Sunday, July 31, 2011

IKEA is for Lovers

Hello, all!

I've finally decided to stop procrastinating on the IKEA purse post. The bag's been done for a couple of days, but I was so tuckered out from yesterday's IKEA trip and making another project, that my mind just wanted to zone out on TCM movies and The Lost Kingdom Prophecy. But not today!

Without further ado, here is the step-by-step how-to for the Frakta purse:

1 spool of yellow thread
4 magnetic snap closures
1 sheet of plastic canvas
1 11" x 9" muslin piece
Multiple card stock pieces (I used the cut up box of a Target-brand ibuprofen bottle)
Sewing machine
Seam ripper
Measuring tape
Straight pins
Sharpie marker
X-Acto knife

Purse Dimensions:
Side A = 11" x 13"
Side B = 9" x 13"
Bottom = 11" x 9"
Plastic Canvas Insert = 9" x 7"

Cut 4 pieces of Sides A and B; you will making an outside and a lining. Cut 2 pieces for the bottom. Note: All purse pieces (except for the plastic canvas insert) include a 1/2" seam allowance.

The final dimensions of the bag will be 10" length x 8" width x 10" height.


Use the seam ripper to detach all four straps.

Use the scissors to cut up the bags at the seams. Throw away the seam pieces.

Measure and cut out the bag pieces.

Cut the long bag straps to an equal length. Put the right sides together and sew across 1/2" from each end.

When both ends are sewn together, turn the straps inside out so the right side is out. Pin the straps together.

Top stitch the straps together with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Super Crafter Tip: I used the borders to the IKEA letters as a guide while sewing.

Repeat these steps with the other two long straps.

Outside Layer

Sew together the sides of the purse until all four pieces are connected. Attach bottom of bag, beginning with the longer ends, then sew shorter ends. I took it edge by edge, but the manner of attachment is totally the crafter's preference.

Once the bottom is attached. Turn the bag inside out and use the closed scissors to shape the bottom's corners.

Now it's time for the opening's hem. Fold over the top and use the measuring tape to adjust the hem to 2.5". Pin in place and sew 1/2" from the folded edge.

Inside Layer

The inside layer is built the same way as the outside layer, but if you decide that you want pockets and what not, you will need to attach them to the Side B pieces before they are sewn together with the Side A pieces. I wanted pockets for pens, my cell phone a general pocket.

First, figure out how big you want your pockets to be. Take some of the material leftover from cutting out the purse sections and cut it to double the size you want. Fold it in half and sew 1/4" from the folded edge.

With a pencil, mark where your pocket dividers are going to be and where the pocket should be sewn to the lining.

Using the pencil lines, top stitch the pockets to one or both of the Side B lining pieces. Make sure to keep the folded half of the pocket piece to the top. If you want, you can also add some reinforcement/decoration by going around the stitching with a zig-zag stitch.

Now attach Sides A and B together.

For the lining bottom: using a zig-zag stitch, attach the muslin piece to the lining bottom on three sides. Place the plastic muslin in between the muslin and the lining bottom, then sew the forth side.

With the muslin side down, attach the lining bottom to the rest of the lining.

Trim the lining edges.

Place the lining inside the outside and fold outside, measure and pin for the hem. Then sew 1/2" from the folded edge.

There may tugging. If there is, relieve the tautness of the lining hem by cutting to about 1/4" of the hem seam.

Attaching the Straps

Using the measuring tape, pin each end of the strap 2-1/2" down onto the outside portion of the bag. I centered the strap over the seams, but after using the bag for a couple of days, I must admit that this makes closing the bag a little awkward.

Top stitch a rectangle around the strap, staying 1/4" away from the hem stitch (this will give your foot room to pass by when you attach the lining.)

Then top stitch an 'X' from the corners of the box.
Super Crafter Tip: Back stitch the entire length of each side before turning the needle. This will help reinforce the strap!

Attaching the Closures

Take a magnetic closure piece and determine where you want it to go. I put one on each of the four corners so the sides will fold inward when closed. You'll also want to make sure the closures are not too close to the hem line as they make interfere with the attaching the lining and outside together.

With the Sharpie, mark where the prongs will be going.

Use the X-Acto knife to make the prong openings, making sure to cut through the lining and the hem overlap.

Mark on one of the card stock pieces where the prongs are.

Cut the prong slits into the card stock piece.

Slip the closure piece through the bag material and the card stock piece. Place the washer piece over the prongs. Use the pliers to fold the prongs over.

Repeat this process with the closure's mate and then with the remaining three closures.

Finishing the Purse

Once all of the closures are attached, place the lining back into the outside structure and pin them together.

Sew the lining and outside together, using the hem line as a guide.
Super Crafter Tip: By keeping the pins on the inside of the bag can be sewn in the same way as attaching a sleeve to a shirt. It's easier to handle the bag while sewing and any ease can be hid better on the lining side.

Once the two parts are attached you have yourself a purse!

