Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tea Bag Travel Holder

Hi y'all! In this post I want to show you how I made my "Tea Bag Travel Holder" for next to nothing! This is what I made for Christmas gifts this year and something I made for myself as well. I'm trying to be healthier and figured Green Tea might be a good way to start. lol. Besides the gagging response that the tea has on me, I'd say it's going pretty good...

I love to have accessories to go along with everything! When I started drinking tea I just had to have some cute little holder for the bags. I went online to see what was out there and found something similar to what I ended up making but the price was outrageous! They wanted over $30. for one!! So I took a good look at the one for sale and went to work making one of my own.

I hope you enjoy!

(NOTE: Picture 1 & 2 are machine sewn and picture 3 &4 are hand sewn so this project can be done either way. The hand sewn tea bag holder took longer but turned out lovely. Enjoy.)

(You can find this project and many more on a site called HERE. It's a project sharing site and has lots of cool contests and projects!)

What you will need for this project:

Here's a list of what you will need..
  • Fabric
  • Ribbon
  • 6 Tea Bags
  • Sewing Machine (Or needle and thread for hand sewn)
  • Measuring & Cutting devices
  • Straight Pins

Yep.. That is it.

Measure and Cut.

Get your fabric out and fold it in half. Lay your tea bags out 3 on either side of the fold long ways to measure where your other folds need to be. You will want to space your bags just enough for your thread to go down. You want it to be snug so your tea bags don't fall out during transit. (Your measurements will be different depending on the size of your tea bags.)

Once you have your bags laid out turn your fabric up from both the top and bottom to cover your tea bags.

(HINT: If you measure out your fabric right you can just fold the bottom and top of the fabric to the center (as seen in photo three) then fold in half (as seen in photo 4) and iron. I love to iron my fabric folds because it's easier to sew. It keeps its shape.)

Iron your fabric folds and cut your notches!


Before you pin your fabric you will want to iron your folds.
  • Pic 1 you will see me beginning to iron my fabric.
  • Pic 2 shows the finished first ironing folds.
  • Pic 3 is how yours should look after ironing your first folds.
Now you will need to fold and iron where your seam will be. Fold about a quarter inch in on all sides and iron.
  • Pic 4 shows what your project will look like once the seam folds are ironed.

I normally like to cut the corners down and notch the folds along the seam so it will lay flat and look better.
  • Pic 5 shows what your corners should look like
  • Pic 6 shows you the notches I cut on my seam folds. 3 on each side on fold.
When this is done you will want to fold your entire tea bag holder down the way it will look once finished and iron it all flat.
  • Pic 7 is what mine looks like once I've ironed it all flat and then opened it up to see the inside where the pockets will be.
Pin & Sew

Go ahead and pin your project in place.

Arrange your tea bags inside and pin in between each. This will be where you will sew to make each pocket.
  • Pic 1 shows what mine looks like once this is done.
Get to sewing! Sew the left then the right side. Then sew in between the tea bags where your pins are. I did each individually.
  • Pic 2 is the way it will look once done with this step.
  • Pic 3 is the outside.
Adding the Ribbon!

I love fancy and shimmery ribbon! I went for a large red ribbon for this project to fancy up my tea bag holder. This ribbon was wrapped on a Christmas gift one of my friends gave me and I just couldn't throw it out! So now it will be with me always!

Lay your ribbon in the middle of the "outside" fabric and pin in place.

  • Pic 1 demonstrates this. The "outside" is the fabric that will show when the holder is closed.
  • Pic 2 is the ribbon pinned.
Sew along the middle fold of your fabric from one side of the ribbon to the other. Now sew a few stitches on each end of your ribbon to hold it to the fabric.
  • Pic 3: You see here where I am getting ready to sew the ribbon to my fabric along the ironed fold.
  • Pic 4 shows my finished ribbon. The small stitches on both sides of the ribbon to keep it in place along with the stitching across the ribbon/ down the ironed fold.

That's it! All done! You did wonderful! Thanks for checking this out and I hope you enjoyed!

(You can find this project and many more on a site called HERE. It's a project sharing site and has lots of cool contests and projects!)

