Personalize a bridal shower gift

Last month, my sweet sister-in-law had a bridal shower, in anticipation of her fall wedding. I wanted to purchase her some necessities from her registry, but I also wanted to add a personal touch to her gift.personalize a bridal shower gift with embroidery

So I made a quick zipper pouch with brown linen, and embroidered her soon-to-be married name on the front.


She can toss her wedding make up in there or throw it in her purse for her honeymoon. Or just stare at it and imagine how she will soon be a Mrs. I so remember how that felt to see my married name for the first time! :)DSC_0306Throw it in a cute basket with some registry items: bathroom rug, hand towels, etc. and you have a personal and functional gift!

Happy sewing, friends!



Handmade Gifts for Boys: embroidered kid art tote bag [a tutorial]

As I said yesterday, my boys love to do art. Their drawings and creations are seriously beginning to take over our house. Because not only do my boys love their art, they also hate to part with it. My oldest tapes it all over our walls, and the refrigerator is completely covered. I find myself sneaking papers into the recycling when the kids are asleep [I’m not the only one who does this, right??]

I wanted to come up with a creative way to keep my boys’ art, so the stitcher in me had to do some embroidery!

DIY embroidered kid art tote bag tutorial


  • 1/4 – 1/2 yard of woven material [depending on how big you want your tote]
  • embroidery hoop
  • embroidery floss and needle
  • scissors
  • water soluble transfer marker
  • sewing machine/thread
  • your child’s drawing

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1. Stretch your fabric in your embroidery hoop. You will want to choose a fabric that is lighter in color and you can see light through – you will need to see your child’s drawing through the fabric.

 photo 44a565e3-9bee-4f5f-8e9e-a2c5c52b71c2_zps36770d27.jpg2. Hold your child’s drawing up to the light so you can trace the picture onto the fabric with your water soluble marker. If it helps, pin the picture to the fabric.

 photo f82e36f5-62bf-4e60-953a-875a10706f95_zpsc341a5f9.jpg3. After you’ve traced the whole drawing, stitch over it using your embroidery floss.

**If you stop at this step, wouldn’t this make a fabulous present for grandparents?? Just secure the fabric behind the hoop with glue.**

4. Make your tote bag, using this simple tutorial. By making the bag before you continue, you can make sure your pocket is an appropriate size.

 photo DSC_0073_zpse3b2039d.jpg5. Cut your embroidered fabric into a square and cut another piece of the same fabric in the same size. [the size you cut it into is your choice and will depend on how big your tote bag is]

 photo DSC_0079_zps07e6ba5d.jpg6. Put the two squares right sides together and sew along three sides, leaving the top open. A serger is not necessary for this step and can be easily done with a sewing machine as well.

 photo DSC_0097_zps0fa75b4f.jpg7. Fold the pocket right sides out. Fold the top edge down 1/4in. and press carefully.

 photo DSC_0109_zps5078a635.jpg8. Straight stitch across the top folded edge. Then place the pocket onto the tote bag and pin in place. [the bag is shown here without the straps]
 photo DSC_0127_zpse3c887bf.jpg9. Straight stitch around the three sides of the pocket, being careful not to sew through the other side of the tote bag. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitches!

 photo DSC_0142_zpsdad0301f.jpgNow throw some books or art supplies in there, and you’ve got yourself a personalized gift!

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Head over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy to check out Stacey’s DIY Football Peg Dolls and to enter today’s giveaway!

Handmade Gifts for Boys continues tomorrow, so I’ll see you then!

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Fourth of July Embroidered Fireworks T-Shirt

At the last minute [oh you know, 9:30 last night…] I decided to fancy-up a T-shirt for my nearly two-year-old. We don’t have big plans for the Fourth of July, but who doesn’t love a patriotic outfit?

Embroidered Fireworks T-shirtWith a few quick stitches, I added some fireworks to a plain blue T-shirt.

DSC_0176Well, fireworks… or spiders? Hmm. Multi-holiday T-shirt maybe??DSC_0163Even if they turned out a little bit wonky, I like them. And it was an easy project to do while watching mindless television, which this mama really needed yesterday.DSC_0142Happy Independence Day, America!

Scripture Embroidery Hoop [a baby shower gift!]

One of my besties if having her first baby this August. I wanted to give her something special to help decorate the nursery.DSC_0549So I stitched up a little hoop with a Bible verse about how God created her little precious miracle.

DSC_0553I glued some ribbon around the outside of the hoop. She doesn’t know the gender, so I was trying to go neutral… turns out I have a lot of boy fabrics and ribbon. Go figure..

DSC_0554Along with the hoop, I added some flannel burp cloths and a little baby hat. I can’t wait to meet her little one!

What have you been creating lately? Leave a link in the comments, I’d love to see. :)

Hanging Hearts [a mini tutorial]

When it comes to home or holiday decor, I’m super cheap frugal. I don’t enjoy spending lots of money on things that are either only going to be up for a short time or have the potential to get broken by my [super lovely and amazing] boys who don’t care so much that mama’s decor isn’t supposed to be used as a weapon.

The two things that I love adding more of to my home: natural fibers and elements of nature. Bonus: both can be cheap or free!

hanging heartsThis project took me about an hour [with some Downton Abbey distractions thrown in there] and it gave me exactly the look I was going for.

