31 December 2012

A Pinterest Christmas: Bunting Tutorial

Welcome to the final day of A Pinterest Christmas!

For the month of December, I'm thrilled to be participating in A Pinterest Christmas with a group of crafty ladies who have been inspired by projects on Pinterest and turned that (p)inspiration into reality. Today is a bit of a finale in which we're each sharing a crafty project.

For my final A Pinterest Christmas project, I'd like to share a bunting tutorial. I don't have any official (p)inspiration project, but I'm sure you too have seen a million buntings floating around the Internet. (I even made a bunting for a baby shower back in 2011.) Unlike my last one, this one features finished edges and is meant to make return appearances in the years to come. And, while it's featured in the Christmas setting, you can certainly adapt this tutorial for any holiday, season, or special occasion by simply using different fabric.

Cardboard or other material for template
Fabric (quantity depends upon size of bunting) for front and back of flags and binding
Thread (matching or contrast depending upon preference)
Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
Iron and ironing board
Pointy object for turning out corners (a chopstick works well)
Sewing machine

Step One: Getting Prepared
Measure the space you want to cover with your bunting, being sure to allow for sagging. Figure out the shape you want for your bunting flags (square, rectangle, triangle, etc.) and the dimensions of the shape...and then make a cardboard template with your ruler and pen/pencil/marker. Remember to consider how many flags will fit within a "sag" of the bunting.

If you can spare the fabric, I recommend making a trial flag to make sure that you've got the shape and dimensions right. My trial triangle was not the (mostly) equilateral triangle (roughly 8 inches per side) that I ended up using.

Step Two: Cutting Fabric

Using your template and cutting instrument, cut out the fabric for the front and back of your bunting flags. Remember that you'll use about twice as much fabric for fabric that has an obvious top and bottom (when cutting triangles) because you can't cut as efficiently. I had some curtain lining fabric laying around that I used for the back of my bunting flags.

Cut 2-inch strips of your binding fabric, leaving plenty of length for seams and excess on the ends of the bunting.

Step Three: Basic Sewing Assembly
For your flags, pin the front and back fabric facing each other and then sew all sides except for the top using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. For triangles, sew a slightly square point for less bulk in your end product.

For the binding, sew the short sides of the 2-inch strips facing each other. As you can see, I was lazy and left the salvage on my fabric without any adverse consequences.

Step Four: Turning and Ironing
If you've made triangle flags, trim the tip of the triangles so that your final product will be less bulky. Then, turn your flags right side out, using your pointy object to get crisp corners. Iron your flags.

For the binding, first press the seams open...

...then iron the whole strip in half, lengthwise with the right sides showing on both sides...

...then iron the sides into the middle of the strip...

...then iron the binding together again...

Step Five: Finishing
Trim the top of your flags so that they have a rather straight line. Trim the ends of your binding to the desired length (for me, roughly 8 inches excess on either end of my flags). You can always trim your binding after the next step if you're unsure of the length.

To give your flags a finished look, you can sew a line around the sides other than the top using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. If you're not sure whether you want to do this, try it out on your trial flag.

To give the ends of your binding a finished look, simply turn in 1/4-inch on either end and sew a straight little line. Again, you can do this after the next step if you're unsure of your length.

Step Six: Final Assembly
Pin your flags inside the binding, like a sandwich, giving uniform spacing between the flags. It's rather important that you are consistent with spacing. For triangles, remember that your spacing will not be the distance between the tops of the triangles but rather from 1/2 inch down one flag to 1/2 inch down the next flag.

If you haven't already trimmed and finished the ends of the binding, do so now.

Sew a line along the entire length of the binding to connect the flags to the binding and create your bunting.

Step Seven: Hang and Enjoy!

Thinking of hanging a bunting in your home in the new year? Leave questions, comments, and links to inspired projects in the comments.

Remember to check out the rest of the A Pinterest Christmas ladies today for our finale:

Sally @ chacha and mogo
Abbi @ The Pena Family (Lots of Great Projects as a Wrap Up)


30 December 2012


It's hard to believe that we're already at the end of 2012, facing 2013 in just a couple days. This has been a busy year and brought a lot of changes to our lives. The biggest change, of course, was the beautiful addition of Madeleine to our family...followed at a distance by buying our new house and selling the old one. Through the year, I spent time (amongst other things) volunteering, prepping for baby, learning to quilt, blogging, and settling into motherhood. George's work responsibilities have grown as he has found success in management - both a blessing and a curse. We've seen parents face illness and recover. We've continued many old friendships and made a few new ones. We've traveled domestically and internationally, visiting both of our families and several close friends. And, while we haven't gotten to dive or ski/snowboard as much as we'd like, I think I speak for George and me when I say that Madeleine's love and joy compensates.

So what about 2013? I have a few ideas of things I'd like to accomplish in the new year.

I'm hoping to find a comfortable place in which I can be a great mother to Madeleine, wife to George, and keeper of our home while pursuing my own endeavor - whether it be legal, crafty, or in the blogosphere. I haven't yet sorted out just what I want or what opportunities are available to me, but I will.

I will find my way back to fitness. I want to set a good example for Madeleine in terms of both making exercise a part of life and loving one's own body...and neither is possible without being a lot more active. I loved prenatal yoga and want to try some real yoga. I also must admit that I've been thinking of returning to my running roots and have even contemplated the ever popular half marathon, but I'm not ready to fully commit to that just yet. First, I need to find myself a new pair of sneakers as my last running shoes were purchased when I was still a Miss. You can do the math.

I want to put those 3947 pins to good use organizing my life. That is, I'm ready to make an up-front investment into systems and organization that will save me time in running and caring for our home in the long run. Office, pantry, and closets: I'm coming for you!

