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Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

My poor dining room table has been attacked.  Beads, findings, feathers, fabric...you can’t even see the table top anymore.  Honestly, I wish I could leave it like this all the time.  I’m so much more productive when all my gear is just stroon (is stroon a word?) about, standing at ready for me to dive in and make something whenever I get a spare minute or two.  We barely ever use the dining room and its got the perfect amount of table room and great window light for me to work on all my little jewelry bits.  My hubby complains though.  I have a craft room for crafts he says.  Hes right I guess, although really there isn’t enough light or table space in my craft room to get stuff done.  Its like I need a room to store all of my craft stuff, and another to make it all.  Actually, if I’m being honest, the perfect house for me would consist of like 6 “work” rooms.  An office for blogging, a jewelry making room with a giant table and rows of beads and findings, an art room, an interior design studio, a photography studio, and a recording studio (that ones just a bonus, my hubby always wants me to record my songs and stuff for him and I never do).  Maybe someday… maybe someday I’ll pair down on my hobbies!  Yeah right! 🙂  Anyway, in the meantime, the dining table will do, as long as I get her cleaned up every once and a while to please Mr. HunnyBuns.

Anyway, unfortunately for my hubby and our table, I’ve been up to quite a lot this past week or so.  I’ve been having a blast making jewelry nonstop whenever the kids go down or while they’re playing by themselves.

Here are all the things I’ve made:

The necklace below was inspired by this design that I saw on Pinterest:

And heres mine, made out of an old t-shirt and wooden beads:

And heres a great tutorial on knotted fabric beading if you want to make your own.

I also saw this necklace on Anthropologie and was inspired to make my green and gray knot necklace below.

And here is my necklace using a similar technique.  I used prestrung seed beads from Walmart’s craft section so it made it super quick and easy to loop them together and attach the chain to the ends.  The little jewel is just a clip on earring I move around from necklace to necklace when I wanna glam it up.

I saw this on Urban Outfitters and was inspired to make my teal feather necklace below.

Heres mine.  I made mine a bit different but I LIKE MINE BETTER. 😉

I also saw this tutorial on Pinterest and made a jersey necklace like it from an old shirt and wooden beads.

Heres mine:

Thats all I have time to show you right now!  But come back soon!  I have TONS more! 🙂

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I’ve suddenly become obsessed with making clothes.  I blame it on Pinterest and all the adorable ideas I’ve been exposed to.  In one of my lives (lets pretend we get lots) I would love to be a fashion designer.  *Sigh*  Instead though, I have been breaking out my sewing machine and pretending I’m one.

Don’t get me wrong though.  I seriously am NOT a seamstress.  I know very little about sewing actually and I never follow patterns.  I don’t know if I even know how to read patterns.  I just sketch ideas out as they come or try to figure out how to make things based on other items I’m inspired by.  This is why my little sewing tutorials are relatively easy.  Because I don’t think I could pull of anything much harder.

When I do get the itch to sew something, I usually turn to jersey fabric or a stretchy knit.  This stuff is so easy to work with and doesn’t fray so hemming edges isn’t necessary unless you want it to be.  I went to the fabric store the other day in search of a fun print in a knit to make a maxi dress after becoming obsessed with the kimono style maxi dresses I’d seen on Pinterest and Etsy lately.  I took both my boys, and quickly perused the options in between shoving cookies into my screaming 14 month old and reprimanding my 4 year old for unrolling bolts of fabric down the aisle.  Ugh.  Can I just say how much I HATE shopping with my kids.  By the way, any tips on that matter would be appreciated!  Anyway, I found this colorful, kind of native american-esqu, ikat-ish print that I loved and lucky for me was 40% off.  I got 3 yards for $23.  Enough to make my maxi dress and a little whatever-else-I-feel-like-making later.  Anyway, this is a really easy dress and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!  Hope you like it and have fun making your own!

Cost:  About $23 or so depending on the fabric

Supplies:

  • 2 and a half yards or so of stretchy knit fabric
  • Coordinating thread.
  • Elastic for waistline.
  • Pins.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Scizzors.

