Archive for Tutorials

Dog Food Bag Recycled

John was refilling the dog food tin yesterday morning. I noticed that the bag the food came in was made out of some thick, waterproof, plastic-like fabric. It seemed a waste to throw it away. I decided to repurpose it into a messenger bag. This is one quick and easy project and only requires basic sewing skills.

First, get a nice durable dog food bag. I’m partial to Purina dog food mainly because it’s affordable, my dog loves it, and they are a local company.
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I cut the top off the bag, and then cut the remaining bag in half. This one was about 20 inches long, leaving me with a bottom that was 10″ high and a top piece 10″ high. The bottom will be the “body” of the messenger bag. Decide which part looks more attractive and keep that for the back since the front of the bag will be partially covered by the flap.
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Examine your top piece and decide which portion will look best as a front for your bag. Cut this panel out. Flip the panel over and use a drinking glass to draw a curve to the bottom edges. Cut along curve.
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This curved piece will be the flap of your messenger bag. It would look nice if the edge were finished with bias tape. Since I had no bias tape on hand and was too lazy to make my own, I cheated and just serged around it.

Pin this flap to the back of your bag and sew it on. Just for reference, I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
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Turn under a small hem all along the bag edge (1/4 inch is fine) and stitch in place. Now it’s time to make the strap.

Using the remaining portion of the top of the bag to make strap. I cut the remaining piece width-wise in half and then sewed them together to make one long 5″ wide piece.
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I turned under a small seam allowance on each edge, then folded the piece in half and sewed the seam shut. This made a strap that was about 2.25 inches wide. This seemed like a good width to me. Alternatively, you could also use belt webbing to make this look more professional.
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Sew the strap firmly (I triple stitched) to the sides of the bag.

Voila! You have saved a bag from the trash bin and created a very cute and useful carrier for leashes, frisbees and tennis balls.
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Off to the park we go!

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Silhouettes — a tutorial

I’ve been wanting to make silhouettes of my children for ages. I love the old-fashioned feel of them and how simply they capture the essence of a child. Over the cold and wet weekend, Mojo and I jumped in and finally made them. Here are some simple instructions for those who care to make their own.

1. Take a photo of the child in profile. It would be best to be against a light, uncluttered background but use whatever works for you. Upload the photo and print it out.
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2. Stick the photo onto black paper. Anything sticky would work — like a glue stick or even some doubled tape. I just happen to love using spray adhesive and keep it handy in the house. Also, I used construction paper because that is what I had on hand. A nice, acid-free black paper would probably be better.
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3. Grab some small and sharp scissors and start cutting around the profile.
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4. Keep cutting. Careful around the noses and small features. We gave one child an accidental “nose job” and had to start over.
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5. Before you know it, you’re done! Flip over to the black side and admire your handiwork.
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6. Repeat and repeat and repeat!
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On my list of “to-do’s” for this week is to dig out a frame for these three and to find the perfect spot to put it.

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