*After coveting all kinds of adorable bags this summer, but not really feeling comfortable enough to commit to buying one. I thought I’d try my hand at making one.
I actually had Jury Duty last Monday and thought I’d do a bit of hand sewing on the bag for something to do while I waited, for what seemed like forever. Luckily I was not picked for a jury.
I also used my bleach pen technique (that I blogged about in a previous post) to create the polka-dot pattern on the top linen panel.
I found these copper rivets at Stanley’s Hardware Store in Roxboro. After a whole lot of hammering I got them in and secured.
I decided to name the bag after both of my grandmothers, Betty, my Mom’s Mom and Jane, my Dad’s Mom. I used a Leather Alphabet Stamp Set from Tandy that I found at my local Michaels Arts and Crafts store to create the tag.
The directions that came with the stamp set didn’t really work. So I decided to improvise; I held the letter stamp that I wanted to use in a candle flame for a few seconds, this warmed up the metal, and the stamp built up soot on it. I then stamped the soot covered letter into the leather using a hammer. After it cooled I sprayed it with crystal clear to seal in the soot so that it wouldn’t smudge.
Then I just had to figure out the right place for the label and rivet it on.
Even though the bag wasn’t quite done I just had to try it on ^_^.
Next I had to work out the strap issue. I had bought these strips of suede to use as the handles. The only problem was that they came wrapped around a piece of cardboard and when I unraveled them they were crimped and wouldn’t flatten out. But after a great suggestion from my friend Julia, I put a piece of paper on top of them and carefully steam ironed the straps and they flattened right out! Thanks Julia!
I then added little stud feet to the bottom to help keep the leather off the ground when putting the bag down.
Riveted on the tag.
Completely lined the inside of the bag with pillow ticking. (This may have been the trickiest part)
And my Betty Jane tote bag was complete. And I am completely in love with it! ^_^
I have to be honest and say that I don’t have as many pictures of my process as I would like because I wasn’t quite sure that I’d be able to do it. But after creating a beautiful bag that I’m just in love with, and getting tons of great feed back from family and friends, I’ve decided that I will be making more. And with that said I will make sure to take some better in progress pictures…
*Trying to beautify our front porch/stoop, got me thinking of a new DIY project. An outdoor storage bench, providing both storage and a nice place to sit and read a book.
After a quick trip to Lowes Home Improvement Store I had all the things I needed to get started.
After creating a pretty simple box, I just needed to build a hinged lid and start staining.
I found this really great stain at Lowes called “Sunbleached” by Rustoleum.
It turned out a great color, looking worn and sun-baked.
A couple of outdoor throw pillows from the Crate and Barrel Outlet and a bench seat cushion I found on Hayneedle and we’ve made the perfect little place to sit in the shade and read a book or watch the neighborhood go by. ^_^
Grabbed these palettes that someone was throwing away with a project in mind.
It took quite a bit of work to figure out the best way to take them apart, but once that was done I was ready to go.
These smaller pieces, that I cut down with my chop saw, were the only material that I had to buy for this project. Total cost: $2.00
A bunch of screws later and …Tada! Palette wood flower box, now just time to put them out front and load them up with beautiful plants.
*A special thanks to Becky and Scott for dropping the palettes off for me ^_^.
*Though we still have some catching up to do, I wanted to add this post in since I just finished the project this morning.
I picked up this old wire lampshade at a Philly Flea Market the other weekend, for just a couple of bucks, and I had the perfect project in mind for it. To create a new, unique, light fixture for our bedroom. The one we had was just an old round frosted piece of glass that had yellowed with age and didn’t provide the prettiest light.
I picked up a 1/4in. x 50ft ball of twisted sisal, multi-purpose rope, from our local hardware store, Stanley’s Hardwear. I grabbed one ball that was a light color and another that was a darker brown color so that I could create a stripe at the bottom of my shade.
After stitching the rope around the top of my shade I simply began to wrap it around the shade, using a clothes pin to hold it from time to time as I untangled knots that gathered in my ball of rope.
After I got about three quarters of the way down my shade, I took my darker rope and stitched it to the end of my lighter rope with a thread and needle. And I continued wrapping the darker rope down the rest of my shade to create a contrasting stripe.
Once my shade was completely wrapped in rope I stitched the end of the rope around the bottom of my metal shade with a needle and thread. I then took a scissor to my shade, to trim off the longer fibers that were sticking out. Then it was time to attach my shade to my light fixture. I made sure to turn off the power to the light from the light switch as well as turned the power off to the entire room from the fuse box, to be extra careful and safe from being electrocuted.
It took some doing but I took the wing nut off of my light fixture, put my shade up and secured it back on with the same wing nut, which held up my shade perfectly ^_^.
Our new DIY rope light fixture throws much more light then our old one did and looks rustic and cool too! ^_^