Ice Bow

Guys… I’m obsessed with making bows. If I thought, as a woman in her mid-twentys, I could get away with wearing bows in my hair I would. Until then, I’ll just have to settle for making bows for my pups.

Without further ado, the first in my Snow Series, the Ice Bow!

Ice Bow DIY
It has a pretty glass bead in the middle, hence ice bow!

Step 1: Gather and cut your ribbon! The colors and types are optional, but I would definitely suggest using a two-inch wide, a one-inch wide, and a half-inch wide. For my little eight-pound pup I made my ribbons about seven inches long , the bow will be a little less than half that length when finished (for seven-inch pieces, the bow will be a bit less than 3.5 inches long).

Cutting strips of ribbon
Note: I recomend making the half-inch wide piece twice as long as I did above. I found that making it the same length as the other ribbons was too short. 

Step 2: Fold the ends of the two-inch ribbon into the middle and sew through it, loosly gathering it before knotting off your thread. Fold both blue pieces the same way then gather them both on the thread, sewing them onto the white piece.

Putting the Bow Together
In the fourth image I show you how I sewed on the ribbon, in-out in-out, and I recommend you do the same. It will pleat nicely. 

Step 3: Tie the half-inch ribbon around the other two ribbons in a nice bow!

Tie half-inch ribbon on
To get the half-inch ribbon to stay out nicely, you can dab a little hot glue behind the loops.

Step 4: Sew on the button! I recommend a button with two holes that way you can just sew around the bulk of the bow.

Sew on the button

Step 5: Add the eastic! I use a strip of felt, glue one end on, glue over the whole strip, let it dry, slide the elastic on, then glue down the other end.

Adding the elastic
I hot glue over the felt strip to keep it from stretching out. 

Voila! Refer to top of DIY for adorable picture of finished bow!

Please make, make changes, update, and let me know how it goes! Collaborative projects make for the best projects!!

xxEGinny

 

Collar Flowers

The Problem: I’ve got some old flowers cluttering up my house.

Initial flowers
The offenders. Actually, they’re just really pretty so I want to use them!

The Solution: Make them into beautiful collar decorations!

All flowers
For now I’ve made four, but they’re so easy to make more of!

Collar Flower DIY

To make this a doable project for all levels, I wanted to experiment with different ways of making these. Therefore each of the four flowers above will have their own how-to!

(Little) Table of contents:

  • No-sew flower with button
  • No-sew flower without button
  • Sew flower with button
  • Sew flower without button

No-sew flower with button

Step 1: Take apart the flower.

Taking apart the flower
Get rid of all that uncomfortable green plastic!
Taking apart flower
Keep the petals stacked as you go and don’t forget that last petal in the middle!

Step 2: Glue the flowers together.

Gluing flowers
Cut out a small circle of felt and use that as the base for the flower. Use very thin layers of glue because it will all stack up and make the flower really thick.

Step 3: Add the button.

Gluing the button on
You guessed it – trusty ol’ hot glue!

Step 4: Add the elastic.

Adding elastic
Cut out a small strip of felt and use it to loop on the elastic. Gluing the elastic right onto the flower wont hold as well and may even melt it!

No-sew flower without button

Step 1: Glue the flower petals in a stack.

Gluing the flower together
Make sure to use thin layers of glue between flower petals so it doesn’t get too thick.

Step 2: Fold the flower stack first in half, then in quarters, gluing the seams

Folding the flower

Step 3: Cut the bottom of the flower off to flatten it and glue it onto a small circle of felt.

Making the flower bottom flat

Step 4: Add the elastic

Adding the elastic
Cut out a small strip of felt, glue one side onto your felt circle, put the elastic on it, then glue down the other side. Using the strip of felt to hold on the elastic will make it last longer!

Sew flower with button

Step 1: Sew your stack of flowers together with a small circle of felt on the bottom.

Sewing petals together
If you start your needle in the middle of the stack, you can easily hide your knot.
Solving a stuck needle
If you’re impulsive like me and start gluing before you decide you want to sew the flower, the glues gonna make your needle stick. Thimbles help, but I find pilers to be the most helpful!

Don’t forget to sew your button on the front! I found it helpful to sew the petals together a bit before sewing on the button.

Step 2: Sew on the elastic. Simply loop your thread around the elastic and pull tight to secure.

