Tuesday, January 31, 2012

favorite craft tool: bone folder

often underestimated, the bone folder has become one of my favorite craft tools. it allows for sharp creases to be made on paper for neat folding. mostly used by bookbinders, the bone folder comes in handy when i need to burnish things and fold pieces of paper. and did you know you can use it to mark fabric without damaging it? my bone folder sits in my cup of pens and pencils for easy access. i use it that much!!

image from here where martha gives instructions on how to use a bone folder.

of course martha stewart makes a great one, sold at michaels. i'm not all that partial to a particular brand. i usually pop into an art supply store and pick one up. tell me, what are your favorite craft tools?

Thursday, January 26, 2012


today i am honored to be featured on one of my favorite blogs: ampersand design studio. carrie and morgan are super talented surface designers and they have quite the knack for finding the most amazing internet treasures. head over to their blog and give them some love. i know you'll enjoy what they're up to. and thanks, girls!! can't wait for what's to come!

Monday, January 23, 2012


ever worry that you're putting the fork on the wrong side of the table setting? yeah, me neither, because i was taught well in girl scouts many moons ago, but if you fear a surprise visit from miss emily post herself, have i got a work around for you! stash all of the silverware in the pocket of this handmade placemat and the guessing game is over.

materials needed:

-1/2 yard of fabric (i decided to use two fabrics, one patterned and one black, but go for whatever makes your heart happy!)
-interfacing (trimmed to a piece that measures 17" x 14")
-matching thread
-ruler or tape measure
-sewing machine (this project could be done with liquid stitches if a sewing machine frightens you, but i highly recommend a sewing machine)

the finished size of the placemat is 17" wide and 14" tall.

step 1: cut your fabric to a piece that is 19" x 16". this will allow for the fabric to overhang one inch on all four sides of the interfacing.

step 2: the finished size of the pocket on my placemat is 4" wide x 6" tall. you'll want to cut your pocket fabric to a piece that measures 5" wide by 6 1/2" tall. measure 1/2" on each of the two long sides and one short side and iron that fold. (see photo below) *also, it's not shown in the photo below, but you'll want to finish the top edge of the pocket before sewing it onto your placemat. just fold it down a 1/4" and sew along the seam.

step 3: once you have your pieces cut to the correct size, it's time to pin the interfacing and placemat fabric to each other. lay the placemat fabric right side down on a table and place the interfacing in the middle of that fabric. there should be approximately 1" overhang on each of the four sides of the placemat. go ahead and pin all four sides, pulling the fabric taught for a smooth look on the front side.

step four: using a simple straight stitch, sew each of the four sides of the placemat. fold the corners as you get close to them to make them look nice and finished.

step five: you're almost finished! it's now time to attach the pocket to the front of your placemat. since you've already sewn the top edge and ironed the other three sides (see step two), you can place your pocket piece onto your placemat wherever you want your pocket to be. i decided to place mine on the left side of my placemat. once you've figured out where your pocket should go, pin it in place. and now you're ready to sew the pocket onto the placemat.

this part can get a little tricky, because the placemat has to fit into such a tight space when sewing on the pocket, but you can kind of fold or roll the placemat like i did here:

also, if it's easier for you, just sew three separate lines for the pocket, instead of keeping one continuous line, making a "U" shape around the pocket.

step six: trim all hanging threads and fill the pocket with your utensils.

i used fabric from ikea which isn't available anymore, but a similar one is here and the utensils are oona from crate & barrel . this project doesn't require much fabric at all, so go ahead a look through your fabric stash for a remnant that might work. enjoy!

*this project was also featured on the love is rising blog.