I hope to get a regular babysitting schedule established so that I can once again date my husband. I also want to make it a priority to give George time to build and enjoy his hobbies once again.

I plan to start a perpetual calendar (inspired by this but stored in a Moleskine for portability) as a way to track my days. I figure that if I can remember to take my vitamins every day, I can remember to spend 3 minutes jotting down a thought for the day.

It's always fun to look back at the year. At the end of 2013, I hope we'll be a little more settled in our house, in a little better shape, and maybe even a little happier. Stay tuned to see what happens along the way.

What were the highlights of your 2012? What are your hopes for 2013?

26 December 2012

Madeleine - Week 26

You know what this means, right? We're halfway to week 52...halfway to one year...halfway to toddlerhood. A large part of me wants to freeze time right where it is as Madeleine is so incredibly sweet and fun right now; the other part of me is excited to see her development continue. She is rolling in every direction and pivoting on her belly to allow her to cover significant ground without actually crawling. She freely gives of smiles and giggles, which have helped her amass quite the fan club of familiar faces and strangers alike.

For the last several weeks, our photoshoots have ended when Madeleine decided to roll to the edge or off of the fabric and then either wrap the fabric around or on top of her. 

Sweet girl.

25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Madeleine and her parents would like to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas!

24 December 2012

A Pinterest Christmas: Christmas Cards and Wrapping

Welcome to Week Four of A Pinterest Christmas

For the month of December, I'm thrilled to be participating in A Pinterest Christmas with a group of crafty ladies who have been inspired by projects on Pinterest and turned that (p)inspiration into reality.

- - -

Happy Christmas Eve! Are you one of those procrastinators who spends today wrapping all of your loot? If not for having to mail the vast majority of my gifts, I would also be a member of the Christmas Eve wrapping brigade.

This year, I was really inspired by all of the fun wrapping I saw on Pinterest, among them these two:


These little clay tags have so much potential! (Remember when I used them for shower favors?) I decided that I'd pair them with brown craft paper and red/white striped twine for my holiday wrapping this year.

I also found a little (p)inspiration in the Christmas card department. Although we're sending our official cards in the new year, I still wanted to try my hand at these cards to go with the gifts we sent.


I really liked making the stick card, although I can only send it with packages (it won't make it through the postage machine alone) and domestically. The string one was a bit of a disappointment, though, because I couldn't quite get the string to stay taut. Ah, well.

How are you wrapping your packages this Christmas? Did you handmake cards? If you're inspired by my projects, feel free to leave questions in the comments and comment with a link to your projects.

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Remember to check out the rest of the A Pinterest Christmas ladies this week and throughout the month of December:

Tuesdays - 
Sally @ chacha and mogo

Wednesdays - 
Michelle @ this grey house (Sock Vase)

Thursdays - 

19 December 2012

Madeleine - Week 25

Our sweet Madeleine was a little somber during today's photoshoot...though she should have been celebrating because her grandma's vision has now fully returned!! What great news!

17 December 2012

A Pinterest Christmas: Christmas Tree Forest

Welcome to Week Three of A Pinterest Christmas

For the month of December, I'm thrilled to be participating in A Pinterest Christmas with a group of crafty ladies who have been inspired by projects on Pinterest and turned that (p)inspiration into reality.

- - -

A wreath is on the door. The tree (or alternative) is decked with ornaments. It's time to show some love to the mantel.

This week's (p)inspiration comes from this series (parts 1, 2, and 3) of Christmas trees made from simple cardboard cones.


I must admit that I used a combination of DIY cones made from used cardboard and $2 cones purchased from the local craft store. It was easy enough to make cones, but the "perfect" purchased ones were a little better for materials where the shape really mattered. Also, I had a really hard time keeping myself from turning any and every material I could think of into a tree. This project really has a million possibilities when you look in your craft cupboard, around the craft store, and through the thrift store.

Without further ado, here are my trees:

One-by-one now...
Felt Loop Tree

I made this little felt guy by cutting 3-inch strips of felt...

...folding the strips in half and hot gluing the long sides together...

...cutting slits along the felt...

...hot gluing the rows in layers on top of each other...

...and finishing the top with a little square of felt.

When you do this, don't cut your slits too high so that the cardboard shows through. Oops.

Kidney Bean Tree

I made this guy by simply hot gluing dry kidney beans to a cone, wiping off the hot glue strings, and spray painting the whole thing cherry red (to give more shine to the beans and color any cardboard showing through).  This is my favorite tree despite it being very time and hot glue consuming.

Bathmat Tree

This one is made by wrapping an old (washed) bathmat around a tree and securing it with hot glue. Just be sure to wrap and glue before cutting. Doh!

Small Garland Tree

Ruffle Tree
This guy was made from repurposing the ties from tie top curtains, which I long ago washed and ruined (doh!). I used almost the same method as the (p)inspiration poster did for her ruffle tree.

Yarn Tree

Sequin Tree

Large Garland Tree

As I said, the bean one was my favorite, if a bit demanding. I think the felt one has a lot of potential...if I just could have practiced a bit more. I loved how simple it was to make the yarn one. The small garland one was the best looking for little effort.

So, what will you turn into a little Christmas tree? Make sure you have lots of hot glue on hand, and feel free to leave questions in the comments. I'd love for you to comment with a link to any projects you make inspired by mine.

- - -

Remember to check out the rest of the A Pinterest Christmas ladies this week and throughout the month of December:

Tuesdays - 

Wednesdays - 
Michelle @ this grey house (Yarn Trees)

Thursdays -