1.  Refer to my little sloppy sketches below that kind of walk you through it.

2.  The sketches pretty much lay it out for you but I’ll give you some extra tips.

  • TIP 1:  Try this on a lot as you go to make sure its fitting you well.  OR, take a maxi or long dress you already own and find the proper length for your new dress from that.
  • TIP 2:  Leave at least 12 inches open at the armholes when you sew up the sides, if you want less of an opening, you can always sew up more of the armhole after you try it on.  P.S.  When sewing, sew right sides together and use a knit stitch (or zigzag stitch) on your machine to allow the fabric to continue to stretch.  Careful not to pull the fabric as you are sewing to avoid rippling.
  • TIP 3:  Cut the neckline by folding the dress in half and cutting a half V on the fold.  This way the neckline will be symmetrical.  Also, cut the neckline pretty conservatively at first.  Since the fabric has stretch it will widen/deepen when you put it on.  You can always cut more from the neckline after you try it on and gauge how deep/wide you’d like it to be.
  • TIP 4:  You can omit the pleating if you’d like along the shoulder area at the neckline.  I just through that on mine for solely decorative reasons.  If you don’t know how to make a pleat, google it.  Its super easy and quickly adds a little “fancy” to any design.
  • TIP 5:  Cut a strip of elastic long enough to wrap around your waistline.  Make it slightly longer than you think you’ll need.  You can always cut the excess off when you’ve sewn it into your dress.  Refer to this post for more tips on sewing in elastic waistlines.

3.  Throw it on when you’re done and accessorize in an oh-so-bohemian-chic kind of way and be proud of your work!

GO DO IT!!  🙂

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I have been crafting like crazy lately, and my house shows it.  There are fabrics, beads, dyes, and odds and ends EVERYWHERE.  I LOVE IT.  It means I’ve done something.  It also means I have one RIDICULOUSLY huge mess to clean up.

Every once in a while I’ll hit a huge surge of creative juices.  Maybe I’m manic.  Or just A.D.D.  Probably both…  ANYWAY, I hit one of these surges around the middle of last week and have been having quite some fun indulging my crafty side.  I feel quite productive.

Probably my most favorite thing I made this past week was this little mustard number I refashioned from a frumpy long white skirt that I got as a gift a while back and NEVER wore.  Not even once.  I’ve been addicted to this site I found recently called Weardrobe and have been in love with all the mustard yellows I’ve been seeing in the fashion world.  So, I went into my closet, in an attempt to create me something MUSTARD.  I saw the skirt and thought, “Hmmm.  I’m sure I can do something with this”.  And I did.  And I love it.

Heres a look at it before:

Heres what I did.

Cost:  About $6  (for the dye)

Supplies:

  • A long skirt.  Preferably pretty straight.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Elastic
  • A long piece of scrap fabric (for the necktie).
  • Brown and yellow RIT dye.  (Find it in the laundry detergent section at Walmart).  I used the liquid kind.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Thread.
  • Scizzors, pins, etc.
Okay!  This is really super easy and I know you’re dying to make it so here are the instructions! 🙂
1.  Refer to my little diagram below.  Sorry, I know its kind of dark.
2.  Basically, you just want to fold your skirt in half and cut off the waistline (mine was elastic) and then cut from the waistline down to the side to create armholes.  Its worth it to throw it on after you cut off the waistline and get a feel for how wide you want your neckline and how large to make your armholes.  Another way to do it is use a tank top you already have as a guide, although you may still need to adjust it a bit.  Make the neckline area a little wider than you would like.  It will be gathered by the necktie in the end.
3.  Next you want to hem all your raw edges you’ve just created.  I don’t own a serger (dangit) so I just zigzag stitched the edges and then folded them under and straight stitched (on the armholes only) about a quarter inch.
4.  The next thing you’ll do it create a pocket at the neckline for the sash/necktie/whatever-you-call-it to go through.  Just fold under about 2 inches or so and straight stitch the bottom of the fold.  *TIP* Be aware of the fabric that you’re working with.  You might need to zigzag stitch the whole thing if you’re working with stretchy fabric.  Mine was linen.
5.  Now you need to make the necktie with your scrap fabric.  I had a cut up old white sheet I used.  I simply made a long sash by cutting out about a 5 inch wide strip and then folded it in half (right sides together) and stitching it together along the edge.   Then I turned it right side out and stitched up the ends.  Then feed it through the neckline pocket you made with both ends coming off to one side in the front.  *TIP*  Use a large safety pin attached to the end of your necktie to feed it through the pocket easily.
6.  Now, put on your dress.  It will look kinda like you’re wearing a potato sack with a cute little bow.  Find where you’d like to create a “waist”  and pin that area on each side.
7.  Next, take it off, and mark with straight pins (or a fabric chalk) straight across to the other pin to make a straight waistline guide.
8.  Next, wrap a long piece of elastic around your waist at the same area wear you pinned on your dress.  Find the size/tension that you like and cut the elastic to that size.
9.  Now, sew the elastic onto your dress following the waistline guide you’ve created (turn the dress inside out again and sew the elastic on the inside of the dress).  To sew elastic so that it gathers the fabric (also known as ruching), start off by tacking the elastic down (preferably on a side seam) and then pull on the elastic to stretch it a bit as you slowly stitch it to the fabric.  Practice on scraps first if you have never done this before.  You’ll get the hang of it.  Try to keep the same amount of tension on the elastic through the entire waistline so that it gathers evenly.
AND THATS IT!!  You’ve done it!
Now just follow the dye instructions (if you ARE dyeing) to create a new custom color.  For my mustard yellow color I mixed about 1/4 the bottle of brown dye in with the full bottle of yellow dye and then added it to steaming hot water (about 3 gallons).  It took very little time (about 15 minutes) for my skirt to reach the color I wanted.  Then I simply rinsed it out in cold water and laundered it as usual.
What do you think?  Easy right!?  I’m IN LOVE.
Since its a billion and one degrees here you could still wear it like this:
I love the yellow with the pops of teal for summer.
Or, when it starts cooling down, wear it like this:

