We’ve got ANOTHER great contributor this week!
Gifts are one of the trickiest parts of the Spending Fast/Spending Diet. Just how do you show someone you care without spending money on them? Here’s a post on JUST that topic (from Day 29!).
Today’s contributor has created a great Do-It-Yourself gift idea that I think just about anyone would love to receive. The little heart is soo cute! (you’ll see!)
My name is Katie, and like many of you, I fell victim to societal pressures to spend. I read fashion magazines and saw cute spring clothes that I just had to have. I bought a new phone because all my friends’ phones had video cameras and internet, and my old, normal phone seemed so old… and normal. I spent $20 on pretty measuring cups from Anthropologie (that now I’m too afraid to use because they cost $20). However, I realized that working 40 hours a week just to shop away all my paychecks didn’t make me a happier or more fulfilled person. Instead, that lifestyle led to a closet filled with clothes I never wear, too much credit card debt, and a plan to change it all.
I come from a long line of crafters- creative and imaginative people who made things instead of bought things. When I was a child, I couldn’t care less that my Halloween costume was homemade. In fact, I thought it was pretty cool. I cherished my glamorous Barbie mansion made from shoeboxes and painted popsicle stick furniture. And I will never forget the fun times we had creating something together- it made it way more special than just running over to the mall.
So I’m on a mission now to follow in my ancestors’ creative footsteps. I’m going to rid myself of bad shopping habits by putting my sewing and crafting skills to good use. When I see something I want to purchase, I will instead just try to make it myself. Nowadays, it is so easy to just hand over a credit card that we forget how fun, simple, and inexpensive the Do-It-Yourself version can be.
Let’s take Anthropologie, for example. I swoon over their mix of rustic, eclectic, and elegant styles, but their prices are much too high for your average recessionista. $128 for a pillow? I could make two student loan payments with that. Or buy a month’s worth of groceries. Or 128 bottles of Snapple.
Since we are all on our own missions to stop spending and get out of debt, I’m going to show you how to make a pretty, Anthropologie-inspired gift for a fraction of the Anthropologie price.
Home is Where the Heart is Pillow
What you will need:
– ½ yard fabric with a cute print, or a pre-sewn, blank 14” x 14” pillowcase
– Sewing machine (optional- you can also use a pre-sewn pillowcase as mentioned above)
– 1 skein (8 meters) of embroidery floss in the color of your choosing
– Pencil or invisible ink marker
– Embroidery hoop
– Small piece of red felt
– America template (PDF here)
– 14” x 14” pillow form
*Note: I purchased all the supplies for this pillow at a craft store for about $11.
1) Iron fabric flat.
2) From the fabric, cut out one square that is 15 ½” on all sides. Then cut out two rectangles 15 ½” x 10”.
3) Cut out America template. Tape the cutout in the center of the square piece of fabric.
4) Carefully trace around the outside of the cutout with your pencil or invisible ink marker. (Once you embroider over the lines, you won’t be able to see the pencil marks).
5) Place the area with the design inside the embroidery hoop to hold the fabric tight.
6) Take a piece of your embroidery floss. Each piece is made up of 6 smaller strands. Split the piece of floss in half so that you are holding three strands in each hand. Thread your needle with three strands and set the other three aside.
7) Even if you have never embroidered before, this is a piece of cake! You are just following the lines that you traced with the embroidery floss. Poke the threaded needle from the back of the fabric to the front, then back down about 1/8 of an inch from where you started. Then make the second stitch, moving the needle from back to front about 1/8 of an inch from the first stitch. Bring the needle back down right where you ended the previous stitch, so that the stitches connect in a line. This is called a backstitch. Continue these stitches all the way around the traced area.
8) Make a heart cutout from your red felt and place it over the state you love! Sew in place by making a simple “X” with your embroidery floss.
9) Set the square piece aside and place the two rectangle pieces next to each other with the printed sides facing down. Along the long side facing the middle, fold the fabric back ½ an inch and pin. Do this on both pieces. Sew along this seam on each piece, removing pins as you go.
10) Place the embroidered piece facing right side up. With printed sides facing down, line up the unfinished long sides of the rectangle pieces with the right and left sides of the square, and the hemmed sides facing the middle (these pieces will overlap). Pin the pieces in place. Note: the printed sides of the fabric should be facing each other, not the outside.
11) Sew around entire border of pillow. Turn fabric right side out and gently poke the corners with the eraser of your pencil. Topstitch around the border of the square to create a finished look.
12) Insert pillow form, and you’re all done!
Katie Naugle from Hazel and Mare ● THANK YOU ● for being a part of And ThenWe Saved!