Posts Tagged 'DIY'

New in the Shop: Magnet Sets

I recently added magnet sets to the shop! I’ve been making wooden button magnets for a few years but I usually give them as gifts or keep them for personal use.

I used E6000 glue (the best glue) to secure 10mm neodymium magnets to the backs of wooden buttons. The magnets have a rounded edges so they are not supposed to scratch away surfaces or leave residue behind.

They come lightly taped to card stock and sleeved in a little zip-lock bag.

They can hold at least 4 sheets of paper and a greeting card. I use my own sets to hang takeout menus and invitations!

I haven’t decided if I’ll bring them to fairs and markets with me yet, so for now they can only be found online.

Find them in the housewares section! https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTragicWhale?section_id=16516425

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Recent Projects

I made some cool bags for my sister-in-law with this AMAZING Beauty and the Beast fabric she nabbed:

I took a special order for some mustache pencil cases:

I used some Harley Davidson bandannas to make mini pouches and makeup bags for a former coworker:

I went on the hunt for Bruins fabric, also for a former coworker:

I spent some time time designing Tofu fabric for my husband’s cousins! Tofu is their adorable pup :D

I still have a couple of long-outstanding projects I’m planning to wrap up this year, so keep en eye out for those!

New in the Shop: Earrings!

I’ve been making earrings out of fishing lures for years. My favorites are the Acme Phoebe fish because they have a great shape and come in two different sizes. Whenever I spot them on sale, I grab them to make earrings. I put them away in a little tackle organizer and say, “Someday, I’ll add these to the shop.” I haven’t yet because I’ve always wanted my focus to be bags. But since adding coasters two years ago and sweater pins last yes, I thought maybe it was time to give earrings a go.

I specifically ordered stainless steel earring hooks because I want them to be more appealing to more people. My ears are happy with them so I know other people with sensitive ears will be happy with them, too.

I also made stud earrings with wooden cat buttons, at the request of my friend. I have no idea what the posts are made out of, so I only made a few. I have my own pair that I’ve been wearing around to test and they don’t bother my ears. But if I think I’m going to add more to the shop, I will definitely take the time to ensure that the posts I’m using are hypoallergenic.

They can currently be found in the Accessories Section with the sweater pins!

Makeup bag tutorial

I do a lot of sewing but I don’t share too many sewing DIYs on the blog- what’s up with that?! So today I’m going to show you how to make your very one makeup bag!

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Supplies:
– sewing machine
– all-purpose foot
– zipper foot

IMG_3776All-purpose- left, zipper foot- right. Most machines comes with these feet.

– card stock
– ruler
– pencil
– pen
– scissors
– fabric, two colors or prints

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– interfacing, to make it sturdy!
– zipper
– iron
– pins

Let’s get started!

1) First we have to make our pattern. You can use the one I did or you can make your own- the directions will be the same. You’ll start with a rectangle, I used 8.5 inch by 5.5 inch, and then cut two squares out of the bottom, so it looks like the picture. I cut out 1 inch squares.

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2) Grab your fabric and interfacing. What I like to do is trace my pattern onto the interfacing with pencil,

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then cut out the fabric to match the pieces of interfacing I have.

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That way, when I go to iron it, I’m not trying to match two perfectly-cut makeup bag pieces together and worrying about them not lining up just right.
3) Iron your fabric and interfacing together.

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4) Cut out your pieces, along the pencil lines. But tracing the pattern just once onto the interfacing, and cutting it after you iron, you only have to cut the pattern once! And I specifically use pencil because you can’t see it once the project is done AND you don’t have to worry about it getting wet and running (like with pen and markers).

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5) It’s zipper time! Zippers can seem intimating, but they’re really just scared and acting out in aggression.

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Take one of your inside fabric pieces and lay it right-side up. Lay the zipper right-side up on top of it.

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And then lay your outside piece right-side down. Make sure the pieces line up with each other on all sides, and that the zipper is tucked nice and close to the tops

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6) Secure with pins.