DSCF7420Here’s all you need: felted wool scraps [you could do this with craft felt or fleece, but it will look much better with felted wool – trust me] and embroidery floss.

DSCF7440Cut some hearts out of the felted wool. These were scraps from old sweaters that I had felted and turned into diaper covers.

DSCF7428Use your handy dandy blanket stitch [tutorial found here if you don’t know how to do it!] to sew two hearts together.

DSCF7434With your needle, add a little embroidery floss to make a loop for hanging.

DSCF7431And then hang them on a branch! Natural fibers always seem make my home feel a little more peaceful. Which is something that makes this mama happy.

How to Sew a Blanket Stitch

Have you ever used or seen a blanket stitch before? You probably have at least seen one, even if you don’t know what it’s called.

I’ve used this stitch for lots of different projects, frequently with projects made with felt or felted wool, as it’s ideal for fabrics that don’t fray.

how to sew a blanket stitch

All you need to start out with is your fabric, a needle, and embroidery thread.IMG_7180 1. Tie your embroidery thread at one end. Thread the other end through the eye of your needle, pulling it a couple inches out of the needle.IMG_7182

2. Wherever you want to begin your stitch, start on the inside of the fabric, in between the two pieces. [you can also use this stitch on just one piece of fabric, then you would just begin on the back side of the fabric] Push your needle through the fabric.


3. Turn the needle and go through both layers of fabric, facing away from you.


4. Don’t pull the thread tightly – leave a small loop. Your needle is now behind the two layers of fabric. Take it over the top of the fabric and go down through the loop.

IMG_71915. Pull the thread a little and then you are going to do the same thing – put your needle through both layers of fabric, pointing away from you.
IMG_71956. Leave a little loop in your thread. Go back over the two layers of fabric and take the needle through that loop.

7. Now pull your thread tight. You’ll see that the thread lays along the edge of the fabric. If it doesn’t, you can always adjust it yourself so that it does.
IMG_72018. Keep continuing those same steps. As you sew, it will look like this!

blanket stitchAnd when you sew all around your fabric, it looks oh so lovely. :)

Coming soon: a few Valentine-y projects where you can use your newfound blanket stitching skills!

A Valentine Hoop

I really enjoy decorating for Valentine’s Day. A whole day devoted to love… and a reason to add pink hearts to my boy-filled house.DSCF7313This year I whipped up a little Valentine-y hoop to add to our holiday decor. Oh how I love holiday decor. :)

DSCF7312Super simple: fabric in the hoop and felted wool hand-stitched with embroidery floss.

DSCF7311A sweet [and easy!] way to celebrate the one you love… but I like it so much, that it just might stay up year-round.

Comfy Overalls – the Naptime Pants!

Little boys wearing overalls. Seriously, can it get any cuter?

Well, he is my kid, so I’m probably biased.

But the one problem I have with overalls is that most of them are denim with all these buckles and whatnot – which aren’t always super comfortable for baby taking a nap. [and a no-napping baby makes for a no-happy mama]

So I made a super comfy pair of jersey knit overalls for my little guy.

I added some simple embroidered stars in yellow and orange – not blue, on the off chance [fat chance?] baby number four is a girl.

The T-shirt underneath is upcycled from a shirt that I loved in college and couldn’t bear to part with. And now I don’t have to. It ended up a little big [which is what you get for sewing and not measuring during naptime!], but this way it will last through the long, LONG winter.

I’m going to tweak my overall pattern a bit, because it didn’t turn out exactly how I pictured in my head. But hey – I did my first snap-crotch! [and seriously, can someone please tell me something else I could call that?]

Here’s to stripes and overalls that make babies nap! Or something like that…

Embroidered Necklace Tutorial

I’m not very good at accessorizing. I tend to default to scarves and … that’s about it.

So, in an effort to broaden my horizons, I decided to make a simple DIY necklace that was easy to wear with my everyday not-at-all-fancy outfits.

This post contains affiliate links.

Awhile back, I found a variety pack of different pendants on a daily deal site. They are very similar to these.

Truthfully, I had no idea what I was going to do with them when I bought them. But when I saw how deep this one was, I decided to embroider some fabric to put inside it.

Remember that embroidery from my previous post?

Now, I use the term embroidery a little loosely. I have no technique. I have no skills. It’s all pretty random but intentional stitching [if that makes sense]. I used a jersey knit fabric, but only because I liked the color. It wasn’t ideal. A non-stretchy fabric would work much nicer for this project. If you do use jersey, add some interfacing behind the fabric to stabilize it a bit.

After cutting the fabric to the shape of the pendant, [which I definitely recommend doing before gluing … my shape is a little off, because I glued it in first without making sure the size was exactly right] I used this Fabri-Tac glue to attach the fabric to the pendant. I like that this stuff is strong and the fabric is definitely stuck to the pendant. It dries really quickly, though, so you have to get your fabric onto the pendant fast. And you have to smooth it out, or it is a little “lumpy” after it dries. You can peel the fabric carefully off the pendant after it’s dry, if you need to, but then you’ll have a layer of dried glue on the back of your fabric. Mod Podge would be a great option too.

All ready for a chain!

Look at me, all accessorizing.