Sewing on the elastic

Sew flower without button

Step 1: Sew the petals together.

Sewing the petals together

Step 2: Fold the flower stack first in half, then in quarters, sewing the seams as you go.

Folding the flower

Step 3: Sew a small felt circle onto the base.

Sewing on the felt
I also sewed around the edges of the felt, pulling in petals to flatten the outside a bit.

Step 4: Sew on the elastic. Simply loop your thread around the elastic and pull tight to secure.

Sew the elastic on

There ya go! Four different collar flowers. I wasn’t sure how my dogs would like these, I was afraid they might be itchy, but they don’t bother them at all! As I type, the little tan Havanese is laying on my lap, completely passed out, with her multi-colored flower on.

xxEGinny

Tea Storage Box

The Problem: I have a lot of tea.

Lots of tea
Okay, so is having a lot of tea really a problem? Definitely not! Is having nowhere to put it because I can’t seem to drink it fast enough a problem? Yeah probably. Side note: yes, that flower box is full of tea.

Welcome to part two in my series of “How on Earth do I Organize my (not) Ikea Storage Cubbies?” Honestly, I use the things I need to store as inspiration for how to use the cubbies. For this storage box, the inspiration was my tea!

If you have not yet seen Part 1: Storing my First Aid Supplies, you can check it out here. You don’t need to do that project in order to do this one, though.

Without further ado…

The Solution:

 

Cubby Storage 2
I’ve been drinking tea like a crazy person since I made this – it’s just so easy to get to now!

Step one: Measure out and tape together your pieces.

Layout
When it says “minus material thickness”, it means to measure how thick whatever material you’re using is (in my case I’m using foam core which is generally 3/16 inch) then subtract it from your height/depth. For example when I calculated my bottom piece, I did 11-(3/16) which is 10 13/16.

When you tape the pieces together, you’re going to want to run packing tape all the way around the seam, front and back. That’s going to make a sturdy hinge. The most important part, though, is to leave room between your pieces so that it bends well. Ideally, you should leave your material thickness times two between your pieces (for example since my material thickness is 3/16, I’d leave 6/16th or 3/8th between my pieces. If you’d like you can see how I did that so that my pieces would be parallel here.

Step two: Decorate the front! Below is the box in the cubby with everything in it, then I realized, of yeah, I should probably make it prettier than just a white piece of foam core… It’s definitely not ideal to decorate it when it’s all done because then you can’t work on a nice flat surface. What a pain in the butt. So here’s where I’m gonna show you how I decorated mine in hopes that you won’t make my same mistake – finishing the box then having to decorate on a vertical surface.

Decorating
I used this wicked awesome textured felt I found on sale at Michaels, but it’s not big enough to cover the whole front and if I used two pieces, there’s no way I could get the textures to line up. The way I solved this problem was to cut the felt to width, then cut a slice off the top, glue the bigger piece to the bottom of the front and the smaller piece to the top of the front and use the empty space as a label! I covered the empty space with some black paper (because I wanted it black) and wrote “Tea” on it. I then used an antique looking button, glued a smaller button on the bottom of it to give it some height, and glued the whole thing on to act as a door pull.

Step three: Create a shelf on the door. Before I did that, I wanted to see if my tins would fit on the door widthwise. My little cutting mat tip is that you can use it to measure spaces. I lined my tins up on it and could see that they would fit in a 10.75×2-inch space, with a little breathing room. I use this measuring method all the time.

Measuring how many tins I can fit_Width
My other little tip: that Get Happy tea is phenomenal. I’m obsessed.
Building a shelf
Heres the bottom and sides of the shelf. Remember when you’re making the bottom, you can make it the width of your cubby ONLY if the sides sit on top of it! I chose to run the sides of my shelf down so I had to account for that material thickness when measuring my shelf bottom.
How far the shelf needs to be from the top
Here I’ve already added a bar to hold my tins in. Next, I want to measure how far up my tins reach from the top of the bar. That way when I glue the shelf on, I can put it low enough.
Gluing on the shelf
Not only did I have to account for the height of the tin when I glued the shelf on, but I also had to account for the swing of the door. If I’d glued the shelf so that the tins reached the top, the door wouldn’t swing open. I added about 2 inches of extra space at the top, but I probably could have gotten away with leaving closer to an inch.