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7) Using your zipper foot, sew along the edge with the zipper pinned in place.

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It should look like this when you are done.

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8) This part is optional. I like to flip the fabric right-sides out and sew along that zipper edge again. It helps hold the fabric in place and I like the clean look it gives the finished bag.

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Next) Repeat with the other two pieces of fabric. Make sure you place your pieces on the right sides! Inside fabric should be right-side down on the inside fabric side, and outside fabric should be right-side down on the outside fabric side.

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So when you are done stitching it together and open it up, it will look like this:

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10) Flip your project around so that the inside fabric pieces are touching and your outside fabric pieces are touching, with the zipper in the middle. I like to call this butterflying but I know that can mean different things and I don’t want anyone to, like, fillet their bag or anything.

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11) Very Important! Unzip the zipper halfway! If you skip this part, you won’t be able to turn your bag right-side out when the time comes!

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After that) Before we pin anything in place, make sure the zipper teeth face up into the inside of the bag.

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Still facing up.

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13) Secure with a pin.

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14) Again, make sure your zipper is facing teeth up into the bag before you pin anything down.

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Pin in place. Sometimes I add an extra pin here or there to hold it together while I sew, and sometimes I only pin where the zipper is.

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15) Switch your sewing foot to the all-purpose one and sew all the way around, making sure to leave an opening along the bottom inside-fabric edge.

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Just sewing.

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Be Careful!) Because I lined my zipper up with the edge of my fabric, there is a little metal nub hiding in there. And that nub is a land mine to your sewing machine needle. As you get close to it, check to make sure you aren’t going to run it over.

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And Remember) Leave that opening! You’ll need it later.

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18) Trim off the extra threads and zipper.

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19) Remember those little squares we cut out of the pattern? It’s time for those to come into play. Where each corner should be, line up the edges of fabric…

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and pin them in place.

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Now) Sew right along that edge.

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It should look like this when you’re done.

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21) Repeat for all 4 corners. Or lack-of-corners. Anyway, this is what will give your bag a proper bottom and will allow it to stand up on its own.

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22) Remember that opening we left?

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Reach in and pull your bag out. Well, pull the fabric right-side out.

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23) Push out the bottom corns,

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24) and the zipper. It’ll look like this when you first flip it right-side out. But with a little pushing…

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it will look like this!

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25) Now we just have to close up that little hole in the bottom.

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So pull the inside fabric out a bit, and pin the hole closed.

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26) Sew it up.

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27) Push the inside fabric back into the bag.

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28) And you did it! You made a makeup bag!

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I love this pattern because it’s so easy to tweak. Need a wider bottom? Cut bigger squares. Need a longer bag? Elongate the width. I use a pattern close to this for my extra small – large makeup bags in the shop, shaving just a little off the pattern as they go down in size so they are actually nesting bags.

Let me know if you have any questions, need anything clarified, or if you make one yourself! Thanks for reading!

Jingle Shell picture frame

I found this picture of my Gramma and Great Gramma after my Grandpa died. It’s one of my favorite pictures of them because it’s exactly how I remember them- smiling and happy and in the kitchen of the condo (where we lived when I was very little). It makes me think of going to Great Gramma’s in the summer so Dad could mow her lawn, only to find that she had already done it. Running around her back yard on Easter and shrieking at ear wigs. Summer cookouts at my Grandparents. That time my Great Gramma gave me hot mustard. Making play dough spaghetti at the table when Dad got home from work. When my parents had the kitchen tiled and we got to eat in the living room!

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But (obviously) this frame is a little worse for the wear. It’s tarnished and held together with elastics. I used to keep the picture out on a shelf, but it kept falling off and busting open. It needed a new frame. I got a cheap frame from Walmart, one that the back would definitely stay on. And on Easter, I collected jingle shells from one of my favorite beaches.