Mustard yellow, grey, and pecan.  Yummy.

Heres the BEFORE and AFTER again:

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Hey again everyone!  I told you in the last post that I’d get some new pics of to show you Sawyer’s room now that its all done (13 months after his birth…don’t judge me).  Actually, its been done for a while I’m just slow at posting.  Theres really not TOO much that looks different from the nursery posts before this one, just a few added details that I think pull it all together.  Anyway, here it is.  All DONE.  🙂

Please ignore the stuff on the floor.  Sawyer was in here while I was taking these pics and was dragging all kinds of stuff out.  At least it shows how the room looks in reality!

The white Jenny Lind crib and changing table set I got off of Craigslist for $125.  The vinyl wall mural I found here.

I found the empty frame at Hobby Lobby in the clearance section for $8.  I made the banner with a template and cardstock and chipboard letters I covered in scrapbook paper.  Here is a template you can use to make your own.  (Just cut the little corners off when you fold the top over your string).

Above are some close-ups of Sawyer’s bunting name banner.

The woodsy vinyl wall mural totally MADE this room.  Since I wasn’t spending much on the rest of the room decor, I “splurged” on it and got it for around $100 or so.  I could pick the colors I wanted and I think it turned out FABULOUS against the teal wall.  (p.s.  Sawyer is so cute rockin his new mowhawk!)

A tree branch made the perfect curtain rod for this space.  I also used a tree branch for the DIY mobile below.

This mobile was SUPER EASY to throw together.  A tree branch+wooden cutouts in woodsy shapes from the craft store+orange craft paint+hemp string and a hook screw= a graphic naturalist simple baby mobile.  You can also buy a little hand drill in the wood pieces section of the craft store for easy hole drilling into small wood pieces like this.

The lamp above was made from an old shade I had leftover from a client’s house, and some extra orange and white fleece from other projects.  My little sis helped me cut out a bunch of “leaf shapes” alternating between regular scizzors and pinking shears.  Then I simply sewed them together like a long garland right down the center of each.  I then cut varying lengths off of the “leaf garland” and hot glued them to the lamp shade, being sure to cover the entire shade and vary the lengths that dangled.  It turned out pretty cute I think and was an easy way to add fun, whimsical lighting.

Sawyer’s baby quilt was another DIY project.  I had found a towel at Walmart for $4 that was the PERFECT color and then decided to applique birch trees and leaves onto it with scrap fabric from other projects for the room.  Then I simply bound and backed the entire “towel quilt” with white fleece.  It has held up really well through several washings and ties in the wall mural nicely.

