T-shirt Bracelet Tutorial

Not too long ago I spotted a really great fabric bracelet at a high end store.  Since I’m not a big jewelry wearer, I couldn’t bring myself to pay big bucks for a bracelet.  However, that bracelet popped into my mind this afternoon and it sparked a recon idea in my head.  I just gave it a whirl and while it’s nothing fancy, it’s a fun, quick project that’s perfect for a funky accessory.

The absolute simplicity of this project makes it a great summer project for a teen or pre-teen that’s trying out his or her sewing skills.  My 3-year-old daughter is begging me to make her one in ‘prettier colors’ as we speak.

Let’s get started!

Supplies:

Old t-shirts or any old piece of clothing made of knit or other stretchy fabric

Scissors

Sewing machine

So…get your t-shirt.

Cut strips of fabric, making sure the the stretch goes down the length of your strips.  You’ll want the bracelet to stretch a bit so you can easily get it on and off.

My wrist is child-like in size and measures just under 7 inches, so I made my strips about 8-8.5 inches long.  I made mine too wide to start with and ended up narrowing them to about 1 inch.  This is all very approximate.  That’s the beauty of the funky little bracelet–the more random and rough it is, the more fun it looks!  Despite the yard stick in my photos, I didn’t use it once.  Just freehanded the whole thing.  Fast and fun!

Now, simply fold the strips in half and sew, using a straight stretch stitch.

Now loosely gather the ends and stitch across them to secure them.  There’s no rhyme or reason to how I need this.  I just bunched them up and stitched across using a slightly longer stitch length to accommodate the thickness.

To close this bracelet up, you’ll want a wider, shorter strip of fabric that is something like this:

It should be wide enough to cover the end seams on the strips on both ends and long enough to overlap when wrapped loosely around the ends.  Like this:

After you’ve stitched one end into the wide strip (should look like photo above), tuck the other end of your bracelet into it and repeat.  Easy enough, right?  Here’s my bracelet:

To make it more your style, you can mix and match colors, thread on some random large beads, change up thread colors.  Just have fun!  Grab the kids and bust up that summer boredom!

Paper Culture (Winner added)

I’ve recently discovered paperculture.com and I feel the need to pass on some PC love to my readers.  Paper Culture is an eco-friendly stationary company that offers extremely cute, modern cards for all occasions.

Check out this green info from their site:

  • 100% Post Consumer Recycled Cards: most cards are printed on “virgin” fiber. Even those that are “recycled” usually contain low percentages of Post Consumer content. Our cards are all printed on 100% Post Consumer Recycled paper.
  • Carbon Neutral: As a company, Paper Culture offsets its carbon footprint as a CarbonFree™ Partner of CarbonFund.org.
  • FSC Certified: Our paper for both our cards and envelopes is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Paper Culture is also an FSC certified retailer (FSC-SECR-0203 ©1996 FSC)
  • Wind Power Generated: well, this one is pretty simple – the paper was produced using wind power.

Good stuff, right?

Now…look at this gorgeous Valentine!  Who wouldn’t love receiving that one?  Or sending it??

And you know what’s extra cool?  Right now, if you order Valentine’s Day cards from Paper Culture, 100% of the proceeds go to Haiti Relief. Super, super cool.

The have tons of adorable designs for other occasions, too.  Like birth announcements…

Baby showers…

Kid birthdays…

Moving announcements…

And tons more.

So go dig around on their site.  You’ll fall in love.

And because I know you’ll fall in love, I want one of you lucky readers to have a $25 gift certificate to spend on whatever design you’d like!*  Uh-huh.  I knew you’d like that!

To enter, leave one comment telling me what type of card you would order if you were to win.  If you have a favorite design, feel free to share that with us as well.  To get additional entries in the contest, link me in a separate comment to where you have Tweeted or Facebooked about the contest. I will stop accepting entries tomorrow, Thursday February 4th at 3pm CST and announce the winner soon after.  Good luck!

*Gift certificate expires 5/31/2010 and is good for first time customers.  It is not to be used with other offers or promotions and not applicable to shipping, tax or stamps.

**WINNER**

And our winner is #5! Congratulations, Michelle!  Send me your email address and we’ll get you taken care of.

Green Kid Craft For The Holidays

I’m sure most of you with children have had Reindeer Food come home from school or daycare just before Christmas.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Reindeer Food, it’s a magical mixture of dry oatmeal and other special goodies that lure Rudolph and the gang to land at your house Christmas night.  The kiddos take it outside, sprinkle it in the yard and spend the rest of Christmas Eve evening anxiously awaiting the Big Guy’s arrival.

