Alma Thomas: Black History Month Kickoff

Who Is Alma Thomas?

Alma Thomas

Back in 2020, we dedicated a blog post to Alma Thomas, which you can read here. Long story short, she was an amazingly talented black artist, famous for her mosaic-like technique for painting. Her story is amazing, and we’d recommend reading the unabridged version in our blog post here.

What Does the Course Include?

For a complete list and the link to the Alma Thomas class itself, click here. If you’d like, you can also purchase the full course here, which gives you access to courses featuring six different historical artists, including Alma Thomas, Rembrandt, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, and Michelangelo. Don’t forget to use the code ALMA50 for a 50% discount on the Alma Thomas course! It’s available for the entire month of February.

Inspired By Alma Thomas

Alma Thomas was a genius when it came to color. Want to be inspired by her in what you wear, but aren’t sure where to start? Here are some clothing items to get you started, as well as some accessories, if you’re not quite bold enough to wear all the colors of the rainbow in one statement piece. Adding a small pop of color can really transform an outfit.

Here are a few crafts you can make in honor of black history month and Alma Thomas:

Heirloom Plush Dolls

These Heirloom Plush Dolls are a fun way to decorate and remember that it’s black history month. They’re a jazzy, creative twist on our Family Heirloom Ornaments.

Alma Thomas Paper Dolls

Alma Thomas Paper Dolls are another interactive way to celebrate black history month. They’re a great way to teach your kids about black history while crafting at the same time!

Other Black Creatives

We hope you’ll treat this month as a learning opportunity and be inspired by the black creatives all around you. Alma Thomas is a great icon, but there are other ways to get involved during black history month as well.

Books, Movies and Shows

In this post, we compiled a list of black-authored books to read that are both eye-opening and engaging. It’s a great place to start if you have a goal to be more informed about black history this month. Bonus: if you’re more of a screens person, that same post also includes some really great movies and shows by black creatives.

If you’re not familiar with many black creatives, here‘s a list we complied a while back with some of our favorites. You can also check out this post, where you can learn how to make your own heirloom ornaments featuring your favorite black creatives.

Interviews

If you’re interested in getting to know some different artists of color, this post is for you. We compiled a list of interviews with some of our favorite artists of color. We loved getting to know them and what they do!

Black-Owned Businesses

Here are some amazing products we love from black designers. This is a great way to support black makers.

Happy Black History Month! We’d love to know: what are you doing in honor of Black History Month?

 

Harry Styles Valentines

Harry Styles Valentines

We are ecstatic about these Harry Styles valentines. The best part is, they’re available in our shop! That means all you have to do is download, print and cut, and they’re ready to go. Oh and we wouldn’t leave you hanging without a candy option to pair with it. Fill up a little bag with sour patch watermelons and you’re all set for a Harry Styles-inspired Valentine’s Day. Be my watermelon sugar?

Harry Styles-Inspired Style

We couldn’t dedicate this post to Harry Styles without mentioning his style. I mean, come on. Harry Styles fan or not, he has undeniably good style. Those sweaters? Amazing pattern combos? Sunglasses? We’re sold. His style features iconic neons, bold color blocking and prints, plaids, a little feminine touch with the shoes and jewelry, and don’t forget those sweater vests. Oh, and did I mention those sunglasses? Transparent, bold colors and eccentric shapes are enough to leave any fangirl drooling. Thank you, Harry!

If you’re looking for a little something inspired by Harry this Valentine’s Day, we have just the thing. Here’s a great place to start:

Oh, and if you want to knit that iconic Harry Styles cardigan, JW Anderson released the knitting pattern. I mean, can you imagine???!?!?!?!!

Here’s some yarn for you to choose from:

Harry Styles Merch

Don’t worry, if you’re lacking a little Harry Styles merch to go with your valentines, step right this way. Here are some options that will leave onlookers without a doubt that you’re a true fan:

Wishing you all a very happy Harry Styles-inspired Valentine’s Day!

More Inspiration

Loved this post featuring our Harry Styles valentines and want to see more? Check out our other Valentine’s Day content! You can craft to your heart’s content with these lovely DIY valentines. Speaking of valentines, check out this post and our shop for endless options of adorable printable valentines. Need a box to put your valentines in? Our DIY painted valentine box is a spectacular option that doubles as a tissue box when you’re done with valentines. Oh, and if you’re looking for gifts for that special someone, you’ll definitely want to check out our Valentine’s Day gift guides for men and women. And here are some great Valentine’s Day activities!

What Iris Apfel Can Teach Us

Iris Apfel June Book Club Artwork

Who Is Iris Apfel?

Iris Apfel is one of the most iconic women in the history of fashion. This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned her! Here’s another post where we share some of our musings about Iris. Self-proclaimed “geriatric starlet,” Iris Apfel started as an interior designer with an innate interest in fashion. She really became known when her noteworthy wardrobe made its way into an exhibition at the Met. From there, her career as a fashion icon blossomed.

She didn’t stop there! At age 98, she signed a modeling contract with IMG, blowing all former female model stereotypes out of the water. She even came out with her own sunglasses line a few days before her 100th birthday! From interior design, to transforming the definition of modeling, to her eclectic and show-stopping style, to simply living a full life, Iris Apfel can teach us so much.

