DIY How To

Our take on some DIY Projects

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Christmas Stocking

For the past few years, Mike and I have been using our old, mismatched, childish stockings from our youth. While they hold sentimental value, they aren't going to hold up much longer.  Plus, we wanted a fresh start with coordinated stockings. So began the search.  All of the great ones I found were way too expensive. $50 for a stocking that's going to hold maybe $20 worth of stuff?! No way!

Last year, one of my presents was a sewing machine.  Now, I'm no Martha, but I figured I could manage to sew a stocking for much less than Pottery Barn was asking.  Well, after a frustrating first attempt which included way to many pauses to pull out bad stitching, I finally hit a groove and am very happy with the results. 

There are about a million ways to personalize your stockings and to make them unique.  Just google "home-made stockings" and you get a ton of hits with directions, ideas, etc.  Ours were pretty simple and cheap.  Here's what I did.

Supplies Needed:

 2 sq feet of red fleece (for each stocking; I got mine on sale for $3.99/yd at Joann's)

1 yard green fleece (total--this should make several stockings)

sewing machine with lots of white thread (I went through an entire spool, granted I made many mistakes)

white puff paint (a small bottle should be plenty)

sharp scissors

white crayon or paint pen

iron-on letters

 

1. First you need to draw a template of what you want your stocking to look like. I used an existing stocking and traced it onto the red fleece.  Using a white crayon or pen, gently trace the outline, adding about 1"-1 1/2" extra around the stocking. 

*NOTE: There are two sides to the fleece, one is fuzzier.  I wanted the less fuzzy side to be the outside of the stocking, so make sure when you trace, that you trace on the side you want inside the stocking so your markings don't show.  Also, consider which way you want your stockings to hang, and if you want them to all "face" the same way. This will impact how you trace.

traced template of my stocking

 

2. Cut out the template and use it to trace and cut the second side of the stocking (and any other additional stockings you may be making).

3. The first bit of sewing will be putting a hem along the top opening of the stocking.  With the inside of the stocking facing up, fold down the top edge about 3/4" and sew along this hem line.  Repeat for the back piece of the stocking.

4. Cut a strip of the green fleece about 2"-3" tall and as wide as your stocking. This will be the strip where you put your name.  Again, being aware of which side you want facing out, lay the strip of green fabric across the outside of top stocking piece, about 3" from the top and stitch across the top and bottom of the green fleece. 

adding the green fleece name-plate

 

5. Stack the front and back stocking pieces so that the outside is facing in.  Stitch a hem line all the way around the stocking (except for the top edge!) about 1/2" in from the outer edge. 

6. Flip the stocking inside out and voila! your stocking is almost done! 

7. To add a "hook" to hang your stocking with, cut a piece of the green fleece approximately 1" x 4". I used the sewing maching to attach this to the corner, but hand sewing might be easier.  It was a bit tedious to attach this with the sewing machine, given the hem that was already there. I tried it many ways and I think hand-sewing would be easiest.  Just stitch the ends of the green fleece to the front and back corner of the stocking.  Now you're ready to decorate.

8. I used iron-on white letters for our names. Super easy.  You can also sew these on, but at this point, I was D-O-N-E with sewing!

9. Marley's was the first stocking I did and I had intentions of stitching a "toe" and "heel" into the stocking as seen here, but the thread was so thin, it barely showed up. So I whipped out the puff paint and I think that made all the difference. Below is the finished product. 

and here are all 4 stockings on our "mantle"

 

DIY Headboard

I recently made one of these for my sister. There are lots of different How-Tos on the web for this project. I read a bunch of instructions and melded them together to this easy how-to.  This can be done with 1 person, but it's much easier to have a second set of hands.  

 

Supplies Needed

Plywood

Batting

Foam

Fabric

Staple gun (and lots of staples)

Pencil

Buttons (optional)

Craft wire (optional)

Drill

Measuring tape

Large needle w/ large eye

 

1. Measure your bed.  You’ll want the headboard to be just as wide as the bed.  The height will depend on how you mount it.  See mounting procedures below--READ THEM BEFORE PROCEEDING.

 

2. At a home improvement store, have a piece of plywood cut to your measurements. Most places will do this for free.

 

3.  If you want to have decorative buttons on your headboard, it’s important to measure off what part of the headboard will be visible above the mattress.  Draw a line across the back of the plywood so you know where this boundary is. 

 

4. Then measure out where you want your buttons to be.  (I did two rows of three, centered.)  Drill through these holes. 

 

5. The foam is used to pad the headboard, so you only need enough foam to cover the part of the headboard that will be above the mattress. You can cover the whole headboard if you want to.  This is where it’s nice to have a 2nd set of hands.  Have one person hold the plywood.  Making sure you have enough foam to stretch across the whole piece, wrap the foam around one side edge and staple gun it into place on the backside.  Then stretch it across the other side and staple gun it into place.  Then fold the top of the foam over the top edge of the plywood and staple it into place.

 

6. It’s important to make sure it’s stretched tight with no wrinkles.  Once you have the foam stretched and a few staples in place, go back around the edges, stapling every few inches to make sure it’s secure.

 

7. Using the same procedures as with the foam, staple the batting onto the plywood over the foam. Since batting is pretty thin, I suggest folding it over and using a double layer.  You can use more layers if you want the headboard to be thicker, but make sure your staples are long enough to go through all the layers.

 

8. Finally, you’ll want to cover the headboard with the fabric. Although you only used foam on the top part of the plywood, I suggest covering the entire piece with fabric. You don’t want someone to spot an ugly bit of plywood behind your bed.  Again, use the same procedure as with the foam and batting.  Make sure there are no wrinkles in your fabric. You can iron it before or after you affix it. I recommend before to ensure there’s no issues after you’ve already stapled it down.

 

9. To affix the buttons, cut 1 6” strip of craft wire for each button.  Thread the button onto the wire. Holding the two end of the wire together, and letting the button hang down in the middle, thread BOTH ends of the wire into the needle’s eye. 

 

10.  Stick the needle through the pre-drilled holes from the fabric side of the headboard through to the back side. When it’s through, pull the needle off the wire and staple gun the ends of the wire to the back of the board to secure them. You may also want to put a dob of hot glue over the staple to ensure the wire doesn’t slide through over time.  Repeat this process for all the buttons.

 

 

Mounting the Headboard

There are a few ways you can do this.  I simply slid the bottom of the headboard into the bed frame. This holds it about 8” off the ground and the mattress and box spring hold it up against the wall. 

 

OR you can just set the headboard on the ground and use the bed to hold it up against the wall.

 

OR to truly mount it, find a stud in the wall behind your bed.  Attach a 2 x 4 to the stud.  You probably want to determine how to mount it before you proceed with making the headboard, as the height of the stud can determine how tall headboard needs to be.  Then attach another 2 x 4 to the back of the headboard.  “Hang” the headboard by resting the headboard’s 2 x 4 on the wall’s 2 x 4. See illustration below.

And some pictures of the finished project . . .

The big picture. You can kind of see in the bottomn right corner how it's resting in the bed frame. There are actually two rows of buttons, but with the pillows, you can only see one here.

 

Close-up

 

extreme close-up of the leaf buttons my sister picked out to go with the flowery theme of her bedspread