Easy DIY Gift: Corn Heating Pads

DIY Corn Heating Pads

It’s that time of year again!  Eeeek!  The Holidays!  Thanksgiving…Christmas…New Year’s…I love it all!  Right now I should be packing for our trip to Utah, but I just have to share what I have been working on (instead of packing!).  Making microwavable feed corn heating pads!

Last year I blogged about making rice heating pads using pillow cases.  They really are simple to make and we love using them.  After being over-heated too many times, however, the burned rice smell can get a bit nauseating,  so I decided to try something different: Feed corn.

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My friend Patrice told me about feed corn heating “bags” years ago and how they don’t smell like rice does and how they hold the heat longer than rice.  I decided to give corn a whirl.

Just so you know, feed corn is dirt cheap.  I paid $12 for a 50 lb. bag.  For the fabric, I found a really nice heavy full size flat sheet with a plaid pattern that is a dream to sew on.  I love plaid because the lines make it easier to cut and sew straight lines.  I like to start out with a piece of fabric that is about 25 inches by 14 inches, but really, you can make these any size and shape.

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With this size, I add 2 scant cups of corn to each of the outside edges and 2 1/2 cups to the larger center section.  Again you can go to my tutorial to see how to make these.  Once you get the hang of it, you could probably rival Santa’s elves in gift making!

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Oh, another fabric idea:  My son had outgrown his Grinch pajama bottoms, so I just cut off the legs, straightened out the seams to form rectangles and made microwavable heating pads out of them, as well.

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As a side note, these take a bit longer to heat up than the rice ones do.  I would start with 2 1/2 minutes, but I like how it feels after 3 minutes.  For heaven’s sakes, don’t overheat them and fry yourselves!  Or anyone else!

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 If you are stumped about what to get for anyone this Holiday season, I guarantee that these microwavable feed corn heating pads will be a hit.  Moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, siblings, friends, children of all ages will love them.   They are great for aches and pains, for warming cold tooties and pre-warming a bed on a cold winter night.  Trust me on this one…these heating pads are a popular commodity in our home.

*********Linking up to these awesome parties*********

 

 

 

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Recycled Jeans Satchel

 

At this very moment, do you have any jeans in your home that really should be in the trash?  I’m talking holey, stained, terribly out of style jeans that you know will never be worn again?   I recently came across some jeans destined for landfill and I decided to check out Pinterest (of course!) to see what I could make with them instead.  Although I found some really fun projects, I didn’t see anything that screamed, “Make me!”.   Not knowing what I was going to make, I started cutting and this is what I ended up with.

Recycled Jeans Satchel

I kind of love them!  Think of it as a satchel for putting your phone, lipstick, or whatever you need, in.   Do you ever find yourself wearing an outfit that doesn’t have pockets?  Maybe a dress, skirt, yoga pants?  It’s kind of a pain.  Make one of these simple satchels and you won’t need to carry your stuff in your hands or have a full on purse when you really don’t need it.  Ready?  Set?  Go!

First step, cut off the pockets.  Easy!  Cut only the bottom layer (not the finished pocket edges) and leave a bit of fabric on the top.

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Flip it over and hot glue the top edge down so you can have a finished-looking front.  Back doesn’t look too bad, either.

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For the flowers I did an internet search for “flower template”.  Here are the two that I used: 4-petal-heart-template and Flower-Pot-Card-Template.  It is best to have at least 3 different sizes, so I had to do some re-sizing in Word.  Once you have a paper pattern, cut it, then trace it on your fabric,

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then cut out the fabric.  Might as well cut out two layers at a time, right?   I wanted the denim to looked a bit frayed,  so I just scraped the fabric edges with my fingernail to get that effect.

To assemble the flower, grab some thread, a needle and a button and sew the button through all of the layers…or…hot glue each layer and add the button to the top.  Then just hot glue the flower to the pocket.   Play around with positioning before gluing.

For the strap, cut out the inseam starting up one leg and once you reach the crotch, going down the other leg, then back up and down the other side.  Most, if not all jeans have double stitching for the inseam so just cut near the finished edges on each side of the stitching.  Easy-peasy!

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And this is what you get:

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At this point, determine how long you want your strap to be, cut to size, then hot glue on the back like so:

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Done!  Check it out!

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I have been asked to be in charge of crafts for a young women’s camp this summer and this is definitely one that we will  make.  My goal is to have the girls create items that are useful, not something to shove in the back of a drawer once they get home.   I think that they will like them.

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What do you think?

 

Linking up to these awesome parties!

Nemcsok Farms

 

Giant DIY Satin Flowers

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY: Super Simple Satin Flowers

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There is something incredibly awesome about being able to take a flat piece of fabric and turn it into something 3 dimensional, useful and beautiful.   I don’t consider myself to be an expert seamstress, but I still love to create with fabric.  I’m in no way the inventor of this simple satin flower, but I thought that I would share how I make them.