Step four: Add a storage slot to use up the space under the shelf.

Adding a storage slot
Now that the shelf is where it needs to be, there’s some space under it I could add a little slot for small stuff. I cut some sides that are the same height as the shelf, but the length of them doesn’t take up the entire space from the shelf to the end of the foam core piece because I need to put a bottom piece on the slot. My side pieces are the length minus my material thickness. The bottom piece (laying down to the right) is the entire width of the box.
Making sure it bends closed
There we go! One shelf pointing up, one slot on the side, no material hanging over the edges (making it so it doesn’t fit into our cubby) and the bottom of the slot doesn’t stick out making the pieces unable to bend at 90 degrees!

Step five: Add a shelf onto the bottom.

Testing the depth
Holy bananas. I could not have made that box fit better if Id planned it… which I totally did… Side note: I can never craft without something in the background. I think I’m watching that new show Lore by Aaron Mahnke, based on his podcast of the same name. I love the podcast and the show is wicked good too! Definitely creepy though, not for kids I don’t think.
Adding the shelf top
Creating the bottom shelf was pretty simple – I just had to add a couple sides up against the edges of the bottom (that were the height of my box) then lay a piece of foam core the width of the box on top. Key things to remember: the bottom shelf couldn’t take up the same space as the front shelf when the front shelf was angeled all the way up, and the bar on the front shelf (to hold the tins in) sticks out so if the shelf is as high as that bar, it needs to be even smaller depthwise.
Testing fit
Check it out! It all fits! Guys, I honestly didn’t think I would be able to get it all to fit. That giant container of rock sugar?? All of it’s in there! See the bit of space between the bottom shelf and the front shelf with the bar squished in between? That’s what I was talking about earlier, accounting for that bar.
It all fits in!
Voila! It all fits in! This cubby box doesn’t even need to be taped in or anything – it just slides in and the weight of what you put in it holds it in the cubby!

I’m having so much fun with these cubby boxes; they’re just so inexpensive and fun to make! Plus little by little my room’s getting less and less messy! That’s definitely a fringe benefit.

Please make, make changes, update, and let me know how it goes! Collaborative projects make for the best projects!!

xxEGinny

First Aid Box

 The Problem: My first aid things are way too difficult to get to.

What a mess
Yup, most of it’s stored in Birchboxes and a Milano cookie box. What a pain in the butt.

To be honest though, the majority of my storing problem comes from the fact that I use those Ikea (admittedly, Ikea knockoff) storage cubbies. They’re great, but a little too deep and tall for most of what I want to store. I could use baskets, but then I have to dig through other stuff to get to the bottom. I could just add shelves into them, but then they’re too narrow and deep. So how could I use that storage space most efficiently?

Cubby Storage 1
When its closed its a clean, flat surface. Then the top of the front opens for quick access, then the bottom comes out for quick access for larger things, then in the back I can store things I only need sometimes! I’ve been using this for a while now and I love it!!

How it works is actually pretty simple. There are four sides (top, back, bottom, and front) and the top is taped onto the top of the cubby so that when it’s pulled out, where it’s taped on top acts like a hinge and when it’s pushed back in, the ridgity of the sides push each other back into place!

Step one: Cut out the pieces

Pattern
When it says “minus material thickness x2”, it means to measure how thick whatever material you’re using is (in my case I’m using foam core which is generally 3/16 inch) multiply it by two (3/16 x 2 = 6/16 or 3/8) then subtract that number from your height/depth. For example when I calculated my back piece, I did 11-(3/16 x 2) or 11-(3/8) which is 10 5/8.

Step two: Tape the pieces together. You’ll tape them in the same order that they’re laid out in above!

Taping the pieces together
The reason why you needed to subtract material thickness from the pieces is because they need room to move around, stack, and manipulate in the cubby. Here’s where you’re going to put that thickness back in! You want to add that space (material thickness x2) in as open space between your pieces. The easiest way I found to do that was to use scotch tape to tape one side down exactly parallel on a mat, then tape the piece you’re taping it to however far away it needs to be (material thickness x2). Once the pieces are where they need to be, you can tape over the whole thing with packing tape (the scotch tape should be under the packing tape and therefore not show in the end. After that, you can lift both pieces off the mat and continue the packing tape all the way around for a solid seam.
Taping all the pieces together
Here all the pieces are taped together. If the pieces had been taped together without any space between them, they wouldn’t be able to end like that.

