Category Archives: Sew / No-Sew Projects

DIY a Southwest Style Cactus Pillow – No Sewing Required!

Southwestern style is hot right now, and what better way to bring that trend into your apartment than with throw pillows? It’s much safer (not to mention cheaper!) to pull trending themes into your space with small accessories rather than with large furniture or rugs that require a huge commitment.

No Sew Cactus Pillow pillow living room sofa view

Even if you don’t have a sewing machine, you can save money by making your own decorative throw pillows. I whipped up this cool cactus pillow cover in less than an hour so that I could add a southwest vibe to my living room.

No Sew Cactus Pillow DIY cactus pillow

Supplies Needed:

  • Solid Color Pillow Cover (mine is from Ikea)
  • Iron
  • Iron-On Adhesive (I use Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold)
  • Craft Felt or Fabric (for the applique)
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Embroidery Needle

Want to see how I did it?  Continue reading my full tutorial over at the blog!


Sew It: Decorative Waterproof Changing Pad For the Nursery

Decorating a nursery?  This easy-off decorative waterproof changing pad mat is a snap to make and super easy to switch out when things get messy during a diaper change.

Decorative Easy-Change Waterproof Changing Pad Mat in Nursery

When I was busily preparing for our baby’s arrival, my friend Katie warned me that “babies pee a lot, so skip the changing pad cover.” Katie was absolutely right, but I’m stubborn when it comes to décor. I didn’t like the look of changing pads without the cover; I wanted mine to blend into the nursery.Nursery Decorative Easy-Change Waterproof Changing Pad Mat

I knew Katie was right, though, so I devised a compromise  : a decorative, waterproof mat to lay on top of the changing pad. It is easily switched out during a messy diaper change . . . and let me tell you, we got plenty of practice testing my idea during the first few weeks of parenthood!

I made my mats using my serger, but for I just made and photographed a version for those of you who only have a regular sewing machine.

Decorative Waterproof Changing Pad Mat Tutorial

Sewing skill: Easy!

Time required: 30 minutes or less

Supplies needed (makes 2):

  • Sewing machine or serger
  • Thread
  • Waterproof crib sheeting (1 yard)
  • Decorative fabric, pre-shrunk in the wash (1 yard)
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Iron

The size of the mat will vary based on the size of your changing pad.

1.  Place your changing pad on top of the waterproof crib sheeting and trace the base of it onto the fabric. Arrange it so that you can get two pieces out of the yard of crib sheeting. Cut it out. Cut two identically sized pieces out of the decorative fabric.

Waterproof Changing Pad Mat Cutting Fabric

2.  Cut rounded corners if you prefer the look of them over square, pointed corners.

3.  Pin the decorative fabric to the crib sheeting, wrong sides facing out. Using a 1/3 inch seam, stitch around the edges, but stop about 3 inches before you get to where you started. You need to leave an opening so you can turn the mat right side out.

Waterproof Changing Pad Mat Turning Out

4.  Reach into the opening and pull the fabric out through the opening until  all of the fabric is right side out. You may need to reach inside with a chopstick or scissor ends to poke the corners out just right.

5.  Set iron to lowest heat setting, then press the edges of the mat until they are flattened.

Waterproof Changing Pad Mat Topstitch

6.  Topstitch around the edge of the whole mat with a ¼” seam and voila – you’re done!

Waterproof Changing Pad Mat Sewing Tutorial

Serger Version:

1.  If you’re going to be using a serger on the edges, cut rounded corners when you cut out the waterproof crib sheeting. When serging, rounded corners are easier than sharp corners.

2.  Pin the crib sheeting to the decorative fabric, right sides out. Use coordinating thread and a rolled edge stitch (or a regular serger stitch) to serge around the edges, attaching the two fabrics together. Leave a long thread tail when you finish, then pull the thread tail through a needle and pull it back under the existing stitch to hide it.

You’re done!

Decorative Easy-Change Waterproof Changing Pad Mat Detail

It doesn’t matter if you use a serger or a sewing machine – either way you stitch it, this is one easy project that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. It makes life easier while keeping the nursery as pretty as you want it to be!

PS:  Want to see more nursery projects?  Click here!

Stitch it! DIY Makeup Brush Holder

In the past few years I’ve had to do a lot of business travel, and early on I started looking for ways to make travel packing easier and better.  I started using the hotel toiletries and hair dryer, but still packed my makeup and makeup brushes.   I decided a DIY makeup brush holder was just what I needed for traveling with my brushes.

Makeup Holder1

I am usually good at figuring out a design and then making something with no guidance, but this time I peeked at Pinterest to get some tips.  The patterns I found were really good, so I decided not to sort of follow them.  No point spending more time designing my own pattern if there were already good tutorials out there.

I found the tutorial from Centsational Girl to be the best.  Bonus: she always has such beautiful photography!

My holder ended up with the slots for brushes being too deep, so I cut an inch off the (finished) bottom, and just hemmed it using an overlock stitch.  Not ideal, but I was running out of time before my next trip and didn’t want to start over.Makeup Holder2

Also, I included a small (3-inch) flap of fabric at the top  to fold down over the exposed ends of the brushes before I rolled them up.

I’ve used this makeup roll for over a year now, and I’m really happy with how it works.

Easy DIY Slipcover for IKEA Jules Desk Chair

When I completed my Janery Studio Makeover, I did a lot of simple projects to make the space look and feel a little more finished.  One was the simple slipcover I created for my Ikea Jules desk chair that I use when I’m sewing.

Simple Ikea Desk Chair Slipcover

The swiveling wheels and the $39 price tag made this a great find for the sewing studio, but the aesthetics of the chair left a bit to be desired.

All the chair needed was a more decorative cover for the back, and with its simple lines I knew I could easily make a cover to slip right over it.

Ikea Chair Slipcover Sewing

  1. First, I hemmed a piece of fabric that was a little more than 2 x the width of the chair back.
  2. I traced the outline of the back of the chair onto wax paper to create a template.
  3. I folded the hemmed piece of fabric in half, wrong sides out, and then ironed that waxed paper onto the two layers of fabric.
  4. I then used my machine to sew through the paper and the two layers of fabric – sewing about 1″ wider than the line I had traced on the waxed paper.  (If you sewed right on the line your slipcover would end up too tight to fit on the chair back.)
  5. Then I cut around the seam I sewed, leaving about 1/3″ between the seam and my cutting line.
  6. I peeled off the waxed paper, turned the cover right side out, and slid it over the back of my chair.

Voila! In under 30 minutes I had a simple cover that made my simple desk chair look a lot nicer in the studio.

Ikea Jules Desk Chair SlipcoverIt’s always nice to have such a quick and easy DIY project actually work out. :)