This year, I happened to have some empty spice bottles in my kitchen windowsill that I’d been saving for the right craft….and Reindeer Food came to mind.  I love finding ways to reduce, reuse & recycle, so let’s put these empty spice bottles–or whatever containers you can rescue from the landfill–good, festive use!  It’s a great craft to do with kiddos, but you might want to replace the hot glue that I used with a more kid-safe craft glue or school glue.

First, gather supplies.  I used my spice bottles, leftover wrapping paper, leftover gift tags and hot glue to decorate the bottles.  A measuring tape, ruler, pen, scissors and a sharp knife are the tools I used.  Please use caution with the scissors, knife and glue if the kids are involved.  And the wrapping paper.  Nobody likes a paper cut.  Ingredients for our particular Reindeer Food recipe are oatmeal, green sprinkles and red sprinkles.  You can substitute glitter or any other magical ingredients you have lying around your house.

Next, you’ll need to measure the length and circumference of your bottle.

On the back side of your wrapping paper, outline the size that you’ll need.  Ours were 3 3/4″ x 7″.

Cut the pretty paper to fit.

Make a thin line of glue up the length of the bottle.

Adhere one narrow end of your paper to the glue.

Wrap the paper snugly around the bottle and glue that end down.

Continue with any additional bottles you are decorating.

Now, I had this gorgeous chipboard gift tags from Target leftover and used them.  You can use curling ribbon, scrapbook paper….just whatever you have around the house.  The key thing is that you attach this cute little poem:

Sprinkle on the lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright
As Santa’s reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home.

I printed the poem very small and glued them to the backs of the tags.

Then I glued the tag ties around the neck of the bottle.

The sprinkle lids had holes that weren’t large enough to accomodate the oatmeal.

So I gouged them with a sharp knife.  Please, please use caution and don’t hurt yourself or others.  Pretty please.

Once you’ve thoroughly mutilated them…

You can start making the magical mixture!  The kids loved pouring in all the goodies and talking about where all they would sprinkle it to ensure a prompt and sure arrival from the reindeer crew.  Oatmeal first….

Then green sugar sprinkles…

And the red ones.

Put the lid on, give them each a good shake to mix up the magic and you’re all done!

Just before the kids get tucked in on Christmas Eve evening, take them out and let them sprinkle this all over the yard!

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has overtaken vinegar as my go-to cleaning agent around my home.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love and use my spray bottle of vinegar frequently, but peroxide makes me feel like my house is so very germ-free!  It’s such a wonderful cleanser, bleaching agent and antiseptic that I find myself reaching for it all kinds of reasons.

Everyone knows that peroxide is a naturally occurring substance, but do you know where it actually comes from?  I wasn’t sure, so I consulted Wikipedi and this is what I found:

“Hydrogen peroxide is naturally produced in organisms as a byproduct of oxygen metabolism. Nearly all living things possess enzymes known as peroxidases, which harmlessly and catalytically decompose low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen.”

Very interesting.

The peroxide I keep around is simply the 3% that you’ll find in those 99 cent brown bottles in your pharmacy.  Cheap, readily available, natural and antiseptic….are you sold yet?

So, now that we have that in our brains, let’s talk about some of my favorite uses for this liquid gold…

  • Keep a 50/50 mix of peroxide and water in a spray bottle in your bathroom and spray down your shower walls, knobs and faucets to keep them sparkling and germ-free.
  • Make a paste of peroxide and baking soda as a whitening scrub for porcelain bathtubs.  Your tub has never been so white and germ-free!
  • Keep another 50/50 mix in your kitchen for wiping down counters, tables  and sinks.
  • After rinsing your wooden cutting boards, pour straight peroxide onto them to kill bacteria left behind from your food.
  • Use it to rinse produce to remove harsh chemicals and residual dirt.
  • Rinse your mouth with a capful of straight peroxide by swishing for several minutes 2-3 times a week. .  This will not only whiten teeth, but fight nasty bad-breath causing germs.
  • Peroxide breaks down proteins, so it’s wonderful for getting blood stains out of clothes.  Just be careful because it is also capable of removing color from fabric.
  • Clean your laminate or linoleum floors with a 50/50 peroxide/water mixture for floors so clean you could eat off of them!

Please….wear gloves when using hydrogen peroxide!

Are you a peroxide user?  Share how you use it in your home!