to home accessories, to purses, to gift packages.  To be honest, though, they are a bit small to add a lot of WOW to a room.  You know the theory that “bigger is better”?  Well, it is if we are talking about bigger budgets, bigger backyards, bigger pieces of chocolate cake.  Bigger thighs?  Maybe not so much.  An-y-way.  I thought that I could take this idea of making satin flower up a notch and make one, well, bigger.  The process was pretty much the same except I added more layers.  Eleven, to be exact:


For a base, I covered a circle shaped pieced of cardboard with fabric (to keep it pretty) to add stability:


Of course I glued the flower layers to the ugly side so the bottom looks nice and finished.

This finished flower turned out to be about 8 1/2 inches wide.  Big enough to make a statement in a frame that I backed with unpainted textured wallpaper:


I thought that it turned out pretty good, and I’ll admit that I excitedly thought,  “I MADE that!” every time that I walked past it.    The above picture just doesn’t do it justice.  The satin is so beautiful and I love the color that the fabric turns when the flame melts the edges.   Come to my house sometime and you will see.

After I had walked past it a hundred times or more I got thinking again.  Dangerous!  I adopted a new theory, ” If bigger is better, gigantic is the best!”.  Are you with me?

I looked in my fabric stash and found this lovely blouse that had been purchased and cut up for my daughter’s school project last year.  This little number set me back probably $.50.  Way cheaper than fabric store fabric.  I didn’t want to ruin good fabric if my big idea didn’t work.

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I totally know what you are thinking.  “How could you cut up such an stylish blouse?”  I know, right?

As I started cutting I realized something awesome, this 100% polyester fabric tears really easily.  In no time at all I had a large stack of fabric squares.  The largest squares were cut out of the back of the blouse, but I was amazed at how much fabric was in each sleeve.  I didn’t even try to count how many layers this flower has.   I just know it was a lot because I wanted my gigantic flower to be nice and fluffy.

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Using the same process that I showed you in my Super Simple Satin Flower tutorial I started melting my edges.  Unfortunately, my hubby was working at home when I made this and I knew that he would not welcome the thought of me putting fabric over a flame in the house so I did it on my front porch.  Trust me, it is much faster to do indoors.  Every little breeze makes the candle flicker.

I made a cool little video to show you a way that I found to speed up the process, but ding-dang-dong, I can’t for the life of me figure out how to add it in WordPress.  I will keep trying to figure out how to add the video, but basically, just take one side and simply fanfold the edges (maybe a 4-6 inch section) and hold the fanned area vertically about the candle’s hot spot to melt a larger section at a time.  Quickly spread out the fanned out area just in case parts fused together and then melt any sections that might have been missed.  Again, don’t put the fabric IN the flame, just OVER the flame.  We are melting, not burning the edges.  It probably took me an hour to melt all of my edges.

Once all of your pieces are melted, start stacking, largest on the bottom and work your way to the top.  Many of my pieces were similar in size and that is okay.   Just do this:


See how I put the glue down and scrunched the fabric to make sure the layers beneath can be seen.  This also adds wrinkles which help add volume.

When I got to the center area, I took 4 of my smaller melted shapes, pulled the center down to form a cone shape and glued them down to hide all of the hot glue spots.  At this point, I still had some extra melted fabric sections so I folded them in half and glued in the bare areas.

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Ta-dah!  This baby is about 14 inches across!  It’s gigantic!

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Here, you can see how I added it to a throw pillow:

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And here I attached it to a framed mirror:


In all honesty, this bright blue doesn’t go with anything in my house, BUT, my daughter is going away to BYU this fall and this BYU Blue gigantic flower will go with her.  Now that I know that it IS possible to make a Gigantic Satin Flower, I’m making one for me!

So, whadda-ya think?  Was my $.50 investment + 1 1/2 hours of my time worth it?

(Here is a different blouse makeover project that I made)












Easy Floppy Bow (Using a Blouse Sleeve)

Remember this pillow that I made using a blouse that I recently bought at a thrift store?

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Well, I promised that I would show you how I made the floppy bow.  Remember?  I hate to break promises, so here we go.

For this bow, I used the sleeve portion of the blouse.  See here?

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First, cut off the cuff, like so:

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So far, so good?  See that fancy slit?  That is what helps make this easy bow so, well… easy.  You’ll see.