Below is the block printed bird pillow I made.  Martha Stewart has a great tutorial on block printing using Speedy-Carve blocks here.

And below again is another pillow I hand stamped.  That tutorial can be found here.

I also made this DIY fabric wall art.  That tutorial is here.

And above is a pic of the white $4 thrifted antlers (I sprayed them white with high gloss spray paint), and a photo set I took and framed (got the white frames at the Dollar Store), and also a little owl I made with a hand towel and scrap fabric.  I love this little vignette.

So there you go!  This is my cheap and easy DIY’d, aqua, orange, brown, and white, vintage modern, refurbished, thrifted, woodland creatures, little boys nursery.  Phew.  Hope you like it and can go and DIY one for your little man (or woman) ! Happy crafting!

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My Top 10 Tips for Thrift Store Shopping (Fashion Edition)

 

  1.  Scope out the area.  If you are looking for brand names and designer tags shop at thrift stores in high-income areas.  One of my favorite thrift stores to shop at for clothing is in a neighborhood with million dollar homes nearby.  These ladies like to stay up with the latest trends and often donate gently used items after just one season.  If you are a teen or college student wanting to find younger styles, shop at thrift stores near college campuses.  When students move around they’re always “lightening the load”.  Also, if you love more of the retro, vintage fashions, shop near retirement communities.  My grandma used to take me into “Sals” (her nickname for Salvation Army) near her retirement community and we always found some amazing vintage stuff!
  2. Don’t go with a plan.  Thrifting is about the journey so ditch the plan and enjoy the surprise finds.  Hire a babysitter (kids are the biggest thrifting buzz kill), and block out an afternoon for thrifting fun.  Plan on perusing and don’t be focused on a specific item or you might be disappointed (thrifting is a hit or miss) and you might miss out on all the other great stuff hiding on the racks.
  3. Be dressed for success. Wear leggings and a tank top under a loose fitting tunic or dress for quick changes.  Often the dressing rooms are in shambles (doors don’t lock, stuff everywhere, etc.) or they’re just full so trying on stuff in the aisles may be necessary.  If you’re trying on shoes, nylon booties should be worn to prevent any yuckies from transferring to your little feet. 
  4. Go alone.  This may sound greedy but I like to do my thrifting alone.  I can move faster and I don’t have to fight over my great finds with anyone!  The worst feeling is to stare down your friend over a vintage Valentino scarf that’s going for 50 cents!
  5. Thrift on weekdays.  Hit up your thrift stores on a weekday afternoon if possible.  Weekends tend to get CRAZY and the extra people leave chaos in their wake.  Thrifting takes a lot of time and patience to sort through all the “rough” to find those “diamonds” and the rush of weekends can feel nerve-wracking and force you to walk out empty-handed or with a bunch of stuff you don’t really like.  Also, typically thrift stores run their specials on weekdays so call ahead or check online if you want to get a double-steal.
  6. Examine items carefully.  Before you try things on examine each item carefully for any rips, frays, missing buttons, stains, pit marks, or other blemishes.  But keep in mind some of these things can be easily fixed so don’t be too discriminating if you really love something and it’s a great price.  I have bought quite a few brand-name shirts and cardigans that have simply had missing buttons.  Also, if you find an issue you’re confident can be fixed, haggle!  They very well could knock even more off the price for “damaged” items.
  7. Bring cash.  Some thrift stores don’t accept checks and credit cards so bring cash if you’re unsure of the stores policy.  Also, dealing in cash will help you stick to a budget because it’s like my husband says, “A great price still ain’t FREE!”. J
  8. Create a clothing FLOW in your closet.  To cut down on a cluttered and overflowing closet, prior to thrifting, go through your clothes and find items that you don’t wear anymore (come on, you don’t REALLY wear those tie-dyed t’s anymore).  Bag them and bring them with you to donate.  Not only does this help the “circle of clothing life” but it will open up space for your new stuff.
  9. GET CREATIVE!  Develop an eye for repurposing and upcycling.  For example, you like the print on a dress but hate the shoulder pads and weird neckline.  Can you cut in off at the waist and make it into a skirt?  Or what about those espadrilles with the broken buckle?  Can you swap out the buckle for ribbon ties?  These are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself all through your thrifting journey.  But keep in mind there is a cap on how much work you want to be doing for the price.  A $10 dress isn’t really a $10 dress when you put $20 extra of new notions and fabric to it and 18 hours of extra work.  There are plenty of FANTASTIC resources for ideas on repurposing and upcycling clothing.  Here are a few I found just to get the wheels turning:  http://craftingagreenworld.com/2008/05/23/girl-reconstructed-upcycling-old-clothes