 

Test the fit
For my own piece of mind, promise me that you’ll test the fit after this step. Please? Too many times I’ve thought, “oh this is totally gonna work I’m gonna finish it before I test it out because it’s gonna be so cool to do a big reveal of it all done” … then it doesn’t work.

Step three: Decorate the front. I opted to do this now because the box is still flat which makes it easier. I used felt and glued it down.

Look at this awesome textured brown felt! On sale at Michaels #SuperFind
Lay your box on top of the felt to measure the width that you need your felt. It tends to be more efficient and accurate than using a ruler believe it or not! I learned the magic of a Rotery Cutter way too late in life. I can 100% vouch for how much easier having a rotary cutter will make your life and that Olfa is an excellent brand if you’re looking to add to your collection!
Make sure to hot glue on either side of your seam in front so that it still bends nicely.
There’s a method to my madness here: my felt wasn’t big enough to cover the whole front. To fix that, I cut my brown piece into two pieces and laid a pink label band between them (slightly overlapping). Then not only do I have a place to put my label, but it looks like the whole front is covered in the brown felt, shh… Also pictured is my wonderful Chalk Wheel which I used to draft my letters!

Step four: Make an open box for the bottom of the box… for lack of a better term.

Bottom Box
Put some sides onto the bottom piece. Note that you have to subtract material thickness for this too. The whole thing has to fit inside of the original box sides or they won’t fold up! My sides are roughly 3.5″. Why, you ask? That’s what I left over from the foam core I cut the pieces out of. I’m cheap lazy frugal.

Step five: Make a box for the back of the box… I really gotta figure out more descriptive terms.

Marking where the second box goes
To make the second box, you have to fold up the backside and mark here your first box goes up to so that they don’t overlap. Once you have that, you can make the box just like you did the one on the bottom.
Creating a window
Since the box on the backside will flip up, it needs to close. The lid I created used the semi-sturdy plastic from the packaging of a mug I recently bought. I then framed it in foam core.
Taping the window on
To make the lid flip up and down, use packaging tape to tape the bottom of the door then go ahead and put the lid on. Youll notice the tape is going the wrong way, so tape over that tape sticky to sticky) and stick it to the box. In the above picture, you can see the top of the lid out from under which protrudes some tape with another layer of tape over it ready to be taped onto the backside box.
Gluing the tab on
I cut a tab out of the mug packaging I had and used that to create a box latch, but any piece of plastic with a crease in it will do. I simply glued the tab to the underside of the top then glue some velcro onto it and the box. Some advice: the velcro does not need to be terribly strong. If it’s too strong like mine was) it will simply pull up the hot glue rather than come apart!
Measuring dividers
Measuring dividers is as simple as finding a piece of foam core and cutting it to fit. My suggestion, since the backside box tips up, is to use dividers the same height as the sides so that nothing slips from one side to the other as things get jostled around.
Measuring where dividers go
Tip of the day! Fabric measuring tapes can help you measure in tight spaces! Maybe this is an obvious one but I struggled with a straight ruler for way too long before realizing this…
What can go where
When your second box is done, tilt it up and see where it protrudes out to. I drew a line in my bottom box to remind me where I can put things that are taller than the sides and where they have to be shorter.

Step six: Make some small stuff storage.

Creating small containers
I found this egg carton in the recycling bin and got an idea… First, I had to make the top flat by cutting all the extra stuff off.
Cutting container top out
Next, I laid my now flat egg carton on top of some extra foam core and cut around it.
Measuring the doors
I wanted each egg compartment to have its own little door so I measured out 12 doors on the foam core. I used the side of a piece of foam core to measure the 3/16 inch distance around the door, because who has the time to use a ruler?
Corner cutting the doors
After cutting three sides of the doors (so the fourth is a hinge) I cut a 45-degree angle on the closing side of the door to make it easier to open and close.
ProTip
ProTip: if you’re gonna cut yourself, do it while making a first aid kit. Talk about easy band-aid access!
Adding handles
Once the doors are all cut out, glue the top onto the egg carton and glue the egg carton onto the top half of the door. I used little cut out pieces of foam board to little handles, but there might be something easier to grasp onto. As you can see, I’m already putting my things into it to see how it’s all going to fit!
Making sure it all fits
Test test test! This is just about everything I need to store and the box closes up nicely so everything fits! Woohoo!!

