Thursday, June 25, 2015

Proggy Rug Rainbow Pillow Featuring Oly*Fun Fabric

Today, I am participating in a manufacturer's challenge showcasing products from Fairfield (the makers of PolyFil, American Spirit batting, and lots of other sewing/fabric products). I used their versatile Oly*Fun fabric to make a no-sew "proggy" pillow!

First of all, you may be asking, "What is Oly*Fun?" Well, Oly*Fun is an awesome, water-repellant fabric that can be used to make just about anything. You can use it like you would use paper or fabric so it's very versatile. It comes in a wide array of colors, and it is perfect for outdoor projects because it's weather-resistant.

Next you may say, "Then what is 'proggy' rugging?" Proggy (or proddy, depending on what area of Great Britain you are from) is a style of rug-making that uses small strips of fabric, a pointy-tipped tool called a proddy, and burlap (or "hessian" as the Brits call it!). Now, while this technique is mostly used for rugs, you can use it to make wreaths, stuffed toys, and more.

Check out this short video that explains how to make a proddy/proggy rug. This lady does a great job explaining how it's done, plus her accent is fantastic!

My favorite part about this pillow is that it is completely NO-SEW! Yep, not one single thing is sewn on this pillow, making it perfect for non-sewers (like me!) and older children!

Materials needed:
Oly*Fun fabric by Fairfield
PolyFil polyester fiberfill by Fairfield
proggy tool by Craft Yourself Silly

1. Cut Oly*Fun fabric into strips of approximately 1/2"wide and 2-3" long. You need enough fabric for about three times the area of your finished piece.
2. Get a piece of loose weave burlap. It needs a more loose weave so that the proggy tool will go through the holes more easily. Size of the burlap depends on how large you want your pillow.
3. Fold one edge of the burlap over about 2 inches. Always work from the back of the project (the front will be the fluffy side).
4. Starting in the middle of the row, poke a hole through the burlap with the proggy tool. Use the proggy to poke the fabric through the hole. Then move over three strands of burlap and poke another hole, weaving your fabric into this hole.
5. Move over three more strands of burlap and repeat the process until you get to approx. 2 inches from the ends. Fold over the ends and repeat steps 4 and 5. You will fold over all 4 sides of your burlap until all sides are finished and you have a square.
6. Once your borders are done, continue filling in the middle. You can work in rows or just random -- its up to you!
7. After the burlap is filled in, take a piece of Oly*fun and cut it approx. 2 inches larger on all sides than your burlap square (so if your burlap square is 12x12, then your fabric should be 16x16).
8. Cut fringe into the Oly*fun edge with each fringe strip measuring 2 inches by 1/2".
9. To attach the backing, use your proggy tool to poke the fabric through already established holes once(the backing and fabric will share holes). Repeat until 3 edges are complete. Leave the 4th edge open so you can stuff the pillow.
10. Stuff the pillow with polyester filling.
11. Finish last edge with the larger Oly*Fun backing

To get you started on your own pillow for less, use coupon code AMYCOUP to save 20% on orders at Fairfield World through the month of June!

For more "pillow talk" from other designers, just click on the Designer Crafts Connection logo in the right sidebar!

Learn About the Cricut Explore!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links. 

Want the ability to easily make a personalized wedding gift or perhaps some unique home d├ęcor? Then you might find Cricut electronic cutting machines to be the best DIY crafting tool since the sewing machine. 

There are two machines that Cricut currently offers on their site:
Cricut Explore One™ 

Cricut Explore One™ is a simple design-and-cut system. It’s versatile, easy to use, cuts very precisely, and is also incredibly affordable. With its irresistibly low price and limitless cutting potential, the Explore One is perfect for a new or beginning crafter. Here are a few notable features of the Explore One: 

Materials – All Cricut machines can cut an unbelievable variety of materials, for example:
  • Paper
  • Vinyl
  • Iron-on
  • Craft materials
  • Upcycled materials
  • Fabric
  • Plastic
  • Thick materials
Precision - Features Cut Smart™ technology, which allows you to cut a wide range of shapes and sizes with exceptional precision, from ¼" tall up to 11½" wide x 23½" tall. 

Smart Set® Dial - Each machine features a Smart Set® dial, which sets your settings (e.g. speed, pressure, etc.) for you so you don’t have to keep track of them. You just select the material that you're using on the Smart Set® dial and the machine's Cut Smart® technology will deliver a clean, professional cut. 