Embracing Maximalism in an Age of Minimalism

We are living in an age of minimalism. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always against minimalism. When done correctly it can be lovely. The problem is that it’s become an overwhelming default that squashes so many opportunities for creative expression. If you’re interested more of my thoughts on neutrals and default colors, read this post. Anyway, I’m not here today to focus on minimalism. I’m here to talk about Iris Apfel, who is an example of totally owning gorgeous maximalism. Iris Apfel can teach us so. much. Here’s how she can help us embrace maximalism when minimalism is so overwhelmingly present.

What Iris Apfel Can Teach Us

Don’t Fear Patterns and Colors!

I remember buying clothes with my mom as a kid. She’d always offer up the same advice: “pick something that will go with everything!” There’s a myth that’s been circulating for many years that neutral solids match better than colors and patterns. My mom’s not alone. Many people stick almost solely to neutrals, not because they don’t like color or pattern, but because they feel intimidated. Which is totally understandable! Neutrals are, admittedly, easy.

But are they satisfying? Iris Apfel sure shows us that there are many, many examples of bold color and pattern combinations that look exquisite together. They’re less common because it’s intimidating to jump into so much color and pattern, but maybe that’s what makes them so wonderful. So to those wanting to incorporate more patterns and colors into their lives but feeling intimidated, remember that Iris would tell you to go for it! You can do it, just be confident in those bold choices and don’t let others dissuade you. As Iris would say, “When you don’t dress like everyone else then you don’t have to think like everyone else.”

The Bolder the Better

Speaking of bold choices, is anything every really too much for Iris Apfel? Probably not. She teaches us that, rather than airing on the side of caution when it comes to your wardrobe, go big or go home! She would probably put it just that candidly, too.

She’s the perfect example of really diving into colors and patterns and showing us that bolder really is better, in her case. After all, she did say, “color can raise the dead.” When you own bold patterns and colors like Iris Apfel, they are striking, completely show-stopping, and do much more than any combination of neutrals could to. So be all in! The key is to be decisive and intentional. A half-hearted effort just doesn’t produce the Iris Apfel effect.

Mix and Match!

Another one of my mom’s common statements was something along the lines of “don’t wear multiple patterns together, they don’t go.” Well Iris Apfel would most likely say the exact opposite: Why opt for a neutral that goes with everything when you can go for a wild, wacky combo? And who says multiple patterns can’t compliment each other exquisitely?

Rather than always going for black because it will match everything in your wardrobe, try branching out. Unlikely combinations can sometimes be best.

Speaking of unlikely combinations, don’t fear mixing high and low fashions. Iris Apfel was famous for shamelessly mixing designer brands with flea market finds, and patterns, colors and textures of all different eras. The eclectic mix became her signature, and she knowingly broke all rules and conventions. Isn’t the saying something like “learn the rules so you can break them?”

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

Don’t let me finish out this list of what Iris Apfel can teach us without including accessories. Iris’s iconic glasses, boas, and bold bangles with forever be remembered. Nothing is too thick, chunky, or big for her. Accessories can do wonders for an outfit that feels like it needs a little something to be complete.

And again, Iris Apfel audaciously merged antiquity with modernity with striking success.

Dress for Yourself, Not to be Stared At

Above all, fashion is and should be very personal. It’s all about you, or it should be. As Iris says, “I don’t dress to be stared at, I dress for myself.” Iris has us convinced that fashion should be fun, and it’s the most fun when it feels true to YOU. Ultimately, “The important thing is to be comfortable so you can get on with your life.”

In the Shop

If you’re looking for something to remind you of Iris Apfel, check out our shop! Nothing helps with inspiration like seeing Iris Apfel’s face every time you open your book and see this bookmark. Or looking up at the wall by your desk and seeing this print! If you’re wanting to prep for the holiday season early this year, we’d recommend this Iris Apfel ornament.

More Inspiration

Loved this post on what Iris Apfel can teach us and want to be inspired by other amazing women? Check out our Becoming series, where we highlight female creatives and how they became who they are! You can also be inspired by these in the mood for posts, where we draw style and design inspiration from artists, creatives, and things we love throughout history.

One last note before you go: Iris Apfel has collaborated with H&M to release a new collection this spring 2022–STAY TUNED! I’m positive we’ll have more to say where that came from.

 

 

 

 

Camp Lars: Summer Activities for Kids

Crafts

Crafts are at the top of our list of summer activities for kids. We’re all about crafts! So obviously we made some with kids in mind. And don’t limit yourself to this list! See our blog archives for more craft ideas. There are plenty we left off the list that your kids would love to try. Some are advanced enough that older kids will enjoy them more, but don’t fret. There are plenty for all ages to enjoy.

Here are our picks for best crafts for kids:

Matisse Felt Board

DIY block printing stamping art with potato

Courses

Another must-have on our list of summer activities for kids are our courses. Since your kids are out of school, it’s the perfect time to try a fun, easy course to keep their brains in gear! Our Great Artists courses are designed to get kids thinking creatively. They get to learn about different artists, with lots of great kids crafts to compliment what they’re learning. 

Another course that’s great for older kids is our Learn to Draw Flowers course. This course will teach your kids all about 31 different types of flowers and how to draw them. Once they’ve nailed this course they can move onto some of our other crafts, like these nesting eggs or our classic nesting dolls (here are the plain wooden nesting dolls to paint). 