Now, just cut your fabric so it is slightly wider than you want your bow to be.  Basically 3 quick snips, don’t over-think it…it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Turn the fabric inside out and pin it, making sure to secure that slit well.  Then simply stitch the ends like so:

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Now here is where that little slit makes life easy.  Remove the pins and turn that baby inside out through the slit.  No need to sew it up, it is going to be hidden in the back of the bow.  You may notice that one side of the bow is a little wider than the other.  Since the fabric is so floppy, it really won’t be noticeable when you are done.  Trust me, it will be okay.

Now grab that cuff and cut it in half lengthwise

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Position this knot to form a bow and either sew to your desired tightness, or just add a touch of hot glue.  Trim the ends off then add a hair clip if wanted.  Done!

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Yep…that was pretty easy!




DIY: From Blouse to Pillow in 10 Minutes Flat

Do you have pillow forms hiding at your house?  Maybe in your garage?  Closet?  Craft room?  Yeah, me too.  And when I say “pillow form”, I am also referring to ugly throw pillows that just need to be updated.  Like the ugly hunter green checkered pillow that I adored in the 90’s.  It has been hiding in the garage for the last 10+ years.  Well, I resurrected it today with this:


I know what you are thinking… that is one stylish blouse.  Am I right?  Or am I right?  Or am I right?  The fabric is a really shiny rayon/polyester mix that doesn’t photograph well, but you get the gist.  This blouse came from my local, small town thrift store that likes to do deals like “as many clothes as you can stuff in a bag for $2” sales.  Yep, I shoved this in my bag, knowing that I wanted it for the fabric only.  I wanted to see if I could use it to make some of these silk flowers:



Unfortunately, my gray shiny blouse was an epic fail for that project.  Caught on fire!  Luckily, I was near the kitchen sink.  I know that polyester fabric melts, so I just “Bing”ed the question, “Is rayon flammable?”.  The answer, “Yes. Very much so.”.  Perhaps I should have checked before I lit it with a candle.  Hmmm…you learn something new every day.

I couldn’t let the blouse go to waste, I mean, it cost me a quarter.  I got my thinking cap on and thought of my ugly hunter green checkered pillow hiding in my garage and out it came.  Remember this pillow tutorial where I made a heart-shaped pillow out of a sweater with buttons?  Same concept here.  I just cut out two rectangles just a bit bigger than my pillow form using the front and the back of the blouse and then sewed around all four sides.  No need to leave an opening  so I could shove the form in and hand sew it shut.  No way… that is where the buttons come in handy.  Check it out:

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Can you see how I made the buttons (which were purposely hidden on this particular blouse) off center.  Much better than sticking them smack-dab in the middle.  Don’t you agree.  I made a floppy bow using one of the sleeves and just safety pinned it on.  That way I can reposition it later if I want to.  I will show you how I did the bow some other time.  Promise.

Since it is a rectangular pillow, it can sit either way:


Now you can see why I just pinned the bow on… I might want to change the position depending on which direction the pillow faces.

I seriously spent more time getting my sewing machine set up and then put back away than I spent making this simple pillow.  You have GOT to try one for yourself.  Resurrect an old pillow of your own.  Time to do some blouse shopping.




Amazing Find: Antique White Brand Sewing Machine and Cabinet

Can I just say….WOW!  Look what I just got for 50 smackeroos!  This cabinet!


Take a moment and adore it with me.  Aaaahhh.  Ohhhh.  OK, that’s enough.  Thanks!


I was in our local small town, tiny thrift shop the other day and saw this baby.  She was opened up with all kinds of misc. junk displayed all over the table top.  Hard to even see it for all of the junk on it.  But… then I stepped back and saw the details and was whooped.  Price tag said $100, but everything in the store was 50% off that day.  So, like a dummy, I left the store.  Dum-mm-y.  The whole drive home I thought that I should turn around and go get it, but I didn’t.  Once at home, I agonized about driving back the 10 minutes to go get it until it was just too much to take.  I grabbed my 14 year old, bribed her to go inside a thrift store with me and hustled back down there.

As soon as we walked into the store, we headed right to the machine and started removing all of the junk from it and another lady came up and started checking it out.  I subtlety hinted that it was mine and she graciously backed away… for a minute.  She then kept coming back, cursing herself for not nabbing it sooner.  She even went and got her husband to come and look at it, all the while making sure that I was indeed going to buy it.  Now, it is not in my nature to be mean, at all, but I was not about to walk away from this find again.  Poor lady.  I really do feel bad for her.  She was 15 seconds too late to buy this:


Check this out:


…you use your knee instead of a foot petal.  Really…how cool is that?  Want to see how easy it is to stow the sewing machine away?