Kids Ice Boat made of ice!! Free and Fun!

Today my absolutely wonderful six year old son came to me and said that he was bored and wanted to go back to school. (It's Christmas break for almost another week!) This both shocked me and made me a little sad. I must have been enjoying his company way more than he was mine. I can’t remember EVER wanting to go to school. I’d have stayed home with my boring mom as opposed to sitting one second longer than I needed in school! It crushed me to think that I was more boring than my mother!
I asked him if he wanted to paint and he just shook his little blonde haired head and looked so close to tears it broke my heart. I thought about driving him to his school so he could see that no-one was there but worried he’d want to stay anyway and that would have crushed my spirit completely! So instead I decided to bring out the big guns and dig in my wasteland of childhood memories to find something that amused me growing up. Considering I grew up very poor there wasn’t much that we could do. We were so poor we couldn’t even afford to live on the wrong side of the tracks! Lol. But after a few minutes of quiet contemplation I came up with some pretty good ideas and this was the winner!

This is simple and low waste along with being free which was why I can remember so much about it! I’m guessing it was my mother’s “go to” game when we drove her nuts! Ha!
(You can find this and many more of my projects on a site called HERE. It's a site where people share things they have made.)

Here's what you will need:

  • plastic water bottle or small plastic cup
  • toothpick
  • paper
  • scissors

Also a way to freeze the water. I used my freezer.

Time to cut!!

Let's grab your plastic water bottle and cut all the way around about an inch and a half from the bottom. This will be what we use to freeze our ice boat bottom.

Cut a triangle out of your paper to use as the sail. This can be cut with scissors or torn by hand. Either way looks great!


Time to make the flag out of the triangle of paper and the toothpick.

Take your triangle of paper and push the toothpick through the bottom and top one time. Look at my photo to see how. It's easy and cancels out the need for tape.

Make a base for your flag to freeze upright.

Now this is where my brain started to smoke! I had to figure out an easy way to keep the toothpick flag upright in the water while it was freezing. I decided low tech was best so that my son could do it on his own whenever he wanted.

Take what's left of your paper and fold it in half, then in half again to make a nice square. Next you will fold up the open sides as seen in my photos. This will keep your paper from opening in the freezer and moving your flag.

Fill your cup/plastic water bottle bottom with water halfway.

Poke the toothpick through the middle of the square paper and sit on top of your cup. Push your toothpick to the bottom of your cup so flag will be sturdy once water freezes.

Place in freezer until frozen!! Take out and enjoy! You can make several and have a race in the sink or if you are close to a body of water then have a race day out doors!

I love FREE fun and sharing cool kid projects with other likeminded people! I hope you enjoyed this and pass it on to others!

Come Sail Away, Come Sail Away, Come Sail Away With Me!

Here's a photo of my little guy having fun with his Ice Boat! It's winter outside so we decided not to go to the beach or river and just have fun in the back-yard! He put on his turtle neck shirt and sweatpants and pretended to be at the ocean! I love imaginations! They are also FREE! lol

*Some variations are:
  • Add food coloring to the water. This is great because you can have a red boat or blue or green or yellow… you get the jest.
  • Add a favorite little toy to the water before freezing! This should be done if you plan on staying home and playing in the sink or tub. I’d hate for a favorite toy to be lost at sea!
  • Make a bigger ice boat by freezing a bowl of water with a wooden dowel as a flag pole over night! Hours of fun the next day and bigger target for great photos!
  • Add a finish line. I am going to do a post showing how I made the one seen in these photos. It should be up soon. Maybe by tomorrow and was also free to make!
If you have any suggestions please comment below. I would love to have lots of new ways to play FREE ice boat games with my kiddosJ

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tea Cup Pin Cushion

Hello all! Today I needed a pin cushion like you wouldn't believe! I was working on a project that called for an enormous amount of pins and had them scattered all over my work table so I decided to take a "time-out" and make me a pin cushion!

Here's what I did!