Art Supplies

These art supplies made for kids are the perfect compliment to the courses we just mentioned! Not only are they a great way to keep your kids busy this summer, they’re also an important developmental resource to boost your children’s creativity and kick their imaginations into action.

Here are some options from our shop we love:

Other Kids Toys/Activities

Our shop is full of other summer activities for kids! From puzzles to bug hunting kits, we have something for every type of child, so take a look and see what suits your child’s fancy. 

Eeboo kids toys

back to school stickers on notebooks

 

For the Littlest Ones

We didn’t want to leave the littlest ones out of our list of summer activities for kids! While your older kiddos are off on a bug hunt or playing with puzzles, here are some things that are cozy and fun for even those who can’t walk yet. 

cute gifts for baby

Colorful, geometric paper shapes hang from a mobile in a green room.

Home Decor for Kids

Last but not least is our print shop. Summer activity, you ask? Hear me out: we have a shop full of kid-friendly art just waiting to be put to use somewhere in your home. Are your kids old enough to help decorate? Enlist them! What better way to decorate your child’s room than with art they love to look at? Even if your kiddos are too little to pick out their own art, consider it a great opportunity to decorate your baby’s nursery.

A print of a girl reading in a garden surrounded by trees, grass, and flowers against a golden background.

Four illustrations from fairytales hung above a child's kitchen toy set.

 

cheap art for kid's rooms

We hope we’ve given you some good ideas to keep your kids happy and busy this summer! Now we want to hear from you: what summer activities are your kids doing this summer? And what other kids crafts and activities would you like to see from us? Let us know in the comments below!

Easter Activities for Kids

Easter Baskets

Every child needs an Easter basket! It’s one of our favorite Easter activities for kids. But have they ever been able to help make one themselves? For older kids, this Rope Easter Basket is a great option that requires absolutely no sewing. Just twist and glue and you’re done!

Our Paper Easter Basket is a perfect option for kiddos who aren’t quite up to the rope Easter basket level yet, but still want to try their hand at making an Easter basket. Just print, cut and assemble and you’re ready for that Easter egg hunt.

Paper Easter baskets filled with paper grass and plastic eggs against a pink and green background

What to Put In Your Easter Basket

A fun activity that doubles as the perfect addition to your child’s Easter basket, try these carrot treat boxes! Fill them with treats and they also double as party favors for a spring or Easter themed party.

If you’re in need of other things to fill your child’s Easter basket with, here’s a post all about activity-filled Easter baskets. And here’s an Easter basket choose your own adventure! All out of time? These last minute Easter printables are sure to save the day.

Printable Easter Gift coupons to put in sugar-free easter eggs

Egg-centric Activities

It wouldn’t be Easter without some egg-centric Easter activities to keep your little ones busy. The bonus is that these activities appeal to adults and kids alike!

Egg Dying

Egg dying is a classic Easter activity for kids. We have lots of egg dying ideas for you to choose from, like our Naturally dyed Easter egg tree or our Easter Egg runner tablescape. For something a little more in-depth (ideal for older kids), these Ukrainian Pysanky Eggs, Nesting Easter eggs, pressed flower eggs and Botanical Easter eggs are stunning, and you can use to redecorate with for years to come.

Once you’ve dyed your eggs, you’ll need a way to display them. Try our Easter egg holders!

Slip a few of the lovely eggs you’ve dyed (or painted) into the grass for an Easter egg hunt. Let your kids find them using one of the Easter baskets above or this carrot shoulder bag!

orange fabric carrot bag full of paper flowers on a blue and white striped background.

Spring Birthday Activities

While not restricted to just a birthday activity, this Easter Scavenger Hunt with anagram balloons is a great one to add to the list if your child has a birthday at this time of year! And of course, no birthday required for a fun Easter scavenger hunt.

Speaking of spring birthdays, this Easter Tablescape Party Suite is the perfect way to celebrate. The best part is all you have to do is print and cut and you’re all done!

Easter printable tablescape with flowers and rabbits and a floral garland.

Coloring Pages

Another great option if you’re looking for good Easter activities for kids is coloring. Try our Ukrainian Easter Coloring Pages or our Easter coloring pages. If your child loves to color, you’ll also definitely want to check out this Flowers coloring book, as well as the rest of our coloring pages and books in the shop!

Dress-up and Play

What kid doesn’t like a little dress up? It’s a perfect Easter activity for kids. For the littlest of them all, this Baby bunny bonnet is adorable, not to mention a great way to keep their tiny scalps from getting sunburnt. For toddlers and children of all ages, these DIY bunny ears, Bunny party hats, and Easter printable crowns are fun and festive.

Need more activities? These Easter egg coupons will give you endless ideas of activities to do with your kids this Easter! Bonus: you can put them in their Easter eggs to avoid a sugar rush and keep them excited all the same.

You also won’t want to miss our springtime activity kit, or our springtime printable activity pack, which includes spring-themed coloring pages and paper dolls for your kids to have fun with.

Baby Animals

What child doesn’t love a cute animal? Even better, what about a bunny in honor of Easter? Make your own or buy one from our shop and keep your kids happily playing all afternoon!

From our shop, here’s a template for our DIY sewn bunny, or this Floppy bunny doll, if you’re not in the mood to sew.