Images and Fonts - You can upload your own images and fonts for free on all three Cricut cutting machines.

Cartridges - Both machines work with any Cricut cartridge and have the capability to hold all of your cartridges “virtually” in the cloud within your Cricut Design Space online software. So once you’ve loaded a cartridge, you’ll have it everywhere you go. 

Cricut’s Design Space™ and iPad® app - All Cricut Explore machines work hand-in-hand with Cricut’s Design Space™ (for PC, Mac®, iPad®, and iPhone®) that you get access to for free. 

Cricut Explore Air™

The Explore Air is the whole kit ‘n caboodle. It offers all the impressive features mentioned for the Explore One, but two key things set it apart:
  1. It has a dual carriage for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring in one step. If you do a lot of paper crafting, this is the machine for you!
  2. It has built-in Bluetooth® capability. You just use Cricut’s free iPad app and design anything you want from your iPad, just like you would on your home computer, but with the convenience of being able to take your projects with you anywhere. Then, you can just wirelessly send your project from your iPad to your Explore Air to bring it to life.
Now that you know a lot more about how Cricut Explore® machines work, I’ll focus next week’s post on how you can design here, there and everywhere with Cricut Design Space. You’ll be blown away by how easy it is.

Until then … Happy crafting! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Creating with Joy - Dollar Store Summer Makeover

You may know from my last post that I love summer. However, there is something I love even more than summer: saving money!

I am a crazy frugal girl; heck, I was even a panel speaker at the International Coupon Conference a few years ago! So it is almost needless to say that I do a lot of shopping at the Dollar Tree. I can always find a good bargain there. Just this month, I found a fun tropical print tote bag and a pair of all black sunglasses, each just $1. Cute enough as they were but kind of plain. So I gave these two items a million dollar makeover with Joy embroidered letters!

I used the white varsity letters on the bag to add my initials. Full disclosure here: I didn't iron these letters on since the bag is made of a synthetic material that doesn't hold up to an iron. Instead, I attached the letters using 3-in1 Adhesive from Beacon Adhesives and it worked perfectly. However, if you use a bag that is made from canvas or another fabric that won't melt when subjected to heat, iron those letters on -- it's super easy! Just iron from the back side of the fabric!

Next, I used Joy's small monogram letters to add my initials to each side of the glasses again using Beacon's 3-in-1. And since a girl can never have enough bling, I added a clear rhinestone to the letter and used black adhesive rhinestone sheets from The Buckle Boutique to decorate the earpieces (I laid the earpieces down on a sheet of scratch paper and traced around them, then used that as a template for cutting my rhinestone sheets).

Now, instead of just an everyday bag and pair of glasses, I can hit the pool looking like a million bucks!

Want more ideas on how to use Joy letters? Come on over to the Creating with Joy blog. My fellow designers have some amazing ideas!

Materials used:
Joy embroidered letters
tote bag and glasses from the Dollar Tree
adhesive rhinestone sheets from The Buckle Boutique
adhesive from Beacon Adhesives
single rhinestone from Want2Scrap

Disclosure: I received these embroidered letters from Joy as a part of their design team. However, I received no compensation or consideration from Dollar Tree or any other companies included in this post. All opinions are my own.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Vacation Dry Erase Countdown Calendar

"Summer summer summertime
Time to sit back and unwind..."

Yeah, so I am channeling my inner DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince right now. Why? Because it's summer!

I have always loved summer. The laid-back times, the hot weather, my birthday -- I love everything about it. But the best thing about summer has to be vacation. It seems like almost everyone takes a summer vacation and it's something to look forward to during those long winter months.

So how about a summer vacation countdown calendar to mark the days until your getaway?

I used the Deflecto sign holder that is made especially for cubicles (it comes with mounting clips, Velcro, and magnets so that you can mount it almost anywhere). Won't your co-workers be jealous of your upcoming adventure and your cool calendar? Just keep track of the days with a dry-erase marker, writing the days left on top of that cute little die-cut suitcase.

So where are you going this summer?

Materials used:
"Going Places" and "Base Camp" Cricut cartridges
We R Memory Keepers "Jet Set" collection
SEI paper and washi tape
K and Co. dimensional stickers 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. As a member of the Deflecto Design Team I have been provided product in exchange for my creative ideas, views and opinions.
Images by Freepik