tutorial {wreath ornament with felt scraps}

Pinterest is filled with tutorials for all sorts of holiday decor and ornaments. This little ornament tutorial was inspired by a few felt scrap variations I have seen floating around pinterest and instagram lately. Here’s a few pics that formed my inspiration:


from This Old House


and here’s my version



Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps

You will need to gather up…
a 4 inch hoop
black (or whatever color you want) fabric for the top
twine for hanging
sewing machine
wool felt scraps in a variety of greens
a selection of red buttons

Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps

Take your felt scraps and trim them into roughly one inch wide strips. Then snip off little 1/4 inch pieces to make your wreath with.

Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps
Take a chalk pencil and outline the top part of your hoop to use as a guide for your wreath. If you are using white or light colored fabric, use a water soluble marker.

Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scrapsWreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps
Now here’s the tricky part. I laid out just a few green strips and then stitched slowly over them. When I came near the end of the last strip, I lifted up my presser foot and laid down some more. Just go slowly and stitch along as you go around the circle. I never laid down more than about an inch or so of strips as I was going around the circle.

Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps

Now that you’ve made it once around the circle, take a a few little strips to add a second “layer” and fill in some of the holes that might have happened while stitching around the first time.

Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps

Stitch around a second time.

Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps
Now it’s time for buttons. Gather up a few red buttons, some red thread and stitch them down. I find it’s much easier to stitch them down if you go ahead and set your wreath in the embroidery hoop.

Use your pretty christmas fabric for the back and make a hoop sandwich. The hoop circle without the bolt goes on the bottom, then your pretty fabric (right side down), the sewn wreath (right side up) and top it off with the bolt part of the hoop.
Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps

When I finish my hoops, I trim off the back fabric down to the hoop and then trim about a 1/2 inch off the top fabric around the circle. Then using a glue gun, I tack that 1/2 inch all around the inside of the hoop.
Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps

Hang your little ornament on your tree or gift it to a friend! Happy Holidays!


throwback thursday {a lunchbag}

It’s Thursday again and time to pull from the archives. This post back from 2009 is probably one of my favorite tutorials and finds on the web. I love this pattern and it always turns out super cute. So for all of you looking for a new lunchbag as school ramps up…this is a great one!

I made this lunch bag from Skip to My Lou a while back for my husband and have been wanting to do one for myself since I am taking my lunch somewhere again.

Lunch Bag

Making this pattern again made me realize how super easy it is and how much fun you could have with it. The first time I used iron-on vinyl for the inside and outside and it was a booger to sew. It has also gotten wet and all the vinyl has unattached and I’m not sure how to salvage it.

Lunch Bag

That said, I was out of vinyl this time so I had to figure out another solution. I ended up heat’n bonding 2 fabrics together to give it some stiffness and I LOVE how it turned out!

tutorial {mini buckle mat}

One of my biggest sellers this year has been my preschool/toddler buckle mats. I’ve lost count on how many I’ve made, but it was all started via a request from a friend. Truly, people coming to me with their custom orders is why I love doing what I do.

Buckle matAt the zoo

While these larger mats are made to order, at one point I decided to make a smaller version to sell at markets. These are much quicker to put together and a great beginner project for learning how to make a great quiet activity for a child.

buckle tutorial cover

One of my goals in the next year is to start writing more tutorials and patterns…so here goes! A tutorial for making your own pint size buckle mat and I spy toy.


Mini buckle Mat tutorial

cotton fabric for the top
stiff felt for the middle (regular felt can also be used for softer mat or a thin cotton batting)
regular craft felt for the back
cotton scrap fabric for the straps
small piece of vinyl
1/8 cup of poly pellets (which I just discovered you can buy a small bag of at JoAnns)
small jewels, buttons and/or beads for the I Spy game
2 side release parachute buckles
a 4 inch circle template

Cutting directions

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Cut your cotton fabric, stiff felt and felt back into 6 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch squares.

For the straps, cut two of each coordinating fabric into 5 1/2 long by 4 inch wide strips.

Making the straps

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Take your strap pieces and lay them wrong side up on your ironing board.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Fold them in half, wrong sides facing and press.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Open them back up again, and fold each long end towards the middle and press.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Fold in half again and press and repeat with the remaining straps.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Take them to your machine and using a 1/4 inch seam, stitch down the long end of the strap.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Flip it over and repeat on the other side. Then repeat with the remaining 3.

Attaching the straps

Mini buckle Mat tutorialMini buckle Mat tutorial

Pin the straps in place onto the cotton piece and baste these to the sides of your square.