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?board=8.0             http://www.youtube.com/user/ThreadBanger

http://nikkishell.typepad.com/wardroberefashion/

http://refashionco-op.blogspot.com/

http://www.restylistas.com/

http://sewknitme.blogspot.com/

http://km-17.blogspot.com/2010/07/avec-2-chemises-dhomme.html

http://mytwobutterflies.blogspot.com/2011/03/spring-cardigan.html

http://thethriftstoreeducator.blogspot.com/

http://cottonandcurls.blogspot.com/

       10.  HAVE FUN!!!  Enjoy the journey and have fun!  Try on all kinds of things that you wouldn’t normally pick and think outside of the box.  Oh and DO NOT miss out on the accessories!  Purses, scarves, hats, jewelry, belts… you can find some amazing things!  And DON’T FORGET, when you get home with all your new finds, always wash before you wear and spray any shoes with disinfectant spray.

 

HAPPY THRIFTING!!


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OK!  Did you have fun with the last tutorial?  Are you ready for another cute little design?  Lets dive right in then shall we!

Cost: $6 or so

Supplies:

  • Access to a computer that has the internet and your fabulously creative mind.
  • Something to stick your design on when your done (shirt, bag, burp cloth, pillow, etc.)
  • Printable cotton sheet(s).  The one I used is from Walmart and madeAvery.  You can get a pack of 3 sheets (the size of standard computer paper) for around $6.  I made 8 t-shirt appliques out of the 3 sheets.
  • Scizzors
  • Thread and sewing machine.  (Don’t worry, this is super beginner seamstress stuff.)
  • An iron.

1.  The first thing you want to do is get online and go to www.picnik.com.  If you don’t already have an account create one now for free or buy the premium version.  You will only need the free version for this tutorial.

2.  Next find your file “blank white” that you have saved to your computer from previous tutorials (c’mon, I have to just assume that you have done EVERY tutorial on my blog by now right?! :) ) or just simply google “blank white” and save a blank white jpeg file to your computer.  Then upload the “blank white” file to picnik.  It will then pop up under the “Edit”tab.  Here you can resize it or rotate it if you need to.

3.  Next head over to the “Create” tab and find the “Text” button there.

4.  In the text box start typing the alphabet, 4 letters per line.  Use “COURIER NEW” font.  Leave the font color black and size the text to fit your blank image well.

5.  Now determine what word(s) you would like to “hide” within the alphabet.  Since I am using this to make sibling shirts I used “BIG BRO” for mine.  Figure out where you’d like to hide your words.  This works best if you hide your words in place of a letter that falls correctly within the alphabet.  For example, I kept the letter “I” in the appropriate placement within the alphabet and put “B” and “G” around it.  Once you determine where you’d like your words, go back to the text box and replace those letters with spaces.
6.  Click out of that text and add new text in the text box.  Since my “B” in “BIG” fell on a different line as the “IG” I had to add the “B” separately than the “IG”.  Also, change the color of this text to something that will stand out from the rest of the alphabet.  Resize your text to fit the size of the alphabet text.
7.  And thats pretty much the design!  I also decided to fill in the gap at the end of the alphabet after the “YZ” with a cute little graphic just to add something fun and make the entire design uniform.  To do this I just went to the “Stickers” tab and found “Common Symbols”.  I like the truck and the car graphic and added that to the end in the same color as the hidden words.
8.  And thats pretty much the design!  Customize it as you see fit or just use my templates to make your own sibling shirts.  At this point you want to save this design to your computer and the click “Continue Editing” in picnik if you’d like to change the “BIG” to “LIL” or whatnot.
9.  Now, to print this off on your printable cotton, open up a print layout program on your computer and size these and lay them out the way you’d like.  I sized the “lil bro” design a bit smaller than the “big bro” design because my son’s shirts aren’t the same size.  When it seems to be how it needs to be print out your designs on printable cotton.
10.  Cut around your design and following the directions on the printable cotton packaging, iron them in place on your t-shirt (or item of choice).