Jingle shells are these fragile, translucent shells that absolutely litter Little Harbor. Growing up, my Dad said they’re called jingle shells because if you fill your hands with them and shake them around they make a jingling noise. But he also made up a lot of names for things (a story for another day) so a Wikipedia search was in order. Turns out, jingle shells are an acceptable, and widely known name for them.

I got my shells, frame, and glue gun together and put a piece of paper down so I wouldn’t get glue all over my desk. Again.

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I decided to go with hot glue instead of E-6000 because it dries quickly and I wouldn’t have to worry about the shells sliding around (as I learned from my Glass Jar Upcycle project).

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It didn’t take long to cover the frame.

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And once I added a hook, I could add it to my wall!

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That’s my Gramma’s retirement announcement on the left, a baby picture of my Mom below, and a mini whale poster from my cousin in the bottom right. I keep my strong ladies in view of my work area :)

Do you have any craft projects going on? A wall devoted to the strong women in your family? Baby pictures of your Mom on display? I want to know about it!

Making Magnets

I have a friend who loves sugar skulls, so when I saw these buttons I knew she had to have them. But would she have a use for them? Or would she horde them for a special occasion, as I would do? I like giving functional gifts so I decided to turn them into magnets.

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I started with the buttons, some pliers, glue, and magnets.

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These are my favorite magnets to craft with because they are strong and polished and they don’t leave a residue. I’ve found that the black ones you find at most crafts stores can leave marks if they stay in one spot for too long- no thanks! They’re more expensive but totally worth it.

I started by cutting the button holes off the back.

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They were a little bumpy and I probably could have sanded them down smooth if I wanted to but I knew they would come out pretty flat with some glue underneath them.

I added a dollop of glue:

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And places the magnet over it:

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Uhm, SO EASY! I separated them to dry, giving them each their own corner of the paper to sit on. I’ve had too many instances where they were too close and snapped together, which is kind of messy and annoying. I let them dry over night before testing them on my own fridge :)

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A super easy and fun project for almost anyone! Happy crafting :)

Dinosaur Pin Cushion DIY

I’ve been using the same pin cushion since I was a little kid. It’s blue and square and I made it with my Gramma when I was, maybe, 7 years old. It’s the only one I’ve ever used, and I’ve been reluctant to give it up because it holds so much sentimental value. But it’s 20 years old and wearing out. If I’m going to try to transition away from it, it’ll need a pretty awesome replacement.

Then I thought, “Dinosaurs are pretty cool. I’ve seen dinosaur pin cushions before. I bet I could figure that out.” So let’s make a dino pin cushion!

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Supplies:
– hollow, plastic dinosaur / animal ( got mine at Wal-Mart for a dollar)
– razor
– scrap fabric
– sewing machine
– stuffing
– something to tuck in fabric with, I used a letter opener.

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1) First, cut a square out of your animals back.

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2) Sew your scrap fabric together, leaving an opening to fill it with stuffing.

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3) Stuff it! You want it to be pretty full but still have a little give so you can tuck that opening closed and sew it up. Which leads us to the next step…

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4) Sewing it shut! Don’t worry about how neat it looks. You’ll be hiding this raw edge inside your animal.

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5) Stuff your little cushion into your animal. Be careful! Some of the plastic edges might be shark and I cut myself several times while trying to maneuver it in. You might also find that you have too much stuffing to work with and have to take a little bit out (that happened with one of the other ones I made).

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6) Tuck in the sides to make it look neat and pretty.

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And you’re done! Gift to a crafty friend or use it yourself.

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I think if I make more of these, I’ll try to cut the back pieces out at a bit of an angle, so there isn’t such a noticeable edge on them. I would also probably glue the cushion in, although these are packed so tightly it would be hard to pry them out.

I’ve got the Triceratops in use now (the transition is not a smooth one) and the elephant I passed along to a friend. But if anyone is interested in the Euoplocephalus let me know and I’ll mail him out to you!


Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

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It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.

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