Making the I Spy Mat

Take your 4 inch circle template and cut out a piece of vinyl for the back. Just a hint…don’t put a pin through the pattern or the vinyl because it will put a hole in your vinyl. Just hold the pattern and do your best to cut around it.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Go to your machine and stitch around the circle with a 1/4 inch seam, being careful not to pull too tightly on the felt as you go around the circle.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Make sure to leave a roughly 2 inch opening to fill!!

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Now you are ready to fill with your poly pellets, charms, beads, sequins, buttons etc.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Go back to your machine and starting at the opening, stitch the opening closed and stitch a second time around the circle on top of your original seam. I like to do this for aesthetics and also because it gives an extra line of stitching for safety.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Now you want to baste your felt piece to the piece of stiff felt. If you are using batting or regular felt, I still suggest basting this piece, but it’s not as necessary.

Putting the square together

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Now you are ready to sew your squares together. Make a sandwich using the basted I spy mat and the cotton piece with wrong sides together. You want your I Spy mat and your straps facing out.

Mini buckle Mat tutorialMini buckle Mat tutorial

Sew a roughly 1/2 inch seam around the sides two times. Again, I like this extra line of stitching for looks, but also to give an extra measure of strength for the straps.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Because my squares never come out just perfect due to pulling etc, I take my rotary cutter and cut about 1/4 inch off on the sides to even them all out and straighten them up.

Adding the buckles

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Now you are ready to add the buckles. Make sure they are put together and slide the ends of the straps through the ends of the buckles. Pull the straps to make sure that the buckles are even in the center of your mat.

Mini buckle Mat tutorialMini buckle Mat tutorial

Fold the ends of the straps under and pin in place.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Open the buckles up and take it to your machine and sew in the middle of the fold. Make sure to do a lock stitch (stopping and starting at the beginning and end) or tie your threads before you snip them.

You Made It!!!

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Check to make sure all your loose threads are tied and snipped. Pass it to your nearest toddler and proclaim victory!

**please respect that this is my design and share only with a link to this original tutorial and please give credit where credit is due. Also remember that this is a toy with tiny parts and while even the best sewers will tie up all their loose ends, children who are at the age of putting things in their mouths do not need to play with this unattended.** Thanks!!! ~ aimee

crossing things off…

Slowly crossing off the incredible list of sewing and other projects I hope to accomplish while we are all on holiday break.

First off was my last Christmas gift to make: a drawstring bag for the boy. I bought this camo nylon a long time ago with intentions of making him a bag for Easter, then his birthday and finally I got it done for Christmas. After searching high and low for a good tutorial for making a drawstring bag I settled on this one by Kitschy Coo.


Overall I would say her tutorial is excellent. She has great photos and great written instructions. I used the camo nylon on the outside and this great cotton canoe themed fabric for the inside.

drawstring bag

The only thing I felt lacking was how to do the drawstrings. I feel like there is another, maybe better? way to thread these through but maybe not. I had hoped to use some actually black drawstrings but the set I bought wasn’t long enough. I had this extra pack of shoelaces stashed away so I just grabbed those to use. They really aren’t quite long enough, but I think they will do for now.

The last project was to finish this dang chair! We actually have 3 of these chairs: one we are using now, one we need to buy foam for and one other rocker that needs to be repaired. We got the whole lot, plus a two seat loveseat for $60 on craiglist. We absolutely love these chairs, but the cushion covering process has been slow and painful. I am truly not gifted in sewing cushion covers. I finished the bottom cushion a while back and finally got to back cushion done today and oh.my.goodness! I love it so much!


The fabric is by Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt. It is a heavyweight cotton and it’s lovely to sew. I stalked it for a long time and finally bought it years ago for the kitchen in our old house. We moved and it didn’t really seem to fit in my kitchen right now so I decided to put it in the family room.

We have another chair that we will bring up after I can get some foam for it and I have enough yardage of another print from this same line by DS that I will use for the cushions. My hope is to use the remnants of what I have left to recover some pillows and eventually the ottomans too. Maybe by next Christmas!

a few tutorials and more

There is a big birthday coming up and with it a project that my husband and I have both been working on. The chick is getting another American Girl doll for her birthday thanks to grandparents (and this is our max too!) so there was a need for something for them to sleep on. You’ll have to tune in late to see the finished project.

Until then, I’ll give you a glimpse at a few projects I worked on today. First up was a fitted sheet for a doll bed. I followed this tutorial by From an Igloo but I added a few changes so I thought I would share them here. I used some leftover pieces of a vintage sheet for the fabric.

doll bed fitted sheet WIP

I followed her directions for cutting out the pattern (mostly because I suck at math) and they were perfect.

doll bed fitted sheet WIP

For my sheets, I opted to serge the unfinished edges instead of folding them over.

doll bed fitted sheet WIP

Then, instead of making a casing for the elastic, I stitched it over the serged edge. To do this, you need to cut out your elastic, make a stitch with your machine leaving your needle in the fabric. Then you pull the elastic to where the end point is and slowly zig zag stitch along the elastic.

doll bed fitted sheet

I think it turned out pretty well.