Here are some more options to peruse:

Gardening

Have a budding gardener on your hands? Help them plant some lovely spring flowers! It’s a great way to capitalize on that warmer weather. Here are some supplies to get you started:

Budding Chef

Is your child interested in learning to cook? We have the perfect Easter treat and activity to try: Resurrection rolls for Palm Sunday!

Don’t forget the kitchen essentials for your kids to use:

More Inspiration

Need more ideas for things to do this Easter? Try this post on Easter crafts, or these Easter decor ideas. Happy crafting!

 

 

DIY Pencil Case

30 Minute Pencil Case

I’m not exaggerating when I say this pencil case is super quick to make. Seriously, it took me 30 minutes to knock out one of these babies–easy enough that it made me want to make 3 more colorways (which I did, of course). I couldn’t resist, I had to try out the new designs in our Spoonflower shop! The nice thing, too, is that you can just order a fat quarter and it’s plenty to make multiple pencil cases. 

How to Make a DIY Pencil Case

Here’s how to make your own DIY pencil case:

Prepping the Fabric

  1. First, order the fabric. As I mentioned above, we used our Spoonflower designs: blue windowpane, pink windowpane and this retro rainbow stripe. A fat quarter is a sufficient quantity. You can use a variety of fabrics, so use the one that you like most. We used petal signature cotton.
  2. Once your fabric arrives, don’t forget to prewash!
  3. When your fabric is washed and dried, iron it out nice and flat.
  4. Now, cut two pieces of fabric that are 11”x 6” each.

Sewing the Zipper

To sew the zipper, follow the instructions outlined in the pencil case template.

Assembling Your DIY Pencil Case

With the zipper in place, you’re now ready to assemble the rest of the pencil case!

  1. To assemble the case, with right sides together, sew around the remaining three sides of the two fabric pieces. Sew as close to both ends of the zipper opening as you can. Leave the zipper partially open so you can flip it right side out after.
  2. Finish the seams of the three sides with a zig-zag or overlock stitch.
  3. Now, pull one corner in and press out perpendicular to the side seam. Measure down from the point by 1” and sew along that 1” mark. Repeat for the other corner.
  4. Clip the excess fabric at the corners and finish both those raw edges.
  5. Now you can flip your pencil case right side out and admire!

More Inspiration

Stay tuned for more back-to-school crafts and DIYs coming soon, like this DIY drawstring backpack made from a tote bag! In the meantime, check out some of my favorite back-to-school projects from years past, like this DIY reusable lunch sack or DIY apple lunch sack. Also see these back to school stickers (find them in our shop!) and these creative homeschool activities. And don’t forget to check out these tips for designing the perfect dorm room!

Casetify Inspired Fabric Projects

Funky Town Fabric Projects

The best thing about the projects we picked to feature our funky town fabrics is that they are all so simple. Seriously. If you consider yourself a beginner, you don’t need to feel intimidated by any of these projects. Just follow along with us to learn how to make these easy staples to add to your wardrobe and home!

Tip#1: before starting any of your projects, make sure you’ve pre-washed your fabric first!

Tip#2: when cutting out square or rectangle pieces, it’s much easier to be precise when you use a cutting mat, rotary cutter, and clear gridded ruler.

Bandana/Kerchief

Simplest of our Casetify inspired fabric projects, this bandana is the perfect accessory to your outfit. If you’re lacking a little color, the bandana will give you that pop you were looking for! For ours, we chose the small marbled and lilac checkers fabrics.

Here’s how to make your own:

How to Make a Bandana/Kerchief

Prepping the Fabric

  1. First, order your favorite fabric from our new Funky Town collection! For fabric type, we’d recommend cotton poplin, as it’s soft, light and breathable. Remember to prewash!
  2. Next, for each bandana, cut out a square that’s 23″x 23″, or adjust the size as necessary for your neck size (smaller bandanas can be as small as 17″ or 18″, and larger closer to 28″ square).

Sewing the Mitered Corners

Now you’re ready to sew the mitered corners. This is the neat diagonal finish to the corners that eliminates some of the bulk caused by traditional hemming. It looks neat and is easy to do!

  1. First, fold over and press each edge by a 1/4″, then a second time to cover the raw edge.
  2. Next, unfold the second fold and measure double the width of the hem from the edge of the fabric down. Mark the spot on each side of the corner with a fabric marker, then connect the two sides with a line across.
  3. Now fold the corner on itself with right sides together, pin, and sew along the line you drew.
  4. Last, clip the excess fabric, press open and flip the corner to the right side to reveal your finished corner.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for the remaining corners.

Finishing Touches

  1. To finish up, simply topstitch along the edge of the folded over sides to complete your hems. Press so it’s nice and flat.
  2. Done! Lay it out and admire.

Simple Throw Pillow

Our next Casetify inspired fabric project is a simple throw pillow. This is the simplest technique to make a throw pillow. No piping or zippers, so there’s not much to be intimidated by. The great thing is it looks lovely when done and takes less than an hour to finish! For ours, we used the retro rainbow stripe in cypress cotton canvas.

Prepping your Fabric

  1. Once your fabric is prewashed and ironed, lay it out and cut out two squares that are 19″x19″. These are the dimensions you’ll need for a standard 20″x20″ throw pillow.
  2. Now lay the two pieces out on top of each other with right sides together.
  3. Next, fold over and press both sides of one edge of each fabric square over to the wrong side by 1/2″.
  4. Pin the three sides you did not press down to prep for sewing.

