Category Archives: Sew

The Placemat Pillow

If you visit this blog very often, then you know that we love a good deal and an easy project. And I’m happy to announce that this post has both of those criteria covered for you. Just like the title states, this is about the placemat pillow. A simple throw pillow made from, you guessed it, a placemat.

Placemat Pillow 1

I found this cool green trellis placemat at Target when I was visiting my sister. (Read more about that adventure here.)

Placemat Pillow 2

To make a placemat into a pillow, use a fabric placemat that has two panels attached to each other. I started by using a seam ripper to create a hole in one corner big enough for my hand to fit through.

Placemat Pillow 3

Next, I shoved a bunch of pillow stuffing inside. (This was seriously the most time consuming part of this project.)

Placemat Pillow 4

Then, using a needle and similar color thread to the original, I sewed the opening closed with a simple stitch. And that was it!

Placemat Pillow 5

These little pillows are so fun to whip up and would make such a great housewarming or holiday gift.

Placemat Pillow 6

So, what do you think? Have you ever made a pillow out of a placemat? Or have you used another method to create a throw pillow that is ridiculously simple? Let us know!

Pocket Hand Warmers

The weather outside is frightful. Like -35 wind chill. Yikes. And with the blustery weather we’ve had lately, it just seemed like a no brainer that I should whip up some toasty hand warmers to keep our family warm when we step outside.


I’ve seen a bunch of different tutorials and ideas for hand warmers similar to these on Pinterest (love this look from Armommy,) but I wanted to share the way I made them, just in case your hands need a little warming as well.

Warning: This project requires a sewing machine, that is, unless you have copious amounts of time to hand sew. Unfortunately, my sewing machine hates fabric thicker than tissue paper. (Thanks to my parents for trying to fix it!) After way too much time spent messing with that dinosaur of a machine, I stole my daughter’s brand new one and finished these off.

To start out, I cut out two 3″x3″ pieces of fabric and placed the wrong sides together, pinning them so they wouldn’t slip apart while I was sewing.

Hand Warmers 2

Next, I sewed along each side…

Hand Warmers 3

But left a small opening so I could add some rice filler.

Hand Warmers 4

Then, with some pinking shears, the edges were trimmed to prevent fraying.

Hand Warmers 5

Using a funnel made from paper, I poured 1.5 tablespoons of brown rice into each hand warmer and sewed the opening shut.

Hand Warmers 6

Hand Warmers 7

To warm these little guys up, just pop a pair of them into the microwave for 10-20 seconds (times may vary) and put them in your coat pockets. No more chilly winter hands!

Hand Warmers 8

10 Minute DIY Infinity Scarf

It is COLD outside. Brrrr! With such cool temperatures, it is very important to stay warm when venturing out. I decided to make an infinity scarf to keep myself toasty and looking adorable while doing it.

DIY infinity scarf 5

To make your own in 10 minutes or less, follow along with what I did.

Supplies Needed

1 1/2 yards of fabric

Rotary Cutter

Cutting Mat

Fabric Ruler/ Straight Edge

Straight Pins

Sewing Machine

DIY Infinity Scarf

First, I spread the fabric out on my cutting mat and used the rotary cutter and straight edge ruler to cut a strip of fabric that was 54″ long by 20″ wide.

DIY Infinity Scarf 2

Next, I sewed a zigzag stitch down both sides of the fabric measuring 54″. This will help so my scarf doesn’t unravel on me while I’m wearing it.  That could be almost as embarrassing as showing up for school naked and nobody wants that.

DIY infinity scarf 3

The two edges measuring 20″ were lined up, right sides facing each other and pinned together. This is especially important if you are using a stretchy fabric like I did, as the stretchiness can make it more difficult to sew.

DIY infinity scarf 4

With a straight stitch and a 1/4″ seam allowance, I sewed the ends together. Then, I flipped it right side out and was finished.

DIY infinity scarf 6

This took what seemed like no time at all and it is super cute. I am now ready to brave the negative temps. Well, maybe I’m not that brave.


Octonauts Costumes and DIY Sailor’s Hat

The Disney Jr. show, Octonauts, is a favorite in our house. So it was no surprise to me that our little ones choose to be Kwazi the cat and the polar bear Captain Barnacles for Halloween. There are not commercial costumes for these characters, but lucky for my two, I love any DIY challenge.

Costume 13

An orange shirt and pants were the base of the Kwazi outfit. Felt triangles were attached to a headband for the ears. My little guy made sure I even cut a tiny chomp in one of the ears just like Kwazi’s.The eye patch was also felt. This worked great for a 3 year old because he was able to shift it slightly to see while still maintaining the pirate look. I used felt for the tummy and collar. The tail was a awesome find from the dollar store.

Costume 11

To make the hat, I drew the pattern for the main portion of it on the fold of a piece of paper. Next, I traced it on to felt and cut out four equal pieces. The rounded triangles are about 4 inches wide and 5 inches tall. Assume a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Costume 2

Then, I pinned the pieces side by side together and sewed them to form this cone like shape.

Costume 3

To make the brim of the hat, I cut a strip of felt 15 inches long and 3 inches high. The dark blue piece was cut for the stripe around the hat. It measures 15 inches long and only 1/2 inch high.

Costume 4

With the cone still inside out, I attached the brim to the hat with pins.

Costume 5

Using a sewing machine, they were sewed together.

Costume 6

Costume 7

To hem the hat, I turned the whole thing right side out. I folded the edge up, pinned and sewed.

Costume 8

After that, I folded the brim up.  That’s when it starting looking like a hat.

Costume 9

Finally, using my trusty hot glue gun, I attached the stripe and the Octonauts logo. (The Logo, I found here and printed it out on printable fabric.)

Costume 10

This hat could work for so many different costumes, without the Octonauts logo of course. With different fabric it could make a cute hat to accessorize a sailor’s costume.

A little blue sweat suite is what I snagged at Target for Captain Barnacles.  His belt and collar I cut out of blue felt. His Octonauts hat was a much more complicated variation of the Kwazi hat. I’ll spare you the frustrating details of making that one. Using a white hat we already had, I attached two felt half circles with safety pins for the ears.

Costume 12 

The boots for both costumes are their winter boots I covered with, you guessed it, more felt. I took two pieces of felt pinned them together along the outside and hot glued them. Once dry, I flipped them right side out and slid them back onto footwear.

Costume 1

Although it was a lot of work to get these costumes together for my boys, I am very pleased with how they turned out and more importantly, so are they.