You just lift up and close the extended side table and it disappears into the cabinet.   I really hope that this post doesn’t sound all braggy.  I am just super excited and thought that I would share.

Now, the Million Dollar Question:  Should I leave it as is or paint it.  I know that some people (my husband and my dad included) would want to slap me silly (in a non-violent way!) for even thinking of painting this antique.  I tend to prefer painted wood over non-painted.  It’s just me.  Ask my hubby.  He will go on and on about how I painted over his 8″ oak trim molding that he planed to perfection and made a decorative edge with his router.  I will go on and on about how much better it looks painted white.  I painted that and just about every other bit of molding, trim, wood ceilings, etc., etc., etc. in our old house.  Totally improved the place.  My opinion.  But look at these examples:

See what I mean?  Hard decision.


So….what would YOU do?  Leave it or paint it?




DIY Gift Express: Neck Warming Rice Pads

Christmas season is fast approaching.  Yay! I thought that I would share a gift that we love to give that is always a hit, no matter who we give it to… Neck Warming Rice Pads.  Do you have any of these?


Yeah, we have a lot of them in all shapes and sizes.  I just thought I would grab a few to show you.   Our microwave is kept extra busy all winter long heating these babies up.

Last year I stumbled upon a faster, cheaper way to make the neck warmers using…dun…dun…DUN: Pillow cases!


I was in my favorite fabric store, Goodwill, looking for fabric and noticed some really great flannel pillowcases.  I’ve since learned that they always seem to have great pillowcases there and they are always $.99.  You have to be super picky, though.  I don’t buy it unless it looks brand new, and then I go home and wash it twice just because.   Flannel is my favorite, but any sturdy fabric should work just fine.

Look how many neck rice pads I can make with just one pillowcase:


THREE!!!  The thing that I like about plaid is that it already has cutting lines.  Other patterns certainly work, though.  Since the edges of the pillowcase are already sewn, this project is already part done.   Yes!

You may have noticed that the bottom portion of the above pillowcase is way off.  Quality control must have been napping that day, but that’s ok.  It’s just a quick re-cut and re-stitch fix.

Here are the easy steps to making a Neck Warming Rice Pad:


Turn the fabric so right sides are together, then pin.  I’ll admit that I don’t always pin because flannel seems to stay put quite well.  As a side note, that is not a yellow stain just below the pin cushion, just a weird shadow.

Now sew that long edge with a fairly tight straight stitch then turn it right side out.  Also, I cut off the hemmed edge, but that is really optional.


That took, what, maybe 60 seconds? Tops!

Now you need to decide how you want to section out your pad so all the rice doesn’t clump to one spot.  I like to have three sections with the end sections the same size and the center section slightly bigger so it easily fits around the neck.  In this case I made each outward section 6 3/4 inches (don’t forget to allow an extra inch or so on the open end for closing it all up) and the center was whatever was left over.


Now’s here’s where the fun begins: add rice.  For this particular neck warmer I added 1 1/2 cups in the smaller outer sections and 2 cups in the larger center section.  You don’t want to completely fill each section or it won’t bend easily and will be too heavy on the neck.

I like to contain the rice by pinning it away from where I am sewing.  The rice adds weight, so I hold it up with my left hand as I sew, so the fabric eases through the machine smoothly.

Now put rice in the center section, stitch as before, then fill the final section.

At this point, fold the open ends of the fabric inward (trying to duplicate the size of the section on the opposite end) and then stitch.  I stitch it twice just because.  I also go back to the opposite end and stitch across it so both ends visually match.  And it is DONE!



Last year we made about 25 of these.  My daughters helped me by turning the fabric right side out and adding rice to the sections.  Fun memories!

Here’s a pdf Gift Tag with RicePadInstructions that I created to add to each gift.  I don’t like to add giftwrap since the weight would likely tear through.  Just fold end over end, secure with ribbon and add the tag or whatever pretties you might like.


Over the years we have given these rice pads to so many people: to teachers, friends, relatives, neighbors.  Men, women and children all seem to appreciate ’em.  There is nothing like the warmth and comfort they provide.  Yep!  They are a hit, which is exactly why we will make up another batch to hand out this year.  We can’t have our loved ones freezing, can we?