Sewing the Pillow

  1. Now that your pillow pieces are pinned, sew around the three un-pressed edges. Backstitch at beginning and end.
  2. Clip corners and flip your pillow to the right side.
  3. Next, stuff the pillow insert into the pillow cover you just made and sew up the opening close to the edge. Make sure the pressed edge you created is tucked neatly inside.
  4. Done!

Tote Bag

The tote bag is a bit more advanced than the other two Casetify inspired fabric projects, but we promise you can do it! For this one we used the large retro rainbow marble in cypress cotton canvas, with golden accent handles and strap.

  1. Print off our tote bag template found here.
  2. Cut your bag pieces out of the fabric using the bag template. Note which part of the fabric you want to highlight on your bag and which direction it will face when complete.

Main Bag Piece

  1. With right sides together, sew the front and back of the main bag pieces together at the side seams. Use a single stitch and then finish off with a zig zag to prevent fraying.
  2. Next, pull the edges of the notched part of the cut fabric together (the two bottom corners) to form the flat bottom of the bag. Use a straight stitch, trim the excess down to 1/4″, then finish the edge with a zig zag.
  3. Now turn your main bag piece right side out to prep for future steps. Now to move on to the handle straps!

Handle Straps

  1. First, hem under each long edge by 1/4″. Then fold both of the handle straps in half so the folded edges meet.
  2. Next, pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of each strap.

Shoulder Strap

  1. For the shoulder strap, fold the shoulder strap piece in half with wrong sides together lengthwise.
  2. Next, unfold, then fold each side into the center seam, pressing as you go.
  3. Now you can fold the strap back along the center crease you made. Make sure the two folded edges line up evenly.
  4. Lastly, pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of each strap.

Attaching the Straps

Now to attach the straps to the main bag piece. For this, make sure your bag piece is turned right side out.

  1. First, position the handle straps in the center of the bag opening on each side. Align the raw edges with the top opening of the bag. Pin, then sew in place with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  2. Now attach the ends of the shoulder strap piece to both side seams of the bag. Position them the same way you did with the handle straps and sew in place.

Finishing Touches

  1. Now it’s time for the facing. For this, take both facing pieces with right sides together and sew along both short edges by 1/4″. You should now have a tube that’s the same size as the opening of your bag. If it’s too big, make the seam allowance larger to adjust.
  2. Next, fold one edge under (wrong sides together) by 1/4″ and press.
  3. Now, with right sides together, align the raw edge of the facing tube around the opening of the bag.
  4. Next, sew a single stitch around the top opening edge of the bag, with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
  5. To finish up, turn the facing to the inside of the bag, press, and pin in place. Make sure the sewn edge of the facing/bag is creased neatly along the top edge of the bag. It shouldn’t show on the outside.
  6. Last, edge stitch along the creased edge of the facing to hold it in place.
  7. Done!

Styling Your Funky Town Projects

You can have a lot of fun styling your Funky Town Casetify inspired fabric projects! The great thing about these fabrics is that they can be mixed and matched in so many different ways. Try a marbled with a checkered, like we did, or add a solid pop of color to a busy pattern as an accent. The options are endless.

We’re excited to see what you make! Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

Loved these simple Casetify inspired fabric projects? Check out the first post in our sewing basics series, how to thread a sewing machine! You’ll probably also love these other easy sewing projects. Try our Mother’s Day apron or our Easter outfits (not limited to use on Mother’s Day or Easter). If you want more home decor sewing projects, try our shaped throw pillows or quilted shower curtain.

5 Ways to Wear Green

5 Ways to Wear Green

We made a list of five ways to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day years ago (2014, can you believe it?!), which you can find here. Well, we wanted to add to it, because it turns out we’ve had some bright ideas since then!

St. Patrick’s Day Beaded Bracelets

Just a few weeks ago, we came out with these St. Patrick’s Day Beaded Bracelets! It’s the perfect solution if you don’t want to overwhelm the world with green or don’t have any green in your closet already. These sweet little bracelets are delicate and refined, and give you that splash of green you need. You might even find yourself wearing them on other days besides St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day Buttons

These St. Patrick’s Day Assorted Buttons from our shop are another great way to add just a touch of green to your outfit. Bonus: you don’t even have to make them! Just order and you’re all set. And come on, these little beauties are adorable. You’ll be looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day just so you have a reason to wear them.

Rainbow Collar Pin

Another great accessory, our DIY Rainbow Collar Pin has been around for a while now and it’s a beloved classic! Rainbows are a classic St. Patrick’s Day icon, and the great thing is that (if you hadn’t noticed already) the color green is always present in a rainbow. Plus, I love me a good little collar pin accessory and this one fits the bill perfectly. It’s cute, functional, and protects you from the pinches.

St. Patrick’s Day Crowns

Did someone say St. Patrick’s Day party? These two St. Patrick’s Day crowns are the perfect party accessory for your guests! We have two versions, a printable and DIY version, so pick whatever suits your fancy. Not interested in having a party? Then just have fun and wear a crown for the day! Its delicate and playful and you can relax, because no one will miss that pop of green.

Painted Shoes

If you’re into the subtle details, these Painted Shoes are for you. Paint a rainbow or some green on the soles of your shoes and flash those colors when someone tries to give you a pinch!