What you will need:
  1. A tea cup
  2. Some faux fur (I used white)
  3. A bit of fiber fill (the stuff you find in a pillow) just enough to fill your cup an inch from the top
  4. Hot glue
  5. Scissors

Once you have all of your materials you will want to lay the fur out with the back side facing up and trace your tea cup opening onto the back side of your faux fur. (Tip: leave a tab on both sides as seen in photo below. This helps in the gluing process and keeps everything tight.)

Now you will want to add your fiber fill to your tea cup. Try to compact as much fiber fill into the tea cup as you can but only to an inch of the top. You want enough room to hot glue in your faux fur. (Tip: Hot glue the sides of the fiber fill into your tea cup. It helps to keep it down and compact. Do NOT hot glue the top middle of the fiber fill though. If this is done then you will have difficulty inserting your straight pins into your pin cushion.)

Last but not least is the hot gluing of the faux fur! Yay! We are almost done! Take your faux fur and begin with one of the tabs. Hot glue it facing inward and work your way around your tea cup. Hot glue the entire faux fur circle into your tea cup and enjoy! Yup, it's that easy guys! New pin cushion with little to no cost!

Yours Truly,

Momma Smith

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Adventures in Book Purse making!

If you'd like to use this photo please get my permission first. Thanks.

Oh, what to do! What to do! I've got tons of vintage books and nowhere to put them. I've put them on eBay and no one wants them. I've also tried to donate them to local thrift stores but the printed works are in very low demand so I was turned away and told to give them to libraries which also turned them down because of the age and condition of most of them. I was left with a sense of loss. I absolutely love vintage books and couldn't understand why no one seemed to feel the way I did. I needed a solution for this problem and fast. With Christmas right around the corner, I also needed gifts that were really amazing but not expensive. So I searched the web to find a repurposing for my vast collection of vintage books and stumbled on some truly great ideas! Here is one that I actually did and my process! Enjoy! (I have a lot of photos of this project so I have made the steps into collages to save space. Thanks guys!)

My Book Purse how to:

What you will need.
  • · A vintage book
  • · Coordinating fabric
  • · 2 purse handles or ribbon to use as handles
  • · A yard of ribbon to match your book and fabric and a button (to use as a closure for your purse)
  • · An empty cereal box or piece of cardboard (to adhere your fabric lining to)
  • · Clear finger nail polish (to stop fabric from fraying)
  • · Glue (both spray glue and crafting glue)
  • · Needle and thread (or sewing machine)
  • · Scissors
  • · Pins (to keep fabric together during the sewing process)
  • · Pin Cushion (I made mine HERE)

1st Step: Find a vintage book that is in serious need of a second life! (I usually put my vintage books that are rare or unique on eBay for a month or so to see if anyone is interested in them and if not, I either keep them or repurpose them. You can find out what I have for sale on eBay HERE. I may have just what you are looking for. lol)

I'm using a small book that won't fit much but will look cute with a little black dress. My phone and drivers license will fit along with some spending cash but not much else. I love the vibrant pink color of this book. Also the black and white graphic art is a huge plus!

2nd Step: Removing the pages from the book. This is a delicate process. It took a lot of soul searching for me to actually do this. I love reading and love books so to disembowel one felt wrong. I know that this book will be used more this way but it hurt to remove the pages. Choose your book carefully!
If you'd like to use this photo please get my permission. Thanks.
3rd Step: Make the sides' template. Stand your book on its side on a sheet of paper. Trace around the side of your book as seen in photo. Cut out template leaving a half inch of space from your trace mark along the outside.
If you'd like to use this photo please get my permission. Thanks.
4th Step: Making the inside of your purse. Lay your book out face down on your chosen fabric. Use your cutting device to cut around your fabric an inch or so from the book. You want to leave an inch extra fabric to glue down around your cardboard insides. Grab your cardboard now. I used an empty cereal box. Measure out the inside of your book around your cover. You want the insides to fit right where the paper is on the inside covers. After you have the measurements cut them out.

If you'd like to use this photo please get my permission. Thanks.
5th Step: Glue your inside fabric to your cardboard. You are going to want to place the cardboard on top of the inside of your book. Match up the sides and spine to the books sides and spine. You want the plain side of the cardboard facing up. Take your spray glue and give your cardboard a good light coating. Follow the spray glue instructions. Glue your fabric to the cardboard once the spray glue is tacky. Make sure your fabric is facing print out toward you. Don't glue print side down.