Step seven: Attach the storage into the cubby.

Attaching it to the cubby
Insert the box into the cubby and since the top is about 2 inches shorter than the cubby, you can simply use packaging tape to tape the top in like a hinge. Once thats done, take a small piece of foam core and hot glue it to the top of the cubby and hot glue some velcro onto it. Put glue on the other side of the velcro and close the box door, holding it shut on the velcro until the glue dries. Attaching velcro this way helps to make sure everything lines up!
Unexpected blessing
You learn something new when you do something new, right? I got lucky on this one! See how the piece of foam board in the back (technically the top piece) is bent? It definitely didn’t occur to me when I was building that the second box would collide with the top piece when it all got pulled out… Thankfully it simply creased the top piece and it all worked out great! Phew!

 

Please make, make changes, update, and let me know how it goes! Collaborative projects make for the best projects!!

 

xxEGinny

Halloween Bows

The Problem: Bows are way too small to be as expensive as they are.

Original Halloween Bow
This perfect little girl came home from the groomers with this adorable little Halloween bow on and she didn’t seem to mind it at all. Thus begins her life of being a dog always wearing a bow.

But when we checked online for some new bows for her, we quickly learned they cost what, in my opinion, is way more than a piece of ribbon should. Plus, we didn’t really need 20 Halloween bows in particular, just a couple, then a couple for the other seasons. So when I found myself at the Dollar Store (as I often do) I figured I could just make my own and make them inexpensively the way I wanted to make them!

The Solution: Make them myself!

They’re pretty fun to make and there are so many different types of bows out there! So for a whopping total of $2, I could probably make at least ten bows. I started with three.

Dog Bows cover

Supplies: All I bought were Halloween rings and some ribbon. You’ll also need some sort of small elastic. I used those little hair elastics I had on hand.

Supplies

Tools:

  • Exacto knife
  • Scissors
  • Needle + thread
  • Hot glue gun + sticks
  • A piece of foam board (that’s what I used, but you just need something relatively flat and a little longer than you want the width of your bow. It’ll make sense in the instructions)

Spider Bow

Step one: Find something flat and a little longer than how long you want the bow. I used a piece of foam board about 3.5” in length. Cardboard or folded paper would work well too. Then go ahead and wrap your ribbon around it three times (twice in the back). Ignore the pins, those are just there so I could take the picture! Once you’re all wrapped up, take some tape and lay it over the three pieces to keep them from unraveling.

Wrapping the ribbon

The yellow in the middle of the the ribbon in the second pictures is chalk from one of my favorte tools! Apparently it’s called a Chalk Wheel. Personally I found mine in my grandmother’s quilting kit. It makes things super easy to mark up and nothing is permanent. 10/10 will buy more chalk powder for mine when it runs out!

Step two: Sew across the ribbons.

Sewing together
Use the tape to help you slip the ribbon off your stencil and onto a surface you can sew on. Sew through the center of the ribbons, making sure you’re getting the back two lengths of ribbon too. There’s no special way to do this, but I tried to get through each length of ribbon twice for a tighter gathering.

Step three: Gether the ribbons and knot to secure. I do the ol’ make a loop and sew through it for my knot.

Gathering
Gently push the ribbons to the end of the thread to gather them. After that, wrap the thread around where its gathered and knot to secure.
Pretty bow!
The bow part’s done!

Step four: Cut the ring part off the spider.

Cutting the ring off the spider
I used my exacto. The plastic is pretty thin so it was pretty easy.

Step five: Hot glue the spider onto the bow.

Spider on bow
Not too shabby, eh?

Step six: Sew on the elastic.

Sewing on the elastic
Hold the elastic between two fingers and sew a loop around it onto the back of the bow. That way you’ll have a double elastic to loop over the collar.

Spider bow is done!

Bat Bow

Step one: Measure out how big you’d like your bow to be. I’m using the same piece of foam board I used to measure the spider bow.

Measuring size
Like the spider bow, the final size of the bow will be slightly smaller than the how long your loops are now, but not by much.