Other Options

Here are some other ideas for how to incorporate green into your St. Patrick’s Day this year:

More Inspiration

Loved this post on ways to wear green and want more St. Patrick’s Day inspiration? Try this lovely St. Patrick’s Day Wreath. Also try this St. Patrick’s Day crown, or these kid-friendly coloring pages! And if you’re in need of a new spring craft, try our DIY Paper Orchids! Not interested in making anything? Check out our shop for some seasonal favorites you’re sure to love.

Fall 2022 Casetify Collection

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Our Obsession with Casetify

horizontal casetify full shot

After we launched our initial collection of phone cases with Casetify, we caught the bug. We couldn’t stop thinking about all the things we could do with those vibrant new designs! While we waited for the launch of our second collection, we got busy with all kinds of projects. First came these painted mini pumpkins. Then there were our retro florals inspired projects, like this tablescape, backdrop, and quilt. We also got sewing and made new team outfits and some other Casetify inspired sewing projects

Spring Florals

Then spring came around, which meant the launch of our second collection, BLOOM. This collection featured all things floral, inspired by the budding blooms all around us. We let those beautiful floral motifs inspire our style, and they found their way onto these lovely nesting Easter eggs, too. 

Our New Collection

Now, one year later, we’re releasing our brand new fall 2022 Casetify collection! We revamped and added to our retro florals with scale shifts, design changes, new color palettes and some fun sparkles. We’ve also added in some completely new designs and motifs (our wonderful designer, Garet, is to thank for the ingenuity and creativity behind the collection). 

Here are some of my personal favorites:

I just can’t get enough of those eyes!

Totally in LOVE with the new retro floral colorways.

And those sparkles–I wasn’t sure how noticeable they’d be, and to my delight, they are glorious in their eye-catching beauty!

Phone Sockets

We thought the launch of our fall 2022 Casetify collection would also be the perfect time for some fresh new phone sockets. We love the way these fun checkers and flowers interact with the new collection and can’t wait to see what you choose! Keep us posted in the comments below!

Our Itch to Keep Designing

Designing these Casetify collections ignited our desire to collaborate with many different types of companies. We’ve fallen in love with the designing part of the creative process and are now looking to partner with other companies. In a dream world, we’d be doing gardening, luggage, coats, swimwear, and anything else that piques our interest (hint hint, if anyone wants to work with us we’re open)! Basically, it comes down to a desire to fill the world with color and joy, and that’s something we feel passionate about. We want to provide a happy, colorful alternative to all of the gray stuff out there in the world.

Speaking of filling the world with color, we already have some things in the works that we’ve been working on this year. We can’t wait to share them with you, so stay tuned!

Casetify Coupon

You can take 15% off your Casetify order with code THTLB15! Order here!

DIY Fanny Pack

Fanny Pack Featuring Colorblock Stripes

My main requisite for this fanny pack was color. If you haven’t read my thoughts on the need for color, see this post and then this one. Well, the world’s lack of color extends to functional accessories like fanny packs. It’s pretty insane to me the number of black fanny packs that appear in a google search. I knew mine, on the other hand, had to be colorful and make me feel happy whenever I put it on.

Well, the perfect opportunity presented itself. We’ve been working on a few different bold stripes to add to our Spoonflower shop, and settled on four different colorways that are amazing together. For all the stripe options we considered, click here.

fanny pack with pattern

 

How to Make a DIY Fanny Pack

Prepping the Fabric

  1. First, prewash your fabric and tumble dry. Here’s the fabric we used.
  2. Meanwhile, download, print and cut out your fanny pack pattern found here.
  3. When your fabric is washed and dried, iron it out flat.
  4. After you’re done ironing, follow the instructions on the fanny pack pattern (here) to cut out your pattern pieces. Make sure to cut the pattern pieces out with the stripes running vertically, if you’re using stripes. When you’re done cutting, you should have eight separate pieces total, two of each of the four colors.

First Sewing Steps

Now you’re ready to sew your fanny pack together!

  1. First, with right sides together, sew the darts, then iron out the crease.
  2. Next, sew the two front pieces together along the center seam with right sides together. Repeat for the two back pieces. Do the same for the lining and iron the center seams flat. You should now have four pieces of fabric total–two front, with the stripes sewn together along the center seam and mirrored, and two back, again, with the stripes mirrored and joined at the center seams (see fanny pack pattern visual to see how the stripes should be mirrored).

Sewing the Zipper

  1. Now it’s time to sew the zipper. For this, line up the two front pieces (outside and lining) with right sides together and pin in place. 
  2. Use the guide on the fanny pack pattern and a fabric marker or pencil to trace the zipper stitch line onto the wrong side of the outside front piece.
  3. After that, sew the two pieces together along the zipper stitch line, backstitching at the end.
  4. Now cut a slit down the center of the box you just sewed. At both ends, leave about a centimeter and cut a slit to each corner, as shown in the step photos.
  5. Next, flip the pieces of fabric right side out and iron. You should now have a neat little rectangle in the center of your two front pieces.
  6. Now, pin the zipper in place inside the box with the front of the zipper facing the front. Using the zipper foot, sew all the way around the box. If needed, you can unzip the zipper a bit to make it easier to sew.