First of all, you will need some sort of a polyester satin-like fabric.  You can find it everywhere.  Since you don’t really need very much fabric for each flower, it helps to check the remnants section of your fabric store.  I have even cut up items of clothing to make these.  Check out your own fabric stash.  Or, someone else’s fabric stash…with their permission, of course.  Seriously you only need a tiny bit of fabric.  How much depends on the flower size that you want.

I had a few different fabrics that were satiny that I quickly found they weren’t polyester. To see if a fabric is polyester, just place an edge of the fabric above (not into) a candle flame.  Polyester will melt on the edge, which is just plain neat-o.   This melted part will darken in color, which makes a pretty cool effect.  The fabric will pucker and bend, making the previously flat fabric more flower petal-like.

To get started, cut out your fabric.  If you are a perfectionist, you might have a problem with this, because it really doesn’t matter how you cut the fabric.  I usually just roughly cut squares, but circles or cloud-like shapes will work.  Play around with it…that’s half of the fun.

For each flower you will cut 4 or more shapes in descending size and a thin rectangle for the back so you can attach a hair clip.  The more layers you add, the fuller the flower will be.

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See how imperfect my cuts are?  I will admit that the white fabric isn’t satin, it is more of a sheer fabric, but it must be polyester because it melts.  It is fun to see what fabrics will work.

Next step, grab a candle.  I prefer small-ish candles in jars.  Think dollar store.  I’m not going to lie… when I first started making these, I just used the flame on my gas stove.  Works seriously fast.  If you are worried about fumes, I haven’t really had a problem with this… maybe do it under the stove vent.

The process is simple.  Run the entire edge of each piece of fabric above- not inside- of the flame.  As you get going, you will notice that there is a hot spot and that is where you want to place the edge of your fabric.

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The fabric will curl up as it melts, and that is great.  I like to have the shiny side of the fabric facing me as I do this, but play around and see what works for you.  The cool thing about the square edges is that they seem to disappear, get rounded, as they melt.  I like to mess around a bit and even allow the heat to “cut” in a bit.  Experiment with it… it is seriously fun.

Here are my same pieces, after melting the edges:

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Now it is time to layer the pieces.  Start with the largest one first, add a drop of hot glue to the center, then place the next smallest piece, and so on until you have used all of the pieces except for the thin rectangle that goes on back.  For the center, you can get creative with buttons, gems, beads, whatever.  As an alternative, just scrunch up a couple smaller melted pieces of fabric to form the center of your flower (see brown flower at the top of this post).

Of course you can be done right here and just hot glue the thing on a frame or pillow or whatever, but if you want your flower to be a hair clip or easily moveable, add a hair clip to the back.  Michaels has them, but a beauty supply store (Sally’s) seems to have them cheaper and of higher quality.

To attach, clip the center of your melted thin rectangle piece, with the flat side of the clip facing down, then glue onto your flower like so:

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Now flip it over, ooh and ahh over it, run to the mirror and put it in your hair and admire it…

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…or grab the closest nearby child (with this excitement, it doesn’t matter if it is a girl or boy… well, I’m sure it matters to the boy).  Doesn’t it look great?

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What else can you do with these beautiful flowers?

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My Scriptures bag that I take to church gets changed out regularly now:

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Here’s how I packaged a pair that I made for a baby gift:  I just printed up the words on cardstock and cut to size.

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Classy, huh?  Or you can make it the “bow” on your gift.  Get your thinking cap on… I know that you will come up with a hundred ways to use these awesome flowers that you made.  What was once a boring, flat piece of fabric is now an awesome accessory.  How simple was that?

Stay tuned to see how I took this project and amped it up for home décor.  You’re gonna love it!

 

 

 

 

 

The Chair…Part 2.

Looking at my title, it seems more like the title of some horror movie than a title for a DIY post.  Trust me, there is no reason to be scared.  You are among friends.  Remember this post where I showed you my next project, a really awesome wood chair?  I asked for help in deciding whether or not to paint it and also showed some fabric choices and some of you responded.  You have NO idea how that made me feel since my blog was only 2 days old at that time and I had only sent Facebook invites that very day.  Let me tell you, I was celebrating in my seat!  Hmmm…I digress.  An…y…way, my Mother-in-law suggested that I pair the fabrics with the chair to see what I really like.  She is so smart!  So, with out further adieu…

 

What do YOU think?  I have a pretty good idea now of what I like the best, but I would love YOUR input.  Which is YOUR favorite fabric?  Also, to paint, or not to paint… that is the (other) question.  Make your own decision…ask your family…run across the street and ask your neighbor (is that asking too much?)… and then, please, let me know.  Until then, my chair will look like this:

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