It is a little floppy on the non elastic sides. I don’t know if this was my fault in measuring or what. If I made some more of these I think I would do elastic all the way around instead of just on the ends. But overall, this is a super easy way to make doll sized sheets!


Now onto the quilts: A while back I made a little bird quilt for my chick’s bed. The fabric was from Heather Bailey (most of it is Pop Garden) and I knew when it was time to make something for her dolls I wanted it to match.

doll bed quilts WIP

I used up most of the scraps I had left for her book sling so after a little searching on etsy I was able to track down some fat quarters that were from the same line. I suck at math and therefore making quilts is probably never going to be my forte (these ended up being about 1″ too short on the sides) but I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out.

doll bed quilts

What was the biggest relief today was finding all this leftover binding from her book sling and quilt that I had already made!

Stay tuned for the big reveal of the whole project in the coming week!

fantastic fridays {nov 9)

fantasticfriday button

Hello friends! Time for another weekly wrap up of some great finds from around the web this week.
If you didn’t catch yesterdays post, I’m hosting a give away…check out this link for more info! Entries end tonight at midnight.

great FABRIC: More goodness coming from the Fall Quilt Market. Monaluna has a super great line coming out early next year called Modern Home. I really love the vintage looking appliances. If only it wasn’t so dang expensive!

to whet your APPETITE: Earlier this week I posted a recipe for the best baked pumpkin oatmeal ever. Kinda thinking it might be on the menu again this weekend! It was that yummy.

be NEAT (as in organized): Love, love this idea of using a tool caddy that goes over a bucket for storing art supplies!

a TUTORIAL to do: Totally loving this idea of using galvanized plumbing supplies for curtain rods. Check out this tutorial for everything you need!

becoming more AWARE: Ann Voskamp has a great freebie for a lovely Thankfulness Tree.

something to SEW: Sew Liberated has some really awesome patterns coming out in the next year! Check them out!

to TRIM my house with: I’m trying to come up with some new ways to decorate my banister besides fake garland. I’ve pinned a couple of options. Love this one with embroidery hoops and burlap “ribbon, I also love these white flowers with ornaments hanging in between the rods,  and even just hanging a simple banner.

ILLUSTRATION to stitch: I really don’t need another project for my needle right now, but I do love this vintage looking Christmas tree. It would be a beautiful embroidery!

CUTE: Sweet, sweet embroideries at this site. And the guinea pig…adorable!

Have a happy weekend!!!

And don’t forget about the give away!!!

emerson tunic tutorial review

Here lately I feel like my personal sewing has really gone by the wayside as life has overtaken me. Any time I spend down in the basement studio is spent on etsy projects and while that is good and I’m beyond grateful for it, I feel like creatively I’m not being stretched.
Therefore I have instigated a Wednesday and Sunday creative space. I volunteer at my kiddos school on Wednesday mornings, which gives me about 2 hours in the afternoon when I’m done before I have to pick them up. Instead of letting that time be spent idling with so many other goofy things, spent working on my shop or even just home management stuff I’m holding myself to using this time to work on all those projects I have stacked up and unfinished in the studio.

First up was this tutorial by luvinthemommyhood. I saw this emerson tunic on Pinterest a while back and I’ve had this adorable doggie fabric for at least a year. I felt like this would be a great fun yard to use for this little shirt. A little bit of purple flower scrap fabric for the casings and voila…a new shirt. (that my daughter refuses to wear…Lord help me when she is 13, therefore it’s been lovingly given off to another sweet friend’s little chickadee).

emerson tunic

I did alter a couple of things from the tutorial. I decided to trim out the sleeves with the corresponding bias trim used on the neckline.  I didn’t do the strip of buttons down the back, partly due to time (and laziness) and partly due to the fact that I knew it would bother my daughter (which became a mute point because she won’t wear it anyway).

emerson tunic close up

For the neckline, I ended up just making some bias trim and sending some tiny elastic in through it for the casing.

Overall, this is a super cute and easy pattern. I will admit the directions weren’t all that easy to follow and there were a few things I just had to figure out (such as how to do the sleeves which I figured out I did wrong when they disappeared up the side hem!). But if you have a sewing background at all, this is a pretty easy pattern to whip up in a couple of hours that lends itself to do many different variations.