Adding the Lining and Straps

  1. For the lining, take one of the back pieces, line it up with the top front piece and pin, right sides together. Take care to make sure the second front piece is out of the way.
  2. Next, pin the straps in place (you should have two straps that are each 1 yard long). They should be positioned towards the top of the pouch on either side of the zipper, with each end flush with the raw edges of the fabric. The strap should be sandwiched between the two fabric pieces, hidden from view.
  3. Now sew around the “U,” making sure to not sew across the top yet and reinforcing across the straps.
  4. After sewing the first set, repeat for the other two pieces, sewing one front piece to one back piece with right sides together, avoiding the top. You should now have two separate, closed pouches back to back.
  5. Once all the pieces are sewn, stack them inside each other, then line up, pin, and sew the top. Make sure the zipper is open at this point so you can flip the fanny pack after sewing.
  6. Now, finish the straight raw edge with a zig zag or overlock stitch, then flip it so it’s right side out and iron.

Finishing Touches

All that’s left now is to add the buckle and adjustable strap!

  1. You’ll make the strap adjustable first. For this, take the adjustable strap slider and feed the strap through as shown in the photos.
  2. Now, wrap the fanny pack around your waist and adjust until it’s a comfortable fit. Slip around the buckle, cut off the excess (see photos for the visual on how to do this) and sew into place.
  3. Done!

More Inspiration

Looking for more sewing projects? Try these pencil cases and a whole host of sewing projects on the blog! Also see our shop for plenty of templates and patterns. Wanting to improve your sewing knowledge? See our sewing basics series!

Sewing Basics: Essential Sewing Supplies

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Essential Sewing Supplies

The sewing supplies we’re talking about today are the essentials. They’re the ones I absolutely can’t live without! I use them religiously for probably 99% of my sewing projects. So if you’re lacking some basic sewing supplies but aren’t sure what’s really necessary, read on. I wish I had known about all of these sewing supplies when I first started sewing!

Note: our focus today is on the little things people might miss but that are incredibly useful. That being said, the big things are important, too! If you don’t already have a sewing machine, iron, and ironing board, invest in them, because you’ll use them for every sewing project.

Cutting Mat

This is a sewing supply I haven’t always had, but it will make cutting your fabric much easier and more precise, especially if you’re cutting squares or rectangles for things like quilts. It’s also great for altering hemlines of clothes! I use my cutting mat all the time–please, make your life easier and get yourself a good cutting mat.

Cutting mats come in many different sizes, but I’ve found that larger is better, if you have the space for it. Get one that will still fit on your table, but that’s big enough to lay out a large amount of fabric at once. My favorite cutting mat is this Fiskars one, but you can also go with this smaller version if you don’t have the space for the larger one. It’s self healing (a must), and gridded, which again, helps a lot when you need exact measurements.

cutting mat and ruler: essential sewing supplies

Clear, Gridded Ruler

I am obsessed with my clear, gridded ruler and would definitely consider it an essential sewing supply! It’s basically replaced my yardstick. The benefits of a clear, gridded ruler? First, it’s clear, so you can easily see the fabric you’re trying to cut underneath it. It makes lining things up much easier. Next, since it’s wider than your average yardstick or ruler, it helps hold the fabric down flat while you’re cutting it–that means extra precision. 

Rotary Cutter

Another one of my favorite go-to essential sewing supplies is a rotary cutter. If you’re going to use a clear, gridded ruler, a rotary cutter is a must. It’s impossible to get the same precision from a regular pair of sewing scissors, no matter how neat you are at cutting. The benefit of a rotary cutter is that it allows you to cut perfect, straight lines quickly and efficiently, as long as you have a cutting mat and clear, gridded ruler. 

Tip: if you’re planning to buy a cutting mat, clear gridded ruler, and rotary cutter, I’d highly recommend saving a bit of money and buying this cutting set. It comes with all three and is a better deal than buying all three separately.

Essential sewing supply: rotary cutter

Scissors

A good pair of sewing scissors is an essential sewing supply everyone needs. While a rotary cutter is excellent to have on hand for straight lines and precision, regular sewing scissors are good for everything else. Cut straight lines, curves, notches, and clip your threads with sewing  scissors. These should never leave your side when you’re sewing.

Speaking of scissors, the Fiskars scissors we released back in May are now available on our shop! Fiskars is my favorite brand for sewing supplies, and scissors are their specialty. The bonus is that our custom Fiskars scissors happen to be pretty cute, too.

scissors essential sewing supply

Flexible Measuring Tape

A good, flexible measuring tape is another essential sewing supply that you’ll use frequently. It’s especially necessary for taking measurements (those clothes need to fit right!), but it’s also useful for measuring a lot of other things. Since it’s so long, it’s great to have on hand for measuring things like drawstring cording, elastic, fabric and more.

measuring tape essential sewing supplies

Marking pencil/marker 

Another one of our essential sewing supplies that’s definitely useful to have on hand is a marking pencil or marker. You can also use chalk, if you want. Whatever you choose, it needs to be water soluble! I wish I could have told inexperienced, teenage me this before I used a sharpie to mark the button placket on my white shirt. You don’t want to stain your new project! The benefit of using a marking pencil or marker that’s made for sewing is that it will probably be made with water soluble ink. That means when you wash it it will be gone. No permanent stains on your new shirt!

Seam Gauge

A seam gauge is another essential sewing supply you’ll be grateful for. This makes measuring hems and seam allowances much more precise and efficient. This one also has a handy point at one end for turning corners.