Now go take it out into the world and get ready for lots and lots of people to ask you where you got your purse.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Stay-cation Project #2

Good news, everybody! I completed my second stay-cation project tonight. I'll have the how-to and pictures up tomorrow. Plus I have pictures of my first project hanging up on the wall! Those will be posted tomorrow, too.

I am also happy to announce that I have my next few projects lined up. A couple will be matching accessories to tomorrow's project, one is going to be a birthday present for a friend's daughter, and the last will be a two-fer — a project that I've been wanting to do for a long, long time, while at the same time being the first project from a book or magazine for me to try and review.

In addition to the plethora of projects I have ahead and I also have lots of other great topics for posts bouncing around my noggin. So please keep checking in.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Put A Freakin' BIRD On It!

The first project I made this week on is a variation of this wall art project that my roommate
Nina found online. She sent it to me because we both love the 'Put a Bird on It' sketch from Portlandia. We now laugh when we see anything with a bird on it — usually in a very judgmental way. "Ha Ha! Look at those hipsters and their birds!" we always say.* (*we don't really say this) This time, though, I took a look at the project and said, "I want to make that!"

I'm not making the same exact project, however. While I'm using a similar background for my project, the images will be completely different. Instead of birds on branches, I decided to make stylized silhouettes of a squirrel and an owl.

Here's what you need to make this project:
  1. Two blank canvases (I get mine from Dick Blick.) — The two I used are both 20' x 20'.
  2. Paper — I used the pages of an old thesaurus, but you can use anything you want as long as you can collage it.
  3. White glue — The best glues I've used for projects like this are Plaid Mod Podge and good, ol' Elmer's Glue-All. For this project I used Mod Podge.
  4. Various collage supplies — a 1-1/2" chip brush, a popsicle stick for crafting, a container to hold the adhesive mixture.
  5. Drawing supplies — pencils, black markers, erasers, sketchbook, etc.
  6. Cutting supplies — scissors, X-Acto knife, cutting mat
  7. Other supplies — tracing paper, cardboard, latex/non-latex gloves,

Here's what I did:

First, I ripped all of the pages out of an old thesaurus I found at the NYC Strand Bookstore for a whopping $.48.

Next, I laid my two canvasses on the kitchen counter, using an extra-large, clear recycling bag to protect the surface. Note: the adhesive mixture will cause the canvasses to stick to the work surface, but the plastic of the recycling bag will peel easily away from the canvasses and will not damage the collage work.

I mixed one part Mod Podge with one part water to create the collage adhesive mixture. I know the original craft article suggests a mixture of two parts water and one part glue, but I quickly found out that, with that mixture ratio, the paper didn't wrap around the edges of the canvas very well.

SUPER CRAFTER TIP: Use warm water for your adhesive mixture. It mixes better and faster with the glue, and it makes the paper more pliable. =)

Next, I took the chip brush and dipped it in the adhesive mixture and spread it over a section of the canvas edge. Then I spread some over the back of one of thesaurus pages. I placed the thesaurus page on the edge of the canvas with half of the page hanging off of the side. I then dipped the brush in the adhesive mixture again and spread it over the top of the page and continued to spread until the page wrapped around to the back of the canvas. I repeated this until the entire canvas edge is covered.

Once the edge of the canvas was covered, I continued the process with the rest of the canvas until it was completely covered. You can arrange the pages anyway you want, but I went with an all askew look for mine.

SUPER CRAFTER TIP: Once you're done with attaching all of the collage pages, add additional coats of the adhesive mixture to help firmly secure the pages and to give the collages a nice, glossy glow.

I let the canvases dry overnight.

While I was waiting for the canvases to dry I worked on the silhouettes. I decided to go with an owl and a squirrel, but because the size of my canvases are so large I knew that I wouldn't be able to print out a photo large enough to create a silhouette. Also, I wanted to have a more stylized look to my silhouettes, so I decided to find photos for reference online and then sketch out what I wanted.

I then use tracing paper to transfer the sketch from the sketch pad to some cardboard. Once the sketch was transferred I cut the silhouette out of the cardboard to create a stencil.

I also made a stencil of some leaves in three different sizes.

Next, I went to bed, slept for about six to eight hours, got up, and had a bowl of granola cereal with some almonds and raisins.

By the time I finished my cereal the canvases were dry and ready to be drawn on.

I determined the center of the canvas and placed the center of the stencil on the canvas center (this was done by eyeballing, no complicated marks or arithmetic.) Then I traced the stencil with a pencil.

I then used a Sanford King Size maker to fill in the penciled stencil. Once the first layer was dry, I filled in again with the marker to make sure that the color was solid and even.

Once both stencils were done, I laid out the borders for the leaves.

You can barely see it, but that is a pencil line beneath the owl's tail.

Next I placed the leaf stencil in random directions along the border.

I outline the leaves...

and then filled them in.

And here is the squirrel canvas with the completed leaf border!

SUPER CRAFTER TIP: It looks really cool to wrap the leaves over the edge of the canvas.

WELL! There's the first stay-cation summer project. I'll post another photo of them when I hang them in the hallway. Don't be afraid to try it yourself and if you have any question, hints, or tips, please do not hesitate to post them in the comments below.