Step two: Measure out four more. If you’d prefer, you can shorten these ribbon lengths so that each ribbon you cut it a little shorter than the last, but I chose to this later on.Five lengths of ribbon

Step three: Loop each ribbon length and stack it on top of the last, making sure that each place where the ribbon loop comes together is facing down. Here’s where I eyeballed each loop that I made to make it a little smaller than the last.

Stacking the ribbons
I pinned my loops down to my foam board as I made them, to help keep them straight and make sure the ends of all of my lengths were overlapping.
Alternative bow
If you want, you can rotate some of the loops to end up with a more flowery bow!

Step four: Sew directly through where the pin was a few times, then sew an elastic on just like how the spider one was done.

Putting on the elastic
Like the spider bow, hold the elastic between two fingers and loop the thread over the center to attach it. That way you’ll loop both sides of the elastic over the collar to attach it.

Step five: Cut the ring part off, same as the spider, and go ahead and hot glue it on!

Gluing on the bat
Voila!
Skull Bow
My personal favorite

Step one: Cut five pieces of ribbon all the same length (just a little longer than you want the bow to be in diameter). Cut a “V” shape out of each end.

Cut out five ribbon sections

Step two: Sew in and out of each strip of ribbon, right in the middle.

Sewing the pieces together

Step three: Holding both sides of the ribbons, gently pull the thread so that each ribbon gathers one at a time. Doing those slowly will help the ribbons from twisting which is not as cute.

Ruffling the bow

Step four: Thread the needle back through the stack of ribbons, wrap it around the center, then tie it off to secure it all together.

Tying off the bow
You can choose to sew the elastic on now, but personally, I tied off the bow then sewed the elastic on separately to make sure nothing got twisted.

Step five: After cutting the ring part off with an exacto (see spider bow) go ahead and glue the skull onto the center of the bow!

Gluing on the skull
Voila!

I had way too much fun with these bows; they get addicting to make! I’ll more than likely do a few new how-tos for some different bows later. I want to get a bunch of different colors which are wicked cheap on Amazon (like these which have excellent reviews) and play around some more.

Until then, thanks for reading! Please comment with any questions, comments, or pictures from trying these bows or altering them! The best ideas are the ones built upon 🙂

xxEGinny

Hair Removal for the Shower Drain

Drain hair cleaner cover photo

Long Sleeve Infinity Dress

Problem Solution Pattern Tools Step 1 Step 2 Step 3-5 Step 6-7 Step 8 Step 9-10How to wear

Let’s Get Started!

Hello all and welcome to my passion blog!

The “who” and the “why” of this blog are largely intertwined. People define themselves in all sorts of ways. Some people define themselves as the sports lover, some the workaholic, some the ballerina, my friend’s daughter defines herself as a puppy, though thankfully we tend to change our definitions a lot as preschoolers. I always defined myself as the weirdo. What other type of person would wear a duct tape skirt they made to school in fifth grade? Who else would prefer to spend their childhood weekends in their basement craft room rather than play with friends? However, when I broke through high school and into college I learned what most of us do: we’re not alone. I learned that I’m not a weirdo, I’m a designer. I live it and I am it.

So, who am I? I’m a girl who loves designing, I’m a girl who loves to fix (anyone else now singing Moana?). I’m constantly looking for ways to make my life and other’s easier. I always assumed this was just a weird quirk, sort of a hobby of mine, until I learned about the field of product design! For those who don’t know (I didn’t until I was a Freshman in college, it’s a little-known field) product designers are the people who decide how new products should look and act. I’ll go into greater detail in another post, but basically, product designers exist to make the products that we use every day easier to use, more efficient, more beautiful, and overall better with every product launch. See the device you’re using to read these words? Product designers thought of everything from the materials used to make it to the minuscule curves and angles that make up its form. You get the idea.

Why am I creating this blog? I like to think of it as a social portfolio. I have a regular design portfolio where I show off the work I’ve done (for the curious https://www.behance.net/Ericaginnygreen) but that’s so formal. Where can I put the fun things I work on just because? This blog is an outlet for me to create and fix all of the little things I see around me, document the work, and perhaps even engage in the vast DIY community of the internet!

With that, I’m gonna get to work! I can’t imagine all of my posts will be this wordy, I tend to be a more visual person myself, but I’m open to anyone who wants to talk or bounce ideas around!

xxEGinny