Marking pencil and seam gauge essential sewing supplies

Pins, Safety Pins, and Needles

Regular straight pins are a very useful sewing supply to have on hand. They help pin things in place so you can cut and sew precisely without things slipping around! Safety pins are also nice for times when you need to pin something and then try it on–that way you don’t have to worry about jabbing yourself with a sharp point as you’re taking it on and off! Also, you’ll use safety pins for turning casings and narrow things right side out.

You’ll also want a variety of needles on hand–hand sewing needles are great, especially for details you don’t want to show, as well as buttons, mending, and hand-stitching things closed.  You’ll also want some extra sewing machine needles (try as I might, I still manage to break my sewing machine needles more frequently than I’d like to admit). Luckily, most sewing machines come with a few extras.

Thread

For any sewing project, make sure you pick up some matching thread! You won’t be able to sew without it. My favorite brand is Gutermann–their thread is strong and they usually have great color options. But you can also go with Coats and Clark. It’s a bit cheaper, but still great quality and versatile. 

Thread

Bobbins

It’s nice to have a decent amount of extra bobbins on hand. Your machine will come with a few, but if you’re like me and your projects are colorful, you’ll probably have bobbins of almost every color of the rainbow. It’s nice to not have to reuse the same four bobbins if you’re in that boat!

Seam Ripper

Last but definitely not least is a seam ripper. As much as I’d like to think I can make it through a whole project with no errors, that’s more of a dream than reality. I’ve messed up enough times to want my seam ripper close at hand for every sewing project. Plus, if buttonholes are involved, a seam ripper is part of the process.

I made a nice discovery recently–most sewing machines come with a basic little seam ripper. But you can also buy fancier ones with bigger handles that make them easier to hold.

seam ripper

More Inspiration

Did you love this post on essential sewing supplies? There’s more where that came from! Check out the rest of our Sewing Basics series here. You won’t want to miss this DIY Fanny Pack or these cute DIY pencil cases, either! Also, see our past sewing projects: New Team Outfits, Easter outfits, Casetify inspired projects, shaped throw pillows, Mother’s Day apron, quilted shower curtain, quilted face mask, rainbow buttons, reusable lunch sack, and DIY beeswax wraps.

Ways to Repurpose Scarves

Repurpose Your Scarves Three Ways

Today we’ll be showing you three ways to repurpose your old scarves: throw pillow, scrunchie, and headband. First up? a throw pillow. 

Throw Pillow

Making a throw pillow just made sense, since the dimensions of many scarves are about the same as the dimensions needed to make a pillowcase for a 20” throw pillow. The scarves we started with were roughly 18” square. That was perfect for a 20” throw pillow since generally you want your pillowcase to be a few inches smaller than the dimensions of your pillow insert for maximum fullness. 

How to Make a Throw Pillow From Scarves

  1. First, take two scarves and line them up, right sides together.
  2. Now, sew all the way around the perimeter of your square with a ¼” seam allowance. Leave a gap that’s almost the length of one side of your square so you can flip it right side out after. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.
  3. Next, iron the opening down along the seam allowance. This will make sewing it together easier later.
  4. Now flip your pillowcase right side out and stuff your insert inside.
  5. Last, pin the opening and sew it closed using your sewing machine. For this, it helps to stuff the pillow down so you have a little room to work with as you sew.
  6. All that’s left is to adjust the insert and make sure it’s evenly distributed inside the pillowcase. Done!

Scrunchie

Next we’re making a scrunchie. This is such a simple little project that doubles as the perfect accessory! Here’s what to do:

How to Make a Scrunchie From Scarves

  1. Cut a piece of fabric that’s 4” x 30”. Also cut a piece of elastic that fits loosely on your wrist, plus a few inches. Ours was around 8”.
  2. Next, finish the 4” ends with a zig zag. Then fold and iron both ends over about ¼”, wrong sides together.
  3. Now fold the fabric together lengthwise, pin and sew along the raw edge.
  4. After it’s sewn, flip it right side out with a safety pin. 
  5. Then feed the elastic through, again with a safety pin. 
  6. Once the elastic is in, tie the elastic ends together in a knot.
  7. Now layer one end of the fabric over the other and sew down the width to secure in place.
  8. Done!

Headband

Last but not least, here’s a simple headband tutorial! It’s so simple, but looks lovely when finished. Like the scrunchie, it’s a great accessory, especially if you’re in need of a little pop of color. The great thing about this headband is that it’s almost the same as the scrunchie with a few variations. Here’s how to make your own:

How to Make a Headband From Scarves

  1. First, pick a headband to use as your understructure. Then cut a piece of fabric that’s 4x the headband width and roughly 55” (give or take a little depending on how full you want it).
  2. Next, follow scrunchie steps 2-4.
  3. Once your fabric casing is flipped right side out, you can feed the headband through one end.
  4. Secure that end with hot glue, then feed the headband all the way through the casing so it’s scrunched up evenly. Make sure the seam is on the bottom of the headband so it doesn’t show when you’re wearing it.
  5. Now, just secure the other end with a dab of hot glue and you’re done!

More Inspiration

Loved this post on ways to repurpose scarves? If you’re looking for more sewing hacks, try our Sewing Basics series! You might also love this tote to drawstring backpack hack. Also, see some of our recent blog projects like this DIY Fanny Pack, DIY Pencil Case, or Casetify Inspired Fabric Projects