11.  If you’re not keen on sewing you could be done at this point but I’m not sure how well the applique will hold up to washing.  I simply sewed quickly around the edges to secure it.

And thats it!  Have fun with this design and customize it all you want!

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I needed a light over by the daybed in my office/guest room and I really didn’t want to spend a lot so I took a paper round paper lantern that was hanging without a purpose in my son’s room and decided it would do the job.  The only problem is it looked so boring, just this white glowing orb against a white wall.  I didn’t want to do a lot to it, just a little something to make it more fun.  I decided to make a few flowers and attach them to it kind of cascading down one side.  I’m pretty pleased with it now.  I think it gives just the right amount of pizazz.

This tutorial is really about how to make the singed flowers I used for the lantern.  Singed flowers are very easy to make and a quick project that you can create and use for several different purposes.  Here are some ideas of ways to use singed fabric flowers:

  • Decorate a lamp shade or hanging lantern like I am doing here.
  • Make some adorable shoe clips.  I found these at StyleHive.com.
  • Attach a pin back and use them as a brooch or hang them asymmetrically off a drapey necklace.  This one I found at MissPriss.com.
  • Or as a flower BIB style necklace like this one by SheersSerendipity on Etsy.
  • Make a “never-die” corsage.  This one I found at FabulouslyArtsy.com.
  • Attach them to a headband, hair clip, or bobby pin.  I found this stretchy headband here.
  • Make a ribbon belt and attach them to it.  This one is from PaperSilkMade on Etsy.
  • Attach them to napkin rings for a beautiful springtime place setting.  This would also be great at a bridal shower or luncheon and make flowered pony tail holders that are around each napkin to use as a take-home gift after the meal.
  • Attach them to a clutch or purse.  This one was found by BellaFiore2009 on Etsy.
  • Use them as tie backs for drapes to dress up windows.
  • Sew them onto pillows.  I found this cute little one at HookedonHouses.net.
  • Make white ones to attach to a wedding veil.  This gorgeous birdcage veil with flower I found at SnowWhiteStudio on Etsy.

So, as you can see, once you learn this little technique you can make countless amazing little doo-dads for you, your home, and all your friends!

So lets get started then:

Cost: $4 for the light kit.  The rest I had on hand.  The total cost of this project would probably be around $10-$15.

Supplies:

  • A paper lantern. Find these at Ikea for about $5.
  • A light kit. Also at Ikea for about $4.
  • Chiffon, organza, satin, etc. scrap fabric. I used white chiffon that I got out of the remnant bin at Joann’s Fabrics.  Basically you want a synthetic light weight fabric that will “melt” a bit under intense heat.
  • A needle and thread.
  • Something to decorate the center of your flower. I made a little fluffy center out of scrap fabric that coordinated with my room.  You can use beads, rhinestones, fabric, buttons, etc to give your flowers centers.
  • A glue gun.
  • A candle and lighter.

And thats it!

1.  Cut your fabric into circles (or petal shapes if you’d like).  Cut various sizes from large to small.

2. Light a candle.  It is best to use one that is not inside a canister or glass cup.  Just so its easy to get close to the flame.

3.  Hold an edge of one of the fabric circles several inches from the flame and move in closer (slowly, you don’t want to catch it on fire!) until you see the edge begin to melt a bit and curl.

4.  Turn your “petal” to singe all along the edge of the fabric to create a complete “bowl-like” petal.

5.  Continue to singe all the fabric circles to create petals in varying sizes.

6.  Layer your petals to create a flower.  You can layer more or less depending on the size and fullness you’d like.  Play around with the petal layout to create different looks or layer them all the same to create uniform looking flowers like the ones I attached to my lantern.

7.   Using your needle and thread, attach all the petals together through the center.

8.  Depending on what you’re using as a center piece, attach that with the needle and thread.  I used a small round piece of blue-green fabric that i frayed and pinched to create a little “tassle” in the center of my flower.

9.  Create the rest of your flowers the same way.  I made 5 for my paper lantern.

10.  Arrange them on your lantern in a way that you’d like and use straight pins to temporarily maintain that layout as you glue them down one by one with a dot of hot glue.

11.  Enjoy your fancy new paper lantern!

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