If you'd like to use this photo please get my permission. Thanks.
6th Step: Making the sides. This step is where you get to use your sewing skills! I hand sew my sides but you can use a sewing machine and save lots of time. Grab your template that you made earlier and fold it in half. Now cut down your fold. Place one half of your template onto your fabric and cut around it leaving a half inch extra. Now do the other half of your template. Match the straight sides and pin. You will sew down the straight sides.

If you'd like to use this photo please get my permission. Thanks.
Now you will need to sew down the straight sides where you pinned. Once done open flat and place on your fabric and cut out a matching triangle. Do not cut in half. Now pin these together with backs facing out. Sew these together leaving a half inch or so open at the bottom to turn inside out.

Time to do that again! One more time for the other side. This gets easier the more you make.

If you'd like to use this photo please get my permission. Thanks.
7th Step: Finger nail polish the edges of your fabric then set it aside. You will really want to do this step outside. The smell can make you sick. (The reason I used finger nail polish is because it's what I had readily available and it works but there are products you can buy from the craft store just for this kind of thing.)

If you'd like to use this photo please get my permission. Thanks.
8th Step: Ribbon Time! Grab your purse handles for this bit. (If you are using ribbon for handles then you will need to measure the size you'd like your handles to be and glue them to your book as if you were doing this step but without the pre-made handles) You will want to have a good bit of ribbon inside of your book glued to help keep your handles in place. The bigger the book purse the bigger ribbon and more glue you will need. Since this is a small book I could have used much smaller ribbon had I wanted but I think the thicker ribbon looks better.

Cut 4 pieces of ribbon. Mine are about 4-6 inches long. Lace them through your handles and glue them to your book matching up the sides so the handles will line up. (Hint: I made a ruler mark on the white page of the book where I'd like my handles to be. This lined up perfectly. The ruler mark will be covered with the fabric panels made earlier.)

Fold your ribbon for the closure. This will look like an Awareness Ribbon if done right. Glue this into your book between the two ribbons that are glued for the handles. Next thread a piece of ribbon for your button closure. Glue into place opposite your Awareness Ribbon so that when your book is closed you can feed the button through the Awareness Ribbon to form a clasp of sorts.

Follow the picture guide to fully understand these steps.

If you'd like to use this photo please get my permission. Thanks.
Here is a close up of the ribbon closure. It should look like one of the Awareness Ribbons when you are finished.

If you'd like to use this photo please get my permission. Thanks.
9th Step: Gluing the inside panels and sides. Let's get those sides in! Check out the photos below. This will be done one side at a time.

If you'd like to use this photo please get my permission. Thanks.
As seen in photo 1 you will need to glue the sides down to one side of the book. (Hint: I ironed the sides in half. Make sure you have the sides halved with the sewn middle line on the inside. The whole purpose behind cutting the template in half for the sides and then sewing the two half triangles together was to make a crease that would allow for a cleaner close.) I've added close ups of these steps below.

Next add glue to the entire inside panel you just glued your sides on. I dabbed my glue all over paying special attention to the edges.

Then add the first half of your inside panel. Don't do the spine yet.

Let this dry for a few minutes before gluing the other side. (Hint: Place several books on top of the glued sides for a few minutes to make for a stronger hold.)

This next part can be a little tricky. If you have some paper clamps you may want to grab them now and use them unless you've a third hand...

Dab glue on the entire half of book you have remaining. You will want to put a line of glue down both sides where your side fabric will be and down your book spine as well.

Then very carefully place the side fabric triangles to the line of glue on the other side and tuck in the bottom of the triangle fabric on the spine. Add the inside panel and clamp with paper clamps. After about 10 minutes or so remove the paper clamps and place the books pages back inside the book so you can weigh it down with heavy books.

This will ensure that the glue hardens tight to the book and you do not damage the spine of the book. If you just place heavy books on top of your book purse empty then it will surly damage the spine and potentially ruin your entire book purse. That would be very sad.  

Enjoy your new book purse!

Happy Holidays,
Momma Smith